This was our first cruise, us and 2 daughters aged 16 and 14. We all shared a superior balcony cabin, and it was bigger than I expected, and big enough for the 4 of us most of the time! We drove ourselves to Harwich, parked and embarked easily at about 12pm. Our cabin was ready at 1pm. The ship is beautiful, and very easy to get around. It never seemed crowded except on the pooldeck on a sunny day and in the Windjammer just before arriving in port. Joff the cruise director was great, and all of the activities which we did were well done and great fun. The best was the impromptu pool party overlooking the MSC Opera!! Service was almost perfect, certainly better than you get in a normal 4 star hotel. We found the food very nice, and would be more than happy to be served most of it in a normal mid-priced restaurant (and it was always hot). We mostly ate lunch and breakfast in the Windjammer, but one day tried the Seaview cafe (not that good) and one day the MDR for lunch (ok, but too formal for us). We ate once in Chops, which was wonderful and well worth the extra. I had the rack of lamb on their recommendation, it was very nice but don't listen to them - have the filet mignon, it was amazing! We also tried Portofinos one evening - th food was no better than the MDR, and service was poor, so I wouldn't bother with that again. The children's activities were the only thing which we did not rate highly - our daughters went, but as there weren't that many kids on board a lot of the activities didn't happen, and the organizers never seemed to be there even if the kids were. The theatre entertainment was a surprise to us, we really enjoyed it. The only one we didn't rate was Andy Stewart the comedian, but the others were really good (and Gary Nardini was Fantastic!). All in all it was an excellent holiday, and we would not hesitate to recommend the Jewel of the Seas.