2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food ... Read More
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food and cabin where great too , Entertainment from the production was outstanding from vocals, choreography and the visual of the costumes was just amazing !!! The Itinerary was one of the reasons I picked this cruise also dates where great too. Plethora of on board activities for sea days and shore days. Entertainers where of a high standard and very entertaining. The selection for shore excursions was great too. Embarkation was no trouble as was disembarkation. This cruise I did a back to back first time doing this , and would defiantly think of doing it again stayed on for the January 5th cruise that was just as good. Do yourself a favor if your considering doing a cruise have a look at Norwegian cruise line there prices are competitive and Itinerary's are just as good :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per ... Read More
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per day than Med or caribbean). This ship was less crowded (it was a pretty full ship but the spaces seemed better matched to its carrying capacity) than the last time but the staff was weaker, the food more bland and the entertainment weak and repetitive. This was a decent ship with a good port itinerary and ok crowding and our room was ok size and bathroom was good. however Safe in our room was broken and they did nothing to fix it except take notes. Staff was weak at service and solving problems or dealing with requests. Food was weak in cafeteria and main restaurant. Specialty dining food was good though. It seemed like they made the regular food weak so you would buy the specialty dining. Entertainment was weak and repetitive - almost the same show repackaged 10 of 15 nights. All basic song and dance routines except 1 comedian, 1 hypnotist and 2 duo song/comedy shows. Pool was closed often for non understandable reasons and impossible to tell if it was open or closed without trekking up there. Music was loud above our room every night - after 3 nights of complaining and after i suggested maybe they could turn it down at 10pm they did do that the 4th night - and it worked. but on the 5th it was back up and i was not able to get them to adjust it again. most staff are hopeless notetakers saying yes sir, yes sir but intending to do nothing. We had 4 sea days and very little organized extra activities. One day there was bridge in a decent space but they would not offer it again. i dont know if htey were lazy or not competent when we asked about it. The 2 things that will prevent me from cruising Norwegian again were 1. the noise above our room every night not addressed and 2. strange blocking of our access around the ship every day at port (combined with a strange configuration of elevators and stairs). The elevator configuration does not help where one set of elevators did not reach our floor and neither did one set of stairways. For the first week i was forever getting stuck in a stairway with now way out. I would take the stairs down from deck 8 to deck 6, get stuck, have to go back up to deck 8, walk to the back of the ship, go down the stairs to deck 5 then walk back to the front of the ship to my room. I also had to do this the first 3 times we stopped in a port just to get off the boat. Luckily after a few days they improved their instructions to their staff to let us out from deck 5. But it took a lot of complaining. most staff i spoke to just didnt care - it wasnt their job to ask questions. There were a number of issues like this where the staff was unhelpful it seemed because they are micromanaged. For example the pool was often closed for "rough weather" - but there was no way of knowing 1. what was the measure of rough weather to close, 2. was it closed now (i had to go up to deck 12 and look (did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell many times on the way back), 3. when it was opened again (or when they expected it to open or re-asses - i had to go back up to deck 12 to look - did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell again). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar ... Read More
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar service was poor, staff generally unfriendly and understaffed. Waited >15mins to be served and paying 20% service charge for no service. Waiters brought a different drink to the one ordered (because it was claimed to be out of stock) without checking with the customer first. This happened at least 3 times in different lounges. Restaurant service also poor in some instances - cold food, wrong drinks. Unimaginative on board activities during sea days. Chin Chin Asian restaurant is false advertising. Very limited "complimentary" (included in fare) choices on menu and I, a lousy cook can cook better. Cabin steward service ok but had to find own toilet paper from the trolley outside. Entertainment (stage shows) ok. Daily newsletter should have next port information which it didn't. Ship advertised as 4 star but overall a 3 star experience at best and no star at worst. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip ... Read More
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip yourself ,watch one major travel company who will try and get to sign up to gratitudes before you get on ship ,wouldn’t recommend ship to anybody everything is expensive ,drinks served up with no imagination ,food boring entertainment no good no coffe card tours are to expensive ,the Chinese restraint was terrible no flavour ,no wonder the restraint was empty most nights ,with the roast turkey for lunch on the 12 th floor no roast vegetables on Christmas Day chips only could you imagine Christmas Day with chips sweet weren’t to bad asked for custard they promise everything and deliver nothing caramel sauce full of sugar ,look for a better ship Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
Sail Date: December 2018
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. ... Read More
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. Our inside cabin was tiny. No where to sit so had to lay on the bed to watch tv. Had to hunch over and crab walk along side the bed to get into it as there was a fold down bunk attached to the wall. Very tiny room. It seemed the staff were not very happy at all. We were one on the last in the dinning room after lunch one day and it was really the first time I saw staff in there smiling and happy, because everyone was leaving. Eventhough I am a recreational smoker, I could not believe they allowed somking everywhere in the casion whenever it was open! Yuck. The food was very average. Moderno, the Brazilian restaurant that is an additional cost was the best food on board. If you were unlucky enough as us to be ones without a drinks package included, the pricing is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. It worked out to be $185 AUD per person per day!! What a joke. Of course we didnt partake. The entertainment was ok, the best being the aerialist couple who were outstanding. There was no indoor pool so when the weather was not great, there was no swimming at all. Drinks were expensive. There showed the cost in US dollars then in tiny print down the bottom of the menu it said plus 20% gratuity plus 10% GST. So you must add 30% to the advertised drinks price displayed. Always take your own coffee as we do as the stuff they claim to be coffee is not drinkable. Overall we were disappointed and wony try Norwegian again. Read Less
3 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
4 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
7 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 ... 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
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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