We cruised on the Jewel of the Seas departing 2/13/12. We arrived about 11:30 AM and had a smooth transition onto the ship. They already had food out, so we had a bite to eat...so far so good. Went to the dining room a little before 6:00 for our "reserved" table for four. When we arrived, it was a sea of chaos. We made our way through the long line to the head waiter and he told us we would have to eat at the later 8:30 seating because all of the early seating had been taken. Keep in mind, I made reservations several months ago for this cruise and designated how many were in our party and what size table we wanted. The early dining time was even printed on my sea pass card, which incidentally was crossed out by the head waiter at that time. We finally ate at 8:30, way later than when we normally eat at home. I ordered the pan seared sea bass. I have eaten it before and it was probably about the best fish I had ever had. What they served to me was not cooked all of the way through and also, barely lukewarm, like it had sat around for about a half hour. Told my waiter, and he said I should have told him. Uh...I just did. Of course, he offered to get me some more, but by then my appetite had been ruined. Also, the waiter we had the first night was so way overly enthusiastic, that to me, it came across as just plain fake. I was just looking for a good meal and a real person. They can leave the hype back at port.
The result of the later seating was that we missed most of the shows, as we are not late night people. Also, we wanted to get up early on the days when we were in port.
We finally ended up at "anytime" dining with a reservation at 7:45, still way later than we normally eat, but a little better than 8:30. The dining room food and the waiter were a lot better the rest of the week. On one of the nights when the dining room menu looked a little weak, we ate at Portofinos. The food was pretty good, but not outstanding. I had a steak and it was very good, but the rest of the menu was just ok. FYI, if you want to order another entree, they will charge you $10. You can do this in the dining room, not at Portofinos. When I have eaten at specialty restaurants on other ships, that was not the case. Not a great value, in my opinion.