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Sail Date: July 2015
I chose this cruise because of our Fantastic previous cruise with the Norwegian Pearl going to Alaska, and we wanted another memorable, amazing experience. It comes down to this: I am a gambler. My primary reason for cruising is ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of our Fantastic previous cruise with the Norwegian Pearl going to Alaska, and we wanted another memorable, amazing experience. It comes down to this: I am a gambler. My primary reason for cruising is gambling and drinking. I only play roulette. 1. On my last cruise, one of the two roulette tables was broken 2. I only gambled on the first day. I lost $6,500 in about 5 minutes. The table maximum was $2,000. I bet $500 on red and lost, then $2,000 on black and lost, then $2,000 on red and lost, then another $2,000 on black and lost. That was all I had to gamble with for that cruise, and I blew it in the first 10 minutes on the first day. 3. Aside from being mortified that I'd spent my entire gambling bankroll in MINUTES on the FIRST DAY, you know what I got for comps? Nothing. I don't know what my play history shows from my first cruise, but for the second cruise, it shows nothing. Every single casino on the Vegas strip will comp me rooms for that, and Casinos at Sea doesn't even rate me as a gambler. 4. NCL might be the only cruise line where I would have to pay for drinks. Even on my first cruise, where I didn't lose that much money - having to get the pit boss to nod to the bartender to make me a drink because I'm not a high enough tiered player makes me feel bad, and I don't like being made to feel bad for trying to get a bit of hospitality. 5. The ship itself was terrible. 50%+ of the passengers were ill, the crew were ill, spreading illness like wildfire around the ship. We got stuck in ports while the ship requested permission to dock because of all the sick people. 6. The ports were terrible. Hondurus might be beautiful.... but not after a hurricane, when the port is destroyed, and we're getting shuttled to the beach on small cutters so we can wander around inside a chain-link fenced area protected by soldiers with automatic rifles while beggers outside of the fence look for handouts. 7. And the worst thing of all - loyalty isn't rewarded. I have a $10,000 bankroll to gamble this fall. I've been trying to decide where to go, and my wife suggested we try a cruise again. I contacted Casinos at Sea to find out what kind of options I might have, and they're dried up. After my first cruise,NCL was offering me free cruises as a "valued casino patron." I guess I assumed that they would be happy to room and board me in exchange for me bringing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars into their casino as a captive audience - where I can't even leave and go play at another casino. When the CAS folks told me what I was eligible for - which turned out to be the basic offers available to ANYONE on the internet via the NCL guest splashpage, that was the final straw. I researched this a bit tonight on Cruisecritic, and find that CAS has a reputation of getting increasingly stingier, less generous, and less willing to offer promotions or incentives, and gamblers are switching to Royal Caribbean. The first cruise I took with NCL; an inner passage cruise through Alaska - is one of the most treasured memories I will ever have. The cruise, the food, the gambling, the stops...it bought my loyalty to NCL. With the next cruise being such an opposite and inferior experience compared to the first one - we were shocked. Nothing is perfect though - I sent some feedback that the cruise didn't go very well after it ended, but never heard back. I suppose every cruiser should research their cruise destinations and ports instead of trusting a cruise line to do it for them, but I was shocked at how shoddy of an experience it was. I read some other reviews on here about the Jewel specifically being a shoddy ship, so I can't speak for the entirety of the Norwegian fleet of course - but the followup customer service was atrocious. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We decided due to the reviews to sail Norwegian Cruise lines this go around. We decided to ask some friends to cruise with us, and unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment for us. I have cruised 5 times and my wife now 3 times. Our ... Read More
We decided due to the reviews to sail Norwegian Cruise lines this go around. We decided to ask some friends to cruise with us, and unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment for us. I have cruised 5 times and my wife now 3 times. Our guests had cruised a couple of times. The ship was decent, appointed and nice looking. It is cast as a "Freestyle" cruise and we had hoped for more from it. The service was the worst issue that was in need of repair! I'll give one example....we went to one of the complimentary restaurants to eat. It was listed as one that allowed cruise apparel. Meaning shorts and flip-flops acceptable. Several couples ahead of us, were told they could not eat. The sign at the podium even said the other restaurants required pants, etc. It was unbelievable that so many of us were told we could not eat even under their rules. Finally we were allowed to seat. This is where it went sideways for me. I sat down and the waiter handed me the menu. He then reached for my water glass but first knocked (or slapped) my menu out of his way to reach for my water glass! I looked at him he smiled, then slapped it back out of his way to set my water glass down! Most of the time the workers were indifferent to customer service when we interacted with them. It was 8:30 pm and I went to eat something. The buffet was closed, the two restaurants near the pool were closed and we had to go eat at one small restaurant with 5 items only. So they were not lying "you can eat 24/7." One last issue you should know, is the alcohol. Our plan was not to drink much and just pay as we went. By the end of Sunday we added up money. Here is how they operate, every drink requires a receipt to be signed by you. Your name, additional tip on top of the 18% already paid. Does not seem very ease of use to me. Not to mention as an example i tried 12 shots of a whiskey and not even as much as a slight buzz. Which means they are not only cutting, but seriously cutting the alcohol to save money. Once these issues were spoken with about to the management, they decided that some strawberries and a bottle of wine were the answer to assist. I am grateful they tried, but seriously the lack of customer service was the worst issue, lack of food to be had, just because it was evening time. Not late night, evening time. One last issue was we saw our cabin attendant for the first time on Thursday evening. As much as this pains me to say, Carnival was better at customer service than this Norwegian ship. I do not rate all of their ships like this one as I have not sailed on them. But I am not sure that I'll take the time to find out either. It's not terrible but not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Let me first start out by saying that this cruise was the prime example that Fancy doesn't always mean quality..... The Norwegian Jewel which is clearly not a new ship - exceeded our expectations by far! Let's start with the ... Read More
Let me first start out by saying that this cruise was the prime example that Fancy doesn't always mean quality..... The Norwegian Jewel which is clearly not a new ship - exceeded our expectations by far! Let's start with the PROS: Crew: The staff was so friendly and accommodating. Whatever we needed - we got it. We loved the washy washy guitar man in the dining rooms!!!! FOOD: The unlimited drink and Meal package was A HOMERUN!!!! The restaurants were amazing. A different taste every night. The Tepanyaki Japanese restaurant was our favorite! The unlimited drinks were flowing!!!! Throw the bartender a few extra bucks they will hook you up! Whatever we needed or wanted they had it for us( they also use top shelf liquor !!! ) score! Entertainment: Very random selections but very funny ( a few great comedians and some other nice shows) We also loved all the different bands that played at the pool ...lounges and clubs! We LOVED the martini bar!!! What an awesome addition to the ship. CONS: We honestly have no complaints... Improvements perhaps? Sure. They can use another adult pool ( not necessary ) but would help! - The ports were amazing but the tendering was a bit annoying( you don't pull into port - you take a separate boat to land ) but the ports choices were amazing. ( honduras,belize,Cozumel) This is a simple boat... Perfect size ( only 2800 passengers) and enough help to go around- had the best time and proves you don't need fancy for a fun time!!! GO GO GO! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We have cruised 9 times before of various cruise lines. I have to say I like the size of the ship. It seemed easier to get around on. However, it was rocky. I do not know if it was the size of the ship, ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We have cruised 9 times before of various cruise lines. I have to say I like the size of the ship. It seemed easier to get around on. However, it was rocky. I do not know if it was the size of the ship, or if something was not working properly. We took our whole family, including our 5 year old grad daughter. She had a blast with the kids program! What a wonderful experience for her. She learned to snorkel in Belize. We love the people at the ports in Belize and Honduras. They were appreciative. Nothing to do in Trujillo Belize. Highly suggest going to Campo Del Mar Beach Resort. Just pay for the beach. The wild life tour is not worth the price. As far as Cozumel, I live on the border of Mexico and am very familiar with the Mexican culture, but the retail people at the port are very aggressive and can be a problem for a peaceful shopping experience in Cozumel. Just be aware. They will take you if they can. Our rooms were on the 8th deck. Our room was 8550. It is bright and can be loud at night due to the Karaoke bar under the room. It is not worth the price for the ocean view room. It is obstructed and bright at night. Crew er great. Food was good. Might be worth it to pay for the specialty restaurants. Go ahead and make reservations. The Free Style Cruising is ok, but people make reservations anyway, and you will have to wait. All in all a fun trip. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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