The ship was very clean and staff were friendly and helpful. Every member of staff would speak to you wherever you were (cabin corridors, dining areas etc) and whatever they were doing.
We had everything organised by Royal Caribbean and the whole process was seamless, including flight transfer at Atlanta. We were worried about whether our luggage would arrive at the same place as us, as we did not see it until we arrived at San Juan, but we needn't have!
The hotel booked for us at San Juan was a good standard and the transfer happened when it was scheduled. San Juan itself was a lovely place to explore - the old town rather than the area near the hotel and harbour.
The Cruise Director was amazing and omnipresent; very witty and livened up the atmosphere. We enjoyed all the shows although we felt that the ship's singers and dancers should have appeared every evening for a short time when the guest entertainers were there.
We did not choose to go to More
Portofino or Chops Grille, but were told that they were very good. The main Dining Room was pleasant and the food was good, however, I would improve it by including a greater choice with a completely different menu every evening, not just changing some courses every day. I would not criticise the cooking, though.
Windjammer was very efficient for lunch although not atmospheric in the evening, so we would not choose to eat there in the evening. We have suggested that they install hand wash at every entrance to that restaurant as they were only at the main entrance. The Tides Dining Room was much nicer.
I think that the cruise staff should enforce the principle of moving people's towels if they are left on sun loungers all day, which they were.
All of the ports of call were enjoyable - all quite different. We would recommend going to the beach independently in Martinique, but leaving early-ish in the morning as it gives more flexibility if the public ferries are full as they were when we went at about 12 noon. The excursion in Antigua to see Nelson's Dockyard and the views from the high points on the island was great with a lovely guide.
Internet access was very expensive and it would be good if Royal Caribbean allowed a certain number of 'free' minutes per cruise guest. This could easily be built in to the package. Another thing that I would abolish if I could would be the concept of adding money for gratuities! Why not include it in the price with only additional tipping for exceptional service at your discretion - with no expectation?!
The cabin was bigger than we expected with a large porthole. With the beds put together, it was about a 6 foot wide bed and very comfortable. It is time that the TV was changed to widescreen, but was adequate as we did not spend a lot of time watching it - only to see some CNN and info about the cruise.
The carpet in our cabin was rather thin and not vacuumed every day, but the bathroom was very clean and we had no complaints about our steward, although we did not find him as charming as some of the others seemed to be.
Overall, a really good experience with many places to go and sit quietly if you wished, particularly in the Solarium where children were not allowed. We would certainly choose Royal Caribbean again. Less
Jewel of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
The cabin was bigger than we expected with a large porthole. With the beds put together, it was about a 6 foot wide bed and very comfortable.It is time that the TV was changed to widescreen, but was adequate as we did not spend a lot of time watching it - only to see some CNN and info about the cruise.The carpet in our cabin was rather thin and not vacuumed every day, but the bathroom was very clean and we had no complaints about our steward, although we did not find him as charming as some of the others seemed to be.