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This was our first back to back cruise and our first Western Carib cruise but our 5th and 6th NCL cruise. We had a balcony cabin. We arrived one day early in New Orleans and stayed at Staybridge about 4 blocks from cruise pier. Loved the Staybridge and would recommend it. Right on the route for the Halloween parade and in walking distance of everything. Very good breakfast buffet, too. Boarding was a breeze as usual and went right to the spa to book the Thermal Package. Well worth it. Then went to lunch in the dining room. We do not care for buffets. Our room was ready and our luggage had been delivered. We were unpacked and settled by 2. We enjoyed the trip out the river passage. We enjoyed all of the ports, but particularly Roatan and Jamaica. Belize was a disappointment - no good beaches unless you go to Ambergis Cay which we did not know about at the time. We loved the Jewel. We mostly ate at the main dining room - sometimes at Blue Lagoon, and also at Le Bistro and the Asian restaurant. Blue Lagoon is fast and has a great dessert at lunch - a brownie sundae. I thought overall the food was better on the Jewel over our previous NCL cruises. Pretty much the same menu but prepared and served better. One negative of the back to back is that the menu is repetitive but there are still a lot of choices. Entertainment was not as good as previous cruises - particularly the lounge acts. One bright spot was the Twosome Awesome. Really liked them. Dawn had better acts. Loved our cabin - glad to have a balcony. Stewards good but not intrusive. Better pool area than the Sun or the Dawn. Better casinos. One thing we did not like on the first week of our cruise...there was a large group of 500 that had been booked and some areas of the ship would be closed off for them which I found to be unfair. We booked early (over 10 months pre-cruise) and probably would not choose to cruise with this particular group of people but we had no knowledge and no choice. Also, sometimes certain lounges would be closed because they were using them and our favorite sundeck was reserved for this group. According to some members of this group, they booked late and got really great rates. Doesn't seem right when we booked early and then do not have the use of the whole ship. I know the cruise lines want to fill the ship but makes me want to wait to the last minute to book - might get a better rate and maybe find out if there is a group I don't want to be around. My husband said to be sure I mentioned that the Jewel had really cold beer. That was his complaint on our previous NCL cruises. They did not keep the beer cold enough. Anyway, we all in all we loved our cruise and have booked another one for next November.

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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Riverrat 1

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2013
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
This was our first back to back cruise and our first Western Carib cruise but our 5th and 6th NCL cruise. We had a balcony cabin. We arrived one day early in New Orleans and stayed at Staybridge about 4 blocks from cruise pier. Loved the Staybridge and would recommend it. Right on the route for the Halloween parade and in walking distance of everything. Very good breakfast buffet, too.
Boarding was a breeze as usual and went right to the spa to book the Thermal Package. Well worth it. Then went to lunch in the dining room. We do not care for buffets. Our room was ready and our luggage had been delivered. We were unpacked and settled by 2. We enjoyed the trip out the river passage.
We enjoyed all of the ports, but particularly Roatan and Jamaica. Belize was a disappointment - no good beaches unless you go to Ambergis Cay which we did not know about at the time.
We loved the Jewel. We mostly ate at the main dining room - sometimes at Blue Lagoon, and also at Le Bistro and the Asian restaurant. Blue Lagoon is fast and has a great dessert at lunch - a brownie sundae. I thought overall the food was better on the Jewel over our previous NCL cruises. Pretty much the same menu but prepared and served better. One negative of the back to back is that the menu is repetitive but there are still a lot of choices.
Entertainment was not as good as previous cruises - particularly the lounge acts. One bright spot was the Twosome Awesome. Really liked them. Dawn had better acts.
Loved our cabin - glad to have a balcony. Stewards good but not intrusive.
Better pool area than the Sun or the Dawn. Better casinos.
One thing we did not like on the first week of our cruise...there was a large group of 500 that had been booked and some areas of the ship would be closed off for them which I found to be unfair. We booked early (over 10 months pre-cruise) and probably would not choose to cruise with this particular group of people but we had no knowledge and no choice. Also, sometimes certain lounges would be closed because they were using them and our favorite sundeck was reserved for this group. According to some members of this group, they booked late and got really great rates. Doesn't seem right when we booked early and then do not have the use of the whole ship. I know the cruise lines want to fill the ship but makes me want to wait to the last minute to book - might get a better rate and maybe find out if there is a group I don't want to be around.
My husband said to be sure I mentioned that the Jewel had really cold beer. That was his complaint on our previous NCL cruises. They did not keep the beer cold enough.
Anyway, we all in all we loved our cruise and have booked another one for next November.
Riverrat 1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9578
Good midship balcony - convenient to stairs and elevators. Liked the bathroom and shower.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins