This was our first cruise on a Norwegian ship. The cruise was a good time for us both overall.
Here is the good and the bad.
The Jewel has "Freestyle Dining" . This is not true. On Princess we had a set dining time about 6:00 P.M.
We always ate in the dining room and we knew where our table was. We went to the dining room on the Jewel the first night about six and were seated. I had to decline the table because it was on a main isle one table away from the kitchen door. This happened twice. The rolls were always served cold, not hot, the way I think they should be served. The main dishes , that were the same every night, also were near cold and about average in quality. If you showed up any time other than 5:30 -9:00 . they said they were in the process of closing, or the doors were shut. We had do eat about four dinners in the buffet. The Blue lagoon was the 24 Hr restaurant. But anything other than a hamburger or sandwich was not to be found. The severs all appeared to barely comprehend English . and never smiled in all dining rooms.
The best food was in the buffett "German night" was very good. And "chocolate night"for dessert one evening was fabulous. My husband enjoys a late night snack . On the Jewel it has to be before 11:00 PM. or the buffett was closed. The coffee bar on deck 6 is top notch . The staff is friendly and helpful. Lavazza coffee is excellent. Did not eat in any specialty restaurants . The ship did not have Tea Time . We enjoyed afternoon tea on Princess. Being able to wear my designer jeans in the dining rooms was a big plus.
Entertainment was overall standard cruise ship fare. The shows in the theater were far below Broadway quality. But the comedians were far above average and accomplished that without using foul language. The best entertainment was programmed during the same time slots. So it was difficult to decide what to do. I enjoyed the piano player Fabrizio . He is an excellent arranger of many of my favorite songs.. The italian accent adds a little something extra to the vocals. He should be on the new ship Epic, not on the Jewel.
We are country music fans and could not find any on the ship. I also did not appreciate Filipinos attempting to sing Neil Diamond tributes.
The shore excursions were as promised. We had a dynamite time at the Costa Maya Ruins . We also enjoyed the Chocolate demonstration. Very entertaining and we learned a lot .
Oceanview cabin was livable . Bathroom exceptional. Bed not good ,no top mattress just two 1 inch foam toppers with a caved in box spring.
Would not advise a Norweigian Cruise for first timers. It is fine for seasoned cruisers.
Oceanview cabins were excellent. We had enough room to move around.. The bathrooms were big with a glassed in shower, compared to a Coral Princess balcony level cabin. The beds were poor. Two twins pushed together to make a king size. They were not tied together and would separate. No top mattress , just two 1 in. foam toppers on a caved in box spring. Very lumpy.