Ovation of the Sea Review Alaska JULY 2019 from Seattle 7 Days

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
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 arriving elevators. Great shows, Main Dining service great, Food a bit down in my humble estimation but lots of it. (unfortunately for the waste 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 is not what I would call a holiday anymore. 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 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/top. 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. 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. Another life lesson learned.

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.

Note: Do not pay extra for a virtual Balcony TV wall. 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 and doors 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. The younger kids (and parents) were not at all impressed with the facilities/and staff for them. Didn't partake at all. Best described as a holding room and baby sitting service was what I was told.

As I mentioned the shows were great. Pixels … Is a great show 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 20 mins early . A Mountie was aboard and gave three great lectures about the Force. 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 there 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 it happens all the time. But when there was no 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 didn’t 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. Getting off went smoothly for everyone as far as I could see. We were in 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. 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. 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 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.

I did not partake of any of the additional costing dining rooms.
No cost items in Fish & Ships were quality and great for lunch. Believe it or not I did not make the Hot Dog stand in the SeaPlex area but they looked first class. My extra coffees came from the relatively small diamond lounge that was available from a machine anytime, (a cross over X perk) and was good.

Take a break continued below ........
 
Last edited:

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
Part 2/


Ports:
Juneau has all the tourists stuff right at your gangway. Lots of tours to be had and a gondola right on the dock. 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. boB is well known in these parts so do not use his name for a reference. 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. I'll be on another smaller ship somewhere....maybe even Alaska again. But not the Ovation unless my GK's are takin' me......and I'll just be in the solarium

And of course you should take a ship that goes "Inside" Vancouver Island on the lower part of the Inside Passage for a lot more scenery and not two sea days at sea as all 7 dayer's from Seattle must. All cruises from Vancouver would qualify. I'm not sure that the Ovation would do the Inside even if it did sail from Vancouver due to its size. It's early reposition from Vancouver didn't I'm advised. It went to Alaska from Vancouver on a 10 day trip with more ports and then started it 7 day trips from Seattle. There was some concern about timing the tide and passage under the Lions Gate bridge also back then.


Hey PM me through the site if you have any questions or comments or just post here.
 

George C

Well-Known Member
I love the entertainment on the larger ships on rccl but too many children, although suite perks are nice . Thanks for the review.
 

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
Don't think I'll be goin on that ship, way to biiiiig for me!!
Im not saying I would never go again. Its a great ship for families and kids. Although Its pretty well a baby sitting service for under about 8 and AK is not great for the smaller kids play area. Life guards freezing not a pretty picture.
The amount of kids is another thing to consider. There are great things for them to do. Rock climbing, Bumper cars,flow rider, etc etc. But with the amount of kids I saw it was hard for everyone to get a shot at them. With out paying extra. for the privilege. So do your homework.
As I said there is an area for adults only. Totally enclosed and great for Alaska. I wonder about this ship in a warmer climate on a sea day.
 

bob

Community Manager
Staff member
nice review glad you enjoyed what you did of the cruise, sometimes I think the cruise lines are out growing themselves with the new ships and it looks like overies of the seas is definitely one of them
 

chinook girl

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the review! So glad to hear you survived!
We disembarked the Celebrity ship as you were getting on...it looked like one hot mess for you guys!
We plan on sailing the Quantum...A 4 nighter from Singapore... a cultural experience on such a mega ship should be very interesting!
Sandy
 

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
Thanks for the review! So glad to hear you survived!
We disembarked the Celebrity ship as you were getting on...it looked like one hot mess for you guys!
We plan on sailing the Quantum...A 4 nighter from Singapore... a cultural experience on such a mega ship should be very interesting!
Sandy
I did not see you in the few S pax that were left. But I did look. lol I figured you would have been able to see me and hollard. We did more than survive lol Despite the glitches and disappointments it was a cruise and overall enjoyed it of course.
Only 4 days?
Chicken.
 

chinook girl

Well-Known Member
I did not see you in the few S pax that were left. But I did look. lol I figured you would have been able to see me and hollard. We did more than survive lol Despite the glitches and disappointments it was a cruise and overall enjoyed it of course.
Only 4 days?
Chicken.
I can send you our wonderful Dawes glacier photos! Spectacular!
The RCCL is 4 nights then we catch the Millennium to Hong Kong. But, not until 2021!
Next year we are doing Scenic River Cruise...Budapest to Amsterdam. Have a look...might be more to your liking! It’s the Accountant’s retirement trip!
Sandy
 

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
I can send you our wonderful Dawes glacier photos! Spectacular!
The RCCL is 4 nights then we catch the Millennium to Hong Kong. But, not until 2021!
Next year we are doing Scenic River Cruise...Budapest to Amsterdam. Have a look...might be more to your liking! It’s the Accountant’s retirement trip!
Sandy
sounds like you finally have D into holiday mode....
Europe is not on my flight plan until a lottery win.
I don't need the pics. Funny story. I was really disappointed in not seeing the glacier. But as luck would have it I had pics from 2017 on my phone and took great delight in asking folks if they got the early morning pics before the captain had to turn around. Of course we had not gotten anywhere near the glacier. But the looks I got ...... Until I had them check the date on the pics. Cruising is fun.. We are looking at Mardi Gras on the Reflection. Late Feb
 

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
@BSeabob , You have to try out a Viking Cruise if you go with Adults. I think you would enjoy it.
There is no doubt that we would John. Just can't handle the spendy fare though. The US dollar is not being kind to us right now and Viking is up a notch or two on the budget.
 

Top