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This was my first cruise on Royal Caribbean. I have cruised several times on Norwegian and a few times on smaller ships. I chose this cruise because I wanted to see the Greek Islands on the itinerary. First the good - the ship was lovely - public areas were bright and attractive. Our cabin actually had more storage and efficient use of space compared with other cruises. Best of all was the dining room staff who really made us feel welcome and pampered. This was the first time I have cruised with assigned dining time and table and I had severe misgivings, particularly since our assigned dining time was 8:30 pm. We talked to the dining room staff the first day and were given a 6:00 seating for the rest of the cruise which is much more convenient for senior travelers. Both the staff and our fellow diners at our table were delightful and we looked forward to dinner as one of the highlights of the day. Food was always delicious and any special requests were seen to quickly. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer were equally satisfying. We found that we could usually take our food to the outside area at the stern of the ship and miss the crowds and noise around the food stations - very relaxing. Our room steward was efficient and solicitous of our needs. Unfortunately, the process for getting off the ship, particularly in tendered ports was tedious and disorganized. Passengers stood in long lines that wound through the ship down halls past staterooms. For anyone who has difficulty standing for long periods the wait was uncomfortable and frustrating. My most serious complaint is the ship's Shore Excursions. My companion and I had booked 2 excursions with Royal Caribbean and several with other providers. I had booked the excursions well in advance of the cruise. A couple of days before reaching Naples we received a phone message that an excursion from Naples had been cancelled due to lack of participation. Since my companion and I had booked different excursions we could not figure out until the next morning which of our excursions had been cancelled. It turned out to be my excursion to Capri, which they said was cancelled due to lack of participation, however when I tried to book an alternate trip to Capri I was told that the other people who had been on the cancelled excursion had already filled the available seats. Of course at this point it was too late to go back to my other booking source, which had closed bookings once the cruise began. Fortunately I found other passengers who had booked a private excursion and was able to join them and enjoy a visit to Capri, which had been one of the anticipated highlights of my trip. In talking with other passengers I learned that they had also experienced cancellations on booked excursions throughout the cruise. Surely Royal Caribbean makes enough money on most of their excursions to be able to continue excursions that are not fully booked, but which the registered passengers expect to be taking. My advice to anyone sailing on Royal Caribbean would be to book shore excursions elsewhere since those booked by the ship are not reliable. The Jewel underwent an extensive rejuvenation last year and public areas and cabins looked great. Unfortunately the Thermal Suite was removed to add more cabins, although it is still in the company's literature. The adults only Solarium is nice but does not take the place of the Thermal Suite for me.

Wonderful crew

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Momofdoc

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my first cruise on Royal Caribbean. I have cruised several times on Norwegian and a few times on smaller ships. I chose this cruise because I wanted to see the Greek Islands on the itinerary.

First the good - the ship was lovely - public areas were bright and attractive. Our cabin actually had more storage and efficient use of space compared with other cruises. Best of all was the dining room staff who really made us feel welcome and pampered. This was the first time I have cruised with assigned dining time and table and I had severe misgivings, particularly since our assigned dining time was 8:30 pm. We talked to the dining room staff the first day and were given a 6:00 seating for the rest of the cruise which is much more convenient for senior travelers. Both the staff and our fellow diners at our table were delightful and we looked forward to dinner as one of the highlights of the day. Food was always delicious and any special requests were seen to quickly. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer were equally satisfying. We found that we could usually take our food to the outside area at the stern of the ship and miss the crowds and noise around the food stations - very relaxing. Our room steward was efficient and solicitous of our needs.

Unfortunately, the process for getting off the ship, particularly in tendered ports was tedious and disorganized. Passengers stood in long lines that wound through the ship down halls past staterooms. For anyone who has difficulty standing for long periods the wait was uncomfortable and frustrating.

My most serious complaint is the ship's Shore Excursions. My companion and I had booked 2 excursions with Royal Caribbean and several with other providers. I had booked the excursions well in advance of the cruise. A couple of days before reaching Naples we received a phone message that an excursion from Naples had been cancelled due to lack of participation. Since my companion and I had booked different excursions we could not figure out until the next morning which of our excursions had been cancelled. It turned out to be my excursion to Capri, which they said was cancelled due to lack of participation, however when I tried to book an alternate trip to Capri I was told that the other people who had been on the cancelled excursion had already filled the available seats. Of course at this point it was too late to go back to my other booking source, which had closed bookings once the cruise began. Fortunately I found other passengers who had booked a private excursion and was able to join them and enjoy a visit to Capri, which had been one of the anticipated highlights of my trip. In talking with other passengers I learned that they had also experienced cancellations on booked excursions throughout the cruise. Surely Royal Caribbean makes enough money on most of their excursions to be able to continue excursions that are not fully booked, but which the registered passengers expect to be taking. My advice to anyone sailing on Royal Caribbean would be to book shore excursions elsewhere since those booked by the ship are not reliable.

The Jewel underwent an extensive rejuvenation last year and public areas and cabins looked great. Unfortunately the Thermal Suite was removed to add more cabins, although it is still in the company's literature. The adults only Solarium is nice but does not take the place of the Thermal Suite for me.
Momofdoc’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3072
We had signed up for an Interior Guarantee stateroom and were pleasantly surprised when we were upgraded to an oceanview. The stateroom was large enough for two people to get around comfortably and had more than adequate storage space. Beds were comfortable and the vanity/dressing table was very convenient.
  Jewel of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Blue Grotto
    With 5 other people I had a fantastic private tour of Capri in a convertible. We were whisked right to the Blue Grotto before the crowds from the ship arrived and were able to get an early spot in line to go into the Grotto. Later in the day the winds increased which probably closed the Grotto, so we were very glad to have gotten there early. The experience was incredible - the adrenaline rush of lying down in the boat to go through the narrow entrance to the Grotto and then the beautiful glowing turquoise water and the voices of the boatmen singing. After leaving the grotto we continued to Anacapri for a delicious lunch and a little shopping and then back down to return to the ship. Fantastic adventure
    View All 13 Blue Grotto Reviews
  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    We stayed in Pisa the night before the cruise and then took the train from Pisa to the station at the Port. From there a taxi took us directly to our ship. He pointed out that those who took the shuttle bus had to walk some distance to the ship.
    View All 2,196 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Taormina (Messina)
    Great tour of Taormina and first time I have been up to Castelmora. Tours with busses were not able to visit Taormina because of the G7 preparations but our driver was able to drop us off and pick us up in his van.
    View All 414 Taormina (Messina) Cruise Port Reviews
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