Day 1, Thursday January 12, Board Jewel of the Sea

Trip Start Jan 10, 2012
Trip End Jan 16, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, January 12, 2012

When I rose about 6:30 the news was talking about heavy fog in the
area. In the morning I did final work on the internet and finalized the
things to come with me on the ship, packing the rest for the trip home
Monday, and took a walk to a local store for a bit of last minute
shopping. I left the hotel a little about 11:30 for the 20-minute drive
to the pier. While the documents said "arrive no earlier than 1:30"
checkin went quickly and I was on board for my second RCI cruise about
I found that in at least one aspect the Jewel is the exact opposite of
the Enchantment. The Jewel Windjammer is aft here with a covered open
section of tables on the stern. The outdoor aft tables were a very
pleasant place, although I also enjoyed the Enchantment's forward views,
especially when it pulled into San Juan. Each has it's advantages and
I'm glad we have choices.
It was back down to deck 2 soon after the rooms 1PM opening. While my
checked bags did not arrive until 3:45 it was great to get the stuff in
my carryon put away and spend a bit of time exploring the ship.
The Jewel has a number of things I did not see on Enchantment including
a miniature golf course, small waterslide as well as Portofino Italian
restaurant. We had a Cruise Critic get together at 3 in at the Sky bar with probably 20 people attending.

My stateroom attendant Roland came by and introduced himself about 3:30 and briefed me on the coming muster drill. The drill was held outside on deck 5 and lasted about 15 minutes.  Life jackets were not required for the drill although the staff demonstrated how to properly don them.  We dropped our lines promptly at 4:30 and made our way South towards Tampa Bay.  The cruise terminal sits on a narrow inlet into the heart of Tampa.  There is a museum ship and a lot of dry dock activity of interest but also a lot of fuel depots and dredging facilities making the sail out less than ideal.  Captain James noted we would be passing under the Skyway Bridge about 6:45.  I was at dinner at the time but will try to be up in time to see it on the return.

I am at a 6-person table for early dinner, and tonight 4 of us were present.  I enjoyed a steak and blueberry and peach cobbler.  There was one familiar face among the crew.  Carly Boileau is the cruise director, and she held that position when I was on the Enchantment in May.  There was 1 welcome aboard show at 7:45.  Despite just 1 show, there was plenty of seating available in the Coral Theater.  Carly introduced the Activities Manager Betty and the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers performed one number.  The featured act was comedian David Orion.

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