We wanted to go Ovation to try it and compare. We have been RCI since 2010 and are Diamond (80 pts) later this year. Maybe. We are Platinum with Princess. We first cruised though in 1970-72.
I think reviews need to have
1) a valid comparison with other ships &
2) whether they write as a family/kids, Teens or older.......... like us.
But what a disappointment...........BUT
We did like the Solarium Bistro (but NO menu change at all means 3 items !!)
Solarium pool under glass with bar.
The rear deck on the (Cafeteria>Windjammer Restaurant.)
Generally, liked the staff.
Food delvery to room @ $8 US is very reasonable.
I'd imagine that kids and family would like the pools, air bubble, wave rider.Dodgem cars.
The usual RCI and outstanding nine piece orchestra and that rare opportunity to listen to a tight band..............thought long gone
What I didn't like............
* The ship is too big.
* The inside Promenade feels 1/3 the size of Explorer/Voyager class.
* Shops feel smaller & most less interesting.
* The pub has no Promenade seating.Its inside the pub.
* Captains Promenade talk/location is not a match (Voyager class & others).
* Smaller rooms maybe designed so that a large ship seems more personal but it fails.
* Two level Music Hall appears under utilised for music.
* This is the first time I've avoided the main dining room. Flat roof and lacking in any personality compared to other ships.
* Entertainment falls short of the high standard usually on other ships but has its moments in the Theatre.
* Drinks (forgetting packages) $8-10 US (say $30A for two people) for wine
Mixed spirits (s Comfort &coke) abt $10 ea
Cocktails- $14US ea = $28Us for two......Say $45Aust for two !!
Sickness on board cruise ships still an issue although the staff try hard.
As expected.....neat modern. Small balcony. Good cabin steward. Nice compact bathroom.
Half obstructed with lifeboat but didn't really annoy us (& given the saving in $$$)
Rather nice 40" Samsung TV
Excellent WI Fi just like home use on my iPad mini. ($15.95US a day -Emerald class)
If you can't survive on kids shows and news you have TWO channels that are doubtful most of the time but has glimmers of hope sometimes. Hopeless really.
Oh yes, you can HIRE movies at a cost. Do I feel that old US style of "Got to make a buck"? (Hey,if you stay in your cabin (even if sick) RCI doesn't make money).
Noumea has often been poorly thought of by visitors but the issue of being linked to France has been started for permanent Overseas Territory and passed the first test. A person looking for change can find some newer shops past the Coconut Palm Square (west of it), and find some reasonably priced French made shoes/clothes. Noticed too, is demolition sites in town, said to be for more shops. At last, a french shopping town and restaurants on our doorstep? The food prices are dear as usual has been the case and I suppose due to costs of import as well as exchange rate to the $A. The rate was 6150CFP to our dollar (Aust) so if you roughly add 1/3rd to find A dollars you aren't far off. A light lunch at L'Annexe..... of two Panini, Water, 1/2 carafe rose & two Cappucinos was 6150CFP = about $86 A and with a little less would have been cheaper. At the better restaurants you could easily spend $200 plus Aust. However, with the changes coming(?) we are lucky to have it so close.
I stayed on board but went last year and its a small island of 1 km long. Drinks, swimming etc and a village visit nearby is all on offer. WW2 short airstrip still used for supplies. Mystery island is not the islanders name but its take up and use was after a visitor on Sitmar Fairstar made comment long ago and it has been used since.