After numerous Caribbean cruises my wife and I decided to try a cruise on the Mexican Riviera. I am happy to report we loved the Jewel and all of the ports. I will say that we had perfect weather all week, including the first two days at sea. Since I love to sit on deck and our balcony and hit the beaches while in ports, great weather means we had a great cruise! The Jewel is a good ship in spite of her age. We have been on several larger ships that feel more crowed. The Jewel's showrooms, dining rooms and public areas felt open and seemed well sized to accommodate all guests. The smaller ship made it very easy to exit and return to the ship while in port - we did not have to wait to exit or return at any port.
Nothing was memorable about the food. I give all of the restaurants an average rating. (We ate at both dining rooms, the steak house, Japanese restaurant, and Brazilian steak house. While I am not a foodie and live for desserts, some of the main dining room food was just not good and had to be set aside. The steakhouse was by far the best meal on the ship. Next time I will eat at the steakhouse more than once. I am a fitness guy and hit the gym most days on the ship. I thought the gym was better than many other ships. The equipment is not better, but the workout area and equipment was always available. Try to get on equipment on a large ship like the Getaway, you need to wait in line. I also spent a fair amount of time in the casino and suffered through the smoke haze to indulge my gaming compulsion. Great casino staff and service. Please note I am a non-smoker. The bad new is the casino is the only common area of the ship that still allows smoking.
Ports - We had a great time in all of the ports. We book nothing through the ship and just freestyle while in port. It is true that if you leave the main port area you can find taxis and excursions at a fraction of the ship cost. You will need taxis in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan due to the port locations. We visited the downtown and romantic zone in Puerto V and then hit the beach. We hired a taxi for the morning for in Mazatlan for only$20 per person. Our driver was a 70 year old gentleman that grew up in the city. He showed us everything and then took us to a nice beach and restaurant to enjoy the afternoon. The last port was Cabo. This was my first time in Cabo, I was not disappointed. The place is beautiful! It would be a fun place to spend a few days. We did the standard boat tour of the arch and other rock formations.($15.00 per person) and was dropped on the main beach. From there we hit the beach and walked back to the tender area stopping at Cabo Wabo on the way. We had to be back on the ship at 2:30 - I wish we had more time at Cabo.
We had a balcony cabin. Yes they are small and a little dated, but they are just like all other ship cabins. They are more than adequate - no complaints. We have a great cabin steward!
Stayed at the Hilton DoubleTree in San Pedro... Highly recommend.
Taxi to downtown and then walked to the beach. Relaxing day. Fun swimming in the waves.
Hired a taxi. Great way to see the sites at an affordable cost and at your own pace.
Got off the ship and booked our own boat trip to see the arch and other rock formations. This takes only about an hour than you can hit the beach and walk around.