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21 Boston to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

RCL is pushing hard to specialty restaurants dining just to made more money. plus they can cut even more staff. MDR is serving less entree's and poorer quality. Windjammer is better food but the same food everyday. Bright spot of ... Read More
RCL is pushing hard to specialty restaurants dining just to made more money. plus they can cut even more staff. MDR is serving less entree's and poorer quality. Windjammer is better food but the same food everyday. Bright spot of cruise is the staff from the Captain down are 5 star. Please remember that your servers, waiters, bartenders and room attendant do not get paid very much, so please tip them. This cruise is not our first. we are a cruise away from making Diamond class. I'm also a stock holder but not happy about the way RCL is headed. If this had been my first cruise not sure i would book with RCL again. But the rooms and staff win me over ,their both great. The ship needs a touch up, little rust showing, and wood could use a little care. Could use a good dusting in public areas. Our cabin was super clean, no spots or worn places. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 2nd RCCI cruise. Last year we did the Brilliance Repositioning Cruise and had such a fantastic time that we decided to repeat our experience. The Radiance class ships are beautiful and for us, the perfect size. We like ... Read More
This was our 2nd RCCI cruise. Last year we did the Brilliance Repositioning Cruise and had such a fantastic time that we decided to repeat our experience. The Radiance class ships are beautiful and for us, the perfect size. We like the longer cruises and really love our days at sea. We live on Cape Cod, so we also love leaving from Boston. Driving to Boston on a Sunday is a quick trip and easy to get to the Black Falcon Pier. Our daughter drives us up and drops us off, easy for all. Bags are taken as soon as you drive up, so we don't have to handle our luggage at all...except for our carry-ons. Boarding this year was slightly longer than last year, but overall reasonable. Immediately got checked in and got our Cards......but, then we sat waiting for about 40" till our number was called. Last year we had no wait, just walked right on. Once we got on board we found a comfy spot to sit with a cocktail and people watch. Once I get onboard, I consider my vacation starting and I am happy to just relax and take it all in. I usually have been in such a preparation frenzy, that I relish the relaxation part. Lunch in the Windjammer was a pleasant experience, plenty of food choices and no problem finding a seat. We ate light to save room for dinner. At precisely 1:00 PM our rooms were ready.........we immediately made a bee-line for #9594. Our Balcony room was perfect for us. Just off the Centrum, easy to get to, with no long walk. Central for just about everything we did. Plenty of storage, drawers, shelves and hanging spaces. I am a heavy packer and I had plenty of room! We lucked out with a slightly larger balcony.......chaise, 2 chairs and a table. Bathroom was smallish, but totally adequate for our needs. Our Room stewardess was lovely.....immediately introduced herself and asked what if anything she could do for us. Extra pillows and ice were brought to us in a very timely manner. Our suitcases......all 4 plus 2 garment bags arrived pretty quickly and I was able to get unpacked way before we had to go to the muster drill. The Muster Drill was much better this year.....It was held in the Schooner Lounge, where everyone could sit and be comfortable. It was short and concise. We opted for MDR-late seating at a table for 8. Wonderful group of tablemates. We looked forward to our meals with this great group. Waiters, headwaiters and our assistant waitress were super. Very attentive and informative. As soon as they realized your particular likes and dislikes, they were onboard with having your drinks and choices at the table even before you got there some nights. We did chose to get the 5 night specialty dining option and ate in Chops 4 of those nights. Chops was superb. I had heard many people say how Chops had gone downhill.......but our steaks were cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths. Loved all the vegetable and side dishes. Their Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes were to die for.....my mouth is watering for them right now. Service here was also phenomenal. Cannot say enough about the food choices. MDR had many good selections........appetizers, soups and salads were many and hard to make a choice of just one. One night we just had several appetizers, a soup and salad without a main course..........desert too of course. My review is getting pretty long....sorry Loved the Solarium Pool and the Park café. Great salads , sandwiches, Quesadias. Pina Colada's by the pool.............OMG......heaven! Entertainment was good.......a few shows we had trouble getting a seat, or we missed the show because of our dining times. It seemed to be hard for us to get ready early and go to the show before dinner. Vacation means naps, you know !!!!! Would have loved to have had one of the Broadway shows like on the bigger ships..........MAMA Mia, or Grease ?? One bad experience was disembarkation and it wasn't Royal's fault. Got off later than stated......suitcases readily available, Not enough porters and only 2 out of 13 Customs lines were open. So had a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long wait in a snaking back and forth line before we could get checked out. We were staying in Ft Lauderdale for a few nights so we weren't in a rush, but I would have been very anxious if I was trying to make a plane connection. One funny part....and I never think of Customs Officials as funny.....but as we walked up to his desk with our mound of suitcases, garment bags, carry-ons and souvenirs, he said "where is the rest of your party?" "Is it only the two of you?" "Oh my !!!!!!!!" Overall loved our cruise and have booked another. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its ... Read More
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its voyage. The Norwegian Dawn she was a beauty. Restored to her amazing grace of the sea. Embarkation went smoothly. Arrived in Boston at our pier time of 10am. Got our reservation checked in. Getting on the ship was smoothly. Enjoyed lunch ,relaxed and before you knew it. She was at sea. First night aboard we had dinner at Cagney's. Dinner and Wait staff was excellent. Every night there was a different show. We especially enjoyed Patti and Jose. They were our favorites. The Grand Atrium was where they were. The Elements performance was outstanding. The Dawn performers were amazing, talented group of people. We went off The Dawn at her ports of call. Favorite one was in Jamaica. We did the 4x4 Safari to Dunn's River Falls. The experience through the area and to taste and feel the cultural atmosphere is wonderful . And to walk up the Dunn's River Falls. Excellent location and experience. Disembarkation day. Port of New Orleans. We chose the walk off with your luggage. It was the most smoothest transition from ship to port I have ever experience. We did it early. And it was smooth . Got off the ship. Through the long, never ending terminal. Grabbed a taxi to our hotel and we were checked in at our hotel before 10am... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Returned from Tampa after 13 day cruising the Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Long flight from UK so enjoyed chilling out on first three sea days. Good table in Minstral with very attentive service from Mckoy and ... Read More
Returned from Tampa after 13 day cruising the Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Long flight from UK so enjoyed chilling out on first three sea days. Good table in Minstral with very attentive service from Mckoy and Adelyn. Could not fault any of crew who were all very efficient and friendly. Nightly theatre acts were good but not keen on production nights. Disappointed no films were shown on deck at night as this was a new feature on this ship. Also no deck barbecue. Noticeable cost cutting since last cruise but food of good quality with all evening meals enjoyable. Also, my husband was please to see authentic indian curry in Windjammer every day. Very disappointed with the new pub, no atmosphere and more like a courtroom than an english pub. Seating was awful and needs redesigning. Chose to prepay premium package after given incorrect information by R.C. shore contact precruise misinformed me that not possible to pay for package once on the ship which left no option but to pay up front. This was a huge mistake as I had nowhere near the amount to break even and would not take up this package in the future. Cocktails $11.80, spirit mixers $8.26 with beer similar price which I feel is a little excessive. Unfortunately, the shore team do not match up to the service on board the ship, with my onboard account charged twice to my credit card on my return. with a denial and no apology from R.C.I even after my bank confirmed this and retrieved the money. Still waiting for reply to my email after a week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was not our first cruise but it was our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We knew that we wanted something longer than 7 days. This was 13 days, a Repositioning Cruise. Initially we chose this particular cruise because it left out of ... Read More
This was not our first cruise but it was our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We knew that we wanted something longer than 7 days. This was 13 days, a Repositioning Cruise. Initially we chose this particular cruise because it left out of Boston......an hour from our home, and ended in Tampa where we had relatives that we would be visiting after the cruise. Our boarding was fairly easy.....arrival at about 11:00 and onboard at about 12:00. It definately helps to have all papers filled out as Royal tells you and easily accessible. Pleasant surprise, we were greated with Champagne as soon as we got inside. What a gorgeous ship, lots of glass and light......just beautiful all over. Walked around and got a general overall view of our home for the next 2 weeks. Our room was available by 1:15 and we anxiously made our way there and scoped out the room, bath and storage. Our luggage came over the few hours or so....We had quite a few suitcases and garment bags and I wanted to get clothes hung and put away quickly so our vacationc ould begin. After that we went up to the Windjammer for lunch.......excellent, everything we tried was great. We made several reservations during our cruise at alternate dining venues: Chops, Chef's Table, Izumis, and the Italian restaurant Giovannis. Each was exquisite, different in their uniqueness but delicious, and the service was impeccable. Overall our exprience with Royal was superb. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I recently took the reposition cruise on the Briliance from Boston to Tampa with stops in the South Caribbean. THE GOOD: The ship itself is very nice and the public rooms are beautiful and welcoming in their design. The size and guest ... Read More
I recently took the reposition cruise on the Briliance from Boston to Tampa with stops in the South Caribbean. THE GOOD: The ship itself is very nice and the public rooms are beautiful and welcoming in their design. The size and guest capacity of this ship is just the right size for the type of cruise I enjoy. The ship's staff was fabulous. Everyone on the ship, from the bartenders, waiters, Windjammer staff, room stewards, desk clerks, store workers to the amazing entertainment crew were fabulous. They smiled and talked to us and made us feel like they were really happy that we were there and were happy to help us in any way. It was a welcome change from some of the larger ships we've been on lately. The cruise director, Clo, is the best one I've ever seen on any ship we've been on. You can tell she really loves her job and she's very good at it. THE BAD: The toilets stopped working on our first day for about 8 hours and then worked sporadically for the next several days. All of the public restrooms smelled like urine for the entire trip and we just tried to avoid using those. Our friend's room flooded and they were displaced for a couple of days to an inside room. The ship obviously has some plumbing issues. The food overall was not very good. Breakfast is exactly the same every single day and most items were cold and tasteless. I tried twice to get an omelet but after waiting 15 minutes each time, I just gave up and never tried again. Lunch was also exactly the same items every single day. The only thing that changed was the type of meat they put in the Curry sauce and the type of soup. Dinners were okay but I would say we only had two meals that I was classify as "Good". The rest ranged from inedible to okay. We ate once in Giovannis and that was better than the dining room but the meat was served almost raw so they had to take it back and cook it again. Everything else served there was very good. This ship also moved much more than other ships I've been on so, although I had a fabulous time and enjoyed the cruise immensely, I would not go on this particular ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This ship is old needs a lot of repair - the crew are over worked and very unhappy many to not smile and are very robotic, They know the get an automatic gratuity so the could care less tips should be earned. Only two free dinners ... Read More
This ship is old needs a lot of repair - the crew are over worked and very unhappy many to not smile and are very robotic, They know the get an automatic gratuity so the could care less tips should be earned. Only two free dinners restaurant 's Aqua and Venetian the menu does not change except for a chef special every dish has some kind of over salted / spicy sauce to cover up the taste the food is awful service is poor at best . the crew never comes back to ask if meal is ok or if you need anything The food in the Garden Café for lunch and dinner. so much better than the Venetian or Aqua much better and friendly environment . The cruise directors staff and the operations staff were not on the same page very unorganized pool games cracker beer and try to whistle???? The cruise Director Paul only could laugh on the tv filming of information and his recommendation were very questionable . Many crew members staffs were not communicating well enough every time you asked a question to any crew you got different answers. Only great crew member and happy was the washy washy happy happy lady in the garden café. The pool deck is over crowded and pool full of people and the pool got hot and dirty with suntan lotion and god know what else fast. they need more crew onboard and better service (like they care) if you travel alone or a gay couple look out the single you out and service is worse . NCL is like riding greyhound bus lines or flying spirit airlines.. every thing is a cost on board .   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We arrived in Boston on Friday (Oct. 26) for our 14 day repositioning cruise on Sunday (Oct. 28) and stayed at the Embassy Suites Boston Logan hotel. Very clean hotel with a wonderful breakfast and evening snacks! (Highly recommend!) ... Read More
We arrived in Boston on Friday (Oct. 26) for our 14 day repositioning cruise on Sunday (Oct. 28) and stayed at the Embassy Suites Boston Logan hotel. Very clean hotel with a wonderful breakfast and evening snacks! (Highly recommend!) Spent Sat. touring Boston in the beautiful Sun. Sun. morning we headed to the pier by taxi with the beginning of a very blustery day. We are Diamond members and were on board at 11:15 and headed to the buffet. As we were boarding, the cruise line announced that we would miss Barbados and St. Kitts because of hurricane Sandy. The ship would not sail until Tuesday instead of Sunday. Of course, we were disappointed, but we were glad to be safe with electricity and food. Our thoughts and prayers continued for the people who were in Sandy's path. As the weather got worse outside, we made the most of all of the activities inside. During the height of the storm, a tug was used to keep us up against the pier. Our captain (Captain James) kept us informed of the weather at all times. Tuesday morning we were off on our cruise as the skies had cleared. The first sea day was a very bumpy ride. We have learned from past cruises to go to the Guest Relations desk and ask for the sea sickness tablets as soon as we begin to feel even slightly sick. After that, we were able to enjoy our wonderful meals that day. Our cabin was number 9550, a beautiful balcony. Plenty of storage with a large closet. The only problem was that RCCL allows smoking on the balconies. Unfortunately for us, our neighbors next door were constantly smoking on their balcony and with the wind patterns, it came into our balcony (and sometimes our cabin) and made our balcony useless for us. We did let Guest Relations know but they told us there was nothing they could do. My husband and I have health issues and cannot be around smoke. However, we found areas on the ship that were smokeless and were able to have an enjoyable vacation without a balcony. Our first port of call was St. Thomas and it was beautiful as usual. We shopped and just mainly walked around town and then took an island tour on an open air bus. Lots of fun! St. Lucia, Curacao, and finally Aruba were also on our revised itinerary. In Aruba, we hired a taxi and went to a beautiful beach. The food was excellent on this ship! Maybe, even the best we have ever eaten on a ship! We had anytime dining, but liked our waiters so much that we booked every night at the same table for two so we could have them. Look for Prinston and Leo. They are the best!! All of the staff on this ship seem to be happy and glad to see you!We were sad to see our vacation end when the ship ported in Tampa. It took a while for the ship to clear immigration, but once it was cleared, we were off to the airport in a taxi in no time at all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I didn't have high expectations when booking this family cruise. The overall booking process was not very good and took over three hours to complete on the phone followed by a two hour follow-up call. Overall, you couldn't beat ... Read More
I didn't have high expectations when booking this family cruise. The overall booking process was not very good and took over three hours to complete on the phone followed by a two hour follow-up call. Overall, you couldn't beat the price or itinerary. The embarkation process was very smooth and efficient; in fact it was the best of any of the cruise lines I have experienced. Once on board, the Glory was clean and well maintained but the overall layout of the ship's common areas was awkward and didn't flow very well. The cabins were well laid out much like most other lines. Our cabin steward was very attentive and helpful. The biggest disappointment about the Glory was the food. The overall quality and selection was poor. The Red Sail served the same breakfast for six days -- deep fired bacon included. The lunch buffet items were almost inedible. It was very hard to find fresh fruit or vegetables at any of the onboard food outlets. The 24 hour pizza wasn't great -- if you asked for more than one slice you were told no -- ship policy only one slice at a time. You can get better food at TGI Friday's. To top things off during our six day cruise on the Glory the ship ran out of bananas, mint (for mojitos), cranberry juice, and orange juice!!! We ordered room service breakfast one day and when our order arrived they brought one spoon for three cereals and two coffees? It took 20 minutes to get more spoons? The ship's crew was the rudest and most unhelpful I have ever encountered. I waited for a drink at the pool bar for several minutes...when it was finally my turn I was told the bar was closing and to go to the other bar! The exception to service was our cabin steward and waiter in the Platinum dining room. The kid's club and activities were excellent and well organized and included with the cruise -- they were much better than some of the other cruise lines we have sailed on. Our final experience with the Glory was another highlight; the disembarkation process was well organized and went very smoothly. This was our first and our last Carnival Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Pros: 24 hours pool and hot tub (Pools/Hot Tubs on Carnival and Norwegian close early - around 6-8pm). Indoor pool, hot tub and atrium. A very nice and relaxing setting. Fantastic gym with superior trainers. Great nightclub w/ GREAT ... Read More
Pros: 24 hours pool and hot tub (Pools/Hot Tubs on Carnival and Norwegian close early - around 6-8pm). Indoor pool, hot tub and atrium. A very nice and relaxing setting. Fantastic gym with superior trainers. Great nightclub w/ GREAT staff. Thiago is the best! Really comfortable seating outside the buffet. Casino has very low limit tables ($3 minimum on Caribbean Stud Poker). Cons: Uncomfortable beds. Bathroom doors in cabin do not latch open. In order to move between the closet/bath/sleeping areas, you had to keep opening and closing doors. Location of nightclub was so far off the beaten path, most people did not even know it was there. There were also signs in the nightclub on tables that said no drinks purchased at other bars may not be brought into this bar. I thought this was really weird. Really horrible Pizza. Medical staff was condescending and rude. A simple request for a simple band aid due to a burn caused by a staff member turned into a backlash by the blond haired lady at the medical desk. She told me I needed to go buy them in the vending machine. Minimal effort by staff to create a party atmosphere (minimal themed parties etc.) Poor internet connection offered at outrageous prices. Steam room that does not produce any steam. It is more like a wet sauna. Locks on gym lockers are not secure. I found someone else's clothes in my locker more than once. It appears the lockers keys will work on several different lockers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Background: This repositioning cruise from Boston to Miami with stops in the Caribbean was our second Royal Caribbean cruise. Recently, we have also sailed with Holland America, Celebrity, Regent and Silversea. Embarkation: ... Read More
Background: This repositioning cruise from Boston to Miami with stops in the Caribbean was our second Royal Caribbean cruise. Recently, we have also sailed with Holland America, Celebrity, Regent and Silversea. Embarkation: Boarding the ship was easy and quick. The shore crew at the Black Falcon Cruise Pier in Boston was efficient and friendly. It took all of about 20 minutes to check bags, check in and board the ship. Stateroom: We booked a Grand Suite, which we enjoyed. It was nicely decorated, spacious, and spotlessly clean. Our only criticism is that the sofa bed, which is really a hinged platform on the floor, is dreadful. Extraordinarily uncomfortable. The head of the bed is a sofa cushion, and the two other sections are hinged, and all is at varying levels. Jerry Seinfield would have a field day with this bed. We had the cabin steward place two egg crate cushions over the surface, but the surface still inclined toward the foot of the "bed". We will never book a Grand Suite for three on the Jewel again due to this bizarre contraption of a bed. The remainder of the suite was quite nice. Marble bathroom, excellent lighting, and large veranda with limited seating. No real lounge chairs. Food: The food overall left much to be desired in both the main dining room and the buffet. We did find a few items we liked, including the salad bars, so we did not starve. The desserts were cloyingly sweet, especially the cookies. Sugar seems to be the substitute for butter, which is a necessary ingredient lacking in many of the deserts. Service is very good but the food pedestrian. In contrast, both Portofino and Chops, the alternative restaurants, offer very nice food and excellent service. The menus in the alternative restaurants offer many options, so dining there multiple times is possible. Service is warm and professional. Concierge Lounge: The concierge lounge is quite small and in comparison to the Neptune Lounge on Holland America is lacking. A limited selection of food is available in the morning until 10, but there is nothing other than coffee from 10 until 5:30 in the afternoon. Very limited seating for the number of passengers who are granted access to the lounge. During our cruise, all the caffeine free coffees were "down" on the coffee machine. There is no staff in the lounge from about 10 to 5. Two computer terminals are available in the lounge, which is convenient. I think the main attraction must be the free cocktails available in the lounge in the evening. Entertainment: We found the entertainment good in comparison to other lines we have sailed. The Tango Argentina Show was excellent, and two of the Royal Caribbean singers were very good. Activities: We usually do not participate in the onboard activities, so not much to comment on in that department, except to say that the art auctions by Park West were annoying, especially as the "art" was strewn along the hallway to the main dining room and throughout the elevator area. Friends of ours said that the art auctioneer was becoming annoyed that no one was buying the art. He was certainly loud as he plied his wares in the atrium. Service: The service throughout the ship was outstanding. Our cabin steward and waiters in the main dining room were professional and very friendly. Safety: Royal Caribbean set sail on October 28 knowing that a significant storm was approaching the east coast. Our first night, we had winds in excess of 100 knots and a Code Red was called on the Bridge, which meant that the captain was present throughout the night. Seas were very high. A window was shattered in the Windjammer Restaurant, and the waves were so high, they hit the windows near the Customer Service desk. We will not be sailing with Royal Caribbean again due to the lack of good judgment used by the cruise line in sailing into this storm. We could have easily remained at dock in Boston until the high winds and high seas had subsided. Many passengers became ill during this storm. Seas were so rough and motion so severe that the doors on our closets would not remain closed. We used a chair propped in front to keep the doors shut. The ship pitched and rolled severely. We heard reports that the storm at sea was a category 3. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Jewel of the Seas 10/31/06 Repositioning Cruise Review I will preface this by saying that this is our fourth Royal Caribbean cruise and we were on this same repositioning cruise on the Jewel in 05, so I have some basis for comparison. ... Read More
Jewel of the Seas 10/31/06 Repositioning Cruise Review I will preface this by saying that this is our fourth Royal Caribbean cruise and we were on this same repositioning cruise on the Jewel in 05, so I have some basis for comparison. I'm an RN and my husband is an engineer and we began cruising two years ago for our 25th anniversary. Now, of course, we're hooked and here I am, spending my time writing and reading cruise reviews! Precruise: We had a large roll call for this cruise who had been talking for more than a year. About 60 of us met at Durgin Park in Boston for dinner the night before the cruise and it was really nice to match faces with screen names for our pre-M&M. This group is the Rowdies and it promises to be a great group. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier at 10:30am and immediately checked in. They grouped us by either Priority, #1 or #2 tickets and we were called to board in that order. We sat for about 25 minutes before they began boarding at 11am, which was exactly the same time that they had begun boarding the year before. It was all very fast and efficient. They did provide a check-in area for carry-on bags on deck 5, which is nice so that you don't have to keep all of your things with you while you explore the ship. Meet & Mingle: We had over a hundred in attendance and it was held in the Safari Lounge. For the first time, they had hot hors d'oeuvres and free alcohol. Karen Maybury was present and they raffled off the usual Royal Caribbean Crap, including the famous aqua mouse. It was definitely the classiest M&M that I've been to. Cabin: We had an E1 cabin, right across from the hump, next to the elevators 8102. I have been anticipating this balcony for 15 months and it is not a disappointment. I was concerned from pictures that I had seen, that it would be long and dark, but that was not the case. It's about 10x14 feet and has two loungers, three chairs and a table. To have a balcony this large, midship, is a dream come true and I would book this cabin in a heartbeat on any cruise I'm going to have on a Radiance class ship. The downside, and it was a very big downside, was that we had a heavy smoker next to us and his constant smoking on the balcony really limited our ability to enjoy ours. This is the luck of the draw I guess, as the only way I can control who my neighbors are is to book several cabins in a row and entice more friends into joining us! Some people have expressed concern over the possibility of noise in this cabin location, and for us this was not a problem. The fact that you only have people on one side of you is a plus. There is never noise from the elevators. You can hear music from the Centrum, but not loud at all. For the first time, I brought a 9-inch fan with me to create white noise and this greatly enhanced my ability to sleep. I will never travel without it now. I would, in the future, bring my own extension cord for it. This time, the cabin steward provided one. The next time I cruise, it will be on the new bedding and I look forward to that. However, for some reason, this was the best experience we've had with a bed. We had requested an eggcrate and it was on the bed when we boarded. Maybe it was an extra thick eggcrate? I don't know, but it was a far more comfortable sleeping experience than I have previously had. Condition of the ship: Beautiful, as it was last year. Always people cleaning and keeping things up. One note of interest I was on the treadmill in the fitness center when the captain came in with a couple of other officers, obviously doing an inspection. The treadmill next to me was not working and the captain came over to it, leaned down and scooped up a cobweb and some dust that had collected on the base and showed it to one of the officers with a scowl on his face. The next day when I went in, that treadmill was working and clean! Hand sanitizers were always available in the Windjammer, but only on one morning was there a person stationed there instructing you to use them. I never saw or heard anything about anyone on the cruise being sick. Food: We ate all breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer. We love their oatmeal for breakfast and there was always plenty of fresh fruit available to go with it. They have an omelet station where they will make your omelet or eggs fresh to order. They always had a carving station with meat, but I never tried it. It always looked good. We ate all dinners, except for the two nights we were at the specialty restaurants, in the dining room. These were consistently good, not great. Our favorite remains the warm chocolate cake that is served on the Italian night menu. If you are a lover of lava cake, don't miss this. This was our waiter's first time in this position, so he was only assigned our one table of ten. He did a wonderful job and took his responsibilities to recommend certain foods to us very seriously. He was also very good at telling us when the shows were and when to find the late night buffets. We had one chocolate buffet, one poolside buffet and one grand gala buffet on this cruise. My experience has been that the food always looks much better than it tastes. It's worth going to take pictures, at the very least. This is the first time I have had a head waiter who did anything for me. His name is Liviu and he arranged for our table to have the warm chocolate cake again on the last night of the cruise. He was also attentive the whole cruise, without being smarmy. It was a refreshing change. Chops: We had a group of 34 Rowdies who ate together one night. Because we were such a large group, we had a limited menu, which offered three choices of appetizer, entrEe and two desserts. The 10 oz filet was one of the offerings and most people had that. They gave us all the side dishes that they have and the service was the usual top notch. It was a very fun evening. Portofino: We hadn't eaten here since our first cruise on the Explorer, two years ago. We really enjoyed it. We had the filet and the seafood skewer, which has a very beautiful presentation. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the filet was seasoned well. We had the Caesar salad that they make tableside and the tiramisu and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. My favorite though, was the olive and tomato stuff that they serve with the bread. I could have just had that and been happy. Entertainment: For the first time ever, we didn't make it to most of the shows. There was no headliner onboard that I was familiar with. Previously, we've had the Osmonds on two cruises and a Temptations tribute band who have all been phenomenal, so this was rather a letdown. We did go to both of the production shows, which I always think are very good. They were West End to Broadway and City of Dreams. There was an illusionist from the Freedom who performed on the final night and he was awesome! Fitness Center and Spa: We spend lots of time here. I think they have a great assortment of gym equipment and machines. There was always a treadmill or elliptical open in the morning, which is the most popular time. They had the usual morning stretch classes and then we would walk a mile for our shipshape dollars. They offered different fitness class packages for the things like spinning, yoga and pilates. I believe 10 classes were $70 and they were $10 ea if purchased separately. Last year my husband became a big fan of the thermal suite. This year, they offered a Romance Package that included a Couples Massage, Rasul Treatment and dinner in Chops or Portofino, along with unlimited use of the thermal suite for $365. It turns out that you pay the regular price for the treatments and dinner, then use of the thermal suite for the duration of the cruise is free. Since we were interested in those treatments anyway, we felt it was a good value. Crew: Always had good service with a smile. We really thought the Loyalty Ambassador was the best we've ever had. Her name is Deborah and she was very visible on the ship and really interacted with the passengers. She actually seemed to be doing more than just booking future cruises. We did book a ghost cruise to use sometime in the fall of 08 and here's something we found out. The LA's get a commission and it is based on what type cabin you book. We booked an OS so she would have a larger commission, even though I would never have an OS when I book my actual cruise. She said we have to keep the booking for 60 days in order for her to receive the commission. Very interesting. Capt Thor announced at one of the parties that he has been invited to go to wherever and practice with the simulator for the Genesis. Must be a promotion for him! Excursions: We booked all of our excursions with independent people; nothing through Royal Caribbean. Bermuda: We took a walking tour with Jo Cook. She is a long time resident of Bermuda and will tailor your tour to what your interests are. She charged $15pp and met us at the pier, drove us to Somerset and walked with us for two hours, showing us the flora and fauna of that area. We also had some wonderful photo ops. She was very interesting and it was a personal way to see some of the island. We had a Rowdy group reservation for a sunset sail on the Rising Sun. About a week before our cruise, we were advised that the Rising Sun had a broken mast and that our sail was instead, going to be a sunset motor tour. We didn't mind, but as it turned out, the whole thing was cancelled due to rough seas. We heard that this is a common occurrence in Bermuda. San Juan: The Rowdy group did a Duck Tour together. We had some difficulty reading the map correctly to get to the starting point, but once there everything went smoothly. Many in this group had done a Duck Tour in Boston precruise, and they said that the one in Boston was better. This one provided a tour of the downtown San Juan sites and then went out on the water for a harbor tour. The problem was that the harbor tour mirrored the route that the Jewel had just done coming in, so we saw the same things twice. Would I do this again? No. Would I recommend it? Sure. It was better than just shopping and got us around the city a bit. St. Thomas: We repeated our daysail aboard the Rumbaba that we had done in 05. Again, it was an unforgettable day. Capt. Bobby and his wife, Karen are wonderful hosts and really provide a great day in St. Thomas. There were only 4 of us on the boat and we wanted to sail more and snorkel less, so we sailed to St. John and moored near the Caneel Bay Resort. They provide mats to float on for those of us who don't snorkel, as well as noodles to swim with. The men snorkeled and the women floated! While we were doing that, Bobby and Karen are grilling our lunch. Filet Mignon and Mahi Mahi, served with greek salad, pasta salad and wonderful garlic bread. Oh, and let us not forget the beautiful appetizer plate that Karen serves up before the meal. A Cajun boiled shrimp bowl with homemade dip and bruschetta, veggies and homemade chips. Yummy! Not your run-of-the-mill lunch. That's for sure. This is $115 cash pp and was more than worth it. Curacao: I hired Leo (Rent-A-Guide) from the ports of call board to be our private guide. We had 9 people and he provided three vehicles and 3 guides. He will also tailor his tour to whatever your interests are. He picked us up at the pier at 9am and we returned at 4pm. He charged $60pp. We toured three different caves and six of us had lunch in a local restaurant and then did a beach stop, while the other three did two beaches. I wanted to buy Gouda cheese, so our driver stopped at a supermarket and went in with me to choose the cheese. One group did a tour of the city, while the last group did some shopping. I can't speak highly enough of this day spent with Leo. What a terrific value! For those looking for a private tour in Curacao, look no further. Leo is your man. Aruba: Five of us did the Mi Dushi sail/snorkel in the morning. This was from 9:30-1:30, though I think we got in later than that. This is a first class operation. There were 17 passengers on our sail and the crew was very focused on everyone's safety and enjoyment. They gave very specific snorkel instructions and one of them got in the water with a young lady who had not snorkeled before. We did three stops, one of them being the famous German shipwreck. The snorkeling was fabulous, but the water was rough near the shipwreck and took some strong swimming to get to the area where the fish were. Lunch is catered by La Dome restaurant. It was a chicken and a beef dish, served with rice, corn on the cob and pasta salad. Delicious. The Mi Dushi bartender was very attentive to your drink needs, whether you were drinking alcoholic drinks or water or juice. My husband had two favorite parts of this schooner - the hammock in the front of the ship and the rope swing. After lunch, they break out the swing and start having fun. One of the crew even put a lady (and she wasn't little!) on his back and did a backflip from the rope. That was something to see! She didn't volunteer to go again, but looked happy after she did! We had done a 4x4 trip on Aruba last year and enjoyed getting on the beautiful water this year even more. Disembarkation: The cruise concluded in Fort Lauderdale. We chose to do express walk-off for the first time. This usually begins by 8am, but this time was held up by immigration, I suppose. We didn't begin to depart the ship until almost 9 o'clock. We had no trouble getting our bags off and I would choose to do this in the future if I have an early flight. All of the bags were in the terminal when we went through and we saw some people going off with us that did not have all their luggage with them. We were never asked for our express walk-off slip, so I suppose anyone could go off at that time, if they chose to. It's very easy to get a cab and a quick five minute ride to the FLL airport. Cost...$15. As you can see, we had a wonderful cruise. We met lots of wonderful people who will be our friends for life and had some unforgettable experiences, both on the ship and in port. I hope this has been helpful to you and I'm happy to answer any questions anyone might have about our cruise on the beautiful Jewel of the Seas. Alanna Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
Jewel Repositioning Review 11/1-11/13   RCI's newest ship sailed out of Boston, sea day, Bermuda over two days and one nite (at King's Wharf, known locally as "The Dockyard"), sea day, San Juan, St. Thomas, sea day, ... Read More
Jewel Repositioning Review 11/1-11/13   RCI's newest ship sailed out of Boston, sea day, Bermuda over two days and one nite (at King's Wharf, known locally as "The Dockyard"), sea day, San Juan, St. Thomas, sea day, Aruba, Curacao, two sea days, Ft. Lauderdale. One of the many reasons this repo cruise is becoming so popular is the perfectly balanced amount of sea and port days. A good number of exotic ports to explore, but lots of time to enjoy this 5 star (well, almost.. explanation below) vessel. Embark: With SetSail, very quick. We left Boston's Ritz Carlton (for 48 dollars a nite. That's right; 48. Not a typo, though apparently it was for Expedia. They honored it.) at 10:45 am. We were on the ship by 11:45. In line for 10 minutes max. They had refreshments like lemonade and cookies out. Nice touch. The Ship: Cruise Critic has a marvelous and detailed review, with pics. I agree with them. 5 stars as far as design and beauty. The acres of glass supply amazing vista's of the outside, the ocean, the sunsets. A "Glass Cathedral' of the ocean. The public rooms, especially the Schooner Bar and the Safari Club are very expansive. The Safari Club is the most classy and comfortable public room I have experienced (this is the area that also has the self leveling pool tables). Late nite, when there is theme nite dancing (One evening was Big Band, '50s and '60s another nite), especially with the lights lowered; my sweetheart and I felt transported to a bygone day of the classic and luxurious big city dance rooms. Ultimately I have to withhold a half star due to a foul smell in some of the men's bathrooms. They were always maintained well, but still had a urine odor emanating. I have only experienced this on one other of the 14 vessels I have sailed on. The only major nega- tive of the ship. Cabin: We went cheap. But our inside (7th deck) was much roomier than the cozier Vista class, with a lovely and comfy loveseat, and fairly spacious bathroom and shower area. The beds put together made for a large area. Not quite King, but very big, and a 19 inch TV, as opposed to smaller on the Vista class. Food: Our servers Marcelina and Nearo, were friendly..made note of our names and our needs the first nite. I go through water quickly. Nearo made sure the glass was never less than half full. Food quality was fair on a few, very good on most, superior on a few. Beef quality was not great but good. However, as a Nebraskan..I am sort of a beef "snob". My tablemates, from the Northeast (as most on this cruise were) thought it was excellent. On the other hand, the seafood I thought was yummy, they gave it an OK. It's relative to your experience I guess. But considering they are feeding 1000 at once, the level of quality is impressive. The main dining room is stunningly beautiful, but beware. If you are seated on the main floor, it can be VERY loud. Second level, you are closer to the ceiling and it is quieter. The specialty restaurants Chops and Portifino's give your true superior service and cuisine, at a 20 dollar per person cost (tip is technically included, but most give a little extra). They are charmingly intimate, so not so much of the "roar" of hundreds of folks. However, if it is busy, and you order every course..it could be a two and a half routine. We learned from Portinfino's. At Chops, we went in earlier and only ordered three of the six courses. We were out in 75 minutes and were plenty full. The Windjammer is very large, with many food "islands" so there is rarely a long wait. Typical breakfast food. Some nice touches include a separate ready made egg and omelet station (with 3 cooks during peak times. They had it down to a science. We waited three minutes max for our yummy eggs) I liked the fresh carved ham every morning As good as Grandma's Easter Ham! The 'hashrounds'? Like eating tiny little Brillo pads. Avoid at all costs. We enjoyed dinner at the Windjammer once. They lower the lights and the atmosphere is more upscale casual than cafeteria. The food selection and taste was excellent, with some varied surprises as "make your own Pizza", Chinese, and roast Duck. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Our favorite place may have been in the rear of the ship, with a great outside view of the ocean. Seaview Cafe had delicious 'comfort food' like fish and chips, chicken wings (tastiest I have ever had) burgers, Reubens and more. The service was cheerful, prompt and courteous..you order at the front, take a seat, and they bring it to you. We ate here most days for lunch. Entertainment: Very Good. Did not catch all the shows, but the Tribute to the Temptations was top notch and fun. Jewel's production cast is very good. Attractive and talented. We caught just the last production. The sets were big league. The dancing, while not Broadway level, was pretty close. The ship orchestra were excellent..."Tonite Show Band" type talent. I noticed the bass player had previously been on the Splendour, so they keep good talent. The two comedians we caught, one a veteran Vegas comic and singer, the other an up and coming "Cosbyesque" comedian, were hilarious. Karen Mayburry, the Cruise Director: Second time for me. First was the Splendour. I thought she was much better this time. (she just got married......she's happier?) She is not your hilarious, high energy type..but her polite British manner is probably appreciated by the older folks a longer cruise tends to attract. Ports of Call: Tough to find an itinerary with more quality stops. We were blessed with good weather most of the time, so' that helped. I will leave port descriptions to others. One thought, we enjoyed Bermuda. Very beautiful..but we thought most things were overpriced (especially food service). I am not sure I would do a Bermuda only cruise. Outside Pool areas: Beautiful, even fanciful designs. I heard some mention the main pool area was not as large as other ships, but it worked fine for us. Lovely solariums are an RCI tradition, and the Jewel's Thai themed solarium's exotically beauty will not disappoint. Fitness area: expansive, brand new machines. Very sufficient for this class Disembark: Hard to say, as we really didn't participate. Yes, we got off.. but did not pack till the last morning, and just waited till the "last call" in the comfort of the Solarium..since we were staying in Ft. Lauderdale that nite. By the time we got off...most of the crowds were gone. If you are not pressed with an early flight, I highly suggest this "stay till they kick you off" method. No stress..no crowds. Room Steward: Wilbort was perfect. Immediately handled a couple of requests. Even more than the standard towel animals.. we enjoyed the 'pillow configurations' every day. Drink Service: Outstanding. Many servers noted your name after the first order. Special Kudos go to the great staff of the Schooner and the Champagne Bar. 5 star service (and delicious coc tails) For those who have never done a longer cruise, I highly suggest this one.. and this ship. Virtually every crewmember, no matter their level, was very cheerful, courteous and patient. The ship receives Cruise Critic's only 5 star rating for large, mainstream cruise lines (OK, maybe they didn't smell the men's rooms, but still...) and for good reason. For any other questions..email me at mitchinam@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
Ship: A+ BEAUTIFUL! - 3 acres of glass. Food: B Good Chops: A++ Kristina, Oscar and the whole team are phenomenal - and the food is too. Windjammer: B It is what it is - a buffet. Seaview Cafe: A+ The fish & chips come out looking ... Read More
Ship: A+ BEAUTIFUL! - 3 acres of glass. Food: B Good Chops: A++ Kristina, Oscar and the whole team are phenomenal - and the food is too. Windjammer: B It is what it is - a buffet. Seaview Cafe: A+ The fish & chips come out looking like Mrs. Paul's fish sticks but believe me they are not!!! I've never had such fresh fish, we had them 3 times. Cruise Director Karen Maybury: C We prefer CDs that are natural, not trying too hard. Bartenders: Champagne Bar - Freddie, he remembers your name and what you like to drink. Shanti & Me-Hai (sp?) at the Schooner Bar were a riot. Dining Room Waiters: C Our waiter wasn't that good. He didn't even ask any of us what our names were. When we asked what he suggested his response was "it's all good". On the nights he wasn't busy he was good. He did tell us that when he goes back to get our dinners if they aren't ALL ready he has to go deliver a room service order, then come back to deliver our meals to the table. Entertainment: A Lee Reed - Piano Melodies - GREAT piano player, very shy. A Caribbean Force - Poolside band A Rosario Strings - wonderful B Vortex Disco - DJ would play the same 10 songs until you came up with requests C Piano Bar - Barry from Boston - Plays the piano well, screams instead of singing. Day 1 Wednesday October 12, 2005 -- Departing Boston Cool drizzle 55° We arrived at the Black Falcon Pier at 11:05 a.m. Checked in with our Sea Pass, got our picture taken for our Sea Pass card, walked through Security. I even turned to the security guard and asked him if it was ok for us to board. He said "hurry and I won't tell anyone". I laughed, turned red and walked right on the Jewel of the Seas by @11:15 a.m. The fastest boarding we've ever had. It was fantastic not having to take a plane the first day of our cruise. We found our room (8598) dropped off our carry-on then off to explore the ship. She is beautiful, same class as the Brilliance. Luggage arrived @ 1:15 (WOW!). Attended the mandatory life boat drill at 4:30, our Muster station was at the Schooner Bar. Thankfully, our Muster station wasn't required to go outside. We went back to our room to change for dinner, we had early and for some unknown reason our dinner times were 5:30 and 7:45 instead of the norm of 6:30 & 8:30. I had met our tablemates on-line at www.cruisecritic.com, we decided to link our dining reservation so we could sit at the same table. Even though we hadn't met face to face it was nice to sit with people we felt we already knew. After dinner we went to the Welcome Aboard Show and then to the Schooner Bar. We met a lot of nice people and the bartenders Shanti and Me-Hei (sp?) were great, they worked very well together. Day 2 Thursday October 13, 2005 -- At Sea WOW!!! We woke up to VERY rough seas. As my husband was shaving all he said was uh-oh. So we went to the purser's desk for Dramamine and they gave us each a green apple. They explained that we needed to put something in our stomach with not a lot of moisture. We went back to sleep for a few hours and woke up feeling fine. I only took 2 pictures of the waves. Security had locked the doors to the outside decks and hung signs not to go out because it was too dangerous. We figured about 95% of the ship were in their cabins. We went to the Windjammer for lunch, there were only a few people eating lunch. It was quite a challenge to get our lunch and get to a chair before the ship would dip and your plate would land on the floor. Tonight was Captain's night. We went to the Captain's cocktail party then to dinner; there were a lot of empty tables. Marty Allen and his wife were real troopers they put on a great show considering how rocky the ocean was. We then went to the Schooner bar for the piano bar entertainment. Day 3 Friday October 14, 2005 -- King's Wharf, Bermuda 82° Arrived at the Navy Dock Yard at 12 Noon (instead of 8:00 a.m.), first people off the ship was at 1:30 p.m. We bought the 2-day transportation pass. Hopped on the ferry to Hamilton, walked up one side of Front Street and down the other, took the ferry back to the ship in time for dinner at 5:30. After dinner we went to the Frog & Onion Pub for a drink, it was too quiet there so we went back to the Schooner bar and listed to a young man Lee Read (looked about 15 yrs. Old - very cute!) play the piano - he was fantastic! He played the piano vs. beating it. We didn't go to the show Dima Belinski but we heard he was great. Day 4 Saturday October 15, 2005 -- King's Wharf, Bermuda 82° 11th Wedding Anniversary. Had breakfast at the Windjammer - WOW where did all these people come from! Glad everybody was feeling better. We decided to just go off the ship and take a taxi tour. We went on a 3-hour island tour. Bermuda is beautiful; too bad our taxi driver didn't have much of a personality. We came back to the ship had lunch went to the pool for a little while. We had reservations at Chops for our anniversary so we went back to the room and noticed we weren't moving yet. The ship was waiting for 3 people (young girl, Mom and Grandma) Grandma couldn't walk that fast so one of the Bermudians on the dock to watch the ship depart got in his car & picked her up and drove her back to the ship. We all applauded from our balconies. We went to the Champagne Bar before dinner, Freddie was great. Chops was perfect as usual. Oscar and his whole team were fantastic. They brought out an anniversary cake and everybody sang to us. It was wonderful. We were so stuffed we gave our cake to the bar staff at the Schooner Bar (Shanti, Eva and Me-Hai). We missed the show but we heard it was great, it was the Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers "West End to Broadway". We hit the disco until 2:30 a.m. Day 5 Sunday October 16, 2005 -- At Sea 85° We sat by the pool all day. MrSully entered the Blackjack tournament, he lasted 3 hands, he was dealt a 14, 15 and a 16. Attended The Quest - what a hoot! Day 6 Monday October 17, 2005 St. Maarten 85° St. Maarten - Our favorite! Took a cab to Orient Bay Beach, walked to the clothing optional section, got 2 chairs at the Tiki-Hut. The waves were awesome, bigger than the last time we were here. Unfortunately, with the waves/storms come the seaweed and the turtle eggs. I could only go in the water twice, the third time I just couldn't get past the seaweed YUK! As our chairs were coming into the shade we started to get bitten so we left. Not really sure what bit us but my legs had a lot of red bumps. Back to the ship in time for another dinner at Chops. After dinner we went to the Champagne Bar and chatted with Freddie. Freddie is great, he remembers your name and order from the first time he meets you, he would even have it ready for you when you sat down. Day 7 Tuesday October 18, 2005 -- San Juan 85° San Juan has improved over the last 5 years. We walked around, went shopping, and bought a couple of t-shirts and a silver bracelet for our daughter. We were back on the ship by 10:30 a.m. We sat by the pool the rest of the day, loved those drinks in the fresh pineapple YUM. As we were leaving we had a few showers and the Explorer of the Seas pulled into the berth next to us. We loved that ship too. Day 8 Wednesday October 19, 2005 -- Labadee 97° We have been to Labadee a few times, so we decided to stay on the ship. Good Choice! 97° people said it felt like 120 on the island. We sat by the pool. Due to the short stay at Labadee they had the BBQ on the pool deck from 1:00 - 3:00 instead of on the island. They started setting up at 9:30 a.m. and about 1:15 the grills were lit. They set up several stations to get food which would have been very organized except you had to go to one station for your plate and utensils, another station for ribs, another station for chicken, another for burger and hot dogs and yet another station for side dishes. So by the time you sat down everything was cold. None of the stations were labeled so it was very chaotic. The ribs were awesome, we tried to go back for more but the line was too long. We went to the show "Tango Buenos Aires" it was good, we left after 20 minutes. We stopped by the Champagne Bar to see Freddie, Schooner Bar, then to the Vortex Disco until 2:30 a.m. Day 9 Thursday October 20, 2005 -- At Sea 88° We sat by the pool for a couple of hours; decided we wanted to see what else was going on around the ship, puttered around the ship. We went back to the pool just in time to see the horse races. The owners race was won by #1 Johnny Damon. Played mini-golf, worked out in the gym. Tonight’s show was Paul Boland “Man of 1,000 Voices”; he was very good, very funny. Being '70s disco night, we chose to stay at the Champagne Bar until we went to the disco around midnight. Neither one of us wanted to hear the “Tribute to ABBA” or the “Village People”, we had enough of that the first time around. Closed the disco at 4:00 a.m. Day 10 Friday October 21, 2005 -- At Sea 60° The daily planner stated the temperature would be about 60°, with the wind chill it was more like 40°. We knew it would be a chilly day so we puttered around the ship, bought 3 photos, played Jackpot Bingo – didn’t win L, went to trivia. We had dinner at Chops for the last night. Went to the Schooner Bar for a couple of drinks, said good-bye to the people we met. Declined going to the disco – too much to do tomorrow. Day 11 Saturday October 22, 2005 -- Debarkation, Boston 60° We chose to carry our luggage off the ship ourselves. Finished packing, went to the Windjammer for breakfast, called the pursers desk to find out what deck we should be on, they said we debark from Deck 5. It took a ½ hour to get an elevator that we could get on, got to Deck 5, waited ½ hour and we were off and waiting for our ride by 8:15, home by 9:15 a.m. We had a GREAT time. This cruise tied with our favorite past cruise (Explorer of the Seas). We have loved all of our cruises and for us there is no such thing as a bad cruise. We thoroughly enjoy our vacations; life is what you make of it and how you choose to react to certain situations, especially situations you have no control over. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
We took this cruise because it was a first for us to be able to leave out of Boston. This was my 6th cruise, the first on RCI and I am sold on this line!! Our other cruises were with Carnival (3) Princess (1) and NCL (1). The trip going ... Read More
We took this cruise because it was a first for us to be able to leave out of Boston. This was my 6th cruise, the first on RCI and I am sold on this line!! Our other cruises were with Carnival (3) Princess (1) and NCL (1). The trip going over to Bermuda from Boston was more than a little rough. We had 100+ mph winds and 35' seas. Many people were very sick, but the captain and crew did everything in their power to make people as comfortable as possible. This storm was not predicted in any way. Luckily it only lasted 24 hours and then it was smooth sailing from there on. The Jewel is appropriately named. She is just gorgeous, with spacious public rooms, magnificent art, beautiful pools, and an outstanding spa. We were planning to go to one of the specialty restaurants aboard, but between the service and quality of our regular dining room, we never bothered to make a reservation! Our waiter and busboy were totally accommodating, remembered our drink preferences from the first night, and were endlessly helpful with the menu and recommendations. We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches at the buffet and never found a thing we didn't love. We were astounded at the quality of the food they could prepare in such large quantities. The only caveat to that is that by the end of the 10 days, they had run out of coffee cream and low fat milk. The coffee served (other than the dining room in the evening) wasn't very good, but there was a Starbucks in the atrium, and while it cost extra, it was worth every cent. The entertainment staff was everywhere. They truly seemed to make it their personal mission to make sure you had a good time. Their enthusiasm was contagious. From pool games, to port talks, to the nightly entertainment, they were truly first class. We didn't miss a show! The only disappointment we had was in trying to find a deck chair by the pool. This cruise was sold out and while there were plenty of chairs up in the bow of the ship, there were more people than chairs around the pool area. We managed to get 2 every day, but not without considerable effort. Our cabin was standard for an inside. It was very quiet, and when the ship really got to moving in the storm, we were happy it was on a low floor in the middle of the ship. Our room steward did a fantastic job of keeping everything neat and clean and replaced my towels NO MATTER WHEN I took a shower! We own our own business, and had just been through an extremely stressful period with it, so this was a relaxation cruise and to that end we ended up spending $1000. in the Spa. We were very happy with every treatment we had, and loved the thermal suite. We bought passes for the entire 10 days. In all, we had a wonderful time and look forward to our next Royal Caribbean ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Everything about this cruise was exceptional starting with boarding. We drove from Maine to Boston and arrived at Black Flacon about 10:00 a.m. -- we were onboard the Jewel BEFORE 11:00 a.m. - absolutely unheard of. We had as balcony ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was exceptional starting with boarding. We drove from Maine to Boston and arrived at Black Flacon about 10:00 a.m. -- we were onboard the Jewel BEFORE 11:00 a.m. - absolutely unheard of. We had as balcony cabin - location perfect - cabin a little smaller than we are used to but more than adequate for our needs. We left Boston and sailed into very unstable water for our first sea day. The meet and mingle schedule for this morning was down on attendance as many folks were sick in their cabins. It was little hard to navigate about the ship for the day but doable. Must add, if we didn't get sea-sick in this 24-hour period I dare say we are hearty and seaworthy. By Friday morning we were heading into Bermuda to nice calm waters. Bermuda arrival was later than expected but still an overnight and absolutely wonderful weather. There is this beautiful little beach within walking distance of the ship. We found it by accident asking the locals where the nearest beach was - we spent the entire next day at the beach and had a wonderful time. From Bermuda we went on to St. Maarten, which is absolutely wonderful, San Juan -- been there so many times -- getting tired of this stop and then on to Labadee - which was the highlight of our ports for all of us. We did partake of Portifino's and highly recommend it - it was absolutely incredible. Another note - the dining room - our waiter - Bruno and Assist. Waiter Ernie were entertaining, knowledgeable and went out of their way to please us. We opted for the buffet on some nights, can honestly say the food was great - never a disappointment. My only complaint on this trip was Adventure Ocean. We sail both RCCL and Carnival and our daughter votes for Carnival and often times found Adventure Ocean boring. There were not many children on this cruise in her age group. She did however meet a couple of wonderful girls and she did have a great time with them. We also got to enjoy her more than usual as she opted to spend time with the "adults" as well.  The size and layout of the ship are good - there is definitely times when one wishes there were more elevators. A bank at the aft would be most beneficial. The pools were great and we were always able to find chairs when we wanted them. The only downside to our vacation was the casino. This was without a doubt the slowest casino I have ever seen. Attendance was so slow we gave up - we are used to making friends, sitting for hours and playing the tables - it just didn't happen on this cruise. Found myself spending casino time at the slots. Oh well, we can hope the next cruise will be better. Getting off the ship on Saturday was absolutely painless. My dad needed wheelchair assistance and RCCL was incredible taking care of our needs. We rented his a scooter to get around on for the 10 days and this was truly a good move on our part as it made ship navigation very easy and dad was able to participate in anything he wanted to do. Overall - a wonderful vacation - can't wait for May and the Radiance to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
I will start by saying we booked thru RCI and the whole process was great easy to do by phone and on-line.....all whom I spoke with first rate in customer service and personality and RCI is to be commended on that...We also are dummy ... Read More
I will start by saying we booked thru RCI and the whole process was great easy to do by phone and on-line.....all whom I spoke with first rate in customer service and personality and RCI is to be commended on that...We also are dummy vacationers by that I mean we do not want to think once the vacation begins so we do all thru the cruise line and it is worry free, by that I mean we book hotel and transfers to and from ship etc....it is first rate all staff for this top of the line and make it worry free......Inilta at the Sheraton in Boston checking us in great! Will the transfer person top of the line on the way back he picked us right out and said your bus awaits now that's good service!.... The embarkation was flawless, the crew that does it has it down to a minute and very stress free for the passengers......greetings were the moment we got checked in....and I have to say one in particular Howie Gayle he is just the best!!! His smile is a great representative for RCI, but he is leaving for the Freedom, sad to say lucky Freedom..... Our cabin was first class 1554 Grand Suite, just lovely!!!! Balcony to die for!!! HUGE if you have the money and can splurge go for it, it is ALL ABOUT THE CABIN!!!! We got prezies every day, and the Concierge was terrific I do not want to butcher the spelling of his name but he was great and a true asset...Lowell our suite steward was good but we really never saw him and we more wrote notes to him....missed the special bond you make with these great people who care for you while you are out of touch with reality. One thing I will say is we did not care for the "European way of bed linens" as was EXPLAINED TO ME BY THE HEAD OF HOUSE KEEPING she talked down to me and I think if a simple request for a top sheet is asked for it should be addressed. Lowell took good care of that, but the lecture from housekeeping on the phone at the pursuers desk was not necessary> Enuf said.... Now for dinning we were disappointed in this area with the dinning room only......our waiter Royal was OK never recommended a thing for the meals. My requests for this, just got "everything is good what do you want to order??" Our Table mate the first nite requested shrimp cocktail and was quickly told "it was not on the menu." Our assistant waiter Rossanna was great and made up for a lot. The Headwaiter when I spoke to her was only able to say would you like me to switch your table instead of let's solve the problem for you. We felt the meals in the dining room to be cold and spare,and no real selections. Enuf said as we did the alternatives and had a ball with VIC in Windjammer he should be promoted he is great and a real people person and pleaser...even for the most difficult to please he did with a smile and I saw a lot of that........all servers at the Windjammer were great, wish I could name them all. Food much better there even tho the the same as the Dinning room it was hot and far superior..........AND CHOPS AND PORTOFINOS THE BEST STAFF,FOOD and SERVICE not to be missed. Thank you for these options,as we only ate at the dining room four out of ten nites. Captain Thor great and an able seaman and informative Captain, you truly saw his love for this beautiful ship it showed......... Our ports all great and the Art tour in St. Maarten a must it is the best!!!!!! Our tour guide even hand carried to the ship the art we purchased and forgot on the bus after we got off in town....THANK YOU!!!! San Juan walking tour great. We loved our guide and his pride in what he does was evident in his tour and knowledge.....and I have to say to him thank you for your families service to the armed services of the USA!! Entertainment was the best we loved every show and Marty Allen and Karon Kate were GREAT!!! Thank you!!! the cruise director a hoot loved all her little TV spots they were better than the sit coms on tv today hmmm maybe a new career!!!!!!!!! you are a great comedienne!!getting off the ship sad and tho it is a must it did go well except for the RUDE lady that insisted on smoking in the champagne bar when asked not to, as a person with lung disease there and she could have gone out on deck ..... Will our transfer person as I said there to greet us and it was back to reality after a great time at the Sheraton one more nite. Thank you Inilta!!! Well I've missed a lot to write about I know but that is the gist of it. The ship great!!! I can't say enuf about the booking and letting RCI handle it all and not having to worry about a thing. I will preface this with we went in 1999 and we booked all thru RCI the rest of the group did not and at San Juan we had the man with our name sign there and the group had a bus and taxi strike to deal with, so they were four hours getting to hotel, we were taken right there......these little glitches cause stress and doing thru RCI we have never had a problem THANK YOU RCI!!! And we have booked again for next year on the Jewel repo and look forward to the TOTAL EXPERIENCE again. Get Out There!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Jewel of the Seas, 5* for sure. This was our 6th cruise within the last 3 years, and an excellent one for sure! (we've sailed: RCI: Enchantment of the Seas, Celebrity: Millennium and Century, Princess: Grand Princess & Star ... Read More
Jewel of the Seas, 5* for sure. This was our 6th cruise within the last 3 years, and an excellent one for sure! (we've sailed: RCI: Enchantment of the Seas, Celebrity: Millennium and Century, Princess: Grand Princess & Star Princess) The Jewel is a beautiful ship, and the staff/crew members were great. I am from N.H., so leaving out of Boston was a plus! We arrived at the Black Falcon Terminal around 11:30am and were in our cabin by Noon. The cabin was a comfortable size (we had a 3 seat sofa which gave us plenty of room) Traveling this time of year (Sept 22 - Oct 2) you take your chances with weather, and it did cause a change to our Itinerary. We tried to dock at Bermuda but the Bermuda port authorities couldn't give us the ok due to high seas. Instead we headed to St. Maarten, then San Juan, and the captain added St. Thomas (a plus for us) for missing Bermuda. Even better news came at St Thomas, we were told that we could sail back to Bermuda and stay one day, and that was loverly!) The weather was very good to us during these 10 days and we were very grateful for that! The food on the Jewel was excellent! I'd give the main dining room a 4*, the windjammer buffet a 5*, and the seaview cafe a 5* too, with plenty of items to choose from. We'd gladly sail the Jewel again. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We were a group of 8 and ranged in age from 2 to 70. We chose this cruise because it left out of Boston, and we live about 15 minutes from the port. Because of the children we had early seating. My father was recovering from recent ... Read More
We were a group of 8 and ranged in age from 2 to 70. We chose this cruise because it left out of Boston, and we live about 15 minutes from the port. Because of the children we had early seating. My father was recovering from recent surgery, and the cruise line was very accommodating, even loaning us a wheelchair for use in the ports when it became apparent that he would not be able to walk on his own for any kind of distance. We loved the food and the entertainment on the Jewel. I don't believe we missed a show. Some were so good we saw them twice. Our waiter and assistant waiter (Baris & Maria) were wonderful. They knew our tastes by the end of the week and were efficient and friendly at the same time. Our room was always cleaned quickly. One night we forgot and left the do not disturb sign on the door when we went to dinner. Our room stewardess (Michaela) was worried one of us was ill. She left our cruise compass and chocolates in the little mail slot outside the door. When we saw her when we stumbled back to the room late that night, she was relieved that we were well and ran to change our towels for us. The weather changed some of our ports around. We felt it was handled well by the ship. The spa personnel were very accommodating about juggling appointments as sea days turned to port days and vice versa. The cruise directors staff quickly offered many activities to fill the day. All in all it was a perfect vacation for my group. We were looking for peace and rest after a stressful year medically. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We returned form a cruise on the Jewel last month expecting an outstanding trip after reading the reviews on this site and having cruised on RCCL in the past for a total of seven cruises but I AM SORRY TO SAY WE WERE VERY DISAPPOINTED. ... Read More
We returned form a cruise on the Jewel last month expecting an outstanding trip after reading the reviews on this site and having cruised on RCCL in the past for a total of seven cruises but I AM SORRY TO SAY WE WERE VERY DISAPPOINTED. We traveled on the 9/21 trip out of Boston. There were two changes on ports after we booked last year. Tortola out, San Juan in and less time in Bermuda to make room for RCCL's Victory on the pier. This was a disappointment. We traveled with my sister and her family who had two people in wheelchairs. The ship is good to get around but we had a very very hard time getting correct information about what they could do and couldn't do on the ship and in the ports and on Haiti. The stop there is NOT on an island as they say it is very much part of Haiti but very nice. We asked many people on the ship about services and were not helped at all. The standard answer was " the ship has just come from England and we don't know. The food was good in the dining room a 7 The outside spaces (rear of the Windjammer and poolside) were very dirty. Spilt drinks by staff not cleaned up and paper items left on the deck as staff walked by. I have never seen this on other lines or RCCL in the past. Our snorkeling "best in St. Maarten" was a bust with only 20 mins. in the water. Lastly the shows with the excepting of Marty Allen were very poor. The worst on the high seas. It's back to Celebrity and Princess for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We cruised on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas on a repositioning itinerary, Boston to San Juan, 10/31/03. It appealed to us because it sailed from our home town. There were 4 of us: my wife, our almost 2-yea old daughter, her ... Read More
We cruised on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas on a repositioning itinerary, Boston to San Juan, 10/31/03. It appealed to us because it sailed from our home town. There were 4 of us: my wife, our almost 2-yea old daughter, her grandmother, and me. My main reason for writing is to provide a heads-up to others with very young children: Royal Caribbean isn't for you. I've had bad luck relying on travel agents, so I tend to research our vacations myself pretty thoroughly in advance. Before booking this trip, I looked up RCCL's website, other cruise websites & reviews, brochures, etc. to get as much info as I could. I noticed that there was a rule that the indoor pool/solarium was adults only, and that the organized Club Ocean programs were for kids 3 & up toilet trained, but couldn't find any other rules regarding diaper-aged kids, so I contacted RCCL directly. I knew that the ship lacks a dedicated children's pool but I asked if our daughter could at least use the outdoor pool, and use the playroom if supervised by us, and was told yes. Once on board, we encountered many large, boldly printed signs with stern rules clearly stating that children in diapers or pull ups were not permitted in any pool or playroom under any circumstances, period, even with swim diapers and parental supervision. Ouch. The Club Ocean supervisor simply handed us a bag with a couple of plastic toys in it to use in our cabin, as if this would solve everything for 8 days of sailing. I'm not criticizing these rules, they can make any rules they like, and we aren't the kind of parents who think our child is the center of the universe and should be able to go anywhere. But it was frustrating that while they had no trouble stating this policy very clearly once on board, it is not written anywhere in any company literature available before booking/boarding. Further, their own people seemed to be unaware of this rule when I contacted them. Do they bury this info to get you to buy, and then let you find out when it's too late to cancel? If they want an older crowd, they should just make the rules clear, and they will get the clientele they want, we can go elsewhere, and everyone's happy. (Are these rules unique to Royal Caribbean? I don't know, but we've been to resorts, playrooms, health clubs, and even public pools with no such restriction.) Bottom line: If you have diaper-aged kids, find another vacation. Other comments about the cruise: Food: Fair to good banquet quality food. I was surprised that dinner offerings in the Windjammer buffet were about the same quality as in the main dining room. Service in both the dining room and the Windjammer at dinner (which we found easier with a 2 year old) was outstanding. At dinner the Windjammer is quiet, laid back and very friendly, with wait staff offering wine, desserts, etc. so it was actually a nice change from the structured banquet hall feel of the big dining room. They treated our daughter like she was their own. They even had a high chair set up for her each night, with her own specially folded napkin ready and waiting. Unlike company management, the wait staff in both rooms seems to like having toddlers around. One minor gripe...I know that main dining room seating isn't necessarily based on cabin price, but c'mon. We had the 2nd most expensive type of accommodation on board, and we were assigned to a dining room table in a dark, low ceiling area in a far corner of the room, next to a noisy busboy station. Couldn't they save those tables for folks paying bargain basement fares for inside cabins? It's another reason why we ended up in the Windjammer a lot. Cabin: Excellent. We had a 2 bedroom/2bath family suite aft, which had a large living room with a glass wall overlooking a huge balcony facing the rear of the ship on deck 8. Highly recommended, especially if your family would otherwise need two regular balcony rooms, since it's cost competitive and has a much nicer balcony and living area. The "master" bedroom opens directly on to the balcony and has its own bathroom. The 2nd bedroom can sleep up to 4, has no window and is next to the 2nd bath. No noise problems, as there are cabins-no lounges- on the floor below and the spa directly above. Since our daughter had limited recreation options on the ship, we used the balcony a lot and improvised water games with a beach pail and squirt bottle. (Of course, we could do that at home for free!) The cabin, and the ship in general, were in good condition. A broken mirror hinge in the bathroom was fixed before I even had a chance to tell anyone. Itinerary: Boston/Bermuda/Antigua/St. Maarten/San Juan. Repositioning itineraries are nice if you like lots of at-sea days, which we do. I found the port days rather stressful. In St. Maarten, for example, we shared the pier with RCCL's mega ship Adventure of the Seas, plus the nearly as large Brilliance of the Seas, and another smaller ship, the Pacific. All together, this meant that about 8,000 passengers were descending on the Island at one time, total chaos. Just try to get a cab to any place (or worse yet, get one back). By the way, Bermuda is in remarkably good condition considering they had a major Hurricane only about 5 weeks earlier. Overall: Adequate food, nice cabin and great service... it could be a pleasant vacation for the people Royal Caribbean's facilities cater to--people without toddlers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003

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