3 Miami to Bahamas Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Although I am not a fan of the short cruises we had a chance to go on the Jewel of the Seas for a Friday to Monday 3 night cruise. Not a regularly scheduled cruise it was a one time chance to see this ship. Since we live in Ft. Lauderdale ... Read More
Although I am not a fan of the short cruises we had a chance to go on the Jewel of the Seas for a Friday to Monday 3 night cruise. Not a regularly scheduled cruise it was a one time chance to see this ship. Since we live in Ft. Lauderdale it is an easy trip to the Port of Miami. We booked this cruise 2 weeks before sailing. We have been on several cruises with RCCL before but never sailed the Radiance class ship. We sailed on the Liberty of the Seas, The Voyager and The Majesty. We also have been on several cruises with Celebrity, NCL and Carnival. Now that the background is out of the way, here is my review: Embarkation - We arrived at the port around 11:00 AM. It was the perfect time to get there. We beat the crowds and basically walked right into the terminal and then on the ship. They had a small problem with the seapass machine and it delayed us about 10 minutes, but by 11:30 we were on the ship. We could not go to our cabins until 1:00 so we headed for the Windjammer. To our surprise it was no open yet. It did not open until noon. Cabin - We had a standard balcony cabin about midship. Based on the fact that we did not book this cruise until 2 weeks before sailing I think we were pretty lucky to get a cabin with this location. The cabin was very nice and very clean. The bathroom was small, but most of them are. My wife did not like the shower, she called it an MRI shower as she said it was like being in an MRI machine. Overall the cabin was very comfortable and the balcony was great. Only problem is that RCCL allows smoking on the balcony. My neighbor was a chain smoker and when they were in their cabins they kept going out there to smoke. Everytime they did that while i was sitting out there relaxing I had to come in. They should do like Celebrity and not allow smoking on the balcony. It is very dangerous and really takes away from the enjoyment of the fresh sea air to those of us that do not smoke. Ship - I had heard many good things about the Radiance class ships. I have to say all of it is true and then some. The ship was one of the nicest I have seen. We have sailed on some very nice ships lately including the NCL Pearl, Celebrity Solstice, RCCL Liberty of the Seas and a few others. The Jewel was right up there with the others, maybe even nicer. The decor was very nice and the ship was spotless throughout. It looked brand new and was always clean in all areas. Very impressive. The public areas were all nice. I give this ship 5 stars on the appearance and layout. Food - Now time for the bad part of this review. I know all about the budget cuts and they are always obvious to me each cruise I go on as time goes by, but what is RCCL thinking? They have basically cut the food quality down to the bare basics, even lower than I could have imagined. What a shame. Such a beautiful ship with good service, but very poor food. The selections were very limited and what they did have was horrible. Maybe the quality was bad because we were only on a 3 night cruise, but most of the food was just not edible. We ate in the main dining room for dinner each night. The selctions were very limited. Forget about all the creative appetizers, soups and salads that were once offered, they were not available. Caesar salad was the salad each night. If you do not like Caesar salad, they you would be out of luck. Other than the staple herb chicken that you can order each night, there were no other chicken dishes at all during the cruise. There were also no veal, shrimp or other seafood other than Salmon and a couple of very lame fish dishes that the cut of fish was not identifiable. The desserts were very limited and were terrible. I had what they called a white chocolate fondue the last night. It was some berries with cool whip on it. I only saw a pasta dish on the last night. It was a cheese tortolini. I ordered it and it was terrible. I have had better frozen entries from the grocery store. I had duck on the formal night. It was a duck breast. The top half had the skin on it. It was full of fat and it tasted like someone had spilt salt on it by accident. It was the waiters suggestion to order it. I can only imagine how bad the other dishes were. I give the main dining room and the food zero stars. Another big problem with the food was the fact that the main dining room was not open at all for lunch. We were forced to eat at the buffet at the Windjammer. Several things about this that bother me. First of all the chance of getting a stomach virus or other sickness is multiplied highly when you visit the buffet. Ever watch what happens at these buffets? People touch food and put it back, sneeze on food and tables, sweat all over the food and tables. Should I say more? RCCL should be more concernced with the threat of viruses and they do not seem to be. There was a hand sanitizer as you walked into the windjammer, but nobody was using them and there was no staff asking passengers to use them. Very bad. It would have been much preferred to eat in the dining room during lunch, but that option was not available. We did eat breakfast each morning in the dining room. I can only assume that this option will be over soon as well. The only thing more disgusting than lunch at the buffet is breakfast at the buffet. Don't get me started on this one! The food at luch was very basic and most of it looked unedible. The only thing I did like was the pasta and the cookies. Overall, zero stars for the food and very disappointing. Entertainment - The entertainment was very good considering what some of the other lines have done with budget cuts. There was plenty to do and live entertainment all over the ship. They had on a couple of comedians that were very good. The production show was fine, although not my taste. The singers and dancers were very talented. RCCL does do a good job trying to make sure that everyone has a good time. Ports of Call - Key West and Nassau. Not much to say here. I did not get off the ship in Nassau. Key West is always fun. Nothing exciting here, but where can you really go just for a weekend? This cruise was not about the ports. Overall this was a fun weekend getaway. We went with some friends that we have cruised with before. All of us had a great time, but were very disappointed with the food. The thing is,,,all of the mass market cruise lines will continue to cut the quality of the food as long as we all keep coming back. The first question on the comment card asks if you would cruise with RCCL again. As long as yes is answered here I get the feeling the rest of the answers on the card do not matter. You can complain about the quality of the food and other budget related cuts as much as you want, but as long as we all keep coming back,,,you see where this is going. 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Sail Date November 2009
Jewel of the Seas November 6th 3 Day Key West - Nassau Cruise This is DW and I's 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean both on this ship. The first time was the last Partial Transit Panama Canal in April 2009. We live about 5 hours ... Read More
Jewel of the Seas November 6th 3 Day Key West - Nassau Cruise This is DW and I's 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean both on this ship. The first time was the last Partial Transit Panama Canal in April 2009. We live about 5 hours from the port so we drive and stay overnight at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. This hotel is convenient and not far from the port. DW is legally blind but loves cruising as much as I do. Embarkation: Was a breeze after hiking from the parking garage to Terminal F we were through security and customs and onboard in 20 minutes. Lines were short but the air conditioning wasn't working in the security and metal detector area. Sailaway: We were last to leave behind the Majesty of the Seas. Seas were expected to be a little rough as the winds were blowing 30-35 MPH. But so far the motion has been mild and actually a lot better than it was on the previous sailing of the JOS from Labadee to Cartagena Columbia. The seas got a bit rougher as we sailed to Key West with seas of 17-20 foot. Windjammer: One of our favorite places to eat on the ship. While not as decent as the dining room our luggage was misdelivered to another stateroom. So I had no pants or shirts to wear for dinner so we opted to go to the Windjammer. I also didn't bring any formal wear for this cruise so we will be doing Chops Grille once we leave Key West. The only disappointment was the fact that we wanted to order a drink, but no waiter or waitress ever came by our table. Some of the crew looked a little beleaguered and were not wearing their smiling faces. Stateroom: Steward Jonathan came by and explained when he would refresh the cabin and introduced himself and welcomed us back on board. Mariana was our steward on the last cruise on JOS and Jonathan remembered us from that previous cruise. Jonathan saw to all our needs and the stateroom was kept sparkling clean. We had Stateroom 9606 starboard side, just aft of the centrum. The only real differences from the last cruise is that Johnny O is no longer the cruise director. Johnny O was a hoot on the PC cruise in April. Thore Thorolvsen is Master which he was on the last cruise. It was rumored that he was to be the Master of the Oasis of the Seas, so it was a surprise to see him still on as Master of the Jewel. The ship was completely booked and aside from not being able to have dinner this first night in the dining room because of the luggage snafu. Come to find out they delivered our garment bags to 9096 flip our cabin upside down and that's were our bags were from 3PM till nearly 10PM at night when the nice guests in 9096 called and told us about the mixup. The crew was notified to pick them up but they never showed up. Oh well it happens..... A lot of first time cruisers on this sailing and according to Keith Williams CD 55 stayovers from the Boston leg and 700+ C&A members. Ports: Our next port is Key West where we plan on catching a cab to Mangos for lunch and do some shopping on Duval St. Well we didn't get off the ship since it was rainy and windy. We will be in the Keys all week and plan on sailing on a charter vessel named the Dreamchaser out of Key West Bight. Nassau was well windy to say the least. Sunny skies but very very windy. Not much to do today in Nassau since it's Sunday and Otis was off at Church so we did a little shopping in Festival Place and walked back to the ship for dinner at Chops later that evening. Chops Grille (Funny Story) On our previous sailing of JOS to Panama Canal 4/24 we ate dinner at Chops Grille. On this cruise I had packed 3 pairs of Khaki slacks to wear for dinner. Well as I was getting dressed I reached into my pocket and pulled out a receipt from our 5/2/09 dinner in Chops Grille. We sat down for dinner and our server looked at us, and said I know you from somewhere. Yep we were here on May 2nd after the last partial transit of the Gatun Locks. Proceeded to tell him about the receipt and handed it to him. He was laughing so hard he couldn't keep his composure. He was our server the last time and he was serving us again. We had a good laugh and the manager thought it was so funny as well. He was on for another month , along with his wife who worked in Portofinos. We had great service as usual and the food was top notch and worth the 25.00 per person cover charge. Disembarkation: Was absolutely flawless and we were off the ship by 8:30AM. Only hold up was in customs with some people who failed to understand the meaning of have your passport and documents available for inspection. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Will make this short and sweet. We decided to take a short cruise on RCL out of Miami. The ship was in fantastic shape and very clean. The room was similar to past staterooms we have been in. VERY smooth and quick embarkation. ... Read More
Will make this short and sweet. We decided to take a short cruise on RCL out of Miami. The ship was in fantastic shape and very clean. The room was similar to past staterooms we have been in. VERY smooth and quick embarkation. The buffet food was fine. The food in the MDR was average--not good, not bad. Service was good but we missed such things as being addressed by name. Don't get me wrong, the crew was friendly but compared to Celebrity, they didn't seem as happy. The always greeted us but never engaged in conversation. We wanted Espresso maritinis. That was a headache. We were sent to 4 different bars that were to have coffee machines. No such luck. Finally a bartender in the casino offered to find coffee to make the drinks. The pool area appears very small. I don't know if this is just this class of ship but it seems very small for the number of passengers. Luckily (or not) it was so windy that the pool area was not busy. Formal night isn't quite that. We were perhaps two on 50 (that's maybe a stretch) in tuxes. Granted, this was a short cruise, but we saw shorts on formal night in the MDR. It didn't affect our experience but we were surprised. The night before formal night, the waiter let our table know that it was fine to wear "whatever they wanted if they didn't have formal clothing" All in all, we were very surprised and enjoyed RCL. We would sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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