1,682 Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise on "Jewel of the Seas" long before the Coronavirus scare and decided to go ahead anyway, as we have a daughter living in Dubai whom we wanted to visit. In the couple of weeks before the start date, RCI sent ... Read More
We booked this cruise on "Jewel of the Seas" long before the Coronavirus scare and decided to go ahead anyway, as we have a daughter living in Dubai whom we wanted to visit. In the couple of weeks before the start date, RCI sent us several reassuring emails that the cruise would go ahead, so we were never left wondering whether we should cancel. I cannot speak highly enough about this cruise company. Embarkation at Dubai was smooth and efficient and we were all looking forward to sailing to the other scheduled ports. However, suddenly the port authorities (Oman, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, etc) all announced a ban on cruise ships, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic. We therefore spent the entire cruise at Dubai. This may sound dire but, thanks to the Captain's regular tannoy updates and the wonderfully upbeat and positive attitude of the Cruise Director and all the staff and crew, it was one of the best cruises we have ever experienced - and we've done around thirty. The food was excellent, with plenty of choice; all the shows were among the best we've ever seen; and the sun shone daily! One of the first things RCI did was to assure all guests that they would receive a full refund of the cruise fare via the credit card details lodged with the ship (not just vouchers for another cruise). This is in contrast to some other cruise companies, which I understand are proving very evasive on the subject of refunds. The Captain said he would understand if any passengers decided to disembark early and take an earlier flight home - they would still receive the full refund. Inevitably some did just that, so by the end of the cruise the number of passengers had diminished considerably. However, the standard of service, quality of food and the entertainment remained superb. Even with a handful of people in the theatre, the performers continued to give the same 100%. Sadly, the crew are being sent home, to wherever their homes are, and their contracts will be ended. At this stage they have no idea when they will be rehired. Yet even this morning, at our last breakfast in the Windjammer buffet, a crew member told us that his most important priority was the health and happiness of the guests - incredible! Even though this cruise turned out to be very different from the one we'd expected, we enjoyed it very much. Jewel of the Seas was a well run, very happy ship, right to the end, thanks to Royal Caribbean, the Captain and all the crew. I would say to anyone thinking of booking a cruise in the future, once this current "hiccough" is over, please don't hesitate to cruise with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We have cruised on a few ships and I did prefer this smaller ship,yes it's old but was clean and kept well. I liked that I could find a sunbed in a quiet location . Solarium was a nice place to relax. Safari club was my bar of ... Read More
We have cruised on a few ships and I did prefer this smaller ship,yes it's old but was clean and kept well. I liked that I could find a sunbed in a quiet location . Solarium was a nice place to relax. Safari club was my bar of choice lots of room and great seats in the stern. Entertainment was just ok apart from a juggler on last night who was excellent. MDR had no issues we were on my time dining and made sure had the same table each night never waited more than 10 minutes . Food was usual RCI quality. Windjammer it was great to eat outside food was good quality but needs to be hotter,there is no bar just a small area to get drinks, not much table service as I have seen on other RCI ships. Embarkation was very efficient and was on ship by 10am Disembarkation was good and if flying with Emirates you can give your luggage to them in cruise terminal and you don't see it till you land in your home airport. Ports we missed Khasab and muscat due to coronavirus but where refunded taxes and given refund on a days cruising. I would sail on the JOS again as I liked the smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I don't really get the criticisms of this lovely ship. I usually sail on better cruise lines and my low expectations coupled with some less than flattering reviews meant I was pleasantly surprised by a great week cruising the seas ... Read More
I don't really get the criticisms of this lovely ship. I usually sail on better cruise lines and my low expectations coupled with some less than flattering reviews meant I was pleasantly surprised by a great week cruising the seas around Dubai. Public areas were very attractive and well maintained, staff were unwaveringly polite, helpful and efficient and the entertainment staff were great. I attended two shows and both were among the best I've seen. The production show of Argentine Tango was the best I've ever seen in terms of production shows. We had good food every night and good service. The buffet lunch in the main dining room was exceptional. Great effort by all staff. We met some interesting people in a very friendly atmosphere. All in all a great week for a great price. If you miss these next (last) weeks when she sails out of Dubai, you are missing a bargain. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because of the interesting stops and the fact that the weather in the middle-east is much better than elsewhere, at this time of year. It also offered good value for money, as Emirates flights from the UK were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the interesting stops and the fact that the weather in the middle-east is much better than elsewhere, at this time of year. It also offered good value for money, as Emirates flights from the UK were included. Due to the coronavirus, we were told that RC had decided not to stop at either of the two ports in Oman, due to its proximity (and open borders) with Iran. Not sure I believe this, more likely that Oman didn't want the cruise passengers disembarking and potentially spreading the virus?? As a result we had an extra day at sea and on that day the buffet was completely covered and staff (with gloves) were serving guests which was chaotic and led to very long queues. I can understand from an infection control standpoint why there were doing this, but as it was only for one day, it seemed to me to be a pointless exercise. Enjoyed Abu Dhabi where we did a city tour combined with a visit to the Grande Mosque which was definitely the highlight of our cruise. Just be aware that ladies need long sleeves and trousers to visit the mosque, as well as a headscarf. Doha was added into our itinerary instead of Oman, and with free shuttles, guests could wander around the harbour, souk and museums, without doing an organised tour. The entertainment on board was pretty good, we particularly enjoyed the Jersey Boys. Embarkation was very busy as all the guests who had flown via Emirates arrived at the cruise terminal at the same time, so long queues after an overnight flight, meant that some guests were a bit fraught. Disembarkation, was very smooth by comparison. Overall, a relaxing and enjoyable trip and although slightly overshadowed with coronavirus worries, I would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all ... Read More
From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all paperwork and credit card to hand. Pre paid deluxe drinks package and most shore excursions. Ship - previously said nothing to compare to and a little nervous having read bad reviews from others. Spotless and absolutely no concerns on the ship. Scared of deep water and never wanted to cruise - NO safety concerns onboard and have already booked with Marella for new destinations but I am nervous this will not live up to the jewel! My daughter 11 did not want to go to kids clubs but loved her time onboard including mini golf and rock climbing. Enjoyed the fact we had deluxe drinks packages as tried a few cocktails I wouldn’t normally plus I paid for peace of mind. Probably didn’t get my money worth but again knew what i was paying for. Evening entertainment was great. I was tired after that and didn’t stay out till midnight or see any partying. Food was lovely. Staff always friendly! I am a bit of a nuisance and kept an eye on the cabin tv to make sure no charges - We did get a sneaky charge for cocktails the day at Sir Bani Yas however I rang from my room and they were removed immediately. I left with zero charges on my account as I wanted! I took dirham for onshore and dollars. I came home with money as we only had odd coffee and fridge magnet at each destination plus a scarf for the mosque. Shore excursions were great apart from Dubai. We ended up going back into Dubai via free shuttle afterwards. We literally rushed through the mall to Burj Khalifa and drove round the island for hours without food stop! It was super annoying so went back to mall afterwards. Knowing that there are usually free shuttles on my next cruise unless we want to pre book a activity we will make own way/free shuttle into centre, also saves waiting for people that are late getting on the coach..again the Dubai excursion left us 40 minutes late due to waiting for people. Not too long but from 8:30 till 3pm no food stop I was frustrated. UAE is amazing full stop just respect the culture or don’t go simple. You can dress as you would at home but did see a group of girls from ship going to Abu Dhabi mall with swimwear and see through cover ups on- my husband laughed as did others. I only felt the ship move the day at sea and I was probably overthinking it. I did not enjoy the day at sea as much because I like me space. I did sit round the pool for my daughter but not my thing. Day at sea couldn’t get spot around the pool so we sat on chairs on another deck, it was red hot and I actually preferred the spots away from everyone looking out at the sea ( i thought I’d never enjoy looking at the open sea!) overall I loved waking up at a nee destination and getting excited for the day! Ps the coffee shop was lovely. Main restaurant food lovely. Windjammer lovely. NO COMPLAINTS. Just nervous Marella discovery 2 won’t be as good! Considering this was older and smaller than the RC fleet we will try Harmony or another one as the company was so easy and no hassle at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had been to Dubai and Emirates the previous year and this time combined it with a stay at The Atlantis Hotel on The Palm...amazing...we usually cruise with P&O but they had decided not to do that route so we booked with ... Read More
We had been to Dubai and Emirates the previous year and this time combined it with a stay at The Atlantis Hotel on The Palm...amazing...we usually cruise with P&O but they had decided not to do that route so we booked with RC...fantastic....balcony cabin was a little tight...no need for the settee.. just could have been arranged a little different without it... bathroom clean and spacious... the ONE thing we really missed was a kettle... but hey we managed.Clean sheets and a tidy room every day... what more do we need. Second sitting dining was great. Staff were just brilliant...we were on a table of 10 and just the 2 young men to look after us... they were brilliant... food was fabulous....lobster tail one evening! The shows were very professional and one in particular was the best i have seen. We missed docking at Sir Bani Yas Island and that was disappointing.. we went the year previous and knew how fab it was... but others that hadn't been were sad but could not be helped.... as mother nature rules the seas. All told this was a great cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it... Thank You Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the architecture. It’s very modern, clean and stunning. The ship was clean, needed a spot of paint here and there but overall was in good condition. We were with friends and had my time dining and easily got a table for 4 at a set time in the MDR. The food was fine really. We had special requests for Indian food not on the daily menu which they accommodated for that night or the next night. The service in the MDR was awesome. We were treated very well. The service overall was amazing. Our cabin attendant kept our room spotless and promptly answered our calls. Henri in future cruises went out of his way to optimize the future cruise we booked while on board. Embarkation was notable for precautions taken due to the Corona virus outbreak which in retrospect especially given how this has since spread was needed. We self disembarked which was a breeze. My only issue was the loudness of the band in the atrium which made speaking to personnel by the service desk adjacent to that area rather difficult. We did only one ship excursion and that was in Sir Bani Yas. Though I usually say ships excursions are overpriced this one for what we received was reasonable. Unfortunately our stop in Bahrain was canceled due to what I think was security concerns which was too bad as our traveling companions had family there. We ended up staying overnight in Abu Dhabi so we got a chance to see more of this emirate. The production shows put on by the RC entertainers were quite good! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had not been with this company before, and we were expecting this cruise to be better than the cruise we did with another company the week before. Strangely enough, we enjoyed the other cruise, but not this one. Where do we start? In ... Read More
We had not been with this company before, and we were expecting this cruise to be better than the cruise we did with another company the week before. Strangely enough, we enjoyed the other cruise, but not this one. Where do we start? In our opinion we felt that Jewel of the Seas desperately needed a refurbishment, and until this is possible, we felt that a good clean and a lick of paint would have been welcome. We found that on two occasions dishes in the Windjammer buffet had dried food on them, we found food that was on a ledge where we had breakfast was still there the following morning, paper towels used to soak up a spill in the Schooner bar were just left all the time we were there, areas around the ship that didn’t look clean, were suddenly improved when we used just a tissue and plain cold water. We could go on! We found that the food in the main dining room was generally good, but we felt that the Windjammer buffet especially at lunchtime could have been better. Some staff were very friendly and helpful, but we found that there could have been more “service with a smile” in other areas. Embarkation and Dis-embarkation was well organised and ran smoothly. We felt that the entertainment on offer could have been better. Finally, we found that our cabin, which was of a reasonable size, and had adequate storage, had a rather unpleasant odour. Yes, I know that we should have mentioned this to guest services, but given the fact that it is very unlikely that we would cruise on this ship again, felt that we couldn’t be bothered. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our sixth cruise and the first on Royal Caribbean. We got a very good price and as we have visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously we knew what to expect in terms of weather, general safety and cleanliness. Also the flight from ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise and the first on Royal Caribbean. We got a very good price and as we have visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously we knew what to expect in terms of weather, general safety and cleanliness. Also the flight from Finland to Dubai is not too long. Oman was a new and exciting destination for us. We arrived in Dubai early on Sunday morning, the weather was not on our side, windy and cold, with the odd rain shower. After visiting the Dubai Mall we just spent the rest of the day relaxing at our hotel. On Monday we proceeded by taxi to Dubai Cruise Terminal, where check-in was extremely efficient and we were onboard by 12:30. As we waited for our luggage to arrive we lunched at the Windjammer and went to sort out our dining time. Originally we had requested late seating but for some reason this had been changed to early. We managed to get the late seating back, but were allocated a far end table next to the kitcken entrance, a more central location would have been nice. First impression of the ship was a disappointment. The Jewel is a retro ship, her decor dates back to 2004 when she was built and that style has not aged well. She is clean and well maintained but the interiors are dark, dull and completely lacking any sensation of luxury. I very much got the feeling that Royal does not want to invest any dollars on this ship as she might be sold off in the near future. Standard of food in general was good. The selection and layout of the Windjammer buffet was good and we didn't have any problem finding a table, but again the decor was very retro. Plastic plates and drinking glasses were a letdown and we were surprised that there was no late night snack available, other than the room service and Cafe Lattetudes sandwich sortiment. The buffet staff was very quick in clearing tables and in general the cleanliness of the serving stations was very good. Now the fun part, a few words about the main dining room service which was always very friendly and polite, but at times surprisingly unprofessional. Our first clash with the Royal Caribbean service concept was with the food ordering, as we were expected to order all three courses at the same time. Usually in a restaurant the dessert is chosen after you have finished the main course, but not here. Afterdinner coffee was never offered and when we asked for an espresso it was served in a normal coffee cup, without a spoon or a saucer! It seems that Royal hasn't invested in espresso cups at all. And it seems that neither have they invested in employing sommeliers, as the wine order was handled by the assistant waiter. His pairing of wine with food was a game of chance. If we chose to have white wine with starter and main course he without asking brought a second glass of the - hopefully - same wine as main course was served. And he also poured what was left of the first glass into the new one! I've never, ever seen that being done in any restaurant. One evening I asked for a port wine, this was served in a champagne flute. It would have been nice to know what brand I was drinking but dessert wines were not mentioned in the wine list. We ordered room service breakfast a couple of times but as the free continental selection was so limited we took the rest of our breakfasts in the MDR. Drinks selection at the bars was a bit of a dissapointment. Most were all too sweet to our taste as they were mixed with ready-made syrups. And for the first few days they were out of lemons so every drink was garnished with a lime wedge. The Vintages wine bar would benefit of a larger selection of wines and champagnes served by the glass, as other bars on the ship have a wider sortiment. Smoking was allowed in the Casino, which meant that cigarette smoke flowed also to the Vintages. As an ex-smoker I would happily see indoor smoking banned and wouldn't mind a non-smoking ship. Entertainment was generally good to great, highlight being the staff, lowpoint the ship's own singers. The '80's and '70's parties at the Centrum were great fun. The poolside music was very loud but we spent our time on deck mostly at the front part of the ship where it did not disturb us. We had the Deluxe Drinks Package, which was a good investment as bottled water was included, the tap water in the cabin being too warm to drink. Service in general was polight but the ratio of service staff to passengers was noticeably poor, with no chance to have a friendly talk with bar or dining room staff as they were so very busy. Which left us with a feeling of hurried, impersonal, revenue generating oriented atmosphere. The first port visit was a day at Sir Baniyas Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi. We anchored offshore and were tendered to the island, where a cruise ship beach had been constructed with sun beds, covered bbq buffet, several bars and toilet facilities. This was quite a nice place to visit, we enjoyed the sun and had lunch before heading back to the ship. Tendering was very efficient, no queues and frequent departures. Second stop was Khasab in Oman. They said it was the first time the Jewel OTS stopped there, so great hopes were with the company and passengers. From the very modern pier we were given a free shuttle to the town centre, if you can call it that. This is a very small village with absolutely nothing to do, so after half an hour walking up and down the dusty main street we were on our way back to the ship. At least this gave us a windless day to enjoy the weather on deck. In Muscat we took a hop on-hop off bus from the pier. After a comical walk through the immigration building we were back on the bus, for the next two hours, during which we saw mainly rocky hills and car dealerships along the motorway. I think we would have been much better off just walking from the port gates to the center of the town and exploring it ourselves. Sea day was a bit windy. On Saturday we arrived at Abu Dhabi and took a taxi to see the Grand Mosque, which is a spectacular and very well organised place to visit. As we had been to Abu Dhabi before were not intrested in spending any extra time there. On the last day in Dubai we took a taxi to the QE2 which was moored opposite our berth. It was a great experience wandering around the old ship, a bit sad to see how much of the original interiors have been altered and removed. There we sat down at the Chart Room bar and had the most expensive g&t of our lives. Always check the price list first! Disembarkation was as effortles as embarkation. We carried our own bags and took a taxi to the airport. As they say, any cruise is better than no cruise. We won't be coming back to Jewel of the Seas and most probably won't sail Royal Caribbean again, their concept is just not for us. But now we are one experience wiser and know what to look for in our future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising to interesting places. We had never been on the Jewel, but have been on several ships within the fleet. On arriving in Dubai, we stayed for a few nights pre cruise. Our flight and transfers ... Read More
We are a retired couple who enjoy cruising to interesting places. We had never been on the Jewel, but have been on several ships within the fleet. On arriving in Dubai, we stayed for a few nights pre cruise. Our flight and transfers were very smooth, although we arranged this independently, not through the Company. Check in at the port was easy & quick. Passports are taken before embarkation, & returned during the cruise. Our cabin was extremely small, and unknown to us when booking, was an interconnecting room. We never take these rooms, but have to admit we didn’t hear anything from the next cabin on both sectors of the cruise...we did a b2b, and stayed in the same cabin. The balcony was a reasonable size & we sat there everyday, except when there was adverse weather ! It was most unusual for this part of the world, at the time we were cruising, to have so much mixed, unsettled weather, but it didn’t deter us from walking ashore. Some days it was cold in the morning, then later, it was too hot to sunbathe ! As we were coming to the end of the second cruise, the weather became more settled. We were looking forward to Bahrain, as we had never been there, but that was cancelled in the interest of security & safety, so not a problem. Doha, Qatar, was interesting. The free shuttle dropped us at the museum, in a car park, but after looking around, spotted a sign for the Corniche, which was within easy walking distance of being dropped off. It was a very pleasant walk, all on the flat, and we walked past the big oyster...a much visited monument ! There is also a lovely park at the museum, which we also walked around. Everything was clean & well maintained....throughout the majority of the ports where we stopped. The only port which was a bit disappointing was Khasab, but even there we found a good walk to the beach, which has potential, but has still to be developed ! We also walked to the fort, which is in the opposite direction from the beach. There really isn’t much in town, so taking the shuttle might not be worthwhile, but ..... Our favourite port is Muscat, Oman, which is kept beautifully clean & the palace is worth a visit. It is possible to walk there from the port, along the Corniche, but it is a fairly long walk, & in the heat, might prove too much for some. When we were there, the temperature was perfect for walking. Sir Bani Yas island is a tender port, and when we visited during the first cruise, the weather was very windy, but we managed to get ashore. We didn’t take any excursions ashore, instead walked about the area near the drop off point. To be honest, not much there in this area, except sun loungers, cabanas and food stops. The weather wasn’t warm enough to lie and sunbathe, so after walking around, stopped for a light lunch and walked back to the tender station to return to the ship. There is a section for suites & Pinnacles, and a golf cart type of vehicle transports those wishing to go to Al Reem beach, which is the private area for the aforementioned. The ship was well maintained, & all crew we encountered were delightful, pleasant & friendly. Our MDR servers for both cruises were lovely people. The food was hot, well presented, tasty and perfect portion size for us. We have absolutely no complaints about food, regardless where we ate. There was a good selection of food in the WJ and there is no excuse for people not to choose healthy options, of which there was plenty. The Diamond Lounge & the Concierge Lounges were well presented. It was good to see that the CL was for only Suites & Pinnacles, meaning that it was a pleasant place to sit in the evenings without being overcrowded. The D Lounge extended to part of the Vortex lounge, so there was plenty of space for all to sit. The crew in the lounges were lovely. Octavian in the CL was so professional & friendly. He was on his own, and remembered every drink passengers ordered, although always checked before serving, to make sure there was no change ! We didn’t know crew before we went on, but by the time we left, felt as if we had been in the company of dear friends ! Our SRA was good, & cleaned our room early. He knew we were early risers, so managed to clean our room before we returned from breakfast, which meant we didn’t have to rush to go off the ship. The crew in Chops were professional, helpful, kind and friendly. Breakfast was a pleasant experience, and our regular servers couldn’t have been nicer...Ana & Dickson. The HD, Tony, is a lovely person, as were all his team. Ganesh, F& B seemed to be omnipresent, & always greeted us with his enigmatic smile. There are too many people to mention individually, but all we encountered were a credit to the company. Only downside was that we had an issue with our internet for a few days, but it wasn’t to do with the ship, but the satellite signal where we were. Ariel, IT manager, tried to resolve the problem, but it was out-with his control. After a few days, the signal suddenly returned ! We liked the ship, & look forward to returning later, knowing we are going to meet pleasant crew. It is unlikely ships in this company will sail in the area after this year, for various reasons, so we are glad we managed to visit the ports again. Unfortunately there wasn’t a reserved sun lounging area for Gold card holders, but we always managed to find a spot to lie for an hour. We did notice some loungers were reserved for quite a while, but policing this is difficult, although on sea days, think the reserving of loungers could prove an issue. Some people put towels & items in their loungers, then went away, returning after a considerable period of time ! Our first experience on this ship proved to be very positive. This Captain always started his announcements by greeting passengers, & his fantastic crew, which was good. We are looking forward to our next cruise, especially when the itinerary is very port intensive, as we like to explore areas on foot. Finally....wish smoking was banned in the casino. It was really an awful place to be, so we avoided the area, but that meant we couldn’t go and enjoy a few moments on the slots. At least it saved us money !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We took this cruise mainly due to the fact that the package Royal Caribbean was offering two nights post cruise stay at the Atlantis the Palms in Dubai. It seemed like a nice way to end the cruise The ship is showing its age. Most days ... Read More
We took this cruise mainly due to the fact that the package Royal Caribbean was offering two nights post cruise stay at the Atlantis the Palms in Dubai. It seemed like a nice way to end the cruise The ship is showing its age. Most days it was not possible to walk around deck 5 as there was always parts of the deck sectioned off for maintenance. There's nothing quite like the sound of an industrial sander removing rust while you are trying to get a bit of fresh air. Once again, I believe Royal Caribbean do not examine their passenger list and tailor the cruise accordingly. It would appear that he same activities, entertainment etc get rolled out despite who is on board. A prime example is this cruise which had most people over 50 on board. My wife and I liked to head up to deck 13 at night to relax in the lounge with a coffee before bed. However in the lounge there, they have piped disco music blaring out, even when it was empty. We asked if the volume could please be turned down but nothing ever happened. Another thing which I can't understand is their choice of staff to host the trivia events. You wouldn't expect a person who couldn't play the piano to give a recital, or expect someone who can't sing to be up on stage in a musical. So why have some young lady from Mexico trying to ask trivia questions, continually asking for our pardon as she doesn't speak english very well. Away from trivia, entertainment was poor. Only one headliner act for the whole week. A foursome singing soul music which although I personally like, was not to everyones taste. The singers and dancers tried their best was their shows were something more akin to a holiday camp. As for the cruise director Andrea, if I hadn't gone to a couple of the evening shows during the cruise I would never have seen him. Certainly not in the same league as Joff Eaton, Hello Clo or Luke Arrowsmith. Remember when cruise directors used to be seen mingling with the guests each day ? - I guess those days are gone. For dining, from what I can see most people now prefer not to visit the Main Dining Room and it's easy to understand why. Service is way too slow & the food always arrives cold. We tried it a couple of times with the same results so opted for the buffet for the remainder of the cruise. Also, this is the first Royal Caribbean cruise I have been on that didn't serve lobster any evening. RC should remember that for some people, a lobster night is a traditional part of the holiday.and will probably try another cruise line if this is done away with to save a few bucks Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This cruise sailed over Christmas and this was the reason we booked a cruise only and arranged our own flights, we were then spending New Year at a hotel we go to regularly in Dubai. We've done this cruise many times with RCI and ... Read More
This cruise sailed over Christmas and this was the reason we booked a cruise only and arranged our own flights, we were then spending New Year at a hotel we go to regularly in Dubai. We've done this cruise many times with RCI and Azamara so we knew what to expect from the ports however we hadn't sailed on Jewel before. Emarkation: We stayed 1 night pre-cruise at the Fairmont Dubai which was close to the airport and Port Rashid as its never a good idea travelling overnight and going straight to the ship. Our transport picked us up at 11:00am and we were at the port by 11:15, dropped off our luggage and headed for immigration and check-in, this was very efficient and we were on board by 11:45. The Windjammer was open for lunch and was reasonably busy when we go there but we managed to get a seat outside. The cabins were available by 13:30 so headed down to unpack. Cabin: The spacious balcony cabin on deck 9 was a decent size with plenty of storage space and a good size balcony, there was tea and coffee which was great and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was small but there was a shower with a proper shower screen but no added extras like shower cap or fancy amenities, very basic, a bar of soap and some cheapo shower gel, the towels were a decent quality and thick. The cabin steward was efficient and made sure everything was kept clean. Overall the cabin badly needed upgraded. Dinning: We had opted for My Time Dinning and had booked our times in advance, we had also reserved Giovanni's and Chops. The food was excellent in every venue including The Windjammer, there were plenty of choices for everyone and we were never disappointed at breakfast or lunch times. The service in all venues was first class, sometimes a bit slower in the main restaurant in the evening depending on which table you were at and who the waiters were. The only disappointing thing in the main restaurant was that turkey was served on Christmas Eve and not Christmas day. Entertainment: Some shows we enjoyed however we have seen better singers and dancers purely personal choice, we also don't like circus acts however the best show we watched was Bruce Parker an amazing singer and very charismatic gentleman. There was also the Matisse Trio, Magic Duo and Sagitario Duo who played in various areas around the ship all good. Bars: A lot of activities seemed to stem around the atrium during the day and in the evening which can be a bit annoying if you are walking through so we tended to avoid this deck whenever we could. The Schooner Bar was always busy as there was musical entertainment every night. In the Safari Lounge there was a great Gin Bar a recent addition to the ship and a Vodka Bar which very few people knew about as it wasn't advertised anywhere, we only found out about it after speaking to Anthony who was working in the Solarium Bar. We enjoy Gin and we were very pleased to see such a great variety of Whitely Neil Gins along with many others and a good Gin menu for cocktails, Anthony (the same Bar Man from the Solarium) was very friendly and was excellent in offering ideas. Dress Code: All I can say is some people obviously didn't get the memo!!! even though you are on holiday you should dress appropriately for the restaurant in the evening and make a bit of an effort on Formal nights. There was only 1 sea day on this cruise and as expected the pool deck and surrounding areas were very busy, all the sun beds were occupied and too close together. The weather was fabulous during the cruise mid to high 20s every day which isn't always the case at this time of year. The crew were constantly cleaning and sanitising and everyday in the Cruise Compass there was a section about Wash Up and the Captain also reiterated this regularly however near the end of the cruise there was an outbreak of Norovirus and additional cleaning was introduced, when will people not recognise basic hygiene by washing their hand after using the toilets!!!! Disembarkation was straight forward as we were overnight in Dubai anyway and everyone was off the ship for 09:00am Overall we enjoyed the cruise however in my opinion the ship is in need of a refurbishment and we were told by an Officer that this not scheduled until sometime in 2021 however it wouldn't put us off sailing on Jewel again Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were on deck 11 and it was a nightmare. Every morning between 6.15 am - 7.30am and later thats all we could hear was thump thump thump which was coning from the jogging track. I obviously complained several times as I was not on holiday ... Read More
We were on deck 11 and it was a nightmare. Every morning between 6.15 am - 7.30am and later thats all we could hear was thump thump thump which was coning from the jogging track. I obviously complained several times as I was not on holiday to be woken up at that time of the morning every day. You couldn't even stay late in bed because of the continual noise above. The front desk was made aware of my complaint. They told me that the track did not open until 7.00am which was an absolute load of rubbish. They did offer to move us right at the end of the cruise (1 1/2 days left). Then they said I would receive a letter offering a discount off another cruise. This never arrived. I mentioned this to the Diamond concierge (Christina) and she checked for me and said that I should have received it she then printed a copy of it and gave it to me. (the last night). Our cabin Steward mentioned that a number of passengers had complained. But who in their right mind would put cabins underneath a jogging track. When they washed the deck we had water pouring all over the balcony so if we had been sat out we would have had a very dirty shower!!!! The ship looks tired and a lot of areas on the ship looked very sad, carpets ripped in patches. Such a shame. The staff in the Diamond lounge were absolutely amazing. The staff in Schooner Bar were great fun. I was not impressed with any of the entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
There were a couple of minor niggles, but overall this was a fantastic cruise on a lovely ship full of character. Embarkation was very smooth, and there were drinks and snacks available at the Port too as we waited to get onboard. There ... Read More
There were a couple of minor niggles, but overall this was a fantastic cruise on a lovely ship full of character. Embarkation was very smooth, and there were drinks and snacks available at the Port too as we waited to get onboard. There was a slight wait for our cabin to be ready once we were on the ship, but this meant we had the chance to sample the drinks menu! We dined every night in the main dining room (we were allocated TIdes - Deck 5). The food was probably the best we’ve had on a cruise ship, and the portion sizes were very generous! The Apple Pie was to die for! There was always plenty of choice on the menu, with some classic dishes always there for fussier eaters. We did use the buffet (Windjammer) for Breakfast and Lunch, and were also very impressed with the quality of food and different dishes available here. We lounged by the main pool mostly, and used the Solarium occasionally. There were plenty of loungers available, so it was easy to find somewhere to sit and relax most days. The pools (both outside and inside) were both a decent size, and didn’t feel too crowded, even on the sea day. One of our main annoyances with this ship were the theatre shows (or lack of), as theatre-goers, we frequent the theatre every night on cruise ships normally. But some nights, there was no theatre show, with the theatre being used as a cinema instead, when there was already a cinema on board. When there were theatre shows, the times would never be consistent, and changed constantly. The evening entertainment in other bars and lounges we thoroughly enjoyed especially some of the game shows, and the pianist in the Schooner Bar was very entertaining. We attended the Silent Disco both times throughout the week and loved it! This ship was one of the bigger mid-size ships we have been on so far, and although being around 15 years old, it was well maintained, and kept extremely clean throughout. There were plenty of bars and lounges onboard, and we especially loved the Safari Lounge. Even throughout busy periods, it never felt over-crowded. Disembarkation was very smooth. We felt very sad to be leaving, as we had a great week and met some lovely people during our time onboard. I wish MSC would take note of how other cruise lines deal with disembarking, as I really feel that they could learn a lot, especially after our horrendous experience earlier this year when we disembarked the MSC Seaside. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for its combination of cities plus the opportunity to have a beach day, so the fact that the captain deemed the seas too rough for tendering (debatable) on the day we were to visit Sir Bani Yas for our beach day was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its combination of cities plus the opportunity to have a beach day, so the fact that the captain deemed the seas too rough for tendering (debatable) on the day we were to visit Sir Bani Yas for our beach day was a huge disappointment. The itineraries for future cruises also include Khasab and it's a pity this port could not have been substituted when we abandoned Sir Bani Yas, as the itinerary ended up being too light on ports, with only 2 in addition to our departure port of Dubai, where we spent a disproportionate amount of time, 3 of the 7 nights. Embarkation was fine, as was disembarkation at the end, although when we got back to Dubai there was a lot of confusion around the system for collecting passports and incorrect info was given around the need to get our passports twice in one day, which was not the case. Disembarking in Muscat where we arrived early due to the cancelled port was total chaos and it ended up being too late in the day to get off to do anything useful so we stayed on board, making the extra time there redundant. Our cabin was satisfactory other than the damage along the base of the mirror which gave it the appearance of a cheap motel mirror. It was otherwise kept clean and the beds were comfortable. I enjoyed the shows in the theatre when there actually were shows. It is a cop out to show movies on some nights. I also enjoyed the regular quizzes, but overall there was less entertainment than my previous cruise, which was with Princess, and one duo which performed regularly in the centrum and by the main pool really were not very good. We got very tired of the constant Christmas music being played throughout much of the ship and used to search for sunbathing areas it didn't reach. The food was good in the mytime dining in Tides on deck 5, providing faster service than the main seatings on deck 4. Our waiters were great and got extra veggies for us and/or extra starters, as we were surprised how small the portions were. The Windjammer cafe food was quite good- nothing special, and near the end of the cruise I spoke to the manager about the grubbiness of the outdoor section, with stains from spilled drinks, etc, and dirty balcony glass. I felt overall the cleanliness of the public areas left something to be desired, from the dustballs under the seats outside the Tides dining room to the state of the toilet floors, which were messy even on embarkation day. The only ship's shore excursion we did was the Abu Dhabi city tour which included the mosque, and we enjoyed it other than the rather pointless stop at the closed Louvre museum. The stunning mosque was a highlight of our entire holiday. There was then a mix up regarding the itinerary but to their credit, the tour providers included the Heritage village once they realised we had been told by the ship that it was part of the tour. For our sea day my daughter paid an eye-watering $22 for 24 hours of the slower wifi, so anyone considering ship's wifi should definitely get one of the pre-sailing offers. Despite the above criticisms, overall we enjoyed our cruise. Muscat was really beautiful and an interesting contrast to the modern cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We liked the food and the overall service. We had fun in the pools and on the water slide. We also enjoyed the stargazing with the informative cruise director. However, in the end we felt we had overpaid for what we got, i.e., £1002 for the two of us in an oceanview cabin, when many had paid £400 per couple for balcony cabins in a later sale. If we'd paid £400 I would have been happy with the value for money but at over £1000, having only had 2 ports of call (in addition to our starting port) I ended up wishing we had booked one of the upcoming cruises which make better use of the time by include Khasab, so there would be a minimum of 3 ports on occasions when Sir Bani Yas tendering gets cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & ... Read More
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & Dubai! Took 90 minutes to get off ship and was absolute chaos amongst the passengers, RC need to do something here or change ports as it is a huge negative and you lose too much time hanging around. Ship - Its old but still in fair condition and still a lovely ship, my only criticism is the sofas in schooner bar is like sitting on a park bench and the art work is from the 70's Cabin - Cabin is what you expect on a 10-15 year old ship, little worn and dated but found the bed to be comfortable and decent TV with English channels. Note - take adapters as it only has US / European plugs & hairdryer is terrible. Dining - AMAZING! Much better than Anthem of the Seas. The main dining room was one of our better meals and cant praise waiter - Karandeo & Marie enough! Fantastic work and 10/10 for service. Entertainment - Overall 5/10!! Motown singers however where fantastic and deserve a 10/10, for the rest of the shows it was average if I'm honest. Entertainment leader (Talita?) was very good and put on a fantastic show (Battle of the Sexes & another)! She had us all in stitches. Service - Service around ship was extremely good, with the exception of main customer service desk on level 4!! The manager had a stinking attitude when we complained about our room and requested to move. This did put a huge negative spin on our vacation, and did question my next booking with RC in 2020. Excursions - N/A we did our own so cant comment. Gym - Very good and on par with the larger ships. Overall I liked the ship but I prefer the larger / newer ships if I'm been honest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we ... Read More
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we on our drive through we saw many passengers who were dropped off at the Port entrance toting luggage for at least 1km to board the ship. The trip to the Port at Civitavecchia was 79km, so glad our trip package included all private transfers as the distance from the airport to our hotel was 31km, but seemed longer. Cabin - our cabin was on deck 8 ocean view balcony, 1D. Furnishings were a bit tired however, it was clean & comfortable with ample drawer & hanging space. On arrival our fridge(which we were informed was really just a chiller) was not cold and our in-cupboard safe would not lock. We reported this to our cabin steward when she soon arrived for introductions and after we returned to the cabin a couple of hours later, both had been fixed with no further problems. The shower has dispenser for hair & body wash which was a nice touch, so I didn't need to use the items I packed. There was also a small extender clothes line in the shower recess. Dining - Didn't disappoint! We prebooked Tides on deck 5 for my time dining. The menu was extensive and the portions were the largest I have ever experienced on any other cruise. The service was excellent and although the staff were always super busy, they were always very friendly & made time for a chat & a joke. We also used the Windjammer (buffet) for breakfast, lunch & some dinners and we were very impressed with the quality and variety of the dishes every day. We were also pleasantly surprised by the layout of the buffet servery stations. They were arranged in such a way that we could walk right around the station, eliminating ques. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, so we had not seen this arrangement of servery stations before, but do hope other cruise lines adopt it as well. Also the Windjammer dining area was huge having the inside and outside areas, meaning there was no problem finding a seat. Service - Over all, we were impressed with the service we received around the ship. On day three (a sea day), although I was obsessive about the hand washing & sanitizing routine, I still managed to catch something that vigorously disagreed with me. After been bedridden all day, I eventually visited the on board medical center that evening. The doctor on duty was very thorough taking information of what and where I'd eaten prior to boarding and since boarding. I received appropriate medication and a bland diet leaflet and was asked not to leave my cabin until the nurse released. I was also informed that I would not be charged for the consultation or medication and, as I was seconded to my cabin, I would receive complimentary room service. The next morning, I received a phone call from the service desk offering a full refund for my excursion that day as well as complimentary access to the paid movies on the television. I was overwhelmed and appreciative of the exceptional service I received. I was released from my cabin at 6.30pm on day four. Entertainment - The theater was a let down for us. There seemed to be a lot of comedians & jugglers and not so many choreographed shows. However, the shows we did see were lively with colorful costumes accomplished performers. Absolutely loved the Celine Deon tribute show. The designated Cinema was a bit of a let down. We managed to see a couple of movies, however we just couldn't get seats in any of the allotted time slots for one particular movie even though we arrived 45 minutes prior to the allotted time, due to the small size of the cinema, and people holding seats of others despite regular notifications around the ship that the holding of seats IS NOT ALLOWED. Very disappointing! The cinema was also freezing cold, so we needed to take warm jackets. Excursions - We had pre booked all our excursions with the cruise line, and we would thoroughly recommend this to anyone. If I had not done this, I would not have received my excursion refund, also, we were delayed by at least one hour docking in Dubai, but all excursions booked were honored. The meeting place for most of the excursions was in the Coral Theater. We arrived at the allocated time on our ticket and were given numbered stickers for our respective tours and were directed to the corresponding numbered seats to wait for our tour call. This process was very well organised and with minimal waiting times whether the ship was docked or if we tendered in to shore. All of our excursions were well organised with very knowledgeable tour guides. We received detailed information and reliable transportation to and from the ship at all times. GYM - We didn't bother visiting the gym preferring to do the walking track and swim. The Ship - Although certain areas of the ship were looking tired and dated, overall it was very clean. Our only criticism is that the glass ( there is a lot of it around- the floor to ceiling windows in restaurants and balcony's) was very streaked and not pleasant to look through. We had little to no sea spray during our trip, it was very calm and glassed out a lot of the time. The window obviously were not cleaned after the last cruise. We have noticed on past cruises, that this is something that the crew are always on top of and if the weather is not so good, as soon as there is some calm weather they're right onto the window cleaning. Disembarkation - We were scheduled to dock in Dubai at 2pm however, due to another ship being docked in our space we were delayed by about 1.5 hour. Then delayed by a further hour receiving the return of our passports and the face to face with Dubai Customs. This resulted in our being and hour & a half late for our Dune Dinner Safari excursion. None of this was the fault of Royal Caribbean, and they worked tirelessly to move us off the ship as soon as possible. We still did our excursion, just a little disappointed that we lost daylight and it was dusk by the time we reached the dunes. The rest of the night went very well and back to the ship by 9pm. Hotels - In Rome we stayed 2 days at the Empire Palace Hotel before boarding our cruise. The hotel inside was typical of Rome's history with pillars, historical painted ceilings and dark timber. The reception staff were very helpful with maps & directions and we had complimentary breakfasts. The hotel was very central and walking distance for cafes & coffees etc and some major attractions such as the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Maria della Vittoria Cathedral & the Trevi Fountain. WE had pre booked a Big Red Bus Hop on Hop off tour and thoroughly recommend this tour. As well as a great way to see and learn about the history of Rome, & we were given English speaking headsets for the continuous commentary. Included in the tickets were complimentary entry to tours at certain places of interest The tour company has tour guides who can take bookings and hand out brochures stationed at all of their stops. Well work it!! We also had a 2 day stop over in Dubai at the Four Points by Sheraton Down Town Dubai before flying home. This hotel was ultra modern and very spacious. Being somewhat exhausted after our journey, we elected to eat at the hotel bistro, and breakfasts were also included. On arrival at 10am, we were able to store our luggage and decided to use the hotel tour agent to book a Hop on Hop off bus city tour. Again we were not disappointed with the tour or the commentary and we again received complimentary entry vouchers to the Preferring to just sight see from the bus, we only got off once at the Dubai Mall and visited the Dubai Aquarium using our complimentary voucher. The aquarium was AMAZING with so many marine species we have ever seen in one place & we almost got lost in there it is so big. The following day we took a pre booked Bus tour to Abu Dharbi. It was interesting to see the difference between the two cities. Dubai, with more fancy skyscrapers than the whole of Australia has, and Abu Dhabi, still with some impressive skyscrapers, but focusing more on Trees, shrubs & gardens. Returned home after a 12 hour day and didn't even bother eating. All in all would absolutely, with out a doubt, recommend this trip. To see the places we visited was an awesome adventure. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of sailing and -- it happens. The crew did a great job of communicating and making us as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Because of the weather, our Sicily stop was changed to Crete. Personally, we didn't mind because we had never visited Crete. Our Ashdod port was changed to Haifa so we had an overnight stay in Haifa. We agreed, better to be safe. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday and everyplace we visited on the Jerusalem and Bethlehem shore excursion was very, very crowded. Compounded by the longer transit time (1.5 hours) from Haifa versus Ashdod, it was not the experience we had anticipated. Nonetheless, we were able to quickly see religious sites that had enormous emotional and sentimental value to us. The Jewel is a little older, but well maintained. I have sailed on the Jewel before so I knew what to expect in terms of ship size and layout. It does not have zip lines, surfing, multi-deck slides, carousels, and neighborhoods. The Jewel is a good, mid-sized ship with some of the older ship style charm. We were in cabin 9256, which has a standard size cabin, but a larger balcony. The extended balcony has a nice AFT and Port view. There are passenger cabins above and below. It is very private and quiet. It would be nice to have a staircase towards the aft. Our aft cabin was quite a walk; on the bright side, we got exercise just going/coming to/from the cabin. The food ranged from okay to good; the dining room staff was very pleasant. We had Anytime Dining and our average wait for a table for two was approximately five minutes. The seatig wait time was consistent with a land based restaurant. The entertainment in the centrum area was quite good. It was usually a crowded area. We are in our late 60s and sailing in November allowed us to avoid too many children and teenagers. The children that were sailing were very well behaved. Our fellow passengers were primarily multi-generational families and couples. The shore excursions were as described, so no surprises there. We pre-ordered the excursions we wanted and used the ship excursions for most of our ports. The two exceptions were that we booked the Hop On Hop Off bus in Rhodes (small port city) and Athens (we had been there before and just wanted to get an overview). Yes, there were less expensive excursions available from private vendors...but the notion of being left at a port frightens me. We quickly learned, strenuous meant strenuous and made one or two adjustments to our selections after our first full day excursion. When we changed excursions, I wished the Shore Excursions Desk onboard would honor the 10-20% discounts we received for pre-ordering. Also, Easy Ephesus could spend a few minutes at the ruins for pictures and a lot less time hearing a carpet sales pitch. We had a great time. My overall suggestion for this itinerary would be to take the earlier sailing (there were only two offered in 2019), the weather would probably be better and you may avoid religious holidays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean in three and a half years (Diamond Members), I can say without a doubt that this is probably our last RCL cruise. Unfortunately, I can also honestly say they probably don't care and won't ... Read More
After 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean in three and a half years (Diamond Members), I can say without a doubt that this is probably our last RCL cruise. Unfortunately, I can also honestly say they probably don't care and won't notice. Our first cruise on the Jewel was marginal at best for the ship but great for the ports so when we saw this cruise to the Holy Land, we booked it. While on the Harmony a month before we left for Europe, we found a great deal in the "Next Cruise" office for a back to back on Jewel so we grabbed it. BIG MISTAKE!! The cruise director and her activities director are screeching, pompous people that care nothing about the guests but only their own "spot light". Since most activities are packed around a small Centrum so you can't walk through the ship without hearing those phonies screaming. The customer service desk was given a nick name of Dr. NO by another guest and I could see why. Our second balcony was tiny, the drapes were ripped, the little two seat love seat they wedge in there was torn and dirty, the closet door was broken and nailed twice and nailed a third time after we spoke with our Loyalty manager who was great. We asked for extra sheets and covered up the dirty love seat. It was an adjoining bedroom and they hammered a love seat in it so they could rent is as a cabin. The bartenders were great, the food staff was great, our cabin attendants were great but you could really tell the house keeping and hotel manager never walked through the cabins. Upper level management at RCL think only of $$$. The loyalty only flows from the guests to the company and not the other way. As I mentioned, we will probably not sail RCL again and they really don't care. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As I've travelled on Carnival, Princess, Holland America and others, this is a comparison to these lines. This was a nightmare. Twelve days and nights of misery. The cabin was supposed to be a room for 3 adults but immediately ... Read More
As I've travelled on Carnival, Princess, Holland America and others, this is a comparison to these lines. This was a nightmare. Twelve days and nights of misery. The cabin was supposed to be a room for 3 adults but immediately found there were 2 twin beds and a love seat. Customer service said there was a drop-down bunk bed only, for which a disabled 70 year old had to climb into. No way to suddenly cancel at this point since already in Rome. If there'd been a full size couch, my roommate could have slept there. As it was he sat up the whole trip. The "Entertainment" was not entertaining and 3rd class, a juggler who couldn't juggle among other poor acts. The movies they played were not newly released plus they showed same movie 3 times rather than getting a variety. To rent a movie for the room, it was the same reruns they were showing at movie theater and cost $11.99! The gym was decent. The library was miniscule but at least I found enough to get me through the 3 days at sea. Their excursions could have been good but buses to the sites were barely staggered, so everyone arrived about the same time and caused people to be fighting for a turn at the minimal restrooms. Some tour busses did not bother to give but 1 bathroom break in 6 hrs causing a friend to accidently pee on herself. Then she was unable to get out to view the Western Wall and other sites because she smelled and was embarrassed. I'd also never seen the amount of people who got lost on their tours because guides did not give good information, or even hold up their "lollipops" so people could find them. One group lost 10 people. Food preparation and service in Tides was so slow it took 1 - 1 1/2 hrs to get a meal and quite often they brought the wrong order. Holland America has free lobster but Tides charge $29.99. Windjammer was not open decent hours like other cruise ships, the food pretty mediocre but at least one didn't wait forever to get the food. There was a good variety. Room service was not free here like other ships. They would bring you some grits and coffee and minimal objects for free though. Music was played at full blast all hours. Actually made the walls of my cabin vibrate. The beds in cabin had hard mattresses about 4 inches thick so you feel the metal underneath and the pillows were heavy, hard and lumpy. Ship was decorated in wall art that must have cost a few dollars each, just ugly and stupid. Only good thing on the ship was the infirmary, which treated me for an eye injury sustained in the tiny, tiny bathroom. They called twice to check up on me too. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo ... Read More
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo Airport, Rome and to the hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel shuttle from the airport was obviously overbooked, and we had to wait an extra four hours at the airport, beyond the previously agreed pickup time, for a new shuttle to arrive from the hotel. In the future, we would rather book hotel accommodation in Rome, and take a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise port in Civitavecchia, the day of departure. Embarkation: Went smoothly. The Ship: We found Jewel of the Seas too bee mostly well maintained. Stateroom info: We had booked a Veranda Stateroom aft. on deck eight. It was very comfortable, and with a large balcony. We were very satisfied with our always smiling stateroom attendant, A.S. Pradipta. Dining: We had the second seating on deck four in the MDR. Unfortunately, we were disappointed that the dinner menu had changed since our last cruise with Jewel of the Seas in April last year. The menu map had no longer a separate section for the previous, every day classic dining choices. We also thought that the selection of dishes were no longer as extensive and varied as before. We also missed that cold soups now were very rarely offered. But we were mostly pleased with the quality of the food we selected. We were very satisfied with the excellent and professional service we received on our table no. 216 from Waiter, Francis and Assistant Waiter, Sarah - both from the Philippines! They took really very good care of the two of us! We had all our breakfasts in the Windjammer, and lunches too, if we got back on time, after being ashore. Regarding breakfast, we were disappointed that they did not have ordinary ham among the cold cuts, but only a cheap variant. We also experienced several times they ran out of fruit yoghurt. Fortunately, we had never any problems finding an unoccupied table, even during “peak hours”. And we think the staff did a good job of clearing the tables. We were not satisfied with the Café Latte-Tudes on deck five. What a negative contrast to Celebrity’s excellent Café al Bacio! Café Latte-Tudes for instance use paper cups, not proper cups. There is insufficient seating, and we also missed a nice waiter service. Bars: The service in the bars were varying. We got the best service from the Pool Bar. Entertainment: We thought both the singer, Gary Williams, and the Tenors Unlimited, made good performances in the Theater. The Crown & Anchor Society: As Diamond Plus members we used the nice Concierge Lounge on deck 13 for the nightly Diamond Event. The lounge was never to crowed, and the bar service was very good. Shore excursions: We had only pre-booked one excursion with the ship, from Naples - “Sorrento on your own”. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with this excursion. Part of the bus ride went through tunnels, and we also thought the guide was talking too low. Itinerary – The six ports of call were all good. And we were particularly pleased when we arrived in Santorini, that it turned out that Jewel of the Seas was the only cruise ship that had anchored in Santorini that day. There was, therefore among other things, just a relatively short wait for the cable car back and forth to the city of Fira. Internet: It was sometimes slow. Disembarkation in Civitavecchia - smooth. Easy to find baggage. We bought a bus transfer to Funcimo Airport at Guest Services. For one hour's bus ride from the port, the transfer price was far too high-priced!! Overall – A very pleasant cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which made it nice. The embarkation seemed like we were in a third world country. Pop up tents and metal guard rails in a parking lot, but it went pretty smooth compared to the looks. We always select a jr suite for the spacious room and this one didn't disappoint. The first night however we found that our stateroom, (1078) was directly below the wind jammer which they start preparing at 3:30am, (every morning like clock work) and the carts running back and forth wake me up. So much for paying more for a suite. The cruise ship is a smaller one, so not as many options for sea days and after shore excursions. It was nice, but you can tell it's older and there was a sewer smell on the 10th floor for the entire cruise. Our cabin was great and outside of the noise that started at 3:30am every morning we had no issues. All the staff were great, (as always) and we never needed for anything. The food was as expected in the wind jammer, just luke warm, but this has been our experiences for all cruises. We ate at Tides dinning room one night and it was great. Chops Grill, was not any good on day 2, Rib eye steak was rubbery, but medium well and lobster was mushy. You can tell this food was pre cooked, then heated up and not what we expected for additional paid dinning. Giovannis was great on day 6 where I had the filet and my Wife had a seafood dish. We did not do much of the entertainment or shows outside of the movies in the cinema and on the pool deck. This cruise had very few kids/families so there weren't a lot of kids running around the pool deck, mostly adults, which was great. All staff were courteous and nice and always looking to help out. Ports and shore excursions. We did all our own shore excursions with our travel agent. Mykonos, Athens and Santorini Greece were all fabulous and as expected with the views and scenes just like the post cards. Our excursion in Athens was canceled upon our arrival, so we did the hop on hop off and spent almost the entire day at the Acropolis which is awesome. Malta was not so good. We paid for the Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour, which come to find out is a fishing village and it's like a flea market that sells fish and souvenirs. They dropped us off for 1.5 hours and said to be back at the bus, then it started to rain. When we got to the Blue Grotto, it was closed, so all we could do was eat and get back on the bus. The stops in Sicilly, Naples and Rome were great and other than my Wife shopping and spending lot's of money, they were as advertised as well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and ... Read More
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and attentive. Decided to stay on board in Naples as we had been off the ship everyday to that point! Loved seeing the ports but needed down time! Suggest you not try to do EVERYTHING at each port so you don;t wear yourself out. Did not do many of the shows as preferred to relax with a drink and music in the evening, but the juggler was amazing! If you fly in a day early, suggest you stay in the port city rather than Rome. Much quainter and pretty. If your first time to Rome, then, yes, see a few sites in Rome, but our night in Civitacecchia was amazing! Cabin gal was amazing and we loved Solarium be so available. Our favorite bar tender was there as well so an extra perk. We only did two shore excursions thru the ship and the last port, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii tour was fantastic, but LONG. Be prepared to walk. The Ship may be older and ready for upfit but was very clean and was constantly being maintained and looked after. Our favorite ports were Crete and Rhodes. The Taste of Crete tour was very good. We did NOT like MyTime Dinning so changed for the third night to a shared table. They were very accomodating to do this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. The itinerary was great. The food was very good in the buffet and in the dining room. The boat itself is old and needs updating. ie; The frame on the mirror was falling off when my ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. The itinerary was great. The food was very good in the buffet and in the dining room. The boat itself is old and needs updating. ie; The frame on the mirror was falling off when my husband tried to open it the first time. The table on the balcony was old, had stains and was unsteady. The housekeeping was BAD! The first day we found a broken toenail on the carpet. The base of the table in our stateroom was never dusted and the dust was quite thick, same goes for the TV set. The toilet was never really cleaned properly as you could see the obvious. The housekeeper didn't converse much except toward the last couple of days near 'tipping time' All other services were good and entertainment was okay. The shore excursions were good except for the one on the Amalfi coast. The tour guide there 'M'; did not give us much information or instruction when getting off of the bus for Sorrento. She just dumped us at a site and said to meet her back in 30 minutes. There was a store there where they sold Limoncello products and we learned later that was the factory, so did not buy anything. When I asked her at the end of the tour why we didn't go to the factory she said that was the shop in Sorrento. She did not make many stops to take pictures along he way, so we feel we will need to do this again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to ... Read More
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to adjust to the time difference. Ship: Service was fine, and ship was maintained well. Food: We really loved the Chef's Table, and our dinners at Giovanni's and Chops. We also had a Chops lunch on embarkation (note: The Key lunch was in the dining room not in Chops itself -- very few people were in the restaurant itself for lunh, and it was a nice way to kick off the cruise). Kid took advantage of coffee-card and enjoyed specialty coffees all week. The Mystery Theatre dinner show was lame, but we really enjoyed meeting our tablemates and the dinner. We ate breakfasts in the Windjammer, which were good. We tried both the Windjammer & MyTime dining (always seated quickly) for other dinners. RCL food has definitely gone downhill, but we enjoyed some very good and some not-so-good meals at both venues. There are two soda machines at the back of the Windjammer for use with the soda-card cups. One didn't work for a few days, but it did not appear that many people used them anyway. Entertainment: We skipped the shows (really -- a Celine Dion impersonator and a couple that makes shadow figures?). Maybe the shows were great, but after days of tours we were simply too tired to go. Lots of trivia and Karaoke, and some good music in the lounges and in atrium. The 2 Billiard tables were always in use. My Kid noted the basketball tournaments were canceled, but few people had showed up anyway. Ship condition: We thought the ship was in very good condition for its age. It had been a few years since I cruised on a small RCL ship, and it felt very cozy. I won $150 on two spins in the small casino (and stopped while I was ahead LOL), so I think the casino was fun. As someone else noted, the ship doesn't get washed down often and we observed dirty/salt-encrusted windows. Not surprising though, in view of the scarcity of water in many of the ports. Excursions: We took all RCL excursions, and only had 1 bad & 1 mediocre tour guide. Our guide for the bus tour of Naples only pointed out sites on the right side of the bus so people on the left side missed 90% of the things he pointed out. In Santorini, our guide for the Oia/Fia tou walked quickly before everyone was even off the bus and often talked to people who were immediately next to her. At one point she described the Santorini volcanos and said that the govenment could stop the above-ground volcano but not the one that was under the ocean. Okaaaaay. I didn't know that Greece is able to stop a volcano!!! By the end of the cruise, I had ended up skipping the excursions in Rhodes & Athens to stay on-board to rest due to strenuous walking tours the previous day (I did not ask for refunds). Santorini was a particular fitness-challenge whether passengers climbed down the 600+ steps to the port or waited in the sun for 1-1/2 hour for the cable car. Quite a few passengers stayed onboad the next day to recover. Overall, very satisfied - the fault was not RCL's, but my own for under-estimating how strenuous the trip would be. Passengers: A mix. Many retirees due to length & month of cruise, but there were also families incl. some young children. Primarily seemed to be Canadians & Americans, but we met a few other nationalities as well. Everyone was very friendly. Biggest take-away from this cruise is NOT about RCL, but the itinerary. I was totally clueless about the reality of the physical challenges of touring countries with so much history (and without America's ADA laws, which we take for granted). Descriptions of excursions disclosed fitness levels but I felt they underestimated how much walking would actually be necessary. I had bought a Fitbit, and routinely found I had walked 8,000-10,000 steps and climbed the equivalent of 10+ staircases on tours -- all in hot sun/80's temps over very uneven and hilly terrain. Tour guides seemed to race ahead. Archeological sites, picturesque villages built on the side of volcanos and historical buildings don't have elevators, benches to rest, etc. I found a folding cane to be useful as a walking stick. Despite the challenges, I'm thrilled that I went on this adventure and believe RCL made it a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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