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The ship was upgraded with much nicer common areas, although hallways and bathroom floors did not look as clean in all cases. Telephone equipment also very dated but that probably doesn't matter as much since people don't tend to use the ship phones to dial outside the ship anymore. My family enjoyed the destinations. We booked our excursions separately from the ship to save money. We booked our trips through the Travel Insiders (you can find great TripAdvisor reviews on them). They manage tours on several islands and it was much more comfortable to be in a small group where we could hear the very informative guide speak, than in a large group. In fact, we saw a RCCL tour in Athens and some of the group members informally listened in on our group because it was easier to hear our guide. Ship specialty restaurants were very good. Food in common areas also good although not as good as at the specialty restaurants. The staff work very hard to please guests, although we felt rushed at times at dinner, probably because the staff had to quickly turn over tables for the next seatings. Not the staff's fault, more a function of being on a large ship. Shows were better than expected and there were many movie options. In addition to the regular cabaret cast there were special guests, including winner of X-Factor one night, a Motown style group, and an acrobatic couple on other nights. The main disappointment was that many of the talks, especially those sponsored by the fitness center or spa, were only 20% informative and 80% sales-oriented. It was not surprising, after listening to a few of these lectures, that these sessions were poorly attended. Skip these unless you wish to purchase cruise ship only products and services.

Overall Good Experience with Traveler Tips

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by elchan

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The ship was upgraded with much nicer common areas, although hallways and bathroom floors did not look as clean in all cases. Telephone equipment also very dated but that probably doesn't matter as much since people don't tend to use the ship phones to dial outside the ship anymore.

My family enjoyed the destinations. We booked our excursions separately from the ship to save money. We booked our trips through the Travel Insiders (you can find great TripAdvisor reviews on them). They manage tours on several islands and it was much more comfortable to be in a small group where we could hear the very informative guide speak, than in a large group. In fact, we saw a RCCL tour in Athens and some of the group members informally listened in on our group because it was easier to hear our guide.

Ship specialty restaurants were very good. Food in common areas also good although not as good as at the specialty restaurants. The staff work very hard to please guests, although we felt rushed at times at dinner, probably because the staff had to quickly turn over tables for the next seatings. Not the staff's fault, more a function of being on a large ship.

Shows were better than expected and there were many movie options. In addition to the regular cabaret cast there were special guests, including winner of X-Factor one night, a Motown style group, and an acrobatic couple on other nights.

The main disappointment was that many of the talks, especially those sponsored by the fitness center or spa, were only 20% informative and 80% sales-oriented. It was not surprising, after listening to a few of these lectures, that these sessions were poorly attended. Skip these unless you wish to purchase cruise ship only products and services.
elchan’s Full Rating Summary
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