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atlantaCruise

Jewel Review Nov 5th - 12th

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Jewel Nov 5th – 12th Eastern Caribbean

We stayed at the Inter-Continental next to the Bayside Market Saturday night, very nice hotel. Cost $25 for a taxi from the airport to the hotel. No shuttle to the port , 8.75 for a taxi to the port on Sunday morning.

We arrived at the port at 9:45, waited in the latitudes line till around 10:10 then they let us in. Check in was pretty quick, picked up keycards and sat down. Around 12:10 they let us through security and onto the ship. We had an aft balcony and it was ready for us, while quite a few others were not ready yet. Our room stewards came by to say hello and asked if we needed anything. We asked for a couple more pillows and a blanket which they brought right in. The bed was just fine with us and we slept well while onboard.

We purchased the anniversary package and the sparkling wine was in the room. The chocolate strawberries were delivered around 6:00 that night. We called and requested the cheese plate instead of the canapés for Thursday night. The cheese plate had 4 large crackers and 3 kinds of cheese on it.

Since food is a hot topic I will run through that : After reading about how the restaurants fill up fast, we went down and signed up for a few nights.

The specialty restaurants are half price if you get in before 6 (except Teppanyaki and lobster in the restaurants)

Sunday: Cagney’s for dinner. We were the 2nd table seated. The service was a tiny bit slow; but we had nowhere to go so we didn’t mind. The food was very good; I had crab cakes, salad and the rib eye. The steak was cooked liked I ordered and was very good. It was such a big piece that I was unable to finish it all. My wife had the filet, and was likewise cooked as ordered. We had the cheesecake and some sinful chocolate desert that had ice cream on top. It was so rich and delicious.

Monday (sea day): Blue Lagoon for lunch. We had fish and chips (3 per order) and chicken wings (4 per order). The fish was very light, not greasy, and very good. The wings were more BBQ than hot but good, nice place for a bite; we sat by the window and watched the waves.

Monday: Dinner at Le Bistro. This was optional formal night, so we were served lobster at no additional charge. I had salmon with a lemon sauce and my wife had the filet. We had great service here and the food was wonderful. This was our anniversary/romance dinner and it came with the house wine. We upgraded it and were given a $29 credit for the new wine. I asked about the tableside Caesar salad and she said “the cart is over there, it’s too much to bring it around but I promise to do it tableside if you come back and see me” (we never made it back but wish we had).

Tuesday: San Juan and dinner at Mamas. We had a reservation for 4 and could not change the time so we missed watching the sailing out of San Juan and the lights on the fort. Several people were trying to get in and we heard them saying the next opening was Wednesday night at 10:00. I had the made to order pizza and my wife had Shrimp with a lemon sauce over angel hair. They brought out bread with oil and vinegar while we waited. The food was OK, but nothing great, just happy to try it. This was one of the most packed places each night as it only seats 96 and did not have an additional charge to eat.

Wednesday: (Antigua) We ate at Teppanyaki, had the “Feast” ($15), came with a sushi cone, scallops, shrimp and steak. It was a great show and lots of food. We had half a bottle of wine left from Monday so they brought it up for us. Possibly the best meal we had.

Thursday: (St Thomas) we ate at Chin Chin. My wife had the seared ahi tuna and she was raving about that, I had the beef and rice. It was good but after being in the sun all day we weren’t very hungry. They had coconut ice cream which we really enjoyed and a ginger Crème Brule, which was wonderful. (Unfortunately not as creamy as it should have been, but good none the less)

Friday: (sea day) Sushi for lunch, $5 for all you can eat or you can order off the menu from around $2 – $4 per order. This was a good deal for us and it was very good, after you finished, the chefs would ask if you needed anything else and make it right in front of you.

Dinner we went back to Teppanyaki (4 of us). We had a different table and chef. He was very good but you could tell something was not right. He dropped a raw shrimp in the floor and it must have upset him or embarrassed him, he was confused on who ordered what. Forgot to give my wife scallops which she ordered and overcooked some steaks. Wasn’t a problem because he quickly got some more food and cooked it up, actually made extra and ended up with more food than we ordered. It tasted just as good as the 1st night but since we were running late (the other tables were done and most had left) we left before desert to get to the show.

Saturday: (Private Island), there was a BBQ on the island: Chicken, pizza, burgers. Very large picnic and put together well.

Dinner was at Tsars. We feel the food choices have gone down some since our last cruise but it was still good. They had chicken, lamb, steak, salmon and Mahi Mahi. The service was slow this night as well.

We ate every morning but 1 in the Garden Café. We enjoyed the omelets and waffles. There was not the selection of fruit this time as we had before but enjoyed the layout of the café and there was something for everyone. We ate 1 morning in Tsars, the service was good.

NCL had pastries, cookies and breads with coffee and juice for us at the meet and greet on Tuesday. The Captain and all the upper officers came to our party which was held in the Star Bar. The Cellar Dweller did a great job setting up the meeting and handing out the major award.

Room service: Thursday night we called a few times, each time it was busy and gave an option to leave a message. We figured it was a sign we didn’t need to eat.

The ship was very pretty and clean. The crew was always cleaning and they always smiled and said hello. We only saw 1 lady that didn’t seem too happy, seemed to be upset as she was talking with another crew member. The shows we saw were pretty good. The big show (Le Cirque) on Friday was very good, it is not to be missed. Be sure not to sit too far to the front, as you will miss some performances above the audience.

There were many activities listed each day but we enjoyed walking around the ship and relaxing on the balcony. We walked by the pool a few times on sea days, it was packed but we did see some chairs near the front of the ship.

Ports

San Juan. We took a taxi ride up to the Fort ($5 each person for the taxi and $3 for the fort). Nice view from up there of the water and some of the city. We walked back down the hill looking in some shops and taking pictures. We were warned about walking back down alone due to the unsavory area, but as we were in a small group, and followed the main road (as main as it can get there, anyway) we didn't feel the least bit unsafe or uncomfortable). We were a little over an hour late getting into port that morning, so that cut some time off the tour (Flvol77 mentioned the fuel Captain Tommy was burning to try to get us in on time). We were impressed with San Juan and can’t wait to go back and spend some time there.

Antigua. We booked the tour with Lawrence. I think there were 18 or so people from our CC group on this tour. Lawrence was great! He took us to Devil’s Bridge, we had about 15 minutes to look around and he told us all about it. Next we stopped on top of the mountain to look down into the sea. We saw one of Eric Clapton’s 2 houses there in Antigua and the rehab center he had built. We drove around the island and then went to Nelson’s Dockyard where we had a private tour and learned about the different buildings there onsite. This is a beautiful island with 365 beaches and all the people were friendly. The tour lasted over 4 hours and when it was over Lawrence took us all to the beach, offered to let us get out and look around to see if we wanted to stay or go back to the ship. (He would have returned to pick us up later). Turner’s Beach was very nice but we were tired and went back to the ship. Lawrence has new busses that were very nice and cold AC. Some people on another message board complained about the curtains on the bus. Lawrence has them tied up and are still covered by plastic, and they are out of the way, no one on our bus had any problems with them at all. It was a great tour and price ($35) with Lawrenceofantigua.

St Thomas. We booked a private snorkel trip on the Jolly Mon with Gary and Gayle. They moved to St Thomas from Texas and have a 48 foot sail boat. They only take up to 6 people so it’s a quiet, private and relaxing sail out to the snorkel sites. We had around 2 hours to snorkel, Gayle went out with us and told us about the different fish and showed us where all the good sites were, even diving down to pick up souvenirs for their guests (including the glasses my wife absentmindedly still wore while she dove in, easily my wife’s hero!). When we were done snorkeling we had Jolly Juice (good strong rum punch) and snacks. They also offered beer, water and cokes. It was a nice leisurely sail back to the ship (tour lasted around 4 hours and was only $60 per person). The Jolly Mon was right next to the Jewel when we came into the harbor and Gary came over in the dingy to pick us up and dropped us off there behind the Jewel when we were done. We can’t wait till next visit so we can take the dinner sunset cruise. JollymonStThomas was the way to beat the crowds and have a nice relaxing time. St Thomas is only a 15 minute plane ride from San Juan. This is another island we can’t wait to explore.

Private Island. We had a good spot in the shade here and did some snorkeling. There were lots of fish to see out around a couple of rocks, the water was around 25 – 30 feet deep. Saw a stingray here also ( will post some pictures when we get the film back ). Took it easy in the hammock and chairs. The tenders hold 450 people and they were running a few of them so it was no problem getting to and from the ship

Sun the 12th we stayed in the room till they called the last color tag ( 10:00 am ). We had a small wait in line to get off the ship and walked right thru customs, waited a only a couple of minutes and got a taxi. We stayed Sun night at the Mutiny Hotel in Coconut Grove and flew out Monday afternoon. It was a nice hotel but when we walked into our room the maid was sleeping on the bed. We went back downstairs and they assigned us to a different room.

We had a great trip, met some nice folks and can’t wait to book the next cruise.

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I can just hear Kelly now when she saw the maid sleeping on the bed!!!!!:D

 

Bob is working on his now, should be finished soon. Can't wait to see your pictures. :)

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Thanks for a good review. We've been to all these places before, but there are always new things to do.

 

Only 46 days to go, we're getting excited. New years eve is coming soon!!!!

 

TOM:cool:

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Atlanta Cruise...

Great Review Just a couple of questions. We also booked Lawerence in Antigua. You said there were 18 in your group. Is that the max number his bus holds?? Did you book as a group on individually? We are also staying at Intercontinental any suggestions for eating at Bayside Market??? Lastly was NCL putting aside any luggage that may have adult beverages in them???

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Thanks! From many of the other recent reviews, I've been wondering "what happened to the ship we were on a year ago!!!"

 

Now I know that she is still there and doing just fine!

 

-Monte

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Atlanta Cruise...

Great Review Just a couple of questions. We also booked Lawerence in Antigua. You said there were 18 in your group. Is that the max number his bus holds?? Did you book as a group on individually? We are also staying at Intercontinental any suggestions for eating at Bayside Market??? Lastly was NCL putting aside any luggage that may have adult beverages in them???

 

Lawrence was great! We all talked about him on our roll call and we emailed him and told him we wanted to be together. I think there were 23 on our bus and he had another one behind us.

As for Bayside, we meet up with Fran and Bob there but we ate at Joes Stone Crab. There are 10 or 11 places to eat at Bayside, several bars and a food court. Lets see, a steak house, Hard Rock, a couple of seafood places. You wont go hungry.

As for the naughty room. I walked by it one time Sun night and only saw 2 bags in there, not sure why they were there and being the Angel I am I wouldnt know what you are talking about :D

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Thanks! From many of the other recent reviews, I've been wondering "what happened to the ship we were on a year ago!!!"

 

Now I know that she is still there and doing just fine!

 

-Monte

 

There was a change from our Sun trip last year. But it was still a great trip and I didnt have to work or wash a single dish and I didn't go hungry.

 

Cruzinwieds - I am not sure all the different theme nights, we only ate in Tsars on Sat night. Maybe Ute_Fan can help us out on that one.

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Thanks so much for the thorough and thoughtful review, atlantacruise!!

Do you recall what juices were available for breakfast in the Garden Cafe?

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Thanks so much for the thorough and thoughtful review, atlantacruise!!

Do you recall what juices were available for breakfast in the Garden Cafe?

 

OJ, Cran, and Apple - those are the only ones that I can think of-

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Nice review! By the time I get around to doing one, everything is going to have been covered so thoroughly I won't need to worry about it :D . As far as theme nights, I saved the copies of the freestyle dailies and will be scanning them in within the next couples of weeks and can either email them to people or post them on webshots.

 

From what I remember (and the titles may not be quite right), here's what the theme was in the restaurants each night, along with a couple of menu choices:

 

Sunday -- embarkation dinner -- prime rib

Monday -- Captain's dinner -- lobster night

Tuesday -- ???? on the theme -- beef stroganoff, some sort of fish that my DH said was really good

Wednesday - Italian night -- chicken parmesan, pork cutlet

Thursday -- Caribbean night -- jerk chicken, blackened tilapia

Friday -- Farewell dinner -- rack of lamb

Saturday -- ??? on theme -- leg of lamb (40 cloves of garlic), mahi mahi

 

I had the lamb both nights and it was good both times. Different preparation, but it still seemed a bit weird having it two nights in a row. I didn't bother taking photos of the menus. I'm pretty sure the new ones hadn't been implemented yet, so don't be surprised if the menu choices aren't the same on future sailings.

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Thanks for the info, flvol77!

If you want tomato juice you can ask one of the servers or helpers to get it for you from the bar and there is no additional charge. They are more than willing to help. NMNita

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Thanks for the great review. You wrote that you arrived at the pier before 10am and boarded just after noon. Do you recommend getting there that early? Did a lot of people show up during the two hour wait? This is only our third cruise and we didn't board until around 2pm both times but wanted to eat lunch onboard this year.

 

Steve

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Thanks for the great review. You wrote that you arrived at the pier before 10am and boarded just after noon. Do you recommend getting there that early? Did a lot of people show up during the two hour wait? This is only our third cruise and we didn't board until around 2pm both times but wanted to eat lunch onboard this year.

 

Steve

Steve we usually get there about 11 or 11;30 and are on the ship by noon or a little after. I wouldn't get there at 10am, but that is us. The boarding process moves pretty fast especially if you are there early. By arriving early you get another couple of hours on the ship before sail away. It gives you time to unpack the carry on stuff and sometimes even the rest of the luggage, have lunch and check out your home away from home. NMNita

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atlantaCruise,

 

Thank you for the wonderful review! We are taking our first cruise on the 17th of dec. I have been getting a little nervous about some of the reviews I have been reading about the Jewel. Like Monte said, it sounds like the ship he was on last year. I feel much better now. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind. Can you explain to me about the sail out of San Juan and the Fort. Sorry if this is stupid but like I said this is our first cruise. Also, the JollyMon is that something I can do ahead of time and how?

 

We did order the Anniversary package and I was glad to hear we could do the cheese plate instead of the canapes. Did you request that ahead of time or once you were on the ship? I am concerned about the new menu at LeBistro, but I am sure I can find something to try.

 

We are also staying 2 nights precruise at Intercontinental. We will diffently do Joe's.

 

Thank you. Sorry for all the questions

 

Cheryl

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Thanks for the detailed review. I'd appreciate a clarification on the sushi options. For the $5 all you can eat -- are you limited to certain types of sushi? If yes, do you remember the options? If not, I don't understand why anyone would chose to pay a-la-carte.

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Thanks for the great review. You wrote that you arrived at the pier before 10am and boarded just after noon. Do you recommend getting there that early? Did a lot of people show up during the two hour wait? This is only our third cruise and we didn't board until around 2pm both times but wanted to eat lunch onboard this year.

 

Steve

 

When we got there the line only had a few people in it. When they opened the doors we got to walk right in and register but several people complained about how slow they were. The young lady that checked us in was very nice but it was her 1st day so she needed help from 2 people and she had problems with the credit card system. So it took us longer but no big deal. We talked to a couple of other people that had the same problem and some that walked right in. Nothing different then going to Walmart, I just always choose the wrong line.

 

FLVol77 has the correct juices, only 3 and if you wanted something else then you have to pay for it. We asked for tomato and pineapple and were told " Its in a can and it will cost you $1.50 a can, you can order from room service" I was lucky, my brother was in a penthouse so he scored us a pitcher of pineapple juice.

 

The sushi was quite a long list for the $5, many types of rolls, 2 kinds of tuna, salmon. Not sure what else, maybe Jayson can help me out on this one. We did notice 2 or 3 items that were not on the list for all you can eat but no big deal as it was a good size list.

 

San Juan and the fort. We were eating dinner and missed it when we sailed out. Wish we had seen it but after walking around all day we were pretty tired.

 

Hope I didnt miss any questions.

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