Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Jasukkie
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
Embarkation in Miami: surprisingly slow. The security scan part was very quick, but the line upstairs took quite awhile.
Overall ship: some wear and tear is evident. I like the navy blue and nautical themes. Jewel is classic Royal Caribbean style. There are places where the carpet is getting thin, with minor cosmetic damage to walls, trim, flooring. This didn't impact my cruise but it is noticeable. There is also a very occasional vague sewage smell we noted. I'm not sure what that's from. We both smelled it and commented when it reappeared. Fortunately it was not constant. Smoking is a problem, which I will describe later.
Food and Service: We gave up on the main dining room and retreated to the Windjammer. It was comically slow dining room service. Our waiter just didn't seem to get certain things and the assistant waiter just disappeared. One glass of water is apparently all you can get at dinner. Coffee orders were taken after you were served dessert. I was on this cruise to relax and Windjammer was the answer. I've been on other ships where you struggled to find a table at WJ, but Jewel has wonderful seating options, both inside and outside. There was always something I was happy to eat and it didn't take 2 hours. The staff there was wonderful. The Solarium snack bar had some okay choices for later night snacks but Jewel is lacking in options if you are used to the bigger ships.
Bars and lounges: I can't speak to the scene in the Diamond Lounge but the bars were quite sedate. This was not a party crowd lol. No problems with service.
Things to do: we pretty much did out own thing. There seemed to be a decent amount of stuff in the cruise compass if you are looking for it. I was always happy to hear Rosario Strings playing as we passed through the Centrum. We really enjoyed the movie offerings, though the cinema is too small. Loved the evening movie by the pool option.
Cabin: we were midship on deck 7 in a balcony, overlooking the lifeboat roofs. I actually didn't mind the roofs as it made it feel more private than being open to the promenade deck. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage, everything worked. I was glad I had brought a multiport charging plug extender thing.
The ports: Awesome!! Each port was new to us and we loved them all. I had never heard of Alicante before this trip and I really hope to go back there for a longer stay sometime. We had fantastic weather in Spain. April in Valencia is not to be missed. We did an Airbnb experience there which was phenomenal. Uber is inexpensive in Valencia and very handy.
The Problem With Jewel: The Centrum design, and smoking. I just don't understand the Centrum as an event space. The floor accommodates about 20 people max, and then people can look over from balconies. You have poor acoustics, with someone on a microphone hawking art auctions or whatever, it's not pleasant. The bigger problem is the smoke, which is sucked out of the casino and up the Centrum which acts as a chimney, spreading smoke up and out. Royal has no doubt crunched the numbers and decided they make more money out of smokers in the casino then they lose from people who don't come back. If you are a smoker, this is your ship. The rules are on your side. For me, it will make me think long and hard about going on Radiance class again. If you are allergic/asthmatic, stay away! I wish they would just add the sealed smoking rooms you see at airports.
All in all though, this was a wonderful vacation. This ship is more for relaxing than exciting activities. There is no flowrider or sky diving simulator. It draws an older, quieter crowd of experienced cruisers.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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