Sail Date: January 2018
Overall, it was a great trip and fun vacation! I can't complain about the staff or the food (ate most breakfasts and lunches at the Windjammer buffet, ate all dinners in the main dining room) both were excellent! I've only cruised one ... Read More
Overall, it was a great trip and fun vacation! I can't complain about the staff or the food (ate most breakfasts and lunches at the Windjammer buffet, ate all dinners in the main dining room) both were excellent! I've only cruised one other time 20 years ago with Carnival. One thing I like about Royal Caribbean is that they are not pushy about the pictures. The photography staff was courteous and we only posed when we wanted. Ironically, a Carnival ship was next to ours in one of the ports and they had 3 times as many photographers on the pier than we did! A couple of cautionary tales: 1. Do NOT get the special shave at the spa! First, the woman tried to upsell me on the services. That was annoying. The shave itself was rougher than expected. Then, she was pushy about buying several products. Finally, a little while later I noticed nicks all over my face. It was not the soothing experience i expected. I don't blame the woman too much as I'm sure they are trained to push the services and products. In contrast, the Swedish massage was most excellent. I definitely recommend that! 2. It's worth calling the 800 number to get details about excursions especially regarding duration. My friend and I signed up for a Snuba excursion. While I enjoyed it, I thought it was FAR too short for the money we paid. Next time, I'll get more info before signing up. My only really critique for Royal Caribbean overall is that they did not provide information on the schedule and dress code in the dining room and the theme nights ahead of time. I knew there would be formal nights, but I didn't know when or how many. There was also a "white night" that my friends and I didn't know about. Again, worth calling the 800 number. Other than these relatively minor complaints, I immensely enjoyed my experience with Royal Caribbean and Jewels of the Seas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Hadn't been to most of the islands before. Felt it would be a great way to see new places. Getting on the ship was a breeze. Took less than 15 minutes. Our room was on the 3rd deck of the ship, but close to the elevators, which I found ... Read More
Hadn't been to most of the islands before. Felt it would be a great way to see new places. Getting on the ship was a breeze. Took less than 15 minutes. Our room was on the 3rd deck of the ship, but close to the elevators, which I found convenient, as getting off the ship for the shore excursions was on deck 2 and dining rooms on 5. The cabin was a good size with more storage than I expected. The food in the main dining room was good, but I must say, that the food in all dining rooms was a little salty. We also ate at all three specialty restaurants. Service was excellent, food very good and enjoyed the individualized attention from the waitstaff. Best dish was the truffled lobster sushi roll at Izumi-hands down. As for the ports: We flew into Puerto Rico on our own, the day before. Although we had paid for our reservation at the AC Marriot, when we arrived, they told us they were overbooked and didn't have a room for us. After 2 hours at the check in desk and many phone calls, they found us a room at the Sheraton Convention center which was closer to the port. We walked around Old San Juan. Puerto Rico is still in bad shape, street lights were not working, making driving dangerous for the taxis. St. Thomas is also, still a mess, trees down, roofs off buildings, etc. We took the ferry to St. John and that was still devastated, too. Many stores out of business, many homeless people. One shopkeeper said she only got her landline back last week. Quite sad. Did our own thing on Antiqua-took a taxi to a beach, great day. Was supposed to do a snorkeling catamaran trip the following day, from St. Kitts to Nevis, but we were cancelled as the catamaran wasn't working??? Found a great taxi driver who took us to a beach. Did the Spanish Galleon boat on St. Lucia to the mud bath. Could have passed on that for sure. Enjoyed a nice lunch at a plantation and ride back to the Jewel. Snorkeling trip on Barbados to see sea turtles, lunch and open bar on the boat, some beach time and a very entertaining captain. Day 7 at sea, the weather couldn't have been better. Only day we ate at the lunch buffet and it was amazing. Service overall was great. I would definitely go back. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We were booked on Carnival Fascination for this week but FEMA leased the Fascination for hurricane relief so we looked for another cruise leaving San Juan on same date. We had been on the Jewel of the Seas before and were not impressed but ... Read More
We were booked on Carnival Fascination for this week but FEMA leased the Fascination for hurricane relief so we looked for another cruise leaving San Juan on same date. We had been on the Jewel of the Seas before and were not impressed but considering the circumstances we thought we'd try again. Embarkation went smoothly. 2 of the 3 cabins were very good. 1 cabin on level 2 was dingy and smelled like sewer. Dining was just ok. Waiter was very good but slow as we could never get out of dining room before 8pm and we were always one of the first people in. Always late to shows. Had a good comedian but other shows are definitely showing cutbacks. Hard to find ice cream machines open. After shows hard to find any food on board. Having 2 teenage boys a egg salad sandwich or veggie sandwich at solarium just didn't cut it. Had pizza but lucky to get a piece of pepperoni on pepperoni pizza slice. Took a "catamaran" excursion thru ship in Martinique. Boys love to swim and brochure said beach time, could jump off catamaran and was 4 hours long for $94. After a short ride on the big pontoon, we were split into 2 sections and not allowed to get off boat. We were ushered to a dingy basement like area to watch for turtles thru glass windows. The AC was on high blowing right on us. Lady in charge of tour made my husband move and lie in back area as she looked thru window and told us what to look for. 2 people squished into a 2 foot square hole- even elderly- awful. When our time came to get to beach we had 40 minutes... Very disappointing and misleading. We did stop at excursion desk and they totally blew us off. Will stick with Carnival, Celebrity, or may try one of Royals larger ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
My DH and I booked this cruise in late November. At that time, we were status post 2 Category 5 Hurricanes (Irma and Maria), did not have electricity at our house and needed a break. We chose this ship and itinerary because 1) it was ... Read More
My DH and I booked this cruise in late November. At that time, we were status post 2 Category 5 Hurricanes (Irma and Maria), did not have electricity at our house and needed a break. We chose this ship and itinerary because 1) it was leaving from San Juan, which is not far for us as we live on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands 2) Grenada and Martinique--my DH had sailed thru Grenada many years before, but our experiences with both were limited and 3) the price! RCCL was having a heck of a sale! We chose an interior cabin--we have cruised before w/ balcony and window, but the idea of a TOTAL escape appealed to us. This may be wordy for a review, but I have divided it up into sections--Embarkation, Ports of Call, Dining and Disembarkation. Enjoy! EMBARKATION We flew into San Juan the day before (1/20/2018). By this date, we had been enjoying electricity at our house for a month. As we booked the cruise during our "powerless" days, it was important to us that we had electricity and water in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We chose to stay at the San Juan Airport Hotel, as we were certain that they would have both of these amenities! Usually, our stays there are due to flight interruptions. The room was small but clean and comfortable; these is a restaurant at the hotel with a bar, but we rented a car and did our usual San Juan itinerary (Costco! Longhorn Steakhouse!). We went to the Condado area for dinner. We turned in our rental car that night and enjoyed a very lazy morning in the hotel room till it was time to head out to the pier. We decided the earlier the better for boarding; after a ~$25.00 cab ride from airport to pier, we arrived a little bit before 11am. There was a line, but not long. I think the only reason that there was a line is that the luggage porters did not start accepting bags till 11am. Once they started, that line went fast; there were hardly any lines inside the terminal and before we knew it, we were on board the ship! For those that like a bottle of wine or water in your cabin, there is a store inside the terminal where you can purchase these items. Once on board, we only had 2 little bags with us (the rest went to the porters); the cabins were not ready till closer till 2pm. Lunch in the Windjammer was not at 12noon, but before 1pm. For us, it was great to get a "lay of the ship" and find those spots that we would come back to. While exploring the ship, we found the "Captains Table" dining room. I had considered booking this before boarding, but held off. Later, when we were able to go to the cabin, I found a credit from our TA! I called the reservation number and immediately booked us seats at this dinner for Wednesday night---more on that later!! We were able to catch the show that night, great comedian, nicknamed "Mudflap". He was really funny, did not use cuss words and we laughed so hard till it hurt! Great start for our vacation! PORTS OF CALL--- ST. CROIX What can I say about my home island!!?? DH stayed on board, but I took advantage of being in Frederiksted. We live closer to the town of Christiansted, so this was a treat for me to be out on this side of the island! There is a nice beach, right to the left of the pier when you walk out. Best thing about the beaches in F'sted-----seaglass! I collected a nice baggie of smooth broken glass, colors of green, blue, amber and clear. It started to rain, so I headed to the shops. I found a pop up bar where they were pouring the locally made draft beer. A friend picked me up and we went out to Rhythms at Rainbow Beach. If you like a bar/ restaurant and ability to rent chairs/umbrellas, this is a good beach for that. Another would be Sandcastles at the Beach-on the other side of the cruise ship dock. I would recommend using a taxi to take you to either beach---long walk in my opinion. As a member of Cruise Critic, I learned from the Roll Call that there would be a country music concert at Rhythms, courtesy of folks that were on board the cruise. So the bar was packed and the music was great and my drinks were frozen and good! Several of my friends met me there, and they all had a good time, as did I. Best port stop for me on the whole cruise!!! ST MARTIN Been there, done that--not only on previous cruises, but girlfriend getaways--but I had a plan. DH and I took the ferry over to Phillipsburg (be sure to get your discount tickets on board the ship). Walked up the street to the Guavaberry Shop. Bought a bottle of guavaberry rum for next Christmas. Sent DH back to the ship with the bottle. I found my favorite beach bar, "Blue Bitch". Bought my bucket of Amstel Bright (best beer in the Caribbean, only on the Dutch islands). Sat on my chair and enjoyed a few hours of beach time. Best thing about buying drinks on the islands---can usually catch free Wi-Fi. That is how I stay connected with friends and family during these trips. MARTINIQUE My goal on this island was to enjoy a nice French Creole lunch. This was accomplished at the local market, which is walking distance from the port. The market is quite lively, and in the back were about 4-5 small restaurants. I ate at Chez Carole (had read good reviews on line) and it did not disappoint. Before lunch, we walked around the town Fort de France. Be sure that you have Euros; the market appeared to prefer this. Exchange rate was not good---changed $70.00 USD to ~$50.00 Euros! At the port, there are gift shops, and they did take USD. Right at the port was a ferry service to take you to the beaches, if you so desire. BARBADOS We have been here a few times, courtesy of cruise ships. We decided to visit the Mount Gay Rum factory. It is not far from the port. You could walk it, but I would recommend a taxi--much cooler and easier. The driver dropped us off and came back to pick us up at a designated time. GRENADA Here, we did book a ship excursion, an island tour that included visits to Annandale Falls, Grand Etang Lake and a cocoa plantation. The tour was scheduled for 4 1/2 hours, but it did seem longer. Our driver was friendly and knowledgeable about the different spices that grow here. If you prefer a beach day, there were boats that would carry you to Grand Anse beach. Short walk from the port. DINING Dining for us was the "My Time" dining. We had made reservations for 8pm. They seated us at a 2 top, but there was a 2 top next to us, so this is how we made new friends. That night, our waiter was Robin--he was great, provided recommendations, very professional. It was the only night that we were able to enjoy his service; when we asked to reserve that table for the rest of the cruise, someone else had already done that! We did reserve a table on the other side, next to the railing. Our waiter was fine, but he never gave us recommendations, only took the order. The assistant waiter was more interactive with us, his name was Mladen. Our meals in the main dining room (The Tides) were fine, no complaints. The best meal was "The Captain's Table!". This was a 4 hour event---private dining room, we were seated at a table with 14 other passengers. We had great conversation! Each meal was described by our Chef and paired with a nice wine. I highly recommend this experience, especially if you enjoy good food and wine. Two days before sea day, Robin saw us in the Windjammer and suggested that we attend the Galley Brunch Tour (with bottomless mimosas!) and a Wine Tasting at Vintages. We signed up for both, they took place on Sea Day---had time to do both and still make it to dinner! Vintages was one of our favorite bars---the Sommelier there, his name starts with a "V" (I should have written it down!) was knowledgeable and personable. Everyone on the ship, from our cabin steward Chris, to the staff in Windjammer, to the Art Auction crew----all extremely pleasant and contributed to our fantastic experience! DISEMBARKATON Our flight was late (430pm late) in the afternoon. So we signed up for the Bacardi Tour to help pass the time. Meanwhile, our luggage went ahead to the airport. Since we had signed up for the excursion, we left the ship early, no issues w/ Customs, no lines to speak of. As easy as it was to board, it was just as easy to get off the ship. Overall, this vacation did the trick--helped us to de-stress and unwind. Best decision we made! I hope this information helps you if you are planning on this cruise---I would recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
A little background-We are regular cruisers and have been sailing for 20 years. We are in our 50's and we were a party of four in two cabins. This was a Southern Caribbean itinerary including, St. Criox, St. Maarten, Barbados, Martinique ... Read More
A little background-We are regular cruisers and have been sailing for 20 years. We are in our 50's and we were a party of four in two cabins. This was a Southern Caribbean itinerary including, St. Criox, St. Maarten, Barbados, Martinique and Grenada. The executive summary-excellent ship, common areas are very clean and tidy. Service and food was outstanding. Our room and cabin steward kept everything very clean and he listened to our needs. Dining service in Windjammer, Main room and specialty restaurants including service, food quality and timeliness, was a 10 out of 10. We flew in and flew out on the same day. Taxi service is about 25.00 each way approximately for two. At the airport and at the port there are Taxi controllers that help you with the established pricing. I recommend on leaving the ship that you use a porter. The porter will guide you faster through the maze of people hanging around the port area. The ship is a smaller ship in their fleet, perhaps that is why the customer relationship model excels so well on her. We were constantly greeted with a smile and offered assistance, even while sitting down in the buffet. You enter the ship in the Centrum area and that is pretty much the heart of the ship. It worked for us. There is only one main bank of elevators here. There are a few elevators, maybe 2-3 forward as well. None aft. We never found crowding to occur, even on port days. If you have sailed on Royal before, the shops are the shops are the shops, lol. In case you don't know this, the liquor vendor is a private, third party entity. You will find different prices and sales within the fleet. So, if you find something on one ship at a great price, don't wait to try and purchase it on your next sailing, it may not be there or even be the same price. You will find accommodating bars all over the ship. I even found a spot that had one of my favorite beers, Heineken Light on draft. We did have the Bev package and did not find any delay or negativity when receiving our service. I did always wait for our beverage to see the exchange, once served and it was good, 100% of the time, we would give a dollar cash as an extra gratuity. We have done this for years, we are going to continue doing it, it works for me. Layout of the ship is nice, explore it. We were finding spots even on the last two days that we hadn't explored yet. We used room service a few times and it was solid each time. No issues at all. Our bed, linens and towels felt soft and fresh and did not feel old or dated. Although we were in a suite, we did not have this same experience in a GS on our last sailing on another vessel. Again, this was a superb sailing. We did not attend any shows, but we did listen to the bands in the Centrum area every night. It was delightful! We do enjoy Casino time. Supervisors in the casino were some of the nicest we have met. Dealers were friendly and talkative-and funny. Five dollar minimums are the norm. Poker preliminaries and cash games were had on many nights. Smoke was not an issue. Bar service was very good. Up top, pools were very clean. They did have a slide area, a kids area and a solarium area for adults only. The solarium had its own bar and snack stand. On this ship, the solarium roof actually opened for several hours of the day while in port. It was a very nice area. I participated in one of the daily Spa specials and it was excellent. Three services for $99.00. Experience from start to finish was excellent. We took advantage of our Concierge services and the people and area were top notch. Wonderful! I can and wish I could write more. I just don't have enough time. Bottom line as you can probably tell, we left very, very happy and we would sail on her again. I would recommend this ship for anyone. Do your research, gain info from various posts to help you make your decision easier. Safe travels. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise to celebrate our birthdays. This cruise is perfect for families, and friends like us who varied interests as there is something for everyone. It was our first cruise so it may be useful for other first ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise to celebrate our birthdays. This cruise is perfect for families, and friends like us who varied interests as there is something for everyone. It was our first cruise so it may be useful for other first timers to know that all meals are included, the dining room is exceptional, and drink packages are separate. There is a huge diversity among the crew members, and they are truly knowledgeable and hospitable. Our cabin looks like other photos posted here, and was pretty comfortable since we like having space (stateroom with balcony). Keep an eye out for the itineraries. Definitely go to the themed lunches! The activities (random or scheduled) are worth it! Each port has excursion, but if you are able, agile, and practice proper safety measures, you can definitely go without (and save some money along the way). We will definitely go again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The ship and the cabin were very clean and well kept. The cabins were evidently older but still in excellent shape. The dining experience was great with friendly staff and outstanding service in the main dining room. The buffet on the ... Read More
The ship and the cabin were very clean and well kept. The cabins were evidently older but still in excellent shape. The dining experience was great with friendly staff and outstanding service in the main dining room. The buffet on the cruise wasn't as excellent but was still good overall. As for on-board entertainment, the ship had plenty to offer. Trivia, mini-golf (kinda lame), production shows, band performances in the centruum, etc. All the performances were great. Comedians: late-night comedy was hilarious! Music Shows: Musicians (except for a couple singers) we're absolutely incredible - very high musicianship. Service was great at the main dining room (Tides), Chef's Table, and Izumi (Japanese Cuisine). Food at all the previously mentioned placed was also outstanding. At Chef's table, the head chef even came out and gave us the recipe for the Smoked Tomato Soup we had in the 2nd course. Definitely recommend the Chef's Table experience if you can justify the expense. Be careful with the shore excursions the descriptions aren't very clear. EcoTrek to Bamboo Falls requires water shoes. The Turtle and Shipwreck extrusion in Barbados was amazing - be aware of the drinks.. they're very generous with the alcohol. I would definitely do this cruise again given the option. As i haven't traveled with any other cruise lines, I cannot comment about the difference between lines, but Royal Caribbean was a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, our first on the Jewel of the Seas. All things considered, we had a nice time. Here are some of my impressions, positive and negative: Positives: check-in and disembarkation were well ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, our first on the Jewel of the Seas. All things considered, we had a nice time. Here are some of my impressions, positive and negative: Positives: check-in and disembarkation were well organized and smooth! We’ve been on a few other cruise lines and I’d say that Royal Caribbean does this process best! —the crew was wonderful! Every member was friendly and helpful. The dining staff was attentive to our likes and dislikes. The service was excellent. The stateroom attendant was also very friendly and efficient. Our cabin was clean and comfortable, although it could use an update. Furniture and carpeting is starting to show wear and tear. —The food at Tides was wonderful. In addition to the breakfast menu, there was a breakfast bar with cereals. Fruit, meats and cheese, pastries and juice. We had dinner at Tides most nights and were quite satisfied with the quality of the food. I would have Liked a few more dinner options, but I was able to find something from each menu that I enjoyed. —The solarium area is a great place to relax, read a book or take a swim, without the noise and crowds. The snack area had some good options. — we did 2 Royal Caribbean shore excursions. Both were well organized and helped us to learn a lot about the area. The prices are higher than going with an independent tour operator, but it’s nice having the assurance that the ship won’t sail without you if circumstances prevent you from arriving back in time for All Aboard. Negatives..My biggest concern was In the area of hygiene, especially at the buffet, the Windjammer. Our first night aboard we stopped by for dessert. Most items were pre-plated, so you could just take a plate and head back to your table. However, there were also full size pies. Although they were pre sliced, they were not on individual plates. I saw many people who used their hands and the pie server to scoop up their slice. That means that potentially hundreds of people are touching those pies...YUCK! Similarly, at the buffet during breakfast, there was a basket of toast, but no tongs or utensils with which to grab it. So, of course, people dug in there with their bare hands. I don’t even want to think about how many germs were spread! —along the same lines as above, there were too many instances when the Purel hand sanitizer machines were empty. With the ease with which norivirus spreads, I’d think that keeping these machines filled would be a priority. Similarly, a few times while using the restroom In The public area, there were no paper towels. There are signs asking that you use a paper towel or tissue when exiting the bathroom...so they need to keep those well stocked! —I was VERY disappointed to learn that there is now a charge for room service (except if you’re ordering the continental breakfast...or a diamond club member! More on that later!). We always looked forward to relaxing on our balcony with a mid afternoon room service order. $7.95 per order has halted that tradition. —as I’ve said this was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean. We are only gold members. I fully understand the concept of rewarding your most frequent guests and if We ever rise to a higher level, I’m sure I wouldn’t turn down any perk that is offered. With that being said, I have some real problems with what I consider royal Caribbean’s “segregation policy”. We went to the vitality spa as soon as we boarded to purchase a package that would allow us to use the stone lounge chairs and the tropical-style showers. Those are tremendously luxuriant and relaxing! Imagine how surprised and disappointed we were to find out that those were ONLY available to diamond plus cruisers! Later that night, I attended the comedy show in the coral theater on deck 5 and 6. As I waited for the show to start, a crew member came to ask if I was a diamond club member. It seems that level 6 is reserved for ONLY those members. He was polite enough and told me that I could return after the show began and could take a seat that was still available. Again, I FULLY understand that idea of loyalty clubs and I’m not opposed to rewarding frequent RC cruisers. However, I think that the way RC chooses to reward loyalty is quite tacky. It’s a subtle way of saying that since they’ve cruised so often, diamond plus members no longer have to mingle with the common people. I’m sure there are other perks that diamond members could be given ( like a free massage...Or a bottle of champagne, etc) instead of the benefit being separated from other cruisers. This just really bothered me! As I said at the start, we had a nice time on the Jewel of the Seas, but I’m not sure we would go on again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We selected this cruise because it had a low cost being booked in just weeks before sailing, the itinerary with ports nearly everyday looked interesting, and it began and ended in San Juan where we live. The ports did not disappoint ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it had a low cost being booked in just weeks before sailing, the itinerary with ports nearly everyday looked interesting, and it began and ended in San Juan where we live. The ports did not disappoint although many places in St Croix and St Maarten/St Martin were closed due to severe hurricane damage (don’t let that keep you from going as there is still plenty to see, the resilience of the people is inspirational, and the money spent by cruise travelers helps the islands recover.) We did not visit any of the specialty restaurants. The main dining room dinners were good but not great and the menu of eight or so items changes only one or two items a day. The evening shows were good. Art auctions were informative. We made many friends on this cruise. The staff was very nice and helpful at all times. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise so we could cover 10 islands in 2 weeks with only one repeat. We enjoyed the ship, the staff were very friendly and the food was good. We ate breakfast and lunch in Windjammer and dinner at the early sitting in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could cover 10 islands in 2 weeks with only one repeat. We enjoyed the ship, the staff were very friendly and the food was good. We ate breakfast and lunch in Windjammer and dinner at the early sitting in the dining room. Great table companions and great service. The staff really work hard to please. The 2 cast productions were well done but a few more familiar songs would have been nice. The headliner performers were all quite good especially the juggler. There was too much repetition on the 2nd cruise with the identical movies shown and even the Love and Marriage game show was won by the same couple answering the same questions 2 weeks in a row! Overall we enjoyed the break from the cold and snowy Canadian winter. We understand there was a Cruise Critic get-together on board which we missed. How do we find out about future gatherings on board when we are cruising. Somebody please let us know. Target 100 Read Less
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 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
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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