My husband and I left our teenager home and escaped for a one week cruise. It was our third time sailing out of NYC.
We live in Maine so traveled to NYC via a combination of bus and train. It is an easy walk from Penn Station to the cruise ship and the weather was very enjoyable. We had done the same cruise last year on the Gem and appreciated that the weather was warmer since we had waited until the end of March.
Embarkatation was an absolute breeze. We got into the Latitudes line and were on the Jewel shortly. Thanks to Cruise Critic, we knew that our best bet for lunch was the MDR and we relaxed in Tsar's Palace. Afterwards, we went to Bora Bora Spa to sign up for the Spa package and signed up for our shore excursions. The tour was a little brief. If we weren't already convinced to sign up for the package, I am not sure we would have. We got into our room promptly, unpacked and chilled in the sun before we sailed away. Sailing past the Statute of Liberty is something I look forward to so we stayed outside until that was done and headed into the exercise room/spa. Dinner was at the Garden Cafe. The buffet set up on the Jewel is far better than the set up on the Gem. It was well organized and we never had a hard time finding a place to sit. We went to the show that night and enjoyed seeing what entertainment was in store for us.
On Monday, we enjoyed the exercise room/spa, went to the food demo, the show and also the Cruise Critic meet and greet.
On Tuesday, we got up, did a a stretching class, worked out in the exercise room, enjoyed the spa again and did a tour to Universal to check out Harry Potter World. The weather was perfect!
On Wednesday, we got up, did the stretching class again, worked out in the exercise room and, once again, relaxed in the spa. We took it easy and headed over to GSC after lunch on the ship. Once again, we ended the night at the show. The entertainment on this ship was incredible. Usually my husband isn't interested in any of the shows and he happily went to each and every one.
On Thursday, we got up and tried to do the stretching class but no instructor showed up. No big deal to us although a fellow passenger seemed intent on "who else on this ship he could get into trouble". It was a free class - not the end of the world. We did exercise and spent time in the steam room and relaxing on the thermal chairs before heading to our Segway Tour. What fun we had! I highly recommend this tour. We choose to walk back to the ship and stopped at McDonald's for a beverage and to take advantage of the free wi-fi.
On Friday, we attended a couple of the free activities (Zumba, pastry demo, hypnosis seminar) and, once again, enjoyed the exercise room and spa. We ate at Azuras restaurant for dinner. I had the same meal on the Gem last year and found it to be far better on the Jewel. We ate at the Azura 3 evenings and found the food good and the service great. We did go to the show and went to the Chocolate Buffet. The food there was ok. Nothing outstanding but not bad.
On Saturday, the weather was colder and overcast. We read and enjoyed the spa again. We returned to the stretching class.
We usually do the walk off disembarkation but decided to relax on board this year as our bus home didn't leave until early afternoon. It was the easiest disembarkation ever. Kudos to NCL!
Definitely a great vacation and I hope to cruise with NCL out of NYC again!
A few additional comments - we got a tour of the bridge (thanks, Cruise Critic) and the navigator Ante was informative, funny and very patient.
The Washy Washy woman (It's a lovely day) was a joy to see at the meals.
Our cabin crew was out of sight most of the time but every time we returned to our room, it had been made up. Kudos for getting your job done but not being intrusive.
We saw the senior staff EVERYWHERE - in the dining rooms, walking around the ship, etc. The service was top notch.
Tables were cleared immediately.
Crazeehorse was great and Cirque Bijou is not to be missed. I have never laughed so hard as at the hynotist show.