Although the Gem is still my favorite the Jewel gives it stiff competition. We had sailed on the Jewel in the past and found the ship to be in great shape.
We arrived at the pier around 3:00 so there was no line, we went right to our cabin then headed up on deck for the sailaway. The weather was a little cold and allot windy, but the photo ops were fantastic.
We had about 100 people at our M&G and we were greeted by Captain Idar, Hotel Director Hugo and other ships officers. We had a very active board and it was great to meet everyone.
I was very impressed with the entertainment on the Jewel. There was something going on everywhere. Next Stage played everything from Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd to current top 40 songs. I was truely amazed at how good they were. Cruise Director Jamie and her staff were excellant. They really kept everyone entertained.
Food was plentyful and good. Yes some nights were better then others. The night we went to Mama's the food More
was so salty that I couldn't eat it and I didn't care for Moderno. I think they should bring back Salsa. Cagneys was great. The Salmon in Azura was one of the best salmon dishes I have ever had. I did find it hard to get drinks in any of the dining venues. But hey that saved me some money. We did think that the food was improved over past cruises.
We booked all our excursions through NCL and they were all great! They were definatly improved over past cruises, especially the beach break with lunch in Antigua.
Weather was great throughout the cruise. A little exciting on the last sea day, but overall that wasn't to bad.
I am already booked on the Breakaway and looking forward to another NCL experience. Less
Mini Suite 11502. Great location. Quiet. Right by the bridge viewing room. Needs a TV upgrade. Wireless doesn't work to good but if you bring a cable and hard wire your laptop it works better. 2 decks below Spinnaker lounge so its is easy to get soda or drinks.
We booked the Beach break with lunch. This beach was very nice, better then the last trip we took in 2010. The resort they bring you to is very nice. The lunch was very good. The only complaint we had with this excursion was the lack of enough umbrellas. I wasted a good 45 minute trying to get an umbrella. They would look to see who wanted umbrellas and then go get 4, stop and talk, put the 4 umbrellas out then look to see if they needed any more, go get 4, and so on. By the time they got to me they ran out! I did finally get one. They need to set the umbrellas up in advance and then take them away if you don't want to pay for it. This way you can get settled in and enjoy the time you have there. Still worth the cost.
Although the ship got into old San Juan at 3:00pm we still had an enjoyable time. We walked up to fort San Cristobal. What an amazing old fort. After that we walked over to get Pina Coladas at Baraccini's. This was recommended on our Roll Call and was well worth the trip.
This was our first time to St Lucia. We booked the Mud Baths and Catamaran cruise. We were surprised at how long the bus tour was. It was very good. Lunch or Snacks could have been better. The Baths were ok, but the Catamaran cruise and swim was very good. We had a great time on this excursion that we booked through the ship.
This is definitely one of my favorite excursions! The lounge chairs are comfortable, the umbrella's are big, and the food is very good. Well worth the cost. On the way back to the ship they will drop you off in town which we do and then take the water taxi back to the ship. Very good!
The ferry ride over to St John's was faster then normal due to the usual ferry being out of service, so that was a big plus. The eco hike was ok, but we had a few people that should not have taken the tour and they slowed us down. The guide didn't really pay much attention to them so some of us had to hang back and help them over the rough parts of the trail. Because of this we missed some of the Eco tour its self. They would stop and the guide would point something out, by the time we caught up to them they would start moving again and we would miss the tour. But the Beach part was great!!