ROYAL CARIBBEAN JEWEL OF THE SEAS
WHEN: 06-18-17 TO 06-25-17
DEPARTURE: CIVITAVECCHIA, ITALY
DESTINATION: THE GREEK ISLANDS
We let the youngest member of the Cookingyo family decide where he wanted to go for Vacation. This is the trip he picked. A 7 night cruise leaving from Italy, and going to Santorini, Mykynos, Athens, and Olympia before returning to Italy.
Click below for a recap of our pre-cruise Rome, three day Roman adventure. It started at the Piazza della Rotunda and went through the Coliseum, Forum, Vatican City, Mt Vesuvius, Pompeii and others.
Check out the 360 Photos too!
First let’s talk about Transfers. This seems to be a big topic on the cruise boards and Facebook. There are a few different ways, we chose a private hired car.
RomeCabs – ROME TO PORT OF CIVITAVECCHIA
We decided that we wanted to be on the ship at the first opportunity so we decided to be picked up in Rome at 0930. Check out at the flat was 10 AM so it seemed like a good time. We arrived downstairs in the Plaza around 0910. The driver was already there. He asked if we would like to get breakfast first or were we ready. We purchased a couple of soft drinks while again, the driver handled the bags. The hour and a half journey to the Port of Civitavecchia was relaxing, the driver every once in awhile asked if the car temperature was good and we were dropped off just a few feet from the luggage valets at the Port. We paid the driver, and walked our bags in to the terminal were they were taken by terminal employees. The cost was $140 Euro for all of us.
RomeCabs – PORT OF CIVITAVECCHIA TO FCO
Getting off the ship and to the Airport to get home was always my worst worry. I knew the ship docked around 5 AM but I was so used to the don’t book a flight before noon mantra like there is in Miami for example. When we booked our original flight it was taking off at 1350 hours. A few months later the flight was cancelled and we were booked on an 1125 flight. So I had a little angst. Not to worry. Self check outs were walking off the ship by 7 AM. We scheduled a 0730 pickup. There is no customs getting off the ship. You just grab your bags and go. So after breakfast we grabbed our luggage, left the ship and at the end of the terminal the driver was waiting with a sign with our last name on it. Same as before the bags were loaded and off we went. We left the Port around 0720 and were getting in to airport right around 8 AM. The only piece of information the drive needs to know is which terminal. Most outbound US flights leave from terminal 3. But check with your airline to confirm before booking RomeCabs. The cost was $140 Euro.
For a link to Rome Cabs Click HERE.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – C6FW9
A Radiance Class ship which was launched in 2004. She is 962 feet long with a beam of 105 feet. She weighs 90,090 Gross Tons, and carries 2501 Passengers with a crew of 842. Her last refurb was in 2016.
We arrived at the Port of Civitavecchia around 1030 A.M. Our bags were dropped off, we were then directed to the other end of a very large tent which is the Cruise terminal. The Royal Caribbean health questionnaires were located down a long hall prior to the entrance. Each adult filled one out and I claimed my son. They actually wanted both of us to claim him on each questionnaire. This was a first for us but, ok, easy enough. We were then given a number 4 and told to wait.
We waited about ten minutes, then our number was called. We went through an empty cattle chute and there was an entire counter of agents waiting to check us in. Our pictures were taken and our Sea Passes were issued. Just an FYI, if you pre-purchased the drink package it is imprinted on the Sea Pass as DP. We were then instructed to go to a waiting area on the other side of the counter. Here the Welcome Aboard backgrounds were staged along with the photographers. They began boarding by number. We then made the long walk down the pier and our Sea Passes were scanned and we walked on to the ship on Deck 2.
My goal was to do a quick photo / 360 photo tour of the ship before it got crowded.
Here are a few highlights:
Here are a fe random shots
Tides Dining Room – Traditional Dining
360 View of the Tides Dining Room. Click HERE!
360 View of the Coral Theatre. Click HERE!
Art & Photo Gallery
Shops of Centrum
360 View of the SHOPS OF THE CENTRUM. Click HERE!
Next Cruise Desk
Tides Dining Room – My Time Dining
360 View of the Main Dining Room Decks 4 & 5 CLICK HERE!
The Pit Stop
The Safari Club
Windjammer Outside “Al Fresco Seating”
Viking Crown Lounge
Rock Climbing Wall
Right after the ship tour, we had the ritual lunch at the Windjammer. It was Father’s Day so the crew baked a little cake.
We ate on the Aft eating area of the Windjammer. It is a lovely spot. We ate most breakfast and lunches there. There was a fire just outside of the the port, it was real smokey but the locals had it put under control rather quickly.
We had our first drink by the pool bar.
It was soon 1 PM and Cabins opened up to all visitors. We stopped by and did a quick periscope of the room. Note I couldn’t get the balcony door open. Always check to make sure the children safety locks are NOT engaged. Anyway enjoy the tour of Cabin 7522 – Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (E1)
360 Photo of Cabin #7522 on Jewel of the Seas. Click HERE!
Also I wanted to show what the room configuration is after turn down service. Yes, if you are not careful you can hit your head. It is normally a mistake you only make once. Trust me!
The Deck 7 forward balconies are oversized. If you are looking for a little extra space, it is the way to go.
Jewel sailed away at 5 PM. It was a beautiful afternoon. There was the normal party on the Pool deck and the frozen drinks were flying off both the pool and sky bars.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 1 – Dinner
Well after the Sail Away party it was getting time to eat. We purchased the BOGO Specialty dining package which was $30 an adult. The only caveat was it had to be used on nights 1 and 2. No Problem.
I try and at least get a picture of the Main dining room menu every day.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Giovanni’s Table Specialty Restaurant
After dinner we strolled the ship getting to know it a little better and settled in the Schooner Bar for a couple of cocktails.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 2 – Sea Day
Day 2 was a Sea Day that was packed full of action. We passed through the Strait of Messina around breakfast time. There was still tons to do on Day 2 to include Bingo, a Belly Flop Contest, CHOPS, Formal Night #1, Casino action, the piano bar at the Schooner Bar, and even a little stargazing.
We slept in a little after a late night in the Schooner Bar. The highlight of breakfast in the Windjammer was passing through the Strait of Messina. This is the point where the Boot of Italy and the Island of Sicily are the closest. Later on our port side was mainland Europe and on the starboard was the island of Sicily with the highlight seeing Mt. Etna in the distance. We then rounded the tip of the boot and started heading Southeast towards our first stop.
Our Day 2 game plan was a lot of relaxation by the pool with a little BINGO mixed in.
We managed to get three chairs on the upper deck and Day 2 on Jewel included the time honored tradition of the Belly Flop contest with one small caveat. The Europeans must be a lot more liberal then the Americans. It was simply the Belly Flop contest with both men and women being invited to participate. There were in fact three women who competed. I believe a woman came in a well deserved third place. The winner was an old Italian guy in a Speedo but he had the gut and the machismo to pull it off.
We enjoyed multiple frozen cocktails courtesy of our Ultimate drink package. I will note that the lower Pool Bar seemed to get patrons through faster then the upper Sky Bar. We had a quick bite in the Windjammer for lunch before the highlight of our day
BINGO! The Cookingyo family is very competitive and we love to play BINGO. We are poor sports and hate losing. With that being said. Ever since the Mrs. and I won a game on Legend of the Seas back in the dark ages we have played BINGO every opportunity that comes up. Fast Forward 13 years later. Our Bubs is just as addicted. We have a virtual BINGO troll for good luck and we bring our own daubers. So Yeah, it is our thing. Needless to say we didn’t win an actual game but we did score a BINGO t-shirt which counts for something.
I did stop by the Main Dining Room to snap a quick picture of the Dinner and desert menus for cruise Day two and Formal Night number one.
Our dinner was at CHOPS and it was the 2nd specialty dinner of the BOGO deal that was in the cruise planner. Just a little tip. Don’t buy a package for children 12 and under. There is a special rate that will be charged at the time of dining. So we paid $30 dollars total for each adults and the child was $10. So for $80 my family had 2 outstanding dinners. Keep an eye out for the BOGO deal and if you don’t mind eating specialty restaurants on Nights 1 & 2 you can save a bit of cash.
We preferred to eat early because our little one was anxious to get to Kids Club. On our previous cruise to Cuba in May of 2017 there were 22 kids on the whole cruise. This cruise there were 22 kids the same age as the Bubs. He was in his element and we let him spend as much time there as he wished because it was his vacation too.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – CHOPS GRILLE
Soup and Salad
Appetizers & Bread
Steak & Sides
Formal Night portraits are available throughout the ship and a bonus. Some people were dressed to the nines and some were very much in casual mode. We normally get back in to our casual clothes as soon as our dinner is finished.
We donated a little to the casino and then settled in to the Schooner Bar to listen to the Piano Bar Player.
One thing I try and do and have actually had success is to photograph the Milky Way while on cruise ships. It is something to do while enjoying the beautiful night sky and it’s a good excuse get a couple of drinks in you from the bar. This photo was taken from the extra large balcony of cabin 7522 facing south in the Mediterranean Sea.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 3 – Port of Santorini, Greece
We started off our day as usual. A good heaping of the Windjammer’s finest. Since we arrived in Port later we had a little down time to relax before our arrival at 1 PM.
Santorini (St. Irene) or the traditional Greek, Thira is the southern most Greek Island in a chain called the Cyclades. The island is actually a volcano, or more accurately what’s left of the volcano that erupted over 3600 years ago. The volcano is still active and that is visible by the small islands pushing up in the middle of the bay.
When we arrived in Santorini there were two other cruise ships in Port with us. This is a tendered port with a deep bay. Since we had a long excursion it seemed like we were one of the first tenders off the ship. In fact our tour did not go to the base of the hill where the donkeys were. We went to the industrial docks were there was a fleet of buses waiting. We took excursion SO64, Akrotiri Ruins and Oia Village.
Our excursion was the Akrotiri Ruins and Oia Village. The first stop which was a 20 minute ride was the Akrotiri Ruins. These ruins are protected in fact the Greek government built a shed like building over top of the ruins. Our tour guide explained the history of the site and she also explained why there were no bodies or valuables found. It seems 3600 years ago there was a series of Earthquakes that kept getting progressively worse. Finally the residents said enough and took all their valuables with them. Leaving pretty much empty houses to be destroyed by the actual Volcanic eruption. The sight isn’t as exciting as Pompeii but it is worth a visit considering it is a village that is over 1500 years older than Pompeii.
Note: There are on site rest room facilities with vending machines. There is a gift shop but it wasn’t open when we toured.
Next stop was the iconic village of Oia. It is a bout a 45 minute drive across Santorini from the Akrotiri Ruins to the other side of the island to Oia. Our driver who was driving a full sized motor coach did a stellar job of navigating Santorini’s tiny streets. We arrived in Oia and we were given around an hour of time to self discover the village, take pictures and buy mementos.
Village of Oia
Oia is a village that is built in to the side of the hill. There are two main types of buildings; those built in to the hill and those built on the hill. Either way it is absolutely beautiful.
The town is a maze that goes up, down and around. There is no rhyme or reason other than that is how the hills goes.
We had enough time to take some pictures, buy some mementos, and grab a few cold cokes from a local grocer. Then it was time to go to our final stop.
Our bus tour ended at the town located at the top of the hill with the steps and the cable car. If you just got off the ship and were tendered like most people you would arrive at the base of the hill at the Old Port of Fira. There you would have three options to get up the hill. One, you can walk the 600ish steps which is free but you must share the path with beast of burden. Two you can take a cable car. Or three you can take a donkey. Yes, I said a donkey. It maybe a traditional way but remember donkey smell may not get out of your clothes the rest of the day.
Fira is the largest town on Santorini. It is located on top of the volcanic cliff and has great views of the bay below. There are two main features that our guide pointed out. There was the two cathedrals. Most of everything you would want to see in our short amount of time was located between the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral which was located right by the cable cars.
The sun was working it’s way down during our time in Fira. The Golden Hour was firmly in our favor and really lit up the town in golden and reddish hues. It was stunning.
All good things must come to an end. It was getting close to last call time for the tenders. Royal Caribbean recommended not to mess around and wait to the last minute to get to the bottom of the hill. The line for the cable car wrapped a good block down the street but it wnet quickly.
As we were descending the hill the views and lack of donkey smell were amazing.
We boarded a tender and were soon cruising to the ship just as the sun was setting.
It was late when we got back on board. We decided to forego the Main Dining Room and have a casual dinner in the Windjammer. We sat outside and had a great view of Fira. After dinner we popped back to the cabin and this little guy was waiting for us.
The ship pulled anchor and we were on our way to the next destination. If we had actually gone to the Main Dining Room the here is the menu for Day 3.
I took a late night shot of the Milky Way over some of the Cyclade Islands.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 4 – Port of Mykonos, Greece
We completed the 90ish mile journey from Santorini to Mykonos. We were anchored off in the distance along with two Costa ships. Again we were tendered but this time to Mykonos Town. Our game plan was pretty simple for this day; we decided a day of rest was needed. We did not schedule an excursion, instead we walked Mykonos Town, visiting the water front, the Windmills and then went through the labyrinth that is the old town. Later on we walked down to the beach on the edge of the harbor.
We has a lazy breakfast, assembled our gear, got some water and grabbed some towels and off to the tenders we went. The ship was in port from 6 AM to 5:30 PM.
We arrived at the docks of Mykonos Town which are in a protected harbor.
Along the water there are standard issue tourist trap trinket shops and a little market area.
We walked along the waterfront, passing numerous cafes and restaurants working our way over to the windmills.
We then arrived at the Windmills which are located up a small hill on the edge of the old town.
There is a great view of the harbor and the old town from up here. There are a few trinket shops up here but there is also a set of large plateau steps. While we were there an impromptu dance broke out. It was nice to just sit and watch people properly dance to old time music.
We then took a stroll through the tiny winding streets of the old town.
The old town is a maze, and you never know what is going to pop around the next corner.
Of course the old Mykonos town still has churches and chapels.
We decided to have lunch in the old town We found a nice little stand, which had gyros, souvlaki, and many other Greek dishes. It was reasonably priced, in addition they had cola or beer or bottled water available. The only downside was seating was limited or standing room only. After lunch we started walking to the beach and we passed this cool wall. I just had to grab a snap shot.
The Free Beach at Mykonos Town
When you get off the tenders, follow the waterfront around the the plaza area. Eventualy you will come to a building with pillars overlooking the beach. Walk down the steps and find a place to relax on the rather course sand beach. Is it the finest beach in Greece? Nope, but it is clean and it is close to the tenders, restaurants and shopping. Plus it was free. We were in Mykonos in late June the temperature was in the eighties but the water was cool, in the 60’s would be my best guess. The water was refreshing after you were in it for a bit but boy that initial dip seemed chilly.
We spent a few hours on the beach, sun bathing and swimming in the sea but it was getting time to return to the ship.
We grabbed the next tender available got back on Jewel. It was decided to have a few drinks and then get prepared for dinner. The Bubs decided he wanted to do Kids Club so he ate at the Windjammer before going. Myself and the Mrs. would be going to the Main Dining Room tonight.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Main Dining Room – Night 4
After dinner we strolled around. Donated a little to the Casino and headed off to listen to the piano player. It was a nice relaxing day overall. Oh almost forgot about this little guy that was waiting in our cabin after dinner.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 5 – Athens
We pulled in to the Port of Pireaus around 5 AM. It is the city right next to Athens and part of the greater Athens metro area. It was still dark out. We had scheduled a long excursion, it was the PRO3 Athens & Cape Sounion with Lunch excursion. The trip was to the Acropolis, followed by lunch in Athens, and then a jaunt south to Cape Sounion.
We had our normal breakfast in the Windjammer, the sun just started to rise over the hills of Athens as we finished up breakfast. It was going to be a bright, hot day. Our meeting time was 7:30 in the Safari room. Soon we were being whisked off the ship and through the empty cruise terminal to the tour buses. Our guide explained a little bit about the city, we passed a few Olympic venues from the 2004 games before getting on the highway. Eventually we were in the thick of the city heading towards the Acropolis. Finally we arrived going up a hill that just seemed to keep going.
Our guide explained that technically the Acropolis is still a military installation and that explained why troops were formed up outside the gates. They were there to put the Greek colors up for the day.
We formed up by the Areopagus which in ancient times was an area where tribunals were held. It is also the place where Saint Paul gave a famous sermon in the first century AD and recently St. Pope John Paul II prayed their in 2001.
We took the path up the hill to the ticket office. We were the 3rd group in to the complex which was great. The only down side was our guided tour negated the early arrival because it took around 45 minutes to go through the guides spiel.
We were given close to an hour to explore the site on our own and then we would be departing. This was great but the goal of getting an unobstructed picture of the Parthenon was pretty much lost. The guide did state they were in the middle of a restoration which when it is done in like 20 years, the site should be preserved for another 300 years.
I did get some good shots and explored the site the best I could. I even got a Periscope in but I did get yelled at for having a microphone. All in all it was a bucket list experience and I encourage all to experience the Acropolis at least once in their life if possible.
The views of the greater Athens Metro area are amazing.
To see the full resolution 9mb picture above Click HERE!
Our next stop was in town to a Royal Caribbean partnered store that had every Parthenon/ Acropolis/ Ancient Athens trinket you could imagine. We had to wait about 15 minutes for the bus to come around again and then we quickly boarded and off we went. It was at this time we realized the extent of the Acropolis traffic and just how congested the area could get. It was reassuring knowing that we had been there done that got the t-shirt and we getting out of the area.
So the best advice I can give is get to the Acropolis as early as possible, it is a lot cooler, the lines are less, and the site is less crowded.
Lunch was included in our tour. The bus headed over to a very nice hotel named The Metropolitan, it had a buffet spread of more traditional Greek dishes. Wine and bottled water were included. There was around an hour that was slated for the very tasty lunch. The bus once again swung around and picked us up and we were on the road once again.
Our guide gave us a quick run down of some of the sites we passed pointing out a clear view of the Acropolis from below. We made a quick 10 minute stop to the 1896 Olympic stadium. The largest all marble stadium in the world.
Then we were back on the bus for an hour journey to our last stop. The Cape of Sounion. Prior to this tour I had never heard of the Cape of Sounion nor the Temple of Poseidon located there. The trip went from the hustle and bustle of Athens to a more suburban area to just gorgeous coast line with miles and miles of gorgeous beaches. Finally we rounded a corner and the ruins of a temple could be seen on top of a hill in the distance. Below a modern resort which our guide explained was were the ancient village was located.
The bus stopped and we were off to walk up a big but gentle sloping hill. The guide made it a point to show us the local wild pheasants which were quite numerous while walking up the hill.
We passed the ticket office and a security stand and then we were at the top of the hill with the Temple of Poseidon. The guide gave a quick 15 minute tour of the site and then we were given some self exploration time. She also noted that graffiti from the 1800’s is attributed to poet Lord Byron who etched his name in to one of the columns.
The view from the Cape is absolutely gorgeous and it is the Southern most point in the Attica peninsula of Greece though technically since the construction of the Corinth Canal it is the Southern most point in Continental Greece.
Besides the Temple there is a spot that is where King Aegis is said of committed suicide. Unfortunately the spot still seems to be popular for such activity. Luckily for us all we saw was the outstanding views of the Aegean Sea, a small boat and islands in the distance with a blue-green in between.
Cape Sounion is a special place and it would of been fantastic to of seen a sunset here. Maybe next trip. There was a refreshment stand and souvenir shop on site. From there we boarded the bus and headed back to the ship in the port of Pireaus.
Just a side note. We had to go through a full security check point in the terminal, leave yourself enough time to get through.
We boarded the ship, dropped our gear and headed to the pool deck for a refreshing beverage. I wanted to periscope our departure from the helipad and observe the Metropolitan Athens for a bit. The Bubs ate at the Windjammer before going to Kids club. Then we washed up and got ready for dinner.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Main Dining Room – Night 5
After dinner we strolled to the cabin to check in. We had this little fellow waiting for us. The rest of the evening we relaxed in the Safari Room and by the Schooner bar. We kept it low because tomorrow was our last excursion day.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 6 – Katakolon
We arrived in to the sleepy village of Katakolon on the West Coast of the Peloponnese in the Ionian Sea. The actual village is tiny. As viewed from the ship it appears to be nothing more then a sleepy fishing village, it is the closest port to Ancient Olympia.
To see the full size 20mb pano of Katakolon. Click HERE!
Our excursion for the day was excursion KK38 Ancient Olympia and Kouroutas Beach for Families – Small Groups. Essentially it was a tour of Ancient Olympia followed by a jaunt to Kouroutas Beach before returning to the ship later in the afternoon.
We met our guide right off the ship and we were loaded in to the buses and away we went. Ancient Olympia is about 45 minutes. The land we passed seemed more dry but olive trees were very plentiful. Also Gypsy camps seemed much more prevalent but overall it was an enjoyable ride. The guide gave us a little back ground to the Olympia historic site and eventually we pulled in to the complex. We were each issued a bottle of water, (I still recommend bringing another bottle). We were dropped off by the museum. Granted we weren’t going in to the museum due to time constraints but I hear it is magnificent. It is about a 1/4 of a mile walk from the bus parking lot to gate. Once through the check point our first stop was the ruins of the gymnasium. Next we were taken to the ruins of the palaestra. Wrestling and grappling sports were practiced in the palaestra.
The next stop was the Philippeion a monument to Philip of Macedonia and his family, built for and by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great.
Walking along we passed the Temple of Hera and right next to the temple is the alter of Hera. This is the location where the Modern Olympics torched are lit by the sun prior to an Olympics.
There are mixed period items throughout the site. Next to the temple of Hera the is the ruins of an ornate Roman fountain called the Nymphaeum of Herodes Atticus.
We kept walking towards the end of the site. There were blocks that held statues of champions of the past. Now the only thing left are blocks with inscriptions and places were the statues feet would be anchored to the block.
We arrived at the largest feature of this complex. The stadium is accessed through an arch now which used to be a tunnel. flanked on both sides there would of been crowds of men. Our guide stated the playing field consist of two sets of marble starting blocks or one stadion which equaled 600 feet. The nude runners would race from block to block. The victor would be crowned with a wreath of olive branches.
The site stadium is huge, you can almost imagine 40000 people in what was once the stands.
We finished up at the stadium and we passed more monuments as we reached Wonder of the Ancient World, The Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
Granted the Temple of Zeus is now a ruin. In ancient time it held a very large statue of the god Zeus who sat on a cedar throne. The statue was made on the exterior with gold and ivory and jewels. Unfortunately the statue was destroyed by fire in 475 AD with no known copies being made.
We passed by the Leonidaion, a lodging place for athletes taking part in the ancient Olympic Games.
Our time was running short at the archeological site. We walked back to the air conditioned bus for a short ride and a quick 30 minute souvenir hunt in the modern town of Olympia. We went to the beginning of the row of stores and purchased some knick nacks from a very nice young lady.
We were starving at this part of the trip. Lunch is not provided. So we hit a very small sandwich shop and grabbed a slice of pizza and a soft drink. It was very refreshing. Other people on the tour hit a local shop for ice cream and treats. Our time in town flew by and we were on our way to the last stop.
Kouroutas Beach was located about 45 minutes away from Olympia. We were briefed that the beaches are free, just grab a seat under an umbrella and enjoy the beach. It is recommended to buy a refreshment or some food from the sponsoring restaurant. There was chair side service but it was a little slow the day we arrived. I just went up to the bar and grabbed a few cold beers for myself and the bride and a soda for the bubs. The views from the beach were great, the chairs were comfortable and the umbrellas shady. The water was clear, chilly but refreshing. The only real negative was the gypsies selling wares and services on the beach. They were relentless and almost spoiled our time at the beach. I did not feel comfortable leaving our stuff alone with those transients constantly passing our stuff. Granted I am very security focused and I didn’t see anything out of the norm but my Spidey senses were tingling the whole time. Anyway we took turns swimming any everything worked out fine.
Note: When on an excursion pay attention to departure times. We knew we were the last bus from the beach. Guides from previous tours would call their group numbers. Well when we were about 10 minutes from our departure time we dried off and cleaned up, changed in a beach change room. There were people who were left from a previous tour in full panic mode because they missed the bus. DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. Luckily there was enough seats between our two buses to get them back to the ship.
While we waited for the bus to arrive at the predetermined bus stop. We stopped by a Snack Bar and got gelato. We must of had perfect timing because as soon as the gelato was done, the bus arrived. We boarded and enjoyed a 45 minute ride back to the ship.
We went back to the room put our swim suits on and enjoyed a little pool time. We were still a little hungry, luckily the Solarium Bistro opened up and their delicious sandwiches were available to take care of any cravings prior to dinner.
Of an interesting note: Royal Caribbean must of been celebrating diversity as the LGBT colors were visible on the mast.
It was formal night and the Bubs was joining us.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Main Dining Room – Night 6
We stopped by the room before Bubs went to Kids Club and the big kids went to “THE QUEST”, and this little fellow was hanging out.
I will preface this by saying “THE QUEST” is clearly marked as an over 18 event and children are highly discouraged from watching. When we arrived at the Safari Club it was way over crowded because the Karaoke competition was finishing up. Seating was extremely limited. Teams were formed and the game began. If you never played “The Quest” I will say that Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas is about in the middle. I felt Anthem was rather PG and Empress of the Seas was a solid R rated. Jewel is a good PG-13.
If you are afraid to see semi naked people then you might want to skip this event. If you are a little adventurous then go for it and go for the ride. Hey you just be on a winning team and score a three cent painted trinket! Have fun try to wear underwear and we will leave it at that!
We finished the evening relaxing by the piano. Tomorrow was a sea day and our last day.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Day 7 – Sea Day
We began our last day on the ship and the sea day where we start all our mornings. We had breakfast in the Windjammer after sleeping in a little. I wanted to get a few more photos as we passed through the Strait of Messina. The views are beautiful of the passage and the Strait at it’s narrowest is pretty darn narrow.
We enjoyed the morning by the pool. It seems that there was a Crew Vs. Guest Volleyball game in the pool. The crew won most of the matches. I guess, working together has its perks.
A little later we hit the Windjammer one last time for lunch. The crew had prepared a goodbye cake for all.
The views of the Italian Islands were great. We even got close to Mount Stromboli in the Tyrrhenian Sea; it is an active volcano part of the Calabrian volcanic arc. You could see it slightly smoking. The crazy thing is it is an inhabited island.
The highlight of any sea day for my family is BINGO, Day 7 was no exception. I was so close on one card. It was one away on the jackpot round. You may see me wearing the two sizes too small dorky BINGO t-shirt. If you win one of theses. Don’t lose it. Pack it in your Bingo kit and bring it along. They are normally good for a free card in addition to your C&A free card. Anyway Bingo was fun.
After Bingo Bubs went to afternoon Kid’s Club and we went to the Schooner bar for trivia. We had ok results but we were a team of only two.
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas – Main Dining Room – Night 7
I would just like to thank our dinner Servers at table 469, Junnel and Jun. Our table was the 1st table as you walked in to the MDR and we were directly across from the servers area. It happens and I’m not complaining but this is the third cruise in a row my family has been located across from the servers entrance. I am starting to think I must of pissed someone off 4 cruises ago . (ha! ha!)
We finished the evening thanking different crew members for their outstanding service.
Special thanks to Alan Alban, and Leonora Daria in the Schoooner bar who took outstanding care of us and entertained us throughout the voyage.
Finally it was time to head in for the night. Well almost. I took one more series of Star Photos just because I could.
The ship was scheduled to pull in to the Port of Civitavecchia at 5 AM. I was actually up at 4AM and my phone started freaking out. It seems the our return flight was delayed six hours . I was thinking, Oh boy this could get interesting.
We got up and cleaned up around 6:30, had one last breakfast at the Windjammer. I finally took an elevator, this trip as we were leaving the ship. It was a great view from the outside glass elevators. Next we walked off the ship at 720 AM to meet our driver for our 730 AM scheduled pickup. Again Rome Cabs was Jonhny on the Spot and beyond early. It was a little less then an hour drive to the airport for our scheduled 1150 AM flight out of Terminal 3.
The quick and dirty: Our flight was so delayed that we would of never made the connection. American Airlines searched every possible combination to get us in to the East Coast but no luck. Next they checked other airlines and there was a United Flight leaving essentially in less then an hour to Newark, NJ.
They put us on that flight and told us to Run! No lie Run, and tell security to let you cut in line. Well we did all that and made the flight by the skin of our teeth. Good news, it was a direct flight and we were in our driveway 6 hours earlier then we would of made it with our original flight. Bad news is we lost all those Frequent Flier Miles. At least we were home after an EPIC VACATION!
I would just like to say the combination of a precruise vacation in Rome and the 7 Night Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas Greek Islands cruise was just the right amount of time and mix of locations to satisfy my son who is a history buff. I highly recommend that is the route to go.
There is only one item which we felt we didn’t get our moneys worth, and that was VOOM.
Let me preface to say AT&T International $10 a day saved my butt more then once through out the whole trip, and if you have an unlimited plan it is THE way to go when on land.
I have compared VOOM to the AT&T $10 a day International Roaming add on.
Upon embarkation, VOOM was a hair faster and that was the last we saw of that.
I like to periscope and also use facebook and the PING or Latency speed is a key to an acceptable broadcast.
Let’s just say VOOM was dismal, the worst was at sea on days 6 & 7. Pretty much neither of us could connect to the internet, and when we did it was so slow that it was minutes between doing task.