This was our Honeymoon/Birthday Cruise and we were really looking forward to it since we desperately needed a vacation! On the cruise was just my husband (37) and myself(37). We stay 2 nights before the cruise in San Juan at the Marriott Stellaris Resort and it was fantastic. We were hoping that was just the beginning of a great vacation. Upon arriving a the port in San Juan, we flew right through Embarkation and we on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Once on board we headed to our room which we told was ready. When we got there we noticed that our water package we had ordered was already there as well as our soda package cups. We unpacked and also met our room attendant, Olton. He was great throughout the cruise and always made sure our room was clean.
Since it was the first night my husband was going to wear shorts to the dining room, not gym shorts but nice dressy shorts. When I called down to the front desk to confirm that was ok, just for the first night in the dining More
room, the clerk who answered the phone told me it was unacceptable and she said we wouldn't be allowed to dine if he came in shorts! I said even on the first night?? She said "Yes, Didn't you get the Newsletter in your cabin that detailed the dress code? No Shorts for men". She was very abrupt and I wish I had gotten her name because I made him change into pants and when we arrived in the dining room - half the men there were in shorts! I was so upset and annoyed...Really? Are they all not allowed in the dining room??!
We then sat down to dinner and ordered. The food they served us was inedible...I ordered the NY Strip Steak (I love steak) and when I got it, I couldn't even take more than 2 bites. Horrible! This was just the beginning of the week's worst food we have had - period. During that week we ordered the salmon, the lamb, and chicken. Nothing was delicious...all of the entrees had some issue with it and we would just end up returning it and asking for something else on the menu.
We did have reservations for Chops Grille and Portofino; surprisingly the food at both of the specialty restaurants was amazing. We liked it so much and didn't want to suffer through the dining room again, so we made another reservation to eat at Chops on our last night. We did complain to the head waiters in the dining room and made sure to mention the horrible food in the dining room on our survey at the end of our cruise. The service was excellent all around the ship, unfortunately the food in the windjammer was by far much better than the actually dining room.
Royal Caribbean really needs to re-evaluate the food that they serve and the quality of the food. Its crazy how you have to pay extra to go to a specialty restaurant to get good food. I've been on Royal Caribbean previously (Freedom of the Seas - 2009) and I don't remember the food being this bad. We went on Carnival Dream back in 2010 and the food was 100times better than on this ship.
Other than the food, we really enjoyed the ports, Aruba was our favorite. St. Thomas, St. Kitts, and Curacao were all enjoyable and while in St. Kitts we booked a Stand Up Paddle Board excursion through RCL which we had an excellent time on.
The room was adequate (typical balcony cabin) although there was always a smell that was in the bathroom, like the smell of a sewer. On our first day we had to call maintenance since we had an issue and our toilet wouldn't flush. It was quickly corrected and we didn't have that issue again.
You can definitely tell that this is an older ship, although the staff do try to keep up with maintaining it as best as they can. I was told that this ship will be getting refurbished in 2014, which is desperately needs.
RCL was always my "Go to" cruise line, but at this point, in the future we will be looking at Norwegian or perhaps Celebrity, which I've heard have really good food. Less
Jewel of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean