Jewel Day by Day Photo Review 11/16/2013 (Southern Caribbean)

#1
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
A birthday "Jewel" of a different sort

Sometimes you hear that a diamonds are a girls best friend, but that doesn't explain why I spent years offering to pawn a 10th anniversary diamond in order to make another trip fit into the budget. It's not that DH was insensitive to my wants at the time; its just that we had a new baby and couldn't travel near our 10th anniversary. Luckily, we didn't need to pawn anything to cruise Jewel to celebrate our "big birthdays ending in a zero". DH and I are 29 days apart and we won't discuss who is older. Even though as childhood sweeties I spent most of my teens and 20's gloating about being older; DH is too much of a gentleman to do the same when we hit 30, and then 40 and then...well...he's just better man than me and a very good husband indeed!

So smack between our two birthdays we decided to sail Jewel of the Seas to the Southern Caribbean. We were very excited about this cruise since we first read the review by Bionicman97 on Jewel a couple of years ago.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1403828

His photos of the beautiful southern Caribbean islands were inspiring. We loved the idea of such a port intensive cruise and we were excited to return to sailing from San Juan, which we hadn't done in almost 20 years. Of course, things have changed since then and it was CKRobyn's wonderful thread about Adventure and the one she started about sailing from San Juan that really helped us with our planning.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=691783

Thanks to Robyn and everyone who participated in those threads, I found them enormously helpful in planning. We actually cruised Jewel about 2 years ago (review linked in my signature), a 5 day from Tampa and while I loved the ship, especially the aft balcony we upgraded to after a price drop, I felt at the time Jewel was best suited for a port intensive cruise like the ones offered in SJ. So as soon as the Caribbean winter cruises came out I booked Jewel Nov 16, 2013, and was able to book the corner aft 8168.



Generally, when I review a cruise I like to go through the trip day by day, because those are the reviews I enjoy most (like virtual cruising!) it will take the better part of a week or more to get all the installments up. I like to respond to questions and hear from other folks experiences with similar or the same experiences. I should also warn you that my review will contain:

Lots of details:
People forget details, and by people, I mean me, and so I take lots of notes. Otherwise my reviews would sound like this:
We went on this really cool kayaking trip, it was on this big bay about an hour away, and cost like around $100, or maybe just $80. We had this great guide, be sure to ask for him, I forgot his name but it started with J and he has glasses.

I can't plan with advice like that! That kind of review helps absolutely no one! Hence, I include a lot of details and photos of ephemera, because that's what I use when reading reviews to plan my own cruises. I will post the Compasses for each day; they are helpful for planning, but I found for this cruise and ship they changed more than any other. I had a set from May Jewel Southern Caribbean cruise and the biggest difference was that the set I downloaded from CC had both a 5:30 and 8 PM Muster Drill (actually only the 8 PM Muster Drill is held now) and some shows that appeared to offer both and early and late show were changed to just one offering per night, usually at 7:45 PM between traditional seatings.

(This is me taking notes for my review: I use reading glasses because I'm not in my mid to late 40's)





Lots of big photos:
MY DH loves photography, its part of the fun of the cruise for him to take photographs, and I like to include as many of them as I can, since I love reviews that include lots of great photos! I can't bear when I can't make out the details in teeny weeny thumbnails, so I like to post big ones! I have no advice except I hope you have good internet speed. DH doesn't enjoy taking photos of food at dinner, so you won't see many of those in my reviews, and more importantly, with every ship using the same menus, really any review with food porn will look the same as anything we ate.

For those interested here is the equipment used:
Nikon D800 w/16-35 f/4 & 70-200 f/4 lenses – Used on board the ship, shooting islands from the ship, in San Juan and Dominica
Nikon 1 AW1 w/11-27 lenses – Used on Tortola and St Kitts as well as on all water excursions and some on Dominica
Nikon AW110 – Used only on Orient Beach



I apologize in advance for any bad photos, they are mine (Iphone 5). The ones you like; my husband took. Very occasionally I make him let me use a photo he took that falls below his lofty standards because its the only image that tells my story; even if it pains him for it to see the light of day. Lets just pretend these are also photos I took. It makes him feel better about it! So good photos- DH, bad photos- me... That's it in a nut shell.


Lots of attempts at humor:
Much of it bad, but none will be mean spirited or politically incorrect, and most times the butt of the joke is myself. If anything I say is offensive, it's not intended and I apologize in advance!

Lots of my own opinions:
Even when they are wrong (or maybe the reader would just have a different one, and that's OK!) DH and I are no longer in our mid late forties (which is how I intend to refer to my age forever more) We cruise once or twice a year, and take many other trips; both cruising and on land, but somehow we have managed to be on the planet long enough to become "diamond" members with RCL's Crown and Anchor Society. I'm still a little surprised that this group includes me now, aside from getting $10 bucks off my laundry and nice balcony discount, it just makes me feel old! I only put the spinning diamond on my signature because someone on our Roll Call asked me how to do it and so I did it so I could write instructions about it for her. But there it is...we've done this for a while and over the years we've got some advice to pass along, and I've learned I love to do that!! It's one of the reasons I prefer to sail with a good mix of new and "more experienced" cruisers...I adore meeting people who are still marveling about cruising and embracing the kitsch! I like cruising with more experienced cruisers and sharing travel tales, learning about ports and cruises I haven't had a chance to try yet (in my language these are just called "future trips") I'll be critical where I feel something could be improved, but I have low tolerance for complaining constantly because I feel blessed to travel and I can't help but feel joy and gratitude when I get to take any trip and experience something new! (Amen, and pass the hat;-)

So lets start cruising (virtually!)

Our Itinerary:


For those of you who don't speak "obscure ports" that's BVI, St Marteen, St Kitts, Dominica and Barbados!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
AZ Journey (Panama Canal) Photo Review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...7#post49290717
Adventure (S Caribbean) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2207747
AMAPrima (Danube to Black Sea) Photo Review
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post44488254
Enchantment (Bahamas) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2002049
Jewel (S.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1951547
Allure (E.Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1834584
Paul Gauguin (French Polynesia) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1729992
Galapagos Explorer 2 (Ecuador)photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1702506
Jewel (W. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1582079
Oasis (E. Caribbean) photo review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1539995
Twitter
@goseeittravel
Blog:
http://www.goseeittravel.com/travel-blog/
#2
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Boston to SJ

Before you can leave, you have to pack...for me that involves about 6 weeks of planning and 3 separate spreadsheets (really- one for "day", one for "night" and a list of everything else including shoes and accessories). You would think this means I bring a lot of stuff, but in reality, I bring very little stuff. The time I take is because I am carefully accessorizing and editing every single outfit so that the bare minimum of what needs to be packed gets packed.

By the time we leave I have a schedule of what I plan to wear each day (or part of day; DH refers to these as "costume changes") You would think that by having a daily schedule of what to wear that I care deeply about fashion and clothing and how I look (and you would be wrong...just look at the photos to come!) I make a schedule so that I don't have to think again about what to wear and I don't have to carry a thing I won't wear...this frees me to enjoy every minute of my vacation doing what I DO enjoy (which is not trying on shoes!)

For this trip, we actually allowed ourselves more luggage than usual; a roller carry on each, a rolling suitcase and rolling garment bag. Because DH can fly bags free on AA and got "priority" handling (critical in Boston, where bags come out sloooowly), and we know a cruise is a trip where you only move your luggage twice, we splurged, but as always when we have too many pieces of luggage, I regretted it! I am always happier with less "stuff" to travel with.

DH also had to pack...he does this about 2 days before we leave. This freaks me out, but for him, his biggest decision is WHICH Boston Championship hat to wear

(Here he is in his obvious choice Red Sox 2013)




Getting into the air over Boston, I saw the Customs House, Rowes wharf, the Pru and the Hancock and felt a little catch in my throat when I realized the last time I had seen Boston from the air was on our return from our Allure (4/16/2013) cruise during the week of the Marathon bombings. Being so far away during that emotional week had made me to cry when we returned to Logan. I was feeling blessed that none of our loved ones were hurt, but heartbroken about what had happened in my own city and unsure what we were returning too.

While I'm not FROM Boston, we are very parochial in MA with every neighborhood and suburb having it's own government and identity and yet, we are all FROM Boston...it's a thing, if you are not from here you may not get it. And I would add that it sometimes extends well beyond MA in many cases...it might have something to do with our regional sports teams, a strong regional identity despite the fact that there may be 40 separately named cities and towns in the same square mileage that would be called "Atlanta" or "St Louis" anywhere else, I don't know why, but "it is what is is"!

After collecting myself, it was an uneventful flight.
#3
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Boston to San Juan

We connected in Miami, and arrived in San Juan in a down pour.
We grabbed a taxi from the Airport to Condado area.
Taxi $17 + $1 per bag ($25 with tip)


We checked into the La Concha Marriott on Ashford Avenue.
The La Concha has a happening lobby with music and a crowd at the bar right in the lobby. The rooms themselves are quiet and restful, but the scene is really fun and youthful on the weekends!

We had a very friendly welcome and an upgrade to an ocean view king suit with a huge living area, and views to the ocean with a balconette. We had paid for the room with Marriott points and it had been on "sale" with fewer points needed for this room than is normally required for a property at this level. The room is off an outdoor corridor overlooking the pool courtyard area closest to Ashford Ave. There is an interior door glass door (sort of like a store front door) that is soundproofed so you don't hear the noise from outside on the pool/street side; the only noise I heard was the lovely sound of frogs (coqui, coqui) and the roil of the ocean!

(La Concha view from the walkway to the pool and Ashford Ave beyond)



(room)









(Beach)
#4
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
San Juan
We had dinner at La Perla, the onsite restaurant which looks like a large clam shell and is literally built on the beach in an infinity pool. Service was friendly and attentive. I had lobster tail with truffle potato and swiss chard and DH had the filet with garlic mashed and we shared a chocolate cake for dessert. This was the best food we had all week! It's not inexpensive, but a lovely place for a special occasion meal.

(La Perla)






If you are looking for a simpler meal, there are dozens of restaurants lining Ashford Ave, all easily walkable, very safe with a young lively crowd and tourists as well as plenty of police presence.

The Condado area has many hotels, most on the water, but some on the other side of the Ashford, but with a walking path across the street to access the public beaches (all beaches are public!) This is a "resort" area, and can be expensive for a pre night, but it is very convenient to "pre cruise amenities" you may be looking for. Another area to stay is the Miramar area, which is near the airport and closer to the cruise port. That's a good option if you are just looking for a "bed". A third spot is Old San Juan, which is very nice if you are taking one of the ships (like Carnival) that docks right in OSJ, or if you plan to tour OSJ for the day before or after a cruise.

The Walgreens is good for last minute sundries and groceries, it has a good selection of plonk (2 for $10) but don't expect to find "decent" wine here to take on board. We went to "Smoke it" for a better selection of wines ($15-25) but the evening we went the help was earnest, but poorly informed. The young man there wanted to help but didn't even know the prices of the wines offered. If you know what you like and it has a price tag, this isn't a bad place to shop. There is also a humidor with Cubans and other cigars, it that's your poison.

(Smoke It)


There is a Starbucks directly across from the Marriott Stellaris. There are several "chain" restaurants and many local restaurants along the Avenue, all easily accessed on foot.

After a wander around the neighborhood and buying our 2 bottles of wine. We reorganize our bags into check-luggage-at-the-pier-configuration, and headed to bed.

More to come tomorrow!!
#5
1,044 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
This is my kind of review! Details, a lot of details. Did I mention details?

Thank you for taking the time to do the review!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#6
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Aldeya
This is my kind of review! Details, a lot of details. Did I mention details?

Thank you for taking the time to do the review!
Thanks Aldeya! I have to admit those are the ones I love best too But I feel pretty strongly that I have to have all my ducks in order ( photos edited and uploaded, scans etc) ready before I start, so I can post it regularly. Im pretty glad it's only taken a week to get this one started (thanks to DHs heroics processing photos over the weekend) and somehow I managed to serve 14 for Thanksgiving too.
#7
Minneapolis, MN
85 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Yey! I absolutely love your reviews so thank you for taking the time to post!

Do you have another cruise booked?

Thanks again for sharing your vacations and the planner in me gives you an extra thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Past Cruises:
1/7/01 - Carnival Destiny - Dutch Treat
2/8/03 - Monarch of the Seas - Western Caribbean
10/1/06 - Carnival Valor - Exotic Western Caribbean
4/8/07 - Carnival Sensation - Bahamas
8/3/08 - Carnival Triumph - Exotic Eastern Caribbean
4/6/10 - Carnival Imagination - Bahamas
12/31/10 - Monarch of the Seas - Bahamas
9/25/11 - Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
2/2/13 - Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean
8/10/2014 - Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean
3/27/2016 - Carnival Conquest - Eastern Caribbean
9/18/2016 - Harmony of the Seas - Europe
2/4/2017 - Norwegian Escape - Eastern Caribbean

Cruises Booked:
2/8/2018 - Norwegian Escape - Eastern Caribbean
#8
suburban MD
3,454 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I am so excited to see your review. My sister and I are cruising the Jewel in April. Which islands are on your itinerary?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas April 12-19, 2014 review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2024671

Carnival Freedom March 23-31, 2013 review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1813518

Caribbean Princess April 1-8 , 2012 review:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1604918
#9
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Arch713
Yey! I absolutely love your reviews so thank you for taking the time to post!

Do you have another cruise booked?

Thanks again for sharing your vacations and the planner in me gives you an extra thanks!
Aww thanks! I actually am going on Enchantment out of Port Canaveral in Feb with DM and DD2. Ill have a review of that one for sure too. After that I've got nothing booked with Royal We are taking a river cruise through Eastern Europe (Budepest to Bucharest) in September. I have an open booking I bought on Allure last April; I'm waiting for the summer 2015 itineraries to come out to book another family cruise for DD2 s graduation. But as I told DH I feel a little naked with only 2 trips booked We've got long term plans for Antarctica (2017) and potentially an Italy land trip, so other than the family cruise, I'm not sure how many more Royal cruises I have in the future! But I'm sure I will come up with an excuse to book another!
Originally posted by MDSue
I am so excited to see your review. My sister and I are cruising the Jewel in April. Which islands are on your itinerary?
Yeah, you will love it! My first post has the little map, but it was a great itinerary:
Tortola, St Maarten, St Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, and we stayed an extra day and toured and did an excursion in San Juan too, so very port intensive!
#12
San Juan, Puerto Rico
3,621 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Loving your review!!! Hope you had a chance to watch the sunset in "Perla". It is great restaurant and the view is absolutely amazing!!! Looking forward to the rest of your review. thanks for sharing your cruise with us.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


#13
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by drarill
Loving your review!!! Hope you had a chance to watch the sunset in "Perla". It is great restaurant and the view is absolutely amazing!!! Looking forward to the rest of your review. thanks for sharing your cruise with us.
Drarill- it's your restaurant recommendations I posted on CKRobyn's thread with maps of where to find them. Thank you for your advice! I would have been unlikely to try Perla without your "local stamp of approval" often times hotel restaurants are among the worst, La Perla was lovely and the food was great. It was the best prepared Caribbean lobster I had ever eaten!

We didn't get to see the sunset because we didn't arrive into SJ will after 5 PM and of course it pouring! But the next day was gorgeous...and the room is so pretty!

We also took your advice and tried Barranchina after the cruise too. I really appreciated your advice and you'll see by the end of the review we were able to squeeze the most out of only 36 hours in PR We will definitely go back, by far the most interesting embarkation port for a Caribbean cruise!
#14
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Day 1 NOV 16 Boarding Day- Known as the day Familygoboston loses it!

(A pano of San Juan on embarkation day)


The next morning we awaken to glorious sun and a rollicking surf, which attracted dozens of brave surfers. This was fun to watch, so we head to Starbucks for breakfast and then stroll back via the beach to watch them riding the waves. It was hot and muggy but a perfect day for boarding the ship, until I lose it!


(Surfing at Condado after the storm)


(the beach- the waves were crashing over this seawall after the storm)



We head to the lobby and get a cab at 10:15 AM
($15 + $1 per bag; $20 with tip)
I need to digress here and say that we had no trouble with all our SJ cabs- everyone was polite and told us up front what it would cost when we asked. Maybe it helped that I greet folks with a hearty "Buenos Dias", or "Beunos Tardes" and go into the transaction expecting the best!

We arrive at the port by Port 10:30 PM

There was a bit of disorganization at the pier. Here is what we experienced. It was early, and the doors for check in were not yet open. There were about 2 dozen people already standing in a line. What the line was for was completely unknown to us. It appeared that most of the people in the line still had their large bags with them and that the line was for "baggage drop off", but this was not clear. The people immediately ahead of us had debarked from the Celebrity Summit, which was docked alongside Jewel and they were planning B2B with Jewel for the second week.

Because of the lack of clarity, my DH asked a representative with an RCL name tag if this was where we should wait to check bags. We have learned to ask people with name tags...they don't always know, but we figure it's our best chance. The rep came over and saw our luggage tags (which do say Diamond on them) and immediately took us to the luggage carts and had the handler load our bags onto the cart (we did tip him ; about $5 for 4 bags because even AFTER tipping on our last Allure cruise, a bag was left curbside, to be discovered by the ONLY person boarding Allure that day who, through emails on our Roll Call to share an excursion, knew my last name and saved it for us by making sure it boarded! But that is another story which is in my Allure review)

If it was "officially" time to load bags, we still don't know why no one else in line was unloading their bags. He then directed us to a "lane" that was labeled- suite guest, pinnacle, and D+. This was not the correct line for us, unless the general policy is to put all priority boarding people in a mislabeled line, since there was no line labeled for other C&A levels or even with general boarding information. We were not expecting any special "treatment" but we went with it (the guy was wearing a name tag for petes sake, who are we to argue)

It's possible that some of the people ahead of us in line might also have had priority boarding, and they were not moved, and then a couple on their second cruise (we had a nice chat with them) just followed us and no one questioned their "rights" to be in the line...it was all very disorganized and bizarre. We weren't looking to be put in a priority line, we just wanted to make sure we stood in the RIGHT one, that's why we asked the guy with a name tag.

But for whatever reason, at least at the pier, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the lines or the way they organize them. Not even the name tag guy could get it right. And we arrived when it was very quiet and early; I can imagine the chaos that ensues once there are a bunch of people, lines with no real understanding of what the line is for and people shouting at name tag guy about all of this.

In the end there were 2 lines headed into the terminal building. One labeled for Suites, Pinnacle and D+ guests and another labeled "luggage drop off". Which one you get in seems like a complete crap shoot, so my advice is to get there early, ask a guy with a nametag and hope you get lucky to find one who either a) knows what he's doing or b) likes the way you look and puts you in the priority line just because. If you get there late, get in a line, any line, because no one seems to care! Even after all of this, you will be glad to know, this is not where I "lose it!" I stayed very calm...I was on vacation!

Right at 11 the doors opened to the terminal building, both lines were moved through security at the EXACT SAME TIME, so it simply did not matter which line you were in! And the rest of the check in was head spinning fast, friendly and well organized. There were lines for every imaginable C&A level; Gold, Platinum and Emerald, I may even have caught signs for plutonium, iron ore and hay...but don't quote me on that. All of which turned out to be completely unnecessary because there were no people in any of them! We whisked through souvenir boarding photos, then Sea Pass ID photos, up the stairs and out to the ramp, a few more checks of the shiny new sea pass and "boing"- on board by 11:15 AM!
#15
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Time to Explore and the business of staying in touch

It was time to explore a bit and get some lunch. I had sailed on Jewel before early in 2012 with my DM and DD's. DH had not sailed a Radiance class ship before, so I was the "expert" right?

Well, ....not exactly. We have been together for more decades than I care to count (remember, way back to grade school) and revealing how many years we've been married may require me to admit that I'm not in my mid to late forties. But over these, lo, many years, like most happily married couples, we have a division of labor...he navigates and I follow...it's just better that way. I write thank you notes and he just nods when people mention they received one...its just better that way.

SO if you've been married a while, you probably already know what happens when you try to switch roles. Having been on the ship before we begin our tour with DH deferentially (did I mention he's wonderful and very patient man already?) allows me to navigate. This of course is a complete disaster, because I take us 2 decks out of our way (and back up) to go places and we walk several hundred feet down the hall in wrong direction before it dawns on me we should have gone aft.

Meanwhile DH is carrying all his aforementioned camera gear and our two bottles of wine. But nobody loses it at this point either (that's later) but my very patient DH decides, that maybe its best he navigates; even if it means looking at the little info graphic ship before heading down stairs and hallways.

This proves to be a very wise idea!


While touring, we try to get a little business done. We stop at Guest Services and see if we can activate the internet coupons we get for a 1/2 hour each of free internet (this will give us enough time to connect exactly twice during the cruise- so if you have need for more connectivity, buy a good sized package.)


INTERNET TIPS:
In order to activate the free "coupon" on the seapass, one has to go to one of the computers on board. Everyone has to do this first step; those with coupons will get a certain amount free, if you have no coupons you have the option to purchase a discounted package or just pay ala carte.

You swipe your card and follow the instructions on the screen. You can create a user name and password (use one you remember like the one you use at home or write it down). Then you can use your own device to go to "settings" and select Royal Wifi and log in with your new user name and password.

Another important thing to do BEFORE you surf is get the "log out.com" ip address. This is very important because unless you log out, the minutes just keep adding up. The log in will ask you if you want to "create a book mark" - this is a good idea, but my device (an ipad) didn't create the book mark during that process and I had to enter it into my browser manually. It's listed on the document below. I would get that document from GS's before you start the process, so you aren't running through the halls with your device still connected to stand in line at GS get the proper log out address. No one I knew actually had THAT happen to them, or at least no one who is willing to admit it










You will notice that there are some "discounted" times to use wifi- generally 7-9 AM and at lunch time. Also, on Jewel you have to access wifi in the wifi areas...the whole ship is not "wired" yet, so you can't use your device in your cabin unless you get lucky and happen to be near a wired area. My understanding is after each ship is re-fitted with the Oasis features that there will be Wifi available in all the cabins.

If you don't wish to pay for wifi, you can usually find "free wifi" in port, many cafes and restaurants advertise wifi; I imagine most want you to buy something. The terminal building in Barbados has free wifi. If in doubt follow the crew members carrying their phones or laptops!

Cell Phone

You may find that using your cell phone is a better option for checking in at home or work, especially on an itinerary with so many ports.

Most plans require you to make arrangements before you leave to "unlock" your phone service to "roaming" calls. You have to check with your own provider to figure out what roaming charges will be in the countries you plan to visit. But texting is usually more affordable than calls.

We have Verizon, and DHs phone is "global" so we were able to access a local network in each port. Calls would have been expensive per minute; but texting was a very reasonable .50 cents to send an outgoing text and only .05 cents to get a reply. So for 55 cents round trip, you can send a message and receive a response. An important tip is to turn off "data roaming" under your settings before you begin texting, so your phone doesn't automatically download data to your email, and other apps, at top prices!

This proved to be the best deal for us...but of course we were limited to being in contact only when we were in port (even if we actually on the ship) This turned out to be far cheaper for us than buying an internet package.
#16
Cary, NC
603 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Loving your review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.
We are sailing a BTB on Jewel 12/7 & 12/14. On the second sailing we are celebrating our 30 year anniversary and have friends and family joining us. We plan to renew our vows on our anniversary which is the day we are in Barbados. We are doing our own vow renewal and I figure we can scout ship locations on the first cruise to find the perfect spot. Which nights were the formal nights?
Thanks again!
Karen
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Adventure of the Seas 9/6/09
Allure of the Seas 12/11/11, 5/25/14
Anthem of the Seas 9/23/17
Jewel of the Seas BTB Anniversary Cruise 12/7/13-12/21/13, 1/22/17
Liberty of the Seas 2/23/12
Mariner of the Seas 6/6/04, 6/5/05, 7/8/07
Monarch of the Seas 12/19/08, 7/31/08, 12/18/09, 7/16/10, 1/25/13
Radiance of the Seas 3/10/11, 7/1/11
Serenade of the Seas 9/26/10
Sovereign of the Seas 12/19/05, 7/14/06, 7/11/08
Vision of the Seas 9/13/15
#17
Boston Area
8,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by khank
Loving your review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.
We are sailing a BTB on Jewel 12/7 & 12/14. On the second sailing we are celebrating our 30 year anniversary and have friends and family joining us. We plan to renew our vows on our anniversary which is the day we are in Barbados. We are doing our own vow renewal and I figure we can scout ship locations on the first cruise to find the perfect spot. Which nights were the formal nights?
Thanks again!
Karen
That sounds wonderful Karen!! On our itinerary (sounds like your 2nd week) the formal nights were day 2 (Tortola)and day 5 (Dominica). Barbados is day 6 before the sea day.
I may not get all the Compii (this is how we refer to plural Cruise Compasses) posted before you leave...if you want to peek at all of them before you leave, post an email address and I will send them all to you!

There were quite a few B2B's when we sailed- especially retirees and younger folks from overseas! You pretty much get the whole Caribbean covered in a B2B with this ship!! I hope you have wonderful anniversary and enjoy your cruises!!
#18
Cary, NC
603 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by Familygoboston
That sounds wonderful Karen!! On our itinerary (sounds like your 2nd week) the formal nights were day 2 (Tortola)and day 5 (Dominica). Barbados is day 6 before the sea day.
I may not get all the Compii (this is how we refer to plural Cruise Compasses) posted before you leave...if you want to peek at all of them before you leave, post an email address and I will send them all to you!

There were quite a few B2B's when we sailed- especially retirees and younger folks from overseas! You pretty much get the whole Caribbean covered in a B2B with this ship!! I hope you have wonderful anniversary and enjoy your cruises!!
That would be fantastic if you have the time! My email is [email protected]. Thanks so much!!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Adventure of the Seas 9/6/09
Allure of the Seas 12/11/11, 5/25/14
Anthem of the Seas 9/23/17
Jewel of the Seas BTB Anniversary Cruise 12/7/13-12/21/13, 1/22/17
Liberty of the Seas 2/23/12
Mariner of the Seas 6/6/04, 6/5/05, 7/8/07
Monarch of the Seas 12/19/08, 7/31/08, 12/18/09, 7/16/10, 1/25/13
Radiance of the Seas 3/10/11, 7/1/11
Serenade of the Seas 9/26/10
Sovereign of the Seas 12/19/05, 7/14/06, 7/11/08
Vision of the Seas 9/13/15
#19
Mexico City
466 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
I am enjoying your review like you have no idea. Those SJ pictures look so inviting, I want to be there so bad already! And we are doing the same route, which seems to be the least popular so there are not a lot of reviews out there. I am just like you, I start planning every clothing item I will bring and start setting up the outfits I will wear way in advance

Thank you so so much for sharing. this has got to be one of the best reviews I have read!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Oasis of the Seas Fort Lauderdale round, April 6, 2013
Jewel of the Seas Puerto Rico Round, January 11, 2014
Norwegian Epic Barcelona to Miami, October 26, 2014
Allure of the Seas, Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, October 25 2015
Norwegian Sky Bahamas round, January 2, 2017

Coming up:
MSC Seaside, January 27, 2018
#20
Canada
1,526 Posts
Joined May 2007
Was just thinking yesterday that it'd be nice to see one of your reviews to tide me over til February, and what do ya know, here it is. (Was a big fan of the Good Karma cruise review).

Loving the review and pics so far, keep em coming! Looking forward to it, love the Southern itineraries.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
[email protected]
January 28, 2018 Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean | February 4, 2017 Rhapsody of the Seas - Western Caribbean | October 31, 2016 Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas | January 10, 2016 Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean | August 30, 2015 Carnival Pride - Eastern Caribbean/Bahamas | January 10, 2015 Vision of the Seas - Western Caribbean | February 23, 2014 Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean | January 13, 2013 Independence of the Seas - Western Caribbean | January 29, 2012 Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean | February 5, 2011 Serenade of the Seas - Southern Caribbean | April 11, 2010 Mariner of the Seas - Mexican Riviera | April 27, 2008 Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean | April 29, 2007 Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean | December 13, 2004 Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas