Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by freedomatlast99: A truly remarkable trip
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A truly remarkable trip
My wife and I took this trip based on how well liked similar cruises to Alaska were enjoyed. Alaska and the Ports of Call on this trip provide for an amazing experience that should be enjoyed regardless of what kind of ship takes you there!
The Jewel is a very nice ship and we found the cabin, restaurants and common areas all well appointed and very well maintained. A little refurbishing might be in order for some things but that did not stand out nearly as much as I might have expected after reading other reviews.
We had a nice aft suite room and I would highly recommend an aft room to anyone taking this cruise. It provided a sheltered (no wind) place to sit outside and simply enjoy the views in comfort. Lots of walking to get around the ship when you start at the back of it to begin with though.
Where this ship does get only fair grades is on the food and access to facilities. The food was sub-par to what we had enjoyed while cruising even 15 years ago. More More options indeed but cover charges come in to play if you are looking for a particular kind of meal, and even then they were not awesome. Cagney's was likely the best, followed closely by Teppanyaki, though the flavors of the dishes were repetitive. We tried likely at least 10 times to eat at the Garden Cafe but not once could we find a table to sit at. Looked like a good variety but some of the food had been out to long to be enticing. Pool Grill was closed other than in Seattle or Victoria and it took some of the pressure off the Garden Cafe. They really should look at a way to use canopies and space heaters to allow guests to use this area more and keep the grill open. Offer more variety and as stated take some of the pressure off the other non specialty restaurants.
We did enjoy the freestyle dining and the more casual dress code. We tried all the other open restaurants and Tsar's was likely the best. O'Sheehan's very often had tables free and if you waited a short while for a window booth you would get it. Problem with all restaurants is that the menu selection is limited and varies little throughout the cruise so you have to mix up your choices to get more variety. Plenty to choose from and with the exception of the Garden Cafe we never waited very long to be seated anywhere. Suite guest used Monderno's for breakfast and lunch and even though it had a set menu it was always immediately available, excellent food and exceptional service. One of the best perks to booking a suite.
I have read reviews describing a poor attitude from staff and from our Room Steward to waiter all the way up to the Captain I can say that the crew on this trip went out of their way to ensure guests had a wonderful experience. The on board entertainment was wonderful as well, though you can miss the first nights revue and find something else worthwhile to do. Spinnaker's Lounge is a great place to sit back and relax in some soft chairs with a great view as you sail the Inside Passage.
Booked all my own excursions outside of the ship either online in advance or just simply walking off the ship and talking to vendors along the waterfront. Much better deals and more options available. Some great experiences to be had as well. Do a bit of online searching before hand to find out what tours might suit you best and fit the time you have ashore.
Overall... extremely satisfied having enjoyed a great cruise to an even more wonderful destination. Enjoy! Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Jewel 8132
Wonderful room with ample space and a great 180 degree view off a sheltered balcony. Did not use or see much of our Butler but we also did not ask for any special assistance. Concierge was visible and friendly and we did have him assist us a couple of times. Plenty of storage space and a very soft comfortable bed. Balcony chairs could be raised higher so guests can see over the railing and get a good view while seated. Just need them to be 6 inches higher for the more average person.