Novices learn

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Experience: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 29

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip)
Sail Date: August 21, 2015
Ship: Jewel of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 9038
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Novices soon learn that there are two parts to a cruise: cruising time and shore time.  Fur us, these were very different.  Cruising time was boring; this is because (a) we are not big bar drinkers, late night dancers, or gamblers, and (b) there is constant selling and pressure to buy "upgraded" dinners, drinks "packages", jewelry, pathetic art (which occupied the largest salon making it unusable for the cruise), etc. The exercise facility and spa (at steep prices) were available and first class facilities and enjoyed immensely.  The shore excursions were terrific opportunities and gave us delightful experiences (at additional costs of $1000, of course). Highly recommended that you take every advantage of these. However, if you buy the excursions through Skymiles, Royal Caribbean does not recognize them as "Their" shore excursions and the ship won't wait for you if you are late getting back. This of course makes shipboard purchases preferred, but risks your not getting and make real planning harder.  We made the 8:00 pm all aboard time at exactly 8:00 once and the pulled the gangway up behind us.  The crew always gave excellent service--and with a smile, but tips (required plus "optional" come to 10 % or more of the cruise costs).  Food quality was good to very good throughout; quantity was to excess.  I hope the crew ate leftovers.. Movies were very limited, "show" were generally deafening din--but you do not have to go to these. It was a good trip overall.  Would we do it again?  Well not a Hawaiian Islands tour from SFO because of all the cruise time, but a one along the Italian coast with daily stops seems a very good bet.

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5


1 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Well designed. Very functional. Well maintained. Comfortable and good sleeping.

Ship Tip

Get your cabin a floor away from and down the hall any entertainment venue--which our booking agent (Micheal Mears) carefully and thoughtfully arranged for us.
Jewel needs high-speed internet throughout the ship and built into the price (an additional $75). What it has is spotty and VERY slow.

3 out of 5
Go a day ahead of embarkation.

Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska

5 out of 5
Bring a good book (e.g., J. Raban's "Passage to Juneau")
3 out of 5
Get out of town and whale watch.
5 out of 5
Book Eagle watching but not through the ship (although we nearly missed the sailing because of that). Ship's trips were crowded, ours had the two of us and a guide, and we were first down the river....

Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska

3 out of 5
Encourage the captain to get far enough in that you can actually see the face of the glacier.
5 out of 5
Charming, if you have not been to Canada or UK before. We took a sea-plane air-tour from the harbor (not offered as an shore excursion), and it was worth every penny.
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