We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of sailing and -- it happens. The crew did a great job of communicating and making us as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Because of the weather, our Sicily stop was changed to Crete. Personally, we didn't mind because we had never visited Crete. Our Ashdod port was changed to Haifa so we had an overnight stay in Haifa. We agreed, better to be safe. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday and everyplace we visited on the Jerusalem and Bethlehem shore excursion was very, very crowded. Compounded by the longer transit time (1.5 hours) from Haifa versus Ashdod, it was not the experience we had anticipated. Nonetheless, we were able to quickly see religious sites that had enormous emotional and sentimental value to us.
The Jewel is a little older, but well maintained. I have sailed on the Jewel before so I knew what to expect in terms of ship size and layout. It does not have zip lines, surfing, multi-deck slides, carousels, and neighborhoods. The Jewel is a good, mid-sized ship with some of the older ship style charm.
We were in cabin 9256, which has a standard size cabin, but a larger balcony. The extended balcony has a nice AFT and Port view. There are passenger cabins above and below. It is very private and quiet. It would be nice to have a staircase towards the aft. Our aft cabin was quite a walk; on the bright side, we got exercise just going/coming to/from the cabin.
Average sized cabin but large balcony. The balcony has a slightly extended area that enables you to have both Aft and Port views. Passenger cabins above and below so very private and no noise from other cabins. If you like Aft cabins, this is an excellent choice.
Great overview of Paphos. Leisurely pace.
Good overview of Ephesus. Suggest there be a 10-minute photo stop at the Ephesus ruins and a lot less time at the carpet factory.
Good for an overview of Pireaus and Athens. We visited Athens before and did not want more than an overview.