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We did a 10 day cruise form Sydney to New Zealand on Ovation. We are not "brand loyal" and have cruised with a variety of companies, this was our first with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was straightforward. We we are able to drop bags off at 9 am and return to check in later. taking the opportunity to have an extra part-day sightseeing in Sydney. Our bags were outside our cabin (stateroom!) when we got on board. Our balcony cabin was modern, attractively decorated and comfortable. The beds were particularly comfortable. We found all the staff to be polite, friendly and helpful. The food was good, plenty of variety and choice, served hot. We enjoyed eating in the formal restaurants at lunchtime on sea day. We had anytime dining but they very quickly try and put you an a fixed table, we purposely swapped restaurants to avoid this. As a couple we were always given a table for 2 without question. Not so good if you actually like sharing sometimes to chat and meet new people. Tables are close to each other so we often talked to our neighbours. We are not huge fans of the marketplace cafe but did go in a couple of times. There was a good variety of food available although the usual struggle to find a table at peak times. We tried Wonderland and wished we had not, dark, slow service and a lot of noise from nearby bars. Not worth the extra cost, preferred the main dining. We had the drinks package. I bought it then saw it reduced so cancelled and re-purchased, got a refund in about a week and saved 15%. There was plenty to do in the evening with different entertainment offered. I was not a huge fan of the in house theatre performances, also I know many people like pixels but we really didn't. Not keen on the music or choreography - a bit to "out there". The piano player was great in schooners as were the band in the music hall. Great Bon Jovi tribute act a couple of nights and comedians flown in. Some of the Aussie humour was lost on us, but they were very good. Lots of things for families to do. I Imagine it is very busy with children in the school holidays. My only real complaint about this cruise is that the ports were small slightly out of town, accordingly you had to be taken in by bus. That meant queuing to get off in order to make the most of the shore time and in time for booked trips. Then anther long queue for the bus back. Wellington was very poor disembarkation. You had to queue to get tickets for the bus. I queued for an hour before the time we were told to collect tickets and got ticket number 4. That meant we got off fairly quick. Others we spoke to got ticket 57 which meant less than 2 hours in Wellington. I may be British but I don't actually like queuing and did not enjoy spend so much time doing so. The issue is Ovation is really too big for the tiny ports it visited. I arranged all my own trips through Viator and they all worked out. People who had not booked trips struggled to do so on the day owing to numbers and availability. Book in advance is my advice. Loved Dunedin and our trip round the Otago peninsular Did our own thing in Wellington and got to see all the main sights including going up the cable car. Wine tasting tour in Picton was great. Napier probably my least favourite port but still interesting. The trip though the sounds was great as was the commentary and lecture that accompanied it. Overall a great holiday and worth the long flight to see Sydney and NZ.

Enjoyable cruise

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by Travellertravel

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We did a 10 day cruise form Sydney to New Zealand on Ovation. We are not "brand loyal" and have cruised with a variety of companies, this was our first with Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was straightforward. We we are able to drop bags off at 9 am and return to check in later. taking the opportunity to have an extra part-day sightseeing in Sydney. Our bags were outside our cabin (stateroom!) when we got on board. Our balcony cabin was modern, attractively decorated and comfortable. The beds were particularly comfortable. We found all the staff to be polite, friendly and helpful. The food was good, plenty of variety and choice, served hot. We enjoyed eating in the formal restaurants at lunchtime on sea day. We had anytime dining but they very quickly try and put you an a fixed table, we purposely swapped restaurants to avoid this. As a couple we were always given a table for 2 without question. Not so good if you actually like sharing sometimes to chat and meet new people. Tables are close to each other so we often talked to our neighbours. We are not huge fans of the marketplace cafe but did go in a couple of times. There was a good variety of food available although the usual struggle to find a table at peak times. We tried Wonderland and wished we had not, dark, slow service and a lot of noise from nearby bars. Not worth the extra cost, preferred the main dining. We had the drinks package. I bought it then saw it reduced so cancelled and re-purchased, got a refund in about a week and saved 15%.

There was plenty to do in the evening with different entertainment offered. I was not a huge fan of the in house theatre performances, also I know many people like pixels but we really didn't. Not keen on the music or choreography - a bit to "out there". The piano player was great in schooners as were the band in the music hall. Great Bon Jovi tribute act a couple of nights and comedians flown in. Some of the Aussie humour was lost on us, but they were very good. Lots of things for families to do. I Imagine it is very busy with children in the school holidays.

My only real complaint about this cruise is that the ports were small slightly out of town, accordingly you had to be taken in by bus. That meant queuing to get off in order to make the most of the shore time and in time for booked trips. Then anther long queue for the bus back. Wellington was very poor disembarkation. You had to queue to get tickets for the bus. I queued for an hour before the time we were told to collect tickets and got ticket number 4. That meant we got off fairly quick. Others we spoke to got ticket 57 which meant less than 2 hours in Wellington. I may be British but I don't actually like queuing and did not enjoy spend so much time doing so. The issue is Ovation is really too big for the tiny ports it visited.

I arranged all my own trips through Viator and they all worked out. People who had not booked trips struggled to do so on the day owing to numbers and availability. Book in advance is my advice.

Loved Dunedin and our trip round the Otago peninsular Did our own thing in Wellington and got to see all the main sights including going up the cable car. Wine tasting tour in Picton was great. Napier probably my least favourite port but still interesting. The trip though the sounds was great as was the commentary and lecture that accompanied it.

Overall a great holiday and worth the long flight to see Sydney and NZ.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 8D 8118
Very comfortable and quiet cabin. Bed right by the balcony window. Plenty of storage. Take your own hand soap only a hair and body wash provided in the shower.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins