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9 Night South Pacific Cruise from Sydney

9 Night South Pacific Cruise from Sydney (Australia)

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Ovation of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Sydney (Australia)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Noumea
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Port Vila
  • Day 7
    Mystery Island
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Sydney (Australia)

Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

An amazing mega-liner filled with high-tech entertainment and attractions

Cons

Drinking, dining and entertainment venues struggle at peak times

Bottom line

Never a dull moment on a ship that has something to please everyone


Cruise Reviews

I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it LOOKS spectacular... But don't be deceived. The service was horrible... I wanted fresh parmesan but I got the 3 year old grated parmesan cheese... If I were to be a 1st time cruiser I still would think that this ship was bad... I got woken up at 9:30am ship time to the crew emergency practice... on the 6th day. Why couldn't they have used the walkie talkies... The wifi was so expensive it almost made me won't to jump off the ship... I really wanted to get up and just go on the bumper cars... I waited for 2 hours then I had these snobs who cut in front of me... This cr u ise was the worst serviced cruise... I'll say a positive... oh yeah that's right there is none... Can I just say that my 12 year old son waited in line and then I found him crying in a corner reheating lining up... Don't bring your children they will be bored there is nothing to do for them... unless you buy the key then you will skip all lines and get yelled at. If your child is younger then 12 then dont bring them Please listen I paid 4000 US dollars to get on this 9 day cruise for the worst experience of my life... And they had LGBTQ every night for choose who where. If your a sleeper then do not go o n this cruise you can't sleep it was to Rocky on the last night and don't get virgin Australia it got canceled for 2 and a half hours for maintenance and then they tell us that it has had maintenance problems. -Anymous Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ovation of the Seas is a marvel and near faultless. The staff are amazing, and always have a smile. The itinerary for 9 days was well balanced between at-sea days and port days. Our 2 kids (Miss 5 and Miss 8) loved the kids club and the ... Read More
Ovation of the Seas is a marvel and near faultless. The staff are amazing, and always have a smile. The itinerary for 9 days was well balanced between at-sea days and port days. Our 2 kids (Miss 5 and Miss 8) loved the kids club and the pool facilities. EMBARKATION We live in Sydney and decided to use the relatively new Light Rail to get into the city. This was great as where you get off at Circular Quay is only a few hundred metres walk from the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Our embarkation was later than advised due to the delayed arrival of the ship from the previous cruise (engine trouble on the 2nd to last day). We dropped our bags off at the cruise terminal at about 11am and went to Squire's Landing (bottom of the far end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal) for a few beers and some lunch. After taking a few selfies at the front of the ship, we started the boarding process - within about 35 minutes, we were checked in, through customs, and onboard in our cabin with our bags having already been delivered!!! It was definitely advantageous to have "Expedited Arrival" status as the queues were really long as a result of the delayed arrival. FOOD AND DINING We had the deluxe beverage package which was great - coffees each day, bottles of water for the shore excursions, and cocktails / beers / wine all the rest of the time. The package generally covers all single serve beverages apart from some of the more expensive wines by the glass (which are served in the speciality restaurants and Vintages bar). For dinner, we mainly ate in one of the 4 Main Dining Rooms (American Icon) with My Time dining. We did an early reservation (5.15pm) after we boarded and ended up getting the same table each night. Our wait staff (Andreas and Bresila) were fantastic and were very accommodating of our somewhat fussy Miss 5. It is great how there are 4 or 5 appetisers and mains which are different each night. We had a couple of nights in speciality restaurants - once in Chops (the steak was delicious!) and once in Wonderland (a great dining experience which even Miss 5 and Miss 8 enjoyed!). ONBOARD ACTIVITIES The iFLY and North Star are musts! For iFLY, I've been sky diving once before but still really enjoyed this experience – as did Miss 5 and Miss 8!!! We did the North Star on one of the at sea days so didn't really get to see much beside a whole lot of ocean... but seeing the ship itself from high above was certainly a unique experience. Highly recommend booking both iFLY and North Star before you board as they can get booked out for the whole cruise. We also went to a couple of the bumper car sessions in the SeaPlex. A real novelty doing something like this while on a cruise ship at sea, and a highlight for both Miss 5 and Miss 8. Unfortunately, it was incredibly popular meaning some long queues (waiting in line up to an hour for a 5 minute ride). We saw a couple of the shows in the Royal Theatre as well as the PIXELS show in the Two70 venue - all really high quality with some talented performers. SERVICE AND STAFF Very impressive. No matter where you went, the staff would always offer a cheerful greeting and an offer of assistance. Our cabin attendant Sebby was ever attentive, promptly making our beds in the morning while we were out at breakfast and then turning down our room when we were at dinner. High praise for our American Icon waitstaff – Andreas promptly taking our food orders when we arrived and delivering each course promptly, and then Bresila taking our drinks orders and bringing new glasses of wine when we finished what we had. SHIP QUALITY Ovation of the Seas is coming up to 4 years old, but isn't showing any signs of age. The staff do a brilliant job of keeping everything spotless, included constantly mopping water around the pools on the main deck. When we hit some rough seas between New Zealand and Australia on the return leg, the ‘sick’ bags were promptly put out at each of the stairwells for those in need. CABIN / STATEROOM Given we were a family of 4, it was pretty cosy with the couch being turned into a bed for Miss 5 and Miss 8. However, there was plenty of storage (multiple drawers as well as hanging space), and room under the bed to keep the bags. If you do run out of storage space, remember you can keep some clothes in your bag and just slide the bag out from under the bed when you need it. The bathroom was cosy but serviceable - toilet, sink, and shower. Water pressure in the shower wasn't great - but the shower head does have different settings which helped. DEBARKATION We were not in a rush to get off and were lucky enough to have once of the last assigned times (9.30am). This meant we were able to have a last breakfast in the Windjammer, and then have a bit of leisure time before our time was called. The luggage collection was a bit chaotic, and there was a bit of a queue to get through customs... but it really didn't take more than about 30 minutes to end up outside the terminal with our bags on our way home. SHIP TIP Do the full online check-in prior to your cruise (including uploading your photo). We did this and had "Expedited Arrival" on our SetSail passes. This meant we were able to skip the normal queue and get onboard really quickly. --- SHORE EXCURSIONS --- SOUNDS Breathtaking! Arriving into Milford Sound as the sun was rising was spectacular. The ship did a double spin at the end of Milford Sound meaning everyone had a good look no matter where they would have been on the ship. DUNEDIN We did the Otagos Wild Wonders. The bus trip wasn't great - almost an hour and 40kms driving from Port Chalmers all the way around to the opposite side of the harbour (about 1km as the crow flies). However, arriving at Natures Wonders we were warmly welcomed by Perry and his team. Riding on the Argo 8 wheel drive vehicles was huge fun, with a driving trek down to the ocean front of the Otago Peninsula. It was the end of the breeding season for the New Zealand Fur Seals, and we got to see a few dozen (at least) pups lazing around. The tour also included getting to see a penguin chick in a special nesting box. WELLINGTON Unfortunately due to earthquake damage to the cruise ship pier, Ovation docked at a commercial wharf which meant it wasn’t possible to walk directly onshore and away from the dock. However, we had booked ourselves on the Wellington Panorama shore excursion which means we boarded the bus right off the ship (a complimentary shuttle service was available for anyone who wanted to go ashore on their own). The tour was excellent, with our driving providing some great history of Wellington including many humorous anecdotes. Stops included the Wellington Botanical Gardens (so many different colours of roses!), Mt Victoria (a great way to see Wellington from on high), and then the Wellington foreshore (the Gallipoli exhibition in the Te Papa museum is brilliant). PICTON While the ship was again at a commercial wharf, a complimentary shuttle was also provided. Our shore excursion this time was the "Marlborough Train Tour". After a short bus ride to the Picton train station, we boarded Passchendaele, a WW1 memorial steam locomotive for a ride to Blenheim - this took about 30 minutes. Getting off at the Blenheim station, we had a chance to check out the locomotive and have a chat to the engineers. There was a great souvenir shop nearby where we picked up a couple of things, and then walked about 20 minutes to have lunch at Dodson Street Beer Garden (http://www.dodsonstreet.co.nz/). Just as much as the Marlborough region is known for its wines, there are also some great local breweries - and we got to try a number of the local brews at Dodson Street. Definitely worth going to if you like your beers! The afternoon saw us ride the train from Blenheim back to Picton, and then the bus back to the wharf to board Ovation. The queues for the bus in Picton were pretty long, so would suggest not hanging around in Picton for too long. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner ... Read More
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner and my-self. The queen bed was very comfortable, TV size was great that sits on the wall in front of the bed, a couch to sit on, good size balcony with the lounge chairs. The bathroom was a little bit small and tight, the shower was a great size but the size of the bathroom didn't bother us as much. The housekeeping team had always ensured the tidiness of our room which is great, the only thing that lacked a little was that they only made the beds and picked up the dirty towels and replaced with new ones, they did not vacuum the room unless need-be and they don't wipe after tables or pick up dirt off the couch. I had to call in the housekeeping service to make the special request to vacuum the floor and the couch as there were sand from our Island ports. Otherwise they did a great job with the cleanliness of the room. The ship it-self is a huge ship, we were on the starboard aft side so it was a bit of a walk going here and there which we didn't mind at all as we enjoy exploring the ship. There were a lot of different dining venues, activities, bars, shops, chill out areas, pools, theatres, you name it! this ship has everything. With the activities, they have the north star capsule, rip cord by ifly, flowrider surfing simulator - these things needed to be booked prior, as soon as itinerary details come out. We had not known about booking these through the app until we got onboard when the staff were explaining about this feature. We unfortunately had missed out on the rip cord and flowrider because when we wanted to book it through the app, everything had been booked out and that it was only a matter of lining up for the hours where reservations weren't required. We hadn't booked the North Star either as it was fully booked and came to find that there were so many people who are going on the ride twice or even more as they had booked themselves a few times. This is where Royal Caribbean need to limit guests to 1-2 rides per the cruise as it isn't fair to those that didn't get to try on the activity. My partner and I had to line up for over an hour during the no reservations hour that they offered this activity, whilst others had already gone on it 4 times which was not fair at all. The pool areas were pretty good but for a big ship, I found that it needed some improvements. Both main pool areas are constantly infested with kids and teenagers and it's difficult for the adults and elderly to want to have a swim or relaxation other than in the solarium, but the solarium is only about sitting around and not much of a swim, I found there were a fair bit of kids in the solarium still running about. I thought this needed some kind of an improvement to limit one pool area to children only and others to those over 18. The water park was also lacking as this catered for children under 12 only. There weren't much of any slides for older guests like carnival cruises offer, being a big ship I felt that this one should have catered more activities for water parks. The food on this ship was excellent, couldn't find any faults except for the dry bacons in the mornings but otherwise it's really good. I went on the P&O before and the food was horrible, this cruise line had definitely topped them and I enjoyed every bit of food that I had on board, it was great. The customer service from the windjammer market place and the main dining areas were excellent, couldn't find any faults as they were very attentive and very friendly, always met your needs. The downside for overseas passengers are that this ship charges with $USD, the conversion with their currency can be very pricey. $8 bionic bar drink meant almost $15 in $AUD each which is quite costly. My partner and I took out the deluxe beverage package with all inclusive except for alcohol, it was $35pp/day, quite pricey but if you think about it, they charge $8 USD per drink and by the time you get yourself a juice, a coffee, a milkshake, glass of coke, you'll be paying more than $35 anyway. The $35pp/day we paid via their website and in $AUD, do not pay this package on the cruise as they will charge in $USD, pay prior to boarding online. Shops are pretty good as there were a range of variety, still pricey but catered to passenger's needs and wants. Ports were Noumea - New Caledonia, Mystery Island - Vanuatu & Auckland - NZ. These ports were great. Noumea is the most expensive place I've ever been to in my entire life. 2 plates of burgers and chips with 2 drinks costed $80AUD later, a 1 hour jet ski ride costs $270AUD (which we did not pay for because it was way too expensive). We couldn't justify why this was. We ended up getting the hop on/hop off $10 tour to take us around town and had a swim at the beach. Mystery Island was amazing, loved every bit of the island and the people were friendly. Amazing grilled fish, wonderful massage, great atmosphere, cleanest beach. Auckland was also terrific, we went on the quad bike rides ($400pp later). It was surreal. The experience was amazing and the scenic tours were beautiful, went through the farm, the bush, the mountains, the beach, it was great. I highly recommend this Ovation of the Seas, I had a fantastic time. Please don't hesitate to message me if you need anymore specific information about my experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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