This cruise was a last minute decision. My best friend called to say that she and her daughter (age 8) were planning a cruise over Spring Break and asked if we would like to join them. Since we all live in Florida, it's pretty easy ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute decision. My best friend called to say that she and her daughter (age 8) were planning a cruise over Spring Break and asked if we would like to join them. Since we all live in Florida, it's pretty easy for us to hop on a ship anytime we feel like it, so we said sure. My friend was initially looking at cruises on Royal Caribbean, but I found the 5 day Western Caribbean on the Jewel and convinced her that it was a better bet, based on our amazing experience on the Jewel's sister ship, the Pearl. Boy, was I ever wrong!
We arrived at the port just as it was starting to rain, but got our luggage onto a full cart before heading into the terminal. When our luggage arrived at our room, it was so soaking wet that the clothing inside was actually damp. I'm not talking about cheap luggage either. This tells me that the porters did nothing to try and protect the luggage and that it was obviously left standing in the rain for an extended period of time.
Check-in was relatively painless, so things were off to a good start. We enjoyed the day until dinner, when we dined at Azura. Everyone's entree was delivered together, except mine, which arrived approximately 15 minutes after everyone else's and then only after my flagging down the waiter, who basically ignored us after serving the first three entrees.
When we arrived back at our stateroom for the evening to a bed that wasn't turned down, I was horrified by stained, old and pilly sheets on the bed. I had to call someone at midnight to come and change the linens and as they were changing them, they had to fix the pillow tops as well. When two twin beds are pushed together to make a queen, the pillow tops from both twin beds are supposed to be spread across both beds so you can't feel the crack between the two beds. This wasn't done when the room was originally made up. They just pushed the two beds together and threw a sheet over the whole thing.
Entertainment was just average. Some acts were better than others. Don Dunn was a pleasure, Cirque Bijou and Band on the Run ware cool, and the Second City troupe was great. Didn't care for the Cat's Pajamas or the comedian. Even the late night comedy show wasn't that great. The staff overall was either inattentive or downright rude, with a very few exceptions. There were a couple of people who were very friendly and actually greeted us by name, but they were few and far between. Most acted like we were bothering them if we asked a question or requested anything that there wasn't an extra charge for. I even had one member of the cruise director's staff call me "cheap" because I purchased the least expensive Bingo package.
I won a dinner at La Bistro in the Cruise Rewards raffle and asked if I could use it for the Jazz Brunch on the last sea day, which I wanted to attend anyway. I made a reservation in the latter part of the timeframe and was actually a little late because of another activity, but the band was still playing and we were seated. The band was so loud that it was unpleasant and we were happy that they were wrapping up shortly after we arrived. What we didn't expect was the staff basically ignoring us and cleaning up the buffet tables while we (and several other tables) were still eating. If I had paid for this experience, I would have demanded a refund. The service was appalling and the wait staff was extremely rude.
The last night of the cruise was a "formal" night and since most everyone who was dressed up was having dinner and it was the last night of the cruise, we decided to venture to Azura once again since we were dressed pretty casually. My husband was asked to go change his pants because he was wearing shorts. Meanwhile, there were at least a dozen people already dining that were wearing shorts and we pointed out that if they were going to enforce the rule for one person, they should enforce it for everyone.
This is the just the big stuff. There were countless other little problems that I won't go into in detail, such as dirty glasses on tables, silverware with food still stuck to it, unfilled ice buckets in staterooms, etc. Overall, horrible experience.
Disembarkation was pretty smooth, although the porters at the terminal were very pushy and tried to force us to use them (and tip them), when we were perfectly capable of getting our luggage to our car on our own.
I did purchase the cruise reward early in the cruise, so I (or someone else since it is transferable) will be cruising with NCL again, but rest assured that it will not be on the Jewel! Read Less