36 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

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
This was our second cruise with RCL. We chose the Jewel of the Seas because of the ports of call and it fitted best in our holiday planning. The embarkation and and disembarkation went very smoothly! It was impressive. We landed in San ... Read More
This was our second cruise with RCL. We chose the Jewel of the Seas because of the ports of call and it fitted best in our holiday planning. The embarkation and and disembarkation went very smoothly! It was impressive. We landed in San Juan at 10:30 and were on board eating lunch at 12. In Cicitavecchia/Rome our meeting time for disembarkation was 7:15 and we were at the airport at 08:50. I would go again on this cruise. The jewel is a very nice ship. Not to big and not too small were so many activities on board and it really seemed like the crew and staff genuinely wanted everyone to have a good time. The food was excellent and a lot of variety and options. The service - especially in the dining room - was outstanding. Everyone made a point of knowing our names and calling us by name! We are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Transatlantic cruises are our favorite! We choose this cruise because date worked. Turns out it was one of our best cruises (30+ cruises). We flew to San Juan late on Saturday & stayed at airport hotel (very convenient), took taxi ... Read More
Transatlantic cruises are our favorite! We choose this cruise because date worked. Turns out it was one of our best cruises (30+ cruises). We flew to San Juan late on Saturday & stayed at airport hotel (very convenient), took taxi ($19 plus tip) and arrived at port around 11am. The port was chaos and porters rude. Demanded tip before they would take bag (this was only negative of our cruise). Once in terminal check in was very smooth. Was on ship quickly and went up to Solarium to relax. Jewel of the Seas was showing her age slightly but it was immaculately clean and staff and crew extremely friendly, personable and informative. We had balcony stateroom (8026) which was nicely appointed, plenty of storage and very quiet. Our cabin was also close to forward elevators. Excellent cabin steward, Kevis. He remembered little things and alway had smile. Mattress very firm (translate hard). Kevis went above & beyond to remedy that. Had excellent table with great table mates. Our waiter and assistant were both new to their jobs so service was slow but they worked hard. Fantastic head waiter Gianni. He was very present. He fixed issues immediately. He also took special care of my husband who has special dietary needs due to health. Don't like changes to menu, especially only 1 new dessert each night but food was always delicious. Loved the savory bite rolls. Headliner shows were excellent this cruise though the production shows not as good as usually. I would cruise just to see some of those entertainers again. The enrichment lectures were a disappointment. Only 1 lecturer was scheduled and she was not a good speaker. A real let down for my husband. Being smaller ship, many activities were in Centrum. It was just too small for some of the Activites held there. There were only 25 seats. The staff & crew were one of the best, if not the best we ever encountered. The tone was set Captain Dustin and his officers. The were present, always smiling and made us feel valued and welcomed. There were a few crew who made our cruise so special by their warmth and friendliness. They were not assigned to us but just went out of their way to greet you. And once they knew you, they took the time to talk with you each time they saw you. (Maileen- dining room, Jennifer-bar staff, Loupesh-disembarkation Coral theater. The ports were all beautiful. We did 4 ship excursions-2 excellent, 2 not good. The shore excursions manager Claudio was very helpful. He listened and seemed to truly value our input. He also made up for poor excursions. Disembarkation was amazing. It was relaxed, calm and peaceful. Not the usual experience. When we got off the ship, we were greeted by Captain Dustin and some officers with handshakes and a heartfelt thank you for cruising with them. Like I said, amazing. The seas were calm and weather good the whole trip. Though it was breezy! The shuttle to Rome's City Center went so smoothly. A great cruise, tremendous memories, new friends and only 1 lb gained. Hope we will sail on Jewel again. She is a beautiful ship with even more beautiful staff & crew 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
As a New Diamond Member with Royal Caribbean and have done more then 42 Cruises with various companies. We are proud and pleased with the Enterainment on the Jewel of the seas. The " Fly On" acts i think were a lot more ... Read More
As a New Diamond Member with Royal Caribbean and have done more then 42 Cruises with various companies. We are proud and pleased with the Enterainment on the Jewel of the seas. The " Fly On" acts i think were a lot more presentable and distinguished then the Ships production shows themselves. The Singers and dancers were probably the weakest then most ships. However the ship was BUSY! with tons of variety and lots of entertainment options around the Vessel. This 14 night repositioning cruise had continuously brought out great bands in all lounges and great parties. Andrea who is the current cruise Director from Italy ( coming from MSC and Norwegian Cruise line was out and about making sure all guests were having a great time. He was a very nice, organized Cruise Director. Disappointed to see the Cold Soups go.. from Royal. We did the Vision of the seas last year through Scotland, Ireland and they offered a different chilled soup each night. Banana, Strawberry, EXTC. Ports through the Canary Islands were extremely beautiful with fair port hours from the ship we are very pleased and grateful for this cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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 whole trip was awesome except the Valencia panoramic tour from the ship where the tour guide left me behind only to have to find my own way back by public bus and taxi. RC comment.sorry. My final bill posted on my cabin door was taken ... Read More
The whole trip was awesome except the Valencia panoramic tour from the ship where the tour guide left me behind only to have to find my own way back by public bus and taxi. RC comment.sorry. My final bill posted on my cabin door was taken from my visa account and then followed up by three pending gratuity charges. Next cruise with them will be cash. The cruise was peaceful and very relaxing. The buffet food was a great improvement from previous cruises in the adventure of the seas.by far I will continue on the jewel of the seas.looking now to return to Rome from San Juan to Rome on the same ship. The deck chairs were needing replacement in the smoking area as once you sat down you have a difficult time to get out of them especially for seniors.the staff in all areas were excellent except for the excursion desk where all I got was a sorry. I canceled the next two port excursions with them to find my own off board excursion 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
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 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 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
With the exception of the nightly shows, we did not take part in any of the ship's activities but the activities arranged with our CC friends kept us busy. We held a cabin crawl, slot pull, luncheon and gift exchange, LCR and game ... Read More
With the exception of the nightly shows, we did not take part in any of the ship's activities but the activities arranged with our CC friends kept us busy. We held a cabin crawl, slot pull, luncheon and gift exchange, LCR and game days, private Chef's Tables and wine dinner, and astronomy lectures by Fred, the astronomy guy, who volunteered his own time to present fascinating slides and information on the sky. Royal Caribbean would be wise to snatch him up as a guest lecturer as he was more engaging than any other that we've ever seen. In every port we arranged private excursions with other CC people which were wonderful. We love westbound transatlantics since the cruise is more port intensive in the beginning leaving us many sea days to relax and recuperate before returning home. You also have to love the extra hour added to at least 5 of the days. The captain tacked those on before port days allowing us to not feel like we were so rushed to get up early and get off the ship. This was our first cruise as Diamond and we enjoyed the extra perks in the Diamond Lounge. One day we chose to use our pre-loaded drinks to share with a non-Diamond couple whom we connected with. My husband loves cappuccino and would go up to the DL to get some a couple of times a day. He had breakfast up there early in the cruise and shortly thereafter started to vomit. He thought it was food poisoning so went to the ship's doctor who gave him a shot and confined him to the cabin for 24 hours in case it was Norovirus. They brought him bland food and bottled water, encouraged him to select movies to watch which were reimbursed and even sent a letter at the end of the cruise stating that he would get credit toward a future cruise for that day's confinement. All of those services were free and protected the rest of the ship so he was glad to cooperate. I understand that there was a great turnover in the crew right before we got on but it didn't affect the service at all. Our cabin steward, Nuraugha, and our waitress, Mirena (we called her Smiley) were just delightful. A big thank you to Lofti, the Chops manager, who helped me set up 2 private Chef Tables and the wine dinner for our CC group. Everyone just loved them. We mainly ate at a table with other CC people in the main dining room early seating and the food was good for the most part. We enjoyed lunch in the MDR, too, and the salad bar was great. The food at the wine dinner was upgraded to lobster tail and steak which was fantastic and the wine pairings were great, too, but it was too noisy to hear what the wine steward was saying. Next time we will do the Chef's Table which is much more intimate. Some of of my favorite places to hang out on the ship were the Vortex, the Schooner Bar and outside on deck 5. Looking at the vastness of the ocean just is so calming to me and often distracts me from the reading that I go out there to do. When going on a transatlantic, we always tack on time before boarding to explore a local area. We went above and beyond our norm by adding a river cruise on Gate 1's newest ship, Monarch Express, on the Danube from Budapest to Regensburg. Although our cabin there was the best we ever had, the intimacy of the ship couldn't compare to an ocean cruise. We then rented a car at FCO and spent 5 days in a VRBO in Tuscany before spending the night at Hotel Giorgio in Civitavecchia before boarding the Jewel to San Juan. We stayed at La Playita Hotel in Isla Verde in San Juan for the night before heading home. All tolled we were gone 29 days. We are looking forward to traveling with some of the same people on the Freedom transatlantic next fall and having a reunion, too, with several couples who traveled with us last year on the Jewel on the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We are seasoned cruisers but this was our first Transatlantic. There were well over 700 Diamond Members on this cruise. They were more than willing to share their extensive cruise experiences, best ports of call and travel tips. ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers but this was our first Transatlantic. There were well over 700 Diamond Members on this cruise. They were more than willing to share their extensive cruise experiences, best ports of call and travel tips. Embarkation at Civitavecchia was very efficient. Entire process took less than 15 minutes. The Jewel was very well maintained and very clean. The Jewel is a smaller ship which made it very easy to move around the ship. There was always plenty quiet areas to very active activity areas around ship. The cruise staff was very attentive and friendly. The main dining room food was slightly above average. The Windjammer food was average and on busy sea days it was difficult to find a table. We would recommend Chef's table and Murder Mystery dinners which was an incredible value for the dining upcharge. But these specialty dining experiences were not included in the Specialty Dining Package that could be purchased. Giovanni's Table was average. Chops was excellent. Ports of Call: Valencia Spain, Lisbon Portugal, Ponta Delgada Azores. We did private tours at each port. The guides were very informative. Spain and Portugal was mix of modern architecture to rich history culture. Azores provided stunning views of lakes, hot springs and sea views. All the above required extensive and at times uphill walking. Would highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We left Ft. Lauderdale on 28 April. At the port we checked in and as we had suites, we avoided the lines and were whisked right on. After unpacking, we went to the concierge lounge and made our dinner reservations for specialty ... Read More
We left Ft. Lauderdale on 28 April. At the port we checked in and as we had suites, we avoided the lines and were whisked right on. After unpacking, we went to the concierge lounge and made our dinner reservations for specialty restaurants. New rule on the Jewel – you can only use the BOGO on nights 1 and 2. This sucks because no one wants to eat big meals two nights in a row, especially at the start. It used to be as long as you booked and charged your card the first night you could book any night. Another benefit bites the dust. After the boat drill we beat feet to the Concierge Lounge. What chaos!! Although it was added with the refurbishment, there were 141 DP, Pinnacles, and Suites. Many guests ignored the boat drill and stayed hidden in the lounge to save their precious seats. We went to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and there were about 200 there. Prizes were really lame with a couple bottles of wine. On our last TA on the Brilliance, they gave out Chef’s table, Chops, Giovanni’s, and many neat items. Speaking of the Chef’s table, we booked it through the Concierge, Diego. The Chef’s Table is always fun but on the Jewel, they held it in Chops. Way too noisy and it was hard to foster relationships and converse above the din of all the others in Chops. The next 14 nights were crazy in the Concierge Lounge (CL). We had to get there at 3:30 for a 5:00 opening to get seats at the bar. Totally insane. One certain Pinnacle member always grabbed 8 chairs and there were others like that so no one could get seats. Need to have a policy like the deck chairs. Many guests went to the DL. Never did see the Loyalty Ambassador in the lounges for a meet and greet. We went to the suites party held on open deck on deck 5. Very nice! They had sushi from Izumi’s and hot hors d’oeuvres from Chops. There was a mixologist there who created unique cocktails. We had one that had ginger root, cucumber, Pama, Cointreau, Pear Vodka, Lemon, and St. Germaine and was wonderful. We hired a personal trainer, Pilip, from the gym, and he tortured us for 3 one hour long sessions. Seriously dripping sweat all over, we were sore each time and needed a recovery period. Felt awesome after and could breathe deeply. Las Palmas – Finally landfall. We like to sample the foods so we got off early for coffee and croissants – 4€ total for two of each – nice! Later, shopped for trinkets and had beers and sandwiches. Quaint place. Tenerife – Free shuttle bus to the end of the pier. Nice touch. Went around the town and sampled the foods again. Lots of shops and souvenirs. Lots of tables with umbrellas. We love the cafes. For dinner on ship we had Saltimbucca – nothing like Portofino’s. More like sliced meat. Sad – the cooks (not Chef’s) as this was really meager, should revisit Portofino’s methodology in creating a nice dish. Gran Canaria – We went to the visitor’s center and found out about a bus to the old town. There are two – an express bus and local commuter. 1.40 euros each way was a cheap way to visit the town. Had a great Tapas of Papas Brava and Sangrias. They really know how to make Sangrias here. Gibraltar – We had booked a tour of the Siege Tunnels and were awestruck by the amount of work done in the very early days. My wife’s GG Grandfather was a sapper (Engineer) there in the very early 1800’s and was married in King’s Chapel. We snuck away from the tour, found it and she visited memory lane in search of her family tree. He took part in creating the tunnels so it was very moving for her when we were navigating the tunnels. Our tour guide was Scottish (as is my wife) and they got on like mince and tatties. Highly recommend the tour. Lots of steep climbing but fantastic scenery and history. Eat first as there is only one stop at the cable car, where the monkeys are, to grab a bite. Monkeys jump all over the tourists so keep shiny things bagged away. Word to the wise – Gibraltar takes Pounds both GB and UK. Euros as well. Buy your currency before the trip to avoid trying to find a place to exchange. BofA lets you order online and pickup at the bank. Easypeasy. Alicante, Spain – Free shuttle bus to end of pier. Just across the street is a marvelous walkway that is lined with palm trees and MANY cafes. Food is great and cheap. We had a superb Sangria and they had a Prix Fixe menu for 10 euros with antipasti (actually Tapas) and a pizza. We shared one as they are huge and left with a total bill and tip of 20 euros. My kind of place. We had an outside table with heater as the clouds came out and it got chilly. We shopped for goodies as we hosted a party in our suite that night. We also bought an alarm clock for the CL bartenders. The same Pinnacle member that was saving seats turned the bartenders in for allegedly serving drinks before 5pm. We setup the alarm clock to ring at 5pm and 8:30 so they wouldn’t get slammed again. All the regulars that sat around the bar loved the idea and that member never bothered the bartenders again. Nicely done. Note for CL members – in dry dock bar staff are “guaranteed” $700 a month and when cruising $1200 a month plus tips. That sucks for the service they provide. They work 80+ hours a week and miss meals because of the onslaught of passengers wanting drinks. We made sure our bartenders were compensated. The regulars were leaving $5 a night on the bar and sometimes more. There were many I witnessed that didn’t give them a dime. Folks – if you’re doing well or comfortable and the crew is going above and beyond to make your cruise more enjoyable, take the time and share a little. The drinks are free so you're ahead already. After party and dinner we went to the only show of 34 days on 3 back-to-backs. East Side Boys – Frankie Valli impersonators – awesome. We've seen most of the others before. One thing the operations manager and Captain did was establish a “Bike across the Atlantic” venue. They set up two spinning bikes on deck 6 Centrum. They were manned 24/7 by crew and passengers could sign up for ½ hour slots and join in. At the end we had a pizza party attended by all senior officers and the Captain. This was surely another magic moment in time. Things we did not like: The new carpets shed ferociously and the fibers got on all clothes and in the ventilation system. We were on Allegra and Flonase for the whole cruise. The glue smell forced passengers to use inhalers more often than normal. There were contractors on that used the public spaces and public elevators who smelled, wore unacceptable clothing, and reeked of smoke causing many coughing fits by many passengers on the elevators. Those passengers that did not cruise often mistook those for crew and this gave a bad name for the crew. RCCL should attire them in orange jumpsuits to differentiate them from crew. Chef’s table needs to be back in the card room. Whoever moved it should be sent to Carnival. Things we liked: Chef’s table food and wine pairing. Chops steaks. Concierge Lounge and Concierge Diego. Suites Party, Suite, room attendant Rahm. Waiters Adonis and Arnel in MyTime – we requested their table for 34 days. Danilo and Anzhela bartenders in CL. Awesome job despite the chaotic clientele. Snacks in the CL especially the small egg rolls. Bike across the Atlantic. Ports and excursion. We met two gents that were dressing in some unique costumes. They brought on board 26 cases of clothing. We watched them disembark with 3 luggage valet trollies packed to the top. Wow! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first transatlantic. The ports on this itinerary were ones we had never experienced before plus the price was pretty reasonable. We flew a red-eye from SFO to FLL, got to the terminal via taxi and no problems. We did not ... Read More
This was our first transatlantic. The ports on this itinerary were ones we had never experienced before plus the price was pretty reasonable. We flew a red-eye from SFO to FLL, got to the terminal via taxi and no problems. We did not have to wait too long to get onto the ship and were able to drop off our carry on into the cabin before exploring. We traditionally start with a pina colada on the pool deck, which we did. This time, due to the many sea days, we purchased the Deluxe Drink Package (it was on sale online prior to the departure). We are glad we did, as it was very convenient! I have read that sometimes you may need to wait longer for drinks but on this cruise, the service was excellent so we never had to wait for anything, anywhere. We loved our special bartenders Benard, Victor and Marinel from the Schooner Bar and especially Manzo, from the Vintages Wine Bar. Always fun and welcoming meeting spots to connect with new friends we had met on this cruise. The Specialty Dining food and service were excellent! We loved Percy from Chops and Alexander from Giovanni's. Once again, we did not get to Izumi's, but maybe next cruise! The dining room was pretty good. We had Any Time and never had to wait, with or without a reservation. I thought Windjammer had very good food. Our outside D1 Balcony 9076 was great. Great location to Centrum but no noise to bother us when we went to bed. The balcony was a bit larger than most, as it was next to hump. We would definitely book it again and was a favorite! Our room steward was not the best we have ever had (25 cruises), but we are not too high maintenance so did not let it ruin our overall cruise experience. The entertainment and activities were pretty good. Not sure what I was expecting. A few shows were awesome and a few were so-so, which is typical on all ships. We did private shore excursions to Gibraltar and Tenerife (shuttle recruits were found on CC!)which were fabulous. We did a couple of ship excursions which were typical, perhaps over priced. Not sure if I want to do them at all anymore. All in all, this is one of our favorite cruises. We hope to do more TA's in the future, and especially on RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We left Ft. Lauderdale on 28 April. At the port we checked in and as we had suites, we avoided the lines and were whisked right on. After unpacking, we went to the concierge lounge and made our dinner reservations for specialty ... Read More
We left Ft. Lauderdale on 28 April. At the port we checked in and as we had suites, we avoided the lines and were whisked right on. After unpacking, we went to the concierge lounge and made our dinner reservations for specialty restaurants. New rule on the Jewel – you can only use the BOGO on nights 1 and 2. This sucks because no one wants to eat big meals two nights in a row, especially at the start. It used to be as long as you booked and charged your card the first night you could book any night. Another benefit bites the dust. After the boat drill we beat feet to the Concierge Lounge. What chaos!! Although it was added with the refurbishment, there were 141 DP, Pinnacles, and Suites. Many guests ignored the boat drill and stayed hidden in the lounge to save their precious seats. We went to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and there were about 200 there. Prizes were really lame with a couple bottles of wine. On our last TA on the Brilliance, they gave out Chef’s table, Chops, Giovanni’s, and many neat items. Speaking of the Chef’s table, we booked it through the Concierge, Diego Tripaldi. The Chef’s Table is always fun but on the Jewel, they held it in Chops. Way too noisy and it was hard to foster relationships and converse above the din of all the others in Chops. The next 14 nights were crazy in the Concierge Lounge (CL). We had to get there at 3:30 for a 5:00 opening to get seats at the bar. Totally insane. One AH Pinnacle member always grabbed 8 chairs and there were others like that so no one could get seats. Need to have a policy like the deck chairs. Many guests went to the DL. Never did see the Loyalty Ambassador in the lounges for a meet and greet. We went to the suites party held on open deck on deck 5. Very nice! They had sushi from Izumi’s and hot hors d’oeuvres from Chops. There was a mixologist there who created unique cocktails. We had one that had ginger root, cucumber, Pama, Cointreau, Pear Vodka, and St. Germaine and was wonderful. We hired a personal trainer, Pilip from the gym, and he tortured us for 3 one hour long sessions. Seriously dripping sweat all over, we were sore each time and needed a recovery period. Felt awesome after and could breathe deeply. Las Palmas – Finally landfall. We like to sample the foods so we got off early for coffee and croissants – 4 euros total for two of each – nice! Later, shopped for trinkets and had beers and sandwiches. Quaint place. Tenerife – Free shuttle bus to the end of the pier. Nice touch. Went around the town and sampled the foods again. Lots of shops and souvenirs. Lots of tables with umbrellas. We love the cafes. For dinner on ship we had Saltimbocca – nothing like Portofino’s. More like sliced meat. Sad – the cooks (not Chef’s) as this was really meager, should revisit Portofino’s methodology in creating a nice dish. Gran Canaria – We went to the visitor’s center and found out about a bus to the olde town. There are two – an express bus and local commuter. 1.40 euros each way was a cheap way to visit the town. Had a great Tapas of Papas Brava and Sangrias. They really know how to make Sangrias here. Gibraltar – We had booked a tour of the Siege Tunnels and were awestruck by the amount of work done in the very early days. My wife’s GG Grandfather was a sapper (Engineer) there in the very early 1800’s and was married in King’s Chapel. We snuck away from the tour, found it and she visited memory lane in search of her family tree. He took part in creating the tunnels so it was very moving for her when we were navigating the tunnels. Our tour guide was Scottish (as is my wife) and they got on like two peas in a pod. Highly recommend the tour. Lots of steep climbing but fantastic scenery and history. Eat first as there is only one stop at the cable car, where the monkeys are, to grab a bite. Monkeys jump all over the tourists so keep shiny things bagged away. Word to the wise – Gibraltar takes Pounds both GB and UK. Euros as well. Buy your currency before the trip to avoid trying to find a place to exchange. BofA lets you order online and pickup at the bank. Easypeasy. Alicante, Spain – Free shuttle bus to end of pier. Just across the street is a marvelous walkway that is lined with palm trees and MANY cafes. Food is great and cheap. We had a superb Sangria and they had a Fixe Prix menu for 10 euros with antipasti (actually Tapas) and a pizza. We shared one as they are huge and left with a total bill and tip of 20 euros. My kind of place. Outside table with heater as the clouds came out and it got chilly. We shopped for goodies as we hosted a party in our suite that night. We also bought an alarm clock for the CL bartenders. The same AH Pinnacle member that was saving seats turned the bartenders in for allegedly serving drinks before 5pm. We setup the alarm clock to ring at 5pm and 8:30 so they wouldn’t get slammed again. All the regulars that sat around the bar loved the idea and the AH was made to feel about an inch tall. Nicely done. Note for CL members – in dry dock staff are “guaranteed” $700 a month and when cruising $1200 a month plus tips. That sucks for the service they provide. We made sure our bartenders were compensated. The regulars were leaving $5 a night on the bar and sometimes more. There were many I witnessed that didn’t give them a dime. Folks – if you’re doing well or comfortable and the crew is going above and beyond to make your cruise more enjoyable, take the time and share a little. After party and dinner we went to the only show of 34 days on 3 back-to-backs. East Side Boys – Frankie Valli impersonators – awesome. We've seen most of the others before. One thing the operations manager and Captain did was establish a “Bike across the Atlantic” venue. They set up two spinning bikes on deck 6 Centrum. They were manned 24/7 by crew and passengers could sign up for ½ hour slots and join in. At the end we had a pizza party attended by all senior officers and the Captain. This was surely another magic moment in time. Things we did not like: The new carpets shed ferociously and the fibers got on all clothes and in the ventilation system. We were on Allegra and Flonase for the whole cruise. The glue smell forced passengers to use inhalers more often than normal. There were contractors on that used the public spaces and public elevators who smelled, wore unacceptable clothing, and reeked of smoke causing many coughing fits by many passengers. Those passengers that did not cruise often mistook those for crew and this gave a bad name for the crew. RCCL should attire them in orange prison jumpsuits to differentiate them from crew. Chef’s table needs to be back in the card room. Whoever moved it should be sent to Carnival. Things we liked: Chef’s table food and pairing. Chops steaks. Concierge Lounge and Concierge Diego Tripaldi. Suites Party, Suite, room attendant Rahm. Waiters Adonis and Arnel in MyTime – we requested their table for 34 days. Danilo Hungria and Anzhela Gurgen Bek bartenders in CL. Awesome job despite the chaotic clientele. Snacks in the CL especially the small egg rolls. Bike across the Atlantic. Ports and excursion. We met two gents that were dressing in some unique costumes. They brought onboard 26 cases of clothing. We watched them disembark with 3 luggage valet trollies packed to the top. Dressed like Maharajas on formal night and the women marveled at their car purses. Made marvelous watching and conversation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We flew to London on Monday and stayed at the Westminster Hilton Doubletree Hotel, which included a bus ride to the port in Harwich on Friday morning. The hotel was reasonably priced, and in an excellent location. The "hop on hop ... Read More
We flew to London on Monday and stayed at the Westminster Hilton Doubletree Hotel, which included a bus ride to the port in Harwich on Friday morning. The hotel was reasonably priced, and in an excellent location. The "hop on hop off" bus was only two blocks away, and Parliament, and Buckingham Palace within reasonable walking distance. We even found a launderette a few blocks away to do some laundry before our 16-day cruise. The bus ride brought us to the dock around noon, and even with a large bus groups arriving at that time we were on the ship in 45 minutes. After lunch at the Windjammer our cabins were ready. This was our second trip on the Jewel of the Seas, and we were very happy to be back on this beautiful ship. We saw many familiar faces in the crew, including Murat who was our waiter again, along with Nazareth assistant waiter. My husband and I cannot say enough great things about them. Rosa, Guest Services Manager, is a warm presence all around the ship, always helpful and pleasant. The whole crew on this ship is outstanding, and unfailingly pleasant at all times. Our Cabin Our cabin on deck nine was very clean, and comfortable, and every thing worked great. Cassandra our steward was excellent. It still has the older style televisions, which were fine. This was a transatlantic with 6 sea days, and the satellite could not always pick up a signal, so like others have said we saw the same things over and over again. Though the crew did make some requested changes and played the movies from the movie theatre on the television, which we enjoyed. With so many sea days we did spend time here reading, sitting on the balcony and watching movies. The Food and Entertainment My husband and I had MTD and enjoyed the food. The Windjammer has such variety at every meal, we ate breakfast and lunch there each day and never had the exact same meal twice. The main dining room did have a few more unusual choices, but we always found something we liked. We ate at Portafino one night, and enjoyed outstanding service. I tried the lobster, but it was both salty and tasteless. I understand it is frozen, I would not have it again. We went to the shows every night but one. We did not see the hypnotist, but the Tenors, Ryan Ahern the pianist, and the production shows were our favorites. The Ports Through Cruise Critic we contacted others going on this same cruise and signed up for trips sponsored by other passengers. They were all excellent and we took three. The ports were outstanding, and some better than that. Portland England, we took the C.C. trip to Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral. We did La Havre, and Cork on our own. The train into Cork ran right along the dock where the ship came in. Dublin we took the ship-sponsored shuttle into town, and then the "hop on hop off" bus around the city. The highlight was the tour of the Guinness factory. It ends at the top of the building in a glass-enclosed area with a panoramic view of the city and a pint of Guinness. We enjoyed the ship-sponsored trip in the Faroe Islands. We went to a home of a resident for cake and coffee and got to talk about their life on such remote islands. It is a real highlight of the trip. We also had time to go into town and walk around, residents were very welcoming. Local high school students were out of school for the day to act as guides around town and to practice their English, which was excellent. The last two days before our trip across the Atlantic were spent in Iceland. We took the two CC sponsored trips. The first day we toured around Reykjavik, including a museum of historic farm, and animals only found in Iceland. The Golden Circle tour was incredible, our local guide Bjorn took us to waterfalls, and moon like landscapes. I hope to go back some day soon. In fact my husband and I would like to repeat this cruise, we didn't see it all, and it was wonderful from beginning to end. We even enjoyed the relaxing 6 days at sea. We missed St. John in Canada because of bad weather. Captain Stig kept us in sunny calm weather even though there were two hurricanes in the Atlantic. This was our second trip with the captain, and we found him a calm presence around the ship, and willing to stop and talk. We had an accident and hit an electric line in the Faroe Islands, with a crew member hurt, and another evacuated for illness in Canada, we were kept informed throughout. Disembarkation We live just outside of Boston so we choose to get off later. We had a relaxing breakfast and left our cabin at 9:00am. Those that had to clear immigration took longer than they thought so we did not get off until 10:30, but we relaxed in the Schooner Bar and talked with other cruisers. We were home before noon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Twelve days to cross the Atlantic isn't too long when you can add new ports and experiences to a Life List. Captain McDonald and Cruise Director Clo are always entertaining and cordial, the Crown and Anchor Society events fun, giving ... Read More
Twelve days to cross the Atlantic isn't too long when you can add new ports and experiences to a Life List. Captain McDonald and Cruise Director Clo are always entertaining and cordial, the Crown and Anchor Society events fun, giving unexpected insights into "the group". The murder mystery in Portobello was good, slightly raucous fun. The cast had such a good time that it was contagious for the diners. If you have specific dining needs, be aware that you may be reduced to the evening buffet or another less-desired option, since Early Seating is far too limited to meet the demand for it. And many refused the default Late Seating which indeed ends very late in the evening. Also, forcing cruisers into prepaid gratuities for My Time Dining produced noticeable discontent. On this cruise the main dining room became more sparsely attended every night, which was not a reflection on the consistently high level of service. RCL has added some crafts activities on the morning of At Sea Days and accommodated others, but the offered crafts and materials are limited. The knitting group was first scheduled in an evening smoker's location, and the knitters politely informed staff that was Not Acceptable for fiber arts, suggesting better locations which happened with ease. How lovely- Democracy and Community at work! Dance classes were fun and successful, but Enrichment lecturer Richard had some glaring errors in an early presentation and we could not force ourselves to attend again. The musicians were varied and skillful, but hearing the same country western song every night as we headed to dinner became a source of great mirth when we overheard someone give an excellent impression of a howl in response. Thank you whoever you were! In the Schooner Bar, the piano stylings of Gustavo were such a hit that we were sad to see him leave before the end of our cruise. One tip to the line: It would be helpful to inform guests of scheduled closings of the venues, shops and restaurants in ports of call to avoid disappointment over such things as cultural Sunday, Monday and holiday hours differences. More information helps cruisers select the most appropriate excursion for them. Will we take a similar cruise in the future? Oh yes.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My first cruise with RCC, Jewel of the Seas is a very nice ship, well maintained, with the Lobby, the Centrun as they call, always active, live music from noon to midnight, inmaculate restrooms, the only problem I saw was a couple of days ... Read More
My first cruise with RCC, Jewel of the Seas is a very nice ship, well maintained, with the Lobby, the Centrun as they call, always active, live music from noon to midnight, inmaculate restrooms, the only problem I saw was a couple of days water from the sink was yellow, that Chief Engineer said it was because of copper pipes and no problem for people...umm. This was a transatlantic cruise, 12 nights with calls at Azores islands, Brest and Cherbourg in France, and disembark at Harwich, UK a port about 3 hours from central London, so I and a hundred more people, preferred to leave the cruise in Cherbourg, rented a car to go to Mont St Michel, and then Paris before fly back to Miami. Ports were attractive, Ponta Delgada at Azores is a nice town with some good places to visit, same for Brest and Cherbourg is close to Normandy beaches where are many memorial sites for fallen soldiers on D-day. I had half day at this sites and afternoon at Mont Saint Michel, a *must see* in France. With me traveled my wife and daughter, they really enjoyed the cruise, waking up at 9 or...11 am on sea days, some gym, a lot of food, and going to bed late every night. Entertainment was better than I expected, an incredible magician and Clo a funny cruise director. Richard, a lecturer had the theater almost full at 2 pm sessions. Food was average, we had a lobster night, actually mi wife ate two, waiter Rolando and assistant Domingo very helpful and communicative. Our stewardess Marita the same. Maybe I take this cruise again on ten years on the opposite direction. I hope so.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Boarding the ship in Miami proved to be comparatively simple (other than the check-in agents unable to deal with an up-grade in Crown&Anchor Status). The Jewel is well appointed, the cabins comfortable with plenty of chances for ... Read More
Boarding the ship in Miami proved to be comparatively simple (other than the check-in agents unable to deal with an up-grade in Crown&Anchor Status). The Jewel is well appointed, the cabins comfortable with plenty of chances for exercise should you hike from the fore end of Deck 7 up and down the stairs to all meals, activities and music. Since there was no seating available in either early or MyTime, I elected to have all my evening meals in the buffet area. The staff was superb in service, the Indian and Japanese Cuisine Excellent and I really appreciated the variety of cold soups over the two weeks. As a vegetarian, having food labeled clearly and a variety available made my evening meals a pleasure. The Cruise Director's staff from Chloe on down were extremely supportive and found the 10-35 knitters/crocheters who met on sea days in the upper lounges quite fun and even supplied some needles and yarn for those who had failed to bring along enough to do. Scrapbooking and Jewelry making were oversubscribed which I think also startled the staff. Other than the Country and Western Group who seemed to have only one set (and I do know how started the howl due to the pain of being able to set your watch by their music) the musicians were fantastic, especially the string players. The Fitness Center is excellent and the staff knowledgeable. Fun, yes! Will I book with RCI for cruises? Of course, have a couple already booked for this coming fall. Great ship if you want to relax, talk with people, spend time on fitness, your own interests. The library was pitiful - bring your own Nook/Kindle/iPad.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
What a fun trip! I've been taking cruises for years, but in the last 10 years had taken mostly road trips in the states. Last August, I found an interesting itinerary in the Baltic & sailed for the first time with Royal ... Read More
What a fun trip! I've been taking cruises for years, but in the last 10 years had taken mostly road trips in the states. Last August, I found an interesting itinerary in the Baltic & sailed for the first time with Royal Caribbean on the Jewel of the Seas. Earlier this summer, I began to get wanderlust and started looking for another cruise to take. I found that the Jewel was offering a Transatlantic cruise with another great itinerary so I booked the sailing for September 3. What a great experience—I think I had even more fun the second time on this ship. I'm a single woman who usually travels alone and find that cruising is great way to meet people and feel safe. The trip began with an overnight flight to Gatwick with transfer to Harwich. Everything went smoothly and we arrived at check-in even before they were ready for us. My check in for the Baltic was quick with no waiting, but unfortunately since I arrived before the embarkation desk was officially opened, there was quite a wait this time around, especially with the sheer number of priority check-in guests (at the time of sailing I was only a Gold level Crown & Anchor member so I was embarking with everyone else.) Once I checked in , even with a wait it was practically painless, I headed to my cabin but it was too early to go in and get a nap (I don't sleep well in the best of circumstances, but it's nearly impossible for me to sleep on a plane.) I headed to the Windjammer for some lunch and was pleasantly surprised that the food had improved since my last sailing on RCCL Mariner of the Seas. I went to my cabin when it was available and took a nap because our first port of call was the next day with 3 more ports in as many days after that and I was jet lagged. I called for a bucket of ice which took an hour & another call to receive, but I understood my room attendant, Wilson, was quite busy and he was very friendly. He gave me his card and I was quite pleased with his services and his friendly attitude, even the day he had a migraine. When I woke up it was time to get ready for late seating in the dining room. This was my first time in a long time where I had to take late seating because I booked so late and that was all that was available. I had asked to be seated at a large table because it provides an opportunity to meet more people. I was instead put at a table for 6 and there were only 2 other people at the table and one of them didn't speak English. The second night I was told they asked to be moved, so I ate alone. While I liked the waiter & assistant waiter, I asked to be moved as well because I didn't relish eating alone for 2 weeks. The next day I got a note in my cabin that I'd been moved and to my delight found I was at a large table with 6 people with 2 more added in the next few days. There were quite a few empty tables at late seating, so I guess those who were assigned to those tables chose the Windjammer rather than wait until 8:30 to eat. I liked my dinner companions, even the woman who complained about the food & talked about the superiority of another cruise line every night. We had excellent dining room attendants in Karen & Borko, and by the third night we met Janet, our head waitress, who was also quite personable. The food was pretty good for the most part, better than what I could cook and it was usually served promptly and with a great attitude by the wait staff. My only complaint was that there were very few desserts that I wanted to try so I ate ice cream most nights (and should have probably skipped it altogether, but who does that on a cruise?) The main complaint I had the last time I was on this ship were that the beef dishes weren't very good, but this time I was pleasantly surprised at the improvement. I ate in the dining room every night but one. Our first port of call was Le Havre, France. I took shore excursions in every port and on our first stop I took the opportunity to go to Paris since I'd never been there before. Even though it was Sunday, it still took a couple of hours to get there. We went by most of the famous sites one expects to see in Paris and while my excursion didn't include any stops at the sites, I could see there were large crowds everywhere. My group was delivered to a barge for a luncheon cruise along the Seine. The food was good with lots of wine flowing and the folks with whom I ate were lovely. After the cruise we were dropped off at the Eiffel Tower for a little while to wander around and buy a few trinkets. Besides being bothered by some women who I suspected had ulterior motives, all it took was a firm No to get them to leave me alone. After our visit, we headed back to Le Havre, and an auto accident resulted in a delay in returning to the ship and it was quite a wait to get back on the ship, though it was no fault of the ship that everyone who went to Paris got back at roughly the same time. The second day's stop was Cherbourg which I loved. It was a quiet little coastal town. I took an excursion which included visiting some of the countryside and a trip to Castle Ravenal. It was a beautiful place with gorgeous gardens and even a little rain didn't bother me. We were then taken downtown where our guide, a very handsome Frenchman named Dominick, showed us a few places including the location of the film Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a film I love. I think I was most excited to see the little shop which was the setting of the shop Catherine Deneuve's character & her mother owned in the film. We got a little bit of free time and I found a shop that sold locally made items and purchased a few things. Back to the ship where this time we got back on immediately. I wished I could have taken Dominick home with me, but whatever. Cherbourg was my favorite port on the entire cruise. The third day was the port of Cobh Ireland near Cork. I took a full day's excursion which included a trip through the beautiful countryside of that part of Ireland. Our first stop was Kinsale, a seaside village which our tour guide claimed was the culinary capital of Ireland. Since it was still early in the day, I just walked around this village, went to the drugstore to buy some toiletry items I needed and had a cup of coffee. We then drove back toward Cork for a lunch of fruit salad, Irish stew & dessert, which I enjoyed. Our next stop was Blarney Castle. While I did walked up to the castle, I didn't kiss the Blarney Stone—I just couldn't get past the sheer volume of people that do and not be a little fearful of sickness. It's a quirk I have. Anyway, it was cool to see it and afterwards we had quite a bit of time at Blarney Woolen Mills, where I have to say there were quite a few bargains in a huge store with something for everyone. I could have spent a lot of money there. Since I was traveling alone, I kept my buying to a minimum because I had no room in my bags and had enough stuff to schlep as it was. I drank my first ever pint of stout (Murphy's since it was the local brew) and I was ready for a nap. Back to the ship where a medical evacuation of one of our passengers caused another lengthy delay in reboarding the ship, but at least another gangway was opened and they tried to get us all back on the ship in a timely manner. Overall, it was another great port of call. By the fourth day and another port of call in Dublin, I was very tired because I think I was still jet lagged and we had been in 4 ports in 4 days without a day at sea to rest. My shore excursion this time included a trip to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College with a drive by of a few local sites. It was my least favorite port, maybe because I was so tired and it didn't seem that much different than any average American mid-sized city. Plus, we didn't really have any free time on this short tour, our guide was soft spoken and she took us on a long walk to find our bus because of a miscommunication with the driver. Finally a day and a half at sea and I needed it—I was exhausted! I finally got to participate in my favorite on board activity, the trivia games. I was quite successful on my last trip on the Jewel, winning 12 prizes. I met two couples who were my trivia team mates for the rest of the cruise and we won a few times. It was a quite popular activity during the at-sea days, where you had to be in the Schooner lounge early to get a seat. I had a lot of fun, especially during the afternoon sessions when Clo, the cruise director was the host of the game. I just want to add here that I've been on 8 cruises and she's just the best cruise director I've ever encountered. She & Frankie, the activities manager, were on the ship last year and they are both great at their jobs. In fact, we were basically on first name basis by the end of the cruise and she delighted in teasing me about my enthusiasm for trivia games. She's a great gal. Next stop, Reykjavik, Iceland. We arrived late in the afternoon and I took a trip to the Blue Lagoon, the well known geothermal pool about 30 minutes outside of town. It was windy & chilly but I thought why not go since I probably won't be back here again. It was great getting in the pool once you got past the fact you were outside in a bathing suit in such cool weather. I used the mud pack and my face broke out in whelps that took a few days to disappear, but I should have known better. My only complaint about the trip was that the tour guide had candy or cough drop in her mouth and had the microphone on the whole time where you could hear it clicking around against her teeth. After 40 minutes of that, it became quite annoying. The next day was another day in Reykjavik and I went on a museum tour, although the title of the excursion was a little misleading. It was called Discovering Reykjavik with mention of only a stop at an outdoor museum, similar to Williamsburg here in the states. However, it appeared we were the only people there that day. There was no chance to shop since the gift shop was closed—a first for me since most places like that thrive on tourist dollars. The main drawback to this tour was that I was sitting in the back of the bus and a couple sitting behind me complained the entire time. By the third stop, I'd had enough and told the husband of the couple he could probably get a cab and go back to the ship. I guess I should have minded my own business, because no one else spoke to me for the rest of the trip. Oops. It was interesting to see Iceland, but it was quite expensive. I'm glad I went but I'm not sure I'd go back. We spent the next three days at sea where we were able to see the Aurora Borealis on a couple of nights in the North Atlantic. I'd always wanted to see it and it was beautiful and the second night we had a gorgeous full moon in addition to the green hued skies. We arrived at our final port of call, St. John, Newfoundland. What a lovely place and lovely people. My shore excursion included a drive out to remote Cape Spear, where the lighthouses were located. It was a beautiful and dramatic landscape with waves and fog. Then we went to an old fort in town where we got another picturesque view of the coast below. After a drive through town, we were dropped at the ship and had some free time to explore downtown. It was my second favorite port on the cruise. I rarely attend shows on any ship, although I did attend the comedy show with Kelly Montieth, a guy who I remembered from television appearances in the 1980's. It was okay, but he wasn't as funny as I remembered. I was also surprised that Marty Allen, a comedian I remembered from my childhood, was performing on the ship. I had an encounter with him one evening a couple of days before his show. He is 89 and still performs with his wife. Wow. I didn't go to his show but heard from several people that it was very good. I did see a Q & A he did with Clo that was shown on the cabin television a few times before we got off the ship and he had a lot of great show biz stories to tell. I also did a little gambling this time and came in third in the blackjack tournament and won some money at video poker so I came away with more money than I started with. That rarely happens so I was excited. I didn't have any luck at Bingo but I still had fun playing. The music in the Centrum during the afternoon and before dinner was very good and had a lot of couples on their feet and dancing. We had two more days at sea before disembarking in Boston, where we were taken off the ship in a mostly organized way. There was some delay due to the fact that some of the non U. S. citizens didn't follow instructions to report early for clearing customs. However, I got off the ship at the appointed time and my cruise was over. I was heading home. The Jewel of the Seas may not be the top of the line for cruising, but I like the ship and have had two marvelous cruises on her. A couple of the employees remembered me from the previous year when I took the Baltic cruise. One of the bartenders even remembered my name and what I liked to drink. I was surprised since it had been a year and they see thousands of people. The other person was in the salon and while it took me a few minutes to recognize her, once I asked if she'd been there last summer, she remembered me by recognizing my hair! (I'm quite white haired so maybe it's a little distinctive.) The only employee I had any contact with that I didn't care for was one of the male entertainers and he was quite snooty. He rarely spoke to anyone even though he was an escort on two of my shore excursions. He was in charge of leading our groups to the buses and walked very fast, not keeping in mind that a majority of the passengers were over 50 and quite a few were elderly people. If I have any complaints about the ship, there are very few. My main pet peeve was having a hard time finding a table in the Windjammer at peak times, where I ended up eating outside more than a few times. That would have been alright if it hadn't been very cool & windy for most of the trip. My bed was quite hard which could be improved. While I realize most people try to keep busy with planned activities, I like to spend some down time in the cabin, and the television programming left a lot to be desired. I surmise that most of the stuff they showed was pretaped because we saw a lot of shows & films repeated constantly. The Jewel could also probably use a few months of dry dock for a refurbishing. It looked a little run down in some areas. Overall, it was an excellent cruise and good value for the money. I met a lot of very nice & friendly people. Even though I had a few complaints, it wasn't anything that I couldn't get past and understood some of the little inconveniences. If you have expectations that this cruise is similar to Celebrity or any other more expensive cruise line, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
The boarding at Fort Lauderdale was very well organised and went well. Our luggage was safely delivered to a very spacious cabin where wardrobes, etc. were quickly filled and balcony and very comfortable bed and settee sat upon and ... Read More
The boarding at Fort Lauderdale was very well organised and went well. Our luggage was safely delivered to a very spacious cabin where wardrobes, etc. were quickly filled and balcony and very comfortable bed and settee sat upon and approved. We explored the self-service restaurant and sampled an excellent lunch and then roamed the ship. We noticed how clean and comfortable all the "public" areas were including the toilets and that these were well signed all over the ship. Lifts were always accessible and we loved the change of day on the threshold each morning. The staff everywhere were so cheerful and helpful throughout the ship and the waiters in the restaurant were both knowledgeable and courteous. The food was excellent and the menu choices were mouthwatering. We did not use the official tours, preferring to stay in Porto del Garda, and walk around the cobbled streets and visit the shops and enjoyed coffee in the square. In Breste, we did the same and did not go into Cherbourg as we drive in France, so did not feel it necessary. Instead we went to the Gym on the ship, which was very well equipped with a most competent instructor. The entertainment in the Theatre was first class and the Theatre itself was very comfortable and a good view of the stage was available from tiered seats wherever one was sitting. The music around the ship in the various bar areas was also varied, country & western, rock & roll, 60s, etc. and played extremely well by the musicians and enjoyed immensley by all, some dancing and some just listening. The talent shows also were very entertaining. We also had sight of whales "blowing" in the distance and then they came up to the ship, that was exciting to seem them in their natural habitat, also some dolphins swam along side for a while. To be honest we did not really know what to expect on our first cruise, but we were overwhelmed. Firstly by the size of the ship, only ever having been on a ferry, and the fact that there were so many people aboard and yet we did not feel crowded at any time. It was 5-star floating luxury and we both left the ship feeling that we had enjoyed a truly wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Background Having undertaken a couple of eastbound southerly route transatlantic crossings before, my wife and I decided to join this westbound northerly sailing from Harwich (UK) for a change. We were particularly attracted by the ... Read More
Background Having undertaken a couple of eastbound southerly route transatlantic crossings before, my wife and I decided to join this westbound northerly sailing from Harwich (UK) for a change. We were particularly attracted by the published itinerary which included stops in Le Havre and Cherbourg (France), Cobh (Ireland), Akureyri and Reykjavik (Iceland), St John's NF and Sydney NS (Canada) before disembarking in Boston (USA). It subsequently transpired however that the call into St John's was missed due to bad weather (see below). Travel to port In consideration of the variety of potential causes for flight disruptions which arose in the months leading up to the cruise (volcano eruptions, airline staff disputes and threatened airport closures etc) we thought it prudent to position ourselves in Harwich a day ahead of the cruise. Accordingly we flew to Stansted airport and completed the 46 mile road journey to Harwich by private transfer (I'm still trying to fathom out why that cost us more than our 314 mile flight from Edinburgh did). Pre-cruise Hotel We stayed overnight at the Premier Inn which was clean, comfortable and convenient for a supermarket to pick up those inevitable last minute provisions we somehow believe that we just could not do without on the ship. The adjacent Mayflower restaurant offered a good variety of reasonably priced pub style food for dinner and a choice of healthy, or not so healthy, breakfast options for those who could not wait for the Windjammer to open onboard at noon. Embarkation Embarkation at Harwich was extremely well handled. Having checked-in online and printed off our Set Sail passes beforehand, the check-in procedure took no longer than it takes to swipe a credit card. Issued with our Sea Pass cards, which serve as your stateroom door key, your identity card for getting on and off the ship and your charge card for onboard purchases, we were allowed onboard the ship by about 11:00am, our stateroom was available by 1:00pm and our luggage was delivered by 2:30pm. Ship info The ship itself is one of our favourites in the fleet and has been highly maintained throughout to preserve its appearance and charm. The Centrum area in particular is quite stunning from all angles (remember to look down on it through the glass observation window in the Crown & Anchor lounge on deck 12), the decor and furnishings in the Schooner bar and Safari Club on deck 6 are a delight to behold and the glass covered Solarium area on deck 11 offers the facility to read or relax on a lounger regardless of the weather. The Seaview Cafe on deck 12 offers a good choice of casual style made to order snacks and meals as an alternative venue for lunch or a late night supper. Stateroom Due to the popularity of this cruise, the best stateroom available when we booked in December 2009 was a solitary E2 balcony which we gladly accepted purely and simply to ensure a place for us onboard. However, after final payment date, a few more staterooms opened up and we were able to upgrade to a junior suite instead. The additional space and storage this afforded us was most welcome on a 14 night sailing. Our stateroom attendant team did a great job maintaining the place to our liking and constantly replenished the toiletries, tissues, tea & coffee tray and ice etc as required, without having to be asked. Dining Back home we would never think of going to the same restaurant for dinner 14 nights hard running and, as such, we adopt a regime onboard which we call 'My Time and Place' Dining - some nights Main Dining Room, some nights Windjammer, some nights Chops Grille and some nights Portofinos. We were assigned to a full table for 10 in Tides dining room deck 4 level and were fortunate insofar as everybody got on really well with each other and the service was good. The down side to the MDR nowadays is that the dinner menus are pretty much standard across the fleet and have not varied in recent years. As such, they tend to lose interest and appeal after a while. Serving food whilst it remains hot also seems to be difficult to achieve when serving so many meals at the same time. In contrast, the food in the Windjammer is usually warmer and includes choices over and above that on the MDR menu of the day. Pity they closed the doors at 9:00pm on this sailing (on some European itineraries it stays open longer to fit in with the lifestyle of those accustomed to having a siesta in the afternoon and eating later at night). We have found that 'Chops Grille' and 'Portofinos' food and service can vary from one ship to another but on this sailing they were both excellent. Activities Apart from the usual recreational activities as listed in the daily compass this particular cruise added a couple of unique events. Firstly, a fellow passenger had suggested to the Cruise Director that, since the ship would pass close by Plymouth UK on the 390th anniversary of the Mayflower having set sail from there laden with a group of disgruntled separatists intent on setting up camp in America, the cruise line should mark the occasion in the form of some onboard gatherings and talks on the subject for those interested in the alleged similarities between that sailing and ours. Personally I do wonder how one could compare the two. Mayflower took 66 days to get there - Jewel of the Seas did it in 14 days. Mayflower carried 102 passengers with a crew of 25-30 - Jewel of the Seas carried 2501 guests with a crew of 842. Mayflower colonists suffered greatly from diseases like scurvy due to lack of shelter and conditions onboard ship - Jewel of the Seas paying guests could expect nothing worse than acute indigestion and perhaps a bout or two of alcohol intoxication. The other event came as a surprise when Captain 'Stig' announced that on the night before arriving in Akureyri the ship would cross into the Arctic Circle and accordingly King Neptune would board the ship then to assist him perform the traditional ritual of initiating those onboard who wished to be inaugurated into the Ancient and Honourable Company of Blue Noses as is customary on such an occasion. The initiation ceremony required having ice and cold water dropped down your back, knocking back a shot of grog in one go and having your nose painted blue at the end. The Captain (who claimed to be born within the Arctic Circle to the North of Norway and was therefore exempt from initiation) had mischievously brought along two different sizes of ladle for dispensing the ice and water (a regular size for the passengers and a jumbo size for his executive officers). A formal certificate to commemorate the event was presented to everyone as a keepsake. For the benefit of those who have not set eyes on King Neptune before, he looks just like a crew member dressed in drag and threatened with termination of his contract if he refused to do as he was told. Itinerary change Due to the presence of an Arctic Low Pressure Storm in our intended path from Reykjavik to St John's, in the interest of passenger and crew safety and comfort, the Captain made the wise decision to alter the ships course and avoid the worst of the storm. In so doing however, the required diversion added 300 miles to our journey which, in turn, necessitated cancelling the visit to St John's. To his credit he hosted a special presentation the next day to fully inform the passengers of his reasoning in this regard and was commended by all present for doing so. It was suggested that if the original course had been maintained we could have encountered waves of 13-14 metres in height. By changing route we got off with seas in the region of 6 metres or so as we sailed through the night. A refund of the recoverable port fees was automatically credited to our onboard account in the circumstances. Ports of call Le Havre (weather good) - this is primarily the setting off point for visiting Paris and the majority of tours offered from here reflect this. It is quite far however and can be exhausting. If Paris sounds like a journey too far, closer by is the lovely port of Honfleur for those who prefer a more relaxing time. Having been to these places before we opted to stay onboard this time and made good use of the Solarium whilst the ship was quiet. Cherbourg (weather fair) - the landing beaches of Normandy are the most popular tour from here and never fail to tug at the emotions of all who visit to pay homage. However there are a few places of interest to be discovered within Cherbourg itself, the highlight for us on this visit being 'La CitE de la Mer' maritime museum which houses an aquarium, an exhibition of numerous deep sea diving vessels spanning many years and, last but not least, the French Navy's first nuclear missile-launching submarine 'Le Redoubtable' superbly preserved and open to internal inspection. It is situated directly adjacent to the main cruise terminal building which, itself, contains a number of interesting artefacts reflecting its connection with notable sailings from there in years gone by. Cobh (weather fair) - The fact that the ship berths directly alongside the town centre it encourages you to do nothing more than walk off the ship, find a good pub and eavesdrop on the inimitable Craic between locals whilst supping a pint or more of Murphy's draught ale. The Heritage Centre on the quayside gives a good insight to the history of Cobh and its links with the Great Famine, Ellis Island immigration processing centre and, of course, the Titanic. Also on the quayside is the train station from where they run a regular service into Cork. Coach tours can also be arranged to visit other nearby visitor attractions including Blarney Castle with its infamous stone which purports to give all who kiss it 'the gift of the gab'. Akureyri (weather good) - Upon first sight, I could have sworn that we had docked somewhere in the North of Scotland. The scenery and landscape is very similar. The town itself is quite small but we did come across a couple of places worthy of a visit. We climbed the 112 steps to the Akureyrarkirkja church on the hill for a look inside and to admire the view from its grounds over the town and the fjord it stands on. We also visited the botanical gardens which, surprisingly for its geographic location, included some lush vegetation and species of plants that would not survive in my own garden back home. For those wishing to see further afield, coach tours were available to take in the surrounding countryside and the waterfalls, craters and bubbling hot and smelly mud fields etc that it had to offer. However, judging by the people we spoke with who had gone on this tour, the majority of time was spent driving to and from these sites with nothing of great interest between stops. Reykjavik (weather heavy showers) - In contrast to the charm and homeliness of Akureyri, we actually found Reykjavik dull, dismal and depressing. We had taken the local tourist board shuttle bus from the pier into town hoping to find some impressive buildings, broad streets and upmarket shopping precincts etc that you associate with capital cities around the world. Nope! - We didn't find any I'm afraid. Mostly tacky souvenir shops all selling the same items. Things were not helped by the fact that the heavens opened the minute we stepped off the bus and it looked set to stay that way for some time. We persevered for about half an hour before deciding to catch the next shuttle bus back to the ship. Coach tours to some more waterfalls, hot springs and steam vents etc were available as was the option to visit the Blue Lagoon and wallow in geothermal water along with the bacteria of countless others who have been there before you. Sydney (weather fair with occasional showers) - As s result of the aforementioned itinerary change the ship arrived here half a day earlier than planned offering the opportunity for us to sample the local nightlife in town. However, since it started to rain heavily, we decided to stay onboard till the morning. Next day we picked up a map from the tourist information desk and set off on a suggested walking tour which took in many of the oldest houses, some of which are now preserved as museums. Disappointingly, many of the surrounding properties on the route are in a dilapidated state and project the image of a rundown area. The main street too lacked appeal and atmosphere with little in the way of decent shops. That said however, we did enjoy are time there and, being Scottish, are pleased to have set foot in Nova Scotia. We shall always remember the friendliness and politeness of the locals who go out of their way to assist you find your way around. The drivers too are the most courteous I have come across anywhere in the world. If they sense that you may wish to cross street they will stop and wave you over, regardless of whether or not you are near a crossing. Sea Days (weather typical for the region and time of year) - The majority of sea days were on the bleak side with high winds, mist and rain which somewhat curtailed outdoor activities. By night the mist turned to fog which thwarted any chance we may have had of seeing the Northern Lights in the skies around Iceland. Apparently the fog did eventually clear and they were visible at 3:00am on a couple of nights but, alas, we were in a deep slumber by then. Disembarkation Disembarkation was preceded by US Customs and Immigration inspection of all passengers. In this instance not being an American worked to our advantage as they had set up a separate stall for 'aliens' only, who were few and far between on this cruise. Was surprised at how the process on this occasion was less stringent than that we are usually subjected to when arriving by air - no finger prints taken, no questions asked and no having to show tickets to prove our intention to return home. Due to an apparent problem unloading luggage from the ship, disembarkation did not start at the predicted time and, when it did start, the so called express walk-off took an eternity because of the inability of the majority of people to manage their own luggage down the sloping gangway. Fortunately we were in no rush to get off since we had arranged for an overnight stay in Boston before returning home but the possibility of this happening again should be kept in mind when planning onward travel arrangements. Post cruise in Boston (weather glorious) - Thanks to some really good information posted on Cruise Critic North American Homeports board -East Coast Departures forum before leaving home we were able to decide where to stay and what to do in the time we had available. Because of its close proximity to Black Falcon cruise terminal and good transport links for getting around town and to the airport we chose the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel with late check-out facility allowing us use of the room right up until we needed to leave for our early evening flight home. The Old Town trolley tour was ideal for us since we were able to join it directly in front of the hotel and could get off and on as we wished at the various stops along the route. Our ticket also included a harbour sightseeing cruise which offered a different perspective of the city. Summary We thoroughly enjoyed this crossing particularly because it afforded us the opportunity to sail in new waters and see new places we would not have contemplated travelling to by any other means (Akureyri, Reykjavik, Sydney and Boston). The Jewel of the Seas is a fabulous ship and Captain Stig Nielsen, his officers and crew were fantastic. The crystal block presented to us for having attained our 30th Crown & Anchor cruise credit whilst onboard will serve as a great memento of the good times and experiences we had. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
A few hours after the ship left Miami one of the passengers had an emergency. It was announced that the ship was turning around to meet the vessel that was picking up the passenger. It was done promptly without incident (good to know) and ... Read More
A few hours after the ship left Miami one of the passengers had an emergency. It was announced that the ship was turning around to meet the vessel that was picking up the passenger. It was done promptly without incident (good to know) and we still arrived in Bermuda on time. We enjoyed Bermuda and the my only complaint was that it was Sunday and the shops in Hamilton were closed. Next we were at sea for about 7 days during which time we relaxed by the outdoor and indoor pools, ate our meals, saw the shows and went to the casino. The Jewel is a midsize ship and everything was very conveniently located. Our oceanview cabin was on a lower deck near the back. We only had to go one flight of stairs to the dining room which is also in the back. My husband and I had the 'anytime dining' and really enjoyed the flexibility. The food and service were excellent. Our next port was Lisbon, which we loved. We did some things on our own as the ship docks close to the city and RCI provides a shuttle from the cruise port. I think it was about $4 pp. I bought some very nice scarfs in Lisbon. There is lots of shopping and it is reasonable compared to countries like England and France. Our last port was Bruges, Belgium and it is a must see! Wonderful old town area with centuries old cathedrals and shops. Very clean and English spoken.The next day the Jewel arrived in Great Britain. We had a very nice crossing with good weather because the captain steered away from storms at sea. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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

Find a Jewel of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click