Just got off from a beautiful 7-night cruise on the Jewel of the Seas.
The ship is gorgeous, and very well maintained. I found our stateroom a bit small,though and in need for an upgrade: still has one of those old very large TVs and no wifi available in the stateroom. (We had a deluxe oceanview with a balcony.)
The itinerary is one of the best for Southern Caribbean. It included St. Kitts, Aruba, Curacao and St. Thomas, roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The food was nice and the service at the main restaurant impecable. We did miss some variety in the fruits station (no bananas on several days). The pastries were fantastic, though.
We loved Captain Thore. He was accessible, smiling and very simpatico'. He shows he loves his work. Big difference from many other captains (this was our 34th cruise).
The Cruise director staff was always present and very upbeat all the time. The activities were fun and varied. It's good to see that Royal Caribbean now includes music and activities for the large Latino
population they cater to. Special kudos to Elvis, the assistant Cruise director.
We applaud the fact that they eliminated the paper-wasting coupon booklet but, as Diamond level members, we felt shortchanged in some aspects. Free espressos only with meals at a specialty restaurant? Please. And another thing, internet fee was raised to 75 cents per minute and it was so slow it felt like a dial-up connection.
We went with a group of 10 of our friends, some of them for their first cruise. They were delighted,even though RCCL could not accommodate them in their first meal seating. We had to change our seating for 8:30 to be with them since we were there celebrating our anniversary and my
birthday. Then again, it was the agency's mistake, not Royal Caribbean.
Anyway, the waiters made up for it. They were FABULOUS!
We all prepaid our tips but we still like to give our stateroom attendant and our waiters their envelope personally. I would suggest going back to the Certificates for payment. We like to know how much
they are really receiving from us and add whatever is appropriate.
We loved the ship, its size, its crew. We would definitely go back.
One faux pas: We were celebrating birthdays and our 35th wedding anniversary. This was all in our records. We received congratulatory emails from Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Vantage, etc. but NOTHING from the ship we were on. Incredible! It doesn't cost anything and says SO MUCH.