2 Dubai to Trans-Ocean Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks ... Read More
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks and crannies. Once we discovered how to make bookings for the dining rooms, our dining experience was excellent. However, there is a need to have information available as to how to make these reservations as it is very different to the usual dining arrangements on all other ships. We found the staff very friendly and they did try their best to answer queries but as the ship was so new and quite different in its operation, they struggled at times. People need to understand this is a very different situation to what we all know and give the staff a chance. Entertainment and activities were tremendous. The specialty shows were amazing and so professional. Wonderful! We were so busy at times that finding time to swim in the excellent choice of pools became quite difficult! Thanks for all that was available! We would definitely cruise again on Ovation - we loved it! Am sad that there are so many impatient, whinging, complaining cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean has put together a very appealing vessel, but still it often felt like, well, like I was on more of a budget cruise. Food is abundant, with plenty of options, but a lot of those options are pretty low-quality. I suspect they cut corners behind the scenes as well, as I often had need of guest services to resolve problems, and the lines at guest services were always (ALWAYS) intolerably long. For example, the internet wasn't working for half of my cruise. I had prepaid for an unlimited package, so not having it for several days should warrant some sort of credit. Whenever I had a chance to ask someone about that (which, again, involved waiting in a really long line), the answer was something along the lines of "uhhh, we're working on it, you'll probably receive some sort of credit". That was a typical response to any issue I had. And I never did receive any credit. But internet outages were as bad as my issues got. It was easy to overlook them when there were so many fun activities to partake in on the ship. Between all of the music and theater venues, the place was really alive with entertainment. At night you could just wander around and choose from plenty of great places to sit down and hear some quality musical performances. I usually headed for the Music Hall. Or Two70. Or Michael's Genuine Pub. Or, really, it was always just a pleasure to hang out in the Royal Esplanade, which was always bustling with energy. I should perhaps point out that I traveled solo. This was my first solo cruise experience, and it exceeded my expectations. (See below for my review of the Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony.) It is as easy to join in some fun with newly-made friends as it is to find your own enjoyment of a less-social nature. Also, it was probably a little easier to get tables without a reservation. Which brings me to the restaurant situation. They are going for something like Norwegian's "Freestyle Cruising" concept, where you're not committed to a dining time and there isn't even a main dining room. But in practice, it doesn't really work like that. First of all, even though there isn't technically a "main dining room", there really kind of is. It's just split into four rooms and four menus. And my experience with them was mostly mediocre. I'm not generally too picky there, so if you are, you probably will find the food quality lacking. And even though you're supposed to be able to eat whenever you want, you still have to make reservations, or you will likely be turned away. (Although, as I said, less likely if you're solo.) I also tried Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, Chop's Grille, and Jamie's Italian. The first two were maybe not enough of an improvement to justify the extra price. But Jamie's definitely was. I went there three times, had different meals each time, and was always deeply satisfied. I also got a cupcake for $2.95 at Patisserie, and it was no better than a week-old supermarket bakery reject. But Ovation of the Seas has many complimentary food options. The pizza place in the Royal Esplanade had really sub-par pizza, but it was open late so I still wandered down for an occasional slice. But next to it was Cafe Promenade, which was open non-stop and had some really nice little sandwiches and pastries. There's a complimentary hot dog stand in the SeaPlex area, which claims on its menu to have "German mustard" but has no such thing. Still okay to have around, though. And I went to Cafe Two70 a few times, and had some nice salads. Oh, and that was a great place for breakfast. Speaking of SeaPlex and Two70, I just loved those multi-purpose spaces. Especially the latter, which was a lovely, comfortable lounge to relax in by day, and which transformed (I mean REALLY transformed) into a striking, elaborate performance venue for Spectra's Cabaret in the evening. That was a really spectacular show that I'll never forget. And SeaPlex is really impressive the way they constantly convert it from a skating rink to a bumper car ride to a multi-purpose court for ball games. I had read that they leveraged technology to make for zippy embarkation, but I didn't find it to be any faster than normal. Disembarkation was fine, although the crew was very noisy in the halls when picking up our luggage overnight. I got one of those wristbands that is supposed to do the same thing as the seapass card, but that was more trouble than it was worth because it sometimes didn't work, and it was annoying to have to take it off and hand it to people such as the waiters at the restaurants. I'll just close this review with a list of things I have fond memories of, in no particular order: Spectra's Cabaret, hanging out in Two70 when the performers from Spectra's Cabaret were rehearsing (or really any other time I was in there), the puzzle room, the pop choir activities with the cruise director staff, all the Music Hall bands (but especially the Queen and Beatles tribute acts), Jamie's Italian, my Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, the Mystical Muscat excursion in Oman, the hundreds of pieces of eye-catching modern art, Royal Egg Muffins for breakfast at Cafe Two70, lounging in the Solarium, pretend-skydiving at iFly (did that twice, loved it), the North Star, the meet-and-greet I attended in one of the incredible Royal Loft Suites, the sight of this enormous ship looming above the docks in Dubai, Muscat, Kochi, Penang, and Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.9
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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