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Review - Jewel of the Seas 1/28 - 2/5

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Everyone,

 

Here is my review of our cruise on Jewel of the Seas last week. Below is a link to our photo album from the cruise:

 

http://public.fotki.com/TashaMike/travels/jots_06/

 

If you have questions post them and I'll answer to the best of my knowlege.

 

Here's the review:

 

I have just returned from Jewel of the Seas 8-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. We departed Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, January 28th and returned on Sunday, February 5. Traveling with my husband (DH) and I (35 and 33) were:

 

DH’s brother and the brother’s fiancée (29 and 25)

My in-laws (60’s)

My husband’s aunt and uncle (80 + /-)

 

We are all Platinum or Diamond C&A members.

 

All in all this was a very good cruise. As I re-read this I noticed that I was not entirely positive about the ship itself, but please don’t take that to mean that Jewel is not a great ship. Apparently my heart just belongs to the Voyager Class!

 

Pre-Cruise

 

Flights: We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, Jan 27th, the day before the cruise. I flew down ahead of the rest of the party and went to visit my grandmother in Key Largo. I took U.S. Airways, and the rest of the family took JetBlue.

 

Car Rental: Renting a car at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale was a breeze – they have a new rental car center open, and you take a shuttle to a huge garage where all the agencies are located. I was traveling with two large suitcases and a heavy carryon (in other words way more luggage than I could carry), but there were plenty of SmartCarts ($2 I think), and the shuttle driver loaded and unloaded everyone’s bags from the bus. Once I had the minivan, I found the airport area very easy to navigate, and was on my way in no time.

 

Hotel: After the trip to Key Largo for lunch with my grandmother, I returned to Ft. Lauderdale and checked into the Comfort Inn Airport/Cruiseport at about 4:30. I was able to check in for both the rooms we had reserved, and signed BIL, FSIL, MIL, FIL up for the shuttle to the pier in the morning (my DH and I would return the minivan at an off-airport location near the pier and go from there to the pier to check in). The hotel is pretty worn, but it was $75 cheaper than anything else in the area, and we’d stayed there before.

 

Embarkation

 

While the rest of the family took the hotel shuttle to the pier, DH and I took the minivan back to the Thrifty outpost by the pier to return it. It was a bit of a zoo, but eventually we got it returned and were on our way to the pier via the Thrifty shuttle, with one other couple.

 

We got in line to check in, and realized that we would save significant time if we could find proof of our Platinum C&A status among our paperwork. We did, (on the table of contents page in our cruise documents book) and presented ourselves for expedited check in. We were directed to walk past the area of waiting chairs and go directly to security. As we walked past the chairs (a long way – probably 150 feet or more), a RCCL rep at the other end of the chairs saw us coming. She was about 75, and looked like she would like nothing more than to tell us young kids to get back in the chairs where we belonged. When we showed her our cruise documents indicating our Platinum Status she suddenly couldn’t be nice enough! Lesson: If you are Platinum/Diamond make sure you have something that proves that, like your cruise documents, in hand when you check in.

 

We were on the ship by 11:30.

 

Once we got on the ship, we encountered something really special: you could check in your carry-on bag, and they would deliver it to your cabin at 1:00 when the cabins opened! Fantastic! I was lugging around a laptop, so I checked that bag, and only had to carry my wallet around until the cabins opened.

 

The Ship

 

These are the rooms/areas where we spent the most time – obviously there were some areas of the ship where we didn’t spend time, and I have left those out.

 

Cabin: We had cabin 4545, which was an inside on Deck 4 a little ways back from the Centrum and Lobby bar. It was like all the other inside cabins we’ve had, and perfectly suitable for two people. The closet had plenty of room for hanging items, and a set of 6 or 7 shelves in the middle for folded things. Life Jackets fit in the top of the closet. The bathroom had the nice shower with round doors.

 

Centrum: To be honest, I found the Centrum a little narrower than I expected it to be, although it was beautiful. The views from the upper floors down into the Centrum were really neat. I will quibble with the design of the bank of elevators next to the Centrum: the elevators (6 of them) are quite far apart, and it was often difficult to tell which one had opened up. They weren’t open very long, and if you weren’t standing right next to the one that opened, it could be hard to get to it in time, plus people who hadn’t been waiting as long but were standing near it would board ahead of you and fill it up. I’m not a big elevator person, but I felt sorry for those who did need to use the elevator but weren’t spry enough to get into one easily.

 

Pools: Both the main pool and the Solarium are very nice. Didn’t have much trouble getting deck chairs, especially in the afternoon. I didn’t like the new deck chairs. They were a solid piece of a mesh fabric, instead of the plastic straps, and they didn’t have much give. I found them uncomfortable unless I was lying down flat on my back or stomach, and in those positions I couldn’t read my book. DH found the padded chairs in the Solarium comfortable, but a little short for his long legs.

 

Safari Club/Schooner Bar: We spent a lot of time in the Safari Club, which has really nice dark wood, clubby décor. The windows by the bar overlook the stern of the ship, providing very nice views aft. Plus the bartender in there was great. The self leveling pool tables were really neat to see doing their thing. The piano player in the Schooner Bar was very popular, and that seemed to be a very active place each evening.

 

Champagne Bar: While nice at night when it is open, this is also an ideal spot to sack out with a book during the day, as it has huge windows and is quite quiet. On the second formal night they had a little buffet of appetizers here, totally unannounced, and our cocktail waiter was kind enough to fill a plate and bring it to us with our drinks.

 

Dining Room: I thought the décor quite elegant, if a little subdued. The DR is two levels. You can really tell that the extra 50’ of width that the Voyager class has is missing – the open area on the second level seems quite narrow.

 

Theater: Functional but a little plain. There are a number of columns, so when choosing seats be careful not to get a blocked view.

 

Movie Theater: I was sad they didn’t play any movies I wanted to see, because this is a neat little theater. Probably about 50 seats and it has stadium seating. First real movie theater I’ve seen on a ship – mostly they seem more like seminar rooms with a screen. DH vaguely remembers a movie theater on his first cruise (on Sovereign of the Seas in ’88), but thought this theater was a big improvement.

 

Pit Stop Bar: Interesting sports décor, with a primarily NASCAR motif, and a nice quiet place to take a break from the nearby casino. We watched several in a series of short documentaries on each Super Bowl here. It was also amusing to come by one evening and find every TV in the place tuned to men’s figure skating, with quite an audience gathered to watch!

 

Casino: Didn’t win anything, but the dealers were friendly and the décor was as one would expect. DH thought the number of tables, specifically blackjack tables, to be less than he expected, and he said he never saw a $5 blackjack table (although there may have been one on a sea day afternoon when he wasn’t in there). The slots seemed a little looser than we expected.

 

Shops: The merchandise was the usual stuff, but I found the layout of the shopping area confusing, and it was often very congested with extra tables of merchandise squeezed in plus large crowds passing through to get to/from the theater.

 

Food

 

Dining Room: We had a table for 10 people on the upper level (Tides Dining Room). In addition to our party of 8, there was one other couple at our table. They were Diamond C&A members (18 cruises!) and roughly the same age as my DH’s aunt and uncle, so they fit in very nicely.

 

Although there are fewer options on the menu than in previous years, everything I had was delicious. I was especially impressed with the vegetarian curry on the last night – I lived in India for three years and it was as good as any I had there! If I had had room in my stomach I would have had two servings! I wrote a complimentary note to the Executive Chef (who was from India) about it. Desserts were delicious, although sometimes the description didn’t seem accurate: there was one described as vanilla pudding with berries that turned out to be a sort of chocolate-colored berry tart with no vanilla in sight!

 

Windjammer: I was not overly impressed with the food in the Windjammer. Breakfast items were the same every day, which didn’t bother me as much as the fact that they weren’t very good. There was a lot of variety, but not a lot of quality. Not that I ever walked away hungry! Lunch was better, as they had nice sandwiches and a good rotating selection of other things.

 

SeaView Café: Fantastic! Short menu with lots of variety (cheeseburger, Rueben sandwich, crab salad). This was a great spot to get a greasy sandwich and fries after a long night of drinking.

 

Wine and Dine Package: This is a great idea. We bought the cheapest package (Gold – 5 bottles), and it was nice to have our wine purchasing taken care of. The Gold list is pretty short, but there were some nice wines on it, including the Footprint Shiraz and the Pinot Grigio. Korbel Champagne is also included. It’s so nice to just choose a bottle you’ve already paid for when you get to the table. One thing to consider if your table is all one party – coordinate your purchases so each person who buys a package doesn’t think they need to buy enough to share with the group. That happened to us, and we had more bottles than we could use. You can take home any bottles you don’t drink, but that can be difficult if you’re flying.

 

 

Drinks

 

If you are going to drink a lot, your best deal is a non-premium highball drink, such as a rum and coke or tonic, etc. Your worst deal is any sort of frozen or frou frou mixed drink – almost no alcohol, and quite expensive. The only beers we found on draft were Heineken and Amstel Light, although all the bar menus mention domestic draft beer.

We didn’t get soda cards, and found that sodas at bars, etc. were only $1.50 ($1.72 with gratuity), and you get the whole can. Interestingly, the sodas in the minibar in the cabin were also only $1.50. To really take advantage of a soda card, you would need to drink a LOT of soda.

 

During the Captain’s Welcome Reception RCCL didn’t hold back on the drinks and champagne – when we entered the Safari Club there was a horde of waiters bearing trays – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much champagne. I guess the waiter’s arms get tired of holding the trays of champagne, because they simply couldn’t give us enough of it – at one point we each had a full glass and two glasses waiting to be consumed!

 

Service

 

We found the entire staff of this ship to be very cheerful and happy to be aboard. It made for wonderful service. Our dining room team (Nigel from India and Oksana from the Ukraine) were excellent, our cabin steward (John from Dominica) was a very good at working with our sometimes wacky schedules, and everyone else we encountered was happy to be doing their job.

 

Ports

 

Here is what my DH and I did in each port:

 

San Juan: DH, MIL, FIL, BIL, and FSIL got off in San Juan and looked for a taxi to take them to the Bacardi distillery on the other side of the harbor. Competition for your business was fierce, with cabbies blatantly willing to undercut their colleagues (“A tour of Old Town for $10 a person!” “I’ll do it for 9!”) Once at Bacardi, they found the tour less than what they remembered it to be. The entire tour is consolidated into just one building, with no views of any of the actual bottling operation. It’s really more of a history of Bacardi and less a tour of an operating distillery. A bit of a letdown, but not entirely worthless.

 

St. Maarten: As usual, we went to the Sunset Beach Bar on Maho Beach by the airport to watch the planes come in. This time we were lucky enough to see not only the big Air France Airbus A340 from Paris, but the KLM 747 coming in from Amsterdam – truly awesome. Plus the drinks are really cheap at Sunset Beach Bar – just $1 for a bottle of Presidente beer!

 

Antigua: We found a taxi driver and asked him to take us to the beach. He took us for $7 each to Dickinson Bay. It was quite nice, with lounge chairs to rent and watersports available for hire. There were quite a few vendors, but if you said “No, thanks” or pretended to be asleep behind your sunglasses and hat, they went on their way. We spent about 3 hours there and had lunch, and then took another taxi back to the pier.

 

St. Thomas: It was not a nice beach day, so DH and I took the tram up to Paradise Point. We had never done this before, and I expected a seedy, shady tourist trap at the top. Instead, we found a nice, clean, well ordered tourist trap! Plenty of vantage points to observe the view, a nice restaurant/bar (definitely try the Bushwhacker), and interesting stores. Not the cheapest little diversion - we paid $18 each to go up the tram, then about $50 for lunch and drinks, including $4.50 for the Presidentes which were only a dollar on St. Maarten, but it really beat sitting in the rain at Magen’s Bay. Note that if you buy the ticket for the tram from the ship, it only costs $15 – if only we had known.

 

Coco Cay: We were supposed to call at Nassau, but a day or so before the captain came on the radio and said that port congestion had barred us from Nassau, and we would be spending the day at Coco Cay instead. To be honest I thought 10:00 – 5:00 at Coco Cay was way better than 2:00 – 6:00 at Nassau. It wasn’t a good beach day (70 and cloudy), so DH and I just went over and had lunch. We walked around on the nature trail (don’t bother), and checked out the facilities. I thought it looked much, much nicer than Labadee. There was a lot of room, a zillion lounge chairs and hammocks, and it looked like it would be really fun on a hot sunny day.

 

Sea Days: We had two sea days. On the first one we had 15’ swells and winds across the upper decks at 50+ mph, so it wasn’t exactly good weather for lying in the sun. Instead we enjoyed various other activities. The weather did highlight the drawback of all the outdoor seating for the Windjammer and SeaView café – it was too windy to use it, so everyone had to cram indoors, and both venues were unpleasantly crowded during lunch. Our second sea day was much better weatherwise.

 

Entertainment / Shipboard Activities

 

Overall we found that there was a good variety of activities/entertainment on the ship. There were a lot of trivia contests, which we really like. DH won five of them! (He won a hat, an over the shoulder bag, a pen, a key chain, and a luggage tag).

 

We enjoyed the show band Primetime, which appeared nightly in the Safari Club (the schedule varied). They played a wide variety of material very well, including hosting a “Rock-a-Rockie” event where karaoke singers sang along with the live band. It took a lot of talent and concentration on the band’s part to work with an inexperienced singer, and they did a great job. They also did a very popular Beatles tribute on the last night.

 

There were about 5 different karaoke events, which were well run and well attended. What I don’t understand is why the same person will get up and sing the same song at each event! There were several people who did this. So odd.

 

We only went to one show – City of Dreams. It had lavish production values, no discernable plot, and almost no original music. It was entertaining, but we came away scratching our heads. A note on going to the show: The show for our early seating was at 9:00 and we went at 8:45 and there were no seats left at all. [We could have arrived in the theater sooner, but a Coast Guard cutter had to pull alongside and retrieve a passenger with a medical emergency and take him back to San Juan. No way were we going to miss watching that!] Apparently lots of people actually stood in the back during the whole thing. We went back at 10:00 to get seats for the 10:45 show for the late seating, and the theater never filled up – no sure where everyone went.

 

Photography

 

Being veterans of several cruises, DH and I have had our picture taken many times on board. Since our formal outfits don’t change much from cruise to cruise, we figured why should we buy those same pictures again? Instead we opted to have our picture taken on a smart casual night, and the result was an excellent picture in outfits we had never been formally photographed in.

 

They also had something called “lifestyle” pictures, which were basically more goofy informal poses – lying on your stomach, sitting back to back, etc. – shot against a white background. BIL and FSIL had lifestyle photos taken that they plan to use as engagement pictures, and they came out beautifully. If you’re looking for something other than the standard backdrops of Titanic staircase, a picture of the ship, or the rising moon, consider these. Also, if you’re looking for something to kill time on Deck 6 after dinner, watching people get lifestyle photos taken is pretty amusing.

 

They are also doing some nice things with the boarding photos and the photos they take with the Captain and in the dining room on formal night. They print them with a scrap-book type surround telling you what the event was, and they look really nice.

 

Our Fellow Passengers

 

This was the first time we’ve cruised in January, and the average age of the passengers was significantly higher than on our other cruises. I would say the average was at least in the upper 60s if not higher. Despite being older, everyone was quite energetic, and the atmosphere on board was very lively and fun.

 

There were almost no children on the cruise - 56 out of 2112 passengers, according to the cruise staff. Of course, practically the only children I saw all week, with the exception of a few babies in strollers, was a family of 5 kids who were racing each other down the stairs one day, oblivious to the people around them. Somewhere out there is a proud mother thinking about how well behaved her little darlings were on the cruise – little does she know, because she was nowhere to be seen. Oh well, at least they didn’t actually manage to trip anyone.

 

Many of our fellow passengers were French speaking Canadians, so all the announcements were made in French as well as English. The Canadian National Anthem was played during one of the shows that we peeked into, and fully 1/3 of the audience stood.

 

Everyone dressed very nicely. Oddly, the second formal night was more formal than the first – a lot more tuxedos and long gowns on that night. Didn’t see anyone violating the spirit of the dress code except for a couple of guys wearing baseball caps in the dining room on smart casual night. The invitation for the Captain’s Welcome Reception stated that no tank tops (for men) shorts or flip flops were allowed (it was held on the first formal night). As we were waiting for others in our party to join us before going in, we saw a man go by wearing ALL THREE of these items! To our amazement, a few minutes later he came back the other way – they had apparently turned him away! Bravo – finally a tiny bit of back bone on the dress code issue.

 

Crown & Anchor Benefits

 

In addition to the aforementioned priority boarding, we had robes waiting in our cabin when we arrived, and our cabin steward brought coupon books to us during the first afternoon. !

 

The “repeaters” party for all C&A members was very nice (more champagne and hors d’oeuvres), as was the Platinum/Diamond members party, which was held before lunch on a sea day (Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Screwdrivers and hors d’oeuvres). That one was actually great because the hors d’oeuvres served stood in for lunch.

 

The Platinum/Diamond members gift for the cruise was a nice little tote bag with the RCCL logo and Jewel of the Seas embroidered on it.

 

The loyalty ambassador helped us book our next cruise, but you have to be patient to get time with her as she is very busy. If you have some idea of what you want your next cruise to be, as we did, do yourself a favor and get it out of the way early in the week.

 

Disembarkation / The Airport

 

We wound up with a very late flight home, due to cancellations by JetBlue, so we chose to be in the Purple group, which was the last color to get off the ship. Getting the baggage wasn’t hard (especially as DH and I have large, brightly colored hard sided suitcases that are easy to spot in a crowd), and we got a porter to help us as we had too much luggage to carry, and he also helped us find a van cab to the airport. The luggage barely fit in, but we made it in the end.

 

The Ft. Lauderdale airport at 10:30 AM was a zoo, as everyone who had gotten off of the 9 ships in port was there, but no-one had gotten on a plane and left yet. Due to our late flight we couldn’t even check our luggage until 3 hours after we arrived (1:30), so we just camped out at a bench and read and napped until we could check the luggage. Once that was done we went through security and camped out for another four hours – the flight wasn’t until 5:50. I killed some time by waiting in a long line for a bad cheeseburger. Fort Lauderdale airport also has free high-speed wireless internet access, but DH found it frustratingly sporadic.

 

We finally got boarded onto the plane, and the pilot’s first announcement was that the Super Bowl would be available for viewing! Yay! (JetBlue has a little DirectTV set for each passenger). We watched the first half plus the halftime show on the way home. Time flies when you can watch TV!

 

All was well at our house when we returned, with nothing left from the vacation except pictures, dirty laundry, souvenirs, a sunburn, a big bar bill, and this review.

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You said you were directed to walk about 150 feet past lined up chairs after you showed your Platinum status. Did that lead to a designated Platinum/Diamond/suite lounge like the one in the Miami terminal? Where did you actually check in and get your seapasses?

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Thanks so much for your great attention-to-detail review of the Jewel. We will be on her in April and can't wait. Booked her while on the Radiance last spring. Went on our first Carnival cruise on the Liberty in January, and the weather was bad, so are really looking forward to sun on the Jewel. :D

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Thanks for an awesome review and your beautiful photos were a treat too! We've been to St. Maarten twice before (on excursions), but haven't made it to Maho Beach yet. DH is a pilot with American, and has flown the JFK to St. Maarten flight quite a few times, so he actually suggested we go to Maho Beach because he's heard about it from other pilots. Your photos from there were amazing!!! We have two DDs - 10 and 13 - will they be out of place at the Sunset Beach Bar? It sure looks like a lot of fun!

Thanks again for brightening my day,

Nancy

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You said you were directed to walk about 150 feet past lined up chairs after you showed your Platinum status. Did that lead to a designated Platinum/Diamond/suite lounge like the one in the Miami terminal? Where did you actually check in and get your seapasses?

 

 

There was not a private check-in area. If you don't have Platinum/Diamond status, you are directed to wait in a chair, and then groups are released to go through security and then into the room where you check in at the counter and get your sea pass. I guess this prevents a BIG lineup at security, and allows them to sort out C&A people, suite guests, wedding parties coming aboard, etc. We basically just go to skip the waiting in chairs and proceed straight to security.

 

Long answer short - there is no separate lounge, but you get to bypass the major choke point in the process which is the waiting in chairs for a group to be released to proceed. Once we were up to security, it was perhaps 10 minutes (at the very most) until we were on the ship.

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Thanks for an awesome review and your beautiful photos were a treat too! We've been to St. Maarten twice before (on excursions), but haven't made it to Maho Beach yet. DH is a pilot with American, and has flown the JFK to St. Maarten flight quite a few times, so he actually suggested we go to Maho Beach because he's heard about it from other pilots. Your photos from there were amazing!!! We have two DDs - 10 and 13 - will they be out of place at the Sunset Beach Bar? It sure looks like a lot of fun!

Thanks again for brightening my day,

Nancy

 

Tell your DH that rumor has it that if the pilot dips the wings as they pass over, the crew will get free drinks at the bar - not sure you'd want to do that with a large airliner full of passengers, but it's something to consider!

 

Your daughters will be fine at the beach bar during the afternoon. You can get a picnic table and you might as well be at any other beachside hamburger joint in the world. The website (which is not work safe) shows a lot of really raunchy evening activity, but we've never seen a hint of that during the day beyond an older french woman discreetly sunbathing topless on this last visit. You could pass that off to your girls as a cultural experience:-)

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I'll definitely tell DD about the wing tipping deal at Sunset Beach Bar! He may already know about it? Alot of times the wings tip back and forth naturally due to winds, etc., so I can't imagine it would be too dangerous. Then again...those planes are incredibly close to the beach, aren't they? Glad to hear the beach area will be fine for our DD's. They've loved the "cultural" experiences they've had during some other trips we made, but I can't say nude sunbathing was one of them (yet)! Thanks again.

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:)Leaving on the Jewel Feb 19, could you tell me who the entertainer in the Schooner Bar was and also the Captain and the Cruise Director? thanks!

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Thanks for the great comments about the Jewel. My DW and I are aboard her April 30 for the transatlantic crossing. We have pictures of the Jewel from our balcony on the Legend of the Seas, in Lisbon. She was just headed out after touching ground for the first time after leaving Bermuda. Before she headed on, we had a chance to talk with some of her passengers in Lisbon. What a great crossing. We are looking forward to enjoying the luxury of old style luxury in a modern ship.

 

Rick

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:)Leaving on the Jewel Feb 19, could you tell me who the entertainer in the Schooner Bar was and also the Captain and the Cruise Director? thanks!

 

The piano player in the Schooner bar was Pete (or Tommy, don't remember exactly) McPhee. He had huge range, and from what we observed had the ability to judge his audience, so if people were in the mood he would do sing along type stuff, if they weren't he would tend more towards classical. He was very talented, and also seemed to be very popular with the ladies.

 

Our captain was Captain MacDonald, who was just fine, and speaks much clearer English than some of the others.

 

The cruise director was Karen Maybury (sp?). I thought she did a fine job, but then the cruise director's personality is has never had any impact on my enjoyment of a cruise. I thought her low key style was perfect on this sailing because of the older (slightly) more sedate passengers on this sailing.

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Hey everyone we also sailed on The Jewel 1/28/06 and had a great time. Mike & I had already sailed the BI/NF itinerary on The Jewel in 2004...and its still my favorite ship. …We booked another cruise while on board for 2007 ( ship board credit) and I am looking forward to our 3rd

 

 

Debarkation…This was our first time sailing/flying out of Fort Lauderdale…

I had asked the Concierge for white luggage tags but they were not available.. I am not sure if it still being offered as a Diamond perk :rolleyes:

 

Instead

We carried (rolled) our luggage off the ship for this cruise in order to try for a much early flight home…. It worked out perfectly…We were cleared around 8:30am and were at the airport and had changed our flights by 9:00am.

 

Debbie

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Our captain was Captain MacDonald' date=' who was just fine, and speaks much clearer English than some of the others.

[/quote']

 

Perhaps that is because Captain James is Canadian.:)

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Wonderful review and pictures -- thanks. We did the same itinerary on the Jewel two weeks before (1/14) and also had a bit of rough seas the first day. Heavy winds in Fort Lauderdale -- I actually took a few meclazines (generic bonine) which I don't usually do. Beautiful weather the rest of the week including Nassau and disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale.

 

First seating on our cruise was very full -- they used all the extra dining areas. Second seating where we were was light. Seems to have also been a bit older crowd -- we saw the same thing on Mariner in Jan. of 2005.

 

We had some of the best service we have ever had especially our cabin steward (got to praise him to the head steward at the Platinium/Diamond party) Our only disapointment was that the Crown and Anchor functions were not up to par from other ships. Felt that C&A staff was just going through the motions. Hors d"oerves in chafing dishes were cold and the staff was really pushing sweet mixed drinks though you could order anything you wanted. We put this observation on our comment card so maybe it improved for your cruise.

 

Loved the Jewel and would sail her again.

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Well, I've heard about those planes coming in over the beach, but I never realized HOW LOW!

 

Thanks for posting your review and sharing the pics. We will be on Jewel next year at the same exact time. Actually, I don't mind an older crowd. Means less crowded at the pool and second seating!

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Thanks for the great review! We are going on the jewel in April and I'm so excited!

 

Do you mind me asking how you got to Maho Beach? MY DH would love to see the planes landing. I've read that it is quite the trip to get their from the pier so any info you could give would be much appreciated!

 

Thanks! :)

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Great pics...Agree about Paradise Pt and the Bushwackers, the best in St. Thomas:D ! Was docked next to the Jewel in January in Costa Maya....Can't wait to go on sister ship Radiance in November...Jill:cool:

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Great review thanks! We were booked on the jewel in jan but had to change we want to try for next year. Question what time do the planes fly over sunset beach or is it all the time? Thanks

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Do you mind me asking how you got to Maho Beach? MY DH would love to see the planes landing. I've read that it is quite the trip to get their from the pier so any info you could give would be much appreciated!

 

Thanks! :)

 

We took a taxi from the pier. The fare was $8 or $9 each - I don't remember exactly. This time it took us a long time to get there - probably 45 minutes, due to traffic - but usually it's about a 20 minute ride.

 

If there are several ships in port it may take some time for the taxi dispatcher to find someone who wants to drive you - it's a longish trip and the cab drivers would rather take you on a tour for more money. Just be patient - you'll get a cab. On one cruise we took we were the only ship in port, and the cabbies couldn't have been happier to take us, so it just depends on whether they think they could get a better fare.

 

Sunset Beach Bar will call a cab for you to return to the ship.

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Great review thanks! We were booked on the jewel in jan but had to change we want to try for next year. Question what time do the planes fly over sunset beach or is it all the time? Thanks

 

The large jets fly over in the afternoon. We usually get up late, have breakfast and head over around 12:00 noon. The beach bar is currently posting a schedule of flights expected on a sign near the bar. On our visit the first large jet was at 1:00 pm and the last one was at around 3:15.

 

As well as the large jets, there is a constant stream of small propeller aircraft from inter-island airlines and cargo companies, which are also entertaining to watch.

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I had to laugh when I read about the piano player...Tommy McPhee. He was on Brilliance last February, and was a real hit with the ladies then too. Especially the married ones! What really makes this funny is rumor from the crew on Brilliance was he's gay. Guess he knows how to work the tips...he was a riot to watch.

 

Anyhow, thanks for the review, it was great. We're on the Jewel next year, same itinerary. Can't wait!!

 

Nancy

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:)Thanks, DW and I truly enjoyed the review, photos and humor. Found myself looking at all of 180 photos (unusal for me). We'll be doing the same as you exatly 30 days later, can't wait

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We sailed on Jewel on Jan. 14 and loved the ship.

 

Thought this was cute in Schooner Bar. They had a very cute bartender who always had lots of young pretty ladies around. Neat to watch from the vantage point of an old married couple (32 years).

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