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Hokie79

Ovation June 28 quick review

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Quick review of Ovation sailing June 28, 2019

 

Haven’t posted in a while but thought I’d give a quick review of our recent Ovation sailing.

 

Went with my wife (both of us are 40) and two kids (9 and 6).  We have been on a number of cruise lines and several Royal Caribbean primarily in the Caribbean.  The wife and I did Alaska on Holland about 15 years ago. We have always wanted to go back to Alaska but with how scenery focused it was we were waiting till our kids got older then Ovation was moved there so thought it could be a good compromise to take the kids.

 

Overall the cruise was great and we would highly recommend to families.

 

We flew in a couple days early and stayed at the Hyatt House right next to the Space Needle.  Great location and nice hotel.  

 

For the the full day we had before the cruise we went out to the Museum of Flight.  Great place to take families and was fun for the adults too.  I’d plan on taking at least a few hours there, we spent a lot of the day.

 

The morning of the cruise I took the kids up in the space needle for a little while.  Beautiful views as always and saw our ship in the port.

 

We Ubered to the port around 10:30 and were walking on the ship a little after 11.  Except for the decent walk from The Uber drop off, check in was smooth and quick.  We did Windjammer for lunch and it was busy but not too bad.  I’m not sure I really like the layout with most of the food areas pretty close to each other but it served its purpose.

 

We did bumper cars in the afternoon.  Wow the line gets long fast.  Got there 30 minutes prior and already had a long line.  This was pretty consistent the whole cruise.  Would think they’d offer if more with how popular it was.  And let me add it was a lot of fun.  

 

A nice surprise was the pools and the water slides were all heated water.  I guess I didn’t research this enough but very nice for some of the cold sea days.  I don’t think a lot of people realized this as my kids had the water slides to themselves most of the times we went.  A tip, go to the pools earlier in the day as they could get crowded later in the day.  

 

We we ate at the MDR for dinner every night except Juneau day.   We ate in port that day.  MDR service was beyond good.  Food was

ok to good.  My wife has a gluten allergy and they were all over it.  The assistant waiter Angel was so good to my kids.  

 

For most breakfasts we ate in the Windjammer.  We were up fairly early and never had too bad of crowds.  For most lunches we ate in the Solarium.  Good food and never crowds at all.  We did try Sorrentos which was good compared to other ships as well as Park cafe for a quick bit and was good.  

 

Our room was a JS 10622.  Great location and nice room.  I like the one and a half baths in these JS.  Balcony was great with padded loungers.  Room was quiet.  

 

Juneau we took a taxi to the salmon hatchery.  Good for a short visit.  Then took a taxi to Mendenhall glacier and walked out to the waterfall.  Amazing at how much the glacier has receded in 15 years.  Had a great time and ate at Hangar on the Wharf in town.  Good food and atmosphere.

 

Skagway we booked with Beyond Skagway tours up to Emerald Lake and back with a drop at Michelle Philips dog sledding camp.  Would highly recommend the entire day.  Just wow on the beauty of that area.

 

Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier day was pretty with all the ice bergs and seals but we didn’t get near enough to the glacier to see it.

 

Victoria we did a whale watching drip with Orca Adventures.  Amazing tour and saw tons of humpbacks and seals.  Walked around town and loved it.  

 

Disembarkation was smooth.  We used the port valet for bags and loved not having to deal with bags all day.  

 

Spent the the day in Seattle ahead of a red eye home.  Did the aquarium and walked around the water front.  Then went out to a computer museum that had working computers and gaming systems dating back 40+ years.  Could play on most of them.   Even had old arcade games to play.  Kids and adults loved it.

 

sorry for a little longer review then I thought.  Loved the trip and would highly recommend.  

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That sounds like you had an awesome time.  I have read on several posts that the port in Seattle is a zoo, both before and after the cruise.  It does not sound like you had any problems.  How does the port valet work?  I know we used a ship valet service on Oasis and it was great not having to deal with luggage.  We can't wait to be on Ovation to Alaska but we do not go until Sept. 2020. 

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For port valet they give you something to fill out in your room the first few days.  You just then drop it at guest services by the 4th or 5th day and they give you tags the last night.  Worked great.  Never saw the bags again till we got home.  

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1 hour ago, lovescats5 said:

That sounds like you had an awesome time.  I have read on several posts that the port in Seattle is a zoo, both before and after the cruise.  It does not sound like you had any problems.  How does the port valet work?  I know we used a ship valet service on Oasis and it was great not having to deal with luggage.  We can't wait to be on Ovation to Alaska but we do not go until Sept. 2020. 

It was really a zoo two years ago.  Boarded Ovation July 5 and was surprised that check in was not as bad. 

 

Better organized than last time for sure.  Not as efficient as port Canaveral or port Everglades but definitely an improvement from before.  The taxi or shuttle service will still take 15-20 min or so to get you to the drop off point after turning into port area.  At least at 1010am on boarding day.  Just hand your luggage over to the many porters there was easy.  Then walk across the street to the terminal building and get through security.  See the people with ipads to get checked in.  And finally walk into line to board.  At 1030 am they where calling general boarding onto ovation.  So did not get to even sit down in the waiting area. 

 

Boarding at port of Seattle has been improved.  I would rate boarding at Canada Place in Vancouver worse than Seattle now.  

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I love reading anything about Ovation. We are 4 weeks away! 

I was just this morning looking into the Museum of Flight for the day before the cruise. We are staying outside of downtown that night.  We will have 2 nights in downtown Seattle post cruise so we can do a lot then. 

 

I’m impressed you were able to get your kids up early enough to go to the Space Needle before heading to the pier. 

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My kids are early risers.  Usually by 7am.

 

Seattle was fun.  Could easily spend more time there.  

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Sounds like the valet service is the way to go.  We are flying the day of, 2 hr. flight from Reno, and was hoping to get on board early but flights do not arrive in Seattle until 9 am.  We are trying to figure out if just a taxi would be good or rent a car service.  Also, was there a charge for the North Star at the glaciers?  We were thinking if there was maybe there would be a discount for the Star Class people.  I know we are over a year away but I am in charge of all transportation and I always stress out until we are on the ship.  Thanks for all your information.

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Lovescats5, I can tell you that the Northstar for the glacier day was available to book ahead of time on our cruise planner. It started out at $49.99 then it jumped to $69.99. But it shows as sold out now. So this should become available to book at some time.  I have not read about any discounts in all of my research.  Although I would think Star class people could book this onboard even if it shows as sold out to the general population. 

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If it is like Chef's Table Star gets a great discount.  I would like to hear from other Star Class people concerning this.  I know for almost all activities the genie has saved spots for their people, we are hoping this will be one of them also.  I have read that the view from North Star is pretty spectacular.

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Posted (edited)

Hokie79 - thanks so much for the review. 

 

lovescats5 - We have 8 people in our group, with various boarding times.  Do you think we would all be safe showing up around 10 and getting checked in.  Did the port people look for the reserved boarding times?

Edited by mrsshmthaus
.

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We got there around 10:45 and had very little wait.  They did not look at our boarding time. 

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Being in  Jr Suite did not give you access to Coastal Kitchen. Just curious 

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:12 AM, lovescats5 said:

We can't wait to be on Ovation to Alaska but we do not go until Sept. 2020. 

Wife and I will be on Ovation also Sept 2020. 

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1 hour ago, SingBill said:

Being in  Jr Suite did not give you access to Coastal Kitchen. Just curious 

We had access to CK on the July 5th cruise sailing in a JS.

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Tulsacoker-what day do you sail?  We are Sept. 4 in room 10724.  If you sail then maybe we will see each other while on the ship. 

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15 hours ago, lovescats5 said:

Tulsacoker-what day do you sail?  We are Sept. 4 in room 10724.  If you sail then maybe we will see each other while on the ship. 

Sept 4th also, Room 8636.  I'm sure we will cross paths in the Lounge or CK. You do have my picture 😄  

Edited by Tulsacoker

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We have never stayed in a Grand Suite.  Will you be able to get reservations for dinners in the Coastal Kitchen?  I am guessing you will be flying in the day before.  We will fly up the morning of because it is only a 2 hr flight.  Would like to get to the port by 9:30 but that probably will not happen.  Seems like a long way away yet but then our cruise in Nov. seems like a long time to wait.

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we prefer lofts but elected to do a GS for this trip. yes with GS we can have breakfast lunch and dinner in the CK. I'm thinking we will be flying up two days before and spending some time seeing Seattle and fisherman wharf. It is long ways away so in the mean time we just booked a loft on Oasis out of Miami in April to tide us over.

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