Cruise to the Holy Land

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 83

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Verified Review
Jewel of the Seas

12 Night Holy Land (Rome Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 11, 2019

Ship: Jewel of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 8154

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

I chose this cruise because of the ports visited. Lots of things packed into a few days. The trip was pretty exhausting but we saw a lot in a short time. The ship experience was a disappointment. The drinks are overpriced to encourage purchase of beverage plans. Lots of "nickel and diming" charges on top of cruise cost. Poor communications sometimes with staff unsure about details. Shore excursions and transfers are also over priced based on tours I was able to book on my own.


4 out of 5
Easy embarkation even though the lines were long things moved quickly

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Main dining room experienced was mixed. Some really good items and some not so great. Service was often very slow. Friendly staff. Buffet was very poor. Quality was lacking. Same selections every day. The baked goods were excellent, but other dishes were not tasty or prepared well. Only ate at Chops specialty restaurant which was excellent. Overall very disappointed with food and service.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Nice fitness center and spa. Many games were available. I generally enjoy Trivia games but the questions were very odd and too specfic to be trivia.Pool and hot tub were nice. Liked the miniature golf and table tennis.


2 out of 5
Shows were pathetic and poorly attended. Only a couple of shows were worth seeing. Cruise director was annoying as well. Very disappointed as usually RCI shows are good.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Room steward was great! Waiters were evidently overworked as the service was very slow. Shore excursion personnel were fantastic. Should have had more staff on Guest Services during busy times. The lines were very long and slow. Not great communication to passenters.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Lots of activities in the Centrum but very little seating to watch entertainment. Poor design in my opinion. It's an older ship so some areas need updating. Basically clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Lots of storage for clothes with drawers and cubbies in closet. Adequate bathroom and storage. We had separated beds which made it hard to get out to the balcony. Cabin steward was great. The beds were VERY uncomfortable. Other passengers mentioned this as well.

Ship tip

I would say choose another ship. RCI has ships that are much nicer and more comfortable ships with great food and wonderful entertainment.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

4 out of 5
We stayed in Rome before the cruise. Very crowded city but booked a private driver and saw a lot.

Messina, Sicily Did not visit port

Port was closed due to weather

Ashdod, Israel Did not visit port

Did not visit this port for security reasons

Haifa, Israel

4 out of 5
Did the excursion to Jerusalem from this port.

Limassol, Cyprus

4 out of 5
Did not care for excursion. Should have just visited on our own.

Rhodes, Greece

4 out of 5
Spent time on our own

Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey

5 out of 5
Hired private tour guide. Great tour and wonderful site to visit

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

4 out of 5
Hired private guide. Great tour and fabulous day

Naples, Italy

3 out of 5
Ugly city. Did a city tour but was not impressed with the ability to see anything from the bus.


4 out of 5
I purchased the KEY program to guarantee early disembarkation. Turns out I didn't really need to do this as people could disembark early on their own.
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