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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by gra2172: NCL Jewel Alaska Cruise 6/9-6/15 2012


gra2172
3 Reviews
Member Since 2011
570 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 3.0
Service 3.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.5

Compare Prices on Norwegian Jewel Alaska Cruises

NCL Jewel Alaska Cruise 6/9-6/15 2012

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle

We took the Jewel to Alaska 6/9-6/16 2012 and it was great!

Ill just jump right into it!

We arrived late. Actually my sister in law was the very last person on board. The staff was still very friendly and helpful after a stressful day of checking people in.
The fire drill was early, so we had to run around like crazy people. Im not too keen on that fire drill, but if you miss it you have to do a make up drill the next day.

Food: Food is subjective, I know. But for us, it was wonderful! There were very few items we didnt enjoy. On the Pride, everything was gluten free(onions, pickles, mayo.. everything was labeled gluten free)and tasted like it. On the Jewel, everything was full on real.

They had a chocolate buffet! Seriously! Go to it. This is something totally unique and you wont want to miss it. Even if just to look.
HOWEVER, the chocolate buffet replaces the regular buffet. There is no food available there during service. For food, you have More to go out to the rear buffet or a main restaurant. At this time, the rear buffet food is limited and packed full of people. Dont expect the usual choices, or a spectacular quality.

Cons: Buffet seating is pretty bad. I knew this beforehand thanks to CC, but theres no preparing for this. Seriously, there are times when there are exactly 0 seats. If its decent out, you can sit outside. In skagway, they actually closed the back buffet making things even worse.
They offer you seating at Mamas kitchen for breakfast, but I dont even consider that an option. I refuse to eat food from one restaurant in another. Thats just me. You can do it if you like.
I was asked why I dont consider this as an option. My answer? 1. Because Im eating at the Buffet, not Mamas. Therefore I expect to eat in the restaurant I chose. I dont have to be next to the buffet, just in the restaurant. 2. To get to mamas, you have to wade thru a sea of people waiting at the elevators who are not eating. Im not comfortable carrying my food thru a crowd.

The solution? this would probably be unpopular at first, but make the buffet like every other buffet in the world and put a hostess out at the busiest times. At least everyone gets a seat. I saw people eating off an empty buffet table one day! (It was the early risers buffet and was not in use)

The ship: Wonderful. Its clean and well kept and has a friendly crew. I saw a few scuffs from the dock on the hull, but otherwise its in really great shape.

Other passengers: 99% of the people we encountered were great. Even most of the kids we saw were good. (My sister in law had hers, and I have to apologize if anyone was disturbed by an upset baby from time to time).
However.. parents who go on vacation are not on vacation from disciplining your kid. There were quite a few unruly kids with no parents in sight. One kid ran up and down our hallway from about 6am until 11pm.
Occasionally the staff would stop them from going nuts, but they shouldnt have to.

the 1% of people that we saw seemed to have not planned well or were just nuts. If youre going to Alaska, the last thing Im going to think about packing is shorts. There was one guy in Skagway wearing camouflage shorts and a coat. Now heres the problem.. in Skagway its 50 with strong wind. (Skagway actually means windy bay, soooo) Wind chill is in effect and it felt cold!
Seriously, dress the part.

Conclusion: This was a great cruise and I would recommend it to anyone. The few problems we had were mostly just annoyances and not real problems or anything that NCL could control (except for buffet seating) Less


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Cabin review: Norwegian Jewel 8574

We stayed in 8574 and my sister in law stayed in 8568. These rooms are pretty spacious compared to inside rooms. I never can figure out the whole square feet thing they list, so if youre like me and want to know the approximate real size, its 9 x 17 (from door to window). Amenities: These rooms come with a spare bed under the main beds and a bunk bed fitting 4 people altogether. (In the room, not on the bunk bed ) Hair dryer, desk, closet, safe, the usual stuff.. NO ROBES in the room, for those of you who ask. I dont care, but I see that question a lot. So there you go. Sound: Both rooms are above Chin Chin, so theres no noise from below or above. There was some kid running up the hall pretty much constantly and at all hours, and one day I finally caught him and asked him what his problem was. Thats not the rooms fault tho. Just noting that I can hear it as a light sleeper. View: These are obstructed view cabins. 8574 is mostly blocked by a lifeboat. Probably 90%. You can see a little ocean and mountains tho. 8568 is probably 10% blocked by a lifeboat. Both have double elongated porthole type windows. (see attachment) Pros: I will be booking a deck 8 obstructed room again for sure. Without giving everything away, (I dont want everyone to book all the rooms! ) Ill just say that its convenient to everywhere. Cons: The kid in the hall kind of makes us want to book at the end of the hall instead of midship. Deck 8 is like a freakin' maze. It winds and turns and even goes up and down. On day 1 I was totally lost. As a comparison, on deck 11 you can see pretty much from one end of the ship to the other. The end that opens to the atrium is very narrow and turns so you cant see if someone is coming. Youll have to keep an eye open. 8574 is mid hall. 8568 is at a turn with a room on only one side and faces a hall junction. This probably leads to more sound problems if youre a light sleeper. Conclusion: Those cons dont make me want to not book this room or deck 8 again. I would for sure. Its just a really great location. You can get to everywhere really easily. 4 stars. It would be 5 if the hall wasnt a maze!

Port and Shore Excursions


Whale Watching

(5)
We took the whale watching tour and was not disappointed. There were quite a few doing some breaching. The boat crew was fantastic and really kept us with the whales. We saw orca, humpbacks, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. Later that day the cruise ship went up to the glacier and turned around so everyone could see. Very nice!

Zodiac Boat

(3)
We did a coastal expedition in a boat of 4 people. You go out about 10 miles or so into the bay and see what you can see. The tour guide (who looked just like Rachel Mcadams) would stop every so often and tell you about the site or some history and really knew what was going on. We saw, bald eagles, seals, a whale and some goats.

Helicopter Tour

(5.5)
We took the helicopter and dogsledding adventure. This was worth every cent. The helicopter took us on a tour of the area before setting down on the glacier for our dog sled. The guides and dogs were all friendly and while it looks easy, dogsledding is really a work out!

Butchart Gardens

(3)
This was least exciting part of our trip. We did the Buchart garden tour. We're from PA where we have Longwood gardens. If youre familiar with that place, itll spoil you. Buchart was nice, but not all that big and really full of people. We got very few pictures that didnt have people in the background. It probably wouldve been better if there were fewer people there. In fact, the bus driver said when they do fireworks theres like 10,000 people there! I cant even imagine being there for that! We paid for just the gardens but the bus took us on the city tour anyway so, that was a real plus!

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