Jewel of the Seas
February 23, 2008
This was our first time on Jewel of the Seas, although we have cruised on her sister ship Brilliance OTS. This also was our 30th cruise and I will say RCI is still one of our favorites. It was also the first time for my husband to have a handicapped room, which was so well laid out and everything was so handy for him, he didn't need my help most of the time. The bedroom was spacious and plenty of room for his scooter. Also plenty of closet and drawer space. The bathroom was huge, and the shower had 3 different ways the water could be used, a high shower head, spiket and a hand held shower spray. The fold down seat was perfect for him, and he is a big man. Toilet was higher and plenty of grab bars around the room. The beds, (we had them separated) were very comfortable, since they have put in new bedding and mattresses with toppers.
It was a nice easy cruise for us because we have been to these islands many times before so no tours -- just walking around the piers or towns. St Thomas is always a favorite, and we heard from our Cruise Critic friends that taking the water taxi to St John's Island and then going to Trunk Bay for swimming and snorkeling was great. They also recommended going to The Baths on Tortola. If you have never been to St Thomas, St Martin, Tortola, Puerto Rico, or Nassau, I would say try the ship's tours for the highlights of each island. It will give you a better taste of what is available to do and see while there and also good information for the next time you go! Come on, we all know once you cruise you will be back!
The service onboard was excellent, and we never wanted for a thing. Our waiter and asst. waiter, Jose' and Steven, were excellent, and remembered right from day one what we liked and not. Amazing how they can remember such little things, like not using pepper. The food was good, but not to our tastes at times, so we ate more beef than usual. Desserts was always delicious. We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer buffet. They had such a selection that we couldn't eat every variety of food available in 8 days. Their system and layout of the buffet is the best, comparing it to Celebrity, Princess, Costa, NCL, and Carnival -- in our personal opinion.
Embarkation and disembarking was made very easy for us and being Elite members on Celebrity, also makes us a Diamond member on RCI, with little added perks, like free gifts on certain evenings on retiring. Captain's parties are another added perk, with free beverages/drinks and tasty finger foods. When you have 10 cruises or more, you also are invited to use the Concierge Room, which is another great perk. Free continental breakfast in the mornings, free drinks and orderves in the evening before dinner. And, the Concierge hostess was available to book tours, specialty dinners, etc., for us as well.
The shows were good to great. Our favorite was seeing the Coasters singing their all time favorites, too many years ago for most of you to remember. The magician and juggler were good, but once was enough. The singers and dancers were good, but we thought some could have been a little better than what we are used to seeing. The costumes were outstanding. Clodaugh "Clo" is the Cruise Director, and she is by far the best we have ever seen. So personable and even remembered our names after meeting us once. We enjoy playing Trivia, and had a very fun filled time doing that with the activities staff, who were fun and friendly anytime you met up with them around the ship.
The ship is beautiful and laid out very well. The only thing we wish is that they had elevators in the rear of the ship. They do have 6 elevators in the middle and 4 elevators in the front and of course stairs in the 3 areas if you can do them. They are always cleaning and a little tip, they have the day of the week displayed in each elevator on the floor. So you will not be trying to guess what day it is!
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