20 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

This was my first cruise on RCL and only my second cruise overall so I'm fairly new to cruising. As previous reviewers stated, the embarkation situation was a bit of a nightmare. I booked transfers through RCL from the airport to the ... Read More
This was my first cruise on RCL and only my second cruise overall so I'm fairly new to cruising. As previous reviewers stated, the embarkation situation was a bit of a nightmare. I booked transfers through RCL from the airport to the port and waited 3 hours at the airport before a bus arrived. Then it was another 2 hour wait inside the tents to check-in. My friend and I decided to just wait it out until the line shortened so we sat in a shady, breezy spot. We were one of the last ones on the ship and boarded during the muster drill. We were told to go straight to our muster station. We were hot and hungry but just glad to be on the ship. At least our stateroom was ready! I've worked in airline operations so I understand that sometimes things go wrong so we weren't too critical of the situation but we heard plenty of complaints from the other passengers the whole week. Inside Stateroom: My first cruise was on HAL which all bathrooms have a bathtub so this smaller sized one on Jewel made me laugh out loud when I first opened the door but it was definitely adequate and always clean. Plenty of space for my friend and I and the beds are soooo comfortable with nice linens. Cruising in a balcony cabin my first time, I was wary about booking an inside but found no problems with it whatsoever as I was only in there to sleep and shower. Being mid-ship on the 3rd deck, I found the location very convenient. Dining: My friend and I did MTD and the first night we showed up right at 5:30 as we hadn't eaten much of anything all day. We had the best wait staff (Elmer and Carolina) so we made reservations the rest of the week so we could be in their station. My friend is gluten-free and they were very accommodating to her needs with always having a plate of GF bread for her and allowing her to see the menu for the next evening so she could make her order beforehand. We looked forward to our dinners every night so we could chat with them. Food overall was very good with most entrees being very tasty and filling and never cold. The chilled soups were excellent and my upgraded order of a filet mignon was cooked perfectly. Great experience at Tides. We also ate at Windjammer and although I don't care much for buffets, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and the quality of food. Crew were always on hand to help with anything. Activities: I thought the various activities were lots of fun but were a bit lacking on port days with maybe one or two classes offered. Karaoke was so much fun. My friend and I love trivia and played several times but we quickly realized that the same people kept winning each time. We found out that the passengers were on the same cruise the week before and I'm assuming already knew all the answers. This was really disheartening. Near the end of the cruise, trivia wasn't much fun for us anymore. Some blame could be placed on the activities crew for doling out the same questions but I feel that the passengers should have done the considerate thing and let some of the newbies win a few games. The activities crew were fun and engaging though and we enjoyed chatting with them. Ship: Beautiful ship. Everything was very clean and sparkling. Elevators were few but never in a hurry so not a bother for us if we had to wait a couple minutes. Easy to navigate as well. Service: Excellent! I have absolutely no complaints on the service we received during our cruise from our stateroom attendant to guest services. Of course we really bonded with our wait staff and was a little sad on our last night on the ship. Passengers: My friend and I are in our 30's and most of the passengers were of retirement age. This really wasn't an issue but complaints were numerous and of course the bragging of loyalty levels. But we also got to know quite a few people who were so great and became instant friends. Overall, a great cruise and looking forward to cruising RCL again. :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Sailed Pacific coast on Jewel of the seas in October as part of a longer USA trip. Let me start with everything that went right. Jewel is a beautiful ship, medium size and easy to navigate with quirky ship shaped maps on each deck. ... Read More
Sailed Pacific coast on Jewel of the seas in October as part of a longer USA trip. Let me start with everything that went right. Jewel is a beautiful ship, medium size and easy to navigate with quirky ship shaped maps on each deck. Lovely centrum with plenty of bars close by so not far to walk to go from one to the other. Other bars are dotted around the ship more aimed at the evening rather than the daytime. Plenty of places to sit although I did notice some wheelchair users struggling with space at times especially in the corridors and around the shops when the watches were out. We found prices in the shops on the expensive side although did pick up a couple of watches at knock down prices and they are still working. Plenty of places to eat onboard pretty much all day if you know where to look.....we ate in the windjammer as we prefer to eat when we want to and it worked for us although, unlike some reviewers on here, we are not fussy eaters. Have to say though that the food could have been warmer at times. Burgers and the hotdogs were lovely though nom nom. We didn't do any excursions as we prefer to do our own thing when in port.....only disappointing day was Santa Barbra where it threw it down so we stuck with the ship. The tendering worked for us and my wife loved the voice of the tendering announcer which I found soooooooo game showy.....the price is right anybody? San Francisco was just magical as we knew it would be......it's a sentimental place for usage completlely lived up to our expectations from the golden gate walk to bubba grumps for food to just wandering around enjoying the view. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz was a bucket list tick for us and was awesome. Monterey was good had a Andre in the cannery district but Ensenada was simply too hot for us so back to the ship we went to enjoy the air conditioning. Our cabin attendant (Lola) was simply magical, friendly, approachable and always smiling and our cabin was the best we have had on any of our cruises, loved the balcony especially on the day at sea which just allowed us to chill. Disembarking the ship was hassle free and from leaving our meeting point to standing on the dock was about 30 minutes and this included going through customs so all good. Now to the worst. This is my 3rd cruise and first with RCL so I'm not really a hardened cruiser however I have never seen a shambles as bad as the attempts to get us on the ship at Port of Los Angeles on the 3rd of October. Well actually shambles is putting it mildly.mwe arrived at the port at 1100 with our shuttle driver not knowing where we were to be so he dropped us off at berth 92. It was only by bond luck we happened to see a coach with Jewel of the seas written on the front that we were then taken to our ship berth. 2 tents set up next to the ship and we then sat in one for 2 hours before we were allowed to join a line....2 hours later we were on the ship and pushed unceremoniously to our muster station as they were in the middle of the drill. No water, no food and toilets I wouldn't let my dog use really didn't start this cruise off on a good voting for us. What made it worse was the lack of apology from RCL and just a list of excuses from all the computers went down through to the port weren't expecting a shop of this siz to dock at this berth.......well m sorry but when I checked the port of low Angeles web site in July it specifically stated that the ship was going to be at this berth so they all had plenty of time to ensure a smooth transition for all. In 35 degree hat I'm glad I wasn't waiting outside the tent. And our luggage made it to the room before we did...unheard of. Overall from the moment we made it to our cabin and from then on we loved the cruise, the ship and our 7 days on the Jewel.....just a shame about the preceding 4 hours. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This cruise started off on the bad side, the port of Los Angles/San Pedro, had the ship way away from all normal docking slips and had 4 cruise ships in that morning. LA Port is the worst ran port we have ever seen, lucky Royal had some ... Read More
This cruise started off on the bad side, the port of Los Angles/San Pedro, had the ship way away from all normal docking slips and had 4 cruise ships in that morning. LA Port is the worst ran port we have ever seen, lucky Royal had some tents installed to keep us out of direct sunlight on a very warm day they offered free water to the people waiting to embark. The normal process of going to the port and getting to your ship was stalled very badly by the port traffic. If this is the normal I now know why this was the last cruise Royal is having out of LA. Once aboard and all thing in control of Royal it was smooth sailing. The Jewel is behind the Radiance on upgrades she is due to be upgraded this spring, small things, old rounded televisions, no big screen pool side, only 2 choice restaurants, and to me the big one no shades that lower in the main dinning room to block the sun. Other wise a very clean and beautiful ship. As always the crew is amazing and did everything asked of them. Ports ranged from very nice to somewhat boring in my opinion. Santa Barbara nice little town but nothing really great about it, did the tour of Santa Barbara excursion the old mission is the highlight of the tour. San Francisco WOW loved this port so glad we spent 1 and half day there, so much to see and do. Did the 2 day Hop on Hop off bus tour with night tour HIGHLY recommend this excursion (get on the upper level if possible). They take you around town and give good information on the history of San Francisco the night tour is not to be missed. We then walked the pier area and saw Pier 39 with its shops and sea lions, went to fisherman's wharf, visited the major sight seeing attractions around the pier, the highlight for us east coasters was a burger from In and Out, best fast food burger ever. Monterrey was very nice we did the 17 mile Monterrey excursion. Being a golfer and getting to visit Pebble Beach Golf Course was the highlight our the trip fro me!!! VERY beautiful coastal scenery and information provided by the tour guide. Since all cruise ships must make a stop in a foreign country Ensenada Mexico was this stop. Did not do any excursions here just went to the town and looked around cost $2 to get to town $1 back to the ship normal Mexican shopping being haggled to stop here stop here. Dinning was very good in the Main Dinning Room we enjoyed every meal. The Windjammer Cafe was good buffet food but still a buffet it also seems to be closing much earlier than in the past. Cruise Director John Blair was outstanding very good entertainer himself, he is full of energy you can tell he loves his job. A side note about John he was on the port at disembarkation telling everyone goodbye, have never seen anyone except the mandatory personnel at disembarkation. In summary we had an Excellent cruise abroad the Jewel, and after the fiasco at the port it was truly smooth sailing waters included. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First time a Royal ship has been on the California West Coast in years! We didn't care what ship we went on. We were celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary, husband's 60th birthday (6 & 13th) and 1 1/2 years of treatment ... Read More
First time a Royal ship has been on the California West Coast in years! We didn't care what ship we went on. We were celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary, husband's 60th birthday (6 & 13th) and 1 1/2 years of treatment for cancer. This trip was a biggy! We booked a Grand suite to do it right. What a disappointment to experience a FULL ship staffed with trainees. (I truly hope they were trainees.) Not once did the room staff stop by to ask if we needed anything. No extra effort since the tips are already included? If it weren't for the concierge, we would have had a better time staying at home. At home I have bed covers without numerous stains, shampoo and conditioner ( I was told by room staff they had run out and I would get it tomorrow, first day on board. We make lobster hoagies, fresh Italian fish stew, Black Angus rib-eye steaks and local GMO free salads and veggies at home. So the cruise dining experience fell short. We did appreciate the awesome presentation of food and intimate, attentive service at our favorite place, Portofino. BUT "back in the day", ( when Ca. had a ship) Royal used to WoW us with beautiful food and ice sculptures all the time. I would walk thru the buffet and I used to love the smell of the everything. The early dining room service people would know everyone's name, have bottles of wine waiting and make dining a joyful experience for all. Definitely missing. I was expecting to disembark feeling as if I was "Queen of the World" because I had been so spoiled and made to feel special. Instead, I left feeling sad that the concierge would continue to work really hard picking up the pieces, as the ship sailed on. The concierge made this trip incredible and memorable. It was an honor to be under his care. The concierge deserves a 5+ rating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were so happy to finally have a west coast cruise with the opportunity to sail under Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the one really great thing on this cruise was the weather. Oct 3. The check-in process was a fiasco!! We knew ... Read More
We were so happy to finally have a west coast cruise with the opportunity to sail under Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, the one really great thing on this cruise was the weather. Oct 3. The check-in process was a fiasco!! We knew since late August that the Jewel was going to be docked at pier 42, so obviously the port authorities knew, the ships' crew knew, so why oh why were passengers subjected to three hours waiting while standing in line, some even outside in the hot sun!!! Reasons and rumors abounded but no apology whatsoever, until Wednesday evening from the captain himself. Too little, too late, was the subject at the dinner table that night. The ports were lovely, but many disabled passengers were not able to leave the ship due to the tendering system. Then in San Francisco, the long walk down and back the ramp was exhausting. People had long waits for wheelchair assistance that often never came. The food quality and service certainly didn't measure up to our past cruises with Royal Caribbean. Often the Windjammer food was lukewarm, and bland. The dining room food was better, but service was often very slow and neglectful. Overall, the ship is beautiful, but not enough elevators. Our cabin was toward the back and we had to walk a great distance to the Centrum elevators or stairs every time. First ship we've been on that didn't have aft elevators. Our room attendant was very, very good. No complaints there. We loved our room. bed was the best ever, closet space quite adequate, and the balcony spacious. There wasn't many planned activities especially for those who stayed on the ship on port days. Only information about the ports was available to view on stateroom tv's. No live conversation. We saw one towel folding demo, one napkin folding class and a couple of card making class. What happened to the food carving and ice sculptures? We heard several accusations about how the Diamond and Diamond Plus passengers get far better treatment than those in lower classes. Today's disembark was so much better, I guess because we were in the usual cruise port terminal. As much as we loved Royal Caribbean, (platinum members) I'm afraid that we'll be looking elsewhere for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Over an hour at the airport waiting for a bus. Three hours waiting in line to get our ship pass and get onto the ship; half dozen computers were unmanned which surely slowed down the process. Room temperature food every meal at table 105, ... Read More
Over an hour at the airport waiting for a bus. Three hours waiting in line to get our ship pass and get onto the ship; half dozen computers were unmanned which surely slowed down the process. Room temperature food every meal at table 105, even the ice cream came melted. I ordered scallops as an appetizer, they came in an escargot tray but it was small pieces of scallop not whole scallop in each tray depression. Talk about skimping and saving. They no longer place a piece of chocolate on the pillow each evening. And they no longer sell computer time by the minute, you have to purchase time at $20 per day. At that rate it would have cost me over $100 just to check my email each day. The cabin was directly above a crew entrance and all night long the door slammed with a loud noise. The staff, although friendly, seemed confused/disorganized, especially at the airport and cruise port. I do have one favorable comment; we finally disembarked and made it to a restaurant that served hot food! I've been on many cruises with RCL, have Silver status with them, and I enjoyed every one, but this was my final cruise with them. I'll use a different cruise line, one that is not so hell bent on nickel and diming the customers and one that knows how to serve hot food. 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
We loved this ship and itinerary. The crew was the best of all the cruises we have taken. We live in California and it was nice to visit port cities we have visited previously by car. No restaurant or parking hassles! Cruising into San ... Read More
We loved this ship and itinerary. The crew was the best of all the cruises we have taken. We live in California and it was nice to visit port cities we have visited previously by car. No restaurant or parking hassles! Cruising into San Francisco under the Golden Gate was awesome! We were met by whales at the entrance of the Bay. That was memorable to say the least. The major attractions are in walking distance for us. We walked to Pier 39 on day one of the two day SF port stop. Day two we walked down to ATT Park passing Cupids Span,The Ferry building and under the Bay Bridge. We took in the waterfront at Santa Barbara and visited the famous Cannery Row and the Monterey Aquarium in Monterey. We walked to these from the ship/tender drop-off point as well. Embarkation was fast but debarkation was different. There were FOUR ships in port which necessitated an additional shuttle bus ride and baggage transfer from Pier 46 back to Pier 91-93. It actually worked pretty well but resulted in us leaving the parking lot around 10am which is at least an hour later than usual. Oh well, just part of the adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The embarkation process was smooth, less than one hour. The ship staff for the main dining room were very good and our room steward too was quite good. The food was the same as the Serenade of the Seas we were on in December 2014. The ... Read More
The embarkation process was smooth, less than one hour. The ship staff for the main dining room were very good and our room steward too was quite good. The food was the same as the Serenade of the Seas we were on in December 2014. The quality of the food was pretty good overall and the service was very good to excellent. The first port of Santa Barbara was a tender port. The ship's tender service was putrid. They recognized problems early in the morning and attempted to solve some of the problems by hiring private fishing and tour boats for as far away as Long Beach. it still took over 90 minutes to get to the pier in Santa Barbara. The community was great and I will return, but not with this cruise line. We waited close to 3 hours to return to the ship and hundreds of people were forced to wait in the hot sun with temps @ 84+. The ship left this port over an hour later than scheduled or they would have left hundreds in Santa Barbara. San Francisco is a great town. The shore excursion staff were ignorant to the bus tours and provided false information that we thankfully did not follow. Monterrey was a tender port too. This time, the Jewel did a much better job or organizing and responding to the cruisers. The only negative was riding in a stinky fishing boat getting back to the ship. At least there was no waiting this time. Back in the port of Los Angeles (San Pedro), there were more problems with the ship resulting in leaving over 95 minutes late for an excursion. The ship staff forced us to wait 34 minutes in 88 degree heat in the hot sun waiting for our luggage. Once we got our bags and feeling ill, we finally found our tour bus. The tour left late. This forced us to get a cab from Santa Monica to LAX ad pay an additional $50 to get to the airport. I notified the cruise line by email and US mail and as of 10/15/2015, we are still waiting for a reply. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our second cruise on Royal.....our first trip was on the Allure and was a "great" experience. When we saw the Pacific Coastal cruise on Jewel of the Seas we decided to take our granddaughter to celebrate her birthday. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Royal.....our first trip was on the Allure and was a "great" experience. When we saw the Pacific Coastal cruise on Jewel of the Seas we decided to take our granddaughter to celebrate her birthday. First the positive....our cabin steward was very helpful, the staff in general was friendly and the birthday decorations were very nice. We enjoyed the piano bar. Unfortunately the negatives outweighed the positives. The quality of the food was extremely poor.....food in the Windjammer especially was well below expectations. Meats at the carving station were extremely dry...when arrived back from excursions the food trays were not stocked leaving us to wait. The solarium café did not have much to offer and ended up with pre-made sandwiches, which surprisingly were good. We did go to the specialty restaurant for Italian food and the food was well prepared and the wait staff was very attentive. The food at Tides was much better than Windjammer, especially for dinner. They were not very organized for breakfast...omelet delivered without the bagel or the sausage. When the bagel was brought out it was cold and the sausage was not delivered until the meal was just about over. Fresh squeezed orange juice was offered before the menus and we were not made aware of additional cost. Overall it did not appear that the staff was well organized when it came to activities, which often began late and conflicted with other activities/shows When returning from Santa Barbara, we waited for the tender for almost 2 hours....it was extremely hot and the ship, at the very least, should have provided water for the passengers who were standing in the sun. Also felt that the excursion were overpriced for what was offered. Disembarkation was a nightmare delays and lack of organization on the pier. In summary, I would not recommend Jewel of the Seas.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
It didn't start out well and ended even worse. We waited over 2 hours in line to check in. The staff seemed disorganized. There were 3 lines for check but the line for the Gold members was extremely slow. The ship itself is fine. ... Read More
It didn't start out well and ended even worse. We waited over 2 hours in line to check in. The staff seemed disorganized. There were 3 lines for check but the line for the Gold members was extremely slow. The ship itself is fine. It's a bit older but still looks great. We attended a couple of the shows and they were just ok. We have sailed on other ships with Royal Caribbean that in my opinion had much better entertainment. I had taken a first time cruiser and was promised a credit on my account of $50. RC told me because I signed her up for a Crown & Anchor account when I booked the cruise that I am no longer eligible for the incentive since it's for 1st time cruisers. What? It was her first cruise. After speaking to them they agreed to give me $25 as a so called thank you for recommending RC to a first time cruiser but I never received that either. When I inquired at Guest Services no one could assist with it. That whole first time cruiser incentive is a joke. RC did not deliver on that incentive. I was one of 9 people in my group. We booked three different rooms. Out of 9 people, 5 people ended up getting sick with flu like symptoms. One was a young child who ended up needing to see the ship Dr. While down in the medical assistance area there were a few other passengers, including a couple of crew members who were sick too. I inquired as to whether there was something going around on the ship but my questions were quickly dismissed by two different employees. The Santa Barbara stop was a mess. It was a very long wait to get off of the ship and a line to get back onto the ship. Once again it seemed as though RC was not organized nor prepared for the stop. The Monterey stop was nice. Things went smoothly. I thought the stop to Ensenada was a poor choice by RC. There were a couple of excursion options but the big push that I heard about was to take the bus to the shopping area. If you've ever shopped in Mexico you know all to well what you hear...it's almost free, how much you wanna pay? chiclet, want your hair braided, a bird whistle or people trying to drag you into their store and charge you $25 for a $5 tshirt etc. The majority of the stores try to rip the tourists off so why does RC stop there? I don't think it's for the passengers benefit. Now here comes the fun.....trying to get off the ship.....that was an absolute disaster. There was apparently an issue with the gangway, then an issue with immigration, then an issue with luggage, a change in berths so we needed to be shuttled to the location where we boarded the ship. However apparently no one was prepared for it. The employees were completely confused and telling people to go to get luggage at the tent where new passengers were waiting to board the ship for the next cruise. When we got there we were turned away and told to go to another tent to get our luggage. By the time we got off the ship and got our luggage it was 3 hours past the time we were supposed to disembark. Our shuttle driver had no idea where he was going and drove around the parking lot twice. He sought direction from 2 different people only to get conflicting information from both. The poor guy was getting yelled at, by at this time, very upset passengers just wanting to get to their cars. Royal Caribbean just wasn't prepared and it was obvious. This was my 6th RC cruise. I know they usually do a better job at serving their customers. Not sure how well I did at convincing the "first time cruiser" that I brought that this isn't the norm for RC. From the time we were supposed to leave the ship to the time we drove out the parking lot 4 hours had passed. The cruise itself was ok but the disorganization and lack of being prepared completely overshadowed the cruise itself. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Pre-Cruise: ========= stayed at Best Western Plus Downtown Vancouver; Excellent Hotel with location within walking distance to the Mall and restaurants. Lots of REAL bargains on shoes, handbags, purses, dresses, etc. FREE ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: ========= stayed at Best Western Plus Downtown Vancouver; Excellent Hotel with location within walking distance to the Mall and restaurants. Lots of REAL bargains on shoes, handbags, purses, dresses, etc. FREE Shuttle provided by Hotel to the Cruise Port Victoria: ======= Took FREE CVS shuttle from cruise port to Fairmont Empress Hotel where we boarded the CVS bus to the Butchart Gardens (price $45 US per person) . What a wonderful place with over 5 -themed gardens which are very well maintained. Boarded the Hop-On Hop-Off BUS ($20 US per person) upon return to Empress Hotel and took a 90 min tour of Victoria travelling thru various points of interest. Excellent way of sight seeing. Bus dropped us off at the Ogden Port as a courtesy. What a wonderful Bus driver Astoria/Oregon ============= Took the RCL excursion to Seaside and Canon Beach. Excellent tour with quit a bit of time spent at the beach San Francisco ============ Took RCL tour of Muir Woods and Sausolito on day#1 Took BigBus 1-day pass ($45 US per person) on Day#2 and saw entire San Francisco. Palace of Fine Arts, Lombard Street (crooked street), Fishermans Wharf, Civic Centre, China Towne, Union Square, GoldebGate Bridge. Monterey ======== Took RCL excursion of Monterey and Carmel. Excellent tour with lots of stops Santa Barbara ============ Took RCL excursion of Monterey and Carmel. Excellent tour with lots of stops Los Angeles ========== Took -hr tour of Malibu, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and drop off at airport. This tour was okay since it only had 3-stops instead of 5 to 6 as promised Shows & Movies ============= Excellent daily shows ini the theatre; Broadway productions are top-rated and they had extremely good comedians Hollywood movies were good too although they could have done better with other choices Food ==== Windjammer Café food was edible but lacked variety. Very few vegetables and main dishes; Most dishes were repeated but nevertheless it did the job Ship Condition ============= For a ship of its age, it was in Excellent Condition. No complaints whatsoever and the inside cabin was excellent as well (cabin #8021). We have sailed on the Explorer, Adventure, Allure, Oasis and Voyageur in the past and this was our 1st on the Radiance Class Ship. We will definitely travel on this ship again. Extremely well maintained and easier to find your way around. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were accustomed to Celebrity on several recent cruises but remembered nice ones that had been taken with other 4 RCCL ships. This time because of convenient dates we decided to take this cruise and were not happy we had done so.It ... Read More
We were accustomed to Celebrity on several recent cruises but remembered nice ones that had been taken with other 4 RCCL ships. This time because of convenient dates we decided to take this cruise and were not happy we had done so.It started at embarkation in San Diego when our passports were kept by the attendant at check-in with the information that they would be returned aboard. Little did we know at that time that they were being confiscated to be returned only at the very last night of our cruise.We did not receive any plausible justification for that action and were always greeted with certain discomfort at guest relation desk with "legal reasons" excuses. Being deprived of our documents ( the only legal documents to be used on international travelling) generated unnecessary stress during the entire journey as we felt insecure to disembark in foreign ports of call without the necessary identification. Food was very good at Windjammer Buffet, good entrees and desserts and poor main courses at dinner.Our table attendants Constantin and Elena were efficient and served us well. Cost of drinks of any kind, shore excursions, spa treatments , fotos and internet access all had outrageous prices for what was being offered. We found that visits to the bridge, galley and backstage that were free (we took then ,some years ago) became US$150.00 per person "events"!!! Shows were some good (outstanding comedians) some were just regular. The Cruise Director (John Blair) was probably the best one we have seen on our more than a dozen cruises. Last but not least, we understand that the Jewel is going for refurbishing next year and it probably gave everybody a warning sign, when one of the gas turbines was malfunctioning delaying our departure from San Francisco for almost 8 hours. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
It was an interesting trip. We flew into San Diego from Houston. We had booked our pre-cruise room at the Hilton San Diego Bay Hotel. We arrived a little bit after 12:00 pm. The Hotel looked nice from the outside. The lobby was ... Read More
It was an interesting trip. We flew into San Diego from Houston. We had booked our pre-cruise room at the Hilton San Diego Bay Hotel. We arrived a little bit after 12:00 pm. The Hotel looked nice from the outside. The lobby was spacious. The location was great. It was a short walk over the pedestrian bridge from PETCO Ball park. It was a short cab ride to the Cruise terminal. The Gas Light district is right across the street as well. There is a "metro rail line" close by as well. and on San Diego Bay. The down side of the hotel was having to pay extra [$25.00] for early check-in (we were there a little after noon). If you did not want to pay for early check-in, having to pay extra for a bay side view [$20.00], which then allowed you to check in early. It all boiled down to paying extra to get into the hotel or paying extra to leave your bags with the bellman. We ate lunch and breakfast at the hotel. It was a bit pricey [what hotel restaurant isn't], but the food was good and the value was reasonable. The ship departed for a 6 day repositioning from San Diego, California to Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Our stops included Santa Catalina Island, Ca., San Francisco, Ca., Victoria, B.C., Canada, and ended in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Boarding was quick and painless. It was funny that the Platinum line was checking in quicker than the Diamond and Diamond plus line. It did not take that long to get processed and join the ship. Our dining times were confirmed, our table position checked out, spa appointments made, and on to the Windjammer. At 1:00 p.m., they opened the rooms for passengers. We were in Room 8664. It is a starboard side balcony room with a partially obstructed view. The obstruction was the ships "washing" platform that was "parked on the forward part of our balcony and the aft portion of room 8662. It got in the way of a few pictures, but you soon learned to either wait or zoom. This was a standard room. We normally store our suitcases opened underneath the bed, but you had to fold it at a 90 degree angle to get them started under the bed. Then you could put the items you did not put in the closet and drawers back. This room was a long walk to the elevators [aft]. If you do not want to walk 100 yards to and from your room each way, then get something closer to midships or forward. Given that this ship runs on gas turbine - electric motors, it was pretty quite. Our room attendant was Debbie Roberts. She was good natured, friendly, and efficient. We would sing a duet or get a friendly greeting every time we saw her. Thanks Debbie. We ate in the main dining room at the first seating. Our dining table attendants were Sampong [Thailand] and Julian [Saint Lucia]. They did a great job. They helped us enjoy the cruise. They were both outgoing, friendly, and attentive. Julian was a bit of a character. Both were also funny and engaging. Thank you gentlemen. Our first stop was on Santa Catalina Island. The ship stopped and tendered into Avalon. It was just a get off for us and walk around the shops in town to see what was there. Since I was stationed on San Nicolas Island for about 20 months, I passed on the nature excursions. SNI was about fifty miles west of Santa Catalina Island. With the exception of the million dollar buildings on SCI, San Nicolas Island contained a lot of diverse wildlife, birds, and flora that we were able to get right next to or even in the middle of to enjoy. The cruise up to San Francisco had a few large whales and a lot of pilot whales. There were a few dolphins, seal lions, seals, and birds near San Francisco tearing up a bait ball [feeding]. The weather was cool [50s-60s]. It was interesting to come in under the Golden Gate Bridge. I believe the Captain said that we had about 15 meters from the top of the ship to the bottom of the road deck of the bridge when we went under it. Even staying overnight in S.F., we could not cover much of it. We went on the hop on - hop off double decker bus tour. Unlike Sydney Australia's version [travels in both directions], this one only went one way. So if you missed getting off at a stop, you had to either ride the 2 1/2 hours around to get there again or catch a cab from the next stop. This was a bit disappointing. The first day in we rode the bus around it's entire course and then got off at Fisherman's Wharf. While we were walking around Fisherman's Wharf, there was a power outage shutting down the shops, stores, and restaurants. So we walked the mile or so back to the ship and kicked back waiting for dinner. On the second day, we went to the Academy of Sciences in the Golden Gate Park. It was interesting, but plan on being there for several hours if you want to give it justice in looking at all of the exhibits. They have a nice aquarium, butterfly garden [rain forest], whale exhibit [on loan from New Zealand], planetarium, earth quake simulator, and other exhibits. We did not go through all of them. We then boarded the bus back to the ship. We were supposed to stay in S.F. until 5 p.m. and then depart for Canada. However, the ship had a problem starting one of its gas turbines. There are two on board and at the speeds we were traveling, they only needed one, but the USCG would not let them leave port until the problem with the second turbine was fixed [can't blame them, it is a safety item]. We did not leave until approximately 2:00 a.m. I know, I stayed up and videotaped the departure and travel under the Golden Gate Bridge. We were approximately 5 1/2 hours late getting into Victoria, B.C. This put us in too late to go on our tour to Butchart Gardens and also make dinner on board. Being that it was the last night on board, we always go to dinner to tip our wait staff and thank them for helping make our cruise enjoyable. Instead of taking the tour out to Butchart Gardens, we took a cab into Victoria and then walked from China Town down to the wharf near the Parliament Building. We had been here before, and we just wanted to roam around and see the town under the lights. The Parliament Building was brightly lit up. A little souvenir shopping later, we took a cab back to the ship. We enjoyed the on board entertainment. We had seen one of the entertainers on two prior cruises. He is a comedian and entertainer. He had updated a lot of his act, so it was good. We either participated in or watched a lot of the on board activities in the lounges or clubs. We were visiting with friends from Arizona on this cruise. We had fun. The only thing we were truly disappointed with on the cruise was the lack of any real late night snacks, "late night bites" [gone for years], cookies, and burgers/fries. The only place to go to was the Solarium [opens at 11:00 pm]. You could get pizza, hotdogs, sometimes wraps, and sometimes turkey sandwiches on "chibata" bread. Your drink choice was water or water. They could have had cookies, coffee, tea, lemonade, and water without much of a hassle. We always asked the "chef" if he had cookies. One night we brought some, asked him if he had any, and when he replied, "we don't have any", we offered him some. He got a good laugh out of that. The short jaunt to Vancouver was uneventful. We waited to get off until our scheduled time of near 9:30, and then discovered that my suit case had been seriously damaged. They tore three of the four wheels partially off of the suitcase. This was quickly reported and a report taken by one of RCI's personnel. We then went out to the taxi line to depart, and it took us over 90 minutes to get a cab. That was disappointing. If we had known that there would be this kind of delay, we would have arranged for a shuttle or a limousine to take us to our hotel in Richmond, B.C. We took a cab from the Cruise port to a nearby car rental agency, rented a car, and then arrived at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, B.C. [next to Vancouver International Airport] at approximately noon. We were met outside by a bellman [which we did not need] who greeted us and directed us to the front desk. The lobby was spacious, but it lacked seating space if the desk was busy and you needed to sit down. When we arrived, there were only two people ahead of us, so it was no big deal. There was an $18.00 CAD per day parking fee. There is a small lobby shop, but it did not have much in the way of drinks. Check in went smoothly. We provided a credit card for incidentals, obtained magnetic keys, and we were off to our room. You need to have a room key to go up in the elevators. Our first room was 713. We got into the room and then moved the thermostat down to 68 F. The fan did not come on and the Air conditioner did not come on. We called the front Desk and they promptly supplied us with another room [836]. The A/C came on when we moved the thermostat down to 68 F. This was a King size no smoking room. While it faced the airport, it was not too noisy. My wife told me that she heard several sirens the first evening/night. It turned out there is a local fire hall [fire station to us] about a half mile up the road. The room was fine for the two of us. The side chair was a bit boxy and reminded me of an office chair for a lobby visitor. There was a desk with various connections and outlets. WiFi was free. The bathroom was clean and had a tub and shower [in one]. As we were packing to leave, my wife commented that the dust ruffles on the bed could stand to be cleaned. We did turn the thermostat down to 66 F as it was a bit warm to us at its 68 F setting for sleeping. There is a connected bar and grill [Pier 73]. There is a "tidal river" adjacent to the Hotel. It was spacious, had an outside deck, and the food was good. As with most hotels, it was a little on the high side of mid ranged fare. We did not eat in the breakfast restaurant inside. There are two direct contact flight "computers" for carry on fliers only. There were two computer terminals with a common printer for other uses including checking in for flights that did not require scanning your passport. Given that we were flying international, we called the 800 number to get a confirmation for our flight. The hotel had a 24/7 shuttle to the airport. It left the hotel on the hour, 20-minutes after the hour, and 40-minutes after the hour. It picked up passengers at the terminals at 10-minutes after the hour, 30-minutes after the hour, and 50-minutes after the hour. It was handy when we dropped our rental car, and then the next morning [5 am] when we went to the airport to catch our home flight. All in all, we enjoyed the trip. Six days was short for a cruise [even though most we have been on were 7 days]. Notes: The advantage that existed in on board pre-booking an open cruise ticket have essentially disappeared. The only real advantage is a $25.00 cabin credit. We still have an open ticket from last year that we will use in the future. We were told that the Jewel of the Seas will be undergoing its 30 day dry docking in 2016. That will freshen up the ship and give her that new feeling. It should be noted that the Diamond, Diamond Plus Lounge was created by using the Viking Crown Lounge and Vortex Nightclub as an exclusive venue from 5:00 pm until 8:30 pm each night [good idea when there is no dedicated lounge]. There were a lot of Diamond and Diamond Plus members there. The first night was not well prepared. Someone "forgot the canapes" and a "make do" set up was put together. After that, the canapes were done right. There was only one bar tender and one server for the area. That needs to be fixed for future cruises. The service was slow. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver. Embarkation: We ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier rather late, so there was zero wait for embarkation. Luggage was also delivered well before dinner on departure day. We did find the muster drill to be less serious than is typical. Disembarkation was also efficient, although we had been assigned a 9:30 time and were getting the final warning all call at 9:15 (but I assume this would be a plus for most people, so no harm). Getting on and off the ship in ports was easy. There was a bit of a back-up to board tenders at Catalina, but the water was choppy so very understandable. Also beware that the security folks (port not RCCL) in San Francisco were being exceptionally strict with respect to any food (they had to discuss weather I was permitted to bring on Pringles in a sealed pack). We saw lots and lots of sourdough in the trash. Public Spaces: We found the public spaces on the ship to be very nice, clean, and generally well apportioned. The Schooner Lounge was an especially nice spot. On the two sea days (one scheduled plus most of the next day - which I will explain below), we spent a significant amount of time in the solarium. We were shocked to be able to find deck chairs so easily, especially since weather precluded using any of the outdoor pool areas (save for a few brave polar bears!!). One drawback, the deck chairs (wooden slatted with cushions) were exceptionally uncomfortable. We brought out pillows to use. All-in-all, the public spaces certainly were the best part of the ship. Dining: The food on the ship was decent. It wasn't great, it wasn't poor, it was what you expect. BUT, the availability of food was absolutely ridiculous. Obviously the days of huge midnight buffets every night are over (probably just as well). And I am not one to pig out constantly during a cruise, but I do expect to be able to sit down and eat a meal anytime I want (excluding the middle of the night). We had a 6:30p tour to Alcatraz. We went to the Windjammer (the Lido/Pool deck cafe) at 5:30 - CLOSED. We returned from the excursion at 10 and went to the Windjammer - CLOSED. In fact, at 10pm there is no food available anywhere on the ship. At 11pm you can go to a little cafe that serves hamburgers for a $10 surcharge. A hot dog was available for free....just as long as you had paid 10$ for a hamburger first. The food in the main dining room was fine, the service good. I was surprised that the premium cuts of beef were extra, even on formal night. I have been served beef wellington on a Carnival ship on formal night - but not here. Even in the premium steakhouse ( $35 surcharge) you will only get a 6oz filet - a nicer cut of meat is another 20$. 10$ surcharge for a hamburger 55$ surcharge for the steakhouse with a ribeye. That tells you what is being spent on the food available elsewhere. Enrichment Activities: "Enrichment" was nonexistent (the only port talk took place prior to us even boarding the ship. There were typical pool activities, most of which were canceled due to inclement weather (news flash: overcast, 55, and windy while on the pacific in May is not inclement - it's normal). Entertainment: The music around the ship was good. Very basic, but the vocalists and musicians were high quality. We saw one show with the singers and dancers, it was nicely done. We heard the comedian during the welcome show, and that was all we needed to hear of him. Bowzer also did a performance, and that was entertaining to the older folks on board. Service: We found the service to be fine. There were very few, if any crew members who stood out as being either poor or spectacular. Dining room service was a little rushed the first night but was very solid after that. Requests were met, and dish temperatures, sides, dressings were all brought as ordered. The one thing that I did not like was the lack of bar service in the Windjammer, theater and pool deck. My guess is, now that RCCL is talking folks into the drink packages, they have lost the incentive to come around a sell drinks. This is not the case in the dining room, but is the case elsewhere. Mechanical Issue: We did have a mechanical problem on the ship. Obviously these things happen, and we ended up leaving San Francisco some 9 hours late. We were not notified of the new arrival time in Victoria until Noon the next day. We ended up having a few hours less in Victoria (6:30 - 10:30 instead of 12 - 7), which was unfortunate. The biggest problem here was that when everyone got back to the boat, again, all the restaurants were closed. People at the windjammer were very upset. We finally went back to our cabin and from our balcony we could see all the activity at the cafe on Solstice (which was docked adjacent to us); that was as close to a meal as we would get. All-in-all, the time we spent on the cruise was very enjoyable. We loved the ports, and the ship's public spaces; staff and our fellow cruisers were warm and friendly. That being said, RCCL is not for us. Too many corners cut, too little attention to detail, and too small a cabin. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first cruise on RC and only our second cruise overall. We cruised from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, though we disembarked in Victoria to visit family. When we entered the cruise embarkation area, we were whisked around the ... Read More
This was our first cruise on RC and only our second cruise overall. We cruised from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, though we disembarked in Victoria to visit family. When we entered the cruise embarkation area, we were whisked around the long line-up to a counter where our check-in occurred quickly and efficiently. I presume that was because we were booked in a junior suite, but, regardless, it was a nice perk. We checked out our room and had lunch in the Windjammer. One of our suitcases was delivered quickly and we waited hours for the other, which never came. After we left port, we went to Guest Services to see about the missing bag and were told to go to "Confiscated Luggage". We found this area and there was my bag. I travel with a small portable fan and apparently this is not allowed (Princess did not have a problem with it). So, though my fan was confiscated for the rest of the trip, I did have my luggage at long last. The communication process re: confiscated luggage could use improvement since ongoing concerns about missing luggage detract from one's ability to relax and enjoy their cruise. We had dinner that night in The Tides. The service was good, but my husband said his steak was lousy and tasted as if it had been "boiled". The portions were also quite small. I enjoyed my meal (though I can't remember what I had...). We went to the show that night and it was OK. The sets were very professional, but the theme seemed confused. As a result, we didn't go to any more shows. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment in the Centrum: various duets, trios, soloists. The flow of people on the ship was good. We enjoyed the casino and buffets. We particularly liked that our picture was not being taken every time we left the ship and there was no pressure to buy, buy, buy pictures. We had a $300 on-board credit that we didn't know about until 2 days before we got off the ship and checked our account on the TV. The price of the drink packages was exorbitant/ridiculous, so we didn't buy them (and we don't even drink alcohol). We wished there was at-your-table drink re-fill service in the Windjammer during meals. The shopping was fun. The art auction was a bit odd for us, but mildly entertaining. We enjoyed the trivia games. We were delayed leaving San Francisco by 9 hours due to engine trouble, so we arrived in Victoria 5 - 6 hours late. Our arrangements (lodging, car) in Victoria had to be re-arranged and RC was kind enough to place phone calls for me at no charge to make modifications. Many people were disappointed that their excursions in Victoria were cancelled. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise, but wished the weather had been warmer and sunnier. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The following are some experiences and observations about our 5/16 California repositioning cruise on the Jewel of the Seas - sailing out of San Diego. We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary, but we are also big fans of the ... Read More
The following are some experiences and observations about our 5/16 California repositioning cruise on the Jewel of the Seas - sailing out of San Diego. We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary, but we are also big fans of the RCL Radiance class ship. San Diego is a great departure port; taxi fares to almost anywhere in San Diego proper are very reasonable and cabs are easy to find. We decided on the Marriot Courtyard in the “Gaslight District”. This historic property is a real gem with friendly, polite staff and a great, central location. There are many restaurants, nightlife venues, grocery and drug stores within a short walking distance; if you forget to pack something or want to pick up a few bottles of vino to bring onboard, it is all readily available. We visited the USS Midway. It is a short $10 cab ride from the Gaslight District and the ship is docked about a half mile or so from the cruise pier. This is a wonderful museum and it was an honor to tour the ship and talk to the many volunteers who serve as docents and guides. Many of these gentlemen served on the Midway; all were friendly, very knowledgeable and eager to share their experiences about life on board. This is remarkable and very memorable tribute to our naval history. We arrived at the cruise pier about 12:30 PM; we booked a GS category cabin and with priority embarkation we were walking onboard in under 10 minutes. Everything was very efficient. We stayed in GS suite #1554; the cabin was showing some wear and tear and in need of an update but overall, it was OK. The location was excellent since it is very close to both the elevators and the Concierge Lounge. Unfortunately the weather during almost the entire cruise was not cooperative so we got very little use of the balcony. I am not a big fan of the design of the balcony in these “hump cabins”; even though I believe that it is a bit larger, privacy is compromised. Overall the areas of the ship we visited were pretty nice; but like the room, some signs of wear and tear - but nothing too significant. Food – a very subjective topic but overall we were surprisingly pleased with the MDR food quality and presentation. Every night escargot was available and twice during the week they served the “fisherman’s platter” entre, which features twin lobster tails; certainly not as good as the “old days” but pretty decent nevertheless. We enjoyed the other nightly menu selections and thought dinners overall were fairly good; we typically share a dessert and we were very pleased with the selection and quality. Lunch in the MDR was also pretty good; and they offer an excellent, server prepared salad bar which I really enjoyed. Suite guests are served breakfast at Chops Grill; again, we enjoyed the food quality and especially the friendly service. It seems that on JOS, RCL is trying to keep the Sea view Café a secret. I knew it was there from previous sailings on this class ship but in the dailies, it is only offered as a cover charge ($10) venue. However, it is free during the late afternoon; either this was an oversight or it is being downplayed as a free restaurant for some reason. My favorite, grilled grouper and Cesar salad, is still available but it just didn’t seem as good as I remembered it on past sailings. Entertainment – with the exception of the (non-singing) piano player, we thought all of performers in the bar venues were mediocre. Mid-week we caught the show with Bowser of Sha Na Na fame and really enjoyed his performance. We didn’t attend any of the production shows until the final afternoon and after seeing that show, we thought we probably had missed some good productions. The Cruise Director was actually a very good performer; funny, personable and a very good singer. His wife works with him and she is also very talented and connects with the audience. Missing on the JOS was the big “cirque du soleil” style show in the Centrum. We saw this production on the Brilliance a few years back and thought it was spectacular. Whether the show is off the roster, or this ship is just not set up for it wasn’t clear but we really missed it. Casino – some good, well trained dealers and slots that at least produced some “seed money”. Unfortunately RCL still hasn’t gone totally non-smoking in their casino so for non-smokers like us, it is occasionally unpleasant. Service on the ship was spotty but overall good. It seemed clear to us that RCL has under-staffed the ship and it is reflected in both the level of service and the overall vibe of the staff. Our room attendant had a great attitude and worked very hard to please, but the poor man had so many rooms to service it seemed he was always rushed. Unlike sister company Celebrity, as well as HAL, there is no “butler” type specialized service that comes with a full suite cabin; the room attendant is expected to do it all. Fetch luggage, clean and attend to the perks you hope to receive with the cabin category. We tipped generously because he tried so hard and we truly felt for bad for him with so much on his plate. MDR servers also tried very hard to please; we chose MTD and thanks to a great maitre d’, sat in the same dining area every evening. We had the same servers each night and we could not have been more pleased. But again, it was obvious watching them they were stretched very thin and had a lot of tables and diners to manage. Bars, Café Latte-tudes, casino etc. all appeared to be short of servers. There never seemed to be enough staff to attend to customers and when things backed up a little, service slowed way down. A few times I wanted bottled water while playing in the casino; one of the casino staff actually called over the bartender to take my drink order. Beverage package – I purchased the “premium beverage package”. Depending on what and how much you drink, this could be a good option. I was not happy with it and cancelled after a few days; a pro-rated refund appeared on my sea pass account. I only drink wine, water, juice in the morning and an occasional beer. The wines on the wine list I would enjoy were never actually available in the bars. For water, only a small bottle of Crystal Geyser or club soda were available and in the MDR at breakfast, OJ was available but for a $2.50 fee. There seemed to be too many rules and not enough options to make this have value. And of course, there were never enough servers. One bright spot however was the “Champagne Bar”; good service along with some decent selections made this one of our favorite venues for relaxing with a glass of wine before dinner. Suite amenities – if you’re looking for something comparable to the higher end suite perks offered by Celebrity and HAL, you will no longer find them on RCL. Aside from a bigger room, priority embarkation/disembarkation/tendering and access to the Concierge Lounge, there isn’t a whole lot else offered for the considerable jump in price. However the concierge on this ship, Diego Tripaldi, is a first rate ambassador for RCL; always eager to please and help. This guy has a real future in the hospitality industry. Ports – some brief comments on the itinerary. Since this was a repositioning cruise, it is not regularly offered by RCL but it is an interesting alternative if you’re looking for something a little bit different. Although the weather wasn’t very cooperative, this was still an interesting experience. In my opinion, Catalina is all about Avalon. Although we did an RCL sponsored tour of the island, there really isn’t all that much to see after the first hour. Taking the tour didn’t give us as much time in Avalon but we still had time for a great lunch (Bluewater Avalon Seafood) and to stroll around this scenic little town. San Francisco – what can be said about this incredible city? The ship docked at pier 27, a beautiful, new facility minutes away from many “Fisherman’s Wharf” attractions and ferries. We decided on Alcatraz and a day in Sausalito, but I don’t think you can make a bad choice with 2 days in port and so many options. Victoria BC – our stop at this port was cut very short because of a mechanical delay departing SF. This is a regular stop on many Alaskan itineraries and it is a beautiful city with many fine dining options. Summary – as much as we enjoyed this cruise, it was probably our least favorite of all. Perhaps it is the cumulative effect of RCL cut-backs and under-staffing but the “wow factor” of an eager, friendly staff and the little things that made a cruise experience special were just off. And that is not to say that there weren’t some really engaged staff we crossed paths with throughout the week. There were some standouts but in general, we always felt like many of the service personnel were just going through the motions. A final word on the delay departing SF. We talked about this with a ship officer who happened by one day. Evidently (and in complete layman’s terminology on my part), a new part was installed on one of the turbines and there was a soft-ware issue that prevented it from starting. While it was a back-up turbine, the Captain wisely chose not to depart until it is was in working order. I applaud what I believe to be a wise decision; putting safety first is the most important consideration of all in my opinion. Thanks for reading. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
When a company tries to nickel and dime their customers, they are destroying customer relations. And that is what Royal Caribbean has done for me on this my last cruise, and very certainly my last cruise with RC for some time. Pros: ... Read More
When a company tries to nickel and dime their customers, they are destroying customer relations. And that is what Royal Caribbean has done for me on this my last cruise, and very certainly my last cruise with RC for some time. Pros: 1. Great itinerary. The overnight in San Francisco was great! 2. The people. Most of the staff were great people. Even if they weren't helpful, they still tried hard. No complaints there. Cons: 1. Tried to nickel and dime by insisting on doing the conversion (from US$ to CDN$) of charges on the credit card when I specifically asked them not to during check-in and at the guest relations desk. 2. Guest Relations Desk was very unwilling to help. 3. Make the check-in process more bearable. We had gold status but the ones in the regular lines must have been there for over an hour. 4. Couldn't get our dining request for table of 4, even though we'd booked 6 months in advance and our travel agent had asked ahead of time. In fact, 2 of us were on one table, and our moms were on a different table, even though we checked in together. In the end, they never did meet our request, and so we spent only half the time at the formal dining room. 5. Pay more attention to the quality of food. Some of the items in the formal dining room was terrible! 6. Make the food service more available. There's a big gap between 8:30 and 11:30pm where you cannot get food unless you're willing to pay for it. 7. Bear responsibility for the ship's mechanical problems instead of calling it a "safety issue" and making the passenger's suffer. Due to mechanical issues, we were late leaving SF for about 8 hours, which resulted in our arriving in Victoria at night, when everything was closed. All of our plans were wrecked. And, we asked for internet to compensate so that we could do some of the things we had planned to do online during business hours if we had been in port, but that simple request was denied. As you can see, there's something VERY LACKING in terms of customer relations on this ship. And fact is, some of these issues were experienced on other Royal Caribbean cruises. You can fill out their survey after the cruise, but nothing changes. In all fairness, not all was lost, and we still managed to have a good time. But when the industry is so competitive, and there are so many cruise lines to choose from, I would have to say, RC would be my least favorite. If their itinerary wasn't the one that met our needs the most, for a certainty we would not sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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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