5 Vancouver Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with ... Read More
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with small to no sitting. The 24 hour cafe is no bigger than a small stateroom. Selection is poor. Food quality is so-so. Breakfast foods like donuts, pastries, muffins are hard as rocks as ate the biscuits and rolls. If you are luckily and get a fresh baked item from the fresh baked station, that item is great. But the lines and people pushing to get the hottest foods is terrible. I’m in day 5 of a 11 day cruise and so disappointed. I won’t sail RC again. Food quality is so so. Some staff is friendly and fun. Spa person was nice but pushy and bad when I didn’t buy additional product. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I posted the bulk of this on another thread, but figured it would be good here, also. Some people are questioning whether they should do this ship to Alaska. Others are giving a more negative view on things like the food, etc on other ... Read More
I posted the bulk of this on another thread, but figured it would be good here, also. Some people are questioning whether they should do this ship to Alaska. Others are giving a more negative view on things like the food, etc on other threads. Here is my summary of my impressions on this ship/itinerary: We also just did the 11 night Alaska cruise on the Ovation and had a wonderful time! I would not hesitate to sail her again. Our cabin (8520 - forward large ocean view balcony) was wonderful. Very spacious. Our cabin steward did his job. We were taken care of and requests called down from the number on the card he left were promptly filled. But we only saw him briefly twice in 11 days. We called him "The Ghost"! The rest of the crew was welcoming and friendly. We cannot complain about any of them. However, none really stood out as spectacular to us. The CD Chris grew on me as the cruise went on, but he was not the best we have had, or the worse. I think that for all the crew the change from a mostly Asian market to Australian to US based in just a few short months was a daunting task when it came to figuring out what appealed to each market. But they were always trying to make things better and I think they succeeded as the few things that concerned us in the beginning got better as the days went on. The public areas were beautiful, spacious and welcoming. A lovely ship. Food is subjective and we are not foodies, but we never left a food venue hungry. I enjoyed all of my meals. We had the BOGO package, so we ate the first night in Jamie's and the second in Wonderland. One lunch in Chops, which was very good. One night in the Solarium Bistro, which has a Mediterranean theme at dinner. I love the Greek style food, so it was good for me. I don't think it was good for everyone in our party of 8, though. We only had one dinner in Windjammer and it was ok. Nothing amazing for me that night. But, I didn't leave hungry. We had dinner the other nights in MTD. It was always good. A couple of nights when we arrived they told us that we would have to wait for a table of 5, but they somehow managed to always seat us within 5 minutes. Lunches were usually light. We had Sorrentos's pizza (I liked the artichoke salad along with a slice or two of pizza). Twice we just had a hot dog. We were disappointed at first that they didn't offer the Tutti Salad in the MDR. It had never before been offered on this ship as it is not popular in Asia. However, they did figure it out after many requests and offered it the last three days of our sailing and told us that it would be standard on sea days from then on. I think from the lines that it was a hit! Our cabin was forward so we usually went to the Solarium Bistro for the small buffet there. It had an egg station where I could get a fresh omelet. Never crowded. We discovered the Two70 Cafe for a light breakfast late in the cruise and wish we had found it earlier. On early port days we usually like the Continental Breakfast room service. My oatmeal usually arrived cold ,so that was disappointing. But, the other offerings did the trick and got us off on our excursions with full bellies. The ship felt quite crowded on the first day, but then everyone found their spots and it seldom felt crowded after that. The biggest negatives are the slow elevators. That never improved. If you can take the stairs a few flights you are better off, and my DH did that quite a bit. But my arthritis won't allow it, so I had to wait. I can't comment on the bars as we don't drink much. The Diamond Lounge evening cocktail was good for me. One glass of wine or a rum punch was all I can do and my DH will only have an occasional glass of wine. Service was slow and my DH had to go get our beverage from the bar most nights himself, but there were a lot of us in there getting free drinks! I like the atmosphere of the Schooner Bar on most ships and this one was no exception. It is very relaxing to me to enjoy the piano player at night, although we had so much to do we didn't make it there most nights! Paul O'Shea is a very talented and popular piano player with excellent rapport with the guests. If he is playing, make sure you spend some time there to enjoy his talents! The ports on our 11 night itinerary were amazing. 4 ports and 2 glacier days. On our glacier days we would usually begin them on our balcony as they were early, breakfast in the Solarium to have coffee with a view, then go up to the Sports Deck and finally end up in Two70 for the amazing views from there. Make sure you make it out to the wings from Two70 on glacier days! It is the perfect ship for viewing Alaska when the scenery is available to view. The biggest disappointment is that this ship is just too large to go through the BC Inside Passage, so our 4 days at sea were truly at sea. No beautiful scenery floating by. For that reason alone I would choose my next cruise to Alaska on another ship. For our 11 night itinerary it was great. For 7 nights, if seeing Alaska is your priority, I would not recommend the itinerary. Only two ports and 1 glacier day without the Inside Passage I think you are missing too much. The exception would be for those who have already seen Alaska and want to experience this class of ship close to home and in a beautiful setting. This ship, with it's multiple enclosed viewing areas, would be perfect for routine round trip Seattle longer cruises like the one we had with an obligatory port stop in Victoria. I think if it were offered later in the season it would sell well. Princess does r/t to Hawaii 15 nights on a regular basis. RCI could find a niche in Alaska with this wonderful ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.9
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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