The Coral Theatre colonizes three decks of Jewel of the Seas. It opens occasionally during the day to host enrichment lectures, but in the evenings the multi-colored seats fill up for cabaret, Broadway recitals, magic shows and tribute performances. Performances are usually staged at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. On the whole, the offering isn't that imaginative. It's bland and a bit old-fashioned. The odd act even came across as borderline amateur.
At the opposite end of the ship there's the Safari Club, which has a stage and a dance floor. Live bands and singers perform here in the evenings.
Activities follow hot on the heels of breakfast on Jewel of the Seas. The lineup starts around 9:30 a.m. and is pretty traditional. Things like quizzes, line dancing sessions, beginner language classes and towel-folding demonstrations take place in various indoor venues like Schooner Bar, and at outdoor locations, such as by the side of the main pool.
There's a movie theater on Deck 6, which shows a combination of classic films and slightly more up-to-date flicks. Films are also shown on the open-air movie screen by the side of the main pool.
Alcohol is the theme of a lot of paid-for daytime activities. Depending on the length of your cruise you'll be able to book on to wine-, beer- and martini-tasting sessions.
Evening entertainment mirrors the daytime lineup in many ways on Jewel of the Seas. Quizzes take place in the bars, dancing takes place near the Lobby Bar and movies flicker on the screen on the cinema. Evenings on Jewel of the Seas have more of a soundtrack than daytimes, though. Guitarists pass the mic to live bands as evening turns to night near the Lobby Bar on Deck 4. Piano music lilts out most evenings in Schooner Bar, while karaoke and salsa are a regular occurrence in Safari Club.
There's also a smoky casino with the usual slots and gaming tables. Various tournaments are staged here, mainly Texas Hold'em.
The bars on Jewel of the Seas are anything but one size fits all. Each one has a different temperament. Some are quiet and low lit while others are louder and bright. The thing that unites them, however, is the drinks menu. With the exception of Vintages wine bar, there's not a great degree of variation in the tipples available at each of them.
Lobby Bar (Deck 4): This bar is corral shaped, so bartenders can serve drinkers at all 360 of its degrees. It's haloed by barstools and close to the Centrum dance floor and stage, which has a few tub chairs and a couple of sofas around the edge. The seats fill up fast here when there is live music on. Martinis are popular.
The Pit Stop (Deck 6): Checkered flag paneling, racing flags and flat-screen TVs showing sports make this bar deserving of its name. Barstools and tub chair seating are available.
Vintages (Deck 6): Plush red wing chairs frame the main bar area and its barstools were added in the 2016 renovations. Wine is sold by the glass and bottle here, and you can add cold meats and other light tapas-style dishes to your order for a couple of extra dollars.
Schooner Bar (Deck 6): Royal Caribbean's trademark Schooner Bar is decorated with sails and wood fashioned to look like the ribbed hull of a ship. You can sink into comfy sofas here or hang at the bar.
Congo Bar (Deck 6): The clue is in the name here. It's located at the aft of the ship and its floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the ocean. Passengers come to read their books here in the daytime, while it's the place to watch karaoke competitions and live music in the evenings.
Pool Bar (Deck 11): Right next to the main pool, this place serves beer, soft drinks, wine and cocktails to thirsty sunbathers.
Sky Bar (Deck 12): Overlooking the main pool, this is the place to go to get a beer, wine, soft drink or try the cocktail of the day, which range from Woo Woos to Mai Tais.
Vortex (Deck 13): The bar in Vortex nightclub revolves. It's surrounded by barstools, where tired dancers sit after their turn on the floor.
The main pool area is vibrant and well used. Loungers on the deck overlooking the pool are in more demand than those right by it, because sunbathers can catch more rays here. Some of the loungers by the pool are in the shade and spurned by passengers who want to top up their tan. Two whirlpools flank the pool.
Jewel also has a glass-domed solarium. It's decked out in a Thai theme, and comes complete with a bronze tiger and an 18th-century Temple Bell from northern Thailand. Wooden deck chairs with rust-colored chaise pads surround the pool. There's a whirlpool here, too.
Decks 12 and 13 are the places to go to up your heart rate. There's a climbing wall, a sports court with basketball hoops, a children's water slide and a mini-golf course.
Guest Services, the public-facing nerve center of the ship, is located on Deck 4. The shore excursions desk is just a few footsteps away. Up one floor, there's the ship's shopping arcade, where brands include Ray-Ban, Guess and Swarovski. The art and photo gallery stand shoulder to shoulder with the shopping arcade.
Wi-Fi can be purchased from Royal Caribbean Online on Decks 4 and 7. It's not the strongest signal in the world and cuts out frequently, especially on sea days when multiple passengers are using it at the same time. Two Wi-Fi packages are available. The Surf package offers basic net access and costs $12.99 per device per day. The Surf and Stream package lets you stream videos and upload photos and costs $17.99 per device per day. Passengers who don't have their own devices can visit the business center on Deck 7 to use the computers.
In terms of a library, there are a few blink-and-you'll-miss-them book cases in the Zanzibar Lounge, which also stands shoulder to shoulder with the card room and the Game Reserves, where the self-leveling pool tables can be found.
Laundry is a bone of contention on this ship. There are no self-service facilities, or even ironing rooms. The price list for laundry services ranges from $1.99 to have a pair of socks washed and pressed to $14.99 to have an evening gown ironed. Steaming and dry cleaning services are also available.
Vitality spa offers a full range of treatments, from massage to collagen eye treatments. They're not cheap, though. A 50-minute Swedish massage will set you back $119. Keep your eye on the Cruise Compass newsletter for daily offers. There's also a sauna in the spa that's free to use. Spa gratuities are automatically added to the bill.
The fitness area on Jewel of the Seas is large. Treadmills, bikes and the full range of strength equipment are set out in a horseshoe around a central aerobics floor with mirrors. Classes are a mix of free and for-fee, with a $12 surcharge for most yoga, Pilates and spin classes.
There's also a jogging track on Deck 12, where six laps equals 1 mile.
As part of some 2016 upgrades, the family rooms on Jewel of the Seas were given a bit of attention, and new options were added with better views. Ocean-view and two-bedroom cabins are now options for broods. And thanks to Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean program, there's always something for children to do onboard, both with and without their parents.
Babysitting is offered onboard Jewel of the Seas in the kids' club area.
Children have free reign of the Adventure Ocean and Adventure Beach on Deck 12. Together they're an indoor kids' activity space and outdoor play area with a slide and splash pool.
The Adventure Ocean activities program offers different amusements for different age groups. Children aged 3 to 5 are classed as Aquanauts and their schedule includes things like story sessions and face painting. Kids aged 6 to 8 fall into the Explorer category, and their daily line-up includes things like crazy tag and dodgeball. Children aged 9 to 11, meanwhile, are given the title of Voyagers. Their sessions are pretty similar to the Explorer sessions, although sometimes they are given extra responsibility and get to plan their own itineraries.
Also in the area is Jewel's arcade, where games like air hockey and shooter games have to be paid for.
On Royal Caribbean, teens are classed as being between 12 and 17. A range of structured activities is available for them like poolside movies and barbecues. There's also Fuel on Deck 12. This area looks like a club and has a dance floor, nonalcoholic bar and table football.