Ultimate Panama Jan. 11, 2010: Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by Dewey1949

Jewel of the Seas 5
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Ultimate Panama Jan. 11, 2010

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Miami
We arrived in Miami the day before the cruise sailing date. We were greeted with cold temperatures and strong winds. While having dinner in the restaurant at the Wyndham Airport, a guest at another table asked the waitress to turn the air conditioning down. The waitress replied that the air condition was off, that the problem was there was no heat.

The next morning we met with another cruise-critic member for breakfast then shared a cab to the cruise ship terminal. A baggage handler suggested we leave him a tip to ensure our luggage made it to the vessel and of course we did.

Check-in was speedy and we were on board the vessel around 11:45 AM. We were advised to go to the Windjammer on deck 11 for lunch as we would not have access to our staterooms until 1 PM.

Jewel is a beautiful ship with great facilities. We were provided excellent food and excellent service during our stay. Only one hiccup was the fact that myself and another cruise-critic member in a More cabin close to ours who signed up for the meet and mingle did not receive invitations thus missing the meeting. Apparently, our invitation were delivered to our staterooms while occupied by departing passengers from the previous voyage and thus we did not make the meeting. Royal Caribbean did provide us with a bag of souvenirs that we would have received, but it would have been nice to have been at the meeting. I take some responsibility as I did not print off information on this site about the meeting however I should have received an invitation.

Departure at Miami was fast. We used the Valet service and did not have to worry about luggage until we arrived in Toronto to clear Canadian Customs then returned it to the airline and it was there when we arrived at our home airport. Less

Published 01/26/10

Cabin review: H3076 Large Ocean View Stateroom

Cabin was great. It was well maintained and never lacking any supplies. we like an ocean view so we are close to the water.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We did a ship shore excursion Best of Aruba. I found it interesting and informative. Climate was windy, dry and hot. Tour included a stop a an aloe alovera plant, a visit to the fallen natural bridge, a stop at the California lighthouse and a park with a nice view of the island.

Lots of souvenir shopping available in the terminal.

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I was impressed by the size of this Port city, but due to warnings about high heat we opted to not book and excursion. As predicted it was extremely hot upon arrival. My wife, due to health concerns, stayed on board while I took a short walk to the terminal and checked out the over priced souvenir shop and the parrots in a little park outside. Beyond this is a place to get taxis and outside the main gates more taxis wanting to take you for a tour. Being by myself I was not interested in going any further and returned to the vessel to cool off.

Another port that we did not have any excursions booked. Another very hot day. We did some shopping at the shops at the terminal, but we were constantly asked if we wanted a taxi or take a tour. We were constantly approached by children wanting us to buy candy from them and a store clerk asked me to buy peanuts from her to help her family. There is an Internet site in the Super 99 store that gives you Internet access for $1 per hour. Best buy I found during the whole trip.

Although we did not go to the locks, we saw numerous vessels anchored awaiting their chance to enter the canal.

We did a ship tour call the Highlights of Grand Cayman. Stops at a high priced gift shop and park called Pirates Cave, then off to a rum cake plant. Lots of shopping, if that is for you. I did a snorkeling excursion in the afternoon. Another hot day.

Highlight of the trip was our stop in Limon, Costa Rica with a non-ship excursion provided by JJ Tours. It was less expensive and included more then what the ship excursions included. JJ was very informative and helpful. He also had the foresight to take those of us to the Jungle Breeze zip line first before the ship tours arrived. He was also flexible in allowing us to choose what we wanted to do after a trip on the Canal. We opted to do shopping rather then doing a banana plantation tour.

Of ports of call on this cruise this port had the largest facility at the pier to purchase souvenirs. They are all under a large tent at the entrance.

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