9-Day Leg of a 14-Day Cruise: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Greymeowsr

Norwegian Jewel 4
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9-Day Leg of a 14-Day Cruise

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
We arrived in Miami the night before embarkation and stayed in a downtown motel. Grabbed a cab to the port, which we could see from the hotel. It was a good thing that embarkation was fast because it was a zoo, crowded, and stressful. Embarkation was my least favorite part of the trip. Once aboard, bubbly or OJ for everyone, though folks seemed a bit tentative.

We started with the Garden Cafe buffet (of course) while awaiting cabin availability. Hand sanitizers were very much in evidence. This always strikes me as funny because they are anti-bacterial. They aren't anti-viral. You can figure out the rest. Anyway we got into our ocean view cabin and it was fine. The bathroom with glass door on the shower was spacious in comparison to others we have seen or heard about.

A quick word about food. The buffet on the Jewel was the best ever with many choices regardless of your dining preferences. We ate many of our meals there. The "free" dining rooms were a bit noisy and More the portion sizes were small (but of course you could order as many appetizers, entrees or deserts as you wished). The Blue Lagoon, another "free" venue was also very good (wings, burgers, etc.). The Great Outdoors on the aft part of the ship, was an extension of the buffet and served during times when the buffet was closes. Other "free" venues included the Sky High Grill and Topsider grill. It would be difficult to go hungry.

Though we are not great supporters of the restaurants with cover charges, we did eat in Le Bistro (part of the romance/anniversary package deal which we highly recommend), Cagney's and Chin Chin (Chinese fare). We weren't overly impressed with Le Bistro though the food was good. Cagney's and Chin Chin's were both real treats and we liked them alot. However, be aware that the menus are tiered and have the advertised cover price per person, plus an additional cover price for the "best" meals. This seemed a bit much to us.

I did get the soda card for me, but I'm not sure it paid for itself. I did drink many canned sodas as well. When we drink alcohol, my wife drinks domestic beer and I drink Scotch. The prices were typical of resorts and we didn't feel like they were over-priced at all. The beers were 16 oz in an aluminum can that looked like a bottle or in tall 20 oz glasses for those that liked draft. I never had a weak poor on my Scotch.

There was lots of entertainment available for any musical taste. We particularly liked the small venue guitar, piano and string quartet, though we did have fun at the Fizz Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge as well.

The shows in the theater were particularly good as far as ship entertainment goes. It would be good to arrive early and get comfortable if you want a decent seat.

On the minor irritant side, we found that we had to order multiple times to get drinks at dinner in the "free" dining rooms. In the buffet the beverage selection is poor (coffee, tea, milk, water, and at breakfast juice). Our steward and assistant kept the room very clean and were pleasant even though they alluded to a contract dispute that would be putting them out of work favoring less experienced and lower-paid folks. There was also some weakness in following through with requests. Less

Published 03/06/09

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