Sail Date: December 2017
We chose the Norwegian Jewel because it had the most port stops. Other ships had some good stops but they were on Christmas and Boxing Day and who wants port days then? I booked a balcony room for the very first time. Watch out for what ... Read More
We chose the Norwegian Jewel because it had the most port stops. Other ships had some good stops but they were on Christmas and Boxing Day and who wants port days then? I booked a balcony room for the very first time. Watch out for what they call a "privasea" cabin - it has a balcony but it's a hull balcony so it is not like all the other, more sunny balconies on the boat. I tried my hardest to get moved from this room when I saw the cabin I had been allocated and there was no luck at all! Also be very careful of a "GTY" booking!!! I was given the following explanation which I must say left me feeling a little conned because these details are not obvious when booking: "We may offer Guests the option of making a GTY booking. A Stateroom GTY booking guarantees to the applicable Guests the ship, the voyage, the fare and a Stateroom in the category they paid for. However, a GTY booking does NOT guarantee to the Guests, the deck or location of the Stateroom, specific bedding arrangements, a specific cabin number, an unobstructed view /an open balcony, a porthole or window, or that the Guest will be located beside any other Guests with whom they are travelling under the same or different booking in a different Stateroom. No cabin number is assigned to a GTY Stateroom at the time of booking. A GTY Stateroom may be assigned any time after final payment has been received, up to the day of sailing. A GTY Stateroom may be assigned to a single, double, triple, or quad Stateroom. Once your GTY Stateroom has been allocated to you, we are unable to accept any changes requested by you or your travel agent. The eDocs for GTY bookings are not able to be accessed by Guests until 21 days prior to sailing". Having said that - it was fine for fresh air and views. The room itself was small as was the bathroom - but very comfortable indeed. We did not use the sleeper couch but noticed it had a slight tear in the fabric. The colour scheme in the room and on the boat is awful. The cabin attendant was outstanding and came with all the lovely spoils and animal towels that always made our day. There was a huge choice of dining options and I have to say that the complimentary 'free food' was the nicest selection we have ever been offered. And no matter what time of day you may feel hungry - there is always something. The only restaurant we did not like was Chin Chin, which is a complimentary Chinese menu. Being served at Azura and Tzar restaurants was a treat. The food not always what we were expecting - but a treat to be looked after so wonderfully. The one problem we had which I am still waiting for a manager to get back to me about... was we were served food that contained pork - and on the menu there was no mention that the dish contained pork. I was most upset to discover this AFTER I had consumed the meal. I was horrified in fact. The live shows were either totally outstanding and world-class or embarrassingly bad. The crew dancers and singers are just awesome. It was some of the guest acts that were terrible. The cruise director and his staff were great and made the trip - however the games played and the activities offered need a serious reality check. You have an educated audience and some culture would be nice! Getting on and off the boat was a breeze so well done there NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose NCL's Christmas cruise in preference to other options as they were new to this sector and friends travelling on same cruise had previous good experience in Hawaii and Mexico trips. The itinerary also appealed even though it was ... Read More
We chose NCL's Christmas cruise in preference to other options as they were new to this sector and friends travelling on same cruise had previous good experience in Hawaii and Mexico trips. The itinerary also appealed even though it was changed after booking dropping off port stops in Melbourne/Burnie in lieu of picking up Milford, Dusty and Doubtful Sounds - $250 re credit and bonus to us (not everyone). Overall somewhat disappointed with NCL offering on this occasion as it didn't really shine or standout - so whilst still very enjoyable not a particularly memorable cruise. Positives; - pre-cruise no issues or hassles, good communication re itinerary changes and re-credit adjustment - congrats NCL on professional handling of this issue - on boarding Sydney International - only short wait times and lines so generally very good experience - emergency drill - conducted much better than other vessels - Ship - whilst not the newest vessel or the biggest we found the layout, condition and amenities on board to be very good, generally well presented - on board cleaning and maintenance in public areas and amenities generally excellent – some painting and re-carpeting being carried out at times (night) in some areas – did not impact on us. - on board activities - about on par with other offerings, usual trivia, hobbies, library, card room (very popular), table tennis, video games, casino, good gym etc - entertainment - overall I would rate the standard and variety as been very good to excellent and much better than recent experiences; burn the floor dance shows; 3 tenors; adele and elton tributes; comedian; acrobatic (missed this one); vocal impressionist all very good and shows well attended. - general entertainment - bands/etc - quite good - guitar soloist, piano soloist; couple of bands playing reasonable mix to cover most eras. - customer information - cruise director/captain - very good with only limited and necessary info from bridge (not excessive); good announcements and morning TV show; - in room TV cruise channel with looped ship safety info; route map and bridge view. - service was generally very good but in some areas inconsistent (see negatives) - no heavy push for Art Sales/Auctions or for on board photography - fantastic - pretty good duty free shopping offerings on board with some general basic supplies available. - drinks package/drinks in general - very good initiative from NCL and well used by me (but not excessively) up to $15 value per drink - we paid extra for one of the cocktails that was above $15 - no complaint and happy to do so; good selection of drinks to suit most tastes; cocktails on this ship better than most we've experienced on other vessels and not so sickly sweet - thumbs up NCL - off shore - excursions/disembarkation/tendering - Excellent - NCL had everything very well in hand and organised, great info re processes, limited waiting to get on/off, courtesy shuttle bus when required, multiple tenders used - could not fault. - ports of call – generally excellent and reason for taking this cruise – only exception Picton and scheduling with mid day arrival limited any real excursion options – so bit of a waste. Subsequent cruise does get into port earlier – thumbs up NCL Negatives: - FOOD FOOD FOOD - this was the greatest disappointment for us during the cruise. - don't know if we were being too fussy (possibly) but can only judge against previous cruise experience and we generally believe the dining experience is one of the main reasons for a cruising holiday. We did speak with some other guests re food and got mixed responses - some thought food to be very ordinary/below standard expected but some also indicated they found it to be good. Go figure - it’s down to one's own perception and they are catering for 2600 guests not just a few - I would imagine NCL have done their surveys and research on client dynamics to adjust their offerings to suit market expectations - we just didn't fall into this category. - Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody - fantastic dining experience throughout and particularly in specialty dining (didn't realise at the time how good it was); - Princess - Ruby - recent Alaskan cruise - very good; - PO - Spirit - Okay/satisfactory; (short cruise) - Carnival - Spirit – terrible, as was the whole cruise; - NCL - Jewel - very average. Have read some reviews that suggest the move to anytime dining in the main Tsars/Azuma restaurants may be contributing to drop in standard as meals are not set for 2 dining times - this may be a factor. - breakfast menu - basically didn't change or alter as far as we could tell except for disembarkation day (reduced) - menu is fairly comprehensive but after 13 days got a to be bland and boring. Suggest NCL make some minor adjustments and have set standard items and a few daily specials similar to the dining menu for some variety or at least the perception of that. - CAN'T make basic pancakes - an American ship that was unable to prepare a decent hotcake/pancake - there was some issue or error with how they were made extremely dry and inedible - issue was brought to staff notice re concern - didn't improve - CAN'T make a real mousse - tied a mousse from deserts and got a very firm rubber ball offering not resembling any mousse I’ve had previously - was brought to staff attention. - Xmas lunch - given it was Christmas cruise - the Christmas dinner was pretty ordinary - nothing I could say to be positive - meals were luke warm, turkey portion small and not particularly appetizing - got to say we/I were expecting something a bit grander - Goose, Duck, seafood prawns/lobster/crab etc something to set this meal apart from the regular offerings - no such luck - we were all left underwhelmed by this offering. - in general meal portions were on the smaller size - but not too much of an issue when you take into account and adjust your choices to suit - i.e. order two mains if required - Christmas flair was a bit below expectations for a Christmas/New Year cruise – sure they did make some effort to brighten up the place with some trees - dining package - specialty restaurants - a bit of a wasted offering - we tried 4 of the specialty restaurants - Le Bistro (French) was the best and very well received, food was of good quality and standard for our group, (personally didn't think my main "duck" was particularly good otherwise menu was pretty nice and would recommend and try again. - Cagney's (steakhouse) - fail - whilst my steak was nice the food is generally very salty and being one that doesn't generally salt or only slightly this was a big failing, same issue with other members of our party to the point of leaving main, desert pretty ordinary by that nothing elevated from the buffet or restaurant level. Saltiness was brought to staff attention. One of us opted for the lobster tails x 2 an additional cost of $12 each rather than a steak and other s in the group also added lobster to their steaks – lobster was a bit tough. We were not charged extra for the 2x lobster tail selection. I initially opted for the Bison steak but was informed it was not available. - Teppanyaki (Japanese) - little bit of theatre thrown in with the meal - not particularly great but still okay - Food terrible - for some reason copious amounts of BUTTER and Soy Sauce were used when cooking anything that hit the grill - including the fried rice, vegetable offerings, seafood, steak - guess what the result was very SALTY offerings - ruined the scallops and calamari. The fillet steak was very tender and I did eat it as I can tolerate a bit more salt than some but it was very salty. We all questioned the use of large quantity of butter with Japanese type food - never seen or heard of this before (not an expert). Desert Green Tea Cake and green tea ice-cream - most didn't like it but i tried it and eat a piece of the cake and the ice-cream - not great but not too bad. I would not recommend or return to this dining option. Exotic fruit salad was definitely not exotic – a bit of melon and pineapple -underwhelming - La Cucina (Italian) - this turned out to be a bit better than we anticipated given previous experience/review of the menu and other guests views. Overall was a reasonable standard and I would say much closer to the level i would have expected in the main dining. We also had the attention of one of the head catering staff during our meal Marcelino who inquired about the offering which at that point was fine, he also tried to get some general feedback on any of our food concerns (had spoken with him previously) but it was not the appropriate time/location to do this as we were in the middle of our meal and in a busy restaurant. - Sushi Bar – didn’t try - Moderno (Brazilian) – didn’t try Overall I would not generally rate these dining offerings – they did not come anywhere close to some previous ones we’ve tried on other vessels, which is a bit disappointing. Other food concerns; - Azuma – tried as alternative to Tsar’s – did not like the closed in dark atmosphere and the food offering on par with Tsar without the nice open airy feel. Did convey dissatisfaction to one of the staff who elevated to supervisor Marcelino who did speak with us re concerns (excessively salty/unappetising) - ChinChin (Asian) – tried this option one night instead of the Tsar – big mistake – just awful, single vegetable spring roll was okay but the chicken/prawn noodle – was terrible. I would rate this offering and the restaurant fair in general akin to an Asian kiosk in a shopping centre food hall. Definitely would not recommend or return. - O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill – we more aptly titled it O’Shananigan’s – we had some interesting experiences at this alternate food outlet; very mixed but generally poor service over many visits to this place mainly in the evening when trying to order Pots of Tea – 3 English Breakfast and 1 x Earl Gray – staff didn’t seem to be able to manage this very well – don’t know if it was how we communicated the order but given the orders were pretty much the same most nights with different staff think the issue may be NCL side; - didn’t receive teapot; didn’t get 2 bags (big pot); didn’t get milk; had to ask for fresh milk; didn’t get sugar; mix up orders; ordered frys with or tea – still waiting for them !!! Did try some items from the menu and food not to bad – chicken wings were really good, hotdog not bad etc. Would return only for a big TV’s on sport channel and good for a pot of tea. - Garden Cafe – not really keen on buffet option – given nature of offering and difficulty with seating and self serve but did try for breakfast for a change and lunch. Generally okay with wide selection available and seemed very popular with other guests. Can’t say too much more. Trust my comments give you some insight to the disappointment on our side with the food offerings on the ship – and understanding the quality may have been well received by the bulk of the passengers (don’t know and don’t have any knowledge if other guests raised concerns with NCL). But as indicated my comments and concerns are of personal nature based on previous experience/comparison. We did express and raise concerns on several occasions and participated in a guest telephone survey about cruise experience that appeared to be more a numbers thing than real concern for feedback. Also did advise of intent to complete an online review with senior staff and provided some general feedback over telephone regarding both positives and likely negatives with our experience. Despite the concerns mainly with food this was still a very nice cruise and provided a good opportunity to relax and read a book or two, play some cards, trivia, catch an entertaining show, see new parts of the world, have a few drinks and get away from work – so not by any means all negative and very far from our worst experience with Carnival. Additionally – prior to this cruise we had put another cruise on hold with NCL for the Baltic – we are presently considering our options subject to our experience on this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this cruise due to the timing and destination. It needed to be in school holidays and New Zealand was a destination I wished to visit. The service from most staff was of a high standard. Staff greeted guests, were polite and ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the timing and destination. It needed to be in school holidays and New Zealand was a destination I wished to visit. The service from most staff was of a high standard. Staff greeted guests, were polite and generally the service was good. The bar staff were often very busy and did an amazing job of keeping up with demand. The ship is constantly cleaned and staff can be seen in the corridors, on deck, in the dining room always keeping things tidy and clean. The ship is due for refurbishment but isn't worn out enough to make it unpleasant, just a little dated. Each cabin received a small laundry bag on day 4 or 5 with an offer to fill the bag and have that amount of laundry done for $20. Without that offer having laundry done was very expensive and there are no washing facilities for guests to do their own laundry. At a cost of $1 for a pair of socks and around $5 for a shirt it could add up fast. There are ample dining options ranging from specialty restaurants to the buffet option in the Garden Cafe. We found the food to be ordinary. Twice we couldn't eat the meal in one of the dining rooms due to the high salt content. The apple pie isn't what an Australian clientele expects, it has little apple content and is filled with a jelly substance with a strong cinnamon taste. Bacon is flat and super crunchy, but rather bland in the taste department. Norwegian is an American company and it does show in the food choices, it isn't yet catering to an Australian market. A high sugar content is also noticed. There are a lot of choices and you will be able to find something to suit you, the roasts are lovely, but there are limited choices for plain vegetable to match with it and some veges are heavily salted, soups are also very salty. Highlights include the crepes available at dinner, waffles, buffalo wings at O'Sheehans as well as the dips and the pork ribs are excellent! The BBQ on deck was generally nice as well, this features 3 or 4 times. Fellow passengers commented that the specialty restaurants were of a high standard. Entertainment was a highlight of the cruise. The nightly shows were of a high standard. Of 13 nights on board there were 4 shows I didn't love. Given the wide range of guests on board I think that is a wonderful achievement. There were several live music venues and choices, the most popular being a husband and wife due called 24 Karat. They were engaging and entertaining and anywhere they played was guaranteed to be busy. Other options included piano music, DJ, and The Love Brothers and Lira who had a Mexican sound. There was generally a range of music styles and Karaoke was included. The activities through the day were bland. Trivia of all sorts, a few lectures, art auctions. There were things to do if you wanted to join in or you could go to the card room or library. One thing I did wish they had on board was those large chairs with the top for shade. The on deck lounges are comfy enough and there are enough that you can always find one somewhere on deck, often the highest sundeck had a lot of room. Spas were popular as always. My teenager went to Entourage, the teenage area. Friendships were formed and the kids are able to go and leave as they please as long as parents give permission for them to do so. This freedom was wonderful for the kids who were seen around the ship having a meal or snack together or just sitting chatting. Younger children were also catered to and happy laughter could be heard coming from their area. I don't have younger children but observed that there were lots of happy kids coming out and that parents were at times in there enjoying an activity along with the kids. There were shore excursions available on board. We booked independently before we left Australia and had no trouble finding our tour operators, each was at the dock waiting. There were busses to take you into town when necessary and this service was only charged for at one port at a cost of $15 each way. Many tour operators pick you up at the dock so you avoid that cost. If you do book independently make sure you know where you need to meet you guide for the day and have their phone number handy, just in case. They can't wait too long and you can be left behind. It's also worth double checking the time you need to be back at port with them as the ship won't wait for you after the all aboard time they give you, this was most often 30 minutes before the sailing time. Disembarking didn't take too long at any of the ports. I allowed 2 hours after docking time before the tour times but on several occasions we were off the boat quickly and we found the tour operator to discover everyone there and ready to go. A one hour window would have been plenty. For those unfamiliar with the routine you need photo id and your room tag to get back on the boat, customs officers will check your id before you are allowed on the dock. If you should find yourself without your id for any reason just explain yourself, you'll be escorted to the ship for identification before being allowed back on board (yes, that was me!). Tenders are used at the Bay of Islands so if you have a tour organised be up early to get your tender ticket to ensure you are there on time. The Ports were all beautiful with something to do at each of them. Picton the smallest and quietest, could be worth hiring a car and doing a short drive to see some of the Bays in the area. We were back on board the ship with hours and hours to spare. Napier was a favourite with many fellow travellers, we did a tour which was good, but I would honestly have been happy to just walk around Napier for the day soaking up the atmosphere. This cruise went to some stunning ports and allows you to see a range of what New Zealand has to offer. The food and daytime activities were less than i had been looking forward to, but overall the cruise was very enjoyable. The final highlight is seeing Sydney Harbour come into view and watch the sun's early rays hit the Opera House and Bridge. The ship seems to coast so gently toward Circular Quay it's a peaceful time and sure to make you feel glad to be home! If you're not an Australian it's still beautiful. Recommended? The ports and experiences on shore make it worthwhile. The issues of food and daytime activities aren't poor enough to make the trip unpleasant. I am glad I took the cruise and loved the variety of places we visited. The cruise was relaxed, one dining room does require collared shirts for men, including children, so make sure you pack at least one. The weather was lovely, but going through the Sounds was very windy and quite cool. Pack some long pants, jumper and rain coat. We had sunshine but it is often raining through the sounds. Overall a worthwhile trip which has left us with a lot of happy memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We sailed last year on the ill-fated Norwegian Star (the azipod broke and we spent 9 of 14 days at sea). As part of our compensation package we were offered a future cruise at 50% off. Unfortunately we were only given 12 months to take ... Read More
We sailed last year on the ill-fated Norwegian Star (the azipod broke and we spent 9 of 14 days at sea). As part of our compensation package we were offered a future cruise at 50% off. Unfortunately we were only given 12 months to take that discounted cruise and with school schedules and geography, we landed on the 9 Day Sydney and Tasmania. Overall, things went very smoothly. We flew in on a red eye, landed, took a shuttle to the port, checked our bags, and registered, without a single line. The biggest delay we had was buying SIM cards at the airport; I highly recommend Lyca mobile if you are in need. The ship felt like home. Seems that every time we sail with NCL, we are on the same class of ship, making everything familiar, yet slightly new. The staff was helpful, food plentiful, and alcohol included ;) The kids loved going to the kids club, although I still find it frustrating that all of the NCL ships run the exact same program. If NCL wants families to remain loyal, it would serve them well to develop unique programs for each ship. The ports were somewhat lacking in activities but we enjoyed the slower pace. As expats, we enjoy being on a floating piece of America as much as we enjoy the ports. But here's a run down of what we DID do at each port. Eden: Snorkeled with Australia's Coastal Wilderness Adventures. Scott is the owner and did a great job with our large group, including children as young as 7. I highly recommend this affordable and fun tour! Book early, he fills up fast. Burnie: we just wandered the streets. Cute town. Really wish we'd made it to the whiskey distillery but finding a cab was impossible. Melbourne: LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Melbourne. We took the Hop on Hop Off- which I do NOT recommend. The buses only came every 40 minutes and moved at a glacial pace and were packed. Cabs are reasonable. We spent a good amount of time in the Victoria Market, which was full of great street food, and reasonable souvenirs. Oh and alley street art is very cool. Kangaroo Island: Again, there's not much to see unless you book an excursion or rent a car and go it alone. The landscape is stunning though and there was a small market to browse. We spent time on beach after the market and then went back. This is a tinder port and the conditions became quite precarious by the end of the day. The tinder boats were being tossed around like children's bath toys. Adelaide: Very cool city, quite walkable, but a LONG bus ride from the station. We went to the zoo. It was small but nice. It wasn't my first choice of activities but the kids picked this one. They offer several animal encounters, so we fed giraffes. We aren't big on the shows but we did go to the Circus / Acrobatic show and it was fabulous. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Wanted to try this as we had not travelled with Norwegian before and may not again. This was our 74th cruise so not unfamiliar with the noises aboard ship. Our cabin had a noise on occasion which we reported a number of times - we ended up ... Read More
Wanted to try this as we had not travelled with Norwegian before and may not again. This was our 74th cruise so not unfamiliar with the noises aboard ship. Our cabin had a noise on occasion which we reported a number of times - we ended up with a plate of choc covered strawberries and a bottle of wine. We had a drink package so the alcohol was not required and the noise remained. Reported again and again looking for a solution or at least an explanation - got $200 onboard credit a specialty dining and another bottle of wine. Still had the noise and no reason given. The only other fault was a strange one - on a number of occasions and at different dining venues I was given a serviette that was not dry and on at least one of the occasions it was so damp I could not have it on my lap. Being in American dollars the drinks were extremely expensive without the added 20% gratuity and at the beginning of the cruise they were going to charge us an extra 10% GST which was refunded with no reason given. With the exchange rates at the time the drinks package would have cost aprox $150 Aus per day. Luckily our drink packages were included but we would have been extremely unhappy had we paid the money as a lot of the cocktails were watered down. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation was very quick and easy but then we were Latitude members. First impressions of the ship was good but expected wow factor from the atrium and didnt get it. I love freestyle dining and there were plenty of free options.Our ... Read More
Embarkation was very quick and easy but then we were Latitude members. First impressions of the ship was good but expected wow factor from the atrium and didnt get it. I love freestyle dining and there were plenty of free options.Our favourite was O'Sheehans Pub for breakfast and snacks/drinks. We tried also the Teppanyaki and Cagneys and loved both. We knew the ports we were going to so no surprises there. We booked locally except for the Adelaide Hahndorf Village where we got a ship excursion because it was easier to go straight from the wharf than find our way to the city to get a tour. Eden supplied a bus to the town, Burnie we walked along the boardwalk and got a free bus to the rhododendron gardens where we just had to pay for admission. At Melbourne we caught the express bus to the city where we did a river cruise and went to the aquarium. At Kangaroo Island we booked through the island tourist info and got the shuttle to the local town of Kingscote. Entertainment was great especially Burn the Floor and Le Cirque Bijou. Those two were the best shows I have seen at sea. Other entertainment varied in the Stardust Theatre but overall was good. We liked that there was always bars at night with live entertainment. One negative was trying to find quite areas to read. There was always something going on at all the public bars and spaces. We often sat in Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar area to watch the cricket and read when it was quiet. I would definitely go on the Jewel again but will probably look for a bigger cabin next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise company I cruise with. I’ve tried them all and decided to get points up with one company instead of lots. I love how the drinks package is included. We travel all over the world and enjoy ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise company I cruise with. I’ve tried them all and decided to get points up with one company instead of lots. I love how the drinks package is included. We travel all over the world and enjoy travelling with Norwegian Cruise Line. The thing that I like most about it is that we don’t have to take our good evening wear overseas when we cruise with them as their kind of cruising is freestyle. I also like that you can walk off on your own, not having to wait for your bags to be taken off the ship and being able to keep your bags with you till the morning. A lot of the ships are set out the same so it is easy to find your way around. I like that there are other complimentary restaurants to eat in eg O Sheehan’s and Chin Chin. All in all a great ship and great company. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruse mainly for the itenary which included Eden which is a really interesting stop, no traffic jams & a great musuem of the whaling industry. The ship is in need if a refurbishmant in a big way, carpet is well overdue ... Read More
We chose this cruse mainly for the itenary which included Eden which is a really interesting stop, no traffic jams & a great musuem of the whaling industry. The ship is in need if a refurbishmant in a big way, carpet is well overdue for replacement & the tables in the garden cafe are well past their use by date. On the positive side the staff were great, esp. The restaurant hosts were 1st class, two beautiful young Chinese ladies (can i take 1 home pls). The room attendNts were very good. The entertainment was excellent, Burn the Floor were in 3 shows in 9 nights & they are top shelf, their contract with NCL ends in early April 2018. Standing ovations for each of their shows, well done is an undersatement, these guys are unbelievable. The solo artistz were pretty good, the ususl piano man & guitar man. I have seen some negative comments on this site about staff, absolute rubbish. The hotel director Steven was very good, we received chokys the day after the Cruise Critics meeting attended by captain & about 10 other staff. Cruise Director Dave was very good & visible the entire cruise, always around to answer questions. The meals in the dining room Tsars Palace were pretty good except for the last night when they were terrible, same menu most nights which i did not mind. The Garden Cafe was ok, just plan your meal away from peak hour. A positive was the public areas, you can find a quiet spot to relax in the bars which is not the case on bigger boats, 2500 passengers on this cruise. The gym was good size for a boat this size, with an aeribic studio for stretching. The average age was 55 yo, 1312 aussies, 557 Americans, 126 Canadians & a lot of Chinese. 273 were less than 18 yo, We embarked late in the day which was quick, disembarkation was a breeze, we were due for 9am & were off the boat at 8am. Would i cruise again on this boat, probably not, it needs a makeover, with NCL probably yes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We are experienced cruisers - 14th cruise, 10th on NCL, 3rd on the Jewel. My wife and I primarily sail to explore great ports in far off lands, and this sailing met that goal! Embarkation was remarkably smooth in Sydney - I had to ask one ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers - 14th cruise, 10th on NCL, 3rd on the Jewel. My wife and I primarily sail to explore great ports in far off lands, and this sailing met that goal! Embarkation was remarkably smooth in Sydney - I had to ask one of the officers how many people were on the ship (we had more than 2300 passengers) since you wouldn't think it was a fully booked cruise based on the lack of delays getting on the ship. We were disappointed that the original itinerary was changed and the ship did not stop in Tasmania, but the addition of Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound cruises was a great addition. Having cruised to Alaska multiple times, the geography of the Fiords was very similar. The New Zealand ports offered a great sampling of this amazing country - urban metropolitan areas of Wellington and Auckland, quaint small coastal town of Akaroa, and natural wonders on tours in Dunedin, Tauranga, and Napier. Our blog: rayandtraci.blogspot.com has pictures and port highlights. It is hard to compare sailings in different parts of the world - this tour of Oceania certainly compared favorably with some of our favorites - Baltics and Eastern Mediterranean! As this was our third sailing on the Jewel (and 8th on NCL's Jewel Class ships) we were quite familiar with all of the attractions and entertainment on board. For the most part, I have found you get what you pay for as far as room size and amenities and NCL is no exception. I have always felt NCL leads the way as far as entertainment quality - they had a different headliner show every day for the 14 day cruise. Highlights include the Luminescence show by Hajime and Maud and the Cirque Bijou shows which offered a Cirque du Solei experience on the seas. The Jewel has a Burn the Floor show and a talented production cast that put on their long running Band on the Run show. A wide range of musicians entertained at the many bars - I especially enjoyed 24 Karat - Canadian performers Sheri and Dan who put on many performances. I also add that the Jewel showed NFL games in each cabin - the national Sunday night and Monday night games (which are Monday/Tuesday afternoons in New Zealand) as well as two of the regular Sunday afternoon games. Having sailed on NCL many times, my wife and I are pretty good at knowing which dishes we would like and which ones to avoid. We choose pay restaurants when the main dining offerings look weak - I love the Rib Eye Steak at Cagney's and my wife enjoys their Sea Bass. Over many years, it does appear NCL has improved their dessert offerings which were once pretty poor. Their pizza also seems to have improved. The Jewel has a great crew. Their Hotel Director Steven, was very visible whether it was greeting guests after shore excursions or even bussing! tables at the buffet. The cruise director David was very entertaining and worked hard to insure guests had the opportunity for a wonderful vacation. Servers, housekeeping staff, bartenders and other crew just seemed to care that their guests had a good time. We had a great time on the Jewel and highly recommend it to others who want to experience New Zealand! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first time with Norwegian and we loved it. It was lovely being able to eat at whatever time suited us and not having to dress up if we didn't feel like it. It made it a very relaxing trip. The cabin was small but well ... Read More
This was our first time with Norwegian and we loved it. It was lovely being able to eat at whatever time suited us and not having to dress up if we didn't feel like it. It made it a very relaxing trip. The cabin was small but well equipped with most things we needed. Tea and coffee in the cabin would have been a bonus. There was plenty of storage space and everything worked as it should. Our Steward Lincoln, was the best. If I needed anything I only had to open the door and he was right there. It was like he never left the corridor. There is no self service Laundry but you got laundry bags you could fill with as much as you could fit in and they were $19.99. It came back nicely folded 24 to 48 hours later. We used it twice, no complaints. Food was good in the Main Dining Rooms but we didn't really use the buffet much. On the odd occasion that we did venture in there, it seemed pretty chaotic with lots of people walking around searching for a seat. We mostly ate at the Tzar's Palace for both breakfast and dinner and only had one meal in 2 weeks that I did not really enjoy. We also ate in Azura a couple of times and that was Ok. Same menu as Tzars Palace. O'Sheehans was good too but we only ate there twice. The Menu in the Chinese was quite limited but it was OK. We did not eat in any of the speciality restaurants as we were happy with the food in the Inclusive restaurants. The all inclusive drinks package was excellent. The drinks were all Branded drinks, with an excellent choice of beers such as Corona, Blue Moon, Becks and many more. I did read that someone thought the cocktails were watered down but I didn't think so. I actually had to ask them to not make them so strong as there was so much alcohol in them, and the one Gin and Tonic I ordered had more Gin than tonic and I had to pour some out and ask for more tonic. Now on to what made the cruise so special for us. The entertainment! A couple of the Theatre shows were good, but are not really our thing. The best part for us was Bernie the Guitarist who played most nights in Magnums Champagne Bar and the duo 24 Karat who also played most evenings either in the Spinnaker or Fizz Lounge. These 2 Acts made the cruise for us. The service in general aboard the ship was very good. Very attentive waiters around the pool and in the restaurants. Tables always cleared away quickly and never had to wait long to be served. On a couple of occasions I left the cabin around 5 am in search of a cup of tea and staff were working hard cleaning and polishing the stair cases and elevators. We did not book any of the ships excursions but just got off and looked to see what was on offer locally. Never had a problem finding anything to do. All in all it was one of the best trips we have ever had and can't wait for our next Norwegian Cruise. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.2
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 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.1

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