Sail Date: March 2014
The first thing when we arrived we noticed our room was dirty, it looked like someone with tanning oil had fallen against the door and mirror, you could see the outline of their back. There was a bottle of water on the counter unopened so ... Read More
The first thing when we arrived we noticed our room was dirty, it looked like someone with tanning oil had fallen against the door and mirror, you could see the outline of their back. There was a bottle of water on the counter unopened so being that we had the beverage package we drank it and were charged 5.18 on our bill, apparently water is not a beverage. We went up to the buffet and the food all seemed to be some sort of comfort food and that is what we were served EVERY single day the entire time we were there. Mac and cheese and rice were the high light. The breakfast was just gross, soggy very wet scrambled eggs, that is when they were open. If you got up at 6am all you were offered was cold cereal and pastries from the day before. You were not allowed to serve yourself ice-cream and it was shut down by 8. As for the drinks, if you went to the bar to get it yourself most of the bartenders were way too busy and frustrated with you, if you were lucky enough to get a chair by the pool (we did once in the week we were there) you noticed the waiter charged you on average $3-$4 more per drink for the same drink. I guess you can chalk it up to customer service is just not what it use to be. The land excursions were just the biggest rip off, we paid 160.00 for one person to swim with the dolphins but were not allowed to take our own photo's, instead they were selling you their photo at $40.00 yes $40.00 PER PHOTO.... We did have a good time but it was more of a booze cruise than anything. Did I mention there was only one deck with 2 small pools? Way too many people on the ship to share 2 very small pools. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Our cruise vacation started off at the Marriott in the french quarters, great location but a bit pricey for the accommodations. Parking is valet only and will cost 35.00 plus tax per day. The rooms are small and the decor is more like a ... Read More
Our cruise vacation started off at the Marriott in the french quarters, great location but a bit pricey for the accommodations. Parking is valet only and will cost 35.00 plus tax per day. The rooms are small and the decor is more like a 2-star but the beds are very comfortable. They had a Starbucks and we enjoyed having that option at the hotel. First off me and my husband are in our late 30's and have no children. We like to vacation and don't mind spending extra money to get better service and accommodations. This is why we book suites when we cruise. We booked the 2 bedroom family suite with balcony. We've stayed in this suite before and enjoyed having the two bathrooms and really love the layout of the suite. Although we didn't use the second bedroom it was nice to have a place to store our luggage. The good- --The Unlimited Beverage Package was good. We enjoyed trying different drinks each day and our favorite two was the Bloody Mary and Bushwacker. --The breads were great. They give many options in your bread basket each night at dinner and I really was glad to sample each. --The Roasted Chicken at lunch in Cagney's and the Cagney fries. --The shows were great and we really enjoyed the ones that we watched. --Had many really nice staff members through out the ship. --Our fellow cruise passengers were friendly and everyone seemed to mingle well. --The coffee in the suites was nice and I enjoyed many cups. --I lost a 200.00 casino ticket and it was turned in by a staff member! How great was that. kudos for keeping honesty alive. --Easy on and easy off ship. The Bad- --Number one would be the POOR quality of food. This was a major disappointment. I was shocked at how bad the quality of food was. We are in no way hard to please. The bacon was so thin it was like eating bacon flavored tissue paper. The food was cheap tasting even the burgers and fries. Cold soggy wings at blue lagoon. I really am put off on how bad the food was. I really felt ripped off because I paid a lot of money for this cruise and would have been fine eating decent fries and burgers and couldn't even get that! The steaks were thin and not as described. Soup was blah. Pork was small over cooked and tasteless. Salt shakers were either not working or broken. Ncl really has pushed the limit with the quality of food. Buffet at Golden Corral is better than the food they served us on our cruise. --The hip hop music at the pool was strange. Most of the people enjoying the pool area was 50 and above. I think the music was more suited for the staff? --The sewer smell throughout the ship, and the mold smell from our shower...(gross)! --Multiple public restrooms were foul smelling and needed cleaning. --Casino was to small and over crowded. Reeked of smoke...many smokers on our cruise. Smoking doesn't bother me but if you are bothered by it you will want to stay clear of the casino because it's bad, and you will definitely smell like a smoker when you leave. Had the food been up to par this vacation would have been great. When I book my next cruise I will search out other cruise lines to find one that most meets our needs. Food isn't everything on vacation but we like enjoy ourselves and splurge on foods we wouldn't normally eat, but NCL made this impossible. Next time I will read more reviews and search other cruise lines.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
My husband and I decided to take a cruise after 20 years and do I feel stupid. I saw the add for free balcony upgrades and thought GREAT. well that didn't happen. We got one of the poorest rooms on the ship. We did an excursion every ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a cruise after 20 years and do I feel stupid. I saw the add for free balcony upgrades and thought GREAT. well that didn't happen. We got one of the poorest rooms on the ship. We did an excursion every day and in all was very disappointed. We went to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. In Cozumel we did the zip line, not what we expected at all it was fun but we just went from tower to tower. Not worth the money. Don't plan on walking down the street of Cozumel because you are accosted by people wanting you to go in there shops and buy, and spend. Belize was very dirty. We did the air boat ride hoping to see some wild life and didn't see much of anything. On the pier we waited for the tended to return to the boat (about 80 % of the passengers were over 55) there was a tent with chairs. It was about 90 out and we wanted to sit for a minute. We were treated like trash because it was a VIP area and security almost got physical with us and would not let us sit; even though no other passengers were there. Roatan was nice and we did the nature and archeology tour. We did see spider monkeys which was fun but all the ruins were reproductions which was disappointing. Costa Maya we did the snuba which sounded fun, but save your money. We just walked off the beach and say trash and garbage with a few fish in the water. Be prepared that with every excursion even though you pay for them they also expect a tip, even the bus driver. The food on the ship was very good but be prepared to wait to get into the two main dinning rooms. All in all I wished I had saved my money. I feel like an idiot thinking this would be fun. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We ( my mom, boyfriend and I) decided on the Norwegian Jewel because it was the cheapest price for the locations it was going to. We live in Oklahoma and decided that we would drive to New Orleans. The ship went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, ... Read More
We ( my mom, boyfriend and I) decided on the Norwegian Jewel because it was the cheapest price for the locations it was going to. We live in Oklahoma and decided that we would drive to New Orleans. The ship went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Getting on the boat was simple enough and our room was not ready until about 1pm and that was fine because we went and ate at Tzars Palace. Food Our first thought on the food was that it was pretty good. The desserts on the other hand were weird and it seemed like every single dessert item was made with gelatin. The first dessert we tried was chocolate mouse( the best of the three), some sort of berry cheesecake( did not taste anything like cheesecake), and Panna Cotta (very rubbery and tasteless). I love dessert and I love to try new desserts, but the ones on this boat were just plain strange. Even the chocolate cake we had contained weird jelly balls throughout the slice. The only good dessert we had was in a pay restaurant( we tried the hot pot) and it was a green tea cake with green tea ice cream and it actually tasted like what it was supposed to. The food was pretty good and we actually had our room a floor below the buffet which was nice because that was out favorite place to eat on the boat. Each day in the buffet they would have a different theme and the food would change to be a part of the theme such as when we were in Mexico there was mexican food or when we were in the Caribbean they served Caribbean food. We decided to try the pizza delivery for $5 and it was the most disgusting pizza we have ever eaten. It did not taste like real cheese and the "cheese" was about an inch thick. So if your thinking of trying the pizza delivery, think again and just go to the buffet and get a slice or two there. The pizza at the buffet was actually good. They also served food by the pool, but be careful because we saw them making what looked like stir fry noodles with vegetables so we went over and each got a plate. My mom and I do not eat seafood and my boyfriend is allergic to shellfish. This dish was filled with shrimp and clams and all sorts of seafood. I'm glad we saw it because that could have been bad. There was no sign letting people know what it was. Room Our room was great. We had the mini suite which we paid about $900 per person. We had a giant balcony and it was nice to be able to relax on the balcony. The couch in our suite folded out to a big bed which my mom slept on and our steward Orlando pulled out and put up each day. He was such an amazing steward! The bathroom was not as small as I thought it would be. Our room was nice and quiet and we were not around any of the clubs or anything so it was a good spot. Entertainment I'm not sure why everyone seems to like the entertainment on this boat. I'm actually kind of baffled by what they call "entertainment". We tried several times to go to shows but the shows were so dumb that we left. I was really excited about the Cirque Bijou or whatever it was called. We got to the show early and got some great balcony seats. The show started and my boyfriend and I were looking at each other and laughing because it was so childish and they were not even doing anything that was interesting or fun to watch. The first act was a girl that stood on the shoulders of a man and all she did was hold two hula hoops and twirl them around her arms. The audience sure loved that for some reason because there were cheers and applause ? I was expecting something similar to cirque du soleil. Boy were we disappointed! We decided to give it another chance to impress us. The next act was a few people on stage dancing? it seemed like they were trying to do some sort of Indian dance with their arms or something but it just looked like something that a kid could come up with. We tried to stay for another act before we left but as soon as we saw adults doing cartwheels and a few flips we about died of laughter and had to leave. Don't expect anything professional if you attend these shows. We were really disappointed with the entertainment onboard and I feel like the only entertainment we liked was going to the art auctions on board to watch people get suckered into buying "art". I won't lie the auctions were very engaging and were pretty fun and you get free art just for going. We went to the newlywed not so newlywed game show which was pretty entertaining to watch. Pool The pool was pretty small and was cold almost the whole time so we did not really get to swim unless we wanted to be freezing while doing it. We did get in the hot tub twice, but it was not really as hot as other hot tubs I've been in. They were not bad though, but they were always crowded. Fitness Center We only went in there a few times but the machines are really nice and have touchscreen monitors. You can play games on the monitors while exercising or even watch the ocean through the widow or from a camera on deck. When we first booked I thought that they were going to have free zumba sessions, but you have to pay for those and the only free stuff in the fitness center were not very good, mostly seminars about fitness. Random In the daily newspaper thing we noticed that the actives with a star are pay activities. So when we saw a martini tasting with no star we got excited to finally see and try something you don't have to pay for. When we got there they told us it was $15 per person. What a crock. For the price we paid there should be more free things to do on the boat. We went to a pastry making seminar, but when we got there it was retarded. There was already a cake made and they just got a random person from the audience and had them put icing on it and some berries... I'm sorry but this is not a pastry making seminar. I did not pay to come on this cruise to watch some woman try her hand at decorating a cake. My mom got sick with food poisoning the day before our last port. The nurses in the infirmary were very nice and kind to her. If you go down there for food poisoning you don't have to pay, which was nice. Originally my boyfriend and I went to the shop to see if they has any medicine for sale, but they didn't, so we went o ask if they had any in the doctors and when we asked they said we should bring her down and there would be no charge. It's a good thing we brought her down because my mom ended up having to be taken down there again to get an IV for dehydration. They were very professional and treated us like family. They gave my mom Gatorade packets and medicine and even called to check up on her for the rest of the trip. Overall It was not bad, but I feel like all the seminars on the ship were there only to get you to buy something. The entertainment was lacking in professionalism and uniqueness. There are more pay restaurants than free ones. I feel like everywhere you go on the ship they are trying to get more money out of you. WE are never going to book on a Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Where to begin? I have been on several Cruise lines (including previous NCL cruises) and this was the WORST cruise ever! It started off on a disappointing note when we entered the ship. NO music. NO welcome champagne. NO excitement. We ... Read More
Where to begin? I have been on several Cruise lines (including previous NCL cruises) and this was the WORST cruise ever! It started off on a disappointing note when we entered the ship. NO music. NO welcome champagne. NO excitement. We had to walk around and wait for our cabin to be ready. Once Tzar's was ready for lunch, our entire party of 17 went to eat. They refused to push tables together so we could all be at one table. We waited over an hour to get our food. The wait staff was rude and inattentive. The food was tasteless. Bad start that will prove to only get worse. One of my suitcases was delivered to the wrong cabin and I reported it to the Service desk. I was told it should reach me by 8:00pm. Well, by 10:00pm it still had not arrived. All they could say was "we are still looking for it" and I had to spend $39 in the gift shop for a few basic toiletries. My bag showed up 3 days later. I found out later that they have complimentary toiletry items but I was never offered that, even though I had been in contact with the service desk numerous times. We decided to take advantage of a "special" NCL offered prior to our cruise...3 specialty restaurants for $57 (they chose the three...LaCucina, Cagney's and Le Bistro). You HAD to eat at LaCucina's on the 1st night. The food was AWFUL. Then we found out we missed out on the Surf & Turf in the open dining rooms. On our Le Bistro night, there was lobster on the menu, but you had to pay an additional $10 for it! SERIOUSLY??? There is a $20 cover charge already! Everyone else got it for FREE on embarkation night!!! We decided to stick to the buffet because Azura and Tzars had such SLOW service and the wait staff was terrible and rude. They acted like they were doing us a favor by taking our order and bringing out our food. However, for the most part, the food everywhere was not good. The desserts (except for the creme brûlée in Le Bistro) were tasteless. On our last day at sea, we planned out what we wanted to do. There was a magician show at 11:00 and a comedy show at 12:00 in the large theatre. The art auction was at 1:00. Well, the magician set up a table ON THE STAGE to sell his book and some magic items after he completed his act. He continued to sell until 12:15, causing the comedy show to start late. This in turn caused the comedy show to run late. Because we were seated in the 3rd row, we weren't going to be rude and get up and leave before the show was over. So, I missed the art auction. They should not allow anything to be sold on the stage and they should keep things ON TIME. One night we went to listen to a band doing a Bob Marley tribute at Magnum's Lounge. They were fantastic, but we had to leave early because the amount of smoke from the casino and the cigar bar (one on each side the lounge) was overwhelming. They really need a better ventilation system. By far, the RUDEST staff was in the Blue Lagoon. They literally would take your order (after waiting 20 minutes) by asking "what you want?" in a sharp tone. When my sister asked for a refill on her coffee, the waitress said "self serve!" as she pointed to the coffee area. There are so many other things I could say, but I'm sure some of my other family members will write their own bad experiences soon. We all agreed we will NEVER sail on NCL again. People, please think long and hard before going on this ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We are experienced cruisers, having sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Princess and Regent Seven Seas. We booked this with friends. They chose the cruise and we joined them. Embarkation was smooth and fast. We arrived at the port at 11:40 ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, having sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Princess and Regent Seven Seas. We booked this with friends. They chose the cruise and we joined them. Embarkation was smooth and fast. We arrived at the port at 11:40 and we were on the ship at 12:15. Cabins were available at 1:30. We had a mini suite, which was comfortable and spacious. Only complaint about the room: the water backed up from the floor drain in the bathroom when the tub drained. The food was disappointing in every venue we tried: buffet, MDR, Azura, Cucina and the Brazilian BBQ. Canned peas and carrots as the vegetable in the MDR! Food cold, overcooked, flavorless. Most cruise ship coffee is bad, but this was undrinkable. Its tasted like how a stable smells. I was not tempted by the desserts, and stuck with sorbet. The chocolate buffet was mostly just the regular chocolate desserts, plus a couple of ice sculptures. We did not see the cruise director one time on the entire cruise. Not once did a crew member offer to take a drink order while in a public space. I had to go to the bar myself for drinks. I usually find lots of things to keep me busy, and I was bored silly on the two sea days. We rarely saw our steward, and he did not introduce himself to us until the 3rd day, although he did a perfectly adequate job keeping our room made up. There were no port talks. The single "enrichment" sort of event we could find on the entire cruise was a video about the Panama Canal, which was very good, and which we appreciated, as we are going on a 15-day Panama cruise in January. On the last night we met a couple from Australia who had boarded in Seattle,gone to Alaska, and were on thru New Orleans. They said there had been no lectures, narration or naturalists for the Alaska cruise and they were extremely disappointed. The two pluses were a relatively small number of PA announcements and no dancing waiters. I will not book with NCL again.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was my first time to cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and my last. I only cruised with them because my other cruise for the west coast got canceled. (Thank you Celebrity for not taking a chance on leaving cruisers stranded on a ship ... Read More
This was my first time to cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and my last. I only cruised with them because my other cruise for the west coast got canceled. (Thank you Celebrity for not taking a chance on leaving cruisers stranded on a ship with problems). I booked a two bedroom family suite in "The Haven". Our suite was called the "Passion Flower Suite." The livind/dining room was spacious, but the decor was awful. The lime green sofa and chairs on a hot pink, purple and lime green carpetleft a lot to be desired. The main bedroom/bath was spacious, with plenty of storage and nicely finished out. Unfortunately, the pillow top bed was lumpy. The second bedroom was tiny. It was definitely for kids and not for an adult. The balcony was large with two comfortable chairs and tables. The screwy thing about the balcony, was the window overlooking the tub. You could not cover the window for privacy while you were in the tub. I appreciated the privacy and security our floor had. Your card had to be used to get the elevator to the 14th floor and to get through the access door to the staterooms. The private courtyard area included a pool, hot tub, saunas, and lots of comfortable seats to relax in. This was where we had breakfast most mornings. There was a continental breakfast there each morning. However, the attention to detail, cleanliness and service were not good. The stateroom services were slow and incomplete. The glass on our balcony and spots of something on the glass bathroom doors were never cleaned. Other areas ( under TV, phone, etc.) had not been dusted in a while. No white glove service here! When I asked the butler about dining in the room he showed me the standard room service menu. When questioned about the upgraded menu we were supposed to have, I was told we could order from the main dining room. Only one night did he bring us a menu and since I never got a piece of meat in the buffet or main dining room that wasn't tough or dried out, I didn't care to use it. Plan on eating at the specialty restaurants ($) for better food. Chin chin and Moderno ($) were good. Skip the Hibachi Grill restaurant, it's to noisy with four grills in one small room and the food is not the quality you expect from a speciality restaurant. Also, the extra fee you pay to eat at the Hibachi Grill, doesn't include the additional tips they request for the cook and extra waiter. The rest of the ship was fairly clean at a casual glance. What bothered me the most was the condition of the public restrooms. Every one I went into had a stall out of order. The sink countertops were always soaking wet. Paper towels littered the bathroom area. I realize this is the fault of my fellow shipmates, but it also showed that they did not get cleaned very often! Like I said, first and last cruise with Norwegian. I will stick with Celebrity Cruise Line!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
I spent many years (10+) saving for what I thought would be a dream vacation for me and my 15 year old son for a 7 day trip to the Bahamas. While booking I upgraded to a Balcony room and was advised that I would be in a smoke free ... Read More
I spent many years (10+) saving for what I thought would be a dream vacation for me and my 15 year old son for a 7 day trip to the Bahamas. While booking I upgraded to a Balcony room and was advised that I would be in a smoke free enviroment, my dream was to have morning coffee at sunset on the balcony......huh what a joke as both my stateroom neighbors were extremem smokers, and I have severe ASMATHA, and did not travel with a nebulizer machine, only an inhaler, I was not able to use my balcony, as my neighbors lived on thiers, what a waste of alot of money. Next when I was viewing my the rooms online the wonderful video shows a great 19 inch flat screen, when booking i was told yes there would be a flat screen and a perked coffee machine in each state room, NOT. The TV in our room was so ancient, it was 13 inches or less and a dinosaur. The coffee in my room was a packet of instant with something to heat up water, hot pathetic for spending a 1000.00+ per person that I couldnt get perked coffee in my room or sit on my expensive balcony. The state room was smaller than what it appeared to be online. the Bathroom was adequate. Our steward was wonderful. The embarkemnt took forever out of NewYork. The food was okay. The service at the Azure was great by one particualr waiter. The recreational activiteies were a bore, they repeated themselves over and over, there was no rock climbing for my teen, no bowling, no movies, no comedy club, repeaded art lectures and auctions to get you to spend money. The shore excursions were the best part of the trip, more fun off the boat than on it! Then 24 hours upon return to the boat I attained a rash, I reported it to the front desk, and was told not to worry about it, or I could see medical for 180.00 dollars, WHAT?! SO I went to the crusie consultant who told me I probably got sand fleas and it would go away in 24 hours, it didnt go away until after I got home. NCL didnt care. When I came home on 12.23.12 I sat down and wrote all my complaints down, on 12.24.12 I composed a letter to customer relations and emailed them. It was recieved on 12.28.12, it is now 1/14/12, and I have called 5 or more times with no resolutions to my concerns. I am not a happy NOrweigan sailor. I await a resolution to my concerns, to top it off, durin my 3rd or 4th call, I learned my assigned case review was out sick on disability and no one was reviewing my concerns, how can I be happy with such poor customer service? Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We took a cab from the Newark Airport Hotel, down to the Manhattan Terminal at a cost of 123dollars including tolls and tip , the journey took around 50 minutes. For most of the journey I was on the phone to N.C.L trying to establish which ... Read More
We took a cab from the Newark Airport Hotel, down to the Manhattan Terminal at a cost of 123dollars including tolls and tip , the journey took around 50 minutes. For most of the journey I was on the phone to N.C.L trying to establish which pier was being used by Jewel as it was not on the paperwork they had sent. It took N.c.l 42 minutes to answer the call !!! On arrival at noon, it was very busy and took just over an hour to get our boarding passes. Once on the ship we joined he several other thousand customers at the buffet bun fight... Around 1.30 the cabin was ready and we headed down to our aft minisuite on deck 11. The cabin was o.k, bed was soft, tv very old and bathroom a good size. Nothing spectacular but adequate. The Balcony... Fab view and would have been lovely apart from needing new lungs from all the cigarette smoke from our adjoining neighbours and the smell of marajuania from the balcony below. This, along with the non stop incessent screaming of the child from hell next door for what seemed non stop from waking us up to when we went to sleep really ruined the cruise for us. The chavvy parents thought it best to hang over the balcony smoking whilst he child kicked off constantly, had we been at home I would have been calling social services ! Sail out of New York was beautiful, he sea calm and great to see the architecture. On boarding th ship we had been given a letter to say that the itinerary had been changed as he ship needed some maintenance and we were to spend extra time in Nassau , which suited us fine. Dinner in Tsars was o.k, nothing special but hot and fresh, dress code is very casual, I felt over dressed in a casual dress, most wore what I would do the cleaning wearing which was odd for a nice restaurant. After a day a sea, which was a battle to get a lounger, we docked at Port Canaveral, not an attractive Port, you need to take a shuttle. We opted for some shopping and beach so booked a transfer to Cocoa Beach. This was about a 15 minute drive, where you dropped at a small shopping centre which mainly consists of Fast Food joints, Drugstores and Surfshops. After some retail therapy we walked to the beach, about a 1/4 mile away. No facilities, or beach bars in that area, no loungers to rent, but o.k if you are happy to sit on the sand for a few hours. That evening we headed to Cagneys, complete waste of money service was awful, orders arrived cold, and despite complaining to the maitre D nothing much improved. Steak was on par with supermarket range. That evening the Captain announced that due to the developing hurricane we neededto change course so we would now visit Grand Bahama and them Charleston South Carolina instead of Eluthera and Nassau. The next day we docked in Grand Bahama, so we asked the guest services about beach shuttles etc as there is little else here, they told us to sort it out for yourself were busy !!! Very unprofessional. Fortunately, at the dock they had a good taxi system where we went in a minibus to JUnkanoo Beach Club, about 20 minutes away. The locals were lovely and welcoming and valued he unexpected business. It was a lovely beach, loungers were 5 dollars and a nice beach bar/ restaurant. The taxi cost 7 dollars per person each way and was good value. Not much to do at the cruise terminal a few shops selling handicrafts. Off out to a night and day at sea, Chin Chins for dinner was nice, service was slow despite the restaurant being almost empty, unfortunately the seas then became very rough and made for a very unpleasant night... the next day the Captain announced a further change in that the storm was too big for us to stop in Charleston and the only place available for us to dock was Norfolk, Virginia. The wind made for a boring day, despite it being sunny most of the sunbeds had been roped up to stop people using them and if you didnt manage to get one around the pool you were out of luck. NCL manage reserving of loungers very badly, many had towels on to reserve them and were not being used for several hours. despite NCL claiming that they dont allow this, they do nothing to stop it, when asked about it the deck supervisor shrugged and turned his back on us. The staff are generally rude and could not care less. Norfolk port was best described as unremarkable, nothing much to see or do, nice shopping centre in easy walk from the dock but that's it ! After a further very uncomfortable 2 nights at sea saw us dock in New York, we did the walk off option which was o.k, a cab stand is opposite where the ship docks and cab fare to Times Square was 10 dollars. Unfortunately, our flight home was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy buts thats another story! Overall we didnt enjoy the cruise, and wont be sailing with NCL again. :( Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
I was on the norwegian jewel this month & encountered the rudest reception from guest svcs, tsar dining room servers & room svc personnel. On numerous occasions the room service personell didn't even pick up the phone ... Read More
I was on the norwegian jewel this month & encountered the rudest reception from guest svcs, tsar dining room servers & room svc personnel. On numerous occasions the room service personell didn't even pick up the phone despite several attempts. They took 45 minutes even to deliver a pitcher of water. There was constant noise in the staterooms due to electrical issues with the air conditioning or plumbing - I never found out which. The servers in the Tsar palace dining area were extremely rude, unfriendly and made us feel totally uncomfortable. the food was horrible, dining hours were terrible as well. Worst was the reception personnel - Extremely rude over the phone and also if you went to talk in person. I think they discriminate heavily between people from different nationalities - I witnessed it with my own eyes as to how two different people who had the same question were dealt with completely differently by the guest services person. It is truly sad to see this even in this day and age. I would strongly recommend against this ship in particular - don't know about the cruiseline in total as it was the first time I sailed with them and don't think I'd like to give them another shot. Horrible experience!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
From the beginning, I was not impressed. The embarkation was smooth but it all went downhill from there. Hoping to get a different experience since we have always cruised with Royal in the past we decided to try Norwegian. The ... Read More
From the beginning, I was not impressed. The embarkation was smooth but it all went downhill from there. Hoping to get a different experience since we have always cruised with Royal in the past we decided to try Norwegian. The staterooms are passable, a little smaller than royals but it's ok. The food was not that great, the same food over and over again at the buffet breakfasts and lunches for seven days.... The chocolate buffet was really NOT mpressive at all. Much more casual atmosphere than royal, people were eating dinner in shorts and baseball caps in the formal dining rooms at night even though apparently it was not allowed. Entertainment was so so. The comedian JP was a real joke, he was pretty horrible. Great stirrup cay, captain decided that because of the weather, we couldn't make it in the island, a real disappointment to us, but from what I've read this happens quite often. Port canaveral BORING Nassau, beautiful, nice beach 10 minute walk away called Junkanoo beach, we walked it. But the worst thing of all was the fact that I was served RAW chicken my last night on board at the Tsar dining room, I was so happy that I cut into my chicken cube because it was completely bloody raw and I could have gotten very very sick. The waiter asked if I wanted another plate, was he serious? I completely lost my appetite and went straight to the director Luisa, she was vey professional and said she would look into it, she offered us a bottle of wine...really? I could have been poisoned, what about if a child had eaten that. I really couldn't believe my eyes. I will be writing a letter of major complaint to Norwegian and will NEVER be returning with them, ever. Do yourself a favor cancel your cruise with Norwegian if it's not too late and book with royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
After being on the NCL Jewel cruise, I concur with others who criticized its food. Choices in main restaurants were limited and meals were far from being tasty. The buffet choices were not that great either, same choices day after day. Our ... Read More
After being on the NCL Jewel cruise, I concur with others who criticized its food. Choices in main restaurants were limited and meals were far from being tasty. The buffet choices were not that great either, same choices day after day. Our cabin was very noisy. Noise from kids club located above this cabin was unbearable. At many times I was chased out from the cabin by noise from kids running and jumping above and practically could not use the balcony because of this noise. I complained to the desk service many times and had to call them every night around 10:30 PM reminding that it was quite late for all this banging up there. They offered to move us to a different cabin, but there was nothing suitable IMO. The cabin they offered would be below the buffet cafe. Many reviewers already mentioned the noise coming from food carts and moving chairs in cabins under that cafe. The bottom line is that I would not recommend staying on deck 11. The cabin was nice and balcony was larger in size, but all that noise ruined our vacation. Of course if you don't plan to be in your cabin from early morning till very late at night or heavy banging on the cabin ceiling and roof of your balcony would not bother you, then you may be OK with a cabin under the kids club. The ship looked dated. Elevators were very slow and we often had to wait quite long time to get to other decks. I did not understand the policy of mandatory tips. For example, I was pleased with our cabin server, however, I can not understand how NCL plans to reward his good service over so so service by some others. In particular I was insulted by arrogance of their Internet manager. The fee for WiFi is outrageous. I wanted him to explain to me my options, instead he just pointed to the sign with their fees and did not bother talking to me. NCL nickel and dimes you for everything once you are on the ship. They use every opportunity to sell you something. As an example, after massage session, I was bugged to buy their cosmetic product to the point of making me feel uncomfortable. It was easier for me to buy it, just to be done with it. I think the Spa staff has instructions, quotas or get incentive for sold stuff. Every opportunity is used to separate you from your money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
FIRE THE C.E.O., KEVIN SHEEHAN I wish we had looked at CruiseCritic.com before we took the NCL Jewel. If we had, we would have not gone. The buck has to stop somewhere. Fire Kevin Sheehan. When he was on Undercover Boss, he professed to ... Read More
FIRE THE C.E.O., KEVIN SHEEHAN I wish we had looked at CruiseCritic.com before we took the NCL Jewel. If we had, we would have not gone. The buck has to stop somewhere. Fire Kevin Sheehan. When he was on Undercover Boss, he professed to investigate NCL problems so he could provide his passengers with an unforgettable cruise. It was unforgettable to be sure. It was awful. Seeing this show repeated daily on the ship TV made me sick. My wife and I checked in on Sat, Oct 15, 2011. Got to the terminal at 12:30 PM. We were put into the check-in line, and then the computers went down. In the next 30 minutes, the lines got long. Then I see a stocky short guy, about 300 pounds, bright green slicker hanging on his shoulders, chewing gum, walking back and forth from the lines to the check-in counter. He looked like Barney Rubble with a crew cut. I thought he was security; but he had a strange look. He was always on the phone, and looking back and forth as he walked. He waddled when he walked. Next, I see him take 2 people behind us, opened the crowd rope and walked them to the counter; and put them beside an existing customer. The guy in the group gave him money. He looked back and forth before he put the money into his pocket. WHY ? The computer was broken. During the 45 minutes I was there, he did this for 4 groups of people. Getting paid each time. He was helping people jump the line !! By the way, he wore a union tee shirt. I brought this to the attention of a lady working our line, after his second trip. Expecting her to do something, I was surprised when she said ½ Better be nice to him or you might not get your luggage. SHE KNEW WHO HE WAS, AS WELL AS WHAT HE WAS DOING ! HE WAS A LONGSHOREMAN !! I then brought this to another lady's attention. She said I should tell the boss, and pointed to the lady I had just talked to. I HAD ALREADY TOLD THE BOSS ! She could care less. On board, no one directed us anywhere. We sat in a lounge, till another passenger told us about the buffet on 12th fl. Up we went. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean do the same thing, but we were directed there by their staff. Our first food was horrible; an inkling of what was to come. The food for the entire cruise was horrible. I think this is the reason passengers went to the restaurants with additional fees; to find good food. This was useless. It soon became evident that ALL the food was the same. Azure and Tsar had the same menus as well as the same drab food. FYI: The deserts in ALL restaurants were the same for the entire cruise. They were marginal at best. By the 2nd day, most of conversations among passengers were about the bad food. Knowing that the crew ate the same food, surprised many passengers. About 50 % of the crew I spoke with said the food was bad, and some just smiled and said nothing. I knew they already knew. Breakfast: Scrambled eggs were tasteless, as well as overcooked. FYI: ALL THE FOOD WAS OVERCOOKED. The only bright spots were the hand made egg stations. There were 2; for 2,000+ passengers!! Everything sat out for 3 hours, and you can just imagine what it tasted like. Lunch and Dinner: Buffet was still the tasteless overcooked food. We went to other places, but in desperation we looked everywhere. By day 3, we knew we had been had. There was no good food anywhere. We despaired together with numerous other passengers. The bad food actually bonded us together. We were all trapped. An example: Our last night, Azure and Tsar had the beef stroganoff on the menu; remember, these 2 places always had the same items. It was listed as Beef Stroganoff with Mushrooms , sub-title description: Egg noodles, Beets and Sour Cream . I asked for no beets. I was greeted with the following: Red Peppers, Green Peppers, Onions, and PICKLES !!, and a half tea spoon of Sour Cream. You had to be kidding. I took pictures. The egg noodles were dry and hard, and the 3 small strips of beef were tough. I filled up half a small plate with the extra crap that had no business in this dish. I have pictures. PICKLES ?? PEPPERS ?? Ribs at Mexican place and Chen Chens were the same with different toppings. Both were like a stringy pot roast. One of my ribs was 100% fat. Chen Chen serves an egg drop soup. Some idiot thought it was a good idea to add CORN !! Yes folks, corn !!. Even our server thought is was a bad idea. Chef said the corn recipe was directed by the Corporate Office; back to Kevin again. Important: FOUND OUT THAT ALL FOOD DECISIONS WERE MADE BY CORPORATE, INCLUDING RECIPES AND PRESENTATIONS. Someone in the CEO's office complex makes up these menus. THIS IS WHY THE FOOD IS BAD ON ALL THE NCL SHIPS. About 80 % of the salt grinders did not work. They were in all the restaurants except the buffet and the pool deck. The pool deck had those little salt and pepper paper packets, which blew everywhere. Our cabin had no bar soap or lotion for my wife. There was a shampoo and shower gel dispenser in the shower. Every time I used the shower gel, I could not get it all rinsed off. Bought soap in Nassau; as well as had a real lunch at Atlantis. The pool was overcrowded as was stated by others at Cruise critic.com. There were some good servers, but most just stood around doing nothing. We got most of our drinks at the bar ourselves. The casino was the only place that was run superbly. They took our money, but all casinos do. The bar was efficient and the staff was excellent. The managers, Danela, Pearl, Toni and Moxie should be running the rest of the ship. No unhappy people here. It was refreshing. The entertainment was lame except for the theater. The 70's Review Show was very good. There was a band at the pool one day that was good, but way too loud. Then we saw them do a totally Spanish show in the main lobby; this was awful. There was someone trying to sell you something 24/7. After a while, you blocked it out, but it was always annoying. Our room steward literally stunk. Our entire hallway stunk for that matter from body odor. When the ship was docked, this was almost unbearable. We also experienced this on another floor when we visited some friends. Some other staff also thought there should be a hygiene class for the crew, especially the stewards. They said there were some bad smells in the crews living quarters as well. Cell phone solicitations came at least twice a day. One was at 6 AM when we were at the private Island. 6 AM !! ANOTHER CORPORATE DECISION !! Leaving the ship took 2 extra hours. We were happy just to get off. There needs to be more work done on this. It's not the extra time, but they did not manage the remaining passengers. Almost forgot: The TV in our room was an old 19' RCA tube set. It was hard to see since it was placed way toward the balcony window. We enjoyed an episode of the Nanny. Little did we know that this SAME EPPISODE would be repeated 100 times; THE SAME EPISODE !! A Damon Wayans sit com did the same thing: 100 times and THE SAME EPISODE !! I called the person in charge and he told me the shows were picked out BY THE CORPORATE OFFICE. He did the best he could with what he had. We canceled our next 2 cruises with NCL, when we got home. We were to take the Epic out of Miami. We did this because THE SAME CORPORATE PEOPLE WHO MADE UP THE MENU ON THE JEWEL, ALSO MAKE UP THE MENU ON THE EPIC ! Kevin Sheehan should be fired. Leadership starts at the top, and here at NCL, there is none. I know our entire crew knew about the food and attitude problems. THEY WERE NOT HAPPY WITH THE FOOD EITHER ! This is a much bigger problem than you might realize. NCL needs a total cleaning of both their ships and corporate offices, starting with old Kevin. I also think the health department should take a closer look into NCL. We knew of many people who were made sick by the food. I am sure there were many more. Buffet food at both the Garden Cafe and by the pool, sat out FOREVER. I am sure food sits out in the kitchen also. NCL will help you have a new appreciation for your favorite restaurants once you get back home. We feel sorry for those stuck on the Jewel now, somewhere on the high seas. I DID HEAR THAT Kevin Sheehan, the CEO, was on the previous cruise on the Jewel. Oct 8 to 15. I hope he had the same food we had. I'm sure he brought his own soap. We are already booked on Royal Caribean for our next 2 cruises. Like many of the passengers said on Cruisecritic.com We will never travel on NCL again. NCL was a good cruise line years ago, but now, it's just a mess. The other good companies are coming out with a lot of new ships, and I am sure they will put NCL out of business. It will be a blessing to all the unsuspecting passengers. They added $ 12 a passenger per day for additional tips. I wish we had them removed like I read other passengers did. As I finish this, dozens of other horror stories come to mind, but this should give you an insight into what to expect. In closing, the reason for the firing of Kevin is this: He either knew these multitude of problems and did nothing; or his staff lied to him. If he went on the Jewel, like he did, HE KNEW. Why he does nothing is a mystery. I think the bad food adds to the unhappiness of the crew, which they are all to ready to share with the passengers, in the form of bad service and some attitude. 90 % of the problems I mentioned were listed on cruisecritic.com. All Kevin had had to do was read this web site. Someone in the Corporate had to see this. I think the Jewel and NCL have so many deep problems, it will be almost impossible to fix.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We were part of a large party, all of whom had cruised previously on other lines. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because of its Nickelodeon theme, expecting that a ship with such a program would be very kid-friendly. Embarkation should ... Read More
We were part of a large party, all of whom had cruised previously on other lines. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because of its Nickelodeon theme, expecting that a ship with such a program would be very kid-friendly. Embarkation should have been easy - we had pre-registered, had all of our documents, and arrived at the recommended time. We found a very long, slow-moving line and when, after more than 45 minutes, we finally got to the agent, he was confused and inept. He asked for our passports back several times because each time he had forgotten something. So, the actual check-in process took another 15 minutes, by which time we were as miserable as the children. We chose to have lunch at Tsar's where the grilled chicken breasts were overly-salted, tough as shoe leather and completely inedible. We should have seen this as a clue about things to come, but we attributed it to the timing and stress of passengers leaving and boarding.Our balcony cabin was small but adequate. It was kept as clean as possible given the amount of "stuff" we had for 3 people. We found the balcony to be useful for overflow storage. Unlike another poster, our linens were changed daily; our granddaughter was disappointed that our steward (who never even introduced himself to us) did not make towel animals every night as her cousins on another deck received, but that was inconsequential.Dining in either of the 2 dining rooms was difficult: they would only accept our reservation for 5:30 or 8:30, neither of which seemed to work for us. When we tried to walk in at 7:00, they were unable to accommodate our large group so we had to separate. I will say that dining there was a much more palatable and pleasant experience than eating in the Garden Cafe where the kindest thing I can say is that the food was plentiful - usually. Breakfasts were best and, despite the masses, the wait at the omelet stations was never too long. There were numerous beverage stations but at every meal some stations ran out of cups or coffee or glasses or iced tea or lemons, so you had to run to another station. The service staff in the Garden Cafe was, for the most part, inattentive and disinterested; certainly not warm and friendly. They seemed tired, overburdened, burned out - and understandably so. The only cafe service people who seemed at all engaged were the two "Washy-washy" women who sprayed antibacterial solution on our hands as we entered the cafe.We had a lovely dinner at Mama's where the service staff was very helpful and the food was delicious; however, I cannot speak to any of the other dining venues. We attended many of the evening shows and adult daytime programs, all of which were enjoyable. The older children in our group complained that the Kid's Club was boring, but the younger children usually had fun. The Nickelodeon thing was disappointing, with Sponge Bob, Dora and the other characters making appearances for photo ops with very little interaction. Similarly, the children's programs, like pizza-making and cupcake decorating, were too crowded with very long lines at each, in part because they were too disorganized to manage so many children and in part because they ran out of supplies.Our major complaints, though, were about the swimming pool situation: there were a lot of people, it was hot and everyone wanted to be in or near the pools. I get that. I even understand why it was necessary (though forbidden) to reserve a chair early in the morning. There were 2 small swimming pools and a tiny, shallow kiddie pool. The latter was situated in a space with a kids' hot tub that was enclosed, floor to nearly-ceiling level, except for the area where a door would be. Because there was little to no air circulation, it was unbearably hot and humid. The kiddie pool had a slide that ended less than a foot from the wall of the pool. There was a pad, stapled to the pool but coming loose, to protect the children - especially those coming down on their stomachs, head first - from slamming into the wall. There was no supervision by NCL staff and, frequently, by parents either. During the times that I sat there with my charges, I helped several children who slipped on the wet floor as they came down the stairs from the hot tub. One appeared to have injured her ankle pretty badly. I should add that, while this area was apparently designed for the very little ones, children as old as 9 or 10 were running through and using the pool and the hot tub.Of the 2 larger pools, one was designated "Adults Only" while children were permitted in the other. Problem was, at all points, the pool was too deep for the kids who didn't swim well. While I am 5'6", I was unable to stand in the pool, and my nearly 6' husband had difficulty trying to stand and support a small child in the water. And, again, there was no supervision. The only staff person in sight was a fully clothed man who sat by the slide and told people when they could go down. Not only was there no safety supervision, but children in diapers were permitted in the adult pool as well. We saw a child, sitting in the adult hot tub, vomiting; we reported it and noted that it took more than a half hour for someone to come (in white coveralls with a mask and gloves) to clean the area. There were so many extra lounge chairs around the pools, crammed in whichever way they would fit, it was like an obstacle course to negotiate the area, and added to all this was the tumult of poolside grilling and entertainment.The swimming pool situation posed significant health and safety risks to everyone, and no one seemed concerned. Again, I understand that it was a summer vacation cruise with lots of kids and hot weather. What I don't understand is why NCL would, through their Nickelodeon program, encourage families to cruise on a ship that clearly was not designed to manage their needs, and why they did not provide appropriate safety measures to ensure their passengers' wellbeing.As I said at the outset, all members of our party had previously cruised on other lines, megaships to small vessels. Some of us had cruised extensively, but none of us had ever cruised on NCL. And none of us will ever cruise on NCL again. Shame on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
From the time we boarded to the time we departed, my vacation experience was characterized by waiting on lines with inconsiderate fellow passengers and inept staff. Here's a very telling observation I made on our second day at sea: I ... Read More
From the time we boarded to the time we departed, my vacation experience was characterized by waiting on lines with inconsiderate fellow passengers and inept staff. Here's a very telling observation I made on our second day at sea: I commented to my husband at 10:00am that every machine in the gym was occupied, every table in the Garden Cafe was occupied, and every lounge chair by the pool was occupied. How could the Jewel not have enough space to accommodate all the passengers they booked?! This overcrowding detracted from everyone's experience and really ruined the vacation for me. We were part of a large group so we ate most meals in the Garden Cafe. It was like eating in a cafeteria -- the food was plentiful but nothing special. I liked that they had Indian food every day but the food signage at the buffet stations didn't match what was offered. For example, they kept an 'Omelet Station' sign up all day but when I asked for an omelet at lunch, they said they're only available at breakfast. And on more than one occasion I was unhappy to find ham in what was labeled 'Eggs & cheese'. They could do a better job with the lines if they organized the layout better. For example, syrup and toppings were placed before the pancakes and waffles in the buffet line so people had to go through the line twice or just cut the line (which is what most people did). Same thing with the soft serve ice cream. There were never fewer than 15 people in line for soft serve ice cream and part of the problem is that the toppings were placed before people got to the ice cream machine. Other general complaints about the Garden Cafe: they often ran out of drinking cups and the staff was always underfoot pushing carts through the dining room and making us get out of their way instead of them watching out for us. I could go on about the other restaurants but I'd rather focus on my other chief disappointment - - the pools. There was simply not enough space in the pool area or in the pools themselves to accommodate everyone who wanted to use them. People hoarded chairs early in the morning and absolutely none were available by 8:00am. Walking the deck was an obstacle course through lounge chairs and discarded food - - some on plates and some spilled. The Kiddie pool was ridiculously small (capacity of 7, I'm guessing) and had a slide that ended about a foot before the wall which seemed poorly planned and dangerous. It was stuck back in a stuffy corner that got as hot as a steamroom with little ventilation. I never saw any staff supervising the area though I witnessed several young kids slipping down the steps from the kiddie hottub. There were two main pools, one for adults only. Both pools were relatively small and given the family orientation of this cruise, the one pool that was open-to-all was constantly overcrowded. Both pools had a uniform depth of nearly 6 feet which meant most people couldn't stand and therefore had to hang off the sides, which also got very overcrowded. It was ridiculous. And making matters worse was the total lack of consideration the passengers displayed and the inaction by staff to do anything about it. I saw a child vomiting over the side of a hottub and not only did their family not remove the child from the situation, it took the staff 15 minutes to do anything about cleaning it up. I also saw a man in the open-to-all pool spit chewing tobacco in the water and swish it away with his hand, hoping no one had noticed. I am still completely incredulous that anyone would do such a thing! I could on to complain about the children's activities featuring lines over 40 minutes to decorate a cupcake or make-your-own pizza, both of which ran out of supplies in the middle of the event. But I think what I've written already speaks volumes and helps explain why I will never again consider an NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
On day 1 we complained to the front desk about the noise issues. We immediately went to the front desk and requested a cabin change. We were told the ship was full. Frankly, I find this hard to believe. The first noise issue was the ... Read More
On day 1 we complained to the front desk about the noise issues. We immediately went to the front desk and requested a cabin change. We were told the ship was full. Frankly, I find this hard to believe. The first noise issue was the incredible noise coming from the Garden Cafe primarily from food carts rolling across the floor. It sounded as if we were below a bowling alley. This rolling noise started around 5:30 AM and continued until at least 11:30 PM every night. The noise also came from carts used to setup and break down for The Grill eating area and the poolside BBQ in the pool area as well. Another source of noise was from the children running up and down the halls and literally jumping off the srairs to the landings. We never heard any announcements made asking the 800 + kids to stop running in hallways. Actually, it should have been addressed to the parents. There was never anything in the daily Freestyle bulletin either. Anither source of noise was from the cabin doors slamming shut. Even though the cabin doors have automatic closers, it seems they are either broken or have never been maintained. When the other cabin doors slam there is a vacuum effect and it makes the nearby doors rattle as well as make a huge amount of noise. We actually had our door closer fixed so that it wouldn't slam shut. Dangerous too. We were located directly below the Garden Cafe seating area and near the entrance doors and the children's eating area. Even though it was carpeted, it only dulled the noise of chairs and hassocks being moved. We could have "tolerated" this as it was during meal hours. The rolling noise from the carts was generated by the tile and linoleum floors from as much as 15 ft away from where I think the cabin room ends. I will say this... they called to express their regrets and the noise did die down a little, but never went away enough for us to enjoy the room or have peace and solitude in the afternoons. We then thought we should disembark in Port Canaveral and were told by a front desk person since the line might be charged a penalty of $300 per person under the "Jones Act" , they would need to bill us before we could disembark. We strongly considered this and should have done it. We always bring a portable noise machine with us when we travel to help when we decide to have an afternoon nap. Even this did not allow us to sleep well until the carts rolling stopped for the day. We spoke to an officer, on Friday afternoon after we calmed down and were told they were trying to correct the situation. In essence, they know there is a design flaw. They know the problem is with the carts vibration and noise. I suggested they get inflatable tires for the carts and to carpet the floors. We also discussed another big issue, namely the fact that NCL allows smokers to use the balconies. Guess what? We had a smoker in the immediate cabin next to us. He smoked almost constantly. When he was out there we could not use the balcony. We also could not leave the door open as the smoke would come directly into the cabin. So the extra money we paid for a mini-suite was a total waste. These FL/Bahamas cruises are essentially cruises for young families, similar to the Disney cruise line. There should be a warning when hundreds of children are on board. How are people expected to know there will be 500-1,000 kids on board ? Some of the kids roamed the halls and theaters as late as 10 pm at night.. I was scared for them. Bands of teenagers roamed the halls into the night. Most were well behaved, but very loud. Additionally, we could never use the pool because people would claim the pool loungers. Towels or personal items were placed on rows of chairs and the occupants sometimes were often gone for hours. I would suggest that NCL adopt the policy on deck chairs other lines have: after 30 mins. of non-use, towels and belongings are removed and placed into the poolside lost and found. We have seen this in action and it works and its fair. NCL insists on giving pool and beach towels out only through the cabin and not on the pool deck. It's dumb. We are frequent cruisers. This cruise was so over crowed and NOISY. We felt like we were cruising in a mall when sales are going on. Rarely could you walk in the halls and common areas with dodging children, large family groups, and strollers. There were way too many people and certainly too many children. The announcements by the cruise director were always LOUD and bordered on obnoxious. He didn't know how to talk... just scream. Do we really need to hear bingo announced at all ? Isn't the Freestyle bulletin there to let you know? Announcemnts should be banned from cabin halways. On the positive side, the food and dining were very good and the dining reservation system works well. (Be prepared to sit next to exhausted, whiny kids in every restaurant venue.....Frequently saw kids trying to sleep in strollers or in adult's arms as late as midnight in many places, including Bar City) . The crew is well trained and gracious throughout the ship. They had great music and provided times for ballroom and other dancing. The 70s party could have been fun if the hackneyed YMCA song, boring antics and subsequent crew involvement was gone. Would NEVER do this cruise again unless I had children/grandchildren with me and understood it was for them, not me. Beware that the buses from Port Canaveral to Universal/Disney take an hour. They said taxis cost $175 one way. Atlantis beaches had no shade (that we could find). Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
I would never sail with Norwegian again! Where do I begin. We were traveling with a group of 15 people. We all seemed to have problem First: dinning service=Awful! Waited forever for drinks and for food. If you wanted something you ... Read More
I would never sail with Norwegian again! Where do I begin. We were traveling with a group of 15 people. We all seemed to have problem First: dinning service=Awful! Waited forever for drinks and for food. If you wanted something you had to ask numerous times and sometimes you would never get it. Dinner's would take almost 2 hours. We had 2 tables of 8 and one table was done with there food the other one hadn't even received theirs yet. Then the next night in another dinning room same thing happened again. Also the menu's were boring. Never anything that stuck out. Second: The rooms were much smaller than most ships. One person in our group had a cockroach in here room.In my room under the pool they decided it was an appropriate time to start hammering and working on the pool. Not just one night but 2! We also overheard another person complaining she found another persons undergarments in her room. Third: The bar never had enough staff there was only people working at each bar. If you ordered a drink by the pool be prepared to wait a half hour. I ordered a drink and the beginning of a show and didn't receive my drink till the show was almost over. Forth: Another couple in our group had a penthouse and every morning they were woken up at 4a.m because of cleaning the deck above them and found gross food and trash all over there balcony. Fifth: Costumer Service was horrible. All the issues our group had no one cared at all. Also, the people in our group could not go to the gym before 9 even though the time it opened was much earlier because they had rooms below the gym so most of the equipment would wake up guest. Maybe they should have planned a little better when designing the this ship. On the last full day on the boat we all removed are gratuity charges because we felt that no one on the boat deserved it and personally tipped the person that cleaned our room because they were the only one who knew how to do their job. While doing this we encountered many people who felt the same way we did and who also had issue. Issues that no one cared to resolve or do anything about. I would never recommend this cruise line to anyone. It was horrible. If you have a a cruise already booked I wish you better luck that we had.If you can cancel you should switch to Royal or Carnival. I personally have been on Royal and others in our group have been on carnival. I would like to give them a 0 for rating but one is the lowest. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
My husband and I like to cruise it is a fun way to relax. We went on a family cruise (we were 21 people). This was was first on NCL...and NEVER AGAIN. First off, if you want a decent meal you need to go to a speciality restaurant and ... Read More
My husband and I like to cruise it is a fun way to relax. We went on a family cruise (we were 21 people). This was was first on NCL...and NEVER AGAIN. First off, if you want a decent meal you need to go to a speciality restaurant and they run around 25 bucks a person. The Garden Cafe provides food but it is substandard at most. The rooms are tiny. The bathrooms are tiny. Room service is a joke there is very limited choices of sandwiches etc.The staff is ok, they just seemed overwhelemed by it all...but overall they were nice and pleasant. The Layout of the Jewel looks like a marathon runners race...take the elevator to this floor cross over take another elevator..it is horrid.We did the walk of disembarkment and we literally had to walk a mile to get out of the terminal. Save your money folks....go somewhere else Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
I'm sure glad this wasn't my first cruise or I'd never go on another. Room service was horrendous; room steward whom I never met didn't know how to make up a bed, hardly vacuumed, poor, poor, poor or nonexistent ... Read More
I'm sure glad this wasn't my first cruise or I'd never go on another. Room service was horrendous; room steward whom I never met didn't know how to make up a bed, hardly vacuumed, poor, poor, poor or nonexistent service. We were told to call "00" if we needed anything and couldn't locate a steward. On the three occasions we needed something no one answered the phone. Spoke to other passengers with the same experience. Service in the main dining rooms was extremely slow. Food was never hot, and was mediocre at best. In the Garden Buffet, once again food was never hot, cold food was never cold. Several staff members in this area were rude. Public restrooms were not kept clean. I guess forced tipping does not give any one the incentive to work too hard, or be courteous. On a positive note there was a wonderful waitress who worked in the Martini bar. Her name is Evelyn. She was just great. Lastly, the smoke in the casino is unbearable. NCL either needs to designate a separate area for smoking or get better ventilation. Rest assured, I will never, never, never go on an NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
To thank my 2 daughters for all they have done for me, I chose to take them on a cruise for their birthdays which are both in October. My only mistake was choosing NCL. I am a very experienced cruiser. My husband and I are Diamond ... Read More
To thank my 2 daughters for all they have done for me, I chose to take them on a cruise for their birthdays which are both in October. My only mistake was choosing NCL. I am a very experienced cruiser. My husband and I are Diamond Members on Royal Caribbean. We usually do two to three cruises a year. But after talking to the NCL representatives I thought I should try that line. Believe me when I say, if this had been my first cruise experience, it would have been my last. First off when we got to our room, I had to dust the shelves near the balcony in order to place my clothing on them because there was 1/8th of an inch dust on them. Then one of my daughters went to get a drink of water from the bathroom sink only to find dried toothpaste encrusted on the glass. 90% of the crew we came in contact with were either unfriendly or down right rude. Nearly every time we said thank you for something ..........no response. Acting like we were putting them out when my daughter asked in the Garden Cafe for a carton of skim milk. Reaching right in front of our faces and over our food to put wrapped silverware in the basket. Nearly running over us with carts. In the Garden Cafe on one occasion one of my daughters was half done drinking a glass of water when she noticed the dried milk ring half way down the glass. Another time my other daughter stopped me before I drank a cup of coffee with dried food stuck inside. She had a cup of coffee with lip stick on the rim and she wasn't wearing any. And lets not even discuss what awful food you offer in the Garden Cafe. We finally had just salads for lunch everyday. We had dinner once in Cagney's and that was very good and the service was very nice. In fact I said to my daughters. " See they do know how to cook good food and be pleasant. I guess they just choose not to unless you are paying extra." The pizza was good as was the ice cream. I never had so many food items that were either bad tasting or had no taste at all. My older daughter actually lost 2 lbs. Our room attendant on two different occasions acted annoyed when we weren't out of the room when he wanted take down the beds. The first time he looked at his watch and said 10 minutes I said I wasn't sure and he looked down at his watch again and said 15 minutes, I said I would try and we were out in 15 minutes. We came back to our room an hour later only to find he had left the lock down and our door was opened. Again on Friday night he did the same thing about making it very clear we were causing him grief because we were still in our room. We also noticed we were punished on these nights because we didn't get a towel animal.....not that it mattered. We all bought diet Pepsi one day and my youngest daughter tasted hers and it tasted really bad. We looked at the bottom of the can and it had expired Sept. 6th 2010. When we took it back to the bar, the bartender never said one word, not sorry or anything, just filled a glass with well soda and pushed it at her. All the diet Pepsi in our refrigerator in our room was all expired too. My youngest daughter bought a waterproof purse in the gift shop. The inside was suppose to have a waterproof zip bag. Hers didn't, just a mesh bag. Nothing waterproof about that. She was too disgusted to even bring it back. The tender process NCL had on Stirrup Cay was terrible. Here it was pounding rain, a huge line of people snaking all over the area to get back to the ship and out of the downpour and for some reason one tender sat there nearly empty for a very long time and then without taking anyone on the top level left for the ship. Even though we wouldn't have gotten any less wet on top then waiting forever in line for the next tender, and nearly everyone in line was willing to sit on the top just to get back to the ship and out of the elements. On the next tender they put people on top even though it was still raining which was perfect. There were very elderly people and very little children weighted down with rain soaked beach towels, their only protection, waiting, when they should have been offered first to get on a tender. To end the amazing experience we had on with NCL, my brand new piece of luggage had it's handle broke off and was badly dented. It wasn't harmed on Jet Blue on the flight to JFK. When I put it outside our room at 11pm on Saturday night it was fine. Then we picked it up at your terminal Sunday 10/17 it was in very damaged. We never felt that we were pampered or appreciated as customers. Most of the time we felt like we were putting the employees out. My family is not hard to please. Just to have help that seemed happy and cared that you had a great experience would have been terrific. We even could have overlooked the food, if the help had been the least bit friendly. All the NCL employees should book a cruise with Royal Caribbean to see how a cruise line should treat it's customers. There was two outstanding exceptions Nelson and Horace in Tsar's, where we had the majority of our breakfasts. They were very efficient and extremely friendly, and to be fair there was quite a few of the help in Tsar's that at least smiled. I have owned my own business, a beauty salon, since 1976. My older daughter has been my partner for years and my younger daughter manages a well known store in Syracuse. We all know customer service and it is obvious NCL does not. At least we will have a lot of things to tell our customers when they ask how we enjoyed this cruise. I can assure you it will be greatly different from the wonderful times we have told them about while we were on Royal Caribbean. Believe me when I say we were not the only people that were very disillusioned by this cruise line. While we were in line to pick up our alcohol purchases, (other ships deliver them to your room) there were numerous patrons complaining about this cruise, its help and the food. That wasn't the first time in the 7 days that we heard other people complaining, we heard it numerous times. I was wondering if Free Style applies to NCL employees. If they feel like being polite, helpful, or friendly then they will be. If they feel like being rude, detached, and miserable they will be that too. On Nov 28th my husband and I have a 12 day cruise on Royal Caribbean (my 3rd cruise this year) . I feel I should hug every one of them for making our cruise experience the wonderful thing that it is always when we cruise RCL. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
I just completed my first cruise with NCL on the Norwegian Jewel. I was traveling with two teenage girls and 2 ½ year old twin boys. We departed on Halloween, and some of the Cruise Critic people organized a cabin trick or treat which we ... Read More
I just completed my first cruise with NCL on the Norwegian Jewel. I was traveling with two teenage girls and 2 ½ year old twin boys. We departed on Halloween, and some of the Cruise Critic people organized a cabin trick or treat which we conducted right after the Mustering drill. This was great. My boys loved it. Embarkation at NY was not really that bad. We arrived around 11:00 and we were on the ship in less than an hour. We were told that the cabins weren't ready so we dropped our luggage off at Fyzz's lounge and went to lunch. You can either go to the buffet on 12 or Tsar's Palace dining room. We opted for the dining room. I guess this is where the whole dining experience began. The staff was very confused, every time we went to eat, about needing two high chairs. They were constantly trying to sit us at table for 4 and the high chairs could be off to side with the attached trays instead of using tables for 6. This only happened every (and yes, I mean every) time we eat in either dining room. Even though Tsar's was less than half full, we had a very hard getting a waiter to take our order. We eventually ate, but I can tell you it was less than satisfying. Next, off to the cabin. We had adjoining mini-suites. The cabins were large. We had more than enough room, two queen size beds and a full bathtub. No complaints here. Our cabin stewards were very good. Because my boys didn't like going to the kids club, I was unable to really enjoy the nightlife on the ship. My wife did go to the 70's show the first night and was unimpressed. I watch some of the comedian on the cabin tv and didn't find him that funny, so we made no effort to see him the second night they had him. We did see the Wally and Will show. They themselves had the line that described their act(and I am paraphrase) Hey if were good, do you really think we'd be performing on a cruise ship. I would have liked to see the Second City shows, but I didn't get a chance to see them. I have sailed on Celebrity, RCCL, and Carnival. Carnival gets a bad rap for having low quality food and I guess in a sense it does, but at least it was edible. Sadly it's about 2 steps up from Norwegian. I can honestly say that I lost weight on this cruise. Most of the food in the main dining rooms - the same in both - was basically bland. Every sirloin steak I ordered, since it was the only one all week, came well done. All of the fish I ordered was overcooked. The one night there was lobster, they were overcooked. Some of the choices were just downright scary, Turkey Scaloppini??? Unfortunately, this was a step up from the buffet. The so called Hot Selections in the buffet were always luke-warm. They are so concerned with Purell and the Norwalk virus I guess they forgot that hot buffet food needs to be kept at a minimum temperature. This was everyday at every meal I was there. Breakfast, usually a highlight on vacation, was a 7 day disappointment. The based on the taste of the omelets, they were using powered eggs. If you ordered egg whites, as my daughter did, they used a tablespoon of oil instead of spray, which defeats the whole purpose. The pancakes had absolutely no taste, if there were any available. Making them apparently was much harder at sea than on land. They were constantly running out of cereal bowls. And you better arrive early because even though breakfast ended at 10:30, they would close the kids breakfast section a little before 10:00 and start packing up the cereal boxes, milk cartons and yogurts at 10:00. The coffee machines were always empty at about 10:00, but that didn't really matter since they usually would run out of cups anyway. Lunch was more of the same. Not even close to enough tables, always running out of plates and cups. Cold 'hot' selections. The salad bar was nice, but could they put a little salad dressing in the watery mix they like to call dressing. We always sat in the designated kids section. This was a nice concept, lower tables and small stools. Unfortunately, when you could get a table, it was never clean. There could be 4 or 5 empty tables with dirty plates on them at any given time. Eventually a worker would remove the empty plates, but in an entire week, I never saw anyone wipe the table with some sort of damp towel. Silverware was always scarce in this section. They would leave some rolled silverware on each table. There were numerous times when none of the tables had silverware. This was my first freestyle cruise. In my opinion it really means free of care - for the crew. Every hello or good morning you received as you strolled around the ship felt forced. Many times crew members didn't even acknowledge you when you passed them. The service at the restaurants, both Azura and Tsar's was awful. It seemed to me that since the waiters might not see you again, and their tip was guaranteed, there was no reason for them to do anything, let alone anything special. It seemed like it was a chore for the servers to wait on you. On the last two nights, we didn't even receive refills of our ice tea the entire dinner. Even the bar servers took exceptionally long times to bring drinks that you were paying for. While the ship was a nicely decorated, I felt that there were many design flaws which contributed to the ship feeling even more crowded that it was. There was only one entrance to pool deck from the main elevators on the starboard side which was also the same spot as the entrance to the buffet. This was made even more crowded by NCL always having someone vacuum the floor during the peak meal times. Another example of poor design is the entrance/exit from the Stardust Theatre. When the afternoon Slime Time live show let out, we all had to walk through the art auction with painting blocking the lone pathway from the theatre to the mid ship elevators. We booked this cruise expecting the ports of call to be somewhat boring and knowing that we might lose some days to bad weather leaving and returning to NYC, but we were trying to avoid flying with the twins. We were pleasantly surprised with the good weather that we had on Monday, the first full day. We were able to get some sun and swim in the pool. The next day, Tuesday, we used the free shuttle to Cocoa Beach. Stopped at McDonalds for some happy meals for the kids. The surf was a little rough, but he beach was very nice. We had a great day in Florida. Wednesday, we arrived at Great Stirrup Cay. We expected this to be fun beach day of sun and relaxation. Unfortunately, NCL does not know how to run tenders. I have tendered at Coco Cay, RCCL's private island, Grand Cayman and St. Martin (before the completion of the pier). I have never seen such incompetence. Since we didn't plan on being the first off the ship, we didn't rush to get tender tickets. We ended up getting tickets for tender #11. These tickets are available for anyone who needs them since nobody from NCL collect or checks them anyway. Board was apparently done by the order of who could push the hardest. We anchored at 11:00. Tender 11 didn't arrive on GSC until 2:00. By the time we arrived there were no lounge chairs available. In fact, there was barely any open sand available. We were able to set ourselves up in a small patch of sand near the very limited part of the beach that was actually sand and not rock. At about 2:45 we decided to get something to eat. As we should have expected, we were told that they stopped serving food on GSC, which it turns out is supposed to stop at 3:00 for some reason. It was at this point that we decided we would return to ship so we don't get stuck in a return tender nightmare. This is where the security officer attempted to stop my wife, who was holding my 2 year son, from boarding the tender. When she refused to listen to him, he raised his hand to her. I sat on the ramp of the tender holding my other son, making sure it could not leave. Eventually she boarded the tender. At soon as we returned to the ship, we contacted security and spoke with Stephen O'Toole, Chief of Security, and filed a formal complaint. On Thursday we met some family members who were staying at Atlantis and had a great day there. We hung out at the main kids' pool, did the lazy river, water slides, leap of faith, saw the aquarium. It was a great day. The next two days, Friday and Saturday were in the 40's with 25 mph winds, so we had to stay inside both days. Debarkation was a disaster. The hallways and stairwells were packed with people and they continued to call for the next color to disembark. They blamed customs for the backup, but we waited inside like sardines for about 20 minutes and then outside for about another 20 minutes. We disembarked at the rear of the ship. The crew told us that customs had told them to stop letting people into the terminal while we could easily see that they people disembarking from the front of the ship were walking into the terminal. Just poor communication all around. Based on comments all over the boards, this is very common in NYC. You would think that NCL would know this since they do it every week and some adjustments. Quick tip - grab a porter. They go through a much shorter customs line. It took us about a three minute wait to get through while most of the people carrying their own bags were in lines hundreds of people long. Through it all, my daughter and her friend had a good time. My boys enjoyed themselves and learned what a vacation is. They got to take pictures with Sponge Bob and Dora & Diego. My wife and I were reminded how much we love land vacations. I will cruise again, but it will never be with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
I just came back form a cruise out of NY on the Jewel and had a horrific experience! Not one seemed to care on the boat or would give me the time of day to actually hear what i had to see or look at pictures I took to prove how bad things ... Read More
I just came back form a cruise out of NY on the Jewel and had a horrific experience! Not one seemed to care on the boat or would give me the time of day to actually hear what i had to see or look at pictures I took to prove how bad things were. I was 23 weeks pregnant with 3 boys 17, 10 and 5 on board expecting the same experience I got form Carnival, Royal, and Disney and nice relaxing vacation but got the worst vacation ever. Room service-- The first 2 nights my room was never turned down which meant the first night I had 3 boys and myself and 3 beds( we had no clue there was a bed underneath one of beds). The next night I found bed myself and dust that had been there for months along with dirty cups and old candy, my son has bad allergies and I asked for it to be cleaned which it never was(I even asked for vacuum to do myself). Sheet had blood or some stains splattered on them ever day and every day I would say something and everyday I would get them again. Then I had dirty gloves form when the actually cleaned left on my toothbrushes(how gross). Room service took over an hour to even get. We never had towels ever bath towels nor pool towel I had to send my son every day. Restaurant- Took 2 hours to have dinner the first night because apparently after we ordered waiter left and no one came to our table to bring our food till i flagged someone down who said oh wait and left and 20 min later came back and retook orders( no apology or anything). We had silverware with so much left over food on them it was disgusting and there were bugs in the food that we showed waiter who laughed it off only to have my son sick an hour later in his room, when i called again all they did was send me chocolate covered strawberries no apology or anything. The buffets were set up so badly that my child was actually afraid to go in line but my older son was afraid to get sick again in a restaurant. The extra restataurants I was charged for something i never went to and alcohol I never bought( mind you I am pregnant so the sushi place/alcohol is not for me). They would not remove till i asked for my signature which after waiting an over a hour at desk wasting my vacation on this they could not produce and removed with a nasty comment about how some pregnant women do not care and do drink smoke and east sushi I was mortified! Kids Club/NIck This was a joke as well the activities listed never were done my 5 yr old went 2x and both times i came back they were in a corner being read to an d shushed to sit down he said he was told not to tell me that he did not play. He actually cried about the thought of going back to this place. Nick characters were no were to be found on this boat except to wait in line for pictures 2x on cruise or to pay over 50 for breakfast for a family of 4 how ridiculous. I went Disney in Oct and never ever had to pay extra for characters or character breakfasts and I paid same amount for their cruise as yours. Fyzz Lounge- there is a 20 a hour drink requirement I am pregnant again and can not drink so I asked for an exception for an hour to let them sing because they enjoy and was told I had to order 10 sodas then or I could not stay, talk about rude. These are some of my horrendous vacation experiences that we waited for a year to go on and were so excited about only to wish we never went and now have to wait another year to enjoy a vacation because i cruise once a year with them to enjoy and I am so miserably unhappy about my experience and lack of vacation. One other note while i was honest and told you of my pregnancy and that I had to move cruise up a week and paid an extra 100. to do so there were women on that boat over 30 weeks that I spoke to who just never said anything to you. I sent over paperwork which no one seemed to have on file and never asked for even though I was told they would. I even had my file copied to be safe and your crew lost it aboard the ship somewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
I cannot overstate how disappointing this cruise was, in comparison to others we've taken (especially RC)! We had a truly awful time - had we not been at sea, we would have left early. The Norwegian Jewel is too overcrowded for the ... Read More
I cannot overstate how disappointing this cruise was, in comparison to others we've taken (especially RC)! We had a truly awful time - had we not been at sea, we would have left early. The Norwegian Jewel is too overcrowded for the amenities on board. There are not enough pools, hot tubs, deck lounge chairs, elevators, or even seating at the buffet for the number of passengers this ship takes on board. Everywhere we went it was impossible to get near anything and there was no order to anything. We did not go in the pools or hot tubs once the whole time - we couldn't get near them. We were never able to get a table at the buffet that accommodated the 5 of us who were traveling together. And trying to get an elevator was frustrating (we were traveling with a baby in a stroller so couldn't use the stairs). The wait for an elevator was excruciatingly long and often when the door opened it would be so overcrowded there was no room to get on so we had to wait for another. This overcrowding held true on the private island as well - not enough lounge chairs or cabanas to accommodate the number of passengers. The buffet is mayhem - very confusing with no natural order or "flow" and very little seating near it. The food is mediocre at best and seemed to be the same thing every single day. And, curiously, there are no trays in the cafeteria which made it extremely difficult to travel with a child. I had to make my daughter's plate, then go back up to get her milk, then go back up for my own plate, etc. The drink stations were - more often than not - out of coffee, or out of milk, or out of something. The staff were not anxious to please. They were "OK" but definitely NOT the over-accommodating types I've encountered on other cruises. If you're used to being a bit "pampered" when you cruise, this ship is definitely not for you! The Tsar's main dining room was the best choice for dinner, though with the "freestyle cruising" style there are often long lines and long waits. The food is just "OK" and often our orders were mixed up, or incorrect altogether. As far as the specialty restaurants, we really enjoyed Cagney's Steak House. We had an excellent meal, which in my opinion was well worth the $25 per person cover charge! Conversely, the hibachi dinner was really not worth the cover - way too much garlic for my taste, and it takes over an hour from start to finish . . Finally, the disembarkation process was utter mayhem! They offered a "walk-off" option for folks who wanted to just carry their own bags off the ship, rather than putting them out the night before. We decided to do this, thinking it would make the disembarkation process quicker and easier. WRONG!!! Once again, there was no order to the process - just 2,800 people racing to get off the ship. The elevators were absolutely jammed and there was no way to get one. There was not one NCL employee in sight - just hundreds upon hundreds of people pushing and shoving - it was absolutely unbelievable! My baby was in a stroller, and was hit in the head TWICE by people's baggage hanging off their shoulder as they push and shove their way through the line. I cannot underscore enough what a miserable experience this cruise was due to the overcrowding.If you are considering the Norwegian Jewel, I highly recommend that you look for a comparable cruise itinerary on RC or another more upscale line. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
I am a 21-year-old college student who dreamed of going on a cruise with my friends over summer vacation. After nine months of planning and waiting, my friends and I sailed Norwegian Jewel embarking from NYC on May 15th 2010 to May 21st ... Read More
I am a 21-year-old college student who dreamed of going on a cruise with my friends over summer vacation. After nine months of planning and waiting, my friends and I sailed Norwegian Jewel embarking from NYC on May 15th 2010 to May 21st 2010. From the moment we arrived in our room, problems arose. Our faucet had nothing but boiling hot water, making it impossible to brush our teeth or enjoy a simple glass of water. After continuous complaints to the front desk, two "plumbers" fiddled around with the faucet for a while, and the problem was never fixed after we left. Eventually, we just gave up trying to solve that problem. That night, we accidentally spilled fruit juice on our sheets, acknowledging our mistake; we expected the sheets to be changed the next morning. When we returned from the pool deck that afternoon, we noticed the room was clean, but the same pink stain was still on the sheets. We found this utterly disgusting and obviously complained. The next day we expected the problem to be fixed with no further complaining. Boy, were we ever wrong. We had clean sheets on the bed that we spilled the punch on, but to our repulsion, the sheets were just moved from the bottom bunk to the top bunk. Am I stupid? I clearly noticed a bright pink stain on the top bunk. At this point, the blood was boiling in my system. I was finished being nice and gave the front desk a piece of my mind. After a roll of the eyes and after threatening to lower my tips, suddenly the problem was fixed. Arguably the rudest thing we encountered happen on the third night of the cruise at the Karaoke Bar. My brother approached the bar, trying to make a decision on a drink. The bartender snapped his fingers at my brother and proceeded to say "Hurry up, I got customers." My brother, clearly fed up with Norwegian's antics gave the bartender a piece of his mind. He told the bartender to give him his card back and reminded him who was paying his salary. He told the bartender he was going to complain and the bartender said, "Go ahead". Wow, how terribly rude. Who is this guy to tell my brother to hurry up? Does he remember who indirectly pays him? We complained AGAIN to the front desk, they understood and took his name down. On the first day of our excursions in Port Canaveral, I took a bus trip with brother to Universal Studios sponsored by NCL. The ride there was fine, but the ride back was anything but that. The 100 degree weather and 100 percent humidity on a bus with no A.C and a bus with a disgusting bathroom that reeked of something unexplainable was poor planning on NCL's part. The elderly were beginning to get sick and everyone was infuriated. After we got off the bus, the whole bus immediately complained to the shore excursion desk. Expecting a full refund, we were merely refunded 30 dollars. That was the end of the line, and everyone on that bus explained they would not be sailing NCL in the future. The overall layout of the ship and service presented by the staff was unimpressive to say the least. The jogging track felt like it was in the middle of everyone's way, and trying to get from point A to point B was like trying to navigate through a forest because of how many obstacles we encountered. Chairs and tables were constantly in everyone's way, there was no path designated through the ship. The service on the ship was laughable. The waiters and waitresses were so rude when we would ask for seconds or if we needed anything else, it was as if we were bothering them. The food was mediocre; some days were better than others. If I were to give the food a rating it would be a 6 out of 10, no bragging rights there. Overall, after researching NCL service and complaints on all currents sailing ships including The Epic, I have noticed a similar trend in complaints. From the smallest complaints to the computer system failing on The Epic, none of this surprised me. It is no wonder Norwegian owns the smallest amount of ownership in the cruise industry. "Freestyle cruising" was made a mockery by all the passengers on the ship. This was the farthest thing I had in my mind when I wondered what a cruise was all about. This is why I will only sail Royal Caribbean or Carnival. I almost made the mistake of giving Norwegian a second chance by booking The Epic until I read hundreds of complaints about the layout of the ship. I vow to never sailed Norwegian again, and believe me; I spread the word to anyone who ever thought of sailing Norwegian. By listening to the countless passenger complaints on our ship, the thousands of Youtube comments of the poor NCL service, and the hundreds of thousands of complaints of NCL online on various complaining sites, I regret ever sailing NCL, and vow never to again unless it is greatly improved. I should have realized, you pay cheap, you get cheap. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2009
Embarkation: This was our 6th cruise (1 with Princess, 4 with Carnival and 1st with NCL). We had read all the reviews and we selected a Penthouse suite to make comparisons with the other cruise lines. We read all about the NCL ... Read More
Embarkation: This was our 6th cruise (1 with Princess, 4 with Carnival and 1st with NCL). We had read all the reviews and we selected a Penthouse suite to make comparisons with the other cruise lines. We read all about the NCL "Suite Life" and were so excited about experiencing it. We landed at the Miami airport around 12:45 PM and joined our friends in the baggage claim area. The four of us stood in the taxi line for 1 minute and were on our way to the pier. The taxi was $24 total for all 4 people. This was a HUGE savings from the $40 per person transfer fee we would have paid NCL thru our travel agent. Besides, the NCL documents indicated that purchasing their transfers did not guarantee we would arrive on the ship timely. Once we left the airport we arrived at the Pier within 20 minutes. Quick - Fast - and PERFECT!!! The "check in" security area was clearly marked with individuals validating our documents. Being a 2 day cruise and with check-in time being 5:00 PM, we walked straight through the lines with minimal wait time. This was a great way to start a cruise. Once passed the security check in point, we found the "Suites and Villa" check in area. We met our Concierge and sat down until they called us to pick up our room keys. The Suites and Villa area was very nice and included a beautifully prepared spread of cookies, water, orange juice, pond cake, etc. This was exactly what we needed since we had not eaten since breakfast. The food was very pretty but lacked flavor or taste. So, we didn't eat much of it. We were escorted on the ship with a couple on the 9th Floor Suite and our friends who were also in a suite. We were sooo impressed with the champagne and welcome photos offered by the ship. It was AMAZING!! When we walked into the Atrium and saw all the beautiful wood grains we were totally impressed!! Room / Cabin: Our Penthouse suite was beautifully arranged and my fears of gaudy furnishings were quickly dismayed. There was a "Freestyle Daily" and a welcoming note from the Concierge and Butler. The curtains were open and the light reflected in just beautifully. The cabin had been decorated with "Bon Voyage" themed streamers, a beautiful white cake, fruit plate, champagne, a bottle of sparkling water and chocolate covered strawberries. (Yes, we had pre-ordered the streamers, cake and strawberries). We felt very special and we though the tone of the cruise was set. Unfortunately, once we began moving around the room the problems soon surfaced. We began opening the drawers and found trash hidden in drawers, 2 inch thick dust and personal items from the previous cruisers within the drawers. We were totally shocked. We then noticed only two towels in the bathroom. So, we called the butler who assured us we could get an extra set of towels. The problem was as soon as we left the cabin, the extra towels were taken. This occurred multiple times each day since it appears the Butler and the Cabin Steward didn't communicate. The most alarming thing that happened on the cruise was the night I got sick. I went to the bathroom and found the box of tissues which only had five tissues. So, I had to use toilet paper until the next morning. I accidentally threw up on the sheets and ASSUMED the cabin steward would automatically change them. After breakfast, we returned to our cabin and I immediately turned the sheets back. To my shock and amazement, the dirty sheets were still on the bed. I immediately went out into the hall to find the cabin steward. He stated that he did see where I had the accident but he didn't have sheets on his cart to change them. According to the cabin steward, the sheets are ONLY changed every three days and there was nothing he could do. I got angry and stated, "You are going to change these sheets or I'm heading straight down to the Purser's Office!" At that point he said that we would find some sheets and try to accommodate my "Special Request". UNEBLIEVEABLE - SPECIAL REQUEST TO CHANGE DIRTY SHEETS?? PLEASE. I chatted with the other couple traveling with us in the next door suite. They admitted they had the same experience within their room. Also, another cruise critic member had a similar issue and had another person contact the Purser's Office concerning the cleanliness of her room. To me, this it TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!! Lifeboat Drill: The lifeboat drill began at 3:30 which I thought was a bit early since passengers were not required to be on the ship until 5:00 PM. We were stationed in the Tsars Place Restaurant. I thought this was early since guests were not required to be on the ship until 5:00. The lifeboat drill was very nice and comfortable since we sat at a table instead of being outside near the lifeboats in the heat. Kudos to NCL!! After the drill we went back to our rooms to rest until the Cruise Critic Sail Away Party. Food: During the cruise, I ate at the following restaurants: • Blue Lagoon (Deck 8) - the Blue Lagoon restaurant. It was so nasty that I threw up within two minutes of consuming part of the Sugar flavored Macaroni and Cheese. I tried the Wonton Soup but hot water would have been tastier. So, I ordered the Spinach and Artichokes dip and it was undistinguishable. I couldn't find the Spinach, Artichokes or cheese within the dip. However, the chips were excellent. The food was soo bad that I would have preferred to bring my own. I found out that several other people had the same experience concerning the food. Saying the food was "bad" was a compliment considering. • Cagney's Steakhouse (Deck 13) - Excellent breakfasts and lunches. These were free for the Suite guests and we took advantage of this daily. My favorite item was the Crab Cakes Benedict. Unfortunately, the portions were so small that I had to make a double order just to get one regular portion. (The crab cakes were the size of a One Dollar coin). I have yet to figure out how they found English muffins in the same size. I must admit the staff was very gracious and did not mind providing the additional portions. • Garden Cafe (Deck 12) - This was a free restaurant and was terrible at best. The only positive thing was the employee who asked everyone to sanitize their hands before proceeding into the buffet. We soon found out that if you stated you were not going to eat, the employee did not require you to sanitize your hands. I selected rotisserie chicken, two types of soup, crapes, pizza and various mouse deserts. The chicken was beautifully prepared but was bleeding once you got closer to the bone. The pizza had no color on the bottom which was weird since it had been brought directly out of the oven. The chicken broth soup was so bad that a bouillon cube would have been much preferred. I tried the Broccoli Cheddar soup but it was like water with broccoli pieces. So, I passed. The Caesar salad had no taste while the Mouse tasted and looked like Flan. (I don't like Flan). The only decent desert was the Crapes which used an extra sweet cherry pie filling. • Mama's Italian Kitchen (Deck 12) - There was a $10 per person charge for this restaurant. The atmosphere was quite and very casual and the service was excellent. My Caesar salad was prepared table side and was excellent. However, the pasta could have used additional seasonings. I would have preferred Rago or some other bottled variety to what was served. Entertainment: What entertainment? I couldn't find any. I guess we had to either select a movie, go to the art auction or Gamble. There wasn't any entertainment. I guess there's not much effort put into a two day cruise. Shore Excursions: We were scheduled to stop at the private island, so I didn't expect too much. What we got was less that I even expected or imagined. The ship did dock at Freeport, Bahamas for several hours. We didn't mind since we just wanted the opportunity to step off the ship. However, when we went to Deck 11 and looked over the side of the boat, there were only four local vendor shops open. Also, the island didn't look real interesting so we decided to stay on board. However, another cruise critic member did go to a local beach and had wonderful pictures of the day. Debarkation: This was very easy and I couldn't wait to leave. We did VIP self assist and walked right off the ship. We were in a LONG line and waited about 30 minutes to go thru homeland security. We were greeted by very nice NCL representatives who asked how our cruise went. Needless to say, they got an earful. The representative didn't really appear to be surprised by our comments. The representative indicated that we should write a letter to NCL and tell them about our experience so that changes could be made in the future. We did exactly that. We found a taxi outside the Port and couldn't wait to get back to the Miami airport for real food. Overall impression: My overall impression was that NCL is, "All flash but no substance". The food is bad, the cabins aren't clean and there are no activities. We took this weekend cruise to determine if NCL would be an option for next year's Mediterranean or Alaska cruises. After our experience, the answer is NO. We wouldn't try NCL again if they gave us a free cruise. We would rather spend money where we can get decent food and a clean room. Therefore, our future cruise dollars will go to Carnival, Princess or Royal Caribbean. Read Less
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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