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Enjoy all the tips, news, insight, and advice on luxury family travel that highlights fun, active, and healthy vacations. Explore how to make the most out of your family vacation without sacrificing luxury.

FreshCruiser.com opens readers’ eyes to new adventures and calms any fears of traveling with children. With a special focus on family cruising, the website includes tips to staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities while on a family vacation.

Entries in Ovation of the Seas (2)

Monday
Mar272017

Review of North Star on Royal Caribbean Cruises

I do research on every ship we are considering to find out if the amenities, cruise size, and activities are for my family before we book. I have to admit, when I came across the North Star on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, it wasn’t on the top of my list. It would be a $40 per person charge since we were sailing during the Ovation of the Seas China season. The price seemed high compared to all the included activities such as the rock climbing wall, bumper cars, roller skating, and Splashaway Bay.

I was wrong.

It was one of my favorite activities I did while cruising on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. I was able to literally experience a birds-eye-view of the ship.

Your journey starts by entering the capsule. The glass-windowed capsule has 360 degree views. The capsule moves slowly throughout the approximately 12-minute trip.

As North Star’s arm moved over to the port of the ship, you are suspended over the ship, looking back at all the cabins and upper decks.

Next, the arm extends upwards to an 80-degree angle and you are now over 300 feet above sea level. As you look down to the ship, you feel as though you are “soaring” and almost spying on the fun below.

A North Star Date  – Left the kids behind

On a sea day, my husband and I dropped the kids off at the Adventure Ocean and had an afternoon date since my toddlers were unable to go on the North Star due to height requirements. Leaving the kids behind, allowed us to truly take in the vast height and remarkable views. There was only one other couple in the pod with us, which made the experience more romantic and all around enjoyable.

I highly recommend the experience.

About North Star

Below are a few North Star Facts (Source: Royal Caribbean)

  • Guinness World Record holder for being the “Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship”
  • Available on three Royal Caribbean ships: Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, and Anthem of the Seas.
  • 14 guests including room for one wheelchair, plus one Operator
  • Complimentary on all sailings (Except for Ovation of the Seas sailings during its China season)
  • Open while at sea and in port
  • Air conditioning and heat available in the pod
  • No limit to the amount of times a guest can experience North Star
  • Premium packages available

 

FreshCruiser Tip: It will be the most crowded at the beginning of the cruise. Plan to go on North Star a few days later to escape the crowds.

Thursday
Feb232017

Photo Tour & Review of the Kids’ areas on Ovation of the Seas

A photo tour of the kids’ areas on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas

What is there to do onboard the Ovation of the Seas with Kids?

Ovation of the Seas. Picture taken from North Star attraction.We spent 8 days with our two toddlers on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class Ship, Ovation of the Seas in Asia. The ship was child-friendly with many spots throughout the ship specifically for toddlers and kids. The 8-day itinerary included the following ports: Kochi, Japan, Miyazaki, Japan, and Busan, Korea.

Adventure Ocean – Youth Club

My daughter was a Royal Tot (ages 18- 36 months) and my son was an Aquanaut (ages 3-5 years).

My son kept asking us if he could go to Adventure Ocean. On other ships that we have been on, we’d have to encourage him to go each time. The activities were well planned and when I would come to pick him up, he’d say, “Mommy, can you come back after we finish this game?” There is no better compliment than that.

There was a small hourly fee for my younger daughter to be dropped off at the Royal Tots Nursery.  It was the first time we ever left her with someone that wasn’t family. There were never any tears or sadness when we dropped her off. She enjoyed the attention from the staff and exploring all the new toys. 

I wish there was enough staff to have Adventure Ocean open all day as many times my son wanted to go, it was closed. For instance, it was closed mid-day for a few hours and from 5pm to 7pm every night.

Splashaway Bay - Waterpark for kids

Splashaway Bay has two waterslides, a splash pad area, and a whirlpool pool. The slides offer endless fun and are manageable for kids to go on their own. Splashaway Bay Kids' WaterparkUnfortunately your child must be a minimum of 42"inches tall to ride the slides.  I felt this was strict as the slides are very basic and appeal to a younger child.

Splashaway Bay Kids' Waterpark

Since it can get cool on deck and the water isn’t heated, I’d recommend bringing a wetsuit for your child.

Swimming Pools

 

There are indoor and outdoor pools on the Ovation of the Seas including an adult-only pool at the bow of the ship. My son would jump in and swim to the other side. He loved going into the indoor pool after breakfast during sea days. There were complimentary life jackets for children who needed one. Children must be potty trained to use the pools, no diapers or swim diapers are allowed. 

Seaplex

Seaplex

Seaplex is a large indoor space which offers activities such as bumper cars, roller skating, and basketball. During the roller skating session, my son and I laced up the borrowed skates and took a spin around the rink. It was my son’s first time on roller skates and I hadn’t been on them in over 15 years. The opportunity to roller skate is why I love cruising so much. It got my son out of his comfort zone, tried something new, and we both had fun doing it together. There was no additional charge.

RipCord by iFLY®

My 3 year-old son and I exhibited our adventurous spirit and booked a reservation for RipCord by iFLY®, “the first skydiving experience at sea.” When my son’s two minutes were up, he asked to go again!  It was a special moment to do something like this with my son.  Cruising offers many opportunities to make lifetime memories.

Indoor Play area

“Welcome to Play” reads the sign as you enter the parent-supervised indoor play area on the ship. There are slides, toys, and all sorts of things to play with inside the indoor playground. It offers an alternative to being dropped off at Adventure Ocean. Smaller children can explore and play while with their parents.

Stateroom Toys

As part of the Royal Tots program, we checked-out a bag of toys to play in the room. Each bag has a theme from transportation to building. Every few days we would return one bag and pick up a new one. It provided our kids with something new to play with as we got ready every morning. It also was a good exercise in borrowing and sharing toys.

Ship-Wide - Character Photo Opportunities

My son giving Po (Kung Fu Panda) a hug

The DreamWorks characters were also sailing on the Ovation of the Seas with us!My son was in awe while meeting the characters during their daily appearances throughout the ship. The characters typically came out and performed a 1-2 minute dance and then posed for pictures.

Adventure Ocean Dance Party with Dreamworks CharactersOn our final day at sea, there was an Adventure Ocean dance party with the DreamWorks characters which was definitely a highlight of the cruise.

Additional Adventures for Kids

The activities for kids on the Ovation of the Seas are endless. Although my toddlers were not tall enough to experience all of them, the additional activities include: North Star observation capsule, FlowRider® surf simulator, and a 30-foot high Rock Climbing Wall. Even though my kids were too short, it will give them something to look forward to trying on future sailings.

We always felt there were many activities to pick from during our 8-day cruise on the Ovation of the Seas. The ship was truly designed where there are spaces for kids of all ages.

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