3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before ... Read More
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before sailing. The hotel was clean and comfortable and a 5 minute walk to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was quick and painless. Although the ship was full it never felt crowded, there were always seats available and quiet areas to relax in. The service from the stewards, waiters, bar staff and guest services was generally pleasant and attentive. I was very impressed by the lifeguards at the pool who were always diligent in supervising the pool area. There was a high standard of cleanliness throughout the ship and a large emphasis on hygiene (washy washy). For the MDR we preferred Tsars over Azura as the decor was much brighter. The food was generally good, obviously we found some dishes better than others but that could have been our taste. Everything was well cooked and the meals always came out hot. One of our favourite appetisers was the Mozzarella Ravioli. O'Sheehans was okay for a quick breakfast or a snack. We used the dining package to go to the speciality restaurants with Le Bistro coming out on top with their beef fillet which melted in your mouth. Cagney's and Teppanyaki were good too. We were disappointed in Moderno as some of the meat was a bit tough and the service not up to the standard we expected. It might have been an off night as other people on the same cruise said Moderno's food and service was great when they went. We preferred not to eat at the buffet but it was well populated at meal times. Entertainment on board was excellent from the bands playing at the pool to the guitarist in the bar areas. The theatre shows that we went to were of an extremely high standard. The three production shows are not to be missed and the comedian Simon had us laughing continuously. Our favourite ports were Tauranga where we walked around the base of Mt Maunganui, Napier where we did a wine and food tour with Frankly Tours (highly recommended) and Akaroa where we strolled around the bay and browsed through all the stores. The scenery of the Sounds was amazing, lots of photo opportunities. Disembarkation was easy and well organised with no long queues when we disembarked. Overall I would definitely sail with NCL again with a preference for the smaller NCL ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I received a really good promotional offer. The deal turned out even better than I expected, because it included two premium drinks packages, which saved us a fortune! We're not big drinkers so these packages don't usually make financial sense for us to buy but with the cost of drinks on the ship I was glad I didn't have to pay. As an example, an Irish coffee cost $9.95US + gratuity so about $14AUD. These mandatory gratuities really annoy me. If I receive excellent service I will reward it. But fixed fees are just a way of subsidizing cheapskate employers :-( The spa services were over-priced as usual, and the girls were (also as usual) more focused on selling me stuff I didn't want rather than concentrating on providing good service. There was one very unpleasant experience where a group of us - including a significant number of elderly and disabled people - were taken from the comfort of the theater where we were waiting to board a tender to take us on a shore excursion, and left standing in the bowels of the ship for over 30 minutes. No need for that at all. Now that those complaints are out of the way, let me tell you - this was a FANTASTIC cruise! We had a wheelchair accessible mini-suite which was just amazing and provided all the facilities we needed. The cabin steward was almost psychic in knowing what we might want and providing it in advance. The food was wonderful wherever we ate, and there were lots of free alternatives to the buffet-style meals in the Garden Cafe. The specialty restaurants were good, but I didn't feel I really needed to pay extra to eat there because the free food was excellent in terms of variety and quality. Entertainment was good, although we were disappointed not to see the Cirque show because of technical issues. The ship was large enough to be interesting and have great facilities without having so many passengers that there were logistical difficulties. Would I recommend NCL to others? That's a definite YES. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and ... Read More
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy. Sydney was an absolutely beautiful pier. The food and service at Cagneys was delightful. Selection of food was varied and very good in all other restaurants. Felt the taste of the food of the Chinese restaurant Chin Chin did not live up to my exceptional experience in the Norwegian Gem. Not sure if they modify the food taste and spices based on where in the world is sailing from. The tours were all good to excellent. My cabin Stewart was one on the best I ever had and I have been on dozens of cruises. The disability officer on board was exceptional. We were lucky and had exceptionally smooth voyage with minimal rough seas. The entertainment was varied and unquie. The cirque Bijou was mesmerizing and worth the trip. One on the better shows I have seen. The other shows were good as well. Had great lounge singers. Fell in love with Carrie who played guitar and sang songs in some of the lounges. Had small glitches in the 13 days aboard but every one was resolved to my satisfaction. Pleased with the customer service orientation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food ... Read More
what a holiday!!! I have cruised a number of times. This cruise was something different again, great group of passengers great staff, crew as well. I can say this was the best cruise I have ever done. Ship was in great condition , food and cabin where great too , Entertainment from the production was outstanding from vocals, choreography and the visual of the costumes was just amazing !!! The Itinerary was one of the reasons I picked this cruise also dates where great too. Plethora of on board activities for sea days and shore days. Entertainers where of a high standard and very entertaining. The selection for shore excursions was great too. Embarkation was no trouble as was disembarkation. This cruise I did a back to back first time doing this , and would defiantly think of doing it again stayed on for the January 5th cruise that was just as good. Do yourself a favor if your considering doing a cruise have a look at Norwegian cruise line there prices are competitive and Itinerary's are just as good :) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute holiday decision and we are so happy that we did it. The itinerary was excellent, the ship - which has recently been refitted - was exceptional and we could not fault the staff. Feedback from other passengers was that the Balcony cabins were smaller than on other ships but we found that there was more than enough room for a king sized bed, lounge and to walk around comfortably. The weather (which is obviously out of everyone's control) could not have been better. The efficiency of embarking and disembarking made use of every moment ashore. As for the entertainment, I have not seen such a diverse set of acts performed to such a high standard. Truly international. We did not travel with children but those that did seemed to enjoy themselves. The Jewel does not contain the large waterpark that other, larger Norwegian ships carry so there were not an extremely large number of families. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Fresh out of dry dock and the first of the Sydney to New Zealand trips of the season, the Jewel looks great. Gone are the tacky plastic palm trees, ugly carpet, and funky colors. The ship looks modern, instead of the late 90s/early 2000s ... Read More
Fresh out of dry dock and the first of the Sydney to New Zealand trips of the season, the Jewel looks great. Gone are the tacky plastic palm trees, ugly carpet, and funky colors. The ship looks modern, instead of the late 90s/early 2000s wacky theme. Embarkation was easy. Since we were coming from the US and our flight landed pretty early, we were worried the baggage collection wouldn't be up yet. However, we got there around 9am and they were collecting luggage. We dropped our bags off (note that you can't drop off anything with alcohol in it and would have to carry it around all day), and spent most of the day exploring Sydney. Don't forget the sunscreen; we got pretty burned after just a few hours. There's plenty to do, see, buy, and eat around the port. Getting to the port is an easy subway/train ride from the airport to Circular Quay station, and maybe a 1/4 mile walk to the ship. There was a lot of people boarding but it went quickly. Our room was ready around 2pm and our luggage was delivered by 4pm. We watched the ship sail out of Sydney (it's beautiful, don't miss it), ate a small early dinner at the buffet, and went to bed early, as we were exhausted from the long flight and time zone difference. After the 2 sea days, we arrived in Auckland in the midst of a huge thunderstorm. The storm cleared up however, and we explored Auckland. The rest of the ports were easy, with the exception of Akaroa which used tenders. The tenders process was a complete mess and frustrating. The early tenders were all reserved for NCL excursions. We were told to wait until we were ready to get off the ship before collecting a ticket with a group number. Once we got our ticket, it took an hour and 20 minutes before our group number was called, then another 25 minutes to get to the port. We almost missed our private shore excursion that was scheduled for noon. The Fiordland National Park was the highlight of the trip. NCL hit a home run with this one. The ship sails through 3 different bays (which are actually fiords) while the cruise director gives commentary. The best views are from the top of the ship, but they also open up the deck on the bow which has great views. Entertainment was much better than I remember from other NCL cruises. The performers were all class A quality; I expected B or C class. The shows were fantastic, especially the Cirque Bijou show. My only complaint was a complete lack of "adult" entertainment; the only thing that wasn't G-rated was a comedian the last night who threw a couple of swear words in to an otherwise normal set. Dining was also fantastic. We really enjoyed the meals in Azuras each night and the waiters were great. Halfway through the cruise there was a flu outbreak so you had to ask for everything at the buffet and the dining rooms. The staff handled it great and were very friendly. We went to Chin Chins one night and found it to be mediocre. Overall it was a great cruise. A once in a lifetime bucket list item for us, and it did not disappoint. A+ NCL! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started ... Read More
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started in Singapore ( a beautiful city), that we could have toured for a couple more days. Arriaval at the docks and embarkment went great, almost seamless with no delays from delivery straight to the ship and our stateroom. Our state room man was excellent, the ship just returned from dry dock with new carpet and several other upgrades. Went to 3 special dining with excellent food and service. The Garden Cafe had a very good selection of food, with good flavor. Did 20 excursions and enjoyed each one for different reasons. The entertainment was very professional and very good. We would do this trip again in a heart beat. The one thing that I am sorry that we where not aware of until too late, that the ship was to continue on to Tasmania, which we would most definitly would have added Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and although we usually avoid the buffet, we actually loved it for therange and quality of food offered. The steakhouse restaurant was delicious too! We booked one shore excursion with the ship which was comparable in cost to the other twoI had booked independently for other ports. The standard of entertainment was fantastic! Again, nailed it as far as appealing to many different cultures and ages on board. Although this was an older ship to some of the ones we have been on before, it was impeccably maintained and the ambience in the smaller restaurants and bars was spot on. This was also smaller than some of the other ships we have experienced which gave it a more personal feel. Definitely recommend this trip to others! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was amazing. We particularly chose it because of the many ports. Some of the ports are a long way from cities and some use tenders, but if you are prepared for that and have appropriate expectations, this could be the best itinerary of all. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Since we were B2B, the embarkation was easy. Unfortunately, NCL didn't provide much in the way of excursions to Tokyo for passengers continuing on. Therefore, I arranged an excursion and had 6 others join us through Cruise Critic. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but it would have been nice to have more in the way of cultural descriptions in anticipation of the ports we called at. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center has replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters in the main dining room if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.2
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 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.1

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