Jewel of the Seas Review

Southern Caribbean Getaway

Review for the Southern Caribbean Cruise on Jewel of the Seas
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ib101
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Cabin
Family
Value for Money
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Service

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2024
Cabin: Spacious Ocean View Balcony

Booked this cruise because of the itinerary. I planned on visiting friends in both Barbados and Tobago, which I did. The only problem with the itinerary is the San Juan departure port which is cumbersome to get to. The Jewel although one of RCI's older ships was clean and well maintained and really doesn't show her age. Some aspects like the tiny pools and small windjammer buffet do harken to previous eras, but that expected on a vessel this age. The biggest frustration on the Jewel was the main elevators, they are terrible! They seem to have no logic to them and don't ever seem to stop on the 5th floor, of course the busiest floor. The main atrium is the hub of the ship and is beautiful, but on this cruise there was always something going on and it was always loud, it kind of ruined the serenity of the space. The windjammer buffet was not as large as on modern ships and really had a limited offering, there was only one place you could get fried eggs in the morning for example. By and large the general food quality was excellent and service in the main dinning room was impeccable. Our head waiter was the most involved and friendliest head waiter I have ever experienced on 15 cruises. The specialty restaurants were hit and miss. we had a wonderful time in the Italian but received terrible service from an over worked waiter in the steak house, also the steaks were all incorrectly cooked. The cabin attendant was amazing, and even thought they only clean once a day now, the cabin was always presentable. After being a RCI cruiser for over 25 years the one thing that was noticeable is the reduction in customer facing staff. Bars that used to have two or three bartenders now have one, open spaces like the pool deck or solarium that used to have multiple waiters now have one or none, the cruise directors staff numbers were also noticeably lower. One of my biggest take always from this cruise was the increase in traffic on the southern islands. The traffic on Trinidad and St. Maarten in particular was terrible. The ride to Moho Beach took over an hour and only a few years ago it took 20 minutes. I would take this cruise again but would stay close to the piers to avoid traffic and I would avoid the steak house restaurant do to the terrible service there.

Cabin Review

Spacious Ocean View Balcony

Cabin was fine, tv and bathroom were both a tiny.

Port Reviews

Barbados

The port in Barbados is to large to walk and you have to take a crowded shuttle to the customs house. If you plan on taking a tour with a provider other than port or cruise line approved vendors you have to walk a mile to get outside the port because they wont let un approved providers into the port.

Port of Spain (Trinidad)

This port was in the middle of a bad area and the only way to see the island was by tour. The tours are however very long due to horrendous traffic in the port area. A trip to the closest beach took 1 hour there and 1.75 back.

St. Maarten

Love St. Maarten but traffic is getting terrible on the island it took over an hour to get to Moho beach which used to take 20 min. It also seems that due to you tube and the internet in general Moho beach which used to be kind of an unknown thing is now super popular and insanely crowded.

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