Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Lonesome George: A Most Wondrous Leviathan
Overall Member Rating
A Most Wondrous Leviathan
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was all our second cruise on The Jewel; the previous one being in March 2006. Was very pleased to see how well the intervening years have not marred her beauty in any appreciable way. The ship was immaculate.
We were all on-board (arrived in three separate groups) by around noon on Day 1. Carried on a couple of cases of pop in duffel bag with no problems. In fact, the whole embarkation process went very smoothly and quickly.
I personally found Day 1 a bit emotional, as a prior cruise on the Jewel was a gift to our family by my late mom who passed away in Dec. 2009. Mom and Dad had to work pretty hard back then to persuade wife & I to go on that cruise, and to finally convince me that I wouldn't be "completely bored out of my mind with nothing to do, surrounded by a bunch of old people". It is amusing now to hear similar sentiments expressed by several friends who have never gone on a RCI cruise.
Went to the M&M event held on Day 2. Good turnout, More and, and nice to meet some folks I corresponded with on the Roll Call.
The Windjammer and the MDR (6:00 pm seating) sufficed for our meals; no specialty alternate dining took place. All 7 of us were accomadated at table 514, which received exceptional service from waiters Arlene and Leonardo. Kudos to both of them. Extremely hardworking & good natured folks.
Lucian was our stateroom attendant on deck 7, and she likewise is a super pleasant and hard worker.
I went to only one evening show (Joey Vann sp?) during the cruise. Enjoyed it, but other nights was either tired, or preoccupied with reading some fine books. Other family members more or less enjoyed all the other nights with the exception of "Elvis" who they could have lived without.
Thoroughly enjoyed the other musicians (eg. Rossario Strings) who played throughout the ship in different venues.
All said, this was a wonderful experience which we would love to be able to enjoy again at some point in the future. The folks at RCI that designed and built the Radiance class of ships really did a top-notch job. The Oasis/Allure will never see me as a passenger. Sometimes, less is more.
Port 1 Labadee, Haiti was quite nice. Hot day. Purchased nothing. The "hard sell" approch is a total turn-off for me. Went snorkelling amoungst the numerous sea urchins at the beach under the over priced zipline. Saw very few people actually go down said zipline. Did see quite a few fish.
Port 3 Limon, Costa Rica We went on a JJ Tour. Had an absolutely great time with JJ, William (apprentice tour guide), the driver, and 13 other folks from Roll Call. Tour consisted of boat ride on Tortuguerra (sp?) Canal, Jaguar Rescue Center, National Park beach, delicious lunch of chicken w. rice&beans, cassava chips, fried plantain, real fruit punch, & ice cream for dessert! Final stop on tour was a grocery store to purchase some 1820 coffee which JJ recommended. Price for the above was $95.00 per person.
Wife and daughter paid for $15.00 pedicures at the pier which they thought were exceptional value. Daughter also got hair braided. Less
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Cabin review: E17082 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Prefer sightlines & less noise from deck 9 over cabins 7080/7082. Would also choose cabin on starboard rather than port side on future cruise.Read All Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (E1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Retreated to shopping area at pier, which I/we found enjoyable with the beautiful trees and parrots outside. Bought two bags of coffee beans. Must now purchase a coffee grinder. Duh.
One member (#7) of our entourage opted to take the RCI Panama train/bus excursion which he found enjoyable.
Back by the pier, I purchased a half dozen cans of pineapple/orange soda from the 99 grocery store, as well as a couple of bags of Duran coffee.
After lunch, three of us took a taxi to Royal Palms, whereupon daughter and I snorkeled. Discovered large green eel a fair distance offshore. It might have been friendly, or hungry, or both, but daughter and I didn't stick around to develop a closer relationship with it.
We did see a remarkable number of fish, but had to swim a fair ways off shore. A Big Mistake: Walked back to ship. It might have been ok if we has not walked all morning, and snorkeled much of the afternoon. But when I got back on the Jewel I was fairly wiped out, and knees ached. Could not finish dinner in MDR that evening, nor ate either breakfast or lunch the next day.
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