On August 25 I embarked Ovation of the Seas on one of the ship’s last trips in China. The ship is newly built and sent to China immediately. It is returning to the US but this does not mean RCI is quitting the area, as they will deploy an even newer ship of the same class to the China seas next year, while Princess and Norwegian are retreating (it is a joke that NCL took away the 160000-ton Norwegian Joy and replaces it with the very old and practically un-refurbished Norwegian Spirit, well-known to this market as the former SuperStar Leo (particularly this old ship suffered a 24-hour power loss recently).
I have of course cruised on RCI before but too long ago, and the brand has not been my favorite. But what a pleasant surprise, and what a proof why RCI is the most successful operator while Princess and NCL failed in this region. Immediately I notice good things:
(1) It is not fully localized and retains elements of a real international cruise, and it is the first time I saw many Australian joining a China cruise.
Not bad, good shower, water kettle very useful.