Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ovation of the Seas - Wednesday 8 February, 6th and final sea day

Oh no, this is our last day on board the incredible Ovation of the Seas! It's hard to believe that we are nearing the end of our cruise. 12 nights just isn't enough!

For today I have prebooked a behind the scenes ship tour which mum and I are really looking forward to. Meeting time is 8.45am at the Shore Excursion lounge so no big sleep in for our final day. After brekky in the (can you guess??) Solarium we headed down to deck 5 with our waiver form ready for the tour. The waiver form was quite amazing, I wish I had of taken a photo of the wording and how RCI really wanted to cover anything and everything that could, maybe happen to you on this tour. Somewhere amongst it all had 'from the beginning of time to the end of time' so they were taking nothing to chance! We didn't hurt ourselves so they needn't worry about us suing them :-)

Our meeting place for the Behind the Scenes Tour - deck 5
There were quite a few people doing the tour, the form had said that it needed a minimum of 6 people otherwise the tour wouldn't run. They didn't have to worry about numbers, I think our group was around 20 and then there was another group or two after us. After our forms were checked and we signed our life away we received our 'VIP' card and headed off on the tour. All up it took around 2 hours and was so well worth doing. All of the staff and crew that spoke to us and told us a bit about their areas and what goes on were great. We started off in our restaurant, the American Icon, with a talk from one of the head food and beverage people and then went on through to the galley and bakery etc where we met the head chef and the head baker. The head baker said the hardest part about his job is the taste testing every morning, as he patted his ample belly :-) The bakery smelt amazing! After this we went through to more of the kitchen area and had a glass of orange juice or champagne or both and some chocolate coated strawberries which we had seen the guy preparing earlier. After this we saw the huge fridge and freezers plus the food storage (we certainly weren't going to run out of beer!), the staff living zones (there are two staff to a cabin with some getting their own cabins) and buffet, the Engine Control Room, the Recycling Centre, the laundry and their funky ironing machines and then up to the Bridge. Before going into the ECR we had to be scanned and then again before we went into the Bridge. Safety is very important don't want some nutter trying to sink the ship (or turn it back around to NZ!).

The bakery! It smelt sooooo goood!
The information we received and where we got to go within the ship was great. I think we were all amazed at how small the control stick is that actually steers the ship. Teeny tiny! We were all standing near the control panel, there are three panels with the main one in the centre of the Bridge and then one on either side where the Bridge sticks out. These ones are used when we are docking, makes it much easier to see if we're about to hit the dock! I assumed that the control panel we were standing next to had been disabled, I could just see me accidentally bumping into it and spinning the ship around! There are no weapons allowed on board the ship even if police or armed forces come aboard, they have to leave these behind. After our guide had finished telling us this she started to explain what some of the buttons and knobs are for on the control panel. She started off saying 'and these are for launching the missiles' you should have seem some of the passengers faces! One guy started to say 'so you can't bring guns on board but you have missiles' when the penny dropped and everyone realised she was indeed just joking! Very funny. I'm sure this will spread rumours abound ;-)

I don't think they were going to run out of icecream!

The Bridge
We were able to take as many photos as we liked and of everything we saw we weren't allowed to take any videos. The captain wasn't on the Bridge when we were there, I think he was in his cabin (which our guide said she couldn't tell us where it was but it wasn't too far away) preparing for his talk a little later on in the Two70 lounge. After we had all asked any questions and taken all our photos our tour was over and we headed back out to the main area on deck 12, great for us because we were just below our cabin. One of the ladies realised as we came out to the lifts that we were on her deck and not far from their cabin. It's amazing what a different perspective you get when you're using stairs and corridors you don't normally, you lose where abouts you are on the ship.

So back to our cabin for a cuppa on the balcony :-)

Our final lunch on the Ovation was at Windjammers. We sat out the back, still inside, as it was so busy an even our usual spots were full. I had found a table but was a bit hidden so mum didn't see me, I sure her going outside and was waiting for her to pass the window so I could wave to her but she came back in just as a table became free so sat there. At least I knew where she was and went over to her. I remember on the Dawn Princess one time we lost each other and ended up sitting at different tables trying to look out for each other. When we did finally meet up we realised we were almost next to each other - how did we not see! (or maybe mum just wanted to eat by herself!). We didn't have any dessert even though it was very tempting as we walked back passed it to head out to the lido but we couldn't resist a final icecream. They had run out of chocolate though :-(

Seeing as it was our last day we had to pack our suitcases ready to leave outside our cabin for collection. You could do a self assist, which means you take your own suitcase off the ship, but we'd rather just collect it on the dock the next morning. 10pm was the latest you could leave you bag outside the cabin, not a problem for us.

We joozed ourselves up and headed down to Vintages for a farewell, cheers to a great cruise drink. They had run out of the wine we had been drinking but offer us another one for the same price. Excellent. We took a few photos in the funky chairs opposite Vintages, thinking we're looking so glamourous, but when we printed them out it just looks like mum's busting to go to the toilet and I've already eaten a huge dinner! I'm glad I looked at it after dinner!

Our final dinner in the Icon certainly didn't disappoint, as if we thought it would! We did end up with a table full of bread rolls as both our waiters brought us a basket. We did love them but there are only so many rolls you can eat in one sitting. I had a seafood pie for starters and is was so goooood, I'm still dreaming about it.

Back to our cabin and we put our suitcases out making sure we had clothes for tomorrow. Wouldn't that be embarrassing if you forgot and had to wear your pj's off the ship! We sat on our balcony for the rest of the evening wishing we were doing back to back to back cruises! Pretty much how all our cruises end. 

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