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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Kathy Jo: Wonderful vacation with friends


Kathy Jo
1 Review
Member Since 2004
50 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Norwegian Jewel Southern Caribbean Cruises

Wonderful vacation with friends

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami

There was lots of postings on the Roll Call and I read all the reviews I could find, so I thank everyone who helped me plan this vacation!

We flew down 3 days early into Ft. Lauderdale and stayed with my dad, who lives about an hour north of Miami. We did not rent a car, so the morning of embarkation we took the Tri-Rail to the Metrorail and then a taxi to the port ($15). We were planning on taking a shuttle (instead of the taxi) but the next one was more than an hour wait. We decided this was too much of a hassle and will do it differently in the future.

We arrived at the port just before noon and there was a line of about 50 people before we could enter the building. We should have been paying better attention to the signage and missed the VIP check-in but still managed to get on the ship within a half hour. We ate lunch in Tsar's Palace dining room with our friends. While we were eating lunch, it was announced that the cabins were ready.

Our More cabin was wonderful! Jeffrey, the butler introduced himself and throughout the cruise, he catered to our needs very well.

FOOD With our friends we found it easiest to eat at the Garden Cafe, many times using the extra seating in Mama's for breakfast or lunch. With the suite, we had the option to have breakfast or lunch at Cagney's and really enjoyed it when we did. We had dinner in both of the dining rooms and always had a great meal. We avoided "peak times" as there were sometimes very long lines. We ate dinner at 3 of the specialty restaurants (Cagney's, Mama's and Tango's) and found the serving sizes much larger than in the dining rooms (leaving no room for dessert). I recommend each of these restaurants for the cover charge.

SPA I used the thermal suite for 1 day (won a free pass playing BINGO). If you like hot tubs but not crowds, this is perfect. There is a hot tub, sauna and steam room in the same sex only areas and then a large hot tub in the co-ed area. There are lounge chairs in the large hot tub and the bubbles come up through the chairs. Also I purchased a massage-facial combo, which was nice as a sampler of their services.

ENTERTAINMENT We did not watch too many of the shows but enjoyed the ones we did: Cirque Bijoux, Band on the Run, and a comedian. The cruise director and his staff were great. Bingo packages ranged in price from $19 to $149 per session.

BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR This was a highlight for the men and well worth the $55 charge. Sign up at the reception desk on the ship as soon as possible.

MEET & GREET Thank you to John for organizing the M&G and for arranging the tour of the unoccupied Garden Villa.

LAUNDRY The self-serve laundry rooms were closed but on Wednesday we received an offer to have a bagful of clothes washed for $25. Our clothes were returned Friday evening.

DISEMBARKATION VIP priority service off the ship was great. We took the NCL transfer to the Ft. Lauderdale airport for $25 pp.

I hope this review is helpful! Less


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Cabin review: Norwegian Jewel 9170

Suite with small couch, 3'x3' table with 4 chairs, large balcony with chair and lounger (alittle soot), full bathroom, excellent coffee maker. Very quiet.

Port and Shore Excursions


The men went on the NCL fishing trip while the women went shopping. I think this was the best port for easy access to the shops and the variety. The fishing trip was "bottom fishing" and they both caught fish.
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We took the NCL excursion to Harrison's Cave. We were alittle confused about the meeting place for the tour, so I'll add this: From where the ship was docked there was a long walk to a building (later noticed shuttle service). We walked through the building which was an "indoor mall" (follow the signs) to the door marked "Pre-booked Tours" to the front of the building where the tour operators have signs for the different excursions. Be sure to give yourself extra time to make it here by your meeting time.

The bus ride to the cave was much more pleasant than the bus ride in Samana (scenery and road condition). The recent renovation of the cave was well done with additional plans for further improvements. We enjoyed the tour of the cave.

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Actual port is Samana, Dominican Republic (not listed) We took the NCL excursion to Grand Paradise Resort. We tendered and then took a 40 minute bus ride (paved road with some construction going on) to the resort. The resort had many vacationing guests from Europe but we were able to get lounge chairs near the beach. The beach was very nice (mostly sandy with alittle seaweed) and the water was warm. Open bar and buffet lunch was included. There was also a pool to use and horses to rent. The road construction was due to the installation of a water supply and we were told not to drink the tap water at the resort because it is aittle salty. We didn't try. After almost 4 hours at the resort, we returned to the bus for the ride back. As it was Sunday, many stores were closed. Later, someone said that the Cayo Levantado Beach was very nice and much easier to get to.
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This was our favorite island and tour. We signed up for the NCL Volcanic Expressions and Beach Escape. There were 100+ people signed up for this tour and we broke into a group of 20 on our own small bus. We made a couple stops for photos and shopping before visiting the sulpher springs. Next stop was the gardens and waterfall. Then on to the catamaran for lunch. The catamaran returned us to the tender, stopping at a beach on the way. We swam off the catamaran in deep water to get to the beach (use of the facility was not included). Rum punch available after swimming. Different groups went to different beaches. The tender line was very, very long to get back to the ship.

We signed up for the Dolphin Swim through NCL. After a short open air bus ride, we watched an informational video and then broke into groups of 10 people. We entered the water (standing waist deep on a platform) with "our" dolphin and pet her as she swam by. Then we had our turn to kiss and dance with her (photo taken). One by one, everyone had to swim out (in deep water) and then catch a ride back from the dolphin. Be sure the straps of your life vest are very tight or else the vest will ride up during this. Then some more petting and splashing with the doplhin as she swam by. After getting out of the water, there was time to purchase the photos and video before taking the bus back to the ship.
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