Cruise itinery not completed
This was our 1st cruise. What an awesome cruise. There is nothing we could reports as a bad experience. The food was delicious. The bed very firm but comfy, the staff all amazing and helpful and the entertainment fantastic.
However, due to the unfortunate incident on White Island the captain didn't complete the itinerary onto Dunedin and Milford sounds. Which was disappointing for the 4000 + passengers who were looking forward to this. $350 credit was not a sufficient reimbursement.
Loyal to Royal but not all is sunshine and lollipops
19 Night Tanspacific 30 Sep - 20 Nov 19
Sailed onboard this beautiful ship before and was looking forward to this trip and I look forward to my next trip on her whenever that may be.
Let’s start with the bad and not so good then end with the good.
Being a person with a vision impairment I organised assistance to board the prior to sailing just to help navigate the boarding process however the Honolulu agent had no info of thus and failed to assist me lucky I was the only person boarding at the time and breezed through.
My room steward certa...inly was far below the standard I have to expect from RCL, it took him days to remove dirty dishes even with placing them in a neat stack. The room wasn’t cleaned the best, desk had glass stains on it and ice bucket/rubbish bin was a mess, these were easily clean with disinfectant wipes so simple things being missed. The dining room menu was a total mismatch every night, not common theme which is a change that I don’t like one bit.
Exceptional cruise but issues with refunds
So much about this cruise was positive. Our aim was to take a family holiday and unwind and it ticked those boxes.
- staff at all levels were warm and welcoming
- excellent hygiene
- Great on board entertainment
- great variety of food choices
- we bought the dining package on board - winderland and chops grille were great and catered for kids at $15-20 aud per child
- shore experiences were expensive so we researched stuff ourselves and booked independent providers
- spa services are pricey and couldn’t justify $3aud/minute treatment!!!
- ports were just “ok”- but that’s personal taste! Mystery island the highlight...
A 12 day cruise of a lifetime (was a waste of money) We did not go to Duneden or cruise fiords. Volcano eruption, sad as it is, destroyed the cruise for the survivors. The information given and reasons why were subpar. Customer service personnel wouldn't give us wifi to contact family. Refunds for an incomplete cruise are a no go. Everything is geared for Americans. No Australian TV, no cricket, bad coffee, lackluster service, rude customer service, touting for services and tips. No counselling offered, the list goes on and on.
So Many Negative Experiences
We sailed on Ovation of the Seas in November 2019 and whilst the ship is impressive, the overall experience that Royal Caribbean provides is so very disappointing.
We knew that our young son was too young for kids club before going and we were fine with that - we wanted a holiday where he would be with us. BUT nowhere in any paperwork prior to boarding did it say that he would not be allowed in any of the pools because he's not toilet trained. Not even swimmer nappies were allowed. He so badly wanted me to take him in the water and I couldn't...because they would not let him in anywhere. It was heartbreaking. Because of that, there was literally nothing for him to do on board apart from run around the ship. Post-cruise the most disappointing thing is the fact that we paid Royal Caribbeans absolutely ridiculous prices for photos, only because they managed to get some very spontaneous, amazing shots of our son. BUT after paying around $249 Australian dollars for 10 photos - that's right, only 10 - they didn't send us the link to them as they said they would 4-7 days after the cruise ended. It took a couple of weeks of back and forth emailing to get them to find the link for us so that we could download the photos. AND THEN once we downloaded them, I noticed that they are only supplied in extremely compressed files sizes. Most were about 500kb in size which means if we even tried to blow them up any bigger than a normal size photo in an album they would look terrible and blurry. For $249 AUD Royal Caribbean really skimp on the end product. So far I've been on P&O and Carnival and I'm very surprised to say that I'd pick them over Royal Caribbean in the future. Yes, I know RC own Carnival but the experiences on board are vastly different in my opinon and RC really is no where near worth the extra money you pay. TLDR; Royal Caribbean are terrible for kids and their overpriced photos are not worth buying because the file sizes they deliver electronically are way too small to blow up to hang on a wall for example.
Definitely not a Family ship nor a Friendly ship
If you are looking for a family cruise than this ship is not the one for kids under 6 or less than 42 inches. I booked on the Ovation based on the activities they had to offer the kids. On arrival my 3 1/2 year old was not allowed on the little kids water slides because he was not 42inches high. He was not allowed on the Bumper Cars because he was not 5 did not matter how tall he was it was based purely on age and they checked yet none of these restrictions were advertised prior to booking we only found out once we were onboard. My 13 year old ...went to at least half a dozen things they had scheduled for teens only to find no one there. So this left them the pool or Hot tub. There were 2 pools one of which was closed most of the time due to rough seas. So this left 1 pool with a max capacity of 21 people and there was 4500 passengers on board. There was than 4 Hot tubs available for under 16 years each with a maximum capacity of 9. The food was all very Asian and spicey and the menu barely changed from day to day over the 9 night cruise. Food was never overly hot, the hot water for tea and coffee was mostly only luke warm and drinks would run out and no one seemed concerned with replenishing them and had it not been for the ice added to your cold drinks they would have been hot. If you are a coffee lover make sure you pack your own the coffee onboard was terrible. Due to the ship operating in US dollars once you converted to Australian $ we were paying nearly AU$11 for a beer and nearly AU$14 for a Baileys and milk. Organisation and communication of disembarking on shore days and on departure was a joke with them advising you to meet in one place and than once that area is full telling you to move to another part of the ship. With the exception of our Stateroom attendant and a handful of wait staff I did not find the staff very friendly or helpful. Overall It was a very disappointing trip I thought I had paid for everything upfront with exception of drinks yet it seems they wanted money out of you for most things. Turned in to a very expensive trip for 9 and one I would never repeat.
Sent query to their site, never heard from them … frustrating customer service attitude ...
Sent query to their site, never heard from them … frustrating customer service attitude …
you can do any bookings at their site, not to mention frequently down website, could have flown to the moon by those time spent ….
Not worth all the hype
Very poor loading and disembarking of the ship was a joke. Our cups didn’t arrive for our drinks package and what was given to use couldn’t be used at the drink station only at the bars which was always packed bar attendants would rather serve alcohol than soft drink. One of our suitcases was lost when disembarking and 3 people from royal looked for 40 minutes was told to fill a lost form in as when they find it they would send it to me after 3 weeks our luggage was returned with a charge of $620 after many complaints and phone calls,emails to ...different departments because they don’t communicate with each other I have finally got a refund of my $620. This was our first cruise and we were lead to believe it was one of the best it isn’t don’t expect to much.
Don’t be fooled by their early bird sales!!!
My family and I (parents and siblings) booked to go on Ovation of the sea in Jan 2020 and they had a sale happening at the time. I was trying to book an interior room as it was the cheaper option and what my budget was however I couldn’t and I called Royal Caribbean customer service and I was told all the interior rooms were sold out! We were led to believe that we were getting a bargain and since all the interior rooms were sold out they were giving us a free upgrade to a balcony room. I ended up booking a room which cost me $5200 and now afte...r 2 months I suddenly see Royal Caribbean advertising their interior rooms for the same ship! I’m so so disappointed at the fact that we were lied to and we were led to believe there were no interior rooms available only for Royal Caribbean to get rid of their more expensive rooms first and now suddenly they have interior rooms available. I called their customer service and they said i would lose my $800 deposit if I decide to change my reservation. Absolutely disgusting! We will never travel with you guys again and will be canceling our trip. We would rather pay $800 and save $4400 than be your guest.
Great ferry trip from hawaai to vancover
We were supposed to have four stops in hawaai and two in canada on a eleven day trip We had one stop in maui and one in Vancouver not what we expected. apparently they did not have clearance for the ship to sail in Hawaiian waters so two days lost and only able to navigate lion gate bridge in. Thirty five minute slot so all ports curtailed to accommodate. If you want to fly 9700 miles to catch a five star ferry this is the cruise fir you. But disregard the brochure it is all lies. But all due to operational considerations. Good job royal carribean. Never again will i waste my money after twenty cruises with them time to move on
Big Ship, Lots Of People, But We Always Found Space
So many reviews from people whinging about the number of passengers on the Ovation. It's a big ship folks and you knew that there were nearly 4999 other people on the boat before booking FGS. OK will we book again on a ship the size of the Ovation? No. But that's our choice based on what we like at our age. The Radiance to Voyager of the Seas is more our ship size & activities. (deck parties etc) Is the Ovation a good, happy ship? - Yep. Lots to do if Rock Climbing and dogem cars & sky diving, flow rider etc is your thing. We still found ...deck chairs in great spots pool side and the staff as usual were fantastic. Stewards, Waiters and bar staff remembered us and our names with a smile on their face and if you take the time to talk to them, they are really well trained in their jobs and customer service. Entertainment was top shelf from the piano man to the glitzy stage shows. Food in all restaurants including the Windjammer Buffet was great. Our cabin, deck 12 balcony mid ship was bigger than expected. Don't get hung up about the sell sell attitude of the crew on deck 4 & 5. That's their job, happens on every cruise we've been on and all you need to do is say No if you don't want to but something. Nice modern ship with super good affordable wifi.
Major change in Itinerary on 16 day cruise with minimal compensation by Royal Caribbean.
Booked 16 day cruise Sydney to Hawaii with stop overs in Tahiti and Lahaina and Maui only to be advised after we paid that the Lahaina and Maui stopovers have been cancelled and the ship sails directly from Tahiti to Honolulu thus missing out on a highlight of the cruise meaning that we spend 13 days out of the 16 staring at the ocean! Royal Caribbean are offering one day cruise fare refund as compensation WOW! We had asked for at least a flight back to Maui and one of the shore excursions only to be refused by RC - I will never cruise with R...oyal Carribean again particularly in light of the abruptness of their so called support staff - it was either lump it or leave it - my suggestion is to look at other cruise lines that in my experience have bent over backwards to ensure customer satisfaction when there have been changes such as this!!!
Enjoyed the NZ cruise, kids club was disappointing
We loved the balcony rooms, large king bed and the design of the room was great, had a lot of closet and shelving space. The toilet was clean and also had a much better layout than other older ships. Room service was very good, cleaned twice a day and always non-intrusive. Pillows were not comfortable that’s probably our only complaint.
The ship is only a couple years old, everything is new and feels clean. With close to 5000 people on the ship it is not an easy job to maintain. We are very happy with the presentation of most areas. The poo...ls are small but kept clean. The kids loved all of the pool areas, including the water play area and spa. The indoor pool was great and it opens till quite late at night. I also liked the warm adult only solarium. The main restaurants were good, we liked the decor, and service was good most of the time. We enjoyed the variety and views at the buffet more, my 3 year old son got to try lots of new foods there. Desert selections are great too. Most activities require booking early on, so make sure you do that as soon as you get onboard or do it even before that online. We did manage to try most of them at least once. Some of the shows were very entertaining, loved ‘live. love, legs’.
10 Days of My Life Lost
This was out first cruise (and last), Sydney to NZ 12th to 22nd Dec 2018. In short all the prior negative reviews accurately reflect our experience.
This was not a holiday push and shove against 5000 other people for 10 days was awful. The staff are cheep and employed under duress (6 month contract onboard) hence the substandard service and attitude from every department. The Royal Caribbean sole intention is to extract $$ from customers, I don't go on holiday to get fleeced.
Royal Caribbean market cruising as upmarket experience, the clie...
What a waste
Staff - great, organisation, good, food - excellent, things to do- poor. For a new ship this is an example of poor design and management. 2 small pools to service 4000 people, they are just square holes in the deck, are the only pools for children with ladder access only and no shallow portion so poor swimmers and little ones beware. Kids water park is designed for toddler size but only larger kids are allowed to use, the most I saw was 4 children using it for a couple of slides then got bored and left. Main features, sky lift 5 min and iFly sk...y diving simulator 1 min is all you get for length of cruse, unless you wait in line and hope someone doesn’t show for their booking. Roller skating and bump cars ran for 1 hour each on alternating nights and you could only go on for 15 min. Rest of voyage the arena wasn’t used, frustrating. Wave rider was good , but when line became long they split the area so riders couldn’t go sideways, just sit on the board and do nothing. Would not recommend for kids under 5 as absolutely nothing for them to do, only activities our daughter was allowed was pool and iFly...go figure. Cruise for old people who want to buy jewellery from the approx 12 jewellery shops, there are no other other shops except 1 x gift store, every thing else is restaurants and bars, bad luck if you finish your book early!
NZ Cruise for Xmas/New Year (2018/19) was great
Booked online using RCI website, way back in May for this Dec 22 cruise (12 nights). No problem with booking and was pleased with the payment by installments options. It's a peak season cruise so prices were a little higher, but we accepted that. Even 7 months in advance, there were only a dozen or so balcony staterooms to choose from. We ended up grabbing #554 on deck 10. Didn't bother with drinks packages because we simply wouldn't be able to drink that much value per day. But we did get the 15 espresso coffee pre-purchase card for aroun...d $40 each. Also pre-booked the Bottomless Bubbly Brunch galley tour (highly recommended, but more on that later). Finally the day arrived, we'd chosen a boarding time of 12:30pm so we could grab some free lunch, but ended up arriving about 11am and they were happy to accept us regardless. Dropped our bags in and then check in was very quick, but the snaking queue to pass through Customs was dragged out to 20 mins or so. We were told our sea pass card would be in our room and that our bags should be there by 5pm. We were welcomed on board and had free reign. We thought we'd find our room, but there was a sign on the corridor saying rooms would be ready at 1pm. So we went away to explore. Jumping up to 14 we found the pool deck which was spotless - you'd never tell another group of 4700 passengers just got off a few hours before. So many different types of pools to choose from. Then we found the Solarium restaurant at the front and wandered to the other end where we found the Windjammer bistro. Yes, it's a giant Sizzler, but there is a crazy amount of choice, so we stopped for lunch as soon as it opened. The food was fresh and plentiful. Next, we headed down to decks 4 and 5 which are the public spaces including theatres, shops, diners, bars and guest services. Such a wide variety of decor, artworks and lounges. Finally, 1pm arrived and we headed to our room to see if they were punctual. The room was ready and our four bags were waiting outside the door. One sea pass was sitting outside the door and the second on the bed inside. The room is spacious and well appointed and clean! And the king bed was very comfortable. We unpacked a few things then our holiday began. I can honestly say in the 12 night trip, i was unable to find a single staff member who was not pleasant, helpful and visibly enjoying what they do. And with 1700 staff on the ship, you'd think there'd be a noticeable percentage. From start to finish, every staff member we interacted with showed they were there for us. When you have 4700 people on board, there are bound to be some who have a negative experience and want to shout about it from the rooftops (or product review websites), but every passenger we met and spoke to (and there were many) had nothing but praise for their experience throughout the cruise. Food across the ship was excellent quality. Organising 4700 people across multiple food choices where the customers are in control of their desires will always be a challenge. Some venues will be in demand during peak times while others are less crowded. Learning from your daily experiences and adjusting your eating patterns and habits goes a long way to solving your problem. Acting like an entitled git when you are told you will need to wait is not the best solution for anybody.
Less than perfect experience!
As a first-time cruiser I thought my experience was OK and was very eager to try the Ovation of The Seas as my first of many liners to spend my holiday on. The trip to NZ was great, seems there were many things to do on the Ovation, activity wise that is. However, there were many things that were less than perfect, perhaps things that shouldn't have happened. In terms of customer services especially Guest Services of the Ovation needs to work on their attitude. I had an issue where certain funds/credit $100 disappeared from our account, we repo...rted to Guest Services, and they said it doesn't happen, anyways they deny and falsely accused of not telling the truth. I thought the attitude was appalling, I expected better service. Reservations and booking for complimentary restaurants on the Ovation was ridiculous. Multiple times you turn up to eat, only to be pushed away, rudely I may add, to wait more than 1 hour to get a table. Food was good, however it lacked flavor on multiple occasions, I've had better. I thought there should be more restaurants complimentary. Prices were insane, especially the ordering for beer, wine and spirits, the price was not right. Accommodation was good, had the stupid life boat blocking my view, but it was OK. Room services was excellent, they do great work! Overall, the experience was good, a lot still that needs work, especially Guest/customer services from restaurants and other on-board attendants. Would I travel with Royal Caribbean again? Maybe in the future, but not any time soon. For the price I payed though, it still left me desiring at bit more from Royal Caribbean. I will probably choose a different company/liner next time.
- Verified customer
Rude, Lies, Poor Customer Service - Do not book
As a first time cruiser I have been super eager to travel on the ovation of the seas. I found out about the ship during its build process and instantly fell in love! I have been waiting for it to come back to Australia as I missed out the first time and was really looking forward to boarding.
Now I'm sure the ship is great although I can not say the same for the most arrogant and condescending staff members I have had to deal with pre-cruise. My partner and I payed $9,998.00 to travel over the Christmas break and since the very first day it ...has been a nightmare communicating with their representatives over the phone and via email. At the time of booking we were not told that the complimentary activities had already been booked out online or that we could only be scheduled in for an 8pm dinner every night because as a first time cruiser it was expected that I already know the "first in best dress" rule (unless we want to pay out of pocket at a specialty restaurant). I have had another consultant yell at me, sigh and misinform me over the phone when I have tried to seek some advice on whats included in my ticket because the email was a little confusing. This consultant couldn't be bothered logging in and checking what was and wasn't included in my ticket - mind you when he did eventually log in he immediately tried to correct himself as he realised that he had been wrong the whole time he was yelling at me. What is more frustrating is that when I had tried to provide this feedback via email discreetly I had been told in a round about way that I was a liar and that no such call/ interaction exists on their database (funny how they have record of every other single call I have made to them but not this one). At this point all I wanted was a phone call with a simple apology and to be connected to someone who I could trust would provide me the correct information and helpful tips that I may not have considered before travelling. I had requested a call back 6 times (I have evidence of all 6 requests) and not once did someone pick up the phone and call me. Instead I had to keep waiting 48-72 hours for a generic response via email. At one point I had to wait over a week to get a response. After numerous emails and no acknowledgment of the rude staff members wrong doing I decided to run a report off my work system to prove that such call was made. At the same time I've had to contact my phone provider to retrieve the data on all calls I had made to their phone line just so that I could prove to them that I did place a call and did have a really bad experience in that interaction. I even tried to speak to a technician at apple to recover my previous phone logs as I was part way though my billing cycle at the time. I dont believe that it is fair that I have had to go through all this stress and have spent every single day since November 29th trying to prove that I have been mistreated by a staff member. To date I still have not received a phone call from a staff member.
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Questions & Answers
Going on the ovation of the seas on the 5th Jan is it best to pay for my drink package before or pay on board the ship can you tell me the cost and how do I pay for it
Leaving Sydney on 23 Nov for 12 night trip. Do I buy drinks package at $82 per day?? I do enjoy a drink!
What are the Australian prices per drink onboard? Would love some advice please.
If you buy it onboard on the first day they usually give you a buy one get 50% off it was costing us. The prices on board are all US$ so depending on the $ what it will cost you my cocktails were US$14 that was about AU$19. They are theives so your best bet if you like more than 5 drinks a day buy the package
I sent an email to them a week ago about our dining reservation, still did not hear from them. Not impressed. Bought a 3-meal plan but cannot do reservation and Neither for My Time dining. I think it is rediculous. Try to ring but getting nowhere. Bad, bad customet service.
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