We had an outstanding cruise the first time we cruised on Jewel and I found a good deal so figured why not. This one was excellent. I'll hit the highs then the lows. The food overall was some of the best we've had on Royal Caribbean. The chefs and staff got it right. The service in all the dining areas was absolutely top notch. Of note here; Stephan a maitre d is excellent. The cruise director is very good, the activities manager is outstanding. The entertainment was overall excellent. The production shows singers and dancers were about the best we've seen. Of special note: the cast members who participated in Bada Boom, the murder mystery in Giovanni's were outstanding. Headliner entertainment was good not great. The ship was in excellent shape and the Hotel Director can be commended for his excellent staff. The Diamond lounge concierge Sierghei is terrific. Over all Captain Tryn runs a very tight ship and it was a superb vacation.
The Lows: Royal Caribbean is nickel and dimeing more and more. Room service costs $7.95, $49 for Chops grill, plus an extra $30 for lobster. Izumi prices went up. Drink prices are higher. It's just not the value it is on other lines. Travelling in and out of San Juan is a pain. Unfortunately for this cruise, the taxi drivers and porters decided to strike and caused a big jam up. It cost some folks a couple of extra hours, big lines at the airport and a few missed flights. Therefore my number one recommendation is travel to San Juan a day early, even though hotels have gone up in price significantly. And number two, take an afternoon flight home even though food prices in the airport have gone up significantly.
Our only criticism was with the air conditioning. It was either too hot or too cold, and took a long time to cool down, thus being too cold during the night.