The escape from the chills of US started on Jan 2 and continued to Jan 11 when we returned to Miami, a chilling 37 F. We totally enjoyed the experience of Jewel of the Seas which was our 6th cruise. We had 3 negative weather days but this was due to a massive front in the US and not due to the ship. WE had a beautiful balcony cabin, with a wonderful cabin attendant. Room was in great shape and absolutely clean. We took advantage of a great special deal just 6 weeks before the cruise.
The food in the Chops Restaurant was excellent and worth the extra $20 a person. We were there on the last night. Note we were there on the day when there were 65mph winds and the outside areas of the ship were closed off. We felt nothing in that restaurant. We ate breakfast mostly in the Windjammer where we could easily select fruit and healthy choices of our wishes. Yes they do serve the same type of food there for breakfast, but there are so many choices this should not be an issue. I did have an issue with Breakfast in the Main Dining Room where the foreign waiters did not understand my need for hard cook poached eggs. So we skipped the dining room for breakfast and went to the windjammer. If you want to walk around this ship with coffee, ice tea or water bring your own covered beverage containers from home. We learned this trick from other cruises after spilling coffee on ourselves. Skip the expensive coffee bar on the fifth floor as it is really not necessary when you have all the free coffee you want elsewhere. The best deal was the Champagne bar from 5 pm to 8 pm. Pay for any glass of champagne or drink and get unlimited caviar bar with all the fixings. We decided on the Dining at our time and it was really good to eat when you wanted. But you need to know that you have to reserve your time ahead of time and that sometimes you don't always see the special dances, or ceremonies that the waiters perform during the set dinner times. Our dinners were mostly enjoyable, I expected the Lobster dinner with formal night and it was actually the next night which seemed really strange.
We avoided buying the expensive photos, and soda card. We did support the casino, and the bars. We also took several excursions, and found that they were very interesting. Boat trip on Gatun Lake and Panama Canal, and the Banana Plantation/train in Costa Rica. I heard that the hiking etc were really fun, but we are not able to take those. We thought that the ship was beautifully laid out and artistically decorated. Every area had a different art collection and I enjoyed looking at them. Don't miss the Cigar bar and the 13th floor Bar for the views. The shows were typical cruise stuff and we enjoyed watching our sports teams at the Sports bar by the casino. I would highly recommend this ship, the crew and the food to anyone looking for an enjoyable cruise.