The Sawyer glacier in the Tracy Arm is one of the coolest sites I have ever seen. Lots of great scenery in Alaska. Would have liked to have seen more wildlife although we did see scores of whales in the inside passage. I expected the food to be a bit better, but it was still great. The weather was colder than I expected for August. We went fishing in Juneau which cost $250, but we got skunked.
Our first cruise ever to Alaska on the Jewel of the Seas in August of 2015 was truly exceptional. Highlights were the itinerary and ports-of-call, the EXCELLENT food, and the amazing service by the dedicated staff. The boat is indeed a little out of date and will be dry-docked soon for renovations, but that being said, they have maintained it impeccably, and it is very clean and well-kept. Would have loved more opportunities for the younger couple crowd (not drinking necessarily though), but did a pretty good job balancing considering that many who travel to Alaska are older. There was a pretty good mix of people on board, and the staff was great. Cruise director is a little over the top, but that seems to be fairly par for the course. The itinerary, food and service really set this cruise apart from the others!
TOO MUCH CRUISE TIME, NOT ENOUGH LAND TIME.LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLOLLOLLLOLOLLOOLLOLOLLOLLOOOLLOOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLLOLLOOLLOOLLOOLLOOLLLOOLLLOOLLOOOLLLOOOLLOLLOOLLOOLLOOLLLOOLLLOOOLLOOLLOLLOOLLLOOLLLOOLLOOLLLOOLLLLLOOLLLOOOLLLLLOOOOLLLLOOOOOLLLLLOOOOOLLLLOOOOLLLLOOOOLLLOOOLLLLLOOOOLLLLOOOLLLLOOOOLLLOOLLLLOOOLLLLOOOLLLLOOOOOOOLLLLLLOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLOOOOOOLLLLLLOOOOOOLLLLLLOOOOOOL
This was our first cruise and it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. The state room was most certainly satisfactory. We had an ocean view stateroom on the 3rd deck. The food in the main dining room was excellent, as was the service. Breakfast is served in the main dining room and there is also a breakfast buffet in the Windjammer lounge. Either is an excellent choice. Lunch is buffet style in the main dining room and the Windjammer. Either is a good choice. I recommend the Windjammer if you have children. If not, I highly recommend the buffet in the main dining room. The staff is outstanding, four stars. Expect to pay for everything except meals, to include bottled water. The drink packages are not a good deal unless you drink a lot of soda, then the non-alcoholic package may be of value to you. Wi-Fi is expensive: $160 for one device for the duration of the cruise, or $60 for 24 hours! Also consider that you will be at sea for a total of two (2) day. The cities of Juneau and Skagway are not all that interesting in themselves. The normal shopping is available: Diamonds International, Tanzanite and etc. Yuck! I recommend booking morning and afternoon shore excursions, otherwise you will have much idle time on your hands. Entertainment is good to mediocre. Do not expect Broadway or of Broadway. If escargot and or Manhattan Strip steak is on the menu, pick something else. Do not sleep through the Fiord sailing. Get up early, be on deck no later than 0600. It's the most exciting day of the cruise.
This was a nice cruise. However, since it was my fourth visit to Alaska, there are other stops that are more worthwhile. The stops were fine, but there are areas worth seeing that rate as well, versus all of the time spent cruising and in Victoria, ie. Ketchikan, Sitka, Glacier Bay, Fairbanks. The ship was excellent, but the dining room seemed understaffed and dinner was always a lengthy affair, preventing us from attending many of the shows.
Jewel of the Sea is a perfect size ship if you want to see and visit with people and not spend time with "amenities". We were a party of 10 and the My Time Dining was great time for us all to collect and discuss what we did or planned to do. If we chose to breakfast at the Windjammer, it didn't take long for the others to find you. The food was excellent and the service was outstanding. My sister-in-law said that her dog sledding experience was the most fun she had ever had. Alaska, as always, was beautiful.
The stops we made and the tour of the Tracey Arms passage were amazing. I would have loved to stay a little longer at each location. I did not like so many days at sea. At least one more port stop, preferably two, would have been nice. Our ship docked at Juneau, Skagway and Victoria.
The Solarium pool area was less crowded than the main pool on most days. The Sea View Cafe was a little hidden gym up on the 12th deck that served made to order diner food - great for a quick snack, especially when the Windjammer was closed between meals!
Before you book a certain room number, make sure you are not over a lounge area. They play music until about midnight. We didn't find the Sea View café until the 6th day of the cruise. They had the best sandwiches and snacks.
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