623 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

Took the Jewel for a 7 day Alaskan cruise. The ship and cabin were very clean. There were multiple activities to partake in, but many did require additional money, such as bingo. The entertainment was good. The ariel artists of Duo Nika ... Read More
Took the Jewel for a 7 day Alaskan cruise. The ship and cabin were very clean. There were multiple activities to partake in, but many did require additional money, such as bingo. The entertainment was good. The ariel artists of Duo Nika were the best. My only complaint is that several areas of the ship smelled of cigarette smoke. The library, the gym and sometimes the stairwell by the elevators. I was told there is a smoking area above the gym and I assume that might have been the cause of the other affected areas. The service from all staff was excellent. Everyone was friendly and responsive. The dining was average. We opted for the specialty dining package. We were underwhelmed (bland) with all of the specialty restaurants except for the steak house. The filet and rack of lamb was delicious! We took the White Pass train in Skagway and it was excellent. I was not in favor of going because I felt like I didn't want to sit on a train after getting off a ship, but my husband wanted to go and I am so glad I conceded. The scenery is beautiful. The highlight of the trip was the excursion in Juneau where we took a helicopter to a glacier and got to hike and climb the glacier. I cannot even put into words the magnitude of that experience. It was almost surreal. I would definitely recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I booked this cruise with land tour. Overall I was very pleased with the service. Flights to Alaska and back to New York: avoid United Airlines and Chicago airports at any cost!!! Better overpay the tickets, but do not subject ... Read More
I booked this cruise with land tour. Overall I was very pleased with the service. Flights to Alaska and back to New York: avoid United Airlines and Chicago airports at any cost!!! Better overpay the tickets, but do not subject yourself to the lowest service ever!!! Flying back on Canada Airway was spectacular. And They will check in your first bag for free:)) Land tour: it was worth the money! The guides are very knowledgeable, service is was very good. You will not be able to see all splendor of Alaska without land tour. Cruise on Norwegian Jewel: good service, overpriced excursions and below average food. If you have Indian chef and Indian restaurant manager do not expect any miracles!!! Vegetarians do not know how to make steak :((. The best part of it: I lost some weight on this cruise. I do not think they cook on the cruise at all.. maybe eggs??? but everything else came from factory kitchen and was just reheated on the ship. The quality of this food is going down on Norwegian cruise ships since I sailed with them for the first time in 2010. Shore Excursions: ridiculously overpriced. $600 for a helicopter ride over a glacier! In New York helicopter ride over the city is $350. Whale watching for $300??? No, thank you. the most interesting place was Skagway. There was even a Broadway show there! But the ship did not advertise it... In their terms people go on the cruises only to buy copies artwork and diamonds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise ship because it was casual and required not set seating times to dine.We did not want to dress up and wanted the flexibility to eat when and where we wanted to. The specialty restaurants were very good. We liked ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it was casual and required not set seating times to dine.We did not want to dress up and wanted the flexibility to eat when and where we wanted to. The specialty restaurants were very good. We liked Cagney's the best followed by Le Bistro and Moderno. We didn't care for Chin Chin. The chicken and pork dishes were not too tasty. We loved the breakfast at Tsar's Palace and enjoyed overlooking the water. The wait staff at the specialty restaurants were amazingly attentive. They made excellent recommendations. Azure was a nice restaurant. We went to work out at the Fitness Center four times during our cruise. The equipment was only fair. The treadmills were average. The cross trainers were not constructed to be able to use the arm bars and had a poor design. Several pieces of the equipment were out of order. There was no interaction with the staff in the fitness center. The view from the fitness center was wonderful and there were always plenty of clean towels. Loved shopping on board at the duty free shop. Staff was helpful and made us feel valued. We enjoyed nightly entertainment in Stardust Theater. Performances were excellent and wait staff was superb. Fun to enjoy the show and have a drink at the same time. Loved the variety of shows. Getting on the ship to embark was long and tiring after a full day of travel. There was a fair amount of disorganization about directions, lines and where to go. Needs to be more organized and much speedier. Shore excursions were good except for one which was cancelled the week before we left on the cruise. It was the Rain Forest Island Adventure and we were disappointed as that was the one we were looking forward to the most. Refund was prompt at least. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
we went on this cruise to see glaciers, polar bears, etc.. i had seen them before but my wife wanted to see them we chose this departure since it fit into our busy schedulr and was hopefully warmer than ohter times of the year.. ... Read More
we went on this cruise to see glaciers, polar bears, etc.. i had seen them before but my wife wanted to see them we chose this departure since it fit into our busy schedulr and was hopefully warmer than ohter times of the year.. nice voyage to the glaciers.. no kids on board so it was very relaxing for the older set.. good entertainment early in the evening so we could get to bed by 9 pm.. Great food..nice people on board. No brats.. Good singer on board..she sang the oldies we love..and she said she would be on a Caribbean NCL cruise so we may get to see her again if we can figure a deal.. great food and nice bar area... we met some nice people on the cruise and hepefully we'll stay in touch via this internet thing.. chilly on board ship but atrium was nice and warm..we enjoyed our numerous tours that we took..especially the salmon canning factory...great salmon jerky to eat for lunch since lunch was not included on tour..others thought the tour was kinda smelly but i liked it..candy place we went to was good also Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was ... Read More
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was immaculate everyday and we had enough coffee, cream, and sugar daily. Our animal towels were very cool. We left the ship every chance we got but always came back to a clean room to relax before each meal. The activities on the ship were pretty good, especially the nighttime entertainment! The singers were spectacular and Katya and Nikolay were outstanding! Bingo was fun albeit we did not win anything. The casino staff was top notch and the food staff and table helpers were always pleasant. My wife and I were very content with everything. We also did a 75 minute couples massage. The upsell of products after the massage was not necessary. Overall, we had a great time and would do it again! Lastly my romance package for $299 blew up because there weren't any fresh red Roses in Seward the day we departed. NCL made it up to me by giving us the sparkling wine, chocolate dipped strawberries, and snacks for free along with a $100 credit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL ... Read More
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL Jewel is showing her wear, thus the reason for her update in September 2018. We had great service in the MDR, along with specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki. The multiple bars are great as we enjoyed plenty of cocktails with our UBP. We especially like the Martini Bar (Shakers) with Lorelie, Anna & Ida keeping us hydrated with their drink mixing skills. As for restaurant service, April Joy was our favorite along with Sebastian. Our cabin steward, Fernando, kept our room/bathroom clean and comfortable while giving us some unique and cute towel arrangements during turn down. We enjoyed Band on the Run (our favorite of 5 cruises), the comedy show cirque type show with the husband/wife team, but were not overly impressed with the magic show. Yes, the ship is due for a refurb and I look forward to cruising on her again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose Norwegian cruise ship Jewel for the Freestyle Cruising. We have taken many Caribbean cruises and liked the idea of not having to pack all the extra evening wear. Packing of warmer clothing for layering in cooler climates can be ... Read More
We chose Norwegian cruise ship Jewel for the Freestyle Cruising. We have taken many Caribbean cruises and liked the idea of not having to pack all the extra evening wear. Packing of warmer clothing for layering in cooler climates can be difficult when trying to stay within TSA luggage weight requirements. We found the more relaxed way of dressing & dining made for a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. We could choose when and where to dine and dress up or down by our own choice. We had read many complaints about "unfriendly" staff on the Norwegian Jewel prior to our cruise. We did not experience this at all. Any staff members that we encountered were always very pleasant and more than willing to serve our needs. The only complaint that we have concerning this cruise was the embarkation process in Vancouver. We took our hotel shuttle to the port. When we arrived we had to board an elevator with our luggage and wait in line on the second level to have our check-in luggage taken from us. As, we are an older couple, this was a very tedious process. More notable was the fact that anyone dropped by shuttle who was boarding the Disney Cruise ship had their luggage taken immediately from them upon arrival - they did not have to drag their luggage for any distance. We felt that the Disney cruise people were being catered to. We have never before experienced this process of dragging our luggage around before boarding on any other cruise (company) before. We don't know if this was the port's or Norwegian's policy - but we feel that much improvement is needed in this process. In summary, we had a very wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We did a 5 day Land Tour before arriving in Seward on the Southbound cruise. We are a middle-aged couple and went with another couple. Loved our mini-suite mid-ship room. Spacious, well kept and very attentive steward. Our decor was a ... Read More
We did a 5 day Land Tour before arriving in Seward on the Southbound cruise. We are a middle-aged couple and went with another couple. Loved our mini-suite mid-ship room. Spacious, well kept and very attentive steward. Our decor was a bit dated as some have mentioned. We spent our mornings trying to work out in the gym which was only 1 floor above us. Hard to jog on the outside track because walkers were also walking more than 2 abreast at times! We had a great view of the glaciers when we got close by. I loved our balcony, although many times a little too cool. Don't expect to have breakfast on your balcony! We did order Room Service, which is complementary for a Continental Breakfast. If you order a specialty meal, there is a surcharge. We enjoyed the Garden Cafe buffet. It has everything for everyone. It is hectic like a mad dash for supplies before a hurricane. The food was good, better for some dishes. We didn't expect it to be great, but the breakfast was sufficient and we had the Salad Bar and some sides to go with it at lunch. Your plates are cleared quickly and there are more than enough waitstaff to help. The 3 Specialty Meals were outstanding! We ate at Moderno, Le Bistro and Azura. Moderno had an extensive Salad Bar and multitude of meats! Portion size was very good at Azura and Le Bistro French cuisine was delicious. Do you know you can have a great breakfast at O'Sheehans and Tsar's Palace? Not buffet, but most of the things you get at the Garden Cafe, just not the busy atmosphere. They are a bit limited, but they have nightly specials which aren't bad. Our first meal on board at Tsar's Palace was not very memorable, but they got better during the week. These are the free meals. The shore excursions -- I think I might have passed on a few of them. I didn't know how far the town was in relation to the boat. I think I'd like to have explored the area more than taking some of our excursions. Icy Strait was my favorite with multiple whale sightings and our trek to a viewing platform to see the bears and wildlife. We were fortunate because the salmon started running an hour before we came. We were told the morning tour had hardly any sightings of bears and eagles. Take advantage of the Laundry Service -- all you can stuff in a bag for $20. Comes towards to end of the cruise. There is no laundry on board, although I managed a few thin pieces to wash and dry in my room. I loved the size of our ship, this being my first cruise. I believe about 2,500 guests vs. the 4,000 plus on some larger cruise ships. I hesitated to book a cruise for fear of contracting norovirus. They do an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing and I know my fear was unfounded. Cruising isn't for everyone. I don't know what I would do if I stayed on the ship for 7 days. We don't drink all day, it was too cold to be in the pool, there wasn't much in the way of shopping, and the entertainment and card/bingo games were not our thing. Yes, I'd go again with knowing what to consider for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best ... Read More
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best memories of the cruise). Our biggest gripe was that the mini-suite was sold to us as a roomier cabin with bunks for our teens. Instead they spent the week sleeping on a hard sofa bed. The cabin was really roomy for a family of four. The food was really good. The service was slow, but still good at Tsar's Palace. We absolutely loved the Le Bistro restaurant and Cagney's was excellent as well. Teppenyaki was good, but I don't think I'd go again (our neighborhood restaurant similar to Teppenyaki is way better). The front desk never seemed to be able to answer questions directly, they either couldn't help or provided inaccurate information. Evangeline who was handled specialty dining reservations and also was the Maitre d in Azura is an excellent asset/employee for Norwegian! Wow, she really has it going on!! From day one she remembered my name and was always asking how my trip was going. All of the staff were so kind. My kids loved the washy, washy ladies. NCL is great about making something so necessary, so fun! Entertainment was good. The magician was a little slow, but the Cirque show was amazing and the acrobats were fantastic. We loved all of the ports, it would be nice if their were more options to get to Anchorage after the cruise. The Garden Cafe was a good option always. The croissants were excellent as were most of the food stations. We liked the Indian food options and would love to see NCL offer an Indian food specialty restaurant. We played Bingo a number of times, we felt that the payout was really cheap compared to Royal Caribbean and Disney. Payouts were meager at best. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few ... Read More
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few negatives. Sports facilities are not good. There were just broken tennis rackets, no tennis balls available to play other than some rain drenched old balls that were left on the court and there was no one to help even when they advertise open play hours. For other Indian vegetarians out there planning a cruise this is probably not the right food option. Rice used is jasmine rice and other sticky rice instead of basmati which is non sticky and goes well with indian palate. Also in general the veg options were not the best dishes of the chefs on board. Desserts section however was excellent. Also none of the other restaurants (other than garden cafe) had an selection of veg options which was really disappointing as we could not visit any onboard restaurant like azura or tsars palace even though we tried booking a table. This was disappointing as we travelled with parents who are a bit aged. The other cruise line we did before had much better food selection for Indian vegetarians. Lastly, one of the other things we observed was that none of the ships crew other than some specific location we had to go to had any idea as to where any place on the ship was. Simple questions like where is "tradewinds" which is the shopping store would get blank stares when that crew member was literally a few feet away from the tradewinds location. That was really funny and i think they can do a better job of training all crew members of every available facility on board. This tradewinds was not an isolated incident, crew members regularly failed to point out where things were when asked although tradewinds was very funny because of how close this crew member was to the actual location we were looking for. I won the ping pong competition on board but did not have any option to select my prize. Only available option was an XXL T shirt which i cant use. Could have been better managed. However it is also nice to point out some nice things. We enjoyed the dance classes they offered, the movie shows, the music (fire and ice, onboard musician crew and on and on) and MOST SPECIAL was the daily Broadway type shows they did in star dust theatre which were beyond fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we were a bit late making travel arrangements and the 7-day southbound cruise from Seward to Vancouver had availability and fit into all of our calendars. None of our land arrangements prior to or after the cruise were part of the cruise package. After considering our cabin options we decided on two 2-bedroom suites - one for the "kids" (they're not kids at all) and one for my husband and I. I thought some of the perks I'd read about would be frivolous and even silly - things like having a butler and concierge - but in reality they were quite helpful. Our concierge met us as soon as we were checked in and escorted us up to our suites. He also met us in a designated place before every shore excursion and escorted us to the front of the line of folks waiting to exit the ship, so there was never a wait. He was also available to make/change dinner reservations for us, helped us locate a few belongings that ended up in the lost and found, and made sure we were happy throughout the trip. Other perks of this cabin level included having exclusive access to the Moderno Restaurant for breakfast and lunch, as well as access to The Haven sundeck for glacier viewing. Afternoon snacks were delivered to our room each day by our butler - chocolate-covered strawberries, a crudite plate, fresh fruit, and cheese and crackers were among the afternoon surprises. We truly enjoyed the food in the a la carte restaurants, particularly Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro. But we were underwhelmed by the quality of the food at Azura, Tsars Palace, Cin Cin (and the sushi bar) and O'Sheehan's. We like to have dinner relatively late (8:30 or so) and found much of the food in these restaurants to be less than fresh and not hot by the time we were served. And it was somewhat ironic that in an area where the best salmon on the planet is so plentiful it's often given away in some towns, the salmon on the ship was all previously frozen. As for shore excursions - I booked them all myself, prior to the cruise, and opted for tours with small, independent tour operators in each port, rather than the large-group excursions offered by the cruise line. I'd do exactly the same thing again because they gave us a more intimate, "up close and personal" look at the areas we were visiting. We enjoyed the shows as well as the lounge entertainment and found the service throughout the cruise to be outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This cruise had a different start and end point which gave us the opportunity to spend a few days in two great cities: Anchorage, Vancouver BC. Since we like outdoor adventure, we enjoyed Norwegian's freestyle which means we ... Read More
This cruise had a different start and end point which gave us the opportunity to spend a few days in two great cities: Anchorage, Vancouver BC. Since we like outdoor adventure, we enjoyed Norwegian's freestyle which means we didn't have to pack a lot of dressy clothes. We stuck with casual and were able take enough hiking/action adventure clothing as well. The shows on the cruise were excellent. Food was very good. We were a little disappointed in the service in the restaurants and the bartenders but we finally happened upon an excellent dinner wait staff but it took a few days. We liked the service hours in the restaurants which worked well with the ports so we did not have to eat off the cruise line very much. Our cabin steward was excellent -- friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed the excursions. There is a hefty upcharge for aerobic classes in the fitness center which dissuaded many from attending the "pay" classes. I was the only person in most of the speciality classes. Norwegian should reconsider it's pricing strategy for aerobic classes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We selected the cruise for the time available and for the destination. We spent three days in Seward prior to embarking. We took the train from Anchorage to Seward after a quick evening in Anchorage. We highly recommend the train as a ... Read More
We selected the cruise for the time available and for the destination. We spent three days in Seward prior to embarking. We took the train from Anchorage to Seward after a quick evening in Anchorage. We highly recommend the train as a means to travel! We were able to do some things in Seward that were also available in the ports like whale watching. We stayed outside of Seward and didn’t rent a car as there are some travel options in the town. Food in Seward was good and the locals were very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and easy. We were traveling as a couple and left the kids at home as we were celebrating our 25th anniversary. We have never been on a cruise before and overall we enjoyed it. The cabin was small as expected, but very functional. We were able to move around easily and all of our “stuff” fit well in the spaces provided. My preference is for a soft bed, but this bed, as could be expected, was hard and difficult for me to sleep on. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We ate at multiple restaurants, but the Azura was our favorite and never disappointed. Overall we found the food to be satisfactory. I didn’t want to do the dress up every night option although some people did. Either way worked out fine as some people dressed up and others didn’t. We had read that Alaska cruises are a little laid back. The scenery during the trip was amazing. My wife’s only regret was that we didn’t get a cabin with the balcony which she highly recommends. We spent more time on the ship looking at the views of the inside passage than we did at the shows although my wife caught a few and said they were excellent. There is a casino feel to the cruise. There is more than enough for anyone that has different interests on the ship to be entertained. We didn’t sign up for excursions through the cruise. We did get off the ship and find things to do. Sometimes we explored the port city, other times we found an excursion and still other times we explored and went back to the ship (Icy Straight). We did get a couples massage which was a positive experience as I had never had a massage, but the bed was killing me! The negatives were the time we spent in each port. We were in Icy Straight all day and only for a few hours in Juneau. If we cruise again we will examine that a little more. Overall we loved Alaska and we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It came with our Gate One travel package. We booked our Alaska vacation land and sea cruse with Gate One. We very much enjoyed seeing Denali park and Anchorage, AK. prior to our cruise. We boarded the Norwegian Jewel in Seward, AK. The ... Read More
It came with our Gate One travel package. We booked our Alaska vacation land and sea cruse with Gate One. We very much enjoyed seeing Denali park and Anchorage, AK. prior to our cruise. We boarded the Norwegian Jewel in Seward, AK. The embarkation process went very well. We chose an outside cabin with a balcony; it was an excellent choice. We had excellent meals while on board the Jewel and very much enjoyed eating in the Tsar's Palace. The food, service and ambiance in the restaurant was excellent! We also enjoyed eating breakfast in the Garden Cafe, O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill, and Topsider's Grill. We spent as much time outside on the deck as possible, lying on the chase lounges and enjoying the delicious "Drink of the Day." The Hubbard Glacier was awe-inspiring! We enjoyed the entertainment on several occasions, especially the comedian, Kevin Jordan. We took several shore excursions, especially the Whale Watching in Icy Straight, the White Pass Scenic Railway in Skagway and the Saxman Village tour with their totem poles. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise through American Airlines Vacations. We chose an aft facing mini-suite on the advice of a friend. He was correct; it was great. Embarkation was crazy and far too slow. We found the dining only average with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise through American Airlines Vacations. We chose an aft facing mini-suite on the advice of a friend. He was correct; it was great. Embarkation was crazy and far too slow. We found the dining only average with the exception of the French dining. The food was very good and Ian Palmer was outstanding. He was very professional and made our evening one to remember. Other dining experiences were simply average. The food was average and the service was tired. Many staff were simply rude and seemed like they wished they were elsewhere. General dining was average, but NCL needs to get another way to say sanitize your hands at entrances better than "Washy-Washy". That's just annoying and stupid. In the bars, most servers were rude and unhelpful. At the same bar, they range from extremely rude (Dragan) to extremely good (Alonzo Mateo). Our dealings navigated to Mateo but he was sick the last day. Our Cabin Steward was excellent. Our shore excursions (Tram in Juneau) (Train in Skagway) (Rainforest & Raptor Center in Ketchikan) were memorable and without an issues. A blast! Debarkation was simple and pleasant. Chose the early time and take your own luggage. Lines were short, speed through processing rapid and people were helpful. There is no Uber in Vancouver so take the cab. All in all, this was a great vacation and we have great pictures. Most of that "great" vacation was spent on excursions or on deck looking at scenery. If I were to do it again, I would find another cruise line to hopefully find friendlier staff in general. Yes, there were exceptions. But, in reality, if you are exposed to over 100 and can only enjoy the experience with three, something is amiss. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was ... Read More
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was appreciated. Embarkation in Vancouver and disembarkation in Seward went smoothly, as well as from the all ports we stopped at. Convenient to be able to step off right at dockside, as opposed to being tendered. Also liked the size of the Norwegian Jewel. Because the size of it wasn't overwhelming, you were able to find your way around easily and quickly, with locations being well-marked. Time spent in the glacial bays was long enough to give passengers time to take photos/videos of the glaciers. Only disappointment (although slight) was not enough dessert options in the Garden Cafe. More variety including cookies and bars would have been great. Otherwise, most everything we tried was well-prepared and delicious. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The Jewel is an average size ship, Not a really large one. We had a really Long wait and lone lines during embarkation process. It took longer than expected. The Alaska cruise is colder than other cruises, even in June /July. There ... Read More
The Jewel is an average size ship, Not a really large one. We had a really Long wait and lone lines during embarkation process. It took longer than expected. The Alaska cruise is colder than other cruises, even in June /July. There are no chairs set out on the deck and not a lot of outside deck activities. The entertainment in the ship was moderately good. After several days, the same performers, singers, musicians, began to be repetitive. We enjoyed our time on shore. We had some very enjoyable excursions. The food on the Jewel was moderate. There were some good meals in the specialty restaurants, we enjoyed Cagney's. The complimentary restaurants were moderately good. They tried to change up the menus and offer different things throughout the week. They included a lot of ethic foods. The quality of the food was moderately good. The staff was always helpful and very friendly. The ship was clean and well kept. We liked the itinerary of this cruise and that was probably the main reason we chose this one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is our second Alaska cruise on the Jewel. The first was great even with lots of rain and very cool temperatures. This cruise was fantastic as we had the same good cruise experience coupled with mild weather with lots of sun and only a ... Read More
This is our second Alaska cruise on the Jewel. The first was great even with lots of rain and very cool temperatures. This cruise was fantastic as we had the same good cruise experience coupled with mild weather with lots of sun and only a few sprinkles. The service and food were very good. We had a favorite bartender and waiter who served us very well. The perks were wonderful. We particularly enjoyed the glacial views from the Haven deck. We were able to expand our knowledge of the ports and take excursions we had not taken previously. Our conseige was excellent and provided us with great service. He was always available to assist us. We enjoyed the entertainment and experienced several new performers and new routines. We explored Vancouver before the cruise and were very impressed by this beautiful city with flowers everywhere and great weather. Disembarkation was perfect and very easy. Embarkation did not go very well. Suite guest received no preferential service, not ever Haven guest. In other ports when we were suite guest we were guided through special fast moving lines. Great trip with great value, we hope there will be a third trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Expensive, but worth the investment. Staff did an excellent job. Quite an amazing operation! The land portion was very enlightening, although the tour guide was a bit terse with the participants. Denali is not to be missed. As nice as ... Read More
Expensive, but worth the investment. Staff did an excellent job. Quite an amazing operation! The land portion was very enlightening, although the tour guide was a bit terse with the participants. Denali is not to be missed. As nice as the cruise was, seeing Denali was a critical part of the success of the trip. Transfer to ship was handled fairly well. The cabins are small and require some adjustment to get used to.Dining was very good. Entertainment was enjoyable. Pools were not their strong point when it came evaluating the trip.Need more tables in the library. Three isn't near enough for the entire ship. Lounges are starting to show their age. Suggest renovation. Cruise Director and his Team did an especially fine job. Sorry we missed the tour of the bridge and the session on what it takes to run a floating hotel.Would definately consider this cruise line for any future cruises. The really have it dialed in... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first cruise on NCL and our first real vacation in 18 years. We chose the Alaska Cruise and Denali Explorer by Rail more than a year in advance to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We compulsively pre-booked restaurant ... Read More
This was our first cruise on NCL and our first real vacation in 18 years. We chose the Alaska Cruise and Denali Explorer by Rail more than a year in advance to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We compulsively pre-booked restaurant reservations and shore excursions, and were glad we did. We also had NCL take care of our flights and airport transfers, but will do our own flights next time. Embarkation was lengthy but our timing was good and we missed some of the delays that others experienced. We chose a balcony cabin and spent many happy hours watching the scenery, including whales, glaciers and sea otters. Our cabin was small, but serviceable; we had a king-sized mattress. Our room steward Ali was great and we saw him every day. Our favorite restaurant was Le Bistro (my husband loved the French onion soup), followed by Moderno (especially the salad bar). Cagney's was just okay, although the service was good. We liked Tsar's Palace and Azmara, but ChinChin was truly awful. We had room service once, but my husband usually brought breakfast back to our room. We did not like the coffee; much too acidic. O'Sheehan's was decent, but had a limited menu. As we had prepaid our service charges, we did not tip our servers. I gather from the reviews that this was a mistake. Oops! We worked out in the fitness center three times, and were disappointed to see that broken machines meant people had to wait in line. I had a spa treatment which was very expensive but worth it. The "upsell" did not bother me, as I just said no. We did not see any of the entertainment, but did spend time in the casino, which needs some newer machines. The laundry deal for $19.95 midweek gave us a chance to address some of our packing mistakes. We had three great shore excursions, and saw wildlife on every one. We saw bald eagles in Ketchikan, and 17 whales doing a "bubble feeding" in Juneau. We had to rush through the Mendenhall glacier, and will have to see it again. In Skagway, we were disappointed in the White Pass Railway, but the Yukon Suspension Bridge add-on saved the day. We saw a mother bear and her cub eating dandelions by the side of the road just after crossing the border into Canada on our way to the bridge. We also had the time to walk around in each port, and would love to re-visit them all. Debarkation was easy, as we were the first group off due to our train schedule. We enjoyed riding in the glass dome railcar, and the food and service on the train were good. We wish we could have spent more time in Denali. The schedule of the land portion of our package was grueling; we had to get up at 4:30am one day and 6:00am another day. That might have worked out better if we were staying in one place, but we moved repeatedly. We enjoyed the Alaska Zoo, but had no other need to see Anchorage. We felt a lot of time was wasted in Fairbanks, and our accommodations there were not great. We would rather have spent more time in Denali and taken excursions there. So, all in all, we had a very good time and are certainly willing to try NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This 7-night northbound cruise to Alaska from Vancouver was a nice time. I had cruised the Dawn before (post refurbish) and this ship was very similar (Jewel has The Great Outdoors but no specialty Mexican restaurant). I read the reviews ... Read More
This 7-night northbound cruise to Alaska from Vancouver was a nice time. I had cruised the Dawn before (post refurbish) and this ship was very similar (Jewel has The Great Outdoors but no specialty Mexican restaurant). I read the reviews about the Jewel being next for refurbishing and rolled my eyes. Who cares if the decor is dated? Well, eventually small things take their toll. It's not a dump by any means, but there are lots of areas with worn carpet, torn vinyl, stained chairs, and overall gaudy decor. Again, this mostly doesn't matter, but newer is definitely nicer. Embarkation in Vancouver was somewhat complex and I found some of the workers there gruff. Vancouver is a great city, so take some time to explore it before you board or after your cruise. Our room steward did the minimum: one night he didn't leave the paperwork for the next day, when we boarded, the dirty ice bucket was still in the room, and he wasn't overly friendly. I saw other guests hugging their steward upon leaving but there was none of that with us. Perhaps he's overworked. The Great Outdoors is a huge plus and a perfect spot to eat and enjoy the views, or just get a beverage and hang out. This area and the Spinnicker Lounge are packed on glacier-viewing days, so watch out. We had great weather so were able to get great views of the glaciers. Make sure you're outside for disembarkation. We saw whales and orcas on more than one occasion. Eat in the dining rooms over the buffets whenever you can. Overall the food was good. The Garden Cafe gets packed during peak breakfast hours despite their openeing La Cucina and The Great Outdoors for overflow. One con is some of the staff seemed to be slightly disgruntled. One bartender said "yes?" like I was bothering him before I ordered $30 in drinks (no UBP here). He must have sensed that I was caught off guard by how abrupt he was because he gave me the drinks for free. O'Sheehan's was something I looked forward to. The service was very bad. The host and most of the servers were not concerned with providing good service. The menu seems to be an older, condensed one (only hot and mild chicken wings, for example) and the food was hit or miss. The portions are tiny, so order accordingly. All of the shows were good. We particularly enjoyed the last night when the staff singers did an informal singing show. The other productions were good too. Director JC Sanchez was nice and did a good job. He was friendly when we saw him on deck. Hopefully once the ship is refurbished, the staff with have more enthusiasm for their work. The pace and "feel" of an Alaska cruise is different from the warm-weather ones. It was almost 100% middle aged couples and lots of tourists from Asia. This was not a party boat. Our three stops (Juneau, Ketchikan, and Scagway) were nice, calm places to walk around and shop, unless you take an excursion. We did the scenic train to Anchorage when we disembarked in Anchorage. We had to get up very early, but it was a nice experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife got the cruise for us as an anniversary gift, we also were loosely connected with a group which got us a few extra perks which were nice. We were able to fly to Anchorage a day early so we had time to explore the city and we had ... Read More
My wife got the cruise for us as an anniversary gift, we also were loosely connected with a group which got us a few extra perks which were nice. We were able to fly to Anchorage a day early so we had time to explore the city and we had a great time there. Same on the other end, we spent an extra day in Vancouver and enjoyed it very much. My only previous cruise experiences have been with Carnival, we did several cruises out of Tampa when we lived in Florida. I had always heard that Carnival was on the low end compared to other cruise lines however I always had a good time and enjoyed cruising with them. That being said, I expected more from a Norwegian cruise but was a bit disappointed. Although we had a wonderful time the overall experience was no better than Carnival, I would rate them about the same. The good things? Very easy embarkation and disembarkation. Buffet was wonderful. Cabin was great. Cabin steward did a wonderful job and all of the staff was friendly. Most of the on board entertainment was good. Port stops were all very enjoyable and the drinks were very good. The bad things? Specialty restaurants were very disappointing other that La Cucina and Teppyanaki (sp?) which we enjoyed immensely. We had particularly bad experience at Cagney's Steak House. We enjoyed what entertainment there was, however I felt that there should have been more of a variety offered, especially on the days at sea. The WiFi was horribly slow, as well as very expensive. There were movies available on the cabin TV, however it was the same 4 -5 movies all week long. Bottom line? All in all it was a great cruise and we had a wonderful time, but I felt a bit disappointed that it wasn't a better experience than we have had with Carnival in the past. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Like many people, Alaska was on my "bucket list". We've always and only sailed with NCL. Originally we were booked on the Sun, but our ship was changed to the Jewel. We were happy with this and even more pleased when our ... Read More
Like many people, Alaska was on my "bucket list". We've always and only sailed with NCL. Originally we were booked on the Sun, but our ship was changed to the Jewel. We were happy with this and even more pleased when our balcony cabin was upgraded to an aft mini suite. It was fantastic to be on our balcony out of the wind to view the amazing scenery. We like Jewel as it is small enough to easily navigate around yet big enough to have lots of amenities. We mostly ate in the main dining rooms for dinner and lunch at O Sheehans and Chin Chin. Meals were good and most service very goid. We usually went to outdoor cafe for breakfast if we were limited in time (shore excursions) or to Tara for a more relaxed breakfast. As platinum latitude members we had 2 dinner in specialty restaurants. Moderno was very good and Le Bistro is our very favorite. Great meal topped off with chocolate fondue for dessert.. Entertainment is always excellent on NCL. We rarely missed a show in the Theatre..from Dance, acrobatic, music, magic and comedy....enjoyed it all. We also really liked the music around the ship at the various bars and stopped at different venues every night. We're not gamblers and didn't get very involved in activities as the scenery was our day time entertainment. Most service was very good,. The staff work very hard. We wrote several " hero" cards. We often ask staff about their experiences and about 'home' and they seem thankful to share. Some interesting stories. Alaska is a different style of cruise in that you sail mostly much closer to shore. We had 2 sea days and 4 ports. Icy Point Strait.....this port was built, owned and operated by the Tinglet people. They are very friendly hosts. The small village of Hookah is a short walk or shuttle from the Port.. I chose Advanced Kayaking as I would have a single kayak and hoped to see wikdlife. We did not actually paddle very far and only saw Eagles. Disappointed. Juneau....we rented a car right at the dock to go to Mendenhall Glacier, St. Therese Shrine and Alaskan Brewery. All great to visit. Unfortunately we only had 5 hrs here so felt rushed. Skagway... our best excursion was the Yukon sightseeing tour . The changing scenery as we drove up the mountain and through BC to the Yukon was stunning. History and geology stories aND scenic stops made for an excellent day. And just enough time to explore town afterwards. Ketchikan... I went snorkelung..,yes.. snorkeling and no I wasn't cold. It was great. Saw lots of star fish, sea cucumber, urchins and fish. Guides were fantastic. My husband didn't snorkel but he was able to come along to watch & take pictures. We ended up at the Asylum bar for a Lua where we had a fantastic time. The weather didn't always cooperate. It's Alaska ! Not the greatest views of glaciers.. We missed our whale watching in Seward because of bad weather. So I do hope to go again and stay longer in Seward area to explore Kenai Peninsula. I also did a land tour on my own before boarding the ship. It took a lot of planning but well worth it.. We live the "freestyle" aspect of NCL... it's very casual and you can dine when & where you like. Entertainment is always good. A big thanks to the "cruise next " girls. They really seemed to enjoy their jobs and working together. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife had received a casino at sea entitlement and we were looking forward to an Alaskan Cruise. The ship was excellent but showed a need for yard work on the hull and balcony stanchions. The cabin was in exceptional shape and was kept ... Read More
My wife had received a casino at sea entitlement and we were looking forward to an Alaskan Cruise. The ship was excellent but showed a need for yard work on the hull and balcony stanchions. The cabin was in exceptional shape and was kept that way by the effort of the cabin steward. He took great pride in keeping the cabin spotless and was very personable to us and other guest. He was also quite creative in his "towel sculptures". The dining experience fell short of expectations. We only ate at the "free" dining areas but expected the food to have been much better than it was. The food on several occasions (breakfast and dinner) was just warm when served. Ample amounts of rolls were served for the evening meals but only two pads of butter were served requiring the server to bring out additional butter. On two occasions I ordered apple pie and pecan pie for desert and could not eat it. They were dry and lacking flavor. On three occasions meat was ordered and the same "Au Jus" was served for each meal (and it was more like gravy). The service by the waiters in all the dinning areas was great. Entertainment was good but some of the scheduling was conflicting with shore excursions/dinning/other events. Service was very good in the casino and lounges but we did encounter some animosity when at first we didn't tip. We were pre-charged for the service fees but the servers and bartenders said they get very little of that money. As for the shore excursions all were great with the exception of the Totem Pole excursion (we went on it not expecting very much). Wish we had more time in the last three ports to see the towns after the excursions. We would sail again on NCL but would look at "Princess Cruise" first. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the sea cruise and had a good experience with seeing the landscape and wildlife of inland Alaska. Our tour guide Keri Lynn grew up in Alaska and shared many personal stories about her ... Read More
We did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the sea cruise and had a good experience with seeing the landscape and wildlife of inland Alaska. Our tour guide Keri Lynn grew up in Alaska and shared many personal stories about her family and life in the interior. Everything was well organized, and with the exception of one woman who spent too much time doing her eye make-up and hair and making more than 30 people wait for her on the early morning tour of Denali at 5:30 a.m., everyone was on time. Pricing, however, seemed a bit high. This was billed as a four-day land tour, with arrival day counting as one of the days! We couldn't check into hotel until after 3 and spent a lot of time waiting around. It seemed a bit unfair to count that as a tour day. Food on the buffet was more often cold than hot. Service in the main dining room, the Tsar's Palace, was inconsistent. Even in one of the specialty restaurants, Il Moderno, we waited a long time for drinks. After the salad bar, we waited for plates. Three or four servers came round with skewers of food to serve us, but we had no plates. Bar service was also inconsistent. Sometimes it was magnificent. Other times it took forever to get a drink when I was the only person at the bar. Things just felt off. The sea itinerary was a good one providing many opportunities to view Alaska's spectacular coast. More time in Juneau would have been nice. We were very rushed here. Another issue was the ship announcements. Most of the announcements were unintelligible. The only ones that were clearly heard were from the guy selling jewelry. His announcements came through loud and clear. It would have been nice to have been told what wildlife to look for when and/or at what stop. Personally, I have waited more than half a century to see a sea otter and didn't. :-( Later I found out I should have looked for them around the glaciers. I did see about a dozen whales from our balcony along with seals, seal pups, and porpoises. Just really disappointed about the sea otters. Personally, I found the cruise director and the assistant cruise director to be extremely annoying. We avoided activities because of this. Just my opinion here. I'm sure other people really liked them. One thing that was annoying was that the location of repeating events -- morning/afternoon trivia -- kept changing. It's at one place and then at another. This caused us to miss a few. We preferred how it was on the Sun where the trivia events were held in the same location at all times. The ship is going into dry dock after this season for an overhaul, so physical things will change. I hope they get a handle on service before then. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
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 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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