Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
This cruise had a good itinerary and promising advertising of the newly remodeled ship. While the itinerary was indeed very good the ship and its amenities and service were very disappointing. Having cruised several times this ship was lacking in many aspects. First of all many advertised amenities did not exist. Photos circulating on RCCL sites of the refurbished Jewel were false advertising. Only 2 pool tables, no ice cream shop, no hamburger site. The ship was bland in decor with no apparent theme, cheap photos gracing the stateroom walkways. In fact the motto seemed to be: "Let's go cheap!" But worst of all was the overall service quality. Our particular stateroom attendant was good, many of the bar staff were very good and our dining room head waiter Geovanny Gomez was outstanding. I do want to emphasize that there was good and pleasant staff however they were few and far between. The Windjammer staff in general seemed to consist of a few experienced staff and inexperienced "trainees" . Maybe the Jewel is now the training ship for new employees? Staff was not attentive, lazy, not trained in basic customer service and hospitality standards and apparently without supervision. Employees congregated in the restrooms up to 4 at a time to chat with each other or talk on cell phones instead of cleaning tables or offering coffee or drinks to the seated guests. The location of the one and only free alternative eatery (e.g. after hours) in the solarium was inconvenient and too small with limited selections. Whose bright idea was it to put the only kid friendly eatery into the space where kids are not allowed? The one and only soda machine should be located outside the buffet and there needed to be more than one. The one and only ice cream machine - also located inside the Windjammer was partially or completely out of order most of the time. The opening and closing hours advertised in the Compass flyer were not correct many times and not distributed on a regular basis in advance of the days activities. There was just one pool side party for all apart from a few contests. The food was mediocre. While I personally appreciate German style food (I am German and the Christmas Stollen was a treat!) many did not like the Austrian Chef's emphasis on bland German food. There should have been more variety. Any ship should at least have a free alternate eatery such as a Hamburger station at an accessible public area that is open late or in a setting were fast food eaters and kids can hang out in a relaxed fashion. This ship desperately needs a new cruise director and serious improvements or should be retired.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Look for another ship!