5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the longest embark that we had to endure after a long flight from US to Hong Kong one day prior. We were tired and hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed by the time we got on board because it was time for Muster. Our package included premium beverage, four specialty dining restaurants, unlimited internet, which was nice although the internet was crawling most of the time, and 120 free phone calls of which we used 55 minutes. We were extremely dissapponted to find out that we had to pay NCL $69 each to get a Viet Nam Visa and $89 each for a Cambodia Visa at embark. Of course, we were not aware of getting visas in advance because we planned not to get off in Cambodia because the ship only port one day there, and because we were in Cambodia 2017. The River Cruise Company advised us in advance that we had to get visa for Nam and Cambodia, but NCL did not. Moreover, Viet Nam charges $25 for its Visa; Cambodia charges $30, and it took us less than 5 weeks to get both visa. NCL charged $69 and $89, 3x the charge??? When several passengers asked the crews at the reception, one said because it was an emergency visas; other said to me because they “are merchant” visas. I pointed to that crew member the Viet Nam visa that was stapled to my passports in 2017 indicating that was a “merchant” visa, too, yet, I didn’t have to pay $69 and I got to keep the visa. I don’t know if that crew member got trained appropriately or he thought he could fool me into believing his feeble infor. On this trip, we had to turn in our Nam Visa on the last port day in Nam. So for those who want to keep it for souvenir are of our luck! The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was mediocre and poor in some instances. The restaurants’ staffs seemed trying but the execution was poor. At Cagney’s Steak house, I asked for a medium rare filet mignon, it came out rare. The server took it back, the kitchen recooked the steak that I already cut into instead of giving me a new one. What happened if I were sick with a cold or have some kind of contagious illness? Some thoughts for the management. Another incident at Chin Chin, Asian Fusion Restaurant, a line item on the menu, “Chinese Chicken...” one of the passengers asked the server, “what is Chinese Chicken?” The server responded with a laugh, “may be it’s small...” He then apologized later knowing what he said was inappropriate. Note for NCL management, there should be no Chinese Chickens, no American Chickens, and etc...on the menu. There were many more that we could name. In summary, we have cruised many times on large cruise ships and many more on river cruise ships, our experiences were better than NCL, which was our first time. We are not so sure if we want to give NCL a second chance! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, ... Read More
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, 2018. The best part of the cruise is the fact that our Mini-Suite was kept immaculately tidy by our steward. The whole ship always looked tidy. Unfortunately, the positives stop there. NCL Jewel is a highly disorganized ship and the reasons are as follows: (1) from the initial port in HK up to disembarkation. People in HK were not even properly identified as NCL staff. They were grabbing the suitcases from our hotel limo as we arrived. (2)Furthermore, NO ONE in the check in counter in HK knew what Latitudes was. Only those in the Suites were assisted even if the Latitudes program supposedly provided for assistance on embarkation for those in Gold upwards (3)Restaurant reservation made online prior to the start of the cruise did not sync with the ship's system. Hence, I just wasted all that time planning the restaurants that we wanted to dine in. (4)The worst part is the staff at Azura ( on the first night) were demanding a print out from me for the proof of my reservation. I obviously do not walk around with hard copies of the reservation when it is supposed to be in their system as per my NCL account. I did not appreciate this because there were other patrons behind and I never expected to be treated in such fashion when the meal in question is an inclusion and not even a specialty restaurant. I later found out that the whole reservation system was not working for the entire length of the cruise(5) Water purchased in advance were not delivered to our room until after 3 follow ups. We were told that it would be delivered the next day which is unacceptable as my husband and I require such for our medication. (6) Shore excursion organizers at the start were not organized with guests even requesting that a line be formed during the process. This is disappointing as the staff should have organized the whole process better. I started wondering if they had trainees organizing these excursions. Also, some guests of the boat were complaining that the ship ran out of shore excursion openings for most of the tours. It is only for 11 days – how can they get it so wrong. (7) Room service did not deliver an order for nearly 3 hours because they supposedly failed to get our room number. We could not have our breakfast at the restaurants that morning as we were dealing with a family emergency over the phones. This was the height of how dysfunctional room service was. To order for beer at around 10 pm would take at least an hour to be delivered. (8) Food in the specialty restaurants are mostly SALTY. The dishes we enjoyed at the NCL Star are also offered at the Jewel but for some reason almost everything is about 3 times saltier. This made most of our dining experiences not enjoyable. Menus in the main dining areas/complimentary do not change at all. Azura and Tsar have near similar menus ( 9) Staff in the Garden Cafe are NOT very helpful and would really rather stand around than assist guests when the place is packed during meal time. The same goes with Azura. The staff members seem to be overwhelmed during peak times. Hence, guests are left waiting to be attended to. We dined there twice and it is sad to see that the main dining area could hardly cope and not get its act together. (10) As we had to leave the ship earlier than scheduled due to a family emergency, we had to disembark by ourselves. We have paid for the cruise until 01 April but had to leave by 30 March. We were supposed to disembark at around 11 am as our flight was at 3:00 pm. By 9:30 am, housekeeping wanted to check if we were still in our rooms. Yes, the very same room that we have paid for in full till April 1 including the unlimited internet charges I have paid for UNTIL April 1. An hour later, someone in guest relations also went to our room to check if we were still around. This was weird because they all knew we were only leaving past 11 am. I could not understand why they were rushing to get us out when the ship will still be docked until 7 or 8 pm in Kobe. Later, the disembarkation officer was VERY VERY rude and even raised her voice infront of everyone when I said that all I wanted was to get out of this ship once and for all. She should not be in hospitality if that is how she treats guests. Prior to our disembarkation and after having raised some of the issues above with customer relations, the Hotel Director Steven even offered to compensate us with US$200 off our bill for all the inconveniences we encountered. We find that insulting as we did not raise our issues to get freebies. We actually look down on people who try to pull that sort of stuff. In the long run, we believe people with legitimate issues suffer when an establishment assumes that people only whinge because they want to get freebies. We declined the offer and told him to use the funds instead towards boosting staff training and morale. He also later on sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to our Mini- Suite. We also sent that back and politely said thank you BUT no thank you to the messenger. Over-all we regret taking this cruise. It was only for 11 days but I think it stressed us out in the 9 days that we were inside that ship. We were so impressed with NCL Star that we even made 3 CruiseNext deposits in 2016. We are not regretting that decision. Since coming back to Australia, we have read some reviews other passengers have given Jewel and all I can conclude is that we are not alone with our findings. They also are the same with the sentiments of most of the people we interacted with on the boat. Most of them even swearing this would be the final time with NCL. I hope I am wrong to assume that NCL only treats guests from the Suites better than the rest. If someone in a Mini Suite this time cannot get decent satisfaction from a cruise liner then I don’t know what hope the other guests in the lower decks would feel. The ship is running very poorly because of low staff morale and inadequate training. Suffice to say, I will surely think thrice before recommending this vessel for a cruise. The Jewel is destroying the NCL brand and needs an overhaul. It has management and staff issues. We have cruised with both Princess and Celebrity on both levels, Suite and Mini Suite, and had absolutely none of these issues. 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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