1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Royal Caribbean International
  4. Royal Caribbean International Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: June 2019
We combined this cruise with return visit to Rome making a nice extra break in early summer. Civitavecchia port let us down as there were not enough shuttle buses to Jewel for independent travellers. In the late morning queues were huge ... Read More
We combined this cruise with return visit to Rome making a nice extra break in early summer. Civitavecchia port let us down as there were not enough shuttle buses to Jewel for independent travellers. In the late morning queues were huge and we waited two hours. Once on board we felt welcome. We had paid for The Key and the delay meant we missed a special lunch in Chops but they willingly substituted a dinner that evening. Jewel is not the latest ship with all the bells and whistles but we like the space and the extra nooks and quiet areas to sit and watch the world go by. This was perhaps the most cosmopolitan cruise we have been on with Europeans from Russia to Portugal plus Brits. North Americans and Antipodeans of all age groups. It never felt very busy other than on the Dress to Impress night in the MyTime dining room which was very quiet at 7:30 and rammed at 8:30. As a four night cruise we did not expect a full formal night and there was no Captains Reception but a good number of people made an effort. The live music around the ship was a good standard but with no sea days there was no opportunity for much enrichment. The Coral Theatre shows were as expected or better with a company production "Broadway to West End" and a magician as good entertainment and Tango Buenos Aires and a four man heavy rock combo (Our Lady Valentine) being exceptional. Wait staff were usually very attentive but some did request good reviews which was not appropriate. Drinks are expensive on American ships but cocktails were well made with a daily special at $8 (+ service charge) All ports were pleasing. Ajaccio is a very small port town easy to explore on foot. From Marseille we had planned to go to Aix en Provence on a ship's excursion but that was cancelled. We decided to stay in Marseille Old Town and were glad we did. In fact we would like to go back and spend a few days there. In recednt years a lot of money has been spent improving the tourist areas, Villefranche (For Nice) was tendered and with a choppy sea this was slow. Our ship's tender broke down and we bobbed up and down for half an hour. We cut short our stay as we anticipated delays getting back and had no problems ourselves but others were very late back on board. We would be very happy to go back with Jewel for the right itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as a family vacation, with daughters and their families. The days in ports were very good and only 2 days at sea, fit our agenda perfectly. We like sightseeing and are not beach folks. Dining options met all our needs. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family vacation, with daughters and their families. The days in ports were very good and only 2 days at sea, fit our agenda perfectly. We like sightseeing and are not beach folks. Dining options met all our needs. Entertainment and activities on sea days were plentiful. All the crew members were “at our service” and were happy. The session with the ships captain was very nice and telling about why the crew was very happy. The Schooner bar was a comfortable place to meet before dinner. The Diamond Club is a nice place away from the crowds with a good view of the ship and surrounding areas when in ports. The Vortex could have been open more hours, even if just serving light refreshments. It’s a nice but unused space during the day. The movies on deck were great, as were the poolside activities. We would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall we had a great vacation. The ship appeared to be in great shape and had a wonderful crew that was very friendly and attentive. Food was a hit and miss on certain days in the main dining room, however the windjammer was a pleasant ... Read More
Overall we had a great vacation. The ship appeared to be in great shape and had a wonderful crew that was very friendly and attentive. Food was a hit and miss on certain days in the main dining room, however the windjammer was a pleasant surprise. We didn't go to all the shows, but made sure to see the magician multiple times. He performed a lot of older tricks, but his stage presence was great. We chose this ship for the destinations and majority of the ports did not disappoint. The kids had a fantastic time learning about the history and seeing the different sites, but probably loved the beach day in Mykonos more than any other day. Excursions Rome - Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor with The Roman Guy, a lot of walking but get a great overview of the Roman Forum and Colosseum Sicily - Taormina and Blue Grotto (through Royal Caribbean) Nice old city with a fantastic snack of Granita and Brioche. Blue Grotto was a bit disappointing, but the boat ride was great to see the coast line Malta - Walked the city and went to the upper Barrakka Gardens, good view of the port Mykonos - Walked to Agios Stefanos beach and rented a couple loungers Santorini - Tour with Santorini exports, drove around the island and visited a nice little vineyard Athens - Private tour with My Athens Tour, was able to see a lot of the city including Acropolis and also the changing of the guards Naples - Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii (through Royal Caribbean) This was a nice tour, but very disorganized. Only had about 1 hour for Pompeii which was a bit disappointing. Rome - Vatican tour with Walks of Italy. Long day, but great to see all the works of art inside the Vatican Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
My friend chose the cruise, and I joined her when her cabin mate cancelled. The crew seemed happy even though they work really, really hard. Our servers were attentive, friendly and very focused on making us happy with our food. Chris, ... Read More
My friend chose the cruise, and I joined her when her cabin mate cancelled. The crew seemed happy even though they work really, really hard. Our servers were attentive, friendly and very focused on making us happy with our food. Chris, our cabin steward brought me distilled water and an extension cord for my CPAP machine, and tried everything possible to help me make it work, since it was missing a gasket in the reservoir. The food was up and down, with the apple pie being star of the show and the best prime rib I've had in ages. I tried the special meal of whole lobster one night, which was good but not delicious, and not worth the extra charge. As for the shore excursions, I wasn't up for so much walking, but it was good for me to do some of it. The storage in our cabin was great, and there was enough room for everything we brought. The string quartet/comedy group was absolutely one of the best I've seen anywhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports that were being visited and also we had never sailed with royal carribean before. The ship itself is quite tired in a lot of places and in need of re-fit. On the plus side quite small so easy to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports that were being visited and also we had never sailed with royal carribean before. The ship itself is quite tired in a lot of places and in need of re-fit. On the plus side quite small so easy to get around great feel a lot going on in the evenings and day the orchestra were excellent as were most of the shows. A very varied mix of people from many different countries which we enjoyed. Food was also on the whole very good and waiters excellent as were all the staff we encountered. We had cabin 3612 ocean view and have to say avoid if can. The smallest cabin we have had which would have been okay but very tired looking smelled a bit musty. Window was very rusty and furniture scraped and marked. I also found makeup from person before under bed when went to put cases underneath. Bathroom was decent and shower good. We found it fairly quiet too and near to lifts and convenient for restaurants and getting on and off at docks etc in its favour. However we soon found a smell of which I can only describe as when you clean a bath pipe out at home outside our main door and also inside the door and when opened wardrobe where clothes where stank on occasions. Sometimes was not there but most times was. We did tell main reception and they did try and sort think was coming from waste pipes next to room and also door opposite room for staff clearing cutlery from rooms etc. But only was better for a day or so the. Came back occasionally again. To be fair they have given us 20 % off next cruise with them to the value of this cruise but would rather have had money back or been moved rooms but that was not possible as ship full. I would not choose this room again or any near it. The cruise itself was great ports fantastic and staff very friendly and a good vibe on the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. ... Read More
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. We bookended our trip with several nights in Rome, staying at an outstanding, hidden gem of a boutique hotel, The Inn at the Roman Forum. Our hotel secured transport for us from the hotel to the port in Civitavecchia. We booked a Grand Suite on the ship, so had priority boarding. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze, handled very efficiently, as was the security muster. There was a broader age range of passengers on this cruise than on our last cruise, which we enjoyed. Our suite, 1048, was very spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows weren't. They provided 6 (!) king size pillows, but they were all the same: too thick and firm. The food was acceptable, but nothing special. Most of it fell under my brother-in-law's description of cruise ship food: "abundantly adequate." Our steak at Chops Grill was quite good, though. Entertainment was uneven. They had one good headliner from the UK who put on a very good performance, singing Frank Sinatra songs and the like, and he actually got a standing ovation! (Think people were just grateful for a good quality entertainer!) The highlights of the cruise were the quality of the service and the shore excursions. All across the board, the crew was friendly, helpful, and eager to be of service. Rosen, our cabin steward, always greeted us cheerfully and was very efficient and helpful. Zo and Meng, our waiters in the Main Dining Room, were attentive, quick and efficient, and made sure we had whatever we needed. Aline, our concierge, answered our questions patiently, and was a great resource. We were impressed with all our shore excursions, which were very efficiently and effectively organized. One stood out: the Athens and Cape Sounion with Lunch tour. It was long but thorough, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional, we had ample free time, and saw the Parthenon before the crowds arrived. A nice surprise: the buffet lunch at the Intercontinental was exceptional! We would highly recommend this excursion. While we were disappointed at not getting to see Santorini due to weather issues, overall we were pleased with the cruise and would consider sailing with Royal Caribbean again in the future if there's an itinerary that looks appealing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The islands we visited were beautiful and the weather was fantastic even in April. We booked a Royal Caribbean Excursion for each port of call and everyone of them was well organised and very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The islands we visited were beautiful and the weather was fantastic even in April. We booked a Royal Caribbean Excursion for each port of call and everyone of them was well organised and very interesting. Embarkation was a breeze. We checked in online a few weeks before and from the time we arrived at the port we were given all the details of our drinks and internet packages and were on the ship within five minutes. Excellent organisation on Royal Caribbean's part. Sadly, our first impression of the ship is that it's looking very tired. The carpets are in very poor condition and the fixtures, fittings, bars, seating (pretty much everything) throughout the ship are very worn and in desperate need of replacing and refurbishment. All the public areas in the ship were pretty clean though and we always saw housekeeping staff working hard. The food was excellent everywhere we ate. We ate in the main dining room for most of our evening meals and the food was always hot, tasty and fresh. The buffet was extremely good and had excellent variety, even at breakfast. We ate in all three specialty dining venues and all were excellent except for Giovanni's which was just average. The entertainment was hit and miss. Most of the headliner shows were very average and, frankly, a bit old-fashioned compared to most other ships I've been on. The live bands who played in the bars/venues around the ship were rotated nightly so there was good variety. We didn't partake in many of the activities onboard but they looked just like your average cruise bingo/art auctions/trivia etc. Nothing much to write home about. The service is where this ship shines. All the bar staff and waiters are excellent. We had a good laugh with a few of the buffet servers and the bar staff were extremely attentive. They always did their best to fulfill any special requests and were friendly, funny and obviously enjoyed their jobs. I would not sail on this ship again unless it underwent a huge refurbishment. I will, however, sail with Royal Caribbean again due to the positive experience we had with the service on this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week ... Read More
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week in Rome. Greece was in ruins. Well, actually, there were a lot of other things, too. We thought the best two ports were Crete and Rhodes from a history standpoint and really enjoyed those. Santorini was also great. Athens is just another big city with a few interesting thing, but it is still very important historically and was worth the trip. Accessibility was an issue at times. Walking was, at times, rigorous so be careful of the excursions you book. The ship was clean and well maintained as was our cabin. We did, however, pay an additional amount to have a balcony cabin on Deck 9 on the very stern of the ship. Every morning, it was covered with soot from the engines, but the steward wiped it down on his clean-up of the cabin. It wasn't really a problem, just something to be aware of if you book those cabins in back. They were worth it for the view and additional balcony space, though. Food in the main dining room was disappointing. It seems that it has lost a lot of quality and it is not much different from the Windjammer. The advantage to the dining room though, is that you get table service and the very nature of the dining experience limits quantity. We had no beef that was done properly. We would have gone to Chops, but frankly, if they can't get prime rib right in the main dining room, they probably won't when you pay an additional 40 bucks for it. This is the first cruise we've taken (out of about a total of 10) where most of our meals were at the buffet, solely due to the lack of quality in the dining room. Overall, Jewel of the Seas is a good ship and we'd do this same cruise again and we recommend it to others, just be wary of the food quality and all of the walking on cobblestones. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean What a wonderful ship she is. We had a great mid ship balcony cabin # 9616. A cabin steward that was perfect. Food was great entertainment was good. We went to 2 shows and they were better than expected. ... Read More
Jewel of the Seas - Royal Caribbean What a wonderful ship she is. We had a great mid ship balcony cabin # 9616. A cabin steward that was perfect. Food was great entertainment was good. We went to 2 shows and they were better than expected. They had music on the ship strings in the main area everyday so you could just listen and relax before and after dinner. We enjoyed this. There was also a band and singer some times. Piano bar and more. We did not go to any bars because we were too tired every night after the islands each day. She is a smaller ship with only a few shops. We only ate in the main dining room or Windjammer. We made an our time reservation for two 3 months ahead of time and when we got there we were at a table for 8 but they fixed it that day and everything was great. Our waiters were the best and we got to know each other quickly. - Wednesday April 24th – This was a day of rest on the ship. We ate and napped and ate again. There was a chocolate night in the windjammer one night so ask or you will miss it. They have wonderful tasty meals and great desserts. One night in the dining room they serve an individual size cake for the 50th anniversary of the cruise line so don’t miss that either. Very good. Public areas were full but not crazy busy ever. Elevators were prompt for the most part. Leaving the ship never seemed too crowded either. - Thursday April 25th- The Island of Crete was one of our favorites. We docked at Chania Souda. It was like old world with technology. Felt safe here. We hired a driver to take us out for the day about 5 hours. Lefteris Nikiforakis is the owner and was our Taxi driver and he was amazing. We went to see many things and experience things on this beautiful island. There were mountains here in which there was still snow visable on the top. Many flowers blooming here. Just beautiful. The things we went to see include Market Building at the Venetian Port, Lighthouse & Turkish Mask, Apera which is a 3500 Yr old Minoan town euro 2.5 to get in, drove through the Country side: Stilos, Neo, Choria Armeni, Kalives, Vamos. We tasted the local foods and drink like yogurt, honey olive oils and more. Crete was my favorite island. - Friday April 26th - Mykonos was our next stop and a nice port to walk around and see the sights, had lunch and people watch. Felt very safe here. We walked to find the windmills and chose to eat at a water front café. We did a tour from the ship for half the day to Delos which was incredible. The tour group was a large size as most of them are but if you stay close to the tour guide you will see and hear everything. We did have a head set which helped too. This is a 2500 BC Sanctuary with an Amphitheater, was the birth place of mythological Apollo and his sister and so much more. Take a guided tour here to learn all the stories. The spring time was beautiful weather a flowers blooming everywhere we went. Saturday April 27th – Rhodes was our next island. We hired a private tour for here and had a great experience. Nicholas was our driver/tour guide. Rhodesprivatetours.com He picked us up promptly from the pickup area dockside outside the ship in a Mercedes with our name on a card and drove us to many wonderful places. He explained everything and could answer any questions we had. You pay at the end of the tour. We started at 8:00 AM. We saw the most important monuments of the Medieval City (World Heritage Site) for pictures. He dropped us off here at the end of the tour for shopping and sightseeing of the village. Short walk to the ship from here. The drive continued out of the Medieval City to the “New Town” The Historical Buildings and the Old Harbor, where according to the tradition, the Colossus of Rhodes once stood - One of the seven wonders of the ancient world. (Stop Visit Pictures). The North point of the Island where the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea meet (Stop Pictures) . Monte Smith - Acropolis of Rhodes, Panoramic view of the City, also the Temple of Apollo, the Greek Stadium, and the Ancient Theater - with the car, no climb (Stop Visit Pictures). The drive continues south-east 50 kilometers / 32 miles to Lindos . On the way you visit the Anthony Quinn Bay – Which takes its name from the famous Hollywood actor, who owns a large property in this area. Since filming the Guns of Navarone in Rhodes Island - scenic (Stop Visit Pictures) and walked down to the waters edge. On the way to Lindos, we stopped at a pottery workshop where the traditional pottery of Rhodes is made. You can see the wonderful pieces of art, and watch the potter working at his wheel. You can even learn the mystery of the Pythagorean cup. We bought two. One mile before Lindos our Tour/Driver parked the car at a vantage point for a panoramic picture of the Acropolis, the village, and the port of Lindos (Stop Pictures). Then he drives us down to the Saint Paul's bay, incredible wild beauty - "Guns of Navarone" Movie (Stop Visit Pictures) He drives you to the main square of Lindos village, so you can: walk the alleys of Lindos which cost 12 euros and climb up the Acropolis or ride the donkeys which we did not (Stop Visit Pictures) Tourist-buses don’t drive down to the main square. /Driver will meet you at the main square of Lindos for the return trip. On the way back the last 14km / 8 miles he drives through the coast road of Faliraki marvelous beach and Kallithea Spa. Back to Rhodes Old City for independent browsing, or to the ship. The Medieval City (Old City) is a 10 min walk from the cruise port. You could extend the day and go out to lunch. We should have done this and enjoyed a local lunch with our guide. This was an amazing tour and will go back to this beautiful island someday. Our tour guide was the best. Of course we had some gelato too. - Sunday April 28th – Santorini had the picture perfect views of white and blue buildings and a beautiful harbor. We did a ship tour from here because it was Greek Easter and many things were closed. The tour was called “Island of Santorini and Oil Village tour” It took us from Oia to a Local winery to taste wine with a beautiful view of the Sea, to Fira for free time where we had a quick lunch and bought some souvenirs & took pictures. Had some gelato. Have some change if you want to use a bathroom here , then back to Athinios port where there was nothing but the boats to take you back to the ship. There were other tenders that went to Fira where you can take the donkeys up or ride the cable car. This would have been fun but we didn’t know about it. Monday April 29th – Athens. We used Michael's Amazing Tours and had an amazing 8 hour tour. The history here is incredible and not to be missed. Our driver Sotos had all the tickets we needed ahead of time so we just entered each site without much of a wait. We went to the Acropolis museum, The Acropolis , Temple of Zeus, site of the Olympic stadium, changing of the guard , Ancient agora and many more places. We were at each place before the tour groups and had a day with not many lines. We had a traditional Greek meal at a local restaurant. Food was great and the gelato. Our driver Sotos even stopped so I could pick up a few souvenirs before we got back on the ship. Michael the owner met up with us twice that day which was a nice surprise. They took great care of us on this day. Sotos was knowledgeable and informed us about all the sights but he couldn’t accompany us through them. This was the best day. Tuesday April 30th – Was a cruising day and we just relaxed and ate. Wednesday May 1st - We spent the day in Naples and did a self-guided tour. We walked past the Castel Nuovo and Our first stop was for Pastry Sfogliatella at the grand Café Gambrinus is 20 minute walk from ship. We followed our phone GPS during this day and had a few problems but figured it out. We walked to the train station to go up the mountain to where we walked to our destinations. They were right next to each other. First we walked to Castel Sant’ Elmo which is a medieval Fortress. The entrance was not well marked. The ticket widow is on the right but the entrance is to the left. Beautiful views of Naples from here as you walk up into this old castle. Then we walked to the right leaving the Castle and went to see Museo e la Certosa di San Martino. This was formally a monastery and now a museum. Has a beautiful church and many rooms to walk through. Then we walked back down to town and found a Pizza place. We then had gelato. This was a holiday and many places were closed but many were open too. If this was our first time in Naples we would have gone to Pompeii but we have been there before. – Thursday May 2nd – We are back in Rome after our 9 day cruise and prearranged a driver through CivitavecchiaPort.org to drive us to the hotel with pick up at 8AM. We used the same service to take us from our hotel to the airport. He was cautious and profession Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this cruise for the Itinerary, time of year and our past successful cruises on RC. Unfortunately, this was our third straight cruise on this RC class ship and, perhaps, at no fault of RC, the cruise experience was fairly “just ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the Itinerary, time of year and our past successful cruises on RC. Unfortunately, this was our third straight cruise on this RC class ship and, perhaps, at no fault of RC, the cruise experience was fairly “just OK”. Everything going on on the ship including the ship layout just got way too familiar and, consequently, boring. So, I’ll try to fashion this review for those who have no to little experience either with RC or crusing. PROS. 1. RC provides a very good cruise experience per dollar. They are very competently run and, in my opinion, is as good as any of the mass market (or lower cost) cruises. 2. Service. Very good. No complaints. The cabin attendant was good and most all of the wait staff were also very good. Excursion staff at the desk were ok as well as the front desk. Check in, like pretty much all cruise lines, is smoothly run like clockwork. 3. Ship. The condition of the ship was very good as well. Although the ship is coming on 15 years old, everything looked in excellent or recently refurbished condition. Carpets looked newish and clean and all furniture was also in good condition. The cabin and bathroom were also in very good condition although there was a little rust and corrosion at the shower door. Cons. 1. Food. We took most of our meals in the buffet restaurant. So, perhaps it is unfair to say that the food was mediocre. The choice was wide and varied, but on this 11-night Cruise, I found it repetitive, sometimes cold, and meats hard and over cooked due to sitting there for a while. Coffee was often cold or like warm. The desserts were also pretty disappointing. Too many mousse’s which pretty much tasted like whipped sugar. We did go to the sit down restaurant twice and the Izumi specialty restaurant once. The problem I had with the sitdown restaurant is that the portions were really small. I’m no food hog, but four measly shrimp is poor in your “jumbo shrimp” dish is pretty poor. Sure you can ask for seconds, but who wants to come off as a food hog. As for Izumi, we ordered five sushi dishes and four were below mediocre. 2. Onboard shopping. The shop was small, limited merchandise. The jewelry shop was much larger, but the prices were outrageous. Example: my Citizens watch that I bought online last year for about $175 was being sold — same watch — on ship for about $500. Why is onboard shopping an issue? Well, it can get a little boring on a long cruise and a nice diversion is shopping. But, with extremely limited merchandise, it was a bust. Wake up RC, a captive audience and opportunity lost. 3. Onboard live shows. I suppose due to budget and cost, lost are the days of onboard performers and mini Broadway type shows. Rather, the live shows are made up of contract one night stand comedians, singers, etc. They come onboard at one port of call, do their show and get off at the next port. The performers were OK, but it would be nice to see some production type shows. Also, the lounge performers were really bad. 4. Shore excursions. These were fairly limited in selection. I suppose, as a modestly experienced cruiser — 8 cruises — I should know and expect that cruise sightseeing is all about in and out. Get into the port and off the ship by 8 or 9 am and back on board by 4:30 and on to the next port of call. That leaves virtually no time to do any in depth sight seeing. Is RC different or worse than any other cruiseline’s offerings? Likely no. But, new cruisers, be forewarned. 5. Port of call onboard information. This is the first cruise I’ve been on where the ship provided virtually no information on the various ports of call enroute to the destinations. Cruises in the past had the cruise director providing tips on what to see and do and shopping tips. Nothing. I’m not expecting cultural lectures on the history and culture of the destinations, although that would be nice. But a little something about what to expect. Even if it was pre-recorded. All we got was daily babbling about trivia — what minor celebrity had a birthday that day — or some inane joke of the day. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I traveled with our family celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly specialty restaurants are the way to go anymore as Tides food was less than average for dinner, and the service was hit & miss depending on the ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with our family celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Sadly specialty restaurants are the way to go anymore as Tides food was less than average for dinner, and the service was hit & miss depending on the table assignment. Thankfully we weren't at the originally assigned table throughout the cruise. Toward the end of our journey, we chose Giovannis (excellent) and Chops for superior filet mignon and service. Why is it necessary to pay extra for what's already paid for!? If onboard, lunch was best at the buffet. The non alcoholic package was worth it...although again paying extra for what should be included: fresh squeezed OJ and Lattetudes for cappuccinos, frappuccinos and lattes. The staff there was stellar. Our cabin, 9212, was a great location mid-ship and larger than average. Both staterooms were rundown, drapes torn/ dirty, & the refrigerators were never cold. The bed was comfortable and the stewards worked hard cleaning every minute they were on duty. All the ships window were filthy. Entertainment, beyond the midshop lobby, was zero in our opinion. The casino smoke carried over throughout that deck. Watch your folio for added charges you may want to challenge. Both our families did. Embarkation and debarkation was easy. Upon return to airport, we didn't pay more than €100 for two (taxis are waiting to add you to passenger vans). We pre-booked three exceptional tour guides online by reading reviews on Cruise Critic. PKTravel and Santoriniexperts is another. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the itinerary - not the ship. The 11 night Greece and Croatia cruise leaving from Rome had all the places we wanted to visit, and this itinerary was only happening once! This was our fourth cruise, and 2nd time on Royal ... Read More
We chose the itinerary - not the ship. The 11 night Greece and Croatia cruise leaving from Rome had all the places we wanted to visit, and this itinerary was only happening once! This was our fourth cruise, and 2nd time on Royal Carribean. We didn't get the WOW! experience we were expecting... Firstly, the staff was very good and very attentive to details! Excellent staff everywhere. We had booked My Time Dining, but not always at the same time. The first night, they gave us the table right in the entrance of the dining room. We thought that we'd get another table the next evening so we didn't ask for a change, but we got the same table the next evening. We asked to be moved to another table, and that seemed to have created a lot of problems. They kept wanting to take us back to the first table. I'm not sure why this is important - I didn't mind getting different waiting staff every evening. Anyway, as stated earlier, the staff was excellent regardless of the table we had, but I'm not sure I understand the value of pre-booking My Time Dining. The food for dinner at the dining room was good to excellent, with a good selection every evening. In general, the waiter's recommendations were great choices. Breakfast in the dining room was not the best experience. After waiting in line to get seated, they hoarded us to a large table where we sat with other guests. Service was extremely slow (15-20 minutes before ordering, 30 minutes before getting our eggs benedict ). Room service breakfast was excellent on the first morning we tried it. The 2nd morning, the omelettes were chewy and rubbery. On the 3rd morning, some items were missing (eg: cereal without milk). Breakfast in the Windjammer was the same every morning, not many variations. Good in general, but the fried eggs and omelette station was not being replenished fast enough. Lunch at the Windjammer was generally good, with more variety, and fresh items. The salad bar had a good selection. One comment on the salad bar: when the bottle of olive oil was empty, they removed it but did not replace it - why? We had paid for the premium beverage package. Around the 3rd or 4th night, they started missing out on some of the brands our group was ordering (Botannist gin, Chivas, Stoli vodka, etc...) in Schooner's and the Safari Club. One evening, our waiter in Schooner's had to go get our drink at the Casino. After 3 evenings like this, I complained - why were only some of the bars stocked with only some of the brands? They eventually fixed the issue at Schooner's but they were still out of stock on some of the brands at the Casino and the Pit Stop. If I hadn't paid for the Premium beverage package, I would not have minded. But I expected RCCL to stock up on the brands advertized as being part of the package. To me, this is unacceptable. The entertainment was appropriate and varied. Over the course of our 11 night cruise, we didn't see/hear the same band play the same thing twice, which is good! The formal nights were just that - nights where people would dress up. Aside from a small speech from the Captain at the Captain's Welcome reception, I didn't really feel that the evenings were special. For example, on our prior cruise (not with RCCL), the central atrium was decorated with hundreds of balloons for the farewell evening ceremonies. After our last cruise, we were eager to book the next one. After this cruise on the Jewel, I'm not in a hurry to book the next one - I just didn't get the experience I was expecting. And if I book another cruise, it probably won't be with Royal Carribean. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this ship for the ports and because it was available in early April, before most European cruise ships have started. The ports were a great variety, but the ship itself is old and there is not much to do onboard. The shows were ... Read More
We picked this ship for the ports and because it was available in early April, before most European cruise ships have started. The ports were a great variety, but the ship itself is old and there is not much to do onboard. The shows were mediocre and the meals were okay but nothing special. In a lot of the ports, we had to dock a long way from the town and take taxis or tenders, while we saw other cruise ships pulled right up to the town docks. I'm not sure if this is a cost issue for Royal Caribbean or just the luck of the draw, but it was inconvient in a lot of the ports. We had a junior suite, which we thought was worth the price. It gave us a lot more room and a large closet and bathroom; nice since we were on the ship 11 nights. We did several RCCL excursions, but most were way too crowded and not worth the price. One excursion had 48 people with 1 tour guide and no headphones, so it was impossible to hear her. It would have been better to book through a private tour company like Viator with smaller groups. Also, there was only one indoor pool and because the weather was cool, everyone wanted to sit at this pool. So of course people left their towels early and rarely came back so there was no where to sit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a ... Read More
We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a shuttle from the station in Civitavecchia to the RCCL area to board buses to the ship. We waited in line for some time to have board a bus to take us to the ship. Once we got to the port, the processing and boarding went smoothly and quickly. One suitcase was all ready by the door when we got to our room, the other didn’t arrive until nearly 10 pm. We had an interior room on the 2nd deck. We were happy with the room, although a little tight. Fortunately our luggage could fit under the bed. It was convenient for our port days not having to wait for an elevator when we came back on board. Erick, our room attendant from Brazil, was a pleasant, personable young man. He did a good job of keeping our room looking tidy. All the ports were new for us and very interesting in their own rights. Smaller ship, less people. We had a congenial dining group. Our group consisted of an Australian couple, New Zealand couple, and a French speaking couple from Quebec, Canada. As in the past, this has been one of the highlights of our cruising experience. Our waiter, Shanshan, was very attentive and always pleasant. She kept us apprised of the next day’s schedule of the meal times at the Coral dining room. She worked several nights by herself when her assistant left. Sometimes she had help from the Windjammer. We were pleased with the wait staff in the Windjammer. Thanks for including a time slot to play pickleball. In fact, there were quite a few people wanting to play This is becoming a more popular sport, so having more time allotted would be good. Cons: The entertainment was certainly subpar to our other RCCL cruises. The comedians were disappointing. The best show was the Beatles’ tribute followed by the first show, a hand shadow display. There were quite a few “tween” children that were unsupervised, running around the halls, lounges, and pushing all the elevator buttons- quite annoying. We would have enjoyed a bit more variety of activities for the sea days. We did enjoy the trivia sessions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Nov 5-17 2018 Rome to San Juan. This was our first time on RC and was not disappointed at the ship and staff. This is the best room we have had on any ship and the crew was above average. This reminded me of my first cruise many years ago when the crew was happy and new your name. The Captain was a hoot, and would come on each day announcements with a cheerful and positive attitude. This was a very long trip so we spent 3 days in Rome before leaving, and was in our eyes the highlight of the trip (all the rest was extra cake). Two day before leaving we had gotten contacted by KLM that our flight had been canceled due to Air2sea booking a year ago on a Bump flight? We had to call Air2Sea and tell them about the cancelation. They did not have any idea that it had happened. I insisted that KLM had canceled the flight and I had called them and confirmed that it was, and that I should contact RC for any information. First observation of RC is the disconnect between the travel and the customer. They should have this information first before me. They then told me that it was a good thing that I had Air2Sea and they could fix this. They rebooked on Delta and my 2 stops turned into 3. The Delta Flight was very good and we had and additional hour with a very uncomfortable flight on Italy Airlines (not recommended no leg room). While in Rome they then sent another email that said all the Jewels itinerary stops had been changed due to weather (changed to Canary Islands and St. Martin). This is probably a good call but other ships had been reported going to the places that we had just been changed from. Most of the ship was looking forward to Lisbon as we had, and for this was disappointed. Getting on the ship was a very quick event and waited for our rooms to get prepared. Luggage delivery was very good. I felt sorry for the couple that we met that lived in the Canary Islands (and just had flown out of) and joked that they could maybe do some laundry while off the ship at island (they lived at) they had just left. We had been spoiled a bit on Princess Cruises so the rest is observations of what could be improved for the RC Brand. We loved the food and lots of it, but not much variety. Having theme food nights lets us have a taste of other countries. We did not eat in the dining room at all but ended up in the windjammer when open. The Café (latte tudes?) was very limited on food selection and while the windjammer has such limited hour 7am till 11 something could be expanded to a light snack early in the morning. We had been gaining hours each night coming back from Italy and we would wake up at 4 am and feeling hungry. All the restaurants had been closed, and the only one that opens at 6:30 is the Solarium Café that again is very limited to light snacks. Internet was puffed up as fastest at sea. Nobody I talked with thought much of it. It’s took about 5 to 10 min to load the RC page. They should have a backup system that when not by land can use satellite feeds from deep space to fill the low altitude satellite system currently used. We loved the Movie Theater and would love to see this added to other ships. The movies generally run one a day and then repeated on the big screen on deck. We had to leave early on one of our favorite movies, and expected to finish it later but this was not replayed on the in room TV. Suggestion is to run your played movies on the TV in the room as the kids shows currently are (in room TV is pay preview if you want a another movie). What is up with the “cooler” in the room??? No Hotel room uses a cooler. They use small refrigerators. Coffee Lava azza! One word Nasty (you need to switch out to instant or McCaffee brand! You can bring two bottles of wine but no Water or Soda onto the ship? We don’t drink so water is important to me. I spent over 50 dollars on the 12 liter bottles of water provided by the cruise line with 18% added on. Other cruise lines do this for about 7 us dollars a case. Smoking all over the ship. Deck 5 had ashtrays all down the walking deck. What about the kids that walk on that deck. What about me that does not smoke, but is exposed by trying to get some exercise. The smoking room is next to the Windjammer??. The smoke drifts down the pool deck while trying to watch a movie. Improve the daily activity that happens around the ship. We felt a port expert would have been nice along with other information like education lectures (Paying passenger did volunteer for lectures giving in Geology that was appreciate). This may have been slow because of the change of ports but thought that we should do more than just read, watch movies, cards, and shop in a very limited shopping area. Long itineraries require the Brand to make extra personnel for this lull in long days. We appreciated the extra personnel that were provided for future cruise desk. Princess only supplies one, and is never at the desk. Cruise excursions should be explained better. One paragraph of the excursion should be expanded, and explained about mode of transportation and amount of stops for toilet breaks, and how much time spent at stops. This was not explained until on the tour. Overall the cruise was very nice, but have decided that this cruise line in present state is not for us. We did have a great mix of people our own age, but just think it should be better. Overall price of the trip was Great value. We thank the excellent crew for success of our second crossing of the big pond. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we ... Read More
Instead of flying from Rome to Canada, chose to do a TA with some interesting places and some heat, we then switched to the Celebrity Summit to do a one week southern Caribbean. Despite disappointment with the Jewel itinerary changes,we had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy. Ship was old, mid-size, but had more offerings and character than some larger ships. Inside cabin was spacious enough. Dining options in the main dining room and buffet were better than Celebrity, especially the lunches! Entertainment and activities were standard for this class. The live entertainment was very good with lots of dance music available. Some of the games were fun too, even if we'd seen them before. Service was excellent throughout. Dining room staff including head waiter and maitre'd were exceptional. We never felt harassed to buy drink or dinner packages. This was a major annoyance on Celebrity. Diamond benefits are excellent. Would definitely do another Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Whilst I saw some of the most amazing ports in the world. I was not so impressed with the cruise and its staff. Even thought our party of four all had MY TIME DINING, this was treated with complication for the staff, they had difficulty ... Read More
Whilst I saw some of the most amazing ports in the world. I was not so impressed with the cruise and its staff. Even thought our party of four all had MY TIME DINING, this was treated with complication for the staff, they had difficulty every night trying to find us table. And even once seated and orders takes we were moved again, only to be returned to the original table. Dinner was very disruptive and disorganised. The food was nice but after a while it all tasted bland. The table service was hit and miss, the waiters did not listen to your orders and dinner was rarely had with out a hitch. The staff were always apologetic, however this did not change the the service. We had Francesco asking us how this could improve and when we started to tell him, announced free Fillet Mignon for all, however we did not get to enjoy it, as we had a show to attend so meals ran late and took a long time, even though we stated we had a show to go to. WINDJAMMER FOOD was tasteless and disgusting, I was always feeling ill when I ate there. But I had to as the Dinning room was not open early enough on some mornings. The beauty spa was a horrendous, I had a 7:45pm appointment that I was running 10 minutes early for, I was told that I was running 5 minutes late and that I was not able to have the appointment now. I showed them my appointment docket and they still insisted that I was late and that they could still charge me for the appointment. They were not hospitable and they did nothing to rectify any issues . NEVER AGAIN!! I was trying to book into the Murder Mystery night and staff booked me into the captains table instead. Staff just did not listen to anything. The lifts were weird, they would only allow 2 to pick people up from all floors whilst 3 would remain empty or next to empty and the 2 that were picking up people were full. SOLARIUM Astor this place which is very inviting, but unfortunately people would leave there stuff on chairs from sun up to sun down, even when there weren't using them. So didn't take advantage of that space much. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
For our 30th wedding anniversary last summer, we'd planed a Southern Caribbean cruise while on our Alaska cruise in 2016. However, we had to cancel that cruise, so we decided to go "all out" for our 31st wedding anniversary ... Read More
For our 30th wedding anniversary last summer, we'd planed a Southern Caribbean cruise while on our Alaska cruise in 2016. However, we had to cancel that cruise, so we decided to go "all out" for our 31st wedding anniversary with a 9-night Greek Isles tour that included two ports in Italy. Shortly after putting a deposit down on our cruise, we received offers in the mail from Delta Air Lines for American Express Skymiles cards that included 60,000 miles which, if we spent an additional amount per card would give us enough miles to fly roundtrip to Rome in Comfort+ class, which provides four extra inches of legroom to Coach. So, our flights were "free". I purchased an Orange Holiday SIM chip for my iPhone, which promised to provide us with plenty of data, call and texting capability throughout our trip. My spouse had planned and was well prepared with sanitary wipes, snacks and many other necessary items we'd need throughout our trip. SUNDAY It was our first time as passengers in Atlanta's 'new' International airport, and we were there 2+ hours early, which gave us time to thoroughly check it out before making our way to our gate: a lot of duty free shopping and some premium dining options. Just before boarding time, it was announced that there was a small issue with our plane, and it ended up delaying our departure about 30 minutes. With Sky priority boarding (a feature of Comfort+), we were able to board after all the wheelchair bound passengers were settled. We embarked from Atlanta on Sunday at 7:30 PM and landed in Rome on Monday at 10:45 AM, a little more than 9 hours total. Even with the extra legroom and somewhat better recline-able seats, neither of us were able to sleep during the flight. The most notable part of our flight was the quality and amount of food we were served; it was a lot of food and it was pretty good too. There were 9" diagonal video screens on the seatbacks in front of us and quite a large selection of movies etc. to choose from as well; I watched a longish Western when I wasn't trying unsuccessfully to sleep. I replaced my Verizon SIM with the purchased SIM so that my phone would ready upon arrival. When we landed in Rome, I turned on my phone and - although it took 20 minutes or so - it started working perfectly during the drive to port. MONDAY (Day 1 - 7,171 steps/2.6 miles/10 floors) It's been 19 years since we were in the Rome, and the last time we stayed in the city for 3 days before our cruise out of the nearby port of Civitavecchia. This time we prearranged a Civitavecchia Cab Service private pickup for each way between the port and Rome's Fiumicino (FCO) airport. The distance is about 47 miles and it took under an hour each time. I'm afraid I didn't fully understand the instructions we'd received via email about where to meet our driver, but we did eventually find him. I left my spouse "inside" with all our luggage while I exited the terminal. An initially very helpful police officer helped me to locate the "white column" meeting point where there were a slew of drivers holding up name placards. However, he would not let me reenter the terminal to retrieve my spouse and our luggage. Fortunately, she was able to see me when the sliding doors were open and I was able to signal to her to bring the luggage - which took two trips - and join me. We located our driver and, as we followed him through the labyrinth of hallways, stairs and parking lot to his vehicle, it appeared that he knew everyone we passed along the way. Having no Euros as yet, I asked our driver if he could take me by an ATM on the way to the ship, and he stopped at one in the port city. Once we got to the port, we tipped the driver, went inside and found two lines. Which one should we get in? I went one way, my spouse went the other and we determined that I needed to take both big bags with tags to the luggage drop while we carried our carryon bags (2 each) through the metal detectors towards check-in. Up the escalator, we had to fill out declaration forms and carry them to the appropriate queue (no waiting for suites guests!). We made our way onboard by about 1 PM and since our suite wasn't going to be ready until after 2 PM, we went to the Windjammer cafe to eat lunch. Of course, everyone else on the ship was doing the same thing, and so it was very crowded. As I'd read on Cruise Critic, one of Jewel's best features is the back-of-the-ship covered outdoor dining seating area. So we made our way there to find seats, which took a couple of times around, before making our way one-at-a-time through the buffets. The food was pretty good and, throughout the cruise, I can confirm that it was better than it was on our last cruise - Adventure in Alaska - and also in the main dining room, which was very good. After lunch we went upstairs and noticed that the Sports Deck was empty, so we dropped our bags and relaxed on the comfortable lounges there while waiting for our room to be ready. Our Junior Suite (1570) wasn't far from the Windjammer, one flight down in the back third of the ship on the port side. In fact, above our room was buffet seating which means occasionally we heard footsteps through the ceiling. The room was much as we've come to expect, the right size and amenities for us as we have usually chosen these accommodations for our cruises. In short order we met Denis, our cabin attendant for whom my spouse had a gift, and some special Royal Gifts were delivered: champagne, truffles and chocolate covered strawberries. As part of the "Decadent Romance" package, we were also supposed to get a dozen long stemmed roses, but after a couple of days of waiting I found out that there were no fresh flowers onboard, so I opted to receive credit back on my card. If I'd have been quicker on my feet, I probably couldn't have gotten us "free" Wi-Fi instead. Next, we explored the ship and remarked at how similar it was to Enchantment, which we'd taken to the Bahamas three years prior. It has a Centrum in lieu of a Promenade deck and our room was fairly conveniently located to it without being too close to hear the nightly dance music parties it hosts. There isn't really anything remarkable able Jewel's amenities, especially when you've been on Royal's bigger ships, except the aforementioned Windjammer's outdoor seating. That's not to say that it doesn't have plenty of things to do on a sea day; this cruise had two, which also served as formal nights, and we were certainly not bored with all the available activities and things to do. With the sun positioned about an hour before sunset, we enjoyed a beautiful embarkation from the port of Civitavecchia from Deck 12, above the pool, with most of the other passengers onboard. Still "up" from the night before, it was getting too difficult for us to stay awake for our Tides (Main) Dining Room seating at 8:30 PM; we found this out while lounging in the Solarium until about 7:15 PM. So we headed to the Windjammer to eat our first dinner on ship, and then returned to our suite to crash for the night. Obviously we didn't attend the 'Welcome' show in the ship's theater, something we never miss. TUESDAY (Day 2 - 9,128 steps/3.5 miles/18 floors) Fortunately, the next port was Messina, Sicily, with a ship docking time of 11 AM. That means we could sleep in, get up and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Windjammer (WJ) and return to our suite's balcony to watch while the ship entered the port. It was a beautiful clear morning and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote a Tripadvisor review of our excursion in Sicily, so I'll link to that here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187889-d2615234-r628178197-Sicily_With_Mario-Messina_Province_of_Messina_Sicily.html Watching from our suite's balcony the ship's departure from the port of Sicily was magical, glorious in fact. Since our captain has spun the ship upon our arrival that morning, the starboard side was next to the pier which meant our docked view overlooked the Madonnina. At night, she was spectacularly lit. As a bonus, only two miles away across the expanse, we could see the lights on the tip of the boot of Italy. We watched as our ship traveled north out of the port and then steered south towards Greece so that we could then see the night-lit Messina and much more of Sicily as well. With Sicily to our right, the waxing half moon was brilliant in the clear sky up to our left. Arm-in-arm we watched as a shooting star streaked by for several seconds, changing from blue to green, yellow, orange and red in a flash before disappearing. Thank you God! We debated going to the show that night - Tenors Unlimited - and thought we'd decide during dinner whether to go afterwards or not. Turns out dinner ran through the show, so we missed it. For the first time, we were seated at a Main Dining Room (MDR) table with others that we didn't previously know. Our table of eight had only four others, most nights, a couple of women traveling together without their husbands and mother with her son. We really enjoyed getting to know each of them throughout the cruise, discussing our excursions and activities, while we were served efficiently by Mario (from the Philippines) and his assistant Davor (from Montenegro). As I wrote earlier, the food was very good, sometimes outstanding and never just good. I usually opted for the beef or steak option, and unfortunately we missed the salmon (which was the first night). The appetizers, especially the crab and seafood cakes, were great and the desserts - we usually chose the chocolate option - were terrific as well. More times than not, I went with our head waiter's recommendations, and he never steered me wrong, but I've always wondered whether the waiters' recommendations are based on what didn't 'sell' well during the first MDR seating. Didn't matter, it was mostly excellent. WEDNESDAY (Day 3 - 6,109 steps/2.2 miles/35 floors) Our first of two sea days began as always with breakfast in the Windjammer. There was a program in the theater about the Shore Excursions offered for the remaining ports, which we attended even though we had plans already for all the ports except Mykonos, which was to be our first stop in Greece. We checked out other parts of the ship including the Solarium's hot tub and lunched - again, in the WJ. Later that day, while we were lounging in the sun on Deck 12, there was announcement that - because of crew member's emergency - our ship would be stopping in Athens first instead. We decided to beat the crowds to Deck 4 to talk with the Shore Excursions staff to see how our planned ship excursion in Athens - Highlights of Athens/Small Group - might be affected. She assured us that our excursion would be rebooked for Thursday (in lieu of Sunday as originally planned). At 5 PM, we went to the Vortex for the Meet & Mingle gathering and watched while four of the five bottles of wine or champagne were raffled off to passengers that had been with us on our Sicily with Mario tour the day before, one of whom announced that their planned private excursion in Athens had been successfully rebooked. After talking with others at the party, we returned to our suite to start getting ready for the first formal night. At about 7:15 PM that evening, my spouse noticed a flashing light on our cabin's phone. It was a voicemail that informed us, since there were already four ships in the port of Athens on Thursday, none of Royal's shore excursions could be rebooked and therefore all of them had been cancelled. We found out that there would be a representative from a "Hop on, Hop off" bus company in the Centrum at 8 AM to sell tickets that could be put on your room's bill, but otherwise we were on our own. This was obviously a disappointment, and we discussed several options including trying to hook up with the Meet & Mingle group, if there was still room on their tour. Ultimately we decided that we could utilize the Rick Steves' audio tours I had previously downloaded to my iPhone with the "Hop on, Hop off" bus option. We went down to the Centrum to have our pictures taken with the captain and another photographer before enjoying another meal in the MDR. Also that night, we enjoyed our first show in the Coral Theatre, which was excellent, a program called City of Dreams which showcased the singing, dancing and orchestral talents of the ship's ensemble. THURSDAY (Day 4 - 18,042 steps/6.6 miles/19 floors) I discovered that my iPhone had a message displayed on it which indicated that the cellular function had failed, that an update needed to be downloaded before it would work. I was unable to resolve the issue and - since I thought that the SIM may have corrupted my phone, I didn't want to 'infect' my spouse's phone with it. After getting up early to eat breakfast in the WJ, we were determined to be the first ones in line to buy "Hop on, Hop off" bus passes. We then walked off the ship and - after getting some assistance - located the two deck yellow (Gray line) bus and found seats in front on the top "open" level. We received ear buds which when plugged into the multi-language ports on bus provided an audio description of what one was seeing while the bus drove from the port of Piraeus into Athens. When the speaker wasn't narrating, there was a louder Greek music playing on the audio. The bus had Wi-Fi, which I was able to use to get reconnected to the Internet yet still not resolve the cellular phone error. Unfortunately, I soon learned - from the heat in my pocket - that my iPhone was rapidly losing its charge, so I shut it off. Later, I noticed that it was still hot and that shutting down the phone had done nothing to slow the battery's declining charge percentage. From then on during our trip, after recharging it overnight, I was able to use my phone on our excursions to take pictures for about 3-4 hours each day before its battery would totally discharge. We arrived at the bus's first significant stopping point - the Acropolis - about the time that every other bus and excursion must have gotten there. Lots of people made the famed outcropping look like an ant hill crawling with insects. We bought our tickets, paying an extra 10 Euros for admission to several other sites (none of which we ended up seeing) and made our way up the path with the hordes. After making our way up and through the people and countless tour groups to a point where we finally had a view of the Parthenon, it was apparent that not having a guide was keeping us from fully appreciating what we were seeing. I took out my phone and ear buds and was able to get Rick Steves' program playing in my ear, but after several minutes realized that this wasn't going to work very well given the fading battery life and the loud crowds which made hearing the audio difficult. However, I did manage to hear that we'd already missed seeing Mars Hill, which he described as a scraggly rock to the left of the ticket booth below. Ignorant of what we were seeing, while we walked around the Acropolis, I decided to at least take a picture of every informational placard so that I could at least read about it later (at this writing, I still haven't had time). We were amazed at how vast the city of Athens is, surrounding the Acropolis like a sea of white buildings. From our perch, we could also see many of the other historic sites - without knowing what they were - in the immediate areas around and below. After taking lots of pictures, we traveled back down and to the right to find the Areopagus aka Mars Hill. We scaled the original steps and took in the elevated view afforded from the rock, which is spectacular in its own right and only exceeded by the views from the Acropolis itself. Returning to the bottom, we first got back on the bus to travel to the Acropolis museum until we were able to understand the driver who said that it was only a short way down a wide walkway (she pointed towards the front and left). I'd listened to Steves' audio regarding the museum - which is built atop an archeological dig site! - a few months prior and remembered his enthusiasm for it, an enthusiasm I now share. We paid a modest admission charge and had to check our backpacks before entering. The museum's entrance hall contains many artifacts and leads upwards towards the second floor - one can climb steps or take an elevator - where there is a plethora of excavated statues and other objects each with an informative placard about its history etc. At first, I was being diligent about seeing (and reading about) every piece, until I realized that I could be there for hours. We eventually made our way up escalators to the middle area of the third floor where we watched a very informative video in English; it ran again with English subtitles. We then discovered that the area around the outside on that floor was a recreation of the Parthenon itself, including some of the original Parthenon marbles: pediment, metopes, and frieze. One can see the Parthenon atop the Acropolis out the north museum windows. All in all, an illuminating and fascinating display of the ancient Temple of Athena. We walked back on the same pedestrian street - the Dionysiou Areopagitou - to our bus, which we then rode around the city loop for between almost 90 minutes, listening to the audio descriptions of the various sites we saw from the bus including the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium. By 3 PM, we were ready to return to the port of Piraeus and our ship. Throughout our bus ride we noted how crazy the traffic and drivers were - especially those on motorbikes - on the city streets, which sometimes resembled organized chaos. Off the bus, we walked back to the cruise terminal while being 'accosted' by various vendors or beggars, though not as bad as being in Jamaica. Our balcony - on the port side of the ship - was the perfect place to watch our departure from the port of Piraeus (and every other port) because we could watch as the All Onboard time approached and the quickened steps of those passengers who were just able to make it before the deadline. Unfortunately for some, perhaps because of the last minute port change, it appeared that a number of passengers were left in Piraeus, unable to make it back to the ship in time. Leaving the port, we had a beautiful sunset as well; it seemed as if the captain slowed the ship's turn for a while in order that we might fully enjoy it to completion. Later that night we went to the theatre to see Sean Alexander, a confusionist (magician), who impressed with various card tricks and other unbelievable (in many ways, too complex) stunts, before enjoying another meal in the MDR. FRIDAY (Day 5 - 18,224 steps/6.8 miles/57 floors; phone's date off, half of next day's count in total) We awoke to a view of the port of Rhodes (or Rhodos). I have to admit that pre-cruise I had low expectations for the island of Rhodes. However, we had signed up for an Historic Rhodes Walking Tour and it soon became clear that this was going to be one of the best experiences on our cruise; our guide Ioanna made it wonderful. She was so knowledgeable about the history of her native island, and was so proud of her heritage that it was infectious. Fortunately, we were each given ear-mounted headphone, which enabled us to hear everything she was saying without having to be at the front of our group, about 30 people. After a short walk from the ship along the shore and through the Virgin Gate of the Medieval City, we stopped and sat in the courtyard of the Church of Saint-Marie-du-Bourg, where she proceeded to tell us the history of Rhodes from Before Christ through World War II. We then walked to the Jewish Martyrs Square on our way through relatively empty streets - the shops were just starting to open - to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes; Ioanna referred to the Knights of St. John. Before entering the palace, Ioanna made sure we looked down the Ippoton - the Avenue of the Knights - which was relatively empty when we got there. We were then the first group to enter the Palace, its grand courtyard showcasing eight marble statues. She then walked us up its grand staircase - featured in the movie The Guns of Navarone (1961) - and into a series of large and small rooms, each of which had historical (or authentic recreations of) floor frescos, furniture, and other artwork from the medieval period. Ioanna related that she and her brother used to play in the castle as children, her brother locking her in one room in the dark in an attempt to scare her and, keeping silent, she hid for hours until crying out so that family members could locate her. Exiting the Palace, we noticed how full of people it now was, as was the Ippoton, which we traversed on our way to the Archeological Museum. Ioanna gave us a comprehensive tour of the artwork there, demonstrating and describing the evolution of the artists' techniques from the more primitive ages through the Renaissance influences. At our tour's end about 12:30 PM, we decided to make our way back to the ship for lunch, planning to return for shopping that afternoon. What a great day! We also bought 24 hours of Wi-Fi to reconnect with our family; it was available until through Saturday afternoon, after that day's excursion. We skipped the Crown & Anchor Club party, which we only usually attend to see if we'll win one of the raffle items. That night we saw one of the showcase singers Claire-Charlotte try her best to perform various "Women of Rock n Roll" classic hits, an ambitious attempt to be sure, before heading to the MDR. After dinner, we saw the Love & Marriage Game Show which is always good. The oldest couple won, as usual, and ironically the newlywed's MDR table was adjacent to ours. SATURDAY (Day 6 - 9,140 steps/3.3 miles/29 floors) Getting up early for our most anticipated stop and tour - Island of Santorini and Village of Oia - we had our one and only tender port; we met in the theater with all the other tour groups and were assigned to group 3 of 10 for our tour. Although we probably could've managed the island on our own, we booked a tour to ensure an early arrival on the island, and I think it paid off. Instead of tendering to port below the capital city Thera aka Fira, where one has a choice between donkeys, their path or cable cars up to Fira, our tender went to the Athinios, where we took a tour bus trip up a perilous switchback onto a main 'ridge' road and various others all the way to the famously picturesque cliff-side town of Oia, at the northwest tip of the (reverse C-shaped) island. We were the only ship in port and perhaps the first tour bus there, so we had relatively crowd-free experience as we walked Oia's narrow pedestrian-only, shop-lined streets, which wind around and provide various offshoots that drop off to the left or rise to the right before providing another array of choices (some even traverse down to the coast itself). Our "guide" (more of a wrangler, really) started us at the (Church of) Panagia Platsani, and directed us to take either the main street to the left (east) or to the right (west) with no further instruction other than to not venture off the main street. She said that the streets were designed to frustrate invaders and were therefore confusing on purpose. We were fortunate to go to the right because we were able to make our way all the way to the point of the coast where spectacular overlooks are available, in the time allotted. We also had time to go a little way to the left before having to return to our rendezvous point by the appointed time. We took selfies and offered to take other couples' pictures for them (they counter offered for us) and ran across several professional photographers that were taking newlyweds and brides etc. photos with various angles of the town as their background. We ventured into shops but did very little shopping because of the limited time. After returning to the bus as a group, we then traveled to Santo Winery where we enjoyed breathtaking views while sampling three kinds of wine, cheese and olives. Afterwards, we took the short drive to Fira, which is similarly situated on a cliff's edge and also features narrow, shop-lined pedestrian streets along the ridgeline overlooking the caldera shaped island, and our ship. We had the option of returning the same way we'd come (by bus and tender) or staying in Fira to shop and wander but then having to make our own way back to the tender port below either by donkey path or cable car. We opted to return with everyone else by bus. We had a beautiful departure to watch from our balcony as we 'silently' slipped by Fira and Oia on our way to Mykonos for our last Greek port of call. We skipped the show that night - Tango Buenos Aires - but did stop by the Centrum after dinner to see the entertaining 50's & 60's Rock 'n' Roll party start. My spouse rescued me just before one of the cruise staffers was able to grab my arm to pull me onto the dance floor! We enjoyed watching it from several floors above instead. SUNDAY (Day 7 - 6,422 steps/2.4 miles/19 floors) Mykonos was the port of the day and since we didn't have an excursion planned, and had gotten up for a 7 AM meet time the prior three consecutive days, we decided to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, and then get off the ship on our own. As it turns out, the smallest of the Greek Islands used to have a tender-only port. The new port which we used, however, required us to buy a 4 Euro roundtrip ferry ride - or walk 3 miles on the side of a road without sidewalks - to get into town. Great deal for the ferry company - and Royal Caribbean who has effectively offloaded the tender cost to its customers. In any case, we decided that Mykonos would have been a great first port in Greece as had been planned, but wasn't as exciting as our last Greek destination. Other than its windmills, four of which are in a row at its western coastal tip, there isn't anything particularly unique or special about Mykonos when compared to the other destinations (especially the day after Santorini). It's a quaint little seaside town with a labyrinth of pedestrian, shop- and restaurant-lined walkways (sound familiar?). Plus, it was annoying to not be able to readily find a public W/C to use, especially having to pay 1 Euro to do so! I think we only spent a couple of hours there before returning by ferry to our ship. Before heading to the show, we walked through the WJ, not that we were hungry but they usually have theme nights so we thought we'd check it out. Good thing we did because we discovered the Chocolate Buffet Bar! Wow, so many delicious desserts. We grabbed some chocolate mousse, which was in champagne flutes, and a few other delicacies and decided we'd return after our MDR dinner for more. The show that night was Tracey Shield, who performed as "An Evening with Celine Dion", and she was hilarious as a very good impersonator, had all the singer's quirky mannerisms down and a very talented spot on singing voice as well. During dinner, we mentioned the Chocolate Dessert Bar to the others and learned that the WJ was closing at 9 PM, so they'd missed it. One at our table asked if there were chocolate covered strawberries offered in the WJ and, when we said yes, asked our head waiter's supervisor if we could have some delivered to the MDR. She promised a full plate for the table the next night, and she delivered not one but two plates to our table on Monday night! After dinner in the MDR, since the next day was a sea day anyway, we stayed up to watch the 70's Disco Inferno Dance Party with our Italian cruise director Andrea - very good - and the rest of the ship's Entertainment family. They had a Village People impersonation group that further energized the show, including dancing on the handrail of a Centrum glass elevator as it ascended from the floor to the topmost level. Crazy fun! We watched it all from seats above. MONDAY (Day 8 - 3,611 steps/1.3 miles/9 floors) Our last sea day was of course relaxing: we had breakfast in the MDR for once, did some shopping, my spouse attended a couple of the health and fitness classes in Vitality at Sea, played pool in the Games Reserve and the Fairways of Jewel (miniature golf), spent our casino's free spins (per our Emerald status) and played $5 of free blackjack per their promotion, enjoyed the Solarium's hot tub and snacks, sat out by the pool - they were running blooper videos on the big screen - took a nap, and then got dressed and ready for pictures early for the second formal night. We enjoyed the show in the theatre - West End to Broadway - and remarked about the many elaborate and colorful costumes employed by the show. After our meal in the MDR, we went to the Safari Club to witness the outrageous Quest Adult Game Show; it was amazing to us what people were willing to do so that their team could claim the honors. TUESDAY (Day 9 - 1,853 steps/.66 miles/5 floors; phone died before Pompeii) Up bright and early to meet in the Theatre for our last excursion - Taste of Sorrento & Pompeii - we soon learned that porting in Naples was delayed. Per our captain, the Regent's captain failed his first attempt to port that morning and - like dominoes - that backed up every other ship's schedule, including Jewel's. Initially, there were only three different excursion groups gathered at 7 AM but, as the delay continued to an hour, the theatre filled to capacity with all the other excursion groups. Some in ours speculated about what would have to be cut from our tour, but we soon learned that the All Onboard had been moved back an hour. The port of Naples appeared larger and older than any of the others we experienced during the cruise, and later our guide confirmed that our ship was docked very near the recently discovered 'original' port of Naples, below the currently operating port. We exited the ship and were soon on our bus. Our guide Giancarlo spoke very good English, is an archeologist employed by the Italian government by trade, and explained that he couldn't wait to be part of the excavation of the remaining 10,000 hectares of Pompeii (about a third of which had yet to be explored) once the existing ancient city's ruins had been fortified. We drove in lots of traffic, past Mount Vesuvius on our left with the Gulf of Naples on our right, through the small town of Castellammare di Stabia because of work on the main highway, and through several tunnels on our way south and around the bend to the west towards Sorrento. There were times when I was concerned that our bus driver was falling asleep, and Giancarlo seemed concerned too, prodding him on more than one occasion during the trip. After existing the last of the tunnels, as the coastline curved back to the left at Montechiaro, we were treated to a panoramic overlook of Piano di Sorrento, Sant'Agnello, and Sorrento below. Our first stop was actually a family farm - Agriturismo Fondo Galatea - and we had to exit our larger bus and board the farm's smaller bus to traverse a narrow one way street - the driver honking all the way - down to the facility. We walked down the driveway to enter a covered patio where tables were set up. There, we sampled fresh mozzarella cheese, bread and olive oil, olives, salami, wine and limoncello, all of which was delicious. While we ate, we witnessed a demonstration of how mozzarella takes shape and form in molds. We then walked further down the driveway to see where some of the products - such as the limoncello - are made, and also saw a tree that was growing both lemons and oranges. After the farm, we headed down the hill to Sorrento, but first stopped in a wood inlay factory (in the basement of the Lucky Store) and saw various beautiful, expensive pieces for sale. The two of us then ventured into the quaint city, walking through it to the coastline where we enjoyed several awesome views from near the Piazza della Vittoria and, as our guide suggested, the Villa Comunale, a park that overlooks beaches and the Port of Sorrento. We then made our way through the Piazza Sant'Antonino to the Piazza Tasso where we enjoyed an original Margherita pizza (thin crusted, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and basil leaves) at the Pizzeria Aurora. With limited time left before our group's rendezvous time, we walked too quickly down Via S. Cesareo and the Corso Italia for shopping (I stopped to sample some Gelato) before - getting help in - finding Via Antonino Sersale back to the Lucky Store. We all boarded the bus and headed back the same way we'd come from Naples that morning towards Pompeii. What struck me initially about Pompeii's Archeological Park was how it was located in an urban area: the city of Pompeii, which is indistinguishable from the surrounding area's towns with Google Earth. Yet here in the heart of Pompeii is this park which houses the ancient city, that was discovered and much of it has been uncovered after being buried by the volcanic ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. I was also aware that it was now almost 3 PM and was concerned that our tour of Pompeii would be too short to get much from it, especially since our guide dropped us off in a Cameo factory while he went to buy our tickets. But my concerns were unwarranted as Giancarlo gave us an excellent tour of the ruins; I feel that we got a very comprehensive feel of the time, the people, their houses and shops, the class system, the public areas, baths, house of ill-repute, and infrastructure including the roads, their design for cleanliness, as well as the aqueducts and water system. While there were crowds, it probably wasn't as crowded as it had been earlier in the day, and in less than 3 hours I think we got an adequate understanding of it. We made it back to the ship around 6 PM, just 30 minutes from All Onboard (definitely our closest call for the cruise), and then had to walk through shops - and less security - in, up, down, and then around the outside of the port's terminal building before boarding the Jewel. While my spouse got ready for dinner, I remembered to go to the Business Center to print the boarding passes for our flight home, but was dismayed to discover that I'd have to buy at least 1 hour of Wi-Fi to do so! I decided to go to the Crown & Anchor Society Loyalty Desk where the attendant allowed me to use his computer to accomplish the task. Returning to our cabin to collect my spouse, we made our way to the Photo Gallery to choose which ones to buy from our formal nights before enjoying the Farewell in the theatre - Carlo Truzzi & Simona - who did a shadow show, their hands mimicking various wildlife and celebrities, set to music, and our last supper in the MDR, handing tip envelopes to our two waiters. WEDNESDAY (Day 10 - 5,849 steps/2.2 miles/3 floors) We opted for the walk-off-the-ship option; I had previously saved a couple of donuts and bananas (which took days to ripen) from the WJ for breakfast. After leaving an envelope for Denis, we departed with all our luggage and headed for the fourth floor. We actually had to get on the elevator going up if we ever expected to find room on one with all the passengers heading down from the WJ above. It wasn't clear from the instructions left in our room where we were supposed to meet, or that we couldn't actually get off the ship until 7 AM, but we found our way despite getting conflicting and incorrect information from two different Royal employees. Our driver was a few minutes late to pick us up, but just about the time another employee of the same company started to help, he showed up. It was the same driver, and he whisked us to Terminal 3 at the Rome airport, where we had to find our way first to Delta Air Lines and then through to the security line. After standing like sheep with everyone else for 20 minutes or so, when we got to the front we noticed the express line to the left and asked the airport employee whether the TSA PRE CHECK on our ticket meant we could use it. Using her own credentials on the ticket scan, she helped us skip the longer x-ray machine line by going through the Fast Pass on the left. We were amazed by the shopping mall like insides of the airport where you could buy virtually anything "duty-free", but proceeded on to our gate where we had 3+ hours until departure. I believe we could have made the 9:30 AM flight, but ours was at 12:45 PM. However, since the FCO airport had free Wi-Fi, at least we were able to get reconnected. No water fountains anywhere! Using the vending machines, 1.5 Euro/bottle, is better than buying bottles from the airport vendors for 3+ Euros. Thankful for our Sky priority boarding, we were able to board fairly quickly for our 11+ hour flight home. Again, sleeping was not possible so I watched four movies while receiving 3-4 different food services on the plane. It was almost 6 PM Atlanta time when we landed and we made it through customs, called the Park n Ride Plus shuttle, and when we finally arrived home it was 8 PM. ONE THING we didn't do on this cruise that we've done on the last couple is book our Next Cruise while onboard. For one, I noticed that we got a great deal booking this cruise right after Royal announced it, and those announcements for 2020-2021 are later this month. For another, we're not yet sure where we want to go for our next cruise. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I decided to try a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary. After a week in Italy, we boarded at Civitavecchia and off we went. We were very pleased with our room (a balcony room). It was larger than expected, with ... Read More
My husband and I decided to try a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary. After a week in Italy, we boarded at Civitavecchia and off we went. We were very pleased with our room (a balcony room). It was larger than expected, with plenty of storage (didn't even pull out the hooks I'd been told to bring), and a very comfortable bed. The bathroom had great ventilation and smells didn't linger. We spent most of the days on shore, but when we were on the ship we enjoyed the buffet breakfasts in the Windjammer (ate breakfast at Tides once, but found it too slow and not any better food quality), and our dinners at the Tides restaurant. I wondered if we would enjoy sitting with other people each night at the 6pm seating, but it actually added to our experience. We got to know our fellow diners a little, and enjoyed finding out what they had done that day and what they had planned for the next. We really enjoyed our dinners every night, too. The food was wonderful, and our waiters were so awesome. We tried two of the specialty restaurants, Chops and Giovanni's Table, and enjoyed our food (and our table at the window) at both of them. I swam in the pool once (small but nice) and read a book on the pool deck (had to crawl onto my lounge chair from the foot, they were so close together) on our first at sea day, but the second at sea day was cold and rainy, so we stayed in. We used the gym a couple of times, and it had plenty of equipment and wasn't too crowded. We saw a couple of the shows at the Coral Theater, which we enjoyed, and a couple of movies at the cinema (seats were a little well-used, and we laughed at the English subtitles on the English movies, but it was all fine). I attended the first day's orientation for new cruisers and gained some useful information, and we also went to one game show (a family feud type show) that was funny. My husband and I agreed that every crew member we encountered, from our room steward to the security people getting back on board to the harrassed wait staff at the Windjammer during busy meals, was as absolutely delightful as could be. They seemed genuinely friendly and eager to make our stay the best it could be. I have to eat gluten free, and I was always able to get something good, although sometimes I had to do a little work to do so. I found out a few days in that they had GF waffles at breakfast if you asked for them, and the 5th day I got a piece of GF chocolate cake at dinner (when I asked the right person--I had previously been told there wasn't any such thing). Generally, though, I just had to go with naturally GF food, like salads, omelets, bacon, steaks, potatoes, creme brulees, fruit, etc. Luckily these were easily available. We had some unexpected schedule changes, but the ship handled them all very well. We were headed to Mykonos, but there was a passenger with a medical emergency, so we went to Athens that day instead. They let us know around noon the day before (we were at sea), so we had time to change our plans. When we were coming into the port at Naples, some ship in front of us made some steering mistakes and backed up traffic to the point that we docked about 2 hours late. The ship gave us an extra hour that night before we had to be back on board. We bought the internet package (the Voom wifi) since my husband had to work while we were there, and we found the internet to be generally strong and fast, and it worked all over the ship. Pricey, but worth it for us. Overall, as you can tell, we had a great experience, and even my skeptical husband agreed that we will definitely cruise again in the future. Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The staff was rude. The waiters were the only ones who actually showed concern and politeness on the entire cruise. We were forced to wait on the stairs for hours after our flights because they didn’t finish cleaning the ship. We couldnt ... Read More
The staff was rude. The waiters were the only ones who actually showed concern and politeness on the entire cruise. We were forced to wait on the stairs for hours after our flights because they didn’t finish cleaning the ship. We couldnt even wash our faces after a 18 hr flight. We were late getting into Naples and had to sit in the theater for over 2 plus hours waiting to get off the ship. We never had anything restocked in our bathroom unless we asked. The entire ship had to take a cold shower the second to last day of the cruise becaue of the fact that no one had hot water. Our toilet stopped working for two days at one point. It was a cruise that didn’t care about the happiness or comfort of the people and it’s a shame that Royal Caribbean would consider this ship and this treatment of its clients acceptable. You have lost a valuable client because of this and me and my family will never travel with this company again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Day one was a red flag. The ship was being sanitized from the prior sailing. We get it. The Captain came on the intercom a number of times and harshly scolded the passengers. There should have been advertised activities for all to do. ... Read More
Day one was a red flag. The ship was being sanitized from the prior sailing. We get it. The Captain came on the intercom a number of times and harshly scolded the passengers. There should have been advertised activities for all to do. Most people just sat and even laid in the common areas for hours. The Windjammer cafeteria was a disaster. Below par food. Lines and not enough tables to accomodate the guests. The staff seemed robotic. Very little interaction with the guests. The main dining room,Tides, was not much better. I was unable to get a ginger ale till the third night?? Our cabin was worn. I understand, but clean the mirrors, and the bathroom floor and toilet. I received nothing I asked for. The room service menu was not hung in its place because the steward would have to pick up the mess!!!!! The ship did not cater to the passengers. We were held captive on a ship from hell. The BEST was getting off the ship. We were express which meant going to deck five and waiting outside at 6:30 am for over an hour with no where to sit. The line became very long about 300 people. Soon the line moved and about half of us were off the ship when the Captain called for numbers 1-10. We were just passing thru the Theater when everyone stood up and pushed into our existing line. The group in front of us got into pushing, shoving and swearing. The RC staffers turned their heads. I will never sail on RCCL again. The whole package needs trained and especially the top brass should be ashamed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I knew it wasn't going to be a good thing when I received an email telling me embarkation wouldn't begin until after 1 PM for a 5 o'clock departure. We were onboard after 2 PM and went to the buffet. It looked like a shark ... Read More
I knew it wasn't going to be a good thing when I received an email telling me embarkation wouldn't begin until after 1 PM for a 5 o'clock departure. We were onboard after 2 PM and went to the buffet. It looked like a shark feeding frenzy. It wasn't possible to get a table since everyone got on board late and relatively at the same time. We opted to skip the buffet and hang out by the pool. We weren't allowed to go to our rooms since the previous cruise came back to port with several hundred ill passengers due to the Noro virus. The entire ship was being disinfected which meant they were s[praying every inch of it with some kind of sticky substance. Five o'clock came and went and we were still docked. the only announcements being made were to stay away from our rooms. At 5:45 we finally sailed away. We ate dinner and were finally allowed to go to our rooms at 8:30. Once we got to our room, it was still dirty! The bathroom lacked soap, towels, tissue and toilet paper. We couldn't even find our room steward to help with supplies so we just pilfered an unattended cart for supplies. WE saw a crew member shortly after that and asked about our luggage. she told us the staff was too busy to deliver the suitcases but we could go to the front of the ship and collect our own. We found our suitcase sitting outside of two different rooms on our deck in the front of the ship. Our room steward did the minimum to get by the entire time. As an example, he left an empty kleenex box in its holder. I had to ask him for a new one. He brought it to our room while we were gone and just dropped it onto the dresser leaving the old empty one in the bathroom! Terrible way to start the cruise! The only shining stars on board the ship were our wait staff in the main dining room. Natalia and Inzamar was excellent night after night. They were the only ones we tipped extra $ to. The food in the main dining room was consistently good. We ate at Chops one night it was was delicious, highly recommend doing it at least once. The windjammer was your typical buffet with lots of choices. The ports were all new to us so we enjoyed most of them. We did find Athens to be dirty and covered in graffiti. The Acropolis is a must see. Santorini and Malta are both wonderful. The ship was in good shape and clean. The cruise director and staff provided games and entertainment both inside and by the pool to keep people entertained. We saw every variety/magic show and they were all good. A Tango night in the theatre was excellent with professional dancers. Overall we enjoyed the cruise even though we got off to a bad start. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise on Jewel. Ports included Valletta, Sanotini & Athens. All new stops to us which was great. Highlight of the cruise was pre-dinner drinks in the Scooner bar each evening chatting with the bar ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise on Jewel. Ports included Valletta, Sanotini & Athens. All new stops to us which was great. Highlight of the cruise was pre-dinner drinks in the Scooner bar each evening chatting with the bar stewards and other guests. This was followed by an excellent dinner each evening in Tides which was greatly enhanced by our table companions Beth & Mark and our waiters Surachai and Deevesh on table 491. The waiters were extremely welcoming, very professional, knowledgeable about the food and the wine and really good fun. Thanks guys for 9 amazing meals. We had a balcony stateroom on deck 9 which was lovely. Very clean and comfortable as usual. We enjoyed spending time on the balcony as we cruised in to and out of the ports. Valletta, Malta was particularly stunning. Really enjoyed our trip to the Acropolis in Athens through RCI. Loved Jewel, love cruising and love Royal Caribbean. Can’t wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We did a Mediterranean cruise before and loved it. This was fantastic too. Waking up in new country or port. So much to see and do. Did a day trip booked thru to ship and although a bit pricey, it was a fabulous day. Booked other ... Read More
We did a Mediterranean cruise before and loved it. This was fantastic too. Waking up in new country or port. So much to see and do. Did a day trip booked thru to ship and although a bit pricey, it was a fabulous day. Booked other excursions with outside contractor and our ship was late getting in and been allowed to disembark passengers. Missed our tour completely. Sad because Naples was terrible but the tour we should have done was awesome. Disappointed as we won’t go back again. The Greek islands are amazing, beautiful scenery and great weather when we went in October. Ship sailed from Civitaveccia We travelled by train from Rome and stayed at Civitaveccia. Lovely place to stay. We booked into a B&B. Highly recommend staying there before boarding the ship. We had been to Rome before on our first cruise and had a good look at the sites. A must place to visit. The cruise was so great busy all the time. The Jewel is a terrific ship, I would highly recommend this cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I had cabin 1062. Right next to suites in the middle of the 10 deck. We had carts rolling around our ceiling at various times day and night. Except for a few meals, the food was average at best. The staff was often unprepared ... Read More
My wife and I had cabin 1062. Right next to suites in the middle of the 10 deck. We had carts rolling around our ceiling at various times day and night. Except for a few meals, the food was average at best. The staff was often unprepared and/or poorly trained. We had a virus that ran through the ship. The medical staff was wonderful. The ship staff closed deck games for hours on days at sea. The entertainment was disappointing. The big song and dance shows were nonsensical and contained music that was unfamiliar to all. The wait time were unacceptable. 15 minutes at dinner, 2 hours to clear the ship at port and 39 to 45 minutes waiting to board tenders. Our room steward, Rosen was fantastic. The debarkation process was the best we’ve had. There’s really too much to mention. I won’t sail RCI again in the future. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise