14 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas South Pacific Cruise Reviews

This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper ... Read More
This is a great cruise liner, very new, excellent staterooms, and mostly excellent service. Our room attendant was the best, always excellent service and always smiling. Give him a raise! Many activities on board including IFly (!) bumper cars, rock climbing, video games, ping pong, sports court, free Zumba and stretch classes, craft (could do better with the craft classes, just gave out kits), lectures, many pools etc. Teen club was good but too many boys hanging around outside. Entertainment was first class. Some of the other passengers let their kids run around without any supervision which I did not like but not much that RC can do about it. Complementary meals and service was good, ranging from fine dining to the massive Windjammer buffet restaurant which has to be seen to be believed. I cannot understand all the whinging in other comments. I mean really, someone got the wrong parmesan? Seriously? Overall very good and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, ... Read More
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, from the very quick seamless embarkation, clean stateroom, service, activities and food choices amazing! We had 2 balcony staterooms one for us and one for our 4 kids. One kid ended up in our room on the fold out sofa. Kids ages 9, 12, 14,16 and not one complaint of boredom even though they had no WIFI for 10 days. When I was researching I couldn’t find a review of Christmas, RCL do an amazing job, there are Christmas decorations, activities, Christmas movies, craft, Christmas food including cookies and milk leading up to a big day of celebration, Santa’s arrival, free gifts for kids under 18. These were very thoughtful and useful. In terms of drinks, we bought the deluxe package, I’m not a big drinker but it definitely works out, bottled water, fresh juices, specialty coffee and wine and cocktails, book on cruise planner prior when it goes on sale. Lots of sales of jewellery and watches, don’t buy in first few days, as they go up to 75 percent off! My sister in law was seasick, they sell tablets in the merchant store but give them away for free at reception. On Christmas Day we booked a specialty restaurant “chops Grille”, food 9/10 but they didn’t have the same Christmas frivolity as the other restaurants, they offered us this for 49 usd adults and kids above 12 and 10 for kids, they said no charge for kids at the end. No Christmas pudding or turkey on menu but apple pie was to die for. They work so hard to make sure everything leads to a great holiday, free ice cream all day on the pooldeck, blankets for watching movies under the stars on the pooldeck. We bought a paradise lotto ticket, $2.00 a game and won $100 usd which we used to credit our account. The activities director is a crack up and there are so many family friendly activities and challenges you can join in or just watch. Caribbean music on the pool deck really makes for a great atmosphere, there is the main pool, a second undercover pool and the adult solarium. The food in main dining is great, the buffet has a theme section each night and the variety for gluten intolerant, vegans and vegetarians is great, not that this was us! Oh and the gym was huge and free, we used it most days. Overall a great experience, would love to do it again next year! Everyone had a great time, I couldn’t fault it, and we are well travelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was ... Read More
Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was too . Cabin : our Cabin wasn't sorted out for 2 single beds , however as soon as we requested them to be separated . It was not too long after we returned that night it was done. Our cabin was lovely , the heating/cooling was a bit difficult to get used to , however room steward came and showed how it worked . the Fahrenheit took a bit getting used to. Entertainment and Activities : my favorite was the Ifly and bumper cars . I highly recommend " the key" program as that will get you passed the huge line ups (if they become an issue) My mum enjoyed the shows as I did . Service : was brilliant - always smiles and ready to assist . Our room steward was friendly and willing to assist when we needed . Guest services were also amazing - especially in assisting my elderly mum. Ports and shore excursions: the team to assist us to disembark and embark back onto the ship were ultra helpful - again especially with my mum - they went out their way to assist and listened when I needed help with mum. My mum loved it and we will be cruising again on her in Nov 2020 . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose Ovation Of The Seas as it was one of the newest cruise ships sailing from Sydney . This was our first time cruising and with two young children so we did not know what to expect. We opted for the Owners suite as we needed ... Read More
We chose Ovation Of The Seas as it was one of the newest cruise ships sailing from Sydney . This was our first time cruising and with two young children so we did not know what to expect. We opted for the Owners suite as we needed the extra room with the kids and was well worth the extra $$ spent. Stateroom was very spacious. Loved the huge balcony and the dining table in room so we had the option to have brekkie or dine in anytime we wanted. It had one and a half bathrooms, with a spa tub and double sink. With the suite we were able to get some extras with our stay. We had priority check in and check out which was a relief with two young children. We had access to the concierge lounge 24 hours. We also had a lot of help from our concierge Bing who made a lot of our bookings for onboard activities and specialty restaurants . My husband had the deluxe beverage package which was unlimited alcohol and beverages and for myself I had the refreshment package. My husband enjoyed his unlimited drinks very much so and I am surely made the most of it. We had brekkie almost everyday at Windjammers as it was easier with kids and there were plenty of options. We enjoyed most of our meals at the Windjammers. We only dined in the other dining room once - Grand which we received amazing service from Jean. With specialty restaurants, we had Chops twice and Jamie Oliver. Chops was disappointing for myself as I asked for my Ribye to be medium rare but came out well done and was very tough. My husband and his friend on the other hand ordered the same and their steaks were perfect. So good that my husband wanted to go back again. Second time was even more disappointing for me. We made sure we asked for medium rare again and surely it did come medium rare but the meat did not taste fresh and was very bland and was very hard to cut through. Both my husband and I only managed to eat half our steaks. It was unfortunate we didn’t enjoy our steaks but service was amazing though. Jamie Oliver was great . Food was very tasty! We had lots of starters and portions were very big so we got full before our mains even came out. I had the prawn linguine which was amazing and my husband had the truffle pasta which he absolutely loved also. We were not able to finish our mains as we were both too full. We had a great experience at Jamie’s but next time we will not order too many starters. We only tried the coastal restaurant once for dinner . Coastal is for suites guests only. The service was again amazing but the food was a little disappointing. We had a steak again asking for medium rare but came out almost well done. We never had brekkie or lunch there so I cannot comment. We really enjoyed Sorrentos pizzas. It is very convenient to have a quick bite to eat and tastes yummy also. Next door is cafe promenade which I had cookies and carrot cake for afternoon tea and they were both very good. The hot dogs at sea Plex was also enjoyable. Great to grab and quick when you are feeling peckish. The only dissapointment for us was there was not much entertainment for the kids. Our kids are 2 and 3. My two year old is not yet toilet trained and still has to wear the nappy swim pants. She was not allowed into any of the pools. There was only a very small toddler splash zone which she spent most of her time. My 3 year old was too little to go on the big splash zone and he was looking forward to it so much. There were dodgem cars which was a minimum age of 5 to ride with an adult so no good for us either. We did not put the kids into the kids club at all. We had 3 days at shore. The first day was at Port Vila. It was pouring for most of the day so there was not much to do in town. 2nd day we received an announcement early in the morning for Mystery island that it was too windy so they did not let us get off the cruise. The last day was at Noumea. We booked a shore excursion the Amedee Island. Getting off was quick as we had priority departure also. We had a great day and the weather was perfect. Included was a lunch buffet on the island which was nice. Overall, we had an amazing experience and we cannot fault the service at all. Everyone was so attentive and actually looked genuinely happy to be there. This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to our next one! Definitely will not consider cruising with any other cruiseline other than Royal Caribbean!! Take me back!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Always interested to cruise on a new mega ship ,seen Ovaction in the harbor decided to review a cruise package next day and chose this one . All staff very friendly always acknoweded us and asked if any help required . Excellent ... Read More
Always interested to cruise on a new mega ship ,seen Ovaction in the harbor decided to review a cruise package next day and chose this one . All staff very friendly always acknoweded us and asked if any help required . Excellent service in the Grande Dining room you can order bottle of wine and they will store for you each night if not fully drank . Did order the Maine Full Lobster first night out at addition $35 only to told it was not avaiable as was all other nights and it was not taken off the menu pity but no big deal . I found the drink package a bit expensive as you have to purchase two for full trip so then you tend to drink for the sake of it plus you do have on board credits and drink prices were resonable compared to onshore. Although it was full with over 4000 passengers the crew manage you all well including boarding and embarkation considering we required assistance for disabled partner at times The windjammer dining area was busy at all meal times but a good selection of food was available . Water ,iced tea and cordial drinks are free together with brewed coffee ,tips only to main dining room crew and cabin attendent was suitable unless you wished to tip for good service but not pushed on you . Plenty of attractions bars and deck areas to relax .would recommend book the Wonderland restaurant as its different and good service . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Really impressed. The cruise was amazing. So action packed and busy. a full ship but the only time it felt busy was at the end of show times or when queuing for north star and flow rider. We had a ball and want to book again. Boarding ... Read More
Really impressed. The cruise was amazing. So action packed and busy. a full ship but the only time it felt busy was at the end of show times or when queuing for north star and flow rider. We had a ball and want to book again. Boarding was very chaotic with all boarding slots between 1200 and 1330 being called at 1130. Disembarkation and tendering on ports was fast and efficient. Dining. The grande restaurant was amazing and food and service were exceptional. our servers, monsa, jan and kim. Were amazing always on top of our orders and dietary requirements. Icon grill and silk the food was average and the service was lets say... Lacking. Windjammer was great however the selections at lunch seemed very repetitive by the end of the cruise.in windjammer we had chef manoj and chef joshue. Both amazing men who took care of my daughters allergies requirements exceptionally well. Facilities were exceptional and well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time cruiser. Stayed in grand suite 6234. Do not have one bad thing to report. Our concierge Bing was fabulous and looked after our every need on the ship. Disembarked before everyone else at Noumea which was pretty good. Room ... Read More
First time cruiser. Stayed in grand suite 6234. Do not have one bad thing to report. Our concierge Bing was fabulous and looked after our every need on the ship. Disembarked before everyone else at Noumea which was pretty good. Room amenities fabulous. Bed nice and soft (not too soft). Shower fabulous, robes a nice touch. Lots of room on the balcony. Definitely didn't get cabin fever in this room! Highly recommend stretching to a grand suite if you can save up or have the funds. Coastal kitchen is FABULOUS! Head there if you have a suite. We didnt eat in the main buffet area the entire cruise. We had two deliveries of special treats to our room whilst we sailed. Nice touch. Please note, if you don't want to sail with one thousand kids, book outside school holiday time. That's the only negative thing I have to say about this cruise - lots of kids running around. Oue fault for booking during school holidays though so we just escaped to coastal kitchen and our suite deck area on top for peace and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for the variety of activities for our family of 2 adults, 1 adult child and a 17 and 15 year old. The cruise did not disappoint. There were many highlights however the live entertainment was outstanding. The number of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the variety of activities for our family of 2 adults, 1 adult child and a 17 and 15 year old. The cruise did not disappoint. There were many highlights however the live entertainment was outstanding. The number of bands, live theatre, music and trivia/game shows on offer each night was pleasantly surprising. Lots of choice. You did however have to be at the venue generally 30 minutes prior to the entertainment to secure seating. All venues and dining offerred comfort. Service of dining, cabin and general staff was 10 out of 10. You never had to wait for anything. Dining options were varied and offered choice. Restaurants and cafes were extremely clean. We experienced two specialist restaurants. The Wonderland dining experience was disappointing. Flavours were extremly strong, overbearing and tasteless which leaves you reaching for your drink. Not for young children. Presentation of the food was great, however not of good quality at all. Jaime Oliver was lovely. Ports and shore excursions were easy as was embarkation and disembarkation. The crew and staff were very helpful and the process very smooth which was surprising considering the amount of guests. Our children would have liked to see more organised sporting activities. An overall pleasant and relaxing holiday that we would love to do again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
After reading various reviews we were slightly anxious about the size of the ship and the capacity to deal with so many people - how wrong we were, thankfully. I understand everyone has a different interpretation on matters however we ... Read More
After reading various reviews we were slightly anxious about the size of the ship and the capacity to deal with so many people - how wrong we were, thankfully. I understand everyone has a different interpretation on matters however we were surprised at the ease of the entire process. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone any smoother which was fantastic as we had heard of delays and queues. After arrival at the pier in Sydney, we were sitting down having lunch in Windjammers within half an hour. No issues finding a dining table either. Luggage arrived with no delay which meant I could unpack and settle into our stateroom (yes, I'm one of those who has to unpack and 'move in'!) then go exploring this beautiful ship. We booked as much as possible through the cruise planner before departure and I think this is necessary to ensure you eat / do / see what you want. I know some people were disappointed as a lot of things were already booked out by the time they were onboard. We found the food excellent in the MDR and the specialty restaurants we went to and the service matched the quality of the food. We selected the 3 night dining package as we love our food, we then had to choose which 3 specialty restaurants to dine at - hard choice but we managed! Once again, plan ahead and book. No issues with either ports we went to, Noumea we were docked at the commercial port which meant shuttles to the passenger terminal and Mystery Island was accessed by tenders. The tender process was smooth sailing (in saying that, we did leave the ship early to avoid having to get tickets for tender seats in the peak times) and I only found a queue at lunch time to return to the ship for food! Absolutely adored Mystery Island but found Noumea a bit underwhelming which was disappointing as this was the main reason we chose this particular itinerary. Once again, personal preference and I'm sure others loved it - at least we can now cross Noumea off our list of Pacific Islands visited. We did not arrange any of the ship shore excursions so am not able to comment on that although they seemed quite expensive. My husband found access to the gym difficult but he is an early morning training person which is the most popular time, he did try at various other times and often found it too busy. The running / walking track was excellent. Running up and down the stairs was an alternative work out for him also! Our Balcony Stateroom was perfect and nothing but praise for our room attendant, Avelino. The only comment is the bed was a bit hard.... No words to describe Two70, loved it and the only place to go for a pre dinner drink. Onboard entertainment was the only thing I found slightly lacking, I am perhaps a theatre snob so it's probably just my personal taste. The performer I did enjoy was the variety entertainer, Danny Elliot - what a surprise package and thoroughly entertaining. A cruise is what you make of it - do as much or little as you want. We're all different and what makes me happy I'm sure does not make you all happy, accept it for what it is and enjoy the moment. I cannot wait to cruise on this beautiful ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have been on both small and medium cruise ships but decided we'd like to try the big ship experience! Our boarding time at Sydney was 11.30 am and were on the ship within about 10 minutes. It was the smoothest embarkation ... Read More
We have been on both small and medium cruise ships but decided we'd like to try the big ship experience! Our boarding time at Sydney was 11.30 am and were on the ship within about 10 minutes. It was the smoothest embarkation we'd ever had! We loved our room - we spend a lot of time on the balcony on a cruise ship and the balconies on Ovation are great. Two really comfortable chairs with footstools plus a table for drinks. We went to Windjammers often and if there was a queue we'd simply come back a little later. If you ate outside of the busy times there was no trouble in getting a table. We had anytime dining and went to the Americon Icon the first night but preferred Silk next door for the rest of the cruise - it just had more atmosphere and the lighting was not so bright. Everything in the dining room was great - fast, friendly service and no issues there at all. We ate at one specialty restaurant, Chops Grille, but didn't enjoy that for various reasons (that have been expressed directly to RCI). The best find on the ship was the Solarium Bistro for breakfast. Sometimes there was a wait but once in you got your own table and a great variety of breakfast food with no crowds. This was very relaxing and became our normal breakfast spot for the entire cruise. Our favourite bar was the Schooner Bar and especially in the evenings with Lyndon Davies at the piano - that was just such fun and everyone was so friendly. I actually can't remember a cruise where I've laughed and chatted with so many strangers! Everyone seemed to be having a great time. We met up with a few people at the Cruise Critic meet and mingle (which was fun) and by the end of the cruise we seemed to know quite a few people on board! We stopped at Mystery Island which was stunning and also Noumea. We had been to Noumea before so just took the ships tour which gave us a tour then 90 mins free time at Anse Vata Beach. We'd bought this when it was on special so it worked well for us. I actually can't think of a single criticism other than we would have enjoyed more talks/presentations. I did enjoy the battle of the sexes trivia and a few other contests held all over the ship. The shows were amazing with good variety - dancing, a mentalist, comedian and broadway type shows. The staff were all extremely friendly (but very busy) and the North Star and iFly were great. I would sail on Ovation again with no hesitation for a cruise with lots of sea days but would prefer the smaller ship experience if sailing on a port intensive cruise. All in all, we had a fabulous, friendly and memorable cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Both my wife and i are first time cruisers and we embarked on the Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas, 8 night South Pacific cruise from 18 - 26 February 2018. We loved the Ovation of the Seas and the both of us had a relaxing and ... Read More
Both my wife and i are first time cruisers and we embarked on the Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas, 8 night South Pacific cruise from 18 - 26 February 2018. We loved the Ovation of the Seas and the both of us had a relaxing and an amazing time and we can't wait to we go on another cruise in the Royal Caribbean lineup. As first time cruises we were both are little overwhelmed with the size of the ship and took us a while to get into the swing of things, but once we did it was all smooth sailing. Embarkation went smooth, thanks to the online check in on the RC website and took no longer then 30 - 40 minutes. Absolutely cannot fault disembarkation, it was well organised and a seamless process. The Ovation of the Seas is amazing, lovely, very modern and clean. There is plenty to do on board during the sea days, it also certainly helped that we were blessed with perfect weather which made life on the pool decks all that more relaxing. There are some great rooms on the Ovation, with my favourite being the 270 lounge and the Solarium. Never had a problem getting a lounge chair to sit back and watch the ocean pass by whilst reading a book. We stayed in a stateroom with a balcony, the stateroom was clean and roomy and there is plenty of space and storage for your clothes and belongings. Dining on the ship in the main dining halls was very good, but the speciality restaurants onboard are amazing. We didn't get the dining package before we boarded, but i recommend on a cruise on the Ovation for this length of time , is definitely worth considerint. Izumi and Jamies Italian being the standout restaurants on board. There is plenty of entertainment and the shows are very good, my god they even had a tribute to Queen! and AC/DC. The gameshows on board was certainly helped by the cruise director Joff who was very entertaining. The service on board is excellent, treat people with kindness and they will treat you back. Mystery Island was the highlight destination, just exactly what you want when visiting an island in the south pacific, blue skies, clear water and white sandy beaches. Also enjoyed Noumea, New Caledonia, highly recommend taking the hop on /hop off bus,this gives you a little glimpse of Noumea and its sights. Both my wife an i caught the bug, the cruise bug, and we cant wait to do it all again. Until we meet again!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I choice Ovarian of the Seas Cruises for my birthday holiday, after watching the Tour Of The Cruises Shipes video from one of the traveling agency., on YouTube, I've set my heart on Ovation of the Seas Cruises right away.. And when i ... Read More
I choice Ovarian of the Seas Cruises for my birthday holiday, after watching the Tour Of The Cruises Shipes video from one of the traveling agency., on YouTube, I've set my heart on Ovation of the Seas Cruises right away.. And when i got on the roof top of this shipe, i felt like a free bird, just got out from her cage. I just love all the activities, it surely has made me felt like (a young girl in my teen years again) at my 50 birthday, Ijust love all the fun games, Live Performances Shows, Movies under the Stars on the roof top every day and night, so many things to do and we didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted to experiences, One week trip wasn't not long enought for us. The food Buffet was heavenly blessing for us, every day we tried and ate different kind of foods and deserts, which cooked in the same way others countries would cook, as if we traveled the world to have all of these amazing food (nternational food options ) all in one shipe, big credit to all great chels cooking for more than 5,000 customers everyday and night . We're difinetly going to try cruising on others different Royal Caribbean Cruises every year from now on, LOVING IT & I WIL LBE BACK. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The size of the thing is what gets you. Embarkation was smooth as silk. We went from baggage check in to on board in less than half an hour. All services were then available prior to our departure. The cabins (12528/12530 ... Read More
The size of the thing is what gets you. Embarkation was smooth as silk. We went from baggage check in to on board in less than half an hour. All services were then available prior to our departure. The cabins (12528/12530 Interconnecting) were spacious and could be mistaken for a hotel room. The shower was great and surprisingly good pressure. Luggage space was more than enough. Over head compartments weren't even needed. The balcony was huge and because we were interconnecting we had a double balcony. Plenty of room outside to lay down and watch the world sail by. Bed and pillows were great. TV entertainment was more than expected. Watched Premier League live in the morning as well as the Australian Open tennis live when in the room. The dining options were varied and all were top class. Would have liked the Hot Dog place to be opened longer. Sorrentos pizza was a great option for the kids late at night, as were the cakes and sandwiches at Cafe Promenade. All complimentary of course. The MDR with my time dining was faultless. We alternated between Americon Icon and Silk. Also ate at Grande one night. Were going to try a couple of the Specialty restaurants but couldn't get the reservations on the app and because we were satisfied with the main dining options we didn't bother. Only negative I could find was that you got the impression they wanted you out as quickas possible so that the table would be free for others. The meals really came on top of each other. Dinner would be finished in 45 minutes. Windjammer was Ok. Thought the breakfast options were pretty good. However their meats (Bacon and sausages) were not great. Lunch was more varied than Breakfast and each day was different. Entertainment was a highlight. There was something for everyone. Cruise Director Joff was a very funny. Clever guy. Kids and I tried trivia each day as well as the bingo when it was on. Surprisingly more fun than they expected. Also because it was in the 270 theatre it was very comfortable and had great views. All the shows were brilliantly done. We enjoyed the two comedic performances the most. The fact they had two shows each night meant you never missed a seat to watch. They also had a matinee the following day for the productions. Seaplex was great for the kids however this would have to be the area where the RCI let themselves down. Supervision and organisation was quite poor. It was very hard for the kids to get a go on Roller Skating and Dodgem cars. The Table Tennis tables were always being used and there was no system as to who was next to play. Never any staff watching the area. There was not enough communication from RCI as to how all the activities were organised in the SeaPlex. Its a greay arena for a ship but it needs more organisation and staff. Would definately cruise on it again, but may try and experience it outside of the School Holiday period. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We booked through Cruiseabout on 21/06/2016 for our January 19th 2018 sailing to the South Pacific. We initially booked for a party of 2 adults and 2 children (one 15 years old, the other 11- both girls). As it turned out my sister and ... Read More
We booked through Cruiseabout on 21/06/2016 for our January 19th 2018 sailing to the South Pacific. We initially booked for a party of 2 adults and 2 children (one 15 years old, the other 11- both girls). As it turned out my sister and brother in law also booked shortly afterward to make our trip extra special. The Ovation came to Adelaide in December 2017 for a stopover, so we were able to view her from the dock and witness firsthand her immense size and beauty. We decided to travel from our home in Adelaide to Sydney 2 days prior so as to show our 11 year old around who had never been. We booked at the Swissotel in Market Street, right down the road from the Pitt Street Mall- great location!! Swissotel was wonderful- room spacious, staff excellent, facilities awesome. My girls especially loved the gym, pool and large spa. We all shared a Swiss Advantage room (booked on Booking.com) featuring 2 queen beds. There is a funky bar in the lobby, which we didn't actually get to as our days proved so full we were exhausted later at night! Sydney was fantastic- we had earlier booked a BridgeClimb online, which we scheduled for the day prior to sailing, and I had cashed in my flybuys points on a reward that gave us tickets to The Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and the Sydney Aquarium. We also visited Bondi for a swim and my youngest daughter met a Bondi Rescue Lifeguard and had her photo taken with him! EMBARKATION Couldn't believe how well organised and smooth the process was- we were on in no time and drinking our first pina colada on our balcony! There is lots of assistance in directing passengers to the right area and what documentation to be holding ready. Customs was swift also. Remember to always remove hat and sunglasses at checkpoints! CABIN We were in 9168- a Superior Oceanview Stateroom. The bedding configuration consisted of 2 single beds put together and a sofa bed for the girls. Every night our stateroom attendant Dewa would prepare the sofa bed (with a towel animal left on the "master" bed) and every morning pack it back up again. There was lots of storage- above the master bed was two hinged cupboards (where I kept my clothes in my Kathmandu storage cubes), 2 small wardrobes (with hangers) either side of the master bed, a room safe and a desk with drawers. The bathroom was great- a proper shower screen and excellent water pressure. There was a hairdryer in the drawer, a kettle and tea bags and long life milk capsules. Nothing in the mini-bar. Please note- don't request any water from your stateroom attendant - we found Evian water (large bottles) in our fridge and $14 went on our bill! Oops - unnecessary expense. It didn't matter that we all had deluxe drink packages- this wasn't covered in those. Get your water at the bars yourself. We brought with us a mini whiteboard, that we wrote messages to our attendant if we required anything. My daughter needed a latex pillow and the sofa bed was a bit hard, so we requested some more mattress padding- which were supplied. The other beds were very comfortable. DINING We got into a routine of breakfast in the 270 lounge cafe - lovely bagels and oatmeal, then lunch at the Windjammer main dining room (try the cappuccino cheesecake) and dinner was initially at Silk, but then chose every night from then on the American Icon Grille, due to the wonderful service of Flory and Jason. They honestly could not do enough for us and made our dining experience a most memorable one. The menus were lovely - my eldest daughter and I tasted escargot for the first time and my husband got hooked on the prawn cocktails and steak dishes. We always walked out at the end of the meal thoroughly satisfied and feeling pampered. We had booked times for My Time Dining, but were sometimes late due to the wealth of activities onboard, but they would always manage to get us a table within 5 minutes or so, so no "hangry" teenagers! There was a line-up for those with no reservations on My Time Dining. We had booked all of our times online before we left. Mainly 6pm and 7.45pm. We had arranged the Deluxe beverage packages from ourselves and the refreshment for our 2 teens, and are so glad we did- we didn't have to worry about a big bill at the end. We bought ours online for $63 for the adult beverage in October 2017. ENTERTAINMENT We saw: "Pixels" - a futuristic dance, high energy show- was excellent- book online before you go. "Live, Love, Legs" - a Vegas style song and dance show with the ladies wearing feathers. Was lots of fun. "A Beautiful Dream" - probably the best show - beautiful story- made my sister and I cry. The soprano and singing (and dancing) overall is just magic. Costumes and staging are highly professional and outstanding. We went to the 1pm matinee and scored front row centre seats. "The Australian Beatles Show" - awesome. There were patrons from 5 years old to 75 in attendance- all boogying on down. Also saw 2 comedians, and every morning at 10.45am attended Joff's Progressive Quiz, to win the coveted keyring! He was hilarious and made every sea day morning a laugh. There were bands on the pool decks - the reggae band was great with the steel drums, and you could sit in the pool and watch the tennis as you relaxed. Sounds great, hey? We spent many an hour sitting in the spa being served margaritas and beer by our friendly waiter Marvin, who was very attentive. We all did the iFly- a MUST do!!! Not scary, just fun- my husband is 59 and I am 51, and we managed it perfectly. It totally WOWED my teens! Book online before you go - gets booked out very quickly. A complimentary activity. Northstar is wonderful too- got some great photos and video footage on our journey- just wasn't long enough! Again- gets booked out quickly, and is another complimentary activity. We didn't get to the Rock Climbing Wall or the Flowrider, as there was so much else to do, but the kids went on the Bumper Cars, hung around in the teens area "The Living Room" and had a wonderful time planning their days. They cried the day we left, and we were so depressed also. What!- we actually have to cook and clean and fend for ourselves again at home?? :-(( PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS We visited Mystery Island and Noumea. MYSTERY ISLAND Well organised tender to shore (using their own motorised lifeboats). We were on the first boat off. Is a small island, but we were entranced by the hermit crabs, snorkelling in the clear water (we brought our own sets to avoid hire charge and stuffing about trying to organise), the massages by the ni-Vanuatu women in the little hut, and my youngest daughter had her hair braided. A great family memory. We had booked a shore excursion (not through the ship-via Facebook), but abandoned the idea when we were told by a travel agent and others who had tried to use this provider, that he was a bit of a conman and may or may not turn up. We wished we had booked snorkelling through the ship, as we could have gone further afield to view more in the Giant Aquarium. NOUMEA The entry to the port is pretty non, as you sail past a dirty nickel mine, then dock at a container loading depot, so it wasn't a great start. One is struck by the amount of graffiti in the city too. We had booked a tour (also through Facebook, but this time legit) but had to wait for about a hour before we even took the ferry on tour to Escapade Island. The tour guide stated that Ovation was too big a ship for the port and there weren't enough buses to accommodate the number of passengers. Don't bother with the "market" at the port- it's just crappy cheap souvenirs, and rude French stall holders who bark "Don't Touch" if you want to inspect anything with a view to purchase. Our tour guide stated that he was planning to move his operations back to Vanuatu as he was getting nowhere trying to deal with the French- and he was on the Board of Directors for the New Caledonian Tourist Commission! The highlight of Escapade Island was swimming with the turtles in the lagoon- the snorkelling there was sublime and we enjoyed it immensely. We had a great lunch of prawns, mussels, lovely salads, a carvery, lovely patisseries. Just be mindful of drink prices - 2 cocktails, 2 cocktails and a beer cost $84 dollars AUS. Ouch! Patrons staying at Escapade Island were complaining about the poor quality of food, no air-conditioning in their overwater bures and the very poor service. We swam in the pool and it was grubby around the sides and a poisonous sea snake was found in the pool where children were swimming. I saw one little fellow virtually walk on water to exit! A fellow passenger told me at Noumea she disembarks, goes to a shop called "Maxine's" I think, where she gets her half price Chanel makeup and cheap booze. Then she gets back on the ship. FINAL WORDS: We spent the $7.95 (per device) on the Royal IQ app to be able to communicate with each other, as we didn't buy the internet package. It worked very well in text messaging, but not phone calls. Still, would buy again. Arrange at Guest Services if you aren't tech savvy or via the Royal IQ app. Loved our family time together- everyone had a ball and we are planning our next cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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