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Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the Dawes glacier and did multiple 360s for all to have good views. The venues on either end of the ship --- Cafe270 and Serenity --- provided gorgeous views of the landscape with the multi-level, full length windows. Cafe270 itself would be considered an upscale entertainment venue with windows becoming projection screens for nighttime events. This was an ideal ship for Alaska especially. The captain (Henrik) is a standout. In his Q&A session, he was engaging and he provided good insight into what it takes to run the ship especially in the waters around Alaska. He also described the logistics of an unfortunate emergency helicopter situation we experienced for one of the guests. Many were concerned/curious about that. The service was high quality, from room stewards to dining service. Never experienced anything that wasn’t attentive and professional. We had anytime dining and never waited after making reservations after the first night, and even when we missed our reservations we were seated quickly, and a window table like we had other nights. The second formal night offered lobster, and there seemed to be the biggest crowds in line for that. Getting on and off in the ports all went smoothly. Never a backup either way. The itinerary seemed to be just right, with stops in Juneau and Skagway after one day at sea, then the highlight through the channel to view the Dawes glacier up close. (If you get that close, look for the second glacier between the hills up on the left side.) Then, a day at sea before Victoria B.C. The days at sea were needed to see/do all that there is to offer. The North Star offered several complimentary opportunities if you didn’t pay for a reserved time, although I was a bit jealous of those who were in it at the Dawes glacier; it goes out to either side of the ship there, not just up. The bumper cars were popular with long lines. There seemed to be a lot of sports activities in that area, and were interesting to watch at least. Spent time in the casino. Saw people winning good amounts every night, slots were modern machines, and the bar team was quick and made good drinks. Sometimes the casino bar can be lighter staffed, but not here. Food quality wise, not the highest but certainly good overall. My biggest suggestion is Cafe270 --- breakfast and lunch has various offerings including pressed sandwiches and soups and full salad bar, all served. Coffee and drinks and dessert in there as well, connects to the 270 venue where you can sit in nice seats to eat and enjoy the views. The café part looks like a Panera or similar, modern look and feel. Also, Fish and Ships on deck 14 near the buffet had some complimentary choices (fish and chips, chicken fingers, and a fish sandwich, Haddock or Pollock, can't remember) in addition to some with small charges. Shows were decent, varied from a vocal performer who sang in different styles of singers (impersonation, but not too silly) to the singers and dancers in a production with aerials and high quality vocals. Karaoke was decent, guests had skills and some were featured on stage in the theater later in the cruise. Overall, wonderful experience. I was with my Dad, and it made the perfect father-son trip. TIP: Outside deck 5 on either side of the ship are really nice viewing areas that didn’t have a lot of people. Certainly see everything from the higher floors, but check out deck 5 to be closer to the water when you can. There is a nice “Ovation of the Seas” life preserver that makes a good “Kodak Picture Spot.” Also, the Alaska merchandise is stylish and good quality, first day at sea has a combo offer that is not offered again.

Wonderful Ovation Alaska Vacation

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by DGuy1971

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the Dawes glacier and did multiple 360s for all to have good views. The venues on either end of the ship --- Cafe270 and Serenity --- provided gorgeous views of the landscape with the multi-level, full length windows. Cafe270 itself would be considered an upscale entertainment venue with windows becoming projection screens for nighttime events. This was an ideal ship for Alaska especially.

The captain (Henrik) is a standout. In his Q&A session, he was engaging and he provided good insight into what it takes to run the ship especially in the waters around Alaska. He also described the logistics of an unfortunate emergency helicopter situation we experienced for one of the guests. Many were concerned/curious about that.

The service was high quality, from room stewards to dining service. Never experienced anything that wasn’t attentive and professional. We had anytime dining and never waited after making reservations after the first night, and even when we missed our reservations we were seated quickly, and a window table like we had other nights. The second formal night offered lobster, and there seemed to be the biggest crowds in line for that.

Getting on and off in the ports all went smoothly. Never a backup either way. The itinerary seemed to be just right, with stops in Juneau and Skagway after one day at sea, then the highlight through the channel to view the Dawes glacier up close. (If you get that close, look for the second glacier between the hills up on the left side.) Then, a day at sea before Victoria B.C. The days at sea were needed to see/do all that there is to offer. The North Star offered several complimentary opportunities if you didn’t pay for a reserved time, although I was a bit jealous of those who were in it at the Dawes glacier; it goes out to either side of the ship there, not just up. The bumper cars were popular with long lines. There seemed to be a lot of sports activities in that area, and were interesting to watch at least.

Spent time in the casino. Saw people winning good amounts every night, slots were modern machines, and the bar team was quick and made good drinks. Sometimes the casino bar can be lighter staffed, but not here.

Food quality wise, not the highest but certainly good overall. My biggest suggestion is Cafe270 --- breakfast and lunch has various offerings including pressed sandwiches and soups and full salad bar, all served. Coffee and drinks and dessert in there as well, connects to the 270 venue where you can sit in nice seats to eat and enjoy the views. The café part looks like a Panera or similar, modern look and feel. Also, Fish and Ships on deck 14 near the buffet had some complimentary choices (fish and chips, chicken fingers, and a fish sandwich, Haddock or Pollock, can't remember) in addition to some with small charges.

Shows were decent, varied from a vocal performer who sang in different styles of singers (impersonation, but not too silly) to the singers and dancers in a production with aerials and high quality vocals. Karaoke was decent, guests had skills and some were featured on stage in the theater later in the cruise.

Overall, wonderful experience. I was with my Dad, and it made the perfect father-son trip. TIP: Outside deck 5 on either side of the ship are really nice viewing areas that didn’t have a lot of people. Certainly see everything from the higher floors, but check out deck 5 to be closer to the water when you can. There is a nice “Ovation of the Seas” life preserver that makes a good “Kodak Picture Spot.” Also, the Alaska merchandise is stylish and good quality, first day at sea has a combo offer that is not offered again.
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