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Ovation of the Seas Review

2017 Best for Cabins
2017 Best for Embarkation
2017 Best for Entertainment
View More

Find a Ovation of the Seas Cruise from A$351

Ovation of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
662 reviews

An amazing mega-liner filled with high-tech entertainment and attractions
Drinking, dining and entertainment venues struggle at peak times
Bottom Line
Never a dull moment on a ship that has something to please everyone


4,180 (maximum capacity 4,905)


Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Australia & New Zealand, Alaska, South Pacific, Asia, Caribbean, Hawaii
Royal Caribbean Cruise Deals
Tiana Templeman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Ovation of the Seas Overview

Packed with bells and whistles, Ovation of the Seas is the third ground-breaking ship to join Royal Caribbean's Quantum class. There are plenty of similarities with its two sister ships -- Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas -- including the thrilling RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, the North Star capsule that transports passengers 90 metres (300 feet) above sea level for bird's-eye views, bumper cars, trapeze classes, world-class entertainment and -- in short -- nonstop fun.

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Ovation's decor and design reflects the ship's original deployment in China, although the ship will cease sailing here and move to Alaska from 2019. A symbol of good luck and a national treasure of China, a 10-metre tall (32-feet tall) panda and cub were designed with Chinese passengers in mind (joining Felicia the Pink polar bear on Quantum and Gigi the giraffe on Anthem). There is dual-language signage throughout the ship, and the majority of staff in guest services can speak Mandarin, with a high proportion of Mandarin speakers in the shops, casino, restaurants and housekeeping departments as well.

Making its debut on Ovation is the colourful Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop (replacing Johnny Rockets), plus a new Asian food station in the Windjammer Marketplace buffet restaurant. There is also an enlarged casino, and shops in the Royal Esplanade have been stocked with more high-end designer goods and Asian cosmetic brands.

The ship spends the Australian summer based in Sydney from about December to April. During this brief spell, some of the food, drinks and activities are tailored to local tastes and everything is in English. All of the bars, specialty restaurants, cafes (or anywhere serving coffee), the three pools and FlowRider surfing simulator are much busier than during the Asian sailings, so prepare for queues. However, despite the large number of passengers onboard, staff go out of their way to get to know passengers and make their cruise holiday memorable. Friendly passengers who stand out (in a good way) are treated especially well. 

The ship's entertainment scene is outstanding, with Broadway-style theatre shows and cabarets that combine human talent with technical wizardry. All-singing, all-dancing gadgets are not just confined to the stage. Ovation has myriad high-tech features including Royal IQ, a free interactive scheduling service that lets passengers make reservations for dining, entertainment and activities; it's available as an app for mobile devices or can be used via kiosks and tablets throughout the ship. Thanks to a huge investment in satellite Internet, connectivity is fast and efficient. It's good to see USB ports for in-cabin charging and the option for RFID WOWband wristbands, which can be used instead of key cards.

Another exceptional feature is the artwork: An A$5.8 million (US$4.5 million) collection of 11,000 pieces. Much more than just space fillers to adorn blank walls, the installations, paintings and sculptures wouldn't be out of place in the world's top galleries. Sky Wave, over the Royal Esplanade, is the first moving sculpture at sea, and the Flutter Wall, on the way to the Royal Theatre, is a three-metre (120-inch) screen filled with interactive butterflies. Elsewhere are smaller surprises: a retro petrol pump beneath a stairwell; panda and koala faces on human shoulders; and boxed pictures with tiny people inside. It's worth doing a top-to-bottom walking tour of the ship to discover the artwork alone.

With so much to see, do and discover, Ovation delights and excites in equal measure and is ideal for longer itineraries, which give passengers time to enjoy the many onboard attractions to the full. 

Keep Reading: For more information about cabins, dining or things to do, see below or click on the menu at the top of this page.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • All meals in the three main dining rooms (plus Coastal Kitchen for Grand Suite guests and above) and Windjammer Marketplace; snacks and meals at Solarium Bistro, Cafe @Two70, Cafe Promenade, Sorrento’s Pizza and SeaPlex Dog House; also Continental breakfast room service
  • Shows in the main theater, plus most activities and events, except as noted below or onboard
  • Use of the gym (excluding most classes)
  • Use of the sports complex, Flowrider surfing simulator, mini-golf, climbing wall and Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulator
  • North Star rides (excluding on Alaska and China itineraries)
  • Activities in SeaPlex, including bumper car rides
  • Adventure Ocean Kids Programs until 10 p.m.
  • Daily gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day for Junior Suites and below; $17.50 per person, per day for Grand Suites and above)
  • Drinks, excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee, lemonade and selected juices from the buffet
  • Most specialty dining
  • Auto-gratuities of 18 percent on all specialty dining, beverage, spa and salon purchases
  • Room Service (excluding continental breakfast)
  • Use of the North Star on Alaska and China voyages
  • Spa and salon services
  • Most fitness classes
  • Activities including, but not limited to, arcade play, bingo, alcohol tastings, sushi-making classes, arts and crafts classes, shopping events, the bottomless galley brunch and casino gaming
  • Evening Adventure Ocean kids programs after 10:00 p.m.
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi packages
  • Photos and artwork

Top Ovation of the Seas Itineraries

Ovation of the Seas
9 night south pacific cruise

Sydney (Australia), Port Vila, Mystery Island, Noumea, Sydney (Australia)

View All Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Itineraries (33)

Fellow Passengers

With its age-appropriate children's clubs and huge SeaPlex sports and entertainment complex, Ovation is a magnet for families, so expect to see plenty of kids during school holidays. It also attracts pleasure-seeking, fun-loving singles, couples and groups of friends across the age spectrum. With the ship sailing from China and Australia (and Alaska from 2019), the onboard demographic sees a shift from the US and UK passengers that make up the majority of cruisers on Royal Caribbean's other ships. Chinese travellers fill the ship in China, while Australians and New Zealanders dominate Down Under.

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Dress Code

Daytime: Cruise casual is the way to go during the day, with shorts, cropped trousers, jeans, T-shirts, vest tops, swimsuits, cover-ups and sundresses for women; for men, think swimwear, shorts, jeans, polo shirts and T-shirts.

Evening: At dinner, the dress code is smart casual for women, which Royal Caribbean sets out as skirt or trousers (no holes, rips or tears) with a blouse. While jeans are perfectly acceptable, many women do opt for dresses and a smarter look. For men, the code is trousers (no holes, rips or tears) with a collared shirt. For passengers who prefer to dress up in the evening, feel free to wear a cocktail dress or trouser suit for ladies and dress shirts, ties and jackets for men.

Not permitted: T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops/thongs are acceptable for lunch, but swimsuits, robes, bare feet, vest tops, baseball caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurants or speciality restaurants.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.

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Ovation of the Seas Ratings

Public Rooms5.03.9
Fitness Recreation4.03.8
Value For Money4.03.2

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More about Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas

Where does Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas sail from?

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas departs from Sydney, Seattle, Vancouver, Honolulu, Tokyo and Singapore

How much does it cost to go on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas?

Cruises on Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas start from A$351 per person.

Is Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas a good ship to cruise on?

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas won 5 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2017 Best for Cabins
  • 2017 Best for Embarkation
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Member Reviews

Ovation of the Seas
Sail Date: Feb 2020
We have cruised many times on alot of different cruise lines but Ovation is the largest ship we have cruised on. Ovation of the Seas has been our bucket ship and it didn't disappoint.... Read More
Ovation of the Seas
Sail Date: Dec 2019
This time was a 10 night cruise to New Zealand on the very large Ovation of the Seas. I believe it's currently the largest ship in the Southern hemisphere.... Read More
Ovation of the Seas
Sail Date: Jan 2020
SHIP QUALITY Ovation of the Seas is coming up to 4 years old, but isn't showing any signs of age.... Read More
Ovation of the Seas
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas.... Read More

Royal Caribbean International Fleet

Enchantment of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1986 reviews

One of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships; highlights include rock climbing, bungee trampoline, three pools, eight bars and a Ben & Jerry's at sea; holds less than 3,000.

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Grandeur of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
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Older ship carrying fewer than 3,000; highlights include rock climbing, two pools, outdoor movie screen and several specialty dining venues including Ben & Jerry's at sea.

Majesty of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
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Offers three- and four-night cruises; features a rock climbing wall, Johnny Rockets at sea and smallish aqua park; can carry a bit over 2,500 cruisers.

Rhapsody of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
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An older ship carrying less than 3,000; features rock climbing, two pools, for-fee nursery, eight bars and lounges and more than half a dozen dining venues.

Vision of the Seas

When Vision of the Seas launched in 1998, it was the last in a class of vessels whose design represented the most innovative for Royal Caribbean.

Voyager of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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Megaliner packed full of amenities such as a TV studio, 3D movies, ice skating, virtual balcony cabins, and life-size Dreamworks characters to entertain the kids

Radiance of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
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Mid-sized ship carrying 2,100 passengers, known for its food, self-levelling pool tables, poolside movie screen and an African-themed solarium.

Adventure of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Bustling atmosphere; features two-slide water park, simulated surfing, rock climbing, ice skating shows, 15 bars and the line's signature Royal Promenade; can carry upward of 4,000.

Brilliance of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
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Brilliance of the Seas' mediumish size -- 2,112 passengers -- allows cruisers to feel they have the best of both worlds: a vessel with ample activities and attentive crew.

Navigator of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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Carries some 4,400 passengers and features surf simulators, rock climbing and ice skating, 11 bars and lounges and the lively Royal Promenade.

Mariner of the Seas
5.0 / 5.0
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A Chinese-orientated mega ship holding close to 3,000 passengers; features onboard surfing, zip lining, thalassotherapy pool and kids clubs.

Serenade of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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Highlights on this smallish ship include rock climbing, mini-golf, three pools, and 16 bars and lounges including a wine bar and English-style pub; holds some 2,500.

Jewel of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
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One of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships; attractions include rock climbing and mini-golf, kids' water slide, half a dozen or so dining venues and family-specific cabins.

Oasis of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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The first megaship to hold more than 6,000 cruisers; features high-energy activities like zip lining, surfing and the high-diving AquaTheater.

Liberty of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
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Carries more than 4,000; features a three-slide water park, surf simulators, rock climbing wall and "Saturday Night Fever: The Musical." 

Independence of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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A ship of wows including rock climbing, surfing, virtual reality enhanced trampolibe, laser tag, puzzle break and mini-golf, plus "Grease, the Musical" onstage, ice skating shows, kids' water park, 22 bars and 10 eateries.

Allure of the Seas
5.0 / 5.0
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Mega-ship holding upwards of 6,400 passengers; features zip lining, surf simulators, rock climbing and an open-air Central Park with shops and restaurants.

Quantum of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
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Quantum of the Seas dares its passengers not to have fun. It's a bold ship that screams for your attention via its innovative features.

Harmony of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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World's largest cruise ship featuring high-energy attractions including zip lining, water slides, surf simulators, rock climbing and 18 dining venues.

Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's newest ship will be one of the largest in the world when it launches in spring 2018; high-energy highlights include zip lining, water slides and surf simulators.

Ovation of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
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The largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia; has an iFly skydiving simulator, bumper cars, observation capsule, Broadway-style and high-tech shows, and robotic bartenders.

Empress of the Seas
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Royal Caribbean's Cuba ship with stops in Havana; features the Cuba-inspired Boleros lounge and a free mimosa or bloody mary at the daily "Sunday" brunch.

Spectrum of the Seas

The first Quantum Ultra-Class ship will launch in the spring 2019. The class will be the next evolution of Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class, though the line has not yet said what its size will be.

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