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Ovation of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
674 reviews
5 Awards
Ovation of the Seas
CC Ovation of the Seas Windjammer
Ovation of the Seas Cabin
CC Ovation of the Seas Casino Royale
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Tiana Templeman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Packed with bells and whistles, Ovation of the Seas is the third ground-breaking ship to join Royal Caribbean's Quantum class. There are plenty of similarities with its two sister ships -- Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas -- including the thrilling RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, the North Star capsule that transports passengers 90 metres (300 feet) above sea level for bird's-eye views, bumper cars, trapeze classes, world-class entertainment and -- in short -- nonstop fun.

Ovation of the Seas Deck Plans Combine Family Fun and Adult-Only Relaxation

The Ovation of the Seas deck plan does a great job separating the louder public areas from the sleeping quarters. Cabins to avoid on Ovation of the Seas are few, but include those on decks 4 and 6, as they are directly adjacent, above and/or below public areas that remain open until the wee hours, including the casino and the Two70º lounge. Those looking to enjoy the view from their balcony may also want to avoid Obstructed View Cabins, most of which are on decks 6 and 7. As a general rule of thumb, for those looking to get a good night’s sleep the best decks on Ovation of the Seas are 8, 9 and 10.

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is a massive ship with a total capacity of 4,905 passengers. Since 2019, it is based between Alaska, Sydney, Singapore and Honolulu, but its decor and design reflect the ship's original deployment in China. A symbol of good luck and a national treasure of China, a 10-metre tall (32-feet tall) panda and cub were designed with Chinese passengers in mind (joining Felicia the Pink polar bear on Quantum and Gigi the giraffe on Anthem). There is also an enlarged casino, and shops in the Royal Esplanade have been stocked with more high-end designer goods and Asian cosmetic brands.

For an Alaska cruise, Quantum or Ovation of the Seas?

Royal Caribbean offers several options for those planning a trip to Alaska, including Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, two very similar ships in the Quantum Class. While entertainment options may vary slightly between them, these ships are virtually carbon copies of each other – same size, same passenger to crew ratio, same number of restaurants, very similar cabin types – which makes it hard for many to pick one. With indoor sports complexes and covered adults-only pools and sun decks, they’re both excellent options for trips to the north. However, while Ovation of the Seas' Alaska trips are always seven nights long, Quantum of the Seas also offers five-night itineraries.

Ovation of the Seas Scores High on Entertainment Options

There is no shortage of things to do on Ovation of the Seas. The ship packs in some of Royal Caribbean’s family favorite amenities, including  the RipCord by iFly wind tunnel, the North Star observation pod, a rock-climbing wall, and the FlowRider surfing simulator. The Ovation of the Seas pool deck (Deck 14) is ample and fun, with several hot tubs, a family pool and a splash area for kids. These features can get busy, so prepare for queues. However, despite the large number of passengers onboard, staff go out of their way to get to know passengers and make their cruise holiday memorable. Friendly passengers who stand out (in a good way) are treated especially well. Those seeking some R&R can retreat to the Ovation of the Seas’ adult-only areas, which include an indoor-outdoor solarium with a pool.

The ship's entertainment scene is outstanding, with Broadway-style theatre shows and cabarets that combine human talent with technical wizardry. All-singing, all-dancing gadgets are not just confined to the stage. Ovation has myriad high-tech features including Royal IQ, a free interactive scheduling service that lets passengers make reservations for dining, entertainment and activities; it's available as an app for mobile devices or can be used via kiosks and tablets throughout the ship. Thanks to a huge investment in satellite Internet, Ovation of the Seas offers fast and efficient Wi-Fi (for a fee). It's good to see USB ports for in-cabin charging and the option for RFID WOWband wristbands, which can be used instead of key cards.

Another exceptional feature is the artwork: An A$5.8 million (US$4.5 million) collection of 11,000 pieces. Much more than just space fillers to adorn blank walls, the installations, paintings and sculptures wouldn't be out of place in the world's top galleries. Sky Wave, over the Royal Esplanade, is the first moving sculpture at sea, and the Flutter Wall, on the way to the Royal Theatre, is a three-metre (120-inch) screen filled with interactive butterflies. Elsewhere are smaller surprises: a retro petrol pump beneath a stairwell; panda and koala faces on human shoulders; and boxed pictures with tiny people inside. It's worth doing a top-to-bottom walking tour of the ship to discover the artwork alone.

With so much to see, do and discover, Ovation delights and excites in equal measure and is ideal for longer itineraries, which give passengers time to enjoy the many onboard attractions to the full.

Ovation of the Seas COVID-19 Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Ovation of the Seas, please refer to Royal Caribbean's Health and Safety protocols. You can also use Cruise Critic's guide to health requirements on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.

Pros

An amazing mega-liner filled with high-tech entertainment and attractions

Cons

Drinking, dining and entertainment venues struggle at peak times

Bottom Line

Never a dull moment on a ship that has something to please everyone

About

Passengers : 4,180 (maximum capacity 4,905)
Crew : 1,500
Passenger to Crew : 2.79:1
Launched : 2016
Shore Excursions : 373

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

What’s Included on Ovation of the Seas (and What’s Not)

Costs Included With Your Ovation of the Seas Cruise Fare:

  • All meals in the three main dining rooms (plus Coastal Kitchen for Grand Suite guests and above) and Windjammer Marketplace; snacks and meals at Solarium Bistro, Cafe @Two70, Cafe Promenade, Sorrento’s Pizza and SeaPlex Dog House; also Continental breakfast room service
  • Shows in the main theater, plus most activities and events, except as noted below or onboard
  • Use of the gym (excluding most classes)
  • Use of the sports complex, Flowrider surfing simulator, mini-golf, climbing wall and Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator
  • North Star rides (excluding on Alaska and Singapore itineraries)
  • Activities in SeaPlex, including bumper car rides
  • Adventure Ocean Kids Programs; except late-night babysitting

Not included with your cruise fare:

Costs Not Included With Your Ovation of the Seas Fare:

  • Daily gratuities (amounts vary by cabin type and suite class)
  • Drinks, excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee, lemonade and selected juices from the buffet
  • Most specialty dining
  • Auto-gratuities of 18 percent on all specialty dining, beverage, spa and salon purchases
  • Room Service (excluding continental breakfast)
  • Use of the North Star on Alaska and Singapore voyages
  • Spa and salon services
  • Most fitness classes
  • Activities including, but not limited to, arcade play, bingo, alcohol tastings, sushi-making classes, arts and crafts classes, shopping events, the bottomless galley brunch and casino gaming
  • Late-night Adventure Ocean kids’ programs
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi; Ovation of the Seas offers several internet packages
  • Photos and artwork

Fellow Passengers

With its age-appropriate children's clubs and huge SeaPlex sports and entertainment complex, Ovation of the Seas is a magnet for families, so expect to see plenty of kids during school holidays. It also attracts pleasure-seeking, fun-loving singles, couples and groups of friends across the age spectrum. With the ship sailing from the US, Singapore and Sydney, the onboard demographic sees a shift from the US and UK passengers that make up the majority of cruisers on Royal Caribbean's other ships.

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Dress Code

The dress code on Ovation of the Seas is casual during the day and a little bit smarter in the evening. Passengers are not required to wear formal attire for dinner, but those who enjoy dressing up will probably not feel overdressed on formal nights.

Daytime: Cruise casual is the way to go during the day, with shorts, cropped trousers, jeans, T-shirts, vest tops, swimsuits, cover-ups and sundresses for women; for men, think swimwear, shorts, jeans, polo shirts and T-shirts.

Evening: At dinner, the dress code is smart casual for women, which Royal Caribbean sets out as skirt or trousers (no holes, rips or tears) with a blouse. While jeans are perfectly acceptable, many women do opt for dresses and a smarter look. For men, the code is trousers (no holes, rips or tears) with a collared shirt. For passengers who prefer to dress up in the evening, feel free to wear a cocktail dress or trouser suit for ladies and dress shirts, ties and jackets for men. Ovation of the Seas formal nights are, well, formal, but passengers who don’t want to pack their suit or cocktail dress can choose to dine in any of the more casual venues.

Not permitted: T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops/thongs are acceptable for lunch, but swimsuits, robes, bare feet, vest tops, baseball caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurants or speciality restaurants.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.

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More about Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas

Where does Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas sail from?

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas departs from Sydney, Seattle, Vancouver, and Honolulu

How much does it cost to go on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas?

Cruises on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas start from $207 per person.

Is Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas a good ship to cruise on?

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas won 5 awards over the years.
Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruiser Reviews

WOW Fabulous Entertainment Food & Drink on super clean Ovation

Lots of changes including how to "buffet' in the Windjammer but it works with staff serving. I commend RCCL & Ovation crew for dedicating their work to making a healthy & happy getaway cruise.Read More
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G2YVR

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Ovation and Alaska The Perfect Trip!

We had to go to the Seattle airport and pay 250.00 each the day of the cruise.Read More
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MIMICJ

10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Alaska in the fall with good weather on a 30% full ship during Covid

Just got off a last minute Alaska cruise on Ovation of the Seas. It was fantastic. Only 1342 guests on a ship that holds up to 4800.  Read More
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KonaDave

10+ Cruises

Age 2020s

Good Food Excellent Entertainment Fun Cruise despite weather. Our 15th cruise

( Not really) However you can find find good food it’s just maybe not quite as good as some of the other ships I have been on for sure but I was very happy with the food.Read More
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Deck Chair Dave

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Royal Caribbean International Fleet
Enchantment of the Seas
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