Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by SD333: 2013 Christmas Cruise
Overall Member Rating
2013 Christmas Cruise
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
Our 3rd consecutive Christmas cruise, we thought we would be kicking it up a notch going from our previous cruises on the Carnival Conquest to a more $$$ trip on the the NCL Jewel. We were disappointed in finding both the cabin and bath much smaller than on our similar class Carnival cruises. The service and interaction with our cabin steward was also lacking. I don't ever recall being called by name.
The carpet in the cabin was worn, dirty and in need of replacement.
The hallways were narrower then on any ship we have ever sailed on, and the one to our room was frequently cluttered with ice chests, totes of cleaning supplies and carts of towels making passage difficult.
The menu choices in the dining room as well as the service (downright rude at times) was also less than what was offered by Carnival. One of the biggest failings was the dessert offering both in the dining room as well as the buffet line. No chocolate melting cake here! What was mostly More offered was what we referred to as, jiggly gelatin-like desserts. Only after we had turned in our comment cards on the last day of the cruise did the assistant maitre d' visit our table in the room and offer us dessert choices one would expect to be served in the main dining room, selections they had sent to us from the ships' specialty restaurants. I'm sure those dining around us wondered where the heck the creme brûlée and Tiramisu came from!
Vegetarian options were also limited. My daughter requested a simple garden salad and was told by the server that wasn't possible. We later found out the rule was "if it's on the ship, a guest can have it."
We appreciated the thought that went into making sure everyone sanitized their hands before entering the buffet and restaurants. However, standing guard at entrances with a squirt bottle and saying "Washy Washy" for seven days was a bit overkill.
There were some positives, however. We greatly enjoyed the extra touches throughout the trip. NCL did a great job bringing the Christmas spirit aboard. They offered a holiday show, Christmas candies, Christmas dinner, caroling, and broadcasted church services. They also offered flavored water and cold towels when returning from excursions. The entertainment was also excellent as was the embarkation and debarkation process. We also had no problem getting off the ship for excursions and had funk at all of our ports.
We had a great time, but probably won't sail with Norwegian again. Less
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