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Jewel of the Seas March 9 2020 when coronavirus affects but not infects your cruise- review


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March 15 continued

 

We headed toward the metro and it was busy so we split into the female/ kid car. Part way through my husband called me over to ask about going to Wild Waldi which was showing open on line. I agreed because I knew the beach was also near by and the souk from the Juremiah hotels.

 

We made a quick exit on the metro and got a cab the rest of the way to the park- which was open!!!!!

 

We needed everything so we dropped $500 on bathing suits, water shoes, a towel and sunscreen. Should have brought the bag or bought at the mall....

 

They were nice enough to let us enter early while my husband bought the tickets so I could make sure they had suits to fit us. We arrived at 1pm and by 1:30pm we were dressed and ready to salvage our day.

 

 

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The view as you enter

 

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New suit and near entrance and changing rooms- they had showers too

 

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My tshirt style suit- with a skirt/shorts or a full surfer style was my choices- this is a conservative country so no bikinis were sold here (they were in the mall)

 

We headed in and the kids played in the wave area while we hid our stuff and used the Ferrari bag to hold our stuff- we didn’t bother with a locker because crime here isn’t really a big thing

 

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Yeah!

 

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This place is amazing!

 

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Water play area and my fancy new suit

 

Items stashed we headed for the first water slide- a coaster style that took us up the hill. There were several stops with workers their to guide you through with two to three options on each of the three or four stop so we could have rode this multiple times and we would have if... it ended in a lazy river. We headed to the next slide and after a few minutes wait it closed. We couldn’t figure out what was going on up there. Oh well ... we headed down and came across a section of the one we just did so we went to get in and they worked stopped me from grabbing a tube.

 

“We are closing at 2pm”!

 

Wait! What?. *insert four letter word here

 

 

By order of the UAE government they were required to shut down immediately. It was a mess with people stopping every employee and all workers running people out of the water and play areas. For the next few minutes it was whistle city, as confused people were told to exit the slides, water parks, and wave pools and that they were closed. I told my husband we needed to hurry because I needed to argue over returning the bathing suits and the line would be long with people trying to get refunds.

 

We made it to the dressing rooms and got one of the last rooms - I was even able to shower off my daughters blond hair quickly- it will turn green otherwise- and we were one of the first out.

 

A manager was at the entrance area directing people to the front for refunds. Then I told him about our swimsuit debacle- he returned a few minutes later with bad news and a higher up manager. They would not give us money on the suits, after more complaining and negotiating, they gave us four free towels (maybe 25% of what we spent), the ticket refund and free tickets for a future visit- which is almost worthless as I doubt we will be back anytime soon. He did promise he would add his name to the ticket so it would extend the expiration- I’ll believe it when I see it and we are still waiting for the email with the tickets...

 

The good news is we were able to bypass the gigantic line which was now 100 people deep so we were out before 3pm with the clothing changes. We decided to walk over to the souk and check it out.

 

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The entrance to the 7 star hotel was out front and many tourist were being dropped off for a quick photo stop- so we got a quick one too on our way over.

 

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Even many areas of this area were closed and we accidentally went into a closed area and to avoid walking all the way around we had go under some barriers.

 

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Open area

 

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No people on this side

 

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The gate was open but closed on the other side... oops

 

 

They were doing construction so we had to walk around the entrance to the souk.

 

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It was nice inside but all the same stuff I have seen plus, without the local flavor. It felt very tourist to me and several flags passed us with groups of people on a bus tour.

 

We explored some, but we weren’t impressed. Now to stay here I think it would be nice. It was a fancy resort with nice restaurants and some reasonably priced considering it was water seating and attached to a 5 star hotel, but I don’t visit a country to feel like I am anywhere. I had the same feeling here that I got at a nice Marriott in Palm Springs. It was great, but didn’t feel like Dubai.

 

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Walk along the water- where you could take a boat- we opted not to as we decided we would hit the marina. We had seen enough.

 

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Another shop in the mall

 

We caught a cab to the marina mall out front. We knew we would be leaving tomorrow so we weren’t hoarding our cash anymore.

 

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Cab selfie- we liked the purple seats

 

I love the malls!!!!

 

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Yes that is a Starbucks but we refrained. The picture doesn’t do justice to how pretty the night sky decorations were.

 

The mall shops were open and the food, but the movie theatre was closed.

 

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Area by the water with many food trucks

 

The kids were “starving” and I had already put them off with a snack from my purse- I always carry a few- so we headed to the food court for ...

 

McDonalds. The patio view was nice and we had a similar view to the five star restaurants across the way...

 

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View from the patio waiting for food

 

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I had a nacho burger and I love spicy so this is my favorite McDonald’s burger from anywhere. Fries always taste the same.

 

Now we were full and ready to explore the area.

 

 

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Still reading and enjoying your review. It's nice to have another update to look forward to at the moment while we are stuck at home.

So sorry that your time at Wild Wadi was cut so short, we love it there too. We've stayed at Jumeriah Beach hotel (the wave shaped one) a few times and it has unlimited access into the park from a gate by their pool area. It's a great perk of the hotel.

 

 

 

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Still reading and enjoying your review. It's nice to have another update to look forward to at the moment while we are stuck at home.
So sorry that your time at Wild Wadi was cut so short, we love it there too. We've stayed at Jumeriah Beach hotel (the wave shaped one) a few times and it has unlimited access into the park from a gate by their pool area. It's a great perk of the hotel.
 
 
 


I looked seriously into staying here, Jeremiah Beach, and another Jeremiah property on the Palm. We ended up booking an AirBNB overlooking the fountains because ( a row or two back, the ones right on the water were gone or $$$$ when we booked) because that was what my husband really wanted. He isn’t a lay on the beach person and the apartment had a nice pool. But when the price of this cruise went down we cancelled the apartment (one day before cancellation penalties would have started) and booked a b2b. For the same money we upgraded to a suite one week and got the cruise, with food, for the week In-N-Out connecting ocean views. For us, that is a huge savings because we are feeding four. That is why I like cruises so much, I know how much it will cost upfront and expenses like food are minimal.




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What a nice family you are. Your photos are fabulous. Hope you guys are doing alright. How long is your trip? What kind of cabin did you get? Did you take any other tours? I was in Abu-Dhabi and Dubai in 2010, in May. It was super hot, +47C . We could really walk around in the afternoon. We basically were only visiting the local malls. Burj Halifa was amazing

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March 15 continued

 

Off to explore the marina we headed across the bridge and down the elevator. We walked along the waterfront and my husband investigated how to get to the beach. We had decided we would take the ferry back from here ( we passed it and reconsulted the schedule). It was about 5pm now because they had a Palm ferry getting ready to leave and they were trying to get people to come.

 

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View of marina- I think this was from the bridge

 

We instead took the walkway up and then across the water heading toward the beach. There was a lot of construction so we held the kids hands and walked single file as it was very busy with cars and construction workers.

 

After about a 10 min walk we made it to the beach.

 

There wasn’t any dressing rooms that we could see, but we found a quiet corner by the closed water play area (Coronavirus closure) and used our towels to make a dressing room for the kids. We adults didn’t bother to change.

 

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Having fun

 

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Selfie as I sat in the beach- you can see the Ferrari car bag came in handy

 

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View of the beach. I saw people in Speedo’s and half naked bikinis all the way to full burkas on the beach.

 

This was really nice and while the water was a hair to cold for me that didn’t stop the kids.

 

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The two heads in the water are my kids

 

I enjoyed this stop and we both wished we went here first and saved ourselves the headache of the closed water park. Hindsight is 20/20 though and it was closing in on 6 so we gathered the kids and went over to the makeshift dressing area, pausing briefly at the foot showers to rinse off all the sand.

 

Someone had a water bottle and was using it to rinse the rest of him off- smart! He helped our kids get some of the sand off their feet.

 

We hurried back to the marina area and we were hoofing it to make sure we got there on time. This walk was the only time we saw the famous Dubai cars that I hear are driving around everywhere. Two cars, a grey and another yellow, I think one was a Ferrari but I couldn’t tell you the other, were passing by and the engines were roaring like crazy. My son was all excited over the “race cars” on the road. We weren’t fast enough to get a good picture, but here is a bad picture.

 

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If you zoom in behind the people at the crosswalk- that is one of the cars

 

We saw other nice cars around here and I think it is because this is where people who work here live. Someone I work with has a brother that lives in Dubai and he lives in this area.

 

We decided we really liked this area. I understand why people live here because you have all the amenities you need to live, with some extra perks like a close beach and pubic transportation near by. (The metro doesn’t come out here but we did pass the tram that takes you to the metro).

 

We strolled up to the ferry to purchase our tickets (25 aed a piece) using our silver cards. Since we didn’t have enough cash on them we tried to add value and they wouldn’t accept it. She gave my husband directions back toward the mall where he could top it off, but she couldn’t do it there. I find things like this annoying, why have a booth and accept the card if you can’t add money!???

 

I stayed with the kids and my husband headed off quickly to load the cards. We didn’t want to be stuck with about $40 in credits. Luckily we were there at 6:10pm and we had until 6:30pm. He had loaded the cards and made it back by 6:20pm.

 

They had opened the ferry at 6:15pm so with tickets now in hand we entered. Others had already boarded so we couldn’t find two empty rows together so I took my son and he took my daughter and we were separated by a row. We were all thirsty so daddy got a coffee and he also bought two waters for the kids. They made themselves comfortable and watched the marina pass by.

 

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The bright colored bag is a travel bag I carry with me. It was great for carrying the towels and I have used it as a grocery bag and to carry large purchases on vacation. It folds up small so I keep it with me for occasions like this. It came free with a purchase at Samsonite, the luggage store.

 

We weren’t allowed outside while the ferry left the dock, but someone came by and announced when we could go outside. They required the kids where a life-vest outside.

 

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It was sunset so a pretty time to catch the ferry

 

My only complaint is the ferry takes a long time. It makes one other stop closer to town and that takes an hour and to go all the way to the creek is two hours. We boarded at 6:30pm and we made it back to the creek at just before 8:30pm. Though to be fair it would have taken over an hour to ride the tram to the metro, too. So using it as transportation was a bonus, but the real draw is the water trip itself.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bearette said:

 


I looked seriously into staying here, Jeremiah Beach, and another Jeremiah property on the Palm. We ended up booking an AirBNB overlooking the fountains because ( a row or two back, the ones right on the water were gone or $$$$ when we booked) because that was what my husband really wanted. He isn’t a lay on the beach person and the apartment had a nice pool. But when the price of this cruise went down we cancelled the apartment (one day before cancellation penalties would have started) and booked a b2b. For the same money we upgraded to a suite one week and got the cruise, with food, for the week In-N-Out connecting ocean views. For us, that is a huge savings because we are feeding four. That is why I like cruises so much, I know how much it will cost upfront and expenses like food are minimal.




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In the summer months (when the temps in Dubai are very hot, 40 plus deg) the Jumeriah hotels and many others do a deal where you get free half board in any of their restaurants. The Jumeriah hotels offer most of their restaurants in all the hotels (not the Burj) and all the restaurants in the Madinat souk, it's a great deal. My birthday is in August (and I like hot weather) so it's something we've done a couple of times.

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1 hour ago, Roger88 said:

What a nice family you are. Your photos are fabulous. Hope you guys are doing alright. How long is your trip? What kind of cabin did you get? Did you take any other tours? I was in Abu-Dhabi and Dubai in 2010, in May. It was super hot, +47C . We could really walk around in the afternoon. We basically were only visiting the local malls. Burj Halifa was amazing

Thanks for the cruise see had two connecting OV rooms on deck 3,  3578 and 3580.  We loved the location. This cruise was the first time we had two rooms and it was amazing. We got lucky and our side, port, had a city view while in Dubai. We were supposed to be gone just over two weeks, but we were gone just over a week because of coronavirus. Almost done with the review.

 

22 minutes ago, kernow said:

In the summer months (when the temps in Dubai are very hot, 40 plus deg) the Jumeriah hotels and many others do a deal where you get free half board in any of their restaurants. The Jumeriah hotels offer most of their restaurants in all the hotels (not the Burj) and all the restaurants in the Madinat souk, it's a great deal. My birthday is in August (and I like hot weather) so it's something we've done a couple of times.

They offered this in March too! It must have been low bookings, that's why we almost did it.  We thought the beach/pool would be wasted on my husband, but we did talk about doing two or three days and then the rest of the week by the fountains. Maybe when $$$ is no object... They wanted a a lot for the kids.

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March 15th evening continued

 

As I said this was a two hour trip so we stood outside for a while and got a ton of pictures.

 

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It took about 30 minutes to get up toward the Palm

 

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One of the Palm Resorts

 

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Atlantis

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We were getting cold and tired so we went inside. Since everyone was outside we found two rows next to each other and settled in. The kids went to sleep pretty quickly and we watched the onboard video on loop for a while before sending messages to family back home, as it was now morning time fo my family. We talked and just watched the city pass us by.

 

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No waking her up

 

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Tired boy and mommy in the reflection

 

Those were the only onboard pictures and by then I was photographed out so not taking anymore, even when we got to the Burj Khalifa.

 

 

We caught another Uber from the metro- low on cash now and it was about 8:45pm when we got back as the ship docked a few minutes earlier then 8:40pm.

 

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Our kids window - they left their ships they colored in the window so we could tell it was ours.

 

We decided to give the kids an hour in the kids club so my husband went to drop them off while I dropped off our purchases- though they helped with that too as we passed our room.

 

While out and about on the ferry, we got an email that said we could get a cash refund for our cancelled cruise at 100% value or we could get 125% in FCC (cruise credit). Originally we thought with the uncertainty we wouldn’t book a future cruise on board, but with the extra credit we were tempted. Since we wanted to take the credit we decided we would sweeten the deal with the booking on board. With onboard credit we had from the RCCL credit card, and our cancelled shore excursion we would still be ahead in the refund from the port taxes and fees. Even leaving the tips in place because we stayed, we were still getting a refund so he met me at the future cruise desk while I checked on the onboard account because w head to leave before the 6am cutoff.

 

They asked that anyone leaving before 6am check out at the desk before so they could clear our account. Account cleared I headed to the future desk where luckily she was still there because she was working with another couple. We lucked out because she was supposed to be done at 8 or 8:30pm but she was still helping that couple so she was there. We were getting one of the cruises where we didn’t have to pick a specific one yet, but we have two months to select something to get the onboard credit or it just becomes deposit credit with no on board credit.

 

My husband was with the kids, because they had closed the kids club. I guess they used some sort of sanitation equipment so they wouldn’t allow the kids back in and closed early because no one else showed up. They gave the kids each an octopus toy for their trouble, which we now have several because they each tend to win one from previous cruises. But they were happy with the toys so we decided to take them to dinner. I took the kids quickly back to the room, as we were maybe ten rooms away and down the stairs from here to use the restroom and put their toys away.

 

By now it was about 9:15pm so I told hubby when we left I would meet him at the dining room, as it closed at 9:30pm.

 

The kids and I got a drink and some bread while we waited for daddy to finish. The waitress I think had had enough this week, and she was rushing me to order though I told her I was waiting for my husband. He still had 15 minutes, don’t rush me. She continued her amazing service- this is sarcastic- but the assistance waitress was very nice and made up for her banging the plates in front of me and not bringing the refills.

 

Five minutes later he showed up and she gave him a full minute to take our order, luckily he was ready. We ordered and enjoyed a decent dinner though rushed service and slow- food came fast but drinks were slow. My daughter ate her noodles but my son decided to sleep through dinner again. He woke up toward the end long enough to eat. But by then my husband had given up on getting a coffee, so he took my daughter back to the room and I stayed to let my son finish eating. They did bring the coffee so I enjoyed some and then brought my husband’s coffee back to the room.

 

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The dinner menu which I only have because I sent it to my husband to help order for him when the waitress got pushy.

 

Now it was time to pack so I will save you the ordeal as I got the kids ready for bed and packed. We weren’t in a rush because we couldn’t use the luggage service as we had to leave before disembarkation officially started at 6am. We finished about midnight and tucked ourselves in for a few minutes of sleep.

 

Tomorrow the airport... well technically today.

 

 

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March 16 Monday

 

We should have slept in and been doing a back to back, but instead we were heading home. [emoji17]

 

We got up in the dark and got ready to go. It took us about 40 min from the alarm going off to be ready to go. We strolled out of the ship around 5:40am and they had almost all of the bags off loaded. They came over to offer help, but we were good so waved them off. We exited the ship and port area( FYI, Dubai makes you go through screening when you enter as well as exit the port, so they scanned all the bags again.)

 

We headed outside and walked into the parking lot to call the Uber. It was a lot cheaper, only 55 aed. Check Uber before a cab because they are always 63-65 from the port because of the extra fee. He found us, but had to make a few turns in the parking lot first.

 

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Waiting for our ride

 

 

The Ubers in Dubai were always fancy cars and this was no exception, a Lexus. (We also had infinities and Mercedes according to our Uber history. Lexus was the most popular.).

 

We arrived in style and found our counter. I won’t bore you with all the airport details, but it wasn’t that busy, however, there was a 30 min wait for Turkish airlines because everyone flying with them had to leave today.

 

We hadn’t eaten because we were too early for breakfast on the ship so we headed over to the chocolate cafe for breakfast.

 

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Cappuccino for hubby and a chai tea for me- which was delicious, donuts for the kids and my husband and I spilt the croissant- it was stuffed with chocolate and I would venture to say it was as good if not better than any I had in France.

 

By the time we finished it was time to board. They didn’t start boarding until 8am for an 8:30am departure. We only had an hour layover so I thought for sure we were going to miss our flight home from Istanbul.

 

We arrived in Istanbul and the plane actually lands way away from the terminal in what can only be described as airplane parking. Busses came to get us, but since we were in the middle of the plane we missed the first two and had to wait outside. It was freezing and windy, luckily I had our jackets, but my daughter had a dress on so we gave her my husbands to warm her up and huddled close.

 

Once we got into the terminal we were surprised to have to go through a security check again (we didn’t have to arriving from LAX). Because we were in a hurry we went to the farthest security check down where the line was shorter, but in our luck we ended up with them closing the neighboring line and moving all of those people ahead of us. We had two people that didn’t know how security works and had to empty a laptop, phone, their belt and who knows what else that delayed us a lot. My husband finally complained and said we were going to miss our flight and we were able to skip one of the people being moved over.

 

It was now 12:15 for a 12:35 flight. We raced straight to the gate without stopping, of course it was across the new gigantic airport, but it was at least at gate one, though we had to take the escalators down. We made it, but only because they were late leaving, by about an hour. You need at least and hour and a half here- when we reticketed we commented on the short layover, but he assured us with kids they would wait for us. I had mentally prepared for $200 worth of visas and a hotel as they only have one flight a day to LAX.

 

FYI from here the US requires a second check and they went through our carryon bags again. They made me take the cover off the kids iPads- which took a minute because I had never taken them off before-so after we arrived it was still 20-30 minutes before the bus loaded to take us back out to a plane - remember airport parking.

 

Being last on the plane meant overhead bin space wasn’t near us, but the worst was kicking people out of our seats. Wait until the door closes before moving around on the plane! There was so many people doing this that the flight attendants were getting annoyed with people. I heard them get get gruff with a few people who wouldn’t just sit down in their own seat! They also were responsible for making the plane late. The only reason the people left our seats was because of the kids, I heard a few complain about not wanting to move until the word “kids” was thrown around. There was a couple with a toddler near us too and they had the same problem that people had stolen the seats. Wait until they close the door before moving around the plane please.

 

Several blissful hours later we were home and ready to accept our quarantine. ( not really but it was a comfy as you could get on a full

Plane)

 

IMG_6392.thumb.JPG.08795347fb88bcc802004f1da3edafbd.JPG

Raining and cold for our return to California

 

My final thoughts are:

 

Problems- traveling has issues and overall I thought the cruise line did right by us by advocating for us to use the ship as a hotel and giving us our money back. I read about an interrupted trip by NCL where they didn’t give refunds until later, so I thought RCCL did right by us.

 

Service: the dining room was hit and miss, but we had an excellent cabin steward. We even saw him on the way out as he was waiting for his flight home ( as most of you probably know they sent home much of the crew). The time we waited to talk to guest services and their was a line cutter and they handled it well, not allowing them to cut, but being respectful.

 

Food: subjective but we are happy. Some was better then others and of course the Chiefs Table was delicious, but there were a few things not to my taste. I recommend if you do it to look at the menu and ask for replacements for things you don’t like/ can’t eat as they were very accommodating. I enjoyed the buffet this trip because they had similar items, but rotated every day for variety. Breakfast was boring after a few days because the menu never changed, in all the venues.

 

Ship: I didn’t notice any maintenance issues. They were constantly cleaning because of the Coronavirus.

 

The windows allowed you to see out everywhere which made the ship prettier. I enjoyed riding the elevator because we always had a sea or centrum view. I liked this ship for a week, but I don’t think there was enough to do on a long trip, but honestly we barley used the ship as we spent a lot of time in the city. We had two and a half days of sea time and I felt we did it all. Though to be dare we didn’t do any of the shows.

 

 

Overall: Even with the issues I felt like I had a nice mini vacation. Though I do need a vacation from my vacation as it was pretty stressful at times. I liked the Jewel and for a ship in her size she was nice. If you like bars, they had a lot of themed bars, which we didn’t get to take advantage of because of the kids. If you have a drink package I think this ship would be good because the different bars would be fun to bar hop for the week.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading a review in these troubled times! I’ll answer any questions I can!

 

 

Hopefully you can set sail soon. Happy cruising!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

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Thanks for a great review, I really enjoyed it and will miss the daily updates. Glad you enjoyed it despite it being not at all what you expected. Can't believe it's only just over a month since we were there ourselves, how the world has changed in that time.

 

Looking forward to the day when this is all over and we can all cruise again.

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I thought I would be returning to work now, and I am, but online ( distance learning). Glad I gave some of you something to look forward to!

 

I hope others from February start doing reviews so we have others to read.

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting Trip Report .. certainly not a typical one we see on here.   We were on Jewel 3 yrs ago in the Caribbean.

 

I know others might disagree, but i did find this report way too heavy on the kid pics.   No need for them to be in almost every pic (IMO).  

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On 6/3/2020 at 1:12 AM, cruisequeen4ever said:

From one teacher who loves to travel to another, such a fun read; thank you! 

Glad you liked it! Seems like so long ago now.

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