Having undergone a two-week dry dock in Singapore, Norwegian Jewel has cruised into Australia looking shiny and new for the summer season. The extensive refurbishment is part of Norwegian Cruise Line's grand plans to be the youngest fleet on the ocean. And it doesn't stop at good looks. Here are five reasons why families will love Norwegian Jewel.
1. Modern Makeover
Families will feel right at home with Norwegian Jewel's clean, modern lines.
The sparkling, revamped atrium sets the scene, featuring an eye-catching chandelier that changes colours with the surrounding LED lights. It's complemented by walnut panelling, bejewelled pillars, creams and caramel-toned decor and chrome finishes.
All of the public spaces have been rejuvenated including new fit-outs for the bars, lounges, and restaurants and a fresh-looking pool deck. Gone are the fake palm trees and primary colours, replaced with a fresh pine deck. The two sparkling pools also have a nautical backdrop of crisp white and blue.
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Staterooms have been updated with new carpet, furnishings and modern amenities including new TVs and USB ports.
2. Casual Cruising
Families can breathe a sigh of relief as there is no need to force the kids into formalwear for dinner. There is no formal dress code or set dining times on Norwegian Jewel. This casual approach to cruising is ideal for Aussie families preferring the freedom and flexibility to dine where and when it suits.
3. Kids' Club
Parents can enjoy the ship's amenities to the fullest with Norwegian Jewel's complimentary kids club. Splash Academy welcomes kids aged three to 12 to join in on supervised age-appropriate activities. These range from finger painting for pre-schoolers, to arts and crafts for primary school-aged kids and a gaming area for tweens.
For infants and toddlers aged six months to three years, the Guppies' program offers a space to meet like-minded parents for free play with their child as well as a daily staff-led complimentary group activity.
Teens aged 13 to 18 have Entourage, a specifically designed lounge for teens where they can hang out with others the same age, watch a movie, read a book or play arcade games.
4. Food Glorious Food
When it comes to dining on Norwegian Jewel, families are spoilt for choice with 15 bars and lounges and 19 dining options, including Pit Stop, the newest dining addition to Norwegian Jewel. Overlooking the pool, the all-inclusive retro American diner serves family favourites such as burgers, hot dogs and fries.
Other free dining options include Norwegian Jewel's two main dining rooms offering a daily rotating a la carte menu, buffet area and range of casual cafes.
For a small fee, families can choose between several speciality restaurants, including steaks from Cagney's Steakhouse, French cuisine from Le Bistro, Italian from La Cucina and 24-hour pizza delivery.
5. Free At Sea
NCL has come up with a clever package deal for families to save money onboard. The Free At Sea promotion offers great value when comparing between different cruise companies.
Families can choose up to five offers depending on the type of accommodation booked. The five offers include a Free Beverage Package for guests one and two; Free dining in select specialty restaurants for guests one and two; US$50 (AUD$69.28) excursion credit per stateroom; 250 minutes of free Wi-Fi per cabin; and family and friends sail at a reduced rate on select departures with guests three and four cruising for free.
Families in Inside Cabins can choose one free offer; families in Oceanview, Balcony and Mini Suites can choose three free offers; and The Haven or Suites can get all five free offers.
Most popular for Aussies is the free drinks package option. This allows two adults to enjoy premium drinks including soft drinks, beers, wine by the glass and spirits (priced up to US$15/AUD$20 each) during the entire cruise. The maximum spend of US$150 (AUD$207) per day is more than enough for the average family member.