There are so many things to take in with Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships – the best way to understand what’s available is simply to experience them.
The brand new Ovation of the Seas (2016) is the latest – alongside sister ships in this class: Anthem of the Seas (2015) and Quantum of the Seas (2014). The first thing you notice is the sheer scale of the ship – and with the distinctive North Star arm atop the ship: this is an incredible viewing pod on an extended metal arm which lifts 300 feet in the air to facilitate views of the scenery sailed by and destinations.
The ship though has a surprisingly intimate feel despite the vast scale and potential for 4,180 guests on board. This intimacy is achieved by lots of zoned areas, multiple restaurants bars, lounges and venues – so there are so many spaces for all these guests to disperse to – plus of course thousands of sun-loungers and private balconies too.
The range of staterooms on Ovation of the Seas is something to behold from compact singles cabins to extravagant loft-style suites – each is cleverly laid out to maximise the use of space, and well appointed too. The internal cabins with virtual balcony are a clever innovation to give a greater sense of space, and window on the world – featuring a live feed on a large video screen of the view from the ship.
The range of superb loft suites with separate lounge & dining area, loft bedroom, additional bedroom and multiple balconies provide high-end luxury with attentive assistance from Royal Caribbean Genies (their current word for ‘butler’). These are located at the aft which almost gives the sense of sailing on a vast private yacht ! The Concierge club a couple of decks up is a private modern club for suite guests.
But whether you are taking the supreme luxury options, or the more regular cabins there are plenty of facilities, places to go, activities, lounges, bars, restaurants and more.
Signature features aboard include Seaplex – a multifunctional space which can be a basketball court, roller skating rink, or a bumper car arena. The RipCord by iFLY is a chance to have a go at simulated sky-diving at sea, while FlowRider is a chance to surf the simulated waves on the top deck. The classic Rock Climbing Wall is a familiar sight on Royal Caribbean ships and there’s ample chance to put climbing skills to the test on the 38 foot wall.
We were so impressed with the Adventure Ocean children’s facilities on Ovation of the Seas with exceptional dedicated zones for each age group – plus the H2O Zone mini water park. The Lounge is a teen zone with imaginative seating and lots of facilities including the obligatory game consoles. The staff we met were really impressive and dedicated to providing great activities and safe environments for the kids.
The gym was a super-scale gathering of muscle developing and multi-exercise equipment. Did we mention the Spa? The wellness options are manyfold as you would expect on a cruise ship – the Vitality at Sea Spa can give you all the pampering, massage and health promoting options you need.
There are plenty of restaurant options too – from the Windjammer marketplace featuring all kinds of culinary options; to the 4 large identically sized Silk, Chic, American Icon Grill, and The Grande. There’s also quick and easy dining with the likes of Seaplex Doghouse, KungFu Panda DimSum & Noodle Bar, Solarium Bistro, and Cafe Two70. Some special flavours are available at the speciality dining venues such as the magical Wonderland, Izumi Suchi, Coastal Kitchen, Jamie’s Italian, and Chop’s Grille.
There are also plenty of smaller more intimate places like Boleros, Michael’s Genuine Pub, the Schooner Bar, Sorrento’s Pizza. There must also be special mention of the Bionic Bar where you can be shaken and stirred by the robots making cocktails for you!
Entertainment venues include the Music Hall area for live music performances, The Royal Theatre for the big scale stage productions, Two70 is a brilliant space which by day and by night takes on different characteristics – a great place to hang out and see what you’re sailing by, and where you can expect acrobatic displays, high-tech screen wizzardry and a variety of entertainment.
Ovation of the Seas has been geared to travel in Asia and Australasia once the initial European itineraries are sailed – there are some subtle Asian touches to the decor and furnishings through the ship – but Ovation of the Seas is a Quantum Class Royal Caribbean ship, almost identical to Anthem of the Seas (which will mainly be found in the Caribbean) and Quantum of the Seas (in Asia too).