Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other passengers was that the Balcony cabins were smaller than on other ships but we found that there was more than enough room for a king sized bed, lounge and to walk around comfortably. The weather (which is obviously out of everyone's control) could not have been better. The efficiency of embarking and disembarking made use of every moment ashore. As for the entertainment, I have not seen such a diverse set of acts performed to such a high standard. Truly international. We did not travel with children but those that did seemed to enjoy themselves. The Jewel does not contain the large waterpark that other, larger Norwegian ships carry so there were not an extremely large number of families. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we ... Read More
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we would spend the next two nights and fortunately we have relatives there so spent the time with them. Two days at sea took us towards New Zealand and the sounds. Then everything went wrong. First of all I came down with acute gastro which we were told was taken onto the ship by a passenger and this was the night before Dunedin so had to spend the next couple of days in the cabin with room service (not that I was up to eating anything). As I started to recover my husband came down with it so another two days spent in the cabin. By the time we were feeling well enough to venture about we had missed the first 4 ports of call. I went up to the Garden Cafe as I did not really want to eat too much and thought that it would be the best approach. How wrong could I have been. None of the food there could persuade me to eat other than a couple of crackers and two slices of french stick. I found most of the bread on board seem to be sweet as though there was sugar in it. Had a look at a desert and whereas I like apple crumble I could not persuade myself to have choc/orange sauce on it. (where was the vanilla custard) so decided against it. I think they need to change their menu a little more as most days there might have been a couple of different dishes but mostly everything was the same. It is also a sad affair that I had to purchase a half a dozen bottles of water for the cabin which obviously went on our bill but could have drunk as much alcohol as we liked because we had the drinks package included in our fare which by the way was not cheap. We paid over $11,000 or the two of us and heard a few passengers bragging that they had managed to get their trip for $1,500 each. OK they had an inside cabin but that is a big difference. On a good note the ship itself has a good layout and the couple of shows I did manage to see where very good. I was surprise there wasn't a few more chairs with small tables on deck 7 most of the seating was around the swimming pool area and in the sun so found myself sitting on the balcony of the cabin so I could have a drink at my side and look out to sea. We have traveled extensively on cruise ships previously so in the end was very disappointed with this venture on a new to us cruise company. No more Norwegian for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose cruise because it was promoted as discounted and ship was recently refurbished. The dates coincided with the itinerary planned for the Australian trip. Our highlight was actually the Great Barrier Reef. The fitness room was ... Read More
Chose cruise because it was promoted as discounted and ship was recently refurbished. The dates coincided with the itinerary planned for the Australian trip. Our highlight was actually the Great Barrier Reef. The fitness room was well equipped and very few cruise ships have the Rowing machines. Meals were terrible especially the buffet restaurants. We also reserved and paid for all specialty restaurants but none was up to our expectation. The so called Asian foods were not authentic and not tasty. The servers in some segments were talkative among themselves (mostly women) and not attentive to customers. However, the ones who did the clean up were diligent, friendly and helpful. The crew who handed out dishes in the front along with the washy washy ladies were exceptional. Entertainment was excellent and had a variety of shows even though we did not attend the comedy and jazz, the choice was good for other passengers. The recreation crew was average and there were no prizes for winners of games/sports that were named Contests. Our crew director was excellent on stage and really gave good pap talks about activities and events on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for my DH & I as we only had a brief period of time off work and I had a fantastic cruise on the NCL Jewel in Jan 18 to NZ. Embarkation Day Boarding was relatively quick & easy. We took our own wine on ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my DH & I as we only had a brief period of time off work and I had a fantastic cruise on the NCL Jewel in Jan 18 to NZ. Embarkation Day Boarding was relatively quick & easy. We took our own wine on board as our fare didn't include the drinks package. We paid USD$15 per bottle corkage. We had planned to go to O’Sheehans for lunch but were told by a staff member that it was closed. We went to the Garden Cafe for lunch instead(which was packed). I was surprised to find staff serving all the food & drinks. Apparently they had experienced a Gastro outbreak on the previous sailing. We found out after we had eaten lunch that O’Sheehans was open for lunch. We couldn’t access our room until around 3pm. The fridge was locked so my DH rang reception asking for it to be unlocked as he had medication he needed to refrigerate. Two hours later he rang again asking once again for the fridge to be unlocked. My bag was delivered in a timely manner but my DH’s bag was missing. He eventually found it outside another stateroom several hours later. Onboard activities Day time - I participated in Elevator Roulette and watched Mama Mia Here we go Again in the Stardust Theatre. Most of my time was spent editing photos on my computer from a previous holiday. Night time - We went to Spinnakers to listen to the Stardust Band play Glenn Miller & Big Band Era (which was brilliant), watched Battle of the Sexes, listened to Prism play (not as good as Hotwire from the last cruise who were exceptional) and danced to the DJ(also not as good as the previous cruise). We only went to one show in the Stardust Theatre Rock you Tonight. It had a lot of energy but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting from the promo information. Meals We ate breakfast in the Garden Cafe all but two mornings. There was plenty of variety and I never went hungry. We had one breakfast in O’Sheehans and one in Tsars, service was fairly slow in both and I preferred the quality of the omelette in the Garden Cafe to either of these venues. We ate most of our evening meals in Azura. Service was a bit hit & miss but the food was all great and no problems with the temperature of the food. It wasn’t until our last at sea day we were able to serve ourselves in the Garden Cafe. My DH felt they didn’t care if we became sick at this point rather than the Gastro was contained and they had followed all the containment regulations. Port Hobart(8-1:30) -insufficient time to do anything other than walk to the Salamanca Markets which were packed. A great variety of nick knacks to buy and lots of food available. Burnie(9-8:30) -We were taken by bus to the Visitor Information centre. We had organised a hire car which we had to pick up from Wynyard Airport(a 20mins taxi ride north. We shared a taxi ($50) with a couple from Cruise Critic. It was after 10:30 before we had our car keys. The weather was dreadful but we drove the 1 1/2hrs to Cradle Mountain with our fingers crossed. DH checked the weather report when we arrived to see the rain disappearing so we had lunch. We paid the $16pp entry which also entitled us to a bus into the park. The views were spectacular. The only thing I would of done differently was I would have driven into the park as we were time poor. There were lots of wombats wandering around at Ronny Creek. Melbourne(9-9:30) -access to the city centre was by taxi or purchasing a MYKI card($15) which entitled us to all day transport. We wandered around the Botanic Gardens & visited the Shrine of Remembrance. We had originally planned to have the Hi Tea for lunch at The Terrace Cafe in the Gardens. Unfortunately this had to be booked in advance. We checked out the Gingerbread display in Federation Square before heading back to the ship. General -Our itinerary was changed after final payment to less time in Hobart and more time in Burnie. This change didn't bother me but many people were not happy with the change. I only found out on our last sea day you can access the NCL website on your device or use their computers for free to check out potential other NCL cruise destinations. I will definitely use this on future cruises as I love their itineraries more than most other lines. I checked our account on the NCL app to find we were charged GST on our wine and gratuities. There was a note on the daily to indicate it was a charge imposed by the Australian Govt on domestic cruises. I think in future we will pay the gratuities in advance as it left a sour taste in our mouths. Disembarkation - was quick & easy. Unfortunately one of our bags was damaged at some point. I would definitely sail with NCL again keeping in mind the things I didn’t enjoy as much 2nd time round was probably due to expectations I had of things being the same as my previous cruise and the destination. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Newly refurbished NCL Jewel is a great ship, aside from the cabin's bathroom, the whole ship feels really new and fresh, doesn't seem like a 13 year old ship at all. Service and dining was nothing impressive, but it wasn't too bad. ... Read More
Newly refurbished NCL Jewel is a great ship, aside from the cabin's bathroom, the whole ship feels really new and fresh, doesn't seem like a 13 year old ship at all. Service and dining was nothing impressive, but it wasn't too bad. Entertainment was some of the best I have ever seen! Embarkation was pretty average, nothing like the smooth and amazing experience I had on RCI but it was okay. Lines were long but without assigned boarding times, that's what you should be expecting. It was annoying they didn't have a hole punched in the cruise card and we had to go to guest service to get it punched. All the public spaces look pretty much new, no complain there at all. The decor was very much to my liking, the Jewel is a beautiful ship. Some passageways is a touch too narrow for my liking especially after evening shows, but it wasn't terrible. There is enough seating everywhere around the ship so that's excellent. Dining was so so at the start but improved over the cruise, maybe I got better luck later on and made better choices? Had a few really really good dishes that I actually ordered another plate of it. The buffet doesn't have a ton of differences throughout the whole cruise. All the food is very american, depending on your taste that might or might not be a bad thing. Entertainment, shows and activities were all great. Sadly none of the poolside activities ended up happening because of the weather, but the other activities were excellent. The evening production shows were amount the best I have seen. Very impressive with them, but the non-production show like the "magic" show and music show were underwhelming, I recommend skipping them. Service were fine. Didn't feel like anyone tried very hard but they all did their job reasonably well. Overall it was a nice cruise, wasn't blown away, but it was nice enough for me to consider NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I really loved this cruise ship had never been away with Norweigan before and after reading the reviews was a little worried. We chose an interior cabin as we got it at an awesome price. We only use cabin for sleeping anyway. The cabins ... Read More
I really loved this cruise ship had never been away with Norweigan before and after reading the reviews was a little worried. We chose an interior cabin as we got it at an awesome price. We only use cabin for sleeping anyway. The cabins were comfortable and very clean couldn't complain. The food in the dining room was just great. The buffet ok but you would be really whining if you couldn't find something to eat. Everything was fresh. I really loved the vibe of this ship well laid out with many nooks and crannies to explore. Staff are overworked ATM due to an outbreak of the norovirus on previous cruise. Everyone had to be served which was great as virus was elimated. Only complaint if any is that we only stayed in Hobart for five hours instead of the whole day all in all great cruise. Don't listen to all the negative people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
No words for this cruise. No basics like sugar salt or pepper unless you hunt someone down for them. Service is the worst I’ve ever received at sea. An hour and a half for a kids pizza . If you want vegemite they bring out a jar that ... Read More
No words for this cruise. No basics like sugar salt or pepper unless you hunt someone down for them. Service is the worst I’ve ever received at sea. An hour and a half for a kids pizza . If you want vegemite they bring out a jar that you share with other passengers. An hour and a half wait for breakfast in the main dining room. Staff have no interest in helping passengers. If you want a warm meal you need to pay for the speciality restaurants. Way below the standard of royal and carnival In Australia . Water slides were removed which would have been evident when we booked but cruise line failed to mention this when Booking. Very misleading for families. Beds are like sleeping on concrete slabs. Service at dinner is so slow that you miss any shows that are on in the evening. Norwegian have a long way to go to even come close to what the other cruise lines are offering. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Having sailed more than 100 days on numerous cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, P&O, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess the Norwegian Jewel was a floating biosecurity nightmare. With staff from officers, medical and ... Read More
Having sailed more than 100 days on numerous cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival, P&O, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess the Norwegian Jewel was a floating biosecurity nightmare. With staff from officers, medical and security disregarding biosecurity and completely disregarding the company's own policy and procedures in providing a healthy cruise ship environment. In a party of seven passengers, three of us were struck down with the acute gastroenteritis outbreak, that is nearly half, so exactly how many passengers were affected I can only wonder. The Jewel had a recent refurbishment in Singapore and we had a mini suite, which in the end was the only saving grace of this cruise.Sailing from Sydney the ship was fresh with new furnishings and decor. Entertainment was fair with two good shows and the piano player was excellent. Food was good in the speciality restaurants except the Chin Chin. On the second day of sailing I was standing under a huge umbrella near the pool when it collapsed due to winds, the umbrella crashed down on my head,luckily I suffered only soft tissue injuries, but there was no follow up by staff on my wellbeing which to say the least was disappointing. People were being struck down with acute gastroenteritis in the first few days which points to passengers who sailed on the previous cruise and combined this cruise were probably the carriers. The first member of our party to be struck down happened 3 days into the cruise. She was isolated for 24hrs, her husband was also supposed to be insolation, but this did not occur and he was in fact allowed of the ship in different ports. Due to the escalation of the outbreak a day later when my wife was struck down she was isolated for 48 hrs. Meaning myself and her sister were also isolated for 48hrs in the cabin. Missed ports and security telling us to stay in the cabin was just infuriating and akin to house arrest. Our cabin had to be robustly cleaned and after 36 hrs not having contracted the virus I ventured to the buffet and within 8 hrs I was struck down with acute gastroenteritis. Another 48 hrs of lockdown with security again telling us we were confined to our cabin. So 96 hrs or 4 days of our cruise wasted,missed ports, frustrated doctors, unhappy staff and deprivation of liberty. I have stated the biosecurity failures of which I pointed out to both doctors and security both departments shrugged their shoulders with disregard. I was told to contact head office regarding this failure of policy and procedure that protects cruise passengers. It was the fact that 100's of passengers had their own drink bottles and flasks containing their own teas, herbs, tonics etc. These bottles/flasks were taken everywhere, on and off the ship, into toilets, into buffets, restaurants, everywhere. These bottles/flasks were refilled at the drink stations and if they were contaminated the drink stations would then be contaminated. When the status of Norovirus was raised and no self service of food was allowed, staff would take these bottles and flasks and refill them at the same drink stations for the passengers. This is completely in contradiction to the Norwegian policy of guests prohibited from bringing any bottled water or beverages on board the company's ships in either carry-on or checked luggage. Norwegian stated that that this policy brings the company in line with other best practices in travel security protocols. I contacted Norwegian for a refund, I basically was told to suck it up. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand and we are glad Norwegian had this cruise. It’s a memorable trip. We enjoyed exploring the port cities although four sea-days to and from are a bit long. This was our fifth ... Read More
We had always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand and we are glad Norwegian had this cruise. It’s a memorable trip. We enjoyed exploring the port cities although four sea-days to and from are a bit long. This was our fifth cruise with Norwegian and first feedback in reply per your request. We had many good experiences on the ship and some were not so nice. The Good We enjoyed the entertainment…the movie, the comedy, including the hypnotist’s comedy shows, some of the music, such as the Showband performance (although a bit loud for the small area at the Bliss), the “Behind Scene” talk by cruise director Dave (who is very funny), the various daily trivia, etc. In addition, my husband enjoyed the ping pong tournaments. We liked Capitan Kenneth’s humorous morning briefings on the PA system when we were in the quieter spots and could hear him. The house keeping was nice as always. From our guy, Jun, to the Hotel Director Steven Jacobson, everyone was courteous, pleasant, and helpful. We met Mr. Jacobson about six years ago on our Baltic Capital cruise. He had always been very friendly, efficient, and solved our problems in a timely manner. We appreciated his no-matter-large-or-small problem-solving ethic. The Bad This was the first cruise we were on that had a public health issue. A few days into the trip a lots of people got sick with gastro intestinal issues and the CDC had to be contacted. As a result the Garden Café became a jungle because we couldn’t self-serve and the staff was not prepared. Trying to get the staff’s attention when we needed something at their serving area was a challenge. Many times a few of them standing behind the counter chit chatting without noticing people patiently standing there, waiting for them to spoon food onto our plates. One server behind the counter was rather rude to me when he could not understand what chicken “dark meat” was. We gave up on the Café eventually and went to the Tsar’s Palace restaurants to eat. Because of the health issues they had removed the salt, pepper, etc. from the tables. The serving staff never asked if anyone needed anything else beside taking our orders and delivering our food. If we didn’t ask for salt and pepper when we ordered food, it became hard to catch the attention of the servers for the condiments, especially sometimes it seemed the cook forgot to add salt in the food. So after our food was served and the servers disappeared we had a warm meal we could not season. When they did reappear and came back with salt and pepper our food was cold. Even empty water glasses were often neglected. We understand the staff was put to extra task. My husband brought this to the attention of the head of the wait staff but nothing changed. We took all that in strides thinking if it kept us healthy so be it until one evening during dinner, my husband and three of the four of our table mates ran out of drinking water. They tried in vain to catch the attention of the servers. Many of them, not all, weaved around the tables back and forth without making eye-contact with diners. My husband went through (Agent Orange caused) throat cancer treatment some years ago so he always needed liquid to help swallowing. Due to lack of water, he choked on a bite and the food backed up and ran out of his mouth and nose onto his plate. He had to give up the contaminated food on the plate and left after eating only half of his dinner. It was very embracing for him as well as our table mates. So we gave up on sharing a table with fellow guests for the rest of the trip. The Ugly My luck didn’t improve much in the Tsar’s than that in the Garden Café. On Dec. 5 (I think that was the date) I ordered the arugula and candied pecan salad. In the middle of it, I found a dead fly on the green leaves. I did my best to suppress a gag and showed the disgusting salad to our server. She took my plate and said she’d show it to her supervisor. Toward the end of the dinner, supervisor, a young Indian guy, came to speak to us. All he mentioned was: this kind of thing happens. He was right but an apology at the time would have been nice. The next morning, we received some chocolate covered strawberries and a note of apology from his department. The next day, after we returned from our excursion, we saw many big flies flying around inside the windows of the Garden Cafe. I was not confident about the cleanness of the food from the kitchen after finding the fly in my salad, and doubted more about the cleanliness after seeing all the flies in the Garden Café and no one did anything about them. The flies could be one of the factors that caused people to get sick. We also feel short changed with the number of reward points given (one per day). When I booked the trip I'm sure I saw two points per day, I'm also pretty sure I saw an offer of 5 free at sea, but I didn't receive them, neither. I should receive 12 additional points for my days on the floating Petri dish. As a whole, this cruise to New Zealand was delightful with lots of room for improvement. We hope Norwegian’s food as well as the staff training will be improved. (Sorry, Princess cruise has better food.) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Fresh out of dry dock and the first of the Sydney to New Zealand trips of the season, the Jewel looks great. Gone are the tacky plastic palm trees, ugly carpet, and funky colors. The ship looks modern, instead of the late 90s/early 2000s ... Read More
Fresh out of dry dock and the first of the Sydney to New Zealand trips of the season, the Jewel looks great. Gone are the tacky plastic palm trees, ugly carpet, and funky colors. The ship looks modern, instead of the late 90s/early 2000s wacky theme. Embarkation was easy. Since we were coming from the US and our flight landed pretty early, we were worried the baggage collection wouldn't be up yet. However, we got there around 9am and they were collecting luggage. We dropped our bags off (note that you can't drop off anything with alcohol in it and would have to carry it around all day), and spent most of the day exploring Sydney. Don't forget the sunscreen; we got pretty burned after just a few hours. There's plenty to do, see, buy, and eat around the port. Getting to the port is an easy subway/train ride from the airport to Circular Quay station, and maybe a 1/4 mile walk to the ship. There was a lot of people boarding but it went quickly. Our room was ready around 2pm and our luggage was delivered by 4pm. We watched the ship sail out of Sydney (it's beautiful, don't miss it), ate a small early dinner at the buffet, and went to bed early, as we were exhausted from the long flight and time zone difference. After the 2 sea days, we arrived in Auckland in the midst of a huge thunderstorm. The storm cleared up however, and we explored Auckland. The rest of the ports were easy, with the exception of Akaroa which used tenders. The tenders process was a complete mess and frustrating. The early tenders were all reserved for NCL excursions. We were told to wait until we were ready to get off the ship before collecting a ticket with a group number. Once we got our ticket, it took an hour and 20 minutes before our group number was called, then another 25 minutes to get to the port. We almost missed our private shore excursion that was scheduled for noon. The Fiordland National Park was the highlight of the trip. NCL hit a home run with this one. The ship sails through 3 different bays (which are actually fiords) while the cruise director gives commentary. The best views are from the top of the ship, but they also open up the deck on the bow which has great views. Entertainment was much better than I remember from other NCL cruises. The performers were all class A quality; I expected B or C class. The shows were fantastic, especially the Cirque Bijou show. My only complaint was a complete lack of "adult" entertainment; the only thing that wasn't G-rated was a comedian the last night who threw a couple of swear words in to an otherwise normal set. Dining was also fantastic. We really enjoyed the meals in Azuras each night and the waiters were great. Halfway through the cruise there was a flu outbreak so you had to ask for everything at the buffet and the dining rooms. The staff handled it great and were very friendly. We went to Chin Chins one night and found it to be mediocre. Overall it was a great cruise. A once in a lifetime bucket list item for us, and it did not disappoint. A+ NCL! 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 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.1

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