This brand new, billion-dollar cruise ship will be the length of over three football fields, have over 18 decks lining its exterior and be a home away from home for over 4000 guests and 1500 crew members. Although it is currently still under construction, the mega-liner will be coming to Australia in December 2016. It will be the largest to be based in the country yet. Anya Treurnicht reports.
Said to be an entirely new, redefined experience, Ovation of the Seas,sister of Royal Caribbean’sQuantum of the Seas (pictured below), is all about the futuristic experience. To mention one of the many new revolutionary features, their innovative RFID wristbands, which will be fitted to each passenger, replace the previous SeaPass cards that allow on-board purchases, double as room keys, and is also a high speed Wi-Fi router.
In terms of crew members, you’ll have the chance to be served in a unique, never-before-experienced fashion: by robots. True to its name, the Bionic Bar is where passengers can go to enjoy any cocktail of their choosing, made by two bionic arms.
In total, there are 35 bars/cafés on board including themed pubs, poolside bars, teen-only nightclubs and playrooms for children. Two70°which is the name of one of the lounges, also includes an ice bar inside, and with a 270° panoramic view, the venue is transformed into a nouveau-cirque-style disco club at night.
For food lovers, the on-board dining experience offered through the variety of restaurants will make you feel spoilt for choice. The Ovation has made what they call, an experience of “Dynamic Dining”. Available will be a Jamie’s Italian restaurant among all 25 food bars (15 of which are complimentary), specialising in Asian, Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines, a Pizzeria, a Steak house, and a few select buffets and fast food services.
In terms of entertainment and day-to-day activities, it might be difficult choosing what to do. Either way, you’ll find yourself stumbling into the SeaPlex roller-skating arena, 3D cinema, the full-size basketball court or speeding around in a bumper car. If you are one for more adrenaline, you could try out RCI’s iFLY skydiving and wave-surfing simulator, or get more air (or an unbelievable view 300ft above sea level) from the NorthStar – the Ovation’s complimentary glass-walled observation tower located on the top deck.
Following its launch next year in April, the cruise will be starting its “around the world” voyage straight away, with a 52-night long schedule named the ‘Global Odyssey’. The trip will also be divided, with voyages between locations such as Southampton to Barcelona, Dubai to Singapore and Singapore to Malaysia. These voyages make some ideal pit stops, including visits to Athens, Jordan, India, Japan, Rome and Paris.
In 2014, around 1 million Australians spent time on a cruise sailing the seas, in what has become an increasingly popular $1.8 billion industry for the country. Gavin Smith, Royal Caribbean’s regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, commented on Ovation of the Seas, describing it as a ‘game changer’ and the single largest investment in Australian cruising to date.
If you are an experienced cruiser, or are planning to book one soon, Ovation of the Seas fares will be starting from $199 a day with bookings opening half way through 2015.