38 Southampton Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Never again dynamic dining. Confusion about what restaurant ,what time,etc. But great food portion size and quality . great lounge 270 and solarium. Poor design on middle of ship and alleged centrum .robot bar was a 1 hit wonder . Very ... Read More
Never again dynamic dining. Confusion about what restaurant ,what time,etc. But great food portion size and quality . great lounge 270 and solarium. Poor design on middle of ship and alleged centrum .robot bar was a 1 hit wonder . Very nice balcony cabin great attendant . Poor insulation between cabins for such a new ship .tv channels in cabin wrer horrible "bait car" repeats about thugs stealing cars in atlanta?? Ya, thats what u want to show alledged cruise ship customers !! No travel channel., no nat geo ,no food network? What are they thinking? Security does'nt enforce no electronic devices during main dark shows so your forced to put up with inconsiderate asses. East on/off for departures. This dining concept is not for u if u like to socialize we had table for 2 for 23 nites music hall venue is poor u can't see from second level, u have to watch performace on t.v. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Ovation of the Seas is a brand new ship and in that respect, it did not disappoint. The ship is beautiful and has a lot of nice features. It also has some things that might not appeal to everyone. This was kind of their maiden voyage and ... Read More
Ovation of the Seas is a brand new ship and in that respect, it did not disappoint. The ship is beautiful and has a lot of nice features. It also has some things that might not appeal to everyone. This was kind of their maiden voyage and the ship will eventually stay in Beijing. We had a balcony cabin and the cabin was comfortable and has lots of storage space. The usual toiletries that you expect on a ship were missing. We had to ask if we could have tissues and a shower cap. The food overall was OK. The big difference is that there is no central dining room. We like the anytime dining and they way you have to do it here, making reservations ahead of time for the 4 or 5 "free" restaurants on board, defeats the purpose. Came to find out that all the Quantum class ships are like this. Not a fan. The menus for a short cruise would have been OK but in 25 days there was not much variation. Ended up having dinner a the buffet most of the time. On that subject, the buffet closes at 9:00 pm. Weird.... The entertainment has mixed reviews as well. They had two and then three shows that you had to make reservations for. We did not care for The Dream but a lot of people we talked to did like it. The others were OK. They had different entertainers come on board throughout the voyage and some were good and some not so much. As always, that is a matter of preference. The 270 room is high tech and very nice, however, the seating is uncomfortable and arranged in such a way that you cannot see the stage from many seats. Not the best place to see the shows and there are a lot of activities in this venue. They had afternoon movies but the glare was too much and made it hard to see the movies. The service throughout the ship was excellent. Everyone went out of their way to be helpful. The ports were varied and always fun. Ending up in Dubai was the highlight of the cruise as that is some city! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Took a 7ngt vacation from Southampton to Barcelona on May 3rd. Weather was disappointing but the ship was impressive especially the 270 venue, the covered Solarium and the Seaplex sports venue. Staff were generally friendly and ... Read More
Took a 7ngt vacation from Southampton to Barcelona on May 3rd. Weather was disappointing but the ship was impressive especially the 270 venue, the covered Solarium and the Seaplex sports venue. Staff were generally friendly and accommodating and our room, a large interior stateroom on deck 12 was modern and spacious. The virtual balcony was interesting but you do get tired of looking at what is just a large TV screen. RCL pride itself on innovation and the robots in the 270 Venue were great as is the backdrop but I think they can harness this technology more as they figure it out. Novelties included the Bionic bar, the North Star and iFly (as you only get 60 seconds in it). The bumping cars are also very popular so you don't get long on them either and I found one staff member here extremely rude. Food was excellent in the Windjammer and very good in the Grande but I found all the other complimentary restaurants poor and pointless. Also the 18% service charge on everything made the vacation expensive. A lot of effort was put into the Productions (Spectra, the Dream & the Beetles tribute band) but there was little else on and they kept repeating the shows each night. One annoyance was that you had to book some of these shows to get in which is again unnecessary as is having to book dinner every night. All in all I would advise cruisers to stay away from the Atlantic as it is a windy and uncomfortable voyage that even Ovation couldn't disguise which was surprising given its size but once we entered the Med she was fine and the sway dissipated. On the room front the insulation was poor and I could near neighbouring cabins as well as the sound of toilets flushing which was akin to 'Thunder' as the suction was so strong flowing though the pipping. Our last Cruise was on Regal Princess and I think the rooms were better insulated and I didn't notice the aforementioned flushing noise. There are elements of Ovation that were better than Regal, namely the 270 Venue, the Solarium, the Seaplex, the food and the general liveliness of the ship but Regal's Atrium can't be beaten, nor can its running track which is away from the pool and deck chairs. In a perfect World I think we need a ship with Regal's decor, Atrium, running track and Movies under the Stars, Ovations 270 Venue, covered front of ship Solarium, Esplanade and Seaplex and Celebrities Grand Dining room and Solarium (as an indoor pool). Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Having never been on a cruise before, we decided that since the brand new Ovation of the Seas was sailing from our home country, it was time to give this type of holiday a go. We stayed in a Junior Spa Suite (7236) which we were very ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before, we decided that since the brand new Ovation of the Seas was sailing from our home country, it was time to give this type of holiday a go. We stayed in a Junior Spa Suite (7236) which we were very impressed with. The room was large and well appointed with lots of storage and a really nice bathroom that was stocked with L'Occitane toiletries. The balcony was big enough to accommodate two sun loungers and was a great place to spend some quiet time. In the Specialty restaurants that we ate in, the food was very high quality and the service was excellent. The USDA steaks at Chops Grille were outstanding. We also ate at Jamie's Italian, Wonderland and the Coastal Kitchen (which although not a specialty restaurant is only available to suite guests so I have included it in this category). As far as the complimentary dining options were concerned we were less impressed. We found that the Windjammer was impossibly busy and it was very difficult to find a seat; if you did find somewhere, one of us would have to sit and hold to while the other went to get their food - not very relaxing and just a bit of a scrum. The quality of the food was a bit hit and miss as well; my wife put a hotdog bun on her plate and immediately noticed it was very mouldy, she went to give it to a member of staff who was already dealing with another customer with the same issue. We were surprised something basic like this could happen on a brand new ship. If you do not like table sharing and you don't want to pay for specialty dining you should be very wary of booking with Royal Caribbean. For my wife and I, table sharing and being forced to make small talk with strangers is our idea of torture. That might sound a bit mean spirited but it's not something we would expect to have to do in a land-based restaurant & is a big reason why we have never cruised before. As such, when we arrived a Silk for dinner one evening, we asked the Maitre d for a table for two which was granted. However, it was a table for two in name only. We were literally a few inches from our neighbours on either side and our orders were all taken together as though we were a table for eight. Private conversation was impossible & it was very uncomfortable. The food was also very poor in our opinion, my wife ordered duck which had no sauce and was completely dry. I was served a curry that was accompanied by inedible bread and glutinous rice; I am not exaggerating when I say that its quality was lower than a microwave ready-meal. We didn't eat most of our main courses and left the restaurant. Really poor. We decided from that point onwards to cancel our reservations for American Icon and Chic so that we could stick to the specialty restaurants which were all very good (but come at an additional cost). The entertainment that we saw was okay, a bit cheesy perhaps, but not bad. There just wasn't much of it, especially during the day and on one night the Music Hall was closed for a private party. We did North Star, Ripcord by iFly and Bumper Cars which were fun but can all be covered in not much more than half a day. However, the fitness centre was excellent, a really well equipped gym with great seaviews. The shopping was mainly limited to high end brands like Cartier. There was a gift shop onboard but it was very small - if you like to spend time doing some shopping you will require at least five figures! Prior to arriving at Barcelona signs went up around the ship saying that another ship was due to arrive at Barcelona at the same time and therefore the local transport network would be under pressure and there would be few taxis available. We fell for this and ended up paying $30 for a Royal Carribean transfer to the city centre. When we disembarked we waited nearly an hour for our transfer to arrive and ended up giving up and taking one of the many taxis waiting! The taxi cost EUR 12.65 and dropped us at our hotel door. Money down the drain but a lesson learnt. All in all, we had a pretty decent time onboard which was mainly down to the quality of our stateroom and the food in the specialty restaurants. Would we cruise again? Probably not. If we did it would only be for a few nights & if the itinerary was amazing . Although a gigantic ship, we did everything within a few days and ended up dying to spread our wings. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Was on Anthem last year and wanted to try the latest Quantum class ship. Very impressive ship. Very modern and geared up for the younger cruiser and Oriental market. Excellent service from all areas. Only let down was rain 5 ... Read More
Was on Anthem last year and wanted to try the latest Quantum class ship. Very impressive ship. Very modern and geared up for the younger cruiser and Oriental market. Excellent service from all areas. Only let down was rain 5 days out of 7!! From arrival at port to getting onboard took all of 10 minutes. Give your servers a tip when you meet them and they'll treat you like royalty every time! Cabin was fab overlooking the front with a huge 6ft X 5ft window. Asked for robes and extra pillows when we arrived and got them for the whole cruise. Best dining areas for food quality and service were Wunderland, Chops Grille, Jamie's Italian, Silk. The others were poor in comparison. Shows were great in the Music Room, 270 and the Theatre Upgrade your drinks package on arrival as the Starbucks coffees go down very well with a Brandy or Cointreau added from Michaels Pub! Opt out of daily grats when you arrive at Guest Services and you can tip the staff who really shine! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This is my review of the Ovation of the Seas based on our voyage from Southampton to Singapore in May 2016. This is a magnificent looking ship, both internal and externally. It bristles with modern engineering, technological and design ... Read More
This is my review of the Ovation of the Seas based on our voyage from Southampton to Singapore in May 2016. This is a magnificent looking ship, both internal and externally. It bristles with modern engineering, technological and design elements that create a stylish ship that manages to never feel too crowded even though there are over 4,000 guests on board. It is also the most stable ship we have ever been on. Amazingly it took only 10 minutes to board in Southampton due to a new streamlined boarding process. Let's start with the cabin. Our balcony cabin feels longer and more spacious than recent ships we've been on. There are plenty of storage options too. The bathroom is standard sized, but the shower is large with a clear glass screen instead of a shower curtain that threatens to embrace you. The writing desk is free-standing and can be moved to make a convenient dining table for room service. The balcony door is cleverly linked to the air conditioning so that the air cuts off if the door is open. There is a large TV that fits nicely into a specially designed wall cabinet. Inside staterooms have the virtual balconies to give the feeling of being in touch with the world outside. There are plenty of things to do on the ship, from the Northstar capsule high above the ship, to the surfing simulator and the rock climbing wall. The bumper cars are popular and remind everyone of being a kid again. We did the skydiving simulator. We're glad we tried it but it is harder than it looks and I think once was enough! All these activities are included in the price of the fare. The entertainment is very good. The production shows are excellent and to a very high standard and are comparable to land-based productions. There is the usual array of musicians, singers, jugglers, and comedians between production shows. We struggled with dining the first few days. The complimentary restaurants are booked using a phone/tablet app or on one of the many iPads dotted around the ship. The system didn't allow us to choose a dining time and would arbitrarily allocate a time between 5:30 and 9:30pm. A staff member did explain that this was a known problem that was being addressed. This didn't suit us so we finally gave up making reservations and just turned up when we were ready. This didn't seem to cause issues and we were never turned away (except once, and I read them the riot act). Royal Caribbean need to just allow people to dine without booking as on other ships. Note that there is also the option for "classic" dining at set tables and times. The food was very good and we enjoyed the variety of the different restaurants with varying themes and menus. We were also impressed by the Wonderland degustation restaurant which was a particularly interesting and enjoyable experience. I won't say too much more and spoil the surprise. Jamie's Italian was also enjoyable. We dined alfresco on the deck which was quite novel. Had a great steak at the stylish Chops Grill. We had room service breakfast a few times and were surprised that toast was no longer on the menu. Huh? The highlight of the ship is definitely the "Two70" space at the rear of the ship. It's a marvel and it cost more for this one room that the entire cost of the first Royal Caribbean ship! A projection system allows for a vista to be displayed on the rear windows and 6 robotic arms move large TV screens around. The room is a cross between an entertainment space, a cafe, and a lounge room. Also impressive are the two large solarium spaces on deck 14. The one at the front of the ship has a series of cascading hot tubs and stunning views. The staff were all fantastic and our cabin steward couldn't do enough for us. We did ask for more promotion of an LGBT get together, but this was not done for some reason. One gripe we do have is that the Internet packages must now be purchased in 24 hour blocks. Previously you could buy say 300 minutes and use them over the course of the cruise. This change makes the Internet much more expensive and less flexible. We really love this ship, which we feel is on a par with Celebrity's Solstice class in terms of design and decor. As with any ship there are a few niggling issues but we would definitely recommend the Ovation to others. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I am a widower and this complicates fare prices for such a long cruise. I saw this positioning cruise offered (5 back to back cruises in one) and it was just right for me. Airfare and two hotel nights on each end were included. Their rep ... Read More
I am a widower and this complicates fare prices for such a long cruise. I saw this positioning cruise offered (5 back to back cruises in one) and it was just right for me. Airfare and two hotel nights on each end were included. Their rep met us at the airport, and on embarkation, transported and escorted us through with no problems. I had a partially obst. view cabin with balcony and was pleasantly surprised that the view was very good, unless you wanted to view the pier below you in port. Many times my port side view faced the open harbor in port. It was spacious and lots of storage. Bath and shower were excellent designs. Colors were a soothing RCI blue and the couch comfortable enough for a nap. My cabin attendant(V Bascombe) all the way to Singapore, met every perceived need and was superb service. Service was available for $30 that washed and folded my laundry. As I was a single in a double cabin, I received two points daily in the Crown & Anchor status. I started as Gold and ended the last cruise as a Diamond! I thought this very generous of RCI. Their service center also accepted my much earlier RCI cruise based on photos of my wife and I on board. Ovation of the Seas (OS) was new and exciting with inovations like North Star the fair like ride into the air 300 feet over the water and the side of the ship .Surf riding , roller scating , bumper cars and other team activities. North star was fun every time. My only problem was with the crew at the free fall ride that signed me up, gave me a wrist band , asked me to wait an hour for my appointment time ( I came early in case of a crowd or instructions) and then decided after all this to weigh me and decided that I was over the limit. I explained that I had not gained or loss a pound waiting the hour I had been sitting there. The food of course was a central part of the trip on any cruise . At first I was in the rotation for the four gratis restaurants. This was fun and the food very good. The waiters and their head waiters were going to amazing lengths to please every wish. As long as you were in the rotation, you saw the same service each time. I failed to turn in my request slip on one segment and then fell out of the rotation. I found this not unpleasant , as a single guest I could be fitted into any group including some Germans I found very pleasant company. As I met others I became attached to them and we had excellent dinners together. The menus were supposedly varied by restaurant, but in the long run (52 days) , Salmon is Salmon no matter what you name it. I never had a bad meal. On one occasion I casually remarked to my table mate that this beef was more well done than the rare I had asked for. The waiter wisked it away in an instant and returned in moments with a new plate with rare beef apologizing the entire time. I became very fond of the wait staff. The staff out front of the restaurants had to put up with a lot from guests too early or late for reservations, showing up with groups of up to 20 Chinese who want to sit together ( this takes up many tables that other guests are expecting to have nightly) . I seldom ate at the buffet other than lunches, but it offered all anyone could ask for. The army of young staff there kept it clean and offered pleasant smiles to all. The entertainment on board was selected by Joff, he was a excellent and charming director. The acts were delightful and varied each night. The big event in the hi tech theater 270 was Spectra, a real wow show the first time seen, special effects and lights, circ de sole acts etc.. Once was enough. Another great show was the high energy Vegas show with feathers and show girls that never got old. Local acts were added at each port and many were very, very good. After Singapore , a new cruise director (and many other crew and staff) came and he seemed to employ old friends who should have retired. I mean really, a mimic doing Tom Jones? The ports were great and I chose this voyage because of the many Asian & middle eastern stops I had never seen. The size of our ship meant that many ports were not available to us and we had to dock at container ports. Shore excursions were varied and fun. The value of a "ship will wait for our own excursions" was proven several times over the two months by late buses. The captain turned the ship around in the Yellow Sea to recover a body seen in the water. We did a complete accountability of all guests and crew, then took it to S. Korea with us. The debarkation at the port in China was the usual wait for bags but it must be said the Chinese authorities did their best to help and cooperate with the crew and passengers. It went well as could be expected for 4500 people departing at the same time. The voyage was a real adventure and a lifetime experience . I will always appreciate the genuine kindness and concern of the many RCI staff and crew that did so much to make two months at sea a fresh and beautiful experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Booked a suite so we could get double points to take us to Diamind Plus status, having been on the Anthem last October round the canaries and this being the same class of ship we knew what to expect. Coud'nt fault the staff in ... Read More
Booked a suite so we could get double points to take us to Diamind Plus status, having been on the Anthem last October round the canaries and this being the same class of ship we knew what to expect. Coud'nt fault the staff in particular the bar staff in Boleros who were most efficient and welcoming. Don't like the rotation of dining, we prefer the classic dining room experience so had all our evening meals in the windjammer which was ok. Could'nt understand why they would'nt sell cigarettes due to being in Europe we were told? It's a lovely ship but would'nt go on this class of ship again, we prefer Oasis class and have booked on the Allure this Christmas round the Caribbean for 16 nights (back to back). The entertainment was first class as usual with good variety of shows and never a problem to get a seat in theatre but sometimes a problem in 270. Apart from the weather being rather cold there are always things to do if you want to. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Just returned from a fantastic week-long cruise on the new Ovation of the Seas. We were on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas last May, and although they are both Quantum class, cruising on Ovation was a marked improvement over our ... Read More
Just returned from a fantastic week-long cruise on the new Ovation of the Seas. We were on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas last May, and although they are both Quantum class, cruising on Ovation was a marked improvement over our experience on Anthem. We enjoyed Anthem, but it wasn't as polished or as hassle free as Ovation. The food on Ovation was much better, the service was excellent and the overall atmosphere was friendlier and, just more professional. We didn't have a bad meal the entire cruise, and the one time I commented privately to one of our friends that the fish in one dish might be a little dry, this was overheard by waiting staff who apologised. The following day we received a bottle of sparkling wine and a tray of cakes in our stateroom - even though I hadn't even complained, merely commented on a minor issue. Our stateroom attendant was also very helpful and pleasant, and nothing was too much trouble for him. Just a couple of suggestions, though. Vintages would benefit from having a better selection of drinks. I know it's a wine bar, but it should also offer a selection of cocktails and liqueurs. Most nights it was almost empty, and we took to getting a drink from the too-busy Schooner bar and walking across deck to sit in the plusher Vintages, but it would have been so much easier if we could have been served there. The Vintages on Anthem was much better stocked - and more popular as a result. The ship's lift doors could also benefit from a slight adjustment so they don't close so quickly. A few people with their hands full found themselves navigating closing doors when trying to get on, and almost getting squeezed by them. But these were minor niggles. It's just a shame that this magnificent ship is now going to the other side of the world, and will no longer sail from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We went first time on Royal Caribbean,having previously been on Pand O and celebrity on several other cruises.The Ovation is a massive ship.The check in service was very efficient the staff were very friendly and helpful,and we got on ... Read More
We went first time on Royal Caribbean,having previously been on Pand O and celebrity on several other cruises.The Ovation is a massive ship.The check in service was very efficient the staff were very friendly and helpful,and we got on board two and a half hours before our allotted time due to arriving early which was great.The choice of dynamic dinning was very good,we eat at a different restaurant each night after booking in on the onboard booking system on our cabin t.vThe food was very good as was the service. The only problem we had initially was in the Windjammer breakfast buffet,we found it hard to get a table to sit,so avoided it for the rest of the cruise.We instead went to the Solarium bistro much more less stressful, and pleasant.Also the queues for toast and eggs were long in Windjammers,I could not understand why only one girl doing toast for hundreds of people. Our balcony stateroom was very clean and obviously brand new and the bed was the most comfortable I have slept on in any cruise ship I've been on.The ship entertainment was very good and of a high standard we enjoyed the highlight shows.But you must make sure you book your place on these to ensure you see them. Overall we really enjoyed our cruise,the only things we didn't like we're the shore transfers.On previous cruises these were organised by the cruise line free of charge.On Royal Carribean they are run by local coach companies and chargeable. On two of our four ports of call we had trouble getting from the ship into the town due to severe congestion caused by lack of adequate coaches being provided.Next time we will take a taxi from port to town more expensive but less stressful.Overall the ship has something for everyone and we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Arrived at Southampton and the ship looks huge from the outside and when we walked in you could tell it was all new but also totally geared up for the Chinese market. All signage was in both languages and the staff and shopping totally ... Read More
Arrived at Southampton and the ship looks huge from the outside and when we walked in you could tell it was all new but also totally geared up for the Chinese market. All signage was in both languages and the staff and shopping totally again geared up for that market. Also the ship is a bit of a reverse tardis it feels much smaller on the inside that the lie of freedom or voyager class ships due to the lack of the full length Royal Promanande Service in the restaurants was extremely rushed so much so that we had to ask for a ten minute break between courses, Wonderland could have been fabulous however we where pushed through the whole meal in just over an hour so a real waste of money. We also did the chefs table after doing this several times on other ships and again what a massive disappointment. Instead of a separate private room this is done at the back of chops grill on a very long table. The chef only came out for a few seconds at the start of the meal, we never saw him again and at the end the waiter said thats it its over and left. Another huge let down. Why are you also pushed to book all the restaurants at a time that does not suite and then the majority of the time they are half empty and we where told we could not sit at tables near the window as they where for the walk in and never used in the whole time we where eating. One positive is the food in the windjammer was probably the best on any RC ship I have been on but be prepared for a fight to get a table its extremely busy at all times. The food in all the restaurants and all the cafes could not be faulted it was just let down by the staff. If you have sailed on RC ships before be prepared for a shock in your cabin they are much narrower that any I have had before and the storage space is limited. Entertainment was great but getting a seat in 270 is almost impossible and although its an amazing space it really has too many obstructed views to make the lower levels of any show visible. This was the very first time I really could not wait to get home the ship felt over crowded and way to hot. Dynamic dining really is not so dynamic and really not for us and will not be booking another cruise on this class of ship if this is what its like. Im going back to freedom or voyager class in future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our party of six booked Ovation while we could and before it heads off for a life in Asia. Ovation is of course one of RCIs newest ships, with all the companies latest innovations. As well as some new attractions such as the North Star ... Read More
Our party of six booked Ovation while we could and before it heads off for a life in Asia. Ovation is of course one of RCIs newest ships, with all the companies latest innovations. As well as some new attractions such as the North Star which appears in every advertisement, bumper cars and the iFly, there are new ways of doing things such as the changes to the dining. The ships size means that you can have the fun features without the feeling that you are spending your time sitting in a theme park. The Solarium, for example, was a pleasant quiet refuge to watch a sunset. Having spent some time on Independence and Navigator, two other RCI ships, there were some things I liked and some I missed. There is no single main dining room on this ship. Instead there are four themed restaurants. RCI would like you to make bookings for each restaurant by either booking in advance of your holiday or making reservations while on board. Wanting to avoid this hassle, we opted for Classic dining. Essentially this means that you are automatically rotated around the four themed restaurants. In the past, some of our group particularly enjoy the interactions with a regular waiter. This has meant that, for example, menu preferences have been catered for automatically. The waiting staff were still excellent and couldn't do enough but we missed the continuity as we had new waiters every night. We were also booked in for dinner at 5:30 - 6pm. We prefer to eat earlier, but not quite that early. That meant that we tended to be careful about what and when we ate to ensure we had an appetite. At least it meant we didn't eat our own weight in scones every afternoon. The Windjammer buffet was a definite improvement on Independence. We didn't struggle for seating as we sometimes have in the past. The seats were a good deal more comfortable too. The Music Hall is a music venue spread over two decks. It's a replacement for the Pyramid lounge on Independence. Opinions were divided on this one, but my impression was you couldn't see the band from upstairs while it was too loud to have a conversation. The pool tables kept us entertained though. The retail opportunities have been greatly expanded, so anyone who sails having forgotten their jewellery or Swiss watch is well catered for. Maybe the future passengers will make use them, but we just saw a lot empty shops and bored staff. Oddly the regular on board shop (selling t-shirts, toiletries, etc.) remained shut for the 7 days we were on-board. A small selection was being sold from a table outside the locked door. Very odd. We tried the North Star while in port in Southampton and then again while at sea. I believe that the North Star had swung over the side allowing a view of the ship when not docked. On our cruise the pod only was only raised. We asked and were told that going over the side would have to be specially booked when the ship relocates. That probably means a fee for some sort. Not entirely sure I'd go to that much trouble. The much talked about 270 venue across the back of the ship is used for some shows in the evenings. The cabaret was just the kind of show usually hosted in the theater so the main novelty was the close proximity. We also watched a virtual concert. This involved projecting the musicians onto the large screens lowered over the windows. Unfortunately lighting gantry and pillars meant that the view was obscured for at least half the room. We spent some time in the schooner bar, but the location means it no longer has any windows. I like being able to see outside, even when it's night. Finally, the cabin. A standard balcony on deck 10. An improvement on our previous RCI cabins. Very comfortable and quiet. The slightly larger shower was particularly welcome. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I were on the third cruise for this new ship. We heard some bad stories from the first two cruises, but this one was amazing! From the check in, being taken through security by our Royal Genie, yes we had a Royal Genie before ... Read More
My wife and I were on the third cruise for this new ship. We heard some bad stories from the first two cruises, but this one was amazing! From the check in, being taken through security by our Royal Genie, yes we had a Royal Genie before they started the program on May 1st. Had our bags in our Sky Loft Suite within three hours of hitting the dock. Free unlimited drink package for both, free VOOM for both, tips included, and no charge for any of the restaurants on board, including chops, and free Chef's dinner with the cast of Spectra's Cabaret! Sunil, our Royal Genie, took care of all our requests, and even had our mini bar stocked daily with free wine and beer. Chops was fantastic. Had a dry aged bone in rib eye, and it was heaven. Just don't order wine without your glasses. Ordered a bottle of Opus One from Mondavi for $160.00, and now its one of our favorite red wines. Just very hard to find in Ca. Looking forward to our next RCCL cruise on OASIS III or IV!!! in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Outstanding cruise members were our stateroom attendant 11162 and 11170 All the staff were excellent but especially - Pablo the Brazilian bar waiter in silk, Rahman in the grande, Sebastian the polish chef, Kamel the Turkish head ... Read More
Outstanding cruise members were our stateroom attendant 11162 and 11170 All the staff were excellent but especially - Pablo the Brazilian bar waiter in silk, Rahman in the grande, Sebastian the polish chef, Kamel the Turkish head waiter and also the Albanian headwaiter in Chic I can't remember his name though. The breakfast egg chef with the Caribbean accent at the station on the left was the fastest and friendliest of the 3 and the Romanian head waiter in Windjammer Spectra cabaret was fantastic Darren day was really good The dream was excellent Great fun on top deck with rip cord, I fly and roller skating. There was something for everyone to do In All 3 of the comp restaurants the fish was very over cooked but everything else was great. Two 70 cafe food and service was exceptional especially the beef sandwich and the cream scones and salad bar Windjammer food and service was best of all the RC ships I've had so far I wish it would stay open till 10pm. A couple of suggestions in sorrentos the pizza was either raw or hard. In the cafe next door it would be better to do the order of the hot beverages as cups then tea bags then hot water and then coffee and milk and sugar as English people always put tea bag in the cup first then the hot water and milk last so it gets brewed. The ladies toilets always had issues with the doors and knowing if it was occupied or not as the red and white on the outside lock was so small and I saw everyone just trying a them all as it wasn't clear, also the toilet flush it takes a few goes to know how and when it flushes. We mainly chose this cruise as it was a new ship but The shuttle service and port destinations were not as good as other excursions I've been on with RC and at Le Havre the shuttle service was shocking and we waited ages for the bus to pick us up from the docks and people were getting crushed on the packed up buses. The photography was very expensive and at least the download option could have been a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice ... Read More
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice touch. The ship is lovely, this is a great class. Restaurants all good food and excellent service, couldn't pick a fault. We are really easy going and get frustrated at hearing people complain about the silliest of things. Get over it, move on and enjoy!! Entertainment was fine, didn't see all the shows as there were always other things to be doing. Darren Day was on doing singing impressions, think he sells himself short - should just be himself he has a good voice and is entertaining with his stories. comedian and ventriloquist were also ok. Crew always willing to help, very engaging. One issue the cabin doors are very heavy and make a lot of noise when closing, people allowing them to slam, my next door neighbours obviously thought these doors were a novelty as they opened and closed them at all hours!! Port of call - Cherbourg -nothing there and most of the shops were closed on the Monday - a lovely sail away with hundreds of locals turning out. Took the Taste of Paris tour - really enjoyed it, over 2 hours drive to Paris through lovely countryside, good tour of the city a photo stop at the Trocadero for Eiffel Tower pictures. Got 2.5 hours of free time, went on the Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde which had amazing view. Zeebrugge, took the local shuttle bus to Blankenberge, lovely little sea side town with nice beach, restuarants, bars and shops - a good alternative to Bruges - shuttle 10euro return, dropped you off at train station if you wanted to continue to Bruge. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We choose this cruise as we have neever been on a maiden voyage before. The embarkation and disembarkation were both a wonderful celebratory event, that seemed to have no queues as we all spent time hugging characters and taking ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we have neever been on a maiden voyage before. The embarkation and disembarkation were both a wonderful celebratory event, that seemed to have no queues as we all spent time hugging characters and taking pictures along the way. The Ship is huge, beautiful, clean but keeping with a familiar RC layout so easy to find things. The ship is fitted with tablets at lifts etc. where guests can swipe their card, check their own personal itinery and signup for events, this is also available on the TV in the bedroom. This was great for us, as we did not queue at all for any of the activities, just turned up at our allotted time. We really enjoyed the wind-tunnel/sky diving, rock climbing, dodgems and 'North Star' observation pod. As like all RC ships the sauna, swimming pools and gym were great. We weren't a big fan of 'Spectre' show. The entertainers were great and effects wonderful, just didn't like the show too much. But everyone else seemed to. We were upgraded heavily for this trip, so our huge stateroom with balcony was wonderful, mdern, clean etc. Loved the T.V. system. Many ships now allow you to see your bill etc. on the T.V. but Ovation lets you run your entire trip from the T.V. Our stateroom attendant was brillent too. We enjoyed all our meals and the service though we heard that others didn't have such a great experience. It took until the second night for room service to begin. All the restaurants were great, but I do prefer the stately dining of ships like 'Independence of the Seas'. We particularly loved the adult only swimming pool with small water falls and exotic decor. We LOVED this cruise and the ship. A mixture of incredible luck, a great ship and staff. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Maiden Voyage - if you don't count the 3 night one last week! We stayed on from the 'not the maiden voyage cruise' and this was our first back-to-back cruise. Unfortunately RC didn't have us noted as consecutive ... Read More
Maiden Voyage - if you don't count the 3 night one last week! We stayed on from the 'not the maiden voyage cruise' and this was our first back-to-back cruise. Unfortunately RC didn't have us noted as consecutive cruisers despite me completing this on the online booking. Another 20 minutes with guest services trying to sort. The verdict is a wasted day really hanging around and not being able to get back to the cabin to avoid the influx of new guests. Unfortunately we had to change cabins from the last cruise - never again! When we booked an inside cabin (SI category) for this cruise whilst onboard Anthem last year, we were not told it was the size of a broom cupboard! Nor that it had a vestibule door (shared initial opening door with next door). As doors slam shut, this was very noisy. The virtual balconies were broken. After several visits to guest relations and failed promised callbacks, eventually we were moved to bigger inside cabins with working virtual balconies. I have to say I was very impressed with these. We purchased a soda package but the drinks were flat and most were not available - surprise! We got a refund which took days and more visits to guest relations. I was told my water package would be refunded after my complaint but it still hasn't been. They seemed to have re-stocked this cruise so at least we were able to get drinks most of the time and they had apple and orange juice for breakfast every morning this time. Day 4 they had a broken line which left us without water in the sink, shower and toilets. Not expected on a brand new ship, and especially annoying for my Dad who was in the shower at the time! XBOX never worked - guest services said a guest had plugged something in they shouldn't have. Another couple were told the cable to convert it wasn't long enough so who knows. Other staff told us there were lots of workmen still onboard fixing things. Excellent onboard facilities such as North Star, I-fly, rock climbing. Plenty to do day and night. Staff try to please but still some issues to resolve. Restaurant manager Deepak was excellent. Customer relations team should take note from him on how to provide excellent customer service. Received some lovely maiden voyage gifts. Did seem odd we didn't get these on the cruise before it though. Cherbourg Docked on the right hand side. Nice view of harbour too. View to the left was sea and hills. Free wifi in terminal building. Just opposite is the submarine and aquarium. Nice shop selling lots of souvenirs. Local funny train ride €6.50 but goes from town so a good 20 minute walk or queue for the shuttle bus. Le Havre Docked on right hand side again. Free wifi in building opposite car park. Also small souvenir shop. €4 return shuttle into town. Not many shuttles either. Did the train ride tour last time so this time just looked around. Not worth going to Paris from here when live in UK, it's quicker and cheaper to fly. Bruges €12 euros to get the shuttle out of the port of Zeebrugge seemed a lot considering how much money us tourists bring to the country. Entertainment - some of these may have been on last week - I can't remember Darren Day far exceeded my expectations and indeed he received a standing ovation. The female singer Clare V was also excellent - fantastic voice Spectre was excellent and well rehearsed. The Dream was also very good. The magnets group were very talented - did think they could have made more of an effort rather than wearing jeans! Cruise director Joff was very funny and visible Just as we were leaving, I collected the bills from the door and discovered we had been charged for a mini bar item we had not had. £6 for a bottle of water! The funny thing about this, is that we had loads of bottles of water from the Evian package we purchased on the first cruise! Overcharging is common on RC! Departure was smooth. We ignored the instructions to go to the allocated lounge and instead walked straight off with our own luggage. We did have to queue for 15 minutes for a taxi so worth booking next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a balcony cabin which was beautiful I can't find anything wrong with it at all. Our room was cleaned twice a day the young man that looked after us was so lovely. There are so many places to eat. We had the majority of our meals in the Windjammer restaurant the food was amazing. The shows were really good, we saw a few comedians and went to a couple of quizzes. I tried something that I have wanted to do for ages, which was the sky diving simulator it was brilliant. There is also bumper cars, flow rider they also do trapeze. There is so much to do and if you don't want to do anything go to the solarium and relax in the Jacuzzi. Great fitness centre. Lots of classes. We went to 2 places in France and we went to Belgium, but we only went on the cruise to experience the ship and we have already been to France and Belgium so we did not bother getting off the ship. At the end of our cruise we decided to carry off our own cases which was very straight forward and saves waiting around. We got off the ship at 6.30 back home in the Midlands by 10.30am. Our friends were so amazed at how brilliant a cruise is, they are already looking into booking another one. We are already booked to go on Independence for the third time in October. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation ... Read More
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation was so smooth ( mind you I had to do most of it before even your own photo on line ). Red carpet as you reached the turminal and paparazzi to take your photo ( which you can download for free after your cruise ) . As soon as you get on the ship you can see how plush it is it was amazing the staff are there offering you champagne and directing you to the windjammer restaurant but I was taken by the two robot arms that mixed and served cocktails they were so cool. Windjammer was huge food was very good coffee could be a bit strong , what I did like was you had a handwash station before entering restaurant . We had a balcony cabin very nice , bathroom bit small but ok . Dining ? Dynamic dinning not a fan could be confusing for older guests silk ,chic, American icon , grand are free the rest you pay a supplement but you have to book your restaurants early or you will end up with late meal , but all restaurants are very good chic is my favourite . Entertainment? Two shows you had to book Dream was one so good (don't miss ) and Spectre . Now this show is exceptional you will not believe it it is amazing what they do with the 2 70 bar is amazing . There are the normal shows as well in the theatre which are very good . Activities . Flow rider, ( fun ) ifly ( very good ) , the wall ( high ) bumper cars ( so much fun) the arm on top of the ship with the glass pod is so cool try it . Bars and clubs . Dotted all around the ship are bars music hall cafes so many we didn't get to try them all but what we did was exceptional.The casino was big the only draw back was the smoking ( not a fan ) stop the smoking you will get more people in . The ship is beautiful it was so smooth you didn't feel it move ,service was very good ,cruise wasn't long enough. My advice is if you like a drink do the drinks package it can get a bit expensive . I could write more but well done Royal Caribbean nice ship . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Embarkation was amazingly quick and the red carpet treatment with the press into the cruise terminal was great fun. I was on Ovation within what seemed minutes. There were a few people who had stayed on from the 3 night cruise and said it ... Read More
Embarkation was amazingly quick and the red carpet treatment with the press into the cruise terminal was great fun. I was on Ovation within what seemed minutes. There were a few people who had stayed on from the 3 night cruise and said it was extremely busy and very hard to get served in the bars. I was a little worried but I need not have been, apart for the Music Hall which was busy service was great even in there. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and a Maiden Voyage I was again unsure what to expect but I did have a great time. I met up with some old friends and new it was for me a lovely time. My cabin 11536 was amazing my first time in a balcony and Martin the cabin steward was dedicated and kind. Champagne (sparkling wine) was on ice a special base ball cap and a couple of limited edition bottles of beer were waiting. What a nice thought with the normal bottle of choice there as well. I really enjoyed all the dining in the restaurants chi, Silk, The Grand and American Icon the service in all was great. Chops as always was amazing but my reservation at Jamies Italian disappeared never mind. I loved the idea of the wash basins in the Windjammer and it was really well set out the food I would say was quite good. As good as the restaurants the service and the food was I really do miss the Traditional restaurant. Dinner with the officers was amazing and as with this cruise although I only had the main course this time I felt the food to ne of a high standard. The Two 70 was amazing as were the robots Sweet and Sour in the Robotic bar. I enjoyed the ship with the North Star and people really enjoyed the flying flow rider and the bumper cars. There were so many great staff Rebecca (pool bar and concierge lounge) Martin (my cabin steward) JJ (in the concierge lounge and Eliana (in the diamond lounge) thank you to all of you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the ports it was stopping and this was our first trip to Europe. We have cruised with RC several times and while the Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, this was the most disappointing cruise we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports it was stopping and this was our first trip to Europe. We have cruised with RC several times and while the Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, this was the most disappointing cruise we have ever taken out of 12. We did not receive ANY of our Crown and Anchor amenities/perks. Our travel agent had scheduled a birthday celebration for my husband's 50th birthday to take place at dinner yet, no one on the ship knew anything about this. Whenever we questioned a crewmember about specific events or activities, no one ever seemed to have an accurate answer. The entire crew seemed to be untrained and uninformed. Every other night the wait staff screwed up where we supposed to be sitting so we were only able to sit near our friends on two nights. The other nights the wait staff acted like we were crazy when we asked why were not at the same table. Probably the final straw was when we tried to purchase our pictures. We were debarking in Belgium to continue our European travel on Thursday. So, on Wednesday night, we went to the Picture Gallery on the ship to view and purchase our pictures. However, we were unable to do so. The staff on hand informed us they were experiencing technical issues and we would have to come back later or in the morning. We stopped back in the morning to find out that we could not purchase our pictures while in port and there would be no way possible for us to purchase them after we left the ship. This was my husband's 50th birthday celebration and we held nothing back. We got all dressed up, visited every photographer we saw and had lots of pictures taken. All to find out, we couldn't get them! The idea that RC can't figure out a way to provide access to guests after their cruise, ESPECIALLY, when we encountered so many issues, to buy their pictures is ridiculous. We're talking about digital files that can be transferred via email. Something, that nearly every other provider can accommodate. We called or stopped by guest relations as we encountered every issue and no one ever did anything to rectify the situation. We just got apologies and you'll have to check with someone else. I contacted Corporate Guest Relations following the cruise and they were even less helpful. We will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Considering all those loyalty points got us nothing on our most recent cruise it doesn't make any sense to continue to try to advance within that loyalty program. RC's level of service has declined so drastically since we started cruising with them 15 years ago. It's time to return to Princess or NCL! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
5 night maiden voyage with my cousin. I am an Indy fan. From parking car to check in to boarding to holding a glass of champagne on board saying wow to myself 10-15 mins. I boarded onto Royal Esplanade and just said 'wow'. ... Read More
5 night maiden voyage with my cousin. I am an Indy fan. From parking car to check in to boarding to holding a glass of champagne on board saying wow to myself 10-15 mins. I boarded onto Royal Esplanade and just said 'wow'. Ovation of the Seas is a beautiful ship with something for everyone Cafe 270 best indoor space of any ship I have been on, Spectra's Caberet with the robot screens just brilliant, the comedian very good the Silent disco was let down by poor mixing by the DJs just as everyone started to get into it and a big anthem dance tune was needed to get everyone dancing they played songs which were not so well known and the atmosphere dropped. Music Hall was a great bar The Wild Boys excellent, Rock the Boat their normal great tunes. Boleros lovely bar but karaoke every night ruined it. Bionic Bar, do it for the novelty and don't bother with it for the rest of your cruise The ship missed a bar such as Olive or Twist where you could go relax watch the sunset whilst listening to live music. Theatre same as on Freedom class, shows OK Darren Day show was the best performance. We only used complimentary restaurants Windjammer layout better on Freedom class as all the food is at the front during busy times you cannot move and you may then never find the pancake and omelette bar by the outside seating at the back of the Windjammer. Silk and Chic food was excellently cooked and presented but the food tasted bland and the restaurants seemed dark. The Grande whilst excellent in every aspect food service decoration is let down by guests dress, in fact dress codes across ship need reviewing. American Icon excellent. The only problem we had was we kept being seated next to the waiter station or in a corner when the restaurants were not even half full and as such asked to move tables on 3 out of 5 nights. Solarium big space lacking seating, family area pools fine good areas, the pool with roof lovely area just smells like your local swimming pool. Seaplex dodgems and roller skating over rated but for young families excellent, area seemed under used, activities tended to happen at not the most appropriate timed. North Star good fun but once you have done it what else can you do with it. I fly excellent would of purchased a lesson but too expensive Flowrider has no protection from the winds but it's a favourite of mine, the sports staff member from Liverpool and the chap from America were both excellent always helping. Dress code the ladies dressed up anyway as always, and as usual let down by most of the men. It just seemed weird that a formal dress code for grande restaurant actually means anything as long as you have a jacket, bring back Smart Casual and Formal nights. On the whole great ship great facilities great cruise. In my world remove the Royal Esplanade and replace it with the Royal Promenade,keep 270 and bring in Smart Casual and Formal Nights, the you have the perfect ship in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Excellent time, ship is a beautiful. Cabin great and always had the room made up by our steward. Boarding the ship was very easy again. We never use the wind jammer due to never been able to get a table and do not like bun fights waiting ... Read More
Excellent time, ship is a beautiful. Cabin great and always had the room made up by our steward. Boarding the ship was very easy again. We never use the wind jammer due to never been able to get a table and do not like bun fights waiting for food, just does not appeal to us much rather have a civilised meal in one of the restaurants or the 270. Facilities great, only down side was the shops were not completely stocked due to stock not arriving in time. Food was amazing, staff were fantastic, Jaimie's Italian was lovely. Schooners bar needed more staff as always busy. The dream show was not as good as we hope it to be but Spectras was amazing again, comedian was very funny. Commemorative gifts for first cruise were really nice. The behind the scenes tour was over priced. Captain was really nice. Overall a fantastic cruise and spoilt on the maiden voyage as will not experience that again. Never had to queue apart from guest services. Yes there were teething problems with drinks packages but nothing that could not be put right, people reserving sun beds in the solarium and then not coming back is always annoying and staff should be lifting off towels when this occurs. Staff are always lovely on cruises they could not be faulted. The butterfly wall was especially something to write about very special when you touch one it flew around the screen. Great cruise and would definitely cruise again with them. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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