Norwegian Jewel - Trans-Atlantic: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by chueypa
Overall Member Rating
Norwegian Jewel - Trans-Atlantic
Husband and I are in late 40s and have cruised several times before on NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
Travel To Port of Embarkation
We booked our own transportation to Miami and had a one night stay pre-cruise.
We love inside cabins for many reasons, darkness, price, amount of time spent in room.
Ship was clean and well maintained. Concerns about the sudden requirement of disinfecting hands when entering public areas but with 2300+ people being together for 14 days would have thought that policy would have been in effect from beginning of cruise rather than being implemented on day 3.
Like the concept of freestyle dining but this time the food in Dining rooms was really not up to previous NCL cruise food, buffet got old with 14 days of cruising so we did quite a bit of dinners in the pay venues (Cagney's was great - ate there 3 times, LeBistro More was good, ChinChin was not good, and then the 2 specialty non pay restaurants Tango's and Mama's were ok, better than buffet and much better than dining room. Activities
Cruise Director, Paul Baya did a great job. Being a 14 day cruise lots of "OLDER" cruisers so NCL had prepared appropriately. History/Geography lecturer had good info however he used old technology, overhead projector with transparencies containing too much information, would have been much better if PowerPoint had been used. Handwriting "expert" was interesting but contradicted herself on later days. Crafts (not NCL staff) were above normal but NCL needs to update the crafts that they offer, same craft classes offered for past 5 years. Don't believe that Spa should charge a usage fee but I still paid the $60 fee. Casino slots were paying well on some isolated machines.
Room steward evidently worked a later shift since many sea days room was not cleaned until early afternoon. Waiters were great in Specialty restaurants, buffet service people were slow in clearing tables.
3 Jean Ann Ryan shows, Cirque Bijou was wonderful, 1st show was above average but Country Gold show had too many gaps. Comedians were lame, Magician had seen better days - assistant was worse, Crew Talent Show was great, Second City was really good but Chris Riggins (singer) was the best. Shore Excursions
We did all the shore excursions on our own, took trains into Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monaco and hired a taxi in Madeira. Everything worked as planned and based on feedback from people who utilized NCL shore excursions we actually saw much, much more than they did for a small percentage of the price that they paid (example in Rome we paid 9.60 Euro (less than 11 dollars for 2 people) for train tickets to Rome whereas Rome on Your Own provided by NCL (they only provide transportation into Rome) cost around *90 dollars. Plus with all the "older" cruisers a lot of time was spent waiting for them to get back to buses with their walkers, canes, wheelchairs. Took quite a bit of planning to get train schedules and tickets/reservations for venues such as Vatican, Ufizi, etc.
Oh no do I really need to re-live this, we had a 10:30 flight to Paris (CDG) booked by NCL with a 40 minute layover before our flight to Newark, well we got to the airport in Barcelona at 9:00 am at terminal 1 (luggage was taken to Terminal 2 so needed to walk there to get luggage only to find out that only 1 person was unloading truck). After recovering luggage walked back to Terminal 1 to find 300+ people in line for Air France and only 3 people working to check everyone in. At 10:10 we were still number 100(more or less) in line so went over to 1st class window and convinced the agent to check us in. Got on plane but upon arrival in Paris no gate was available so instead of 40 minutes only had 21 minutes, thankfully Air France had sent Michel to meet our flight and take the 6 of us directly from terminal 2F to terminal 2C, the flight was held for us but if we had arrived on time and been expected to get from 2F to 2C we would never have made it in 40 minutes
Overall it was a good cruise, just wish that attention would be placed on improving dining room food. Less