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We just got off of the Norwegian Jewel two days ago.This was the first cruise for my wife and I. Before we headed out, we wondered how it would compare to the land-based vacations we have taken in the past...Here is what we thought: About us: To give you a little perspective, we are a couple in our early to mid 40s. We have three children, but none of them accompanied us on this cruise (for the first time in 20 years). We have vacationed in about every way possible on land...everything from rustic cabins in the woods, road trips to Disney (from Illinois) on a budget, to the Ritz Carlton in Jamaica..and everything in between. Accomodations: We booked an aft facing Penthouse suite. It was awesome, and comparable with a very nice hotel..perhaps a bit smaller than the Ritz, but very comfortable. The soap/shampoo/ conditioner supplied in the room is all high quality. The shower had great water pressure. The suite was well lit, modern, and clean..all the things you hope for. If there was one drawback, I would have liked more channels on the television.. programming choice was pretty limited. The difference versus land-based: I have never stayed at a resort with service quality as strong as this. It was incredible-better than the Ritz. Our stateroom was made-up twice a day by an amazing room steward who always turned down our bed,set the lighting in our room, drew the curtains every night, created a new towel animal for us, and left mints on our pillows. We were impressed-every night. We had an assigned butler who would drop off snacks to our room every afternoon. She did a fantastic job of making sure we had everything we needed, and was very prompt and knowledgeable. I cant think of a way to improve service or cleanliness of the room. Food: We have stayed at "all-inclusive" resorts before and have never been overly impressed with the food quality. This is different. We had the Ultimate dining package, so we ate at a different specialty restaurant every night. I highly recommend the Ultimate dining package. we feel it made a substantial difference in our cruise experience, and combined with the perks of being in a suite (eating at Modernos for breakfast and lunch) The food experience was exceptional. We never had a bad meal anywhere...and we had a lot of meals. Land-based differences: There are so many food/drink options, and they are all so appetizing that you WILL overeat..and wish you could eat more. Service at the restaurants and room service is very good. Entertainment: There is a different show in the main theater every night. The quality of the shows varies, but most are good to very good..and they are free. Besides the main shows, there is a plethera of music throughout the ship every night. There is enough variety to please everyone of all ages. Overall impression: We think this cruise was a good value for our money. It was truly a pleasurable/memorable experience. We will cruise again...but not until I exercise enough to lose the 5 pounds I gained on this cruise. I know I skipped a lot of details , so please feel free to contact me at: fasmtrcycl@yahoo.com with any additional questions you may have.

Cruising versus land-based vacations

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by scottmeredith

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2015
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
We just got off of the Norwegian Jewel two days ago.This was the first cruise for my wife and I. Before we headed out, we wondered how it would compare to the land-based vacations we have taken in the past...Here is what we thought:

About us:

To give you a little perspective, we are a couple in our early to mid 40s. We have three children, but none of them accompanied us on this cruise (for the first time in 20 years). We have vacationed in about every way possible on land...everything from rustic cabins in the woods, road trips to Disney (from Illinois) on a budget, to the Ritz Carlton in Jamaica..and everything in between.

Accomodations:

We booked an aft facing Penthouse suite. It was awesome, and comparable with a very nice hotel..perhaps a bit smaller than the Ritz, but very comfortable. The soap/shampoo/ conditioner supplied in the room is all high quality. The shower had great water pressure. The suite was well lit, modern, and clean..all the things you hope for. If there was one drawback, I would have liked more channels on the television.. programming choice was pretty limited.

The difference versus land-based:

I have never stayed at a resort with service quality as strong as this. It was incredible-better than the Ritz. Our stateroom was made-up twice a day by an amazing room steward who always turned down our bed,set the lighting in our room, drew the curtains every night, created a new towel animal for us, and left mints on our pillows. We were impressed-every night.

We had an assigned butler who would drop off snacks to our room every afternoon. She did a fantastic job of making sure we had everything we needed, and was very prompt and knowledgeable. I cant think of a way to improve service or cleanliness of the room.

Food:

We have stayed at "all-inclusive" resorts before and have never been overly impressed with the food quality. This is different. We had the Ultimate dining package, so we ate at a different specialty restaurant every night. I highly recommend the Ultimate dining package. we feel it made a substantial difference in our cruise experience, and combined with the perks of being in a suite (eating at Modernos for breakfast and lunch) The food experience was exceptional. We never had a bad meal anywhere...and we had a lot of meals.

Land-based differences:

There are so many food/drink options, and they are all so appetizing that you WILL overeat..and wish you could eat more. Service at the restaurants and room service is very good.

Entertainment:

There is a different show in the main theater every night. The quality of the shows varies, but most are good to very good..and they are free. Besides the main shows, there is a plethera of music throughout the ship every night. There is enough variety to please everyone of all ages.

Overall impression:

We think this cruise was a good value for our money. It was truly a pleasurable/memorable experience. We will cruise again...but not until I exercise enough to lose the 5 pounds I gained on this cruise.

I know I skipped a lot of details , so please feel free to contact me at: fasmtrcycl@yahoo.com with any additional questions you may have.
scottmeredith’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SF 8632
The suite was very clean and quiet (Aft of ship). With little to no foot traffic or outside noise. The bed is COMFORTABLE!! It would have been nice to have some more square footage, but it was ample for two of us. We could have had three people in the cabin, but it would have been a little tight.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    The tour begins with an hour long bus ride with narration from the guide. The narration was very informative, made the time go by quickly, and added value to the excursion. Once you arrive at the restaurant/ boat location, you load the boats and head for an hour ride down the river...nothing too spectacular here as most of the ride is at about 30 miles an hour.

    The ruins themselves are worth seeing if you like history. I would recommend visiting.

    We then reversed the process. loaded the boats, drove for an hour to the restaurant. Ate a tasty local lunch and boarded the bus for an hour trip back to the port. 7 hour excursion..so be prepared
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  • Snorkeling
    excellent snorkeling on two reefs. The boat captain was knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating. the drinks were included-and there was plenty of water, soda, and beer to go around.
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