Sail Date: December 2018
This was my favorite cruise vacation. The Ovation is amazing. Its different than most of the RCCL fleet but didn't take long to get used to. The staff was outstanding. The food wasn't much different than any other ship. It was good. We ... Read More
This was my favorite cruise vacation. The Ovation is amazing. Its different than most of the RCCL fleet but didn't take long to get used to. The staff was outstanding. The food wasn't much different than any other ship. It was good. We went to Chops, Wonderland and my favorite, Jaime's but in reality we would have been just as happy in the dining room. The Diamond lounge was on deck 4, the staff was outstanding. Everyone was so friendly. We made some great Aussie friends. The weather was awesome, we were able to make it through the sounds and to all the ports. New Zealand is incredible. We stayed in 2 balcony cabins which they opened for us which was great. We spent a lot of time in the solarium, the spas were all nice and warm and the levels are all warm. One of my favorite areas was 270. We spent a lot of mornings there eating breakfast and watching the wake. The shows were fine, Pixels was outstanding. I have nothing bad to say aside from I had hot water issues in my stateroom on and off and wasn't fully fixed until day 10 but they worked hard at it. This was a bucket list vacation and fully exceeded all my expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We went with Royal Caribbean for a 13 day 12 night cruise over Christmas and New Years. I have a few issues and a few disappointments whilst we were onboard. 1) If you are traveling with kids, kids cub does not accept kids that are ... Read More
We went with Royal Caribbean for a 13 day 12 night cruise over Christmas and New Years. I have a few issues and a few disappointments whilst we were onboard. 1) If you are traveling with kids, kids cub does not accept kids that are crying or ones who say they do not wish to go to kids club. I have 3 kids 1 who is 8.5 years old who was fine and wanted to go every session. I also have 4.5 year old twins, the twins don't love daycare as it is. Once they are there they are fine, we got lucky and they both joined in but we did get a call a few times to say they were fighting with each other. We had to pick them up a few times due to this, they are brothers and this is normal they were not hurting other children just each other. 2) The food was very poor, we have been with carnival before and they offered great amounts of food and different food. During our time for lunch was Curries, Hamburgers, hot chips, spaghetti bol for lunch, dinner was not much different to the above foods and it was every day. Hamburger rolls were stale meats were mostly dry with not a lot of flavour. 3) Our stateroom bed was TERRIBLE!!!! Both myself and partner woke up everyday with headaches due to the lack of sleep, the bed was super hard and we did not get much sleep during our holiday. 4) Level 14 smoking area is pretty much right across from the kids water park and outdoor pool. Unlike carnival you could not smoke on deck 15 in the open, this was a little disappointing being right next to all the kids stuff. 5) Bumper cars were for 5+ years and over 42cm, my boys were just under 5 they are 3 months out. They hit the height limit with flying colours as they are taller kids. The checks for this depends on the staff running the activities, some younger kids got on then they had a hand over and wanted sea pass cards. I found a lot of things were for over 5 which was bit of a disappointment. 6) This is a bigger ship, the only way I found it bigger was more staterooms. The main areas on the boat are no bigger than previous smaller cruises we have been on. Getting on and off the boat was slower but due to the amount of people it is to be expected. Get off day was TERRIBLE we got off early to try beat the crowds and took our own stuff off. Problem here was there was no instruction no signs just massive lines, you couldn't be sure if you were in the right line or not. 7) Leaving Australia going around New Zealand was a pain on this ship. You need USD for the boat and then NZD. I understand it is an American ship but unlike carnival who goes to Australian $$ it does add up fairly quickly and is a complete pain. The ships transfer is ALOT lower than other places but who was to know. In saying all of that we did enjoy our time but it could have been better, I personally would not go with Royal again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship has everything and the staff are great but there are just too many people on board. Queing is the main passtime if you want to use the ifly, flowrider, dodgems or the North Star. But one of the biggest issues is finding a seat ... Read More
The ship has everything and the staff are great but there are just too many people on board. Queing is the main passtime if you want to use the ifly, flowrider, dodgems or the North Star. But one of the biggest issues is finding a seat for the Buffet restraunt especially lunch times. There are multiple restraunts that carry an extra charge and these are usually half empty especially the pool side resraunt where you can pay $8 US for a meager portion of fish and chips. If they turned this into an included burger or bbq restraunt it would relieve a huge amount of room in the buffet. The Solarium adult only area was great and gave a much needed break from the 1300 kids on board. Another issue is the lack of elevators at the rear of the ship. At busy times there can be a long wait for the central elevators as they are quiet offen full to bursting when the doors open especially on the middle levels. The entertainment is ok with a couple of really good royal Caribbean shows but some of the others are a little slow. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkment at Sydney was a long long snake line & took a great deal of time to board. Disembarkation was a breeze. Take your own bags off, super fast. Take extra cloths! As there is only a laundry service for a small bag ... Read More
Embarkment at Sydney was a long long snake line & took a great deal of time to board. Disembarkation was a breeze. Take your own bags off, super fast. Take extra cloths! As there is only a laundry service for a small bag that cost Aprox $37 US. No laundries for guests to use Very hard when you travel with children Everything is charged in US dollars. Take some washing soap so you can wash out small's. Food was fantastic! Rooms kept tidy always, great service. Shows outstanding. I fly I didn't know that each guest only has one turn for 1 min for the entire cruise. So have that camera ready to capture the action. Or you will miss it like I did! Please note when travelling with grandchildren with a different surname as yours. Have that guardianship letter from the parents with all that is stated in the guide lines. It must be certified by a JP. Ports: Wellington was a nightmare to get off the ship. Took us one & half hours for our turn to go ashore, get that number early. Other ports were easy to go off the ship the locals were organised with the buses. The adults only section with the beautiful pools & spar's closes at 6pm Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruises having done 16 with various companies , however this time we were taking our daughter and her partner with us . She had only done one cruise on the old Pacific Sun and this was Rob's first one . We ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruises having done 16 with various companies , however this time we were taking our daughter and her partner with us . She had only done one cruise on the old Pacific Sun and this was Rob's first one . We wanted to have a modern , fully equipped ship that everyone could enjoy . Boy did we get that . First , it's huge but in saying that the traffic flow was very good . Minimal ques and great staff . We had adjoining balcony cabins and had the divider removed so that there was plenty of room for all of us . The entertainment was exceptional . When you stop and think about what was on offer and compare that to ships of only a few years ago it's never ceases to amaze me . The North Star was outstanding as was the I-Fly and bumper cars , indoor soccer , basketball , and of course all the other activities that were available . We usually had at least one meal together each day at the American Icon Restaurant and the wait staff were brilliant . We all ate far to much and enjoyed every mouthful . We choose to eat one night at Wonderland and we all had such a great meal and a great time that we wanted to go back , but they were booked out . Our favorite bar tender was Pravin up on deck 14 , who seemed to know at what time to put our drinks on the table even though we hadn't asked for any . We all had a Premium drinks package and as soon as he learnt our favorites we never had to ask again . Brilliant . Our ports were Dunedin , Wellington , Napier and Picton in New Zealand and we all had a terrific time in each one , catching up with old friends from previous cruises in Wellington and even getting a bit sunburnt in Napier . All in all we all had a great time and at the end none of us wanted to get off , and that's always a sign of a good holiday . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Sailed from Sydney New Zealand with extended family. Firstly, I have to say that embarkation and disembarkation ran extremely smoothly given the large volume of passengers. We all had balcony cabins and I must rate these very highly as ... Read More
Sailed from Sydney New Zealand with extended family. Firstly, I have to say that embarkation and disembarkation ran extremely smoothly given the large volume of passengers. We all had balcony cabins and I must rate these very highly as they were stylish, comfortable and well designed. Our cabins were kept impeccably clean by our room attendant Seby, so thank you to him. There were many activities on the ship, however as others have posted, some me of the more popular actives such as the North Star and dodgem cars did have queues due to the large volume of guests. My teenagers liked the teen club and enjoyed all the activities- particularly the silent discos! Loved the adults only solarium which was a very relaxing area with great views going in and out of ports. In terms of food, overall it was of a good standard, however I have had better food on smaller Royal Caribbean ships and on Celebrity Solstice. The service in the dining rooms was also very hit and miss. Whilst the staff were friendly, basic mistakes like leaving main course plates on the table when bringing out dessert indicates to me that the staff require more training. There was often a long wait for drinks (i.e not getting your first drink until you were well into your second course). I do recommend cafe 270 for breakfast as it is similar to what I would get in a coffee shop at home with yoghurt cups, fruit cups, toasted croissants and was a place to buy a decent coffee! The pizza place (forget the name!) did great pizza and was handy when you just wanted a slice for a snack. We ate at two specialty restaurants - they were good, but once again have had better on other ships. The bar staff were excellent and I want to give a particular thanks to Guilherme in the Music Hall who was truly fabulous and impressed us with a multitude various gin based cocktails for us and was a lot of fun to chat to. Joff the entertainment director is also excellent at his role and kept large crowds entertained throughout the cruise. Overall the shows on board were of a high standard and very entertaining. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations and timing, it just happened that the Royal Caribbean cruise happened to fit with the dates we had available. However, we will NEVER cruise with this line again. After you have paid for your ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations and timing, it just happened that the Royal Caribbean cruise happened to fit with the dates we had available. However, we will NEVER cruise with this line again. After you have paid for your passage and boarded the ship, everything you do is a profit opportunity for the cruise line. Firstly, there is a charge for EVERY service, including, would you believe, ice-cream (USD$3.50 and only one scoop allowed)! Also, the profit margins on the items and services you pay for on-board are outrageous. Such as fast internet at USD$20 per day; laundry services; wine per bottle; room service (USD$17.50 per service). The staff were fabulous, the service was impeccable and the food in the main restaurant and the Windjammer cafe was excellent. Our stateroom steward was very attentive and provided excellent service. However, trying to get a good night's sleep proved almost impossible. Consistent with Royal Caribbean's policy of building the BIGGEST ships afloat, the 'Ovation' is so big that it's torsional rigidity is strongly suspect. In a big seas, you not only get creaking sounds in the cabin, from the construction process of the cabin, but when you are in the atrium, you can also hear the ship creaking. Also, the prices of the shore excursions are exhorbitant. We normally travel with Holland America Line, and we are very happy to return to travelling with HAL - much classier line. Sharing the ship with 4300 other passengers is unacceptable, it's just too big. The nightly entertainment was very poor quality, most of the performers were second-rate. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Ovation of the Seas has some amazing features and it is worth travelling at least once on the ship. We do prefer the Voyager of the Seas. The entertainment was amazing and unlike other ships, we would have liked the ships entertainers ... Read More
Ovation of the Seas has some amazing features and it is worth travelling at least once on the ship. We do prefer the Voyager of the Seas. The entertainment was amazing and unlike other ships, we would have liked the ships entertainers to do more shows. We travelled for 14 days and really only had 2 shows from the on board entertainers and they were excellent. The worst was a comedian who was rated as a rockstar Australian comedian, no doubt the worst comedian I have seen, North Star was excellent. I-fly was excellent, but you only get around 60 seconds. Dodgem cars were excellent, wait time around 45 mins. Once you have been on them, you don;t really need to do it again. Meals was a let down!!!!! The restaurants are small and nothing like the voyager of the seas and certainly nothing grand about it. The food was good the majority of meals. The windjammer was very good, although we only went there for lunch and sometimes breakfast. The solarium food for lunch was very good and better than all of the restaurants. Speciality restaurants were very good. Cafes and hotdog stand were great. The speciality coffee on board is disgusting and you need 2 shots to get any taste. I bought a $55 card to get 15 drinks on board. So 2 shots is considered 2 coffee's and it was not strong. You are better off drinking the free coffee, at least it had taste. Drinks have become very expensive if you don't have the drinks package. As I am not a huge drinker it didn't matter, but a corona is now US$7.75, so a big night might cost a few $$$. Shore trips were hugely over inflated, some by over $200 front what you could get by booking online! booking onboard is US$, so no benefit of the higher Aussie dollar over the NZ dollar. Do yourself a favour and do your research, hire a car and enjoy the discounts. Cruise deals on board are not as good as on shore, so do your research before you go on a cruise. Don;t get caught in the hype on board as they continually push their wares!!! They were offered up to $600 spending money if you booked on the cruise, only to find when we got back they were offered up to $1000 + $200 if you booked before Jan. As an Australian The US Royal Caribbean team do not show the same respect to Australian customers as they do American (a shame really). Getting off the ship on arrival back home was disgusting and Royal Caribbean should be ashamed of how they treated the elderly. We were told to go to deck 5 for express exit of the ship, so everyone turned up with their cases and was then told we had to get in elevators or use the stairs. Logistically this was ridiculous noting that 100's of people opted for the express exit. Medical staff were called for people who had passed out or had accidents. There was quite obviously many other ways they could have facilitated a smooth exit, especially for the elderly (noting my wife and I are in our 40's, so I am not including us in the comment). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship was great the Service was great there was heps to do if people came off the ship and said there was annoying to do they are crazy. every minute of the day there was some to do like bingo, kid club for the kid, pool, shows, ... Read More
The ship was great the Service was great there was heps to do if people came off the ship and said there was annoying to do they are crazy. every minute of the day there was some to do like bingo, kid club for the kid, pool, shows, seaplex, xboxs, walking track, noth start that goes up in the air, flowrider, ifly, rock climbing wall, slpashaway bay,the living room for the teens, solarium for mum and dad, shopping and then go to two seventy for a coffee every night we went to the music hall. The dining was great there was never problem with the food was so good. The line up was that big of wait it was like a 5 min wait to do thing I went with a group of 11 people it was so fun. I went to kid club ever day it was so fun and the pool most days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Chose this cruise so we could experience the ship for the first time ..and was not disappointed.ship is huge with lots to keep you amused or just to relax.food quality was varied in choice of venue and variety ( lack of anything Asian ... Read More
Chose this cruise so we could experience the ship for the first time ..and was not disappointed.ship is huge with lots to keep you amused or just to relax.food quality was varied in choice of venue and variety ( lack of anything Asian though).what stir fry veg was available was stewed..but that would be my only food issue. North Star was incredible as was Ifly. Evening shows were a bit tired and had seen before a couple of years ago,on different ships.....time to update. Why not get rid of the black/white shows on the tv?... Sometimes it's nice to just lie back and watch something....tv is appalling.pay for view movies very limited. My HUGE bug was actually the disembarkation process.RCL did not ask us to indicate our intention for leaving the ship in Sydney...I think most of the ship chose the express walk off option ( I'm sorry but this should be denied to anyone with a pram,wheelchair or walking frame). Were herded like cattle to deck 4... Then 5... Then the theatre....then they tried to send us back to 4... The queue stretched over 11/2 times the length of the boat as we eventually joined a queue that stretched to 270 cafe...turned back and went the length of the shop back to the gangway(2 hours).people shuffling walking aids,luggage,children, with no indication from RCL staff that we were actually getting anywhere. RCL knows how many are on board ,they need to plan how they are going to get them off. I would have rather parked myself somewhere for that two hours and avoided the congestion and allowed those off that needed to be dockside for deadlines. Yes I would definitely cruise on this ship again with pleasure but just be aware of the queues and plan for this 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

Find an Ovation of the Seas Cruise