Review of Ovation of the Seas - April 2016
Ian Warren – 14/04/16
Ovation of the Seas, the newest ship in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, and the third in the Quantum Class, arrived in Southampton in April 2016. She would be visited by the press and the trade, before offering a few short departures to enable UK residents to experience just what she has to offer. Then on 3rd May 2016 she departs for China, on a 52 night voyage (also available in shorter sectors), arriving in Tianjin on 24th June. Some 70 miles from Beijing, Tianjin will be her home port, from where she will operate a range of 3 – 7 night itineraries. Ports of call will include Busan (South Korea), Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Seoul (Incheon).In late October she moves to Singapore for a while, before moving on to Sydney, Australia.
I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon and night onboard in Southampton, so that I could take a look around. With a ship of this size though, it is impossible to review everything in such a short space of time. However, she is virtually identical to the Anthem of the Seas, which I visited last year for a 2 night cruise, so l concentrated on the highlights, and any changes or new developments since I visited her in April 2015. I have included links through to my review and videos of Anthem of the Seas, for additional information.
Take a look at the information below, then to book your cruise, or for further information on the Ovation of the Seas (or any other ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet) call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.
I made the above video on Ovation of the Seas, and you can click on the following link to see my photos of Ovation of the Seas, on Facebook. Click on the following link to see my 3 videos of Anthem of the Seas, 1 general video of the ship, 1 showing the different dining venues and 1 showing the different accommodation categories.
At around 168,000 gross tons, the Quantum Class ships are the second largest cruise ships in the world, after the Oasis Class ships which are also operated by Royal Caribbean International. Ovation of the Seas carries 4,180 guests with two in each cabin, but can carry up to 4,905 with all beds occupied. There are around 1,500 members of crew to look after all the passengers, and the safety of the ship.
The main differences between Ovation of the Seas and her predecessor Anthem of the Seas are as follows: –
- Dining – the Kung Fu Panda themed noodle shop has replaced Johnny Rockets, and serves a selection of dim sum, savoury noodle bowls, and traditional Chinese desserts. As with Johnny Rockets before it, there is a small charge for food purchased from this venue
- ‘Animal Sculpture’ – Anthem of the Seas has a 32ft tall giraffe called Gigi on deck 15, and Quantum of the Seas has a 30ft high polar bear. However, when I was on Ovation of the Seas there was an empty space there. Since then, they have added 2 large pandas, a mother and cub, which is very fitting for a ship being based in China.
- Entertainment – ‘The Dream’ will be the headline show being performed onboard, in the 1,300 seat main theatre, which will also host ‘Live Love Legs’, which will include aerial acrobatics. Two70 will be the venue for an original production called ‘Spectra’s Cabaret’, and a slightly reduced in size Music Hall will be the venue for a number of shows, including tribute acts, and themed parties such as ‘Groovy Town’.
- DreamWorks Experience – there are various opportunities to meet your favourite characters onboard, including activities in Adventure Ocean (kid’s clubs), Character Breakfasts, and ‘Meet & Greet’ opportunities
- Royal Suite Class – new for 2016 there are 3 categories, which are Star Class, Sky Class and Sea Class, all of which offer a great selection of inclusions and added benefits. Click on the following link for details of Royal Suite Class which will be available from May 2016 on all Oasis Class and Quantum Class ships
- Shopping – there is more space allocated to retail shops, with more big brands being stocked
- Casino – this has been increased in size
The following gives a brief outline of what is available onboard, but there is far more information in my review of Anthem of the Seas, so why not take a look.
- Entertainment – there are many venues onboard, offering a great variety of different shows, with something to suit everyone. These include the Royal Theatre, where the main shows take place, and Two70 which has amazing views of the sea at the stern of the ship. However, at night these views are replaced by Vistorama, and you can watch amazing video presentations, and RoboShow. There is also a 3D Movie theatre, and a giant poolside screen for showing movies and sporting events.
- Dining – you will find an abundant choice of places to dine onboard, many of which are included in the cost of your cruise, such as American Icon Grill, The Grande, Silk, SeaPlex Dog House, Windjammer Market Place and The Café @ Two70°. Dining venues with a supplementary charge include Jamie’s Italian, Wonderland, Michael’s Genuine Pub, Chops Grille, Chef’s Table and Izumi.
- Must Visit Venues – include North Star, where you get a 360° view from 300 feet above the sea, RipCord by iFly, which is a skydiving simulator, FlowRider which is a pool for you to try surfing, and the Rock Wall where you can climb 40 feet above the deck, and SeaPlex for a ride on the Dodgems. It is also worth visiting the Bionic Bar for a drink.
- Children’s Facilities – there are clubs for different various age groups, all offering activities designed specifically for them. the clubs are Royal Babies (6-18 months), Royal Tots (18-36 months), Adventure Ocean Youth Programme (3-5 years, 6-8 years and 9-11 years), and the Teen Programme (12-14 years and 15-17 years)
- Accommodation – She has 2,090 cabins (with over 30 different grades), of which 1,571 have a balcony, and 375 have a ‘virtual balcony’. These are inside cabins, with an 80” LED screen, which is attached to the wall. Live video footage of what you would be seeing if you had a balcony, is shown on the screen, and you can draw the curtains if you wish. A total of 34 cabins of various grades are wheelchair accessible.
While much of the ship is the same as her older sister, Anthem of the Seas, there are some small changes as detailed above. Being based in the China, there are other things which will be noticed by British and American passengers. These include onboard announcements being in Mandarin and English, and more Chinese dishes available, especially in the Windjammer. However, these differences shouldn’t detract from the enjoyment for anyone who likes cruising Royal Caribbean, and wants to visit ports in the Far East.
Click on the following link if you would like to see my detailed review and videos of Anthem of the Seas.
To book your next cruise, or to get more information on Royal Caribbean, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.