Friday, June 21, 2013

Jewel of the Seas - Fabulous!

Jewel in Key West Poster
Jewel of the Seas in Key West

We recently had the pleasure of spending a few days on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas.  It was a long overdue respite from ... well, stuff.

And what a pleasure it was!  She's a beautiful ship, from bow to stern, with a fabulous crew.   (I couldn't say enough good things about the crew, even if I tried!)

It was our first time on the Jewel, but not our first cruise on a Radiance class ship.  We'd previously cruised on a couple of her sisters, Radiance and Serenade.  That particular class of ships is something special.

After our sailing, the Jewel left the Port of Tampa for a new home in San Juan, and I know she'll be missed.

Late this year, the Brilliance of the Seas will be moving to Tampa to take over the same itinerary.  Odds are, we'll be sailing on that ship, too.  Tampa's an easy port to sail out from.  Not quite as easy for us as Port Canaveral, but a LOT more stress free than either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, both of which are quite crowded, resulting in a much longer boarding and disembarkation process.  And RCL's choices of itineraries from there include 5 night cruises, which are the perfect compromise between a weekender and a week long voyage.

So, if you're looking for a short, but not too terribly short, cruise out of a less crowded port that's easier to navigate, on a beautiful ship that's not a behemoth, you might want to consider the Brilliance when she begins sailing from the only cruise port on Florida's west coast, beginning in November of 2013.