Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the last minute deal that made it affordable to visit Alaska. The Jewel is a nice ship, well kept with all the normal amenities. The room was fine, we had an oceanview stateroom on Deck 5. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the last minute deal that made it affordable to visit Alaska. The Jewel is a nice ship, well kept with all the normal amenities. The room was fine, we had an oceanview stateroom on Deck 5. The entertainment on the Jewel was top notch. We attended every show and enjoyed all of them. The excursions were all excellent and easy to board, returned on time, etc. We highly recommend the white water rafting, whale watching and canoeing to the glacier. All the excursion teams were excellent. It was our first experience with anytime dining and we missed meeting others and getting to know our wait staff. We thought the food was a bit lacking in the buffet and main dining area. Especially disappointing was O'Sheehan's. The overall general dining selections and quality of food were less than their competitor. The specialty Brazilian steakhouse was fantastic. The overall customer service we received was less professional than their competitor. Staff was not as engaged in your experience as we have experienced on other lines. We recommend this ship and itinerary because overall the experience was fantastic. We heard their was a lot of new staff on this cruise so maybe that was the issue. Do be aware that on this particular itinerary there is no cell service at any port, especially if you have Sprint. Being disconnected in all the natural beauty of Alaska was worth it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some whales blow their spouts and saw some sea otters. Did not like the open ocean time as it got a little rough, hard to walk and my brother got motion sickness. Great food, enjoyed the shows. Enjoyed the Card room and restaurants and the open decks with track and pools and ping pong and shuffleboard. Really enjoyed the excursions on the ports. Only bad part was getting off at the end when the luggage did not get off in time and we had to pick it up later, it caused quite a bit of tension. All the people, workers, servers were great, provided very food service. Over all great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
An Alaskan cruise should be on everyone's bucket list. We chose the Jewel for its itinerary, schedule and price. We were not disappointed. Our mini-suite was large and comfortable. I would say that a balcony is a must because the ... Read More
An Alaskan cruise should be on everyone's bucket list. We chose the Jewel for its itinerary, schedule and price. We were not disappointed. Our mini-suite was large and comfortable. I would say that a balcony is a must because the scenery is constant and magnificent. Since the cruise is along the inner passage, the seas, except for the first night, were very smooth. The entertainment was very good with something good every evening. Dining ranged from average for the public rooms to very good for the specialty restaurants. This was especially true for Cagney's and Moderno, both of which I highly recommend. However, as it appears is done on most cruise lines, the Jewel staff seems to always be pushing for extra expenses. Pushing the gift shop, art auctions, drink specials, games, spa treatments and on and on. It doesn't take long for this to become annoying. Another issue was the language barrier for many members of the crew. While I understand that a vast majority of the crew does not have English as their primary language, I would expect that those with the main responsibility being to interact with passengers (i.e. cruise director and his staff) would be easier to understand. Unfortunately this was not the case in many cases. Not enough to kill the cruise, just annoying. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We were on the 5/26 to 6/4/2018 Alaska cruise on the NCL JEWEL that cruised to a port we have never been to before, the Icy Strait Point, and to the Sitka port that we visited over 20 years ago. The crew were wonderful to us. Dorothy , ... Read More
We were on the 5/26 to 6/4/2018 Alaska cruise on the NCL JEWEL that cruised to a port we have never been to before, the Icy Strait Point, and to the Sitka port that we visited over 20 years ago. The crew were wonderful to us. Dorothy , Evelyn , Sambas and Jayson are the waitresses and waiters that we had most often at the Tsar dining room. Appreciate them very much. One day, Jayson saw me at the Garden buffet and remembered that I had ordered green tea at the Tsar and he brought it to us since we didn't have any beverage with our meal. Appreciate the fact that at the Tsar dining room, passengers are expected to dress according to code. I have seen passengers refused entrance. Good for NCL. What I didn't like at the Garden buffet, was the kernel of the corn of the cob...they were tough and no taste, not like the corn I purchase at the supermarket were it is soft and tasty with no seasoning added. Also Steven , the hotel director, is very personable and admire his dedication to his work. He is always walking around and making sure that everything is going well. He is the only hotel director that I have seen doing this constantly. At Ketchikan, it was raining so didn't do much. At Skagway, we decided to walk/hike to the old cemetery and to the waterfalls above it. I needed that since I was gaining weight. At Icy Point Strait, we walked to Hoonah and saw lots of eagles. Also did the nature trail at IPS, right outside the ship. At Juneau, we did the Tracy Arm excursion, which was the Endicott Arm since Tracy Arm was iced. This was the best ship excursion that we have taken. The pontoon met us at the ship to take us on the excursion where we saw whales etc. Hot drinks were free and also samples of Alaskan delicacies. The captain, even went to a large iceberg were we were able to touch it. I highly recommend this excursion. At first, I hesitated to book this excursion but very happy we did. At Sitka, we did the Gallant Adventures because I wanted to see puffins at the Saint Lazaria island although there was no guarantee we would get to the island. We sure saw lots of nature going there, whale, sea otters, seals, eagles etc. Will go with Paul again, when we return to Sitka. At Victoria, it was showering but some of the NCL employees were out on the dock as we disembarked to visit, doing rhythm with music, including Steven. We thought that was a nice touch like other previous NCL cruises. Next year, NCL doesn't go to Sitka and wish they would. Also wish that NCL would expand their Alaska ports that would include ports like the Kodiak, Homer and Haines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to the typical 7-day trip, and we had a couple of Norwegian deposits saved up. We flew to Seattle two nights before the cruise and enjoyed a full day of sightseeing the day before departure. Embarkation did not go very well because of the previous cruise's tardy disembarkation, which created a big traffic jam on the sidewalk in front of the port as people were trying to board shuttles while others were trying to drop off luggage and check in. The muster drill and sail-away were both delayed. Our experience on board was very good. There's a great selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges. The nightly entertainment was good quality; the stage band in particular was fantastic, and the various members in it were always impressive when they played in various places around the ship during the cruise. In general we had great service from the crew, although our food tended to come very slowly in the main dining room. Our weather was great for Alaska, and we enjoyed our shore excursions. The one big disappointment was a that a rock slide forced the cancellation of our train ride to White Horse Pass out of Skagway. We traveled with two teens, 15 and 13, who both loved the Entourage facility and went there as often as they could. Although there are many other cruise destinations I want to visit, I would do this cruise again if the price was right. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
The cruise was overall quite good. I was very disappointed that we didn’t make our first stop which was Mt Fuji (Simuzi). It was a key stop for us. The additional stops were interesting, especially as we got to Alaska. The Glaciers ... Read More
The cruise was overall quite good. I was very disappointed that we didn’t make our first stop which was Mt Fuji (Simuzi). It was a key stop for us. The additional stops were interesting, especially as we got to Alaska. The Glaciers and the beauty of Alaska is absolutely spectacular. Booking a massage on the cruise was easy and the massage was wonderful. However, the high pressure sales job after to buy all the products spoiled the experience. Word to the wise, don’t book spa services as this happens each time in spite of telling th no. Excursions were extremely pricey, even with a credit per port. The specialty restaurants were ok, with The Bistro top of my list. Carney’s was s disappointment both times we tried it. Moderno’s was okay. tepanyaki was fun and we went twice. Overall a good cruise. Weather was chilly but fine. Thanks for listening. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the ... Read More
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the country. It truly was a whale bonanza this year- think we can rest easy about the future of the humpback for a while. They are real showmen I'm convinced. Saw some of the lack of crew prep for disembark evolutions that others have noticed. Whatever the reasons, they are non-excusable. Continue to be amazed that people can stare at their phones; difficult to call their phones smart, while viewing some of the most incredible glaciers, wildlife, and natural beauty literally 360 degrees around them. Enough of the negative. Shore excursions were enjoyable, but overpriced through the ship. In Alaska especially, there are many other more reasonable providers of whale watching and White Mountain trips just to name a couple. This really was a unique cruise for me anyway, in that involved northern Japan and Russia. It also was long enough to really make some friends and settle down to a routine of your own choosing- difficult things to accomplish in a week or less cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 6th cruise on NCL, but our first transpacific. We chose it because of its itinerary, its length, and that it ended as an Alaska cruise, which we have always talked about doing. This combination of Asia, Pacific, and Alaska ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on NCL, but our first transpacific. We chose it because of its itinerary, its length, and that it ended as an Alaska cruise, which we have always talked about doing. This combination of Asia, Pacific, and Alaska was perfect for us. All the port stops in Japan were wonderful - Yokohama, Aomori, Hakodate and Otaru. The ship docked very close to town, and there was plenty to do in each place. Our most treasured experience was finding an onsen (hot springs bath, all nude, segregated by gender) in Hakodate. We were not impressed with Petropavlovsk though. Access was by tender, which wastes a lot of time especially with old folks with bad knees struggling to get on and off. Prior to the cruise, we were told quite specifically that we needed visas just to roam around town, so the best thing to do was sign up for an NCL shore excursion. Turns out that the Russians will let cruisers with no visas into town, just can't go beyond the city limits. The many days at sea crossing the Pacific was a real treat. Even better was getting an extra Wednesday because we crossed the International Date Line. Conversation with the cabin steward was fun - "what is today?" "Wednesday" "what is tomorrow?" "Wednesday." We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants. Of the free ones, we went to the Azura only once, and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Garden Café buffet the whole trip. Food was good, not great. The first top round roast in the carving station was so tough, however, it defied mastication. Our cabin steward, Aris, was the best. He was never intrusive, did a great job with the room, and answered all our questions. His towel art creations were ones I had never seen before. If it were not for the the ship being even more worn out, we would take her back to Japan in September. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Again we chose this back-to-back cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Shanghai, China, and ended in Yokohama Japan. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing ... Read More
Again we chose this back-to-back cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Shanghai, China, and ended in Yokohama Japan. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing visiting 7 port cities in Japan, and 3 in China with only 2 sea days. The Japanese ports of Shimizu and Yokohama were the only duplicates from the first itinerary. In Shanghai and Beijing we enjoyed overnight stays and two days in each city. The Great Wall and Tianjin square were easily accessible. The oriental cultures have a tremendous respect for nature represented through their religions of Shinto & Buddhism. We learned much about the origins, overlaps, and uniquenesses of the Eastern cultures. Broadening our horizons we have learnt Japan is not one island, but rather consists of 7,000 islands ! The cruise was enjoyable, and cabins and ship clean​,it is dated and wear is showing.... It is scheduled for a major drydock retrofit in October 2018. Food was reasonable throughout the variety of ship restaurants. We noticed most restaurant food was only warm - the exception being the Garden Cafe immediately upon opening. One of the most significant concerns remains " head office control " limiting the chefs ability to vary menus, and provide culinary cuisine more reflective of the Asian area of travel. While it is nice to not deal with the logistics of transport, and accommodation in this variety of cities, we did miss out on experiencing the local oriental cuisines in more depth. Overall entertainment quality and variety was good with one exception that should have been thrown overboard. However the absence of any entertainment reflective of the oriental culture, " enrichment programs " c​ultural , basic language , or port information was disappointing. Onboard activities have been severely curtailed, and many services had very limited hours. The focus was clearly on NCL Shore excursions,​ and selling additional spa, dining, or health services. For example the library only opened for one hour most days, and although a quiet spot to read it smelled of smoke. Shore excursions desk was also only open briefly, and there were often significant lines. We guess they are trying to embrace the more cost effective electronic culture and encourage you to book that way. Most shore excursions were full bus loads. Ironically we found the variety, quality, and execution of the tours in China to be considerably better than Japan. Rather than being limited to traditional sightseeing tours for example we were able to spend several hours in a traditional Chinese family home, and rural visits to better experience the culture. Does China have more experience with tourism than Japan ? Tour guides were clearly more experienced and professional. As all locations were new to us, and due to the language and cultural challenges, we booked mostly NCL excursions. Increasingly we discovered more guests successfully using independent guides, or venturing out on their own with taxis, and they were reporting much more satisfying experiences. The assembly process of participants in the ship theatre, disembarkation & load the tour buses continued to be chaotic, with clients arriving late, not queuing respectfully, & not following instructions. Frankly this waiting and disorganization caused many tours to be less than enjoyable. In Sakaiminato the ship was docked and cleared for several hours before shore tour participants were allowed off this resulted in a 1.5 hour backlog at customs and tour agendas curtailed and cut short as a result. Communication issues with customs & immigration , & embarkation processes, were experienced, but to be expected with many new ports, and several foreign countries. Using the walking or jogging track you also encounter “ smoking areas “ where your exercise and fresh air experience was dampened. For the most part staff were genuine and helpful, however there were several encounters were it was obvious staff were not allowed to think, and responded accordingly with a " standard answer " even when it made absolutely no sense in the circumstances. Upon disembarkation in Tokyo we had a week to explore and experience the world famous quality from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kawasawki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Toshiba, Canon, Sony, Panasonic. Japan taught the world " just-in-time " manufacturing, and that organizations should value their employees. We enjoyed Golden Week, Fruhlings Fest, and the Port festivals and activities while there. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard ... Read More
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard outside, deck 4) and were happy with the general experience. We took the perks at sea package and had 4 dinners for two at the specialty restaurants plus $50 off each person's tour at all of the ports. Also we got 250 internet minutes and 2 hours of ship to USA calls. We used all of these perks, even made some doctor appointments back home. The food at the upgrade restaurants was very good, especially at Cagneys where the filet was great. We also used the French restaurant, but liked Cagneys better. As to the dining rooms and the Lido, we found them to be good, but not great. Like most cruises, some items were very good and others just so-so. Service was OK, and the buffet was clean and appetizing. I recall that there were 12 port days on the 15 day cruise. We naturally used the ship tours for about 9 ports, but at Kobe we made independent tours that included the castle at Hemiji and the Kobe city zoo or animal preserve. We rate both of these as top notch. Overall, we really enjoyed the trip. 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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