3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
About 5 years since last RC cruise, been on Princess in the interim. Last RC cruise was also on Jewel (prior to latest refurb). Ship in nice condition, good itinerary, great weather, fun to watch Super Bowl. RC has changed and not ... Read More
About 5 years since last RC cruise, been on Princess in the interim. Last RC cruise was also on Jewel (prior to latest refurb). Ship in nice condition, good itinerary, great weather, fun to watch Super Bowl. RC has changed and not for the better. Staff numbers reduced, they work hard and have good attitudes but you can see they are stretched. Menus (buffet and dining room) are reduced and repetitive with mediocre food. In dining they are pushing you toward their upsell menu items (at 30 bucks it's like they are not giving you any credit for the base meal) or heading to a specialty restaurant. Daily activities are also cut back compared to the "good old days". Even the Filipino cover band had a head count reduction (no drummer). In summary, a good cruise experience but not up to what we've had with Princess recently, IMHO RC comes up short in the value department currently. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise because of the unique itinerary. Older ship showing her age in some areas, but still quite lovely overall. We were thrilled to have a Canadian captain:) We had a wonderful large balcony right near the atrium, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the unique itinerary. Older ship showing her age in some areas, but still quite lovely overall. We were thrilled to have a Canadian captain:) We had a wonderful large balcony right near the atrium, however the noise from the band each night was terribly loud. They had to close the fire doors to try and drown out some of the noise. Seemed to be short staffed in the dining room. Food was pretty good though - and had some amazing meals and desserts. As mentioned, the balcony was a real treat with two loungers and lots of room. Our room steward was very good. Cabin had lots of storage and was a good size. Shows were pretty good, however a little disappointed that there wasn’t more activities or music during the day. We have taken 2 cruise on older Royal ships and we prefer the newer ships with more “bells & whistles”. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Meeting with a group on this ship. Very ornate public spaces but not a very convenient layout. Elevators have some kind of foreign logic. We were passed by many times in the Atrium area by empty elevator cars going the way we wanted. ... Read More
Meeting with a group on this ship. Very ornate public spaces but not a very convenient layout. Elevators have some kind of foreign logic. We were passed by many times in the Atrium area by empty elevator cars going the way we wanted. After a few of these episodes I switched to stairs. The climb from my cabin on deck 4 to the gym made a good warm up for work outs. The people who served in the dining room for dinner we very competent. Breakfast in the same location was the opposite. Seemed very disorganized from the top down. Kitchen was slow, ended using the dining room buffet mostly. I found it amazing the ship ran out of bagels in two day. No bakers on board? Also why list V8 juice when only tomato juice was available. The ship is short on small quiet places where guests can just relax and hold a quiet conversation. The next refurbish should concentrate on the cabins and not the ornate lounges. Does Royal Caribbean really suffer a lot of theft of towels? First time on any cruise line I found a deposit was required. The causal music in the atrium was appreciated during the day. This was my first experience with this cruise line and I am not likely to use them again. I will probably use Celebrity in the future or other company's lines. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted a short cruise to breakup winter in South Florida. Older ship , balcony room ok, but dated. Comfortable bed with good steward Iputu. Noisy neighbors. Staff was very friendly. Buffet was good, better than dining room. Food over ... Read More
Wanted a short cruise to breakup winter in South Florida. Older ship , balcony room ok, but dated. Comfortable bed with good steward Iputu. Noisy neighbors. Staff was very friendly. Buffet was good, better than dining room. Food over all was good. We had 3 specialty restaurants that we enjoyed. Steak, Italian and Japanese. Very good wait staff in all venues. Weather did not permit watching outdoor movies and sound system was poor. They also have good indoor Cinema which showed good movies. Alcohol was expensive and bartender gave poor pour. Plenty of space for sunning old multiple decks over ship. We enjoyed Labadee and thought it was the best private beach of any cruise line. It had multiple beaches and restaurants. Very Clean beaches and Water. The entertainment was very good including production shows. We are going on another RC cruise to Canada this summer. Hope Adventure of the Seas balcony rooms are renovated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
PROS: -Our kids (4 and 6) loved the kids clubs as well as the kids pool area/waterslide -The staff throughout the ship were, as has come to be expected on RC, friendly and helpful -Overall the ship was very clean -Windjammer ... Read More
PROS: -Our kids (4 and 6) loved the kids clubs as well as the kids pool area/waterslide -The staff throughout the ship were, as has come to be expected on RC, friendly and helpful -Overall the ship was very clean -Windjammer was good and on point with other Windjammers -The (basic) Wifi was not overly fast, but I found the coverage throughout the ship to be good -Labadee Wavejet (Seadoo) tour was fun. Staff were great -Embarkation was surprisingly very fast and smooth CONS: -Casino cigarette smoke permeates all floors of the centrum -Painfully slow elevator wait times -This may sound silly, but the primary elevators are spaced just far enough apart that when one finally arrives, it can be tough to run to the door before it closes. Combine that with the fact it can be hard to hear the "ding" over the noise of the centrum, and it's really easy to miss elevators. It gets pretty annoying after a few days. -Music from centrum may make sleeping in certain staterooms difficult. I did NOT stay in any of these rooms (they may in fact be soundproofed) and the staff closes the big hallway doors at night to try to baffle some of the noise, but the sound still traveled quite far down the hall. I'd suggest checking other reviews before booking any of the rooms nearest to the centrum, on any floor. Unless you like to party late, in which case, I would recommend you DO book one of these rooms. -Abysmal late-evening and after hours food selection: As far as I could tell there's only one kiosk that's open after hours, and their selection is very limited. You'd better really like pizza. -Sub-par main dining room food. Not horrible, but not at the level we've come to expect with RC. I realize this is contrary to some other reviews, so maybe we just got a bad week -Friendly, but slow bartenders throughout ship. I'm not expecting Tom Cruise from Cocktail, but these guys had zero hustle. I now this isn't the end of the world (i'm on vacation and should relax, right?), but they were noticably slow in my opinion. -Aggressive Labadee vendors. I assumed since they were given ID's and let on RC property that they'd be a little less pushy. I assumed wrong. All in all, for the price, this really was a decent cruise. It's a well maintained ship with a good staff. There isn't a lot to do compared to some of the bigger ships, but just enough that I think it would keep most people content, while appeasing those who DON'T like the huge ships happy. While I don't think I would sail on it again, I would still probably recommend it to someone if they get a good deal. It's hard to beat the price. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose to sail sail on the Jewel for the itinerary and the fact that we were on the ship in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves. Our last cruise was on the Freedom of the seas and the food was terrible. We then decided to switch our already ... Read More
We choose to sail sail on the Jewel for the itinerary and the fact that we were on the ship in 2016 and enjoyed ourselves. Our last cruise was on the Freedom of the seas and the food was terrible. We then decided to switch our already planned cruise from the Navigator to Jewel for the reliability. The food: Here is the trick to Royal Caribbean ships. The my time dining is on the same level as the room service level. The food is not going to be as good as the set time dining because they are overwhelmed and overworked. Unfortunately since it was planned last minute, we were stuck on the my time level. There was only one main dining dinner I thought was good. It was when they moved us to the main level because there was cancellations. Otherwise the food this time around was just for survival. The Service: “There is nothing we can do.” was the theme of this ship. There was never enough staff. We were always waiting in huge long lines. We talked with other couples that were on the Jewel before and they also noticed the change. Other Problems: We choose a 9 night sailing date, so the average age of the ship was 60. Normally we love the lack of children, but every one was coughing and sneezing by day five. We had to leave the movie theater twice because of this. Also, at buffets we had to redo our plates multiple times due to careless guests. I guess this really isn’t the ships fault, but it’s something to note. They also had a problem checking our luggage at the end of our trip. We missed our flight as well as most people who had early flights. They said it was because they didn’t have enough custom people checking luggage’s. Every one was delayed by three hours. Staff didn’t seem to care. What we liked: pool in the solarium was easy to get a chair nearby. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this sailing as a short and inexpensive trip that my whole family would have time for. While there was little exceptional about this sailing, it was very nice that nothing went wrong. Twice on Carnival the ships had stabilizers ... Read More
We chose this sailing as a short and inexpensive trip that my whole family would have time for. While there was little exceptional about this sailing, it was very nice that nothing went wrong. Twice on Carnival the ships had stabilizers fail. Once on Holland America the ship lost an engine and we had terrible diesel fumes. So, no problems to report is noteworthy. The ship struck me as a good size - not monstrous and overcrowded nor small and claustrophobic. Elevators were slow and a couple may have been out of service. The ship's public areas were noisy, even the solarium. The deck chairs on deck 5 provided peace and quiet though. This particular sailing seemed like an excellent choice for new cruisers or cruisers worried about motion sickness. The ship never had to speed to get anywhere, and the Caribbean in January tends to be smooth to begin with Our ports were not special, or at least, Royal Caribbean did not help make them special. We couldn't find a shore excursion in Nassau from RCCL that was suitable for someone in less than great health, so we took one on our own. Then Labadee had nothing available either. Worse, Labadee is supposed to include a buffet lunch with basics like, you know, drinking water. They "ran out" and the only water available had to be bought. Hmm. Food on board was average but adequate. It's sad that Royal Caribbean charges for room service as that may be a deal breaker for my parents when it comes to booking future cruises when other lines don't charge. This is especially a problem at night when the only things available are the awful offerings at the Solarium - some of the worst pizza, cookies, and sandwiches I've had on a ship. The flip side of that was the Chef's Table. That was remarkable. The waiter, Kasim, and the chef, Calesia, served a six course meal with wine pairings that my family will talk about for years. Definitely a five-star experience. I also thought their photographer, Jarenne, was one of the most skilled I've met after almost fifteen cruises, our steward Krishna was friendly and efficient, and entertainment staffers like Felix and Silvia helped make the trip more fun. The internet on Royal Caribbean was an improvement over my experience with other lines. If staying connected is important, RCCL appears to have a leg up. Other good things: Embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin had enough storage space for two people. It was comfortable (beds were a little firm) and well-lit. Ship seemed clean and well-maintained. We liked the sailing enough to book a second cruise on Royal Caribbean, one that would also be on the Jewel. That may have been a mistake. First, the advertised itinerary did not match the actual itinerary. More of an issue, we were told that booking through Next Cruises would give credit back to our travel agency so we could get their advertised perks. Not necessarily so, as the agency is telling us that free gratuities aren't combinable which means we might come out behind, and booking with Next Cruises doesn't appear to be cancel-able. I feel misled, which is marring my feelings about a pretty good trip. Hopefully things will be resolved, but for now I'd hesitate to recommend using Next Cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
As one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, this was perfect for a 4 night cruise. There was enough to do but not too much. All the staff I encountered seemed friendly and committed to helping us have a good time. As a smaller ship, ... Read More
As one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, this was perfect for a 4 night cruise. There was enough to do but not too much. All the staff I encountered seemed friendly and committed to helping us have a good time. As a smaller ship, the pool areas were not as crowded as other ships which was nice. However, the hot tubs tended to be a little more crowded. I spent half a day at sea sitting out working on my tan. The water in the pool was chilly so I only stuck my feet in. I was in a junior suite which was large and had a balcony that I enjoyed sipping wine on before heading out for dinner in the main dining room. The food and service was very good in the dining areas. I wished for more food availability in the common areas after 9:30 pm but service at the adult pool was decent. Overall, it was a fun and relaxing trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have lots of happy memories of previous cruises with Royal Carribean from a few years ago, so we decided to treat ourselves and travel for New Years Eve to the islands. Well...we were so disappointed, RC are nothing like they used to ... Read More
We have lots of happy memories of previous cruises with Royal Carribean from a few years ago, so we decided to treat ourselves and travel for New Years Eve to the islands. Well...we were so disappointed, RC are nothing like they used to be! If you go on this ship, get ready to pay extra for EVERYTHING, use of the gym, room service, some yoga classes, movies on the TV, you even have to sign up for a 1 day internet package so you can print the boarding passes for your flight...yep, now that's unacceptable! The passengers who purchased wi-fi for the week only managed to use it 60% of the time, so don't waste your money. Food was great in the dining room, the windjammer could use a thorough cleaning though, tables were always sticky and the choice of food never varied very much each day, although there was plenty of it. Staff don't seem particularly happy, you get the occasional happy person, but not like they used to be. Overall the ship needs a makeover, damaged furniture needs attention, torn carpets in the hallway, etc....and the ever constant smell of sewage, the staff said "oh you won't notice it when we are sailing" not my idea of a vacation! The a la carte restuarants have waiters constantly harassing passengers around the ship to make reservations, another extra fee....we did sign up the murder mystery dinner in the Italian restuarant.. the plot was so cheesy & lame but more surprisingly, italian food was'nt served, steak was offered! Lastly...do not go on the St Martin Beach rendevous excursion, they take you to a small beach in the center of town, a packed, tiny area in the flight path of the airport so the noise is unbelievable, nothing relaxing about that! A couple of good things though...the evening game shows were hysterical and the weather was perfect...so that made up for it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Just got back from the December 22 Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel of the Seas. The cruise was awesome with a perfect itinerary. This was our second recent cruise on RCI. Our last one was on the Serenade of the Seas which ... Read More
Just got back from the December 22 Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel of the Seas. The cruise was awesome with a perfect itinerary. This was our second recent cruise on RCI. Our last one was on the Serenade of the Seas which is the same class as the Jewel of the Seas. While basically the same ship, the Jewel lacked the Pub which we loved on the Serenade. Other than that the ships were identical. This cruise was over Christmas and the RCI did a great job decorating the ship for the holidays. They also had holiday themed events (singing Christmas carols in the Centrum). This trip we ended up in the specialty restaurants as we couldn’t get seating in the main dining room. That was annoying but we loved Chops and Giovanni’s. We had a terrible experience in Izumi with very poor service. The food was great though. It just took an hour to get it. I highly recommend doing room service for breakfast. It’s about $10 and is a good value for not having to rush to the buffet prior to your excursions. Also note that breakfasts seems to be very busy in the buffet. Beer selection was very lacking on the Jewel with no IPA type beer offered. While the drinks of the day were good, I like a good pale ale to drink. Cleanliness on the cruise was excellent and Dadi did a great job on helping in our cabin. We really liked a cabin on the “hump” and it’s hard to choose now between an aft cabin and a “hump” cabin. Aft gives you more privacy but I like watching docking, departures as well as the pilot boats. The pools were great and service in the pool area was superb. Solarium pool was our favorite. Overall the cruise was amazing. The issues mentioned were far outweighed by the positive experiences on our cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this particular cruise for the itinerary and the great price. My first experience with RCCL was AWFUL and I vowed to never cruise with them again. However, I'm so glad that I gave it another try, I was pleasantly surprised. ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise for the itinerary and the great price. My first experience with RCCL was AWFUL and I vowed to never cruise with them again. However, I'm so glad that I gave it another try, I was pleasantly surprised. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is smaller and older but very well kept, I would even say exceptionally clean. Cabin was spacious, lots of storage, bathroom was small but I loved the shower stall with the circular design and doors. The shows were very entertaining, comedians were okay. Didn't find the activities interesting, luckily we were off the ship every day so we were too pooped to think about activities when we reboarded, just wanted to relax, get ready for dinner, take in a show and hit the casino!! Service overall and all around the ship was excellent! I enjoy every port we went to. I would definitely travel with RCCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Started in Puerto Rico for our Eastern Caribbean cruise. We were lucky to enjoy great weather. We enjoyed all ports with the exception of St. Thomas. Royal used to dock close to town but has elected to move to the commercial docks. The ... Read More
Started in Puerto Rico for our Eastern Caribbean cruise. We were lucky to enjoy great weather. We enjoyed all ports with the exception of St. Thomas. Royal used to dock close to town but has elected to move to the commercial docks. The walk from the ship to town is now 60 minutes or more (depending on your speed) on a very narrow sidewalk close to the edge of the road, so you are always wondering if you will be clipped by the drivers. Further, because they have not heard of road sweepers, the cars on this busy route pelt you with dirt, so you and your clothes are filthy when you get back to the ship! Royal should either provide funds to improve the walkway to town from the commercial dock, or better yet, tie up at the other dock. We've noticed there seem to be a lot fewer crew on board, which means those present are running full tilt all the time! Individual crew members are just outstanding ... great people who work hard to satisfy the passengers. The production show was awesome the first time we saw it; however, unless you cruise with Royal less than annually, it is a yet another repeat. We are lucky enough to cruise often ... so other than a few minutes of the first show to assess the calibre of the performers, it is just not good enough to see for the 6th time. Tango show ... did not enjoy it the first time over a year ago; definitely not interested now. Headliner shows good. Ship's orchestra, singers and dancers are just fantastic ... it's the production show itself that is lacking. Main dining room experience was great! Really good food. Service a bit slow, but that is solely due to fewer people doing more. Menu sometimes less than inspiring; however, being able to choose the Indian off-menu options saved the night on multiple occasions. Did the Mystery dinner. Good fun was had by all. Food was good, but not better than the main dining room. Company was great. Actors motivated but definitely not pros. Great job regardless. Royal needs to get on board with the rest of North America and not permit smoking inside. The smoke from the Casino area permeates the Centrum on decks 5, 6 and 7. Cannot further comment on the Casino experience ... must be horrendous for anyone with a penchant for gambling. Really feel sorry for staff forced to work in those health hazardous conditions. Ships are well-maintained and clean. Could not move about the ship without seeing someone cleaning, painting or vacuuming! Would rate the cruise a "5" except for the decline in service (because you can only do less with less) and the choice of dockage in St. Thomas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Granted, we really have enjoyed our past Carnival cruises. Our friends encouraged us to upgrade out lives going Royal our next time, Dec 18, out of San Juan A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT! Our room had worn furniture,,dust etc. We felt ... Read More
Granted, we really have enjoyed our past Carnival cruises. Our friends encouraged us to upgrade out lives going Royal our next time, Dec 18, out of San Juan A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT! Our room had worn furniture,,dust etc. We felt like we were really on an outdated ship (maybe it is) While we earned credit for another cruise,,we are taking a short 4 day to maximize the credit, and minimize out cost. I would think more than twice about not only this ship, but maybe Royal in general. It sure wasn't a "fun" ship. The late leaving out of San Juan gave us the day to enjoy the old city. That was appreciated as well as a first relaxing, self guided tour of the old city. Next trip to San Juan, I"m going to add a day for some in island times, more sights etc Because of the staggered arrivals, boarding wasn't bad. Pretty fast in fact! That was a positive for us. As in the Bachelor series, that first impression rose does not go to this ship or even Royal out book. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
WE have been RC cruisers with over 220 nights and always enjoy our cruise. WE found this dining room staff exceptional and everyone always tried to please. We like the new menus and also enjoyed lunch in the Windjammer. The guest services ... Read More
WE have been RC cruisers with over 220 nights and always enjoy our cruise. WE found this dining room staff exceptional and everyone always tried to please. We like the new menus and also enjoyed lunch in the Windjammer. The guest services staff was very helpful and competent. My husband frequented the spa everyday and found it clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. We were disappointed with the entertainment. We returned to the ship by 4:30 on the 5 port days. Yet, one night only had an adult late night comedian. Other nights had shows at different times, 7:00, 7:45, 7:30 so it was difficult to plan evening activities or when to eat (MTD). Most ships had a set time of an early or late show and one time if it was just one show. The man in charge of entertainment said it was set in Miami and write to them if we didn't like what happened on the Jewel. We never encountered this kind of answer before-quite off-putting. We know the big production shows run for years but for many returning cruisers, we had seen tango and city of dreams half a dozen times. At least we hoped to forward to different comedians and other headliner acts. The entertainment on the Jewel was not entertaining for us. Disembarkation was difficult because of a taxi strike and strike of baggage handlers. As a result, many people missed flights and those traveling with children had great difficulty. We were lucky to get off only 2 hours late and get a van but others had a terrible time. I don't know how RC handled it on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had an outstanding cruise the first time we cruised on Jewel and I found a good deal so figured why not. This one was excellent. I'll hit the highs then the lows. The food overall was some of the best we've had on Royal ... Read More
We had an outstanding cruise the first time we cruised on Jewel and I found a good deal so figured why not. This one was excellent. I'll hit the highs then the lows. The food overall was some of the best we've had on Royal Caribbean. The chefs and staff got it right. The service in all the dining areas was absolutely top notch. Of note here; Stephan a maitre d is excellent. The cruise director is very good, the activities manager is outstanding. The entertainment was overall excellent. The production shows singers and dancers were about the best we've seen. Of special note: the cast members who participated in Bada Boom, the murder mystery in Giovanni's were outstanding. Headliner entertainment was good not great. The ship was in excellent shape and the Hotel Director can be commended for his excellent staff. The Diamond lounge concierge Sierghei is terrific. Over all Captain Tryn runs a very tight ship and it was a superb vacation. The Lows: Royal Caribbean is nickel and dimeing more and more. Room service costs $7.95, $49 for Chops grill, plus an extra $30 for lobster. Izumi prices went up. Drink prices are higher. It's just not the value it is on other lines. Travelling in and out of San Juan is a pain. Unfortunately for this cruise, the taxi drivers and porters decided to strike and caused a big jam up. It cost some folks a couple of extra hours, big lines at the airport and a few missed flights. Therefore my number one recommendation is travel to San Juan a day early, even though hotels have gone up in price significantly. And number two, take an afternoon flight home even though food prices in the airport have gone up significantly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Summary: A good cruise for a handicapped wife and her husband. The only "hard spots" were issues with the Royal Caribbean front office regarding accessible tours. My wife normally uses a scooter for mobility. We booked our ... Read More
Summary: A good cruise for a handicapped wife and her husband. The only "hard spots" were issues with the Royal Caribbean front office regarding accessible tours. My wife normally uses a scooter for mobility. We booked our shore excursions months in advance through Royal Caribbean, and were assured that all the tours we booked could accept my wife's scooter. Two days before the cruise, we got an email saying that some of the shore excursions we had booked could not accept my wife's scooter; this threw us into a panic (but successful) effort to rent a wheelchair for those excursions. Because the Royal Caribbean front office told us these excursions could accept the scooter when we bought the excursions, the overall cruise lost a rating star. At least Royal Caribbean told us about the problem while it could still be fixed. Had we found out about the problem on the ship, the rating star penalty would have been harsher. On to the cruise proper: The cruise started in San Juan, PR. We flew in on the day of the cruise, so we didn't get a chance to explore anything. Royal Caribbean handled the airport/dockside transfer. As things turned out, we were part of the last batch of people to arrive, so no embarkation crowds. We went though the embarkation process as fast as we could walk/scoot through the stations. Total embarkation time (leaving San Juan airport to our ship cabin) was about 1/2 hour. The ship: The Jewel of the Seas was in good condition and clean. Accessibility for my wife's scooter was good (including public restrooms marked handicapped accessible). We could take the scooter on deck without problems, and we did not have problems getting around the public spaces. Ship corridors were acceptably wide. Royal Caribbean ships do not have self-service laundromats; for us this limits the maximum length of a Royal Caribbean cruise to 7 days based on the amount of clothes we can feasibly pack. If there is anything I could change about the Jewel of the Seas, I would add self-service laundromats. We did not find travel sundries in the shops on the ship (e.g.; toothbrushes, razors, and feminine hygiene products). Cabin: We had cabin 7612, a handicapped accessible cabin with a balcony. The cabin was big enough to maneuver the scooter, and the bathroom had a walk-in shower. Our cabin steward (Bruno Martins) gets a shout for the good service he provided. Dining: We ate all our shipboard meals in the Windjammer buffet. We found the variety and quality of the food to be generally good. We did find the baked pastries (donuts in the morning and cakes in the evening) to be dry (stale?). Entertainment/Activities: Unfortunately, we developed colds early on in the trip, so we spent most of our shipboard time in our cabin. We didn't go to any shows. We did go to a few of the shipboard activities (belly flop contest and "Love and Marriage" game, and found them enjoyable. One note on the theater: The scooter accessible portion of the theater is limited to behind the last row of seats. However the view from there ins acceptable. Service: We have already mentioned the fine job done by our cabin steward, Bruno Martins. The rest of the the staff struck us as just as enthusiastic and service oriented. We got the impression that they genuinely liked their jobs. Ports and Excursions: A disabled cruiser will find shore excursion options extremely limited. We booked our excursions through Royal Caribbean to avoid surprises, but as noted above, we were not completely successful in that regard. First up was a "Behind the Scenes" tour that I took on our sea day. This tour took us through the ship's operational areas, and as a retired engineer with a marine background, I learned much. This tour is not available to mobility-impaired folks. Barbados, Grenada, and Dominica: We group these three islands together because they are similar. We took accessible general tours of the islands, and enjoyed the tours immensely. The islands are beautiful. The general impression we got of the populations was that the islands were poor, but one did not need much money live on them. St. Maartin/St. Martin: Again, we took an accessible general tour of the island, and came away thinking this island was basically a tourist economy. We were one of 4 cruise ships in St. Maartin that day; that should tell you something about what makes the island tick. St. Thomas: No accessible excursion of this island was available, so we just walked/scooted around the port. We were not impressed, as all we saw were assorted stores catering to the cruise ship passengers. Disembarkation: A taxi strike with associated blocked roads disrupted the disembarkation plan in San Juan, but the problem was solved and we easily made our flight. Would we recommend this cruise to others? Yes, with the caveat that no self-service laundry or travel sundries will be available on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruised out of San Juan December 1 2018. We are experienced cruisers and have cruised many different lines. The specialty restaurants are a huge disappointment. Our experience on the Jewel was by far the worse of any main line. We went ... Read More
We cruised out of San Juan December 1 2018. We are experienced cruisers and have cruised many different lines. The specialty restaurants are a huge disappointment. Our experience on the Jewel was by far the worse of any main line. We went to Chops three nights and they were out of a main appetizer each night. If you hate seafood and raw meat then you are out of luck. The service was pathetic with invasive waiters trying to impress you with how much “ extra “ they can do for you. My husband is a diabetic and a simple asking for a sugar free dessert was met with grumbles and an unacceptable request. A simple asking for horseradish was a disaster. We were told that was not available . The specialty restaurants also have insane up charges. $30.00 extra for a simple lobster that most can find at a local supermarket for more than half that price. The main stream restaurant says are nothing like they once were. The ships are trying to force everyone to pay for specialty restaurants and then up charge them. The quality of food in the buffet seems and main dining is not great. The service has dropped drastically since automatic tipping came into play. The wait staff are so pushy over tips. My teen daughter was mocked by a waiter in Chops for having motion sickness and asking to be able to look out a window at a back table. My kids at at the sushi bar and had to nickel and dime each item because of the insane up charges. The buffet was never open on time and the tables were seldom cleared. The staff was very pushy. Our room was never cleaned until late afternoon and we had to ask for soap to be put in the dispensers. Our room steward did the minimal amount of work. The trivia on board was horrible. The staff had horrible English skills and asked if they could read the questions in Spainish. People literally walked out because no one could understand the questions. They also repeated the same questions over and over so there was no challenge. One staff member gave so many hints that he gave away all the answers. Those that love Triva would do best to cruise with princess or one of the other lines that offer more challenges. The cruise director seemed to put so much focus on herself and less on her job. The female staff members were so over the top flirty with the young males and ignored the mid and older generations that make up the more frequent cruisers. The staff were seen arguing and two almost got into a fist fight. It was uncomfortable to watch. For those of us who are long time cruisers it is easy to see that Royal Caribbean is trying to force a choice between low quality buffets or over priced...low service specialty restaurant. They are about making the most money and catering to the elite. My advice is to skip the overpriced bad service and bad selection specialty restaurants. We did not eat at the Italian one but heard many many many comments of disappointment. Norwegian Cruise lines do a much better job at both customer service and specialty restaurants. We will not sail with RC again. This was the most disappointing ship we’ve been on and we’ve been on 25 plus. The entertainment was not great. Empty chairs everywhere. All in all a very low quality overall experience. Oh and the public restrooms were the dirtiest we’ve ever experienced. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I just returned last night from a 7 day cruise on the Jewel out of San Juan. It was one of my best cruises of the 15+ I have taken. Although I read a few poor reviews of the Jewel, I did not experience what the writers described. The ... Read More
I just returned last night from a 7 day cruise on the Jewel out of San Juan. It was one of my best cruises of the 15+ I have taken. Although I read a few poor reviews of the Jewel, I did not experience what the writers described. The food in Windjammer was very good, the service in the dining room was great and our room service was just as good. I did not like two of the ports we visited, Grenada and Dominca, but the other ports were really nice - Barbados, St. Thomas and especially St. Maarten. There was a problem during disembarkation as the taxi and luggage port workers decided to strike that day so we were 2 hours longer getting off the ship. Many passengers were complaining about how RC staff handled that issue and delay but it was no different than I have experienced on Carnival during disembarkation. Entertainment was good and we were lucky to eat at the table with the Motown singers for a new nights before they performed and left the ship. I have another cruise scheduled on RC Liberty of the Seas in January and will see how they compare as my experience on the Jewel will be hard to beat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Mood Icons, featuring Carissa & JoJo, Thomas & Carlo. They are a very talented band, they kept us entertained & extremely happy. They had us singing & dancing. They were a key highlight of our cruise. With an array of ... Read More
Mood Icons, featuring Carissa & JoJo, Thomas & Carlo. They are a very talented band, they kept us entertained & extremely happy. They had us singing & dancing. They were a key highlight of our cruise. With an array of ecclectic genres & song melodies to please everyone of all ages. Along with excellent comedy and music shows & entertainment crew. Would've liked to see better timing as some we were unable to see or participate in game shows because they coincided with our dining hours. Excellent food in main dining. They curbed to our palette and requests. The food was absolutely delicious & tasty. The quality was superb in the main dining area. They aimed to please & surpassed our expectations. There is room for improvement on several items: Would've like to see more entertainment & activities round the clock. Also the food (Windjammer) & pool areas should be 24hrs. There should also be more variety in menu options, especially for complementary beverages (they are too limited). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this particular cruise because of the amazing ports. We only had 1 day at sea and then a new port each day. It was great! At Each port the staff was very helpful and it took no time to get off and on the ship. The ship was smaller ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the amazing ports. We only had 1 day at sea and then a new port each day. It was great! At Each port the staff was very helpful and it took no time to get off and on the ship. The ship was smaller than what we are used to, however, much calmer waters. Ship did not rock at all. At times, I almost forgot I was on the ship. The staff are extremely accommodating and lovely. The food and entertainment was good. We did not have to wait in the main dining room or in the specialty restaurants. We did not feel crowded at all. We always found chairs at the pool, tables in the buffet for breakfast. The entertainment staff worked really hard the entire cruise to make sure that everyone had a good experience from the kiddie activities to the adult entertainment. We would definitely take another cruise similar to the Jewel of the seas. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise because it was a renovated ship and had a port every day. There was a good mix of traditional beach & shopping ports (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados) and newer exotic ports (Grenada, Dominica). We ... Read More
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise because it was a renovated ship and had a port every day. There was a good mix of traditional beach & shopping ports (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Barbados) and newer exotic ports (Grenada, Dominica). We were in port from 8:00-5:00 every day so we were able to sleep in on some days, get a full day in port on other days, and always make it back to the ship to sit down for a family dinner. I really like the predictability of the 8-5 port schedule. It's very easy to keep it straight in your head. We really wanted beaches and relaxation so we did not book any excursions. There were lots of teens & kids on the boat so our daughters made friends and were excited to meet up with them every evening when we returned from port. There was a rock climbing wall, golf course and kids' pool, but the ship was still a manageable size. We were not overwhelmed by people or lost trying to find each amenity. Disembarkation was not a total zoo like it can be with the mega-ships. This ship has an indoor cinema and outdoor movies by the pool, which we love, but they repeated several movies over the course of the week. No movies on the "network" TV in the room (we really like that about Norwegian & Princess). All-in-all, the amenities were pretty good and the cabin renovation was nice. One thing I HATE about the renovations is the lack of outlets in the cabin! We always bring an extension cord. I like to unplug (we don't buy internet on the cruise) but we still need to charge cameras, iPhones, Kindles, etc. Royal Caribbean does the best with service, embarkation, disembarkation and all the little details. The dining room food was a bit boring with the same menu almost every night, but I think they do that to push you toward the specialty paid restaurants. The buffet food was pretty good, but there were alot of "repeats" there too including Indian food all the time. I love Indian food but was a bit baffled to keep seeing it for lunch every day. Many of the buffet & dining room desserts were bland, but others were excellent. The buffet was not open all the time. For example, when you get back from port at 5:00 PM, it's not open. It did not re-open until 6:30 on port days. Also, there was not a continuously open burger/pizza place for the kids like most other cruises have near the pool. We had no issues with food availability, but when you have kids you expect to find that type of convenience food regularly available if they did not eat in port. We did LOVE that breakfast room service is still free on Royal Caribbean if you just do the continental breakfast. I love to relax in bed with my coffee and ease into my day. It's also nice to give the kids milk, fruit or a pastry while they watch cartoons in their pajamas. If you want hot breakfast (eggs, etc.) for room service, there is a charge. On Thanksgiving night, they did a HUGE dessert showcase in the buffet with chocolate covered strawberries and a chocolate fountain. We had our actual Thanksgiving dinner in the main dining room and it was underwhelming. We ended up going to the buffet afterwards. The gym was pretty good with sturdy treadmills and plenty of machines & free weights. There were a few free fitness classes and a few paid ones. Not as many classes as on other ships, but there was always 2-3 classes every morning-- usually spinning, abs and yoga. The fitness classes were in an open area in the middle of the fitness floor which was annoying because you had to hear the spinning instructor SCREAMING across the entire gym while you tried to listen to music on your treadmill. One downside of the gym was no TVs on each treadmill/elliptical. Not a huge issue, but a nice feature on other cruises. Given that this was an older ship, the gym was still pretty large. It was much larger than I expected. We did not do any posed family photos on this cruise, but it did look like they offered a variety of different backdrops. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first time doing a Tgiving cruise and our first time on Jewel of the Seas. We traveled as a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids-age 9) and other prior RC sailing experiences were Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. ... Read More
This was our first time doing a Tgiving cruise and our first time on Jewel of the Seas. We traveled as a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids-age 9) and other prior RC sailing experiences were Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. Some of our favorite things about Jewel: --Staff is friendly and helpful. --Size of the ship made embarking/disembarking smoother than other ships. --It never felt overwhelming or took long to get to places. Easy to navigate. --Great itinerary with only one day at sea; nice to wake up in a new port every morning. --Chance to see some of the less familiar southern Caribbean islands (Grenada, Dominica). --Easy ports to make your own plans/arrangements and avoid marked up excursion prices. We were really impressed with Grenada and highly recommend Stan at JNJ Tours. --Variety of beach experiences (Maagens Bay in St Thomas, Grand Anse in Grenada, Carlisle in Barbados, St Maarten) All so unique, different. Kids loved all of them. --Fun experience learning to make our own dinner (sushi) for $20 at Izumi. --We splurged and did a suite for the first time ever. I always jealously peeked at them when housekeeping has the door opened cleaning them. But I've scoffed about spending that much money, was it really necessary, isn't it a bit over the top, etc. For whatever reason, pricing wasn't significantly more than an ocean view room this time and we took the plunge. If the math works for you to try it, do! Accommodations and amenities were fantastic--esp all the little perks like private breakfast dining room, cocktail reception each evening, expedited boarding/departure, concierge, etc. I was a complete skeptic on the price and value, but after I win the next lottery, you should expect to only find me in a suite for years to come! :) Until then.....back to reality. LOL Some things we were less impressed by: --Shows were limited and started at 9pm (late for families with young kids). --Even if they started earlier, some of the shows weren't appropriate for kids (comedian). --Pool movies were old and repeated. Entertainment videos (blooper videos shown during the day at the pool) had poor picture quality/interference and frequently repeated. --Main dining room was dull, mediocre service and almost the same menu every night (but it motivated us to try Chops-which was fantastic!) --We did MyTimeDining at the main dining room with a standing resv and had issues at every check-in. --Kids missed the Dreamsworks characters we've had on the other RC ships (Trolls, Shrek). But they were recently announced to be going away from all ships anyway. --Kids club was small and unimaginative. My kids loved the staff, just limited space. --In-cabin tv programming was minimal. It was Tgiving and we were struggling to get the NFL game. (I know, I know--we're too American!) --Windjammer/buffet was mwehh. Lots of Indian food and repeated food. --There is no pizza parlor, Johnny Rockets, Park Central Cafe, etc like the other RC ships that offers food service throughout the day. So when you reboard in the afternoons, finding food can be tough. Please don't misinterpret--we did not starve, go hungry, or lose weight on this cruise. We got by just fine (and according to my scale, I found plenty of food). :) Just sharing so you can plan ahead. Overall, we had a great time and it is a very nice ship. We simply concluded that this wasn't the right ship size for our family. Oasis of the Seas earlier this year was a little too big, this one was a tad too small, and Freedom of the Seas last year seemed to be just right for us and is still our favorite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I had the opportunity to sail for three weeks onboard the Jewel Of The Seas (17 November to 8 December) and I honestly could have cheerfully departed the ship after the first week. The main reason I chose this ship was because of the ... Read More
I had the opportunity to sail for three weeks onboard the Jewel Of The Seas (17 November to 8 December) and I honestly could have cheerfully departed the ship after the first week. The main reason I chose this ship was because of the itinerary; these ports of call happen to be my favorites and so I stayed onboard. The cabin on my first week was #8590 (ocean view balcony) and this room was the worst stateroom I have ever been in. The ocean view balcony was exactly that; just a view of the ocean! You could not get two people on the balcony at the same time! The last 2 weeks were better in cabin #4014. Although this room did not have a balcony (it was an ocean view stateroom) there was so much more space in the room. The food in the main dining room was bland and unseasoned and three weeks on board saw the same menu each week. The Windjammer food was much better. It varied the whole time and was tasty, hot and nicely arranged. I did meet a problem with 'my time' dining inasmuchas this reserves only the time and not the table and I wanted to sit at the same table every evening; thus alleviating the necessity of having to join a very long queue to see which table was actually assigned to me for that night. Since I booked the same meal time every evening for 3 weeks, I did not appreciate the lack of planning. I enjoyed the theater shows, the orchestra and the bands on board but the only headliner act worth seeing were Spectrum. The comedians were awful and many people (including myself) walked out. On some trivia quizzes and baggo challenges, the activity woman arrived without pen, paper, microphone or prizes. This took away from the enjoyment of the games. However this should not reflect on Jerry, the Activities Manager. The guy himself did a great job. The Christmas tree is quite beautiful as well. The ship was always clean and the service mostly good. All in all, it was a pretty average cruise but I would not rush back to this particular ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we ... Read More
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. Ship was old, mid-size, but had more offerings and character than some larger ships. Inside cabin was spacious enough. Dining options in the main dining room and buffet were better than Celebrity, especially the lunches! Entertainment and activities were standard for this class. The live entertainment was very good with lots of dance music available. Some of the games were fun too, even if we'd seen them before. Service was excellent throughout. Dining room staff including head waiter and maitre'd were exceptional. We never felt harassed to buy drink or dinner packages. This was a major annoyance on Celebrity. Diamond benefits are excellent. Would definitely do another Royal Caribbean. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This reminded me of my first cruise many years ago when the crew was happy and new your name. The Captain was a hoot, and would come on each day announcements with a cheerful and positive attitude. This was a very long trip so we spent 3 days in Rome before leaving, and was in our eyes the highlight of the trip (all the rest was extra cake). Two day before leaving we had gotten contacted by KLM that our flight had been canceled due to Air2sea booking a year ago on a Bump flight? We had to call Air2Sea and tell them about the cancelation. They did not have any idea that it had happened. I insisted that KLM had canceled the flight and I had called them and confirmed that it was, and that I should contact RC for any information. First observation of RC is the disconnect between the travel and the customer. They should have this information first before me. They then told me that it was a good thing that I had Air2Sea and they could fix this. They rebooked on Delta and my 2 stops turned into 3. The Delta Flight was very good and we had and additional hour with a very uncomfortable flight on Italy Airlines (not recommended no leg room). While in Rome they then sent another email that said all the Jewels itinerary stops had been changed due to weather (changed to Canary Islands and St. Martin). This is probably a good call but other ships had been reported going to the places that we had just been changed from. Most of the ship was looking forward to Lisbon as we had, and for this was disappointed. Getting on the ship was a very quick event and waited for our rooms to get prepared. Luggage delivery was very good. I felt sorry for the couple that we met that lived in the Canary Islands (and just had flown out of) and joked that they could maybe do some laundry while off the ship at island (they lived at) they had just left. We had been spoiled a bit on Princess Cruises so the rest is observations of what could be improved for the RC Brand. We loved the food and lots of it, but not much variety. Having theme food nights lets us have a taste of other countries. We did not eat in the dining room at all but ended up in the windjammer when open. The Café (latte tudes?) was very limited on food selection and while the windjammer has such limited hour 7am till 11 something could be expanded to a light snack early in the morning. We had been gaining hours each night coming back from Italy and we would wake up at 4 am and feeling hungry. All the restaurants had been closed, and the only one that opens at 6:30 is the Solarium Café that again is very limited to light snacks. Internet was puffed up as fastest at sea. Nobody I talked with thought much of it. It’s took about 5 to 10 min to load the RC page. They should have a backup system that when not by land can use satellite feeds from deep space to fill the low altitude satellite system currently used. We loved the Movie Theater and would love to see this added to other ships. The movies generally run one a day and then repeated on the big screen on deck. We had to leave early on one of our favorite movies, and expected to finish it later but this was not replayed on the in room TV. Suggestion is to run your played movies on the TV in the room as the kids shows currently are (in room TV is pay preview if you want a another movie). What is up with the “cooler” in the room??? No Hotel room uses a cooler. They use small refrigerators. Coffee Lava azza! One word Nasty (you need to switch out to instant or McCaffee brand! You can bring two bottles of wine but no Water or Soda onto the ship? We don’t drink so water is important to me. I spent over 50 dollars on the 12 liter bottles of water provided by the cruise line with 18% added on. Other cruise lines do this for about 7 us dollars a case. Smoking all over the ship. Deck 5 had ashtrays all down the walking deck. What about the kids that walk on that deck. What about me that does not smoke, but is exposed by trying to get some exercise. The smoking room is next to the Windjammer??. The smoke drifts down the pool deck while trying to watch a movie. Improve the daily activity that happens around the ship. We felt a port expert would have been nice along with other information like education lectures (Paying passenger did volunteer for lectures giving in Geology that was appreciate). This may have been slow because of the change of ports but thought that we should do more than just read, watch movies, cards, and shop in a very limited shopping area. Long itineraries require the Brand to make extra personnel for this lull in long days. We appreciated the extra personnel that were provided for future cruise desk. Princess only supplies one, and is never at the desk. Cruise excursions should be explained better. One paragraph of the excursion should be expanded, and explained about mode of transportation and amount of stops for toilet breaks, and how much time spent at stops. This was not explained until on the tour. Overall the cruise was very nice, but have decided that this cruise line in present state is not for us. We did have a great mix of people our own age, but just think it should be better. Overall price of the trip was Great value. We thank the excellent crew for success of our second crossing of the big pond. Read Less
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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