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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,389 Reviews

Alaskan Family Vacation

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by kaila.petty@yahoo.com

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Inside

We embarked the Norwegian Jewel on June 4th from Seattle.

We stayed in an inside room, no window or porthole.


PRO: The ship was overall very clean.

CON: The ship was very outdated.


Overall our cabin was good. Our housekeeper was very polite and nice. They cleaned our cabin twice a day which was above and beyond. Although the room itself was clean, it was outdated. Favorite part of the room would be the spacious shower.


OK, we as a family found the dining to be terrible. They offer a few different types of "free dining" all in which didn't serve good food. Luckily they had a salad bar which is what my family and I lived off of. There were a few things that we found to be ok. Waffles, salad bar, fruit, toast, and coffee. They had very little vegetarian options as everything had meat, even the chow-mien. Overall, they served the same things in the Garden Cafe, which is where we primarily ate. O'Sheehan's was by far the grossest food I've ever eaten in my life. Chin Chin's as well ... worst Chinese food ever. A young child actually went running out and threw up all over the floor. Tzars - "fancy restaurant" food was OK nothing to rave about about or complain about. Azura - my parents found there meal to be better there then Tzars and I was the opposite ... We both said the same things nothing the rave about. The menus pretty much stayed the same throughout the ship varying with one or two items a night. They provide speciality restaurants, we as a family did not attend any as they where about 30$ a person, there was four of us so do the math .. about 120$.

Another upset would be the price of drinks, we are not heavy drinkers so buying the drink pass at 79$ a day would not benefit us. For example a Moscow Mule was $15.95 pus 18% gratuity. All mixed drinks where in the $16-20 range plus 18% gratuity. Beers were 7$ plus 18% gratuity. They make you pay a gratuity every swipe rather it be one coffee, or 2 drinks at the bar... & no you cannot keep a tab open.


WORST ENTERTAINMENT EVER: OK, sailing to Alaska you spend quite a bit of time on the boat as a total amount of time spent in the ports were a combine maybe 30 hours. The boat had little to do, and we often just walked laps due to being so bored. We wanted to play deal or no deal ... cost 19.95 to play a game ... Couldn't enjoy the pool as it was too cold outside and windy. The things we did included the 3 game shows spread throughout the week, the comedy show (ehhh), and the Circus show - this show was actually really neat to watch and we enjoyed it very much. There was a "white hot party" it was ok ... the staff made it enjoyable but it died out quickly. Overall, you where often left not knowing what to do so we caught up on all new release movies in our room.


OK, the overall service was great. The staff was very attentive, and it was cool seeing all kinds of different cultures. There was one hiccup with service which included the shore excursion desk. In Juneau we were supposed to dog-sled but due to weather it was cancelled - which I understand safety first. However, there was about 25-30 of us who had planned that excursion - we met in the stardust theater at 7:15 AM and where told at about 7:40 that they were not flying helicopters. So everyone ran the the excursion desk to plan another adventure for the day. Arriving to the desk there was one person working - anyone who has planned or done an excursion you understand that you leave in early AM by around 8:30 depending on what you are doing. We waited in line for about 90 minutes until we were finally able to pick an excursion ... Here's the hiccup as she was helping guests in the line she was also answering phone calls from individuals in their rooms. Two of us wanted to plan dog-sledding for the following day in Skagway .. We finally got up to the counter and she told us to wait as she answered the phone and put three people down for dog-sledding in Skagway ... We proceeded to say that we wanted to dog-sled in Skagway since it was cancelled in Juneau ... she states " we are all booked for that trip I just gave away the last 3 spots" ... hmmm I've been waiting 90 minutes ..

Anyways - all of the buses had left besides a whale watching tour and we picked that ... We had 6 minutes to get off of the ship and head to the bus ... We were very upset as where the people all around us. I went up to the service desk and asked if any of them could help or if the cruise director could assist the one lady .. the response was that only shore excursion people have access to the computers. Although the women said dog-sledding was sold out in Skagway we walked to the building and asked if they had spots ... They were AWESOME people and gave us 3 different times to choose from and it was 60$ cheaper.


1. Ketchikan: We did Jeep and Canoe Adventure : It was amazing and the people were wonderful ... we canoed across a lake, they served amazing clam chowder and I don't prefer clam chowder .. We then jeeped to a mountain side and the views were spectacular. Would recommend this tour.

2. Juneau: Whale watching - Overpriced and I could of lived without .. We did see whales but none breeching and hardly any tails. They people were very nice and served hot coco and snacks.

3, Skagway - Dogsledding - AMAZING if you can do it I would recommend doing it. Once in a lifetime experience

4: British Columbia: Zip-lining - It was a blast and they guides where very nice with a great sense of humor. Would recommend this tour.

Overall, I would recommend bringing your own snacks on board .. As we entered the first town a lot of people went to the stores and bought sodas and snacks as a lot of people agreed to the food being bland and ehh. I would recommend if you can to buy your excursions on land, they were cheaper. I didn't like the fact that they nickel and dimed you for EVERYTHING!!! I wish we as people were able to tip who we wanted and how much we wanted because some did not deserve a tip and others deserved more. I wouldn't recommend this cruise for younger people as the entertainment lacked.

Overall, I am happy we were able to see Alaska and enjoy a family vacation. We as a family decided that we would never cruise with NCL again as we have enjoyed other cruise lines better. The quality what not worth the overall price of the vacation.

Thanks for reading .. I am not trying to be a negative nancy, I just wanted to write what our experience was like on the cruise and how we felt. I wish I could be more positive.

kaila.petty@yahoo.com's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Inside
Cabin I1 8117

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We didn't do an excursion here.

Whale Watching

Could of lived without! A lot of folks on the boat enjoyed the Orca tour in British Columbia

View All 906 Whale Watching Reviews

AWESOME: would recommend!!!!!

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Dog Sledding

AWESOME experience

View All 163 Dog Sledding Reviews

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