58 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the Ship as we have always wanted to sail out of beautiful Sydney Harbour and back in again. The destination wasn't as important as the Ship but we did enjoy New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Ship as we have always wanted to sail out of beautiful Sydney Harbour and back in again. The destination wasn't as important as the Ship but we did enjoy New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent - enough port days and enough seas days over the 12 nights. Embarkation was extremely well done - 30 minutes from stepping out of our car with our bags and sitting on Deck 14 sipping a cocktails Disembarking was equally well executed - we left after our nominated time of 8am by 30 minutes and we were off the ship with our bags through Customs in 10 minutes. The best I have ever experienced! We chose the Ultimate Dining Package and it was well worth every cent. We dined frequently for lunch and dinner at all the specialty restaurants except for Amber and Gold. Our favourite was Jamie's Kitchen for dinner and Izume for lunch - however Wonderland was a fabulous experience and Chops Grille always maintained a high standard. We also dined at Chic one evening, Solarium Bistro (deck 14) twice and Fish & Chips one lunch time. I personally loved having all the various options for dining as it made our cruise very special and certainly not repetitive when it came to dining. Our favourite bar was Vintages but we did enjoy Boleros when the Caribbean band was playing and also Two70 of an afternoon. We did get to Pixels Show (brilliant) and were treated to a fabulous concert in Two70 with The Beatles Celebration band one evening. They did an excellent performance of the Beatles songs between 1962-1967 and even went so far as to speak and play like the lovable Liverpool lads! We didn't go to the Casino or the other 2 shows but I believed those who did enjoyed themselves. My only wish was that there were more seats next to windows to look out at the water while spending days at sea. Mainly did this by heading up to the Solarium (adults only) area or Two70 as the bars were mainly internal. I am just one of those cruisers that enjoy sitting looking at the water but it is really not a complaint. The cleanliness of this ship and the friendliness of the staff goes above and beyond one's expectation. Every staff member we met throughout our cruise was extremely helpful, smiling and kind. Our stateroom was spotless and the ship was constantly gleaming inside and out on the decks. I did however on arrival to our Stateroom follow the 12 guides to santizing our room which I downloaded from google and happy to say we got off board without a sniffle or any signs of a potential C Virus. Everyone I saw on-board was extremely diligent in washing their hands or using the santizers that were placed everywhere for everyone's use. We also carried our own small hand sanitizer gel and hand wipes. No masks were required and I don't recall seeing many people using them on board. We enjoyed room service every morning for breakfast and found their service very reliable and efficient. I loved the fact that we could make our own tea in our room but I also brought my Campos AeroPress portable coffee maker with my own Campos coffee. Being a lover of coffee it was definitely worth the $59 purchase online and will take it with me again. Having your own kettle in the Stateroom is a great idea! Wish more cruise liners did this for their guests. This cruise had only 4200 (approx) guests based on the Captains welcome talk to us all on the first night (700 less than its full capacity) and as this is the largest ship we have been on I was curious to see how it would fee living in a small city with this number of travellers. Happy to say we never felt overwhelmed or delayed in getting on or off at ports or into the Ship's restaurants or entertainment areas. We enjoyed "the eye" on day in Auckland and only had to wait 30 minutes which seem to go relatively quickly. We opted for the 4-7pm slot and it was most enjoyable. We didn't experience Seaplex area but anyone young at heart should endeavour to do the dodgems when they are on the Compass daily itinerary. All in all this was a great cruise for us and we enjoyed all that Ovations of Seas had to offer - would definitely recommend this Ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised many times on alot of different cruise lines but Ovation is the largest ship we have cruised on. Ovation of the Seas has been our bucket ship and it didn't disappoint. No waiting in line to embark, disembark, ... Read More
We have cruised many times on alot of different cruise lines but Ovation is the largest ship we have cruised on. Ovation of the Seas has been our bucket ship and it didn't disappoint. No waiting in line to embark, disembark, buffet or for the tenders in port. We had a virtual balcony cabin which was a good size and very quiet. We loved all the toys that were included, flowrider, Ifly, North Star & bumper cars. The best gym facilities at sea. Best production shows we have seen at sea. The adults only area was lovely. Only thing we feel let the cruise down was the food in the MDR and waiting staff could have been improved on. We found the ship very easy to get around and didn't get lost at all. Beautiful art work all around the ship. Looking forward to cruising on Ovation of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner ... Read More
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner and my-self. The queen bed was very comfortable, TV size was great that sits on the wall in front of the bed, a couch to sit on, good size balcony with the lounge chairs. The bathroom was a little bit small and tight, the shower was a great size but the size of the bathroom didn't bother us as much. The housekeeping team had always ensured the tidiness of our room which is great, the only thing that lacked a little was that they only made the beds and picked up the dirty towels and replaced with new ones, they did not vacuum the room unless need-be and they don't wipe after tables or pick up dirt off the couch. I had to call in the housekeeping service to make the special request to vacuum the floor and the couch as there were sand from our Island ports. Otherwise they did a great job with the cleanliness of the room. The ship it-self is a huge ship, we were on the starboard aft side so it was a bit of a walk going here and there which we didn't mind at all as we enjoy exploring the ship. There were a lot of different dining venues, activities, bars, shops, chill out areas, pools, theatres, you name it! this ship has everything. With the activities, they have the north star capsule, rip cord by ifly, flowrider surfing simulator - these things needed to be booked prior, as soon as itinerary details come out. We had not known about booking these through the app until we got onboard when the staff were explaining about this feature. We unfortunately had missed out on the rip cord and flowrider because when we wanted to book it through the app, everything had been booked out and that it was only a matter of lining up for the hours where reservations weren't required. We hadn't booked the North Star either as it was fully booked and came to find that there were so many people who are going on the ride twice or even more as they had booked themselves a few times. This is where Royal Caribbean need to limit guests to 1-2 rides per the cruise as it isn't fair to those that didn't get to try on the activity. My partner and I had to line up for over an hour during the no reservations hour that they offered this activity, whilst others had already gone on it 4 times which was not fair at all. The pool areas were pretty good but for a big ship, I found that it needed some improvements. Both main pool areas are constantly infested with kids and teenagers and it's difficult for the adults and elderly to want to have a swim or relaxation other than in the solarium, but the solarium is only about sitting around and not much of a swim, I found there were a fair bit of kids in the solarium still running about. I thought this needed some kind of an improvement to limit one pool area to children only and others to those over 18. The water park was also lacking as this catered for children under 12 only. There weren't much of any slides for older guests like carnival cruises offer, being a big ship I felt that this one should have catered more activities for water parks. The food on this ship was excellent, couldn't find any faults except for the dry bacons in the mornings but otherwise it's really good. I went on the P&O before and the food was horrible, this cruise line had definitely topped them and I enjoyed every bit of food that I had on board, it was great. The customer service from the windjammer market place and the main dining areas were excellent, couldn't find any faults as they were very attentive and very friendly, always met your needs. The downside for overseas passengers are that this ship charges with $USD, the conversion with their currency can be very pricey. $8 bionic bar drink meant almost $15 in $AUD each which is quite costly. My partner and I took out the deluxe beverage package with all inclusive except for alcohol, it was $35pp/day, quite pricey but if you think about it, they charge $8 USD per drink and by the time you get yourself a juice, a coffee, a milkshake, glass of coke, you'll be paying more than $35 anyway. The $35pp/day we paid via their website and in $AUD, do not pay this package on the cruise as they will charge in $USD, pay prior to boarding online. Shops are pretty good as there were a range of variety, still pricey but catered to passenger's needs and wants. Ports were Noumea - New Caledonia, Mystery Island - Vanuatu & Auckland - NZ. These ports were great. Noumea is the most expensive place I've ever been to in my entire life. 2 plates of burgers and chips with 2 drinks costed $80AUD later, a 1 hour jet ski ride costs $270AUD (which we did not pay for because it was way too expensive). We couldn't justify why this was. We ended up getting the hop on/hop off $10 tour to take us around town and had a swim at the beach. Mystery Island was amazing, loved every bit of the island and the people were friendly. Amazing grilled fish, wonderful massage, great atmosphere, cleanest beach. Auckland was also terrific, we went on the quad bike rides ($400pp later). It was surreal. The experience was amazing and the scenic tours were beautiful, went through the farm, the bush, the mountains, the beach, it was great. I highly recommend this Ovation of the Seas, I had a fantastic time. Please don't hesitate to message me if you need anymore specific information about my experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Well to start with too many people not enough shops, lines to get on the dodgem cars and the free flying we couldn't even use.it was totally booked out.the food was good. The desserts not. Joffe the mc was funny, but gave out wrong ... Read More
Well to start with too many people not enough shops, lines to get on the dodgem cars and the free flying we couldn't even use.it was totally booked out.the food was good. The desserts not. Joffe the mc was funny, but gave out wrong times to get to eg.breakfast on the last day as he announced it will open at 5 a.m. so we get there at 5 a.m. and there's a sign saying 6:30 opens fantastic. Found when we were freezing when on the tender, when we asked the officer to pleaze shut the plastic doors a flat no was given.but the nice crew member pulled it at least more than half way for us.very disorganised when it came to getting events right.the popular bar near the photo shop should have more setting and made bigger as whenever we went it was always full.found the Romania girl in the guess shop,sour and not happy at all. The only person on the shop that helped everyone and was very customer focused was the Canadian lady Cassandra she was fantastic. When I asked one of the crew members at the pursers office who was Caribbean or Jamaican he was in an officers dark blue suit but I didn't take note of his name for some help didn't want to help virtually Shrugged me away and had the attitude, don't ask me. very bad customer service that one. The crew members in the dining were wonderful they are always happy and bubbly but the thing that annoyed me was they wouldn't stop asking you consistently how the food was, you were consistently bothered while you're trying to have dinner at the dining table.I had to talk to my partner all the time so that the head maitre d wouldn't bother us. and asking us at least three times in a row on three nights in a row if we wanted to buy a 5 course meal it was ridiculous we told them already no. and being asked every single night to buy the dinners, as on the menu there are free dinners but there's also dinners that you can purchase we had to consistently say no that we don't want to do that I never found this on any of the P&O cruise ships because we like fine dining and never had that problem .Also with the cruise I had an incident that happened to me when I was in the theatre on our 3rd last night. I was hit on the head by a person behind me because he wasn't happy that I was taking shots with my phone and as you're allowed to take photos with your iPhone there's no reason for him to strike me which I put in incident report and don't even know what happened after that it was like 3 days to go on the cruise and believe you me it took away everything from even attending to any theatres or anywhere I didn't feel safe the crew members did not come to find out about me to see if I was ok I was actually traumatised by that. As it's a salt it's abuse and this person should have been removed and put in the brig for what he did. There was no feedback to me on what he had said and why he did this but I reported this because I was worried that he would do this to someone else he also screamed at me by telling me to put my phone down were there was a lady next to me and her husband was scared and made her put her phone down I couldn't sit in my chair after that so I said to her no I'm not taking this I'm going to report him but they did not get back to me with his name nothing nothing was given to me and there was no apology written at all I wasn't given the option to follow this up as they did not come to my cabin to see if I was ok, on top of that we were all traumatised by The White Island incident which the captain did not even let us know any information hardly anything was said so we had to go to our cabin to find out all the issues with this from Sky News they told us everything. There was no service on board for any of the people that died and of course we didn't go to Dunedin or the sounds which as being a very expensive cruise we were only given back compensation of $100 each some people only got $30 back in Australian currency the other thing I found everything was in American currency and when you take your 35% off for example your bags guess you gotta add 30% on with the Australian dollars. And being not leather I can actually get cheaper in Australia when I go to the sales and buy leather so I didn't buy any of the goods. Some of the staff didn't want to help u with this. With being the majority of people on this cruise were all Australian as they did say there was only 395 Americans on board I can't remember how many Chinese or others' minority was on board but if it's going to be based in Australia they should start to think about the Australian currency. The lifts were a nightmare you found that majority of the time you had to wait so long for the lift to come so we actually use the stairs a lot especially running down as we were on the 12th floor. Also we weren't given any information of what was going to be on the criteria for certain nights as we only found out when we were on there that there was a Hawaiian night I actually rang the cruise line before we sailed they told me there was going to be a white night but there wasn't but they didn't tell me that there was going to be a Hawaiian night which there was so heads up on that also I've cruised all my life I've done at least 30 cruises and can I say this was the worst cruise I've ever been on and won't be going back on ovation of the Seas at all very disappointed with the treatment the organisation the non supportiveness of me with an incident such as being hit on my head by somebody that I don't even know, who does that very dangerous and very unacceptable, he should have been put in the brig shows me that this person has violent Tendencies that's for sure if he has the guts to do that to a woman that he doesn't even know while she's sitting in the chair in front of him he also waited for my partner to leave before he did that as my partner left to go and get seating in another venue as you had to get there early to get seats as there's 5000 people on this cruise at this time very very disappointed also we found that with the announcements of what the chefs where cooking as they made a cake for the last night they announced it was a cheesecake massive cake but no it wasn't it was a sponge and butter cream cake quite funny actually but these are things that happened consistently. the only best desserts that we had was the ones that we bought from a coffee shop on the promenade deck. There is a part of the ship which you won't hear the announcements by the way it is the solarium area. We called that the quiet zone so you didn't have anybody in there under the age of 18. I also found that the toilet doors near the theatre the show areas they wouldn't lock so used to just go to one toilet as was the only one that had a lock that worked that was a bit funny as well for such an incredible ship I thought it was refurbished but looks like they missed the door handles on the toilets in the public areas. We were told that we would get a survey to fill in it's been a month and we still haven't received one this is why I'm writting it here. No matter what, if you choose to go on this ship good luck as I've given you a heads up,we certainly won't be going back on it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This holiday took a great deal of difficulty to put together due to my mobility, getting from Perth to Sydney etc. We had travelled with Royal Caribbean before and on this ship but never before on any ship, and we have been on 11 cruises, ... Read More
This holiday took a great deal of difficulty to put together due to my mobility, getting from Perth to Sydney etc. We had travelled with Royal Caribbean before and on this ship but never before on any ship, and we have been on 11 cruises, have we had trouble sleeping because of noisy neighbours. We thought that on the first night when our neighbours came in at 3.30 ish making a great deal of noise that it would be a one off but no. It happened every night. Everyone said that we were too nice not complaining about it sooner but we didn't want the aggravation. After 5 nights we did complain and were moved to another cabin which allowed us at least a good nights sleep. Royal Caribbean offered us compensation for our inconvenience as they call it. The offer was a percentage of this cruise cost off our next cruise with them. It was the worst holiday we have ever had. Would we ever travel with them again, I very much doubt it. We had cruised with Royal Caribbean before and thought they were ideal for what we required. As well as our noisy neighbours there were many drunken teenagers on board many who seemed very young. I would go as far as to say underage for drinking. I thought that people under 18 were not supposed to be served alcohol. Is it that the drinks packages are not monitored and underaged people are allowed to have them? Is this the cause of the diobolical behaviour? There were small children crawling about on the dance floor. Very dangerous. Where were the security staff to stop such things? We hear that 3 boys were put off the ship in Noumea for being drunk and urinating off their balcony. Also that 2 families were locked in their cabin for fighting and put off at Auckland. We were also faced with a drunken yob in the theatre at 20.00hrs as drunk as a lord shouting out to the artist from the back of the auditorium. Again no security. It was all such a shame as the staff were good and the food and service in the restaurants was excellent. Unfortunately as we had been on this ship just a few months earlier we had experienced most of the shows before although they were very good. Our feeling is, big ships, more people doesn't add up to a cosy, friendly cruise. We have complained since to Royal Caribbean but have not had a satisfactory answer, hence the delay in putting in this review. This is surprising as until now this was our cruise line of choice because they seemed to respect the feelings and complaints of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had heard fabulous things about this cruise line so we’re keen to experience it. We have travelled on two other cruise lines- Carnival and Holland America. So we aren’t inexperienced cruisers. We had also heard how beautiful the ... Read More
We had heard fabulous things about this cruise line so we’re keen to experience it. We have travelled on two other cruise lines- Carnival and Holland America. So we aren’t inexperienced cruisers. We had also heard how beautiful the cruise to this part of New Zealand is and were looking forward to the trip. On departure day we received a text to say the ship had arrived late so our embarkation time had changed. There were long lines to board the ship as a result. It was not clearly indicated where to drop your bag. The process to board was long but moved fairly well. You weren’t allowed into your cabin before 2pm. Many people were already on board enjoying their drinking package! The ship itself is very large. At times you have a lengthy wait for a lift and they are full. Of course you can use the stairs. The main dining area prefers you to book every night. Actually you need to book at all the restaurants. In terms of the drinking package each guest has to buy the same package so if you buy the deluxe package and your partner doesn’t drink alcohol too bad they have to buy it also. For the package to be of value you have to consume a lot of alcohol every day. There is no wine package. We did however purchase the coffee / tea package which was great. We found the food on board to be disappointing. We ate in Windjammer, main dining room, Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grille. Jamie’s Italian and Chops Grille were fantastic. Excellent food and service. Would recommend purchasing the specialty dining package as it reperesents good value for money. Entertainment was disappointing except for an INXS cover band who were fantastic. Get to the entertainment in plenty of time otherwise you won’t get a seat due to the number of guests. Can’t really comment on the pool area as it was too cold to use the one and only outdoor pool. There are 2 indoor pools, one being for adults only. This are was nice but seats are reserved early with no one using them. If the cruise had of been to the South Pacific then the main pool area would be too small for so many guests. Disembarkation is a nightmare! Lots of guests were getting very cranky the day we left. Very disorganised. Communication was poor Our cabin was a balcony cabin. They are quite long but not wide. Plenty of storage space and the bed was comfortable. We had very rough seas on the way to NZ and our door way to the balcony squeaked all night on our first night. We did get that fixed the next day and everything was fine after that. In terms of the ports we didn’t make it into Dunedin. The fiords are stunning. In Wellington we wasted half the day waiting to get off the ship for our tour. We would’ve preferred to hop off and have a look around and then do our shore excursion. Picton is fabulous- take the time to walk around the town and if you get the chance do the wine trip to Marlborough. I’d definitely go back to New Zealand but would do a self drive trip. In terms of Royal Caribbean I won’t cruise with them again. There were too many boxes not ticked especially when compared to the other lines we’ve travelled with eg Food is better in Carnival & Holland America, Entertainment better in Carnival. Getting in and off the ship is better on both the other lines also. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and ... Read More
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and the North Star along with pre-booking our night to see Pixels and the Escape Room. I drafted a calendar of events, activities, and dinner times and places we wanted to do from prior cruise compasses with lots of time to add more while on the ship. Months prior to cruising, I signed us up for the Meet and Mingle Roll Call, and participated on the review boards for our particular cruise and met many nice and funny people. This is a great way to meet others prior to sailing. Thursday: Seattle, Washington - We flew into Seattle a day before the cruise and arrived early and dropped our bags off at "The State Hotel" just steps away from Pike Place Market. It was our first stop and we watched the fishing sailing through the air. The booths are endless - we saw crab legs as long as our arms, an abundance of flowers and many local crafts. Prior to returning to our hotel, we enjoyed dinner at "Pike Place Bar & Grill." The Steamed Manilla Clams and the Cod Fish and Chips dinner were delicious. Best fresh cod ever! Embarkation and Day of Sailing - Seattle, Washington: Due to the time change and going to bed early, my husband and I had morning coffee at the "The State Hotel" and explore more of the area. Our Lyft picked us up at the hotel and we arrived at the ship minutes later at the Port terminal (before 10:00 a.m.). As I was a disabled veteran he made sure we were dropped off close to the entry doors - the cost $16. Upon showing our Sea Passes - we were quickly ushered in the line for "Key" members and sat in the area to await a wheelchair for me. Time quickly flew and before we knew it - the activity director took us aboard the largest ship we have ever seen. This was the fastest and easiest embarkation we have ever experienced. Ovation of the Seas - She is a very beautiful ship with plenty to do and see. It would take weeks to accomplish all on her. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on the 11th floor - 11180. Knowing it would not be ready until 1:00 p.m.; we went to Guest Relations and purchased the Wow Bands for $4.99. These bands are surely worth it as I used it often for unlocking our cabin door throughout the cruise saving time for searching for my Sea Pass which I left often in the light switch. Not only did Glen, our room attendant, kept our cabin neat and clean each day, he left multiple towel animals for us to enjoy. I took Traveler's Ginger Candy (Gin Gin Company) with me and only had to savor two of them during the cruise. I share most of the bag with others who were experiencing seasickness even wearing the patch. Friday: Day 1 - At noon, we went to the Main Dining to eat with other Key Members and enjoyed a Chops Grille luncheon. Hubby had the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail, Everything Crusted Tuna and the New York Cheesecake. I had the Caesars Salad with their signature dressing, Petite Filet Mignon with three dipping sauces and the New York Cheesecake. This meal was scrumptious! After eating lunch, we explore the ship unto our way to the cabin. The large towel I pre-purchased was in the room, but the Polar Bear Alaska Blanket for two was missing. I spoke to the attendant and he did not know if one could be found. This was distressing for me, as I had purchased it months ago. A few days later the Deck Supervisor found a brand new blanket and gave it to me - it surely made my day that the personnel on the ship took extra lengths to ensure our cruise would be delightful. We saw our Key envelopes and entered our passwords for the VOOM and notice that we had a letter stating our special departure times for each port. Our next stop was at the Sky Bar where we met our Cruisers from our Roll Call. It was great seeing who I had been conversing with online prior to sailing. Muster was at 3:15 and we made our way down to the Schooner Bar. Go a tad bit early for Muster to obtain a seat. Muster went flawlessly. At 6:00 p.m. while hubby was relaxing and watching out our balcony, I went to see and purchase the Alaska Survival Kit. Many store vendors had their selections out and I was able to purchase gifts for our kids. I preselected our "My Time Dining" for 7:00 p.m. and we went to eat at the Silk. This dinner was disappointing after having a fantastic luncheon with Chops Grille. Although we were seated quickly, it took a while to take our orders. Hubby and I ordered the Escargot that was swimming in butter and parsley. I love eating escargot but the Silk's mostly tasted like butter and was bland. Maybe Silk could try cooking the escargot with less butter, add garlic and mushrooms to it like they used to do in the early 2000s. The rest of the meal was neither remarkable nor memorable as the prime rib was overcooked. The service was sporadic and we miss the old days of the traditional MDR days with the greeting from the Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter all of whom worked together. I believe the seating arrangement made it more difficult and all of these restaurant venues with "My Time Dining" made it more difficult for the wait staff and guests. I highly suggest two of the venues return to the traditional MDR. After dinner, we went to Comedy Night on Decks 4/5. The show was average and was disrupted many times by guests leaving. We sat in the handicap area and the attendant was a tad bit annoyed with us sitting there. I guess she did not see my cane nor my leg brace. Her sour demeanor was quickly forgotten. After the show, we stopped in the Royal Casino and the host gave us our gold coins to try our luck at the special slot machine. While hubby played Blackjack, I tried my hand at Roulette. We both had a good night and won some. We strolled Deck 5 and found the smoking area. We made friends there that we would see often throughout the cruise. By the time we got to our room our luggage had arrived and morning came fast. Thanks to other cruise reviews, I had most of our important items in our carry-on. Saturday: Day 2 - Cruising: After having morning coffee, hubby and I went up to Deck 16 and were excited to experience the North Star. Even though I do not like heights, this was an awesome experience. Hubby took many pictures and we were able to see far off in the distance including the entire ship. Upon standing in line, the attendant escorted to the elevator to take me to the doors of the North Star so I can experience it without struggling the stairs. Just a FYI there are many times in which the North Star does not cost the guest any extra monies and as a "Key" guest we were able to experience it without lines a 2nd time. Port Shopping Show - I went to the Port Shopping Show and learned the best places to visit for shopping form multiple beautiful gems to see and possibly buy. Bingo and Blackjack Qualifying Round - Oh my - had so much fun playing bingo and won an extra bingo shirt. I came so close to winning cash. Hubby went to the Blackjack Qualifying Round and placed for the tournament. Balcony and Deck 5: - Spent the afternoon relaxing and watching for whales and Orcas and saw many. It truly was an awesome experience. Formal Night - Hubby and I dressed to the max and it was such a delight. We went to the second seating at Silk. If we thought the first dinner was disappointing, this dinner was worse. I decided to try the Seafood with Linguini. It was terrible, the shrimp tasted old, clams cold and the bay scallops were still frozen. I pushed my plate aside and the waiter came and was told I was done. Another waiter stopped and asked if I wanted to try something else. Once again I stated I was no longer hungry and this time described the meal quietly as to not disturb the other guests. We saw him walk quickly to the Supervisor as we were leaving. Hubby told me to keep going as the Chef was now running behind us. We left the area, went to Sorrento's and ate pizza. Needlessly to say we miss MDR dining. After dinner, we went to the Comedy Show and it was great! So glad to try to see another comedy show. Afterwards we strolled the deck in the moonlight then changed clothes for the Casino and played a few rounds. Sunday: Day 3 - Alaska Inside Passage/Juneau - Once again we enjoyed a light breakfast at Two70 (Deck 5) of coffee, juice and Panini. We went to our Meet and Mingle in Vintages and were greeted by others who posted prior to cruising. Tony and his wife were experienced cruisers and were very friendly. Tony gave each us beautiful bracelets. Thanks Tony! We met families with children who were bored and suggested the Adventure Ocean program. Two families sought us out later and told us they had a hard time getting their children to leave. Juneau, Alaska - Due to the Key, we went to the Music Hall (Deck 3) at noon to await our departure for Juneau. Within minutes, we were off the ship and going down the gangway. Upon hitting the boardwalk, a Pedicab took us to the Mount Roberts Tramway in which we purchased our tickets to the Tram and to AJ Mine/Gastineau Mining Tour. We took the tram to the top and we were able to see Eagles and view the authentic Alaska Native Arts and purchased items in their gift shop. We took the Tram down and were met by our guide for our mining excursion. This was a quaint excursion as it was shared with one other couple. We saw this same mining company on the Discovery Channel. Our guide was a retired miner and kept us entertain while exploring the inside of the mine. We learned the history of the mine and it was quite an experience. Once outside the mine, two young guides taught us how to pan for gold and garnets of which we each found almost entire vial worth of both. This is a must see excursion which I found online. Upon returning to Port, hubby and I went shopping and I was able to collect my charms to add to my bracelet while looking at Gold Quartz jewelry, Korite (Ammolite), Tanzanite, an array of Northern Lights jewelry the rare Alexandrite collection and the Crown of Lite jewelry collection. If you are a coffee lover like us - visit the Heritage Coffee Roasting Company. The aromas are intoxicating. While most people were eating at Tracy's Crabshack and eating arm length crab legs, hubby and I had a delicious dinner at the Twisted Fish Company. Their clams in wine sauce, crab cakes and calamari were scrumptious! We went back to the ship by 8:00 p.m. and took our purchases to our room. Upon leaving our cabin, we saw the telephone message light blinking and quickly learned how our Klukwan Native Culture Excursion was canceled due to "lack of participation." Although the Shore Excursion Desk stated for us to come by and book another excursion I took time to look at the Royal IQ app and saw there were none that interest us. I searched Google and learned this excursion had closed for the season the week prior. This left a bad taste as you would think the Shore Excursion would verify all excursion to ensure none closed early for the season prior to the sailing. Needless to say, we went to Deck 5, met up with friends and were invited to join them for the Jeep excursion to the Yukon. Shortly there afterwards we went up to the top deck to take photos of the ever changing sculptures on the pier and watched the sail away at 9:00 p.m. A while later we stopped in at Schooners and listen to piano music, visit the Casino, ate late night pizza at Sorrento's, met more friends on Deck 5 and had an enjoyable night. Monday: Day 4 - Skagway, Alaska - Morning came quickly and we picked up breakfast at Two70 and sat in the Deck 5 lounge. Shortly thereafter, the four of us left the ship (with our passports) and we walked to town (take the tram and ride it as it is 1/2 mile hike). Before you know it, we were in the jeep driving towards the Yukon. Our GPS (jokingly our landmark book) did not take us directly to the Yukon, as it did not account for the road closure and detour. Before we knew it, we arrived at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. We took our time, crossed the bridge and saw its beauty. Afterwards we had lunch at their cafe of bison chili that was mouthwatering. I purchase bison chips, crackers and cheese to enjoy later. After an hour out we turned around and the road was already paved, and we were on our way to Carcass and saw the smallest desert. We stopped in Carcross for drinks, snacks, and some shopping (a nice small town with plenty to see and buy including readers). The ice cream was delicious. Within minutes, we saw a bear by the side of the road and took pictures. We saw so much wildlife on our way to Emerald Lake. So cool to see and many photo ops there too. Soon we arrived at Emerald Lake and the view was spectacular. We took our time traveling back to Skagway and came upon another bear - this one was very large standing in the middle of the road. After taking a few pictures, the bear retreated into the woods nearby. The four of us went shopping and picked up trinkets, postcards and the train charms for our bracelets. We were back on the ship by 5:00 p.m. in time to relax for dinner. Tonight we had reservations for the Solarium. This is a quaint dinner spot that is included in your cruise to partake if one so desired. Many people just ate from their buffet, but Hubby and I chose from their menu and their buffet. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The tables were nicely spaced and the wait staff made sure each guest was enjoying oneself. After dinner, I went to the Rossalite Gems show - these gems are beautiful!! Hubby and I watch the sunset and off to play at the Casino. Tuesday: Day 5 - Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier - hubby and woke up early and went to Two70 for coffee and carried our breakfast to the Deck 5 lounge where we could Glacier Watch. This did not occur ,as the Captain of the Ship was wise to turn us around when he saw how big the icebergs under the water were and was smart enough to put our safety first. Many understood but there were others who were angry until other guests explain that small iceberg on top of the water is much smaller than what is not seen under the water. The Captain took his time and the entire ship went whale watching with many to see. Prior to lunch, I went to the room to pick up my bingo shirts and daubers and purchase my bingo cards. I was awarded extra free bingo cards for each shirt and dauber and was given the B3 Blue Bingo Fish (which gave me an extra bingo card on day 3 - win a cruise bingo). No wins for me but came close and had an enjoyable time. After bingo, we went and saw the Love and Marriage Show - this show is a must to see and everyone seem to enjoy themselves. Afterwards I dropped off my bingo gear and was met by the 11th Deck Supervisor who surprised me with the Polar Bear Winter Blanket! Yeah!! Escape Room - this activity was pre-booked prior to cruising. Hubby and I never experienced and it was quite intriguing. There were 12 of us working together in which you collect clues, solve puzzles to escape and only had 1 hour to do so. Hubby found most of the locked boxes and we helped solved many of the puzzles to collect clues and were able to escape. This was a very fun activity and everyone should try it. I do know not all the ships have this activity but they should as it is a very enjoyable experience and does not take up much room to play it. Windjammer - Hubby and I went exploring another part of the ship and dropped our Custom Form off at Guest Relations. Unbelievable as there is still so much to see and experienced. Dinner was upon us and we decided to try the Windjammer. We were met with "Washy Washy" which sounded delightful in her singsong manner. A table was easily found and we went to look at the array of foods. Chad made me a delicious plate of my own ingredients for Lo Mein. I thought I was full until the dumped a fresh batch of French fries at a station nearby and off I went to get a small plate of them with Malt Vinegar. Oh my - I was in heaven!! The array of desserts will make your mouth water once again. Another familiar feature was seen in the Windjammer was see fruit carvings - the fish in the watermelon was totally spectacular! After dinner, we strolled the deck to walk off dinner prior to an evening out with hubby. I missed out as I fell asleep while waiting for hubby taking a shower. He went to the Casino with friends. So nice that I was able to catch up on my sleep which is hard to do on such a fun cruise. Wednesday: Day 6 - Cruising - Yep we had coffee from Two70 and taking breakfast away to Deck 5 lounge and relaxed watching the waves. Fab Abs class - OH MY! That was surely a work out! Off to the room to shower so I can enjoy the day. It was not long until it was our time to experience the IFly on Deck 16. IFly - The crew here are very safety conscious and thoroughly enjoys assisting guests with having a fun experience. First, you are asked if you have had any neck and upper back injuries as one cannot safely participate. Next, you are weighed in - thank goodness, they do not say one's weight aloud. Hubby could not participate, as he was a few pounds too heavy for his height, which he was fine with as I think he was more excited to see if I would go through with it. Lol. We watch a short safety video, learned our four hand signals and then suited up. Soon it was our turn to go to the gravity chamber. Since all of us listened and followed their instructions, we were able to fly higher with our instructor in which we spun upward. Such an exhilarating experience!! Bingo for a free cruise - Went to the room, picked up all my bingo gear and given 21 cards to play. So close with 1 number but did not win - maybe next time. It was so nice to see the young gentleman jump up, yell bingo, and win a cruise for 2 while on his honeymoon. Dog House - even with all the variety of food - a good beef hot dog and/or bratwurst with sauerkraut fits the lunch bill easily. Relaxing afternoon - hubby took a much needed nap and I went exploring the shops (be wise and leave your sea pass in the light switch like me - it saves you money - lol). I purchase a few small items and went to relax with friends. I woke hubby for dinner and dressed for our second formal dinner. American Icon Grill - this was chosen as Hubby refused to go back to Silk and he knew I wanted to eat lobster. Dinner service was extraordinary and so unlike what we experienced in the Silk. The Wait Staff were friendly and interactive with the guests. The waiter made dinner suggestions and knew the ingredients for the dishes. Our appetizers were delicious (hubby had the Caesar Salad and I tried the Escargot again - their style of cooking grows on you). Hubby selected the beef tenderloins and asked for rare and was super shocked it was cooked the way he wanted AND very tender. He was enjoying this dinner outing. The Waiter brought me two lobster tails and brought heated butter to the table. Oh my! The lobster melted in your mouth. After dinner, the Waiter cleared the table and knife scraped the tablecloth prior to dessert (an old MDR table method this was the only time seen done). Since this was the 50th year, a special cake with swirled lollipop stick came out with the desserts we selected. Hubby had apple pie ala mode nicely heated with a side of vanilla ice cream. I had the Molten Chocolate Cake that was quite delicious. Hubby and I had another stroll on deck and met up with our friends who had a very enjoyable experience too while dining in Wonderland. We share our dining experiences and discussed what we were going to do in Victoria. We all went to the Casino and knew bed was early as the time change went forward 1 hour - morning would arrive sooner. Thursday: Day 7 - Victoria, British Columbia including the Hop On Hop Off Tour - Hubby and I took the double decker bus to Victoria ($15 roundtrip per person) and saw many sights on our way and was dropped off at the Empress Hotel in time to purchase our tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus which had a 90 minute tour if you stayed on it. My leg was sore so we chose the tour. The tour guide, Norm was very interesting and we learned about the Gold Rush, the history of Victoria, saw the tiniest through way that Mel Gibson took for Bird on the Wire, Craigdarroch Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, etc. We even saw peacocks and many deer throughout the tour. Once back to the Empress Hotel, we walk towards Irish Pub called the "Irish Times" for lunch. I advise you to be extra hungry as we ordered the O'Hagan's Platter. This platter is huge and contained Chicken wings, loaded fries, sweet potato fries and dry ribs. Hubby and I barely put a dent into it. This platter covered almost the entire table with barely any room for our drinks. We explored some of the shops and purchased a few items to take home. We took the Double Decker bus back to the cruise ship by 4:00 p.m. Both of us took showers and went to meet up with friends to share our Victoria experiences. Later that evening we ate dinner at Windjammer which was quite filling. We took our nightly stroll, headed back to our rooms to pack our luggage, and left it in the hallway for pick up. We went to the Casino, played a few rounds and turned in our remaining Chips and Tokens. Our last stop for the evening was a quick late night pizza at Sorrento's and I went to the library and printed out our plane tickets home. Friday - Day 8 - Vancouver, British Columbia - it is a sad day that this fantastic cruise was coming to an end. Since we had the "Key," hubby and I were treated to breakfast in the American Icon on Deck 4 prior to leaving on Deck 5 near Wonderland. We disembarked in easy and quick manner and our luggage was quickly secured. Our porter took our luggage throughout the terminal and escorted us outside the terminal by the Pacific Hotel where we would meet for the Sear to Air Post Tour Excursion with Landsea Tours. This is a 6-hour tour that included a drop off to the airport. Our tour guide was very interesting and we knew it had changes to it as the Gondola to the Suspension Bridge had been sabotaged a few weeks prior to the tour. Landsea Tours emailed us 2 days after the sabotaged to verify whether we want to continue with the tour as the Suspension Bridge was exchanged for a visit to Grouse Mountain Resort. We first crossed the Lions Gate Bridge and saw the massive entry lions. We took a brief trip to Shannon Falls and it was a breathtaking sight. Next, we went to the Britannia Mine Museum and this was exciting as we had the opportunity to learn how the rocks were broken down until fine sand and then sent to San Francisco to cultivate it for gold, silver, copper. We toured the underground mine and then toured the ground floor of the building learning about the different stages, how hard mining was, and the harsh life of the miners. We panned for a bit and found more gold and copper nuggets. We then took a brief trip to Horseshoe Bay for lunch and saw Howe Sound fjord. People were so friendly throughout the tour. Lastly, we traveled to Grouse Mountain. We took the Skyride Gondola up the mountain and arrived in time to witness the Lumberjack Show that was quite funny and impressive showcasing their skills. The lumberjacks interacted with the audience throughout the show. Vancouver Airport - Once the tour was complete we were dropped at the Airport doors for Westjet and assisted with our luggage. Our flight home late that evening was uneventful except how the Canadians can teach Americans a thing or two about the ease of flying international while disabled. As I was seen struggling trying to obtain luggage tags, a gentleman with Westjet quickly assisted us. Upon seeing me struggling with walking, he secured a wheelchair with a Westjet attendant for me. She took us through security. The Canadians operation for going through security is easily done as is how one travels throughout their airport. First, they swapped out my cane for one of theirs so I can go through scanner without the fear of falling. Next, security was already ready to scan my knee brace quickly and I was whisked away by the Westjet attendant to the appropriate gate. She made sure we reached our gate in a timely manner with time to spare. Unknowingly she reserved future wheel chairs for me for the remaining two connecting flights. Our first flight went from Vancouver to Toronto. Upon arrival, a Westjet attendant whisked me away in a wheelchair and took all the shortcuts to customs. We were there within minutes and a few questions later on our way to our next flight. We were quickly through security and once again, the cane swapping occurs. This was so cool as the disabled were treated with respect and not a hindrance as what I had incurred on the flights with American Air to Seattle. Each airline took care of their own passengers while the airport staff drove the trams to the multiple terminals. Upon our arrival at La Guardia airport, the wheelchair was there and we were quickly taken to the terminal for our last flight with Delta Air. We quickly obtained our luggage and hubby had us on our way home. We had an awesome time celebrating our 34th anniversary on the Ovation of the Seas (such a romantic setting for 2) and now must go back to the real world, but already planning our next cruise for 2. Or maybe with all our adult children to enjoy too OR just plan 2 more cruises??. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port ... Read More
I would have given Ovation more stars but right on the docks it started badly. My husband and I both have mobility issues. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and we almost weren't allowed on the ship! When we arrived at the port although we were scheduled for pier assistance, we had to walk a LOOOONG way to get there, you don't get to the wheelchairs till you are almost on the ramps! They checked our passports and set sail passes on the first floor of the pier and sent us up the elevator to check in. There were people just off the elevator who again looked at our set sail passes and told us to see a pier administrator. I asked why and where do I go. They did not say why but just said go straight ahead someone will help you. We went straight ahead, talked to yet another person who told us to go to the wheelchair area, who then sent us back to one of the check in desks. Long story short, after at least 6 different people who kept saying they didn't know what was going on, one lady said, "Oh, you can't get on the ship because you owe money!!!" She said we owed $179.62. Not only a strange amt but how could I have printed my set sail pass if I still owed money? Luckily, I had printed all my Paid in full receipts ...cruise, excursions and amenities After repeatedly saying we owed the money but having no idea why, they allowed us on the ship only after I signed papers that said I would settle this on the ship. They also copied all my paid in full receipts. then we went to wait for wheelchairs. When we finally got on the ship, we went directly to guest services to get this taken care of and no one knew what the amount "owed" was for, only that we owed it. They said they'd check it out and get back to me and leave a message on my phone....never happened. This went on for three days, each day a promised call never happened...finally one person at guest services, on the third day said I guarantee you will not be charged for this ...she signed a receipt and the charge did not appear on my bill. Not only was all this a pain, but we were unable to sign up for the escape room and Ifly on boarding because they were gone since we took so long checking in....total time checking in....we were at the pier at 1030a and rooms were open by the time we left GS...so it was after 130p. We got to our room and it was a very nice quiet room, about 15 ft off the elevators, . After unpacking, I went to wash my hands and heard a deep gurgling sound. The hubs thought it sounded like a clogged or blocked pipe. I didn't pay much attention since the toilet and sink worked the rest of the day. The next morning while I was taking a shower I realized the water wasn't going down and before I could get out, the water level had risen to the height of the bathroom door! Luckily it did not go into the room. They sent someone up to rod out the drains, followed by a team to clean and disinfect the bathroom. After that we had no problem with the room. The balcony was large, and comfortable...with 2 chairs and footrests and a small table. The blackout shades worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our room steward "V" (his name was very long and difficult to pronounce so he said just call me V) was great. Replaced the ice as needed, cleaned the room, even when we said don't bother and kept us supplied with towels and some towel animals. We did not use the MDR as we ate whenever we felt hungry. We used the Windjammer and the food was actually very good. Loved the soups but they were loaded with salt! Finding a seat however was another story. We also ate at Sorrento's Pizza...which was very good. They had antipasto type dishes and pizza. Cafe Promenade was not as good as on the Oasis class ships. Desserts, pastries and cakes on the whole, were not very good. But this was expected since they were no better on any other RCI ship I have been on. The casino was drab and smoke filled. It seemed that there were very few slot machines and the only ones paying or interesting enough to play were in the smoking section. I did hit a jackpot for $1180 and was very happy it was $20 under the taxable limit...they have signs all over the casino stating that there is a 30% tax on wins of $1200 or more!!! 30%...that's HUGE! As far as the excursions/ports....Loved Juneau and Skagway but transportation in Skagway left a lot to be desired. Whale watching and wild life excursion in Juneau was a big disappointment ...seeing only the water blow and a whale's back was not very exciting. We saw about 5 sea lions on one bouy ...the extent of the wildlife. The captain said he saw an eagle fly by. The excursion boat was old, smelly and the stairs were so steep they were very difficult to maneuver even for able bodied persons. Skagway was beautiful and the White Mountain Pass Railway is a must do. We used luggage valet through RCI and it was great! It was easy and free. We left our luggage outside our door on Friday night and never saw it again till we landed in Chicago. Disembarkation and airport transport was a joke really. We bought and paid for 2 ...then got an instruction sheet very late...after 8pm with instructions for everyone but those with transfers...all it said was Transfers booked with us? Please see below...but the "below" was not there...many people were in line at GS just after 8pm on Friday for help trying to figure out what to do. The next morning, we found our way to the wheel chair assistance area, I needed to use the restrooms and tried to go to the one near the W/C area..I was told I'd have to walk up or down one floor or take an elevator (you know how crowded they are when everyone is leaving the ship).They said the restroom was closed due to security reasons! WHY would they make the restroom close to the handicapped area unavailable?!?!?!? Stupidest thing ever!! Continuing on.....although our flight wasn't until 330pm...we were put on an early bus and had to wait at the airport for 6 hours!!!! They also, wanted to put us on a different bus but the bus driver was nowhere to be found...so they loaded us all up on yet another bus. Also there was no manifest of names for people who paid nor did anyone have a physical ticket. Honestly, anyone could have gotten in the transport line and boarded one of the buses for free. Where the buses leave you at the airport was VERY far from the check in area....a good 4 blocks...there were however, wheelchairs for those that needed them. The ship, on the whole, is beautiful and yes, I would go on it again. The hallways are very twisty, turny and not in a straight line like the Oasis class...this makes walking thru those hallways seem very long and for the first time ever I always had difficulty figuring out which direction was the front or back. Also, when the MDR, Windjammer and 270 are closed (they all seemed to be closed at the same time) , there is only free pizza or what is available in the cafe promenade (premade shrimp salad or ham & cheese sandwiches, the same everyday) available. They really need something else. They do have a hot dog hut but it was never opened when we went there. Fish & Ships, by the outdoor pool was never busy. I only saw one or two people there the whole cruise and it was not free. We LOVED both indoor pools but the hot tubs in the solarium were very tiny...and really WHY do people traveling in Alaska open the windows??? Makes for a rather cold indoor pool. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was ... Read More
We did this same itinerary on the Legend of the Seas in 1995 and were curious to see it all again. On the 1995 cruise the weather was cloudy with a lot of rain but this time around we had blue sky days the entire week. The ship was beautiful, service outstanding, food - very good - especially at the Chef's Table dinner. We also enjoyed Chop's one night and Jamie's Italian on 2 nights. The cruise through the fiord up to Dawes Glacier was a highlight for us as the scenery was spectacular.. As we got closer to the glacier we passed more and more icebergs and there was a special beauty about them. The water was a glacial green that enhanced the blue white colors in the ice. As we neared the glacier the ice pack got thicker requiring the ship to stop a mile or 2 away from where the glacier enters the water. The captain at this time put the ship through a 360 degree turn allowing everyone to get a nice view. It was a special day. We visited Skagway and Juneau and Victoria. In Victoria we did a food tour with Andy ( A Taste of Victoria ) who was just wonderful. We booked this on our own - not through the ship. Overall I would highly recommend the Ovation of the Seas and this Alaska itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose RC Ovation to experience the highly touted Alaska glacier cruise highlights, especially glacier calving touted as spectacular due to global warming. H/E all we got was a ROYAL disappointment. THEY CANCELLED THE DAWES GLACIER ... Read More
We choose RC Ovation to experience the highly touted Alaska glacier cruise highlights, especially glacier calving touted as spectacular due to global warming. H/E all we got was a ROYAL disappointment. THEY CANCELLED THE DAWES GLACIER HIGHLIGHT WITHOUT SUBSTITUTING ANYTHING SIMILAR OR OFFERING ANY COMPENSATION FOR THIS HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! "SO, YOU WENT ON ALASKA CRUISE AND DIDN'T SEE A SINGLE GLACIER?!?" "YEP." OVATION OF THE SEAS ADVERTISES YOU'LL SEE THE SPECTACLER DAWES GLACIER BUT HAS NEVER ACTUALLY CRUISED WITHIN SIGHT OF DAWES OR ANY OTHER GLACIER (could dent the boat, per the Captain). DON'T LET ROYAL CARIBBEAN RUIN YOUR ALASKA CRUISE. Also, there we're NO ANNOUNCED SUNDAY CHRISTIAN SERVICES while lesbian/homo hookup opportunities were announced everyday. The last day we discovered a large Christian group aboard holding daily services which they stated RC refused to announce. Maybe next time they'll cancel a port visit (it's in your contract, the Captain reserves to right to cancel anything he wants WITHOUT COMPENSATION). The food and service were good. We liked our little stateroom - nicely organized and comfortable. But the staff tried to pass off the few small pieces of sea ice as "glaciers." To the Filipino staff any ice in the water is hugely remarkable. The comedian Nivi, the first night was great! But those who missed it just lost out as he never returned to the stage. We experienced a few elevator glitches (both up and down arrow indicators illuminated) and had to hike down five decks to make a show when all the elevators were full, but this was the expeception not the rule. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Embarkation wasn’t bad. Wife had wheel chair assistance. The problem we ran into was that there wasn’t a dedicated lane for wheel chairs to board the ship so the limited number of pushers they had got stuck in long lines on the ... Read More
Embarkation wasn’t bad. Wife had wheel chair assistance. The problem we ran into was that there wasn’t a dedicated lane for wheel chairs to board the ship so the limited number of pushers they had got stuck in long lines on the gangway. They need to have dedicated ramp for handicap. The ship is beautiful. Loved the solarium the best. Seeing alaska scenery from pool / jacuzzi was nice. The cabin was13642 a jr suite. It was spacious and perfect for a scooter. Located under coastal kitchen but not a lot of noise. The dual bathrooms were a nice touch. Bumper cars was fun roller skating would have been fun if I could find right size safety equipment. Silent Hush party great. Pixels was great. Love and marriage was hilarious. The illusionist / comedian was good. Would have like to see him do some tricks that weren’t table tricks. Service was excellent. Did not notice any over pushy sales reps. Food was warm and good despite being a little bland. There was some confusion on the 2nd formal night as the cruise schedule had smart casual incorrectly marked. Soft serve ice cream was served by an attendant on the pool deck only on some days and only during afternoon hours / not 24 hours. Would like to have seen a candy shop on the main floors. One other negative was the windjammer only open 6;30 -10 for breakfast and 12;00-3;00 for lunch and 6;00 till 9;00 for dinner. Would have liked to see longer hours. Also when it was closed no one could enter the area and sit at tables, enjoy scenery, access coke free style. You had to go to hot dog truck or pizza shop during closed hours to get coke free style. Wish we could have made it to see Dawes glacier. Train in Skagway was a highlight for us. Loved it. North Star was neat. Casino was nice environment. Also seen whales on at least 4 occasions from the ship and got video from our balcony. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise line and dates were chosen were based on starting/ending port, and season. First, let me start by saying that after 23 cruises, we FINALLY made it to Alaska. Just never found the right time, price, port, ship; well, just a ... Read More
This cruise line and dates were chosen were based on starting/ending port, and season. First, let me start by saying that after 23 cruises, we FINALLY made it to Alaska. Just never found the right time, price, port, ship; well, just a combination of things. Yes, an Alaskan cruise is everything we were told it would be. Great sights, wildlife, hiking, glaciers, whales, educational, entertaining, and on and on. We will definitely be going back. Our ONLY disappointment is that the ship couldn’t make it all the way up Endicott Arm to to the face of the glacier as there was too much ice in the fiord. Safety first and the Captain made the decision to turn around. Did we miss seeing Dawes Glacier, yes. Did me miss having our trip interrupted by damage to the ship, no. Smart decision. Out cruise started and ended in Seattle with a day early arrival for sight seeing. Ports of call included Juneau where we enjoyed an excursion which included whale watching boat ride, Mendenhall Glacier, and nature hiking. Skagway where we took a tour bus up to BC, Canada and rode down on the White Pass railway. Learning about the Yukon gold rush. The actual trail size came as quite a surprise. Again, some disappointment at not seeing Dawes Glacier up close. Then it was Victoria, BC. What a beautiful city, and Butchard Gardens is not to be missed. We’ve never seen so many flowers or such detailed landscaping. A NOT to be missed sight in Victoria. As for the ship, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. It’s the largest cruise ship we’ve ever sailed on. First impression is that we’d get lost. Yes, even after 23 prior cruises on many different ships, Ovation is impressive. Took a day or two to figure it all out. Dined at two of the three specialty restaurants, and thoroughly enjoyed them both. Regular dining room service was exceptional with a nice selection of entree options. Windjammer (self service) dining area was well staffed, well maintained, with tasty choices. Late night options were not available. We did appreciate the mandatory hand washing station at the Windjammer entrance. Sports and children activities make sea days very entertaining, even if just watching. Of note, the show “Pixcels” is shown every night. It’s the name of the show, not the venue. We had booked reservations for each night thinking a different type show each night. Lesson learned. Only one late night comedian on a 7 night cruise? The main show was entertaining, but LOUD. Luckily we had seats near the back of the theatre at the edge of a row and were able to leave. Overall impression, we would book on the Ovation of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Ship We chose the Ovation for our 30th wedding anniversary cruise to Alaska, partly due to our past experience with RCCI and also because the ship seemed like a good fit for the unpredictable Alaska weather (which is often rainy, we ... Read More
The Ship We chose the Ovation for our 30th wedding anniversary cruise to Alaska, partly due to our past experience with RCCI and also because the ship seemed like a good fit for the unpredictable Alaska weather (which is often rainy, we understand), given features like the Solarium. Overall, we really enjoyed this ship and most of the activities on board. We took advantage of the bumper cars, NorthStar, Ripcord by IFly, attended several trivia "contests", enjoyed music in the Music Hall and various lounges, including an outstanding Led Zeppelin tribute band. Our stateroom attendant was lovely. She knew us by name almost immediately and greeted us by name throughout the cruise. We were treated to a bottle of champagne courtesy of RCCI for our anniversary as well as a very nice chocolate cake. Nice touches. Ovation is large ship (Quantum Class, over 168k gross tons with probably about 4,500 passengers). Ours was the first cruise for Ovation from the Port of Seattle to Alaska. For the most part, the ship didn't seem excessively crowded for us, especially toward the end of the 2nd day. For the first day or so, some of the more commonly traveled spaces seemed a bit congested, but that seemed to subside a little once most passengers found their favorite places on the ship. Key Program We signed up for the Royal Caribbean Key Program, which was definitely worth it for us. For not much more than the cost of the internet package, we were able to have an embarkation lunch at a specialty restaurant (Jamie's Italian, in our case), had priority debarkation on port days (which came in handy at least once), and were able to get appointments for both the North Star and IFly skydiving simulator--both of which likely would not have been available to us, since the originally scheduled appointment(s) were cancelled due to high winds on the first sea day and remaining slots booked quickly. Priority embarkation was also nice, but it took a bit to appreciate, given the crowds at Seattle’s Smith Cove Cruise Terminal (Pier 91) when we arrived (see below). Embarkation We took Lyft from our Hotel (Grand Hyatt downtown--nice hotel) at about 10:30am to the terminal in order to arrive around 11am. Once we arrived at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal (Pier 91), embarkation seemed a bit of a mad house. The porters appeared a little overwhelmed when we arrived, as the traffic at the terminal was heavy. Both Ovation and Celebrity Solstice were in the process of debarkation while passengers for both ships were arriving. We arrived about 30 minutes prior to our scheduled check in time, and apparently the rest of the passengers did also. The passport check for the Key Program members seemed to go slower than did the non Key Program passengers. Once we got past the first check, we went upstairs and waited until the ship was allowed to board (probably around 11:30 or so). At that point, the terminal seemed to be wall to wall people, with little seating area. Once the Key Program participants were called, we were able to move, but practically had to push our way through the mob of people to get to the gangway. Once on board, we met up with crew that identified us with the Key Program. We were directed to the main theater where we dropped off our carry-ons, which they then delivered to our stateroom, so we didn't have to lug them around while we waited. We then went to Jamie's Italian and had a nice lunch and began to relax a bit. Don't get me wrong--the Key Program really sped up the process for us, but the initial arrival at the terminal was a bit overwhelming for us (and I suspect somewhat for those working there on that day). The ship was supposed to have departed at 4pm, but apparently did not have all of the luggage on board until much later. Consequently, we did not leave Seattle until nearly 6pm, if memory serves. Our luggage also did not arrive at our stateroom until well after that, which wasn't a major issue for us, but I know there were many at the guest services desk late the first evening inquiring about their luggage and complaining about the wait. Entertainment We attended some of the enrichment seminars, such as a discussion on the Alaska gold rush, which was interesting. We enjoyed music in Bolero's lounge as well as in the Music Hall. For the featured entertainment, the ventriloquist was fantastic and hilarious, and the stand up comedian was good too. The Led Zeppelin tribute band (ZOSO) was also very good. The 270 lounge wound up being one of our favorite places on the ship. Some of the enrichment seminars were there, as was "Pixels", a nice production that included a combination of multimedia, special effects, dazzling costumes, singing and dancing. It was quite different from what we'd seen before. I really enjoyed that. The performers on the ship are very talented. The only drawback to 270 is that some of the seats close to the floor have low backs and are rather uncomfortable. Other than those seats, the rest of the venue was really nice. 270 is also a nice location to relax during the day to enjoy a drink and look over the wake behind the ship. As much as I enjoyed "Pixels", I did not enjoy "Live Love Legs", the other big production on our cruise (which was in the main theater). Although the performers were talented, it was a bit tacky for our tastes. I'm sure there were others that enjoyed it, though. Dining We dined in three of the specialty dining restaurants while on board. Wonderland, Chops Grill and Jamie's Italian. All three were really good and worth the additional cost (we booked a 3 night specialty package). Wonderland was our favorite--a unique and incredibly tasty dining experience. On other nights, we dined in one of the main dining room options. The service and food overall were good each night. Solarium Bistro was good for lunch, as was the 270 Café. We also enjoyed 270 Café for Breakfast. We dined for breakfast in one of the main dining rooms a couple of times also. The quality of food was good at all of our meals. Ports The cruise itinerary was round-trip from Seattle, visiting Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier (sea day) and Victoria, BC. Juneau - Due to the late embarkation, we had to cruise at top speed the first couple of days to get to Juneau on time (which we didn't). We arrived about 1.5 hours later than normal, so the port schedule was modified to allow sufficient time in Juneau. When we got off the ship, we had time to walk around Juneau near the dock and visit the Red Dog Saloon to purchase a souvenir. We ate lunch at Twisted Fish Company Alaskan Grill. We really enjoyed their halibut and crab cakes. Very good food. We booked the Mendenhall Glacier with Wildlife and evening Whale Watching excursion, which didn’t begin until later in the day. We enjoyed that excursion. However, the time at the glacier was way too short and not really long enough to visit Nugget Falls for any amount of time, so we decided to skip that. I would have preferred more time at the Glacier and less time with the whale watching (which was fun, but a little disappointing--not much to see on our trip). The food on the whale watching portion (during dinner) was good, though. Overall, a fun stop in Juneau. Skagway - Here we did a dogsled and musher’s camp excursion which was really fun. The guides did a great job, told us a bit about the town on our way to the camp and informed us about the dogs and the Iditarod. We enjoyed the experience, getting to ride a sled pulled by a team of enthusiastic dogs, pet the team of dogs (which were friendly) as well as the pups (ranging from weeks to months old). After the excursion, we had a meal at the Red Onion Saloon. Great food and friendly waitresses dressed as if they were still the 19th century. Victoria, BC – In Victoria, we took a bus tour to the Butchart Gardens which we booked through RCCI. The bus driver was nice and had plenty to say on the tour. Unfortunately, the speaker system on our double-decker bus wasn’t working properly, so hardly anyone could understand what he was saying the entire trip to the Gardens. To make matters worse, what was supposed to have been already a relatively short visit to the gardens (about 1:45 hours) was cut short by an additional 15 minutes. We enjoyed it and would like to return, but booking this through RCCI wasn’t worth it, especially due to the abbreviated schedule and technical difficulties encountered. On the way back from the excursion, we asked the driver to drop us off by the Parliament House, which was a beautiful site. We walked back to the terminal from there, stopping to eat, visiting a boardwalk and floating homes at Fisherman’s Wharf, and enjoying the nice weather and beautiful town. It’s a little over a mile from the Parliament House to the terminal. I’d love to visit Victoria again, and Butchart Gardens again as well. This visit was too short. Cabin Description Very nice, comfortable room on deck 8, with a good-sized balcony which was nice to have on the Alaska cruise, especially at Endicott Arm (Dawes Glacier). There were adequate outlets and USB ports for charging electronics. Blackout curtains were nice also, and necessary since the nighttime darkness is brief in Alaska. The couch in this room was situated between the bed and the entrance, so the bed was very close to the balcony. We would have preferred it the other way around, but it was fine. General My wife and I probably would prefer a smaller ship next time, especially if we try an Alaska cruise again. Although it’s our understanding the size of the ship limits where the ship can maneuver within an inside passage cruise, I would have no problem sailing on Ovation again. It’s a very nice ship with lots to do, plenty of good dining and entertainment options, and the crew do a very nice job. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into ... Read More
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into the OPT terminal right in front of us. We just love the Four Seasons and its proximity to Circular Quay and all the buzz and excitement of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. As this was a first cruise on a Quantum Class ship we were nervously excited ! Embarkation was a breeze and we were in our cabin 11596 just after 1pm where we found our luggage waiting for us in the corridor. Amazing as we only boarded at 12.30pm! After unpacking we set off to explore and find our allocated MDR table. It was not quite right for us but was easily changed to something that we were more comfortable with. Our table was in the Grande MDR and the service and food was outstanding every night. We also enjoyed the company of our neighbours immensely ! Our Head waiter was Shasshank and his assistant Agus and both were simply awesome! There is so much to do on the Ovation. There is the I Fly, North Star ,Flow Rider, walking tracks, dodgem cars ,bingo, trivia, dance lessons, The Morning Show etc etc. The evening shows were fantastic with the highlight for us the INXS tribute band. Also every night the pub Amber and Oak was literally pumping with Steven and all the other musos who came and jammed with him until late! We met some fantastic party people there and we were all well looked after by Nelson and his team! The whole crew provided excellent service every day1Our room was beautifully clean and cared for by Nilde! So spoilt! We did day excursions on Papeete Moorea and Bora Bora and all were amazing! Tendering was a breeze and we were well looked after by all our guides. Disembarkation in Honolulu was also so easy and Anthony of Direct Shuttles Honolulu had us at our accommodation by 8.00am. He also took us to the airport 5 days later at the crazy early time of 3.30am Overall our trip way exceeded our expectations! The weather was cool wet and windy as most days so when the sun did come out it made everything even better! The ship is stunning! The crew were awesome and our fellow pax were the best! Thanks everyone! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both and the view of the sounds as we sat on the balcony was wonderful. Your room receives a daily planner of activities and I wish they would update over the speakers throughout the day as a reminder as there is so many things on and spread out across the ship I found it difficult sometimes to plan properly. The food in the coastal kitchen and solarium was outstanding and recommend booking the Chefs table early as it sells out quickly. With 5 courses matched with wines including the chef who explains all about each dish and why the wine was chosen is a great experience. The only con is the constant up selling from staff, but say no once they tend to leave you alone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of ... Read More
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of frustration and very poor drinks we and nearly everyone else we spoke to (and witnessed) left that waste of space bar and sought out a real bartender. on the 3rd day of the cruise the poor old robots were entertaining parents with kids and that's about it. Get rid of it RCI they must cost a fortune and your passengers would rather engage with real bartenders. The dogem cars are a novelty but most people have been there done that at Ag Shows etc, and the roller skating was ho hum and over relegulated - all sharing the same space (along with basketball, soccer etc) and therefore time restricted. We didnt waste our time. Rock climbing wall is consigned to a small side of the ship - unlike voyager etc where your at the stern of ship and have a marvelous view when you conquer the climb. the flow rider and sky diving seemed to be - under utilised and used mainly by the same people - under 30. North Star is fun for about 2 minutes and then you realise you're in a hugh fish bowl in the middle of the pacific sun! Hot hot hot and you get to see the ship from above and the sea from,,,,, well a bit higher than usual. All for about 10 minutes MAXIMUM. Cabins are nice but we noticed no dividing curtain between bed and cabin door as in other RCI so that means you need to by "covered"if your partner goes out the cabin door. Also no line in the bathroom to dry your "incidentials" + No light on the balcony??. AND the TV is fixed to the wall so that you can only watch it from the bed? Useless to try from the couch. What happended to the beautiful 2 storey dining rooms on other RCI ships with the sweeping staircase in the centre? Instead Ovation treats you to low ceilings and clostrophobia with each dining room confined. The main pool deck is jammed packed! and we mean jammed packed. No room for dancing and sail away parties, No belly flop comps or just the good old RCI dance parties on the pool deck. And the adult solarium sprawls over with staggered pools/spas and no character or friendliness like the other RCI solariums. Fitness centre is regulation and fine as per other RCI ships. The onboard entertainment we had was a bit hit and miss but as per other RCI cruises, we enjoyed them and mostly found something to keep us entertained. Staff are exceptional as per every other RCI cruise we've been on. Speciality restaurants are above average and some fun to enjoy. Windjammer accomodates the nearly 5000 guests for breaky OK and the food is of good buffet quality - but remember it's a buffet catering for THOUSANDS of people. Finally - will we pay to travel on the Ovation of the Seas again? - Not likely. Way to big,too many people and we didnt enjoy or use the "gimicks". Mostly this ship doesnt feel like a curise ship - More like a MALL. Overall the ship is fancy and very new and pretty! To us thought it doesnt feel like a Cruise ship. You have to find your own fun and as per usual on a cruise - the Staff are SELL SELL SELL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We travelled January 2019 12 night cruise deck 12 midship cabin. Dining: Cafe Two70 (Aft) was excellent for speciality coffee and sweet treats and sitting looking out of the huge windows was amazing. The light Lunches here were tasty ... Read More
We travelled January 2019 12 night cruise deck 12 midship cabin. Dining: Cafe Two70 (Aft) was excellent for speciality coffee and sweet treats and sitting looking out of the huge windows was amazing. The light Lunches here were tasty enjoyed piñatas and sandwiches. We had a 8pm sitting for dinner and ate in ‘Chic’ great food and atmosphere. Wait staff were so attentive and friendly. The ‘Dog House’ served yummy hotdogs this is located in the bumper car/basketball area. The Solarium (no children permitted) was a great place to enjoy lunch - roast beef rolls, salads, assortment of small cakes. Breakfast: Windjammer found this very busy and difficult to get a table so most mornings went to ‘Chic’ buffet style breakfast - drinks served to you at your table. Great selection. Entertainment: Cruise Director Joff was excellent, loved the silent disco, variety of activities provided. Ports- smooth process getting on and off ship. Loved the Royal Esplanade area - shop till you drop there Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I had an assumption that all cruise`s were for old fat people, how wrong I was, my parents shouted my wife and 3 boys aged 4-8-11 and my brother and my two nieces. Absolutely blown away staff are some of the most beautiful people we have ... Read More
I had an assumption that all cruise`s were for old fat people, how wrong I was, my parents shouted my wife and 3 boys aged 4-8-11 and my brother and my two nieces. Absolutely blown away staff are some of the most beautiful people we have meet they remind me of the fijian`s, warm, humble, caring, genuine they were the highlight of the trip without a doubt. The boat is almost as good its is better than some 5 star hotels we had a junior suite that was well appointed had two bathrooms and plenty of room four us and storage for all our stuff was on deck 10 room 218 been mid ship when there is a bit of a swell is a blessing less movement. Hard to find information about activities before you, go but easy enough once on board. Book things as soon as you get on as you may miss out especially for I-Fly and North star the viewing arm thingy majig. Food is really good caters for al,l my wife is a vegetarian even she was happy. Take a clothes line as they charge like wounded bulls for laundry. If you like a drink or to get the drinks package they make the drinks strong so none of those weak bar drinks here !. For kids suits under 3 and over 8 years of age, our 4 year old fell in the weird zone things like bumper cars, rock wall, trapeze and roller skating he was to young to do. They do have a great kids club for all ages but we never used it. great used to taking the stairs the lifts are pain full none seem to be available always full. We will remember this for a lifetime helped when my parents paid for it stunning stunning stunning Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It was a bucket list trip and my husband & I were celebrating our anniversary and a birthday. We stayed in Sydney for a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at The Meriton Apartment Suites in Mascot. It was beautiful and well ... Read More
It was a bucket list trip and my husband & I were celebrating our anniversary and a birthday. We stayed in Sydney for a week before boarding the ship. We stayed at The Meriton Apartment Suites in Mascot. It was beautiful and well maintained. It was 2 blocks away from the train (which was the best way to travel).We saw a lot. We prepared dinner with a chef at the famous fish market school; we secured tickets to the only performance of Beethoven Seven at The Sydney Opera; we went to the aquarium, the museum, and the zoo. We had fabulous meals at The Tower 360. The view was stunning. We went to Hyde Park and saw some beautiful statues. Embarkation day was a little chaotic. People were standing around and it got congested. I think additional staff would have alleviated this issue. Disembarkation was smooth. The ship was absolutely stunning! It was bright, clean & well maintained. We stayed in a balcony cabin which had plenty of room and drawers. It was well maintained. There were many dining venues. We ate at several of them. The food was the delicious. We tried The Main Dining Room, Solarium Bistro, Chops Grille, Café@Two70, Jaime's & The Windjammer. There was a plethora of entertainment and activities onboard. Of course we couldn't see or do them all but, we had fun trying. The shows were of high quality and well presented. We enjoyed the dance classes. We attended every class of the ballroom dancing led by Nia & George. We had sooo much fun and it was good exercise! We also went to the Mob dance classes led by Luane. All of us, who attended the classes, actually presented a routine on the Promenade deck and we also received certificates. This was definitely a 'feel good' experience. The service was exceptional. The head waiter, Sinddharth Singh, had a special entrée and dessert prepared for us to celebrate our special events. The waiter, Dias. who was assigned to the area where we ate breakfast remembered what we liked to eat; how we wanted it prepared and when we preferred to have our coffee. If we saw any of the staff out and about, they always asked if we needed anything and wanted to know how our day was going. Our stateroom attendant was very friendly and responsive to our requests. He outdid himself with decorating the cabin for my husband's birthday and leaving a personal note. We went on a train tour in Nouvelle, Caledonia. We saw plenty of sites and stops were made for photos. We walked around at Mystery Island. It was beautiful and the water was turquoise. There were several planned activities on the island. We had such a great time that we booked again on the Ovation. This time we'll cruise from Sydney to New Zealand. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had heard Royal Caribbean was a fantastic cruise line and it lived up to its name, I highly recommend taking a cruise with this line. The food and service was outstanding, and the staff on board are amazing. Especially the guys in ... Read More
We had heard Royal Caribbean was a fantastic cruise line and it lived up to its name, I highly recommend taking a cruise with this line. The food and service was outstanding, and the staff on board are amazing. Especially the guys in the Music Hall Bar. There was no waiting in line for food or tables, and the entertainment was outstanding. Disembarking onto the tenders was a smooth operation. Not much waiting time at all. Our cabin was a spacious room with a balcony and the staff were very accommodating in our requests. We loved the cruise so much that we have booked for April 19. We have tried other cruise lines but nothing compares to Royal. There were heaps of activities to do on the ship and one cannot get bored. The shows in the theatre were well done and the singing was outstanding. I am hooked on cruising now. Cannot wait for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I had to wait for six months before I could write down this review more objectively. Meaning without the disbelief or all the other first negative reactions. So in short - everything the others have already written here is completely ... Read More
I had to wait for six months before I could write down this review more objectively. Meaning without the disbelief or all the other first negative reactions. So in short - everything the others have already written here is completely accurate. However, after telling the stories after half a year, it all feels quite entertaining. Not ever on our nine RCI cruises before have we felt like being in a candid camera. Or in a sitcom, not in the audience but on the stage before cameras. Because why and where else would all those silly things take place. You have the basic setup: A slightly unconfident captain that gets a totally inexperienced crew who probably was supposed to be somewhere else. Like repairing cars, milking cows, studying in high school ... who knows. Then they are given this brand new amazing shiny ship with all the features and gimmicks nobody has heard of and obviously have no idea how to use them. Then, the ones who have ever held a spoon are made chefs, etc. Train the ”crew” for an hour. Bring in the customers. Let the hell break loose. All the rubber cheese jokes, misunderstandings, arguments and mass fights will follow inevitably. No screenwriting needed. I particurally liked the calling for tender tickets scene, by a Jamaican crew member. ”A3!” - ”Was it E3 or I3?” - ”Yes!” Why am I writing this now is that we are thinking to go back on Ovation soon (19 Nights - Honolulu to Sydney). You have to believe in good and give everybody another chance. If things are still failing after one year from this review, they are never going to improve. Dining: We have eaten dinners on nine other RCI ships. I would rate the previous ones quite high, like 4/5 stars or so. However, the experience on Ovation was 2/5 at it's best. The waiters were pretty clueless in general, but the biggest disappointment were the ingredients of the meals. In Asia, particularly in China the dairy products are far from western standards. So the "rubber or cheese" was not really a joke but a real situation. However, after Hong Kong things improved a bit. Eventually we kept going to 270° for breakfast and Windjammer for the rest of the day. Entertainment: Not quite on par with other RCI ships either. The "Pixels" was only okay, you couldn't avoid feeling that that the crew was barely walking through the show but wanted to be somewhere else instead. Onboarding / arriving / departing: Pure chaos, lucky that not more people got hurt. Activities: Not so bad! All the latest gadgets were entertaining and even the queues were not bad. Maybe because there were not so many children on a transfer cruise. As a 30-40 yrs couple we drove more bumper cars than all in our lives before combined. Stateroom: The only safe haven where you felt like "home". The stateroom waiter was luckily of the normal RCI standard, which is awesome. Excursions: Didn't take. Ports of call were really intriguing, but usually all the action happened 1-2 hrs from the port itself. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. ... Read More
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. Meal service poor with menu aimed predominantly at the asian clientele.Meals were often of poor quality and there were a number of occasions when the food served was cold and poorly presented. Restaurants only open for limited times which added to the chaos on the ship.Long waits for entry to restaurants, the meal service was often poor with pressure evident on the service staff who appeared to be understaffed and having to serve a number of tables.Organisation poor throughout by royal caribbean including port itineraries which were poorly planned with long waits for disembarkation overall so disappointing and not up to expectations.Our experiences were shared by many who were complaining throughout the cruise due to the poor standards Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
5 day cruise ex Singapore April 2018, first appearance of the ship was great ,very large areas plenty of room Okay food , ticked all the box's. By day 2 you could feel the staff were over worked as the ship was quiet full , all ... Read More
5 day cruise ex Singapore April 2018, first appearance of the ship was great ,very large areas plenty of room Okay food , ticked all the box's. By day 2 you could feel the staff were over worked as the ship was quiet full , all restaurants that are free dinning had the same menu reason given was that the ship had far to many passengers therefore they decided to have the exact same menu, which was fine as we went to fine dinning on 4 occasion's to experience a different menu . At the end of the 5 day cruise we were satisfied with the Ship and what they offered ( it was not expensive very reasonably priced ) I just thought when you build a Ship capable of caring 4500 passengers don't tell me that all menus are the same due to the large number of passengers ( very poor excuse ) They need to have more staff and if a restaurant is American, Chinese , etc you should serve the type of food that is unique to the restaurant Title . That is the only complaint we have the Ship s actually very good the 3 star rating is mainly for the lack of selection at the free dinning restaurants. By the way the free Pizza's can be used as Frizbies they are cooked on a pre made base that you can purchase as any supermarket Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first cruise and we chose it because we were excited about Ovation of the Seas, as it is the biggest and most modern ship sailing out of Australia. We were not disappointed! Everything about this ship wows, and the shows are ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose it because we were excited about Ovation of the Seas, as it is the biggest and most modern ship sailing out of Australia. We were not disappointed! Everything about this ship wows, and the shows are fantastic. I loved the cocktails! we had the drinks package, which is very worth it, some say they couldnt drink that much but if you choose expensive cocktails every time (and we did!) its worth every penny. Australians beware the coffee is awful everywhere, as Americans cannot do coffee. The best you can get is the paid patisserie down on deck 5. Our favourite place to eat breakfast (as we disliked the Windjammer) was the Solarium, which is perfect if you are an early bird. Don't bother if aren't though as its popular! We did not go much on the MDR for dinner or lunch, everything food wise is quite American, although Aussies, DO try the Philly Cheese Steak, its really good. But we did love the specialty restaurants! Wouldn't do Wonderland again, though its fun to try. I got grossed out eating a chicken liver in the 'dirt' garden, but other than that eveything was tasty. Jamies was fantastic and a must. Dont stop at one entree order 3 of them, you are allowed its included in the cost! Chops is also very nice if you are a steak fan, though we found the lobster up in the Solarium better than in Chops! The biggest surprise was the Panda noodle place up on the pool deck - amazing food, and very cheap! You can get a ton of chicken wings for a very reasonable price here, great for the kids, and we found the snacks and sliders in Michaels Genuine Pub to be great value. Make sure you get the pigs ears in early as they run out because they're so tasty. The one thing we highly disliked about this cruise was the smoking area, which is on one side of the pool deck on two decks. Its not good enough, you still have to walk through them all, smoke going everywhere, and its way to close to the kids swimming. In Australia hardly anyone smokes now so its far less tolerated here than maybe in other countries, lots of complaints. my advice is go to the silent disco's, the theme nights and the parties, let your hair down and have fun, thats what cruising is all about. Try everything, after all you paid to be there. Hang out in the adults only Solarium if you are tired of the kids, perfect. This is THE ship to choose for middle to teen aged kids! they will LOVE it, there is just so much to do for them. Life guards are at every single pool so its very safe. Even though we don't have to tip out of Australia, take some USD to tip your steward. We also bought Aussie chocs and snacks to give to the staff daily which they appreciated. Give bar and restaurant staff USD cash PERSONALLY rather than adding to your bill otherwise they all share it (if you'd like to personally tip.) We did this to our favourite barman and we got service second to none the entire cruise. They really appreciate being appreciated so take the time, you will not regret. We left a cache of chocolates and chips when we disembarked, for our steward to share with his friends. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.9
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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