Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

This was not one of the better cruises we have taken

Sail Date: November 15, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

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. 

Cabin / Stateroom
The cabin was generally okay in terms of size and accommodations. See prior notes on problems with the refrigerator, bathroom, and lack of toiletry items.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
very efficiently done except for the safety muster program at the start which dragged with everyone standing on deck 5. Other cruises have changed to having the guests sit in the theater or dining rooms for the muster talsks.
Ship Quality
Our suite bathroom needed some odor removal attention
Destinations and Excursions
Our first excursion Island Delights of Barbados was excellent. It delivered was was promised and was very enjoyable. Our second excursion Best Views of St Lucia was a disgrace. It was about an hour shorter than promised and did not visit the sites promised but with some poor replacement alternatives.
Onboard Activities
Minimal. Walking for exercise on deck 5 was the primary activity done early each morningl
Children's Programs
Not used
The Spectrum Quartet (name? group on Friday night was excellent as was the band. The ships singers and dancers seemed to want to overwhelm with loudness and lacked some commentary to tie the presentation together.
Service and Staff
Our cabin steward and the two waiters at our table (622) in Any Time Dinning at 5:30 pm each day were great!
Food and Dining
Nothing very special about the menu or taste of the food.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Only flew in abd out of San Juan. Did not stay and visit.
Bridgetown, Barbados
The excursion we chose was good. There was not a lot to choose from.
Castries, St. Lucia
No gotchas to see here. The excursion commended to us by the staff was bummer.
St. John's, Antigua
We did not go ashore as there were no interesting points of interests to see on the advertised excursions.
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.
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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