3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one ... Read More
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one could not call it a Pacific cruise, as it only went to New Caledonia in the pacific. If you really want to do something you had to take NCL's expensive shore excursions. In my opinion it was no coincidence, in this regard, that for example the tendering at Airlie Beach started well after 08.00 am and ended about 04.30pm. This meant one could not take any excursion that could be booked ashore, these all started around 08.00 am and ended around 05.00 pm. Timewise, there was no single problem of anchoring far before 08.00 am and leaving far after 05.00 pm. The really expensive shore excursions (around US$ 290,--) were really disappointing, what I heard from participants, including a visit to the Barrier Reef, with snorkeling around dead coral. There was a lot of tendering, which gave a headache, as shore excursions went first, often taking ½-1 hour, than you had to get tender tickets at 07.00 in the morning, really nice when you had a late evening. When tendering started at for example 08.00 it would mean if you did not have tickets you might get a tender at 10.00 am or later. Also, in some of the ports you had to pay (heavily) for the bus transfer to the main town, which I find appalling, when it says in the brochure and trip description that the cruise goes to that harbour. Typical example: visit of Airlie Beach, we arrived in Yorkeys Knob and had to pay for the transfer to Airlie beach. Food was normal. Service was great of all personnel. Shows were (far) above average. Outside sport facilities were above average. No quiet pool area for adults only, just a pool for adults. Only really quiet area on board was the library, which was small. Other areas might be quiet for some time, but then always some activity was started, that was inevitably noisy. In the evening in the main dance/disco area, the spinnaker lounge, our dj Ricii did a, most of the time, horrible job with his music choice, chasing people away (so less bar sales), so generally after 11.30 pm it got pretty empty most of the time. Several people complainted about this with the cruise director, that literally said he could not do anything about it. Drinks cost (beer to cocktails) incl. the 20% mandatory tip was very high, generally from about US$ 9.-- to 15.--. Soda's sowhat cheaper. I had an all in package. A large yellowish/blue smoke cloud was visible coming from the ships chimneys, that did not disappear rightaway as water vapor does. As a engine technician I can say this smoke is not belonging to a ship of which the captain claimed during the QA on the ship that she is a clean ship in regard of exhaust emissions. See the other review visiting Milford sound. Basically I would say the cruise is ok for families with children that want to cruise for a reasonable amount of money and don't expect to go a lot ashore. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL. Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL. Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami to the Caribbean in January 2015. Because this was a mere two months from the first, I assumed the dishes in the main dining salons and the speciality restaurants were on the winter menu and hadn't been changed. So I was surprised when the food was the same on a transatlantic trip from Miami to Dover in May 2015. We left it a year and then tried the Hawaiian one in June 2016. Again, the dishes were the same. For this Christmas 2018 cruise, we could see the improvements in the refit, especially in the Bliss Louunge and Spinnaker which is now sited at the top and front of the 13 deck as well as fresh decor in the cabins etc. On a separate note, it was lovely to see the Aussie entertainment director, Dave who we met on our first cruise. But everyone knows, cruises revolve around mealtimes so we again paid a 10-night specialty restaurant package, and had our first lunch onboard after embarkation in Tsars main dining salon. We were right at the end of lunch service and there were only about 10 tables to serve, so I was surprised the waiter took ages to come with our dishes. I did notice a lot of waiters wafting about unproductively. My husband's fries were cold while the waiter brought me the wrong dish which I could see was overcooked salmon, On Christmas Day lunch there, the Christmas dishes were a perfunctory piece of paper clipped to the menu. The local pub would have put them to shame for presentation, taste and temperature. There were no roast potatoes so you could hardly call it a Christmas lunch! Even dinner at Cagney's that night felt a bit flat. Even in Cagneys Steakhouse our medium rare steaks turned up medium done on several occasions. The Garden Cafe buffet turned out to have the freshest, most varied and tasty dishes. However we didn't pay thousands to eat at a cafeteria for 2 weeks i am reluctant to travel with NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. ... Read More
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. Our inside cabin was tiny. No where to sit so had to lay on the bed to watch tv. Had to hunch over and crab walk along side the bed to get into it as there was a fold down bunk attached to the wall. Very tiny room. It seemed the staff were not very happy at all. We were one on the last in the dinning room after lunch one day and it was really the first time I saw staff in there smiling and happy, because everyone was leaving. Eventhough I am a recreational smoker, I could not believe they allowed somking everywhere in the casion whenever it was open! Yuck. The food was very average. Moderno, the Brazilian restaurant that is an additional cost was the best food on board. If you were unlucky enough as us to be ones without a drinks package included, the pricing is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. It worked out to be $185 AUD per person per day!! What a joke. Of course we didnt partake. The entertainment was ok, the best being the aerialist couple who were outstanding. There was no indoor pool so when the weather was not great, there was no swimming at all. Drinks were expensive. There showed the cost in US dollars then in tiny print down the bottom of the menu it said plus 20% gratuity plus 10% GST. So you must add 30% to the advertised drinks price displayed. Always take your own coffee as we do as the stuff they claim to be coffee is not drinkable. Overall we were disappointed and wony try Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we ... Read More
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we would spend the next two nights and fortunately we have relatives there so spent the time with them. Two days at sea took us towards New Zealand and the sounds. Then everything went wrong. First of all I came down with acute gastro which we were told was taken onto the ship by a passenger and this was the night before Dunedin so had to spend the next couple of days in the cabin with room service (not that I was up to eating anything). As I started to recover my husband came down with it so another two days spent in the cabin. By the time we were feeling well enough to venture about we had missed the first 4 ports of call. I went up to the Garden Cafe as I did not really want to eat too much and thought that it would be the best approach. How wrong could I have been. None of the food there could persuade me to eat other than a couple of crackers and two slices of french stick. I found most of the bread on board seem to be sweet as though there was sugar in it. Had a look at a desert and whereas I like apple crumble I could not persuade myself to have choc/orange sauce on it. (where was the vanilla custard) so decided against it. I think they need to change their menu a little more as most days there might have been a couple of different dishes but mostly everything was the same. It is also a sad affair that I had to purchase a half a dozen bottles of water for the cabin which obviously went on our bill but could have drunk as much alcohol as we liked because we had the drinks package included in our fare which by the way was not cheap. We paid over $11,000 or the two of us and heard a few passengers bragging that they had managed to get their trip for $1,500 each. OK they had an inside cabin but that is a big difference. On a good note the ship itself has a good layout and the couple of shows I did manage to see where very good. I was surprise there wasn't a few more chairs with small tables on deck 7 most of the seating was around the swimming pool area and in the sun so found myself sitting on the balcony of the cabin so I could have a drink at my side and look out to sea. We have traveled extensively on cruise ships previously so in the end was very disappointed with this venture on a new to us cruise company. No more Norwegian for me. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip ... Read More
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip yourself ,watch one major travel company who will try and get to sign up to gratitudes before you get on ship ,wouldn’t recommend ship to anybody everything is expensive ,drinks served up with no imagination ,food boring entertainment no good no coffe card tours are to expensive ,the Chinese restraint was terrible no flavour ,no wonder the restraint was empty most nights ,with the roast turkey for lunch on the 12 th floor no roast vegetables on Christmas Day chips only could you imagine Christmas Day with chips sweet weren’t to bad asked for custard they promise everything and deliver nothing caramel sauce full of sugar ,look for a better ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar ... Read More
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar service was poor, staff generally unfriendly and understaffed. Waited >15mins to be served and paying 20% service charge for no service. Waiters brought a different drink to the one ordered (because it was claimed to be out of stock) without checking with the customer first. This happened at least 3 times in different lounges. Restaurant service also poor in some instances - cold food, wrong drinks. Unimaginative on board activities during sea days. Chin Chin Asian restaurant is false advertising. Very limited "complimentary" (included in fare) choices on menu and I, a lousy cook can cook better. Cabin steward service ok but had to find own toilet paper from the trolley outside. Entertainment (stage shows) ok. Daily newsletter should have next port information which it didn't. Ship advertised as 4 star but overall a 3 star experience at best and no star at worst. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food ... Read More
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food and cabin where great too , Entertainment from the production was outstanding from vocals, choreography and the visual of the costumes was just amazing !!! The Itinerary was one of the reasons I picked this cruise also dates where great too. Plethora of on board activities for sea days and shore days. Entertainers where of a high standard and very entertaining. The selection for shore excursions was great too. Embarkation was no trouble as was disembarkation. This cruise I did a back to back first time doing this , and would defiantly think of doing it again stayed on for the January 5th cruise that was just as good. Do yourself a favor if your considering doing a cruise have a look at Norwegian cruise line there prices are competitive and Itinerary's are just as good :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per ... Read More
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per day than Med or caribbean). This ship was less crowded (it was a pretty full ship but the spaces seemed better matched to its carrying capacity) than the last time but the staff was weaker, the food more bland and the entertainment weak and repetitive. This was a decent ship with a good port itinerary and ok crowding and our room was ok size and bathroom was good. however Safe in our room was broken and they did nothing to fix it except take notes. Staff was weak at service and solving problems or dealing with requests. Food was weak in cafeteria and main restaurant. Specialty dining food was good though. It seemed like they made the regular food weak so you would buy the specialty dining. Entertainment was weak and repetitive - almost the same show repackaged 10 of 15 nights. All basic song and dance routines except 1 comedian, 1 hypnotist and 2 duo song/comedy shows. Pool was closed often for non understandable reasons and impossible to tell if it was open or closed without trekking up there. Music was loud above our room every night - after 3 nights of complaining and after i suggested maybe they could turn it down at 10pm they did do that the 4th night - and it worked. but on the 5th it was back up and i was not able to get them to adjust it again. most staff are hopeless notetakers saying yes sir, yes sir but intending to do nothing. We had 4 sea days and very little organized extra activities. One day there was bridge in a decent space but they would not offer it again. i dont know if htey were lazy or not competent when we asked about it. The 2 things that will prevent me from cruising Norwegian again were 1. the noise above our room every night not addressed and 2. strange blocking of our access around the ship every day at port (combined with a strange configuration of elevators and stairs). The elevator configuration does not help where one set of elevators did not reach our floor and neither did one set of stairways. For the first week i was forever getting stuck in a stairway with now way out. I would take the stairs down from deck 8 to deck 6, get stuck, have to go back up to deck 8, walk to the back of the ship, go down the stairs to deck 5 then walk back to the front of the ship to my room. I also had to do this the first 3 times we stopped in a port just to get off the boat. Luckily after a few days they improved their instructions to their staff to let us out from deck 5. But it took a lot of complaining. most staff i spoke to just didnt care - it wasnt their job to ask questions. There were a number of issues like this where the staff was unhelpful it seemed because they are micromanaged. For example the pool was often closed for "rough weather" - but there was no way of knowing 1. what was the measure of rough weather to close, 2. was it closed now (i had to go up to deck 12 and look (did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell many times on the way back), 3. when it was opened again (or when they expected it to open or re-asses - i had to go back up to deck 12 to look - did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell again). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other passengers was that the Balcony cabins were smaller than on other ships but we found that there was more than enough room for a king sized bed, lounge and to walk around comfortably. The weather (which is obviously out of everyone's control) could not have been better. The efficiency of embarking and disembarking made use of every moment ashore. As for the entertainment, I have not seen such a diverse set of acts performed to such a high standard. Truly international. We did not travel with children but those that did seemed to enjoy themselves. The Jewel does not contain the large waterpark that other, larger Norwegian ships carry so there were not an extremely large number of families. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Joined this cruise as a friend was looking to share a cabin with. Generally saying the ship spent to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer ... Read More
Joined this cruise as a friend was looking to share a cabin with. Generally saying the ship spent to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. If you really want to do something you had to take NCL's expensive shore excursions. For example: Auckland docked 12.00 pm, which does not mean you can get off the ship at that time, there is paperwork to be done and the NCL shore excursion people go first. (This is especially time consuming when tendering, which was not the case with Auckland) aboard latest 07.30 pm. This for the major city of New Zealand? Food was normal. Service was great of all personnel. Shows were (far) above average. Outside sport facilities were above average. No quiet pool area for adults only, just a pool for adults. Only really quiet area on board was the library, which was small. Other areas might be quiet for some time, but then always some activity was started, that was inevitably noisy. In the evening in the main dance/disco area, the spinnaker lounge, our dj Ricii did a, most of the time, horrible job with his music choice, chasing people away (so less bar sales), so generally after 11.30 pm it got pretty empty most of the time. Several people complainted about this with the cruise director, that literally said he could not do anything about it. Drinks cost (beer to cocktails) incl. the 20% mandatory tip was very high, generally from about US$ 9.-- to 15.--. Soda's sowhat cheaper. I had an all in package. Visiting Milford sound there was no wind, and a large yellowish smoke cloud was visible coming from the ships chimneys, that did not disappear. As a engine technician I can say this smoke is not belonging to a ship of which the captain claimed during the QA on the ship that she is a clean ship in regard of exhaust emissions. Photo's are included. Basically I would say the cruise is ok for families with children that want to cruise for a reasonable amount of money. I also did the cruise after this one, so check that one for addition remarks on that cruise. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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