1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Jewel of the Seas
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around 9:45, we were in the Schooner bar having a drink and listening to Joy Wade the piano player. He was going along quite nicely, until he got bored or ran out of popular songs, and then started playing something that talked about sex and killing someone. There were a few nervous laughs from the folks sitting nearby, but we found it inappropriate and walked out. We're not prudes, but that was out of line. The rest of our cruise was great. We found the food in the main dining room to be much better than what we had on Freedom last year; even the choices in the Windjammer were better. The forays off the ship were eye-opening. We did a mix of RCCL and Costco excursions. We enjoyed them all, but driving through the impoverished areas with the shanties and garbage strewn everywhere made me feel sad. And Colon, Panama looked like Dresden after the bombings of WW2. Cartagena was beautiful. We did a Dora tour and we highly recommend it. 4 hours total between driving and walking around the city. The vendors are relentless, but a firm "No, gracias" usually did the trick. There was a running commentary during our Panama Canal transit, which was very informative. The ship was very clean, and the crew was constantly wiping down/disinfecting the common areas and handrails. We were asked EVERY day about dining in the specialty restaurants. We actually went to Chops Grill on embarkation day as part of The Key package, and dined at Giovanni's Table on the last night on board; both were excellent. Speaking of The Key, I highly recommend it. For 20 bucks per day per person, you get a lot of perks. We walked on the ship with the Diamond and Pinnacle folks, we had the free luncheon at Chops, we had the Voom Internet and streaming package on our phones for the whole cruise, we had some free and then half-price drinks, we had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our cabin on day 1, we had priority disembarkation at all the ports, we had reserved seats at all the shows, we had an a la carte breakfast in the dining room on the last day, and we could walk off the ship whenever we were ready to go. Everything was pretty smooth (even if the ocean wasn't on a couple of days, turning the pools into wave pools), until the day we ended in Miami. The breakfast for The Key was very nice, but afterwards, there was supposed to be someone there to escort folks to the gangway; it's no big deal, we found our way off the ship by ourselves. It was a nice touch to see Andrea, the cruise director, waiting by the gangway and wishing each guest safe travels. After getting our luggage and going through customs, there was no one from the crew directing people to the shuttle buses for the airports; there were crew members there with signs for excursions, though! We eventually found our ride, but a little nudge in the right direction would have helped. Overall, we had a really nice time on this once-in-a-lifetime (for us) cruise.

Great except for last day

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by jujdred2018

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around 9:45, we were in the Schooner bar having a drink and listening to Joy Wade the piano player. He was going along quite nicely, until he got bored or ran out of popular songs, and then started playing something that talked about sex and killing someone. There were a few nervous laughs from the folks sitting nearby, but we found it inappropriate and walked out. We're not prudes, but that was out of line. The rest of our cruise was great. We found the food in the main dining room to be much better than what we had on Freedom last year; even the choices in the Windjammer were better. The forays off the ship were eye-opening. We did a mix of RCCL and Costco excursions. We enjoyed them all, but driving through the impoverished areas with the shanties and garbage strewn everywhere made me feel sad. And Colon, Panama looked like Dresden after the bombings of WW2. Cartagena was beautiful. We did a Dora tour and we highly recommend it. 4 hours total between driving and walking around the city. The vendors are relentless, but a firm "No, gracias" usually did the trick. There was a running commentary during our Panama Canal transit, which was very informative. The ship was very clean, and the crew was constantly wiping down/disinfecting the common areas and handrails. We were asked EVERY day about dining in the specialty restaurants. We actually went to Chops Grill on embarkation day as part of The Key package, and dined at Giovanni's Table on the last night on board; both were excellent. Speaking of The Key, I highly recommend it. For 20 bucks per day per person, you get a lot of perks. We walked on the ship with the Diamond and Pinnacle folks, we had the free luncheon at Chops, we had the Voom Internet and streaming package on our phones for the whole cruise, we had some free and then half-price drinks, we had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our cabin on day 1, we had priority disembarkation at all the ports, we had reserved seats at all the shows, we had an a la carte breakfast in the dining room on the last day, and we could walk off the ship whenever we were ready to go. Everything was pretty smooth (even if the ocean wasn't on a couple of days, turning the pools into wave pools), until the day we ended in Miami. The breakfast for The Key was very nice, but afterwards, there was supposed to be someone there to escort folks to the gangway; it's no big deal, we found our way off the ship by ourselves. It was a nice touch to see Andrea, the cruise director, waiting by the gangway and wishing each guest safe travels. After getting our luggage and going through customs, there was no one from the crew directing people to the shuttle buses for the airports; there were crew members there with signs for excursions, though! We eventually found our ride, but a little nudge in the right direction would have helped. Overall, we had a really nice time on this once-in-a-lifetime (for us) cruise.
jujdred2018’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Spacious Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2B 9092
Very clean, and our attendant kept it that way with fresh towels sometimes twice a day. We had and extended balcony, so in addition to the standard round table and 2 chairs, we were able to get 2 lounge chairs on there as well. Plenty of closet and storage space for our 16 days' worth of clothes. My only issue is that most times, we couldn't hear the announcements on the speaker in our cabin; there was what looked like a volume control on the wall next to the bathroom door by the light switch, but it spun around and did nothing.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    They drove us around in an air conditioned van and talked about the history and culture of the city. We visited a Glass blowing factory and watched a piece being created. Very interesting and informative.
    View All 12,979 Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Review
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour
    They took us around to the Arch and some of the surrounding areas; they talked about the history of the area; they stopped and fed the fish so we could see them under the boat. It was very nice.
    View All 19 Glass Bottom Boat Tour Reviews
  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    We took a club van, air conditioned, around the city while Dora told us about the history and culture. We went up to LA Popa Monastery for a fantastic view of the City, we visited the fort, the dungeons, the Cathedral, and walked through the walled part of the City. Dora was giving us information the whole time. It was very interesting and very informative. I highly recommend Dora to give you a tour.
    View All 12,979 Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cartagena (Colombia) Cruise Port Review
  • Gatun Lake Tour
    We took a coach bus through Colon (it looked like it had been bombed) to a hotel on the shore of the Lake. There, we boarded boats and rode around the lake for a couple of hours while the guide talked about the Lake and the wildlife around and in it. We saw a crocodile, howler monkeys, sloths, and several different species of birds. It was interesting and informative.
    View All 32 Gatun Lake Tour Reviews
  • Miami
    After clearing customs, not a lot of direction from Royal as to where to board the bus for the shuttle to the airport.
    View All 2,405 Miami Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Miami Cruise Port Review
  • Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)
    We did the RCCL excursion "Auto Safari Chapin' which was a drive-through safari with a walking part through the rest of the zoo after. We were on a giant coach bus, which made for some 'interesting' navigating through the narrow gateways between exhibits. Also, if you were on the 'wrong' side of the bus in a particular exhibit area, you didn't get pictures. Smaller vans would have probably been better. At one point, the bus let us off to feed the giraffes from raised platforms. Guests could buy branches with leaves to feed the giraffes for 2 dollars. That was fun. The walk through part of the zoo had a lot of different animals, and some 'cats' I have never seen before at zoos in the US. Plus, the ride to the zoo was only about 45 minutes, while most other excursions had rides of at least 90-120 minutes just to get to the location.
    View All 299 Puerto Quetzal (Antigua) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puerto Quetzal (Antigua) Cruise Port Review
  • Puerto Vallarta
    We were on an air conditioned bus and drove around the area while being told about the history and culture. We walked around the waterfront, and then to the Church of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. Then back on the bus for more sightseeing, and then to a tequila factory for some tastings. A really nice tour.
    View All 12,979 Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Review
  • Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
    We took a coach bus through town and up into the mountains; 45 minutes on paved roads, and then another 45 minutes on a gravel mountain road with no guardrails and sheer drops. When we finally reached our destination, I was still vibrating for another 10 minutes. The hummingbirds were exquisite; there were several different varieties constantly visiting the many feeders which were hung all around the outside patios of the building. Inside, we were given lunch, which was fresh and delicious. After the hummingbirds, we drove to the butterfly/frog exhibit area. The frogs were each in separate tanks, and the guide was very knowledgeable about each species and used a flaslight/laser pointer to help us find the frogs in each of the tanks. The last frog we saw was a green tree frog, and for that one, the guide actually opened the tank so we could take pictures without having to shoot through the glass. The butterfly section was a bit disappointing, there were only a few different types fluttering around. There were plenty of flowering plants and stations with fruit, but not that many butterflies. There was a wooden display case that had multiple cacoons in it, and there were a couple of butterflies emerging while we watched; that was really interesting.
    View All 12,979 Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) Cruise Port Review
  • San Diego
    Just walked around on our own a bit.
    View All 287 San Diego Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Diego Cruise Port Review