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We sailed the Jewel the week after our first Carnival cruise on the Elation. Our only other Norwegian experience was an Alaskan cruise at least 10 years ago. We've also been on Royal Caribbean several times in between. We really enjoyed the Elation cruise, but since the Jewel is a larger ship in a different class we expected more, and in some areas, we got it. The Jewel has a more contemporary look and feel and we noticed things like the glass was much clearer and the elevators were faster. We had cabin 4554 with a porthole. The room was much smaller than our cabin on the Elation, but quite functional. The bathroom was also much smaller, but again, everything worked well. You needed to slide a credit card to lock the safe. I prefer entering a number and locking my credit cards in the safe. Our cabin steward never introduced himself. He gave us a thinner blanket and beach towels when we requested them. He did a good job of cleaning the room, but not always at the most opportune times for us. He might knock and we'd tell him we were leaving the room in 10 min., then come back a couple of hours later and the room hadn't been cleaned yet. No big deal, but on the Elation, our room was always done when we came back from breakfast and dinner. We thought the food on the ship was good. When we boarded we headed to Tzars for lunch. The salad and sandwich were average, but it was a nice quiet alternative to the buffet. The lobster on the first night was excellent and our waitress brought more when we asked for it. The steak served with it was OK. The lamb shank was very good. The only really disappointing meal was the New Orleans shrimp and steak, which I ordered mostly for the shrimp. There were 3 tiny fried shrimp on top of a mediocre steak. Desserts could've been better. One night we saw a waiter serve what looked like flourless chocolate cake, which was not on the menu, to another table. The next night we asked about it and our waiter said that if we asked for it he had to bring it to us and he did. It was good, but still not the best flourless chocolate cake I've ever had. We also ate in Azure a couple of nights and overall the service was fine in both restaurants. There was a good variety of food in the buffet at breakfast and lunch. The fruit was good - melon, pineapple, grapes, oranges, bananas, apples. The cooked to order omelets were good, but slow. Muffins were OK. Little chocolate croissants were good, but often gone. They had a couple of coffee machines that brewed individual cups, so you had to push the button and wait. They had the best coffee. Entertainment was very good. In addition to the shows in the main theater, there was a lot of live music around the ship. Of the three cruise lines we've experienced, Norwegian is the best for live music. Live music poolside added to the enjoyment of sunshine and a margarita. At night there was always a choice of different live music, always something to dance to, and usually other dancers, too. One night there was a Mardi Gras parade that guests were welcome to join. We all got beads and a few people really got into it with exotic hair colors and a few towel animals. It ended on the pool deck with a band, dancing, and a beautiful carved fruit display and snacks, including beignets (unfortunately they weren't the same as Cafe du Monde's). Our cruise director, Julie, who was very good, taught some line dances, etc., and it was a fun night. We're tennis players and were happy to find out the sports court could sometimes be used for tennis. We used it before getting off in Cozumel. There is a very low overhead net which effectively took away my lobs, but it was still fun to be playing on the ship. It was listed as open for tennis, 3 of the 4 ports days from 8:30 to 10:30. Unfortunately, the 2nd port day I was sick, and the 3rd it was raining. Why it wasn't set up the 4th day, I don't know, because there was nothing else going on at that time, so we set it up ourselves and played before getting off in Costa Maya. We also used the ping pong tables and shuffleboard courts. We liked the itinerary, but all did not go as planned. We had a good time snorkeling at the Money Bar in Cozumel, but that night I was violently ill. I don't know if it was the margarita and guac at the Money Bar or something on the ship. Anyway, we missed Belize the next day because of it. The following day was Roatan and we planned on snorkeling at West Bay beach, where we found great snorkeling once before, but it was pouring rain and the water was all churned up, so that was out. We enjoyed a beach day at the Krazy Lobster at Mahahual in Costa Maya, the last port. We found it strange that we were given no information about disembarking in the newsletter or otherwise. I went to guest services and there was a board on the wall that did explain the options and had luggage tags with different times that you could grab. We decided to carry our luggage off and it couldn't have been quicker. No lines at all at around 8:45. We were parked in the Fulton garage a few blocks away ($8 per night for rooftop parking, reserved online), so we rolled our luggage over there and were off. We thought that overall the crew was friendly and accessible, including the officers. It was a great cruise, and it sure beat shivering in Wisconsin!

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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by crmc

Trip Details
We sailed the Jewel the week after our first Carnival cruise on the Elation. Our only other Norwegian experience was an Alaskan cruise at least 10 years ago. We've also been on Royal Caribbean several times in between. We really enjoyed the Elation cruise, but since the Jewel is a larger ship in a different class we expected more, and in some areas, we got it. The Jewel has a more contemporary look and feel and we noticed things like the glass was much clearer and the elevators were faster.
We had cabin 4554 with a porthole. The room was much smaller than our cabin on the Elation, but quite functional. The bathroom was also much smaller, but again, everything worked well. You needed to slide a credit card to lock the safe. I prefer entering a number and locking my credit cards in the safe. Our cabin steward never introduced himself. He gave us a thinner blanket and beach towels when we requested them. He did a good job of cleaning the room, but not always at the most opportune times for us. He might knock and we'd tell him we were leaving the room in 10 min., then come back a couple of hours later and the room hadn't been cleaned yet. No big deal, but on the Elation, our room was always done when we came back from breakfast and dinner.
We thought the food on the ship was good. When we boarded we headed to Tzars for lunch. The salad and sandwich were average, but it was a nice quiet alternative to the buffet. The lobster on the first night was excellent and our waitress brought more when we asked for it. The steak served with it was OK. The lamb shank was very good. The only really disappointing meal was the New Orleans shrimp and steak, which I ordered mostly for the shrimp. There were 3 tiny fried shrimp on top of a mediocre steak. Desserts could've been better. One night we saw a waiter serve what looked like flourless chocolate cake, which was not on the menu, to another table. The next night we asked about it and our waiter said that if we asked for it he had to bring it to us and he did. It was good, but still not the best flourless chocolate cake I've ever had. We also ate in Azure a couple of nights and overall the service was fine in both restaurants. There was a good variety of food in the buffet at breakfast and lunch. The fruit was good - melon, pineapple, grapes, oranges, bananas, apples. The cooked to order omelets were good, but slow. Muffins were OK. Little chocolate croissants were good, but often gone. They had a couple of coffee machines that brewed individual cups, so you had to push the button and wait. They had the best coffee.
Entertainment was very good. In addition to the shows in the main theater, there was a lot of live music around the ship. Of the three cruise lines we've experienced, Norwegian is the best for live music. Live music poolside added to the enjoyment of sunshine and a margarita. At night there was always a choice of different live music, always something to dance to, and usually other dancers, too. One night there was a Mardi Gras parade that guests were welcome to join. We all got beads and a few people really got into it with exotic hair colors and a few towel animals. It ended on the pool deck with a band, dancing, and a beautiful carved fruit display and snacks, including beignets (unfortunately they weren't the same as Cafe du Monde's). Our cruise director, Julie, who was very good, taught some line dances, etc., and it was a fun night.
We're tennis players and were happy to find out the sports court could sometimes be used for tennis. We used it before getting off in Cozumel. There is a very low overhead net which effectively took away my lobs, but it was still fun to be playing on the ship. It was listed as open for tennis, 3 of the 4 ports days from 8:30 to 10:30. Unfortunately, the 2nd port day I was sick, and the 3rd it was raining. Why it wasn't set up the 4th day, I don't know, because there was nothing else going on at that time, so we set it up ourselves and played before getting off in Costa Maya. We also used the ping pong tables and shuffleboard courts.
We liked the itinerary, but all did not go as planned. We had a good time snorkeling at the Money Bar in Cozumel, but that night I was violently ill. I don't know if it was the margarita and guac at the Money Bar or something on the ship. Anyway, we missed Belize the next day because of it. The following day was Roatan and we planned on snorkeling at West Bay beach, where we found great snorkeling once before, but it was pouring rain and the water was all churned up, so that was out. We enjoyed a beach day at the Krazy Lobster at Mahahual in Costa Maya, the last port.
We found it strange that we were given no information about disembarking in the newsletter or otherwise. I went to guest services and there was a board on the wall that did explain the options and had luggage tags with different times that you could grab. We decided to carry our luggage off and it couldn't have been quicker. No lines at all at around 8:45. We were parked in the Fulton garage a few blocks away ($8 per night for rooftop parking, reserved online), so we rolled our luggage over there and were off.
We thought that overall the crew was friendly and accessible, including the officers. It was a great cruise, and it sure beat shivering in Wisconsin!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4554
We had cabin 4554 with a porthole. The room was much smaller than our cabin on the Elation, but quite functional. The bathroom was also much smaller, but again, everything worked well. You needed to slide a credit card to lock the safe. I prefer entering a number and locking my credit cards in the safe. Our cabin steward never introduced himself. He gave us a thinner blanket and beach towels when we requested them. He did a good job of cleaning the room, but not always at the most opportune times for us. He might knock and we'd tell him we were leaving the room in 10 min., then come back a couple of hours later and the room hadn't been cleaned yet. No big deal, but on the Elation, our room was always done when we came back from breakfast and dinner.
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