First Time Cruisers: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Gcjcruisers

Norwegian Jewel 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

First Time Cruisers

Sail Date: July 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
Our trip originates from Detroit, MI. aboard Delta airlines. We had a great view going over the Rocky Mountains on our way to Seattle. We arrive in Seattle on Friday 13th. (I know) but no bad luck. Just the opposite. Our embarkation was on the 14th, so we spent the evening enjoying the sites in Seattle and later returning to our room at Crown Plaza.

The transfers from the hotel to pier were quick and enjoyable our driver gave us the mini tour of the city on our way to the pier. It took a total of 30 minutes to go from the sidewalk outside the pier entrance to our room. Beautiful views of Seattle skyline from the observation deck of the Jewel.

Our room was very clean and neat in appearance, our steward anticipated our every need, he was constantly servicing rooms. The ship itself was amazing. Very impressed with the Stardust Theater, didn't expect to see a theater of that size within a cruise ship. Entertainment was awesome, especially Cirque Du Soleil and Band on the More Run. So many things to see and do on board the ship we were never bored. The private spa really hit the spot, especially the heated ceramic lounges. The ship did show signs of wear and tear, but keep in mind that it was built in 2005 and is due to be refurbished in a couple of years. Being that this was our first cruise, we have nothing to compare it to. That being said, all I can is that we had the vacation of a lifetime.The ports were amazing. Beautiful store fronts with snow capped mountain peaks in the background and Bald Eagle soaring overhead. Really surprised about the amount of jewelery that was pushed aboard ship and in the ports. The excursions were fantastic. We booked through NCL, if you book excursions I strongly recommend going directly through the cruise line and book early. We booked the Whale watching and Mendenhall glacier tour in Juneau, and the White Pass Railway and Yukon Gold Fields with gold panning tour in Skagway. Both were great! If you book a Whale tour in Juneau, I would recommend just the whale tour minus the Mendenhall glacier tour. You will see more glaciers when the ship enters Glacier Bay in Tracy Arm and this will allow you more time to see the town of Juneau. Our excursion got us back to the ship 15 minutes before departure. So we didn't see any of Juneau. The White Pass/Yukon tour was great. We took the bus up to Frasier and the train back to Skagway. This allows you to see more scenery instead of taking the train up and down. Then gold panning afterwards was kind of goofy, but you can say you've panned for gold in Alaska. Victoria was a bit of a let down. All of the other ports had shopping and restaurants right by the pier with the exception of Skagway which was only a short walk to main st. On a scale of 1-10, ten being the highest. The ship itself gets an 8. Alaska and her excursions gets a 10. Overall we had a wonderful time and would definitely book with NCL again. Less

Published 07/31/12

Cabin review: BB Balcony

Cabins were adequate in size. We were on deck 10 Aft section and it was a very quiet section. The balcony were large enough to accommodate two people comfortably. The bed was very comfortable, having had a broken back, bed comfort is very important. Slept better in this bed than I did in the one I have at home. Bathrooms were actually larger than I had imagined, the toilet area was a little cramped but overall it had more than enough room. I was amazed at how quiet the rooms were. When you flush the toilet you'll understand why.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier was very impressive. Especially the waterfall coming from Mendehall Lake. You will probably have only 45 min. at Mendenhall, I recommend taking the trail to the waterfall as soon as you get off the bus.

Whale Watching

Great tour. Plenty of wildlife, from seals, sea lions, bald eagles and humpback whales.

Ketchikan is an amazing port. Shops and restaraunts all within a very short walking distance. The buildings are kept up well with towering snow covered mountains in the background. Ketchikan is large enough not to be over crowded and small enough to cover within the time allowed.
Read 1374 Ketchikan Reviews

Gold Panning

Gold panning was very fun to participate in. The characters were very entertaining. And I had more gold in my pan than my wife, which made it all worth while. When you take your gold to have it weighed and sold, don't have them put it into the plastic vials. Keep it in the black film canisters. You can pick up a small glass vile for only a couple of bucks instead of paying the $20.00 for them to put it in one there.

White Pass Scenic Railway

This tour was our favorite. Strongly recommend taking the bus up to Frasier and the train back to Skagway. You'll see much more scenery going this route. There are plenty of places for the bus to pull off to allow for picture taking. Our favorite shot was the White Pass train traveling over the waterfall from Goat Lake. This tour provided some amazing photos.

Victoria British Columbia was our least favorite port. Unless you've booked a tour, there is nothing to do there. No businesses other than the small gift shop on the pier within walking distance. We choose this port to stay on-board and enjoy the spa. Would recommend to NCL to remove this port and either add a different port or lengthen the stay at Juneau.
Read 898 Victoria Reviews

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