Review: Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
9 day Greek islands
Sailed: Oct 2019
Here’s my thoughts. Just got off the boat !
Note: I’ve cruised many times on most lines. Both as a couple and as a family. This was a mid aged couples honeymoon trip for us
- itinerary ! Couldn’t beat the stops for the 9 night Greek islands. Trip was worth it for the ports and the ports are the #1 thing I booked based off of. ***So overall this boat is worth it because of its itinerary and I don’t know many other boats that had as good of an itinerary!! ***
- schooner bar area is really nice. Classy. Where lots of people gather to mingle. Also where chopps is. Safari club. This was the nicest area of the ship IMO
- chopps grill : was the nicest one I’ve been to on any RC ships. Intimate enough and very nicely decorated and the service was top-notch. Worth checking out even for one night. Recommend an earlier dinner time so that you can see the sunset because the view and windows are beautiful in chops Grill see if you can get a seat near them.
- windjammer - some seating areas are really nicely decorated.
- staff: no complaints Re any staff. Our waiter. Assistsnt waiter and steward were all amazing. Mohammed Arteum and Sugi
- hot tubs: Although generally pretty full; was still able to get in one and they had several hot tubs which is better than most ships I’ve been on!
- “the key”. Before boarding the ship I heard a lot of controversial information on if the key was worth it and my opinion is if you were going to fork out the money for the internet package anyhow then for the few extra dollars per day it’s worth it to get the key! Priority getting off the boat for Santorini was definitely worth it. Santorini was the only port where you really needed it and where they offered The key service. The key embarkation lunch by chops Grill (but not actually hosted in chops Grill) as well as the disembarkation breakfast was really nice. this was the first time I didn’t feel rushed off the boat.
- steady boat: I felt the jewel was the most steady of a boat that I have been on not very much movement at all ! He stayed on deck 7 middle/ forward to ship. Inside state room.
- weather: whoever said that October is the cold / low season for Greece is totally wrong! This was *the best* time of year to go!!! it was actually very comfortable in the mid to high 20s for touring and beaching. I would not want to do Greece in high season July or August with the hot weather and the double size crowds!! it was busy enough in October!!!
- main dining room menu: no complaints here there was always lots of variety as well as some popular nightly favourites !! the spaghetti Bolognese. steak. Beef Short rib. cream of mushroom soup and the apple pie with ice cream where some of our favourites on-board. Once again the waiters were fantastic and always had what they knew we wanted in terms of drinks ready to go
THE NOT SO GREAT
- the entertainment was overall lame for my personal taste. Probably the most boring ship I’ve been on in terms of entertainment. (but that could be because it’s a European cruise with an older crowd?). Didn’t have the quality broadway style shows I personally prefer. I walked out of 3 shows after a few numbers
Most spacious interior cabin I’ve had
PRE CRUISE HOTEL
Via di Porta Cavalleggeri, 23
- [x] Rome apart hotel (near Vatican) $99 euro /night + 3.50 pp/night tax. Paid $212 euro / $307.80 Canadian for 2 nights. Includes breakfast
- [x] $50 euro for them to pick up from airport arranged. Pay in cash. Roberto our driver was waiting for us and well worth the service. Umberto arranged for us
- [x] Another transfer option Try Rome Cabs https://www.romecabs.com/
- [x] Rome also has Uber but expensive. Use as a good way to tell what to expect to pay a cab
Oct 1-2 ROME on our own (pre cruise)
- [x] colosseum (walked on our own exterior only). Not interested in going in. Lots of ruins on the outside to see free
- [x] St. Peter’s basilica (go in on our own)
- [x] St. Peter’s square / feed pigeons
- [x] Sistine chapel
- [x] Trevi fountain (drop a coin in and you’re sure to go back again) *gelato place right beside. Very busy. Can not sit on it any more or touch.
- [x] Spanish steps. Ok to see. Not a big deal IMO
- [x] Piazza novona (cafes and dining)
- [x] Campo de’ Fiori to check out the food market (not running on Sundays!)
- [x] Streets of Trastevere. FAVOURITE PART!! Have lunch or per dinner apps at a procuitterira!! Amazing gourmet cheese and meat plates with wine. Also cafes and pastries.
- [x] Gelato anywhere. $2
- [x] Good Italian romantic dinner. Trastevere area is best for this.
- [x] Good Panini lunch. Lots of deli’s around.
- [x] Good cafe for morning. Traditional Italian breakfast is just coffee and pastry / croissant. Cappuccinos were my favourite !!
Overall 2 days pre cruise was perfect to do Rome. We did mostly all in 1 day. Loved Rome !!!
Oct 3 - getting to pier
- [x] Port of Civitavecchia is approx 1.5 hour drive from hotel
- [x] Hotel can drive us for $130 euros or use Rome Cabs same price
- [x] Uber $145 eur
- [x] OR take the train from Roma S. Pietro to Civitavecchia (it takes one hour and costs almost 5.00 euro each), and then bus or walk to pier
- [x] Cruise passengers disembarking at docks from 10 to 13 and willing to get to Civitavecchia Train Station can go directly on foot. The walk is less than 2 km in about 20 minutes you will arrive at the station. We took a bus.
Oct 8- Santorini 7am-6pm
- [ ] The key will get you escorted off the ship any time you want between 7:30-9:3am. We did breakfast in the dining room at 8:30 and went off the boat by 9:30/10. Was very handy and probably the main thing that made the key worth while.
- [ ] the cruise ship will anchor in the caldera at the bottom of Santorini mountain and passengers are tendered to the old port below the cliff at Fira. There is no road access to the port, so passengers either take the cable car or donkey or walk the many steps up to the top or do the direct speed boat to Oia
- [ ] Cable car up and down is $12 pp round trip. Or can take donkey or walk 582 steps ***wait times for cable car are insane. Expect to wait more than 1 hour. The walk would be VERY long hot and dangerous going up.
- [ ] Touring Santorini in general is not a city for those out of shape or with mobility issues. Also not ideal for strollers : children. It’s all slippery narrow cobble pathways and lots of steps.
- [ ] When you get to the top, in Fira, walk 10 minutes away from the cliffs to the Fira bus station to take a city bus to Oia. 30min bus ride to Oia or any direction in Santorini. The ticket from Fira to Oia costs 1.80 euros
- [ ] BEST OPTION TO OIA: Take a speedboat from the port to Amoudi Bay and then go up to Oia by Shuttle. This is the most viable option and what we did. It’s $15 pp and includes the speed boat ride to amoubdi bay. The shuttle up top Oia. And then a bus to Fira. The busses are nice coach busses with AC. Right at the port, beside the line to the cable car, are two store fronts advertizing boat transfers to Oia. We did the Ophepus one with the orange sign / NSF bus one which is high-speed boat and busses offered by NSF. No reservations required, walk up and buy a 15 euro ticket and get on the fast speedboat. A 12 minute run takes you to the port at Oia. Included is a ticket for the bus up the crater to the Oia city center, along with a second ticket for the bus transfer to Fira (which runs more or less hourly).
- [ ] Oia is a long exhausting hot day. We were done by 2:30 and had something to eat near the cable car before heading back for the day
Oct 7- Rhodes 7am-5pm
- [ ] Very hot in Rhodes. Off the coast of turkey
- [ ] Ships dock at the port located on the north tip of the island, about a 10-minute walk to town.
- [ ] Lindos is far unless renting something or doing a tour. 1h45mins.
- [ ] We rented a side by side atv for $85 for the day. Safer then Vespa. Elephant Moto right when you get off boat. $10 of gas
- [ ] Drove to Tsambika Beach on the way / direction of Lindos. Beautiful beach among Mountains. Soft sand. Warm water. Lots of tavernas for food $10 to get 2 chairs with umbrellas. No towels. Parasailing on beach.
- [ ] Lunch in old port
Oct 5 Crete 11am-8pm
- [x] Take city bus rate from cruise port $2 euros into town of Chania city centre
- [x] Walk to old Venetian Harbour approximately 10 minutes. Have a drink or lunch on the patio overlooking the water. Was amazing !!
- [x] Cab $10/10 mins to Aggi apolosti beach. Zeen restaurant / domes Boris Chania hotel free to use chairs on grass if you order drinks and food or $20 euros pp for beach chairs.
- [x] Was better to just stay in old Venetian harbour IMO !
Oct 6 Mykonos 7am - 7pm
- [ ] “Ibiza of Greece”
- [ ] Docked in “new port”
- [ ] Water taxi to main town old port is $2 one way OR take taxi direct **careful as they gear you towards water taxi but you can also just take a vehicle from new port
- [ ] Was going to do Super Paradise beach club but they didn’t have DJs / beach party any more in October
- [ ] Went to Tropicana beach party at Paradise Beach. $20 can ride once crossed from cruise ship to old port. See trip advisor my review on that
- [ ] Front row sun beds with towel $35.
- [ ] A mix of resonance and expensive food and drink options. A pina colada was $12 but a gyro pita with chicken only $3.50
Oct 9- Athens 6am-6pm
- [ ] Athens is a busy big city
- [ ] Acropolis is quite a bit away. Seen it before. Not interested.
- [ ] Not much in walking distance
- [ ] Cannot go to beaches due to water pollution
- [ ] Stayed on the boat and enjoyed a quiet pool day and the weather
- [ ] Formal night
- [ ] Saw there were several hop on hop off busses available in port for around $20pp and heard that local city bus was affordable and easy and was right in the port
- [ ] Most people were back on board early and didn’t spend a lot of time touring