I was pleasantly surprised with our choice of travel this year, not because of the destination, but because the cruise was much better than expected! We have traveled on cruise ships before, and this ship, the Jewel, has exceeded my expectations.
Although the ships sailed about 2 hours late, the activities remained the same, nonetheless. Lunch was ready for us to eat since most people were probably hungry, like us, in a hurry to get to Seattle in time to stand in line and process check in procedures. It was really very painless and went smoothly. Our luggage arrived late, as always, although we were told since we checked in early, that mostly likely we would get them early. That is not the case. So, definitely, bring a carry-on with change of clothing with you, if you plan on sunbathing, swimming, or getting dressed up for dinner.
The shows were all spectacular!! The comedy show was really terrific. The comedian is rather hilarious, but apparently some people are too slow to get his jokes. He put on several shows, but we would have loved to see more of him daily, if possible. He had us in tears from laughing so much.
Our stateroom steward was awesome!! He has done his job for over a decade and is great at it. Anything we needed, he got for us. He is very pleasant and had a wonderful time connecting with him, as a person. It was great!!
The entertainment crew were a little over the top, at times. We did not mind though. We went in wanting to have a good time and that's what we received.
The views were amazing. I actually enjoyed the sea days more so than port of calls because it was more relaxing and did not have to rise so early to eat breakfast and run. Some of the stops were not great, not as much to do, if you choose not to book the excursions ahead of time. We booked some at the port, which were about half of the ship excursion price. It was worth it and the destinations were all the same!
As for Victoria, I just love that place! Downtown is simply gorgeous! If you go to a bank there to for currency exchange, the first transaction is free, the second has a surcharge, although minimal.
Would I recommend this ship over the Pearl? Yes, because they are both the same. Some of the staff have to work at the Pearl, and visa versa. Don't believe otherwise.
As for some of the negative reviews, you'll have to be the judge of that. We do not agree with them, but then again, we are a positive attitude family. We did not find it dirty, or find any rude people and the food was good if you go to specialty dining and not the buffet.
Don't get me wrong, I was hesitant on going on another cruise for over 25 years because of past experience, but we were glad we gave Norwegian a chance!