12 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Asia

This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, was designed and set up to cater for Chinese and other Asian guests, NOT US. SIMPLY NOT UP TO STANDARD AND VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. Noise level on board and in the Windjammer totally unacceptable from the 4000 Chinese guests. We only found out about an english menu being available at HongKong airport on the way home from other miserable UK guests who, like us had to wait for 11 hours minimum to get the flight home. This menu was never offered to us in any of the 4 restaurants and consequently we did not know of its existence. I managed to get a ships wheel chair for my partner who has limited mobility but when we got back to HongKong at the end of the first leg we were refused permission to take it off the ship to re-board in Shenzhen. THREFORE WE REFUSED TO GET OFF. So we stayed on whilst the ship was moved along with another couple. We did not need our Chinese visas at all AND ALL THE BRITISH GUESTS WHO HAD THE TRAUMA OF GETTING OFF AND ON COULD ALL HAVE STAYED ON BOARD AND NOT BE DISTURBED. SOME EVEN HAD TO CHANGE CABIN. We all had to attend three safety assemblies conducted in Chinese, get three boarding passes, and register our credit cards three times, ALL TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WITH GOOD ORGANISATION AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED IN THIS WAY. . The trips off the ship were badly over-priced and I really object to paying USD 14.15 for a single glass of red wine. When we got to Okinawa for an overnight stay on-board the shuttle bus from the ship into the city centre was only advised as running on the evening of arrival AND NO MENTION OF THE NEXT DAY. This would have meant getting off the ship close to darkness. I managed to find out that this was not true and that the shuttle was running the next day and changed my tickets. SOME OF YOUR UK CUSTOMERS WERE REFUSED THIS CHANGE WHEN THEY ASKED TO DO SO. The two theatre performances that we attended were so poor that we walked out both times and never came back. Typical example of the poor food is that when a roast joint was made available there was only gravy, mint jelly and mashed potato available to have with it. No roast potatoes yorkshires, and cooked vegetables, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Most days any chips on offer were stone cold in seconds, and of the type offered by Macdonalds, SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again ... Read More
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again long queues to get into dining rooms. Specifically aimed at Asian customers, although the majority non Asian and staff confirmed this was the case. Dining room English menu managed to offer Shepherds Pie and all was lukewarm. Restricted Windjammer opening hours. Closed at 10.30 am had to go to another cafe with much less choice. Entertainment almost non existent No port maps supplied unless queued for ages at Guest Relations to get one. Everyone was complaining about this cruise so the queues were horrendous. TV choices terrible only American Weather Service in English Disembarkation was a joke, the queues went all round the ship to get off they seemed to just get everyone off in one go. Have had several conversations with Royal Caribbean and all they can say is sorry but having done many Royal Caribbean cruises there was just so much wrong with this one and just saying sorry does not quite cut it. One lady I spoke to in Miami said that this cruise was "culturally enriched"her words,and that this is in their description in the brochures and we were sold this cruise as a "miscommunication from the travel agent" again her words, we have spoken to both our travel agent and also others and no one has ever heard of this before.and it is certainly not in any of the brochures. I would advise anyone cruising to the Far East to check this out. We have just had such awful treatment from this Company since our return which is so sad as the previous cruises were such wonderful experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose this cruisebas wanted to experience Asian ports. Have experienced different cruise lines all being very good but Royal Caribbean on this cruise completely dropped their standard and did not cater for the Australian passengers at all. ... Read More
Chose this cruisebas wanted to experience Asian ports. Have experienced different cruise lines all being very good but Royal Caribbean on this cruise completely dropped their standard and did not cater for the Australian passengers at all. Boarding of ship was a shambles. Understaffed and with little direction. The food on board was all aimed at the large contingent of Asian passengers . No consideration was given to the Australian and other international travellers. The usual wide variety of international dishes was not provided. Food was repetitive and bland. even in the dining rooms.. I was amazed that Royal Caribbean did not enforce their own rules when they allowed Asian passengers to smoke in non smoking areas. It was difficult to enjoy shows with Asian guests talking and showing very little respect for performers and fellow passengers. People pushing and squashing into lifts was dangerous and not needed. I was aware that many of the Australian passengers went and complained about the sub standard cruise that they were experiencing. I would prefer to travel on smaller ships then Ovation of the Sea. Yes big but was over crowded and definitely could not cater for crowds in the buffet area. Staff were excellent, cabins fine. Beware of booking Royal Caribbean cruises from Asian ports . We found that by being a minority we were not catered for at all. Many of the Australian passengers that we spoke with were very unhappy about this cruise. It was a shocker. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but ... Read More
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but it's below any cruise line standards as well. This was beyond low quality, it's border line with a lack of respect for the passengers, I could not even relate the food to a dollar general type of cruise line, because in those cruise lines I recall having better food than here. The venue is big with lots of buffets but don't let it fool you: they are all repeated, almost no variety, they all have mostly the same. The quality was the worst I've ever tried (see the pic I've attached of what it was supposed to be chicken soup). They only offered 2 kinds of totally overcooked pasta during a 12 night cruise with the cheapest and more common sauces ever (cream sauce and tomato sauce. I've never saw a true pesto sauce or any of the hundreds sauces available for pasta). This remind me more of a college cafeteria than being on a cruise. The food was ALWAYS cold. The rice was so overcooked that seemed mashed potatoes, the "steaks"....that was the fun part. It was hard to figure out if it was steak or slices of a cold cut. It was funny when the chef would ask you "how would you like your steak, rare, medium or well done Madam?". There's no way to choose in a 1/8 of an inch slice of beef!. We went to the assigned restaurants, chef's table which is supposed to be of a higher standard and we also went to the specialties restaurants and they were all so but so disappointing!!!!!!!! everybody on the ship commented on this . I've complained during the trip, I got to talk to someone that was supposed to be the restaurant manager around day 5 but nothing happened. On the last day of the trip I complained again, the girl at the front desk called the manager and he was busy but he was supposed to reach out to me at some point during the evening which never happened. In regards to the shore excursions...we have arranged a lot of private tours for our different stops and then we've realized (thanks to other passengers because the information was kind of difficult to find around and if you don't stuck in your room watching the videos forget it), that RCCL had arranged disembarkation/check out times at the ports according to our decks (no reason explained) and by the time we were supposed to be out it was gonna be 12.50 pm plus immigration time, would have taken out around 1.30 or 2.00 pm!!!!!! BUT we were supposed to be back to the ship around 7.00pm and the trip to the center of the city from the port took around 2 hours each way...so tell me how on earth could we make it? we needed to cancel our pre-arranged tours and book with RCCL because if we did that, we would be granted earlier check out on ports....such a scam I have never expected this from RCCL. The worst thing, on top of that, was that the shore excursions they offered were terrible, I believe they chose the worst and cheapest suppliers in every port without even screening them. In one of the cities we stopped at, the "guide" didn't even know that some palaces were closed on Tuesdays (the day we stopped there). We let her know and she said "oh I never heard that, if you want to go let me know and I will check if it's open or not". Last, but not least, I'd like to mention that it's unacceptable that such a huge ship with over 5000 passengers don't have at least band aids, Advil and Pepto Bismol or those basic OTC meds for sale. I don't expect a boutique type of drugstore, but at least the very basic ones considering it's a long trip with terrible food. All cruise lines I've been to sell these. I've been told band aids could be requested from the front desk, but due to the bad experience of all passengers, you'd have waiting lines of at least an hour regardless of the time of the day. Who would want to wait an hour to ask for a band aid??? This is another thing I find totally abnormal, seeing people complaining all the time and standing for hours in the line. We have another cruise booked with RCCL for December but after this experience we're considering to cancel it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Thought it would be an exciting cruise and brought along 21 family members. Ship was relatively new and food was okay. We all spent big bucks on rooms with balconies and one of us had a birthday and all royal caribbean did was left a ... Read More
Thought it would be an exciting cruise and brought along 21 family members. Ship was relatively new and food was okay. We all spent big bucks on rooms with balconies and one of us had a birthday and all royal caribbean did was left a really tiny birthday card in the room, so tiny it almost got discarded as waste paper! Such was the generosity and extent of so called excellent customer service. We will never go on any royal caribbean ships anymore ever. worst experience and really boring. do not recommend cruising on this ship , the only decent activity was meal time even that you have to wait for tables. The pools were for looks only and small , cannot accomodate more than 10 at one time or chances are you will bump into each other. Cruise really did not offer much. such disappointment. Wish i could have my money back!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
By far the worst cruise I have been on. Finding a table and a place to eat is a battle . I even prefer to be working home than being on holiday on this ship . Too many people . The crew is overwhelmed. Food is poor. ... Read More
By far the worst cruise I have been on. Finding a table and a place to eat is a battle . I even prefer to be working home than being on holiday on this ship . Too many people . The crew is overwhelmed. Food is poor. Entertainment is not very good. Decoration looks cheap .Guest service is overcrowded. Each thing you want to do on the ship implies a battle and a queue. And a credit card. Service is poor. Every thing on board is made to make you spend more money . This is definitely the last time I have having a cruise with this company. I have cruising in Asia a lot of times ans this my worst experience by all mean. I would have preferred to stay home if I had known the truth about this boat . I have been cruising for thirty years and this is my worst cruise. So believe me ,better not using this ship . Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
By far this was the WORST ASIA CRUISE WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE (RCCL) my family & I have gone on! If you're planning to go on this ship - OVATION OF THE SEAS, I would HIGHLY recommend you to reconsider or CANCEL your ... Read More
By far this was the WORST ASIA CRUISE WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE LINE (RCCL) my family & I have gone on! If you're planning to go on this ship - OVATION OF THE SEAS, I would HIGHLY recommend you to reconsider or CANCEL your reservation! We felt like we were guinea pigs for this brand new ship! We've cruised over 15 cruises with RCCL(yes...this was NOT our first cruise with RCCL), Celebrity, Princess, Crystal & Norwegian Cruise Lines. We have NEVER had any issues/complaints with the other 15+ cruises we have gone on. The crew on this ship, OVATION OF THE SEAS - RCCL were the most rude, undertrained, least helpful, not knowledgeable and least experienced employees! It's obvious that RCCL rushed in sailing this brand new ship ASAP after spending several millions of dollars in building this beautiful cruise ship & filled it with the WORST crew & employees & worst customer service staff! We purchased our cruise, transportation, airfare, & RCCL Travel Protection Program all through our 3rd party travel agency, From day one, this cruise was a horrible experience for our family - group of 7 cruise passengers. The transportation crew that met us at the Singapore airport, made us miss our embarkation to the ship because they had to wait for over 1 hour for 2 other cruise passengers that were late (and never showed up) despite the fact we had TWO large vans & TWO drivers! Thank goodness we purchased the RCCL Travel Protection Program....RCCL had to place us at the Swissotel hotel in Singapore & rebook our 7 flights to Vietnam to catch the ship at the 2nd port to embark. Despite asking RCCL staff multiple times which foreign countries required visas (for USA citizens), & getting different answers each time, I was left to research everything on my own! By pure luck & chance, a fellow cruiser that had also missed the embarkation at Singapore with us found out we needed visas to enter Vietnam. RCCL Emergency Travel Team FAILED to relay this VERY important information to us & never assisted me in obtaining the Vietnam visas for my family! At this day & age of advanced computer systems, RCCL really need to improve on informing their passengers which countries require visas & other documents. We actually saw a few cruise passengers having to disembark this ship because they were not aware they needed visas for China!! Crazy!! The Swissotel staff were very knowledgeable & helpful in assisting me & my family to obtain our RUSH/URGENT Vietnam visas...not RCCL Emergency Travel Team! Every time I asked a question to a RCCL crew member, I kept getting 5 different answers to the SAME QUESTION I was asking!! What was also a HUGE disappointment was the food...it was AWFUL! The food was tasteless! They failed to season it with simple salt & pepper. Our previous experiences with most of the food in cruises have either been excellent or EXCEEDED our expectations! They had the same EXACT menu several nights in a row in several of the dining restaurants! The crew also CANCELLED ALL of my advanced online dinner reservations & despite being taken OFF the WAITLIST for the 8 PM dining time, we were actually then placed on a "CLASSIC 8 PM" dining time...only to find out on our first day on the ship we NEEDED reservations for ALL of the dinners! So what does the "CLASSIC 8 PM" dining category mean? From previous cruises, it meant our dinner will be ALWAYS at 8 PM at the main dining venue. Apparently, not so! RCCL never informed me in writing or on their website. By the time I discovered this was NOT the case, our preferred dining time were all booked & my 3 children missed several dinners because they were either falling asleep, or were actually sleeping at the dining table! To make things even worse, the crew also CANCELLED & RESCHEDULED WITHOUT OUR CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE our advanced online North Star booking, which we ended up MISSING the experience as a family! I've NEVER been so disappointed with RCCL!! We have cruised with RCCL multiple times in the past...their quality to focus on customer service, quality on excellent food services, & hiring knowledgeable staff have REALLY gone down!! At this point, I would look into other major luxury cruise lines before considering RCCL again! I complained to both RCCL (which I have NEVER complained in writing about any of my past vacation travels, cruises, etc) & I have NOT received a resolution or compensation for my horrible cruise experience! I was stressed out a week prior & throughout the entire cruise because I was SOOOOO FRUSTRATED with the online RCCL/ system & crew not being knowledgeable in assisting me in giving accurate information! I would rate this cruise as a 0/10! This is NOT what a cruise should be like! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas. I hope this review is helpful to other travellers planning their cruise on this ship. Embarkation in Singapore was a cluster fail, disorganized and inefficient. Even though we pre checked in, we ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas. I hope this review is helpful to other travellers planning their cruise on this ship. Embarkation in Singapore was a cluster fail, disorganized and inefficient. Even though we pre checked in, we still had several long lines to wait in and it took over an hour. Waiting area did not have good AC. You had to wait in sections based on your boarding time /color, some with sun coming through the glass and it was hot. Once in the waiting area there were no cafes or shops. On the ship it was very crowded getting to the elevators, most didn't seem to be operating. We gave up and carried our carry on bags up the stairs to our deck. Lifeboat drill was great, in A/C and no need to wear your life jacket. The decor and art work is very nice. The gym is also nice, one of the few bright spots on a ship with a very frustrating layout. The designer lost the plot somewhere. The sports area with bumper cars, skating, and basketball is indoors and air conditioned, takes up a couple decks in height. Maybe a dozen or so people use the area, catering to the basketball crowd. They would have been better served with some golf bays and racquet courts and double the amount of table sports. The arrangement wasted a lot of space on the boat that is much needed to spread out the over crowding. The room to get wristbands for the flow rider was the same as the iFly. The desk is extremely slow and you could easily wait an hour behind people making iFly reservations just to get a wristband for the flow rider. Then you wait in a long slow line for the flow rider. Really now, they have these grandiose activities that are not suited for large numbers of people and take up large areas that should have been better utilized. The activities take so much time per person that most people will either not be able to enjoy them or spend hours for one go at it. Food buffet areas are poorly laid out, and extremely crowded. This is a huge ship, and there are far too many people for how the food areas are designed. Total chaos in the Windjammer Marketplace - literally like a crowded marketplace. Though the food there is one of the better options for cafeteria style dining. Good selection and decent quality. The other alternate food areas have minimal selections. For breakfast go early to beat the masses. If you get back to the ship between 3 and 5:30 only the panini bar 270 is open. For dining, the four free main dining restaurants are supposed to take walkins and reservations. Don't believe it, you need a reservation or you could be waiting over an hour. Pro tip: book reservations weeks in advance. Anytime dining is only the buffets which are not always open. They don't tell you but those four complimentary restaurants basically have two sittings only, 6:30 and 8:30. We could only get into one of the four without waiting an hour. This almost forces you to go to the premium restaurants. Unfortunately we struggled to get reservations at both the ones you pay extra for, as well as the complimentary ones. They were all practically booked solid for the entire cruise. We had to scramble checking all the restaurants and if we found one with availability for a particular day, we had to take any time slot they might have left. Forget about trying to coordinate shows with your dinner time. Oh, and you don't know show schedules until the Cruise Compass comes the evening before. So if you decide to cancel a reservation to make the show tomorrow night, there is a $10 cancellation within 24 hours and a $10 no show fee. We had a lot of trouble with the reservation system. Dinner reservations we did not make would keep showing up on our calendar, and ones we had made were cancelled. The restaurants are hit and miss. One night the NY Sirloin was 1/3 gristle and fat, while another was a nice tenderloin. Even in Chops, one of 5 filets mingons our table ordered was half gristle and inedible. The other four were great. Silk was the worst and we never went back. The restaurants did a good job with variations in the menus. It was odd that when we did get into a restaurant, walkins were being turned away, yet the restaurant was half empty. My guess is they are severely under staffed and could only seat half the dining areas causing the reservation problems. On port days the only complimentary lunch restaurant open is the Windjammer buffet. There is a restaurant on board that only suite guests and Pinnacle members are allowed to use. We rarely saw anyone in there. I find this offensive on a ship of this type (it's not Crystal or Seaborn) that either doesn't have enough restaurant seats or staff to accommodate the over 4000 passengers on our sold out cruise. Forget the formal wear, there are no formal nights. The Grand restaurant is the formal restaurant, and you can dress up for the premier restaurants. But there are no nights where the whole ship dresses up. Good luck finding this information out from their Web site or on board. We wouldn't have wasted the extra luggage space on formal wear had we known. Dress codes were not enforced, a few people wore shorts to the formal restaurants. But then again, no where is this information being distributed - people that aren't accustomed to cruising just do not know. Unfortunately they did not keep children out of the Music Hall Bar area. They were allowed to play pool all evening so adults could not use the tables, which looked like they hadn't been brushed in ages, full of marks from the cues hitting the tables. And I have to mention the rude people who at lunch let one child run round and round their table laughing while the other one stood on her chair screaming. All the patrons were glaring at them, the parents were indifferent and the staff did nothing. Then there were the young children playing video games at high volume in the Schooner Bar disturbing the people trying to listen to the piano player. Ho Chi Minh port was a wasted stop. You port in Phu My two hours from Saigon, depending on traffic. There is nothing at the cruise terminal at all, it's a container port. You can't just grab a cab as they aren't allowed in the port area. Though you can walk outside to get one. This makes it difficult to go anywhere unless you're on a ship tour. If you planned a private tour you had to books weeks in advance so the tour company can get a permit and your passport info ahead of time for clearance. You spend most of your tour time on a bus, in traffic. During summer Saigon is miserably hot and humid. If you're prone to heat stroke take note, it's bad. Smaller ships can port closer, big ships get screwed. It would have been better to port at Vang Tao at the mouth of the Saigon river and spend the day there. One thing a bit unnerving were the local gill net boats coming right alongside and setting their nets. In this day and age you would think for security reasons there would be a buffer zone or some Harbor security. I'm sure most people clearly understand why. The sundry shop is tiny, 2/3 of it is cigarettes and alcohol. Bring what you need, because it's very slim pickings if you need toiletries, etc. The staterooms have bar soap and shampoo. No conditioner is provided or other amenities. If you drink bottled water Evian is the only choice. It's impossible to find a quiet space to read. Every area is an open design. The Two70 and library area has a cafe and bar. So there are always people eating, drinking and talking. Only a few games and no puzzles in the library. A lot of books though. Part of the time they are prepping equipment, doing sound checks and practicing for shows so the shades may be down so you no longer have ocean or port views. Very poor layout as it's one of the few places that had the potential to be a quiet zone to watch the water, relax and read. Don't watch the practices if you plan on seeing the shows. Spoils it. No, wait, you will want to watch the practices because there's a slim chance you can get a reservation. My wife is a dancer and really wanted to see the shows but finding out when they will be on is difficult. There is no cruise schedule and we found many times shows and events were listed on the Chinese version of the "Cruise Compass" and not the English one. More on that later. Most ships have a nice indoor observation deck to enjoy the cruise, read a book and have drinks - usually in the bow area on an upper deck. Instead there is an air conditioned pool area. Great for mid day sunning in a bathing suit. But they badly need a proper observation room. It just spoils the cruising experience. The classical musicians are in an open area bar with crowds walking by so you can't even enjoy a glass of wine and listen to them play with all the noise. For drinks, our group ordered different mixed drinks and signature cocktails at all the bars, and only the robot at the Bionic bar could make a proper drink. It was appalling watching the wrong ingredients being muddled or added and even wrong spirits. I swear one drink had a shot of bitters instead of a dash. Best bet is beer or wine, or the hard drinks straight up or with only one or two additions. After day four we gave up, sticking with beer, wine or the robot. They do have a nice selection of wines and most are at least four years old which was a pleasant surprise. But you have to watch as they will pour the wrong wine. As far as general information about the ship itself and tours, it's best to bring your own info from the Internet or RC website. This is by far the worst ship I have ever been on as far as a lack of general ship or port information. There is no ship map or card distributed. You have to use the posted directories, large wall mounted Ipads or their ship model display by the elevators to find out where everything is. You do not receive a port map or any daily port information you may be used to getting on other cruises. The TV information videos do not do a good job explaining things and are difficult to follow. The banter and constant interruptions of the main speaker by the cruise director is part of the issue. For example on the port info channel they said a particular port would have a shuttle into the local town, but when speaking to someone at the excursion desk we were told there wasn't one. The channel also said they could arrange private tours, then was told they could not provide that service. But later a different person was able to book a private tour. The TV which doubles as your information center kept locking up and needed rebooting - turning on and off doesn't reset, there is a reboot procedure. On that subject the WiFi service is glitchy and slow, and frequently goes out, which unfortunately is to be expected. Even though you'll spend a few hundred dollars for it. The RC app to make reservations and manage your trip info is poorly designed and still has issues. We made a reservation for one of the shows, and had to reschedule a dinner reservation to make the time. The day of the show, the reservation was on our calendar on the app and TV. When we went to the show we were turned away and told we had no reservation. Checking the app, our reservation had disappeared. We reported what happened, but there is speculation on board that certain passengers pay for favors - or reservations. And that since this ship is geared for Asia and is being heavily promoted when in Port, they are catering to a specific ethnic group granting special privileges. We're certain someone had changed our reservation for another night without our authorization. The same thing happened to others. And you cannot get into a show without a reservation. The venue is, surprise, far too small for the number of people on this ship even with multiple showings. The ship appears nice and it's new, but it is not a relaxing ship. Unless you like always being in large crowds and constantly bombarded by noise. More like a Carnival Cruise. The public areas are far too small for the amount of people on this ship. This was the ship's first full cruise, the previous ones were bringing it over and not full - keep that in mind while reading earlier reviews of the ship. Ours was a 12 day cruise and a couple people in our group were considering disembarking in Hong Kong, only 5 days in. Being a veteran of many cruises and cruise lines for over 30 years, every ship and route has pros and cons. You expect things don't always go smoothly, and I'm not picky, giving people the benefit of the doubt. With only a couple exceptions the crew and staff were great. But overall this was my worst cruise experience by far, I would never cruise on this ship again even if it was free. There was a lot of misinformation and confusion on port terminal locations, port services and transportation, and shore excursions. Guest services always had a long wait. This ship was obviously not ready for passengers and in my opinion severely understaffed with way too many passengers for the design. RC, what were you thinking? Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this ship as it was advertised as having all the exciting new features like indoor skydiving, bumper cars, etc. To our MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT, the moment we boarded the ship and tried to make on online reservations for ... Read More
We chose this ship as it was advertised as having all the exciting new features like indoor skydiving, bumper cars, etc. To our MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT, the moment we boarded the ship and tried to make on online reservations for skydiving, it was ALREADY FULL. How is this possible? Obviously, the ship is not equipped to handle the very capacity it advertises. Worse, they had a standby queue for people who wanted to try to queue for a slot in case someone who booked didn't turn up, I waited for one and a half hours in the hot sun, and the queue didn't even move ONE DAMN PERSON. To rub salt on our wounds, my almost 5 year old son had been looking forward to playing the bumper cars. Only after we have paid for the cruise and boarded the ship, did we find out that Royal Carribean has some totally inflexible rule, that the rider must be 5 years old TO THE DAY, before being allowed to ride. My son went home extremely disappointed. We feel misled, and cheated by Royal Carribbean. Don't advertise, if you are not transparent, UPFRONT, with guests, that they may not be able to enjoy certain activities due to your inability and poor planning, to accommodate every passenger. Don't even try to throw that famous sentence "It's on our website in the fine print" or some shit like that. We've had much better service and staff attitude on Mariner of the Seas. Luxury cruises are ALL about GUEST EXPERIENCE. We felt like refugees instead of a guest on a luxurious cruise, with many of the activities on a first-come-first-served basis. I stress again, BE TRANSPARENT. LET THE GUEST KNOW BEFORE THEY BOOK THE CRUISE WHETHER THE ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE OR NOT, so they can make an informed decision. To top it all off, Royal Carribbean gave the guests $200 credit per person, which me and my husband checked via their television when we were on board on the second day. We happily spent itt , only to return and realise there was a $100 charge back which they did on the third day. Royal Carribbean admitted it was a technical error on their part, but DID NOT take responsibility for their error and absorb the cost. So we had to pay up. Is this ethical? Guests trust your internal system, that's the whole point of being able to check via the television what's their existing credits. And worse, the team did not have the courtesy to inform us before doing the charge back. We feel completely disrespected. I won't even bother to go into details of how the food onboard was horrible ( the pasta station guy served me aglio olio pasta with NO GARLIC NO SALT!!!) Worse pasta I've tasted in my life. And a Serbian waitress at the SILK fine dining restaurant, walked away without even informing me, when she was waiting for me to make my decision on what to order. No point having a beautiful spanking new ship, that is infected with viruses of poor service, poor crowdhandling and planning of activities. No point positioning yourself as premium, and stinge on essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste (Yes guys, bring your own or be prepared to pay a lot for them). Our experience from the get-go, starting from delayed boarding which resulted in the crowd starving and rushing to the Windjammer cafe all at once, to not getting to use the services we thought we paid for and are included in the cruise, just makes the whole cruise SUCK BIG TIME. The only people who left a good impression on me were: My spa therapist from Vitality, who was very professional. And Hartley the Finance manager, who paid attention to our feedback and made us feel respected. But overall, the staff onboard tend to give us the vibe of "Oh too bad, that's just the way it is." If you want a luxurious cruise, AVOID OVATION OF THE SEAS. Staying at home eating instant noodles is a much more pampering experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Entertainment and Services -- Extremely poor management of on board activities. Signed up for this cruise to enjoy the much advertised front page banner activities such as iFLY and Northstar. But when i boarded the ship on departure day ... Read More
Entertainment and Services -- Extremely poor management of on board activities. Signed up for this cruise to enjoy the much advertised front page banner activities such as iFLY and Northstar. But when i boarded the ship on departure day was told that no more slots left. ALL had been fully booked before my scheduled boarding time. This is the same as buying a handphone but not being able to use the handphone to call after purchase. Very truly disappointed. And i was not alone too, many many other fellow cruise goers got the same experience as they could not enjoy such activities as well. Service -- On day 1, I personally queued to talk to guest services to check my on board credits. Was told it was US$200 per person. Went back to stateroom to check the TV to double confirm and indeed i was US$200 per person. Only reason i did this was i did not bring my paperwork to cruise and hence relied on the Royal Carribean system to tell me how much credits I had. Believe a reasonable man would have done the same and a reasonable person would have relied on the same as well as the system is live and cant go wrong and its Royal Carribean's system after all. As such i budgeted my cruise around the allocated credits. ONLY on day 3 in the late evening, the day before the end of the 4 day cruise did i find out MYSELF that US$100 credit were taken back from me citing system error. I was totally shocked. Queued an hour at front desk to ask what is going on and they said sorry no choice you have to pay up. I thought at least since it was Royal Carribean OVATION OF THE SEAS's mistake they would waive this or at the very LEAST offer a 50% waiver but they said none will be given at all. So ends up i have to pay for their mistake. Not sure what kind of service is this. Can only conclude that Royal Carribean comes first before its cruise goers. Totally bad experience. And i was not the only one experiencing this. Happened to many on board. With the above not sure if this is the right strategy for royal carribean given its strategy is to expand its presence in Asia. I note that Asia travellers account for more than 10% of total yearly cruise goers. This number has grown by a CAGR of ~20+% over 2011 to 2015. Dont think will travel anymore with Royal Carribean. Absolutely disappointing.... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This cruise did not deliver what was promised. The star attractions (i.e. North Star and iFly) were fully booked by the time we boarded. There was no transparent reservations system notified to us before boarding. To quote guest services: ... Read More
This cruise did not deliver what was promised. The star attractions (i.e. North Star and iFly) were fully booked by the time we boarded. There was no transparent reservations system notified to us before boarding. To quote guest services: only 10% of the guests onboard will have their turn on these attractions. This was not mentioned in the advertisements. We were misrepresented by the advertisements. We had booked this cruise precisely for these attractions. This cruise also misrepresented to us the amount of onboard credits we had when we called and then later enquired personally at the guest services counter. We were told on day 1 we each had $200 to spend. We budgeted our cruise accordingly only to find out on day 3 that they had deducted $100 from our onboard credit balance. When we enquired about this deduction, we were told we were overpaid onboard credits due to a system error and now we had to pay the $100 we had spent. To top it off, the staff told us we should have known from our travel documents the correct amount i.e. we should have verified what was presented to us on their system and spotted their system error. This attitude is shocking. We are on holiday. We booked this cruise many months ago. I do not think it is wrong for us to rely on the system to tell us the correct onboard credits to us. And if the system made an error, I fail to understand why the guests have to pay up after having budgeted their cruise spend based on what was presented to them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I wrote a review on Ovation of the Seas at the end of the inaugural Singapore-Beijing route in June. On that occasion it was already a less than impressive cruise compared to Quantum of the Seas from Singapore to Shanghai in June a year ... Read More
I wrote a review on Ovation of the Seas at the end of the inaugural Singapore-Beijing route in June. On that occasion it was already a less than impressive cruise compared to Quantum of the Seas from Singapore to Shanghai in June a year before. My wife and I saw the opportunity to sail on her again only this time it was a round trip from Hong Kong to Japan and Korea and back from November 4th to November 13th. Based on previous cruises I highly recommended this one to my close friends and four couples chose to come along. I am compelled to write this review as I felt entirely responsible for them to have listened to me and came away with an appalling experience. Where do I begin... The Booking: acting on behalf on my group I asked immediately for suite accommodation when it was first advertised four months ago and I was informed by my TA that I had to wait for confirmation from the Shanghai HO. Incredibly, three months checking with my TA he told me Shanghai was not responding . Worry there might not be any staterooms left I had no choice but opted for four balcony staterooms three weeks before sailing. On-board check-ins came through just four days remaining I quickly logged on to the Cruise Planner to book dinner seatings in the complimentary restaurants, the shows, iFly, North Star etc. At the website complimentary dinner seating was locked out as I was told the Shanghai outfit unlike its predecessor did not believe in pre-bookings but rather have passengers cramping in long queues outside the four restaurants at dinner hours. The lines (three-deep at times) was frustrating. This was in complete contrast to the relaxed system at earlier sailings. The Food: well used to proper menus and smooth seating arrangements as previous time, the "menu" was a one-page printout itemizing only a handful of familiar items from previous restaurant menus and a ubiquitous section catered by a Hong Kong restaurant (four choices only). Needless to say, the food and the rushed service left a lot to be desired. The Solarium on Deck 14 now only operates entirely as a Hot Pot eatery for both lunch and dinner, costing $34 per head (gratuity included) and no surprise that place saw only a few tables of paying customers. Elsewhere other reviews have commented on how far the Windjammer has deteriorated but safe to say more passengers have learnt to give up their seats after completing their meals given there was nothing interesting to try Specialty Restaurants: Issumi was a total disaster while the standard at Jamie's had dropped. Wonderland with its unchanged menu had lost its charm and mystique with only Chops managed to hold its place. The Shows: perhaps it is the depressing mood of the whole ship generating a lack of passion for the entertainers, none of the shows was really up to par except for the Funny Bones duo despite identical routines. Shore Excursion: RCL is famous for its rip-off excursions and no surprise the tours for Japan and Korea were managed by totally incompetent guides showing zero knowledge on the places visited. . Picture this: at least two thousand passengers were forced to stand in pouring rain trying to board two hours before sailing at the Kochi port. No explanation or apologies were extended by the ship management, so typical of RCL in Asia. Conclusion: This will be the last time I will be cruising on a RCL vessel in Asia and if Shanghai HO thinks passengers in the rest of Asia enjoys being herded like sheep, think again as other cruise lines are coming over to Asia to tap this lucative market. Read Less
Sail Date June 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 4.0
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 3.9
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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