An Alaska cruise has been on our bucket list for quite some time so when planning this, I saw that the Jewel was a potential itinerary. We sailed on the Jewel back in 2007 (Italy and France) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing that it was renovated recently, we thought we'd give it a try and we were glad that we did.
My wife and I sailed with our two daughters (in their 20's). We booked the southbound inside passage itinerary. What impressed me the most were the personnel. Seriously 99.9% of the crew were up-beat and positive and brought a lot of energy to their jobs. Having cruised many times before and having the crew simply "going through the motions" can lessen your experience and that wasn't the case at all on the Jewel.
The ship's appearance was very much up to date and didn't look to be more than a year or two old. I really didn't care for the buffet as it was extremely crowded with people clamoring over the food. I found O'Sheehan's Pub to be a nice quiet respite to have a meal and the fact that it was open 24 hours a day made it my go-to place for breakfast, lunch or a snack as it was never crowded. Their blue cheese burger was amazing! We usually managed to be seated at a window table and Horace the manager was always nearby with a smile and to check-in on us.
We originally signed-up for an inside cabin on Deck 4 but bid $200 (I believe that was the minimum you could bid) as an upgrade option and got bumped up to a Family Oceanview cabin just prior to our trip. It was nice having a window as on an Alaskan cruise, you're never very far from land and seeing the scenery go by was amazing. Our room steward kept our room spotless and supplied us with fresh towels.