17 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Spring Break Cruise Reviews

This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
There were 6 of us traveling, ranging in ages from 42 to 62. We were celebrating my friend's 50th birthday and we booked the cruise some 12 months earlier as she had never visited New Zealand. DH and I have cruised with RCCL ... Read More
There were 6 of us traveling, ranging in ages from 42 to 62. We were celebrating my friend's 50th birthday and we booked the cruise some 12 months earlier as she had never visited New Zealand. DH and I have cruised with RCCL previously on several occasions. Other friends are seasoned cruisers who have never cruised with Royal. We arrived in Sydney the day before the cruise and stayed at the Sir Stamford which was in an excellent occasion as we could walk to the pier. All six of us had the ultimate drink package and found it to be great value. Due to the weather we were consuming large amounts of water, as well as cocktails, beer, wine etc. DH and I had the ultimate dining package and our friends had 5 night packages. The other nights they ate in the main dining room and they had no complaints about the food or the service. DH and I were very happy with all the meals and staff at Chops, Izumi and Jamie's. We didn't visit Wonderland due to a bad experience on another ship a couple of years ago (DH refused to go back). There was heaps of entertainment. We kept missing things we wanted to do, due to conflicting schedules. Cruise Director Joff Eaton was once again AWESOME! Well done Joff, we especially loved your progressive trivia. It was so much fun :) Service was great everywhere on the ship. Over the course of the 10 night cruise, we visited every bar and every dining venue (other than Wonderland). Staff were all happy and fun, not to mention helpful. You could ask for anything in the Windjammer and they would get it for you. We had some great garlic Naan bread made especially for us. We didn't do any excursions through the ship. Personally, I had previously sailed to NZ so was happy to just do our own thing at each port. Twice we just walked around the towns and had some lunch. At Wellington, DH and I stayed on-board. We were only in port for a few hours, so decided to stay on the ship. Overall, it was a great cruise. Our friends who had never sailed RCCL before loved it and are looking to book another cruise with the company. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre ... Read More
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre handles the large number of passengers & the smaller venues cope well with passenger numbers. The staff were excellent, cannot fault, they are eager to please & satisfy any requirements whether dietary or something else. Management are on the ball with this ship, it shows all the way down to staff, service was first class. The Cruise Critic get together was a bit ordinary, scheduled at 930am in the Music Hall, on the other hand there were a lot of us to handle & plenty of onboard stuff to attend to in the venues. Embarkation in Singapore was a shambles, me thinks the port cannot handle such a large number of passengers, getting off at Freo was very slow, Sydney was good, we left the boat at 9am; this is probably why RC is building its own cruise terminal in Florida, so it can handle the large numbers. The entertainment was great, the production shows (2) were up there, the 3rd. show at Pixels was excellent with robots & human interaction, although i was confused as to the theme, maybe that was it, interaction. The music around the ship was pretty good, the electric grand piano had a terrible harpsicord tone, why so ? The INXS Show was very good, a bit loud for my damaged ears but very energetic. The cabin steward Ida was excellent, the dining room staff in the Grande were also very good, food came out on time, i miss eggs benny thats for sure. The Windjammer was very good, i dont mind the same food presented most meals, there is plenty of it & plenty of variety, just avoid peak times, there are plenty of food venues around the ship that are complimentary. I did not seek out the speciality restaurants such as Izumis this time as i was happy with the Grand & bistro. The coffee has improved by the way. There is an electric jug & refrigerator in the room. The bed was very good, big & comfortable. Would i go again ? At 4100 passengers this is about 800 short of max, i dont think the max would be good for me, i am on the Radiance to NZ in a few weeks, looking forward to that cruise with about 1/2 the number of passengers. There were 2 delays with people being winched off to helicopter, this delayed ship to Singers & Freo, with so many people on a ship i suppose you might expect this, but staff said this was the first time they had 2 incidents with helicopter needed, but if it was the 1st time it will not be the last. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I suppose you could say it was our own fault booking a Chinese sector cruise. We should have known what to expect, but we didn't. We had based our choice on our previous experiences on the Ovation's sister quantum class ship - ... Read More
I suppose you could say it was our own fault booking a Chinese sector cruise. We should have known what to expect, but we didn't. We had based our choice on our previous experiences on the Ovation's sister quantum class ship - the Anthem of the Seas. We enjoyed two cruises on the Anthem, one from Southampton and one from New York and both experiences were excellent. On both those occasions we enjoyed very good food and excellent entertainment, the complete opposite in fact of what we experienced on the Ovation. Embarking the ship was very good, with a smooth check-in experience, no doubt helped by the priority given to our diamond class status. We were on the ship within 20 minutes, still too early to access our cabin but with plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and a drink. The bite to eat presented the first disappointment. We chose to visit the Windjammer buffet restaurant and even though the ship was only partially full at that time the Windjammer appeared very busy with very few tables available. However, we persevered, found a table and made our way to the food stations. That was when we first realised we were on a Chinese sector cruise as the vast majority of what was on offer was Chinese and Asian cuisine. Now I don't mind such cuisine as we regularly partake of Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine at home and I did sample a few offerings, but unfortunately none tasted particularly good. In fact the dishes were so bland and lacking in eastern/oriental spicing that I could have been eating anything. The only thing that was of a reasonable and consistent standard was the daily offering of Chinese soups, usually an egg drop derivative. During the whole 10 day cruise I only enjoyed one eastern dish in the Windjammer and that was the butter chicken on the 2nd last day of the cruise. We tended to avoid the Windjammer on sea days primarily as the Chinese guests queued up very early for the restaurant opening, sometimes a hundred or more deep. Then when the doors opened many blatantly avoided washing their hands. Yes they would enter the washing stations at one end and go out the other without their hands seeing a drop of soap and water. We later learned that there was norovirus on the ship, with perhaps this non-hand washing by some guests being at least partially contributory. Towards the end of the cruise we couldn't get any olives, lime, lemon, etc., in our drinks due to the spread of the illness. On most ships we have cruised on at mealtimes in the buffet restaurant we would grab a couple of glasses of water, find a table, dump our stuff and water, then go and get food. This wasn't allowed on the Ovation with regular announcements that you couldn't reserve a table for yourself and that it was essentially first come, first served - a free for all - when it came to getting a seat at a table. So what you had were loads of people getting food on their plates then wandering around with their food waiting for a space at a table to appear, all the while your food was getting colder, not that it was particularly hot in the first place (other than the soup that was generally hot). Our experience in the formal restaurants wasn't much better. The food was generally ok but never great. My wife was attracted to what was described as an 'English classic' on the menu one evening, steak and kidney pie and on arriving at the table it certainly had the appearance of the dish it purported to be - that was until my wife cut into the pie to find it full of kidney beans and vegetables and a few cubes of beef, but not a bit of kidney in evidence. The chef's interpretation of the dish you might say, but certainly not the dish we were expecting. Another night and another English classic, shepherd's pie, was so full of gristle and fat my wife couldn't eat it and it was made with beef (cottage pie) not lamb. On two occasions I ordered a sirloin steak, medium rare, and on both occasions they were delivered at the correct cooking temperature, but were quite tasteless with no hint whatsoever of having been grilled. Service in the formal restaurant was a bit hit and miss. One evening we were sitting at a table for two and being served our main course when a table for six that arrived 20-30 minutes after us were already completing their meal. We complained and things improved slightly after that. Don't expect a decent hamburger on the ship. The burger 'offerings' in the Windjammer left much to be desired and there is no 'Johnny Rockets' on the Ovation in which to enjoy a classic burger and beer battered onion rings. What you have in its place is a 'Kung Fu Panda' noodle and dim sum station. My wife and I are both Diamond members with Royal Caribbean and on the Ovation the 'Diamond Lounge' each evening from 5-8.30 pm was in 'Vintages Bar'. The snacks provided in the diamond lounge were better than in the buffet restaurant, albeit of 3 hot options 2 were always Chinese/Asian, despite the fact that very few if any Chinese guests used the diamond lounge. The pizza squares provided were scrumptious and much, much better than the pizza in the Sorrento pizza bar. On a couple of occasions we actually missed going to dinner as we had eaten enough snacks at the diamond lounge and the main restaurant was so underwhelming anyway. Our cabin was good. We had opted for a deluxe balcony cabin near the front stairs. It had a very deep balcony (12 feet or so) angled towards the back of the ship and provided very good views. It was well maintained by the cabin steward throughout the cruise. As in previous cruises on the Anthem the cabin provided ample storage space. If there was a slight disappointment it was in the lack of provided toiletries other than a dispenser in the shower with some nondescript '2 in 1 shampoo', whatever that means. A bar of soap was also provided. Now we always bring our own toiletries anyway,but I like to compare what individual cruise companies provide, with even TUI/Marella providing 'White Company' products. The deluxe drinks package that was part of our cruise deal wasn't nearly as comprehensive as some others we have enjoyed. Yes it did provide bottled water, cans of soft drinks and premium spirits, etc., but it was the first all inclusive drinks package I have experienced that didn't routinely allow double measures. When you consider the standard measure for spirits on the cruise was 1 fluid ounce or 28.5 ml (slightly more than half a miniature) and this was delivered in a glass full of ice and your requested mixer, the net result is that I could have been drinking anything. We did eventually find a bar that was prepared to provide doubles and having these in short glasses with only a bit of ice and less mixer at least we did taste the spirit. At other bars the alternative was to order your drink then a few minutes later order a straight spirit to add to the drink. That being said all the bar and waiter staff were friendly approachable throughout the cruise - always a smile - always prepared to chat. Did you know that bar staff are paid solely on commission - 60 cents per drink - and I'm sure that at the bar they did serve doubles when requested that they put the order through twice and I'm entirely ok with that. The itinerary on this cruise was interesting with four ports of call in Japan. We booked tours on all but the last port of call but they were generally uninspiring and not particularly good value. The exception was the trip in Nagasaki where we visited the Peace Park, 'Ground Zero' and the War Museum. This was a very poignant and moving experience. The other tours were generally around visiting a park, visiting a Shinto shrine and another local highlight, including queuing for an hour to get up a sightseeing tower for 5 minutes to get back down again before the tour bus moved on. At the last port of call - Shimonoseki - we were on a 'wait list' for a particular tour and when that didn't happen we opted for a shuttle bus into town and I'm glad we did, as we saw and enjoyed more on that trip than on any of the organised and much more expensive shore excursions. There was a beautiful Shinto shrine near the shuttle bus drop off point and just round the corner there was a modern and extensive aquarium with dolphin and penguin shows and much more (£7 entry fee). Also we had time to savour local food, teriaki chicken skewers, which was excellent (and very cheap). Entertainment was another big disappointment. On the Anthem of the Seas we had been thrilled with full length, 90 minute plus, presentations, such as 'We Will Rock You', 'The Gift', etc. These very professional productions used separate entertainers than the 'standard production group' and they were excellent. There was nothing like this on the Ovation. It was the usual 40 minute production shows, where the dancers were very energetic and very good but the singers, particularly the female singers, were generally mediocre. Guest artists were also generally disappointing and a much lower standard than we have experienced on previous Royal Caribbean and other cruises. The exception being a female singer Lalique who provided a very good performance. On previous cruises on Anthem we were thrilled with the resident band 'Rock the Boat' who played a huge array of classic rock music from through the ages in the Music Hall venue on the ship . We were very disappointed, therefore, that 'Rock the Boat' left the Ovation before it started it's Chinese/Eastern itineraries to be replaced by a Philipino band, who were ok but not particularly inspiring. That was when you could hear them at all as most of the time on the top level of the Music Hall all you could hear was the clattering from several tables of Chinese guests playing Mahjong - what a racket. The other band on the ship played mainly Mandarin songs and they were also ok. We tended to end up in the 'Amber & Oak' pub' most evenings where the resident guitarist/vocalist Rob was very good. As you might have expected most of the customer service, etc., staff on the ship were Chinese, no doubt to accommodate the majority of guests on the ship who were Chinese. That being said there were several occasions in shops on the ship when staff clearly didn't understand what was being asked of them, e.g. I had bought 2 litres of spirits in the liquor store and on asking the shop assistant if the bottles would be delivered to my cabin or I had to collect them she responded by asking 'you want to know your limits?' We had similar experiences elsewhere in the ship. Disembarking the ship was the complete opposite of our embarkation experience. We had a time slot identified when to leave the ship and collect our baggage in the baggage hall off the ship. However, due to the very many self-disembarking Chinese guests there were huge queues leaving the ship and it took the best part of an hour to get off the ship. So what are our overall thoughts on the cruise. We liked the ship itself, much as we did the Anthem of the Seas. It is a beautiful ship with lots of room and areas to visit but the ship did seem more crowded than our previous experiences on the Anthem. In navigating stateroom corridors we did observe that many of the cabins occupied by Chinese guests were full occupancy, i.e. utilising the sofa beds in the cabin for additional guests, so this may account for the apparent increase in numbers in guest areas. The lifts/elevator experience was a particularly good illustration of the crowding in popular areas and perhaps what the Chinese guests themselves are used to in Hong Kong. On many occasions a lift would stop at a floor and Chinese guests would simply 'pour' in allowing little or no 'personal space' - very tricky if you are trying to balance a couple of drinks in your hands to enjoy on the cabin balcony at 'sail away'. We didn't enjoy the food and overall we didn't enjoy the entertainment. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that we would ever book on the Ovation of the Seas again, particularly if it is a cruise starting/returning to a port China. As experienced cruisers we should have known better. We will certainly research our cruise choices much more thoroughly in future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to try a cruise with more days at sea, this trip also ended in Singapore which I had not visited for a while. Embarkation was so easy. We had selected 12-12.30 and arrived early at 10.45 to drop off our bags. The ship had agreed ... Read More
We wanted to try a cruise with more days at sea, this trip also ended in Singapore which I had not visited for a while. Embarkation was so easy. We had selected 12-12.30 and arrived early at 10.45 to drop off our bags. The ship had agreed that general boarding could commence. We joined the queue, which was quite long but which moved through all the sections quickly. This was well organised and we were on board by 11.30. Pro's -The ship is excellent, new, clean and the crew were friendly. With so many people on board we did not experience many issues with queues. Only slightly delayed some nights for the restaurants, but no worse than other cruises on smaller ships- 5 mins at most. They ware serious about keeping your hands clean which is fine. We did My Time dining which worked well, either mixing with others or sitting on our own. Food was good quality with a great selection. Our cabin was clean, new and the bed was comfortable. Air con was efficient and TV programs fine for me as there was a selection of news channels to keep up to date with the real world. Entertainment, there is always something happening if you want to get involved. Trivia was our addiction and there were events all day, great fun. evening shows were varied, tribute bands/shows, singing/dancing, pianist, comedians, hypnotist and large production called Pixels.Shore excursions were well organised, it did not take long to get off the ship. The bus services were reasonably priced. Cons- Shore excursions centre was not open very long during the day. Not enough information about what is going on other than the activities sheet delivered to your cabin. We passed some great sights which should have been announced. The photographers kept blocking walkways for staging photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
***AS USUAL, THIS IS A DETAILED REVIEW OF MY EXPERIENCE ON THIS SPECIFIC CRUISE: - This was a repositioning 12 day cruise around Asia, we were a party of 6 in our early 30´s, late 20´´s in 3 different balcony cabins, I got cabin ... Read More
***AS USUAL, THIS IS A DETAILED REVIEW OF MY EXPERIENCE ON THIS SPECIFIC CRUISE: - This was a repositioning 12 day cruise around Asia, we were a party of 6 in our early 30´s, late 20´´s in 3 different balcony cabins, I got cabin 12712. We arrived at Singapore a few days before we embarked and we stayed in a hotel called STUDIO M HOTEL which was a a few hundred meters from Clarke Quay, a very popular área with lots of restaurants and bars, the hotel is very nice and the rooms are very spacious for 2-3 people at most, the room was a 2 level loft, great customer service and great Wi-Fi. First I must say that Singapore is a beautiful city with lots of things to do, very modern, expensive and people is very nice, we really enjoyed our time in the city. *EMBARKATION: We took a Uber to the port, but be careful, there are 2 different port, make sure you ask the right one, in this case is called MARINA PORT, the uber took us to the other one and we almost lost the ship, we basically were the last ones to embark so we had no problema with lines or embarkation, it went smooth, fast and easy. *Port: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM: I must say that his place exceded my expectations, the city is beautiful with lots of things to do, in this place the ship stayed overnight so we decided to rent an apartment through AIRBNB and we got a beautiful apartment with great view close to downtown; in this place there are many things to do and the city is huge! Make sure you visit the parlament, the opera house (Check the website for shows, there are many, we went to a show called TEH DAR and it was beautiful and cheap, around 25 dlls per person in the 12th row, also make sure you take an uber moto, they are fun and safe! Also make sure you visit all the temples you can, each one of them is beautiful!, also don´t forget to visit the catedral, we also wen to have lunch to a very recommended vietnamese restaurant called Qhna Hang Ngon, it is very good and cheap!! Night life in this city is also very fun and cheap. *Port: DA NANG, VIETNAM: This was the second port of call, there were 2 options to visits in this place: DA NANG or HUE, we chose the first one and we really like it, nothing compared to Ho Chi Minh City but this place is nice, full of nice temples and markets, mostly to shop around for typical vientamese souvenirs, make sure you take the mountain tour, I Heard its great! *Port: HONG KONG: This was the third port of call, in this place we decided to ask for authorization of the ship to stay here and catch the ship on the next port since there was 2 sea days in between, we decided to take advantage of this time and see more of HK and Seoul and I must say it was totally worth it, Hong Kong was by far the best city in all my trip, it has many things to do for all kind of taste, make sure you visit the big budah, victorias peak, also make sure you catch the night light show on the promenade, it has a beautiful view of the skyline, also make sure you visit the observation tower which is one of the tallest in the world, the food is very good, people is nice! Make sure you go to the Wong Tai Sin Temple. I stayed in a hotel called SOHOTEL, rooms are very small but the hotel is nice and it has one of the best customer service ever! Also nightlife in here is very fun. *Port: SEOUL: This city is similar to Singapur but with less skyscrappers, the city is beautiful, the palace is nice, there is a tower that is new and is a must and is one of the tallest buildings in the world also, people here are nice and nightlife is very fun as well; in this port, the embarkation was a pain in the butt, very unorganized and the port is on construction so its hard to find the way in, make sure you take korean instructions with you to get to the port. *SHIP: The vessel is amazing, I have nothing but good things to say about it, the decoration is beautiful, the food is very good, the entertainment is excellent, casino is fun, shows are amazing, especially pixels and beautiful dream, make sure you don´t miss those 2, also live love legs.. There are several games made for adults, make sure you don´t miss them either and also the iFly was so much fun! The only thing I didn´t like about the ship is that the nightclub closes at 3am, in all the other cruises I have been, they close around 5am! One night we were lots of people and there was no music! We had to talk to several supervisors to get the music started, other tan that everything was perfect, buffet was very good, make sure you try wonderland! Its a very nice and different dinning experience, it has an extra cost but its worth it; the cabin was the best I have ever been! It was very spacious, decoration was beautiful, shower and bathroom was also very good and clean and the Stewart was great! Overall I love everything about the ship, the solárium is in the back part of the ship and its inside, I love the decoration in it and the fact that its inside so it doesn´t matter if its cold or if it rains, the solárium its always a good choice! *DINNING: Everything was excellent, I really liked the buffet, there was always something new to try, desserts are good too and the main dinning room was very good as well except for the last night which was horrible, cold and with no taste at all. Never tried the room service. *DISEMBARKATION: Here´s why I didn´t rate 5 / 5, the disembark was a nightmare, very unorganized and it took forever to get off the ship, we took almost 3 hours and a half, we lost our train and there were only a few inmigration officers on the counters, that was another minus on the disembarkation process, I know is not Royals fault but the way they organized the exit was very bad, they need to improve that asap!! Overall, I had an amazing time on the ship, great food, great people, great entretainment, great cabin and great customer service! I had a problema back in Seoul related with Royal and they couldn´t help me which made me very mad, but they gave me a very good compensation for it so at the end everything was good. I will definitely sail with royal again!! By the way, I Heard all but good things for Royals shore excursions on this ship so make sure you skip it and book independent tours!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First time have the cruise holiday with my family, chosen the Balcony Room with Sofa Bed and the room size is comfortably accommodate 4 of us. We were so busy everyday with all the onboard activities such as Ripcord by iFly, bumper cars, ... Read More
First time have the cruise holiday with my family, chosen the Balcony Room with Sofa Bed and the room size is comfortably accommodate 4 of us. We were so busy everyday with all the onboard activities such as Ripcord by iFly, bumper cars, flowriders and the swimming pools, and NorthStar. We have bought the 3-days Specialty Dining voucher and there is no regret for paying extra on this, although Royals ships have fabulous buffet dining which is inclusive in the package. But still the whole dining experience was wonderful, from the restaurants' ambiance, staff service, food variety and quality, thumb's up! After our first experience with Royal Caribbean, we know that it's very difficult for us to go others cruises as our expectation will be super high and in Asia country, I believe there is not many cruise would be able to beat The Royal standard. Now we are eagerly waiting for the new Oasis ship which hopefully by 2020 it will complete it's construction and come to Singapore soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We were offered this cruise at the last minute and the deal was terrific. The ship is huge with over 4,000 passengers. Getting away in Sydney was well organized as we did everything online before we left and we were members of the ... Read More
We were offered this cruise at the last minute and the deal was terrific. The ship is huge with over 4,000 passengers. Getting away in Sydney was well organized as we did everything online before we left and we were members of the Crown and Anchor Loyalty Club and this made things even more streamlined. So prepare before you sail. The ship itself was lavish although the Silk dining room was dark and claustrophic. However, we found a fabulous restaurant at the front of the ship which suited us far better. The food was basically the same as the dining rooms as well. We had issue with the photographic section on the ship. We would have bought and posed for more photos but they were only available digitally. We preferred paper copies and this took nearly to the end of the cruise to clarify. So we missed out on some photographic memories we would have enjoyed. Other cruisers also complained about not being able to have photographs and said that they would also have bought more had this been available. They claimed that the photo printer was not working, but such a big ship only has one printer for photos was hard to believe. Staff were attentive but focus was made on getting tips and good reports. The entertainment was good quality but prior bookings were encouraged all the time. Made it hard to know days in advance if you wanted to go to a show or not. The daily newsletter was not well designed and you had to wade through lots of immaterial advertising to get the activities. An advance booklet of activities for the whole cruise would have been useful at the start of the cruise so that you could plan your activities to match booking. The Casino worked on US dollars and the system was complicated so we only had one go there even though we would probably have played the slots a bit more had it been more user friendly. The shore excursions we took ... the first one was well conducted and worked well for us. The second excursion was a shambles. It took nearly 2 hours to get us on the road. We were shuffled from one bus to another with drivers not knowing where they were going or who with. The second excursion therefore left out some of the sights and stops. The excursions were relatively expensive but in some ports there was no option. Getting off in Singapore was a shambles. People were running everywhere. However, in the end luggage was delivered and we made it to our destination, a bit flustered but in tact. Overall we will probably NOT cruise again on Ovation or RCL. We did not like that all costs on board were in US dollars with added hidden charges. Since the cruise left Australian waters with 90% of passengers Australian paying in US dollars was confusing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
this was the bogan cruise to nowhere, the food was cold the common areas were dirty, food everywhere & drink bottles staff could hardly speak English & had no idea staff were coughing with no hands over their mouth and ... Read More
this was the bogan cruise to nowhere, the food was cold the common areas were dirty, food everywhere & drink bottles staff could hardly speak English & had no idea staff were coughing with no hands over their mouth and picking noses the worst experience you could ever imagine You had to Que for everything so to buy a drink it was at least 1/2 hour cruise this was over $800 per double per night I expect better food and cleanliness at least, no wonder they have so many issues with picking up viruses Everybody complained on board as to how bad this cruise is and how the staff did not care that you had to wait, they did not have enough staff onboard to cater for the crowds what a mess this was Cabin quality was ok as it is a new ship but they need to provide toiletries Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Just returned from the Tassie cruise (23 – 28 Jan) and I wanted to comment on our experience (having noted some negative feedback from others on the NZ trip) We are seasoned travellers although this is only our 2nd cruise (previously ... Read More
Just returned from the Tassie cruise (23 – 28 Jan) and I wanted to comment on our experience (having noted some negative feedback from others on the NZ trip) We are seasoned travellers although this is only our 2nd cruise (previously we sailed with Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia) We were a party of 5 and all had a great time. Plenty to do and lots of options for food and beverage. Some tips/points to be aware of: (meant as helpful advice not criticism!) All prices on board are US$ and there is an automatic 18% service charge on most items you need to pay for (speciality restaurants etc.) see below: Cabins (well at least ours) didn’t have Aus plug sockets so bring an EU or US adaptor (there were 2 USB hubs for phones, ipads etc) The voltage didn’t support an aus hair dryer (the new dyson) or a hand held steamer – there was a hair dryer in the cabin though. If you have a power board or alcohol in your check in luggage it will be held in a secure area and not delivered to your room (they x ray all items) so you’ll need to visit deck 2 to collect your bags once under way. (power boards are held and given back when you get back to Sydney) - not end of world but a hassle on day one you don't need so just be mindful? Bags are checked (X rayed) when you return from shore tours and alcohol etc is kept and delivered back to you the night before you dock. There was no option/laundry room to wash or to iron your own clothes – you can get them done by room service but there is an additional charge (as around $4US for a man’s shirt to be ironed) I had some creased clothes straight from the laundry basket at home (planning to iron them when I had more time in the planning and packing mayhem pre-trip) so they stayed in the case and I made do with what I had – 1st world problem! LOL The ship holds around 5,000 guests so some shows, dining options and attractions get booked out early and queues on day 1 were massive so book on-line in advance if you can or wait a day or so and you should be able to book/see most options. A lanyard to hold your key card (ID And all charges are via the card) is useful – we saw a few cases where people had lost them (including a young kid who’s card was then used by others to charge items). Go with a happy attitude and you’ll likely have a great time (we encountered a few who were determined to be unhappy and they were!) General feedback: A very very good operation. - the boat is super modern and has some amazing features and benefits! Check in process was prompt and efficient. Room was well presented, spacious and functional and cabin staff did a great job of keeping it clean and tidy. We tried quite a few of the food options and were happy with pretty much all:- Windjammer was the “food court” area with a wide selection of smorgasboard and made to order options (there was also a gluten free section I noticed) Plenty of healthy options and I’d be surprised if anyone left hungry or couldn’t find something they enjoyed. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner there at various stages and had no complaints – clean tables, good food, well cooked and presented and staff were friendly, efficient and cheerful. We ate at Izumi one night (Japanese) – we paid extra for this but were very happy with the food, service and experience. We chose “anytime dining” which gave us an (complimentary) option of Silks or American Icon to choose from (deck 4) – both a la carte, similar menus and again great food, service and hospitality. You can reserve tables in advance when on board but may experience a short wait on arrival during the busy dinner periods – no drama’s they’ll seat you asap and they won’t run out of food! Staff were fantastic, wine prices were reasonable (we didn’t take the drink package options) There is a free hot dog stand near the kids entertainment quarter – some options not available when we had one but still – free hot dogs!! A free pizza parlour (next to the pub on deck 4) Mmmm...Pizza! The pub staff were great – draught Heineken at $8US a pint and I like a scotch egg – theirs were fantastic! We saw both shows – Legs, live love and Pixels – both great (pre-book shows preferably if you can – we didn’t but got in on stand by as we just turned up but there was a slight wait until the reserved patrons had gotten in. Bingo was popular – mind you some were taken aback at the cost of a book of 5 for 4 games which was $49US and another session was $20 US for one game of full house for a book of 5 – we won one session though and got $500 US so happy happy happy, smiley smiley smiley!! Trivia comps were fun, pools popular with kids and adults alike and the sports courts/dodgem area popular and although there were queues they made sure they moved it along and everyone had a turn. The ifly sky dive simulator was popular and bookings essential – note there are height and weight restrictions – if you are under 6ft and weigh over 104Kilo – no go and there are also restrictions for people over 6ft so worth checking before your allotted slot if you get one? Your trip bill is automatically charged to your nominated credit card at the end of the trip (there are cash options) – be careful and check the small print as to the rate they use to convert from US $ to Aus plus they Royal Caribbean also charge a 3% fee on top (as well as an automatic gratuity of $13.50 US per person per day) We have an international currency debit card (ours is Commbank but most banks offer them) and we loaded it with US dollars at a good rate before we travelled and paid the bill in US dollars using that card which saved us a fair bit. You can check your bill by using the on-board app (check your trip booklet when you book and pay for your trip) or via the TV option in your room or at guest services - Note queues on the night before arriving back to Sydney and the morning of disembarkation were long so best to check and sort things out sooner than leave it to the end of the week if you have any queries? The spa offers some great packages and the steam/sauna option was lovely but a bit pricey at $200US a couple. To help offset the increased calorific intake (!!!!!) I used the gym each day and plenty of machines available (usual sort of stuff for most well equipped gyms) and there were a number of complimentary or pay as you go options for classes/training or seminars. We didn’t get to use the North star “eye” as it was booked solid. Plenty of on-board shopping (including Cartier and other high end stores) Bags are checked (X rayed) when you return from shore tours and alcohol etc is kept and delivered back to you the night before you dock. The boat docked in Hobart very close to Salamanca so an easy walk to some great things to see and do - there were a number of trips you can pre-book plus minibuses and private hire cars waiting to offer their services for trips to points of interest. We know the town well so did our own thing including a day trip to MONA which was great as always. In Summary – we had a great time and from the general chats we had with others they did too. Some people (only a very few) were just plain rude and grumpy but I guess a cruise can’t work miracles so read in to that what you will. A real mix of nations and everyone (most) seemed keen to have a good time and interact well with other guests. All meals were well cooked, well presented and there were plenty of options – great! – well done to the chefs and support crew – your efforts are recognised and appreciated by many. Entertainment – great – some amazing shows and plenty to keep us all amused – but still plenty of space on board to sit and relax with a book or a cocktail and people watch if you wished. Staff – excellent – not a bad word to say about any of them – each played a part in what was a great holiday experience. A big boat with a lot of people on board but very well managed and well organised – credit to the whole crew – well done and thanks! We had a 9.15am slot to assemble to leave the boat, were called at 9.20 and off the boat at around 9.30 and in a taxi - easy! Just read the info sheet they give you the night before and follow the instructions - Easy Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice ... Read More
Maiden voyage out of Southampton. From dropping off the car to getting on board within 20mins. Had the red carpet rolled out, with the paps! taking pictures. Glass of fizz when we got on board and ship was decorated with balloons - nice touch. The ship is lovely, this is a great class. Restaurants all good food and excellent service, couldn't pick a fault. We are really easy going and get frustrated at hearing people complain about the silliest of things. Get over it, move on and enjoy!! Entertainment was fine, didn't see all the shows as there were always other things to be doing. Darren Day was on doing singing impressions, think he sells himself short - should just be himself he has a good voice and is entertaining with his stories. comedian and ventriloquist were also ok. Crew always willing to help, very engaging. One issue the cabin doors are very heavy and make a lot of noise when closing, people allowing them to slam, my next door neighbours obviously thought these doors were a novelty as they opened and closed them at all hours!! Port of call - Cherbourg -nothing there and most of the shops were closed on the Monday - a lovely sail away with hundreds of locals turning out. Took the Taste of Paris tour - really enjoyed it, over 2 hours drive to Paris through lovely countryside, good tour of the city a photo stop at the Trocadero for Eiffel Tower pictures. Got 2.5 hours of free time, went on the Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde which had amazing view. Zeebrugge, took the local shuttle bus to Blankenberge, lovely little sea side town with nice beach, restuarants, bars and shops - a good alternative to Bruges - shuttle 10euro return, dropped you off at train station if you wanted to continue to Bruge. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our first ever cruise on the maiden voyage of the ovation of the seas was a disappointment. The ship itself was huge our cabin was very nice with outside balcony and plenty of space. But that's were it ends we were promised a magical ... Read More
Our first ever cruise on the maiden voyage of the ovation of the seas was a disappointment. The ship itself was huge our cabin was very nice with outside balcony and plenty of space. But that's were it ends we were promised a magical experience when we booked unfortunately it wasn't there was hardly an entertainment on during the day time. Evening entertainment was poor and if you didn't book or arrive an hour before you couldn't get into the venue or definitely couldn't get a seat. the restraunts were always full and again if you didn't book you couldn't get in the only one you could get in was the windjammer which was always packed and you had to search for a table if and when you were lucky enough to get a table one of your party would have to sit at the table while the other went to get their food. There was plenty of choice but it was often cold. The service in the restaurants was poor and very slow the staff seemed to be under pressure and not able to cope with the amount of people booked in. We purchased an upgrade on the drinks package which was good in as much as you could have any spirit or cocktails but the price we were quoted before we set sail was doubled once on board. When my husband went to pay our bill at the end he questioned the price and showed them an email he had with the price we had been quoted so after much haggling and discussion they agreed to knock 60 dollars of our bill. Not a lot I know but when you've paid out a lot of money on a cruise in the first place you don't want to be ripped off after all what's 60 dollars to the royal carabbian. We spoke to several other couples who all felt the same very disappointed all of those we spoke to had cruised many times before and said this was there worst experience. We will cruise again but will choose more wisely. Feeling let down as this was not the experience we hoped it would be. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
What a great ship with all the necessary things for cruisers to enjoy their trip, but Oh there are some problems. If you are not aware that it is important to book your restaraunts and entertainment as soon as you can you may not get the ... Read More
What a great ship with all the necessary things for cruisers to enjoy their trip, but Oh there are some problems. If you are not aware that it is important to book your restaraunts and entertainment as soon as you can you may not get the times that you want. The buffet at the Windjammer has absolutely wonderful choices and should suit all tastes. The major problem with this buffet is that it is more of a cattle market than most ships with a distinct lack of seating. We tried both complimentary and paying restaraunts and found food to be good overall and service excellent. Would recommend you check menu for each restaurant before booking. Entertainment was of a high standard especially the two main shows. There was a major problems with getting a drink in the bars due to too many people in each bar and not enough staff serving. There are lots of excellent activities to do whilst on board. The shore excursions as with most cruises were overpriced. One thing that could be a problem for people who are not used to using tablet technology is that this how you can book everything and I mean everything whilst on board via tablets all around the public areas and the television in the cabin. As this was part of the Maiden Voyage I would hope that the problems we encountered are sorted and this excellent ship and the excellent staff get better reviews. One of the excellent things for this cruise was the embarkation and disembarking organisation very good both sides. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a ... Read More
Southampton is so easy to get on the cruise ship the staff are lovely and very helpful. We have cruised a few times before and fancied going on a brand new ship. We went with another couple that had not cruised before. We had a balcony cabin which was beautiful I can't find anything wrong with it at all. Our room was cleaned twice a day the young man that looked after us was so lovely. There are so many places to eat. We had the majority of our meals in the Windjammer restaurant the food was amazing. The shows were really good, we saw a few comedians and went to a couple of quizzes. I tried something that I have wanted to do for ages, which was the sky diving simulator it was brilliant. There is also bumper cars, flow rider they also do trapeze. There is so much to do and if you don't want to do anything go to the solarium and relax in the Jacuzzi. Great fitness centre. Lots of classes. We went to 2 places in France and we went to Belgium, but we only went on the cruise to experience the ship and we have already been to France and Belgium so we did not bother getting off the ship. At the end of our cruise we decided to carry off our own cases which was very straight forward and saves waiting around. We got off the ship at 6.30 back home in the Midlands by 10.30am. Our friends were so amazed at how brilliant a cruise is, they are already looking into booking another one. We are already booked to go on Independence for the third time in October. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation ... Read More
Booked ovation of the seas for its first sailing turned out Royal Caribbean sneaked in a three night cruise before I was not happy with that . But when we got to the port and see the ship it's absolutely wonderful the embarkation was so smooth ( mind you I had to do most of it before even your own photo on line ). Red carpet as you reached the turminal and paparazzi to take your photo ( which you can download for free after your cruise ) . As soon as you get on the ship you can see how plush it is it was amazing the staff are there offering you champagne and directing you to the windjammer restaurant but I was taken by the two robot arms that mixed and served cocktails they were so cool. Windjammer was huge food was very good coffee could be a bit strong , what I did like was you had a handwash station before entering restaurant . We had a balcony cabin very nice , bathroom bit small but ok . Dining ? Dynamic dinning not a fan could be confusing for older guests silk ,chic, American icon , grand are free the rest you pay a supplement but you have to book your restaurants early or you will end up with late meal , but all restaurants are very good chic is my favourite . Entertainment? Two shows you had to book Dream was one so good (don't miss ) and Spectre . Now this show is exceptional you will not believe it it is amazing what they do with the 2 70 bar is amazing . There are the normal shows as well in the theatre which are very good . Activities . Flow rider, ( fun ) ifly ( very good ) , the wall ( high ) bumper cars ( so much fun) the arm on top of the ship with the glass pod is so cool try it . Bars and clubs . Dotted all around the ship are bars music hall cafes so many we didn't get to try them all but what we did was exceptional.The casino was big the only draw back was the smoking ( not a fan ) stop the smoking you will get more people in . The ship is beautiful it was so smooth you didn't feel it move ,service was very good ,cruise wasn't long enough. My advice is if you like a drink do the drinks package it can get a bit expensive . I could write more but well done Royal Caribbean nice ship . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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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