First cruise on Royal, and DH and I (closer to 60 than 50 y/o) were pleasantly surprised by the overall quality and enjoyment of the Jewel. Have been on 6 previous cruises, some on larger ships, and it was a nice change to be on a smaller ship that is easy to find your way around. Sailed out of San Juan, our 3rd time there. Embarkation was a breeze, checked out of Hilton Hotel at 11:15, took taxi to pier, no line-ups at check-in (Suite Guest), and we were in Windjammers having lunch and our first of many glasses of Clois du Bois chardonnay by noon. Room (a roomy Junior Suite) was ready by 1:00, and bags were delivered at 2:00. Unpacked and went exploring the ship while still quite empty. Enjoyed traditional dining 6:00 pm seating each night and the individual attention by our waiter Denry and his assisant Rosella. Had a table for 2 in an awesome location, on back wall of Tides with a sweeping view of entire dining room. I have specific food allergies/concerns, and each evening after More
dinner, Denry would bring me the next night's menu, and I would make my choice - the chef would prepare it to order for me and it was all delicous. The best lamb chops I think I have ever had. Lobster on Thursday evening was good, but the cold crab legs were even better. Caught the last half of the comedian's first show, and he was fairly funny. That was the only show we saw, we were always busy drinking in the many bars and dancing either in the Centrium or the Vortex. We had the Premium Beverage Package, and we got our money's worth each day, especially with bottled water we drank each morning and on our excursions, not to mention the wine/beer with lunch, pina coladas or blue Hawaii's around the pool, a couple of peach Bellinis before dinner, wine with dinner, and a couple of cocktails after dinner. We were never drunk or sick the next day, just happy! No trouble ever getting service at the bars. The 70's night on Thursday was so much fun, we took some costumes and danced the night away, the Village People were so entertaining and the crowd attending in the Centrium was the largest for any event held all week. Our stateroom attendant, Joyce, was very pleasant and always left us extra facecloths that I requested and ice everyday. The last day was our only at sea day, and it was very difficult to find a chair outside, until some heavy rain showers drove everyone in until 3:00 p.m., then the sun came out and I ran to claim a lounge chair in the sun. On Saturday, we were given an disembarkation time of 7:20 am, but we didn't leave the ship until 9:30, as our return flight was 4:00 p.m. We sat in Windjammers until 9:00 a.m. at which time they asked everyone to leave, then spent the next half-hour in the Safari lounge. Once off the ship, there was a long line-up to even get down the escalators to Customs, and a huge line for the 2 Customs officers. So we got a porter and were taken to a shorter line (best $5.00 tip ever spent) then whisked outside and into a taxi. We went to Barrachina Village (a restaurant on Fortaleza Street) and stored our luggage for $5.00, then walked around Old San Juan for 2 hours, and had lunch in Subway. Give yourself 2 1/2 - 3 hours before your flight to get your luggage from Barrachina and take a taxi to airport, as it was very busy and only one man to assist the dozens of people who stored their luggage at the restaurant. It was a great cruise and I would not hesitate to recommend the Jewel of the Seas. Less
Jewel of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
Surpisingly wide Junior Suite, seemed much bigger than the Mini-Suites on Princess. Huge walk-in closet with shelves and safe and door hooks. Nice size bathtub and shower with hand-held shower head. Balcony with lounge chair, small table and 2 chairs. But be warned - if you have this suite or one close by - BRING EARPLUGS!!! It is under Windjammer and the noise of trolleys being rolled over your head (sounds like thunder or someone bowling) starts before 6:00 a.m. and continues all day until after 11:00 p.m. - very disturbing!