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Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska. We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several hours later). We were a large group with several teenagers so we chose Ovation of the Seas for our Alaska trip as we thought it would provide a better range of activities while at sea. In past cruises our teenagers have really taken full advantage of the on board activities. Unfortunately, the activities on the Ovation had really long lines or reservations were all booked (we even tried to make them before the cruise, on-line, but were not available). My guess is that the suites and those that purchased the "Key Pass" had priority, leaving little availability. We waited in a very long line trying to make reservations on the first day but had no success. We were told to keep checking the RC app for cancellations but the system kept crashing and was unusable. The biggest issue with the Ovation, though, is that the size of the ship limits where it can sail in Alaska. It cannot cruise the entire length of the inside passage, and we couldn't get close to Dawe's glacier. We were unable to see it. We arrived early in the morning and we couldn't get close, plus it was very foggy that early in the morning. We only had two ports of call in Alaska - Juneau (1/2 a day) and Skagway (full day). Alaska is beautiful but I felt like we didn't get to see enough of it. If I have the opportunity to do this trip again I would choose a smaller ship with additional stops and one that can cruise through the entire inside passage. The ship was beautiful - clean and very well maintained. The cabins were nice and surprisingly had plenty of storage. We had a balcony room which was great on an Alaskan cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent as were our dinner dining attendants, some of the best we've had. Breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, however, were not pleasant experiences. It was very crowded and tables were hard to come by. The maitre'd had to often encourage (in rather loud volume) to eat and vacate the premises so that others could also eat. The gym area is nice but smaller than some of the other ships we've been on. We also found the shows subpar compared to other RC ships, although we did enjoy the Juggler Mike Price. Pixels was a disappointment and some of us left after the first few acts. In Juneau we went on a tour with Gastineau Guiding Company (we booked through RC). We went whale watching, hiked a short trail through the rainforest, and went to view Mendenhall glacier. It was an outstanding tour - a highlight of our trip. It was a small group so enjoyable, and our tour guide was fantastic. Highly recommend! In Skagway we took the White Pass Train Ride - very beautiful scenery. We also did a Musher Camp in the afternoon which we found entertaining. In summary, a beautiful ship but too crowded to thoroughly enjoy and not the best itinerary for Alaska.

Crowded and not the best ship for Alaska

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by Kjr3

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska.

We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several hours later).

We were a large group with several teenagers so we chose Ovation of the Seas for our Alaska trip as we thought it would provide a better range of activities while at sea. In past cruises our teenagers have really taken full advantage of the on board activities. Unfortunately, the activities on the Ovation had really long lines or reservations were all booked (we even tried to make them before the cruise, on-line, but were not available). My guess is that the suites and those that purchased the "Key Pass" had priority, leaving little availability. We waited in a very long line trying to make reservations on the first day but had no success. We were told to keep checking the RC app for cancellations but the system kept crashing and was unusable.

The biggest issue with the Ovation, though, is that the size of the ship limits where it can sail in Alaska. It cannot cruise the entire length of the inside passage, and we couldn't get close to Dawe's glacier. We were unable to see it. We arrived early in the morning and we couldn't get close, plus it was very foggy that early in the morning. We only had two ports of call in Alaska - Juneau (1/2 a day) and Skagway (full day). Alaska is beautiful but I felt like we didn't get to see enough of it. If I have the opportunity to do this trip again I would choose a smaller ship with additional stops and one that can cruise through the entire inside passage.

The ship was beautiful - clean and very well maintained. The cabins were nice and surprisingly had plenty of storage. We had a balcony room which was great on an Alaskan cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent as were our dinner dining attendants, some of the best we've had. Breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, however, were not pleasant experiences. It was very crowded and tables were hard to come by. The maitre'd had to often encourage (in rather loud volume) to eat and vacate the premises so that others could also eat.

The gym area is nice but smaller than some of the other ships we've been on.

We also found the shows subpar compared to other RC ships, although we did enjoy the Juggler Mike Price. Pixels was a disappointment and some of us left after the first few acts.

In Juneau we went on a tour with Gastineau Guiding Company (we booked through RC). We went whale watching, hiked a short trail through the rainforest, and went to view Mendenhall glacier. It was an outstanding tour - a highlight of our trip. It was a small group so enjoyable, and our tour guide was fantastic. Highly recommend!

In Skagway we took the White Pass Train Ride - very beautiful scenery. We also did a Musher Camp in the afternoon which we found entertaining.

In summary, a beautiful ship but too crowded to thoroughly enjoy and not the best itinerary for Alaska.
Kjr3’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10526
Surprisingly had a lot of storage. Balcony was great except not 100 percent private as on a couple of decks above there was an overhang and people could look down into your balcony.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews