How was your experience?
I was pleasantly surprised, after reading last year's reviews, I went on this trip with very low expectations. For all the folks that bought standing room only tickets, there was really quite a good deal of space on the upper deck, there were a few seats and tables, but definitely not enough to ensure everyone would have a seat. There were 2 bars, upstairs and in the dining area. I'll say that though it would have been nice to have a guaranteed seat, I wouldn't have wanted to be stuck in the dining area as the music there was too loud, and being on the upper deck was just too nice - fresh air, quieter and 'real-life" views. Didn't get to partake in any of the buffet since we secured great standing spots on the upper deck and didn't want to risk losing them. The fireworks were just phenomenal (be aware, when you get on the ship, though you travel there bough-first, they back in with the stern for the fireworks, so position yourself accordingly). One gripe - time posted indicates 6 pm boarding, 7 pm disembarking. We got to the pier at 6:33, there were TONS of other people waiting for their ships as well, we couldn't figure out where they were boarding for The Jewel, so when we asked staff they told us they were already done boarding, they were about to leave, IT WAS ONLY 6:33!! The person we spoke to on the staff at the gate walkie-talkied the ship to let them know they still had 2 more member to board (us). We just made it, but then the boat left port at 6:45 pm. I think the posted timing needs to be adhered to, I would have been really upset if we would have missed this trip.