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m3owbox

Second Guessing Ovation

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We put down a non refundable deposit for an Alaskan cruise on Ovation next year and after seeing some reviews from its first trip to Alaska I am second guessing it. All the reviews say its crowded and packed everywhere all the time. I worry about getting adult drinks throughout the day and relaxing and talking, but it seems like that's almost impossible? Their "craft beer" selection is nonsense. And reviews of the MDR food are all horrible. Can anyone who has been confirm all this? 

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6 minutes ago, m3owbox said:

We put down a non refundable deposit for an Alaskan cruise on Ovation next year and after seeing some reviews from its first trip to Alaska I am second guessing it. All the reviews say its crowded and packed everywhere all the time. I worry about getting adult drinks throughout the day and relaxing and talking, but it seems like that's almost impossible? Their "craft beer" selection is nonsense. And reviews of the MDR food are all horrible. Can anyone who has been confirm all this? 

I didn’t get that impression at all from readingbHoopsters review.  I remember him stating that it just reinforced that his favourite ship was Quantum class.

yes certain Venus can be crowded at times like on all ships however you can always find quiet places to relax.

 

I do remember comments about the MDR food though but we haven’t eaten in the MDR for our last 6 or 7 cruises.  They did say that the WJ was one of the best.

 

Craft  beer selection is poor on any Royal ship.

Edited by Ourusualbeach

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1 hour ago, m3owbox said:

All the reviews say its crowded and packed everywhere all the time. I worry about getting adult drinks throughout the day and relaxing and talking, but it seems like that's almost impossible? Their "craft beer" selection is nonsense. And reviews of the MDR food are all horrible. Can anyone who has been confirm all this? 

I can confirm the MDR food is not horrible, the beer selection may be lacking for a beer aficionado, I had no trouble getting drinks nor relaxing and I didn’t find the ship crowded.  

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11 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

I can confirm the MDR food is not horrible, the beer selection may be lacking for a beer aficionado, I had no trouble getting drinks nor relaxing and I didn’t find the ship crowded.  

Did you have a favorite bar?

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I had somewhat the opposite experience than Hoopster95. I ate in MTD dinner 4 nites and two lunches.

I liked what I had, it was hot, or cold as it should be, service was excellent except 1 lunch. The Host remembered my preferences or wrote them down and told seaters each time so I didn't have to repeat myself. 

 

The MDR decor is modern, white and chrome, the anytime dining room is crushed red velvet seats, traditional styling.

 

One nite I asked what the catch of the day was and it was fish and chips so that was  a minus to me, I was hoping for grilled something.

 

I think our sailing had food from when they left Australia or Hawaii so there wasn't much North Pacific fish like Salom, king crab the nights I was there. Last year on EOS there was a lot of variety and more salmon and halibut and I think trout 1 night.

 

On EOS I didn't eat in the dining rooms and ate in WJ. I had an excellent experience in WJ last year; waiters remembered me, sat me where I liked, asked if I wanted the same drinks as the time before.

 

So my expectations for WJ were high. I had cold coffee two mornings, the first morning it took me awhile to discover scrambled eggs in the "International" section.

 

Lots of people had different negative experiences in both venues from talking on excursions.

 

Overall the sailing was great, the crew was great, the boat did not seem crowded to me, it looked like there were always lounges at the pools and solarium. There are  some things Royal can improve but my overall experience was great. I wish they would do this 11 day again, its a great combination of ports, glaciers and sea time. I really enjoyed Wonderland, Jamies and Chops although Chops messed up our orders and billing and some of the sides were cold. There were 6-8 of us from CC and we ordered one of everything and split it generally which really allowed us to have a little of everything.

Thanks to @Hoopster95 for arraigning this, it was a great time.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

I didn’t get that impression at all from readingbHoopsters review.  I remember him stating that it just reinforced that his favourite ship was Quantum class.

yes certain Venus can be crowded at times like on all ships however you can always find quiet places to relax.

 

I do remember comments about the MDR food though but we haven’t eaten in the MDR for our last 6 or 7 cruises.  They did say that the WJ was one of the best.

 

Craft  beer selection is poor on any Royal ship.

Well said, agree. though many will have good and bad things say about Main Dining the WJ food has improved 100% in selection, taste and presentation...

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3 hours ago, m3owbox said:

Did you have a favorite bar?

I been on Ovation 5 times and we are booked on her again in February.

But I will confirm a lot of the bad rumours.

We did a test one night between the MDR and Windjammer.The food was the same but was fresher in the buffet,with more choices.

Windjammers can get very busy and quite unpleasant with the pushy people.

But after learning a few tricks ,we will be on her again.theres a lot of good points.  Boleros  or 270 is my favourite bar.

 

Edited by Chiliburn

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3 hours ago, m3owbox said:

Did you have a favorite bar?

No, anyone of them will do. 

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I just got off yesterday, had no trouble getting drinks anywhere. Favorite bars were Music Hall upstairs, Boleros, and Pool bar. Had very little craft beer , but they did have Alaskan Amber, Icy Bay IPA, and Freeride. I enjoyed dinner at main dinning room 9 of 11 nights and had no complaints. 

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I guess the key is if they make a mistake or you get something not to your liking send it back, or ask them to change. They constantly are asking if everything is okay, its not polite conversation, they really want to know.

 

 

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We also just did the 11 night Alaska cruise on the Ovation and had a wonderful time!  I would not hesitate to sail her again.   Food is subjective and we are not foodies, but we never left a food venue hungry.  I enjoyed all of my meals.  We had the BOGO package, so we ate the first night in Jamie's and the second in Wonderland.  One lunch in Chops, which was very good.  One night in the Solarium Bistro, which has a Mediterranean theme at dinner.  I love the Greek style food, so it was good for me. I don't think it was good for everyone in our party of 8, though.  We only had one dinner in Windjammer and it was ok.  Nothing amazing for me that night.  But, I didn't leave hungry.  We had dinner the other nights in MTD.  It was always good.   A couple of nights when we arrived they told us that we would have to wait for a table of 5, but they somehow managed to always seat us within 5 minutes.  

 

Lunches were usually light.  We had Sorrentos's pizza (I liked the artichoke salad along with a slice or two of pizza).  Twice we just had a hot dog.  We were disappointed at first that they didn't offer the Tutti Salad in the MDR.  it had never before been offered on this ship as it is not popular in Asia.  However, they did figure it out after many requests and offered it the last three days of our sailing and told us that it would be standard on sea days from then on.  I think from the lines that it was a hit!

 

Our cabin was forward so we usually went to the Solarium Bistro for the small buffet there.  It had an egg station where I could get a fresh omelet.  Never crowded.  We discovered the Two70 Cafe for a light breakfast late in the cruise and wish we had found it earlier.  On early port days we usually like the Continental Breakfast room service.  My oatmeal usually arrived cold ,so that was disappointing.  But, the other offerings did the trick and got us off on our excursions with full bellies.

 

The ship felt quite crowded on the first day, but then everyone found their spots and it seldom felt crowded after that.  The biggest negatives are the slow elevators.  That never improved.  If you can take the stairs a few flights you are better off, and my DH did that quite a bit.  But my arthritis won't allow it, so I had to wait.  

 

I can't comment on the bars as we don't drink much.  The Diamond Lounge evening cocktail was good for me.  One glass of wine or a rum punch was all I can do and my DH will only have an occasional glass of wine.  I like the atmosphere of the Schooner Bar on most ships and this one was no exception.  It is very relaxing to me to enjoy the piano player at night, although we had so much to do we didn't make it there most nights!

 

The ports on our 11 night itinerary were amazing.  4 ports and 2 glacier days.  On our glacier days we would usually begin them on our balcony as they were early, breakfast in the Solarium to have coffee with a view, then go up to the Sports Deck and finally end up in Two70 for the amazing views from there.  Make sure you make it out to the wings from Two70 on glacier days!  It is the perfect ship for viewing Alaska when the scenery is available to view.  

 

The biggest disappointment is that this ship is just too large to go through the BC Inside Passage, so our 4 days at sea were truly at sea.  No beautiful scenery floating by.  For that reason alone I would choose my next cruise to Alaska on another ship.  For our 11 night itinerary it was great.  For 7 nights, if seeing Alaska is your priority, I would not recommend the itinerary.  Only two ports and 1 glacier day without the Inside Passage I think you are missing too much.  The exception would be for those who have already seen Alaska and want to experience this class of ship close to home and in a beautiful setting.  This ship, with it's multiple enclosed viewing areas, would be perfect for routine round trip Seattle longer cruises like the one we had with an obligatory port stop in Victoria.  I think if it were offered later in the season it would sell well.  Princess does r/t to Hawaii 15 nights on a regular basis.  RCI could find a niche in Alaska with this wonderful ship!

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Edited by Sunny AZ Girl

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