Twelve Days is a Long Time: Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by casaloma

Jewel of the Seas 4
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Twelve Days is a Long Time

Sail Date: May 2010
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Harwich
We arrived a day early in London then took the train to Harwich from Liverpool St. Station. Very easy and processing was going on when we arrived about 1 p.m. It was fairly easy except for a 1/2 hour unexplained wait in the processing line for security. Once on the ship we went right away to our cabin, which we were very pleased with. (On the hump!!). We immediately began eating, which did not stop essentially for 12 days.

I thought the Jewel was a really lovely ship. I loved the colors, most of the art, the general layout and ease of use.

Food: We are pretty easy to please and we were very happy with the food in the main dining room. I thought there was a lot of variety, though I usually opted for the beef. The prime rib was out of this world. On one occasion, when I didn't chose the meat dish, the other two men at our table complained that the meat was tough. The waiter apoligized but that was about it. One man later sent back the lamb b/c it was raw. Again, it More was replaced but not a big deal. We ate during the day at the Windjammer and had no complaints there. A good variety. Others have complained that you always had to search for a table, and that was true on some days. More annoying to me was the constant repetition of "when you're done, please relocate so other diners can have the privilege of eating". Yes, yes, I know, get the heck out of there.

Cabin: We were very pleased with our cabin and the way it was kept. Like others, only two towel animals in 12 days. :(

Entertainment: Having cruised on Norwegian, we automatically tend to not go to the entertainment. Our tablemates urged us to give it a try and we were pleasantly surprised. We didn't attend very night but we very much enjoyed the Broadways presentation, the magician and one of the one-man shows. The tango night was a little too much tango for me but other may disagree.

Activities: We aren't really joiners so can't rate this one. Our tablemates WERE joiners and they seemed to enjoy themselves a lot.

Staff: I found the staff generally pretty friendly and helpful.

In general, by the 12th day I was running out of steam. Maybe because we hadn't gotten involved in the trivia activities or art auctions etc, I was a little bored. We spent a lot of our time reading on sea days, which was a break from the frantic pace of port days. In future, I think I'll look more toward 10 day cruises, but that isn't the fault of the Jewel.

Oh, forgot to say that on the last night we had a WILD storm with winds gusting up to 119 mph. There is a handy channel on your television that tells you that. We finally had to turn it off because it was making both of us nervous and the ship was doing a lot of rolling around. I kept picturing the Posiedon Adventure and me Shelly Winters trying to climb a Christmas tree. Not a pretty picture. Less

Published 06/04/10

Cabin review: 8594

This was a great cabin. It was close to the elevators, on the hump, with a great balcony. We were never bothered by noise except on the last day in Harwich. Those port workers are noisy!!

Port and Shore Excursions

We took the Hop On Hop Off bus in Copenhagen and that worked out fine. We stopped and toured the palace, which was pretty and interesting. I can't say that much stood out in Copenhagen other than the astronomical prices.

We choose not to do the HOHO bus b/c it was considerably more expensive than in other ports. We should have just gone ahead and done it as Helsinki isn't quite as accessible as other ports we visited. We ended up taking a boat tour. Don't do it. It was freezing, for one thing, and all we did was go around dozens of islands and the commentary was always the same: "here is where some rich residents of Helsinki have their summer homes". It was pretty, but not what you want to spend precious time in Helsinki doing. There is a small (might be bigger with better weather) market on the harbor.

Read 635 Helsinki Reviews

Because I was apprehensive about the amt of walking, my husband went to the Hermitage the first day without me. He had a great time and took about a 1000 pictures. On the second day we took the canal tour through RC. Though in time I'm sure it will be a fun memory, at the time it was truly miserable. We chose the sit on the upper deck of the boat in the torrential pouring rain so we could see something as the lower deck's window were all fogged up. We did get some great pics though I was almost immediately sick and still am. Once we ended that part of the tour, the tour guide set off at a astounding pace toward the Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Catherine's Cathedral. One woman in our group had apparently had a stoke and walked slowly. We completely lost them. She never stopped, she never counted people. It was nervewracking as we had been told over and over that you couldn't be in Russia w/out a tour guide. She didn't count heads until an hour and a half later, half a mile away, when we were on the bus. "Oh," she says. "We're missing two people." Really. Everyone in the bus knew who it was but her. I was definately not impressed. I was impressed with Russia itself.

Stockholm was my favorite port. There is a Hop On Hop Off boat right outside the Jewel. Although we didn't know what we were doing, we took the first boat straight to the Vasa Museum, which worked out great, We were among the first ten into the museum. Then we continued buzzing around Stockholm Harbar on the board. Old Town is fabulous. It was fabulous even though it was raining. We had lunch in port, did some shopping, and visited the Palace and an imposing cathedral.

We loved Talinn. Did a tour of the old town and a summer palace of Peter the Great. If we had it to do over again, we'd just do the town on our own, as it's very compact with lots to see and there's a shuttle. It has gorgeous cobblestone streets, medieval walls, great churches, etc.

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