19 Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

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
We are Canadians who were travelling in Australia. We wanted to take a series of cruises back to North America from Australia, and see parts of Asia at the same time. We chose this itinerary because it got us to Asia, where we then ... Read More
We are Canadians who were travelling in Australia. We wanted to take a series of cruises back to North America from Australia, and see parts of Asia at the same time. We chose this itinerary because it got us to Asia, where we then continued on other ships. Our whole experience was incredible. The ship was sparkling and new, and had great facilities. On our 14 day cruise, we had 11 sea days, which is a lot-but we loved every second of it. Activities The days were packed with things to do. There were daily sports competitions, including ping pong, soccer, and volleyball, and trivia in the lounges and other game shows you could enter. The activities staff ran choir and 2 dance classes (Thriller and Lady Gaga) which then all put on a talent show on the last day. We went on the (no extra cost) North Star and took great photos. You can get really good shots of the whole ship. Or if you are in port, you can get a good view of the area. We paid for lessons on the flow rider which got us an hour group lesson with lots of turns. It’s very easy and I recommend you try it, at least the body boarding. We had really hot weather so the pools were always welcome, but even on a full ship I never had trouble getting a chair. Having to sign out towels was the only annoying part. I prefer other ships where you can just help yourself. The fitness classes (cycling, TRX, conditioning) were good. I just don’t like getting up early to attend but I loved being able to swim afterwards, and then still having time for breakfast. Dining We liked the food. The Solarium bistro is buffet salad bar and apps then à la carte mains, and we gound the food delicious. Other than that, we ate at the main buffet which I thought had a good variety. I especially liked making my own soup where you choose a broth and veggies, and the chef cooks it for you. They have hamburgers at every meal but never veggie burgers, and I think they should add them as an option. Cabins We had a balcony cabin and a studio. I was in the studio by myself and it was perfect. Lots of storage space above the bed and I had a lot of luggage because I was travelling for 5 months. The virtual balcony screen actually made a big difference and I kept thinking it was a real window. My patents’ balcony room was beautiful and right next door. Both rooms were very clean and comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
6 day cruise repositioning I have been on 2 tiny 600pax ship as a beginner and loved the experience. So when this repositioning cruise from Singapore package appear, being the biggest, newest, technological advanced mega bling boat, ... Read More
6 day cruise repositioning I have been on 2 tiny 600pax ship as a beginner and loved the experience. So when this repositioning cruise from Singapore package appear, being the biggest, newest, technological advanced mega bling boat, well gush, went to local Bicton Travel and booked. Boarding in Singapore was very organise, approx. an hour to the room. Cabin 7310 down the back of the boat aft side, thank god a balcony room especially for my husband being a first time reluctant passenger, but he didn’t want to miss out on the great time I had on a very small boat with an interior room with girls. Interior room would suck for a fellow! I did read reviews for this ship and it came across a mix bag so I was ooh yes or ooh no. Pre planning such as booking shows, northstar viewing capsule and evening al carte dinners are a must! I was able to book on line 10 days before sailing, a little butterfly mentioned 50% bookings are taken online and 50% can book on the boat but don’t leave it too late. The shows are a wonderful productions but bring ear plugs if your fellow can’t cope with loud sounds. Food! Well it’s a foodie feast fest! With the 4000pax cruisers I never felt cramp! In this cruise you had 4 evening main diners, two for my time (meaning you say 6, 6.15, 7 etc) or set time 6 or 8.30. All these 4 restaurants served the same menu just in different impressive décor, must book. The food choices impressive, I had spaghetti bowl and was so delicious, I had to ask the waiter how close is Jamie Oliver’s kitchen, he chuckles, and yep they share! Windjammer buffet style no bookings so great to try out everything. Coffee is not good complimentary, but if you pay for coffee it is delightful! Fresh juices at the Solarium from 7am, my favourite was oranges and ginger made by a sunshine smiley lady (Arnie?)b costs $6.00usa plus 18% You had a lot food places to go to and yes some you pay extra, I was not bored with the complimentary so far. Drink packages, well we took it because of being fulltime on board. Value maybe not, it’s all charged in USA dollars and Aussie $ sucks. The great shot bar tender goes to the robots they really squeeze that bottle! The robot can’t do everything still had the human around to clean the mess up, Yeah, we are yet not replaceable. Pizza snacks was pretty plain and very cheesy except for the Mexicana. For sweet eaters so much to choose!! Staff, well you guys are amazing and made this cruise a delight, thank you and to our room attendant Anthony and his origami towel art demo, a treasure! Activities – Ok, yes a daily program given. I went to the vitality stretch 7am, gorgeous fitness instructor (Pablo?) Some of the Seminars are a waste, like one,” how to eat more and lose weight” was a walkout! Most seminars push sales, business as usual. It’s nice to have a guide of events, it’s all up to you. Outdoor movies are nice but can be breezy area. The 60yrs plus boys did the flow rider bringing back memories, nah, on the safe side they were on the tums bogie boarding. Spa, a bit rich but when on holidays! Public areas are clean and everything blissfully working. Technology radar in the public toilets as to say no button to press u do your business exiting and ooolalaa gone! Entertainment as mention above very impressive but if you are sensitive to sound take ear plugs. Disembarkation – It was ok in Fremantle tin shed, sheep herding, anyway if I do it again I would take my time breakfasting because it seems that everyone leaving thought outside the schedule time would be quicker, nut! Room vacation is at 9am, we left at 7.30 for breakfast and got home around 10.30am. Would I go again , yes but with the girls, hubby couch potato, oh humzzzzz I can see the staff having a lovely Aussie jolly time in this reposition cruises ahead. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was ... Read More
We chose this to be our introduction to cruising. Being disabled we booked an accessible suite and were not Dissapointed, the stateroom was superb with the balcony having a ramp to get in and out, a full wet room shower and everything was lower to suit wheelchair users. Access was great with the larger door having an auto opener fitted. The food was, without a doubt, a high point. The specialist dining was worth every penny, but no way would anybody feel shortchanged with the standard package, it was all plentiful and the selections available would suit any palette. The entertainment was plentiful and would suit the vast majority. Most of the crew were like walking ship maps and seemed to know what, when, and where for everything and as helpful as you could wish. Plenty of time was given over to excursions and city visits including plenty of time in Dubai prior to departure. I was at first a little concerned about embarkation and disembarkation but need not have worried, getting on and off went as smooth as could be and help was there at all points. Luggage was never an issue and was where it needed to be when it was needed. Just as an aside, the bars were great. The only problem now is where and with who next? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks ... Read More
We chose this cruise to discover cruising on a larger ship. To our amazement it was easy to get from A to B with wider pathways throughout. The decor is beautifully appointed with many "chill out" areas available in many nooks and crannies. Once we discovered how to make bookings for the dining rooms, our dining experience was excellent. However, there is a need to have information available as to how to make these reservations as it is very different to the usual dining arrangements on all other ships. We found the staff very friendly and they did try their best to answer queries but as the ship was so new and quite different in its operation, they struggled at times. People need to understand this is a very different situation to what we all know and give the staff a chance. Entertainment and activities were tremendous. The specialty shows were amazing and so professional. Wonderful! We were so busy at times that finding time to swim in the excellent choice of pools became quite difficult! Thanks for all that was available! We would definitely cruise again on Ovation - we loved it! Am sad that there are so many impatient, whinging, complaining cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
New ship high expectations very disappointing cabin set out was good but no basic amenities supplied flat screen tv with basic repeat movies, movie channel available at a cost not enough activities available very boring when at sea for 7 ... Read More
New ship high expectations very disappointing cabin set out was good but no basic amenities supplied flat screen tv with basic repeat movies, movie channel available at a cost not enough activities available very boring when at sea for 7 days. Shore excursions where a complete shamble with no organization left at the peer in the heat no cover or water supplied or available (Oman). Food on ship was excellent except when coming to the end of the cruise they did not restock with fresh items shops where high end market no basic sundries shop at all. Entertainment had some good performers but trying to get a seat for a show was very difficult. Playing card with family out side 270 and others doing the same at 9pm crew came turned lights off and walked away very rude... I have sailed a number of ships before 2 prior with royal Caribbean would sale on there smaller ships again but never with ovation again Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean ... Read More
I sailed the Dubai-Singapore leg of the inaugural (sorta) repositioning that brought Ovation from Southampton to Tianjin. So my experience was with a shiny new ship that was a real pleasure to behold at every corner. Royal Caribbean has put together a very appealing vessel, but still it often felt like, well, like I was on more of a budget cruise. Food is abundant, with plenty of options, but a lot of those options are pretty low-quality. I suspect they cut corners behind the scenes as well, as I often had need of guest services to resolve problems, and the lines at guest services were always (ALWAYS) intolerably long. For example, the internet wasn't working for half of my cruise. I had prepaid for an unlimited package, so not having it for several days should warrant some sort of credit. Whenever I had a chance to ask someone about that (which, again, involved waiting in a really long line), the answer was something along the lines of "uhhh, we're working on it, you'll probably receive some sort of credit". That was a typical response to any issue I had. And I never did receive any credit. But internet outages were as bad as my issues got. It was easy to overlook them when there were so many fun activities to partake in on the ship. Between all of the music and theater venues, the place was really alive with entertainment. At night you could just wander around and choose from plenty of great places to sit down and hear some quality musical performances. I usually headed for the Music Hall. Or Two70. Or Michael's Genuine Pub. Or, really, it was always just a pleasure to hang out in the Royal Esplanade, which was always bustling with energy. I should perhaps point out that I traveled solo. This was my first solo cruise experience, and it exceeded my expectations. (See below for my review of the Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony.) It is as easy to join in some fun with newly-made friends as it is to find your own enjoyment of a less-social nature. Also, it was probably a little easier to get tables without a reservation. Which brings me to the restaurant situation. They are going for something like Norwegian's "Freestyle Cruising" concept, where you're not committed to a dining time and there isn't even a main dining room. But in practice, it doesn't really work like that. First of all, even though there isn't technically a "main dining room", there really kind of is. It's just split into four rooms and four menus. And my experience with them was mostly mediocre. I'm not generally too picky there, so if you are, you probably will find the food quality lacking. And even though you're supposed to be able to eat whenever you want, you still have to make reservations, or you will likely be turned away. (Although, as I said, less likely if you're solo.) I also tried Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, Chop's Grille, and Jamie's Italian. The first two were maybe not enough of an improvement to justify the extra price. But Jamie's definitely was. I went there three times, had different meals each time, and was always deeply satisfied. I also got a cupcake for $2.95 at Patisserie, and it was no better than a week-old supermarket bakery reject. But Ovation of the Seas has many complimentary food options. The pizza place in the Royal Esplanade had really sub-par pizza, but it was open late so I still wandered down for an occasional slice. But next to it was Cafe Promenade, which was open non-stop and had some really nice little sandwiches and pastries. There's a complimentary hot dog stand in the SeaPlex area, which claims on its menu to have "German mustard" but has no such thing. Still okay to have around, though. And I went to Cafe Two70 a few times, and had some nice salads. Oh, and that was a great place for breakfast. Speaking of SeaPlex and Two70, I just loved those multi-purpose spaces. Especially the latter, which was a lovely, comfortable lounge to relax in by day, and which transformed (I mean REALLY transformed) into a striking, elaborate performance venue for Spectra's Cabaret in the evening. That was a really spectacular show that I'll never forget. And SeaPlex is really impressive the way they constantly convert it from a skating rink to a bumper car ride to a multi-purpose court for ball games. I had read that they leveraged technology to make for zippy embarkation, but I didn't find it to be any faster than normal. Disembarkation was fine, although the crew was very noisy in the halls when picking up our luggage overnight. I got one of those wristbands that is supposed to do the same thing as the seapass card, but that was more trouble than it was worth because it sometimes didn't work, and it was annoying to have to take it off and hand it to people such as the waiters at the restaurants. I'll just close this review with a list of things I have fond memories of, in no particular order: Spectra's Cabaret, hanging out in Two70 when the performers from Spectra's Cabaret were rehearsing (or really any other time I was in there), the puzzle room, the pop choir activities with the cruise director staff, all the Music Hall bands (but especially the Queen and Beatles tribute acts), Jamie's Italian, my Super Studio Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony, the Mystical Muscat excursion in Oman, the hundreds of pieces of eye-catching modern art, Royal Egg Muffins for breakfast at Cafe Two70, lounging in the Solarium, pretend-skydiving at iFly (did that twice, loved it), the North Star, the meet-and-greet I attended in one of the incredible Royal Loft Suites, the sight of this enormous ship looming above the docks in Dubai, Muscat, Kochi, Penang, and Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Overall, very disappointing. Expected great things from this ship and having traveled with Royal Caribbean for 12 cruises, I would not choose to go on this ship again. Agree with all the comments people have said about it being a ship made ... Read More
Overall, very disappointing. Expected great things from this ship and having traveled with Royal Caribbean for 12 cruises, I would not choose to go on this ship again. Agree with all the comments people have said about it being a ship made cheaply - lots of creaking noises in the cabins, can hear everything from next door -- you don't get this on their older ships. Wi- if Internet was an absolute disaster - almost had a mutiny on their hands by day 6 - nothing would work and people had paid a lot of money for packages. This is supposed to be a top class ship with all the smart technology- not for the customer. Dining was dreadful - the 4 restaurants have the sma e very limited menu part from about one option , and even when the menus change , every 4 days, they only change about one dish. Food - the poorest quality we have had on any Royal Caribbean ship, and Walter service, very slow and poor - which again it is usually good. Lots of couple son the ship as it was outside school holidays so there were about 20 children ( not sure why there were any as it was not the school holidays ) but major areas of the ship were dedicated to children when children should only be on here during the holidays ?? When we arrived in Singapore we were told that they were changing parts of the ship the Chinese market, so he could Parts of the ship not be altered for the adult market when it is not School holidays? Huge sea plex area and children's area and then a " living room " for teenagers 12 to 17 - we never saw anyone in here for the whole cruise - why do they have dedicated area, when there would be uproar if they had an area for 50 - 60 year olds !! This should have been the diamond lounge - the diamond lounge was much too small and this over spilled into he sic hall, where they had timetabled line dancing at the same time as cocktail hour for d members ! What a joke - they are definitely not looking after their loyal customers. No quiet areas on the deck to sit - all the front and back of the ship was taken up with suites and rooms so there was no access to see the ship coming in and out of ports- no sail always, because no one could see anything anyway. Lots of white elephants - the bionic bar - why would you pay for a drink from a robot which then comes as the exact measure in a plastic cup?? A saving grace was the 270 room, which was a lovely space, and the show spectra was fantastic. However, if you are not in the room, at least an hour before the show, you will not be able to see - there are only about 30 seats which have a good view. We were really looking forward to being on a new ship, but very disappointing if you have travelled Royal Caribbean before- I will not go on this ship or this class of ship again unless I have to - they would have to be giving it away. Lots of people felt the same, so there will be some cheap cruises coming up!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
having cruised with rc before we were excited about boarding ovation, good job the itinary was good the ship was the worst we have been on the staff didn't know what they were doing, the pool was mainly coverd, not much ... Read More
having cruised with rc before we were excited about boarding ovation, good job the itinary was good the ship was the worst we have been on the staff didn't know what they were doing, the pool was mainly coverd, not much entertainment, food was always the same & cold, never heard so many people complain about a ship, going back on celebrity, you have to book to go into the 270 lounge, bumping cars & the north star (which was cancelled 3 times but no one tells you) this ship is made for the Chinese & NOT the british the standards on this ship have dropped, we wont be doing rc again as we felt are loyaty was not rewarded, the ship itself is badly designed ,we had a few days of storms which made the 14th deck flooded also not a good ship if you smoke only 3 areas you can go 1 was actually the casino but expect that to change when it gets full of Chinese, we also had 2 passengers under cabin arrest which ive never seen before all in all not a good ship but an amazing itinary Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
For anyone travelling on a cruise ship for the first time I'm sure they will be suitably impressed and the ship is very well presented and of course great German engineering. For me the ship is too big with too many passengers - ... Read More
For anyone travelling on a cruise ship for the first time I'm sure they will be suitably impressed and the ship is very well presented and of course great German engineering. For me the ship is too big with too many passengers - travelling up and down the crowded elevators seemed like I was in a commercial building going to work - and it's an all stops tour !!! We were constantly inundated with someone pushing folded up religious notes into our door on a daily basis ? - an apology from RCCL - the Internet VOOM was also taking a vacation for most of the two weeks but that's Internet at Sea. The Royal IQ app was ridiculous,we tried without any success to utilise this WOW experience, it never worked -it was up and down and it's not linked to the stateroom TV and trying to change any dining reservations was always a fail!! With the exception of Chopps Grille I found the food to be somewhat mediocre and the service whilst pleasant and mostly friendly always seemed a little fractured and rushed - the tables for two are too closely located to the next table and after the first night of feeling I was travelling in the middle seat of a low cost carrier with three other people I told the staff that I did not want these tables and the request seemed have been put into my profile. We had purchased the PremiumBeverage Package and it's minor but having a refrigerator full of Evian I felt the cruise line was just "gouging " by charging additionally for this, it's just not necessary !! All in all the cruise was ok we will not travel again with RCCL as their ships are too big and the WOW experience is just good advertising and is not evident in my opinion but this is just my opinion - travel and make up your own mind Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We were really looking forward to cruising on a brand new ship with Royal Caribben. How disappointed we were! The ship is huge, cabins really nice but hardly any hanging space, no toiletries, had to ask the steward for some and got them on ... Read More
We were really looking forward to cruising on a brand new ship with Royal Caribben. How disappointed we were! The ship is huge, cabins really nice but hardly any hanging space, no toiletries, had to ask the steward for some and got them on the third day. We have cruised many times with different cruise lines first thing I check is we have our life jackets in the cabin (just in case) not on this ship!! You went to the muster station only to be told in case an emergency occurs you go to your muster station and get issued with a life jacket!! OMG with 6000+ passengers and then crew on top it would be chaos, they probably don't have them in your cabins as there isn't space. We were looking forward to the entertainment, but only managed to see two that didn't need booking, as by the third day everything was booked up NO AVAILABILITY was all that came up on the tablets around the ship. We paid for entertainment but like all of passengers weren't able to see any. The shops were all very expensive, Cartier, Regalia, Swarovski, Omega, Rolex, Michael Kors etc. THere was not a shop that sold toiletries and incidentals, only a pathetic excuse of a table hidden in the back of the Esplanade selling sweets, and a few bits. Food in the dining rooms was average no presentation at all. Speciality restaraunts ranged from $30 to $40 per person. Plenty of sun beds, good pool bars, and all the decor is lovely. However never again Ovation just a rip off Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first quantum class ship and we loved it. It is always good to be on a new ship, and Ovation is beautiful, with fantastic modern decor and a great feel. The itinerary which included transiting the Suez Canal, and Aqaba Jordan ... Read More
This was our first quantum class ship and we loved it. It is always good to be on a new ship, and Ovation is beautiful, with fantastic modern decor and a great feel. The itinerary which included transiting the Suez Canal, and Aqaba Jordan to see Petra was the reason we chose this particular cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, but having priority always helps. The balcony stateroom on Deck 11 was really good, even though it was narrower than on other ships the layout was fine and it felt roomy. The quality of the food in all the different venues ranged from very good to excellent. Dynamic dining took a bit of getting used to, but we finally found someone to sort out the bookings and from then on we enjoyed the different restaurants, as they all had a different feel. The specialty restaurants were all enjoyable, we particularly liked Wonderland, and went there twice. It was a fantastic dining experience, and lots of fun. Windjammer was the best ever, and as we try to avoid the peak times to go there it was not crowded. The hand washing facility at the entrance was appreciated. The entertainment was good, in particular the production shows, which had to be booked, and the Two70 venue. There was a good lecturer on board who's information enhanced our visit to Petra, and going through the Suez. Other daytime events were not so appealing, but going up in the North Star was fun. Overall we found the crew to be very helpful, accomodating and enthusiastic, they all seemed familiar with this new ship and enjoyed working on it. So to sum up, this was a great cruise on a great ship, and we would not hesitate to go on it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Destinations were interesting from Barcelona via Suez canal to Singapore on a back to back cruise. Petra was a good shore excursion which was otherwise difficult to see. Other shore excursions were also well organised and interesting. ... Read More
Destinations were interesting from Barcelona via Suez canal to Singapore on a back to back cruise. Petra was a good shore excursion which was otherwise difficult to see. Other shore excursions were also well organised and interesting. The ship was the newest cruise ship in the world at the time and still had the "new car" look and feel. The staff were excellent and being a new ship, every port had the local officials to welcome us. Sailing was smooth and the cabins good. There were 17 restaurants, most complimentary and the choices were good for a 30 night cruise. We had booked a restricted view balcony cabin and were not sure what that meant. We were pleasantly surprised to find the cabin spacious and the balcony good. The top section of a lifeboat restricted the view directly below to the water, but the distance view was acceptable. It also kept a lot of the wind away from the balcony which was good. On the second leg of the cruise we were moved to an unrestricted view cabin which we appreciated. The ship sailed well and the stabilisers that appeared to work. Well done Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We embarked the Ovation of the Sea in Barcelona with the smoothest embarking ever. We settled into our cabin in no time and was very impressed with the space balcony furniture and hanging and drawer space. Then we did a tour of the ship ... Read More
We embarked the Ovation of the Sea in Barcelona with the smoothest embarking ever. We settled into our cabin in no time and was very impressed with the space balcony furniture and hanging and drawer space. Then we did a tour of the ship and got the WOW factor. OMG we set of to Italy Naples Greece Through the Seuz to Jordan Red Sea to Dubai Muscat to India Penang to Singapore. All this time from Suez to Muscat we had 6 sharp shooters on board, 5 Navy vessels and the Orion air plane as security with us. The entertainment and fun rides on board were first class. Food fresh and acceptable. We did do 4 specialty restaurants and enjoyed Wonderlands food the best. The overall service was terrific and everyone friendly. Did NOT like the smoking in the Casino NOT acceptable and around the swimming areas where there is a lot of Children. That needs to be addressed. The dress standard was also dropped making dinner time seem like picnic in the park. SAD. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the experience the newest mega-ship. It was everything we hoped for! We traveled by plane and train through Europe for two weeks prior to reaching the ship so we were thankful to rest up on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the experience the newest mega-ship. It was everything we hoped for! We traveled by plane and train through Europe for two weeks prior to reaching the ship so we were thankful to rest up on the ship. Embarkation went very smooth with the new technology. We booked a balcony but peeked into the "virtual balcony, inside rooms" and could not believe the "view" they had! Our cabin was spacious with SO much storage! The bed was comfortable. We enjoyed our stops, especially Petra! What an incredible experience. Ending in Dubai was very special, as well. We stayed a week after to explore. The ship was incredible. There were places to play family games and relax. The eating venues never seemed crowded even during the busiest times. We usually don't eat in the buffet much, but this one was organized and delicious. We sampled all of the specialty restaurants, including Chef's Table. I'd say that was our only disappointment. The food was not adequately described and the "host" did not seemed to be knowledgeable on wines. The meal ended with a chocolate martini that was delicious, but dangerous after champagnes and wines. The Italian restaurant and steakhouse were superb. Wonderland was an interesting and special experience. Very unique. We only saw two shows because, though we had reservations for the third, people were allowed in early without reservations and it was full when we arrived a half hour prior. The service was top notch! We spent our vacation sampling bottles of wine in Vintages. The winetenders were amazing! They helped us select some very special wines and pampered us for 16 days. We enjoyed dancing lessons, bumper cars, iFly (skydive simulator), and the NorthStar. We had plenty to do even though we didn't feel like doing much at all.. The ports were amazing! We did excursions in Rome and Petra. Rome because it is so far from the port and Petra to visit the Lost City. We went on our own in Naples and Athens. Once arriving in Dubai, the disembarkation was so easy and smooth, we thought we'd done it wrong. There was no customs. We picked up our luggage and walked out to the taxis. My husband and I consider this our favorite overall cruise by a long shot. We would not hesitate to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because it was a maiden voyage. The ship smelt new when we embarked. Overall, we found the food to be exceptional. The free restaurants all had excellent quality and variety, and the surcharge restaurants were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a maiden voyage. The ship smelt new when we embarked. Overall, we found the food to be exceptional. The free restaurants all had excellent quality and variety, and the surcharge restaurants were exceptional. Jamie's was far superior to the two that we have experienced on land; Wonderland was most interesting and different, and Izumi was delicious. The crew were happy and energetic and the special shows were well produced and executed. The iFly which simulates skydiving was very well organized and a lot of fun. The North Star, the giant arm that allows you see the ship from a great height, was interesting. It did break down several times, though. People on the Flowrider looked to be having a great time but we did not try it! Dodgem cars were also fun. All of these things are free of charge. The solarium is wonderful, with very large spa baths and cascading pools. One complaint was the smell of cigarette smoke coming from the casino, one of the designated areas. The casino is quite large and the smell permeates the Music Hall at times. Other issues were that public areas often had very loud music - we would prefer lower sound so that conversation is possible! The merchandise was woeful. We were told that there would be more coming on in Singapore( where most disembarked), but what was there was either in short supply or extremely expensive. The artworks, furniture and overall decor is stunning. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Unable to explore Barcelona as one of our cases was missing and didn't know when we would receive it, plus there was a light rain shower. Embarkation started off as a nightmare as the young girl did not speak good English and I ... Read More
Unable to explore Barcelona as one of our cases was missing and didn't know when we would receive it, plus there was a light rain shower. Embarkation started off as a nightmare as the young girl did not speak good English and I found it hard to understand her,also she told us our room had been moved for no reason so that did not go down well. However RCI gave us a FREE upgrade to a junior Suite maybe because it was our 40th Anniversary (Thank you RCI). The ship is beautiful but as you would expect of a Brand New Ship fresh and clean with loads of space and plenty of cool areas to sit or go up on deck to one of the four pool areas. Dining: my time dining was. Not my Forte however we bought the specialty resteraunt package which I think was good value. Jamie Oliver's Fantastic,Wonderland Fantastic,chops Good had better,American Icon ok,Silk not so great.Windjammer great for a quick meal. Service: overall was good but continually pestered by the writing staff wanting to know if they had achieved that magic 10. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We boarded the ship in Barcelona & sailed for 45 nights, all the way to Tianjin. Boarding was efficient & took about 15 minutes. We chose this cruise for the itinerary & for the experience of sailing on a new ship. Overall the ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Barcelona & sailed for 45 nights, all the way to Tianjin. Boarding was efficient & took about 15 minutes. We chose this cruise for the itinerary & for the experience of sailing on a new ship. Overall the experience was great, but there were some very big problems. First the good stuff. I found both the ship and the cabins to be lovely. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7. There was more closet space & more storage space than on other ships in the fleet. They moved the closet away from the cabin entrance door (which is a cabin design improvement) & increased the size of the shower. The Solarium & 270 were particularly impressive public spaces. Our cabin steward (thanks Pandy) was excellent. For the most part, our dining staff was good, although one night we waited about 30 minutes before any of the wait staff acknowledged us. Our head waiters stopped at our table most nights, which is something we never experienced on any other RC ship. I think that part of the problem with the wait staff was that they were transitioning to a Chinese crew as we got closer to China & kept replacing experienced staff with newbies. We chose Classic 2 Dining option before we left the States, so we had an 8:30 standing reservation every night. Most nights the 4 free restaurants were half full, so we couldn't understand why people were having such a tough time with dining times. Food was good, but not excellent. The activities were plentiful. I took a zumba class every sea day, went to the shows in the evening, which were good & tried the I-Fly & bumpers cars. I also went to the port lectures, conducted by very knowledgeable professors. All in all, a good time. Now for the bad: We purchased the internet package prior to boarding & the log-in procedure was horrible. At one point I tried to log-in LITERALLY 100 times before going to the Help Desk, only to be told that there was no internet service for the entire ship, even the RC staff. But perhaps the biggest problem was lack of organization of RC tours. One of the benefits of booking an RC tour is that you are supposed to be 1st off the ship. This was not the case. On a number of occasions, getting off the ship & to the tour bus took more than 1 hour. South Korea & Singapore were worse, because of local immigration requirements. But the worst was in Tianjin. We purchased a RC tour taking us to The Great Wall & airport drop-off. Because of RC disorganization, Our tour bus left 2 hours late, our lunch stop was cut to 30 minutes & we stopped at The Great Wall fro 12 minutes, before having to leave for the airport. That's right, 12 minutes. It wasn't the tour company's fault. In fact, they had a rep board our bus at the Beijing airport to help us through the airport, because they were worried we would miss our flight (which we made by RUNNING ALL THE WAY TO THE GATE). i have taken many RC tours before & never experienced this level of chaos. Very stressful & disappointing. But all in all, a great adventure, visiting some places on my bucket list!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
B2B Cruises : Barcelona-Dubai, Dubai-Singapore. ROOM : Twin Inside Cabin...Quite spacious and adequate wardrobes/drawers. Good sized flat screen TV and the virtual window is an excellent innovation. However able to hear conversations in ... Read More
B2B Cruises : Barcelona-Dubai, Dubai-Singapore. ROOM : Twin Inside Cabin...Quite spacious and adequate wardrobes/drawers. Good sized flat screen TV and the virtual window is an excellent innovation. However able to hear conversations in next cabin and when toilets were flushed in nearby cabins it sounded like rolling thunder which made it impossible to get a good nights sleep. GUESTS SERVICES : Woefully under staffed for a ship of this size which always meant long waiting queues. Incredibly non of the staff spoke English as a first language even though the vast majority of the passengers were from English speaking countries. ENTERTAINMENT : A number of venues and bars etc but I will limit my review to the two main auditoriums The Royal Theatre and the 270degrees Lounge:- Royal Theatre: 1200 seats. The worst designed main auditorium of all my cruises (about a dozen, three previously on RCI). Seating arrangements and viewing is poor and one end of each row is blocked off so expect moans and groans getting to a seat at the end of row. The most annoying thing however are people using screen based devices (of which there were many) to record the show even though a recorded announcement pre show asked the audience not to. Making it impossible to enjoy the performance. I raised this problem with the Cruise Director and his response was "Tell me about it. It's the bane of my life. But what can you do about it"....Obviously NOTHING because that's exactly what he did. 270 degrees Lounge : Very high tech but in my opinion too clever by half. If you want a good seat (of which there are few and a whole row of these are reserved for diamond and diamond plus passengers) get there very early. There are about 6 or 7 very large lamp shades spread across the lounge which blocks the view of people stuck behind them. DINING: The Windjammer buffet lounge was better than the other RCI ships that I have been on but the seating and food was ok but varied little from day to day. Four complimentary restaurants which have to be booked which can be a problem. The food was ok but once again the menu varied little. The Grande is formal dress code which RCI define formal as "women cocktail dress and men suit and tie or tuxedo" Incredibly men were allowed in dressed in tee shirts, jeans and runners. POOLS: There are two glass covered pools/splash pools and one outside pool. The covered pools are quite good. The outside pool/pool area is very small for a ship of this size. And considering the cruise was in subtropical and tropical climate incredibly the pool was used for crew v passengers water volley ball. Which meant only 6 out of 4000 plus passengers were able to use the pool at this time. Quite ridiculous. PORT DISEMBARKACTION: Muscat was a complete disaster. There were no staff on the quay organising queues for the limited number of small shuttle buses to take passengers to main gate. As a result people were pushing and shoving to get on these buses and there were arguments and one that I saw led to two men to having a fist fight. VISA'S : I went to the Indian Visa office personally and was asked if I intended to get off the ship in Cochin. I said no and was told in that case I do not need a visa. I rang the RCI help desk three times and was told RCI that I do require an Indian Visa even if I do not get off the ship. I accepted what they said but I was very annoyed once I got on the ship to find out some people did not have a visa. SUMMARY : Disappointed with the ships design and annoyed with RCI failing to accept their responsibilities resulting in numerous arguments with passengers. I will definitely not cruise on the Ovation again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 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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