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644 Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a balcony which was small but perfectly formed. Our stateroom attendant was unfailingly cheerful even though he never seemed to get a break. We decided to purchase the Key, a priority program and skip the line pass that included the Zoom internet package. We mainly bought this mainly to skip the line with activities, which it was not very useful for (see below) but it was useful for onboarding and disembarking. Not sure if it was worth the cost. The activities such as FlowRider, NorthStar, IFly, bumper cars and roller skating were pretty amazing given this is all on a ship, but the lines are long if you did not have the Key and even with the Key we could only skip the line once a session. There are 5000 passengers on board. Sometimes this is not apparent but sometimes it did get very crowded. There were countless attempts to separate your money from your wallet, ranging from art auctions to high end shops to lots of sales and "opening specials" on thousand dollar jewelry which did get a little tedious at times. The price point for the beauty and massage service, Vitality Spa, I thought was rather high as it is easy to find a Thai style or hot stone massage in Australia for 60 AUD, as opposed to the 190 USD being charged onboard. The gym was enormous but even so could get very crowded. There were free stretch and core classes, although again these could get crowded and occasionally started early which I found a little irritating. I thought that the shows were quite good, with professional dancers and singers and the Cruise Director was very amusing. We found the complimentary dining more than adequate with US style service. The Windjammer was the biggest buffet I had ever seen. Cant comment on the alcohol as I don't drink. This ship is full of Aussie passengers - the construction business must be good as there was a preponderance of cashed up tradies and their families. Some kids ran around like they were in a caravan (trailer) park and would press all the elevator buttons. There were a couple of craft activities that simply consisted of a staff member handing out a craft kit. No real instructions to speak of which I found disappointing and again this often started early and was often crowded. Our main problem was the teen clubs called The Living Room for 12 to 14 and Fuel for 15 to 17. There seems to be this expectation that teens were simply let loose until up to the curfew at 1 am, to roam around at will, which I thought was highly unsafe given the population was equivalent to a small town. There were scheduled activities for teens aged 12 to 14, but after about 8 pm there were a few gangs of boys that roamed around checking out the young girls, some of whom were allowed to dress with long fake nails, low cut crop tops and false eyelashes. As I had a 14 year old daughter, I was not impressed. She loved meeting the other kids though and it was difficult to drag her away. We did our own shore excursions. Noumea was not that exciting although we did a bus tour which was interesting. Mystery Island was beautiful, but suddenly overcrowded by 5000 passengers! We ended up taking a village tour to Aneityum Island which was very interesting and much less cramped. We did the Hop On and Hop Off bus at Auckland and spent most of our time at the Auckland museum. Overall my impression was that was a surprisingly good holiday. This cruise liner catered for all types of passengers, although with a strange combination of high end exclusive marketing trying to persuade a somewhat downmarket customer base to spend up big on their vacation. The ship is quite spectacular and the service from the international crew was excellent. The teen area was our major concern and may be a deal breaker for us in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner ... Read More
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner and my-self. The queen bed was very comfortable, TV size was great that sits on the wall in front of the bed, a couch to sit on, good size balcony with the lounge chairs. The bathroom was a little bit small and tight, the shower was a great size but the size of the bathroom didn't bother us as much. The housekeeping team had always ensured the tidiness of our room which is great, the only thing that lacked a little was that they only made the beds and picked up the dirty towels and replaced with new ones, they did not vacuum the room unless need-be and they don't wipe after tables or pick up dirt off the couch. I had to call in the housekeeping service to make the special request to vacuum the floor and the couch as there were sand from our Island ports. Otherwise they did a great job with the cleanliness of the room. The ship it-self is a huge ship, we were on the starboard aft side so it was a bit of a walk going here and there which we didn't mind at all as we enjoy exploring the ship. There were a lot of different dining venues, activities, bars, shops, chill out areas, pools, theatres, you name it! this ship has everything. With the activities, they have the north star capsule, rip cord by ifly, flowrider surfing simulator - these things needed to be booked prior, as soon as itinerary details come out. We had not known about booking these through the app until we got onboard when the staff were explaining about this feature. We unfortunately had missed out on the rip cord and flowrider because when we wanted to book it through the app, everything had been booked out and that it was only a matter of lining up for the hours where reservations weren't required. We hadn't booked the North Star either as it was fully booked and came to find that there were so many people who are going on the ride twice or even more as they had booked themselves a few times. This is where Royal Caribbean need to limit guests to 1-2 rides per the cruise as it isn't fair to those that didn't get to try on the activity. My partner and I had to line up for over an hour during the no reservations hour that they offered this activity, whilst others had already gone on it 4 times which was not fair at all. The pool areas were pretty good but for a big ship, I found that it needed some improvements. Both main pool areas are constantly infested with kids and teenagers and it's difficult for the adults and elderly to want to have a swim or relaxation other than in the solarium, but the solarium is only about sitting around and not much of a swim, I found there were a fair bit of kids in the solarium still running about. I thought this needed some kind of an improvement to limit one pool area to children only and others to those over 18. The water park was also lacking as this catered for children under 12 only. There weren't much of any slides for older guests like carnival cruises offer, being a big ship I felt that this one should have catered more activities for water parks. The food on this ship was excellent, couldn't find any faults except for the dry bacons in the mornings but otherwise it's really good. I went on the P&O before and the food was horrible, this cruise line had definitely topped them and I enjoyed every bit of food that I had on board, it was great. The customer service from the windjammer market place and the main dining areas were excellent, couldn't find any faults as they were very attentive and very friendly, always met your needs. The downside for overseas passengers are that this ship charges with $USD, the conversion with their currency can be very pricey. $8 bionic bar drink meant almost $15 in $AUD each which is quite costly. My partner and I took out the deluxe beverage package with all inclusive except for alcohol, it was $35pp/day, quite pricey but if you think about it, they charge $8 USD per drink and by the time you get yourself a juice, a coffee, a milkshake, glass of coke, you'll be paying more than $35 anyway. The $35pp/day we paid via their website and in $AUD, do not pay this package on the cruise as they will charge in $USD, pay prior to boarding online. Shops are pretty good as there were a range of variety, still pricey but catered to passenger's needs and wants. Ports were Noumea - New Caledonia, Mystery Island - Vanuatu & Auckland - NZ. These ports were great. Noumea is the most expensive place I've ever been to in my entire life. 2 plates of burgers and chips with 2 drinks costed $80AUD later, a 1 hour jet ski ride costs $270AUD (which we did not pay for because it was way too expensive). We couldn't justify why this was. We ended up getting the hop on/hop off $10 tour to take us around town and had a swim at the beach. Mystery Island was amazing, loved every bit of the island and the people were friendly. Amazing grilled fish, wonderful massage, great atmosphere, cleanest beach. Auckland was also terrific, we went on the quad bike rides ($400pp later). It was surreal. The experience was amazing and the scenic tours were beautiful, went through the farm, the bush, the mountains, the beach, it was great. I highly recommend this Ovation of the Seas, I had a fantastic time. Please don't hesitate to message me if you need anymore specific information about my experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had a great time on board Radiance of the Seas for 11 nights to the South Pacific islands. We found all the staff incredibly friendly and helpful especially our main dining room staff Veron & Chao. Our room was 7090 mid ship ... Read More
We had a great time on board Radiance of the Seas for 11 nights to the South Pacific islands. We found all the staff incredibly friendly and helpful especially our main dining room staff Veron & Chao. Our room was 7090 mid ship balcony, it was a squeeze for a family of 4 however once we unpacked we managed to find plenty of space in the draws so it didn’t feel too bad in the end. Room was clean, but outdated needs a renovation (the whole ship is due for this in Oct) our room attendant was lovely and on top of our every need. Some Pros Food quality at Windjammer was good lots of different choices we had breakfast and lunches here and dinner in the main dining room was delicious ! Kids club staff & rock climbing staff made our kids cruise the best fun, our son who normally has trouble transitioning to this type of program had an amazing time and wanted to go! Casino staff are good fun, cocktails very very strong ( we purchased the drinks package ) in our opinion it was worth the investment by the time you pay for a drink on board in USD, coffees, water, juices it adds up so Pre paying in Australian dollars takes the stress out of it. Entertainment highly recommend the Comedians Rusty & another bloke / guy so funny! And the magician Leo Ward very good fun! Port days, very easy process getting off and on the ship loved all the islands except very disappointed with New Caledonia = everything closed on Mondays which meant main attractions aren’t available we were looking forward to the aquarium and got off the ship only to find this out none of the ships staff informed us of this prior. Some Cons Terrible internet connection for a very expensive price. Don’t buy it, and if you do be prepared for slow connection. Room Service, we did order a couple of breakfasts to the room that never arrived so in the end we got up and went to windjammer. Waterslide was below average no water pressure needs to be updated. Overall we were happy with our experience on board Radiance of the Seas and would happily Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The crew staff was great The captain is a rambler and does not till you the truth Food was good but the menu was not extensive changing The ion shore trips are twice the price for the same trip if you pay on board The drinks ... Read More
The crew staff was great The captain is a rambler and does not till you the truth Food was good but the menu was not extensive changing The ion shore trips are twice the price for the same trip if you pay on board The drinks package was a total rip off as are the bar prices $15 for a beer after a 18% tip and exchange rate. The exchange rate the ship gives you is poor All expenses add 18% as a tip that is not share with all crew only senior staff. You have to pay no opt out is given The islands you visit some have deals with the cruise line and they also over charge you at pine island the menu price for a beer is $8.5 but they charged us $12 then later in the day it increased to $15 because they could. The island only has 1 pub you can get to Basically the ship will rip you off all the way through They even floated around for a day so they could make sure we spent on the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are Diamond members with RCI, they seem to want to forget about the loyal passengers and only seem interested in Suite passengers. The normal Diamond Lounge has been taken away from Diamond members and given to Suite passengers and ... Read More
We are Diamond members with RCI, they seem to want to forget about the loyal passengers and only seem interested in Suite passengers. The normal Diamond Lounge has been taken away from Diamond members and given to Suite passengers and have been pushed into a pokey 31 seat room near the Star lounge. A lot of the Diamond members had to sit in the Star Lounge. Seems like they will be altering their tier system due to the increase in Diamond members, this monster was created by RCI so we will have to see what they will do. The Diamond Lounge was a social hub where you could catch up each day, but now it may as well be closed. The gym has been moved from the front of the ship to the rear of the ship removing the inside pool and all saunas and steam rooms and reducing the size of the gym. This was a Christmas cruise which was more like the cruise ship that for got Christmas, there was no traditional Christmas dinners which having over 3,500 Australian passengers you would have thought this would be the main menu item. For the first 7 days there was no enforced washing of hands so people would walk straight in without washing their hands and spreading Noro virus to over 400 passengers, after complaining about this, hello they enforced it on the last two days putting two offices at the entry, well done Royal but too little too late. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Main-court dining was first class - 3 levels of seating with two serving times which coordinate well with showtimes. Pot-luck with who you sit with as not many tables just for a couple. Even so, you may get a table with nice people so ... Read More
Main-court dining was first class - 3 levels of seating with two serving times which coordinate well with showtimes. Pot-luck with who you sit with as not many tables just for a couple. Even so, you may get a table with nice people so great for social mixers. Fresh menu each day and also standard regulars. Meal sittings are for two hours so there is no rush. Food on level 11 promenade is buffet style self-service. Average 'fodder' standard and seating is a major issue at lunchtime, particularly when the main dining rooms are closed on port days. Central mall on level 5 done very cleverly and affords shopping, a pub, a pizza / burger 60's style cafe. 4th floor has schooner bar - comfortable and plenty of seating, does crowd out with ad-hoc quizzes, though only for a short while. Next to this there is a large casino and also star lounge which is comfortable and relaxed, affording activities such as quizzes, bingo and quiet entertainment in the evenings. The main theatre is on levels 3-5 and there is plenty of seating for the many of guests and even late-comers should be able to squeeze in. Entertainment was good without being spectacular. Also an ice-rink on level 3 - Very talented group with their own styles and great variety of the shows themselves. Downside is limited room so you will have to get there early. Outside there is plenty of space for lounging though the loungers are tightly packed to cater for so many people. The quiet area is very good but is full from early morning and people save seating areas. Plenty of fun upstairs for young and old alike - Putting, basketball, surfing, flumes etc. Headache concern is the amopunt of people. Expecially tender-boat service. Despite best endeavours it is a long process back and forth. Luckilly we had great weather but waiting an hour if inclement on an unsheltered island would have been an issue. Other headache is the constant selling mantra and meanness with water etc. Any way to get money out of you they will try. I go on holiday to get away from the hard sell so this was very annoying. All in all though, very good indeed and up there with the best of our cruise experiences. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I’ve been on Ovation which I found too big, too busy and a bit like a Westfield shopping centre vibe and with over 4000 passengers, the queues for everything were horrendous. The Voyager was so much more fun! It’s newly refurbed or ... Read More
I’ve been on Ovation which I found too big, too busy and a bit like a Westfield shopping centre vibe and with over 4000 passengers, the queues for everything were horrendous. The Voyager was so much more fun! It’s newly refurbed or ‘amplified’ to have more fun features & we found it had just the variety and atmosphere that we love! The fittings and style were lovely and our fave bars were High Notes on Deck 14 & Sky Lounge Deck 12 followed by Schooner Bar. Music everyday, an atrium deck full of activities and a party feel, loads of cool places to sit & watch the waves. Shuffle board & Flowrider with an Ice rink & ice show - everything was great! My best advice is if you’re planning to stay in a balcony cabin, go for the extra ‘Spacious Balcony Cabin’ - the cabin itself is bigger as is the balcony. It included a 3 seater sofa bed and there was so much space without too much expense. The food on board is great but we weren’t as impressed with the specialty restaurants except for Giovanni Table which was lovely. Service was great, attention to detail was also good and my fave aspect was the adults only Solarium area which is open to the sky so no chlorine fumes like on Ovation. I’d suggest buying the KEY package. It includes your internet plus other bonuses like prioirity boarding, a nice lunch, priority tendering, farewell brekkie & fuss free disembarking among other things. It was great value for adults without kids! We loved everything about it and are already looking to book another trip on this comfortable & stylish ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did the same cruise this time last year and are quite experienced cruisers, diamond plus. The ship is still quite attractive. Good points—- The Diamond and Concierge club benefits are still good and both hosts efficient The ... Read More
We did the same cruise this time last year and are quite experienced cruisers, diamond plus. The ship is still quite attractive. Good points—- The Diamond and Concierge club benefits are still good and both hosts efficient The food is acceptable althoughMDR lunches a bit boring. Windjammer probably better for lunch. Breakfasts were good in MDR. The Filipino, Indonesian and Indian staff are great and are the best thing about this cruise line. Bad points—- The internet is slow. The activities and entertainment have gone very far downhill. There were very few headline acts on this or the previous back to back cruise we did to NZ and few were very good. Some nights there were no theatre shows, too many had old production shows which we have seen previously. One night the only show was a Love and Marriage game show. Usually the theatre was sparsely attended. The cruise director was poor, gabbled and spoke too fast. Some of her assistants doing trivia were also difficult to understand. Whether the decline in activities and entertainment were the fault of the CD or the Company cutting costs I know not. Embarkation and Disembarkation were great thanks to ship and Sydney terminal staff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, ... Read More
Initially we were very excited about our Christmas cruise but became concerned after reading many reviews. We have cruised on three different cruise lines in a Europe and South Pacific and the second time on RCL. The ovation is amazing, from the very quick seamless embarkation, clean stateroom, service, activities and food choices amazing! We had 2 balcony staterooms one for us and one for our 4 kids. One kid ended up in our room on the fold out sofa. Kids ages 9, 12, 14,16 and not one complaint of boredom even though they had no WIFI for 10 days. When I was researching I couldn’t find a review of Christmas, RCL do an amazing job, there are Christmas decorations, activities, Christmas movies, craft, Christmas food including cookies and milk leading up to a big day of celebration, Santa’s arrival, free gifts for kids under 18. These were very thoughtful and useful. In terms of drinks, we bought the deluxe package, I’m not a big drinker but it definitely works out, bottled water, fresh juices, specialty coffee and wine and cocktails, book on cruise planner prior when it goes on sale. Lots of sales of jewellery and watches, don’t buy in first few days, as they go up to 75 percent off! My sister in law was seasick, they sell tablets in the merchant store but give them away for free at reception. On Christmas Day we booked a specialty restaurant “chops Grille”, food 9/10 but they didn’t have the same Christmas frivolity as the other restaurants, they offered us this for 49 usd adults and kids above 12 and 10 for kids, they said no charge for kids at the end. No Christmas pudding or turkey on menu but apple pie was to die for. They work so hard to make sure everything leads to a great holiday, free ice cream all day on the pooldeck, blankets for watching movies under the stars on the pooldeck. We bought a paradise lotto ticket, $2.00 a game and won $100 usd which we used to credit our account. The activities director is a crack up and there are so many family friendly activities and challenges you can join in or just watch. Caribbean music on the pool deck really makes for a great atmosphere, there is the main pool, a second undercover pool and the adult solarium. The food in main dining is great, the buffet has a theme section each night and the variety for gluten intolerant, vegans and vegetarians is great, not that this was us! Oh and the gym was huge and free, we used it most days. Overall a great experience, would love to do it again next year! Everyone had a great time, I couldn’t fault it, and we are well travelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise line due to the port it was scheduled to visit. South pacific has always being my main destination, and it was great to be on board a vessel which was well kept, clean, in places immaculate and very attractive. At ... Read More
Chose this cruise line due to the port it was scheduled to visit. South pacific has always being my main destination, and it was great to be on board a vessel which was well kept, clean, in places immaculate and very attractive. At Sydney harbour, the checking in was smooth, very friendly staff, directing to the various counters and directing very sensibly. Luggages taken quickly at the arrival point and deliverd to your cabin within time allocated, no pressure or delays in that!! Upon arrival in cabin, found it very spacious, clean and well lit. Bed very comfortable, enough drawers and surprisingly enough hangers. Bathroom spacious, well lit but shower head was awful, the jet was not appropriate. Went for afternoon tea and exploring the decks, which were all well clean, well lit, no obstructions and no debris. Buffet/cafe near pool, was well stocked for teas and cakes which we took it for granted and try some delicacy. Main restaurant very spacious, warm and very friendly staff all around, welcoming and trying to please you. Restaurant a great individual which flair, friendliness and good humours. Food was good, portion sizes appropriate and if you wanted more, it was not a problem, our waiter was great Indonesian individual with great manners and knowledge of what he was selling. Breakfast buffet on the 11th floor (windjammer) very spacious, lots of seating area and well organised. Buffet was a bit of let down, with food either cool or cold.It is expected to such an operation especially when its so open space as it was. Good selection of bread and cakes available at all time. Good selection of hot dishes from various country with rice and vegetable going hand in hand. The roast was well liked, either the beef or the gammon. Ports of calls were a bit mishy mashy, not enough to see or do in each port, unless you were a lover of snorkelling. Good tendering in two ports, very efficient and professionals. Expresso bar on the 5th floor was busy most of the time, because it was the only place you could get a nice and speciality coffee, the other one was hidden past few lounges which made a mission out of nothing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was ... Read More
Ship : it was a bit overwhelming at first , as I have not yet been on such a big Ship. However once we found and navigated our way round it was easy to find places .American dollars was a bit annoying and having to buy aust sockets was too . Cabin : our Cabin wasn't sorted out for 2 single beds , however as soon as we requested them to be separated . It was not too long after we returned that night it was done. Our cabin was lovely , the heating/cooling was a bit difficult to get used to , however room steward came and showed how it worked . the Fahrenheit took a bit getting used to. Entertainment and Activities : my favorite was the Ifly and bumper cars . I highly recommend " the key" program as that will get you passed the huge line ups (if they become an issue) My mum enjoyed the shows as I did . Service : was brilliant - always smiles and ready to assist . Our room steward was friendly and willing to assist when we needed . Guest services were also amazing - especially in assisting my elderly mum. Ports and shore excursions: the team to assist us to disembark and embark back onto the ship were ultra helpful - again especially with my mum - they went out their way to assist and listened when I needed help with mum. My mum loved it and we will be cruising again on her in Nov 2020 . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I returned home today from a 8 night 9 day cruise to the South Pacific, on probably day 3 our living hell began, two women who myself and my children did not know only from bumping in to while I was on the smoking deck began to abuse me ... Read More
I returned home today from a 8 night 9 day cruise to the South Pacific, on probably day 3 our living hell began, two women who myself and my children did not know only from bumping in to while I was on the smoking deck began to abuse me and stalk Harass intimidate and bully us , the women abused us so badly in the formal dining room my 12 year old daughter almost vomited all over the table she cried so hard , waiters stood and watched it took me to yell for security to drag them out , I had my life threatened. We could not attend events as the women would abuse us , my children were intimidated and bullied from enjoying activities, each time myself and my children begged security for help but only told to report in writing, staff told me to be the bigger person and walk away .. to were they followed us , these women had free rang while we were like caged rats , this abuse was constant for 5/6 days and still nothing was done , last night we had to lock ourselves in our room for 3 hours missing out on the main final party , this cruise is what my children picked for their Xmas present and all they got was a lack of duty of care to protect them from incredible abuse , this was our first holiday and the memory of it’s hell will last a life time , my children are scared to ever get on a shop or trust security to protect them from violent people, as a mother to see my children in fear and beg security for help and receive nothing will never leave me , my daughter who is 12 had a safe place the art gallery and shops but they found her hiding spot , I have spoke to royal cars Caribbean who did not care , what my children have endured and myself but certainly cared about paying our bill , I have contacted a solicitor to fight for my children’s rights because royal Caribbean certainly did not . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was ... Read More
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was unbelievable. Food was great except for main dining room (level 4) where I found it wanting, Steaks were over cooked even when replaced and the Roast Lamb on the last night was as tough as old shoe leather.Service in the main dining room however, was good. Windjammer was one of the best on-board buffets I have seen. Food was varied and excellent quality, stewards and wait staff were a happy bunch and service was great . Visiting Noumea on a Sunday is a waste of time. Almost everything is shut in the city. Entertainment and shows on board were first class. The Freddie Mercury shows were great . Steven Larkins earned every second of three standing ovations. Belinda Marks was also great entertainment. The on-board dancers were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient as was the tendering process at a number of ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are frequent, loyal RCCL cruisers from Sydney, this being our 10th cruise with Royal. Firstly, the good - we thought Cruise Director Joff was outstanding, a very funny guy. Service in the public areas was generally above average. ... Read More
We are frequent, loyal RCCL cruisers from Sydney, this being our 10th cruise with Royal. Firstly, the good - we thought Cruise Director Joff was outstanding, a very funny guy. Service in the public areas was generally above average. Pizza from the Promenade cafe was constantly above par. The flown-in entertainers were great, especially the comedian, magician, Freddie Mercury act and the hypnotist, and pixels was something else. We visited three of the specialty restaurants, and had a great night at each, being a nice change from the mayhem of the main dining rooms. The ship itself is fantastic, plenty to do for all ages, with the North Star, I fly, dodgems, Flowrider, the fitness centre and all pools getting a solid workout. Secondly, the not so good - we thought the food in the main dining rooms (there are 4, two for my time dining and two for set dining) was average at best, although it did seem to improve slightly as the cruise went on. It was really nothing better than an RSL bistro most nights, and there was not much variation in the menu from night to night. Service was okay, without being great. We thought the showtime productions by the onboard cast were ordinary, Long Live Legs was pumped up to be a great night, but we found that the screeching from the lead singer detracted from the entire production. The ports were poor, one was bypassed due to choppy seas, although we booked this cruise for the ship, not the destinations. Thirdly, our biggest bugbear were our fellow passengers, many of whom behaved as if they were at Boganville RSL for 9 days. It was mullets, rats tails, singlets and tattoos as far as you could see. Even though the dress code for the dining rooms is supposed to be smart casual, to some guests this is apparently shorts, t-shirt and thongs. And the sad part is, the crew did nothing to discourage this. Instead of being on Royal Caribbean, it felt like we were on P & O or Carnival. In days gone by, there were standards that were adhered to, and people seemed to accept and respect that. Not so on RCCL anymore, and responsible service of alcohol was non-existent, and there were many, many very drunk people wandering about the ship. This review may sound as if I am a snob, but I am far from it. However, I will think long and hard about booking any more cruises out of Sydney with any company, as it is will inevitably and unfortunately be full of Australians of the worst kind. I would hate to think what overseas passengers thought of us! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of ... Read More
What a beautiful ship! She is new and huge. No rust or shoddy paint jobs on this beauty (yet). BUT SO MANY GIMICKS. I'll start with the biggest yet under whelming gimick - bionic robot bar tenders. After 10 minutes of frustration and very poor drinks we and nearly everyone else we spoke to (and witnessed) left that waste of space bar and sought out a real bartender. on the 3rd day of the cruise the poor old robots were entertaining parents with kids and that's about it. Get rid of it RCI they must cost a fortune and your passengers would rather engage with real bartenders. The dogem cars are a novelty but most people have been there done that at Ag Shows etc, and the roller skating was ho hum and over relegulated - all sharing the same space (along with basketball, soccer etc) and therefore time restricted. We didnt waste our time. Rock climbing wall is consigned to a small side of the ship - unlike voyager etc where your at the stern of ship and have a marvelous view when you conquer the climb. the flow rider and sky diving seemed to be - under utilised and used mainly by the same people - under 30. North Star is fun for about 2 minutes and then you realise you're in a hugh fish bowl in the middle of the pacific sun! Hot hot hot and you get to see the ship from above and the sea from,,,,, well a bit higher than usual. All for about 10 minutes MAXIMUM. Cabins are nice but we noticed no dividing curtain between bed and cabin door as in other RCI so that means you need to by "covered"if your partner goes out the cabin door. Also no line in the bathroom to dry your "incidentials" + No light on the balcony??. AND the TV is fixed to the wall so that you can only watch it from the bed? Useless to try from the couch. What happended to the beautiful 2 storey dining rooms on other RCI ships with the sweeping staircase in the centre? Instead Ovation treats you to low ceilings and clostrophobia with each dining room confined. The main pool deck is jammed packed! and we mean jammed packed. No room for dancing and sail away parties, No belly flop comps or just the good old RCI dance parties on the pool deck. And the adult solarium sprawls over with staggered pools/spas and no character or friendliness like the other RCI solariums. Fitness centre is regulation and fine as per other RCI ships. The onboard entertainment we had was a bit hit and miss but as per other RCI cruises, we enjoyed them and mostly found something to keep us entertained. Staff are exceptional as per every other RCI cruise we've been on. Speciality restaurants are above average and some fun to enjoy. Windjammer accomodates the nearly 5000 guests for breaky OK and the food is of good buffet quality - but remember it's a buffet catering for THOUSANDS of people. Finally - will we pay to travel on the Ovation of the Seas again? - Not likely. Way to big,too many people and we didnt enjoy or use the "gimicks". Mostly this ship doesnt feel like a curise ship - More like a MALL. Overall the ship is fancy and very new and pretty! To us thought it doesnt feel like a Cruise ship. You have to find your own fun and as per usual on a cruise - the Staff are SELL SELL SELL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first ever cruise, and we booked just over a year prior to sailing. The Itinerary: At that time of booking, the Itinerary was: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - Noumea 5 - Lifou 6 - Mystery Island ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and we booked just over a year prior to sailing. The Itinerary: At that time of booking, the Itinerary was: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - Noumea 5 - Lifou 6 - Mystery Island 7 - Isle of Pines 8 - At Sea 9 - At Sea - and back to Sydney What we ended up with was quite a lot different, and had we known at the start - we wouldn't have booked this cruise. It was A LOT of sea days to see just 2 ports, neither of which we were overly interested in (we wanted to see the small tropical islands) But we get that it's a risk with cruising so while disappointing, we didn't get hung up on it. This is what we ended up doing: 1 - Sydney 2 - At Sea 3 - At Sea 4 - At Sea 5 - Port Vila (torrential rain, we got off the ship for about 30 mins walk around town) 6 - At Sea 7 - Noumea (we did the 2 hour Tchou Tchou Train tour) 8 - At Sea 9 - At Sea - and back to Sydney The Embarkation: was great, or at least WE thought it was - we arrived around 11:30am and were on the ship eating lunch in Windjammer by 12:30pm. Many were complaining about the time it took, but normally when we travel internationally we have to check in at the airport 2 hours before and wait MUCH longer before we get on the plane, so no complaints from us! It was all very easy and ran smoothly. Getting a table at Windjammer was fine, and we didn't have to wander around for more than a 5 mins or so (at any time during the cruise) to find a table. We live in the city so are used to having to wait sometimes for a table, and had no problem with it. Rooms were ready around 1pm, and we saw our luggage in the hallway so grabbed it ourselves. Nice and easy! The Room: We were REALLY impressed with our room. We had cabin 10134, port side, forward. It was close enough to the elevators and convenient to the Solarium which was good as with no kids we planned to enjoy this adult only area. There is plenty of storage space, and coat-hangers - surprisingly I didn't need to ask for more. The bathroom is good, with excellent shower pressure. The bed was by the window, maybe a bit hard for our liking but we managed to sleep well so it wasn't too bad. It was definitely more rocky at the front of the ship so next time we'll go for something more midship. The Included Dining: We chose to do My Time dining, and dined in the MDR 4 times on the cruise. We were lucky enough that we managed to dine once in each of the 4 MDR's. We liked the atmosphere better in Grande and Chic - which are typically for traditional dining, it seemed a bit more friendly and personal? The food was ok. Very classic/old school dishes - probably a safe bet I guess. Some were great (loved the lobster bisque and creme brulee), but some were pretty terrible - e.g. a scallop appetizer special one evening was teeny tiny pieces of scallop swimming in butter that had partly clarified and some garlic, served in the dishes used for escargot. And one random piece of bread in the basket was literally like rock - we couldn't even break it. I'm not normally a buffet person, but was quite impressed with Windjammer - plenty of variety and pretty good quality - especially for breakfast. Service in there was good too - you don't have to go looking for drinks, there is table service. Solarium Bistro was our favourite for breakfast, a little bit quieter and just as good a selection. Cafe 270 was good for a salad or sandwich during the day. Seaplex hotdogs were great! The Sorrentos Pizza was ok - not the best pizza I've ever had but not the worst either. Very convenient though to grab whenever you like. The Specialty Dining: We tried Wonderland on the first night, which is the one we were most excited about, but we were really disappointed with it. We were there for 30 mins before anyone came to even offer us a drink, and service was similar for the whole evening. I am a self confessed foodie - and love this type of dining, but this truly was theatrics over flavour. The food was bland and boring, and even the theatrics were nothing special. The egg was exposed by lifting a glass dish with smoke (so 10 years ago) it tasted nice, but was really just a cold stuffed egg like my grandma used to make. The chocolate ball for dessert that collapsed when they poured the sauce over it (this theatric has also been done to death) resulted in an overly sugary sickly mess. Barely edible - I ate 1-2 mouthfuls and couldn't finish it. The garden thing with soil was really bland and boring. Chops Grille on the other hand, was fantastic! I would love to have eaten there again but it was booked out for the whole cruise. NOTE: IT PAYS TO BOOK EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU GO OR AT LEAST AS SOON AS YOU GET ON BOARD AS YOU MIGHT MISS OUT OTHERWISE! Jamies Italian was also excellent, but booked out the rest of the cruise too. We didn't try Izumi, it looked a bit canteen/sushi-train-ish and didn't seem so popular. The Bars: There is a great selection of bars. We had the drinks package, which was great and we got our moneys worth - but we might not do that again as it did encourage us to drink more than we normally would, so our plans to go to the gym every day and be semi healthy went out the window very early on! The bars were all very crowded (see my comments on "The Crowd" later on) but the staff were working relentlessly and very fast at making the drinks, so it wasn't too much of a wait most of the time. There is also table service almost everywhere, which we found frequent enough to not even have to go to the bar most of the time. The Entertainment: We saw Pixels (my favourite), Live Love Legs and Beautiful Dream. If you go 30-45 mins before, you'll be fine to get a decent seat, if you go 10-15 mins before you might struggle. There was trivia, karaoke, all that sort of thing, plenty to do - but we did feel that during the day the activities were mostly for kids. At night there were parties - I particularly loved the Disco Inferno party, but they don't start until after 10pm which is quite late for us, especially since we'd booked some early morning activities. You don't find out what's on each day until the night before, so it's impossible to plan these nights out accordingly. I wish we could know when the parties were on - I really wanted to go to the Silent Disco but didn't manage to because I was already tired and had an early morning activity the next day. The Activities: We booked the iFly, and the booking went smoothly - happened on time. It was fun! We also booked North Star - also went smoothly. There are times you can go without reservation but you'll line up for a long time. It definitely pays to book before the cruise as early as possible. My husband did the flow-rider once, but lined up for an hour and a half to do it! So we never bothered again. It did get a bit quieter later in the cruise, and on port days (we only had two of those!) but we didn't bother as planning timing for things was a challenge - as I've noted earlier: you don't know what's on each day until the night before. We did bumper cars once, also a long line so didn't bother again. The Pools: Nice pools, the main pool is 1.5m deep. However they were FULL of children. One had to be emptied twice one day - because someone had an accident in it. I'm not sure any adult would be game to get in those pools unless their own children were in it. This was disappointing for me because my favourite thing to do on holiday is to have a relaxing day by the pool and a couple of cocktails. I didn't get to do this at all, except for about 1 hour on a port day before it started raining. The solarium pools are adults only but aren't really proper pools, and it was VERY hot in there and VERY crowded, impossible to find a spot to sit after 9am. Chair hogs in full force! The Service: All the staff on the ship were amazing. They were incredibly hard working, always smiling, and couldn't do enough to help you in any way. Guest Services were fine, although I think RC could do a lot more to be proactive with their communication. e.g. I checked in online and entered my credit card details - and checked, checked, rechecked MULTIPLE times. Then on the cruise I went to check again (lucky I did!) and turns out it hadn't registered so I had to go back again to get it sorted. There was nothing anywhere, no email, nothing on 'my account' that would indicate this needed to be sorted. The Internet: We had the Surf and Stream internet with our drinks package which was SO worthwhile getting. We procrastinated for a long time about whether to get internet or not, but I can't imagine not having it and will not hesitate again in future. The Royal IQ app isn't great - My Calendar never worked for the whole cruise, and guest services said "we'll log a ticket with IT" and I never heard from them again. We also couldn't make or check restaurant reservations from the app. This was a bit annoying as it's a very handy feature to have - if it's working! The Crowd: So this is were we were majorly disappointed. We had looked at doing this cruise in either January or March - and chose March thinking there would be less kids on board because it's not school holidays. Boy were we mistaken! The ship was incredibly crowded at full capacity - and felt like a giant shopping mall a week before Christmas, and apparently (we heard) there were about 1,400 kids on board! Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike children, but there was no respite anywhere! They were out of control all over the ship. Running around under the feet of staff carrying trays of drinks, climbing around the stage during show setup (security told them off twice and parents still did nothing), one I saw in a romper suit crawling up the casino stairs around 10pm, and one adult party I thought about going to where the dance-floor was 100% children - after 10pm! It was insanity. Many of the parents were on the bourbons from as early as 9am, and there were plenty walking around smashed all day - and we heard medical emergencies in bars a few times that woke us up at night (maybe genuine, but we suspect probably someone too drunk fell over!) This was not at all a relaxing cruise. Even the solarium was just way too full. The only respite was in our room, so the second half of our cruise we spent most of the day there. There are also some seats outside on deck 5 that were nice and quiet. But to pay the $$ we paid, and with so many sea days (6, on a 9 night cruise!) it would have been nice to have somewhere to relax other than our room and the few seats outside on deck 5. In Summary: The ship itself is amazing, and the staff are amazing. I think as first time cruisers we have discovered that perhaps just Royal Caribbean isn't for us? The crowd, and lack of ability to truly relax except in our room was what spoiled it for us - other than that I think we would really like this cruising thing. So after talking to others on board (we did meet some really lovely people!) we have decided to give cruising one more go - but this time with Celebrity, the very first week that kids go back to school - hopefully at that time parents will be less inclined to take them out of school for a cruise holiday :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose Ovation Of The Seas as it was one of the newest cruise ships sailing from Sydney . This was our first time cruising and with two young children so we did not know what to expect. We opted for the Owners suite as we needed ... Read More
We chose Ovation Of The Seas as it was one of the newest cruise ships sailing from Sydney . This was our first time cruising and with two young children so we did not know what to expect. We opted for the Owners suite as we needed the extra room with the kids and was well worth the extra $$ spent. Stateroom was very spacious. Loved the huge balcony and the dining table in room so we had the option to have brekkie or dine in anytime we wanted. It had one and a half bathrooms, with a spa tub and double sink. With the suite we were able to get some extras with our stay. We had priority check in and check out which was a relief with two young children. We had access to the concierge lounge 24 hours. We also had a lot of help from our concierge Bing who made a lot of our bookings for onboard activities and specialty restaurants . My husband had the deluxe beverage package which was unlimited alcohol and beverages and for myself I had the refreshment package. My husband enjoyed his unlimited drinks very much so and I am surely made the most of it. We had brekkie almost everyday at Windjammers as it was easier with kids and there were plenty of options. We enjoyed most of our meals at the Windjammers. We only dined in the other dining room once - Grand which we received amazing service from Jean. With specialty restaurants, we had Chops twice and Jamie Oliver. Chops was disappointing for myself as I asked for my Ribye to be medium rare but came out well done and was very tough. My husband and his friend on the other hand ordered the same and their steaks were perfect. So good that my husband wanted to go back again. Second time was even more disappointing for me. We made sure we asked for medium rare again and surely it did come medium rare but the meat did not taste fresh and was very bland and was very hard to cut through. Both my husband and I only managed to eat half our steaks. It was unfortunate we didn’t enjoy our steaks but service was amazing though. Jamie Oliver was great . Food was very tasty! We had lots of starters and portions were very big so we got full before our mains even came out. I had the prawn linguine which was amazing and my husband had the truffle pasta which he absolutely loved also. We were not able to finish our mains as we were both too full. We had a great experience at Jamie’s but next time we will not order too many starters. We only tried the coastal restaurant once for dinner . Coastal is for suites guests only. The service was again amazing but the food was a little disappointing. We had a steak again asking for medium rare but came out almost well done. We never had brekkie or lunch there so I cannot comment. We really enjoyed Sorrentos pizzas. It is very convenient to have a quick bite to eat and tastes yummy also. Next door is cafe promenade which I had cookies and carrot cake for afternoon tea and they were both very good. The hot dogs at sea Plex was also enjoyable. Great to grab and quick when you are feeling peckish. The only dissapointment for us was there was not much entertainment for the kids. Our kids are 2 and 3. My two year old is not yet toilet trained and still has to wear the nappy swim pants. She was not allowed into any of the pools. There was only a very small toddler splash zone which she spent most of her time. My 3 year old was too little to go on the big splash zone and he was looking forward to it so much. There were dodgem cars which was a minimum age of 5 to ride with an adult so no good for us either. We did not put the kids into the kids club at all. We had 3 days at shore. The first day was at Port Vila. It was pouring for most of the day so there was not much to do in town. 2nd day we received an announcement early in the morning for Mystery island that it was too windy so they did not let us get off the cruise. The last day was at Noumea. We booked a shore excursion the Amedee Island. Getting off was quick as we had priority departure also. We had a great day and the weather was perfect. Included was a lunch buffet on the island which was nice. Overall, we had an amazing experience and we cannot fault the service at all. Everyone was so attentive and actually looked genuinely happy to be there. This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to our next one! Definitely will not consider cruising with any other cruiseline other than Royal Caribbean!! Take me back!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We enjoyed our second cruise on Ovation, but found the food in the main dining room this time very underwhelming and overcooked. We went 3 nights and the result was the same. We went elsewhere for the rest of the cruise. Bring our second ... Read More
We enjoyed our second cruise on Ovation, but found the food in the main dining room this time very underwhelming and overcooked. We went 3 nights and the result was the same. We went elsewhere for the rest of the cruise. Bring our second cruise we also found the entertainment ok but was the same as the previous cruise 12 months ago. When we booked this cruise it was originally 4 ports of call, one of which was why I booked this one, they then revised the itinerary taking out 2 islands then replacing those 2 with one, we lost quite a few fellow travelers that had booked with us. Whilst on the ship we then missed another port of call due to bad weather, which I understand, safety is definitely paramount, but still disappointing non the less. After 7/9 sea days I was ready to get off. We have another booked for next year with Royal Caribbean on the Radiance. I have heard wonderful reviews about Radiance so going to see for myself. Ovation in my opinion for 2 middle aged cruisers is too big with too many passengers. We booked in late March also hoping there wouldn’t be as many children, unfortunately I was mistaken. I love kids, but too many on this trip we’re left unsupervised a lot of the time. Embarkation was great, disembarkation was great. Well organized, staff were wonderful and always smiling and happy. Shore excursions booked through the ship are recommended. When you miss a stop, the money you paid for the excursion was deposited back into your seapass card. If you booked privately, I’m not sure what would happen. Overall another great cruise with Royal. We enjoyed ourselves but have experienced better on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Always interested to cruise on a new mega ship ,seen Ovaction in the harbor decided to review a cruise package next day and chose this one . All staff very friendly always acknoweded us and asked if any help required . Excellent ... Read More
Always interested to cruise on a new mega ship ,seen Ovaction in the harbor decided to review a cruise package next day and chose this one . All staff very friendly always acknoweded us and asked if any help required . Excellent service in the Grande Dining room you can order bottle of wine and they will store for you each night if not fully drank . Did order the Maine Full Lobster first night out at addition $35 only to told it was not avaiable as was all other nights and it was not taken off the menu pity but no big deal . I found the drink package a bit expensive as you have to purchase two for full trip so then you tend to drink for the sake of it plus you do have on board credits and drink prices were resonable compared to onshore. Although it was full with over 4000 passengers the crew manage you all well including boarding and embarkation considering we required assistance for disabled partner at times The windjammer dining area was busy at all meal times but a good selection of food was available . Water ,iced tea and cordial drinks are free together with brewed coffee ,tips only to main dining room crew and cabin attendent was suitable unless you wished to tip for good service but not pushed on you . Plenty of attractions bars and deck areas to relax .would recommend book the Wonderland restaurant as its different and good service . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I know why I choose Princess cruises! The ship is ok although the layout is confusing the staff were just ok nothing to rave about. There so called alcohol package is truly unlimited and the staff clearly don’t abide by a responsible ... Read More
I know why I choose Princess cruises! The ship is ok although the layout is confusing the staff were just ok nothing to rave about. There so called alcohol package is truly unlimited and the staff clearly don’t abide by a responsible service of alcohol this is a huge concern one that could backfire quite easily. Our cabin was nice kept clean we didn’t really see our guy that much but was pleasant and there to help if you needed. The outside pool on deck 14 was tiny for a ship it’s size. The adults only area only had spas and a shallow pool to sit in There was an inside pool also quite small. The entertainment day and night was very average. Unfortunately we missed 1 port to bad weather and there was no programme arranged until lunchtime We made our own fun but overall I wouldn’t recommend this ship . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our second cruise with RCI. Previously we sailed on Allure of the seas so we knew what sailing with a large amount of passengers is like. Ovation was sailing at almost full capacity on our sailing. This was not an issue until you ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RCI. Previously we sailed on Allure of the seas so we knew what sailing with a large amount of passengers is like. Ovation was sailing at almost full capacity on our sailing. This was not an issue until you wanted to get a lounge chair near the pool or do any activity. If you want to do or see anything on the ship be prepared to get there at least 30 minutes early to be able to get a seat. We travelled as a party of 2 and found trying to even get 2 seats together was a challenge. Pool chairs were virtually non existent after 9am on sea days due to people leaving their belongings on the chairs and not returning for hours, with no help from the staff. We booked this cruise for March as we thought there would be less children on board due to it not being school vacation at the time, boy were we wrong! The ship was over run with children, who’s parents usually weren’t supervising them and they also ventured into the adults only area quite a bit with no staff kicking them out, so keep this in mind! Joff the cruise director was fantastic as was his team, with plenty of activities for a range of travellers on board. Our cabin steward was also good, keeping our cabin looking great throughout the whole trip. The cabin itself was spacious and even though we had an overhang on our balcony on deck 13 it actually provided more shade which was nice. We did 3 specialty restaurants while on board. Chops was amazing as was wonderland but Jamie’s Italian fell short. The main dining room food was good but the menu barely changed each night and was a bit repetitive. The windjammer also had the issue of being repetitive but had special nights such as an Italian night and Mexican night. Overall the food was great. We unfortunately did need to skip mystery island due to strong winds but this was handled very well. Overall the ship was great just a few small issues! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and ... Read More
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and miss out on Mystery Island. The captain did have pretty good communication regarding this, but we were disappointed as we were keen on Mystery Island. The ship itself I think was renovated somewhat recently. The main areas were quite nice. The balcony we had was a bit dated. The cabin was clean and nice. We didn't have any expectations of the ship, it being our first one. The food in the Windjammer was often very good and varied. The pizzas were quite basic; i'd steer clear. Each night had a different them which was nice as well. The pools, particularly the solarium, were good. My only complaint is that people would take up the deck chairs just sleeping. There are signs saying that items will be removed after 30 minutes, but this didn't happen. With all the chairs with items on them and the lack of people, I'm sure the owners were elsewhere on the ship. The hot tub rules also said that 15 minutes is the most you should be in there. People would often stay in for 30+ minutes keeping others from using it. Noumea was our first port. We didn't do any shore excursions, just went for a walk. The city was a let down. Very run down and expensive. If I were to go again I would get aboard the hop on/hop off bus and explore outside of the city. I think it was $30 USD pp. Isle of Pines was a bit better as it had nice beaches and water. The tendering process was a bit annoying but that's alright. The activities staff were very nice. We attended basically every general knowledge trivia and pub quiz on board and had fun with those. The drinks and services on board are in USD. If you were to get the basic alcohol package (cocktails and drinks up to $12) you will have a selection of about 20 different cocktails. The more premium cocktails are nearing $18. I am pretty sure that In my cruise planner prior to the trip the alcohol packages were in AUD, but then on board they were the same price but in USD. So if you want to drink; pre purchase. They do have a boarding special but even with that you are better off purchasing in AUD. The headliner acts were quite good. We had an illusionist, comedic juggler and some shows by the ships dancers and singers. They were all worth a watch. I do wish that the ship played more movies in the cinema throughout the day. Often we had gaps or 2-3 hours where there weren't any activities we wanted to go to. If the ship played movies constantly in the cinema we could have seen a film. I think they played maybe 2-3 a day in there. The gym looked a bit dated. The equipment certainly was a bit older, but worked fine. Would be nice if it was organised according to muscle group. At the end of the day we paid $1100/pp for a balcony and $250 was spent onboard via drinks. That's a fairly cheap holiday for 8 nights. If I were to cruise again it would be to NZ for better ports and on a newer/bigger ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on ... Read More
We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on other ships) first ship we have had to ask for a stirrer and slice of orange in a Campari and soda it’s a basic drink (staff just not trained)! Main dining room well don’t recommend that at all, in fact we spoke to someone about the lack of attention and the food just well............ Windjammer again disappointed the same dish was served for the first three days! Usually there are such great choices. Specialty dining - Giovanni’s was very nice attention to detail good. Izumi’s the best excellent food and service. Chops Grille sad, it was great on other ships but this visit definitely disappointed. Shows were pretty good, ice show excellent, general entertainment hmmmm... We felt there was a ‘lack of food venues’ for snacks and coffee etc., other RC ships definitely had more choice/venues. It even seemed to be a battle to get a cup of tea at times and sometimes just didn’t bother because the queue was just too long. Again just not enough staff!!!! On one occasion I was making a cup of tea and noticed pink lipstick on the mug while pouring hot water into it, staff standing next to me, I said “ooh this mug is dirty” he turned and walked away!! Not the reaction I expected. Overall the staff moral seemed low and staff numbers seemed low as in a great shortage of them. After listening to the Captain at a ‘function’ thinking there maybe lies the answer! Would not sail on Explorer of the Seas again and would not recommend it. Next cruise will make us Diamond and really thinking do we want to keep going ? Have had so many fantastic cruises just hoping they are not ‘losing the plot’. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior ... Read More
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior Suite at rear of deck 6 for the remaining 5 nights, brilliant. Staff were great, dining room waiters Geraldine & Prudencio & Maitre D fussing to make sure all was good. Breakfast & occasional lunch in MDR Sapphires was excellent. Windjammer was crowded, better to avoid at peak hours. Captain Mal & officers mixed on several occasions with guests, very visible & omniprescent. Crown & Anchor evening was good, Captain & C & A lady doing the talking. WE took the 79USD package & used it at Izumis 3x, great tucker. Production shows were hot hot hot, loved every one. Fast Forward, Invitation to Dance & Las Vegas show. The supporting acts were very good over all, Monique Martinez & Coedian Paul Bracks excellent. The solo guitarman Jovencio was very good, Piano lady spoilt by too trebly amplification, C Wind band very good playing 70-80s music. Ports of call Lifou, Mystery Island & Isle of Pines were great, that torquoise colored water is unforgettable, Noumea however is forgettable. Enrichment was by someone from Minerals Council i think, too early for me. Embarkation was easy at 130pm, disembarking was a cattle call. Tenders to the islands was great, 4 tenders docking at the island piers making a quick journey. The trip was made so enjoyable by the Junior Suite, first upgrade ever after about 16 cruises. Next time on RCI we will be Diamond so that will mean no queing at all, look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it ... Read More
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it couldn’t be changed as it was arranged from Miami. Some diners were dressed in singlet shirts, caps and thongs and the Head Waiter said they would be offended if told to change. This complaint goes back some years. Windjammer buffet restaurant was noisy and food ‘just ok’. Promenade Coffee shop - too small for a 4,000 person ship particularly on sea days and coffee well and truly brewed most of the time. Balconies overlooking the Promenade had lights shining into their cabins and noisy. Very young children were running about the top deck and up and down in lifts at midnight. No parents were in sight. Tenders were efficient, evening shows were good quality. Shops had good quality merchandise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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