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

Alaska on the Jewel 7/17-7/25; Disappointing Ship!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by sgfink

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony

We spent 2 days in Seattle at the Marriott prior to boarding the Jewel and had a wonderful time there. The Marriott is right across the street from the Port so we just walked over with our suitcases when it was time for the cruise.

Embarkation was quick. No long lines and the staff was very helpful. Disembarkation when we returned to Seattle was very easy and again we didn't have to stand in lines.

We were very disappointed in the rooms and the food. We went to 2 specialty restaurants and they were very good, as we expected. But the main restaurants, dining rooms, and buffets were mediocre at best. The dining rooms and buffet had some standard items available daily and then new items each day but the other restaurants and all of the breakfast menus never changed so the food got pretty boring at breakfast and lunch each day.

The staff was nice but didn't go above and beyond. The exception was our room steward. He was so friendly and helpful but our room wasn't particularly clean. We looked for something that rolled under the bed and came out with cheerios, skittles, and an old water bottle that weren't ours.

The shows were pretty good but not amazing. The exception was the Cirque D Soleil style acrobats and the hypnotist. Both were wonderful.

We had a lot of time at sea and luckily there were quite a few activities for the sea days but it was annoying that so many activities had a fee. The rock wall was free but bowling had a fee for example.I prefer that all on board activities be included in the cost.

Our shore excursions were excellent! We booked the Mendenhall Rafting and The Mushers Dog Sled Camp through Norwegian and they were both pricey (as all excursion are) but well worth the money and so well done! We booked a private crab boat trip through ShoreExcursions.com and it was our best excursion of all!

Apparently there were over 600 children on our cruise. My children are 9 and 11. They went in the Kid's club for an hour the first day but it was so crowded that they never went back.

We could either allow our children to charge on their room card or turn off the charging completely. On other cruises we have been able to allow them to charge up to a certain limit or on certain items but that wasn't an option. After running up a lot of charges int he arcade early on the trip, we had to turn off their charging completely because there weren't any other options.

Though we loved the Alaska itinerary and our children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, we will not cruise on Norwegian again.

sgfink's Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9586

Cabin was smaller than I have stayed in before. I have previously cruised on Disney and Celebrity and both had larger rooms and bathrooms. We had 4 rooms in a row for our group. The rooms were in rough shape. Bathroom sinks were cracked and some faucets were leaky. Bed skirts were worn out, stained, and had small rips. Carpet was starting to come up at edges.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Mendenhall Glacier Rafting

4 adults and 5 kids ages 8-13. We all loved the rafting trip. It was fun but rapids weren't too crazy.

Staff was wonderful. They provided rain paints, rain jackets, rain boots,and life jackets.

They offered hot chocolate and light snacks at the end.

View All 48 Mendenhall Glacier Rafting Reviews
Dog Sledding

So much better than we expected. This is a real Mushers Dog Sledding training camp. It was a beautiful drive with great tour info on the way up to the camp. The camp itself was new and clean. We had fun riding the sleds, meeting the dogs, playing with the puppies, and learning about dog sleg races from an actual musher. We traveled with 4 adults and 5 kids ages 8-13 and everyone loved the experience.

View All 163 Dog Sledding Reviews
Glacier Bay

The captain did a wonderful job of getting the ship close to the Galciers so we could just sit on our balcony and enjoy the view. The rangers that camp on board did a fantastic job of educating us on the Glacier National Forest over the intercom system.


Our captain and his deck hand were right on time and had his boat waiting for us right where we exited the cruise ship. He had a cooler of water and soft drinks as well as snacks and cookies waiting on board. His boat was very clean and had a bathroom. We were traveling with 4 adults (around age 40) and 5 kids ages 8-13. The captain and deckhand were so knowledgeable and taught us how to do everything so we could all be hands on. We caught tons of crabs and after we were done fishing, we pulled into a quiet cove. There the captain set up a stove and cooked all of our crab to eat right there. It doesn't get any fresher than that. He even had tools to crack the legs open and melted butter for dipping. We loved it all!

View All 100 Fishing Reviews

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