One of most desirable Radiance-class vessels of "right-sized" small but modern cruise ships debuted 2004Best For People Who Want
A spacious, modern ship with plenty of nightlife and all the other trappings of a mega-ship without the crowds.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
A small-ship congeniality and comradely atmosphere; single open seating; a large variety of dining optionsOnboard Experience
As the fourth ship in the Radiance-class of modern vessels by Royal Caribbean (Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade Jewel), Jewel and her sisters were built as the antidote to the concept of bigger is better as typified by the larger Voyager-class ships of Royal Caribbean, 1999. These ships are newer and smaller, and they are also better, carrying all the sports and dining options of the bigger ships, but in a smaller package with more space per passenger.
And what's not to like? At just over 90,000-tons for 2500 passengers (maximum), these ships fit in to the "right-sized" category of ships akin to Carnival Spirit, and Island Princess, to give you the best a mega-ship has to offer, such as an array of onboard activities, but in a more uncrowded and accessible manner. These are the modern mid-sized ships which give you the best of all possible cruising worlds, comfort & convenience with plenty of action in an uncrowded environment.
The only drawback to Jewel is that it is last on the schedule for upgrades like new cabin decor and eateries; not until 2016.Decor
Jewel is an airy and open ship, with plenty of views of the sea, unlike her Voyager-class brethren. The atrium, called the "Centrum" rises nine light-filled decks with vast expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass making this ship a joy to sail to picturesque destinations. In fact, fully half the ship's exterior is glass, some 110,000 square feet of it! An enormous glass panel rises from Decks 5 (the lobby) to 12, making visible vast expanses of sea and sky.
The ship's most beautiful rooms are on Deck 6. Schooners Bar is thoroughly nautical, with dark paneling and blue carpet. The enormous low-key Colony Club evokes a private British club you'd see in a film adaptation of a Graham Greene novel set in India or Hong Kong. The Solarium, a glassed-in pool area, has an African theme, with three enormous plaster elephants overlooking the pool. You'll hear bird and animal sounds through the towering tropical plants.
Even the ships' high-style public bathrooms, with their marble floors and counters and porthole-like mirrors, are gorgeous. And cabin deacute;cor, featuring navy blue and copper tones, is a welcome change from the line's very Miami Vice pinks, mints, and baby blues.Public Rooms
The obvious heart of the ship is the lobby bar, where an ensemble performs each night, is people naturally congregate. Two decks above. the low-key Champagne Bar offers views of the atrium through floor-to-ceiling windows. A small but well-stocked library also faces the atrium.
On Deck 6, Bombay Billiards Club has the first pool tables at sea - and very high tech pool tables at that, each balanced on a ball bearing the size of a grape; the table may move as the ship rocks, but the balls are always stationary. The natty Schooners features marine blue chairs accented by real teak throughout, with nautical antiques and reproductions. In the adjacent Colony Club there is a large dance floor and stage suitable for a variety of entertainment.
Deck 12 offers Scoreboard, a sports bar with multi flat panel televisions and a satellite connection to ESPN. Close by is the tiny Crown and Anchor Club, but don't miss it, you can stand on a glass platform with a view of the entire atrium beneath your feet.
Perched high atop the ship, the traditional Royal Caribbean Viking Crown Lounge offers a near 360 degree panoramic view above the top of the entire ship. On Jewel it is divided into a disco and a low-key room with small stage for performances.
The tranquil library evokes a traditional English study; while the literary retail outlet Books, Books & Coffee features some 200 titles - as well as cappuccino, pastries and pizza.
Jewel boasts a more upscale shopping area than what appears on other Royal Caribbean ships, including designer-branded fashion wear and brilliant jewelry store. Nearby the Internet area is a small coffee and pastry shop with the unforgettable name of Latte'tudes. One of the best features of the ship is the cinema which shows two features per day, or for more interactive amusement, gamblers are drawn as moths to flames to Casino Royale, the ship's large gaming spot.
Indoor smoking is allowed only on passenger cabins, a small area at the rear of the Colony Club Lounge on Deck 6, in the casino, and in a designated area in the Starquest Disco. Outside, smoking is restricted to the starboard side of the ship. Remarkably, even the seating areas immediately in front of the outdoor bars are designated non-smoking areas. The ship is well laid out and easily navigated.Cuisine
It's as good as on any of the mass market lines', though only one salad is offered on the menu (in addition to the always-available Caesar). The ship has two alternative dining venues,Chops offers delicious food with equally delectable presentation. The $20 per person surcharge includes the service fee. Jewel also features a Murder Mystery dinner one evening in Portifino that requires reservations. The price is a dear $49.95 per person, but includes a pre-set wine selection.Restaurants
Cascades, the glamorous two-level main dining room, has a waterfall, a grand staircase, and enormous pillars, and could be right out of a 1940s film. Two smaller dining rooms, Breakers and Tides, enjoy the same high level of service. The Windjammer Cafeacute; serves casual breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner. This restaurant has food stations for individual courses (meat, sandwiches, vegetables), cutting down on lines. In the morning, get yourself a made-to-order omelet. The best seating is just beyond the main restaurant area, where you may dine al fresco overlooking the aft, or in cozy banquettes. The specialty restaurants, Chops and Portofino, are both tiny, elegant and quite wonderful. The Seaview Cafeacute;, perched above the Windjammer, serves light meals in the afternoon, early evening, and late night to 1 a.m.Service
It's obvious that the multinational staff and crew enjoy watching their passengers enjoy themselves. They're uniformly cheerful, knowledgeable, and eager to help. The wait staff in every restaurant is noticeably solicitous and conscientious.
Cabin service staff is efficient but unobtrusive. The purser's desk is notably responsive, especially in view of how much troubleshooting they must have to do on a ship this size. Room service, though, can be pretty slow.Tipping
Royal Caribbean suggests a per person per day gratuity of $3.50 for the stateroom attendant ($5.75 if sailing in a suite); $3.50 for the waiter; $2.50 for the Assistant Waiter; .75 Head Waiter. These gratuities may be paid in cash or charged to your onboard account. For children sailing as third or fourth passenger in the stateroom, tipping is at the parents' discretion.
A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion.Entertainment
The two-level Aurora Theatre has an Arctic theme, with sculptured balconies, sidewalls and parterre divisions resembling glacial landscapes, and a dazzling stage curtain inspired in the Aurora Borealis. Sight lines are excellent, and you're highly likely, whatever your musical prejudices, to enjoy the likes of Rockin' in Paradise, a special-effects-laden celebration of tropical music. Lounges have pianists and combos playing everything from C&W to jazz. The lobby bar has a group performing Broadway show tunes each night. Two non-first-run movies are screened daily in the ship's cinema. In-cabin movies are also scheduled throughout the day.Cabins
Out of a total 1,050 staterooms, 813 have ocean view and 577 private verandas; Standard features in all cabins include refrigerator/mini-bar, hair dryer, interactive TV, telephone, computer jack, and a large closet and plenty of drawers. In standard and most balcony cabins, bathrooms have a shower and one large medicine cabinet. There are also such welcome touches as beds with rounded corners and lighted vanity tables with mirrored cabinets. Tubs are found only in the highest category staterooms; most bathrooms have just showers (though unexpectedly large ones) with medicine cabinets. There are even full-length mirror in the "superior" category cabins. There are 14 wheelchair-accessible staterooms.
Jewel has some of the best balcony cabins at sea, and for the very best look to the aft cabins on decks decks 7-10 where the Cat. D rooms have the largest balconies on the ship, measuring 13 ft. long x 9.5 ft. wide. There are steel walls between balconies instead of the glass common to most new ships, which affords no privacy at all. Overall, the staterooms on this ship are larger than the average Royal Caribbean cabin. While inside cabins measure only 165 sq. ft.; outside cabins rangeribbean c from 170 to 204 sq. ft., and the five categories of suites from 293 to 1,001 sq. ft.
Beware the uncomfortable "cot style" beds, which RCI has promised to replace fleet wide by the end of 2007. Let's hope they also spring for better sheets, blankets and towels.Fitness/Spa
The 15,500 sq. ft. ocean view ShipShape Spa comprises three sections: a beauty and health center with 12 treatment rooms including Rasul and thermal suite ($15 for a half-hour); an aerobics area with mirrored wall and wood-suspended aerobics floor; and the gym, with 18 treadmills, 10 Reebok Recumbent Cycles, eight Reebok Body Peaks, four Reebok Ridge Rocker Cycles, four Reebok Body Treks, free weights, and multiple benches. There are stereo sound and television monitors throughout. There's a wide selection of scheduled fitness activities, including stretching and aerobics classes and aquadynamics. The famous rock-climbing wall rises 200 feet above the sea with five separate climbing tracks. The Sports Club & Country Club has golf simulators, ping-pong, a basketball court, and deck games. There's even a 9-hole miniature golf course and a jogging track.Children's Facilities
"Adventure Ocean" is the title of Royal Caribbean's youth programs where youths are separated into five age groups: Aquanauts (age 3-5, must be toilet trained), Explorers (age 6-8), Voyagers (age 9-11), Navigators (age 12-14) and Teens (age 15-17).
Facilities open 30 minutes ahead of morning shore excursion departures so parents can leave their children before they leave the ship. On sea days, organized activities are offered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with group babysitting from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a fee. The program runs year-round in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska. Teen centers are now open past 2 a.m.
A new program for developed in partnership with toy maker Fisher-Price offers tots 45-minute playgroups for children six months to three years old when accompanied by an adult. The program involves storytelling, creative arts, music and a variety of Fisher-Price learning toys and games.
Private babysitting is offered from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., provided sitters are available, for children from one year old. The rate is usually between $8.00 and $10 per hour depending on the number of children in the family. Cash payment is made directly to the sitter. Arrange through Guest Services at least 24 hours in advance.Attire
An unusually high percentage of gentlemen don actual tuxedos on the two formal nights per cruise, though no one would grouse if they chose a dark suit. There's so much to do on any given evening that not all passengers dress alike anyway.
The RCI Breakdown:
Let me begin by saying that we are first time cruisers and I have a mixed review that I hope you will take the time to read thoroughly through.
My finance and I have never experienced a cruise and after a month of reading reviews and getting input from friends and family we finally decided to take a Western Royal Caribbean for our Honeymoon. We were married March 1 and scheduled to board on March 3rd. All my wife could keep telling me was about how beautiful Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico are, and that's all I could think about from the day we married until the day we boarded the Jewel. With that being said here is my break down of our first cruise experience.
We boarded around 1:30pm on March 3rd and our first objective was to get to our Stateroom and get our carry on luggage put away. Upon arrival some of our luggage was already waiting for us, so we quickly put away what we could and took advantage of walking around the ship since we still had a few hours before departing Tampa. Being avidcoffee drinkers we thought it would be nice to get some java and explore the Jewel. So we proceeded to start at the AFT part of the ship and work our way forward, surprisingly every restaurant and coffee machine we saw was closed, now being first time cruisers we didn't know the difference so we continued on exploring. The Jewel was beyond our expectations for a cruise ship we were in astounded by the beauty and architecture we seen â€“ it was truly a fabulous ship and I envisioned a fantastic honeymoon a few hours away from beginning.
With no luck on the coffee we continued to walk in hopes of finding some kind of refreshment or open restaurant, and as we got closer to the center of the ship on Deck 12 we heard music so we worked our way in the same direction figuring something would be open. Upon arrival at the main pool my hopes of a romantic honeymoon crashed and burned. The complete pool deck was filled with 21 year old college students at which time half or better percentage of them were already hammered from drinking and here it is only 2:30 in the afternoon, looking around we seen all the sun bathing lounge chairs â€“ pools and hot tubs were completely taken over by college students who at this point could careless who else was on the ship. It was their world and nothing was going to stop them. Now for the record I am not opposed to anyone of legal age having a good time, however there are still rules of engagement and clearly these young adults were far from understanding the words "Respect and Courtesy" and being drunk was all they cared about.
Emergency Evacuation 4:15 March 3rd At 4:15 The Captain called for the must have emergency evacuation drill. Being first time cruisers we were very interested in understanding the process. We arrive at E16 our evacuation center and along with us were half the drunken college students talking and yelling above the crew and the PA system completely ignoring the safety protocols that were being announced. Also during the evacuation drill it was brought to our attention that a group of College students were kicked off the ship and 4 were arrested stemming from obnoxious behavior to other passengers and smuggling drugs through customs. This delayed us from leaving until almost 5-5:30pm. Again, the only unfortunate issue here is that none of the RCI personnel stepped up to control the unruly crowd.
Food: Being that the culinary staff has to feed 2,000 plus people from several different ethnic back rounds I feel they did an adequate job with the food â€“ but not necessarily superb. It was your basic buffet style food â€“ we did go to one formal dinner but nothing wowed us to go to any others so we mainly ate at the buffet.
Eat when you want? â€“ No such thing on this cruise â€“ All the main restaurants closed at 11pm and you were left with Pizza and maybe some nacho chips â€“ and the worst part was, it was only available at one location at the bow of the ship which made it even more difficult to fight the crowds, and if you wanted a Soda â€“ good luck finding it after 11pm. However, you can opt for room service with a little more on the menu however one and half hours waiting wasn't worth the extra money you had to pay.
Entertainment The entertainment at the Center of the ship was absolutely fantastic â€“ it was where most of the older generation couples were hanging out because the pool areas and lounges were being overrun by the college students, but as soon we thought we found a nice quiet area where we could talk and enjoy a late night drink while listening to some very good live music â€“ while dressed in our casual evening clothes here comes the College kids staggering across the dance floor in their swim suits / no shirts or shoes to one of the bars.
The Motown show featuring the Horizons was beyond Fantastic â€“ Kudos to Royal for having them on board.
The 70's Dance Party that was held on deck 4 inside was Excellent â€“ However it slowly crashed and burned when (Yep) the drunk college kids got into the party wearing their bathing suits, screaming hollering and using profanity.
Excursions All canceled due to inclement weather â€“ The cruise line did absolutely nothing to try and compensate with on board activates and or offer other excursion options.
Service Service from the wait staff was good â€“ but again not superb as I thought I would suspect or read from other reviews â€“ again I contribute this too the college crowd and their lack of respect for others, It almost felt like the crew was intimidated by the actions of this young crowd and preferred to let them just do what they want so they wouldn't have to deal with the insubordination or derogatory remarks.
State Room Our Stateroom 9636 was fantastic with a nice balcony and view located in a pretty decent part of the ship where walking to the stairs or elevators was very convenient. Final Day of Cruise: My wife and I inquired with the some of the crew about purchasing some wine so we can go back to our stateroom for a last cruise evening toast â€“ we were told that if we purchased a bottle at the Ship store we would be able to take it with us because it was the final night of the cruise â€“ However after our purchase we were informed that because there was so many college students on the cruise the Ships staff was suspending any liquor purchase back to the rooms and we would have to wait until morning to pick it up. Another amenity taken because of the college gathering, with that we assumed we could just go buy a drink and take it back to the room however upon arriving on the main pool deck â€“ everything was closed early, so that the college crowd didn't get out of hand partying all night and ensuring they got off the ship on time the next morning. How sad it is that the responsible passengers suffered for the inadequacies of these younger persons.
Over all our first cruise experience was dreadful â€“ I expected a lot more interaction from the RCI staff and security to ensure everyone on the ship had a pleasant experience â€“ I felt as if this cruise was geared strictly for Spring Break College Students and that we were simply the people that filled the empty cabins â€“ I completely understand that this was bad timing for weather and spring break activates â€“ but it was extremely unfortunate that RCI wasn't more involved with security and managing the unruly â€“ disrespectful younger generation.
Overall a very fun trip. Service, food and entertainment up to par with other cruises I have taken with RCL. Embarkation was quick and took about 20 minutes from the cab to the cabin. (I arrived at the pier just after 1:00). I was upgraded from a D1 balcony to a Junior Suite (Cabin 1596). The JS was clean, well appointed with lots of closet space for clothes and electronics. My wife loved having the bathtub. Great service from the cabin steward and wait staff. The head waiter was at our table every night, which was the first time that has happened to me on a cruise. I was impressed by the friendliness and service attitude of all the staff, even when passing maintenance staff in the hallways. The seas days always had activities, and the ports (aside from Columbia) were great. The weather (out of control of the cruiseline) was sunny and warm every single day. Getting off the ship was easy (although too early for me).
Itinerary Day 0: Arrived in Miami a day before, stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown Miami. Old hotel, but close to the pierand the market. Day 1: Leaving Miami. Usual assembly drill, to the bar for a pre-dinner drink and then dinner. Day 2: At Sea. Relaxing day by the pool. First formal night. Day 3: At Sea. Another relaxing day by the pool. Day 4: Aruba. Walked on our own, did some shopping, stopped for drinks at Senor Frogs. Day 5: Columbia. Stayed on the ship. All tablemates regretted getting off at this port (even on RCL organized shore excursions). Day 6: At Sea. Day 7: Panama Canal cruising. Day 8: Costa Rica. Did a private tour. Murder Mystery at Portafino's. Day 9: At Sea. Got to do a bridge tour. Second formal night. Day 10: Grand Cayman. Day 11: Last day at sea. Day 12: Leaving the ship. One last day in Miami before coming home.
The Good Murder Mystery Dinner Staff Three smoke-free nights in the Casino The ship itself Lots of deck chairs in the sun The length of the cruise
The Not So Good Older crowd (the disco was empty at 11:30 on some nights). Theme nights not as good as on other cruises Columbia port of call
Tips Except after the evening show in the Coral theatre, the forward elevators are never busy. If you can, use those. The Centrum elevators were always busy and crowded.
Unless you like adventure, stay on the ship in Columbia (based on the feedback I got from all our tablemates who took RCL shore excursions).
If you are already booked on a RCI cruise, or if you are an ardent fan of RCI, you may not want to read this review. If you do and disagree or think it will spoil something, I have warned you.
It is long.
First cruise on RCI, 20 something total cruises.
I will not talk about the ports visited, only the ship. It is a cruise review, not a port review.
Sat. Oct. 11, 2008. Jewel Of The Seas, Boston to Canada.
Parked in Port Of Boston parking garage. Sign said $27.00 per DAY. However upon leaving the garage, the fee was $15 a day. Whew.
11:30 arrived at check-in. No wait, took 10 minutes only because the woman who checked us in was training a new person. Thru security and on board by 11:45. Rooms not ready until 1pm, so off to the Windjammer for lunch. Food OK, quality comparable to that of a buffet at a medium priced Las Vegas hotel.
1pm, to the room. The cabin steward was still working on his section of cabins, and ours had not been vacuumed yet. I know this because of the toenail clippingsleft on the floor. This seemed really unusual when Reuben, the cabin steward, told me that the cabin was vacant on the previous cruise. If they don't use it, they don't clean it? Strange.
After dropping off the carry-on luggage, time to explore the ship. Long level corridors in the cabin areas unlike the cruise ships of the past when the corridors had a noticeable sway to them.
The cabin was the generic cabin of today, with a nice window. The bed turned out to be so-so as to comfort, and was two twins pushed together to make a queen.
The ship is a handsome vessel and its fairly easy to navigate about it. Muster drill went off fairly quickly, and it appeared that the people who are always real late for these things or don't think they have to participate, were not on this cruise.
Dining Well, we tried the 'My Time Dining', and can say we tried it and didn't care for it. Turns out you can only make your reservation for dinner between 9-10am, and 4-5 pm. And nowhere did I see anything about how to make that reservation, so it was a phone call to the operator to get a number to call, and after a bit of a wait, she found the number. Then of course, if you don't have dinner close to the traditional early or late seating, you will not see the scheduled evening show. Very few people were doing the MTD deal as it was were using only a small portion of the upstairs of the dining room.
The wait staff was inconsistent in their service, and the first night's dining experience was underwhelming to say the least. Took forever to get anyone to stop by after being seated, and then it was the headwaiter who came and filled the water glasses. Waiter and assistant waiter were friendly, but sloooow. Different set last three meals and they had a terrible time the last night with the orders at our table for six with two meals totally messed up.
Breakfast was taken in the Windjammer. Same items everyday, but enough selection to be interesting. Tend to eat the same thing for breakfast anyway, so it was OK. actually the best meal of most days.
Lunch also taken in the Windjammer. Different cut of meat at the carving station each day, but most of the rest of the selections seemed to repeat day after day. Second best food of most days. Like I said, comparable to a mid-priced Vegas joint. Deserts a big letdown with an equal number of sugar-free and the kind I like (with sugar and calories), but not much taste (I know the Europeans have a different concept as to sweet than us Americans). Fruit also at the desert station.
Tried the Seaview Café for the fish & chips (two small pieces of fish, fries) OK but once was enough.
Dinner in the dining room was a huge disappointment. A step up from fine dining at Denny's, but I won't go much better than that. A basic three course offering, starter, main course, and dessert. The starter selection made no separation between an appetizer and a salad so it appeared most chose one or the other. Five choices for main course, one of which was a steak (the default entree) of strange flavor.
I have been on 20+ cruises and this is the first time that I have left the dining room hungry. Actually skipped the main course one night because I didn't like what I ordered at all, didn't see anything else I wanted, and could not face another of the steaks. I know times have changed, but from a meal of appetizer/soup, salad, (perhaps sherbet to prepare the palate) meat/fish, cheese, dessert, coffee/expresso/capachino, and mint/truffle to Applebee's on a tablecloth. Come on people.
Thursday sea day dinner was the best meal we had in the dining room, lobster & prime rib main course selections (took lobster as appetizer, prime rib as main). Not gourmet by any stretch but good.
Spent the extra twenty pp on Portifinos and was treated to excellent service and a fine meal. Impressed my bride and me the most of anything else on the ship. Just like the service you used to get in the dining room in days past. One tacky thing was the extra charge for the espresso and other dessert coffees (Seattle's Best), please don't ruin such a nice experience with ol' Mr. Greed.
Entertainment Didn't care for the cruise director at all, but again she was not our cup-of-tea as the Brits say. The cruise directors staff seemed to be really disorganized, late, and generally a mess, never seemed to really get it together. Not a whole lot to do as for activities, especially on the sea days, unless you were into spa stuff, or physical activities with the fit n' trim staff. (fee for spa/fitness) Oh, the odd trivia, bingo, art/jewelry sales and such, but this is the first time we were bored. Very small tacky prizes form trivia and game winners. So it was a lot of time at the bar. Very friendly bar/wait people at the Schooner bar. When they know your name after day 2, you are drinking way too much.
Movies in the theater are somewhat old. If you want first run flicks, they are available on pay-per-view TV. Don't want to miss out on revenue, now do we.
Saw a magician/dancer dude, a production show with the ships dancers/singers. Forgettable. Saw a comedian who was a funny guy. Missed the Tango dancers. Gymnast was good. The usual singers, who are from Poland and sing phonetically, not really understanding the song. Most of them fair. Same for the dance quartet, who were really a trio because the drummer missed the ship. Pianist/guitarist, miscellaneous music maker pleasant in the background throughout the public spaces.
Thirty-one dollars to play four games of bingo on Thursday. It was more the last game, I didn't go.
Of the activities listed in the daily to-do-list, several were a pay-per-do event (spa), and a lot were an outside physical-activity activity, and a few were telling us that so-and-so venues were not available for us common passengers to use. Sometimes I was bored, so the choice was nap or drink. Big bar bill.
Photos Boy do they take a lot of photographs of you. Leaving the ship in St. John, there were three photographers on the gangway/exit walkway, all within 50 feet of each other, all with different props, all clamoring to take our picture leaving the ship. Take my picture, break your camera. Better half actually bought several of the photos and they are pretty good.
Ever notice on a cruise ship that there are people whom you never see until the last day no matter how few passengers on a ship, then there are those who you see all the time no matter how many on board. Everyday, everywhere. Sandy and Gerry were those people for us. Saw them all the time.
Tendered into port one day, went off without a hitch.
I was amazed at how many people did not dress for formal nights. Amazed. Kudos for the crew when they stopped people from entering the area where the Captains reception was occurring who were not appropriately dressed.
Also was amazed at the amount of people who ate at the buffet every meal, never set foot in the dining room. Pardon me, but why cruise?
Peeve If you want to sell me a bottle of booze while I am on your ship, let me take it back to my cabin, and not 'hold it for me' until the last night of the cruise. Ah, can't let any opportunity to make a dime off of the passenger now can we.
One thing of note: If you are a soda drinker and don't want diet, say regular Coke, etc., cause if you don't, the default is diet. Same with beer, lite unless you speak up. Guess they think we are too fat. Well they are right, but I'm on vacation.
Went to the Meet & Mingle, met and mingled, won a nice prize in the drawing. Met some terrific folks there and got together several times during the cruise.
Gambling Tight slots. Blackjack gave me some. Saw someone selling pull-tab lottery tickets outside the showroom entrance, thought that was tacky. Then of course heard that someone won a grand from a pull-tab, so...
Tuesday sea day was dead calm waters and fog so thick I hoped the navigator had a knife to cut it with. Thursday sea day was windy and 6-8 foot swells. Ship rolled quite a bit.
Not too much brasswork on the ship, mostly stainless steel. Low maintenance, but not the same. The crew kept the ship very clean.
Fifty cents per minute internet access fee. 30 bucks per hour. Ouch.
Highs and Lows The ship was nice and the crew did their job very well. Chef not so much.
Took no ship's excursions.
The smoking areas on the ship were very smoky. How about NO SMOKING throughout the ship.
Disembarked using the express method. You carry all your bags and stuff off yourself and thus get to get off first. They said between 7 and 7:15 for express folks, actually was about 7:40 (glad for Indian summer because we waited outside), but then bam, and we were lurching down the sidewalk to the car.
Overall, 2 1/2 stars out of five. Will we return to RCI? Probably not, but I won't say don't go, only chose wisely. With the exception of the dining, not too much seriously awful, just to me there is that little something missing.
I know that many people who were on this cruise will have a totally different perspective of this adventure, this is mine.