Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by scaaty
- Sail Date: February 2013
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
This was one of our fastest embarkations ever! We arrived at the pier just before noon and were sitting in Cagney's by 12:15! Yes we had the VIP line, but all lines were very short and moving right along!
Our waitress was Lili and she and Carl (also a she, not he) became our favorites in Cagney's. They were so much fun and always had warm smiles to greet us.
John D'Souza was the concierge and we found him to be very caring. He was always around the ship in the restaurants, atrium, outside the show theater and I even ran into him in the casino once! Whenever he saw us he would ask what he could do for us. We're fairly low maintenance so aside from some dinner reservations we really had no special requests, though he did keep asking every time he saw us. I did finally stump him on the next to last day when he stopped by our table. I told him I did have a request for him and he said, "Anything". I then asked him to have the Captain turn the ship around so we could head back to the islands. I wish I had a picture of his face!
This was our second time in an SF suite, the previous one was the corner cabin and this one was one over. While essentially the same, this cabin was slightly smaller and there was less room between the bed and the wall. That was DH's side and he noticed it right away. It certainly was not a show stopper for us. The biggest treat for DH is the espresso machine! We happened to have a brand new one and the menu instructions were still in Italian. When the butler said he would change it, we said no since DH's primary language is Italian.
Our butler was Chris and he was very accommodating to all of our special requests. He already had stocked the coffee machine per our pre-concierge requests. He switched out our sparkling wine for red wine and kept DH stocked with his breakfast cereal and milk, I prefer Cagney's most days. We're not crazy about all of the mid-afternoon snacks and requested just cheese and crackers and that's what we got each day. I had breakfast in the cabin on a couple of port days and it was always delivered hot and on time!
Our room steward was Barrington. My first and only special request was for a step stool to get into the tub. I recently had knee surgery and those tubs are not the easiest when you have knee problems. He brought me the step stool right away and always kept the cabin in tip top shape. Most nights we got a towel animal and he would arrange my PJs in all different styles. If he was in the area of our room when we were heading back, he'd always come over and open the door for us. Such a nice touch!
We had a very active roll call group and the meet and greet was well attended. The Captain and some officers came to say hi, and Hugo the food and beverage manager did a short Q&A. Right after the meet and greet we did a slot pull and managed to get back $14 of our $20 investment.
We had most of our dinners in Tsars. We loved our waiter the first evening and requested to have him the rest of the cruise whenever we were in the main dining room. This requires sitting in a different section each time, but that was no problem for us as we really liked the waiter. We had a standing 7pm reservation and would always advise the Matre'd in advance if we were dining elsewhere on a particular evening. The food in the main dining room is okay and we certainly did not go hungry! There were no problems with special requests to substitute vegetables (e.g. spinach instead of green beans) and on lobster night DH requested and received two lobster tails.
We were lucky to have dinner with the Captain one evening in Tsars. He was very personable and it was a highlight of our cruise.
We also had a free dinner in Bistro (I'm Platinum) and that dinner was outstanding! We also had dinner in Cagney's twice and the filet minion was very tender!
A friend and I did lunch once in Tepanayki since neither of our husbands like it. It's the same menu as at dinner and the waitress said they need at least 4 reservations to do a luncheon. Luckily another couple had also made reservations that day!
Of note, my guess is the average age on this cruise was around 70! As a result, there were very many early diners so if you didn't have a reservation, you could end up with a long wait in the main dining rooms. We often saw a line and many folks with pagers. It sure pays to make the reservations at the beginning of the week!
We didn't go to many of the shows in stardust since neither DH nor I are into hypnotist and comedians. We did enjoy the 70s show, the le circ and the crew talent show. We only caught a bit of Oh What a Night since that got switched to the last night since one of the performers was ill earlier in the week. We had a late reservation in Cagney's that night.
We hit the casino most nights and most nights donated our budgeted money. I usually play Let it Ride but the table wasn't very good to me most nights. Luckily one night I went to the Poker machine and hit a jackpot so I managed to come home with my budgeted money. DH left all of his there in the slots and at the roulette table.
San Juan, we stayed on the ship
St. Thomas -- DH went to Limetree Beach and I did some shopping
St. Maartin -- We went to LeGallion beach with a group from our roll call. Great beach with very calm water. Perfect for families or folks like me with bad knees! I do understand that this beach can get crowded with locals on the weekend since it is such a great beach for kids.
St. Lucia -- We walked around town a bit and I could not wait to get back to the ship! Folks kept walking up to you offering tours and many followed you down the street even if you said no! DH did ask one driver the fare to the beach and was quoted $50 each way. Many folks I talked to had the same reaction that I did.
Barbados -- Since we'd been here before and it was a Sunday we stayed on the ship
Antigua -- We went to Coconut Beach Club with a group from our roll call. I had found this on the port of call section of cruise critic. There were 8 of us and the cab was $4 per person each way. At the club they charged $45 per person for use of the beach, loungers, pool, buffet lunch and open bar. The only disappointment for a few was that the beer was served in cups, not a bottle or can. The buffet was great. The beach had a fair number of waves that day and was windy. We were told some days it's very calm, just depends upon the weather. DH enjoyed the water, but with bad knees I limited myself to walking along the water's edge.
All in all we had a great cruise, enjoyed meeting new friends and running into old ones from previous cruises. Now I have a long wait until my next cruise so have a serious case of Post Cruise Depression!
The only negative is the tub if you're short or have bad knees. The solution is to ask the room steward for a step stool to get into the tub. That works for me!