CruisingNewb Posted June 21, 2022 Report Share Posted June 21, 2022 Hi all! After having our flight home cancelled twice and spending two additional days in Seattle, we are back home. Here is my report on the Alaskan cruise and the Ovation! Embarkation Our check in time was 11am and we showed up at 9:20 am to find at least 30 people in front of us. After listening in on conversations, it was apparent that most of the people in front and back of us were not entirely prepared to check in. Oh well, their loss. Thanks to this Forum, we were prepared and when the gates opened, we were on the ship by 11:10 am. Easy peezy. MY SUGGESTION for easier boarding....just print everything and have them in order. Set Sail, vaccine records, covid test, just have physical documents ready. Internet was intermittent and people trying to check in with screen shots were having trouble. FOOD! I start with food because that is our thing and the first thing we did other than making reservations was eating at the Windjammer! Food was overall a 9 out of 10. Windjammer - only ate there for one lunch and 5 breakfasts. Breakfast could use some variation but food was hot, looked good, and filled our tummies with overall joy. Izumi's - ate lunch and dinner there. Rolls were overwhelming. Sashimi plate was excellent for cruise sushi! Fried chicken appetizer was yummy. I though 2 times was enough for Izumi though. Wonderland - food was overall imaginative, fun, and tasty. Some stand out dishes included desserts and the liquid lobster. Would not go more than once per cruise, but would definitely go every cruise. Chops - Solid steakhouse. Good wine selection. Bone-in ribeye is outstanding. Lobster bisque and mushroom soup were outstanding! Ate there twice. Jaime's Italian - OUR FAVORITE. I am a classically trained chef turned lawyer. Fresh made pasta was exactly what sold us here! The sauces were tasty and in the correct proportion to pasta unlike Americanized Italian places. Funny, Jaime's is British-Italian, but the food here tasted closer to what we have eaten in Italy than most places. Stand out dishes included Pavlova dessert, ALL pastas, Meat plank, and burrata cheese! MDR - This is the only place where I experienced service issues but I will address those later. Food was overall okay. Above average. Nothing stood out, nothing was bad. Oh...order the Baked Alaska! Last time I had Baked Alaska and Cherries Jubilee was in 1984 LOL. Room Service - prompt, hot, edible. Hot Dog Stand - good enough to satisfy cravings. Sorrentos - Not bad at all. Fish and Ships - fried to order and worth at least one trip. By the way, I am not sure this works for all ships, but UDP worked here for fried lobster tails and premium items. Cafe Two70 - Nice change of breakfast pace and quiet place to enjoy breakfast, enjoy incredible views, and play some card games or board games with the kids after breakfast. La Patisserie - Not quite Starbucks, but got me going in the right direction every morning and every evening. Solarium Bistro - It was okay. I was happy. DRINKS! Since I watched many bartenders open new bottles of liquor and paid attention to them making my drinks, I can say that the drinks were not watered down, but not exactly super strong, except for limoncello!!! Wine selections were nice considering this was a cruise ship. Cocktails were tasty. We loved the Bahama Mama and anything with KRAKEN! Service Guest services lines were a little long at times. I am always up at 4am and go to sleep at 11:00 pm so this was not an issue for me. The ONLY issue we had was that the pre-purchased Arcade credits were not properly applied to our kids' sea passes and there is no way to figure out arcade balances other than stopping by Guest Services or manual computations. Service at all specialty restaurants and bars was excellent. MDR service wasn't bad. It was slower than I would expect, but I am not one to eat in 45 minutes and run off. A 90 minute full service meal is more than acceptable. Ship Condition Did I mention that the Princess Ruby ship in front of us was rust stained and looked dilapidated? Ovation was immaculate! Enough said. Activities and Entertainment Enjoyed all of the shows and trivia. We did Flowrider, Ripcord, Bumper cars, Northstar....pretty much did everything. I highly recommend Northstar at a port and not at sea. We did it twice, once at port in Seattle and once at sea. Nothing much to see at sea. Ripcord by iFly was simply AMAZING. Do it. All ages. Do it. Internet We had one surf and stream and one basic. Get basic. Either way, internet is slightly better than DSL from 2005. Complaints A. Stupid people. B. Dumb people. C. Some public toilets did not flush automatically and were inconvenient when I forced my kids to poop outside the room in the public restrooms. D. Nothing to do from 4am to 6am. E. Too much to do from 8am to 11pm. F. Either Pixels has two different versions, or I fell asleep at the first one. My friends showed me pictures of the second showing and it looked quite different than ours. G. Make Solarium pools aged 25 plus please! Too many teenagers and college kids. It was gross. Spent more time in the indoor pool with little kids and enjoyed it more. HIGHLIGHTS, KEY TAKEWAYS and TIPS 1. Got to meet Chris Wong. Nice guy. 2. Stop gambling while you are ahead. I made out with winnings of about $370 from penny slots. Not bad. 3. Take advantage of the trivia games in between activities and meals. It is a waste of time to go back to your room for 30 minutes and come back out. 4. If you get the Food packages, RESERVE AS SOON AS YOU BOARD! We saw too many people complain about wait lists because no reservations. 5. If you are unsure of the Deluxe Beverage Package....I drink one glass of wine or beer a month. Period. On the cruise, I had at least 4 cocktails, one beer, one glass of wine, and 3 specialty Americano or Lattes each day. On top of that, I had one soda a day and took back 4 bottles of water to the room each day. It is worth the money to get a package. 6. Find the secret spots early. The outside seating at Windjammer ALWAYS had seating, and we spent breakfast there while the ship's back was turned facing Dawes Glacier. Trust me. Also, Deck 5 next the the Art Gallery, but aways from the smoking section...chairs facing the ocean and unusually warmer than most places on the ship considering its outside seating. Grab a glass of wine from the Wine bar and sit here to relax. Quiet and peaceful. 7. READ THIS ONE. Finding whales and other sea life....Watch the TV channel that tells you where you are and shows the ship's front camera. While watching, you will often see streaks of water (wake) left behind by dolphins, orcas, or whale....then grab your binoculars and look outside, you will see them passing! Great way to find sea life. 8. BIGGEST TIP FOR ALASKA RIGHT NOW! DO NOT OVER PACK. We each had one carry one rolling suit case and a back pack. Wore suits and dresses on formal nights. You do not need all of that clothing. You simply do not. Pay $35 to have underwear and T-shirts washed. Its cheaper than checking in suitcases on the plane. Plus, our flights home were cancelled twice and we were lugging around our luggage alot of that time. Thank God we packed light. You do not need all of that clothing. HUGE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU AND MATT for making this trip so amazing despite Covid, anxiety, the long wait, staffing shortages (which we experienced none), and despite raining the entire 13 days we were in Alaska or Seattle. Thank you! AlmondFarmer, PPPJJ-GCVAB, FoxboroCruiser and 32 others 20 6 9 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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