Unless you’re deeply familiar with a cruise ship’s layout, for most travellers the embarkation and the first time you wander around a ship is usually met with a mixture of emotions from great enthusiasm about what is to come during your holiday, shock and awe at what your ship actually allows you to do and the wide variety of places you can enjoy a meal or a drink.

Royal Caribbean’s newest addition to the Australian market – Ovation of the Seas – oozes shock and awe from bow to stern and from the highest deck to the lowest ebb. Everywhere you turn, you’d be hard pressed not to be amazed or surprised at just how much the line has managed to cram inside the finite space within the ship. Bright lights emanate from multiple directions, juxtaposed with warm, comfortable and inviting colours – you don’t know where to start first.

At only six months old before reaching Australia, this 4,905-passenger ship is by far the newest to ever call our shores its home, and locals have responded by flocking to their travel agent or retailer with their budgets and eagerness to experience it for themselves. The ultra-modern passenger experience is clearly different to anything seen here before, firmly silencing the critics who have long complained that Australia is a dumping ground for the old and tired ships that don’t tend to draw a crowd in the larger Northern Hemisphere markets.

Eighteen different dining venues ranging from Wonderland, which can really only be described as experimental and innovative cuisine, through to the casual Sorrento’s Pizzeria and older, established brands such as Izumi, Chops Grille & for the ultra-lax, even comfy room service.

Cruise Advice is writing this from onboard the maiden Australian sailing of Ovation of the Seas from Perth to its first call in its Sydney summer home. Come onboard and check it out!