1,017 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

I can now scratch Alaska from my bucket list of places to visit, and I could not be happier with my choice to sail with NCL for my trip and first cruise experience. We chose NCL for the overall cost, and the date because of the itinerary ... Read More
I can now scratch Alaska from my bucket list of places to visit, and I could not be happier with my choice to sail with NCL for my trip and first cruise experience. We chose NCL for the overall cost, and the date because of the itinerary (I highly recommend a South to North trip, as each stop got better than the previous one). I travelled with my wife, and we were both overly impressed with the entire staff we had contact with, and the organization of everyone to ensure that things went smoothly at all times (particularly shore excursions). About my trip...hopefully I can give some useful information for future travellers! We sailed from vancouver, BC, but began our trip in Seattle. (some cruises begin in Seattle). Highlights there were the Boeing Museum (fantastic...on par with Smitsonian Air and Space), the Public Market (go to Pike Place Chowder, even if there is a line!), a visit to the Space Needle following its renovations (went early and had no line...830am), though it took me a while to try the revolving glass floor, Museum of Pop Culture, and walked through Fremont district (had to see the troll, and Theo Chocolate). We used AMTRAK to get to Vancouver...efficient and fun and cheap. Vancouver probably deserved more time, but our hotel on Barclay St was perfect, even if it was older with no elevator. It was a short walk to Harbor Green Park and Gastown, and even shorter walk to Stanley Park. If you do nothing else in Vancouver, you must visit Stanley Park. We rented bikes from Spokes and rode the very easy 12 km seawall around the park, then walked through the gardens in the center of the park. There is a great laundromat on Davie St if you need one that opens early, and has a coffee shop next door. Now for the cruise...why everyone is reading this! It was our first cruise, and I and no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to. We arrived at Canada place at our assigned time, and at first I was overwhelmed with the length of the line to check in, but it went smoothly and quickly (30 minutes). Sailing from Vancouver requires two stops at customs...one to get out of Canada, and one to enter the U.S. (another 20 minutes), then we were on board with our rooms ready and luggage waiting. We had upgrade to a balcony room, and though small (think cozy, I guess) it was perfect for the two of us, with plenty of space to put things. I highly recommend a balcony room for an Alaska trip, but there are plenty of public spaces on the boat to take in the views as well. We explored the ship a bit to find where things were, headed to the Garden Buffet for some lunch, then found some chairs at the aft section of the boat to watch our departure and the view as we passed under the Lionsgate Bridge. The first two days were at sea, (inside passage) and this gave us more time to explore the ship. Over the course of the cruise, we visited the fitness center several times, and it was never over crowded. As part of our package, we had the Ultimate Drink plan, so any beverage under $15 was available {mixed drinks, soda, etc.}, and probably tried something from every bar on the ship. (I wish I had more cash on hand to tip everybody, as you do not get a paper receipt anywhere except the specialty ding restaurants). We only took in one show, but it was very good (Band On The Run). Visited the casino a couple of times (I won $30!!!), the gift store, the bridge viewing area, the forward sundeck and just wandered aimlessly a lot. One thing I liked was the fact that a lot of the time on the ship, I paraded around in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and never felt out of place .Casual was perfectly fine, but I also saw many who dressed to the nines for some occasions. The photographers were especially great, and we purchased a photo package at the end of the trip. Our room steward (Gerald) was the highlight of the staff, as he always took time to chit chat when we saw him. The only two places we found where staff was really busy and it showed a bit was at guest services and the shore excursion desk. We did not use the pool or spa, but the hot tubs looked like fun. As for food...we ate breakfast and most lunch in the Garden Buffet. It was good, but not Vegas. I always found plenty of things I liked, but it could be crowded in the morning, especially on port days. We ate at Azura main dining room twice (very Good), O'Sheehans twice (very good}, and, with the specialty restaurant plan as part of our package, chose Cagney;s (great), Le Bistro (good), and La Cucina (very good). Many people said the Brazilian restaurant was very good also. We had one meal off ship in Juneau, and I strongly suggest visiting The Salmon Spot (salmon burgers with no breading and some terryaki). Thanks to bus driver Dave for this suggestion. In Anchorage at the conclusion of our cruise we ate at the Bridge (excellent) and Snow City café (beyond excellent...get the deadliest catch...salmon and crab cake benedict). Port stops started with Ketchikan . (we just walked around Creek Street and town that day, but a must do is the Tongass National Forest Visitors Center. A nice little museum and a short film about bush pilots (you will want to take a seaplane ride after watching the film). In Juneau, we booked the Mendenhall Glacier explorer excursion, which, after a short bus ride, gave you three hours at the glacier...plenty of time to take the easy 1 mile hike to the base of Nugget Falls. The rest of the day we explored downtown. Skagway was one of my favorite stops. It looks like a wild west town with a lot of history, We tried a Spruce Tip Ale at Skagway Brewing Company, and took the White Pass Summit train excursion...a lot of fun, even after it began to rain and get a little foggy in the afternoon. It is narrated throughout, telling the story of the railroad and the trials and tribulations of those who came to the area during the gold rush. Cruising Glacier Bay National Park was fantastic (bring your national park passport book with you!) and watching the park rangers board the ship was one of those small things that just added to the overall fun. The rangers gave narrated programs through the ships intercom about the park, and were setup in Spinnaker lounge with park souvenirs. Hubbard Glacier was absolutely impressive to see the next day, and a bright sunny day probably helped. The glaciers were where th balcony paid off, with the ability to sit by ourselves with a beverage and watch things go by. The last two days were at sea, then we boarded Rail Alaska for our transfer to Anchorage. We elected to stay a few days after the cruise to drive to Denali, and whether you do it on your own or part of a cruise tour, Denali is NOT to be missed! ( TIP! Enterprise rental car on Spenard is located across the street from the Lakefront Inn...the Lakefront Inn has complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport every 30 minutes) Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. I heard some people complain that other cruise lines were more inclusive...I looked up similar itineraries for this other cruise line, and found that the cost for one person was about the same as what I paid for two people, with a balcony upgrade, ultimate dining package and ultimate beverage package included. Will I take another cruise with NCL? Yes, definitely (I am already looking at Hawaii for a future cruise destination) Will I recommend NCL to others...ABSOLUTELY! Until I have a bad experience, (which I doubt will happen) NCL has my business. If yo do Alaska, go south to North, get a balcony if you can, but most of all enjoy yourself!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Loved everything about this ship, it was large without being overwhelming. There were so many options for dining from those included to the specialty and they were all wonderful options. I was afraid the complimentary buffet was going to ... Read More
Loved everything about this ship, it was large without being overwhelming. There were so many options for dining from those included to the specialty and they were all wonderful options. I was afraid the complimentary buffet was going to be mediocre at best so they could squeeze a little more from the specialty dining and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was not so. I would have enjoyed a bit more variety in the hot items for breakfast as they were the same every morning but it was still lots of options. The staff was always very quick to help and I never had any issue when something came up. My mother who was traveling with me, unfortunately, had to visit the medical center a few times. The staff there were also above and beyond and very professional. Entertainment was awesome and I would have spent a lot of money on tickets for these shows on land and still been happy. NCL has certainly mastered moving large groups of people without herding them about. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We originally choose Norwegian because it was less expensive. The cruise was fantastic. It was like a floating luxury hotel. The food was fabulous and available almost 24/7. We ate in the Garden Cafe most of the time. The service was ... Read More
We originally choose Norwegian because it was less expensive. The cruise was fantastic. It was like a floating luxury hotel. The food was fabulous and available almost 24/7. We ate in the Garden Cafe most of the time. The service was superb and the selection was amazing. We enjoyed the great shows in the Stardust Theater and other games,etc. throughout the ship. There were gymnasts that could outperform any other gymnast. The comedians were fun. The musicians were excellent. You could stay busy or just relax or a combination that suits your style. The scenery was superb. The staff on the ship were very friendly and always willing to assist. We have absolutely no complaints about our cruise with Norwegian. Prior to the cruise my husband was hesitant about a cruise as he thought he would not find activities he enjoyed. Now he is already talking about taking another cruise. Our adult children, their spouses and our 2 grandchildren were also on the cruise. Splash Academy was enjoyed by the grandchildren and gave the adults time to enjoy activities that would not be interesting for children. Splash Academy put on a show the last day with the children as the performers. This showed how well they worked with the children. All the children were prepared for their parts and were special to watch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Friends recommended Norwegian and the Jewel cruises to Alaska from VanCouver. This was our first cruise in over 35 years my have things improved! We were in a penthouse suite 9000 in the very front of the ship. Very quite area of ... Read More
Friends recommended Norwegian and the Jewel cruises to Alaska from VanCouver. This was our first cruise in over 35 years my have things improved! We were in a penthouse suite 9000 in the very front of the ship. Very quite area of the ship with a huge deck area spacious suite with exceptional perks. We received the “Royal Treatment “. I cannot brag enough on the staff and how well were taken care of. I have zero complaints and only high praise for all the hard work that went into making our trip great. The entertainment went beyond our expectations! The restaurants were exceptional. We went on a 7 day cruise starting in Van Couver with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway then disembarked in Seward. Norwegian has all the small details taken care of and are very very good at it. We were fortunate that EVERYTHING went like clockwork. Thanks Norwegian, loved it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband surprised me with the gift of an Alaskan Cruise for my birthday and since I've never been on a cruise before I have nothing to compare it to but I will say that it was absolutely AMAZING. The staff were so nice and ... Read More
My husband surprised me with the gift of an Alaskan Cruise for my birthday and since I've never been on a cruise before I have nothing to compare it to but I will say that it was absolutely AMAZING. The staff were so nice and friendly and the accommodations were simply perfect. We did the whale watch excursion in Juneau and the White Pass and Yukon Trail train excursion in Skagway - both were must do's. Our plan offered 3 nights of fine dining and fine they were. There is also unlimited food through out the ship at almost all times which wasn't necessary for us but plenty of people needed a midnight snack. The bartenders in the Spinanaker Lounge were our favorite but really all of the bartenders were so nice and always willing to give us tips on port must see's and entertainment ideas. I would say that my husband knocked it out of the park, I don't know if any other cruise can compare to this one. Loved it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Even Better Than 1st Alaskan Cruise. Great cruise. We had visited all but 1 ports before. Icy Strait Point, Hoonah and whale watching was fantastic. Cruising Hubbard and Sawyer glaciers was even better than Glacier Bay in my opinion. ... Read More
Even Better Than 1st Alaskan Cruise. Great cruise. We had visited all but 1 ports before. Icy Strait Point, Hoonah and whale watching was fantastic. Cruising Hubbard and Sawyer glaciers was even better than Glacier Bay in my opinion. Although we had been to Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan we found plenty to do in these towns also. Production cast shows and Cirque BiJou (ms) were great as well. Comedians were funny although the mentalists' new show was better in our opinion. Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and O'Sheehan's were great as usual. We had no complaints of dining room or buffet, plenty of variety and good. Very clean ship and happy crew! Lots of places to view the beautiful scenery. We love the design of the Jewel class ships and The Great Outdoors and Spinnaker lounge. Since we were in an inside room, we spent many hours at these places. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Always wanted to experience a nice Cruise. That is why I picked Alaska with Norwegian. We as family really really enjoyed the maiden cruise. Food was excellent, Entertainment was great. Service was wonderful and cruse staff were so ... Read More
Always wanted to experience a nice Cruise. That is why I picked Alaska with Norwegian. We as family really really enjoyed the maiden cruise. Food was excellent, Entertainment was great. Service was wonderful and cruse staff were so hospitable and courteous. I liked the diversity in crise staff who were genuine. It was a wonderful experience overall. Some suggestions for consideration: 1. Could provide NAAN/CHAPPATHI/THIN ROTI in the Indian vegetarian diet. 2. Non smoking casino 3. Pool Table 4 More Cards packs and a bigger Cards Room 5. More Sugar Free Options especially in Desert Despite minor obervations, the Cruise was a dream vacation and we all thoroughly enjoyed the 7 days of experience and looking forward to our next vacation with Norwegian. May be we will do an European Tour or an Australia/Newzealand tour with family next year. Looking forward for more special offers and deals for the same from Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
NCL knows how to treat their customers. The entire staff was wonderful and tried to please us in every way. The entertainment was outstanding! The food was the best. So many selections that I liked in the dining room, even though I am ... Read More
NCL knows how to treat their customers. The entire staff was wonderful and tried to please us in every way. The entertainment was outstanding! The food was the best. So many selections that I liked in the dining room, even though I am a very picky eater. I loved O'Sheehan's Bar and Gill with the best menu and a booth to look out of the ship. The ports were fantastic, free shuttle bus to Juneau which was very nice. I have cruised on over 50 other cruises, and this was the first time that boarding was so fast and getting off the ship was very organized and not very long at all. I was impressed!!!! The Cruise Director did a great job. The not so Newlywed Game Show was outstanding, The comedians were so funny! I would go on this cruise again. Alaska is beautiful and NCL knows how to treat their customers. I am a very happy customer!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Let me begin by saying that this will be a rather long review. It is, because it encompasses 11 days, almost all filled with something worthwhile. So, let me start by saying the the NCL Alyeska Land and Inside Passage was above and ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that this will be a rather long review. It is, because it encompasses 11 days, almost all filled with something worthwhile. So, let me start by saying the the NCL Alyeska Land and Inside Passage was above and beyond anything we could have imagined. From the moment that we arrived in Anchorage, it was truly great! One more point, some writers may be, I am not, able to express the history, sights and sounds in prose, but nothing compares to being there, seeing, and feeling it. Upon our arrival at the Anchorage Airport, we were met by a number of NCL representatives, all making sure we got our luggage, and then ushering us on to waiting transportation to our downtown Hilton Hotel. We registered and met Jesse, our guide to be for the next 3 1/2 days. We spoke with Jesse for about 20 minutes where he gave us meeting times and a quick synopsis of our land tour. We were off to to stroll the streets of Anchorage and enjoy a restaurant of our choosing. The next morning we met Jesse, with everyone being on time, and we were off on what was to be our great adventure. DENALI -- a bus ride out of Anchorage through the countryside and on up to Talkeetna where we were to catch our train up to Denali. Jesse was terrific while we were on the bus. He proffered the history of the area and pointed out the most beautiful and interesting sites. Off the bus and onto our 4-hour train ride from Talkeetna to Denali on the NCL 'private' car. It was the shortest 4-hours ride ever. While on the train, we were kept informed by guides who were steeped in the history and beauty of the area. I can tell you that I took at least 150 pictures. A side note - the train has a dining car - the prices are very reasonable and the food was very good. After a great ride, we arrived in Denali National Park and we were escorted to our accommodations. The accommodations were what you might expect in the wilderness - 'cabin in the woods' - well not exactly in the woods - they were lean but comfortable. The next day our trip through Denali (the Park itself is larger then the State of Vermont) began at about 1PM and took us 56 miles into the Park. The sites and sounds were fantastic, so much more than we thought it would be. We could tell you all about it but that wouldn't be fair; it would be depriving you of your own eye opening experience. Thank you to Dan, our driver and guide. We returned to our cabins at around 9:30, washed up and got a bite to eat. After eating and walking around, we realized that it was past 11 PM and it was as light as 7 PM on a mid-summers evening at home - sunrise was to be in 4 i/2 hours. Up and at'em at 6 AM for our ride to the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The trip was over 9 hours with a number of great stops along the way. The highlight, by far, was at Martin Buser's (4-time winner of the Iditarod) ranch where he trains and raises his mushers. It was phenomenal! We watched Martin on a short training run - we interacted with the dogs and had an opportunity to hold 6 to 8 week old pups. No one in our group left without big smiles and great memories. From there, more interesting sights and history, again ,all the while, commentary provided by Jesse. When there was a lull in either vistas or noteworthy history or both, Jesse was there to provide us with a couple of 20 minute videos. We arrived at the Alyeska Resort, a beautiful Hotel nestled in mountains on all sides. Within 5 minutes of our arrival, Jesse was handing out our room keys. In another few minutes our luggage was off the bus and we could either retrieve it ourselves or have it delivered to our room. We washed up and took the Gondola up the 2300 foot mountain to the Seven Glaciers Restaurant. (Ed. If you want to eat at the Seven Glaciers, your best bet is to make your reservation as soon as you book your land/cruise). The next day, on to Seward and the NCL Jewel. But first a stop at a wild life preserve where you really got up close, if not personal, with the wildlife. Just another great highlight of the tour. At right around 3PM we arrived in Seward and said our reluctant goodbyes to Jesse. He was great, professional, informed and affable. Did I say that he helped make this portion of our tour? Thanks Jesse!!! On to the ship - let our next portion of our adventure begin. Short and Sweet, we were on the ship and in our rooms within 20 minutes of exiting the bus - not bad, not bad at all. Let me say upfront, our Steward Miguel, Concierge John, and Butler Sayit were excellent in every way. They intuitively knew when you wanted them or needed something or when to be invisible. We couldn't have asked for better - Thanks Gentlemen. As to eating, we had 6 speciality restaurants penciled in; 2 in La Cucina, 2 in Le Bistro, and 2 in Cagney's and one in either Chinese/Sushi (Chin Chin) or O'Sheehen's depending on our mood. We opted for Chin Chin which was a small disappointment. However, La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cagney's exceeded expectations. Simply, the food is very good with enough choices in each to satisfy varying palettes. With our gastronomic considerations out of the way, let us concentrate on our trip from Seward to Vancouver. FIRST STOP - CRUISING HUBBARD GLACIER HUBBARD GLACIER - We spent a little over an hour cruising and getting close to the Glacier and truly neither words nor pictures do this wonder justice. "We got as close as we have ever gotten to the Glacier", was one person's observation. We happened to arrive later in the day and we were able to see a fair amount of calving (ice breaking off the Glacier), though we were told that there is a like amount of calving in the morning as well. It was worth the price of admission, by itself. Another life experience, in our estimation. ICY POINT STRAIT - We opted for a Jeep caravan, as it turned out 7 in all, with the lead Jeep providing commentary (over the radio) by the guide. Each Jeep had one driver and three passengers. We made a number of stops to take in the views and change drivers if you wanted. Commentry: Some good views and some good off-road driving fun. Somewhat disappointing. JUNEAU - In the morning off to Whale watching. A short ride to our boat and off we go. Be aware that these boats, for ecological reasons cannot get within, I believe, 100 yards of these mammals. However, and it is a big however, you cannot stop the whales from swimming much closer to your boat - so very often you do get closeup views of these monsters of the sea. We also saw Bald Eagles, Seals and Sea Lions. All in all, a very worthwhile excursion. SKAGWAY - A short bus ride around Skagway and on to our search for gold. We learned a little history and the process of how to pan for gold - we of course would find a few flakes which we placed in a vial and had the 'town' accessor's office weigh it and give us the value based on the spot price of gold. Next, actually next door, another ranch where we had the opportunity to again interact with the mushers and it was great. Had we not had the experience with Martin Buser's ranch, we might have really appreciated the opportunity to see and hold these dogs. Next a train trip, in a restored parlor car, through some of the most rugged landscape we have ever seen. Climbing about 2400 feet in 14 miles, the tracks were cut into the the mountain, one side hugging the mountain and the other looking down sheer cliffs. There were trestles spanning gorges allowing for spectacular views, all this among the snow-covered peaks around every turn. Up to the US - Canadian border where we turned around. Actually we flipped our seats and down we went. The views were as good on the way down as they were on the way up. Comment - We would have liked some time to walk through Skagway. From what little we did see, we would have been interested in exploring. The time we spent panning for gold might have been better spent walking around - in our opinion. KETCHIKAN - We did not choose a tour, just walked around did some shopping. Embarkation in Vancouver was as smooth as silk - on to the airport. Sorry it was over. We have been on over a dozen cruises, some with land packages but nothing compared to this. THANK YOU NCL, Jesse, Miguel, John, Sayit and ALL those behind to scenes that made this adventure possible and incredibly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We spent 2 days before the cruise exploring Whistler and Vancouver and definitely recommend it. Embarkation went smoothly and quickly, it started out a little confusing because no one was instructing us where to go with our luggage when ... Read More
We spent 2 days before the cruise exploring Whistler and Vancouver and definitely recommend it. Embarkation went smoothly and quickly, it started out a little confusing because no one was instructing us where to go with our luggage when they made a change from the norm. But we made it on and so did our luggage. We had a beautiful mini suite that I would strongly recommend if going on an Alaskan cruise. I think it would have even been comfortable for 4 people. The dining was typical. It was our first experience with up charge dining but we tried it because it was 1 of our freebies. The only restaurant we thought was worth the extra was Le Bistro, strongly recommend. I was EXTREMELY disappointed that they no longer serve lobster on their cruises, it was always a highlight of our cruising. Only once did I see crab offered and it was an appetizer with claw meat. Seafood is disappointing. We were disappointed with the activities on board, most carried an up charge and didn't seem worth the additional cost. We were also disappointed in the value of the excursions we chose. Misty Fjord was expensive, we saw no wildlife and no waterfalls, we basically saw landscape that we could have seen from our balcony. I was disappointed in the whale watching, we were so far away you couldn't see much unless you zoomed in with your camera. At least I can say I saw whales. Alaska is a beautiful, unique cruise. I have many other places I would like to see before going again. Definitely should be on the bucket list. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were told to expect chilly weather and rain for our Alaskan cruise. We hit the perfect combination of warm weather and sunny skies every day, so it was very pleasurable. The Jewel was refurbished last year, so everything was nice and ... Read More
We were told to expect chilly weather and rain for our Alaskan cruise. We hit the perfect combination of warm weather and sunny skies every day, so it was very pleasurable. The Jewel was refurbished last year, so everything was nice and clean and the crew was friendly. The excursions were expensive compared to other cruise destinations, but that's to be expected in Alaska. We took the shipboard excursions in every port and were not disappointed in any of them. We especially liked the presentation by NPS Rangers who came aboard for our Glacier NP portion of the trip. It was free and they announced everything that we were seeing over the ship PA system, so you didn't miss anything, even if you were in your stateroom. There was the usual overload of activities on board, and as long as you weren't expecting go cart tracks, zip lines and climbing walls, there was always something going on. There were 3-4 musical groups playing at any given time, and they ranged from piano players to rock bands; some merely ok and some very good.The way they were spaced, you couldn't hear one group from any other area, even though the bars were fairly close to each other. The theater entertainment was lackluster for this cruise, probably because we've been on so many cruises that we've seen most of the shows, or something very similar. They were ok and what you would expect on NCL. Our embarkation and disembarkation on this ship were very quick and we never had any issues for any of the ports. We didn't even have to use our Platinum priority because there was never a line. The tours used different parts of the ship to meet up, so it wasn't like mega ships where a hundreds of folks gathered in the theater like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because we had traveled almost around the world, but never to Alaska and have heard a lot of positive things about it from friends. We decided take the inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seaward, ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we had traveled almost around the world, but never to Alaska and have heard a lot of positive things about it from friends. We decided take the inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seaward, and instead of flying back from there, we opted to sail back to Vancouver. So we did 2 cruises in one. This gave us the opportunity to take it easy and do some shore excursions as we headed north and others as we headed south. We are very happy having made that decision and that choice. Embarkation was very smooth. The ship was lovely, very well appointed, spacious and had everything one could ask for. The cabins (staterooms) were well equipped and always kept clean and attractive by the attentive staff. The service was excellent. We liked the Open Plan where we could choose where and when to eat. The Dining rooms were fabulous and choice of foods, great. We have already started thinking about our next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It’s a beautiful ship with amazing and beautiful hard working crew. There’s so much to do to keep one entertained: whether it’s just relaxing on a chair on a deck or; having a drink while being entertained with songs from the past ... Read More
It’s a beautiful ship with amazing and beautiful hard working crew. There’s so much to do to keep one entertained: whether it’s just relaxing on a chair on a deck or; having a drink while being entertained with songs from the past and current; all the different shows - some you can join like “deal or no deal” among others. The food! Sooo much to eat, you may have to buy a brand new set of clothes at the next debarkation town and the next, if you don’t stop eating. My husband totally loved meeting the local natives at Icy Strait Point and learning about their culture. Enjoyed visiting each town and talking to the locals. The shopping too, is always fun. So much to say, but overall, Amazing and Beautiful Ship and Crew. Have met so many people whom I’ll always remember and hope to see again. Muah Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My husband and I, an elderly couple, took the Norwegian Jewel Alaska cruise August 13-20, departing from Seward and arriving in Vancouver, B.C. ; this was our fourth cruise with Norwegian and first on the Jewel. We cruise with NCL ... Read More
My husband and I, an elderly couple, took the Norwegian Jewel Alaska cruise August 13-20, departing from Seward and arriving in Vancouver, B.C. ; this was our fourth cruise with Norwegian and first on the Jewel. We cruise with NCL primarily because of “Freestyle Dining.” Many years ago I accompanied my mother on various Princess cruises and enjoyed dressing formally for dinner, but set dinner times, company-selected table companions and dressing up hold no appeal for us, so Norwegian suits us perfectly. We began our cruising career with an obstructed-view outside cabin and have worked our way up to a balcony; having read the cabin would be supplied with a coffee-maker, we brought our own brew. Sitting on our balcony, drinking Peet’s French roast with the gorgeous Alaskan landscape slipping by - pure bliss! For those who spend little time in their cabins, a balcony may be a poor choice, but now we wouldn’t cruise any other way; my husband is an avid photographer and appreciated being able to use a tripod without being surrounded by hordes of people jostling for a view of the glaciers. Our experience on the Norwegian Star (Dubai to Venice, March 2017) was in some respects superior though I don’t know if this is due to differences between the ships or to some fleet-wide degradation. I’m referring to O’Sheehan’s, which was wonderful on the Star, much less so on the Jewel. Aboard the Star we took all our breakfasts and lunches at O’Sheehan’s and were looking forward to the same on the Alaska cruise. Our first breakfast aboard we headed to the restaurant and were disappointed to find that instead of an à la carte meal, the venue offered only an “express breakfast,” which included some gross scrambled eggs (made from a mix?) and watered-down orange juice. Since it was a cruising day, I don’t know why anyone would feel the need for an “express” meal. Aboard the Star the Reuben sandwiches and chipotle chicken sandwiches were perfection; aboard the Jewel, a Reuben isn’t offered and the chicken sandwiches and Caesar salad were mediocre. We didn’t go back. With the exception of three specialty dinners, we took most our meals in the Tsar’s Palace; the food was excellent as was the service. We never had to wait more than five minutes for a table and were usually seated immediately. Our package included unlimited alcoholic beverages. I don’t drink, but my husband enjoys a glass of wine at dinner and was pleased with the selection. We had one dinner at Chin Chin, the Asian restaurant, which was average as was its counterpart on the Star. We ate at La Cucina (good), Teppanyaki (fun experience and very good) and Cagney’s (outstanding and the best filet mignon we’ve ever eaten). The Garden Cafe was a zoo and noisy to boot. Because the weather was cool, most people didn’t want to eat outside, which would have distributed the diners better; the one lunchtime we went up there, on a cruising day, passengers were eating their meals standing up for lack of seating. No thanks. I read recently that Cruise Critic rated Norwegian’s internet service as one of the best in the industry; whoever wrote this obviously hasn’t cruised on the Jewel. Our package included 250 minutes of internet service as it did on the Star. Our Latitudes level also included an additional 30 minutes; aboard the Star we went to the internet cafe where the attendant added the extra 30 to our account. When we tried to do this on the Jewel, we were informed that this offer was only valid if the passenger had purchased the initial 250 minutes. I checked on NCL’s website; this is correct, and the young woman who attended us (who was very polite) was right, but this policy seems just plain cheap. In any event, the internet connection was terrible and many of our minutes were eaten up waiting for a page to load. Despite a $50 credit toward a cruise-sponsored tour that our package included, we decided to make independent arrangements. On the internet I reserved a float plane flight in Ketchikan for my husband with Southeast Aviation, a company recommended by Lonely Planet. Miraculously, the weather was perfect and the flight exceeded his expectations. The Norwegian iConcierge app is a joke; at least aboard the Star it was possible to make tour reservations, an option unavailable on the Jewel. Since the dining hours can change slightly from day to day, it would be helpful to post them on the app. Menus for the day? Nope. On returning home we received an email from NCL asking us to evaluate the cruise. One question asked if we were familiar with Cruise Critic and, if so, were we planning to write a review. I replied yes to both, hoping this indicates the company reads the reviews and is interested in their passengers’ opinions. Although my negative comments may give the impression that we didn’t enjoy the cruise, I would like to stress that the negatives were minor compared with our overwhelmingly positive experience - the food, the itinerary, the staff, the state of the ship, our cabin. Within days of our return I reserved another NCL cruise for January of next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had heard good things about the Alaska cruise and we liked the casual feel of this ship. It was our first cruise and had no idea what to expect. We loved it. Our cabin was bigger than expected and loved having the balcony. The ... Read More
We had heard good things about the Alaska cruise and we liked the casual feel of this ship. It was our first cruise and had no idea what to expect. We loved it. Our cabin was bigger than expected and loved having the balcony. The atmosphere, food, and drinks were great. We enjoyed the nightly shows. Our favorite bar was the Irish bar. We had to walk through that bar to get to our room and the bartender went out of his way to greet us and say goodnight to us each day. Everyone on the ship was very helpful and worked hard to make sure we felt welcomed and had our needs met. Our Steward called us by name and checked often to make sure we had everything we needed in our cabin. We were happy with the port procedures. It was pretty easy to get on and off the ship. Our off shore excursions were excellent. We really enjoyed the entire experience and plan on booking another cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose the Jewel based on the dates. It is extremely hot where we live and we wanted the change to cooler weather! We were NOT disappointed! The weather was cool almost cold but delightful! It rained/misted for much of the trip, but even ... Read More
We chose the Jewel based on the dates. It is extremely hot where we live and we wanted the change to cooler weather! We were NOT disappointed! The weather was cool almost cold but delightful! It rained/misted for much of the trip, but even that was pleasant! However, during the excursions, Alaska showed her best by NOT pouring rain on us! The excursions were well organized and executed to be the best experience for each guest! Plus, there was a wide variety available catered to the abilities each guest was able to tolerate. The food was available to each guest was outstanding, and the specialty dining options we tried (Moderno, Teppanyaki, and Le Bistro) were exceptionally excellent, and the service in each was top notch! The cabin stewards were the best ever! They knew our names after being introduced the first day and called us by name each time we saw them afterwards. Even in the hallways, they recognized us and greeted us by name! The Butler was great! Never had one before, so we weren’t quite sure what to do with him! But he proved to be an asset in many ways, showing us better methods to plan our days, bringing breakfast to our room before excursions, helping with acquiring items we needed in our suite! Overall, the entire staff of the cruise treated us and all the guests we observed with respect and courtesy! The entertainment planned as diverse and quite enjoyable, as well as an awesome experience! I highly recommend both this ship and this cruise line to all who wish to be treated like royalty! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The Norwegian Jewel is the ship to take to Alaska. We were treated like royalty 24/7. All the food was delicious and the presentation of it was so perfect. The waiters and waitresses were very personable and made our dining experience ... Read More
The Norwegian Jewel is the ship to take to Alaska. We were treated like royalty 24/7. All the food was delicious and the presentation of it was so perfect. The waiters and waitresses were very personable and made our dining experience very enjoyable. Entertainment of all kinds was great. The musical group Fire and Ice were superb and highly energetic. There were many requests which they performed. Other people danced the night away with their great rhythm. The shore excursions we chose in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway were superb. We saw a lumberjack show, Totem Bight State Park, scenic railroad in Skagway, and Mendenhall Glacier and Mt. Roberts Tram in Juneau. We are not active individuals so this was the perfect type of activity we needed to see as much of Alaska as possible. We enjoyed every minute of our 7 day cruise and we are sure you will too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I never thought I would say it but I've just been on a cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it. My perception had always been that cruising was all about formal dining, cocktail parties, fancy dresses and diner jackets - not my scene at all. ... Read More
I never thought I would say it but I've just been on a cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it. My perception had always been that cruising was all about formal dining, cocktail parties, fancy dresses and diner jackets - not my scene at all. I'm pleased to report that on this, our first cruise with Norwegian, we found something of the highest quality but altogether more relaxed. We would definitely cruise with them again. We started with a couple of days in Anchorage and were blessed with some wonderful weather which enabled us to explore the downtown area where there is plenty to see and do. Must see attractions included the Anchorage Museum (at the Rasmuson Centre) and the outdoor market on West 3rd Avenue (opposite the Hilton and weekends only) - not often you get the choice of salmon taco or reindeer burrito! From Captain Cook's monument there were some great views across Cook Inlet towards Mt. McKinley. Top tip: breakfast in the hotels is expensive so head out to one of the many diners in town. The transfer to Seward cruise port is a minimum of 3 hours by coach or train. We chose a full day excursion with an informative and entertaining commentary by Alaska Cruise Transfers. Route included some stunning scenery and included lengthy stops at a wildlife refuge (black and brown bears, musk ox, caribou, bison, moose, wolves etc) and at Exit Glacier (where we saw bears and eagles in the wild) - highly recommended. There was a small queue at embarkation for initial check-in but thereafter getting on and off the ship in ports was extremely slick and straightforward (never took more than a couple of minutes). Our bags were delivered direct to our room and arrived within the allotted time. Key things about the cruise itself: - Level of cleanliness and service throughout was first class - Balcony cabin was spacious, in good condition and cleaned daily - amazingly quiet and very effective aircon - Multiple dining options - no queuing or standing on ceremony - just turn up and eat - Main buffet restaurant was busy but the other restaurants included in the basic package were great - friendly waiter service at the contemporary Azura, chinese Chin Chin, traditional Tsars Palace and the Irish Pub - food was all top end restaurant standard - Several speciality restaurants for additional cost - we tried the Moderna Brazilian which was excellent and kept us entertained all evening - Decor a little dated but all in good condition - understand a refit planned this October - As ever drinks can be pricey - we had an inclusive package 'free' as part of the deal - would have been $89/day if bought on board - tea, coffee and bottled water also expensive but can be found for free most of the day in the Garden Cafe - The shows in the main theatre were surprisingly high quality and up with what we would find in nearby Manchester (UK) - band, singers, and acrobats all very impressive - different show each night - Otherwise we spotted nearly 50 activities on board each day; games shows, spa, shops, casino, club for teenagers, dance, art auctions etc etc - There is a pretty relentless (but never overly pushy) drive to get you to spend once on board with various promotions for art, jewellery, excursions, raffles, future cruises etc - would be easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment - Can't comment on facilities for kids as we didn't have any with us BUT the real star was the scenery. Snow capped mountains, glaciers running into the sea, narrow straits, endless forests, 4 ports en route all with something to offer. Trips were of a good standard but seemed expensive to me - at most ports it was possible to head out on a self-guided tour. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The cruise was much more than expected. My cabin had more storage than what I had on other cruise lines. The nightly entertainment in the theater was just that - entertaining. And the bartenders at the Shakers Martini Bar were the ... Read More
The cruise was much more than expected. My cabin had more storage than what I had on other cruise lines. The nightly entertainment in the theater was just that - entertaining. And the bartenders at the Shakers Martini Bar were the absolute BEST! I would go on a cruise just to spend more time with them. So entertaining and interesting! These bartenders actually made the cruise. So many fond memories of our time in the evenings learning about them and their personal lives! The guitar player/singer in the lounge was great, but the piano player/singer was a snooze fest. Dining was adequate. O'Sheehans was good for breakfast, although service was very slow the times we ate there. Buffet was ok Loved Teppanyaki and Cagneys. Moderno was good - except for the coffee - it tasted like bad instant. Didn't care for the Azura dining room but it could be because we were seated waaaaaayyyy in the back of the restaurant. This was our first meal on the ship and we weren't impressed. The Tsar dining room was much better. The Wilderness Family Adventure (?) was definitely a bummer - but all the other shore excursions were excellent. Loved the crab feast! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was the very first Vancouver to Seward sailing by the Jewel so we didn't have much history to base it on as far as timings and activities but we had a lot of fun. The full trip report with pictures and additional details can be ... Read More
This was the very first Vancouver to Seward sailing by the Jewel so we didn't have much history to base it on as far as timings and activities but we had a lot of fun. The full trip report with pictures and additional details can be found at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2647072 Itinerary and cabin. Our cruise was for our 30th wedding anniversary and was 2 couples, myself and my wife (60+) and her sister and husband (50+). It was our 3rd Alaska cruise and their 1st. We booked over a year in advance. We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary. When originally booked, it was on the NCL Sun which wouldn’t have been our choice had it not been this route. It was later changed to the NCL Jewel which was a much better option. The main considerations were a northbound tour that did Glacier Bay and preferably Hubbard Glacier. Most cruise lines do Hubbard only on Southbound cruises. We preferred northbound because the scenery gets more spectacular as it goes. That is, starting with capped hills, leading to snow capped mountains, glaciers, and ultimately Denali instead of the other way around. We also chose portside balcony rooms mid ship. While conventional wisdom says the starboard is better for northbound, from my experience, Glacier Bay is better enjoyed from a port cabin. We were in 10604 and 10606, adjoining cabins that we had opened so we could occasionally communicate without going out in the hall or over the balcony. We were happy with the rooms, they were convenient to the elevators and all activities. We did some noise from the kid’s club and arcade but typically only during the day. Because of the weather we hit during the cruise, some of the outside kid activities were forced inside so the rooms under it on the 11th deck were likely quite noisy at times so cabins to avoid just in case. The good Great itinerary. I think it is one of the best options available with long port times, Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, in a northbound cruise. Ship officers. Credit goes to Steven Jacobsen, the hotel director, but this was one of the best crews I have sailed with. We had an issue that our specialty restaurants did not transfer to the ship properly and once they were aware of it, it was handled. The amazing thing was the restaurant manager, Maria Theresa Mangat, tracked us down in the Tsar Palace to try to work out a time for our teppanyaki dinner. Entertainment – overall was pretty good, a few exceptions, but NCL does a good job of providing a variety of options The not as good Bingo / Deal or No Deal – the cost outweighs the potential winnings Smoking in the casino – I know its tradition, but not desirable for the average person these days. Photos – always expensive on cruise ships, but we typically buy a few. The pictures that they printed out had some filter process applied that made your teeth very white and also highlighted other white areas and for us looked very unnatural. We got a number of different answers about hem but eventually talked to someone that said if we committed to buying them, they can reprint without it. I talked with a few others and they didn’t have as obviously bad photos as our original so it may depend on the photo itself but don’t accept them if you don’t like it. Internet – the service was good and generally reliable but they charge by minute which is not ideal. It would be better to switch to charges by megabytes since a lot of what we used it for messaging which is very low usage. We had the 250 minutes package and they wanted $200 to upgrade to full cruise which was a bit pricey. We ended up with about 10 minutes left logging in and out a few times a day since we didn’t need it in port. The General Cabin Steward – every cabin steward has their own style. On this cruise, ours was very low key. We didn’t actually see her much at the start but finally we did see her more regularly. We found that she relied on us setting the dial outside our room to make up or turn down the room which we didn’t originally do. The bests… Best investment: A rain jacket. We needed it almost every day. We chose ones that were just jackets, no lining, and went over whatever we were wearing. Best advice: Layers. For us, it was crucial, we had weather all over the place so being able to strip a layer as needed was essential. Best deal: The laundry bag on Day 4. Amazing how much you can get into the bag. We calculated about $200 worth of washing compare to the $19.99 it cost Most fun: Elevator roulette with the cruise staff. Although it did annoy the people on the elevators I think. Best planning: Book independent when you can. Not only is it cheaper, but smaller groups make it so much more enjoyable. Our actvities Vancouver: Capilano Bridge Ketchikan: Kayaking with Southeast Exposure Juneau: Whale watching with Harv and Marv Skagway: Avis Rental car and stop at Tagish Lake Kennels Seward: Hertz rental car to Denali on our own, Nenana Raft Adventures, Denali ATV and the Shuttle Bus to Eielson for views of Denali Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because it has been our dream to visit Alaska for some time. The departure city of Vancouver BC was an additional reason that locked in this wonderful vacation of our lifetime. We reserved over a year ahead of cruise. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it has been our dream to visit Alaska for some time. The departure city of Vancouver BC was an additional reason that locked in this wonderful vacation of our lifetime. We reserved over a year ahead of cruise. We flew into Vancouver two days early and explored Victoria and (Buchart Gardens) day 1 and Vancouver day 2. The trip to the Buchart Gardens and Victoria was wonderful. They are both beautiful to experience and we enjoyed them very much. The exploration of Vancouver parks and different sections of town was great and we ended in Gastown section where spent extra time touring and eating across street from the steam clock at Water Street Cafe. The embarkation process went smoothly at Canada Place. We found the Jewell very clean and everyone on the crew extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Our stateroom was clean and comfortable and kept that way by our very good steward. We primarily used the Garden Room buffet for breakfast. Food was very good with a good variety. We experienced a delay in finding seats a couple of days but otherwise it was very good. We ate two meals on most days having dinner at Tsars and Azura most of those evenings. Very good food selection and wait service. Very attentive to our requests, expedient and friendly. They were always seemed happy to be serving us. Every show we went to had very professional entertainment. Whether the evening variety show or lounge shows we enjoyed them especially Fire and Ice duo Michael Jackson presentation was exceptional. We didn't partake of many other activities as cool and damp weather made using the pool hard for us. We liked Deal and no deal. We did't travel with children but the Jewell had many activities and programs especially for them along with a presentation out on by kids late in the cruise. We experienced shore excursions in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. We went kayaking at a secluded lake with salmon cookouts. Visited Mendenhall Glacier a Salmon hatchery and unique Glacial Gardens tour and went on a Yukon motor coach tour. We enjoyed all of our excursions. Only regret is not scheduling a whale excursion. We did see some whales on board ship but at a distance. We saw many other animals including bald eagles, moose, caribou and bears on the trip. Disembarkation was very smooth and organized on a very rainy day. We exited to our motor coach for the land portion of trip to Anchorage and Denali. Our exceptional tour guide Paul Long was excellent and kept everything going smoothly enough that we were able to make a couple extra stops at Exit Glacier and Alaska Veterans War Memorial on the trip. Can't say enough about how great Tall Paul was on this trip. Very accountable for everyone's experience and took care of everyone individual needs. He is a special person. We experienced a delay on out Alaskan railroad ride from Denali to Talkeetna and Paul made sure that the railroad handled it promptly and with class. We will do this 11 day Denali Cruise trip again. We do recommend it to everyone. We had an amazing time. Everyday we had something new and special to look forward to and experience. Very exciting 11 days for us! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I traveled on the Jewel with my husband, aunt, and uncle. We all loved the boat. We had fantastic customer service everywhere we went. The dining was an experience in all dining areas. We enjoyed trying them all. The shows were ... Read More
I traveled on the Jewel with my husband, aunt, and uncle. We all loved the boat. We had fantastic customer service everywhere we went. The dining was an experience in all dining areas. We enjoyed trying them all. The shows were entertaining. We went to a few trivia and Q&A. We had great bar service from waiters. The boat was beautiful, loved the decor through out. Our cabin was small, we enjoyed having the balcony view. The terminal in Vancouver is very crazy. There were multiple ships in port. Cruisers for all cruise lines go through same security and customs. It's not till check in for your cruise line that you are filtered away from the others. It's very crowded, took about an hour. Even though this happens weekly, it seemed like the first day. We were expecting the worst at the cruise terminal after we disembarked. It was very smooth at the terminal, there was 2 ships in port. I would travel the Jewel again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was my first cruise ever so the whole experience I had was new and wonderful. First and foremost, the staff (whether from dining, bar tending, activity directors, cabin stewards etc.) were friendly, helpful and always smiling...and ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever so the whole experience I had was new and wonderful. First and foremost, the staff (whether from dining, bar tending, activity directors, cabin stewards etc.) were friendly, helpful and always smiling...and washing your hands, "washy washy"! They were a real pleasure to be around. I loved the activities (trivia, game shows, line dancing, origami) and participated in a fair number of them. There was so much choice in food I always found something I liked (and I'm a picky eater). The offshore excursions were amazing and hey, it's Alaska, the scenery itself was breathtaking. I took in whale watching in Juno, a train along the Chilkoot trail in Skagway, and a rain forest hike in Ketchikan. There were lots of choices. I thought seven days was the perfect amount of time for this cruise and we had great weather in June. I would definitely cruise again and I would definitely try another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The cruise was great. I was very pleased with the staff and the ship. A couple meals were questionable but wait staff got me out replacements in a matter of seconds. The ship looked great so I do not understand why people complain about ... Read More
The cruise was great. I was very pleased with the staff and the ship. A couple meals were questionable but wait staff got me out replacements in a matter of seconds. The ship looked great so I do not understand why people complain about the ship. Wife and I used the fitness facility which was one of the better ones that we've used on cruise ships. Overall, a great cruising experience. We paid for a cabin because everyone said you need to get a balcony for Alaska. I do not believe this to be true. I used my balcony maybe twice the whole trip. More often I would simply go to one of the many viewing areas on the ship. I never found them overcrowded in the least. Food was great. Loved the poolside barbque. The steaks and side dishes at the Steakhouse were fantastic. I loved the entertainment but the female comedian left something to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I picked this cruise because it seemed like a good cruise to go on with my best friends. Getting on and off the ship was excellent. I loved the layout of the ship, everything was in a great place. The cabin was small but that's our ... Read More
I picked this cruise because it seemed like a good cruise to go on with my best friends. Getting on and off the ship was excellent. I loved the layout of the ship, everything was in a great place. The cabin was small but that's our fault for booking an inside cabin for 4 girls. The buffet was the best, the food, the people working there, everything. Almost every day we would spend our day in the Spinnaker Lounge because that's were most of the activities we wanted to do were located. The staff and service were the best I have ever experienced, especially the Cruise Director Staff. The Cruise Director Staff made this cruise one of the best trips any of the 4 have been on, they were so friendly and amazing at their jobs. We only went on one shore excursion because that's all we could afford but it had the best time on it. I highly recommend this cruise, on this ship. 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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