130 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Overall our holiday was good, but there were a few things that brought down the enjoyment. Our stateroom was assigned by RC on the starboard forward part of deck 6 and was above the deck 5 smoking area. This meant when we wanted to use ... Read More
Overall our holiday was good, but there were a few things that brought down the enjoyment. Our stateroom was assigned by RC on the starboard forward part of deck 6 and was above the deck 5 smoking area. This meant when we wanted to use the balcony, we got cigarette smoke in the air. Fresh air was why we picked a balcony in the first place. We also were deluged in cigarette smoke when waiting in line for the North Star on deck 15. In the stateroom, while it was small, the bathroom was extremely functional. Having USB ports and magnetic walls was also convenient. However we would have preferred to have a curtain or room divider so that a person sleeping wouldn’t be disturbed by someone reading or coming in late. Having all the overhead lights on the same switch also contributed to this issue. Personally I was disappointed that the Solarium pool was really only for sitting, not swimming. The other two pools were so full of kids for most of the day I couldn’t really swim. We also didn’t really get any benefits from being lowly gold level Crown & Anchor members. We received a note at the start of the cruise that we would get buy one get one free soft drinks when ordered together, or 10% off a single, automatically. However this was never the case when we bought soft drinks. The photo discount was nice, except for the photo package offers made the discount irrelevant. The special waiting area in the Music Hall on debark day was also irrelevant- no one was there when we arrived and when our number was called we were further back in line than the people who waited in Two70. Our cruise superstar staff were our stateroom attendant Igede who quickly helped us with anything we needed and had our room tidied very quickly when we left. We really enjoyed the progressive trivia and game shows hosted by Prince. The entertainers we saw were really excellent - Pixels and the theatre productions had amazing set design and performers. The INXS tribute band, comedian and tropical pleasures duo were also lots of fun. We didn’t go to the other tribute concerts as we weren’t interested in the artists they covered - maybe pick some more recent artists. The cruise director was kind of extra - he needed to take it down a couple of notches. It’s likely that we’ll sail with RC again. However it’ll probably be on a smaller ship, we will cough up the extra money to pick our stateroom, and we will be careful to avoid school holidays and smoking areas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Service was excellent in all venues. Cabin was roomy with good hanging space and shower had glass door which was good. We found the cabin to be very noisy though with thumping on the walls and a lot of noise coming from level 13 above ... Read More
Service was excellent in all venues. Cabin was roomy with good hanging space and shower had glass door which was good. We found the cabin to be very noisy though with thumping on the walls and a lot of noise coming from level 13 above us. Food very basic and repetitive in dining rooms although our Waiter Pattima was excellent. Even though the ship was fully booked, it never felt crowded. Easy to find your way around. We had the deluxe drinks package with internet which was really good and the service there was excellent. We found the activities were more suited to families than Senior couples. Entertainment was good in Main Theatre. Paul O'Shea in Schooners was always good but you had to get there early to get a seat. Overall a relaxing cruise but not a lot of activities for 60+ agegroup especially if you are a couple travelling alone. After 3 RCCL cruises we will probably try Princess for next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Well to start with too many people not enough shops, lines to get on the dodgem cars and the free flying we couldn't even use.it was totally booked out.the food was good. The desserts not. Joffe the mc was funny, but gave out wrong ... Read More
Well to start with too many people not enough shops, lines to get on the dodgem cars and the free flying we couldn't even use.it was totally booked out.the food was good. The desserts not. Joffe the mc was funny, but gave out wrong times to get to eg.breakfast on the last day as he announced it will open at 5 a.m. so we get there at 5 a.m. and there's a sign saying 6:30 opens fantastic. Found when we were freezing when on the tender, when we asked the officer to pleaze shut the plastic doors a flat no was given.but the nice crew member pulled it at least more than half way for us.very disorganised when it came to getting events right.the popular bar near the photo shop should have more setting and made bigger as whenever we went it was always full.found the Romania girl in the guess shop,sour and not happy at all. The only person on the shop that helped everyone and was very customer focused was the Canadian lady Cassandra she was fantastic. When I asked one of the crew members at the pursers office who was Caribbean or Jamaican he was in an officers dark blue suit but I didn't take note of his name for some help didn't want to help virtually Shrugged me away and had the attitude, don't ask me. very bad customer service that one. The crew members in the dining were wonderful they are always happy and bubbly but the thing that annoyed me was they wouldn't stop asking you consistently how the food was, you were consistently bothered while you're trying to have dinner at the dining table.I had to talk to my partner all the time so that the head maitre d wouldn't bother us. and asking us at least three times in a row on three nights in a row if we wanted to buy a 5 course meal it was ridiculous we told them already no. and being asked every single night to buy the dinners, as on the menu there are free dinners but there's also dinners that you can purchase we had to consistently say no that we don't want to do that I never found this on any of the P&O cruise ships because we like fine dining and never had that problem .Also with the cruise I had an incident that happened to me when I was in the theatre on our 3rd last night. I was hit on the head by a person behind me because he wasn't happy that I was taking shots with my phone and as you're allowed to take photos with your iPhone there's no reason for him to strike me which I put in incident report and don't even know what happened after that it was like 3 days to go on the cruise and believe you me it took away everything from even attending to any theatres or anywhere I didn't feel safe the crew members did not come to find out about me to see if I was ok I was actually traumatised by that. As it's a salt it's abuse and this person should have been removed and put in the brig for what he did. There was no feedback to me on what he had said and why he did this but I reported this because I was worried that he would do this to someone else he also screamed at me by telling me to put my phone down were there was a lady next to me and her husband was scared and made her put her phone down I couldn't sit in my chair after that so I said to her no I'm not taking this I'm going to report him but they did not get back to me with his name nothing nothing was given to me and there was no apology written at all I wasn't given the option to follow this up as they did not come to my cabin to see if I was ok, on top of that we were all traumatised by The White Island incident which the captain did not even let us know any information hardly anything was said so we had to go to our cabin to find out all the issues with this from Sky News they told us everything. There was no service on board for any of the people that died and of course we didn't go to Dunedin or the sounds which as being a very expensive cruise we were only given back compensation of $100 each some people only got $30 back in Australian currency the other thing I found everything was in American currency and when you take your 35% off for example your bags guess you gotta add 30% on with the Australian dollars. And being not leather I can actually get cheaper in Australia when I go to the sales and buy leather so I didn't buy any of the goods. Some of the staff didn't want to help u with this. With being the majority of people on this cruise were all Australian as they did say there was only 395 Americans on board I can't remember how many Chinese or others' minority was on board but if it's going to be based in Australia they should start to think about the Australian currency. The lifts were a nightmare you found that majority of the time you had to wait so long for the lift to come so we actually use the stairs a lot especially running down as we were on the 12th floor. Also we weren't given any information of what was going to be on the criteria for certain nights as we only found out when we were on there that there was a Hawaiian night I actually rang the cruise line before we sailed they told me there was going to be a white night but there wasn't but they didn't tell me that there was going to be a Hawaiian night which there was so heads up on that also I've cruised all my life I've done at least 30 cruises and can I say this was the worst cruise I've ever been on and won't be going back on ovation of the Seas at all very disappointed with the treatment the organisation the non supportiveness of me with an incident such as being hit on my head by somebody that I don't even know, who does that very dangerous and very unacceptable, he should have been put in the brig shows me that this person has violent Tendencies that's for sure if he has the guts to do that to a woman that he doesn't even know while she's sitting in the chair in front of him he also waited for my partner to leave before he did that as my partner left to go and get seating in another venue as you had to get there early to get seats as there's 5000 people on this cruise at this time very very disappointed also we found that with the announcements of what the chefs where cooking as they made a cake for the last night they announced it was a cheesecake massive cake but no it wasn't it was a sponge and butter cream cake quite funny actually but these are things that happened consistently. the only best desserts that we had was the ones that we bought from a coffee shop on the promenade deck. There is a part of the ship which you won't hear the announcements by the way it is the solarium area. We called that the quiet zone so you didn't have anybody in there under the age of 18. I also found that the toilet doors near the theatre the show areas they wouldn't lock so used to just go to one toilet as was the only one that had a lock that worked that was a bit funny as well for such an incredible ship I thought it was refurbished but looks like they missed the door handles on the toilets in the public areas. We were told that we would get a survey to fill in it's been a month and we still haven't received one this is why I'm writting it here. No matter what, if you choose to go on this ship good luck as I've given you a heads up,we certainly won't be going back on it. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
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
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 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
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
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I selected this ship for the activities for my grandchildren, ages 7, 8 and 10. They checked out the kids activities program and quickly left. The ship itself is nice and the fact that there is a heated, covered pool is very nice as ... Read More
I selected this ship for the activities for my grandchildren, ages 7, 8 and 10. They checked out the kids activities program and quickly left. The ship itself is nice and the fact that there is a heated, covered pool is very nice as well. All pool areas have lifeguards on duty. The itinerary was not all that it was cracked up to be as far as the scenic cruising and Dawes glacier. Never did see the glacier at all and the scenic cruising wasn't anything spectacular. I've been on 2 other Alaska cruises, where we went to much nicer areas. Take a cruise that goes to Mendenhall and Ketchikan. This ship does neither. I thought I'd try something different and was very disappointed. There are a ton of people on this ship, but I must say that check-in and getting on board was a breeze, as well as disembarkation. Very smooth. The lines at Guest Services tend to be very long, since there are only 4 positions (6 sometimes), but only 2 people working on average. The cabin was o.k. (we had a balcony on deck 12). No table though other than a tiny one on the balcony and no writing material. The one thing I absolutely disliked was the high cost of everything from additional charges for food (Halibut fish and chips was $5.00) to extremely overpriced wine with no discount for Crown and Anchor members. And speaking of food: I was very disappointed that there was no meal with Alaskan fresh fish on any night. Farm raised salmon was on the daily menu. Shore excursions prices were very much higher compared to other cruise lines as well. Activities such as IFly and Northstar need to be reserved, which wasn't easy. My grandson couldn't take my place on the iFly, because he had done it once before, but I could give my place to a stranger. Really....??? Decided to keep my spot for myself. The cruise overall was "just ok" compared to the other many cruises I've been on. My suggestion: look at other options. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining ... Read More
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining service great, Food a bit down in my humble estimation but lots of it. (unfortunately for the waist line) Buffet crowded while at sea. (Actually asked to leave the buffet via pa broadcast if you were finished on sea days) Not cool. Too many people. That’s the lowdown. Still had a PRETTY GOOD cruise with friends family but the experience was not what I would call a holiday anymore. I won't be on this vessel again unless the new Flow Rider King my grandson pays at least half. lol Bit of a grind and RCI has got themselves in a bit of a pickle with the size of the ship and the staff they wish to pay number wise in scheduling activities on their Flow rider/Bumper car/Wall climbing/North Star etc. etc. Same guys do all of these sites and more as activities staff, and they can not be at all locations at once obviously. Two banks of elevators times two sides just not enough and the walking from one end to other seemed longer this year. But of course I’m getting on too. So it may not be an issue for you. The elevator frequency is another issue however. I do not remember coming to an elevator so often and found them all UP or All down from where I was at. I was roomed on deck 7 and all the restaurants as usual down several floors or the buffet on 14/topish. Pools on top and the shops and guest services on 4 and 5. They just seemed out of sync and or not enough for the mass of people on board. Wait times were long compared to any ship I have been on. Passengers... 5 G I was told .... and 1000 kids..did I mention that. The lines to activities of course can be defeated with a pay extra benefit called “The Key”. My teenage GS was not impressed by the privileged kids that budged. He learned another life lesson. Rooms on this ship really workable. I didn’t manage a suite but if the space in the regular rooms out side/window and Balcony … Inside with Virtual window any indication I’m sure they would be fine. Storage is better than the M and S class on Celebrity for sure. (No life jackets in the room helps). Although I think maybe the showers are a bit smaller. Or was it me again. Somebody else thought that too so I think I’m right. Room attendant very pleasant and did her job really really well. (Thanks Mardol.) Note: Do not pay extra for a virtual Balcony. I asked them to check mine and it was no better after they did. Lots of breakup and the picture was just OK when in bright sunlight and close to objects. Shore and dock area’s only and not great at that. Pretty useless at sea. The fake balcony rail on screen was nice and bright though. Just not worth it at all as far as I’m concerned. The ship is big and beautiful for sure. Dining was early for us and main seating was early//Seated by 5:15. We did this because we wanted to be with kids and friends who had kids as we thought that it would be better to feed the bears and then turn them loose. In hind-site it may have been better to go anytime somewhere and book a fixed time a bit later with a maitre D. for all week. Early dining conflicted with a lot of open times for activities. Late would have also. Avoided upcharged restaurants. No charge items at Fish and Ships. were great for lunch. Believe it or not didn't get to the doghouse . Saw it but I was never ready for lunch when I was there. 270 Lunch was sad. (although the roast beef on embarkation day was great). Solarium Breakfast and Lunch OK. Windjammer was and always is the Windjammer. As I mentioned the shows were great. Pixels … Is a great show in 270, with dancers etc. Interacting with great music and 4 robotic screens with pixels and the entire back half of the stern viewing windows that also turn into screens. Separate venue from the main theatre. You need reservations and you can get them online before you cruise sometime. Main shows were very Vegas Like and better than I remember onboard as I have not been doing shows for a while on X as they tended to be all the same. Maybe the girls just looked better. Juggler and Comedian (not the same guy) were super. Juggler was a comic too. Had no problem getting great seats by arriving 10-20 mins early . A Mountie was aboard and gave three great lectures about "The Force." The Old, New and training. Young fellow…. trained 10 yrs after me. Made a few rookie mistakes lol. There was a Wildlife guy too..missed him. Oh and they had a “Real” Orchestra/Band onboard and THEY COULD PLAY. Seattle : Embarkation was a zoo . Two things. One we had been assured that we could use our Nexus cards to board. But this was not going to work so as we did have our passports with us we were only held up for a bit while we fished them out. Friends who had checked on this and had sent their passports in to be renewed were shunted around until the shore people actually had a Ship’s Person come down and put them straight. Believe it or not. The shore staff didn’t know they could use a Nexus card. There was another issue with friends that had actually paid for two parties when the paid for party checked in and claimed the credit card on account and then the Person that actually paid arrived and were told their card had been compromised as it was used already. Really this SHIP happens. But by far was the zoo on the pre-board floor. I understand that departure and ship clearing was held up. Really not all that unusual right, it happens all the time. But when there was no (not enough) seating, organization or persons that cared about telling us what was happening you can imagine the mess. Not enough area for us all. Announcements could not be heard over the crowd and the announcements for the other ship in port going on for half the same floor we were all on. I think/hope that this was unusual and that normally the flow worked. But it sure didn’t for us and when the doors opened in was a minor, Plus ok ok major stampede . They needed to have some plan to keep control with temp barricades. Not a great way to meet your 4998 other guests. Ok not that many but there were lots cause we all want to be there a bit early..right? Go later if you board this big vessel. But you will find getting a place to be comfortable and get food a bit hard to find. Getting off went smoothly for everyone as far as I could see. We were at our shuttle a half hour earlier than we were timed for. Bet that didn’t happen the week before when we boarded. Now the glacier...Dawes was on the schedule. Some folks had paid for a special view from the “North Star” a observation pod hoisted high up on an imitation Nasa like Canada Arm. I had been there before and it’s quite a sight. We didn’t make it for an ice issue and I understand that this ship hasn’t made it all season. I have been disappointed in this area before but still charging folks to see no glacier seemed harsh. The issue with the glacier is the narrowness of the “Arm” and there is little flow to take the ice away from the front of the glacier. Want to see a glacier with way better odds take a ship that goes to Hubbard or Glacier Bay. But understand it’s no guarantee either. Ports: Juneau has all the tourista stuff right at your gangway. You can stumble to the Red Dog saloon right across the street. Lots of tours to be had and a gondola right up the dock a bit. City bus... the best priced tour of the valley. Even get to see the State prison. Victoria : Some nice tours of the city. Whale watching usually for the 3 local Orca pods (which this year have gone outside (out west of Vancouver Island) a lot looking for food warming is an issue. And of course Butchart Gardens . A must see for any gardener at least once..... even I have done it twice and I’m no gardener. Because of the Ovation’s schedule (two ports) you get a full day stop here vs. the few hours normal on a return 7 day from Seattle.... a stop needed to comply with US law to eliminate steep tax issues and way higher cruise fares. Skagway: The White Pass and Yukon Railway. There are other tours of course but this is the reason to go to Alaska beside the obvious scenery and glaciers. More than a few ways to do the ride but it’s a must for history and the sites. Those gold rushers did some wild things. The town itself has kept to an old school feel and the locals rule the stores mostly and the “Park” regulations keep the buildings in check also. The diamonds and Caribbean stuff is there but not so noticeable. Lol. I even found a shop where the resident artist owner winters in South Eastern BC as she paints while hubby ski’s So I think that’s it. For this ship and my whatever # cruise to Alaska. The key to this ship is…. got kids or grandkids over the age of say 10-13 this ship is for you but do your homework in what they can and can’t do without paying extra. There is a great area called the solarium with a restaurant for Adults only. It also has big relaxing hot tubs and quite a bit of viewing area with lounges. Small pools actually. Open Buffet for breakfast and Lunch but need reservations for supper. Contact me at BSeaBob at gmail com if you have comments, suggestions or any question you may have. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our group of 20 (ages 22- 68) chose this cruise to celebrate a milestone anniversary. The ship was beautiful, well appointed, and very clean. We worked very hard to connect our reservations so that we would have meals together in the ... Read More
Our group of 20 (ages 22- 68) chose this cruise to celebrate a milestone anniversary. The ship was beautiful, well appointed, and very clean. We worked very hard to connect our reservations so that we would have meals together in the main dining rooms. The first night, we were spread all over. We spoke to the Head waiter and he took care if it for the following evenings. We were grateful for the change, but feel like it shouldn’t have been wrong to begin with. Meals were very good except for the first night, when the food was poor. I wonder if they do that to encourage specialty dining or if the first night is always iffy?? I haven’t noticed it on other cruises. Our servers Malou and Lula were wonderful!! We loved our shore excursions (purchased from TripAdvisior). In Juneau we did the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching. In Skagway, we went dogsledding. In Victoria, we had tea at The Empress. One thing we noticed about this ship is that there weren’t very many areas where we could sit and play cards. We did like to sit at the large table in Vintages, but they made it clear that they didn’t like it. One day, they asked us to move because they were having wine tasting there- in 2.5 hours!! We questioned the request, even asked an officer and were told they would rather we not sit there and play cards. We were still buying drinks, not disruptive. I thought that was unacceptable but even the supervisor didn’t seem to care! I would say that service everywhere else was adequate, nothing to get excited over. We spoke to our room steward twice the whole 7 days. The best thing about this shop was the musical entertainment. At every venue, the music was terrific. Thank you for that! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My travel agent sold us on this cruise. The ship was nice and beautifully appointed. Food was just alright. Everything was extra money and we were nickeled and and dimed the whole time. Husband bought the soda package and had to carry ... Read More
My travel agent sold us on this cruise. The ship was nice and beautifully appointed. Food was just alright. Everything was extra money and we were nickeled and and dimed the whole time. Husband bought the soda package and had to carry around a plastic cup like he was at an amusement park. Tacky! I felt like I was at a flea market , there was constant junk being sold on tables throughout the cruise. The shows were very good but time overlap of dinner, other shows, and activities forced us to miss many. Since the ship was very large we were not able to get up close to see the large wall of ice glacier that I hoped to see. I was so disappointed. I wish my travel agent, royal caribbean , or a review would tell me about this. I did enjoy myself because I went with great friends but the trip was not work the almost $6000 we paid. While I had a great time I don't think I'd do another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska. We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several ... Read More
Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska. We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several hours later). We were a large group with several teenagers so we chose Ovation of the Seas for our Alaska trip as we thought it would provide a better range of activities while at sea. In past cruises our teenagers have really taken full advantage of the on board activities. Unfortunately, the activities on the Ovation had really long lines or reservations were all booked (we even tried to make them before the cruise, on-line, but were not available). My guess is that the suites and those that purchased the "Key Pass" had priority, leaving little availability. We waited in a very long line trying to make reservations on the first day but had no success. We were told to keep checking the RC app for cancellations but the system kept crashing and was unusable. The biggest issue with the Ovation, though, is that the size of the ship limits where it can sail in Alaska. It cannot cruise the entire length of the inside passage, and we couldn't get close to Dawe's glacier. We were unable to see it. We arrived early in the morning and we couldn't get close, plus it was very foggy that early in the morning. We only had two ports of call in Alaska - Juneau (1/2 a day) and Skagway (full day). Alaska is beautiful but I felt like we didn't get to see enough of it. If I have the opportunity to do this trip again I would choose a smaller ship with additional stops and one that can cruise through the entire inside passage. The ship was beautiful - clean and very well maintained. The cabins were nice and surprisingly had plenty of storage. We had a balcony room which was great on an Alaskan cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent as were our dinner dining attendants, some of the best we've had. Breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, however, were not pleasant experiences. It was very crowded and tables were hard to come by. The maitre'd had to often encourage (in rather loud volume) to eat and vacate the premises so that others could also eat. The gym area is nice but smaller than some of the other ships we've been on. We also found the shows subpar compared to other RC ships, although we did enjoy the Juggler Mike Price. Pixels was a disappointment and some of us left after the first few acts. In Juneau we went on a tour with Gastineau Guiding Company (we booked through RC). We went whale watching, hiked a short trail through the rainforest, and went to view Mendenhall glacier. It was an outstanding tour - a highlight of our trip. It was a small group so enjoyable, and our tour guide was fantastic. Highly recommend! In Skagway we took the White Pass Train Ride - very beautiful scenery. We also did a Musher Camp in the afternoon which we found entertaining. In summary, a beautiful ship but too crowded to thoroughly enjoy and not the best itinerary for Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My parents have been loyal RCI cruisers for >45 years. They have taken 19 cruises together. This was my 6th cruise with RCI. We purchased this trip a year ago through RCI and paid extra for insurance. Three weeks prior to this cruise my ... Read More
My parents have been loyal RCI cruisers for >45 years. They have taken 19 cruises together. This was my 6th cruise with RCI. We purchased this trip a year ago through RCI and paid extra for insurance. Three weeks prior to this cruise my mother had a stroke. She is unable to travel. My mother was to room with my sister-in-law. We tried to exchange my brother in place of my ill mom. RCI did little to help with the substitution. He was required to pay $700 more in order to room with his wife instead of my mom. We had planned this for a year so we determined to go despite the additional cost. The positive of the ship: Workers are pleasant, attentive, & efficient. There are multiple pools/hot tubs. Food is very good with variety of options available. There are various unique attractions including bumper cars, the North Star, wave surfing, etc. The shows are entertaining. Rooms have bathrooms that make use of limited space by placing cubbies for toiletries, etc. There is a foot bar in shower and includes nightlight in bathroom. The virtual balcony in interior rooms offer unique and decent live ocean views. There are special cafes like hot dog van, fish/chips shop, etc. The fish is quite good. The pizza parlor is suppose to be 24/7 but is not. It does serve very good pizza. The artwork throughout the cruise ship is intriguing and captivating. Required ship drill is condensed. Express check out allows for quick and easy departure. The negative of the ship: The beds throughout are very firm. Expect long lines for everything, especially for unique attractions. Photo lobby has one attendant who must bounce between cashing out customers and assist with photo kiosks where cruisers review/select photos for print. Dining on a ship with >4,000 cruisers is difficult. Though the food is flavorful, the actual dining experience can be quite stressful. Port days are especially challenging. I traveled with my 10 yr old granddaughter. She liked to sleep in. We ran up and down several decks searching for a place to get food between the hours of 10-1130. The windjammer buffet closed at 1000 and didn't reopen until 1200. The dining rooms ended breakfast at 0930 and reopened for lunch at 1130. There is a soft serve ice cream station on deck 14 near the pools. It is randomly available with one attendant. Again, expect long lines and limited selection as 1/3 options quickly becomes unavailable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, and was almost perfect for a cruise to Alaska. I'd say you need to enjoy a "big" ship experience to get the most out of cruising on Ovation. This is most definitely a great ship ... Read More
The Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, and was almost perfect for a cruise to Alaska. I'd say you need to enjoy a "big" ship experience to get the most out of cruising on Ovation. This is most definitely a great ship for a multi-generational group; it has something for everyone. Most of the time I was able to find a quiet place or an activity depending on my mood. We didn't travel with children so the Solarium was a nice retreat as was Vintages. We booked one of the forward facing cabins just under the bridge. I spent a lot of time looking out of the picture window in the cabin. I think I enjoyed it more than I would have a balcony. The cabin was excellent; I really appreciated the space allocation. The washroom was very adequate and well designed. Please know that the beds are very hard, and after seven nights I was a bit grumpy about that. This is even with an extra mattress pas installed by the room steward. There was some "not friendly" service in some areas. It seemed like everyone working in a good area on Decks 4 and 5 were a little tired. This was in stark contrast to the excellent, happy service in the Windjammer and other locations. The service and experience at the NorthStar, however, was unacceptable. The person coordinating that experience was very rude to several passengers waiting for the "ride". I was honestly shocked by their behavior. We had a three night dining package. I'd say skip Wonderland if you are thinking about it. The food was very unremarkable. Chops was a good as ever; Jamie's Italian was my favorite specialty restaurant. We only ate at the dining room for lunch and it was good. The Windjammer was good, especially for breakfast. There's a huge selection. Room Service Continental Breakfast was my cruise treat; I loved it. Overall, it was a good experience. The ship is new and beautiful. The crew seems dedicated. Alaska is a must see! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ovation is a spectacular ship with friendly accommodating crew who work extremely hard and diligently, except for one crew member who managed to spoil our cruise experience for us to the extent that we are now canceling 3 more booked ... Read More
Ovation is a spectacular ship with friendly accommodating crew who work extremely hard and diligently, except for one crew member who managed to spoil our cruise experience for us to the extent that we are now canceling 3 more booked cruises aboard the same ship even though it means we will lose a $1200 non refundable deposit. We are so upset by our experience that we have chosen to lose our money rather than cruise with Royal Caribbean again! The specialty dining at Wonderland and Jamies is a true delight but Chops Grille is now trading on their reputation from years ago, as for the dining room....I've had better food in a hospital. Entertainment was creative and visually pleasing on all levels, but did find queuing for shows hours ahead of time a tiring experience. Our cabin was well appointed and spacious, more storage than you could dream of, tea was provided but no coffee. Getting on and off was easy and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I choose this cruise for Sydney and Polynesians Island. First I must tell you I am Celebrity guy. This is my second RC experience after the Harmony last January, I will maybe go back with RC but only on a very good deal. The quality of ... Read More
I choose this cruise for Sydney and Polynesians Island. First I must tell you I am Celebrity guy. This is my second RC experience after the Harmony last January, I will maybe go back with RC but only on a very good deal. The quality of food is not at the level I expected. We got my time dining as usual, and after 2 diners , we asked to be changed for fix time dining at 8 hrs, the 2 my time dining rooms are not nice and jam packed, service and food are bad, although the food selection is the same at the 2 fix time dining rooms. the dining rooms are much nicer, almost empty, service and food are much better, even that the latest are not at the level of beauty of other ships, try not to skip the formal night because we got lobster at the second formal night, same as the Harmony, and it was the best lobster we got for long time. We got the 5 specialty restaurants package, went twice at the Gril and Uzimi and one time at the Wonderland, we skipped the italien Jamies because of the comments and mostly of poor menu selection. The Grill and Uzimi are very good. Got the package the first day at the embarkation, they give 15% discount on top of the already discounted price. all in all it is about 40% cheaper than the equivalent on Celebrity but less impressive in quality then Celebrity. The smoking area is around the main pool left side in a kind of not vented area,,, very bad. The buffet is the same as the Harmony, but a bit better quality but below Celebrity, Holland or Princess. The pizza is good, the tacos are not and same for the hamburger and shame... no grill to have fresh grilled hamburger, they are made 30 pieces or so in advance and stacked them somewhere at the buffet,, very bad. The french fried are good but a way less than HAL Koningsdam witch they have the best of the best. The regular coffee is good but all juices are awful, way to sweet. The buffet area is to small, we have been asked few times to hurry up and leave, not as much as on the Harmony though, there it was every day on Harmony they called up to move and vacate the place. Another thing that I dont like about the buffet, it is open only for some period of time, out of those time the doors are close, total area is inaccessible including the open area at the back of the boat attached to the buffet, instead of closing the food area only and leave all the tables, chairs and the open back of the boat available for a coffee pastry etc, they decide that every thing should be close, very bad. The gym area is good, in location and quality of equipment, I do treadmill twice a day and 5-6 times in my morning session I had to wait up to 15 minutes to get a machine, not enough treadmill that is for sure. On 16 days transpacific we had only 4 stops, 3 in french Polynesia and 1 at Maui. Because of the RCL company lack of planing, and because the Ovation havent sailed yet in USA water, They had to skip Maui and go directly to Honolulu for the last 2 days of the cruise in order to have the boat inspected by the coast guard, inadmissible, they should have known that before the planing of the port of call, they company did compensation us by giving us back 1/16 of the cruise price in OBC, good for them. The solarium no kid area is very nice with nice pools and nice double bed lounge chairs, but you need to wake up no later than 0630hrs to get one. This transpacific was against 30knd wind the first 8 days until Papetee, that mean in addition of the 20 knds boat speed, we got 50knd (60 mph) of wind the whole time, I couldnt enjoy my balcony very much, and the balcony separator were making a lot of noise by vibrating I return in November on the Celebrity Reflection for another trans Atlantic from Barcelona but this time with the wind in our back, that makes a great great difference on the comfort, boat noise and no boat big vibration like we were experiencing non stop the first 8 days on this transPacific. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are frequent, loyal RCCL cruisers from Sydney, this being our 10th cruise with Royal. Firstly, the good - we thought Cruise Director Joff was outstanding, a very funny guy. Service in the public areas was generally above average. ... Read More
We are frequent, loyal RCCL cruisers from Sydney, this being our 10th cruise with Royal. Firstly, the good - we thought Cruise Director Joff was outstanding, a very funny guy. Service in the public areas was generally above average. Pizza from the Promenade cafe was constantly above par. The flown-in entertainers were great, especially the comedian, magician, Freddie Mercury act and the hypnotist, and pixels was something else. We visited three of the specialty restaurants, and had a great night at each, being a nice change from the mayhem of the main dining rooms. The ship itself is fantastic, plenty to do for all ages, with the North Star, I fly, dodgems, Flowrider, the fitness centre and all pools getting a solid workout. Secondly, the not so good - we thought the food in the main dining rooms (there are 4, two for my time dining and two for set dining) was average at best, although it did seem to improve slightly as the cruise went on. It was really nothing better than an RSL bistro most nights, and there was not much variation in the menu from night to night. Service was okay, without being great. We thought the showtime productions by the onboard cast were ordinary, Long Live Legs was pumped up to be a great night, but we found that the screeching from the lead singer detracted from the entire production. The ports were poor, one was bypassed due to choppy seas, although we booked this cruise for the ship, not the destinations. Thirdly, our biggest bugbear were our fellow passengers, many of whom behaved as if they were at Boganville RSL for 9 days. It was mullets, rats tails, singlets and tattoos as far as you could see. Even though the dress code for the dining rooms is supposed to be smart casual, to some guests this is apparently shorts, t-shirt and thongs. And the sad part is, the crew did nothing to discourage this. Instead of being on Royal Caribbean, it felt like we were on P & O or Carnival. In days gone by, there were standards that were adhered to, and people seemed to accept and respect that. Not so on RCCL anymore, and responsible service of alcohol was non-existent, and there were many, many very drunk people wandering about the ship. This review may sound as if I am a snob, but I am far from it. However, I will think long and hard about booking any more cruises out of Sydney with any company, as it is will inevitably and unfortunately be full of Australians of the worst kind. I would hate to think what overseas passengers thought of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of ... Read More
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of frustration and very poor drinks we and nearly everyone else we spoke to (and witnessed) left that waste of space bar and sought out a real bartender. on the 3rd day of the cruise the poor old robots were entertaining parents with kids and that's about it. Get rid of it RCI they must cost a fortune and your passengers would rather engage with real bartenders. The dogem cars are a novelty but most people have been there done that at Ag Shows etc, and the roller skating was ho hum and over relegulated - all sharing the same space (along with basketball, soccer etc) and therefore time restricted. We didnt waste our time. Rock climbing wall is consigned to a small side of the ship - unlike voyager etc where your at the stern of ship and have a marvelous view when you conquer the climb. the flow rider and sky diving seemed to be - under utilised and used mainly by the same people - under 30. North Star is fun for about 2 minutes and then you realise you're in a hugh fish bowl in the middle of the pacific sun! Hot hot hot and you get to see the ship from above and the sea from,,,,, well a bit higher than usual. All for about 10 minutes MAXIMUM. Cabins are nice but we noticed no dividing curtain between bed and cabin door as in other RCI so that means you need to by "covered"if your partner goes out the cabin door. Also no line in the bathroom to dry your "incidentials" + No light on the balcony??. AND the TV is fixed to the wall so that you can only watch it from the bed? Useless to try from the couch. What happended to the beautiful 2 storey dining rooms on other RCI ships with the sweeping staircase in the centre? Instead Ovation treats you to low ceilings and clostrophobia with each dining room confined. The main pool deck is jammed packed! and we mean jammed packed. No room for dancing and sail away parties, No belly flop comps or just the good old RCI dance parties on the pool deck. And the adult solarium sprawls over with staggered pools/spas and no character or friendliness like the other RCI solariums. Fitness centre is regulation and fine as per other RCI ships. The onboard entertainment we had was a bit hit and miss but as per other RCI cruises, we enjoyed them and mostly found something to keep us entertained. Staff are exceptional as per every other RCI cruise we've been on. Speciality restaurants are above average and some fun to enjoy. Windjammer accomodates the nearly 5000 guests for breaky OK and the food is of good buffet quality - but remember it's a buffet catering for THOUSANDS of people. Finally - will we pay to travel on the Ovation of the Seas again? - Not likely. Way to big,too many people and we didnt enjoy or use the "gimicks". Mostly this ship doesnt feel like a curise ship - More like a MALL. Overall the ship is fancy and very new and pretty! To us thought it doesnt feel like a Cruise ship. You have to find your own fun and as per usual on a cruise - the Staff are SELL SELL SELL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first ever cruise, and we booked just over a year prior to sailing. The Itinerary: At that time of booking, the Itinerary was: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - Noumea 5 - Lifou 6 - Mystery Island ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and we booked just over a year prior to sailing. The Itinerary: At that time of booking, the Itinerary was: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - Noumea 5 - Lifou 6 - Mystery Island 7 - Isle of Pines 8 - At Sea 9 - At Sea - and back to Sydney What we ended up with was quite a lot different, and had we known at the start - we wouldn't have booked this cruise. It was A LOT of sea days to see just 2 ports, neither of which we were overly interested in (we wanted to see the small tropical islands) But we get that it's a risk with cruising so while disappointing, we didn't get hung up on it. This is what we ended up doing: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - At Sea 5 - Port Vila (torrential rain, we got off the ship for about 30 mins walk around town) 6 - At Sea 7 - Noumea (we did the 2 hour Tchou Tchou Train tour) 8 - At Sea 9 - At Sea - and back to Sydney The Embarkation: was great, or at least WE thought it was - we arrived around 11:30am and were on the ship eating lunch in Windjammer by 12:30pm. Many were complaining about the time it took, but normally when we travel internationally we have to check in at the airport 2 hours before and wait MUCH longer before we get on the plane, so no complaints from us! It was all very easy and ran smoothly. Getting a table at Windjammer was fine, and we didn't have to wander around for more than a 5 mins or so (at any time during the cruise) to find a table. We live in the city so are used to having to wait sometimes for a table, and had no problem with it. Rooms were ready around 1pm, and we saw our luggage in the hallway so grabbed it ourselves. Nice and easy! The Room: We were REALLY impressed with our room. We had cabin 10134, port side, forward. It was close enough to the elevators and convenient to the Solarium which was good as with no kids we planned to enjoy this adult only area. There is plenty of storage space, and coat-hangers - surprisingly I didn't need to ask for more. The bathroom is good, with excellent shower pressure. The bed was by the window, maybe a bit hard for our liking but we managed to sleep well so it wasn't too bad. It was definitely more rocky at the front of the ship so next time we'll go for something more midship. The Included Dining: We chose to do My Time dining, and dined in the MDR 4 times on the cruise. We were lucky enough that we managed to dine once in each of the 4 MDR's. We liked the atmosphere better in Grande and Chic - which are typically for traditional dining, it seemed a bit more friendly and personal? The food was ok. Very classic/old school dishes - probably a safe bet I guess. Some were great (loved the lobster bisque and creme brulee), but some were pretty terrible - e.g. a scallop appetizer special one evening was teeny tiny pieces of scallop swimming in butter that had partly clarified and some garlic, served in the dishes used for escargot. And one random piece of bread in the basket was literally like rock - we couldn't even break it. I'm not normally a buffet person, but was quite impressed with Windjammer - plenty of variety and pretty good quality - especially for breakfast. Service in there was good too - you don't have to go looking for drinks, there is table service. Solarium Bistro was our favourite for breakfast, a little bit quieter and just as good a selection. Cafe 270 was good for a salad or sandwich during the day. Seaplex hotdogs were great! The Sorrentos Pizza was ok - not the best pizza I've ever had but not the worst either. Very convenient though to grab whenever you like. The Specialty Dining: We tried Wonderland on the first night, which is the one we were most excited about, but we were really disappointed with it. We were there for 30 mins before anyone came to even offer us a drink, and service was similar for the whole evening. I am a self confessed foodie - and love this type of dining, but this truly was theatrics over flavour. The food was bland and boring, and even the theatrics were nothing special. The egg was exposed by lifting a glass dish with smoke (so 10 years ago) it tasted nice, but was really just a cold stuffed egg like my grandma used to make. The chocolate ball for dessert that collapsed when they poured the sauce over it (this theatric has also been done to death) resulted in an overly sugary sickly mess. Barely edible - I ate 1-2 mouthfuls and couldn't finish it. The garden thing with soil was really bland and boring. Chops Grille on the other hand, was fantastic! I would love to have eaten there again but it was booked out for the whole cruise. NOTE: IT PAYS TO BOOK EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU GO OR AT LEAST AS SOON AS YOU GET ON BOARD AS YOU MIGHT MISS OUT OTHERWISE! Jamies Italian was also excellent, but booked out the rest of the cruise too. We didn't try Izumi, it looked a bit canteen/sushi-train-ish and didn't seem so popular. The Bars: There is a great selection of bars. We had the drinks package, which was great and we got our moneys worth - but we might not do that again as it did encourage us to drink more than we normally would, so our plans to go to the gym every day and be semi healthy went out the window very early on! The bars were all very crowded (see my comments on "The Crowd" later on) but the staff were working relentlessly and very fast at making the drinks, so it wasn't too much of a wait most of the time. There is also table service almost everywhere, which we found frequent enough to not even have to go to the bar most of the time. The Entertainment: We saw Pixels (my favourite), Live Love Legs and Beautiful Dream. If you go 30-45 mins before, you'll be fine to get a decent seat, if you go 10-15 mins before you might struggle. There was trivia, karaoke, all that sort of thing, plenty to do - but we did feel that during the day the activities were mostly for kids. At night there were parties - I particularly loved the Disco Inferno party, but they don't start until after 10pm which is quite late for us, especially since we'd booked some early morning activities. You don't find out what's on each day until the night before, so it's impossible to plan these nights out accordingly. I wish we could know when the parties were on - I really wanted to go to the Silent Disco but didn't manage to because I was already tired and had an early morning activity the next day. The Activities: We booked the iFly, and the booking went smoothly - happened on time. It was fun! We also booked North Star - also went smoothly. There are times you can go without reservation but you'll line up for a long time. It definitely pays to book before the cruise as early as possible. My husband did the flow-rider once, but lined up for an hour and a half to do it! So we never bothered again. It did get a bit quieter later in the cruise, and on port days (we only had two of those!) but we didn't bother as planning timing for things was a challenge - as I've noted earlier: you don't know what's on each day until the night before. We did bumper cars once, also a long line so didn't bother again. The Pools: Nice pools, the main pool is 1.5m deep. However they were FULL of children. One had to be emptied twice one day - because someone had an accident in it. I'm not sure any adult would be game to get in those pools unless their own children were in it. This was disappointing for me because my favourite thing to do on holiday is to have a relaxing day by the pool and a couple of cocktails. I didn't get to do this at all, except for about 1 hour on a port day before it started raining. The solarium pools are adults only but aren't really proper pools, and it was VERY hot in there and VERY crowded, impossible to find a spot to sit after 9am. Chair hogs in full force! The Service: All the staff on the ship were amazing. They were incredibly hard working, always smiling, and couldn't do enough to help you in any way. Guest Services were fine, although I think RC could do a lot more to be proactive with their communication. e.g. I checked in online and entered my credit card details - and checked, checked, rechecked MULTIPLE times. Then on the cruise I went to check again (lucky I did!) and turns out it hadn't registered so I had to go back again to get it sorted. There was nothing anywhere, no email, nothing on 'my account' that would indicate this needed to be sorted. The Internet: We had the Surf and Stream internet with our drinks package which was SO worthwhile getting. We procrastinated for a long time about whether to get internet or not, but I can't imagine not having it and will not hesitate again in future. The Royal IQ app isn't great - My Calendar never worked for the whole cruise, and guest services said "we'll log a ticket with IT" and I never heard from them again. We also couldn't make or check restaurant reservations from the app. This was a bit annoying as it's a very handy feature to have - if it's working! The Crowd: So this is were we were majorly disappointed. We had looked at doing this cruise in either January or March - and chose March thinking there would be less kids on board because it's not school holidays. Boy were we mistaken! The ship was incredibly crowded at full capacity - and felt like a giant shopping mall a week before Christmas, and apparently (we heard) there were about 1,400 kids on board! Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike children, but there was no respite anywhere! They were out of control all over the ship. Running around under the feet of staff carrying trays of drinks, climbing around the stage during show setup (security told them off twice and parents still did nothing), one I saw in a romper suit crawling up the casino stairs around 10pm, and one adult party I thought about going to where the dance-floor was 100% children - after 10pm! It was insanity. Many of the parents were on the bourbons from as early as 9am, and there were plenty walking around smashed all day - and we heard medical emergencies in bars a few times that woke us up at night (maybe genuine, but we suspect probably someone too drunk fell over!) This was not at all a relaxing cruise. Even the solarium was just way too full. The only respite was in our room, so the second half of our cruise we spent most of the day there. There are also some seats outside on deck 5 that were nice and quiet. But to pay the $$ we paid, and with so many sea days (6, on a 9 night cruise!) it would have been nice to have somewhere to relax other than our room and the few seats outside on deck 5. In Summary: The ship itself is amazing, and the staff are amazing. I think as first time cruisers we have discovered that perhaps just Royal Caribbean isn't for us? The crowd, and lack of ability to truly relax except in our room was what spoiled it for us - other than that I think we would really like this cruising thing. So after talking to others on board (we did meet some really lovely people!) we have decided to give cruising one more go - but this time with Celebrity, the very first week that kids go back to school - hopefully at that time parents will be less inclined to take them out of school for a cruise holiday :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cabin was 12583 - Virtual Balcony. Room was very small and virtual balcony hardly ever worked. We purchased THE KEY which apparently provides more benefits. Embarkation and Disembarkation were fast and easy thanks to the Key. We ... Read More
Cabin was 12583 - Virtual Balcony. Room was very small and virtual balcony hardly ever worked. We purchased THE KEY which apparently provides more benefits. Embarkation and Disembarkation were fast and easy thanks to the Key. We got some fruit in our room thanks to the Key. There was a special section in the theater for some shows for people who purchased the Key. Key holders were mean to be provided an express service when docking in places. This does not work when you have a short excursion booked via Royal Caribbean. We found the shore excursions booked via Royal were an utter shambles with how they 'organised' everything. The best dining on board were the specialty restaurants and they cannot be faulted. The buffet 'WindJammer' was however very hit and miss. The overall service by staff was very pleasant however at times felt that maybe management need to get onto the actual floor to see how hard the staff work with the minimal information they are provided. Be careful buying the products they sell when they have alleged sales ..a quick check of google confirmed watches were cheaper on Sydney than they were selling on board at an alleged up to 75% off. Overall it is a very large ship and did seem to attract some fairly low demographic type people. A quick walk through the smoking area on level 14 (in front of the buffet - dumb planning Royal) confirmed the amount of feral bogan's were alot more than anyone would want to cruise with. Found the whole Royal Caribbean experience on board Ovation average at best. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chose this cruise as we came from the UK and thought we could take the opportunity to visit Sidney and New Zealand. Things NOT to like - too many people trying to upsell you someting. Main area of ship like an airport shopping area. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we came from the UK and thought we could take the opportunity to visit Sidney and New Zealand. Things NOT to like - too many people trying to upsell you someting. Main area of ship like an airport shopping area. Evening bars are too close so you hear the different bands in whatever one you choosre meaning there is just a general noise. Second class entertainment in essance a floating Butlins. Overbearing service from restaurant staff who are after extra tips or a good review. If you do not put your 'do not disturb' sign on your door your room attendant will knock every 20 minutes for some reason or another. NO coffee in rooms ' why?? You get coffee in a Travelodge or Holiday Inn. Queues to get off or pn board. Herded on and off if pn an organised trip and have to be labelled with a sticker. Poor quality drinks not served ay correct temperature or in correct glass. Food tastes the same in all restaurants, not sure if it the oil it is cooked in or the sauce that it is all covered in. Very small portions, the food in the Windjammer buffet is so much better but you have ro serve yourself and everything is served in plastic. Pool and Solarium areas very crowded. Got on a sunbed outside when it was very hot and sunny and was asked to move because a big wind was coming. There was mo sigm of wind I think they just wanted everyone out of the way so they could prepare for the outside cinema show. Overpriced dtinks so that they could sell you a drinks package. Things to like about this cruise - getting off. New Zealand was amazing but did not get a greay amount of time to apprevoate. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Had heard great things about this ship so thought I would give it a try. Unfortunately it has no atmosphere. It's like a shopping mall in both looks and feel and there's always someone wanting to sell you something. I ... Read More
Had heard great things about this ship so thought I would give it a try. Unfortunately it has no atmosphere. It's like a shopping mall in both looks and feel and there's always someone wanting to sell you something. I didn't expect it to be a party style ship. Enjoy a drink sure...but to excess, why. For such a huge ship there are no peaceful corners. Not even the Adults Only Solarium which is a complete misnomer . It's just as noisy and rowdy as the general areas. Lots of drinking, yelling across the pools, loud music. Sorry missed the mark here. Food is OK. However the same thing is served every day. Very little variety. Don't come back from a shore excursion hungry because there is very little choice available. Buffet closes at 3pm, there's pizza available, some dried out sandwiches and very little else. As has always been my experience, the staff are exceptional. How they go about their day dealing with what can be some really obnoxious and rude passengers and keep smiling is amazing. They're there to do a job not be servants to idiots who think they're better. The production shows were excellent; the tribute bands - great; but some of the other entertainment put on in the theatre was the sort of thing I'd expect to see at my local club. Good performers but very run of the mill. Overall it's a lovely ship but it lacks heart. Read Less
Sail Date February 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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