We booked the Jewel for our cruise with an older aunt and uncle because of the free style. They truly appreciated that. This was our third Alaskan cruise, their first. They had a mini suite on the 11th floor and raved about their room steward. We had a back balcony on 8. We had visited others in a back of the ship balcony room on another cruise and thought this would be good. Good and bad. Wonderful viewing of the glacier. But a bit noisy, sounding like a giant waterfall all of the time. Trade offs for everything, but if you enjoy the quiet of a cruise, this is not for you. We will not book here again, but we're glad we know now.
Food was quite good.... much better than the Celebrity cruise we took over Thanksgiving. Dinner menus were pretty basic and very good. Desserts were too good. Everything went smoothly. We did two shore excursions, and we enjoyed the way we were told to meet on the dock, not herded into a theatre and herded our.
Things I would like to see changed a bit....... Dining in Czars was more of a supper club than a fine dining atmosphere. Luncheon with the "Beer Barrel Polka" seemed bizarre. We enjoyed the pianist but thought the three piece group with amps was a bit much. But what do I know ? Many seemed to be enjoying it. Wait staff was good.
All in all, a very pleasant week. Would I recommend it. You bet!