4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
On August 25 I embarked Ovation of the Seas on one of the ship’s last trips in China. The ship is newly built and sent to China immediately. It is returning to the US but this does not mean RCI is quitting the area, as they will ... Read More
On August 25 I embarked Ovation of the Seas on one of the ship’s last trips in China. The ship is newly built and sent to China immediately. It is returning to the US but this does not mean RCI is quitting the area, as they will deploy an even newer ship of the same class to the China seas next year, while Princess and Norwegian are retreating (it is a joke that NCL took away the 160000-ton Norwegian Joy and replaces it with the very old and practically un-refurbished Norwegian Spirit, well-known to this market as the former SuperStar Leo (particularly this old ship suffered a 24-hour power loss recently). I have of course cruised on RCI before but too long ago, and the brand has not been my favorite. But what a pleasant surprise, and what a proof why RCI is the most successful operator while Princess and NCL failed in this region. Immediately I notice good things: (1) It is not fully localized and retains elements of a real international cruise, and it is the first time I saw many Australian joining a China cruise. (2) It is quiet, stateroom well-insulated and no unnecessary announcement as on MOST big ship soliciting your business (3) Hospitality was generally good and the local Chinese recruits were professional, unlike on other ships. (4) The ship sails full load at 4700 but it still feels spacious enough (5) There are photographers but not the intrusive kind. (6) Most passengers are Chinese so most announcement are for them, but there is always a statement that “the following announcement are for Chinese passengers only”, showing respect for the minority. Shopping is a highlight, high street type shops usually seen in RCI ships are changed to Cartier, Prada, Omega. The shopping was tremendous to the extent that even I bought something (I almost never buy anything on a ship). Wonder how they will deal with the luxury shops aimed at the Chinese on return to Alaska. The stateroom was small but well-designed, and it is equipped with tea making facilities (hope this remain in the US). It had a fridge, slippers, and bath robes not to be seen in most ships of a simple balcony cabin. There are more than 5 inclusive eating places in the dinner time in addition to the most popular buffet. The main restaurants open in slightly different time and operate in a free seating system, but there are plenty of tables for me to enjoy solo dining. Dining food was not impressive but it is the buffet that scores! I intend to vote it the Best Buffet of any big ship I have been on. Food is plentiful and in many varieties, and well-cooked. The Chinese food is Chinese-Chinese, not American-Chinese as on NCL and Princess. There are other dining outlets that charge. The steak house and Italian are not bad, but the Japanese is entirely American-Japanese. RCCL excels in shows and here they have a show on a specially designed lounge of some technical innovation. The productions shows are big but just many people moving on the stage, without impressive choreography and good singers. However it was good to see the very attractive and sexy Taiwan violinist Venus Tsai again as headliner show host, after seeing her only months ago on Princess. So I was happy with the show time offer as well. If my expectation was not high, the real impression far exceeds my expectation and this cruise brings me back to RCCL, to compete with and to beat NCL and Princess and Costa. RCCL may probably win my patronage, along with MSC. The 7-night trip is considered long for China but it pays off with full attendance. The call to Fukuoka was good and convenient for shoppers, the other two ports caters for excursionists. But it took too long to go to Kyoto, as it was a real disaster to embark in Tienjin allegedly Beijing. But as a whole the cruise was enjoyable and it was almost a blessing that despite very strong winds the sail was smooth. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as we really wanted a taster of Japan. Having been on a couple of RC cruises prior to this one, we were looking forward to the same level of service and care that we had come to expect - boy, we we disappointed! We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we really wanted a taster of Japan. Having been on a couple of RC cruises prior to this one, we were looking forward to the same level of service and care that we had come to expect - boy, we we disappointed! We were to board the ship at Tianjin, a couple of hours from Beijing. Upon arrival at the port, we discovered that there was also a Costa cruise leaving at the same time and the result was absolute chaos. There was nobody directing passengers and our group were left by the bus driver on the quayside with absolutely no idea of where to go. Eventually, we tagged on to the end of a group of people following someone holding up a RC paddle. It turned out, however, that the person was leading an actual tour group of which we were not part and so we ended up inside the terminal along with our cases which, apparently, we should have left at some mysterious "baggage drop" which was not indicated or evident outside, at least not in English. Having finally managed to get into the terminal, we then discovered that the email we had received 2 days before leaving, stating that "Guests are responsible for providing TWO copies of their passport photo. Each copy must be on either an 8 ½ x 11 or A4 paper, with one copy of the document required for each page, per guest" didn't actually mean that they wanted 2 copies of our passport photos at all. What, in fact, they did want, was 2 copies of the passport page containing our photo. We then had to wait in a very long queue at a photocopier, that the operator had no idea how to operate, to get said photocopies. This was exceptionally annoying since I knew exactly how to sort the photocopier (as a primary school teacher with extensive knowledge of the inner workings of photocopiers) but the member of staff was having none of it. When we finally found someone to take our luggage, got our photocopies sorted and managed to board the ship, we expected a welcome drink, a flannel to wipe our, by now, fevered (or ever so slightly humid) brows and a welcome on board by the staff, as with any other RC cruise. Sadly, none of that happened. After almost 2 hours stuck in queues, we were told to go the the Windjammer to get a drink if we wanted one. Our cabin was lovely. It was clean, modern and contained all the mod cons that one could expect from a modern ship. The bed was relatively comfortable and it was kept very clean by Joel, who always had a smile on his face. We had signed up for the drinks and dining packages whilst still in the UK, as the website stated that savings would be made by pre-booking. The deluxe drinks package covered premium drinks, the minibar in our cabin and all drinks up to the value of $12 at the bars. The mini-bar, we discovered, was completely empty. When we asked Joel about having it stocked, we were told that we would have to request that from Customer Services and only soft drinks would be stocked in it. We also discovered that, unlike ANY other cruise we have been on with ANY other cruise line, bottled water was not replenished daily in the cabins. We were even more disgruntled to discover that the drinks and dining packages were considerably cheaper on the boat. When I complained to customer services, they reimbursed our account with what we had already paid and then rebooked the packages. This gave a saving of over $100 on the drinks packages alone! The cruise was 90% Chinese, with only 10% being westerners, mostly Australians. As such, the cruise was very different to anything we have experienced before. The Chinese adults use the ship as a shopping and gambling experience whilst their children run amok unchecked and overindulged by their parents. The onboard shops include such names as Cartier and Omega and the centre of the boat was an onboard marketplace for rather expensive handbags, jewellery and other assorted tat that the Chinese just couldn't get enough of - it was still heaving at 10 o'clock at night. We decided to try out the 1970's Disco Inferno which was scheduled for 10pm. Upon arriving, we were offered popcorn and candy floss - not exactly what we were expecting. However, on going further into the room, we could see a dance floor swarming with children - from toddlers to teenagers, all off their faces on sugar and e-numbers. I've done a fair few schools discos in my time, but this was something else. We promptly left and headed to the Vintages bar which was at least a bit more peaceful. There were 3 scheduled stops on the itinerary; Fukuoka, Sakaiminato and Kyoto. We had booked excursions for all three via RC, two half day and a full day excursion. As far as excursions go, they were hardly enriching. We basically got to see 2 parks, a town, based on a famous character that none of the International guests had ever heard of, and a fish market. Our full day tour in Kyoto was cancelled the evening before we were due to go, by which time, all other trips were fully booked. In terms of food, the speciality restaurants were very good although we paid a premium for them. Wonderland was pretty awesome and the staff were great. I have never seen queues in the Windjammer restaurant before but, on this cruise, you couldn't get near it, as the queue to get in was huge. Lunch was best had in one of the small bars. The Seaplex hotdog cart, on the top deck, which was supposed to be open until 5pm, didn't open once for the entire duration of the cruise. This was very much a cruise geared for the Asian market. Had we known, before we booked it, we would never have chosen this cruise. It's all those little touches that make a cruise special that were, quite frankly, missing - the photographers approached us to take photos only once, when in Wonderland, there was no formal night or sense of occasion to get dressed up for, no drinks to welcome us back from excursions, no alternatives offered when they cancelled our excursion and an attitude of couldn't care less when we complained. We have returned to the UK feeling ripped off and, for the first time ever, with no sense of the country we were supposed to have visited. This will be the last time we ever cruise with Royal Caribbean. Caveat emptor - buyer beware. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and ... Read More
Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and friendliness from the crew was as good I have seen on any ship. Food was good, mainly geared towards Asian tastes but still plenty of variety. One of the cruises had 4600 passengers on board but it didn't feel like it with many areas like the bars or Solarium often being rather quiet. The cruise from Shenzhen was mainly chartered by a music group from China and we really enjoyed the pool deck parties they put on with great international dj's. The ship was kept very clean and can't wait to sail on Ovation again. Only negative was long lines for Immigration, but that is not the fault of the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise as an interesting initial itinerary attracted our attention. Unfortunately Boracay was changed due to its closure but we decided to continue anyway. The alternative port was Subic Bay was did not have very much to ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an interesting initial itinerary attracted our attention. Unfortunately Boracay was changed due to its closure but we decided to continue anyway. The alternative port was Subic Bay was did not have very much to offer close by. I wouldn't really recommend Subic Bayu as a destination (nothing to do there) although the local people were very friendly. If you do go there try the Crab and Belly restaurant - excellent food at an excellent price. It was a shame that the port visits coincided with a level 1 typhoon warning which basically meant it rained heavily but giving into being wet made the excursions easier. At the completion of the cruise we took up the day tour and airport drop off option which saved considerable angst about what to do with luggage. This cruise was perhaps 85% Asian and despite some subsequent complaints I have heard about that, I found there were no problems or issues in fact it added to the adventure of the cruise. The food was primarily and understandably aimed at that demographic so I took the opportunity to explore the wider than usual food options available. The entertainment was excellent, even though the shows were the same as when we originally sailed on Ovation. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, was designed and set up to cater for Chinese and other Asian guests, NOT US. SIMPLY NOT UP TO STANDARD AND VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. Noise level on board and in the Windjammer totally unacceptable from the 4000 Chinese guests. We only found out about an english menu being available at HongKong airport on the way home from other miserable UK guests who, like us had to wait for 11 hours minimum to get the flight home. This menu was never offered to us in any of the 4 restaurants and consequently we did not know of its existence. I managed to get a ships wheel chair for my partner who has limited mobility but when we got back to HongKong at the end of the first leg we were refused permission to take it off the ship to re-board in Shenzhen. THREFORE WE REFUSED TO GET OFF. So we stayed on whilst the ship was moved along with another couple. We did not need our Chinese visas at all AND ALL THE BRITISH GUESTS WHO HAD THE TRAUMA OF GETTING OFF AND ON COULD ALL HAVE STAYED ON BOARD AND NOT BE DISTURBED. SOME EVEN HAD TO CHANGE CABIN. We all had to attend three safety assemblies conducted in Chinese, get three boarding passes, and register our credit cards three times, ALL TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WITH GOOD ORGANISATION AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED IN THIS WAY. . The trips off the ship were badly over-priced and I really object to paying USD 14.15 for a single glass of red wine. When we got to Okinawa for an overnight stay on-board the shuttle bus from the ship into the city centre was only advised as running on the evening of arrival AND NO MENTION OF THE NEXT DAY. This would have meant getting off the ship close to darkness. I managed to find out that this was not true and that the shuttle was running the next day and changed my tickets. SOME OF YOUR UK CUSTOMERS WERE REFUSED THIS CHANGE WHEN THEY ASKED TO DO SO. The two theatre performances that we attended were so poor that we walked out both times and never came back. Typical example of the poor food is that when a roast joint was made available there was only gravy, mint jelly and mashed potato available to have with it. No roast potatoes yorkshires, and cooked vegetables, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Most days any chips on offer were stone cold in seconds, and of the type offered by Macdonalds, SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have had 7 cruises, 4 being with RCL and Ovation being our 5th and most likely our last with RCL! We flew to Hong Kong from Australia and were prepared for the chaos and larger volume of people that we were to encounter, so whilst ... Read More
We have had 7 cruises, 4 being with RCL and Ovation being our 5th and most likely our last with RCL! We flew to Hong Kong from Australia and were prepared for the chaos and larger volume of people that we were to encounter, so whilst embarkation was a little disorganised, it was to be expected. Our balcony room was well designed with a larger bathroom than experienced on previous ships and there was ample cupboard space for the 3 adults sharing the room. Only problem in the room was the very hard beds! Service from room attendant was great as were the other staff on board ship who in the bars appeared to have much time on their hands, but in the dining rooms were understaffed and run off their feet. I must say we did enjoy the Bionic bar and we feel this produced better drinks that in the actual bars. The feel of the ship was not to my liking. Centrum of ship feels like a big shopping mall. Dining experience was the biggest disappointment! Understandably the bulk of clientele were Asian and the ship catered for such, but choices if you didn’t want Asian was very limited and the quality very poor and usually over salted! Fruit choices were very limited in Windjammer and again it it obvious that the Standards of RCL has fallen greatly. Pixels was excellent as was the show LIVE,LOVE,LEGS but 2 good shows does not amount to enough to impress as there was very few other music options that catered for the western culture. We are platinum members but unfortunately were not recognised as this on the ship.Consequently we missed out on being invited to the welcome back party, something we were looking forward to. This was addressed with management and a 20% off next cruise offered but hardly adequate as currently RCL is offering 40% off for the second person if you book now. I fly was experienced by son who enjoyed it immensely. We all experienced the North Star which was great until we proceeded to come down and a fault in the system meant that a very loud alarm went of meaning we had to cover our ears therefore hampering our experience. No ones fault but would have been nice if they had given us the opportunity for another ride especially as this had been paid for! Given the money we overall spent we will be definitely be reconsidering our options when we choose to cruise again. There is a lot of competition out there with far better quality of food and service. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best ... Read More
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best night's sleep. Their care and attention in preventing any outbreaks of norovirus was excellent with being guided to the wash basins outside the main buffet dining room Windjammer. Children will enjoy this ship but many of the things are extra cost. The staff were excellent and tried to assist with the things that were horrendous. The entertainment Pixels was excellent and very professional. The Bad The crowds were unbelievable and very off putting. This went hand in hand with the noise, the pushing and the shoving. And I am horrified to say- the spitting! The ship left from Hong Kong and probably 95% of the passengers were Chinese. The menus catered for these passengers. The programs on the TV catered mainly for Chinese. Anytime it was necessary to queue this was forgotten or just not adhered to - the crew tried their best but giving announcements in English to a crowd of Chinese is just not going to work. I don't know why it is so hard to have the tenders available to take passengers back to the ship. Coming back from Nha Trang - after the bus ride there was a wait in the very hot sun and humidity of over an hour to get on a tender. The food was not great and all of the complimentary restaurants had the same menu. The speciality restaurants had a charge of US$41 per head. The shops on board are all designer labels and not an option for most travellers that actually save for a holiday. The Spa on board - so,so - not particularly professional. If you wanted to watch a movie in your cabin it cost US$15.95 Disembarkation from the ship was OK but after this point getting into Hong Kong was a nightmare. 100's waiting for taxis. If I were travelling with a younger family I might consider the ship again but certainly not from an Asian port. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I normally just read reviews, but after this cruise I thought I could counter some of the previous negative reviews with a positive one. This is a bit lengthly as a warning but I hope to help others get a better underling of the Asian ... Read More
I normally just read reviews, but after this cruise I thought I could counter some of the previous negative reviews with a positive one. This is a bit lengthly as a warning but I hope to help others get a better underling of the Asian market. After reading previous reviews on here about Ovation of the Seas, my wife and I came onboard with a lower expectation. We were pleasantly surprised. The biggest disclaimer of those thinking about Ovation of the Seas. If you are going to the Asian theater, you need to be prepared for the cultural differences you will likely see. Royal Caribbean does announce the cruises as a cultural tour, so you will have an idea when selecting your cruise. We had an amazing cruise and Ovation of the Seas is now our favorite ship. Can't wait to go on her again when she goes to the North American market. EMBARKATION Was a breeze. Make sure you have done all of your pre-cruise paperwork filled out on RCL's cruise planner, and you'll have no problems. Also, showing up early will definitely help! Once onboard they directed passengers to the MDR, but we went directly to Windjammer. Since we arrived to the ship at 1000, we were one of the first onboard (boarded around 1115) so we didn't have to wait. If you get onboard after 1130-1200, strongly do not recommend the windjammer, as it fills up quickly and you'll be waiting a long time. Promenade cafe and Solarium are some great second options to avoid the initial rush to eat. SHIP This was our 5th cruise. We have previously been onboard several of the Oasis and Freedom class ships. The ship is huge, with many activities and experiences onboard that will be mentioned later. What we liked about the ship is the modern touches, from the ease of embarkation, to the decor throughout the ship, the ease of going through the photo galley (it's simply all upload to monitors where you can select your photos and pick either prints or digital, and pick up at a later time), we found the modern touches to be quite pleasing. CABIN We had a Junior Suite 9632, starboard side, and the beginning of "the hump". Great cabin and if you are looking for a JS, strongly recommend this cabin, as the layout is quite different from other JS. We had a single cabin passenger stateroom next to our cabin, which made our cabin and have "elbow" layout, vice just the straight walk-in view as is typical for JS. Very modern looking, right down to the telephone, and we had a HUGE balcony that included 2 chairs that you can lay down on. Had dimming lights that you could control from one knob, including right next to your bed, very convenient. Also had the best bathroom we've ever had on RCL as of now. DINING Here, we came onboard with a low expectation due to so many negative reviews on Cruise Critic. Within 30 minutes onboard, I was talking directly with the Sous Chef and maître d' of the Ship about the most recent Cruise Critic Reviews. They assured me they have been reading these and have taken action on some of the complaints, in particular the lack of western food options. It is true! The Windjammer had several "Western style options" throughout the cruise, including for breakfast scrambled eggs, omelets, hash browns, bacon and sausage. For lunch, standard options included hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and even spaghetti or Alfredo. Yes, there were several Asian options at the windjammer and MDR, but this was an Asian cruise! 75% of the passengers were Asian, so I was happy to experience some of the Asian cuisine, but pleased to have a few Western options to cater to me as well. Yes, the MDR had the same menu at all four restaurants (American Icon Grill and Silk are on deck 4, Grande and Chic are on Deck 3), but I thought it was fine. Towards the end of the cruise I did shift to more classic dishes, but I was happy to at least have the options for an Asian cruise! In the MDR, they do try to seat the international passengers in the same section. This was also RCL's way of addressing the critics. Smart move for sure! Once again, please realize this is a Cultural cruise, so you will need some order of patience, but it can get quite loud in the "local sections" which is why I definitely understand some of the separation that takes place. In addition, the Chinese liked to be served quickly, so the separation gives the international guests the chance to enjoy their meal without feeling rushed by the staff or other passengers. You do have the option to sit wherever you want, as a point I loved the MDR staff that served me, so we picked the same restaurant at Grande for a majority of the time. Did not eat at the speciality restaurants because we had family onboard with a budget, but we did have dinner one night at Coastal Kitchen and the food was outstanding! The staff were even kind enough to my request and brought my favorite dessert to the MDR each night because I couldn't go there for dinner (parents were not suite members). ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES Several previous negative reviews mentioned the lack of entertainment or activities, this is NOT TRUE! I also keep my compass' so if you would like to see them just message me, I'd be more than happy to show you an average day. There is plenty to do onboard, you just have to take the time to look at your compass or ask the staff. We spent most of our time at the Solarium (better layout than even Oasis or Allure) , the IFly and North Star are a must do, and we were really impressed with the Seaplex. There were more older people riding the bumper cars than the teens, very fun! Another note: Many previous reviews said bars were lacking or closed, but every bar that was onboard was open and available, with little to no waiting. HUGE PLUS: The best part of the cruise was going to the Solarium. You can easily find deck chairs all day long! There is no need to worry or rush about finding a chair while on an Asian cruise. 8am, or 1pm, it's easy getting chairs and enjoying all the pools anywhere onboard. Must see shows are Pixels, and Live, Love, Legs (wish they had this how on all the ships). SERVICES When I went to Guest Services, they were very helpful and friendly, stressed for sure, but mainly due to the cultural types of people onboard. Once again, patience by everyone is required here, but the staff went out of there way to help me. MDR service was good, get in line onetime per your sea pass card and you won't have any problems. In fact, the staff is there to greet you if you are one of the first ones in line. Within 20 minutes of the first seating, the line was always cleared out, so you never have to wait for long, once again showing up on time is key here. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS This was the one disappointment on the cruise, and hence the 4 stars. Our ports were Danang and Nha Trang Vietnam. For the Danang port, we did RCL's Past and Present Danag shore excursion. Overall, it was a decent excursion: You start by getting on an air conditioned bus with a guide, then they take you a museum that talks about the ancient kingdom in this particular area, some really need artifacts are there to check out. But you only have about 10 minutes to look around. Then they take you on a Vietnamese Tuk Tuk for a ride around the city, which was alot of fun. After that you get to stroll through a local market. However, you have zero time to do any shopping, because you're then moving to go back on the bus where you drive to marble mountain to see a ton of marble statues and stop at their marble store to pick up souvenirs) You then drive to a local resort for lunch. The buffet was VERY good and included wifi (lunch is about 30-40 min). We then drove to see a huge Buddha and Chinese Pagoda. Here again, you only have about 15 minutes. I literally had to leave my older family behind in order to run around like a madman grabbing photos as fast as I could in order to see everything and get back on the bus. After this sweat fest to say the least we cooled off on the bus as we drove back to the ship, with a quick (less than 5 minutes) stop at a local market. This was a good way to see Danang, but the whole tour was way too rushed and stressful to really enjoy. We definitely needed a few more hours overall to enjoy some of the sights, particularly the Buddha and Pagoda which was AMAZING. After that experience, we were quite exhausted, so the next day at Nha Trang we decided to stay onboard. RCL has to tender at Nha Trang, and the passengers booked with RCL for shore excursions had first priority off the ship. Most passengers didn't get off the ship until 10-11am, and all aboard was at 4pm, so there wasn't much time there. But people did like the port more than Danang, so there was a tradeoff. However, we had a great time being onboard, most of the facilities were still open so I took advantage of that, plus my all-inclusive drink package. All in all a very nice relaxing day. I know this review is long, but I wanted to counter some of the negative reviews. The ship is great, the staff is helpful and friendly (Challenged by the theater/area of the passengers), and easy to relax and be busy with activities. Ovation of the Seas is now our favorite ship in the RCL fleet, and if you want an outstanding coffee, just see Viraj from Mauritius in the Windjammer coffee bar, he can whip up a mean cappuccino! Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just ... Read More
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just tell me to line up like others of hundreds with hours of waiting on line. Rci staff said that the online appointment and check in - is just a suggestion! CABIN - small and no toilet amenities such as toothbrush, shaver given! Only shower gel at the shower area and a small soap bar! This is worst than 2 star hotel! - pillow stinks! DISEMBARKATION - no smooth at all, messy! Rci have appointed the venue and time to disembarked, but we are show to walk all over to other venues to disembarked! DINING - horrible quality and taste especially windjammer! The taste is so bad and the presentation was so horrible served especially the cuts fruits. - the night snack offered in windjammer from 22:00 hours was only 3 types from the afternoon lunch left overs and tables arrange was less than 100 seatings! There are more than 200 lining up! - only paid dining are good and fit to eat! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES - children mini water park supposed to closed at 20:00 hours each day, but the park closed at 19:30 with the reason- water pump faulty! SERVICES The grande waiter served us well (gusti from indonesia) and the silk waitress on a grey jacket (from china) was terrible rude and unhelpful! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I live in Hong Kong and I booked this cruise as a holiday with my parents who were visiting Hong Kong from Australia. They have never been to Japan and we thought it was a great way for then to travel there. We were very much ... Read More
I live in Hong Kong and I booked this cruise as a holiday with my parents who were visiting Hong Kong from Australia. They have never been to Japan and we thought it was a great way for then to travel there. We were very much looking forward to the trip after being recommended by friends & family who have previously boarded this cruise line. However, by the end of the cruise, it did not turn out the way we hoped for and felt disappointed with the overall experience, especially the level of service and food quality. The cruise began in Hong Kong's Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. We boarded the ship around 2pm in the afternoon - the queues were fairly short and the embarkation process was smooth and efficient. Day 1 In the evening we queued to dine at The American Icon Grill. The decor was nice but that was about it. The food selection on the menu was not exactly "American". Most of the selections were Chinese/Asian oriented, serving dishes like spring rolls, clear soup, stir fried fish, kung pao chicken. There were seafood dishes but an additional charge between 30-100 USD had to be paid. I can't exactly remember what we ordered but all of the dishes came out tasting bland and warm at best. The spring roll weren't crispy and the soup was too heavy in salt. It also took a while for all food to be served. Most wait staff did not seem welcoming and could barely bring a smile. Day 2 We went to the Solarium restaurant on deck 14, which had a specialty menu, however, we were told that we had to book in advanced or be invited. We booked for day 4 and then proceeded to dine at the Silk restaurant. It was also the formal night / captain’s night but apart from some people being dressed up, it was no different to the first night. The menu was similar which seemed to cater for Chinese guests, however there was an extra "Classic menu" serving steak, roast chicken, salmon etc. Day 3 We went to the Chic around 6:00 pm (our dining session was suppose to be at 5:00 pm) and was rejected at the door. We were told that early session people had to come in between 5:00 pm -5:30 pm or we would be refused entry, we which we weren't aware of. To make the situation worse, the restaurant staff were not only unapologetic but arrogantly asked us "What is the time now? [and then pretends to look at his watch]" Later we found out that all of the complimentary restaurants (except Solarium) served the same menu - this was disappointing as we hoped to try different varieties of cuisines. Day 4 We arrived at Fukuoka, the immigration process was delayed and by the time we got out, it was almost 11:00 am. We spent the few hours exploring Hakata before boarding the ship again. In the evening we dined at the Solarium. We ordered Mahi-Mahi but tasted like cat-fish. We ended up going to dine at the Wind Jammer (Buffet restaurant) for the remaining nights - The food had more variety, although don't expect any seafood or quality premium food and the staff seemed friendlier. Day 5 We arrived at Nagasaki. It was a beautiful port with convenient transport options to see sites (Peace Park, Dejima etc). We enjoyed visiting this port very much. Day 6 We arrived at Kumamoto. This ship was docked very far away from Kumamoto city. It was actually near a small town called Yatsushiro. There was complimentary shuttle to Aeon shopping mall or you pay additional to go to Yatsushiro town. Day 7 We arrived at Shimonoseki. The ship was again docked very far away from any town. There were no complimentary transport options and we were not allowed to walk, as the port was a cargo terminal (not a passenger terminal). We were forced to either get a taxi out or pay $20 USD per person to use their shuttle service which took us wharf / market area 20 minutes away. We also had to queue 45 minutes in the heat waiting for shuttle buses. If Royal Caribbean expects guests to pay extra for transport out of the port, then at the least, they should inform guests before booking. On the night before arriving at each port, we tried to get more information (maps / transport options, sites to see etc. ) from guest services , however, they gave us little help and just suggested us to join their pricey off-shore excursions. Towards the end of the cruise we, found an error on the gratuities charged on our account and we had approached guest services to have this fixed. We were told that it would be fixed by the evening however, it the evening it was not fixed and found that we were charged even more. We had to queue 4 separate times to have the problem only resolved on the last day of the cruise. The facilities on the ship were generally very good, although activities like iFly and Flowrider, The North Star observation came at an extra cost - For some reason this was only applicable to cruises in the China region (why?) - The fitness center was big and equipment was in good condition - Bumper cars, rock climbing, table tennis, swimming pools, xBox were fun and free to use. Queues were acceptable. The shows (Pixel, Live legs) were spectacular to see - make sure you reserve a seat or queue early to get a good seat. We had to stand for all the way for one of the shows. The room was nice, clean and new, with plenty of wardrobes and storage. The bed was comfortable and virtual balcony was good to get a glimpse of the outside. Our attendant generally did a good job except that he never provided us with tissue boxes and spare toilet paper rolls in the room. There were many other incidents and combination of things throughout the cruise that made experience disappointing. My suggestion is not to join the cruise when in the Asia/Chinese region. It seems RCL offer varying levels of service in according to guests in the region. To RCL, I wish you could offer the same quality / level or service consistently. Do not change your menus and service based on the region of guests. Read Less
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.2

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