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pearlsz

Ovation review

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Mine is up along with others of the inaugural Australian cruise. Happy to answer any questions. I also have copies of the Cruise Compass but I can't seem to format them so they'll be small enough to upload yet readable - suggestions welcome.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=556608&et_cid=2861228&et_rid=17491418&et_referrer=Boards

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Thanks for the review, I look forward to comparing your thoughts and experience when I board in just under two weeks.

Hopefully some of the organising issues have been resolved or streamlined at least. I am also My time and am somewhat apprehensive about how well it will work, I like to eat around 7.30-8pm which is normally a bit quieter as most people prefer to eat earlier or go for late traditional. I was unable to book for the I-fly and North Star but have been assured we can book once on board, hopefully this is true and being a 10 night cruise, we should have a better chance of getting to try them than on your shorter cruise.:D

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Thanks for the review, I look forward to comparing your thoughts and experience when I board in just under two weeks.

Hopefully some of the organising issues have been resolved or streamlined at least. I am also My time and am somewhat apprehensive about how well it will work, I like to eat around 7.30-8pm which is normally a bit quieter as most people prefer to eat earlier or go for late traditional. I was unable to book for the I-fly and North Star but have been assured we can book once on board, hopefully this is true and being a 10 night cruise, we should have a better chance of getting to try them than on your shorter cruise.:D

 

 

Occasional iFly spots open up, the thing to do is check the app regularly. North Star shouldn't be a problem, same thing, keep checking. There's also a stand-by line where you can just rock up and wait.

 

Be aware that in the MDR the menu uses the American term "entrée" to mean main (and "starter" for appetiser). Don't order two entrees LOL

 

The ship really is amazing, I'll look forward to hearing about your trip. Enjoy!

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Occasional iFly spots open up, the thing to do is check the app regularly. North Star shouldn't be a problem, same thing, keep checking. There's also a stand-by line where you can just rock up and wait.

 

Be aware that in the MDR the menu uses the American term "entrée" to mean main (and "starter" for appetiser). Don't order two entrees LOL

 

The ship really is amazing, I'll look forward to hearing about your trip. Enjoy!

 

Cheers, I have often ordered numerous appetisers/starters and occasionally two entrees/mains. Mostly to make a surf and turf with the Lobster and beef wellington/fillet mignon.:D

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Hi Pearlsz... sailing 14 nights in Jan- is formalwear required at all? Thanks

 

It's optional. We had one night which was a "Royal Evening - Dress Your Best". That was also the night of the Captains reception. I didn't see many tuxs but plenty of men wore suits and women cocktail dresses.

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It's optional. We had one night which was a "Royal Evening - Dress Your Best". That was also the night of the Captains reception. I didn't see many tuxs but plenty of men wore suits and women cocktail dresses.

 

Our party are dressing up for the formal evenings, us guys are bringing our tuxedos and the girls will glam it up as well.:D

Although as you said, it is not strictly adhered to on Royal.

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Is there really no shampoo or conditioner provided?

 

 

We had a superior balcony cabin and there was none! There are a couple of guest size cakes of hand soap and a gel dispenser in the shower. BYO as the shop is very poorly stocked as well.

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Our party are dressing up for the formal evenings, us guys are bringing our tuxedos and the girls will glam it up as well.:D

Although as you said, it is not strictly adhered to on Royal.

 

Sounds great. I really like the formal nights. Great idea about the "surf & turf" :) There was a charge for lobster in the MDR though, not sure if it turned up on the menu otherwise.

 

Another thing I appreciated was that the photographers are not always in your face like they are on Princess.

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thanks for the review!

 

sux it took over 3 hrs to get to ur cabin

 

Not the best start, that's for sure. But the rest of the cruise was pretty darn good, despite the booking hassles.

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We had a superior balcony cabin and there was none! There are a couple of guest size cakes of hand soap and a gel dispenser in the shower. BYO as the shop is very poorly stocked as well.

 

Thanks for that - I would never have thought of taking shampoo and conditioner to a hotel or a cruise ship. The reviews I have been reading are pretty poor - it's good to hear that you had a great time. I'm taking two grandchildren so do hope the queues are not going to be too horrendous for everything.

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Regarding this question: " There are two other dining rooms with the same menu but not available on My Time. Why?? "

 

That's because they're dedicated to traditional dining bookings. Similarly the restaurants you used are not available to traditional dining bookings.

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Thanks for that - I would never have thought of taking shampoo and conditioner to a hotel or a cruise ship. The reviews I have been reading are pretty poor - it's good to hear that you had a great time. I'm taking two grandchildren so do hope the queues are not going to be too horrendous for everything.

 

No shampoo is the norm on Royal ships unless you book a suite.

 

However I much prefer to take my own shampoo as I prefer to use shampoo/conditioner that suits my hair type.

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Thanks for the review Pearlsz,

 

I read a few of the other reviews as well, a mixed bunch but the negative ones were either typical of new cruisers or of repo cruises/first cruises in a new country.

 

I recall Voyagers first cruise or two in Australia after coming from Asia had many of the same staffing issues. Many of the staff have never worked out of Australia before, they need to adapt from the Asian passengers style to the Australian one & there is quite a difference apparantly.

 

That's why I never book first cruise out of the gates after re positioning! ;)

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Thanks for the review, I look forward to comparing your thoughts and experience when I board in just under two weeks.

Hopefully some of the organising issues have been resolved or streamlined at least. I am also My time and am somewhat apprehensive about how well it will work, I like to eat around 7.30-8pm which is normally a bit quieter as most people prefer to eat earlier or go for late traditional. I was unable to book for the I-fly and North Star but have been assured we can book once on board, hopefully this is true and being a 10 night cruise, we should have a better chance of getting to try them than on your shorter cruise.:D

 

Mic, I think you are on the cruise before us. Will you be doing any live posts? I'm interested in hearing about the Diamond Lounge & if they are doing anything different regards the Dining set up once she is sailing out of Sydney before we board.

 

I tried several times to confirm with the RCCL head office staff member that told me they would reintroduce Dynamic Dining after the repo cruise, but so far no reply - I cc'd the last email to one of the managers as well asking them to clarify one way or the other.

 

Thinking of booking one of the meal packages anyway as want to try the new speciality restaurants.

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Mic, I think you are on the cruise before us. Will you be doing any live posts? I'm interested in hearing about the Diamond Lounge & if they are doing anything different regards the Dining set up once she is sailing out of Sydney before we board.

 

I tried several times to confirm with the RCCL head office staff member that told me they would reintroduce Dynamic Dining after the repo cruise, but so far no reply - I cc'd the last email to one of the managers as well asking them to clarify one way or the other.

 

Thinking of booking one of the meal packages anyway as want to try the new speciality restaurants.

 

I will be doing a review on my return and my wife may be doing some live posts as we go.

Regarding DD, disappointingly, t is not going to happen. :(

Dazza is on the ship now and posts on the roll calls, they have done B2B2B and has clarified quite a few issues for people.

 

Apparently it is better to book the dining packages onboard as you can get a 3 restaurant package for $85 USD.

Edited by MicCanberra

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W're on the 30th Dec Cruise as well. Was able to get a North Star booking for 11:30 on the first sea day and they only let you book one session online. But DW was hoping they would run North Star whilst we were going through the sounds assuming the weather is kind and we actually make it) in NZ. That would be spectacular. Will see once onboard if we can snag a session or badger our Concierge to see if they can help.

 

Would also be great to do North Star at night or at sunset/sunrise but probably asking too much!

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Another thing I appreciated was that the photographers are not always in your face like they are on Princess.

On Princess now, a simple shake of the head or a polite "No thanks" and the photographers move away without insisting. The only time they are more insistent is when they have an 'ambush' outside the dining room with characters dressed up.

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Thanks for that - I would never have thought of taking shampoo and conditioner to a hotel or a cruise ship. The reviews I have been reading are pretty poor - it's good to hear that you had a great time. I'm taking two grandchildren so do hope the queues are not going to be too horrendous for everything.

 

I always pack small bottles of shampoo/conditioner/hand cream just in case.

 

All the kids on the cruise - and there were many - seemed to be having a great time. With bumper cars, climbing wall, skating, basketball, 24-hour xBox plus the pools, they should be fine.

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Just read all of the reviews, might I say, disturbing.

 

Sounds like a training ship.

Edited by NSWP

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I will be doing a review on my return and my wife may be doing some live posts as we go.

Regarding DD, disappointingly, t is not going to happen. :(

Dazza is on the ship now and posts on the roll calls, they have done B2B2B and has clarified quite a few issues for people.

 

Apparently it is better to book the dining packages onboard as you can get a 3 restaurant package for $85 USD.

 

Maybe not. That is actually a tad more expensive than what I can book online for - $85USD at today's rate is $116.38AUD & online I can book it for $113.05AUD.

 

I'll check out the roll call threads for Dazza's posts.

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I meant to say in post 26 that I was told that nearly 8500 people travelled on the ship on those various sectors. No wonder it was chaotic.

 

One day I asked for a Toblerone (the cocktail) and the bar staff hadn't heard of it no biggie just had a Mudslide instead. Next day one of the drink waiters found me and said they had googled it overnight and yes they could make one for me. Considering they hadn't heard of it it was pretty close to what I was used.

 

I look forward to reviews from the next couple of cruises to see if things are more settled. Things like no laundries, USD onboard, no shampoo, no notepaper, having to share tables at the Windjammer don't personally bother me (I accept that it can bother others), (also met one of my best friends years ago by sharing a table) I am more interested in the services issues.

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I look forward to reviews from the next couple of cruises to see if things are more settled. Things like no laundries, USD onboard, no shampoo, no notepaper, having to share tables at the Windjammer don't personally bother me (I accept that it can bother others), (also met one of my best friends years ago by sharing a table) I am more interested in the services issues.

 

A lot of those things are RCL general characteristics in any case, so not a bad reflection of the ship as compared to any other RCL ship.

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Thanks Cruisegroover, some great positive posts, they have me feeling optimistic that the issues will be sorted and will not affect my cruise greatly.:D

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Maybe not. That is actually a tad more expensive than what I can book online for - $85USD at today's rate is $116.38AUD & online I can book it for $113.05AUD.

 

I'll check out the roll call threads for Dazza's posts.

 

They do not offering the dinner packages on line for my cruise so booking the 3 restaurants individually is definitely much more like $150-170 AUD.

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I've just finished reading the reviews Sinapore - Adelaide and sounds like a real disaster. I'm not fond of queuing.

This could be a problem for RCI, I am guessing that most of the staff are Chinese speaking for the Chinese market so their service may not be what Australian cruises are used too.

Just got of the Radiance Friday - much less crowded than the Voyager So this being much bigger again may seem crowded. We have been on the voyager before and after it was based in Asia, big difference in service and the way things are done.

I noticed that someone said room service breakfast was chargeable now, I wonder if they are going down the P&O way of charging extra for everything they can?

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Hadn't heard of him, but a search shows he seems to be Adelaide based. Probably why.

 

They did have to discount, and did run with some vacancies at the end so there would have been a hit to their revenue model. Comes down to how hard they bargained with RCL to make the charter. Given RCL came in to help sales towards the end, it was that much of an issue for them to do that, and that RCL felt a need to help them out. Being an agency they wouldn't want to put them offside anyway.

 

Gut feel is I doubt it was a loss, but was probably a marginal venture - especially with all the very high amount of admin they had to do, which put more of a burden and cost on their staff, I doubt they'd do it again.

 

I questioned someone very very hard ie shouting match and in the end they said they weren't making any money on the venture hence why nobody got upgraded etc. Don't think they meant to say that but it wouldn't surprise me if that was near correct. RCL would not have been happy as they would have lost revenue on onboard spending etc so that would be why they helped. The whole thing was a complete debacle and RCL's image tarnished by all those negative reviews to the chaos that prevailed. Some of their staff onboard were downright rude and happily lied there way out of issues. I will never go now that company again.

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I questioned someone very very hard ie shouting match and in the end they said they weren't making any money on the venture hence why nobody got upgraded etc. Don't think they meant to say that but it wouldn't surprise me if that was near correct. RCL would not have been happy as they would have lost revenue on onboard spending etc so that would be why they helped. The whole thing was a complete debacle and RCL's image tarnished by all those negative reviews to the chaos that prevailed. Some of their staff onboard were downright rude and happily lied there way out of issues. I will never go now that company again.

 

 

This very much correlates with the story I heard Saturday night from someone in the flight travel business and who cruises frequently.

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I noticed that someone said room service breakfast was chargeable now, I wonder if they are going down the P&O way of charging extra for everything they can?

 

We enjoy the occasional breakfast on the balcony. Is the charge across all RCI ships?

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We enjoy the occasional breakfast on the balcony. Is the charge across all RCI ships?

We've been on the voyager a few times now and once on the Radiance and the room service as always free, included in the cost. So from what understand the other ships in Australia don't charge. P&O charge for each item for room service.

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We enjoy the occasional breakfast on the balcony. Is the charge across all RCI ships?

 

I don't think there is a charge for room service except for late night delivery.

 

My cruise booklet states:

 

Room Service is available onboard any time of the day of (sic) night - simply order from the room service menu located in your stateroom/suite. A late night service charge of $3.95 ($4.95 on Quantum Class ships) per delivery will apply when ordering room service between the hours of midnight and 05:00. This service fee includes gratuity.

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They are also charging for the steam room sauna its free on the other ships but $99 for ovation

Well, maybe RCI are looking at the P&O business model. That's the reason we stopped cruising with P&O after about 20 cruises and switched to RCI. Everything on RCI was included such as Sauna, Steam Room & Room Service, Kids Activities (skating, golf etc....)

Maybe they could charge for Rock Climbing, Flow Riderand Ice Skating as an extra?

I do have to clarify that we do still use P&O in winter as its local, but if RCI were based year round, we'd cruise with them in winter too.

I may have start looking at another cruise line - darn, so close to Diamond.

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Thanks for the review, I look forward to comparing your thoughts and experience when I board in just under two weeks.

 

Hopefully some of the organising issues have been resolved or streamlined at least. I am also My time and am somewhat apprehensive about how well it will work, I like to eat around 7.30-8pm which is normally a bit quieter as most people prefer to eat earlier or go for late traditional. I was unable to book for the I-fly and North Star but have been assured we can book once on board, hopefully this is true and being a 10 night cruise, we should have a better chance of getting to try them than on your shorter cruise.:D

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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