688 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the ship, not for the destinations as it was a repositioning cruise and we had previously done all these ports. Our cabin was terrific, a bit skinnier than I expected, from the photos that I had previously seen. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ship, not for the destinations as it was a repositioning cruise and we had previously done all these ports. Our cabin was terrific, a bit skinnier than I expected, from the photos that I had previously seen. Lots of storage space, we had lots of spare space. Tea and coffee making facilities in room. Desk and full size lounge suite in room. Bathroom big enough. We had to book the shows and that worked out well, Just turned up on your night. The North Star was good, we tried the bumper cars and the roller skating..all fun. There was not enough room for Zumba in the original venue allocated, so they changed this to the sports court to accommodate everyone. Food in the Windjammers was wonderful when we ate there. Better than normal. The restaurants (all four of them) were okay, usual food for R.C. Could have stepped this up a bit. You would not know you were on a ship, very smooth sailing. The ship is very well thought out, everything where it should be. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were offered this cruise at the last minute and the deal was terrific. The ship is huge with over 4,000 passengers. Getting away in Sydney was well organized as we did everything online before we left and we were members of the ... Read More
We were offered this cruise at the last minute and the deal was terrific. The ship is huge with over 4,000 passengers. Getting away in Sydney was well organized as we did everything online before we left and we were members of the Crown and Anchor Loyalty Club and this made things even more streamlined. So prepare before you sail. The ship itself was lavish although the Silk dining room was dark and claustrophic. However, we found a fabulous restaurant at the front of the ship which suited us far better. The food was basically the same as the dining rooms as well. We had issue with the photographic section on the ship. We would have bought and posed for more photos but they were only available digitally. We preferred paper copies and this took nearly to the end of the cruise to clarify. So we missed out on some photographic memories we would have enjoyed. Other cruisers also complained about not being able to have photographs and said that they would also have bought more had this been available. They claimed that the photo printer was not working, but such a big ship only has one printer for photos was hard to believe. Staff were attentive but focus was made on getting tips and good reports. The entertainment was good quality but prior bookings were encouraged all the time. Made it hard to know days in advance if you wanted to go to a show or not. The daily newsletter was not well designed and you had to wade through lots of immaterial advertising to get the activities. An advance booklet of activities for the whole cruise would have been useful at the start of the cruise so that you could plan your activities to match booking. The Casino worked on US dollars and the system was complicated so we only had one go there even though we would probably have played the slots a bit more had it been more user friendly. The shore excursions we took ... the first one was well conducted and worked well for us. The second excursion was a shambles. It took nearly 2 hours to get us on the road. We were shuffled from one bus to another with drivers not knowing where they were going or who with. The second excursion therefore left out some of the sights and stops. The excursions were relatively expensive but in some ports there was no option. Getting off in Singapore was a shambles. People were running everywhere. However, in the end luggage was delivered and we made it to our destination, a bit flustered but in tact. Overall we will probably NOT cruise again on Ovation or RCL. We did not like that all costs on board were in US dollars with added hidden charges. Since the cruise left Australian waters with 90% of passengers Australian paying in US dollars was confusing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first ever cruise. We did a lot of reading of reviews prior to departure and must say that there are a lot of people who were very negative to Ovation, which I must admit made us a little nervous of the 14 days ahead of us. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We did a lot of reading of reviews prior to departure and must say that there are a lot of people who were very negative to Ovation, which I must admit made us a little nervous of the 14 days ahead of us. People moaned about embarking, queues for restaurant and shows, food, rooms and disembarking.......... seriously I am not sure what ship they had all been on !!!!! As first timers we embarked in Sydney and with an appointment time of 11.00 and were totally processed and enjoying being on board by 11.20 ! Our cabin was much larger than expected and everything could be unpacked and stored away, making us very comfortable for the two weeks. Our stateroom attendant was amazing and basically a personal butler service! ALL restaurants were fantastic, food of a very high quality..... No queues to speak off and people lets remember we are on holiday so if you had to wait 2 mins for food or a drink, it is not like you had anywhere else to be. We did hear some very rude comments from SOME impatient, obnoxious passengers around the ship and had to hold back from telling them to get over themselves. We attended amazing speakers on several subjects, unbelievable stage shows and headline acts. At the end of our cruise the total embarkation process was smooth, bearing in mind there were 4000 people needing to get off and go somewhere. Friendly helpful staff helping all those that required it. This cruise has certainly set the bar for us, we have just had the most amazing two weeks, made some great new friends and been served by the most passionate and friendly crew you could wish for. Thanks OVATION. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Embarkation in Sydney was quick and impressive and demarkation at Singapore was very smooth and orderly and as we were in no hurry we didn't mind waiting to be in one of the last groups. There were a lot of people on board but no ... Read More
Embarkation in Sydney was quick and impressive and demarkation at Singapore was very smooth and orderly and as we were in no hurry we didn't mind waiting to be in one of the last groups. There were a lot of people on board but no point whinging about this because it is very clear how many passengers it takes. I had no issues with anything except selfish passengers who try to reserve all the lounges around the pools whilst they go off eating or other activities. This isn't a reflection on RCI, just Australian passengers. Service was good as always but I don't think they have the right staff to passenger ratios, especially in some bars and coffee areas, I think they underestimated how we Australians like a drink, coffee as well as alcohol. My only issue was the cabin and the crew noise - not complaining about the crew as they deserve to have a party and/or concert but they need to soundproof Cabin 7510 or use it as a storeroom. Loved the location of Michaels Pub where I could have a quiet beer whilst the boss went shopping. Great entertainment, just make sure you book it before to depart. Anytime dining worked well for us. Overall, this ship isn't for me, as I don't like the big crowds, but I would certainly recommend it, but just steer clear of Cabin 7510. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
First the good news: if an issue can be cleared up, the crew will do it. To the person, everyone who worked on the ship took pride in their jobs and went beyond the call. From the light and sound technicians to the chefs, the front and ... Read More
First the good news: if an issue can be cleared up, the crew will do it. To the person, everyone who worked on the ship took pride in their jobs and went beyond the call. From the light and sound technicians to the chefs, the front and back of house personnel were the most helpful I've seen on a ship. Food was excellent and the waiter loved her job. We made a request of the chef for a dinner of his choice of Filipino food and he cooked us not one, but two of the best meals I've had outside the RP. Entertainment was spotty. "Live, Love, Legs" was the better of the two production shows. It was fluffy, with lots of costume changes and attractive singers/dancers. The second show was a jukebox with an odd plot of a sea captain whose soulmate dies, but he meets her again in a dream. Good music, but the book tried too hard to be a real story instead of an excuse to sing pop songs. The dedicated and aptly named Music Hall was host to a house band, Rock The Boat. They did 60s through 80s music and filled the seats for almost every show and only did a couple of repeat songs the whole cruise. I went to see them nightly. There were also Beatles, Rolling Stones, and an AC/DC tribute bands, all filling the venue. Some of the Headliners were right out of the Ed Sullivan show. A magician, and a juggler. Oddly, it was the juggler who did a disappearing act (making his audience disappear). My friends are Midwestern nice and even they left both shows early - along with quite a few others. The solo singer and the violinist were quite good. On the bad side, the ship itself is different. Not in a good way. The first thing you'll notice is that there is a fore and midship set of elevators, located about 1/3 and 1/2 way through the ship. If you're aft, plan on walking a distance to get to the stairs/elevators. The second largest venue, 270, is a hodgepodge of seating and staging. Two disconnected stages with lifts instead of traditional backstages make for a lot of wasted space and logistical issues since the raising/lowering took a good amount of time. The industrial robots holding projection screens are gimmicky, but the projection screens that raise to block the aft windows (about 170 degrees, hardly 270) were put to good use for the beach party theme and the DaVinci multimedia show. In all, I liked the cruise. But the crew starts off at a disadvantage because of the ship itself. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was a much anticipated cruise. We picked this cruise more for the ship than for the itinerary, which may have been our mistake. I am not sure if it was all the hype regarding the ship which made our expectations a bit too high and ... Read More
This was a much anticipated cruise. We picked this cruise more for the ship than for the itinerary, which may have been our mistake. I am not sure if it was all the hype regarding the ship which made our expectations a bit too high and the amount of sea days had a lot to do with it. First off I would like to say that they ship is beautiful, could not fault any of the amenities or permanent activities eg ifly, bumper cars, flowrider etc. The staff were always very helpful, friendly and never had to wait long at a bar for a drink, of course sometimes you did have to wait but in comparison to local bars then I felt the service was rather quick and a lot more friendly. Our room attendant left us the most amazing towel animals each night and our room was always attended too when we were not in it Food at the MDR was great, we had my time dining but had booked our seating times prior to the cruise, having the app on our phone made it very easy to cancel or change that booking. Our wait staff were great, food was tasty and a good variety. We did sometimes have to wait a minute or two to find a table at the windjammer but that was mainly because my husband wanted to sit in the main area, there were always plenty of seats further down the ship. There was always a good variety of food at the buffet with each night having a different theme, on the few times that we did eat dinner in the windjammer I did struggle with finding something I liked to eat but that is because I am a fussy eater. But as I said they did seem to have a wide variety so the normal eater would love it. I had high expectations of the RCI productions which may be the reason I was disappointed, I think I expected something better, they were good but just not as spectacular as I thought they would be. We had a good range of headliners but really loved The Lions Den – this could be because I had no idea who they were or what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed there show. We also had a female singer – sorry I forget her name, she was amazing, she belted out songs from Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and others without a problem, she nailed it and also put on a great show. The magician, juggler and hypnotist were also very good and I enjoyed their shows. I felt the only thing that let the sailing down was the scheduled activities, I believe this could have been due to the amount of sea days – I am not sure if is because all previous sailing were shorter or had more port days etc – and exploring the ship does take some time, so I can understand that the scheduled activities would not have to be as regular. But after a few days straight of sea days you have had the opportunity to know the ship and explore it a fair bit, so I think there needed to be more scheduled activities during the day. They did not show any daytime movies on the outdoor screen like on other cruisers which were disappointing, they did show movies at night but it was not a nightly activity. If you are a trivia buff then you would have loved this cruise, I believe they had 5 trivia’s a day. They did run zumba in the morning and a few dance classes. But on a whole I was disappointed with the scheduled activities either with the lack of things at certain times or when they did have a good range of them they seemed to be scheduled at the same time so you ended up missing out of some of them. I understand that there were 4500 ppl on the ship and you cannot cater to everyone. I was disappointed that after showing one movie in 2/70 that they had some complaints from the elder generation so they pulled that movie and would not show it again, I personally was not a huge fan of the movie, it was ok, but not that bad. As I said there is a wide range of ppl to cater for so why not keep that movie on for the younger ones or the fans of the super hero movies. If you are a laze by the pool all day and you could find a lounge then you would have been in heaven. I would recommend going on ovation for the experience. I would sail her again if the prices came down and with an itinerary with a wider range of ports. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We sailed from Sydney to Singapore on the ovation. As suite members we found the embarkation and disembarkation experience great as we obviously had priority. The ship is very big and beautiful and being new has far more advanced ... Read More
We sailed from Sydney to Singapore on the ovation. As suite members we found the embarkation and disembarkation experience great as we obviously had priority. The ship is very big and beautiful and being new has far more advanced technology than most other ships.there is lots to do on the ship so you will never be bored. As someone with a mobility problem I did find it a bit too big for me with a lot of walking to get from one place to the other and it was a fair walk to the toilet. Our cabin was a major disappointment. We paid a large price for a superior grand suite and it was small. the bathroom was good however the bedroom and lounge room were very narrow. it had a large balcony that we rarely used so was of no use to us. I would have preferred more room inside. Its beautifully decorated just not big enough for the title grand suite. The suite service was also way below average. For good suite service you are better going with celebrity. We had our own designated dining room (coastal kitchen) and the food was great and the service top notch. All the staff here were great. We also ate in American Icon and the buffet and both were good as well.DO NOT under any circumstances waste your money on kung fu panda. The food is worse than the most basic food court Chinese and an insult to Australians who appreciate good chinese food. the booked entertainment Pixels and live love legs and the other one were great definitely worth seeing. there are lots of great bars to visit and a musica hall for bands and a night club. There are a lot of activities but be aware there are weight limits which restrict many customers. I was refused entry to the flyover due to my weight (the flyover takes 12 people!!) to ad insult to injury they then put me in the wheelchair lift as I can't do stairs and then forgot about me so I was stuck in a perspex cylinder in 38 degree heat with high humidity. luckily someone finally notice me in a panic and they got me out before I passed out. No apology by the way. The service is great particularly by the Filipino and Indonesian staff. There are quite a few Chinese staff on board as the ship spends a lot of time in asia and they could learn a lot about customer service from the Filipinos and indonesians as they can come across as quite cold. This was a relocation cruise so there weren't many ports which we prefer as we love sea days. All in all it was a good cruise with a few minor hiccups. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I chose this ship not for the destination but to have the experience of a new and large ship. The ship was beautiful, everything is new and very modern. The specialty restaurants were amazing with fine detail from the elegant furnishings ... Read More
I chose this ship not for the destination but to have the experience of a new and large ship. The ship was beautiful, everything is new and very modern. The specialty restaurants were amazing with fine detail from the elegant furnishings to the stunning menus. The main dining rooms unlike other ships did not have any atmosphere. In my opinion it would have been better to have one large room with more levels. The Windjammer was well set out and was one of the best buffet's I have seen. There were plenty of activities to participate in if you choose to do so. The Seaplex seemed to be a wasted space and wasn't used to capacity. There were plenty of bars and lounges but whenever there was something on it was impossible to get a seat as they were all too small for the volume of passengers. Getting a drink was a mammoth task at the busy bars as there was never enough staff, so it took a while to get served. The Solarium is the most amazing area with its pools and decor. Of course there are always the inconsiderate people who think it is their right to put their towels all over the chairs to reserve them. Overall the ship was great, the staff could not have been more pleasant and always bending over backwards to fulfill any requests. Embarking and disembarking were very quick and pleasant, no waiting very streamline. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I am sorry that I cannot give this beautiful ship a 5 star rating, but a number of minor things let her down. (Our perspective anyway.) On the plus side, because of the size we rarely had a problem finding a seat in bars, coffee shops and ... Read More
I am sorry that I cannot give this beautiful ship a 5 star rating, but a number of minor things let her down. (Our perspective anyway.) On the plus side, because of the size we rarely had a problem finding a seat in bars, coffee shops and restaurants. The variety was great. We dined in American Icon every night and the food was tops. The staff were very professional and accommodating. If something wasn't on the menu they endeavoured to get it for you, usually with success. Plenty of pools and shelter. The Solarium is brilliant, but I used the outdoor pool as it was more refreshing. Stateroom with balcony was a good size and the shower was great. North Star was fantastic. Not to be missed. Not enough hanging space for dresses or long tops though. On the negative side the biggest problem was not enough staff at peak times. The staff were wonderful and worked as quickly as possible, but they can only do so much. RCC take note. In the Theatre the supporting pillars mean that quiet a few seats remain empty as you cannot see if near them. Also in 270 Theatre, unless you sit directly in front of the stage you miss bits. Too many "Information" Seminars and Trivia held in small areas, but to their credit they did shift this after a few complaints. The best thing were the passengers especially the "Jaffas".. If you have the chance to join a Cruise group before your cruise, do yourself a favour and join. Wonderful people and new friendships formed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Ovation has got everything, from all the restaurants, bars, music venues to all the activities such as Ifly, flowrider, North Star, bumper cars, rock climbing, bionic bar. The ship is massive, so there's always a quiet spot to do some ... Read More
Ovation has got everything, from all the restaurants, bars, music venues to all the activities such as Ifly, flowrider, North Star, bumper cars, rock climbing, bionic bar. The ship is massive, so there's always a quiet spot to do some reading/resting, to have a bite to eat or a drink. Recommend Wonderland, Jamie Oliver's, Chop's grille, there is a surcharge but the quality of the food and the service is well worth the extra money. The cabins are well laid out, modern and functional. The gym is impressive with plenty of cardio and weight training equipment. If you're competitive there is table tennis, basketball, soccer, volleyball, dodgeball, pool volleyball, trivia quizzes. Getting on and off the ship was mostly well organised. There's an app you can download to book all your activities, dinners, excursions, shows etc. Cruise suitable for the active and those who like to relax. Looking forward to sailing on her again, loved it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
10th cruise for us and we do know the good from the bad. We sailed 14 nights from Sydney to Singapore on board the mighty Ovations of the sea. The expectations were high but the reality was disappointing. 1- We booked based on ... Read More
10th cruise for us and we do know the good from the bad. We sailed 14 nights from Sydney to Singapore on board the mighty Ovations of the sea. The expectations were high but the reality was disappointing. 1- We booked based on dynamic dinning. Different restaurants with different menus. Then was changed without letting us know to My time dinning same menu in all restaurants ( So Boring ). Small restaurants were designed for dynamic dinning turning them into my time dinning was a very bad idea. 2- We booked based on NO formal nights then they changed to 3 formal nights. 3- We had an anniversary day which we informed the cruise line upon booking. We were IGNORED. 4- Cruise director Jimmy was the worst I have have seen on a cruise ship. I wrote him a review for the daily morning news about our anniversary being ignored and he IGNORED that too. Didn't even read our letter review. So Sad. He wasn't even funny or bubbly and showed no concern. 5- The soda machines were a joke. 5 available ( 4 of them not working at all and the fifth got no diet option at all ). The problem is that they were selling the glass for USD $10 a day with no machines working ( It was on my review to the cruise director and he IGNORED that too. 6- Menu at restaurants was not even a 3 stars dinning. Terrible options. Steak was on the menu maybe for only 4 nights compared to being on the classic options daily in all cruises we been on. Desserts were very bad. Windjammer had 2 main stations for main food and repeats meals almost every day. 2 days they served pealed and cut bananas as fruits and they were old which was the main reason they served it so not to throw away. One of the passengers was so annoyed and thet removed it only after he talked to the chef. Food standards were very low. 7- TV programs still very bad. No List. No Good movies. Even the movies on the big screen were bad and mostly animated. $13 you need to pay to watch a new movie on TV. Rip Off. 8- We had to choose the specialty restaurants as there was no good food at the main restaurants. Jimmie oliver was good. Wonderland was a waste of money. Chop Grill was good BUT they asked us for $10 extra if any choose 2 mains !! Lobster to pay extra $21 on top of what you paid for the specialty restaurant which was $49. Rip Off. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have had 6 cruises on Royal Caribbean,on 5 ships and are now Diamond Members of Crown & Anchor. We have enjoyed every cruise. Our latest cruise on Ovation from Sydney to Singapore was no exception unfortunately certain areas were ... Read More
We have had 6 cruises on Royal Caribbean,on 5 ships and are now Diamond Members of Crown & Anchor. We have enjoyed every cruise. Our latest cruise on Ovation from Sydney to Singapore was no exception unfortunately certain areas were not up to Standard. We met some fantastic people on this cruise. The ship is new and really beautiful - missing a few favourites like; the large Royal Promenade; Café Promenade was very small; almost No Duty Free, expensive and no Johnny Rockets to mention just a few things. Specialty Dining - We eat in Chops Grill - good standard; Jamie's Italian - very poor food - we were very disappointed; Wonderland the BEST dining experience on any RCCL ship we have experienced - just in front of Chef's Table. Ovation does not have one large dining room but 4 small ones - like many other guests we preferred the large dining room. We eat in Chic & Silk. I sent back 2 main courses; one not med/rare and on the final night sent back the Lamb Cutlets as I could not cut the meat even when I requested a steak knife. This occurred on the last night of the cruise and I heard a lot complaints about the Windjammer on the last night. This should have been the best meal of the cruise - leave the guests with a positive experience. The staff in the dining room were great and you could not fault them. The Indonesian staff in the bars and coffee shop, were great with good personalities and a sense of fun. Having to book everything i.e. shows etc. was a nightmare. People, pre cruise booked and then no showed. Check-in in Sydney was very fast and smooth. Disembarking in Singapore was good but a little crazy in the hunt for a cab. RCCL we love you but you have to keep your standards up - otherwise?????? Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The activities.Something for everyone, an endless stream of activities food and entertainment. We booked this cruise with the intention of enjoying the ship and we did.The ports where not a priority for us. Staff fantastic. Only ... Read More
The activities.Something for everyone, an endless stream of activities food and entertainment. We booked this cruise with the intention of enjoying the ship and we did.The ports where not a priority for us. Staff fantastic. Only difference to this cruise to our previous was the whole ship from eating to activities to dress code was more relaxed. Formal nights were kept to formal nights with shorts and shirts all fine on any other night in MDR. Our 20 year old twins and 23 year old daughter partied most nights in the nightclub till the early hours. Ovation delivered in all areas,the 4300 people on board never seemed crowded or cramped. My only recommendation is to book all shows in advance and plan your days by checking the planner use the Royal IQ app for booking and your cruise compass. I would book again anytime, read other reviews keeping in mind people are more likely to complain than to compliment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
New large ship which had very pleasant decor. Nightly entertainment was great with lots going on - few bands in different locations playing great music. Acts in the theatre were all good and enjoyable and was about the only time there was ... Read More
New large ship which had very pleasant decor. Nightly entertainment was great with lots going on - few bands in different locations playing great music. Acts in the theatre were all good and enjoyable and was about the only time there was a crowd of people - else where on the ship as in bars and lounges it was not at all busy as you may expect with so many on board. Any que at the dining rooms seemed to move quick enough. But this is where our dissapoinment was - food badly presented and limited menue with a fillett steak and chops COSTING USD 10 - have never heard of this on any cruise we have been on!!! This was our 12 th cruise after having travelled Oceania, APT, Holland America , Cunard and never have we had such uninteresting meals . Same vegetables each night , carrots even cut exactly the same way , tough meat and deserts not looking appealing - no garnish with berries only scoop of melted ice- cream !!! Ordered egg benidect for breakfast and it arrived without the hollandaise sauce -,chicken Kiev with no garlic butter!!! Our meal in Chops was indeed tasty and enjoyable, Jamie Oliver's was ok but didn't need a return visit. Staff tried really hard to rectify our complaint - but the problems were from the kitchen and with over 4000 guests I think to feed the crowd was a priority over delicious meals sadly. All staff were very attentive. Because we have cruised many times we had these to compare with Ovation of the Seas and were so dissapointed with our dining experiences , especially with lots of days at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Following our 30 day cruise from Barcelona to Singapore on the Qantum of the Seas in 2015 we believed the newly built Ovation of the Seas would match the exceptional experience we had in 2015. The quality of food and variety was definitely ... Read More
Following our 30 day cruise from Barcelona to Singapore on the Qantum of the Seas in 2015 we believed the newly built Ovation of the Seas would match the exceptional experience we had in 2015. The quality of food and variety was definitely inferior. The food on the Qantum was outstanding, not sure if this was because the itinerary commenced from the east coast of America and all food was taken on board in USA. The food this time around may have been sourced elsewhere given the Ovation has been in Australia since November 2016. We have travelled on 5 other Royal Carribbean cruises and the entertainment has always been of a high standard this time it was just ok, maybe 50 % of the two weeks was worth attending. Slow service at all bars however the bar staff in the Diamond Club were exceptional. The Kung Foo Panda restaurant Asian food was dreadful certainly not to the standard of the food we experienced in Singapore on our disembarkation. Overall beautiful ship with great ammenities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Been on 2 other cruises before and the Ovation is the best one so far. I was really apprehensive before this cruise because of all the negative reviews but decided to keep an open mind and to learn from the bad experience others had which ... Read More
Been on 2 other cruises before and the Ovation is the best one so far. I was really apprehensive before this cruise because of all the negative reviews but decided to keep an open mind and to learn from the bad experience others had which works great for me. Keys to a good cruise on a big ship like the Ovation - planned for everything. I booked everything online - North Star, iFly, all the shows, dining and drink packages. It is the key to stress free cruising. (I am in my 30s - might be a reason why I had no issues using the online cruise planner. I thought it worked great.) Embarkation - easy peasy. Online check in was quick and simple. Uploaded our photos and booked in for boarding at 12:30pm. Arrived at 12:25pm at OST and was on board in 20 mins, with the majority of the time spent waiting for immigration. Our room was already ready for us as soon as we board. Dining - We got the 5 nights dining package so we tried all the specialty restaurants on board. The service for all restaurants, specialty and complementary, are top notch, better than many land based restaurants. - Wonderland was interesting but we tried a similar format in other restaurants on land so it wasnt as unique. We found the food to be so so only. Still worth a tried if you haven't done anything like this before. - Izumi - I am not a fan. We tried this on the first night, hoping the fish will be freshest but sadly that isn't the case. Many of the dishes were heavy on mayo which isn't the kind of sushi I preferred. - Jamie's Italian - Its as good, if not better than the one in Sydney. The portion are generous and everything was delicious. The pasta are freshly made, definitely better than other pasta offered around the ship. I highly recommend the lamb chops, they were the best I have had. We ate so much, we had to miss out on desserts. - Chops Grille - This is still the best restaurant at seas. We loved this so much we ate there twice. The fillet mignon and giant scallops are incredible. - Solarium Bistro - this was a paid restaurant for dinner but they changed it to complimentary before we board. Reservation are by invitation sent to each stateroom. The format is half buffet and half a la carte. There is a selection for main you ordered through the waiter and the starters, sides and desserts are layout as a buffet. I enjoyed the buffet very much, it is lighter than the Windjammer but there are only 5 choices for main course. The food are delicious but we didnt go back again due to the limited main available. - Michael's Genuine Pub - The foods were okay but a bit too salty for us. I was disappointed at the beer offering here. I was hoping for craft beer, something different from those offered around the ship. - Kung Fu Panda - This is the worst meal we had on board. We had the curry noodle and the spicy beef noodle and both were terrible. The stock were watery and tasteless and the beef were really tough. It is outdoor so it was quite warm (we were near Darwin at the time). I think we must be the only one that ate there. Mostly I see people eating food they got from the Windjammer. - Windjammer - This is the best buffet I have ever had, better than all the other windjammer and even Shangri la in Sydney. The food were really good and the variety was just enough to keep every meal interesting. I loved that they do theme night which is advertised in the Cruise Compass. The manager, Deepak, is quite a comedian. He usually give a little speech on the PA system, telling funny (usually sexist and sometime a little inappropriate) jokes. He put a smile on all the guest faces. We had most of our meals here, preferring the food here over the MDR. It can get busy here during peak hours so we try to dine a little early or a little late and to find seat towards the back of the ship. A little further away from the food but also from the noise. - Main Dining Room - We only dined here twice, preferring the Windjammer. The separate dining rooms were more intimate but it lacked the grandeur of a traditional dining room. I would have prefer they kept the dynamic dining concept, it would have been more interesting than having different rooms serving the same food. The decor also doesn't match the food, especially when dining in Silk, with its red, pan Asian decor. The food was okay but it was just the usual RC MDR fair, nothing special. - Bionic Bar - this was fun to watch. It doesnt get used much, never had to queue. I loved that they have a good variety of non alcoholic drinks. Entertainment North Star - We did this twice, once just up and down and then later in the cruise, they set it up to swing over the side. It was just a gimmick, wasn't really that interesting. Not really worth all the fuss. iFly - good fun, definitely worth a try. Doen't really feel like flying, more like falling. Escape Room - this was just a room next to the Seaplex. we booked it via iQ app or you can book at the Seaplex desk. It wasn't a purpose built room so it lacked the intrigue. It was also challenging as you have to work with complete strangers. Only one team and ours had 15 ppl. It was good fun but the staff wasn't really into it. Unless other escape room, the staff actually stand right next to us and they kind of looked bored most of the time. Shows at the Royal theatre - Live.Love.Leg & The beautiful dream. Spectacular shows, they really invested in the stage, prop and costumes, definitely comparable to shows on land. Live.Love.Legs is a Vagas style cabaret show, lots of flesh (nothing too inappropriate) but I think some of my follow guests are a little shocked (most are elderly). Quite funny to watch their expression. We also had usual singers, comedian, magician and a hypnotists which was true astonishing to watch. Really enjoyed all the shows here. Shows at 270 - 270 was a great venue. Truly spectacular. Pixel was an interesting combination of acrobatics, singing and dancing, utilising the many screens around the venue. Other shows there wasn't as great, it feels like they are still trying to develop shows that will fully utilise this space. All access tour - Really interesting and worth the price. We get to see just how much work are needed to keep this ship running smoothly. Seeing the difference in crew vs guest area is a little sobering for me. It is a different world down there. Not to say the crew were treated badly, it just the difference in the guest area is stark. It really highlight the opulence. It is also good to see that most of the fresh produce are from Australia, I had always thought they source all supply from the US. The bridge tour was also a highlight. We were lucky to have Captain Henrik there to explain the going on in the bridge for us. The Dreamwork character breakfast - I dont think this is worth the price. They have the same characters that were in the promenade throughout the cruise and they serve the same breakfast as the main dining room. Disembarkation - Guest services failed again. I have found this area to be the weakest of the whole RC operation. I have had issues with billing and guest services on every cruise I took with them. We chose the self disembark option, wanting to make the most of the time we had in Singapore. We were ready to leave the ship at 9am but was sent back to guest services at the gangway, no explanation on why. The queue at guest services are always long. Turned out they didn't validate my credit card correctly and needed my signature again. Would have been nice for them to maybe call me the night before instead of turning me back at the gangway.That took 40 mins. Just before I left the counter, I noticed they have overcharged me because they have setup my partner's account separate to mine and didn't take into account his OBC. Never trust Guest services accounting, they cant count. Overall it was still a wonderful cruise, it was the longest one we have done, with the most sea days. I was worried we will get bored but there are so much to do on this ship that it kept us well entertained. To have a good cruise on a mega ship, you will need to be organised - book as much as you can before you board, do your research (there are no amenities in the bathroom, there never were) and be prepared to wait a little for things (go early for shows, for bar services, to disembark). Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We, like many others were somewhat anxious after reading unflattering reviews about this ship....Thankfully we went aboard with open minds & soon discovered this truly was an exceptional ship operated to the highest standards. Prior ... Read More
We, like many others were somewhat anxious after reading unflattering reviews about this ship....Thankfully we went aboard with open minds & soon discovered this truly was an exceptional ship operated to the highest standards. Prior to embarkation we spent a week enjoying Sydney staying at an apartment in the city, an easy transfer to the ship saw us waiting in good time for our designated embarkation time, we joined the queue & within minutes were inside with one of the assistants being checked in, taking all of 5 minutes before again joining a short line for the immigration officers, overall the process took about 20 minutes & considering the number of guests joining the cruise it was very well organised. Once aboard we were very pleased with what we saw, the ship is designed with many innovative features & plenty of space, the Royal esplanade on decks 4 & 5 felt particularly spacious as did Two70 lounge with its expansive views, bars & bistro style food outlet. A minor complaint & this is leveled at more the clientele rather than the ship or her company, when there are large numbers of guests trying to enjoy the sail-away experience, for example behind the Flo Rider, please allow the guests who have already found a spot at the deck rail the opportunity to actually see without being almost climbed over for a vantage point, a family we christened the 'Griswalds' enjoyed a great vantage after the mum & dad enabled the 2 kids to climb on stacked deckchairs, to which two elderly fellows then followed suit each standing precariously above the handrail... Re our dining choices...we enjoyed our late sitting dining in our designated restaurant the Grande, our waiters Hermanshu and Kadek were very attentive and provided great personal service, the food was always cooked to our liking & menu choices were also fine. Stylistically, the decor of the Grande was the most impressive of the restaurants we dined in, like being aboard one of the great liners of the past. A couple of issues, though we had requested a table of 6 to 8, on many evenings areas were quite empty which spoiled the overall ambiance, also there were the few 'shorts brigade' folk that were warned early on... but continued to push the dress code boundaries for the duration of the cruise. Chops and Jamie's were both great, the food and service were excellent. Unfortunately, Wonderland was disappointing, both the food and the experience overall. We booked an evening at the Solarium Bistro & were delighted with the combination of A La Carte & buffet selections, this was originally a Pay for choice dining option but was changed just prior to this cruise, the steak was almost as good as at Chops... We only ate in the Windjammer a couple of times & only for lunch, the variety of food seemed fine but it was a busy venue. Other positive daytime dining experiences were the Solarium and the cafe @Two70... breakfast in the solarium was always enjoyable, good choices & not too busy. A criticism - we found the bar service at times to be a little slow, more bar staff needed. The entertainment was overall of a high standard with the exception of "The Dream" which could have had some additional explanation, we did pre book the 3 main shows, although we did arrive early for the first of the Pixels shows we had very limited views due to the configuration of the lower stage.The solo entertainers & troupe were terrific, some amazing voices & the on board band was outstanding. One point, although we didn't pick this cruise for the ports, other than Darwin the ports of call were located a long distance from the port areas, the Port Klang cultural Experience tour was not up to standard, due to our late departure our last stop was short & there wasn't any suitable eating venues (or toilet stops) so a late lunch once on board had to suffice. Disembarkation in Singapore was a breeze, we chose to carry our own luggage, we were through immigration & in a taxi in 15 minutes... We chose the Mercure Grand Roxy hotel due to it's proximity to both the port & the airport, early check in to our Club room meant we were able to enjoy the lounge on level 17 & evening canapes & drinks overlooking the Singapore Straights... Overall a great experience... Thank you Royal Caribbean, Captain Henrik Loy & your fantastic staff. Regards, BaliHai32. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were looking forward to this cruise since we booked the original 23 January sailing on the date bookings originally opened. We were disappointed though that our cruise was like an after thought with the ship not stocked and running out ... Read More
We were looking forward to this cruise since we booked the original 23 January sailing on the date bookings originally opened. We were disappointed though that our cruise was like an after thought with the ship not stocked and running out of things starting early on in the sailing. Following on from the mess of the sailing being rescheduled I feel a bit ripped off given we paid top dollar but essentially only got whatever they had left. Overall the ship is nice and new, the artwork is worth seeing and there are lots of bells and whistles. However most of the things once you have done them you don't want to do them again. Likes: 1. The ease of embarkation at Sydney. All automated. Line moved very quickly. Pleased to see that people who turned up before their allotted time were turned away. 2. Bags took six hours to arrive but did arrive before dinner 3. D1 cabin 12648 was lovely. Plenty of room and adequate storage. 2 USB ports plus 2 US sockets meant plenty of ability to charge everything. Balcony was great size 4. Footstools on balcony made for comfortable relaxing 5. Cabin steward was good although we hardly ever saw him. Room was always serviced whilst we were walking or at breakfast 6. I fly was excellent, and well organised 7. Availability of onboard photos as digital rather than print (good thing as their printer was broken for half the cruise). The cost at $299US tho remains a bit too expensive 8. The wow bands are great except they ran out of ones with the correct allocated lifeboat station. They also don't tell you they cost $4.99 US 9. Bar staff at Northstar bar are excellent although some of the other bars are difficult to get served at unless you are a regular 10. Mix and Mingle the bionic bar robots can be great fun to watch dance. Standard menu Cocktails are average but you can make your own 11. Restaurants Wonderland an Jamie's Italian very good ... but keep an open mind for Wonderland. Wonderland is not a place to take children 12. Dodgem cars. Excellent but they should clearly seperate session for teenagers from adults as the teenagers can ruin it by behaving poorly 13. Windjammer freshly baked cookies Dislikes: 1. Windjammer. Food selection was essentially the same every day. Food was over cooked and over salted. Again, virtually impossible to get a seat regardless of how early / late you arrive 2. Dining room service was adequate but the food was production line bland, poor choices and we were stuck in a cramped space at the back of Silk for my time dining. 3. Bookings for Northstar. We booked online before we left as we were encouraged to do but it only went up and not out. They didn't do that until the last few days of the cruise but because you had booked earlier you weren't allowed to book a second session so we're forced to stand in line mostly in full sun for hours as people who had booked later sessions got priority. Max passengers is 14 with only 4 tickets reserved for the standby line. Most times there were more than 20 people in the queue and each ride took 20 mins. A very long time to stand in the full sun at 30+ degrees 4. We didn't try roller skating but many did and suffered the results in casts and slings. If you can't roller skate before you get on the ship, this is not the place to learn. 5. On board shopping. Hardly anything available. Everthing was sold out. Couldn't even buy a fridge magnet which has now messed up my collection for every RCI ship we have been on. Only tshirts were small and the occasional medium size. The central area shopping was basically the same everyday with little selection ...waste of time and waste of the very crowded central deck space 6. There is virtually no shade on deck 15 so you won't have trouble getting a deck chair ...if you want to burn 7. Chops Grill. We do this on every ship but it was very production line and no atmosphere. Their colossal shrimp cocktail which is usually very big fresh prawns consisted of 3 frozen tasteless prawns. Need to do better! 8. Air hockey. 2 tables one not working and it costs 9. Spa. We all know it is overpriced but they encourage you to enter their sail away prize draw which we won one of to find it was only valid whilst in port. Fair enough if there are a lot of ports but with only 3 ports in 14 nights not a prize that can be used. 10. Disembarkation. We booked a shore tour of Singapore sightseeing with hotel drop off. We booked it for the hotel drop off to find it was the hotel drop off tour with no hotel drop off except for 4 or 5 hotels. They need to make that clear and not mislead people. The disembarkation was reasonably easy. The shore tour was not. Buses has no numbers (we were bus 2). No one knew which was our bus. They couldn't find the driver. Yes you need to put your luggage on the bus. Haul it to the bus they think is the right one. No you need to leave it at the cruise terminal. Haul it all the way back. Get on the bus...yes this is bus 2 but bus 1 passengers are also getting on. Bus 2 people please get off. So you get off. Then they change their mind they have removed enough people please get back on. All this took about 90 mins. Better organisation required from whomever is looking after this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
this was the bogan cruise to nowhere, the food was cold the common areas were dirty, food everywhere & drink bottles staff could hardly speak English & had no idea staff were coughing with no hands over their mouth and ... Read More
this was the bogan cruise to nowhere, the food was cold the common areas were dirty, food everywhere & drink bottles staff could hardly speak English & had no idea staff were coughing with no hands over their mouth and picking noses the worst experience you could ever imagine You had to Que for everything so to buy a drink it was at least 1/2 hour cruise this was over $800 per double per night I expect better food and cleanliness at least, no wonder they have so many issues with picking up viruses Everybody complained on board as to how bad this cruise is and how the staff did not care that you had to wait, they did not have enough staff onboard to cater for the crowds what a mess this was Cabin quality was ok as it is a new ship but they need to provide toiletries Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having been on RC larger ship 'Allure of the Seas' in the Bahamas back in Dec 2014, we were looking forward to going on this 3 night getaway close to home. The 'Ovation of the Seas' is supposed to be a smaller ship but ... Read More
Having been on RC larger ship 'Allure of the Seas' in the Bahamas back in Dec 2014, we were looking forward to going on this 3 night getaway close to home. The 'Ovation of the Seas' is supposed to be a smaller ship but in a higher class, so we were expecting a more luxurious cruise. Well, this was not the case !!!!!! The 'Ovation of the Seas' is a lovely ship, very new and clean. We really didn't have anything bad to say regarding the ship itself. The suite, activities and entertainment were also good especially 'The Australian Beatles' Show. Our actual experience on board the ship was disappointing :( We found most of the staff not very friendly. It appeared that there were not enough staff to cater for the passengers. The wait to get a table in the Buffet was over 1 hour. The food in general was quite bland and in the buffet, not very fresh either. Tables all over the ship not just in restaurants etc were not cleaned after people had left then when finished eating/drinking The wait to get a cappuccino/latte was over 1/2 hour. Our suite attendant was very rude, so much so that I made a formal complaint while on board and again in a letter to RC upon our return, but as yet have still not received a reply. This is disappointing to me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having cruised several times with Princess Cruises, we chose this sampler cruise on the Ovation of Seas because its is one of the newest and biggest ships to visit Australia. Also, it is good to see what other cruise companies have to ... Read More
Having cruised several times with Princess Cruises, we chose this sampler cruise on the Ovation of Seas because its is one of the newest and biggest ships to visit Australia. Also, it is good to see what other cruise companies have to offer. The ship itself is really good, packed with lots of technology and activities but that is about it. Maybe it was because it was a sampler cruise with 4900 plus guests that the on board experience was disappointing. There were too many guests wanting to do the North Star, Ripcord and Flow Rider, hence it was impossible for everyone to try these activities. You had to be up early to get a deck chair in the Solarium or missed out entirely. Annoying to see people reserve chairs by dropping towels on them and then disappearing for hours before coming back to use them. Ordering drinks from the bars or cafes meant long queues. I had to wait 25 minutes to be served in the Two Seventy cafe when ordering coffees. The food in the dining room and in Chops Grille was ordinary; have had better in the local shopping centre's food court. Windjammer was by far the best option for eating. The staff in Windjammer were friendly and attentive. Unlike in the Two Seventy cafe when a guest dropped their plate of food. Two senior staff just stood there and let other guests help clean up the mess. It took one of the wait staff to leave their station to finally help. Generally, drink wait staff were few and far between. We never had to wait too long to order drinks on our previous cruises. We are not blaming the staff for the poor service - just too many guests for the number of staff on duty. Guests that sail regularly with Royal Caribbean commented on the slowness compared to previous cruises. As for the shows - We attended both, and well, they were far from great. The artists have great voices but the sound was loud and lacked clarity. Being regular theatre goers, we know what makes a good performance and both shows didn't make it due to being too loud and hence lack of clarity. Overall, disappointed with our Royal Caribbean experience. They seem to be doing everything on the cheap - low quality food, under staffed and lacking in basic toiletries. We feel we definitely didn't get value for money. Royal Caribbean's gratuity rate is high at 18%. So are their prices very high. We will not be sailing with them again based on this experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I chose this cruise to introduce my son's family and my grandchildren to cruising. The ship offered a large range of children's activities backed by what i have experienced with RCCL on Caribbean Cruises. I booked the cruise ... Read More
I chose this cruise to introduce my son's family and my grandchildren to cruising. The ship offered a large range of children's activities backed by what i have experienced with RCCL on Caribbean Cruises. I booked the cruise in May 2016 after receiving RCCL notification. The grandchildren loved every minute and used all the activities on offer. I decided to do a trial run when I learned that I could cruise from Adelaide to Sydney last December. That cruise was terrible and was covered in my last review. Many other reviewers agreed with me, It appears that RCCL have been reading and listening as I found a vast improvement in almost all aspects of the running of the ship. Embarkation was smooth and I went from kerbside to ship in about 10 minutes.Disembarkation was just as good as I walked non stop from my cabin to the shore. There are two major faults that need addressing. Firstly the bar service is very, very slow. This also gives the impression that the ship is overcrowded. Secondly the pool area operation needs a major overhaul. The pool towels are not collected and there is no provision of return baskets as on other RCCL ships. Towels are left lying on chairs all day. Also there is very little collection of glassware and food plates from the pool area making the area look dirty. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
RC has managed to take a huge ship and make it feel cramped with no room for passengers to even pass in the corridor. While a brand new ship in excellent condition and with excellent technology, it was one of the least enjoyable and ... Read More
RC has managed to take a huge ship and make it feel cramped with no room for passengers to even pass in the corridor. While a brand new ship in excellent condition and with excellent technology, it was one of the least enjoyable and more stressful cruises i've been on. I don't recommend it. It's basically high density cruising with little regard for passenger space. Staffing at crew stations like bars are half that of most other cruise ships - expect to wait an hour for a drink most of the time, and have no where to sit, meanwhile being knocked by passengers who are trying to squeeze by in corridors that double as standing areas for venues. The ships is designed so every square inch makes money and to pack in as many passengers as possible. As in most cases the crew were excellent and tried their best, but obviously understaffed. I notice from reading previous reviews on this ship that typical cruise inclusions are being slowly eroded away, each cruise seems to have less. The ultimate drinks package for example (cap of $12) - all cocktails started at $14. An increasing portion of menus are additional cost, and not just in the specialty restaurants. As far as the specialty restaurants, it's a but rich to charge an expensive cover charge (more than any other cruise line/ship i've been on) but then on top of that charge again for special items. Most things on room service incur a small fee now except for absolute basics, and even then sometimes. The RC website was a disaster and completely stuffed us up. First - unlike any other cruise or air line it did not allow you to print your boarding pass three days before the cruise. I don;t do this as a rule to ensure I don't lose it or in case the cruise line makes changes etc. I'm not talking about making changes - that is fair enough, I mean just print a copy of the existing unchanged locked in cruise pass. Also website ruined all our transport/transfer arrangements. The online booking specifically asks you to pick a arrival and departure time - which we did. And based on these times we arranged our transfers - to be told at the last moment the times provided are nonsense and probably not even for this ship! This is the only cruise where I wanted to get off the ship at the end. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
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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