We had high hopes for this Jewel of the Seas after our wonderful cruise six months earlier on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. Unfortunately, we returned from this trip with less enthusiasm than usual.
Part of the problem for our meh feeling was the size of the ship. There just weren’t the options you get on a larger ship in terms of dining venues, entertainment, bars and activities.
Our favorite spot was the solarium.
We spent part of three days in this oasis with comfy loungers and peace.
The main pool was also nice and not too crowded due to our itinerary and average passenger age.
The theater was comfortable although I think I just went to a show there once. One feature of Royal Caribbean that I appreciate are the wayfinders.
It makes it easy to figure out where to go.
The two sticking points included use of the very small atrium for entertainment and activities. It only made for a small participation rate due to lack of space unless you wanted to watch from above.
The second was the lack of bars. There were only two inside bars and one was the champagne bar with more limited hours. The Schooner bar was often maxed out with no seats to be found before dinner early on in the cruise.
I think the cabin was fantastic for an inside offering with so little physical space.
We had plenty of storage and a comfortable loveseat.
My husband really dislikes the small shower on this ship (same as we had on Liberty of the Seas).
He also realized during this longer cruise that inside cabins are not for him unless the price differential is outrageous. So, it will be balcony cabins for us from now on.
We had consistently good service during our sailing. Although I don’t care for the dining room change where dessert is ordered at the same time as the rest of your meal, that is not the staff’s decision.
Our wait team was awesome, particularly our waiter Umberto. We also had an excellent room steward experience. John was like a ninja always taking care of our cabin without us ever being inconvenienced.
Our feelings on the food was mixed. We thought the dining room was good to excellent for the most part while the buffet meals were disappointing to us outside of breakfast.
Our two specialty dining experiences were outstanding.
We never ordered room service so I can’t speak to that experience.
Due to the very busy and intense port schedule (and our colds) we didn’t see as many shows and activities. The Beatles show was excellent. We skipped some entertainment we would have attended otherwise if they weren’t scheduled for the atrium lobby. There was such limited seating and I don’t want to have to look down one or two stories to watch the event while standing.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jewel of the Seas for this itinerary. For a Caribbean cruise, I would give it a pass and find a newer, bigger ship with more offerings.
If you missed the other parts of the recap the links are below.
Next Vacation: Greek Isles Cruise
Port Plans for Greek Isles Cruise
Jewel of the Seas: Pre-Cruise Travel Day
Jewel of the Seas: Italy at Last
Hotel San Giorgio
Pre-Cruise Day in Civitavecchia
Jewel of the Seas: Embarkation
Jewel of the Seas: Messina, Savoca and Castelmola
Jewel of the Seas: Taormina and Messina
Jewel of the Seas: Sea Day 1
Jewel of the Seas: Mykonos
Jewel of the Seas: Chops Grille
Jewel of the Seas: Rhodes
Jewel of the Seas: Santorini
Jewel of the Seas: Athens Acropolis, Olympic Stadium and Changing of Guard
Jewel of the Seas: Athens Agora, Archaeological Museum and Temple of Zeus
Jewel of the Seas: Chania, Crete and Giovanni’s Specialty Dining
Jewel of the Seas: Sea Day 2 (straits of Messina)
Jewel of the Seas: Naples
Jewel of the Seas: Disembarkation and Travel Home