Fun First Cruise

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 32

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Verified Review
Jewel of the Seas

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 15, 2018

Ship: Jewel of the Seas

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 3550

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

I enjoyed the cruise as a way to see a series of interesting ports, and the ship made all the logistics easy. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of my fellow travelers (nationality, stage of life, and purpose for cruising) and the overall lack of feeling crowded or waiting. It was also more peaceful than I expected with few children. My perfect cruise would have more adventurous excursions and free internet. I had no interest in shopping, fine dining, partying, or gambling, so I can't speak to those.


2 out of 5
After a long but reasonable check-in experience, I got my SeaPass and was then left utterly mystified. I was expecting something like a reception desk at a hotel, but instead was greeted with a long muster drill and then a long wait for the dining room. I was very unhappy after my first 2 hours.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
I avoided the main dining rooms (eating with strangers on a fixed schedule isn't my thing), but the buffet food was fine, with a good variety. Occasionally it was very good. I also partook of snacks from the coffee area and the Solarium snack bar, which were both surprisingly good.

Solarium Bar

5 out of 5

Wow -- the gem of the ship. good pizza, great beef, and a quick snack when I needed it.

Schooner Bar

2 out of 5

Just passed through and tried to avoid the piano guy...

Café Latte-Tudes

5 out of 5

Visited them every day -- great coffee and little sandwiches, and terrific staff

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
I used the fitness center, spa, and pool every day. I also used the mini-golf, game room, and sport court multiple days. Enjoyed them all/

Sports Deck

4 out of 5

Lots of interesting things to do

Sports Court

5 out of 5

Volleyball was so fun -- on a perfect cruise, the times for volleyball would be expanded since it was clearly more popular than the other uses.

Shore Excursions

5 out of 5

The desk was very helpful -- though I did get frustrated a few times when they didn't seem to have as much knowledge of the excursions as I expected.

Shops of Centrum

1 out of 5

Wow...overpriced junk and luxury items...I must've missed the memo on this one. Do people really take cruises to shop for luxuries? Where was the convenience store to buy toothpaste or a bottle of soda?

Running Track

4 out of 5

Used it every day.

Rock Climbing Wall

4 out of 5

Needed longer hours -- always a line.

Guest Services

4 out of 5

Very helpful every time I asked a question.

Fairways of Jewel

3 out of 5

9 basic holes.

Casino Royale

3 out of 5

Surprisingly uncrowded

Business Center

1 out of 5

It wasn't free! That's just stupid -- give travelers a chance to do a quick email check and print a boarding pass. No hotel would charge for that.

Adventure Beach

2 out of 5

Cheap and chintzy arcade -


4 out of 5
Like the food, it was a range. The tango band and dancers were excellent. The regular singers and dancers were fine. The DJs weren't my thing, and the comedian was a dud.

Coral Theatre

4 out of 5

Nice because it was easy to sneak in and out of shows if you didn't end up liking them. Fine sound and lights.

The Safari Club

4 out of 5

I heard a good singer there one night

The Pit Shop

4 out of 5

Stopped here a couple times -- nice touch of home.

The Game Reserves

4 out of 5

Variety of games, enjoyed the pool tables and the concert I heard there.


3 out of 5

Fine -- quiet, hottub was SUPER chlorinated though.


4 out of 5

Unexpected surprise -- watched 3 movies there.

Art & Photo Gallery

2 out of 5

Mystifying why this was on the ship

Art Auctions

2 out of 5

Why was this on the ship?

Children's Programs

No kids.

Adventure Ocean

3 out of 5

No big deal

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
I liked the service best when I solicited their help (guest services, coffee bar, and especially excursions!). I found the dining and room stewards to be too attentive -- I'm happy to eat in peace and have my room sorted out once a day.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Very nice everywhere

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Worked for me -- simple, functional, small, but big enough for its purpose (sleeping changing clothes, and planning)

Ship tip

Brush up on your Spanish -- I was surprised how few native English speakers there were on the crew and even among the guests.

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
Beautiful city on the coast with lots to do. Travelled on my own.

Bridgetown, Barbados

4 out of 5
The town isn't much, but I did a great excursion to snorkel which was well run and fun.

St. George's, Grenada

4 out of 5
I did an unofficial excursion which was very interesting (spice tour). The town was fine, but hit hard by hurricanes (a common refrain).

Fort-De-France, Martinique

4 out of 5
Nicer of the port towns, fun (but short) rain forest hike.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

3 out of 5
really not much to the town, and the horseback ride was both short and rushed at the end.

Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I.

5 out of 5
The town itself wasn't much, but I took an excursion to the main town and then snorkelled. Amazing!


5 out of 5
Couldn't believe how easy it was!
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