2,381 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The ... Read More
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The entertainment was outstanding, especially Ana and Vlad and the Circus Bijou. The food was great, plenty f choice in the buffet, the Irish bar had a great selection as did the Chin Chin Asian restaurant but e mainly ate in the Tsar's main dining room where Alex and team, the special diets co-ordinator made my cruise. Eating out with severe allergies and food restrictions can be a nerve-racking operation with limited choices and constant fears of cross-contamination. Not so on the Jewel. Every day Alex and team brought menus, from whichever restaurant I wanted for me to pre-select, then they and the chef created my food, brought special items (the gluten-free breads were the best I've ever had), the smoked salmon benedict and cinnamon french toast for breakfast were outstanding and every dining experience a delight. Thank you so much. PS Alaska was amazing too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Meh
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my ... Read More
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my expectations were too high. And also the Wi-Fi that I paid for sucks so bad that nobody should buy it, just do without. I know it’s a satellite-based Wi-Fi but they shouldn’t try to sell it if it doesn’t work. The room TV was nice except it didn’t work unless you want to watch commercials for people trying to sell you watches, diamonds and artwork, up selling everything on the ship when I see there’s not much to look at when on the high seas. Crew was very friendly and the excursions made the trip. If I had to do it again I’d fly to Ketchikan and use that as my base of operations. The people of Alaska make it a great place to visit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all ... Read More
I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all meat is overcooked, sitting area is also limited and spread out, only one section of buffet, if you can't find a table close by (which most likely is occupied), you have to walked three blocks to get to the food station, very poor design, should at least put the buffet in the center, only a few items of food with displayed with limited selection and quantity. Hot noodles was served with three to four string of noodles (why bother) almost all customers asks for 3-4 portions Salad varieties is so terrible and only couple of bottle thousand island and French dressing Fruit varieties is poor and limited. mostly not quite ready, maybe worry they would go bad? I lost weight at the cruise by doing and eating nothing. I feel totally ripped off and no one anywhere to complain We were denied access to the theatre because I was pushing a stroller, claimed that the hall is full and yet they allowed someone else to walk in and invite them to stand at the back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife ... Read More
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife generously upgraded our balcony room to a Haven suite as a birthday gift. We've had suites before on RC and MSC, but this one was significantly larger including a separate second bedroom / bathroom for our seven year old. The Haven itself is fantastic. Haven areas are on the restricted decks (14 and 15) and include private dining for breakfast and lunch in Moderno, a covered pool/hot-tub that is nice and warm on the coldest/windiest of Alaskan days, a private area on top of the ship (on deck 15) where you can enjoy 360 degree views, butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority seating in the theater, priority embarkation and debarkation, etc. Truly awesome! We were very spoiled for the week! Overall, this is the way to see the coastline. There are some places where it just makes sense to go by ship. Norway (which we did on MSC after Norwegian canceled our cruise without explanation) and Alaska glacier areas are two examples. We spent innumerable hours watching gorgeous scenery out of our balcony with hours and hours going by with no sight of humans. Spectacular! OK, but onto the cruise stuff you guys might care to read about. First, service. We were pretty segregated the whole trip, so we didn't interact much in the public areas of the ship with the exception of listening to music in a bar or two. Our cabin steward, butler (Loy) and concierge (John) were all great. We asked a lot from John during the trip and he was intelligent, helpful and fully understood the context of what his guests would want. In our experience, not many crew members (especially non-native English speakers) are very good at getting the nuances of American culture even after a decade or more working on ships. John just "got it" and made our cruise much better that it would have been without his assistance. Such staff are worth attracting to the ship because they can accomplish more than a dozen 'newbs' can. We spent a bit of time chatting with the General Manager as well, who I think has one of the coolest jobs. OK, so all-in-all the service we received was great. Public service, I really can't say one way or the other albeit we ran into a couple service staff that would randomly bring up how they had toddlers at home that they only got to see every 8 months. We have run into this story many times before (always from SouthEast Asian staff) and I'm cool with it as long as it doesn't sound like a pity story in an effort to get additional gratuity. If we have been speaking with you frequently and we ask, fine, but don't bring it up out of the blue, please people. It's odd. Music: We had a Spanish guitarist that was quite talented and my daughter danced (mostly alone) for at least an hour. We didn't get much in the way of jazz which was surprising for a cruise full of retirees. The show band did a bit and were quite good. None of the other musicians did much for us. There was a Phillipino group singing pop tunes which was pretty awful, but there were enough people watching so at least some people thought it was OK. At least there wasn't a Calypso band on board. Entertainment: We thought it was surprisingly good. Generally the shows don't do much for us. We saw a hypnotist that we had seen before in the Canary Islands, a couple shows with the main dance/musicians, a smart comedian (geared to older age audiences) and a couple shows that were "Cirque" themed. The Cirque stuff was the best. The rest were quite good as well. Cabin: Mostly covered above, but overall it was excellent. Some of the tiles on the bathroom floor were loose and there was an odd frame thing around the master bath toilet flushing button, but the rest was in good shape and very clean. Specialty Dining: We didn't eat in any non-specialty restaurants this trip unless you count having sushi and other stuff at Chin Chin. Everything cost extra in the specialty dining, of course, but we were surprised by how much more expensive it was as compared to Norweigan's prior cover-charge approach. The prices were comparable to what I would expect to pay for a similar restaurant at home, which didn't take into account what we weren't eating at the main dining room / buffet, etc. I am fine with paying 'a la carte, but at least make the pricing reasonable, folks! Perhaps that was why many of the restaurants looked pretty empty at least at the early-ish times were were eating. OK, for the details; Chin Chin: the cheapest of the bunch as most of the food is free. The food was quite good quality and our service there was excellent. It was a bit loud and crowded, but that's fully understandable. We got the last available table which was by the entrance to Teppanyaki, so my daughter got to watch the show (again). The show band was playing for part of dinner downstairs, so that was pleasurable. The sushi from Sushi was excellent. In retrospect, I would have repeated this place more than once. La Cucina: Any Italian would lose their mind in this place. The food was 'meh', albeit the pasta dish we had was prepared perfectly. Italian cuisine must consist of the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the rule is to not screw up the great ingredients by overcooking or over-embellishing. I got the Osso Bucco and was sadly disappointed. It was of poor quality, not prepared well, not flavorful, and didn't even come with the marrow fork. I asked for one and the (Filipino) staff had no clue what I was talking about. Who serves Osso Bucco without a marrow fork?! Not anyone that has familiarity with Italian cuisine. Anyway, I viewed this as a symptom of not hiring more people that are familiar with the cuisines and service expected from a restaurant of that theme. C'mon Norwegian, stop hiring 90% of your staff from the Philippines just because they are cheap and can't sue foreign countries. We know what you are doing! Teppanyaki: This is a typical cheap Japanese steak house. Sit around the grill and get a little show. Service was poor, the food was fine, and the "Japanese chef" was almost as good as you'd find in a comparable place back home. Le Bistro: Good food, good service, somewhat limited menu, and a nice view out the windows (we were eating while passing whales which was really cool). Cagney's: This was the best restaurant in our opinion. The steaks and veal were excellent. The sides were priced separately and were quite expensive but tiny portions. What the heck? Very good service from our favorite server. The sommelier however was really irritating and had no clue what he was doing. He showed up at our table like Lenny and Squiggy arriving at Laverne and Shirley's apartment with a loud "Hello!". He then proceeded to open and pour our wine, but poured my glass and then my wife's. The rules are simple people: The one who orders the wine is asked to taste. Then you serve it to the oldest woman down to the youngest and then the men. Oh and he poured massive pours. What the heck? I was visibly irritated and made a comment to our server. I'm sure anyone server on the ship could have served the wine properly. Why this guy couldn't is a mystery, but I ran into him again at Moderno. This time he obnoxiously pretended to speak Spanish (he was Filipino) and was desperate to point me to a bottle. (I can choose my own wine, thank you very much!) I later complained about his boorish behavior to John, our concierge who relayed it to the head sommelier. Moderno: We ate here for breakfast and lunch every day as we were in the Haven. Service was excellent and the food quality was good, but the menu never changed over the seven days. We mentioned it to the General Manager, but he didn't think it was an issue except on longer cruises. For dinner it is a Brazilian steakhouse that gets its food from the kitchen in Cagney's. The food quality was good, but some of the staff didn't understand the whole 'red card means stop, green card means go' thing. Its basic rules for a Brazillian steakhouse people. The servers bringing the meat should know this. Beverages: Good, but overpriced. Oh, I forgot to mention that we selected a beverage package as one of our free incentives for booking the cruise in the first place, but when my wife upgraded to a Haven Suite, they took this benefit away without telling us. It became a whole two days of trying to sort it out through our concierge, who ended up losing that battle on our behalf. They charge a lot for drinks on this ship. A typical mixed drink was $11+ and a can of soda was $3.50. The drink packages are really expensive too. After a day or two we figured out that we'd never drink enough to make the package worthwhile even at the high prices, so we just paid for what we wanted. We bought bottles of wine every night (which were reasonably priced), so at least that was fine. Fitness Center: They have a whole room full of nice bikes that they only allow to be used when there is a spin class. The rest of the bikes were awful, my wife tells me. I used the treadmill once, which was fine, then I started running on the track on deck 13 instead which involves frequently asking people to move when they are blocking the track. Shore Excursions: We did our own for the most part. We took a helicopter flight and landed on a glacier, we took a cool train ride into Yukon territory (that one was cruise arranged), we kayaked with sea lions, seals and humpback whales, and we did a sled-dog training event. All were awesome and the ones we arranged were cheaper than the ship excursions, but they were still pricey. That said, all were worth it! Why This is Our Last Large Ship Cruise: We just learned how much these ships pollute the air. One cruise line in its European cruises pollutes MORE than every car in Europe combined. What the heck?! It turns out that they could "scrub" the exhaust, but then it just dumps sulfuric acid into the ocean directly. It appears that having your hotel / restaurants move around with you everywhere is wasteful. Who knew? Anyway, we'll just do more fly and drive trips which albeit bad, have much less of a carbon impact than a big ship. Time to go nuclear, folks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and ... Read More
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and friendly people on board, including a couple of Australian sisters named Robyn and Jennifer, a nurse name Warren and his wife Shannon, an Irish couple named Dominic and Yvonne. My only regret is that I did not exchange my contact information with them. I don’t know how, But I hope to get in touch with them again. Maybe one of them will give me, Harry Potter, a shout. Overall, this was a fun cruise with lots of activities for our ages. I Will go on this cruise again because Norwegian was so good to guests with vision and mobility disabilities. This is important because my father has two bad knees and I have low vision. Clin729@gmail.com Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this Cruise along with my fellow friends. ( Choir and Ukelele Groups. ) I was able to utilize my Scooter on-board and that allowed myself to enjoy every adventure and opportunity offered. I had a Wheelchair accessible Cabin and ... Read More
I chose this Cruise along with my fellow friends. ( Choir and Ukelele Groups. ) I was able to utilize my Scooter on-board and that allowed myself to enjoy every adventure and opportunity offered. I had a Wheelchair accessible Cabin and it was just perfect. Room for my scooter and plenty of room left for every other need we may have had. The cabin was lovely and the care given every day to keep it clean and lovely was without any doubt, exemplary. The ship was beautiful and at all times well kept and clean and enjoyable to be aboard. The staff were absolutely magnificent.......always pleasant, helpful, thoughtful and very attentive. ( Always a Smile and a Hello. Some made a point of trying to remember your name.) Every need that one could have was met and More. The excursions offered were many and covered so many different interests. There was something for Everyone who may have wanted an adventure in Port. The activities and entertainment onboard were top of the line and very enjoyable. ( The only suggestion that I would like to make is to reduce the cost of the Bingo Games so that more people could participate and perhaps there should be more games than just 3 and larger prizes.) The help getting onto and off of the ship was just great. The staff knew what they were doing and made it very easy for all the passengers to follow the directions and get to the correct place and any help that may have been required was provided. This was my first cruise but it certainly will not be my last.......I am excited and can hardly wait to do it again. Thank you for a wonderful adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation took a long time as it seemed all 2380 passengers arrived within a 30-minute window so the queues took well over an hour to check in. Luggage arrived to our stateroom promptly though (just after we boarded), which was amazing. ... Read More
Embarkation took a long time as it seemed all 2380 passengers arrived within a 30-minute window so the queues took well over an hour to check in. Luggage arrived to our stateroom promptly though (just after we boarded), which was amazing. The ship is quite nice but does have a few rust spots here and there even though it was just refurbished late 2018. The staff are excellent overall - special mention goes to Najat from the cruise director's team. She was amazing, very friendly and welcoming. She was chosen to host the LGBT+ meetups, and she was awesome. She's a straight ally, and seemed to love joking around with us gay guys. We made sure to give her an extra gratuity at the end of our cruise to show our appreciation for her welcome. We reserved a balcony cabin, and were lucky to be assigned an oversized wheelchair accessible room - fantastic! The walk-in shower was great and there was lots of space. Lots of storage cubby holes, in-room safe, minibar/fridge (we didn't use it), etc, etc. Condition of the cabin was very good too, although the sofa looked a little worn already. Bed was nice & comfy, and we slept quite well. Restaurants were very good. The Garden Cafe buffet is decent, but feels very busy and like feeding livestock (hehe). We ate in 3 specialty restaurants - Le Select (a very nice French style restaurant), Moderno (a so-so Brazilian steakhouse - it could have been better), and Cagney's (an excellent American style steakhouse). The main dining rooms Azura and Tsar's Palace were very good too - although the food could be a bit hotter in Tsar's Palace. Heating the plates before service would help, but I also understand that on a ship there are limitations. We saw 3 different shows while on board, and they were all excellent. It still boggles my mind that a cruise ship can have a huge theatre on board. This has been our first ever ocean cruise (we only did 1 other when we traveled to China, on the Yangtze River), but we'll definitely be back to Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was recommended to me by United Cruises once I told them I was interested in an Alaska cruise. i was given several choices, but I was interested in doing SE Alaska because years ago I had done a different Alaska cruise which ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to me by United Cruises once I told them I was interested in an Alaska cruise. i was given several choices, but I was interested in doing SE Alaska because years ago I had done a different Alaska cruise which took me to Sitka, Valdez and ended up in Anchorage where I got to see Delani National Park, which was quite a treat for the senses. Everything was really nice onboard except the food. I found it to be very average in every sense. I never ate anything that mesmerized me. I guess Norwegian has to cut corners somewhere. Otherwise, the cruise was very enjoyable. The entertainment was OK. The highlight of the entertainment for me was the winner of American idol 12 season, a lady whose last name was Glover. She was amazingly good and she performed flawlessly to the delight of the entire theater which gave her a standing ovation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was a bit worried about a "cold weather" cruise because I'd never experienced one. Surprise! The weather did not in any way interfere with our great time and wonderful experiences. We saw the Northern Lights!!! The ... Read More
I was a bit worried about a "cold weather" cruise because I'd never experienced one. Surprise! The weather did not in any way interfere with our great time and wonderful experiences. We saw the Northern Lights!!! The scenery was incredible and so very much to see. We dressed in layers for the weather but other than that, an a tiny bit of rain in Juneau, the weather was never mentioned, discussed or thought about. All port stops were extraordinary. My favorite, of all three which are favorites, was Ketchikan. Ketchikan was the most picturesque village we saw. I very much enjoyed the entertainment on board; especially the Cirque du Bijou (I think that's the correct name). Those folks were simply amazing. Our dining experiences were are pretty okay. I did not care for Chin Chin at all. We waited thirty minutes to be seated and then an additional thirty minutes to order. Our food order was incomplete and very bland. We did not mention the incomplete order because we didn't want to waste any more time. Just not my favorite at all. We were very fond of O'Sheehan's Grill & Pub. There were always friendly staff and guests around to visit with. Service was perfect. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted the itinerary so I chose this cruise and I have been cruising primarily on NCL. On the Jewel the staff makes you feel like family. The entertainment this cruise ( end of Sept) to Alaska was excellent. Stateroom was great and ... Read More
Wanted the itinerary so I chose this cruise and I have been cruising primarily on NCL. On the Jewel the staff makes you feel like family. The entertainment this cruise ( end of Sept) to Alaska was excellent. Stateroom was great and the Jewel was recently renovated. Recognized the Hotel Director Steven as I have cruised on the Jewel a few times previously. The food was good, some menu items better than others. Some of the food a bit bland, but good! The most remarkable thing that occurred was that my hotel steward found and turned into me an large diamond stud earring that had come out off my earlobe. I had not noticed that it had come off until he said he found it on the floor of my stateroom. Very commendable. So honest. I was very impressed by that. On my wish list, less shopping talks and more history, geography and cultural information! You cannot go wrong choosing NCL Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Beautiful ship, well appointed. All bars had awesome staff, especially Magnums and O’Shanahons . Specialty restaurants that we picked had wonderful food. We didn’t buy and shore excursions, (too $$$$) but, did do the port shopping ... Read More
Beautiful ship, well appointed. All bars had awesome staff, especially Magnums and O’Shanahons . Specialty restaurants that we picked had wonderful food. We didn’t buy and shore excursions, (too $$$$) but, did do the port shopping experience. Disappointed in daytime entertainment options when we returned to ship. Appreciated the hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship. Best entertainment by far was Fire and Ice (Michael Jackson/ Tina Turner) done by Rosie. . The entire staff on the Jewel had the best attitudes, always with a smile and asking if we needed help. Dan the Man was fun and helpful with announcements. Loved the drink package and the Specialty Dining. We are already planning on returning soon. Maybe the 16 days thru the Panama Cancel, Florida to LA where we live. We took advantage of the CruiseNow package. I personally have cruised on Cardinal Cruise Line.......I will never go back. I’m in love with NCL! Thank you for a very enjoyable cruise Gail Ropp Traveling with Lance Lomax Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a bucket list item in that I wanted to visit Alaska (the only state I hadn't been to) and to experience the coast of Alaska. We did the land portion of our trip first and the cruise on the way back so it would be restful and ... Read More
This was a bucket list item in that I wanted to visit Alaska (the only state I hadn't been to) and to experience the coast of Alaska. We did the land portion of our trip first and the cruise on the way back so it would be restful and that it was. The only disappointment was that the route is such that you only see minimal amount of the coastline and a lot of water. An up close view of Hubbard Glacier was probably the highlight of the cruise. The ship is well maintained and is kept clean. The staff is very friendly and helpful. If you are a foodie, this cruise is not for you. The food in the main dining rooms is good and the service very good. As for the buffets the food is average at best. Eggs are either under-cooked or over-cooked. Waffles, cinnamon and pecan rolls are hard. Omelettes are strange. Many of the drink machines did not function correctly which means you got flavored/colored water versus juice or drink. If you found a machine that worked you would continue to use it even if it meant going to the next dining room. For our vegan friends there was a choice of pasta, pasta or pasta. The entertainment was good. We went to several of the shows an were pleased. The excursions at our various ports were good. What I found interesting was the on ship channel dedicated to excursions was great and a whole lot more informational/easier to understand than the web site. It would be great to have the video linked to the web site. The very best excursion was the crab feast. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was the second part of my Alaska adventure . Something I have always wanted to experience. The ports and excursions were amazing , the scenery breathtaking and we saw bears ! We had a mini suite with a balcony and that was a ... Read More
The cruise was the second part of my Alaska adventure . Something I have always wanted to experience. The ports and excursions were amazing , the scenery breathtaking and we saw bears ! We had a mini suite with a balcony and that was a real treat to be able sit out there and see whales ,seals and the beautiful mountain ranges. Our room steward Shakia (spelled wrong) was charming and very efficient meeting our every need with a smile. We ate at three specialty restaurants ,Cagneys ,La Cicina and Monodeva which were all excellent .However the complimentary restaurants for all meals were very good . My scale showed there were no complaints. The service throughout the ship was wonderful , except for one area . A very important one I might add , guest services , mid deck where you got any questions answered you might have. I had to go there three times and three different agents were rude , acted as if I was bothering them or asking stupid questions , never a smile . Several people in the group we traveled with had the same impression . I still have a $52.80 charge at Azura for chocolates that no one could tell me what it was for at the service desk . I would not go back and ask a second time . That area of the service was very disappointing. My only other issue was my children gave me an on board credit and I used it for a sea weed massage 100 minutes , the last 15 minutes were spent trying to sell me weight loss products and othe products I had no interest in . I specified I was there for a relaxation massage not a health check up but the young women did a great massage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The good: drinks, bar service, cabin service, food service (but not universally food quality) embarkation, disembarkation. Five for free. The mediocre: food everywhere except Cagney's and La Cucina (and the one lunch we had in the ... Read More
The good: drinks, bar service, cabin service, food service (but not universally food quality) embarkation, disembarkation. Five for free. The mediocre: food everywhere except Cagney's and La Cucina (and the one lunch we had in the main dining room). Especially the oily yellow lab that passes for low-rent velveeta, which is as close to cheese as you get in an omelette or on a burger. Also, the Irish bar has nachos comprised of stale yellow chips, smothered in oil cheese and bacon bits? Why don't you step that game up to potato skins or chips and some real cheese? Also, $35 a glass for Veuve Cliquot? Puh-leez. You can keep it at that price. Balcony cabin seemed a little small, but that's because it's almost 1/2 bed. They could stand to widen them by about 2 feet for ease of passage. The bad: excursion markup is pretty extreme. The ship seemed even more maze-like than my previous cruises, with 6th and 7th deck dead ends at the main dining rooms. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 3rd on NCL. We flew to Anchorage on Saturday for the Monday cruise. You do need to plan $100+ to get yourself to the port. We did a taxi from Seward with another couple to save $. The train/bus options are ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 3rd on NCL. We flew to Anchorage on Saturday for the Monday cruise. You do need to plan $100+ to get yourself to the port. We did a taxi from Seward with another couple to save $. The train/bus options are either morning or early afternoon. We booked guaranteed less than a month before the cruise. Got a good price and all 5 options. Room assignment given within a week. The pros: We enjoyed this midsize ship better than last year’s Bliss. Less crowds and easier to navigate. The Jewel’s dry dock was well done. Balcony room was smaller than others, but well-planned storage makes it tolerable. Staff was efficient and courteous. Dining rooms and buffet were very good. Easy to get on and off the ship. We took advantage of the future cruise certificates, after reading the contract we could see no downside to committing to future NCL cruises. The cons: the weather was grey and damp, not NCL’s fault. We still enjoyed the views and ports, just didn’t get great pictures. Also due to weather, we missed Tracey Arm and stayed in Juneau until 9 pm. La Cucina was our least favorite dining room. Meat we ordered was dried out and flavorless, veal and chicken cacciatore. We will skip this option next cruise. Overall, we find the NCL ships to be more elegant and the clientele more to our taste. Although we are Carnival platinum, we think we’ve outgrown the fun ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I cruised on the Jewel from Anchorage to Vancouver. We have now cruised 27 times, mostly on Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian (six times). I occasionally post cruise reviews here, but only when the experience is pretty good ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Jewel from Anchorage to Vancouver. We have now cruised 27 times, mostly on Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian (six times). I occasionally post cruise reviews here, but only when the experience is pretty good or pretty bad. Our recent Alaska cruise on the Jewel qualifies in both categories. So here goes, starting with the good.. Fairly good cruise fare pricing for this shoulder season Alaska trip. The best production shows we have EVER seen on a cruise ship. The Jewel shows were fast-paced, high-tech, well-choreographed shows with excellent sound and visual effects -- but virtually all the cruise lines and ships we have been on have the same in their shows. What set the Jewel shows apart were the singers and the show band. Usually on a cruise you expect maybe one very strong voice -- sometimes male, sometimes female -- with one or two so-so voices. On the Jewel they had FOUR superb singers. So the shows featured one great solo after another. And, needless to say, the songs that involved duets, trios, or even foursomes were simply wonderful. The show band featured a saxophone, trumpet, and trombone who were all of true professional quality. On some of the band tunes you could close your eyes and say “That is Kenny G!” Not that Kenny G is the be all and end all, lol, but you get my drift. Our interior cabin was small, but updated and well laid out. The bathroom was quite nice, with a fairly large shower with a sliding door so no water on the floor. The bed did not sag, a definite plus. As for the itinerary, the ship got so close to the massive Hubbard Glacier that we felt like we could reach out and touch it. This, of course, was just fortuity: Clear, calm weather, and a current that was pushing the ice flotsam away from the ship gave us this once-in-a-lifetime glacier experience. Now the bad: Norwegian nickels and dimes you for everything, including things as small as sqeezed juice at breakfast And these fees are generally higher than what other cruise lines charge for similar items. For example, $15 per person per day for the standard gratuity on the Jewel was higher than any other cruise line we have been on. Another example: Norwegian charges you a 3% fee to play slot machines using money from your sail and sign account. None of the other cruise lines we have been on charge this sort of fee. And then there is the auto gratuity of 20% Norwegian adds to purchases of beverages, specialty meals, and the like. Other cruise lines only charge 15% to 18% auto gratuities on these sorts of items. In the past, we have enjoyed some of the specialty restaurants on the Norwegian ships, but no longer. On previous Norwegian cruises we have bought package specialty dining deals (four or more nights). But this past summer Norwegian jacked the prices on these packages, to upwards of $30 per person per meal!! Not worth it, particularly when the quality in these resaurants is not discernibly better than you can get on land for similar meals (e.g., comparing La Cucina on the ship with Olive Garden at home I will take Olive Garden!). The a la carte prices at the Norwegian specialty restaurants are even more expensive on a per-meal basis than with the dining packages. With the price increases the Norwegian Specialty restaurants now charge, on average, significantly more than other cruise lines charge for their specialty restaurants. My guess is that this big increase in prices is an attempt to get customers to buy the “free at sea” cruise packages, and then to view the included specialty meals as some sort of a great “free” deal. But for us the economics of all this just don’t make sense. And that leads me generally to the food in the buffet and the main dining rooms. Not good. In the buffet it got to the point that I would take a tiny bit of 10 or 15 different items, hoping to find something I particularly liked, and then would dump my original plate and go back for the few items I liked. Simple things like rice (plain rice, chinese fried rice, or Indian rice) simply lacked flavor. Even the pizza and hamburgers were meh. The main dining room was also nothing to look forward to. I particularly remember the time I ordered cherry pie as a desert and got some sort of gelatinous red filling with no discernible fruit. On another occasions my wife ordered a dessert called “Pot De Creme.” yuck. It was closer to Pot de Cr*p. Oh, what a disappointment. Which left my wife and I wondering if we will take another Norwegian cruise. If we knew that we could get similar production shows on other ships in the Norwegian fleet, I would say OK, definitely yes, yes . . . but we think maybe the Jewel shows were an anomaly. On the other hand, we doubt the poor food offerings in the buffet and MDR were an anomaly, given how badly Norwegian must want everyone to eat in their specialty restaurants. So, after a bit of debate, my wife and I decided not to put money down on the “cruise next” deposit, as we figured we just won’t be enticed to use it on another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I wanted to see Alaska. We chose the NCL Jewel because it went to the Hubbard Glacier, Glacier National Park, and the main towns Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The price was reasonable so we chose to do our first back to back trip. The ... Read More
I wanted to see Alaska. We chose the NCL Jewel because it went to the Hubbard Glacier, Glacier National Park, and the main towns Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The price was reasonable so we chose to do our first back to back trip. The service was friendly. The food was good in the main dining rooms. buffet, and specialty dining. The entertainment was enjoyable. Fire an Ice was our favorite entertainment. Cruise Director Dan did an excellent job. We booked these cruises separate so we changed cabins in between cruises. We were given a sticker to wear in Seward so we could walk right in without waiting in line to board the ship to start the second seven days of our cruise. In September there were only a few children which was nice. They had 700 children on a 7 day cruise in the summer. We stay in an inside cabin because we are only in our room to sleep. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends of ours were sailing on it, and asked us to join them. We also had made friends with many of the crew members, and were eager to see who would still be on the ship. It made us extremely happy that Dan was still the Cruise Director! We really think he's great, and extremely personable and approachable. He happily welcomed us back. To our dismay, many of our other favorite crew members were no longer on board. We do realize contracts end, and no one is guaranteed to come back to the same ship upon renewal. We had a balcony room on deck 9--one door down from our cabin last year. We also had the Unlimited beverage package, and the three specialty dining package, and 250 minutes of wi-fi, along with $50 towards each shore excursion and $50 on board credit per person as our perks. We couldn't make use of the friends and family are free, or the free air fare. The entertainment was excellent as usual. The production company is extremely talented, and very friendly when you see them on board ship when they're not performing. We had good service from our cabin steward who was very friendly and eager to help with anything. The shore excursions were excellent for the most part. The Salmon Bake was not as good as we had expected. I wouldn't do that again. The Crab Fest, and the White Mountain Yukon Pass Railroad ride I've done twice now. Obviously, I think they're absolutely worth doing again. We were disappointed that LeBistro Restaurant didn't match the quality or service that we have experienced on previous cruises. Cagney's also was better on past cruises. The bar service was lacking as well. I would make a suggestion for the Starlight Theater that you get cup holders for the chairs. I noticed that the refurbishment there only consisted of reupholstering the chairs, new carpet, and a brand new stage curtain. Thank goodness you got rid of the Peacock! We are planning another cruise next year on the Jewel, and are hoping that a longer cruise will pan out to be better than this one. We're sailing from Hawaii to Papeete, and Papeete to Austrailia--a repositioning cruise. As a loyal NCL Platinum Latitudes member , and a travel agent, I am hopeful that some of my concerns will be addressed, so my clients will not be disappointed when I recommend and book an NCL cruise for them. I purchased four Cruise Next certificates for use next year, and I'm hoping NCL doesn't disappoint me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Another fun cruise on NCL. Embarkation in Vancouver B.C was efficient and disembarkation in Seward, Alaska for the last Alaska Rail passenger run to Anchorage was equally expeditious (although it was an early). The 114 mile scenic run ... Read More
Another fun cruise on NCL. Embarkation in Vancouver B.C was efficient and disembarkation in Seward, Alaska for the last Alaska Rail passenger run to Anchorage was equally expeditious (although it was an early). The 114 mile scenic run hugged the shoreline and afforded some stunning views of the raw beauty of Alaska, the water, the mountains and the wildlife lending credence to Alaska`s claim of being the Last Frontier. Vancouver is a city that has a warm and inviting population and efficient transportation system. I got there a day early and spent the time before the cruise wandering around. Great port to sail out of. The highlights of this cruise were Glacier Bay on day 6 and the Hubbard glacier on day 7. We got real close to the Margerie Glacier and the Lamplugh Glacier and were treated to some awesomely impressive views as the ship entered the bay and did a complete turnaround at these glaciers affording great views from all over the ship. Enhancing the experience at Glacier Bay was a commentary on Glacier Bay running on the Jewel`s TV channel. This commentary was presented by USPS rangers of the Glacier Bay National Park. Augmenting this commentary and presentation, the rangers and Friends on the Glacier Bay had tables set up with souvenir books, maps of Glacier Bay and DVD`s of some of the best nature photos of Alaska I`d seen. Nice touch Norwegian ! This cruise followed Alaska`s inside passage. On day three, the Jewel visited Ketchikan, the Salmon Capitol of the World. Day four found us visiting the only state capital that cannot be reached by road, Juneau. Day five we stopped in Skagway, another picturesque town with a connection with the Gold Rush. These are unique towns worth experiencing and Norwegian saw to it that we had time in each that was long enough to fully savor the experience. Shuttles to the towns were convenient and efficient. A memorable cruise marked by stunning scenery and memorable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise to celebrate our 35th Anniversary and my wife's retirement. Inside Passage itinerary was on wife's bucket list. I Chose NCL because we had our honeymoon cruise with them in the Caribbean. I chose the mini ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate our 35th Anniversary and my wife's retirement. Inside Passage itinerary was on wife's bucket list. I Chose NCL because we had our honeymoon cruise with them in the Caribbean. I chose the mini balcony suite 11094 in the middle of the ship as an upgrade to our usual window room. Boarding was ok, not great. Line moved steadily, but no one was checking appointment times, it was just kind of a free for all. No issues getting on the ship. Our room was ready when we boarded. Cabin Steward was a sweetheart, kept things in great shape. Entertainment around ship was ok, not great. Production Cast in Stardust theater was excellent overall. The lounge acts were so- so. The comedian was hilarious. Casino Staff was totally excellent, I was addressed by name from day one, and they all were very pleasant to be around. Buffet was ok, only ate breakfast and 1 lunch there. Staff was nice, and washee washee crew had a blast Specialty Restaurants: Moderno was good, ate night one, plenty of food to choose from, and staff was friendly Le Bistro night 2, disappointing. Service had no sophistication at all, food was just ok, nothing special about it at all and extremely small portions. no name recognition, no celebration recognition... Teppanyaki- great company at the table, fun time. food had zero flavor, very typical of this type of restaurant. Our Chef was a novice....very friendly, but certainly needed to hone his show skills more before being turned loose. everything was rushed...deserts were terrible Cagneys- saved for last night, arrived half an hour early, got sat 40 minutes later. Waited 10 minutes and finally waitress came over and asked for dinner order before even seeing if we wanted a drink, when I said we wanted to get something to drink, she just left. 5 minutes later guy comes over to take order for decent bottle of wine (100$+) We wait 10 minutes and he comes back with wine....not a great presentation, and then wants to get paid for wine on the spot. Very weird. Waitress comes back and takes order..pretty much all she was was an order taker...never refilled wine glasses, or attempted to engage us in conversation. Ribeye Steak was of very poor quality, Filet was cooked correctly. cheesy grits were excellent. She brought us the wrong desert to start, correct desert was ok, again, not great. Spa- took the tour the first day and the hard sell was almost unbearable...we did get a couple massage the next day which was AWESOME! I did buy thermal spa passes before the cruise...an expensive mistake as we never found the time to use them at all used the fitness center once, it was more than adequate Shore Excursions: Most booked independently : Ketchikan:Misty Fjords Seaplane on Carlin Air thru Viator.com- Excellent! Crabfeast and Lumberjack Show thru AlaskaShoreexcursions.com- Excellent Juneau: Best of Juneau thru shoreexcursionsgroup.com- Excellent ( Whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier, and Salmon Feast) Skagway: Best of Skagway thru NCL ( Bus RIde, Train Ride Down White Pass, another Salmon Bake, Red Onion Tour) Excellent Cruise Director was good...The views were humbling, and with the exception of the specialty restaurants missing the service mark most of the time, and the food being probably no more special than what was served in the main dining rooms, we really enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had really wanted to see Alaska and felt by cruising, we could see several ports and all the beauty. Views were amazing! Wish there had been more ice on the glaciers. Everything was planned down to a science of getting you ... Read More
We had really wanted to see Alaska and felt by cruising, we could see several ports and all the beauty. Views were amazing! Wish there had been more ice on the glaciers. Everything was planned down to a science of getting you from point A to point B. Food was excellent! Variety of food was incredible as well. Something for everyone. The shows on board were spot on and very entertaining. Super happy with the 2 we went to. Shopping was lots of fun as most things were half price since this was season end. Met several new friends to stay in touch with. So glad we got the balcony suite. To be able to walk out and see the scenery, the water, the whales along side ship, the pilot boats up close, even the rangers embarking and disembarking was simply amazing. We both highly recommend you doing this and enjoy God's creations prior to more global warming. Very pleased and most happy we decided to cruise with The Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views ... Read More
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views everyday are breathtaking!!! Even laying in bed bed looking out out the water is so relaxing and refreshing. The entertainment and activities on board were great... definitely something for everyone. I took advantage of the Spa and it was wonderful, to relax and get pampered. The ports and excursions were so fun! The train rain is a must! The staff was fantastic. The drinks and food were good. The higher end dining rooms were great, nice to dress up! The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely organized all the to the airport!!! Thank you Norwegian Jewel... hopefully I'll see you again soon for another cruise to another destination Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were first-timers on an Alaskan cruise that also included a land portion. We found the Norwegian Jewel very comfortable. While the on-board activities tended towards game shows and silly contests and while we did not particularly use ... Read More
We were first-timers on an Alaskan cruise that also included a land portion. We found the Norwegian Jewel very comfortable. While the on-board activities tended towards game shows and silly contests and while we did not particularly use the spa or the casino or even the fitness, there was still a lot to enjoy. We ate at the upscale La Cucina (Italian), Cagney's (the steak house), and Le Bistro (French) and stayed away from the buffet. The other sit-down (complementary) restaurants were perfectly acceptable although not great like the 3 I mentioned. We did 1-2 excursions in each port and enjoyed each thoroughly. We also enjoyed the music atmosphere at night, including the shows and the performers in the bars and other public areas. We stayed in a stateroom with a window; the space was very small but had good storage. The NCL staff makes you feel valued and included. We would go again and would recommend that others do our same cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose a balcony stateroom and so glad that we did. We could watch the scenery and Hubbard glacier right from our room. We also watched for wildlife and took pictures from our balcony. The service, food, cleanliness and accommodations ... Read More
We chose a balcony stateroom and so glad that we did. We could watch the scenery and Hubbard glacier right from our room. We also watched for wildlife and took pictures from our balcony. The service, food, cleanliness and accommodations were all fantastic. We were able to stretch our legs with walking about the ship whenever we would like. There was food available at 6am for early risers and snacks in the afternoon when sitting on the Aft Deck watching the scenery. The two shows we went to were 1st class. Broadway quality shows with outstanding music and dance. We also felt that the communication was excellent, letting us know what is going on, when to be on and off the ship and even reminding us of a time change. The restaurant selections were broad and we were able to eat different varieties of food each day. Very fine dining and service at the restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We cruised with NCL on the Jewel, 9/2-9/9. We took the train to Seward. We took the early train, so we could have time to walk around Seward. Their is not much to see in Seward and it was raining so we went back to the ship. First stop was ... Read More
We cruised with NCL on the Jewel, 9/2-9/9. We took the train to Seward. We took the early train, so we could have time to walk around Seward. Their is not much to see in Seward and it was raining so we went back to the ship. First stop was Hubbard Glacier, it was breathtaking. We got to see and hear ice calving. It was truly hard to take in everything we saw at this glacier. Second stop was Hoonah, and we did a whale watching tour IS WAS AWESOME. We booked the excursion with Hoonah Tours. Hoonah is a very small town to walk around but the favor of the town is very unique. Next port was Juneau, we took a cab ($35) to the Mendenhall glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. Just beautiful. We had plenty of time to walk around Juneau. Very cute town. We were supposed to leave Juneau at 1pm but we were not able to visit the Sawyer Glacier due to too much ice in the water. We had heard their was an earthquake at the Glacier the Friday before we got there, so we stayed in Juneau till 9pm. Next port was Skagway, we rented a Jeep and drove to Emerald Lake, Carcross, a suspension bridge and stopped to see a desert, yes a desert! Next port was Ketchikan, we rented a Zodiac boat and were lucky enough to find a whale bubble feeding and it breached the water. We had great weather during our cruise. We spent time in the hot tubes and even went in the pool, which was heated. The staff was awesome on the Jewel. We meet so many nice people on the ship. Our two favorite bartenders were at O'Sheehans, Ky and Rummel. My only criticism was the entertainment on board. The cruise director and is staff are BELOW PAR. The only show worth going to is Vlad and Anna (gymnast) they were awesome. I loved my cruise to Alaska. I would go again in a heart beat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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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