Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests booked on Ovation of the Seas‘ first stage repositioning cruise from Alaska to Australia, alerting them to itinerary changes for the October 2024 voyage.
The impacted cruise is sailing to Hawaii and has had multiple itinerary shifts as the cruise line works to deliver the best possible vacation option.
Ovation of the Seas Itinerary Change
Guests sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia to Honolulu, Hawaii on the October 4, 2024 departure of Ovation of the Seas have been informed of an adjusted itinerary for the 9-night repositioning cruise.
This one-way sailing is the first step for the ship to move from the Alaska cruise region to Australia. While guests will embark the ship on Friday, October 4, the vessel will not leave Vancouver until 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, giving passengers the opportunity to explore Vancouver prior to setting sail on her way to Hawaii.
Originally, the itinerary was to have included a visit to Lahaina on Maui, but the port remains devastated from the wildfires in August 2023, and has therefore been removed from the itinerary.
This then meant that Ovation of the Seas would be sailing directly from Vancouver to Honolulu, with no other ports of call, though the ship would arrive on October 10, with guests disembarking on October 13.
Now, additional scenic cruising has been added, which will give guests onboard more opportunity to experience the beauty of the Aloha State while still having time in Honolulu.
The revised itinerary now gets to Honolulu for regular, full day port of call visit on Thursday, October 10 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Instead of remaining there for three days, however, Ovation of the Seas will depart Honolulu for another day at sea, followed by stunning scenic cruising along the Napali Coast of Kauai from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.
Guests should note that the visit to Kauai will be a cruising visit only, with no opportunity to debark the ship and explore the island. Nevertheless, the Napali Coast is one of Hawaii’s most scenic locations, with high cliffs with rugged shapes and beautiful formations. Seeing the area from a cruise ship offers unparalleled views.
Ovation of the Seas will then return to Honolulu for debarkation as scheduled on Sunday, October 13 at 7 a.m.
These itinerary adjustments are intended to give guests as much opportunity as possible to explore different parts of Hawaii, a bucket-list destination for many travelers.
The 168,666-gross-ton, Quantum-class Ovation of the Seas can welcome 4,180 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 4,905 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is currently sailing from Sydney, Australia, offering a diverse season of South Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, and New Zealand itineraries.
At the end of April, the ship will sail a trio of repositioning sailings: Sydney to Honolulu, Honolulu to Vancouver, and Vancouver to Seattle, where she will remain for the Alaska sailing season. The now-adjusted cruise is part of her return trip back to Australia for the Down Under summer season from November 2024 to March 2025.
Changes Similar to October 2023
The changes made to this cruise are similar to Ovation of the Seas‘ Vancouver to Hawaii sailing in October 2023, which was likewise adjusted to remove Lahaina.
At that time, it was not possible for the ship to visit other Hawaiian ports of call due to rebookings from other diverted vessels as well as the Ironman triathlon. Outcry over the adjustments did lead Royal Caribbean International to permit guests to cancel their reservations at short notice but still receive full refunds.
For the October 2024 cruise, because guests have more than eight months before the ship sets sail, such options are less likely to be made available. Guests can still change their travel plans, but will incur associated penalties as noted with the cruise line’s refund policy. At this time, the only charge would be the loss of any nonrefundable deposits.