6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
As a person who has done 15 previous cruises with celebrity, rci., princess and thompson cruise lines i consider myself more than experienced to give a good and honest account of any cruise i’ve been on so here is my opinion of my ncl. ... Read More
As a person who has done 15 previous cruises with celebrity, rci., princess and thompson cruise lines i consider myself more than experienced to give a good and honest account of any cruise i’ve been on so here is my opinion of my ncl. Cruise from sydney to new zealand via melbourne and tasmania. Embarcation in sydney. Congratulations to n.c.l. On what has to be the worst embarcation myself and most of all the other 2500 plus guests have ever had to endure. Embarcation was after 12.00 midday. We arrived at 12-20. Bag drop was smooth and done within 10 minutes. We then had to queue 20 minutes to get into the terminal. This then allowed us to join another 20 minute queue to be allowed in small groups to get on an esculator or lift to go up to the next level and at this point we’re told to discard any water or liquids pre security. On reaching the next level we then had to queue for an hour and 15 minutes to check in as there were only 30 desks for hundreds of people and the system kept gridlocking and at one point stopped completely for twenty minutes. We were the directed to yet another long queue to pass though australian border control only to then be directed to another queue to pass through x-ray and security before boarding ship. Finally after two and a half hours!!!!! At no point we’re we offered even a drink of water in what was a packed and very hot area and no appologies either !!! Not the best start. The cruise. We had paid for the ultimate drinks package and the drinks at first we’re fine with a good selection of as advertised. Bar service is however at best slow and at worst totally unacceptable compared to other companies as there’s hardly ever more than two people serving at any time which creates either long queues or arguments as to who’s next for service. Three days in and the major issues began to appear. No more bulmers cider left. Next day no reason brown ale. Next day no more peroni. Next day no more budweiser not a good thing on a ship filled with a lot of americans. We asked will we restock in new zealand? No sir that’s it for the cruise now! Any refunds no sir. Next day no mint left to make mojitos and no grapes left in the garden restaurant to have with wine and cheese and on and on it went. Food. Only average and although a good selection it was mostly the same selection every day. If your definition of fine dining is steak and chips with a sprig of broccoli in the main restaurants then this is for you. That says pretty much all you need to know. the chefs need to understand that putting far too much salt in all the food they produce is not the way forward. I’ve never tasted so much salty graveyard and sauces anywhere i’ve been. Yak! All specialised restaurants are very expensive and add an %18 gratuity to your bill and even ask for a tip on tip if your feeling genorous. Excursions. One example of the daylight robbery this ship operates it’s excursions on. To visit hot springs etc. In rotorua ship price $279 pier private tour operator 150 new zealand dollars. Hey go figure and do the maths. Every trip they offer is way more than double the local prices. Captain / cruise director. Congratulations on been voted the worst and least in formative of anyone i’ve ever sailed with. Never on time either early or late. No notice or announcement of departure just a honk of the horn and off we go. Gratuities. $14 per person per day. Compulsory unless you ask at the reception to pay them at your own discretion. The staff. Some are really hard working and give great service however i have to say in general it was the most miserable crew i’ve ever sailed with and some of them were just downright rude. Entertainment. Absolutely fantastic and the thestre shows and dance team were the best i’ve seen. The other entertainment in the bars and around the ship and on main deck area through the day was only average and in some cases abysmal to the point of bad karaoke level. All in all the ship is kept very clean and tidy although now a bit tired. Would i go on this ship again or recommend it? No. Best regards. Daved. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room ... Read More
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room waiters. Especially the females. Some were rude and kept you waiting for ages before reluctantly acknowledging your existence. Then there was the consistently cold food. It became a game to see which one of us would be the first to get a hot meal. To be fair, there were some friendly staff in a couple of the bars. The managers of the dining rooms fell over themselves to assure you that things would improve and tell you that other people were praising the staff. Little changed for the better, especially breakfast on the last day when they made it obvious that we were not welcome because they had other things to do. And don't even think of eating in O Sheehan's. The final straw was the imposition of gst charges without notice half way into the cruise. Australian customs came on board and had to have heavy talks with them about selling duty free whilst in port. They refused to issue refunds or gst advice. I have encountered these charges on any other cruise. They simply had no idea what they were doing. The financial controller refused to meet with anyone and anyone else with authority had others blocking your way to them. We will never use Norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were ... Read More
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were directed into the wrong line up as attendants were not aware of the priority check in for diamond members. First impressions: The ship appeared in good condition. The decor might be a bit dated, but it was functional, comfortable and clean. The cabin: The first big disappointment. The cabin was very small with insufficient space for luggage. But what grossed us out immediately was the filthy carpet. So bad that we did not want to take off our shoes! We were told that it was scheduled for replacement next year but that did not help us now. O'Sheedans: Touted by Norwegian as the 'wildly popular' pub turned out to be the wildly unpopular replacement of the Blue Lagoon 24hr fast food joint which we all loved. On our first visit we waited 40 minutes for a waiter before we got up and just left. A few days later we tried it again, and this time we got fast service - grouchy, but fast. But the food was awful. The spinach artichoke dip looked more like wall paper paste with a taste to match. I could not eat it. The food: Although there were a few bright spots (great croissants, roast beef and some fish dishes), the food ranged from mediocre to lousy. Sometimes luke warm, sometimes heavily salted, sometimes long waits and sometimes not resembling what the menu said. The entertainment: The Burn The Floor dance group was spectacular. Most other shows were cruise ship average. And the comedians were mostly Australians with heavy accents so we could not understand them. Port services: This cruise had a lot of tendering and this worked very well. What was missing was any information about the port, like the little map you used to get to see where they drop you off. Even worse, in some ports we were told it was unsafe and too long a distance to walk to town from the port. They wanted us to buy their bus service. Turned out the walk was 0.6 miles on a nice sidewalk - totally enjoyable and safe. The staff: It looked to us that this ship had a higher than normal amount of crew members with issues. This was particularly the case in the food serving areas. In summary, we feel that in their quest to become the lowest price operator, Norwegian has crossed the line of what we consider acceptable food quality and service. We will not be back anytime soon, at any price.Thanks for the good memories of days past!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Alaska was our dream destination. Me and my husband decided to go at the end of the season because of the value we got for 10 day Alaskan cruise plus there were 9 other people in our group and that was the only time when all of us could go ... Read More
Alaska was our dream destination. Me and my husband decided to go at the end of the season because of the value we got for 10 day Alaskan cruise plus there were 9 other people in our group and that was the only time when all of us could go together. I definitely recommend going to Alaska, at least once in a lifetime. I loved Glacier Bay National Park where we could see glaciers, hear them cracking and see big chunks of ice falling into the beautiful blue green waters. That was the highlight for me. The scenery is just breathtaking and I didn't know that places like this still exist. The reason why I'm writing this review is not about Alaska but it is about NCL cruise lines. One, we went on Jewel and the ship was very old needed update and many crew members especially in dining areas were flat out unhappy. There were no smiles or jokes like I am used to from the other cruises. The same situation at the bar. Barman was polite, gave you your drink but no other interaction. Next, I am not a greatest cook and for me any food is good as long as I don't have to cook it. However, food on this cruise was awful wherever you went. Buffet was just cheap cafeteria food and very greasy. I think Dennys serves better breakfast than this ship. Hardly any seafood or fish in the buffet. Couple of times we went to the main dining room but we had to wait 1.5 hours for food to be served and it wastasteless. One night they served steaks but by the time we got them they were cold and hard as a rock. Further, shore excursions: Ketchikan - Misty Fjords National monument by boat started off really misty. We went early in the morning and fog was so thick we couldn't see anything but later on the fog cleared and we were grateful that we went. It was very cold and windy but there was plenty of shelter on the boat and hot tea, coffee and cocoa. They served salmon chowder for lunch and it was delicious. Highly recommend this excursion. Juneau - we booked Seaplane tour to Taku lodge that got cancelled due to weather and the cruise didn't offer any interesting replacements. Disappointing. They said they will refund us. So we went out on a pier and booked excursion on our own which almost turned out to be a disaster. Their instructions were sketchy and we almost didn't make it back to our cruise on time. Skagway - Train and an extension bridge in Canada. Well it was enjoyable at least but it could've been more fun if our friends were allowed to go with us. All of us booked this trip and the bus took us to train station where our friends were required to present with Canadian visas. They are from Czech republic and before this trip they called Canadian embassy and were informed that they don't need visa if they are entering Canada by boat, train, or car. Well high altitude customs in White Horse pass felt differently and our friends weren't allowed to enter Canada. So they got to enjoy tiny little town of Skagway and it's many bars and shops. They were very disappointed because the train was the highlight of Skagway. However, I partially blame for this fiasco NCL because they should warn international travelers that there is a possibility of not being allowed to Canada if you are not US citizen. At least NCL was going to refund all of them. Or that's what they promised. It was six people that went and it's been more than two months and they still haven't seen their refund checks. We filed claims on NCL web site, called them on multiple occasions, were promised that they will call back when they find out more. No calls, no money. Go figure. In Icy Strait we booked 4WD buggies and zip line. It was fun but couldn't see a squat. If you end up there and want to go on world highest zip line book it for the afternoon, chances are the fog will be gone by then. Icy Strait reminded me one of those Caribbean cruise ports like Grand Turk with Alaskan style Margaritaville. After foggy zip line we ventured to small town of Hoonah where we sat at the pub, enjoyed some local brew and chit chat with the locals. The little town is charming. After mixed feelings about excursions on this cruise we decided not to book anything in Sitka and Prince Ruppert. We just enjoyed walk around downtown in both of these ports. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I read a review saying "First and last" and I could not agree more. Wish I had listened. From the food that was on par with school cafeteria to the bed and pillows that make rocks seem cozy, to the staff who could care less that ... Read More
I read a review saying "First and last" and I could not agree more. Wish I had listened. From the food that was on par with school cafeteria to the bed and pillows that make rocks seem cozy, to the staff who could care less that there were no paper towels or soap in the public washrooms. The ONLY good thing was a Client Service desk woman named Amie. She was actually concerned about the lack of soap and towels and too immediate action. She also followed up - she was a rare and unique staff member. While eating in O'sheehans (shall I recite the menu?it never changed) we noticed a staff member taking the meat off a meal, putting it in a zip lock baggies and putting it under the counter. When we brought this to the hostess's attention her comment was "maybe he was hungry" I was really baffled so we informed some at the Customer service desk - she said "maybe he wanted to try it" - unbelievable!! We talked to another staff member who said, "what you get is better than what we get" So, if we were eating sub-par food, what the heck is the staff getting that they need to steal food? Since no one seemed shocked or surprised- it must be common. The daily paper with events of the day consistently had lots of errors - more "I'm sorry " but what I found upsetting most about this daily occurrence was the staff in the area that had the wrong event info - they had to take the anger and frustration of guest after guest as they tried to explain the area. No wonder the staff seemed so frustrated and uncaring. I can honestly say I would not recommend this ship - and if this is an example of the line then I would say - please book with another line - we wish we had. I have never been happy to leave a cruise in the past, but I cannot properly express the joy I felt to leave this one. I wish it could have been different NCL Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about ... Read More
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about insurance. When we talked to agent when we booked they said medical would be covered. ??? Service in dining room was terrible. Food was mainly served cold and not seasoned. The best part of the cruise was the intertainment at the evening shows. Best I have seen. The beverage packages were very expensive. I like some wine but could not drink enough to pay for daily package and individually very expensive per glass. The staff in general were wonderful especially our room steward. With open cruising he was the only one who remembered who we were. Sorry to say my husband and I probably would not cruise on Norwegian Cruise line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
NCL has the poorest food quality I have seen. I think a school cafeteria has way better food. Finding the parking and the dock in Seattle is a nightmare. Park somewhere and take an Uber or Lyft to the dock. The cabin was very ... Read More
NCL has the poorest food quality I have seen. I think a school cafeteria has way better food. Finding the parking and the dock in Seattle is a nightmare. Park somewhere and take an Uber or Lyft to the dock. The cabin was very functional and the shower was surprisingly good. Decent size balcony and the bed was comfortable. Our cabin steward knew us by name on the first meeting and was top notch. Basic room service was included and we order almost every morning but they never got our order right once! The ship was ok but did not have many quiet areas for enjoying the scenery. The 13th floor lounge over the bow was great when there was no trivia, bingo, karaoke, etc. Dining was HORRIBLE! Poor food quality, inconsistent hours and service. I actually lost weight on the cruise because the food was so bad. We attended two shows and both were very entertaining and fun. Overall service was mediocre at best. Many of the crew were wonderful but many others were indifferent and almost rude. When my wife asked the concierge desk where we need to pick up tender tickets, she was abruptly told "over there". In another case I had to wait for two crew members to get done flirting for a few minutes before one of them would acknowledge me. The ports and excursions were wonderful. Fantastic times on each excursion! I would definitely go to Alaska again! I will never cruise with Norwegian again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Friends of mine booked this cruise, and I decided to join them with pretty low exceptions. I knew the Jewel was an older ship and had heard that NCL has something of a middling reputation in the industry. Sadly, this cruise failed to ... Read More
Friends of mine booked this cruise, and I decided to join them with pretty low exceptions. I knew the Jewel was an older ship and had heard that NCL has something of a middling reputation in the industry. Sadly, this cruise failed to meet even low expectations. The ship was filthy with smudges on most of the glass and mirrors, and the service was truly horrible. With a few notable exceptions (including our capable cabin steward), the staff gave off the air that they simply couldn't be bothered. For example, the bartenders routinely ignored us while they engaged in personal conversations. One time, I asked a bartender at one of the outside bars for a spoon, and instead of providing one, he merely gestured toward the restaurant. We encountered this level of rudeness all week. I'm on a strict gluten-free vegetarian diet, which I relayed to NCL when I booked the cruise. They had me fill out a 5-page form and assured me they could accommodate my diet. They did, but I really had to work for it. While, for example, I could special order a gluten free pizza (something I learned midway through the week), neither the regular pizza station nor room service could accommodate me. Instead, I had to call a special number and make arrangements to meet an attendant in the dining room, which was difficult during the lunch rush. Overall, the quality of the food and ingredients disappointed. The fruit was unripe; the vegetables wilted; and the sauces bland. Most of the food looked and tasted more like what you'd expect in a high school cafeteria than on a cruise ship. Our one meal at the Italian Restaurant (which cost extra) might have been the worst Italian meal I've ever had. When I booked the cruise, there was a promotion under which I was supposed to get a $100 on-board credit. I remember thinking it wasn't much, but I could get a couple bottles of wine. The credit didn't appear on my account on the ship, and the customer service attendant--after keeping me waiting for 20 minutes--told me they had no record of it. I never got the credit. I enjoyed the itinerary in Alaska, but we had short port times at several of the stops, having to be back on the ship early in the afternoon. Also, NCL seems to mark up the prices of excursions beyond what companies and even other cruise lines charge. Overall, Alaska was beautiful despite the poorly run Norwegian Jewel. At the end of the trip, I heard that NCL plans to retire the Jewel at the end of the season. Based on my experience, that's for the best. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Nickle and dime to death. Can't even bring a bottle of water. Can't fill up your own water bottles in the cafeteria. Can't get soda anywhere but the bar. Watered down, overpriced drinks. Sub-par entertainment that is ... Read More
Nickle and dime to death. Can't even bring a bottle of water. Can't fill up your own water bottles in the cafeteria. Can't get soda anywhere but the bar. Watered down, overpriced drinks. Sub-par entertainment that is mostly just a sales pitch for more cruises with watered down drinks and sub-par entertainment. Cirque de bijou? More like Circle De Boring. Fire and Ice needs to go back to the Howard Johnson lounge. Most of the crew barely speaks English, and barely hide their contempt for Americans. The pre-tipping policy guarantees that they won't give a rats back end whether you enjoy the trip or not. So it's expensive up front, and you have to tip twice to get a refill a tiny little glass of iced tea? The hallways smell like sewage, the dining halls are super crowded and noisy, and somebody is constantly trying to spray you with some mystery liquid at every entrance. The whole point of cruising to Alaska was to see the glacier, and they wouldn't get closer than a mile away. To much ice. There were other boats up closer, btw. Fitness classes were just commercials for good feet or some detox powder. Will never use NCL again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I will start with the good, which isn't a whole lot. Good cabin steward and the ships show band was excellent. Now for the bad! Was greeted by a plumbing problem being worked on a couple of doors down from our cabin when we ... Read More
I will start with the good, which isn't a whole lot. Good cabin steward and the ships show band was excellent. Now for the bad! Was greeted by a plumbing problem being worked on a couple of doors down from our cabin when we got on board. The toilet in our room was not working. The ship is a bit worn and in need of some tlc. Food is poor to mediocre at best. We did do one specialty restaurant which was the Teppynaki where the food was good but service was not. The sushi at Chin Chin reminds you of something you would get at a grocery store. The only meal we had at the Azul dining room was good. Rest of the meals we had are not worth mentioning. The entertainment on this ship outside of the show band was bad. The ships band performed stand alone at a couple of other venues and they were excellent. Rest of the entertainment we ended up walking out of. If you are looking for a cruise with an enclosed pool, this is not the ship for you. They heat the pools but it is so cool outside, you really can not enjoy it. As silver members of NCL's Latitudes program this cruise by far was the worse one we have ever been on. This is also our last NCL cruise. We have cruised with Princess, Celebrity and others that do a much better job for the money. 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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