This was our sixth cruise and the first on Royal Caribbean. We got a very good price and as we have visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi previously we knew what to expect in terms of weather, general safety and cleanliness. Also the flight from Finland to Dubai is not too long. Oman was a new and exciting destination for us.
We arrived in Dubai early on Sunday morning, the weather was not on our side, windy and cold, with the odd rain shower. After visiting the Dubai Mall we just spent the rest of the day relaxing at our hotel. On Monday we proceeded by taxi to Dubai Cruise Terminal, where check-in was extremely efficient and we were onboard by 12:30. As we waited for our luggage to arrive we lunched at the Windjammer and went to sort out our dining time. Originally we had requested late seating but for some reason this had been changed to early. We managed to get the late seating back, but were allocated a far end table next to the kitcken entrance, a more central location would have been nice.
First impression of the ship was a disappointment. The Jewel is a retro ship, her decor dates back to 2004 when she was built and that style has not aged well. She is clean and well maintained but the interiors are dark, dull and completely lacking any sensation of luxury. I very much got the feeling that Royal does not want to invest any dollars on this ship as she might be sold off in the near future.
Small balcony cabin, size is just about adequate for two adults who do not plan to spend much of their time in the cabin. Very tired fixtures and furniture, the small sofa was looking quite worn out. All drawers had water damaged bottoms, some were dirty, some had loose front panels. Mirror cupboards in cabin and bathroom had loose hinges and broken rack guards. Water pressure in the shower minimal. A soap bar and hair and body washing gel in the shower, no individual toiletries, no slippers, no bathrobes. We had a very efficient cabin stewardess Lindsay, she managed to do a tidy up twice a day without bothering us at all. Royal Caribbeans in-or-out door magnet is very handy. On the plus side the cabin had good lightning and plenty of mirrors.