Royal Caribbean describes its Ovation of the Seas as a game changer – and after staying onobard overnight, we can’t argue with that. As a cruise line that strives for innovation, Royal Caribbean has out done themselves again with several first-at-sea additions, which add to the overall experience.
Ground-breaking onboard activities include the North Star, offering 360 degree views more than 300 feet above the ocean - perfect for those cities that deserve the best view possible. Another innovative feature is the first indoor skydiving experience at sea, the RipCord by iFLY. Complete the disclaimer and safety demonstration, and you too can defy gravity. Situated on a raised platform on the top deck, there is nothing to obstruct your view of the ocean as you fly freely. Another favourite is the Sea-Plex - the largest indoor sports and entertainment arena at sea. This plays host to several fantastic areas including the Doghouse, for quick and tasty hotdogs, carnival style dodgems, a circus school, and brilliant roller disco, which is great fun if you’re good at it, and even better when you aren’t! Another brilliant feature for first time surfers, why not try Flowrider - Royal Caribbean’s very own wave simulator, for a constant perfect wave.
A must-visit is the Bionic Bar. Here, you can order your drinks on a tablet, and watch in awe as a robot makes your beverage for you. There are also some other superb bars onboard - we particularly enjoyed Boleros, where you can sing your heart out at the Karaoke, and the Music Hall where you can dance the night away.
If you're not the type to give skydiving a go, and would prefer not to try your hand at surfing, there are also plenty of more relaxed entertainment options onboard. There are some superb theatrical shows, such as The Dream, a beautiful and emotive tale of love, and the impressive Live. Love. Legs. which showcases some incredible talent in the form of singers, dancers, and acrobats. Alternatively, various live music performances can be found all over the ship. Sip your cocktail by the pool while listening to the beat of the authentic steel pan band, sit back and enjoy the soft music in the piano bar, or, you could also have a chance meeting with the Stowaway Piano - a resident performer who can show up all over the ship!
There is a fantastic range of choice when it comes to dining onboard Ovation of the Seas. One popular option was Silk, a stylish venue which serves Far Eastern cuisine. Menu options include crabcakes, chicken liver pate, filet mignon with dauphinoise potatoes, mushroom risotto, and baked Alaska.
There are some stunning suites and staterooms onboard the ship, to suit every need and every budget. On our overnight trip, we stayed in a balcony stateroom which was a pleasure, and had plenty of opportunity to relax with a sofa and table with two chairs on the balcony. For those travelling with children, the balcony doors have child safety locks - for peace of mind when considering a balcony stateroom. It is also worth noting that Ovation of the Seas boasts interconnected family staterooms, which have shared and private areas.
Royal Caribbean are rightly proud of the level of service they provide. Each and every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful, right from the welcoming staff when we first arrived onboard, to the waiting staff in the restaurants. There was always someone on hand to make sure everything was okay, and they were quick to spot when you might want your drink topping up. The ship itself is very aesthetically pleasing, and it's clear that all aspects have been carefully considered - down to the smallest details. Finally, in general the free Wifi is of a good standard across the ship – so making everyone back home envious of how much fun you’re having shouldn’t be a problem…
Top tips when planning a cruise on Ovation of the Seas:
- Make sure to bring your European travel adapter.
- Check in online for quicker boarding times.
- Be sure to thoroughly research what is included and what isn't- so that you can plan toiletries etc accordingly.
You can find the best deals and further information on Ovation of the Seas here.