Jump to content

Ovation of the seas to Alaska- Not so live blog (May 5, 2022)


Recommended Posts

HI All,  We are in Vancouver getting ready to board Ovation of the seas on an 8 night Alaska cruise today.  We are so excited and have been waiting almost 2 years for a trip on ovation. back to Alaska.  This is our 6th alaska cruse as we are big fans of the pacific northwest and the beauty of Alaska!!  The cruise starts in Vancouver and ends in Seattle. Our flights to vancouver were pretty easy yesterday with a layover in Seattle.  We already did our Covid antigen testing via emed to board the cruise prior to leaving home, but my husband did get randomized to a PCR at YVR as we walked through customs so he had to go through a testing process that was part of the exit of the customs and international flight area. Overall the test was fairly quick and not too bad for a PCR.  He already has results this am, but has been having a hard time accessing the link to view them.  We have a 10 am boarding time this am and are in a hotel right at the port.  I am hoping we can check into our staterooms early today since this is the first passenger sailing on Ovation in a while.  Chris Wong is reporting on you tube around 4000 passengers are expected today!  We have a balcony cabin on deck 9 on the hump!  Seems perfect for an alaska sailing!!  More to come later in the week.  As of right now, I won't likely have wifi onboard until later in the week, but will post some updates!!!


Tata for now! 

Cyndi and Greg


Edited by SpeedNoodles
put the sailing date in title for future reference
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • SpeedNoodles changed the title to Ovation of the seas to Alaska- Not so live blog (May 5, 2022)

Hi All,

Returned back to Cincinnati yesterday and will do a recap of the cruise.  I did purchase internet the last 2 days of the cruise, but it was a bit slow for a blog.   Overall, we had a great time on the cruise.  This was our 6th time to Alaska and we had many great moments on Ovation.  Overall, I think I will return to alaska on a smaller ship, but some of that was also was influenced by this being the first sailing on Ovation for several months, the ship being understaffed, and  the boat at almost full capacity with greater than 4000 guests

A few reflections:

  • Loved that this was an 8 night itinerary, our first time to Sitka and that we got an extra sea day at the end to recover!!  I also ended up getting the price of our extra large hump balcony cheaper than we have paid for some inside cabins to Alaska so that was AMAZING!!!  WE loved the cabin and the balcony..
  • Since this was the first sailing, we were able to board the ship at 10 am and go directly to our cabins.  Boarding went well overall, but they have a crazy process in Vancouver where you go through the terminal to check your bags, go up an escalator to begin the check in process, and then go outside and back downstairs to go through security.  I suspect the line for boarding got much longer and more chaotic.. Overall the process for check in was smooth and we were glad to be on the ship by 10:30
  • This was our first time to Sitka.  We booked a tour through viator that met downtown where the free bus let's you off.  The free bus into town was great, but there were not enough buses or drivers to meet demand so quite a line formed at their pier.  We fortunately got off early at 9:30 and got in line.  We just barely made it downtown by 10:30 in time for our tour, but those who waited to get off the ship had a much longer line and wait.  We also had a line and wait in Sitka to return after the tour!!  Overall, we really had a great time in Sitka and enjoyed getting to see it!  There was another princess ship in port, but reportedly, it was only at 50% capacity
  • Prior to the pandemic, my husband and I have always booked my time dining because we like to get a table for 2.  Typically we are done dinner in the main dining room in less than an hour.  During the pandemic, the hours for my time dining have changed and they don't open until 6:45.  Despite having reservations, the first night in my time dining took a really long time. The first night can always be a bit slower in the main dining room.  We had purchased a 3 night dining package, but due to looking ahead at the menu, we decided to go to specialty dining night 2, night 4, and night 8. 
  • Night 2  was CHOPS which never disappoints,  we also did Jaime's this cruise and then again at CHOPs on night 8.
  • We decided to ask the diamond concierge if he could help us get moved to the first dining time at 5:15 in the main dining room. On night 3, a card with the table number was delivered to our cabin so we ate there on nights 4, 5, and 6 and were much happier!  We like to eat dinner early overall!!
  • We got the drink package this cruise despite having diamond drinks and I was really glad we did!  I liked the freedom of having it!!  We spent a lot of time in the schooner bar and in the pub.  The piano bar and female guitar player were both really great and we loved the bar tenders there!!
  • The North star was broken most of the week so we did not get to do it.  I believe a few people got to do it 1 or 2 days of the cruise.  One observation is there are a lot less complimentary options available than I saw a few years ago on Anthem.
  • We also could not make it all the way to the glacier for the Dawes glacier viewing because of too much ice.  It was disappointing to many, but the scenery was still beautiful, and we have gotten to view the glacier before.
  • That afternoon was Juneau.  I booked the 5 glacier seaplane outside of the cruise, and it was a wonderful experience!!  I will post some photos after the blog
  • After the seaplane, we took a lyft to Mendenhall glacier for $35 and hiked to nugget falls.  The lyft driver came back to get us.  One note is there is no service available back from Mendenhall so we just paid her cash.  I have taken cabs from that location before for around the same price so be prepared to carry one of the taxi number with you or plan to take the bus back.  Usually, we also go to the Alaska brewing company near Mendenhall, but we skipped it this trip since we have a drink package.
  • The day in Skagway was AMAZING!!!  We took the train to white pass.  We did this before 20 years ago, but it was raining then... This trip was much clearer and a perfect day!! Plus we got it 20% off through the cruise planner!!
  • Ketchikan was our only rainy port (other than the first day in Vancouver)... We did the hoovercraft tour.  It was a cool boat, but we really could not see much in the rain and could not do the beach landing due to high wind. 
  • We were lucky to have a direct flight at 11:15 home yesterday nad made it to the airport in a lyft in plenty of time.  We also took advantage of the bag service to have the cruise line deliver our bags to the airport so we put it outside the door on the ship thursday night and we did not see it until we got to Cincinnati yesterday.  Debarkation was a little chaotic so it was nice to be able to skip the baggage claim part.  If you do this, don't expect to have your bag tags delivered until between 6pm and 9pm.  This made a lot of people on the ship nervous, but I had called guest services asking about them that afternoon!Overall, we had a great week and I am looking forward to Symphony  for thanksgiving week!!






  • =


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2022 at 7:56 AM, SueB said:

Great pictures!  We are on Quantum for our first trip to Alaska.  For the luggage delivery to the airport, is there a charge?  Will they do any airlines?  We are flying SWA and this sounds like the way to go!!


It is whatever fee you pay for checked bags with the airline.  We have a credit card with delta and get free bag check so there was no additional charge for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...