170 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the Ship as we have always wanted to sail out of beautiful Sydney Harbour and back in again. The destination wasn't as important as the Ship but we did enjoy New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Ship as we have always wanted to sail out of beautiful Sydney Harbour and back in again. The destination wasn't as important as the Ship but we did enjoy New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent - enough port days and enough seas days over the 12 nights. Embarkation was extremely well done - 30 minutes from stepping out of our car with our bags and sitting on Deck 14 sipping a cocktails Disembarking was equally well executed - we left after our nominated time of 8am by 30 minutes and we were off the ship with our bags through Customs in 10 minutes. The best I have ever experienced! We chose the Ultimate Dining Package and it was well worth every cent. We dined frequently for lunch and dinner at all the specialty restaurants except for Amber and Gold. Our favourite was Jamie's Kitchen for dinner and Izume for lunch - however Wonderland was a fabulous experience and Chops Grille always maintained a high standard. We also dined at Chic one evening, Solarium Bistro (deck 14) twice and Fish & Chips one lunch time. I personally loved having all the various options for dining as it made our cruise very special and certainly not repetitive when it came to dining. Our favourite bar was Vintages but we did enjoy Boleros when the Caribbean band was playing and also Two70 of an afternoon. We did get to Pixels Show (brilliant) and were treated to a fabulous concert in Two70 with The Beatles Celebration band one evening. They did an excellent performance of the Beatles songs between 1962-1967 and even went so far as to speak and play like the lovable Liverpool lads! We didn't go to the Casino or the other 2 shows but I believed those who did enjoyed themselves. My only wish was that there were more seats next to windows to look out at the water while spending days at sea. Mainly did this by heading up to the Solarium (adults only) area or Two70 as the bars were mainly internal. I am just one of those cruisers that enjoy sitting looking at the water but it is really not a complaint. The cleanliness of this ship and the friendliness of the staff goes above and beyond one's expectation. Every staff member we met throughout our cruise was extremely helpful, smiling and kind. Our stateroom was spotless and the ship was constantly gleaming inside and out on the decks. I did however on arrival to our Stateroom follow the 12 guides to santizing our room which I downloaded from google and happy to say we got off board without a sniffle or any signs of a potential C Virus. Everyone I saw on-board was extremely diligent in washing their hands or using the santizers that were placed everywhere for everyone's use. We also carried our own small hand sanitizer gel and hand wipes. No masks were required and I don't recall seeing many people using them on board. We enjoyed room service every morning for breakfast and found their service very reliable and efficient. I loved the fact that we could make our own tea in our room but I also brought my Campos AeroPress portable coffee maker with my own Campos coffee. Being a lover of coffee it was definitely worth the $59 purchase online and will take it with me again. Having your own kettle in the Stateroom is a great idea! Wish more cruise liners did this for their guests. This cruise had only 4200 (approx) guests based on the Captains welcome talk to us all on the first night (700 less than its full capacity) and as this is the largest ship we have been on I was curious to see how it would fee living in a small city with this number of travellers. Happy to say we never felt overwhelmed or delayed in getting on or off at ports or into the Ship's restaurants or entertainment areas. We enjoyed "the eye" on day in Auckland and only had to wait 30 minutes which seem to go relatively quickly. We opted for the 4-7pm slot and it was most enjoyable. We didn't experience Seaplex area but anyone young at heart should endeavour to do the dodgems when they are on the Compass daily itinerary. All in all this was a great cruise for us and we enjoyed all that Ovations of Seas had to offer - would definitely recommend this Ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were worried about the size of this ship being the biggest we had been on and it had a lot of stuff that we didn't need like bumper cars, surfing, trapeze etc.but it was easy to avoid them and enjoy the rest of the ship as they ... Read More
We were worried about the size of this ship being the biggest we had been on and it had a lot of stuff that we didn't need like bumper cars, surfing, trapeze etc.but it was easy to avoid them and enjoy the rest of the ship as they were tucked away in the sportsplex. What impressed us most was the organisation. Despite having to be medically tested before we got on as we had to change planes at Bangkok and coronavirus was around it was handled efficiently and we were on the ship with few delays. We thought getting on and off the ship would take some time, especially when we needed to use tenders, but it was all handled very smoothly and quickly. There was a good variety of dining options and bars with efficient and friendly staff. Our room was spacious and well fitted with a largel double bed (better than ours at home!), wardrobes, shelves and drawers, sofa and coffee table and a small but beautifully formed shower room - none of this dangly wet curtain stuff but a proper shower with anti-slip floor and a glass door. The balcony was also very nice. We were well impressed with the cleanliness and they make sure everybody washes their hands before going into any dining venue, unlike some ships which had coronavirus problems. Hats off to Royal Caribbean. It was disappointing that we were unable to stop at Dunedin due to stormy seas and our cruise was tied in with a visit to Melboune for the Grand Prix which was cancelled at the very last minute and we were very disappointed as it was one of the main reasons for the holiday but nevertheless, despite all this we had a good holiday. I would recommend Royal Caribbean and would cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised many times on alot of different cruise lines but Ovation is the largest ship we have cruised on. Ovation of the Seas has been our bucket ship and it didn't disappoint. No waiting in line to embark, disembark, ... Read More
We have cruised many times on alot of different cruise lines but Ovation is the largest ship we have cruised on. Ovation of the Seas has been our bucket ship and it didn't disappoint. No waiting in line to embark, disembark, buffet or for the tenders in port. We had a virtual balcony cabin which was a good size and very quiet. We loved all the toys that were included, flowrider, Ifly, North Star & bumper cars. The best gym facilities at sea. Best production shows we have seen at sea. The adults only area was lovely. Only thing we feel let the cruise down was the food in the MDR and waiting staff could have been improved on. We found the ship very easy to get around and didn't get lost at all. Beautiful art work all around the ship. Looking forward to cruising on Ovation of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Ovation of the Seas is a marvel and near faultless. The staff are amazing, and always have a smile. The itinerary for 9 days was well balanced between at-sea days and port days. Our 2 kids (Miss 5 and Miss 8) loved the kids club and the ... Read More
Ovation of the Seas is a marvel and near faultless. The staff are amazing, and always have a smile. The itinerary for 9 days was well balanced between at-sea days and port days. Our 2 kids (Miss 5 and Miss 8) loved the kids club and the pool facilities. EMBARKATION We live in Sydney and decided to use the relatively new Light Rail to get into the city. This was great as where you get off at Circular Quay is only a few hundred metres walk from the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Our embarkation was later than advised due to the delayed arrival of the ship from the previous cruise (engine trouble on the 2nd to last day). We dropped our bags off at the cruise terminal at about 11am and went to Squire's Landing (bottom of the far end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal) for a few beers and some lunch. After taking a few selfies at the front of the ship, we started the boarding process - within about 35 minutes, we were checked in, through customs, and onboard in our cabin with our bags having already been delivered!!! It was definitely advantageous to have "Expedited Arrival" status as the queues were really long as a result of the delayed arrival. FOOD AND DINING We had the deluxe beverage package which was great - coffees each day, bottles of water for the shore excursions, and cocktails / beers / wine all the rest of the time. The package generally covers all single serve beverages apart from some of the more expensive wines by the glass (which are served in the speciality restaurants and Vintages bar). For dinner, we mainly ate in one of the 4 Main Dining Rooms (American Icon) with My Time dining. We did an early reservation (5.15pm) after we boarded and ended up getting the same table each night. Our wait staff (Andreas and Bresila) were fantastic and were very accommodating of our somewhat fussy Miss 5. It is great how there are 4 or 5 appetisers and mains which are different each night. We had a couple of nights in speciality restaurants - once in Chops (the steak was delicious!) and once in Wonderland (a great dining experience which even Miss 5 and Miss 8 enjoyed!). ONBOARD ACTIVITIES The iFLY and North Star are musts! For iFLY, I've been sky diving once before but still really enjoyed this experience – as did Miss 5 and Miss 8!!! We did the North Star on one of the at sea days so didn't really get to see much beside a whole lot of ocean... but seeing the ship itself from high above was certainly a unique experience. Highly recommend booking both iFLY and North Star before you board as they can get booked out for the whole cruise. We also went to a couple of the bumper car sessions in the SeaPlex. A real novelty doing something like this while on a cruise ship at sea, and a highlight for both Miss 5 and Miss 8. Unfortunately, it was incredibly popular meaning some long queues (waiting in line up to an hour for a 5 minute ride). We saw a couple of the shows in the Royal Theatre as well as the PIXELS show in the Two70 venue - all really high quality with some talented performers. SERVICE AND STAFF Very impressive. No matter where you went, the staff would always offer a cheerful greeting and an offer of assistance. Our cabin attendant Sebby was ever attentive, promptly making our beds in the morning while we were out at breakfast and then turning down our room when we were at dinner. High praise for our American Icon waitstaff – Andreas promptly taking our food orders when we arrived and delivering each course promptly, and then Bresila taking our drinks orders and bringing new glasses of wine when we finished what we had. SHIP QUALITY Ovation of the Seas is coming up to 4 years old, but isn't showing any signs of age. The staff do a brilliant job of keeping everything spotless, included constantly mopping water around the pools on the main deck. When we hit some rough seas between New Zealand and Australia on the return leg, the ‘sick’ bags were promptly put out at each of the stairwells for those in need. CABIN / STATEROOM Given we were a family of 4, it was pretty cosy with the couch being turned into a bed for Miss 5 and Miss 8. However, there was plenty of storage (multiple drawers as well as hanging space), and room under the bed to keep the bags. If you do run out of storage space, remember you can keep some clothes in your bag and just slide the bag out from under the bed when you need it. The bathroom was cosy but serviceable - toilet, sink, and shower. Water pressure in the shower wasn't great - but the shower head does have different settings which helped. DEBARKATION We were not in a rush to get off and were lucky enough to have once of the last assigned times (9.30am). This meant we were able to have a last breakfast in the Windjammer, and then have a bit of leisure time before our time was called. The luggage collection was a bit chaotic, and there was a bit of a queue to get through customs... but it really didn't take more than about 30 minutes to end up outside the terminal with our bags on our way home. SHIP TIP Do the full online check-in prior to your cruise (including uploading your photo). We did this and had "Expedited Arrival" on our SetSail passes. This meant we were able to skip the normal queue and get onboard really quickly. --- SHORE EXCURSIONS --- SOUNDS Breathtaking! Arriving into Milford Sound as the sun was rising was spectacular. The ship did a double spin at the end of Milford Sound meaning everyone had a good look no matter where they would have been on the ship. DUNEDIN We did the Otagos Wild Wonders. The bus trip wasn't great - almost an hour and 40kms driving from Port Chalmers all the way around to the opposite side of the harbour (about 1km as the crow flies). However, arriving at Natures Wonders we were warmly welcomed by Perry and his team. Riding on the Argo 8 wheel drive vehicles was huge fun, with a driving trek down to the ocean front of the Otago Peninsula. It was the end of the breeding season for the New Zealand Fur Seals, and we got to see a few dozen (at least) pups lazing around. The tour also included getting to see a penguin chick in a special nesting box. WELLINGTON Unfortunately due to earthquake damage to the cruise ship pier, Ovation docked at a commercial wharf which meant it wasn’t possible to walk directly onshore and away from the dock. However, we had booked ourselves on the Wellington Panorama shore excursion which means we boarded the bus right off the ship (a complimentary shuttle service was available for anyone who wanted to go ashore on their own). The tour was excellent, with our driving providing some great history of Wellington including many humorous anecdotes. Stops included the Wellington Botanical Gardens (so many different colours of roses!), Mt Victoria (a great way to see Wellington from on high), and then the Wellington foreshore (the Gallipoli exhibition in the Te Papa museum is brilliant). PICTON While the ship was again at a commercial wharf, a complimentary shuttle was also provided. Our shore excursion this time was the "Marlborough Train Tour". After a short bus ride to the Picton train station, we boarded Passchendaele, a WW1 memorial steam locomotive for a ride to Blenheim - this took about 30 minutes. Getting off at the Blenheim station, we had a chance to check out the locomotive and have a chat to the engineers. There was a great souvenir shop nearby where we picked up a couple of things, and then walked about 20 minutes to have lunch at Dodson Street Beer Garden (http://www.dodsonstreet.co.nz/). Just as much as the Marlborough region is known for its wines, there are also some great local breweries - and we got to try a number of the local brews at Dodson Street. Definitely worth going to if you like your beers! The afternoon saw us ride the train from Blenheim back to Picton, and then the bus back to the wharf to board Ovation. The queues for the bus in Picton were pretty long, so would suggest not hanging around in Picton for too long. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper ... Read More
This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper cars, rock climbing, video games, ping pong, sports court, free Zumba and stretch classes, craft (could do better with the craft classes, just gave out kits), lectures, many pools etc. Teen club was good but too many boys hanging around outside. Entertainment was first class. Some of the other passengers let their kids run around without any supervision which I did not like but not much that RC can do about it. Complementary meals and service was good, ranging from fine dining to the massive Windjammer buffet restaurant which has to be seen to be believed. I cannot understand all the whinging in other comments. I mean really, someone got the wrong parmesan? Seriously? Overall very good and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, ... Read More
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, from the very quick seamless embarkation, clean stateroom, service, activities and food choices amazing! We had 2 balcony staterooms one for us and one for our 4 kids. One kid ended up in our room on the fold out sofa. Kids ages 9, 12, 14,16 and not one complaint of boredom even though they had no WIFI for 10 days. When I was researching I couldn’t find a review of Christmas, RCL do an amazing job, there are Christmas decorations, activities, Christmas movies, craft, Christmas food including cookies and milk leading up to a big day of celebration, Santa’s arrival, free gifts for kids under 18. These were very thoughtful and useful. In terms of drinks, we bought the deluxe package, I’m not a big drinker but it definitely works out, bottled water, fresh juices, specialty coffee and wine and cocktails, book on cruise planner prior when it goes on sale. Lots of sales of jewellery and watches, don’t buy in first few days, as they go up to 75 percent off! My sister in law was seasick, they sell tablets in the merchant store but give them away for free at reception. On Christmas Day we booked a specialty restaurant “chops Grille”, food 9/10 but they didn’t have the same Christmas frivolity as the other restaurants, they offered us this for 49 usd adults and kids above 12 and 10 for kids, they said no charge for kids at the end. No Christmas pudding or turkey on menu but apple pie was to die for. They work so hard to make sure everything leads to a great holiday, free ice cream all day on the pooldeck, blankets for watching movies under the stars on the pooldeck. We bought a paradise lotto ticket, $2.00 a game and won $100 usd which we used to credit our account. The activities director is a crack up and there are so many family friendly activities and challenges you can join in or just watch. Caribbean music on the pool deck really makes for a great atmosphere, there is the main pool, a second undercover pool and the adult solarium. The food in main dining is great, the buffet has a theme section each night and the variety for gluten intolerant, vegans and vegetarians is great, not that this was us! Oh and the gym was huge and free, we used it most days. Overall a great experience, would love to do it again next year! Everyone had a great time, I couldn’t fault it, and we are well travelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
MOST REVIEWS ARE FROM UNHAPPY PASSENGERS HAPPY PASSENGERS DON'T TEND TO REVIEW Before we boarded our cruise on the Ovation of the Seas I did a lot of research. I read all the reviews. Unfortunately I had booked the cruise ... Read More
MOST REVIEWS ARE FROM UNHAPPY PASSENGERS HAPPY PASSENGERS DON'T TEND TO REVIEW Before we boarded our cruise on the Ovation of the Seas I did a lot of research. I read all the reviews. Unfortunately I had booked the cruise before reading the reviews and I was starting to think I had made a mistake picking Ovation due to these reviews. From the moment I saw Ovation I was in awe. There was so much to do and see that really you didn't need to get off at ports. Our family was on Ovation when the volcano erupted and this totally devastated not just the passengers but crew and Captain. I have read another reviews from fellow passengers and totally disagree and am disappointed and I must admit disgusted. We were informed as much as the Captain could communicate. Unlike the news and media it is not the Captains responsibility to update passengers on information they are not 100% sure of. Not to mention releasing information before family members back home were informed. Yes we stayed in port longer than expected but this was to help with investigations into the incident. We were able to get off the ship so we weren't held prisoner as one passenger said. We still had access to all the facilities of the ship. Yes activities and shows were postponed and new ones introduced. The Crew and Captain did the best they could to revise the activities and shows to put some life back into the cruise . From our longer than planned stay in port we missed out on going to Dunedin and the Sounds but got to go to Picton. We lost lives and passengers were complaining about missing Dunedin and the Sounds. We still got our 12 nights on the beautiful Ovations of the Seas and were refunded 1 day. Yes we missed a port and the Sounds but we still got the 12 nights on board with all the amazing activities and shows. I have read a review from this same cruise and if I was a first time cruiser with Ovations of the Sea or Royal Caribbean I would be put off. Please know that people only seem to put up reviews if they have way too high expectations and find negatives in everything. Very few people that have amazing experiences leave reviews. My tip is to make sure you do as much on the ship as it offers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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
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
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
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 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
Just returned today from 7 night Alaskan cruise on Ovation. Reserved a room with a virtual balcony as did my sister and her husband. We both were very happy with the experience of this new technology. Our other sister had a balcony room ... Read More
Just returned today from 7 night Alaskan cruise on Ovation. Reserved a room with a virtual balcony as did my sister and her husband. We both were very happy with the experience of this new technology. Our other sister had a balcony room and that was very nice of course. The first time I cruised to Alaska we had a balcony but it was too cold and windy to enjoy it! This time, however, the weather was very nice and the balcony was great for them. It was so nice to be able to have the balcony views on our virtual balcony though. It worked well and had a night light if you wanted it. The night light in the bathrooms were a nice added touch too. The food was excellent and the service is great. A very nice added service this time was the luggage being checked through straight to the airport from your stateroom! WOW was that great to put your bags out the night before (as usual) and not have to see it again until you pick it up once your at your final destination! THANKS ROYAL CARIBBEAN! The beds were on the firm side and one of my sisters slept on the pull out couch bed and said it was like sleeping on concrete. The entertainment was ok but not spectacular this time. This was a very relaxing cruise for us. We have had exciting and super fun on other trips but this was more low key for us and we felt pampered and well cared for by the very friendly and caring staff. The North Star is great and my sister and her husband loved the I-Fly experience. They waited in line for an hour to ride the bumper cars for 2 or 3 minutes so that wasn't great. The Solarium is very nice and comfortable as it is enclosed in glass so the views are always enjoyable. I was not happy with having to upload our pictures in the registration process so we didn't and that is totally fine. They take your picture there and even my sisters who had already uploaded their photos had their pictures re-taken anyway so I don't know why they even bother you about trying to do it before hand. We went to Seattle 2 days before so we could spend a day at the San Juan Islands which was fantastic! We went on a whale watching trip from Seattle and had a great time doing that and exploring Friday Harbor. You see a lot of whales on the cruise too! We took the Link light rail from the airport and saved a ton of money doing that! We stayed near the Seattle Center so we took the light rail from the airport to the Westlake Station and then took an Uber to the hotel. Light rail is $3.00 for adult ($1.00 for over 65) and the Uber was about 6 dollars. We stayed at the Inn at Queen Anne. Old but clean and a good location and price. One of my sisters needed to rent a scooter and that was available for $200.00 for the entire time. (she has difficulty walking) It's too big to keep in the room so you have to have the attendant park it elsewhere at night which they are happy to do. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Perfect all-weather ship, and therefore perfect for Alaska. Excellent range of options for both indoor and outdoor viewing, sports, entertainment, food, drinks, ... Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely fast (also thanks to ... Read More
Perfect all-weather ship, and therefore perfect for Alaska. Excellent range of options for both indoor and outdoor viewing, sports, entertainment, food, drinks, ... Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely fast (also thanks to "The Key" :-) ...). Upon arrival at the pier around 10:30 a.m., there were zero (0) passengers before me in line. (At least as a solo traveller, I can only recommend "The Key" programme!) Dining in the MDR was rather disappointing, but truly great food in the Windjammer, and plenty of (always different) options. Never a problem to find an empty table. Entertainment was of the usual high RCI quality. The perks of the Quantum class are obviously great, the Solarium is truly the highlight of the ship for an adult, particularly in Alaska, as is North Star (with premium viewing at an extra fee in some key locations, also going to the side of the ship). The fitness center was surprisingly small and rather oddly equipped (only a handful of bikes!). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was started by my sister and we decided to travel with a group. My wife and I have always cruised as the two of us. On our last cruise we traveled with another couple. On this cruise about 30 friends and family. We ... Read More
This cruise was started by my sister and we decided to travel with a group. My wife and I have always cruised as the two of us. On our last cruise we traveled with another couple. On this cruise about 30 friends and family. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Space Needle for a couple of days prior. They offered a $10 shuttle to the port. Embarkation was pretty easy but there was no Diamond line and so waited a bit longer than usual. The Sea Pass cards and Coke cups were at the room and as we arrives around noon this was somewhat inconvenient. Swung into the Windjammer and used our Set Sail passes for drinks. Large Windjammer with some outside seating. Pretty typical Windjammer experience. Food is generally a step above an on shore buffet with more fresh options. Most of the food has this strange bent to it as chefs are not typically American. Indian foods are frequently the best on the buffets. Although always some staples like hot dogs, hamburgers and salad. There are Coke Freestyles in the Windjammer, always a plus. Ship is amazing. Clean and newish. Got to our cabin 9200. Nice sized balcony cabin. Big enough for 3 of us. Shower had great space for a cruise ship and a bar to put up a foot for ladies to shave legs. Plenty of storage although the safe is rather small and not big enough for a laptop. Internet coverage was good except on the outdoor walking track on deck 15. The walking track is 18.24 laps for a 10k (about .3 miles per lap). This was an Alaska cruise si most stuff was inside. The Schooner bar was the favorite (love trivia) followed by Music Hall. Joseph st the Schooner was the best bartender I have had. Learned my preferences by day 2 and would create drinks that were almost always great. Had dinner with the group on 2 nights in the Dining Room (first and last night when the dress code was lax. I don't take pants only shorts on a cruise) and one night at Jamie's Italian. The appetizers and desserts were amazing, my main course mixed fried seafood was ok. MDR was a step above Windjammer and they worked hard to make it a class experience. Also tried Izumi and the sushi was quite tasty. Breakfasts in the Windjammer were typical Royal. Occasional lunches there were also typical. The solarium was wonderful and spent a lot of time in the pools and hot tubs. Seattle was a fantastic city to take out of. Juneau was OK. Wish I would have done more research and found the trail to Mt. Robert's sooner. They had to cancel most of the shore excursions due to wind. We were planning to just walk around anyway so we did. Not a bad stop, but not much there. The later stop in Juneau allowed us to have lunch and dinner there. Skagway was really a neat and long stop. Went for a long hike and then around the city. Out to the graveyard and falls. Great hike and good scenery here. The long stop meant lunch and dinner on shore again. The glacier stop was quite cool from a distance. And even nicer from a hot tub. Victoria was a pretty city and very walkable. We ate lunch there and walked quite a bit. Didn't do any production shows but the rock n roll night at 270 was a lot of fun. Loved having the Deluxe rink package. Then back to reality day. We did the Port Valet, great service as we had a late flight and didn't have to lug suitcases. Cabin was well maintained throughout but make sure you don't leave the do not disturb sign out they take that very seriously. Loved the trip on Ovation. I will add we are very simple cruisers and don't so much scheduled and manage to make the trips great doing this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was ... Read More
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was beautiful, service outstanding, food - very good - especially at the Chef's Table dinner. We also enjoyed Chop's one night and Jamie's Italian on 2 nights. The cruise through the fiord up to Dawes Glacier was a highlight for us as the scenery was spectacular.. As we got closer to the glacier we passed more and more icebergs and there was a special beauty about them. The water was a glacial green that enhanced the blue white colors in the ice. As we neared the glacier the ice pack got thicker requiring the ship to stop a mile or 2 away from where the glacier enters the water. The captain at this time put the ship through a 360 degree turn allowing everyone to get a nice view. It was a special day. We visited Skagway and Juneau and Victoria. In Victoria we did a food tour with Andy ( A Taste of Victoria ) who was just wonderful. We booked this on our own - not through the ship. Overall I would highly recommend the Ovation of the Seas and this Alaska itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I travelled to Seattle with my family for this Alaska cruise. My daughter is in a wheelchair so we had booked an accessible cabin. Our taxi driver was waiting for us at the airport and it took about 30 minutes to reach the cruise ... Read More
I travelled to Seattle with my family for this Alaska cruise. My daughter is in a wheelchair so we had booked an accessible cabin. Our taxi driver was waiting for us at the airport and it took about 30 minutes to reach the cruise terminal. Embarkation was smooth and problem-free. Our cabin, an accessible oceanview on Deck 3, was spacious and comfortable. Dining in both the restaurant and Windjammer buffet was a great experience, with plenty of choices and great service. We had anytime dining and we rotated between the two restaurants (Silk and American Icon) for dinner. We ate breakfast in the Solarium Bistro, which was lovely as it is smaller and not so busy as the Windjammer. Entertainment was generally good with a variety of shows in the theatre and musicians for all tastes in the various bars and lounges. We loved the bumper cars, but were disappointed that we were unable to experience the North Star as it was fully booked for the entire cruise. The port stops (Juneau, Skagway and Victoria BC) were great. We were able to walk off the ship and straight into each port without needing to use any shuttles. The only slight disappointment was the glacier stop. Although the scenery was breathtaking we were not able to actually see the glacier itself. All in all this was a very enjoyable cruise on a great ship, with plenty to do onboard and excellent service all round. Disembarkation was easy and problem-free. Our taxi arrived to pick us up just after we disembarked. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at ... Read More
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at 11:03 and we were aboard by 11:15. It looked crowded, but staff moved us right along. The rooms had plenty of space and storage. Room attendant was fantastic. Itinerary was breathtaking. We did Mendenhall Glacier /whale watching / Orca Point Lodge in Juneau. Wish we had more time at Mendenhall to hike to Nugget Falls, but still saw salmon running and got close enough to falls and glacier for good photos. Saw plenty of whales, seals and sea lions. In Scagway we did the Liarsville gold rush camp, Red Onion Saloon and a drive into Canada and the train ride back. It was all incredible. The kids loved that they could tour a historic “house of ill repute” and really enjoyed the train ride. They stayed on the back balcony of the train 80% of the time! We “missed” Dawes Glacier due to excessive ice in the channel, but stayed in the Endicott Arm area longer, among the beautiful blue ice floes. Honestly, I didn’t mind, because we had already seen three glaciers and saw more wildlife, like whales and Dalls Porpoise, in the Arm. In Victoria, Butchart Gardens were nice, but a walk through town was actually more enjoyable for this non-flower guy. As far as the ship, it was wonderful. We have been spoiled on Oasis class, but Ovation was less crowded, so easier to get into shows. Yes, you trade in the broadway shows and diving shows for that, but a fair trade. Ifly and Northstar were easy to reserve when boarding early. We got Northstar at 1 pm on Dawes and Endicott day (well after the paid slots ended). I’d recommend that time, because you see whales at that point. The kids loved the teen club, and had a group of friends by day 1. I managed to get together with them every day at dinner and for excursions. Otherwise, the parent just isn’t cool enough I suppose. Food...I’ve never had an issue with main dining room food and I’d read here that many didn’t enjoy Ovation MDR. Apologies to the naysayers, but Ovation scored big for us at the MDR. We ate at Solarium day one, but the MDR was at its best every other night. Attentive and friendly staff. Food was awesome. I even asked the servers for spicy food and they came up with some incredible Indian chicken and fish dishes and were right on target. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, so no artsy displays of tiny food, but it was a great meal every time. Breakfast was best at Solarium Bistro. We tried Windjammer once, but way too crowded and nearly impossible to find a table. We did 270 on the last morning, and sad we waited! Good quick breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch at the hot dog, fish&chips or Sorrentos pizza was good. I tried the deluxe beverage package for the first time and it was borderline worth it. Considering all the soda, mixed drinks and specialty coffee I “purchased”, the math tells me I about broke even each day, but only because I drank a bit more with the package. So I would get it again, simply for the convenience of having it all “covered” ahead of time. Was it perfect? Of course not. We could have waited more at the elevators, many did wait too long, but we took the stairs often. Sometimes even just going up or down one level meant a quicker elevator arrival. This could have been an issue if we had young children or someone who had difficulty with stairs. Also, it took a few hours the first day to connect to the WiFi. Signal was spotty and slow in certain spots on the ship, but not in our stateroom. This may be an issue with satellites and high latitudes, though. So our bottom line was stellar cruise, great ship and an amazing cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our party of four 60-somethings, including my husband and I and my sister and her husband, chose this sailing because we wanted the new, state-of-the-art Ovation and a shorter (one week) itinerary. I am our group's unofficial ... Read More
Our party of four 60-somethings, including my husband and I and my sister and her husband, chose this sailing because we wanted the new, state-of-the-art Ovation and a shorter (one week) itinerary. I am our group's unofficial "travel agent," making all of our plans. We all live in Central Florida. After booking, I noticed an avalanche of bad reviews for Ovation on Cruise Critic. We were expecting a lot less than this gorgeous ship actually provided. Food: We ate dinner in the Main Dining Room, Coastal Kitchen, Charlie's and Jamie's. Only Jamie's disappointed--menu is not health-oriented, and decor is very plain. Others were awesome. I never had a problem getting a table at the Windjammer, and food there was pretty standard (and good) RCCL. Crew: I saw only one unsmiling crewman the whole week--he was out of place, probably very homesick. Steward Virgie, waiters, etc., were as pleasant and helpful as they could be. The New Ship Bells and Whistles: Okay, there is no Oasis-class Central Park, and there is less emphasis on Broadway style shows. But.........the Play Deck, as I call Deck 15, is stunning. The bumper cars, the running track, the (surprisingly busy) climbing wall, the Flow Rider, the heated pools, the Solarium, etc.--this is where my sister and I logged a lot of miles while enjoying stunning views. The 270 amphitheater on Deck 5 is also a technological step up--great venue for talks and shows and just hanging out. Best of all is North Star! We went up into this observation crane in the Inside Passage--we paid for this specific time, but you can go up for free so long as you sign up as soon as you get on board. Do this! The Itinerary: I would call our 7-Day Itinerary "Alaska Light"--and knew this up front. The Port of Seattle is a direct flight away from Orlando, but limits how much you can see in one week. Our week weather-wise was mostly overcast, a little windy, with highs in the 60s. Juneau and Skagway are beautiful gems, of course. We enjoyed the unspoiled, tree-covered, uninhabited islands that rise so steeply along the entire Alaskan coastline. We saw whales frolicking every day--no need to book an excursion for that. Victoria, British Columbia is also a wonderful and gorgeous, walkable city--I think it is a destination in its own right. We booked a decent walking tour, but I think that we did not need it--the layout is easy and a leisurely walk on our own would have been just as good. Final Thought: I liked Ovation so much that I just booked today a 9-night cruise from Sydney, Australia to New Zealand in February 2021! I could become an Ovation groupie. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved ... Read More
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved the ship, the rooms, the staff and the activities. The scenery was stunning but we did not get close enough to see Dawes Glacier because there was too much ice, which was disappointing. Still Endicott Arm is spectacular. We saw lots of whales from the ship and tons of bald eagles in Juneau. Every single service person we encountered was friendly and professional. We were beyond thrilled with our room attendant Habibie. We heard a lot of experienced cruisers griping about the elevators and the food. But we loved the Windjammer service and food - in fact we ate most of our meals there. MDRs were hit or miss. The ports are fun - recommend excursions that get you out of the Main Street tangles of gift and jewelry shops. Overall we give the cruise an A grade and recommend it, especially for new cruisers and families. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose RC Ovation of the Seas because we thought if the weather was bad in Alaska we wanted a ship with a lot of activities. We’re an active family who enjoys the outdoors & our millennial kids & other family members wanted to ... Read More
We chose RC Ovation of the Seas because we thought if the weather was bad in Alaska we wanted a ship with a lot of activities. We’re an active family who enjoys the outdoors & our millennial kids & other family members wanted to experience walking on a glacier and hiking in Alaska. We were able to walk on Mendenhall and Laughton Glaciers and view Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier from our ship. It was an awe-inspiring and beautiful. We’ve sailed on many large and small ships and Ovation of the Seas was wonderful in every way. We never had to wait in any lines and always found a table at breakfast and lunch. We had My Time Dining and never waited. The staff in the American Icon restaurant were outstanding and made our cruise memorable. The crew was the most friendly, hardworking, and funny we’ve ever had on any of our cruises. We had to laugh and wondered how the crew were always so cheery and constantly willing to help. To our surprise the Windjammer was a fun place to eat. There was a crew member who would crack jokes over the PA which made everyone laugh and all the bus people were always smiling. I’m a clean freak and the crew were constantly cleaning everything and everywhere. There is a hand washing station before you can enter the Windjammer and you can’t bypass it. Which is great...they’ll be no illness on this ship! There are so many activities you can’t do them all. If you love dancing this is the ship for you. Every evening there was dancing activities from the 70’s, Disco, Rock n’ Roll, and Hush Party/Silent Disco with headphones. The shows were excellent & very entertaining. We enjoyed the SeaPlex which is an indoor sports arena and perfect for an Alaska cruise. Every cruise ship should have a SeaPlex. There is roller skating, bumper cars, volleyball, basketball, trapeze, and hockey. You play ping pong and air hockey. There’s also a rock climbing wall, the super fun RipCord IFly, and North Star. Our cabin was spotless and well appointed with lots of storage. The shower was larger because of the rounded door. If you’re considering a cruise to Alaska take Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. You’ll have a fabulous time. It’s a “Once in a Life Time Cruise”...the ship and Alaska!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We enjoyed this cruise. As a reference point, we've been on Harmony, Allure, and Navigator and 12 other cruises on Disney & Princess . I think this ship was made for Alaska. We traveled with our 16 year old daughter and 12 ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise. As a reference point, we've been on Harmony, Allure, and Navigator and 12 other cruises on Disney & Princess . I think this ship was made for Alaska. We traveled with our 16 year old daughter and 12 year old son. They loved Sea Plex. It was nice having the Solarium and the indoor pool. We had pretty good weather for Alaska. We took advantage of tons of activities on the ship: roller skating, iFly, trapeze class, bumper cars, rock wall, and the flow rider. We also had lots of fun playing trivia, doing scavenger hunts, and playing The Royal Mystery. We ate in the dining room and had reservations at the Solarium Bistro two nights for dinner. I highly recommend the Bistro. I loved Cafe 270 for lunch. They have a specific gluten free line at the Windjammer and there are desserts identified as gluten free. This was nice, but the variety of foods didn't change much. Our cabin was a verandah room on deck 7. The only thing I wish the room had was a curtain that you could pull to divide the seating area from the king (Princess & Disney have this). We were very pleased with the service. All the ship workers were friendly and pleasant. We booked two excursions through Royal Caribbean. We did the Helicopter Glacier Trek in Juneau. This was worth every penny. After landing on the glacier, we hiked for two hours on the glacier. In Skagway, we did a speed boat ride. Everyone enjoyed it, but it was hard to compare to the glacier trek! We were able to see so much wildlife from the ship. We saw whales, bald eagles, porpoises, and harbor seals! It was so much fun watching the sea life from our verandah! As for disembarkation, we took advantage of the valet luggage to the airport, and took an Uber to downtown Seattle when we got off the ship. The taxi line was very, very long. It took about 5 minutes to get an Uber at 9:00 am. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the ... Read More
Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the Dawes glacier and did multiple 360s for all to have good views. The venues on either end of the ship --- Cafe270 and Serenity --- provided gorgeous views of the landscape with the multi-level, full length windows. Cafe270 itself would be considered an upscale entertainment venue with windows becoming projection screens for nighttime events. This was an ideal ship for Alaska especially. The captain (Henrik) is a standout. In his Q&A session, he was engaging and he provided good insight into what it takes to run the ship especially in the waters around Alaska. He also described the logistics of an unfortunate emergency helicopter situation we experienced for one of the guests. Many were concerned/curious about that. The service was high quality, from room stewards to dining service. Never experienced anything that wasn’t attentive and professional. We had anytime dining and never waited after making reservations after the first night, and even when we missed our reservations we were seated quickly, and a window table like we had other nights. The second formal night offered lobster, and there seemed to be the biggest crowds in line for that. Getting on and off in the ports all went smoothly. Never a backup either way. The itinerary seemed to be just right, with stops in Juneau and Skagway after one day at sea, then the highlight through the channel to view the Dawes glacier up close. (If you get that close, look for the second glacier between the hills up on the left side.) Then, a day at sea before Victoria B.C. The days at sea were needed to see/do all that there is to offer. The North Star offered several complimentary opportunities if you didn’t pay for a reserved time, although I was a bit jealous of those who were in it at the Dawes glacier; it goes out to either side of the ship there, not just up. The bumper cars were popular with long lines. There seemed to be a lot of sports activities in that area, and were interesting to watch at least. Spent time in the casino. Saw people winning good amounts every night, slots were modern machines, and the bar team was quick and made good drinks. Sometimes the casino bar can be lighter staffed, but not here. Food quality wise, not the highest but certainly good overall. My biggest suggestion is Cafe270 --- breakfast and lunch has various offerings including pressed sandwiches and soups and full salad bar, all served. Coffee and drinks and dessert in there as well, connects to the 270 venue where you can sit in nice seats to eat and enjoy the views. The café part looks like a Panera or similar, modern look and feel. Also, Fish and Ships on deck 14 near the buffet had some complimentary choices (fish and chips, chicken fingers, and a fish sandwich, Haddock or Pollock, can't remember) in addition to some with small charges. Shows were decent, varied from a vocal performer who sang in different styles of singers (impersonation, but not too silly) to the singers and dancers in a production with aerials and high quality vocals. Karaoke was decent, guests had skills and some were featured on stage in the theater later in the cruise. Overall, wonderful experience. I was with my Dad, and it made the perfect father-son trip. TIP: Outside deck 5 on either side of the ship are really nice viewing areas that didn’t have a lot of people. Certainly see everything from the higher floors, but check out deck 5 to be closer to the water when you can. There is a nice “Ovation of the Seas” life preserver that makes a good “Kodak Picture Spot.” Also, the Alaska merchandise is stylish and good quality, first day at sea has a combo offer that is not offered again. Read Less
Sail Date June 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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