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My husband and I chose to book this cruise to get a taste of Italy and Greece for the first time. We are both in our late 20s and have cruised with RCI many times, but had never visited the Med. Overall our experiences with RCI have been positive, but sadly we were disappointed with the Jewel of the Seas. Thankfully, the long port days at excellent locations saved the vacation. Pros: -Ports of Call: We absolutely loved every single destination we visited on this trip. Rome, Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Katakolon offered the perfect mix of breathtaking views, fantastic cuisine, and interesting culture and archeology. The ports were, by far, our favorite part of this trip. We booked shared/semi-private excursions at most ports which offered hassle-free transfers and local, knowledgeable guides. My only issue was our shortened time in Santorini (10am-5pm); with all the hype about the beautiful Santorini sunsets, I would have liked to be on the island a bit longer or at least get the opportunity to view the sunset over the cliffs from the ship. -Food in main dining room: We went to dinner in the main dining room every night with the exception of one night in Chops Grille (highly recommended!). We thought the appetizers and main dishes were all very tasty with good portions. We were, however, disappointed with the dessert options every night (too many mousses, jellos, and pudding, not enough classics). -Embarkation and disembarkation: Quick and efficient Cons: -Cabin: We booked a deluxe oceanview cabin on deck 4. After reading other reviews of the Jewel of the Seas on CC, I have noticed a common complaint amongst reviewers about the overall cleanliness of the ship. For us, the problem started with our cabin. From the first time we walked into our bathroom, we noticed a strong smell of urine coming from our toilet. Despite our stateroom attendant's best efforts, the smell persisted throughout our voyage. Our sink seemed partially clogged and was very slow to drain. On top of our bathroom issues, I found the bed to be extremely uncomfortable with the flattest pillows I've ever seen. There were also many stains on our carpet. Not sure how the condition of our cabin deteriorated so quickly after the recent "refurb". -Cleanliness of ship: Apart from our cabin, we noticed a persistent odor in some of the ship's hallways (my husband described the smell as "old steamed broccoli"). The public restrooms were also in very poor condition; they seemed to always smell of sewage with paper towels overflowing in trash bins. These restrooms were obviously not being checked and cleaned as often as they needed to be. -Service in main dining room: The service from our waiter and assistant waiter on the first and second nights of our cruise was probably the worst we have ever received. Our dinner took two hours (table for two) and we were practically ignored the entire time. Thankfully, another family in our section complained and our wait staff got their act together on the third night. I can't say the service was ever "great", but they at least seemed to be putting in the effort to make us happy for the rest of the voyage. Our waiter told us they had a lot of "new staff" onboard, which was very obvious to us, however this does not really excuse the poor service. We only attended one or two shows in the Coral Theater, so I don't feel as though we can fully comment on the entertainment onboard. With long, busy days and late dinners, we were usually too tired to attend any of the productions. We did, however, try to go to "the Quest" game show; for some reason, they chose to host this show (probably one of the line's most popular game shows) in one of the lounges. The lounge was overcrowded and made it extremely difficult for us to watch the action. Overall, this vacation was a great experience. We would definitely cruise the Mediterranean again, however we would only consider booking on the Jewel of the Seas again if we were attracted to the Ports of Call. I do sincerely hope that RCI listens to these reviews and takes initiatives to fix some of its passenger's recurring complaints.

Choose this cruise for the itinerary, not the ship

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by magaudet30

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I chose to book this cruise to get a taste of Italy and Greece for the first time. We are both in our late 20s and have cruised with RCI many times, but had never visited the Med. Overall our experiences with RCI have been positive, but sadly we were disappointed with the Jewel of the Seas. Thankfully, the long port days at excellent locations saved the vacation.

Pros:

-Ports of Call: We absolutely loved every single destination we visited on this trip. Rome, Naples, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Katakolon offered the perfect mix of breathtaking views, fantastic cuisine, and interesting culture and archeology. The ports were, by far, our favorite part of this trip. We booked shared/semi-private excursions at most ports which offered hassle-free transfers and local, knowledgeable guides. My only issue was our shortened time in Santorini (10am-5pm); with all the hype about the beautiful Santorini sunsets, I would have liked to be on the island a bit longer or at least get the opportunity to view the sunset over the cliffs from the ship.

-Food in main dining room: We went to dinner in the main dining room every night with the exception of one night in Chops Grille (highly recommended!). We thought the appetizers and main dishes were all very tasty with good portions. We were, however, disappointed with the dessert options every night (too many mousses, jellos, and pudding, not enough classics).

-Embarkation and disembarkation: Quick and efficient

Cons:

-Cabin: We booked a deluxe oceanview cabin on deck 4. After reading other reviews of the Jewel of the Seas on CC, I have noticed a common complaint amongst reviewers about the overall cleanliness of the ship. For us, the problem started with our cabin. From the first time we walked into our bathroom, we noticed a strong smell of urine coming from our toilet. Despite our stateroom attendant's best efforts, the smell persisted throughout our voyage. Our sink seemed partially clogged and was very slow to drain. On top of our bathroom issues, I found the bed to be extremely uncomfortable with the flattest pillows I've ever seen. There were also many stains on our carpet. Not sure how the condition of our cabin deteriorated so quickly after the recent "refurb".

-Cleanliness of ship: Apart from our cabin, we noticed a persistent odor in some of the ship's hallways (my husband described the smell as "old steamed broccoli"). The public restrooms were also in very poor condition; they seemed to always smell of sewage with paper towels overflowing in trash bins. These restrooms were obviously not being checked and cleaned as often as they needed to be.

-Service in main dining room: The service from our waiter and assistant waiter on the first and second nights of our cruise was probably the worst we have ever received. Our dinner took two hours (table for two) and we were practically ignored the entire time. Thankfully, another family in our section complained and our wait staff got their act together on the third night. I can't say the service was ever "great", but they at least seemed to be putting in the effort to make us happy for the rest of the voyage. Our waiter told us they had a lot of "new staff" onboard, which was very obvious to us, however this does not really excuse the poor service.

We only attended one or two shows in the Coral Theater, so I don't feel as though we can fully comment on the entertainment onboard. With long, busy days and late dinners, we were usually too tired to attend any of the productions. We did, however, try to go to "the Quest" game show; for some reason, they chose to host this show (probably one of the line's most popular game shows) in one of the lounges. The lounge was overcrowded and made it extremely difficult for us to watch the action.

Overall, this vacation was a great experience. We would definitely cruise the Mediterranean again, however we would only consider booking on the Jewel of the Seas again if we were attracted to the Ports of Call. I do sincerely hope that RCI listens to these reviews and takes initiatives to fix some of its passenger's recurring complaints.
magaudet30’s Full Rating Summary
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