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Sunday, April 7, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 6] St. Vincent

On Day 6, we docked in Kingstown, St. Vincent. We did not have an excursion booked, but Aaron and I had read that we could take a water taxi to Villa Beach.


St. Vincent is another port that we visited for the first time on this cruise. Since we've done so many Caribbean cruises over the years, it's rare that we visit a new port of call, which is why this Southern Caribbean itinerary was interesting to us - three new ports of call!

Monday, March 25, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 5] Tobago

On Day 5, we docked in Scarborough, Tobago. Today, we had an excursion planned that Stove booked through Viator - Tobago Bucco Reef Glass Bottom Boat Tour.


I asked Aaron if he wanted to go up to the Windjammer to get breakfast before we left the ship, but he said he wasn't really hungry. Big mistake. We should've gotten breakfast.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 4] Trinidad

On Day 4 of our Southern Caribbean Cruise on Jewel of the Seas, we docked in Port of Spain, Trinidad.



We ate breakfast in the main dining room this morning. The host recognized Stove and seated us at our own table of six. Throughout breakfast, several different dining room managers came over to our table to ask us how we liked our table last night. I'm not sure what Stove said or did to get this celebrity treatment, but I'm not sure I want to know.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 3] Barbados

On Christmas morning, we docked in Bridgetown, Barbados. We had made plans to meet for breakfast in the main dining room at 9AM, but discovered that morning that the dining room closed at 9AM. Judy and Stove "just happened" to be ready early and went to the MDR for breakfast. The rest of us headed up to the Windjammer.


While I wish there was more variety, there were some decent breakfast options in the Windjammer. I liked the breakfast hash and omelets (if the line isn't too crazy).

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 2] Christmas Eve at Sea

On Christmas Eve, we woke up to a surprise from Judy!

Judy and Stove used these magnetic dry erase boards to leave messages to Stove's siblings on their New England cruise on NCL in September. NCL has a no door decorations rule (loosely enforced), and one of his sisters was actually told that she had to remove the whiteboard from her door. Royal Caribbean allows door decorations, so no issues here!

I brought Christmas stockings from Amazon for our doors that Aaron and I hung up with magnetic hooks.


We met for breakfast in the dining room. They seat breakfast on the 4th floor (lower level) of the dining room.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Jewel of the Seas - [Day 1] Embarkation in San Juan

The interesting thing about Embarkation in San Juan is that it was very late. I believe the earliest possible check-in time was 12:30 PM. Aaron and I, as well as Stove and Judy had a 1:30 PM port arrival time. Rachel and Landon waited until like two weeks before the cruise, so they had a 3:30 PM check-in time. Rachel and I briefly looked into getting The Key, but it didn't seem like that great of a value, and we couldn't book it for six guest by the time we looked into it, anyway.

We had a 2PM checkout time at Aloft, so we weren't in a hurry to get up and get ready. Except for Landon who was stir crazy and I guess hungry... so he and Rachel set out on a mile walk to get a bagel, while Aaron and I stayed in the room and watched a totally unhinged adaptation of A Christmas Carol on BET (you know I had to look it up.... it's Christmas Deja Vu).


Also, our bag finally arrived! That morning, I got the notification on the Delta app that our suitcase had arrived. I checked the AirTag which confirmed. It took a few hours after that for our bag to make it to the hotel. Stove was out and about, so he volunteered to hunt it down. It wasn't at the front desk, but he's persistent... he walked around and found a room marked "Luggage Room," went inside and took the bag. Then an hour later, we got a call to the room from the front desk saying that they had my bag.... 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Christmas Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - Cruise Review

Ahoy! I'm here with another cruise review!

If you're a longtime follower of the blog, you probably know that it is Shinglebell family tradition to cruise over Christmas. In 2020, my sister Rachel and I started alternating Christmases with our boyfriends' families, and we went on our first cruise as the Shinglebells + Boys on the NCL Encore in 2021. Last year, I spent Christmas with Aaron and his parents at sea on the Celebrity Summit. Which means....

It's a Shinglebells Christmas cruising year!

Jewel of the Seas

In case you're new to my trip reports or just need a little refresher, meet the Shinglebells:

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Cruising

It's the holiday season! Many associate the Christmas holiday with cozying up by the fire, but for me, there's no better way to spend Christmas Day than in a tropical location (as the late Jimmy Buffet sang, hang your stocking on a coconut tree). My family, a.k.a. the Shinglebells, set sail on our first Christmas Cruise in 2009 (when I was 18, and my sister, Rachel, was 16 years old), and we had such a wonderful experience that we have cruised over Christmas every year since (with the exception of 2020 for obvious reasons).

Over the past (almost) fifteen years of Christmas Cruising, we've spent the holiday on five different cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, and Celebrity), on small and large ships (ranging in size from the 670-passenger Pacific Princess to the mega-ship Harmony of the Seas) to a variety of warm-weather ports of call. There's nowhere I'd rather spend the Christmas holiday than out at sea. I hope that I can share my experiences so that you can determine if cruising over the holiday would be a good fit for your family!

Shinglebells Christmas on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, 2011

I've cruised over Christmas for nearly half of my life, so cruising definitely feels like Christmas to me. However, whether or not it would feel like Christmas on a cruise ship was a question that we had before our first Christmas Cruise. Each cruise lines celebrate the holiday differently, but all cruise lines that I've sailed on over Christmas have decorated the ship and include special holiday programming.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Disney Fantasy New Year's Cruise - Rating & Review

Sailing on Disney Cruise Line over the holidays has always been a dream of mine, but I didn't expect it to become a reality anytime soon due to the popularity of DCL and the astronomical holiday prices. However, we lucked out with a discounted Cast Member fare which actually made the Disney Fantasy our most affordable option over New Year's. I really wish that they had left the Christmas decorations up for the week, but I understand that they have to schedule decoration removal based on the availability of the shoreside teams. Maybe one day I'll get to go on a Merrytime Cruise and experience the ship's Christmas decor!

I first sailed on the Disney Fantasy in 2014, so it was interesting to see how the cruise compares nearly a decade later.

The rating system is based on ten components of a cruise vacation which I find important - itinerary, ship novelties, pools, activities, dining, bars and lounges, service, design and aesthetics, and stateroom.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Disney Fantasy New Year's Cruise - Glad I Did/Wish I Did

Glad I Did/Wish I Did posts are a fun way for me to quickly share with others what worked and what didn't. It's been really helpful for us to refer back to over the years when preparing for our next cruise.

Glad I decorated our Stateroom Doors

Door decorations are very popular on Disney Cruise Line, and I'm always glad to partake. In the past, I've printed the door decorations onto magnetic sheets. This time, I made the door decorations out of metallic cardstock because I wanted Mickey's hat and shorts to be shiny and festive for New Year's. To magnetize them, I used super strong Neodymium magnets that I stuck to the paper with double-sided removable glue dots which ended up sticking to the door much better than the magnetic sheets. Because I went with fancy paper, I wouldn't say this is a cheaper way of making magnets than with the magnetic sheets, but at least this way I can reuse the magnets for our next cruise door decor.