The cruise began at Harwich and the embarkation process was very simple and quick. We were soon on board - the Jewel is a lovely ship with lots of areas to sit and have a read, quiet drink or watch the action. Our balcony stateroom (Deck 9) had plenty of storage but the bathroom was small and certainly not as spacious as others we have had. The balcony had a large overhang which meant no sunbathing,so be warned! The real disappointment was the two swimming pools - both nearly 6' deep, so no good for a non swimmer, and too small for the 2,500 on the ship. The pool in the Solarium generally had all the best loungers 'booked' by towels by 7am. The food and service on the ship was very good, as was the entertainment.
But the main event was the visit to St Petersburg and this was excellent. We booked a tour on the internet with Alla Tours of St P and had 2 fascinating days with a small group and a wonderful guide. You can only see a very small part of this beautiful city and I will certainly go back to explore it again.
Other tours - Copenhagen and Gothenburg were rushed and, for what we saw, not good value for money. Stockholm was lovely with a delightful guide - so much depends on weather, who the guide is and traffic conditions.
The drinks on board were expensive and the 15% service charge made things worse! A very ordinary bottle of wine would be over $30 - on our last cruise on Fred Olsen's Braemar, drinks were much more reasonable without the service charge. But I suppose we could become teatotal for the duration!
All in all a very good cruise which I can recommend.