We've cruised with RC before and decided to cruise on the Jewel for our Honeymoon. It was the right decision. We had never been on a 12 night cruise but it flew by and we didn't want to debark. The stops are what grabbed our attention. Aruba, Cartagena, Panama, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman. We had never been to any of these stops.
As for the ship we love RC and the Jewel offered the SKY BAR which we always enjoy. The Viking Crown with dance music and great views. And a favorite of ours, The Schooner Bar. The activities on the ship were plentiful. We did everything from Mixology, Music Trivia, Jewelry Making; Dancing classes; visiting the casino and taking in the performances. For anyone who enjoys a cocktail I recommend the Mixology class. I will do it again. What a blast.
One thing we love about RC is the dining experience. This time we chose MY TIME DINING and so many people seem to like this.. We didn't. We missed having a table full of people and a regular crew taking care of us. We requested a large table but we were put at a 2 top and our service did not live up to prior table service. The food on the Jewel didn't seem as good as the food on other RC cruises either. The windjammer had the same food choices each night with maybe one added entree. Nowhere near the choices or variety as on Enchantment or Independence. Dinner meals didn't seem as good and the desserts were lacking.
But, our room steward and other services were superb around the ship. From the Schooner to Customer Relations to Latitudes.
Now for the ports: Aruba.. We did the Jeep Safari and it was fun. We like Adventure excursions and this gave us a great overview of the Island. We saw all the main attractions and spent an hour at a beach. (so bring your suite)
Cartagena, Colombia... OUR FAVORITE STOP. The old city is beautiful. But the funnest thing we did was hire MAXIM, a local guide, to take us to the El Tutomo Volcano and Mud Bath. What an excursion. We had a blast and laughed all morning. And we had our best meal of the trip here at the volcano. Freshly caught fish. Maxim then stayed with us just for fun and took us all through the Old City. He was the BEST GUIDE EVER. The nicest guy you could ever meet. He stayed with us from 9 am to 3pm and the price was dirt cheap. He took us into museums, hotels, bars, bought us local fruits to taste.. just a great person.
Panama... did the locks. They are amazing. Wished we'd booked a longer excursion here since you can't go into the city.
Costa Rica... Ziplined. Awesome. Adrenaline rush. Beautiful jungle. JUST DO IT. After the excursion we met a cabbie, Antonio. LOOK FOR ANTONIO. He is the BEST. For $20 bucks he asked us what we wanted to do in Costa Rica and he took us to do it. Lunch on a beach where I played the drums with the band; I wanted to hold a sloth... he took us and we held a sloth. We wanted to see howler monkeys.. he took us and we saw 15 in the trees; he took us all over. The nicest guy. And this week he called and thanked us for riding with him. I'm telling you Maxim and Antonio are two of the best people I've ever met.
Grand Cayman... We went on the TASTE OF CAYMAN TOUR. Fun, interesting, had a buzz by 10 am. We asked the guide to set us up on an afternoon tour and he sent a driver to pick us up after lunch and this guide took us all over GC. The turtle farm (which is pretty neat even though I didn't plan on going); we went to Hell; then to 7 mile beach and swam. So refreshing.
I cannot go on enough about how awesome this entire trip was on the JEWEL. The people on the cruise were equally amazing. We met so many people and have kept in touch and are planning future cruises together. TAKE THIS CRUISE.. you won't regret it.