We spent a wonderful two weeks on the Jewel of the Seas, and we were sad to leave! Overall, what makes this ship so special was the great staff, from officers (James Brown, IT Officer), to bartenders (Glenroy at the Pool Bar and Jarvis in the Diamond Lounge), to Dining Room service staff (Cornelius, Dwayne, Dennis, Maricia and the Diamond Breakfast crew), to Ed, our wonderful Room Steward! The Cruise Director staff are tremendous as well, especially Dennis the CD and Elvis the Activities Manager (and Zumba instructor!)
We have now cruised 17 times with RCI and are Diamond members, and this was one of our best! We spent the night before the cruise at the Sheraton Old San Juan and ended up in the Governor's Suite since all the King rooms were taken by the time we arrived about 9:30 PM. What a treat! Five French balconies, so we had a great view of the ship in the morning! We probably would have paid less for cabs had we stayed closer to the International Pier, but we enjoyed More
our walk through OSJ before going to the pier.
The JOTS is well cared for- Radiance Class ships are all beautiful, and I enjoy this size, since we are able to get to know other passengers and see them often. Cruising for me is about making new friends, as much as it is about where you visit! No, we didn't have a flat screen TV, but we didn't care! We saw crew cleaning up at all times of the day and night, keeping the ship looking great!
We particularly enjoyed Quest (don't miss it!) and the Love & Marriage Game Show both weeks. The 70's party and Dancing Under the Stars were great as well. Even if you haven't tried Zumba before, Elvis will get you moving, and you'll have fun doing it!
We ate in the Dining Room each evening. Meals were good to great, and as long as I'm not cooking or doing the dishes, I'm happy! It was especially nice to see escargot on the menu every night, after having it served only once on our last cruise in December. The service was some of the best ever! We liked having a snack in the Solarium Cafe for lunch- try the ham and cheese croissant!
The singers and dancers were very talented. Unfortunately, the two production shows were not as enjoyable as we had hoped, mostly because the music was unrecognizable. It would be nice to hear some familiar tunes along with more unusual numbers. The comedians, ventriloquist and headliner singer were great however!
For the first time, we didn't take any ship-sponsored shore excursions, but went to beaches on our own- Sunset Bar & Grill on Maho Beach in St. Maarten to see the planes land was great fun. The Reggae Beach Bar & Grill at Cockleshell Beach and The Shipwreck on South Friars Bay on St. Kitts were both beautiful, with great snorkeling at the latter. On St. Lucia, we took the Cosol Tour, which was FANTASTIC! One of the best days we have had on a cruise, and the Boatyard at Barbados (don't miss the shots at the bar) was great fun! Meagan's Bay on St. Thomas and walking through the streets of Curaceau were great, and although Palm Beach in Aruba was crowded, it was still nice!
Disembarkation took a little longer than expected- due to few customs agents, not RCI. Thanks to info from Cruise Critic members, we got a porter, and spent a lot less time in line than others- well worth the tip!
After two weeks, we truly felt that we were part of the Jewel of the Seas family. What a great experience! Less
Jewel of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean