Royal Caribbean calls it “supercruising”. A quick peek at what’s on offer on the company’s newest ship, the Ovation of the Seas, and we can see why.
The length of three football fields, the Ovation is the largest-ever cruise-ship to call Australia home, and her facilities are pretty mind-blowing. The enormous AU$1.3 billion, 6,400-person vessel is like a floating futuristic city – at the Bionic Bar two robotic bartenders take orders via tablet; a giant Roboscreen, made up of multiple LED TV screens, moves about on robotic arms; and all the rooms have sea views, even the interior rooms which have ‘virtual balconies’ (that would be LED screens displaying real-time views and sounds of the ocean).
Beyond the digital realm, fidgety types have plenty to stay entertained: think a circus school, bumper cars, rock-climbing, a simulated skydiving experience, and a surf machine. For a less physical high, there’s the North Star, a glass capsule that elevates cruisers 90 metres in the air for a 360-degree view of the Ovation’s surrounds.
And if all that activity leaves passengers feeling peckish, there are 18 dining options on board, including a Jamie’s Italian, pub fare from famed Miami chef Michael Schwartz, and Devinly Decadence, a health-food restaurant championed by US The Biggest Loser chef Devin Alexander.
Her maiden voyage south to Australia begins in China on June 24, when the Ovation of the Seas naming ceremony takes place. She’ll then depart Singapore bound for Australia on November 30, arrive in Fremantle on 7 December before making stops in Adelaide and Hobart. The Ovation of the Seas will finally reach her Sydney home dock on 15 or 16 December (she won’t actually fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge when she arrives in town, so updates are being made to the city’s Overseas Passenger Terminal to accommodate it).
To book your holiday on Ovation of the Seas visit Qantas.com/cruises