A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Published April 5th 2018
The food on board is like eating at a five star restaurant
The Ovation of the Seas is a huge Royal Caribbean cruise liner which has up to about 4,650 people visitors plus crew on board each sailing.
It is the largest cruise ship in Australia, and it was with trepidation that I booked this one. Having decided to take my whole family, I thought the Ovation would be best for the children. It was an incredible cruise liner that catered for just about everything.
This article is the first of a few and this one is mainly about the food, of which there was so much choice. Ovation has some eight separate places where you can eat for free, plus five where you pay extra for. If you are a foodie, like I am, this is part of the reason I go on a cruise!
As well as all the cafes, there were also bars, many of which we did not go into, and also a free soft serve ice cream near the pools. This was difficult to walk past, though I seemed to always pass it and could not resist one of their chocolate and strawberry soft serves!
1. WINDJAMMER MARKETPLACE This is possibly the most crowded and is the main buffet. Each night they have a different theme e.g. one night was Indian, the next day Mexican, then English and so forth.
There was always a huge choice here, and before you can enter any of the dining areas, you must go through an area where you wash your hands, which is known as "washy-washy".
There were two separate areas for the desserts and they included gluten-free ones - many of these changed daily, and there was always one hot dessert or pudding with custard or similar.
The range of cakes was quite amazing, as were the puddings, pavlova.
A few of the cake slices available
For those who are not a sweet tooth, there was a range of fresh fruit which you could have with yoghurt or ice cream. Coffee and tea were freely available and soft drinks other than cordial type drinks, had to be paid for. They had "packages" where you could buy a drink package and there were various types of these, including one for soft drinks.
Some of the food types were hamburgers which you make up yourself, plus pizza, pasta, salads, Asian, vegetarian, vegetables, sandwiches and soups.
Seating was often difficult as we were a party of 5, however, we always managed to get a table together.
2. Grande and Chic Dining Rooms
These are two of the main dining rooms which are a la carte dining, and far more elegant and formal than the buffet.
Thick piece of top grade steak, baked in pastry
With a menu that changed daily apart from some of the desserts, this restaurant was excellent, with good service and excellent food.
Unusual delicious entre of watermelon and cheese
There was always a choice of steak, fish, soup, several desserts, entrees, and you could have as many or as few courses as you wanted.
Entre of cold strawberry soup - delicious!
3. American Icon and Silk
These were another two dining rooms similar to the above, all four are decorated in a different and stylish style.
These four restaurants could be booked ahead during the day, or you could stand in a small line if you did not have a booking.
These four restaurants also served breakfast and the last few days, there was a buffet at the American Icon which, though not as large as the Windjammer, was excellent.
4. Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr
Although this is not a restaurant, you cannot write an article on food and drinks and not mention this bar!
It involves no staff and everything is ordered on iPads in front of the bionic arms which mix, pour, and serve you your drinks.
Bionic arm mixing a drink
5. Coffee lounge - The Promenade
This was also what I would term a coffee and snack cafe, where you could go 24 hours a day and get small snacks, as well as cakes and sweet delights. This was on the shopping deck of the boat.
6. Sorrento's Pizzeria
This was another free restaurant where they had a choice of about six different pizzas, and you just help yourself to a slice or slices of whatever you want.
Not too greasy, these were very good and great for a small snack or a casual meal, and this was open 24 hours a day.
7. Hot dogs
Right at the back of the ship, and near where they had dodgem cars, roller skating, and ball games, was a small "hole in the wall" where you could have a hot dog made up of whatever you want.
8. Solarium Bistro
This was an adult's only restaurant, where they had a buffet which was smaller than the Windjammer, and in a lovely spot at the back of the ship near the adults only pool and spa areas.
This was open for lunch and dinner and most of the food changed daily and they also had a nice choice of dessert.
Rhubarb crumble with hot custard
This one was near the smaller auditorium and was a buffet style cafe with a choice of about four different types of foods - hot/cooked, sandwiches and rolls, salads, and dessert.
This was very good if in a hurry as it was not so crowded. It was open 24 hours a day.
10. Restaurants where you pay extra
We did not see a need to go to any of these restaurants though I would imagine on a longer trip these would be quite good for a change. They had the following: