Sail Date: March 2019
Great ship, Andrea, the cruise director is a gem. Afternoon concerts across the pond were great. Food ok but very boring; it is unfortunate that Adrea’s Enthusiasm does not rub off on balance of crew. Luggage handling, and shore ... Read More
Great ship, Andrea, the cruise director is a gem. Afternoon concerts across the pond were great. Food ok but very boring; it is unfortunate that Adrea’s Enthusiasm does not rub off on balance of crew. Luggage handling, and shore excursion desk beyond poor. Expansion of diamond lounge was a great move. Luggage confiscated without notification or cause. Incorrect and conflicting information on shore excursions. No one at desk would double check with vendor for correct information. I completed a cruise questioner on day 6, all above comments mentioned and ignored. Sometimes simple things can be best: egg drop, master chef contest, free speciality coffee, all great ideas. By what appeared to be a concerned crew, but lack of follow up in many other areas disappointing. Made my time dining reservations six months out, but had to change time due to another person. Entertainment was the cruise highlight, as was my mate Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of dates and thought we would try something new. Reviews were good. We travel Celebrity as a rule. Use TAs as transportation Extremely disappointed in this ship. Food was absolutely inedible. First night in Giovanni’s ordered filet medium well.. was medium rare and took 25 minutes for another. Too late. Tho the shrimp was good Chops Ok MDR service poor except for one evening. One night we sat for 20 minutes and finally asked for a server. Food poor. Buffet the same. Fresh Vegetables looking worse for wear within days of sailing. Jello for dessert! Public areas not clean. Restrooms dirty. Paper on floor. Men’s restroom not clean around toilets. We spoke with housekeeping but to no avail. The “canned” air in cabins debilitating in spite of our balcony. Too much smoking...can’t believe people allowed to smoke INSIDE the casino On a positive note...liked layout of the ship. The crew was fabulous! They truly cared about their passengers. They did a nice happy hour for diamond etc every night. Nice to have decent coffee in diamond club. Our cabin steward was terrific. Our cabin was nice. Officers were disengaged. When I saw an officer and spoke to him or her I usually got little or no response I’m sorry to say it was a terrible experience. We shall never use RCL again. We are back To Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We liked the ports of call and finish in Rome. The food was not great. Windjammer had very small selection for lunch but dining room at lunch was the best better than dining room at night.Theater entertainment was great very good ... Read More
We liked the ports of call and finish in Rome. The food was not great. Windjammer had very small selection for lunch but dining room at lunch was the best better than dining room at night.Theater entertainment was great very good choices specialty the classic series and Forever group.Embarkation was slow and disorganized same at ports .One thing they did not pay much attention to washing hands at the venues sometimes machines was empty. Dining room waiter and assisted we had were excellent in general everyplace waiters were absolutely helpful. and good. We're nice set up for Crown Royalty members. We never met all the officer just few and on Capitan reception only cruise director and hotel manager excursion stuff. In many areas different than our other cruises on Royal. Food was good some days others not fish was or overcooked or not cooked enough. Desserts small choices specially at dinner time. Always pushing sales but merchandise is same all the time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could ... Read More
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could be improved was the lack of 24 hour food. The larger ships have a place where you can get some some savory and sweet snacks almost round-the-clock. One thing they added for the lunches in the dining room was some hot buffet and dessert. This combined with the tutti salad bar made the lunchtime much more enjoyable. Whoever thought of that gets a gold star. Otherwise the repeating lunch menu got tired real quick. As this was a repositioning cruise, the enrichment lectures were lacking. Could have done a little more. The port of Ponta Delgada is not as good a stop as Madeira or the Canary Islands. The service was excellent and the ship in good shape. Enjoyed the cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked it for the Cruise Destinations, thru the Panama. Started in San Diego, loved SD, stay at the Sheraton (close to airport and cruise port) and walked around, to Little Italy, the docks, Dinner at the Fish Market. We love the ... Read More
We picked it for the Cruise Destinations, thru the Panama. Started in San Diego, loved SD, stay at the Sheraton (close to airport and cruise port) and walked around, to Little Italy, the docks, Dinner at the Fish Market. We love the Jewel, food and service, superb! Clean and not small not huge. Los Cabos - walked around, visiting shops, stopped at a cpl bars for Mexican home made salsa and guac, Margaritas, people watching around the Marina, whale watching the 1st afternoon - private excursion about 8 of us so went out to Lands End too. Puerto Vallarta - met great friends and went to Marriott Resort, day pass, had access to pool and Ocean, lounge chairs, bar and food, was beautiful, safe, fun! Peurto Quetzel, Guatamala- RC excursion - Coffee Plantation etc, very good narration out to the farm and sight seeing there and back. Great coffee too! Punterenas Cost Rica, did a private excursion with 6 new cruise buddies, comfy, AC van, with Dimas Saravua Azcarate Tours, met us at the dock, wild monkey stop - not a stop on the road but natural habitat private farm area, zipling - outstanding, and Wild Adventures Croc cruise in the river, then lunch on one of the nearby mtns overlooking the Ocean and countryside, Dimas was Great! the whole excursion was well done and appreciated by all of us! Panama Canal - one day thru the locks - narrated thru out the day on the ship, and views were cool! Colon Panama - we had nothing planned for this port but go to the Free Zone, somewhat disappointed, once outside of the Cruise/Port gates, it was messy and chaos, with construction, dirty, garbage, difficult to traverse to free zone shopping, stores were dirty and nothing really great for sales....back to the ship! Cartagena Columbia - Our best surprise, clean, fun, Port, went to Teirra Bomba island, private excursion to a private beach bar location the Beach Bomba, we got to arranged pick up area, there was 8 of us, quick boat ride and great beach, water, beer, food Pina's, etc We had a Balcony SR, on the 7th which gives you extended balcony room, so the xtra room was nice! Entertainment was good, we made our own gathering and fun. great at Chops, Chefs Dinner, Mystery Who Done it Dinner, Azumi and Giavonnis, all outstanding! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We typically cruise with Carnival, but wanted to do a full transit through the Panama Canal, which Carnival rarely offers. So we booked a cruise on Jewel of the Seas, we have been on Explorer of the Seas back in 2002. We have been on nine ... Read More
We typically cruise with Carnival, but wanted to do a full transit through the Panama Canal, which Carnival rarely offers. So we booked a cruise on Jewel of the Seas, we have been on Explorer of the Seas back in 2002. We have been on nine cruises, we are in our mid sixties, husband and wife. We have never had a bad cruise and we did enjoy Jewel, Some people might be upset that I am doing a comparison, but it may help explain our views on the ship and may help others deciding what cruise line is best for them. Our cruise left on March 13th out of San Diego, we did an overnight in Cabo San Lucas, next port was Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal Guatemala, Puntarenas Costa Rica, cruising through the Canal, Colon Panama, Cartagena Columbia, ending in Miami on March 29th. Embarkation: We arrived a day early in San Diego and stayed at The Courtyard in Liberty Station. Embarkation on the 13th seemed to take longer than Carnivals, with both there are long lines, Carnival seems to move all the time, we stood barely moving in Royals lines for about 45 minutes. We headed to Windjammer for lunch as expected, it was crowded. Lido Marketplace on Carnival is even more difficult to get a seat on the first day, but Carnival has alternatives to go to and avoid the crowd, we usually go to Guy’s Pig and Anchor BBQ or Pasta Bella, which are free for lunch but away from the crowds. It would have been nice to have an alternative on Jewel, say lunch in the main dining room. Ship Décor: Jewel of the Seas is much more toned down and drab, I am used to the bright, flashy décor on Carnival. That being said, she is a lovely ship once I got used to the subdued look. I found her very easy to learn my way about the ship, I rarely got lost. The Coral Theater have great line of sight and as long as you arrived to the shows about 30 minutes early, there was no problem finding a great seat. Most shows were full by the time they started. Windjammer could get very crowded, but we tend to eat lunch early and I loved the outside tables. The main dining room was nice too, but I felt the tables were too crowded together, it could be difficult just maneuvering to get to your table. Schooner Bar and Safari Club were lovely; we often got an afternoon drink at the Schooner Bar. And I often read or did my sewing (appliqué) sitting in Vintages, I loved the big windows to look out. We don’t gamble, though the casino was quite pretty and we don’t use the spa or gym. The Solarium was probably the most beautiful part of the ship, both in the décor and plants, it beats Carnival’s Serenity hands down in ambiance. I was really looking forward to spending time here, boy was I disappointed. There are not only lounge chairs, but there are tables with chairs which is nice when getting a snack at Solarium Café. But what happened is that groups of people would come and sit at the tables, conversing loudly, spoiling what should be a quiet area. On cool days, people who sit at the outdoor pool took all the seating inside. Noisy music from the pool deck bled in every time the doors opened. And I found the bird noises annoying after a short time. After the first two days of trying to enjoy the Solarium, I was chased off by the lack of serenity to the area. I ended up spending the time I would have in the Solarium at Vintages. Cabin: We almost always get a balcony cabin. First off, I was disappointed that the view over the side of the ship was obstructed by the roof over the lifeboats. You could look out just fine, but not down to see the ship cutting through the water. This was my mistake as I should have checked to see if there was a sight line down (if you have a balcony at the front of the ship, the roof does not extend there). The room itself felt smaller than Carnival’s cabins, it only had a loveseat instead of a sofa. But Jewel’s actual balcony was probably twice as large as what we get on Carnival. The railing on Jewel was right at sightline when sitting in the chair, you had to bend down to see the horizon. Carnival’s is positioned differently as I never had a problem seeing the horizon. The bed was fine, a bit hard but we had no trouble sleeping on it. The cabins seemed to be soundproofed well, either that or we had quiet neighbors. We did not get much hall noise either (unlike Carnival where the partiers make a lot of noise). The bathroom has less storage of toiletries than Carnival, but the shower with a door is far better than Carnival’s curtain which does not keep the water in. Entertainment: The shows offered in the Coral Theater were good to excellent. My biggest problem was the lack of choices. There was usually one show: dance production, singers, comedian, juggler, hypnotist, etc. Carnival offers a show in the theater and four different routines in the comedy club every night. We were always busy going back and forth. On Jewell we usually went to bed after the show, nothing else offered that interested us. (We are not into Trivia or karaoke). There were a few shows in the Centrum, like finish the phrase, copy cat, dance moves which were entertaining, but seating was limited around the Centrum. Live Music: We enjoyed the Jewel Orchestra very much, supper talented bunch of musicians. There was duo of strings offered occasionally in Centrum and Mood Icons were good. Activities: My favorite activity on Jewel was the knit, crochet, and sew group that met every sea day in Vintages. I had brought handwork specifically for sea days and was pleased to see they offered a group meeting (self lead). I met several wonderful ladies that share a passion of handiwork. Bingo is another favorite of ours, but the bingo costs more than on Carnival. We typically buy six cards to play, Carnival offers this for $29.95 for three games. Jewel had a six card offered for $29.95 for one game a couple of times and $39.95 for three games other times. A lot of money to play bingo. But I have to admit, the final day of bingo on Royal is better. Carnival offers $5000.00 in a coverall, but if no one wins after 50 balls are drawn, reverts back to just a percentage of the take. Royal offers a free cruise and they play until someone wins. We also signed up for the galley tour which we were very interested in, it was offered three times during the cruise. It was offered on the first sea day, we wanted to explore the ship. We booked the second time it was offered, but found out it was the same time as the lecture on the building of the canal, which we did not want to miss. So we booked it the last sea day, showed up and were told it was canceled due to lack of attendance. Fellow Cruisers: We usually do a seven day cruise on Carnival and you do get a lot of partiers. For a 16 day cruise I figured it would be an older crowd and I was right, my guess is the medium age was 70s to early 80s. The other interesting thing we noticed, Carnival sells a lot of beer, very few people had beer on Jewell. The drink of choice is wine. The activities reflected that this is an older group. Dress in the dining room: Carnival and Jewell are very similar in dress code. We had three formal nights, few ball gowns and suits, but mostly nice dresses and sport coats and ties. Casual was the same for both, my husband wore shorts every night with nothing said. My Time Dining: When I booked the cruise the traditional dining was booked full for the early slot and I don’t like to eat late. So I booked My Time Dining. I found that I could book a reservation for My Time Dining, which I did for 6:00 pm every day. It worked out wonderfully, we had the same table for two every night right at a window. Granted the tables for two were close together and we really liked the two couples next to us at tables for two. But if we had not cared for them, we could have ignored them as we weren’t really sitting with them. We always walked right in and were seated immediately. Crew and Staff: This was the biggest jolt to me, on Carnival every single employee whether staff or deck hand, met your eyes when passing and have a smile on their face. I was shocked at how the crew usually avoided eye contact and rarely smiled. They did not make me feel welcome on the ship. Our personal attendants in the stateroom and in the dining room were fantastic. Very attentive and made sure our every request was met. There were many attendants in Windjammer that were friendly and happy to see us. On Carnival I would say that 99% of the employees have a smile on their face and are happy to see me, even just passing. Royal I would say maybe 50% are that way. We saw the cruise director at the beginning of the shows in the Coral Theater and that is about all we ever saw him. Carnival’s cruise directors are much more visible and inactive with the passengers. We always have a Q & A with Carnival’s cruise director which is very entertaining. Not so on the Jewel. Food: This is a very subjective topic, but we found the food to be good to excellent. Windjammer at lunch had a great variety and usually very good. We loved the curry dishes and they usually had all different kinds of roast chicken, stews, and good assortment of vegetables. But, Carnival has Guy’s Burgers and the Mexican Cantina, which are fantastic. Windjammer had hamburgers that I would not even try, they looked gray and dry. Windjammer usually has cookies, mousse, custard pies, a chocolate cake and fruit for dessert. Sometimes a warm dessert was offered such as rice pudding or peach cobbler. Carnival has a dessert station with tempting an assortment cakes and pastries. The main dining room had good food, just not much variety. Appetizers had two to three different offerings, then always had French Onion soup, Cesar salad, shrimp cocktail, and maybe a few more. Main offerings usually had two seafood, a beef, lamb or duck, a vegetarian, and always had a roast chicken breast and New York Strip. Desserts had two different options, then every night had cheesecake, crème Brule, chocolate cake, fruit and ice cream. Carnival’s menus have very few repeats in any category. We happened to go up twice after dinner to see what Windjammer had and felt we might be better off there. One time they had a whole roast turkey, what was offered in the main dining room was turkey roll. On the last night they had a chocolate buffet (which was not advertised in the compass). Beverage packages; We do not usually buy beverage packages, I don’t drink much and my husband has a beer or two. On Jewel they offered a refreshment package, which I was able to buy just for me. This is a great deal. In the morning I would get specialty coffee at the Lattatudes, at breakfast I would get fresh squeezed orange juice and I used the freestyle machines to get soda , sparkling water and carbonated water, in different flavors It does not include alcohol but I was very satisfied to get fruit slushies at night. It was a great package and I would buy it again in a heartbeat (I got it on a black Friday sale for $17.00 a day). My husband likes beer on tap and Jewel offered 10 beer for $49.50 (they had to be on tap, which works for him). App on board: On Jewel we had to use a paper to find out activities (the compass). For menus we had to find an interactive screen near the dining room. For our bill, we had to look on the TV. This all seems very primitive compared to the Carnival App. On the Carnival App (at no charge) we can see menus for the entire cruise, hours of operation, all activities (and can like them so it reminds us when it is coming up and tell us which of our party is going), our shipboard charges, all on our phone. And there is a chat feature to talk to others in my party for $5.00, one time charge. Conclusion: When considering a cruise, if all ports and time is equal, we will choose a Carnival cruise. But I now love a long cruise, which Carnival does not offer. I would certainly book another Royal cruise, on the whole I was pretty happy with it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Nice ship, just the right size for this type of cruise. Nice crew. The waiters in the main ding room went out of their way to remember what your favorite food items were. Disappointed that our spacious ocean view balcony was really an ... Read More
Nice ship, just the right size for this type of cruise. Nice crew. The waiters in the main ding room went out of their way to remember what your favorite food items were. Disappointed that our spacious ocean view balcony was really an obstructed barely ocean view balcony (still awaiting a response from RCCL on that one). Good food. Windjammer was actually a nice experience on this ship with a great variety at lunch. Excellent Chef’s Table. Service slow in both Giovanni’s and Chops, but good food. Decent shows. Five of the six ports were good, the exception being Colon, Panama - a disgusting, dirty, garbage strewn city as soon as you leave the confines of the port. The only good part of our tour was going to the Agua Clara Locks Visitor Center, but we barely had any time there. Thrilling to transit the canal. Even though the ship is older, they keep it immaculate. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around ... Read More
Bucket-list cruise. Check-in was a bit rough: new program scanned my wife's passport and said she was born on some tropical island I've never heard of; a supervisor had to be called to update the location to NY. Night 2, around 9:45, we were in the Schooner bar having a drink and listening to Joy Wade the piano player. He was going along quite nicely, until he got bored or ran out of popular songs, and then started playing something that talked about sex and killing someone. There were a few nervous laughs from the folks sitting nearby, but we found it inappropriate and walked out. We're not prudes, but that was out of line. The rest of our cruise was great. We found the food in the main dining room to be much better than what we had on Freedom last year; even the choices in the Windjammer were better. The forays off the ship were eye-opening. We did a mix of RCCL and Costco excursions. We enjoyed them all, but driving through the impoverished areas with the shanties and garbage strewn everywhere made me feel sad. And Colon, Panama looked like Dresden after the bombings of WW2. Cartagena was beautiful. We did a Dora tour and we highly recommend it. 4 hours total between driving and walking around the city. The vendors are relentless, but a firm "No, gracias" usually did the trick. There was a running commentary during our Panama Canal transit, which was very informative. The ship was very clean, and the crew was constantly wiping down/disinfecting the common areas and handrails. We were asked EVERY day about dining in the specialty restaurants. We actually went to Chops Grill on embarkation day as part of The Key package, and dined at Giovanni's Table on the last night on board; both were excellent. Speaking of The Key, I highly recommend it. For 20 bucks per day per person, you get a lot of perks. We walked on the ship with the Diamond and Pinnacle folks, we had the free luncheon at Chops, we had the Voom Internet and streaming package on our phones for the whole cruise, we had some free and then half-price drinks, we had a bottle of sparkling wine waiting in our cabin on day 1, we had priority disembarkation at all the ports, we had reserved seats at all the shows, we had an a la carte breakfast in the dining room on the last day, and we could walk off the ship whenever we were ready to go. Everything was pretty smooth (even if the ocean wasn't on a couple of days, turning the pools into wave pools), until the day we ended in Miami. The breakfast for The Key was very nice, but afterwards, there was supposed to be someone there to escort folks to the gangway; it's no big deal, we found our way off the ship by ourselves. It was a nice touch to see Andrea, the cruise director, waiting by the gangway and wishing each guest safe travels. After getting our luggage and going through customs, there was no one from the crew directing people to the shuttle buses for the airports; there were crew members there with signs for excursions, though! We eventually found our ride, but a little nudge in the right direction would have helped. Overall, we had a really nice time on this once-in-a-lifetime (for us) cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
The Ship was Tired. The windows were either dirty and had not cleaned in a while or the plain were in need of replacement. The seals were clearly gone in the double pained windows and we watched water "sloshing" in one window ... Read More
The Ship was Tired. The windows were either dirty and had not cleaned in a while or the plain were in need of replacement. The seals were clearly gone in the double pained windows and we watched water "sloshing" in one window as the Ship rocked. Elevator lights did not function and this was common. Stateroom: Balcony door was difficult to open and handle was extremely lose. Dust bunnies under bed; closet doors did not close properly. Service: in dining room extremely slow-food often only warm and generally same menu everyday. In buffet food okay, cleanliness was lacking as tables were not always wiped and sanitized. Activities: good activities and friendly crew members when we took part. Children's clubs: N/A very few children on this cruise. Overall the programs are very good. Entertainment: very enjoyable! Missed shows from midpoint due to illness. Port and Shore Excursions: Only went on one "excursion" and enjoyed it. I was unable to take many excursions as I have difficulty with mobility and sitting long periods. Disembarkation: Scheduled Time was 2 hours later than arrival Posted on Cruise Info and this resulted in our having to change flights. We were sent to Hospital in Cabo day 14! A virus infected the Ship. Passengers and Crew were falling ill, yet it was not mentioned until day 13. By then it was too late as people were sick. Food was often served cold due to fewer wait staff in the dining room. Tables in the Windjammer (buffet) were improperly cleaned and appeared dirty. Staff were observed standing around talking to each other while tables sat with dirty dishes were often not cleared for a period after the guests had left. My partner ended up in the Medical Centre and the decision was made to send her to Hospital in Cabo San Lucas. When we were advised she would have to remain in hospital a few days as she had "Bacterial pneumonia" I attempted to return to the Ship to pack our belonging. I was informed by the hospital "your luggage is being packed for you and will be sent here for you." I wanted to pack our own belongings, but was not allowed to return. When our luggage arrived we discovered missing items so I phoned the Port Agent (which was listed on the Guest removal sheet) we were given. This went no where so 2 hours I phoned Royal Caribbean's Customer Service 1-800 number. I was simply told to fill in a lost and found report on chargerback.com. The items were listed on the sheet of items we were provided, however, we never received them. Numerous calls to Royal Caribbean has only left me running in circles. No resolution! We are left to believe it is simply not a major concern. Each time I called I received a slightly different response. The last response basically placed turned "missing items" into our responsibility. SUMMARY! The WORST Cruise we have ever been on! We have been on 16 in total. Ship needs a great deal of work (total refit) as there are many many areas that need attention. Food was okay, but disappointing! Ship packed our belongings and "items" were "MISSING". When I reported this my report was not taken seriously. Customer support was anything but supportive. Simply stated: we WILL NOT BE CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We selected this cruise since we have always wanted to see the canal. We decided this time of the year to get away from cold and snow in Kansas and to give my wife a break from her cancer treatments. We also made the cruise to celebrate ... Read More
We selected this cruise since we have always wanted to see the canal. We decided this time of the year to get away from cold and snow in Kansas and to give my wife a break from her cancer treatments. We also made the cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary and both our 72nd birthdays. We found the cruise extremely interesting, enjoyable and relaxing which is what we were wanting. The Jewel is a beautiful ship manned by a fantastic crew that were professional but friendly. The dinning room was clean and food was well prepared and quite tasty. We decided on an interior room which provided a darker room in case the wife wanted to rest during the day and we utilized the upper decks for sight seeing anyway. We had perfect weather during the entire cruise. A couple days of rough seas but nothing excessive. We had fun dinning mates at the table and formed some fantastic friendships that we will always remember. All in all a very good cruise that we would recommend to everyone. Read Less
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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