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
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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