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Just off Jewel of the Sea


Giantfan13
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We just returned from a TA on the Jewel Of the Sea. Thirteen glorious days cruising, what could be better?

Just a couple of comment. This was only our second RCI cruise, but just some into on this particular cruise and I don't know if it pertains to all of RCI.

We do not like the buffet and prefer to east all our meals in the Tides MDR. We go down to breakfast on day one and we are told that they have a buffet style breakfast and we should just help ourselves. I told the Maître' D that if I wanted a buffet I would be up in the Windjammer and I wanted to be served. We were seated and after about 15 minutes we were brought a menu which we used to order from. It was the regular breakfast menu. Same thing happened on day 2 and again on day 3. Now if some wanted to use this form of breakfast, fine, but when we did order from the menu, it took forever to get our food and when it did come it was cold. I has enough and complained to the maître' D, and then to the Dining room officer. We went to a question and answer with some of the ships officer5s and after, I got to the Hotel director and told him of this 'problem'. I didn't care if they wanted to do buffet but if we ordered from the menu, it shouldn't take 1 and 1/2 hours t o eat breakfast. He was very apologetic and said he would look into it. The very next day, everyone who walked into the MDR for breakfast was given a menu, so you had choices. We were also served Danish and muffins and the entire breakfast experience was 100% better.

Again, I don't know if this was just for the Jewel something happening fleet wide, but if you do speak up, changes can and will be made.

Another couple of notes. We felt the overall quality of the food wasn't great. Same for the entertainment. The 2 production shows were poor and we walked out of one. In fact we walked out of several shows. Except for one comedienne who was very goo, the whole entertainment part was just lacking.

But to offset these 'problems, we had 10 sea days to just chill out and feel good with the world.

If I can help with any questions, I'll try

Cheers

Len

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How was getting off the ship and getting to the airport? how did San Juan look from what you saw.

 

RCI provided complimentary shuttle service to the airport, which was great. We had no problems with disembarkation, a wait going thru customs and immigration. But once off, we got a porter for our bags. He took them to a truck that was used to bring luggage to the airport. We boarded buses and within 10 minutes we were on our way. The luggage arrived a few minutes after we did. They unload it and you pick it up and then into the terminal.

As for San Juan, the ride from the terminal to the airport is about 15 minutes and we really didn't see too much damage. Lots of apartment houses and most looked fine. Lots of pretty bare palm trees though. The airport in San Juan was air conditioned, but the waiting area is like the inside of a hanger, very few places to charge any electronics and we just couldn't get on their 'free' Wi-Fi. Our flight was delayed some 3 hours but we made it off the island.

Cheers

Len

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We stopped at Valencia Spain where we did the HoHo bus. The bus stop is about 1/4 mile from the terminal, stop #9, (just be aware that the bus doesn't start running till 10:00 and doesn't get to #9 till 10:30.) We met one couple who were at the stop early and had to wait till 10:30 for the bus to arrive. . We had a beautiful day and we enjoyed it. The only time we got off was in the heart of the city where you can switch bus lines (the have 2 bus routes, red and blue, each is about 90 minutes, If you decide to do this, but the tickets right from the bus company and not from outfits like Viator, just a bit cheaper that way.

In Lisbon we had a shorter day and we opted for a 1/2 day tout with Spain Day tours. Overall, we were not happy with this tour. We were supposed to tour for 4 hours and we only did slightly over 3 hours and we feel we did not see half of what we wanted in Lisbon. Several people we met said that the did the HoHo bus and it was very good. Take your choice. After our tour, we remained in the city. We had something to eat and just wandered around a bit. It was a short walk back to the ship.

In the Azores, again, we opted for a 1/2 day private tour. I forgot the company right now, but it was a good tour. Beautiful island once you get out of the fog. After the tour, we wandered around the streets. It was a Sunday and many shops were closed though.

Cheers

Len

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We just got off the Jewel also. I agree about the entertainment we walked out too the ones we attended. The production show we had already seen a couple of times. We also took the shuttle to airport but we did see some damage. We loved this cruise thinking about next year.

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Another opine on Jewel TA. Each of us has different experiences and here is my tale away from this TA.

Schedule - Outstanding, three port with sea days between and six sea days to San Juan.

Pluses

Captain and senior officers were available and friendly. Their parts in the Quest and 70s Disco party were unbelieveable.

Diamond party in the Safari Lounge, one of the best set ups of food and great service.

Entertainment, maybe we have low expectations but the Fly Boys, and others were good for cruise ship enetertainers, plus there was extra afternoon show in the theater and Centrum.

 

Oks

Food in the MDR and Windjammer, average for the fleet

 

Needs Improvment

Our table wait staff tried hard but they were inexperienced

The Compass had errors almost every day leading to confusion at is that event, here, now!!!

 

Finally, note on fake news...

The city was all,lite up on our 3AM arrival.

Taxis were lined up 200 deep for disembarking passengers.

I checked google for hotel availability on arrival day and found over 20 had rooms open for booking.

 

One mans opine....

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We're also on this cruise next Nov. What was the weather like in the Atlantic? Wondering if shorts and the pool are options during the day.

We had overcast weather every sea day. Very little pool time. We've had other transatlantic cruises where sea days were sunny and temps were in the 70's.

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We had heard that they were breaking in many new people and the cohesion just wasn't there as of yet.

Cheers

Len

 

 

Here is hoping they get it together by April, In my two trips on Jewel, I had one of the best and worst MDR experiences.

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Thank you for the reports!

 

I understand and agree with your frustration about breakfast in the MDR. It is great to know you got that fixed. We'll see how it goes for others.

 

Do you feel comfortable saying which shows you couldn't tolerate and which shows were better? I know everyone's tastes are different, but if there are choices to make, the experiences of others might be helpful.

 

Thank you again.

 

Renee

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... Do you feel comfortable saying which shows you couldn't tolerate and which shows were better? ...

The only shows that are consistently shown cruise to cruise are the production shows. We saw "City of Dreams" and enjoyed it. The orchestra on Jewel right now is excellent.

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Thank you for the reports!

 

I understand and agree with your frustration about breakfast in the MDR. It is great to know you got that fixed. We'll see how it goes for others.

 

Do you feel comfortable saying which shows you couldn't tolerate and which shows were better? I know everyone's tastes are different' date=' but if there are choices to make, the experiences of others might be helpful.

 

Thank you again.

 

Renee[/quote']

 

The first production show we walked out about mid way. Could understand the singers and it just wasn't very interesting. We did stay for the second, but felt their choice of songs was way off. They sang 'Aquarius/Let the Sun shine In', in basic suits instead of dressing as the people who should be singing the song and we never felt the 'energy' of that song was projected to the audience. Same for their closing number, 'Copacabana'. Costumes were great, but it was really missing energy to get people excited.

They had a very funny comedienne. magician, they had a wonderful lady who played a solo violin, they had a sort of funny concert pianist. They had a lady with a wonderful voice doing a Celine Dion tribute, which we felt was very poorly done and since we didn't know any of the songs, we departed mid show. They had a mime who walked around as an ostrich, but was amusing when he brought people from the audience up on stage. Also had a singer who did a Frank Sinatra, Dean martin etc. tribute. he was OK.

Again, just not one show that you wanted to see again, overall, pretty poor.

Cheers

Len

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