We were so pleased with our 5 nt Jewel of The Seas cruise Feb 27, 2012 to western Caribbean; Cozumel and Costa Maya. Although the destination was not a real goal or selling point for us, it was interesting and enjoyable. We just wanted to test out what it was like to cruise. The food was very good, ship decent size and the important thing: we did NOT get seasick. I was especially looking forward to all the activities, dancing, swimming, karaokeing and rock climbing (other exercise). My husband more into the relaxing, reading, and seeing how a ship this size was put together. We were impressed by several large areas, such as the Coral Theater, the large restaurants (Tides and Windjammer), and so many elegant touches here and there. Of course the glass, lit-up staircase going down to the Centrum was impressive, as their 5 glass elevators in there. What acoustics!! Very beautiful. Even a classical violinist and acoustic guitar accompaniment could be heard with perfect sustainment throughout that tubular-shaped relaxing space! We were able to play cards in several quaint and surprisingly quiet spots on the ship. We enjoyed the small, but tasteful Champagne Lounge. Only had hoped to meet up with a few more of our Cruise Critic Roll Call informal Meet and Mingle people who communicated on those threads. We met a couple, and several other nice cruisers. It was such a wonderful time.
I just want to note, that apparently since the cruise lines "own" the dock / port area (I believe?), then neither Cozumel, nor Costa Maya were directly in their town / village. One needed to taxi or walk. Since we were just "testing out" cruising, we were reluctant to venture too far, and possibly not make it back to our boat before time to pull out. Seeing the "set up", I shall call it, market area / mall-festival-like area set up to get the tourists dollars first, on the negative side my take was that we were kind of TRAPPED in this area. Of course the vendors were all doing their best to be aggressive salespeople - - yet remaining as polite as they would need to be within the margins. I also had hoped for more nearby beaches to where we docked (without having to take transportation, as mentioned). Next time, we may have more courage and venture in to see "The Real Cozumel" and "The Real Costa Maya". My regret was regarding a generous invitation by LeStudio (Chris and Gail) to take up their offer to ride together to Paradise beach. I later saw the internet for that location - - and Oh MY, what a beautiful sandy beach, with all activities you may want.
The cruise itself was excellent, and waters so Very VERY blue. The evening dinner staff was quite exceptional. I need to brag too, because I MADE IT TO THE TOP of the ROCK CLIMBING WALL ! ! ! Yeah! I rang that bell so proudly - sense of success for me. Who would have thought a floating hotel (this Jewel) would have such activities, a mini-golf, a casino, and self-leveling pool tables!?!! I so wish I would have done the Safari lounge more, and the card room, as online friends YukiPhnx (Andrew and Andrea) mentioned. The Scooners Bar was particularly decked out really CUTE! Sugoii :) If you have not cruised yet, you really should. Friends we met on shore told us their (other) cruise line didn't have great food and had other issues. I feel totally pleased with our experience. Jewel really did SPARKLE for us. We will cruise Royal Caribbean again!
-Caroline & Al from Indiana