Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand ... Read More
Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand before arriving in Singapore. We also had not visited HK before so that was an added bonus to fly in a few days prior to look around. Despite the stops, we could have done with more days at sea as there was so much to do on the ship. The ocean was flat all the way and was perfect. The weather had a few overcast days but only rained once or twice.
We expected for the size of the ship it would be overcrowded and embarkation and disembarkation at the Ports and pre/post cruise would be a nightmaree but it was a painless experience. Some of the prior reviews rated this negatively and I guess they have put more focus on this as the wait times were minimal and we got on and off the boat easily. For the number of people (around 4300 guests) it did not feel crowded at all, there was always plenty of space.
We had an interior stateroom with a virtual balcony (9185) and it was excellent. We have stayed in a balcony room before so wasn't sure what to expect but I was more than happy with the room. Friends stayed in a balcony room and the size and layout was exactly the same except for the balcony. The virtual screen provided a good look at what was going on outside the ship but we hardly noticed as we were never in our room. Once we left in the morning we didn't return until night before getting ready for dinner or to go out.
We did the most of the activities on board, Eye in the Sky, I-Fly (sky diving), roller staking, bumper cars, rock climbing, basketball, ping pong etc. There was a lot to keep you occupied. All of which was great fun.
I travelled with a group of 10 (5 couples, no children). There were not many young kids on board that we saw, and same for teenagers. However, there were specific kid and teenage activities arranged and the sporting area (ping pong, roller skating, basketball, volleyball, bumper cars, xbox lounges, foozball etc.) as well as the arcade would be awesome for them, it was pretty impressive. My teenage son was a bit envious he didn't come!
We saw the Love Legs show (may have the name wrong) which was excellent. Great singers and performers. Entertainment was generally high quality. The ship has a huge lounge called the 270 which has screens that cover all windows. One of the shows Pixels that you had to book for showcased the facility with moving screens, light show etc. The show was a bit out there but it was good to see the full capability of the facility which is pretty amazing.
The food was excellent in most of the facilities. Fine Dining was a bit disappointing and the standard was ok, but not great. We had better meals in the Windjammer (buffet) and ate there on most occasions. I think this was consistent with most travellers as we tried fine dining again on day 4 or so and there was hardly anyone there and they were so grateful we went back. Again, meal was ok and we didn't return again. The buffet at Windjammer was very good quality, could not fault it. So much variety and suffice to say we ate a lot! We also pre-booked Jamie Oliver and Chops Steakhouse both of which were very good as well. The food was unlimited and we paid around $35-40 pp pre-booked and it was well worth it. Plenty of other places to eat but we did not try them all. Also did room service breakfast before tours in Port and this was also good.
A few in our group smoked and there was a good area on the pool deck with nice lounges and you could open the windows. A few commented this was a lot better than other cruises where you can be stuck in a tiny, crappy area.
We booked our own tours rather than go with the boats which was perfect for a group. We used a Company called "Shore Excursions" in both Vietnam and Thailand. It was much better as we did not have to wait for other people and could adjust the itinerary on the day. The itineraries and tour guides were great and would highly recommend this as well.
As you can see by my novel - we loved our time on Ovation!!! Read Less