623 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

This cruise visited all the New Zealand spots we planned on visiting. As well, it ended in Sydney where we planned on visiting next. Excellent itinerary. One large negative experience was the embarkation at Auckland. The whole ... Read More
This cruise visited all the New Zealand spots we planned on visiting. As well, it ended in Sydney where we planned on visiting next. Excellent itinerary. One large negative experience was the embarkation at Auckland. The whole process of getting guests on board was chaotic. Norwegian blamed the New Zealand immigration officials. However, it is clearly Norwegian's responsibility to take care of their guests. The whole confusing procedure was shameful! Entertainment on board was excellent... In particular "Burn the Floor". "Luminescence", and "24 Karat". Dining experience was good with a good selection of menu items. Our meal at the Brazilian restaurant, Moderno, was fantastic. However, our meal at the speciality Italian restaurant was real disappointment. The pork scaloppine was cold and over-cooked. The ports visited were excellent with good management by NCL in getting guests off and on. Staff were mostly excellent and always courteous and helpful. Overall a good experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour ... Read More
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour each day on the balcony. Our cabin was the last aft cabin on the port side of the ship - cabin 10662. I was a little worried that being that far back and that far up, we would feel a lot of movement. It was very rocky on one rough sea day but we never did experience any sea sickness. We did not have any robes and asked for them the first day and were given two robes. While the cabin was a little worn, we didn't really have any problems. We had never been to Australia or New Zealand so every port was a brand new experience for us. We attended about half the nightly shows in Stardust and enjoyed them. We had about half our nightly meals in the Azura Main Dining room. Most of them were pretty good. I did order a Thai noodle dish that was barely edible but all in all I would give Azura an 8 out of 10 rating. We also had the SDP and dined in Cagneys twice, Teppanayaki once, and Le Bistro once. These meals were really good. This was one of the best cruises that I have ever taken. The only thing that I would have changed was the weather as we probably had rain on 8 or 10 of our days on board. Luckily, most days it only rained two or three hours and only one or two were all day rains. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which originally had several Australian as well as New Zealand ports of call. While we were sad to see less of Australia than we expected, the changed trip was terrific. Had a few cool and rainy ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which originally had several Australian as well as New Zealand ports of call. While we were sad to see less of Australia than we expected, the changed trip was terrific. Had a few cool and rainy days but it was still a wonderful adventure. The ship had plenty of choice for meals and always had food available. We did think that the food was a little 'ordinary' but still sufficient and generally good, especially when we reminded ourselves of how many were being fed during peak times. We did not take advantage of any of the specialty restaurants. (on principle the cost of the vacation was already high enough with out extra costs on what was to be all inclusive) Did feel that Chen-Chen, a specialty option that was included, was not good. Food was overcooked and choices extremely limited. We enjoyed the open and light space in the Tsar, not so much in the Azura which is dark and crowded. Since my sister has a severe shellfish allergy, we tended to avoid the buffet due to fear of cross-contamination . The staff was wonderful about making sure that our special dining needs were always addressed and had pre-ordered meals prepared separately. Still have an issue on the drink packages available thru NCL. I could have $15 martini but not a $4 specialty coffee or water and there is not a package that offers this (only a soda, or water, or Full Beverage which did not incllude these) The cabin was lovely and had a spacious balcony. Storage was plentiful (we brought extra hangers which were definitely needed!) Our steward was terrific, attentive and helpful. An extension cord and distilled water was provided for my CPAP as requested. Activities were plentiful,often had to choose between a couple of interesting ones I am a fan of trivia, of which there were several a day, my sister began the learning process of the game of bridge. Loved several of the bar entertainers especially 24 Karat and the Piano man. Felt the evening show was excellent several time but disappointing at others. . We took advantage of several excursions and except for the Wellington one on which they changed the train ride from 2 hours to 1/2 hour were happy with them. Did book an outside venue with Viator in Tauranga which was wonderful. We are certainly looking forward to future cruises with NCL Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose NCL's Christmas cruise in preference to other options as they were new to this sector and friends travelling on same cruise had previous good experience in Hawaii and Mexico trips. The itinerary also appealed even though it ... Read More
We chose NCL's Christmas cruise in preference to other options as they were new to this sector and friends travelling on same cruise had previous good experience in Hawaii and Mexico trips. The itinerary also appealed even though it was changed after booking dropping off port stops in Melbourne/Burnie in lieu of picking up Milford, Dusty and Doubtful Sounds - $250 re credit and bonus to us (not everyone). Overall somewhat disappointed with NCL offering on this occasion as it didn't really shine or standout - so whilst still very enjoyable not a particularly memorable cruise. Positives; - pre-cruise no issues or hassles, good communication re itinerary changes and re-credit adjustment - congrats NCL on professional handling of this issue - on boarding Sydney International - only short wait times and lines so generally very good experience - emergency drill - conducted much better than other vessels - Ship - whilst not the newest vessel or the biggest we found the layout, condition and amenities on board to be very good, generally well presented - on board cleaning and maintenance in public areas and amenities generally excellent – some painting and re-carpeting being carried out at times (night) in some areas – did not impact on us. - on board activities - about on par with other offerings, usual trivia, hobbies, library, card room (very popular), table tennis, video games, casino, good gym etc - entertainment - overall I would rate the standard and variety as been very good to excellent and much better than recent experiences; burn the floor dance shows; 3 tenors; adele and elton tributes; comedian; acrobatic (missed this one); vocal impressionist all very good and shows well attended. - general entertainment - bands/etc - quite good - guitar soloist, piano soloist; couple of bands playing reasonable mix to cover most eras. - customer information - cruise director/captain - very good with only limited and necessary info from bridge (not excessive); good announcements and morning TV show; - in room TV cruise channel with looped ship safety info; route map and bridge view. - service was generally very good but in some areas inconsistent (see negatives) - no heavy push for Art Sales/Auctions or for on board photography - fantastic - pretty good duty free shopping offerings on board with some general basic supplies available. - drinks package/drinks in general - very good initiative from NCL and well used by me (but not excessively) up to $15 value per drink - we paid extra for one of the cocktails that was above $15 - no complaint and happy to do so; good selection of drinks to suit most tastes; cocktails on this ship better than most we've experienced on other vessels and not so sickly sweet - thumbs up NCL - off shore - excursions/disembarkation/tendering - Excellent - NCL had everything very well in hand and organised, great info re processes, limited waiting to get on/off, courtesy shuttle bus when required, multiple tenders used - could not fault. - ports of call – generally excellent and reason for taking this cruise – only exception Picton and scheduling with mid day arrival limited any real excursion options – so bit of a waste. Subsequent cruise does get into port earlier – thumbs up NCL Negatives: - FOOD FOOD FOOD - this was the greatest disappointment for us during the cruise. - don't know if we were being too fussy (possibly) but can only judge against previous cruise experience and we generally believe the dining experience is one of the main reasons for a cruising holiday. We did speak with some other guests re food and got mixed responses - some thought food to be very ordinary/below standard expected but some also indicated they found it to be good. Go figure - it’s down to one's own perception and they are catering for 2600 guests not just a few - I would imagine NCL have done their surveys and research on client dynamics to adjust their offerings to suit market expectations - we just didn't fall into this category. - Royal Caribbean - Rhapsody - fantastic dining experience throughout and particularly in specialty dining (didn't realise at the time how good it was); - Princess - Ruby - recent Alaskan cruise - very good; - PO - Spirit - Okay/satisfactory; (short cruise) - Carnival - Spirit – terrible, as was the whole cruise; - NCL - Jewel - very average. Have read some reviews that suggest the move to anytime dining in the main Tsars/Azuma restaurants may be contributing to drop in standard as meals are not set for 2 dining times - this may be a factor. - breakfast menu - basically didn't change or alter as far as we could tell except for disembarkation day (reduced) - menu is fairly comprehensive but after 13 days got a to be bland and boring. Suggest NCL make some minor adjustments and have set standard items and a few daily specials similar to the dining menu for some variety or at least the perception of that. - CAN'T make basic pancakes - an American ship that was unable to prepare a decent hotcake/pancake - there was some issue or error with how they were made extremely dry and inedible - issue was brought to staff notice re concern - didn't improve - CAN'T make a real mousse - tied a mousse from deserts and got a very firm rubber ball offering not resembling any mousse I’ve had previously - was brought to staff attention. - Xmas lunch - given it was Christmas cruise - the Christmas dinner was pretty ordinary - nothing I could say to be positive - meals were luke warm, turkey portion small and not particularly appetizing - got to say we/I were expecting something a bit grander - Goose, Duck, seafood prawns/lobster/crab etc something to set this meal apart from the regular offerings - no such luck - we were all left underwhelmed by this offering. - in general meal portions were on the smaller size - but not too much of an issue when you take into account and adjust your choices to suit - i.e. order two mains if required - Christmas flair was a bit below expectations for a Christmas/New Year cruise – sure they did make some effort to brighten up the place with some trees - dining package - specialty restaurants - a bit of a wasted offering - we tried 4 of the specialty restaurants - Le Bistro (French) was the best and very well received, food was of good quality and standard for our group, (personally didn't think my main "duck" was particularly good otherwise menu was pretty nice and would recommend and try again. - Cagney's (steakhouse) - fail - whilst my steak was nice the food is generally very salty and being one that doesn't generally salt or only slightly this was a big failing, same issue with other members of our party to the point of leaving main, desert pretty ordinary by that nothing elevated from the buffet or restaurant level. Saltiness was brought to staff attention. One of us opted for the lobster tails x 2 an additional cost of $12 each rather than a steak and other s in the group also added lobster to their steaks – lobster was a bit tough. We were not charged extra for the 2x lobster tail selection. I initially opted for the Bison steak but was informed it was not available. - Teppanyaki (Japanese) - little bit of theatre thrown in with the meal - not particularly great but still okay - Food terrible - for some reason copious amounts of BUTTER and Soy Sauce were used when cooking anything that hit the grill - including the fried rice, vegetable offerings, seafood, steak - guess what the result was very SALTY offerings - ruined the scallops and calamari. The fillet steak was very tender and I did eat it as I can tolerate a bit more salt than some but it was very salty. We all questioned the use of large quantity of butter with Japanese type food - never seen or heard of this before (not an expert). Desert Green Tea Cake and green tea ice-cream - most didn't like it but i tried it and eat a piece of the cake and the ice-cream - not great but not too bad. I would not recommend or return to this dining option. Exotic fruit salad was definitely not exotic – a bit of melon and pineapple -underwhelming - La Cucina (Italian) - this turned out to be a bit better than we anticipated given previous experience/review of the menu and other guests views. Overall was a reasonable standard and I would say much closer to the level i would have expected in the main dining. We also had the attention of one of the head catering staff during our meal Marcelino who inquired about the offering which at that point was fine, he also tried to get some general feedback on any of our food concerns (had spoken with him previously) but it was not the appropriate time/location to do this as we were in the middle of our meal and in a busy restaurant. - Sushi Bar – didn’t try - Moderno (Brazilian) – didn’t try Overall I would not generally rate these dining offerings – they did not come anywhere close to some previous ones we’ve tried on other vessels, which is a bit disappointing. Other food concerns; - Azuma – tried as alternative to Tsar’s – did not like the closed in dark atmosphere and the food offering on par with Tsar without the nice open airy feel. Did convey dissatisfaction to one of the staff who elevated to supervisor Marcelino who did speak with us re concerns (excessively salty/unappetising) - ChinChin (Asian) – tried this option one night instead of the Tsar – big mistake – just awful, single vegetable spring roll was okay but the chicken/prawn noodle – was terrible. I would rate this offering and the restaurant fair in general akin to an Asian kiosk in a shopping centre food hall. Definitely would not recommend or return. - O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill – we more aptly titled it O’Shananigan’s – we had some interesting experiences at this alternate food outlet; very mixed but generally poor service over many visits to this place mainly in the evening when trying to order Pots of Tea – 3 English Breakfast and 1 x Earl Gray – staff didn’t seem to be able to manage this very well – don’t know if it was how we communicated the order but given the orders were pretty much the same most nights with different staff think the issue may be NCL side; - didn’t receive teapot; didn’t get 2 bags (big pot); didn’t get milk; had to ask for fresh milk; didn’t get sugar; mix up orders; ordered frys with or tea – still waiting for them !!! Did try some items from the menu and food not to bad – chicken wings were really good, hotdog not bad etc. Would return only for a big TV’s on sport channel and good for a pot of tea. - Garden Cafe – not really keen on buffet option – given nature of offering and difficulty with seating and self serve but did try for breakfast for a change and lunch. Generally okay with wide selection available and seemed very popular with other guests. Can’t say too much more. Trust my comments give you some insight to the disappointment on our side with the food offerings on the ship – and understanding the quality may have been well received by the bulk of the passengers (don’t know and don’t have any knowledge if other guests raised concerns with NCL). But as indicated my comments and concerns are of personal nature based on previous experience/comparison. We did express and raise concerns on several occasions and participated in a guest telephone survey about cruise experience that appeared to be more a numbers thing than real concern for feedback. Also did advise of intent to complete an online review with senior staff and provided some general feedback over telephone regarding both positives and likely negatives with our experience. Despite the concerns mainly with food this was still a very nice cruise and provided a good opportunity to relax and read a book or two, play some cards, trivia, catch an entertaining show, see new parts of the world, have a few drinks and get away from work – so not by any means all negative and very far from our worst experience with Carnival. Additionally – prior to this cruise we had put another cruise on hold with NCL for the Baltic – we are presently considering our options subject to our experience on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We sailed last year on the ill-fated Norwegian Star (the azipod broke and we spent 9 of 14 days at sea). As part of our compensation package we were offered a future cruise at 50% off. Unfortunately we were only given 12 months to take ... Read More
We sailed last year on the ill-fated Norwegian Star (the azipod broke and we spent 9 of 14 days at sea). As part of our compensation package we were offered a future cruise at 50% off. Unfortunately we were only given 12 months to take that discounted cruise and with school schedules and geography, we landed on the 9 Day Sydney and Tasmania. Overall, things went very smoothly. We flew in on a red eye, landed, took a shuttle to the port, checked our bags, and registered, without a single line. The biggest delay we had was buying SIM cards at the airport; I highly recommend Lyca mobile if you are in need. The ship felt like home. Seems that every time we sail with NCL, we are on the same class of ship, making everything familiar, yet slightly new. The staff was helpful, food plentiful, and alcohol included ;) The kids loved going to the kids club, although I still find it frustrating that all of the NCL ships run the exact same program. If NCL wants families to remain loyal, it would serve them well to develop unique programs for each ship. The ports were somewhat lacking in activities but we enjoyed the slower pace. As expats, we enjoy being on a floating piece of America as much as we enjoy the ports. But here's a run down of what we DID do at each port. Eden: Snorkeled with Australia's Coastal Wilderness Adventures. Scott is the owner and did a great job with our large group, including children as young as 7. I highly recommend this affordable and fun tour! Book early, he fills up fast. Burnie: we just wandered the streets. Cute town. Really wish we'd made it to the whiskey distillery but finding a cab was impossible. Melbourne: LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Melbourne. We took the Hop on Hop Off- which I do NOT recommend. The buses only came every 40 minutes and moved at a glacial pace and were packed. Cabs are reasonable. We spent a good amount of time in the Victoria Market, which was full of great street food, and reasonable souvenirs. Oh and alley street art is very cool. Kangaroo Island: Again, there's not much to see unless you book an excursion or rent a car and go it alone. The landscape is stunning though and there was a small market to browse. We spent time on beach after the market and then went back. This is a tinder port and the conditions became quite precarious by the end of the day. The tinder boats were being tossed around like children's bath toys. Adelaide: Very cool city, quite walkable, but a LONG bus ride from the station. We went to the zoo. It was small but nice. It wasn't my first choice of activities but the kids picked this one. They offer several animal encounters, so we fed giraffes. We aren't big on the shows but we did go to the Circus / Acrobatic show and it was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise company I cruise with. I’ve tried them all and decided to get points up with one company instead of lots. I love how the drinks package is included. We travel all over the world and enjoy ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise company I cruise with. I’ve tried them all and decided to get points up with one company instead of lots. I love how the drinks package is included. We travel all over the world and enjoy travelling with Norwegian Cruise Line. The thing that I like most about it is that we don’t have to take our good evening wear overseas when we cruise with them as their kind of cruising is freestyle. I also like that you can walk off on your own, not having to wait for your bags to be taken off the ship and being able to keep your bags with you till the morning. A lot of the ships are set out the same so it is easy to find your way around. I like that there are other complimentary restaurants to eat in eg O Sheehan’s and Chin Chin. All in all a great ship and great company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Embarkation was very quick and easy but then we were Latitude members. First impressions of the ship was good but expected wow factor from the atrium and didnt get it. I love freestyle dining and there were plenty of free options.Our ... Read More
Embarkation was very quick and easy but then we were Latitude members. First impressions of the ship was good but expected wow factor from the atrium and didnt get it. I love freestyle dining and there were plenty of free options.Our favourite was O'Sheehans Pub for breakfast and snacks/drinks. We tried also the Teppanyaki and Cagneys and loved both. We knew the ports we were going to so no surprises there. We booked locally except for the Adelaide Hahndorf Village where we got a ship excursion because it was easier to go straight from the wharf than find our way to the city to get a tour. Eden supplied a bus to the town, Burnie we walked along the boardwalk and got a free bus to the rhododendron gardens where we just had to pay for admission. At Melbourne we caught the express bus to the city where we did a river cruise and went to the aquarium. At Kangaroo Island we booked through the island tourist info and got the shuttle to the local town of Kingscote. Entertainment was great especially Burn the Floor and Le Cirque Bijou. Those two were the best shows I have seen at sea. Other entertainment varied in the Stardust Theatre but overall was good. We liked that there was always bars at night with live entertainment. One negative was trying to find quite areas to read. There was always something going on at all the public bars and spaces. We often sat in Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar area to watch the cricket and read when it was quiet. I would definitely go on the Jewel again but will probably look for a bigger cabin next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Going to Australia and New Zealand was always on our wish list. The NCL Jewel itinerary made it easy to see several cities in one trip. We booked a balcony cabin on level 10. Pre-cruise and post cruise we spent 2 days each at the Sydney ... Read More
Going to Australia and New Zealand was always on our wish list. The NCL Jewel itinerary made it easy to see several cities in one trip. We booked a balcony cabin on level 10. Pre-cruise and post cruise we spent 2 days each at the Sydney Hilton. This hotel is centrally located in the Sydney CBD and is easy access to sights such as the Opera House, Harbor Bridge and Dahling Harbor. Also, great shopping and restaurant venues are nearby. We normally book few excursions, preferring to explore the ports on our own. We did this at all the ports on this trip too, except for Tauranga and Wellington where we booked Lord of the Rings (LOR) tours through the Costco shore excursion company. (BTW we highly suggest using Costco to do all your bookings because you get the best price, gift card rebates and more-for-your-money shore excursions.) The Wellington tour tuned out to be a private tour for just the 2 of us, since the other couple cancelled. We not only saw most of the LOR film sights we had a private tour of most of Wellington's most picturesque locations. The Tauranga tour went to the thermal hot springs and Hobbiton. The cost of this tour was well below what the ship was offering. The NCL Jewel ship itself was good, considering it is not one of NCL's newest or biggest class of ships. With NCL, most things are "a la carte" and you can pay more to get more in amenities, if you want. The specialty restaurants really aim to please and were always top notch in term of service and food. The main dining rooms food was very good, but it was hard to get a steak cooked as rare as we wanted it. The buffets food was fair and best if you used the cooking stations to get hot and individualized food you want. Most of the shows used the same dance group for any of the nights main entertainment. Burn the Floor sometimes used other names for some of their shows to try to give you a sense that it is a whole other production. For most of the shows, this worked out well to hep you suspend disbelief. The one show we saw that failed to hit the mark was the Buddy Holly Tribute. This performer was the least convincing Holly ever and was very limited in his singing and dance repertoire. Generally bar and room service was very good. The drinks were usually generous with the alcohol which kind of made up for their slow rounds. One little annoyance my husband found was when he took a cigar break in the Humidor, a few of the same passengers were there each night and basically took over the room and hurdled insults and made jokes about other passengers. This unfortunately took some of the pleasure out of a good cigar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I must have been on a different ship than the other reviewers because I encountered none of their problems. Embarcation: Being a Latitudes member{this was my 26th cruise} I only waited 3 to 5 minutes in Latitudes line before registering ... Read More
I must have been on a different ship than the other reviewers because I encountered none of their problems. Embarcation: Being a Latitudes member{this was my 26th cruise} I only waited 3 to 5 minutes in Latitudes line before registering and joining a small group of people escorted aboard. Having cruised approximately 70 times this embarcation was better than most. Cabin: We had a balcony mid ship, and although small{most newer ships are} it was well appointed and cabin steward attentive and helpful The ship as a whole was tired{due for a rehab early next year} but was very clean and we found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful. Food: Specialty restaurants are excellent and always have been. Main dining rooms are mediocre at best, but complimentary chinese and O"Sheehans 24 hrs. were very good for sandwiches,dips and hot wings. All restaurants had great desserts and ice cream. If something was not to your liking, it was removed and replaced at once. One only has to ask. Their bakery goods are delicious. Entertainment:Better than most cruise lines and alot to choose from. All in all, we were there to have a good time and we did. Captain and hotel director made themselves available as did other staff members. Looking forward to another NCL cruise. Gale, Dallas, Tx. P.S. They gave a great Cruise Critic meet and greet for about 60 of us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have always dreamed of going to Australia and New Zealand...this was a trip of a life time. We like cruising on the smaller NCL ships and the Jewel fit the bill. I booked originally a 2 bedroom family suite a year before the cruise ... Read More
We have always dreamed of going to Australia and New Zealand...this was a trip of a life time. We like cruising on the smaller NCL ships and the Jewel fit the bill. I booked originally a 2 bedroom family suite a year before the cruise and watched the prices and amenities for changes. About 4 months before sailing the price dropped and amenities added a $300 ship board credit, so I called and rebooked. Then a month before sailing the Haven 2 bedroom dropped in price to less than I paid for my cabin on deck 11 so I called again and requested a credit... they upgraded me to the Haven cabin 14008, without rebooking me, and gave mea fee more perks for not refunding the $600 difference. It was worth it! I traveled with my husband and married daughter and her husband. The suite worked fine but I wouldn’t put more than 4 adults in the suite. Storage was the biggest issue...I have been on other ships with better storage than this one. The 2nd bedroom is very tiny...heck the bathroom to that bedroom is almost the same size.... the bed need 2 egg crate cushions on it to make it sleepable. The master bedroom was nice...storage not so handy any space between the bed and the wall..ugh! The phone in by the toilet was a pain..we were always hitting it off the hook... dumb spot for a phone. I loved the shower and being able to look at the ocean while showering. Another nice thing were the built in USB port in the light fixtures by the master bed. They were vert handy. The Haven area was never busy and good place to relax... Down fall.. hot tub was kept at 99 degrees and the small pool was so cold only my husband went into it after coming out of the steam room (which worked on rare occasions). They did keep coffee tea juice and water as well as some light snacks available in the Haven til about 4PM... wish they would have kept the water around longer! Food on ship started out good and then went down hill. You had to watch where you ate... food temperature was mediocre in most venues. We ate a lot in O Sheehan’s, Cagneys and Le Bistro as the food was always hot and great in those places. Because we were in the Haven we we got to eat breakfast in Moderno and lunch too if we were on ship...problem was you got tired of the same food over and over. We only went to 2 shows... we are not night owls and many times you just didn’t get out of meals in a timely fashion to make the shows. The 2 we saw were excellent. We booked our own tours in port... most thru the group we met on cruise critics. NCL’s tours were very expensive. We only had an issue in one port and that was Auckland. The guide we had arrived with an attitude and a vehicle not large enough for our group so we cancelled...I understand from those that did go that we made the right choice.. he dumped them off and told them too find the waterfalls themselves... so much for a guided tour! Melbourne we went to Federation Park and saw Cook’s cottage. Burnie... some did a personalized wildlife tour and some went to Cradle mountain. Wish we we would have had a longer day in Burnie.. so welcoming, beautiful place and people. Wellington part of our group went to Te Papa museum and up the cable car.. the others did a pub crawl. Napier we went to the National Aquarium..it was wonderful and then wonder around the town. Tarunga we went to the Maori cultural center and Hobbiton...private tour and well worth it. Auckland was the failed tour so we walked around the port area...the kids met friends and went over to Davenport. Our last stop was Bay of Islands...we arranged a private kayak trip to a waterfall our guide, Ben, was the best... the day started with rain and ended with sunshine and laughter. Crossing the Tasmam Sea was smooth...we saw penguins,whales, and dolphins from our balcony. If it wasn’t for the long airplane ride I would do this trip again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed ... Read More
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed to the others we have traveled on is the staff were not as friendly and some were quite rude. We traveled with another couple who had room 9098 which was the mirror image of our cabin. Food was OK but would not rave about it. We chose this cruise especially for the Itinerary which had a few sea days in between islands as we think it gets a bit tiring having a stop everyday and then you get bored having a few sea days . We got to stay in Bora Bora for an extra day as one of the other Islands were cancelled. We thought this was was great as other cruise ships we have been on would just give you an extra sea day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Loved how clean and orderly the ship was very friendly staff from start to finish! Thank you very much for making our holiday such a wonderful experience. The cabin was amazing and they kept it clean and tidy throughout the day,loved ... Read More
Loved how clean and orderly the ship was very friendly staff from start to finish! Thank you very much for making our holiday such a wonderful experience. The cabin was amazing and they kept it clean and tidy throughout the day,loved the turndown service each night, loved how sanitary everything was and had loads of hand cleaning dispensers throughout the ship, the Garden Cafe was a huge assortment of items I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be able to find something they couldn’t eat as there was such an array of choices,and the food/hospitality was top notch,if I had anything to say they could improve on is the fruit was not quite ready to eat as the majority was a bit firm still,and only other “complaint” was you didn’t get to have real cappuccino there was a nominal fee for all cappuccino as well as the ones in the cafe were not actually cappuccino but if that’s the only thing I didn’t like Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our 7th cruise the first time with NCL I really liked the ship I thought it was a great design and I did not think that it was out dated as mentioned in a lot of other reviews. In fact for me it was one of the better ships ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise the first time with NCL I really liked the ship I thought it was a great design and I did not think that it was out dated as mentioned in a lot of other reviews. In fact for me it was one of the better ships that we have been on design wise. The food was average in the buffet and the included dining rooms probably the worst food we have experienced on a ship. We went to three specialty restaurants La Bistro which was very average in fact I did not really like the food at all and I found the staff very rude. It was my 50th birthday and we had a party of 8 and they put us on two separate tables when we asked them if they could move the tables together they made a big fuss but they eventually did it. Cagneys steak house was amazing and so was the teppanyaki one. We had a mini suite which was great loved the design of their bathrooms and the fact that the toilet has a door very roomy for a ship. I found most of the staff very disinterested and some quite rude our room attendant was amazing though. Because this was an American ship they add taxes left right and centre lucky we had the drinks package (included in our fare) otherwise it would have been a very expensive trip as they add 18% to every drink and they add a service charge of $13.99 per person (which you can ask them to remove and you can decide who you tip but mind you they were not too happy) Also as everything is in US dollars it can become a very expensive cruise because of our exchange rate. The entertainment was amazing absolutely loved it. I also liked that the ship was a lot more relaxed and not as formal as other ships we have been on it is free style crusing for sure. The ports were amazing Burnie and Hobart in Tasmania first time there and loved it do yourself a favour and try their oysters the best we have ever tasted. The Emu Valley Rhododendron Gardens in Burnie was also amazing we did a bus tour in Burnie hop on hop off which was only $35 and stopped at about 7 places. Did not do any tours from the ship as they were very over priced, I was a bit confused about rating this cruise as part of me says it is a 3 and the other part says it is a 4. In the end I gave it a 4 because I did enjoy this cruise I am still on the fence if I would sail with them again. If they fine tuned the food and the staff it would make it a very good ship and give the other companies a good run for their money Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
NCL Jewel - South Pacific Cruise Review : 10-30 October 2017 We are just returned from a package which included a 12-night cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line, Jewel, sailing the South Pacific and I will try to be as informative as I can ... Read More
NCL Jewel - South Pacific Cruise Review : 10-30 October 2017 We are just returned from a package which included a 12-night cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line, Jewel, sailing the South Pacific and I will try to be as informative as I can reviewing this cruise. This was the first time that NCL has sailed the South Pacific (according to the staff) which is why we booked it. Apparently, they are unsure which way they will sail to reposition as they usually travel the Suez Canal and are still to decide whether to repeat this way and these destination. To be honest, I would say to NCL do it, the destinations are paradise. We flew into Honolulu 3 days before we joined the ship and spent 3 nights in Tahiti before the long flights Home. This review will be on the cruise only. The itinerary for this cruise was as follows: Day 1 - embarkation in Honolulu, Hawaii Day 2 - Kauai, Hawaii Day 3 - Hilo, (the big island), Hawaii Day 4 - 7 At Sea Day 8 - Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia Day 9 - At Sea Day 10 - Fakarava, French Polynesia Day 11 - Bora Bora, French Polynesia Day 12 - Moorea, French Polynesia Day 13 - Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia (over night stay before disembarking to our hotel) We were lucky enough to have the Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP) and on-board spend with this deal, however, unless you drink like a fish and you have this package as part of your cruise deal, I would recommend paying as you go. The UBP cost was £850 per person, for this 12 night cruise; you HAVE to drink a lot to get the full benefits of this, bearing in mind that the cocktail of the day was $8.95 / a rose` wine was $6.50 per glass, we (light drinkers) may have had 2-3 wine and perhaps 2-3 cocktails per day each with some coke/lemonade as well, this was no where near the cost incurred if we would have purchased this packaged and only drink that much because we had the drinks package, usually, we would have iced water or juice from the cafe around the pool, during the day. THE SHIP : Jewel is tired and needs modernisation. The crew, as on all cruise ships, work extremely hard and have a LOT of difficult passengers to deal with but do this with smiles and dignity. Unfortunately, as a lot of American ships are doing, the Jewel has also relaxed its formality to near extinction. You can now walk into dinner in shorts if you like without any challenge which for us was too relaxed and in our view, a mistake. THE FOOD : Mediocre, is the only word I think I can use to describe the food. Even when we paid for the privilege in Cagney’s, we did not find the food to be as good as Jewels sister ship Jade. THE SHOWS : if you like terrible American humour, Juggling, out of tune live singing and cheesy singing and dancing then this is right up your street, however, actually, we felt the shows were not worth the print to add it to the daily itinerary! WI-FI : expensive, and eats minutes that you haven’t used, so visits to the Internet Manager is a must to reinstate what has been taken. Ensure that every time you log in you also log out when finished with the session. Ration yourself, 250 minutes for a 12 night cruise only equates to rations of 20 minutes a day, this is nothing when you are trying to take photos/videos off a go-pro to enable reuse for another day itinerary (although the go-pro has its own Wi-fi it still managed to eat the ships ..). THE CABIN : We were staying in cabin number 4596, an outside (Porthole) room. What we didn’t realised was that this cabin was 2 cabins from the embarkation/disembarkation door where passengers are getting on/off the ship, blocking the doors to our room a lot. This was a bonus to us in some ways but had more inconveniences than conveniences. Although we were lucky enough that we did not need to use the medical centre, this was also very convenient to us being right on the door step. However, the crew door was also situated right opposite our cabin door; we were woken daily at 4.00 am by the crew noisily getting about their early morning duties. Most of the islands were tendered, so 6.00 am started the construction of the ladders and tender station that was right under our window. Also, and this is something we did not expect, the South Pacific was rough and windy, causing waves to be hitting our window constantly, this extended (apparently) to staterooms on deck 5 as well. The captain called the seas “moderate”, in 12 years of cruising the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, we have only ever had one cruise where the sun deck was closed due to adverse weather and not what we expected of this area at all. One bonus to this cabin, it is Port side so every island visited could be seen from the cabin as we sailed in. Day 1: Embarkation Day. Honolulu, Hawaii. This has got to be the worst, most unorganised embarkation that we have ever experienced (along side New York). We were collected from our hotel at 10.30 am and was not on the ship until approx 1.00 pm after 2 hours of unorganised chaos. Day 2: Kauai, Hawaii. We purchased an on-board ship excursion, which is something we rarely do, this was due to time frames and getting back to the ship productively as we decided to go Mud-bugging and after extensive research found that due to the distance to travel to get to the ship we would not have been able to do this on our own. This was a great day, we got thoroughly muddy and had a lot of fun. Kauai ATV were fantastic guides and made the day really good. They will supply you with a bandana, goggles, helmet and shorts and t-shirt. Recommendations for this trip, use their clothes supplied, and the locker, to leave anything you don’t want ruined behind. You will get REALLY muddy, the mud is a very red mud that stains you and your clothing and anything else that you take along with you. They do take you to a shop of theirs first, (reasonable priced) there you can buy a waterproof plastic cover for your phone if you want to take that with you. We used that for photos and left the camera behind, although did take a go-pro which is still stained! They also take photos during the trip and sell the group photos to you for $20 which was well worth purchasing. Day 3: Hilo, (the big island) Hawaii. Unless you are doing a trip here, don’t bother! We came in on a Sunday and decided to walk to the town. We were told that it was 2 miles and approx 30 minutes walk, it was more like 5 miles and took us 1 hour each way in 32 degrees heat. When we finally got to the town, we found that most shops were closed (due to it being a Sunday) and the only real thing we took from this place was insect bites, which we had in abundance by the time we got back to the ship (with no warnings and did not feel/see anything biting), the only things we think the bites may have come from are the Nono (aggressive sand flies). Day 4 - 7 : At Sea. The weather was not “great” for the first couple of sea days, although once the sun came out it was blistering and required shade, which the Jewel has limited amount of, the seas were rough the whole time travelling to the next destination. Day 7 : the ship insisted that everyone coming into French Polynesia, attend an Immigration meeting with 2 French Polynesia Immigration Police. Again, absolute unorganised chaos. We spent 2 hours snaking around the Spinnaker Lounge, only to be told that as we were EU citizens, we did not need a visa stamp, we were only required to show our passports. Surely, the obvious way of organising this would have had EU guests queue in one line and American/Other queue in another? Day 8 : Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia. TENDER day. Unorganised chaos to get tender tickets started at 6.15 am. The notice was that tender tickets could be collected from poolside at 7.00 am, however, this actually started by 6.15 am, by the time we collected our tickets at 8.00 am we were tender boat 17 off which did not get us off the ship until after 10 am! The island itself was exactly what you would expect, a beautiful, un-westernised, cultural island. There was only 1000 locals living on this island, who welcomed the invasion of 2500 passengers with tribal dancing and singing, conk shell blowing and their handmade carvings etc, unfortunately, there was no way to explore the island as there was no taxis or other means of transport, but what we saw was beautiful, unspoilt and had the feel of modern tribe culture. Day 9 : At Sea Day 10 : Fakarava, French Polynesia. Another TENDER day. Another 6.15 am hand out of tender tickets (although should have been a 7 am start). No trips to do (with or without the shore excursion desk). The ship docked at 8 am and left at 2 pm. Sunday’s (when we arrived), everything was shut and with the way that the tender process was the day before, we felt there was little reason to get off, although we did. We made our way to a beach, Motu’s are found all the way along the road (turn right at the dock). We walked about 15 minutes to a piece of sandy area where the sea was incredibly blue with patches of coral and beautiful fish swimming within. Sharks are in abundance and regularly pay a visit to where you are invading their “space”. The locals found it hilarious that the passengers from the cruise ship jumped as soon as shark was mentioned, they insisted that these sharks; “Sleeping/nurse” sharks, were harmless and would not hurt - actually when they called out shark, it was to let you know they were there not to ensure you got out of the water. They feed them regularly by hand. This was a beautiful spot to spend a few hours away from the ship with the wildlife. Day 11 : Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Another TENDER day. We had a trip booked (with the ship) so got off without the queues! We arrived at 10 am and went straight to our trip, Black Tip Shark and Sting Ray Swim. Incredible. The crew on the boat were great fun and spent the whole time entertaining us with their singing and playing getting to/from the destinations we were taken to. The rays and sharks did not disappoint. A fabulous day, fully recommended. Day 12 : Moorea, French Polynesia. Another TENDER day. By now the ship had got themselves organised and actually started getting this right. There were still the queues for the tender tickets that were being handed out earlier than they should have been although this did not affect us as we were on a trip. Humpback Whale/Dolphin watching with Dr Michael Poole. This was an amazing trip, we saw no dolphins as there seemed to be too many jet skis bombing about but the Whales made up for it. Although we were not that close we experienced 2 beautiful whales spending time in the waters. We did not get in the water with them but there are trips that do take divers to swim with the whales, they have described their singing and close up inquisitively incredible. After we returned from this trip we met a local called Damon who ran his own tour company called Circle Tours, we spent 3 hours being shown his island; he took us liquor tasting, jam tasting, scenic spots, we even saw what the fishermen had brought in on their recent catch - a 300 lb Marlin that they had a job getting in their boat. In all, a fabulous day and a stunningly beautiful island. Day 13 : Disembarkation for our 3 night stay in Tahiti before returning back to the UK. Overall, a fabulous itinerary, great destinations, beautiful scenery and NCL was our way of doing this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The food was great and most of the entertainment was excellent. I would highly recommend this ship but be prepared for some frustration. Embarkation in Vancouver, BC, we arrived at the time our tickets specified. The lines were horrible! ... Read More
The food was great and most of the entertainment was excellent. I would highly recommend this ship but be prepared for some frustration. Embarkation in Vancouver, BC, we arrived at the time our tickets specified. The lines were horrible! First we stood for over an hour in US Border lines. After that we were taken to a large room and seated for 45 minutes and offered water and restrooms. Then off to the cruise check-in line for another 30 minutes. We were so exhausted by the time we finally got on the ship! The final disembarkation was not much better. We had scheduled a shore excursion in Honolulu to the Arizona Memorial then a drop off at the airport. We were over an hour late leaving the ship and missed our ticket time at the memorial. Norwegian managed to get us new tickets but because of the delays we were unable to see several museums and displays. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise as it was longer than the seven night cruise that we had done before and included three extra ports. We flew into Seattle the night before from Australia. As platinum latitudes members embarking was a breeze as we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was longer than the seven night cruise that we had done before and included three extra ports. We flew into Seattle the night before from Australia. As platinum latitudes members embarking was a breeze as we went when we wanted. had priority check in and were on the ship 20 minutes after getting out of the cab, Our deck 9 Balcony cabin although a bit small, was quite comfortable the only con was the bathroom as the toilet was a bit of a tight squeeze as I am not a small person. The crew of the jewel were great. Dave the Cruise Director a fellow Aussie was fantastic and very approachable. The Captain was a real character and due to his skill showed us several glaciers so close up you felt you could touch them. All of the Ports were nice even though the weather in a couple of them was ordinary. Ketchikan -Took local tour. Very Good Juneau - Walked around town. End of season sales in all the shops. Skagway. Weather was not great, Did short local tour OnlyFair. Icy Straight A beautiful place, not too much to do .Plenty of wildlife to see. Sitka Highlight of the cruise did local tour Top Class very reasonable price. Prince Rupert Just walked around town. Very beautiful place. Entertainment on the ship was quite good, the shows top class. The production shows as good as any you would see in the world. The food was quite good, We used the specialty restaurants a lot as well as the main complementary restaurants. The buffet left a bit to be desired for dinner. Breakfast and lunch was OK. Back to Vancouver Took the easy walk off option. Best way to go off the ship in 15 minutes from Cabin to out of terminal. Would recommend this cruise over the seven day option. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The 10 day Alaskan Cruise was beyond my expectations. I've been on other cruise lines and enjoyed them but Norwegian out did them all with great attendants. We saw the restaurant and buffet crew assisting people with food and drinks. ... Read More
The 10 day Alaskan Cruise was beyond my expectations. I've been on other cruise lines and enjoyed them but Norwegian out did them all with great attendants. We saw the restaurant and buffet crew assisting people with food and drinks. The ratio of clients to crew was a little more than 2 to 1. The scenery and silence of Alaska was so restful and peaceful. We purchased the thermal spa package and experience the beauty of Alaska from the front of the boat. The spa was awesome to relax those muscles. The entertainment in ship in the theater was unexpected. I've seen Cirque Du Sole in Miami and aerial dancers in LAS Vegas. The stage was definitely smaller and shorter than the tent and LAS Vegas stages. However, the show by leCirque Bijou made excellent use of the confined space. Jacques and Maria were amazing with their balancing moves. You expect the man to hold the woman in intricate positions but you definitely don't think of a tiny woman balancing a man in her upper arms. Just amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I thought the cruise was almost perfect. Was disappointed that the Good Feet arch supports were not actually discounted $100. Checked on-line and the price was the same after the "discount". Attended 2 art auctions. Bid ... Read More
I thought the cruise was almost perfect. Was disappointed that the Good Feet arch supports were not actually discounted $100. Checked on-line and the price was the same after the "discount". Attended 2 art auctions. Bid on an item and thought it was reserved until I paid for it. 2nd auction, I requested prices on 2 items and an appointment was made later that day and I was under the impression that the meeting was to discuss the price. 20 minutes late, I was informed that there was no longer the auction price but full. Really. I did not even get the initial item I bid on. Never been to an art auction before and these problems were unexpected. Extremely disappointed. First cruise I have ever been on that a fee is charged for the steam room. Another disappointment. Ate dinner in the buffet once and was the last time. Good variety but very bland. Room steward was great! Did truly enjoy every port!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
As my first cruise experience, this was amazing. To cruise in a location with stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and great people was a lifetime highlight. The cruise was a round trip from Seattle, stopping at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway ... Read More
As my first cruise experience, this was amazing. To cruise in a location with stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and great people was a lifetime highlight. The cruise was a round trip from Seattle, stopping at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria (British Columbia) and as I booked from the UK was based on an All Inclusive booking (bottled water, drinks, and gratuities were included) and I was a single traveller travelling in an Inside Sailaway stateroom (8633) Pro's: Location - Alaska is amazing and cruising it is unique, there's not many places you can cruise up next to a Glacier or through Fjords whilst sipping a cocktail Shore excursions - getting to see wildlife and scenery up close Cruise - The Jewel provides a relaxed and easy going environment and the cruise staff make the holiday that little bit better. Con's: Cost of the cruise - Cruising is expensive and as a single traveller it was even more so. As I booked from the UK I also had to take the All-Inclusive option which whilst good for some did not represent value for me. The cruise cost also dropped 2 weeks before I left, with an ocean view room now being at a price lower than I paid Cost of shore excursions - I had expected that the cruise lines buying power and volume of cruisers taking the excursions from the ship would mean shore excursions would be cheaper than going direct to local travel operators and they weren't. Next time I'll look to book direct with shore based tour providers - There was no ship organised aurora borealis call tree - one thing I had hoped to see was the aurora and I had thought that there would have been a ship based call tree (where you could register your interest and if there was an aroura sighted they would initiate calls to all registered parties) and there wasn't. - Speciality restaurant prices felt expensive when you including cover charge and tips - smoking on board the ship especially in the casino Overall I'd give the NCL Alaskan cruise on the Jewel a 4* rating - as a first cruise it was a great place to experience the scenery and the wildlife (Humpbacks, Orcas, Bears, Bald Eagles, Salmon, Seals and all kinds of sea birds). The relaxed atmosphere on the cruise was a bonus as I was concerned about how to dress and from day one I felt the NCL "cruise casual" theme made me feel comfortable - from bars to restaurants, at shows and roaming the ship. First port was Ketchikan and I had booked the Neats Bay Bear watch by floatplane. It does what it says on the tin, we took a float plane to Neats Bay and saw some bears (well one 3 year old bear cub actually). The floatplane experience was great (pilot did an amazing take off and landing - smooth as silk) and the flight gave a unique view of the landscape. At Neats Bay we saw a bear near the pier, and then we walked to the salmon hatchery where there was to be more bears, but there were none to be seen. We did see a couple of bald eagles and some seals, so a little compensation for not seeing any more bears. Overall 8 out of 10 (would have been 9 with more bears and 10 if the cost was lower) Next was a morning visit to Glacier Bay by the Jewel. There were fog and ice issues so we had to go to an alternate Glacier (can't remember the name), however the fog cleared and the Fjords and Glacier were amazing. I spent 3 hours walking the decks taking photos and being awed by the views. Crystal green reflective waters gave stunning views. Overall 9 out of 10 (would have been 10 out of 10 if we did the Tracy Arm Glacier as I was advised it was bigger and better) We docked in Juneau after lunch and I had booked the Wildlife and whale watching tour. We were shuttled to another boat dock for 3 hours of whale watching. The boat was great, 2 decks (one indoors and one outdoors) and we saw loads of Humpback whales, blowing mist and vapour and then diving with a tail flick. They were some distance away however easily seen by the eye or close up with binoculars or camera zoom lens. Overall 8 out of 10 (would have been 9 out of 10 if very close up or 10 out of 10 if we saw whales jumping and breaching) Next port was Skagway and I had booked the White Pass and Yukon Railway trip. I'll start by saying it was a 10 out of 10. We met the train at the dock right next to the ship. The train journey was exceptional - to experience the journey that the gold rush miners took and to see the route they had to traverse showed how hard it must have been just to get to the mining areas. The scenery was stunning, amazing, awe inspiring - I could go on, however you get the picture. A trip not to be missed and deserves its 10 out of 10 rating. After the train I did another excursion - the Liarsville Salmon bake. Overall I was disappointed with this trip. We were bused out of town to a half dozen wooden structures and couple of tents aged to look like a mining village. Whilst there, we were given some salmon, salad, lemonade/coffee and cake - which was good, but not worth the £45 price tag. I would give it a 5 out of 10 and would not recommend it at the price I paid. I'd value it at half the price (which would give it a maximum of 7 out of 10) Last port of call was Victoria British Columbia and I opted for the Whale and wildlife tour. The main objective here was to see Orcas and boy did we. A small walk from the cruise ship to a dock where we boarded a 2 deck boat. We cruised to the other side of the harbour and then were very close (no more than 50 meters at times) to a pod of 6 Orca, we saw them swimming for a good 20 minutes and we also saw them breach. After a good Orca watch we powered out to see a humpback that had been spotted. We saw one whale dive a couple of times and visited a sea lion colony (hundreds of large and active sea lions. Again a great tour and I would give it 10 out of 10. Aside from the shore excursions the cruise was good. Food, food and more food. Drink, drink and more drink. A good selection of on ship evening entertainment - with the 3 shows I saw rated 9 out of 10 - Band on the run (the ships dance troupe doing an amazing 50 minute tribute to 70's music), Jocka and Maria (Aerial flying, acrobatics and dance) and Circ de bijou (a show which combined Jocka and Maria wth the entire dance troupe in a spectacular of dance, song and acrobatics) As a first cruise it was a great and a I consider it one of my lifetime experiences. The wildlife and sights of Alaska, from a floating hotel with westend shows, bars and casino to boot. Overall the cruise rates a 9 out of 10 (would have been a 10 out of 10 if I didn't have to pay extra as a single traveller and if the cost of the tours were better) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I booked the cruise for the destination. We wanted to see Alaska, the cruise line was less of a consideration. After some quick searches we found Norwegian had a trip that fit our schedule and included several perks with ... Read More
My wife and I booked the cruise for the destination. We wanted to see Alaska, the cruise line was less of a consideration. After some quick searches we found Norwegian had a trip that fit our schedule and included several perks with their Free At Sea promotion. The ship was nice, clean and updated. It didn't seem like a worn out ship despite its age, I think it had been remodels in the last few years. The dining was typical for any cruise line, the food was of the same quality I've experienced. The open seating dining rooms are nice for trying a new location and cuisine every night. They aren't very great if you enjoy building a relationship with your servers. On other cruise lines after a few nights they knew my drink order and had kids meals waiting when we arrived. The bars were a bit of a let down. Despite the naming the really have no differences in menu. The ship's beer selection was the same whether you were at the pool side bar or the Whiskey and Beer bar. If you like craft beer the selection is very small. The entertainment was decent for the trip. A few of the lounge acts were good, a few were alright at best. The shows in the main theater were very good. The staff and service was also very similar to other cruise lines, polite and attentive. I felt that my stateroom, while small was well arranged, and it had a larger bathroom than I had experienced on other cruise lines. The ports were all beautiful, the forecast changed before we traveled, every port was sunny and warm. We didn't take any excursions but the port area shopping and dining was all excellent. This trip was booked to see Alaska, and that did not disappoint. From the ship we easily saw seals and whales. The ship made a point of traveling to the Dawes glacier. Everywhere you look its another photo worthy view. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
On the 6th of September I was playing online and noticed how cheap the cruise prices were, so we booked and left Seattle on the 16th. This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian and to Alaska. We were on the ship less than half ... Read More
On the 6th of September I was playing online and noticed how cheap the cruise prices were, so we booked and left Seattle on the 16th. This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian and to Alaska. We were on the ship less than half an hour after arrival and disembarkation was even quicker. We decided to spend our money on our cabin rather than booze or excursions so we got a balcony near the stern on the starboard side. This provided us with multiple hours of enjoying the landscape and wildlife of British Columbia and Alaska. Our cabin was not huge, but it was kept extremely clean. If you bring a clock, make it battery-powered. We had an electric one and it gained two hours the first day. Showing up for breakfast before the restaurant opens doesn't work. The weather was excellent. There was a brief shower off Vancouver Island for a couple of minutes and that was it for the trip. Temperatures were in the 60's in Juneau and Skagway. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The food can improve--especially the buffet. With some experimenting, we found how to get good meals in Tsar's and O'Sheehans. Remember that most restaurants have food and beverages not listed on the menu so don't be afraid to ask. We did speak to people that paid for the "fancy" meals and they had mixed experiences. The entertainment was good. We were impressed with the comedienne and the aerialists/acrobats were outstanding in the theater. Numerous acts performed in the lounges around the ship which were entertaining and worth the time. We especially enjoyed the Philippine trio that was playing throughout the ship most nights. In Ketchikan we took a self-guided tour that we received at an information booth. There were over 30 places to visit including a salmon hatchery and Native American museum. We saw thousands of salmon ready to spawn and the tour took us 4-5 hours to complete. In Juneau we went to the state museum of history. We spent a couple of hours and probably should have spent more. In Skagway we wandered the town for a couple of hours and then booked a 3.5 hour tour into the Yukon by bus. It was $60 and half the price of the place across the street. Our guide from SkagwayTours was fabulous and took us 50 miles from town and into the Yukon providing us with history of the area and the gold rush. On a clear day like we had, the scenery was fabulous and well worth the money. In Victoria we went to the Royal British Columbia Museum. This is easily the greatest museum we've ever visited. You can spend 3-4 hours here without going to the Imax. Some of the exhibits showed the history of farming, mining, and trapping in British Columbia. They also had displays on weather and birds and animals of the area. Overall, it was a great cruise that we really enjoyed. But as a previous reviewer said, it just seemed like something was missing. There were very few children on board, despite all of the activities that were available. I would have no problem going on Norwegian again, but I may also want to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I had been on a previous Alaskan cruise with another cruise line and swore I would never cruise again. After finding a good deal online I decided to give cruising another try. I really enjoyed just about everything about my experience on ... Read More
I had been on a previous Alaskan cruise with another cruise line and swore I would never cruise again. After finding a good deal online I decided to give cruising another try. I really enjoyed just about everything about my experience on the Jewel. I highly recommend the specialty dining, Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of our trip. We only ended up eating in the main dining room one night since we had so many other options but the food was good and the service was very attentive. There seemed to be dining options 24/7, you just had to decide what you felt like eating. We ate at the buffet a few times, if there isn't seating in the first section there was always a spot in the next couple or on the aft deck. We enjoyed the trivia and games which were offered most nights. Jocka and Maria are amazing and put on phenomenal shows. The other shows were fun and very entertaining. We tried one of the painting classes and it was disappointing but everything else was good. We did several different spa treatments and had access to the spa, the treatments were good and the employees were very friendly. They do really push you to buy the products and some seemed upset when you didn't but prices were much higher than if you purchase the same product online. We loved the Spinnaker lounge, the view is great and the servers are very attentive. We enjoyed having a balcony room, we had some issues initially with neighbors smoking on their balcony but it was taken care of by the third day and we were able to enjoy the balcony and the views as we worked our way up the Alaskan coast. We went on excursions through the ship in Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria and they were well organized and well done. We had to tender to the dock in Skagway so that cut down on our time to explore a little but overall I was impressed with how well they handled the whole process. I enjoyed this cruise and actually plan to try another cruise with NCL in the future. I really enjoyed the size of the Jewel and the variety of options they had to offer, you don't realize how many other people are on the ship with you, it seemed to be the perfect size in my opinion. If you cruise with NCL don't be surprised if you see the directors out and about interacting with the guests. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I had never been to Alaska which was on my bucket list. There were 8 of us in our group and we had a great time. WE booked all but one excursion through NCL and everything went smoothly. Loved everything in each port but the Misty ... Read More
I had never been to Alaska which was on my bucket list. There were 8 of us in our group and we had a great time. WE booked all but one excursion through NCL and everything went smoothly. Loved everything in each port but the Misty Fjords we all agreed would have been better seen by plane than by sea and it was also the day we had the worst weather which I am sure influenced our opinions. Kevin, from Chilkoot Tours in Skagway was awesome! He made the entire day very entertaining and went out of his way to help in any way he could. Butchart Gardens and Seaplane to Taku Lodge were beyond description, esp Butchart which is a MUST tour in Victoria,BC. Now, for the ship itself........ we arrived in our room, it was about 95 degrees. Thermostat was broken and the next day several employees arrived to fix it so the rest of the week was fine. Until someone, unknown to us, decided to raise the thermostat to mid 80's.Grrrr! The people who had our cabin the week before were kind enough to shut the door on the safe, making it unusable until someone could come and open it so we could reset the code. Not NCL's fault and they did come the next day to fix it. Then, the toilet broke and we could not use it for a day. I am now beginning to think we are jinxed but we continued to enjoy the rest of our trip. 4 of us splurged on the specialty dining package. Loved Cagney's and Le Bistro. Moderno not so much and would skip it and do Le Bistro again. The shows were excellent and some of the best we have seen on cruise ships. Dave, the entertainment director was a fun guy and made it even more entertaining. I am also in search of finding out who supplies the mattresses for Norwegian as they were the best beds I have slept in, even nicer than my own bed. I woke up feeling refreshed every morning. I am already planning to return in 2 years and might try the Pearl just for comparison and no other reason. Only real complaint is we never saw our room attendant. Have no idea if it was a man or woman...... Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Picked Norwegian because of their rating on cruise critic. Norwegian proved to be an excellent choice. The staff on the ship was courteous, pleasant and helpful. Never had to ask a second time for any of the staff to help with anything. ... Read More
Picked Norwegian because of their rating on cruise critic. Norwegian proved to be an excellent choice. The staff on the ship was courteous, pleasant and helpful. Never had to ask a second time for any of the staff to help with anything. My wife eats a very strict diet and they catered to all of her dietary necessities. The ship was clean and well managed throughout the entire voyage. Ship was as clean when we returned to port as it was when we disembarked. The entertainment was excellent. The food on the ship was very good and the specialty restaurants were excellent. Cagney's steak house was as good as any Ruth Chris I have eaten at. Great way to get away and enjoy time with your wife or significant other. I loved our time whale watching and at the Glacier. Have recommended the cruise to my brother and I love him so I am not steering you wrong when I say that Norwegian provided my wife and I with a memorable vacation. My wife liked it better than I did and she would have gushed more if she had written this review. Since this was my first cruise I am not sure I am a future cruiser even though I had a good time, at times felt confined on the ship. Norwegian's product was excellent, I have no direct complaints, just don't know if I like cruising. Their free style where you can just show up for dinner and don't have to get over dressed was a blessing to me on vacation. Took the cruise to relax, not to stress out getting my suit on and off each evening. Again I can't say enough about the staff and their care and concern, could not have felt more pampered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our 12th NCL cruise, and our 2nd on Jewel. Previous sails are all reviewed on here. We stayed in a OA cabin (Picture Window, deck 8). Small but adequate for 2 adults. However, the mattress was the worst we've ever had on ... Read More
This was our 12th NCL cruise, and our 2nd on Jewel. Previous sails are all reviewed on here. We stayed in a OA cabin (Picture Window, deck 8). Small but adequate for 2 adults. However, the mattress was the worst we've ever had on an NCL ship. Our sail from Seattle visited Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska as well as the required foreign stop of Victoria, BC. We lucked out with beautiful sunshine in every port which was pleasant for us as it poured rain every day on us the year prior when we did a similar itinerary on the Sun. We had the ever changing alcohol package as one of our pick 2 promos. Our other pick 2 promo as the rarely offered free gratuities. Drinks were all good and strong and freely flowing. Best service was at the Champagne bar outside of LeBistro. Main Dining room food was just ok this time. Service in the MDRs was not what it usually is. We also ate with our platinum vouchers at Cagneys and Moderno, both very good. O’Sheehans, as always, was the worst food on the ship and the worst service. We only ate there to watch the football game. Our Steward was Michael, he was excellent, only had to be asked once for special requests and remembered them going forward. He always had a smile or a song and just very pleasant. We were pleased to see one of our fave cruise directors on board (Dingo Dave) as well as a fave magician (Jean Pierre) and fave music duo (Fire and Ice). I wish they gave more airtime to Fire and Ice, on past cruises they have played several hours each evening. Activities during the day seemed more limited than on past cruises. Not sure if this is due to the nature of the itinerary, the cruise demographic, or the fact that the cruise director just came on board. Nightly shows were fantastic despite a couple of repeats for us. Le Cirque Bijou is not to be missed! Casino was tight, and because of the stop in Victoria, it was shut down at 9am for the last day not to reopen (same with the shops). There were a lot of lost people that last day not knowing where to go without their casino and shopping. Our stop in Victoria was from 3pm to 9pm which was just odd. We opted not to do a tour here and just walked to town and back along the water. We did independent excursions. In Ketchikan, we rebooked with Alaska Seaplane Tours for a flight to Misty Fjord. They had to rebook us with Island Wings Air as AST’s plane had a problem. I would highly recommend both of these companies. Island Wings gave us an amazing flight and morning. Michelle, our pilot, was the owner and just terrific. It was nice to see the companies who are competitors working together to help people sightsee. In Juneau, we had booked a helicopter with Coastal Helicopters. Despite being clear, sunny and beautiful, we were canceled due to fog. This was very disappointing as we could not see fog anywhere. We then booked a last minute whale watch with M&M Tours, as we had already done Mendenhall Glacier the last time. This tour was AWFUL. They took us out to Auk Bay where we then saw where all of the dense fog was. This tour should have been canceled, we saw just 3 whales but the visibility was near zero. We complained and they issued a full refund without question which leads me to think they full well knew that they should not have taken us out. In Skagway, we booked the White Pass Train and Yukon Territory tour with Chilkoot Charters and Tours. This was our second time doing this tour and once again it did not disappoint. We again had the caboose of the train which allowed for maximum viewing and the weather was gorgeous. Brian was our tour guide and he was excellent. Highly recommend. All around a decent cruise, but the Jewel didn’t wow us the way she did the first time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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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