In this post we’ll talk about some of the entertainment venues we visited on Ovation of the Seas. We don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bars as we are not big drinkers nor did we want to go to all of the themed nights and entertainments but there were plenty of choices for those that did from game show type entertainments, to theatre performances, live bands and movies.
We did not take a lot of photos in the entertainment venues while performances were on but on our walks round the ship by day we were able to get a few so we can give you some idea how they look.
The Music Hall
On our first night at sea Naomi and I were keen to find something to do after dark. The ship’s newsletter had a list of what entertainment was on and we were pleased to see that there was an INXS cover band playing in the Music Hall, a small theatre/dance venue, so we decided that we would go and see them.
The band was excellent, they really sounded like INXS and we enjoyed them. Naomi has a story about this band so I will leave her to tell it. During the course of the voyage there was also a Queen cover band and an Elton John show but we did not see either of these.
While we were at the airport in Sydney getting our luggage Vanda met a friend of hers and they started chatting. I was watching all the other passengers as I usually do. I wonder where they are going or where they have been. I even make up stories about them in my head sometimes to pass the time away. Airports can be boring if you have a long wait for your flight. While we were at the Hobart airport I saw a married couple obviously going on holiday. The man had on one of the best Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen plus the straw hat etc. I half expected to see him turn up on the ship but he didn’t. Back to Sydney and I noticed some young guys collecting a large amount of luggage. I was sure they had musical instruments. I could see what looked like keyboards and guitars as well as sound equipment. One guy had long curly hair and sunglasses. He was standing back a bit and looked really cool. They must be a rock band I said to Vanda when she introduced her friend. Look at them I said they have got guitars and stuff. I wondered where they were heading and then said as a joke. Wouldn’t it be funny if they were on the ship? I didn’t expect they would be as you usually get some pretty ordinary entertainment and nothing like them. Well I was very surprised to see that we were going to have an INXS tribute band on board so I said let’s go see what they are like. We can leave if we don’t like them. We had to sit in the upstairs part as it was very crowded. We could not see the band from where we were on the second level. I said to Vanda I really have to go and see if it’s that band from the airport. I looked over the balcony and thought the singer looked like the cool guy at the airport but he was a bit far away to see properly. I said to Vanda “It looks like those guys but I am not 100% sure.” Well, half way through a song during the instrumental break up comes this guy and sits down at the table right next to us. He spoke to us too but I was too surprised to answer him. I got my answer though. It was the same band. Who would have thought and how cool was that. Sadly they got off at Darwin but they were really really good.
We also visited the Royal Casino which was on the same deck as the theatre. We do enjoy playing the “pokies” but we are sensible about it and always have a budget. The ones on Royal Caribbean ships are different from the ones we play on at home. American style machines are harder to win on, you have fewer choices in how you play and of course they are in US currency so we had to be mindful of the exchange rate. I did OK though. I had a few small wins, enough to keep playing for some time without going over my limit. Winning money is great of course but I don’t gamble expecting to win. I just enjoy setting off the feature on the machine to see what it does. For me what I spend is the price of entertainment the same as for a movie or some other event.
I love casinos and having a bit of a gamble. I don’t go to the tables as I am not so good at cards so I stick to the slot machines. I love to play on the slots so I couldn’t wait to visit Ovation’s casino. It was nice and big and there were plenty of machines. I was pleased to find plenty of Aussie machines there as I prefer the pay lines on them to that of the American machines. I think the Aussie ones are easier to win on although I know everything is to chance here. I met some nice people while I was playing to chat with. One older gentleman had won over $500 bucks while I was chatting with him. I ended up losing but I won it all back later in Singapore at the casino there. That was way cool as I was able to blow it at the shops.
This was the largest entertainment venue, a theatre that spanned two levels. It is used for both live performances and movies.
One night we decided to go and see “The Greatest Showman”, a film supposedly about P.T Barnum. We thought this might be OK as it was a period film but it turned out to be not our sort of thing at all. We probably should have realised that it was a musical. I don’t mind musicals but I felt that in this case the music swamped the story, what there was of it. I did not like the way the scenes jumped around and while I do accept artistic licence in a film I had been expecting it to be a biographical film and this was anything but. Both of us felt that the music and costumes were not appropriate to the era the film was set in. Had we been at home I would have googled the reviews of the film before we went and tried to watch a trailer. As it is we were trapped in a very crowded venue in the dark so we didn’t feel we could comfortably leave. We would have if we could have.
Most of the movies being shown were fairly recent ones so I’m sure other people enjoyed them. I probably would have watched “The Darkest Hour” at home on TV but not on the pool deck, it didn’t seem quite the place to be watching a film about Dunkirk.
If you are a fan of the PT Barnum picture or the music you will not like what I have to say about it. It had to be one of the worst pictures I have ever seen. I am not a fan of musicals and I would not have gone if I had realised that. While I had been taking some film of the ship I met two men who had told me they were going to go and see it. They thought it would be quite good. I suggested to Vanda that we go too. I couldn’t stand the music to be honest. Much too millennial for me. I soon recognised it as the awful music they played every single day in Windjammers. Why does everyone have to sound as if they were churned out of the Idol machine? They all have such dreadful whiney voices. The film was very obviously not shot on location either. The scenery was all very computerised looking. No one looked like they were really where they were. Last of all the fire scene and resulting injuries to the man who went back to save his girlfriend! How farfetched was that? They hardly had any burns and as for smoke inhalation? Give me a break! They could all still sing! The worst picture I have seen in a long time.
I did like the idea of the big screen outside and if you want a top spot to relax at night by the pool grab a deck chair lay back and enjoy a movie and a drink from the pool bar.
This is a multipurpose room which we’ll talk more about later. We saw a show there called “Pixels” which was quite clever technically although dance is not really my thing. The show combined singers, dancers and aerialists against a background of computer graphics
I did like this area. It was nicely decorated and very spacious. This is very good venue for all sorts of entertainment. I think they could have given up some space for the poor library. Maybe they could have had more books and games then. We had a lot of trouble finding a place where we could sit with a game or something. Vanda wanted to write and I wanted to draw and colour. I had to go to Windjammers to find a table where I could use my pencils or play a game of Scattergories. I was very thankful for Windjammers and the fact I had taken my own stuff for my entertainment. The ship does not supply much at all by the way of games, books or things like that. You really must take your own along. The 270 Lounge got used for quiz games, lectures and shows. I didn’t go to see much of it as it didn’t interest me very much. I am not into lectures or docos. I spent much of my time just enjoying the ocean. I will say that the entertainment areas were all nicely decorated, comfortable and easy to get around. There is also the robotic bar that I really loved. Two robots serve you your drinks. They looked a bit like funny animals and they were very clever. I enjoyed watching them. We’ll probably talk about them later but to me they were entertainment also.
So there are just a few things you can do on a cruise ship in the evening. In another post we’ll share photos of the bars including the Robot Bar which we both thought was a lot of fun .