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Ovation of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
765 reviews

Mostly smooth sailing over the ditch

Review for Australia & New Zealand Cruise on Ovation of the Seas
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2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2023
Cabin: Ocean View Balcony
Traveled with children

Last year, we went on our first cruise on Quantum of the Seas and enjoyed the experience of sailing out of Sydney Harbour so much that we booked our second cruise to New Zealand on the sister ship, Ovation of the Seas. We booked an 11 night cruise that visited Picton, Napier, Wellington and Dunedin as well as Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds.

Overall, the trip was smooth sailing across the Tasman Sea which, apparently, can be quite rough. The ship was very well maintained and there was lots to do on board for all age groups. As the cruise progressed, we tended to have breakfast in the Cafe @ 270, lunch in the Windjammer buffet and dinner in the Main Dining Room. The food was a bit hit-and-miss. Cafe @ 270 was a good option for a simple breakfast where we mostly avoided the crowds in the Windjammer. Initially, the Windjammer was great but, over the length of the cruise, it got a little monotonous. Overall, the Main Dining Room was very good, however, some of the menus were much better than others. The waitstaff were always friendly and courteous and got to know our likes as the cruise went on (e.g. favourite wine, cafe latte after dinner, etc.)

Entertainment options were plentiful and provided good variety for different age groups and tastes. The production shows were visually stunning (especially The Beautiful Dream), but it was not always easy to follow the plot. We went to three parties during the cruise: “Ovation Rocks,” 80s party, and “Disco Inferno.” These were great fun!

Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony

We had a balcony cabin on Deck 11 which was great. Our room attendant, Agus, was excellent and always had our stateroom ready for us by the time we returned from breakfast. A word of warning. We originally opted for a guaranteed cabin which we understood could involve an “obstructed” view. The original cabin that was assigned was on Level 6 where the view is not “obstructed,” it is virtually obliterated by the lifeboats. This is a serious issue when cruising the “Sounds” as you do not wanting to be standing on tip-toes looking over lifeboats to enjoy the views which are stunning. Sincere thanks to our travel agent for helping to sort this out (at cost) prior to embarkation.

Port Reviews

Doubtful Sound

We had previously visited Milford Sound and knew how beautiful the Sounds were. Doubtful Sound is the largest of the Sounds and can only be visited by boat. It is much larger than Milford Sound but not as stunning. In many ways, that’s an unfair statement because Doubtful Sound is truly stunning if you haven’t seen Milford Sound. We sailed through from the south to north which seemed to work well. It really is a “must see” place to visit.

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