A brand new “Jewel” comes to Fort Lauderdale

“Jewel of the Seas comes to Florida for the Winter”

By Phyllis Steinberg

Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Jewel of the Seas, arrived in Fort Lauderdale after taking guests on Scandinavia/Russia and BritishIsles/ Norwegian Fjord cruises. The ship made its debut in May, 2004, in Europe and will be spending the winter with a season of eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale.
1a. several stories high atrium on the ship
several stories high atrium on the ship

Jewel of the Seas, a 2,112 guest cruise ship has 13 passenger decks with many of the amenities that cruise passengers have come to expect and many innovative nuances that will delight them. The ship sparkles with acres of exterior glass, with ocean-facing elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows in most public areas. It has pool tables with automatic leveling capacities so that the pool balls stay in place even if there are rough seas.

Families will love the children’s programs and the large amount of space devoted to the children’s programs. There are separate programs for different age group and the children’s area has computers, video games, a dance floor and its own pool area just for kids. There are counselors for each age group. Parents are sure to love the temporary respite from the children with such an inviting children’s program.

As for the adults, the ship has two specialty dining rooms in addition to the main dining room. There is the Chops Grille Steakhouse where I enjoyed a wonderful meal. I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass to see how fish was prepared in a steak house and I found it to be cooked to perfection. And when it came to desert, I had to take a picture of my Mud Pie, so many calories, but oh so good!

The other specialty restaurant is Portofino and its serves up gourmet Italian food in a wonderful setting.

These are not the only options for dining on the ship. The ship has six dining venues, the Windjammer Café offers casual, buffet dining with a large selection of international fare. The are salad stations, sandwich stations, pasta, Japanese and deli stations. There is also the Solarium Café which serves pizza and snacks and the Seaview Café featuring fish and chips and popcorn shrimp.

But there is certainly more to do than eat aboard this Jewel of a ship. There is a fitness area with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and treadmills that face the ocean. There is a spa, where you can get pampered in style and the two-deck Coral Theater which presents Broadway-type entertainment.

The ship also has many public rooms including disco, a casino featuring all the games of chance, a Fuel Teen nightclub, a library and even a movie theater.

I didn’t get a chance to sail on the ship as yet, so I can’t report how the service is, but the ship sparkles with class. I’m told the art collection is valued at $5.3 million. Paintings, sculptures, textiles and ceramics can be seen throughout the ship.

If you are thinking of taking a cruise to the Caribbean this winter, the new Jewel appears to be a safe bet for winter time cruising fun.

Check it out on the company’s website at: www.royalcaribbean.com or call 800-327-6700.

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