689 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
Although cruise ship is new the cabins are small, the 4 berth room is terrible as the bed is a fold out lounge which is like sleeping on a wooden board, the mattress is so thin it may as well not be there. Although this has new activities ... Read More
Although cruise ship is new the cabins are small, the 4 berth room is terrible as the bed is a fold out lounge which is like sleeping on a wooden board, the mattress is so thin it may as well not be there. Although this has new activities they are are so busy you never actually get to use them unless you book in advance, this the same for the shows and speciality restaurants. The food in the dining rooms is terrible. This ship is too large and short staffed to ensure good service is provided. The shopping is not as good as other cruise ships I have been on and limited in comparison to its size compared to other cruise ships. The smoking areas are non existent as they have allocation a small area on Deck 14 and smaller area on Deck 5, which is not large enough for the amount of people frequent this area. In my opinion this was not a value for money cruise and not enjoyable at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was the tenth cruise for my wife and I covering four different cruise lines. The Ovation is the biggest and newest ship to cruise out of Oz, so it was tempting to see what it was like. The 3 day sampler cruise was a good introduction ... Read More
This was the tenth cruise for my wife and I covering four different cruise lines. The Ovation is the biggest and newest ship to cruise out of Oz, so it was tempting to see what it was like. The 3 day sampler cruise was a good introduction to a ship this size. Everything about the ship was big and new so it is very impressive. The rooms are very large compared to other cruise line sized cabins. Plenty of space in the balcony cabins for storage and lounging, the balcony is also a good size. The shopping on board is a bit expensive compared to other ships. The alcohol is more expensive then any other ship we have been on. The cruise was fully booked so you can imagine the crowds at peak times, lifts were hard to get and the Windjammer was difficult to find seating. I would hate to see the tender process for some ports. The Royal IQ app is terrific, you can book entertainment and dining as well as check your account in real time. The app also shows cruise diary for the day. The app came in handy to book the peak shows and seemed to work well. Book in advance if you want one of the specialty restaurants as they book out quick. The service from staff and the food quality was on par with other cruise lines. My personal view is that these size ships are good for short cruises but I wouldn't want to go on a long one as the crowds and tendering would drive me insane. Not a relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Embarkation, disembarkation all went smoothly. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. Food was good at Cafe at 270, Windjammer and Chops. One bad experience at Silk where very little that we ordered was available. Live entertainment was ... Read More
Embarkation, disembarkation all went smoothly. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. Food was good at Cafe at 270, Windjammer and Chops. One bad experience at Silk where very little that we ordered was available. Live entertainment was very good. Two areas were disappointing. Public area cleanliness (including washrooms and pool areas). Compared to other RCI cruises we have undertaken this requires immediate attention. Pool water was cloudy and had hairs etc floating in it. Lots of used towels lying all around as well as used glasses etc. the normal state for washrooms was that the paper towel receptacles were overflowing and floors were wet. Service in bars and dining areas was generally poor. While there were plenty of staff selling drink packages there were very few actually pouring drinks. We also noted that on at least three occasions we got something other than what we asked for without any explanation or acknowledgement. So while part of the cruise were very good, as we have come to expect with RCI parts of it were just not up to scratch. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having been on Quantum of the Seas 18 months ago, I was interested in seeing the new version. Both ships are very similar (although Quantum now has a much larger casino and no Music Hall). The problem with a 3 day cruise is everyone ... Read More
Having been on Quantum of the Seas 18 months ago, I was interested in seeing the new version. Both ships are very similar (although Quantum now has a much larger casino and no Music Hall). The problem with a 3 day cruise is everyone goes hard from minute one, leading to long waits for service at the bar (especially frustrating when you want a beer, and someone pushes in and orders 6 espresso martinis...). People also forget any pretence of manners and become absorbed in their own attempts to fit everything in - although this isn't RCLs fault! The ship itself is an AWESOME device, and Two70 is an amazing space on a cruise ship. The crew are always friendly, although the dining arrangements for Anytime Dining are a bit haphazard. The cabins are well thought out with nice touches like USB ports, but no Australian 240v outlets. Beware the balcony cabins on Deck 6/7 Starboard at the rear, as many are directly above the smokers hangout - which makes the balconies smoky, and the general area noisy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Chose this cruise to experience this amazing ship and hopefully Wonderland. The ship itself is beautiful, lots of things to see and am sure that I still didn't' see everything in the three days. My cabin was a interior ... Read More
Chose this cruise to experience this amazing ship and hopefully Wonderland. The ship itself is beautiful, lots of things to see and am sure that I still didn't' see everything in the three days. My cabin was a interior studio room with a virtual balcony, tiny but practical. The virtual balcony is a novelty but did brighten the room a little. For a solo traveller the room was adequate, it would have liked a bit more room to move around. For such a large ship, never really felt crowded, besides muster and leaving shows, but that happens on all ships. Mainly ate in the MDR, and was happy with the quality of the meals and the waitstaff were fantastic. I was able to get on a wait list for Wonderland and got a chance to experience this wonderful restaurant for lunch. It truly was an experience, 3.5 hrs later, I can say it was a real treat. Will I go back.... if I was with others who hadn't been there, yes I would, but otherwise, probably not. The only thing that I would say anything negative about, was the wait times at the bars. There was not enough staff to service the large number of people waiting to be served and it wasn't unusual to wait at least 20 mins to get served. Overall, I loved the ship, the shows Live, love, legs and Pixels were great and would definitely book another cruise, but a longer one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were a bit apprehensive about this short 3 day cruise after some bad reviews but was left wondering if this ship is the same as the one in the reviews. It was the most beautiful ship with state of the art technology and attractions. As ... Read More
We were a bit apprehensive about this short 3 day cruise after some bad reviews but was left wondering if this ship is the same as the one in the reviews. It was the most beautiful ship with state of the art technology and attractions. As this was a 3 day cruise and we have been on these before we knew that all the bars would be busy but it was nowhere near as bad as some of the others we have been on. The service as always was first class, the food was as expected and the layout is unlike any other Royal class of ship, and I have been on them all. It took us no more than 15 min from bag drop off to being on the ship (this may of been because we didn't have to go through imagration) as with new technology most things are already done beforehand. A great ship and a class above every other cruise ship in Australia. One must is to try and pre book all the activities and restaurants before getting on board as they are extremely popular and with well over 4000 passengers it can get extremely busy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have been on over 10 cruises and we were very excited about going on the Ovation of the Seas. 4th largest ship in the world and not even 12 months old. Check in was excellent and all the staff were also very good setting the scene for ... Read More
We have been on over 10 cruises and we were very excited about going on the Ovation of the Seas. 4th largest ship in the world and not even 12 months old. Check in was excellent and all the staff were also very good setting the scene for a good 3 day break. It is always busy on the first day of cruising although trying to get a drink seemed to take a very very long time. Day 2 did not get much better and for the first time in my life I felt that I needed to tell someone after I waited about 25 minutes to get a drink before dinner. I went to Guest Services and asked if I could see a manager from Food and Beverage. I nice young gentlemen came and saw me and I explained that all the bars are understaffed. Without being to committal he agreed and said that they did not anticipate it to be as busy as it was. The food and service in the restaurants (except Windjammer) were well below par and clearly understaffed as well. Michaels Pub's menu/drink list does not show any of the wines by the glass that are included in your beverage package therefore you would be charged for a glass of wine outside your package. I asked the waitress that took our order after 20 minutes waiting and she did suggest a Sauv Blanc which was included although she could tell me why the package wines were not displayed in the list ?? I have cruised on Brilliance and Voyager and both were far superior. I have also cruised Princess and Celebrity and for couples I would recommend Celebrity as my pick. In summary when the staffing level is fixed on the Ovation I am sure it will come up to the standard of all the other RCL ships. The layout lacks a small intimate bar but it is a big ship so that is just my opinion. I hope RCL get it right for the next season as I met some first time cruisers on this ship and they may be lost for future cruising which would be a shame. Although some of my comments are a bit of a complaint, I am hoping that RCL take it as constructive criticism as I love cruising and RCL is far better than what they provided on the Ovation on this occasion. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I wanted to experience “Supercruising” so we booked a sampler on Ovation. We wanted to evaluate the ship before committing to a longer cruise. We had previously been on Voyager, Explorer and Radiance out of Sydney. ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to experience “Supercruising” so we booked a sampler on Ovation. We wanted to evaluate the ship before committing to a longer cruise. We had previously been on Voyager, Explorer and Radiance out of Sydney. The first sight of Ovation was from the Circular Quay railway station after alighting from our train. It was an awe inspiring moment. It is hard to take in the logistics of this ship. I just stood there taking it in for a few moments. We walked all of 300 metres and dropped off our luggage and waited a whole ten minutes before being asked to embark. We had the first embarkation time of 11.30. However, once the diamond and diamond plus were escorted to the check in, we were called by 10.45am.We had completed online check in with pics. We were asked to sign an Ipad waiver about current health issues. We were on board by 11am. Awesome. I might point out here that many people with later embarkation times were asked to come back later. Some were not happy. Tip Check in early online, 90 days out, approximately. You can allocate your check in time and choose the earliest if you want. Once on board, level 5, I immediately checked Royal IQ which I had downloaded to my iphone previously. You have to go to settings, wifi , and select Royal wifi on your device. You don’t need internet access. This app came in very handy for organising onboard activities. I was unable to book IFly, Northstar and speciality restaurants on my cruise planner, however, once onboard, at 11am, I did it all in 5 mins except for Wonderland. It showed no reservations available on Royal IQ so I went to Wonderland and got a booking. Too easy. (Thanks MicCanberra). I really believe that planning is the key to avoiding queues. I waited 5 mins for Northstar, 2 mins for IFly and no time for Wonderland. We also did My Time for dining on the other nights and didn’t wait at all with our bookings. Sail away was experienced from the stern whilst looking down on the Flowrider. I missed not having a sail away celebration. There is really no space to have it on the pool deck. The only outdoor pool is small, however, the indoor pool and extensive adults only Solarium more than makes up for this. Glad I can cross off sky diving on my bucket list. The closest I’ll ever come to jumping out of a plane. The IFly staff are very thorough and professional. I felt at ease. It was extreme fun! (for someone my age ;-) We did line up for our pre booked shows, and got great seats for Two70 Pixels and the theatre for Live Love Legs. Not long though. As has been mentioned before….lining up on a ship this size is a given, however, a little bit of planning and arriving a little early goes a long way…. We enjoyed the shows including a very funny Australian comedian who had been on Australia’s got talent. The “Rock the Boat” band were baby boomer heaven in the Music Hall. Also attended and participated in my first “silent disco” in Two70, great fun! We attended our first silent disco in Two70…..funny and fun! We also participated in the escape the puzzle room, "Escape from the Future". Our group escaped with 30 seconds to spare. That one hour certainly went quick as we endeavoured to solve all the puzzles after finding hidden clues. An entertaining group activity. Ok, here goes, my only gripe…. We had a soft drink package. The fountain machines in the Esplanade did not serve low cal drinks due to a technical error. There was a ? permanent sign on the machines. The Seaplex soda fountain broke down. The machines in the Windjammer were not available 24/7. We had to line up with a multitude of passengers who ordered a multitude of cocktails and other drinks to get a diet coke at a bar. Not happy Jan. The sole reason we ordered the soda package was to avoid long ques. Let’s just say that Royal made some money from our two soda packages. We drank water from our stateroom instead. Guess that is healthier… We did also buy some wine. We took on two bottles as per the allowance and took one to Wonderland on the last evening. We paid for one bottle in the dining room, $USD50. Very nice. The other we drank around the ship. No alcohol packages for us. It was great to have a kettle in our room. I took some Robert Timms coffee bags and lemon tea. There is no coffee in the stateroom, just some generic tea bags. You can also get some hot chocolate sachets from the Café Promenade to take to your room if you want. It was also good to have two USB ports for charging smart phones etc. Especially if using the Royal IQ app. We didn’t need a USA adaptor even though I took one. The app provides a personalised planner from your online cruise planner, a deck by deck navigator visual and a Cruise Compass. Invaluable as you keep track of daily activities and navigate your way around the ship. As I was using my smart phone as a camera, it worked well. Of course there are many interactive navigation opportunities on each level of the ship. We had an interior stateroom with a virtual balcony on deck 11 forward. This was the first time in 5 cruises that we didn’t have a balcony. No regrets. As has been said time and time again, we were hardly in the room. Only to shower, change and sleep. I would still consider a balcony for longer trips though, especially to exotic or tropical places. The virtual balcony alerted us to the outside weather and conditions via a webcam on the stern. Being aft, there was a lot of walking. No problem really except the time it took to walk everywhere. Ideally, I would like to book deck 13 mid ship. The shower on Ovation is the largest I’ve seen on any ship so far. Good pressure and temperature. It also has a bar step for ladies to shave their legs. Very thoughtful. The beds are hard and takes some getting used to… Like all Royal Caribbean ships, take your own toiletries, unless in a suite and above. There was adequate storage space and our suitcases fit under the bed no problem. We locked our jewelery, wallets and passports in the safe. Food. The MDR was OK. Not fantastic but still enjoyable. Wonderland was magnificent and would do it again in a heartbeat. Loved the Kummelweck (roast beef) sandwich from the Two70 café that is famous fleet wide. I have had it on every ship so far…. I am not a beef eater, however, this melt in the mouth roast is something to behold, especially with gravy and horseradish. The Windjammer had the usual selection for breakfast. The only surprise was that there was no waiting for a made to order omelette on any morning. We could always get a seat for two of us with no waiting. The service was mostly good. There was some waiting at bars for drinks especially around the pool deck. The waiters in the dining room were very attentive. The artwork around the ship was just amazing and there was so much of it. Some was interactive. There is plenty of comfortable seating everywhere that could easily accommodate all those on board. Two70 was a favourite place to sit and ponder. We chose to self disembark. It took less than ten mins from cabin to pier. We had a wonderful time on Ovation and came home to rest before starting back at work. We are looking forward to our next cruise on Ovation in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Warning to all travellers on Royal Caribbean Cruises, if you want water, buy it at the bars or restaurants @ $3.00 a 600ml bottle, if you consume the water in your stateroom, they will charge you US$7.90 600ml bottle. We were charged ... Read More
Warning to all travellers on Royal Caribbean Cruises, if you want water, buy it at the bars or restaurants @ $3.00 a 600ml bottle, if you consume the water in your stateroom, they will charge you US$7.90 600ml bottle. We were charged US$15.80. For us Aussies, that converts to AU$10 per small lbottle FOR WATER. There is no sign or warning to passengers what it costs for water left in the stateroom, it is definitely not complimentary. We have sailed on other cruise ships and have had complimentary water on arrival. Very disappointing and totally unacceptable! We discovered after sailing that the shows and entertainment needed to be booked before departure on line, not fair for seniors who are not computer savvy, queuing up for a show was very challenging. Bad experience with the Excursion in Adelaide, spent the day on a bus, where the driver was unsure where to go. The staff in the Windjammer Marketplace were so friendly and accommodating, they kind of made up for the disappointments. Ang -Sydney Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose the Ovation Cruise because we wanted to visit Hobart and Adelaide and the Cruising dates worked with our holiday leave. We flew from Auckland to Sydney arriving later in the day and sailed through the embarkation process in ... Read More
We chose the Ovation Cruise because we wanted to visit Hobart and Adelaide and the Cruising dates worked with our holiday leave. We flew from Auckland to Sydney arriving later in the day and sailed through the embarkation process in about 20 minutes and then found our way to the Windjammer for late lunch. We had read earlier reviews which were pretty disparaging of the ship - the food and the staff. Those crew members we had any contact with were friendly, kind, busy and helpful. Our interior stateroom was more than we expected. USB points, several power points and the kettle and cups for tea were a treat, and the set-out of the bathroom was very smart - loved the curved shower door, the ample storage and comfortable bed and we were intrigued by the interactive balcony. We had booked for Chic Restaurant and used it every evening, and most mornings for breakfast. The food was very well presented - there was a new menu every night, and there was always a varied selections of starter, entree, main and dessert. The waiters certainly made our dining experience special. Shows - We found the musical shows loud and aimed at the 20 -40 age group. Not what the 50 - 70 year olds who made up the majority of the passengers really enjoyed. Many walked out after about 15 min. We preferred the entertainment in the Schooner Bar or the Music Hall so spent more time there. Also enjoyed the Bumper Cars. The Decor is beautiful. Pieces of interactive art interspersed with colourful collages , beautiful furniture...loungers inside and out where we could sit and watch the people and the waves go by. The promenade was always busy with sales table's and crowds looking for a bargain. We enjoyed Hobart - we arrived on the Tall Wooden Ship day. Beautiful vessels. We got on a Grays Bus Tour and saw most of the Heritage Buildings and tourist spots in Hobart, and entertained by Nigel our tour driver. Adelaide - we caught the train into Adelaide city - looked around the CBD and then returned to the ship. We enjoyed our Cruise - enjoyed the company of other cruisers sharing their experiences, taking part in all the Trivia games and ifly and North Star. We are glad we experienced "Supercruising" but we are unsure we would do it again - its a lot of walking - a long trip from our forward stateroom to the Two70 more than two or three times a day at least!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This is truly a beautiful ship absolutely magnificent, state of the art even the lift shaft has art in it, talking of lifts they seem to just glide effortlessly and silently up and down simply mesmerizing. Our cabin was delightful the ... Read More
This is truly a beautiful ship absolutely magnificent, state of the art even the lift shaft has art in it, talking of lifts they seem to just glide effortlessly and silently up and down simply mesmerizing. Our cabin was delightful the biggest we have ever had with a spacious balcony and comfortable new deck furniture, tip here though take your own coffee as it is not supplied in house only tea, oh and also they don,t allow power boards on board, they take them off you then give them back at the end of the cruise, you can however borrow theirs on board. This is a new ship and the way of the future and things are done a little differently to what we have all been used to, you have to pre-book the main shows you want to see to get in for your chosen time (2 shows per night), seats are not reserved so first in best dressed and if you don't arrive 20 minutes prior to start of show you will lose your space as they allow people who have not booked in to enter 15 minutes before the start of the show. Same with my time dining it allows you access to the restaurant when a vacancy occurs not immediate entry. My advise, try to book whatever ever you can online prior to trip. We had a fantastic trip to Hobart and Adelaide The staff were wonderful, if you don't know what Washy Washy means now you soon will when you go to the Windjammer ! and great that they do that. We just loved everything about this ship the robotic bar is something to behold, the entertainment great, the staff great and the food magnificent. The only thing that disappointed me was the use of the main atrium for a flea market it should have had a grand piano playing in it or the gorgeous girls playing the violin and guitar. There was a lot of complaining about queuing to get on board but this was because people arrived earlier than their designated time. I have just read a review for January 2017 and it only took these peoples 20 minutes to board. However if you are given the time of 1pm and arrive at 11am you are going to have to wait, and at the same time make it more chaotic for people with earlier boarding times, so please wait for your time they won't let you on early. In summing up don't believe the negative reviews it's fantastic and we would certainly again on Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The Good I was so excited about cruising on this grand looking new ship. Food was great in the Windjammers. Overnight in Tasmania for the Regatta festival was fantastic That's the good now read and weep. The Bad Too big. Some ... Read More
The Good I was so excited about cruising on this grand looking new ship. Food was great in the Windjammers. Overnight in Tasmania for the Regatta festival was fantastic That's the good now read and weep. The Bad Too big. Some parts of the ship were so modern and others were like they had been recovered from the Titanic. A bit confusing walking from one end of the ship to the other. A bit like a time walk (warp). This ship was made for the Chinese market as was evident by all the signs being in English and Chinese ( what about the rest of the multi-cultural passengers). It has gone back to China where it belongs and I reckon they should leave it there. 4,500 passenger of which 2000 where Chinese is not for me. The Ugly Having to book online to see a show. Long waiting times for major attractions and my favourite gripe, the beer prices. The equavalant of $9 AUD for a can of XXXX. That equates to $216 a carton. Nothing short of greed and if I needed an excuse not to cruise again this would be it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
As soon as I knew this huge ship was coming to Australia, I was determined to sail away on her, even if it meant cruising solo Fortuneately I had the company of a very good friend and after booking a virtual balcony interior room many ... Read More
As soon as I knew this huge ship was coming to Australia, I was determined to sail away on her, even if it meant cruising solo Fortuneately I had the company of a very good friend and after booking a virtual balcony interior room many months ago, the upgrade fairy visited 2 days prior to sailing with a balcony on deck 13 This was a fabulous posltion, right opposite the lifts and one flight of stairs up to the solarium bistro and the adult only tiered pools...our room had the twin beds in the middle of the cabin with a lounge near the balcony doors, I prefer the bed to be nearer the balcony as I think it would give a more open area as we had limited area to get past but the beds were super comfy, so much cupboard space for 2 ladies and a fabulous on wall TV.... we loved the bathroom with a night light which was much appreciated by 2 older ladies We proceeded to the two70 lounge where we were lucky to get 2 comfy chairs right against the large 3-4 story windows and with a drink in hand, watched this massive beast reverse out of the overseas terminal and with the sydney harbour bridge in the background, it was full steam ahead This was an 8 night cruise to Hobart overnight in Tasmania and a visit to Adelaide, the ship is docked right in Hobart and lucky for us it was a Saturday, the famous Salamanca markets which meant lots of shopping with no worry about weight taking our purchases home Obviously over 4 sea days, we explored the ship from top to bottom but still not managing to see it all We did not like the 4 indiviual included in the fare restaurants as we felt they lacked atmosphere and seemed quite cramped so we elected to eat in the Windjammer and once at Jaimie Olivers and only twice in the American Grill....the choices in Windjammer were mind boggling, so many choices and beautifully presented but our favourite was the breakfast in the Solarium Bistro, only a small choice but we were able to get our selection and sit outside and linger in lovely surroundings We saw 2 shows, Pixels and The Dream, we regularly visit live theatre but even though the voices, sets and costumes were world class, we were left scratching our heads as to what it was all about...Pixels was very entertaining with the dancing screens and a variety of acts We pre booked some activities on board prior to sailing, this disappointed many older people, as they had no idea that this could be done and were left trying to queue for the Northstar and shows ...I didnt like this aspect but with 5000 odd passengers, I understand the reasoning but not exactly what you cruise for We loved the two70 lounge, the small deli connected to it with its wraps and soups and yummy desserts, we spent quite a bit of time in this lounge as I could stare at the seas for hours on end....this area is utilised a lot during the day with a talk by a very yummy captain, a highlight The seaplex also had us tearing around in the dodgem cars, watching young adults playing dodgeball and attempting the roller skating, so much to do for teenagers, they could never get bored....we didnt try the flow rider or ifly but had fun watching people attempt and fail on this fast moving water....so many other things to do We loved the indoor air controlled swimming pool, this was a large size with some people able to do laps, i spent some time in the very heated tiered pools at the front of the ship but for some the smell of chlorine was quite over powering at times The main negative we heard from various people was the "friendliness" of the crew....someone described them as robotic, very attentive, polite, helpful but with none of the playfulness of other family geared cruise lines....it is a large ship and trying to find out information was not always easy, when the queues were too long, we retreated to our cabin and phoned, much quicker and query resolved I would prefer the big open dining rooms, where you felt you were part of a family and it would be easy actually to get a bit lonely unless you put yourself out there to talk to people We loved the silent disco, something you need to see but all "parties" were held indoors at the two70, I missed the deck parties usually associated with cruising This was only my 2nd RCL cruise as I am platinum on Carnival but wanted to experience this ship Would I cruise again??? definitely, in fact I booked another cruise for next year, 7 days was not enough to experience all this ship has to offer...obviously its more expensive but that is to be expected when you look at the maintenance and crew necessary to keep a ship 3 football lenghts operational Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having done 9 previous cruises, mostly on Princess we wanted to try Royal Caribbean to judge the differences. So with a new ship Ovation of the seas arriving it was the ideal opportunity. We did the online check in, arrived at the time ... Read More
Having done 9 previous cruises, mostly on Princess we wanted to try Royal Caribbean to judge the differences. So with a new ship Ovation of the seas arriving it was the ideal opportunity. We did the online check in, arrived at the time allocated 1pm and passed a long queue of passengers. From street to cabin in 17 minutes and on disembarkation we chose to carry our own suitcase. We headed for the appropriate lounge at the correct time but when we got out of the lift we were guided to the gangway, off instantly. The ship was sparkling throughout and perfectly designed, technology plus, We had a window cabin which was the best we have ever had, only downside was some bass noise coming from Bolero's at 11pm on 2 nights. The decor in all free restaurants was A1 as was the waiters service. The main courses unfortunately went from great one night to very ordinary the next. Carrot and broccoli almost raw and red meats very undercooked, I ended up asking for Very Well Done and it was still bleeding. Desserts were great. Wonderland was a fabulous experience but did not try the other pay restaurants. ENTERTAINMENT Pixels was brilliant, not so keen on the other 2 shows but costumes and lights fantastic, Guest performers excellent as was cruise big band and rock bands. Cruise director Katie exceptional, the heart of the holiday. Trivia back to back for those interested, pools and spas galore, something for everyone. Bumper cars great but because they need to be charged up, only available 2-3 hours a day, queue usually 20 minutes. If you want to book North star or I Fly do it as soon as you get on board otherwise there is only space if you queue on PORT days. With 4800 passengers there isn't time for everone unless you have a 10 day or longer cruise. NOTICE. 1. Do not take power boards in your case they will be confiscated to prevent people overloading their cabin electricity. 2. Bumper cars. For safety reasons under 5yr not allowed and under 8yr must be driven by an adult. 3. Organise your restaurant bookings at least 24 hrs in advance around the shows you wish to attend. 4. Be aware prices for drinks, gifts are in U.S dollars 5. Be extra organised and you will love this ship and its crew. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
PRO's. Balcony cabin and Attendant having a fridge and kettle were a bonus 5/5, Ship facilities eg. Pools, outside area's etc all 5/5..Staff all 5/5.The cost for the 8 nights was very good value compared to other ships we have ... Read More
PRO's. Balcony cabin and Attendant having a fridge and kettle were a bonus 5/5, Ship facilities eg. Pools, outside area's etc all 5/5..Staff all 5/5.The cost for the 8 nights was very good value compared to other ships we have been on but you get what you pay for. Every thing on board was an extra including water and nibbles at the bar. Bed, food and excellent entertainment were included 4/5 CONs. Book every thing you want to do before you sail. All will be booked out after boarding - 2/5 Line up 20 mins for my time dinning - 2/5 Food was very good but not great compared to other ships and they definitely need a new a new pastry and dessert chef, a lot of dishes with mushrooms - 3/5 Cruise Director - 3/5 Excursion to Moama Museum in Hobart was a 10 min walk to the ferry, entry to museum and return cost A$91, on board. Do exactly the same thing your self A$47. A rip off - 1/5 Being a Loyalty Member didn't mean much in fact it cost more for the cruise being a member. We were told by RC rhat a $25 cabin credit would happen for each introduce guest. When onboard this was reduced to a once only. - 1/5 Overall cruise was good value for money and we did enjoy it. Would we go on Ovation again, Probably not. Too big,too many people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
To try a BIG SHIP. We found the boarding procedure was quick and easy, but we are crown and anchor members!!! We overheard a lot of people complaining re queueing in the hot sun for a couple of hours. We found if you hadn't pre-booked ... Read More
To try a BIG SHIP. We found the boarding procedure was quick and easy, but we are crown and anchor members!!! We overheard a lot of people complaining re queueing in the hot sun for a couple of hours. We found if you hadn't pre-booked ANY entertainment or dining preferences before boarding you missed out. There were queues for everything. We found the food at Windjammers to be tasty with a lot of variety. We also found you REALLY had to watch what guest services were putting on your account and that most of the staff had no idea of where to order basic Evian water from, we found any sort of omplaint was brushed off and that the staff were very unhelpful, bordering on being rude! We also had problems with the automatic toilets which flushed when you were still using them and then wouldn't flush when you needed them to. No-one explained the little pictures of a door opening (which was located 3-6 feet away from the doors) were to open the toilet doors and many people had trouble opening them until word spread among the 4600 passengers of what to do. We found the live shows to be excellent and the bar staff very friendly and helpful. Well done boys of Two 70. Also well done to the staff in Windjammer in trying to find tables to eat at. Our opinion of a BIG SHIP is that there were just too many people and not enough lifts for everyone. We walked up and down so many stairs even carrying our own luggage because the queues were so long and trying to fight your way in was NOT funny. Overall if you don't like being pushed and shoved, queueing don't go on a big ship. Our cabin was toward the aft and we had to walk over approx. 100 mtrs. to get to either lifts or stairs. The virtual moving butterflies were awe inspiring. We also found the ship rocked and rolled quite heavily in higher seas 8/9 mtr. swells. We were on deck 11. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My partner and I travelled on this cruise. It was her second cruise (last one was RCI's Independence Of The Seas around the Caribbean) and my fourth (1x P&O and 2x RCI - Radiance and Independence). I was nervous about this ... Read More
My partner and I travelled on this cruise. It was her second cruise (last one was RCI's Independence Of The Seas around the Caribbean) and my fourth (1x P&O and 2x RCI - Radiance and Independence). I was nervous about this cruise after some of the negative reviews here. However I was pleasantly surprised! Although I'm a believer of a cruise/holiday being what you make of it, the teething issues that some experienced in the first few weeks seem to have vanished. Ship: A brand new, sparkling, feature-packed ship! The decor was stunning, so was the art work. It's a real treat to be able to sail on such a new ship. Everything was very clean and tidy. Embarkation: Very easy. We had the earliest check in time and done all the check in online including uploading our photos. We were naughty and arrived about 20mins early. There was a big queue at this stage and they hadn't started letting people in. When they did it was a bit of mayhem but as I had some low status (Platinum) we jumped the queue. Check in took less than 10 mins and we were probably about the fifth or sixth person on the ship :-) Baggage arrived mid-afternoon. Moral of the story: don't be naughty and arrive before your scheduled time. Cabin: We had a balcony stateroom: 12162. My last two RCI cruises were in a Junior and Grand suite so I was worried about the size of a normal balcony. This one in particular was a D1 which had an oversize balcony. It was fantastic! A great size for the two of use, the large balcony was great and I was even impressed with the size of the shower. Water pressure and temperature were not an issue. As with all RCI cruises, you will need to take your own toiletries. Our room was made up/turned down twice a day and our room attendant did a fantastic job keeping everything clean. I think we got about three towel animals during the cruise. Unfortunately there was no $35 bag laundry special which we were counting on as we like to do some washing on the ship. So we paid for the full price laundry for some items. At about $4.50 for a short sleeved shirt and $3.50 for a t-shirt to be wash and pressed, the cost adds up. Dining: When we booked the cruise it was advertised with the four main dining rooms (Grande, Chic, Silk and American Icon) as having different menus. This really appealed to us and after looking at the sample menus online I was excited to have a different dining experience each night free of charge. About a month before sailing it was changed to the My Time or Fixed Time dining with each of the four dining rooms having the same menu. Grande and Chic were for traditional dining times with Silk and American Icon left for My Time. I understand why they changed this as it would have been very challenging for the kitchens to have to prepare four menus. However I don't understand why head-office didn't foresee this? It also makes the themes of each dining room redundant. In the end, we had My Time dining but only visited on embarkation day. This is not due to any fault but because there were so many other options available that it just turned out that way. The night we visited (embarkation night) we had a booking made online so five mins before our scheduled time we went to the restaurant. The lines outside were manic. The staff on the desk were manic. As we had a reservation, we could go into the separate queue from those just turning up. After two mins in line we were shown to our table - I'm glad we made a booking. We enjoyed the service although drink orders were a little slow. Food was very yum and a lot of options to choose from. Overall and based on our one night in the main dining room, the food and service were no better or worse that any other RCI ship. The have the usuals on the menu such has chilled fruit soups and prime rib etc. We had a three-restaurant dining package but you can't reserve a restaurant or time online with this package. I was nervous and disheartened when I saw online that no specialty restaurants had reservations left for Valentine’s day. When we got on board I went straight to one of the specialty restaurants who explained they only put on about 50% of availability online and leave the other half for bookings made on the ship. This is because those that aren't tech savy wouldn't have a chance otherwise. Thankfully we made all our bookings for the restaurants we wanted (Jamies, Chops and Wonderland) then and there. I heard from others that after the first couple of nights there were no reservations left so get in quick. Solarium Bistro was one of my favourites and an excellent spot for dinner. You choose your main course from a menu but they have a buffet setup for starters and desserts. We had great service too. No charge and although we did book online it wasn't busy so you could have just turned up. Windjammer was a trusty friend for any meal. All the usuals there and good service too. Most people were searching for ages looking for a seat but if you go further back in the Windjammer there were a lot of empty tables. I know it's a little further from the buffet but just think that you can have that extra dessert as a reward. I would disagree with anyone who said there was not enough variety of food on this ship. Whatever you wanted was pretty much there. Yes they will charge you for snacks at Vintages (because its tapas from Jamies) but go around the corner to Cafe at 270 and you can have your own free snacks. Went to the dog house once and the dogs were cold. I told the staff member about that as it was a food safety issue but he didn't understand/care and just said "ok sir" and left them available for others. The only other food based issue was Chops. The food was great but we didn’t have a waiter! The host seated us, gave us menus and then 10mins later asked for our orders. No explaining the menu etc. At the end of the meal she apologised for us not having a waiter and made some excuse about a miscommunication? Entertainment and Activities: Lots to see and do on this ship. As you all probably know, there are some fun and unique features on the Quantum-class ships: iFly, bumper cars, North Star, roller skating etc. We made bookings for all activities and shows that we could well before our sail date and this is key. We did bumper cars at about 4pm on the embarkation day and there was no line. I also did it again at about 11am on the last sea day and there was a queue but it moved fast, I was in it for about 15mins. The production shows including Pixels in 270 were fantastic! They rival shows we've seen on shore. You MUST making a booking online for production shows and when they allowed those without bookings into the theatre there was nothing left for them. Remember the theatre holds about 1500 people and there are 4000 people on this ship. With that in mind, even with bookings, you do have to arrive early. We got to Pixels at 270 about 30mins beforehand and still got 'bad' seats all the way at the back upstairs. Doors open 45mins before shows so we went to all the others early. I think you just need to build this in to your nightly timetable. We got great seats when we were 45mins early and it was nice having a drink while people watching. We could always find a seat in the solarium on sea days. The pool attendants consistently came around and cleared towels from loungers. The North Star doesn't go out the side of the ship as per the advertising. When I queried this with the staff she said it was because that setting takes 20mins to complete and opposed to the 9 min cycle the up/down one takes. She said in Asia they charge people for that. Aside from that, it was still a fun activity. As mentioned, make a booking! No bookings needed for port days but there seemed to be a decent wait for a ride (maybe about 20mins?). Ports and Shore Excursions: We didn't do any of the tours through RCI. With only two ports of call we made our own arrangements which was easy to do and a lot cheaper. We appreciated having one and half days docked in Hobart. We nearly kissed the ground in Adelaide after 24 hours of rough seas beforehand. Huge ship movement which wasn't fun. We even had to change course to avoid the worst of the seas. Drinks: Deluxe package brought on board was USD65 per day and included drinks up to $14. Surprisingly most bars/restaurants had Kim Crawford Sav for either $13 or $14 so all within package. There would normally be one or two white and red wines by the glass included in the package although no sparkling wine was covered. Another weird thing is that most bars didn't have cocktail menus. Some places had their own unique menus (eg: Schooner and Boleros etc) but none of the pool bars or casino bars. Made it hard to choose what cocktail you wanted when you were feeling indecisive. There were staff coming around pool loungers taking drink requests. Both Freestyle machines in the Windjammer were out of service. Seems a bit of a shame they didn't fix them as I had read this in older reviews too. The two machines in Sorentos were out of stock for any low-cal drinks. The hidden gem seemed to be the one remaining machine by the dog house which had all options we wanted. Bionic bar was heaps of fun and never crowded. All drinks were included in the drinks package. Disembarkation: Or is it debarcation? Whatever you call it, was smooth. We self-carried our luggage and there were two options: 6.30-7.00 and 8.00 - 8.30. As we had a late flight we wanted to sleep in and have a later breakfast. We called guest services who said you can leave whenever you want if your self-carrying. We ended up leaving at about 8.45 and I think the fact that there was no customs (domestic cruise) made life a lot easier. Tips: - Book as much as possible online before going! - Forget the Wow bands. Benefit did not outweigh the cost. - Download the free app. Then you don't have to carry around paper to know what’s going on. You can also plan your day with a personalised calendar. You don’t need an internet package to use the app. - Internet was slow. We got Surf and Stream but couldn't stream. We shared one access code between two devices by logging in/out. - The loungers outside North Star Bar are amazing, get one quick! - We had a random $11.90 mini bar charge but after querying it, Guest Services removed it. A cynic would say this is a big money maker for them? - Shops on board are high end stores only. There was one tiny logo-shop that had next to no stock for souvenirs. - This is a big ship with a lot of people. If you don’t like crowds (which was a common complaint) then stick to the smaller ships. Someone asked the captain at Captain’s Corner if RCI will build some new ships that are smaller and he said he doubted it as RCI need the scale of larger ships to grown and profit. So seems like they’re here to stay. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Embarked with trepidation, having read some reviews. But we had an excellent time and thoroughly enjoyed our time aboard. The staff really tried hard to please and were asking for feedback should everything be ok. We loved the ... Read More
Embarked with trepidation, having read some reviews. But we had an excellent time and thoroughly enjoyed our time aboard. The staff really tried hard to please and were asking for feedback should everything be ok. We loved the layout, very easy to find your way around. 270 degrees - what a fabulous space. Loved the digital enhancements from Royal iQ to digital artwork. There is no need to queue for bookings etc. Food was good, typical cruise food. Windjammer was huge and after first day or so no trouble getting a table. We mostly had breakfast at Chic, buffet style, lunch at 270 degrees cafe and dinner in Chic, MDR traditional. Entertainment was good. Loved the rock band. Love and Marriage game was the funniest we had seen. Saw 2 guest entertainers and enjoyed. Ovation Rocks and Beach party nights were great in 270 degrees. Katie, CD was young, friendly and great fun. More than plenty and differing entertainment on board to suit all tastes. The ticketed shows were worth seeing, talented cast. The ship is slick and modern - thank goodness and obviously RCI is looking towards their future clientele. BUT - the beds were firm, but after 2 nights had no problems with it (had a topper on it) - not all room service menu items are free of charge. There is a range of no charge items and the charged items being around $4.95. - the whingers were onboard. We thought they were aggravating and rude people. Officers were doing a survey - very politely, one lunchtime. A man next to us went on for some time venting his dislike of the ship (which was his opinion and entitled to it) and when asked for his room no., he becam hostile and asked why should he give it - staff member said so any problems could be rectified or noted. Seemed logical to us. You would sit to have a coffee or light meal and share table with others, without so much of a how you going they would start their rant - too big, to modern, too many passengers, organised by young people with no idea, no doubt their opinions and entitled to them BUT we just want to enjoy our coffee. But we mostly put an end to it by saying it is modern, lively and we love it. Nearly everyone of these that we came across were 70+ age group and invariably always Princess cruisers. We've done a fair share of Princess cruises and particularly like the Diamond, but if these people are the type that currently cruise there, we're inclined to avoid. Come on people you pay your money to enjoy your cruise whatever it is, unless it is catastrophic loosen up. The ship is impressive with some innovative attractions with something for everyone. We did not find any problem with crowds of people. The only queue was for the luggage drop at the start and there was no priority line for C&A. People had arrived well before their assigned time as well and it looked like it was a mess getting to board. A RCI employee, thankfully, came through and requested all early arrivals please move away until the current time slot could be checked in. After that 10 minutes to board. It is well worth making bookings for shows online before boarding. No trouble with not booking Northstar beforehand as on shore days, no bookings taken - first in basis then. Overall we had a great time and would not hesitate cruising on Ovation again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Cannot understand the negative reviews. This ship was spacious and you never had trouble finding a quiet spot. Plenty of room with the exception of the Windjammer on busy mornings (in which case other options were preferable). ... Read More
Cannot understand the negative reviews. This ship was spacious and you never had trouble finding a quiet spot. Plenty of room with the exception of the Windjammer on busy mornings (in which case other options were preferable). Entertainment far superior than on other RCI ships. Dining room (I was in Chic) was excellent both in terms of food quality, choices and service. Embarking and disembarking (from Sydney OPT) was faultless...was on within 20 mins. Shore Excursions were well organised with very friendly and informative guides. Did not have to queue at all for anything other than bumper cars. RCI and Travel Agents need to tell all passengers that prebooking of the 3 main shows is imperative. I had done this and therefore it was not an issue at all. Only real criticism is that announcements should be made if any activities (eg North Star or bumper cars etc) have been cancelled at all (e.g. poor weather conditions)...they can do this via TV in cabin and have signs up at venue to avoid confusion. I am not a fan of automatic flushing toilets as they do not work 100% of the time. Promenade area can get congested and lacks the magical feel of that on Voyager. RCI should seriously consider the onboard shopping experience across the entire fleet...how many watches and tacky jewellery does one need? Staff were excellent....extra staff were needed in some areas during busy times (eg, Two70 Cafe and drinks waiters in Theatres). RCI needs to consider mixing up and adding more variety to day time activities on sea days. Overall a wonderful experience on a brilliant ship. Ignore the naysayers and experience it for yourself Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I had a great time on our recent trip on the Ovation of the Seas cruised to Tasmania and Adelaide for 8 nights. The cruise was sold out long before the sailing on 9th Feb. 2017. Before we had boarded, I had been ... Read More
My husband and I had a great time on our recent trip on the Ovation of the Seas cruised to Tasmania and Adelaide for 8 nights. The cruise was sold out long before the sailing on 9th Feb. 2017. Before we had boarded, I had been reading and was concerned about the many negative reviews before we commenced sailing and was really worried if we had booked the wrong cruise. Embarkation was very quick. Once we boarded, we absolutely liked this awesome new ship and didn't understand why people wrote all those negative reviews. We had cruised many times with the Royal Caribbean and many other cruise liners before to other different destinations and we had also cruised with big ships in the past. Though this was a big ship, it was very easy to find our way around. Obviously you would see many people on the ship, however it was not as crowded as I expected in many public areas. It may be due to the clever Royal Caribbean management! There were so many restaurants and public areas on the ship that passengers could be in different areas doing different things at different times so therefore people didn't need to be in the same place at any given time. The decoration and interior design of this ship is beautiful, modern and heaps of art work to see if you have time to admire them. Our Cabin 11580, was very spacious with plenty room for storage. The ensuite was very decently sized with plenty of shelves for toiletries. The balcony was of reasonable size too. We booked My Time Dining and it was done with ease. As soon as we boarded, we reserved our dining time and got a table for two throughout the whole cruise. Food was typical cruise food but with good taste and variety. Had dined in Silk, American Icon, Grande, Chic, Solarium Bistro and Windjammer. Found staff in all dining areas worked very hard, and we particularly had excellent service by Rong Ma, Catherine llaneza, and Eliazer Kerr at the American Icon. The Manager and all staff at Windjammer were extremely friendly and helpful, they all worked very hard to please their passengers. Solorium Bistro was nice too with very friendly and casual atmosphere. The Two70 Cafe's snack and salad were very nice and fresh. We liked spending time at Two70 as their lounges were very comfortable and we enjoyed watching the sea and big waves through the big glass windows. The entertainment was fabulous especially the three big production shows, Live Love Legs, Beautiful Dream and The Pixels. You would be need to reserve for these shows. We watched three good 3D movies in three afternoons at the Royal Theatre, and had spent some lovely time enjoying the live Rock and Roll music bands played at the Two70. The Music Hall also had lovely music there every night, but we particularly enjoyed the karaoke competition. Spent some wonderful time in jacuzzi at the solarium. Pool attendants worked hard to clear wet towels from the lounges. The list of activities on this big ship was plentiful, but we thoroughly enjoyed the rides in the North Star and bumper cars. There was more high ends shopping than other ships that we had travelled on in the past. There were some cheaper shopping stalls on sea days, and found a crew member Stefan Bugu with excellent service at the stall. Surf and Voom wifi was fast however at the same time be expected to pay a premium if you need to keep in touch with family. Last but not least, Captain Henrik Loy was very professional and his talk was very interesting and informative. Disembark was a breeze! We self carried our luggage, straight out from our cabin onto the Overseas passenger Terminal. Overall loved the wonderful experience on this big and beautiful ship, but our 8 nights cruise certainly not long enough to explore it, we definitely would sail again on this ship again if the opportunity arose in the future. Thank you for all the lovely memories. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was one of the best cruises I have ever done. From the speedy check in, 15 minutes from checking in to being on board, and then leaving took 10 minutes getting off. The food was fantastic. I never had a bad meal and the staff were ... Read More
This was one of the best cruises I have ever done. From the speedy check in, 15 minutes from checking in to being on board, and then leaving took 10 minutes getting off. The food was fantastic. I never had a bad meal and the staff were very good and helpful and happy. We had breakfast at the Solarium every morning and it was quite peaceful there. The bar staff went to a lot of trouble to get us the bottle of wine we wanted. Our cabin was beautiful and being new lovely and clean thanks to our wonderful cabin steward. Having a kettle in the room was very handy for an early morning cup of tea or afternoon tea when you felt like some quiet time. Not that the ship was noisy. No noise in our cabin at all. There was always something to do during the day and night or else just sit in the Solarium and relax. We did the North Star and the I Fly which was an experience. I never found we had to queue for anything except getting off the ship which you would expect and that wasn't very long anyway. Coming back from Aukland was so well done you didn't notice the big queue. The only bad thing was people not knowing how to queue and just pushing in. The three shows we saw were brilliant. How they manage that on a ship I don't know. I would certainly go again and take my grandchildren. I think they would love it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
It was great to see most newest and innovative ship to come to our shores.We used to fly to Europe as we prefer to sail on the bigger and newer ships in the past, Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were well organised and ... Read More
It was great to see most newest and innovative ship to come to our shores.We used to fly to Europe as we prefer to sail on the bigger and newer ships in the past, Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were well organised and went smooth and quickly in spite of the big crowd. Anthem of the seas is beautiful ship decorated with exclusive art works and latest technologies. We got on Dodgem cars at the first day without ques. We also got on North Star on one of the seas days without reservation. Main dinning had good selection of food and great service. Although we were surprised that there was no rotation in 4 restaurants with different themes for Classic Dinning as it was on Anthem of the seas. Windjammer was our favorite for lunch and there were plenty of staff cleaning tables and offering to bring you a drink. Everyone must to visit Wonderland specialty restaurant. It has different atmosphere and most unusual food. We had enjoyed all performances and found that all performers and entertainment staff were very talented and hard working. We had booked all excursions with RCI and were happy how it was organised. Tender services in most ports were managed well and with care. I would definitely cruise on this ship again and i miss it already. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My family and I are frequent cruisers and have sailed in the past with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity. When we saw that the brand new Ovation of the Seas was coming to Australia, we jumped at the opportunity to travel on the ... Read More
My family and I are frequent cruisers and have sailed in the past with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity. When we saw that the brand new Ovation of the Seas was coming to Australia, we jumped at the opportunity to travel on the biggest cruise ship to ever sail in Australia/New Zealand. We booked the 12 night South Pacific and New Zealand cruise which would depart from Sydney on January 28. Our initial excitement for this cruise soon turned to apprehension as we began reading the hundreds of negative reviews for the cruise online. We were assured by our travel agent that we would have a great holiday and that these overwhelmingly negative reviews are written by people who experienced a one off issue on board and in turn started pointing out all the other minor and very trivial ‘negatives’ of the cruise (one fellow online critic was displeased with a fingerprint they found on a wine glass…gosh that fingerprint ruined the whole cruise for them). Now lets get to the actual review…. Embarkation: Before boarding the cruise every passenger pre-booked a time slot that suited them to embark on the ship. This meant that there was an even flow of people boarding the ship at all times and thus resulted in a very smooth embarkation process. We experienced no waiting time to check in as there was plenty of staff on duty. However, there was quite a long line for customs but it moved very quickly and much better than we expected considering over 4000 people were boarding the ship in just a few hours. Cabins: The cabins were beautiful and spacious, with a lot of cupboard space and a nice big tv. The balcony was a great size with two lounge chairs and two foot rests. Yes, as many people have mentioned the number of in-room tv channels are very limited, however, who comes on board one of the biggest and most entertainment filled ships to just sit in their cabin and watch tv? Word of advice, if you plan on just watching tv in your room all day you’re better off booking a 5-star hotel room in Bali for half the price. Public areas: The entire ship is absolutely stunning, from the decor, to the layout, to the art work. Royal Caribbean has thought of absolutely everything. A lot of people have been complaining about how the iPads in the public areas don't work. We used them on many occasions and had no issues with them... it was really not that hard. Activities: The activities on Ovation of the Seas are amazing and cater to all age groups. You have the more mellow bingo and trivia type activities to the more thrill seeking activities like iFly, Flowrider, rollerskating, bumper cars and much much more. Yes the lines for bumper cars may look big but they go very quickly, it's worth the wait. Dining: Main Dining Room: The dining onboard was the one aspect of the cruise that let us down a little bit. There are four main dining rooms all serving the same food with each person being allocated to one of the dining rooms (as printed on your sea pass card). On the first night myself and the rest of my family did not enjoy dinner in the dining room as the food was not fresh and just bland. However after the first few nights the food improved significantly and we ended up looking forward to dinner every night. We concluded that the first few nights sub-standard dinner was probably because the chefs were trying to use up all the left over produce from the previous cruise before serving the new stuff. The menu in the main dining room changes every night, however, we fell in the love with a pie we had one night for dinner, so every night the chefs would keep on making the pie for us even though it was no longer on the menu. Windjammer Buffet: The Windjammer buffet has every cuisine of food you could ever wish for. They also do special themed nights where they still have a vast array of different food but they specialise in one cuisine for that night (Eg. Chinese, Italian, Mexican etc). Yes, it can be hard to find seats close to the actual food area, however, if you walk to the back of the Windjammer there are always seats. And on the plus side you are burning calories while walking back and fourth to fill up your plate each time. Chops Grille: Chops is a beautiful speciality streak restaurant onboard. We paid about $45 (AUD) extra to dine there and wow it was worth it. The steaks are some of the best steaks we have ever eaten and there are so many different sides you can choose from. Definitely worth the extra money. Jamie’s Italian: Jamie’s is a lovely Italian restaurant onboard and we paid about $40 (AUD) extra to dine there. The pastas are made fresh every day and they use great quality ingredients and healthier alternatives. The food was delicious and the deserts were amazing. If you only wanted to go to one specialty restaurant I think Chops is more worth the price, however, Jamie’s is a great option too. Two-70 cafe: Amazing place for a healthier option to the buffet. They make delicious salads and sandwiches and this is the place to get your barista made morning coffee. Highly recommend. Sorrento pizzeria: Pretty average. But you can get them to make you your own whole pizza which would probably be nicer and fresher. Seaplex hot dogs: Stay away. Made me want to vomit after one bite. You will find it interesting to see that there is never anyone lining up at that place and once you taste it you’ll know why… I WARNED YOU. Shows: The night shows in the Royal Theatre were amazing. There were two big production shows, Live Love Legs and The Beautiful Dream which were phenomenal. There is also Pixels which is not in the Royal Theatre but is still worth a watch. The headliner shows were great as well and really cater for all types of audiences. Staff: The staff on board Ovation of the Seas were absolutely excellent. Our staff in the Chic dining room were so accomodating and the waitress remembered our drink orders so every night at 8pm when we walked into the dining room our favourite drinks would be waiting for us already on the table. The cruise director Katie was phenomenal and bloody hilarious, she really made the cruise so entertaining. 5 Helpful Tips: 1. Pre-book restaurants and production shows- it makes it so much easier and stress free and means you don’t need to wait in long queues 2. Take the stairs (if possible)- with so many passengers on board the lifts can take a bloody long time so take the stairs wherever possible because not only is it a lot quicker but you also burn all the food that you have been eating off 3. Don’t bring extension cords- apparently extension cords are a prohibited item on ships so ours was confiscated as soon as we got on board. We were meant to have it returned to our room before disembarkation but that never happened so now we will probably never get it back. 4. Make the most of the cheap alcohol in the retail shop- the alcohol shop has some amazing deals on alcohol brands which are usually pretty pricey on mainland. For instance we bought two 1 litre bottles of Absolute Vodka for $30 and there was another deal for two 1 litre bottles of Smirnoff Vodka for $22. But get in quick because they sell out super fast. 5. On disembarkation do ‘Self-carry’ option (if possible)- usually at 10pm the night before disembarking a ship everyone has to put their luggage outside their doors and can only pick it up again once they are off the ship the next morning. However, Ovation had a ‘self-carry’ option which meant that you didn’t need to put your luggage outside your door but rather you just carry it off yourself (hence the name ‘self-carry’) in the morning when you want to depart. This makes the process so much quicker and also means you don’t need to be fully packed 12 hours before you actually leave the ship. Would we travel again on Ovation of the Seas? Yes for sure! Read Less
Sail Date January 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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