Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Ovation of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families looking for non-stop action
Sails: Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific
At a Glance: Launched in 2016, the newest Quantum Class ship is the first Royal Caribbean vessel built expressly for the Chinese market. Americans looking for an itinerary in southeast Asia or Oceania can expect the same tech-centric entertainment options and over-the-top activities list they’d find on her sister ships.
The Cabins Are Roomy
Like its sister ships, Ovation of the Seas puts an emphasis on ocean views. Of the 2,091 staterooms onboard, 1,572 have balconies. And the 375 interior cabins all come with a “virtual balcony,” a floor-to-ceiling HD screen that creates the illusion of a veranda overlooking the sea. Cabins are laid out to maximize space, and sizes range from 101 square feet for a Studio, or solo cabin, to the 1,640-square-foot two-deck Royal Loft Suite, which has three balconies, two of which have a hot tub. There are also a number of family cabins, some with pullout couches and others with two bedrooms. The Family Connected Junior Suites—three different staterooms of different sizes that connect through one vestibule—are ideal for larger families and multigenerational groups. They sleep up to 10 and have connecting balconies.
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Quantum Class ships are known for their gadgets and Ovation of the Seas is no exception. At the Bionic Bar, robot arms mix up cocktails for passengers, who order their pick via tablet. And at Two70, a multi-story café and observation room that transforms into a high-tech theater at night, there are six dancing Roboscreens, HD screens that spin and interact with the performers in Spectra’s Cabaret, a multimedia music and dance show. As for those 270-degree windows? They act as huge super-HD screens, serving as a digital backdrop for the performance.
The Activities List Is Epic
Forget reading a book by the pool: This ship is too activity packed for passengers to sit around for long. Start at SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, which has bumper cars, rollerskating, basketball, and even a circus school. Outside, there’s a rock-climbing wall and a FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surf simulator. If you’re feeling brave, try RipCord iFly, the ship’s skydiving simulator, or hop on North Star, a glassed-in capsule with 360-degree views that takes passengers 300 feet above sea level.
Kids Have Plenty to Do
Before parents hit the adults-only Solarium pool, they drop their kids off at Adventure Ocean, a massive children’s club that keeps kids 6 months to 11 years old busy with games and activities. Teens can hang out in the game-packed Living Room by day and go dancing at Fuel, the teens-only disco, at night. As for the pools, kids too young for the FlowRider can hit the splash pool at H20 Zone, the children’s water park. Bonus: As part of the Dreamworks Experience, characters like the penguin from Madagascar are on hand for photo ops.
The Restaurant Selection Is Vast
The ship has more than 15 dining options onboard, most of which also appear on the other Quantum Class ships. For lunch, skip the buffet and try one of the other complimentary options. Sorrento’s, for example, has New York-style pizza slices and gluten-free pies; and the Solarium Bistro serves up salads and crepes by the adults-only pool. Passengers with a Grand Suite and higher can try the zucchini paella and caramelized scallops at Coastal Kitchen, a Mediterranean-California restaurant that spotlights fresh, healthy ingredients. For dinner, hit one of the main restaurants or treat yourself at a for-fee specialty restaurant—maybe to a truffle creamy lobster tempura roll at Izumi Japanese Cuisine, a New York strip at Chops Grille steakhouse, or an antipasti “plank” at Jamie’s Italian, helmed by British chef Jamie Oliver. For something more casual, snack on chile chicken wings and peanut butter pie-in-a-jar at James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz’s gastropub, Michael’s Genuine Pub (à la carte). Or take the kids out for beef noodle bowls at the poolside Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop. Curious about molecular gastronomy? Check out the Alice in Wonderland-inspired Wonderland, where out-of-the-box dishes like liquid lobster and tempura caviar are on the menu.