Fabulous escape from cold weather: Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by nancynana

Jewel of the Seas 4
Member Since 2004
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Fabulous escape from cold weather

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Miami
Well......we hadn't cruised in 5 years so I will include some observations on changes we noticed but all in all, we had a really great time. We flew in one day ahead in case bad weather might have created problems but the only weather issue was the COLD in Miami. It broke records. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency and wore our coats in the bar to have a drink. While our room was fine, the drinks and food were very pricey! A cosmopolitan was $15 and breakfast for two was $50!

Departure day for the cruise was sunny but still chilly. We got to the port at 11:15 and we were on board in 15 minutes and having a drink in the solarium at noon. Lunch in the Windjammer was fine and then we walked the ship. Our other cruises were on Voyager and Explorer so this was our first time on a radiance class ship. We found it easy to navigate and enjoyed the smaller ship. We did My Time Dining and really enjoyed the flexibility that provides. We never made a reservation and were always seated More immediately when we arrived. The first two nights we were seated with others which was very enjoyable. After that, the staff seated us alone but we often chatted with others at tables close to us. It did feel like the service is "faster" and there was very little time between courses! Also, an observation that the main entree choices did not seem as good as in our past cruises. But....we certainly always ate well! We always found a place to enjoy on sea days. We did not swim in the pools so we were not as focused on space beside them so we found great relaxing space on deck 12 forward and enjoyed the quiet, sun and breeze. Entertainment - the show City of Dreams was on our last night and it is outstanding. The first night was a singer/piano player and he was very good. In between were some pretty weak performers...sort of like lounge acts so some nights we sat on the decks and looked at the moon on the water and the wonderful stars above. We enjoyed the Safari Club or Vortex for a sunset drink before dinner but we did not see any of the late night shows. Dining - The Windjammer had many choices and we felt the buffet quality was good. We ate in Chops and felt the quality was excellent....like a Ruth Chris Steak House. My husband had the filet both nights and I had the filet once and the rack of lamb which was really good. Departure - the only challenge seems to be getting off the boat without long lines at immigration. We stood for an hour before we cleared. We felt the staff and service were all outstanding. Less

Published 01/23/10

Cabin review: bal9650

The cabin was good. Plenty of space, good balcony.

Port and Shore Excursions

Weather was great. We took a cab to the beach. Rented chairs and relaxed. We were back to the ship by 1:30 and had lunch in the Windjammewr.

Read 1289 Aruba Reviews

I had arranged a private tour with Lee Miles. We visited the monastery,the old town, church, and fort. Interesting city...many contrasts...poverty, new construction, working at accommodating tourists.

We did the ship's tour on the Ferry through the canal and it was an excellent experience. The ride to the port was informative as was the ride back. We saw everything from Colon to Panama City...and the Pacific. We were really glad we did this!

We did a cab to the beach. We aren't shoppers so this isn't or favorite port. Weather was great and lunch on the beach was very good.

We used Okeydokey tours and they were really excellent. It really felt like an ecotour beginning with a walk through the forest, stops to see a sloth, howler monkeys, etc. We toured a banana plantation and then did the boat ride on the canals. Saw tons of wildlife. It was all wonderful.

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