Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Tresa J: Worst Cruise Ship I Have Been On
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Worst Cruise Ship I Have Been On
This was my 11th cruise, and my first (and probably last) cruise with Norwegian. I have heard that the Norwegian Pearl is better than the Jewel, but I'm not sure if that's saying much. The Jewel needs a lot of work. The staff is very up and down as far as service goes and some were just plain rude and nasty (don't bother going to the Guest Service Desk-very nasty people). Our room steward must have been new (like it was his first cruise ever) because he left a lot to be desired. At one point, my husband had to find us towels (they kept disappearing from our room and were not replaced) and after 2 days we started getting our own ice so we had had some ice and cold water in the room to drink. He made the towel animals out of our WET TOWELS and left them on the bed so our bed had a nice wet spot in the middle.
The food in the main dining rooms (Azura and Tsar's Palace) was just plain awful. I think they are doing this on purpose so you have to pay extra to eat at the alternative More restaurants (although those are not that much better either). Their Garden Café Buffet was really the only edible food on the ship (it really wasn't that bad especially for buffet food). The Tsar's Palace sign in area for dining needs to be reconfigured because the desk is right outside of the elevators and in the middle of everything. They should put it down the stairs in front of the doors OR shut off the middle elevators during prime dining hours so you don't have people getting off the elevators in the middle of everyone standing around waiting to be seated (that's a whole other issue it itself).
The ports of call and the excursions we took were AMAZING and the whole trip to Sawyer Glazier was the most amazing site you'll ever see. You just might want to take the cruise to Alaska on another cruise line (maybe Carnival or Holland America). I really wish I could say the ship experience was better, but it just wasn't. Also (and finally) they should carry more than just Pepsi products. I couldn't count the number of people that were scrambling for Coke products at the ports of call! They were lined up at the vending machines and anywhere else they could get a Coke or Diet Coke. This may be a little thing, but to some it was a pain. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Jewel 4584
Bathrooms were Very, Very small. There were plenty of hangers (which was unusual) and there was a lot of drawer space. Didn't like having the optional third bed right above my head even though it was folded up. Don't know if there is an option to not have that in the room on Deck 4. We usually stay in the rooms on the upper floors with a balcony, but that was not an option. Not sure how far in advance you have to make reservations to get a room with a balcony.
Port and Shore Excursions
AMAZING. Our guide said we had an amazing viewing. The whales were very active. Saw breaching, tail waiving, and them playing with sea lions. After the whale viewing we went to Orca Point Lodge and had a nice lunch of salmon, salads, and great brownies. The guides and the staff at the lodge were all very nice. Overall this was a great excursion and I would highly recommend it. The trip afterwards to Sawyer Glazier was breathtaking. The scenery, ice bergs, and the glacier itself were all amazing. Not to be missed.
It was a nice trip. Would have liked to see more bears. Only saw a mother bear and 2 cubs and that was in the parking lot (coming out from under the lumber yard building) at the end of the tour. Our guide was nice. However, he disappeared after leaving us at the gift shop so we didn't get a chance to tip him. Too bad.
River Rafting/Eagle Preserve
Great trip. It was a little long, but well worth it. Bus ride to catamaran, catamaran to Haines, bus to Eagle Preserve, and then rafting down the Chilkat river. Our guides on every leg of the trip were great. Very friendly, gracious, and everything was on time. I can't say enough about them! My 82 year old mother-in-law was a little leery about the rafting part of the trip, but the guides made her and everyone else feel very comfortable. No rough water. You may get a little stuck on the bottom a few times, but no worries. The guide will get you going even if they have to get in the water. We saw about 40 eagles sitting on the sandbars catching fish with sea gulls trying to (in vain) to steal them. Saw many juvenile eagles. The scenery was beautiful. You really got a feel for the true wilderness and beauty of Alaska on this trip. Book early or you'll end up on the trains with hundreds of other boat passengers! This is definitely the trip to take in Skagway.
What can I say. The gardens are beautiful. Our bus driver/guide had an interesting story about how the gardens came to be. Victoria itself is a beautiful city. Would like to be there on a Saturday evening sometime. They are supposed to have a great fireworks show over the water. Maybe next time.