This was our family's first cruise.
We have traveled to many Caribbean countries. We also have gone to many Club Med vacations in the Caribbean. Because my wife does get seasick sometimes, a cruise has been the last option. It is also equally important that my six year old must enjoy the vacation. We have been to Disney World and Universal Studio more times than you can count.
We wanted to do something different this time. We decided to go to a cruise.
We were looking at Royal Caribbean and Carnival. After some research, we decided to book with the Jewel of the Seas because it is a new ship and the reputation of Royal Caribbean. My parents recommended Royal Caribbean based on their previous cruises with Royal Caribbean and Princess.
I heard that everyone is getting some type of the deals, but did not know how to find one. After a couple of days of checking the travel websites, I booked through the Royal Caribbean telesales.
The travel date was December 18. We bought two books on the cruise and called several friends who went on cruises before for detail consultation. My wife bought SeaBands and enough medication to put her to sleep for a month.
On December 18, when we arrived at the port, we saw a long line for registration. After a bit more than half hour, we were allowed to board.
Once on the ship, we were pleased that we booked the cruise with the Jewel of the Seas. Most of the people we met had been on cruises many times on numerous ships and with other companies. They thought highly of Royal Caribbean and loved the Jewel of the Seas.
Dining -- Sometimes food from the Windjammer Cafe (buffet) was better than Tides (full service). The quality of the food was OK. Service at Tides was fantastic!!! Our waiter was Phillip, a French gentleman. I think he is the same person mentioned by a previous reviewer. He and his assistant were great. Phillip was so accommodating that all the guests loved him.
At night, I went to Seview Cafe for light snacks such as fruit and vegetarian sandwiches. The service was good.
Kid's Program -- My six-year-old loved it so much that she wanted to stay another week. It is not like a babysitting. They have a variety of programs. The program coordinators were actively working with the kids.
Cabin Steward -- The cabin was well maintained and the cabin steward made sure everything was in order. He must came around every couple hours to check the cabin.
Shore Excursion -- We have been to many places before except for St. Maarten. As you know these islands are not big. We just took the cabs to go around.
Entertainment -- It was a bit disappointing since we had big expectations. We were told that the night entertainment on the cruise is equal to Las Vegas.
Ship Overall Quality -- It was clean and well maintained.
Final Comments -- My wife did not get seasick!!! To her surprise, the ship is very quiet and stable. Also, the SeaBands worked well. The crew were well trained and helpful. We are thinking about another cruise vacation soon with Royal Caribbean and possibly with the Jewel of the Seas.