THE GOOD: Me and my family had spent a week in Florida, and we decided to go on a first short weekend cruise to the bahamas while we were there. This was a 2 night cruise, originally going from miami to great stirrup cay, bahamas (NCL's private island) and then back to miami. We thought that a short cruise would be best to determine if we liked cruising or not. Overall the ship itself was nice and modern, the stateroom was a good size and spacious, though I don't think it would be our first choice to cruise on the Jewel anytime soon. One part that I warn families and older people looking to get away on weekend cruises is that there are mostly people in their younger twenties that are loud, and take up most of the things offered on the ship. The main dining room and the Buffet (Garden Cafe) is all we really ate at. Both places had good food, and I liked how the Garden Cafe has a great selection of food and a little area dedicated to children and their appetites and tastes. The Sapphire pool area was nice, though the younger cruisers were always partying and taking up the pools and lounge chairs, we did manage to get some pool and sun time. There is also a small waterslide that keeps children entertained.
THE BAD: Our cruise left on Friday, the 13th of November, 2009. Our cruise was late leaving port, as we did not leave miami until 9 pm. We were waiting for all the passengers to be on board. The seas were rough, as this was hurricane season, we did not make it to great stirrup cay, and instead we were going to the port of Freeport, Bahamas. I would not return to that port again, as their is about 1 resort, the radisson, although there was a nice beach at the radisson, and there was a little outdoor mall and a casino. This cruise I did not particularly enjoy, and we did cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line again, on the Norwegian Epic and we enjoyed a nice week long cruise on that ship as well as other cruise ships. Now that we know more about cruising, we enjoy larger ships, but we are open to smaller ships too!