Finally sitting down to write a review of our recent cruise on Jewel of the Seas.
This was our fifth cruise, all on Royal Caribbean. We have previously sailed on
Monarch, Serenade(twice) and Navigator. DH much prefers the size of the
Radiance class of ships.
We stayed one night precruise at the Courtyard by Marriott Isle Verde. The hotel
was clean, service was good and the fact that it was on the beach was great. The
fact that it was so close to the airport and there wasn't much you could walk to
was a negative.
Embarkation: was a breeze, arrived at the pier at 11 AM, on board by 11:30 and
having my first umbrella drink at the Schooner Bar by 11:45! By the time we had
a quick lunch at the Windjammer our cabin was ready and our bags were already
waiting for us. We were off to a great start!
Ship: Having sailed on Serenade twice previously we already knew the layout of
the ship. I will agree with others who have reviewed Jewel recently that the ship
is in great shape and saw very few signs of its age. Definitely the TVs need to be
replaced with flat screens. We spent most of our pool time at the Solarium pool.
I will say chair hogging was alive and well unfortunately thus it was not possible to
get a seat unless you got out there early. On our one sea day, I was in the Solarium
by 7:45 to make sure DH and I had seats. Unlike others either he or I were always
there. We took turns bringing breakfast in to enjoy by the pool and gave our seats
up after lunch so others could enjoy an afternoon by the pool.
Our favorite bar was by far the Schooner Bar. Deapeu was an awesome bartender
and had our favorite drinks ready for us without our even asking.
Food: overall we were satisfied with the selection and quality of the food. We ate in
The MDR all but one night when we went to Chops. Our meal at Chops was
wonderful. I'm an Irish girl and we love a good steak!
Our only major dining complaint was our waiter in the MDR. Glenifer was the worst
waiter we have ever had. Our table was always one of the last 2-3 to be served
even though everyone at our table always arrived on time. Dinner typically took a
full two hours in the MDR and on a couple of occasions we left before desert as we
had an event to attend. Our waiter showed little interest in how we were enjoying
cruise but must have asked us 10 times a night how was his service. Clearly
looking for a greater tip then just the prepaid amounts. On a bright note we had
great table mates at our table of six. We often met them for drinks or trivia before
Ports: we love the Southern routes. This is our third time leaving out of San Juan on
a Southern route. Our islands this time included; St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antigua,
Martinique and St. Lucia. Our best excursions included a day pass at Coconuts
Beach Club on Antigua where for $50 per person you had your choice of many
comfortable loungers, all your drinks including alcohol, a wonderful buffet lunch,
use of pool, etc. a wonderful bargain and beautiful location. Not at all crowded. We
shared a taxi with three other folks from our roll call so cab fare was only $20 round
On St Lucia we took Cosol's tour for the second time and loved it. The buffet was
Even better then it was the last time we did his tour. Cosol hits all the highlights,
waterfall, volcano, banana plantation, the pitons and the beach. My only com-
plaint is that the beach which is right between the pitons is lovely but they don't
treat cruise ship passengers well. The area where ship passengers can go is small
and not all that nice.
We went to St. John instead of staying on St. Thomas which was lovely. We used
a ship excursion and I have to give credit to Royal, their modes of transportation
have much improved. The trip to St John was on a brand new catamaran and in
Martinique there was a nice air conditioned tour bus.
The islands of St Croix and Martinique were just ok. We went to Rainbow Beach on
St Croix which was the worst beach we were on all week. In Martinque we went to
to the rum distillery but it was closed for Carnival.
My only other complaint from our week on the Jewel was the entertainment. The
singers and dancers were terrible and the production shows were disjointed and
poorly put together. There was a good comic one night.
It appears Royal is putting all their entertainment budget into the larger ships and
cares very little about the smaller ships.
I would sail on Jewel again but am concerned that the satisfaction of the cruisers
on the smaller ships is clearly not the cruise line's priority.