December 2015 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip) Cruise on Jewel of the Seas
We cruise a lot, and this was the best overall experience ever. Check-in was super fast at a little after noon. We were in a suite and the line was especially short. We had a nice drink at the Lobby bar with Tamara and Pedro while waiting for our room, which was ready by 1:30. The Grand Suite was spacious and the balcony had a chaise and a table with two chairs, plenty of room. Six(!) pillows on the queen bed, very comfortable. Lots of storage space for clothes, tons of closet space.
We spent a lot of time with Damien in the Solarium bar, can't say enough about how welcoming the staff is on this boat. Joseph was always either at the pool bar or at the Concierge Club in the evening to serve drinks, excellent service always. In the evening we spent time with Natalie at the Pit Stop, the sports bar. More excellent service! On some game nights there are hot dogs available there, with delicious cooked onions.
The food was excellent everywhere on board. As suite guests we had access to breakfast cooked to order in the Chops Grille, one of the specialty restaurants. They're only open for dinner, so that was a nice use of facilities that would otherwise go unused. Dinner in the dining room was excellent, both in selection and execution. Dining room service was exemplary. Another perk of the suite is that you can order room service from the dining room dinner menu. A copy of the evening menu is placed in your room every morning, and as soon as dinner service begins (6:00 pm) you can place your order by phone. We did this one evening and delivery was within 30 minutes and the quality of the food didn't suffer. Our room attendant Jo was outstanding the entire trip. Always with a ready smile and hello, and when we put out the "clean room now" sign, she had it done PDQ!
The Coastal Cruise to the Pitons was awesome. Recommend any of the excursions by Cox and Co. We had planned other excursions but health issues prevented our going.
Disembarkation - once again, outstanding! After leaving our assigned meeting place at 7:25, collecting our luggage, and going through the express custom line (suite guests), by 7:36 we were outside calling our transportation to let them know we were ready for them. I had scheduled them for 8:30 as I wasn't sure how long it would take us and even they were surprised at how fast we got off the boat! Thanks Puerto Rico Green Transportation for everything!
The one bad experience we did have - the young lady taking our group (4 of us) to the gangway left us behind as my husband was on a cane and couldn't walk as fast as she was. She and the other couple disappeared and we had to ask directions from other crew. When we got to the gateway she was still there and apologized and said she was coming back to get us. Don't know how she would have found us, we'd already taken two wrong turns by that time. NOT COOL.
We didn't see any shows, play in the casino, or use the pools. We both came down with a head/chest child about halfway through the cruise so taking our Kindles up on deck to read was about as out and about as we got. Ports were beautiful, most had shopping near the ship.
Very, very nice cruise. And the ship staff deserve a lot of praise. Thanks, Ricardo, for providing a first-class experience. The ship is to be refurbished in the spring, excited to see what changes that brings, excited to be back on board as soon as possible!