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jewel of the seas cruise ship photos
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Jewel of the Seas Facts & Figures
Owner/Operator:Royal Caribbean International
Year built:2004
Builder:Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Former names:-
Gross Tonnage:90,090
Length:293.2 m (961.9 ft)
Beam:32.2 m (105.6 ft)
Passengers (normal):2,100
Passengers (maximum):2,496
Crew:858
Service speed:24.0 kn
Sister Ships:Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas
Jewel of the Seas Photo Gallery
Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos
Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos Jewel of the Seas Royal Caribbean International cruise ship photos
Jewel of the Seas Interior Photos
Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges
Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges
Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges Photo © Cláudia Borges

Centrum - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira ShipShape Spa - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira

Solarium - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira Solarium - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira

Pool Deck - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira Miniature Gold - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira

Windjammer Café - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira Windjammer Café - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira

Art Gallery - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira Tides Dining Room - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira

Casino Royale - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira Solarium - Photo © 2007 Goretti Figueira
From the ShipParade Archives: Jewel of the Seas Shipyard Tour & Cruise Review
Amenities, decor, charges and services have changed since this article was written Text & Photos © 2004 Bart de Boer

It took two years and 400 million US Dollars to build Jewel of the Seas. The construction of modern cruise ships is a mostly European affair as only a few shipyards have the know-how and technical facilities to accept such a massive logistic challenge. One yard that is very highly regarded in the industry is family-owned Meyer Werft, located in Papenburg in the northwestern corner of Germany.

The Meyer family have been building ships in Papenburg since 1795 and the hi-tech yard now employs 2,500 people. Bernhard Meyer, current managing partner of Meyer Werft, is visibly proud of "his" Jewel of the Seas as he addresses his guests just before the ship is taken to sea for the first time.
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And I can fully imagine his pride when you consider the challenges that had to be overcome in order for the yard to build such huge ships in the middle of German farmlands. At 2:15 am on Sunday, April 4th, 2004, the lines are cast and amidst deafening sounds of the ship's horn and the applause of hundreds of shore side spectators, Jewel of the Seas slowly moves backwards to the narrow lock that leads to the muddy river Ems. It seems ridiculous to want to take this floating mammoth out through what seems no more than a ditch in the middle of the night, but the guidance of two pilots and the aid of two tugs make that we manage to get through the first hair-raisingly narrow part without problems. All in all, the river transit takes 16 hours of stern-first sailing.
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Fast forward a few months to May, 2004. We have flown to Oslo, Norway to join Jewel of the Seas for a short cruise to Southampton. It all starts rather chaotically. Well before the advertised check in time, a seemingly endless line has formed in the lobby of Oslo's glitzy 37-story Radisson SAS Hotel. After checking in in the hotel, coaches bring all guests and their luggage to the ship which is docked in the shadow of the Akershus fortress. There it takes another hour to get on board, with hundreds of guests shoving and pushing their way towards the two security checkpoints. Once on board, we find all doors leading to cabin corridors shut with a note saying our staterooms will not be ready for another hour. And since there is no porter service available, there is nothing left for us than bring our luggage to a lounge and wait... But ... all is forgotten as soon as the fire doors are opened and all luggage is safely put away in our stateroom. It is time to get to know this mighty ship!
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The heart of Jewel of the Seas is the eight-deck high Centrum that connects all decks and where panoramic elevators zoom up and down constantly. On the various decks directly adjacent to the towering Centrum you will find some useful shipboard services such as the 24-hour Guest Relations desk, the Shore Excursion office, several Internet stations and a comfortable Concierge Club that is available to suite guests only. Large stainless steel "pan flutes" (myinterpretation) hover over dancers and drinkers in the Centrum Bar down on deck 4. The mood changes constantly as colorful lighting sets the atrium art in a different glow every few minutes, while at night nifty lighting effects are projected on the large white wall on starboard side. With its circular terraces, its wooden railings, mirrors and daylight streaming in from all sides, the Centrum does justice to its name and really serves as Jewel's "Town Square".

We are pleasantly surprised when we open the door of our family oceanview stateroom. It's huge! When booking this trip, I asked for an outside cabin for my two friends and me. We were assigned one of six family staterooms and couldn't be happier. With its two sleeping quarters and roomy living, we are never in each other's way and looking at the tons of storage space this stateroom would be ideal for a longer voyage. But the highlight of this stateroom must be our very own doorbell. Ding Dong!
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All 1,015 guest staterooms on Jewel of the Seas come well equipped with shower or tub and toilet, interactive TV, safe, hairdryer, tons of towels and sufficient wardrobe space. Top of the line are the extravagant Owner's and Royal Suites; great if you have a buck to spare and are in dire need of extravagant accommodations. Less opulent choices include superb Junior Suites, hundreds of staterooms with balcony and for the budget conscious (like us) there are standard outside and inside staterooms. Count on very small bathrooms in everything but the deluxe accommodation and you won't be disappointed.

Royal Caribbean International was one of the first cruise lines to offer interactive TV sets in all staterooms and on Jewel of the Seas you can zap your way through dozens of channels. From first rate movies in four languages to a channel with video clips: it's all there. The remote control even lets you check your onboard account, order shore excursions or wine with dinner. Even more full-length movies are available in the pay-per-view section (at $ 9.95 per movie) and with complimentary room service available 24/7, who would ever want to leave their stateroom?
The Nordic sun is out in full force as we take the elevator up to deck 11 to "get out there". Royal Caribbean seem to have taken their own slogan to heart and have provided acres of open deck space on Jewel of the Seas with a multitude of activities available. Golf, rock climbing, basketball, swimming, jogging or simply lounging by a pool with a drink in hand: it is all possible on Jewel of the Seas. Royal Caribbean is actively targeting a younger crowd these days and their latest ships prove they do it very well.
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When announcing the world premiere of a seagoing rock climbing wall, many industry veterans thought Royal Caribbean had lost their mind. But this activity has proven so popular that rock climbing walls have now been installed on all the ships in the RCI fleet. Offered free of charge during specific hours, it is one of most sought-after thrills on board. Jewel of the Seas has two swimming pools, plus an expansive children deck with slide and wading pool. The main outdoor pool on deck 11 is a favorite haunt for the young at heart, with music and entertainment throughout the day, two trendy pool bars, a nicely sized pool and twin Jacuzzis. Incidentally, both swimming pools on Jewel of the Seas are filled with fresh water (not sea water), can be heated and - just like the Jacuzzis - are open around the clock.

Should the weather be less than perfect, a giant glass roof will protect the Solarium on deck 11 from the elements, creating an indoor tropical hideaway. With its lush foliage, the Oriental-themed Solarium with its pool, Jacuzzis, snack counter and full-service bar is one of the most successful pool areas afloat and a definite hit with passengers.
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Forward of the Solarium is the two-deck high ShipShape Spa, containing a large fitness center, beauty center, hairdressing salon and numerous treatment rooms. Carrying on the Oriental theme of the Solarium, the gorgeous window-walled reception area leads to a maze of corridors that ultimately lead to a wonderful little quiet lounge all the way forward. One area that is not very well known is the Thermal Suite. Located forward of the hairdressing salon, this very pleasant tiled area features an array of warm and cold showers ("drenches"), saunas and steam baths, plus the most comfortable relaxing lounge chairs afloat. A visit to the Thermal Suite well set you back a few dollars, but you come out feeling a different person.

Monday 5:00 pm. The Captain announces over the public address system that Jewel of the Seas will sail from Oslo a little later than planned because our pilot is stuck in traffic. No worries, the Ellini Duo entertains all on the Pool Deck with contemporary pop music and waiters roam the decks with trays full of appetizing looking cocktails. Suddenly, the ship's whistle is sounded and slowly we move away from the quay. Accompanied by sailing boats of all shapes and sizes our floating hotel glides past lighthouses, wooden houses and granite cliffs - sailing down the Oslo fjord is always wonderful.
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When it starts to get cold and windy out on deck, we move inside and order a piping hot cup of Seattle's Best at Latte-tudes, Jewel's seagoing coffee bar. Overlooking the Centrum on deck 5, Latte-tudes is a great addition to the Radiance Class vessels, offering all forms of caffeine plus cakes, scones and other snacks. The food is free of charge; coffee costs extra here...

With its deep, comfortable sofas, the buzz of the busy Centrum area at arm's length and floor to ceiling windows, Latte-tudes is a very popular hangout during the day. Condensed versions of some of the world's major newspapers can be picked up here, while four Internet stations offer around the clock Internet access at a reasonable fee of US$ 0.50 per minute. If you want some more privacy while checking your e-mail and can do without the gorgeous views of the sea from floor to ceiling windows, there are more PC's available up on deck 7 in the Royal Caribbean Online area.
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On deck 6 directly overlooking the Centrum on one side and the sea on the other, you will find the classy Champagne Bar. The room sports an understated pastel look with blonde woods and a low sit-down bar. During the day, the Champagne Bar serves as a prime lookout spot. At night, corks pop and the bubbly is brought out. Cheers!

When it comes to food, Jewel of the Seas is all about choices, choices! Jewel of the Seas has no less than seven food outlets, which mean you can find something edible virtually around the clock. On a short voyage such as ours, it is tough to decide where to eat and when. Even though both the Portofino (Italian specialty restaurant) and Chops Grille (the onboard steak house) charge a US$ 20 fee, you should make a reservation here at least once during your cruise. Both restaurants offer a superior dining experience. We decide on having dinner at Portofino and we massively enjoyed the excellent food and wonderful service.
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The next morning sees the five of us struggling to find a table at the Windjammer Café for breakfast. With the weather not being up to Caribbean standards, the huge outdoor terrace aft remains empty and all guests scramble inside. Even with this many people inside, the lines at the expansive breakfast buffet are remarkably short and within a few minutes I return to the table with a full breakfast (including my custom made omelet) on my plate. To me, the Windjammer Café with its blue soft leather chairs and nautical decor is a buffet restaurant par excellence. Thoughtfully serving breakfast until 11 a.m. for late risers, the Windjammer is the place to be for a casual meal all day long. Lunch is typically served here from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and RCI's famous snack buffet is set up from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Ater that waiters deck out the tables in linen and crystal and a casual dinner is served from 6:00 PM.

But that is not all. If you manage to find the Seaview Café up on deck 12 you are rewarded by limitless servings of all you favorite snacks, including burgers, dogs, soups, chilies and fries. On sea days the Caribbean-inspired Seaview Café typically opens from noon to 6:00 PM and from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM.
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If you have visited the Seaview Café and the Windjammer and still feel hungry, try the Solarium Café on deck 11, where pizzas and other snacks are served throughout the day. At the Latte-tudes Coffee Bar you can grab a delicious cake, muffin or brownie anytime from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, while night owls can look forward to trays of "Gourmet Bites" in some lounges and in the casino. Apart from the offerings at Portofino and Chops Grille, all food on board is included in the cruise fare. So, is anyone still hungry .. ?

Our day at sea starts all too well. Jewel of the Seas races towards Southampton with a steady speed of 24,5 knots and it seems we can look forward to a calm, fresh sunny day. Think again! By lunch time the winds have picked up and the sun is hidden behind a thick layer of dark clouds. Battling against force 8 winds, Jewel of the Seas shows her true spirit. She does not slow down and, even more remarkable, does not roll or pitch at all. While waves are crashing against her bow, all we feel is a gently "shiver".
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With the weather outside turning worse, the public rooms come to life. On this two-night preview cruise, the activities are not what we have come to expect of Royal Caribbean, but that doesn't matter as we quickly settle in a prime position at Latte-tudes and order another piping hot cappuccino. Life is good!

As the Windjammer Café is chock-a-block with hungry souls, we decide to have lunch in the virtually empty double-deck Tides Dining Room. Done in fresh oranges and greens and with a capacity of 1,229 guests, the room is huge and can be rather noisy at night. The three main meals are served a la carte here.
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During the day, the blonde woods and cool greens give the Tides Dining Room a rather cool, almost Scandinavian look. It is during dinner that the room really comes to live, welcoming guests to its elegant surroundings while offering good food en upbeat service. Dinner is served in two seatings here and while we found service during lunch to be both rushed and unpolished, our charming and attentive Tunisian waiter Mohammed turned our formal dinner into one of the highlights of the day for us. The quality and presentation of the food, while not as extravagant as the offerings in Portofino, definitely will please most guests.

After dinner it is time to proceed to the Coral Theatre, located forward on decks 5 and 6. Taking in as many as 900 guests in one go, this is a theater that many small towns would be envious of. With the latest in sound and lighting systems and unobstructed views from most plush seats, this is the perfect place to take in a show or two. And on this preview cruise we are lucky to see two production shows on as many nights.
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Royal Caribbean has always spent lots of energy and money on their production shows, but the brand new and hyped "Tango Buenos Aires" on the first night of our cruise is a bit of a disappointment for us. While the quality of the show is definitely good, it is a bit too slick and over-produced for our tastes. In complete contrast, the next evening's performance of "West End to Broadway" could well end up in my personal top 3 of shipboard production shows. With spectacular staging, professional singing and dancing and a great song selection (including Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody") from a wild variety of famous stage shows, this is definitely a highlight for me.

With a party crowd of some 2,000 on board, the evening ain't over when the Coral Theatre closes its doors. The Vortex Disco up in the Viking Crown Lounge on deck 13 is crowded both evenings and the atmosphere and music in this spacious, window-walled dance palace are just great. With its circular revolving bar, large dance floor, excellent sound system and ultra-comfortable seating, this is the place to be! Right next door to the Vortex Disco is the intimate red-and-blue Hollywood Odyssey, serving as a Martini and Cigar Bar with music by the Duo Noche Latina. But there is more! In the Centrum, people can be seen dancing to the sounds of the Jewel Trio until late, while Ben Robert does a fantastic job at the Schooner Bar's piano. As a Royal Caribbean hallmark, Jewel of the Seas' Schooner Bar is wildly popular on our voyage. That is, until the "Rosario Strings" appear. The three musicians can't keep a note which make most guests run and hide.
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Before we know it, it is time to say goodbye to Jewel of the Seas. In the early hours of Wednesday, May 5th, our floating home parks alongside in Southampton and by 8:30 am several loud-voiced announcements urge us to leave the ship. From the rattling, rather prehistoric train that takes us to London Gatwick, we take a last look at the shining white ship that managed to steal our hearts in only a few days. She is indeed a "Jewel of the Seas"!

So, what is the verdict? Royal Caribbean International might not provide the most polished service, the best food or the most luxurious cruise experience. But what they do offer people from all walks of life is an utterly comfortable cruise at a decent rate on what I consider some of the most beautiful cruise ships afloat. While the mood is definitely upbeat and it might be hard to get away from the crowds, the design of Jewel of the Seas and her sisters is such that you will always find a favorite spot somewhere on the ship. What makes this ship truly special is her huge modern art collection, turning Jewel of the Seas intro a floating contemporary art gallery that gives her a personality all her own.
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