53 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic

Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First night in Giovanni’s ordered filet medium well.. was medium rare and took 25 minutes for another. Too late. Tho the shrimp was good Chops Ok MDR service poor except for one evening. One night we sat for 20 minutes and finally asked for a server. Food poor. Buffet the same. Fresh Vegetables looking worse for wear within days of sailing. Jello for dessert! Public areas not clean. Restrooms dirty. Paper on floor. Men’s restroom not clean around toilets. We spoke with housekeeping but to no avail. The “canned” air in cabins debilitating in spite of our balcony. Too much smoking...can’t believe people allowed to smoke INSIDE the casino On a positive note...liked layout of the ship. The crew was fabulous! They truly cared about their passengers. They did a nice happy hour for diamond etc every night. Nice to have decent coffee in diamond club. Our cabin steward was terrific. Our cabin was nice. Officers were disengaged. When I saw an officer and spoke to him or her I usually got little or no response I’m sorry to say it was a terrible experience. We shall never use RCL again. We are back To Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We liked the ports of call and finish in Rome. The food was not great. Windjammer had very small selection for lunch but dining room at lunch was the best better than dining room at night.Theater entertainment was great very good ... Read More
We liked the ports of call and finish in Rome. The food was not great. Windjammer had very small selection for lunch but dining room at lunch was the best better than dining room at night.Theater entertainment was great very good choices specialty the classic series and Forever group.Embarkation was slow and disorganized same at ports .One thing they did not pay much attention to washing hands at the venues sometimes machines was empty. Dining room waiter and assisted we had were excellent in general everyplace waiters were absolutely helpful. and good. We're nice set up for Crown Royalty members. We never met all the officer just few and on Capitan reception only cruise director and hotel manager excursion stuff. In many areas different than our other cruises on Royal. Food was good some days others not fish was or overcooked or not cooked enough. Desserts small choices specially at dinner time. Always pushing sales but merchandise is same all the time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Great ship, Andrea, the cruise director is a gem. Afternoon concerts across the pond were great. Food ok but very boring; it is unfortunate that Adrea’s Enthusiasm does not rub off on balance of crew. Luggage handling, and shore ... Read More
Great ship, Andrea, the cruise director is a gem. Afternoon concerts across the pond were great. Food ok but very boring; it is unfortunate that Adrea’s Enthusiasm does not rub off on balance of crew. Luggage handling, and shore excursion desk beyond poor. Expansion of diamond lounge was a great move. Luggage confiscated without notification or cause. Incorrect and conflicting information on shore excursions. No one at desk would double check with vendor for correct information. I completed a cruise questioner on day 6, all above comments mentioned and ignored. Sometimes simple things can be best: egg drop, master chef contest, free speciality coffee, all great ideas. By what appeared to be a concerned crew, but lack of follow up in many other areas disappointing. Made my time dining reservations six months out, but had to change time due to another person. Entertainment was the cruise highlight, as was my mate Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could ... Read More
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could be improved was the lack of 24 hour food. The larger ships have a place where you can get some some savory and sweet snacks almost round-the-clock. One thing they added for the lunches in the dining room was some hot buffet and dessert. This combined with the tutti salad bar made the lunchtime much more enjoyable. Whoever thought of that gets a gold star. Otherwise the repeating lunch menu got tired real quick. As this was a repositioning cruise, the enrichment lectures were lacking. Could have done a little more. The port of Ponta Delgada is not as good a stop as Madeira or the Canary Islands. The service was excellent and the ship in good shape. Enjoyed the cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This reminded me of my first cruise many years ago when the crew was happy and new your name. The Captain was a hoot, and would come on each day announcements with a cheerful and positive attitude. This was a very long trip so we spent 3 days in Rome before leaving, and was in our eyes the highlight of the trip (all the rest was extra cake). Two day before leaving we had gotten contacted by KLM that our flight had been canceled due to Air2sea booking a year ago on a Bump flight? We had to call Air2Sea and tell them about the cancelation. They did not have any idea that it had happened. I insisted that KLM had canceled the flight and I had called them and confirmed that it was, and that I should contact RC for any information. First observation of RC is the disconnect between the travel and the customer. They should have this information first before me. They then told me that it was a good thing that I had Air2Sea and they could fix this. They rebooked on Delta and my 2 stops turned into 3. The Delta Flight was very good and we had and additional hour with a very uncomfortable flight on Italy Airlines (not recommended no leg room). While in Rome they then sent another email that said all the Jewels itinerary stops had been changed due to weather (changed to Canary Islands and St. Martin). This is probably a good call but other ships had been reported going to the places that we had just been changed from. Most of the ship was looking forward to Lisbon as we had, and for this was disappointed. Getting on the ship was a very quick event and waited for our rooms to get prepared. Luggage delivery was very good. I felt sorry for the couple that we met that lived in the Canary Islands (and just had flown out of) and joked that they could maybe do some laundry while off the ship at island (they lived at) they had just left. We had been spoiled a bit on Princess Cruises so the rest is observations of what could be improved for the RC Brand. We loved the food and lots of it, but not much variety. Having theme food nights lets us have a taste of other countries. We did not eat in the dining room at all but ended up in the windjammer when open. The Café (latte tudes?) was very limited on food selection and while the windjammer has such limited hour 7am till 11 something could be expanded to a light snack early in the morning. We had been gaining hours each night coming back from Italy and we would wake up at 4 am and feeling hungry. All the restaurants had been closed, and the only one that opens at 6:30 is the Solarium Café that again is very limited to light snacks. Internet was puffed up as fastest at sea. Nobody I talked with thought much of it. It’s took about 5 to 10 min to load the RC page. They should have a backup system that when not by land can use satellite feeds from deep space to fill the low altitude satellite system currently used. We loved the Movie Theater and would love to see this added to other ships. The movies generally run one a day and then repeated on the big screen on deck. We had to leave early on one of our favorite movies, and expected to finish it later but this was not replayed on the in room TV. Suggestion is to run your played movies on the TV in the room as the kids shows currently are (in room TV is pay preview if you want a another movie). What is up with the “cooler” in the room??? No Hotel room uses a cooler. They use small refrigerators. Coffee Lava azza! One word Nasty (you need to switch out to instant or McCaffee brand! You can bring two bottles of wine but no Water or Soda onto the ship? We don’t drink so water is important to me. I spent over 50 dollars on the 12 liter bottles of water provided by the cruise line with 18% added on. Other cruise lines do this for about 7 us dollars a case. Smoking all over the ship. Deck 5 had ashtrays all down the walking deck. What about the kids that walk on that deck. What about me that does not smoke, but is exposed by trying to get some exercise. The smoking room is next to the Windjammer??. The smoke drifts down the pool deck while trying to watch a movie. Improve the daily activity that happens around the ship. We felt a port expert would have been nice along with other information like education lectures (Paying passenger did volunteer for lectures giving in Geology that was appreciate). This may have been slow because of the change of ports but thought that we should do more than just read, watch movies, cards, and shop in a very limited shopping area. Long itineraries require the Brand to make extra personnel for this lull in long days. We appreciated the extra personnel that were provided for future cruise desk. Princess only supplies one, and is never at the desk. Cruise excursions should be explained better. One paragraph of the excursion should be expanded, and explained about mode of transportation and amount of stops for toilet breaks, and how much time spent at stops. This was not explained until on the tour. Overall the cruise was very nice, but have decided that this cruise line in present state is not for us. We did have a great mix of people our own age, but just think it should be better. Overall price of the trip was Great value. We thank the excellent crew for success of our second crossing of the big pond. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we ... Read More
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. Ship was old, mid-size, but had more offerings and character than some larger ships. Inside cabin was spacious enough. Dining options in the main dining room and buffet were better than Celebrity, especially the lunches! Entertainment and activities were standard for this class. The live entertainment was very good with lots of dance music available. Some of the games were fun too, even if we'd seen them before. Service was excellent throughout. Dining room staff including head waiter and maitre'd were exceptional. We never felt harassed to buy drink or dinner packages. This was a major annoyance on Celebrity. Diamond benefits are excellent. Would definitely do another Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Always wanted to take Transatlantic cruise. I am glad we did it and with Royal Caribbean. We can't think of any bad experience all the way. All the crew, food and entertainment was excellent. We are already thinking about next ... Read More
Always wanted to take Transatlantic cruise. I am glad we did it and with Royal Caribbean. We can't think of any bad experience all the way. All the crew, food and entertainment was excellent. We are already thinking about next cruise with RCI. Starting from check-in and right up to disembarking at Civitivecchia the whole experience was very positive. Had similar experience with every stop on the way. Lot of choice with onboard dinning and again the food was very good. We can't say enough for the great service provided by every member of the crew. I believe the Captain sets the example of meeting and greeting all the passengers. We managed our own shore excursions and enjoyed every bit of it. The cabin was very spacious and well laid out and our cabin attendant was excellent. Thank you Royal Caribbean and keep up with your great service. We will be back soon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
RCCL offered a very attractive price for this cruise, and we were looking for a smaller ship (i.e., less than 3,000). The Jewel is not new, but it has been kept up well and the public rooms are all very nice and comfortable. The service ... Read More
RCCL offered a very attractive price for this cruise, and we were looking for a smaller ship (i.e., less than 3,000). The Jewel is not new, but it has been kept up well and the public rooms are all very nice and comfortable. The service was outstanding, starting with a very visible and friendly captain from Canada. Everything operated very efficiently and, if something was to our dissatisfaction, the staff attended to it very quickly and in caring fashion. The itinerary was terrific, making 6 stops (3 Canary Islands, Gibraltar, Alicante and Valencia, Spain with disembarkation in Rome). All the stops were very nice, particularly Alicante and Valencia. We had plenty of time to tour, and could walk easily to virtually all ports. Entertainment/music was generally very good. A weak point was the so-called "enrichment program" with amateurs. Bartenders were incredibly efficient and service-conscious, and always with a smile (e.g., Javier from Columbia and Girish from Mauritius). Embarking in San Juan and disembarking in Rome were extremely smooth. Captain and his officers met us either going off or coming back on ship at many ports--a nice touch. This is something you can hope to enjoy with a small ship, and the Jewel delivered. We've done a lot of transatlantic cruises--some on newer or bigger ships--but this was the best. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Activities and Events were scheduled all over the place. The Atrium was consistently used where decks or clubs would have been better. Planning could have been much better. Needs maintenance throughout the ship. The food was OK but ... Read More
Activities and Events were scheduled all over the place. The Atrium was consistently used where decks or clubs would have been better. Planning could have been much better. Needs maintenance throughout the ship. The food was OK but nothing spectacular. The dinning staff we had were excellent. Deserved the WOW we gave them (extra gratuity). The day to day activities were not planned out the best as far as time. Many things were cut short as they over lapped each other. The entertainment was excellent but thr Cruise director was boring. Information daily was not the greatest and the weather was poor. The ship seemed just a ship! Nothing spectacular and as far as memories they will be negative. Unfortunately a poor cruise over all!! Our next RCL Cruise will be on the Anthem of the Seas and hopefully it will be a better experience. The JEWEL was no JEWEL!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We'd been to Rome in 2006 and therefore stayed in Civitavecchia for 2 days beforehand (Hotel San Giorgio). If you want food groceries, snacks, and wine you will want to walk 6-7 blocks up the hill on the main drag to the larger ... Read More
We'd been to Rome in 2006 and therefore stayed in Civitavecchia for 2 days beforehand (Hotel San Giorgio). If you want food groceries, snacks, and wine you will want to walk 6-7 blocks up the hill on the main drag to the larger grocery store as it has the best prices and selection. Hear are our random thoughts on our Nov. 6 transatlantic to Puerto Rico: - this ship is beautiful with lots of glass but many parts of it have been repainted often - lots of creaking as it moved - our JS (#1040) did not have a fridge, only a cooler that LOOKS like a mini-fridge - first time without a drinks package but I DID buy a 10-drink package onboard for $85 USD - bought the soda package and the 100+ flavours in the 2 Windjammer machines were fantastic. I used the Fanta Zero choices the most. Beware, though, that there is no access to these special machines after 9:00 p.m. - the guitarists in the various bands were exceptional, and my favourite was Dmytro, the classical player from the Ukraine - Karaoke on the sea days ran from 9-10:00 p.m. and it would have been nice to have it go a little longer - on our 1st cruise on the Liberty in '14 there was a speaker in our stateroom for the Captain's announcements; the speaker could be attenuated with a dial...why can't they have this on all their ships? It certainly wasn't available to us on the Jewel - Voom was extremely un-Voom-ey; a friend was taking online classes and actually had to stop as her streaming version was way too unreliable. Ours was the same, and the price for the wifi is absolutely ridiculous - Analiza Ching, the rock 'n' roll violinist was, as expected, the best entertainer on our junket - Trivia in the Schooner was fun, but some of the various hosts' accents made it quite difficult to discern what they were saying - From the Hoho bus, Valencia was pleasant and nice - in Lisbon you can take a Hoho bus within yards of the ship; no need for the $8 shuttle. Lisbon was gorgeous - it was wonderful to see Gibraltar and Tunisia in the daylight hours, and the weather cooperated - We did an all-day 4x4 tour on the Azores island we landed at. Sergio, the driver, was good but seemed to soft sell requests for tips on the way back to the ship; do NOT ask for good ratings on Trip Advisor and then ask for tips, please as most will tip regardless. That being said, the island we were on (Sao Miguel) rivals Bora Bora for pure beauty! It was green, lush, magical, and gorgeous. - the weather after the Azores was cloudy, rainy, and gloomy. It was easily the worst any of us had seen on a transatlantic - Regarding our JS, the toilet and those nearby had a few issues one morning. Our bed with two light and very thin toppers was hard, but we are side-sleepers. Friends had a JS underneath the Windjammer and could not sleep as carts over the tiled floor above rattled all night long. They brought up the issue twice and were then given a 2-bedroom spot near the rear-most elevators for the remainder of the cruise - We guitar players are a dime a dozen, so why doesn't every resort and ship in the world have a few available for rental??? - Our CD, Cruisin' Susan and the Activities Director (Martin) were very good - For any who have heard of the legendary Cruise Critic Host "Clarea", he, his wife (they had the stateroom next to ours), and their "Bob"-tourage were a lot of fun! - The Puerto Ricans on this journey seemed to take over some of the night spots but we were happy for them as the hurricanes hit their island very hard recently - One of our roll call crew organized "California Kitchen" and "Chef's Table" meals; these were wonderful with lots of wine but the one with 20 attendees lasted FOUR hours! - Our fave server was LaToya in the Schooner Bar - We had "My Time" dining and rarely used the Dining Room. The food was alright there but there was ALWAYS something to love at the Windjammer - The large shrimp in Chops were to die for. My favourite food, though, was a smokey tomato soup served at the Chef's Table - Our slot pull was, by far the worst we have ever seen re: results; it was fun but the return on $15.00 was only $3.50. Do NOT go into Casino Royale for ANY reason (other than for $2 Mimosas or a slot pull) if you can at all avoid it! - Overall the entire staff was kind and helpful, including Guest Services - Those who went to the Diamond-and-higher 5:30 p.m. daily get-togethers in the Safari Club said the munchies, etc. were the best they every had. Thanks in part to the positive vibe from our numerous Roll Call posters, we had an absolutely fantastic time. The Jewel is a quaint, loveable smaller vessel that has lots of glass and is the perfect middle-aged conveyance for a transatlantic crossing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Trans-Atlantic Cruise. Lots of time on the ship with close friends. I personally enjoy the trivia. Some of the activity personnel seemed to need more training in running the trivia. For example: The day they had "Beatles" trivia, ... Read More
Trans-Atlantic Cruise. Lots of time on the ship with close friends. I personally enjoy the trivia. Some of the activity personnel seemed to need more training in running the trivia. For example: The day they had "Beatles" trivia, the young lady couldn't find the Beatles trivia, so she replaced it with Elvis Trivia that was to be used on another day. I felt bad for her as when she played the "Elvis" trivia she didn't realize she was playing the answers, so everyone got the answers right. It was humorous but I felt bad for the young lady. The meals/service in dining were outstanding. Cabins were well kept. Especially loved Lisbon and Azores!! The crew was outstanding. The Canadian Captain was quite friendly and quite professional. It was nice to see the officers attending out Diamond events. They were very friendly and positive about everything. The maître d at our dinner had asked how everything was going. We told him we had one incident where one of our friends didn't receive their breakfast room service. He immediately took care of it and our friends received their breakfast on time the next day. The maître d went beyond his way to have chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to all of our rooms as a gesture of commitment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Bucket list trip for both of us. Enjoyed three unforgettable days in Rome before embarking on the 13 day cruise. Overall accommodations were very good. Frustrated with length of time in Valencia, Spain due to poor timing of port security ... Read More
Bucket list trip for both of us. Enjoyed three unforgettable days in Rome before embarking on the 13 day cruise. Overall accommodations were very good. Frustrated with length of time in Valencia, Spain due to poor timing of port security to do their jobs which prevented us from leaving the ship on time to spend a full day there. Beware of any port of call that is on a Sunday. Most of these sleepy little towns are not open or open later after lunch. Finally, the cruise lines and Puerto Rico are trying to get back to normal but they are NOT, right now. Disembarkation was a nightmare and the good old USA customs and security folks will make you wish you had not picked this port as the last stop. Long lines and the inability to handle two cruise ships unloading and reloading thousands of passengers in one day is not within the capacity of the port authority, the hotels or the airport as of this writing. Royal Caribbean may want to say that all is well but it is definitely not. We certainly hope that the reconstruction efforts will improve things in time but we don't expect anything resembling any improvement for months. Book wisely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The cruise was great. The staff was excellent and went out of their way consistently. The ship lacked a quiet room/library and had very little reading material. So make sure you bring your own. There were board games on the ship, but ... Read More
The cruise was great. The staff was excellent and went out of their way consistently. The ship lacked a quiet room/library and had very little reading material. So make sure you bring your own. There were board games on the ship, but most of them were missing pieces. I was surprised that they don't restock every cruise. The internet service is intermittent, especially when we were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I did not get why they charge $25 for pool towel you don't return. It is not like you could take them home, or you would even want to as they are old and worn. The deserts need work. They clearly don't know the basic ingredients of most good deserts....Flour, Butter, Eggs, Milk. The were incapable of making bakery cookies, they could not even make a basic butter cookie. In fact the pastry chef who I spoke to on the ship didn't even know what a butter cookie was. The measl in the main dinning room were good, the buffet not so much. Park West acted inappropriately throughout the cruise. They boarded on harassment. Constantly stopping guests and trying to persuade them to attend their auction. During the action I attended, they mocked guests who went and did not participate. They also lead guests to believe that the pictures were original, they were not. They did not inform US citizen of their right to refuse pictures they bid on. They overly inflated the value of pictures. They showed a lithograph done by Peter Max and told us that it was worth $20,000, but today they would give it away by starting the bidding at $8,000. In August 2017, the original was sold at a gallery in East Hampton NY for $3,800. Surprisingly the cruise had more gay people than I expected. I would estimate that 10% of the people on the cruise were gay. Most of them were couples and kept to themselves. It would have been nice if they had more LGBT events then the one bar at 11pm nightly that they designated as a meeting place. An afternoon poolside brunch would have been much more appropriate. I purchased a few items on the ship including two watches. The price on sales days are similar to that of Costco. You won't get a bargain, but if you like the item it might be worth buying. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean. Thank you Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is a gorgeous ship. We like the multi-story centrum, all the marble accents on the floors, nice carpets and art work all around. Weather was not the greatest, lots of cloud and dull days, a little bit of rock and roll but we had no ... Read More
This is a gorgeous ship. We like the multi-story centrum, all the marble accents on the floors, nice carpets and art work all around. Weather was not the greatest, lots of cloud and dull days, a little bit of rock and roll but we had no storms or rough seas. Embarking and disembarking were slick and efficient. There were so many Diamond cruisers that the ship had to open up the Safari Lounge every evening for happy hour and even that was full but it worked out really well and was appreciated. Hot and cold appies were provided. Chops, Giovanni's and Izumi were all excellent. Sadly, we can't say the same for the main dining room. Some soups and desserts were excellent but mains were disappointing. Compared to previous cruises, the waiters seemed to be harried and under time pressure. We actually preferred Windjammer in the evenings. It was very busy at breakfast and lunch but nice and relaxing for dinner. There's a big selection, you can go at your own pace and take as much or as little as you wish. Curries are always available and were always good. Given that we had so many days at sea, there seemed to be a lack of enriching activities. Although not officially on the program, 'Fred the astronomy guy' was a master of his subject and most interesting. Ports were Valencia, Lisbon and Ponta Delaga. In each case, we wandered ashore ourselves and explored on foot. Over the years we have seen evidence of cost cutting but then fares have not gone up much either. Overall, Royal Caribbean does a great job and staff provide excellent service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Incredible deal for visiting Rome, Valencia Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Porta Delgada Azores. Very nice itinerary for a great price. Our first transatlantic cruise and already planning another one. Ship was in good overall shape for age. ... Read More
Incredible deal for visiting Rome, Valencia Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Porta Delgada Azores. Very nice itinerary for a great price. Our first transatlantic cruise and already planning another one. Ship was in good overall shape for age. Noted some areas that could have been cleaned a little better but not bad overall. We arrived 2 days early in Rome and did a Vatican/Colosseum combined tour that fit our needs well but be prepared for a LOT of walking doing both in one day. Lisbon walking tour was very good also. Canadian Captain was very easy to understand and staff overall was very friendly. Aleksandr in the main dining room was exceptional as was Rommel (didn't work together but sat in both sections and seen Rommel daily in the Windjammer as he greeted each day with a different accessory making it fun. We enjoyed 2 movies in the ships cinema which was surprisingly big and well laid out. Menu in the main dining room was good daily - for breakfast and lunch we usually opted for the windjammer as it was quick and easy. If staying in Rome the Hotel Condotti was clean and nice place to stay by the Spanish steps with lots of food and shopping in the area Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Great to be back on the smaller ships after being on the Allure and the Harmony. The Jewel was in as good of shape as it was when I was on it when new. Yeah they have eliminated some things, but so have all the others. The food in ... Read More
Great to be back on the smaller ships after being on the Allure and the Harmony. The Jewel was in as good of shape as it was when I was on it when new. Yeah they have eliminated some things, but so have all the others. The food in Chops Grill was great. The waiter/server was the best in the business. The ports were really clean ad had lots of places to see. The excursion to Valencia, Spain was great. Didn't know any thing about this stop until we arrived there. Saw a great deal in the 3 and a half hours we toured. Pastry in Lisbon to dye for. We have been there a few times so we took the shuttle to town and walked around, took pictures and just enjoyed people watching. The Azores was LUSH, thought I was in Ireland, if you go there you have to tour, the landscape, the color , the people and quite a new cruise ship terminal that's not finished yet. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The food was mediocre. Hope you like Indian food as at least 3 mains Indian daily for lunch at Windjammer. They can't save any more money on food- they have taken it to the lowest level.New room service menu is a bad joke- a ... Read More
The food was mediocre. Hope you like Indian food as at least 3 mains Indian daily for lunch at Windjammer. They can't save any more money on food- they have taken it to the lowest level.New room service menu is a bad joke- a lackluster regular menu with no spaghetti to avoid having dinner in dining room or Windjammer AND YOU PAY $7.98 FOR THIS SERVICE!!!!!! They will not accommodate people with wheelchairs to their cruise tour bus as their competition does. I only paid my gratuities to reward waiters in Windjammer and other low paid staff in background.Not a value at any cost.Ordered eggs and pancakes for breakfast one morning and was called to verify order- evidently not used to an order like this- and the pancakes were not edible and the eggs were overdone and we had to pay $7.98 for THIS! I have to say crew was never ugly to us. They know how to say no pleasantly and believe it or not, they have tremendous loyalty to cruise line- really good brain washing by company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this cruise because of its Port-au- Calls, which I had not visited before. It was somewhat inconvenient as it sailed from San Juan, PR and we live in Miami, thus had to fly in the day before (the same day flight was leaving at 7 ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its Port-au- Calls, which I had not visited before. It was somewhat inconvenient as it sailed from San Juan, PR and we live in Miami, thus had to fly in the day before (the same day flight was leaving at 7 AM and had to be in the Miami airport at 4 AM.. Thus it cost me a one way ticket to SJ plus a night in a hotel plus meals (an extra $700). The cruise had 7 whole days at sea and I relied in the entertainment judging it fro previous experiences i Holland American that were excellent. It was not so in RCI, the movies on TV were terrible(, same movies over and over, very old ones, some did not even had an ending). The movies on the ship theater we extremely poor with only one exception in 13 days, (mostly Star Wars type and animated movies and very old). There were no photography, cooking or computer classes as in other ship lines we have been. The lecture, most of them, were not very good at all and although on TV they were repeated over and over again (for example 3 ports of call after Gibraltar, the same lecture was constantly on Channel 26. TV was terrible. Most of the time no image, occasionally no sound (especially BBC and CNN)- at times was like listening to the radio. others viewing a TV sign that said no reception.Poor choice of news channels. In short, the ship and service and the room was fine, the rest left a lot to be desired Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Repositioning and landed in Rome End in Rome End in Rome Excursion group was not helpful, a waste and reason to choose another ship and/or cruise line. They seemed disconnected / not organized. An view held by many fellow ... Read More
Repositioning and landed in Rome End in Rome End in Rome Excursion group was not helpful, a waste and reason to choose another ship and/or cruise line. They seemed disconnected / not organized. An view held by many fellow travelers, a disappointment. They get a F. Internet service goes down to easily and slow. It gets a C-. Cruise Director gets a D. Shows are a C. I could take it or leave it. Guest Services - very helpful and they get a B+. Main dining staff gets a A-. Thanks Lukas and Lisele were a real pleasure. Next Cruise gets a D+; not helpful. Please bring back the Crown and Anchor team. Diamond Club - gets an A; nice folks and we enjoyed our experience. My time dining we always enjoy. The retractable roof did not work in solarium - disappointment for Radiance class. Thank you Manager Stefan of the Windjammer - gets an A / A+, nice meeting you Thank you Executive Chef Jondeau - gets an A+, nice meeting you To Corporate - please get thicker bacon for the chefs. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have completed many Transatlantics including a previous one on Jewel of the Seas. We particularly like the relaxing sea days and getting to know other passengers, so joining activities onboard is a big plus for us. Embarkation and ... Read More
We have completed many Transatlantics including a previous one on Jewel of the Seas. We particularly like the relaxing sea days and getting to know other passengers, so joining activities onboard is a big plus for us. Embarkation and travel to San Juan was part of the package was well organised as was the disembarkation and return journey from Rome. We arrived the day before departure, giving us a little while to explore San Juan. Excursions organised through the ship were on the whole, very good. We did have one poor experience but upon return to the ship we raised with the shore excursions team and they investigated, came back to us very quickly and resolved to our satisfaction. We used the Main Dining area for both breakfast and Dinner. Staff were very quick and able to offer alternatives to standard menu offerings. The ship is smaller in the RC fleet, but we prefer the atmosphere this creates. Overall, there were just over 2100 passengers onboard and we never felt crowded. If you like sea days and being able to do as little as you want, or have plenty of activities if you prefer, then this would be a great ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was my second TA and first with Royal Caribbean. It was cruise #34 for me and it was my most enjoyable so far. I will break down this review in categories, to make it easier to read and understand. I will post videos of the entire ... Read More
This was my second TA and first with Royal Caribbean. It was cruise #34 for me and it was my most enjoyable so far. I will break down this review in categories, to make it easier to read and understand. I will post videos of the entire trip on my www.youtube.com channel: cruise addict. If you want to watch what made this cruise great, just check out the videos. I have also posted the Compass, dinner menus and food pictures from the whole cruise on my Facebook page: Robert Ghitea, from Vancouver, Washington. Both youtube and Facebook will provide a visual of this amazing TA cruise, which a survey or review can not do. Embarkation: It was the easiest, fastest and most hassle free embarkation I have ever experienced. We arrived at the port around 10:50am and were in the windjammer buffet at 11:25am eating. Ship: It was my first time on this class of ship and I absolutely love this ship class, as it is big enough to offer so much, yet very manageable. The ship is absolutely gorgeous and it was in great condition. Cabin: We had an oceanview on deck 3, #3604. It was close to the stairs and elevators, and it was very quiet. Everything functioned properly and we had no issues with the cabin. Dining: We had late dinner at 8:30pm and had Basri as waiter and Chao as assistant waiter. They were both amazing and really took care of us. Our table was by the window and it was a two top. The food presentation and quality was great and we ate all dinner in the dining room, breakfast in the windjammer and lunch in the windjammer, with the exception of one lunch in the dining room. Entertainment and Activities: Great bands, shows, comedy, juggler, cruise director/staff and we were never bored. Service: The service we received from the crew was amazing and this was the friendliest crew I have ever had on a cruise. Starting with Captain Lis and the officers, and all the way down to the last crew member, they were friendly, helpful and enjoyed being on the Jewel of the Seas. Ports and weather: Our five ports were fantastic and the weather and seas were great. I got some serious sun during the five sea days and the ocean was calm. We did excursions that I reserved at home through Royal Caribbean and they were great, with the exception of Alicante, for which we received a 50% refund because the excursion was cut really short. The other port excursion were great and in Gibraltar we did our own deal because we had been there before. Both the wife and I had a great cruise and we look forward to booking another TA for next spring, as soon as we decide on an itinerary and ship. I hope this review will be helpful in your decision to book the Jewel of the Seas without any hesitation. I hope you will enjoy your cruise as much as we enjoyed ours. Sincerely, croaziera on cruisecritic.com, aka, Robert Ghitea in real life, or cruise addict on youtube. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We took this TA ( our 4th TA) because of the ports and cost. We had a balcony on Deck 8 which was spacious and more storage than we expected. Our CRuiseCritic roll call was very active and we participated in many events through the cruise, ... Read More
We took this TA ( our 4th TA) because of the ports and cost. We had a balcony on Deck 8 which was spacious and more storage than we expected. Our CRuiseCritic roll call was very active and we participated in many events through the cruise, meeting new friends and having fun. We ate at My Time Dining with shared tables of 10 and enjoyed the company that we reserved our table and waiter for every night except when we ate ate specialty restaurants (Chops- very good, Italian- good but not great) Ship was smaller than what we have been accustomed to over the last 5 years but I found it more intimate and actually enjoyed the size more than I expected. Especially when we had to cross the ship after dinner to get to the theatre... took minutes vs 15 or more fighting crowds on the larger ships... Negatives- many nightly activities were in the small atrium area which meant most people had to stand around or hang over the balconies in the floors above to watch... Also, the ship's movement/ motion was more noticeable during the crossing but not 100% sure it was due to the size of the ship or the weather ( or both) Overall... great cruise and will sail this class again, just maybe not a TA PS: my wife loved the Female Captain and Cruise Director!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Liked the itinerary on the first leg of the trip. October 27 -November 6,2016 Took back to back. This was November 6- 18,2016 It was a transatlantic from Rome to San Juan ,PR. The person asking trivia questions had such a thick ... Read More
Liked the itinerary on the first leg of the trip. October 27 -November 6,2016 Took back to back. This was November 6- 18,2016 It was a transatlantic from Rome to San Juan ,PR. The person asking trivia questions had such a thick accent. It took 45 minutes sometimes just to understand a 15 question trivia. Almost everyday there were major publications errors. Days at sea were listed as port days. Days and times of events were wrong. On day 4 the Compass said there would be a next cruise presentation at 2:45 . Know one ever showed up. First call they said they would send someone. 15 minutes later someone else called to be told there wasn't going to be anyone coming. Told us the compass was wrong. Did.not need to make any announcements. Just for that person to tell everyone there wasn't going to be a presentation. Just look in the compass to see when there would another announcement. The food in the main dining room was way below par. Quaility of food was poor. Variety was bad. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our second transatlantic on RCI. In comparing to our last RCI transatlantic on Mariner OTS in 2013, we noticed quite a few changes......some not for the better. OVERALL: Just average. No WOW factor that Royal uses in their ... Read More
This was our second transatlantic on RCI. In comparing to our last RCI transatlantic on Mariner OTS in 2013, we noticed quite a few changes......some not for the better. OVERALL: Just average. No WOW factor that Royal uses in their marketing. We traveled with another couple who had been on only one other cruise on Carnival. (They thought all cruises involved screaming children, belly flop contests at the pool, excessive drinking, etc.) We bragged how much better Royal was in areas such as food, ambiance, service, etc. After this cruise, we are not sure our neighbors will travel with us again. We came in to Rome 4 days early. Great idea to acclimate to the time zone and tour Rome. Highly recommended. We took the Leonardo Express train from the airport and walked to our hotel not far from Termini Station. We packed using a wheeled duffle and a backpack. Easy to get around. If you pack with less mobile luggage, you may want to rethink. Quite a bit of walking. EMBARKATION: From Rome, we walked back to Termini and took the express train to Civitavecchia. This is a regional train with just a few stops. Cost just 11.5 Euros per person and was clean, fast, and on-time. In just about an hour, we had arrived at the port. Another review had mentioned that arrival at the Civitavecchia station involved stairs. VERY TRUE! Arrival platform involves going down stairs crossing under the tracks and back up another flight of stairs. No escalators or elevators. Remember this if you have any difficulty carrying luggage. A very short walk to the port entry gate was easy to do, but not well marked with directional signs. The walkway is wide and level. Once at the port entry, there is a bus pickup area that will take you to your ship. We arrived about 11:00am and they only had one small bus running every 45 minutes or so. Disorganized, no staff from RCI at the bus stop, and over-crowded with many passengers pushing and shoving to try and get on the bus when it arrived. We thought it was bad, but tolerable, until the bus took us to a tent in the middle of the port to get off, pick up our luggage again and then wait for ANOTHER bus to finally take us to the ship. This 2-step transport process was painful, wasted time, and did not make a good impression. It took us longer to get from the port entry to the ship than it did for us to get from Rome to Civitavecchia. Once at the ship, embarkation agents were ready and everything moved fairly smooth for boarding. Cabin was not ready so we headed to the Windjammer buffet for lunch. Overcrowded and no seats available. I said this in my last review, do the math RCI! You are going to have problems if you try to fit 1,000 people into a 750 seat restaurant. After waiting 20 minutes, we finally found a table outside aft. Nothing better than eating in your jackets in cool and windy weather. I said WOW, but not in a good way. SHIP: Overall the ship looked pretty good after it's recent drydock. No major complaints on overall appearance and our cabin was neat and tidy as well. The bathroom did have some chipped mirrors and missing caulk in the shower. Not sure why you would spend millions in a renovation and overlook these details. They also supplied some towels that were actually torn and threadbare, well past their usable life. A hotel that rents by the hour would not even use these towels. Not sure why RCI would even consider this practice if they are remotely wanting to make a good impression on their customers. Our cabin steward was pleasant, quiet and did a good job. Even after several introductions, he could never remember our names. This was the first sign that something had really changed. Overworked? Too many cabins/customers? Bad memory? You would think after 12 nights he would remember us. Remembering customer's names is part of the charm. DINING: This is where a major change was noticed. The food in the Windjammer was institutional grade at best. Sure there is plenty of it, but not the best quality. Some days the lemonade was like water, the next day it was super tart. Same with the ice cream machine. Appears nobody quite got the mixing instructions correct. The bricks on my house are softer than the toast served for breakfast. The orange juice had a very strange flavor. Not sure it contained oranges! One morning they set up a waffle station with one staff member and two waffle machines. With a cycle time of 3 minutes, that meant they could serve a waffle every 1.5 minutes (if all goes smoothly). I counted 28 people in line. Not sure standing in line and waiting 42 minutes for a waffle is worth it. Why make a few people happy and piss off so many? Do it right or don't do it at all. In using the main dining room for breakfast, their eggs benedict had some sort of weird meat (not canadian bacon) and no hollandaise sauce. Think of it as an egg and mystery meat on an english muffin. While we in the middle of the Atlantic, our waiter said they were out of tomato juice (as in ALL OUT). The next day I see a glass of tomato juice and request some. This waiter says no problem. When I ask about the supposed outage, he tells me the other waiter lied and just didn't want to go to the storeroom to retrieve it. (Another WOW moment). I also like corned beef hash. Usually it was cooked and served fresh. One morning it was a mix of old grey meat and fresh pink meat. It was obvious that they had combined older leftovers and newer hash. (Another WOW moment). During dinner in the MDR, the food was just OK. Not impressive at all. I kept thinking that RCI did this on purpose to drive customers to the added-fee restaurants. Also noticed that during dinner, they had so many tables crowded together, I kept wondering if they had fire codes at sea. You literally had to turn sideways to get by some tables. Think tables built for 10 with 12 chairs. Tables built for 6 with 8 chairs. And then too many tables in too little space. You get the picture. Of course this overcrowding contributed to a much higher noise level. Instead of a nice dining room, it was more like eating in a busy fast-casual restaurant every night. In thinking about the overall food, it was a much lower standard in terms of quality than our previous transatlantic. When RCI added 40 extra cabins during drydock and at least 80 more passengers, they contributed to already overcrowded spaces. (Maybe the executives at RCI should go on Undercover Boss to experience what is really served to customers and the service levels to see how they like it. Bet they wouldn't want to eat there every day. Hope they remember that customers are spending their hard-earned money and using valuable vacation time. Not really the place to cut corners. We did eat three nights in the specialty restaurants. Excellent food and fantastic service! It seems RCI has managed to move the old main dining room experience to the specialty restaurants, the buffet experience to the MDR and institutional food service to the buffet. A sad downward trend. ENTERTAINMENT: Individual acts pretty good. House band fantastic! The new outdoor movie screen by the pool was way underutilized. They would show only one movie per night (and not every night) at around 6:30pm during early seating dinner and not early enough for late seating dinner. (one more WOW moment) The same few movies kept recycling over and over again for days on end both in the cabin, in the theater, and at the pool. POOL AREAS: another do the math RCI! On warm days, no pool chairs available. This lack of chairs is mentioned in many reviews. A few passengers tried to save chairs in the solarium. Thank goodness the staff would actually remove their towels and "book and sunglasses" savers if you pointed it out. We witnessed a lady who claimed she was just "working out" for 10 minutes after being gone for 3 hours. Trust me, this lady hasn't seen the inside of a gym in 40 years. She had the nerve to go and complain about her saved chairs being given to other passengers. SMOKING: Warning - way too much smoke! I do not know if this ship was more liberal than other RCI ships due to it being based in the mediterranean and a greater percentage of smokers. They allowed smoking on decks 12, 11, 6 and 4 and allowed smokers to "drift" even farther from their designated areas. It was very uncomfortable going anywhere near these areas. You may as well forget the casino. Unbearable smoke levels! Our group actually had to leave the casino due to the high smoke levels. (Unbreathable air causing all of us to cough and gasp for air). One dealer even commented that he doesn't smoke, but feels like he does after working in the casino. Good news is more money in my pocket and less in the casino's pocket. PORTS Valencia: The city centre is a few miles away from the port. RCI staff was very deceptive in stating that the only way out of the port area and to city centre was by their paid shuttle. I finally cornered a staff member who admitted, only after my direct repeated questions, that there was a free shuttle to the port entrance. Easy city bus service to the city centre for only 1.8 euros. Lisbon: a really great city. Our shortest time in port. Not nearly enough time to explore all of the sites. Ponta Delgada: Small, quite, and quaint. Not a tremendous amount of walkable tourist attractions from the port. Would have much preferred a stop at Madeira instead. DISEMBARKATION: Straightforward enough, but seemed a little disorganized and none of the scheduled departures groups left on time. Another note that RCI has eliminated the self-carry luggage option to disembark early and quickly. That means you were required to place luggage outside your door the night before and have to reclaim it dockside before customs. Unless RCI has a super deal, we may rethink our next cruise choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Great Transatlantic cruise, nice ports of call, beautiful refurbished ship. Food in main dining room sub-par, though, and disappointing. Super, good-sized room, very clean. Calm seas, and warm temperatures, especially for November, would ... Read More
Great Transatlantic cruise, nice ports of call, beautiful refurbished ship. Food in main dining room sub-par, though, and disappointing. Super, good-sized room, very clean. Calm seas, and warm temperatures, especially for November, would highly recommend a November transatlantic that travels southwest to Puerto Rico, surprisingly nice weather. Even swimming weather! As for entertainment in the theater, some solo acts were excellent, the revues not so much, nowhere near the quality and caliber of Allure or Oasis type ships. House Band was fabulous, as were the musicians playing in the centrum area, and poolside. Service everywhere was very good, polite, helpful. Embarkation easy and fast on day one, and last day went really well. The ports were great, would highly recommend Valencia and Lisbon especially. The day we passed by Gibralter was an especially interesting experience, with views of both Europe and Africa from our vantage point outside on the ship. Our room was an excellent size, with more storage than we could use. Fitness Center was a little small, sometimes had to wait for equipment, but it was nice and clean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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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