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Found 188 results

  1. I'm back from an amazing (but tiring!) time on the beautiful Jewel of the Seas out of Civitavecchia to Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, and Naples. Researching before trips is a hobby/obsession of mine, so hopefully these posts will help others eyeing this particular itinerary. Quick background on me - I'm a lover of cruising, 20+ under my belt, and a lover of the Mediterranean with trips to Italy and Sicily in the past, but this was my first time combining the two with a Mediterranean cruise. A match made in heaven, I think! I traveled with my husband; he's a newer cruiser with this being his third, and a bit of a reluctant traveler in general. To be fair, we have had some really horrible travel experiences together so I can't say I blame him (let's just say we assume we won't get our luggage... ever.) My mom passed away last September, and around the holidays hubs noticed I was having a hard time and suggested a trip to look forward to may help. He mentioned Greece as we haven't been there together, and the words barely passed his lips before I was researching and booking. Had to lock something in before he changed his mind! (He didn't change his mind, but he did make me laugh when weeks later after booking the trip he casually inquired "Do we have to fly to get there?" For reference, we live in Massachusetts, and the cruise left from Civi/Rome. Yes, yes dear, we DO have to fly to get there. Unless he wanted to book a separate transatlantic cruise, which I'd be down for if my work would play ball! He's a brilliant man, truly, I just think the PTSD of our horrific past flights kicked in and he couldn't believe he agreed to travel overseas.) We booked a "spacious" balcony room on the 9th floor (9072) for around $2300/person including taxes/fees. Not our most frugal cruise, but for 9 nights with this itinerary, it was worth it. And we simply can't travel without a balcony. I'm trying to delay introducing him to suites or the bar will be raised yet again and our wallets will suffer! Our airfare was booked through the Air2Sea program and was $690/person for British Airways Boston to Heathrow, then Heathrow to Rome (round trip). There were direct flights available but they were on Alitalia and Alitalia ALWAYS loses our luggage, so we accepted the brief layover in hopes we'd actually have bags for a change. When we got to Logan (airport in Boston) check in/security was seamless, but our flight was already delayed. I think I saw the first hint of an eye twitch develop on my husband's face, but thankfully it was only a brief delay and they were able to make up for the time with some good tailwinds. Speaking of which it was the most turbulent flight I've ever been on! I'm not bothered by that, but it was so rough drinks were spilling and my eye mask kept getting jostled right off. (#firstworldproblems) I didn't eat on the flight (determined to sleep as much as possible and head off the time change fatigue) but hubs said the food was "good for airplane food" - and he appreciated the complimentary wine with dinner. I'm a strategic seat-picker so I had an empty spot next to me which was pleasant to have a little more space. Heathrow was crazy. Our layover was around 90 minutes and we needed every minute of it. We deplaned down a set of external stairs and had to then board a shuttle that drove us for ages around the tarmacs before finally dropping us off at the same terminal we had arrived at. This was not the case on our return trip through Heathrow so I'm not sure what was up with it, but it was a big time suck. At Heathrow you have to go through security again and they are militant about liquids... or anything they consider liquids. Such as toothpaste and deodorant. Toothpaste, ok, gray area. It's a "paste" which I'd argue isn't a liquid, but semantics. But deodorant that says right on it "SOLID" - that is not a liquid! In any event, I got scolded for my toothpaste and deodorant not being in the clear bag with my other liquids, so then my carry on got extra scrutiny. So it's kinda like the Jimmy Buffet song "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" except it's "it's a liquid somewhere, under certain atmospheric conditions and in a different astral plane, so just shove everything in the clear bag and avoid getting yelled at." Catchy, don't ya think? The flight from Heathrow to Rome was uneventful and I was fortunate to have a whole row to myself. You can see the ships in Civi as we flew over. After a quick automated passport screen, we went to pray at the altar of the baggage claim and hope against hope that our luggage would be there. It was! Oh British Airways, you're a keeper! You’ll notice my bag is busted with the label missing. Thank you Alitalia from our last trip! But when a bag practically circumnavigates the globe because it’s lost so throughly, I suppose what can you expect? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. ***Hi everyone! First, if you haven’t yet read Rowse’s wonderful report do go enjoy that! It will take me several days to get my full blog and photos up. I also did a lot of video this time and will be posting some vlog links once I have them edited*** https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2699122-jewel-of-the-seas-review-long-september-15-24-2019-with-travel-prepost-cruise/page/5/ Wow. Incredible. Beautiful. These are the words we used when describing last years visit to the Greek isles. Would this year live up to the same standard and unmeasurable experience? This was my 7th cruise...7th?! That’s not nearly enough. I started cruising in fall 2014 when I made the leap to move from my home in Seattle to where my long distance at the time boyfriend lived in Colorado. He had been cruising for years solo or with ex girlfriends that we will not mention. I had just returned from a DIY land based in Ireland and then pretty much went straight into my first cruise: the Southern Caribbean. If you read my last review you’ll know Nate and I got engaged in Sept 2018 in Rome on top of the Altar of the Fatherland in Palazzo Venezia. When we got back from that cruise we almost immediately booked for October 2019. The price was too good to pass up and we wanted to see everything again. Shortly after we booked this cruise we started thinking about wedding dates. Nate’s business’ busy season ramps down in September...getting married during the summer is just not an option. I found our venue http://www.cathedralpineslodge.com/ and fell in love with the idea of a fall wedding there...I spoke to the manager and the “off season” prices began in October. “Well we can’t get married in October because we have the cruise booked”. This is how our wedding date of November 9, 2019 was born. So this cruise is a non-traditional pre wedding moon. We have a cruise booked in January 2020 so I guess you could call that the official honeymoon. We booked this 9 night cruise through a big box store and paid: $2350 for an interior cabin on deck 9 forward. This also included a $140 gift card upon our return which I plan to use to buy the appetizers for our wedding reception. I really wanted a balcony again but couldn’t justify the price which never dropped below $2000 each. We booked our round trip flights through Air2Sea for $700 each! I couldn’t believe it! This would be my first time flying British Airways. With all the strikes going on this summer I grew a little anxious but figured it would all work out in the end no matter what happened. I emailed Maurizio with Cabs4Rome to let him know we were coming back again and would use his service. I began researching different excursions for Naples. In 2018 we went to Pompeii and I wanted to go to Amalfi this time. I had seen a review for Carmine’s Amalfi Coast (also recommended by Rick Steves) and emailed him for a quote and quickly paid the 50euro deposit. More on all of this later! This is just part of my planning experience. The itinerary for this trip was slightly different than last year: Civi, Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, Naples, Civi October 3-12. We were more than ready for this trip since our last vacation was a 5 day trip to Florida in February. We visited my grandma, dad,and extended family...I got a quick fix of my love for the Sea and Sunsets, but it left me longing for both again. In October 2018 we were t-boned by someone running a red light. It totaled Nates car, broke his back, gave me a breathing issue that took weeks to go away and anxiety I still deal with. In May we bought a puppy, a schnauzer, from a breeder. 2 days later we took him to the pet hospital with parvo. 14 days and close to $14k we got to bring him home. That 2 weeks was stessful, heartbreaking and a roller coaster. He’s now a happy, healthy, playful little nugget. I’ve also been planning our wedding, our next cruise in January, AND because of all the stress gave up my home business (I’m still a full time exec asst). We needed this trip. One of the things I regretted not doing on last years cruise was seeing the Colosseum lit up at night. Would we be able to fit that in this time? Stay tuned. I also learned last year that there are 2 different internet packages: Voom & Voom Surf/Stream. last year i had just gotten us Voom and we both had a terrible time uploading anything to social media. This time i got a great deal on black friday and got us both Surf & Stream. would it be any better? I also purchased the soda package for myself. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. We have just returned from an amazing two week adventure which included some time in Florence, Italy, a Greek Isle Cruise on Jewel of the Seas, and a post cruise night in Italy, before returning home. A little back ground on us...we are in our late 50's and have 38 cruises under our belts. We are loyal to no particular line and have sailed many, but are Elite on both Princess and Celebrity, the later getting us Diamond Status on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We already had four prior cruises on Royal Caribbean, but were no where close to Diamond, so very much appreciated having our Celebrity Status recognized on RCCL. It had been 10 years since our last RCCL cruise, so I was a little worried when I was reading some very "Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad" reviews on Jewel of the Seas. Let me just stop there and assure anyone reading this, that we did NOT find anything of the sort! As a matter of fact, we LOVED this ship and had a wonderful experience I can hardly wait to tell you about! Our travel was to be 3 nights pre-cruise in Florence, Italy, then the 9 night cruise, followed by one more night in Italy before flying home. The following review will tell it all, with pictures of course, and the review comes with a warning that it could take days for me to complete as real life sometimes gets in the way. I hope you all come along for the ride! We traveled with dear friends, who suggested this cruise to us, and of course I am one to never say "no" to a cruise. They spent a week before joining us on the cruise in Portugal. So let the adventure begin....On September 11, we started our day with no sleep from excitement and were at the airport very early for our 7:00a.m flight. We flew Delta using the Cruise lines Air to Sea program. Our stops were Minneapolis and Detroit before landing in Rome at 9:30a.m. on the 12th. We were thrilled with the price of Air to Sea, and I urge anyone cruising Internationally to give it a look. Our round trip from Spokane, Washington, to Rome was $579 per person in Main Ecomony. That is not a typo!!! Here we come Italy!!!
  4. Received email today that instead of departing from Barcelona on the 5 September next, due to port congestion, Jewel of the Seas will be departing from Tarragona, Spain, some 63 miles away. As most passengers will be flying into Barcelona airport, they are arranging shuttle buses from 10.00 am on departure day to take everyone to Tarragona from the World Trade Centre Terminal South. So you can imagine how congested and long winded this will be. I know the ports of departure are booked years in advance so very surprising that such a huge company has now been relegated to the little known port of Tarragona!
  5. I have this 3 paragraph opener with all my pre-planning drafted on my work computer, but I felt like starting this now so I will post that at the end of the blog. This will be a picture heavy report and include a lot of details. I want to preface this by saying I don’t care if you reply and repost pictures...it doesn’t bother me. I’m just happy to see people reading along. I also want to say that this is my opinions and the Greek Isles seen through my eyes. Sorry if you don’t agree with something I say, just be kind about it [emoji6] No hateful comments will be responded to. This was my 6th cruise. I am 36 and bf 39. We are from Colorado and this trip was definitely bucket list for us. Ok next post will start the report.
  6. We are on Jewel of the Seas around the Greek Isles in a few weeks time. Do any past passengers know whether there will be theme nights on board. Any info much appreciated.
  7. Is there any issues with Jewel today? I see they skipped Mykonos today and are heading straight to Athens with an evening arrival.
  8. Where can I find current Jewel of the Seas Dining Room menus? Thank you.
  9. Hi, We are currently on the Jewel and would like to ask fellow cruisers a few questions. Our TA somehow put us for 6pm dining in the MDR, although we rarely ever go down to the MDR these days due to various reasons. However during one of the breakfast service in the MDR we were approached by the waiter and head waiter and asked why we haven't been to the MDR for dinner. Don't ask me how they recognise us! In all fairness the waiter took very good care of us for breakfast and we decided to go for dinner one night - which was pretty much average and expected. Funnily the waiter asked fro our room number and took it down. We never went to the MDR again. However, today we had a phone call from the MDR asking if we were going down to dinner. Later that evening we received another phone call asking why we never went down! I felt this is a little too much as we like our freedom on where to dine. We have the dining package and we enjoy a leisurely dinner at the windjammer as well. Just like to ask you guys if this was ever experienced or if this is the norm. I understand the waiting staff will want to provide the best service and expect the best feedback from customers as part of their service. Cheers.
  10. Hi Does anyone have a list of what beers they have available on board Jewel?
  11. After some cruises in the Caribbean, we decided this summer to cruise in the Mediterranean. Some years ago, we did the eastern Mediterranean on Navigator of the seas (Rome-Messine-Athenes-Kusadesi-Chania). Now was the time to try the western Mediterranean. Many posters on cruisecritic mentionned that european cruises tend to be port intensive so this time, we opted for two oceanview staterooms (on deck three) instead of balcony. I made a deposit during wave season and I guess the price we paid was very good since by july, the price was almost 100% more. On most cruises, we tend to go on excursions by ourselves so this time, I had some difficulties in finding some good infos on the port of calls that we were about to visit (cartagena-barcelona-palma de mallorca-ajaccio-portofino). One thing we like to do on cruises is to have one or more theme to follow. So this time, it was a foodie tour with possibly visits to historical sites. Before going into details, please note that reviews are highly subjective and like they say, any cruise (at least on royal caribbean) is better than no cruise. So, let's get started. Day -1: Our flight from montreal was quiet and we did arrive on a friday morning in Rome Fiumicino. The last time we cruised from Rome, we made a newbie mistake by flying on the same day our cruise started. This is a big no no for two reasons. One is that flights could be delayed or worse cancelled. Second, since you are coming from north america, Asia or Australia, you should give yourself some time to adjust for the jet lag. This time, we took the bus shuttle from the airport to Roma termini( the central railway station).The bus kiosk is on your right once you exit terminal 1. I chose a hotel close to the station, which was about a 10 minute walk. I do not know whether this is true for all of Italy but it seems that the definition of a hotel is quite different from the one used in north america. When I made the reservations, the hotel was shown as having a reception desk but in reality it was just a floor in a condo. At any rate, we were not there for the hotel so we took everything in stride and got rested since the weather was quite hot. Since we already visited most of Rome the last time we were there, we decided in the evening to go back to the Coliseum. I was surprised that the place was almost empty except for some very few tourists and street vendors. We spent some time there until dusk. Our next stop was saint Peter's square and again there were very few tourists there since visits for the day were already finished. I don't know where I got the info but for dinner, I already planned a visit to a nice restaurant(Ristorante Romolo). It is on a side street very close to the Vatican. It was full of locals and we were very lucky to get a table. Two things we learned very quickly is that you do not question the food served to you and that the waiter or waitress are quite serious about the food and can get very opinionated. The restaurant lived up to its reputation and once we were finished it was time to go back to our hotel. Day 0: For a long time, we wanted to visit Florence so this time, I arranged for a day trip. For those wanting to rent a car, it is a really bad idea with all the driving restrictions around Rome. In our case, I chose to take the high speed train (Frecciarossa). On the trenitalia website, make sure to look for Firenze as the name of the city. The trip takes about one hour and a half instead of about 4 hours on the regional train. The planning I had once we got there around 11AM: 1. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore 2. Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence 3. Piazza della Signoria 4. Palazzo Vecchio 5. Uffizi Gallery 6. Ponte Vecchio 7. Pitti Palace 8. The Boboli Gardens The highlight of our visit was the Uffizi Gallery and we had tickets for 2PM. So, we started our visit by going straight to Ponte Vecchio. Overall, Florence feels like an ancient city and walking in its narrow street, you can feel you are in a medieval city. At around 1 PM, we wanted to have something to eat. Since we were on a Foodie tour, we went to a small place called Gustarium. Well, we had the best albeit not your typical pizza. You have to try it in order to understand why people give it very high ratings. By 2PM, we started our tour of Uffizi gallery. The museum is magnificent with all the artefacts that it contains. Do plan here at least two hours for the visit. Around 5PM, we continued our tour but unfortunately by 7PM, we were exhausted and we could not get to Pitti palace and the Boboli gardens. In my opinion, Florence deserves at least two days for a visit. At any rate, before going back to Rome, we decided to have dinner in one of those side street restaurant. While overall it was very pleasant, it wasn't as enjoyable as the one in Rome. Our return ticket to Rome was at 10:15PM but since we had the A/R in-giornata (same day), we changed it to the 9:15PM return in order to catch some needed rest back at our hotel. Part II to follow...
  12. Will be sailing on the Jewel of the Seas out of Civitavecchia Cruise Terminal and I have a few questions regarding disembarkation and transfers to FCO airport. 1. In general, what time does disembarkation begin? Specifically looking to do the early morning walk off with baggage option, and was wondering what time are passengers doing the walk off generally able to disembark? 2. What transfers, or transfer companies recommended for Civitavecchia Cruise Terminal to FCO airport? 3. From where the Jewel of the Seas docks at Civitavecchia Cruise Terminal, how far away are the transfer vehicles located? Are they located on the pier, just by the ship, easy to find? etc. Thank for all information, advice, and recommendations. Appreciate your help and support.
  13. Hi experts We were on jewel a couple of years ago and liked the location of deck 4. Just about to rebook for 29th Sep 20 and wondered if anyone knew of any inside cabins that maybe have a little extra space or they thought were particularly good? thanks in advance guys Gina 😀
  14. We will be traveling on the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas in 2020 and are looking for cabins with beds by the balcony rather than bathroom. Do cabins 8548 and 8552 have the bed by balcony or bathroom. Thanks
  15. We will be traveling on the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas in 2020 and are looking for cabins with beds by the balcony rather than bathroom. Do cabins 8548 and 8552 have the bed by balcony or bathroom. Thanks
  16. Couple of questions about this. I've already bought it, so the "is it worth it" question is pointless 😂 but I'm wondering exactly how best to use it and does everyone buy it? In other words, it seems like a fast-pass and there's nothing worse than getting a fast pass with 1000 other people! Also, when debarking in Rome after the 7 night Greek Islands trip, about what time do you think we will leave the ship (ballpark). Thanks!!
  17. Couple of questions about this. I've already bought it, so the "is it worth it" question is pointless 😂 but I'm wondering exactly how best to use it and does everyone buy it? In other words, it seems like a fast-pass and there's nothing worse than getting a fast pass with 1000 other people! Also, when debarking in Rome after the 7 night Greek Islands trip, about what time do you think we will leave the ship (ballpark). Thanks!!
  18. My sister, cousin and sister in law & I (ages 44 to 50) had been planning this trip for 2 years since our last trip to Europe in 2017 – Venice and 9 day Mediterranean cruise. We left home on Sunday 6-16. We did 2.5 days in Paris. Short flight to Rome. Spent 4.5 days in Rome. Then cruise. Getting from Rome to the port was a pain. We took the train. Then got turned around walking to the staging area. Once we found the staging area...Stand in the hot sun without any shade and wait for the 1 bus to transport people to the ship area. People were starting to overheat and get pissed (I was one of them). Finally a second bus showed up. We ended standing out in the sun 45 minutes. Once to the 'sign in' area - it went very smoothly. Maybe a total of 15 minutes of turning in suitcases/checking in before we walked on board. Lunch in the Windjammer Café. As expected for the first day, people were rude and pushy. So we got our food and went outside to enjoy the shade/cool breeze. This was the only day that I felt pushed or rushed in Windjammer. For the most part, I thought the food was very fresh and tasty. Always a huge selection. We usually ate breakfast and lunch at Windjammer - dinners in main dinning room (my time dining). On the Jewel go to the back of the ship on the 11th floor. Great area outside, but covered to eat or just relax!! Rooms… We had 2 connecting ocean view rooms on the 3rd floor. Nice size round window - actually very nice. We were able to upgrade for only $10 person to the ocean view when we booked. I loved having a window!! Rooms were open 45 minutes early. Yay!! But our bags didn't show up until after 4 (but before 5:30). Room 3622 and 3620... Bathrooms were small, but we had plenty of room for all of our stuff. I felt the shower was decent size - I was able to shave my legs in the shower. As I stated before I love the window in our room. The window had a nice shelf (sunken down a little) between the bed and window. I put a lot of my loose stuff in there. It kept my side of the room organized. The vanity had 2 mirrored doors that held space to store more items. above the tv was the safe (decent size) and 2 more shelves above it. Mini frig below tv. Love seat with table (table in the way). Connecting rooms made it seem even bigger. Our room attendant was AMAZING!!! Jonus had the most amazing smile. Always had us wine glasses and fresh ice in the room (twice a day). The workers checking us in at arrival didn't pay attention to how many wine bottles we had with us. So at embarkment we got 8 bottles of wine for the 4 of us (two rooms). This continued with each port. By the end of the cruise we had brought on 21 bottles of wine (for 4 people in two rooms). 10 of the bottles made it back to the states - but the other 11 bottles?? Mmm...Wonder what happened to them. Sea Day…The pool area was nice. We didn't see much of the chair hogs or really the need for it until the last day of the cruise - second sea day. The first day of cruise and the second were just wonderful. Nice activities by the pool. Only complaint about the pool activities was when the band was playing by the pool. Way too loud. The statue in the pool area could use a cleaning. Definitely watch your account with the towels. You have to sign the towels in and out with your sea card. They do and will mess things up, but if you ask them nicely/politely the workers will correct your account right then and there without having to go to customer service!! On first night, we opened a few bottles of wine and had a few drinks with dinner. Our waiter was Dezley and Assistant waiter was Iaryna. Loved them both!! It took him a day or two to warm up to us, but once he did we had a blast. Iaryna was great. Her smile was so contagious. She is going for waiter next, so hoping she will get the promotion!! Karaoke was next in the Safari bar. Had a blast!! The Safari Bar is a hidden gem. Find it and use it!! We then decided to go to the disco at Vortex!! Such a great time once it started – ran a little behind. Santorini… First port and that was a major screw up. Ship was late anchoring. It was then late getting cleared by Santorini - about an hour!! Tenders took forever. We didn't get off the ship until after 3:30 with ship scheduled to arrive at 1:00. We opted to walk up the donkey hill. One in our group was terrified of the cable cars. Another was already sick to her stomach. The walk was a long hard hot walk. But we did it!! Got to the winery and had a blast at our wine tasting!!! Santo Winery. Had time to walk around and do a little shopping before hiking back down the donkey hill. I never saw anyone get hurt walking up or down the hill. It was in the sun, so it was hot. Bring water. To be honest it was a great experience doing the walk. I would do it again!!! Mykonos…Easy as heck. We took a taxi to the beach to the left of where the ship docked. Really silly of us since it was only a 10 minute walk. Lol…Very nice beach. 2 sunbeds with umbrella was only 20 Euros. I was happy with that price. The people working there didn’t attack us. Just told us to pay before we leave. They offered bar service and food delivered to our sunbeds. Nice clean beach Cold water. Started to get windier and windier so after a few hours we walked back to the ship. Heather/Kelly headed to the adult pool to read (nap). Suzy/I grabbed the sea taxi to the town center. We walked around the narrow ‘streets’ (cars not allowed). We finally found the famous wind mills. It was so damn windy at this time. We walked around. Took tons of pictures. Got to see ‘Little Venice’. Then back to ship for me. Suzy went for a run (crazy girl). Athens…We had a guide booked for the main sights in Athens – Acropolis. Parthenon. We found a taxi easily and it was a set rate to city center. It was great. No hassle. We got to the meeting area early and found our guide. Heading into the area. Wow…I’m not good with the names of the sights I saw, but wow. Very worth it. Take water!!! Out in the hot sun with thousands of your not so friendly neighbors. The guide gave us some interesting information. She was good on finding shade areas to stop and talk about what we were seeing. Then we aimed for the top. And really, if the ruins don’t impress you then…It was huge and impressive. After a 2.5/3 hours tour – we went our own way. Heather/Kelly heading down the hill the eat and shop in the Plaka neighborhood. Suzy/I went to the Acropolis Museum. It was very impressive to read about what you were seeing. And the view of the Parthenon/Acropolis from the top floor (floor to ceiling window) was very cool… After a few hours, Heather/Kelly texted us we had to eat at this one place. We help from a picture they sent we found the restaurant and damn it was so good. First they gave us shots of Raki to start our lunch – FREE. Then Suzy got the pork Gyros. I got the chicken Gyros. I’m drooling thinking of this right now. Lunch here ruined the lunch I usually get at the state fair – ugh. Then they brought us a chocolate desert (mmm mmm) and shots of Mastika – both FREE. Very nice way to end our lunch in Athens. The other gals had went back to the ship. Suzy/I walked around for another few hours. Looking at stores and sights. Suzy flagged down a taxi and off we went to the ship. Pool time for all of us!! Chocolate Buffet…No advertisement. No warning. Heather/Suzy found it and got ahold of Kelly/I and we hit it. It was so good!!! Sucks we only found it with 15 left before they took it down. But what we got – WOW!!! Olympia (Katakolon)…We had a private driver booked to take us from the tiny port of Katakolon to see Olympia and then a winery. We found him and the owner of the company pretty easily. George wouldn’t let us in the van until the air cooled it off – great start. We were suppose to be in a sudan, but they upgraded us for free to the van. The drive to Olympia took about 40-50 minutes. Enough time for us to decide we like George!! He had us laughing in no time. Olympia is next to a small town were we would meet up with George when we were finished. I think the ruins at Olympia were the most impressive of all the ruins we saw. Only about 50% of the ruins were marked off so you couldn’t walk amid them, only around them. But the other 50% were wide open. You could get as close as you want to the ruins. It was so just humbling to realize we were walking on the spot were the first Olympics were head. Pretty damn cool. Again we split up into 2 groups. The other gals finished pretty fast. Suzy/I took about 2 hours to see the ruins and the museum next to the ruins. We then met up and headed to the winery. Very pretty. Family ran winery. We got a short tour and then the fun started. They served us a small plate of cheese/meets/bread. Very good. Then the wine started. I couldn’t even tell you how many tasting – 5 or 6 or 7? We were pretty hungry to we ordered more bread. And each of us ordered another full glass of the wine we liked the best (3 euros a glass). This is where I bought my bottle of wine that I brought home. Poor George – He had to drive 4 tipsy females back to the port. Lol…At port we had time to walk around and shop a little before back on ship. Sea day…Our last full day on the ship is a sea day. Thank goodness!! We were up early and at the pool. Good thing – The pool chair hogs were out in force. We took turns going and eating and getting drinks. We had a wine tasting on ship on this sea day. Our table mates started off quiet, but we ended up being the last ones in the room at the end just talking. They gave us a plate of cheese/grapes for the wine tasting. There was 5 tastings. To be honest none of the wine was my favorite, but I drank all of it. Relaxed and finished packing till our last dinner. After dinner we hit the karaoke in the Safari Lounge. It got going pretty fast and could have lasted 3 or more hours, but they called it after an hour because of the battle of the sexes that was next. The battle of the sexes was so damn funny. A lady had her young daughter there (10-12 years old) but they left pretty fast. Good thing. It got pretty risqué pretty fast. Lol. And of course – the Ladies ran every challenge. Guys weren’t even close. Lol. Went up to Windjammer as was our tradition to check out the deserts. Not impressed so we all got more ice cream!! Rome – Disembarkment…We did self disembarkment like we always do. We got in line around 6:30 and what off ship at 6:45 (right on schedule). At the last minute we reserved a private car to take us to the airport. We had no desire to fight the train. We were off the ship and in parking lot by 6:50 with the car reserved for 7:00. Driver got there at 6:55. Not bad at all. Nice drive to airport. Got through check in and security with no issues. Kelly/Suzy/I flight was delayed 15 minutes. Didn’t matter to us as we had a 4+ hour lay over in Philly. Heather’s flight was delayed over an hour – big issue for connecting flight. Our gates were right to each other so that was nice. Got on the plane with no issues. I ended up with a nice seat mate. Kelly/Suzy sat behind me. Dinner was very good. Always get the pasta on American Airlines. 2 glasses of white wine with dinner. Good movies. Long flight. First time ever…My lower legs/ankles/feet swelled up. So uncomfortable. Of course we made our connecting flight with no issues. The long travel day was starting to catch up with us. We were getting slap happy. Travel pillow went on the second I sat down on plane and to sleep I went. Got to Louisville at 11:00pm. Home by 12:00. Heather on the other hand…Lets just say karma is a bitchy. She had been bragging that she would be home in bed way before us. And she would have if not for her delays in Rome!! She missed her connecting flight, but they rebooked her before she landed. But even with my 40 minute drive home from airport, I was in bed before she was. Karma…Lol… Odds/Ends… * Crew… I thought the crew (for the most part) were very friendly and helpful. Always smiling and asking how you were doing. * Cleanliness….Overall the ship was pretty clean. Only real issue I ever noticed was in the pool around the filter and the feet of the statue were disgusting. * Cruise activities director…We didn’t see this guy until the second to last day when we went to a show in the theatre. But the other cruise activity crew more than made up for that. They were amazing!! * Show is theatre…Hate to say it but one of the worse shows I’ve ever seen. We usually love going to the shows... Just sad. * Casino…We are not smokers and the smell of smoke will get my asthma going. But I’m happy to say, if you stay in the non- smoking section of casino – you won’t have any issue. Yay!! But…After the first night when my sister and I both won on the game king machines…me on video poker $65 up in 40 minutes. The next 4 nights they were “resetting” most of the machines. Very frustrating. No information on when/if they would get done. So boo on Royal Caribbean on the casino. * Announcements…Any time any announcements were being made, you had to go out in hallway to hear them. And if you were by the pool – forget about hearing anything. The captain on our cruise made some interesting announcements about were we were and what we would be seeing shortly – Stomboli Volcano. * Bar Service…We didn’t use the bar at all. We drank wine from our room. So no opinion on this. * Wi-Fi on board…I have Tmobile phone service in the states. For free in France, Italy, and Greece I got FREE unlimited text and data with .20 minute phone calls (all included in the plan I already had). So while we were at any port (or close to shore) I was able to have free text and data. On sea days – nothing, but no issues. This perk from Tmobile was great…one was able to facetime their kids/husband for free, one was able to text hubby for free, another was able to use facebook to messenger her guy, and I was able to text my hubby and parents. I also talked to my hubby a few times. We were also able to do a closed group for family/friends on facebook to keep everyone up to day. Would we cruise on this ship again? Maybe. We usually pick our ships on the itinerary more than picking a ship. And we are looking at doing a 2 week driving tour of Germany/Switzerland in a few years for our next trip – so no cruise.
  19. Hi Folks, we are booked on the Jewel of the Seas late summer for 9nt Greek Isles cruise, I have been trying to find out from RC's live chat what time the shows finish so that I can make speciality restaurant bookings, all they can till me is they are timed for 1st & 2nd dinner sittings. Anyone been on Jewel know what time the shows begin and end even an approx time would help.
  20. Hi!!! I hoping to find some help. I am looking for a magnet from the Jewel of the Seas, my wife and I collect magnets everywhere we travel. My wife and I got married and had our honeymoon on board this ship. We just noticed we never bought a one before disembarking from the gift store on board. If you know anyone that is selling one let me know please. If you are traveling on board the Jewel of the Seas and are willing to buy one for me, I will reimburse you for the cost and shipping. The pictures I attached are just an example of the magnets we remember seeing on board the Jewel of the Seas. Thank you in advance!!!
  21. For those that have been on the Jewel out of Rome: 1. How early have they been letting people board the ship? 2. How early did the Windjammer open for lunch on the first day? Thanks!
  22. I've read that there is usually lobster on the second formal night of a 7 night sailing, but that might just be for Caribbean sailings, I saw a travel blog for the Greek Isles itinerary that did not seem to show lobster for any of the nights. I was wondering if anyone could confirm this. We are trying to arrange specialty dining and don't want to miss a special meal in the MDR if we can help it. Thank you!
  23. Will be on the Jewel sailing 10/3/19 and wondering if we will tender at the old port or dock at the new port in Mykonos. Thanks in advance.
  24. Currently aboard Jewel of the Seas doing transatlantic. Questions?
  25. Does anyone know what pier Jewel of the Seas docks at in Civitavecchia? I'm trying to figure out if I should rent a car from Hertz or Europcar and want the shortest distance to walk to rental agency.
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