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xxHadleyxx

Quick Review of Jewel OTS May TA

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I am a bit late in posting this as we have been back a week, but here goes---just a short review of some key areas (I am happy to try to answer questions if wanted):

 

Diamond Perks: This was our fifth TA on RCI as Diamonds. We are used to lounges being too full to get seats without waiting a line or some other nonesense--even with overflow lounges open. It's understandable and we do not complain about it---just happily use our 3 coupons elsewhere and enjoy our cruise. That and allowing Diamonds to get coffee since the lounge machine can't keep up are all we expect on cruises with very high numbers of top tier cruisers.

So, it was a fabulous surprise to feel really valued and have perks on the Jewel TA---their loyalty ambassador ought to be training everyone on how to do it right!

Diamond cocktail hour had the lounge plus most of Viking Crown as overflow (as per usual) PLUS all of the Safari Club as a second lounge area---that one with some sort of entertainment in two short bursts over the evening (the comedian doing a short set, live music, tango dancers, etc). There was never any point when we were unable to find a seat. Bar staff were everywhere---snacks were really good, etc.

The "top tier party" was also particularly good even though in the theatre due to numbers. A live music set, recognition of the pinnacles (which my oldest joked felt like a scout bridging ceremony lol but we enjoyed it), good bar service . . .

 

Food:

This was ALL over the map. Some of the best preperations for some dishes we've had yet on RCI. Also some terrible ones---including chicken being served to me still raw in the middle. It was weird. Some cruises have had overall great food and some overall not very good but this was totally inconsistent from day to day and even dish to dish.

 

The new dinner menus really lack variety--we were quite underwhelmed. Plus on Jewel is the Indian menu that you can request with about 3 options nightly. Every dish we ordered off of that menu was excellent---and having that added variety to the dull new menus was very much appreciated.

 

There seemed to be more variety in MTD lunch menus than in the past---still repeats but not as often, we liked that.

 

windjammer was also inconsistent with food quality.

 

We never eat breakfast, so I cannot comment on that.

 

Cruise Director and Cruise Staff:

Andrea (CD) is fairly new to RCI, from MSC. He speaks a lot of languages, which was really impressive at first---but having been present for several conversations involving him, I quickly learned that he "speaks" a lot but struggles with comprehension--it seemed nearly 50% of the time his answer had nothing to do with the question asked of him and he was misunderstanding. That was unfortunate but not a huge deal. I am neutral to him as a CD overall, though the 80s and 90s party he did was great---far better than the only other one I have seen on RCI. Not sure if that came from him or elsewhere.

 

 

The rest of the cruise staff, including activities director Danny, were excellent (except one who was very problematic and resulted in the first time I have ever reported a crew member to higher ups, but I do not think he represents the cruise staff as a whole). Many wrote their own, WELL DONE trivias, etc which is so appreciated on a TA especially.

 

 

Entertainment:

We had quite literally the worst DJ we've ever encountered on a cruise. He had no idea what makes a good dance tune and played lots of stuff that was not dance music and 90% music from the 70s. The dance floor was nearly always empty and by mid cruise people mostly quit even stopping by the club in hopes of hearing some good music. Even other cruise staff said he did not know music and needed training---and it is insulting to have staff decide that older people do not want modern music---even when we request it. One night the club was closed for a staff party---that had GREAT music; we danced in the Diamond lounge which has no sound barrier and ran into another couple who had done the same in the concierge lounge! MANY people we happened to run into the next couple of days who had gone to one lounge or another commented on that party having the music we had all been wanting all cruise.

 

 

Live music was hit or miss. One duo was good, one group not so much, etc----one the singer might have been sick? she sat there on stage and never sang and they played instrumentals----several sets over multiple days? Seems more reasonable to announce she is sick and not have her sit there than have her there doing nothing front and center? Most of the musicians were changed mid cruise so that added to the inconsistency.

 

 

The orchestra was particularly good and the singers and dancers were a good bunch. I enjoyed the productions shows. Most specialty acts were not to my taste but many others seemed to enjoy them.

 

 

Crew:

Overall the ship seemed well run. The crew were very nice and professional. With the one exception, excellent all around. Captain Dusty gives particularly long winded and boring updates, but I am more concerned with how he pilots the ship anyway. Other than the CD, senior officers in every department were out and talking and approachable and beding over backwards to help guests and fufill requests for 2 weeks.

Amdrea? He was out. We told him that the night before the club was listed as having an hour of "top 40" got up there and it was still 70s, not even the stuff from the 70s that is good for dancing, asked for top 40 or anything newish at all, with a good dance beat--never happened and were told that most people are requesting Latin music so we are playing that (um, no you were not). Gave up on talking to him.

But really, for the most part there was a huge desire to get feedback and improve even mid cruise

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I am a bit late in posting this as we have been back a week, but here goes---just a short review of some key areas (I am happy to try to answer questions if wanted):

 

Diamond Perks: This was our fifth TA on RCI as Diamonds. We are used to lounges being too full to get seats without waiting a line or some other nonesense--even with overflow lounges open. It's understandable and we do not complain about it---just happily use our 3 coupons elsewhere and enjoy our cruise. That and allowing Diamonds to get coffee since the lounge machine can't keep up are all we expect on cruises with very high numbers of top tier cruisers.

So, it was a fabulous surprise to feel really valued and have perks on the Jewel TA---their loyalty ambassador ought to be training everyone on how to do it right!

Diamond cocktail hour had the lounge plus most of Viking Crown as overflow (as per usual) PLUS all of the Safari Club as a second lounge area---that one with some sort of entertainment in two short bursts over the evening (the comedian doing a short set, live music, tango dancers, etc). There was never any point when we were unable to find a seat. Bar staff were everywhere---snacks were really good, etc.

The "top tier party" was also particularly good even though in the theatre due to numbers. A live music set, recognition of the pinnacles (which my oldest joked felt like a scout bridging ceremony lol but we enjoyed it), good bar service . . .

 

Food:

This was ALL over the map. Some of the best preperations for some dishes we've had yet on RCI. Also some terrible ones---including chicken being served to me still raw in the middle. It was weird. Some cruises have had overall great food and some overall not very good but this was totally inconsistent from day to day and even dish to dish.

 

The new dinner menus really lack variety--we were quite underwhelmed. Plus on Jewel is the Indian menu that you can request with about 3 options nightly. Every dish we ordered off of that menu was excellent---and having that added variety to the dull new menus was very much appreciated.

 

There seemed to be more variety in MTD lunch menus than in the past---still repeats but not as often, we liked that.

 

windjammer was also inconsistent with food quality.

 

We never eat breakfast, so I cannot comment on that.

 

Cruise Director and Cruise Staff:

Andrea (CD) is fairly new to RCI, from MSC. He speaks a lot of languages, which was really impressive at first---but having been present for several conversations involving him, I quickly learned that he "speaks" a lot but struggles with comprehension--it seemed nearly 50% of the time his answer had nothing to do with the question asked of him and he was misunderstanding. That was unfortunate but not a huge deal. I am neutral to him as a CD overall, though the 80s and 90s party he did was great---far better than the only other one I have seen on RCI. Not sure if that came from him or elsewhere.

 

 

The rest of the cruise staff, including activities director Danny, were excellent (except one who was very problematic and resulted in the first time I have ever reported a crew member to higher ups, but I do not think he represents the cruise staff as a whole). Many wrote their own, WELL DONE trivias, etc which is so appreciated on a TA especially.

 

 

Entertainment:

We had quite literally the worst DJ we've ever encountered on a cruise. He had no idea what makes a good dance tune and played lots of stuff that was not dance music and 90% music from the 70s. The dance floor was nearly always empty and by mid cruise people mostly quit even stopping by the club in hopes of hearing some good music. Even other cruise staff said he did not know music and needed training---and it is insulting to have staff decide that older people do not want modern music---even when we request it. One night the club was closed for a staff party---that had GREAT music; we danced in the Diamond lounge which has no sound barrier and ran into another couple who had done the same in the concierge lounge! MANY people we happened to run into the next couple of days who had gone to one lounge or another commented on that party having the music we had all been wanting all cruise.

 

 

Live music was hit or miss. One duo was good, one group not so much, etc----one the singer might have been sick? she sat there on stage and never sang and they played instrumentals----several sets over multiple days? Seems more reasonable to announce she is sick and not have her sit there than have her there doing nothing front and center? Most of the musicians were changed mid cruise so that added to the inconsistency.

 

 

The orchestra was particularly good and the singers and dancers were a good bunch. I enjoyed the productions shows. Most specialty acts were not to my taste but many others seemed to enjoy them.

 

 

Crew:

Overall the ship seemed well run. The crew were very nice and professional. With the one exception, excellent all around. Captain Dusty gives particularly long winded and boring updates, but I am more concerned with how he pilots the ship anyway. Other than the CD, senior officers in every department were out and talking and approachable and beding over backwards to help guests and fufill requests for 2 weeks.

Amdrea? He was out. We told him that the night before the club was listed as having an hour of "top 40" got up there and it was still 70s, not even the stuff from the 70s that is good for dancing, asked for top 40 or anything newish at all, with a good dance beat--never happened and were told that most people are requesting Latin music so we are playing that (um, no you were not). Gave up on talking to him.

But really, for the most part there was a huge desire to get feedback and improve even mid cruise

 

Hadley

 

I agree with you pretty much 100% regarding everything. I'm still working on finishing my full review of the cruise, but I think you summed this up nicely. I would be interested to hear more about the incident with the crew member you had to report if its not too intrusive. Overall i'd say the crew on this sailing was the best we have experienced with RCCL.

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How about the ship itself? I understand that was a $30m overhaul recently and would like to hear about the cabins & public spaces. My family and I will be sailing on Jewel this time next year. I haven't sailed on RCCL since Oasis in 2010 and hope my ship selection makes the rest of the group happy sailors!

Susan

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How about the ship itself? I understand that was a $30m overhaul recently and would like to hear about the cabins & public spaces. My family and I will be sailing on Jewel this time next year. I haven't sailed on RCCL since Oasis in 2010 and hope my ship selection makes the rest of the group happy sailors!

Susan

 

I have a fondness for the Radiance class ships---I love how outward focused they are.

We found it to be in excellent condition---the pool tables worked and were in nearly constant use, the theatre with it's under the sea theming was one of the prettiest I have seen, pools and hot tubs were in nice shape, etc.

Getting to Izumi is a bit weird on these ships---you have to walk outside past the basketball and kids' pool, but that is a quirk I can live with.

Our room was nice, in good shape, comfortable bed---we had the larger balcony hum cabin and had two loungers plus two chairs and a table and really enjoyed that.

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Thanks Hadley for the info.

We have booked five aft-facing cabins on deck 9 so we can enjoy the wake. Do you know if the partitions between balconies open up for easy access to your neighbor? We did that on Princess a couple of months ago and it worked out well.

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Hadley

 

I agree with you pretty much 100% regarding everything. I'm still working on finishing my full review of the cruise, but I think you summed this up nicely. I would be interested to hear more about the incident with the crew member you had to report if its not too intrusive. Overall i'd say the crew on this sailing was the best we have experienced with RCCL.

 

It's good to hear your experiences match my summary. I would hate to misrepresent. We agree that overall it was a truly wonderful crew.

 

 

The cruise staff member had a pattern---any one incident would have been shrugged off, some were really not a big deal at all (like the first listed) but after several I decided it felt like some sort of power trip/intimidation thing so we felt we should report it so he could be retrained or something. it was weird because he seemed funny and good at the few trivias we were at with him, etc---but then at other times he felt very off and not at all like anything we have experienced from crew on any line in over 30 cruises.

We experienced him grabbing onto our 21 year old and not letting go when asked and lecturing about "chill out girl" "learn to have fun" etc---for a good 2 minutes, multiple times, while refusing to let go. Cursing when annoyed that chairs had been moved for people to talk, and a couple of other things---the grabbing and not letting go while lecturing was the main issue, but the other things plus the grabbing happening multiple times were why we saw a pattern and reported.

Edited by xxHadleyxx

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Thanks Hadley for the info.

We have booked five aft-facing cabins on deck 9 so we can enjoy the wake. Do you know if the partitions between balconies open up for easy access to your neighbor? We did that on Princess a couple of months ago and it worked out well.

 

I do not think the partition between our hump balcony could be opened at all (we have had them opened on other ships)----we were on some aft balconies (so nice!) during the cabin crawl---I am trying to think back and remember of those were partitions which could be opened. Hopefully Jeff or Brenda or another from the cruise who had those cabins will see this thread and answer you.

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What broadway shows are on the Jewel?

There are no Broadway shows on Jewel, just standard cruise ship production shows and various headliners like comedians, jugglers, singers, ball twirlers, etc.

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There are no Broadway shows on Jewel, just standard cruise ship production shows and various headliners like comedians, jugglers, singers, ball twirlers, etc.

 

How disappointing. Will be on Jewel this winter and was hoping to take in some of the shows. Doesn't sound very encouraging...

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How disappointing. Will be on Jewel this winter and was hoping to take in some of the shows. Doesn't sound very encouraging...

Depends what you enjoy. If you like live music, there is plenty around the ship and during the production shows.

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On 5/30/2018 at 8:04 AM, xxHadleyxx said:

I am a bit late in posting this as we have been back a week, but here goes---just a short review of some key areas (I am happy to try to answer questions if wanted):

 

Diamond Perks: This was our fifth TA on RCI as Diamonds. We are used to lounges being too full to get seats without waiting a line or some other nonesense--even with overflow lounges open. It's understandable and we do not complain about it---just happily use our 3 coupons elsewhere and enjoy our cruise. That and allowing Diamonds to get coffee since the lounge machine can't keep up are all we expect on cruises with very high numbers of top tier cruisers.

So, it was a fabulous surprise to feel really valued and have perks on the Jewel TA---their loyalty ambassador ought to be training everyone on how to do it right!

Diamond cocktail hour had the lounge plus most of Viking Crown as overflow (as per usual) PLUS all of the Safari Club as a second lounge area---that one with some sort of entertainment in two short bursts over the evening (the comedian doing a short set, live music, tango dancers, etc). There was never any point when we were unable to find a seat. Bar staff were everywhere---snacks were really good, etc.

The "top tier party" was also particularly good even though in the theatre due to numbers. A live music set, recognition of the pinnacles (which my oldest joked felt like a scout bridging ceremony lol but we enjoyed it), good bar service . . .

 

Food:

This was ALL over the map. Some of the best preperations for some dishes we've had yet on RCI. Also some terrible ones---including chicken being served to me still raw in the middle. It was weird. Some cruises have had overall great food and some overall not very good but this was totally inconsistent from day to day and even dish to dish.

 

The new dinner menus really lack variety--we were quite underwhelmed. Plus on Jewel is the Indian menu that you can request with about 3 options nightly. Every dish we ordered off of that menu was excellent---and having that added variety to the dull new menus was very much appreciated.

 

There seemed to be more variety in MTD lunch menus than in the past---still repeats but not as often, we liked that.

 

windjammer was also inconsistent with food quality.

 

We never eat breakfast, so I cannot comment on that.

 

Cruise Director and Cruise Staff:

Andrea (CD) is fairly new to RCI, from MSC. He speaks a lot of languages, which was really impressive at first---but having been present for several conversations involving him, I quickly learned that he "speaks" a lot but struggles with comprehension--it seemed nearly 50% of the time his answer had nothing to do with the question asked of him and he was misunderstanding. That was unfortunate but not a huge deal. I am neutral to him as a CD overall, though the 80s and 90s party he did was great---far better than the only other one I have seen on RCI. Not sure if that came from him or elsewhere.

 

 

The rest of the cruise staff, including activities director Danny, were excellent (except one who was very problematic and resulted in the first time I have ever reported a crew member to higher ups, but I do not think he represents the cruise staff as a whole). Many wrote their own, WELL DONE trivias, etc which is so appreciated on a TA especially.

 

 

Entertainment:

We had quite literally the worst DJ we've ever encountered on a cruise. He had no idea what makes a good dance tune and played lots of stuff that was not dance music and 90% music from the 70s. The dance floor was nearly always empty and by mid cruise people mostly quit even stopping by the club in hopes of hearing some good music. Even other cruise staff said he did not know music and needed training---and it is insulting to have staff decide that older people do not want modern music---even when we request it. One night the club was closed for a staff party---that had GREAT music; we danced in the Diamond lounge which has no sound barrier and ran into another couple who had done the same in the concierge lounge! MANY people we happened to run into the next couple of days who had gone to one lounge or another commented on that party having the music we had all been wanting all cruise.

 

 

Live music was hit or miss. One duo was good, one group not so much, etc----one the singer might have been sick? she sat there on stage and never sang and they played instrumentals----several sets over multiple days? Seems more reasonable to announce she is sick and not have her sit there than have her there doing nothing front and center? Most of the musicians were changed mid cruise so that added to the inconsistency.

 

 

The orchestra was particularly good and the singers and dancers were a good bunch. I enjoyed the productions shows. Most specialty acts were not to my taste but many others seemed to enjoy them.

 

 

Crew:

Overall the ship seemed well run. The crew were very nice and professional. With the one exception, excellent all around. Captain Dusty gives particularly long winded and boring updates, but I am more concerned with how he pilots the ship anyway. Other than the CD, senior officers in every department were out and talking and approachable and beding over backwards to help guests and fufill requests for 2 weeks.

Amdrea? He was out. We told him that the night before the club was listed as having an hour of "top 40" got up there and it was still 70s, not even the stuff from the 70s that is good for dancing, asked for top 40 or anything newish at all, with a good dance beat--never happened and were told that most people are requesting Latin music so we are playing that (um, no you were not). Gave up on talking to him.

But really, for the most part there was a huge desire to get feedback and improve even mid cruise

Excellent review-- lots of work.  Hope RCI reads this.  

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