First of all my wife and I have previously cruised 10 times now with a few different lines including RCL, Celebrity, Carnival, & Princess. We are pretty laid back and are not too picky. We choose to make our vacations very relaxing and fun.
The Jewel is a great ship, not small by any means, but also not the size of the mega ships. We were told by many people that it is one of if not their favorite ship. It is starting to show a little wear, but you would have to look closely to see it. Mainly wear on the outside areas of the ship, a little rust on the balconies, but for the most part beautiful. The interior is one of the cleanest ships we have ever been on, including the Equinox when it was brand new. The staff does a great job in keeping it looking great and the public restrooms were some of the cleanest I have seen on a ship. The only criticism I would have about the layout is that everything revolves around the Centrum and it can make for some crowded areas during the busy times before dinner. Also, many times when we wanted to get a drink and listen to some music it was hard to find, although that may have had something to do with the clientele.
We were on my time dining and the longest we had to wait for a table was about 5 minutes. We requested the same waiter and assistant waiter, because they were fantastic, and we got them every night at approximately the same time. The food was good to great with only one night where I didn't find something that jumped out at me as sounding great. The service throughout the ship was some of the best if not the best service we have ever had on a cruise.
The cabin was fine, a bit small, but plenty of storage. The balcony on this cabin is incredible. Much bigger and the views forward are fantastic. Breakfast on the balcony is always great.
Entertainment was pretty good. The welcome show was the only one we didn't really like, but the Tango show was one of the best ever. The music around the ship was not spectacular, but enjoyable.
Labadee is fantastic, even with all of the commercialism. We sprung for the cabana. Even though we weren't in a suite, we checked when we got on the ship and were able to get one for the day. If you like to have a nice beach day with out the crowds, go for the cabana. They are comfortable and the private beach is great. We had two servers all day and were not once in need of something we didn't get. The food was upgraded as it was cooked while we watched and not just held at temp and the shrimp was really good. We took advantage of the golf cart for a tour and my son and I got on the roller coaster without standing in line.
Cartenga, Columbia is an interesting city. We took a tour through RCL due to our uncertainty of the safety. It was a good tour, well worth the $59 per person even though it rained most of the day. The fortress and old city walking tour was very interesting. Especially if you like architecture, you will like to see this port. After being there and experiencing it once, we probably won't go back. It is a really poor and dirty city outside the tourist areas and getting around is very difficult. One of the worst traffic places we have ever been.
Colon, Panama is another interesting place. We took another tour through RCL and decided to go out into the country. We saw the Embera Indians and did an Eco tour around lake Gatun. Very interesting and educational for our 6 year old son.
Costa Rica, is wonderful. Went to the Veragua Rainforest and it was fantastic. Did a tour through Okey Dokey Tours and they were fantastic. Handled very professionally and had a wonderful time. Would recommend them highly. Never once felt unsafe and although I can be a little psychotic about tours, I never felt the lest bit uncomfortable. They even took us to a little grocery store to buy coffee and we are enjoying it at home.
My son went to the kids program often and we had a hard time convincing him to stay with us on the sea days.
The only ship item I could say I didn't like was the salt water pool. Not a fan of those, but what can you do.
Loved the trip and wish we were still on the ship.