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

Amazing 14 Day Panama Canal Cruise!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Ree5676

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2016
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite with Large Balcony

This is our 2nd time on the Jewel! We enjoyed it so much in 2015 for Alaska. We booked the same suite for the Panama Canal!

Priority embarkation went smoothly and very fast! We stayed in 10004 Haven Owners Suite with Large Balcony H3. The cabin was stocked with the items I requested from the Concierge Desk prior to boarding. The room was very spacious and comfortable. I loved that we had 2 balconies! The butler Putu Abadi was very accommodating and attentive. My favorite person on-board was our stateroom steward Renelito Trinidad (Rene)! He was very hospitable, funny, and observant. One day Rene noticed I was limping on my ankle and asked if I was okay and if I wanted an ice pack! He'd make me the coolest towel animals multiple times a day because he knew I like them. I already miss him making me laugh everyday! The concierge Bruno Dentone was always helpful in getting our shore excursions or making last minute dinner reservations even if they were booked up. We had the 14 day ultimate dining package. We ate at all the specialty dining restaurants. Our favorite of course was Cagney's steakhouse! We ate there three times. We also enjoyed Teppanyaki twice. The third time at Teppanyaki was very bad! I guess it really does depend on the chef! O'sheehan's pub (free) was also one of our favorites! They had the best chicken pot pie ever! Breakfast and Lunch in Moderno was only for suite guest and was great but the menu never changed and on a 14 day cruise it got old fast! The breakfast at Garden Cafe (the buffet) was really good! Lunch and Dinner not so much! Glad we bought the 14 day UDP. The comedian David Naster and LeCirque Bijou was great! The other shows were okay! There was always something to do on-board! So if you're bored it's your fault!

Day 4 1st port was Cartagena, Colombia. The port itself was like a mini free excursion! I saw over 30 beautiful macaws, some of which you can hold for free. 2 different kinds of monkeys, a few beautiful toucans, a red squirrel, and many different kinds of beautiful birds! I explored by myself at this port. I rented a car with driver at the taxi stand for the day at $60. He drove me around the city to the main tourist stops like the Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, Las Bovedas, and the Walled City, He waited for me at each stop while I explored or shopped! The vendors at every stop were aggressive but you just have to say no thanks and move on! There was 3 cruise ships in port so traffic was horrendous!

Day 5 sailing the Panama Canal

Day 7 2nd port was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We did the Pacific Train, Bus & Boat Adventure through NCL. The train and the bus part were pretty boring and dull, but the boat tour was fun. We saw many kinds of birds and crocodiles on the boat part. I didn't think it was worth the time or the $99

Day 8 3rd port was Corinto, Nicaragua We did the El Rosario Estate & Equestrian Show through NCL. The horses were beautiful and entertaining. The folkloric dance and lunch were enjoyable. My favorite part was meeting a few children that do physical therapy on a regular basis at the on-site clinic for disabled children! The Coen Foundation is a wonderful organization!! The carriage ride around the estate was also fun! It was well worth the $159

Day 9 4th port was Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. We did the Coffee Plantation through NCL. The plantation is situated in the middle of 3 different volcanoes, and was beautiful. We walked through the fields and learned all the stages of coffee, then sat down for a tasting! My partner said it was the best coffee he's had! We were able to see 2 active volcanoes on the long bus ride there and back. I think the price was a little high at $79

Day 11 5th port was Acapulco, Mexico. We did the Historical, Picturesque & Cliff Divers through NCL. We really enjoyed this tour! Our tour guide was Marlu. Our first stop was at the Hotel Flamingos. The view from this hotel was gorgeous. We went to the 10:30 Cliff Divers show. My partner wasn't able to climb the 70 steps down the cliff to watch the show. So the let us watch it from the viewing platform inside the Hotel Miraoor. Then we went to the Museum inside the Fort of San Diego. Our tour guide Marlu was very informative and great to listen too! Our last stop and my favorite was at the Chapel of Peace Church. It was a very spiritual place for me! The views from here were literally breathtaking!! Defiantly worth the $79

Day 13 6th port was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This was the only port I planned an excursion directly. We planned a Zodiac Adventure Tour with Whale Watch Cabo. The tour included a visit to the Arch, Sea Lion Colony, Lovers Beach, and Lands End. We had a short 5-10 min walk to the other side of the marina to check in. The zodiac ride was very smooth! We saw and followed a few sets of humpback whales. We saw a few breaches and flukes. My favorite set was a mama and her baby. I got the best pictures and video of mama breaching in front of the Arch! We were having so much fun the time flew by! Wishing we didn't have to be back on board by 1:30pm and had more time to spend there! Defiantly worth the $89

My only issue was on disembarkation day! We were not escorted off the ship like we were on our past NCL Jewel cruise or the NCL Sun cruise. Guess I was just expecting this for Haven / Suite guests and because of our past experiences. I felt because the cruise was over they didn't care about us anymore! We waited in line for almost 2 hours to get off and through customs in LA!


Ree5676's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin H3 10004

We stayed in 10004 Haven Owners Suite with Large Balcony H3. The cabin was stocked with the items I requested from the Concierge Desk prior to boarding. The room was very spacious and comfortable. I loved that we had 2 balconies! The butler Putu Abadi was very accommodating and attentive. My favorite person on-board was our stateroom steward Renelito Trinidad (Rene)! He was very hospitable, funny, and observant. One day Rene noticed I was limping on my ankle and asked if I was okay and if I wanted an ice pack! He'd make me the coolest towel animals multiple times a day because he knew I like them. I already miss him making me laugh everyday! The concierge Bruno Dentone was always helpful in getting our shore excursions or making last minute dinner reservations even if they were booked up.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Miami

The night prior to sailing we stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel on the beach. The hotel was beautiful and the food was excellent!

Cartagena (Colombia)

The port itself was like a mini free excursion! I saw over 30 beautiful macaws, some of which you can hold for free. 2 different kinds of monkeys, a few beautiful toucans, a red squirrel, and many different kinds of beautiful birds! I explored by myself at this port. I rented a car with driver at the taxi stand for the day at $60. He drove me around the city to the main tourist stops like the Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, Las Bovedas, and the Walled City, He waited for me at each stop while I explored or shopped! The vendors at every stop were aggressive but you just have to say no thanks and move on! There was 3 cruise ships in port so traffic was horrendous!

Island Tour

We did the Pacific Train, Bus & Boat Adventure through NCL. The train and the bus part were pretty boring and dull, but the boat tour was fun. We saw many kinds of birds and crocodiles on the boat part. I didn't think it was worth the time or the $99

View All 9 Island Tour Reviews
Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

We did the Coffee Plantation through NCL. The plantation is situated in the middle of 3 different volcanoes, and was beautiful. We walked through the fields and learned all the stages of coffee, then sat down for a tasting! My partner said it was the best coffee he's had! We were able to see 2 active volcanoes on the long bus ride there and back. I think the price was a little high at $79

City Tour

We did the Historical, Picturesque & Cliff Divers through NCL. We really enjoyed this tour! Our tour guide was Marlu. Our first stop was at the Hotel Flamingos. The view from this hotel was gorgeous. We went to the 10:30 Cliff Divers show. My partner wasn't able to climb the 70 steps down the cliff to watch the show. So the let us watch it from the viewing platform inside the Hotel Miraoor. Then we went to the Museum inside the Fort of San Diego. Our tour guide Marlu was very informative and great to listen too! Our last stop and my favorite was at the Chapel of Peace Church. It was a very spiritual place for me! The views from here were literally breathtaking!! Defiantly worth the $79

View All 27 City Tour Reviews
Whale Watching

This was the only port I planned an excursion directly. We planned a Zodiac Adventure Tour with Whale Watch Cabo. The tour included a visit to the Arch, Sea Lion Colony, Lovers Beach, and Lands End. We had a short 5-10 min walk to the other side of the marina to check in. The zodiac ride was very smooth! We saw and followed a few sets of humpback whales. We saw a few breaches and flukes. My favorite set was a mama and her baby. I got the best pictures and video of mama breaching in front of the Arch! We were having so much fun the time flew by! Wishing we didn't have to be back on board by 1:30pm and had more time to spend there! Defiantly worth the $89

View All 90 Whale Watching Reviews

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