Panama experience: Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by bikn4fn

Jewel of the Seas 5
Member Since 2006
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Panama experience

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Miami
We arrived in Miami a day early to avoid any airport delays. We were glad we did. While there were no problems from Chicago, some East Coasters missed the ship and had to arrange for transportation to Aruba. We met up with a small group from the M&M for a pre-dinner get together. It went quite well. It gave us time to get to know each other in addition to the M&M arranged by RCI.

We got the port around 11:30 (a bit early). After checking in we were taken to a "waiting area" while we sat while additional cleaning of the ship was performed. We were told "stomach virus" was identified on the previous cruise and extra care was being taken to insure our safety. There were the typical complainers, but if it was being done for our safety, what difference did it make if we were held there or in the check in area? They wouldn't allow boarding that early anyway.

The previous reviews pretty much covered most of our views. I do have some things previously said that I More need to question. -- The reviewer that mentioned "no salad with dinner". Where did they eat? Salad was always an option on the menu. -- Waiting for elevators. There are a lot of people. What do you expect at busy times (dinner)? If you're that pressed for time and it's only one or two floors, walk. -- Why does somebody always have to complain about the liquor policy? You can't bring any on board. Get over it. If your priority is to drink, drink, drink, book something else. -- C&A cutbacks. This has been talked to death on all of the boards. There is probably not much any of us can say or do to change this. Why waste your time and energy. Enjoy the fact that you are on vacation. Even the worse day on vacation is better than a good day at work.

Our cabin was was nice, just the right size. We like being on the "hump" for this class of ship. The other balcony cabins have an obstructed view due to the canopy over the life boats. We had no problem storing everything. Plenty of closet and other storage areas. We like the shower doors instead of curtains. It makes it feel like you have more room and the curtains don't get "overly friendly". The bed was very comfortable. We both slept very good every night.

Dining was good. We didn't have any bad experiences in the dining room. One evening was in Portofino's. Also excellent. A nice quiet change of pace. We wouldn't do it every night. We like the large table and meeting new faces every cruise. WJ was where we spent our breakfast and lunch. We like the layout of the WJ on this class of ship better than Vision and Freedom. It seems more organized. We never had problems finding a place to sit.

Shore excursions are detailed below by port.

Getting off the ship was very organized. We were off in almost record time. We also just walked right through customs since we didn't exceed our allowance. Less

Published 04/05/10

Cabin review: E7062

Good location. Prefer doors in shower to curtains. Allows more room when taking a shower.

Port and Shore Excursions

We happen to arrive on "Flag Day". Through no fault of anybody - all the stores were closed. Not a big priority for us. We just waited until other ports to by the normal t-shirts, etc.

Read 1289 Aruba Reviews

Very interesting. Took the fortress tour. The only "bad" part was all of the street vendors. There were everywhere selling everything. We know how to handle them. Totally ignore them and they will leave you alone. The minute you at them and say "no thanks" they will continue to follow you offering better and better offers. The only place that was worse was in Egypt.

Took the Gaton Lake tour. We have been through the Panama Canal before so were looking for something different. Very enjoyable. Saw lots of wildlife and the lunch at the houseboat was OK.

We had two tours scheduled. Due to strong winds, the parasailing was canceled. We did the bike tour in the morning. We biked on GC the last time and had a great day. Since the parasailing was canceled, we were able to spend some time shopping. This made up for the "lost time" in Aruba.

Excellent. We did white water rafting. We had a blast! The water was warm, so getting wet didn't matter. We did rafting in Colorado and the water was COLD. This was probably the best of the cruise.

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