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I really hate NCL and this was the worst cruise ever. Ok. Let me get the compliments out of the way. I had a standard balcony stateroom, which was adequately furnished. I really liked the stateroom attendant, Mohammed from Indonesia. He was very pleasant and always accommodated our requests timely. I also purchased the spa pass and found that to be worth the money. If you like soaking in water and serenity and having a nice little spot on the ship that is your own... I'd get the pass. The spa was very cleanly and peaceful. I enjoyed the Japan pool (cold water plunge) on the hot days coming back from Puerto Vallarta. The main show entertainment was pretty good too, with one huge exception discussed below. My last compliment would be for Moderno, the Brazilian steakhouse. The food was awesome, especially the salad bar, the bread, and the drinks. I went there twice and loved it both times. Embarkation was super easy and smooth. Also the lifeboat drill was really nice as they let you just sit down in a restaurant. Now for the bad. NCL cancelled one of the three ports a week before the cruise began in order to have scheduled maintenance on the engines. I requested a refund of the port taxes for the cancelled port and NCL's customer service was quite rude and refused to refund the port taxes. Next, there was a fire aboard the ship on night one. The crew were called to stations and the cruise director Archie jokingly said, "Don't worry folks, they're going to the buffet." I knew something was wrong because the ship changed directions as if it was heading back to LA, and then came to a complete stop for hours. I called the front desk and asked what was going on. I was told it was a routine drill for the crew and not to worry. Frankly, I don't appreciate being lied to in an emergency. I don't appreciate that no announcements whatsoever were made explaining the nature of the emergency so that I could at least know to stay in my stateroom and have safety gear handy in case things went bad. I feel NCL put my life in jeopardy by this lack of communication. Next, the engine repairs did not get completed on time and then on the morning when we were supposed to dock at Cabo, the captain explained that we would not be docking at Cabo. The whole ship turned into a frenzy. We went from a three port vacation to a one port vacation. The front desk was jam packed. They offered everyone a $50 stateroom credit for the "inconvenience". I was told by the front desk that I wanted a greater refund and was given the phone number for NCL customer service. I told them that I did not wish to contact NCL customer service and asked for the staff to call them on my behalf and obtain authorization for a greater refund. They refused my request. Note to cruisers: if you call NCL customer service post cruise, they will not answer the phone. I have called three times and every time I have waited over a half hour without any answer. The hotel manager said he would provide my information to NCL with a request for contact. I have not been contacted. The night they cancelled Cabo, there was a letter in everyone's stateroom saying that they would get a 25% refund on the cruise fare and a 25% credit toward a future cruise. It has been over a week and I have yet to receive either. Again, customer service does not answer the phones so I emailed them on Thursday. It is Sunday and still no response. The headline comedian made a joke during the main family hour comedy show that included the word "fag", which I found repulsively offensive. What was most offensive to me was that there were children in the audience and NCL was teaching these children that its ok to laugh at this word and use it in jokes. I complained to the cruise director who said I would be contacted by NCL corporate. I have emailed them asking them to confirm that hate speech would not be included in NCL's entertainment in the future. I have not heard back. Next negative review was the casino. First the ventilation was horrible and if you stay in there longer than a minute, you will reek of cigarette smoke. Second, I played the coin dozer game and like most other casinos with this game they have small wads of money and various trinkets in the play field. Well I won one of the wadded up stacks of bills to find out that it was wrapped around a bunch of one dollar bills. One of the casino staff laughed at me as I unraveled it and expressed disappointment that anyone would be so cheap. Next, I won a die keychain and took it to the cashier. In every other casino where I have played the coin dozer, the trinkets are traded in for various prizes at the cashier. Not on the NCL Jewel. I was told in a matter of fact way that the trinket was a "prize" for me to keep. I haven't felt so defrauded since I was a kid. I complained to the casino manager that a sign should be placed on the machine to explain the value of the prizes in the play field and was politely brushed off. Outside of Moderno, the rest of the food on the ship was either mediocre or downright awful. The food temperature was often cold. One morning I got some sticky buns off the breakfast buffet that the server was just putting out. I was expecting some sticky buns hot out of the oven. I got sticky buns fresh from the fridge. The chicken parmesan at La Cucina was something off of a TV dinner. Everyone I talked to hated Le Bistro. I couldn't even finish my meal. I got the pork tenderloin, which was grossly overcooked. It came with apples, of which all you could taste was salt. The menu said that it had a calvados cream over the dish, but it was more of a broken crème fresh. I refused the meal and went to eat at the buffet. Cagney's steakhouse was ok. My mistake going in was expecting a 4 star steakhouse. What I got was more like an Applebees. If you go in with mediocre expectations, you may enjoy it. To sum up my review of the food, this is my sixth cruise and the first cruise where I didn't gain any weight. I suppose the result is good, but the experience was not. Overall, because most of the guests seemed a bit miserable, so did the crew. I will give a shout out to Bea on the entertainment staff. I was absolutely shocked that she remembered my name. I thought that she was fun and energetic. NCL should give her the job of cruise director and send Archie packing because Archie was not fun at all. The ship common areas were nice and the ship itself was on par with other cruise lines. The drinks seemed watered down, I learned too late that you can order two drinks and ask for the second one to just be an extra shot. That is my frank experience on the Jewel. You are all warned.

Cruise at your own risk!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by compster

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
I really hate NCL and this was the worst cruise ever. Ok. Let me get the compliments out of the way. I had a standard balcony stateroom, which was adequately furnished. I really liked the stateroom attendant, Mohammed from Indonesia. He was very pleasant and always accommodated our requests timely. I also purchased the spa pass and found that to be worth the money. If you like soaking in water and serenity and having a nice little spot on the ship that is your own... I'd get the pass. The spa was very cleanly and peaceful. I enjoyed the Japan pool (cold water plunge) on the hot days coming back from Puerto Vallarta. The main show entertainment was pretty good too, with one huge exception discussed below. My last compliment would be for Moderno, the Brazilian steakhouse. The food was awesome, especially the salad bar, the bread, and the drinks. I went there twice and loved it both times. Embarkation was super easy and smooth. Also the lifeboat drill was really nice as they let you just sit down in a restaurant.

Now for the bad. NCL cancelled one of the three ports a week before the cruise began in order to have scheduled maintenance on the engines. I requested a refund of the port taxes for the cancelled port and NCL's customer service was quite rude and refused to refund the port taxes. Next, there was a fire aboard the ship on night one. The crew were called to stations and the cruise director Archie jokingly said, "Don't worry folks, they're going to the buffet." I knew something was wrong because the ship changed directions as if it was heading back to LA, and then came to a complete stop for hours. I called the front desk and asked what was going on. I was told it was a routine drill for the crew and not to worry. Frankly, I don't appreciate being lied to in an emergency. I don't appreciate that no announcements whatsoever were made explaining the nature of the emergency so that I could at least know to stay in my stateroom and have safety gear handy in case things went bad. I feel NCL put my life in jeopardy by this lack of communication.

Next, the engine repairs did not get completed on time and then on the morning when we were supposed to dock at Cabo, the captain explained that we would not be docking at Cabo. The whole ship turned into a frenzy. We went from a three port vacation to a one port vacation. The front desk was jam packed. They offered everyone a $50 stateroom credit for the "inconvenience". I was told by the front desk that I wanted a greater refund and was given the phone number for NCL customer service. I told them that I did not wish to contact NCL customer service and asked for the staff to call them on my behalf and obtain authorization for a greater refund. They refused my request. Note to cruisers: if you call NCL customer service post cruise, they will not answer the phone. I have called three times and every time I have waited over a half hour without any answer. The hotel manager said he would provide my information to NCL with a request for contact. I have not been contacted.

The night they cancelled Cabo, there was a letter in everyone's stateroom saying that they would get a 25% refund on the cruise fare and a 25% credit toward a future cruise. It has been over a week and I have yet to receive either. Again, customer service does not answer the phones so I emailed them on Thursday. It is Sunday and still no response.

The headline comedian made a joke during the main family hour comedy show that included the word "fag", which I found repulsively offensive. What was most offensive to me was that there were children in the audience and NCL was teaching these children that its ok to laugh at this word and use it in jokes. I complained to the cruise director who said I would be contacted by NCL corporate. I have emailed them asking them to confirm that hate speech would not be included in NCL's entertainment in the future. I have not heard back.

Next negative review was the casino. First the ventilation was horrible and if you stay in there longer than a minute, you will reek of cigarette smoke. Second, I played the coin dozer game and like most other casinos with this game they have small wads of money and various trinkets in the play field. Well I won one of the wadded up stacks of bills to find out that it was wrapped around a bunch of one dollar bills. One of the casino staff laughed at me as I unraveled it and expressed disappointment that anyone would be so cheap. Next, I won a die keychain and took it to the cashier. In every other casino where I have played the coin dozer, the trinkets are traded in for various prizes at the cashier. Not on the NCL Jewel. I was told in a matter of fact way that the trinket was a "prize" for me to keep. I haven't felt so defrauded since I was a kid. I complained to the casino manager that a sign should be placed on the machine to explain the value of the prizes in the play field and was politely brushed off.

Outside of Moderno, the rest of the food on the ship was either mediocre or downright awful. The food temperature was often cold. One morning I got some sticky buns off the breakfast buffet that the server was just putting out. I was expecting some sticky buns hot out of the oven. I got sticky buns fresh from the fridge. The chicken parmesan at La Cucina was something off of a TV dinner. Everyone I talked to hated Le Bistro. I couldn't even finish my meal. I got the pork tenderloin, which was grossly overcooked. It came with apples, of which all you could taste was salt. The menu said that it had a calvados cream over the dish, but it was more of a broken crème fresh. I refused the meal and went to eat at the buffet. Cagney's steakhouse was ok. My mistake going in was expecting a 4 star steakhouse. What I got was more like an Applebees. If you go in with mediocre expectations, you may enjoy it. To sum up my review of the food, this is my sixth cruise and the first cruise where I didn't gain any weight. I suppose the result is good, but the experience was not.

Overall, because most of the guests seemed a bit miserable, so did the crew. I will give a shout out to Bea on the entertainment staff. I was absolutely shocked that she remembered my name. I thought that she was fun and energetic. NCL should give her the job of cruise director and send Archie packing because Archie was not fun at all.

The ship common areas were nice and the ship itself was on par with other cruise lines. The drinks seemed watered down, I learned too late that you can order two drinks and ask for the second one to just be an extra shot.

That is my frank experience on the Jewel. You are all warned.
compster’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 9590
The cabin was fairly standard for the cruise industry. No complaints and no praises.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews