33 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Alaska Cruise Reviews

Good welcome & meet & greet. Restaurant food & staff excellent. "My Time dining" works really well. Well done Vincent & Constantine for making dining experience unforgettable. Entertainment very good. Cabin 7568 ... Read More
Good welcome & meet & greet. Restaurant food & staff excellent. "My Time dining" works really well. Well done Vincent & Constantine for making dining experience unforgettable. Entertainment very good. Cabin 7568 very well appointed, however didn't expect to be bothered with noise from casino into wee small hours. Don't pay the ridiculous fee ($140) for internet for one week as it doesn't work 4 days out of seven!! A real con! Could not understand why visit to Victoria was so short. We had to be back on board by 17:30 and then proceeded to crawl our way at 7 knots to Vancouver. A loss to Victoria & its visitors. All in all a very good experience. Trip on train from Skagway & Seaplane from Juneau very good value & excellent experiences. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Cruised from Seattle to Inside Passage via Juneau and Skagway then return to Vancouver. Wonderful ship and great staff. However company needs to have a real good look at themselves with outrageous extras. To use the internet is $6.99 per ... Read More
Cruised from Seattle to Inside Passage via Juneau and Skagway then return to Vancouver. Wonderful ship and great staff. However company needs to have a real good look at themselves with outrageous extras. To use the internet is $6.99 per minute. They have packages of $20 per unit. (should be free) Charge you for water and soft drinks, Squeezed orange juice, please. There are charges for everything so be aware. Gone are the days when you paid for your cruise your got everthing included except alcohol. Shore excursions are way overpriced and not enough time to enjoy the ports. Vancouver Island: Definitely do the Buchant Gardens, a must but book it yourself.They charge $149 per person for 1.5hrs at garden. They do a tour of Victoria for about 1 hr and you can visit a castle. Felt very ripped off. Cost to enter garden was $39 each, Castle was $11. About $100 to cruise around and listen to a good guide. (I dont think so) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This should have been a fun and relaxing vacation. Perhaps if I didn't have accessibility needs, it would have been. When the booking was made, we had told them I was in a wheelchair and confirmed that accessible transportation ... Read More
This should have been a fun and relaxing vacation. Perhaps if I didn't have accessibility needs, it would have been. When the booking was made, we had told them I was in a wheelchair and confirmed that accessible transportation would be provided from the airport to the ship, from the ship to the airport at the end, and accessible transportation from the ship to excursion locations when at the ports. Well problems starting happening on arrival in the stateroom. I had told them I would need a shower commode and even sent them pictures of what I would need and they promised that they could provide me with one. this was not in the stateroom when I arrived, and when I asked about, they provided me with something I could not even use. Had they told me beforehand that they could not provide exactly what I needed, it would have been fine as I could have worked around it brought my own items.. but they said they could, and they did not deliver. This was really bad as it made using the showers EXTREMELY dangerous for me. Again, if i knew ahead of time, I could have brought my own items to make things less dangerous for me. Then, at the first port when the staff had no idea where people in wheelchairs were suppose to go to depart the ship when in port. One staff would say go to this deck, then on that deck, would be told to another deck, this happened countless times and considering the elevators were pretty full during port time, this was a major problem. The corridors are very narrow and when the cleaning crew was making rounds to each stateroom, I would be able to pass by them. Their answer was was to come back later.. or go take an elevator to another deck, go around them, and then come back to my deck. Finally, on the last day, I have to take a bus to the airport from the dock. Again, an accessible was promised and even the day before I spoke to the guest services and after fighting with them for hours, they promised an accessible bus. But there wasn't one and instead they had to someone else pre-booked accessible van to give to me. Now, if we look at the cruise outside of all these accessible issues. The boat is old... some of the elevator buttons did not even work. When I wrote to royalcarribean about this after, after about 3 weeks I finally got a response apologizing for her delay in response and on the many accessibility issues I had with them. Then said she was enclosing some certificates which I can use " We hope you and your family will use the enclosed certificates on a future sailing with us." and well, there was nothing attached... no enclosed certificate... i responded back saying that nothing was attached and got a generic response saying thank you for sending them an email.. blah blah blah... Seriously, if you have accessibility needs, stay clear from these people. They say they care and are accessible but once they get your money, you are NOTHING but an annoyance to them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I am not very "wordy" so this will be short and sweet! Having been on 7-8 cruises, we were impressed by how quick we went thru boarding. From walking thru the terminal doors to being on the ship was no more than 15 minutes. We ... Read More
I am not very "wordy" so this will be short and sweet! Having been on 7-8 cruises, we were impressed by how quick we went thru boarding. From walking thru the terminal doors to being on the ship was no more than 15 minutes. We had seen many posts indicating the Jewel of the Seas was "tired" and needed updating. However, we found the condition to be better than expected and, as always, the crew went above and beyond. We had sailed on the Serenate (sister ship) a couple of times and found them very comparable. Food was typical both in the Windjammer and the Dining Room. We enjoyed the various salmon offerings. I notice RC is big on regional foods. When we sail from New Orleans there is always crawfish! We tried the Seaview once. It was OK but we ate outside and the wind blew our food off the plates! We didn't do any specialty dining so no input there. Our stateroom was a deck 10 balcony (1004). No obstructions. It was 3 rooms back from the Fly Bridge so we could watch the captain and crew on the bridge from our balcony! Deck 10 is great for views but in rough seas shows a bit more movement than found in lower decks. Ships entertainment was typical. We always make the nightly shows in the main theater and enjoy the variety. The various live music offerings around the ship keep something available most anytime. Shopping - we are not shoppers by nature, just a few trinkets for family and friends from the ports. It was expected and appreciated that the ship offered warm coats and headgear at reasonable prices prior to the glaciers. Excursions: We usually sail the Caribbean and I scuba dive so that was out for this trip! We often book non-ships excursions but just took the path of least resistance this trip. In Juneau we took a bus to Mendenhall Glacier. It was enjoyable and informative. In Skagway, we took the White Mountain / Yukon railroad. I would put it as a MUST to my friends. I got a great Brown Bear pic off the porch of the train! In Victoria, we took the hop on/ hop off bus. Its best to do the full circuit then go back to where you want to explore. Be sure and leave time for Fisherman's Wharf. If you want a recommended reasonable lunch stop by Sam's Deli on Government St. We had a great seafood club w/ clam chowder! Overview - The star of the show is Alaska! The continual views of snow caped mountains. The floating luminescent blue ice flows near Tracy Arms, we saw whales, a bear, 5 mountain goats, and rich history. A must do for all bucket lists! We were very impressed with disembarkment. We were graciously invited to the Vortex as hour Group 3 holding area where they had refreshments. We were escorted all the way to the turnbuckles by staff! We have never enjoyed such service... Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My sister and I recently did an Alaska cruise on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas. I was part of a group that was having a genealogy conference on board, so I got a great group rate with an upgrade to a deluxe ocean view room with ... Read More
My sister and I recently did an Alaska cruise on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas. I was part of a group that was having a genealogy conference on board, so I got a great group rate with an upgrade to a deluxe ocean view room with a balcony. I'll try to make a list of the things we enjoyed about it: Pros 1. We were amazed at how efficiently 2000 people were moved on and off the ship. Yes, there was a traffic jam at the elevator on the way in, and it was hard to find a space to sit down for lunch in Windjammer, but overall it was pretty impressive. 2. We were both surprised at how spacious our room was. There was a great deal of storage, a seating area, and an amazing balcony that we made great use of. My sister found the bed a little hard, but I thought it was fine. I had no complaints about the bathroom, as some others have had. 3. Our cabin attendant was wonderful -- noticing that I'd taken a pillow off the couch to sleep with on the first night, my sister and I both had three pillows the next night. She was extremely attentive and anticipated our needs. 4. The dining room was great -- my husband has been in the restaurant business for many years, and to think about how they manage to serve 1000 people at a sitting is kind of mind-boggling. If occasionally something was cold -- they would fix it. If you were served the wrong thing -- they fixed it. Our servers in the dining room were wonderful, and we had many laughs along the way. No, it's not gourmet level food, but it was tasty and we liked the choices very much. 5. We had dinner at Portofino one night and enjoyed it greatly. The seafood skewer was beautifully presented and delicious. 6. We spent most of our lounge time in the Schooner bar, which was staffed with a great group of servers. We enjoyed playing music trivia almost daily, and Lorenzo, who ran the game, was a stitch. 7. There's always someone performing, so there's music everywhere. Since we went at the very end of August, there were very few children on board, and the music seemed perfect for cruisers who were mostly "of a certain age." The performers were very good. Cons -- very few 1. The elevator situation -- there are elevators at each of the far ends of the ship, but most people go for the elevators in the middle -- six elevators that at peak times really can't handle the volume of people trying to go up and down. Many times an elevator would be crammed full of people, and yet it would stop at every floor because the people on those floors were pushing the buttons. That's about it for the cons. We really enjoyed ourselves -- we had plenty of time to sit on the balcony and paint -- my sister was painting postcard scenes, and I was painting a travel journal. We were both sorry the cruise wasn't longer! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean five times in the last three years and twice on a different line. Embarkation was handled poorly and this was the fault of port personnel in Seattle. I did report the incident to Royal and (just as ... Read More
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean five times in the last three years and twice on a different line. Embarkation was handled poorly and this was the fault of port personnel in Seattle. I did report the incident to Royal and (just as others have said on Cruise Critic) the company did not respond. Time to consider other lines and be less "loyal to Royal." The Jewel was very nice. Beautifully decorated. Yes, she is a little worn, but no different than the other Royal vessels we sailed on. My observations: bathrooms were not cleaned often enough. Passenger hand washing not enforced in the Windjammer. The security staff does a great job; but they are very serious, unfriendly, and certainly not welcoming. After a happy day at port, we greet them nicely and they are still gruff. We encountered a very rude security officer on our way to the muster station. His attitude was over-the-top and completely unnecessary. Day 1 was not a pleasant experience. Our room attendant did a nice job on a daily basis. However, when asked for something additional he made it sound like he had to go WAY out of his way to find it. Above and beyond. (Do I hear tip, tip, tip.) Our dining room servers, Abel and Edney were wonderful. Professional all the way and pleasant. The food was good in the dining room as well as the Windjammer. There are never enough tables in the Windjammer for everyone, but we did meet some lovely people by sharing a table. Lounge staff, cruise director, and entertainment were all very good. We purchased the airport transfer with the tour of Seattle since we had an afternoon flight. Our driver was charming and we had plenty of time to visit the Space Needle and Public Market. Highly recommended. This cruise was based on Alaska's beautiful scenery and was wonderful. If you have not been to the Pacific Northwest I highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We are Diamond Plus on RCCL with this being our first Alaskan cruise. Over the years we have seen RCCL management make cuts to improve their bottom line and it is time to stop as the cuts are now negatively impacting their product and ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus on RCCL with this being our first Alaskan cruise. Over the years we have seen RCCL management make cuts to improve their bottom line and it is time to stop as the cuts are now negatively impacting their product and making us question our loyalty. First the good. Our servers in the main dining room, Windjammer and Chops were outstanding as was our Cabin attendant. All of the workers were friendly and desperately trying to do the best for the passengers and keeping an aging ship in good shape. Such basic functions as boarding and disembarking went very smoothly, the customer service personnel were very helpful, my sea pass had to be replaced due to exposer to my cell phone, and Don, the bar tender during the evening Diamond level reception, made a point of learning and remembering our names and drink preferences from day one. The "70,s party was high energy and entertaining if not a little crowded in the Centrum, and was the high point for shipboard passenger activities. Last but not least was the live music, particularly the ships "orchestra." RCCL has made a point of having live music on their ships, forgoing the trend for canned music and sound tracks for the shows and various venues. While there has been some slippage with certain entertainers using canned accompaniments, a trend that should be reversed, live music is so much better than the constant mix that plays throughout other ships. (On Disney Dream last February there probably were not more than 4 live musicians on the entire ship.) One of the best shows was on the last night with the ships orchestra performing big band and jazz in the Safari Lounge. They played for over an hour then the singers joined them for another 50 minutes in a performance that was a real pleasure for those who were there, instead of packing for departure the next morning. Finally, we always request a table for two in main dining and this time we got exactly what we requested, a table for two by a window and we did not have to make changes like we have on almost every other cruise. Now for the less than good. As already mentioned the cuts by RCCL management are very evident and really effecting the value of their product. We all know that there is economy in scale, buying in bulk and standardization which make it possible for McDonald's to have the same menu and food in their restaurants, however do cruisers expect or desire to have the same menu and food on every ship in the RCCL fleet? We have been on 3 different RCCL ships in the last 16 months, in the Caribbean and now Alaska, and had the exact same menu for main dining on every ship. They even had "North Atlantic Salmon" on the menu while in Alaskan waters and the comment introducing the meal as stating how they source local items to serve on board, someone really missed this one. Even the snack offerings at the coffee shop never changed throughout the cruise and we very limited. Speaking of coffee, where was the Seattle's Best Coffee, why was the only complimentary coffee only available in the Windjammer and why no paper cups with lids so you could be a little mobile while drinking your coffee? Not everybody, and by the lack of activity most of the time, most folks did not want to pay the extra money to have Starbucks. While on the subject of food it must be said that the quality and variety was lacking, very little really rich and tasty offerings in the desserts and rather bland in the main course and Windjammer offerings. It really appeared to us that the menu items in Chops were about what was once standard fare in main dining, except for possibly in the size of the offerings. This ship has some very nice entertainment venues that were used very sparingly if at all. As mentioned previously the Safari lounge was dead and only really active for the Quest and the live music show on night 7. What a waste. It was the same if not worse for the Vortex lounge, which has such a fantastic view and like the lounges in the same location on the other RCCL ships, is not used to its true potential. The entertainment offerings late should have made better use of the singers, comedians and dancers as they really only performed two shows and nothing else except as previously noted. Having all the entertainment in the Centrum might make the ship seem to have a vibe however there were certainly opportunities missed by not utilizing the entire ship instead of the very limited space in the middle of the ship. Speaking of limited space, the Concierge Club was very small, so much so that we went up to deck 13 and used the Diamond level evening special in lieu of the crowd on deck 10. While attending the evening event or taking advantage of "Happy Hour" the quality of the wine, Tisdale, was very poor. One can purchase Tisdale wines for about 3 bucks a bottle in a grocery store and this is what is offered as the house wines and to the Crown an Anchor members, yuck. The upper tier reception was scheduled for 10:30am on a sea day and at the same time as the "Captains Corner" was scheduled in the theater, so the Captain and his leading officers were not in attendance, except for a brief appearance by the Captain as the reception ended. Why? It is not likely that we will ever again sail on this category of ship and will probably only return to Alaska if and when we bring family members who think they must see Alaska from a cruise ship. While it was interesting and exciting to see a different part of the country we could have seen more and done more for the same money if we had just gone on our own and done the trip on land. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The food was terrible. We ate at Chops and had to send our steaks back 2 times and finally just told them to keep it. It was so tough you couldn't cut it. The meat served in the Tides was not good. There was too much time at sea ... Read More
The food was terrible. We ate at Chops and had to send our steaks back 2 times and finally just told them to keep it. It was so tough you couldn't cut it. The meat served in the Tides was not good. There was too much time at sea and the excursions were way too long. We signed up for the beverage package for $55 per day per person and was charged $65 per day per person. We were also charged 4 gratuities of $12.95 per day. We went to see the movie on bears and waited 20 minutes and the movie never did come on. The charge for bingo was outrageous. I found no interest in the lectures on the ship....napkin folding, towel folding and cupcake decorating....really. Our stateroom attendant was very good and so was our dining servers. Other than that it was not a good experience. The captain did a heck of a job getting us to see the tracy arm fjord glacier, that was really cool. Our dinner reservations were at 8 so we never got to see the entertainment. My husband had a massage and they spent more time trying to sell him things than they did giving the massage. He just wanted a massage and the woman gave him a facial he didn't want and charged us $50. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We sailed on Jewel of the Seas just this past week. We are Diamond RCCL members, (have sailed on 15+ cruises with RCCL) and DCL Platinum as well. Usually we love RCCL--we do usually go on the big boats. Oasis and Allure, but have ... Read More
We sailed on Jewel of the Seas just this past week. We are Diamond RCCL members, (have sailed on 15+ cruises with RCCL) and DCL Platinum as well. Usually we love RCCL--we do usually go on the big boats. Oasis and Allure, but have sailed on the sister ship of the Jewel to Europe. Embarkation was no problem--sailed through quite quickly--although it was confusing with 2 ships from 2 different cruise lines being dropped off at the same area. This ship is definitely tired--in serious need of refurb , or retirement. The carpets are dingy, all the amenities are tired and dated. The service was only average--dining service and room steward. The rooms were never cleaned prior to 1 pm. No shampoo , soap or body lotion provided. Our hairdryer did not work, and although we mentioned it more than once to the room steward it was not replaced. The assistant server almost never asked the kids if they wanted a drink at dinner. We always had to ask for coffee. (even though we ordered it every night) The food was very average--uninspired, blah. Note: Diamond members get a couple or free drinks per evening from a specific wine list only--and they were awful--undrinkable. The only bright light was the champagne bar--loved hanging out there looking over the sea at the whales and having champagne cocktails! The bartenders were great. The shows were average, the games geared toward older crowd. ( 70s tv show theme songs as an example.) The cruise director was older and cheesy, clearly picked for this cruise and its demographic. There were only 3 ports of call--leaving too many days at sea and not enough to do--not the variety of different activities we have experienced on other ships. The kids clubs were not enough to hold any of my 3 kids interest--they all just went once, met some friends and never went back. The ports were why we took the trip and they were great--the Tracy Arm Fjord spectacular! Do not do the zip line/repelling/rock climbing shore excursion-not worth it. The glass blowing excursion was great. In summary--I would not do this cruise on this ship. Too many days at Sea and the boat not up to par. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Was recommended to RCL by our travel agent, was looking for 'fun, active, family friendly' trip for our first cruise. My husband is 47, myself 45, daughter 26 and son 10. We booked an inside quad stateroom (I tend to suffer ... Read More
Was recommended to RCL by our travel agent, was looking for 'fun, active, family friendly' trip for our first cruise. My husband is 47, myself 45, daughter 26 and son 10. We booked an inside quad stateroom (I tend to suffer from motion sickness) and it was quite cozy. nothing luxurious, but bedding and pillows were comfortable. There was not a lot of unpacking room for 4, plus then there was no place to put large suitcases. But we made do, and didn't spend a lot of time in our cabin. Yes, bathroom is small. but close to what we expected for the money. We stayed near SEA/TAC airport Thursday night due to late night flight arrival, and took a shuttle Friday morning to the pier (about $50 total, 30 minute drive) check in was busy, but if you are prepared and checked in online as RCL suggests, you should be done in about 15-20 minutes. We were on board ship by about 11am and ushered up to windjammer café for lunch. the four of us could not believe the amount of food offered pretty much around the clock. windjammer had many options, salad bar, hot entrees, sandwiches, soups. Not award winning food, but edible nonetheless. we found ourselves running there often for a 'bite to eat' there were times when the windjammer was packed, but if you walk back outside there were usually tables open. OR, sit down at tables with empty chairs and get to know your fellow cruisers! met some wonderful people from all over. breakfast was your typical eggs, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, cereals. cooked to order omelets. again, nothing spectacular but certainly edible. we had reserved a dining time through my time dining each night. you sit at the same table each night, with the same servers. we thought it was weird at first, but by the third night we looked forward to seeing them. they called us by name, knew our favorite things to eat/drink, and made great recommendations. the service could not have been better in the dining room. (shout out to Neermal and Michael!!) food was better than average. same goes for some of the bars. you meet your 'favorite' bartenders, strike up conversation, and they take care of you. they know your name, your favorite drinks, etc. We visited all of the bars and enjoyed each one for different reasons. (be sure to hit the karaoke bar most nights, hilarious!!) Our son spent some time up at kids club. he enjoyed the activities there. he liked the 'late night' activities that were planned, movie night, video game tournaments, etc. We let him choose whether he wanted to go or not, and most days/nights he chose to go. did not do a lot of swimming, the weather heading up to Alaska was cold, windy, misty most days. rock climbing was not open very much. movie theater, get there early or you won't get a seat. our casino was crowded most nights after 9pm. 4th floor centrum bar had entertainment each night that was worth staying up for. band played, people danced, 70's night was a blast. had a lot of laughs there. great bartenders. we only did one show in the coral theater, and it was pretty good. two guys. jugglers. entertaining. the ship itself, well we have nothing to compare it to. Yes, it is older I suppose but still looks nice. there was ALWAYS someone around cleaning. I did not feel like it was dirty. There was never trash around and plates/glasses were cleaned quickly. We did not find it hard to look out the windows due to them being dirty, they washed them three times while we were on the ship, however we had a lot of rain. it's to be expected. But yes, I agree the ship can use refurbishment. That is an observance, not a complaint. Alaska was great, wake up early and don't miss the tracy arm fjords. bring layers of clothes, but also some shorts/tshirts. the weather changes often. day one was 80 and sunny, day three was misty rain and 58. went hiking in Juneau, went to a salmon bake. both very good. hike was more strenuous than I thought it would be, but a great workout. scenic. beautiful. did a private salmon fishing boat in Skagway. adventurous. didn't catch salmon. but it was still fun. did the white hall pass train trip in the afternoon. it was a long train ride, so bring a snack/beverage. the scenery was beautiful. didn't have a thing planned for our day off the ship in Victoria, B.C. we left the ship and walked downtown and looked around. it's a very pretty town, lots of shops and eating options and beautiful architecture. we had sunny and warm weather so the day was great. check out the little 'town' down by the fisherman's wharf pier. so cute with more food options! overall we had a great first cruise. the staff was exceptional (yes most are from other countries than the USA but we found that interesting) there is plenty to do both on and off the ship. when we disembarked back in Seattle, we carried our own luggage off and because the Celebrity Solstice was docking at the same time, there was a huge crowd at the pier so it took a bit of time to get through that and catch a cab. A little disorganized, but i'm not sure about how much RCL has control over that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have cruised 13 times over various cruise lines. This is my second Royal Caribbean. This first time was pretty good with some issues but i thought we would try a different ship and destination. Maybe I would have a different experience ... Read More
I have cruised 13 times over various cruise lines. This is my second Royal Caribbean. This first time was pretty good with some issues but i thought we would try a different ship and destination. Maybe I would have a different experience with RCL. . . WRONG! Good Room was nice and roomy. Diner service and cleaning crew was excellent. Bad Food was terrible. Something that you would get a local buffett and not a very good variety. Entertainment was worse!! The shows and production numbers are something you would find on a junior high school talent show! I walked out of two production numbers. RCL nickels and dimes you at every turn. I tried to avoid this by purchasing the all inclusive drink package for $600. Turns out that they still charge gratuities and a lot of things added to my bill. (The fridge in my room had coke and diet coke, I specifically asked it that was covered in the "unlimited" drink package. They said it was. I checked off the ship with a bill showing what would be charged to my Visa. My visa bill came in and charged a lot more. I called RCL, they said after i checked off the bar manager reviewed the diet cokes that were drank in my room and added to my bill AFTER THE FACT! I called RCL to resolve. They stated it was a valid charge after i left the ship?!?! I will never cruise on Royal Caribbean again! I thought a different ship and different destination might cure, it wasn't. Disney Cruises Lines is really the best out there! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After fifteen years of sailing exclusively on DCL, we finally decided to try a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska because of it leaving out of Seattle, and the Wonder leaves out of Vancouver. Basically, we knew it wouldn't be Disney, ... Read More
After fifteen years of sailing exclusively on DCL, we finally decided to try a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska because of it leaving out of Seattle, and the Wonder leaves out of Vancouver. Basically, we knew it wouldn't be Disney, but after the first ten minutes on board we realized just how much it wasn't Disney. From the very vulgar cruise director, to the lack of decent shows, staterooms without two bathrooms, adequate beds and the ship filled with rust and peeling paint it was so obvious that we had made a terrible mistake. On top of the poor condition of the ship, which is slightly smaller than the Magic and Wonder, Royal has probably a fourth or more staterooms, adding more guests than a ship its size should have. They only have one restaurant, and people feed into it like cattle being herded. Soda is an extra $20 a day, per person in your party and the drink packages only go up from there. The ship smelled like stale cigarette smoke that they tried to cover up with cheap air freshener making it all the more nauseating. The outfits of all the workers on the ship made them incredibly hard to find. On Disney, they have all of their workers in distinct outfits that separate them from the guests, and various uniforms so you know who does what instead of just a name tag. The cruise director looked the worst though. Denis Charles, he had his shirt open the entire time, was usually eating in the Windjammer, and if he wasn't doing that he was saying the most disgusting things and planned the most disgusting activities like Quest. We spoke to several people on board who said they had to leave the shows because of the vulgarity, especially when there are kids on board. There was absolutely no youth programing. On Disney, I join in their 18-20+ club, and on those ships it is organized by their cast members who do the entertainment as well. On Royal, there was not one person around to organize or facilitate anything. How can you meet someone if you don't know where to meet because there is no one there to even let you know where to go? You would think that on an Alaskan cruise where the clients are older that they would have at least attempted to try harder to bring the twenty somethings together, but it was the absolute opposite. Without the characters, it just seemed dull. The artwork was nothing but plain pictures, with strange statues. Definitely not Disney. Royal also doesn't give you shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Instead, they have what I would classify as hand soap from a rest stop on a high way in the shower for their guests to use whereas Disney has an exclusive deal with H20 Cosmetics with custom shampoos, lotions, etc for your staterooms at no extra charge. The entertainment was dull. On Disney I find myself craving days at sea because of how great the ships are and how much there is to do. On Royal, I dreaded it. Alaska itself was amazing. But do it on Disney, don't bother with Royal for that or any other trip for that matter. Royal seems to only put all their efforts into releasing their new ships, and drops all support for their older ones. Even the crew who cleans the ships didn't paint in every port like on Disney, instead they used a squeegee on a long rod that was duct taped together to reach up on the ship and didn't bother to wash the soap off. The staterooms were small, so small. We had a veranda, but that didn't mean anything unlike the Disney ships. In fact, under our Veranda was where they kept the life boats, blocking off a significant part of our view. The excursions were so poorly organized I could not believe it. Unlike Disney with the specific areas that you meet your groups before you disembark, Royal has it as a free for all for everyone on board. You leave the ship, with no one telling you where to go. The lines to get off were all backed up because of this, and they only have a few people there to scan people off the ship. Once off the ship, you have to find your way to the place where you meet with the tour group. If you have any questions, there is a small booth set up that has one person working in it, with the longest line imaginable. They charge you for room service after midnight, no introducing of you when you board, no free bottled water when you leave to a new port, no hot towels, no nothing. It's as bare bones as it gets. Then, they have drinking like nothing I've ever seen before, and someone who regularly knocks on your door to check your mini bar and then tries to sell you things. On top of that you can't walk two feet without someone trying to sell you something extra to buy. I will never, and I mean ever, go on another RCCL cruise. Learned my lesson the hard way. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have cruised about 3 times before off the east coast, but nothing compares to Alaska. I plan on going back for an more extended tour soon. The Jewell needs to change their carpeting because it looks like worn out carpet from an old ... Read More
I have cruised about 3 times before off the east coast, but nothing compares to Alaska. I plan on going back for an more extended tour soon. The Jewell needs to change their carpeting because it looks like worn out carpet from an old Las Vegas casino. The theater seats are worn velour, but still comfy. The Windjammer food was good, what you would see in a Las Vegas buffet. It seemed that most deserts were made from numerous combinations of the same basic ingredients. The main dining room food was good and plentiful. I did not meet one Jewell staff person that was not outstanding. Whether it be room attendants, dining room servers, or even the people busing the tables. There was one bartender that always had a frown on his face. I had a balcony cabin in deck 8. It was plenty big for one person. But, for two or more you would have to like them really, really well to spend 7 days in the cabin with them. The most annoying staff on the ship was the young woman encouraging you to shop till you dropped on ship and in the ports. You could find her not only on the ship, but on an endless loop that played daily on the cabin TV's. Watches and jewelery were hawked constantly on the ship. Invicta watches that you can buy at Sam's club or Costco. It was like QVC at sea. I did not know that most of the stores at the ports are owned by the cruise companies. So you will see the same souvenirs and trinkets in all of the ports. I did splurge in the duty and tax free cosmetics. They were truly cheaper then what I had just paid in Macy's. I did the very basic excursions via bus. All of the guides were knowledgeable and friendly. I hope you have an opportunity to take this trip. It is worth it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We had cruised to Alaska 2 times. We were looking for a summer cruise and our choices were Bermuda or Alaska. We decided to do 3 days in Seattle and then take the Jewel on 7 night round trip. We mainly chose this cruise because it spent ... Read More
We had cruised to Alaska 2 times. We were looking for a summer cruise and our choices were Bermuda or Alaska. We decided to do 3 days in Seattle and then take the Jewel on 7 night round trip. We mainly chose this cruise because it spent a full day in Victoria, and we had never been to that port. We are in our mid 60's and are Diamond level. Pre-Cruise: We stayed at the Mayflower Park hotel. It was recommended to me by people on CC and TripAdvisor. So glad we selected it. Great location, service, etc. A classic hotel. We took a town car from the airport ($45). Embarkation: Seemed to be a bit chaotic, as there was also Celebrity Solstice next to us, but we were aboard within 30 minutes of arrival at the ship. Diamond: We were told that there were only 36 Diamond level on this cruise. It seems this may be the "norm" as many people seem to choose Alaska as their first cruise, and there were also many large groups on this cruise. Therefore, we never had more than 16 people in the Diamond lounge for cocktails, and the most we had in the Diamond breakfast were about 12. GREAT service from the Diamond staff. It seemed, sometimes, like a private cruise. Ports: Juneau-we rented a car from Avis and drove to Mendenhall Glacier, Eagle Beach, and the salmon hatchery. We had done this previously. Skagway-we had another car from Avis and drove into the Yukon as far as Emerald Lake. Pretty drive with many photo stops. Victoria-we took a CVS tour to Butchart Gardens. They are BEAUTIFUL. We chose this because we do not normally take ship tours, but I honestly feel we would have been better off to take the ship's tour, as a lot of time was wasted waiting for shuttles and connections. We felt that the CVS tour would give us more than 2 hours in the gardens, but we saw ALL of them, took many pictures, shopped in the store, and we were there less than 2 hours. The ship tour would have been fine. Tracy Arm Fjiord-this cruise spends about 4 hours in the fijord viewing Sawyer glacier. We did not realize that it would be at the glacier by about 8:00 and we almost missed seeing it. Disembarkation: We pre-arranged a transfer with Seattle Express to the airport for $12 each. It worked out well, as we exited the ship, got the luggage, went through customs, found our shuttle, and were at the airport; whole thing took about 75 minutes. Summary: the Jewel is an "older" ship in good condition. We have done 32 cruises on various lines, and this may have been the best service we have ever received. EVERYONE was so friendly and eager to please. I would definitely cruise on the Jewel again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
At the outset of this review I will note that this was our 28th cruise and we do not limit our selves to any one line. It is the destination and/or activity we cruise for, in this case taking out two grand daughters to ride on the WHITE ... Read More
At the outset of this review I will note that this was our 28th cruise and we do not limit our selves to any one line. It is the destination and/or activity we cruise for, in this case taking out two grand daughters to ride on the WHITE PASS & YUKON RAILROAD and the glaciers. Both of those goals were met and outstanding. It had been at least 10 years since we had cruised with RCI and we had had wonderful experiences so after reading the reviews we booked Jewel. Boarding was fine and when we got to our room [ #8064 ] we found the room to be adequate but very tired. In the bath room we found our towels etc. to be thread bare and frayed. There was no shampoo, just soap. In the room we were never provided ice or a pitcher for water. There was no longer chocolates at bed time. Our cabin steward was very nice but on some days it was around noon before the room was made up. When I asked about all this I was told it was due to cost cutting. The service in the main dinning room was great at dinner and very poor at lunch and breakfast. Very poor quality food, hot food came to the table cold, meat was tough, and selection uninspired. Our dinning staff were running to keep up with the 4 tables they were assigned. Also the mints were gone from the podium as we left. Most of the ships staff were gracious and accommodating with two major exception, I went to guest services to get the news paper and the "gentleman" told me that they no longer had them and that he was busy. The other experience was when we sat in the balcony in the show room and we were unaware we were in the seat for the elite and this "lady" came to us and in a very loud European accent told us to move, get out as these were for our betters. She was the rudest staff member of any ship I have been on and she did her best to try and make us feel like "poor white trash" [ Better luck next time!] The shows in the theater were the worst both my wife and I have ever seen on a ship. The cruise director was a joke! As it was a cruise for our grand daughters and there first cruise they had fun and want to go again so for them it was a success. For my wife and I enjoyed seeing the sights [ our second time to Alaska] but will rule out RCI 's smaller ships. Our table mates told us to try their big ships that they were far superior. As this was there 57'th trip on RCI I just may take their advice. All in all I blame myself for the experience for failing to do better research. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Even before we traveled, I was starting to have mixed feelings about Royal Caribbean. The first surprise came when I tried to book an excursion and the second was an extremely unfortunate situation with an event. RC’s approach to ... Read More
Even before we traveled, I was starting to have mixed feelings about Royal Caribbean. The first surprise came when I tried to book an excursion and the second was an extremely unfortunate situation with an event. RC’s approach to excursions I had found a tour company I wanted to use for a Whale Watching tour because of the type of Safari boats they use. I wanted to book the excursion through RC but wanted to make sure it was the company I had found on-line. I told the representative the name of the company I was looking for and asked if that was the company they used for the tour in question. He said that they couldn’t give me that information. I told him that I wanted to book though RC but I wanted this specific company. He said he still couldn’t give me that information and that if I wanted that specific company I should go ahead and book with them directly. I thought that was unusual as this has never been the case on previous cruises. Also when pre-booking an excursion with RC, you have to pay upfront with a credit card and it is, therefore; not on your onboard account so you can’t use your onboard credits to pay for a pre-booked excursion. It’s the same situation with pre-booked drink packages. Event We were celebrating my in-laws 50th Wedding Anniversary with a surprise vow renewal and video. Close to a year in advance, I requested a private venue that would accommodate the ceremony and video. I received a confirmation of approval and discussed the details of this event throughout the year. A week prior to sailing, I received an email that said they could no longer accommodated the private venue but they could move us to a public venue. I was shocked! This event was almost year in the making and confirmed. They said there was nothing they could do so we said we would go ahead in the public venue. Then, two days before our sailing we got another email informing us that the new venue was not available and that our only option was to have it in the Boardroom. The Boardroom contains a very large desk and chairs that are not able to be removed from the room, not what we had in mind for a Vow Renewal. I asked about other dates and was told that both of the other venues were booked for the entire cruise. They offered to provide drinks and cookies free of charge, as well as, chocolate covered strawberries and wine both our and my in-laws room. I expressed my disappointment and fear that the event might not happen at all and was again told that there was nothing they could do. We were already in Seattle at this point and trying to start our vacation so we were feeling defeated. My husband had the idea to reach out to the CEO. He attached the entire tread of emails regarding the event. Much to our surprise the Hotel Manager (that was his title) reached out to us within a matter of hours and said that we could have our event in the original venue and offered to extend the time. I was relieved and really impressed by this. We breathed a sigh of relief and decided to move forward with a great vacation. It is unfortunate that it took an escalation to make it right though. Photographer We had requested a photographer for the Anniversary Celebration. The cost started out as $150 per hour but was reduced to $85 per hour. I’m not sure if that was due to our troubles with the ceremony or not. In all confusion, I forgot to ask. He took 136 pictures of various families. When he told us the price for the 136 pictures with prints was going to be $2000, we almost fell out of our chairs. We ask for other packages but the cheapest he would do was 12 pictures for $800. We were absolutely appalled but felt we had no choice but to pay. It was either pay or have no pictures at all because we didn’t take many ourselves. We eventually got the price for the pictures and prints down to $1500 but we felt very taken advantage of. I feel that this is a disgusting misuse of lack of options and RC should not allow this to continue. Unfortunately, based on our experience with RC, they are out to get every penny one way or another. Embarkation Our boarding time was 11:00 and everything went smoothly. We were checked-in in about 20 minutes. The terminal has air conditioning. We were told that the Guest Services Manager wanted to met with us and were asked to take a seat. He walked us onto the ship which was a nice touch and introduced us to the Group Coordinator. The Group Coordinator took us to all three venues and asked which we liked best. We choose the original and were so glad we didn’t have to use the boardroom. The Group Coordinator offered to store our carry-on bag. This ended up causing a lot of confusion and took about 20 minutes to get back as no one seemed to want to get it out of the office it was stored in. Cabin We had an E1-Balcony cabin, cabin number 8566. Our family of four includes a 7 and 14 year old. We have been on other cruises and were fully prepared for the cabin to be small, which is was. Our main complaint about the room was the layout of the sleeping spaces. The room is turned down in the evening and the small room becomes absolutely unfunctional. There is a king size bed with a pull down bed above it which works well. For the fourth person, the small love seat becomes a twin size bed. The problem is, the bed lays out vertically and once laid out it is in the middle of the cabin and extends to about 6 inches from the dresser/desk. This means you have to either step in this 6 inch space or step on the bed to get to the bathroom which is quite tricky in the middle of the night. The situation would be much better if the fold out was on the other side of the king bed. Also, the “bed” is essentially a thin mattress on a rickety wooden platform. The bathroom is also shockingly small. The shower is a capsule type enclosure. RC doesn’t provide small bottles of shampoo, conditioner or lotion. Instead, there is a dispenser in the shower with what I guess was shampoo. Come on RC, even cheap hotels provide shampoo, conditioner and lotion and this cruise was not cheap! I would highly recommend a balcony for the Alaska cruise. The scenery is unbelievable and we also saw whales and sea loins from our balcony. Our room attendant was great and it can’t be easy in those tight spaces. Food The food in the main dining room was great. I would recommend going there whenever possible. Our family of 16 all thought the quality and variety was great. In true RC spirit, they have a section of dinners available for an additional fee. Our family was assigned two tables that could not be pushed together. I was disappointed by this because we were assured we would all be seated together. Sixteen people is a lot so I can understand but we were also assigned two different servers. They were both great but they had a difficult time taking our orders and serving us at the same time. This wasn’t terrible but we would have preferred one server for both tables. The WindJammer was a typical buffet. We did not try the specialty restaurants. There is chips and salsa in the Pit Stop for a snack. The popcorn machine was out of service during our cruise but it is located in the Pit Stop as well. Activities I thought they had a good variety of activities throughout the day. We kept busy with Trivia, Bingo and Name That Tune. The only show in the theatre we went to was the adult comedy show and we all enjoyed it. We also enjoyed Battle of the Sexes and The Newly Wed Game. I love to play Bingo while on a cruise but I found RC to be shockingly expensive! The first day we paid $37 not realizing we were only playing 1 game. We learned to be more careful but noticed the price was never posted. They would announce the price at the very beginning of the sign up time but not throughout sign ups. Each game got progressively more expensive and by the last day the cost was $67 for the electronic machine. That was one machine, four games. The lines were also very long and slow as they only had 1 person taking payment and 1 person handing out the sheets and machines. Others in our group didn’t think there was enough activities to keep them busy, especially those in the 20-30 age group. Kids Club I found the kids club to be a huge hassle! My kids typically like doing certain things as a family but when there is nothing that interests them they love going to Kids Club. With RC the kids club opens and closes throughout the day, making balancing family activities and the Kids Club hours difficult. The Kids Club is not open at all on the first day and daily the schedule is typically 9-12 in the morning, 2-5 in the afternoon and 7-10 at night. After 10, they charge $7 an hour until about midnight when they close. Many of the shows and activities start after 8 or 9 so we got charged most nights. Our 7 year old wasn’t very excited to go like he typically is. He is very social but I don’t think he met a consistent group of kids or counselors. They will also turn people away if a session is full so don’t count on the ability to drop the kids off for a certain show or activity. The Teen Club was unorganized and activities did not take place as scheduled. Our 14 year old typically loves meeting up with kids his age and hanging out for the rest of the cruise. He said there was never anyone hanging out in the teen club and he thought the counselors weren’t very engaging and felt it was awkward to hang out there. He would also go there hoping to participate in a scheduled activity only to find it wasn’t happening. Our kids spent a lot of time playing on the sports court and mini golfing. They tried serval times to use the Rock Wall but it was always closed. The kids pools were open as Alaska was having record temperatures. The kids are not allowed in the only indoor/heated pool on ship so we were glad they could swim in the kids pools. Disembarkation The lines to disembark the ship were long so we got a coffee and waited until around 9 o’clock. By then, the lines were shorter and we walked right of the ship. Our bags were waiting for us and they were easy to find. Customs was not stopping anyone so we were off the ship and out of the terminal in about 10 minutes. I’m not sure if this is typical but it was surprisingly nice. The taxi line was really long and confusing so we called an Uber. The traffic was terrible around the terminal so it took about 30 mins. The driver had trouble getting through traffic and it would have impossible for him to find us without constant cell phone communication. We felt it worked good though because the taxi line was still a mess when we left. Overall We had a nice family vacation but everyone decided that our next cruise will definitely not be on Royal Caribbean. Several family members have vowed never to cruise again. There are many cruise lines out there and for the price Royal Caribbean does not measure up. Add in the constant nickel-and-diming and RC is down right expensive and annoying. Excursions Juneau, AK Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers & Rainforest Trail with Gastineau Guiding Booked through RC because they strongly encouraged it and the price difference was minimal. The pick up from the cruise dock was very easy. They were holding a sign listing the excursion, we let them know we were ready and they directed us to a van waiting across the road. It was a short ride through town to the Mendenhall Glacier. The guide split us into groups of 10. She lead us on an easy walk through the rainforest. Along the way to the glacier, she gave us lots of information on the plants and rocks we encountered. The view leading up the glacier was amazing! We spent quite a bit of time taking pictures and looking at the glacier. We were hoping to be able to pick up the ice like the photos on their website show but there wasn’t really any small pieces to pick up. We then went to the bridge area where we expected to see the salmon. Unfortunately, the salmon don’t get there until the end of July. We went on this excursion with our 7 and 14 year olds and they got a little bored with the trail. I think we would have preferred their other tour which is, Discover Alaska’s Whales, where you skip the rainforest and glacier. This was a great excursion for whale watching. The boat was great for getting the perfect view of the whales. The windows open up completely throughout the boat so you always have a good view. There is also room at the front and back outside the cabin. They limit the number of passengers to 20 so there is plenty of room to find the perfect spot. They provide binoculars. We went to three different sites and saw whales at each site. We only saw Humpbacks no Orcas. We were lucky enough to have a whale swim right under the boat so we got some really nice pictures. Before we went out to the whale site, they did a short cruise along the shore to see if we could spot any bald eagles and we did get to see a few. On the way back, they take you by a buoy were the sea loins hang out. The whale watching tour was just the perfect length of time and very enjoyable. The ride back to the ship was quick and easy and they give us the option to be dropped off in town or back at the ship. Skagway, AK Dog Sledding, Glacier, Helicopter Tour with Temsco Helicopters Booked through RC for $5.00 more then direct. The pick up form the cruise dock was the same drill as in Juneau, very easy. It was a short ride to the helipad. We were given snow shoes and safety vests. Then, we were quickly loaded into the helicopter. The views were amazing, lots of glaciers and unbelievable scenery! I can’t begin to tell you what incredible sites you will see. The helicopter seats six but our family of four had the helicopter to ourselves. Our 7 year old was very preoccupied with the fact that he couldn’t reach the button on the ceiling to talk into the headphones. The pilot provided us with great information about the amazing scenery we were witnessing. I thought the helicopter ride was just the right length of time. Approaching the dog camp was really impressive. I was amazed to see how many dogs they care for. After landing, we were quickly introduced to the dog trainers and our guide. Our guide introduced us to the dogs and gave us a quick lesson on stopping the sled and we were off. Each of us got to take a turn driving the sled along the course. The dogs only go about 10-12 miles an hour but it is so exhilarating you feel like you are going much faster. A photographer will take two pictures on the course which we purchased for I believe $50. Alaska was having a heat wave while we were there and some of the snow was melting reveling the glacier below. This created the most beautiful blue puddles. We had dressed in sweatshirts and fairly light jackets, hats and gloves. We were very comfortable. The guides were in short sleeves. After the dog sledding course, the guides took us around to see the camp structures they live in and to see the puppies they had there. They allowed us the hold and play with the puppies then is was back on the helicopter for the short ride back to the helipad. Everyone at camp waved us off, which was nice. On the return, I allowed my son to sit on his knees so he could reach the button to talk. That made a big difference in his focus. This was an absolutely amazing excursion! If there is anyway to fit it into your budget, it is a must do! They could either drop you in town or take you back to the ship. We stopped in town. Skagway is a quaint little town with blocks and blocks of tourist shops. We walked around a bit and found a popcorn shop to stock up on because the popcorn machine on the ship was broken. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Skagway Brewing Company, typical bar food but I had a decent fish sandwich. We choose to walk back to the ship, they do have a shuttle for $2, in nice weather it would be a lovely walk. On our way back, we passed a Crab restaurant near the pier that I wish we would have eaten at instead. Victoria, Canada No pre-booked excursions We didn’t find any excursions that interested us through Royal Caribbean. At the last minute, we tried to find a fishing excursion. It didn’t work out for a price we were happy with. We decided to walk around and see what we could find. A short walk heading to the right from the cruise terminal, lead us to Fisherman’s Wharf. This was a fun area to walk around. There are floating homes, a few shops and restaurants and a place to feed the sea loins. We bought some fish from The Fish Store and fed the sea loins, the kids had a great time. We checked into a whale watching tour and kayaking but the tours were either full or the tour times wouldn’t work. We got some fresh shucked oysters at The Fish Store and they were delicious! We ate a lot of oysters on this trip and these were the best we had. We took a look at the map we got from the cruise dock and decided to take a water taxi to the Market Square area. The water taxi was fun, they are inexpensive and arrive about every 15 minutes. We were looking for a local place to eat but after walking around for quite a while and not finding anything we just grabbed a bite at an Irish Place. Not really the way to go but everyone was hungry and cranky. This is mostly a shopping area which we weren’t really interested in so we found a shuttle and headed back to the ship. Vitoria is really pretty and in retrospect we really should have book an excursion of some sort. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise, we went with our daughter and son in law, we flew from salt lake city to Seattle, we stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites, we stayed there one night then they took us right to the ship, then after they picked us ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we went with our daughter and son in law, we flew from salt lake city to Seattle, we stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites, we stayed there one night then they took us right to the ship, then after they picked us up at the ship and took us back to the airport which was great! When we got on board we were thrilled with Jewel Of The Sea, we found our cabin and it was great, we had a balcony and it was so good to take some relax time and sit out there and just enjoy. We loved going to the big buffet to eat, the food was great and had everything that you could want. But our most favorite was going to our 8:00 pm reservation in the Tides Dining Room at table 462, our servers were fantastic! we learned to love them, and they went the extra mile every night to make our dining very very enjoyable. Our activities on board, we went to the art auction which was interesting, we went to the comedy show which was ok, and we went to the tribute to Neil Diamond which we really enjoyed. In Juneau we took the combo tour Whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier it was beautiful and the whales were exciting and our guide was very good. In Victoria we went on the hunt for the great Orca Whale, oh my , the ride was very ruff but our guide worked very hard to get us to the whales and they were fantastic, what a sight, very well worth the ride. The only complaint we have is the drink package we purchased when we boarded the ship, we did not use it and it cost us 20.00 a day , which we did not understand at the time. But we had a wonderful time, one we will remember for a long time, thank you Jewel Of The Sea! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Although I could find a bunch of tiny things to complain about, I'm not going to do that. There are always little glitches here and there, especially for first time cruisers (which we were). My husband and I sprang for two cabins ... Read More
Although I could find a bunch of tiny things to complain about, I'm not going to do that. There are always little glitches here and there, especially for first time cruisers (which we were). My husband and I sprang for two cabins for our children and son-in-law as well as a junior suite for ourselves. We had plenty of room for all five of us to gather prior to going out. We shared some very special memories and a big part of that was the wonderful service we enjoyed from our stateroom attendants Xavier (who took care of our adult children's rooms) and Richard Bryan who took care of my husband and myself. Always helpful, very attentive and magically took care of our suite when we were away! Also very kind and attentive to our family was Wayne McLeod who served us in the Schooner Bar. Entertaining and so very pleasant, he remembered our names, our favorite drinks and we rarely waited for anything (except each other ;) ). I'd also like to give shout-outs to Benedick (Portofino), Marinette Dorado (Chops), Marilou (casino bar), Glen Roy (Champagne bar), Tamara (safari bar) and our beloved servers of table 478 in Tides that remembered all our names even though we only went there once. You all were so amazing! As a family we all agreed that this was our favorite trip we've ever taken together. Yes there were some things that weren't perfect, but there was so much that was good and wonderful that I wouldn't waste your time by sharing it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I planned this cruise a year in advance to spend quality time with our siblings. We wanted everything to be perfect. We booked 4 rooms on the 8th deck in the back of the ship for panoramic views on the Jewel of the Seas as ... Read More
My husband and I planned this cruise a year in advance to spend quality time with our siblings. We wanted everything to be perfect. We booked 4 rooms on the 8th deck in the back of the ship for panoramic views on the Jewel of the Seas as soon as the ship started taking reservations. We booked Whale Watching Mendenhal Glacier and Salmon bake in Juneau, Alaska. We booked dog sledding in Skagway, Alaska and figured we would do some shopping and site seeing in Victoria as there were no exciting excursions we could book in Canada. We booked our own flights as we were able to get earlier flights home on our own with South West Airlines. We booked our hotel stay in Seattle the night before the cruise at the Four Points by Sheraton, walking distance to the Space Needle. We booked a dinner at the Space Needle to start this reunion off perfectly. Royal Caribbean told us they would take care of our luggage on the last day, checking us onto our flights for a small fee. Which we gladly paid. Royal Caribbean sent text messages just before the cruise to inform us as to the time slot we had to arrive at the dock to check in. We found that interesting. We arrived in our time slot and due to our status with Royal Caribbean we no line for our quick check in. we were then welcomed and told to go to the buffet for lunch. There was no room to sit in the buffet. It was so packed it was really uncomfortable. The rooms were not ready and we were hungry but it was really ridiculous. Finally we were told we could go to our rooms about 1:00 p.m. Our rooms at the back of the ship on the 8th deck were spacious. The balconies were very big and we could get great views. However, when the ship was moving it was very noisy and hard to talk outside. When balcony doors were closed room is quiet inside. We would have loved to be outside more but we really were not able because of the noise. Our stateroom attendant was fabulous. She was very attentive. We ate dinner in the main dining room with all eight of us together. We were in the center of the dining room where we could see all the entertainment from our wait staff and chefs. We attended most of the shows in the evening in the theater. The comics were our favorites. During the day, however, there didn’t seem to be a lot to do that we were interested in doing. We did see a movie and of course enjoyed the bar. We are not gamblers so the casino was not for us. We all went into the Jacuzzi and worked out in the gym. Breakfast and lunch were in the buffet where we could sit all of us together. The cruise was very relaxing and wonderful. When we arrived in Juneau we were cold on the ship and were told to bring layers on the excursion. It was 85 degrees in July in Alaska. We were all very warm. We loved the Whale watching and Salmon bake in Juneu we saw many whales and it was exciting. When we went to see the Glacier at Mendenhal our bus driver said to get off and take everything, you are on your own. I’ll be back in an hour. We had too much stuff due to all the layers we were now carrying due to the heat. This was not fun. We did see the Glacier, amazing. The Salmon bake was delicious. We really enjoyed the Dog Sled ride in Skagway. The dogs were very hot but truly wanted to give us a ride. They were so excited to see us and happy to pull the sleds. We all felt bad for the dogs in the heat but enjoyed our trip. We were able to pet the dogs and then we went to where the puppies are kept. So cute and we were able to hold the pups. Now, Victoria, we were very disappointed in the choice of excursions so we tried going out on our own. This was not a fun time. Again it was hot and not a whole lot of options. We ended up just catching a bus back to the ship. There wasn't any real shopping and the only excursions were not fun type excursions. Not only was Victoria disappointing but when our group returned from Canada, we were given a letter at the door after 5:00 pm that we are on our own with our luggage .My husband and I went to customer service and there really is no customer service. We asked for help. No help offered. Basically, the guy just said, next person in line please. We were in shock. I asked for a supervisor. No supervisor available. We went upstairs and paid for internet to check all of us in, late, Southwest. Then we tried to print. Not one person around to help and not one printer working on the two decks allotted for printers.We called asking for a supervisor to help with our situation with the luggage. We were told by the head of the luggage department, she has 300 guests in our situation and there is nothing she can do for any of us. She said it was not her fault and that it was the airlines fault. She had no backup plan. She was not one bit sorry. We were shocked. We ended up calling the Sheraton where we stayed on our way out and they held our luggage. We enjoyed out final day in Seattle where we rode the Ferris wheel, went shopping and ended with a very memorable lunch. Our trip overall was great. Next time we go to Alaska we will plan to fly into Canada and catch a cruise ship from Canada this way we will be able to spend more time in Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Let me begin by saying that we are not seasoned cruisers, but we thought that cruising would be the best way to visit Alaska. We arrived in Seattle a few days early and stayed at Inn at the Market near Pike Street. It's a very nice ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we are not seasoned cruisers, but we thought that cruising would be the best way to visit Alaska. We arrived in Seattle a few days early and stayed at Inn at the Market near Pike Street. It's a very nice boutique hotel in a perfect location for all of the Seattle attractions. The city was enjoying a stretch of warm, sunny weather, so the market and downtown areas were crowded with visitors, tourists, and colorful locals. For a city of its size, Seattle seemed really safe and friendly. We took a cab to the port on Friday morning, arriving about 10:45 AM. We were immediately met by a porter who took our bags. After going through security, we went straight to check-in. The entire process took 5 minutes at most, and we were immediately allowed onto the ship. After a brief look around, we settled into the Concierge Lounge, had a cappuccino, and waited for the Windjammer Buffet to begin serving lunch at 11:30. The food was good--standard buffet fare. We were allowed into our cabin at 1PM, and it was spotlessly clean and spacious. We soon met our attendant, Rully, and enjoyed our conversation with him. We were in GS 1552 on Deck 10. During our week on the ship we ate at the main dining room four nights, Chops twice, and Portofino once. The food was routinely excellent, and the service outstanding. Our main dining room servers, Tania and Delfin, were a great team. Both were friendly, positive, attentive, and efficient. Likewise, our servers in Chops (Tiffone) and Portofino (Maxwell) were exceptionally pleasant and enjoyable. Their attention to detail was extraordinary, and they are really ambassadors for Royal Caribbean. The ship in general was very clean and orderly. The cruise director and his wife we very engaging and visible, and the entertainment was varied. Many of the entertainers are very talented. The casino was open when at sea, and was never overly crowded. The cruise itinerary was good--a blend of sea days and ports. Juneau and Skagway are easily walkable towns. We took a tram to Mt. Roberts in Juneau and had a great hike on a sunny 80-degree day. From Skagway we took the White Pass and Yukon Railway trip, and the scenery was stunning. Both activities are recommended. In Victoria we took the city tour and then visited the Royal British Columbia Museum. Victoria is really a beautiful city, and it would be a great place to spend more time. Our morning cruising to the glacier was also phenomenal (and the only time I wished I'd brought a coat) Disembarkation was easy, though the terminal was very crowded as Celebrity's Solstice was disembarking at the same time. Once through customs, though, it was quick and we were in a cab in no time. Though this was a great first time cruise to Alaska, next time we'll do the one way from Vancouver to Seward to see more glaciers and more ports. It'll definitely be on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
this ship and cruise far exceeded my expectations. We stayed one night in Seattle at the Inn at the Market before leaving the next morning. The cruise terminal was not chaotic at all (we got there at 10:30) and were on board having lunch ... Read More
this ship and cruise far exceeded my expectations. We stayed one night in Seattle at the Inn at the Market before leaving the next morning. The cruise terminal was not chaotic at all (we got there at 10:30) and were on board having lunch by 11:45. Our cabins were ready about 1:00pm. We had balcony cabin on deck 9 mid-ship. Location to elevators was fantastic as my mom was in a wheelchair. Our room attendant Ann Marie was phenomenal and took great care of us all the time singing and smiling! We did my time dining for the first time and it was so easy! I booked our times about a month before we cruised so there was absolutely no hassle when we got to the dining room. Our dining room waiters were Joseph and Edwin and Anoop was the Maitre D'. All of them were the BEST! I have never had such funny, attentive and attention to detail people waiting on me! The food was fantastic and there was plenty of it! We loved Café Lattitudes and were there every day! Those guys were also amazing! We had great weather and were told several times that we really lucked out. Our shore excursions were also amazing! We did whale watching and the White Mountain train ride. We booked both through RCCL and again, no issues at all. The cruise director John was a hoot and super friendly and got the energy going every single time there was anything going on! I don't remember her name, but his sidekick was a woman and she was the best as well. Getting off the ship was a breeze and only took us about 30 minutes. All in all one of THE best cruises I have done. This was my 16th. Alaska is so beautiful and I definitely recommend seeing this part of the country if you can. I will definitely be back and would love to sail on the Jewel of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We are return cruisers on Royal Caribbean, and I have sailed this class of ship previously (the Serenade which has been refurbished) I got a little nervous after reading some reviews, but I didn't run into any of the problems ... Read More
We are return cruisers on Royal Caribbean, and I have sailed this class of ship previously (the Serenade which has been refurbished) I got a little nervous after reading some reviews, but I didn't run into any of the problems I've read about here. Embarkation was smooth, we were on the ship within 20 minutes. We were platinum level so we did not have to wait in the regular line. We sailed full, but I will say that we did not feel crowded on the ship most of the time. The only time I noticed a lot of people was before the opened the doors for the dinner seating. We never had a problem finding seating for the shows, we could always find seats outside near the Windjammer (my favorite place to sit and watch the scenery) I did notice not only did it seem like there were less waiters offering drinks, but that there were far less photo ops with the ship photographers. I did not see one set up in any port as we arrived. Normal set ups around the ship for formal nights. As the prices for photos are now 22.00 I didn't mind that... There was a nice mix of passengers, families, honeymooners, mid lifers, and retirees. Shows were average, we had 2 different comedians come in, and another "all around" entertainer. I only went to one production show, but it was ok. I did hear from others in our group that the Broadway themed show used mostly songs no one knew. The enrichment lectures were great for information and my husband went to every one. Cruise director was very active, and so was his wife who is also on staff. We didn't use the pool or climbing wall, so no comments there. We did have a very warm day and the pool was packed. The ship itself is ready for its facelift, although I didn't find anything in terrible shape it's just showing some wear. We had a deluxe oceanview guarantee cabin and ended up low and forward which made me nervous, but the cabin was quiet, and I didn't mind the walking as I needed the exercise! I found the food fine, although sometimes salty. Breakfast in the windjammer was basically the same every day, but lunches and dinners in the dining room were always different. Our waiters Siddarth and Dwayne were wonderful and went out of their way for us to bring us special treats. We had the late seating which worked out well for all the ports. This sailing could not get into the Tracy arm Fjord, so "Captain Canada" took us into Endicott arm Fjord to the Dawes Glacier.....absolutely stunning! I enjoyed Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, BC . I would take this trip again just for scenery. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my first cruise - went with three kids (age 11 and 13) and two 50+ adults - we had two cabins. The cabins were fine - nothing great - but not too small to live in. The housekeeping was also fine - clean towels and sheets, items ... Read More
This was my first cruise - went with three kids (age 11 and 13) and two 50+ adults - we had two cabins. The cabins were fine - nothing great - but not too small to live in. The housekeeping was also fine - clean towels and sheets, items straightened but not moved so that we couldn't find them. My younger kids (age 11) liked the teen activities, especially the basketball, dodge ball and soccer. The pool was horrid, the hot tubs were more like tepid tubs, the water slide never open, the climbing wall only open for a few hours on one day. So, good on group activities, lousy on individual ones. Food in the main dining room was good; a few dishes outstanding and some sub par. About what you would expect at any upscale restaurant. Out wait staff were attentive but not fluent in English. Thus, an order for "club soda" or "seltzer" was met with blank stares. Similarly, the word "rolls" caused problems, although "bread" was known. The service was speedy and orders correct. Food elsewhere on the ship was at best mediocre but more likely inedible. We went on this thinking we have lots of food options but, like the individual sports activities, they were not open or the food was terrible or not staffed. Truly, there were some options that tried to eat from the buffet that I had to spit out, they were that bad and salty. The entertainment was another big disappointment - there were 3 movies total. One rated G, one raged PG-13 that was an action flic, and one R-rated action flic. Basically, there were no movies for anyone with teenagers. No comedies; no family shows (the G rated one was about bears). The live shows were bad. Just bad. While the entertainers were trying hard, there was not much they could do with what they were given. One show was billed as songs from Broadway musicals - after 30 minutes of listening to songs from unknown Musicals from the 40s, we couldn't take it. Finally, a song from Caberet came on and was close to soft-core porn. We left. Getting on and off the ship was well handled. Our bags were scanned each time but the line moved well and didn't take any actual time. Shopping was o.k. - there was the typical clothing - not especially overpriced - and some watches that were marked as $500 watches that were being sold for $20 - seriously. Surprisingly, there was no place to buy stuff you forgot (in my case, shampoo). We did end up buying cheap jackets; they were worth what we paid but priced as if we were getting a big deal. I even had a makeover in the salon. It was great fun - cost was high but that was to be expected. The staff there were polite and competent. Again, the only issue was a language barrier, with the result that my hair is now not the color I wanted but looks good nonetheless. We had a few questions that required a visit to Guest Relations. Now this became a running joke because they never had any actual answers, just vague references that we had to go elsewhere - and when we went wherever we were sent, that area sent us back to Guest Relations. I am not sure how much was language difficulties (very few appear fluent in English) and how much was corporate run around. If you have no questions, no problem - but if you have any questions or requests (like changing dinner time one night), good luck. Coffee bar was excellent. Made a perfect latte. Bars were basically empty at night as were the deck areas and solarium - which was strange because the ship was full. We never figured out where the people were after dinner. If you hate smoking, be aware that it is prevalent on the ship. Not only in the casino (which I guess is expected) but there were so many smoking areas (including one abutting the pool, hello?) that there was a pervasive odor of smoke. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
So we have not cruised RCI for a while. We usually choose cruises by where its going and value. This cruise we ended up on RCI Jewel of the Seas. We booked 17 months out so were very lucky to get balcony cabin 8088. This is a normal ... Read More
So we have not cruised RCI for a while. We usually choose cruises by where its going and value. This cruise we ended up on RCI Jewel of the Seas. We booked 17 months out so were very lucky to get balcony cabin 8088. This is a normal balcony room which is great, with a huge balcony. We loved it and enjoyed it a lot. This room is located right off of the Centrum so we did hear some music at night. It is also located right next to the Explorers Lounge which is a kind if International Desk. This was the perfect location for our room. The desk is only used about 5% of the time. Other wise its empty. We used these chairs (about 8 of them) to lounge around in during the evenings, to meet up with our fellow travelers, and to enjoy listening to the music at time. This was great place. Room right near the elevators (but was not noisy from the elevators or passengers) If you can get this room, do it. The ship was beautiful. Now I know others mention its age. Yes.. ship is getting close to getting a update but I really felt it look great for its age. I love the décor and colors. It was refreshing to have a ship with class and taste in its décor. You know when you book the ship its older.. so look past that and enjoy. Staff were friendly. No overly friendly. But they all did their job well and we enjoyed them. Our waiters Mohamed and Ana were great and were very attentive. We mentioned one night the very large group near us (about 100 people from a tire company) had fresh fruit on their tables when they got to dinner. He made sure we did too from then on. Drinks were of course high price. It just goes with the territory now. We notice drink staff were hard to find. I think since they don't have to push drinks now because of all the prepaid packages they don't come around as much. We set in the solarium one day for three hours and no one came around to offer us a drink. Not once. Seemed strange. Food was good... great dinner at Chops on our last night. Buffet and dining room were good and choices were good. Best embarkment ever. Walked into the port at 10:40 and on the ship at 10:55. Dis embarkment a little slower but still ok. A little hard to get to luggage. Too much in a small area since 2 ships came in at once. This is truly the first time we have left a ship wanting to take another cruise just so we can get on that ship again. I plan on booking her again just for that room location. Entertainment was really the only negative. The shows were really not good. Costumes poor quality and just strange performances. We always go.. but wish we would have missed these. Even won a little cash in the casino. Great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We are from NJ this is our 4th cruise on Royal we are in our 50's. We flew in Thurs night and stayed all the best western loyal inn . Its ok for 1 night before or after cruise . We called for a ride to the port from the hotel $10.00 ... Read More
We are from NJ this is our 4th cruise on Royal we are in our 50's. We flew in Thurs night and stayed all the best western loyal inn . Its ok for 1 night before or after cruise . We called for a ride to the port from the hotel $10.00 per person. The port is 10 mins away from hotel. The embarkation was quick we were on board in 15 minutes. We went to Seaview cafe for lunch I had the Reuben sandwich which was great . Paul has a Cuban sandwich with fries which was aslo very good. We explored the ship for a while waiting for our cabin . WE made plans to eat dinner at Portofino's for dinner . I have notice the service is going down hill it takes a while to be waited on at all the bars . The workers are more into just hanging out. Saturday: Its a sea day time to relax it was cold outside today .The mountains are so nice looking with the snow caps we are really enjoying the view from the balcony . The ship is in need of a update the furniture is worn .We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room the coffee is bad , I miss my K-cups. We have the drink package for soda,water,fresh orange juice and coffee. We went to the main dining room for dinner tonight . Food was very good our waiter Igor was very good he was friendly and take good care of us . Sunset was about 9:30-9:45 Sunday: We arrived in Juneau today we are taking the Harv & Marv whale watching tour at 1:30 . The weather is wonderful sunny and very warm the highs today were 80 degrees . We saw so many whales it was awesome I would recommend Harv & Marv very friendly and a nice small boat with only 6 of us on it . We went to Mendenhall Glacier for 15-20 mins after the tour for pictures, then we were let off in town to walk around and do some shopping.we walked to the St Robert's tramway The view from on top of the mountain is wonderful. Tonight we went to the welcome back party . The cruise director is John Blair and his wife Katrina who were very good . Monday: Today we are in Skagway the weather is sunny and about 75 degrees . We are doing the musher camp tour thru the ship . Breakfast in the windjammer , very busy today, its getting harder to find a table the workers are just leaving the dishes on the tables . The ride to the camp was along a very narrow dirt road the drop off was scary . I am afraid of heights . The musher camp was really nice I enjoyed the dogs and getting to hold the puppy's . Our tour guide was Ryan Redington who's grandfather started the Iditarod race The cart ride was really nice . After the Excursion we went into town and ate at the Skagway brewery. We had fish and chips nice place great food . Tuesday: Tracy arms jford. The weather is cold and very windy . We got up early to find icebergs outside the ship I am amazed how beautiful the ice and mountains are . We got really close to the glacier .We saw 3 cavings it was a beautiful experience. The seals on the icebergs were so cute It was very cold and windy make sure you have a jacket and warm clothes for this trip. We bought hats to keep our head and ears warm. The view out of the Glaciers were so nice with lots of waterfalls and blue icebergs . We ate lunch in the dining room The salad bar was so good I wish we could have that everyday not just sea days. We are really enjoying this cruise very relaxing and time to take naps . Tonight is the love and marriage game show which was very funny as always. Wednesday: Today is a sea day the weather was cold and very windy 35-40mph We are just relaxing Thursday: Victoria B.C. The weather here is sunny and about 60-65 degrees we did the hop on and off bus today . The area is really nice the people here are very polite and stop and let you cross the road without trying to run you over. We went to the castle which was very nice . We walked around for many hours we found a store which had hand made chocolates oh my gosh I was in heaven they were so good.The weather changed on the way back to the ship the winds kicked up and the rain started just as we got back on the ship . Well tonight we pack up and back to seattle tomorrow. This was a great cruise and I would choose Jewel of the seas again . Our Cabin steward Carlton was wonderful he keep our room clean and made us towel animals . The hump cabin was really nice we were able to see the front of the ship and we were able to look over to see the water unlike most of the cabins on deck 7 Disembarkation was very quick we just had to wait for a taxi back to the hotel . Alaska is a wonder place I am looking forward to going back again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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