1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was ... Read More
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was appreciated. Embarkation in Vancouver and disembarkation in Seward went smoothly, as well as from the all ports we stopped at. Convenient to be able to step off right at dockside, as opposed to being tendered. Also liked the size of the Norwegian Jewel. Because the size of it wasn't overwhelming, you were able to find your way around easily and quickly, with locations being well-marked. Time spent in the glacial bays was long enough to give passengers time to take photos/videos of the glaciers. Only disappointment (although slight) was not enough dessert options in the Garden Cafe. More variety including cookies and bars would have been great. Otherwise, most everything we tried was well-prepared and delicious. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The Jewel is an average size ship, Not a really large one. We had a really Long wait and lone lines during embarkation process. It took longer than expected. The Alaska cruise is colder than other cruises, even in June /July. There ... Read More
The Jewel is an average size ship, Not a really large one. We had a really Long wait and lone lines during embarkation process. It took longer than expected. The Alaska cruise is colder than other cruises, even in June /July. There are no chairs set out on the deck and not a lot of outside deck activities. The entertainment in the ship was moderately good. After several days, the same performers, singers, musicians, began to be repetitive. We enjoyed our time on shore. We had some very enjoyable excursions. The food on the Jewel was moderate. There were some good meals in the specialty restaurants, we enjoyed Cagney's. The complimentary restaurants were moderately good. They tried to change up the menus and offer different things throughout the week. They included a lot of ethic foods. The quality of the food was moderately good. The staff was always helpful and very friendly. The ship was clean and well kept. We liked the itinerary of this cruise and that was probably the main reason we chose this one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our second Alaska cruise on the Jewel. The first was great even with lots of rain and very cool temperatures. This cruise was fantastic as we had the same good cruise experience coupled with mild weather with lots of sun and only a ... Read More
This is our second Alaska cruise on the Jewel. The first was great even with lots of rain and very cool temperatures. This cruise was fantastic as we had the same good cruise experience coupled with mild weather with lots of sun and only a few sprinkles. The service and food were very good. We had a favorite bartender and waiter who served us very well. The perks were wonderful. We particularly enjoyed the glacial views from the Haven deck. We were able to expand our knowledge of the ports and take excursions we had not taken previously. Our conseige was excellent and provided us with great service. He was always available to assist us. We enjoyed the entertainment and experienced several new performers and new routines. We explored Vancouver before the cruise and were very impressed by this beautiful city with flowers everywhere and great weather. Disembarkation was perfect and very easy. Embarkation did not go very well. Suite guest received no preferential service, not ever Haven guest. In other ports when we were suite guest we were guided through special fast moving lines. Great trip with great value, we hope there will be a third trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Expensive, but worth the investment. Staff did an excellent job. Quite an amazing operation! The land portion was very enlightening, although the tour guide was a bit terse with the participants. Denali is not to be missed. As nice as ... Read More
Expensive, but worth the investment. Staff did an excellent job. Quite an amazing operation! The land portion was very enlightening, although the tour guide was a bit terse with the participants. Denali is not to be missed. As nice as the cruise was, seeing Denali was a critical part of the success of the trip. Transfer to ship was handled fairly well. The cabins are small and require some adjustment to get used to.Dining was very good. Entertainment was enjoyable. Pools were not their strong point when it came evaluating the trip.Need more tables in the library. Three isn't near enough for the entire ship. Lounges are starting to show their age. Suggest renovation. Cruise Director and his Team did an especially fine job. Sorry we missed the tour of the bridge and the session on what it takes to run a floating hotel.Would definately consider this cruise line for any future cruises. The really have it dialed in... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise on NCL and our first real vacation in 18 years. We chose the Alaska Cruise and Denali Explorer by Rail more than a year in advance to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We compulsively pre-booked restaurant ... Read More
This was our first cruise on NCL and our first real vacation in 18 years. We chose the Alaska Cruise and Denali Explorer by Rail more than a year in advance to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We compulsively pre-booked restaurant reservations and shore excursions, and were glad we did. We also had NCL take care of our flights and airport transfers, but will do our own flights next time. Embarkation was lengthy but our timing was good and we missed some of the delays that others experienced. We chose a balcony cabin and spent many happy hours watching the scenery, including whales, glaciers and sea otters. Our cabin was small, but serviceable; we had a king-sized mattress. Our room steward Ali was great and we saw him every day. Our favorite restaurant was Le Bistro (my husband loved the French onion soup), followed by Moderno (especially the salad bar). Cagney's was just okay, although the service was good. We liked Tsar's Palace and Azmara, but ChinChin was truly awful. We had room service once, but my husband usually brought breakfast back to our room. We did not like the coffee; much too acidic. O'Sheehan's was decent, but had a limited menu. As we had prepaid our service charges, we did not tip our servers. I gather from the reviews that this was a mistake. Oops! We worked out in the fitness center three times, and were disappointed to see that broken machines meant people had to wait in line. I had a spa treatment which was very expensive but worth it. The "upsell" did not bother me, as I just said no. We did not see any of the entertainment, but did spend time in the casino, which needs some newer machines. The laundry deal for $19.95 midweek gave us a chance to address some of our packing mistakes. We had three great shore excursions, and saw wildlife on every one. We saw bald eagles in Ketchikan, and 17 whales doing a "bubble feeding" in Juneau. We had to rush through the Mendenhall glacier, and will have to see it again. In Skagway, we were disappointed in the White Pass Railway, but the Yukon Suspension Bridge add-on saved the day. We saw a mother bear and her cub eating dandelions by the side of the road just after crossing the border into Canada on our way to the bridge. We also had the time to walk around in each port, and would love to re-visit them all. Debarkation was easy, as we were the first group off due to our train schedule. We enjoyed riding in the glass dome railcar, and the food and service on the train were good. We wish we could have spent more time in Denali. The schedule of the land portion of our package was grueling; we had to get up at 4:30am one day and 6:00am another day. That might have worked out better if we were staying in one place, but we moved repeatedly. We enjoyed the Alaska Zoo, but had no other need to see Anchorage. We felt a lot of time was wasted in Fairbanks, and our accommodations there were not great. We would rather have spent more time in Denali and taken excursions there. So, all in all, we had a very good time and are certainly willing to try NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This 7-night northbound cruise to Alaska from Vancouver was a nice time. I had cruised the Dawn before (post refurbish) and this ship was very similar (Jewel has The Great Outdoors but no specialty Mexican restaurant). I read the reviews ... Read More
This 7-night northbound cruise to Alaska from Vancouver was a nice time. I had cruised the Dawn before (post refurbish) and this ship was very similar (Jewel has The Great Outdoors but no specialty Mexican restaurant). I read the reviews about the Jewel being next for refurbishing and rolled my eyes. Who cares if the decor is dated? Well, eventually small things take their toll. It's not a dump by any means, but there are lots of areas with worn carpet, torn vinyl, stained chairs, and overall gaudy decor. Again, this mostly doesn't matter, but newer is definitely nicer. Embarkation in Vancouver was somewhat complex and I found some of the workers there gruff. Vancouver is a great city, so take some time to explore it before you board or after your cruise. Our room steward did the minimum: one night he didn't leave the paperwork for the next day, when we boarded, the dirty ice bucket was still in the room, and he wasn't overly friendly. I saw other guests hugging their steward upon leaving but there was none of that with us. Perhaps he's overworked. The Great Outdoors is a huge plus and a perfect spot to eat and enjoy the views, or just get a beverage and hang out. This area and the Spinnicker Lounge are packed on glacier-viewing days, so watch out. We had great weather so were able to get great views of the glaciers. Make sure you're outside for disembarkation. We saw whales and orcas on more than one occasion. Eat in the dining rooms over the buffets whenever you can. Overall the food was good. The Garden Cafe gets packed during peak breakfast hours despite their openeing La Cucina and The Great Outdoors for overflow. One con is some of the staff seemed to be slightly disgruntled. One bartender said "yes?" like I was bothering him before I ordered $30 in drinks (no UBP here). He must have sensed that I was caught off guard by how abrupt he was because he gave me the drinks for free. O'Sheehan's was something I looked forward to. The service was very bad. The host and most of the servers were not concerned with providing good service. The menu seems to be an older, condensed one (only hot and mild chicken wings, for example) and the food was hit or miss. The portions are tiny, so order accordingly. All of the shows were good. We particularly enjoyed the last night when the staff singers did an informal singing show. The other productions were good too. Director JC Sanchez was nice and did a good job. He was friendly when we saw him on deck. Hopefully once the ship is refurbished, the staff with have more enthusiasm for their work. The pace and "feel" of an Alaska cruise is different from the warm-weather ones. It was almost 100% middle aged couples and lots of tourists from Asia. This was not a party boat. Our three stops (Juneau, Ketchikan, and Scagway) were nice, calm places to walk around and shop, unless you take an excursion. We did the scenic train to Anchorage when we disembarked in Anchorage. We had to get up very early, but it was a nice experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife got the cruise for us as an anniversary gift, we also were loosely connected with a group which got us a few extra perks which were nice. We were able to fly to Anchorage a day early so we had time to explore the city and we had ... Read More
My wife got the cruise for us as an anniversary gift, we also were loosely connected with a group which got us a few extra perks which were nice. We were able to fly to Anchorage a day early so we had time to explore the city and we had a great time there. Same on the other end, we spent an extra day in Vancouver and enjoyed it very much. My only previous cruise experiences have been with Carnival, we did several cruises out of Tampa when we lived in Florida. I had always heard that Carnival was on the low end compared to other cruise lines however I always had a good time and enjoyed cruising with them. That being said, I expected more from a Norwegian cruise but was a bit disappointed. Although we had a wonderful time the overall experience was no better than Carnival, I would rate them about the same. The good things? Very easy embarkation and disembarkation. Buffet was wonderful. Cabin was great. Cabin steward did a wonderful job and all of the staff was friendly. Most of the on board entertainment was good. Port stops were all very enjoyable and the drinks were very good. The bad things? Specialty restaurants were very disappointing other that La Cucina and Teppyanaki (sp?) which we enjoyed immensely. We had particularly bad experience at Cagney's Steak House. We enjoyed what entertainment there was, however I felt that there should have been more of a variety offered, especially on the days at sea. The WiFi was horribly slow, as well as very expensive. There were movies available on the cabin TV, however it was the same 4 -5 movies all week long. Bottom line? All in all it was a great cruise and we had a wonderful time, but I felt a bit disappointed that it wasn't a better experience than we have had with Carnival in the past. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Like many people, Alaska was on my "bucket list". We've always and only sailed with NCL. Originally we were booked on the Sun, but our ship was changed to the Jewel. We were happy with this and even more pleased when our ... Read More
Like many people, Alaska was on my "bucket list". We've always and only sailed with NCL. Originally we were booked on the Sun, but our ship was changed to the Jewel. We were happy with this and even more pleased when our balcony cabin was upgraded to an aft mini suite. It was fantastic to be on our balcony out of the wind to view the amazing scenery. We like Jewel as it is small enough to easily navigate around yet big enough to have lots of amenities. We mostly ate in the main dining rooms for dinner and lunch at O Sheehans and Chin Chin. Meals were good and most service very goid. We usually went to outdoor cafe for breakfast if we were limited in time (shore excursions) or to Tara for a more relaxed breakfast. As platinum latitude members we had 2 dinner in specialty restaurants. Moderno was very good and Le Bistro is our very favorite. Great meal topped off with chocolate fondue for dessert.. Entertainment is always excellent on NCL. We rarely missed a show in the Theatre..from Dance, acrobatic, music, magic and comedy....enjoyed it all. We also really liked the music around the ship at the various bars and stopped at different venues every night. We're not gamblers and didn't get very involved in activities as the scenery was our day time entertainment. Most service was very good,. The staff work very hard. We wrote several " hero" cards. We often ask staff about their experiences and about 'home' and they seem thankful to share. Some interesting stories. Alaska is a different style of cruise in that you sail mostly much closer to shore. We had 2 sea days and 4 ports. Icy Point Strait.....this port was built, owned and operated by the Tinglet people. They are very friendly hosts. The small village of Hookah is a short walk or shuttle from the Port.. I chose Advanced Kayaking as I would have a single kayak and hoped to see wikdlife. We did not actually paddle very far and only saw Eagles. Disappointed. Juneau....we rented a car right at the dock to go to Mendenhall Glacier, St. Therese Shrine and Alaskan Brewery. All great to visit. Unfortunately we only had 5 hrs here so felt rushed. Skagway... our best excursion was the Yukon sightseeing tour . The changing scenery as we drove up the mountain and through BC to the Yukon was stunning. History and geology stories aND scenic stops made for an excellent day. And just enough time to explore town afterwards. Ketchikan... I went snorkelung..,yes.. snorkeling and no I wasn't cold. It was great. Saw lots of star fish, sea cucumber, urchins and fish. Guides were fantastic. My husband didn't snorkel but he was able to come along to watch & take pictures. We ended up at the Asylum bar for a Lua where we had a fantastic time. The weather didn't always cooperate. It's Alaska ! Not the greatest views of glaciers.. We missed our whale watching in Seward because of bad weather. So I do hope to go again and stay longer in Seward area to explore Kenai Peninsula. I also did a land tour on my own before boarding the ship. It took a lot of planning but well worth it.. We live the "freestyle" aspect of NCL... it's very casual and you can dine when & where you like. Entertainment is always good. A big thanks to the "cruise next " girls. They really seemed to enjoy their jobs and working together. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife had received a casino at sea entitlement and we were looking forward to an Alaskan Cruise. The ship was excellent but showed a need for yard work on the hull and balcony stanchions. The cabin was in exceptional shape and was kept ... Read More
My wife had received a casino at sea entitlement and we were looking forward to an Alaskan Cruise. The ship was excellent but showed a need for yard work on the hull and balcony stanchions. The cabin was in exceptional shape and was kept that way by the effort of the cabin steward. He took great pride in keeping the cabin spotless and was very personable to us and other guest. He was also quite creative in his "towel sculptures". The dining experience fell short of expectations. We only ate at the "free" dining areas but expected the food to have been much better than it was. The food on several occasions (breakfast and dinner) was just warm when served. Ample amounts of rolls were served for the evening meals but only two pads of butter were served requiring the server to bring out additional butter. On two occasions I ordered apple pie and pecan pie for desert and could not eat it. They were dry and lacking flavor. On three occasions meat was ordered and the same "Au Jus" was served for each meal (and it was more like gravy). The service by the waiters in all the dinning areas was great. Entertainment was good but some of the scheduling was conflicting with shore excursions/dinning/other events. Service was very good in the casino and lounges but we did encounter some animosity when at first we didn't tip. We were pre-charged for the service fees but the servers and bartenders said they get very little of that money. As for the shore excursions all were great with the exception of the Totem Pole excursion (we went on it not expecting very much). Wish we had more time in the last three ports to see the towns after the excursions. We would sail again on NCL but would look at "Princess Cruise" first. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the sea cruise and had a good experience with seeing the landscape and wildlife of inland Alaska. Our tour guide Keri Lynn grew up in Alaska and shared many personal stories about her ... Read More
We did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the sea cruise and had a good experience with seeing the landscape and wildlife of inland Alaska. Our tour guide Keri Lynn grew up in Alaska and shared many personal stories about her family and life in the interior. Everything was well organized, and with the exception of one woman who spent too much time doing her eye make-up and hair and making more than 30 people wait for her on the early morning tour of Denali at 5:30 a.m., everyone was on time. Pricing, however, seemed a bit high. This was billed as a four-day land tour, with arrival day counting as one of the days! We couldn't check into hotel until after 3 and spent a lot of time waiting around. It seemed a bit unfair to count that as a tour day. Food on the buffet was more often cold than hot. Service in the main dining room, the Tsar's Palace, was inconsistent. Even in one of the specialty restaurants, Il Moderno, we waited a long time for drinks. After the salad bar, we waited for plates. Three or four servers came round with skewers of food to serve us, but we had no plates. Bar service was also inconsistent. Sometimes it was magnificent. Other times it took forever to get a drink when I was the only person at the bar. Things just felt off. The sea itinerary was a good one providing many opportunities to view Alaska's spectacular coast. More time in Juneau would have been nice. We were very rushed here. Another issue was the ship announcements. Most of the announcements were unintelligible. The only ones that were clearly heard were from the guy selling jewelry. His announcements came through loud and clear. It would have been nice to have been told what wildlife to look for when and/or at what stop. Personally, I have waited more than half a century to see a sea otter and didn't. :-( Later I found out I should have looked for them around the glaciers. I did see about a dozen whales from our balcony along with seals, seal pups, and porpoises. Just really disappointed about the sea otters. Personally, I found the cruise director and the assistant cruise director to be extremely annoying. We avoided activities because of this. Just my opinion here. I'm sure other people really liked them. One thing that was annoying was that the location of repeating events -- morning/afternoon trivia -- kept changing. It's at one place and then at another. This caused us to miss a few. We preferred how it was on the Sun where the trivia events were held in the same location at all times. The ship is going into dry dock after this season for an overhaul, so physical things will change. I hope they get a handle on service before then. 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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