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This cruise followed a trip to Mardi Gras on the Celebrity Equinox. Family members chose this itinerary, and therefore the ship. Embarkation was quick and uneventful. My Time Dining, found us at a different table every time. Service was not well coordinated at any of the tables. Wine service was sometimes available, but never for a second glass. We wanted “sharing” tables, and were only allowed to sit at tables of 8 or 10, as tables of 6 were reserved for families. Table conversation was difficult, as the dining room is quite loud. Food was mostly bland, and meat was usually tough. We noticed that the menu offered prime rib and lobster every night, but required a healthy additional charge (even in the specialty restaurants). On the last formal night, lobster and prime rib were available at no charge. We ate in the Windjammer Buffet one night, and found that food mediocre as well. Surprisingly, tongs were kept in the food (no separate plates to put them on) which raises concerns of dirty hands, dirty handles, and food contamination. Royal Caribbean does have Purell dispensers, and a person at the buffet entrance trying to get people to clean their hands, but tongs in food does not seem sanitary. We ate breakfast in the Diamond Lounge (where there were resting areas for tongs). We enjoyed the helpful and personable concierge, Romina. The beverage stewards there were quite attentive. Special entertainment - the “Spectrum” Motown group, and comedian/singer John Joseph-were excellent. Ship’s singers and dancers were probably good, but did not particularly enjoy the theatrical selections. We liked the Trivia sessions, which were broader in scope and type (questions, visual, music) than our usual cruise line. There were a fair number of children, mostly well behaved, and the majority of adults were probably under 50 (this was a seven day cruise). Lots of strollers as well as canes, and lots of energy! We enjoyed the miniature golf, and watching the rock climbing. The main pool was cleverly made, allowing for a wide shallow rim to sit in, or have small children play in, with a deeper center area. The beautiful space-age looking Centrum is used for all sorts of activities and music, although we found the volume of music ridiculously loud. Even on the higher decks, we couldn’t carry on a conversation anywhere near the Centrum. We frequented the Schooner Bar and the Safari Club for entertainment. Our room steward was very good, and we enjoyed the towel animals. #8530 is quiet and convenient-a few flights up or down and we were everywhere (except the gangway, usually on Deck 2). All areas of the ship seemed to be well utilized. For having been refurbished last year, however, carpeting and some décor seemed very worn. Debarkation seemed to go slowly, but then they caught up to the scheduled timing. There was no line advertised for (U.S.) Global Travelers’ passes, but we were able to use the Suites line and avoid the long line waiting to get through Immigration/Customs. Getting a taxi out of the San Juan Pan American cruise port was fast and easy. Ports: The weather this week was frequently rainy, although warm. St. Croix – just wandered. Found nothing of special interest St. Maarten – wandered again. This is mostly a shopping port. We toured “The Yoda Guy” exhibit, an Interesting accumulation of movie star face masks and movie trivia, with a lot of Star Wars memorabilia. Tried the local beer and conch fritters (tasted like fried batter) at the Greenhouse Restaurant.. Domenica-walked to the botanical garden, up Jack’s steps and Jack’s walk to the top of Morne Bruce. Nice panorama. Walked back down via roads. Hired a cab to see a (distant) view of the waterfalls, hear about local culture, and tasted spices and rums. Barbados-private tour with Glory Tours (Ryan) to Harrison Cave, Washburn Gulley, stunning Bathsheba beach, and snorkeling with the turtles and over shipwrecks. The cave was nicely done, the monkey viewing at Washburn is rather contrived, we did not see any turtles (so-o-o many boats in the area), but the shipwrecks were fun to look at. Grenada-private tour with Tropical Adventures (Vaughan) out to the crater lake Grand Etang, old rum distillery tour, chocolate factory tour, spice factory tour, and a local lunch buffet. Long day in a van, but saw a lot of the island. Enjoyed the chocolate and spice factories, and lunch.

Good getaway

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by WineandRoseLady

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This cruise followed a trip to Mardi Gras on the Celebrity Equinox. Family members chose this itinerary, and therefore the ship.

Embarkation was quick and uneventful.

My Time Dining, found us at a different table every time. Service was not well coordinated at any of the tables. Wine service was sometimes available, but never for a second glass. We wanted “sharing” tables, and were only allowed to sit at tables of 8 or 10, as tables of 6 were reserved for families. Table conversation was difficult, as the dining room is quite loud. Food was mostly bland, and meat was usually tough. We noticed that the menu offered prime rib and lobster every night, but required a healthy additional charge (even in the specialty restaurants). On the last formal night, lobster and prime rib were available at no charge. We ate in the Windjammer Buffet one night, and found that food mediocre as well. Surprisingly, tongs were kept in the food (no separate plates to put them on) which raises concerns of dirty hands, dirty handles, and food contamination. Royal Caribbean does have Purell dispensers, and a person at the buffet entrance trying to get people to clean their hands, but tongs in food does not seem sanitary. We ate breakfast in the Diamond Lounge (where there were resting areas for tongs). We enjoyed the helpful and personable concierge, Romina. The beverage stewards there were quite attentive.

Special entertainment - the “Spectrum” Motown group, and comedian/singer John Joseph-were excellent. Ship’s singers and dancers were probably good, but did not particularly enjoy the theatrical selections.

We liked the Trivia sessions, which were broader in scope and type (questions, visual, music) than our usual cruise line.

There were a fair number of children, mostly well behaved, and the majority of adults were probably under 50 (this was a seven day cruise). Lots of strollers as well as canes, and lots of energy! We enjoyed the miniature golf, and watching the rock climbing. The main pool was cleverly made, allowing for a wide shallow rim to sit in, or have small children play in, with a deeper center area. The beautiful space-age looking Centrum is used for all sorts of activities and music, although we found the volume of music ridiculously loud. Even on the higher decks, we couldn’t carry on a conversation anywhere near the Centrum. We frequented the Schooner Bar and the Safari Club for entertainment.

Our room steward was very good, and we enjoyed the towel animals. #8530 is quiet and convenient-a few flights up or down and we were everywhere (except the gangway, usually on Deck 2).

All areas of the ship seemed to be well utilized. For having been refurbished last year, however, carpeting and some décor seemed very worn.

Debarkation seemed to go slowly, but then they caught up to the scheduled timing. There was no line advertised for (U.S.) Global Travelers’ passes, but we were able to use the Suites line and avoid the long line waiting to get through Immigration/Customs. Getting a taxi out of the San Juan Pan American cruise port was fast and easy.

Ports:

The weather this week was frequently rainy, although warm.

St. Croix – just wandered. Found nothing of special interest

St. Maarten – wandered again. This is mostly a shopping port. We toured “The Yoda Guy” exhibit, an Interesting accumulation of movie star face masks and movie trivia, with a lot of Star Wars memorabilia. Tried the local beer and conch fritters (tasted like fried batter) at the Greenhouse Restaurant..

Domenica-walked to the botanical garden, up Jack’s steps and Jack’s walk to the top of Morne Bruce. Nice panorama. Walked back down via roads. Hired a cab to see a (distant) view of the waterfalls, hear about local culture, and tasted spices and rums.

Barbados-private tour with Glory Tours (Ryan) to Harrison Cave, Washburn Gulley, stunning Bathsheba beach, and snorkeling with the turtles and over shipwrecks. The cave was nicely done, the monkey viewing at Washburn is rather contrived, we did not see any turtles (so-o-o many boats in the area), but the shipwrecks were fun to look at.

Grenada-private tour with Tropical Adventures (Vaughan) out to the crater lake Grand Etang, old rum distillery tour, chocolate factory tour, spice factory tour, and a local lunch buffet. Long day in a van, but saw a lot of the island. Enjoyed the chocolate and spice factories, and lunch.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8530
Our room steward was very good. We enjoyed the towel animals. #8530 is quiet and fairly convenient, just forward of the forward elevators. The bed was fairly comfortable, the loveseat was old and worn. Adequate storage. Tiny bathroom.
  Jewel of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    Pre-booked Glory Tours (Ryan) to Harrison Cave, Washburn Gulley, stunning Bathsheba beach, and snorkeling with the turtles and over shipwrecks. Ryan provided a wealth of information about the island and culture. The cave was nicely done with a tram that makes access for anyone very easy The monkey viewing at Washburn is rather contrived, with just a feeding area and then a nature walk. Had not cared about going to Bathsheba, but it is a stunning beach with crashing wave sets. At Pirate's Cove, we had to wade out in the waves, with our gear (clothes, etc) held over our heads, to get on a transfer boat. We then changed out to an old boat for snorkeling. We had our own mask and snorkel, but others used ones provided. No fins were available; they would have been helpful. There were so very many boats in the area-we did not see turtles. We moved to another area to see shipwrecks, which were fun to look at. The waves got rougher, and it was hard to get back to our boat. To get back ashore, we jumped into the waves and waded back. Pirate's Cove has shower facilities, and the most delicious coconut cream ice cream.
    View All 121 Island Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Our tour (of 11) went out to the Grand Etang crater lake, the old River Antoine Rum Distillery, Jouvay Chocolate factory tour, a nutmeg factory tour, and a local lunch buffet. It was a long day in a van, but we saw a lot of the island. Enjoyed the chocolate and nutmeg tours, and lunch (unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of the restaurant). Vaughan provided a lot of botanical and cultural information, making it a very pleasant day.
    View All 52 Island Tour Reviews
  • San Juan
    Visited the forts, walked the old town, enjoyed the craft market. Easy to get to/from Old Town, the airport and Pan American cruise port. Everyone was very friendly. Lots of night life.
    View All 3,737 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • St. Croix
    Not much here except a beach. Did not enjoy walking around this port area.
    View All 420 St. Croix Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Croix Cruise Port Review
  • St. Maarten
    A shopping town. I'm not a shopper. We toured “The Yoda Guy” exhibit, an Interesting accumulation of movie star face masks and movie trivia, with a lot of Star Wars memorabilia. Tried the local beer and conch fritters (underwhelmed) at the Greenhouse Restaurant.
    View All 4,710 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review