RCCL after 6 cruises with them, a total of 17 cruises overal
Panama Canal & Central America
My biggest gripe before I start was that we parked our car in Terminal C and the ship docked in Terminal G on the return. It was not withing walking distance and the cruise terminal personnel were absoluting no help. Getting the answer on when the Shuttle would be here to take us to our terminal, as I DON't KNOW. They didn't care and did nothing to help us.
Embarkation : A breeze, we are Platinum and were on board quickly. Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle: They served appetizers and lemonade. They had a raffle which we won a prize.
FOOD: I thougt the menus were limited, the quantities small, and the service slow. Most of the time we spent almost 2 hours on dinner, the only thing that saved us was our great tablemates. (We were at a table for 10, but had 8 of us for the trip) I noticed that chicken dishes were none existence, except for the daily chicken breast, same with fish, the only fish I saw was the daily salmon. Port was served over and over again. The best More
dinner I had was the steak with crabmeat and bearnaise sauce.. On lobster night, the waiters seemed to disappear when it came time for seconds. The dining room at lunch was limited to the same menu for the entire cruise. We ended up going to the Windjammer where we had more choices. Windjammer: Trays are gone. Dishes are small and curved like bowls so you can take only small quantities. It was quicker to get your beverage then to wait for a server to come to you. There is also limited hours as to when you can get food. Check your daily paper everyday or you could go hungry.
ENTERTAINMENT: From a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best,I would give them a 1. Nothing memorable, and even one night all they had was a movie, can't even recall the name. Drinks: Very expensive
Captains Party: Poor Champagne, and then the waiters disappeared. Hardly worth going too. Disembarkation: Was a breeze for the Carry Off, until we found out that we docked at a different terminal and needed to wait for a shuttle. It added an extra hour to our day.
Trivia Contests: Had a ball with all of them, prizes were hokey, but the people I grouped with were awesome. Made the trip a lot of fun. Less
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Cabin review: Jewel of the Seas 138
Our cabin, deck 7, room 138. This was the smallest and narroest blacony we have evey encountered. We could not even get to the balcony door without squeezing past the bed. We tried a different arrangement of beds without luck.
The shower was so tiny that you bumped into the walls all the time.
The view from the balcony was terrible, due to the roof of the life boats. Had I known would have never booked this floor.
On a good note, our cabin attendant was gracious and friendly.
Port and Shore Excursions
We have been here many times, including a honeymoon trip by air. We chose to do the Kukoo Kunkoo bus trip(forgive the spelling) Its was fun and we saw a lot of various sites on the island. I am a lighthouse fan and the highlight was stopping at the California Lighthouse. The island is clean and free from the hassles of native vendors. We were taken to Palm Beach for swimming. Beautiful, my idea of a Caribbean beach. Blue Skies, turquoise water and great company from our ship.
This was my first trip to Colombia. Pulling into the port of Cartagena, I was amazed at the skyline. A truly metropolis. Tall skyscrapers and of course I found a lighthouse on the way to the pier. We chose the "Best of Cartagena" excursion. We were taken around the city by charter buses and as soon as we we allowed off the bus, were attacked by local vendors. They were very aggressive, but if you ignored them, they went away. The items they were selling for the most part was junk!!! We were warned by the tour guide that when we got off the bus in the Old City to be very aware of PICKPOCKETS., We did not have any problem. The weather here was very hot. We went to the Inquisition Museum and would have been very interesting had not been the fact there must have been a gazillion tours going on at the same time. Would I go back, Probably not unless the itinerary included a different port that I have not yet been too.
We have been thru the Canal before, so we chose the bus trip to Panama City. We drove thru the poor sections of Colon and saw many homeless sleeping by the side of the street. Once we got on the highway, it was like being anywhere in the states. We stopped at a YMCA Handicraft Market and the selection was great, but we did not have enough time to do it justice. Would have spent more money if we have more time here. We drove past the ruins of the OLD CITY, not much to take a picture of. Then we drove to the New Old City, built after Capt Morgan. Many of the old buildings are being in the process of being restored. Several years from now it will be a beautiful place. We had a sumptuous buffet at the Hotel El Panama in the downtown area.
We have been here many, many times, but chose to do a tour by bus that went to the part of the island we hadn't seen, the east and South End. Unfortunately, we spent more time on the bus than seeing the island as a blur. We did stop at Pirate Cave. It was fun have your pic taken with parrots on your shoulder and climbing down into a Pirates' Cave. Also they took us to the Tortuga Rum Factory. We had unlimited rum cake and samples of all their variety of rums.
The tour we chose for this port was the Sloth Sanctuary. The only bad part of our tour was the road conditions for our 45 minute ride. At the Sanctuary, we were shown a film about the Sanctuary's activities, then we met Buttercup, a sloth, and time was given for everyone to have their picture taken with her. Next we were taken on a canoe ride with a native paddlist, thru a waterway in the rainforest. After we went on a walk thru the rainforest. We saw Howler monkeys, sloths, crocs, and other assorted animals. Finally, we had a fresh tropical fruit buffet before the 45 min. bumpy ride back to the port. The shopping market at the port was full of the popular items that the tourists want, coffee, t shirts, etc.