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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by JayTuck

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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel
Member Name: JayTuck
Cruise Date: June 2014
Embarkation: Seattle
Destination: Alaska
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 11575
Booking Method:
See More About: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews | Alaska Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   1.0 out of 5+
Dining 1.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 5+
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5+
Embarkation 5+
Service 3.0
Value-for-Money 1.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Jewel Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Jewel Deck Plans
Norwegian Jewel Food Is TERRIBLE

If you like food, even a little bit, I advise against travelling on the Norwegian Jewel (and by extension, the entire Norewegian line).

The food is terrible (buffet and complimentary restaurants). Many people are happy with the food. Good for them. I am happy for them. But if you actually like food, you will not be happy with NCL.

I'll not even discuss the buffet, other to say that A. it's elementary school cafeteria quality food, and B. that buffet food also shows up in the restaurants.

So, the complimentary restaurant food:

American cheese in the omelettes? (Maybe it was velveeta, but it was still inedible.)

Thin baked bacon, the cheapest possible on the international market. I didn't care/dare to even try the sausage.

They serve the same cuts of meat and call them different things. As in, the same thin processed cut of meat is served as 'rib eye steak', 'sirloin steak', and 'new york strip'. The same sausage is served as 'bratwurst' and 'kielbasa' (of which it is neither). And the same strip of meat served as 'short ribs' and 'baby back ribs'.

The shrimp was fine. It's shrimp, seemingly tough to ruin. Mashed potatoes were fine. Asparagus was ok. Chicken dishes were ok but low quality. Salmon was run of the low end mill. My gal had some fish one night she took one bite of and left the rest. I had fish and chips one night...square fish blocks...terrible.

They seemed to only have one gravy the entire trip, for all the dishes.

The lamb shank was all right, but pretty gamey. It was not even close to 'fine dining'

There was not a single sucessful desert, in the buffet or otherwise. The cheesecake was not actually cheesecake (you need cream cheese as an ingredient for that). The apple pie thing was so solid and gelatinous that you could bounce it off the floor. By day two every ounce of excitement at what desert might offer was drowned deep in the dark depths of a cold, cold ocean.

Granted, I'm comparing the food to my one experience on Royal Caribbean. Where I was EXCITED to go to lunches and dinners. 9 out of every 10 dishes was GOOD on that boat.

10 out of 10 dishes on the Norwegian Jewel were not only not good, they were disappointingly not good.

There was no reason to complain to the servers. There was no reason for them to look at our 90% unfinished meals and ask if they could take it back or make it better or bring something else (only one waitress out of the 15 or so that served us over the week actually asked).....because there was nothing to fix, and nothign better to bring out as a replacement.

They didn't 'miss the mark'. They had no mark to hit, and they suceeded at their goals, which are to make cheap buffet quality dinners. My gal and I laughed...there -really- was nothing to complain about, because they were serving exactly what they were aspiring to serve.

Unfortunately, what they were serving was crap.

It's a good thing I got food poisoning and didn't have to eat anything for two days, because that's two days I didn't have to go to meals and look at the lowest of low quality meals and decide which were the least insulting to put down my gullet.

I don't actually blame the boat for the food poisoning (because who knows what that was from), but I do blame the cruise line for not giving a damn about my dining experience, and for having such low standards and subjecting me to them.

The boat itself was fine, always on time, well run, etc. No complaints there. Getting on/off the boat was easy for ports of call and embarkation/arrival, etc.

The room cleaner guy was just fine, the restaurant service was ok (but without the high standards I experienced on Royal Caribbean...they were just doing their job/just walking around with 'food' as opposed to delivering 'great food because that's important to us'.

Alaska is BEAUTIFUL.


Royal Caribbean sells a cook book of the food you had on your vacation.

NCL does not. For good reason.


Publication Date: 07/02/14
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