Oct. 18, 2022

From Hawaii to The Ovation of The Seas

Travel First S02E04
From Hawaii to The Ovation of The Seas
Join Chris Coleman as he and his wife head back into the world of cruising.
Let’s get on board, introducing the luxurious Ovation of The Seas, Chris’s new home for the foreseeable future....

Travel First S02E04
From Hawaii to The Ovation of The Seas
Join Chris Coleman as he and his wife head back into the world of cruising.
Let’s get on board, introducing the luxurious Ovation of The Seas, Chris’s new home for the foreseeable future.
And what a home it is…
For more about Royal Caribbean and their cruises visit https://www.royalcaribbean.com/
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Alex: Travel first. And there's a poop deck in the background somewhere there's. Chris, I've got no idea. I don't even know what a poop deck is. This is not off to a very good start, but Chris Coleman is on board a big ship somewhere in the ocean. With finally got rid of him. Chris gaday.

Chris: Okay, first things first. It's not the poop deck, it's the pool deck. Okay, uh, I can understand the typo, but it's the pool deck. I'm actually sitting at the Sky Bar on, uh, board, royal Caribbean's ovation of the Seas and we are within a third of a degree of the equator. We are heading from right now, Honolulu to French Polynesia. And we're just like we're that far north of the equator. We might even cross the equator while we're recording this one. Uh, but Alex, uh, as you're aware, but as other people have joined us for the first time are aware, this is, uh, a little bit of a travelog about what I'm doing as we can start to reintroduce Australians to the wonderful world of global travel. And you asked me the other day, can I supply you with wow moments? And I suddenly realized I actually managed to forget one from Hawaii before we got on board. So are you okay if I share you with you a very quick wow moment from before we got on board?

Alex: Have you got a photo or something that you can show all of us?

Chris: I can indeed share a photo with you and, uh, if I do that, I reckon that's probably going to pop.

Alex: Up if I click there in a few seconds. Okay, so this is going to happen. There's obviously a bit of a lag because this is a long distance away. Have they asked you to walk the plank yet? Because maybe I can ring the captain and ask him to do that.

Chris: You have asked me to walk the plank previously and, uh, we'll see if we can make this happen. The joys of life. Of life. Technology. You can do this even five years ago.

Alex: Perfectly fine. Okay, you had a wow moment. Where was that wow moment? Tell me that.

Chris: The wow moment was at a restaurant called Tommy Bahamas. Now, Tommy Bahamas is actually, ah, a clothing company based in Hawaii, but they have at their flagship store in Waikiki, they have two floors of clothing store and then it proceeds to a restaurant and a rooftop bar area. Now, uh, I went there for dinner about five years ago and the highlight of the dinner and the food, by the way, is largely local, uh, from local producers to plate. But the highlight there five years ago was the dessert.

Alex: Mhm. This is pineapple with a bit of cream on it. And then there's a chocolate cake in the background. That's what I can see.

Chris: Well, you would think that it's pineapple. That is actually a creme brulee made inside a pineapple. Now, how good is that?

Alex: Is a genuine pineapple. Thank you. Right? Good. Okay. A creme brulee made inside a pineapple. Wow. Okay.

Chris: And that is something special. You wanted a wow moment. That was the wow moment from Hawaii. So we'll give you a new cruising. But if you want to go to Hawaii, check, uh, that place out, Tommy, Bahamas. It's right next to the Hard Rock Cafe, which is also great fun in hang on.

Alex: How many desserts did you have? And there's a third one in the background. Did you eat all of those? A full chocolate cake as well?

Chris: Uh, I had the creme brulee. I may have had a smidge of the chocolate pudding in the background. The other one, the third one in the background is another creme brulee, which someone else at our party had one.

Alex: You know what's going to happen? They're going to roll m you off the ship in 19 days. I'm 100% convinced of that. Okay, so there's the moment in Hawaii. What about closer to where you are now? What about the wow moments there? What about some photos to show me?

Chris: OK, I've, um, tried to explain before just how big this ship is. It's 348 meters from that end to that end, but it's also very tall.

Alex: What do they call it?

Chris: That's the forward, that's the aft.

Alex: Ah.

Chris: Uh, but also where I'm sitting, uh, is about 45 meters above sea level. So we're all long way up the ship. Um, now, this photo is not of the ship we're on. This is a photo I took from one of the upper decks while we're still port side in Hawaii. We were looking over the top of this thing. That's not a small ship. We were looking over the top of that thing. So just that I would share that with you. And they make you feel very welcome as soon as you get on board and they tell you where you, uh, are by way of the universal language of cupcakes.

Alex: Um, uh, isn't that neat? Very good. Now, I hope that they've got you in the kitchen doing an Australian flag, too. That's the very.

Chris: Australian flag will be rolled out for the morning. We dock in Sydney. So that's still a fortnight away. This thing is going to be a long, long cruise. But one thing I get asked about, uh, by people one thing I get asked about by people when you go on a cruise, about going on a cruise is what's the accommodation like. So I think that's probably a good point to start with this one. Now that we're actually ocean bubble, I get another one for a second and say that's the pool deck in the background, the children's play area, uh, over there, which does all the wonderful stuff.

Alex: Is that a life, boy, in case you plunge in and don't come out.

Chris: They have lifeguards on ovation of the seas. They have plausible things. And, um, over to my right, by the way, is the lovely Evelyn from Peru, who is the world's best bartender. She makes drinks and, uh, I enjoy them. And that one's nearly empty. She's making something else for me. So we'll have that a few minutes.

Alex: Can you bring her along, bring her into the frame and say hello? You can't introduce she's on the other.

Chris: Side of the bar. I'm not allowed on that side of the bar. And would you like to see what the room is like and I'll talk you through?

Alex: Yeah, definitely.

Chris: Okay, so this is my cabin. This is actually my cabin. And here is a walkthrough as we go in. No, this is the full video. This is we're really exploiting technology here. So here we go. This is as, uh, we enter the room. Now, it's completely keeler, so swipe the card and enter it. And you go and I don't know what you think, but that's a pretty sizable room there if you're spending 19 days on board. It's bigger than the airbnb we had in Honolulu. So we go around. Um, now there is a bathroom. There's no communal bathrooms. You get a bathroom of your own. Um, and again, um, fully equipped bathroom, as you'd expect. And we'll come around in a second. You'll see the shower. The shower is surprisingly big. And I've been on cruise lines in the past, where if you have a really hot, steamy shower, it'll, uh, set off the smoke alarm in the room. That doesn't happen on here, if you believe me. I've had several really hot showers. I like a hot shower. Nothing better than a hot shower to loosen up the muscles. So that's, uh, the shower, you can pump it up there. It can run in a massage setting or a rainfall setting. So that's the bathroom. And then we move around. Plenty of storage space. So this is, uh, one of the cupboards here. Two, uh, hanging racks in there. Probably, uh, should have told my wife that I was going to film inside her wardrobe before, uh, we showed that, but too bad. Uh, the bed is a full king size bed. And you may wonder about the robes. I'll tell you about the robes.

Alex: Is it large enough for you, Chris?

Chris: That road is large enough. Uh, and if you're in the crown on Anchor Society, platinum level or above, you get a robe for the duration of your journey. Not the TV is not a small TV. That's a 24 or 26s. Haven't measured it, but it's a sizable TV. You can pull that out as well. So you can watch, uh, it from the couch in the room. It also has the position indicator, which says where you are. And again, plenty more stories and stories above the beds. We've got a couple bottles of wine.

Alex: Is it all American programming? I mean, the television, is it all US.

Chris: Global programming? There's BBC. There's US. There's US. Sports, Australian. That's my wardrobe in there, which has the safe in there as well. And plenty, uh, of drawers.

Alex: There was a proviso here. You can only do this if there was red and black. There the mighty fighting essence and football machine. All I saw was boring blue. What's going on?

Chris: Well, no one would understand. It on the side of the equator. Uh, this is the room, the fridge in the room, which is actually more of a cooler than a refrigerator, but you can keep stuff in there. We've got, as you can see, some lobbyists and some water in there. And you asked about the balcony before you refuse to accept that I had a balcony. So here is the balcony as we head out. And this is, uh, one of the balconies that grows in size from the front of the ship towards the back. So that from there to there is about 5ft, maybe 6ft across. And then it's a couple of feet wider on the right of screen as it comes into shot now. So that is, uh, a couple of shares out there as well. The water is very reasonable.

Alex: Yeah, I mean, Chris, it's not pounding waves or anything like that, is it?

Chris: No, it's very calm out here in the Pacific at the moment. Uh, the other place, but as you can tell from what you can see there is we're under shade most of the day. It's only when the sun gets very low in the western sky that we get a bit of sun coming into the room. We have a magnificent view of the sunset. Unfortunately, just as the sun was setting tonight, we had cloud coming in. But these people there, they get a great view of the sunset and, uh, they get a bit more sun during the day. But I like being able to sit out in the shade but in the warmth at the same time, listening to the waves and catching stuff. And we have a look back in and there you go. 13.

Alex: I've got no idea how many decks there are.

Chris: Uh, we're deck 13 of 16 overall. Deck 13 is the highest level of, uh, accommodation on board. So we're a long way up to be, I reckon, 35, 36 meters from our balcony to the water.

Alex: Terrific.

Chris: You wouldn't want to go out of boat.

Alex: No, I was going to say no, you're not going to be walking the plank from there. This is all very, very good. The cabin looks very comfortable. It's bigger than I imagined it would be. Can you give me overall dimensions? I mean, in terms of meters, how many meters from one side?

Chris: Uh, I'm m going to take a stab. I reckon it's about, I think it's about 20 meters long by about five wide. I'll do measurements and I'll get back to you, uh, on a future edition to give you a more accurate number.

Alex: Have you ever been very comfortable with.

Chris: Spending plenty of time there?

Alex: Sorry? Have you ever been to Japan?

Chris: I have been to Japan. Uh, I have not stayed in a capsule hotel.

Alex: No, not a capsule hotel, but just a normal hotel. And they make brilliant use of space, but it's usually pretty small. I've been there a few times. That's a good fortune. But I'm just trying to equate this to something that I or anybody else listening today or watching today could relate to.

Chris: It's a funny shape because I just saw the bed is a crosswalk in the room, so it's a funny shape of the room is long and thin, uh, but it would be larger than my bedroom at home, so it has room. You're not feeling like when you're sitting on the couch, you're not sitting there with your knees up around your chest. A king size bed.

Alex: I want to ask you a question about the food. One of the problems that I've heard this from a number of people, because it's going to be all you want. People just eat neat meat, and at times that they become slovenly and don't do anything. Now, uh, how do you prevent the food must be gorgeous. It's always like I can only imagine the spreads must be stunning. So how do you balance that with the need to sort of work it off?

Chris: Um, okay, two things, and I will devote, before this cruise is finished, one, possibly two episodes of the podcast to talking about the food. Okay. Um, I will also devote some time to the gymnasium, which is spectacular. It is a really good gymnasium.

Alex: Ah. Have you actually been in the gymnasium, but you just viewed it for our purposes?

Chris: No, I have been I have used very good and I felt the pain for a few hours afterwards. But, uh, there are two very important things to remember about cruise ship. The first is you come on as passengers. The second, you can leave as cargo. The other part is that just because you can eat a million things, you don't have to, and they have to exercise some sort of control. There sorry.

Alex: There's no control. When you see all this food, how do you get control? That's the point that I'm making. But I've heard from so many people the food was fantastic. I couldn't help myself. And when they come back, it takes them six months to a year to work off what they put on.

Chris: Yes, it can happen. But at the same time, if you're going to put on some weight, you may as well do it by eating really good food. And trust me, Alex, um, in future episodes, I will tell you about Chops Grill. I will tell you about Jamie's Italian. I will tell you about the Azumi Restaurant. I, uh, will potentially tell you about the chef's table full on multi course de gea station dining experience. And a few other bits and pieces as well.

Alex: It's time for you to go. Tell me what ship you are again.

Chris: We are on board the Ovation of the Seas. We're doing this? All courtesy of Royal Caribbean International's. Magnificent boom. The fastest Internet at sea. Five years ago, we, uh, would have been able to do this. The Internet on board now. You can do this. We can actually do a podcast like this live from literally a couple hundred miles, if not less, north of the equator. Ah, in the middle of the Pacific. To you back there in Oz. And Alex, I'll talk to you again soon.

Alex: It's always a pleasure, Chris. Enjoy the rest of your cruise with your wife, and we'll speak to you in a few days. Catch you then.

VO: You've been listening to Travel First, available at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, or your favorite podcast player. You can also stream on demand at  bitesz.com

VO: This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com.

Chris ColemanProfile Photo

Chris Coleman

Storyteller, sports fan, traveller, foodie!

Chris is a storyteller who spent more than 35 years on radio, and increasingly in the online world, with occasional excursions into TV and print. Outside of his family, Chris’s two biggest loves are sport and travel - and he can’t get enough of either of them.

After a few years away from travelogues, Chris will periodically join Alex First to share his travel adventures and experiences both within Australia and overseas.