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Norwegian Jewel, Part II

Editor's note: This story is from the Cruise Critic Archives. Content was up to date at time of publication.

Still curious about NCL's Norwegian Jewel? The 92,000-ton, 2,400-passenger vessel is a sibling to NCL's Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, but features some intriguing elements of its own. Among the 13 bars and lounges; the fabulous new Garden suites and accompanying courtyard, complete with private pool and whirlpool; and a whole host of restaurants oriented to Freestyle Dining, our favorite images include the following.

The Java Cafe is a sleek yet whimsical coffee bar in the center of the atrium -- the hub of the ship, really -- and it's a perfect place for people-watching.
Chin Chin incorporates Norwegian Jewel's Asian eatery along with its sushi bar and Teppanyaki restaurant.
Garden and courtyard villas are not only among the ship's nicest -- they also come with the fantastic perk of a private, er, courtyard with a pool and whirlpool. It's a gorgeous and intimate space that feels more like something out of Miami Beach's Delano than a big ship cruise vessel. Note the vaguely Asian decor; one of the best spots is the Balinese bed that lies at one end of the pool.
And there's more! On the deck above, ringing the courtyard pool area, is a series of wide loungers that are covered with flowing fabrics. Bar service is available. Like the pool area below, it's open only to residents of the garden and courtyard villas.
One of our favorite restaurants, at least decor-wise, was Mama's Italian Kitchen. It's decorated to resemble a rustic Tuscan eatery and serves traditional Italian fare. There's no cover charge.
Tucked away poolside, on the main pool deck, is the Sapphire Kid's Pool; it's adjacent as well to the Splashdown Kid's Club.
The Garden Cafe, the ship's buffet venue, is airy and low-key and spans the space between the Sapphire Pool and The Great Outdoors, which is basically an outdoor extension of the eatery.
The Kid's Cafe, located in a corner of the Garden Cafe, is an NCL classic -- it features a kid-size buffet station and a host of mini-sized tables and chairs. We've heard that even adults find the fare -- chicken fingers, little pizzas, hot dogs, French fries and grilled cheese -- tantalizing on occasion.
The neatest thing about Magnum's Champagne & Wine Bar, part of the ship's innovative Bar City concept, is the way that the glass-enclosed counter features percolating pink bubbles.
Here's another perspective of the Sapphire Pool area.
For solitude, head to the Bora Bora Health Spa's thalassotherapy pool and heated tile loungers.

Stay tuned for Cruise Critic's updated sneak preview of Norwegian Jewel, coming Tuesday, September 20.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor

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