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Ovation of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
722 reviews

Alaska during Covid

Review for Ovation of the Seas to Alaska
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6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2021
Cabin: Ocean View Balcony

This was only my 2nd RCCL cruise. I chose this ship because of the itinerary. This was the 3rd cruise out of Alaska for this ship since shutdown. Fortunately we had a 12 Noon embarkation time. They had lines for check-in time so don't arrive early or you will wait. Our line started moving at around 12:05 p.m. and we were onboard by 1 p.m. (we did everything beforehand - check-in, photos, health form, had passports with vaccine card and negative covid test in hand, etc. which I think helped). Lines appeared to be very very long as the day went on.

Pros - embarkation (mentioned above) and disembarkation (smooth process), cabin location (see cabin review), reduced capacity (about 38%), crew, Chops (specialty restaurant for lunch-probably the best meal we had onboard), SeaPlex (lots of things to do), Royal App, excursions, Solarium and of course muster (took less than 5 mins. which you did immediately upon entering ship one-on-one rather than in a group).

Cons - food (was just OK), drink prices (did not have beverage package and overall prices were $13 or more, except drink of the day), activities (not much to do during the day except for trivia - LOTS of trivia other than SeaPlex offerings), game show times (8 p.m. so if you had late seating or MyTime and went later you missed them - we missed all of them because of this), limited capacity/turned away (if a venue was full - even if you had a reservation - you were turned away - this included "vaccinated only" venues for shows and trivia - not sure how this can or should happen due to limited capacity but all of the venues were always full), Pixels (if you did not have a seat in the first row or second level you could not see anything that was going on - we had to stand in the back and could barely see anything and because of this left early - others complained about this too), NorthStar not working (even though they were testing it during our cruise it never opened), not a lot of "quiet" spaces (went to Two70 a few times but they were usually in rehearsal so definitely not quiet), no social distancing on elevators, at restaurants (our table was about 24" from the table next to us) except buffet or any other place there was a queue (they did, however, ask to see your "vaccinated" wristband if the venue was for vaccinated only which was confusing to me because this cruise was an "only vaccinated" cruise with the exception of children 12 and under). In addition, our booked excursion was cancelled but we were not informed until we were on the dock. You had to make a quick decision as to whether or not to book another excursion - nothing like being put under pressure (which we did but it cost $55 more per person for basically the same tour that was cancelled).

Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony

. Mid-ship. Cabin was fine. More than enough room in the closets for 2 people (and surprisingly enough hangers too). Mostly everything was in working order (hinge on closet was broken so when you opened the door it was partially hanging off). Location (for me) was good but it was exactly mid-ship. No elevators or stairs at mid-ship so you needed to walk forward or aft (which had two banks of elevators) and some might not like the amount of walking required.

Port Reviews


We did the Mendenhall Rain Forest Hike which was beautiful (and raining). Could hardly see the glacier due to the fog but excursion was good. Didn't spend a lot of time in Juneau afterwards since we were in port for a limited amount of time.

Beautiful (it didn't hurt that it was a sunny day), however you did not get very close to the glacier (unlike Glacier Bay where you are very close).


We did the Signiak Islands Sea Kayaking which was fun (again the weather was beautiful). Cute little town with shops and walking trail along the water. You are shuttled on a bus to town.


We did the Rain Forest Biking which was lots of fun. Skagway is a cute town with lots of shops. We also hiked the Lower Lake trail (very strenuous and steep).

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