25 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

Having never been on a cruise before, we decided that since the brand new Ovation of the Seas was sailing from our home country, it was time to give this type of holiday a go. We stayed in a Junior Spa Suite (7236) which we were very ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before, we decided that since the brand new Ovation of the Seas was sailing from our home country, it was time to give this type of holiday a go. We stayed in a Junior Spa Suite (7236) which we were very impressed with. The room was large and well appointed with lots of storage and a really nice bathroom that was stocked with L'Occitane toiletries. The balcony was big enough to accommodate two sun loungers and was a great place to spend some quiet time. In the Specialty restaurants that we ate in, the food was very high quality and the service was excellent. The USDA steaks at Chops Grille were outstanding. We also ate at Jamie's Italian, Wonderland and the Coastal Kitchen (which although not a specialty restaurant is only available to suite guests so I have included it in this category). As far as the complimentary dining options were concerned we were less impressed. We found that the Windjammer was impossibly busy and it was very difficult to find a seat; if you did find somewhere, one of us would have to sit and hold to while the other went to get their food - not very relaxing and just a bit of a scrum. The quality of the food was a bit hit and miss as well; my wife put a hotdog bun on her plate and immediately noticed it was very mouldy, she went to give it to a member of staff who was already dealing with another customer with the same issue. We were surprised something basic like this could happen on a brand new ship. If you do not like table sharing and you don't want to pay for specialty dining you should be very wary of booking with Royal Caribbean. For my wife and I, table sharing and being forced to make small talk with strangers is our idea of torture. That might sound a bit mean spirited but it's not something we would expect to have to do in a land-based restaurant & is a big reason why we have never cruised before. As such, when we arrived a Silk for dinner one evening, we asked the Maitre d for a table for two which was granted. However, it was a table for two in name only. We were literally a few inches from our neighbours on either side and our orders were all taken together as though we were a table for eight. Private conversation was impossible & it was very uncomfortable. The food was also very poor in our opinion, my wife ordered duck which had no sauce and was completely dry. I was served a curry that was accompanied by inedible bread and glutinous rice; I am not exaggerating when I say that its quality was lower than a microwave ready-meal. We didn't eat most of our main courses and left the restaurant. Really poor. We decided from that point onwards to cancel our reservations for American Icon and Chic so that we could stick to the specialty restaurants which were all very good (but come at an additional cost). The entertainment that we saw was okay, a bit cheesy perhaps, but not bad. There just wasn't much of it, especially during the day and on one night the Music Hall was closed for a private party. We did North Star, Ripcord by iFly and Bumper Cars which were fun but can all be covered in not much more than half a day. However, the fitness centre was excellent, a really well equipped gym with great seaviews. The shopping was mainly limited to high end brands like Cartier. There was a gift shop onboard but it was very small - if you like to spend time doing some shopping you will require at least five figures! Prior to arriving at Barcelona signs went up around the ship saying that another ship was due to arrive at Barcelona at the same time and therefore the local transport network would be under pressure and there would be few taxis available. We fell for this and ended up paying $30 for a Royal Carribean transfer to the city centre. When we disembarked we waited nearly an hour for our transfer to arrive and ended up giving up and taking one of the many taxis waiting! The taxi cost EUR 12.65 and dropped us at our hotel door. Money down the drain but a lesson learnt. All in all, we had a pretty decent time onboard which was mainly down to the quality of our stateroom and the food in the specialty restaurants. Would we cruise again? Probably not. If we did it would only be for a few nights & if the itinerary was amazing . Although a gigantic ship, we did everything within a few days and ended up dying to spread our wings. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This is my review of the Ovation of the Seas based on our voyage from Southampton to Singapore in May 2016. This is a magnificent looking ship, both internal and externally. It bristles with modern engineering, technological and design ... Read More
This is my review of the Ovation of the Seas based on our voyage from Southampton to Singapore in May 2016. This is a magnificent looking ship, both internal and externally. It bristles with modern engineering, technological and design elements that create a stylish ship that manages to never feel too crowded even though there are over 4,000 guests on board. It is also the most stable ship we have ever been on. Amazingly it took only 10 minutes to board in Southampton due to a new streamlined boarding process. Let's start with the cabin. Our balcony cabin feels longer and more spacious than recent ships we've been on. There are plenty of storage options too. The bathroom is standard sized, but the shower is large with a clear glass screen instead of a shower curtain that threatens to embrace you. The writing desk is free-standing and can be moved to make a convenient dining table for room service. The balcony door is cleverly linked to the air conditioning so that the air cuts off if the door is open. There is a large TV that fits nicely into a specially designed wall cabinet. Inside staterooms have the virtual balconies to give the feeling of being in touch with the world outside. There are plenty of things to do on the ship, from the Northstar capsule high above the ship, to the surfing simulator and the rock climbing wall. The bumper cars are popular and remind everyone of being a kid again. We did the skydiving simulator. We're glad we tried it but it is harder than it looks and I think once was enough! All these activities are included in the price of the fare. The entertainment is very good. The production shows are excellent and to a very high standard and are comparable to land-based productions. There is the usual array of musicians, singers, jugglers, and comedians between production shows. We struggled with dining the first few days. The complimentary restaurants are booked using a phone/tablet app or on one of the many iPads dotted around the ship. The system didn't allow us to choose a dining time and would arbitrarily allocate a time between 5:30 and 9:30pm. A staff member did explain that this was a known problem that was being addressed. This didn't suit us so we finally gave up making reservations and just turned up when we were ready. This didn't seem to cause issues and we were never turned away (except once, and I read them the riot act). Royal Caribbean need to just allow people to dine without booking as on other ships. Note that there is also the option for "classic" dining at set tables and times. The food was very good and we enjoyed the variety of the different restaurants with varying themes and menus. We were also impressed by the Wonderland degustation restaurant which was a particularly interesting and enjoyable experience. I won't say too much more and spoil the surprise. Jamie's Italian was also enjoyable. We dined alfresco on the deck which was quite novel. Had a great steak at the stylish Chops Grill. We had room service breakfast a few times and were surprised that toast was no longer on the menu. Huh? The highlight of the ship is definitely the "Two70" space at the rear of the ship. It's a marvel and it cost more for this one room that the entire cost of the first Royal Caribbean ship! A projection system allows for a vista to be displayed on the rear windows and 6 robotic arms move large TV screens around. The room is a cross between an entertainment space, a cafe, and a lounge room. Also impressive are the two large solarium spaces on deck 14. The one at the front of the ship has a series of cascading hot tubs and stunning views. The staff were all fantastic and our cabin steward couldn't do enough for us. We did ask for more promotion of an LGBT get together, but this was not done for some reason. One gripe we do have is that the Internet packages must now be purchased in 24 hour blocks. Previously you could buy say 300 minutes and use them over the course of the cruise. This change makes the Internet much more expensive and less flexible. We really love this ship, which we feel is on a par with Celebrity's Solstice class in terms of design and decor. As with any ship there are a few niggling issues but we would definitely recommend the Ovation to others. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Just returned from a fantastic week-long cruise on the new Ovation of the Seas. We were on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas last May, and although they are both Quantum class, cruising on Ovation was a marked improvement over our ... Read More
Just returned from a fantastic week-long cruise on the new Ovation of the Seas. We were on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas last May, and although they are both Quantum class, cruising on Ovation was a marked improvement over our experience on Anthem. We enjoyed Anthem, but it wasn't as polished or as hassle free as Ovation. The food on Ovation was much better, the service was excellent and the overall atmosphere was friendlier and, just more professional. We didn't have a bad meal the entire cruise, and the one time I commented privately to one of our friends that the fish in one dish might be a little dry, this was overheard by waiting staff who apologised. The following day we received a bottle of sparkling wine and a tray of cakes in our stateroom - even though I hadn't even complained, merely commented on a minor issue. Our stateroom attendant was also very helpful and pleasant, and nothing was too much trouble for him. Just a couple of suggestions, though. Vintages would benefit from having a better selection of drinks. I know it's a wine bar, but it should also offer a selection of cocktails and liqueurs. Most nights it was almost empty, and we took to getting a drink from the too-busy Schooner bar and walking across deck to sit in the plusher Vintages, but it would have been so much easier if we could have been served there. The Vintages on Anthem was much better stocked - and more popular as a result. The ship's lift doors could also benefit from a slight adjustment so they don't close so quickly. A few people with their hands full found themselves navigating closing doors when trying to get on, and almost getting squeezed by them. But these were minor niggles. It's just a shame that this magnificent ship is now going to the other side of the world, and will no longer sail from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We went first time on Royal Caribbean,having previously been on Pand O and celebrity on several other cruises.The Ovation is a massive ship.The check in service was very efficient the staff were very friendly and helpful,and we got on ... Read More
We went first time on Royal Caribbean,having previously been on Pand O and celebrity on several other cruises.The Ovation is a massive ship.The check in service was very efficient the staff were very friendly and helpful,and we got on board two and a half hours before our allotted time due to arriving early which was great.The choice of dynamic dinning was very good,we eat at a different restaurant each night after booking in on the onboard booking system on our cabin t.vThe food was very good as was the service. The only problem we had initially was in the Windjammer breakfast buffet,we found it hard to get a table to sit,so avoided it for the rest of the cruise.We instead went to the Solarium bistro much more less stressful, and pleasant.Also the queues for toast and eggs were long in Windjammers,I could not understand why only one girl doing toast for hundreds of people. Our balcony stateroom was very clean and obviously brand new and the bed was the most comfortable I have slept on in any cruise ship I've been on.The ship entertainment was very good and of a high standard we enjoyed the highlight shows.But you must make sure you book your place on these to ensure you see them. Overall we really enjoyed our cruise,the only things we didn't like we're the shore transfers.On previous cruises these were organised by the cruise line free of charge.On Royal Carribean they are run by local coach companies and chargeable. On two of our four ports of call we had trouble getting from the ship into the town due to severe congestion caused by lack of adequate coaches being provided.Next time we will take a taxi from port to town more expensive but less stressful.Overall the ship has something for everyone and we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our party of six booked Ovation while we could and before it heads off for a life in Asia. Ovation is of course one of RCIs newest ships, with all the companies latest innovations. As well as some new attractions such as the North Star ... Read More
Our party of six booked Ovation while we could and before it heads off for a life in Asia. Ovation is of course one of RCIs newest ships, with all the companies latest innovations. As well as some new attractions such as the North Star which appears in every advertisement, bumper cars and the iFly, there are new ways of doing things such as the changes to the dining. The ships size means that you can have the fun features without the feeling that you are spending your time sitting in a theme park. The Solarium, for example, was a pleasant quiet refuge to watch a sunset. Having spent some time on Independence and Navigator, two other RCI ships, there were some things I liked and some I missed. There is no single main dining room on this ship. Instead there are four themed restaurants. RCI would like you to make bookings for each restaurant by either booking in advance of your holiday or making reservations while on board. Wanting to avoid this hassle, we opted for Classic dining. Essentially this means that you are automatically rotated around the four themed restaurants. In the past, some of our group particularly enjoy the interactions with a regular waiter. This has meant that, for example, menu preferences have been catered for automatically. The waiting staff were still excellent and couldn't do enough but we missed the continuity as we had new waiters every night. We were also booked in for dinner at 5:30 - 6pm. We prefer to eat earlier, but not quite that early. That meant that we tended to be careful about what and when we ate to ensure we had an appetite. At least it meant we didn't eat our own weight in scones every afternoon. The Windjammer buffet was a definite improvement on Independence. We didn't struggle for seating as we sometimes have in the past. The seats were a good deal more comfortable too. The Music Hall is a music venue spread over two decks. It's a replacement for the Pyramid lounge on Independence. Opinions were divided on this one, but my impression was you couldn't see the band from upstairs while it was too loud to have a conversation. The pool tables kept us entertained though. The retail opportunities have been greatly expanded, so anyone who sails having forgotten their jewellery or Swiss watch is well catered for. Maybe the future passengers will make use them, but we just saw a lot empty shops and bored staff. Oddly the regular on board shop (selling t-shirts, toiletries, etc.) remained shut for the 7 days we were on-board. A small selection was being sold from a table outside the locked door. Very odd. We tried the North Star while in port in Southampton and then again while at sea. I believe that the North Star had swung over the side allowing a view of the ship when not docked. On our cruise the pod only was only raised. We asked and were told that going over the side would have to be specially booked when the ship relocates. That probably means a fee for some sort. Not entirely sure I'd go to that much trouble. The much talked about 270 venue across the back of the ship is used for some shows in the evenings. The cabaret was just the kind of show usually hosted in the theater so the main novelty was the close proximity. We also watched a virtual concert. This involved projecting the musicians onto the large screens lowered over the windows. Unfortunately lighting gantry and pillars meant that the view was obscured for at least half the room. We spent some time in the schooner bar, but the location means it no longer has any windows. I like being able to see outside, even when it's night. Finally, the cabin. A standard balcony on deck 10. An improvement on our previous RCI cabins. Very comfortable and quiet. The slightly larger shower was particularly welcome. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I were on the third cruise for this new ship. We heard some bad stories from the first two cruises, but this one was amazing! From the check in, being taken through security by our Royal Genie, yes we had a Royal Genie before ... Read More
My wife and I were on the third cruise for this new ship. We heard some bad stories from the first two cruises, but this one was amazing! From the check in, being taken through security by our Royal Genie, yes we had a Royal Genie before they started the program on May 1st. Had our bags in our Sky Loft Suite within three hours of hitting the dock. Free unlimited drink package for both, free VOOM for both, tips included, and no charge for any of the restaurants on board, including chops, and free Chef's dinner with the cast of Spectra's Cabaret! Sunil, our Royal Genie, took care of all our requests, and even had our mini bar stocked daily with free wine and beer. Chops was fantastic. Had a dry aged bone in rib eye, and it was heaven. Just don't order wine without your glasses. Ordered a bottle of Opus One from Mondavi for $160.00, and now its one of our favorite red wines. Just very hard to find in Ca. Looking forward to our next RCCL cruise on OASIS III or IV!!! in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Outstanding cruise members were our stateroom attendant 11162 and 11170 All the staff were excellent but especially - Pablo the Brazilian bar waiter in silk, Rahman in the grande, Sebastian the polish chef, Kamel the Turkish head ... Read More
Outstanding cruise members were our stateroom attendant 11162 and 11170 All the staff were excellent but especially - Pablo the Brazilian bar waiter in silk, Rahman in the grande, Sebastian the polish chef, Kamel the Turkish head waiter and also the Albanian headwaiter in Chic I can't remember his name though. The breakfast egg chef with the Caribbean accent at the station on the left was the fastest and friendliest of the 3 and the Romanian head waiter in Windjammer Spectra cabaret was fantastic Darren day was really good The dream was excellent Great fun on top deck with rip cord, I fly and roller skating. There was something for everyone to do In All 3 of the comp restaurants the fish was very over cooked but everything else was great. Two 70 cafe food and service was exceptional especially the beef sandwich and the cream scones and salad bar Windjammer food and service was best of all the RC ships I've had so far I wish it would stay open till 10pm. A couple of suggestions in sorrentos the pizza was either raw or hard. In the cafe next door it would be better to do the order of the hot beverages as cups then tea bags then hot water and then coffee and milk and sugar as English people always put tea bag in the cup first then the hot water and milk last so it gets brewed. The ladies toilets always had issues with the doors and knowing if it was occupied or not as the red and white on the outside lock was so small and I saw everyone just trying a them all as it wasn't clear, also the toilet flush it takes a few goes to know how and when it flushes. We mainly chose this cruise as it was a new ship but The shuttle service and port destinations were not as good as other excursions I've been on with RC and at Le Havre the shuttle service was shocking and we waited ages for the bus to pick us up from the docks and people were getting crushed on the packed up buses. The photography was very expensive and at least the download option could have been a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice ... Read More
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice touch. The ship is lovely, this is a great class. Restaurants all good food and excellent service, couldn't pick a fault. We are really easy going and get frustrated at hearing people complain about the silliest of things. Get over it, move on and enjoy!! Entertainment was fine, didn't see all the shows as there were always other things to be doing. Darren Day was on doing singing impressions, think he sells himself short - should just be himself he has a good voice and is entertaining with his stories. comedian and ventriloquist were also ok. Crew always willing to help, very engaging. One issue the cabin doors are very heavy and make a lot of noise when closing, people allowing them to slam, my next door neighbours obviously thought these doors were a novelty as they opened and closed them at all hours!! Port of call - Cherbourg -nothing there and most of the shops were closed on the Monday - a lovely sail away with hundreds of locals turning out. Took the Taste of Paris tour - really enjoyed it, over 2 hours drive to Paris through lovely countryside, good tour of the city a photo stop at the Trocadero for Eiffel Tower pictures. Got 2.5 hours of free time, went on the Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde which had amazing view. Zeebrugge, took the local shuttle bus to Blankenberge, lovely little sea side town with nice beach, restuarants, bars and shops - a good alternative to Bruges - shuttle 10euro return, dropped you off at train station if you wanted to continue to Bruge. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Maiden Voyage - if you don't count the 3 night one last week! We stayed on from the 'not the maiden voyage cruise' and this was our first back-to-back cruise. Unfortunately RC didn't have us noted as consecutive ... Read More
Maiden Voyage - if you don't count the 3 night one last week! We stayed on from the 'not the maiden voyage cruise' and this was our first back-to-back cruise. Unfortunately RC didn't have us noted as consecutive cruisers despite me completing this on the online booking. Another 20 minutes with guest services trying to sort. The verdict is a wasted day really hanging around and not being able to get back to the cabin to avoid the influx of new guests. Unfortunately we had to change cabins from the last cruise - never again! When we booked an inside cabin (SI category) for this cruise whilst onboard Anthem last year, we were not told it was the size of a broom cupboard! Nor that it had a vestibule door (shared initial opening door with next door). As doors slam shut, this was very noisy. The virtual balconies were broken. After several visits to guest relations and failed promised callbacks, eventually we were moved to bigger inside cabins with working virtual balconies. I have to say I was very impressed with these. We purchased a soda package but the drinks were flat and most were not available - surprise! We got a refund which took days and more visits to guest relations. I was told my water package would be refunded after my complaint but it still hasn't been. They seemed to have re-stocked this cruise so at least we were able to get drinks most of the time and they had apple and orange juice for breakfast every morning this time. Day 4 they had a broken line which left us without water in the sink, shower and toilets. Not expected on a brand new ship, and especially annoying for my Dad who was in the shower at the time! XBOX never worked - guest services said a guest had plugged something in they shouldn't have. Another couple were told the cable to convert it wasn't long enough so who knows. Other staff told us there were lots of workmen still onboard fixing things. Excellent onboard facilities such as North Star, I-fly, rock climbing. Plenty to do day and night. Staff try to please but still some issues to resolve. Restaurant manager Deepak was excellent. Customer relations team should take note from him on how to provide excellent customer service. Received some lovely maiden voyage gifts. Did seem odd we didn't get these on the cruise before it though. Cherbourg Docked on the right hand side. Nice view of harbour too. View to the left was sea and hills. Free wifi in terminal building. Just opposite is the submarine and aquarium. Nice shop selling lots of souvenirs. Local funny train ride €6.50 but goes from town so a good 20 minute walk or queue for the shuttle bus. Le Havre Docked on right hand side again. Free wifi in building opposite car park. Also small souvenir shop. €4 return shuttle into town. Not many shuttles either. Did the train ride tour last time so this time just looked around. Not worth going to Paris from here when live in UK, it's quicker and cheaper to fly. Bruges €12 euros to get the shuttle out of the port of Zeebrugge seemed a lot considering how much money us tourists bring to the country. Entertainment - some of these may have been on last week - I can't remember Darren Day far exceeded my expectations and indeed he received a standing ovation. The female singer Clare V was also excellent - fantastic voice Spectre was excellent and well rehearsed. The Dream was also very good. The magnets group were very talented - did think they could have made more of an effort rather than wearing jeans! Cruise director Joff was very funny and visible Just as we were leaving, I collected the bills from the door and discovered we had been charged for a mini bar item we had not had. £6 for a bottle of water! The funny thing about this, is that we had loads of bottles of water from the Evian package we purchased on the first cruise! Overcharging is common on RC! Departure was smooth. We ignored the instructions to go to the allocated lounge and instead walked straight off with our own luggage. We did have to queue for 15 minutes for a taxi so worth booking next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a balcony cabin which was beautiful I can't find anything wrong with it at all. Our room was cleaned twice a day the young man that looked after us was so lovely. There are so many places to eat. We had the majority of our meals in the Windjammer restaurant the food was amazing. The shows were really good, we saw a few comedians and went to a couple of quizzes. I tried something that I have wanted to do for ages, which was the sky diving simulator it was brilliant. There is also bumper cars, flow rider they also do trapeze. There is so much to do and if you don't want to do anything go to the solarium and relax in the Jacuzzi. Great fitness centre. Lots of classes. We went to 2 places in France and we went to Belgium, but we only went on the cruise to experience the ship and we have already been to France and Belgium so we did not bother getting off the ship. At the end of our cruise we decided to carry off our own cases which was very straight forward and saves waiting around. We got off the ship at 6.30 back home in the Midlands by 10.30am. Our friends were so amazed at how brilliant a cruise is, they are already looking into booking another one. We are already booked to go on Independence for the third time in October. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation ... Read More
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation was so smooth ( mind you I had to do most of it before even your own photo on line ). Red carpet as you reached the turminal and paparazzi to take your photo ( which you can download for free after your cruise ) . As soon as you get on the ship you can see how plush it is it was amazing the staff are there offering you champagne and directing you to the windjammer restaurant but I was taken by the two robot arms that mixed and served cocktails they were so cool. Windjammer was huge food was very good coffee could be a bit strong , what I did like was you had a handwash station before entering restaurant . We had a balcony cabin very nice , bathroom bit small but ok . Dining ? Dynamic dinning not a fan could be confusing for older guests silk ,chic, American icon , grand are free the rest you pay a supplement but you have to book your restaurants early or you will end up with late meal , but all restaurants are very good chic is my favourite . Entertainment? Two shows you had to book Dream was one so good (don't miss ) and Spectre . Now this show is exceptional you will not believe it it is amazing what they do with the 2 70 bar is amazing . There are the normal shows as well in the theatre which are very good . Activities . Flow rider, ( fun ) ifly ( very good ) , the wall ( high ) bumper cars ( so much fun) the arm on top of the ship with the glass pod is so cool try it . Bars and clubs . Dotted all around the ship are bars music hall cafes so many we didn't get to try them all but what we did was exceptional.The casino was big the only draw back was the smoking ( not a fan ) stop the smoking you will get more people in . The ship is beautiful it was so smooth you didn't feel it move ,service was very good ,cruise wasn't long enough. My advice is if you like a drink do the drinks package it can get a bit expensive . I could write more but well done Royal Caribbean nice ship . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Embarkation was amazingly quick and the red carpet treatment with the press into the cruise terminal was great fun. I was on Ovation within what seemed minutes. There were a few people who had stayed on from the 3 night cruise and said it ... Read More
Embarkation was amazingly quick and the red carpet treatment with the press into the cruise terminal was great fun. I was on Ovation within what seemed minutes. There were a few people who had stayed on from the 3 night cruise and said it was extremely busy and very hard to get served in the bars. I was a little worried but I need not have been, apart for the Music Hall which was busy service was great even in there. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and a Maiden Voyage I was again unsure what to expect but I did have a great time. I met up with some old friends and new it was for me a lovely time. My cabin 11536 was amazing my first time in a balcony and Martin the cabin steward was dedicated and kind. Champagne (sparkling wine) was on ice a special base ball cap and a couple of limited edition bottles of beer were waiting. What a nice thought with the normal bottle of choice there as well. I really enjoyed all the dining in the restaurants chi, Silk, The Grand and American Icon the service in all was great. Chops as always was amazing but my reservation at Jamies Italian disappeared never mind. I loved the idea of the wash basins in the Windjammer and it was really well set out the food I would say was quite good. As good as the restaurants the service and the food was I really do miss the Traditional restaurant. Dinner with the officers was amazing and as with this cruise although I only had the main course this time I felt the food to ne of a high standard. The Two 70 was amazing as were the robots Sweet and Sour in the Robotic bar. I enjoyed the ship with the North Star and people really enjoyed the flying flow rider and the bumper cars. There were so many great staff Rebecca (pool bar and concierge lounge) Martin (my cabin steward) JJ (in the concierge lounge and Eliana (in the diamond lounge) thank you to all of you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the ports it was stopping and this was our first trip to Europe. We have cruised with RC several times and while the Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, this was the most disappointing cruise we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports it was stopping and this was our first trip to Europe. We have cruised with RC several times and while the Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, this was the most disappointing cruise we have ever taken out of 12. We did not receive ANY of our Crown and Anchor amenities/perks. Our travel agent had scheduled a birthday celebration for my husband's 50th birthday to take place at dinner yet, no one on the ship knew anything about this. Whenever we questioned a crewmember about specific events or activities, no one ever seemed to have an accurate answer. The entire crew seemed to be untrained and uninformed. Every other night the wait staff screwed up where we supposed to be sitting so we were only able to sit near our friends on two nights. The other nights the wait staff acted like we were crazy when we asked why were not at the same table. Probably the final straw was when we tried to purchase our pictures. We were debarking in Belgium to continue our European travel on Thursday. So, on Wednesday night, we went to the Picture Gallery on the ship to view and purchase our pictures. However, we were unable to do so. The staff on hand informed us they were experiencing technical issues and we would have to come back later or in the morning. We stopped back in the morning to find out that we could not purchase our pictures while in port and there would be no way possible for us to purchase them after we left the ship. This was my husband's 50th birthday celebration and we held nothing back. We got all dressed up, visited every photographer we saw and had lots of pictures taken. All to find out, we couldn't get them! The idea that RC can't figure out a way to provide access to guests after their cruise, ESPECIALLY, when we encountered so many issues, to buy their pictures is ridiculous. We're talking about digital files that can be transferred via email. Something, that nearly every other provider can accommodate. We called or stopped by guest relations as we encountered every issue and no one ever did anything to rectify the situation. We just got apologies and you'll have to check with someone else. I contacted Corporate Guest Relations following the cruise and they were even less helpful. We will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Considering all those loyalty points got us nothing on our most recent cruise it doesn't make any sense to continue to try to advance within that loyalty program. RC's level of service has declined so drastically since we started cruising with them 15 years ago. It's time to return to Princess or NCL! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Excellent time, ship is a beautiful. Cabin great and always had the room made up by our steward. Boarding the ship was very easy again. We never use the wind jammer due to never been able to get a table and do not like bun fights waiting ... Read More
Excellent time, ship is a beautiful. Cabin great and always had the room made up by our steward. Boarding the ship was very easy again. We never use the wind jammer due to never been able to get a table and do not like bun fights waiting for food, just does not appeal to us much rather have a civilised meal in one of the restaurants or the 270. Facilities great, only down side was the shops were not completely stocked due to stock not arriving in time. Food was amazing, staff were fantastic, Jaimie's Italian was lovely. Schooners bar needed more staff as always busy. The dream show was not as good as we hope it to be but Spectras was amazing again, comedian was very funny. Commemorative gifts for first cruise were really nice. The behind the scenes tour was over priced. Captain was really nice. Overall a fantastic cruise and spoilt on the maiden voyage as will not experience that again. Never had to queue apart from guest services. Yes there were teething problems with drinks packages but nothing that could not be put right, people reserving sun beds in the solarium and then not coming back is always annoying and staff should be lifting off towels when this occurs. Staff are always lovely on cruises they could not be faulted. The butterfly wall was especially something to write about very special when you touch one it flew around the screen. Great cruise and would definitely cruise again with them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Check in was extremely easy. I was expecting a much slower experience due to passenger numbers. We first made our way to 270 which gives panoramic views to the rear of the ship and doubles as an entertainment venue. There was a pleasant ... Read More
Check in was extremely easy. I was expecting a much slower experience due to passenger numbers. We first made our way to 270 which gives panoramic views to the rear of the ship and doubles as an entertainment venue. There was a pleasant cafe with complimentary hot rolls, sandwiches and pastries. Very nice. Our cabin was ready at 1300 hrs and was nice with a large double bed, flat screen TV which was interactive for on board account amongst other things. A small settee and outside balcony. Bathroom was pleasant and the shower quite large and reasonably powerful. There are two lift areas, forward and mid ships. None aft. Queue times for theses were resonable at all times but you don't get much time to get into them, the doors close rapidly. We explored the ship which on the face of it was impressive. A nice central mall area with the theatre at one end and 270 at the other. VERY high end shops which were empty 99% of the time. There is a genuine?? Pub which sold pub food for a charge, Starbucks coffee and patisserie which also charged and a free pizza and pastry/ coffee restaurant opposite called Sorrentos. The onboard free coffee for me was good in comparison to standard UK coffee, I can't imagine why anyone would want to pay 30 yards away at Starbucks. Downstairs from the lower mall is a large casino, more of which later. Upper Mall area had Wonderland restaurant which one of our party ate at and said was the best food on the ship. There is also a Japanese restaurant, schooners bar and photo area here. We had several photos taken on the cruise which were supposed to link to your cruise card for perusal and purchase. None did. We had no professional photos to view. Going aft from Guest Services the mall opened into two of the four dynamic dining restaurants, American Icon and Silk. Beneath them on deck 3 aft of the Casino was the other two, Chic and Grande. On deck 5 the mall continued aft past the midship lifts to further shops, Jamie's Italian and vintage wine bar. I was surprised to find that self service wine dispensing using your cruise card still carried an 18% service charge. I paid a service charge to serve myself! Further aft took you past future cruise to 270. 270 is an interesting venue with interactive robotic TV screens and there is on Caberet show (Spectre) and several 270 degree films. You have to book to see Spectre and my first impression is that 270 isn't big enough to meet demand. At the other end of the ship the Theatre is large but the middle tier is not good for unrestricted views. There are pillars everywhere and a low ceiling so that much of the aerial action in productions is above your eyeline. There were headline acts most nights but also another book able show called the dream. This show was excellent and as near a full west end production that you will ever see at sea. Outside on deck 5 there are outside walking areas and loungers but you cannot complete a circuit. At the top of the ship is the Seaplex area where number cars, roller skating and trapeze classes locate, the area also doubles as a sports area. There is an arcade area and hot dog facility. Underneath Seaplex was the Windjammer market place food hall. The food here outside of breakfast was very disappointing and poorly cooked. Dried up and shrivelled dishes jockeyed for position with Luke warm fare. The open pool area had a large video wall which showed films at times through the day. There was also a free ice cream bar there. The next closed pool area and bar led to Solarium which was an adult only pool and jacuzzi area which also held the Solarium Bistro. Others in our party ate there and were impressed. The area is way too small though and securing lounger proved impossible most days. The cruise ship had dynamic dining. We were dynamic choice which meant booking restaurants each evening for dinner. You either pay premium or choose one of Grande, Chic, Silk or American Icon. Pre cruise most availability showed as nil on our cruise planner you could however book on board and even turn up and take your chance. I have to say though that I didn't like this system. The food in these restaurants was simply appalling. From the first day in American Icon there were unavailable appetisers and the one vegetarian main course available ( always one vegetarian entree course only in every restaurant) was served completely raw and inedible. When this was pointed out to staff we were told that the chef had to come out of the kitchen and the complaint made directly to him in front of the other diners. Awkward. Each and every dinner had items unavailable or missing ( cheesecake without the coulis) or raw or overcooked food. It was incredible to see waiting staff and head waiters firefighting right left and centre with returned dishes. I have never seen anything like it. The Casino is huge and here is the first clue as to why those in our party who had cruised with RCI before found Ovation so confusing and different. Ovation will be mainly used for the Chinese market and really is a floating casino. There are already high stake gambling areas ready and waiting for life in Asia. Bar staff say that they don't expect to be busy in Asia so the bars are small by comparison. Gambling is the key. The roll out staff on Ovation has a huge Chinese contingent. As the ship settles in Asia current non Chinese staff will be moved elsewhere. At the moment there is training left right and centre and there is a LONG way to go to get a fully functioning ship. We were left feeling that we had had one of the most disappointing holidays at sea from our last 15 years of experience. Sad but Royal Caribbean have lost us as customers. As a final point future cruises were selling cruises advertised as second guest 50% and $500 on board credit. My son and his wife were with us and as a professional couple early 30's who were happy to use the casino RCI should have been fighting for their future patronage. They went to book a Caribbean cruise later this year and were quoted a special price that was £300 more than that on the RCI website for the same cruise. No explanation of the price difference Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our first ever cruise on the maiden voyage of the ovation of the seas was a disappointment. The ship itself was huge our cabin was very nice with outside balcony and plenty of space. But that's were it ends we were promised a magical ... Read More
Our first ever cruise on the maiden voyage of the ovation of the seas was a disappointment. The ship itself was huge our cabin was very nice with outside balcony and plenty of space. But that's were it ends we were promised a magical experience when we booked unfortunately it wasn't there was hardly an entertainment on during the day time. Evening entertainment was poor and if you didn't book or arrive an hour before you couldn't get into the venue or definitely couldn't get a seat. the restraunts were always full and again if you didn't book you couldn't get in the only one you could get in was the windjammer which was always packed and you had to search for a table if and when you were lucky enough to get a table one of your party would have to sit at the table while the other went to get their food. There was plenty of choice but it was often cold. The service in the restaurants was poor and very slow the staff seemed to be under pressure and not able to cope with the amount of people booked in. We purchased an upgrade on the drinks package which was good in as much as you could have any spirit or cocktails but the price we were quoted before we set sail was doubled once on board. When my husband went to pay our bill at the end he questioned the price and showed them an email he had with the price we had been quoted so after much haggling and discussion they agreed to knock 60 dollars of our bill. Not a lot I know but when you've paid out a lot of money on a cruise in the first place you don't want to be ripped off after all what's 60 dollars to the royal carabbian. We spoke to several other couples who all felt the same very disappointed all of those we spoke to had cruised many times before and said this was there worst experience. We will cruise again but will choose more wisely. Feeling let down as this was not the experience we hoped it would be. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
3 stars seems mean, 4 stars too many, so read this as 3 and a half stars! Firstly, this is an amazing ship, well, it is brand new! The cabins are fab, more closet space but maybe at the expense of the bed size and how close the cupboard ... Read More
3 stars seems mean, 4 stars too many, so read this as 3 and a half stars! Firstly, this is an amazing ship, well, it is brand new! The cabins are fab, more closet space but maybe at the expense of the bed size and how close the cupboard doors are to the beds. Bathroom is lovely with a good shower. Balcony very good, much improved furniture - although it was bit nippy to sit out on the balcony! Food - well, this was hit and miss. On the whole the quality was excellent, the beef and lamb were the best I have tasted. But I would say that 50% of the meals were bordering on tepid. There was very little choice for vegetarians, only one choice on each menu in the four main restaurants. We used the Grande (good) Chic (very good) and Silk (ok). We ate at Jaimie's twice as there was more choice for vegetarian food and it was generally hotter. Windjammer was the usual bun fight, a much better option was the Solarium Bistro, much quieter with much the same choice. You could get speciality coffee at a few venues, mostly ok, although they don't seem to know how to make a decent liqueur coffee. Bars - well again, the service was hit and miss. In the Music Hall bar the service was quick and efficient, very well organised bar staff. Up in the solarium (Sunshine bar??) I was all too often ignored as others were served who had just arrived. I noticed a few other people also waiting to be served, also being overlooked. Should be better than this. It was not easy to spot a waiter to order a drink from your table or sun lounger. And don't get me started on sun loungers! The usual problems, people putting towels on and leaving them empty for most of the day, not one member of staff dealt with this (they need to take a leaf out Of Celebrity's book, they know how to deal with this). The entertainment was good, Joff is an excellent Cruise director, very funny. Lots to choose from, we enjoyed the quizzes especially, and the 80's band, The Wild Ones. My main bug bare on this holiday was (as usual) the billing issues. We were told on day 1 that we had the premium drinks package, so to upgrade to Ultimate would be 5 dollars a day, brilliant we thought and opted or this. 4 days later - 4 DAYS - we were then told they had made a mistake and we now owed $147! I think not. It took some sorting and numerous visits to Guest Relations and calling the bar manager to get this sorted. Why does this always happen on Royal Caribbean? Just puts a damper on your holiday. I have just received an invoice by email and it looks like they are going to take more from me! For this reason we think we will give Royal Caribbean a miss in future and try another cruise line. Fed up of spending my holiday at Guest relations! Oh, one more thing, I smoke, but allowing smoking in the Casino is just mad! Felt so sorry for people walking through ad the poor croupiers. OK, rant over! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
What a great ship with all the necessary things for cruisers to enjoy their trip, but Oh there are some problems. If you are not aware that it is important to book your restaraunts and entertainment as soon as you can you may not get the ... Read More
What a great ship with all the necessary things for cruisers to enjoy their trip, but Oh there are some problems. If you are not aware that it is important to book your restaraunts and entertainment as soon as you can you may not get the times that you want. The buffet at the Windjammer has absolutely wonderful choices and should suit all tastes. The major problem with this buffet is that it is more of a cattle market than most ships with a distinct lack of seating. We tried both complimentary and paying restaraunts and found food to be good overall and service excellent. Would recommend you check menu for each restaurant before booking. Entertainment was of a high standard especially the two main shows. There was a major problems with getting a drink in the bars due to too many people in each bar and not enough staff serving. There are lots of excellent activities to do whilst on board. The shore excursions as with most cruises were overpriced. One thing that could be a problem for people who are not used to using tablet technology is that this how you can book everything and I mean everything whilst on board via tablets all around the public areas and the television in the cabin. As this was part of the Maiden Voyage I would hope that the problems we encountered are sorted and this excellent ship and the excellent staff get better reviews. One of the excellent things for this cruise was the embarkation and disembarking organisation very good both sides. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I Chose this cruise because it was the maiden voyage,disappointed with reservations for this and that you was restricted where to go,you didn't have the freedom in my opinion and the sunbeds had towels left on them for hours with ... Read More
I Chose this cruise because it was the maiden voyage,disappointed with reservations for this and that you was restricted where to go,you didn't have the freedom in my opinion and the sunbeds had towels left on them for hours with passengers just leaving them lying there and not coming back and lots of passengers looking for a sunbed to use,I think they should have a better system in place, passengers should pay if they don't take their towels back.That would make it ship shape and Bristol fashion. they should put more of the same show on so passengers can go and see without making a reservation then there would be more free time on the ship instead of wasting time looking and booking.and again all these fancy restaurants all over the ship you got to book and reserve ,who I forget and PAY , has if you haven't paid enough to go on the cruise as it is. That was all the negative side from a frustrated passenger on the maiden voyage,ho yes the windjammer you didn't have a great choice to choose from and the food was warm not hot and that was every day on the cruise.no problem getting on the ship baggage taken off you when you park up and you don't see it again until it is outside your room .the shops on board were so expensive for a Welsh man I'm afraid.The bed was great it took me 5 nights to find the wife. And I was sorry afterwards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Not quite the maiden voyage! Interestingly this 3 night cruise was the pre inaugural cruise (not the maiden voyage - that followed directly after). We booked the 5 night 'maiden voyage' ages ago and was offered the chance to ... Read More
Not quite the maiden voyage! Interestingly this 3 night cruise was the pre inaugural cruise (not the maiden voyage - that followed directly after). We booked the 5 night 'maiden voyage' ages ago and was offered the chance to also book the 3 night cruise which was added in very late. Eventually after a lot of hassle we added the 3 night cruise too. Took the train instead of driving and arrived at 1.30pm. Plenty of taxis at the station, no queues. Only a five minute drive. Surprisingly there was no queue and we were onboard within 5 minutes. The brand new ship is beautiful. There is loads to do for all ages. North Star, I-fly, flow rider, rock climbing etc. All fantastic. You won't ever be bored. What spoiled this cruise for me was the bad planning by RC. It appears the supplies were ordered for delivery for the 5 night 'maiden voyage' departure after this 3 night one as they ran out of orange juice on day 2 and apple juice never arrived until late evening the 2nd night. Then it was warm as were all drinks. No juice for breakfast is poor planning. The staff said the only option was to purchase the $4 freshly squeezed orange juice. The 'lemonade' RC have on all ships was not lemonade in the Windjammer but lemon and lime. I argued my point every day and was told it was lemonade then it was the sugar free version and eventually they admitted there was an issue with supplies. There is no excuse as Anthem is the same ship so they should know what stock they need. As I do not drink tea or coffee, the lack of drinks was a real issue for me. I purchased the Evian water package the second morning so I didn't have to hunt the ship every time I wanted a drink. However, that was easier said than done. Guest services sent me to the coffee shop to purchase it but they said it wasn't possible to buy a package, only individual bottles. Eventually they said I could purchase a package but only 12 or 24 bottles not 8. Bearing in mind this was a 3 night cruise! Luckily we stopped on for the 5 night one so was able to use it. But just to top things off, they charged me twice! Cabin do not disturb signs were unpacked on day 2. Room service menus were just photocopies as were breakfast order forms. No milk cartons so milk was delivered by room service in a giant wine glass. A good way to ruin the new carpets! There was a lot of communication problems with staff not understanding. They didn't understand the crown & anchor programme and rewards you get such as Bogof drinks so we gave us trying to spend our money with them and ended up buying drinks in Rotterdam to drink onboard. Guest services said there were a lot of new staff and different nationalities. Fair enough, but that is your problem RC to train them. Having paid a lot of money I expected far better service. Cabins - beautiful when new. The balcony was so large it was bigger than the room I'm sure. Was so disappointed I had to change cabins next cruise. Nice large screen TV and I do like to watch channel 40 - Ovation views. Nice beds, very comfy. Loads of space. Inadequate table space and a stool instead of a chair is very uncomfortable. Had to utilise the table and footstool from outside. Room service menu very poor - anything decent was chargeable. Anthem had Jonny Rockets - Ovation has the Kung Foo noodle bar. Also selling fish and chips and beef curry! Wow wristbands now $4.99 - they were free on Anthem last October. Day 3 I had the pleasure of a cold shower. Guest services advised there was a problem with the water temperature - really I'd never have guessed. Spent too long at guest services as they never called me back as promised. As many of the other reviews suggest, the food was indeed nothing more than warm in the windjammer. It was not hot at all. No weetabix for breakfast. People were complaining about slow bar service and restaurant service taking 3 hours. Drinks took an hour to get. Windjammer manager Deepak was excellent but sadly he put guest services to shame. The communication (or lack of) between guest services and other areas was terrible. Smoking is still allowed in the Casino in designated areas which basically fills the whole casino. We refused to stay in there. Future cruise bookings - They quoted far more than what I could get online booking direct for all but 1 cruise we looked at, even with the 50% off second guest. One person told us that didn't apply for single occupancy and another said it still did and quoted us lower prices. When once price was around £1000 more I pointed out the price I got online and suddenly he could get a cheaper price. In terms of onboard entertainment, RC cannot be beaten. Bumper cars, trapeze, roller skating, i-fly, etc. Were all excellent. Beautiful Ship, overall friendly staff trying to please. Minor issues to resolve and some training then I'm sure in a few weeks all areas will be superb. Rotterdam - expensive place. Took the free shuttle to town and had a good look around. Last year we went on the Spido boat tour - bit dull! Wanted to go up the Euromast tower but was wet and cloudy, maybe next month on Harmony. Maritime museum over the bridge to the right. Lots of water taxis. Shops - now if you want an incredibly expensive watch, this Ship is the place to be! Every shop, every stall has them. Never saw anyone in them nor the expensive Jewelry shop. A decent general shop would have been handy for things people forget. Near the end I spotted a tiny corner behind the alcohol and cigarettes that sold a few general things. And as for the Ship souvenir products , these were simply cheap (but expensive to buy) items. So overall a lovely ship but this 3 night cruise should not have been added so late. It felt more like a test cruise for the staff. Departure - we stayed on for the proper maiden voyage. It was that next cruise where we were given several maiden voyage gifts. Very nice, but seems odd not to have received these last week. Those who didn't stop on missed out and that seems unfair. Back to back cruse - inconvenient changing cabins as RC have no customer service people with any common sense who can just move things around. The same cabins were available online but they refused to move us unless we paid again. Also we were kicked out between 7-8.30 and were not allowed back in cabins until after 1pm. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
With Ovation doing just a handful of sailings from England before moving East I took the opportunity to book 2 cruises on her. This review is of both cruises. The first was her very first cruise, (which was not the Maiden therefore we ... Read More
With Ovation doing just a handful of sailings from England before moving East I took the opportunity to book 2 cruises on her. This review is of both cruises. The first was her very first cruise, (which was not the Maiden therefore we didn't get any free stuff!) and was 3 days to Rotterdam and back, and my next cruise was 7 nights from Southampton to Barcelona. I caught the train to Southampton for both and it is a simple 12 minute walk to the port. Boarding on both occasions was superfast and efficient, many reps with iPads ready to scan your passports, ask a few health questions and put the green stamp on the piece of paper and wave you through. The process took about 10 minutes from kerb to ship on both occasions. Both times I travelled solo. I had a Grand Suite (I lucked out as I had booked an X for the first) and a balcony on 7 for the 2nd cruise. I hate to say but I was a little disappointed with the GS. It felt much smaller than the balcony room. It seemed to be 2 cabins with an arch between. Access to the bathroom (l’Occitane toiletries) from both lounge and bedroom. Shower over the bath, no pull out line for washing. The lounge area was very narrow, with a glass table that I am sure someone will trip over soon. Wardrobes in both lounge and bedroom. The balcony was long and thin, and as I was on the hump, I could slide the patrician to a nother little area with 2 more recliners. However as it was on the hump this area was in full view of the rest of the cabins on that deck and I doubt if it would ever be used. This grade came as the new Sky benefits came into force, so free wifi. All info is now on your TV screen, so make sure you check regularly. On board the first and overriding impression is of the 'Chinese-ness' of the whole ship. All signage in dual language, even the souvenir fridge magnets in dual language. It made the ship feel a little different to her sisters (and I have been on both). The only complaint I would have would be the new employed Chinese crew who, on some instances did not have a clue! When I asked about the Puzzle Room I was directed to Next Cruise to book a new cruise. My Pinnacle tier friend, proudly wearing his badge was greeted as a Diamond member (he was not impressed!). Other impressions is that the ship is not as well finished or kitted out as her sisters. Don't get me wrong! The décor is lovely but there were no swings, the furnishings in 270 were not the same, there were not as many funky chairs.......again, it just felt different. The art work is again superb and quirky, but I do prefer the animals in the lifts to the ladies. Despite the inexperience of the crew, they were, generally eager to please. I am a fan of DD and keen to try it again. Unfortunately my first meal in Silk was so bland and tasteless ......surely for an Asian bound ship they would know how to cook a decent tasty meal. Thankfully my second experience in there was much better. The obviously had unpacked the spice rack. Chic was good, AIG was OK and Grande was a bit disappointing, purely because the dress code was not enforced in any way. What is the point. But the star in the culinary crown has to be CK where I ate for the first cruise. Just sublime. A different world; and I was lucky to be invited as a guest on the 2nd cruise a few times too. I did not go to any specialty restaurants on either cruise. Entertainment was the superb Spectres Cabaret – but I’m afraid that The Dream left me cold. More like a nightmare! No plot, people in drab Victorian clothing singing modern songs, and some sort of dragon…..sorry, I didn’t get this at all. I did the Puzzle Room again, and it was exactly the same as on Anthem, even down to the introduction video welcoming you on Anthem! Other noticeable changes, include the introduction of high end shops- they even had Gucci onboard for a one day sale, Kate Spade, Omega and Cartier….The casino has a few slots around the edges but mostly is dedicated to tables. The diamond lounge will be turned into the ‘golden lounge’ when she gets to Asia. There are an overwhelming number of cameras in the ceiling in readiness! Cruise 1 went to Rotterdam; there was a complimentary shuttle into town, where I enjoyed the market area and shopping area and took a leisurely stroll back across the Erasmus Bridge to the ship. Cruise 2 called at Gijon, Vigo, Gibraltar and Barcelona. The weather was dreadful on this cruise but the ship barely moved, especially going across the Bay of Biscay. Onboard I did find the daily activities a little repetitive, lots of quizzes but there was a very interesting talk about the history of RCI; the miserable weather meant everyone was stuck in doors so seating was especially limited in the Solarium, especially as the chair hogs were out in force. Joff and Belle were a good partnership and it was worth catching their morning show. Disembarking on both cruises was very smooth. In Barcelona I had a long wait till my evening flight so I used BagsandGo to take my luggage to the airport (€10 per bag) and I caught the port bus over the bridge (€2.50) and had a leisurely day and lunch in town before catching the airport bus (€5.90) to retrieve my luggage and fly home. In summary, 2 good little cruises. I love this class of ship, and DD, and I hope that one day we may have a Quantum class permanently in Europe. Please RCI? Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Sailed to Rotterdam on an extra cruise that was added as the ship was ready early. Myself and 5 friends booked 3 Balcony cabins.From the moment we arrived at Southampton until we left our ship 3 days later everything was such a wonderful ... Read More
Sailed to Rotterdam on an extra cruise that was added as the ship was ready early. Myself and 5 friends booked 3 Balcony cabins.From the moment we arrived at Southampton until we left our ship 3 days later everything was such a wonderful experience.I could not believe how quick we got on this beautiful ship,I think it must of taken about 15 minutes in total.There was a bit of confusion over our eating arrangements,as I have never sailed with Royal Caribbean before I was told on the telephoned that if we chose the option of freedom dining we could eat at any time. However this was not the case,when we arrived at our restaurant at 6.25 and was asked what room number we had booked it under we we quite confused as we were told this was not needed,we were offered dining at 8.30 which was too late for us as we had been traveling since 6am in the morning,we were found a space in Silk which was very nice,when booking next time I will make sure I will book before I board ship,I think the freedom dining is rather confusing,as with P and O freedom means freedom you can dine anytime between 6.30 and 8.30. Apart from that and the wine being very expensive I would recommend this ship,excellent staff,wonderful service,very clean,lots to do for adults and children alike. I did like that fact that you didn't have to dress up if you didn't want to but would not feel out of place if you did. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Booked the 5 night inaugural cruise to find a 3 night was added before this so booked that too. Embarkation was quick and smooth and was onboard within 15 minutes. Had a balcony cabin on deck 6 which was lovely. Only tea was available ... Read More
Booked the 5 night inaugural cruise to find a 3 night was added before this so booked that too. Embarkation was quick and smooth and was onboard within 15 minutes. Had a balcony cabin on deck 6 which was lovely. Only tea was available within your cabin and coffee would have been good. Plenty of storage. Lift doors need adjusting as close very quickly. Went freedom dining and didn't pre-book any evening meals beforehand which was a mistake as struggled to get our restaurant of choice at our preferred time but the food was excellent, in particular the steak and lamb shanks. The curry in Silk was very mild for what it was but then they do have to cater for everyone. The Esplanade is a lovely area with plenty of lounge style seating to relax. 24 hour cafe again served lovely food and didn't struggle for a table. We don't usually enjoy eating in the Winjammer but our experience was good on the two occasions we used it. Found a table relatively easy and the food was really good. The 270 cafe serves excellent food and the 270 entertainment area is a fabulous space. Boleros Bar was the busiest and we struggled to get served. Overall within the bars we found a lack of waiters walking around to serve customers which meant queuing at the bar. The robot bar was out of order most of the time. The entertainment was spectacular and must not be missed. As usual enjoyed seeing the band 'Rock the Boat' which was previoulsy on the Independence. The North Star is an experience but one you would normally only do the once. Too much smoking in the Casino as people tended to use it as a smoking area even when the casino was closed which in our opinion is wrong. You could smell cigarette smoke in neighbouring areas. Therefore overall a good cruise on a lovely ship which needs a few adjustments. We felt it was geared up for where it is headed, China. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Many will say that this brand new ship will have teething issues; which is great if your cruise price reflects that sub-standard experience. Marketed as a new breed of "Smart Ship" just about everything on Ovation is done ... Read More
Many will say that this brand new ship will have teething issues; which is great if your cruise price reflects that sub-standard experience. Marketed as a new breed of "Smart Ship" just about everything on Ovation is done using an App, the stateroom TV or by planning ahead online at home. Perhaps they should ensure their systems actually work before rolling out such bold claims. As required, we completed our documents online and printed them off - only to be told to go back in to their system, add photos and print it all off again (I thought Royal stopped printing coupon books to cut down on waste - but it seems they've just transferred it to the guest instead). As suggested, we made 3 restaurant bookings before we sailed; and got emails to confirm them. We got on the ship and found a welcome note with our restaurant bookings printed out for us. Despite being in April, our bookings stated MARCH - and all three bookings were wrong. Smart Ship? As suggested, we booked Spectra online (the only show we could book in advance). It didn't matter as they had got that wrong too. Smart !! Our booking for North Star was OK; as long as we got past the long queue of upset guests who were not aware you had to reserve it (we didn't on Anthem). Our stateroom was fine (well, it was brand new). However, someone has made a mistake with the sink tap as the plug lever is hidden behind the tap. They won't last long. The public areas look great too. We loved Music Hall on Anthem - even though whoever designed it needs to find a new job. Unless you are in one of around 30 seats, you wont see the stage (and even then anyone on the top floor has to look through glass panels). To make way for a sunglasses shop, they have even removed a section of seating which makes it even more difficult to see. The guest entertainers we saw were mostly good; tenors of rock were brilliant. Enough about the particular ship - what has happened with Royal Caribbean over the past 5 years or so ? Do I really have to stand in a queue for 20 minutes to buy a drink - and pay an 18% tip for the privilege? What happened to the days where you would walk into a venue and a waiter would literally follow you to your seat in order to take your order. Remember the white serviette they placed to show other waiters you were "sorted"?. When Im paying an 18% tip on top of really expensive drinks, that is what I expect. Do I have to buy my favourite drink from one bar and go to another for my wife's favourite? And Im not talking fancy drinks here, Im talking about a bottle of cider and a malibu and coke. Why do I then have to go from one bar who stocks my drink, only to find the next one doesn't. Royal Caribbean employ enough Inventory Officers, Bar Supervisors and Bar Managers to ensure this doesn't happen so why is it happening cruise after cruise? My wife and I have sailed with Royal Caribbean a lot - we have some more for 2016 - BUT we think these will be our last as service levels have got so shockingly bad. We have booked 2017 cruises with MSC so it could be goodbye Royal for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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