Jewel of the Seas made its debut in spring 2004. Measuring 90,090 tons and carrying a maximum of 2,700-plus passengers, it was the fourth and final limb on Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class family tree.
This ship is ideal for cruisers who don't go in for bells and whistles, but instead prefer a traditional cruising experience. It's a laid-back ship, where customers enjoy long lazy mealtimes, a few G&Ts an evening and a bit of nostalgia when it comes to entertainment.
One thing to bear in mind when deciding whether to pick Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas is that, as mellow as it feels on sea days, there can still be some 2,000 plus passengers onboard. That means there can be a bit of a crush in ports where you need to take a tender to shore. Another downside is that you have to cough up for quite a few additional expenses, such as specialty coffees and room service.
Jewel of the Seas’ deck plan is overall well designed, allowing for smooth passenger flows in most public areas. Deck 5 is home to the Centrum, the heart of the ship. This area is lined with shops and bars and connects the main dining room to the theater, which means there’s lots of foot traffic, especially in the evening.
Deck 6 is where passengers can find most specialty restaurants and the casino, along with a few other features, including the cinema, and a handful of bars. Deck 11 is the pool deck, complete with the Vitality at Sea Spa, a few Spacious Ocean View Balcony cabins and the Windjammer buffet. The top two decks offer a mix of fitness and sports facilities, kids’ areas, and nightlife venues. All 12 guest decks are connected via multiple elevator banks, of which the icing on the cake are the Jewel of the Seas’ glass elevators, offering great outdoor and indoor views.
Cabins are spread across multiple decks, but only two of them (decks 8 and 9) are sandwiched between room-only decks. This means that many staterooms can potentially be subject to noise from public spaces, including the pool, the casino, and restaurants. You might want to check the deck plans before picking a cabin. This is a big ship, so there are many options to find the best cabin for you. (If you’re wondering just how big Jewel of the Seas is, the answer is 962 feet long – about 3 soccer fields long.)
When launched, the ship had the same DNA as its classmates; it featured all the innovations of the time, such as a rock-climbing wall, the adult-only Solarium, and Adventure Ocean kids' facility.
In 2016, the ship went into dry dock for a nip and tuck that gave it two new specialty restaurants, a new wine bar, an outdoor movie screen and also gave its staterooms some TLC.
The makeover didn't change the ship beyond all recognition, however. Its look is still quite classical. With the exception of the revolving bar in the Vortex nightclub and the racing theme of The Pit Stop bar, the ship doesn't really go in for gimmicks. Instead, it drops nautical hints throughout, with lots of dark wood, blue-hued fabrics and brass.
Jewel of the Seas’ entertainment offering imitates the ship's look. Daytime activities include cruise ship classics like line dancing and trivia sessions, while the nighttime line-up features cabaret, karaoke and live piano music. There are plenty of things to do on Jewel of the Seas, including tons of kid-friendly and adult-only options.
Service on this ship is first-rate. Waiters, bar staff and cabin attendants are friendly, attentive and have the memories of Mensa members.
For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Jewel of the Seas, please refer to Royal Caribbean. You can also use Cruise Critic's guide to health requirements on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.
· Meals in the Main Dining Room and Windjammer buffet, as well as pizza from Sorrento’s; also continental breakfast choices from room service
· Main theater shows and entertainment
· Most daily activities and events, unless otherwise noted
· Use of the fitness center (excluding most classes)
· Use of the rock-climbing wall, Sports Court, mini-golf course and kid’s water slide
· Adventure Ocean Kids Programs until 10 p.m.
· Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars
· Daily gratuities (amounts vary depending on cabin category)
· Room service (except complimentary continental breakfast)
· Drinks, excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee, lemonade and selected juices from Windjammer Buffet
· Most specialty dining
· Gratuities (18 percent) added to all specialty dining, beverage, spa and salon purchases
· Spa and salon treatments and services
· Activities like bingo, arcade play, arts and crafts classes, alcohol tastings, sushi demonstrations and casino gaming
· Most fitness classes
· Programming in Adventure Ocean after 10:00 p.m.
· Internet access and packages
· Shore tours
· Photo and art purchases onboard
The passengers on Jewel change depending on the itinerary; for example, you get more Americans onboard during Caribbean sailings, while Brits dominate European sailings. The ship is particularly popular with the mature traveler and a favorite with Royal Caribbean's Diamond Club passengers --some of the line's most loyal cruisers.
During the daytime, passengers dress casually. Passengers dress to the eights rather than the nines on formal nights. For men, the ratio is about one bow tie for every six or seven neckties, and some men even go for open collars. Women, meanwhile, tend to go for cocktail dresses over ball gowns.
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Prices are up, quality is down, ships are full. IMHO, the industry is still recovering from covid...
A fantastic Transatlantic on the beautiful Jewel of the Seas