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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,389 Reviews

Norwegian Jewel - Eastern Caribbean

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Don

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2005
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

Somewhere in the deepest bowels of hell, where they keep the people who have been very very bad, there is a place where the hell dwellers are forced as their punishment to spend an eternity checking in to board the Norwegian Jewel in Miami over and over again. First, you stand on the sidewalk in the broiling sun for half an hour filling out a form no one told you you needed until you arrive. Then, you wait on the check-in line for another 90 minutes. Then you speak to a clueless clerk who does not know how to operate the machinery. Then you wait on another line to enter the next room. Then you wait on line to get your room key. Then you wait on line ("the sitting down line") to wait on line to get thru security. Then you wait on the security line. Then you wait on line to have your picture taken. Then you march in the broiling sun, on a metal walkway, the entire length of the ship, so that they can welcome you on board at the very bow of the ship, so that you can march all the way back to your cabin.

Norwegian feels that if they make your life a living hell to get on the ship, the cruise itself won't seem so bad. It doesn't work. Think of the Jewel as a sort of big, ugly bus with high-school cafeteria food that cruises the seas. I was in a category AF mini-suite. The cabin number is 11572. This cabin is directly below the "splash down kid's club", so do not book this cabin unless you like the sound of 200 little feet pounding on your head from 9 to 5 every sea day. The mini-suite was smaller than any comparable cabin I had on Carnival, NCCL, or Princess. The decor of the cabin (and most of the ship) is "colorful". I like color but this ship looked like Walt Disney threw up on it. The predominant color scheme in my suite was lime green, hot pink, yellow and red. I complement them on the bathroom, it was large, well-appointed, has a separate toilet room, and was tastefully decorated. Best ship bathroom I ever had.

Forget the all-inclusive cruise. They hit you up on this ship for everything. When three of us got done buying drinks, eating in the up-charge restaurants, and buying water, with the mandatory tipping, we went for another $2800. in 14 days. A regular drink is $4, a double (2 ounces instead of 1) is $8, and a martini can go for as much as $14.50. OUCH. Learn to love Iced Tea.

The food on the poolside buffet was uniformly terrible. Low-grade institutional food. The food in the main dining rooms was mediocre, cold, small portioned, and service was what you would expect in a no-tipping situation. Of the up-charge restaurants, the Teppanyaki room and the French place were excellent. Stay away from the steak house. It is over priced and the food was inedible. Forget using any of the spa services unless you like paying extra. One more thing I will mention was the nightmare tender service in Grand Cayman. Do not use their lifeboat tenders. Use the big tenders provided by the port service or you will be stranded in a hot lifeboat bobbing in the open sea for an hour.

When you return to Miami, you get to claim your luggage in a steel oven. No I'm not kidding. You claim your luggage in a steel building where the five giant A/C units which are cooling the check-in area vent out. It's like being inside an over for an hour or so. I was done. Suggestion: the Caribbean Princess. Same itinerary, light years better in every possible way, same basic price. DO NOT TAKE THIS SHIP.

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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11572

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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