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MITSUGIRLY has a JEWEL of a time on my 1st RC cruise in years!

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I have cruised with Royal Caribbean only once and it was back in the 90's (or it might have even been in 2000), on the Majesty of the Seas. So, basically I'm a "newbie" to Royal again I guess you could say. I've always wanted to try them again, but their prices are just so outrageous every time I've looked. I did some research (since we always cruise at Spring Break) and found that the Jewel, cruising out of Puerto Rico, was a price that I just couldn't pass up! FINALLY! I would get to try out Royal again. I booked and was super excited!!!!




We'll start with the "formalities" and get that out of the way. (Mostly copied from all of my other reviews, because things don't seem to change too much) with any updates we might have added/adjusted.


PLEASE NOTE>>> My reviews are LONG...as in VERY LONG, with a lot of details, A LOT of pictures and this is the experience of my family on the cruise, sorta like a blog.


*So, if you are not into long reviews and want something short, sweet and to the point...this review is not for you.


*If you expect this review to be done quickly and you don't like to wait...this review is not for you.


*If you don't like personal details of our daily activities, this review is not for you.


*If you expect me to sugar coat everything, this review is not for you.


*If you think I tell you about something that wasn't appealing or I didn't really care for or seen happen and you consider me "complaining" or unhappy...this review is not for you.


I'm open, I'm honest, we have a good time no matter what, but I report everything I see. It doesn't make or break my cruise or experience and I always manage to have a great time no matter what.


It's sad I feel the need to say these things with my reviews now due to certain people who like to come on a be rude in the past.


However, if you like to laugh, get a chuckle every once in awhile, think of our family and some of the things we do that could be pictured on "the people of Walmart" and want details and pictures of places...you have come to the right place. clear.png?emoji-grin-1677






This cruise was myself, my husband and Sakari (pronounced just like it's spelled Sa-Kar-ee, our now 9 year old daughter who will be turning 10 next week). This time, my 3 adult children would remain home (Kenny-31, Kendra-29 and Kolin-23).


Kendra, usually tries to cruise with us (pulling along my grandson B, sometimes her fiance, and the last cruise her daughter Kam). But she bought a house last year and they completely gutted it and made it "brand new" and they have been working diligently on trying to get it finished the week we were gone so that they could move in this month. Although it was a hard decision to make, she decided to sit this one out.





My Cruising Experience:


As you can tell from my signature line, we mainly cruise with NCL and I have been trying to cruise the entire fleet but have been adventuring out over the last few years with Carnival.


In the 80's and 90's I also sailed with NCL and Royal Caribbean. So, this will actually be my 2nd RC cruise.


This will make my 21st cruise, my husband's 19th cruise and Sakari's 18th cruise...I think? After awhile, things are starting to run together.






People always ask how I organize for my reviews and it takes A LOT to put together a review like this. Once I decided to post how I personally organize for my reviews and if you are interested, it can be found HERE-1ST HALF and the 2ND HALF HERE.






I am constantly questioned about what type of camera's I use for my reviews.


Several years ago I decided to purchase my first Olympus point-and-shoot camera (not by choice, but because I had one of my many "bloopers" with my Canon cameras). I have loved the Olympus since that purchase that we actually have quite a few of them.


This entire review was shot with my Olympus Tough TG2 & a few with the 620. I take my model 620 & 830 along with me for back up because you never know what might happen and I would be devastated if I was without a camera. Last Christmas, we also purchased Sakari her own camera (the 620 model) and she uses hers as well.


I'm a photography FREAK! Always have been. I do have a DSLR with tons of equipment, lens, and so on, but I find that I just don't want to lug it around with me on a cruise...and of course it's not waterproof.


When I process my photo's, I do take it in to PS (I have to get my watermark on there somehow) and I have an "action" that resizes the picture for a more appropriate posting size, and sharpens for web and I put my stamp on it. Every once in awhile I'll get a really crappy picture that just needs something (like white balance) done to it and I really want to share it and I might white balance it. For the most part, I don't do much of anything...no one has time for all that with the thousands of pictures I take!


I take thousands of pictures on vacation and I do a lot of walking and snapping. Yes, I may get some outstanding photos and quality, but for every good picture I get, there may be 3 bad ones. You win some, you lose some. I've been known to stand in a spot and take 3-5 pictures of the same thing, using different settings on the camera, just to get what I'm looking for to share. That's just me.






I am a very open and honest person. Everyone has a different expectation and experience, but I report how I feel during mine. You may or may not agree with my thoughts or views, but that's the beauty of it...everyone is different and all thoughts and comments are welcome.


We are a fun loving and outgoing family that, for the most part, don't get upset about much and roll with the punches. We've had a lot of "bloopers" (especially when the kids come along=Kendra lol), but it is what it is and I have learned over the years that getting mad or upset doesn't solve the problem and only takes away from the fun, so I try not to dwell on bad things (although I will always report them...not to be a Debbie-Downer, but to show this is the experience I had and how it contributed to what was going on at the time) and I move on.


We are BEACH people. So, if you are the touristy type of person that likes historical stuff, seeing the sites, or likes to do the land tours, this review might not benefit you too much as far as the ports. If there's a beach, we will be there! I have to drag Sakari the Mermaid out of the water every place we go. So, to the beach it is for us.


Sakari decided in 2016 that she wanted to "be a scuba diver" and took classes and became a certified PADI Seal that year. In December of last year, she finished all the PADI classes and became a MASTER PADI SEAL!! I think she was one of the first at her scuba shop to complete the program. They made quite a big deal over it. Now, she is just going to class monthly and repeating the classes for the fun of it.


So, you will find us doing some scuba diving in reviews as well.






My reviews are meant to be helpful to others looking for information. I'm a "picture" kinda girl and if I'm looking for information, give me a picture to help me understand and it will go 10x further in helping me with a decision. So many of you wonderful cruisers have helped me decide places to try out, shared your experiences with me, and even cruised with me....and this is my way of thanking you and continuing to help others the way they have helped me.


I'm keeping this "opening" a little shorter than normal. Most people around here know me and I hate to constantly repeat things...so if you want a more detailed "opening" statement, you are welcome to click on one of my other reviews (in my signature line) and it will give you more info on us. clear.png?emoji-smile-1742


With that said...I hope you enjoy the review. clear.png?emoji-cool-1690

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I'm back at school after taking a bit of a break...well...more than half a year LOL Summer classes are the only time we are "allowed" to not take classes and last year was the first time I decided to "break" and enjoyed it so much that a would "break" again during winter. Oops! So, now I had to re-enroll in school again to pick up where I left off at and start my classes. I've been procrastinating because I only have 3 "elective" classes left before my last nursing class and most nursing classes are only 5 weeks long but electives are 15 weeks!!! So what does this mean? This means I'M DOING HOMEWORK MY ENTIRE CRUISE AND TESTS! BLAH!!! (BTW, I'm already a nurse, just doing my bachelors now).


Puerto Rico has been one of my favorite cruise ports to cruise out of. I was super excited, homework and all, to head back. Since we were sailing during Spring Break, I would have a limited time to stay (due to Sakari's school schedule) and flew in the day before the cruise.


I set the alarm for 8am...only IT DIDN'T GO OFF! I'm a planner and now we are running late! I didn't wake up until 9:30am. Great way to get this cruise started (and trust me, it will end just as bad for those that stay until the end!).


We raced around the house in a mad fashion, hurled the luggage into the truck like we were competing in the Olympics and headed off for a quick breakfast along the way and the hubby some coffee...because no matter how late we are to anything...he MUST have coffee. Otherwise, I'm leaving him behind!


Well, breakfast didn't start out good either. We stopped to order breakfast sandwiches and on route to the airport, when I opened mine, I found only the outer bread with no egg, no sausage, no cheese, no nuttin!


We arrived at the airport parking lot and we almost thought we wouldn't be able to park. Almost every parking spot was taken. All the way to the back of the lot and the last row. Whew. This is not starting out good.


Caught the shuttle to the airport, checked in at 11:15am, security check...halt! My bag was pulled from the x-ray machine. What the heck? I do this often enough to know what shouldn't be in that bag. IT WAS ALL THE CHANGE I HAD! LOL Seriously? I brought a bunch of change for vending machines along the way and obviously they didn't like that.


We raced to the gate (always at the end of the building for us for some reason) to find out our flight was a bit late coming in. Whew! Well, at least we made it.


We boarded the plane at 12:30 and headed out to Baltimore.





We had received some free drink passes prior to this trip and after the morning I had already had, it was time for some alcohol. It's 5 o'clock somewhere right? This would be the point and time that I would discover that I had forgot my first item...my reading glasses. Oh just great. Squinting at the "menu", I picked out my first drink...vodka and OJ.




Nuts and booze should calm me down right?


Like always, Sakari starts a masterpiece.





We landed in Baltimore without a problem and made up some of the time we had lost by the delay. We didn't have a plane change so Sakari amused herself by laughing at daddy's pop bottle that had now turned into a square.




We were off again for our 3 hour and 45 minute flight to Puerto Rico.





On the longer flights, you are offered more snacks and more variety.


Southwest airline cookies...in the shape of a plane.







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We...well really I, decided it was time for another drink! This time around, I would try the "Rum-Rita"...sounded interesting (I'm not much of a drinker and had no idea what to get) and the hubby had one of those bloody Mary things. Between Rita and Mary, all 4 of us were having a good time!





The stewardess came around and handed Sakari her own set of wings. Gosh don't give her any ideas, she might want to start taking pilot lessons now. She's very influential these days.




Well I must say that "Rita" became my new best friend. That stuff was pretty darn good! I decided I would order another, even though I was out of coupons at this point (had to play nice and share with the hubs), I would just purchase the next at the inflated rate of $7.00! I raised my hand like I was in school again and the stewardess came over and I said "another round please!" She asked for my drink coupon and I told her I was fresh out. The hubs handed her the cc and off she went...only to come back and say "darn, the machine isn't working...this one's on us". Well, my day just started looking brighter and I was now counting puffy cotton balls in the sky with a smile on my face!







Puerto Rico...Mitsugirly has arrived!







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The hubs and I like to watch a show called The Profit. Just the night before this vacation, we watched a special series he did on Puerto Rico and the devastation from the hurricane last year. He visited and showed how people were affected, the clean up effort, the lack of help, and the devastation. The show was heart-wrenching to watch. If you get the chance, google it and WATCH THE SHOW! Some of the stories on there just made me want to cry to see what they went through. I was especially interested in the doctor and nurses that were helping people. I just can't imagine! They would take 10-15 hour days and only be able to reach maybe 5 people a day to help them due to the traveling situation. Sometimes it would take up to 3 hours to reach someone due to the roads and bridges being out or blocked.


So flying across PR, I found myself looking down at the buildings with a lot of them still covered in blue tarps in areas.



















Visiting Old San Juan does not give you an adequate picture of those that are still, to this day, struggling to get back to normal and the clean up process continues in many areas, especially the middle of the island. (We would talk to locals about this later in our trip to get the inside scoop).

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I love a good ol' Mitsugirly review! I didn't even know you went on the Jewel, so when I popped into the RCI boards and saw your name, I was a bit shocked, the good kind! Cannot wait for the rest of your trip and your reports. I needed to start my plan for my Fascination cruise in December anyway, so I can't wait to see which beaches you tried down there this time! :D



Also, I hope whatever tests came/come with those courses were/go well!



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We landed and was in the cab by 6:20pm. They would hand us a ticket with the price to get from the airport to our hotel in OSJ. $25





We arrived at the hotel a little before 7pm.


I had a hard time finding a place to book our hotel prior to our cruise. I searched for months and just couldn't make up my mind. The Old Sheraton was outrageous with their pricing now, as was a lot of the other places. I imagine the hurricane has some bearing on this due to some places still not being open.


I reluctantly decided to go with a place called Da House. There seemed to have mixed reviews on it and not many on here had actually experienced a stay there. I figured it's only for 1 night...how bad can it be? There's running water and a/c and electric. It would suit my needs at the time and was a decent price compared to other places. $157.07 for a "queen room with juliet balcony" whatever that meant. I had a feeling it was the same as our Sheraton room last time.





Our taxi pulled up and lifted our luggage out of the trunk then pointed down the alley. There's the entrance down there. Hmm, ok, we headed down to the "entrance" only to find several steps to the door. :confused:


We rang the doorbell and was buzzed in. Next would come the fun part. THERE'S NO ELEVATOR in this place...at all. We had to carry our heavy 45.7-49.4 pound luggage x3 all the way up to the second floor, which consisted of 4 flights of stairs because the ceilings in this place are T-A-L-L!


Huffing and puffing, we finally made it to the front desk. Hubby was a little perturbed to say the least. He asked about "help" in this place with luggage and we were informed "they have already left for the night". Well lucky him!


The guy at the desk said "Well at least you have a room on this floor (2nd floor) and you won't have to go up any more stairs. :rolleyes:


We checked in and headed to our room...



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Ok, I need to get my room pictures put together so I'll have to continue this report tomorrow. It's getting late and I'm tired. This cruise has my schedule turned upside down a little (which is a good thing because I'm going to bed earlier than I normally do).



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I've been on the Jewel and thought she was lovely. I'm looking forward to your review. Let the posting begin! :)


Thanks and glad you are here.



So excited!


Glad to have you.





Can’t wait to hear and see all of your adventures.


Thanks for following.



Love your reviews! Looking forward to this one!



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Aww, thanks and glad you are here.



Yay!!! Can’t wait for more!



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Excited to read your review


Thank you and hope you enjoy it.




Yay, I need a virtual vacation right now! I always love reading your reviews!


Aww thank you so much!


Let the fun begin! clear.png?emoji-smile-1742 I'm looking forward to another review, Kim.



Hi there Heather and glad you could join me.




I love a good ol' Mitsugirly review! I didn't even know you went on the Jewel, so when I popped into the RCI boards and saw your name, I was a bit shocked, the good kind! Cannot wait for the rest of your trip and your reports. I needed to start my plan for my Fascination cruise in December anyway, so I can't wait to see which beaches you tried down there this time! clear.png?emoji-grin-1677



Also, I hope whatever tests came/come with those courses were/go well!



Sent from my iPad using Forums


Haha, I believe a lot of people are. But I have talked about trying RC for a long time. The price has just never been right for us. I'm so glad it was this time around! Glad to have you here.



We sail on Sunday on a b2b on the Jewel. Looking forward to your review.


Have a WONDERFUL cruise and I hope it was as good as ours.

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I love a good ol' Mitsugirly review! I didn't even know you went on the Jewel, so when I popped into the RCI boards and saw your name, I was a bit shocked, the good kind!


This made me chuckle as I pop over to the Carnival and NCL boards when I think it’s about time for a Mitsugirly review!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I'm checking in for another Mitsugirly review! Can't wait to hear about your adventures on this cruise!


Sakari, congratulations on completing your Master PADI Seal certification!


Kim, you're going to have a decision to make about getting your own certification soon - if you haven't already made that decision. Sakari will be ready for her next step soon! :eek: I'll stick around here and see what you have to say when you get to that part of this review. :D

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Following....this should be awesome. :)


I'm currently involved in a "reading challenge" but sadly, your review, not being a physical book or available on Kindle, isn't eligible. Oh, well. It'll still be fun. :)

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Kim, I've been watching for your review to come up as I've been anxious to know how you liked the Jewel and RC after these many years of cruising Carnival and NCL. Will hopefully see more later on today when I check in from work (shh, don't rat me out LOL!).

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So excited for your review. I've mentioned on other reviews, how much I love yours, and how we've gone to certain beaches because of you (and always great advice!). It's lovely too seeing Sakari grow up over your reviews. You have a lovely family. Looking forward to hearing how you liked Jewel and hearing your 'adventure'.

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