Like you I relied on many of these reviews before booking on the Jewel but after spending a week on that ship, I feel like many of these reviews must have been written people that have never sailed with anyone other than RCC. We sailed on the Carnival Dream the past two years - and this year we decided to sail with Royal Caribbean because we had sailed two previous times with that cruise line and had been impressed. Wow, were we disappointed with how the quality of the cruise had taken a nose dive with the Jewel of the Seas. We felt like we were the Fools of the Seas by booking with Royal Caribbean after experiencing the quality of cruising that Carnival offered.
These are all services that we experienced on Carnival that were lacking on RCC:
1. Chocolates on our turned down bed at night
2. Robes in our cabin
3. Chocolate milk cartons at breakfast ( I asked 3 RCC employees for chocolate milk and all I received were blank stares because they did not understand English) Finally found a manager and all they could provide was a glob of chocolate syrup at the bottom of a glass of white milk. They did not even mix it for me.
4. Coca Krispy's in mini boxes
5. No veggie burgers
6. RCC charges for fresh squeezed orange juice - free on Carnival
7. RCC charges for filet mignon
8. Cheeseburgers made to order with melted cheese
9. A real Midnight Buffet with variety - instead of just some cut up fruit
10. Carnival had a show for the late diners - RCC did not
11. Chocolate chip pancakes
These are all services that we experienced on the Jewel of the Seas that we never experienced on Carnival:
1.Cold Hamburger and hot dog buns at lunch
2.Rock hard cookies - like they were sitting out for a day
3. Green mold behind our shower dispenser in our bathroom
4. Blank stares from staff when you asked questions
5. Lack of organization getting on and off the ship. Incompetent staff. (We got off the ship early at St. Thomas because we were going to Megan's Bay at noon - we got back on the ship at 10 AM we had to walk opposite through the same line of people that were getting off ! - really stupid to do that! You need one line to get on and one to get off)
6. Screwed up orders at supper - they forget my salad - my wife's soup - got my entre wrong - service was slow - were always the last to leave the dining room.
7. Obnoxious, indifferent bar staff - I got the beverage package & when the pool bartenders had seen that on your card , the service level goes down & you are the last one they serve when they are busy.
In short - RCC charges more than other cruise lines and provides less.
I have cruised at least 25 times and will cruise 25 more - but not with RCC.