December 2013 - Jewel of the Seas to Caribbean - Southern
I admit it, I am a service snob. I believe that when I spend over $1500 plus airfare, tips, excursions, drinks, etc...per person for a cruise (There were 10 of us), I should receive great service in the dining room at dinner as well as at the bars on the ship. The sports bar in particular is a joke with old TV's, a bartender who sits on a bar stool rather than waiting on guests and no food. I didn't think it was possible but the service is better on Norwegian then on Royal Caribbean. With that said, Royal Caribbean has gone downhill over the past 5 years. This was my second RC cruise in 2013 and in both cases the service in the main dining room as been mediocre at best. The food is good but there isn’t enough service staff to take care of the guests in a way that Americans are accustomed to. If you drink wine, good luck in getting your wine before the food is served.
In addition, they have a jogging track that goes through a smoking area, really. As you run the track, people are blowing smoke in your face.
Here some good things about Jewel of the Seas.
· The entertainment on board exceeded my expectations at every show.
· Both food and service were fantastic at Chops Grill and Portofino.
· For a great bar experience head to the schooner bar where there are great bartenders and cocktail servers.
· The rooms are clean and the room Stewards work hard to keep the rooms looking great all week long.
· The itinerary was great and we went on some fantastic shore excursion. Our favorites were;
The 4 hour Volcano Hike on St. Kitts – brink a banana or apple as it is very strenuous and you will be glad to have something when you reach the top.
The Kayak & Snorkel Eco Tour in Antigua is a first class operation with a guided eco kyak tour of the glades, a speed boat ride to an island and snorkeling a magnificent coral reef.
In both cases the bus ride also included an unadvertised history tour of the Island.
Overall we had fun and if we paid $600 a person I wouldn't have a complaint but at over $1500 it just isn't’t a good value for a family vacation.