Ovation of the Seas is go, and here at Cruise1st Australia, we couldn’t be more excited. Royal Caribbean’s latest mega-liner, and the third in its line-up of Quantum-class ships, made its maiden voyage on April 8 from Southampton UK, sailing across oceans and seas to reach the port of Tianjin, China. The super-ship will sail south to Sydney in time for summer, where it will homeport until April/May 2017 — giving us plenty of opportunity to savour a cruise aboard this illustrious ocean liner.
Back in August 2015, we published a guide to everything we knew about Ovation of the Seas, which you can read, here. But given the start of the summer cruise season is just six months away, we thought it high-time we took another look at Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum ship to find out everything we can about the vessel before it makes its ‘down under debut’ in December ’16.
So whether you’ve booked a cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas, or just want to find out more about the ship itself, here we offer some updates about Royal Caribbean’s new Australia-bound cruise ship.
Like all of the mega-ships Royal Caribbean has launched of late, Ovation of the Seas has no shortage of cabins — 2,090 to be exact. Given the sheer number of suites, it would be easy to assume that things would be a little cramped, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Indeed, a massive 75% of Ovation of the Seas cabins benefit from a balcony, which is more than the norm for a family-friendly cruise ship. What’s more, all of the ship’s 373 interior cabins feature a virtual balcony, so everyone can benefit from a room with a view (of sorts). An electronic window might sound gimmicky, but the effect is surprisingly realistic, and the technology could prove a real game-changer for passengers who usually avoid interior cabins.
Most double or family suites have king-sized beds, which can be split to create two single beds. Every bed also features storage space, so you can stow your suitcase and other heavy items safely, saving space elsewhere. Royal Caribbean has also squeezed in 28 studio cabins, recognising the growing popularity of solo cruising.
All in all, the accommodation available aboard Ovation of the Seas bucks the trend for large, affordable cruise ships. Each cabin is sizeable, and there are lots of nifty features to ensure your complete comfort, even in the cheapest interior suites. Bravo Royal Caribbean.
If you value variety when it comes to food, you’ll be well catered for aboard Ovation. The ship boasts a huge range of fully-inclusive dining options, as well as a handful of a la carte restaurants which you can dine in for an additional charge. Royal Caribbean has gone to great lengths to ensure every individual dining venue feels unique and enticing, and because the ship homeports in China for a complete season of cruising, there are plenty of Asian-inspired eats for those who enjoy the flavours of the Orient.
Like its shipmates in the Quantum-class fleet, Ovation features Royal Caribbean’s Dynamic Dining concept. This means diners have a more flexible choice of where and when to eat, though there is still the option to book in advance. The ship boasts a total of four 450-seat dining halls, including Chic, American Icon Grill, Silk and The Grande, and these offer flexible seating in line with the Dynamic Dining model.
As well as these large dining venues, there are also four a la carte restaurants, which all offer Dynamic Dining. For those who prefer the traditional dining experience, there is the option to choose Dynamic Dining Classic, which reverts to a fixed-time seating arrangement where passengers can choose a time slot between 6pm-8.30pm.
If you’re happy to pay for top nosh, Ovation has eight fee-paying dining options, including Michael’s Genuine Pub, La Patisserie, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Chops Grille, Chef’s Table and the Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop. Each of these restaurants offers a more intimate experience than the all-inclusive venues, and guests will benefit from a more personal service and higher quality of food. You’ll need to book in advance if you want to dine in any of these restaurants, however, and you can do this before your cruise or at the start of the sailing at the guest services point.
In its Quantum-class of ships, Royal Caribbean set out to create the most fun-filled and technologically-advanced cruise ships on the ocean — and Ovation of the Seas is no exception.
Thus far, the ship has delighted passengers with its huge array of on-board activities, which range from the roller-skating rink of the SeaPlex sports complex, to the RipCord by iFly skydiving tower. The ship also features the much-loved FlowRider surf simulator, which is becoming a permanent fixture aboard Royal Caribbean’s biggest ocean liners. All of these activities are free of charge, meaning there’s rarely a dull day aboard Ovation of the Seas.
These activities are complemented by a comprehensive entertainment programme, which is quite simply outstanding, and far superior to any other ship currently doing the rounds in Australian waters. From the Broadway-style theatre productions to the high-tech wizardry of the Spectra’s Cabaret; Royal Caribbean has excelled in providing its passengers with a stimulating entertainment programme that truly offers something for everyone.
General Information and Tips
For those counting down the days to a cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas, here are some general tips and advice for a smooth and relaxing sailing:
- Dress Code: It’s all about casual comfort aboard Ovation of the Seas, so don’t worry about packing your best dress or dinner jacket. The ship hosts no formal nights, but passengers are expected to wear smart casual dress in the evenings, particularly in The Grande restaurant.
- Gratuities: An automatic daily gratuity of US$13.50 per person, per day will be added to your SeaPass account. Gratuities can also be prepaid in advance.
- Families: Ovation of the Seas is an absolute magnet for families, particularly during school holidays, so please bear this in mind if you’re looking for an intimate, couple’s only cruise.
- Outdoor Running Track: If you like to stay fit but don’t fancy paying to use the gym, remember that Ovation features an outdoor jogging and walking track on Deck 15.
For your chance to book a cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas, head over to the Cruise1st Australia website and use the search bar on the left to filter cruises by a specific ship. Should you require any help, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 857 345.
Image credits: Royal Caribbean Press Center