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Bon Voyage – Ovation Alaskan Cruisers (and Sky class questions)


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Happy adventures to all those sailing soon on Ovation to Alaska!  We don’t leave until June 2020 so I will be living vicariously through all of your posts till then.  Please post tons of information and pictures!  Please send in menus and Cruise Compasses so the rest of us can have a preview of what’s to come!!

In the meantime, I have a bunch of Sky class questions that I hope can be answered in the next couple of months:

  1. Is Coastal Kiten open on embarkation day?

  2. Is there a private sun deck for suite passengers?  I thought this might be a nice place for sail away or glacier viewing.

  3. Were you offered a special tour of the bridge or galley?

  4. How hard was it to sign up for signature activities?  (iFly, bumper cars, rock climbing, etc.)

 

Thanks, Everyone!  Have a fabulous trip!

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I can't answer for Ovation, but I can answer for Anthem Sky Class, which I assume is the same.

2 hours ago, lindal said:

Is there a private sun deck for suite passengers?  I thought this might be a nice place for sail away or glacier viewing.

Yes there is

2 hours ago, lindal said:

Were you offered a special tour of the bridge or galley?

We were offered a bridge tour. YMMV

2 hours ago, lindal said:

How hard was it to sign up for signature activities?  (iFly, bumper cars, rock climbing, etc.)

The key is to prebook before the cruise via Cruise Planner site.

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2 hours ago, lindal said:
  1. Is Coastal Kiten open on embarkation day?

  2. Is there a private sun deck for suite passengers?  I thought this might be a nice place for sail away or glacier viewing.

  3. How hard was it to sign up for signature activities?  (iFly, bumper cars, rock climbing, etc.)

I'll add to @Matt information above. 

The Coastal Kitchen will be open for embarkation day, that's the first place we go to meet the staff.  And, if you have any reservations for specific times - you book those at that time, just to be safe.  

The sun deck should be good to go for suites - however, I'm not sure there is a dedicated bar up there - there was on the Oasis.  If not, you may want to make sure to bring any beverages / snacks with you.

You may have to keep checking the cruise planner to see when the signature activities are available.  If you have problems, you MIGHT get lucky if you make friends with the host in the coastal kitchen to help figure out how to get some reservations  🙂 

 

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We are now in the single digits to sailing her and are very excited.  While I will be happy to share, @twangster will be on our sailing so expect tons of great info even if I never post one thing.  

Quick question about size of the ship.  The larger ships have issues under Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver so the arrival and departure times have to coincide with low tide.  That applies to other ships as well as Ovation.  The question is someone mentioned she is too large to sail the inside passage.  Is that true?  The graphics/maps show her going that way.  Yes, I know that is not fact and ships can change their route but it seems odd.  The beam doesn’t seem to be that much larger than the others sailing that route.  So is there another factor?  

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There is a suite sun deck but no bar like Oasis.  For sure check out the suite sun deck but move around at the glaciers and see them from different perspectives.

iFly can be booked ahead of time in the cruise planner but unlike Anthem, North Star can only be booked on board.  Bumper cars and rock climbing are not bookable, line up and wait like everyone else.  

35 minutes ago, ScooterScott22 said:

Quick question about size of the ship.  The larger ships have issues under Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver so the arrival and departure times have to coincide with low tide.  That applies to other ships as well as Ovation.  The question is someone mentioned she is too large to sail the inside passage.  Is that true?

The bridge and the inside passage are unrelated.  The bridge height is a subject of debate in the community and there is talk of a future cruise terminal outside of the harbor to remove this obstacle as British Columbia and the greater Vancouver area seeks to gain further from the cruise industry.  

You have to be careful how you use the phrase "inside passage".  It's a collective area covering several thousand miles of coastline.  Sort of the "The Caribbean" is a reference to a region, not a specific route a ship would take. 

The inside passage is how we will reach places like Sitka, Juneau and Skagway.  Virtually all of an Alaskan cruise involves traveling inside passages.

http://www.alaskasinsidepassage.com/

In places only small ferries or boats can travel portions of certain waterways within the collective "inside passage".  To that extent no modern cruise ship can sail in those smaller channels.   In that respect even Empress can't sail all of the "inside passage".  

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Thanks for clarifying the term inside passage.   

So with that detail in mind, is the passage area east/northeast of Vancouver Island too narrow?  From Vancouver will the ship sail out west/southwest and around Victoria to the open ocean to go north.  It is understandable on the return to Seattle to go that route.  

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5 minutes ago, ScooterScott22 said:

Thanks for clarifying the term inside passage.   

So with that detail in mind, is the passage area east/northeast of Vancouver Island too narrow?  From Vancouver will the ship sail out west/southwest and around Victoria to the open ocean to go north.  It is understandable on the return to Seattle to go that route.  

Explorer is 1' wider than Ovation.  The Suez Canal is more restrictive than the British Columbia portion of the inside passage.  Ovation has "Inside passage" on the 7 night itineraries after us.

It will be interesting to see what route we take.  We may do the "inside passage" but in the dark so they aren't advertising it else people would complain.  

1814253619_OvationMay2019Map.jpg.f03946340457d4be50f89f52ccd9e661.jpg

 

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4 minutes ago, PurpleGurl said:

Why does Ovation not have any menus posted on the blog?

That's on me. Updating menus is a lot more work than I thought it would be, so with everything else going on I deprioritized it over other content.  Someday I'll get back to it.

In the meantime, there are lots of menus posted to the Royal Caribbean Dining group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/royalcaribbeandining

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36 minutes ago, Fireman973 said:

Can anyone tell me the things (shows, bumper cars ,North Star , IFly etc....) you are able to book online  90 days out in advance prior to sailing on Ovation ? TIA

For Ovation only the Pixels show in two70° can be booked.  All other shows are first come.  

Bumper cars is not bookable, all guests must wait in line except Star Class who have a priority queue.

North Star and iFly are sometimes bookable in the cruise planner but they hold most reservations for booking on board.  If you can't make cruise planner reservations before sailing make them upon boarding.

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