January 21st, 2012
Natalee and I recently had the opportunity to tour the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas in Tampa FL. The Jewel is 90k tons in size and carries about 2500 passengers, which is between small and medium compared to the size of ships today. Although we have been on ships newer and almost twice its size, we were more impressed with this Radiance Class ship that any other. The look of warm wood and rich fabrics in the staterooms and public areas made the Jewel seem a step above similarly sized ships.
In this post, you will see a few stock photos, but most are ones that I took on Jan 7th, 2012. To view all the photos I snapped during our inspection of the Jewel, check out this link: http://ow.ly/8wdQt
Come take a look through our eyes…I hope you enjoy your tour!
The Jewel in all her glory.
Some of the smaller ships have a shortage of balconies but not this one. We’ve already imagined ourselves on the balcony drinking our room service coffee and watching the sun come up as we cruise along the Gulf of Mexico.
Other amenities on this ship include a fitness center and day spa, 2 specialty dining restaurants, mini golf course, golf simulator, rock climbing wall, sports court, water slide, movie cinema and the Adventure Ocean program which has been awarded the highest rated program for kids and teens on the ocean.
Unlike most ships where the library is tucked into a corner, the Jewel has hers open and inviting. Stop by and pick up a book on your way to the sun deck or have a seat and enjoy your reading in one of the comfortable chairs or sofas.
With a lot of chrome and glass, the Centrum on the Jewel is as nice as I have seen. The sparkling lights and suspended sculptures draw your eye up to the center top which is actually a large glass table in the Crown and Anchor room where you can look down for an awesome view of the Centrum below. Glass elevators face the inside and outside of the ship for a great view of the Centrum or the sea as you move deck to deck.
This is a view of the Centrum bar and lounge area. This is a nice place to relax and meet people. You will often find live entertainment in this area playing soft classics for your listening and dancing pleasure.
Next on our tour is the Safari Club, which is actually 4 clubs in one. You’ll find game tables in one club, including these self-leveling pool tables. We can’t wait to try these out on our November cruise. This is a great example of the beautiful wood decor used throughout this ship.
The Safari Club is very spacious and you are not crowded like I have seen on other ships.
Here is a view of the bar and lounge area of the club. Notice on the right a backgammon table. There are also checkers tables scattered along the walls of this section of the club.
Natalee fell in love with the rich colors and patterns of the African inspired fabrics and carpets.
Not pictured, but equally impressive, is the entertainment area of the Safari Club. This lounge has lots of comfortable seating and a stage where you’ll find live entertainment, comedy shows, karaoke and more. This is also where you find “The Quest” – Royal Caribbean’s special version of a scavenger hunt gameshow that will have your face hurting from laughing so much. We never miss The Quest!
The Royal Casino is much like other ships’ casinos, but has a rich feel to it with the nice fabrics and decor.
The Main dining room covers two decks and the atmosphere is very warm. It is laid out very well and not cramped like some ships.
Natalee liked how they hid the support columns with fabric draping. She says it gives it a softer, more comfortable feel. I like the columns, too, but I’m more interested in what’s on the menu!
The Windjammer buffet has a nice flow to it. The stations are spread out making it easy to navigate. There is also two side rooms off the main buffet dining area that will hold up to 75 people. One of them can be reserved for a group to each lunch together.
This little-known gem is the Seaview Cafe, tucked into a corner on the sports deck. Here you can get made-to-order sandwiches and other deli treats. This is a nice place to hide away from the crowds and get a bite to eat.
This is a shot of the Schooner Bar which is a popular nighttime entertainment area with live piano entertainment.
We love the Solarium! This is a totally glass-enclosed quiet pool area with Asian-inspired decor. The lush vegetation and quiet sound of the fountains make you feel like you’re at a rich resort deep in the jungle. Natalee has already staked out a thickly upholstered lounge chair, so I know where we’re going to spend a lot of time on this cruise!
- Another shot of the Solarium pool.
And now for some shots of the staterooms. We found these to be spacious (compared to other ships this size), and the wood and color schemes gave them a luxurious feel. The TVs were generally of the old style, but we were told on the tour that they are being gradually replaced by flat screen TVs throughout. Who needs TV anyway when there’s so much to do?
Typical inside stateroom. On our tour, we found the beds have a rounded bottom which gives you a little more space to get around the corners. The bedding(not shown here) is a thick, soft, white comforter that you just sink into. Each stateroom also has a privacy curtain that you can pull to close off the bed from the living area.
Here’s a shot with the current bedding and you can see the rounded bottom of the bed. These rooms can also be configured to have two twin beds with a night table between them. Some can sleep 3 or 4 using drop-down bunks or sofa beds.
Typical Ocean View stateroom. These can also be configured with twin beds and some can sleep 3 to 4.
Here’s a typical “E” balcony room. Your balcony comes with a small table and chairs to enjoy the sun and breeze off the ocean. These rooms can also be configured with twin beds and some can accomodate 3 or 4 passengers.
This is a sweet suite! Notice all the extra room and larger balcony! The bathrooms in these suites have double sinks with granite countertops and are very nice. If you have the extra dough…this is the way to go!
Thanks for taking the tour! Hope to see you on this ship or another cruise real soon!