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Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
662 Reviews

Bought it All and Had a Ball.

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by katepaxton

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony

Just came back from final Alaska run before it re-positioned to Australia and pretty much loved it all. Our group booked the ultimate drinks and dining packages before the cruise to have freedom on board and we're all glad we did. Drink package was definitely a deal if you drink water, coffee, juice, soda and 4+ drinks over the course of a day. All the restaurants very good but standouts were Wonderland and Chopt. Absolutely delicious. Tip: when you get on the ship, book all your dinners for the week with Guest Services or Restaurant Services. Lunches are pretty easy to nab there when you want to. Windjammer buffet is fine but pretty crazy, so we opted for sit down breakfast in dining room after day 3. We never ate in dining room but hear it was good. Overall, thumbs up on food and drinks, with lots of options.

Our cabin with large balcony (11690) was very clean and well organized for storage. More than enough for two people and plenty of hangars. Glad we brought a power strip and our own shampoo/conditioner, lotion etc., since that wasn't supplied (although someone said you could ask for it). The bathroom is really small but not surprising and always clean.

Lots to do on the ship or lots of places to chill and do nothing. We loved the adult solarium and used the warm pools and hot tubs several times. We enjoyed Bingo, which was fun and very popular. The Disco dance party was a lot of fun, thanks to the Cruise Director and team kicking it off, and the bar trivia and musicians kept us all entertained.

Of special note is the Spa. We all gave it five stars. Our massages and facials were absolutely terrific and the staff backed off quickly after their obligatory product sell. Highly recommend.

Since we had our cards on file, we never had to "check out," and all tips were handled for us. For disembarking, we opted to carry the bags off ourselves and were completely off the ship and in a taxi in 20 minutes. DO THIS.

Finally, every staff member we met was friendly and professional and helped make the trip extra special. We had a great time.

katepaxton's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 11690

Very efficiently laid out for 2 people. I don't know how families squeeze into them, but they do. Bring a power strip (no surge). Plenty of hangars, good lighting, great storage. Bathroom tiny but gets the job done. Always kept very clean. Loved the balcony so much, I slept outside most nights on one of the deck chairs with plenty of extra bedding.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Helicopter Tour

2 hour excursion up to a glacier by helicopter. Overall about 25 minutes up and back and about 30 minutes on the glacier for photos and a little tour. Rest of the time is getting there and prep. It was good but it felt like a lot of money for essentially a 1-hour tour.

View All 138 Helicopter Tour Reviews
River Rafting/Eagle Preserve

The team makes this excursion. Extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Weather was rainy but they provided ponchos and boots. It's a lazy river ride for about 90 minutes, with lots of great discussion along the way. We saw lots and lots of bald eagles. They provided sandwiches, chips, cookies and drinks afterwards. If you want to get into nature but not move around a lot, this is for you, plus the people were the best.

View All 35 River Rafting/Eagle Preserve Reviews
Whale Watching

It's an easy excursion to take, being just a short walk off the ship. The team is all very friendly and passionate and the boat has clean facilities and a little snack bar (that takes credit cards). It was a very sunny day and we rode past a lighthouse that hosted many seals and a little otter but I have to say I saw a lot more whales directly from the ship than I did on this excursion. Not their fault, but not sure I would do this again.

View All 53 Whale Watching Reviews

5+ hour bus ride that gives a guided overview of the city and nearby park attractions. 1 hour on Granville Island for lunch (the Sandbar was excellent) or artist boutique shopping, Stanley Park to see waterfront/cityscape and totems, then 90 minutes at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which was fun and beautiful for easy hiking. Huge gift shop and snack bars. Hotel pick up and drop off.

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