ASIA’S LARGEST CRUISE SHIP OVATION OF THE SEAS MAKES DOUBLE MAIDEN CALL AT SUBIC BAY AND MANILA
Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, which is Asia’s largest and most revolutionary, arrived in Subic Bay for the first time on June 8, 2018. She also made her maiden call in Manila on June 9, 2018.
As soon as my eyes laid eyes on this super ship, I couldn’t help but wonder how it looks inside. I’ve only seen cruise ships from television shows, but now I can cross out a check on my bucket list. From afar, if you don’t see it floating above water, you’ll think it’s a mega-sized luxury hotel, well that’s not really far from reality, because all guests aboard the Ovation of the Seas will only get the best and most luxurious customer service, accommodation, and activities.
This is the largest ever cruise ship to call at any Filipino port, and with the highest number of guests onboard totaling over 4,700 from around the world. She is currently on a 5-night cruise from Hong Kong.
To celebrate the maiden call in Subic Bay, a traditional plaque exchange ceremony was held onboard between Ovation of the Seas’ Captain Flemming ‘Nielsen and local officials namely Atty. Wilma Eisma, Chairman, and Administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Mr. Roberto Alabado III, Assistant Secretary of Department of Tourism. Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon and Ms. Ma. Cristina Garcia, Vice Governor of Bataan were present at the event as well.
The same ceremony was also held to celebrate the ship’s maiden call in Manila, with Captain Nielsen and Mr. Mancile Francisquiel, Port Manager of Philippine Ports Authority, Mr. Pocholo Joselito Paragas, Chief Operating Officer of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) — Department of Tourism, and Atty. Solfia Arboladura, Director of Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau who presented the “key to the City of Manila”.
At 347m long, 168,666 gross registered tonnes, and filled with first-at sea features and technologies, Ovation of the Seas is the largest cruise ship to enter the Philippines. I hope the arrival of cruise ships in our country doesn’t halt so all foreign guests would see and experience real Filipino culture.
She has a total capacity of 4,905 guests staying in 2,091 staterooms and hosted by 1,500 crew. While Ovation of the Seas is in port in Subic Bay, guests had the opportunity to discover and experience local attractions on Royal Caribbean’s shore excursions.
Guests onboard the 18-deck Ovation of the Seas will enjoy the ‘North Star’, an observation capsule that rises 92 meters over the ocean, though we were not able to experience this first hand (the downpour was very generous the time we went on the tour aboard the ship) so here’s a video for you to see what it is, and what it is for;
‘Two70’ — a hi-tech entertainment venue where all media and guests were left in awe after watching shows projected on the windows and robotic screens;
cocktails served by robotic bartenders at the ‘Bionic Bar’; skydiving and surfing simulation experiences; interior virtual balcony staterooms with real-time ocean views; luxurious Loft Suites with large living areas and private concierge service;
and ‘Sea Plex’, the largest indoor activity space at sea housing roller-skating, bumper cars and more. I was able to personally enjoy some of the activities at Sea Plex like the X-Box! I almost forgot I’m on board a floating ship! I actually thought I was in an indoor game/playhouse somewhere in Manila haha!
Check out our lunch at CHIC! All media and VIP guests were given a special menu where we were treated with a wonderful 3-course lunch. I personally enjoyed each plate and even had the guts to try (for the first time in my life) sashimi – and it tasted really good!
Highlights of Ovation of the Seas’ upcoming cruises are the 6-night cruise from Hong Kong to Tianjin with calls at Fukuoka and Shimonoseki on June 15; the 12-night cruise from Tianjin to Singapore visiting Okinawa (Naha), Taipei (Keelung), Hong Kong, Hue/Danang (Chan May), Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) on October 7; and the 14-night cruise from Singapore to Sydney visiting Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide and Hobart on October 19.