The Norwegian Jewel is quite colorful. We were greeted with champagne and orange juice upon arrival. It was next to impossible to find a seat in the buffet - this was a problem throughout the cruise. We preferred sitting in Mama's Kitchen where there was always available tables during the buffet. There were hardly any lines at the buffet, which was really impressive. On many past cruises you would have to wait in line for 10 minutes - on the Jewel there are many stations - even the wait for omelets was usually just one or two in line. The food was good but repetitive. The salad bar was my favorite. By the ceasar salad you could help yourself to the romaine and the cut up chicken breast. Walnuts, Almonds, dried apricots were a nice addition to the many other salad toppings. They did not have honey mustard dressing at the salad bar (my favorite) but one of the waiters was always willing to go to the dining room and bring me a bowl. The grilled chicken was good - but the burgers were usually cold because they were not made to order. One station always had oriental or thai food on one side and Indian or Vietnamese type food on the opposite side. We found the food to be satisfactory in the Czar (free dining room) but there were days when nothing on the menu suited any of us and we went to the Blue Lagoon (also free). The menu is very short and the same every day at the Blue Lagoon - we enjoyed it because you were able to listen to Constantine, the piano player, during dinner hour. Also, the burgers were made to order and very good at the Blue Lagoon - and the spinach artichoke dip was good - we often just stopped there for an appetizer while Constantine played his tunes.
We had a mini suite with balcony which included a luxury bath. It's going to be hard to go back to a regular cabin after this cruise! The weather was very windy, cool, and we only used the balcony a few times. The pool temperature was over 90 - which did make it possible to swim in the cool weather, however, the hot tubs were not that hot!
We thoroughly enjoyed ALL the shows and often went early to sit up front. Do not walk in late during the Skinny Juggler Act unless you want to be embarrassed - he makes comments to everyone walking in late. The musicals and Cirque de Soleil were all excellent! The ballerina who dances in all the musicals is just awesome.
The card room was small - and always full. The Spinnaker Lounge is really nice - 12th deck forward with many large windows. They had live bands every night for dancing. Every day there were dance lessons - mainly for couples - but they did have line dancing twice. Some days there were crafts and Danny did a great job teaching us how to make crepe paper flowers, ribbon roses, paper boxes, and flower combs, beaded bandanas. He's a friendly young man from Peoria, Illinois and also will be found teaching line dancing, singing karaoke, and doing the trivia games.
One thing the ship could use is a roof on part of the pool area since it will be in the Baltic all summer. Most days it was too cool to even walk past the pool area, especially with the windy conditions!
I believe one of the reasons the bargain prices were on this cruise is because it just stopped in two ports, Vigo and Ponta Delgada, and we had half the time you usually have at a port.
We took a cab to the train station (8 pounds) and took the train into London. A hint here - train tickets were 2 tickets for 28 pounds - but if four are traveling together you can buy 2 tickets and get 2 free - the ticket person was very nice to give us that information! The train stops in Charring Crossing, where you can connect to tubes and it's included in your ticket.