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This was our first time cruising on Norwegian, and also our first time to the Mexican Riviera. We were excited to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Embarkation was fast. We easily got through the security and check-in lines, and were directed to sit in chairs until our embarkation group was called. We didn't have long to wait until we were called. Photographers took our embarkation picture just before we rode the escalator up to the ship. When we got onto the ship, we were in the Crystal Atrium, which is the main lobby area. This ship did not have the "wow" factor of other ships, however I found it to be very comfortable and easy to navigate. We enjoyed the variety of dining choices available on this ship. There was always food available somewhere on the ship. We typically ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet, which offered a wide variety of options. We ate dinner at O'Sheehans during Sunday night football. The food was good but the service was slow. In their defense, it was the first night on the ship and it was very crowded for the football game. We didn't care about the slow service because we were there for the duration of the game anyway. On the other nights, we ate at Tsar's Palace and Azura. We thought Tsar's Palace was beautiful - this was our favorite restaurant. We only had to wait to be seated once (at Azura). We were given a pager and we sat in a lounge and listened to music until we were called - it only took about 10 minutes. The food in the restaurants was generally good, but the desserts in the dining rooms were disappointing. I much preferred the desserts in the buffet. Service in the dining rooms was always very good. Be sure to check out the Bridge View room on deck 11. The room contains displays about the ship, and there is a large window that allows you to see onto the bridge and see the bridge crew at work. The entertainment was excellent. We enjoyed all of the shows, and we were always able to find a seat at the shows. I liked that the senior officers were introduced at the welcome aboard show. I saw them frequently throughout the cruise. They were very visible and accessible. We also enjoyed the music in the lounges. Nathaniel on the piano at Magnum's was great. So was Bernie on the guitar. We enjoyed the show band at Fyzz too. It was fun to watch the people dance. There were some great dancers on this cruise! We like to play the trivia games, and we enjoyed accruing points on our activity cards. Even though we never won any of the trivia games, we still came home with a prize for our efforts. We didn't book any excursions in the ports. We preferred to walk around on our own. In Puerto Vallarta, we took a shuttle from the ship to the Malecon. It cost $4 per person. This was a really nice place to walk along the water with numerous shops and restaurants. There are many sculptures along the water. We were fortunate to be there on the Day of the Dead. It was fascinating to see the many displays. We caught a taxi back to the ship which cost a total of $10 (US). Upon returning to the ship, we were greeted with cool towels and lemonade or water. It was very welcome because we were hot, tired and thirsty. The Mazatlan port is very industrial. You are required to take a free shuttle from the ship to the official port entry to town. They are similar to the parking trams used at Disney, and they seemed to run continuously. There are a number of shops as well as a large area of local crafts at the port entry. In Mazatlan, they have pulmoneas, which are open golf carts used as taxis. We took a regular taxi from the port to the tourist area, but on the way back to the ship we got a pulmonea which was fun. It was about a 20 minute ride. The tourist area consists of many shops and restaurants along the beach. The local vendors were relentless in trying to sell their wares. If you say "No" firmly, or just shake your head no and walk away, they will move onto the next person. We had to tender in to Cabo San Lucas, but you are dropped at the harbor which is a very nice place to walk around without having to take a taxi. Again, many shops and restaurants. This was the shortest port day - 7 am to 3 pm (which means 2:30 all aboard). I wish we had more time in Cabo. Debarkation was the fastest and most efficient that I have ever experienced. We were off the ship and sitting on the shuttle to the airport in less than 1 hour.

Had a great time.

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by happywanderer856

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
This was our first time cruising on Norwegian, and also our first time to the Mexican Riviera. We were excited to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

Embarkation was fast. We easily got through the security and check-in lines, and were directed to sit in chairs until our embarkation group was called. We didn't have long to wait until we were called. Photographers took our embarkation picture just before we rode the escalator up to the ship. When we got onto the ship, we were in the Crystal Atrium, which is the main lobby area. This ship did not have the "wow" factor of other ships, however I found it to be very comfortable and easy to navigate.

We enjoyed the variety of dining choices available on this ship. There was always food available somewhere on the ship. We typically ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet, which offered a wide variety of options. We ate dinner at O'Sheehans during Sunday night football. The food was good but the service was slow. In their defense, it was the first night on the ship and it was very crowded for the football game. We didn't care about the slow service because we were there for the duration of the game anyway. On the other nights, we ate at Tsar's Palace and Azura. We thought Tsar's Palace was beautiful - this was our favorite restaurant. We only had to wait to be seated once (at Azura). We were given a pager and we sat in a lounge and listened to music until we were called - it only took about 10 minutes. The food in the restaurants was generally good, but the desserts in the dining rooms were disappointing. I much preferred the desserts in the buffet. Service in the dining rooms was always very good.

Be sure to check out the Bridge View room on deck 11. The room contains displays about the ship, and there is a large window that allows you to see onto the bridge and see the bridge crew at work.

The entertainment was excellent. We enjoyed all of the shows, and we were always able to find a seat at the shows. I liked that the senior officers were introduced at the welcome aboard show. I saw them frequently throughout the cruise. They were very visible and accessible. We also enjoyed the music in the lounges. Nathaniel on the piano at Magnum's was great. So was Bernie on the guitar. We enjoyed the show band at Fyzz too. It was fun to watch the people dance. There were some great dancers on this cruise! We like to play the trivia games, and we enjoyed accruing points on our activity cards. Even though we never won any of the trivia games, we still came home with a prize for our efforts.

We didn't book any excursions in the ports. We preferred to walk around on our own. In Puerto Vallarta, we took a shuttle from the ship to the Malecon. It cost $4 per person. This was a really nice place to walk along the water with numerous shops and restaurants. There are many sculptures along the water. We were fortunate to be there on the Day of the Dead. It was fascinating to see the many displays. We caught a taxi back to the ship which cost a total of $10 (US).

Upon returning to the ship, we were greeted with cool towels and lemonade or water. It was very welcome because we were hot, tired and thirsty.

The Mazatlan port is very industrial. You are required to take a free shuttle from the ship to the official port entry to town. They are similar to the parking trams used at Disney, and they seemed to run continuously. There are a number of shops as well as a large area of local crafts at the port entry. In Mazatlan, they have pulmoneas, which are open golf carts used as taxis. We took a regular taxi from the port to the tourist area, but on the way back to the ship we got a pulmonea which was fun. It was about a 20 minute ride. The tourist area consists of many shops and restaurants along the beach. The local vendors were relentless in trying to sell their wares. If you say "No" firmly, or just shake your head no and walk away, they will move onto the next person.

We had to tender in to Cabo San Lucas, but you are dropped at the harbor which is a very nice place to walk around without having to take a taxi. Again, many shops and restaurants. This was the shortest port day - 7 am to 3 pm (which means 2:30 all aboard). I wish we had more time in Cabo.

Debarkation was the fastest and most efficient that I have ever experienced. We were off the ship and sitting on the shuttle to the airport in less than 1 hour.
happywanderer856’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8070
We booked an obstructed ocean view room 8070. It was quite obstructed by a tender boat, but you could see out in the upper left hand portion of the window. I just like to have daylight - the view isn't really important because we don't spend that much time in our room. The room was long and narrow. This room was smaller than similar staterooms on other cruise lines. Even though there were only 2 of us, we seemed to always be in each other's way. The bed and pillows were comfortable, and there was plenty of storage space. Our room stewardess was very efficient. Our room was always made up, with clean towels provided (when we left them on the floor for changing) and ice. The room was very quiet. I almost never heard any noise from the hallway, and nothing from above or below. The only time it was noisy was the morning of Cabo San Lucas when they were lowering the tender boats. Since one was right outside our window, it was very loud. Overall, I found the location of the room to be convenient. I wish that the lighting in the room was brighter. Everything in the room was in good repair.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins