1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Really enjoyed our first cruise. We found food and service compared well with other All inclusive holidays. The New Zealand and Tasmanian ports were interesting and worth visiting; Geelong less so. Service in the bars and restaurants ... Read More
Really enjoyed our first cruise. We found food and service compared well with other All inclusive holidays. The New Zealand and Tasmanian ports were interesting and worth visiting; Geelong less so. Service in the bars and restaurants was good and food and drinks were of a good standard.We ate breakfast at the Great Outdoors buffet on all except one occasion when we dined in the Tsar. The specialty restaurants were good and worth the supplement. Having the drinks and gratuity package made for a relaxing experience as we never worried what our final bill was going to be. Our cabin steward, Dodi, was excellent. He did a great job and was always cheerful and friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation were poorly organised by the port personnel, although ship's staff were doing there best, especially in Auckland where queues criss crossed causing general confusion. Fellow cruisers compared this unfavourably with other cruise experiences, both NCL and other companies. We did not use any excursions provided by the ship having pre booked online with local tour companies. On average this saved us 50% and also there is more choice. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We had chosen this cruise primarily because it coincided with the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, which was one of the stops. Until it wasn’t any longer, which caused us to alter our plans and change our flights so ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise primarily because it coincided with the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, which was one of the stops. Until it wasn’t any longer, which caused us to alter our plans and change our flights so we could get to Melbourne for a day. Geelong was a lovely port and we had a great time walking along the shore. Overall the ports of call saved this trip. To say the food was terrible would be an understatement. I have the simplest palate on earth so standard cruise fare really has to be terrible for me to not like it. It was awful. With the exception of Cagney’s, which was average, and the Tepanyaki restaurant, which was pretty good, nothing was salvageable. I’ve also never seen such a challenge to put the correct food and drink in front of someone. That was the most consistent aspect of service on board. Speciality dining or no. Our cabin steward never came to introduce himself and it took two days for the beds to be set up the way we wanted them. Sometimes we got a floor mat in the bathroom, sometimes we didn’t. Every day was a Where’s Waldo of what was or wasn’t put in the cabin. Our travel companions didn’t get bath towels 3 times. They wound up hoarding the towel animals so they could shower. There also must have been some sort of pipe backup because throughout the entire cruise the hall in front of our travel companions cabins smelled like an unflushed toilet. The first port day the ship held a crew drill. Pretty standard. However, they held it shortly after the ship was released for shore excursions. The drill happens and all of the doors close. We were all in the lounge waiting for our tour number to be called. The shore excursion crew member, rather than walk us himself, held open the door to the lounge and said walk to the end of the hall and go down one deck. So we walked down this hall, no escort, through many closed doors, not know what was considered the end and if we should continue through the next set of closed doors. We finally got to “our” end and it turned out we had to walk down two decks. Another time I went to the desk to ask a question and the same guy was not shy about letting everyone know how displeased he was with the previous customer on line. At night when we wanted to sit in a lounge or go to a bar to get a drink, the crew, mostly entertainers, took up most of the seating and kept the bar staff engaged with them rather than with actual customers. There were several crew servers that did go above and beyond for us, and we made sure to let the proper folks know about them. This had been my first NCL cruise in 11 years. I’d hoped that maybe there would be an improvement. This will be my last. I don’t consider myself to be a snobby cruiser. I try to find worth in any ship I’m on. The ports. That’s the best I can do. Just go and enjoy the ports and suffer the ship if you must. But you can get those ports elsewhere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise departed Sydney on a Sunday and we happened to arrive at the pier near the 12 noon embarkation time. I recommend not doing that because of all the queueing, which made it take close to an hour to get on the ship. There are ... Read More
This cruise departed Sydney on a Sunday and we happened to arrive at the pier near the 12 noon embarkation time. I recommend not doing that because of all the queueing, which made it take close to an hour to get on the ship. There are plenty of places around the port to get a drink and relax -- recommend doing that until the queue subsides around 3 p.m. Once aboard, everything went well. Cabin was immediately available. This was the first time we went to a drill/muster and were not required to bring our life vests. That is an improvement. The passengers were an interesting global mix of North American/German/Australian & NZ/Asian. A more diverse group than we have sailed with before. This particular cruise had 330 Germans aboard. We only took one ship excursion and found things to do on our own at the other ports. The local tourism greeters on the piers in Aus. & NZ are very polite and helpful...if you are tired of Caribbean & Mexican ports you will enjoy the professionalism here. Our last cruise was on Princess and the regular coffee was Nescafe Alegria....it appeared to be plastic udders full of coffee concentrate mixed with hot water. We could not drink it. Just to be safe, on this cruise I brought along some instant coffee as insurance. Didn't need it. The regular coffee on Jewel seemed to be coming from fresh grounds, and although it was not premium, it was drinkable. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package. Some of the drinks seemed weak, but it was convenient to never have to sign for a beverage. The included wines get tiresome but probably we should have splurged on some extra $ wines to enhance the experience. We found the crew members to be engaging and polite. We enjoyed great weather and fun ports....would sail again, especially after the ship gets spruced up in its next drydock. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I chose to go on this cruise as I was off work after a knee replacement. My plus one was my mum. We arrived at the port a little after 12. Bags were dropped with no difficulty. We had to show our printed on line documents & passport ... Read More
I chose to go on this cruise as I was off work after a knee replacement. My plus one was my mum. We arrived at the port a little after 12. Bags were dropped with no difficulty. We had to show our printed on line documents & passport before we could enter the hall. Once in the hall we were directed into a line for people with mobility aids where a small area had been set aside for check-in. There was no clear direction at this point of what to do. Eventually a lady came to give us the health forms and took our details. We waited approximately 20 mins to be served and some people who arrived after us were served prior to us. Passports checked, photos taken and we were on our way again, this time to border security. We were again directed to a separate line for people with mobility aids. I had 6 bottles of wine which they put to one side. I signed a room charge for the bottles of wine and we proceeded to embark. We attempted to go to our room to leave the alcohol but the corridor was blocked so we went to the Garden Cafe for lunch. After lunch we headed to our room where our bags were waiting and we met our cabin steward Leo(who was brilliant). Prior to muster I decided to check out the ship. Other people have commented there were areas of the ship that looked a bit tired. Personally I had no complaints. Muster was scheduled for 5pm and lasted approximately 30mins. We headed to the Great Outdoor Cafe for sale away where we had arranged to catch up with Cruise Critic members. We had lovely views and great conversations as we sailed out towards the head. Most days we had breakfast and lunch in the Garden Cafe where there was more than enough variety of food on offer. They also had food themes on the pool deck and in the Garden Cafe. Most nights we ate dinner in Tsar's. The service wasn't five star but I personally had no complaints and found the food tasty. A passenger played the piano on many nights in the restaurant which definitely added to the ambience. A couple of times we went to O'Sheehan's for either lunch or dinner and once we went to Chin Chin. The waiter in Chin Chin was excellent and treated my mother(80yrs) like a queen. I utilised the gym on quite a few days and never had to wait to use any of the equipment. The pool was freezing and several brave souls went for a dip. I tried the spas and wished they were warmer. I went to a few shows in the Stardust Theatre which I enjoyed( and were always packed). Every night I went to the Spinnaker Lounge for the evening activity and to listen to Hotwire. Apart from the wide variety of music they played they(Hotwire) made regulars feel very welcome. The cruise ship entertainment staff were fantastic and made you feel very welcome. As a single female it was great to have dance partners (both female & male entertainment staff). My mother spent a lot of time in the library doing jigsaw puzzles which people brought on board. It would be nice to have a table dedicated to this. All my tours were booked privately so I can't comment on tours the ship had to offer. We only had one tender port-Akaroa and they had 5 boats tendering people to shore. Our cruise was late getting back to Sydney due to a medical emergency and weather issues, consequently disembarkation was pretty quick and efficient. I enjoyed the cruise enough to have booked another cruise on the Jewel at the end of the year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. Travelled as a family of 4 with 2 children aged 17 and 12. Embarkation was a breeze as we arrived early and were one of the first on the ship which gave us a great ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. Travelled as a family of 4 with 2 children aged 17 and 12. Embarkation was a breeze as we arrived early and were one of the first on the ship which gave us a great opportunity to explore the facilities before it got busy. We found the food to be of a good standard but didn't go to the buffet much as it was always so busy there and hard to get a seat. However the quality and variety of the food looked very good there. We enjoyed going to Azure for dinner most evenings and O'Sheehans for breakfast as it was much quieter there and you were able to get a good cup of tea and coffee We visited Chin Chins a couple of times and found the food to be of a reasonable quality there. Entertainment at the shows in the evening was outstanding. We all enjoyed these immensely. However it was a shame that a couple of the entertainers were repeated so soon after their first performances. Burn the Floor, the singers and dancers and the Showband were excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed watching Hot Wire too. Service throughout the ship was excellent. Never had to wait long for a drink at any of the bars which was great. Just a couple of times at O'Sheehans and Chin Chins the service was a little rushed as main courses arrived before starters were finished. Our son enjoyed the sports activities on the ship - the tennis, table tennis, basketball activities were great for him. Our room was kept impeccably clean by our steward. We had an amazing time on the Jewel and would not hesitate to travel on her again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour ... Read More
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour each day on the balcony. Our cabin was the last aft cabin on the port side of the ship - cabin 10662. I was a little worried that being that far back and that far up, we would feel a lot of movement. It was very rocky on one rough sea day but we never did experience any sea sickness. We did not have any robes and asked for them the first day and were given two robes. While the cabin was a little worn, we didn't really have any problems. We had never been to Australia or New Zealand so every port was a brand new experience for us. We attended about half the nightly shows in Stardust and enjoyed them. We had about half our nightly meals in the Azura Main Dining room. Most of them were pretty good. I did order a Thai noodle dish that was barely edible but all in all I would give Azura an 8 out of 10 rating. We also had the SDP and dined in Cagneys twice, Teppanayaki once, and Le Bistro once. These meals were really good. This was one of the best cruises that I have ever taken. The only thing that I would have changed was the weather as we probably had rain on 8 or 10 of our days on board. Luckily, most days it only rained two or three hours and only one or two were all day rains. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We were very keen to cruise with NCL on their 1st season in Australlia and having been on the Jewel before in Alaska it was wonderful to be back onboard. We chose to embark about 2 hours after embarkation had started and we were onboard ... Read More
We were very keen to cruise with NCL on their 1st season in Australlia and having been on the Jewel before in Alaska it was wonderful to be back onboard. We chose to embark about 2 hours after embarkation had started and we were onboard within 15 Minutes .Went straight to the cabin saw our luggage in the corridor and claimed it ..all very quick and easy. Cabin was fine had all the room we needed to unpack and cases went under the bed. Dined in all the included venues and found them all to be good and enough variety. We also went to specialty dinning at Cagneys, La Cucina and LeBistro all were very good. The entertainment was FABULOUS especially BURN THE FLOOR productions the BEST I have seen on any ship, really terrific so talented both production shows they did got a full house standing ovation. We didn't participate in a lot of arranged activities but there seemed to be a lot going on and a nice variety and the CD and staff were fun friendly and very busy. Over all we found the service to be very good there were times when it was a bit slower but only during busy times. I have tremendous respect for staff on ships they work SO HARD. The ports were excellent I think this itinerary covered every major NZ cruise port , we were not able to tender at Bay of Islands so sadly we didn't get see that area. The ship does need a refurb (which is happening this year I believe) although it in no way affected our experience there are areas especially around the pool deck that need redoing and are looking faded and worn. Had a wonderful time ,met some wonderful people and are looking forward to our next NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise to Australia and New Zealand for our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It did not disappoint. From the moment we boarded the ship to the minute we disembarked everything was spectacular. We made life long ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise to Australia and New Zealand for our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It did not disappoint. From the moment we boarded the ship to the minute we disembarked everything was spectacular. We made life long friends on this cruise. The food was great. We had 4 specialty dinners and our favorites were Tepanyaki and Moderno. We attended most shows and entertainers in the various lounges and the entertainment terrific. Our favorite was the tribute to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass and Bernie the Guitar Man. In fact I think we saw Bernie more than any other entertainer. We had a balcony view that was tremendous especially when we were in Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Dusky Sound. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone thinking about this part of the world. We enjoyed our cruise so much that we booked our next one while on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which originally had several Australian as well as New Zealand ports of call. While we were sad to see less of Australia than we expected, the changed trip was terrific. Had a few cool and rainy ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which originally had several Australian as well as New Zealand ports of call. While we were sad to see less of Australia than we expected, the changed trip was terrific. Had a few cool and rainy days but it was still a wonderful adventure. The ship had plenty of choice for meals and always had food available. We did think that the food was a little 'ordinary' but still sufficient and generally good, especially when we reminded ourselves of how many were being fed during peak times. We did not take advantage of any of the specialty restaurants. (on principle the cost of the vacation was already high enough with out extra costs on what was to be all inclusive) Did feel that Chen-Chen, a specialty option that was included, was not good. Food was overcooked and choices extremely limited. We enjoyed the open and light space in the Tsar, not so much in the Azura which is dark and crowded. Since my sister has a severe shellfish allergy, we tended to avoid the buffet due to fear of cross-contamination . The staff was wonderful about making sure that our special dining needs were always addressed and had pre-ordered meals prepared separately. Still have an issue on the drink packages available thru NCL. I could have $15 martini but not a $4 specialty coffee or water and there is not a package that offers this (only a soda, or water, or Full Beverage which did not incllude these) The cabin was lovely and had a spacious balcony. Storage was plentiful (we brought extra hangers which were definitely needed!) Our steward was terrific, attentive and helpful. An extension cord and distilled water was provided for my CPAP as requested. Activities were plentiful,often had to choose between a couple of interesting ones I am a fan of trivia, of which there were several a day, my sister began the learning process of the game of bridge. Loved several of the bar entertainers especially 24 Karat and the Piano man. Felt the evening show was excellent several time but disappointing at others. . We took advantage of several excursions and except for the Wellington one on which they changed the train ride from 2 hours to 1/2 hour were happy with them. Did book an outside venue with Viator in Tauranga which was wonderful. We are certainly looking forward to future cruises with 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 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.1

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