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This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier rather late, so there was zero wait for embarkation. Luggage was also delivered well before dinner on departure day. We did find the muster drill to be less serious than is typical. Disembarkation was also efficient, although we had been assigned a 9:30 time and were getting the final warning all call at 9:15 (but I assume this would be a plus for most people, so no harm). Getting on and off the ship in ports was easy. There was a bit of a back-up to board tenders at Catalina, but the water was choppy so very understandable. Also beware that the security folks (port not RCCL) in San Francisco were being exceptionally strict with respect to any food (they had to discuss weather I was permitted to bring on Pringles in a sealed pack). We saw lots and lots of sourdough in the trash. Public Spaces: We found the public spaces on the ship to be very nice, clean, and generally well apportioned. The Schooner Lounge was an especially nice spot. On the two sea days (one scheduled plus most of the next day - which I will explain below), we spent a significant amount of time in the solarium. We were shocked to be able to find deck chairs so easily, especially since weather precluded using any of the outdoor pool areas (save for a few brave polar bears!!). One drawback, the deck chairs (wooden slatted with cushions) were exceptionally uncomfortable. We brought out pillows to use. All-in-all, the public spaces certainly were the best part of the ship. Dining: The food on the ship was decent. It wasn't great, it wasn't poor, it was what you expect. BUT, the availability of food was absolutely ridiculous. Obviously the days of huge midnight buffets every night are over (probably just as well). And I am not one to pig out constantly during a cruise, but I do expect to be able to sit down and eat a meal anytime I want (excluding the middle of the night). We had a 6:30p tour to Alcatraz. We went to the Windjammer (the Lido/Pool deck cafe) at 5:30 - CLOSED. We returned from the excursion at 10 and went to the Windjammer - CLOSED. In fact, at 10pm there is no food available anywhere on the ship. At 11pm you can go to a little cafe that serves hamburgers for a $10 surcharge. A hot dog was available for free....just as long as you had paid 10$ for a hamburger first. The food in the main dining room was fine, the service good. I was surprised that the premium cuts of beef were extra, even on formal night. I have been served beef wellington on a Carnival ship on formal night - but not here. Even in the premium steakhouse ( $35 surcharge) you will only get a 6oz filet - a nicer cut of meat is another 20$. 10$ surcharge for a hamburger 55$ surcharge for the steakhouse with a ribeye. That tells you what is being spent on the food available elsewhere. Enrichment Activities: "Enrichment" was nonexistent (the only port talk took place prior to us even boarding the ship. There were typical pool activities, most of which were canceled due to inclement weather (news flash: overcast, 55, and windy while on the pacific in May is not inclement - it's normal). Entertainment: The music around the ship was good. Very basic, but the vocalists and musicians were high quality. We saw one show with the singers and dancers, it was nicely done. We heard the comedian during the welcome show, and that was all we needed to hear of him. Bowzer also did a performance, and that was entertaining to the older folks on board. Service: We found the service to be fine. There were very few, if any crew members who stood out as being either poor or spectacular. Dining room service was a little rushed the first night but was very solid after that. Requests were met, and dish temperatures, sides, dressings were all brought as ordered. The one thing that I did not like was the lack of bar service in the Windjammer, theater and pool deck. My guess is, now that RCCL is talking folks into the drink packages, they have lost the incentive to come around a sell drinks. This is not the case in the dining room, but is the case elsewhere. Mechanical Issue: We did have a mechanical problem on the ship. Obviously these things happen, and we ended up leaving San Francisco some 9 hours late. We were not notified of the new arrival time in Victoria until Noon the next day. We ended up having a few hours less in Victoria (6:30 - 10:30 instead of 12 - 7), which was unfortunate. The biggest problem here was that when everyone got back to the boat, again, all the restaurants were closed. People at the windjammer were very upset. We finally went back to our cabin and from our balcony we could see all the activity at the cafe on Solstice (which was docked adjacent to us); that was as close to a meal as we would get. All-in-all, the time we spent on the cruise was very enjoyable. We loved the ports, and the ship's public spaces; staff and our fellow cruisers were warm and friendly. That being said, RCCL is not for us. Too many corners cut, too little attention to detail, and too small a cabin.

Very Fun Trip on a Very Average Ship

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by HouseRulz

Trip Details
This was my 6th cruise, and first on RCCL. I was traveling with my Mother. We have cruised together several times. This cruise went to Catalina Island, San Francisco (with overnight), Victoria, and ended in Vancouver.

Embarkation: We arrived at the pier rather late, so there was zero wait for embarkation. Luggage was also delivered well before dinner on departure day. We did find the muster drill to be less serious than is typical. Disembarkation was also efficient, although we had been assigned a 9:30 time and were getting the final warning all call at 9:15 (but I assume this would be a plus for most people, so no harm). Getting on and off the ship in ports was easy. There was a bit of a back-up to board tenders at Catalina, but the water was choppy so very understandable. Also beware that the security folks (port not RCCL) in San Francisco were being exceptionally strict with respect to any food (they had to discuss weather I was permitted to bring on Pringles in a sealed pack). We saw lots and lots of sourdough in the trash.

Public Spaces: We found the public spaces on the ship to be very nice, clean, and generally well apportioned. The Schooner Lounge was an especially nice spot. On the two sea days (one scheduled plus most of the next day - which I will explain below), we spent a significant amount of time in the solarium. We were shocked to be able to find deck chairs so easily, especially since weather precluded using any of the outdoor pool areas (save for a few brave polar bears!!). One drawback, the deck chairs (wooden slatted with cushions) were exceptionally uncomfortable. We brought out pillows to use. All-in-all, the public spaces certainly were the best part of the ship.

Dining: The food on the ship was decent. It wasn't great, it wasn't poor, it was what you expect. BUT, the availability of food was absolutely ridiculous. Obviously the days of huge midnight buffets every night are over (probably just as well). And I am not one to pig out constantly during a cruise, but I do expect to be able to sit down and eat a meal anytime I want (excluding the middle of the night). We had a 6:30p tour to Alcatraz. We went to the Windjammer (the Lido/Pool deck cafe) at 5:30 - CLOSED. We returned from the excursion at 10 and went to the Windjammer - CLOSED. In fact, at 10pm there is no food available anywhere on the ship. At 11pm you can go to a little cafe that serves hamburgers for a $10 surcharge. A hot dog was available for free....just as long as you had paid 10$ for a hamburger first. The food in the main dining room was fine, the service good. I was surprised that the premium cuts of beef were extra, even on formal night. I have been served beef wellington on a Carnival ship on formal night - but not here. Even in the premium steakhouse ( $35 surcharge) you will only get a 6oz filet - a nicer cut of meat is another 20$. 10$ surcharge for a hamburger 55$ surcharge for the steakhouse with a ribeye. That tells you what is being spent on the food available elsewhere.

Enrichment Activities: "Enrichment" was nonexistent (the only port talk took place prior to us even boarding the ship. There were typical pool activities, most of which were canceled due to inclement weather (news flash: overcast, 55, and windy while on the pacific in May is not inclement - it's normal).

Entertainment: The music around the ship was good. Very basic, but the vocalists and musicians were high quality. We saw one show with the singers and dancers, it was nicely done. We heard the comedian during the welcome show, and that was all we needed to hear of him. Bowzer also did a performance, and that was entertaining to the older folks on board.

Service: We found the service to be fine. There were very few, if any crew members who stood out as being either poor or spectacular. Dining room service was a little rushed the first night but was very solid after that. Requests were met, and dish temperatures, sides, dressings were all brought as ordered. The one thing that I did not like was the lack of bar service in the Windjammer, theater and pool deck. My guess is, now that RCCL is talking folks into the drink packages, they have lost the incentive to come around a sell drinks. This is not the case in the dining room, but is the case elsewhere.

Mechanical Issue: We did have a mechanical problem on the ship. Obviously these things happen, and we ended up leaving San Francisco some 9 hours late. We were not notified of the new arrival time in Victoria until Noon the next day. We ended up having a few hours less in Victoria (6:30 - 10:30 instead of 12 - 7), which was unfortunate. The biggest problem here was that when everyone got back to the boat, again, all the restaurants were closed. People at the windjammer were very upset. We finally went back to our cabin and from our balcony we could see all the activity at the cafe on Solstice (which was docked adjacent to us); that was as close to a meal as we would get.

All-in-all, the time we spent on the cruise was very enjoyable. We loved the ports, and the ship's public spaces; staff and our fellow cruisers were warm and friendly. That being said, RCCL is not for us. Too many corners cut, too little attention to detail, and too small a cabin.
HouseRulz’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7116
I have always booked a balcony or above, but never have I been in such a small stateroom. The mattress is actually curved to allow for someone to walk between the end of the bed and the cabin wall. With the beds split, this makes it very hard to move around. I have also never been in a cabin where a full-size suitcase would not fit under the bead. Our two suitcases ended up stacked in front of the sliding glass door. The balcony was standard and had a table which was nice (if only it wasn't so cold we could have used it to eat), and the closet space was reasonable. The bathroom was virtually unusable. It was so cramped and small, and the shower looked like when you got in you should yell, "Beam me up Scotty!" The paint was chipped, exposed metals were rusting, and the toilet had stains in the bowl. The trash can was a 1/8 hotel pan. Additionally, our remote hardly worked, the speaker in the room for announcements wasn't working, and all the English pages were missing from the Ships Services booklet.
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