1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I selected this ship for the activities for my grandchildren, ages 7, 8 and 10. They checked out the kids activities program and quickly left. The ship itself is nice and the fact that there is a heated, covered pool is very nice as ... Read More
I selected this ship for the activities for my grandchildren, ages 7, 8 and 10. They checked out the kids activities program and quickly left. The ship itself is nice and the fact that there is a heated, covered pool is very nice as well. All pool areas have lifeguards on duty. The itinerary was not all that it was cracked up to be as far as the scenic cruising and Dawes glacier. Never did see the glacier at all and the scenic cruising wasn't anything spectacular. I've been on 2 other Alaska cruises, where we went to much nicer areas. Take a cruise that goes to Mendenhall and Ketchikan. This ship does neither. I thought I'd try something different and was very disappointed. There are a ton of people on this ship, but I must say that check-in and getting on board was a breeze, as well as disembarkation. Very smooth. The lines at Guest Services tend to be very long, since there are only 4 positions (6 sometimes), but only 2 people working on average. The cabin was o.k. (we had a balcony on deck 12). No table though other than a tiny one on the balcony and no writing material. The one thing I absolutely disliked was the high cost of everything from additional charges for food (Halibut fish and chips was $5.00) to extremely overpriced wine with no discount for Crown and Anchor members. And speaking of food: I was very disappointed that there was no meal with Alaskan fresh fish on any night. Farm raised salmon was on the daily menu. Shore excursions prices were very much higher compared to other cruise lines as well. Activities such as IFly and Northstar need to be reserved, which wasn't easy. My grandson couldn't take my place on the iFly, because he had done it once before, but I could give my place to a stranger. Really....??? Decided to keep my spot for myself. The cruise overall was "just ok" compared to the other many cruises I've been on. My suggestion: look at other options. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at ... Read More
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at 11:03 and we were aboard by 11:15. It looked crowded, but staff moved us right along. The rooms had plenty of space and storage. Room attendant was fantastic. Itinerary was breathtaking. We did Mendenhall Glacier /whale watching / Orca Point Lodge in Juneau. Wish we had more time at Mendenhall to hike to Nugget Falls, but still saw salmon running and got close enough to falls and glacier for good photos. Saw plenty of whales, seals and sea lions. In Scagway we did the Liarsville gold rush camp, Red Onion Saloon and a drive into Canada and the train ride back. It was all incredible. The kids loved that they could tour a historic “house of ill repute” and really enjoyed the train ride. They stayed on the back balcony of the train 80% of the time! We “missed” Dawes Glacier due to excessive ice in the channel, but stayed in the Endicott Arm area longer, among the beautiful blue ice floes. Honestly, I didn’t mind, because we had already seen three glaciers and saw more wildlife, like whales and Dalls Porpoise, in the Arm. In Victoria, Butchart Gardens were nice, but a walk through town was actually more enjoyable for this non-flower guy. As far as the ship, it was wonderful. We have been spoiled on Oasis class, but Ovation was less crowded, so easier to get into shows. Yes, you trade in the broadway shows and diving shows for that, but a fair trade. Ifly and Northstar were easy to reserve when boarding early. We got Northstar at 1 pm on Dawes and Endicott day (well after the paid slots ended). I’d recommend that time, because you see whales at that point. The kids loved the teen club, and had a group of friends by day 1. I managed to get together with them every day at dinner and for excursions. Otherwise, the parent just isn’t cool enough I suppose. Food...I’ve never had an issue with main dining room food and I’d read here that many didn’t enjoy Ovation MDR. Apologies to the naysayers, but Ovation scored big for us at the MDR. We ate at Solarium day one, but the MDR was at its best every other night. Attentive and friendly staff. Food was awesome. I even asked the servers for spicy food and they came up with some incredible Indian chicken and fish dishes and were right on target. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, so no artsy displays of tiny food, but it was a great meal every time. Breakfast was best at Solarium Bistro. We tried Windjammer once, but way too crowded and nearly impossible to find a table. We did 270 on the last morning, and sad we waited! Good quick breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch at the hot dog, fish&chips or Sorrentos pizza was good. I tried the deluxe beverage package for the first time and it was borderline worth it. Considering all the soda, mixed drinks and specialty coffee I “purchased”, the math tells me I about broke even each day, but only because I drank a bit more with the package. So I would get it again, simply for the convenience of having it all “covered” ahead of time. Was it perfect? Of course not. We could have waited more at the elevators, many did wait too long, but we took the stairs often. Sometimes even just going up or down one level meant a quicker elevator arrival. This could have been an issue if we had young children or someone who had difficulty with stairs. Also, it took a few hours the first day to connect to the WiFi. Signal was spotty and slow in certain spots on the ship, but not in our stateroom. This may be an issue with satellites and high latitudes, though. So our bottom line was stellar cruise, great ship and an amazing cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining ... Read More
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining service great, Food a bit down in my humble estimation but lots of it. (unfortunately for the waist line) Buffet crowded while at sea. (Actually asked to leave the buffet via pa broadcast if you were finished on sea days) Not cool. Too many people. That’s the lowdown. Still had a PRETTY GOOD cruise with friends family but the experience was not what I would call a holiday anymore. I won't be on this vessel again unless the new Flow Rider King my grandson pays at least half. lol Bit of a grind and RCI has got themselves in a bit of a pickle with the size of the ship and the staff they wish to pay number wise in scheduling activities on their Flow rider/Bumper car/Wall climbing/North Star etc. etc. Same guys do all of these sites and more as activities staff, and they can not be at all locations at once obviously. Two banks of elevators times two sides just not enough and the walking from one end to other seemed longer this year. But of course I’m getting on too. So it may not be an issue for you. The elevator frequency is another issue however. I do not remember coming to an elevator so often and found them all UP or All down from where I was at. I was roomed on deck 7 and all the restaurants as usual down several floors or the buffet on 14/topish. Pools on top and the shops and guest services on 4 and 5. They just seemed out of sync and or not enough for the mass of people on board. Wait times were long compared to any ship I have been on. Passengers... 5 G I was told .... and 1000 kids..did I mention that. The lines to activities of course can be defeated with a pay extra benefit called “The Key”. My teenage GS was not impressed by the privileged kids that budged. He learned another life lesson. Rooms on this ship really workable. I didn’t manage a suite but if the space in the regular rooms out side/window and Balcony … Inside with Virtual window any indication I’m sure they would be fine. Storage is better than the M and S class on Celebrity for sure. (No life jackets in the room helps). Although I think maybe the showers are a bit smaller. Or was it me again. Somebody else thought that too so I think I’m right. Room attendant very pleasant and did her job really really well. (Thanks Mardol.) Note: Do not pay extra for a virtual Balcony. I asked them to check mine and it was no better after they did. Lots of breakup and the picture was just OK when in bright sunlight and close to objects. Shore and dock area’s only and not great at that. Pretty useless at sea. The fake balcony rail on screen was nice and bright though. Just not worth it at all as far as I’m concerned. The ship is big and beautiful for sure. Dining was early for us and main seating was early//Seated by 5:15. We did this because we wanted to be with kids and friends who had kids as we thought that it would be better to feed the bears and then turn them loose. In hind-site it may have been better to go anytime somewhere and book a fixed time a bit later with a maitre D. for all week. Early dining conflicted with a lot of open times for activities. Late would have also. Avoided upcharged restaurants. No charge items at Fish and Ships. were great for lunch. Believe it or not didn't get to the doghouse . Saw it but I was never ready for lunch when I was there. 270 Lunch was sad. (although the roast beef on embarkation day was great). Solarium Breakfast and Lunch OK. Windjammer was and always is the Windjammer. As I mentioned the shows were great. Pixels … Is a great show in 270, with dancers etc. Interacting with great music and 4 robotic screens with pixels and the entire back half of the stern viewing windows that also turn into screens. Separate venue from the main theatre. You need reservations and you can get them online before you cruise sometime. Main shows were very Vegas Like and better than I remember onboard as I have not been doing shows for a while on X as they tended to be all the same. Maybe the girls just looked better. Juggler and Comedian (not the same guy) were super. Juggler was a comic too. Had no problem getting great seats by arriving 10-20 mins early . A Mountie was aboard and gave three great lectures about "The Force." The Old, New and training. Young fellow…. trained 10 yrs after me. Made a few rookie mistakes lol. There was a Wildlife guy too..missed him. Oh and they had a “Real” Orchestra/Band onboard and THEY COULD PLAY. Seattle : Embarkation was a zoo . Two things. One we had been assured that we could use our Nexus cards to board. But this was not going to work so as we did have our passports with us we were only held up for a bit while we fished them out. Friends who had checked on this and had sent their passports in to be renewed were shunted around until the shore people actually had a Ship’s Person come down and put them straight. Believe it or not. The shore staff didn’t know they could use a Nexus card. There was another issue with friends that had actually paid for two parties when the paid for party checked in and claimed the credit card on account and then the Person that actually paid arrived and were told their card had been compromised as it was used already. Really this SHIP happens. But by far was the zoo on the pre-board floor. I understand that departure and ship clearing was held up. Really not all that unusual right, it happens all the time. But when there was no (not enough) seating, organization or persons that cared about telling us what was happening you can imagine the mess. Not enough area for us all. Announcements could not be heard over the crowd and the announcements for the other ship in port going on for half the same floor we were all on. I think/hope that this was unusual and that normally the flow worked. But it sure didn’t for us and when the doors opened in was a minor, Plus ok ok major stampede . They needed to have some plan to keep control with temp barricades. Not a great way to meet your 4998 other guests. Ok not that many but there were lots cause we all want to be there a bit early..right? Go later if you board this big vessel. But you will find getting a place to be comfortable and get food a bit hard to find. Getting off went smoothly for everyone as far as I could see. We were at our shuttle a half hour earlier than we were timed for. Bet that didn’t happen the week before when we boarded. Now the glacier...Dawes was on the schedule. Some folks had paid for a special view from the “North Star” a observation pod hoisted high up on an imitation Nasa like Canada Arm. I had been there before and it’s quite a sight. We didn’t make it for an ice issue and I understand that this ship hasn’t made it all season. I have been disappointed in this area before but still charging folks to see no glacier seemed harsh. The issue with the glacier is the narrowness of the “Arm” and there is little flow to take the ice away from the front of the glacier. Want to see a glacier with way better odds take a ship that goes to Hubbard or Glacier Bay. But understand it’s no guarantee either. Ports: Juneau has all the tourista stuff right at your gangway. You can stumble to the Red Dog saloon right across the street. Lots of tours to be had and a gondola right up the dock a bit. City bus... the best priced tour of the valley. Even get to see the State prison. Victoria : Some nice tours of the city. Whale watching usually for the 3 local Orca pods (which this year have gone outside (out west of Vancouver Island) a lot looking for food warming is an issue. And of course Butchart Gardens . A must see for any gardener at least once..... even I have done it twice and I’m no gardener. Because of the Ovation’s schedule (two ports) you get a full day stop here vs. the few hours normal on a return 7 day from Seattle.... a stop needed to comply with US law to eliminate steep tax issues and way higher cruise fares. Skagway: The White Pass and Yukon Railway. There are other tours of course but this is the reason to go to Alaska beside the obvious scenery and glaciers. More than a few ways to do the ride but it’s a must for history and the sites. Those gold rushers did some wild things. The town itself has kept to an old school feel and the locals rule the stores mostly and the “Park” regulations keep the buildings in check also. The diamonds and Caribbean stuff is there but not so noticeable. Lol. I even found a shop where the resident artist owner winters in South Eastern BC as she paints while hubby ski’s So I think that’s it. For this ship and my whatever # cruise to Alaska. The key to this ship is…. got kids or grandkids over the age of say 10-13 this ship is for you but do your homework in what they can and can’t do without paying extra. There is a great area called the solarium with a restaurant for Adults only. It also has big relaxing hot tubs and quite a bit of viewing area with lounges. Small pools actually. Open Buffet for breakfast and Lunch but need reservations for supper. Contact me at BSeaBob at gmail com if you have comments, suggestions or any question you may have. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Alaska cruise and we selected RCCL for the price and ship. Ovation is a beautiful ship, one of the most beautiful I have been on. (15+ cruises on different lines) It is huge but there was never a point that it felt too ... Read More
This was our first Alaska cruise and we selected RCCL for the price and ship. Ovation is a beautiful ship, one of the most beautiful I have been on. (15+ cruises on different lines) It is huge but there was never a point that it felt too crowded. Loved the three ports but wanted to see so much more. Here are some thoughts: 1)we did whale watching/Mendenhall glacier and it was great! So glad since we didn’t get to the other glacier. We also did White pass train, salmon camp and saloon. Great but didn’t care for the saloon. 2) Balcony cabin deck 10-perfect but crowded for 4 people-great room steward! 3) the teens with us did ifly and we all did Northstar twice! Reservations obtained on board with no problems. End of cruise, it is easy to get on Northstar 4)Teen club great! Great activities 5)Love Paul Shea on piano and Amber and oak guitar player. Also went to Marriage game, majority rules and R-rate comedian-all great. Pixels was confusing but great dancing. Casino only has 1$10 blackjack table-difficult to get on but an empty $500 table??? Stupid Loved two70-loved food and atmosphere! Hush dance party was super fun!! 6) Food was average and always the same. We did My time dining, had reservations and always had to wait while people were seated without reservations?? Service was slow but food was warm. They should try harder on the food creativity. Windjammers was not good at all especially breakfast. We ate at Jamie’s for lunch and it was just average 7) I thought the crew was good but random on enthusiasm. They weren’t as engaging as other cruises we have been on. Next time, we will select itinerary over ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved ... Read More
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved the ship, the rooms, the staff and the activities. The scenery was stunning but we did not get close enough to see Dawes Glacier because there was too much ice, which was disappointing. Still Endicott Arm is spectacular. We saw lots of whales from the ship and tons of bald eagles in Juneau. Every single service person we encountered was friendly and professional. We were beyond thrilled with our room attendant Habibie. We heard a lot of experienced cruisers griping about the elevators and the food. But we loved the Windjammer service and food - in fact we ate most of our meals there. MDRs were hit or miss. The ports are fun - recommend excursions that get you out of the Main Street tangles of gift and jewelry shops. Overall we give the cruise an A grade and recommend it, especially for new cruisers and families. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This is my 2nd Alaskan cruise. I’m not a big fan of cruises to Alaska because of the cold, cloudy weather, but I agreed to go as long as we cruised Royal Caribbean. Embarkation went smoothly and cabins are available at 1:00. The ship is ... Read More
This is my 2nd Alaskan cruise. I’m not a big fan of cruises to Alaska because of the cold, cloudy weather, but I agreed to go as long as we cruised Royal Caribbean. Embarkation went smoothly and cabins are available at 1:00. The ship is huge and beautiful. Balcony cabin was great and had reclining chairs on the balcony, a huge plus. Service was great for the most part. Everyone was friendly and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Another highlight were the shows. They were top notch. Really enjoyed the Las Vegas Tenors and all their broadway style shows including Pixels. Other than Pixels, no reservations are required for the shows. The hush dance party inTwo70 was a blast. Excursions were great especially the wildlife adventure in Skagway. It’s a high speed boat that does doughnuts through the fjord stopping to see the wildlife along the way. Saw tons of seals, bald eagles and gorgeous waterfalls. My all time favorite port is Victoria. It’s a beautiful city. Since it was my 3rd time there I didn’t do any excursions and opted for high tea instead. The only reason for 4 stars is the food which was just so so. The food in the Windjammer got better as the week went on. We had My time dining which limits you to 2 of the main dining rooms. Most days we opted for Silk because the service was better than The American Icon. By the last night we were pretty tired of the food which was often the same. We didn’t eat in any of the specialty restaurants except The Solarium. Even though it’s a huge ship the only time it felt crowded was on the 4th floor around the shops. It’s a beautiful ship and I would love to sail it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 ... Read More
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 trying to go down to deck 5 to get off the boat Due to priority service needed, I was kicked off the elevator I was on (originally going down), on deck 10. Almost 2 hours later and I'm finally able to get off the boat due to full elevators, other passengers not moving or respectful of lines. Furthermore, I ran into the assistant front desk manager who was unable to assist in anyway and kept saying they did not have the manpower to assist as they have now put me further away from the exit. His inability to assist with the problem the boat/company had created makes me wonder about the quality of their customer service. While the rest of the cruise was enjoyable to include the cabin being well kept (thanks to our great stateroom attendant), entertainment as expected on a cruise ship and dining on par, should the first place runner of a race trip before the finish line they would not win. As such, the experience at the end of this trip was absolutely terrible that as of now, I strongly recommend against Royal Caribbean and do not expect to sail with them again (even if given the free cruise offered by their survey where my sentiments were also noted). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship for the destination and because our group of 13 had 3 children who we thought would enjoy the variety of activities. I was disappointed in the Ovation and will not likely use RCI again. This was our second cruise and ... Read More
We chose this ship for the destination and because our group of 13 had 3 children who we thought would enjoy the variety of activities. I was disappointed in the Ovation and will not likely use RCI again. This was our second cruise and if it had been our first, it likely would have been our last. Embarkation was a mess to put it bluntly, just throngs of people milling around with no clear direction. There wasn’t enough room on the decks/buffet to find 2 seats together while waiting for our cabins to be ready. Once we got to our cabin, it was very nice. It was spacious with lots of storage. Later that night, we discovered that the bed is awful! It was very hard and uncomfortable, the pillow were like rocks. We did ask for extra pillows the next day but found those just as uncomfortable. The amount of hooks in the bathroom was great! Disembarkation was no better. We were assigned to report to the Theater at 9:20, we headed that way at 9:00 only to be stopped by a crew member and yelled at ( yes voice was raised) that we had missed our number being called and to hurry and get off the ship! Dining in the dining room was great. The food was tasty and service impeccable. We ate breakfast and dinner in the dining room most days. The buffet seemed to have a wide variety of food but it was always difficult to find a table. In addition, being told over the PA to eat quickly so others can sit is not conducive to a pleasant meal. No lingering over a cup of tea and enjoying the view! Sorrentos pizza was very good and became a late night stop every night for our group for the yummy pizza. The availability of popular activities like bumper cars, iFly etc needs to be expanded. The wait times are ridiculous. I was extremely disappointed that I was only able to book Pixels online before the cruise. We never got to do iFly which I was really looking forward to. I’m not sure how a passenger is supposed to register online for these things by 11 as suggested when my boarding time is 12:30? AFTER the cruise, I learned that there is an escape room. There was nothing about this on the website; my group would have lived to do this. Clearly there is not a large enough activities staff to cover the amount of activities on board. I was very disappointed in the IQ app as a messaging tool. To use it I had to constantly reconnect to WiFi to send or check messages as did my entire group. This made communication and planning in a group difficult. It is ridiculous that they charge 7.95 for this. A trip to guest services and the answer was that’s the way it works and showing me how to connect to WiFi on my phone like I’m dumb. 270 is an amazing venue, but it is small especially for some of the activities that they literally cram in there. Loved the indoor pool and solarium; the kids in my group are too old for the kid section but I did wonder about it as it never seemed to be open. The constant up selling was ridiculous and aggravating. Despite our disappointment with the ship, an Alaskan Cruise is amazing and a wonderful way to see some of the majestic beauty of the United States. Juneau was spectacular, we did a whale watching tour and Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway also had stunning beauty, we took a ferry to Haines and did a walk through the state park. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family of 4, 2 kids aged 10 and 12, recently returned from our 1 week Alaskan cruise. We found "The Key" package worth the extra money. The one issue at the start of the cruise was rectified the first day. The original ... Read More
Our family of 4, 2 kids aged 10 and 12, recently returned from our 1 week Alaskan cruise. We found "The Key" package worth the extra money. The one issue at the start of the cruise was rectified the first day. The original tickets we printed had "the Key" insignia on it, but we had a cabin upgrade and the new tickets did not have them on. The ticket agent wrote "Key customers" by hand. It got us into the embarkation line. We were on the ship at 11:15 where we were greeted by an assistant cruise director who directed us to the dining room for lunch. Before we entered we received the envelope with a sheet outlining "the Key" special activities for the week and wifi password, but only for my son. I then registered my family for iFly, and North Star, all by 11:50. If my kids were older than 13, we could have registered for the "escape room". Our carryons were checked and were in our rooms at 1. We ate a "Chops Menu Lunch" in the dining room, which was good but similar to dinner in the dining room. The key cards were in our rooms at one, but again, only my son's card had "the Key" insignia on it. I went to the Guest Services desk where a staff member quickly took my key cards, and returned them with a "key" sticker on them. She called IT and by 4:30 we all had our wifi passwords. We used "the Key" for all the shows where we sat in a designated area in the balcony. We went to the one "the Key" designated times for rock wall, Flow Rider, and bumper cars. Our kids went over and over again, really the lineups consisted of a dozen other kids with "the Key". Each time the bumper cars ran, "the Key" members were able to go on 1 ride by skipping the line that wrapped around the SeaPlex. The second or third night at 10 pm room service came to deliver a fruit plate from "the Key". Nice gesture, but we were all in bed. We used the early departure option once at port and it worked well. On the final morning breakfast in the dining room was unhurried. In summary, "the Key" is worth it if you have people who would use the activities. "The Key" allows you sign up for iFly and North Star before others, participate in the rock wall, bumper cars and Flow Rider without a line once or twice during the week, have great seats in shows without going very early. If you are part of a rewards level or suite level, these perks may not be worth it. We also bought the "wow" band, that replaced your room key. I would not get the if I had "the Key" again, as you had to bring your key card anyways to show "the Key" insignia. "The Key" definitely improved our cruise experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose RC Ovation of the Seas because we thought if the weather was bad in Alaska we wanted a ship with a lot of activities. We’re an active family who enjoys the outdoors & our millennial kids & other family members wanted to ... Read More
We chose RC Ovation of the Seas because we thought if the weather was bad in Alaska we wanted a ship with a lot of activities. We’re an active family who enjoys the outdoors & our millennial kids & other family members wanted to experience walking on a glacier and hiking in Alaska. We were able to walk on Mendenhall and Laughton Glaciers and view Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier from our ship. It was an awe-inspiring and beautiful. We’ve sailed on many large and small ships and Ovation of the Seas was wonderful in every way. We never had to wait in any lines and always found a table at breakfast and lunch. We had My Time Dining and never waited. The staff in the American Icon restaurant were outstanding and made our cruise memorable. The crew was the most friendly, hardworking, and funny we’ve ever had on any of our cruises. We had to laugh and wondered how the crew were always so cheery and constantly willing to help. To our surprise the Windjammer was a fun place to eat. There was a crew member who would crack jokes over the PA which made everyone laugh and all the bus people were always smiling. I’m a clean freak and the crew were constantly cleaning everything and everywhere. There is a hand washing station before you can enter the Windjammer and you can’t bypass it. Which is great...they’ll be no illness on this ship! There are so many activities you can’t do them all. If you love dancing this is the ship for you. Every evening there was dancing activities from the 70’s, Disco, Rock n’ Roll, and Hush Party/Silent Disco with headphones. The shows were excellent & very entertaining. We enjoyed the SeaPlex which is an indoor sports arena and perfect for an Alaska cruise. Every cruise ship should have a SeaPlex. There is roller skating, bumper cars, volleyball, basketball, trapeze, and hockey. You play ping pong and air hockey. There’s also a rock climbing wall, the super fun RipCord IFly, and North Star. Our cabin was spotless and well appointed with lots of storage. The shower was larger because of the rounded door. If you’re considering a cruise to Alaska take Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. You’ll have a fabulous time. It’s a “Once in a Life Time Cruise”...the ship and Alaska!! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose RC Ovation to experience the highly touted Alaska glacier cruise highlights, especially glacier calving touted as spectacular due to global warming. H/E all we got was a ROYAL disappointment. THEY CANCELLED THE DAWES GLACIER ... Read More
We choose RC Ovation to experience the highly touted Alaska glacier cruise highlights, especially glacier calving touted as spectacular due to global warming. H/E all we got was a ROYAL disappointment. THEY CANCELLED THE DAWES GLACIER HIGHLIGHT WITHOUT SUBSTITUTING ANYTHING SIMILAR OR OFFERING ANY COMPENSATION FOR THIS HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! "SO, YOU WENT ON ALASKA CRUISE AND DIDN'T SEE A SINGLE GLACIER?!?" "YEP." OVATION OF THE SEAS ADVERTISES YOU'LL SEE THE SPECTACLER DAWES GLACIER BUT HAS NEVER ACTUALLY CRUISED WITHIN SIGHT OF DAWES OR ANY OTHER GLACIER (could dent the boat, per the Captain). DON'T LET ROYAL CARIBBEAN RUIN YOUR ALASKA CRUISE. Also, there we're NO ANNOUNCED SUNDAY CHRISTIAN SERVICES while lesbian/homo hookup opportunities were announced everyday. The last day we discovered a large Christian group aboard holding daily services which they stated RC refused to announce. Maybe next time they'll cancel a port visit (it's in your contract, the Captain reserves to right to cancel anything he wants WITHOUT COMPENSATION). The food and service were good. We liked our little stateroom - nicely organized and comfortable. But the staff tried to pass off the few small pieces of sea ice as "glaciers." To the Filipino staff any ice in the water is hugely remarkable. The comedian Nivi, the first night was great! But those who missed it just lost out as he never returned to the stage. We experienced a few elevator glitches (both up and down arrow indicators illuminated) and had to hike down five decks to make a show when all the elevators were full, but this was the expeception not the rule. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our group of 20 (ages 22- 68) chose this cruise to celebrate a milestone anniversary. The ship was beautiful, well appointed, and very clean. We worked very hard to connect our reservations so that we would have meals together in the ... Read More
Our group of 20 (ages 22- 68) chose this cruise to celebrate a milestone anniversary. The ship was beautiful, well appointed, and very clean. We worked very hard to connect our reservations so that we would have meals together in the main dining rooms. The first night, we were spread all over. We spoke to the Head waiter and he took care if it for the following evenings. We were grateful for the change, but feel like it shouldn’t have been wrong to begin with. Meals were very good except for the first night, when the food was poor. I wonder if they do that to encourage specialty dining or if the first night is always iffy?? I haven’t noticed it on other cruises. Our servers Malou and Lula were wonderful!! We loved our shore excursions (purchased from TripAdvisior). In Juneau we did the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching. In Skagway, we went dogsledding. In Victoria, we had tea at The Empress. One thing we noticed about this ship is that there weren’t very many areas where we could sit and play cards. We did like to sit at the large table in Vintages, but they made it clear that they didn’t like it. One day, they asked us to move because they were having wine tasting there- in 2.5 hours!! We questioned the request, even asked an officer and were told they would rather we not sit there and play cards. We were still buying drinks, not disruptive. I thought that was unacceptable but even the supervisor didn’t seem to care! I would say that service everywhere else was adequate, nothing to get excited over. We spoke to our room steward twice the whole 7 days. The best thing about this shop was the musical entertainment. At every venue, the music was terrific. Thank you for that! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We enjoyed this cruise. As a reference point, we've been on Harmony, Allure, and Navigator and 12 other cruises on Disney & Princess . I think this ship was made for Alaska. We traveled with our 16 year old daughter and 12 ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise. As a reference point, we've been on Harmony, Allure, and Navigator and 12 other cruises on Disney & Princess . I think this ship was made for Alaska. We traveled with our 16 year old daughter and 12 year old son. They loved Sea Plex. It was nice having the Solarium and the indoor pool. We had pretty good weather for Alaska. We took advantage of tons of activities on the ship: roller skating, iFly, trapeze class, bumper cars, rock wall, and the flow rider. We also had lots of fun playing trivia, doing scavenger hunts, and playing The Royal Mystery. We ate in the dining room and had reservations at the Solarium Bistro two nights for dinner. I highly recommend the Bistro. I loved Cafe 270 for lunch. They have a specific gluten free line at the Windjammer and there are desserts identified as gluten free. This was nice, but the variety of foods didn't change much. Our cabin was a verandah room on deck 7. The only thing I wish the room had was a curtain that you could pull to divide the seating area from the king (Princess & Disney have this). We were very pleased with the service. All the ship workers were friendly and pleasant. We booked two excursions through Royal Caribbean. We did the Helicopter Glacier Trek in Juneau. This was worth every penny. After landing on the glacier, we hiked for two hours on the glacier. In Skagway, we did a speed boat ride. Everyone enjoyed it, but it was hard to compare to the glacier trek! We were able to see so much wildlife from the ship. We saw whales, bald eagles, porpoises, and harbor seals! It was so much fun watching the sea life from our verandah! As for disembarkation, we took advantage of the valet luggage to the airport, and took an Uber to downtown Seattle when we got off the ship. The taxi line was very, very long. It took about 5 minutes to get an Uber at 9:00 am. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My travel agent sold us on this cruise. The ship was nice and beautifully appointed. Food was just alright. Everything was extra money and we were nickeled and and dimed the whole time. Husband bought the soda package and had to carry ... Read More
My travel agent sold us on this cruise. The ship was nice and beautifully appointed. Food was just alright. Everything was extra money and we were nickeled and and dimed the whole time. Husband bought the soda package and had to carry around a plastic cup like he was at an amusement park. Tacky! I felt like I was at a flea market , there was constant junk being sold on tables throughout the cruise. The shows were very good but time overlap of dinner, other shows, and activities forced us to miss many. Since the ship was very large we were not able to get up close to see the large wall of ice glacier that I hoped to see. I was so disappointed. I wish my travel agent, royal caribbean , or a review would tell me about this. I did enjoy myself because I went with great friends but the trip was not work the almost $6000 we paid. While I had a great time I don't think I'd do another cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska. We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several ... Read More
Beautiful ship but too crowded and too big to maximize cruising Alaska. We had a later embarkation time (1:30) and we had no issues - walked quickly onboard and had immediate access to our cabins (although our luggage arrived several hours later). We were a large group with several teenagers so we chose Ovation of the Seas for our Alaska trip as we thought it would provide a better range of activities while at sea. In past cruises our teenagers have really taken full advantage of the on board activities. Unfortunately, the activities on the Ovation had really long lines or reservations were all booked (we even tried to make them before the cruise, on-line, but were not available). My guess is that the suites and those that purchased the "Key Pass" had priority, leaving little availability. We waited in a very long line trying to make reservations on the first day but had no success. We were told to keep checking the RC app for cancellations but the system kept crashing and was unusable. The biggest issue with the Ovation, though, is that the size of the ship limits where it can sail in Alaska. It cannot cruise the entire length of the inside passage, and we couldn't get close to Dawe's glacier. We were unable to see it. We arrived early in the morning and we couldn't get close, plus it was very foggy that early in the morning. We only had two ports of call in Alaska - Juneau (1/2 a day) and Skagway (full day). Alaska is beautiful but I felt like we didn't get to see enough of it. If I have the opportunity to do this trip again I would choose a smaller ship with additional stops and one that can cruise through the entire inside passage. The ship was beautiful - clean and very well maintained. The cabins were nice and surprisingly had plenty of storage. We had a balcony room which was great on an Alaskan cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent as were our dinner dining attendants, some of the best we've had. Breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, however, were not pleasant experiences. It was very crowded and tables were hard to come by. The maitre'd had to often encourage (in rather loud volume) to eat and vacate the premises so that others could also eat. The gym area is nice but smaller than some of the other ships we've been on. We also found the shows subpar compared to other RC ships, although we did enjoy the Juggler Mike Price. Pixels was a disappointment and some of us left after the first few acts. In Juneau we went on a tour with Gastineau Guiding Company (we booked through RC). We went whale watching, hiked a short trail through the rainforest, and went to view Mendenhall glacier. It was an outstanding tour - a highlight of our trip. It was a small group so enjoyable, and our tour guide was fantastic. Highly recommend! In Skagway we took the White Pass Train Ride - very beautiful scenery. We also did a Musher Camp in the afternoon which we found entertaining. In summary, a beautiful ship but too crowded to thoroughly enjoy and not the best itinerary for Alaska. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the ... Read More
Was on the June 21 Ovation Alaska cruise. In just about all aspects, it was a top-notch experience that is worth every penny. While the summer-like weather helped with navigating the waters, the large ship was able to get very close to the Dawes glacier and did multiple 360s for all to have good views. The venues on either end of the ship --- Cafe270 and Serenity --- provided gorgeous views of the landscape with the multi-level, full length windows. Cafe270 itself would be considered an upscale entertainment venue with windows becoming projection screens for nighttime events. This was an ideal ship for Alaska especially. The captain (Henrik) is a standout. In his Q&A session, he was engaging and he provided good insight into what it takes to run the ship especially in the waters around Alaska. He also described the logistics of an unfortunate emergency helicopter situation we experienced for one of the guests. Many were concerned/curious about that. The service was high quality, from room stewards to dining service. Never experienced anything that wasn’t attentive and professional. We had anytime dining and never waited after making reservations after the first night, and even when we missed our reservations we were seated quickly, and a window table like we had other nights. The second formal night offered lobster, and there seemed to be the biggest crowds in line for that. Getting on and off in the ports all went smoothly. Never a backup either way. The itinerary seemed to be just right, with stops in Juneau and Skagway after one day at sea, then the highlight through the channel to view the Dawes glacier up close. (If you get that close, look for the second glacier between the hills up on the left side.) Then, a day at sea before Victoria B.C. The days at sea were needed to see/do all that there is to offer. The North Star offered several complimentary opportunities if you didn’t pay for a reserved time, although I was a bit jealous of those who were in it at the Dawes glacier; it goes out to either side of the ship there, not just up. The bumper cars were popular with long lines. There seemed to be a lot of sports activities in that area, and were interesting to watch at least. Spent time in the casino. Saw people winning good amounts every night, slots were modern machines, and the bar team was quick and made good drinks. Sometimes the casino bar can be lighter staffed, but not here. Food quality wise, not the highest but certainly good overall. My biggest suggestion is Cafe270 --- breakfast and lunch has various offerings including pressed sandwiches and soups and full salad bar, all served. Coffee and drinks and dessert in there as well, connects to the 270 venue where you can sit in nice seats to eat and enjoy the views. The café part looks like a Panera or similar, modern look and feel. Also, Fish and Ships on deck 14 near the buffet had some complimentary choices (fish and chips, chicken fingers, and a fish sandwich, Haddock or Pollock, can't remember) in addition to some with small charges. Shows were decent, varied from a vocal performer who sang in different styles of singers (impersonation, but not too silly) to the singers and dancers in a production with aerials and high quality vocals. Karaoke was decent, guests had skills and some were featured on stage in the theater later in the cruise. Overall, wonderful experience. I was with my Dad, and it made the perfect father-son trip. TIP: Outside deck 5 on either side of the ship are really nice viewing areas that didn’t have a lot of people. Certainly see everything from the higher floors, but check out deck 5 to be closer to the water when you can. There is a nice “Ovation of the Seas” life preserver that makes a good “Kodak Picture Spot.” Also, the Alaska merchandise is stylish and good quality, first day at sea has a combo offer that is not offered again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my 17th trip with RC, 3rd to Alaska, 1st on Ovation. Embarkation was fast, being able to board at 11:00. Rooms weren't available until 1:00, which is pretty standard. Crew was extremely polite and helpful. Rommel and ... Read More
This was my 17th trip with RC, 3rd to Alaska, 1st on Ovation. Embarkation was fast, being able to board at 11:00. Rooms weren't available until 1:00, which is pretty standard. Crew was extremely polite and helpful. Rommel and Nino in My Time Dining were awesome. Main dining food was best we've had in a long time on RC. My wife can't eat gluten, so every night she was approached to pre-order for the next evening. She even received a nightly plate of special rolls. My 7 year old son ate off the adult menu and got all the extra portions he wanted. Windjammer fare was good. There were some crowds in the Windjammer, but the ship has many free dining options as well as several fee venues. Bars could be found around every corner. Diamond Lounge wasn't as crowded as most ships. My only complaint related to food service is that early morning coffee can only be found in one place (deck 4). Many of us were up at 6:00 to take in the views. It would have been nice to have an upper deck option. We had two balcony cabins on the 13th deck (13654 & 13656). See my cabin review for some specifics on those. Our attendant opened the partition between the two balconies, which gave us a great space as well as ability to come and go between rooms. Cabins are the best laid out we've seen in terms of storage space. I-fly and North Star were great features. Warning---book these online early as shipboard openings are very limited. Many excursions were also booked up quickly. Great port visits with plenty of time ashore. I recommend the White Pass Railway in Skagway. I did have one concern in Juneau. The disembarkation from lower pier to the road level was via a long ramp that got very steep at low tide. Folks with mobility issues were challenged to climb it. Give yourself plenty of time to walk long distances to reach excursion points. It can also be crowded when the gangway first opens, so avoid excursions that start immediately upon arrival if you want to avoid long lines. Like some other reviewers, I missed the longer Inside Passage portion done on other trips. That said, we still had plenty of scenery, including loads of wildlife visible from the ship. I lost count of whale sightings, including one that breached 5 times in a row off our stern. Dawes Glacier was beautiful. My son enjoyed Adventure Ocean as usual. This sailing had many more families than I had seen on Radiance for other Alaska trips. While a number of folks used the outdoor pool and kid's splash area, the air was a bit cool for us. Ovation has a heated indoor pool for families as well as the traditional adult only Solarium area. The indoor pool area was great. Debarkation was a breeze. You can sign up to have your bags checked directly to the airline at no extra charge. Airline baggage fees are simply applied to your seapass card. Using this meant we didn't have to search for bags on the pier. We simply left our room at 8:30 and walked off the ship. My advice--do your homework on activities you can reserve in advance. Also, take some time to look at all the dining options. Lastly, sit back and enjoy the view and service. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation was a breeze- Their use of iPads to check people in expedited the process. The port of Seattle is in our view one of the best embarkation points we have sailed from. Cabin and attendant were of the quality of service ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze- Their use of iPads to check people in expedited the process. The port of Seattle is in our view one of the best embarkation points we have sailed from. Cabin and attendant were of the quality of service throughout the cruise that we've experienced on other cruises. Nothing spectacular here just very consistent. Dining: Menu's in the dining rooms similar to other cruises. BUT - we felt the quality was slightly higher than we experienced on other RCL cruises - especially better than on the Oasis Class. The food arrived hot, good flavor. The Windjammer had a greater variety of choices than we had scene on any other RCL cruise. The quality was good. Wait staff were always kind, helpful and cheery. If you asked for something the reply was always "Why Not". Entertainment and Activities: This is a high tech ship. 270 is a geeky persons dream. The entertainment is geared more for Millennial and Gen Zers. The Las Vegas style show, while clean, is high in sexual innuendo and is NOT for children. Pixels is more along the lines of a very high tech Cirque de soilel. Our daughter very much admired the music and skill of the guitar player in the bar and went almost every night. Ship Layout: Very different than other RCL ships and took a day or two to reorient to the design. We overheard a few negative comments concerning the layout from older baby boomers - who obviously couldn't deal with the change. Itinerary - This is why we gave the cruise a 4. RCL sold a cruise including "scenic cruising" in the inside passage. The ship is too large for this. Apparently, the week before our cruise the inside passage was attempted but the ship almost grounded twice. This is an RCL issue. They should have known this before hand. Itinerary continued: We were able to get close to Dawes Glacier. The weather was perfect. In close, the Captain rotated the ship thru 1,080 degrees before heading out. in doing so, the ship was so close to bottoming out that a large amount of silt was kicked up. Many seals with seal pups on the ice. Juneau - Whale watch - spectacular - Many whales and sea lions. Witnessed a whale breech 2x right next to another boat. And a mother whale and baby breech 3x each. Too many bald eagles to count and Dall sheep on the mountain side. Bring good binoculars. Skagway - Took the train ride. Breath taking views. Victoria - ok - nothing spectacular In our view, there was plenty of time that RCL could have added in Sitka or Ketchikan. Excitement: On the way back from Dawes Glacier, we were visited by a Coast Guard helicopter. Apparently someone had fallen ill and needed to be evacuated. The BlackHawk helicopter was too large to land so they had to perform the evacuation while hovering. Disembarkation - Very fast and ahead of schedule. If you use Uber, the pick-up location is quite a long walk. Oh - we arranged for Uber and were dropped 6 times. They wanted the airport fare and we were only going into Seattle. Special note: We had the opportunity to live and work in the Philippines in the late 90's. We always engage the Filipinos and ask them about where they are from etc. Well - we discovered that Ed who is the next cruise manager worked at the Shang ri la Makati while we were there. Then we discovered that Irene in Coastal Kitchen and Darcie in Chops had worked in the New World Hotel Makati when we were there. Most special was that the Manager (Oliver) over Sorrentos had been a waiteer in Bocarinnos Restaurant (our favorite restaurant in Manila) in the New World Hotel. We were able to connect with him and shared some fond memories. Summary - while we throughly enjoyed this cruise -with the only disappointment in the failure to sail the inside passage - knowing this up front we most likely would not have taken this sailing. Alaska to us is about seeing and enjoying nature. Also, this is also not the ship for cruisers expecting a layout and flow similar to the Oasis Class. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Great trip. Weather was beautiful don't make the mistake we did and pack a bunch of winter clothes! Temperature was in the 50's or above the entire trip. A hoodie is all you need for a jacket trust me. You will wear shorts and ... Read More
Great trip. Weather was beautiful don't make the mistake we did and pack a bunch of winter clothes! Temperature was in the 50's or above the entire trip. A hoodie is all you need for a jacket trust me. You will wear shorts and t-shirts on the boat, hoodie and long pants when you get off. A lightweight rain jacket just in case is also a good idea. We only used this once because it rained about 30 minutes in Skagway but that was the only time it was needed. Good walking shoes or hiking boots is also a good idea. We arrived in Seattle early and stayed two nights at the Maxwell Hotel. Highly recommend this hotel it was excellent and a great location. The shuttle service they provide will take you to most places free of charge. You should buy the Seattle City Pass because it has all the main attractions in it. We saw the Space Needle and it was awesome! Your ticket allows you to see it both during the day and at night. Arrive early to beat the crowds. We also went to the Science Museum and it was very good. The Argosy harbor tour was nice and we really enjoyed the Aquarium. Walk thru the Pike Place Market it's really neat. We didn't do any RC excursions because we like to pick our own from reviews. In Juneau we did a Whale Watching Tour with Alaska Galore. They were super nice and they only allow about 10-14 people so everyone can see and you aren't packed in like other boats we saw. They pick you up at the pier so it was very easy. We then went to Mendenhall Glacier and it was nice. Transportation there is easy to get so we didn't book a tour for that. At Skagway we rented a jeep for the day thru Alaska Green Jeep (DIY). This was awesome. They had such great reviews and they lived up to everyone of them! It was so easy. You get your jeep, follow the Klondike Hwy and stop whenever you want to hike for awhile or just to take pictures. They have a book that tells you the main attractions on the way and which mile marker to look for. You definitely want to stop and see the William Moore Suspension Bridge. This was a super nice area and walking that bridge was something you will never forget! Also stop and pet the puppies at the Tutshi Sled Dog Tours operated by Michelle Phillips. For only $5 you can pet a bunch of puppies and adult sled dogs. This was so cool. My granddaughter had so much fun she wanted to bring a puppy home with her. You can also go on a sled ride if you want. Don't miss what has to be the most beautiful place in the world Emerald Lake. Pictures do not do it justice it is absolutely gorgeous. This is usually were you turn around and go back down the Hwy. After you return your jeep (6:00) go eat at the Red Onion Saloon. We had a blast there and the food is excellent! At Victoria we went on a walking tour on our own that we found on a google search. We went to Beacon Hill Park and saw the tallest totem pole in the world. We then saw the Royal BC Museum and the Parliament building. We finished at Fisherman's Wharf and had a wonderful dinner there at Barb's Fish and Chips. Our room was a large balcony #10562 and it was very nice. The art work on board the ship is beautiful! We did the I-Fly and also went up in the North Star. Get reservations for I-fly when they are offered on your cruise planner. The only time they offered North Star before we left was on port days. We went "stand by" while sailing in the Endicott arm and it was really cool. Stand by was less then a 10 minute wait. The ship was unable to go to the Dawes Glacier but we kinda expected this from reading other reviews. To us it was not that big of a deal because everything else was fantastic. The main dining room was okay but I agree with some other reviews that stated other RC ships were a little better menu wise. Thanks RC for the beautiful table by the window we truly enjoyed the view while eating. We had excellent service from Ramon and Kudmal, they took very good care of us! We enjoyed the Windjammer and thought the buffet was better then the other RC ships we have sailed on. Entertainment-we really enjoyed Live, love, legs and The Dream. Pixels was okay but rather disappointing. Pixels is the only show you can pre-register for. We loved our time on Ovation and the service was superb. Highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
First off to all the readers out there...take the "one" star reviews with a grain of salt! This ship is wonderful and is one of the best ships you can take from Royal Caribbean. We are diamond members and have cruised on ... Read More
First off to all the readers out there...take the "one" star reviews with a grain of salt! This ship is wonderful and is one of the best ships you can take from Royal Caribbean. We are diamond members and have cruised on various RCCL ships since the early 1990's. We like the Oasis class best but this was our second sailing on the Ovation. We had a Jr. family suite with our 2 adult children and had PLENTY of room. That room also has TWO bathrooms! Food is pretty good but when these mega ships are feeding between 4000 and 6000 (on Oasis class) passengers all day long don't expect a 5 star experence everytime you sit down. The staff were fantastic and waiters and room stewards do a wonderful job and all seem to be pretty happy. They work for...and deserve...their gratutiies! The cabins are all much larger than the ships from the 1980's and 1990's and average around 160 sq. ft for inside and close to 190 sq. ft. for balcony. Ours was around 300 sq. ft. with a little larger balcony. All suites allow you to eat in a seperate restraurant than the larger ones for all passengers...and we opted to eat in the larger restraurants NOT in the one for suite guests. We were on the June 14 -21 Alaska cruise and really enjoyed it. I can't believe I have read so many complaints about not seeing the Dawes Glacier. Being the sun comes up SO early in June our whole crew was out on the baclony by about 5:00 am (in our pj's & jackets) watching us go through the beautiful and outstanding Fjord heading to the Dawes Glacier and seeing tons of small to medium size ice chunks in the water on our way to the glacier. Then when we got there it was a sight to behold. The captain took the ship as close as he could then spun the ship slowly around (360 degrees) at least twice, which took well over an hour, so no matter where you were (on your balcony, having breakfast down stairs, eating upstairs in wind jammer, on an outside deck...you had a wonderful view of the glacier and the ice chunks all around us. The ship only went about 2 or 3 mph up and back from the glacier so you could see the ice, mountains, and beautiful waterfalls. As a matter of fact, while outside all you could hear were many, many waterfalls from the snow capped peaks falling into the ocean. There were 3 stops. (1) Juneau was really nice and offered a number of side trips if you wanted We took a trip to a beautiful garden then to the Mendenhall Glacier. This is really a nice venture. There is a walking trail to the sea which gives you an outstanding view of the glacier...or a walking trail (takes 45 min) to a super large waterfall close by the glacier. Very nice observation area and Visitors Center run by the U.S. Forrest Service. Worth your time (2) Skagway. We took the train ride to the White Pass. WHAT A TRIP! I would recommend this trip to EVERYONE who has never been to Skagway! (3) Victoria B.C. This is a BEAUTIFUL city and easy to get around. Lots of history and some great shops and restraurants! When not in port, young and old alike can shop on board or take a ride on the Northstar or do rock climbing, skydiving simulator, or swim in the atrium pool (80 degrees) etc. The top deck with the Seaplex is really cool. Roller skating, basketball, circus swings (your tied so very safe) and most fun of all are the bumper cars. This all goes on per a schedule on the wall so you can see the times when these things are offered. Also, pingpong tables, foose ball, x-boxes and other games for youngsters. If you seem to be board while on this ship then you just aren't trying to have fun. Bottom line... this is a great ship for Alaska. There are smaller ships that can get to smaller ports and closer to the glaciers but I would recommend this trip to any first time Alaska cruisers. The trip from the Seattle airport to downtown hotel and back to airport after the cruise is at least an hour so plan your flight home very late morning or after noon. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My parents have been loyal RCI cruisers for >45 years. They have taken 19 cruises together. This was my 6th cruise with RCI. We purchased this trip a year ago through RCI and paid extra for insurance. Three weeks prior to this cruise my ... Read More
My parents have been loyal RCI cruisers for >45 years. They have taken 19 cruises together. This was my 6th cruise with RCI. We purchased this trip a year ago through RCI and paid extra for insurance. Three weeks prior to this cruise my mother had a stroke. She is unable to travel. My mother was to room with my sister-in-law. We tried to exchange my brother in place of my ill mom. RCI did little to help with the substitution. He was required to pay $700 more in order to room with his wife instead of my mom. We had planned this for a year so we determined to go despite the additional cost. The positive of the ship: Workers are pleasant, attentive, & efficient. There are multiple pools/hot tubs. Food is very good with variety of options available. There are various unique attractions including bumper cars, the North Star, wave surfing, etc. The shows are entertaining. Rooms have bathrooms that make use of limited space by placing cubbies for toiletries, etc. There is a foot bar in shower and includes nightlight in bathroom. The virtual balcony in interior rooms offer unique and decent live ocean views. There are special cafes like hot dog van, fish/chips shop, etc. The fish is quite good. The pizza parlor is suppose to be 24/7 but is not. It does serve very good pizza. The artwork throughout the cruise ship is intriguing and captivating. Required ship drill is condensed. Express check out allows for quick and easy departure. The negative of the ship: The beds throughout are very firm. Expect long lines for everything, especially for unique attractions. Photo lobby has one attendant who must bounce between cashing out customers and assist with photo kiosks where cruisers review/select photos for print. Dining on a ship with >4,000 cruisers is difficult. Though the food is flavorful, the actual dining experience can be quite stressful. Port days are especially challenging. I traveled with my 10 yr old granddaughter. She liked to sleep in. We ran up and down several decks searching for a place to get food between the hours of 10-1130. The windjammer buffet closed at 1000 and didn't reopen until 1200. The dining rooms ended breakfast at 0930 and reopened for lunch at 1130. There is a soft serve ice cream station on deck 14 near the pools. It is randomly available with one attendant. Again, expect long lines and limited selection as 1/3 options quickly becomes unavailable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Ship was super clean and was a perfect fit for Alaska. With all the indoor activities, there is little need to be outside. Now with that being said, the outdoor spaces where great and we had really good weather. I had a Family Jr Suite ... Read More
Ship was super clean and was a perfect fit for Alaska. With all the indoor activities, there is little need to be outside. Now with that being said, the outdoor spaces where great and we had really good weather. I had a Family Jr Suite and it worked out just fine. The balcony was awesome, as we did not have to go up top to take in the breath taking views. MDR was OK, but everything else was outstanding. We did not go hungry at all. Great selection of entertainment and activities ( we barely saw our teenage boys, they were so busy with all there stuff. The staff was over the tops in service and making us all feel special. Ports were good, easy to navigate. Saw lots of wildlife from the ship ( whales, seals, otters). I would totally recommend this ship for an Alaskan cruise, you will not regret it. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation wasn’t bad. Wife had wheel chair assistance. The problem we ran into was that there wasn’t a dedicated lane for wheel chairs to board the ship so the limited number of pushers they had got stuck in long lines on the ... Read More
Embarkation wasn’t bad. Wife had wheel chair assistance. The problem we ran into was that there wasn’t a dedicated lane for wheel chairs to board the ship so the limited number of pushers they had got stuck in long lines on the gangway. They need to have dedicated ramp for handicap. The ship is beautiful. Loved the solarium the best. Seeing alaska scenery from pool / jacuzzi was nice. The cabin was13642 a jr suite. It was spacious and perfect for a scooter. Located under coastal kitchen but not a lot of noise. The dual bathrooms were a nice touch. Bumper cars was fun roller skating would have been fun if I could find right size safety equipment. Silent Hush party great. Pixels was great. Love and marriage was hilarious. The illusionist / comedian was good. Would have like to see him do some tricks that weren’t table tricks. Service was excellent. Did not notice any over pushy sales reps. Food was warm and good despite being a little bland. There was some confusion on the 2nd formal night as the cruise schedule had smart casual incorrectly marked. Soft serve ice cream was served by an attendant on the pool deck only on some days and only during afternoon hours / not 24 hours. Would like to have seen a candy shop on the main floors. One other negative was the windjammer only open 6;30 -10 for breakfast and 12;00-3;00 for lunch and 6;00 till 9;00 for dinner. Would have liked to see longer hours. Also when it was closed no one could enter the area and sit at tables, enjoy scenery, access coke free style. You had to go to hot dog truck or pizza shop during closed hours to get coke free style. Wish we could have made it to see Dawes glacier. Train in Skagway was a highlight for us. Loved it. North Star was neat. Casino was nice environment. Also seen whales on at least 4 occasions from the ship and got video from our balcony. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, and was almost perfect for a cruise to Alaska. I'd say you need to enjoy a "big" ship experience to get the most out of cruising on Ovation. This is most definitely a great ship ... Read More
The Ovation of the Seas is an amazing ship, and was almost perfect for a cruise to Alaska. I'd say you need to enjoy a "big" ship experience to get the most out of cruising on Ovation. This is most definitely a great ship for a multi-generational group; it has something for everyone. Most of the time I was able to find a quiet place or an activity depending on my mood. We didn't travel with children so the Solarium was a nice retreat as was Vintages. We booked one of the forward facing cabins just under the bridge. I spent a lot of time looking out of the picture window in the cabin. I think I enjoyed it more than I would have a balcony. The cabin was excellent; I really appreciated the space allocation. The washroom was very adequate and well designed. Please know that the beds are very hard, and after seven nights I was a bit grumpy about that. This is even with an extra mattress pas installed by the room steward. There was some "not friendly" service in some areas. It seemed like everyone working in a good area on Decks 4 and 5 were a little tired. This was in stark contrast to the excellent, happy service in the Windjammer and other locations. The service and experience at the NorthStar, however, was unacceptable. The person coordinating that experience was very rude to several passengers waiting for the "ride". I was honestly shocked by their behavior. We had a three night dining package. I'd say skip Wonderland if you are thinking about it. The food was very unremarkable. Chops was a good as ever; Jamie's Italian was my favorite specialty restaurant. We only ate at the dining room for lunch and it was good. The Windjammer was good, especially for breakfast. There's a huge selection. Room Service Continental Breakfast was my cruise treat; I loved it. Overall, it was a good experience. The ship is new and beautiful. The crew seems dedicated. Alaska is a must see! 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 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.2

Find an Ovation of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise