17 Dubai Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We were literally cut off in the Coronavirus Epidemic so this review will be what happens when things go wrong. We are two upper 30s adults and our two kid, twin boy and girl who were seven and just shy of 8 when we sailed. This sailing ... Read More
We were literally cut off in the Coronavirus Epidemic so this review will be what happens when things go wrong. We are two upper 30s adults and our two kid, twin boy and girl who were seven and just shy of 8 when we sailed. This sailing was March 9th , so mid-cruise all cruises ceased operations, so this review will let you know how RCCL handles emergencies. The first two days were in the port of Dubai, as we started on a Monday and didn't leave until Tuesday, the lines were small. They had you fill out a questionnaire, adults did it for the kids, that asked if you were feeling okay and check for virus symptons. You were also screened for a fever and upon arrival and at the cruise desk verbally asked to confirm the paper information again while they visually searched everyone's passport for stamps of effected areas. ( This search was also done at the airports leaving the state's and upon arrival in the UAE.) It went quickly as we were fit to sail and we were having lunch by 2:30 pm, just before they closed at 4pm. Ports Now our first two days were spent in Dubai, click my name for a day by day review, but as far as port go it had more than enough to do, as day three they made an announcement that UAE had closed all ports and we were being forced, after a passenger was checked and cleared of the virus, to dock only in the UAE. Later in the week the second leg of our B2B was cancelled, as well as all cruises due to the pandemic. Thus we had some sea time, but we only ported in Dubai. While some people ventured to Abu Dhabi, it was about a 2ish hour car ride, we remained in town. The good port is about 10ish kilometers ( according to the taxi/uber gps) to the metro or about a 25 minute cab ride (around 35 dirhams ($12ish) more when leaving the terminal) to the Dubai mall, where the Burj Khalafi also is located. Annoying for us as we like to do our owing touring. Depending on which terminal there is a free mall or outlet mall shuttle ( the outlet mall is far away unless you plan on visiting the theme parks). For the required can ride, I would prefer to embark and disembark there, but not use the cruise as a way to see Dubai. Food That is always subjective, but we didn't go hungry. We enjoyed breakfast in both the buffet and dining rooms for different reasons, so we were pleased. Though they don't change the breakfast menu so it got old, but they have a buffet in the dinning room so it was a great place to get a quick and got meal as we could serve the kids and then order something like an omlete for ourselves. We only had lunch in the Windjammer and they had staples that never changed, like pizza for the kids, but slight variation such as different stir fry dishes, that kept it exc iting. The Solarium is the only place to get anything to eat after 9:30pm.They had pizzas,salads and some sandwiches ( and cookies that we devoured most evenings.) Not the best selection, but if you were hungry and didn't want to pay or wait for room service it was good enough. I will say do stop by for the cookies though. We did the Chiefs Table and while the food and service was too notch, I don't think I would do it again. I will say they are very generous with their wine pours... I couldn't finish my last drink. Room 3578,3580 We had 2 connecting ocean view rooms, which normally are too expensive, but there wasn't really a difference for two or four in a room so we got two. If budget isn't a problem this is great as it allowed us to keep the rooms tidy and he ready faster. It was super easy to embark and disembark as we were about ten room away to the exit. The other way about ten rooms to the elevator and stairs, so we could get around super quickly. I really loved this location. kids club The more exotic itineraries don't attract too many kids ( so the kids's club monitors told me,that they don't see too many kids at all on this Jewel). with the Coronavirus scaring many away, my kids were usually the only ones in attendance, four was the most ever there. They didn't do their normal routine, so I can't really fault them for anything. They let my kids play and draw, while pretty much doing whatever game they were interested in, so for that they get high marks. Even though it was only my 2 kids, they always wanted to go so they did a good job. Bars There were a lot of wonderful themed bars on this ship, but we couldn't take advantage of too many because of the kids. If you have a drink package or like to hear music this would be a nice ship to just sit and and enjoy that atmosphere. Shows/Entertainment We never made it to one as we used the ship as a hotel. We caught a movie on the deck and we really enjoyed doing that. I like that ships have these as they are a unique experience. They had activities going on, but we were there to see the middle east not hang out. We passed music and other things like that daily so they were available we just didn't take part. My daughter love the rock climbing all and my son enjoyed that little mini golf on board and the sports area. My only complaint was they were inconsistent with the times they were open and they would say they're open and then no one would be there. They had a small kids pool with a slide that was the slowest thing on the planet and made everyone stuck, but it was there and the kids enjoyed it. It had very limited hours and was only open for 2 or 3 hours in the afternoon so you couldn't take advantage of it often. Guest services We were blown away that on the 3rd day they offered a full refund once they realize they couldn't sale anymore, though it is taking a long time, we did receive the taxes and port fees refund within days of leaving the ship, but not the cruise fair. I thought that was very generous and you could even get the gratuities refunded if you requested it. We stayed for the duration of the week so we left them and place, but immediately offering a refund I thought was very generous and a nice way to handle the whole epidemic fiasco. (Not what I heard other ships on other lines we're doing without a fight.) Now as a back to back passengers, they just left us hanging out to dry. They said we could talk to the port authority to help get accommodations, but they were not willing to help us at all get a place to say until our next week's airfare flight, though they did offer a generous $300 Change fee reimbursement. We are a big boy and girl so we were able to book our own accommodations, but if you needed help and did not book anything through them they were not offering it. You had to do it all yourself. Now I will say have we booked through them they were taking care of all of this for you. But with everything going on we had to cancel them it end up flying out the last day of the cruise because the UAE begin to close off the flights. Disembarkation Because we had an early flight out we didn't get to experience the normal disembarkation procedure, but I will say by 5:45 AM almost all of the luggage was already out. If you left the ship before 6AM you had to clear your room charges the night before, but by the time we got up and we're heading out we had already gotten our statement delivered to the room. We left about 5:40AM. We took our own luggage since it was super easy, but also keep in mind in Dubai, you have to have your luggage scaned on the way out as well as on the way in. This check was also for every time you left the ship, they checked your bags going into the country (and your temperature because of the coronavirus with a thermal camera.) Overall While very stressful I was satisfied with the Jewel of the Seas and Royal Caribbean's response to the epidemic. We are diamond members now and will continue to sail with them because of how they handled the situation and the product they provide . Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We booked this cruise on "Jewel of the Seas" long before the Coronavirus scare and decided to go ahead anyway, as we have a daughter living in Dubai whom we wanted to visit. In the couple of weeks before the start date, RCI sent ... Read More
We booked this cruise on "Jewel of the Seas" long before the Coronavirus scare and decided to go ahead anyway, as we have a daughter living in Dubai whom we wanted to visit. In the couple of weeks before the start date, RCI sent us several reassuring emails that the cruise would go ahead, so we were never left wondering whether we should cancel. I cannot speak highly enough about this cruise company. Embarkation at Dubai was smooth and efficient and we were all looking forward to sailing to the other scheduled ports. However, suddenly the port authorities (Oman, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, etc) all announced a ban on cruise ships, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. We therefore spent the entire cruise at Dubai. This may sound dire but, thanks to the Captain's regular tannoy updates and the wonderfully upbeat and positive attitude of the Cruise Director and all the staff and crew, it was one of the best cruises we have ever experienced - and we've done around thirty. The food was excellent, with plenty of choice; all the shows were among the best we've ever seen; and the sun shone daily! One of the first things RCI did was to assure all guests that they would receive a full refund of the cruise fare via the credit card details lodged with the ship (not just vouchers for another cruise). This is in contrast to some other cruise companies, which I understand are proving very evasive on the subject of refunds. The Captain said he would understand if any passengers decided to disembark early and take an earlier flight home - they would still receive the full refund. Inevitably some did just that, so by the end of the cruise the number of passengers had diminished considerably. However, the standard of service, quality of food and the entertainment remained superb. Even with a handful of people in the theatre, the performers continued to give the same 100%. Sadly, the crew are being sent home, to wherever their homes are, and their contracts will be ended. At this stage they have no idea when they will be rehired. Yet even this morning, at our last breakfast in the Windjammer buffet, a crew member told us that his most important priority was the health and happiness of the guests - incredible! Even though this cruise turned out to be very different from the one we'd expected, we enjoyed it very much. Jewel of the Seas was a well run, very happy ship, right to the end, thanks to Royal Caribbean, the Captain and all the crew. I would say to anyone thinking of booking a cruise in the future, once this current "hiccough" is over, please don't hesitate to cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We have cruised on a few ships and I did prefer this smaller ship,yes it's old but was clean and kept well. I liked that I could find a sunbed in a quiet location . Solarium was a nice place to relax. Safari club was my bar of ... Read More
We have cruised on a few ships and I did prefer this smaller ship,yes it's old but was clean and kept well. I liked that I could find a sunbed in a quiet location . Solarium was a nice place to relax. Safari club was my bar of choice lots of room and great seats in the stern. Entertainment was just ok apart from a juggler on last night who was excellent. MDR had no issues we were on my time dining and made sure had the same table each night never waited more than 10 minutes . Food was usual RCI quality. Windjammer it was great to eat outside food was good quality but needs to be hotter,there is no bar just a small area to get drinks, not much table service as I have seen on other RCI ships. Embarkation was very efficient and was on ship by 10am Disembarkation was good and if flying with Emirates you can give your luggage to them in cruise terminal and you don't see it till you land in your home airport. Ports we missed Khasab and muscat due to coronavirus but where refunded taxes and given refund on a days cruising. I would sail on the JOS again as I liked the smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I don't really get the criticisms of this lovely ship. I usually sail on better cruise lines and my low expectations coupled with some less than flattering reviews meant I was pleasantly surprised by a great week cruising the seas ... Read More
I don't really get the criticisms of this lovely ship. I usually sail on better cruise lines and my low expectations coupled with some less than flattering reviews meant I was pleasantly surprised by a great week cruising the seas around Dubai. Public areas were very attractive and well maintained, staff were unwaveringly polite, helpful and efficient and the entertainment staff were great. I attended two shows and both were among the best I've seen. The production show of Argentine Tango was the best I've ever seen in terms of production shows. We had good food every night and good service. The buffet lunch in the main dining room was exceptional. Great effort by all staff. We met some interesting people in a very friendly atmosphere. All in all a great week for a great price. If you miss these next (last) weeks when she sails out of Dubai, you are missing a bargain. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because of the interesting stops and the fact that the weather in the middle-east is much better than elsewhere, at this time of year. It also offered good value for money, as Emirates flights from the UK were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the interesting stops and the fact that the weather in the middle-east is much better than elsewhere, at this time of year. It also offered good value for money, as Emirates flights from the UK were included. Due to the coronavirus, we were told that RC had decided not to stop at either of the two ports in Oman, due to its proximity (and open borders) with Iran. Not sure I believe this, more likely that Oman didn't want the cruise passengers disembarking and potentially spreading the virus?? As a result we had an extra day at sea and on that day the buffet was completely covered and staff (with gloves) were serving guests which was chaotic and led to very long queues. I can understand from an infection control standpoint why there were doing this, but as it was only for one day, it seemed to me to be a pointless exercise. Enjoyed Abu Dhabi where we did a city tour combined with a visit to the Grande Mosque which was definitely the highlight of our cruise. Just be aware that ladies need long sleeves and trousers to visit the mosque, as well as a headscarf. Doha was added into our itinerary instead of Oman, and with free shuttles, guests could wander around the harbour, souk and museums, without doing an organised tour. The entertainment on board was pretty good, we particularly enjoyed the Jersey Boys. Embarkation was very busy as all the guests who had flown via Emirates arrived at the cruise terminal at the same time, so long queues after an overnight flight, meant that some guests were a bit fraught. Disembarkation, was very smooth by comparison. Overall, a relaxing and enjoyable trip and although slightly overshadowed with coronavirus worries, I would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all ... Read More
From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all paperwork and credit card to hand. Pre paid deluxe drinks package and most shore excursions. Ship - previously said nothing to compare to and a little nervous having read bad reviews from others. Spotless and absolutely no concerns on the ship. Scared of deep water and never wanted to cruise - NO safety concerns onboard and have already booked with Marella for new destinations but I am nervous this will not live up to the jewel! My daughter 11 did not want to go to kids clubs but loved her time onboard including mini golf and rock climbing. Enjoyed the fact we had deluxe drinks packages as tried a few cocktails I wouldn’t normally plus I paid for peace of mind. Probably didn’t get my money worth but again knew what i was paying for. Evening entertainment was great. I was tired after that and didn’t stay out till midnight or see any partying. Food was lovely. Staff always friendly! I am a bit of a nuisance and kept an eye on the cabin tv to make sure no charges - We did get a sneaky charge for cocktails the day at Sir Bani Yas however I rang from my room and they were removed immediately. I left with zero charges on my account as I wanted! I took dirham for onshore and dollars. I came home with money as we only had odd coffee and fridge magnet at each destination plus a scarf for the mosque. Shore excursions were great apart from Dubai. We ended up going back into Dubai via free shuttle afterwards. We literally rushed through the mall to Burj Khalifa and drove round the island for hours without food stop! It was super annoying so went back to mall afterwards. Knowing that there are usually free shuttles on my next cruise unless we want to pre book a activity we will make own way/free shuttle into centre, also saves waiting for people that are late getting on the coach..again the Dubai excursion left us 40 minutes late due to waiting for people. Not too long but from 8:30 till 3pm no food stop I was frustrated. UAE is amazing full stop just respect the culture or don’t go simple. You can dress as you would at home but did see a group of girls from ship going to Abu Dhabi mall with swimwear and see through cover ups on- my husband laughed as did others. I only felt the ship move the day at sea and I was probably overthinking it. I did not enjoy the day at sea as much because I like me space. I did sit round the pool for my daughter but not my thing. Day at sea couldn’t get spot around the pool so we sat on chairs on another deck, it was red hot and I actually preferred the spots away from everyone looking out at the sea ( i thought I’d never enjoy looking at the open sea!) overall I loved waking up at a nee destination and getting excited for the day! Ps the coffee shop was lovely. Main restaurant food lovely. Windjammer lovely. NO COMPLAINTS. Just nervous Marella discovery 2 won’t be as good! Considering this was older and smaller than the RC fleet we will try Harmony or another one as the company was so easy and no hassle at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had been to Dubai and Emirates the previous year and this time combined it with a stay at The Atlantis Hotel on The Palm...amazing...we usually cruise with P&O but they had decided not to do that route so we booked with ... Read More
We had been to Dubai and Emirates the previous year and this time combined it with a stay at The Atlantis Hotel on The Palm...amazing...we usually cruise with P&O but they had decided not to do that route so we booked with RC...fantastic....balcony cabin was a little tight...no need for the settee.. just could have been arranged a little different without it... bathroom clean and spacious... the ONE thing we really missed was a kettle... but hey we managed.Clean sheets and a tidy room every day... what more do we need. Second sitting dining was great. Staff were just brilliant...we were on a table of 10 and just the 2 young men to look after us... they were brilliant... food was fabulous....lobster tail one evening! The shows were very professional and one in particular was the best i have seen. We missed docking at Sir Bani Yas Island and that was disappointing.. we went the year previous and knew how fab it was... but others that hadn't been were sad but could not be helped.... as mother nature rules the seas. All told this was a great cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it... Thank You Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the architecture. It’s very modern, clean and stunning. The ship was clean, needed a spot of paint here and there but overall was in good condition. We were with friends and had my time dining and easily got a table for 4 at a set time in the MDR. The food was fine really. We had special requests for Indian food not on the daily menu which they accommodated for that night or the next night. The service in the MDR was awesome. We were treated very well. The service overall was amazing. Our cabin attendant kept our room spotless and promptly answered our calls. Henri in future cruises went out of his way to optimize the future cruise we booked while on board. Embarkation was notable for precautions taken due to the Corona virus outbreak which in retrospect especially given how this has since spread was needed. We self disembarked which was a breeze. My only issue was the loudness of the band in the atrium which made speaking to personnel by the service desk adjacent to that area rather difficult. We did only one ship excursion and that was in Sir Bani Yas. Though I usually say ships excursions are overpriced this one for what we received was reasonable. Unfortunately our stop in Bahrain was canceled due to what I think was security concerns which was too bad as our traveling companions had family there. We ended up staying overnight in Abu Dhabi so we got a chance to see more of this emirate. The production shows put on by the RC entertainers were quite good! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had not been with this company before, and we were expecting this cruise to be better than the cruise we did with another company the week before. Strangely enough, we enjoyed the other cruise, but not this one. Where do we start? In ... Read More
We had not been with this company before, and we were expecting this cruise to be better than the cruise we did with another company the week before. Strangely enough, we enjoyed the other cruise, but not this one. Where do we start? In our opinion we felt that Jewel of the Seas desperately needed a refurbishment, and until this is possible, we felt that a good clean and a lick of paint would have been welcome. We found that on two occasions dishes in the Windjammer buffet had dried food on them, we found food that was on a ledge where we had breakfast was still there the following morning, paper towels used to soak up a spill in the Schooner bar were just left all the time we were there, areas around the ship that didn’t look clean, were suddenly improved when we used just a tissue and plain cold water. We could go on! We found that the food in the main dining room was generally good, but we felt that the Windjammer buffet especially at lunchtime could have been better. Some staff were very friendly and helpful, but we found that there could have been more “service with a smile” in other areas. Embarkation and Dis-embarkation was well organised and ran smoothly. We felt that the entertainment on offer could have been better. Finally, we found that our cabin, which was of a reasonable size, and had adequate storage, had a rather unpleasant odour. Yes, I know that we should have mentioned this to guest services, but given the fact that it is very unlikely that we would cruise on this ship again, felt that we couldn’t be bothered. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our sixth cruise and the first on Royal Caribbean. We got a very good price and as we have visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously we knew what to expect in terms of weather, general safety and cleanliness. Also the flight from ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise and the first on Royal Caribbean. We got a very good price and as we have visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously we knew what to expect in terms of weather, general safety and cleanliness. Also the flight from Finland to Dubai is not too long. Oman was a new and exciting destination for us. We arrived in Dubai early on Sunday morning, the weather was not on our side, windy and cold, with the odd rain shower. After visiting the Dubai Mall we just spent the rest of the day relaxing at our hotel. On Monday we proceeded by taxi to Dubai Cruise Terminal, where check-in was extremely efficient and we were onboard by 12:30. As we waited for our luggage to arrive we lunched at the Windjammer and went to sort out our dining time. Originally we had requested late seating but for some reason this had been changed to early. We managed to get the late seating back, but were allocated a far end table next to the kitcken entrance, a more central location would have been nice. First impression of the ship was a disappointment. The Jewel is a retro ship, her decor dates back to 2004 when she was built and that style has not aged well. She is clean and well maintained but the interiors are dark, dull and completely lacking any sensation of luxury. I very much got the feeling that Royal does not want to invest any dollars on this ship as she might be sold off in the near future. Standard of food in general was good. The selection and layout of the Windjammer buffet was good and we didn't have any problem finding a table, but again the decor was very retro. Plastic plates and drinking glasses were a letdown and we were surprised that there was no late night snack available, other than the room service and Cafe Lattetudes sandwich sortiment. The buffet staff was very quick in clearing tables and in general the cleanliness of the serving stations was very good. Now the fun part, a few words about the main dining room service which was always very friendly and polite, but at times surprisingly unprofessional. Our first clash with the Royal Caribbean service concept was with the food ordering, as we were expected to order all three courses at the same time. Usually in a restaurant the dessert is chosen after you have finished the main course, but not here. Afterdinner coffee was never offered and when we asked for an espresso it was served in a normal coffee cup, without a spoon or a saucer! It seems that Royal hasn't invested in espresso cups at all. And it seems that neither have they invested in employing sommeliers, as the wine order was handled by the assistant waiter. His pairing of wine with food was a game of chance. If we chose to have white wine with starter and main course he without asking brought a second glass of the - hopefully - same wine as main course was served. And he also poured what was left of the first glass into the new one! I've never, ever seen that being done in any restaurant. One evening I asked for a port wine, this was served in a champagne flute. It would have been nice to know what brand I was drinking but dessert wines were not mentioned in the wine list. We ordered room service breakfast a couple of times but as the free continental selection was so limited we took the rest of our breakfasts in the MDR. Drinks selection at the bars was a bit of a dissapointment. Most were all too sweet to our taste as they were mixed with ready-made syrups. And for the first few days they were out of lemons so every drink was garnished with a lime wedge. The Vintages wine bar would benefit of a larger selection of wines and champagnes served by the glass, as other bars on the ship have a wider sortiment. Smoking was allowed in the Casino, which meant that cigarette smoke flowed also to the Vintages. As an ex-smoker I would happily see indoor smoking banned and wouldn't mind a non-smoking ship. Entertainment was generally good to great, highlight being the staff, lowpoint the ship's own singers. The '80's and '70's parties at the Centrum were great fun. The poolside music was very loud but we spent our time on deck mostly at the front part of the ship where it did not disturb us. We had the Deluxe Drinks Package, which was a good investment as bottled water was included, the tap water in the cabin being too warm to drink. Service in general was polight but the ratio of service staff to passengers was noticeably poor, with no chance to have a friendly talk with bar or dining room staff as they were so very busy. Which left us with a feeling of hurried, impersonal, revenue generating oriented atmosphere. The first port visit was a day at Sir Baniyas Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. We anchored offshore and were tendered to the island, where a cruise ship beach had been constructed with sun beds, covered bbq buffet, several bars and toilet facilities. This was quite a nice place to visit, we enjoyed the sun and had lunch before heading back to the ship. Tendering was very efficient, no queues and frequent departures. Second stop was Khasab in Oman. They said it was the first time the Jewel OTS stopped there, so great hopes were with the company and passengers. From the very modern pier we were given a free shuttle to the town centre, if you can call it that. This is a very small village with absolutely nothing to do, so after half an hour walking up and down the dusty main street we were on our way back to the ship. At least this gave us a windless day to enjoy the weather on deck. In Muscat we took a hop on-hop off bus from the pier. After a comical walk through the immigration building we were back on the bus, for the next two hours, during which we saw mainly rocky hills and car dealerships along the motorway. I think we would have been much better off just walking from the port gates to the center of the town and exploring it ourselves. Sea day was a bit windy. On Saturday we arrived at Abu Dhabi and took a taxi to see the Grand Mosque, which is a spectacular and very well organised place to visit. As we had been to Abu Dhabi before were not intrested in spending any extra time there. On the last day in Dubai we took a taxi to the QE2 which was moored opposite our berth. It was a great experience wandering around the old ship, a bit sad to see how much of the original interiors have been altered and removed. There we sat down at the Chart Room bar and had the most expensive g&t of our lives. Always check the price list first! Disembarkation was as effortles as embarkation. We carried our own bags and took a taxi to the airport. As they say, any cruise is better than no cruise. We won't be coming back to Jewel of the Seas and most probably won't sail Royal Caribbean again, their concept is just not for us. But now we are one experience wiser and know what to look for in our future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising to interesting places. We had never been on the Jewel, but have been on several ships within the fleet. On arriving in Dubai, we stayed for a few nights pre cruise. Our flight and transfers ... Read More
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising to interesting places. We had never been on the Jewel, but have been on several ships within the fleet. On arriving in Dubai, we stayed for a few nights pre cruise. Our flight and transfers were very smooth, although we arranged this independently, not through the Company. Check in at the port was easy & quick. Passports are taken before embarkation, & returned during the cruise. Our cabin was extremely small, and unknown to us when booking, was an interconnecting room. We never take these rooms, but have to admit we didn’t hear anything from the next cabin on both sectors of the cruise...we did a b2b, and stayed in the same cabin. The balcony was a reasonable size & we sat there everyday, except when there was adverse weather ! It was most unusual for this part of the world, at the time we were cruising, to have so much mixed, unsettled weather, but it didn’t deter us from walking ashore. Some days it was cold in the morning, then later, it was too hot to sunbathe ! As we were coming to the end of the second cruise, the weather became more settled. We were looking forward to Bahrain, as we had never been there, but that was cancelled in the interest of security & safety, so not a problem. Doha, Qatar, was interesting. The free shuttle dropped us at the museum, in a car park, but after looking around, spotted a sign for the Corniche, which was within easy walking distance of being dropped off. It was a very pleasant walk, all on the flat, and we walked past the big oyster...a much visited monument ! There is also a lovely park at the museum, which we also walked around. Everything was clean & well maintained....throughout the majority of the ports where we stopped. The only port which was a bit disappointing was Khasab, but even there we found a good walk to the beach, which has potential, but has still to be developed ! We also walked to the fort, which is in the opposite direction from the beach. There really isn’t much in town, so taking the shuttle might not be worthwhile, but ..... Our favourite port is Muscat, Oman, which is kept beautifully clean & the palace is worth a visit. It is possible to walk there from the port, along the Corniche, but it is a fairly long walk, & in the heat, might prove too much for some. When we were there, the temperature was perfect for walking. Sir Bani Yas island is a tender port, and when we visited during the first cruise, the weather was very windy, but we managed to get ashore. We didn’t take any excursions ashore, instead walked about the area near the drop off point. To be honest, not much there in this area, except sun loungers, cabanas and food stops. The weather wasn’t warm enough to lie and sunbathe, so after walking around, stopped for a light lunch and walked back to the tender station to return to the ship. There is a section for suites & Pinnacles, and a golf cart type of vehicle transports those wishing to go to Al Reem beach, which is the private area for the aforementioned. The ship was well maintained, & all crew we encountered were delightful, pleasant & friendly. Our MDR servers for both cruises were lovely people. The food was hot, well presented, tasty and perfect portion size for us. We have absolutely no complaints about food, regardless where we ate. There was a good selection of food in the WJ and there is no excuse for people not to choose healthy options, of which there was plenty. The Diamond Lounge & the Concierge Lounges were well presented. It was good to see that the CL was for only Suites & Pinnacles, meaning that it was a pleasant place to sit in the evenings without being overcrowded. The D Lounge extended to part of the Vortex lounge, so there was plenty of space for all to sit. The crew in the lounges were lovely. Octavian in the CL was so professional & friendly. He was on his own, and remembered every drink passengers ordered, although always checked before serving, to make sure there was no change ! We didn’t know crew before we went on, but by the time we left, felt as if we had been in the company of dear friends ! Our SRA was good, & cleaned our room early. He knew we were early risers, so managed to clean our room before we returned from breakfast, which meant we didn’t have to rush to go off the ship. The crew in Chops were professional, helpful, kind and friendly. Breakfast was a pleasant experience, and our regular servers couldn’t have been nicer...Ana & Dickson. The HD, Tony, is a lovely person, as were all his team. Ganesh, F& B seemed to be omnipresent, & always greeted us with his enigmatic smile. There are too many people to mention individually, but all we encountered were a credit to the company. Only downside was that we had an issue with our internet for a few days, but it wasn’t to do with the ship, but the satellite signal where we were. Ariel, IT manager, tried to resolve the problem, but it was out-with his control. After a few days, the signal suddenly returned ! We liked the ship, & look forward to returning later, knowing we are going to meet pleasant crew. It is unlikely ships in this company will sail in the area after this year, for various reasons, so we are glad we managed to visit the ports again. Unfortunately there wasn’t a reserved sun lounging area for Gold card holders, but we always managed to find a spot to lie for an hour. We did notice some loungers were reserved for quite a while, but policing this is difficult, although on sea days, think the reserving of loungers could prove an issue. Some people put towels & items in their loungers, then went away, returning after a considerable period of time ! Our first experience on this ship proved to be very positive. This Captain always started his announcements by greeting passengers, & his fantastic crew, which was good. We are looking forward to our next cruise, especially when the itinerary is very port intensive, as we like to explore areas on foot. Finally....wish smoking was banned in the casino. It was really an awful place to be, so we avoided the area, but that meant we couldn’t go and enjoy a few moments on the slots. At least it saved us money !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We took this cruise mainly due to the fact that the package Royal Caribbean was offering two nights post cruise stay at the Atlantis the Palms in Dubai. It seemed like a nice way to end the cruise The ship is showing its age. Most days ... Read More
We took this cruise mainly due to the fact that the package Royal Caribbean was offering two nights post cruise stay at the Atlantis the Palms in Dubai. It seemed like a nice way to end the cruise The ship is showing its age. Most days it was not possible to walk around deck 5 as there was always parts of the deck sectioned off for maintenance. There's nothing quite like the sound of an industrial sander removing rust while you are trying to get a bit of fresh air. Once again, I believe Royal Caribbean do not examine their passenger list and tailor the cruise accordingly. It would appear that he same activities, entertainment etc get rolled out despite who is on board. A prime example is this cruise which had most people over 50 on board. My wife and I liked to head up to deck 13 at night to relax in the lounge with a coffee before bed. However in the lounge there, they have piped disco music blaring out, even when it was empty. We asked if the volume could please be turned down but nothing ever happened. Another thing which I can't understand is their choice of staff to host the trivia events. You wouldn't expect a person who couldn't play the piano to give a recital, or expect someone who can't sing to be up on stage in a musical. So why have some young lady from Mexico trying to ask trivia questions, continually asking for our pardon as she doesn't speak english very well. Away from trivia, entertainment was poor. Only one headliner act for the whole week. A foursome singing soul music which although I personally like, was not to everyones taste. The singers and dancers tried their best was their shows were something more akin to a holiday camp. As for the cruise director Andrea, if I hadn't gone to a couple of the evening shows during the cruise I would never have seen him. Certainly not in the same league as Joff Eaton, Hello Clo or Luke Arrowsmith. Remember when cruise directors used to be seen mingling with the guests each day ? - I guess those days are gone. For dining, from what I can see most people now prefer not to visit the Main Dining Room and it's easy to understand why. Service is way too slow & the food always arrives cold. We tried it a couple of times with the same results so opted for the buffet for the remainder of the cruise. Also, this is the first Royal Caribbean cruise I have been on that didn't serve lobster any evening. RC should remember that for some people, a lobster night is a traditional part of the holiday.and will probably try another cruise line if this is done away with to save a few bucks Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This cruise sailed over Christmas and this was the reason we booked a cruise only and arranged our own flights, we were then spending New Year at a hotel we go to regularly in Dubai. We've done this cruise many times with RCI and ... Read More
This cruise sailed over Christmas and this was the reason we booked a cruise only and arranged our own flights, we were then spending New Year at a hotel we go to regularly in Dubai. We've done this cruise many times with RCI and Azamara so we knew what to expect from the ports however we hadn't sailed on Jewel before. Emarkation: We stayed 1 night pre-cruise at the Fairmont Dubai which was close to the airport and Port Rashid as its never a good idea travelling overnight and going straight to the ship. Our transport picked us up at 11:00am and we were at the port by 11:15, dropped off our luggage and headed for immigration and check-in, this was very efficient and we were on board by 11:45. The Windjammer was open for lunch and was reasonably busy when we go there but we managed to get a seat outside. The cabins were available by 13:30 so headed down to unpack. Cabin: The spacious balcony cabin on deck 9 was a decent size with plenty of storage space and a good size balcony, there was tea and coffee which was great and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was small but there was a shower with a proper shower screen but no added extras like shower cap or fancy amenities, very basic, a bar of soap and some cheapo shower gel, the towels were a decent quality and thick. The cabin steward was efficient and made sure everything was kept clean. Overall the cabin badly needed upgraded. Dinning: We had opted for My Time Dinning and had booked our times in advance, we had also reserved Giovanni's and Chops. The food was excellent in every venue including The Windjammer, there were plenty of choices for everyone and we were never disappointed at breakfast or lunch times. The service in all venues was first class, sometimes a bit slower in the main restaurant in the evening depending on which table you were at and who the waiters were. The only disappointing thing in the main restaurant was that turkey was served on Christmas Eve and not Christmas day. Entertainment: Some shows we enjoyed however we have seen better singers and dancers purely personal choice, we also don't like circus acts however the best show we watched was Bruce Parker an amazing singer and very charismatic gentleman. There was also the Matisse Trio, Magic Duo and Sagitario Duo who played in various areas around the ship all good. Bars: A lot of activities seemed to stem around the atrium during the day and in the evening which can be a bit annoying if you are walking through so we tended to avoid this deck whenever we could. The Schooner Bar was always busy as there was musical entertainment every night. In the Safari Lounge there was a great Gin Bar a recent addition to the ship and a Vodka Bar which very few people knew about as it wasn't advertised anywhere, we only found out about it after speaking to Anthony who was working in the Solarium Bar. We enjoy Gin and we were very pleased to see such a great variety of Whitely Neil Gins along with many others and a good Gin menu for cocktails, Anthony (the same Bar Man from the Solarium) was very friendly and was excellent in offering ideas. Dress Code: All I can say is some people obviously didn't get the memo!!! even though you are on holiday you should dress appropriately for the restaurant in the evening and make a bit of an effort on Formal nights. There was only 1 sea day on this cruise and as expected the pool deck and surrounding areas were very busy, all the sun beds were occupied and too close together. The weather was fabulous during the cruise mid to high 20s every day which isn't always the case at this time of year. The crew were constantly cleaning and sanitising and everyday in the Cruise Compass there was a section about Wash Up and the Captain also reiterated this regularly however near the end of the cruise there was an outbreak of Norovirus and additional cleaning was introduced, when will people not recognise basic hygiene by washing their hand after using the toilets!!!! Disembarkation was straight forward as we were overnight in Dubai anyway and everyone was off the ship for 09:00am Overall we enjoyed the cruise however in my opinion the ship is in need of a refurbishment and we were told by an Officer that this not scheduled until sometime in 2021 however it wouldn't put us off sailing on Jewel again Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were on deck 11 and it was a nightmare. Every morning between 6.15 am - 7.30am and later thats all we could hear was thump thump thump which was coning from the jogging track. I obviously complained several times as I was not on holiday ... Read More
We were on deck 11 and it was a nightmare. Every morning between 6.15 am - 7.30am and later thats all we could hear was thump thump thump which was coning from the jogging track. I obviously complained several times as I was not on holiday to be woken up at that time of the morning every day. You couldn't even stay late in bed because of the continual noise above. The front desk was made aware of my complaint. They told me that the track did not open until 7.00am which was an absolute load of rubbish. They did offer to move us right at the end of the cruise (1 1/2 days left). Then they said I would receive a letter offering a discount off another cruise. This never arrived. I mentioned this to the Diamond concierge (Christina) and she checked for me and said that I should have received it she then printed a copy of it and gave it to me. (the last night). Our cabin Steward mentioned that a number of passengers had complained. But who in their right mind would put cabins underneath a jogging track. When they washed the deck we had water pouring all over the balcony so if we had been sat out we would have had a very dirty shower!!!! The ship looks tired and a lot of areas on the ship looked very sad, carpets ripped in patches. Such a shame. The staff in the Diamond lounge were absolutely amazing. The staff in Schooner Bar were great fun. I was not impressed with any of the entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
There were a couple of minor niggles, but overall this was a fantastic cruise on a lovely ship full of character. Embarkation was very smooth, and there were drinks and snacks available at the Port too as we waited to get onboard. There ... Read More
There were a couple of minor niggles, but overall this was a fantastic cruise on a lovely ship full of character. Embarkation was very smooth, and there were drinks and snacks available at the Port too as we waited to get onboard. There was a slight wait for our cabin to be ready once we were on the ship, but this meant we had the chance to sample the drinks menu! We dined every night in the main dining room (we were allocated TIdes - Deck 5). The food was probably the best we’ve had on a cruise ship, and the portion sizes were very generous! The Apple Pie was to die for! There was always plenty of choice on the menu, with some classic dishes always there for fussier eaters. We did use the buffet (Windjammer) for Breakfast and Lunch, and were also very impressed with the quality of food and different dishes available here. We lounged by the main pool mostly, and used the Solarium occasionally. There were plenty of loungers available, so it was easy to find somewhere to sit and relax most days. The pools (both outside and inside) were both a decent size, and didn’t feel too crowded, even on the sea day. One of our main annoyances with this ship were the theatre shows (or lack of), as theatre-goers, we frequent the theatre every night on cruise ships normally. But some nights, there was no theatre show, with the theatre being used as a cinema instead, when there was already a cinema on board. When there were theatre shows, the times would never be consistent, and changed constantly. The evening entertainment in other bars and lounges we thoroughly enjoyed especially some of the game shows, and the pianist in the Schooner Bar was very entertaining. We attended the Silent Disco both times throughout the week and loved it! This ship was one of the bigger mid-size ships we have been on so far, and although being around 15 years old, it was well maintained, and kept extremely clean throughout. There were plenty of bars and lounges onboard, and we especially loved the Safari Lounge. Even throughout busy periods, it never felt over-crowded. Disembarkation was very smooth. We felt very sad to be leaving, as we had a great week and met some lovely people during our time onboard. I wish MSC would take note of how other cruise lines deal with disembarking, as I really feel that they could learn a lot, especially after our horrendous experience earlier this year when we disembarked the MSC Seaside. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for its combination of cities plus the opportunity to have a beach day, so the fact that the captain deemed the seas too rough for tendering (debatable) on the day we were to visit Sir Bani Yas for our beach day was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its combination of cities plus the opportunity to have a beach day, so the fact that the captain deemed the seas too rough for tendering (debatable) on the day we were to visit Sir Bani Yas for our beach day was a huge disappointment. The itineraries for future cruises also include Khasab and it's a pity this port could not have been substituted when we abandoned Sir Bani Yas, as the itinerary ended up being too light on ports, with only 2 in addition to our departure port of Dubai, where we spent a disproportionate amount of time, 3 of the 7 nights. Embarkation was fine, as was disembarkation at the end, although when we got back to Dubai there was a lot of confusion around the system for collecting passports and incorrect info was given around the need to get our passports twice in one day, which was not the case. Disembarking in Muscat where we arrived early due to the cancelled port was total chaos and it ended up being too late in the day to get off to do anything useful so we stayed on board, making the extra time there redundant. Our cabin was satisfactory other than the damage along the base of the mirror which gave it the appearance of a cheap motel mirror. It was otherwise kept clean and the beds were comfortable. I enjoyed the shows in the theatre when there actually were shows. It is a cop out to show movies on some nights. I also enjoyed the regular quizzes, but overall there was less entertainment than my previous cruise, which was with Princess, and one duo which performed regularly in the centrum and by the main pool really were not very good. We got very tired of the constant Christmas music being played throughout much of the ship and used to search for sunbathing areas it didn't reach. The food was good in the mytime dining in Tides on deck 5, providing faster service than the main seatings on deck 4. Our waiters were great and got extra veggies for us and/or extra starters, as we were surprised how small the portions were. The Windjammer cafe food was quite good- nothing special, and near the end of the cruise I spoke to the manager about the grubbiness of the outdoor section, with stains from spilled drinks, etc, and dirty balcony glass. I felt overall the cleanliness of the public areas left something to be desired, from the dustballs under the seats outside the Tides dining room to the state of the toilet floors, which were messy even on embarkation day. The only ship's shore excursion we did was the Abu Dhabi city tour which included the mosque, and we enjoyed it other than the rather pointless stop at the closed Louvre museum. The stunning mosque was a highlight of our entire holiday. There was then a mix up regarding the itinerary but to their credit, the tour providers included the Heritage village once they realised we had been told by the ship that it was part of the tour. For our sea day my daughter paid an eye-watering $22 for 24 hours of the slower wifi, so anyone considering ship's wifi should definitely get one of the pre-sailing offers. Despite the above criticisms, overall we enjoyed our cruise. Muscat was really beautiful and an interesting contrast to the modern cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We liked the food and the overall service. We had fun in the pools and on the water slide. We also enjoyed the stargazing with the informative cruise director. However, in the end we felt we had overpaid for what we got, i.e., £1002 for the two of us in an oceanview cabin, when many had paid £400 per couple for balcony cabins in a later sale. If we'd paid £400 I would have been happy with the value for money but at over £1000, having only had 2 ports of call (in addition to our starting port) I ended up wishing we had booked one of the upcoming cruises which make better use of the time by include Khasab, so there would be a minimum of 3 ports on occasions when Sir Bani Yas tendering gets cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & ... Read More
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & Dubai! Took 90 minutes to get off ship and was absolute chaos amongst the passengers, RC need to do something here or change ports as it is a huge negative and you lose too much time hanging around. Ship - Its old but still in fair condition and still a lovely ship, my only criticism is the sofas in schooner bar is like sitting on a park bench and the art work is from the 70's Cabin - Cabin is what you expect on a 10-15 year old ship, little worn and dated but found the bed to be comfortable and decent TV with English channels. Note - take adapters as it only has US / European plugs & hairdryer is terrible. Dining - AMAZING! Much better than Anthem of the Seas. The main dining room was one of our better meals and cant praise waiter - Karandeo & Marie enough! Fantastic work and 10/10 for service. Entertainment - Overall 5/10!! Motown singers however where fantastic and deserve a 10/10, for the rest of the shows it was average if I'm honest. Entertainment leader (Talita?) was very good and put on a fantastic show (Battle of the Sexes & another)! She had us all in stitches. Service - Service around ship was extremely good, with the exception of main customer service desk on level 4!! The manager had a stinking attitude when we complained about our room and requested to move. This did put a huge negative spin on our vacation, and did question my next booking with RC in 2020. Excursions - N/A we did our own so cant comment. Gym - Very good and on par with the larger ships. Overall I liked the ship but I prefer the larger / newer ships if I'm been honest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.4
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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