Sail Date: May 2019
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. ... Read More
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. We bookended our trip with several nights in Rome, staying at an outstanding, hidden gem of a boutique hotel, The Inn at the Roman Forum. Our hotel secured transport for us from the hotel to the port in Civitavecchia. We booked a Grand Suite on the ship, so had priority boarding. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze, handled very efficiently, as was the security muster. There was a broader age range of passengers on this cruise than on our last cruise, which we enjoyed. Our suite, 1048, was very spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows weren't. They provided 6 (!) king size pillows, but they were all the same: too thick and firm. The food was acceptable, but nothing special. Most of it fell under my brother-in-law's description of cruise ship food: "abundantly adequate." Our steak at Chops Grill was quite good, though. Entertainment was uneven. They had one good headliner from the UK who put on a very good performance, singing Frank Sinatra songs and the like, and he actually got a standing ovation! (Think people were just grateful for a good quality entertainer!) The highlights of the cruise were the quality of the service and the shore excursions. All across the board, the crew was friendly, helpful, and eager to be of service. Rosen, our cabin steward, always greeted us cheerfully and was very efficient and helpful. Zo and Meng, our waiters in the Main Dining Room, were attentive, quick and efficient, and made sure we had whatever we needed. Aline, our concierge, answered our questions patiently, and was a great resource. We were impressed with all our shore excursions, which were very efficiently and effectively organized. One stood out: the Athens and Cape Sounion with Lunch tour. It was long but thorough, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional, we had ample free time, and saw the Parthenon before the crowds arrived. A nice surprise: the buffet lunch at the Intercontinental was exceptional! We would highly recommend this excursion. While we were disappointed at not getting to see Santorini due to weather issues, overall we were pleased with the cruise and would consider sailing with Royal Caribbean again in the future if there's an itinerary that looks appealing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean What a wonderful ship she is. We had a great mid ship balcony cabin # 9616. A cabin steward that was perfect. Food was great entertainment was good. We went to 2 shows and they were better than expected. ... Read More
Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean What a wonderful ship she is. We had a great mid ship balcony cabin # 9616. A cabin steward that was perfect. Food was great entertainment was good. We went to 2 shows and they were better than expected. They had music on the ship strings in the main area everyday so you could just listen and relax before and after dinner. We enjoyed this. There was also a band and singer some times. Piano bar and more. We did not go to any bars because we were too tired every night after the islands each day. She is a smaller ship with only a few shops. We only ate in the main dining room or Windjammer. We made an our time reservation for two 3 months ahead of time and when we got there we were at a table for 8 but they fixed it that day and everything was great. Our waiters were the best and we got to know each other quickly. - Wednesday April 24th – This was a day of rest on the ship. We ate and napped and ate again. There was a chocolate night in the windjammer one night so ask or you will miss it. They have wonderful tasty meals and great desserts. One night in the dining room they serve an individual size cake for the 50th anniversary of the cruise line so don’t miss that either. Very good. Public areas were full but not crazy busy ever. Elevators were prompt for the most part. Leaving the ship never seemed too crowded either. - Thursday April 25th- The Island of Crete was one of our favorites. We docked at Chania Souda. It was like old world with technology. Felt safe here. We hired a driver to take us out for the day about 5 hours. Lefteris Nikiforakis is the owner and was our Taxi driver and he was amazing. We went to see many things and experience things on this beautiful island. There were mountains here in which there was still snow visable on the top. Many flowers blooming here. Just beautiful. The things we went to see include Market Building at the Venetian Port, Lighthouse & Turkish Mask, Apera which is a 3500 Yr old Minoan town euro 2.5 to get in, drove through the Country side: Stilos, Neo, Choria Armeni, Kalives, Vamos. We tasted the local foods and drink like yogurt, honey olive oils and more. Crete was my favorite island. - Friday April 26th - Mykonos was our next stop and a nice port to walk around and see the sights, had lunch and people watch. Felt very safe here. We walked to find the windmills and chose to eat at a water front café. We did a tour from the ship for half the day to Delos which was incredible. The tour group was a large size as most of them are but if you stay close to the tour guide you will see and hear everything. We did have a head set which helped too. This is a 2500 BC Sanctuary with an Amphitheater, was the birth place of mythological Apollo and his sister and so much more. Take a guided tour here to learn all the stories. The spring time was beautiful weather a flowers blooming everywhere we went. Saturday April 27th – Rhodes was our next island. We hired a private tour for here and had a great experience. Nicholas was our driver/tour guide. Rhodesprivatetours.com He picked us up promptly from the pickup area dockside outside the ship in a Mercedes with our name on a card and drove us to many wonderful places. He explained everything and could answer any questions we had. You pay at the end of the tour. We started at 8:00 AM. We saw the most important monuments of the Medieval City (World Heritage Site) for pictures. He dropped us off here at the end of the tour for shopping and sightseeing of the village. Short walk to the ship from here. The drive continued out of the Medieval City to the “New Town” The Historical Buildings and the Old Harbor, where according to the tradition, the Colossus of Rhodes once stood - One of the seven wonders of the ancient world. (Stop Visit Pictures). The North point of the Island where the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea meet (Stop Pictures) . Monte Smith - Acropolis of Rhodes, Panoramic view of the City, also the Temple of Apollo, the Greek Stadium, and the Ancient Theater - with the car, no climb (Stop Visit Pictures). The drive continues south-east 50 kilometers / 32 miles to Lindos . On the way you visit the Anthony Quinn Bay – Which takes its name from the famous Hollywood actor, who owns a large property in this area. Since filming the Guns of Navarone in Rhodes Island - scenic (Stop Visit Pictures) and walked down to the waters edge. On the way to Lindos, we stopped at a pottery workshop where the traditional pottery of Rhodes is made. You can see the wonderful pieces of art, and watch the potter working at his wheel. You can even learn the mystery of the Pythagorean cup. We bought two. One mile before Lindos our Tour/Driver parked the car at a vantage point for a panoramic picture of the Acropolis, the village, and the port of Lindos (Stop Pictures). Then he drives us down to the Saint Paul's bay, incredible wild beauty - "Guns of Navarone" Movie (Stop Visit Pictures) He drives you to the main square of Lindos village, so you can: walk the alleys of Lindos which cost 12 euros and climb up the Acropolis or ride the donkeys which we did not (Stop Visit Pictures) Tourist-buses don’t drive down to the main square. /Driver will meet you at the main square of Lindos for the return trip. On the way back the last 14km / 8 miles he drives through the coast road of Faliraki marvelous beach and Kallithea Spa. Back to Rhodes Old City for independent browsing, or to the ship. The Medieval City (Old City) is a 10 min walk from the cruise port. You could extend the day and go out to lunch. We should have done this and enjoyed a local lunch with our guide. This was an amazing tour and will go back to this beautiful island someday. Our tour guide was the best. Of course we had some gelato too. - Sunday April 28th – Santorini had the picture perfect views of white and blue buildings and a beautiful harbor. We did a ship tour from here because it was Greek Easter and many things were closed. The tour was called “Island of Santorini and Oil Village tour” It took us from Oia to a Local winery to taste wine with a beautiful view of the Sea, to Fira for free time where we had a quick lunch and bought some souvenirs & took pictures. Had some gelato. Have some change if you want to use a bathroom here , then back to Athinios port where there was nothing but the boats to take you back to the ship. There were other tenders that went to Fira where you can take the donkeys up or ride the cable car. This would have been fun but we didn’t know about it. Monday April 29th – Athens. We used Michael's Amazing Tours and had an amazing 8 hour tour. The history here is incredible and not to be missed. Our driver Sotos had all the tickets we needed ahead of time so we just entered each site without much of a wait. We went to the Acropolis museum, The Acropolis , Temple of Zeus, site of the Olympic stadium, changing of the guard , Ancient agora and many more places. We were at each place before the tour groups and had a day with not many lines. We had a traditional Greek meal at a local restaurant. Food was great and the gelato. Our driver Sotos even stopped so I could pick up a few souvenirs before we got back on the ship. Michael the owner met up with us twice that day which was a nice surprise. They took great care of us on this day. Sotos was knowledgeable and informed us about all the sights but he couldn’t accompany us through them. This was the best day. Tuesday April 30th – Was a cruising day and we just relaxed and ate. Wednesday May 1st - We spent the day in Naples and did a self-guided tour. We walked past the Castel Nuovo and Our first stop was for Pastry Sfogliatella at the grand Café Gambrinus is 20 minute walk from ship. We followed our phone GPS during this day and had a few problems but figured it out. We walked to the train station to go up the mountain to where we walked to our destinations. They were right next to each other. First we walked to Castel Sant’ Elmo which is a medieval Fortress. The entrance was not well marked. The ticket widow is on the right but the entrance is to the left. Beautiful views of Naples from here as you walk up into this old castle. Then we walked to the right leaving the Castle and went to see Museo e la Certosa di San Martino. This was formally a monastery and now a museum. Has a beautiful church and many rooms to walk through. Then we walked back down to town and found a Pizza place. We then had gelato. This was a holiday and many places were closed but many were open too. If this was our first time in Naples we would have gone to Pompeii but we have been there before. – Thursday May 2nd – We are back in Rome after our 9 day cruise and prearranged a driver through CivitavecchiaPort.org to drive us to the hotel with pick up at 8AM. We used the same service to take us from our hotel to the airport. He was cautious and profession Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week ... Read More
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week in Rome. Greece was in ruins. Well, actually, there were a lot of other things, too. We thought the best two ports were Crete and Rhodes from a history standpoint and really enjoyed those. Santorini was also great. Athens is just another big city with a few interesting thing, but it is still very important historically and was worth the trip. Accessibility was an issue at times. Walking was, at times, rigorous so be careful of the excursions you book. The ship was clean and well maintained as was our cabin. We did, however, pay an additional amount to have a balcony cabin on Deck 9 on the very stern of the ship. Every morning, it was covered with soot from the engines, but the steward wiped it down on his clean-up of the cabin. It wasn't really a problem, just something to be aware of if you book those cabins in back. They were worth it for the view and additional balcony space, though. Food in the main dining room was disappointing. It seems that it has lost a lot of quality and it is not much different from the Windjammer. The advantage to the dining room though, is that you get table service and the very nature of the dining experience limits quantity. We had no beef that was done properly. We would have gone to Chops, but frankly, if they can't get prime rib right in the main dining room, they probably won't when you pay an additional 40 bucks for it. This is the first cruise we've taken (out of about a total of 10) where most of our meals were at the buffet, solely due to the lack of quality in the dining room. Overall, Jewel of the Seas is a good ship and we'd do this same cruise again and we recommend it to others, just be wary of the food quality and all of the walking on cobblestones. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The islands we visited were beautiful and the weather was fantastic even in April. We booked a Royal Caribbean Excursion for each port of call and everyone of them was well organised and very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The islands we visited were beautiful and the weather was fantastic even in April. We booked a Royal Caribbean Excursion for each port of call and everyone of them was well organised and very interesting. Embarkation was a breeze. We checked in online a few weeks before and from the time we arrived at the port we were given all the details of our drinks and internet packages and were on the ship within five minutes. Excellent organisation on Royal Caribbean's part. Sadly, our first impression of the ship is that it's looking very tired. The carpets are in very poor condition and the fixtures, fittings, bars, seating (pretty much everything) throughout the ship are very worn and in desperate need of replacing and refurbishment. All the public areas in the ship were pretty clean though and we always saw housekeeping staff working hard. The food was excellent everywhere we ate. We ate in the main dining room for most of our evening meals and the food was always hot, tasty and fresh. The buffet was extremely good and had excellent variety, even at breakfast. We ate in all three specialty dining venues and all were excellent except for Giovanni's which was just average. The entertainment was hit and miss. Most of the headliner shows were very average and, frankly, a bit old-fashioned compared to most other ships I've been on. The live bands who played in the bars/venues around the ship were rotated nightly so there was good variety. We didn't partake in many of the activities onboard but they looked just like your average cruise bingo/art auctions/trivia etc. Nothing much to write home about. The service is where this ship shines. All the bar staff and waiters are excellent. We had a good laugh with a few of the buffet servers and the bar staff were extremely attentive. They always did their best to fulfill any special requests and were friendly, funny and obviously enjoyed their jobs. I would not sail on this ship again unless it underwent a huge refurbishment. I will, however, sail with Royal Caribbean again due to the positive experience we had with the service on this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Great deal on cruise and 4 new ports for us. Avoid this ship if you are a avid cruiser. Ship was NOT only rundown, but was VERY filthy, found a OLD plate of food under the bed, mattress was old, stateroom was dirty, no lotion in bathroom,, ... Read More
Great deal on cruise and 4 new ports for us. Avoid this ship if you are a avid cruiser. Ship was NOT only rundown, but was VERY filthy, found a OLD plate of food under the bed, mattress was old, stateroom was dirty, no lotion in bathroom,, ran out of TISSUE with two days left in cruise, NO limes for a gin/tonic, no p-nuts for bars snacks in bar, no fresh fruit last two days,, windows were all filthy, had to clean our stateroom sliding door myself, teak balcony molding had not been varnished in a long, long time. Smell of smoke evident, card room was a disaster and also worked a part of the dining room? All the windows in the commons areas were filthy and were NOT cleaned for 12 days. We have over 30 cruises, this ship was the WORST ever. Music was terrible unless you like head banging stuff, very noisy ship with few areas to sit, enjoy a drink and converse with friends. This was our 11th and final cruise on this line, as A Diamond club member we saw VERY little loyalty shown by the Cruise company for 11 cruises, torn towels, a disembarkation BREAKFAST that consisted of COLD food items, not exactly the way you want your loyal cruisers to remember you. If was evident that little attention has been given to this ship and its cleanliness. Food was average at best, very uninspiring, only ship we have EVER sailed that charged you IF you wanted LOBSTER in the dining room, what's that all about? Italian specialty restaurant was terrible, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a ... Read More
We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a shuttle from the station in Civitavecchia to the RCCL area to board buses to the ship. We waited in line for some time to have board a bus to take us to the ship. Once we got to the port, the processing and boarding went smoothly and quickly. One suitcase was all ready by the door when we got to our room, the other didn’t arrive until nearly 10 pm. We had an interior room on the 2nd deck. We were happy with the room, although a little tight. Fortunately our luggage could fit under the bed. It was convenient for our port days not having to wait for an elevator when we came back on board. Erick, our room attendant from Brazil, was a pleasant, personable young man. He did a good job of keeping our room looking tidy. All the ports were new for us and very interesting in their own rights. Smaller ship, less people. We had a congenial dining group. Our group consisted of an Australian couple, New Zealand couple, and a French speaking couple from Quebec, Canada. As in the past, this has been one of the highlights of our cruising experience. Our waiter, Shanshan, was very attentive and always pleasant. She kept us apprised of the next day’s schedule of the meal times at the Coral dining room. She worked several nights by herself when her assistant left. Sometimes she had help from the Windjammer. We were pleased with the wait staff in the Windjammer. Thanks for including a time slot to play pickleball. In fact, there were quite a few people wanting to play This is becoming a more popular sport, so having more time allotted would be good. Cons: The entertainment was certainly subpar to our other RCCL cruises. The comedians were disappointing. The best show was the Beatles’ tribute followed by the first show, a hand shadow display. There were quite a few “tween” children that were unsupervised, running around the halls, lounges, and pushing all the elevator buttons- quite annoying. We would have enjoyed a bit more variety of activities for the sea days. We did enjoy the trivia sessions. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this cruise for the Itinerary, time of year and our past successful cruises on RC. Unfortunately, this was our third straight cruise on this RC class ship and, perhaps, at no fault of RC, the cruise experience was fairly “just ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the Itinerary, time of year and our past successful cruises on RC. Unfortunately, this was our third straight cruise on this RC class ship and, perhaps, at no fault of RC, the cruise experience was fairly “just OK”. Everything going on on the ship including the ship layout just got way too familiar and, consequently, boring. So, I’ll try to fashion this review for those who have no to little experience either with RC or crusing. PROS. 1. RC provides a very good cruise experience per dollar. They are very competently run and, in my opinion, is as good as any of the mass market (or lower cost) cruises. 2. Service. Very good. No complaints. The cabin attendant was good and most all of the wait staff were also very good. Excursion staff at the desk were ok as well as the front desk. Check in, like pretty much all cruise lines, is smoothly run like clockwork. 3. Ship. The condition of the ship was very good as well. Although the ship is coming on 15 years old, everything looked in excellent or recently refurbished condition. Carpets looked newish and clean and all furniture was also in good condition. The cabin and bathroom were also in very good condition although there was a little rust and corrosion at the shower door. Cons. 1. Food. We took most of our meals in the buffet restaurant. So, perhaps it is unfair to say that the food was mediocre. The choice was wide and varied, but on this 11-night Cruise, I found it repetitive, sometimes cold, and meats hard and over cooked due to sitting there for a while. Coffee was often cold or like warm. The desserts were also pretty disappointing. Too many mousse’s which pretty much tasted like whipped sugar. We did go to the sit down restaurant twice and the Izumi specialty restaurant once. The problem I had with the sitdown restaurant is that the portions were really small. I’m no food hog, but four measly shrimp is poor in your “jumbo shrimp” dish is pretty poor. Sure you can ask for seconds, but who wants to come off as a food hog. As for Izumi, we ordered five sushi dishes and four were below mediocre. 2. Onboard shopping. The shop was small, limited merchandise. The jewelry shop was much larger, but the prices were outrageous. Example: my Citizens watch that I bought online last year for about $175 was being sold — same watch — on ship for about $500. Why is onboard shopping an issue? Well, it can get a little boring on a long cruise and a nice diversion is shopping. But, with extremely limited merchandise, it was a bust. Wake up RC, a captive audience and opportunity lost. 3. Onboard live shows. I suppose due to budget and cost, lost are the days of onboard performers and mini Broadway type shows. Rather, the live shows are made up of contract one night stand comedians, singers, etc. They come onboard at one port of call, do their show and get off at the next port. The performers were OK, but it would be nice to see some production type shows. Also, the lounge performers were really bad. 4. Shore excursions. These were fairly limited in selection. I suppose, as a modestly experienced cruiser — 8 cruises — I should know and expect that cruise sightseeing is all about in and out. Get into the port and off the ship by 8 or 9 am and back on board by 4:30 and on to the next port of call. That leaves virtually no time to do any in depth sight seeing. Is RC different or worse than any other cruiseline’s offerings? Likely no. But, new cruisers, be forewarned. 5. Port of call onboard information. This is the first cruise I’ve been on where the ship provided virtually no information on the various ports of call enroute to the destinations. Cruises in the past had the cruise director providing tips on what to see and do and shopping tips. Nothing. I’m not expecting cultural lectures on the history and culture of the destinations, although that would be nice. But a little something about what to expect. Even if it was pre-recorded. All we got was daily babbling about trivia — what minor celebrity had a birthday that day — or some inane joke of the day. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the itinerary - not the ship. The 11 night Greece and Croatia cruise leaving from Rome had all the places we wanted to visit, and this itinerary was only happening once! This was our fourth cruise, and 2nd time on Royal ... Read More
We chose the itinerary - not the ship. The 11 night Greece and Croatia cruise leaving from Rome had all the places we wanted to visit, and this itinerary was only happening once! This was our fourth cruise, and 2nd time on Royal Carribean. We didn't get the WOW! experience we were expecting... Firstly, the staff was very good and very attentive to details! Excellent staff everywhere. We had booked My Time Dining, but not always at the same time. The first night, they gave us the table right in the entrance of the dining room. We thought that we'd get another table the next evening so we didn't ask for a change, but we got the same table the next evening. We asked to be moved to another table, and that seemed to have created a lot of problems. They kept wanting to take us back to the first table. I'm not sure why this is important - I didn't mind getting different waiting staff every evening. Anyway, as stated earlier, the staff was excellent regardless of the table we had, but I'm not sure I understand the value of pre-booking My Time Dining. The food for dinner at the dining room was good to excellent, with a good selection every evening. In general, the waiter's recommendations were great choices. Breakfast in the dining room was not the best experience. After waiting in line to get seated, they hoarded us to a large table where we sat with other guests. Service was extremely slow (15-20 minutes before ordering, 30 minutes before getting our eggs benedict ). Room service breakfast was excellent on the first morning we tried it. The 2nd morning, the omelettes were chewy and rubbery. On the 3rd morning, some items were missing (eg: cereal without milk). Breakfast in the Windjammer was the same every morning, not many variations. Good in general, but the fried eggs and omelette station was not being replenished fast enough. Lunch at the Windjammer was generally good, with more variety, and fresh items. The salad bar had a good selection. One comment on the salad bar: when the bottle of olive oil was empty, they removed it but did not replace it - why? We had paid for the premium beverage package. Around the 3rd or 4th night, they started missing out on some of the brands our group was ordering (Botannist gin, Chivas, Stoli vodka, etc...) in Schooner's and the Safari Club. One evening, our waiter in Schooner's had to go get our drink at the Casino. After 3 evenings like this, I complained - why were only some of the bars stocked with only some of the brands? They eventually fixed the issue at Schooner's but they were still out of stock on some of the brands at the Casino and the Pit Stop. If I hadn't paid for the Premium beverage package, I would not have minded. But I expected RCCL to stock up on the brands advertized as being part of the package. To me, this is unacceptable. The entertainment was appropriate and varied. Over the course of our 11 night cruise, we didn't see/hear the same band play the same thing twice, which is good! The formal nights were just that - nights where people would dress up. Aside from a small speech from the Captain at the Captain's Welcome reception, I didn't really feel that the evenings were special. For example, on our prior cruise (not with RCCL), the central atrium was decorated with hundreds of balloons for the farewell evening ceremonies. After our last cruise, we were eager to book the next one. After this cruise on the Jewel, I'm not in a hurry to book the next one - I just didn't get the experience I was expecting. And if I book another cruise, it probably won't be with Royal Carribean. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I traveled with our family celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly specialty restaurants are the way to go anymore as Tides food was less than average for dinner, and the service was hit & miss depending on the ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with our family celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly specialty restaurants are the way to go anymore as Tides food was less than average for dinner, and the service was hit & miss depending on the table assignment. Thankfully we weren't at the originally assigned table throughout the cruise. Toward the end of our journey, we chose Giovannis (excellent) and Chops for superior filet mignon and service. Why is it necessary to pay extra for what's already paid for!? If onboard, lunch was best at the buffet. The non alcoholic package was worth it...although again paying extra for what should be included: fresh squeezed OJ and Lattetudes for cappuccinos, frappuccinos and lattes. The staff there was stellar. Our cabin, 9212, was a great location mid-ship and larger than average. Both staterooms were rundown, drapes torn/ dirty, & the refrigerators were never cold. The bed was comfortable and the stewards worked hard cleaning every minute they were on duty. All the ships window were filthy. Entertainment, beyond the midshop lobby, was zero in our opinion. The casino smoke carried over throughout that deck. Watch your folio for added charges you may want to challenge. Both our families did. Embarkation and debarkation was easy. Upon return to airport, we didn't pay more than €100 for two (taxis are waiting to add you to passenger vans). We pre-booked three exceptional tour guides online by reading reviews on Cruise Critic. PKTravel and Santoriniexperts is another. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my first Transatlantic cruise and I'm so glad we chose this sailing. The weather was ideal and we only hit what could be considered rough water on our last sea day in the Mediterranean. There were many positives and some ... Read More
This was my first Transatlantic cruise and I'm so glad we chose this sailing. The weather was ideal and we only hit what could be considered rough water on our last sea day in the Mediterranean. There were many positives and some negatives and some of them may be deal breakers for some people so I will do my best to describe them. Embarkation in Miami: surprisingly slow. The security scan part was very quick, but the line upstairs took quite awhile. Overall ship: some wear and tear is evident. I like the navy blue and nautical themes. Jewel is classic Royal Caribbean style. There are places where the carpet is getting thin, with minor cosmetic damage to walls, trim, flooring. This didn't impact my cruise but it is noticeable. There is also a very occasional vague sewage smell we noted. I'm not sure what that's from. We both smelled it and commented when it reappeared. Fortunately it was not constant. Smoking is a problem, which I will describe later. Food and Service: We gave up on the main dining room and retreated to the Windjammer. It was comically slow dining room service. Our waiter just didn't seem to get certain things and the assistant waiter just disappeared. One glass of water is apparently all you can get at dinner. Coffee orders were taken after you were served dessert. I was on this cruise to relax and Windjammer was the answer. I've been on other ships where you struggled to find a table at WJ, but Jewel has wonderful seating options, both inside and outside. There was always something I was happy to eat and it didn't take 2 hours. The staff there was wonderful. The Solarium snack bar had some okay choices for later night snacks but Jewel is lacking in options if you are used to the bigger ships. Bars and lounges: I can't speak to the scene in the Diamond Lounge but the bars were quite sedate. This was not a party crowd lol. No problems with service. Things to do: we pretty much did out own thing. There seemed to be a decent amount of stuff in the cruise compass if you are looking for it. I was always happy to hear Rosario Strings playing as we passed through the Centrum. We really enjoyed the movie offerings, though the cinema is too small. Loved the evening movie by the pool option. Cabin: we were midship on deck 7 in a balcony, overlooking the lifeboat roofs. I actually didn't mind the roofs as it made it feel more private than being open to the promenade deck. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage, everything worked. I was glad I had brought a multiport charging plug extender thing. The ports: Awesome!! Each port was new to us and we loved them all. I had never heard of Alicante before this trip and I really hope to go back there for a longer stay sometime. We had fantastic weather in Spain. April in Valencia is not to be missed. We did an Airbnb experience there which was phenomenal. Uber is inexpensive in Valencia and very handy. The Problem With Jewel: The Centrum design, and smoking. I just don't understand the Centrum as an event space. The floor accommodates about 20 people max, and then people can look over from balconies. You have poor acoustics, with someone on a microphone hawking art auctions or whatever, it's not pleasant. The bigger problem is the smoke, which is sucked out of the casino and up the Centrum which acts as a chimney, spreading smoke up and out. Royal has no doubt crunched the numbers and decided they make more money out of smokers in the casino then they lose from people who don't come back. If you are a smoker, this is your ship. The rules are on your side. For me, it will make me think long and hard about going on Radiance class again. If you are allergic/asthmatic, stay away! I wish they would just add the sealed smoking rooms you see at airports. All in all though, this was a wonderful vacation. This ship is more for relaxing than exciting activities. There is no flowrider or sky diving simulator. It draws an older, quieter crowd of experienced cruisers. Read Less
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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