Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by LRum: Southern Caribbean on the Jewel
Overall Member Rating
Southern Caribbean on the Jewel
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
This is my 6th cruise -but my first time on RCCL and the Jewel was a beautiful ship. We spent an overnight in Old San Juan at the Hotel Milano (in the heart of the historic district -adequate for one night) to be sure we wouldn't miss our departure, especially with all the recent snow out of New England. Easy on and offboarding both. The ship lived up to it's name and reputation - lovely and tasteful decor, glass everywhere for great views, a comfortable size and service was good to great. Our balcony in the aft, ninth deck, was as expected, spacious and clean, with the best view on the boat, centered just above the churn.
Fabulous balcony - plenty of room with 2 chairs and small table and 2 chaise lounge as well. We were in 9260 and my brother and his wife were in 9660 - best rooms in the house - centered right over the churn of the boat. We had one deck above buffered from any noise from the Windjammer above that and we were 3rd deck above the Main Dining Room - so no More noise at all. The room was clean and we were well cared for by our steward, Olman. There is some wear but we knew the Jewel has yet to be updated. We did have a flat screen TV, but my brother's didn't - fyi.
Didn't really do the shows or entertainment as much as relax by the pool, enjoyed the live band on the Lido deck by the outdoor pool - just wished they played more of the time. Very nice in that the crowd was much quieter and average age seemed to be 40's and on up.
The only real downside were the dinners in the Main Dining Room - not at all as expected or hoped for, sub par for most nights. The waiter/service was fine but the chef needs to do much better. Our only compensation (which disappointed us even more) was a talk with the Head of Dining and all he could offer was to put our comments on the RCCL Survey. Really?? A fine dining restaurant would at least buy a round of drinks - it's the gesture of effort that was sorely lacking. The Windjammer we did a couple of nights and their food was always good. And the towel animals have been cut down to every other night ~ what's up with that?? Cut backs not keeping us happy.
Overall I would recommend the Jewel and the itinerary as well - just check to see if they have their food has come up to where it should be. Less
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Cabin review: 9620
Fabulous balcony - plenty of room with 2 chairs and small table and 2 chaise lounge as well. We were in 9260 and my brother and his wife were in 9660 - best rooms in the house - centered right over the churn of the boat.We had one deck above buffered from any noise from the Windjammer above that and we were 3rd deck above the Main Dining Room - so no noise at all. The room was clean and we were well cared for by our steward, Olman. There is some wear but we knew the Jewel has yet to be updated. We did have a flat screen TV, but my brother's didn't - fyi.
Port and Shore Excursions
Enjoyed a day pass at Sandals $110.50 for use of facilities form 10am - 6pm (we left earlier to make 4:30pm all aboard). Short taxi ride to their beautiful and elegant facilities & service~ all you expect from Sandals - top shelf drinks, great food and wonderful day. The beach was pure white and water was milky due to how fine the sand. Check them out online - offer too much to list - and it might seem expensive but isn't compared to most excursions.
We reserved the day pass at Sand Castle on the Beach Resort for 2 people for $25. - one umbrella, 2 chairs and 2 rum drinks. Beautiful views and we could see our ship from the beach. The surf was up and a bit of a drop off and undertow, kept us from swimming. However we loved walking the beach and there was beach glass galore. The resort has a pool and bar/cafe on the beach - the best burgers and great service/bartender. Alot of lush tropical gardens ~ with some sightings of lizards and an Iguana.
Thanks to some great advice here on CruiseCritic, we chose to go snorkeling at the Pitons with Spencer Tours. A bit of confusion got us off to late start, however, once on board Spencer made sure we were still the first to arrive at Jalousie Beach for snorkeling - excellent ~ do not miss this!! We got our pick of chairs (they're limited, for free) and wonderful homemade lunch, the ladies selling at the beach cooked lunch. All around great time. Say hello to the Coconut Man for a fresh treat for a coconut drink.
Good shopping too from some local talent.
In St Thomas - Coki Beach - we were the only ship in port so not so crowded and the view and snorkeling were the BEST - highly recommend. Get there early is best! Pearl, our server on the beach, was terrific - got our drinks, secured snorkeling equipment ($10.) that came with big dog biscuits for feeding the fish, chaise and umbrellas too.
The snorkeling was the BEST - tons of Parrot and Sargent Major fish and others too. The water is pristine, the views spectacular - if I had to do a day over again as the perfect beach day - this one would be it.
Not as good as past cruises
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