3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have cruises in this area twice already now with an alternative line, and have also been on NCL Jade twice over the years Post dry dock the new look and feel of the ship is excellent. It feels fresh and really like the “toned ... Read More
We have cruises in this area twice already now with an alternative line, and have also been on NCL Jade twice over the years Post dry dock the new look and feel of the ship is excellent. It feels fresh and really like the “toned down” decor. The introduction of the Irish bar in particular is a great thing, and was a good central hub of activity right above the atrium We found the food to be excellent in Main Dining Room, such that we didn’t use specialty restaurants at all (we usually would do several times in a week). Generally service from the staff was excellent Smooth weeks sailing too.... so all very positive HOWEVER, there were some issues 1. Boarding at Singapore was a fiasco. We got off lightly with 2 hours of waiting and queuing, but some fared worse than we did. I’d have expected some niggles maybe as it was first run since dry dock, but the embarkation staff clearly didn’t have a clue how to process passengers and this created a huge backlog. 2. I suspect there were some “niggles” post dry dock. Our Air Condifioning wasn’t really working on arrival, it took 4 contacts including a late night (1am) rant at Guest Services to get any improvement. It did improve eventually but given the climate in that region I’d hardly call the cabin a sanctuary to rest and cool down as it usually is on board 3. MASSIVE failure in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve no idea what or why but literally just before getting off on day 1 we were told due to “operational issues with immigration in Singapore” our departure on day 2 had to be brought forward from 14:00 to 09:00. We had booked a hotel to stay off board that night, that plan was totally ruined given the distance from city to port made it to pressured in the morning. When we did depart on day 2 the ship limped along at barely any speed, so I am not sure why we couldn’t have stayed longer - I really suspect something undisclosed was the issue that forced us to leave early on the highlight stop of the trip Overall we had a good time (British couple, mid 30s). The demographic on board was older and far more British than we are used to with NCL, and this affected the atmosphere on board. The “white hot party” was rubbish basically compared to others we have done, and the Cruise Director and his staff were rarely seen in the week (we didn’t do any shows, guess he was hiding there) So overall NCL severly let themselves down with this one. Great refreshed ship, food and service - but cruising is a huge experience holiday where logistics matter, and NCL failed completely throughout the week with this Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The places the ship went in Asia were on our bucket list. We spent 16 days in the 3 bedroom garden Villa. It was tires and dated. The blinds did not work. We had a big red cooler for an ice chest...not fitting for a 30 thousand dollar ... Read More
The places the ship went in Asia were on our bucket list. We spent 16 days in the 3 bedroom garden Villa. It was tires and dated. The blinds did not work. We had a big red cooler for an ice chest...not fitting for a 30 thousand dollar suite. The private hot tub was chipping and would only run for 1 minute at a time so we had to keep pushing the button. Not my idea of relaxing. We were told we would have priority embarkation and debarkation....we were not told this would not happen if we booked a shore excursion through the ship. We were hearded like cattle....not in the brochure. Many of the shore excursions were late getting back and 9 hours tours turned into 12 hours...way too long. The ship was late leaving ports on a few occasions and late leaving ports because the shore excursions were not on time. The choice of excursions was not diverse....after all how many Shrines Temples and Buddas does one need to see? The food on the ship is awful. There is no other word for it. Salty lousy food. Even the specialty restaurants were not worth the extra money. The staff was the only saving grace to this trip. We had an awesome Butler Rodney, a great stewerdess Luh and Jeffrey who set up our patio and deck furniture every day was great. Read Less
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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was amazing. We particularly chose it because of the many ports. Some of the ports are a long way from cities and some use tenders, but if you are prepared for that and have appropriate expectations, this could be the best itinerary of all. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Since we were B2B, the embarkation was easy. Unfortunately, NCL didn't provide much in the way of excursions to Tokyo for passengers continuing on. Therefore, I arranged an excursion and had 6 others join us through Cruise Critic. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but it would have been nice to have more in the way of cultural descriptions in anticipation of the ports we called at. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center has replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters in the main dining room if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Tokyo-singapore oct 18. this was my first cruise, undertaken with a group of 14 family/friends. Whilst we really enjoyed the cruise overall, a few of the ports certainly left a lot to be desired, being quite a distance from any large ... Read More
Tokyo-singapore oct 18. this was my first cruise, undertaken with a group of 14 family/friends. Whilst we really enjoyed the cruise overall, a few of the ports certainly left a lot to be desired, being quite a distance from any large cities (Bangkok was a 3-4 hr drive!) & as stated in some previous reviews, the tendering process was a nightmare & in one instance (Koh Samui), downright dangerous when trying to reboard the ship. Sihanoukville in Cambodia was probably the worst, atrocious roads & flithy, smelly markets. Why NCL would think this was a good tourist destination astounds me, & to make matters worse, they charged $89USD per person for a visa, regardless of whether or not you stayed on board (according to the cambodian website, visas are approx $38USD). On the plus side, we found the ship facilities very good. Our cabin (deck 5 midship) was cleaned spotlessly every day with the steward checking each evening whether we required anything. The restaurants & bars were never too busy to get seating, though we did book a couple of times being such a large group. We only dined once in Azure & whilst the food was tasty, it was only just warm. Cagneys & the Tepanyaki were definately highlights. Staff were all friendly & helpful & there seemed to be onboard activities most of the day if you wished to participate. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Booked this cruise because of the incentives offered as the fact that only 4 sea days were included in the itinerary. The excursions offered at the various ports were less than average in most cases. We booked an excursion in Cambodia that ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the incentives offered as the fact that only 4 sea days were included in the itinerary. The excursions offered at the various ports were less than average in most cases. We booked an excursion in Cambodia that was the worst excursion I have ever taken. We visited a poor run down school, a Cambodian home and a dirty market place. Overall the country is very dirty with trash thrown everywhere. We also took an excursion in Taiwan that included visiting their national museum and the monument dedicated to Chang kei check. The museum was overcrowded and we had little time to see the exhibits. We even a shorter time at the monument. The ship was going in for 14 day dry dock after our cruise. This a good thing because it diffently needs some attention in many areas. Overall the food was less than average in the tsar palace dining room. The service was slow and inattentive. The food in the buffet was much better. I have one more cruise booked on Norwegian cruise lines and hope to have better cruise experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this trip for the itinerary. We recently retired and we were hopeing for a trip of a lifetime. Overall the itinerary was a good one with stops in very interesting ports. However, we have sailed with Norwegian 6 times now and ... Read More
We chose this trip for the itinerary. We recently retired and we were hopeing for a trip of a lifetime. Overall the itinerary was a good one with stops in very interesting ports. However, we have sailed with Norwegian 6 times now and this was probably the least organized in terms of shore excursions that we have ever been on. We found the shore excursions to be rated incorrectly in terms of difficulty. The weather in South East Asia is oppressively hot, and even though the ship recommends staying hydrated on the side trips, we were not allow to take water on or off the ship in most ports of call. In most circumstances the tours lasted 4-6 hours and many without water or even a small boxed lunch. Would it be too much to ask for NCL to throw us a some water and a banana? One poor gentleman actually passed out in Bangkok due to the heat and dehydration. The days that we had to be tendered in to the shore were nightmares! Neither the shore excursion crew were organized nor the buses etc. at the port. The tenders are HOT and uncomfortable and NCL consistently feels the need to PACK the tender full of people before leaving the ship. In Cambodia we chose to take the Level1 shore excursion through Ream Naitonal Park. It was "billed" as a boat ride and tour of the countryside. In our group we had a woman with broken ribs and another walking with a cane. The boats were slippery and difficult to get in and out of. But that wasn't the worse of it. When we got out of the boats we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with a guide that spoke very little english, who led the group on a one+ mile hike through rice fields, across duck boards, through marshes and through mud and muck. I truly have no idea how the woman with the cane made the trip. We stopped at little hut that was a school where cute Cambodian children sang to us and showed us how they write their language. Then we hiked another 1+ mile or so through some very tretuous and muddy paths to find the bus. We were not provided ANY water or any food this entire trip. The native people did provide us a sample of fruit if you dared to eat it. Many people were bitten by ants and scraped up with nettles. One person slipped on the mud upon leaving. It was NO LEVEL 1 - that's for sure. And we found this to be true with several other shore excursions as well. Overall the trip was lovely, but the ship was also headed into dry dock at Singapore and we got the sense that in the last few days of the trip those working on the shiip really started not to care so much about customer service. Everything was removed from our cabin mini-bars two days in advance of the cruise being over. Workman started to repair the ship and you would find them in your room fixing things all the time. For a ship that advertises NO LITTER on the seas, they started to scrap paint off the outside railiings about 3 days into the curise and my husband and I watched (disgusted) as thousands of led based paint chips flew into the ocean. There is a lot to improve on this trip. And the Jewel itself is in need of some serious renovation. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on ... Read More
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on time. Even the port where we were tendered were handled well and in a timely manner. We also found out that we could opt out of the automatic $14.50/person gratuity entry to our on board account, and instead pay them directly to those we had dealings with. We had hoped to take advantage of the beverage package as one of our “perks”. However when we were told that we had to pay the gratuities on the retail price of the package up front (it would have been $400+/person) we opted out. Other cruise lines we have had this perk with have you paying gratuities each time you use it, which really seems more fair to me, especially as we are not heavy drinkers. We wouldn’t even drink enough to cover the amount of the gratuities paid. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise firstly because of the itinerary. We had always wanted to visit Alaska, and with Russia and Japan as well, we booked this cruise. Except for the 6 days at sea from Alaska to Russia, we were happy with this ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise firstly because of the itinerary. We had always wanted to visit Alaska, and with Russia and Japan as well, we booked this cruise. Except for the 6 days at sea from Alaska to Russia, we were happy with this cruise. It was more than we expected and this was our first cruise with Norwegian, we were happy with the ship and the staff. The shows were all very good and a couple of them were excellent. The Cirque Bijou was a highlight show plus a couple of others that were really great and professional. The service at the dining rooms was very good, and the only complaint we had was with the quality of the beef in the dining rooms. We did have one dinner in the Le Bistro and that was the best meal we had eaten for a very long time. We both had the filet steak which was done to absolute perfection. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty ... Read More
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty restaurants, and they were all wonderful. When we ate in the main dinning room, we were able to have the same table with the same wait staff each night who treated us royalty. The ports were all interesting. I did not do any ship shore excursions in Alaska, as I have done them before, however I did do the excursions in Russia and each port in Japan. All done well with good English speaking guides. The last tour/excursion was in Tokyo and this took us to the hotel NCL had arranged. The hotel was magnificent. Another great experience thanks to NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is a cold water cruise - VANCOUVER TO TOKYO - but the pools were well heated and it was great swimming in warm salty mineral laden sea water when the air temp was cold outside! The hot tubs are great too - 4 of them - 2 at a warmer ... Read More
This is a cold water cruise - VANCOUVER TO TOKYO - but the pools were well heated and it was great swimming in warm salty mineral laden sea water when the air temp was cold outside! The hot tubs are great too - 4 of them - 2 at a warmer temp than the other 2. Pool/jacuzzi temps posted on the ship's channel and could be referenced everyday along with the captain's update on particulars. The pics of the ship are very bad - they do it no justice! It is a beautiful ship and going in for a retrofit at the end the Singapore leg of this trip - October, 2018. Regardless, the Jewel is beautiful and NOT garish like other ships. The staff nice as always. Jeff the assistant cruise director is particularly genuine. However, I didn't like the the competition among the staff - i don't think they should have to compete with each other for the title of "cruise hero." My only other "sorta"complaint is that whomever runs the volume at the shows in the Stardust theatre and the shows/happenings/dance classes/trivia etc in the Spinakker lounge put the volume WAY TOO LOUD. It was excessive and distorted the sound which made it more painful than ever. Otherwise - the choice of music even at the pool was often relaxing rather than thumping rave music! It's a cruise full of international travelers which makes it so very interesting - people's stories - and families - whether big or small - I love that. Not many kids - probably because of the time of year - school time - maybe about 15 in total and they were charming children. This cruise has a great combo of sea days with port day. I like both - the sea days are great for just lounging - and the port days you feel compelled to get your arse out there and see another part of the world! And at the end of the sightseeing day - there's your ship there waiting for you after walking miles seeing a new land. It was great! The staff were incredibly organized about leaving and returning the the ship - never much of a queue/line - hot towels - lemonade or hot chocolate depending on the weather - whizzed through security - presented with a cookie and we were back on board! Lovely. Dan and Jeff the cruise director and assistant cd are very nice people. There was a delay embarking in VANCOUVER - which lots of folk bitched about - but come on people - it was part of the adventure of travel! How often does that happen? Not very often and no cause for alarm. ALASKA: Sadly, the glaciers are almost all gone. Alaska is beautiful though and there are 3 stops there before heading out to the BERING SEA where DEADLIEST CATCH is filmed. The Time Bandit was sitting in dock in Ketchikan and it is a surprisingly small vessel! It was wild and woolly in the great north Bering Sea - but there were sunny days before we moored in PETROPOVLOSK - an island off the Kamchatka peninsula - yeah people - that Kamchatka from the game RISK you used to play when you were a kid! They said you had to buy a tour to obtain a visa to disembark in Russia for the afternoon - but that didn't quite happen. I believe all ship passengers were issued a visa - and the Russians were very efficient about it - stamped everyone's visa in the early morning and we were on tenders by 11AM. the ship was extremely organized about crowd control - embarking and disembarking whether on tenders or at port. Norwegian provided courtesy buses and tenders at most of the ports of call. The food on board was ok with some pleasant surprises. It was just kind of blah. They did have some nights were the entrees were decent - like suckling pig and pork roasts - roast beef - very little lamb though - and even a thanksgiving holiday meal evening which was actually quite well done for an east Indian chef! The bird was succulent and it was served with all the fixins' !!! However, all chicken on board was just inedible and smelled funky - I could not eat it - sorry! The fajitas on Mexican night weren't bad - but the refried beans and tortilla shells etc were processed. There is no need for that as they are easy to make. There was an abundance of fresh ripe fruit and selection of breads - but the latter seemed processed also. The breakfast fair wasn't bad - they made an excellent in kitchen muesli, which was surprising because there was a lot of processed food. There was the full range of breakfast goodies - whatever your liking - you could not be disappointed and the chefs were nice enough to always make my eggs with real olive oil instead of that spray on pam junk! The pastries/deserts were disappointing as were the soups - but the salad bar wasn't bad - no decent cheeses though even in the sandwich section - the cheese used was that processed american slices - not real cheese even! Although there was a wheel of blue cheese on occasion. The dressings awful too - canned! i don't know why, like the bread. they didn't make the dressings in house? The tea - not good either - but the coffee surprisingly palatable. The entertainment ranged from excellent to ok. The most professional were the gymnasts and Russian ballroom dancers, the 3 divas and a couple of others. The Russian ballroom dancers taught dance lessons too and that was fab -being taught by professional dancers - what a treat! I hope they keep that part because there were staff teaching dance classes but really - they weren't professionals and it was a bit of a loud joke. Wendy from South Africa and Julian from Australia were the exercise teachers and their classes were the favorites and most attended! Both delightful instructors. They were very zen about it - not pushy and vulgar like some personal trainers! Namaste! There is all manner of activity on board from daily trivia to Japanese and other language class that reminds me of the sailing days of yore when a passage was inclusive of classes in the language of the ports of call! Thank you Jeff and Dan for arranging that. Japan is incredible - the country ok - metropolis as far as the eye can see. But the people just amazing. what a delight - what a surprise - what a fabulous first time visit. I will certainly return for a spell in the land of the rising sun! I have been cruising since I was a kid - 1962 was my first sailing on the T.S. Hansiatic. My Mum loved big ships and passed that love onto her kids and I pass that love onto my son who travels with me. His first cruise was when he was 6. He said it was better than Disneyland! We have sailed many different lines over the years. This was our first time on Norwegian and we enjoyed it immensely. The Jewel is a gem of a ship and its crew and staff wonderful. It's pure hedonism - but hey - worth every moment lol! Don't hesitate to take this trip. Oh and I wanted to mention one last thing - the air filtration system on this ship - the JEWEL - is EXCELLENT! I have respiratory issues and always end up with some manner of respiratory distress when on a cruise - but did NOT get a respiratory infection on this ship. So just wanted to let y'all know! And they made every attempt to keep everyone healthy - which was much appreciated also. Bon Voyage 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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