Overall Rating: Excellent
|# of Nights:||9-10 Nights|
We had booked the Ovation last yr. only to have it cancelled by RCI as they chartered the ship to a private party. Must be nice.
We received $150.00 OBC and sone other compensation which was supposed to be 2 bottles of wine and two plates of chocolate covered strawberries which were in our stateroom upon arrival. However for what ever reason the hits kept coming. We ended up with two more bottles of wine, two more plates of chocolate covered strawberries and a fruit basket. Wow!
Prior to embarking we spent two days in Sydney, flew to Brisbane for two more day to see our niece and her hubby and daughter, back to Sydney for a day before embarkation. We chose to stay at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney before embarking as it was a short walk to the ship and as it turned out its all down hill so even with 4 bags it was quite easy. Embarkation was delayed for an hour due to norm on the ship prior to our cruise so it needed intensive sanitizing. We were fine throughout the trip and heard of no one becoming ill though that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Throughout the voyage the Capt. made periodic announcements about free medical care for gi distress should it occur.
Embarkation was a breeze. Royal now has iPads the staff uses in lieu of paper work so it went quite fast. No more filling out forms about gi distress, etc.
We had requested first seating at a large table when we booked which was at least a yr. prior but were given my time dining. This was puzzling but were were able to get first but only at a table for 4.
Food is always subjective. I don't expect fine dining and we did not use any of the fee restaurants. Our MDR food was fine really. They staff went out of their way to meet my woes Indian food choices though there were Indian items on the menu every night. She did ask for special breads and deserts which they did make for her.
The ship itself was clean and well appointed. As its fairly new she looks her age.
Even though it quite large, about only 35-40 feet smaller than the Oasis class and much lighter. It did not seem for the most part that the lines anywhere were too long except at times for guest services and for professional pictures.
Shows were pretty good. Pixels is fabulous, a must see. We saw it twice. The Royal troupe put on only two shows but they were excellent. Its two bad they did not do more. There were other "headliners" too and they ranged from good to fair really.
Throughout the ship you had various venues with smaller bands and in the back of the ship at the 270 theatre there were a few shows as well that were pretty good. I just wish the main theatre group would have performed more than twice.
Our over all level of satisfaction was quite high as the personnel really went out of their way to meet your every need.
Disembarkation was also a breeze.
We had to miss cruising through the NZ Sounds as planned to avoid a storm unfortunately but we barely felt a ripple.
Our port stops were all in NZ, Dunedin, Wellington, Napier and Picton. NZ is a beautiful country with verdant hills, forests, a lot of wineries and very friendly people.
Any questions please ask!