We boarded The Jewel, in NYC, Saturday, September 11TH. This was our fourthcruise on NCL. Once on The Norway, twice on the Dawn, and this one, on The Jewel.
This was the longest time for us to board the ship. Perhaps due to all the security for 9/11. We usually are greeted with a small glass of Champagne, and staff members to smile and say hello. Not the case on this cruise. We boarded, walked around, and went to deck 12, to see the pool. The barbecue was not opened yet, but we were able to get some food in the cafeteria. It was OK.
Waited for our luggage, until 2:30, then proceeded to out cabin. We had a mini suite with balcony, starboard side mid ship. Just what we wanted. Nice, but small cabin, very narrow. And it was far ffrom clean. Dusty, and full of fingerprints on each wooden piece.
We were very surprised to find a lack of ammeneties. Just to prepare you, we had shampoo, shower wash, and that was it! No body lotion, no haircream rinse, nothing! The bath was very cramped, and of course, there was the usual toilet odor.
Another cut back to be prepared for----while there is still room service, do not expect much on the list. Snacks for the children, and very little for adults. We always paid a service charge for room deliveries, however, there was a long list of available meals, snacks and drinks. Not any more. We called for cheese and crackers for two, and were told it would cost $35! And drinks are no longer delivered to your cabin. When we complained about the change in room service. there was an apology, and we were told we would receive, daily, cheese and crackers to make up for our inconvenience. We did receive one slice of cheddar cheese, sliced in half, two small chunks of Brie, and two small pieces of Blue cheese, with 5 crackers, and 6 grapes. Each of us were sent this "enormous" gift daily. Lucky us.
The included restaurants served mediocre warm, food. We finally went to Le Bistro, which charges an additional $20 per person. With a glass of wine each, the bill was $75! Not acceptable with the amount of money we paid to eat at the restaurants which were included. We just wanted one good meal, and it truly was good!
I did complain to the girl who cleaned our room about the dust and fingerprints, but that was never taken care of. I finally cleaned the room myself, along with mirrors, TV screen, etc.
We were asked, when we made reservations, if we were celebrating any special occasion. We told NCL we were going to celebrate our Anniversary, There was to be a cake on Wednesday, 9/14, at any restaurant we had booked. We went to Azura that night, no cake. Long short, no cake any night. No big deal, yet it was, after we had been promised the small celebtration.
One last thing. This ship always has lot of children (Sponge Bob is there) and we were surprised to find the most shallow pool at a depth of 5' 9". I cannot swim, and there were many children who had to fore go the pool. Not good..
We enjoyed the ports where we stopped. That is always handled well by NCL, The cruise was comfortable, and it was a pretty smooth trip.
the staff was not overly friendly, but they did smile at times.
The shows were wonderful. Hope you get Big Ken as the cruise entertainment director. He was wonderful. See each show, and you will be happy.
Will we go back on NCL? Yes. We wish we had been aware of the fact that things have changed, and you get less for the same price you paid on your last cruise.
Hope you enjoy your time with NCL. Just ask more questions than we did, and bring your own crackers and cheese.