I sailed with the Jewel of the Seas from San Juan, Puerto Rico from 22-29 March 2014. This was my 16th cruise and the 4th with Royal Caribbean. I am easy to please and not of the old age difficult type. The ship is average with the usual meals in the Windjammer. The running track on Deck 12 provides 6 laps per mile. Go early as the track becomes congested for the first few days...then it is almost vacant. Staterooms are nice with courteous attention.
A bucket of 6 beers costs $31. The Pit Stop bar on Deck 6 gives a 10% discount after 4:00. Ship Nazis will take your beer if you try to smuggle in more than two. You may bring in a bottle of wine but the Gestapo frowns upon beer.
I did not use ship excursions which are exceptionally expensive. Do your homework and take the ferry to Nevis and Virgin Gorda on your own ($20 r/t). Nevis departs at 10:30 and Virgin Gorda at 9:00. If you bargain, local taxi drivers will give you a 2 hour tour for $15 each. RC will charge you 3-4Xs the price. You can take a taxi to Marigot in St. Martin for $8.00.
Now for the negatives. There was a 90 minute wait for transportation from the airport to the Jewel although transportation had been arranged through RC. Terminal RC personnel were unconcerned and less than friendly and helpful. This delay caused my group to miss exploring old San Juan before embarkation. Ship check-in was easy and we headed to the Sky Bar. The bartenders on this bar and the Deck 11 Pool bar are from Jamaica and apathetic in their service. There is little motivation with one bartender moving slowly in trying to serve 25 passengers. The ship media promotes Green and there is frequent mention of Global Warming. Forget FOX News because it is not there...the ship lists to the Port (left). One morning, the sink ran brown fluid which looked like diarrhea. The television would not power-off and after unplugging the cable connector, displayed blue throughout the night. The coffee station on Deck 11 was often out of coffee around 7:00 a.m.with passengers lined up and waiting with no attendant. Customs at San Juan is never fun with long lines and only 3 customs officials...expect a long wait. This will be my last voyage with RC...Princess and Celebrity are better....or better yet, try the fun tours with Viking