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We are RCI Captains Club members and have cruised many times around the world with RCI and Celebrity ( as well as other companies). We have been staunch advocates of RCI up until now. We were a group of 11 passengers in 5 balcony rooms, gathered together from around the world to celebrate a family milestone. This is not a discount booze cruise, but a mid to upper range luxury ship that can accommodate family groups of various ages. I tried to prebook and organise as much as I could prior to cruising, as we were a large group. Unfortunately, RCI allowed only one show to be booked ( Pixels) and our dining option which I did. I found this surprising as when I made our group cabin bookings, the RCI agent advised me to pre-book the I-Fly, North Star and various other activities. Ovation is a beautiful ship but a ship that is overloaded with too many passengers. RCI has forgotten that it's our holiday and not about their staff. Clearly RCI have failed to train staff in ALL AREAS about guests being made to feel happy and welcome - training now is just hard sell marketing. What a shame !!! There are almost 5000 passengers with very little open space to move. We overheard one passenger comparing it to Mumbai. Everything (dining, entertainment, activities)are akin to standing in lines Disneyland style.Staff are rude, unhappy and untrained and seem to feel the paid passengers are inconveniencing them if they require some service. Most responses are to be as rude or unhelpful as possible - usually there is NOTHING they can do, laugh or jeer at you or make rude comments ( eg. this is a ship, not a boat.)The security staff ( alcohol police)are the worst of all. Food cleanliness is good but quality in the main dining room has definitely deteriorated. Service in the speciality restaurants is better but food quality and offer is no better than the dining rooms. Our cruise documentation specifically allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom for use in your cabin. We packed these in our luggage. At 7.30pm, after the ship had departed we still had no luggage, no notification where our luggage might be and staff very unhelpful. Eventually we worked out that our luggage had been DETAINED by security ( actually alcohol police - not really concerned with security). No apologies, just rude and arrogant jeering by staff at passengers and clearly 100's of other passengers also didn't have their bags as there were 100's of bags there. Seems RCI policy is to see how many passengers they can inconvenience by not giving clear instructions about how they wish this alcohol to be brought on board. Really seems, they will allow you to bring wine, but punish you if you do. In our cabin we were 2 adults and 1 teenager. We received 1 piece of soap and no other amenities. For $600 a night, you might expect at least 1 soap per person and toilet paper that is so thin it has holes in it. After chatting to the room attendant we were told this is the standard and nothing else was available. After clearly stating my dissatisfaction, 2 more soaps and 2 shampoos and conditioners magically arrived. However, this was a one off for us, 3 other staterooms did NOT receive any and had to' steal' a couple of extra soaps off the trolley. The cabins were well attended and towels changed twice daily but the towels are so small my daughter who is 5ft tall and weighs 40kgs could barely get it around her. the rest of us ( who are not large people just about managed) Whatever I had booked turned out to be a fiasco. I had an e.mail confirmation from RCI that we had a table together at 8pm main dining for our party of 11. However, I booked 4 staterooms and our friends had made their own booking, so the email was clearly overlooked and when we got to dinner ( after eventually getting our luggage), there was only a table for 9, ( in the kitchen doorway - after booking many months in advance and advising RCI of the special occasion)Of course there was NOTHING that could be done to fix the problem. After making a seen for some time, miraculously a table was found to accommodate us. As soon as we boarded, after much misinformation and running around the ship, I booked the I-Fly for our group of 10. Although not able to book prior to boarding, the Northstar was fully booked and the I Fly only had a few spots on port day in Hobart, one of which I believed I had booked for my party of 10. After being told by the box office attendant to find an ipad on the ship to book this activity, I suggested to him that he could do it for me ( he is the box office attendant - it's his job)as we were a party of 10. Of course he said it was done, didn't need any of the other cabin numbers and of course when we went to the ifly on port day it was another fiasco and only 3 spaces had been booked. The staff also not too keen to help out but after some more ranting from my part managed to find us some spots. Almost none of the sessions we viewed were full but no effort is made to be helpful and some in our group did not get to go. It seems the ifly team and surf team spend more time "playing" themselves than the guests get to go. And don't even bother with roller blading unless you have hours to stand in line. No information is given about booking any of these activities, so sure most people miss out. The entertainment is really below par. Live music is minimal and even the 'prizes' for games are pathetic. They even ran out of pens ( regular pens, not even branded) to give away. Not even a free drink for game winners, Even the staff ( who are not fun or entertaining) were embarrassed. This was so disappointing and our family party was clearly impacted by all the many issues that took away from our holiday spirit. There is no fun VIBE on this ship and it is NOT value for money. I doubt any in our party ( who are all Captains Club members) will ever cruise RCI again. Tripadvisor - Travelover501011

Overcrowded and untrained staff -Welcome to the new cost cutting RCI -No holiday

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Review by Travelover501011

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are RCI Captains Club members and have cruised many times around the world with RCI and Celebrity ( as well as other companies). We have been staunch advocates of RCI up until now. We were a group of 11 passengers in 5 balcony rooms, gathered together from around the world to celebrate a family milestone. This is not a discount booze cruise, but a mid to upper range luxury ship that can accommodate family groups of various ages. I tried to prebook and organise as much as I could prior to cruising, as we were a large group. Unfortunately, RCI allowed only one show to be booked ( Pixels) and our dining option which I did. I found this surprising as when I made our group cabin bookings, the RCI agent advised me to pre-book the I-Fly, North Star and various other activities. Ovation is a beautiful ship but a ship that is overloaded with too many passengers. RCI has forgotten that it's our holiday and not about their staff. Clearly RCI have failed to train staff in ALL AREAS about guests being made to feel happy and welcome - training now is just hard sell marketing. What a shame !!!

There are almost 5000 passengers with very little open space to move. We overheard one passenger comparing it to Mumbai. Everything (dining, entertainment, activities)are akin to standing in lines Disneyland style.Staff are rude, unhappy and untrained and seem to feel the paid passengers are inconveniencing them if they require some service. Most responses are to be as rude or unhelpful as possible - usually there is NOTHING they can do, laugh or jeer at you or make rude comments ( eg. this is a ship, not a boat.)The security staff ( alcohol police)are the worst of all. Food cleanliness is good but quality in the main dining room has definitely deteriorated. Service in the speciality restaurants is better but food quality and offer is no better than the dining rooms.

Our cruise documentation specifically allow 2 bottles of wine per stateroom for use in your cabin. We packed these in our luggage. At 7.30pm, after the ship had departed we still had no luggage, no notification where our luggage might be and staff very unhelpful. Eventually we worked out that our luggage had been DETAINED by security ( actually alcohol police - not really concerned with security). No apologies, just rude and arrogant jeering by staff at passengers and clearly 100's of other passengers also didn't have their bags as there were 100's of bags there. Seems RCI policy is to see how many passengers they can inconvenience by not giving clear instructions about how they wish this alcohol to be brought on board. Really seems, they will allow you to bring wine, but punish you if you do.

In our cabin we were 2 adults and 1 teenager. We received 1 piece of soap and no other amenities. For $600 a night, you might expect at least 1 soap per person and toilet paper that is so thin it has holes in it. After chatting to the room attendant we were told this is the standard and nothing else was available. After clearly stating my dissatisfaction, 2 more soaps and 2 shampoos and conditioners magically arrived. However, this was a one off for us, 3 other staterooms did NOT receive any and had to' steal' a couple of extra soaps off the trolley. The cabins were well attended and towels changed twice daily but the towels are so small my daughter who is 5ft tall and weighs 40kgs could barely get it around her. the rest of us ( who are not large people just about managed)

Whatever I had booked turned out to be a fiasco. I had an e.mail confirmation from RCI that we had a table together at 8pm main dining for our party of 11. However, I booked 4 staterooms and our friends had made their own booking, so the email was clearly overlooked and when we got to dinner ( after eventually getting our luggage), there was only a table for 9, ( in the kitchen doorway - after booking many months in advance and advising RCI of the special occasion)Of course there was NOTHING that could be done to fix the problem. After making a seen for some time, miraculously a table was found to accommodate us.

As soon as we boarded, after much misinformation and running around the ship, I booked the I-Fly for our group of 10. Although not able to book prior to boarding, the Northstar was fully booked and the I Fly only had a few spots on port day in Hobart, one of which I believed I had booked for my party of 10. After being told by the box office attendant to find an ipad on the ship to book this activity, I suggested to him that he could do it for me ( he is the box office attendant - it's his job)as we were a party of 10. Of course he said it was done, didn't need any of the other cabin numbers and of course when we went to the ifly on port day it was another fiasco and only 3 spaces had been booked. The staff also not too keen to help out but after some more ranting from my part managed to find us some spots. Almost none of the sessions we viewed were full but no effort is made to be helpful and some in our group did not get to go.

It seems the ifly team and surf team spend more time "playing" themselves than the guests get to go. And don't even bother with roller blading unless you have hours to stand in line. No information is given about booking any of these activities, so sure most people miss out.

The entertainment is really below par. Live music is minimal and even the 'prizes' for games are pathetic. They even ran out of pens ( regular pens, not even branded) to give away. Not even a free drink for game winners, Even the staff ( who are not fun or entertaining) were embarrassed.

This was so disappointing and our family party was clearly impacted by all the many issues that took away from our holiday spirit. There is no fun VIBE on this ship and it is NOT value for money. I doubt any in our party ( who are all Captains Club members) will ever cruise RCI again. Tripadvisor - Travelover501011
Travelover501011’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10542
Size was ok with lots of cupboard space. New and and clean but bed very hard. No amenities in bathroom and towels minute. Well serviced.
  Ovation of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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