Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by webrose98: First Cruise Great Experience
Overall Member Rating
First Cruise Great Experience
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
This was my and my college aged sons first cruise. After reading many reviews I was somewhat nervous as what to expect and experience.
Let me say we had a wonderful week and will be returning on another Norwegian cruise.
Sailaway day: Lines were long however we got to the Port of New Orleans and was on the ship within an hour. I did bring 5 bottles of wine on board and got the corkage stickers without any issues. This did save me on purchasing any wine on board but you do have to take your wine with you to dinner or the bar. The server who opens your wine gets the tip from the corkage fee. We did check our luggage and once on board our cabins were not ready so we took our items with us and got something to eat in the garden cafe which everyone else did too so we had to sit outside. Our cabin was ready around 1:30 pm and luggahge arrived around 3:30 pm. The weather in NOLA was chilly so we quickly ate and went to explore the ship with all items in tow. (the wine got More heavy) We toured the spa and after reading many reviews chose to get the spa package for each of us for the week. You must be over 18 to go to the spa. The spa is a great place to get away from the crowds. Included in the spa is steam bath, sauna and whirlpools and heated chairs...I really loved the chairs. Both sons ages 18 & 21 loved the spa too. It was $149 for the week so it isnt cheap but really enhanced our experience.
Sea Days: We went to the spa, I used the gym on all sea days and went to 2 wine tasting events on these days. The kids went to the casino, arcade, and hung out at the pool bar. Kids over 18 but not 21 can have beer and wine with parenta permission but can only get one at a time which I did sign for my 18 yo. We did go to the comedian show which was really funny.
Dining: Our main place to eat was Tsar's Palace in the evening men do need pants or jeans not shorts and close toe shoes. We did one pay restaurant the Teppanyaki and it was good but not as good as our local Shoguns. Not sure I would go again. We also ate at Azura's which is cramped and service not as good as Tsar's. Blue Lagoon was our go to place for different eating times which was good but not exceptional. I consider myself a foodie so the overall the food was average and we quickly learned the beef is low quality so we stuck with fish and chicken and starters. You can get as many of these as you like and one evening I had 3 starters for my meal. Best desert was the Chocolate decadence on the next to last night.
Getting off the ship was so easy.. We did not check our bags we carried them off and were off thru customs and to the car in less than hour. Less
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Cabin review: IC11131 Inside
Cabin was an inside room and I had my own room the boys were next door. Cabin was clean and our room steward was very receptive to our needs. I brought my own wine so he would leave me a fresh wine glass everyday. We removed all items from mini bar and used the frig for our water and wine. The boys used their frig for beer they got in the bucket of beers.Read All Inside (IC) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Mayan Ruins in Tulum
We were tendered to shore in Cozumel then put on the fairy to the mainland. This is a very LONG tour and I would recommend you book thru the ship.
Pamela was our tour guide and all I can say is she made this experience 5 stars!! She took us to a clean bathroom and place to shop then on to the ruins. It is very hot on this tour..dress accordingly. There is a beach to go to but not really enough time to do this. Pamela our guided the tour from start to finish IF you want to stay with her. She has been a guide for 14 yrs so you learn so much and she shows you the important stuff without the stuff you can pass. She got us back to the ferry and we were the last boat so this tour is wise to book thru the ship so they will WAIT for you.This was our favorite excursion.
snorkeling was just to far out for me but my kids enjoyed it.
Grand Cayman we did the kayak and snorkeling. You are bused to Kiki beach and we kayak'd down the beach which once arriving I made decision to sit on the beach instead of swimming out to snorkel because you are swimming about 1/4 mile and you must be able to tread water and snorkel for about 45 min. I snorkeled close to the shore. My kids did snorkel and saw some interesting coral and fish. After kayaking we went to tiki beach and got our free rum punch then sat down for lunch b/c after kayaking and snorkeling the kids were hungry. Please note the prices are in grand cayman money and the US dollar is less so your bill will be higher than what you think.
Back to the main area we were able to shop some and then walk to the tender boat back to the ship.
You can take bottles of water on all excursions as long as the water bottle is sealed. Get the water bottle package on the ship or you can get water at each excursion but it isnt cheap. Jamaica we did Dunns Rivers Falls that I booked thru a travel agency. Great excursion: we rode to the falls which is about an hour from the ship and we all 3 hiked the falls. You will need a swimsuit and good shoes. We all had Teva's I also had purchased a waterproof case for my iphone so was able to take pictures with my phone. If you are not somewhat active or fit you can go up the falls by stairs that are next to the falls but know IF you hike up the falls you will be soaked from head to toe. Plan accordingly. Our driver took us to shop and grab a quick bite before returning to the ship. You will need cash for food and tips
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