Review of Ovation Of The Seas deck 15 (Spa-Sports-SeaPlex)
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center is a 2-level wellness complex. On this level is the “ShipShape Spa” (open between 8 am – 10 pm). It consists of Spa Reception, Beauty Salon (manicure/pedicure, hairstyling, makeup, waxing, barbering, teeth whitening), 22 treatment rooms (incl for acupuncture, and 2 rooms for couples massages), Medispa (botox treatments), changing rooms, relaxation lounge (with plush armchairs, complimentary water/teas), Thermal Suite (6 heated loungers, 2 saunas /1 steam, 1 dry heat). Thermal Suite’s pricing is US$30 PP per day (US$20 with purchasing a treatment). Day-passes are limited to only 30 per day. Free of charge steam rooms are available in the locker/changing areas (separate for men/women). YSPA (teen spa) menu offers treatments and services for teenagers (ages 13-17) including facials, massages, nail and hair treatments. Mainly on port days are offered spa promotions, incl treatment discounts, add-ons, 2-for-1, taster treatments. Up to 10-20-30% discounts are offered with booking multiple treatments. A spiral staircase leads to the upper level (ShipShape Center/Fitness).
- Arcade Gaming Area (at surcharge US$1,25 per game) has popular arcade machines, foosball (air hockey) tables, skee ball, ring toss. Daily are organized gaming competitions. Among the favorites are classics (like Pacman, Galaga), music (like DDR X, Guitar Hero), racers (like H2 Overdrive, Fast And Furious, Sega R-Tuned). There are also family games (like NickToons Nitro, Sega Rally 3) as parents are allowed to visit and play with their children.
- Fuel Teen Disco (open between 8 pm – 2 am) is a nightclub for teenagers (15-17 yo) with themed dance parties. Teen pool parties are held in the Solarium complex. Teens (lead by a staff member) can dine at the Windjammer buffet instead with their parents. Royal Caribbean doesn’t offer teen-only shore excursions.
- North Star Bar is a small beverage bar with all outdoor seating (bar stools, wicker chairs, tables, daybeds) located at the base of the pod’s loading platform.
- North Star is a Royal Caribbean signature facility consisting of an observation pod (jewel-shaped capsule) mounted on a rotating hydraulic arm (length 135 ft / 41 m). The capsule’s capacity is 15 persons (incl 13 passengers, 1 operator, 1 wheelchair /no seats available). The pod is sized 12×15 ft (3,6 x 4,5 m) and operated in 15 min sessions. North Star was initially complimentary, with up to 2 hours long queues (especially on seadays). Since January 2016, an US$20 (per person per ride) fee applies. Available packages (at surcharge) are named “Sunrise”, “Sunset” and “Private Flight”. Booking is not required (first come – first served basis), excepting for special events – weddings, group visits, etc. The rotational capsule offers stunning views above the ship – some 300 ft / 90 m above the ocean. The hydraulic arm moves slowly around, extending up to an 80-degree angle. Operations could be suspended due to bad weather (strong winds). While the ship is docked in port, sessions are 10 min and the arm moves only up and down (not over the ship’s side). Bringing photo/video equipment is allowed. Curiously, in 2016, the RCI's "North Star" observational pod was entered into "Guinness Book of World Records" as "Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship".
- North Star hours vary by cruise length and depend on weather conditions. Opening hours are as follows – up to 9-night itineraries (8 am – 10 pm on sea days, 9 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 10 pm on port days, and between 1 pm – 2:45 pm. and 4 pm – 10 pm on embarkation day), 9-night and longer itineraries (9 am – 10 pm on sea days, 9 am – 12 noon and 5 pm – 9 pm on port days, and between 1 pm – 2:45 pm. and 4 pm – 9 pm on embarkation day).
- Power Walking/Jogging Track (2-lane, 3 laps = 1 ml) is tightly surrounded by lounge chairs and has a small incline by the spa.
- Rock Climbing Wall (height 30 ft / 9 m) is part of the SeaPlex complex. The facility is complimentary (first come first served basis) and used in 30 min sessions. Equipment is provided (shoes, helmets, harnesses). Daily are organized climbing competitions. The min age limit is 6 yo (waivers must be signed by a parent/legal guardian). Children 6-12 yo must be supervised by an adult at all times.
SeaPlex Sports Complex
SeaPlex is the ship's indoor sports complex featuring floor-ceiling windows, kids and family fun activities. The full-size Sports Court (length 161 ft / 49 m, width 89 ft / 27 m, height 33 ft / 10 m) can be used for playing basketball, volleyball, tennis, football/soccer, dodgeball, table tennis (ping pong). Daily here are organized group game competitions. There is a DJ booth and the sports court is convertible to dance floor. Nightly, it transforms into a roller skating rink and disco.
Another SeaPlex signature facility is the bumper cars arena with a total of 18 cars (on rechargeable batteries /no overhead power; top speed 5 mph / 8 kph; colors - pink, green, red, orange, blue). Circus School has a flying trapeze for circus training (on select days, min age 6 yo). Surrounding the main court, there are SeaPods (small rooms with Xbox consoles for multiplayer online gaming), foosball and air hockey tables. All SeaPlex facilities and activities (including the Dog House food) are complimentary (cruise fare inclusive).
Outside the SeaPlex (on the exterior deck near the rock-climbing wall) is positioned a large-size (33 ft / 10 m tall) animal statue (two Panda bears – mother reaching down to a baby cub). The baby panda is 10 ft / 3 m tall. The statue was nicknamed “Mama and Baby” (the official name is still not announced). The Ovation’s Panda statue represents a fun concept (and a distinctive ship feature) similar to the Quantum’s polar bear (nicknamed Felicia) and the Anthem’s giraffe (nicknamed Gigi).
SeaPlex Dog House (open between 11:30 am - 7 pm /seadays, and between 2 - 7 pm /portdays) is an all-you-can-eat, complimentary fast-food bar for gourmet hot dogs and sausages. The menu has 7 types of hotdogs - The Wunderdog (all-veal, plain baguette), The Coney Island (Kosher /all-beef, classic bun), The Warsaw (2/3 pork, 1/3 beef, caraway seed baguette), The Sicilian (pork, Parmesan, cheddar baguette), The Big Apple (chicken and apple), The Smoke House (Bratwurst /pork, Parmesan, cheddar baguette), The German (Thuringia Bratwurst /pork, caraway seed baguette).
SeaPlex Dog House menu also has potato salad, condiments and sides (fries, mayo, mustard, ketchup, sweet relish, sauerkraut, sauteed onions-mixed peppers). This eatery is similar to the "Boardwalk Dog House" on RCI's Oasis-class liners.