Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is the third Quantum-class ship released by Royal Caribbean. While 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 Quantum class sits behind Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class, as well as MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia class).
However, that definitely should not deter you from considering a cruise on Ovation of the Seas. The relatively new ship is filled with modern amenities and offers a range of amenities and entertainment options to keep everyone in your traveling party happy.
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. 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, traveling between Seattle and Asia for service in the latter during the winter months.
Ovation of the Seas received recent news coverage for its involvement in a catastrophic volcanic eruption in New Zealand, Dec. 9, 2019. Ovation of the Seas was docked in the Port of Tauranga when the eruption occurred, causing death and injury to travelers on the island. Royal Caribbean has promised to provide refunds to all passengers who were traveling on the ship during the occurrence.
As far as size goes, the ship is 168,666 GT and 1,142 feet in length, with 18 decks, 16 of which are passenger-accessible. The ship has a total guest capacity of 4,905 passengers, though typically capacity is capped at 4,180 passengers.
If you’re thinking of taking an Ovation of the Seas cruise in 2020 or later, then this is everything you need to know about this ship and all it offers cruisers, no matter what your itinerary might be or what corner of the world you’re exploring. Here are 16 impressive things you’ll want to learn about Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas before booking your next cruise.
1. While Ovation of the Seas isn’t the largest cruise ship in the world, it is the largest in Asia
According to Royal Caribbean, Ovation of the Seas is the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in Asia. When it 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. Of course, as far as being revolutionary goes, Ovation of the Seas certainly has that covered, no argument.
It boasts the North Star observation capsule (more on that later); high-tech entertainment venues; robotic bartenders (more on that later, too!); skydiving and surfing simulations; virtual balcony staterooms and more.
2. Ovation of the Seas has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records
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.
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. Some of the sights guests have been able to glimpse from the North Star observation deck aboard Ovation of the Seas include the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Milford Sound in New Zealand.
3. Ovation of the Seas offers the fastest internet at sea
If you’re worried about being able to post all your best pics and tweets while on your cruise, don’t be. Ovation of the Seas offers the fastest internet at sea, a service called VOOM.
The Royal Caribbean VOOM internet service is about seven times faster than the average internet service aboard a cruise ship, with a latency of less than 150 milliseconds. VOOM is available to cruisers at a pay-per-day rate, with service for one device starting at as little as $7.50.
4. The staterooms are absolutely unparalleled
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.
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! Suite staterooms are even more luxurious, with plenteous space and natural light.
5. Service comes first
Royal Caribbean wants to provide you with everything you might need to be comfortable, so your stateroom comes with a high level of service that might surprise you. Every guest enjoys 24-hour room service.
If you’re traveling with an infant, you can just let the brand know and they’ll outfit your stateroom with a crib and baby supplies. If you’re traveling as a family, you can ask for adjoining staterooms to accommodate the whole crew. Plus, Ovation of the Seas is equipped to cater to any passenger with special needs, so everyone can enjoy their cruise, no exclusions.
6. Adventure can be found at every turn
For many cruise ships, all the adventure lies in where you’re going. You have to wait until you get on shore before you can enjoy anything other than a dip in the pool or a trip to the theater. Well, that’s not the case with Ovation of the Seas. There are plenty of adventures to be had without ever setting foot on land.
Try out your skydiving skills in the skydiving simulator. Take to the waves on the FlowRider surf simulator (all while taking in the views around you, from the South Pacific to the mountains of Alaska). Reach new heights on the signature rock-climbing wall, which takes you 40 feet above deck.
7. Stay connected right from your phone
Royal Caribbean is constantly innovating its product, and that’s why cruisers on Ovation of the Seas now have access to the Royal Caribbean International mobile app. This is no ordinary cruising app — it’s your best friend both before and during your cruise, as it allows you to check in, access your room, plan activities, make reservations and more, all from your smart device. There’s no need for anything extra. You have it all right at your fingertips.
8. The dining is truly five-star, with some celeb inspiration
Spectacular dining is definitely not difficult to find when you’re aboard Ovation of the Seas. Go ahead and treat your tastebuds with visits to the best eateries aboard the ship. Some of the favorites? Try out Chops Grille, a long-beloved Royal Caribbean options that offers hand-cut, prime steaks alongside all your favorite steakhouse sides and a nice wine list.
Or, get a little adventurous at Wonderland, where creative and inventive dining experiences are on the menu, as the chefs allow their imaginations to run wild. And, of course, you can’t miss the on-board restaurant created by the famous celeb chef Jamie Oliver. Jamie’s Italian offers family-style eats and Italian favorites both familiar and new.
9. You’ve likely never had a drink served up by a robot
So maybe you have had a drink served up by a robot. If so, good for you. If not, here’s your chance to do so, at Bionic Bar. This revolutionary nightlife spot created by Royal Caribbean and appearing on select ships, including Ovation of the Seas, is helmed by a talented, gleaming robot with flair. Watching your drinks being made by this robot from the future is almost as fun as the drinking.
10. Taking care of yourself has never been this easy
There’s never a better time than the present to start focusing on self care and putting your health — both physical and mental — first, and doing that has never been quite so easy as it is once you board Ovation of the Seas. First, work off some calories at the state-of-the-art fitness center or on the outdoor jogging track.
Then, 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.
11. The kids are always taken care of, no matter what they enjoy
There are endless ways for your kids to keep entertained while they’re aboard Ovation of the Seas, leaving you to enjoy a little private time on your own. From a basketball court to bumper cars, the ship-board arcade to the H20 Zone kids-only water park, there are lots of different places where children can, well, be kids.
There are additional kids programs for all ages, from infants all the way up to teens, too, in case you want your kids to have more structure and adult supervision, with even a little bit of education thrown in for good measure.
They can try some STEM-based activities and science experiments at the Adventure Science Lab, or tap into their creative juices at the Imagination Studio, which is outfitted with any kind of crafting material they could ever need. They can even show off their acting chops, as well as their singing and dancing, at the Adventure Ocean Theater.
The kids will enjoy being away from mom and dad for a little while, mom and dad will enjoy some kid-free time (maybe in the adults-only solarium, with its own pool and bar, for quiet swimming with no shouting or splashing?) and then everyone can come back together in the evening for an enjoyable dinner at one of Ovation of the Seas’s great dining options.
There are also, of course, plenty of places where families can get together for some fun as a group. The SeaPlex is a particularly good choice as it offers indoor activities that change on a regular basis. Bumper cars, skating, trapeze swinging, fooseball, ping pong, Xbox gaming — it’s all up for grabs.
Worth Reading: A Simple Guide on Royal Caribbean Ships by Size
12. The shows are certainly something
If you think that cruise ship shows lack the finesse of the same productions you’ll find on land, think again. Now, cruise ships are upping the ante with amazing productions that are so high quality, they’ll knock your socks off. If you take an Ovation of the Seas cruise in the near future, you’ll enjoy a range of performances that are catered to travelers of all types, so there’s sure to be something to catch your fancy, whether you like musicals, choreography, comedy or anything in between.
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.
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.
13. The shopping is both fun and affordable
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.
14. Casino Royale makes a little gambling fun for everyone
If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at popular casino games, but you’ve never had the chance or just been too worried you wouldn’t know what you were doing and lose some money in the process, well then now’s your chance. 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.
15. The artwork is incredible
While you’re buzzing around this ship enjoying everything that it has to offer, take a brief moment to stop, slow down and take a look around you. Ovation of the Seas boasts a $4.5 million collection of artwork, more than 11,000 pieces that include installations, sculptures and paintings, the like of which you’d see in some of the world’s top galleries.
Among them is the first moving sculpture at sea, called Sky Wave, which is situated over the Royal Esplanade, and the Flutter Wall, an interactive butterfly-inspired art work found near the Royal Theatre. From big pieces of artwork in main social spaces to small little surprises hidden beneath stairwells or around corners, the design team at Royal Caribbean has truly put a lot of thought into making Ovation of the Seas both beautiful and whimsical.
16. The ship is a bit of a chameleon
Given the ship’s service on two different sides of the planet, Ovation of the Seas sometimes changes its offerings based on where it’s going to be traveling. When booking your cruise on Ovation of the Seas, then, this is something you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, when the ship is in Asia, you might see more Chinese influence on the menus. The shows might be different depending on the ship’s location, to better cater to different audiences.
When the ship is traveling around China, a private casino opens in addition to the public Casino Royale, for more gambling with higher stakes. However, even though the ship might change its colors based on where it is in the world, you can always rest assured that Ovation of the Seas will offer a little bit of something for everyone, as there’s simply so much to do and see aboard the ship at all times.
Ovation of the Seas FAQ:
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 its sister ship, Symphony 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.
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.
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 sailing both Alaskan cruises and South Asia cruises, 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.
Ovation of the Seas serves its 4,180 passengers with four swimming pools (one with a retractable roof) and 10 hot tubs.
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.
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. It has not been refurbished since that time.