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Norwegian Jewel Review

4.0 / 5.0
2,334 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Dori Saltzman

Launched in 2005, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbishment in late 2018. Upgraded areas include all cabins, suites, restaurants, cafes, the teen-only Entourage club, main pool and atrium. There are two new bars -- Bliss Ultra Lounge, offering dance music after dark, and The Pit Stop, a 1950s-themed bar with a view of the pool. Two Deluxe Owner’s Suites have also been added in The Haven.

The new look is decidely more modern to the point of being unrecognizable in some public areas. Some people may lament the loss of the water slide and fake palm trees around the pool, but the result is a more relaxing space, especially for adults. Add to that an always-casual, laid-back ambience and a wealth of dining venues, and Norwegian Jewel is a comfortable base from which to explore any port of call.

The first of Norwegian Cruise Line's Jewel-class ships, Norwegian Jewel may lack many of the bells and whistles of its younger fleetmates (no rock wall, bowling alley or ropes course), but it's anything but boring. With dozens of daily activities, numerous lounges for live music and 10 eateries, the variety of choices is dazzling. You'll find it all, from cheesy poolside traditions (sexiest leg contest, anyone?) and interactive game shows (the Not So Newlywed Game never gets old) to breathtaking aerial acts and a logic-defying magician in the main theater.

Our favorite spot to grab breakfast and lunch on the go was the large O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill. Spacious and bright, thanks to windows on both sides, it dishes up guilty pleasure pub grub like fish 'n' chips and chicken pot pies. A pleasant side effect of O'Sheehan's, open 24/7, is that it takes pressure off the main dining rooms, making the waits for dinner, which in the past could be up to an hour, much shorter. We never waited more than five minutes for a table, regardless of whether we showed up at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Although it's a big ship, there is plenty of nifty digital signage that not only lets passengers know what's going on onboard, but allows them to make dining reservations and buy shore excursions on the spot. See that Cagney's is filling up fast? No need to get up to the reservations desk. Just swipe your key card, choose your dining time and you're all set to go.

For more details about cabins, dining and things to do, see the separate sections of this review.


Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options


Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover

Bottom Line

Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.


Passengers: 2376
Crew: 1100
Passenger to Crew: 2.16:1
Launched: 2005
Shore Excursions: 889


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in two main dining rooms and at Chin Chin, O’Sheehan’s pub, the Garden Cafe buffet and Topsiders Grill; also Continental breakfast room service

  • Main theater production shows and live music in various venues

  • Most onboard activities, except as noted

  • Use of the fitness center (excluding most classes and training sessions)

  • Use of the sports deck

  • Splash Academy kids club

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($15.50 per person, per day for anyone in a standard stateroom; $18.50 per person, per day, for people in The Haven, Concierge-level cabins and all suites)

  • Drinks, <strong>excluding</strong> water, tea, coffee and select juices from the buffet

  • Gratuities of 20 percent on beverage, spa, salon and specialty dining purchases

  • Room service fee of $9.95 (waived for suites and continental breakfast orders)

  • Most specialty dining

  • Spa and salon services, as well as entry to the spa's thermal suite

  • Most fitness center classes

  • Select daily activities including alcohol tastings, bingo, and gameshows like Deal or No Deal

  • After-hours kids supervision programs at the Splash Academy

  • Shore excursions

  • Internet access and packages

  • Photos taken by shipboard photographers, artwork from the art gallery

Fellow Passengers

In Australia and Asia, the majority of passengers are expeced to be locals. In Alaska, you'll find a bit more of an international mix with passengers from America, Australia, Europe and Asia also onboard. The ship draws a broad range of age groups, especially during summer and winter/spring breaks when children and teens are out of school.

Norwegian Jewel Dress Code

Daytime: Casual dress is the name of the game when it comes to Norwegian's freestyle cruising.

Evening: You might spot a handful of passengers in suits or cocktail dresses on the ship's one (very optional) formal night, but most stick to a fairly laid-back version of formal (i.e. pants, collared shirts, sundresses, skirts, etc.). Shorts are allowed in all dining venues except the Tsar's Palace main dining room and Le Bistro French restaurant.

Not permitted: After 5 p.m., tank tops, flip-flops and baseball caps are not permitted in any of the restaurants.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Norwegian Cruise Line.

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More about Norwegian Jewel

Where does Norwegian Jewel sail from?

Norwegian Jewel departs from Vancouver, Seward, Seattle, Klong Tuey, Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Klong Tuey, Laem Chabang, Taipei (Keelung), Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul (Incheon), Tampa, Manila, Yokohama, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Bali, and Tanah Ampo

How much does it cost to go on Norwegian Jewel?

Cruises on Norwegian Jewel start from $449 per person.

Is Norwegian Jewel a good ship to cruise on?

Norwegian Jewel won 16 awards over the years.
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