We have sailed Carnival multiple times in the past. We are a married couple 50 and 46 with gown children that are not allowed to travel with us! We love them but we cruise to enjoy ourself and each other.
This was our first try of NCL. We were honestly looking to "trade up." We came away with mixed reviews. I would completely recommend that you go on this cruise line along with all the others. I was shocked with my opinion.
The good... Most of the crew. I really enjoy the washy washy guy! I had done so much research about this cruise and the ports. I watch hours of YouTube videos of the sweet guy singing! I enjoyed the cruise director and staff. We had so much dancing. The music was good. The drinks were strong enough to be tasteful. My hubby just had knee replacement five months ago. We didn't need or get a handicapped accessible room but the staff is VERY accommodating. They had a military meet and greet which was very interesting. I was the only wife to join them and I truly enjoyed listen to the guys talk about their experiences.
The bad.... The food is lack luster at best! I actually think the food is better on Carnival. We always sail with a balcony cabin but their cabins are much smaller on NCL Jewel. I know I read this online but it was very obvious. The ship lay out is odd. You can't walk down both sides of the ship. I know this is SILLY but you are constantly back tracking because you can't get there from here. The photographers for the stage photo lacked a lot! I always buy at least one picture. It's a stupid little treat. I couldn't really find a good one. My very favorite was on the stairs but the photographer didn't seem to realize the entire coffee bar and the waiter was in the picture. A different photographer didn't see that my little hanging hook was showing in another picture. I am an amateur photographer but even I know to watch for undergarments that are peaking out or framing of the subjects.
The ugly... Although NOT all but many of the head waiters were awful! We would sit for 10-15 minutes before they would come over, Glasses would go dry, and bread baskets empty. I will complain if need be but I prefer to compliment those who do good.... I was constantly complimenting the assistance waiters to the maître d'. The dinning room is not that beautiful or grand. I missed sitting and nearly before I sat down the waiter already knowing after the first evening that I prefer tea with dinner. I missed the prettiness of the atriums that I find on the carnival ships.
Surprises... I enjoyed eating with different people more than I had expected. I thought I would miss dressing up but I didn't.
My Philosophy is a bad day at sea is better than any day at work... So it was good! I do think I will be heading back to carnival.