1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Jewel
I want to say that I read tons of the reviews on here before going on the Jewel and I went with very low expectations. I was worried to be quite honest after reading them especially since I've been on the Golden Princess 2 years ago and I had something to compare it to. We drove to the cruise since its only a 41/2 hour drive from Eugene, Oregon. We used the Republic parking garage on Wall St. It has a sky bridge to the embarkation terminal. Just know you have to drag your luggage up and down 2 elevators if you come before 11am. NCL lets you onboArd at 11am sharp and not before. I didn't read that on any of the reviews here so hope this helps. Ncl lets you pick an arrival time before that as early as 9:30am but you'll be waiting in their non VIP lounge (with free oj and water). We were with my mom who needed a wheelchair so we were onboard first along with the VIPs. I have no complaints they were awesome in getting us on. The attendant Ricky was super nice and took us everywhere we needed to go. Since our room wasn't ready until 1pm (thanks to the reviewer who recommended packing a carry on by the way) he suggested we go to the garden cafe buffet and eat. He took us there and we were on our way. Seriously though that was great service and how nice we didn't have to go looking for the place! Kudos to Ricky! The Buffet was busy and continues to be so throughout the cruise but we always found a seat. We found the buffet dining area on the aft (back) of the ship to be our favorite spot. Yes, you'll be walking a ways to get your food but you'll exercise off all the food you eat. The buffet by far was the best food we had on the cruise. OSheehans, Azura and Tsars were as expected, service slow and the food was not as good as Princess. They skimp on the seafood dishes and skip crab and lobster altogether but I knew that from the reviews! We didn't pay for the ultimate dining but we were full every meal. They're always feeding you. On the pool deck they'll have lots of bbq. One time they served clam chowder and sourdough bread which hits the spot for the swimmers in the cold Alaskan temperatures. Speaking of the pool it was warmer than the indoor pool at the Golden Princess! The slide was why we chose this ship over the Pearl. My kids loved it...I and everyone else had to paddle ourselves down it! There is a covered kiddie only pool and hot tub which was seldom full. It's nice to have when its cold and rainy. We only had rain a couple times the rest was sunny. We brought our kids, a 9 year old, two 7 year olds, and a 4 year old. They went with us two years ago as well. While Princess was kind with our kids their kids program was nothing compared to NCLs. They have a great program that doesn't put your child in front of a TV or video game all day. They do have movies on port days and the WII on certain mornings. They have the kids playing creative fun games and circus tricks. They have a circus show at the Stardust theatre to display these tricks that they learn. They have slime time which the kids can play in too. We also played shuffleboard, basketball, soccer and tennis with our kids. I forgot to mention in the Garden buffet there is a kids family area where you can eat and they have their own kid size buffet area. How cool is that? It is always full of adults (who don't read the sign) but we were able to sit there twice. Our first port was Ketchikan and I must say I like that NCL arrives at most its ports at 7am unlike Princess. The Jewel parked right in front of the town and you can walk right into the shops. The Princess did not and you either walked or take a free shuttle with hundreds of impatient and pushy cruisers. We went to the Discovery Center since we had already been to Ketchikan and did a great tour with Ketchikan taxi cab tours. If you have a Golden Age Pass you get into the discovery center free along with 3 other people. Kids were free also! My kids did a scavenger hunt and all won a luggage tag. What a deal! Next was Juneau and we were not as close as the Princess was to town. That's ok because they had free shuttles going every 10 minutes. We walked around here. Go into the visitor center. They are full of good tips and plus they had free forget me not Flower seed packets! That's a good souvenir to have...Free. The next port was Skagway. Again, we were farther out than princess. The shuttles here were $2 one way. Unless you can't walk don't take the shuttle. The town is not that far About 5 minutes walk. We walked into the first visitor center on the corner and it has a museum and a movie on the gold rush. They even had a free 1hour walking tour. We did it along with our kids and didn't regret it. After the tour we took a break and had lunch on the boat. After lunch we went to the kids playground in downtown and it's the nicest cutest playground I've seen. The last port was Victoria Canada. We got there early, 4:30. We ate dinner first at the Garden Cafe then met with Fresh Air Tours. They had a clean 15 passenger van and a car seat and 2booster seats for us. It was a private tour And we told our driver, John where we'd been before and what we'd like to see. It was a 2hour tour for $150 Canadian dollars total for 8 people. We went to the Governors house and there happened to be a procession going on and our driver drove along with the procession. Nice bit of Canadian culture. We also liked the Craigdarroch Castle and Mt.Tolmie. One more thing about the boat. The Mandara spa is a good place to see whales. Check out Spinnaker Lounge and it's funky chairs and chaise lounges. We also watched the Dancing with cruise staff contest and that was hilarious! To end this review I want to say to those who do complain about the staff, remember that these people work everyday with little break for 8months in a row. They have to deal with rude and entitled people all the time. They don't get paid like we do in the U.S. Yet some manage to smile and greet us everyday, some even sing the washy washy song day in and day out. So let's just cut these people a break. Great, go have a great cruise!

Surprisingly Good!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by LuvGod

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside
I want to say that I read tons of the reviews on here before going on the Jewel and I went with very low expectations. I was worried to be quite honest after reading them especially since I've been on the Golden Princess 2 years ago and I had something to compare it to. We drove to the cruise since its only a 41/2 hour drive from Eugene, Oregon. We used the Republic parking garage on Wall St. It has a sky bridge to the embarkation terminal. Just know you have to drag your luggage up and down 2 elevators if you come before 11am. NCL lets you onboArd at 11am sharp and not before. I didn't read that on any of the reviews here so hope this helps. Ncl lets you pick an arrival time before that as early as 9:30am but you'll be waiting in their non VIP lounge (with free oj and water). We were with my mom who needed a wheelchair so we were onboard first along with the VIPs. I have no complaints they were awesome in getting us on. The attendant Ricky was super nice and took us everywhere we needed to go. Since our room wasn't ready until 1pm (thanks to the reviewer who recommended packing a carry on by the way) he suggested we go to the garden cafe buffet and eat. He took us there and we were on our way. Seriously though that was great service and how nice we didn't have to go looking for the place! Kudos to Ricky!

The Buffet was busy and continues to be so throughout the cruise but we always found a seat. We found the buffet dining area on the aft (back) of the ship to be our favorite spot. Yes, you'll be walking a ways to get your food but you'll exercise off all the food you eat. The buffet by far was the best food we had on the cruise. OSheehans, Azura and Tsars were as expected, service slow and the food was not as good as Princess. They skimp on the seafood dishes and skip crab and lobster altogether but I knew that from the reviews! We didn't pay for the ultimate dining but we were full every meal. They're always feeding you.

On the pool deck they'll have lots of bbq. One time they served clam chowder and sourdough bread which hits the spot for the swimmers in the cold Alaskan temperatures. Speaking of the pool it was warmer than the indoor pool at the Golden Princess! The slide was why we chose this ship over the Pearl. My kids loved it...I and everyone else had to paddle ourselves down it! There is a covered kiddie only pool and hot tub which was seldom full. It's nice to have when its cold and rainy. We only had rain a couple times the rest was sunny.

We brought our kids, a 9 year old, two 7 year olds, and a 4 year old. They went with us two years ago as well. While Princess was kind with our kids their kids program was nothing compared to NCLs. They have a great program that doesn't put your child in front of a TV or video game all day. They do have movies on port days and the WII on certain mornings. They have the kids playing creative fun games and circus tricks. They have a circus show at the Stardust theatre to display these tricks that they learn. They have slime time which the kids can play in too. We also played shuffleboard, basketball, soccer and tennis with our kids. I forgot to mention in the Garden buffet there is a kids family area where you can eat and they have their own kid size buffet area. How cool is that? It is always full of adults (who don't read the sign) but we were able to sit there twice.

Our first port was Ketchikan and I must say I like that NCL arrives at most its ports at 7am unlike Princess. The Jewel parked right in front of the town and you can walk right into the shops. The Princess did not and you either walked or take a free shuttle with hundreds of impatient and pushy cruisers. We went to the Discovery Center since we had already been to Ketchikan and did a great tour with Ketchikan taxi cab tours. If you have a Golden Age Pass you get into the discovery center free along with 3 other people. Kids were free also! My kids did a scavenger hunt and all won a luggage tag. What a deal!

Next was Juneau and we were not as close as the Princess was to town. That's ok because they had free shuttles going every 10 minutes. We walked around here. Go into the visitor center. They are full of good tips and plus they had free forget me not Flower seed packets! That's a good souvenir to have...Free.

The next port was Skagway. Again, we were farther out than princess. The shuttles here were $2 one way. Unless you can't walk don't take the shuttle. The town is not that far About 5 minutes walk. We walked into the first visitor center on the corner and it has a museum and a movie on the gold rush. They even had a free 1hour walking tour. We did it along with our kids and didn't regret it. After the tour we took a break and had lunch on the boat. After lunch we went to the kids playground in downtown and it's the nicest cutest playground I've seen.

The last port was Victoria Canada. We got there early, 4:30. We ate dinner first at the Garden Cafe then met with Fresh Air Tours. They had a clean 15 passenger van and a car seat and 2booster seats for us. It was a private tour And we told our driver, John where we'd been before and what we'd like to see. It was a 2hour tour for $150 Canadian dollars total for 8 people. We went to the Governors house and there happened to be a procession going on and our driver drove along with the procession. Nice bit of Canadian culture. We also liked the Craigdarroch Castle and Mt.Tolmie.

One more thing about the boat. The Mandara spa is a good place to see whales. Check out Spinnaker Lounge and it's funky chairs and chaise lounges. We also watched the Dancing with cruise staff contest and that was hilarious! To end this review I want to say to those who do complain about the staff, remember that these people work everyday with little break for 8months in a row. They have to deal with rude and entitled people all the time. They don't get paid like we do in the U.S. Yet some manage to smile and greet us everyday, some even sing the washy washy song day in and day out. So let's just cut these people a break. Great, go have a great cruise!
LuvGod’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Jewel price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Family Inside
Cabin I1 11141
We had interior cabins for 4 people rooms 11521 forward and 11141 aft. Yes we were separated that far apart. The walking between the cabins was gnarly but again exercise is good when you're overeating! Both attendants Antonio and Flora Mae from Phillipines were great. I never saw Flora Mae very much but that's ok with me the one time I needed her I called her phone and she answered right away. They kept the rooms clean, tidy and always had an animal towel. The room is small. The trundle bed is uncomfortable and sank (according to my 76 year old father) but ok for my 7 year old child. We were only in the room to sleep and take showers. The bathroom was bigger than the Princess while the room is bigger on the Princess. We spent little time cooped up in there to be honest.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews