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269 Vancouver to Hawaii Cruise Reviews

I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of hotel, transportation, food and entertainment. When participating on shore excursions there were numerous activities scheduled each day on board to keep one entertained for the individual as well as group activities if one wish to be involved a group function. As for myself the food provided was a large variety to satisfy the palette of the most selected person. i have only traveled on Norwegian since I started cruise after taking my first cruise of three days several years ago. Is the line perfect nope, but which one is! For me it's what I have been looking for and will continue to use the line to meet my goals of seeing the world one port at a time. My motto is from a shirt that I found on the Jewel earlier this year, "Cruising Is My Happy Place". Happy cruising...... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve ... Read More
This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve espresso machines in the buffet was a pleasant surprise and one I wish was available when I cruised Alaska. Service was exceptional on this sailing, better than anything I have experience on NCL or Royal Caribbean in the past and definitely the highlight of the trip, especially traveling with a young daughter. The crew members were personally engaging and accommodating and quickly endeared themselves to my young daughter. Royal Caribbean still has better food in my opinion but the range of options on the Jewel helped redeem the dining experience. O'Sheehan's bar and grill is a decent off-hours option for food. All in all I would sail on this ship again, especially for the family friendly environment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. We loved the on board lectures, the activities, and just the opportunity to take naps or find a place to read. The restaurants and the food were terrific---never disappointed. Loved all the shore excursions---got a chance to see the calmer side of the islands, not just the shopping and hustle side. The entertainment was very good with quite a variety. We also enjoyed listening to the different musicians and groups on board. The cruise staff also recognized Veterans on board---several get-togethers were organized and the final party included 53 Veterans from the US and Canada. It was a great cruise---we are counting it as one of the best cruises since we have retired!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the NCL-Getaway previously and we enjoyed that cruise enough to give the Jewel a try. We were excited to go to Hawaii, especially during the months of October and November. The ship had approx 2400 guests on board and many ... Read More
We were on the NCL-Getaway previously and we enjoyed that cruise enough to give the Jewel a try. We were excited to go to Hawaii, especially during the months of October and November. The ship had approx 2400 guests on board and many were seniors with some families with youngsters. We had an ocean-view room on the port side and it was comfortable for a couple, although from time to time, we could hear ocean waves crashing onto the hull. There were fewer interesting on board activities during the day and the so called tennis court was not designed to be one. We purposely purchased the specialty dining package, unfortunately, we had MANY disappointing meals at various specialty restaurants. Otherwise, we enjoyed most of the nightly entertainment. We arrived to every port on time and the tendering process to Kona was also timely executed. We did most of the sightseeing on our own by renting a car but we also had fun with one shore excursion arranged by NCL. Overall, the cruise met our expectation of visiting the four islands and the crew were polite and accommodating. Only wish they have better restaurants and day time activities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the drawers, closet, & washroom. Our room steward was great, the crew was smiling & happy everywhere we went. Waiters in Tsar’s Palace were awesome! My aunt has a food allergy & the food allergy guy, Alex, took such good care of her. We had 2 specialty dinners and enjoyed both. Found lots of space at the pool & in the outdoor cafe. Enjoyed the renovated areas on the pool deck where they’ve removed lounge seating type couches & replaced with tables as it seems to allow for more people to enjoy the space. I was super impressed with the Hawaiian show that came on-board one afternoon. The performers were great and it turned out that the show they did was very similar to the luau show that we went to after the cruise. Overall I continue to be very happy with NCL & the Jewel class ships. First time on NCL for my relatives and I think they are both on board for doing another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose cruise as it was after operation and before chemotherapy. And you never know. We had the 5 ultimate dining pkg as an inducement and the 2 for latitudes platinum. We ate well. Liked the old decor of last year before refit. But did ... Read More
Chose cruise as it was after operation and before chemotherapy. And you never know. We had the 5 ultimate dining pkg as an inducement and the 2 for latitudes platinum. We ate well. Liked the old decor of last year before refit. But did like sub chargers in room and lights. Two pride of America cruises under our belts so old hat. Captain of jewel stayed further out from napali coast than pride of America did. But he was a nubie on this cruise in Hawaii. Did not like air package travel to airport at end of cruise when they expected to take us to airport in morning and wait all day for 8:55 pm flight. No option to opt out and get 40 dollars they charged so we found luggage storage at terminal and took bus w/o Waikiki for day. Roberts Hawaii big bus picked us up for about 32 dollars and took us to airport from cruise terminal. We were only couple on full size bus. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The employees were great. The food was always cold and the same except in the upgrade restaurants. At one port there were no shuttles or buses and we were not told so if you couldn’t walk dir 30 min in 90 degree weather you didn’t go ... Read More
The employees were great. The food was always cold and the same except in the upgrade restaurants. At one port there were no shuttles or buses and we were not told so if you couldn’t walk dir 30 min in 90 degree weather you didn’t go anywhere because the taxi line was LONG and over an hr wait Couldn’t get by the pool because people would get up early and grab towels to save chairs until they had breakfast or did what ever they wanted to. I will not go on the jewel again There was 1 med size pool and one smaller pool but to many people to be able to use them. The bartenders were great and our room girl was fantastic. The people in the buffet always seemed to not want to be there. The captain only got on the intercom at 10:00 every morning but only gave information about the boat which we could find on the tv. Also everything on the tv was repeated every day nothing different Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
All the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. They all demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for their jobs. We really enjoyed meeting staff of all different nationalities. This really enhances the cruising experence. We also very much ... Read More
All the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. They all demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for their jobs. We really enjoyed meeting staff of all different nationalities. This really enhances the cruising experence. We also very much enjoyed dining at the specialty restaurants. The menus were delightful and wine selection was superb. The Serving staff were extremely knowledgable and helpful in making entree and wine selections. The buffet provided a variety of delicious food options with an international flavor. We also very much enjoyed the enrichment lectures. The presenters were very knowledgable and most entertaining. We learned a lot about Hawaii's flora and fauna and James Cook's Pacific adventures. Princess also puts on quality shore excursions. I would highly recommend them. They provided very good value for the mony. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were also extremely efficient. From arrival at the cruise terminal to our stateroom took a total of 45 minutes including clearing security and customs. The luggage handling was also very efficient. All in all, a wonderful cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with Princess. All of our previous cruises were with a Holland America. We wanted an opportunity to visit all of the Hawaian Islands and this was what we thought would be a good option. Friends has recommended ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess. All of our previous cruises were with a Holland America. We wanted an opportunity to visit all of the Hawaian Islands and this was what we thought would be a good option. Friends has recommended Princess so we decided to book this 15 day cruise. Food served in the main dining rooms was sub-standard as the fish was over cooked and tasteless. All the seafood and fish dishes were unacceptable. I sent several plates back to the kitchen. I had a plate of mussels in a white wine cream sauce and the mussels had not been cleaned properly (beards) and less than half of the shells had opened during cooking. This tells me that they were not fresh! I ordered medium rare prime rib and it was bloody! However, the desserts (Chocolate Journeys) were exceptional. The ship was old and worn looking and obviously had plumbing problems. Most of the women’s washrooms were closed for maintenance during the entire 15 days! The entertainment on board was very good and there were lots of activities during the day. I gave this cruise a poor rating because of the sub-standard food. Many other passengers commented as well. This was our first cruise with Princess and it will also be our last! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As we live in the Vancouver area we had a friend drop us off at Canada Place port. It took a bit of time and patience to get through security but then is was a quick embarkation. After having lunch we went to our cabin to find our ... Read More
As we live in the Vancouver area we had a friend drop us off at Canada Place port. It took a bit of time and patience to get through security but then is was a quick embarkation. After having lunch we went to our cabin to find our luggage waiting for us. The emergency drill location for us was the Princess Theatre. It was very well organized and no need to bring life jackets. It is well worth it to get the "Coffee Card" to be able to have specialty coffees and a better cup of brewed coffee in the Piazza. We enjoyed the Enrichment Lecturer, George McGuire. He was very informative and entertaining. I did a few of the crafts, played cards and Mah Jong on the sea days. We went on a tour of Honolulu that we arranged at the port. The $50 each price was a lot better than the ship's tours. The Pearl Harbour Memorial was our last stop, before being returned to the ship. We were not able to see the "long movie" (all tickets - they are free, had been already given out) but we checked out the two small museums and they were good - also free. In Nawiliwili we walked to the nearby shops and enjoyed the picnic / park area and boardwalk. We decided not to get off the ship in Lahaina as we had spent quite a bit of time prevously in Maui, and this port required a tender. We enjoyed a peaceful time on the ship. In Hilo, we went to the farmers market and ate lunch at the "Pineapple" Bar. We had Pulled pork sliders and Pineapple cider and ale. The bus back is cheap, but takes a long time so it is better to get a taxi or Uber and share the cost with another couple. Back on the ship we participated in putting, ring toss and paper airplane contests. Daniel Oliver was a great singer and piano player in the Crooners Bar. We really enjoyed this cruise because of all the Canadians on board, over 2,000. A lot of passengers were from the Vancouver area. Princess provided us with a traditional Turkey dinner for our Thanksgiving and had a special trivia and Canadian Name that tune that evening. We chose the Walk-off option so we were off the ship before 8am. We took the Canada Line to Bridgeport station and then a bus home. Sure beats having to fly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Hawaiian Cruise October 7-22, 2019 Sea Princess Ship Vancouver to Vancouver Boarding and demark and daily weather conditions The best place to stay if coming in a day before the cruise to Hawaii is the Pan Pacific Hotel. This is a 5 ... Read More
Hawaiian Cruise October 7-22, 2019 Sea Princess Ship Vancouver to Vancouver Boarding and demark and daily weather conditions The best place to stay if coming in a day before the cruise to Hawaii is the Pan Pacific Hotel. This is a 5 star hotel with great location. Cost by taxi from Vancouver International Airport to the Hotel was a fixed cost of $36 Canadian. Leaving the hotel for boarding the ship is very simple and less stressful. Call the hotel bellmen and they will assist you in attaching the cruise luggage tags and then transport them right to the ship for processing and loading on your ship. Taking their elevator down to the CS level leaves you less than 500 steps from the start of the cruise ship check in process. Checking in is a 3 step process: security screening, US customs and then cruise check-in. Check in starts at 10.30 and I would recommend getting there sooner than later. People with disabilities are processed quicker and a Nexus cards speeds up the US customs process. We did it all in less than 30 minutes. The ship left the port at 4.30pm. The captain warned us that the seas would be rough the next 24 hours with swells to over 4 m. It rained all day of the check-in process but stopped by 7pm. Recommend to take warms clothes for the first 2 sea days and bring some seasick medicine – you can buy some on ship and the medical center on the ship and also offer some assistance. Day 2 (first sea day) Overnight the seas were quite rough and remained rough most the day with some easing late in the day. Mostly cloudy in the early morning then clearing to some clouds, temperature remained below 60F. All the pools were closed but people still watched the movies under the stars and ate in the outside areas. Day 3 (second sea day) Seas have calmed down with the temperature rose up to 66F today and mostly cloudy skies with some sunny periods. Winds still persistent. One hour back tonight for time change. Day 4 (third sea day) It was a perfect sea day with calm seas, sun/clouds and light winds with temperature of 72F. One hour back tonight for time change. Day 5 (fourth sea day) It was a fantastic sea day and sunny skies with great temperatures of 76. No hour change tonight. Day 6 (fifth sea day) Last sea day before Honolulu and the weather was great with temperatures around 82F mostly sunny with calm waves and light winds. There was a one-hour time change night – behind. Day 7 (Honolulu, Oahu) We had a great day with excellent weather 85F humid with some clouds. Did island circle tour by Tours by Locals – tour guide Marie – excellent island tour. Day 8 (Nawiliwili Kauai) Hot and sunny day 87F humid, mainly sunny with isolated brief showers. Did the Waimea Canyon / South Side Tour by Tours by Locals – tour guide Noah Friedberg. Day 9 Lahaina (Maui) Hot and sunny day 89F humid, mainly sunny with isolated brief showers. Did the road to Hana and the helicopter ride back – great tour - Tour by Princess Cruise Line. This is our favorite Hawaiian island. Day 10 Kona (the Big Island Hawaii) Today was cloudy, humid with sun and temperatures around 78F with passing showers. We did a Kona side island tour with Tours by Locals – tour guide Scott who was very good. Day 11 Sea day Today was cloudy, humid and windy with some sun and temperatures around 78F. Seas were a bit rough today. Day 12 Sea day Seas were rough last night and today. Sunny today with clouds, windy with a high of 75F. Day 13 Sea day Seas were a little rough today with sunny skies and temperatures around 70F Day 14 Sea day Foggy, cloudy, windy with some sun and a temperature of around 65F Day 15 Sea day Rough seas with cold, foggy, cloudy windy day around 58F. Day 16 Vancouver – time to leave the ship, head to the airport and fly back to Toronto (Burlington home). Rainy cold day. Getting off the ship was well organized and took very little time. We able to easily get a taxi to the airport which is the fastest and least expensive option. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise as it left from my home and allowed me to travel with my mother, who is elderly, easily. The ship is old, worn out and broken down. Our cabin flooded with water. They removed us from our room during the day, ripped ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it left from my home and allowed me to travel with my mother, who is elderly, easily. The ship is old, worn out and broken down. Our cabin flooded with water. They removed us from our room during the day, ripped out the ceilings and fixed the leak but our clothing was wet. The storage cupboard was soaked along with the carpet. We had no where to stay during the day. At night we could sleep in the cabin but only with the balcony door wide open ans the smell was atrocious. We asked to be moved to another cabin. We were told for 2 days that no other cabins were available. F We had had enough and asked to leave the ship at the first port of call in Honolulu so we could fly home. We asked for a refund. Amazingly, a cabin be came available. It was at the very back of the ship, we had a mid ship cabin. The balcony was not covered and there was a hot air vent blowing on the deck all day and night which made it uncomfortable to use. It was s lot of extra walking for my mother and it was difficult to sleep with all of the engine noise. The food on the ship was terrible. It was unseasoned and had no flavour. I actually lost 2 pounds while on this trip. I finished only a couple of my meals. In the Horizon Buffet there was a bowl of rotten peaches out for people to eat! Everything on the shop was ridiculously expensive. The staff looked worn out and unhappy. Many people we talked to on the shp complained about the food, the leaks and the moldy smell of the ship. All in all there was no value for the money we spent. We should have booked an all inclusive in Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took a family vacation to celebrate someone's birthday and they chose Princess from Vancouver to Hawaii. I also know friends who are avid cruisers and was told that Princess is the best when it comes to food. I was disappointed ... Read More
We took a family vacation to celebrate someone's birthday and they chose Princess from Vancouver to Hawaii. I also know friends who are avid cruisers and was told that Princess is the best when it comes to food. I was disappointed for so many reasons. The bed in our cabin was old and too soft which was very uncomfortable and we had aching backs for much of the trip. We had the air conditioning set as low as it would go and it was still too hit. We had someone come to the cabin 3 times to try and fix it but had no success. . Food was mediocre and mostly very bland. Buffet was very small and food was not very hot. There was no more happy hour or buy one get one free and coctails were very expensive with the Canadian dollar exchange rate. Everything was expensive on the ship. Daytime activities were fun and plentiful. Unfortunately we had the late dinner seating and missed out on a lot of the lounge entertainment. I would recommend the 515pm seating. The production shows were boring with the exception of Motor City. Our cabin steward was very friendly and always greeted us with a smile but other staff, not so much. After breakfast, and being charged for a glass of cranberry juice to me is outrageous. We booked an appointment in the platinum studio to take a family portrait and the photographer took way too many photos of us both individually, with siblings, with spouses, and all we wanted was a family picture. We came back the next day and chose a pboto. If we wanted all the photos on a usb stick, the price was 3100.00 US. Outrageous! For what we paid for this trip was definitely not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chosen for the fact that it departed and returned to Vancouver. Other than that very disappointed with size of cabin ( swing a cat ). Washroom no bigger than a postage stamp. Shower was so small to wash your legs and feet, head would stick ... Read More
Chosen for the fact that it departed and returned to Vancouver. Other than that very disappointed with size of cabin ( swing a cat ). Washroom no bigger than a postage stamp. Shower was so small to wash your legs and feet, head would stick through shower curtain. It was claustrophobic. To towel off was impossible either hands, elbows or shoulders would strike the sides. No cold water came through the faucet just hot or warm. This was mentioned but told this is how it is. The room was so small my wife and I bumped into one another quite often. Other than the actual musical shows ( there were 4 ). The rest of the entertainment was average at best. The food was away below par. Especially at the buffet. Only breakfast was edible. Capri dining room perhaps a step up but but not great. Casino was smoky and machines very tight. I think 1 jackpot of 5000 was won during the whole cruise. It would appear that princess cruises are in tough for money and are cutting back on good service, good food and first class entertainment. They are very heavy on shopping stores and in selling low end junk. Not as advertised and our travel company should have known about these shortcoming. It was a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Myself and my travelling companion recently completed a cruise to Hawaii on the Eurodam (29 Sep - 15 Oct 2019). Our trip was the most disgusting travel experience we have ever had. Our confirmed request for a table for two in the Dining ... Read More
Myself and my travelling companion recently completed a cruise to Hawaii on the Eurodam (29 Sep - 15 Oct 2019). Our trip was the most disgusting travel experience we have ever had. Our confirmed request for a table for two in the Dining Room was a shared table for four. After a ten-minute argument with our waiter on the first night, 29 Sep, I was told that we would have a table for two for the night of 29 Sep but that I would have to confirm it for each use thereafter. This was not acceptable. I told him (waiter) that I had a confirmed reservation in writing and would accept no other eating arrangements. In short, I wanted nothing extra but only what I’d paid for. Our confirmed dining arrangements were only implemented after extensive argument with our waiter, a Dining Room front desk supervisor and finally a supervisor at Guest Services three days later. In total, I sent two meals back and complained about two others while eating in the Dining Room. A bowl of French Onion soup that was cold and worse had no onions was sent back and a steak that was served over cooked and tough was also sent back. The first and second meal complaints that were the final straws that caused us to decide to stop eating in the Dining Room and to take all of our remaining meals in the Lido Deck Cafeteria, that was when I was served Beef Wellington that had been contaminated with a 2 cm wooden twig that had an end sharp enough to pierce my gum. I reported this to my waiter who shrugged off my concerns and told me that the piece of wood was the spice saffron used in the preparation of my meal. I don’t believe that the contaminant (twig) was the spice saffron. The only thing I'm certain of is that the consumption of a meal should not cause you physical harm. My gum became inflamed after two days and I was forced to treat it topically with an antibiotic ointment that I had purchased at a CVS during one of our Hawaiian stops. The second meal complaint was from my companion (made by me to he Dining Room Maître D on her behalf) who had been served an overcooked and tough salmon steak. The Dining Room Maître D spoke with me two days prior to the end of our cruise to inquire as to why we had stopped eating in the Dining Room - once by phone and twice in person. During our final meeting, in the Lido Deck cafeteria, I showed him the contaminate and told him about the two times I had sent food back and my travelling companion’s complaint of an overcooked and tough salmon fillet she had had on the night I complained about the Beef Wellington contamination. She didn’t complain about her meal at the time it was served as she was concerned about us being labelled “complainers.” The Maître D attempted to enter into a process argument with me about who told what to whom. I would have none of it and told him that if the only complaint that he was aware of was the one concerning the French Onion soup, then he had an internal communication problem with his waiters: A problem which was not my responsibility to solve. I had issues with the quality and safety of the food served in the Eurodam Dinning Hall and promptly reported those concerns to my waiter. A simple purchase of some body lotion for my companion turned into a significant irritant. The purchase was made at the Spa on Deck 9 at a price of 49 USD. Upon leaving the spa desk area I was called back and told that the actual price was 42 USD. The clerk told me she had voided the 49 USD room charge and entered the new 42 USD cost. I asked her whether it would be advisable to have a posted price list for their products to assist passengers and staff in these purchases (something which they did not have). She made no response. Two days later I received a phone call at 8:30 a.m. from the spa telling me I had to go to Guest Services to sort out my body lotion purchase as they were unable to remove the original charge and enter the final charge to my account. I went to Guest Services at 9:00 a.m. on the same day and received nothing but blank looks and process arguments. I demanded to speak to the same Guest Services Supervisor I had spoken to before and once she was made available, I told her the problem and asked her to sort it out. Two days later, the correct charge of 42 dollars USD for the body lotion purchase had been posted to my account. Guest services was difficult to deal with. I had to continuously shut down spurious excuses: Dining Arrangements, "We have 3000 passengers so you'll just have to accept it."; Mold infested bathroom, "We have 3000 passengers and when we can get to you, we will”. The arrogant, condescending and cavalier attitude of your Guest Services is something I've never seen before in any of my travels. I have traveled all over the world both as a former soldier and as a retired vacationer. I have never had such a frustrating and disgusting travel experience. My final Account Statement showed a credit of $49.70 USD which has yet to be applied to my credit Card. I have no confidence that it ever will be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose the 27 day cruise to burn off vacation time and explore places I’ve never been. I don’t regret it at all. I travelled solo! Ship was clean and employees were organized. My cabin was immaculate and room stewards were attentive ... Read More
I chose the 27 day cruise to burn off vacation time and explore places I’ve never been. I don’t regret it at all. I travelled solo! Ship was clean and employees were organized. My cabin was immaculate and room stewards were attentive and pleasant. Dining room was awesome And organized from the matre’d to the waiter, busboy & supervisors. Staff were attentive and friendly. Food well displayed. Very appetizing and delicious. Entertainment was top notch and always a variety. All ports were new to me disembarking and returning to the ship was well organized and stress free. Shore excursions were exciting and the history of places were interesting. Captain and officers were professional and approachable. Everyone smiled and said hello. Spa was well organized and the employees were attentive. The acupuncturist was amazing I had several health issues including headaches, insomnia and pain for years and after a few treatments they were gone! Made my who trip worthwhile, thanks Dr Liu! Great cruise, ship & staff! Thanks to everyone from staff to other passengers. I’d definitely recommend and cruise with them again! I’d like to see them change the cabin cost for solo travellers from double occupancy to cabin rate + 25-50%. Just putting it out there... Thanks for the memories Holland America Eurodam! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were booked on the first leg of this voyage, 16 nights to Hawaii, roundtrip from Vancouver. We have done this itinerary three or four times, but previously with Princess. We are fairly experienced cruisers. I think this was our 25th ... Read More
We were booked on the first leg of this voyage, 16 nights to Hawaii, roundtrip from Vancouver. We have done this itinerary three or four times, but previously with Princess. We are fairly experienced cruisers. I think this was our 25th cruise, with various cruise lines. We have tried HAL before. I suspect the issues we had are specific to this ship, not to HAL generally. Pros: The staff are wonderful and hard working. There were many older passengers and many of them had mobility devices. The staff would fold up their walkers for them and tuck them away and then magically reappear to set them back up for them and place them nearby. I have never seen such service. The ship is older, but is in good shape, is attractive and clean at all times. On our particular sailing, the sea conditions and weather were picture perfect. Our days in port in Hawaii were delightful, although for me personally, I didn't particularly benefit from the overnight stay in Honolulu, as the evening entertainment was almost nothing that night. So if you stayed on board, there was little to do. The young classical music performers in the Lincoln Sound Stage were excellent, and their performances were incredibly popular. They need to move them to the Main Stage. The venue they have them play in, is way too small. People stood, lining the halls, as chairs quickly filled up. Cons: My goodness they have cut back on the evening entertainment. They have six talented dancers, but no vocalists, so no Broadway style shows. The dancers did two or three shows in the 16 night sailing. Other evenings were devoted to a magician, a female singer and a man who sang and played the trumpet. The trumpet playing fellow introduced a familiar song but when he played it, it was unrecognizable. He had changed the musical arrangement so much, I couldn't tell what it was. Odd. I have never had a problem with food on a cruise ship. Ever. By midway through the trip, they almost had a mutiny on their hands, people were so unhappy with the food. All the meat was overcooked. Selections were few and often odd: a pasta sauce with tuna in it. Macaroni and cheese with crab in it. Three nights in a row where the featured dinner item in the Buffet Restaurant was a slice of beef and Yorkshire pudding. I had it the first night, and other than being overcooked, it was ok, except my Yorkshire pudding was cold. But three nights in a row? There were very few vegetables available. My husband asked for double the veggies one night in the Dining Room. His plate arrived with two pieces of asparagus on it. I am not exaggerating. The menu one night in the buffet listed broccoli as the vegetable, but when you got there, the server said there was no broccoli, it had been replaced by asparagus, but the asparagus wasn't ready yet. Very strange on a ship where food is usually so amazing and also plentiful. My husband noted his eggs benedict had almost dangerously undercooked eggs one day, and did not eat them. The next day he asked the fellow at the egg station to cook the eggs much longer please...they were plated exactly as undercooked as the previous day, and so were also not edible. Very odd. They really need to do something about the food. We were in an Inside Cabin and as there were only two of us and we have experience unpacking in smaller cabin spaces, it was ok. But this was the smallest inside cabin we have ever seen. Very clean at all times, and an excellent cabin steward, so not really a complaint, just more of something to note, if considering booking an inside cabin. We love this itinerary and will do it again, but this will be our last HAL cruise. Back to Princess we go. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I got a very good price for a solo inside cabin. I had had Jen Baxter as a cruise director before. She still is a great cruise director. 10 sea days,but lots of activities planned for each sea day(lots of ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I got a very good price for a solo inside cabin. I had had Jen Baxter as a cruise director before. She still is a great cruise director. 10 sea days,but lots of activities planned for each sea day(lots of trivia). As this was a Hawaii cruise I did go to Hula lessons. Cabin was ok. Nita,cabin stewardess was great! Food overall was good,but I did have a few main entrees that were not good(for example-lamb that was too tough to cut),and some appetizers that were not good. Poor selection of teas-only Lipton and green tea bags offered. Desserts were mostly very good but for one night grand marnier souffle that was more of a cake than souffle. All musicians were very good! I especially liked rock band Hot Shots in Red Frog Pub! They were fantastic! Danced a lot to their music! This was one of the best cruises I have taken(over 27 cruises)! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Special needs son request mocked by employee and corporate not making it right If you have a child with a disability do not cruise carnival. The ship itself was average, the same you will find on all cruise lines for its age/class. ... Read More
Special needs son request mocked by employee and corporate not making it right If you have a child with a disability do not cruise carnival. The ship itself was average, the same you will find on all cruise lines for its age/class. The splash pad is in a horrible location where it is super loud (ship engine,thrusters,smoke stacks)and windy. Most other cruise lines have the splash area on the main lido deck where it is not as loud and more accessible. The kids club would did not have an igloo slide like pictured and will combine all age groups when not a lot of kids were there, which is tough on a child with special needs. They would be in one room one time then the other the next and then not being allowed over at other times which for kids can be frustrating “why can’t I go over there and play the video games?” “Why can’t my sister be in my room now, she was yesterday?” Just be consistent, either keep them separated the whole cruise or keep them combined. Consistency is key. Other cruise lines offer the same/or better kids areas and accommodations for special needs kids specifically Royal and Norwegian. Food is average with cruise line industry, but if you have dietary needs consider another line. We put in our concerns when booking and then after paid in full checking to make sure my son would be accommodated. On the ship, they had no note of it and then took 4 days to be correct and multiple trips to maitre d, chef, & guest service. Other cruise lines it takes 1 meal and then everything is usually correct by the next one. Here is a specific incident where an employee did not take my child’s disability seriously & corporates response as well... On 9/30 I went to the unicorn cafe to get a straw for my disabled son, who can’t drink without one.(I had brought 2 reusable cups for him to use on the trip, but unfortunately one was lost and the other broke right before this incident) The employee told me they didn’t have one, but I could go to the Serenity Bar to get one. I went to the bar and asked for a straw. Another guest said “turtle killer” and laughed. The bar server laughed and called me a “murder”. I told my mom what happened and she immediately went to guest services. While talking to guest services she was overwhelmed and had to lay on the stairs. She text me and told me I had to come down there, because whenever she spoke about the incident her head hurt and felt like it would explode. I walked my mom over and talked to the bar manager who apologized for taking so long, but he was speaking with the server who said he did not say anything to me. He told the bar manager the guest called me that and he said nothing. I told him to check the tapes because you will see he said it to me after the guest. He said he would have a meeting with all the staff and make sure no one says anything to guests. My mom then bought medicine and laid in her room. I contacted guest care when we were in port and told them what happened and that my mom was not getting better and I felt unsafe on the ship. The lady apologized and asked if I and all my party had our passports and belongings and if we were ready to leave now. I said yes and she then said she just had to verify for protocol that I informed guest services on the ship and then she would refund our money and send us home from Hawaii. She put me on hold to verify with guest services, when she got back she said guest service on the ship had no record of the incident and said I did not come down so unfortunately she could not help me until I went to the ship. If they do not resolve it I could then contact them once I was off the ship to help, which I assumed would honor the refund. On 10/11 I went to guest services to get a copy of incident-in case when I called they said there was no record like on 10/6 and was told they could not share it with me. I asked to see a security officer and was denied saying my safety was not a concern. I told them I had to return my “serenity pool towel” to guest services because I did not feel safe going in that area or any area that employee could be. I was then told that the employee was reprimanded and only told me to “save planet earth” when I said that was incorrect and sounds nothing like “murder” they changed it to “save Mother Earth”. I then felt like they were trying to cover up the issue instead of taking responsibility and insisted on seeing security who took a full statement, but would not allow my mother who had medical issues from the incident to give a statement. The officer told me he would investigate. I was then contacted and the officer said the bar manager told him it was carnival policy to tell all guests who request a straw to “save the environment” I asked why this was not mentioned 11days earlier and why the server lied saying he said nothing when initially asked. I also said it sounds nothing like “murder” so then after talking with the manager again I was told I just didn’t understand the servers accent. Then the manager tried to convince security by saying "save Mother Earth" as fast as he could to show it sounded similar, but it did not and I stated this was insulting and not what the server said. Also, no other servers the entire cruise mentioned “saving the environment or planet or Mother Earth” I also said that telling me that would be inappropriate since it is for my disabled son who can’t drink without a straw, but the server crossed the line and made me feel unsafe by calling me a “murder”. The servers put straws without any request into alcoholic drinks continuously without mentioning the environment. When I got home I contacted customer care again. I shared the information and was told by Ingrid that I misunderstood the employee and they would give me $50 credit to a future cruise. I said I don’t feel safe especially since everyone is covering up for the employee and that $50 didn’t even cover the cups I had to buy in port because I felt unsafe asking for straws and guest service on the ship lied to her colleague. My mom then contacted Sergio and was told it would go under manager review and we would be contacted. Three weeks later I called again since no one contacted us. I spoke to Ariadne who first said my booking was cancelled and then found it. She insisted I misunderstood and that the case was closed. She also denied my request to speak to a supervisor and said I could contact BBB or whoever else I felt since they never give refunds. I contacted BBB and corporate insisted I misunderstood the server, even though the employee's story changed and was documented in my statement to security that they said one thing and changed to another and the bar manager admitted this in front of the security officer. I pleaded with corporate to just view the videos and deal accordingly with its employees so this would not happen to anyone else, but they maintain that I misunderstood. The video would show the server laughing at me and if someone could read lips he stated one word “murder” in no scenario is that appropriate wether for myself or my disabled child-either would telling me to save the Earth especially after acknowledging another guest just called me a “turtle killer” why an employee would laugh and say anything is beyond comprehension, but for a company to cover it up is unimaginable. I have cruised carnival in the past and recommended them over Norwegian, Royal, Holland, Princess, and Disney, but not anymore. I do not feel safe and at the end of the day no one deserves to be treated like that with or without a disability. Please consider carefully on your next cruise to choose a company with integrity and find the truth not just what suits there bottom dollar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Husband's retirement cruise. It was a wonderful and relaxing 16 days. The weather was good except the 1st day out was a little rough. Didn't meet our cabin stewart until day 10 but we were always out and about . There was always ... Read More
Husband's retirement cruise. It was a wonderful and relaxing 16 days. The weather was good except the 1st day out was a little rough. Didn't meet our cabin stewart until day 10 but we were always out and about . There was always something going on. Our room was always clean and ice in our room every day. Ate most dinners in the MDR and went to Seaday Brunch a couple of times. Food was always good and service was never slow. Lunch was usually the buffet or Guys burgers,Went to the main show every night and most were enjoyable as were the comedians. The Hot Shots in the Red Frog Pub were great and we tried to catch the Emerald Trio whenever they played. The casino was fun but not profitable. This was the best cruise we have ever taken and we would love to do it again someday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to ... Read More
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to assign a perminate table for two the first night, but they accommodated us the second night and we stayed with the same table for the remaining 10 nights. The head waiter was helping his staff and greeting guests every night. We found the captain around the ship, he was very visable as well as his senior staff. Entertainment is available in the evenings before and after dinner. The heart of the ship is the Martini Bar and always a great place for a drink. Sky lounge is a nice venue for late night dancing. Casino wasn’t open during the ports days or evenings. Somethings to do during the days at sea are claim your chair in the saloruim where they also have light breakfast and lunch served. Gym is packed during the morning and early afternoon, plan to work out between 2-4 and 5-8. The Sunset Bar is a great place for an afternoon cocktail and live music on occasional. A few tips for excursions in the ports of call; Hilo - highly recommend renting a car from Hawaii Jeeps and make sure your a Budget Fast Break customer will save you time. There are a couple highlight must sees; Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Two Step for snorkeling and Valcono National Park. Maui Hyatt Regency has a Hertz with a free shuttle that will save you time not having to go to the airport. Most popular excursion is the Road to Hana it will take a whole day. I would suggest downloading the GyPSy app and bring an extra phone charger cord. Ohe’o Gulch is not a must do we thought it wasn’t worth the drive. Kona has a great snorkel at Kahalu’u beach with snorkel rental avalible and accessible by Uber. Hawaii would not be complete with out a visit to Pearl Harbor, tickets are available online 60 days prior or 24 hours in advance. I would suggest staying in Ko Olina, we stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club and was one of the nicest resorts we have stayed at. Also there is a Four Seasons and Disney has a resort there as well. If you are not TSA PRE arrive to HNL airport 2 hours early to insure you don’t miss your flight, but if your traveling to another island be sure to look at Hawain Airlines as they mainly do island to island flights regularly throughout the day. This was a great way to see Hawaii even if you have been before. The ship changes time 1 hour every other day to help get adjusted. 5 days at sea may seem like a lot, but it’s nice to get into vacation mode or unwinding from a jam packed vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We’ve been on a Eclipse before & had a great time, so when we were thinking about another cruise for our 50th anniversary & Eclipse was going from Vancouver to Hawaii, well, it was a nobrainer! We flew into Vancouver the day ... Read More
We’ve been on a Eclipse before & had a great time, so when we were thinking about another cruise for our 50th anniversary & Eclipse was going from Vancouver to Hawaii, well, it was a nobrainer! We flew into Vancouver the day before & stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, a bit pricey but they bring your luggage to the ship (actually to our stateroom), sold. We’d stay there again if cruising from Vancouver. We did a trip out to Capilano Suspension Bridge (us & about 700 other folks). Great dinner with new friends at Old Spaghetti Factory in GasTown. Embarkation. We had breakfast at Pan Pacific & about 10am we strolled downstairs to checkin. We went directly to the counter, received our seapass, went thru customs & boarded! Seriously, from the time we got in the queue to get our seapass till we were onboard with our bubbly was under 10 minutes. Would’ve been less time but there was a lot of walking! Walked around as cabins weren’t ready yet, got our hot glass class appointment & then went to the concierge luncheon (recommend the short ribs!). Finished lunch & cabins were ready. Went to cabin & as promised, our luggage was at our cabin door! Our cabin was one we’ve enjoyed, 2105, great location by pool, elevator & one deck from Oceanview Buffet with a lovely sized balcony. Met our stateroom attendant, Christopher & we recognized each other from a previous cruise! He remembered that we prefer the cheese/fruit to the canapés (I have too many food allergies to chance what I don’t know) & that we like ice twice a day. He is a fabulous stateroom attendant, never had to ask for anything. Our few requests confirmed we got unpacked & went to our Cruise Critic Sailaway...it was a bit damp but over 100 folks braved the sheets of rain & enjoyed a meet. Five sea days, ahhh, total relaxation! First couple days were quite cool but there were many indoor activities. We had several fun Cruise Critic events scheduled over the sea days. First sea day was our Cruise Critic Meet n Mingle attended by over 200 people including Capt Leo, Dan the Hotel Director, Lauren the Cruise Director & many other officers. Capt Leo’s comment, wow I think everyone that was on the board came! (see they do read our comments!) Our gift exchange had 42 people (also huge!). We also did a cabin crawl (with over 40 people viewing many different styles of cabins). A slot pull, lots of fun & we actually won our money back! Our final sea day we had a Cruise Critic luncheon in the MDR that was attended by about 80 folks. We had a great Roll Call. The second sea day I did the Hot Glass blowing, what a lot of fun! I wish I’d signed up for more than one session, I wanted to make everything! I made a glass heart for our 50th anniversary & the girls engraved our names, date & 50th anniversary on the bottom (what a nice touch!). Bring your own bubble wrap (they wrap the items in packing paper) for travel. My heart weighed over 5 lbs! We had traditional 6pm dining with the best waitstaff we’ve had in absolutely years! Our waiter, Aartee, was truly superb, her attention to every detail was fabulous (especially with my food allergies); her assistant, Julianna, was delightful (friendly, unobtrusive & that great smile!). Our sommelier, Uliana, was great! She took me on as a challenge to break me out of my favored Conundrum Red, I had some fabulous wines (all by the glass) this cruise! She’ll be on our Reflection cruise in February, I certainly hope we get her as our sommelier! The food this cruise was also exceptional, hot foods hot & cold foods cold, great taste on everything. Our location in the MDR was closest to the entrance doors, so keeping hot foods hot must’ve been a true challenge. We did one specialty restaurant, Murano, it was fabulous for our anniversary. Lobster cooked at tableside with chateaubriand for 2 & strawberry bomb crepe for DH (cooked at tableside) & I had grand Marnier soufflé. Delectable food, good service (we preferred our MDR servers) We went to the Elite Coffee Break most mornings for lattes & a continental breakfast spread. The most fabulous spread I’ve ever seen. Rose, the Captains Club Hostess was her gracious self. We also attended the Elite Happy Hour in the Sky Lounge several times. Evenings saw us at several of the shows (when will Topper leave???) or the Martini Bar or World Class Bar chatting with friends & imbibing delightful concoctions. We were celebrating our 50th anniversary & had made mention of it in our cruise planner! Wow, they read that! We received a lovely bottle of champagne from Dan the Hotel Director; flowers & red wine from the Chief Housekeeper, a rose from Rose the amazing Captains Club Hostess, chocolate covered strawberries, balloons & a poster from Johnna the Concierge...WOW! Way more than anticipated & so much appreciated. We also had two of the wonderful chocolate mousse cakes (one at our MDR table & one in Murano) Land Ho! Five sea days in a row, just enough, we were ready to be on dry land. First port was Hilo for 2 days (could’ve used 3 days). We toured the National Volcano Park on our own with friends & had a great day! Second day in port we had a fantastic Celebrity Tour, Land of Frozen Fire (hope you get Donna as tour driver!). Highly recommend this tour, well paced, informative & perfectly sized at 20. Off to Kona & a private tour with C Big Island Tour for Historical Kona, Coffee Farm & Turtles. We had a great tour guide, Dre. Great tour (bit too long at coffee farm). Nice fish lunch (on our own). Fabulous pictures of the sea turtles. Off to Maui for two days. The only downside to our entire cruise was the absolutely terrible Celebrity excursion, Road to Hana. The tour was nothing like it was described, we’d been in the overcrowded bus (without anywhere to store our bags) for over an hour when the driver announces we won’t be doing the tour you expected. We’ll be coming back the winding road instead of continuing around the island (with all the places we wanted to see, the reason we’d booked the excursion). The restrooms at our few stops were deplorable, the “luncheon” was at a filthy city park & consisted of an unrefrigerated tortilla wrap with mystery meat (no choices), jalapeño potato chips & dry prepackaged cookies with two pieces of soggy fruit. I didn’t expect a 5star lunch, but I did expect something edible & properly refrigerated (I know they weren’t refrigerated as the boxes were stored under my seat (eliminating any foot room). This wasted 11 hours of what should’ve been a great day on Maui. The second day we wandered Lahaina on our own & has a great day (including the best shave ice I’ve ever had! We were back on board when the wildfire broke out closing the road & stranding 170 cruise people that eventually were evacuated by tender for over 2-1/2 miles of rough water (without any known injuries) a remarkable show of seamanship by Capt Leo & his crew that took many, many hours. We had friends involved in this evacuation that were highly complimentary of the rescue. The next day was disembarkation. We had a light breakfast in buffet, said goodbye to our fabulous stateroom attendant, Christopher & went to the Concierge disembark area with number 13. We sat down, the Concierge, Johnna came by & said your number is ready! Go to gangplank & Capt Leo is saying farewell to each person...such a nice touch, we thanked him for taking such good care of everyone the night before. Ok, off we go...that sad ding that your cruise is over We go down the escalator, grab a porter ( lots of luggage), get our bags & go straight to the taxi line where our porter grabbed us a mini van & we off to our week at the Hale Koa Hotel. From time we left Concierge departure until we left in our taxi less than 10 minutes total!!! This was definitely The easiest disembarkation (& embarkation) we’ve had in over 20 cruises, bravo Celebrity! The end of a fabulous cruise...would we do it again? You betcha!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo ... Read More
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo interior cabin which while small was good at has a normal double bed and the same bathroom as regular rooms. it had the virtual balcony which I liked. The food in Solarium café and American Icon was very good, but Windjammer was repetitive food (too much Asian and Indian food) and not enough veggies. Windjammer was busy at breakfast but pretty empty at night for dinner. I liked the take 2 café for lunch. I did the North Star twice but not the I-fly or surfing. You had to wait a long time if you wanted bumper cars and then you were on for five minutes. The Hawaii enrichment lectures were very good. I would definitely sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in ... Read More
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in Vancouver so there was not an expedited embarkation for repeat gusets. We were familiar with the ship as we had sailed on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. Once on board we took the stairs to the next floor and walked all the way down to the second bank of elevators. Thus we bypassed the crowd. Ship was clean and beautiful. Even though it was a big ship it didn't seem crowded excWe chose this cruise as it was on our bucket list and we enjoy sea days. We flew to ept when they were selling stuff on the promenade. Dining - We did 2nd seating table for 2. Our waiter and assistance were excellent, making sure everything was to our liking. The food overall was very good. Some items I didn't care for but the staff would accomodate with another entry that was very good. Staff was attentive and when they noticed we always came to dinner with a glass of wine, they had the cheese tray waiting for us. Speciality restaurants - we didn't do any as in the past we have not found them that special. We thought $40 surcharge for Chops on the high side and have experienced high end steak houses on land which these are not. Did check out the Italian Restaurant menu and wasn't impressed. Just run of the mill offerings that seemed like Olive Garden. Entertainment - the shows we saw were very good and overall there was good variety. Enjoyed the piano player at the schooner lounge and small venue bands. Activities - Since we had 5 sea days there seemed to be all kind of activities available. They had enrichment programs, movies,bridge lessons, shows during the day time. We did the bumper cars and waited a long time but had fun watch everyone while we waited. Service - The service was excellent. Our room attendent was always available and very accomodating. All staff we encountered we warm and engaging from bartenders to maitre. Ports Vancouver - We had been there before so we just went to dinner in the revolving restaurant. Food was good and views are spectacular. Seattle - The ship does not dock in downtown,so you need transportation to get to the city. We have been to Seattle a few times and just decided to go to Pike Place, famous fish market. We took taxi and it cost about $12 each way which is cheaper than the ship's offering which was $22 per person plus you can be on your own schedule. Vans were available for $7 per person but we elected not to do this as usually you had to wait until the van is full before they leave. Maui - We took a ship's tour to the volcano. We went 10,000 ft above sea level and we were in the clouds and never got to see the crater. No issue as no one has control over the weather but the ride was exciting, curves climbing etc. The worst part was the guide didn't stop talking the entire time and it was a long day. Kono - We took ship's tour to coffee plantation, strenous hike through the natural habitant and visit to a former native enclave by the sea. It was excellent but the tour description was somewhat lacking. Description said had to walk 4 tenths of a mile over uneven ground. It was at least 3/4 of a mile and we needed walking sticks, as it was steep, had to climb over tree roots, fallen trees and slippery rocks. The guide was excellent, had water and snacks for us. We really enjoyed it. Honolulu We departed and didn't take any ship tours as we were staying there for a few days. Only negative is that no free movies were offered in stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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