5 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

As one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, this was perfect for a 4 night cruise. There was enough to do but not too much. All the staff I encountered seemed friendly and committed to helping us have a good time. As a smaller ship, ... Read More
As one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, this was perfect for a 4 night cruise. There was enough to do but not too much. All the staff I encountered seemed friendly and committed to helping us have a good time. As a smaller ship, the pool areas were not as crowded as other ships which was nice. However, the hot tubs tended to be a little more crowded. I spent half a day at sea sitting out working on my tan. The water in the pool was chilly so I only stuck my feet in. I was in a junior suite which was large and had a balcony that I enjoyed sipping wine on before heading out for dinner in the main dining room. The food and service was very good in the dining areas. I wished for more food availability in the common areas after 9:30 pm but service at the adult pool was decent. Overall, it was a fun and relaxing trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I took a group and was looking to balance affordability with different destinations. The ship is mid size and the public areas are clean and attractive. The dining room staff was great but the food was so so. We dined at Chops, the ... Read More
I took a group and was looking to balance affordability with different destinations. The ship is mid size and the public areas are clean and attractive. The dining room staff was great but the food was so so. We dined at Chops, the specialty dining room and the food and service were outstanding. The shore excursions were really good, with plenty of options. Getting on and off the ship was trouble free. Aside from one comedian, we were not impressed with the shows. Judging from the number of people in the audience each night, my guess was no one else thought I had of it either. They have a well appoint d gym and a nice spa area. There were plenty of activities to choose from. My only real con was the lack of amenities in the stateroom and the difficulty in getting things you requested to your room. Also, the showers are quite small and difficult to maneuver in. Aside from that, it would be a great ship for first time cruisers and those seeking affordability. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
All in all, the cruise was a great experience. This is my 4th cruise, 2nd on Royal Caribbean. Our itinerary was San Juan-Barbados-St Lucia-St Johns-St Maartan-St Croix-San Juan. Check-in: The check-in and boarding process was very ... Read More
All in all, the cruise was a great experience. This is my 4th cruise, 2nd on Royal Caribbean. Our itinerary was San Juan-Barbados-St Lucia-St Johns-St Maartan-St Croix-San Juan. Check-in: The check-in and boarding process was very easy, especially since we arrived dockside a little early. The ship: I really don’t have much to say about the Jewel of the Seas. The ship is older, due for a retrofit in April, so I can look past the age of the boat. It basically is what it is, and I can look past that knowing that. The crew appeared to do what it could to keep up on the maintenance issues, which kept them fairly busy. Amenities on board: Wi-Fi system lacking, though I didn’t use it. My teenager was upset though. She got over it. I hope this is upgraded in the retrofit. Activities: The comedians were great. Didn’t see the Broadway shows, however. New Years Eve event was excellent, and we had a great time! Service: This is my area of biggest complaint. While all in all, the staff tried to be pleasant, I found the service to be slow at best. Bar staff was always busy (naturally) but they seemed to always be understaffed, and slow. Room attendant was acceptable. Since some of the crew appeared to be nearing the end of their contract, they just didn’t display the friendliness that I would expect. I spoke to one officer staff, and she was less than friendly. I think that they would put out the minimum effort, and they seemed to be always talking about tipping. And since I mentioned it here, let’s talk about that tipping. It is to be earned for superior performance, not expected just because they served you. When you purchase the unlimited beverage package, they include an 18% gratuity. If you want something else, you gotta earn it. Royal Caribbean, if you talk about how your employees should be tipped, as a part of their wages, then there is obviously a problem with your wage scale. The dining room staff was acceptable; nothing fabulous here. Although they were trying to drum up the tipping. Same with the store staff and even the excursion staff. Again, all in all, just acceptable at best service. Excursions: Got what was expected. Nothing more. Dockside was usually slow, and once we didn’t leave from dockside until almost an hour from our meeting time, which put us late for the rest of the day. Only complaint I had was from the Kayak trip on St Croix, which my family was looking forward. My response was…eh. The cost was higher than the other excursions we went on, by almost 50%, and we received nothing for that extra cost, in my opinion. So I would not recommend the “ocean going kayak adventure.” It was an adventure. It was boring. In looking back, I would have rather saved the money and buy my own kayaks. Shopping: Didn’t really come to shop, however, we bought something on the ship. Was surprised when we got pulled out of the disembarkation line to hit the special Customs line, where I had to pay duty. Wasn’t that big a purchase, but here’s my issue: If you buy something on shore, and you want to get it through Customs without paying duty, you take that chance, and you are fully aware of it. I don’t do that, but there are people that do. It’s their business. You take that chance if you get caught, and you pay the piper. I don’t take that chance. The person ahead of me said that he’s been on 20 cruises, and never got the special screening from Customs. But he also purchased something from the ship. So obviously, Royal Caribbean is flagging people who purchase something onboard, and pulling you out for Customs screening. A Customs requirement? Not likely. There’s something going, and I just don’t like it. So my suggestion is: DON’T BUY ANYTHING OF VALUE FROM ONBOARD STORES! Not to try and get around Customs, but to show that RC shouldn’t be acting as an agent for Customs. Or anybody. They are a recreation provider, not an extension of the government. So in conclusion, this cruise was nothing spectacular. Got the bare minimum, got over charged, and just didn’t receive any wow factor. If RC is going to continue using these smaller ships, they should spin them up to try and compete with bigger ships. My first cruise was on RC, and before I took this cruise, I was all set to be a little more loyal. But now…..not so sure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first cruise with NCL, although we've taken several other cruises with Carnival and RC. This was a family trip over spring break and included our 3 kids ages 9, 6 and 3. Stops included Cozumel, Belieze and Honduras. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with NCL, although we've taken several other cruises with Carnival and RC. This was a family trip over spring break and included our 3 kids ages 9, 6 and 3. Stops included Cozumel, Belieze and Honduras. Pros: We choose connecting picture window rooms. Hubby was concerned about a balcony with our very independent / climbing 3 year old. It was fantastic to have the kids in the room next to us and allow us a separate sleeping area. 2 bathrooms were helpful. The ship overall was nice. The pool was colder than ideal, so we spent more time in the hot tub (including the kids). Of course the ice cream was a hit. The BBQ chicken by the pool was the only real food highlight to share, it truly was delicious. Given our 3 year old was not old enough for many of the tours AND we wanted the flexibility to come/go as it made sense for our family, we did our own thing at each port. This meant grabbing a cab, heading to a beach that had food and taking a cab back. Worked really well and was significantly cheaper than a tour. I was a bit disappointed when just a couple months they announced our Honduras port was no longer Roatan, but instead the Banana Coast. However, the beach was fantastic and we were able to pick palm sized conch shells right out of the ocean! Cons: The food and food service were substandard. Perhaps our expectations were off, but we assumed the food in the standard included dinning areas would be acceptable. We did survive, but unlike other cruises where things were delicious and/or we wanted seconds of something, that was not the case (other than the above noted BBQ chicken) on NCL. I'm told the specialty restaurants were "good", but it was an additional cost we didn't want to add for a family of 5. Our service was poor at every dinner. Slow service, not being served things we asked for (like iced tea) or never being offered a refill. It was so poor that I did adjust the tips on the last day and explained why. The kid club hours and age breaks. The kids club opens for a couple hours in the morning, then closes, then opens for a bit in the afternoon, then closes and then opens again after dinner. There can be significant lines with each. I don't understand why they can't figure out a better system. The back and forth was a pain and wasted time. Additionally, my older ones were separated from the youngest. It would have worked better for us if they could have been more together since my kids play well together. all in all, we had a nice time, but NCL would not be on the top of the list. Additionally, I would consider the true cost of the specialty dinner when looking at costs. There prices may be cheap, but decent food can run you a LOT more. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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