I was a first time cruiser on the Jewel for the January 17-24, 2010 cruise. My fiance and I flew into Miami the morning of the 17th from Boston. I had a friend who lives in Miami pick us up at the airport. She took us to a shopping plaza near the seaport and we walked around for a while and then had lunch. She dropped us off at the seaport just as it was being to rain. We left our luggage with the bag guys out front and after getting a bit wet, we were finally inside to begin the check-in process.
The check-in was a breeze and then we boarded the ship. I was so excited to now be on board the ship that I couldn't wait to look around. We decided to see if our room was ready and we were able to walk on in. We had an inner cabin, but the twin beds had been pushed together to form a king size bed. There was a nice foam mattress that was placed on top of the original beds so that there would be "crack" felt due to the space from where to two beds met. We unloaded what belongings we could because we didn't have our suitcase yet. We went up to the buffet and had a few snacks and drinks and then we walked around the ship. I took a tour of the spa--I was very impressed with all the amenities at the spa, but when I discovered the prices of what they had to offer there was no way I was going there! We looked at that night's menu for the service charge restaurants and decided to eat at Tsar's since it was downstairs from our room. They seated us right away and we were seated near a window which was very pleasant. The food was very good and I left feeling very satisfied.
We went to see Tim Kaminsky perform for the entertainment that night and I was quite pleased. He was very funny and impressionable. We were both very tired after the show and decided to turn in early.
The bathroom in our cabin seemed larger than on most ships. The shower was spacious and the shower enclosure was a nice feature.
It was difficult to sit on the toilet since due to my height I had to sit sideways on it in order to not hit the wall with my knees.
The twin beds were pushed together for us and this made for a very comfortable bed with the additional mattress that was added.
The TV in the room gave poor reception and there were barely any channels.
NCL shore excursion Dolphin Encounter/Tabyana Beach.
The tendering process to get into port was just pathetic. I had booked a private tour with a cruise critic recommended company, and we had to wait for an additional hour after our tour time until we left. The company, Island Marketing, states that they use air conditioned vans to get to the ruins, and our van didn't have working A/C. The ride was very bumpy and I swear the shocks on our van were gone since I felt every bump on our seat that wasn't even bolted to the floor! Our driver was kind enough to stop at a small grocery store so that we could purchase some water since we were sweating so bad. We reached Altun Ha safely but were very hot and sweaty upon arrival. Our tour guide was very good so at least the ruins tour was not a total loss. The lunch after the ruins was very good, although if you didn't have bug spray with you you were eaten alive--luckily I had some! We managed to hop into a different van that had a/c so our ride back to port was much nicer. The shopping at the little flea market outside of the port was nice and I found several souvenirs to take home with me.
We booked a private tour with Native Choice based on cruise critic recommendations. The tour was for Chacchoben ruins and a private luch with a Mayan family in a small Mayan community. The overall tour was absolutely fabulous! Will definitely book another tour with Native Choice again.