2,383 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

* Excellent: the itinerary (Alaska Inside Passage 7-days northbound from Vancouver), including Glacier Bay which was a highlight; the food at Czar's Palace and Azura; the service at Azura was outstanding; the focus on leaving minimal ... Read More
* Excellent: the itinerary (Alaska Inside Passage 7-days northbound from Vancouver), including Glacier Bay which was a highlight; the food at Czar's Palace and Azura; the service at Azura was outstanding; the focus on leaving minimal environmental impact; the viewing room into the bridge was great * Good: overall friendliness and service of staff; the entertainment and music were professional and well done * Fair: value of the excursions; the food at restaurants other than Czar's/Azura and the buffet were just average, with the lowest grade going to Chin Chin * Poor: recent refurbishment missed some details, especially in the cabin (see details in the cabin review) • Stateroom steward was courteous and efficient, but we could never find him when problems arose with the safe and the bathroom • We received conflicting information between the service desk and the room steward regarding the disembarkation time (we were carrying our own bags), we were unceremoniously shooed out of the cabin at 9 a.m. even though the service desk promised any time before 9:45 a.m. would be OK. • A salesperson at an onboard jewelry shop was disrespectful to someone in my travel group, blocking her from entering a drawing that was supposed to be open to anyone who purchased jewelry on the ship, openly mocking the bracelet she bought onboard as "not jewelry" in front of other passengers. It left her feeling embarrassed and ruined the joy she felt picking out her bracelet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Unplugged, family time together, wanted to explore Alaska with the hopes of returning on our own in future. Wonderful first cruise experience. Excursions were all booked through NCL - whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, ... Read More
Unplugged, family time together, wanted to explore Alaska with the hopes of returning on our own in future. Wonderful first cruise experience. Excursions were all booked through NCL - whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Musher’s Camp (our favorite) and Zip-Lining In Skagway, and Lumberjack Show and Electrics Buggies in Ketchikan. Cagney’s was our favorite. Also loved The Garden Buffet and Sheehan’s Pub. Not as fond of Teppanyaki. Generally – food was good.fresh, with a variety of choices including fruit and veggies. All of our staff encounters were positive - everywhere. Hand sanitizer used everywhere. We liked the suite and thought NCL did a good job at finding space for storage throughout all spaces. Embarkations in Vancouver was well thought out and smooth, though prepare for lines. Disembarkation in Seward was managed well, too. Some cons to note: sports court was disappointing, and any outdoor activities were limited, including shuffle board, ping pong, and golfing after around 6pm. Huge checkerboard on deck, no pieces in container. Pools were ok but not used much given temperatures. Arcade premium pass is expensive – if you choose to play games without, they run about $1.50 per game, give or take. There are a limited number of games one can pla using the package. Several are still pay to play. Great entertainment. Loved the dinner and adult drink packages. Wouldn’t do soda for kids again given that ours don’t drink much, and there is complimentary lemonade and iced tea at most places. Bottled water is overpriced, and none of us got sick with drinking the water onboard. NCL needs to add specialty coffee drinks to their premium drink package like Princess. And laundry - they did offer a bundled laundry mid cruise for $20 - anything you could fit in their laundry bag. It took two days to get it back. Great first cruise - would go again if we found the right deal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a bucket list trip for my parents. My sister, husband and I went along to make it a family cruise. It did not disappoint! The shore excursions were fun and there was something for everyone and every fitness level. Our ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip for my parents. My sister, husband and I went along to make it a family cruise. It did not disappoint! The shore excursions were fun and there was something for everyone and every fitness level. Our family needed some wheelchair services, at times, the crew was so accommodating and eager to make sure that the need was met. Our cabin steward never failed to know our names, always greeted us and made sure we knew exactly what we needed to do at debarkation. This was especially comforting since this was our first cruise and we were not quite sure what to do. The food was good and the options for Freestyle were great. The entertainment was great! We especially enjoyed the Le Cirque Bijou. The show went on without a hitch even though we were in some choppy water. Lastly, the commitment of the captain and crew to make sure that their guests had a great experience at the Glaciers and going to the extra step of bringing on a Ranger from the Glacier National Park was amazing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose this cruise to see as much of Alaska on our vacation week as possible. This northbound cruise was in each port the longest amount of time that gave us a relaxed vacation. Our daughter took this cruise in 2017 & with ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see as much of Alaska on our vacation week as possible. This northbound cruise was in each port the longest amount of time that gave us a relaxed vacation. Our daughter took this cruise in 2017 & with all her travel experience we didn't shop around for any other cruiseline. We were pleased with our tenth deck cabin. The balcony allowed us to lounge comfortably inside. All the staff were friendly & attentive. Getting on & off the ship was easy. The only con was the ship in each port was the furthest from town. But there was transportation waiting & it was usually free. Mostly we ate breakfast at the buffet & we tried all the complimentary restaurants. The food was most disappointing There was no fresh Alaskan seafood and no pastry chef. My cherry pie was just gelatin with 1 cherry. Our two free options were the adult drink & wifi packages All bars were great the wifi is not recommendrd. The staff made every attempt to keep all well "wishy" washing at every restaurant entrance. Learned that you must get on a smaller boat to see wild life. Next trip to Alaska will be a road trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Dream vacation. On bucket list for many years. Health issues as we age pushed us to accomplish this trip. Gift from son and daughter-in-law. Very thankful they were so generous to us at this time in our lives. Very inspiring scenery. ... Read More
Dream vacation. On bucket list for many years. Health issues as we age pushed us to accomplish this trip. Gift from son and daughter-in-law. Very thankful they were so generous to us at this time in our lives. Very inspiring scenery. Helps to realize the vast beauty of God's nature. The ship was awesome and huge (next cruise I'm taking roller skates). We have been recommending the same trip to all who ask. Food was excellent. Service was outstanding and all crew we encountered was extremely friendly and helpful. Shore excursions were educational and well planned (especially the Crab feast). Getting on and off the ship was well handled by all involved. Special treatment by concierge and crew made us feel extra special. We had been on nine previous cruises many years back and realized how greatly a lot of the changes have improved the entire itinerary. Thank you to all for a beautiful experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took the Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver on the Jewel. Sales was great, but customer service after we paid for the trip was difficult to reach. Air arrangements were made by NCL, and we had to contact NCL to find arrangements as they ... Read More
We took the Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver on the Jewel. Sales was great, but customer service after we paid for the trip was difficult to reach. Air arrangements were made by NCL, and we had to contact NCL to find arrangements as they did not contact us once arrangements had been made. HINT: Air arrangements are NOT on the website under the Air Arrangements link, but in the Print Documents link. We had hoped to explore a little of Vancouver, but spent too much time in and out of customs. Would recommend to US passengers, go out of Seattle or another US port. We were not greeted or given direction when boarding the ship. Found out where we should be going when we tried to go up stairs to our cabin and asked, “where are you going?” by a crew member who then directed us. Our luggage was placed in front of wrong cabin (several cabins back and around a corner). On first day of cruise, they had already run out of two beers on the menu. Overall, food was mediocre to bad. There were two dishes that I couldn’t finish. Breakfast food was OK, but service slow. A bartender did not have daily specials in the menu book, but insisted that it was in there three times before my husband showed him; yet we received no apology for, basically, calling my husband a liar. We had purchased the drink package. We were told that if there was a star next to a bottle of wine, that bottle was included in our drink package. Also, at the bottom of the wine list is posted, “ * Choice of bottle include in premium plus package.” We ordered a bottle for dinner and were surprised to have a bill, with a 15% discount, but a 20% gratuity added. The cabin was clean, wish that the gratuities that we were consistently paying would have gone exclusively to the woman cleaning our cabin. Land excursions were very good and seeing the glaciers was amazing. We just wish we hadn’t used NCL to get there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I did a B2B 6/17 to 7/1/19 because it was cheaper than one week if you consider how much more it was for the one way airfare to Vancouver and from Seward over the roundtrip to Vancouver. I don't know how much faith you can put into ... Read More
I did a B2B 6/17 to 7/1/19 because it was cheaper than one week if you consider how much more it was for the one way airfare to Vancouver and from Seward over the roundtrip to Vancouver. I don't know how much faith you can put into my review because these were my 10th and 11th cruise and I have enjoyed them all. Some were better than others but I had a good time on each one. The Jewel is my new favorite ship. It was cleaner and neater than most I have been on and I love the buffet layout. The buffet has 5 islands rather than long lines. If there is a line at the carving station, you can move to the other entrees and circle back later. I never had more than 3 people ahead of me for any item. Usually I had open access to the item I wanted. Part of what made this a great cruise is the Solo program. We had a great group and there were several of us doing a B2B. The solo hosts Raphael and Queena did a great job too. The Captain got us in close to the glaciers and seemed to do his best to make sure we got to see the sights. We had very good weather too, which didn't hurt. I saw the General Manager pick abandoned drink cups off the deck while wearing his dress uniform. This dedication to cleanliness and detail carries over to the crew too. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband, my sister, her husband and I were on Norwegian Alaska Land/Sea Tour. We had an awesome time. Norwegian did a great job with the itinerary. The tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. The Norwegian Jewel was a great ship. We ... Read More
My husband, my sister, her husband and I were on Norwegian Alaska Land/Sea Tour. We had an awesome time. Norwegian did a great job with the itinerary. The tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. The Norwegian Jewel was a great ship. We had an inside cabin 9569 and it was perfect for us since there is 21 hours of daylight in June. There was plenty of room for the two of us to get around the side of the bed and to use the desk at the bottom of the bed. There is plenty of storage for luggage once we unpacked. The lighting was easy to find and the temperature in the room worked great. The bathroom shower was a nice size. But the way the toilet is placed it is hard to have enough leg room if you are very tall. Our room steward was very friendly and kept the room cleaned. We received towel animals each night which was a nice gesture. We saw the comedian twice on the cruise. He was better the first time. The second time he did an adult version which wasn't as good as his family show. We also saw the show where they sang 70-80 songs. That was a little corny and the singers were not that good. We didn't get to any of the other shows. The food in the buffet was always good and plenty to choose from. We did eat often at O'Sheeans and always enjoyed what we got. The service was always fast and friendly. The only specialty restaurant we ate at was Moderno. The service there was very good and the food was very good. I tried their specialty drink and did not like that at all. We had the land portion of our trip first then got the ship in Seward and finished in Vancouver. Embankment and Disembarkation went very smoothly with no issues. We loved everything about this cruise. We did a Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour in Juneau. We did see some whales, seals and Eagles. In Seward we did the Ghosts & Good Time Girls Walking Tour and it was very informative and lots of fun. In Ketchican we did the All you can eat Crab Feast and Lumberjack show. This was a great meal and the Lumberjack show was very entertaining. We would definitely cruise with Norwegian again. Since this was our second time on the Jewel we would probably pick another ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds ... Read More
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds of bags to trying to funnel out of the building thru on small doorway, it was poorly organized.....The staterooms/cabins, our was a port side forward balcony cabin, were extremely tiny, more like cramped; I mean cramped! There wasn't enough drawer space to accommodate my fiance' and nothing for my clothes but some shelves behind the entry door. The hanger closest worked, barely.....Although the cabin's bathroom was adequate with respect to the sink and shower, the attached, but separate, toilet space was tight, and both of us are of average height and weight. I have no idea how anyone carrying "some extra baggage" would be able to use it....Now, as to the food, be it in the buffet or the dining room, lacked any culinary appeal or chef's touch. Consider this: you're in Alaska, the salmon, halibut, king crab "capital" of the US and they served salmon as an entree once for dinner, once. No Lox, no Halibut, No Crab, and N Salmon, only unimaginative beef, pork and chicken dishes. Even the desserts were unexciting...As to the drinks? We each purchased the Premium Beverage Package which was far from it. If you didn't specifically ask the bartender for a certain high end brand of alcohol, they ignored the symbol "PBP" in bold, on your shipboard cabin card, and instead poured swill from the well. What a rip!.......The entertainment eg. the show Velvet, on our first night, was downright awful! Never cared to see anything else....So, as I said, if not for the sites, excursions, this would have been a complete waste of money! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for ... Read More
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for hanging and shelves. The bed was very uncomfortable and I heard the same from others. Service in the main dining room was very good but was disappointed in the service in the specialty dining rooms. Anyone can cook a steak or Italian meal so the service should have been exceptional. Casino dealers were very friendly and helpful. Players club wasn’t even worth signing up for. Very little to do onboard. Bring playing cards because the card room was busy and the ship ran out of playing cards. I did use the treadmills in the fitness center. There were plenty of them so there was no wait. Ports were great. Definitely do the White Pass railroad trip and the whale watching in Hoonah was great. Going into Glacier Bay was really exciting and it was great that the boat did a full turn in the bay so everyone could see. I would do the cruise again, just not on Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
If you have not done Alaska, put it at the very top of your bucket list. We did the Northbound on the Jewel plus the five day land tour from Seward to Fairbanks via Denali. All things being equal I would have preferred to do the land ... Read More
If you have not done Alaska, put it at the very top of your bucket list. We did the Northbound on the Jewel plus the five day land tour from Seward to Fairbanks via Denali. All things being equal I would have preferred to do the land portion first, but only Northbound goes to Glacier Bay. The number one reason for best cruise ever was out of NCL's hands, as it was the spectacular weather. The Cruise Next agent we talked to said she has been doing the Alaska routes for 3 years on 3 different ships, and never saw weather this good. The excellent weather continued on the land tour as well. Due to the good weather, the ship was able to get right up to the half mile limit to Hubbard glacier. Glacier bay was fogged in when we first arrived, but it slowly lifted. The demographics on this ship were significantly different from the Jade to Norway the year before. The average age of passengers dropped from 60 to about 40, and there were far more families and under 18s. The restaurants we went to were Teppanyaki, Le Bistro (twice) and Cagney's. Service was a bit slow the first time we went to Le Bistro, but otherwise all three restaurants were excellent. We went to the Tsar's palace and Azura once each, this time Azura was the better of the two, which was a reversal from the Jade (Grand Pacific and Alizar) the year before. We also did room service once for dinner after a long shore excursion. In most cases we had a party of 6, which presented few problems. For shore excursions, in Ketchikan we split up 3 and 3, I went went on a third party crab fishing excursion, the other 3 went on the Misty Fjords and Wilderness adventure. In Juneau, mom and I went on the Mendenhall glacier and Salmon bake, and in Skagway took the White Pass and Yukon Explorer. All three were a lot of fun and saw great scenery and quite a bit of wildlife. One warning on the Salmon, Alaskan's seem to like their sauces/glazes sweet, which is not to my taste, but is easy to ask that it be left off. Can't say much on the shows as we did not attend many. The comedian was pretty good at the PG show, did not attend the adult show. The three principle performers for the rock music show were quite good. The one lady does a killer Tina Turner, one of the guys a killer Bon Jovi, the third guy was overall quite good, but not for a specific performance. The remaining entertainment at the various lounges were pretty good by cruise standards. The land tour is contracted by NCL through Alaskan Tours. Our guide and bus driver were absolutely tops. Alaskan's seem to be well qualified, our guide held a masters degree and our bus driver in Denali (Separate from Alaskan Tours) was a degreed archaeologist. Tough to catch either one in something they did not know. Fair warning, you will likely get a dose of global warming propaganda from the narration when sailing to the glaciers and in Denali. But if that is the worst thing that happens, it is going pretty well. :) Stateroom review and such below. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & ... Read More
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & Disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was clean but you can tell it was older and a little tired. It was a lot smaller than the others I had been on, and I think I do prefer the larger ones. Our cabin was fine, the ports were fine, the two excursions we went on were fine.The service was fine and all the help were very friendly. They did not have a "Broadway" style show, but did have a nice circus type show. We very much enjoyed their comedian. What was VERY disappointing was the food. From the buffet to the specialty dining, it all seemed to fall short. The exception was the French Restaurant, it was the only really nice meal we had. Cagney's had been my favorite on other cruises and I could not wait to order my steak and the best fries I had ever had, Parmesian Truffle Fries. After it was served, it tasted like regular fries so I asked the waiter and he grinned at me and said they were out of the truffle oil. I would think I should have been told that at the time I placed my order so I had the choice to change my order. I could not seem to get anyone that knew how to cook eggs over medium. In truth, I was so over the no taste food on that ship. It seems like every time we take a cruise on NCL we find new things that are no longer available. When they first came out with the UBP, they had a really great selection of Whiskeys & Bourbons. On our next cruise they had cut the selection in half, and the next cut it to barely any choice, which really did not make my hubby happy. I had a drink I always liked, a Mudslide. Imagine my surprise when I ordered it on this cruise and they forgot the whip cream on top. When I questioned the bartender, he said they cut out having whip cream since they returned from Asia. I know for us, the food and drinks are a great part of feeling we are on vacation. I think it is time for us to revisit other cruise lines. I liked NCL's free styling dining and casual dress, but it seems they are making free with cutting the quality of food and drinks and that don't work for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families with young kids. The kids center, Splash Academy, was open from 9 am until 10:30 pm (and even later for a fee) every day! We thought that the closing time would be too late for our 4 and 8 year old but they loved it so much and never wanted to leave. We gave up on 8 pm bedtimes. The staff did an awesome job with keeping the kids entertained and happy. There were theme nights, active games, silly songs and jokes, sports, prizes, and at the end of the cruise, they had the kids put on a circus show. My hubby and I really enjoyed our free time! Some of the food was just okay but some of the food was fantastic too. Garden Buffet had hits and misses but was decent overall. The kids loved the Garden Buffet. Fruit, tomatoes and salad greens were super fresh at the beginning of the cruise but started to look wilted at the end. The grilled fish, burgers, prime rib (served only the first 2 nights), raita, were good but other dishes like stir fries, fried rice, indian dishes, casseroles, and stews, basically any hot entrée with sauce weren't that good. Salads, fruit, made to order omelettes, made to order pastas, bacon, and eggs benedict were good. Desserts weren't that good. Self service coffee and espressos weren't good but passable. We had 2 really good meals at Tsar's Palace and 1 that wasn't. Desserts were good. The sirloin steak at Azura was cooked perfectly but the peppercorn sauce wasn't good. O'Sheehans burgers and fries were fine. But the nachos were terrible and the fish and chips weren't that good. We didn't try it for breakfast but wouldn't recommend it for lunch or dinner. The fee based dining at Cagneys, Le Bistro and Moderno were EXCELLENT. We ordered macaroni and cheese for my 5 year old; it's her favorite; and it was a terrible dish at all the restaurants. The worst mac and cheese ever. Even Kraft Dinner would have been better. I couldn't tell what was is in it. It was orange and looked good but it was awful, had a powdered chicken soup stock after taste. I spoke with serving staff and they agreed that it was really bad. At Tsars Palace, Azura and O'Sheehans, some of the staff were friendly, helpful and fast, even going beyond, while I felt ignored by some of the staff. For example, we didn't get any water for 15 minutes one time at Tsar's, I normally wouldn't have noticed it but we were super thirsty, and it seemed like there was confusion on who was looking after us. But one server at Tsar's would pleasantly fill my wine glass without me asking, sourced out the french baguette that my fussy 5 year old would only eat, and even offered us complimentary cappuccinos. Service at the fee based dining was wonderful. I didn't really see our room steward, although he was friendly, that much while I did see the neighboring steward often. On our first day, we noticed all these brown reddish flakes on our bed. The neighboring steward cleaned it up because our room steward was returning in the evening from his time off. The neighboring steward thought that it came from the AC/heating element. We didn't have that problem again. The main pool was salt water and pleasantly warm. We enjoyed the pool even on rainy days. The production cast shows were FANTASTIC. They are so talented! We enjoyed Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Aerial Duo and Le Cirque Bijou. On our second night, we kept hearing a consistent banging below. We were on deck 9. Someone from guest services came up and determined that because the water was so choppy, that a lifeboat on deck 8 was likely making that noise. He apologized for the noise and we said that it's no trouble and it's out of their control. Later, we heard someone working on the lifeboat below while water spray was hitting our 9th deck window! The banging stop and I felt so sorry for the person who had to work in that weather. We were lucky to not have booked any excursions in Skagway, one of the scheduled ports, because the Captain decided to stop in Haines instead, explaining that there had been a barge carrier jet fuel leak where we were supposed to berth. But then I heard all these different stories from other people, and they were angry and just wanted the truth. The bars were good. We really enjoyed the drinks from the bar in the Atrium. The bar in the Spinnaker Lounge (at the front of the ship) wasn't as good as the Atrium one. We had the best pina coladas at atrium, and mojitos at Topsiders (even better than the mojito bar). The driving range, and tennis/basketball court/soccer field were fun. Embarkation and disembarkation from all ports were efficient and smooth. Luggage management was efficient and fast. The Discovery Center in Ketchikan was fantastic and informative. Our kids earned a cool junior ranger badge there. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were awe inspiring. But it was depressing to see how much Glacier Bay has retreated and to learn from the Park Ranger that it, and other glaciers, will be gone in 20 years because of climate change. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Overall, was very happy with our (my dad and I) cruise and this ship. - We enjoyed the ship over all. It was easy to get around and the signage was very helpful. It was always clean. It had just been refurbished, so while you ... Read More
Overall, was very happy with our (my dad and I) cruise and this ship. - We enjoyed the ship over all. It was easy to get around and the signage was very helpful. It was always clean. It had just been refurbished, so while you could tell it was an older ship, it was stylish and up to date. We loved that the ship was a smaller one, and I've decided I like that better than the new larger ships. We were very impressed with how close the Captain was able to get us to the glaciers. He was very good at maneuvering the ship through the ice to the glaciers and positioning the ship so everyone could see everything. The views were breathtaking and we were very pleased with this aspect of the cruise. The ship was easy to get on and off at ports. The lines always moved quickly. There was always staff to help you find where you needed to go. We were very pleased that we could keep our luggage with us the last night and take it ourselves on the final day. The one thing we did not care for was the smoking policy. Smoking was allowed in the casino, which smelled up the theatre and the lounges on either side of the casino. Smoking was also allowed at the Pit Stop on deck 13, which meant you could smell smoke all over the pool deck. I also observed people smoking on the open decks while we were docking. - For a small inside cabin, there was ample storage for two people who had severely overpacked. We did bring an extension cord (used for a CPAP) and multi-outlet adapters (didn't use.) The lamps over the beds had USB ports. Our steward, Mark, was fabulous. He made sure to say hello and chat a little every time he saw us in the hallway, was constantly asking what else we needed, and straightened our room several times a day. Our room was very clean before we got there and stayed that way throughout our trip. Our room (8531) was also VERY quiet. - We very much enjoyed the freestyle dining and the fact that food was always available somewhere on board. The food on the ship was good, not great, but good. I had expected it to be better, but it is institutional, rather bland food. The choices were ample, and we found some restaurants to be better than others. Azura was our favorite for dinner. We found the service to be lacking in O'Sheehan's. We never had to wait long in line to be seated, though seating could be tricky to find for breakfast in the Garden Cafe. We had hoped to have more regional food choices, but they did serve a delicious smoked salmon chowder on the pool deck one day, and they did bring on fresh salmon for dinner in Ketchikan. My dad was very happy with the steaks he had in the dining room. We did not try the specialty dining. That said, limited gluten-free choices were there, but not as common as I had been lead to believe by the NCL customer service staff I talked with prior to the cruise. Although the signs said gluten-free muffins were available for breakfast, the staff could never find anything but gluten-free white bread when I asked. There were no gluten-free buns for sandwiches or burgers, no gluten-free breads in the main dining rooms, and no gluten-free desserts other than ice cream or fruit. Other guests with food sensitivities were having issues with dining as well. We also found it very odd that coffee and tea were seemingly only available in the Garden Cafe during the evening, none of the lounges had it. I had been told by NCL customer service that I would get a card for a birthday cake on the last night of my cruise, but that never happened. Even if it had, I doubt that I would have been able to eat it. We had the UBP package and were happy with most of the drinks. We loved the martinis at Shakers and were very happy with the drinks out of the Spinnaker. My dad tried a bottled beer a couple of times and thought it was skunky, but he was happy drinking martinis after that. The bartenders were willing to make changes to the drinks if you asked, and I felt the drinks ran a little strong most days. - Entertainment and activities were plentiful except for the last full day at sea. The main productions were fantastic each night. We were very lucky to have the hilarious Tim Kominski as our comic. We enjoyed most of the evening lounge singers and bands. Most of the "game shows" the cruise staff did were fun. There were many options for trivia, bingo, pictionary, painting, etc... Several of them came with an extra charge. The Q & A's with the staff were all interesting. Unfortunately there weren't many enrichment activities. It would have been nice to have a few more opportunities to hear about the history of Alaska, the gold rush, and all the glaciers/wildlife we were seeing. - We did not do any excursions sponsored by the ship, as we had arranged our own. The port towns were small, but were easy to walk and felt safe, had ample shopping, and had some good restaurants. Maps were available at the visitor centers. The ports were very crowded when there were 4 or 5 ships docked at the same time. - We found the service on the ship to be phenomenal. From our wonderful steward, to serving staff who remembered us in different venues, to the effervescent cruise staff running games, to the bartenders who learned our names and the drinks we liked by day two. Everyone was friendly and willing to chat. The staff of this ship really made our trip very special. - The NCL app was very helpful. You could connect to it without purchasing the wifi package. It would allow you to see your account, book excursions, and see the activities available that day. Thank you NCL. We will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some ... Read More
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some of any of those served on the ship? Well no there wasn’t, and the the food in all restaurants, because we tried every single one, was the blandest food we’ve ever had. If you closed your eyes and took a bite of food, most the time it was hard to tell what you were eating. As far as the service goes, it was great! Entertainment was good. Our cabin was very nice, we had a balcony room and our personal attendant was awesome. Every day there would be a new, adorable animal on our bed made of towels. Embankment and disembarkment went smooth. Ketchikan was our favorite, we went into town and bought a lunch of King crab legs and halibut. Shore excursions were to Icey Strait, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan and all were nice. We would probably go again, but not with Norwegian. We did a land cruise tour before the actual ship cruise, which started in Fairbanks and ended in Seward where we caught the ship and it was fantastic, we had an awesome tour director, she was extremely knowledgeable about Alaska, she really takes pride in her beautiful state and our bus/coach driver was also excellent. Denali was great and the glass domed train to Talkeetna was fantastic, the food on the train was excellent, as was the train narrator, she was very knowledgeable too. All in all an awesome trip other than the not so great food on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first ... Read More
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first meal in Azura was bit slow and clunky but the food was good and we weren't in any big hurry! Overall the meals were fine, particularly the specialty restaurants. The food in the main dining rooms was "good", and the service was more than adequate. Specialty restaurants were SUPERB, especially Le Bistro and La Cucina! Our mini-suite was perfect and our Room Steward, Rolando did an excellent job keeping it clean and tending to any of our requests...kudos to Rolando! The extra USB ports were a nice add. Overall the refurbished ship was clean and redecorated nicely. I was a bit disappointed that the seats in the Stardust Theater were not replaced during the refurb. They were low and uncomfortable two years ago and they are the same now. We were so busy, we managed only one show..."Rock You Tonight". It was GREAT...wonderful singers, dancers and band. An awesome production! I do like the smaller ships like the Jewel where you do not need to make reservations to get into every event. The ship entertainment was good...some very talented folks. Lots of pop music & jazz. I do wish there was some "Classical" music on board, maybe in the main lobby. It might give the ship kind of a "high class" feel. (There is a grand piano there which I have never seen used.) The gym was clean and all the machines seem to be working. The bar service was spot on. I will say the wine in the wine tasting event was a step lower that those I've been to in the past...and believe me I am not a wine snob. But I did pay extra for some GREAT wine in the specialty restaurants. Of course you go to Alaska for the spectacular views and scenery. The glacier viewing was excellent. I did spot humpbacks on three occasions from our balcony. Lots of good "Kodak Moments". Just staring out the balcony at the snow capped peaks was awe inspiring (especially for a couple from "flat" Florida!) The best part of the cruise were the ports and excursions. We did the Zip Rider/Wale watching tour...WOO HOO, what an adrenaline rush! We did the Helicopter Ride to the Glacier and Dog Sled Mushing, which was probably the best shore excursion we've ever been on! We also did the Wilderness Glacier trip where we canoed up to a glacier...also an outstanding trip! Between my camera and my Go-Pro I took over 2100 pics...many great memories. Overall the ship, crew and cruise met all of our expectations. Kudos to General Manager Steve for running a tight ship. Kudos to Jenny, Group services Coordinator for coordinating the Meet & Mingle and kudos to Dilip our Concierge who was always ready to assist us! Now that Alaska is crossed off the bucket list, it's time for French Polynesia/Hawaii in 2020. THANKS NCL! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) ... Read More
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) 11628 (MB Minisuite port side near stern) 11554-11156 (connecting aft-facing M1 Minisuites). All seemed quite pleased with their cabins and experienced no real noise issues. The SC was under the library, the MB under La Cucina and the M1s under Great Outdoors. Public Spaces. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. Dining. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. We had dinner in Tsar’s Palace once and Azura 3 times. The food was neither outstanding nor awful. A couple of our group had breakfast in Tsar’s Palace once or twice. Our first specialty dinner was in Cagney’s, no complaints. It isn’t Ruth’s Chris but pretty good for a cruise ship. Moderno was a hit, most not having eaten in a churrascaria before. Our final specialty restaurant was La Cucina, which was my favorite. Being in a suite I had breakfast in Moderno one time. If I didn’t have family with me I would have eaten there for breakfast and lunch more frequently. We didn’t make it to Le Bistro, Teppanyaki or Chin Chin. Chin Chin doesn’t take reservations and there always seemed to be a line. I liked O’Sheehan’s, had a couple of lunches there and one breakfast there. The fish and chips were good, but the corned beef hash didn’t live up to its hype. The butler brought us breakfast in our suite most days. I’m not a fan of buffets. I only had breakfast there once and it was cereal and bananas. Oddly the milk choices were whole milk and skim. I am used to seeing 2%. I didn’t find much that interested me for lunch. The pizza was not very good, even when it first came out of the oven. The crust was doughy and the sauce bland. My doctor would have liked me to have a turkey burger or a garden burger, but the sign said it would take 15 minutes to prepare. They were making paninis a couple of the days. The Cuban one was tasty, the Mexican one not so much. My wife liked the buffet a lot. Drink. We found ourselves at Magnum/Shakers/Maltings fairly frequently, nice place for a before dinner drink or for a night cap. Topsiders and the Pit Stop were the closest bars to our suite, limited selection but a quick and easy place to grab a drink for the cabin. One pet peeve was that the menus listed Bulleitt Rye but no bars had it. Twice I ordered it and saw the bartender grab the bottle of Bulleitt Bourbon. I spoke with the Beverage Manager about this, and he said he’d look into it, but it never materialized. Service. Our butler (Lazaro), concierge (Dilip) and steward (Jonex) were great. We had sent a letter in advance asking for help in setting up a brief Bon Voyage party/toast. We didn’t arrive at the port until 5 pm, and the party was set for 6:45. I had my doubts about it getting set up, having read reports that such requests are typically ignored, but everything was ready and perfect. We had to tender in Icy Strait Point because the Norwegian Joy behemoth was in port. Dilip arranged priority tendering for our entire party of eight. The bus crew in the buffet were way too intrusive, often trying to grab one’s plate before it was finished. In dining rooms, on a couple of occasions, I had my glass of San Pellegrino ($6 a bottle with gratuity) “refreshed” with iced tap water. Fitness Center. We used the Fitness Center a couple of times. There was plenty of modern well-maintained equipment. My only criticism was that there were only 4 bikes (2 upright, 2 recumbent), making them often unavailable. In another room on Deck 12 (labeled Aerobics on the deck plan) there were a large number of bikes not in use, apparently for some sort of spinning class. Based on the demand I saw, some of these should be moved the Fitness Center. Splash Academy. There weren’t a lot of kids onboard, given that school was still in session in parts of the country. Age groups were combined. Our 8-year-old granddaughter had a blast. Her 12-year-old sister went once and did not return, not being interest in hanging out with little kids. Entertainment. Stage shows are not our thing, did not attend. The lounge and pool side performers seemed talented. Cruise Director. Don’t normally care but this guy’s voice was extremely annoying. Excursions. Icy Strait Point. We did the “Wildlife and Bear Search Tour” from Alaska Shore Excursions. We were aware that May was not the best time to see bears, but we did see a few and several eagles. The tour guide was informative and entertaining. The best option in ISP may well be whale watching, but all in our group had done a whale watching tour out of Dana Point a few years earlier. We all had fun and he dropped a few of us in Hoonah on the way back. We had beers in a brewery pub and walked back to town. Juneau. “Dogsledding on Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter” This was our only NCL excursion. Worth every penny of it, once in a lifetime experience. Copter ride over mountains and glaciers landing on Mendenhall Glacier at the dogsled camp. We all got to take different positions on the sleds, way cool. Got to know the dogs as well. Skagway. We rented two Jeeps from DIY Jeep Tours. The jeeps had CB radios to communicate back and forth, as well as audio narration. I had also purchased Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike highway. We did a round trip to Emerald Lake in the Yukon. The rental place was a bit disorganized. Make it clear when making the reservation that you want the included lunch and be aware that you are going to have to refill the tank when you are done. This took us much farther than the White Pass Railway, we saw a lot of the same scenery and were able to stop and take pictures when we wanted to. Skagway is a nice little town and much less of a tourist trap than Ketchikan or Juneau. Ketchikan. Not much to see here, lots of opportunities to separate you from your money. Creek Street is a nice photo op. We just walked around, shopped, found a dive bar. Transfers. Embarkation. This cruise was in a tight window and half of our group didn’t get into Anchorage until late the night before embarkation. The train to Seward is quite popular be it leaves way too early to suit our late arrivals. We purchased the “Anchorage to Seward Wildlife Tour & Transfer” from Alaska Shore Experts. Nice scenery and narration along the way, a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and a 5 pm arrival at the port. It suited our needs well Disembarkation. We bought the $15 transfer to the Vancouver Airport from NCL. It was awful. We stood in line in a hot room for nearly an hour waiting to board the bus. Overall. We really liked the Jewel. If we were to cruise on Norwegian again we’d definitely seek out a Jewel class ship if it were an option. I find it ironic that it is considered a small, old ship. It carries 2367 passengers and was christened in 2005. That makes it about the same size as others ships we been on (discounting the 700 passenger Adonia) and the newest ship. It looked sharp after its dry dock. The size made it not seem crowded, didn’t see any long lines (although the concierge helped a couple of times). Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Generally, overall, it was a very good experience. At the embarkation dock (after getting off the bus from Anchorage), we chose to keep our bags with us and took them to our cabins ourselves. There were no issues about that. Since ... Read More
Generally, overall, it was a very good experience. At the embarkation dock (after getting off the bus from Anchorage), we chose to keep our bags with us and took them to our cabins ourselves. There were no issues about that. Since we were cruising on a budget, we did not book any excursions and found we enjoyed everything else just fine. It is amazing what you can find! We cruised with two teens (16 years old) and our adult daughter. All were able to find something they enjoyed. The teens, however, were disappointed in the "Entourage" (the teen lounge). I think it just wasn't their speed. They enjoyed the pool, the "Card Room" and especially the karaoke nights. Everyone we came into contact with were very professional and pleasant to work with. All were very responsive to questions and requests. After boarding, we had to request that our room steward reconfigure our cabins (our needs changed after booking). They were very prompt and accommodating. The buffet was HUGE and quite tasty. I will have to admit, though, the mousse was anything but mousse. It was more like pudding with too much gelatin. Oh, well. There was plenty of other goodies! Really, the only less than optimal dining experience we had was at Cagney's. I ordered the salmon (typically very good). Unfortunately, I found it lukewarm on the edges and cold and raw in the middle. The wait staff were quick to correct the issue and bring me another plate. However, what I was brought was still the same - lukewarm, cold and raw. The waiter tried to tell me that this was the usual way it was served????? After I sent it back yet again, requesting that it be cooked longer than "usual," I received a well-done piece of salmon - hot/crispy on the outside, hot in the middle and generally dry (now not the best salmon I've had). I decided that I would eat it anyway as service was rather slow and we had already been there almost an hour, but the waiter really seemed to be trying. We were comped the plate and three desserts. Otherwise, in the food department.... if you ever went hungry on the Jewel, it was your own fault! The shows in the Stardust Theater were good, especially the comedian. He had a packed house every show. Even his "Q&A" session in the Spinnaker Lounge was standing room only and that was packed 4 and 5 rows deep! This was our 2nd cruise on NCL and we will do it again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We picked the NCL Jewel for its Alaskan itinerary and the fact that it was going to be a rehabbed ship by the time we sailed (we booked more than a year in advance). Before the cruise started the price was reduced drastically, almost half ... Read More
We picked the NCL Jewel for its Alaskan itinerary and the fact that it was going to be a rehabbed ship by the time we sailed (we booked more than a year in advance). Before the cruise started the price was reduced drastically, almost half of what we paid but we were only given a $300 credit after waiting on hold 30 minutes. I understand that is their policy but it is a terrible one and a frustrating process. Fast Forward to the cruise: Embarkation: Customs and check-in were good. Only issue with check-in was later on in the ship, the card ran at check-in never made it to our file on the ship so had to take the time out of our vacation to re-do that and the ships' accounting department was having problems with the credit card machines. Staterooms rooms are okay - updated linens and carpet (that was already peeling off of the baseboard). The carpet, even though new, was stained already. The deck was very dirty (looked like I had blood on my deck, window and walls that was never cleaned). Bathrooms haven't been touched and are a terrible wood paneling. Ship: It looks pretty with its fresh coat of paint but lacking much to do if you're not into gambling or sitting at bars. It was dirty inside though. The windows couldn't be seen out of because of all the salt water build up on them. It was also very hot on our ship. Dining: This is where the cruise takes a nose dive. We were a party of 8. Every night (except for the last night) our dinners in speciality-paid-for restaurants were 2-1/2 hours long! Food came out cold and overcooked. The worst being our dinner at Cangey's that is advertised on the ship as having 'cooked to order crab cakes.' We sat for an hour before we received our glass of wine - I asked the waitress why it was taking so long, "she was busy" - there were 4 other tables. We complained to the restaurant manager to get an "okay, we can start over" - the meal hadn't even started yet! With a view of the kitchen we saw our crab cakes go in a microwave to be warmed before sitting on the runner's ledge for 20 minutes before making it to our table, cold. Asked for warm, fresh crab cakes. Saw the same crab cakes that left our table, go back in that same microwave, to just be returned to our table. Terrible. ALL of our steaks (a party of 8) were overcooked and cold. Solution: I can warm that up for you. So my steak is extra overcooked? No thank you. Waitress poured a beer that overflowed the glass, left it to us to clean up. Asked for new napkins, never got them. All of these meals took so long that we missed every nighttime show and/or event. Customer Service: Completely lacking throughout the ship. Tables were dirty at the buffet, with servers standing around watching the scenery go by (Alaskan cruise). Went to the guest services desk looking for help after our terrible meal at Cagney's and we were told that only the restaurant manager could help us. Spa: Unless you want to be sold the entire time skip it. My massage had a sales pitch before, during and after. We opted to book the thermal suite spa pass for the week. The pools in the spa had cold water, asked them to turn up the heat, nothing was done about it. Ports: The Alaskan ports that were scheduled were amazing, I'll definitely go back just on another cruise line. Our Skagway port was relocated due to a fuel spill (now that we are home, we've not found one report of a fuel spill) to a small town that did their best to accommodate a last minute ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We went on this first cruise for our 30th anniversary. I chose this Norwegian cruise after reviewing choices from our travel agent. I based my choice on the itinerary of the trip, online reviews (including Cruise Critic), YouTube videos ... Read More
We went on this first cruise for our 30th anniversary. I chose this Norwegian cruise after reviewing choices from our travel agent. I based my choice on the itinerary of the trip, online reviews (including Cruise Critic), YouTube videos from previous passengers, the smaller size of the ship and the price for a balcony stateroom. Everything about this first cruise was fabulous! Every staff and crew member was polite, courteous and professional. They called us by name, looked us in the eyes, smiled all the time and all asked if we needed anything. The ship was very clean, attractive and had a great variety of events. We could also get away to the quiet of our stateroom and not hear our neighbors or people in the hallways. We made our hotel stay before the trip thru NCL. There was a representative from NCL at the hotel the morning of departure to explain to us what to expect in getting on the ship and there were 2 large buses to get us to the port. We did arrive in Vancouver Canada the day before the cruise and intended to explore the city but travel weariness had us staying in. In hindsight I'd book an extra night so that we would be able to spend a day in Vancouver, it looked beautiful from the bus. Our excursions were arranged through the ship ahead of time and were very easy to get on and off in time for the leaving from port. I appreciated the variety of excursions and the range of costs which allowed for anyone to meet budget constraints. We took the inflateable boat to Betten Island and hiked through a rain forest for our Ketchikan stop. We did see eagles and a whale on this trip. We did the Mendenhall Glacier/Nugget Falls and Mt Roberts Tram excursion in Juneau. I would recommend this as the glacier and falls were absolutely beautiful. The view from the top of Mt Roberts is incredible! I don't recommend eating in the restaurant at the top of the tram... very slow service and little choice on the menu. Our excusion in Skagway had to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond NCL control and we were reimbursed for the missed trip. However, we still saw the town and got a good appreciation for the settlers that opened the town and the gold rush seekers' experiences. Glacier Bay is so amazing and this cruise also went to Hubbard Glacier. We saw more whales in this fjord. Tip: don't try to take pictures or videos of whales! They are too quick and you'll miss them. Just watch these graceful creatures and buy souvenir photos. LOL! If you can, take a trip that goes to Hubbard!! So massive and beautiful! Not all itineraries include this stop, so be aware. We made a hotel booking independently of the cruise at the end of the trip so that we could rest before the return flight. Once the ship found out we had this reservation, they made arrangement to get our luggage from the ship to the hotel for us. We did shuttle from the ship to the city center in Anchorage with other passengers and then had to make our own arrangement to get from there to the hotel. Fortunately it was only a few blocks walk. Side note: we booked at the Sheraton Spa Hotel in Anchorage. It has no shuttle service to anything and the rooms had little sound dampening between rooms. We listened to our neighbors argue for 3-4 hours before bed. The food was very good. We did get a meal deal for 3 meals in the restaurants that are not complimentary. Cagney Steakhouse is the best!! We ate there twice. We also ate in the Italian venue La Cocina and it was ok.... not spectacular and not bad. The Garden Café and Great Outdoors had a large variety of food and each day there was a theme for one of the meals, as in Italian or German. This is a complimentary buffet and the food was fresh, never had any hint of being massed produced or under heat lamps. I am a nurse and was impressed with the ship's focus on hand hygiene as we boarded/re-boarded the ship and when entering food service areas. Now when I use the hand gel at work I smile and think "washy washy" as the crew would say :) We had a great time on this trip and have come away with great memories of Alaska. Thank You Norwegian! Thank you Zac Wilson at Daydream Vacations for being our travel agent! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
we had 7 days inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seward. It was our first cruise and we were very excited about it. We had a party of 5 people and booked two staterooms. According to our more experienced friends Norwegian is the best ... Read More
we had 7 days inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seward. It was our first cruise and we were very excited about it. We had a party of 5 people and booked two staterooms. According to our more experienced friends Norwegian is the best cruise line so we decided to go with them, what a mistake...it is probably our last time with Norwegian. Let me start with the booking process. Since we had family flying from Europe, we booked our staterooms in January, and got two staterooms with the porthole. Around April, the price dropped and we were upgraded to a balcony stateroom which was nice. However, two weeks before the cruise, the price dropped even further and the balcony stateroom was cheaper than the window room we originally booked. I called Norwegian and asked if they can give any on board credit, since the price difference was around $2,500 (total or five people). However, Norwegian refused to provide any credits claiming that I already received one upgrade and no more adjustments would be made. I wrote customer support team and didn't receive any response. After a week of waiting I reached out directly to a VP of customer relationships and within two hours received a call from a rep, who apologized for not responding to an email and offered $40 on board credit for it, but no credit for a price drop. The lesson to be learnt is to wait two weeks before the cruise if you are sailing off season and the ship is not sold out. The cruise experience itself was ok, the rooms were fine, the balcony is definitely a plus. The quality of food, was mediocre but perfectly edible. We didn't go to the specialty restaurants as we didn't feel like paying extra money for ship food. Also, I believe that the food in Tzar is not cooked on board but rather reheat. In Ketchikan we didn't take any off shore excursions from the ship, but purchased city tour with a local provider on the dock. The tour was complete waste of time and money, they took us outside of the village to a parking lot, and we were waiting 30 minutes for a bears to show up, but they didn't. Then we continued to a totem park, which was not impressive. Asking a guide if there is the only totem park in the town, the guid said that it is free one. Juno was nice, but raining. we bought a gold panning and salmon baking excursion which we enjoyed. The huge disappointment which left very bad taste in our mouth was Skagway, We were supposed to dock at Skagway, but the captain decided to dock in Haines instead releasing the information that there is an oil spill in the harbor and it's not safe. The shore excursions for many people were canceled. When we arrived to Skagway by taking a ferry we learned that there was no spill and the mayor and harbor master released a statement confirming that there is no spill. We understood that the captain didn't want to dock next to a fuel barge, which doesn't make sense as the barge docks in Skagway every week. Moreover, why did he lie about the spill. So disappointed by the false information from the crew. Lost my trust in them. Another issue was the way NCL handled the shore excursions, specifically some morning excursions were canceled but the later excursions still had some availability, but the crew didn't rebook people from the morning excursions. Cruising around glaciers was nice, but there were so many people trying to take a pictures, and pushing everyone. The entertainment program was hit-and-miss: the comic had very low bar rude jokes, but the acrobatic show was awesome. One of the rare good experiences was in the Splash Academy. My 5 yo son loved it so much, so we even ended up tipping the Splash Academy staff. Another issue is new mandatory 15$ a day service charge which was imposed starting April, after I booked the cruise. At some point we couldn't wait to get off to the end of the cruise and be over with it. Alaska is amazingly beautiful, but exploring it from the ship with 2,500 strangers doesn't allow to immerse and really enjoy the nature. Probably we won't be doing anymore cruises anytime soon, and definitely not with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor ... Read More
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor guest lecture. Embarkation was much slower than disembarkation. Nice cabin with reasonable bathroom. Too cool for pool and sunbathing on this route. Port in Japan and Russia were small, but interesting. Alaska ports were fine, but Icy Point Straight was a NCL-contrived port with little to see. Activities at sea included art auctions, specialty restaurants, expensive slow internet etc. that all seemed to create additional profit centers for the cruise line with a captive audience. Food was on par with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but not necessarily themed for the ports visited. Service was on par. Hot chocolate served outside on a few cold port or glacier viewing days was a nice touch. Both food and service were better in the specialty restaurants, but then you pay for a meal that you have already included anyway with the cruise, so I count those as a port meal. Entertainment was sub-par, with the exception of one acrobatics show. Mostly Philippine bands doing their best with a wide range of western standards. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, ... Read More
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, technically, the Bering Sea may not actually be the Pacific). Anyhow, this was a repositioning cruise and we decided to take advantage. Unlike our last cruise where we just showed up in Sydney, this time we came to Tokyo five days before the cruise to enjoy the city sights. Tokyo did not disappoint. It was very clear, fairly easy to navigate, many opportunities for dining... we stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku-Ku and I would highly recommend it. The only downside was that it was Golden Week and there were more crowds than usual. We were unable to visit Mt Fuji due to crowds as well. I would definitely go back to Japan. There were an awful lot of people at that pier in Yokohama, but because we were in the Haven, we were among the first to be checked in and whisked aboard the ship. I cannot say how embarkation was for anyone else, but it did look like a very large crowd. Once aboard, we met some of the staff in the Haven. A truly great group of dedicated professionals who did not disappoint. They were great for the entire cruise. Our room guy was Giri and we were very fortunate to have him. One thing that surprised me, though, is that this ship has no dedicated Haven restaurant. Breakfast, though, was served in the Moderno restaurant and we were there each morning. Michelle was our server of choice and she was another example of the wonderful staff. Lunch was also served in Moderno for Havenites, but we ate there only once or twice. Unlike other ship, though, for dinner you’re on your own. Luckily, we had seven meals coming to us (5 were Free at Sea and 2 because of our Platinum status). On the other seven or eight nights, we split it up with either the Tsars Palace or Azura and, if we didn’t care for the menu on a particular night, we went to Chin Chin. About the food, overall it’s very good, but after a while it becomes quite repetitive. Having sailed for nearly three weeks on the same ship two months earlier and now another two weeks, we found ourselves wondering what the food on other cruise lines is like. By the way, the food in the Garden Cafe buffet wasn’t bad, but because this was basically a cold weather cruise, everyone was eating inside. So, table space was limited at peak hours. Luckily, they let you sit in La Cucina up until afternoon. Not a lot of kids on this cruise as you might imagine as this is school time. So, that made it the perfect time for an Alaskan cruise. Cruising in July - August is probably the last place you’d find me. The entertainment was just so-so to be honest, so many nights we just didn’t go. Ports and shore excursions were ok, but in Alaska you could easily double the cost of the entire cruise and more. We did just basic sightseeing, no helicopters or sea planes. Alaskan ports seemed like one trinket store after another. Would I go again? Maybe, but probably not. Still, Alaska is a trip everyone ought to make once in their lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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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