We had the pleasure of doing back to back cruises on the Jewel of the Seas in February, celebrating my birthday. There were different routes for each cruise, so we ended up visiting 10 ports in 14 days. I had read some reviews of the ship that were less than stellar, so I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful experience. Embarkation in San Juan was the smoothest I have ever experienced. As Diamond members, we were on the ship in less than five minutes after dropping our bags. We had a balcony room on the seventh deck that was small but equipped with spacious balcony. Our stateroom attendant, Julianna, was a delightful girl who went above and beyond to insure our every need was met.
We really like this Radiance class ship, as it has a good space to passenger ratio, and never seemed crowded. The food and service in the main dining room was as good as I have ever had on a cruise ship and the Windjammer food was top notch, also. Our very attentive dining room waiters made sure my wife's special dietary needs were met. We had a couple of service glitches at the Chops steakhouse, due in large part to inattention by the restaurant staff. The steaks were good, although I sent my first one back, as it was cooked medium well rather than medium rare. We did not eat at Portofino’s, and decided that the regular dining was so good, there was no reason to take another chance on the specialty dining.
The cruise director, Dennis, was great. He was talented, approachable and affable. We thought the entertainment on the ship was excellent and enjoyed all the shows very much. The singers and dancers were very skilled and had a lot of energy. The 70’s show in the Centrum should not be missed.
The Diamond club service was better than we have experienced on other Royal Caribbean ships. We also took advantage of the various discounts and freebies we received as frequent cruisers.
We did not take any ship sponsored excursions, as we have been to the Caribbean many times, and after a while, the islands all start to look alike. We did get off at each port to walk around, sample the local beers and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi that was usually available in the bars. I noticed that the ship often docked at the freight pier, rather than the passenger pier on occasion, necessitating commercial transportation to reach the main tourist areas. The taxi drivers told me that it was cheaper to do so, and Royal Caribbean was just trying to save money.
Disembarking was as smooth as embarking, and we were off the ship and in a taxi within minutes of our number being called.
This is a great ship, with a great crew and I highly recommend it.