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We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on this cruise. We booked it over a year ago as part of the Next Cruise program. The itinerary was the most important factor for us. This 8 night France, Spain, and Italy cruise had a unique itinerary not provided by other cruise lines and was an unusual one for Royal Caribbean. There was only one day at sea, so we were entertained by the ports for almost the entirety of the cruise. Jewel of the Seas was a very nice well-maintained ship, the same level of care and quality I've seen throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet. Common spaces were clean and well furnished. I liked the size of this ship - 90,000 and 2,100 passengers. Because of this, there were few crowded areas on the ship other than the Windjammer and the onboard stores in the evening. Our cabin was really quite exceptional! We had a deluxe balcony room and I can't remember having a cabin with this much floor space! Our room was quiet, bed comfortable, and the balcony was perfect for watching us set sail. (We even saw a rainbow appear next to Mt. Vesuvius on our sailing out of Naples!) The ports were excellent. We had plenty of time in each stop and there was a lot to do in every port! We took 2 excursions, one in Corsica and the other in "Toulon" and they were well-organized, pretty leisurely considering how much we did/saw, and informative. One thing I thought RC could have done better is provide a heads-up beforehand of where the ship docks and how to get into town. Many of the ports had a 3rd party bus service that would take you from the port into downtown areas, because it was either not walkable or a long walk into town from the pier. You had wait in a line, pay at the pier, wait in another line, and get on the bus. In "Toulon", we didn't dock in Toulon, but some other town and those planning to see Toulon had to catch a ferry into town. I'm a long time cruiser of Royal Caribbean. I pretty much go on one cruise a year with RC, and I think Royal Caribbean's food quality goes down every year. This cruise was no exception. It's not that the food is terrible, but knowing that so many dishes used to be prepared on the premises and now are pre-made or frozen is disappointing. One thing that was great for us was the dedicated gluten-free area in the Windjammer. My husband has a gluten intolerance and having an area where he could easily find food was wonderful! In the dining room, the menu was pretty much the same as it was on my cruise last year. I think the menus could use some modernizing beyond the typical meat and potato meals and could also use additional selections for those who are vegetarian or gluten free beyond a single main course each night. I'd say overall, the cruise was one the best we've ever taken. We enjoyed ourselves immensely!

A Jewel of a Cruise to France, Spain, and Italy

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Aurora1525

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on this cruise. We booked it over a year ago as part of the Next Cruise program. The itinerary was the most important factor for us. This 8 night France, Spain, and Italy cruise had a unique itinerary not provided by other cruise lines and was an unusual one for Royal Caribbean. There was only one day at sea, so we were entertained by the ports for almost the entirety of the cruise.

Jewel of the Seas was a very nice well-maintained ship, the same level of care and quality I've seen throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet. Common spaces were clean and well furnished. I liked the size of this ship - 90,000 and 2,100 passengers. Because of this, there were few crowded areas on the ship other than the Windjammer and the onboard stores in the evening.

Our cabin was really quite exceptional! We had a deluxe balcony room and I can't remember having a cabin with this much floor space! Our room was quiet, bed comfortable, and the balcony was perfect for watching us set sail. (We even saw a rainbow appear next to Mt. Vesuvius on our sailing out of Naples!)

The ports were excellent. We had plenty of time in each stop and there was a lot to do in every port! We took 2 excursions, one in Corsica and the other in "Toulon" and they were well-organized, pretty leisurely considering how much we did/saw, and informative. One thing I thought RC could have done better is provide a heads-up beforehand of where the ship docks and how to get into town. Many of the ports had a 3rd party bus service that would take you from the port into downtown areas, because it was either not walkable or a long walk into town from the pier. You had wait in a line, pay at the pier, wait in another line, and get on the bus. In "Toulon", we didn't dock in Toulon, but some other town and those planning to see Toulon had to catch a ferry into town.

I'm a long time cruiser of Royal Caribbean. I pretty much go on one cruise a year with RC, and I think Royal Caribbean's food quality goes down every year. This cruise was no exception. It's not that the food is terrible, but knowing that so many dishes used to be prepared on the premises and now are pre-made or frozen is disappointing. One thing that was great for us was the dedicated gluten-free area in the Windjammer. My husband has a gluten intolerance and having an area where he could easily find food was wonderful! In the dining room, the menu was pretty much the same as it was on my cruise last year. I think the menus could use some modernizing beyond the typical meat and potato meals and could also use additional selections for those who are vegetarian or gluten free beyond a single main course each night.

I'd say overall, the cruise was one the best we've ever taken. We enjoyed ourselves immensely!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9040
This was a very quiet room, away from all public spaces and crew utility areas. The room was clean, had an impressive amount of floor space, and the balcony was a real treat!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    We did not do an excursion in Barcelona because I was very interested in seeing Park Guell and none of the excursions Royal Caribbean had included it. Most of the things to see in Barcelona are really 15 minute "there I saw it" stops. The Ramblas is crowded and has stalls and shops selling the usual tourist fare. We saw the Sagrada Familia from the parks in front of and behind this interesting structure, but did not get in line to go inside. I was surprised to discover that Park Guell's monuments (as in, Gaudi's most interesting houses and structures) require a ticket to see...and they have a specific time in which you can go in and see the monuments. When we arrived at Park Guell via cab, the entrance time was too close to when we'd have to head back to the ship. It was disappointing. I later learned you can buy your ticket online.
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  • Prunelli Gorges
    The Prunelli Gorges look like a stream you'd see pretty much anywhere in the mountainous regions of the US. Our bus stopped on the side of the road and let everyone out to take pictures from a one-lane bridge of the Prunelli Gorges. It's pretty, but nothing spectacular. The stop at Lake Tolla was much more interesting! This artificial lake is very beautiful as is the town that's nestled beside it. The bus ride is probably the main attraction. The roads through the mountains are narrow and have no guardrails. While the buses are only allowed to go one way on those roads, the cars are not. Be prepared to hold your breath while the bus goes through the switchbacks only to be face to face with a car (who cannot get by the bus). I was relieved to be back in town after the tour.
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  • Private Tour
    We took a private tour of the Amalfi Coast. We had a private driver who took us to Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. We splurged on this tour and it was truly the highlight of our cruise! All the sights, our informative driver, and even a lunch on the water was beyond any expectations we had! I really like the Naples port because you can do things in Naples, go out to Pompeii, take a tour of the Amalfi Coast, or go out to Capri. It's a port that's the gateway to so many adventures!
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  • Palma de Mallorca
    Royal Caribbean did not have a great selection of excursions for this port, probably because it is new for them. We took a cab to Castell de Bellver for the morning. The castle was lovely and had great views from the top! In the afternoon, we went to Cala Major Beach, about a 10 euro cab ride from the port. The beach was breathtakingly beautiful! The water was clean and the people-watching was very fun!
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  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    We spent 3 days in Rome post-cruise. We saw the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Capitoline Hill, Castle Sant'Angelo and more (we'd previously been to Rome so had already seen the Coliseum and the Forum). There's so much to see and do in Rome!
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  • Toulon
    We took an excursion called "The Best of Provence" through Royal Caribbean which stopped at Sanary sur Mer, Cassis, and Marseille. This was a spectacular tour! Our tour guide was excellent and gave us about 45-1hr on our own at each stop. In Sanary sur Mer, I took beautiful photos of the fishing boats in port and we bought strawberries and goat cheese for lunch at the local outdoor market. In Cassis, we did a little shopping and ate our lunch in a cute little square. In Marseille, we went to the Notre-Dame de la Garde and got sweeping panoramas of the city. We also stopped in a shopping district by the Marseille port before the bus returned to the ship. It was a full-day tour and I highly recommend it!
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  • Valencia
    We spent our time in the City of Arts and Sciences area of Valencia. The architecture there is so awesome! The Oceanografic (aquarium) was okay. I felt like many of the animals looked unhappy. There was no admonishment of children for tapping on the glass of the whale/walrus tanks despite there being a railing to keep people away from the glass. We also visited the Heliografic, which was an IMAX theatre and saw an interesting movie about robots. The Science Museum was really large and had some intriguing exhibits. Beyond the museums, Valencia didn't seem to offer much, but it was still an enjoyable port.
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