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This was our first experience on cruising and we just loved it. The ship was great and the "freestyle" is definitely our type. Not having to follow strict schedules and dress codes during vacation is very important for us and this was exactly what we got aboard of the Norwegian Jewel. A very relaxed and joyful atmosphere aboard helped us very much to relax and really enjoy our cruise. We booked a mini-suite AG on deck 11. This is what they call a "Guaranteed" (GUAR) which means that NCL will assign the exact cabin for you. You only have the guaranty that you will have the type of cabin you purchased but you don't know the exact location of it in the deck. Therefore, these cabins are less expensive than the "regular" mini-suites but they are exactly the same. Only the location can vary. We were lucky (because we made an earlier reservation) and we got a technically AFT mini-suite which was really almost mid-ship. Good choice! In purchased the NCL transfer from the airport which worked very efficiently and was a very good option. As soon as we arrived a young lady took care of our luggage and guided us to the bus which was going to carry us to the pier. The check-in was smooth and very efficient, although not using the specific desks which were reserved for the suites passengers. We arrived at the airport by 1.30 pm and we were entering the ship at more or less 3.00 pm. Our luggage was delivered at the cabin by 6.30 pm. The cabin was just fantastic! Very spacious, with lots of storage (more than enough for our needs, but I must confess that we do not travel with lots of stuff...). We had two lower beds that were converted to a queen-size bed, a contiguous sitting area with a sofa, a mini desk and a TV set, a very nice private balcony with two chairs and a small table, and a quite luxury bathroom with bathtub/shower, lavatory and with a separate area for the toilet. The mini bar was ok and we also had an electric kettle which could be quite useful for tea. The air conditioning was very efficient and we must really slow it down at night so that we can reach a comfortable temperature for sleeping. We had just one small problem in the first night which consisted on a persistent "little noise" as if someone was tapping a sort of "Morse code" on the wall. You cannot imagine how this can be irritating when trying to sleep! I figured that the origin of this tapping was a sort of friction in one of the decoration panels of the cabin and managed to fix it by introducing a plastic card underneath the frame of the panel... Problem solved, excellent nights from then on! Our stewards (Indra and Mario) were very efficient and did a great job making us always very comfortable. In what concerns the restaurants we just used the buffet (at the Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors) and the main dinning room Azura. We found it both excellent! We felt no need to go to the speciality restaurants and pay an extra charge when we were receiving such a good service and food in the free restaurants. Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors are just fine for breakfast and lunch and Azura is perfect for dinner, with a cosy atmosphere and a more sophisticated menu. The bars and discotheque were excellent. In what concerns the bars we could always choose between 10 different types of ambiance and music, which was very nice. Drinks and beverages are rather expensive, but I believe that this happens with all the cruise lines... The shore excursions (we only used 3) were ok. The debarkation procedures were very well organized, allowing everybody to choose the most convenient moment to get out of the ship between 6.30 am and 9.45 am. Although we were "independent travellers", we asked for the NCL transfer to the airport. This implied that we let them handle our luggage the previous evening which was not very convenient, mostly considering that we had to pick the luggage once again at the pier after the debarkation... After seeing the kind and dimensions of the suitcases that most of the passengers were handling personally in the debarkation day [as if it were last minute luggage] I will never more let NCL pick up my two small trolley suitcases in the evening prior to debarkation day! Anyhow, we let them handle the luggage again between the pier and the airport, which means they took it into a sort of small truck which departed before our transfer. I was a little bit worried about this but with no reason at all. When we arrived at the airport our luggage was already waiting for us at the drop off point. In general terms, we can say that everything was very well organized and the staff was very friendly and efficient. We spend a very pleasant week aboard and we definitely will cruise with NCL again!

Norwegian Jewel - Western Mediterranean

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Haddock

Trip Details
This was our first experience on cruising and we just loved it. The ship was great and the "freestyle" is definitely our type. Not having to follow strict schedules and dress codes during vacation is very important for us and this was exactly what we got aboard of the Norwegian Jewel. A very relaxed and joyful atmosphere aboard helped us very much to relax and really enjoy our cruise. We booked a mini-suite AG on deck 11. This is what they call a "Guaranteed" (GUAR) which means that NCL will assign the exact cabin for you. You only have the guaranty that you will have the type of cabin you purchased but you don't know the exact location of it in the deck. Therefore, these cabins are less expensive than the "regular" mini-suites but they are exactly the same. Only the location can vary. We were lucky (because we made an earlier reservation) and we got a technically AFT mini-suite which was really almost mid-ship. Good choice! In purchased the NCL transfer from the airport which worked very efficiently and was a very good option. As soon as we arrived a young lady took care of our luggage and guided us to the bus which was going to carry us to the pier. The check-in was smooth and very efficient, although not using the specific desks which were reserved for the suites passengers. We arrived at the airport by 1.30 pm and we were entering the ship at more or less 3.00 pm. Our luggage was delivered at the cabin by 6.30 pm. The cabin was just fantastic! Very spacious, with lots of storage (more than enough for our needs, but I must confess that we do not travel with lots of stuff...). We had two lower beds that were converted to a queen-size bed, a contiguous sitting area with a sofa, a mini desk and a TV set, a very nice private balcony with two chairs and a small table, and a quite luxury bathroom with bathtub/shower, lavatory and with a separate area for the toilet. The mini bar was ok and we also had an electric kettle which could be quite useful for tea. The air conditioning was very efficient and we must really slow it down at night so that we can reach a comfortable temperature for sleeping. We had just one small problem in the first night which consisted on a persistent "little noise" as if someone was tapping a sort of "Morse code" on the wall. You cannot imagine how this can be irritating when trying to sleep! I figured that the origin of this tapping was a sort of friction in one of the decoration panels of the cabin and managed to fix it by introducing a plastic card underneath the frame of the panel... Problem solved, excellent nights from then on! Our stewards (Indra and Mario) were very efficient and did a great job making us always very comfortable. In what concerns the restaurants we just used the buffet (at the Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors) and the main dinning room Azura. We found it both excellent! We felt no need to go to the speciality restaurants and pay an extra charge when we were receiving such a good service and food in the free restaurants. Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors are just fine for breakfast and lunch and Azura is perfect for dinner, with a cosy atmosphere and a more sophisticated menu. The bars and discotheque were excellent. In what concerns the bars we could always choose between 10 different types of ambiance and music, which was very nice. Drinks and beverages are rather expensive, but I believe that this happens with all the cruise lines... The shore excursions (we only used 3) were ok. The debarkation procedures were very well organized, allowing everybody to choose the most convenient moment to get out of the ship between 6.30 am and 9.45 am. Although we were "independent travellers", we asked for the NCL transfer to the airport. This implied that we let them handle our luggage the previous evening which was not very convenient, mostly considering that we had to pick the luggage once again at the pier after the debarkation... After seeing the kind and dimensions of the suitcases that most of the passengers were handling personally in the debarkation day [as if it were last minute luggage] I will never more let NCL pick up my two small trolley suitcases in the evening prior to debarkation day! Anyhow, we let them handle the luggage again between the pier and the airport, which means they took it into a sort of small truck which departed before our transfer. I was a little bit worried about this but with no reason at all. When we arrived at the airport our luggage was already waiting for us at the drop off point. In general terms, we can say that everything was very well organized and the staff was very friendly and efficient. We spend a very pleasant week aboard and we definitely will cruise with NCL again!
Haddock’s Full Rating Summary
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