My husband and I thought the Jewel was a beautiful ship, though the same size as its sister ship the Dawn, it did seem smaller and not quite as luxurious. It was lovely none the less and we found the facilities fantastic and the crew a delight. Embarkation was extremely fast which was a pleasant surprise.(we waited 5 hours to board the Dawn, but there had been a blizzard in NY the day before)
The Greek Isles were a piece of paradise and the weather was perfect from day 1 to day 13. We chose the cruise because of the ports and we weren't disappointed. Cairo was a culture shock but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. We disembarked in Istanbul, a very exciting city. It was also a very quick and easy process.
We chose to carry our own bags off so once we were ready off we went, no waiting around at all. We found the food quite delicious with plenty of choice and we did enjoy the freestyle dining as we didn't have to dress up or be at dinner at any particular time. Im going to find it difficult on other lines now and I loved the freedom of it. We ate at Tangos, Mamas, the Teppanyaki restaurant and Le Bistro as well as the other dining rooms. I loved the Teppanyaki but wasn't really that impressed with Le Bistro but it just may have been my choice of dishes. We had a cruise critic meet & greet and was very impressed that the Captain and several of his officers took the time to come to it and have a chat with us all. The shows we went to were first class and enjoyed them immensely.