johncmuehlbauer

johncmuehlbauer
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Joined: 11/27/2015
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johncmuehlbauer's Past Cruises

Jewel of the Seas

November 2015 - Jewel of the Seas to Caribbean - Southern

This was not one of the better cruises we have taken

Royal Caribbean seems to be in financial difficulties based on the cutbacks on this cruise relative to others recently taken with them. Some specific shortcomings/reductions were:

1.  The suite refrigerator did not work.  It was replaced but the replacement also did not work.  My wife's eye medicine needed to be kept refrigerated so the cabin steward provided a small cooling unit which also did not work and had to be replaced with another unit.

2. The bathroom had an unpleasant odor for the entire cruise.

3.  Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion provided on prior cruises have been eliminated with a single soap dispenser in the shower area.

4.  Chocolate mints provided on the pillow each night have been eliminated.

5.  The easy and hard Sudoku puzzles provided each day on prior cruises were reduced to only one easy puzzle on two of the seven days of the cruise. 

Similarly, the informational quizzes provided previously were only offered on two of the seven days of the cruise.

6.  The daily excursions have been reduced to favor the athletically capable and sun lovers (snorkeling kayaking, scuba diving, swim with sea creatures, and lay on the beach).  Minimal excursions were offered for those not athletically capable, sun lovers, or avid shoppers, which was many of those on the cruise.

7. The standard tipping rate for suites was recently increase from $12.95 per person per night to $15.95 per person per night. The cost of living rate has not gone up a comparable 25% any where in the world recently to support this rate increase.

8. The minimum rate to play black jack in the casino was increased from $5 to $6 a hand. 

9. Instructional classes and social activities (card playing) durine the daytime were non-existent.

10.  The saving grace was that the staff was still very personable, professional, and helpful in spite of management corner cuttings which was passed off as part of the "Save the Waves" conservation program. 

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johncmuehlbauer's Tips

Koningsdam Koningsdam - We booked our excursions with non-Holland America providers at savings of about 35%. We also used the Hop-on Hop-off buses at Bergin ans Alesund for excellent city tours- options not offered by Holland America. We bought our train tickets at Flaam directly from the railroad at substantial savings.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - Based on our poor excursion experience in St. Lucia, we canceled the staff recommended Butterfly Farm and Marigot tour with its shopping tour. This turned out to be a blessing because the air outside our suite was filled with all kinds on butterflies for the entire morning st no cost.
St. John's, Antigua - We did not go ashore as there were no interesting points of interests to see on the advertised excursions.
Castries, St. Lucia - No gotchas to see here. The excursion commended to us by the staff was bummer.
Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. - We walked through the small town, on the advice of some of the ship's non-travel staff, as being the only worthshile thing to do and see. They were right.

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received a helpful vote on their Koningsdam cruise review - Scenary on the Cruise in the Fjiords Was Awesome

received a helpful vote on their Koningsdam cruise review - Scenary on the Cruise in the Fjiords Was Awesome

received a helpful vote on their Koningsdam cruise review - Scenary on the Cruise in the Fjiords Was Awesome

received a helpful vote on their Koningsdam cruise review - Scenary on the Cruise in the Fjiords Was Awesome

received a helpful vote on their Koningsdam cruise review - Scenary on the Cruise in the Fjiords Was Awesome

shared a quick tip for Koningsdam"We booked our excursions with non-Holland America providers at savings of about 35%. We also used the Hop-on Hop-off buses at Bergin ans Alesund for excellent city tours- options not offered by Holland America. We bought our train tickets at Flaam directly from the railroad at substantial savings. "

received a helpful vote on their Jewel of the Seas cruise review - This was not one of the better cruises we have taken

received a helpful vote on their Jewel of the Seas cruise review - This was not one of the better cruises we have taken

added Nov 15, 2015 cruise on Jewel of the Seas to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Southern cruise on Jewel of the Seas and gave it 2 stars!