Just returned from a "Cruise to Nowhere" on the Jewel. I went with my sister and my twenty something daughter. I have traveled on two other cruise lines. Since I have taken nine cruises I think I have enough previous experience to judge the quality of a cruise. This was my first time on NCL. We wanted to just try it before booking a cruise to somewhere. There are both positive and negative things to mention.
Positives - 1. Embarking - We carried our small luggage directly to lunch. So we did not have to wait around for lunch service. Both sit down and buffet lunch were available. We chose the buffet. 2. We arrived at the port at noon and check in had already started. 3. We pre-registered online so check-in was quick and we waited to board the ship about 15 minutes. 3. Since this was a very brief trip we took a very basic room with a window. The cabin was very, very clean. 4. Staff was diligent in making sure to spray everyone's hands as they entered dining areas. 5. Exiting ship upon our Sunday morning return was a delight. We simply walked off and did not have to wait for numbers or letters to be called. So we were off the ship about five minutes after we left our cabin. 6. Shows were good. The 70's show was fun. The comedy act was just okay. But the Cirque show was great. I could easily see that again. 7. Bar service in the casino while sitting at the bar. 8. Elevators - Usually a very brief wait time, except immediately after a show. Also elevators were plentiful. 9. Cute gym. Nice equipment. Everything worked. 10. Common areas very clean. I did not see any worn carpet or worn chairs. 11. Bathrooms in common areas well attended to as they all were very clean.
Negatives - 1. Greeting upon entering ship was strange. No one really greeted us except the washy washy person. It was difficult to allow her to spray my hands as I still had my luggage , my purse and my key card in my hands. There was no one to tell us if we should sit down, check our luggage, go to lunch or go directly to our rooms. There was no one to ask. Many passengers were milling about looking just as confused as we were. So we finally went to the desk to ask. This was a bit annoying. 2. Lunch - There was a lot less to select from than on other cruises that I have been on. I walked around a bit so I could carefully select what I wanted to eat. Food was not attractively displayed as I have seen on all of my other cruises. So I ended up having a lot of salad and a small bit of tilapia. Most other foods just looked like cafeteria slop that I could get at any school cafeteria. My daughter just had some pasta and my sister had a small burger. None of us were satisfied with lunch. Dinner - We dined at Tsar's. That was a nice experience. We had surf and turf. Yes, the portions we small. But I was happy about that as that allowed me to room to have salad, a delightful mushroom soup, and ice cream for dessert. All three of us had the same. Surf and turf were what I expected, tasty . Breakfast - This was a horrible experience. Orange juice was watery. It tasted just like flavored water. So all of us chose to just have water. Coffee, just ok. Service, not good, had to ask for everything from salt, to cream to jelly for our toast. Scrambled eggs we barely cooked. They looked awful. Corned beef hash did not look nor taste like corned beef hash. Home fries were cold. It also took about 30 minutes for our breakfast to appear. My sister asked for a different breakfast consisting of an omelet and some toast. They were just ok. My daughter was so disgusted with her meal that she elected not to order anything else. The best part of this breakfast was the water. I had several glasses of this.