So, we've been on The Jewel of the Seas before, and it was fine. Signed up for this one because of easy access to Boston, and we love Bermuda. We've been there several times. Checking in was easy and the ship was nice. A little ... Read More
So, we've been on The Jewel of the Seas before, and it was fine. Signed up for this one because of easy access to Boston, and we love Bermuda. We've been there several times. Checking in was easy and the ship was nice. A little frayed around the edges here and there but no big detriment.
Our biggest complaint was not being able to get potable water easily. We need to drink a lot and brought several water bottles with us. The water in the bathroom sink was heavily chlorinated and tasted bad. The fountains all say not to fill your bottles there; well, we had to, as there was no where else! And every time we wanted water, we had to go up to the Cafe to get it. Why not have bottled water in the room fridge? They do not cost that much! Add $20 to each room fee to pay for it for crying out loud. Soda is another story. What does a can of soda cost when purchased in bulk? A quarter? Then why charge $4 for it? How about have soda/water machines on each floor where you can put in $1 and get what you want? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth for being ripped off. I know they all do it, but why not have people clamoring to your cruise line to not feel ripped off? Be the first cruise line to provide free soda, it costs less than the fresh squeezed lemonade.
Went to main dining room the first night. WHY do we have to sit with strangers, especially ones who ignore you? And the tables are so big, you can't even talk to the people across from you without shouting. Have an option for couples who are anti-social. (I know, why go on a cruise then? We like Bermuda, and it's the easiest cheapest way to get there!) So we opted to go to the buffet instead. A couple times we tried the main dining room again for lunch and breakfast, but were not impressed with what we ordered and then had nothing to eat. (Who's going to order another whole meal from the menu?) My husband ate salads, spaghetti, pizza and burgers every night. He complained the desserts were no good, (I found a couple I liked) and he has a huge sweet tooth. Also, it was very difficult to get a private table to eat at in the Windjammer. A could of times we had to go outside to the Cantina adjacent, which was a bit cool in October in the Northeast. The staff in the Windjammer were very efficient at removing your used plates and asking if you want coffee (I had to dilute the coffee with 1/2 hot water, as it was SUPER strong). The music in Windjammer almost drove us out. It was all modern girl bands shrieking and repeating the same lines (OK, I will admit I am 60, but 85% of the people onboard were ever older) The first day it was music I knew and liked, and then someone changed the channel! There were NO special food events like chocolate night or pool party BBQs; that made for a boring cruise, every day was the same old food, same old place. One night, they had a taco bar and there was a long line for it, it was great! Why not have that every night? People liked it! I can't see paying $50 each to eat in a "Specialty" restaurant, when you already paid to eat somewhere else.... it makes no sense to me!
The entertainment was average. We've been on other ships where the comedians made you laugh so much that your face hurt. So I am not hard to please. And the shows, well, the singers and dancers were very talented and worked their tails off, costumes were delightful. But the shows they chose were a scrambled mismatch of snippets of something that I am unfamiliar with. And very loud. The best songs were when one singer did a solo; when they all sang together it sounded more like shouting, and you could not understand the words. The band was very brassy sounding, so maybe they had to sing loud to be heard. Trivia was OK, some really difficult questions and not many people scored higher than 10 out of 20. We won on other ships, this one, nothing. Maybe we got stupid over the years. Haha. The staff was not overly friendly or funny, except for Diego, he was hilarious.
As many cruises, we felt that we were being squeezed for extra money everywhere we turned. I did ask to have the gratuities taken off, and paid our room steward in cash instead, as he was the only one we felt actually helped us in any way. We did not eat in the dining room and had to get our own food every day. The few drinks we had to buy had 18% added already (I figured out after adding another 20% the first time!) I will admit to being a cheapskate. $20 for a photo that costs a few cents to produce, and you are going to throw it away anyways if I don't buy it! Some things don't make sense to me.
We did no excursions, but rented Oleander scooters in King's Wharf. For $55 each day (plus $30 one time insurance), they are the best and most fun way to see everything on the island and have our freedom to do as we pleased. We bring snorkel gear and go to Jobson's Cove, the best beach as far as we are concerned. In conclusion, I hope other cruise lines will consider departure from Boston to points southern and warm. I am tired of Norwegian and RC, but those are the options if you don't want to fly. Read Less