The Star of our Cruise

2010-04-14 Grand Cayman Cayman Islands - Joys (132) - beach club view of the Jewel of the Seas Who was the star of the cruise?  Maybe Sabrina the female soloist or Ryan the male soloist?  Dazzling performers, both of them.  Perhaps it was Tamara or one of the other Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers?  It might be Louie, the man who made me awesome omelets every morning. 

No, the answer must be the ship herself, Jewel of the  Seas.  With about 2400 passengers, she is the perfect scale affording a balance between intimacy and ease of onboard navigation with being big enough to provide great onboard entertainment. 

2010-04-09 Third Full Day at Sea (3) - Seaview CafeOur waiter was new in his position and he is still working out some kinks.  The cuisine was a bit uneven ranging from poorly prepared sirloin to exquisitely prepared steak oscar (steak with a Béarnaise sauce and crab meat on top).  The Windjammer continued to impress with a great breakfast and King of the Skillet, Louie.  The service in the main dining room is better than a typical American steak house.  But ‘burghers should not expect service rivaling Mt. Washington restaurants.  After a friendly chat while Louie fixed my first omelet, I never had to order my omelet again.  He started it while I was standing in line.  On the last day he was assigned a different station.  He left that station and went to the omelet station so that he could make my omelet.  If only I could afford a personal chef, Louie you would be first in line.

2010-04-07 Jewel of the Seas (2)

We enjoyed our own balcony, but equally enjoyed the Solarium and “our” table at dead center astern the ship.  The sound of sea slap against the hull is very similar to the soothing sound of waves at the beach.  Watching the varied hues of the water as the Jewel’s twin screws pull in air and push us forward is like watching flames in a fireplace.  Very peace inducing.

On past cruises we tended to hang out in the Centrum and watch folks dance.  The music was subpar on this cruise so we didn’t spend much time doing that.  Last night, we asked them to play “Perhaps, Perhaps” so we could rumba.  That seemed to get them going on a Latin theme.  Frankly, the Trio sounded much better singing Latin dance music than their usual Anglo repertoire.  You’d have had a good laugh watching me have a go at the cha-cha.

2010 04 06 Jewel of the Seas Towel Art Leevan did well at keeping our room neat and produced the requisite Royal Caribbean towel art.  His greatest service was always having an upbeat attitude and a friendly smile.

Like the Royal Caribbean excursions, we have not previously taken advantage of the onboard entertainment to any great degree.  This cruise was different.  I have wanted to attend a Tango show since talking with two patrons of our California cafe who put on Tango shows.  Tango Buenos Aires (Day 2) was a great show.  I’m pretty sure they used those Disney mechanical people, though.  If a human kicked their leg that high their body would split in two.  And a human knee does not allow one to spin one’s lower leg around like a string from one’s fingers.  Someone named the androids Dario and Sabrina.  A great way to end a day at sea.

The next show was City of Dreams (Day 8).  the Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers performed well.  I was especially impressed by the technical work of the lights, sound, and stage sets.  The orchestration of the technical side was quite elaborate for such a small facility.  As disappointing as Puerto Limon had been, the show certainly made up for it and more.

After a great day at sea we watched The Legends of Motown and More – performed by the Horizon trio (Day 9).  These guys were good singers, but excelled in the choreography of their dancing and shtick.  The place was packed with laughing, clapping, and singing along fans.

West End to Broadway – a Contemporary Tribute to Musical Theater (Day 10) was the show after our day in Grand Cayman.  Don’t worry Mom.  I didn’t sing out loud.  (Maybe softly, but not loud.)  The second male lead singer, Dan, was back from a wedding.  He looked a bit like Michael Buble and sang a bit like him as well.  Talent plus Broadway show tunes.  How can one go wrong with that, eh?

2010-04-15 Jewel of the Seas Fifth Sea Day - backstage tour (11) On our last full day, we took a two hour backstage tour which helped us understand the hard work involved in making all of the quick costume changes.  The musicians and technicians also only get a couple of hours to practice with the special talents brought on board to perform.  The musicians have to be very good at sight reading music.  They don’t even have a chance to play any entire song all the way through before they are performing it on stage.  The guy who played keyboard must have been a genius because he certainly had some challenging bits to play even if he had all the rehearsal time in the world.

2010-04-15 Portofino desserts - Joys We then had dinner at Portofino instead of Main Dining.  We had made such good friends with the folks at our table that we decided to have a special night together at Portofino.  The service and entre were very good.  The antipasti were much appreciated.  The milk and white chocolate covered strawberries on a platter with Italian candies were over the top.  The star was the young Italian waiter who required little coaxing to sing along with the Bocelli tunes played over the restaurant PA.  Very cute.  Ladies were swooning.

Congratulations, Captain Stig Nilsen.  Not only do you sound like a cool guy based on your Q&A but you run a great ship.  A Jewel indeed.

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