The Jewel of the Seas is a beautiful ship and her crew keeps her in tip-top shape. She is very clean, all brass and glass well kept with an immaculate shine.
We enjoy meeting and getting to know new people so we requested a large table. Our first night we met 9 of the greatest people and enjoyed 10 days of getting to know and genuinely like all of them. The meals were great, our Head Waiter, Mark; Waiter, Loyall and Assistant Waiter, Gerardo were all eager to please and very entertaining. The entire table loved all 3.
Our cabin was kept spotless by our Cabin Stewart, Raul. Anything we asked of him was attended to quickly and efficiently. My husband being a smoker insisted on a balcony which we enjoyed in the mornings while sipping our coffee before heading off for breakfast. The cabin, although compact, provided plenty of storage space for all of our belongings. There was space beneath the bed for our luggage (which double as a laundry hamper for 10 days). The balcony also provided a quiet spot to enjoy our time a sea.
We loved the Solarium pool as I got a sunburn in Labadee and wanted to avoid direct sunlight. The water was warm and the pool was kid free.
RCCL held a Meet & Mingle for Cruise Critic members and we enjoyed meeting some of our new friends.
The Captain's Welcome Aboard was nice serving appetizers and champagne. The Captain, James MacDonald gave us some background on the Jewel which was interesting.
We also attend the Welcome Back party with some new found friends.
We had previously sailed on The Serenade of the Seas in 2009 and enjoyed it so much we planned this trip shortly after returning home. Jewel of the Seas delivered everything we expected. We heard from numerous other cruises how much the also love Royal Caribbean - you really get your money's worth. We're planning our next cruise with RCCL now!
Our tour guide JJ took us first to San Filipe Fortress. Halfway up the ramp we stopped to look out over Cartagena. JJ gave us some historical background information on the fort and the area before guiding though the tunnels up to the top of the fort.
After a short bus ride we toured the old walled city. JJ explained how to tell where the wealthy families resided by the doors and arches. What a truly lovely area this is. We had the opportunity to watch a area artist paint local scenes on mirrors. A truly talented man.
JJ was friendly and informative, his English was very good and easy to understand.
After the tour Lee supplied us with refreshments and we had some time to shop. Cartagena is a truly lovely city that we hope to visit again.
We proceeded to the Rain Forest where Rey took us on a walking tour,pointing out flora and fauna and answering any questions we might have.
Lastly we toured San Lorenzo Fort. We were treated to fresh pineapple on our way back to the ship.
Rey was a well informed man with a great sense of humor. He made the day not only educational but entertaining as well.
We spent the rest of the day at the public beach. The water was beautiful and clear. Change rooms, bathrooms and shelters with picnic benches are provided free of charge. The beach was very clean.
We did a little shopping in the area. If you're in the market for jewelery, crystal, liquor, perfume, etc. this is the place for you. Some great bargains to be had.
The area is very commercialize with Wendy's, Burger King, KFC, etc everywhere--it's like North American in the Caribbean. Everything is in English so there is no language barrier to be concerned about.
We started our tour with a river cruise of the Tortugero Canal, Rene the driver of our boat spotted numerous sloths, birds, lizards and fauna (the man had eyes like a hawk) while Rey explained the different types of plants and trees.
We stopped at a roadside fruit stand and sampled fresh fruit and had a short tour of the grounds where Rey pointed out herbs and explained their uses.
We continued to the Del Monte banana plantation. Rey gave us an informative tour of the plantation, explaining how the bananas are grown and harvested. We then visited the processing plant and learned what goes into getting the banana from the tree to the supermarket. I have a new appreciated from the perfect yellow fruit now.
We then visited a local farm where Rey pointed out many herbs and trees, explaining how they're grown and their uses.
We were then taken to a local beach restaurant and enjoyed a typical local meal consisting of chicken, rice and beans, fried plantains and a coleslaw salad with the beverage of our choice. It was absolutely delicious and included in the cost of the tour.
It was a truly enjoyable day. Rey and Jose went out of their way to make sure we were satisfied. They made bathroom stops without being asked and provided us with beverages while driving. Although Rey was concerned about his English he was very easy to understand and very well spoken.
Costa Rica is an ecologically conscious, developing country. Her beauty is everywhere to be seen. We would love to visit again in the future.