2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruse for the dates and itinerary. We celebrated a thirtieth anniversary onboard the ship. Our previous NCL experience was the Escape in the Haven suites. On this cruise we had two rooms, one inside and one balcony mini ... Read More
We chose this cruse for the dates and itinerary. We celebrated a thirtieth anniversary onboard the ship. Our previous NCL experience was the Escape in the Haven suites. On this cruise we had two rooms, one inside and one balcony mini suite. The rooms were adequate in size with ample closet/storage space. The finishes did not appear to have been renovated with recent dry dock. There were chips in the bathroom counter, stains on the counter and the wood on cabinets was pretty scuffed. I expected the angled toilet in the inside room per other reviews. No ice bucket in inside room. No coffee pot in inside room. Both items in mini suite. Shower was adequate with good water pressure and easy controls. The quality of the shampoo and shower gel was lower, but serviceable. We left from Vancouver on Canada Day. This made for a bit of confusion at the port, and a bit of difficulty for taxi to get in with luggage and passengers. We arrived at 10:25 at luggage drop for a 10:30-11:00 NCL slot. Once in the terminal there were 4 stations to complete. Sign in with NCL and present cruise documents, then walked to a different area for customs, then the third area for security, the final step was to wait in a chair area for admission to the boat. Boarding happened at about 12:15. It seemed to be pretty organized despite moving all over the terminal building. We were able to eat at Tzars for lunch while waiting on rooms. The room announcement happened in stages our rooms on the 11 th floor were announced ready at about 1:30. However, only one was ready. The other was still being prepared. It was the beginning of several times where it appeared the staff was working for the first day ever. The main dining room Tzars was our favorite. Good variety of food, with consistently good service. We ate at three specialty restaurants. The level of service in Cagney’s and La Bistro was terrible. The check in for Cagney’s was an extremely inefficient method, with long lines forming in front of the elevators in a small space. The congestion at Cagney’s made it difficult for Moderno patrons to check in. Once again felt like this was the first day on the job for many of these staff members. The buffet was good, despite the high volume, seemed to be replenished well. Disappointed that the washy washy song was never sung, just the repeated washy washy said and sprayed. The staff in the buffet were attentive and tables were quickly serviced. The two largest sources of discontent with our group was temp control in public areas, everywhere was hot. The Stardust theater was unbearable for all the shows. The inside cabin was extremely hot. I brought a usb 4 inch fan to use in the inside cabin, but it was confiscated from my bag prior to cruise. The balcony room was better, because you could open the door for air. The second complaint was a general feeling of discontent by the staff. There were public complaints of the numbers of children on the cruise, 500 was mentioned several times, one of the room stewards complained about long hours with a guest. There were not a lot of smiles around the ship. The number of children certainly seemed to be a problem. There were children’s activities in spinnakers bar and lounge. This would have been fine if it was not also being used as a bar at the same time. The three ports were great. We arranged our own excursions. The only excursion we used NCL for was the train ride from sewerd to anchorage. The young man making announcements was offensive, he was not aware of breakfast options, and seemed very discontent with his job. If there needed to be a controlled exit, it could have been handled better than having people sit in the hot stardust with an employee constantly repeating don’t sit in that aisle, go to bathroom now, you can not when I call your group to leave, and complaining about the 500 children. The entertainment was some of the best I have seen on a cruise. Cirque Bijou was by far the best show I have ever seen on a cruise. Glad and Anna were fantastic. The musicians were all very talented I will consider NCL for future cruises, but I am not loyal to the line after this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise to see as much of Alaska on our vacation week as possible. This northbound cruise was in each port the longest amount of time that gave us a relaxed vacation. Our daughter took this cruise in 2017 & with ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see as much of Alaska on our vacation week as possible. This northbound cruise was in each port the longest amount of time that gave us a relaxed vacation. Our daughter took this cruise in 2017 & with all her travel experience we didn't shop around for any other cruiseline. We were pleased with our tenth deck cabin. The balcony allowed us to lounge comfortably inside. All the staff were friendly & attentive. Getting on & off the ship was easy. The only con was the ship in each port was the furthest from town. But there was transportation waiting & it was usually free. Mostly we ate breakfast at the buffet & we tried all the complimentary restaurants. The food was most disappointing There was no fresh Alaskan seafood and no pastry chef. My cherry pie was just gelatin with 1 cherry. Our two free options were the adult drink & wifi packages All bars were great the wifi is not recommendrd. The staff made every attempt to keep all well "wishy" washing at every restaurant entrance. Learned that you must get on a smaller boat to see wild life. Next trip to Alaska will be a road trip. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
* Excellent: the itinerary (Alaska Inside Passage 7-days northbound from Vancouver), including Glacier Bay which was a highlight; the food at Czar's Palace and Azura; the service at Azura was outstanding; the focus on leaving minimal ... Read More
* Excellent: the itinerary (Alaska Inside Passage 7-days northbound from Vancouver), including Glacier Bay which was a highlight; the food at Czar's Palace and Azura; the service at Azura was outstanding; the focus on leaving minimal environmental impact; the viewing room into the bridge was great * Good: overall friendliness and service of staff; the entertainment and music were professional and well done * Fair: value of the excursions; the food at restaurants other than Czar's/Azura and the buffet were just average, with the lowest grade going to Chin Chin * Poor: recent refurbishment missed some details, especially in the cabin (see details in the cabin review) • Stateroom steward was courteous and efficient, but we could never find him when problems arose with the safe and the bathroom • We received conflicting information between the service desk and the room steward regarding the disembarkation time (we were carrying our own bags), we were unceremoniously shooed out of the cabin at 9 a.m. even though the service desk promised any time before 9:45 a.m. would be OK. • A salesperson at an onboard jewelry shop was disrespectful to someone in my travel group, blocking her from entering a drawing that was supposed to be open to anyone who purchased jewelry on the ship, openly mocking the bracelet she bought onboard as "not jewelry" in front of other passengers. It left her feeling embarrassed and ruined the joy she felt picking out her bracelet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some ... Read More
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some of any of those served on the ship? Well no there wasn’t, and the the food in all restaurants, because we tried every single one, was the blandest food we’ve ever had. If you closed your eyes and took a bite of food, most the time it was hard to tell what you were eating. As far as the service goes, it was great! Entertainment was good. Our cabin was very nice, we had a balcony room and our personal attendant was awesome. Every day there would be a new, adorable animal on our bed made of towels. Embankment and disembarkment went smooth. Ketchikan was our favorite, we went into town and bought a lunch of King crab legs and halibut. Shore excursions were to Icey Strait, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan and all were nice. We would probably go again, but not with Norwegian. We did a land cruise tour before the actual ship cruise, which started in Fairbanks and ended in Seward where we caught the ship and it was fantastic, we had an awesome tour director, she was extremely knowledgeable about Alaska, she really takes pride in her beautiful state and our bus/coach driver was also excellent. Denali was great and the glass domed train to Talkeetna was fantastic, the food on the train was excellent, as was the train narrator, she was very knowledgeable too. All in all an awesome trip other than the not so great food on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, ... Read More
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, technically, the Bering Sea may not actually be the Pacific). Anyhow, this was a repositioning cruise and we decided to take advantage. Unlike our last cruise where we just showed up in Sydney, this time we came to Tokyo five days before the cruise to enjoy the city sights. Tokyo did not disappoint. It was very clear, fairly easy to navigate, many opportunities for dining... we stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku-Ku and I would highly recommend it. The only downside was that it was Golden Week and there were more crowds than usual. We were unable to visit Mt Fuji due to crowds as well. I would definitely go back to Japan. There were an awful lot of people at that pier in Yokohama, but because we were in the Haven, we were among the first to be checked in and whisked aboard the ship. I cannot say how embarkation was for anyone else, but it did look like a very large crowd. Once aboard, we met some of the staff in the Haven. A truly great group of dedicated professionals who did not disappoint. They were great for the entire cruise. Our room guy was Giri and we were very fortunate to have him. One thing that surprised me, though, is that this ship has no dedicated Haven restaurant. Breakfast, though, was served in the Moderno restaurant and we were there each morning. Michelle was our server of choice and she was another example of the wonderful staff. Lunch was also served in Moderno for Havenites, but we ate there only once or twice. Unlike other ship, though, for dinner you’re on your own. Luckily, we had seven meals coming to us (5 were Free at Sea and 2 because of our Platinum status). On the other seven or eight nights, we split it up with either the Tsars Palace or Azura and, if we didn’t care for the menu on a particular night, we went to Chin Chin. About the food, overall it’s very good, but after a while it becomes quite repetitive. Having sailed for nearly three weeks on the same ship two months earlier and now another two weeks, we found ourselves wondering what the food on other cruise lines is like. By the way, the food in the Garden Cafe buffet wasn’t bad, but because this was basically a cold weather cruise, everyone was eating inside. So, table space was limited at peak hours. Luckily, they let you sit in La Cucina up until afternoon. Not a lot of kids on this cruise as you might imagine as this is school time. So, that made it the perfect time for an Alaskan cruise. Cruising in July - August is probably the last place you’d find me. The entertainment was just so-so to be honest, so many nights we just didn’t go. Ports and shore excursions were ok, but in Alaska you could easily double the cost of the entire cruise and more. We did just basic sightseeing, no helicopters or sea planes. Alaskan ports seemed like one trinket store after another. Would I go again? Maybe, but probably not. Still, Alaska is a trip everyone ought to make once in their lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor ... Read More
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor guest lecture. Embarkation was much slower than disembarkation. Nice cabin with reasonable bathroom. Too cool for pool and sunbathing on this route. Port in Japan and Russia were small, but interesting. Alaska ports were fine, but Icy Point Straight was a NCL-contrived port with little to see. Activities at sea included art auctions, specialty restaurants, expensive slow internet etc. that all seemed to create additional profit centers for the cruise line with a captive audience. Food was on par with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but not necessarily themed for the ports visited. Service was on par. Hot chocolate served outside on a few cold port or glacier viewing days was a nice touch. Both food and service were better in the specialty restaurants, but then you pay for a meal that you have already included anyway with the cruise, so I count those as a port meal. Entertainment was sub-par, with the exception of one acrobatics show. Mostly Philippine bands doing their best with a wide range of western standards. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was on a private charter of the Jewel from Hong Kong to Tokyo for a 10 night adventure. I had a balcony room to myself for the holiday. Boarding went smoothly but when it was announced that all the staterooms were ready, mine was still ... Read More
I was on a private charter of the Jewel from Hong Kong to Tokyo for a 10 night adventure. I had a balcony room to myself for the holiday. Boarding went smoothly but when it was announced that all the staterooms were ready, mine was still not. Even after I was allowed in, I had to call back the room attendant there was still dirt on the glass shelves in the bathroom. Not having a clean bathroom from the start was only the begining of a poorly run ship. I gave 3 stars because my state room was great and the entertainment was very good. One of our biggest complaints was the overt and racist "Washy, washy, happy, happy" in a mocking Asian accent, that were were greeted with when entering the cafeteria at every meal. How insensitive! Our Asian friends, and this cruise originated in Hong Kong so many were on board. Were horrified as we were to find out that this is a NCL saying and the crew are required to say it. I reached out to NCL on Facebook messenger and I could see they read my concerns but never responded! After a 12 million dollar restoration you expect things to work. There were so many things broken and not fixed it became was a joke. We asked every day for the lockers in the spa to work. Were told that no one had complained and they all worked, but the attendant who came to help us could not use them either because they were broken. We were told every day that no one had complained even though they took my room number every day when I said something. In the cafeteria the coffee and expresso machines were out of order most every day and when we said something were were told to go to the end of the ship for the one working machine(it did not work either). Mexican food day, there was no tortillas and asking for guacamole was like pulling teeth.. Seriously, Mexican group was very angry.. as were we..They were so stingy with tortillas we were only allowed 2 each and one teaspoon of guacamole. I made the girl angry by demanding more.. I wanted some for my tortilla chips and salsa.. which had no spice or heat. We tried the main dining rooms, but the service was so bad and the food either over cooked or just cold(cold french fries with a cold not edible steak) That was after the fish I ordered was so dry it was not edible. We had a table of 8 one night and the food came out so slow for some of us that many of our friends had finished dinner and desert by the time we were getting our main meal. It was inexcusable. We finally had a good meal at Le Bistro after the Restaurant's manager personally took us there and paid for our meal and wine as he was so embarrassed! The Brazilian restaurant was also very good, But you had to pay for that. We ate at Tapanyaki the first night and it was a joke! The "chef" did a song and dance and tapped spatulas, many of which he dropped! The rice was not edible as it was so salty and the meat was tasteless. We had to ask for salt for that! We were rushed through the meal that should have been a show. I wasn't even able to finish my food as they wanted to move on.. The entertainment was good but the drinks were a joke. They upcharged and seemed to forget what the price was inconsistent from each server and each bar. They poured premium even if you asked not and still charged your room. You asked for well drinks and they poured premium! The shore excursions were poorly run and often the guides level of English was not understandable. Mostly a waste. My bed was comfortable and the water pressure in my shower was impressive, but you could not pay me to get on another NCL ship. My whole group lost weight as often the food was terrible. We would head to get chocolate ice cream soft serve 4 times a day to keep the weight on. But even those machines didn't always work and it was not easy getting anyone to pay attention to take care of simple things. We thought the ship was a floating Denny's. Even that food would have been preferable. I paid over $5000 for my own balcony on a 10 night cruise. That works out to $500 a day, for that money we should have had good food! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked a 10 day cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo for some R&R and see some new Asian sights. Positives The cabin attendants were very courteous and helpful. The room was very clean and refreshed The ship was refurbished ... Read More
We booked a 10 day cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo for some R&R and see some new Asian sights. Positives The cabin attendants were very courteous and helpful. The room was very clean and refreshed The ship was refurbished and everything is bright and current, yet somehow lacking excitement. Massage (deep tissue) was top rated. Needs Improvement Dining - Good with way too much more focus on quality at the expense of quantity/variety. I swear there’s a conveyor belt from the buffet to all the restaurants. You think you’ll get a choice steak at the Tsar’s restaurant, but it’s the same product as on the buffet. Yes, the desserts at the Tsar’s Palace are the same out of the box junk available on the buffet. Not a decent dessert to be had on board really, but the caramel sauce was delicious. With the exception of the lettuce, all fresh fruits and veggies were consistently of mediocre to good quality. I wouldn’t have eaten a tomato on that ship. Also try the buffet at the very end of the ship - keep walking back from the main buffet. Open air and very relaxing. Internet - Very Pricy but so so so slow. I had a need to log onto a secure website but never could get in as I kept getting timed out. Staff - hard working and try, but I don’t believe they’re empowered to provide customer service. I can say the staff, however, is trained to say they understand, but they can’t really do anything to address the issue. As an example, I had an urgent need to scan a signed document at 11:30 PM one night due to a legal matter. I really tried to explain the urgency of the matter at hand. The front desk advised that the staff don’t have external email accounts and only managers have external service. Again, I explained the urgency of my request and how limited I was 8,000 miles from home. “I understand, and I’m sorry.,” was the response. I asked for the manager, and the front desk was very reluctant to call. So, I gave up, took pictures of the document and sent them to a friend who cleaned them up before submitting them. Hours to send 11 pages. Did I tell you the internet was slow??? Excursion desk - We took every tour available. The tour companies were good. I put in a form to book a tour/transfer to Our hotel in Tokyo. The Excursion Desk called me at 6:30 PM to advise it was sold out and to go to the front desk to book a bus to Tokyo Station. The front desk said they stopped taking reservations for that bus at 4 PM. The excursion desk was somehow reluctant to help me with other options. . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Norwegian really disappointed. I'll start with the positives. PRO'S: - Good sized bathroom and shower. No shower curtain sticking to you! - Decent food in the buffet, Garden Café - 2018 refurbishment of this ship ... Read More
Norwegian really disappointed. I'll start with the positives. PRO'S: - Good sized bathroom and shower. No shower curtain sticking to you! - Decent food in the buffet, Garden Café - 2018 refurbishment of this ship makes it feel more modern - Good/modern Fitness Centre - Great shows And now the negatives, of which there were so many... CON'S: - TERRIBLE main dining room food and service. The worst dining room food I've had out of the 60+ cruises I've been on - Main dining room service as bad as the food - VERY uncomfortable theatre seats. The ship has great shows but its not remotely comfortable sitting watching them unfortunately. - Stateroom steward not friendly. Not attentive at all. Provided very disappointing service - Laundry Service damaged 4 items. And the rest came back smelling awful - the worst laundering services I've ever experienced - The majority of the ships staff were inattentive and disinterested in providing good customer service - Overall, it's an old ship - you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. The Jewel is an old, worn ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I bought this cruise for my husbands 60th birthday to do something different as he had never been to KL, Langkawi, Penang and Phuket before. Unfortunately, it didn't leave us with too many great memories. We have done many ... Read More
I bought this cruise for my husbands 60th birthday to do something different as he had never been to KL, Langkawi, Penang and Phuket before. Unfortunately, it didn't leave us with too many great memories. We have done many cruises and maybe we have been a bit spoilt on Princess and Celebrity, but never had we been on NCL and not sure if we will ever sail with them again. Embarkation from Singapore Marina Bay Sands Cruise Centre was easy. A little unorganised but nothing to whine about. On arrival onto the ship we went to the Tsar's, which is one of the main dining areas and very spacious. It was probably the best meal we had on board the whole time. Did a quick tour of the ship and I liked the decor and nothing felt too crowded, it was refurbished in 2018. Afternoon we had to do the normal safety briefing and then we decided to go to one of the bars and have a beer and cider. Holly molly, the cost for these 2 basic drinks was ridiculous. As everything is in US dollars, you also need to add the 20% mandatory gratuity and then for us Aussies, do the 30% difference in exchange rate, the 2 basic drinks cost us $22 AUD for basic leadin beer and cider. If you can purchase a package with drinks included, it is the way to go. Our deal was so cheap without drinks, it wasn't worth to pay the big difference in fare, but it just made it hard to justify spending so much on drink purchases. I did purchase a 4 bottle wine pack for $80 US plus grats and exchange, it was still expensive but saved us a bit on board. FYI for anyone who doesn't know, NCL will not allow you to bring anything (including water etc), onto the ship apart from wine, champagne which will incur the US15 corkage fee. Anyone wanting to purchase a drinks package onboard, US99 per person per day plus 20% gratuity plus then again convert to AUD. The most expensive drink package we have ever seen on any ship, and we have been on quite a few different ones. Dining on board: Went mostly to Tsar's main dining for lunch and dinner when we could. First day was great but from then on it was really hit and miss like the rest of the ship. Tried also the buffet, which was okay and on one night we went to Azura. We waited a long time for our meal here and also, it was very stuffy. I preferred Tsar's. In room dining, we preordered the coffee etc for the morning, otherwise any other in room dining you have to pay for. Desserts - don't know what is going on there but not one great dessert was to be had anywhere on the ship. A few other people made the same comment. Cabin Steward: He was wonderful and tried to do everything to keep us happy. First time I had ever been on a ship when the cabin steward didn't come and introduce themselves on the first day. He did manage to get us use of a coffee machine so we can boil water for the hot water bottle (bad back). That was very useful. Bed was comfortable and bathroom was larger than normal. It was always kept wonderfully clean. Staff on board: Some were fantastic and really wanted to look after you. Others, couldn't care less. Also, it seems that NCL just doesn't let them make any decisions on their own, but they have to check with a Supervisor who then has to check with someone else. Never experienced this before either. Example of the issue for us (and seen other people having issues), with the wine pack I bought, you were given 4 vouchers and a choice of 8 wines. On the vouchers they wrote what wine you may wish to have, but was advised no issue to change to one to the others in the pack if you like one more than the other. OMG. who would ever think changing from one wine to other would be an issue. I know better now. Entertainment: As most days we were off the ship, didn't experience much on board. Went to a few shows which were good. The magician was terrible. Shore excursions: Do yourself and favour and either a) organise your own private tours before you leave home or b) just go with taxis when you arrive and haggle. Shore excursions onboard where minimum double the price of what you could get on your own. Ports: Port Klang for KL. We did overnight here so the first day did a private half day tour of Port Klang area and then had the same wonderful driver to the following full day in KL. Very enjoyable and Robbie our drive was fantastic to deal with. Took us anywhere we wanted to go and was so flexible. Had some wonderful street food also. Langkawi - outside the gate there are heaps of taxi drivers waiting for you, or, you can pay the $15 US return bus ticket to be dropped off at the Aquarium which is just across the road from the main beach, heaps of restaurants and shops. Be aware the shops don't have much these days in the way of bargains or shopping. All the same and it has changed alot in the 4 years since I was there last time. Penang - as you are right in the centre of town, you can just walk around, get a taxi outside the gate and do whatever. We opted for another full day private tour as it was my husbands 60th. Had another fantastic driver that took us to many sights and places while telling alot of funny jokes on the way. It was a wonderful day out. Phuket - our tender was to Patong, and if you get up early and get one of the first few, there was no wait at all. At the jetty in Patong you will have to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers and people trying to sell you stuff. We hired a driver for 5 hours and went driving and saw a few sights. You can also just spend the day on the beach which is right beside the jetty also. Phuket is not my favourite places and would prefer to go back to Penang and go to Batu Ferringhi beach instead. (Also NCL before leaving home, we asked then 2 times where we would be docking and was told both times it was the Deep Sea Port, but onboard the advised with was always Patong. Not sure how they could get this wrong. Deep Sea Port is 45 minute drive away. Disembarkation was quick and easy and as we always try to walk off our own luggage, we could leave at any time. Be aware that the taxis from Marina Bay Sands Cruise centre charge a minimum fee of $55 during peak time. Overall we had a good time but not great. We won't rush back at all to experience NCL again. If they didn't charge so much for everything on board, got a little bit more flexible and tried to improve the food a bit more, it would be a wonderful experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a bit of exploring we went to the buffet for a drink and a snack. Much the same as all other buffets people piling plates like it was to be their last meal and difficult to find a seat. No announcement came so we went looking to find our cabin was ready. The room was clean and tidy but a bit on the small side to other cabins and rather less storage. The balcony was also on the small side and a bit scruffy. My wife's luggage turned up fairly prompt but no sign of mine so off we went exploring and to have a cocktail or two. Time for dinner and still no luggage. I informed our cabin steward who said she would go and find out where it was. We didn't see her again until 3 days later when she said hello and asked how we were. The next time was our last night when she asked us to fill out a card that chose a crew member who excelled. So it was off to dinner in the clothes I had been wearing all day. Dinner was ok but nothing to brag about. Back to the cabin still no luggage so off to customer services. I told them of the problem and rather offhandedly the lady asked me if I had checked the luggage room. when I replied no I though luggage was always delivered to the staterooms. She said I should have checked there. Keep calm I told myself. I had to ask her where it was and made my way there. I located my case in the said room and was told it had been held back because there was a pair of scissors in my case. I had to get the scissors out and show them and was then told they were ok and I could take my case. This was now 9.00pm. My wife asked them why the information had not been sent to our room instead of us having to go round investigating. Norwegians customer experience is slowly going down the pan. Dining was not a great experience. We used Azure once and thought the room was dark and the low ceiling made it feel too compact and the meal was average but service was very good. Chin Chin was bright and cheerful and the meal was excellent as was the service. The other nights we had dinner in the Tsars Palace. This is a very delightful room, bright, spacious and luxurious. Service was ok most nights but there were some excellent waiters. The meals were quite mediocre and didn't live up to the opulence of the room. One night I had a lamb shank that was served with a slice of carrot and half a roast potato. I am not a huge eater but this was a bit ridiculous. Another night we ordered Irish coffees and as soon as they arrived we could see they were not right. The cream had all dissolved into the coffee, we picked them up and they were cold. We told the waiter who took them away and replaced them. The replacements weren't cold but slightly warm. We just left them. We told our waiter the following night and he told us they had run out of the whipped cream and were using powdered cream. He told us he would personally make coffees for us. The ones he made were very good. We found a lot of the meals we had were very average and quite often they were only warm. This was the only cruise where I only had one cooked breakfast due to the first one being lukewarm. The rest of the time it was toast, fruit and cereals. Bar service in general was very good except for when they ran out of mint for the mojitos. There was only one night where the entertainment was excellent. This was the Circus act. Some of the acrobatics were spectacular. The rock night was enjoyable. Two of the nights had solo female singers who I thought we just ok. The other night was not my scene at all with some very weird artists. the strangest being one huge overweight guy dancing in a leotard. It made me wonder why females have to cover their breasts when this guy had bigger breasts than some of the girls and he had them swinging about everywhere. But he was well received but not by me. The resident band were very good and performed a wide variety of songs. I cant comment on the activities on board as we only had one sea day so didn't explore. Cant comment on excursions either as we planned our own. We could not find any information on the ports we visited. This was our first Norwegian cruise and we found nothing that would make us want to cruise with them again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise based primarily on the itinerary. In summary we had a good vacation despite a few notable shortcomings with Norwegian. We found the ship to be very relaxing with a good mix of entertainment options, public spaces like ... Read More
We chose this cruise based primarily on the itinerary. In summary we had a good vacation despite a few notable shortcomings with Norwegian. We found the ship to be very relaxing with a good mix of entertainment options, public spaces like casino, bars, pool, etc; and nice private spaces - our stateroom was the perfect size for our family of 3 (larger than the Celebrity cruise we took a few years back). Service onboard was generally adequate. Many guest facing folks were nice, and enthusiastic. However, there was a higher proportion of staff on this cruise who simply weren't as friendly as they should have been. Specialty restaurant waitstaff were generally underwhelming. Front desk / reception was a challenge (they were not able to help on really the only 2 issues that came up for us). Not only could they not help, but they definitely did not display empathy nor the desire to go out of their way to come up with creative solutions. Check-in in Hong Kong was not as described - we arrived around 12:30 and were issued a queue number, ended up waiting about 2 hours to get checked in and onboard. Once we were called to check in, the process was quick and efficient. I was surprised and uncomfortable with the fact that they collected our passports (and kept them) at the boarding door. I don't think this was communicated ahead of time, and in general was not something I felt good about. When I asked why this was happening, the woman literally laughed at me - perhaps a language/culture barrier problem but off-putting nonetheless. Food - was OK, definitely a mixed bag. Leathery bacon at the buffet - consistently. Ice cream machines that couldn't keep up with demand (serving liquidy soft serve). Chin Chin's was in general not tasty (we ordered 5 different entrees among 4 adults) and the only one that tasted good was the sweet/sour pork. Cagney's steak was supremely disappointing - meat quality was mid-market grocery store level (think safeway or albertson's "choice" cuts). The silver lining in this cloud was the notion that since the food wasn't great, we didn't overeat. Ever. I overheard other adults making similar statements. With about 3 days remaining onboard, we found there were some things they were running out of. No pineapple at the buffet. No lemons for iced tea. No sprinkles for ice cream. These seem like small things, but they are the little things that make a vacation great or less-than-great. Excursions - the selection was a bit thin. Too many similar outings to temples across the various ports. Would have been nice to have a few more cultural viewpoints that were more diversified. Also, our experience in Cambodia was not good - a beach with no amenities and a market with no amenities. Other tours were too limited in availability and we did not get our reservation in on time. The brightest shining stars on this cruise: 1) The cabin was large (we had a mini suite balcony - essentially one room with a curtain divider between the bed and the pull-out sofabed). Much nicer than our previous experience on Celebrity. The fact that it has recently been renewed I think helped. 2) Our 6-year old absolutely loved the Kids Club. We literally couldn't pull her away. The staff were all amazing, engaging, fun. Lots of great activities. This was our first Norwegian cruise and while we didn't hate it, they also didn't make a good enough impression on us to convince us to stop trying new cruise lines. Our next cruise likely won't be with Norwegian. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are a couple in our 70's and this was our first cruise. Having spent 4 hectic days in Singapore a really great place with loads to do, we looked forward to some quiet time before setting off on our excursions in Thailand, ... Read More
We are a couple in our 70's and this was our first cruise. Having spent 4 hectic days in Singapore a really great place with loads to do, we looked forward to some quiet time before setting off on our excursions in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Quiet time was to prove a challenge on Ncl Jewel. The endless loud music all over the ship was not what we needed, but to be fair it probably suited some guests. Our cabin was always kept clean and tidy by our steward a lovely girl always chatty and with a smile on her face. A lesson yet to be learnt by the staff in the Asian restaurant who can only be described as rude, one visit was enough, bad manners and indifferent food ensured we didn't return. Dining is a big part of any holiday, but the buffet restaurant experience was not for us, the endless search for a table and high noise levels plus guests prodding the food (sometimes with their fingers) resulted in us referring to it as the zoo. However refuge was found in the two main dining rooms, Tzars and Azurs and served at the table, a much more pleasant way to enjoy a meal in the evening. A good place for breakfast is the American diner on deck 8, again served at the table with nice views of the ocean. The entertainment was mixed some 5* some not so good you just need to pick and choose a bit. Shore excursions provided by the ship are vastly overpriced we only used them once, it was probably the worst trip of our holiday. We used other providers who charged about half the prices and went the extra mile to give us excellent experiences. Top tip if going to Cambodia and you are a UK citizen get your visa before you go. We paid £30 for ours Ncl were charging people $US89 total rip off. The most worrying thing about this cruise was the fiasco with the tendering on Koh Samui. Much has already been written about this by other guests all of which I endorse. I have to add that we felt it was nothing short of dangerous the way the situation was left to deteriorate by NCL. One would think that anyone working for a cruise line would understand that tides go in and out on a set basis that can be predicted years ahead and not just left to chance on the day. As mentioned earlier we are in our 70's and got separated in the crush on the quay side, I am only 5ft tall and could not see what was going on and it was not nice being constantly pushed from behind by the frustrated mob. It is fortunate that nobody ended up injured or being pushed down the stone steps. BADLY DONE NCL you should be ashamed of yourselves. A mixed bag, would we cruise again? Possibly. Would we use NCL probably not, how to get every last penny out of their guests seems to be their mantra. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Good: Interesting itinerary in Asia. Interesting mix of nationalities and personalities on cruise. Cabin 9042 clean, pleasant, well located, efficient steward.and everything worked. Plenty of food, some very good (but avoid peak ... Read More
Good: Interesting itinerary in Asia. Interesting mix of nationalities and personalities on cruise. Cabin 9042 clean, pleasant, well located, efficient steward.and everything worked. Plenty of food, some very good (but avoid peak meal times). Variety of venues even without premium charges. Plenty of live music, some very good. Prism a versatile group of good musicians. Most 'hotel' staff friendly and helpful. There were quiet deck areas with space on higher decks (though not near pools). Bad: Excursion quality dodgy and value poor, specially 1 day tour of Saigon traffic jams. The presidential papace was a people jam as a change from traffic. The Buddist temple was the best break from chaos. The lacquerware shop was a waste of time where the main attraction was the chance to use the toilet. Took until 11.45 to get ashore on tender day. Crushes at embarkation (Singapore) and disembarkation (Hong Kong) unpleasant and would probably be illegal for livestock. Customer relations experience variable with sometimes contradictory information. E.g. first contact suggested I write a problem down, second said there was no point in writing and there was nothing for him to do with a written complaint. Ugly There is always a trade-off between treating guests as humans or as credit cards to be maxxed out. The balance here was skewed by high pricing to exploit monopoly power and particularly by making overpriced visas compulsory for guests not going ashore (though website only said visas needed to go ashore). Probably legally dodgy under UK/EU consumer law. Enough to deter us from using NCL again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the dates and the itinerary. We started in Singapore which turned out to be the highlight of the trip. What an amazing city! The food options were wonderful and there was so much to see and do. Gardens ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the dates and the itinerary. We started in Singapore which turned out to be the highlight of the trip. What an amazing city! The food options were wonderful and there was so much to see and do. Gardens by the Bay and the "Night safari" at the zoo are musts. We could have easily spent more than 3 days here. There were good things about the ship other than the very nice cabin. The ship was very clean and attractive. The crew with the exception of the captain and the shore excursion people were very nice and helpful.The dining options were outstanding and the dining staff were wonderful. I am a vegetarian and never lacked for options. The restaurants with no extra charge were delightful, particularly the Tsars Palace. It was so elegant and we felt special eating there. There was also a very good library with nice seating and a good variety of books. The entertainment had something for everyone with a few outstanding performances. Mary-Jess was wonderful and the circus was spectacular. On sea days we found very little to do other than watching the amazing watermelon carving chefs. The bad: the embarkation was a very long queue which lasted almost an hour. It was the longest we have ever gone through on a cruise ship. Getting off the ship however was the fastest we have ever encountered. The shore excursions with one exception were awful and overpriced. We had been to some of the destinations before so opted for Bangkok and Pattaya on your own. We were told that we would be given a map and ideas on what we could do. On the Thailand excursion we we told "welcome to the country of "ladyboys" Our options were to accompany the "guide" to get a suit made, get a massage or buy some jewelry. Luckily, someone else on the ship had done some research and we were able to do something. On the bus to Pattaya no suggestions were offered. On another excursion there was a bus to a market where we were dropped off at a supermarket with no idea of where the market was and no one to ask. The National Ream Park by Boat was very expensive $159/per person. We were supposed to see some wildlife, etc. The boat was a rickety fishing boat in poor condition. Pulling away from the dock was a sign of things to come. The "crew" started the motor and then seemed to forget that thy had started it. We came within inches of another boat. The driver ran up to the bow and threw an anchor overboard. We were in the middle of the river and never saw any wildlife on shore or even any birds flying over us. However this can happen. What we didn't expect was for the engine to die. O.K. they tried the other engine, That would not start so we sat there waiting for a passing boat to have pity on us. Eventually, another boat stopped and towed us. We were told we were going to see a school. We were not told that the walk was 1/2 mile on a cow pie littered narrow path. It was nice to see the school and visit a resident of the village. The bus was waiting for us but it broke down and there was another wait. The Ugly: One of the stops Ko Samui required a tender. As we left the ship, my husband noticed that the ship was stirring up sand although we were a mile offshore. We visited a local site, had a meal and went to the pier waiting to be picked up. There was already a long queue which just got longer until there were many hundreds of people in line. Suddenly, someone from Norwegian announced that we had to go to another pier. Everyone left with the result that the people in front were now in back. At the new site, hundreds more joined us and then it was announced that due to the low tide the tenders couldn't carry their full capacity. We waited at least 2 hours in the hot sun with no water and some people waited longer.. At one point someone in crew uniform asked us to form a single line. Luckily no one attacked her. We spent time trying to figure out what our compensation would be. $500 off the next cruise? free drinks? When we were all finally on board the captain made a very lame half-hearted apology. Our reward - an extra hour in the another port. Bad call. We arrived an hour late in Bangkok cutting short our activities there. We will not go with Norwegian again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've sailed with NCL a number of times, and this one was rough around the edges, as if the crew had never done it before. Only four tenders running from the ship, causing huge backups in departure A total nightmare on the ... Read More
We've sailed with NCL a number of times, and this one was rough around the edges, as if the crew had never done it before. Only four tenders running from the ship, causing huge backups in departure A total nightmare on the return dock, where they moved the line from one dock to another and all hell broke loose Only two people handing out departure cards for 1000 people. You can imagine how long that took. Service in specialty dining and regular dining was spotty...at least four occasions in which we had to ask for something (bread, butter, water) four times Running out of things mid cruise (yes, a Caesar salad needs anchovies) Service folks in Garden Cafe never gave passengers right of way...plowing past guests I think NCL is better than this. On the positive side, cabin steward was excellent and the variety of offerings in Garden Cafe was nice. All in all, it felt like this was a practice run for the crew. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last Asian country we have yet to visit, Indonesia. Besides, sick of snow and freezing temperatures, it was a great time to chase the summer heat. One thing we really didn't consider too much, was that if you want to get to know a bit about Australia or Indonesia, for that matter, you're not likely to do it on a cruise. If you take an excursion at every Australian port, for instance, you will have spent a total of ten or twelve hours in Australia. It took us twice that long just to fly there! On the other hand, if you're looking to put a pin in that map on the wall in two more countries and escape the winter doldrums, then this may be the cruise for you. So, having said that, the weather was great for the most part, more hot and humid as we headed north towards the equator, but that was expected. The excursions were all good, but nothing spectacular. There were a few tender ports of call and I did hear a lot of people who left the ship on their own or who'd booked private excursions (not with Norwegian) complain about long lines and waiting times. But if you had purchased an excursions though NCL, there were no problems, just the typical crowding in the Stardust Theatre with everybody sitting in an end seat trying to be first off. It seemed to me that the rest of the passengers on the ship were a mostly older, sedate crowd with very few visible children which is always nice. The breakfast buffet would be crowded in the mornings with more people than seats, but what was nice was that they'd allow you to bring your food in to La Cucina. Wow! what a difference to sit at a nice table with not too many people and no loud-talkers! Only about thirty steps outside the Garden Cafe I can't imagine why so few people would take the short journey. We had every breakfast there and dinners were either in one of the two main dining rooms or at a pay restaurant (we had seven meals coming to us), so not one dinner in the buffet. All things considered, it wasn't a bad cruise and our longest one to date. Still, the nineteen nights went fast. Would I do it again? Sure, but this time we're looking at Sydney to New Zealand. And one thing I would do differently: I would definitely arrive a few days before the cruise instead of three hours before the cruise! Sydney looks like a beautiful city and next time I would like to actually see it! And one last thing: no matter the cruise, the people who work for NCL are truly incredible. Imagine leaving your family for ten months at a time (I know...some of you may enjoy that), working long hard hours for probably not a lot of money, living three or four to a small inside cabin and still smile at us all the time and say hello and ask how our day is going? Can you imagine? We have met some nice, down to earth people on our cruises and always treat them with dignity and respect. I hope everyone else does, too. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the ... Read More
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the majority of the clients will be older. Younger people with families don't have the time. That being said, the entertainment and activities director made a grave mistake of NOT having evening audience participation game show activities, assuming the older clientele was not interested. Instead he opted for all evening entertainment singing based. in a nutshell "We were bored." Afternoon activities were not much better. There were more activities to choose from on port days for the few who stayed aboard, then on sea days when everyone was aboard. Generally I would participate in quick "Pop Up" activities such as goofy golf. With these afternoon activities being held in the atrium or a lounge on the 7th floor I participated in two, and both activities were poorly attended. The other days I was on the 12 floor at the pool area like everyone else. Location was key to success here and this was a big miss by the activities staff. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was either excellent, (comedians, magic, vocal group, acrobatics, cruise ship show) or mediocre (the two Aussie soloist). With only three nights of comedy and magic and fifteen nights of music, plus music in every lounge from 7 pm on, I was music-out. Enough was enough. Variety was sorely needed. Ports and shore excursions, OH BOY!! The ports chosen were great WHEN we actually docked near that area. The whole thing of docking in a port that doesn't accommodate a smaller cruise ship and then forcing everyone to tender into port made for VERY TRYING DAYS!!!! New Castle, docking and then taking a shuttle into the town was no big deal, very understandable. The shuttle stop location was convenient and easy to find, with shuttle service often and NCL provided. BUT when a cruise line states Cairns and you are actually at Yorkey's Knob which requires tender boats to get to shore, where there is absolutely nothing but a boating club. AND NCL requires you to pay them $15 a person to use their arranged shuttle service to Cairns, the town actually listed as the port of call, why did NCL charge me port fee??? On top of that, the staff announced for tender tickets to give yourself 2 hours to get off the ship, I gave us 3 HOURS and barely made it ashore in time for an excursion. Then in the afternoon it took me 3.5 HOURS of standing in line to get on a return tender. If this waste of time, 6.5 hours, had only happened at one port, it would have be tolerable, but NO it happened again and again: AIRLIE BEACH, CAIRNS 2 days, BALI 2 days. 5 of the 11 port days is ridiculous!!!!! SHORE EXCURSIONS: simple - BOOK YOUR OWN. Research the country and you will quickly see every excursion the ship offers plus more at 1/3 the cost. Plus the private excursions provide more service than the ship offered ones as a small group. Why is NCL so expensive? Borobudur Temple: NCL $249 USD Local $85 USD. What is the price gouging all about??? The ship as a whole was nicely laid out. Our stateroom on the 8th floor was nice size, quiet, and comfortable. The room steward did an excellent job of making up the room and providing us with a towel animal nightly. The public areas, especially the areas around the pool needed a lot more attention. Other NCL ships were have been on the walking deck, outdoor pool and bar areas were hosed down nightly. On the 5th day my husband made a polite complaint about it and the staff responded immediately. The areas were much better. The personal service from every employee from the service desk, bars, dining areas, and entertainment staff was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking ... Read More
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking areas. Internet access was poor and far too over priced for the service provided (very poor value). Coordination between the pre-cruise online system and the on ship online system seemed overly lacking Or nonexistent. Excursions credits were issued thru two systems making it difficult to track without the costly internet packages. Vegetarian options were outstanding at the main cafeteria but dismal at the restaurants. The medical facility on board was extremely efficient and functional. The ship is beautiful but some facilities were under utilized at times. Room Attendants did an outstanding job of meeting passenger needs. Casual attire dining was greatly appreciated by most all passengers. It was difficult or impossible to understand the Captain’s announcements because of accents and limitations re audio to halls and public space where noise made understanding the Captain even more difficult. Most evening shows were entertaining but a little amateurish at times. Obvious to this passenger, was an extremely defensive attitude displayed by many Customer Service and Excursions employees. Almost a philosophy of “the customer is always wrong”. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had ... Read More
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had to get the supervisor to sort this out ! BAD EXPERIENCE RE TENDERS IN KOH SAMUI RE LACK OF SUFFICIENT TENDERS RE COST ISSUE (HAD A 2.5 HOUR WAIT TO LEAVE SHIP + 2.5 HOUR EMBARKATION DELAY TUI MANAGED IT WELL & BOUGHT IN LOCAL TENDERS IN FRONT OF NCL We booked a premium brand but were not given premium service ! It ruined our first port of call & both myself & wife returned to the boat ill ! We will be very reluctant to recommend again after this opening experience THE CAPTAIN GAVE A POOR EXCUSE 3 days after the event blaming it on passenger safety & as recompense would not use tenders in HALONG BAY insulting as the original itinerary never mentioned tenders on this stop Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest them. So I had to entertain my kids. It was not much of a holiday for me tbh. If you were over 50 then this trip is perfect from the music to the classes for origami and vegetables carving. Even the shows were ABBA and Elton John . The shows were good but my kids were not impressed. Johnny Balance was onboard doing magic and is fantastic as well as funny and cute to boot. Being an American ship the gratuities were about $15 per person per room per day which was about $900. Beware of gratuities when booking a cruise. The good coffee was about $5 US but was worth it. The food was amazing too and there was plenty of variety. My girls had to sleep on a fold out lounge that was as hard as a rock. I don’t know how they got any sleep at all. The tours are an absolute ripoff. It is better to wait till you get to each port and do your own thing. Every port has a free shuttle bus to take you into town where you can hire a taxi to take you to the places you would like to see and it would still work out cheaper that the price they charge onboard. Remembering that it is in US dollars and the cheapest tour was $65 each to the aquarium. When we got there they have a big sign saying a family of four is $60. It cost us $260 US onboard, what a joke. Be very careful when booking tours onboard as you don’t get anything for the money you pay. We went on a tour of one of the islands and the information being given to us by the bus driver was no different to the information written on the brochure onboard. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you ... Read More
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you compare prices, the NCL ships appear to be a good value. Remember to add mandatory port charges and $15 per person per day gratuities. These might be included in other competing prices. Also, most added amenities costs extra. Some things you expect (shore excursions, casino play, spa treatments, and liquor). Some things are surprises (fountain soft drinks, coffee (anything but regular), Wi-Fi (only 2G), bottled water (you cannot take off or bring on any water, but theirs), and any room food service (except continental breakfast). Staterooms: The staterooms are a good size compared to other similar priced ships. The mini-suite level and above have bathtubs with retractable clothes lines. The water was always hot and had good pressure. The room stewards and stewardesses are polite and attentive. I would not recommend anything smaller than a mini-suite for more than two people for more than a week. A balcony room (next level down) might be acceptable for three people for only a week. Ship: The ship has been refurbished, but is still showing its age. Everything was kept clean and there were no funky smells (like on some other older ships). There is no grand entrance with chandeliers, curving staircases, glass elevators, or a shopping gallery. There were a few burnt out light bulbs in the common areas, and the common bathroom towel dispensers don’t work. The twin pools are small, but there are four hot tubs. There are no newer extras such as water slides, climbing walls, target shooting, or similar activities. There are shuffleboards, ping pong tables, gym, basketball hoops, casino, spa, theater, card room, library, and several bars. The ship doctor is only available for a few hours a day, charges $150 to see you, and does not have a pharmacy (your need to take his prescription ashore at the next port to have it filled). All of the personnel were helpful and courteous whenever we met in the hallways, in the dining areas, or on the ship decks. Partway through the cruise, the sole of my shoe came loose. The hotel staff had someone repair it within a few days. Our cabin tv was not working properly and would only get about half of the channels. It took them ten days of working in our cabin (a few hours each day) to get all of the channels all of the time. Dining: There are buffets and dining rooms included in your price. There are six specialty restaurants which are $30 (or more) per person per meal. The included food options are fine for breakfast and lunch, but plan on buying dinner (the food is much better). In the included food places, the meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or seafood) was consistently over cooked. Wine runs about $9 per glass, but you can buy four mix and match bottles starting at $105 ($88 plus 20% duty charge) to drink anywhere on the ship. Entertainment: Most of the singers on our cruise are non-American born performers singing American songs. So, the songs might not sound exactly as you think they should. But they all were pleasant and did try their best. The musicians from the various bands were generally good, and some were very good. The other types of performers were average to good. The productions were not as lavish as on other ships we have been on. Shore Excursion Department: This was the biggest disappointment. The shore tour descriptions don’t match reality, and they are double the price of booking them on your own. The personnel in the department have not been on the excursions, so they cannot answer any questions. Their standard response was “The descriptions are written by our head office in Miami. It is unknown where they get their information. We only know what is in the description.” It would have been nice if the Excursion Department put a talk on the night before in one of the lounges regarding the following day’s port. The talk would include: 1) Why the ship chose this particular port, 2) How to get around, 3) What is special to see, to eat, and to buy in this port, and 4) Approximately how much money do these activities cost (so you bring enough money ashore). Alas, this is not the case. You are completely on your own, so make sure that you do a lot of research before you go (including reading reviews of the things you are thinking of doing). We saved for years and traveled to the other side of the world and booked ship tours, only to learn these lessons the hard way. There is nothing worse than to have your dinner companions say “Did you see that special ______? It only happens in this one place in the world.” And to realize that the ship never mentioned it because they didn’t have a tour doing it that they could make money off you. On the ship tours that we did book, they never left the ship on time (some over an hour later) which cut into the excursion time. Rather than leave the port a little bit later to compensate, the excursion was cut short (i.e. you may have paid for a five hour tour, but you only got four hours). However, if you book tours on your own, you need to remember that you won’t be allowed to get off the ship for an hour or two after its port arrival time. Ship tours have priority in disembarking. Due to amount of time needed to get off and on the ship, most ports only had six hours ashore. Our cruise went to the South Pacific and Australia. We had well over a hundred snorkelers and scuba divers (some like us even brought our own equipment). Water sports are what this part of the world is known for. And there was not a single talk put on by the Excursion Department (or anyone else) regarding the places to go while in port. It was only later that we learned that if we had taken the local bus to the other side of the islands, that the water, fish, and coral were so much more superior. It was easy to tell that the Department was geared towards how to make the most money off the passengers, and not how to ensure that the passengers have their best time possible. Conclusion: If you can get a great price, are not looking for a fancy ship or food, and are willing to tackle ports on your own (or pay high prices), then the Norwegian Jewel cruise may be a good vacation for you. While we have done several Norwegian cruises in the past, I'm not sure we would cruise on the Jewel again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Did the 13 day South Pacific and North Queensland Cruise. Family of 4 in Aft Mini-Suite. Kids 10 and 16. The itinerary was pretty good with nice visits to Noumea, Isle of Pines (Magnificent), Lifou, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane ... Read More
Did the 13 day South Pacific and North Queensland Cruise. Family of 4 in Aft Mini-Suite. Kids 10 and 16. The itinerary was pretty good with nice visits to Noumea, Isle of Pines (Magnificent), Lifou, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane and Sydney. No need for overpriced shore excursions at any port (although due to brief stops at Cairns and Airlie Beach only the ridiculously expensive short excursions to the Great Barrier Reef were the only option to see that sight. Relatively brief stays at these far north Queensland locations. At Noumea we bought a tour bus ticket that took us to most of the local sights for aprox US$35 each bought at the cruise port office. Good value and decent stop and walk about the Cultural Centre. No need for any shore excursions at either Isle of Pines of Lifou. Both are tenders that seemed to run pretty well. Isle of PInes of the pick of the Islands and has fabulous crystal clear waters and some good snorkling. All walking distance from the tender port. At Cairns I organised to do the Skyrail Gondola online at half the price of the overpriced shore excursions. Was a really nice trip over the rainforest to the groovy town of Kilanda. Had to get up early to get early tenders for this stop. At Airlie Beach rented jetskis right at the tender port. Again had to get up early to get an early tender ticket. Norwegian charged us US$15 for the shuttle bus into Brisbane. The port was in the middle of nowhere so had no real choice. Should be included if you ask me. Food in the main dining room was really bad. We only ate there for dinner twice. Pretty much returned all our meals. Tasted very pre-prepared in advance and overcooked. Copious amounts of butter on everything. Buffet was also ordinary in my opinion. The specialty restaurants Cagneys, Teppanyaki and Italian were good. One shouldnt have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a good meal in my opinion. Meals at O'Sheehans were OK. Meals at ChinChins were OK but pretty bland. The sushi option was pretty good but again you pay for it. The ship has been well renovated at dry dock and everything looks nice and modern. BUT they've removed the waterslide - much to the kids disappointment!!!! Staff were pretty good in general but some were argumentative and surly. Entertainment hit and miss in my opinion. There should NEVER be a Michael Buble' tribute show - NEVER!!!!!!! Not much to do on sea days but sit around the pool. Very little in the way of activities. Had a few issues at disembarkation where they advertised the wrong time and we came close to missing our flights. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Joined this cruise as a friend was looking to share a cabin with. Generally saying the ship spent to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer ... Read More
Joined this cruise as a friend was looking to share a cabin with. Generally saying the ship spent to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. If you really want to do something you had to take NCL's expensive shore excursions. For example: Auckland docked 12.00 pm, which does not mean you can get off the ship at that time, there is paperwork to be done and the NCL shore excursion people go first. (This is especially time consuming when tendering, which was not the case with Auckland) aboard latest 07.30 pm. This for the major city of New Zealand? Food was normal. Service was great of all personnel. Shows were (far) above average. Outside sport facilities were above average. No quiet pool area for adults only, just a pool for adults. Only really quiet area on board was the library, which was small. Other areas might be quiet for some time, but then always some activity was started, that was inevitably noisy. In the evening in the main dance/disco area, the spinnaker lounge, our dj Ricii did a, most of the time, horrible job with his music choice, chasing people away (so less bar sales), so generally after 11.30 pm it got pretty empty most of the time. Several people complainted about this with the cruise director, that literally said he could not do anything about it. Drinks cost (beer to cocktails) incl. the 20% mandatory tip was very high, generally from about US$ 9.-- to 15.--. Soda's sowhat cheaper. I had an all in package. Visiting Milford sound there was no wind, and a large yellowish smoke cloud was visible coming from the ships chimneys, that did not disappear. As a engine technician I can say this smoke is not belonging to a ship of which the captain claimed during the QA on the ship that she is a clean ship in regard of exhaust emissions. Photo's are included. Basically I would say the cruise is ok for families with children that want to cruise for a reasonable amount of money. I also did the cruise after this one, so check that one for addition remarks on that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL. Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL. Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami to the Caribbean in January 2015. Because this was a mere two months from the first, I assumed the dishes in the main dining salons and the speciality restaurants were on the winter menu and hadn't been changed. So I was surprised when the food was the same on a transatlantic trip from Miami to Dover in May 2015. We left it a year and then tried the Hawaiian one in June 2016. Again, the dishes were the same. For this Christmas 2018 cruise, we could see the improvements in the refit, especially in the Bliss Louunge and Spinnaker which is now sited at the top and front of the 13 deck as well as fresh decor in the cabins etc. On a separate note, it was lovely to see the Aussie entertainment director, Dave who we met on our first cruise. But everyone knows, cruises revolve around mealtimes so we again paid a 10-night specialty restaurant package, and had our first lunch onboard after embarkation in Tsars main dining salon. We were right at the end of lunch service and there were only about 10 tables to serve, so I was surprised the waiter took ages to come with our dishes. I did notice a lot of waiters wafting about unproductively. My husband's fries were cold while the waiter brought me the wrong dish which I could see was overcooked salmon, On Christmas Day lunch there, the Christmas dishes were a perfunctory piece of paper clipped to the menu. The local pub would have put them to shame for presentation, taste and temperature. There were no roast potatoes so you could hardly call it a Christmas lunch! Even dinner at Cagney's that night felt a bit flat. Even in Cagneys Steakhouse our medium rare steaks turned up medium done on several occasions. The Garden Cafe buffet turned out to have the freshest, most varied and tasty dishes. However we didn't pay thousands to eat at a cafeteria for 2 weeks i am reluctant to travel with NCL ever again. Read Less
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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