5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Due to my husband’s work schedule we typically book our vacation around February or March, this one fit in with his schedule and we had vouchers from another cruise we were unable to take. I normally book everything myself, so when I ... Read More
Due to my husband’s work schedule we typically book our vacation around February or March, this one fit in with his schedule and we had vouchers from another cruise we were unable to take. I normally book everything myself, so when I contacted Norwegian Cruise Line to book, they were very helpful setting a vacation package for us. Once they have the booking then the money all help is gone. Asked about a pre-cruise hotel they didn’t have one and since they don’t have a hotel, no getting transfers from airport to hotel. We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Circular Quay and within walking distance to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Maybe 15 minutes with luggage. Left our bags at the bag drop off, headed inside terminal to complete the check in process. Then onto to the ship. The overall appearance of the ship is faded fabrics, clownish carpets, more faded carnival theme, then glamour.We were in cabin #11850, which is consider a mini- suite. For those of you that have been on Holland America, this is the same size as a balcony room. This room in particular, was not very good. While the bathroom looked very clean, it wasn’t until I walked barefoot on the floor after a shower did I notice the sticky floor, not if it’s the cleaner they use. Toilet has a separate closure glass though why have it if you can just see though it. The shower also is in the bathtub, which you have to step into but also have the same distance to drop down to, could be a problem for someone with limited mobility to overcome the large step up. The room in general was shabby, weird colored carpet, dim lighting throughout kept hoping that I wasn’t putting on my make up to rivival a clown’s make up. The mattress was two single beds put together to create one bed, one of the beds had a zip on mattress pad that had a broken zipper. It was uncomfortable at times if it shifted. Laundry service is available on the Jewel, not self serve, but by the piece, they may offer a bulk deal. Our was $19.95 for one bag of laundry. Though they charged $21.95, additional was tax, not stated on promo flyer. Norwegian had promos at the time we booked, the higher category cabins received more promo choices, one was $50 shore excursions credit for each person per cabin per port. We also received 250 minutes of free internet, though we had trouble with connecting. We also chose the Unlimited beverage package although there are limits to the package maximum of 15 drinks per day and they do not include anything in your cabin’s fridge, bottled water in your cabin nor any specialty coffee drinks at the Java Cafe. Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining has it pros and cons, while allowing you to eat at the time you want in theory, you are more likely to wait unless you eat at the buffet dining. We ate nearly all our dinner meals at the specialty dining which cost additional, either flat rate or al la carte. Eating in any of the dining rooms where they serve you you can expect to be there for at least 1 1/2 hours or more, service is slow, not sure if it is serving staff or the kitchen. Even if you booking when they first open, you may not be able to make it to the first show in the Stardust Theatre. The main theater shows are alright though not memorable. Other activities on board are also the usual cruise activities, golf challenges, basketball challenges and trivia challenges. Bingo and the casino was probably the most outrageous, as expected the odds are in favor of the casino, but poker tournaments had high antes, house took a 20%. Bingo started at $39 for a card of 3 per game and each session they played just 3 games not four. Again those who won received about $230. Big rip off. Ports on this itinerary were Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Hobart, Burnie, and Eden. Most of the excursions followed a theme of wine tastings, wildlife sanctuaries and drive by sightseeing bus tours. Time in port was very limited, you could either go on a shore excursion or explore on your own but typically not both. Even time allotted for shore excursions was short, 4 hour shore excursions were 1 hour drive time to first stop then 45 minutes to do the first stop then 15-30 minute ride to the next stop, 45 minutes at the second stop, followed by 1 hour ride back to the ship. Is this cruise worth going again? Maybe on another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
First time cruise; beguiled by the Norwegian in its title - it an US ship and shows it in its entertainment and dining (if it can be called that). We selected a penthouse cabin (10502) and it lived up to expectations with excellent ... Read More
First time cruise; beguiled by the Norwegian in its title - it an US ship and shows it in its entertainment and dining (if it can be called that). We selected a penthouse cabin (10502) and it lived up to expectations with excellent butler and steward services - well done Rodwin and Francis. A hint on the cabin - while there are 2 European power points these are hidden under the dressing table and behind the bow side bedside table. The rest are 110V US sockets. The problems started outside the cabin with a preponderance of loud mouth US citizens ready to drown out any table conversation and dishes tuned to their tastes - overly salty and overly sweet. The nadir was hit at Le Bistro - reserved for our last night at sea - with tepid bouillabaisse (sent back for reheating and came back with a hot plate and still tepid dish) and incredibly salty french onion soup and lamb cutlets. We have dined in many French restaurants, including in France, and have never been exposed to this salty cuisine. Worth dining at are La Cuchina and Moderna (if you are a carnivore). While wait staff are generally off-hand, we did run into a couple of waiters who knew how to engage and knew their dishes. Coffee was again tuned to insipid US tastes (Americanos) and I almost had a barista in tears because I suggested he go to a small coffee shop in Australia or NZ and ask the barista how to make a proper long black to meet the NZ and Australian tastes. There is a sense of masters and slaves on this ship - very uncomfortable. The crew were either overly fawning or stand offish. Like two worlds living side by side and not quite engaging. Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had chosen this cruise primarily because it coincided with the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, which was one of the stops. Until it wasn’t any longer, which caused us to alter our plans and change our flights so we ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise primarily because it coincided with the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, which was one of the stops. Until it wasn’t any longer, which caused us to alter our plans and change our flights so we could get to Melbourne for a day. Geelong was a lovely port and we had a great time walking along the shore. Overall the ports of call saved this trip. To say the food was terrible would be an understatement. I have the simplest palate on earth so standard cruise fare really has to be terrible for me to not like it. It was awful. With the exception of Cagney’s, which was average, and the Tepanyaki restaurant, which was pretty good, nothing was salvageable. I’ve also never seen such a challenge to put the correct food and drink in front of someone. That was the most consistent aspect of service on board. Speciality dining or no. Our cabin steward never came to introduce himself and it took two days for the beds to be set up the way we wanted them. Sometimes we got a floor mat in the bathroom, sometimes we didn’t. Every day was a Where’s Waldo of what was or wasn’t put in the cabin. Our travel companions didn’t get bath towels 3 times. They wound up hoarding the towel animals so they could shower. There also must have been some sort of pipe backup because throughout the entire cruise the hall in front of our travel companions cabins smelled like an unflushed toilet. The first port day the ship held a crew drill. Pretty standard. However, they held it shortly after the ship was released for shore excursions. The drill happens and all of the doors close. We were all in the lounge waiting for our tour number to be called. The shore excursion crew member, rather than walk us himself, held open the door to the lounge and said walk to the end of the hall and go down one deck. So we walked down this hall, no escort, through many closed doors, not know what was considered the end and if we should continue through the next set of closed doors. We finally got to “our” end and it turned out we had to walk down two decks. Another time I went to the desk to ask a question and the same guy was not shy about letting everyone know how displeased he was with the previous customer on line. At night when we wanted to sit in a lounge or go to a bar to get a drink, the crew, mostly entertainers, took up most of the seating and kept the bar staff engaged with them rather than with actual customers. There were several crew servers that did go above and beyond for us, and we made sure to let the proper folks know about them. This had been my first NCL cruise in 11 years. I’d hoped that maybe there would be an improvement. This will be my last. I don’t consider myself to be a snobby cruiser. I try to find worth in any ship I’m on. The ports. That’s the best I can do. Just go and enjoy the ports and suffer the ship if you must. But you can get those ports elsewhere. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
As a person who has done 15 previous cruises with celebrity, rci., princess and thompson cruise lines i consider myself more than experienced to give a good and honest account of any cruise i’ve been on so here is my opinion of my ncl. ... Read More
As a person who has done 15 previous cruises with celebrity, rci., princess and thompson cruise lines i consider myself more than experienced to give a good and honest account of any cruise i’ve been on so here is my opinion of my ncl. Cruise from sydney to new zealand via melbourne and tasmania. Embarcation in sydney. Congratulations to n.c.l. On what has to be the worst embarcation myself and most of all the other 2500 plus guests have ever had to endure. Embarcation was after 12.00 midday. We arrived at 12-20. Bag drop was smooth and done within 10 minutes. We then had to queue 20 minutes to get into the terminal. This then allowed us to join another 20 minute queue to be allowed in small groups to get on an esculator or lift to go up to the next level and at this point we’re told to discard any water or liquids pre security. On reaching the next level we then had to queue for an hour and 15 minutes to check in as there were only 30 desks for hundreds of people and the system kept gridlocking and at one point stopped completely for twenty minutes. We were the directed to yet another long queue to pass though australian border control only to then be directed to another queue to pass through x-ray and security before boarding ship. Finally after two and a half hours!!!!! At no point we’re we offered even a drink of water in what was a packed and very hot area and no appologies either !!! Not the best start. The cruise. We had paid for the ultimate drinks package and the drinks at first we’re fine with a good selection of as advertised. Bar service is however at best slow and at worst totally unacceptable compared to other companies as there’s hardly ever more than two people serving at any time which creates either long queues or arguments as to who’s next for service. Three days in and the major issues began to appear. No more bulmers cider left. Next day no reason brown ale. Next day no more peroni. Next day no more budweiser not a good thing on a ship filled with a lot of americans. We asked will we restock in new zealand? No sir that’s it for the cruise now! Any refunds no sir. Next day no mint left to make mojitos and no grapes left in the garden restaurant to have with wine and cheese and on and on it went. Food. Only average and although a good selection it was mostly the same selection every day. If your definition of fine dining is steak and chips with a sprig of broccoli in the main restaurants then this is for you. That says pretty much all you need to know. the chefs need to understand that putting far too much salt in all the food they produce is not the way forward. I’ve never tasted so much salty graveyard and sauces anywhere i’ve been. Yak! All specialised restaurants are very expensive and add an %18 gratuity to your bill and even ask for a tip on tip if your feeling genorous. Excursions. One example of the daylight robbery this ship operates it’s excursions on. To visit hot springs etc. In rotorua ship price $279 pier private tour operator 150 new zealand dollars. Hey go figure and do the maths. Every trip they offer is way more than double the local prices. Captain / cruise director. Congratulations on been voted the worst and least in formative of anyone i’ve ever sailed with. Never on time either early or late. No notice or announcement of departure just a honk of the horn and off we go. Gratuities. $14 per person per day. Compulsory unless you ask at the reception to pay them at your own discretion. The staff. Some are really hard working and give great service however i have to say in general it was the most miserable crew i’ve ever sailed with and some of them were just downright rude. Entertainment. Absolutely fantastic and the thestre shows and dance team were the best i’ve seen. The other entertainment in the bars and around the ship and on main deck area through the day was only average and in some cases abysmal to the point of bad karaoke level. All in all the ship is kept very clean and tidy although now a bit tired. Would i go on this ship again or recommend it? No. Best regards. Daved. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has ... Read More
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has differing tastes. An experience for a first time cruiser will generally be different to that of an experienced cruiser. I chose this cruise as I wanted to try NCL. The people on board this cruise consisted of only 230 Aussies (surprising for a cruise out of Australia), 430 Germans, UK, Canadians and USA, Asians. There were very few children on board. Embarkation: Terrible, probably the worst I’ve experienced. We were queued and standing for several hours. I really felt for the elderly passengers. The hold-up/bottleneck appeared to be in the Customs area (there were only 4 officials processing when I went through). Cabin The Good: good size bathroom and shower. The shower had a sliding door not a curtain; however you needed to sit sideways on the toilet. They have little swimming fish printed on the carpet in the hallways showing the direction to the bow. My room was located above the theatre but I wasn’t interrupted by noise. The Bad: very small, poorly designed room, very tight to get round the bed and I kept hitting my head on the bunk bed (which was raised) and the light fittings in the bed head. No room steward name in the room and when I introduced myself on the second day of the cruise she never gave me her name and never greeted me by name, also general poor attention to detail in room. Very few TV channels other than cruise line advertising. There were too many loud entertainment announcements outside the cabin and in public areas (disruptive), cabin walls are very thin and you can easily hear neighbours, mattresses need replacing - they’re old and lumpy. Entertainment The Good: Entertainment was better than average, Burn the floor was excellent, as was Cirque Bijou, the physical comedian and the acrobats were great. Good Australian cruise director: David Food The Good: good variety in main dining room menu and service in the main dining rooms was excellent. Flexible dining and dress options are good however as I was traveling solo if I wished to share a table for dinner it was usually a table for 4 so I ended up sitting next to a couple, good glassware in main restaurants The Bad: average, lukewarm food - the food in the main dining room had been prepared well in advance and tasted like it had been sitting around for quite a while (often lukewarm and stale bread with dinner). The Garden Cafe is like a cafeteria and the quality of the food is poor with cheap artificially flavoured ingredients. In the outdoor areas, drinks are served in disposable plastic cups. They ran out of many items; my wine on day 2, fresh fruit was limited (they ran out of water melon on arrival to New Zealand) they have a mojito bar and ran out of mint! they ran out of fresh milk and had milk in little UHT containers. I actually lost weight on this Cruise General The Good: great wide decks, good lifts and onboard communication screens. Port arrivals and disembarkation were well organised. Most of the staff were friendly and offered good service The Bad: very dated décor, low ceilings and very dark throughout the ship especially in the restaurants. General cleaning and removal of rubbish around the vessel was not up to standard. Empty cigarette packs and dirty glasses were noticed in some areas for 3 days before they were cleaned away. Room service dirty dishes left in hallways for many hours. Drinks were very expensive as an 18% gratuity is added to each purchase and then USA to Australian conversion. A very expensive $39 US for airport shuttle (double the price of Australian cruises), Shore excursions were also very overpriced. Smoking is allowed in Casino. Staff often talked amongst themselves in their own languages in front of guests. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room ... Read More
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room waiters. Especially the females. Some were rude and kept you waiting for ages before reluctantly acknowledging your existence. Then there was the consistently cold food. It became a game to see which one of us would be the first to get a hot meal. To be fair, there were some friendly staff in a couple of the bars. The managers of the dining rooms fell over themselves to assure you that things would improve and tell you that other people were praising the staff. Little changed for the better, especially breakfast on the last day when they made it obvious that we were not welcome because they had other things to do. And don't even think of eating in O Sheehan's. The final straw was the imposition of gst charges without notice half way into the cruise. Australian customs came on board and had to have heavy talks with them about selling duty free whilst in port. They refused to issue refunds or gst advice. I have encountered these charges on any other cruise. They simply had no idea what they were doing. The financial controller refused to meet with anyone and anyone else with authority had others blocking your way to them. We will never use Norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were ... Read More
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were directed into the wrong line up as attendants were not aware of the priority check in for diamond members. First impressions: The ship appeared in good condition. The decor might be a bit dated, but it was functional, comfortable and clean. The cabin: The first big disappointment. The cabin was very small with insufficient space for luggage. But what grossed us out immediately was the filthy carpet. So bad that we did not want to take off our shoes! We were told that it was scheduled for replacement next year but that did not help us now. O'Sheedans: Touted by Norwegian as the 'wildly popular' pub turned out to be the wildly unpopular replacement of the Blue Lagoon 24hr fast food joint which we all loved. On our first visit we waited 40 minutes for a waiter before we got up and just left. A few days later we tried it again, and this time we got fast service - grouchy, but fast. But the food was awful. The spinach artichoke dip looked more like wall paper paste with a taste to match. I could not eat it. The food: Although there were a few bright spots (great croissants, roast beef and some fish dishes), the food ranged from mediocre to lousy. Sometimes luke warm, sometimes heavily salted, sometimes long waits and sometimes not resembling what the menu said. The entertainment: The Burn The Floor dance group was spectacular. Most other shows were cruise ship average. And the comedians were mostly Australians with heavy accents so we could not understand them. Port services: This cruise had a lot of tendering and this worked very well. What was missing was any information about the port, like the little map you used to get to see where they drop you off. Even worse, in some ports we were told it was unsafe and too long a distance to walk to town from the port. They wanted us to buy their bus service. Turned out the walk was 0.6 miles on a nice sidewalk - totally enjoyable and safe. The staff: It looked to us that this ship had a higher than normal amount of crew members with issues. This was particularly the case in the food serving areas. In summary, we feel that in their quest to become the lowest price operator, Norwegian has crossed the line of what we consider acceptable food quality and service. We will not be back anytime soon, at any price.Thanks for the good memories of days past!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Alaska was our dream destination. Me and my husband decided to go at the end of the season because of the value we got for 10 day Alaskan cruise plus there were 9 other people in our group and that was the only time when all of us could go ... Read More
Alaska was our dream destination. Me and my husband decided to go at the end of the season because of the value we got for 10 day Alaskan cruise plus there were 9 other people in our group and that was the only time when all of us could go together. I definitely recommend going to Alaska, at least once in a lifetime. I loved Glacier Bay National Park where we could see glaciers, hear them cracking and see big chunks of ice falling into the beautiful blue green waters. That was the highlight for me. The scenery is just breathtaking and I didn't know that places like this still exist. The reason why I'm writing this review is not about Alaska but it is about NCL cruise lines. One, we went on Jewel and the ship was very old needed update and many crew members especially in dining areas were flat out unhappy. There were no smiles or jokes like I am used to from the other cruises. The same situation at the bar. Barman was polite, gave you your drink but no other interaction. Next, I am not a greatest cook and for me any food is good as long as I don't have to cook it. However, food on this cruise was awful wherever you went. Buffet was just cheap cafeteria food and very greasy. I think Dennys serves better breakfast than this ship. Hardly any seafood or fish in the buffet. Couple of times we went to the main dining room but we had to wait 1.5 hours for food to be served and it wastasteless. One night they served steaks but by the time we got them they were cold and hard as a rock. Further, shore excursions: Ketchikan - Misty Fjords National monument by boat started off really misty. We went early in the morning and fog was so thick we couldn't see anything but later on the fog cleared and we were grateful that we went. It was very cold and windy but there was plenty of shelter on the boat and hot tea, coffee and cocoa. They served salmon chowder for lunch and it was delicious. Highly recommend this excursion. Juneau - we booked Seaplane tour to Taku lodge that got cancelled due to weather and the cruise didn't offer any interesting replacements. Disappointing. They said they will refund us. So we went out on a pier and booked excursion on our own which almost turned out to be a disaster. Their instructions were sketchy and we almost didn't make it back to our cruise on time. Skagway - Train and an extension bridge in Canada. Well it was enjoyable at least but it could've been more fun if our friends were allowed to go with us. All of us booked this trip and the bus took us to train station where our friends were required to present with Canadian visas. They are from Czech republic and before this trip they called Canadian embassy and were informed that they don't need visa if they are entering Canada by boat, train, or car. Well high altitude customs in White Horse pass felt differently and our friends weren't allowed to enter Canada. So they got to enjoy tiny little town of Skagway and it's many bars and shops. They were very disappointed because the train was the highlight of Skagway. However, I partially blame for this fiasco NCL because they should warn international travelers that there is a possibility of not being allowed to Canada if you are not US citizen. At least NCL was going to refund all of them. Or that's what they promised. It was six people that went and it's been more than two months and they still haven't seen their refund checks. We filed claims on NCL web site, called them on multiple occasions, were promised that they will call back when they find out more. No calls, no money. Go figure. In Icy Strait we booked 4WD buggies and zip line. It was fun but couldn't see a squat. If you end up there and want to go on world highest zip line book it for the afternoon, chances are the fog will be gone by then. Icy Strait reminded me one of those Caribbean cruise ports like Grand Turk with Alaskan style Margaritaville. After foggy zip line we ventured to small town of Hoonah where we sat at the pub, enjoyed some local brew and chit chat with the locals. The little town is charming. After mixed feelings about excursions on this cruise we decided not to book anything in Sitka and Prince Ruppert. We just enjoyed walk around downtown in both of these ports. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I read a review saying "First and last" and I could not agree more. Wish I had listened. From the food that was on par with school cafeteria to the bed and pillows that make rocks seem cozy, to the staff who could care less that ... Read More
I read a review saying "First and last" and I could not agree more. Wish I had listened. From the food that was on par with school cafeteria to the bed and pillows that make rocks seem cozy, to the staff who could care less that there were no paper towels or soap in the public washrooms. The ONLY good thing was a Client Service desk woman named Amie. She was actually concerned about the lack of soap and towels and too immediate action. She also followed up - she was a rare and unique staff member. While eating in O'sheehans (shall I recite the menu?it never changed) we noticed a staff member taking the meat off a meal, putting it in a zip lock baggies and putting it under the counter. When we brought this to the hostess's attention her comment was "maybe he was hungry" I was really baffled so we informed some at the Customer service desk - she said "maybe he wanted to try it" - unbelievable!! We talked to another staff member who said, "what you get is better than what we get" So, if we were eating sub-par food, what the heck is the staff getting that they need to steal food? Since no one seemed shocked or surprised- it must be common. The daily paper with events of the day consistently had lots of errors - more "I'm sorry " but what I found upsetting most about this daily occurrence was the staff in the area that had the wrong event info - they had to take the anger and frustration of guest after guest as they tried to explain the area. No wonder the staff seemed so frustrated and uncaring. I can honestly say I would not recommend this ship - and if this is an example of the line then I would say - please book with another line - we wish we had. I have never been happy to leave a cruise in the past, but I cannot properly express the joy I felt to leave this one. I wish it could have been different NCL Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about ... Read More
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about insurance. When we talked to agent when we booked they said medical would be covered. ??? Service in dining room was terrible. Food was mainly served cold and not seasoned. The best part of the cruise was the intertainment at the evening shows. Best I have seen. The beverage packages were very expensive. I like some wine but could not drink enough to pay for daily package and individually very expensive per glass. The staff in general were wonderful especially our room steward. With open cruising he was the only one who remembered who we were. Sorry to say my husband and I probably would not cruise on Norwegian Cruise line again. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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