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This was our first cruise with NCL, although we've taken several other cruises with Carnival and RC. This was a family trip over spring break and included our 3 kids ages 9, 6 and 3. Stops included Cozumel, Belieze and Honduras. Pros: We choose connecting picture window rooms. Hubby was concerned about a balcony with our very independent / climbing 3 year old. It was fantastic to have the kids in the room next to us and allow us a separate sleeping area. 2 bathrooms were helpful. The ship overall was nice. The pool was colder than ideal, so we spent more time in the hot tub (including the kids). Of course the ice cream was a hit. The BBQ chicken by the pool was the only real food highlight to share, it truly was delicious. Given our 3 year old was not old enough for many of the tours AND we wanted the flexibility to come/go as it made sense for our family, we did our own thing at each port. This meant grabbing a cab, heading to a beach that had food and taking a cab back. Worked really well and was significantly cheaper than a tour. I was a bit disappointed when just a couple months they announced our Honduras port was no longer Roatan, but instead the Banana Coast. However, the beach was fantastic and we were able to pick palm sized conch shells right out of the ocean! Cons: The food and food service were substandard. Perhaps our expectations were off, but we assumed the food in the standard included dinning areas would be acceptable. We did survive, but unlike other cruises where things were delicious and/or we wanted seconds of something, that was not the case (other than the above noted BBQ chicken) on NCL. I'm told the specialty restaurants were "good", but it was an additional cost we didn't want to add for a family of 5. Our service was poor at every dinner. Slow service, not being served things we asked for (like iced tea) or never being offered a refill. It was so poor that I did adjust the tips on the last day and explained why. The kid club hours and age breaks. The kids club opens for a couple hours in the morning, then closes, then opens for a bit in the afternoon, then closes and then opens again after dinner. There can be significant lines with each. I don't understand why they can't figure out a better system. The back and forth was a pain and wasted time. Additionally, my older ones were separated from the youngest. It would have worked better for us if they could have been more together since my kids play well together. all in all, we had a nice time, but NCL would not be on the top of the list. Additionally, I would consider the true cost of the specialty dinner when looking at costs. There prices may be cheap, but decent food can run you a LOT more.

Ship was nice but standard food was blah

Jewel of the Seas Cruise Review by nsouther

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Caribbean
This was our first cruise with NCL, although we've taken several other cruises with Carnival and RC. This was a family trip over spring break and included our 3 kids ages 9, 6 and 3. Stops included Cozumel, Belieze and Honduras.

Pros: We choose connecting picture window rooms. Hubby was concerned about a balcony with our very independent / climbing 3 year old. It was fantastic to have the kids in the room next to us and allow us a separate sleeping area. 2 bathrooms were helpful. The ship overall was nice. The pool was colder than ideal, so we spent more time in the hot tub (including the kids). Of course the ice cream was a hit. The BBQ chicken by the pool was the only real food highlight to share, it truly was delicious. Given our 3 year old was not old enough for many of the tours AND we wanted the flexibility to come/go as it made sense for our family, we did our own thing at each port. This meant grabbing a cab, heading to a beach that had food and taking a cab back. Worked really well and was significantly cheaper than a tour. I was a bit disappointed when just a couple months they announced our Honduras port was no longer Roatan, but instead the Banana Coast. However, the beach was fantastic and we were able to pick palm sized conch shells right out of the ocean!

Cons: The food and food service were substandard. Perhaps our expectations were off, but we assumed the food in the standard included dinning areas would be acceptable. We did survive, but unlike other cruises where things were delicious and/or we wanted seconds of something, that was not the case (other than the above noted BBQ chicken) on NCL. I'm told the specialty restaurants were "good", but it was an additional cost we didn't want to add for a family of 5. Our service was poor at every dinner. Slow service, not being served things we asked for (like iced tea) or never being offered a refill. It was so poor that I did adjust the tips on the last day and explained why. The kid club hours and age breaks. The kids club opens for a couple hours in the morning, then closes, then opens for a bit in the afternoon, then closes and then opens again after dinner. There can be significant lines with each. I don't understand why they can't figure out a better system. The back and forth was a pain and wasted time. Additionally, my older ones were separated from the youngest. It would have worked better for us if they could have been more together since my kids play well together.

all in all, we had a nice time, but NCL would not be on the top of the list. Additionally, I would consider the true cost of the specialty dinner when looking at costs. There prices may be cheap, but decent food can run you a LOT more.
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