Royal Caribbean’s New Ship – Ovation of the Seas
Ever fancy riding bumper cars while out in the middle of the ocean? How about the experience of an on-deck skydive? Or hovering 300 feet above the shimmering waves in an observation bubble with a 360-degree view as far as the eye can see?
If these ideas had never occurred to you before, they just might sound quite appealing now – and you can indulge in them on Royal Caribbean International’s newest vessel, the Ovation of the Seas.
Launching in the middle of April of 2016, the Ovation is a Quantum-class ship, the second largest of the RCI stable. Together with its sister ships, the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas, it is just slightly smaller than the Oasis class ships which head RCI’s 25-vessel fleet. It can accommodate 4,180 passengers.
The Ovation is aimed squarely at the Chinese market and it will be based for the majority of the year in the port of Tianjin in China. The onboard decor has been selected to conform to Chinese tastes and features Oriental art and complimentary color combinations. It will even showcase art and relics from the Chinese Imperial Museum, and experts from the museum will give lectures on Chinese history and culture. The signage is in both English and Chinese and the ship’s official mascot is a panda. The 19 restaurants feature a wide range of Oriental cuisine, but balanced with a range of Western choices which are finding an increasingly enthusiastic crowd in China.
There is a Royal Theater on board, but one that eschews the typical West-End type of performances in favor of colorful song and dance extravaganzas in keeping with Eastern preferences. The bilingual staff on the ship is primarily from China, and the Royal Casino staff has been selected from and trained there.
For the kids and the young at heart, Dream Works has created an onboard experience featuring their most successful characters including Shrek, the Madagascar penguins and Kung Fu Panda, who will make appearances at the ship’s Adventure Ocean kids club activities and on the 3D movie theater screen.
There is a modern, stylish gym and basketball court to whip up a sweat and a full-service spa for rest and relaxation afterwards. the indoor pool sports a retractable roof and there are whirlpools in others. A surf simulator and 30-foot climbing wall will keep the adventurous occupied. For families looking for alone time, there is an adults-only Solarium and Royal Babies and Royal Tots programs to keep the young ones entertained.
When based in Tianjin for the northern summer, the Ovation of the Seas will takes cruisers on trips up to a week long around China, and to Japan and Korea. During the northern winter, she will make her way down to Sydney in Australia to bask in the southern summer sun.