We ( my mom, boyfriend and I) decided on the Norwegian Jewel because it was the cheapest price for the locations it was going to. We live in Oklahoma and decided that we would drive to New Orleans. The ship went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Getting on the boat was simple enough and our room was not ready until about 1pm and that was fine because we went and ate at Tzars Palace.
Our first thought on the food was that it was pretty good. The desserts on the other hand were weird and it seemed like every single dessert item was made with gelatin. The first dessert we tried was chocolate mouse( the best of the three), some sort of berry cheesecake( did not taste anything like cheesecake), and Panna Cotta (very rubbery and tasteless). I love dessert and I love to try new desserts, but the ones on this boat were just plain strange. Even the chocolate cake we had contained weird jelly balls throughout the slice. The only good dessert we had was in a pay restaurant( we tried the hot pot) and it was a green tea cake with green tea ice cream and it actually tasted like what it was supposed to. The food was pretty good and we actually had our room a floor below the buffet which was nice because that was out favorite place to eat on the boat. Each day in the buffet they would have a different theme and the food would change to be a part of the theme such as when we were in Mexico there was mexican food or when we were in the Caribbean they served Caribbean food. We decided to try the pizza delivery for $5 and it was the most disgusting pizza we have ever eaten. It did not taste like real cheese and the "cheese" was about an inch thick. So if your thinking of trying the pizza delivery, think again and just go to the buffet and get a slice or two there. The pizza at the buffet was actually good. They also served food by the pool, but be careful because we saw them making what looked like stir fry noodles with vegetables so we went over and each got a plate. My mom and I do not eat seafood and my boyfriend is allergic to shellfish. This dish was filled with shrimp and clams and all sorts of seafood. I'm glad we saw it because that could have been bad. There was no sign letting people know what it was.
Our room was great. We had the mini suite which we paid about $900 per person. We had a giant balcony and it was nice to be able to relax on the balcony. The couch in our suite folded out to a big bed which my mom slept on and our steward Orlando pulled out and put up each day. He was such an amazing steward! The bathroom was not as small as I thought it would be. Our room was nice and quiet and we were not around any of the clubs or anything so it was a good spot.
I'm not sure why everyone seems to like the entertainment on this boat. I'm actually kind of baffled by what they call "entertainment". We tried several times to go to shows but the shows were so dumb that we left. I was really excited about the Cirque Bijou or whatever it was called. We got to the show early and got some great balcony seats. The show started and my boyfriend and I were looking at each other and laughing because it was so childish and they were not even doing anything that was interesting or fun to watch. The first act was a girl that stood on the shoulders of a man and all she did was hold two hula hoops and twirl them around her arms. The audience sure loved that for some reason because there were cheers and applause ? I was expecting something similar to cirque du soleil. Boy were we disappointed! We decided to give it another chance to impress us. The next act was a few people on stage dancing? it seemed like they were trying to do some sort of Indian dance with their arms or something but it just looked like something that a kid could come up with. We tried to stay for another act before we left but as soon as we saw adults doing cartwheels and a few flips we about died of laughter and had to leave. Don't expect anything professional if you attend these shows. We were really disappointed with the entertainment onboard and I feel like the only entertainment we liked was going to the art auctions on board to watch people get suckered into buying "art". I won't lie the auctions were very engaging and were pretty fun and you get free art just for going. We went to the newlywed not so newlywed game show which was pretty entertaining to watch.
The pool was pretty small and was cold almost the whole time so we did not really get to swim unless we wanted to be freezing while doing it. We did get in the hot tub twice, but it was not really as hot as other hot tubs I've been in. They were not bad though, but they were always crowded.
We only went in there a few times but the machines are really nice and have touchscreen monitors. You can play games on the monitors while exercising or even watch the ocean through the widow or from a camera on deck. When we first booked I thought that they were going to have free zumba sessions, but you have to pay for those and the only free stuff in the fitness center were not very good, mostly seminars about fitness.
In the daily newspaper thing we noticed that the actives with a star are pay activities. So when we saw a martini tasting with no star we got excited to finally see and try something you don't have to pay for. When we got there they told us it was $15 per person. What a crock. For the price we paid there should be more free things to do on the boat. We went to a pastry making seminar, but when we got there it was retarded. There was already a cake made and they just got a random person from the audience and had them put icing on it and some berries... I'm sorry but this is not a pastry making seminar. I did not pay to come on this cruise to watch some woman try her hand at decorating a cake.
My mom got sick with food poisoning the day before our last port. The nurses in the infirmary were very nice and kind to her. If you go down there for food poisoning you don't have to pay, which was nice. Originally my boyfriend and I went to the shop to see if they has any medicine for sale, but they didn't, so we went o ask if they had any in the doctors and when we asked they said we should bring her down and there would be no charge. It's a good thing we brought her down because my mom ended up having to be taken down there again to get an IV for dehydration. They were very professional and treated us like family. They gave my mom Gatorade packets and medicine and even called to check up on her for the rest of the trip.
It was not bad, but I feel like all the seminars on the ship were there only to get you to buy something. The entertainment was lacking in professionalism and uniqueness. There are more pay restaurants than free ones. I feel like everywhere you go on the ship they are trying to get more money out of you. WE are never going to book on a Norwegian again.