Ovation of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International

Ship information

Ovation of the Seas

About Ovation of the Seas

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.

Ovation of the Seas Deck Plans Combine Family Fun and Adult-Only Relaxation

The Ovation of the Seas deck plan does a great job separating the louder public areas from the sleeping quarters. Cabins to avoid on Ovation of the Seas are few, but include those on decks 4 and 6, as they are directly adjacent, above and/or below public areas that remain open until the wee hours, including the casino and the Two70º lounge. Those looking to enjoy the view from their balcony may also want to avoid Obstructed View Cabins, most of which are on decks 6 and 7. As a general rule of thumb, for those looking to get a good night’s sleep the best decks on Ovation of the Seas are 8, 9 and 10.

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is a massive ship with a total capacity of 4,905 passengers. Since 2019, it is based between Alaska, Sydney, Singapore and Honolulu, but its decor and design reflect the ship's original deployment in China. 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 also an enlarged casino, and shops in the Royal Esplanade have been stocked with more high-end designer goods and Asian cosmetic brands.

For an Alaska cruise, Quantum or Ovation of the Seas?

Royal Caribbean offers several options for those planning a trip to Alaska, including Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, two very similar ships in the Quantum Class. While entertainment options may vary slightly between them, these ships are virtually carbon copies of each other – same size, same passenger to crew ratio, same number of restaurants, very similar cabin types – which makes it hard for many to pick one. With indoor sports complexes and covered adults-only pools and sun decks, they’re both excellent options for trips to the north. However, while Ovation of the Seas' Alaska trips are always seven nights long, Quantum of the Seas also offers five-night itineraries.

Ovation of the Seas Scores High on Entertainment Options

There is no shortage of things to do on Ovation of the Seas. The ship packs in some of Royal Caribbean’s family favorite amenities, including  the RipCord by iFly wind tunnel, the North Star observation pod, a rock-climbing wall, and the FlowRider surfing simulator. The Ovation of the Seas pool deck (Deck 14) is ample and fun, with several hot tubs, a family pool and a splash area for kids. These features can get busy, 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. Those seeking some R&R can retreat to the Ovation of the Seas’ adult-only areas, which include an indoor-outdoor solarium with a pool.

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, Ovation of the Seas offers fast and efficient Wi-Fi (for a fee). 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.

Ovation of the Seas COVID-19 Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Ovation of the Seas, please refer to

Royal Caribbean's Health and Safety protocols

. You can also use

Cruise Critic's guide to health requirements

on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.

Cabins

Ovation of the Seas has 36 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

7 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

12 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

14 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Theater and Shows on Ovation of the Seas

The two-deck Royal Theatre, located forward on Decks 4 and 5, seats 1,300 passengers and is a multi-purpose stage venue used for Broadway-style productions, 3D movies, comedy and other shows.

Ovation debuted two new shows for Royal Caribbean. The Beautiful Dream is a feel-good song-and-dance show about a bereaved father who is visited by his late wife in a dream, which helps him come to terms with his loss and rediscover his zest for life. It features some fantastic special effects, including a fire-breathing dragon and steam train. Alternating with The Beautiful Dream is Live, Love, Legs, an all-singing, all-dancing Vegas-style spectacular with aerial acrobatics and slick choreography. Pixels is the third show, which combines special effects and pop music and is held in the multi-purpose venue Two70. It's worth making reservations for these exceptional productions, especially on shorter itineraries, or you could miss out.

he theatre hosts two shows nightly -- usually at 7 pm and 9 pm -- to fit in with passengers' preferred dining times. Acts on our cruise ranged from a magician to comedians and a talented musical theatre star. There is no need to book for these shows as the venue operates on a free seating basis. Generally, the later show attracts a smaller audience, so opt for this performance if you're in a big group and want to sit together.

The SeaPlex on Ovation of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Quantum ships really shook up recreation on the ocean waves with a number of first-at-sea innovations, the largest of which is SeaPlex. The largest sports complex at sea is a huge, versatile area that offers a non-stop program of fun and games for all ages. The heart of SeaPlex is the arena; depending of the time of day, it undergoes a metamorphosis from a basketball court into a roller-skating rink and, most novel of all, a bumper-car circuit. For passengers who want to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, there is also a circus school with trapeze classes held over an air-filled mat. Children need to be six years or older to take part in this activity.

"SeaPods" which are small rooms for getting together with friends and family, are located around the arena on the second deck of SeaPlex. Gamers can play Xbox or participate in more traditional games such as air hockey (although, unlike the other activities, this attracts a per game charge). This area is also a good spot to watch the roller-skating sessions, which run for around half an hour at a time, with consecutive slots overlapping by 15 minutes. You need a pair of socks to participate and skaters of all ages must wear wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet. Don't forget to sign the waiver form and collect your wristband at the desk near the entrance to the rink prior to lining up at the equipment counter. Arrive five minutes or so before the skating is due to start to get a wristband for the first half-hour session. Children under six must be accompanied on the rink by a parent at all times (thankfully, these grown-ups are not required to wear skates). Children under 13 must be supervised by an adult who can either join them for a skate or watch from the sidelines.

Dodgem cars are available every day or two so youngsters and the young-at-heart can bump their way around the SeaPlex. Children must be at least 5 years old and 1.06 metres (42 inches) tall to ride; those aged under nine must be accompanied by an adult. While the queue for this activity can feel slow moving at times, it is worth the wait. Smart cruisers who lined up around 20 minutes before the bumper car session was due to begin had virtually no wait when the ride opened; others who arrived later waited up to an hour. It is worth noting that those passengers staying in a suite can show their SeaPass card and ride the bumper cars without queuing. Unfortunately, this policy wasn't made known to non-suite passengers in the long, long line who became understandably upset about those 'pushing in' and riding multiple times. Is this fair?  We're not sure but we did feel sorry for those who were challenged. Nearby, the Challenger's Arcade, linked to SeaPlex, is packed with (for-a-fee) video games. If you buy your child a capped pass for the arcade, be warned that additional games will automatically be charged to your child's card.

Daily Things to Do on Ovation of the Seas

Throughout the day, a wide variety of activities -- creative, mental and physical -- are held across the ship in areas such as the Music Hall and Two70. (The latter venue takes its name from the sweeping 270-degree views offered during the day.) The Workshop, located off the second deck of Two70, hosts craft sessions, such as jewellery making and scrapbooking; and Sudoku is available at any time from the library, also next to Two70 on Deck 6. Passengers can challenge their grey matter with Puzzle Break where teams try to "escape" from a room by solving clues. Puzzle Break can only be booked onboard via the Royal IQ app or guest services. In addition to pool games, there is also Zumba, bingo and trivia quizzes. Don't miss the contemporary dance classes such as hip-hop run by the onboard dancers. Even if you have two left feet, they're a lot of fun. Check the daily program for times and venues.

Regular events are also held for solo passengers with the aim of fostering new friendships, such as a daily singles and solo travellers lunch, which takes place in Two70.

Nightlife on Ovation of the Seas

When the sun goes down, there's as much to do as there is during daylight hours. The biggest problem is deciding what to do, where to go and how to fit everything in during the cruise. From smooth Latin sounds to classic rock, passengers can dance and tap their feet to tunes from around the world, or grab their own share of the limelight in a karaoke session. Aside from a Calypso steel drum band or classical pianist in the nautical inspired Schooner Bar, our only disappointment was the lack of live music available during the cocktail hour.

Casino Royale (Deck 3): Located midship, the large casino boasts 30 gaming tables and, catering to the Asian market, a larger number of slot machines than the casinos on the sibling Quantum ships. There are around 130 slot machines, open from 9 am to late; additional machines have been located along the back wall of the Music Hall that occupies the same deck. The gaming tables typically open at noon on sea days and 8 pm on port days. There is a VIP area in one corner. Anyone can go in, but the suggested minimum bet is US$200 (A$260). When in Asia, the casino is the only inside area of the ship where smoking is allowed in a designated area. That said, the smell of smoke is noticeable in the non-smoking section. In Australia, the whole casino is non-smoking. Note: For real high rollers, a VVIP gaming area called the Golden Room opens in part of the Diamond Lounge, on Deck 4, when the ship homeports in China.

**Music Hall (Decks 3 and 4): **Divided between two decks and connected by a staircase, this popular venue rocks at night. It holds around 600 people in total, but it's usually standing room only by the time the nightly rock n' roll cover band or Beatles tribute act strikes the first chord. Get there early if you want to grab a seat. Passengers can also get up on stage at karaoke and rockaoke (where a rock band accompanies you while you sing) sessions held in the Music Hall.

**Two70 (Decks 5 and 6): **This standout venue is located right at the back of the ship and features jaw-dropping technology that provides an ever-changing backdrop to the shows. At night, the panoramic floor-to-ceiling glass windows (which reach the height of Deck 7) are transformed into Vistarama, more than 30 metres (100 feet) by six metres (20 feet) tall that is used for ultra-HD projected images. Adding to the spectacle are six robotic screens, suspended above the performance area, that can move independently or together to create even more digital imagery. Everything comes into play when dancers, musicians and acrobats take to the multi-level stage (often below and above it) for Pixels. Two70 holds about 400 people; for the best view of all the high-tech wizardry, arrive around 30 minutes before showtime and choose one of the raised seats on the side of the stage. Shows start at 6.30 pm and 8 pm and reservations are required. Groups who want to sit together should definitely arrive half an hour before the show starts.<

Don't miss the Silent Disco which takes place here once or twice each cruise. Get there early to score a pair of glowing headphones with a switch so you can swap between two different music channels: old-time favourites like The Monkees and a live mix from the ship's DJ. Don't worry if you have two left feet; no one knows if you aren't in time with the music. Even if you don't feel like dancing, this unique disco is fun to watch.

Ovation of the Seas Bars & Lounges

By day, the pool bars are popular spots for drinks and sundowners; come evening, passengers head to the bars that are situated in and around the midship Royal Esplanade. They all boast a different atmosphere, and passengers are likely to find a favourite and stick to it. One of the ship's largest bars, The Music Hall, was closed each evening from 4.30 pm to 8 pm and used as an overflow area for Diamond Lounge passengers on our cruise. We hope this does not continue as it placed additional pressure on other venues. Inside bars were packed in the early evening on sea days, making it virtually impossible to find a seat.

Casino Royale Bar (Deck 3): Celebrate your winnings or drown your sorrows at the bar situated in the casino.

**Boleros (Deck 4): **With its plush red and gold seating and low lighting, this bar has a Latin theme. There's live music on the stage each evening, and passengers who want to strut their stuff with a salsa or samba can take to the small dance floor.

Michael's Genuine Pub (Deck 4): Brits will certainly feel at home in this pub. With its dark wood booths, it's the place to catch up with friends and watch sports on the TV. It serves a selection of craft beers (add US$7 (A$9) to take home a souvenir glass), Newcastle Ale on tap, wines, spirits and cocktails. Food is also served for an extra fee.

**Schooner Bar (Deck 5): **This atmospheric, nautical-themed bar -- complete with a ship's wheel that provides an obligatory photo opportunity -- is an atmospheric spot. It also doubles as a piano bar, and passengers can sit around the grand piano and make requests. It's the closest bar to Chops Grille, making it a good spot for a pre- or post-dinner drink.

Bionic Bar (Deck 5): The most talked-about bar on the ship and unofficially dubbed the "robot bar", this is where drinks are shaken and served by the pair of Makr Shakr robotic bartenders. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails are ordered via a tablet, and two screens on each side of the bar show who has ordered the drink, the ingredients going into it and the stage of its preparation. The screens also throw up fun stats about the most popular cocktails ordered by different age groups. After the robots have mixed your drink in a plastic cup, they push it down a chute towards you. Then you need to move away from the tables holding the tablets to let the next people order. But there are stools behind the walkway in front of the bar, and futuristic silver seats nearby, where you can continue to watch the robotic action and the synchronised refuelling "dance" they do every now and again. That said, on our cruise the bar tenders were a tad temperamental, with one out of action for the entire cruise (although it would still dance occasionally if it was in the mood). You're probably only going to get one or two drinks here rather than make it your regular haunt, but it's a novelty and a one-of-a-kind, must-do experience. Note: Only passengers aged 21 or more can order from the Bionic Bar.

Vintages Wine Bar (Deck 5): This stylish venue tends to be quieter than some of the other bars, probably because it just serves wine. Passengers can sip a wide range from vineyards around the world, with the choice of ordering from the bar staff or getting a glass from the self-serve wine dispensers activated by the SeaPass cards. The bar is well-located for an aperitif before a meal at nearby Jamie's Italian, and also occupies a nice spot overlooking the spectacular Red Thread art installation by Chinese artist Bieli Liu. It was our favourite bar on the ship with unfailingly pleasant, personal and efficient service provided by a team of friendly bartenders, despite the fact they were often run off their feet.

**Two70 (Decks 5 and 6): **There is a bar near the windows at Two70 with a couple of creative cocktails not found at other bars. For a twist on your usual Champagne or Kir Royale, try the Balancing Act with creme de cassis foam.

**Sky Bar (Deck 14): **This bar serves the main outdoor pool. It gets busy on sunny days, but staff pushing trolleys filled with refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages also patrol the indoor and outdoor pool deck, making it easy to quench your thirst.

Pool Bar (Deck 14): The ship's quietest bar is found in the covered pool area.

Sunshine Bar (Deck 14): Located in the adults-only, daylight-filled Solarium section at the front of the ship, this pleasant bar is relatively peaceful. Freshly squeezed orange juice is available here (for a fee), which is handy for the adjacent bistro at breakfast time.

North Star Bar (Deck 15): This is the most popular outdoor bar as it is next to the entrance to the North Star and provides great views of the pod, as well as a panoramic view over the pool deck.

Pools on Ovation of the Seas

You don't need to go far to find Ovation's three pools; they are all located on Deck 14, yet each one has a very different vibe. The main pool, midship next to the Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop, is the busiest (and noisiest), especially on sunny sea days. The pool is five feet deep, has two whirlpools and is overlooked by a giant film screen, variously used for movies and trivia questions. Live or recorded music is played during the day, and it is always a popular place to be during sailaways. Next to this pool is the colourful, family-friendly H2O Zone, with slides and a donut-shaped pool with a gentle, continuous current. There is a small splash pool for children who wear nappies. Note: Children who are not toilet trained are not allowed in the main pools, whirlpools or H2O pools, aside from the splash pool -- even if they are in swim nappies.

Immediately next to the main pool, moving towards the front of the ship, is the indoor pool which is slightly deeper at 1.6 metres (5 feet 3 inches) and has a retractable roof for warm days and is available for families to use. Although it is right next door to the main pool, it is self-contained and therefore a quieter option for people who want to laze and read in between the occasional dip. It also has two whirlpools.

Beyond the pool is the Sea Trek shop, which sells sunscreen and other items.

Forward is the Solarium pool, which is a lovely, peaceful, adult-only area. A trio of shallow tiered pools, geared for relaxing off rather than swimming, run down to the front of the vessel, and the lower pool has five stone loungers (more comfortable than they sound) set in the shallow water. The area is enclosed by panoramic windows and a glass roof, and has palm trees, lush green flowerbeds and a stunning, flower-like red sculpture on the ceiling near the bar, giving it the feel of a tropical garden. The sound of water trickling down between the pools adds to the relaxed air. Seating is a mix of traditional loungers and rattan chairs with comfy cushions, some big enough for two people.

RipCord by iFly Skydiving on Ovation of the Seas

The absolute high spot, in more ways than one, is the RipCord by iFly skydiving tower -- Royal Caribbean's first-at-sea innovation that debuted on sister ships Quantum and Anthem of the Seas. You no longer need to jump from a plane at 12,000 feet to experience what it's like to skydive; just head to the top deck.

You need to make reservations online or early in the cruise to avoid disappointment as there are limited sessions each day -- typically 8 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 9 pm with 12 "skydivers" on each one. Children have to be three and over to take part, and for adults there is a weight restriction of 104 kg for passengers under six feet and 113 kg for those over six feet. All participants have to sign a waiver form. (It saves time to do this on the interactive TV screen in the cabin, where a multiple form covers all onboard activities that require a waiver signature.)

After checking in at the reception area on Deck 15, participants watch an instructional video and meet the instructor, who runs through the experience and what to expect. Next, everyone is kitted out with a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and earplugs. (You need to wear socks or lace-up shoes such as trainers.) All of this takes around 30 minutes. Then you'll head up to Deck 16 for your "flight" inside the simulator. A curious crowd always gathers outside during the sessions, and friends and relatives can take photos. (A ship's photographer is always on hand as well.) The instructor helps you inside and is with you all the time to guide and help you during the "skydive". The experience lasts exactly one minute, which doesn't sound long but is sufficient for a totally exhilarating sensation.

FlowRider and Rock Climbing Wall on Ovation of the Seas

The other big outdoor attraction is the FlowRider surf simulator, also on Deck 16. Again, this is a complimentary activity that requires pre-registration and a waiver form. If you have already signed the waiver online, you still need to visit the iFly counter on Deck 15 to obtain a blue wristband. This band stays on throughout the cruise and entitles you to ride the FlowRider whenever sessions are on. This activity carries a height restriction of 1.3 metres for boogie boarding and 1.47 metres for stand-up surfing.

There are various opening times for the FlowRider, which vary depending on whether the ship is at sea or docked, so check the daily planner. Instructors provide safety demonstrations and instruction is also available, with group lessons or private sessions available. You can also rent the FlowRider for exclusive use..

Next to the giant panda installation is the rock-climbing wall, which also requires a waiver signature. Even if you have already signed the waiver, you still need to obtain a wristband from the iFly counter next to the rock wall. Climbing (and waiting for your turn) is more comfortable when the wall is in shade. Check the daily program for opening times, which are typically two hours every morning and afternoon.

North Star on Ovation of the Seas

If all this sounds too exhausting, Ovation's other outdoor highlight is the North Star. The panoramic glass capsule on Deck 15, usually open from 8 am to 5.30 pm, is attached to a giant mechanical arm that gently raises it to 90 metres (300 feet) above sea level, providing a stunning 360-degree view over the surrounding seascape or ports of call. At the height of the ascent the capsule can be rotated to the left and right before being lowered back to deck level, however this option is only available on China sailings when the ride is chargeable.

The ride, which carries 15 people at a time, needs to be pre-booked but you can also wait in the stand-by queue in the hope that someone doesn't show up. No bookings are required on port days, which means it is possible to ride twice: once while the ship is at sea (with a prior booking) and once while in port provided you are prepared to line up. T

he North Star can be privately booked for special occasions, for a fee. There is a height restriction for children of 1.06 metres, and kids less than 1.21 metres must be accompanied by a supervising companion of at least 14 years of age. The maximum rider weight is 136 kg. The small platform to the immediate right after exiting the North Star is a great spot for taking selfies and photos of the capsule's exterior.

Sun Decks on Ovation of the Seas

Away from the lounging areas around the pools, the standalone sun deck is situated on Deck 15. It is a shared space with the wraparound promenade and running track (the latter is very close to the end of the loungers) and on the same deck as the North Star, so it can be quite a busy thoroughfare. Nevertheless, it's a quieter space for those who want to escape the bustle of the main pools, and there are plenty of loungers. Suite passengers benefit from their own private sunbathing area on Deck 16.

Ovation of the Seas Services, Shops and WiFi

The main services are located on Decks 4 and 5. Guest services is situated midship on Deck 4, directly opposite Boleros, and is open 24 hours. Members of staff are on hand to help with reservations, such as North Star, iFly and dining, and to deal with any problems. The guest services team on our sailing were some of the friendliest and most efficient we have encountered on any ship. Passengers can also make their own reservations by using the Royal IQ tablets located nearby; there is always someone to help navigate through the system if required. Dining reservations can be made at the desks outside the Silk and American Icon Grill restaurant on Deck 4, and the Chic and The Grande restaurants directly below on Deck 3.

The mall-like retail area is the Royal Esplanade, spread over two levels on Deck 4 and 5. There are plenty of high-end boutiques selling famous-name luxury watches, Swarovski crystal jewellery, designer clothes and sunglasses. To cater for the Asian market, the beauty and cosmetic store now carries an enlarged range of products, including a number of Asian brands. Port Merchants is the ship's duty-free drink and cigarette store, and reasonably priced souvenirs such as mugs, soft toys and models of the ship, along with Royal Caribbean logowear, can be found in the kiosk in the centre of the lower level of the Royal Esplanade.

A small library containing mostly novels can be found on Deck 6, leading from the upper level of Two70.  The shelves are always open and passengers can borrow books as they please. One section of the library houses the small Internet cafe, which has three computers and a printer available for passenger use. There is no dedicated card and games room.

WiFi packages are available, with prices depending on how long your voyage is and how much bandwidth you want to use. A one-day "Surf" package is suitable for checking emails, surfing the web and sharing photos on social media. A 24-hour "Surf + Stream" package that can also be used to stream TV shows, films and music. Special Internet deals are also available, so check the daily program for details. Connection and Internet speed were both excellent throughout our cruise.

The Focus Photo Gallery is located on Deck 5 and, as you would expect from such a technologically savvy ship, it's completely digital. Instead of hunting through vast racks of printed photographs, passengers go to a computer station and scan their SeaPass or wristband. Face-recognition software then shows any photos that have been taken and these can be selected and saved in an album for a later date, or purchased there and then. Photos are available as digital copies, prints or both. The gallery has a private studio and also sells cameras and other photographic equipment.

Also located next to each other on Deck 5 are the shore excursion desk and a desk to book future cruises.

Ovation has a conference centre, comprising four rooms that can be converted into one large meeting space, at the back of the ship on Deck 13.

There are no self-service public laundry rooms.

Dining

Ovation of the Seas restaurants range from casual spots for a quick bite to whimsical and gourmet. Those familiar with Royal Caribbean ships may notice that Ovation of the Seas dining differs slightly from its sister ships due to its former China home base. Johnny Rockets (a mainstay of the Royal Caribbean fleet) was replaced on Ovation of the Seas by the colourful Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop until the ship moved to Alaska in 2019 (it is now Fish & Ships). The Windjammer Marketplace has the addition of a dedicated Asian food station. However, regardless of where you choose to eat, food on Ovation of the Seas is tasty and plentiful. Restaurant menus include Japanese, American, Italian, Mediterranean and pub classics.

Ovation of the Seas Dining Times

Ovation of the Seas gives passengers the option to choose from two dining seating times -- early or late -- or a flexible option, which means you can eat at different times and with different table companions each evening. The Ovation of the Seas’ main dining room is divided into four restaurants: The Grande, Chic, Silk, and American Icon Grill.

Early and late seating passengers dine at the more upmarket-looking restaurants, Chic and The Grande, on Deck 3. Ovation of the Seas passengers on the flexible My Time Dining option enjoy dinner at the American Icon and Silk restaurants on Deck 4. Menus are the same in each venue and change daily. These four venues seat 450 people each, which is not enough to accommodate more than 4,000 passengers. However, while there was always a (small) queue for My Time Dining during our cruise, the wait was seldom longer than a few minutes. We did not pre-book a dining time and simply joined the queue for those with no reservations. Hint: there is a 'passengers with no booking' queue at both American Icon and Silk.

Expect classic dishes such as lobster bisque or escargots in herb butter to start, followed by grilled fish or chicken for mains, and chocolate lava cake, gelato or baked Alaska for dessert. At lunch, it's sandwiches, salads, burgers and other hot items with a US connection. Vegetarian options are always available, and food allergies and preferences can be catered to. Food service in the main dining rooms was impressively timely; drinks less so. Some passengers circumvented this by bringing a glass of wine from one of the bars through to dinner.

Ovation of the Seas Complimentary Restaurants

The Grande (Deck 3): Originally designed for formal dining but now used for everyday dining, The Grande is indeed grand. Ornate gold, cream and black decor provides a sumptuous backdrop to this beautiful restaurant, and the table settings are very elegant. In common with the other restaurants, there are plenty of tables for two (though you will be pretty close to your neighbors) along with tables for four and circular tables seating up to eight. With prior notice, large groups can be accommodated with tables for two pushed together to form one long table. The restaurant is open for a la carte breakfast (with earlier opening on port days) and dinner.

Chic (Deck 3): Situated directly opposite The Grande, Chic has a variety of seating, from tables for two to large banquettes, and is open for three meals a day. The contemporary space is heavy on gold and stark white decor. Breakfast features a buffet of fresh fruit, pastries and cold cuts, along with eggs, sausages, bacon and other hot dishes. It's ideal for those who get overwhelmed by massive spreads in the morning (or would prefer to avoid scrambling for a table at the busy Windjammer Marketplace). Chic is open for breakfast (with earlier opening on port days), lunch and dinner.

Silk (Deck 4): No longer an Asian restaurant, Silk still has rich, ornate Chinese decor in shades of red and gold, which seems incongruous given the modern American menu. Silk is open for dinner only.

American Icon Grill (Deck 4): Opposite Silk, this eatery has lots of American art on the walls and room dividers that gives the restaurant a more intimate feel. Window tables are lovely and worth waiting a few extra minutes for. American Icon Grill on Ovation of the Seas is open for dinner only.

Cafe Promenade (Deck 4): Situated in the Royal Esplanade -- and a great spot for people watching with "outdoor" tables on the main promenade -- the Cafe Promenade on Ovation of the Seas offers a range of snacks throughout the day, including sandwiches, pastries and fabulous cookies. Whenever you feel peckish, head to this venue as it's open 24/7.

Sorrento's (Deck 4): Be transported to Italy in the pizzeria that is next door to Cafe Promenade. (As well as entering from the Royal Esplanade, passengers can walk from one to the other through an internal doorway.) Each day, Sorrento's features four different pizzas (such as pepperoni or chicken), which are listed on a board. Walls are decorated with old record covers and photos, making it a fun place to linger awhile. It opens before lunchtime and serves until the wee hours.

The Cafe @ Two70 (Deck 5): For passengers in search of a quick breakfast or lighter bites, soups, bistro-style salad dishes made to order, wraps, sandwiches and freshly warmed paninis later in the day, this is the place to be. There is also an extensive complimentary drinks bar that includes tea, coffee, juice and flavoured water such as strawberry or mango. You get the food from the various stations and then find a table outside, or take your food into the Two70 venue to enjoy it as you look out through the panoramic windows at the back of the ship. (There is no seating inside the cafe itself.) Breakfast includes continental items such as muffins, bagels and fruit, as well as breakfast burritos. The cafe then reopens for lunch with a choice of items such as hot sandwiches, made-to-order salads and wraps and afternoon snacks.

Windjammer Marketplace (Deck 14): The Ovation of the Seas’ Windjammer buffet comprises a number of themed stations, rather than one large central buffet. It's a huge space, and the size and choice of food can seem bewildering the first time you visit, particularly on busy embarkation day and at the peak breakfast period, when you can circle the room trying to find a table. Once you start to get the hang of the layout, it becomes easier.

On arrival at Windjammer, passengers are ushered through a hand-washing area, with a crew member on hand to ensure nobody skips it. Every station is geared to a particular type of food or cuisine, such as fresh fruit, salads, cooked items, Mediterranean cuisine and so forth. All tastes are catered for and we defy anyone not to find something they like. The bakery section is particularly tempting, with its fresh-baked loaves and cookies. The breakfast buffet includes all the usual favourites such as sausages, scrambled eggs and hash browns. In addition to cereals, fruit, yoghurt, cold cuts and freshly baked ham sliced off the bone, passengers can also enjoy made-to-order omelettes, eggs Benedict and other dishes. Lunch always includes a selection of delicious sandwiches (such as mozzarella and tomato or smoked chicken) or passengers can make their own. There are countless salad items and all manner of hot dishes. Cakes come out in the afternoon and, for dinner, the stations are once again groaning with hot and cold dishes from around the globe with a different themed section each evening.

 The seating areas closest to the stations are invariably the busiest, and you are more likely to get a table (and a quieter dining environment) if you head out to the tables towards the aft of the ship. Dining outside peak times -- such as 11.45am for lunch -- makes it much easier to find a seat. The Windjammer Marketplace is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Solarium Bistro (Deck 14): In total contrast to the busy Windjammer, the Ovation of the Seas’ Solarium Bistro is a much smaller restaurant at the front of the ship, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (when some dishes carry a fee). It was interesting to see how it went from being relatively empty to being "discovered" by other passengers as the cruise went on. Breakfast and lunch buffet options include healthy choices, with plenty of fresh fruit, yoghurt and a tasty Bircher muesli, along with the usual hot dishes, plus eggs cooked to order. Lunch is along similar lines, with a choice of two soups, plenty of salads and hot items. In the evening, when reservations are required, there is a salad and dessert bar with served main courses, such as grilled salmon with couscous, steak and chips, and lemon-roasted chicken. Two items carry an extra charge: Lobster tail and lamb chops. The Solarium Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Coastal Kitchen (Deck 14): Serving Mediterranean and Californian cuisine, the Coastal Kitchen on Ovation of the Seas is a fusion restaurant available exclusively to suite passengers. For breakfast and lunch, only passengers in Grand Suites and higher can dine there. At dinner, it's open to passengers staying in Junior Suites and higher. The a la carte menu is generally healthy, and cuisine -- from grilled salmon to tasty flatbreads -- is well prepared. Passengers can also exit directly from Coastal Kitchen to the buffet using a private side door. Some diners will find this convenient; others may resent the disruption of their dining experience by those ducking in and out to fill their plates. Ask for a table away from this door if you would prefer not to be disturbed. Coastal Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

SeaPlex Dog House (Deck 15): A novel hotdog van at sea, it adds a fun, fairground feel to the SeaPlex complex, particularly when the bumper cars are running. It serves a selection of hot dogs, including the classic frankfurter and a chicken hot dog made with apples. It's open for lunch and early afternoon snacks.

Room Service: Room service is available 24 hours a day and can be ordered by phone, through the interactive TV, or for breakfast, by filling out a form and placing it outside the cabin door by 3 a.m. Only continental breakfast is free. Most everything else carries a fixed surcharge per order.

Ovation of the Seas Fee and Specialty Dining

Ovation's for-a-fee restaurants offer a very different culinary experience, including a more intimate atmosphere, really personal service, top-notch food.

Reservations for these restaurants can be made ahead of the cruise, onboard at guest services, at the restaurants or via the Royal IQ. However, it is definitely worth booking ahead in order to avoid disappointment, particularly for specialty restaurants such as Wonderland. If you are travelling on a shorter itinerary, do not even think of booking onboard if you have your heart set on dining at a particular restaurant. On our 14-night cruise there were still grumbles from passengers who found the restaurants fully booked, or only offering slots for early or late dining times. Don't leave your dining choice to chance.

Ovation of the Seas dining packages are available for three to five dinners, which save up to 40 percent off the cost of booking speciality restaurants separately. However, these packages may not be available on every sailing as we discovered on our cruise. Note: A cancellation fee will be charged for reservations cancelled within 24 hours of the reservation date and for those who do a no-show; the fee more than doubles for the Chef's Table.

English Pub (Deck 4); a la carte pricing: If you're feeling hungry there are all sorts of nibbles, snack items and more substantial pub fare, such as a jar of pickled vegetables or devilled eggs or chips with onion dip, pork scratchings or chicken wings. For bigger appetites choose from bangers and mash, fish and chips, or roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, and followed by sweets including sticky toffee pudding and peanut butter pie-in-a-jar. It opens between lunchtime and late night.

La Patisserie (Deck 4); a la carte pricing: The macarons in the window of La Patisserie are as pretty as a picture and draw you in from the Royal Esplanade. Choose from delicate flavours, such as green tea or rose lychee, or indulge in a handcrafted cupcake. Espresso-style coffees are also available for a fee. La Patisserie is open all day from early in the morning.

Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver (Deck 5); prix fixe for lunch or dinner: Representing the British chef's first restaurant at sea (also featured on the other Royal Caribbean vessels), the restaurant is on the upper level of the Royal Esplanade. The lively eatery is popular with families and features a pleasingly rustic Italian décor. Jamie’s Italian menu on Ovation of the Seas includes his trademark "planks" -- boards filled with meats, cheeses or vegetarian bites that are designed to be shared as starter. Lunch and dinner menus are the same, which is reflected in the pricing, with dishes such as crab and avocado bruschetta, baked mushrooms and garlic bread to start, followed by garlicky prawn linguine, Jamie's Italian burger, spaghetti puttanesca, and lasagne (baked with squash) to follow. Desserts are large and often served together on a plank. The waiters are cheerful and attentive, with lots of recommendations for food and wine. Jamie's house wine is the cheapest on the ship and very nice. You can also get limoncello, grappa and an affogato for that Italian touch. Jamie's Italian is open for lunch (sea days only) and dinner.

Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine (Deck 5); prix fixe: Wonderland is Ovation of the Seas’ most innovative speciality restaurant – and a real flight of culinary fantasy. The decor is mismatched and whimsical, inspired by Alice in Wonderland and her trip down the rabbit hole. There is a throne-style chair at every table and others are decorated with faces and optical illusions, so you know from the minute you walk in that this is going to be something totally different. It is also the only venue on the ship where you'll find real candles on the tables. The quirkiness continues when the waiter, clad in an opulent crushed velvet coat, offers you a picture frame containing a blank sheet of paper. Next comes a paintbrush and pot of water and, once you get painting, the menu is revealed. The menu is based on four elements -- sun, fire, sea and earth -- with dishes such as baby vegetables in the garden or chilled sweet pea soup for sun; "vanishing" noodles or duck-liver fritter for fire; liquid lobster or halibut cooked in clear paper for sea; and pork belly or slow-roasted chicken for earth. (All the items come with fancy sides as well.) While you can order from the menu, it's actually much more fun to let the waiter simply bring items to the table (which they offer to do at the outset), so you have no idea what is coming next, or exactly where you are in terms of the number of courses still to arrive. It's worth noting that you won't miss out if you are a vegetarian, and the veggie dishes were equally creative. Desserts are also a delight, with a sensational take on the cruise favourite -- baked Alaska (with chocolate on the inside) and lime lollipops.

Exquisitely prepared and presented, each small dish resembles a work of art. We loved the food at Wonderland and the surprise birthday dessert presented by the maitre d' was a lovely touch but our overall dining experience was disappointing. We were expecting a creative and lively dinner but our serious and somewhat dour waiter could not have been less fun. With its theatrical setting and seemingly never-ending courses, this is a terrific venue to celebrate a special occasion (provided you have better luck than we did with your allocated server); the whole experience is very leisurely and can easily last over two hours. To get the most from Wonderland, you definitely need to go with an open mind and enter into the spirit of it. Wonderland is open for dinner only. Bookings are highly recommended for this signature restaurant; ideally using the online cruise planner before leaving home.

Izumi Japanese Cuisine (Deck 5); a la carte pricing: This pan-Asian eatery is centred around a large sushi bar. It is only separated from the upper level of the Royal Esplanade by shiny red screens, so this is not a place to come for a quiet meal. Izumi offers a pan-Asian menu, though the bulk of the items are Japanese. Starters include shrimp and vegetable tempura, and tofu sesame salad. The bulk of the menu is sushi and sashimi, the latter sold in two or five pieces, with signature rolls including Champagne lobster in yuzu wrap; salmon sashimi and avocado on a crab asparagus roll; and a surf-and-turf steak tataki and shrimp tempura roll. Izumi is open for lunch and dinner.

Chops Grille (Deck 5); prix fixe: As the name implies, this restaurant is meat heavy and ideal for carnivores who like their steak. It is also the place to find that other perennially popular cruise-ship favourite, lobster, which is priced separately. The menu includes filet mignon, lamb chops and New York strips, along with other premium items such as seafood towers, which is also an additional charge. There are a few fish dishes, such as crusted tuna, spicy jumbo shrimp and snapper, but little for vegetarians aside from soup and a salad and sides. Sides include mash, grilled asparagus, baked potato, roast mushrooms and creamed spinach. Our filet mignon was deliciously juicy and perfectly cooked. Chops Grille on Ovation of the Seas has an old-style, warm atmosphere with dark furnishings and low lighting, and excellent service. It was our favourite restaurant onboard. This restaurant is only open for dinner.

Chef's Table (Deck 5); prix fixe: Located at the end of Chops Grille and offered every night of the cruise, the Chef's Table on Ovation of the Seas serves a six-course menu, with each dish paired with an appropriate wine. A typical menu might include a crispy crab cone with avocado, wasabi and caviar, followed by cauliflower soup with pancetta and mascarpone cheese, artichoke salad with fennel, tagliatelle with truffle butter, New York strip loin with polenta and portobello mushrooms, and olive oil cake with ricotta and lemon liqueur. A meal to be savoured, diners can expect to be at the table (which accommodates 12 to 16) for three hours. Note: If there aren't enough reservations to fill the table, the dinner could be cancelled.

Fish & Ships (Deck 14); a la carte pricing: Located next to the main pool area, this casual eatery serves British fried classics, including battered cod and fries, as well as fried calamari, sandwiches and lobster rolls. For dessert, deep fried candy bars are the way to go. Fish & Ships opens for lunch and dinner.