We left our hotel room at 11:45 called for a cab, took a cab to the cruise dock and we were eating on deck by 12:45 with all check in complete and after lunch went to our room and our suitcases arrived by 2 PM. This was without a doubt the fastest check in I have ever experienced. The departure went almost as fast with only a twenty minute wait going thru customs.
The shows ran from very good to very bad. One night they had the best comedian I have every heard on a cruise ship. However a few night later they had the worst comedian I have ever had. I agree with other comments that the ships singers and dancers left a lot to be desired. My advise is enjoy the first three shows and skip the rest.
The first night I ate in the main dining room and ordered broiled cod. The fish was simply horrid. I left it all on the plate and was never asked if there was something wrong. Needless to say we never ate in the dining room again. We decided to eat in Portifino to celebrate my birthday. I ordered the special of seafood on a skewer. All of the fish items were dry and over cooked. My wife order a pasta dish and it was simply not worth the money nor of the quality one would expect from a specialty restaurant. I would like to add the desserts were excellent. The remaining evenings we ate in the cafeteria where we found the food to be good. I don't expect gourmet meals on a cruise ship and am quite happy with good. In the back of the cafeteria they have a grill they grills chicken breasts and steaks. Both were quite good and hot. In a another spot they had a wok station that was equally good. I found several guests eating from the grill agreeing this is the best food on-board. Most of the salads were quite tasty and fresh. We tried another restaurant on twelve aft. My wife ordered fish and chips and the fish was 75% coating with the fish being overcooked I had a vegetarian sandwich that came with two vegetables and a stale bun we left and went back to the cafeteria for lunch.
We never book shore excursions thru the ship but instead book online and fine the local tour guides. I would highly recommend Laurence of Antigua and San Ja in Barbados both did a great job and can be found on Trip Advisor. All of the islands except our first stop had beautiful scenery and interesting sites to visit. I would advise anyone reading this review to skip the first stop and stay on ship or visit the local stores. All islands have taxi drivers just outside the cruise dock that will give you personal tours instead of riding in a large group for the same money or less but will tailor a tour to your needs instead of a cookie cutter type tour. Do your homework on Trip Advisor and pick the spots you want to visit. Don't let the cruise ship scare you from doing this as they simply want there cut from the tours.
Carly B the cruise director did an outstanding job the entire time. She was not the ra ra type that most cruise directors are that seem to be in love with themselves and constantly telling you how great they are. She had plenty of activities and made you well aware of them. I can't say enough good things about Carly B.
Some of the review talk about the ship being worn. I found a few worn spots but you really have to look. overall I found the Jewel to be one of the cleanest ships I have been on. Our room was spotless and I am very picky about my room. We had room 9576 which has an over sized balcony at the same price.
Overall I was satisfied with the cruise and would recommend the Jewel of the Sea to anyone that asks me.