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OK, so here is my review of the beautiful Norwegian Jewel. Cruised 22nd July 2007. We flew with British Airways, and arrived at Terminal A. Unfortunately, our luggage was on the carousel in Terminal B, so we had to go back through security, as if we were checking in for a flight back out of Barcelona (crazy I know). This was very frustrating, as we (and many others) were just desperate to get out of the airport and get onboard. The transfer bus NCL used didn't have very good aircon, and we were a bit "wound up" by the time we embarked. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. No queues at the Latitudes desk, so we were onboard within 10-15 minutes. First impressions of the ship were very good. Everything was sparkling clean, and remained so for the entire cruise. We located our cabins on deck 9, which were nice and modern. They did seem to get smaller and smaller as the week wore on. We were just glad that we had booked two adjacent cabins for the five of us (three in one room, two in the other) because we had the benefit of two separate bathrooms. Our room was suitable for 4 people (allegedly) and had an extra Pullman bed which we didn't use, as well as an overhead bunk. God knows where the Pullman bed would have gone. There was barely enough room at either side of the kingsize to walk!! Maybe they make it up into one massive bed the full width of the room that sleeps three people? Our children had their room made up as twin beds, and although it was the same size, they seemed to have more space because of this. They also had an overhead bunk which they didn't use. We had plenty of storage space though, each room with double wardrobe and shelving area, and three drawers. Small fridge with minibar stuff, but room for your own things too. There are two US sockets and one European. Unfortunately, I only brought a US adaptor, so my UK hair straighteners didn't heat up properly. I'll remember that for next time. I have found that the sailaways with NCL are far superior to RCL or Celebrity. There was a party atmosphere at the pool, with crew and guests dancing to the band. A great start to the holiday! We enrolled the kids in their various kids clubs, however, I don't think they were that impressed. This is a very port intensive cruise, with only one day at sea, therefore, the clubs are only open in the evening on port days (unless you want to pay $5 per hour). This was a little disappointing, because the weather was over 40 degrees, so they could have done with a little time away from the pool during the day. I'm sure the kids wouldn't agree with that, because they just wanted to go down the water slide a million times!! Anyway, our two youngest boys only went to their clubs twice the entire cruise. The teen club seemed to be a bit more appealing for our oldest boy, and he met up with his new friends every night after dinner. They had supervised activities for teens until 1am. I'll not go into details regarding the ports of call, because they have been pretty well covered by other reviewers. NCL Jewel provides a very upbeat family oriented cruise experience. The pool bands were rotated, so that you didn't get constant repetitive reggae music. Although I love reggae, on past cruises, I've felt that the pool band played the same songs in the same order and it starts to drive me crazy by day two. This time, the pool band had a bigger repertoire, and were very enjoyable. Another good point, some days the band from the nightclub played at the pool, and they had loads of different "sets" from Abba to Motown. Most enjoyable! The freestyle concept is, in our opinion, a better option for families. We have cruised several times with RCL, Celebrity and NCL. They are all excellent for different reasons, but the flexibility really suits us. We managed to get into most restaurants without a reservation, but because we wanted to see particular shows towards the end of the cruise, we made reservations about 30 minutes prior to dining to guarantee our spot. This system worked very well. The food onboard is very good, and I felt was far superior to RCL (we cruised on Voyager of the Seas 6 weeks ago, see my review). On that cruise, we chose to dine in Portofino (pay restaurant) every night, because the dining room service was a bit disappointing. We had no complaints whatsoever with NCL. The cabins were nicer too.... The entertainment was very good as well. We didn't make it to all the shows, but the ones that we did see were of a higher standard than Celebrity or RCL. We were a bit disappointed that we didn't see all of Shawn Farquhar's show. We don't normally enjoy magic shows, but he was doing brilliant sleight of hand stuff, and I was gutted we missed the start. So, we had a fantastic cruise. Staff seem to be really friendly (better than RCL), and most pleasant. Ship is lovely (nicer than Voyager). The entertainment is excellent (better than Voyager). In a straight choice between RCL Voyager and NCL Jewel, who are both doing similar Med cruises from Barcelona, NCL wins hands down.

Norwegian Jewel - Western Mediterranean

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by *twinkle*

Trip Details
OK, so here is my review of the beautiful Norwegian Jewel. Cruised 22nd July 2007.
We flew with British Airways, and arrived at Terminal A. Unfortunately, our luggage was on the carousel in Terminal B, so we had to go back through security, as if we were checking in for a flight back out of Barcelona (crazy I know). This was very frustrating, as we (and many others) were just desperate to get out of the airport and get onboard. The transfer bus NCL used didn't have very good aircon, and we were a bit "wound up" by the time we embarked.
Embarkation was an absolute breeze. No queues at the Latitudes desk, so we were onboard within 10-15 minutes.
First impressions of the ship were very good. Everything was sparkling clean, and remained so for the entire cruise.
We located our cabins on deck 9, which were nice and modern. They did seem to get smaller and smaller as the week wore on. We were just glad that we had booked two adjacent cabins for the five of us (three in one room, two in the other) because we had the benefit of two separate bathrooms. Our room was suitable for 4 people (allegedly) and had an extra Pullman bed which we didn't use, as well as an overhead bunk. God knows where the Pullman bed would have gone. There was barely enough room at either side of the kingsize to walk!! Maybe they make it up into one massive bed the full width of the room that sleeps three people? Our children had their room made up as twin beds, and although it was the same size, they seemed to have more space because of this. They also had an overhead bunk which they didn't use.
We had plenty of storage space though, each room with double wardrobe and shelving area, and three drawers. Small fridge with minibar stuff, but room for your own things too. There are two US sockets and one European. Unfortunately, I only brought a US adaptor, so my UK hair straighteners didn't heat up properly. I'll remember that for next time.
I have found that the sailaways with NCL are far superior to RCL or Celebrity. There was a party atmosphere at the pool, with crew and guests dancing to the band. A great start to the holiday!
We enrolled the kids in their various kids clubs, however, I don't think they were that impressed. This is a very port intensive cruise, with only one day at sea, therefore, the clubs are only open in the evening on port days (unless you want to pay $5 per hour). This was a little disappointing, because the weather was over 40 degrees, so they could have done with a little time away from the pool during the day. I'm sure the kids wouldn't agree with that, because they just wanted to go down the water slide a million times!! Anyway, our two youngest boys only went to their clubs twice the entire cruise.
The teen club seemed to be a bit more appealing for our oldest boy, and he met up with his new friends every night after dinner. They had supervised activities for teens until 1am.
I'll not go into details regarding the ports of call, because they have been pretty well covered by other reviewers.
NCL Jewel provides a very upbeat family oriented cruise experience. The pool bands were rotated, so that you didn't get constant repetitive reggae music. Although I love reggae, on past cruises, I've felt that the pool band played the same songs in the same order and it starts to drive me crazy by day two. This time, the pool band had a bigger repertoire, and were very enjoyable. Another good point, some days the band from the nightclub played at the pool, and they had loads of different "sets" from Abba to Motown. Most enjoyable!
The freestyle concept is, in our opinion, a better option for families. We have cruised several times with RCL, Celebrity and NCL. They are all excellent for different reasons, but the flexibility really suits us. We managed to get into most restaurants without a reservation, but because we wanted to see particular shows towards the end of the cruise, we made reservations about 30 minutes prior to dining to guarantee our spot. This system worked very well.
The food onboard is very good, and I felt was far superior to RCL (we cruised on Voyager of the Seas 6 weeks ago, see my review). On that cruise, we chose to dine in Portofino (pay restaurant) every night, because the dining room service was a bit disappointing. We had no complaints whatsoever with NCL. The cabins were nicer too....
The entertainment was very good as well. We didn't make it to all the shows, but the ones that we did see were of a higher standard than Celebrity or RCL. We were a bit disappointed that we didn't see all of Shawn Farquhar's show. We don't normally enjoy magic shows, but he was doing brilliant sleight of hand stuff, and I was gutted we missed the start.
So, we had a fantastic cruise. Staff seem to be really friendly (better than RCL), and most pleasant. Ship is lovely (nicer than Voyager). The entertainment is excellent (better than Voyager). In a straight choice between RCL Voyager and NCL Jewel, who are both doing similar Med cruises from Barcelona, NCL wins hands down.
*twinkle*’s Full Rating Summary
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