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We had been on the Anthem of the Seas in the Mediterranean in 2015, and had a fabulous time on the Quantum class, and so we were really looking forward to our cruise on Ovation in Asia....but we were very disappointed by RCL First - when we checked in at Singapore, we had checked in online and had everything printed out and ready for a speedy checkin...but they told us that we had to go in a different line to get a photocopy of each of our passports before we could check in. It would have been very easy for us to get copies of our passports ahead of time, but now we had to go in another line and wait while they got photocopies of our passports. Supposedly it was for our North Korea port, but WE NEVER NEEDED them during our cruise! It was just a HUGE waste of time and another line that we had to wait in during the already long and tedious checkin process at the port. After frustratingly waiting in the line to copy our passports for 30 minutes...we finally were able to finish our checkin and get on the boat. My wife and I were cruising with our 4 children - ages 11, 9. 6 and 3 -- and we had interconnecting balconies. The balconies and rooms were very nice and new. The dining was confusing and disappointing as well. We had been on a Mediteranean cruise with a quantum class ship -- Anthem of the Seas - so we thought we would be familiar with the 4 main restaurants -- Silk, Chic, etc... -- and we were able to make reservations at each restaurant and have a unique menu with each one. Well now on this ship RCI completely abandoned that idea and now it was just 4 different restaurant "ambiances" all serving the same menu each night. With more of a focus trying to get us to buy meals at the premium restaurants. It was a diminished experience and many of the guests I spoke to felt the same way and were incredibly confused and disappointed by the dining!! I don't know if the ship was understaffed because it was a repositioning cruise, but there was only 1 trainer in the fitness area, and only 1 nail technician. My wife had to wait until the last day of the cruise to get her nails done because there was only 1 nail technician. And in the fitness area there was an entire room dedicated to spin bikes that was completely unused - except for 3 hours of spin classes during the entire 12 night cruise. Only 3 classes. An entire room of spin bikes wasted. Now come on!! People should be able to use the spin bikes at any time - not just during spin classes! They have an entire gym full of equipment that people can use at any time and potentially be injured. If you’re that concerned about safety - then have people sign a waiver, but don’t let an entire room dedicated to spin bikes go wasted and unused for 99% of the cruise!! On our previous cruise on Anthem of the Seas - you gave everyone a free wristband that they could use to make purchases on board and to unlock their stateroom. That was extremely convenient and better for us to carry around than the normal plastic cards. But on this cruise, they made us pay and we had to go down to guest services to get wrist bands. Another example -- the staff didn't know that we had already signed waivers on our TV in our stateroom, and they made us sign new paper waivers each time. Come on!! You have the technology -- the staff should be able to look up our stateroom, see our picture, and see that we have signed all of our waivers. Just another example of not offering a smooth and easy process for your guests. You watered down everything that has made RCI special, and you are too focused on "upcharging" their guests. You don't even offer surf and turf - steak and lobster dinner for free any more - now it's an upcharge and you make the guests pay for it! Except for our dining staff and stateroom attendant, overall the service and attitude aboard the ship was subpar, and we were so disappointed that I don’t think we will be booking another cruise with RCL - despite being Emerald members.

Great taste of Asia....but disappointing RCL

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by explorer2002

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2017
  • Destination: Asia
We had been on the Anthem of the Seas in the Mediterranean in 2015, and had a fabulous time on the Quantum class, and so we were really looking forward to our cruise on Ovation in Asia....but we were very disappointed by RCL

First - when we checked in at Singapore, we had checked in online and had everything printed out and ready for a speedy checkin...but they told us that we had to go in a different line to get a photocopy of each of our passports before we could check in. It would have been very easy for us to get copies of our passports ahead of time, but now we had to go in another line and wait while they got photocopies of our passports. Supposedly it was for our North Korea port, but WE NEVER NEEDED them during our cruise! It was just a HUGE waste of time and another line that we had to wait in during the already long and tedious checkin process at the port. After frustratingly waiting in the line to copy our passports for 30 minutes...we finally were able to finish our checkin and get on the boat.

My wife and I were cruising with our 4 children - ages 11, 9. 6 and 3 -- and we had interconnecting balconies. The balconies and rooms were very nice and new.

The dining was confusing and disappointing as well. We had been on a Mediteranean cruise with a quantum class ship -- Anthem of the Seas - so we thought we would be familiar with the 4 main restaurants -- Silk, Chic, etc... -- and we were able to make reservations at each restaurant and have a unique menu with each one. Well now on this ship RCI completely abandoned that idea and now it was just 4 different restaurant "ambiances" all serving the same menu each night. With more of a focus trying to get us to buy meals at the premium restaurants. It was a diminished experience and many of the guests I spoke to felt the same way and were incredibly confused and disappointed by the dining!!

I don't know if the ship was understaffed because it was a repositioning cruise, but there was only 1 trainer in the fitness area, and only 1 nail technician. My wife had to wait until the last day of the cruise to get her nails done because there was only 1 nail technician. And in the fitness area there was an entire room dedicated to spin bikes that was completely unused - except for 3 hours of spin classes during the entire 12 night cruise. Only 3 classes. An entire room of spin bikes wasted. Now come on!! People should be able to use the spin bikes at any time - not just during spin classes! They have an entire gym full of equipment that people can use at any time and potentially be injured. If you’re that concerned about safety - then have people sign a waiver, but don’t let an entire room dedicated to spin bikes go wasted and unused for 99% of the cruise!!

On our previous cruise on Anthem of the Seas - you gave everyone a free wristband that they could use to make purchases on board and to unlock their stateroom. That was extremely convenient and better for us to carry around than the normal plastic cards. But on this cruise, they made us pay and we had to go down to guest services to get wrist bands.

Another example -- the staff didn't know that we had already signed waivers on our TV in our stateroom, and they made us sign new paper waivers each time. Come on!! You have the technology -- the staff should be able to look up our stateroom, see our picture, and see that we have signed all of our waivers. Just another example of not offering a smooth and easy process for your guests.

You watered down everything that has made RCI special, and you are too focused on "upcharging" their guests. You don't even offer surf and turf - steak and lobster dinner for free any more - now it's an upcharge and you make the guests pay for it!

Except for our dining staff and stateroom attendant, overall the service and attitude aboard the ship was subpar, and we were so disappointed that I don’t think we will be booking another cruise with RCL - despite being Emerald members.
explorer2002’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin 11136
nice cabin - new fixtures. Really fast internet!
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