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We booked this cruise as a party of 6, and were so excited about the big new ship! Embarkation was a nightmare. Sailing out of Sydney, the ship was docked at OPT. Both the terminal and ship staff couldn't communicate to save our lives, the experience was woeful. The check-in time selected is useless, as we noticed people boarding who were booked at a later time. Very annoying. The food in the dining rooms was excellent and the staff were absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed every minute we spent there. All other eateries (not including specialty restaurants) were not so good. I don't understand the opening times for the buffet - why so restricted? Food ran out every single time we ate there so we eventually gave up on going. The entertainment was great, a decent mix of genres that appealed to everyone. WHAT IS UP WITH THE BAR STAFF THOUGH?! Everyone was so miserable! I understand some days you don't want to be at work, but you cannot take that out on customers. Sorry, it completely put me off approaching any bars. There were two other things I disliked on this ship. The first being the mobile app available to message/call your fellow cruise companions for a one of charge of $7.95 upon boarding. On face value, this was great! But after the first few days I realised that on every other cruise, I didn't have this available and it was totally fine - and I actually missed being disconnected from everything! My phone is usually stashed in the safe as soon as we board. Going forward, I absolutely won't partake in such nonsense. If I bump into someone great, if not, oh well (I acknowledge RCI did not force this feature down my throat, just saying I really wasn't fond of it upon use). The second thing - more than any other line I have cruised with - RCI really try to get you to spend up on board. It seemed like everything came with a catch, a sales gimmick, or some sort of trickery to make you spend money. Every line does it, but this was a next level experience. All in all, I can't say I had an awful time. I did enjoy myself and make the most of it, but I don't think I will be returning to RCI. It's a shame, there is so much potential but the Ovation needs better management in my opinion.

A lot of potential wasted by poor management

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by ab2010

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Interior with Virtual Balcony
We booked this cruise as a party of 6, and were so excited about the big new ship! Embarkation was a nightmare. Sailing out of Sydney, the ship was docked at OPT. Both the terminal and ship staff couldn't communicate to save our lives, the experience was woeful. The check-in time selected is useless, as we noticed people boarding who were booked at a later time. Very annoying.

The food in the dining rooms was excellent and the staff were absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed every minute we spent there. All other eateries (not including specialty restaurants) were not so good. I don't understand the opening times for the buffet - why so restricted? Food ran out every single time we ate there so we eventually gave up on going.

The entertainment was great, a decent mix of genres that appealed to everyone. WHAT IS UP WITH THE BAR STAFF THOUGH?! Everyone was so miserable! I understand some days you don't want to be at work, but you cannot take that out on customers. Sorry, it completely put me off approaching any bars.

There were two other things I disliked on this ship. The first being the mobile app available to message/call your fellow cruise companions for a one of charge of $7.95 upon boarding. On face value, this was great! But after the first few days I realised that on every other cruise, I didn't have this available and it was totally fine - and I actually missed being disconnected from everything! My phone is usually stashed in the safe as soon as we board. Going forward, I absolutely won't partake in such nonsense. If I bump into someone great, if not, oh well (I acknowledge RCI did not force this feature down my throat, just saying I really wasn't fond of it upon use).

The second thing - more than any other line I have cruised with - RCI really try to get you to spend up on board. It seemed like everything came with a catch, a sales gimmick, or some sort of trickery to make you spend money. Every line does it, but this was a next level experience.

All in all, I can't say I had an awful time. I did enjoy myself and make the most of it, but I don't think I will be returning to RCI. It's a shame, there is so much potential but the Ovation needs better management in my opinion.
ab2010’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior with Virtual Balcony
Cabin 4U 7125
The staterooms were fantastic (1 couple had a balcony, and 2 couples had an interior room - the virtual balcony is actually quite impressive). The rooms were very spacious and practical. When it came to cleanliness over the duration of the voyage, we did notice the stewards weren't as attentive as other cruise lines we had sailed with, but the standard was passable.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins