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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by altonthecat

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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel
Member Name: altonthecat
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Destination: Bahamas
Cabin Category: S3
Cabin Number: 10004
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews | Bahamas Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0
Cabins 3.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 3.0
Service 3.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Jewel Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Jewel Deck Plans
Think Twice Before Booking an Owners Suite
We probably would have enjoyed the cruise more if we had not had not booked room 10004 (Owners Suite with the large balcony) from the beginning. We felt isolated from the Haven amenities and did not feel we received the same level of service as the Haven guests.

If we had booked a lessor category and been upsold or upgraded this room we would have loved it. But, paying for this room made us feel like chumps every time we trudged up two floors to the Haven and repeatedly explain who we were.

People staying on the 14th floor in the Haven received better service, they were on a nicer floor, they had more privacy and were treated with more respect by the staff than we were...on the 10th floor. It didn't matter that we paid more for our room than anyone else (other than the Garden Villa people) it came down to location, location, location. And, we were in the wrong location.

So, word of warning to those people who plan to book the Owners Suite: Please rethink this. You will have a smaller room in the Haven but you will have the amenities right at your fingertips. You really will be treated differently by the steward and the butler (more on him later) on the 10th floor. On the 10th floor there are only two rooms that are "Haven" rooms. You are sharing your steward with non-Haven staff. They are not going to give you the same level of service so don't expect it. They can't give you the same level of service because they are busy with the balcony suites and the penthouse suites. The same is true with your butler.

Norwegian, you should do something about this and give people who stay in the Owners Suite the option of paying more to participate in the Haven or not. It was a hassle to get there and a hassle using things like the hot tub or pool. Using the Haven hot tub was not a better option for us because we were required to go the 14th floor and back to our room on the 10th floor, through security doors, walk by people's rooms, and walk down a long hallway to and from our room.

Our butler was useless. We saw him the first day. He watched my wife unpack. Why do I mention this? Because Norwegian specifically states the following is a perk for penthouses and suites on it's web site, "Butler to unpack your luggage." Our butler watched us unpack.

The next day, my wife asked him why he did not help her unpack and he (the butler) told my wife that he didn't notice that she was unpacking. I must say that I was appalled at his deplorable lack of attention to details since there were three suitcases on the bed and my wife kept putting clothing on hangers. Our butler, on the other hand, managed to move around my wife and show me where the remote control was on the tellie.

My wife asked the butler to explain his duties to her. The butler refused to explain his duties to my wife and preferred that she ask him when she needed something. Then he would tell her if that was something which fell within his job. My wife explained that she would rather know--up front--what his duties as a butler were so she could utilize him in this capacity. He refused a second time and a third time when asked again. My wife told him that she had dealt with staff such as him and they were generally lazy. If he didn't tell her what he did...she couldn't ask him to do it.

That was the pretty much the last we saw of our Butler.

Our concierge, Ruth, was amazing. She more than made up for our Butler. Ruth took care of everything from a plumbing problem (our shower overflowed) to getting us transportation to the airport.

We really enjoyed the excursions we took. Our first stop was Orlando. Since we are amusement park people we opted for Universal Studios and the Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Tons of fun. Loved the rides, butter beer, and food.

The next stop was Great Stirrup Cay. I've heard mixed reviews about this place but we really liked it. Sort of a diamond in the rough. I don't know why Norwegian doesn't do more with this place. It's a marketing dream. They should put a couple more permanent structures on the property and offer overnight camping (glamping) as an excursion. Kids would love it. Parents would love it. And, romantics like me would love it. Park the ship in the ocean for a night and offer slow midnight sailings around the island with a glass of wine and soft music. Give everyone a chance to hear the lapping of the waves and see the stars. Geez, we're out in the middle of the ocean and it's still difficult to see the stars.

We also liked the Bahamas. I think our cruise got lucky because there were mechanical problems and we had to sail directly to the Bahamas. So, we had 2 nights there instead of one day. Made all the difference in the world. We were able to shop, hang out at the beach, just relax.

Back on board the ship, we really didn't have any complaints. We ate most of our meals at the Tsar Restaurant. We didn't go to any specialty restaurant because we were being pissy about our room and butler. But, we didn't go to anything really. Not the Captains Party or anything. We mostly stayed to ourselves.

One of the perks of staying in a suite is that you eat complimentary breakfast and lunch at Cagney's. I believe we ate there twice for breakfast and once for lunch. The food was fine. We just weren't all that interested. We like to wander. We had hamburgers at the pool one day. Went to the buffet when we needed a snack. Had room service for breakfast on the morning we went to Orlando.

We loved the entertainment on the ship. We felt the entertainers were very talented and you could see they really enjoyed what they were doing. Such a nice change from other ships we have been on. We have been on some cruises where you can tell the entertainers are just miserable. We enjoyed every show we attended.

My last complaint. Not a big one but it was annoying. Someone kept taking mineral water and soda out of our fridge. We didn't care because we don't like mineral water and regular soda. But, my wife was pretty upset when the diet soda started to disappear. We would have complained to our butler but...

...oh wait. Never mind.

Publication Date: 12/27/12
Read the Bahamas ports review by altonthecat
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