40 Hong Kong to Asia Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and ... Read More
Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and friendliness from the crew was as good I have seen on any ship. Food was good, mainly geared towards Asian tastes but still plenty of variety. One of the cruises had 4600 passengers on board but it didn't feel like it with many areas like the bars or Solarium often being rather quiet. The cruise from Shenzhen was mainly chartered by a music group from China and we really enjoyed the pool deck parties they put on with great international dj's. The ship was kept very clean and can't wait to sail on Ovation again. Only negative was long lines for Immigration, but that is not the fault of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise as an interesting initial itinerary attracted our attention. Unfortunately Boracay was changed due to its closure but we decided to continue anyway. The alternative port was Subic Bay was did not have very much to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an interesting initial itinerary attracted our attention. Unfortunately Boracay was changed due to its closure but we decided to continue anyway. The alternative port was Subic Bay was did not have very much to offer close by. I wouldn't really recommend Subic Bayu as a destination (nothing to do there) although the local people were very friendly. If you do go there try the Crab and Belly restaurant - excellent food at an excellent price. It was a shame that the port visits coincided with a level 1 typhoon warning which basically meant it rained heavily but giving into being wet made the excursions easier. At the completion of the cruise we took up the day tour and airport drop off option which saved considerable angst about what to do with luggage. This cruise was perhaps 85% Asian and despite some subsequent complaints I have heard about that, I found there were no problems or issues in fact it added to the adventure of the cruise. The food was primarily and understandably aimed at that demographic so I took the opportunity to explore the wider than usual food options available. The entertainment was excellent, even though the shows were the same as when we originally sailed on Ovation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, was designed and set up to cater for Chinese and other Asian guests, NOT US. SIMPLY NOT UP TO STANDARD AND VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. Noise level on board and in the Windjammer totally unacceptable from the 4000 Chinese guests. We only found out about an english menu being available at HongKong airport on the way home from other miserable UK guests who, like us had to wait for 11 hours minimum to get the flight home. This menu was never offered to us in any of the 4 restaurants and consequently we did not know of its existence. I managed to get a ships wheel chair for my partner who has limited mobility but when we got back to HongKong at the end of the first leg we were refused permission to take it off the ship to re-board in Shenzhen. THREFORE WE REFUSED TO GET OFF. So we stayed on whilst the ship was moved along with another couple. We did not need our Chinese visas at all AND ALL THE BRITISH GUESTS WHO HAD THE TRAUMA OF GETTING OFF AND ON COULD ALL HAVE STAYED ON BOARD AND NOT BE DISTURBED. SOME EVEN HAD TO CHANGE CABIN. We all had to attend three safety assemblies conducted in Chinese, get three boarding passes, and register our credit cards three times, ALL TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WITH GOOD ORGANISATION AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED IN THIS WAY. . The trips off the ship were badly over-priced and I really object to paying USD 14.15 for a single glass of red wine. When we got to Okinawa for an overnight stay on-board the shuttle bus from the ship into the city centre was only advised as running on the evening of arrival AND NO MENTION OF THE NEXT DAY. This would have meant getting off the ship close to darkness. I managed to find out that this was not true and that the shuttle was running the next day and changed my tickets. SOME OF YOUR UK CUSTOMERS WERE REFUSED THIS CHANGE WHEN THEY ASKED TO DO SO. The two theatre performances that we attended were so poor that we walked out both times and never came back. Typical example of the poor food is that when a roast joint was made available there was only gravy, mint jelly and mashed potato available to have with it. No roast potatoes yorkshires, and cooked vegetables, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Most days any chips on offer were stone cold in seconds, and of the type offered by Macdonalds, SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have had 7 cruises, 4 being with RCL and Ovation being our 5th and most likely our last with RCL! We flew to Hong Kong from Australia and were prepared for the chaos and larger volume of people that we were to encounter, so whilst ... Read More
We have had 7 cruises, 4 being with RCL and Ovation being our 5th and most likely our last with RCL! We flew to Hong Kong from Australia and were prepared for the chaos and larger volume of people that we were to encounter, so whilst embarkation was a little disorganised, it was to be expected. Our balcony room was well designed with a larger bathroom than experienced on previous ships and there was ample cupboard space for the 3 adults sharing the room. Only problem in the room was the very hard beds! Service from room attendant was great as were the other staff on board ship who in the bars appeared to have much time on their hands, but in the dining rooms were understaffed and run off their feet. I must say we did enjoy the Bionic bar and we feel this produced better drinks that in the actual bars. The feel of the ship was not to my liking. Centrum of ship feels like a big shopping mall. Dining experience was the biggest disappointment! Understandably the bulk of clientele were Asian and the ship catered for such, but choices if you didn’t want Asian was very limited and the quality very poor and usually over salted! Fruit choices were very limited in Windjammer and again it it obvious that the Standards of RCL has fallen greatly. Pixels was excellent as was the show LIVE,LOVE,LEGS but 2 good shows does not amount to enough to impress as there was very few other music options that catered for the western culture. We are platinum members but unfortunately were not recognised as this on the ship.Consequently we missed out on being invited to the welcome back party, something we were looking forward to. This was addressed with management and a 20% off next cruise offered but hardly adequate as currently RCL is offering 40% off for the second person if you book now. I fly was experienced by son who enjoyed it immensely. We all experienced the North Star which was great until we proceeded to come down and a fault in the system meant that a very loud alarm went of meaning we had to cover our ears therefore hampering our experience. No ones fault but would have been nice if they had given us the opportunity for another ride especially as this had been paid for! Given the money we overall spent we will be definitely be reconsidering our options when we choose to cruise again. There is a lot of competition out there with far better quality of food and service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best ... Read More
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best night's sleep. Their care and attention in preventing any outbreaks of norovirus was excellent with being guided to the wash basins outside the main buffet dining room Windjammer. Children will enjoy this ship but many of the things are extra cost. The staff were excellent and tried to assist with the things that were horrendous. The entertainment Pixels was excellent and very professional. The Bad The crowds were unbelievable and very off putting. This went hand in hand with the noise, the pushing and the shoving. And I am horrified to say- the spitting! The ship left from Hong Kong and probably 95% of the passengers were Chinese. The menus catered for these passengers. The programs on the TV catered mainly for Chinese. Anytime it was necessary to queue this was forgotten or just not adhered to - the crew tried their best but giving announcements in English to a crowd of Chinese is just not going to work. I don't know why it is so hard to have the tenders available to take passengers back to the ship. Coming back from Nha Trang - after the bus ride there was a wait in the very hot sun and humidity of over an hour to get on a tender. The food was not great and all of the complimentary restaurants had the same menu. The speciality restaurants had a charge of US$41 per head. The shops on board are all designer labels and not an option for most travellers that actually save for a holiday. The Spa on board - so,so - not particularly professional. If you wanted to watch a movie in your cabin it cost US$15.95 Disembarkation from the ship was OK but after this point getting into Hong Kong was a nightmare. 100's waiting for taxis. If I were travelling with a younger family I might consider the ship again but certainly not from an Asian port. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I normally just read reviews, but after this cruise I thought I could counter some of the previous negative reviews with a positive one. This is a bit lengthly as a warning but I hope to help others get a better underling of the Asian ... Read More
I normally just read reviews, but after this cruise I thought I could counter some of the previous negative reviews with a positive one. This is a bit lengthly as a warning but I hope to help others get a better underling of the Asian market. After reading previous reviews on here about Ovation of the Seas, my wife and I came onboard with a lower expectation. We were pleasantly surprised. The biggest disclaimer of those thinking about Ovation of the Seas. If you are going to the Asian theater, you need to be prepared for the cultural differences you will likely see. Royal Caribbean does announce the cruises as a cultural tour, so you will have an idea when selecting your cruise. We had an amazing cruise and Ovation of the Seas is now our favorite ship. Can't wait to go on her again when she goes to the North American market. EMBARKATION Was a breeze. Make sure you have done all of your pre-cruise paperwork filled out on RCL's cruise planner, and you'll have no problems. Also, showing up early will definitely help! Once onboard they directed passengers to the MDR, but we went directly to Windjammer. Since we arrived to the ship at 1000, we were one of the first onboard (boarded around 1115) so we didn't have to wait. If you get onboard after 1130-1200, strongly do not recommend the windjammer, as it fills up quickly and you'll be waiting a long time. Promenade cafe and Solarium are some great second options to avoid the initial rush to eat. SHIP This was our 5th cruise. We have previously been onboard several of the Oasis and Freedom class ships. The ship is huge, with many activities and experiences onboard that will be mentioned later. What we liked about the ship is the modern touches, from the ease of embarkation, to the decor throughout the ship, the ease of going through the photo galley (it's simply all upload to monitors where you can select your photos and pick either prints or digital, and pick up at a later time), we found the modern touches to be quite pleasing. CABIN We had a Junior Suite 9632, starboard side, and the beginning of "the hump". Great cabin and if you are looking for a JS, strongly recommend this cabin, as the layout is quite different from other JS. We had a single cabin passenger stateroom next to our cabin, which made our cabin and have "elbow" layout, vice just the straight walk-in view as is typical for JS. Very modern looking, right down to the telephone, and we had a HUGE balcony that included 2 chairs that you can lay down on. Had dimming lights that you could control from one knob, including right next to your bed, very convenient. Also had the best bathroom we've ever had on RCL as of now. DINING Here, we came onboard with a low expectation due to so many negative reviews on Cruise Critic. Within 30 minutes onboard, I was talking directly with the Sous Chef and maître d' of the Ship about the most recent Cruise Critic Reviews. They assured me they have been reading these and have taken action on some of the complaints, in particular the lack of western food options. It is true! The Windjammer had several "Western style options" throughout the cruise, including for breakfast scrambled eggs, omelets, hash browns, bacon and sausage. For lunch, standard options included hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and even spaghetti or Alfredo. Yes, there were several Asian options at the windjammer and MDR, but this was an Asian cruise! 75% of the passengers were Asian, so I was happy to experience some of the Asian cuisine, but pleased to have a few Western options to cater to me as well. Yes, the MDR had the same menu at all four restaurants (American Icon Grill and Silk are on deck 4, Grande and Chic are on Deck 3), but I thought it was fine. Towards the end of the cruise I did shift to more classic dishes, but I was happy to at least have the options for an Asian cruise! In the MDR, they do try to seat the international passengers in the same section. This was also RCL's way of addressing the critics. Smart move for sure! Once again, please realize this is a Cultural cruise, so you will need some order of patience, but it can get quite loud in the "local sections" which is why I definitely understand some of the separation that takes place. In addition, the Chinese liked to be served quickly, so the separation gives the international guests the chance to enjoy their meal without feeling rushed by the staff or other passengers. You do have the option to sit wherever you want, as a point I loved the MDR staff that served me, so we picked the same restaurant at Grande for a majority of the time. Did not eat at the speciality restaurants because we had family onboard with a budget, but we did have dinner one night at Coastal Kitchen and the food was outstanding! The staff were even kind enough to my request and brought my favorite dessert to the MDR each night because I couldn't go there for dinner (parents were not suite members). ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES Several previous negative reviews mentioned the lack of entertainment or activities, this is NOT TRUE! I also keep my compass' so if you would like to see them just message me, I'd be more than happy to show you an average day. There is plenty to do onboard, you just have to take the time to look at your compass or ask the staff. We spent most of our time at the Solarium (better layout than even Oasis or Allure) , the IFly and North Star are a must do, and we were really impressed with the Seaplex. There were more older people riding the bumper cars than the teens, very fun! Another note: Many previous reviews said bars were lacking or closed, but every bar that was onboard was open and available, with little to no waiting. HUGE PLUS: The best part of the cruise was going to the Solarium. You can easily find deck chairs all day long! There is no need to worry or rush about finding a chair while on an Asian cruise. 8am, or 1pm, it's easy getting chairs and enjoying all the pools anywhere onboard. Must see shows are Pixels, and Live, Love, Legs (wish they had this how on all the ships). SERVICES When I went to Guest Services, they were very helpful and friendly, stressed for sure, but mainly due to the cultural types of people onboard. Once again, patience by everyone is required here, but the staff went out of there way to help me. MDR service was good, get in line onetime per your sea pass card and you won't have any problems. In fact, the staff is there to greet you if you are one of the first ones in line. Within 20 minutes of the first seating, the line was always cleared out, so you never have to wait for long, once again showing up on time is key here. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS This was the one disappointment on the cruise, and hence the 4 stars. Our ports were Danang and Nha Trang Vietnam. For the Danang port, we did RCL's Past and Present Danag shore excursion. Overall, it was a decent excursion: You start by getting on an air conditioned bus with a guide, then they take you a museum that talks about the ancient kingdom in this particular area, some really need artifacts are there to check out. But you only have about 10 minutes to look around. Then they take you on a Vietnamese Tuk Tuk for a ride around the city, which was alot of fun. After that you get to stroll through a local market. However, you have zero time to do any shopping, because you're then moving to go back on the bus where you drive to marble mountain to see a ton of marble statues and stop at their marble store to pick up souvenirs) You then drive to a local resort for lunch. The buffet was VERY good and included wifi (lunch is about 30-40 min). We then drove to see a huge Buddha and Chinese Pagoda. Here again, you only have about 15 minutes. I literally had to leave my older family behind in order to run around like a madman grabbing photos as fast as I could in order to see everything and get back on the bus. After this sweat fest to say the least we cooled off on the bus as we drove back to the ship, with a quick (less than 5 minutes) stop at a local market. This was a good way to see Danang, but the whole tour was way too rushed and stressful to really enjoy. We definitely needed a few more hours overall to enjoy some of the sights, particularly the Buddha and Pagoda which was AMAZING. After that experience, we were quite exhausted, so the next day at Nha Trang we decided to stay onboard. RCL has to tender at Nha Trang, and the passengers booked with RCL for shore excursions had first priority off the ship. Most passengers didn't get off the ship until 10-11am, and all aboard was at 4pm, so there wasn't much time there. But people did like the port more than Danang, so there was a tradeoff. However, we had a great time being onboard, most of the facilities were still open so I took advantage of that, plus my all-inclusive drink package. All in all a very nice relaxing day. I know this review is long, but I wanted to counter some of the negative reviews. The ship is great, the staff is helpful and friendly (Challenged by the theater/area of the passengers), and easy to relax and be busy with activities. Ovation of the Seas is now our favorite ship in the RCL fleet, and if you want an outstanding coffee, just see Viraj from Mauritius in the Windjammer coffee bar, he can whip up a mean cappuccino! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just ... Read More
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just tell me to line up like others of hundreds with hours of waiting on line. Rci staff said that the online appointment and check in - is just a suggestion! CABIN - small and no toilet amenities such as toothbrush, shaver given! Only shower gel at the shower area and a small soap bar! This is worst than 2 star hotel! - pillow stinks! DISEMBARKATION - no smooth at all, messy! Rci have appointed the venue and time to disembarked, but we are show to walk all over to other venues to disembarked! DINING - horrible quality and taste especially windjammer! The taste is so bad and the presentation was so horrible served especially the cuts fruits. - the night snack offered in windjammer from 22:00 hours was only 3 types from the afternoon lunch left overs and tables arrange was less than 100 seatings! There are more than 200 lining up! - only paid dining are good and fit to eat! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES - children mini water park supposed to closed at 20:00 hours each day, but the park closed at 19:30 with the reason- water pump faulty! SERVICES The grande waiter served us well (gusti from indonesia) and the silk waitress on a grey jacket (from china) was terrible rude and unhelpful! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I live in Hong Kong and I booked this cruise as a holiday with my parents who were visiting Hong Kong from Australia. They have never been to Japan and we thought it was a great way for then to travel there. We were very much ... Read More
I live in Hong Kong and I booked this cruise as a holiday with my parents who were visiting Hong Kong from Australia. They have never been to Japan and we thought it was a great way for then to travel there. We were very much looking forward to the trip after being recommended by friends & family who have previously boarded this cruise line. However, by the end of the cruise, it did not turn out the way we hoped for and felt disappointed with the overall experience, especially the level of service and food quality. The cruise began in Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. We boarded the ship around 2pm in the afternoon - the queues were fairly short and the embarkation process was smooth and efficient. Day 1 In the evening we queued to dine at The American Icon Grill. The decor was nice but that was about it. The food selection on the menu was not exactly "American". Most of the selections were Chinese/Asian oriented, serving dishes like spring rolls, clear soup, stir fried fish, kung pao chicken. There were seafood dishes but an additional charge between 30-100 USD had to be paid. I can't exactly remember what we ordered but all of the dishes came out tasting bland and warm at best. The spring roll weren't crispy and the soup was too heavy in salt. It also took a while for all food to be served. Most wait staff did not seem welcoming and could barely bring a smile. Day 2 We went to the Solarium restaurant on deck 14, which had a specialty menu, however, we were told that we had to book in advanced or be invited. We booked for day 4 and then proceeded to dine at the Silk restaurant. It was also the formal night / captain’s night but apart from some people being dressed up, it was no different to the first night. The menu was similar which seemed to cater for Chinese guests, however there was an extra "Classic menu" serving steak, roast chicken, salmon etc. Day 3 We went to the Chic around 6:00 pm (our dining session was suppose to be at 5:00 pm) and was rejected at the door. We were told that early session people had to come in between 5:00 pm -5:30 pm or we would be refused entry, we which we weren't aware of. To make the situation worse, the restaurant staff were not only unapologetic but arrogantly asked us "What is the time now? [and then pretends to look at his watch]" Later we found out that all of the complimentary restaurants (except Solarium) served the same menu - this was disappointing as we hoped to try different varieties of cuisines. Day 4 We arrived at Fukuoka, the immigration process was delayed and by the time we got out, it was almost 11:00 am. We spent the few hours exploring Hakata before boarding the ship again. In the evening we dined at the Solarium. We ordered Mahi-Mahi but tasted like cat-fish. We ended up going to dine at the Wind Jammer (Buffet restaurant) for the remaining nights - The food had more variety, although don't expect any seafood or quality premium food and the staff seemed friendlier. Day 5 We arrived at Nagasaki. It was a beautiful port with convenient transport options to see sites (Peace Park, Dejima etc). We enjoyed visiting this port very much. Day 6 We arrived at Kumamoto. This ship was docked very far away from Kumamoto city. It was actually near a small town called Yatsushiro. There was complimentary shuttle to Aeon shopping mall or you pay additional to go to Yatsushiro town. Day 7 We arrived at Shimonoseki. The ship was again docked very far away from any town. There were no complimentary transport options and we were not allowed to walk, as the port was a cargo terminal (not a passenger terminal). We were forced to either get a taxi out or pay $20 USD per person to use their shuttle service which took us wharf / market area 20 minutes away. We also had to queue 45 minutes in the heat waiting for shuttle buses. If Royal Caribbean expects guests to pay extra for transport out of the port, then at the least, they should inform guests before booking. On the night before arriving at each port, we tried to get more information (maps / transport options, sites to see etc. ) from guest services , however, they gave us little help and just suggested us to join their pricey off-shore excursions. Towards the end of the cruise we, found an error on the gratuities charged on our account and we had approached guest services to have this fixed. We were told that it would be fixed by the evening however, it the evening it was not fixed and found that we were charged even more. We had to queue 4 separate times to have the problem only resolved on the last day of the cruise. The facilities on the ship were generally very good, although activities like iFly and Flowrider, The North Star observation came at an extra cost - For some reason this was only applicable to cruises in the China region (why?) - The fitness center was big and equipment was in good condition - Bumper cars, rock climbing, table tennis, swimming pools, xBox were fun and free to use. Queues were acceptable. The shows (Pixel, Live legs) were spectacular to see - make sure you reserve a seat or queue early to get a good seat. We had to stand for all the way for one of the shows. The room was nice, clean and new, with plenty of wardrobes and storage. The bed was comfortable and virtual balcony was good to get a glimpse of the outside. Our attendant generally did a good job except that he never provided us with tissue boxes and spare toilet paper rolls in the room. There were many other incidents and combination of things throughout the cruise that made experience disappointing. My suggestion is not to join the cruise when in the Asia/Chinese region. It seems RCL offer varying levels of service in according to guests in the region. To RCL, I wish you could offer the same quality / level or service consistently. Do not change your menus and service based on the region of guests. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The shows every night were average or below standards and guests have to queued up a long line to get in. Not too many entertainments spots within the ship liked we experiences with Voyager of the Seas or Navigator of the Seas before. A la ... Read More
The shows every night were average or below standards and guests have to queued up a long line to get in. Not too many entertainments spots within the ship liked we experiences with Voyager of the Seas or Navigator of the Seas before. A la cart foods in the restaurant were quite simple and repeated the same every 2 nights. Big chaos in the restaurant in the first few days, guests had to queue up a long line to get in and in the same table some guests already finished dessert and another still waiting for appetizers and finally they forgot to serve tea or coffee after meals. Very disappointed experience so a lot of guests have chosen to go to the Buffet areas instead. We did book 5 Balcony rooms but ended up with 4 Balcony rooms ( 8 completely new to Royal Caribbean) in deck 9 and we had to stay in Interior state room in deck 12 ( we are Gold member of Royal Caribbean). We did complained about this several times but nothing happened. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
From beginning to end the cruise experience came across to me as being all about the money. We booked a 9 day cruise on the Ovation of the Seas sailing from Hong Kong to Japan with four shore excursions in Japan. The dining experience, ... Read More
From beginning to end the cruise experience came across to me as being all about the money. We booked a 9 day cruise on the Ovation of the Seas sailing from Hong Kong to Japan with four shore excursions in Japan. The dining experience, in all bar the restaurants for which reservations had to be made and paid for by the guests, was passable at best. The "free" restaurants on board offered a very poor range and quality of food when compared to other cruise companies. I heard numerous complaints from fellow guests regarding food and restaurant quality. A word to the wise - please drop that silly continuity announcement in Windjammers where your MC implores the guests to vacate our tables as soon as possible so others might enjoy the Windjammer experience. Such announcements only add insult to injury. The shore excursions are another area where value for money was nonexistent. The overpriced excursion to Fukuoka included a memorable queuing experience of approximately 1 hour while we all waited with baited breath to ascent the Fukuoka Tower. Who ever thought that going up in an elevator to a viewing area overlooking the sea on one side and skyscrapers on the other would constitute good value for money. This tower is not exactly the Eiffel Tower or the Empire of State. Just when we thought that that the shore excursions could not be surpassed in terms of money wasted we embarked on a tour of Kumamoto. The guide droned on in very poor English for the duration of the trip to the extent that most people on the bus fell asleep on the outward journey to Kumamoto. When we arrived at our destination the guide insisted that we line up like school children in rows of two before embarking on our visit to the castle. The visit, if it could even be called a visit, was carried out by the guide without explanation. The only crumb of information made available related to the destruction wrought on the castle in a recent earthquake. Having walked around the castle perimeter without the aid of any explanation from the guide we eventually arrived at a quadrangle that contained toilets and a temple of some sort. The guide pointed out where the toilets were and by way of explanation said "here is a temple". When he was pressed for more information we were informed that our time was up and we needed to get back to the bus. In summary - 1 - Shore Excursions - Seriously over priced and badly guided 2 - On board food experience - Very poor in the "free" restaurants - Food quality in the restaurants for which a booking fee applied was of a good standard and typical of other cruise companies. However having to pay an additional €360 to gain entry to the good restaurants for 6 nights was excessive in the extreme. 3 - Staff - With very very few exceptions all staff encountered on board were top quality and a credit to their employer. 4 - Stateroom - We had a balcony stateroom - Again, as with the staff, the stateroom accommodation was of a very high standard. Overall Royal Caribbean’s attitude would appear to be driven by a desire to squeeze as much money out of their on board “guests” as possible. A fellow disgruntled guest described Royal Caribbean as the Ryanair of the Seas. Unfortunately in our experience and on this occasion that sentiment has the ring of truth. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate a significant birthday of a close friend, there was a party of 10. Overall we were very happy with this beautiful ship, and the excellent service we are used to on RCL. We had been on Ovation before, on ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate a significant birthday of a close friend, there was a party of 10. Overall we were very happy with this beautiful ship, and the excellent service we are used to on RCL. We had been on Ovation before, on her maiden voyage through the Panama Canal and loved it then. This time was perhaps not so good, for example the menu was the same in each of the 4 dining rooms, but we were told that the different menu concept was not popular. Also generally the food was not up to the usual standards. The ship left from and returned to Hong Kong, embarkation was efficient, but disembarkation was a mess. We later discovered there was traffic chaos in the city which could account for the long lines waiting for taxis. The ports in Japan were not the best (they did not really seem geared up for cruise ships) but we enjoyed Nagasaki which is very easy to get around on your own, and also Shimonoseki, where we took a very good ship's tour. Tha Japanese people we had interactions with were all friendly and helpful. Our family suite was fantastic, so roomy and comfortable, and our room attendant did a wonderful job. The production shows were of an excellent standard, especially Pixels in the fantastic Two70 venue. To sum up we would happily go on this ship again (we love the big ships, they have so much to offer) but probably not in the Asian region when the cruise lines are catering to a different demographic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I suppose you could say it was our own fault booking a Chinese sector cruise. We should have known what to expect, but we didn't. We had based our choice on our previous experiences on the Ovation's sister quantum class ship - ... Read More
I suppose you could say it was our own fault booking a Chinese sector cruise. We should have known what to expect, but we didn't. We had based our choice on our previous experiences on the Ovation's sister quantum class ship - the Anthem of the Seas. We enjoyed two cruises on the Anthem, one from Southampton and one from New York and both experiences were excellent. On both those occasions we enjoyed very good food and excellent entertainment, the complete opposite in fact of what we experienced on the Ovation. Embarking the ship was very good, with a smooth check-in experience, no doubt helped by the priority given to our diamond class status. We were on the ship within 20 minutes, still too early to access our cabin but with plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and a drink. The bite to eat presented the first disappointment. We chose to visit the Windjammer buffet restaurant and even though the ship was only partially full at that time the Windjammer appeared very busy with very few tables available. However, we persevered, found a table and made our way to the food stations. That was when we first realised we were on a Chinese sector cruise as the vast majority of what was on offer was Chinese and Asian cuisine. Now I don't mind such cuisine as we regularly partake of Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine at home and I did sample a few offerings, but unfortunately none tasted particularly good. In fact the dishes were so bland and lacking in eastern/oriental spicing that I could have been eating anything. The only thing that was of a reasonable and consistent standard was the daily offering of Chinese soups, usually an egg drop derivative. During the whole 10 day cruise I only enjoyed one eastern dish in the Windjammer and that was the butter chicken on the 2nd last day of the cruise. We tended to avoid the Windjammer on sea days primarily as the Chinese guests queued up very early for the restaurant opening, sometimes a hundred or more deep. Then when the doors opened many blatantly avoided washing their hands. Yes they would enter the washing stations at one end and go out the other without their hands seeing a drop of soap and water. We later learned that there was norovirus on the ship, with perhaps this non-hand washing by some guests being at least partially contributory. Towards the end of the cruise we couldn't get any olives, lime, lemon, etc., in our drinks due to the spread of the illness. On most ships we have cruised on at mealtimes in the buffet restaurant we would grab a couple of glasses of water, find a table, dump our stuff and water, then go and get food. This wasn't allowed on the Ovation with regular announcements that you couldn't reserve a table for yourself and that it was essentially first come, first served - a free for all - when it came to getting a seat at a table. So what you had were loads of people getting food on their plates then wandering around with their food waiting for a space at a table to appear, all the while your food was getting colder, not that it was particularly hot in the first place (other than the soup that was generally hot). Our experience in the formal restaurants wasn't much better. The food was generally ok but never great. My wife was attracted to what was described as an 'English classic' on the menu one evening, steak and kidney pie and on arriving at the table it certainly had the appearance of the dish it purported to be - that was until my wife cut into the pie to find it full of kidney beans and vegetables and a few cubes of beef, but not a bit of kidney in evidence. The chef's interpretation of the dish you might say, but certainly not the dish we were expecting. Another night and another English classic, shepherd's pie, was so full of gristle and fat my wife couldn't eat it and it was made with beef (cottage pie) not lamb. On two occasions I ordered a sirloin steak, medium rare, and on both occasions they were delivered at the correct cooking temperature, but were quite tasteless with no hint whatsoever of having been grilled. Service in the formal restaurant was a bit hit and miss. One evening we were sitting at a table for two and being served our main course when a table for six that arrived 20-30 minutes after us were already completing their meal. We complained and things improved slightly after that. Don't expect a decent hamburger on the ship. The burger 'offerings' in the Windjammer left much to be desired and there is no 'Johnny Rockets' on the Ovation in which to enjoy a classic burger and beer battered onion rings. What you have in its place is a 'Kung Fu Panda' noodle and dim sum station. My wife and I are both Diamond members with Royal Caribbean and on the Ovation the 'Diamond Lounge' each evening from 5-8.30 pm was in 'Vintages Bar'. The snacks provided in the diamond lounge were better than in the buffet restaurant, albeit of 3 hot options 2 were always Chinese/Asian, despite the fact that very few if any Chinese guests used the diamond lounge. The pizza squares provided were scrumptious and much, much better than the pizza in the Sorrento pizza bar. On a couple of occasions we actually missed going to dinner as we had eaten enough snacks at the diamond lounge and the main restaurant was so underwhelming anyway. Our cabin was good. We had opted for a deluxe balcony cabin near the front stairs. It had a very deep balcony (12 feet or so) angled towards the back of the ship and provided very good views. It was well maintained by the cabin steward throughout the cruise. As in previous cruises on the Anthem the cabin provided ample storage space. If there was a slight disappointment it was in the lack of provided toiletries other than a dispenser in the shower with some nondescript '2 in 1 shampoo', whatever that means. A bar of soap was also provided. Now we always bring our own toiletries anyway,but I like to compare what individual cruise companies provide, with even TUI/Marella providing 'White Company' products. The deluxe drinks package that was part of our cruise deal wasn't nearly as comprehensive as some others we have enjoyed. Yes it did provide bottled water, cans of soft drinks and premium spirits, etc., but it was the first all inclusive drinks package I have experienced that didn't routinely allow double measures. When you consider the standard measure for spirits on the cruise was 1 fluid ounce or 28.5 ml (slightly more than half a miniature) and this was delivered in a glass full of ice and your requested mixer, the net result is that I could have been drinking anything. We did eventually find a bar that was prepared to provide doubles and having these in short glasses with only a bit of ice and less mixer at least we did taste the spirit. At other bars the alternative was to order your drink then a few minutes later order a straight spirit to add to the drink. That being said all the bar and waiter staff were friendly approachable throughout the cruise - always a smile - always prepared to chat. Did you know that bar staff are paid solely on commission - 60 cents per drink - and I'm sure that at the bar they did serve doubles when requested that they put the order through twice and I'm entirely ok with that. The itinerary on this cruise was interesting with four ports of call in Japan. We booked tours on all but the last port of call but they were generally uninspiring and not particularly good value. The exception was the trip in Nagasaki where we visited the Peace Park, 'Ground Zero' and the War Museum. This was a very poignant and moving experience. The other tours were generally around visiting a park, visiting a Shinto shrine and another local highlight, including queuing for an hour to get up a sightseeing tower for 5 minutes to get back down again before the tour bus moved on. At the last port of call - Shimonoseki - we were on a 'wait list' for a particular tour and when that didn't happen we opted for a shuttle bus into town and I'm glad we did, as we saw and enjoyed more on that trip than on any of the organised and much more expensive shore excursions. There was a beautiful Shinto shrine near the shuttle bus drop off point and just round the corner there was a modern and extensive aquarium with dolphin and penguin shows and much more (£7 entry fee). Also we had time to savour local food, teriaki chicken skewers, which was excellent (and very cheap). Entertainment was another big disappointment. On the Anthem of the Seas we had been thrilled with full length, 90 minute plus, presentations, such as 'We Will Rock You', 'The Gift', etc. These very professional productions used separate entertainers than the 'standard production group' and they were excellent. There was nothing like this on the Ovation. It was the usual 40 minute production shows, where the dancers were very energetic and very good but the singers, particularly the female singers, were generally mediocre. Guest artists were also generally disappointing and a much lower standard than we have experienced on previous Royal Caribbean and other cruises. The exception being a female singer Lalique who provided a very good performance. On previous cruises on Anthem we were thrilled with the resident band 'Rock the Boat' who played a huge array of classic rock music from through the ages in the Music Hall venue on the ship . We were very disappointed, therefore, that 'Rock the Boat' left the Ovation before it started it's Chinese/Eastern itineraries to be replaced by a Philipino band, who were ok but not particularly inspiring. That was when you could hear them at all as most of the time on the top level of the Music Hall all you could hear was the clattering from several tables of Chinese guests playing Mahjong - what a racket. The other band on the ship played mainly Mandarin songs and they were also ok. We tended to end up in the 'Amber & Oak' pub' most evenings where the resident guitarist/vocalist Rob was very good. As you might have expected most of the customer service, etc., staff on the ship were Chinese, no doubt to accommodate the majority of guests on the ship who were Chinese. That being said there were several occasions in shops on the ship when staff clearly didn't understand what was being asked of them, e.g. I had bought 2 litres of spirits in the liquor store and on asking the shop assistant if the bottles would be delivered to my cabin or I had to collect them she responded by asking 'you want to know your limits?' We had similar experiences elsewhere in the ship. Disembarking the ship was the complete opposite of our embarkation experience. We had a time slot identified when to leave the ship and collect our baggage in the baggage hall off the ship. However, due to the very many self-disembarking Chinese guests there were huge queues leaving the ship and it took the best part of an hour to get off the ship. So what are our overall thoughts on the cruise. We liked the ship itself, much as we did the Anthem of the Seas. It is a beautiful ship with lots of room and areas to visit but the ship did seem more crowded than our previous experiences on the Anthem. In navigating stateroom corridors we did observe that many of the cabins occupied by Chinese guests were full occupancy, i.e. utilising the sofa beds in the cabin for additional guests, so this may account for the apparent increase in numbers in guest areas. The lifts/elevator experience was a particularly good illustration of the crowding in popular areas and perhaps what the Chinese guests themselves are used to in Hong Kong. On many occasions a lift would stop at a floor and Chinese guests would simply 'pour' in allowing little or no 'personal space' - very tricky if you are trying to balance a couple of drinks in your hands to enjoy on the cabin balcony at 'sail away'. We didn't enjoy the food and overall we didn't enjoy the entertainment. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that we would ever book on the Ovation of the Seas again, particularly if it is a cruise starting/returning to a port China. As experienced cruisers we should have known better. We will certainly research our cruise choices much more thoroughly in future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chance to revisit Hong Kong and visit Japan for the first time. Embarkation very smooth and trouble free, although a lot of walking involved, so those not so mobile may need assistance. Disembarkation not as smooth - no luggage ... Read More
Chance to revisit Hong Kong and visit Japan for the first time. Embarkation very smooth and trouble free, although a lot of walking involved, so those not so mobile may need assistance. Disembarkation not as smooth - no luggage trollies in baggage reclaim area, had to struggle a bit with cases to find ground transportation. Ship's décor. and cabin décor. and layout very good. Some different colours used other than the usual ones to seem to get on cruise ships. Lack of pre-cruise info re excursions, ports of call and dining options. Once on board things didn't really improve. Went to a destinations talk on first sea day - it had already started when we got there (10 mins before announced time), it didn't give you any info re ports of call, but merely consisted of a member of the excursions staff reading out a list of tours available, and not very well at that. It looked like they'd only just seen the info themselves as they read it out. Dining arrangements were not good - two set times, which at times caused difficulties especially if you had been ashore. In effect we had to make the choice between going to dinner or a show - we could not really do both. There was an outbreak of tummy bug on ship, yet rules re hand washing were not enforced. One person I spoke to was in a hot tub in the adults only area when someone came in with a toddler in a nappy - he complained to the lifeguard who merely shrugged his shoulders. We did not do any organised shore excursions as we thought they were expensive and lacking a bit in imagination. This opinion was reinforced when talking to other passengers who had gone on excursions. The shuttle bus operation from the port to city in Shimonoseki was a shambles. Lines of people on the dockside waiting for a limited number of busses into town. Eventually additional busses were put on. Stateroom attendant was great, attentive but never intrusive. Dining room service was in the main part OK only, with one or two honourable exceptions. Service in the Music Hall was very good, but in one or two other venues you felt like you were interrupting, either a conversation or some other task they would rather be doing. We've done a number of RCI, and associated Companies, cruise and were a bit disappointed because we know they are usually a lot better. Somebody did comment that if this was your first RCI cruise it could well be your last, which is a shame because they are usually a lot better. We visited the front desk once and had to wait quit a while as only one of about six positions were manned, before other members of staff started to appear. Loved Hong Kong and Japan, but ship was OK only. Perhaps too big ? Cruise from Hong Kong to Japan and enrichment talks were on ancient Egypt - could have done with more info on the region. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again ... Read More
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again long queues to get into dining rooms. Specifically aimed at Asian customers, although the majority non Asian and staff confirmed this was the case. Dining room English menu managed to offer Shepherds Pie and all was lukewarm. Restricted Windjammer opening hours. Closed at 10.30 am had to go to another cafe with much less choice. Entertainment almost non existent No port maps supplied unless queued for ages at Guest Relations to get one. Everyone was complaining about this cruise so the queues were horrendous. TV choices terrible only American Weather Service in English Disembarkation was a joke, the queues went all round the ship to get off they seemed to just get everyone off in one go. Have had several conversations with Royal Caribbean and all they can say is sorry but having done many Royal Caribbean cruises there was just so much wrong with this one and just saying sorry does not quite cut it. One lady I spoke to in Miami said that this cruise was "culturally enriched"her words,and that this is in their description in the brochures and we were sold this cruise as a "miscommunication from the travel agent" again her words, we have spoken to both our travel agent and also others and no one has ever heard of this before.and it is certainly not in any of the brochures. I would advise anyone cruising to the Far East to check this out. We have just had such awful treatment from this Company since our return which is so sad as the previous cruises were such wonderful experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. ... Read More
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. Meal service poor with menu aimed predominantly at the asian clientele.Meals were often of poor quality and there were a number of occasions when the food served was cold and poorly presented. Restaurants only open for limited times which added to the chaos on the ship.Long waits for entry to restaurants, the meal service was often poor with pressure evident on the service staff who appeared to be understaffed and having to serve a number of tables.Organisation poor throughout by royal caribbean including port itineraries which were poorly planned with long waits for disembarkation overall so disappointing and not up to expectations.Our experiences were shared by many who were complaining throughout the cruise due to the poor standards Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 4th cruise and 1st with RCCL this year. We chose this particular cruise as we’d never been to Japan. Because the ship sailed out of Hong Kong, we were anticipating a large contingent of passengers from Hong Kong and mainland ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and 1st with RCCL this year. We chose this particular cruise as we’d never been to Japan. Because the ship sailed out of Hong Kong, we were anticipating a large contingent of passengers from Hong Kong and mainland China. While more than half of the passengers were Asian, and some spoke limited English, there was a significant number of passengers from Australia, North America/Canada, the Uk and NZ, so a good mix of interesting people to meet. Consequently, all safety instructions, show introductions, PA messages etc were delivered in English and then again in Mandarin. Sometimes, I got the feeling some information was “lost in translation “ but the crew did their best to keep everyone informed and up-to-date with shipboard activities. I thought Mike and Kitty’s morning update show on TV channel 14 was informative and good fun. This is a very big ship, so yes, there was a bit of bustle and noise at times and yes, sometimes dining room queues were long but it’s not as if you’ve got somewhere else to be! I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the continual whinging of some of the “international” passengers (particularly a couple of British and US passengers). As early as the first sea day there were a few passengers that others, myself included, were already doing their best to avoid. One very rude woman was observed loudly berating pool bar staff because they couldn’t produce an ice bucket for her water bottle! She turned to me and announced she was having a terrible time, thought the ship was terrible, the staff were hopeless, and that she was “done!” I had to bite my tongue and not suggest we’d all be happier if she jumped overboard and swam back to shore. Others were complaining about the food. Seriously, there was so much variety and choice I just don’t understand what the problem was. Perhaps they lost sight of the fact that feeding 4,000 people at roughly the same time dictates what can be served, how, and how fast. Fine dining was available at the specialty restaurants and take-away style food could be taken to the deck or back to your cabin so there was always a choice if banquet/buffet style was not to their liking. The buffet restaurant and MDRs WERE very busy at peak times but we chose to dine either earlier or later and avoided the melee and had no wait at all. We also booked the Solarium Bistro if we wanted a quieter and more intimate atmosphere for lunch or dinner. We generally had complimentary room service continental breakfast, which was more than sufficient and a pleasant way to start the day. Overall, our experience of this cruise was very positive. The cabins were well appointed with heaps of storage and a very comfortable bed. Cabin stewards were professional but friendly and went out of their way to attend to any special requests. Deck 13 stewards, Kolen and Joela, always acknowledged us by name and with a smile and an enquiry about our day. I thought the headline show, Pixels, was outstanding and enjoyed Live, Love, Legs but to a lesser degree because the vocalists were a bit hit and miss. On sea days, the pool areas were busy but we still managed to secure a deck chair when and where we wanted one. The only annoying thing was the number of selfish people who “reserved” themselves a prime position very early before breakfast by placing a towel on the chair/s, then didn’t return for hours (that’s just rude if you were one of those doing so!) We tried the North Star while in port and the view of the ship and the port was stunning. We didn’t try iFly but plan to next cruise. At the start of the cruise, there was a fee for both North Star and iFly but this charge was dropped or refunded for those who’d prepaid, towards the end of the cruise. We had planned to “wing it” in each port, but ended up booking three shore tours (Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Shimonoseki) once on board, and I’m glad we did. All were very well organised and well worth the money. Our English-speaking Japanese tour guides,Yoko and Mr Morry were fantastic - we learnt so much about Japanese culture, traditions and history, and Morry even taught us some basic Japanese words and did a bit of magic for a few of us (as well as a tour guide, he is also a professional, touring magician). I doubt we would have found our way to some of the tour locations easily on our own. A lovely young couple we met did do their own thing though via locally organised walking and cycling tours and reported that they had a great couple of days. Wherever we went, we found the Japanese people to be very gracious and respectful and from what we saw, Japan has to be one of the cleanest, tidiest places I’ve ever been. Pity one filthy group of smokers from the ship gathered on the street, made a spectacle of themselves being loud and obnoxious and then threw their cigarette butts in the gutter/drain outside a stunning Japanese garden - disgusting behaviour and a poor example of Australian tourists overseas. I felt compelled to write this lengthy tome as I find there seem to be many overly critical reviews on this site. I think many people who are satisfied and have enjoyed themselves just don’t write reviews, so there’s sometimes a biased and unbalanced view from people who are probably never happy about anything. I prefer to see the glass as half full, not half empty. From my observation I believe the ones who complain about poor service or “sullen”, unhelpful crew are rude to crew who work hard and are paid every little. I’ve seen them behave as if they are somehow superior to everyone else. They might find that instead, a little bit of humility, politeness, gratitude and good grace results in friendly, cheerful encounters and excellent service every time. Just a thought ... Anyway, in summary we enjoyed this cruise very much, and met some truly delightful people. So much so that we’ve booked two more cruises on Ovation this year and are looking forward to catching up again with some of the new friends we made onboard this trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Embarkation took about 40 to 60 minutes. Had trouble initially on how the embarkation process starts. There were no signs on what to do. Bag drops in the middle of the hallway. Line was long but moving. The actual check in process was ... Read More
Embarkation took about 40 to 60 minutes. Had trouble initially on how the embarkation process starts. There were no signs on what to do. Bag drops in the middle of the hallway. Line was long but moving. The actual check in process was fast. 5 to 10 minutes. First time cruise with my wife on Ovation of the Seas May 6 to 11 Hong Kong to Vietnam back to HK. The ship is huge. Its only 2 years old and feels like it. You can feel that the ship is very well maintained as the areas of the ship are very clean including the public toilets. The ambience is very much like a 4 or 5 star hotel. The layout is also good as the promenade is at the center of the ship and the MDRs and dining options are close with each other. Entertainment venues however are in different areas of the ship. The cabin is quite adequate. Very comfortable bed. Large spaces for storage. Temp was quite cool. Balcony is large. Power outlets are ok. Desk is a little small. Toilet is a little small for me. Dining/Food - dining options are the Windjammer, Solarium, 4 MDRs and Cafe Two70. Quality of food is hit or miss. On some days there were delicious food and some days not good. Windjammer on 1st day was good the other times were average. Dinner at MDRs was average. They changed the menu to cater to chinese market and the best food i tasted was the lamb shank. Room service food was average for my wife order and good for my order. Some bread on snacks were rock hard. Pizza is ehh. Breakfast at Solarium was good though was the same every single day. However i truly enjoyed the drinks at the bars and bionic bar. Dined at Chops grille and Wonderland. Chops grille was very good. Wonderland was fantastic. The shining point for food on Ovation are the desserts. Entertainment - the entertainment on Ovation was great. From Pixels in Cafe Two70 to the royal theatre. Live Love Legs was spectacular. Pixels was great. Plenty of activities nightly. As it was geared towards the chinese market on this cruise there were plenty of karaoke and dancing activities throughout the day and night. iFly is a must for the adventurous and North star for a wonderful sight seeing experience. Service - Service was also good. From cabin attendant (Danny) and waiters at MDR and windjammer and Solarium. Shoutout to Indra in wonderland for exceptional service. good service also at bars and general staff. Everyone was quite friendly and helpful. Excursions - 1st excursion was to Hoi Ann. You will visit only the small town of Hoi Ann as the trip going there was 90 mins going and 90 mins back. The town itself was great but there are not too many spots in the tour for sightseeing. the tour of the town itself was only about less than 3 hours including lunch.Its mostly shops now and tourist traps for shopping. The lunch however was fantastic. 2nd excursion was to Nha Trang. We visited the large pagoda and the sleeping Buddha (Fantastic). A Hindu temple and an embroidery shop and a beach side restaurant. Overall, it was very nice cruise for me and my wife. A perfect balance of rest & relaxation and fun activities from tours and entertainment. As you can see from my ratings the food was not i was expecting. I expected better quality. And yes i will cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We intended to celebrate my father's 80th birthday and booked the cruise for a party of 12 (8 adults and 4 children) over 4 cabins. We mainly booked this cruise, as my father is retired and lives in Hong Kong. So it would be ... Read More
We intended to celebrate my father's 80th birthday and booked the cruise for a party of 12 (8 adults and 4 children) over 4 cabins. We mainly booked this cruise, as my father is retired and lives in Hong Kong. So it would be convenient to embark on the Ovation of the Seas. The ship was quite new and the facilities were well designed. The staterooms were relatively big and were well appointed. The highlight would be the well-executed shows and the bionic bar was fun to try. However, most of the entertainment is indoors and the pools were relatively small to accommodate such a big crowd. At times the pool water looked murky. The shore excursions were to Chan May and Nha Trang respectively. Both ports had their charms, with culture at Chan May and the beach at Nha Trang. However, the letdown of the cruise started with the check-in process. The check-in itself actually went smooth, we checked in for all 12 passengers and the booked staterooms. We used credit cards to cover the on-cruise expenses and here is where things turned sour. Somehow, the check in managed to only register our credit cards for three rooms and not the fourth. Unfortunately, we only found out that one stateroom with three passengers did not have a credit card linked when we wanted to book for shore excursions on the second day. We had to go to the customer service twice to get things sorted. However, the mistake caused us: two children unable to join their most anticipated activities (Ripcord and Flowrider), unable to book for the two shore excursions, and not able to purchase the optional dining package. Partly, this may be our mistake, as we did not purchase all activities on the very first day. However, this has resulted into two very disappointed children. Exploring the two ports on our own, which would actually be very fun, was it not that we got ripped off by the local drivers. Still being ripped off by the local drivers, ended to be cheaper than the offered shore excursions. Only the monetary savings came with a bundle of frustration. Lastly, we had to be saddled with some overly crowded restaurants. This is the general gripe of this tour. Surely, Ovation of the Seas is surely targeted to Asian (mainly Chinese) passengers. We understand that Chinese passengers may have different norms and values. We could also clearly see from the personnel that they felt irritated by the load of Chinese passengers. If you approach personnel, they would not speak to you, as they assume that you cannot understand English. Some personnel would even yell and use body language to convey their message. It is not until we speak in English, that the personnel would start to act normal and a few would even try to crack a smile, but most keep the stern look though. We are Asians come from Europe, so probably most of the personnel took us for local Chinese passengers. In conclusion, the cruise has great potential with good staterooms and plenty entertainment. However, a check-in error and a clearly irritated group of personnel have spoiled most of the trip. What intended to be a laid back hassle free trip, turned into disappointing kids, misadventures with the two shore excursions, and facing a group of disgruntled personnel. Maybe it was the sheer amount of passengers, maybe it was the city of embarkation, maybe the cruise is just too new? I am not too sure what have caused this. Or maybe next time we would just try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I wanted to try cruising in Asia for a change and choose this cruise with Ovation of the Seas. I was on Quantum's maiden voyage in 2014, but hadn't been on the Quantum class since. It was nice to be back onboard. Ship in ... Read More
I wanted to try cruising in Asia for a change and choose this cruise with Ovation of the Seas. I was on Quantum's maiden voyage in 2014, but hadn't been on the Quantum class since. It was nice to be back onboard. Ship in general: Ovation has a nice and familiar atmosphere onboard, although I do prefer the layout on the Oasis class ships comparing to this one. There are many fun activities onboard, although in Asia they put a charge on some of them (like the Ripcord and the North Star). However, I had to try the North Star since it was mostly closed when I went on Quantum and I really wanted to try it this time. I really recommend a trip in it, it's a really unique experience. Very special to see the ship from above while on the sea... The Solarium area is great and it's also amazing that one of the main pool areas is with (removable) glass roof. In this case you preferred being there thanks to the AC, outside was simply too warm. In colder areas or rain it would also be appreciated. This is something Royal Caribbean should do on all their bigger ships. Stateroom: We had a Spa Junior Suite this time which was big and nice. The bathroom was great with both tub and a big shower with seat an light through a dimmed window to the livingroom. he balcony was a bit small, but we didn't use it much anyway because of the heat and humidity outside. The TV system is generally good, and I do appreciate to be able to see my cruise account on the tv. Royal caribbean recently started charging for room service except breakfast, I do not like this. Dining: Luckily for us we could dine in the Coastal Kitchen, which offered amazing service and great food. I'm very happy we didn't have to use the "main dining", which looked horrible with extreme ques just for choosing which restaurant you should be in (they all had the same, terrible, menu). So if you cruise from Hong Kong, do not stay in any other stateroom than Junior suite and up! Entertainment: The show's were average. Nothing very special about them. Ports: The first port was right in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Da Nang and Hui An. Bus to Da Nang took 1,5 h on not-so-good roads. Da Nang is a nice little town, though, as long as you get away from the tourists. In Nha Trang the ship is about 40 min walk from central parts. But already after 20 min the 7 km beach starts and you can find some really nice and cheap sunchairs. We didn't visit the actual city this time but were fine with the beach and a visit to the Aquarium close to the harbour where the tender boats come and go. Summary: I liked cruising in this part of the world for a change and would like to go again sometime, especially to Japan. But, as I said, nothing below Junior suit if you don't want to fight for your meals. I liked that most Asians respected the dress codes for Formal night, which the Europeans on Royal Carribean are horrible at. I recommend the Quantum class for anyone who wants something different. But personally I do prefer the Oasis class when it comes to the bigger ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Let me talk about the good things first : - They have water boiler inside the Cabin. - I chose the large oceanview room, the room is good and spacious. - Chop Grill and Jamie Oliver are good. - iFly, North Star and Bumper Car ... Read More
Let me talk about the good things first : - They have water boiler inside the Cabin. - I chose the large oceanview room, the room is good and spacious. - Chop Grill and Jamie Oliver are good. - iFly, North Star and Bumper Car are good. Followings are never happened in my previous cruises : 1) Extra cost for Lobster even in the Specialty Restaurants. 2) Only allowed to order 1 main in Chops Grill. 3) Extra fee (they called delivery charge) for ordering room service of American Breakfast. 4) The Royal IQ is worst and the system is never synchronise between the actual booking and my mobile. 5) Restaurant booking by dailing 7000, most of the time no body answer. It is hard to book or change. 6) With such a worst booking system, we have to pay cancellation or no show fee for Restaurants booking. 7) The Wonderland and Chef's Table are charging too much. 8) The Royal IQ located at shore Excursion are not working probably, staffs are not enough to assist. 9) No paper serviettes provided in buffet. The Windjammer Market Place really like eating in the market. The food is bad and variety is very limit - especially the dessert corner. In the busy morning (e.g. the on-shore day) seat and waiters are not enough, plates are wet. Starting time is late and closing time is early. It said closed by 11:00 pm and the gate was locked at 10:30 pm. 10) The ship is big, it takes many passengers and make everywhere overload, the swimming pools are too small. 11) Restaurants are closed too early and open late. 12) You have to pay for visiting the kitchen (package price at $35 p.p. for visiting kitchen plus a lobster lunch). 13) Theatre is too small and difficult to find a seat, luckily most of the shows are boring and in low cost, you have nothing to lose for missing the shows. Note : You still can enjoy a comfortable breakfast or lunch when the Grande opens during at sea day. Conclusion : This is my first time to go for the Royal Caribbean and it was disappointed. If I have other choice, will not choose their ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My husband and I were on this cruise with our best friends. It took a little bit of organising at first as it wasn't clear about which restaurants were complimentary as there isn't a main dining room on this ship - just a ... Read More
My husband and I were on this cruise with our best friends. It took a little bit of organising at first as it wasn't clear about which restaurants were complimentary as there isn't a main dining room on this ship - just a combination of 4 different restaurants. The facilities on the ship were above expectations. The only bad experience we had was on our last night of the cruise which should have been a highlight. We booked and paid for dinner at Wonderland before we embarked on our cruise only to find out on the night that the advertised menu was not what was being served but an Asian cuisine by Chef Da Nong and the advertised menu was to begin the following day. The service was impeccable and the server was very patient with our Western taste buds. There was nothing magical or spectacular about the dishes we received. The point of the Wonderland restaurant as we understand it was to be wondrous & magical. The cuisine was obviously high end Asian cuisine but unfortunately, it was definitely not to our taste. Not to mention three of our party were ill through the night and the next day which made disembarking quite a stressful event. If we had been informed of the different menu we would have not attended this restaurant and spent our last night at another such as Jamie's Italian which is a favourite of ours. The Royal IQ app had it's glitches but we understand it is still quite new so the teething problems are expected. The wow band was great for getting into your room but did seem to be a negative thing when ordering drinks at the bars as most of the time you would have to take it off your wrist so they could scan it. My advice would be to have a tap panel easily accessible to the guest for payment at EVERY bar (eg tap & go for your atm card). The bands are usable on future cruises so they are a one-time investment. One thing we did miss on this cruise was the pool deck entertainment that we have experienced on previous cruises including the live band, deck bbq's and lunches, etc. We would definitely cruise on this ship again and now that we know how it all works, our experience would be even better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Great ship that is well maintained, with lots to do especially if you are young and mobile. We are still on this ship headed to Sydney, and in an inside cabin again which we will never do again because of the toilet flushing noise which is ... Read More
Great ship that is well maintained, with lots to do especially if you are young and mobile. We are still on this ship headed to Sydney, and in an inside cabin again which we will never do again because of the toilet flushing noise which is a design fault, but they do offer you ear plugs. On the cruise out of Hong Kong we were on level 10 below the kids club which resulted in us being unable to go back to the cabin during the day with the kids jumping and running around, and of course the toilet flushing that occurs during waking hours starting at about 5.00am - we complained a few times and were moved to a quite balcony cabin. This time, and for the last time, in an inside cabin again - no issues with other ships, but the Ovation has a major design flaw with the plumbing !! Very friendly staff, especially the Captain, Hotel Director, waiters and even our stateroom attendant which I met after 6 days. Would book again on this ship, but not an inside cabin - so diminishing value for money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Let me start out by saying that this ship is beautiful- it is one of the most modern cruise ships I have even on. Which is why its a shame the cruise failed to impress. Embarkation: Fast and efficient in hong kong. We were on the ship ... Read More
Let me start out by saying that this ship is beautiful- it is one of the most modern cruise ships I have even on. Which is why its a shame the cruise failed to impress. Embarkation: Fast and efficient in hong kong. We were on the ship less then 30 mins after cruise terminal arrival. Dining: Not very good. This ship has now started charging $7.95 for room service (expect breakfast) I will be traveling on royal less because of this. The windjammer buffet was a mess. Completely overcrowded and understaffed. It took me at least 20 mins every time I went there to get an omelet. For dinner in the evening the two restaurants on deck 4 were very nice but on the first day the 8:00PM dinner was delayed until at least 8:25. Imagine a crowd of people waiting to eat not my idea of a fun vacation. The food the other nights was ok but RCCL has stopped offering lobster on formal night. The food in the dining room was pretty good but nothing to write home about. Entertainment: Shows were very good! I enjoyed Pixels but make sure to book this once onboard as it fills up. Pixels is a special show that uses multiple screens in a smaller venue. All the regular shows you dont need to book. Onboard Experience: TERRIBLE. This is the worst part of this cruise and it happends because there were way too many people for the size of this ship. The elevators were ALWAYS crowded and I rarely used them due to this. LINES EVERYWHERE. From the buffet to the shore excursions desk. Be prepared to wait and do some more waiting. The service in the dinning areas sucked. They need to hire more staff for this amount of people. Ports: The star of this cruise. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangkok and Singapore were all amazing!!! It's a shame for me to have to write this review because once again this ship is breathtaking from the second you walk in. The staff did the best they can but this ship is overcrowded and severely understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Would highly recommend cruising on this ship. We were a family of 4 travelling, 2 adults and 2 young children (2yrs & nearly 4yrs). Our balcony stateroom was larger than expected and housed us sufficiently. The food all around the ... Read More
Would highly recommend cruising on this ship. We were a family of 4 travelling, 2 adults and 2 young children (2yrs & nearly 4yrs). Our balcony stateroom was larger than expected and housed us sufficiently. The food all around the boat was more than expected. We did not find the boat over crowded, yes at times there were lots of people around, but never felt over crowded, even with our little ones at toe. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze for us, on check-in, check-out and on shore excursions, so I really do not understand where these negative reviews come from for this. Yes sometimes there were lines, but nothing our 2yr old and 4yr old could not handle. (I think some times people need to learn manners and have patients!) Adventure Ocean the kids club was great for my kids, my 4yr old always had a great time when there with the fun activities they did. My 2yr old didn't enjoy it as much, but the girls put in effort to make his time enjoyable, he did go 3 times to give my husband and I some much needed and appreciated time, kid free. All the activities on the boat are fantastic, so many things to do and all the staff worked very hard to make sure we had a great holiday. We were never bored, actually, there were a few things we didn't do as we couldn't fit it all in. My only complaint would be the cocktails are too sweet and not enjoyable and the staff did not know how to make half of them. Overall – our holiday was more than we could have imagined because Royal Caribbean have produced and amazing ship with out of this world activities and facilities on board! At the end of the day, remember you are on a boat on the middle of the ocean!! :) Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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