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Jewel Southern Caribbean Photo Trip Report May 25th!

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Heelloo everyone... I'm back!!!

 

That's right :p

It's time for another Sinppu review/report/diary/journal/blog/whateveryouwanttocallitaslongasyoureadit.

This time we (me Sinny and husband Lowry) were cruising on the Jewel of the Seas on the Southern Caribbean (in case you forgot what the title said).

We sailed out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and went to St Maarten, St Kitts, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados and at sea. ;)

 

We had a great but tiring time and if you would like to know more, you'll read on. (Is there another way?)

I hope to entertain and illuminate you and I appreciate all positive comments. You can give me negative ones too, because then I get to flame you right back. Ha ha!! :cool:

 

Questions are also welcome, compliments are not. They are expected :D

 

I have written two reports before, their links are in my signature.

 

And this is us:

Married for 4,5 years, together for 9 years. We travel a lot and love to cruise.

 

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It's the only photo of us together from this trip. We just forget to take them most of the time.

 

On with the show then!!

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We started our trip on Sunday 19th May. We flew to Miami from Helsinki with a layover at Heathrow.

 

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The trip was uneventful and we arrived in MIA in time.

We stayed our first night in Sofitel Miami. They call it an art deco hotel (which we interpreted as "in need of an update and a refurb, but otherwise adequate".

 

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No photo of the room, though. Sorry.

 

The next day we rented a car and drove down to Key West. If you've never done it, you should. But only if you like to drive and enjoy beautiful views.

If you don't, then don't. You'll just get bored.

 

Florida has a great sense of humour. It keeps calling itself "The Sunshine State" but every time we're here, this is the weather:

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Ha ha.

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We leave on July 20th. I need any and all information on the Jewel and the ports as you are able to give me! No detail is too small! Thank you Sinny!! lol

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What did you do @ the ports?

 

You'll see when we get there. Promise.

 

We leave on July 20th. I need any and all information on the Jewel and the ports as you are able to give me! No detail is too small! Thank you Sinny!! lol

 

Great!! Ask away if you think of something!

Edited by Sinppu

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So to give you an idea of the drive to Key West, I have a photo.

 

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Nothing special, right? :rolleyes:

 

We spent a night there at the Westwinds Inn.

 

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It was really nice and I should've booked us more than one night. But now we've at least seen Key West.

To those of you who stop there on a cruise and want to take a photo at the Cuba mile marker, be prepared to wait. At 9 am the line was way too long for us.

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Key West is very pretty and worth exploring.

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We then drove to Tavernier in Key Largo.

 

The Seven Mile Bridge is pretty awe-inspiring. Though not always in a good way...

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Here we stayed at Coconut Palm Inn and yet again wouldn't have wanted to leave.

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But the next morning we did.

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Thanks for sharing this.

 

Keith

 

excited to read!

 

You're welcome, Keith.

 

Nice to hear that, Amanda.

 

:)

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I'm looking forward to this trip. I have not been to some of these islands in awhile now.

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Now to Miami Beach, where we spent two nights at the Cadet Hotel.

The prices are steep in MiBe, but I got a good deal on this hotel and we were very satisfied with it.

 

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Some candy houses here as well:

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You too?!

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Great start!! Looking forward to the rest of your review!:):)

 

I'm looking forward to this trip. I have not been to some of these islands in awhile now.

 

It's coming along :)

 

Four of the islands were new to us, we'd only been to St Maarten before. I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. I also wanted to go back to San Juan, where we've been only a few hours on our very first cruise in 2008.

Edited by Sinppu

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We flew JetBlue to San Juan on Friday 24th from FLL. Flights were a lot cheaper than from MIA and had better time slots as well.

 

They served blue potato chips on the plane. My name means blue in Finnish so I was excited all the way until I opened the bag.

 

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Ehmmm...erm...aahhh...ok. They didn't even taste like potato chips. Or blue.

 

But the views were nice!

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In San Juan we stayed at the Hotel Miramar, which is very close to the Pan American Pier. Taxi cost $21 from the airport.

They have a nice roof terrace with great views.

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The Miramar was nothing fancy, but the price is right and it's close to the port. You could almost walk to the port (1,5 miles) but the heat with heavy luggage is just :eek:

Taxi was $16.

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Hi Sinny!

 

I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your review so far. Your photos are fantastic!

 

We sail on the Jewel next month, so I can't wait to read about the ship and the ports ~

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I got to the cruise on the first page! Yessss.

 

We left our hotel 12.10 and after just a few minutes...

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There were not many people in the terminal, which was a blessing to us as someone in our family had forgotten to print out our SetSail passes and was on the verge of tears over this gigantic mistake and ready to go home with her...I mean, THEIR tail between the legs.

However, apparently all you get for not having the paperwork with you is either a :mad: or a :rolleyes: and the treatment of a silly rookie, who has never cruised before.

Then you sign a few papers and that's it. You still get to cruise. And that gets you a :)

 

Especially when you take the this step:

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Oh my gosh sinnipu. I looked for you and Donna in the schooner bar the first afternoon. I guess I should have planned to have a way to know who you were huh. Sorry I didn't get to meet yall

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More, please! We are on this itinerary in 2 weeks & have also only been to St Maarten & San Juan. Did you have a Meet & Mingle? When was it?

 

Thanks,

 

Virginia

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Hi Sinny!

 

I wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your review so far. Your photos are fantastic!

 

We sail on the Jewel next month, so I can't wait to read about the ship and the ports ~

 

I am very excited to read this! We leave on 6/8/13 and I can not wait to "hear" all about your trip!

 

Thank you both!

You are sailing on my birthday :)

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Oh my gosh sinnipu. I looked for you and Donna in the schooner bar the first afternoon. I guess I should have planned to have a way to know who you were huh. Sorry I didn't get to meet yall

 

Hi! Sorry we missed you. Donna couldn't come to the Schooner Bar because one of her daughters cut her foot just then. I did walk through the bar but didn't see anyone I thought I knew so I didn't stay :(

 

More, please! We are on this itinerary in 2 weeks & have also only been to St Maarten & San Juan. Did you have a Meet & Mingle? When was it?

 

Thanks,

 

Virginia

 

Hi Virginia. Our M&M was on day 4 at 4.45 pm. We had the Activities Manager and the Guest Event Coordinator attending, it was really nice.

Edited by Sinppu

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We were there for about 1 1/2 hours. We met a very nice couple from Los Angeles and talked to them. I am usually very good with pictures so I thought I would recognize y'all. But I guess I didn't. Lol

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Our SetSail pass said that we should board between 13.00 and 19.00 and not be at the pier earlier. So what does this photo tell you?

 

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Indeed. I am very tempted to start a thread where I bash RCI for lying to us so despicably and I also think their guest service is rude, food inedible, their policy to nickel and dime all passengers and I know this all because they let us board 20 minutes earlier than promised. How dare they, the rats. I'll never sail Royal again (after the Alaska cruise, of course.)

 

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First thing after the "DONG" you see are the people selling drink packages. Here we have the infamous Premium and (to me at least) all new Beer package.

 

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And just for the record, we are Finnish. We are known for drinking and driving (but not at the same time ;)).

 

I'm all for the drink packages.

I find it funny (and do get a good laugh out of) that people think Royal offering the drink package will encourage people to drink more.

The same people who would consume 10 drinks a day anyway can just do it cheaper now. Let them.

 

 

When we are on vacation just the two us, we rarely drink alcohol, maybe one or two drinks on one or two days.

However, Lowry is considering buying the drink package on our Alaska cruise when we have three friends with us. I know we both have to buy it so it's still under consideration.

We are most likely buying a 12-bottle wine package then as well. 7 nights, 5 people, 16 (because we can bring four of our own) bottles. We'll manage, I'm sure.

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Our SetSail pass said that we should board between 13.00 and 19.00 and not be at the pier earlier. So what does this photo tell you?

 

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It tells me that you are not a first time cruiser!;)

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We like the Windjammer. There, I said it out loud. We don't mind crowds, we are not foodies, we are not afraid of germs nor do we mind anything else. If you do not respect me anymore, I'll understand. It's better you found out now than later on when we have ki... what?!

Nevermind.

 

So off to WJ for lunch we went.

 

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WJ has a very nice outdoor seating area too and it was always easy to find a table there.

 

We ate all our breakfasts (except on the last morning) and all our lunches on board (except once) in the WJ. I know, I know. But dear, it's not you, its' me. Us. Whatever.

Edited by Sinppu

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It tells me that you are not a first time cruiser!;)

 

Ha ha!! Or a last time one :D

 

Looking forward to another one of your enjoyable reviews.:)

 

Thanks Bob, glad to have you!

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I got to the cruise on the first page! Yessss.

 

We left our hotel 12.10 and after just a few minutes...

IMG_0722.JPG

 

There were not many people in the terminal, which was a blessing to us as someone in our family had forgotten to print out our SetSail passes and was on the verge of tears over this gigantic mistake and ready to go home with her...I mean, THEIR tail between the legs.

However, apparently all you get for not having the paperwork with you is either a :mad: or a :rolleyes: and the treatment of a silly rookie, who has never cruised before.

Then you sign a few papers and that's it. You still get to cruise. And that gets you a :)

 

Especially when you take the this step:

IMG_0720.JPG

 

I forgot to print off ours too. So relieved that they still let us on!

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We are Windjammer people too and I miss it when we are not cruising.

I have to admit that my wife and I like WJ too. She's likes fruit and salad and they always have an abundance.

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We went to find our cabin at around 1.15 pm.

We had a large oceanview cabin on deck 3.

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In the bag on the table are our two bottles of champagne we bought from the shop at the pier. Lowry asked them how many bottles can we take with us and without the blink of an eye they told us that two bottles but we can always come back for another two and another two...

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Can you tell we are not those people who have a hard time sleeping somewhere else than in their own bed?

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Lowry was very happy where he was and I went off to explore the ship. We've been on the Voyager and Oasis classes before and honestly I prefer ships that have the Promenade. Jewel was by far the most beautiful ship we've seen but if I got to choose, I'd want a Promenade.

 

Nice views from the deck.

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The Centrum is both beautiful and does serve it's purpose well. You can sit up on the higher decks and hear all the music and activities going on on deck 4.

 

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My favourite, the Champagne Bar on deck 6.

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On deck 6 they also have the Schooner Bar and Safari Club.

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Portofino's and Chops are located on both sides of the bar seen here.

 

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Schooner Bar and the pool tables were very popular, always plenty of people.

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Loving your review. We're sailing the other Southern Caribbean itinerary on the Jewel next year. Will be our first time on a Radiance class ship. Can't wait.

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The Muster Drill was 5.30 pm. They had another later on for the late-comers.

 

Here's a good boy showing off he learned something :cool:

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Our stateroom attendant Sang probably thought he was going to have an easy week. "Oh they sleep like that, good. I will not need to change their sheets!"

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We managed to unpack and change clothes for our dinner which was in Portofino's that evening.

There were only a handful of other people which gave the staff plenty of time to converse and attend to us. It was nice and the food was GREAT.

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We had the Crostini per Due.

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The pesto bread was just schlurrrp... oh excuse me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard.

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Oh my gosh sinnipu. I looked for you and Donna in the schooner bar the first afternoon. I guess I should have planned to have a way to know who you were huh. Sorry I didn't get to meet yall

 

I got there about 15 minutes late (my daughter had an "accident" with the cabin door and her big toe), and looked for you clott. There were two groups of people there, and I approached each of them asking "are you from Cruise Critic", and got blank stares and huh? lol

 

 

Hi Sinny!!! Great review, so far. I can't wait to read the rest. I'll be posting my review (without photos) soon.

 

I have a photo of you and Lowry together holding my pie box on St. Lucia!

 

PS: I also like the Windjammer. And, I like the blue/purple chips on Jet Blue.

Edited by DonnaK

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