Welcome to the third ship in the Quantum Class, the Ovation of the Seas and what a fantastic ship she is packed with the latest technologically enhancements on 16 decks!
People often say to me, cruising is not for them or I will be bored on a ship…well with the Ovation of the Seas those myths are quashed! The ship is literally jam packed with things to do for all ages and the interactive menu around the ship will help you plan your day and find out what’s on around the ship.
There is fantastic entertainment in the evening in the Music Hall with live bands you can sing and dance along to. The Royal Theatre offers state of the art shows in 3D. For a venue that totally transforms at night, head for Two70 with its Roboscreens and aerial acrobatics! Whilst you are enjoying all these facilities, the kids will be having the time of their lives in the kids clubs!
Now a subject we all like to talk about is….Food! Ovation of the Seas offers Dynamic Dining. This means that you have the ability and flexibility to enjoy your meals on board when you want in different venues. There is no set table at 7.30pm every evening in the main restaurant with the same table of 6 – you can work your way around a range of restaurants (charges apply for some restaurants). The range of tempting new venues include three celebrity chefs; Jamie Oliver, Michael Schwartz and Devin Alexander. There is Chops Grille the hallmark with fantastic steaks! Chef’s table is a private experience for up to 14 people to enjoy a 5 course menu. Izumi Japanese includes made to order sushi with intense flavours and the best ingredients. Jamie’s Italian by chef Jamie Oliver offers a menu of Italian favourites. Sorrento’s is an authentic New York pizzeria experience fresh from the oven! Café Promenade has speciality coffees, snacks and cookies throughout the day. Silk, weave your way through a vibrant tapestry of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cooking . American Icon Grill has a choice of America’s favourite comfort foods. We ate in the Grand Restaurant and were served a delicious three course meal, the steak for the main course – wow, you will have never tasted anything like it!
For a tipple after dinner there are a plethora of bars to choose from including Schooners Bar with timeless cocktails and piano music. The legendary Bionic Bar, the first robotic bar in the world – truly WOW! Vintages offers a world of wine to satisfy palates of all levels. Michael’s Genuine Pub is like your local at sea, my favourite haunt on board with live music in the evening and craft beer. Our first drink on board was in Michael’s, I think that’s why I liked it so much.
If shopping is your thing, you will find the shops located on the Royal Esplanade (located across from Michael’s), a collection of celebrated brands comes together in the Royal Esplanade, featuring Cartier, TAG Heuer, Michael Kors, Kiehl’s and more iconic brands. There are also beauty shops, jewellery shops and souvenir shops.
When you first get on board you will have had your picture taken by the ships photographer and often around the ship in the evening and in the ports of call, head to the Photo Gallery to view these. Gone are the days of searching walls and walls of pre-printed pictures, you simply scan your card on the screen and it brings up your photos, which you can download to your phone or tablet device!
Heading for the top deck and the facilities continue, with the majority of firsts for Royal Caribbean that you won’t find anywhere else. The fantastic North Star is a capsule that goes 300 feet above sea level, you get breath-taking views of the ship and the ports of call. If you’re looking for thrills, why not try RipCord by IFLY – yes this is your opportunity to go skydiving at sea as you fly in a wind tunnel! For those who like to get wet, there are pools, waterparks and the FlowRider, which is a surf simulator at sea. SeaPlex is the cutting edge indoor sports zone, with basketball, roller skating, floating DJ Booth and bumper cars – that’s another first at sea. There’s also a teen disco for the kids to hang out, a rock climbing wall and keep your hunger at bay with fresh hot dogs baked throughout the day! After all that adventure, the Vitality at Sea Fitness Centre will keep you in shape with equipment to use yourself or organised fitness classes.
If you don’t want to head outside, soak up the sun or enjoy the shade in the Solarium, truly a tranquil adults only retreat with its retractable roof. There’s an outdoor movie screen which shows movies under the stars or the latest sports games. You’ll also find the Windjammer marketplace on deck 14, open around the clock 24 hours a day you can eat around the world from all continents, I was surprised how many seating places there were here, always plenty of room and plenty of food choice – there was a carvery and egg-fried rice for breakfast (as well as the usual hot selection, cold and bakery items!) There is also the Coastal Kitchen which is exclusively for guests who are in suites, this is a fusion of California cool and the Med-inspired taste.
The staterooms are well appointed and there is so much choice! Starting from virtual balcony staterooms (this is an inside stateroom with a giant screen showing outside live to look like a balcony) to ocean-view, to balcony and to suites. I had a balcony stateroom on board, there was a large double bed, a large bathroom, plenty of storage and wardrobe space and a sitting area to relax and escape during the day. Each balcony had a desk and vanity mirror, hairdryer, safe and fridge – great for keeping bottles of water cool for your excursions! And of course I had a fantastic spacious balcony which was great to enjoy in the day and also at night time.
A truly fantastic ship for everyone – there are facilities for all the family and so many technological advancements. I never thought I would see a robotic bartender make me a drink, or see people flying at sea or even upload pictures on the fastest wifi at sea…. WOW…I definitely can’t wait to get back on board!
Entering service in 2008, Independence of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom Class ship, guaranteed to offer you WOW moments!
Packed with so many facilities for all age groups, from the H20 water park, to the sports pool for volleyball & basketball and whirlpools that hang over the ship’s side! For the ultimate thrill seeking, why not try the FlowRider, this is a surf simulator at sea and great fun. You can always try Rock Climbing, yes that’s right, you can climb up the wall and race your friends to ring the bell at the top first!
Inside the ship, the main attraction is the Royal Promenade, this runs throughout the ship and is essentially like a street, with shopping, pubs, wine bars and cafes and open throughout the day. At night time, the ships entertainment crew put on a street party in the promenade. They perform on the sky bridge which can be lowered from the upper decks and offers great views for all passengers below.
Talking about entertainment, the 1200-seater Alhambra theatre is home to the production shows, performed nightly with amazing light displays and entertainers literally flying from all directions!
The Indy, as she is known to seasoned cruisers, is one of Royal’s eight ships to house an Ice Skating Rink named Studio B. Here a series of professional ice shows takes place, and if you fancy a go, well you can do, there are opportunities throughout the day to sample this too.
Sadly I was on board for the day and only got a brief visit to the staterooms as the ship was mid-cruise. The staterooms are clean and modern and if you can book a balcony I would recommend it. I went for lunch on board and the cuisine was amazing, sadly I had to disembark before it left for the next port of call, in the Caribbean…if only I could have stayed on board!
Now a little interesting fact for cruise buffs out there… the pools on deck are only heated when sailing from the UK, well I suppose when you’re in the Caribbean it’s hot enough!
Who would think you can do rock climbing, surfing or ice skating on a cruise ship?! Set on board the Independence of the Seas to enjoy this and a lot more!
I enjoyed a mini cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas – and wow what can I say!
As part of the voyager class of Royal Caribbean ships, she had many features included mini golf, ice skating rink & a rock climbing wall, she was like a floating resort!
The main attraction is the Royal Promenade, which runs the length of the ship, spanned over 4 decks. The Royal Promenade contains shops, cafes, bars and shops and is like the central hub of the ship. I had an interior promenade stateroom, which felt like an outside as I had a full window overlooking the promenade and all its activities. At night the entertainers do a street parade, but don’t be put off thinking there will be too much noise in these staterooms, they are well sound proofed.
Throughout the day there is so much entertainment, you can take in an ice-skating show, or if your feeling brave perhaps try the Rock Climbing wall on top deck and beat your fellow racer! Or if you want to sit on top deck in the sun with a book enjoying the weather you can do, the on board library is one of the biggest I have seen at sea with plenty of books.
When it comes to dining and drinking, the choices again are endless. The main dining room holds around 2,000 passengers, or there is Portofino, the Italian restaurant on board. The Windjammer restaurant is the help yourself buffet and provides food throughout the day and the Promenade Café is open for breakfast and light snacks. You have to try Johnny Rockets on board – this is a 1950s style burger restaurant, there is a small cover charge for this, but well worth it to experience the true American dining experience!
After all of that food, you can enjoy the spa and gym facilities. Filled with treadmills, bikes and weights, you aren’t short of space to enjoy a relaxing workout.
The entertainment on board is top class! A new show every night in the Lyric theatre, the shows always contain a very large cast and enjoy some great music and light shows too.
As I previously mentioned, I was in a promenade interior stateroom, which did have views to people watch throughout the day. There are also the usual interior, oceanview, balconies, suites, royal suite, & owners suite if you’re going to push the boat out. !
At the end of the Promenade are the reception and shore excursion counters who are always on hand to assist you throughout the cruise. If you fancy a flutter, the Schooner Bar located below the Promenade, is packed with gaming tables, poker, roulette and slot machines.
I had a great time on board the Adventure of the Seas during her seasons in Europe, she is to be based in the Caribbean for 2015, so why not try a Caribbean cruise on board the amazing vessel! i would hightly recommend