Royal Caribbean: Jewel of the Seas
Most cruise lines advertise their biggest and most expansive ships. But always check out the other class of ships: they may have the time and/or itinerary you want. Keep in mind that the lower class ships may not offer all of the bells and whistles (bumper cars, etc). This is a review of a mid-class ship.
1. The décor featured blond wood grain interior. Each landing on the staircases is highlighted with art. Glass elevators say the day of the week with a removable panel on the floor (a Royal feature) and a lit staircase rose from the lobby.
2. The corridors were slightly wider than the ships of this class. They were decorated with pop American art, such as portraits or black and white photos of Hollywood stars. The staterooms were well-equipped. Like any other ship, the staterooms with a balcony will be slightly smaller.
3. The main dining room, Tides was divided into 2 levels: assigned dining on one level and the flex time diners on the other. The lunch buffet was sometimes better than dinner because an international theme is featured every day: Caribbean, European, Asian American.
4. Entertainment is included on all cruises: shows, live entertainment, a movie screen on deck (a recent upgrade) and an indoor cinema.
5. The fitness room was spacious for a ship of this size. There is also a track (6 times around for a mile) and the usual spa.
6. The pools were saltwater. When I sailed, the gift shop did not sell goggles but that may have changed. The excursion desk had snorkel masks for sale.
7. The solarium is an adults-only area of the ship but the website mentions that during inclement weather, children are allowed. It was enclosed with a pool, hot tub, a pool bar and a food area that was open when the buffet was closed. Soft music helps to create a relaxing ambience.
8. Sports: The water slide and rock climbing may have restricted hours and it may be restricted in age. The basketball court is also used for other events. Featured is miniature golf and a golf simulator.
9. The usual kids' and teens' clubs are offered. Royal stated that if no one showed up within 15 minutes of an activity’s start time, the event would be cancelled. Adults are allowed in the video arcade.
10. The Safari Club is a nice place to be if you just want to lounge. This area included the Schooner, the Zanzibar lounge, the Congo bar, the Game Reserves and the Serengeti Card Club.
Sailing the top-notch ships is fun, but don't discount the smaller ships or a shorter itinerary. Some people like smaller ships because of there is less people. The staff will be professional, the amenities are increasing and you may save money.
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This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).