Ovation of the Seas - Alaska

pezgirlroy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Good morning everyone, you were all so helpful when we did Freedom last year. My husband and I are now looking at doing Ovation of the Seas in Alaska this August while one child is at camp and the other child is being watched by grandparents. Has anyone done this? Thoughts? I am struggling figuring out on the Royal website the available port excursions for this trip. Thanks in advance.
 

SevenWonkas

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 4, 2010
I can’t answer any questions you may have about sailing while a child is at camp, but we have left our son with friends/family while we cruised. AND we did Ovation in Alaska in 2019. :)

what sorts of things would you like to know? (If you look at my profile for past responses on past posts about Alaska/Ovation, you’ll be able to see a lot of discussion. Or just search the Royal Caribbean threads for Alaska)
 

ScooterScott44

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
We did Ovation on the initial Alaska sailing last May, so the itinerary was a little different from the rest of the Alaska season. Since it encompasses pretty much all the stops except Victoria we would be happy to answer any specifics.

As for port excursions we did a few on our own and a couple through Royal. We found it very easy to plan excursions outside of the cruise line and many are pretty reliable since they often are the same one the cruise lines use. We booked a helicopter/dog-sled and it worked out great. Besides being a little cheaper, we were the first group out before the cruise tours began. Basically the same experience except we were a private group.
 

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  • PendingPeril

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2019
    I've read that Ovation can feel overcrowded with lots of lines. Is that true? I don't think that was when it was sailing Alaska though.
     

    ScooterScott44

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    I've read that Ovation can feel overcrowded with lots of lines. Is that true? I don't think that was when it was sailing Alaska though.
    Our experience was quite the opposite, we were quite comfortable. The only time we had any crowd issues was for the muster drill. Otherwise the ship never seemed too crowded. The longest lines seemed to be at the bumper cars and that only went about 1/3 of the way around the SeaPlex area.

    The cruise ship deck plan site states in the ship description that Ovation has a space ratio of 35 and can be as high as 40. By their scale 33 is crowded and 39 is not.
     

    PendingPeril

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2019
    Our experience was quite the opposite, we were quite comfortable. The only time we had any crowd issues was for the muster drill. Otherwise the ship never seemed too crowded. The longest lines seemed to be at the bumper cars and that only went about 1/3 of the way around the SeaPlex area.

    The cruise ship deck plan site states in the ship description that Ovation has a space ratio of 35 and can be as high as 40. By their scale 33 is crowded and 39 is not.
    That's good to know. Why did you guys choose RCCL over other lines that have been there longer like Princess and Holland?
     

    ScooterScott44

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    That's good to know. Why did you guys choose RCCL over other lines that have been there longer like Princess and Holland?
    Things just sort of fell into place. We had a previous DCL planned a few years ago and re-booked that into a Norway/Iceland so Alaska was still on our to do list. Did an onboard booking while on Oasis, which we used to get the Ovation inaugural Alaska sailing. We got a pretty good deal on Star Class and being an 11 night, not the 7 night, with a couple extra stops we kept it. Would have liked to have had Glacier Bay but for what we were getting, it was a fair trade off.

    The ship is really well suited for the colder climate. The indoor pool and Solarium were great. The views from the Northstar were very unique. Our son is also at a perfect age for climbing, trapeze classes, and bumper cars. All that is on top of the kids club, arcade etc. that you typically find on ships.
     
  • PendingPeril

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2019
    Things just sort of fell into place. We had a previous DCL planned a few years ago and re-booked that into a Norway/Iceland so Alaska was still on our to do list. Did an onboard booking while on Oasis, which we used to get the Ovation inaugural Alaska sailing. We got a pretty good deal on Star Class and being an 11 night, not the 7 night, with a couple extra stops we kept it. Would have liked to have had Glacier Bay but for what we were getting, it was a fair trade off.

    The ship is really well suited for the colder climate. The indoor pool and Solarium were great. The views from the Northstar were very unique. Our son is also at a perfect age for climbing, trapeze classes, and bumper cars. All that is on top of the kids club, arcade etc. that you typically find on ships.
    That actually sounds really nice. The DCL prices for Alaska are insane. It's a little hard to justify given that you're more there for the ports than the ship.
     

    LizGirl

    Obsessed with WDW
    Joined
    Nov 3, 2011
    We sailed Ovation to Alaska last June and had a really nice time. In Juneau, we went whale watching with Jayleen's Alaska and it was a wonderful experience! She uses small boats so you avoid the cattle call feel. We booked this on our own and had no issue with getting back to the ship on time.

    In Skagway we took an independent excursion over to Haines that was kinda flat and I don't recommend (Kroschel Wildlife Center). Next time, I think we'd rent a car and drive out into Canada to see the scenery. The train is very popular but didn't appeal to us. We spent some time wandering around Skagway and had some nice food at the Skagway Brewing Company. In Victoria, we just wandered around to check out the city. It was a relaxed day.
     

    frank808

    DVC Member
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2010
    Did Ovation on this past July 5 and the whole family ranging from 7-80 years old had a great time. Loved the Northstar and bumper cars!! Kids also like the bionic bar making their non alcoholic drinks. Loved the shows in the main theatre and the solarium pool for the adults. What questions do you have and will try to answer them. The following week we boarded Radiance and did a northbound with 6 night land tour into Denali. My son commented that there was nothing to do on the small ship.
     

    trackchik6

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    Do you all generally recommend the RCCL Alaska cruise? I am generally interested in going to Alaska one day. My parents went there on a land-based trip (not cruise). Thanks!
     
  • ScooterScott44

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    Do you all generally recommend the RCCL Alaska cruise? I am generally interested in going to Alaska one day. My parents went there on a land-based trip (not cruise). Thanks!
    From what I have read Holland and Princess lines probably have the most experience from a historical perspective. Royal has two basic routes a north or south one way or the round trip out of Seattle. The land and sea which combines the one way cruise and a land based tours are pretty popular. The Ovation and the big Norwegian ship probably are the ones that give you the most options for entertainment on the ship. Disney is really the same product just with the few Disney touches and the associated costs. They are also limited pretty much to round trips out of Vancouver so they have the most limited port options. Excursions are going to be similar between all the cruise lines.

    So based on all that it really comes down to finding the right mix for you at the right price. Everyone that has been on an Alaskan cruise can share what they liked or disliked but the “best” one is really subjective to what is best for you.
     

    trackchik6

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2019
    From what I have read Holland and Princess lines probably have the most experience from a historical perspective. Royal has two basic routes a north or south one way or the round trip out of Seattle. The land and sea which combines the one way cruise and a land based tours are pretty popular. The Ovation and the big Norwegian ship probably are the ones that give you the most options for entertainment on the ship. Disney is really the same product just with the few Disney touches and the associated costs. They are also limited pretty much to round trips out of Vancouver so they have the most limited port options. Excursions are going to be similar between all the cruise lines.

    So based on all that it really comes down to finding the right mix for you at the right price. Everyone that has been on an Alaskan cruise can share what they liked or disliked but the “best” one is really subjective to what is best for you.
    Thanks for the tips! I will check out those other cruise lines. Unfortunately I really like balcony rooms and with that plus a family of 5, I am priced out of the Disney Alaskan Cruise.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    Thanks for the tips! I will check out those other cruise lines. Unfortunately I really like balcony rooms and with that plus a family of 5, I am priced out of the Disney Alaskan Cruise.
    We are sailing a Family Junior Suite on Ovation that sleeps 5. It was cheaper than an OV cabin on the Wonder opening day Silver, and has a balcony, high deck, midship. The price difference was quite significant for us.
     

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