You can’t miss her. She looms on the horizon from a kilometre away. Once she would have been politely described as big boned; today she is a big girl and loud and proud. ‘She’ is the $1.3b ovation of the Seas, the world’s fourth largest and one of the most technically advanced cruise ships in the world. Yesterday, she made her first historic voyage to Brisbane.
Australians love to cruise and are doing it in record numbers. But they want more. More destinations, more restaurants, more entertainment options and more of everything in one holiday.
Although Ovation of the Seas was built specifically for the Chinese market, she has been a regular to Australian ports this summer. Ovation and her sister ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, belong to the Quantum class of ships built by Royal Caribbean.
Adam Armstrong, MD Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand, said the ships are so different that a new word was coined to describe them – Supercruising. This colossal ship was only christened last May and it is the first time any cruise company has placed a brand new ship into Australia.
The stats are mind-boggling:
- 1,138 feet long and 136 feet wide.
- 4,180 guests and 1,500 crew.
- 16 guest decks and 16 guest elevators and 2,091 staterooms.
- 18 restaurants, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor pools
Surprisingly on board you often forget you are on a SuperCruiser. Walk towards the elevators and you could be in a Hilton or Marriott. The specialty restaurants like Jamie’s (yes, that Jamie) Italian and Wonderland are drop dead glamorous with chic styling.
It’s the technology that sets Ovation of the Seas apart. Amenities including the North Star, a glass observation capsule that rises more than 90 metres above sea level take in the most breathtaking views. SeaPlex is the largest activity space at sea where passengers can play basketball, roller skate and even drive one of 30 dodgem cars.
But it was the FlowRider and Ripcord by iFly, that caught TML’s eye. Situated together near the stern they are best described as Fun Central. The simulated skydiving experience at sea is a first and allows people of all ages and fitness to enjoy the thrill of skydiving. Getting fit can be a whole lot more fun taking on the waves of the FlowRider.
The Bionic Bar’s two robotic arm bartenders may not listen to your sob story but they can make a mean Long Island Ice Tea. And to make sure every stateroom has a view, Ovation of the Seas Virtual Balcony staterooms employ large digital screens with real-time views.
Ovation of the Seas returns next season because Australians want more of what the floating queen offers. She really has to be seen to be believed. www.royalcaribbean.com.au