688 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was ... Read More
Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was too . Cabin : our Cabin wasn't sorted out for 2 single beds , however as soon as we requested them to be separated . It was not too long after we returned that night it was done. Our cabin was lovely , the heating/cooling was a bit difficult to get used to , however room steward came and showed how it worked . the Fahrenheit took a bit getting used to. Entertainment and Activities : my favorite was the Ifly and bumper cars . I highly recommend " the key" program as that will get you passed the huge line ups (if they become an issue) My mum enjoyed the shows as I did . Service : was brilliant - always smiles and ready to assist . Our room steward was friendly and willing to assist when we needed . Guest services were also amazing - especially in assisting my elderly mum. Ports and shore excursions: the team to assist us to disembark and embark back onto the ship were ultra helpful - again especially with my mum - they went out their way to assist and listened when I needed help with mum. My mum loved it and we will be cruising again on her in Nov 2020 . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we are not cruising travellers but when that short trip to New Zealand came with a good price we booked it , just to have a look before we go for a serious trip.... the ship is too big and the time in port is too short ,the price of ... Read More
we are not cruising travellers but when that short trip to New Zealand came with a good price we booked it , just to have a look before we go for a serious trip.... the ship is too big and the time in port is too short ,the price of drinks are too expensive 5 stars for organisation , in & out, for service, for infos ,for cleanness ,safety ,activities, 4 stars for food...it was very enjoyable ,but we will not do it again ,or though this cruise is very good for seniors , disable, the crew really looks after these people...for the dining SILK was top.the food and service was good ,we tried the windjammer , plenty of food, good variety but taste less and it's a very busy place...the music on that ship apart the live band and singers is pretty bad..cheap well if you want to go cruising go for it Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Where do you start trying to describe this incredible ship although there a lot of passengers she is a very big vessel and there are a enough spaces and venues to accommodate everyone. Embarkation was the quickest we have ever had ... Read More
Where do you start trying to describe this incredible ship although there a lot of passengers she is a very big vessel and there are a enough spaces and venues to accommodate everyone. Embarkation was the quickest we have ever had arrived at pier @11:00 on by 11:20 so efficient. We had an obstructed view balcony cabin on deck 6 port side quite roomy plenty of storage and hanging space and we were looked after extremely well by our wonderful cabin steward Henri. All of the entertainment venues were well attended and packed out most nights in particular the Two70 at the rear of the ship absolutely mind blowing venue. A big shout out to the following bar staff who went above and beyond and are a credit to Royal Caribbean Trystan,Crispin and Allan in the Schooner Bar and Alwin and Marina in one of our favourites The Bolero. All dining staff throughout the ship amazing as always first class cant do enough for you. We did our own thing at port stops so cant comment on shore excursions. To Captain Henrik and his crew thank you all for taking us on this wonderful journey on this fantastic ship. Would we cruise on this ship again yes in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ovation of the Seas is truly a fantastic family ship. There are so many onboard venues for kids & adults alike that it's hard to find one place that stands out. I will summise the things I loved & didn't love. ... Read More
Ovation of the Seas is truly a fantastic family ship. There are so many onboard venues for kids & adults alike that it's hard to find one place that stands out. I will summise the things I loved & didn't love. Didn't Love * The wait times - 5,000 passengers can cause some extensive wait times and the poor staff are run off their feet with Aussies at the bar. This 3-night cruise to nowhere is all about the party, so they were pooling staff from other areas to serve but they really did struggle with sometimes a 30 minute wait for service. * Menu choices in the main dining room - for 3 nights straight the chicken & steak dishes were EXACTLY THE SAME... Not slightly varied - it was the same thing 3 nights in a row. Meat & 3 veg. They mixed up the pasta, but I warily saw some people return theirs so I didn't feel like trying. * Dining times - At 4pm one day we decided to do a wine & cheese afternoon. We had the wine and headed to the buffet to put together our cheese plate only to be informed it was closed. We questioned other dining venues on the ship and were told the only place open was Fish & Chips, which really didn't appeal. We then found out their times 6pm-9pm... Not good enough, 5pm-10.30pm would be far more suitable. People were queuing not because they wanted first come first serve, but because they were being restricted on eating. Also, a $7.95USD charge on room service?? I just can't comprehend. Also in the main dining room the constant announcements every night was horrible. * Lifts - this was crazy busy & it was sad to see the queues and also lifts full of guests Did Love * Cabin - We cruise alot, often with Princess and my biggest gripe with their ships is the shower curtain so I loved that our balcony had a glass shower. The bathroom was also ample sized & I was pleased with the bedding and layout of the cabin. The balcony was small, but to be honest since we couldn't get some cheese to go with our wine for the sunset, we simply didn't use it. * Staff onboard - They might have been busy, but they were all really friendly & really sweet. You could see they were stressed but they just got on with the job. * Design of the ship - it really was amazing and beautiful. The artwork was colourful, the amount of activities was fantastic. The spa's were huge. Everything was just enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to cruise for my wife's 40th Birthday. Family of 4 with 2 kids (5,3). The boat was one of the largest and had alot that could be done. There were many good things on the boat. Staff were mostly great with a few exceptions. ... Read More
We wanted to cruise for my wife's 40th Birthday. Family of 4 with 2 kids (5,3). The boat was one of the largest and had alot that could be done. There were many good things on the boat. Staff were mostly great with a few exceptions. Facilities were also good but with the number of people on the boat that there were we ran into many long lines. Many restaurants, and activities booked out before the boat even left the dock. We tried to confirm that our kids could use the kids club before we boarded or booked but we could not. So we did not know if we would have child free time or not until we were on the boat, which was the reason we had chosen the cruise in the first place. Buffet Food was no as good as MSC or P&O that we had been on. But once we moved to main dining it was better. Still not "fine dining", but at least RSL/Pub standard for meals. (Compared to Truck Stop level for buffet). We picked a room in the back corner of the boat and certainly felt the extra walking time to get back there as the lifts/stairs were more centrally located than I have had before. (helped burn off desert though). The app was a great idea but lacking in some functions. You could ask what restaurants were open now, but it did not display all of the options always. Not all events were easy to find in the daily newsletter (poor layout) and the app was missing many as well (as well as some like bingo with the wrong times on it) North Star was not bad but there was a pointless restriction on the height of people on it, and the measure for this 42" was slightly off meaning our son was not able to ride, where as he could go on the water slides that also had the same 42" restriction. The safety on the North Star was such that it would have been difficult for someone to get hurt on it I cant see the reason for the restriction. Drinks package left room for improvement. You had a ugly large cup that you were expected to lug about with you to use the drink vending machines around the boat, with no way to fill a regular cup. But there were juice and water (and sometimes lemonade) available free with meals in the buffet (and breakfast in main dining) so it was not really used by us. Key Membership: We elected for Key membership but with the changes to the check in facility it was not needed for that. Onboard there was little to no benefit in membership. Yes it had the internet so if you were getting that it was not that pricey but still it could have been skipped. Things booked out with the membership just as much and it was not clear when things could only be accessed with Key. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on Ovation of the Seas in November 2019 and whilst the ship is impressive, the overall experience that Royal Caribbean provides is so very disappointing. We knew that our young son was too young for kids club before going and ... Read More
We sailed on Ovation of the Seas in November 2019 and whilst the ship is impressive, the overall experience that Royal Caribbean provides is so very disappointing. We knew that our young son was too young for kids club before going and we were fine with that - we wanted a holiday where he would be with us. BUT nowhere in any paperwork prior to boarding did it say that he would not be allowed in any of the pools because he's not toilet trained. Not even swimmer nappies were allowed. He so badly wanted me to take him in the water and I couldn't because they would not let him in anywhere. It was heartbreaking. Because of that, there was literally nothing for him to do on board apart from run around the ship. Post-cruise the most disappointing thing is the fact that we paid Royal Caribbeans absolutely ridiculous prices for photos, only because they managed to get some very spontaneous, amazing shots of our son. BUT after paying around $249 Australian dollars for 10 photos - that's right, only 10 - they didn't send us the link to them as they said they would 4-7 days after the cruise ended. It took a couple of weeks of back and forth emailing to get them to find the link for us so that we could download the photos. AND THEN once we downloaded them, I noticed that they are only supplied in extremely compressed files sizes. Most were about 500kb in size which means if we even tried to blow them up any bigger than a normal size photo in an album they would look terrible and blurry. For $249 AUD Royal Caribbean really skimp on the end product. So far I've been on P&O and Carnival and I'm very surprised to say that I'd pick them over Royal Caribbean in the future. Yes, I know RC own Carnival but the experiences on board are vastly different in my opinon and RC really is no where near worth the extra money you pay. TLDR; Royal Caribbean are terrible for kids and their overpriced photos are not worth buying because the file sizes they deliver electronically are way too small to blow up to hang on a wall for example. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose it for our honeymoon although it was not the best decision. Lack of animations, nothing really to do although they advise some activities. The average age of passengers is 60 yers old which I don’t mind if activities will suit ... Read More
We chose it for our honeymoon although it was not the best decision. Lack of animations, nothing really to do although they advise some activities. The average age of passengers is 60 yers old which I don’t mind if activities will suit also for a little bit younger couples. For 3 last days (due to the bad weather) the activities were closed. It seems like we spend most of the time in our cabins waiting for something interesting. Please let people know in application if you change or close activities as we noted of cancellation just when came to participate. What’s important - there is nothing special to do in ports when stopped during the journey (compared to our other Cruise in Miami). We have a feeling of wasted time, closed on a cruise. Advantages: One evening show was really great so congratulations, friendly staff in dining, nice and clean cabins, well equipped gym. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
11th cruise so yes...I love cruising and this was by far the worst of all due to entertainment...actually lack there of, I’ve ever experienced with RCCL. My 2017 Harmony (US-Texas) and 2018 Symphony (Barcelona Spain) cruises both had ... Read More
11th cruise so yes...I love cruising and this was by far the worst of all due to entertainment...actually lack there of, I’ve ever experienced with RCCL. My 2017 Harmony (US-Texas) and 2018 Symphony (Barcelona Spain) cruises both had AMAZING shows and entertainment (Grease, Hairspray, Flight: Dare to Dream, Ice Skating Shows, Aqua Shows etc.) The Ovation does not even compare AT ALL! Entertainment needs some serious help. The Voom internet was down an entire day so we received a day credit. Due to high winds and ruff seas several activities had to be canceled, which I understand but they never updated the onboard app of the changes. You would head to an event only to get there and be told it’s canceled. Updating the app event calendar would have helped with that issue. Other than that..I have no complaints...enjoyed the cruise. I do think I’ll ever cruise the RC Quantum class again but I will definitely cruise there Oasis class ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
unorganized staffing, providing incorrect information and it's about up sell, up sell. Activities were the same everyday and all the restaurants although had different names had the same food. 2nd cruise and safely say my last. ... Read More
unorganized staffing, providing incorrect information and it's about up sell, up sell. Activities were the same everyday and all the restaurants although had different names had the same food. 2nd cruise and safely say my last. Thought perhaps they would have more staff that were genuinely interested. Half of them were unhelpful and really not interested in there job... Didn't appreciate the constant up sell. very pushy. We were expecting more time at our ports but we were only able to stop at 2 out of 3 ports. on the up note the ship was very clean. our room attendant very thourogh and thoughtful. The shows were very good. But i do think they need to rethink the food at the restaurants. We are not big eaters and would have liked to have an option for small portion sizes. We felt a lot of food went to waste due to large portion size. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had heard fabulous things about this cruise line so we’re keen to experience it. We have travelled on two other cruise lines- Carnival and Holland America. So we aren’t inexperienced cruisers. We had also heard how beautiful the ... Read More
We had heard fabulous things about this cruise line so we’re keen to experience it. We have travelled on two other cruise lines- Carnival and Holland America. So we aren’t inexperienced cruisers. We had also heard how beautiful the cruise to this part of New Zealand is and were looking forward to the trip. On departure day we received a text to say the ship had arrived late so our embarkation time had changed. There were long lines to board the ship as a result. It was not clearly indicated where to drop your bag. The process to board was long but moved fairly well. You weren’t allowed into your cabin before 2pm. Many people were already on board enjoying their drinking package! The ship itself is very large. At times you have a lengthy wait for a lift and they are full. Of course you can use the stairs. The main dining area prefers you to book every night. Actually you need to book at all the restaurants. In terms of the drinking package each guest has to buy the same package so if you buy the deluxe package and your partner doesn’t drink alcohol too bad they have to buy it also. For the package to be of value you have to consume a lot of alcohol every day. There is no wine package. We did however purchase the coffee / tea package which was great. We found the food on board to be disappointing. We ate in Windjammer, main dining room, Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grille. Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grille were fantastic. Excellent food and service. Would recommend purchasing the specialty dining package as it reperesents good value for money. Entertainment was disappointing except for an INXS cover band who were fantastic. Get to the entertainment in plenty of time otherwise you won’t get a seat due to the number of guests. Can’t really comment on the pool area as it was too cold to use the one and only outdoor pool. There are 2 indoor pools, one being for adults only. This are was nice but seats are reserved early with no one using them. If the cruise had of been to the South Pacific then the main pool area would be too small for so many guests. Disembarkation is a nightmare! Lots of guests were getting very cranky the day we left. Very disorganised. Communication was poor Our cabin was a balcony cabin. They are quite long but not wide. Plenty of storage space and the bed was comfortable. We had very rough seas on the way to NZ and our door way to the balcony squeaked all night on our first night. We did get that fixed the next day and everything was fine after that. In terms of the ports we didn’t make it into Dunedin. The fiords are stunning. In Wellington we wasted half the day waiting to get off the ship for our tour. We would’ve preferred to hop off and have a look around and then do our shore excursion. Picton is fabulous- take the time to walk around the town and if you get the chance do the wine trip to Marlborough. I’d definitely go back to New Zealand but would do a self drive trip. In terms of Royal Caribbean I won’t cruise with them again. There were too many boxes not ticked especially when compared to the other lines we’ve travelled with eg Food is better in Carnival & Holland America, Entertainment better in Carnival. Getting in and off the ship is better on both the other lines also. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself ... Read More
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself was good, but as it was a relocation cruise, there were a lot of sea days. I have done such a cruise before (with a different cruise line), so I knew that it was very different from the type of cruise where you stopped every day, or almost every day. BUT the activities did get a little repetitive. There is only so much trivia/card games/dancing you can do. A little more variety would have been great. Even something as simple as more movies available on the big screen, not necessarily just for kids either. The lines for the dodgem cars were very long, but it was fun anyway. I didn't brave the roller skating, not being confident enough to do it on a moving ship! The food was great, although the Windjammer did get a bit repetitive. Perhaps varying the food by having theme days (ie:, Italian, Mexican etc...) instead of having the same two or three things on rotation all the time would have been good. I can't praise the executive chef highly enough though, having a coeliac hubby can often mean sitting opposite a grumpy face as there isn't enough variety, but the Coeliac One was usually satisfied. The main dining rooms were of course lovely, although we didn't try any of the specialty restaurants. The shopping on board was just as expected, same old same old kept getting trotted out, and after seeing the same things "for sale" for about the fourth time, I was constantly surprised at how many people were showing interest, although that may have been due to the boredom some people were feeling after the fifth sea day in a row. My cabin (10316) was excellent and kept clean (how I would love a stateroom attendant at home). The internet was expensive and often slow, so don't buy it unless you really need it. Some of the shows were a bit "meh" but some were great. As an Australian, I really enjoyed the INXS tribute, the band was very energetic and got the room pumping. Lucky things got to stay on the ship for the next cruise too, so even more people would have had a great time! Now, here comes my BIG gripe. Disembarkation was a disaster. Every other line I have been on (including a previous experience with RCCL) you are given a questionnaire with a choice of times you would like to leave, and preference is given to people who have to catch planes after getting off the ship. Not this time, oh no. We were TOLD when we would be getting off the ship, unless we wanted to walk off when the ship docked. So that's what we decided to do. Unfortunately, so did about 3,000 other people, luggage included. Deck 5 was a nightmare, people and bags everywhere. Had there been an emergency at that time, it would have been disastrous. To RCCL, YES I know there was a delay getting clearance, but that only made the problem worse, there wouldn't have been a problem with better management. There was no facility for people catching flights to be getting priority. When we finally got off, we found ourselves on the train platform (obviously there weren't enough cabs in Sydney to cope with the instant demand) with people who were just catching the train home. Getting off then, or a few minutes later, would not have mattered to them, but to us, it meant missing our flight. We were not the only ones, Mascot airport was inundated with frantic people that day. Friends of ours couldn't get another flight until after 8pm. Of course, these flight changes cost money, and when RCCL was asked for assistance as they had caused the problem, nothing was forthcoming, not even the offer of a stateroom credit on a forthcoming cruise. Well, as much as I enjoyed my holiday, I did not enjoy the stress afterwards, so for me, it will not be a Royal Caribbean ship next time. Hubby and I are already looking forward to our next cruise, but RCCL have put us off their brand by their mismanagement and misinformation. If you live near the port and don't have any time pressures to get home, give them a go. If you don't, I wouldn't risk it, even though it is a fun ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo ... Read More
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo interior cabin which while small was good at has a normal double bed and the same bathroom as regular rooms. it had the virtual balcony which I liked. The food in Solarium café and American Icon was very good, but Windjammer was repetitive food (too much Asian and Indian food) and not enough veggies. Windjammer was busy at breakfast but pretty empty at night for dinner. I liked the take 2 café for lunch. I did the North Star twice but not the I-fly or surfing. You had to wait a long time if you wanted bumper cars and then you were on for five minutes. The Hawaii enrichment lectures were very good. I would definitely sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in ... Read More
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in Vancouver so there was not an expedited embarkation for repeat gusets. We were familiar with the ship as we had sailed on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. Once on board we took the stairs to the next floor and walked all the way down to the second bank of elevators. Thus we bypassed the crowd. Ship was clean and beautiful. Even though it was a big ship it didn't seem crowded excWe chose this cruise as it was on our bucket list and we enjoy sea days. We flew to ept when they were selling stuff on the promenade. Dining - We did 2nd seating table for 2. Our waiter and assistance were excellent, making sure everything was to our liking. The food overall was very good. Some items I didn't care for but the staff would accomodate with another entry that was very good. Staff was attentive and when they noticed we always came to dinner with a glass of wine, they had the cheese tray waiting for us. Speciality restaurants - we didn't do any as in the past we have not found them that special. We thought $40 surcharge for Chops on the high side and have experienced high end steak houses on land which these are not. Did check out the Italian Restaurant menu and wasn't impressed. Just run of the mill offerings that seemed like Olive Garden. Entertainment - the shows we saw were very good and overall there was good variety. Enjoyed the piano player at the schooner lounge and small venue bands. Activities - Since we had 5 sea days there seemed to be all kind of activities available. They had enrichment programs, movies,bridge lessons, shows during the day time. We did the bumper cars and waited a long time but had fun watch everyone while we waited. Service - The service was excellent. Our room attendent was always available and very accomodating. All staff we encountered we warm and engaging from bartenders to maitre. Ports Vancouver - We had been there before so we just went to dinner in the revolving restaurant. Food was good and views are spectacular. Seattle - The ship does not dock in downtown,so you need transportation to get to the city. We have been to Seattle a few times and just decided to go to Pike Place, famous fish market. We took taxi and it cost about $12 each way which is cheaper than the ship's offering which was $22 per person plus you can be on your own schedule. Vans were available for $7 per person but we elected not to do this as usually you had to wait until the van is full before they leave. Maui - We took a ship's tour to the volcano. We went 10,000 ft above sea level and we were in the clouds and never got to see the crater. No issue as no one has control over the weather but the ride was exciting, curves climbing etc. The worst part was the guide didn't stop talking the entire time and it was a long day. Kono - We took ship's tour to coffee plantation, strenous hike through the natural habitant and visit to a former native enclave by the sea. It was excellent but the tour description was somewhat lacking. Description said had to walk 4 tenths of a mile over uneven ground. It was at least 3/4 of a mile and we needed walking sticks, as it was steep, had to climb over tree roots, fallen trees and slippery rocks. The guide was excellent, had water and snacks for us. We really enjoyed it. Honolulu We departed and didn't take any ship tours as we were staying there for a few days. Only negative is that no free movies were offered in stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted trip to Alaska, friends were going. Didn't realize how enormous ship was (meaning huge lines for the inadequate number of elevators, time-consuming just to travel to and from cabin to everything). On other cruises, I knew I was ... Read More
Wanted trip to Alaska, friends were going. Didn't realize how enormous ship was (meaning huge lines for the inadequate number of elevators, time-consuming just to travel to and from cabin to everything). On other cruises, I knew I was being squeezed for extra money--on this cruise, it felt like I was constantly being held up by my ankles and shaken for every last penny. The extra-cost Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant made Chef Boy-ar-dee look good (although Chops was excellent and worth the up-charge). Royal Caribbean apparently believe that they absolutely MUST pipe in loud and unappealling musis to every corner of the ship at every hour of the day. There was literally not restaurant, hallway, bar, or any other venue that did not have constant music being blared over the loudspeakers. There were only two "Alaskan" ports (Juneau and Skagway). To say they had the feel of Caribbean ports would be an understatement. They looked exactly like ports in the Caribbean because the VERY SAME jewelry stores were right there in your face--the owners summer in Alaska and winter in the caribbean. The Yukon Pass train in Skagway was a wonderful excursion, but for the most part the two ports felt like pure tourist trap. Technically, I can say I have been to Alaska but it certainly doesn't feel like it. The day we were supposed to be touring the glacier was too foggy to visit it, so no glacier (but it sure looked like a lot of other ships were going to it and heading back from it while we bided our time "whale watching"). The food in the dining room was mediocre (which surprised me based on our prior RC experience). More drinking than I expected on an Alaska cruise (it felt more like a caribbean party boat). We put our luggage outside our door the last night, properly tagged, as instructed. In port, all but one of our bags had been off-loaded to the right area. We didn't find our last bag in time to leave for our flight, and we filled out the RC form. My attempts to find out about the bag through the customer "service" line was an exercise in Kafka-esque futility. The on-line process they require has proven meaningless. Nearly two weeks after RC took custody and control of our bag, we have now information about it (it was highly distinctive, impossible to overlook if someone actually looked for it). Trying to get information from RC has proven to be an utter waste of time. I can't imagine ever taking an RC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just came back from final Alaska run before it re-positioned to Australia and pretty much loved it all. Our group booked the ultimate drinks and dining packages before the cruise to have freedom on board and we're all glad we did. ... Read More
Just came back from final Alaska run before it re-positioned to Australia and pretty much loved it all. Our group booked the ultimate drinks and dining packages before the cruise to have freedom on board and we're all glad we did. Drink package was definitely a deal if you drink water, coffee, juice, soda and 4+ drinks over the course of a day. All the restaurants very good but standouts were Wonderland and Chopt. Absolutely delicious. Tip: when you get on the ship, book all your dinners for the week with Guest Services or Restaurant Services. Lunches are pretty easy to nab there when you want to. Windjammer buffet is fine but pretty crazy, so we opted for sit down breakfast in dining room after day 3. We never ate in dining room but hear it was good. Overall, thumbs up on food and drinks, with lots of options. Our cabin with large balcony (11690) was very clean and well organized for storage. More than enough for two people and plenty of hangars. Glad we brought a power strip and our own shampoo/conditioner, lotion etc., since that wasn't supplied (although someone said you could ask for it). The bathroom is really small but not surprising and always clean. Lots to do on the ship or lots of places to chill and do nothing. We loved the adult solarium and used the warm pools and hot tubs several times. We enjoyed Bingo, which was fun and very popular. The Disco dance party was a lot of fun, thanks to the Cruise Director and team kicking it off, and the bar trivia and musicians kept us all entertained. Of special note is the Spa. We all gave it five stars. Our massages and facials were absolutely terrific and the staff backed off quickly after their obligatory product sell. Highly recommend. Since we had our cards on file, we never had to "check out," and all tips were handled for us. For disembarking, we opted to carry the bags off ourselves and were completely off the ship and in a taxi in 20 minutes. DO THIS. Finally, every staff member we met was friendly and professional and helped make the trip extra special. We had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Like most things, one can make it great, which is what we did after adjusting our expectations. All the good... Blazing fast embarkation. 10/10 on the new method RCL. The staff, aside from one waiter, is probably the best staff ... Read More
Like most things, one can make it great, which is what we did after adjusting our expectations. All the good... Blazing fast embarkation. 10/10 on the new method RCL. The staff, aside from one waiter, is probably the best staff we have ever had. In the past I have felt the staff were urged to make their presence known. As in “look what I am doing for you right now.” This staff you knew they were there as things just magically happened. I swear one waiter would walk by our table, without stopping, and fill our water goblet and never miss a step. Austin in Wonderland was incredIble! Our cabin steward always had our cabin picture perfect and only saw him 2X the entire trip. The bar staff knew I liked the fresh OJ mixed with sparkling water in the morning and had it waiting for me when I stepped up to the bar. Popped over a few times over to guest services and they we all kind, helpful, and communicated effectively. Best staff ever! We tipped many with additional cash at the end of the trip. The showers in the bathroom were slightly large and much more comfortable to bath in than other ships. The cruise director made even the most bland show entertaining, honestly some shows we would attend just to enjoy him as MC. Areas that came up short from previous experiences. HATED the new compass layout!!! In past we would do an activity, then check the time and find another activity to hop over to the next event. The new Cruise Compass is broken up into “interests”. So you have to check every single block, find if there is something going on, then check the neck block to see if something else is more interesting. I did about 1/3 the activities I would normally do because it would take 15 minutes to figure this all out and it was frustrating. I actually was excited when we were in port purely for the fact I didn’t have to deal with the stupid new Compass layout. After a few days, every morning we would “plan” our day. For us, that is not how we cruised in the past and enjoyed the spontaneous of the day. But, it is the reason I only gave the cruise a 4 and not a 5. WARNING! There are no locker rooms available in the fitness center. Zero. Nada. This was disappointing. So much nicer to workout, hop in the sauna, shower, then going about the day. This had been a “ritual” on every cruise. They offered us to purchase Thermal suite access to have access to lockers and Sauna. Thankfully this time are cabin was close to the fitness center. Things that I didn’t notice until they were gone... Silly as this may sound, but I missed the art. There are pictures, and I LOVED the walkway to the Two70, but overall lacking interesting artwork compared to Freedom and Voyager class ships. We made adjustments, and enjoyed our time. The staff truly made the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Reviews are all about expectations. I read many of these reviews and it is like they were not on the Ovation. Wife and I been on over 160 separate cruises and many on RCI sailings. The ship is beautiful and the staff and crew were ... Read More
Reviews are all about expectations. I read many of these reviews and it is like they were not on the Ovation. Wife and I been on over 160 separate cruises and many on RCI sailings. The ship is beautiful and the staff and crew were very nice and very happy. In my experience a happy crew, equal a happy ship. Embarkation: My family arrived at the Port of Seattle at 1:30 pm. We actually read our documents and came when we requested. NO wait, No problems, and we were in our cabins in 30 minutes. Any immigration situations are not Royals responsibility. We are very high up in our status, but don't take or expect any special treatment. Never arrive early. You will have to wait in lines and fight for a seat in the buffet until they release the cabins. Disembarkation: Very organized and quick. Again, go when you are called. They have a system, use it. The food was as expected. Not Ruth Chris's. We found Jaimes to have the best food for our tastes. If you are a critical person, then cruising is just not for you. Did this cruise go perfect. Of course not. We had three balcony cabins together and brought our 2 year old. She had a great time, but even better, we all had a great time. Pixels is one of the best shows we have seen. The ship is so large, that during sea days, we never felt crowded. I just cannot believe some people who seem to be so critical and think because this is a " Critic " forum, they feel necessary to write that way. I do my homework in regards to the Ports of Call. No surprises there. Reviewing the ship for your bad experience in Juneau, is your fault. Not the ships. Really people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a gorgeous ship! The layout is very unlike most of the other RCCL ships because it was made for a different type of itinerary. We did Alaska in mid-September. The outdoor pool was heated, and we had no issue swimming in it. But ... Read More
This is a gorgeous ship! The layout is very unlike most of the other RCCL ships because it was made for a different type of itinerary. We did Alaska in mid-September. The outdoor pool was heated, and we had no issue swimming in it. But there is also a covered pool and an adults-only solarium with some smaller soaking-type pools. It's all very comfortable with plenty of space to watch the scenery go by. If the sun is shining, don't hesitate to try the walking/jogging track above the pool level. We saw so many whales, and all we needed was a light jacket and/or sweatshirt and we were perfectly comfortable. The food was excellent and pretty much on par with food on most RCCL ships; so if you generally like the food on RCCL cruises, the Ovation will be mostly the same. The cafe@Two70 was a welcome addition with some nice sandwiches. Pixels is the one show you need reservations for. It's an impressive show with talented performers, but it wasn't really our taste (kind of modern and weird). Plus, we sat toward the back, which made it near impossible to see anything. If you go to the show, get there early so you can find a seat up close to the action. The rest of the entertainment (production shows, singers, a magician, etc.) all seemed to be a notch above what I've seen on other cruises. The Music Hall, Boleros, and the Schooner Bar also always had wonderful musicians. The casino has the nicest layout I've seen on any cruise ship. It is very spacious, and you can walk around without bumping into a bunch of people. I would sail the Ovation of the Seas again in a heartbeat. The staff of course was wonderful, but more than that, the ship is simply spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am a Royal only cruiser and this cruise was a huge disappointment for many reasons. I booked a balcony room on the 13th floor. Most of this floor has an obstructed view with support beams and a roof overhang that blocks most of the sky. ... Read More
I am a Royal only cruiser and this cruise was a huge disappointment for many reasons. I booked a balcony room on the 13th floor. Most of this floor has an obstructed view with support beams and a roof overhang that blocks most of the sky. It is NOT sold as "obstructed" I spent the first day of the cruise unpacking, packing ,moving to better view room and unpacking again. This could have been avoided had the room description included obstructed! Secondly, there is a giant smoking area that is not outside and has no ventilation along with the casino that is offensively smoke filled. Thirdly-the MDR's food was inedible...we attempted it the first night and never went back. We opted for the Solarium Bistro which was much better. The crowd control was chaotic on sea days of which there were 3 full days. The stops of Juneau and Skagway were great with great shore excursions. Victoria day was just too short although we did the wine tasting and it was great. All in all....a smaller ship is needed to navigate the Endicott arm. This ship is misrepresenting the term "glacier" cruise. Unless you take an excursion you will not see one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and ... Read More
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and the North Star along with pre-booking our night to see Pixels and the Escape Room. I drafted a calendar of events, activities, and dinner times and places we wanted to do from prior cruise compasses with lots of time to add more while on the ship. Months prior to cruising, I signed us up for the Meet and Mingle Roll Call, and participated on the review boards for our particular cruise and met many nice and funny people. This is a great way to meet others prior to sailing. Thursday: Seattle, Washington - We flew into Seattle a day before the cruise and arrived early and dropped our bags off at "The State Hotel" just steps away from Pike Place Market. It was our first stop and we watched the fishing sailing through the air. The booths are endless - we saw crab legs as long as our arms, an abundance of flowers and many local crafts. Prior to returning to our hotel, we enjoyed dinner at "Pike Place Bar & Grill." The Steamed Manilla Clams and the Cod Fish and Chips dinner were delicious. Best fresh cod ever! Embarkation and Day of Sailing - Seattle, Washington: Due to the time change and going to bed early, my husband and I had morning coffee at the "The State Hotel" and explore more of the area. Our Lyft picked us up at the hotel and we arrived at the ship minutes later at the Port terminal (before 10:00 a.m.). As I was a disabled veteran he made sure we were dropped off close to the entry doors - the cost $16. Upon showing our Sea Passes - we were quickly ushered in the line for "Key" members and sat in the area to await a wheelchair for me. Time quickly flew and before we knew it - the activity director took us aboard the largest ship we have ever seen. This was the fastest and easiest embarkation we have ever experienced. Ovation of the Seas - She is a very beautiful ship with plenty to do and see. It would take weeks to accomplish all on her. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on the 11th floor - 11180. Knowing it would not be ready until 1:00 p.m.; we went to Guest Relations and purchased the Wow Bands for $4.99. These bands are surely worth it as I used it often for unlocking our cabin door throughout the cruise saving time for searching for my Sea Pass which I left often in the light switch. Not only did Glen, our room attendant, kept our cabin neat and clean each day, he left multiple towel animals for us to enjoy. I took Traveler's Ginger Candy (Gin Gin Company) with me and only had to savor two of them during the cruise. I share most of the bag with others who were experiencing seasickness even wearing the patch. Friday: Day 1 - At noon, we went to the Main Dining to eat with other Key Members and enjoyed a Chops Grille luncheon. Hubby had the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail, Everything Crusted Tuna and the New York Cheesecake. I had the Caesars Salad with their signature dressing, Petite Filet Mignon with three dipping sauces and the New York Cheesecake. This meal was scrumptious! After eating lunch, we explore the ship unto our way to the cabin. The large towel I pre-purchased was in the room, but the Polar Bear Alaska Blanket for two was missing. I spoke to the attendant and he did not know if one could be found. This was distressing for me, as I had purchased it months ago. A few days later the Deck Supervisor found a brand new blanket and gave it to me - it surely made my day that the personnel on the ship took extra lengths to ensure our cruise would be delightful. We saw our Key envelopes and entered our passwords for the VOOM and notice that we had a letter stating our special departure times for each port. Our next stop was at the Sky Bar where we met our Cruisers from our Roll Call. It was great seeing who I had been conversing with online prior to sailing. Muster was at 3:15 and we made our way down to the Schooner Bar. Go a tad bit early for Muster to obtain a seat. Muster went flawlessly. At 6:00 p.m. while hubby was relaxing and watching out our balcony, I went to see and purchase the Alaska Survival Kit. Many store vendors had their selections out and I was able to purchase gifts for our kids. I preselected our "My Time Dining" for 7:00 p.m. and we went to eat at the Silk. This dinner was disappointing after having a fantastic luncheon with Chops Grille. Although we were seated quickly, it took a while to take our orders. Hubby and I ordered the Escargot that was swimming in butter and parsley. I love eating escargot but the Silk's mostly tasted like butter and was bland. Maybe Silk could try cooking the escargot with less butter, add garlic and mushrooms to it like they used to do in the early 2000s. The rest of the meal was neither remarkable nor memorable as the prime rib was overcooked. The service was sporadic and we miss the old days of the traditional MDR days with the greeting from the Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter all of whom worked together. I believe the seating arrangement made it more difficult and all of these restaurant venues with "My Time Dining" made it more difficult for the wait staff and guests. I highly suggest two of the venues return to the traditional MDR. After dinner, we went to Comedy Night on Decks 4/5. The show was average and was disrupted many times by guests leaving. We sat in the handicap area and the attendant was a tad bit annoyed with us sitting there. I guess she did not see my cane nor my leg brace. Her sour demeanor was quickly forgotten. After the show, we stopped in the Royal Casino and the host gave us our gold coins to try our luck at the special slot machine. While hubby played Blackjack, I tried my hand at Roulette. We both had a good night and won some. We strolled Deck 5 and found the smoking area. We made friends there that we would see often throughout the cruise. By the time we got to our room our luggage had arrived and morning came fast. Thanks to other cruise reviews, I had most of our important items in our carry-on. Saturday: Day 2 - Cruising: After having morning coffee, hubby and I went up to Deck 16 and were excited to experience the North Star. Even though I do not like heights, this was an awesome experience. Hubby took many pictures and we were able to see far off in the distance including the entire ship. Upon standing in line, the attendant escorted to the elevator to take me to the doors of the North Star so I can experience it without struggling the stairs. Just a FYI there are many times in which the North Star does not cost the guest any extra monies and as a "Key" guest we were able to experience it without lines a 2nd time. Port Shopping Show - I went to the Port Shopping Show and learned the best places to visit for shopping form multiple beautiful gems to see and possibly buy. Bingo and Blackjack Qualifying Round - Oh my - had so much fun playing bingo and won an extra bingo shirt. I came so close to winning cash. Hubby went to the Blackjack Qualifying Round and placed for the tournament. Balcony and Deck 5: - Spent the afternoon relaxing and watching for whales and Orcas and saw many. It truly was an awesome experience. Formal Night - Hubby and I dressed to the max and it was such a delight. We went to the second seating at Silk. If we thought the first dinner was disappointing, this dinner was worse. I decided to try the Seafood with Linguini. It was terrible, the shrimp tasted old, clams cold and the bay scallops were still frozen. I pushed my plate aside and the waiter came and was told I was done. Another waiter stopped and asked if I wanted to try something else. Once again I stated I was no longer hungry and this time described the meal quietly as to not disturb the other guests. We saw him walk quickly to the Supervisor as we were leaving. Hubby told me to keep going as the Chef was now running behind us. We left the area, went to Sorrento's and ate pizza. Needlessly to say we miss MDR dining. After dinner, we went to the Comedy Show and it was great! So glad to try to see another comedy show. Afterwards we strolled the deck in the moonlight then changed clothes for the Casino and played a few rounds. Sunday: Day 3 - Alaska Inside Passage/Juneau - Once again we enjoyed a light breakfast at Two70 (Deck 5) of coffee, juice and Panini. We went to our Meet and Mingle in Vintages and were greeted by others who posted prior to cruising. Tony and his wife were experienced cruisers and were very friendly. Tony gave each us beautiful bracelets. Thanks Tony! We met families with children who were bored and suggested the Adventure Ocean program. Two families sought us out later and told us they had a hard time getting their children to leave. Juneau, Alaska - Due to the Key, we went to the Music Hall (Deck 3) at noon to await our departure for Juneau. Within minutes, we were off the ship and going down the gangway. Upon hitting the boardwalk, a Pedicab took us to the Mount Roberts Tramway in which we purchased our tickets to the Tram and to AJ Mine/Gastineau Mining Tour. We took the tram to the top and we were able to see Eagles and view the authentic Alaska Native Arts and purchased items in their gift shop. We took the Tram down and were met by our guide for our mining excursion. This was a quaint excursion as it was shared with one other couple. We saw this same mining company on the Discovery Channel. Our guide was a retired miner and kept us entertain while exploring the inside of the mine. We learned the history of the mine and it was quite an experience. Once outside the mine, two young guides taught us how to pan for gold and garnets of which we each found almost entire vial worth of both. This is a must see excursion which I found online. Upon returning to Port, hubby and I went shopping and I was able to collect my charms to add to my bracelet while looking at Gold Quartz jewelry, Korite (Ammolite), Tanzanite, an array of Northern Lights jewelry the rare Alexandrite collection and the Crown of Lite jewelry collection. If you are a coffee lover like us - visit the Heritage Coffee Roasting Company. The aromas are intoxicating. While most people were eating at Tracy's Crabshack and eating arm length crab legs, hubby and I had a delicious dinner at the Twisted Fish Company. Their clams in wine sauce, crab cakes and calamari were scrumptious! We went back to the ship by 8:00 p.m. and took our purchases to our room. Upon leaving our cabin, we saw the telephone message light blinking and quickly learned how our Klukwan Native Culture Excursion was canceled due to "lack of participation." Although the Shore Excursion Desk stated for us to come by and book another excursion I took time to look at the Royal IQ app and saw there were none that interest us. I searched Google and learned this excursion had closed for the season the week prior. This left a bad taste as you would think the Shore Excursion would verify all excursion to ensure none closed early for the season prior to the sailing. Needless to say, we went to Deck 5, met up with friends and were invited to join them for the Jeep excursion to the Yukon. Shortly there afterwards we went up to the top deck to take photos of the ever changing sculptures on the pier and watched the sail away at 9:00 p.m. A while later we stopped in at Schooners and listen to piano music, visit the Casino, ate late night pizza at Sorrento's, met more friends on Deck 5 and had an enjoyable night. Monday: Day 4 - Skagway, Alaska - Morning came quickly and we picked up breakfast at Two70 and sat in the Deck 5 lounge. Shortly thereafter, the four of us left the ship (with our passports) and we walked to town (take the tram and ride it as it is 1/2 mile hike). Before you know it, we were in the jeep driving towards the Yukon. Our GPS (jokingly our landmark book) did not take us directly to the Yukon, as it did not account for the road closure and detour. Before we knew it, we arrived at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. We took our time, crossed the bridge and saw its beauty. Afterwards we had lunch at their cafe of bison chili that was mouthwatering. I purchase bison chips, crackers and cheese to enjoy later. After an hour out we turned around and the road was already paved, and we were on our way to Carcass and saw the smallest desert. We stopped in Carcross for drinks, snacks, and some shopping (a nice small town with plenty to see and buy including readers). The ice cream was delicious. Within minutes, we saw a bear by the side of the road and took pictures. We saw so much wildlife on our way to Emerald Lake. So cool to see and many photo ops there too. Soon we arrived at Emerald Lake and the view was spectacular. We took our time traveling back to Skagway and came upon another bear - this one was very large standing in the middle of the road. After taking a few pictures, the bear retreated into the woods nearby. The four of us went shopping and picked up trinkets, postcards and the train charms for our bracelets. We were back on the ship by 5:00 p.m. in time to relax for dinner. Tonight we had reservations for the Solarium. This is a quaint dinner spot that is included in your cruise to partake if one so desired. Many people just ate from their buffet, but Hubby and I chose from their menu and their buffet. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The tables were nicely spaced and the wait staff made sure each guest was enjoying oneself. After dinner, I went to the Rossalite Gems show - these gems are beautiful!! Hubby and I watch the sunset and off to play at the Casino. Tuesday: Day 5 - Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier - hubby and woke up early and went to Two70 for coffee and carried our breakfast to the Deck 5 lounge where we could Glacier Watch. This did not occur ,as the Captain of the Ship was wise to turn us around when he saw how big the icebergs under the water were and was smart enough to put our safety first. Many understood but there were others who were angry until other guests explain that small iceberg on top of the water is much smaller than what is not seen under the water. The Captain took his time and the entire ship went whale watching with many to see. Prior to lunch, I went to the room to pick up my bingo shirts and daubers and purchase my bingo cards. I was awarded extra free bingo cards for each shirt and dauber and was given the B3 Blue Bingo Fish (which gave me an extra bingo card on day 3 - win a cruise bingo). No wins for me but came close and had an enjoyable time. After bingo, we went and saw the Love and Marriage Show - this show is a must to see and everyone seem to enjoy themselves. Afterwards I dropped off my bingo gear and was met by the 11th Deck Supervisor who surprised me with the Polar Bear Winter Blanket! Yeah!! Escape Room - this activity was pre-booked prior to cruising. Hubby and I never experienced and it was quite intriguing. There were 12 of us working together in which you collect clues, solve puzzles to escape and only had 1 hour to do so. Hubby found most of the locked boxes and we helped solved many of the puzzles to collect clues and were able to escape. This was a very fun activity and everyone should try it. I do know not all the ships have this activity but they should as it is a very enjoyable experience and does not take up much room to play it. Windjammer - Hubby and I went exploring another part of the ship and dropped our Custom Form off at Guest Relations. Unbelievable as there is still so much to see and experienced. Dinner was upon us and we decided to try the Windjammer. We were met with "Washy Washy" which sounded delightful in her singsong manner. A table was easily found and we went to look at the array of foods. Chad made me a delicious plate of my own ingredients for Lo Mein. I thought I was full until the dumped a fresh batch of French fries at a station nearby and off I went to get a small plate of them with Malt Vinegar. Oh my - I was in heaven!! The array of desserts will make your mouth water once again. Another familiar feature was seen in the Windjammer was see fruit carvings - the fish in the watermelon was totally spectacular! After dinner, we strolled the deck to walk off dinner prior to an evening out with hubby. I missed out as I fell asleep while waiting for hubby taking a shower. He went to the Casino with friends. So nice that I was able to catch up on my sleep which is hard to do on such a fun cruise. Wednesday: Day 6 - Cruising - Yep we had coffee from Two70 and taking breakfast away to Deck 5 lounge and relaxed watching the waves. Fab Abs class - OH MY! That was surely a work out! Off to the room to shower so I can enjoy the day. It was not long until it was our time to experience the IFly on Deck 16. IFly - The crew here are very safety conscious and thoroughly enjoys assisting guests with having a fun experience. First, you are asked if you have had any neck and upper back injuries as one cannot safely participate. Next, you are weighed in - thank goodness, they do not say one's weight aloud. Hubby could not participate, as he was a few pounds too heavy for his height, which he was fine with as I think he was more excited to see if I would go through with it. Lol. We watch a short safety video, learned our four hand signals and then suited up. Soon it was our turn to go to the gravity chamber. Since all of us listened and followed their instructions, we were able to fly higher with our instructor in which we spun upward. Such an exhilarating experience!! Bingo for a free cruise - Went to the room, picked up all my bingo gear and given 21 cards to play. So close with 1 number but did not win - maybe next time. It was so nice to see the young gentleman jump up, yell bingo, and win a cruise for 2 while on his honeymoon. Dog House - even with all the variety of food - a good beef hot dog and/or bratwurst with sauerkraut fits the lunch bill easily. Relaxing afternoon - hubby took a much needed nap and I went exploring the shops (be wise and leave your sea pass in the light switch like me - it saves you money - lol). I purchase a few small items and went to relax with friends. I woke hubby for dinner and dressed for our second formal dinner. American Icon Grill - this was chosen as Hubby refused to go back to Silk and he knew I wanted to eat lobster. Dinner service was extraordinary and so unlike what we experienced in the Silk. The Wait Staff were friendly and interactive with the guests. The waiter made dinner suggestions and knew the ingredients for the dishes. Our appetizers were delicious (hubby had the Caesar Salad and I tried the Escargot again - their style of cooking grows on you). Hubby selected the beef tenderloins and asked for rare and was super shocked it was cooked the way he wanted AND very tender. He was enjoying this dinner outing. The Waiter brought me two lobster tails and brought heated butter to the table. Oh my! The lobster melted in your mouth. After dinner, the Waiter cleared the table and knife scraped the tablecloth prior to dessert (an old MDR table method this was the only time seen done). Since this was the 50th year, a special cake with swirled lollipop stick came out with the desserts we selected. Hubby had apple pie ala mode nicely heated with a side of vanilla ice cream. I had the Molten Chocolate Cake that was quite delicious. Hubby and I had another stroll on deck and met up with our friends who had a very enjoyable experience too while dining in Wonderland. We share our dining experiences and discussed what we were going to do in Victoria. We all went to the Casino and knew bed was early as the time change went forward 1 hour - morning would arrive sooner. Thursday: Day 7 - Victoria, British Columbia including the Hop On Hop Off Tour - Hubby and I took the double decker bus to Victoria ($15 roundtrip per person) and saw many sights on our way and was dropped off at the Empress Hotel in time to purchase our tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus which had a 90 minute tour if you stayed on it. My leg was sore so we chose the tour. The tour guide, Norm was very interesting and we learned about the Gold Rush, the history of Victoria, saw the tiniest through way that Mel Gibson took for Bird on the Wire, Craigdarroch Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, etc. We even saw peacocks and many deer throughout the tour. Once back to the Empress Hotel, we walk towards Irish Pub called the "Irish Times" for lunch. I advise you to be extra hungry as we ordered the O'Hagan's Platter. This platter is huge and contained Chicken wings, loaded fries, sweet potato fries and dry ribs. Hubby and I barely put a dent into it. This platter covered almost the entire table with barely any room for our drinks. We explored some of the shops and purchased a few items to take home. We took the Double Decker bus back to the cruise ship by 4:00 p.m. Both of us took showers and went to meet up with friends to share our Victoria experiences. Later that evening we ate dinner at Windjammer which was quite filling. We took our nightly stroll, headed back to our rooms to pack our luggage, and left it in the hallway for pick up. We went to the Casino, played a few rounds and turned in our remaining Chips and Tokens. Our last stop for the evening was a quick late night pizza at Sorrento's and I went to the library and printed out our plane tickets home. Friday - Day 8 - Vancouver, British Columbia - it is a sad day that this fantastic cruise was coming to an end. Since we had the "Key," hubby and I were treated to breakfast in the American Icon on Deck 4 prior to leaving on Deck 5 near Wonderland. We disembarked in easy and quick manner and our luggage was quickly secured. Our porter took our luggage throughout the terminal and escorted us outside the terminal by the Pacific Hotel where we would meet for the Sear to Air Post Tour Excursion with Landsea Tours. This is a 6-hour tour that included a drop off to the airport. Our tour guide was very interesting and we knew it had changes to it as the Gondola to the Suspension Bridge had been sabotaged a few weeks prior to the tour. Landsea Tours emailed us 2 days after the sabotaged to verify whether we want to continue with the tour as the Suspension Bridge was exchanged for a visit to Grouse Mountain Resort. We first crossed the Lions Gate Bridge and saw the massive entry lions. We took a brief trip to Shannon Falls and it was a breathtaking sight. Next, we went to the Britannia Mine Museum and this was exciting as we had the opportunity to learn how the rocks were broken down until fine sand and then sent to San Francisco to cultivate it for gold, silver, copper. We toured the underground mine and then toured the ground floor of the building learning about the different stages, how hard mining was, and the harsh life of the miners. We panned for a bit and found more gold and copper nuggets. We then took a brief trip to Horseshoe Bay for lunch and saw Howe Sound fjord. People were so friendly throughout the tour. Lastly, we traveled to Grouse Mountain. We took the Skyride Gondola up the mountain and arrived in time to witness the Lumberjack Show that was quite funny and impressive showcasing their skills. The lumberjacks interacted with the audience throughout the show. Vancouver Airport - Once the tour was complete we were dropped at the Airport doors for Westjet and assisted with our luggage. Our flight home late that evening was uneventful except how the Canadians can teach Americans a thing or two about the ease of flying international while disabled. As I was seen struggling trying to obtain luggage tags, a gentleman with Westjet quickly assisted us. Upon seeing me struggling with walking, he secured a wheelchair with a Westjet attendant for me. She took us through security. The Canadians operation for going through security is easily done as is how one travels throughout their airport. First, they swapped out my cane for one of theirs so I can go through scanner without the fear of falling. Next, security was already ready to scan my knee brace quickly and I was whisked away by the Westjet attendant to the appropriate gate. She made sure we reached our gate in a timely manner with time to spare. Unknowingly she reserved future wheel chairs for me for the remaining two connecting flights. Our first flight went from Vancouver to Toronto. Upon arrival, a Westjet attendant whisked me away in a wheelchair and took all the shortcuts to customs. We were there within minutes and a few questions later on our way to our next flight. We were quickly through security and once again, the cane swapping occurs. This was so cool as the disabled were treated with respect and not a hindrance as what I had incurred on the flights with American Air to Seattle. Each airline took care of their own passengers while the airport staff drove the trams to the multiple terminals. Upon our arrival at La Guardia airport, the wheelchair was there and we were quickly taken to the terminal for our last flight with Delta Air. We quickly obtained our luggage and hubby had us on our way home. We had an awesome time celebrating our 34th anniversary on the Ovation of the Seas (such a romantic setting for 2) and now must go back to the real world, but already planning our next cruise for 2. Or maybe with all our adult children to enjoy too OR just plan 2 more cruises??. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to go to areas we have not traveled to previously. My girlfriend and myself would be considered avid cruisers at this point and love every cruise we have taken. This cruise initially tried to frustrate us due to two ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to areas we have not traveled to previously. My girlfriend and myself would be considered avid cruisers at this point and love every cruise we have taken. This cruise initially tried to frustrate us due to two issues we encountered. The first was the cruise terminal on embarkation day. The employees that were dressed in RCCL attire had a very difficult time figuring out the proper procedures for boarding. We had a Grand Suite (Sky Level) and were not allowed to board right away because I was only Emerald and not Pinnacol, D+, or a "KEY" guest. We all know this was incorrect but this happened to us and a couple of Suite guest behind us. We were all told to proceed to a specific area and door. Later I found that this was the wrong door for suite guest but this is the one we were told to go to. Once the announcement was made to start boarding the Suite, Pinnacol, D+, and "KEY" guest, this was when two different employees told us we were Emerald or Gold so we could not board with the proper group. A third employee finally showed up and got the process straightened out after some of the other suite guest started yelling at the employees after they just shrugged off the complaints and rudely ignored us. I do not think it is our responsibility to know their job. This just started the cruise on the wrong note. This was the worst embarkation experience we have encountered over several different terminals. Once on board, the ship was fantastic. Rooms were ready on time and the Grand Suite did not disappoint. Loved having all the outlets and USB connections for charging stuff. Having the outlet by the bed for the CPAP was very convenient. The room was kept immaculate the entire cruise and towel animals were provided and kept my girlfriend very happy. The SPA area did not disappoint. The hair cut I received and the couples message that we had were great. Dining was the only letdown and this may be because of the class of ship and its layout. Our first lunch was in Costal Kitchen and was enjoyed very much. That night we tried the Silk restaurant due to having "My Time Dining". To say we were disappointed is being mild. Service was horrible and caused us to much confusion. I do seriously believe this is due to the design and layout of the dining room. Where in the traditional MDR, the Waiter, Head Waiter, and Assistant Waiter work together as a team and have line of sight communication, this class of ship was not designed for the MDR experience. It originally had four different menus at the four different dining venues. This did not go over well and now they are trying to run the four different venues on the MDR menue for all four spaces. These spaces were not designed in the MDR style conducive to these seating's and causes a bunch of confusion between the different wait staff. I would say that maybe this was the first night jitters with new guest but we tried the "American Icon " the next night and although a little better, this experience fell well shot of what we have experienced on other classes of ship that use the MDR concept. Rather than keep being disappointed, we chose to take the rest of our dining in the Costal Kitchen. I cannot say enough about the staff in the dining venue. They were terrific every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They literally saved our dining experience and was one of the biggest positive aspects to our cruise. We tried the 270 Bistro and the Windjammer and found both of these venues adequate. Another jewel if you are sky class or above, was the Concierge, and the Concierge lounge. Always a nice quiet area to hang out, grab a quick snack, drink, or coffee. The Concierge and staff for this area were great and made everyone feel at home and relaxed throughout the entire cruise. Entertainment and Activities abound on this ship. From the "North Star" to PIXELS in 270, there seemed to always be something to do. We did shore excursions at all three ports and found all to be quite interesting. We found that there wasn't enough time for everything so we will probably have to schedule another Alaska adventure further down the line. Disembarkation was the saving grace for this cruise terminal. The new program of checking your luggage through to your final destination and getting your boarding passes on the ship made the process seamless and a lot less stressful. I love this new program (probably not available at all ports) and would highly recommend its usage to future Alaska cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port ... Read More
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port although we were scheduled for pier assistance, we had to walk a LOOOONG way to get there, you don't get to the wheelchairs till you are almost on the ramps! They checked our passports and set sail passes on the first floor of the pier and sent us up the elevator to check in. There were people just off the elevator who again looked at our set sail passes and told us to see a pier administrator. I asked why and where do I go. They did not say why but just said go straight ahead someone will help you. We went straight ahead, talked to yet another person who told us to go to the wheelchair area, who then sent us back to one of the check in desks. Long story short, after at least 6 different people who kept saying they didn't know what was going on, one lady said, "Oh, you can't get on the ship because you owe money!!!" She said we owed $179.62. Not only a strange amt but how could I have printed my set sail pass if I still owed money? Luckily, I had printed all my Paid in full receipts ...cruise, excursions and amenities After repeatedly saying we owed the money but having no idea why, they allowed us on the ship only after I signed papers that said I would settle this on the ship. They also copied all my paid in full receipts. then we went to wait for wheelchairs. When we finally got on the ship, we went directly to guest services to get this taken care of and no one knew what the amount "owed" was for, only that we owed it. They said they'd check it out and get back to me and leave a message on my phone....never happened. This went on for three days, each day a promised call never happened...finally one person at guest services, on the third day said I guarantee you will not be charged for this ...she signed a receipt and the charge did not appear on my bill. Not only was all this a pain, but we were unable to sign up for the escape room and Ifly on boarding because they were gone since we took so long checking in....total time checking in....we were at the pier at 1030a and rooms were open by the time we left GS...so it was after 130p. We got to our room and it was a very nice quiet room, about 15 ft off the elevators, . After unpacking, I went to wash my hands and heard a deep gurgling sound. The hubs thought it sounded like a clogged or blocked pipe. I didn't pay much attention since the toilet and sink worked the rest of the day. The next morning while I was taking a shower I realized the water wasn't going down and before I could get out, the water level had risen to the height of the bathroom door! Luckily it did not go into the room. They sent someone up to rod out the drains, followed by a team to clean and disinfect the bathroom. After that we had no problem with the room. The balcony was large, and comfortable...with 2 chairs and footrests and a small table. The blackout shades worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our room steward "V" (his name was very long and difficult to pronounce so he said just call me V) was great. Replaced the ice as needed, cleaned the room, even when we said don't bother and kept us supplied with towels and some towel animals. We did not use the MDR as we ate whenever we felt hungry. We used the Windjammer and the food was actually very good. Loved the soups but they were loaded with salt! Finding a seat however was another story. We also ate at Sorrento's Pizza...which was very good. They had antipasto type dishes and pizza. Cafe Promenade was not as good as on the Oasis class ships. Desserts, pastries and cakes on the whole, were not very good. But this was expected since they were no better on any other RCI ship I have been on. The casino was drab and smoke filled. It seemed that there were very few slot machines and the only ones paying or interesting enough to play were in the smoking section. I did hit a jackpot for $1180 and was very happy it was $20 under the taxable limit...they have signs all over the casino stating that there is a 30% tax on wins of $1200 or more!!! 30%...that's HUGE! As far as the excursions/ports....Loved Juneau and Skagway but transportation in Skagway left a lot to be desired. Whale watching and wild life excursion in Juneau was a big disappointment ...seeing only the water blow and a whale's back was not very exciting. We saw about 5 sea lions on one bouy ...the extent of the wildlife. The captain said he saw an eagle fly by. The excursion boat was old, smelly and the stairs were so steep they were very difficult to maneuver even for able bodied persons. Skagway was beautiful and the White Mountain Pass Railway is a must do. We used luggage valet through RCI and it was great! It was easy and free. We left our luggage outside our door on Friday night and never saw it again till we landed in Chicago. Disembarkation and airport transport was a joke really. We bought and paid for 2 ...then got an instruction sheet very late...after 8pm with instructions for everyone but those with transfers...all it said was Transfers booked with us? Please see below...but the "below" was not there...many people were in line at GS just after 8pm on Friday for help trying to figure out what to do. The next morning, we found our way to the wheel chair assistance area, I needed to use the restrooms and tried to go to the one near the W/C area..I was told I'd have to walk up or down one floor or take an elevator (you know how crowded they are when everyone is leaving the ship).They said the restroom was closed due to security reasons! WHY would they make the restroom close to the handicapped area unavailable?!?!?!? Stupidest thing ever!! Continuing on.....although our flight wasn't until 330pm...we were put on an early bus and had to wait at the airport for 6 hours!!!! They also, wanted to put us on a different bus but the bus driver was nowhere to be found...so they loaded us all up on yet another bus. Also there was no manifest of names for people who paid nor did anyone have a physical ticket. Honestly, anyone could have gotten in the transport line and boarded one of the buses for free. Where the buses leave you at the airport was VERY far from the check in area....a good 4 blocks...there were however, wheelchairs for those that needed them. The ship, on the whole, is beautiful and yes, I would go on it again. The hallways are very twisty, turny and not in a straight line like the Oasis class...this makes walking thru those hallways seem very long and for the first time ever I always had difficulty figuring out which direction was the front or back. Also, when the MDR, Windjammer and 270 are closed (they all seemed to be closed at the same time) , there is only free pizza or what is available in the cafe promenade (premade shrimp salad or ham & cheese sandwiches, the same everyday) available. They really need something else. They do have a hot dog hut but it was never opened when we went there. Fish & Ships, by the outdoor pool was never busy. I only saw one or two people there the whole cruise and it was not free. We LOVED both indoor pools but the hot tubs in the solarium were very tiny...and really WHY do people traveling in Alaska open the windows??? Makes for a rather cold indoor pool. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We arrived in Seattle a day before the cruise . We visited space needle and all tourist spots stayed at Hyatt House across from the space needle so it was convenient for walking . There is a free shuttle from waterfront up to space needle. ... Read More
We arrived in Seattle a day before the cruise . We visited space needle and all tourist spots stayed at Hyatt House across from the space needle so it was convenient for walking . There is a free shuttle from waterfront up to space needle. Took a town car to port terminal it was $60 and very relaxing and Only a few dollars more than a taxi. Ovation is a beautiful ship with plenty to. Solarium is a great spot to pull up a deck chair and watch views plus it’s 16 and over so no kids running around . North Star is a must we did it on dawes glacier day so there is an extra charge ( pre-book). Didn’t get to go on I fly the sky dive simulator as the top deck was closed due to weather so watch for that . All pubs and bars were good watch for trivia nights they are fun . 270 at the aft of the ship is a great spot there is a small stop for specialty coffee and at breakfast and lunch they offer breakfast sandwiches and sandwiches for change instead of windjammer. Windjammer was good and offered a decent variety. Our cabin was 8204 a balcony room and we witnessed whales and seals etc from our balcony . Room attendants were great and as always the hardest workers on the ship . Casino was a little small but plenty of games and my only complaint is that smoking is allowed in approx half of the Casino and it bothered us sometimes and clothes smelled some of cigarettes sometimes. Itinerary was good . Took float planes to a five glacier excursion and was pretty cool . Tram was ok not great . Tracy’s crab shack is a must stop. Skagway is a neat little town . White pass rail ride is a must just to learn history of what people went through on the quest for riches . The red onion saloon tour is an absolute must and the girls working are quite funny . We were quite fortunate at Dawes glacier as the ship got closer than most of the staff could remember most said it mostly foggy and they can’t see the glacier most times so keep that in mind. Victoria is beautiful stop and downtown is a approx 20 minute walk from port . Buchart Gradens is beautiful but you cannot walk there . Royal B.C. museum is an ok stop . Had fish &chips on waterfront at a stop called blue fish red fish and was great . A bit of a lineup but most were locals so you know it’s good . All in all Ovation is a great ship with plenty to do a great itinerary and great friendly staff Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Alaska has always been on my bucket list of cruises and finally got to go for our 24th Anniversary. Weather really worked in our favor- Recommend the Safari Photo Shoot excursion which includes glacier and whale watching. About 45 min ... Read More
Alaska has always been on my bucket list of cruises and finally got to go for our 24th Anniversary. Weather really worked in our favor- Recommend the Safari Photo Shoot excursion which includes glacier and whale watching. About 45 min light hiking to glacier. Our guide was incredibly helpful with appropriate camera settings and other photography tips for outdoors and at water level for whales. Sunny and in high 60s helped! Once hiking was completed-off to a two hour whale excursion. We got to see so many whales and take great pictures. This excursion only had 11 people signed up so it was very interactive. The other excursion I recommend is the 2 hour bicycle tour in Victoria BC. I had no idea how beautiful this city was until we got the chance to tour via bike. Went to beautiful park area with abundance of flowers and greenery. Again, weather played a role in that it was cool and cloudy. We booked the excursion the morning of arrival in Victoria once we had the opportunity to see wether forecast. Apparently others did the same as the tour group had to get extra bikes and 2 additional guides - only delayed by 5 minutes. As far as the ship goes-Royal Caribbean remains at top of my list! Exemplary service top to bottom. Not a big foodie so I didn’t mind the Main Dining Room for dinner. There’s plenty to choose from and if you don’t like what you selected, just ask for something else! And late night pizza is always a treat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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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