Great Time on the Norwegian Jewel 2/24/2013
New York (Manhattan)
My young adult son and I just returned from his first cruise experience. NCL gave accommodations to make the cruise possible with my son's special needs. They did what they said they would do ... and more! It not only made this trip possible but gave my son a wonderful experience cruising and he cannot wait to go again.
Anticipating the cruise I had spent a great deal of time researching online. I read a lot of reviews and did get a bit concerned reading some of them. We didn't experience any of the big issues reported by others. We both thought the food was fine and plentiful, the crew very helpful and courteous, and the ship clean and well maintained. We came home healthy and relaxed.
We did get some great tips from this site and others including bringing an over the door shoe rack which kept everything organized and decreased the clutter. Highlighters, a clock, insect repellent and a few other items we learned about certainly made our experience easier and More
more fun. We only wish we had taken the advice regarding taking half the clothes and double the money!
I think sites like this, which help you have realistic expectations regarding your cruise experience, make for a successful, enjoyable, cruise experience. So thanks Cruise Critic! Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Jewel 11568
GREAT location. Was worried it would be noisy near the elevators but it wasn't. Terrific cabin steward. One flight away from Pool, Garden Buffet, Kids Clubs. Good amount of storage. Curtain to separate the two areas - queen bed and couch. We had the couch turned down each night for my young adult son and closed the curtain. It was almost like having two rooms. Nice size balcony. Would book a cruise based on getting this cabin again!
Port and Shore Excursions
We enjoyed this very much. Yes, there are a lot of people ... but you know that before you go! We rented a ventilated "clam shell" for shade, which comes with two lounges, and it was probably the best money we spent on the entire cruise. It gives you shade, which by early afternoon you will really need, and a place to put your stuff.
We did a lot of snorkeling, which was better than expected, saw many schools of fish and a ray. There is some current so be aware and stay close to shore if you are not a strong swimmer.
My son took a stand up paddle board lesson which he enjoyed even if he fell over a bunch!
Hippo Slide closed early, much to my son's disappointment, so if it is important to you get on before 3pm.
Lots and lots of sunscreen. Apply often. Buffet lines can get long so take a look prior to getting on line.
Didn't take an excursion and took the #10 Jitney and walked the rest to Ardastra Gardens. Got there nice and early and were the first folks in! Lovely place to walk, look at the animals and plants, and relax. Loved the "marching" flamingos and enjoyed feeding the lorries. My son's favorite? The capybara - which resembles a very large guinea pig and is the world's largest rodent. Lots of local animals/plants as well as other stuff. Small place, about five acres, so you can do the whole thing it a couple of hours.
Next, we walked down to "Fish Fry" in search of the best conch fritters which, I believe, we may have found. My son had a HUGE plate of fried conch, plantains and rice which he still thinks is the best meal he had on the cruise.
Back on the #10 jitney to the straw market. Great for souvenirs and yes, the sales are aggressive and there's a lot of junk made in China. But it's still fun! Stopped for a real coconut on our way back to the pier, drank the milk and ate the flesh, 'cause everyone should do that once!
I know many folks don't like this port - but I can't figure out why!?! There's good places to walk, stuff to see and some lovely people.
Walt Disney World
Very efficiently run. We disembarked at noon and were at the part by 1:20pm. You don't have much time at the park so plan accordingly. It was my son's first time and he had a blast! We did the character dinner at the Crystal Palace which was pricey but, even I have to say, worth the money.