Jewel of the Seas | A Royal Caribbean Cruise Tour Part II

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas

We’re heading back to continue our tour of Royal Caribbean‘s Jewel of the Seas. Previously, we visited a few of the public spaces and now we’re off to visit the areas that people want to know the most about: Cabins and food. Yes, the itinerary is important and how new a ship is or how many people are on it, but everyone always asks about the cabins and the food. How was the food? Were the cabins big?

Junior Suite

Cabins: The cabins we visited were average sized cabins by Royal Caribbean standard. We only had the opportunity to visit three of the cabins onboard. The first was a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (E2) – approx. 220 sq. ft., a Junior Suite (JS) that was handicapped accessible at 359 sq. ft., and a Grand Suite (GS) – approx. 464-490 sq. ft. The Grand Suite sleeps up to four people and has a larger bathroom with a bathtub. This picture is of the sleeping area in the Junior Suite. The furnishings were updated and the decor tasteful and nicer than I have seen on other Royal Caribbean ships. The color scheme chosen was darker and richer and gave a more expensive feel to the cabins. I’ll be posting pictures of the other cabins and other areas of the ship on our FaceBook page tomorrow so please visit and indulge on all the pics! While you’re there, take a look at some of the other ships’ pictures, too. Did you know you can click on the pictures in this blog to make them bigger, too?

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

Dining: If you’ve read any of the ship reviews I have done here on my blog, you’ll certainly see mention of the food on Royal Caribbean. The food is plentiful and since these tend to be large ships, the food is good, but certainly not fine dining. We were treated to lunch while onboard and although a quick meal, it was some of the same food they have been serving for a while on their ships. One of the appetizer options was the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio: “Thinly sliced smoked Atlantic salmon served with red onions, capers, and lime.” This attractive appetizer was well received by others at my table although the generic tableware diffuses any attempt at presenting it in a sophisticated manner.

Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho

Another option for an appetizer was the Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho: “Garnished with chopped celery and cucumber.” Despite what my husband says about it, this is always a favorite of mine. I do make an effort on every cruise to always try something new every day. Although I’m not a fan of traditional gazpacho, I’m so glad I tried this version. After a long day of sightseeing or sitting in the sun, it is light and refreshing.

Thai BBQ Chicken Breast

One of the entrees served was the Thai BBQ Chicken Breast pictured here. “The delicate perfume of jasmine rice is enhanced by coconut and lemongrass.” Not sure why they felt compelled to skewer the chicken with a sprig of rosemary since that is so not Thai, but to each his own. Although I do see people eating meals onboard Royal Caribbean ships, the one thing I don’t ever see is someone saying, “You have got to TRY this!” because it is so good. Instead, I think people are happy to have a meal, but they understand the mass market appeal the cruise line takes for preparing food in their kitchen. They’ll get a good meal and they don’t have to cook so they are happy. Many who have sailed mass market cruise lines eventually start moving up to premium (Holland America, Princess, Celebrity) or luxury (Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, Azamara) cruise lines because they want to try something that appeals not only to sense of style, but their palates as well.

Apple Pie a la Mode

An example of this is with their desserts. This is their Apple Pie a la Mode: “Slices of spiced Golden Delicious apples baked in a double-crust pastry, topped with vanilla ice cream.” Unfortunately, some of the apples had disintegrated into applesauce and no matter how much confectioners sugar you put on something, it usually doesn’t make it taste better. The generic vanilla ice cream is no better, but I will tell you that the majority of the people there ate their dessert with a vengeance. Did they like it or were they just hungry? Guess we’ll never know.

In addition to Tides, the Main Dining Room (MDR), the Jewel of the Seas also has the Windjammer buffet, the Seaview Cafe, and Latté-tudes, a specialty coffee house featuring Seattle’s Best Coffee®. These dining venues are all included in the price of your cruise. However, for an additional nominal fee per person, you could dine in Portofino Italian Restaurant or Chops Grille. I say try one because the food is always that good that you’ll find you’ll want to eat in one of the specialty restaurants all the time. Remember that in addition to pre-booking your excursions online in advance of your cruise, you can also make reservations in the specialty dining restaurants ahead of time instead of waiting until you are onboard. Lastly, with 24-hour room service available, you don’t even have to leave your cabin if you feel the urge to eat or maybe just have a nibble.

The overall condition of the ship is quite good. This well cared for ship is less than ten years old and she has beautiful areas like the three-deck Coral Theatre or the Centrum to sit back and enjoy her beauty. Or you might want to have a drink in the Champagne Bar or play trivia and have a drink in the Schooner Bar or one of the many other bars and lounges onboard. The most unusual area on the ship is the Colony Club, which is a unique British colonial-style lounge with self-leveling pool tables. Did you know that you could play pool while at sea?

Maybe this is the ship you were waiting to go on for your next cruise and you just didn’t know it until now. Either way, book a cruise soon — you won’t regret it!

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