Aft balcony to Alaska is AWESOME!: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by JsEscape2
Overall Member Rating
Aft balcony to Alaska is AWESOME!
Easy and fast. They allowed those in our party who were not Latitudes members to check in with us who were gold members. Great boarding picture, but you didn't have to have it taken.
Generally very good and had a great variety. Loved the fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch in the buffet. Never had to wait long for my omelet in the morning. Hint: For the buffet area there is extra seating at the Italian restaurant on the other side of the elevators. There are usually tables there and it is quieter.
We ate dinner mostly in the main dining rooms. We had no complaints. Staff was good about getting a high chair for our toddler, bringing his food before our entree and giving him a little more attention. (Well, he was kind of a flirt with our female waiters) Also, we waited twice for a table. The second night out - a dress up or not night - we had to wait and one other night. They give you a coupon to get a glass of "bubbly" or pop for More while you what.
Yes, there is a difference in the quality of food from the main dining room and speciality restaurants. Glaringly apparent in the French onion soup and mushroom soup in the main dining room compared to LaBistro.
AWESOME to have an aft balcony on an Alaskan cruise. You can see both sides of the ship and not have to deal with the cold wind while viewing the glaciers. The balcony was large enough for all 6 adults to have a view. With the mini suite there are two chairs at the desk/mirror so we brought one out on the balcony to add to the two chairs that were there.
Just two of us were in this cabin, others were relatives.
Under 3 Children's Program
I think they had something every day. I only went once to watch grandson. Most of the kids there were happy, but a little too young to understand how to "play" with balloons, scarfs and music.
Good A few times it was hard to find a seat for the late show.
There were several IMAX-type movies on glaciers and the gold rush.
Did not do games or BINGO.
Daughter said equipment was often in use and she didn't want to wait.
Shore excursion desk
We needed to change a shore excursion. This was no problem and the guy at the desk was very pleasant about it even though it meant a little refund to our account.
Easy Peasy Walked off with our luggage. No great wait for an elevator like on the Epic. We left our luggage at the pier for $3 per bag in a secure room while we went to the Space Needle before our 5 p.m. flight home.
This was our 5th NCL cruise. The layout of the public rooms on the Jewel were our least favorite of all the ships- awkward. Less
Cabin review: M111156 Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony
NCL Jewel 11156Love the aft balcony where you can see both sides of the ship. In Alaska cruising the glaciers, it was awesome to see everything and not be in the chilly wind like those on deck.Just because I like to know these things - there are 20 hangers in the closet & a light if you reach in back to turn it on. 4 deep drawers for clothes. Room darkening drape at the balcony & privacy drape if needed between the bed and couch. Mini fridge next to the desk has room for some of your own goodies. Snack or whatever shelf above the ice bucket above the mini-fridge below two shelf cabinet. 3 drawers in desk, 1 for hair dryer only. Mirrors all over the place. 4 pegs on wall outside bathroom for sweaters/coats. TV over the desk can swivel to be viewed by the bed or couch. Toilet & shower have sliding doors to separate it from sink area, but it is not really private. pegs on inside of door for night clothes and towel racks there also. Small glass shelves for toiletries & two glasses. laundry line in shower. Shampoo & body gel soap in push containers on wall in shower.Read All Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony (M1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Not enough time there!
NCL was docked south of the main streets in town, but provided a shuttle to downtown. We took the shuttle bus to Mendenhall Glacier. You buy a ticket from anyone of the venders along the docks in the center of things. You board the white bus from the third lane where the tour busses stop. We had tickets for 9:30 a.m. & there were two busses to take people.
Once there we walked to the waterfall. Beautiful!
By the time we took the bus back, there was little time to do anything else. We had to be on board by 1.
We took the silver bus in front of the museum to Totem Bight Park - $1. (scrapbooking supplies across the street) Busses go every half hour and can get crowded. You may need to stand. Many tours stop at the park and you can ease-drop on their guide's talks. There are plaques to read and a map with info at the visitors center. There is a pretty big gift shop just a short walk up the road.
Creek Street is good for souvenirs (totem poles can range from $30 to $250) and buying salmon to ship back home. We had a bite to eat & a beer there.
It is a rain forest and did rain, so be prepared. NCL sells rain ponchos just as you get off the ship for $3, but you can get them cheeper just off the ship in shops.
We had thought about using public transportation to get to Butchard Gardens, but it seemed too complicated and would take too long. Us oldsters treated the younger ones to a limo we booked right outside the ship that took us there, waited and drove us back for $210 for all 7 of us. The limo dropped off the young adults in town to walk back to the ship and dropped off the 3 older adults at the ship.
Butchard Gardens was fabulous & lush.