1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
We cruised on the NCL Jewel from Vancouver to Los Angeles with stops in Astoria, Oregon and San Francisco and it was a TERRIFIC experience from beginning to end! We chose NCL because we had sailed with them before and because of the ... Read More
We cruised on the NCL Jewel from Vancouver to Los Angeles with stops in Astoria, Oregon and San Francisco and it was a TERRIFIC experience from beginning to end! We chose NCL because we had sailed with them before and because of the itinerary. Our cabin was just as expected- we had a mini-suite and really enjoyed the private balcony. Our Cabin Steward, Barrington was excellent! He anticipated our needs and our room was always serviced timely in our absence. Our experience with the dining options was excellent as well! We dined in each of the complimentary venues and were very pleased with the food and the service. The Garden Café buffet was massive and offered something for everyone. I'd like to note that NCL has really gotten a handle on the norovirus issue and provided hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship so that passengers can be more hygiene conscious. I took along a purse pack of hand wipes to use after each visit to the buffet bar. We also ate in La Cucina, the Italian venue as well as Cagney's steakhouse. There I had the best steak I have ever had in my life! Truly exceptional and well worth the additional cover charge. Some mornings we had breakfast at O'Sheehans because it is just a smaller and quieter area. One of the great things about this itinerary is that we were able to do some sightseeing at each port of call and then the next day we were at sea and had the opportunity to just relax and enjoy some down time. We did not take advantage of any of the shore excursions but booked our own, usually a Hop-on/Hop-off tour bus, just because we prefer to do our own thing rather than being part of a group. We did not see any of the shipboard entertainment either, so I can't comment on the quality of those performances. Again, we can only rave about our experience but there were a couple of glitches: * The boarding process in Vancouver was brutal! This was not the fault of NCL, but rather the US Customs service. They were so painfully slow and the staging area was not at all pleasant or comfortable. That process really made us feel like cattle. * There were a couple of instances of misinformation. At check-in, we opted to establish a CASH onboard account. They would not accept cash payment from us and we were told, "No problem, we will set you up with a $500 account". The next day when we presented our card at the bar, we were told that our account was closed. THEN we had to go to the Service Desk to give them cash. The last day of the cruise, the newsletter stated that if you had a balance due on your onboard account, a check would be mailed to you. Not True! We went to the Service Desk and were given a Cash refund on the spot... more misinformation. * Mid-cruise, the newsletter noted that "taxis in Long Beach are limited. If you need a taxi from the port, you can make a reservation at the Service Desk". Wrong! We went to the desk and the representative we spoke with knew nothing about it. All in all, NCL is a great line with great service. All the staff were exceeding friendly and courteous. We would highly recommend the cruise line, the ship as well as the Pacific coast itinerary   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first cruise longer than the usual 7 nights. Have decided it will be our one and only 16 night cruise! This cruise thru the Panama Canal was on our bucket list, though. There were 4 couples (family) and booked it 18 months ... Read More
This was our first cruise longer than the usual 7 nights. Have decided it will be our one and only 16 night cruise! This cruise thru the Panama Canal was on our bucket list, though. There were 4 couples (family) and booked it 18 months early, to get a lower price. We all met up on the Jewel, since we flew in to San Diego and Los Angeles on different days. My wife and I stayed at the Crown Plaza in San Pedro the night before, and they took us to the cruise terminal the next morning. The embarkation was fast and easy. The disembarkation in Bayport (Houston) was very slow and disorganized! That may have been because it was the Jewel's first trip in there and the large amount of cruisers getting off. They even made those continuing on to the Western Caribbean to get off and board again. Never heard of that before! Welcome to Texas. Also, Texas now has a state tax for liquor and cigarettes brought in, plus the usual federal tax. The customs officials were waiting for one couple to claim their luggage and took them aside. They had packed silverware from the ship in their luggage. I guess they didn't know their luggage would be x-rayed when coming back into the U.S. All the Jewel employees on this cruise were so friendly and helpful! This was our 10th cruise, and have never seen another crew like that. From the washy-washy guy at the buffet - all the way up to Steven Jacobsen, Hotel Director. Steven greeted us when we got off at the ports, and he was always there when we got back. They gave out cold most towels, drinks, and cookies on our return. That was nice! Never experienced that on any previous cruise. We ran into Steven all over the ship - he was always smiling and asking how our cruise was going. Messiah Ritzinger, the Food and Beverage Director, was also always around the ship visiting and checking the food and drinks being served, too. Very friendly man from Bavaria in West Germany - and even had an Octoberfest at the pool on our last sea day. Ben Kitchen was a great Cruise Director who seemed to be everywhere, too. Kind of hard to understand the Aussie sometimes, but won't hold that against him. All the shows in the theatre were great. We had a mid ship family balcony room. The sink/mirror was in the middle of the bathroom. The shower on the left side, with a sliding door separating them. And the toilet was on the left side with a sliding door, too. That area seemed a little tight. The room was nothing to brag about. Our 2 large suitcases (max allowed on airplane) wouldn't fit under our bed. The safe was deep and had a lot of room to lock up everything. We did accidently leave the safe open twice and nothing ($$$) was taken. My Aunt next door dropped an envelope with $700 on the floor in their cabin, and they rushed back when she noticed it missing from her purse. The room steward had put it on their bed, when cleaning up their room. I DEWA PUTU MARGUNA (or as we called him "D" was our room steward. A very honest man! He took very good care of all of us. We only took one shore excursion booked thru the Jewel, and that was Las Caletas in Puerto Vallarta. Not really impressed with it - even though they rated it very high. The other ports we went right off the ship and got the same thing they offered or more, for less than 1/2 their price. We very disappointed in Cartagena Columbia, though. The traffic there was terrible, the people not friendly, and nothing worth buying there. It had really changed since we were last there 14 years ago - and it was supposed to be a dangerous place back then. The beaches on the Pacific side of Mexico are not the same as those on the Caribbean side of Mexico. The food on this cruise wasn't the best we have experienced on our cruises. With the 16 nights, you saw a lot of the same things on the rotating evening menus at Tsar's and Azula. Ate breakfast and lunch at Tsar's most of the time. Marcella was our usual hostess when we showed at Tsar's for breakfast or lunch, and at Azula for the evening meal. She greeted us by our name and was always smiling, when we showed up.. Marcella was a great hostess! The buffets were always crowded and your food on the tray got cold looking for an empty table. We ate our evening meals mostly at Azula, because you could wear shorts there. Tsar's had the same menu, but shorts were not allowed for the evening meal. Mostly everyone ate early on our cruise. If you had to wait for a table, they gave you a pager and coupons for a free glass on champagne at the bar nearby, while you waited. Our group of 8 only had to wait 2 nights, but we usually ate around 8:00 pm. Never did use the room service, or order the $5 pizza.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Departure: From Ballantyne pier instead of Canada Place. Even travel agent was sure the ship was leaving from Canada Place which we checked in for Alaska in August in 30 minutes We were not informed of this Not on our tickets and very ... Read More
Departure: From Ballantyne pier instead of Canada Place. Even travel agent was sure the ship was leaving from Canada Place which we checked in for Alaska in August in 30 minutes We were not informed of this Not on our tickets and very hard to find on website.We Learned from a Cruise Critic posting. Very inconvenient. Need Taxi to get there instead of 100yard walk from seabus or skytrain at CANADA PLACE. There are no shuttles from Canada Place to Ballantyne pier Ballantyne pier: 2hr to clear customs security & check luggage basically due to lack of staff. Queued for 30 min in the sun to check luggage. This would be great in vancouvers usual rain. The call your number group system was a joke as no-one called and there were no signs or PA San Francisco: Not informed of pier change to Pier 27 here either. Not informed of free shuttle to pier 39. LA: This was the start of a new leg of the cruise We were going to have a relaxing day onboard. At 10am a pa message informed that power will be off from 10am til 11.30am. Our inside room has no emergency power and is totally black. We're panicking to wash dress before the lights quit and basically had to leave the ship. Were not informed anything re going ashore here in LA in transit to avoid line ups with people checking baggage customs etc. we were issued "in transit" stickers. Then on returning to the ship in the clothes we wore, no bags at all. had to line up for half hour 85f to get aboard. (they seemed quite able to fast track people in wheel chairs & other "special" people) Royal Carribean in Seward AK we fast tracked in a transit line zero wait FOOD: Poor. They just don't seem to understand meat potatoes & veg.(Rice was always available) Mashed potatoes were almost impossible to get even on asking the head chef. They would get it just for you that day usually just as you were finishing the meal and made you feel a real bother. And as for asking for any other accompaniments dijon, mint sauce, even broccoli or some green veggies if you wait 15 minutes it might show up once. The Main Dining Rooms are no better. They have quit having lobster night. They try to do gourmet and just succeed in looking chintzy. STAFF & MANAGEMENT: I must say the staff, stewards, bar staff etc were very good. Management & service desk just had a bunch of scripted excuses and occasionally if you really got loud they would try to fix a problem. CONCLUSION: This ship NORWEGAN JEWEL is starting to look quite run down the cabins are very small compared to other cruise lines and they seem to be cheaping out on everything from food to the Terminal ports & ports of call which seem to be in remote places miles from where you wish to be. Going through Panama canal was hard to find good viewing places. The Platinum members possibly recieve more quality treatment. which may explain some of the better reviews here. We have also travelled Princess & Royal Carribean also which are both head and shoulders above Norwegan. THE GOOD: Panama Canal is very worth doing. Very interesting and spectacular.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
My wife and I did the end of season Seattle departure/Vancouver disembark voyage. We enjoyed the main buffet food. There was always a tremendous selection and good quality. We opted for the dining package, eating dinner in different ... Read More
My wife and I did the end of season Seattle departure/Vancouver disembark voyage. We enjoyed the main buffet food. There was always a tremendous selection and good quality. We opted for the dining package, eating dinner in different restaurant venues each night. This option was not very popular, because never were the restaurants more than half full, however the food was good at most of the venues, and was a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the buffet, but really wasn't necessary. This is a budget cruise, the entertainment on the boat as just so-so at best. Norwegian is more interested in selling you stuff than providing meaningful entertainment. They had a small casino, that was not well attended, except by smokers is it was allowed in the is area. It kept us away it smelled to badly there. The stops, Skagway, Kechican, and Juneau, weren't very interesting, mostly just seasonal tourist shops. We did take in the Taku Glacier lodge tour, which included a 20 minute seaplane flight and king salmon dinner which was the highlight of the trip, followed by the Skagway railway trip. We did the Victoria Buchart Gardens tour, and it was OK. There was not time in Victoria to do anything else. Ending the trip in Vancouver was good, as it gave us another city to explore. Problem was, my wife became sick with the flu on the second to the last day of the cruise, and I got sick a day later. Our cabin attendant told us everyone in our corridor was sick. The flu hit us hard and it took about 4-5 weeks to fully recover. My wife and I haven't been sick like this ever. When sharing our experience with friends, they tell us getting sick on the big cruise ships is a very common experience. This will be our last big ship cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
This was absolutely the worst vacation experience I have ever had. I've read some of the other reviews that say how wonderful the "Jewel" was and I can't believe my eyes. Getting on the ship was the experience from ... Read More
This was absolutely the worst vacation experience I have ever had. I've read some of the other reviews that say how wonderful the "Jewel" was and I can't believe my eyes. Getting on the ship was the experience from hell. We had arranged for a NCL shuttle to pick us up at our hotel and take us to the ship cause it sounded convenient. HA! We had to wait for a second shuttle do to over booking and when we got to the NCL embarkment area there was no place to park so we drove around for 35 minutes before there was enough room for us. When we got off the shuttle we were herded into a gigantic room with easily a thousand hot sweaty smelly people waiting to get checked in. Another 40 minutes, this time standing in line. Finally, we got on the ship and, you guessed it, a 20 minute wait to get on the elevator to go to our suite. When we got to our room, someone had used the bathroom and urinated on the floor. I could smell it when I opened the door. Had to call the porter and have it cleaned. Not a good start to our "Alaskan" cruise but I thought things would get better. NOT1 The food was mediocre at best and the service was TERRIBLE. Since there was no assigned seating we never had the same servers twice so no incentive to do an exceptional job. Servers were curt, unattentive and spoke little english. It was impossible to get explanations of menu items. The only good (traditional) bar was one where you had to pay extra to attend. I went to it anyway figuring if I had already paid for balcony suites I deserved a decent bar and no one challenged me. The main rub was that the ship was one giant jewelry store. The TV was a constant barrage of commercials for on-board sales, the whole center of the ship was a jewelry store, and when we got off at the towns, you guessed it, more jewelry stores. The closest we got to a glacier was 5 miles away but we could take a boat excursion to the base of the glacier "FOR ANOTHER $250 EACH!" What a rip-off. The glacier, by-the-way, looked more like a frozen river than the majestic walls of ice you typically see in the travel logs. But, then, we were 5 miles away. The single highlight of the trip was the "Red Dog Saloon" in Juneau. It was fun and the only thing on the trip that resembled Alaska as I expected it to be. Actually, the biggest highlight was getting off that stinking ship. I WOULDN'T GO ON ANOTHER NCL CRUISE IF WERE OFFERED FOR FREE! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I was pleasantly surprised with our choice of travel this year, not because of the destination, but because the cruise was much better than expected! We have traveled on cruise ships before, and this ship, the Jewel, has exceeded my ... Read More
I was pleasantly surprised with our choice of travel this year, not because of the destination, but because the cruise was much better than expected! We have traveled on cruise ships before, and this ship, the Jewel, has exceeded my expectations. Although the ships sailed about 2 hours late, the activities remained the same, nonetheless. Lunch was ready for us to eat since most people were probably hungry, like us, in a hurry to get to Seattle in time to stand in line and process check in procedures. It was really very painless and went smoothly. Our luggage arrived late, as always, although we were told since we checked in early, that mostly likely we would get them early. That is not the case. So, definitely, bring a carry-on with change of clothing with you, if you plan on sunbathing, swimming, or getting dressed up for dinner. The shows were all spectacular!! The comedy show was really terrific. The comedian is rather hilarious, but apparently some people are too slow to get his jokes. He put on several shows, but we would have loved to see more of him daily, if possible. He had us in tears from laughing so much. Our stateroom steward was awesome!! He has done his job for over a decade and is great at it. Anything we needed, he got for us. He is very pleasant and had a wonderful time connecting with him, as a person. It was great!! The entertainment crew were a little over the top, at times. We did not mind though. We went in wanting to have a good time and that's what we received. The views were amazing. I actually enjoyed the sea days more so than port of calls because it was more relaxing and did not have to rise so early to eat breakfast and run. Some of the stops were not great, not as much to do, if you choose not to book the excursions ahead of time. We booked some at the port, which were about half of the ship excursion price. It was worth it and the destinations were all the same! As for Victoria, I just love that place! Downtown is simply gorgeous! If you go to a bank there to for currency exchange, the first transaction is free, the second has a surcharge, although minimal. Would I recommend this ship over the Pearl? Yes, because they are both the same. Some of the staff have to work at the Pearl, and visa versa. Don't believe otherwise. As for some of the negative reviews, you'll have to be the judge of that. We do not agree with them, but then again, we are a positive attitude family. We did not find it dirty, or find any rude people and the food was good if you go to specialty dining and not the buffet. Don't get me wrong, I was hesitant on going on another cruise for over 25 years because of past experience, but we were glad we gave Norwegian a chance! Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
From the moment we arrived at the terminal in Seattle, everything was terrific! After a little paperwork and processing (5 min.) There we were, on the beautiful NCL Jewel. Went directly to Tsar's (main dining room) for a fantastic ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the terminal in Seattle, everything was terrific! After a little paperwork and processing (5 min.) There we were, on the beautiful NCL Jewel. Went directly to Tsar's (main dining room) for a fantastic grilled shrimp sandwich and soup. Seems like everyone else heads straight for The Garden Terrace (buffet- mostly BIG volume eaters in there), Tsar's was quiet and service was excellent, in fact, Tsar's was our main-stay for most meals, nice variety and everything tasty. I had a normal years worth of Eggs Benedict this past week that could not have been better! Also if you love salmon, you can enjoy it with EVERY meal! Yum! Entertainment was good, we did see several of the "Big Shows" in the Stardust Theatre, Comedian very funny, Band on the Run very good, La Cirque Bijoux great, but what we enjoyed even more were the musical performance (almost non-stop) throughout the ship. "Alambre Trio" were 3 guitarists that can cover any music from classic latin guitar tunes to Santana and the Eagles. They were really amazing and we did enjoy listening to them many times. The "Stardust Band" also covered the 40's, Dixieland Jazz and all other genres beautifully! Then there was "Nathaniel" who sang and played piano beautifully, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Sinatra, you name it, he can play it. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy all of this quality entertainment. The ship was clean and well maintained, bed was very comfortable, shower just amazing (nice and hot with good pressure), Room Steward (Trevor) pleasant and efficient took excellent care of us. Everyone working on the NCL Jewel went out of their way to greet us and to make sure that we were happy with everything. Attended the Cruise Critic "Meet and Greet" (If someone is coordinating this on your cruise, find the information under Roll Call). Many of NCL Management team attended and introduced themselves. NCL put on a lovely spread in Le Bistro of coffee, tea and pastries for us. I was disappointed that so few of the 30 people that RSVP'd showed. NCL said that they also have been disappointed at the lack of participation from Cruise Critic followers lately, this is a VERY important community to them and they really do want everyone here to be taken care of. Two of the officers we met at the "Meet and Greet" remembered us and several times during the cruise checked in with us to make sure all was perfect. Nice touch! We WILL cruise NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I have been taking cruise vacations for over twenty years and have come to the conclusion that there is no all-in-one perfect cruise, but you can save money and get more of what you are looking for with some forethought and research. This ... Read More
I have been taking cruise vacations for over twenty years and have come to the conclusion that there is no all-in-one perfect cruise, but you can save money and get more of what you are looking for with some forethought and research. This was our second Alaskan cruise and this time we were taking two of our grandchildren. We had taken a Disney cruise in January, and picked Norwegian because of their contract with Nicholodian thinking there would be more appeal for our 7 and9 year old grandsons. Overall this was a good choice, but don't go expecting Sponge Bob and Patrick to be ever present like the a Disney characters. This is still a cruise that caters to adults. The five star parts of this trip were the entertainers, shows, overall cleanliness of the ship, and easily the most attentive cabin steward that we have ever had. Somewhat disappointing was the age and decor in need of updating, and the food while tasty was not up to the usual gourmet cruise ship standards. The cabins are small partly because the bathroom are larger than on most ships with a tub shower combination instead of the usual micro shower. Beds were comfortable. Although smoking was restricted to the casino and balconies, my wife was upset by the noticeable smoke odors in many areas of the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our 6th cruise and our first on Norwegian. The Jewel allows too much smoking. The casino was a smokers paradise. Don't think about playing their Texas Hold 'Em, the rate is 25% on the live game and the the tournaments ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise and our first on Norwegian. The Jewel allows too much smoking. The casino was a smokers paradise. Don't think about playing their Texas Hold 'Em, the rate is 25% on the live game and the the tournaments are a joke, 2,000 chips and 100 -200 blinds for $60 with unlimited rebuys, unless you get lucky fast those chips will soon disappear and you'll wish you lost your money on the slots. Prior to embarkation we were told how great the food would be...NOT! When going on an Alaskan cruise we were excited and looking forward to tasting salmon prepared many different ways and for crab and seafood to be abundant. That was not happening, even in the many specially restaurants it was not the case. We dined one night in Cagney's Steakhouse and were surprised to hear that ordering an additional portion of any entree was an addition $10 charge for each choice. Don't get me started on the waiter there, my wife asked for lemon for her water and it never came. We both requested milk and that too was quickly forgotten also. The steak was perfect, the highlight of the meal. The deserts were sub standard and not fully cooked on one and simply too dry of a brownie on the other. There was no feeling of welcome, by any of the staff there. The $60 fee for our two dinners was very overpriced. On all other cruises we were offered at least one night of lobster in the included restaurants . They did serve pieces of it on top of linguine one evening. Expect the same menu every day in the buffets and don't expect any great food. O'Sheehan's had great chicken wings and the fish and chips were good. There were employees on board who were happy and friendly and seemed to be enjoying their jobs. Some bar staff especially were quick to call you by name and interacted pleasantly with all of our party of ten. If you like spending your money on long shot bingo cards you'll want to head to Spinnakers Lounge, one winner per card, at $40 min. a card. Later in the evenings they provided loud rap dance music for the younger set. It would have been nice to see more music geared to the 50 and over crowd. Poolside music was very good but it didn't last very long during the day and none at night. A childs pool with a slide and one small adult pool, usually in the shade, (did I say small? I meant to say very small) was a disappointment. There were many open lounges but not any that were real danceable. The stateroom was always clean however the attendant was not overly friendly. Rooms with a balcony could request and receive hair conditioner however rooms without a balcony were told none were available. Customer Relations, Shore Excursions and photo workers were helpful and knowledgeable.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our first cruise and our first time visiting Alaska. Norwegian Cruise Lines and specifically the Norwegian Jewel did a fantastic job from check-in to our return to Seattle. The crew from our room steward to the Captain were ... Read More
This was our first cruise and our first time visiting Alaska. Norwegian Cruise Lines and specifically the Norwegian Jewel did a fantastic job from check-in to our return to Seattle. The crew from our room steward to the Captain were welcoming, friendly and bent over backwards to make our vacation the most memorable one ever. The food was out of this world in all of the complimentary restaurants though we didn't eat at the Buffett much. The main dining rooms changed their menu daily and O'sheehans was great. The bed in our cabin was the comfiest bed I have ever slept on and the pillows were amazing, in fact I have tracked down the type used and ordered some for home. The shore time and excursions were great as was the time at sea spent on the ship. I HIGHLY recommend Norwegian for your next cruise adventure and we are already planning our next cruise. NORWEGIAN JEWEL ROCKS!!!!! Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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