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Chose the cruise as part of a package sold by Planet Cruise. Royal Caribbean website made the cruise experience sound fantastic for 'tasting' a little of several countries in the luxury of a modern ship with up to date facilities. Planet Cruise package also added 3 days in Beijing prior to sailing and followed by 5 days in Bali. Sounded wonderful. Very poor information beforehand from Planet Cruise or Roya Caribbean about immigration rules, particularly for China. Problems in Manchester airport as Cathay Pacific airline staff knew nothing about the Chinese 144 day visa free pass. It took 30 minutes before we were allowed to fly as staff trawlled their data bases and phoned for advice before letting us board. Beuracracy of the 144 day pass form filling in China meant an hour or so before we finally picked up our cases. Despite the problems we were aware of others who had paid over £250 each for visas which were not needed. We found out about the pass ourselves. No advice from Royal Catibbean or Planet Cruise. Embarkation - shambles. Arrived at the cruise terminal at midday to the sight of thousands of people queing. We were pleased that we had checked in online as advised by Royal Caribbean - wrong! It was 4.30pm before we finally boarded the ship not having had anything to eat or drink since leaving Beijing at 9.30am. We were handed a piece of paper with boarding instructions as we dropped off our cases. Very poor signage as we entered the terminal, very few staff, and those staff available had poor English. We queued like cattle with others all not knowing if this was the correct queue and didnt know what we were queueing for. After finally compketing additional forms we neared the front of the check-in desk only to find we needed 2 A4 copies of our passports. Some people knew this, the majority didnt. I have checked our information from Royal Caribbean and cannot find any reference to this. Conveniently (!!!!) Royal Caribbean had two photocopiers in the terminal for this purpose and a small coffee shop had seen a market in using their photocopier for 1 yuan for this purpose. Slight problem - the photocopier queues were horrendous and added another 45 minutes to our wait to get on the ship. Finally, after jumping through these hoops we felt we could relax as we got on an escalator with our boarding passes only to find we then had Chinese immigration to go through again. The 144 hour pass bureaucracy added another hour to our boarding experience. There is a lot I could write about the lovely, modern ship, with a wonderful balcony cabin, fantastic underpaid cabin staff, lovely restaurants with excellent food. However, our experience was spoiled by the terrible customer service experience from boarding, onboard, and disembarkation. Onboard the Guest Services desk and Excursion desks were poorly staffed. Guest services queues were an average of 30 minutes for minor issues. Eg cabin key did not work after boarding. Usually, only about 5 staff available at Guest Services for 4500 passengers. Likewise, Excursion desk and 2 or 3 staff and very poor knowledge about the excursions. Disembarkation - due to an unfortunate medical emergency the ship was 5 hours late arriving in Singapore. So many people needed information and help with changing their ongoing travel plans that Guest Services could not cope. After queuing for 30 minutes I was told that I could use the cabin phone to contact my taxi company and the cost would be reimbursed. However, the phone line didn't work. I was then told there were too many people dialling at the same time. We kept listening out for updates on arrival times, tips for ongoing travel, etc. Very, vety few announcements were made which would have been helpful as many people queued at Guest Services with the same questions. General announcements would have helped us and staff. Annoyingly, there were regular announcements about Bingo and other activities despite the common topic of conversation amongst passengers were their ongoing travel concerns. Further queuing at Guest Services gave the advice that we would disembark quicker if we took our own cases off the ship. The next morning we went to the disembarkation point only to find thousands of others had obvioysly been given the same advice! Staff were nowhere to be seen and as passengers eventually started to disembark arguments broke out as passengers tried to jump the queue or push forward. It was bedlam at the cruise terminal with evetyone ring to catch rearranged taxis. After didembarking at 11.30am oyr taxi took us to the airport at 2.45 and we checked in for our flight to Bali with 8 minutes to spare before check in closed. Royal Caribbean put profits before people. We were treated as commodities and not people. Several services on the ship involved additional charges. Cabin staff and restaurant staff were plentiful and helpful. Guest services staff were far to few for the numbers of passengers. Entertainment was ofva poor standard. More like Butlins. Audiences often walked out of shows.

Never again Royal Caribbean

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by Cymrohebgwallt

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Ocean View Balcony
Chose the cruise as part of a package sold by Planet Cruise. Royal Caribbean website made the cruise experience sound fantastic for 'tasting' a little of several countries in the luxury of a modern ship with up to date facilities. Planet Cruise package also added 3 days in Beijing prior to sailing and followed by 5 days in Bali. Sounded wonderful.

Very poor information beforehand from Planet Cruise or Roya Caribbean about immigration rules, particularly for China. Problems in Manchester airport as Cathay Pacific airline staff knew nothing about the Chinese 144 day visa free pass. It took 30 minutes before we were allowed to fly as staff trawlled their data bases and phoned for advice before letting us board.

Beuracracy of the 144 day pass form filling in China meant an hour or so before we finally picked up our cases.

Despite the problems we were aware of others who had paid over £250 each for visas which were not needed. We found out about the pass ourselves. No advice from Royal Catibbean or Planet Cruise.

Embarkation - shambles. Arrived at the cruise terminal at midday to the sight of thousands of people queing. We were pleased that we had checked in online as advised by Royal Caribbean - wrong! It was 4.30pm before we finally boarded the ship not having had anything to eat or drink since leaving Beijing at 9.30am. We were handed a piece of paper with boarding instructions as we dropped off our cases.

Very poor signage as we entered the terminal, very few staff, and those staff available had poor English. We queued like cattle with others all not knowing if this was the correct queue and didnt know what we were queueing for.

After finally compketing additional forms we neared the front of the check-in desk only to find we needed 2 A4 copies of our passports. Some people knew this, the majority didnt. I have checked our information from Royal Caribbean and cannot find any reference to this. Conveniently (!!!!) Royal Caribbean had two photocopiers in the terminal for this purpose and a small coffee shop had seen a market in using their photocopier for 1 yuan for this purpose. Slight problem - the photocopier queues were horrendous and added another 45 minutes to our wait to get on the ship. Finally, after jumping through these hoops we felt we could relax as we got on an escalator with our boarding passes only to find we then had Chinese immigration to go through again. The 144 hour pass bureaucracy added another hour to our boarding experience.

There is a lot I could write about the lovely, modern ship, with a wonderful balcony cabin, fantastic underpaid cabin staff, lovely restaurants with excellent food. However, our experience was spoiled by the terrible customer service experience from boarding, onboard, and disembarkation.

Onboard the Guest Services desk and Excursion desks were poorly staffed. Guest services queues were an average of 30 minutes for minor issues. Eg cabin key did not work after boarding. Usually, only about 5 staff available at Guest Services for 4500 passengers. Likewise, Excursion desk and 2 or 3 staff and very poor knowledge about the excursions.

Disembarkation - due to an unfortunate medical emergency the ship was 5 hours late arriving in Singapore. So many people needed information and help with changing their ongoing travel plans that Guest Services could not cope. After queuing for 30 minutes I was told that I could use the cabin phone to contact my taxi company and the cost would be reimbursed. However, the phone line didn't work. I was then told there were too many people dialling at the same time.

We kept listening out for updates on arrival times, tips for ongoing travel, etc. Very, vety few announcements were made which would have been helpful as many people queued at Guest Services with the same questions. General announcements would have helped us and staff. Annoyingly, there were regular announcements about Bingo and other activities despite the common topic of conversation amongst passengers were their ongoing travel concerns.

Further queuing at Guest Services gave the advice that we would disembark quicker if we took our own cases off the ship. The next morning we went to the disembarkation point only to find thousands of others had obvioysly been given the same advice! Staff were nowhere to be seen and as passengers eventually started to disembark arguments broke out as passengers tried to jump the queue or push forward.

It was bedlam at the cruise terminal with evetyone ring to catch rearranged taxis. After didembarking at 11.30am oyr taxi took us to the airport at 2.45 and we checked in for our flight to Bali with 8 minutes to spare before check in closed.

Royal Caribbean put profits before people. We were treated as commodities and not people. Several services on the ship involved additional charges. Cabin staff and restaurant staff were plentiful and helpful. Guest services staff were far to few for the numbers of passengers.

Entertainment was ofva poor standard. More like Butlins. Audiences often walked out of shows.
Cymrohebgwallt’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 1E
Excellent cabin. Obstructed view title is misleading. Only obstruction was the lifeboats which were below us and supporting pillars. No obstruction at all.

Design of cabin was excellent with plenty of storage space. Bathroom was compact but good. Readily available hot water and very good shower.

Modern design and of good quality.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins