Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas: Overview and Things to Do

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You may associate Royal Caribbean with the cruise line’s large, record-setting, impressive ships. After all, Royal Caribbean has introduced some of the biggest ships in the world to avid cruisers. That said, the cruise line’s Ovation of the Seas is not among these sizable ships that have set records for their gross tonnage, length or capacity.

Instead, Ovation of the Seas — as well as the rest of the Quantum class — offers a smaller setting than some of Royal Caribbean’s other ships (though, it’s worth noting that, while this is the case, technically, they’re not “small” by any means) along with a bevy of new innovations and features revolutionary for their time.

The ship is still on the new side, launching less than 10 years ago, so you can still expect a cruise on Ovation of the Seas to be comfortable, with modern and updated amenities and furnishings. 

Need to know more before you decide whether or not you’ll be taking an Ovation of the Seas cruise in the near future? Here are all the need-to-know details.

Ovation of the Seas Stats

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is the third Quantum-class ship released by Royal Caribbean. The Quantum class is known for ships with over-the-top guest capacities, large sizes, and enough entertainment to keep cruisers happy for weeks on end.

Ovation of the Seas is not the largest Quantum-class ship, and, in fact, the Quantum class isn’t even the largest class of cruise ships in existence. The ship measures in as such: 

  • Gross Tonnage: 168,666
  • Length: 1,138 feet
  • Decks: 16 total, 14 for passengers
  • Staterooms: 2,091
  • Passenger capacity at double occupancy: 4,180
  • Passenger capacity at full occupancy: 4,905
  • Crew: 1,500

Additionally, the ship is 136 feet wide and features 16 guest elevators. While the ship was not known as one of the largest cruise ships in the world when it launched, unlike some of its fellows in the Royal Caribbean fleet, it was, however, touted as one of the largest cruise ships in Asia.

According to Royal Caribbean, when the ship arrived in Manila in 2018, it was the largest-ever cruise ship to call at any port in the Philippines, carrying the highest number of guests, close to 4,600. Here are the other Royal Caribbean ships that are in the same class:

Ovation of the Seas Construction

Royal Caribbean began construction on Ovation of the Seas in 2014, at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, and the ship was delivered in early April 2016, entering service on April 17 following a christening by godmother and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing. 

As part of the Quantum class, Ovation of the Seas features a lot of the stand-out venues and entertainment options that helped the Quantum class stand out despite its smaller size. There are innovations and new features nearly everywhere you look.

Ovation of the Seas Construction
Ovation of the Seas Construction

For example, on Quantum-class ships, the large interior staterooms all feature Royal Caribbean’s virtual balcony, a floor-to-ceiling screen that projects the real-time view outside of the ship. Quantum-class ships also feature a skydiving simulator, a surfing simulator, a rock-climbing wall, and escape rooms.

Read Also: What Is a Royal Caribbean Quantum-Ultra Class Cruise Ship?

Most notably, they’re outfitted with the award-winning North Star observation tower. In 2016, Royal Caribbean received an honor in the Guinness Book of World Records for the North Star observation capsule that’s featured across its Quantum-class ships. The North Star observation capsule is on record as the highest viewing deck on a cruise ship. 

So, what exactly is it? The glass capsule takes guests more than 300 feet in the air, rotating upwards and over the side of the Quantum-class ships to show off amazing views, wherever a Quantum-class ship might be traveling. 

Ovation of the Seas Refurbishments

Only launched in 2016, this ship hasn’t seen any major refurbishments as of yet. It’s still relatively new, inside and out.

Ovation of the Seas Cruise Ship
Ovation of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Galactic Droids / Shutterstock)

In 2021, it entered dry dock in Singapore for the routine maintenance that Royal Caribbean performs every five years. This dry dock only included general maintenance that would not impact a cruiser’s experience to any large degree. 

Ovation of the Seas Itineraries

When it launched, the ship first sailed from Hamburg to Southampton for its inaugural events, then went on to Asia, where it would begin service out of Tianjin and Sydney. In 2019, the ship sailed from the Eastern Hemisphere to Seattle, where it began Alaskan cruises during the summer season. Today, Ovation of the Seas serves very similar itineraries in areas of the world that aren’t quite far off.

During the recent 2023-2024 winter months, the ship has been sailing out of Sydney for New Zealand, Great Barrier Reef and South Pacific cruises. Royal Caribbean plans to reposition the ship in April 2024, with a trip from Sydney to Honolulu, then from Honolulu to Vancouver, then from Vancouver to Seattle.

There, the ship will spend the rest of the summer offering Royal Caribbean’s Alaska Adventure experience, before repositioning to Sydney once again for the 2024-2025 winter season.

Staterooms

Unless you’re traveling with a premium and high-priced cruise line, you likely know to expect staterooms that aren’t exactly luxurious. However, Royal Caribbean turns this assumption on its head with the line’s staterooms aboard Ovation of the Seas

Gone are the outdated, cramped and dark staterooms that you might expect. These staterooms are bright, modern and altogether aesthetically pleasing.

Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom

However, that’s hardly the best part. The staterooms are also filled with top-of-the-line high tech. Take, for example, the interior staterooms with virtual balconies. You can enjoy views of the ocean — or whatever it is the ship’s passing — in real time, without paying for an upgrade to a balcony stateroom.

The ships staterooms can be broken down as such:

  • 1,572 balcony staterooms
  • 148 exterior staterooms
  • 375 virtual balcony (interior) staterooms
  • 16 family connected staterooms
  • 12 studio staterooms with balconies
  • 34 accessible staterooms

Whichever stateroom you pick, you can expect a modern, updated and comfortable aesthetic, with crisp white walls and linens offset by dark carpeting and jewel-tone accents. You’ll feel as if you’re staying in a boutique luxury hotel, rather than on a nearly-10-years-old cruise ship

Ocean View Stateroom
Ocean View Stateroom

Interior staterooms are roomy and, of course, you have that virtual balcony in every single one, for a vibe that goes far beyond your typical shoebox of an interior cabin.

Read Also: Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society – What You Need to Know

Ocean view staterooms feature big, circular windows that you can see right from bed, or from the sitting area on the other side of the cabin. Balcony staterooms offer even more room, including exterior space, with your furnished balcony overlooking the ocean.

Suites

Suite staterooms are even more luxurious, with plentiful space and natural light. Suite options aboard Ovation of the Seas include:

  • Owner’s suites
  • Grand suites
  • Junior suites
  • Loft suites
  • Royal suites

Junior suites are your more basic options, and they’re not necessarily a “suite” per se, in the sense that there are multiple rooms within the cabin. Instead, you just get more floor space overall. You can choose between junior suites with standard or larger balconies.

Grand suites are more of your traditional suite, with separate bedrooms, away from the living, dining and entertaining areas. You can choose between grand suites with one or two bedrooms on this ship. The owner’s suites are similar, but there’s only a one-bedroom option here.

Crown Loft Suite
Crown Loft Suite

Loft suites are split over two levels, which is a nice touch and helps add a bit of separation, if you’re traveling with more than just one or two other people and want some privacy or maybe some peace and quiet.

Royal suites, lastly, are the most impressive of them all, with multiple levels, large dining areas and wall-to-wall windows. You’ll feel as if you’re floating in a penthouse suite at a high-rise hotel. 

Free Dining

This ship is decked out with a bevy of free dining options, so you can get your fill of fabulous at-sea fare without spending an extra dime. Your complimentary dining options aboard Ovation of the Seas include:

WIndjammer
WIndjammer
  • The Grande, one of the ship’s main restaurants
  • Chic, another main restaurant
  • Silk, likewise a main restaurant, but with Asian theming and only serving dinner
  • American Icon Grill, the final main restaurant, with, as the name suggests, an American theme and also only serving dinner
  • Café Promenade, a casual café open 24/7
  • Sorrento’s, a pizzeria
  • The Café at Two70, for light bites
  • Windjammer Marketplace, the ship’s buffet
  • Solarium Bistro, a restaurant near the Solarium adults-only space
  • Coastal Kitchen, a VIP restaurant that’s only open to suite guests
  • SeaPlex Dog House, for dogs at the SeaPlex

You can also order room service for a minimal fee. A room service continental breakfast is free.

Specialty Restaurants

If you find that you’re still hungry after all of the above, you do have other options. The ship’s specialty restaurants up the ante with more to love on their a la carte menus. Specialty restaurants include:

Wonderland Restaurant
Wonderland Restaurant
  • Wonderland, a tech-focused restaurant that takes fine dining into the future
  • Jamie’s Italian, Royal Caribbean’s celebrity chef-led Italian restaurant
  • Amber & Oak Pub, an English pub-style restaurant
  • Chops Grille, a classic steakhouse
  • Izumi Japanese Cuisine, for your favorite Japanese bites
  • Fish & Ships, a poolside spot serving fried seafood
  • La Patisserie, for specialty drinks and treats

Worth Reading: Are Royal Caribbean Cruises All Inclusive?

There are also special culinary experiences to be had aboard the ship. For example, The Chef’s Table is an exclusive, limited dining option, led by the ship’s culinary team.

Bars and Lounges

You’ll be able to find a drink nearly anywhere you go on this ship. Watering holes are plentiful. Grab a seat, side up to the bar and order your favorite libation at one of these options:

Vintages
Vintages
  • Boleros, a Latin themed bar with live music
  • Michael’s Genuine Pub, a British pub
  • Schooner Bar, a Royal Caribbean classic with a nautical theme
  • Bionic Bar, for a futuristic take on bartending
  • Vintages, a wine bar
  • North Star Bar, next to the North Star attraction

There are also bars in select restaurants on the ship, as well as two bars at the pool and a bar in the adults-only Solarium.

Activities and Entertainment

Ready to play? Ovation of the Seas has you covered. No matter if you like to swim, shop, head to the spa or surf, there’s an option for you.

Pools and Water Features

There are three pools on the ship, including a main pool, a family-friendly pool, and an indoor pool. Multiple whirlpools are scattered around the main pools. Nearby, the Solarium pool is open to adults only and offers a tranquil setting and its own bar.

Ovation of the Seas Open Deck
Ovation of the Seas Open Deck

For something more adrenaline-pumping, try the FlowRider, a surfing simulator that’s harder than it looks.

Skydiving Simulator and Rock-Climbing Wall

One of the coolest features to premiere on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships? The Skydiving Simulator, RipCord by iFly Skydiving. This activity is in high demand and includes heading into a simulator to “skydive” in simulated high winds.

RipCord by iFly
RipCord by iFly

Next to the skydiving simulator is the rock-climbing wall, which still offers high-flying thrills, just at a slower pace.

North Star

As mentioned, North Star was a big deal when it came out. This glass pod takes cruisers up and over the ship so they get unprecedented views. It’s technically a ride, so you may have to wait in line to enjoy the experience, and only a limited number of people can go on the ride at once, but you may find it’s well worth the wait.

Ovation of the Seas North Star
Ovation of the Seas North Star

The Spa

Head to the cruise ship’s amazing spa for a whole lineup of treatments that you can choose from, that are all designed to leave you feeling refreshed and at your best. From massages and facials to manicures and pedicures, whatever you’re in the mood for, they’ve got it. After you’re left relaxed and rejuvenated, you can sit a while in the steam room or solarium, or take a dip in the whirlpool.

The SeaPlex

Looking for some family fun? The SeaPlex — the largest sports complex at sea — is a particularly good choice as it offers indoor activities that change on a regular basis. Bumper cars, skating, trapeze swinging, foosball, ping pong, Xbox gaming — it’s all up for grabs.

SeaPlex
SeaPlex

Entertainment and Shows

At the theater, catch the original production The Beautiful Dream, a theatrical show about a man who discovers a secret adventure and his soulmate in a dream.

Let yourself be awestruck by Pixel Perfect, an art-meets-tech production that combines performance art with music, cinematography and artistic experiments that’ll leave you and your family talking for days.

Music Hall
Music Hall

Gasp at the aerial acrobatics, impressive choreography and flamboyant costumes featured in Live. Love. Legs., an original cirque-style performance. 

If you just want to dance the night away, or sit and sip a cocktail while others dance around you, you can do that, too, when you catch a live music show at Music Hall. Game shows are an option as well, and even allow cruisers to get in on the action and show off their competitive sides.

Shopping

Thanks to tax- and duty-free shopping aboard Ovation of the Seas, your shopping experience aboard the ship is both fun and affordable. Avoid the taxes you might incur when shopping on land, and find your favorite brands and labels, with luxurious products across a range of items, from clothes to perfume, liquor to jewelry, wine to accessories. 

Favorite retailers on the ship include Cartier, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Omega.

The Casino

Ovation of the Seas’s Casino Royale is the perfect spot for both gambling newbs and fans. Newbies can take complimentary classes on playing the most popular games, while those who are more familiar with the gambling game can show off their skills during tournaments. Whether it’s poker, the slots, dice, blackjack or roulette you love, you’ll find it at Casino Royale.

Casino Royale
Casino Royale

Kids Venues

There are endless ways for your kids to stay entertained while they’re on-board Ovation of the Seas. Kids venues include Adventure Ocean, which is open to kiddos ages six months to 11 years. The Adventure Ocean program offers a wide range of programming, with something for every age group.

Older kids enjoy two separate spaces, The Living Room and Fuel. Younger teens only have access to the former. Programming includes supervised parties, competitions, games, and more.

Ovation of the Seas FAQ:

Is Ovation of the Seas the biggest cruise ship?

Ships are often measured according to gross tonnage (GT), or the total internal volume of the ship. According to GT, then, Ovation of the Seas is not the biggest cruise ship in the world. That honor (for the time being) goes to Icon of the Seas.

In terms of GT, Ovation of the Seas comes in 12th worldwide, tying with Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, with a GT of 168,666. Ovation of the Seas has a length of 1,142 feet, 18 overall decks and 16 passenger decks.

What class of cruise ship is Ovation of the Seas?

Ovation of the Seas is a Quantum-class cruise ship. This class, created by Royal Caribbean, is the third-largest class of cruise ships in the world, behind the Meraviglia class by MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean’s own Oasis class.

Quantum-class ships include Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. There are also two Quantum-Ultra ships, Spectrum of the Seas, currently in service, and Odyssey of the Seas, which is scheduled to enter service in late 2020.

Is Ovation of the Seas a good ship?

Ovation of the Seas is a very good ship for travelers, including families and couples, looking for a luxury cruising experience at a relatively affordable price. Currently, Ovation of the Seas spends its time sailingAlaskan cruises and South Asia cruises, and Australia, so it will appeal to travelers interested in those regions of the world. It also offers a high level of tech and service, which may be important to some travelers.

How many pools are on the Ovation of the Seas ship?

Ovation of the Seas serves its 4,180 passengers with four swimming pools (one with a retractable roof) and 10 hot tubs.

Does Ovation of the Seas have guest laundry facilities?

Due to safety concerns cited by Royal Caribbean, none of the line’s ships are outfitted with self-service laundry facilities. However, all ships do offer washing, pressing and dry cleaning services.

Do note that your stateroom will not come with an iron, as you might get in a typical hotel room, as this is considered a fire hazard. During a cruise, it’s not uncommon to see wash and fold specials available, which allows guests to send smaller clothing items to be washed and folded for $35 per a set quantity of items.

How old is the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas ship?

Royal Caribbean began construction on Ovation of the Seas in 2014 and the ship was delivered in April 2016, entering service just a week later.

Final Thoughts

While not the largest ship at sea, Ovation of the Seas is still a modern, amenity-packed ship that deserves your consideration. Whether you’re planning an Australian adventure or an Alaskan getaway, one of Ovation of the Seas’ upcoming itineraries could just be your perfect fit.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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