I will walk you through the Jewel of the Seas and try to be as upfront as I can so hopefully you wont run into the issues I thought made our cruise a 1st & last time on RC. We have cruised before with our girls ages 11 & 13 on several Disney cruises & this was our 1st RC cruise. We live in Tampa & decided to do a last minute cruise for Easter as the price was right. I had an open mind knowing this was a much cheaper cruise then Disneys but the old saying of " You get what you pay for " didnt even hold true. You got even less.
Pros first - Getting on the ship in Tampa was very easy and I will give them an A+ for that. Getting off was fast to. Cons - When we got on the ship we went through a small door. No "Welcome Aboard " Nothing. The only one there was one small lady that was assigning wrist bands for the kids club. You were pretty much on your own. The ship in general was ok for the $ but has its issues. Before we pulled out I washed my hands in the bathroom sink. Noting but brown water came out. This was what you were suppose to use to brush your teeth! It cleared up later but that stayed in my mind every time I used the sink.
The Ships kids clubs are one deck below the adult night clubs & cigar lounge. Constant smell of smoke in the kids clubs! Oh yes smokers have free run of the ship. They smoke in the night clubs , casinos , sports bar which are all inside and filter through out the ship. On deck they smoke anywhere they want. No one enforces it. Now for the kids entertainment. Most adults come on these cruises to relax. RC advertise their awesome kids clubs. NOT ! Kids club opens in sessions or 2 hrs at a time. open at 10am close at noon , open at 2pm close at 4 , open at 6:45 - close at 10pm. You spend the day & night running back n forth to pick up you children. What rest do you get! Oh and in between sessions they will watch you kids for $6 per hr each , but everyone pulls there kids out so even if you left your child , chances are they are alone watching a TV. Games , played the same ones everyday. Also misleading is on their tv channel they show all these wonderful things to do for kids on the ship. Problem is the show is filmed on oasis of the seas & the ship your on has absolutely none of what their pitching.
Then theres the Easter bunny. My kids are older & get the easter bunny / santa thing but the faces on parents of little ones showed their shock at the easter surprise RC planned. Families were told to meet in the lobby area easter morning at 10 am because peter cottontail would be there to meet the kids with candy & pictures. Everyones waiting and a guy comes out in an open faced rabbit suit. The kind you get at a Halloween store with the bunny face on top of his head and his face sticking out. Even little kids knew , this was a bogus bunny. I mean really? at least try to get a real costume! Then each kid went up for their treat.They gave them ONE dumm dumm lolipop. You know the kind you get when you go to the bank. WOW! the kids got out of bed for this? Not only did every kid that believed in the bunny no longer did thanks to RC but they got stiffed too! Ok enough of that.
So we thought hey the kids clubs were no good so the kids could hang with us & go to the kids pool. WRONG , kids pool & slide were open from noon till 3pm / 3 hrs a day , THATS IT! Ok so that the kids club deal.
Food was ok , buffet was the same everyday , a step above golden corral food , never changed. Dinning rooms were nice but some of the food on the fancy menu was the same as the food on the buffet. Reservations were never right. They had us 2 adults to be seated at the 1st seating & our 2 children at the 2nd. It took the whole trip for them to figure it out.When I called to the guest relations they would say " Walk down to the dinning room to handle it" guest relations didnt want to do anything. Ordered room service once & the never came , probably because it was free, LOL! For drinks you get water , tea or lemonade. thats it. They dont make it easy to get them either thus having you buy eveything.
Also I didnt feel safe. security guards always walking the decks. You dont see that on a Disney cruise. So heres the bottom line. If you like to smoke ,loud drunk people , dont care what your kids do , dont care what you eat, and like zero service then youd love this cruise. If you care about smoking , your kids , the food you eat & the service you get then forget it. You will pay more on Disney but its worth it. No nickel & diming you , and service. I feel bad for 1st time cruises if they think "This is cruising" NOT !