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Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,652 Reviews

Full review

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Mjk88

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Interior

From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all paperwork and credit card to hand. Pre paid deluxe drinks package and most shore excursions.

Ship - previously said nothing to compare to and a little nervous having read bad reviews from others. Spotless and absolutely no concerns on the ship. Scared of deep water and never wanted to cruise - NO safety concerns onboard and have already booked with Marella for new destinations but I am nervous this will not live up to the jewel! My daughter 11 did not want to go to kids clubs but loved her time onboard including mini golf and rock climbing. Enjoyed the fact we had deluxe drinks packages as tried a few cocktails I wouldn’t normally plus I paid for peace of mind. Probably didn’t get my money worth but again knew what i was paying for. Evening entertainment was great. I was tired after that and didn’t stay out till midnight or see any partying. Food was lovely. Staff always friendly! I am a bit of a nuisance and kept an eye on the cabin tv to make sure no charges - We did get a sneaky charge for cocktails the day at Sir Bani Yas however I rang from my room and they were removed immediately. I left with zero charges on my account as I wanted! I took dirham for onshore and dollars. I came home with money as we only had odd coffee and fridge magnet at each destination plus a scarf for the mosque. Shore excursions were great apart from Dubai. We ended up going back into Dubai via free shuttle afterwards. We literally rushed through the mall to Burj Khalifa and drove round the island for hours without food stop! It was super annoying so went back to mall afterwards. Knowing that there are usually free shuttles on my next cruise unless we want to pre book a activity we will make own way/free shuttle into centre, also saves waiting for people that are late getting on the coach..again the Dubai excursion left us 40 minutes late due to waiting for people. Not too long but from 8:30 till 3pm no food stop I was frustrated. UAE is amazing full stop just respect the culture or don’t go simple. You can dress as you would at home but did see a group of girls from ship going to Abu Dhabi mall with swimwear and see through cover ups on- my husband laughed as did others. I only felt the ship move the day at sea and I was probably overthinking it. I did not enjoy the day at sea as much because I like me space. I did sit round the pool for my daughter but not my thing. Day at sea couldn’t get spot around the pool so we sat on chairs on another deck, it was red hot and I actually preferred the spots away from everyone looking out at the sea ( i thought I’d never enjoy looking at the open sea!) overall I loved waking up at a nee destination and getting excited for the day! Ps the coffee shop was lovely. Main restaurant food lovely. Windjammer lovely. NO COMPLAINTS. Just nervous Marella discovery 2 won’t be as good! Considering this was older and smaller than the RC fleet we will try Harmony or another one as the company was so easy and no hassle at all.

Mjk88's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


Small but clean. Found it cosy and good night sleep as so dark once lights off. Loved the powerful shower. My 11 year old loved the pull out bed above. My suitcase did get in the way but I never unpack anyway and kept if upright side of bed. Absolutely no noise! Only time we heard machine noise when we pulled into port around 7-7:30ish on mornings we were at a different stop - we were awake anyway and I liked hearing we had arrived! Our corridor was also same to disembark so good plus and only one floor down to disembark also. Absolutely no problems and did not regret no balcony!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Sir Bani Yas Island

Free tender dock to island. We got there early, first boat I think. Got spot on beach free sunbeds and as we had deluxe drinks package we had free drinks on beach. Food available free from ship. Amazing day for FREE. Got henna tattoo at a small charge by amazing lady from Sudan. Red hot weather. Cold water but on holiday may never go back so we all had a swim a few times to cool off. Just lovely!


Got free shuttle to main area. Walked to souk..well followed some people then seen the signs. As early it was quiet when arrived. Some Indians do pester a little on way asking if you need taxi or tour but ignore them if don’t need just remember they are working. Souk was the best ever. Traditional and just amazing.

Abu Dhabi

Nice drive around and makes me want to go back. Independently got free shuttle to Mall after excursion.

Abu Dhabi

Amazing sums this up. Must see if you’re there.

Burj Khalifa

Nothing to do with Dubai but this was the only shore excursion during the cruise that was disappointing. First all 40 minutes ( NOT tours fault but lateness of a few couples from the ship) so it started a bit bad. Rushed through the mall to burj and of course as expected a que to the lifts/busy. We were told to be back at the entrance for what appeared to be a short time. Attraction was as expected having been to NYC we enjoy tall buildings and bucket list thing to do. Went back to meeting point on time, assuming we had free time but no the tour operator guy gathered the group and we walked to the souk- we only had ten minutes in the souk because he was waiting for late people..quickly bought a fridge magnet and had bottles of water from ship in backpack- starting to get hungry. I and others were thinking of staying at the mall and getting a taxi back to port but my husband was reluctant as we had paid for tour and was advised we were going to see other things. We got back on coach without time to do anything in the mall or souk except that 10 minute dash. We drove for around 2 half to 3 hours with no other stop apart from a beach photostop but no shop to pick a bite to eat up! A couple said they were getting taxi and leaving tour.. wish we had done at that point. Grumpy and hungry we got back. I can sit for hours and absolutely love sightseeing but a full day without food was just stupid. Even if we stopped half way for 30 minutes at any old or new cafe/restaurant/food stall I’d have been happy. My 11 year old daughter and husband got bored. Got back to port ate on ship then took free shuttle back to mall and enjoyed a few hours.

View All 22 Burj Khalifa Reviews

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