Jewel of the Seas Review

Editor Rating:  3.5
Call our partner agents at 866-501-2339 to book your cruise.

Jewel of the Seas Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.9
    3.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.4
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.3
    3.0
  • Entertainment
    3.6
    3.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    4.1
    5.0
  • Family & Children
    3.4
    4.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.9
    4.0
  • Enrichment
    3.5
    3.0
  • Service
    4.4
    5.0
  • Value-for-Money
    4.0
    3.0
Editor Rating
3.5
Member Rating
Why Choose Jewel of the Seas?
  • Pro: Few gimmicks, great service, rarely raucous
  • Con: Costly extras, unimaginative entertainment
  • Bottom line: Uncomplicated classic cruising with all the traditional trimmings

Jewel of the Seas Overview

By Sarah Holt, Cruise Critic contributor

Jewel of the Seas made its debut in spring 2004. Measuring 90,090 tons and carrying 2,100-plus passengers, it was the fourth and final limb on Royal Caribbean's Radiance-class family tree.

When launched, the ship had the same DNA as its classmates; it featured all the innovations of the time, such as a climbing wall, 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.

The 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.

Food on the ship can be a bit of a game of roulette. The Windjammer Café buffet restaurant is consistent as a crowd pleaser. However, the main Tides dining room giveth one night and taketh away the next, especially when it comes to portion sizes. The specialty restaurants, meanwhile, knock the proverbial ball out of the park, and are pretty reasonably priced.

No matter where you eat, service is first-rate. In fact, great service doesn't just apply in the eating areas. Waiters, bar staff and cabin attendants are friendly, attentive and have the memories of Mensa members.

Jewel of the Seas 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 final thing to bear in mind when deciding whether to pick this cruise ship 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 tender ports. 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 Fellow Passengers

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.

Jewel of the Seas Dress Code

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.

Jewel of the Seas Gratuity

The onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. A $13.50 gratuity is automatically added to each passenger's account every day, and this rises to $16.50 for suite occupants. Passengers can prepay this ahead of their trip and can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the reception desk while onboard. A gratuity of 18 percent is also added to all bar bills.

Next:  Jewel of the Seas Cabins

By Sarah Holt, Cruise Critic contributor

1,206 Jewel of the Seas Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Jewel of the Seas
Click to rate
isouthernyankee
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Jewel of the Seas was a beautiful ship although I do prefer the larger ships e.g.: Oasis, etc. The staff was friendly and helpful as always. Our cabin steward, Sandy was absolutely wonderful! Incredibly hard worker, kept our cabin in ... Read more
mhaynes
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
I selected this cruise because friends were going to the Greek Island, but the ship is too small and too old. The musical shows were not good. There was no comedy show. The crew painted the door my room hallway, and left a strong ... Read more
LUCAUK
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
- The ship is quite dated, especially in comparison to competitors such as MSC, Princess and Celebrity. - Cabins were nice and comfortable, well clean - Food is main issue, average and not of previous standard experienced in RCI ... Read more
Cruise Deals

1,595 Professional Jewel of the Seas Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Jewel of the Seas with multiple photographers and took 1,595 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

Royal Caribbean International Fleet

Close ×
See Deals on Jewel of the Seas up to 82% off
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Close ×
See Deals on Jewel of the Seas up to 82% off