My husband and I took a cruise on the Jewel 3/24 to 3/31. We had an amazing time! We our in our late 20s and this is our third cruise with NCL. We joined the forum on cruisecritic for our vacation week and began chatting with people we would be on vacation with. A sail-away party was planned through this forum for that Saturday at the sky high bar. That Saturday at the sail-away party we met a lot of really nice people and we had a lot of fun. It was a great way to meet people and make friends. It was nice running into them throughout the cruise.
Saturday, we were able to get onto the ship pretty early and we had a delicious lunch at Tsar's! The weather was cloudy and about 60 degrees.
Sunday, it was definitely much warmer. It was about in the 70s. We had a really nice time exploring the ship and enjoying the nice weather.
Monday, we went to Cape Canaveral. We had been reading the previous cruise critic reviews before our trip and learned that it was actually cheaper to just take a taxi to Cocoa Beach instead of paying for the NCL shuttle excursion. They were definitely right and there were plenty of taxis and they were very convinient. Cocoa Beach was extremely crowded and we didn't stay long. This could have been due to the fact that it was spring break for a lot of colleges. I'm sure normally it isn't quite that crowded. They have a bunch of bars on the pier there and they have a few seafood restaurants.
Tuesday, we went to the private island. We had been there before in March of 2006 on our first cruise. Back then, there wasn't much to GSC. At that time, it just looked like a bunch of un-maintained land with a small area cleared out for sand and palm trees. This time, I was really impressed. They really expanded the island and it looks much nicer. They have really nice beaches, a couple of bars, a bunch of straw markets and a buffet area. We heard really good things about the jet ski excursion on the private island.
Wednesday, we went to Nassau. We had been to Nassau in 2006 and we weren't big fans of it. We definitely wanted to take an excursion somewhere this time so we could go to a beach. I was reading another cruise critic review that someone had written about taking a taxi to Sandals. My husband and I went to a Sandals in Jamaica on our honeymoon last year and we loved it so we figured we would give this one a try. It was a great. We took a taxi there with another couple we had made friends with on the trip and the four of us got day passes there. A lot of other people on our trip went to Atlantis and we heard a lot of great reviews about that too.
Thursday was a sea day and we were slowly heading back to New York. It was still nice and warm though!
Friday it had gotten a little colder. I remember someone saying that we were equal North Carolina first thing that morning. Obviously, it got colder as the day went on. That day we were long jeans and fleeces.
Our favorite restaurant was Tsar's Palace. This was one of the main restaurants. It was beautiful and we ate breakfast there almost every morning. They had a great lunch too. They had an amazing cobb salad.
We had an anniversary dinner at Le Bistro which was great. They have a chocolate fondue for desert which was amazing.
We were excited to go to Moderno churrascuria because there is a churrascuria in NYC that we love. It didn't completely compare to the one in NYC but it was still really good.
Azura was the other main restaurant. It was nice. We went there a couple times. Azura and Tsar's usually had the same specials so we would just go to whichever one was less crowded. We never really had to wait long at all though.
Blue Lagoon was a nice place to eat especially after a night of drinking when you want some late night snacks. If you have cruised with NCL before, you probably remember Blue Lagoon as a very casual almost fast-food type restaurant. On the Jewel, it is slightly more formal because now it is a waiter served, sit down restaurant. Either way is fine to me though.
The buffet had a good selection. It always seemed a little loud and chaotic with all the people and the kids running around. We preferred the sit- down restaurants.
The service was great. The staff was really friendly. Our room attendant was friendly and always remembered our names.
There is a $12 per guest per day service charge, which is sort of a gratuity for the staff. There is also a 18% autogratuity for all bar drinks.
This was our first cruise with a balcony. We've sailed with NCL twice before, both in inside rooms so it was so nice to finally have a balcony. It was wonderful waking up and seeing our beautiful destinations.
The sky high bar was great during the day. We spend a lot of time up there. It is decorated like a hot air balloon. We also liked Fizz. They had events there such as karaoke night and rock night. The spinnaker, where they had a lot of shows, was also a really nice bar.
The comedy hyponosis show was absolutely hilarious! There is a family show and an adult show. We went to the adult show. The last night we went to the show called the liars club. It was pretty funny. Those were actually the only shows we went to though.
Anyways, we had an amazing vacation. We really enjoy cruising with NCL. I hope this review is helpful!