Bucket list cruise - fulfilled!: Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Florgia Lyn
Overall Member Rating
Bucket list cruise - fulfilled!
Destination: Baltic Sea
The main thing I would like to recommend to everyone going to St. Petersburg, Russia: book a private tour! We booked a tour through Red October (by finding 2 other couples on Cruise Critic) so there were just 6 of us in a Mercedes van with our own driver and guide for 2 days. The guide was Elena and she was great; she was very knowledgeable for all the museums and sights we went to, but she was very open about social issues, etc. Through the tour our visas were taken care of and we got early admission to the Hermitage museum allowing us to view most of the museum without large crowds. She was responsive to our requests, allowing time for shopping, toilet breaks, etc. We highly recommend the tour.Since this was our only trip to St Petersburg, we felt it was well worth the cost.
Another issue we had with the ship was that on sea days, the activities did not interest us. Although the calendar of activities was long, there was nothing listed we wanted to do. There was not a designated game room so nowhere to post messages to get a euchre game going, etc. We spent the days reading, but would have liked some other interactive activities as well.
Overall the cruise was very good. The ship was very clean and that means a lot coming from me, a clean-freak! There were Purell dispensers at all the dining room doors and attendants to remind anyone who did not use them. I suggested that they have Purell dispensers in other public areas like by stairs, etc.
The live entertainment was excellent, both the live production by the ship's singers and dancers (superb lead singers, male and female!), the guest entertainers and the orchestra. We couldn't get over the quality of the orchestra - they could play anything and they played everything very well. There were less than 15 of them, but they had a great sound. Kudos to their leader and to all the musicians!
Hope this helps! Less