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My father chose this cruise for our whole extended family to celebrate my maternal grandfather's 92nd birthday. Our party was 21 people. Before I start going into all the inadequacies of this cruise, I have to give a shoutout to the good parts: 1. The Head Waiter Maximino Mondragon was super helpful in securing mutliple tables close to each other for our 21 people at the champagne brunch (extra charge). I went ahead the day before to confirm that we would be coming--it was held during an at-sea day, and Maximino confirmed our tables and promised me he would save us tables. On the actual day, when we showed up, Maximino was not immedaitely available, and his boss and all the other staff basically refused to seat us until ALL 21 of us were there--he was going to make us stand in the hallway to wait! Luckily, when I asked for Maximino, he came and fixed everything. But how we were treated by other staff was typical on the ship--I felt like we were in 1980s Communist China, where they had no clue what customer service was. We had gold card status, and we were herded around like cattle. 2. The Wonderland restaurant food was excellent (extra charge). Everything else about this cruise was terrible. I will never come back to a Royal Caribbean Cruise again (and I will certainly exert my influence to my family not to return.) We have gone on several Crystal Cruises (Symphony and Serenity) and they were a world apart. List of things that were inadequate: 1. The spa experience. My mother and I booked for massages. We showed up 15min early to the spa and were led straight to sit in a waiting area--where the fridge was empty with nothing to drink, nor fruits, nor snacks--unlike any other spa (on land or ship) I have been to. We were never taken to a locker room to change into robes or anything. Our time past and no one came to get us. I finally had to go back out to the check in/out area to tell them no one came for us. Then the lady at the front ran back, and 2 masseuses came to collect my mother and I to the massage room directly where we were directed to take our clothes off and lie on the table. The massages themselves were adequate. However, after our massages, when our bodies were covered in oil, the masseuses asked us to put our own clothes back on and go back out front to check out! So, we asked for bathrobes and slippers and a locker room. As they were leading us (now in bathrobes, grabbing our clothes and shoes and socks) towards the locker room, I mentioned that I was surprised that we weren't led to the locker rooms to put our clothes away and to get bathrobes on first. The masseuses answered that the reason was because we never asked for a locker when we checked in! "we do not advertise the availability of lockers, because we don't have enough of them"--that was the answer! We have subsequently talked to other spa guests and they had similar experiences! Elemis is supposed to run the spa--and I am shocked that it was so poorly managed. Needless to say, I have felt no need to return for any more services. 2. The food: as gold card status members, we had access to this special dining area (Coastal Kitchen) right next to Windjammer--the buffet place. We had to get through throngs of people in line to get to this place, which was uncomfortable enough in and of itself. The food that was served in Coastal Kitchen--the breakfast--was inedible. Bread was cold and hard and the congee tasted like dishwater. Needless to say, I never went back there for another breakfast. 3. My parents were in one of the premier cabins in the rear of the ship with an open loft like floor plan. Every time they have asked their concierge for anything, the answer was no, we can't do that. They were rationed 1 bottle of water per person per day (my sister and I were in the next step down cabin, still gold status, and we were given 1 bottle of water per person the entire cruise). Just as a comparison, my parents had the premium cabin in Crystal, and their concierge gave them a bottle of cristal champagne a day. Obviously, the price point was quite different, and we weren't expecting the same level of service and amenities, but the rationing of water was sad. There was 1 day when my parents' neighbors must have ordered room service. When these guests were done with their meals, they left the trays outside in the hallway (appropriately), and theses trays stayed out in the hallway, not taken away, for HOURS--almost 12 hours. My parents and I were joking we wished we took photographic evidence. 4. Reclaiming our passport: with gold card status, we were told that we could claim our passports in the Concierge Club at a certain time. I went to the Club during that window, and there was no one at the desk in the Club! I waited 20 min and decided to call the concierge using their phone--and it rang right at the desk! At least someone answered the phone. Apparently, they had some difficulties with 1 passenger's passport and they had to go fix the problem--and they're very sorry but they will be back in 10min. I waited another 25min before they showed up again (total wait time: 45min). It is shocking to me that they do not know to either get someone else to cover the desk if one of them had to run off, or leave a notice or something--if I did not call, I wouldn't know if I went to the wrong place, or how I could reclaim my passport! There were multiple other instances where poor management and poor service was the norm. It was SHOCKING.

A poorly run ship!

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by junekwu

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2017
  • Destination: Asia
My father chose this cruise for our whole extended family to celebrate my maternal grandfather's 92nd birthday. Our party was 21 people.

Before I start going into all the inadequacies of this cruise, I have to give a shoutout to the good parts:

1. The Head Waiter Maximino Mondragon was super helpful in securing mutliple tables close to each other for our 21 people at the champagne brunch (extra charge). I went ahead the day before to confirm that we would be coming--it was held during an at-sea day, and Maximino confirmed our tables and promised me he would save us tables. On the actual day, when we showed up, Maximino was not immedaitely available, and his boss and all the other staff basically refused to seat us until ALL 21 of us were there--he was going to make us stand in the hallway to wait! Luckily, when I asked for Maximino, he came and fixed everything. But how we were treated by other staff was typical on the ship--I felt like we were in 1980s Communist China, where they had no clue what customer service was. We had gold card status, and we were herded around like cattle.

2. The Wonderland restaurant food was excellent (extra charge).

Everything else about this cruise was terrible. I will never come back to a Royal Caribbean Cruise again (and I will certainly exert my influence to my family not to return.) We have gone on several Crystal Cruises (Symphony and Serenity) and they were a world apart.

List of things that were inadequate:

1. The spa experience. My mother and I booked for massages. We showed up 15min early to the spa and were led straight to sit in a waiting area--where the fridge was empty with nothing to drink, nor fruits, nor snacks--unlike any other spa (on land or ship) I have been to. We were never taken to a locker room to change into robes or anything. Our time past and no one came to get us. I finally had to go back out to the check in/out area to tell them no one came for us. Then the lady at the front ran back, and 2 masseuses came to collect my mother and I to the massage room directly where we were directed to take our clothes off and lie on the table. The massages themselves were adequate. However, after our massages, when our bodies were covered in oil, the masseuses asked us to put our own clothes back on and go back out front to check out! So, we asked for bathrobes and slippers and a locker room. As they were leading us (now in bathrobes, grabbing our clothes and shoes and socks) towards the locker room, I mentioned that I was surprised that we weren't led to the locker rooms to put our clothes away and to get bathrobes on first. The masseuses answered that the reason was because we never asked for a locker when we checked in! "we do not advertise the availability of lockers, because we don't have enough of them"--that was the answer! We have subsequently talked to other spa guests and they had similar experiences! Elemis is supposed to run the spa--and I am shocked that it was so poorly managed. Needless to say, I have felt no need to return for any more services.

2. The food: as gold card status members, we had access to this special dining area (Coastal Kitchen) right next to Windjammer--the buffet place. We had to get through throngs of people in line to get to this place, which was uncomfortable enough in and of itself. The food that was served in Coastal Kitchen--the breakfast--was inedible. Bread was cold and hard and the congee tasted like dishwater. Needless to say, I never went back there for another breakfast.

3. My parents were in one of the premier cabins in the rear of the ship with an open loft like floor plan. Every time they have asked their concierge for anything, the answer was no, we can't do that. They were rationed 1 bottle of water per person per day (my sister and I were in the next step down cabin, still gold status, and we were given 1 bottle of water per person the entire cruise). Just as a comparison, my parents had the premium cabin in Crystal, and their concierge gave them a bottle of cristal champagne a day. Obviously, the price point was quite different, and we weren't expecting the same level of service and amenities, but the rationing of water was sad. There was 1 day when my parents' neighbors must have ordered room service. When these guests were done with their meals, they left the trays outside in the hallway (appropriately), and theses trays stayed out in the hallway, not taken away, for HOURS--almost 12 hours. My parents and I were joking we wished we took photographic evidence.

4. Reclaiming our passport: with gold card status, we were told that we could claim our passports in the Concierge Club at a certain time. I went to the Club during that window, and there was no one at the desk in the Club! I waited 20 min and decided to call the concierge using their phone--and it rang right at the desk! At least someone answered the phone. Apparently, they had some difficulties with 1 passenger's passport and they had to go fix the problem--and they're very sorry but they will be back in 10min. I waited another 25min before they showed up again (total wait time: 45min). It is shocking to me that they do not know to either get someone else to cover the desk if one of them had to run off, or leave a notice or something--if I did not call, I wouldn't know if I went to the wrong place, or how I could reclaim my passport! There were multiple other instances where poor management and poor service was the norm. It was SHOCKING.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
I am reviewing for my parents' room.

The design of the ship is terrible--the location of their cabin is at the aft. However, there are only 2 elevator banks/stairs (at the fore and midship sections). So, everytime my parents had to go anywhere, they had to traverse half the length of the ship. There was a concierge club which was exactly 2 flights about their cabin, and yes, they get to traverse half the ship to go up to flights, and traverse half the ship to get to the aft again!
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