52 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Let me begin by stating this is my first cruise you may have experienced a better time on this cruise and that is fine. Starting with food the first time I ate in the main dining room my food was bland, cold and not of a quality one would ... Read More
Let me begin by stating this is my first cruise you may have experienced a better time on this cruise and that is fine. Starting with food the first time I ate in the main dining room my food was bland, cold and not of a quality one would expect for a ship with more than a few chefs. I spoke to one of the managers and he a special meal prepared for the next day which was awesome and cooked perfectly. I go back to the Tides dining room the next day and everything was once again lukewarm after that I took all my meal in the casual buffet area upstairs called the Windjammer they had themed nights and the food was much better cooked and the you didn't have to wait forever like you would in the main dining room. On to the cabin it was as I expected and I have no complaints. My room attendant was ok but not extraordinary . Entertainment on ship was lackluster and repetitive unless you were willing to spend hundreds of dollars in the casino or drink yourself into a stupor at the bar there was nothing really to do on sea days. The crew seemed tired and were not as enthusiastic and entertaining as you would expect one to be working on a cruise ship. The ports were fun but do not be fooled into thinking that you have to do a shore excursion for every port many of these places you can just walk and see everything that you need to see mykonos and santorini are two of these places. If walking is not an option the local taxis are pretty informed about the types of places that would appeal to visitors. Everything on the ship in way overpriced and you are nickel and dimed from the first time your feet hit the boat make sure you have everything you need or wait until you get in port and get what you need there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it was my first cruise ever. I had pretty low expectations after reading other peoples reviews but I was very happy overall with the entire experience. Here are a few notes: Ship - ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it was my first cruise ever. I had pretty low expectations after reading other peoples reviews but I was very happy overall with the entire experience. Here are a few notes: Ship - Overall clean but a little dated in style. Pool was kind of small for the amount of people. Cabin - Clean, good size balcony, shower was tiny but I expected that. One day our shower and sink didn't work and when we called all they said was "we are working on it." Luckily it started working within the hour. Dining - Main dining food was average, nothing great. Service was very good, we had Eder who was amazing. We also had Burton and Amal. Amal was nice but Burton was not very friendly. Sometimes we had to wait 15 minutes before being seated even though we had reservations. Windjammer was ok, I only had breakfast there and there were a lot of options. Solarium snacks were pretty good! Chops was nice and so was Izumi. Drink Package - We got 1 drink package for my husband online when the price was $44 a day, although it did drop to $39 a day. He was able to get me drinks as well, as long as he ordered 1 drink per order. Bar service was a little slow, we tipped our servers and got better service from them, James was great! WIFI- don't bother, I personally didn't pay for it but my Aunt did and it was very, very slow! Ports / excursions - we booked all of our excursions through outside companies. They were all amazing and I found them on Trip advisor. The RC excursions are completely over priced and we saved a lot of money that way. I wish they gave us more time in Santorini because we almost didn't make it back to our ship. There was a 2-3 hour line for cable cars and the only other option was walking down 600 steps or taking a Donkey. Be careful if you walk! The Donkey's will run you right over!!!! Entertainment - overall ok, nothing too exciting. The night before our last cruise day we had planned to go to Vortex night club. The day schedule said it was open till 2 am but instead the crew threw a party for crew members only and we were not allowed in. We were pretty annoyed since there was nothing else to do that night and it was the only day we could sleep in. Spa - Overpriced and they tried to up sell me on my facial before even looking at my skin. She didn't do any extractions which is what I originally went in for. After it was done she didn't consult with me or recommend any products. Although it was relaxing, it was a waste of money. Service was good overall, although I was annoyed because everyday they were trying to up sell us on food, drinks, photos and anything else they could come up with. The servers even tried making us book with specialty restaurants when we were in the main dining area eating. I was happy with my first cruise experience and I would do it again but maybe not in the Mediterranean because there is so much to see and so little time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first cruise. The Jewel of the Seas was a smaller ship so not much to do on days at sea. The Cruise Director Dennis and Activities Director Enzo were hilarious and kept the crowd entertained. Our wait staff was one of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise. The Jewel of the Seas was a smaller ship so not much to do on days at sea. The Cruise Director Dennis and Activities Director Enzo were hilarious and kept the crowd entertained. Our wait staff was one of the best parts of the cruise. Doing magic tricks and making us laugh the whole time. Our room attendant was very friendly, i love the towel animals. The Windjammer wasnt that great, seemed like the same food day after day, alot of times the food was not hot. We chose the dining room more nights because of the wait staff and the variety of food. We booked another cruise on the Allure for 2018. We had a blast swimming with the dolphins in St. Kitts, enjoyed Trunk Beach in St Johns, the beach in Aruba was amazing. Curacao was a smaller town with a cool floating bridge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my first cruise but I have been to seven all inclusives in the caribbean. I loved it! It's so fun to see a different island each day! The ship didn't impress me the way I thought it would. It was certainly nice but it ... Read More
This was my first cruise but I have been to seven all inclusives in the caribbean. I loved it! It's so fun to see a different island each day! The ship didn't impress me the way I thought it would. It was certainly nice but it didn't wow me. The firsts port was Barbados and getting off the ship proved to be a horrible experience. We had to wait well over 45 minutes to get off the ship and the crew seemed very unorganized. It was extremely annoying how unprepared they seemed. We were in tight quarters and the line was made worse by the fact they were selling water on one side of a narrow opening and giving out towels on the other. We missed our excursion and had to join up with them. The food was very good - I was very impressed. Our waiters were Vincent and Guarencio and we loved those guys! The learned I loved baked potatoes and brought me one every night whether it was on the menu or not. The spa was amazing - my wife and I each had three treatments. I was very excited about the entertainment but was not as impressed as I hoped I'd be. The crew members are pretty talented and the shows they were involved with were very enjoyable. The Newlywed Game was hilarious. There were two brothers from Los Angeles and they were hilarious. There was also a performer named El Gaucho. He was extremely talented but unbelievably boring - we only lasted 15 minutes. The entertainment crew lacked the talent he had but was much, much more entertaining. All in all, I'd go again. The crew was amazing and I'd love to see them again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We traveled with my daughter, her husband and 7 year old grandson. It was his birthday and our 32 anniversary. They brought him a cake one night to our dinner and sang to him. We also revived a bottle of wine. Both really nice surprises. ... Read More
We traveled with my daughter, her husband and 7 year old grandson. It was his birthday and our 32 anniversary. They brought him a cake one night to our dinner and sang to him. We also revived a bottle of wine. Both really nice surprises. The ship was lovely. We had a 2 bedroom suite. Plenty of room , big balcony and even a huge soaking tub. Our steward kept our room spotless and every night he made a towel animal for my grandson. The food was great in the dining room and the two specialty restaurants were worth the extra. Chops restaurant was our favorite. the only thing we wanted to do and didn't get to was to ride on the train in st.kitts. And my son in law got his wallet stolen in st.kitts. But the cruise itself was lovely. Not crowded. Was able to get on and off the ship quickly. If you have children. The kids area is a little sad. Needs to be redone and updated. We chose not to put our grandson in the program.maybe when they redo the ship in 2016 the will redo that area.The captain was great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/NCL agent at LAX was wonderful. Very helpful and courteous and because I am handicapped helped me with my luggage to the bus. The Jewel of the Seas is a beautiful ship. She is classy, elegant and ... Read More
The Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/NCL agent at LAX was wonderful. Very helpful and courteous and because I am handicapped helped me with my luggage to the bus. The Jewel of the Seas is a beautiful ship. She is classy, elegant and comfortable, all at the same time. She is an older lady but she isn’t showing her age too badly. She is going in for refurbishment in the spring of 2016 and she will only come out better. I love her size, she is a midsize ship, not a mega liner, which is what I like. The pool areas were never crowded, always enough loungers to lay by the pool and crew was easily accessible. My room attendant Lucy, was wonderful. She has worked for RCCL for almost four years, has two small boys and work for the line because she wants a better life for her boys then she had growing up in Jamaica. Whatever I needed she brought me, made sure I had ice every morning and evening, left towel animals all over the room and kept the room in perfect order. The Main Dining Room, (MDR), Tides was good. I have the 5:30 p.m. dinner at the same table every night and I loved it. Got to know passengers from all over and we became good friends, went to shows and bars together because we enjoyed each other’s company. Our waiter Stanley and Assistant Waiter Rui were wonderful. Stanley has been with the line for fifteen years and you could tell it. He was knowledgeable, remembered all our names on the second dinner and what our likes and dislikes were. Rui was doing her first cruise but she was so sweet, kept our glasses full and our plates taken away. The entertainment was good, not great, and just good. Wayne Cotter, comedian, John Joseph, comedian, City of Dreams production show, Quest Adult Show, Edge Effect, (5 guys who sang A capella), West End to Broadway production show, Steve Smith, comedian and the Cruise Director, John Blair as Neil Diamond, he was spot on, looked and sounded just like Neil and the Farewell Show. A problem that is present in all casinos on cruise ships is the smoke. It is one of only a few places passengers smoke. Somehow RCCL figured out a way to get the smoke out of the air. Every cruise I return to my cabin smelling of smoke and beer, on my clothes, hair and skin, have to take a shower immediately to get the smell off of me so I can at least sleep. This did not occur on the Jewel. If was refreshing to go where smokers were sitting and not have the horrible odor bothering me. THE BAD THINGS: I spend my time in the casino when it is open. I found very few crew available in the casino. There were no crew for drinks while playing the table games or machines. You had to ask a dealer to find one for you, which then had a pit boss out looking for a bartender to take drink orders. It looked to me like RCCL has cut down on the amount of casino employees and wait staff for the casino. If a machine gave you a problem you had to stand by the machine and flag down anyone that had a RCCL uniform on to get you someone from the casino. Every cruise I have been on and that is around 35, the casino staff is usually the friendliest of all the crew. This was not so on this particular cruise. The Windjammer Buffet has new hours, they don’t open until 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Most cruise buffets are open until late at night and only closing for about an hour to change from breakfast menu to lunch menu to dinner menu. This caused a long line of passengers waiting to get into the buffet. The food was good, not great. There was a large selection of all food, including gluten free and vegetarian. Sometimes you could find a wait person and sometimes not. There was the Seaview and Solarium Café that were open about two hours in the morning, noon and at 6 p.m. for lite snacks, Pizza is always available on any cruise I have been on but because it is in the Windjammer it closes at 8:30 p.m. and then no more pizza. THE WORST THINGS: Arrived at LAX at 9:10 a.m. and was met with a wheelchair escort who took me to the baggage claim area. I received my luggage and found the RCCL/Celebrity/NCL agent. She took my luggage and stored it since she said there would be a wait for the bus until 11 a.m. By that time there were 15 passengers waiting and getting restless because of the wait and the agent not having any idea why there wasn’t a bus. As a seasoned traveler I knew that every cruise line has a travel emergency number and I called RCCL to see what was going on. It took about 15 minutes to get an answer but the Jewel disembarked two hour late, (normally 7 a.m. but today 9 a.m.) making RCCL two hours late. The emergency rep said it was better to sit in the air conditioned airport then to come to the port because there was a two hour wait to get on the ship. We finally left LAX at 12:30 p.m. and arrived at the port where the Jewel was tethered and it was chaos. Only four ships are allowed to dock at Port of Los Angeles/San Pedro and one is under construction. The port didn’t know what to do with the Jewel, so it was docked way at the end of the port, with two white tents, no air conditioning, no running water, no bathrooms, food, etc. When I got off the bus I asked where I could leave my luggage and that I had requested wheelchair assistance. I was told by a port employee that a porter would be glad to check my luggage for a tip and the wheelchair assistance line was a two hour wait, sitting on white plastic folding chairs, outside of the tent at the farthest end from where the bus let us off. I gave my luggage to a porter and with my walker managed to walk approximately two blocks to the wheelchair area. The people sitting there said some had been there two hours or longer and there just wasn’t any chairs available. I decided to stand in the handicapped/accessible line, (with many passengers who noticed the line was shorter and stood in the line). I tried to explain to the passengers this was a handicapped line but most of the time I got it was none of my business from them. One hour and 30 minutes later I got to the check in table, yes I said table. Because of where the port put us there was no electricity, so RCCL was doing the best they could by using battery operated Tough Books to connect to RCCL network to check passengers in. In the last three hours the website had gone down four times. When I sat down to be checked in it went down again and took about 30 minutes to be rebooted. The rep that was checking me in notified me that he has already worked one hour longer than he was supposed to so he was leaving and would try to find someone to check me in. I told him no he wasn’t leaving until I got checked in. A passenger heard the whole conversation, saw an officer and reported what was happening. The officer came over and told me that he personally would check me in, to just sit tight until the network was up again. When the network came up that officer, Manuel Palmero, IT Operations Manager/Officer, checked me in. I told him I needed a wheelchair to get on the ship and he was told there weren’t any. He told me to have a seat at the end of the line and he would find a chair and get me on the ship. Thirty minutes later he walked by and saw I was still waiting, five minutes later he came with a wheelchair and brought me to my room. I didn’t arrive on ship until 3:30 p.m. so I could not get any food because the Windjammer was closed. Room service wasn’t open yet and I hadn’t eaten since 6 a.m. that morning. I met Manuel in the elevator early Sunday morning and asked how he was doing and he told me that of the fifteen years he has worked for RCCL that was his worst experience ever. He explained that some of the problems were RCCL but most was the port, not being accessible, not even ready for our ship to dock and disembark and embark new passengers. He said there was an officers meeting planned for later in the day to assure that this never happened again. I told him I felt that this wasn’t RCCL’s fault but passengers were put in a situation, left in a hot tent, with temperatures of 100 degrees outside, no a/c, no food, and no bathrooms and of course they will blame the cruise line. Both tender days were totally unorganized. In Santa Barbara on Deck 4 the passengers started waiting in line to get on the tenders. The line started at Guest Services, went all the way to the back of the ship and up the other side of the ship. Passengers couldn’t get out of their rooms because they were blocked by this huge line. I think that is a definite safety hazard. If a fire starts or there was a passenger emergency in one of the rooms being blocked it would be havoc for everyone. It was stated in the Cruise Compass that please wait until you got your tender number and it was called before starting a line. First RCCL didn’t have a place set up to get your tender number so it was total confusion and RCCL should have stopped the passengers from starting and standing in a line. In Monterrey, again, totally unorganized. We were a little late getting into port and passengers that had excursions were being told to go to the conference room on Deck 5 to get off first. When we got to the Conference Room, no RCCL employee was there and when someone showed up, we were told to go wait in line again. Many excursions were missed or we were too late to take them. On the fifth day on ship, a sea day, Captain Thorolvsen came on the intercom and apologized for what occurred in Los Angeles Port. He guaranteed us that this would not occur when we disembarked. He had spoken to RCCL International Headquarters and were working on getting us the easiest and fastest disembarkation available. On the day of disembarking all passengers needing wheelchairs were told to meet in the Conference Room on Deck 5 at 7:30 a.m. I wanted to make sure I had no trouble getting there so I was there at 7:15. There were already a few disabled passengers in the room. Around 8 a.m. a crew member told us that there were only 5 wheelchairs available and no attendants to push them, so if you could make it off the ship by yourself you needed to do that. There was one couple waiting that the woman only had one leg, a couple with a child with Downs Syndrome and several others that there was just no way possible they could walk down the gangplank to the port building. After sitting there until 9:30 and knowing my flight left from LAX at noon I walked off the ship with the aid of my walker. When I arrived in the port building in Los Angeles, there were 41 poles with numbers from 1 to 41 on each pole and your luggage tag told you at what luggage pole your luggage would be. I had green tag 19. When I got to 19, there was not any luggage at the pole. I stopped a port employee to ask if all luggage was off the ship and she said yes. She asked me to give her a description of the luggage and she would start looking for it at other luggage poles and be back with me in about 5 minutes. While she was looking, I did too, and my luggage was not at any number from 1 to 41. When the port employee returned she said I would have to a make a claim at a counter across the building. I explained that it was 10 a.m. and my flight was leaving from LAX in less than two hours. She said there was nothing she could do. I started walking to the claim counter and saw a couple hunting for their luggage also and they told me that a bunch of luggage with no RCCL tags on them were stacked behind a brick wall, where you couldn’t see them, and to go check there. My luggage was there with about 15 pieces of other luggage on top of it. I couldn’t get anyone to help me, so I had to move those pieces of luggage myself to get to mine. My final thoughts on this cruise is, I love the Jewel of the Seas and Royal Caribbean. I feel that the treatment of handicapped passengers has disintegrated to non-existent. Handicapped passengers don’t matter to RCCL and I am sad for this to be happening. RCCL has to figure out a way to better service the disabled passenger. We pay our fares just like anyone else but are treated very differently than a passenger that can walk off the ship, take care of their own luggage etc. This has to be addressed quickly by RCCL. I do want to say that any passenger that blames RCCL for what happened in the sauna tents in the Los Angeles port is wrong in doing so, this was clearly the ports fault. Could RCCL have done things better, yes, there could have been some kind of bathroom facilities for passengers to use while waiting three hours to get on the Jewel. There could have been some crackers, or something non-perishable for the passengers to chew on. There needs to be more attention paid to the tender days and for RCCL to ascertain that the passengers don’t gather for miles around the deck of the ship. Wheelchair access is something that most cruise lines hire other companies to do but maybe it is time for RCCL to look at the companies they are using for wheelchair access and find a better company that can deliver a handicapped passenger to the ship and back off of the ship. If I had to give the cruise a point average from one to five, I am sorry to say, because of the handicapped problems, I would give it a rating of 2. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My first time cruise review, just because I was so impressed. By background, traveling on this cruise were me, my husband and four friends, all of us on the “other side” of 50. My husband and I have taken over 20 cruises and our ... Read More
My first time cruise review, just because I was so impressed. By background, traveling on this cruise were me, my husband and four friends, all of us on the “other side” of 50. My husband and I have taken over 20 cruises and our friends have taken a few themselves. For all of us, though, it was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We have sailed with Celebrity a lot so as such had Diamond status. Okay, first off, Royal Caribbean just seems to get some things so right, like the way some things just flow so easily. Check-in at Canada Place was a breeze. We got there about 11 in the morning and it was like a ghost town. Curbside at Canada Place to tableside in the Schooner Bar with a glass of bubbly, about 20 minutes. We had two tender stops which can often be tortuous with a mad scramble for tender tickets. This was so easy. I don't know, maybe nobody else got off. Because we went through U.S. immigration on the ship in Astoria - which also only took about 40 minutes - we didn't have to go through that in L.A. which was a huge bonus. Very easy getting off the ship. Plus I loved that where we waited in the Safari Club they had a big screen with a movie playing and pastries and coffee, etc. for everyone, any tier. Nice touch. I am also used to receiving tons of debarkation material and questionnaires about two minutes after I have gotten on a ship. I kept waiting for it but four, five days into the cruise I still hadn’t received anything. I phoned guest relations because I was getting nervous and thought we would have to stay on the ship forever; I wish. But it seems Royal Caribbean must actually pay attention to everything you fill out online pre-cruise, because I can only guess that is how they assigned luggage tags and debark info. Which we didn't receive until the last day. Very refreshing! Okay, so the ship itself is beautiful. It doesn’t have all the glitzy bells and whistles or contemporary sophistication of some ships, but has a warmth to it which cannot be denied. We all felt that. Spacious, never felt crowded, lots of glass, windows, ocean wherever you looked. But most of the warmth is due not to the ship itself but the crew. They are all the jewels of Jewel of the Seas. Hands down the friendliest of any ship we have ever sailed on. I can’t say enough about them, and have already said lots in the online survey. Our Cabin: we had an aft balcony - really nice, in great shape and, yes, with a flat screen TV! Amazing views of course from the balcony, fitted out nicely with two chairs and table and two reclining loungers, which unfortunately we didn't really use much. Tons of storage, comfy bed, itsy, bitsy shower. Ports of Call - Great Itinerary, all places we had been to before Victoria - because we’re from the area we treated it as a sea day and stayed onboard. Astoria - We walked along the boardwalk, passing all the squawking sea lions by Buoy brewery, hit Wet Dog brewery where we stopped in for a tasting flight. Made our way from there to Fort George brewery for more tasting flights and some appetizers. Both are great places and highly recommended! On the way back we found North Coast Distilling, a craft distillery in town where we sampled some of their mighty fine craft spirits. And then on the way back along the boardwalk we found a wine tasting room right on the wharf. So we had to stop there too and try some wine flights. A fantastic day in Astoria! San Francisco - we were lucky enough to overnight here. The first day there we went on a private tour with a tour operator that we had used earlier in the year. He took us into Sonoma where we stopped at a few wineries and had time to have lunch in Sonoma Square. A great day! The next day we all treated as free days, and went our separate ways. We went to Union Square for some shopping. Used public transport and had no problem getting around. I should mention, too, that we all bought wine in Sonoma, but when we came back to the ship it was not taken away from us. We weren’t expecting that at all, but had no plans to open it anyway until post-cruise in San Diego. Monterey - just kind of walked around the town some, a bit of shopping, lunch downtown. Santa Barbara - we walked from the ship to the downtown area and then walked some more. It was exceptionally hot and humid so we became quite thirsty and decided it was time for the Wine Trail in the Urban Funk Zone. We took in 4 wineries there, one that left no particular impression, and then Santa Barbara Winery, Lafond and Pali which were are all very nice. We went to Metropolitan Deli just down the street and brought sandwiches back to Pali where we bought a bottle of pinot noir and sat outside and ate and drank. Okay, more about the cruise itself. I’m going to admit I went in with lowered expectations and was pleasantantly surprised over and over again. I won’t say we’re foodies but we pretty much are. We weren’t disappointed in the food at all, certainly not in the MDR or Chops or Portofino. The Windjammer we only ate in a couple of times. It was okay. We had breakfast in the MDR as it was much better and I liked the little buffet they had there too that you could choose from. What a great idea. Specialty restaurants, especially Chops, was very good and a bargain compared to some lines. Portofino was also very good but my preference was Chops. Others with us saw it the other way around. We also enjoyed a few lunches in the Seaview Café. Cute little place. Exceptional service everywhere we ate, particularly in the MDR. Drinks - we had the ultimate drinks package and had some great craft-style cocktails in the Schooner Bar. We love our wine and for some reason the Schooner Bar, not the MDR, had the best selection of wine by the glass. The Champagne Bar also had some nice wine and was a fabulous place to sit and relax, day or evening. Entertainment - we like to have fun and this ship did not disappoint! I mean, dancing in a nightclub while wearing individual headphones, all listening to different music? A big 70’s disco party in the centrum? Even the trivia, which we usually don’t play on ships, and name that tune were fun on this ship. I hear the cruise director we had, Dennis, is one of the best. We only saw a couple of the shows, but they were pretty good. There was a female impersonator/singer from Ontario who was very, very good. And there was a piano player in the Schooner Bar who, I am sorry, was very, very bad. But some of our best times were lazy afternoons entertaining ourselves with a deck of cards and Manhattans in the Schooner Bar. I’m going to leave it at that. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid. Yes, I booked two more cruises for my husband and I onboard. Yes, my friends and I just yesterday booked another cruise we’re taking together next year with RCL in the Caribbean. Thank you, Royal Caribbean for a fabulous vacation. 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
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
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
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
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
I recently returned from the Pacific Coastal cruise I went on with two family members, with only one who had been on a cruise before (he sailed on Celebrity). We were very disappointed with Royal Caribbean's customer service on this ... Read More
I recently returned from the Pacific Coastal cruise I went on with two family members, with only one who had been on a cruise before (he sailed on Celebrity). We were very disappointed with Royal Caribbean's customer service on this ship and off the ship. First of all, we waited in the check in line in San Diego for two and a half hours. It was a cattle line, and there were not any chairs to sit in once you were in line. I am in my twenties and it was hard enough to stand that long, but I can't even imagine how others must have felt. There were people with walkers who had to stand the whole time! The workers directing everyone to the lines were confused and downright rude. By the time we actually got on the ship it had been three hours. HORRIBLE. Only 1 out of 3 suitcases got to the room early. The other 2 were late. Positives: We loved the ports. San Diego, Catalina Island, and San Francisco were incredible. Canada was ok. We had so much fun. We did not buy any shore excursions, as we preferred to tour around and do our own thing. We found a good deal online for the hop on hop off bus tour in San Francisco. Warning: It can get extremely cold if you sit on the upper outside deck of the bus. We went over Golden Gate Bridge at 40 mph and it was 20 degrees cooler up there. I can't remember the last time I was that cold. There wasn't room on the bottom inside deck of the bus where everyone was warm, so plan accordingly. We enjoyed the food, especially in the dining room. A few desserts were questionable, but we had a great time. We requested a table to ourselves, but were put at a table with 12 people. However, we were lucky and loved the people at our table. The Windjammer buffet was good. The breakfasts were just ok, but lunch was great. The staff in the Windjammer was extremely friendly and entertaining! The Schooner bar was nice too- loved the staff there as well. I loved walking around- the interior is beautiful and clean. The glass theme is awesome. Disembarkation was very simple. We did not have any customs to go through in Canada, which was surprising. However, there needed to be better signs directing people how to get out of the terminal in Vancouver. Good thing we didn't have an early flight, or we would have been cutting it close. Negatives: Everyone was told to go to deck 2 to get off the ship in San Francisco. Well that changed two times, but they did not make an announcement. Everyone was crowded together outside of the lobby area on deck 4, and they were not letting people use the stairs to get to deck 5, which ended up being the departure floor. We waited about an hour... Insanity. We were also late getting into San Francisco (with no explanation), and we had a family member waiting for us at the port. She waited about two hours from the time she saw the ship arriving. Communication was the main problem overall, as you can tell. The ship had a mechanical issue and we were supposed to leave San Fran at 5 pm, but left at 2 am. The announcements were vague and we basically had a second sea day. We barely had any time in Victoria BC, as we got off the ship around 6:30 pm. We should have received ship credit or SOMETHING. We were there 4 hours instead of 7 hours and there was not much to do that late. The activities on the ship were boring. Not everyone likes trivia or bingo (which costs $). There should have been more activities on our sea days. The entertainment needed some work. We saw one production with the singers and dancers and it was cheesy and did not make sense. The best show was Bowzer from Sha na na. Very entertaining. It was nice when they showed a movie - American Sniper - in the Coral Theater on a sea day. They should have done that more. We tried seeing American Sniper the previous day in the movie theater, but since the movie theater was so small, it was full about 40 min prior to the movie starting. Overall, it was a nice cruise ship, the ports were fun, and the staff in the bars and restaurants were incredible, but the communication issues need work. The customers pay a lot for these cruises, and should be treated better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first cruise. It was to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary so we left the kids at home! We picked this for its itinerary to so many different islands: Tortola (which became St. Thomas since the Tortola dock was in ... Read More
This was our first cruise. It was to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary so we left the kids at home! We picked this for its itinerary to so many different islands: Tortola (which became St. Thomas since the Tortola dock was in repair), St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Marteen. I don't have anything to compare to, but I thought the ship was in great condition and clean. The glass elevators and walls make for a beautiful view at even the interior of the ship. I NEVER felt crowded on this ship and ALL the rooms were booked! The only 'busy' place was in the Windjammer buffet at breakfast and sometimes lunch, but we still found seats fairly easily. Room: We were in the cheapest room on the bottom floor! Yes the rooms are small, but for 2 people it was comfortable. I actually liked the lower floor because disembarkation at each port was on our floor and it made an easy on/off procedure. Our room steward, Roy, was sweet and helpful. Entertainment: First off, we were never bored. There were many scheduled activities, and we are active people in our 30s. We enjoyed the rock climbing, shuffleboard, mini golf, and even saw a movie in a stadium seating room. On the 1 Sea Day we played volleyball for 2 hours with other guests. (The basketball court is only 1/2 court.) My husband used the gym almost every day. I enjoyed running on the deck track. We LOVED the Quest game! We went to three shows in the theatre. The City of Dreams was an odd story line, but the singers and dancers are very good. The Broadway Review was similar. We saw a comedian who was funny. We even went dancing in the Vortex. The cruise director, John, was a great MC and kept everyone entertained. Service/Dining: Dining in the Main Dining Room (MDR) was a highlight of the day. We sometimes had breakfast in the Windjammer, but the granola bar in the MDR was so good, we tried to go there every day. Lunch was always in the Windjammer which has consistent quality buffet food. (I actually liked their deserts better than most of the MDR ones.) We ate at the SeaSide Cafe and Solarium Cafe once each. I am not a 'fast food' person, so I can't critique them well for this reason. The Solarium did have an amazing curry chicken wrap that I would have eaten every day if I had found it sooner. We had the 8:30pm traditional dining. (I suggest this for such a port intensive cruise. We usually eat at 5:00pm at home but by the time we were back to the ship and showered, that would have been a rush. We often got a snack then to tide us over.) We were seated in the center of the MDR with absolutely PERFECT table mates. This added to our positive experience. The food was always very good. I thought the portions were perfect (you can order more dishes if you want!). Our service was phenomenal. Wendell, our waiter, was funny and always happy! It is worth changing for dinner when the food is such good quality. Ports/Excursions: (Note: I noticed we saved about $10 each for each excursion, since we booked in advance instead of on the ship.) St. Thomas - Took the all day ship excursion to Christmas Cove, and Honeymoon Beach. The boat is rougher on the ocean than a catamaran (if you get sea sick). Only had 45 min. to snorkel. I could have done that much longer, but we did see sea turtles and a sting ray. Lunch at the beach was very good. The beach, on Water Island, is small and secluded, quiet and comfortable. It was a great value. St. Kitts - Just got a taxi at the pier and took a tour of the island for $20 each. Took 4 hours. I would have liked more time at the Fort and Romney Manor though. Dominica - YOU MUST GO HERE!!! This was our favorite island. (This is not a beach and shopping island, but there is nowhere else like it.) It is a true rainforest. We pre-booked an all day excursion with Levi from Bumpiing Tours. He was AMAZING!!! We hiked the rainforest, swam in waterfalls and Titou Gorge. He lets you jump in, which the ship excursions won't. At the end we snorkeled in Champagne Reef. (Tour was $70 and lasted over 7 hours!) Barbados - We took a taxi to the Boat Yard in Carlisle Bay. It is about a 30 min. walk through town. If you want to try that, the tourist station will give you a map. The Boat Yard was a good deal since for $15 each you get a drink, chair/umbrella, and use of the activities, and a free taxi ride back to the pier. We ended up walking down the whole beach. We used our own snorkeling gear to swim out 100 yds. to a sunken ship. St. Marteen - Took another ship excursion, Regatta Racing. St. Marteen is the only place you can do this. It was an expensive excursion for only 3 hours, but a great experience. We helped sail the boat as we raced another one. The crew tells you what to do. We ended up walking into town afterwards to buy spices and eat at an indian restaurant on Front Street. There is a beach there too. It is a very easy walk back to the ship, or you can take a water taxi. We pre-purchased the ship transfers. Embarkation from the airport was very easy. Disembarkation was not bad, but we had to wait for 1 hour for our luggage to get to the airport. It would have been a lot faster to take a taxi. (The luggage comes once the truck is full. You take a separate bus, so if you are first it is a long wait. If you are last, you will get it right away.) Summary: I would not hesitate to take this ship again... even with the same itinerary! (We saw only 1 other ship in port in St. Kitts. It was a Carnival and I could hear their music from across the bay. I liked how Royal Caribbean was fun and entertaining but also relaxed and "luxurious" feeling.) Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I loved this ship!! It was not too big and not to small, just perfect. Out stateroom 3596 was an ideal pick. Right in the middle of the ship, close to the elevators and extremely quiet - never heard a sound. The beds were very ... Read More
I loved this ship!! It was not too big and not to small, just perfect. Out stateroom 3596 was an ideal pick. Right in the middle of the ship, close to the elevators and extremely quiet - never heard a sound. The beds were very comfortable and I slept great!! Loved all the staff - everyone was friendly and took care of all our needs. The entertainment was very good and the food delicious. I had a ball and hope to be able to take another cruise soon. When I do, it will definitely be on a Radiance Class ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Having never been on one before, we were very happy with how everything went. We were lucky enough to be cruising with 30+ year friends that are seasoned cruisers and they showed us the 'ropes' so that we felt comfortable ... Read More
Having never been on one before, we were very happy with how everything went. We were lucky enough to be cruising with 30+ year friends that are seasoned cruisers and they showed us the 'ropes' so that we felt comfortable quickly. And, we got to board with them early since our reservations were linked! Stayed at the San Juan Airport hotel since we only had about 10 hours before boarding. Basic room, clean, dated and cheaper than staying at one of the 'resort' type properties in 'town'. Took a cab to the Port/Pier and was on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at 11:30am. Ship did not depart until 8pm that night, so we had plenty of time to look around. Luggage arrived around 1pm. At this Terminal, there is a duty free store located in the area of where you will go on to the ship. We were able to buy soda, water and single serve bottles of hard liquor. If we could get the liquor into purses or pants pockets, that was acceptable. So, since we did not find any reason to buy the drink package (lots of time spent off of the ship), this enabled us to mix a few drinks in our room for the entire cruise. We wanted to explore on our own at each stop, so opted to 'wade' through all of the high pressure sales people on the pier and walk a block or so away from the crowds until we came upon a privately owned taxi/van. We were able to negotiate where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. Average price for a 5-7 hour 'excursion' was around $30 each. And, you weren't stuck seeing things that you really didn't want to see, could travel at your own pace, stop and get a meal at a true local venue, ect. It worked out well for us! Do not go on the excursion in St. Johns' that takes you to Trunk Bay. We were told that was the place to go and try snorkeling for our first time. While the snorkeling went fine (they have rentals of equip. there), there was nothing to see on the so-called reef. Lots of folks from the ship paid $90 for this excursion and ended up only having 30 min, to actually snorkel due to the tour guide taking his time on getting them to the different sights. We spend $5 for a private taxi and had almost 3 hours to perfect our snorkeling skills. We had originally signed up for the 6pm dining in the D.R. We went 3 nights and then decided that the Buffet or Windjammers was even better when it came to food choices, relaxation and ability to talk to so many other people. While the D.R. food was great, we didn't want to spend the 90 min. each night sitting and not moving to other venues. It was also tough to get to the nightly show if you had the 6pm dining time. We just let our waiter know if we would be back the next night or not. Most of our table did the same thing. Ship was in great shape from what we could tell. The beds were not that comfortable, but it is also going into drydock later this year. So, I'm sure that they are not updating much until then. Food was, for the most part, good. Windjammer closes at the time it states on the front board by the entry, so don't be late! If you want coffee in the morning before they open, they set up a coffee station in the room to the side of the windjammer. They do not have flavored creamer, so I brought a box of my own. We also had our own coffee mugs and 32 oz. water bottles. Asked for a bucket of ice each evening from our fantastic room attendant, Cassandra, so that we would have ice for our water bottles the next morning when we left the ship in ports. We are pretty low maintenance, so, can't really tell you much about room service or special requests of room attendants. All of the onboard swimming pools and hot tubs are salt water. So, if that stings your eyes, you may want to bring some 'goggles' to wear while swimming. Mini golf at night in the winds was interesting! We were the only ones out there. Muster Station was a piece of cake and was done before we embarked out of San Juan. The faster you get there, the faster you are done and released! Late people are given a tough time by the other cruisers. :) Water to drink was fine out of the tap or you can get a glass of ice water, iced tea or some type of koolaid type drink at the windjammer. Lots of entertainment and friendly crew! We would go on this one again. :) Going on Cruise Critic a few weeks before we departed made all of this so much easier for us. We felt like we knew the ship and were 'cruisers' before we even left land! Awesome website with lots of info. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our first attempt at a cruise and will now be the first in a long list of cruises in our future. In too many parts of our lives we have learned to accept poor service but the folks that work on the Jewel of the Seas have seized ... Read More
This was our first attempt at a cruise and will now be the first in a long list of cruises in our future. In too many parts of our lives we have learned to accept poor service but the folks that work on the Jewel of the Seas have seized the opportunity to revive what exceptional service should be. From our cabin attendant, Elizabeth, to our waiters, Rosario and Raghu, to the pool bartender, Dan, we were consistently amazed with the services provided. They all went out of their way to make sure every moment on board was fantastic and for that we thank them. The boat is kept spotless, the food was excellent and the drinks were plentiful. Not sure what else I could ask for. Thank you Royal Caribbean for making our first cruise experience wonderful and we look forward to future vacations onboard your ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
From the minute we arrived at Heathrow our holiday went as planned. I had booked it on a whim. We were amazed how organised everything was and it was all on schedule, The flight to JFK was pleasant with plenty of leg room and superb ... Read More
From the minute we arrived at Heathrow our holiday went as planned. I had booked it on a whim. We were amazed how organised everything was and it was all on schedule, The flight to JFK was pleasant with plenty of leg room and superb cuisine and great films to choose from to pass the time. Cabin Crew were professional and efficient throughout. Customs and collecting our baggage wasn't half as stressful as I had anticipated. Arrival at San Juan was just as smooth and the transfer to our hotel went as clockwork The hotel was clean and even though we arrived late in the evening we were able to eat and our receptionist also needs a 'pat on the back' as he went the extra mile and upgraded us. His smile was infectious given the long day he had had. :-) We slept well and in the morning we could see the Jewel of the Seas from the window and our excitement rose. The shared transfer to the port was hassle free and embarking was structured and quick. When we climbed aboard I was amazed by the sheer size of everything and i felt really grateful. We went to find our cabin and were very pleased when we entered it. It was on the 9th deck and had an open balcony. It was very spacious, maybe a little dated decor but clean and tidy. Masses of wardrobe space with hangers and shelving. TV and very comfortable bed. The shower was powerful too. All in all we were really chuffed with our new home for the next week. During the cruise the food was of a high standard no matter where we ate. The Windjammer served a superb choice at any time of day and the main restaurant was absolutely delicious whenever we dined there. We attended the gym and used the running track which was a bonus for us as we ate far too much so i believe the exercise we did helped to prevent more weight gain than i did suffer! :-) The cinema offered a great choice of films and we visited twice together and i went once alone to a chick flick which was a lovely experience. We attended a very interesting seminar regarding the human body and acid and alkaline levels and we then met with one of the Trainers and purchased the Elemis Detox programme and two pairs of insoles - all of which have proven invaluable since our return home. The whole experience was awesome and we have now booked our SECOND cruise - we are going to New York and then taking Queen Mary 2 Cunard vessel in the New Year 2015. Best member if staff on board - THE CRUISE DIRECTOR - sooo funny on the promo videos he filmed at night and amazing at Question Time.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Embarkment was a breeze, took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Cabin was hump balcony mid-ship, superior room 9078 was nice and spacious. Location was ideal, right next to the elevator and convenient to everything. Our attendant ... Read More
Embarkment was a breeze, took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Cabin was hump balcony mid-ship, superior room 9078 was nice and spacious. Location was ideal, right next to the elevator and convenient to everything. Our attendant Francisco was amazing and so friendly. Kept our room in tip top shape, always made a point to say hi and keep us informed of the going on of the ship and let us know what to expect and when to expect things. Highly recommended. The room was is good condition, balcony large, new flat screen TV. My only complaint here would be the loud music that we could hear from the solarium at night when there was a party going on. I go to bed early so I found that disruptive. For that reason alone, I probably would book an AFT cabin from here on out and I won't book 9078 again on this type of ship. I missed the panoramic views of the back of the ship as well as the quiet. The room would have been so wonderful had it not been for the loud music. We weren't the only ones who thought it was loud. Some cruiser we spoke with on a lower level on the same location said the same exact thing. I honestly feel there is probably a better location to have a party near the pool area. I think the party ended around 11pm to midnight but on that very last day when we had to get up early, I felt like filling a complaint I was so upset. I feel like the staff should no better. Who wants to hear YMCA when they are trying to sleep? Limited stations on the TV so nothing really to watch. Who watches TV on a cruise? I do. At night and right when I come back to port or in the morning when I'm waiting. I like to wind down with some nightly television. I wasn't the only one with this complaint. There is a reason there is a TV in the room, people watch it. The food on the ship was pretty average. Some was good, some not so good, all just decent. I would say it was a steady 3 star experience. I was disappointed there was not a crepe station or eggs benedict in Windjammers. Breakfast was the same 15 items and the bacon was particular greasy and thin. There were several stations but they just mirrored each other. I understand they are trying to cut close but how about you rotate your menu every other day? Dinners in the Main dining area mirrored what was in the Windjammers but was just spruced up a bit. I don't understand the point of that. The Main dining room staff was also top notch, 5 stars for sure. I did feel like there was way too many Indian food options on the ship, I dislike that kind of food and dreaded smelling it. I hate butter chicken or anything like it. I felt that the food was very repetitious. I'm not a food critic and I didn't go hungry but there really wasn't anything fabulous I could recommend. Even the lobster on lobster night was too salty. The presentation was always lovely. I understand they work hard, I'm just giving my own opinion based off my other experiences. It was pretty much just food. After a while I only ate the star item on my dish and not the fillers/sides. Sometimes I only ordered starters. Even the dessert options were limited, not a lot of fruit options. And what really got me was that Windjammers closed at 9pm. The party went late and kept me up but they closed the main restaurant?! I could see people asking staff what else was open...really? On a cruise your buffet closes nightly at 9pm and there is a party going on? The ship is in good condition, clean and the crew keeps it up. Everyone works hard on that ship and everyone was so friendly. You could tell the staff wanted to stay on this ship and continue their contracts. Everyone went out of their way to make you feel welcome. You couldn't even leave your water at the table in the buffet and expect it to still be there on your return, that's how quick the staff was. The shows, I only went to one and it was short and sweet. A singing group. Hardly anyone was in attendance so you could sit where ever you wanted. It was entertaining. The ports were all wonderful and I definitely want to do this again. I enjoyed each and every one of these stops. Disembarkment was not as quick. There was a rain storm in San Juan that held us up. But we carried our luggage out since we are American citizens and we had that option. It took about 45 minutes total (some standing around) but we were off the ship somewhere between 7am to 8am that morning. Not bad. Overall, our experience was as expected and worth it. The Thai solarium was not as beautiful in person as I thought it would be after seeing the pictures but was still relaxing. They shut it down one day for maintenance. the food wasn't as good as my last cruise but the staff and the ship we great. The ship is older and smaller, it did not blow me away but I liked how it never seem crowded. I enjoyed the stateroom but not the noise. I probably won't do this ship again but I will try out Royal Caribbean again if the price and the destination is right. Nothing against this ship, I just like to try a different one each time I sail. I will sail to see if other ships are run differently, but if I come across another cruise where the buffet closes at 9pm, I will have to reconsider sailing with Royal Caribbean again. I just didn't like that. What do you do if you want to sit and visit with people over a light snack on your vacation? Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I are 50 and 58. This was our first cruise. We had such a great experience that, even though cruising seems beyond our affordability, we want to start saving now for our next one. Next time we may bring our almost grown kids ... Read More
My wife and I are 50 and 58. This was our first cruise. We had such a great experience that, even though cruising seems beyond our affordability, we want to start saving now for our next one. Next time we may bring our almost grown kids before they all marry! A short summery of the ship: The Jewel of the Seas is classy and very thoughtfully built. It was never crowded and not too many kids for those who want peace and quiet at times. The activities and dances and shows were good old plain fun! The Royal Caribbean staff made the week what it was! I was especially impressed by the level of excellent service by our room attendant. Warner treated us to a perpetually clean and tidied room. His towel creations were out of this world! His consideration and kindness exceeded my greatest expectations. Also, don't even bother with the specialty restaurants because the food in the Tides dining room was fabulous every day. The chefs did a superb job!. Our head waiter, Wilmar, was cheerful and consistently helpful. Silviu, our assistant waiter, was so very consistent with his classy wine and roll service and daily was gladly responsive to our every request. My wife and I were delighted to have been acquainted with such fine gentlemen! The five ports we visited provided adventures we'll never forget. The people of all five islands we visited were kind, friendly and went beyond what we would expect to make our visits delightful. Thanks everyone of the Royal Caribbean staff who served us on the ship, and thanks fellow cruisers for giving my wife and I the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was my 3rd RC cruise to similar islands from the same port. The service on this cruise was significantly worse than my previous 2 experiences. We speculate that with all of the high level Crown and anchor club members that my little ... Read More
This was my 3rd RC cruise to similar islands from the same port. The service on this cruise was significantly worse than my previous 2 experiences. We speculate that with all of the high level Crown and anchor club members that my little old gold status may have been part of the reason. Regardless, there are some things I would like to share that I think would have happened to anyone on the ship. There was a very apparent language barrier with almost every staff member encountered. Drink orders, not complicated, were constantly confused and requested items at dinner such as butter or gravy were forgotten. In bars, they ran out of the flavored vodkas often and wouldn't offer to get a new bottle from stock or a neighboring bar. They would make you choose another drink... even if you were the only customers in their bar. It was so con suing, why did they want to drive people away? The schooner bar staff made me go to Lattetudes to get my own coffee claiming their machine was broken. I came back with it and they added liquor to it. This type of thing was happening over and over to our party of 8 throughout the whole boat despite our 2 Diamond members. Our waiters were friendly but not experienced and again we felt that the language barrier seriously affected their ability to understand our requests for items. The food was just ok. It was not up to par with my previous experiences. If I got 1 more dessert molded as 4 circles of jelly I was going to lose it! Ok, it was sort of funny but frustrating at the same time. My stateroom attendant was fabulous. He would pop out and greet us from a room and when I did have an occasion to call about banging metal at 9:30 am he answered and was on top of it immediately. an hour later they assured us it would stop and explained it was maintenance. Now, I don't think that is an appropriate time to be working near staterooms but I was pleased with their response to our request. Customer service desk was horrible. I asked for a crown and anchor member application for my husband (his first cruise) She told us to go to another floor (12or 13 I think) so I asked if she at least had the application so we could fill it out first and bring up there. She left and took a phone call at another station. Never even tad us she was leaving! I went over to her after the call and asked her if she was still helping us to which she acted surprised we were still there. She then handed us a crown and anchor trifold leaflet. When we opened it we saw that the application had already been torn out by someone else. I turned to tell her and she was already gone from the desk. Add this to the long list of disappointing service from earlier in the week. Disembarking was a nightmare. It literally almost ruined the experience for our 3 1st time cruisers. They kept asking why they would end a cruise this way and making everyone frustrated, overheated and stressed? I didn't understand it either. There has got to be a better way. I do remember from previous cruises but this was definitely worse. Maybe all the diamond members disembarking first left us all in the dust? There was a lot more but I think i've made my point. I was a loyal Royal but next time I am going to take a look at Norwegian or Celebrity. It may be time to see what kind of service another line would give me. I'm no longer "happy enough" with RC. I'm disappointed and genuinely saddened by this cruise experience. I had every intention of wowing my husband and following in my in-laws steps by making my way up to Diamond and enjoying a cruise or 2 each year with the hubby. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband and I were skeptical about cruising. My mom is a frequent cruiser but neither of us had been. It turns out we loved it far more than we ever could have expected and we're booking our next cruise in the coming weeks. While ... Read More
My husband and I were skeptical about cruising. My mom is a frequent cruiser but neither of us had been. It turns out we loved it far more than we ever could have expected and we're booking our next cruise in the coming weeks. While we don't have anything to compare it to, we had few disappointments. Some of the Windjammer food was "eh"...but as my husband said, "It's good food in mass quantity production." We enjoyed our dinners and our server, Kennedy, was nothing short of amazing. My husband was sick one night but Kennedy sent me back to the cabin with a lobster for him. I enjoyed the variety of the meals at night. We spent a bit of time in the casino every night either before or after dinner. The slots are TIGHT so use your money sparingly.   As far as excursions, Barbados was the only one we booked an RCCL excursion -- the rum distillery tours. The first distillery was boring but the second was a lot of fun! In St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and St. Lucia we just did tours with drivers we met at the port. In Antigua we wanted to go to the Donkey Sanctuary so we encountered what we later found to be a very grouchy taxi driver who took us there. Elvis and Carly were very entertaining and I particularly enjoyed any shows or activities where they were hosting. Love & Marriage was an absolute riot and the scavenger hunt activity (the name is escaping me!) was constant laughter! We liked our balcony stateroom on the 7th floor. I don't know that I would want an inside or outside view stateroom and we are planning on a balcony for our next one too. Our cabin steward was pleasant and attentive to our requests. Prior to the cruise we stayed two nights in San Juan and we stayed a bit further from the port (about 25 minute cab ride) at the Best Western Condado Palm. It was a VERY reasonably priced hotel that wasn't far from the beach. I'd definitely recommend it! We got the port at about 10:45am and embarking was far easier than I expected or I'd heard it would be. I was on the ship in what seemed like record time. I would definitely recommend this itinerary and cruise ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband and I took our first cruise on October 26,2013 and It was the best experience we could have even imagined. Not only was the ship laid out beautifully, but the staff was top notch. We had a balcony cabin which made it just so ... Read More
My husband and I took our first cruise on October 26,2013 and It was the best experience we could have even imagined. Not only was the ship laid out beautifully, but the staff was top notch. We had a balcony cabin which made it just so much more enjoyable. Delores, our room attendant, was phenomenal and went just so far above and beyond what i felt was due. She had a smile every single time we saw her. She had a general care for how our trip was going and if we were enjoying ourselves. She made sure we had a need for nothing. She was such a big part of our enjoyable trip and anyone that has her as an attendant should consider themselves lucky. As far as the ship itself, I have no complaints, none. The jewel is a beautiful ship with lots to do and a perfect size in my opinion. There was not one day that was boring. This brings me to two people who stand out in making the cruise memorable. They are Carley our cruise director and Elvis (sorry don't know if formal title). These two for my husband and I were so special. Now do not get me wrong cause we met nothing but sweet and nice staff members who always had a smile and willingness to help in every single way both big and small, but these two just stood above.These two were seen daily in so many different lights and not only did they remember our faces when they saw us, but they remembered our names too. Now for some that may not seem like a big deal but when every 7 days they are looking at 2000 new faces and remembering names, thats a big deal to my husband and I. That tells us they care about us as passengers on this ship. Thank you Carley and Elvis, you both are wonderful and missed dearly. Onto the food.My husband and I thought it was wonderful. Lots of choices and not one bad meal. This is the area that Tides stands out for us. Catherine and Gomez Scott, AMAZING!!! Best team ever. Daily i would have Catherine tell me her recommendations and well I went with them and they were perfect. One thing that stands out about Catherine to me is that she knew the waves and I didn't really see eye to eye, so she not only gave me a suggestion to help with sea sickness but she went and collected the items for me. (yes it worked). There was one day that after dinner all the desserts sounded so very good that i asked her to just surprise me and bring me one back, well she did and she brought me an amazing banana split that you will not find on the menu. Thank you Catherine. Gomez Scott was also an important part of that team. Never could we want for anything cause he stayed on top of everything. If you want a wonder wine, trust me, ask him for his recommendation. You WONT be disappointed. Nor will your glass ever be empty. :) Thank you Gomez Scott. I think I hit everything but I will end with you will not be disappointed in the Jewel of the Seas or its staff. They are all wonderful. Take a trip aboard the Jewel. Its a wonderful ship and wonderful port stops.Sorry forgot to mention Jennifer our C8 safety lady(sorry forgot her title). Another wonderful addition to the Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my first cruise ever, and I have always been reluctant to go on a cruise. People would tell me how great it was. I didn't buy it. BUT, after having gone on my cruise with Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, I am SOLD ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever, and I have always been reluctant to go on a cruise. People would tell me how great it was. I didn't buy it. BUT, after having gone on my cruise with Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, I am SOLD and SO ready to go again! The ship was beautiful. The service was OUTSTANDING. The food was incredible. The shows were great. And the ports were gorgeous. I'm a true fan of Royal Caribbean after the cruise. The only two criticisms I would have are: 1) Out of our group of 20, we had quite a few canceled excursions. (Although, this is not the ship lines fault by any means.) It was just disappointing because we did not get the reason for the cancellations. 2) The premium drink package is terrific and worth it if you are on a long cruise, however, some of our group experienced frustration with RC's rule - if one in a cabin buys the drink package, all above drinking age in that same cabin are required to buy the same package. This was frustrating to those in my group who had a roommate that either didn't drink, or drank very little and did not want the package. I can understand the rationale for the rule, but I can also see the other side of the coin here. But back to a positive note, I was quite literally spoiled by the service I received from the cruise staff and I CANNOT WAIT to book another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
For our 35th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate in style - and the Jewel of the Seas was the perfect venue. Our ocean view stateroom was clean and comfortable, the Jewel was sparkling, and the staff was outstanding. This was our first ... Read More
For our 35th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate in style - and the Jewel of the Seas was the perfect venue. Our ocean view stateroom was clean and comfortable, the Jewel was sparkling, and the staff was outstanding. This was our first cruise and Royal Caribbean was first-rate all the way. We selected My Time dining, which provided some flexibility in choosing a dinner time in the Tides dining room. The wait staff was superb, learning our names and beverage preferences the first day. Upon learning it was our anniversary, they brought us a special dessert and serenaded us at our table. Besides the main dining room, there was a buffet-style dining area, the Windjammer, where you could choose from an array of hot and cold dishes - not to mention a dessert table. Staff there learned our names as well, and set aside our favorite table whenever they saw us enter the room. From the greeter at the door of the Windjammer to our room attendant, the staff was friendly, welcoming and professional. We booked shore excursions and enjoyed them all. Our favorite was the sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba - very relaxing and fun. We would highly recommend Royal Caribbean and the Jewel of the Seas, whether you are looking to relax by the pool, play trivia games or dance the night away.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.4
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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