1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned home from Italy and Greece cruise on Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean. The crew was totally awesome but the ship and excursions left a lot to be desired. Upon arriving into our stateroom, a plate of strawberries had been ... Read More
Just returned home from Italy and Greece cruise on Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean. The crew was totally awesome but the ship and excursions left a lot to be desired. Upon arriving into our stateroom, a plate of strawberries had been left in the refrigerator from the previous cruise. The refrigerator didn't work and the strawberries had literally an inch of furry mold growing on them. We tried to overlook this due to knowing how overworked the crew is but that was just the beginning. Norovirus struck on the 2nd day and over 800 people were affected, including myself and missed my Athens Greece excursion. It took over 3 days to feel up to eating or going on the remainder scheduled and paid excursions. Due to the Norovirus, the ship was 2 hours late being cleared at the next port and our 10 hour excursion was reduced to less than 8. Our tour was rushed and inadequate because of this delay and no refund or compensation was even offered. I would not recommend Royal Caribbean. They are high priced and not worth the extra money. I will stick with Carnival because they are reasonably priced and much better quality. The ship excursions are too expensive, overbooked and too crowded to enjoy the places being visited. We had booked private taxi tours through Trip Advisor for half the price and was so much better and personalized making the port visits much more enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We took this cruise with two other couples. We’ve been friends for many years and 5 out of the 6 of us were all 60 in the same school year, which RCI were informed about. The Jewel is in good shape and is a very nice ship. My wife ... Read More
We took this cruise with two other couples. We’ve been friends for many years and 5 out of the 6 of us were all 60 in the same school year, which RCI were informed about. The Jewel is in good shape and is a very nice ship. My wife and I are dancers (ballroom and Latin) so we very very happy with the variety of live music. It’s just a shame that RCI don’t really cater for people who want to dance and can dance. The Centrum is a lovely venue, but why oh why is there so much furniture encroaching onto the floor area? The Safari Lounge could be a lovely venue too, but it’s cold (temperature) and cold (atmosphere) plus and just like the Centrum, there are tables and chairs on the dance floor! The cabin (Balcony, deck 8) was a reasonable size, but the smallest bathroom I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship! One of the highlights of cruising should be food and service. This where I think RCI have gone seriously downhill since our last cruise with them in 2012. The service was inconsistent at best, but generally quite poor. We were anytime dining, and we booked a table for the first night. On arrival, it was chaotic. Excuses like “it’s the first night” don’t wash with me. It maybe the first night of our cruise, but for them it’s just another night. The service at our table was really bad. Everything took forever, our waitress was basically incompetent, she tried to serve the soup twice! The next day, I spoke to the M.D. to express our dissatisfaction, so he assigned us to a different table. We also had issues with the menu as one couple do not eat meat or seafood, which really limited their options on the first night. We got a great table, served by Teeluk and Ferdinand who were great, so we requested that table for the rest of the cruise. The hostess at the desk wasn’t happy, so because of the issues experienced, the M.D. intervened and we were assigned the same table. He also brought the folllowing nights menu at the end of each meal so our friends would know if there was anything they could have or was there going to be a special order. Part of the problem is that RCIs menus are very unimaginative, there are certain items that are on every night, but not items that are either that good or things you’d want more than once. The food is average at best, presentation non-existent. At the start of every cruise I make a point of telling my waiter that I do not want hot food served on cold plates. We got plates that were too hot to touch, but the food was generally lukewarm. Dishes were also inconsistent. If two people order the same dish you would expect them to be presented in an identical way, but no, different vegetables, different quantities, just not good enough! We had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. The big plus was that it was never overcrowded. The choices, especially the lunchtime salads, never varied, and the food was generally unimaginative. There never seemed to be enough staff around to clear tables. The ship experienced a Novo outbreak, so food in the Windjammer was served to us. Shouldn’t be a problem, but again insufficient and inexperienced staff to cope. The Jewel has a cafe called latitudes. There is insufficient seating, but even worse, the drinks are served in paper cups, like some cheap takeaway, which is basically what it is. However, once we made our feelings known, we were told that they do have proper cups, but as there’s no kitchen, they prefer not to tell anyone! I could go on, but I think those reading this will have got the message! We haven’t sailed with RCI since 2012, preferring Celebrity. Back then the difference between them was small, but not now. The gap between them is enormous and it is unlikely that we will ever book another cruise with RCI Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Recommended by a friend. Day one presented a sewage smell in the hallway to our cabin an persisted for 2 more days. We went to the windjammer for lunch and immediately noticed the use of antibacterial gel was not being enforced at the ... Read More
Recommended by a friend. Day one presented a sewage smell in the hallway to our cabin an persisted for 2 more days. We went to the windjammer for lunch and immediately noticed the use of antibacterial gel was not being enforced at the entrance of the dining room. This would later result in a norovirus breakout on the ship which the crew kept under wraps from passengers. Rumours from honest crew members estimated approximately 200 effected. Only warning made by cruise activity director was “ we have had a few incidents of GI, please wash your hands. So we continually saw passengers bypass anti bacterial gel, which could only mean they weren’t taking the issue seriously. If we were told that 200 individuals were affected. I think passengers would of taken the warnings more seriously. I am comparing the ship to our only cruise which was on Norwegian so I found the boarding very boring. They could of at least played music to get passengers excited.Lucky staff were helpful and pleasant. Excursions were very good. Food was very good but every time we ate we were afraid of the outcome. We attended the specialty restaurants more often to avoid the high traffic dining areas. As we left this morning we were left wondering if staff were going to place warnings or notes to notify new passengers of what occurred on previous cruise. My guess is the high ranking staff will keep it hush hush. I wonder now if the cruise before us had the same issue. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We are diamond members in RCCL and chose this cruise for the ports visited at a time of year when the Med is less crowded,has a beautiful temperature of between 25-30°C and there are few children on board. We had booked flight and ... Read More
We are diamond members in RCCL and chose this cruise for the ports visited at a time of year when the Med is less crowded,has a beautiful temperature of between 25-30°C and there are few children on board. We had booked flight and transport to the ship through RCCL. Due to await at the airport for other passengers and then having to pick up other passengers from a coach that had broken down on the motorway, we didn’t board the ship until lifeboat drill was in process! A bit late. Our cabin on deck 9 was very quiet and the balcony was a good size. A little walk to the lifts but good exercise. The main disappointment for us on this cruise was that the outside eating area by the windjammer was closed for most of the cruise. This was due to maintenance. We felt that RCCL should have informed travel agents about this. Not a problem for most on the cruise maybe but living in Norway where eating outside at this time of year is impossible this is an important factor for us when choosing a ship. The anytime dining worked very well and lunch taken in the dining room with part buffet saved time and gave a good choice. At all times there seemed to be sunbeds available on deck in many different ares of the ship enabling one to find sun or shade, music or quiet. This we really appreciated after some other ships. We did not attend every performance in the theatre but we particularly enjoyed the tango dancers from Brasil and the Danish magician which were excellent. In ports we took organised trips or did our own thing. In Naples, a city we had visitef many times before, we went on a street food walking tour. This we booked on line. There were only10 in the group and we saw local food being made in small speciality shops in the narrow street of the old town. Something different to do if you have been to a port several times. Take water as there is no drink provided. Overall we enjoyed this cruise on a very friendly ship where it was easy to meet people as there always seemed to be something going on around the ship to involve the passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our third cruise, second with RC (Alaska was first). Aside from the challenge of getting to Civitavecchia from Rome, and navigating the port via shuttle, embarkation was a breeze. Ship: Good staff and relatively nice ... Read More
This was our third cruise, second with RC (Alaska was first). Aside from the challenge of getting to Civitavecchia from Rome, and navigating the port via shuttle, embarkation was a breeze. Ship: Good staff and relatively nice experience aboard ship. After the second cruise on this class ship (Rhapsody and Jewel) I think I am done with that ship/line. The entertainment was pretty good. The room is what one would expect from a cruise ship in this class- nice but small, less posh than other cruise lines. This line is great for families- less overtly drunken behaviour, good programming for the kids. Dining: the food in the buffet was mediocre at best, so we did most dinners in the upcharged restaurants or the typical dinner seating. That food got monotonous even after a few days so then we tried to eat off ship as much as possible. The windjammer buffet was pretty mediocre. Service onboard was exceptional in all areas we experienced. We tended to avoid many of the activities as we enjoyed just sitting on our rear facing deck and watching the stars. Plus, many early excursions meant we turned in relatively early. Ports and Shore excursions: We often wished we had just a little more time in each port, and what I really object to are the excursions, which seem to be VERY overpriced shopping trips. Our 9.5 hour Pompeii trip left us 55 minutes in Pompeii, but lots of time for shopping. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our 2nd cruise, we are a party of four adults. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and met some great people. Our cabin on the 7th deck was spotlessly clean and the towels were changed twice a day. We enjoyed our breakfasts in the ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise, we are a party of four adults. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and met some great people. Our cabin on the 7th deck was spotlessly clean and the towels were changed twice a day. We enjoyed our breakfasts in the Windjammer restaurant - loads of choice, great quality and variety and especially loved the food in the Tide Restaurant on an evening. Lots of first class entertainment on an evening with a full programme and choice through the day. The crew and officers were, without exception, very polite, helpful and friendly. The real "Jewel" is undoubtedly the staff. Fantastic. We would like to say a big hello and thank you to Sedrick and Ji, Tide Restaurant, Ashley, Mona and Pedro, Latte-tudes Bar and a big hug to the lovely Florence in Housekeeping. You guys went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and deserve a special mention. Thank you with our compliments. We thoroughly recommend this cruise, try and enjoy. A deserved 5* rating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it was Western Med. We hadn't visited 5 of the stops, so the itinerary suited us. The passengers were largely American, only about 300 English but this wasn't a problem. The cabin with balcony was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was Western Med. We hadn't visited 5 of the stops, so the itinerary suited us. The passengers were largely American, only about 300 English but this wasn't a problem. The cabin with balcony was lovely, very quiet and beautifully looked after by our cabin attendant. Iglu cruises organised our holiday and they were very helpful . We had a free AI premium drink package free with our booking and drinks were very expensive, so this was a bonus. It included all cocktails, beer, wine, bottled water, and premium coffees and teas. Breakfast was good, buffet style in the Windjammer as was lunch, and we ate our supper in Tides with waiter service. There was a pizza counter by the pool and desserts and homemade biscuits in the specialty coffee bar. Entertainment tended to be a bit raucous for us, but obviously most people enjoyed it. There as some nice music in the Centrum lounge in the evenings and shows twice a night in the theatre which we did not attend. The bad things were the decks and open air restaurant floors needed a good scrub and the tables were not cleared or wiped between use. Given the emphasis the ship puts on hygiene, I was surprised at this. Other areas were spotless. Food in Tides was spectacular and beautifully served. We floundered when we first embarked, couldn't find places and didn't understand procedures. Our cases took 5 hours to get to our cabin, which wss unsettling. Most people were seasoned cruisers and more laid back about keeping time. I felt I was on a moving platform for the first few days trying to keep times! The Windjammer was a free for all with the children running about. I didn't like the plastic plates particularly when they were warmed! I felt the shore excursions were overpriced and unorganized and wished I hadn't booked them. Lastly I objected to being taken to the airport 6 hours early. There was no RC rep to meet us. Once we'd left the ship we were obviously on our own! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was great. We enjoyed having two days in Rome prior to the cruise. We had been there before but were able to do a couple of things that were on our bucket list. We stayed at the Starhotels ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which was great. We enjoyed having two days in Rome prior to the cruise. We had been there before but were able to do a couple of things that were on our bucket list. We stayed at the Starhotels Michelangelo which was great. A 5 minute walk to the Vatican and 15 min walk to Vatican Museums. Location was also good to walk to restaurants. We didn't have to take a taxi anywhere. We booked the hotel and transportation through RCCL as well as our air travel and they did a fantastic job! Will book through them again in the future.The ports in Greece were also wonderful. We took a Ship's Excursion for three ports and on our own in Mykonos. Now for the ship. Jewel was kept very clean and maintenance was great. It is definitely showing it's age although it did undergo a renovation 2 years ago. We had a Junior Suite on Deck 10 and it was in good shape with new carpeting and draperies, although it's also time to gut the bathrooms and get rid of some of the old granite and tilework. The only problem with the ship is that it's smaller and it gets very crowded in the common areas, especially the Centrum area where they have music and parties. It's a small space with way to much going on in it most evenings and jam packed with people. And of course, eating areas are pretty much limited to the Windjammer and the MDR. So you know that the buffet is always crowded. We won't go on this class of ship anymore. We'll schedule our next cruise on a larger one. Then there is the smoking issue. We were on Deck 10 and we could actually smell smoke on our balcony drifting up from Deck 5. I know this was a European cruise with many more smokers which we had expected. The smoke from the Casino permeated the Centrum many times. Other than that we had a great cruise and this ship is in better shape than her sister ship, Radiance, which we sailed on two years ago. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
6th cruise with family, 3rd with RC. We tend to choose older, smaller ships as we don't need the bells and whistles, and Jewel was perfect. The crew have won awards for customer service and it is they that made the holiday. The rooms, ... Read More
6th cruise with family, 3rd with RC. We tend to choose older, smaller ships as we don't need the bells and whistles, and Jewel was perfect. The crew have won awards for customer service and it is they that made the holiday. The rooms, dining and ship were exactly as I had expected, so to specifics: PORTS port heavy with 5 cities in 7 days but all were easy to do. In Cannes we took the ferry over to Iles St. Margarite to see the.fortress where the Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated. Palma, Ajaccio and Cagliari are easy to do on your own and we booked a private driver for Barcelona. BEWARE: on the daily Compass, RC completely exaggerate the distance to town, especially at Palma to get you to buy €10 return bus rides. They said 8-10km, it was less than 5 and a taxi would have been so much cheaper! DINING I am happy to say in the MDR the Secret Curry Menu is not so secret any more. It is out on the table in addition to the main menu. Food and service were very good, if still meat heavy and sparse on the veg, but I did not like having to choose pudding right away with the starter and main course. Drink service is slow because it is crazy busy (we ate at 6.30) so get a drink before you go in. And don't think about asking to change tables! We were in a terrible position with banging drinks behind us. We did get free lobster dinner for 4 and choc dipped strawberries as apology, but change table? No way. WINDJAMMER Great food but usual madness of no tables anywhere, even outside. There were mornings where they even ran out of water cups, water, mugs, cutlery and coffee so go early or late. FORMAL NIGHTS Unfortunately, these are a thing of the past. We love to dress up formally but although the ladies made great efforts I reckon there were only 7% in black tie. It is somewhat dispiriting to eat dinner next to kids in football shirts and shorts. This is making me reconsider cruising with RC again. THE SHIP A quiet, imperceptible ride, really comfortable. Not very much going on. Best swing band ever, but they did not play the last night. Really relaxed atmosphere, you could go up onto the helideck to do a Kate Winslet Titanic moment. Marvellous! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fifth cruise (2 princess and 3 Royal Caribbean) and our others have been in Alaska and Caribbean. We selected this ship only for the itinerary and the excursions were certainly worth every penny. Perfect Europe experience. ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise (2 princess and 3 Royal Caribbean) and our others have been in Alaska and Caribbean. We selected this ship only for the itinerary and the excursions were certainly worth every penny. Perfect Europe experience. The tour guides were excellent and allowed us to maneuver through crowds in Rome and Barcelona that we never could have managed as quickly on our own. You might save money on your own but you won’t save time! The excursion descriptions were accurate. We believe we made the most of every precious minute in port this way. The ship was basic and although the staff were honestly excellent the cruise line is clearly trying to squeeze every penny out of every aspect. It was just too expensive for what you actually get. The ship became a necessary evil for the excursions. We had difficulty enjoying it when you could see the people serving you were working so hard! The day at sea was unnecessary and simply terrible. There seemed to be some kids in a small crowd on their own but our kids were really bored when on ship and were not feeling like they could step in to the court games. The pool was so crowded at all times that we could not even imagine how to get in and it didn’t seem hygienic given the ratio of people to water! Even the adults only pool - which our kids were not happy about - was jammed all the time. We have never felt this way on a cruise before and I think it is because there were no other viable activities on board to disperse the crowds! The crowds are not managed well at all. The windjammer was downright hostile! They shouldn’t direct everyone to the same place at once. Overall this cruise made us decide to give up on cruising for a while but if you want to see a lot of Europe in a fast week this is the cruise for you. The food was just ok - same food in the dining room as windjammer and the cruise line is just trying to get people to upgrade to expensive restaurants. It never used to be like this! The premium seems to be just to escape the crowds and that is NOT a good way to treat customers who have already paid so much to be there. Read Less
Jewel of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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