This was my 4th Royal Caribbean Cruise but, my first with kids. I have only cruised with Royal Caribbean and have sailed on the Sovereign of the Seas (Sovereign Class Retired), Enchantment (Vision Class), and now the Jewel of the Seas (Radiance-class).
The Jewel is a Radiance-class cruise ship and holds about 2500 passengers. This was my first cruise since 2015. We traveled to Miami to board and the itinerary was why we chose this ship, it was an 8-day cruise and we were on deck 9 room 9250 with a balcony. I am typically a main dining room cruiser. I prefer to take all my meals in the main dining but, with my daughters this time (10, and 5) we ended up eating in the buffet for some breakfasts and all lunches. This was a first as in prior cruises I rarely journeyed to the Windjammer. I enjoyed the variety of the buffet and the food was average. The sugar-free desserts were amazing!! My husband is a diabetic and rarely eats sweets but, was able to have some sugar-free desserts this cruise and it made his day. The main dining room for dinner was consistent and had a good variety of options. My 10-year-old was able to order from the adult menu which made her happy. Every evening she had escargot and salads. My husband was not a fan of any of the fried appetizers the batter was off-putting. The grilled fish and steaks were perfect. The lobster night was great and, my husband and daughter were offered a second tail. The juices this time were extremely watered down and my daughters stuck with water for the rest of the trip.
My daughters enjoyed the Camp Ocean. I didn't think they would enjoy it as much as they did. There were about 20-30 kids on this sailing and Camp was never too busy or too empty. Both of my daughters made friends and loved the staff! Kookie was their favorite camp counselor and my 5-year-old said her favorite part of the whole trip was the kids club. We went to Labadee, Haiti as our first port and it is beautiful. It is essentially a private island and reminds me of Coco Caye before the renovation. Bring cash to help support the local economy, beware they are pushy. We spent about $40 on the various straw market huts and security from Royal Caribbean was ever-present to make sure guests were happy and not being overtaken. I will say the vendors have gone through the pandemic with no cruise travelers and they need the boost to the local economy so please consider spending some money on the island with the locals. There is some beautiful artwork and if I end up back at Labadee will be coming back with some paintings. The water was about 83 degrees and perfect. I enjoyed a couple of Pina Coladas and floated in the clear water. Lunch was ok on the island but, the long line was hard with my 5-year-old. There were local dancers for entertainment as we ate lunch.
Deck 9 Room Spacious Ocean Balcony (plus 5) you can sleep 5 in this room but, we sailed with 4 and my daughters need their own beds.
A great little port and wonderful excursions.
A beautiful island with clear water. Straw market vendors can be a bit pushy but, very nice.
Easy to access port, great parking. Close to downtown, great eateries. We went to the zoo which was 10 or so minutes. If you are looking for something close by to do the science center is adjacent to bicentennial park.
Easily walkable port. Lots of shopping, bring cash for sidewalk vendors. Make reservations if you plan to eat at Barrachina. Forts are cheap and easy to access.
Clean port great shopping. For a cheap day take the water taxi to the shopping district. We rented a car and toured the whole island. The French side has good food but, wasn't really worth the trip. Saw Maho Beach, and ate French food. A safe port is great for kids and families.