Immediately upon tying up at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, Ovation of the Seas will bring Australia will officially enter the world of “Supercruising” if Royal Caribbean is to be believed. It’s difficult to argue that claim.
Australian cruise travellers have never before seen a ship like it in local waters – much less for an extended period of time. It has been well documented what exactly will be housed onboard the nearly 5,000-passenger giant, but there will still be more for guests to discover for themselves once they arrive.
For all the hype and build-up which has been focused on attractions such as the North Star, RipCord by iFly, the SeaPlex, Bionic Bar and much more, it is also worth paying some attention to another fairly critical element of the cruise experience – the staterooms. With so much going on elsewhere on the ship, sometimes people forget there are still thousands of comfortable staterooms and suites surrounding all of this fun, to which passengers will retreat at the end of each day. Here we will take a look through each major category.
1. Interior Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Categories K, L, M, SI).
On an ultra-modern vessel such as Ovation of the Seas, even the lowest tier staterooms can feel like a spacious high-star hotel room. Each interior cabin measures 15.4 square metres and features a private bathroom, comfortable amenities and a King bed which can easily be separated into two twin beds if required.
As well as flat-screen television, these cabins feature the Royal Caribbean technological hallmark of a Virtual Balcony, which allows guests without a natural view with the next best thing – an enormous wall-sized LED screen broadcasting a live and real-time feed from a camera positioned on the side of the ship. Like a window or balcony, this screen comes with curtains which can be closed, but the screen can also be switched off if so desired.
2. Ocean View Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 3, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (Categories F, G, H, I).
The next stateroom category up provides passengers with a slanted window offering a full or partially obstructed view of the world outside the room. Amenities and technology inside the room is the same as Interiors, however the room itself is slightly larger at 16.91sqm. Each sees the bed over by the far wall and window, while the room also features a desk, sitting area and large mirror.
There are also wheelchair accessible versions of this category which are bigger still of course, owing to their role catering to the less ambulatory guests.
3. Balcony Stateroom
Where are they? Decks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Categories DO, D1, D2, D3, D4).
The lowest on the ship balcony cabins begin is Deck Six, going as high as Deck 13, and some of these are also allocated as Wheelchair Accessible.
Staterooms can vary slightly in size but generally start around 18.3 square metres, while balconies can differ more significantly, ranging in size between 5.1 to as large as 11 square metres. Amenities and technologies are the same as Ocean View and Interior cabins, with each also offering a private bathroom suite. Private sitting areas are furnished with a lengthy couch, dressing table, mirror and comfortable chairs.
4. Super Studio
Where are they? Decks 6 and 7 (Category SD).
Super Studios are a stateroom category new to Royal Caribbean on Ovation of the Seas, aimed at the solo traveller. Interestingly, these staterooms are fairly small room at just over 11 square metres (smaller than an Interior cabin) but each includes a balcony and private bathroom. Designed for single occupancy, there is still room for two people via a King Bed which can be split into twins, however it could be cramped with two full-time occupants.
What makes these cabins special though is that there is no single supplement for one person to occupy instead of two. Super Studios are also well located in a central ship position, however cannot be booked on an Accessible basis
5. Grand Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Categories SG and GS).
Now we’re moving into the really stylish accommodation categories. The first of the suites is another new category – the Grand Suite. Basically double the size of a balcony stateroom, part of the central wall has been removed to form a bedroom, dressing area and an entrance to a central bathroom. It is also separate from a dedicated living room with a more luxurious couch and amenities. The total suite size is 32.6 square metres in area, and these suites are often located in a central position on the ship.
The sofa in the living room can be converted to another bed, allowing up to four people to be comfortably accommodated. The double balcony features two loungers and two deck chairs.
6. Family Junior Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Categories JS, SJ, FJ).
Two different sub-categories fall under the umbrella of Junior Suite – the regular suite with a balcony and a second one featuring a spa in the bathroom. Both feature a separate shower. Generally, these cabins sit in the corner of the ship and can easily interconnect with an adjacent interior or balcony stateroom via a private vestibule or foyer area, making this category ideal for families travelling together. Junior Suites measure 25.6 square metres.
Some of these are classified as Spa Junior Suite, meaning the stateroom area is slightly smaller but is compensated with a spa featuring as part of a split design bathroom. In these suites, the shower can benefit from natural light emanating from the living area but also features a switch which can activate frosted glass walls.
7. Sky Loft Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 8 and 10 (Category SL).
The first of the dual-level suite categories is the Sky Loft – effectively a two-storey apartment with living area, dining table, sofa bed, enormous wall-mounted television and second bathroom on the lower level, while the main bedroom and ensuite is upstairs.
Measuring a total of 68.7 square metres, this suite also offers a sizeable 17sqm balcony. While this suite certainly offers plenty of space, the maximum recommended capacity is only four people, meaning everyone will be sure to notice it. There are very few of these suites, only around 3 or 4, so it is important to book this as far in advance as you can.
8. Grand Loft Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 8 and 10 (Category GL).
Similar to the Sky Loft and located on the same decks, the difference between the two suites is mere size, with Grand Suites coming in at 78 square metres, with a 20sqm balcony. The location of these suites are also slightly different and can usually be found in the rear corner of their respective decks, or offering a central view over the ship’s wake.
Amenities, furnishings and passenger capacity however remains the same and can easily sleep four people, with two bathrooms – one on each level – and individual dining setting.
9. Owner’s Loft Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 8, 11 and 12 (Categories OL and OS).
Designed to impress immediately upon entering via a marble foyer area, guests enjoying this suite can consider themselves among the onboard elite as they settle in to a significant amount of space for their voyage. Measuring over 50 square metres, there are generally only four Owner’s Lofts on each deck in which they feature – usually in a central location.
Up to four people can be comfortably accommodated in an Owner’s Suite, with one separate bedroom upstairs with a private ensuite, and a sofa bed downstairs with half bathroom and individual shower. The balcony wraps around on some of these suites, but always features furniture including lounge chairs and even an outdoor dining suite where you can have your lunch or dinner prepared and served by your Royal Genie.
10. Royal Loft Suite with Balcony
Where are they? Decks 8, 9 and 10 (Categories RL and FS).
The pinnacle of passenger accommodations on Ovation of the Seas is the Royal Suite, which comes in two varieties but is still in quite limited supply on any given sailing. Usually found in the rear corner of the ship, the Royal Loft Suite sleeps up to six people across two levels and an enormous 152 square metres.
Upstairs, the master bedroom features an ensuite with private spa bath, shower, two sinks and private balcony with a whirlpool bath. On the lower level, four more people can be housed, two on a double sofa bed and two more in a side media room with another sofa bed. Another balcony can be found on the lower level, with another whirlpool tub. A dining table with seats for eight complements plenty of lounge space for the same number.
The second variation is the Royal Family Suite on Decks 9 and 10, located in a more central position on the ship. Differences with this variety is that is considerably smaller at 50 square metres, however is designed for families with children rather than adults travelling together.
Catering for up to six, a master bedroom features a King bed, while a second bedroom offers two more twin beds and space for a further two which pull down from the wall. A sofa features in the living room, and this can also be turned into another double bed. A wrap-around balcony is guaranteed with this variety owing to the suite’s centre corner location.