Ovation of The Seas by Mondodr.com
With its home in Tianjin, China, Ovation of the Seas has been built specifically to sail in the Chinese seas, furthering Royal Caribbean International’s commitment to growing the China holiday market. Ovation joins Quantum, Mariner, Voyager and Legend to make up the largest fleet of ships for any cruise brand in China, with home ports in four cities - Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen.
Royal Caribbean’s President and CEO, Michael Bayley said: “It’s wonderful to welcome Ovation of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family of ships. We have once again introduced yet another one of the most technologically advanced cruise ships and the very first that has been built for the China market - a market we continue to demonstrate our commitment to expanding. Quantum Class has redefined the status quo, and we are excited for our guests in China and Australia to enjoy their extraordinary vacations on board this stunner.” Built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany at a cost of US$1 billion, Ovation spans 18 decks, encompasses 168,666 gross registered tones, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,091 staterooms. And similar to its siblings that have gone before, it features first-at-sea amenities including: the North Star, an observation capsule that gently rises more than 300ft in the air to treat guests to breathtaking panoramic views; thrilling skydiving and surfing experiences; Two70, a daily social space which transforms into a multifunctional entertainment venue in the evening; and SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, in which activities such as basketball, roller-skating and bumper cars can take place. All of this plus 18 restaurants, the Royal Esplanade shopping mall, the Music Hall for live music and events, the Pool Deck, a solarium, a conference center and a fully equipped fitness center.
internationally-acclaimed Chinese actress has been appointed Godmother of the ship. Secondly, in a unique collaboration with China’s Forbidden City Imperial Palace Museum, Ovation offers displays of historical relics from the Forbidden City and feature invited experts to hold talks about the Imperial Palace in Beijing. And finally, there is also a giant 33ft ‘Mama and Baby’ art installation, depicting a mother panda and her cub, reaching out to one another as a symbol of good luck - pandas are considered national treasures in China. Signage is also written in English and Mandarin, and the decoration is slightly different, tailored more towards the Chinese market. Some retail stores have also been replaced, and fast food restaurant, Johnny Rockets has been substituted by Kung Fu Panda Noodles. Once again, not straying far from the previous two ships in the series - which is completely normal for projects such as this - system integrator, Amptown System Company (ASC) took on the entertainment technology feat installing more than 40 entertainment spaces. Planning and realising the Quantum series has changed the operating infrastructure of the company, it created a well-established team of ASC audiovisual engineers, sound and lighting designers, network specialists, all of whom work closely with the Royal Caribbean architects and technical team under the leadership of Royal Caribbean’s Superintendent SLVR & Architectural Lighting, Christopher Vlassopulos. And a guided tour by the man himself was most definitely the best way to experience a cruise ship for the first time. CLIMB ABOARD Getting on board the cruise ship - which was docked at Southampton, UK during my visit - was as official as you’d expect. I had to hand in my passport to obtain a badge that would allow me access. This was followed by a double lot of security checks and meeting my guide for the day, Christopher, the moment I stepped on board - although the latter was probably more so I didn’t get lost! Even without much prior knowledge of the cruise ship industry, it’s not difficult to ascertain that there is a mammoth amount of technology installed on board, however, until you see it with your own eyes and see every inch of detail that has gone into each aspect of the vessel, you’ll still under estimate the task… and this is just one cruise ship.
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