1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Jewel
This was me and DW fourth cruise together. We've been on RCCL and Carnival. So I have a lot of comparisons to make. All of the ships hold the same similar sizes, designs, and gross tonage of around 65-93,000. Pre-cruise info: we flew from SFO to LAX and stayed over a night at the Westin LAX. I gave it a 4 star rating because they upgraded my room to a suite and treated us great. Minimal complaints, but I could see why some may give them low scores or low star ratings. I used free points for the stay, so I was pretty laid back. On Embarkation day, we popped back to LAX and took the transfer bus using NCL for $25pp. It worked great and allowed us to skip the bag porter line once we got to the pier. Check-in took a solid 30 minutes and it seemed slightly chaotic as we entered, but they eventually got all the people through. The internet router hanging from a rope 12 ft in the air was enough to raise an eyebrow, but hey..we were about to get on a cruise, so no biggie. Once on board (around 12:30/1pm), our mini-suite was ready-with comped chocolate covered strawberries and comped wine waiting for us. See more details about cabin below. Food: Generally, the food was from fair to good. From the buffett, to the specialty restaurants, it was all ranging between 6-8 in a 1 0f 10 score. Of course YMMV. We did Cagneys on night 5. I got the Filet and DW got a NY steak. Both were really good. No complaints, but nothing life changing happened to our tastebuds. This was our best "experience" with the food on board. We also did the Italian style restaurant (La Cucina I think). This was pretty much a sit down restaurant that serves plated Italian food you could find sometime throughout the week in the buffet. My lasagna was cold for a few bites (like it wasn't fully cooked all the way through). I got brochette and asked for no anchovies. Guess what, they put them on anyway. Service, even in a up-sell paying restaurant, is coming from staff members dressed up in nicer outfits. There is still a language barrier issue which commonly caused confusion. For us, we just took it in stride and were happy to be on vacation. Although, we were lucky. Ive read other previous reviews and it sounds like if something goes wrong, the ship is not very helpful. Customer Service: There is a large gap between NCL and RCCL in customer service. The upsell around the ship was almost robotic. At one point, I was at the bar grabbing 2 glasses of champagne, and the bartender asked why I didnt just buy a bottle of Dom for $200. I mentioned my UDP and how it was all free and pre-paid. He just generically said, "no, a bottle is better for you, you should get it". I also splurged on some acupuncture and the sales pitch was strong as we walked out of the treatment room. I just said No and she stopped asking after 2 more times. Ship: Jewel is old, but doesnt seem that old compared to some of the ships I've seen before. Most of the carpet in the public areas looked new. The cabin carpet looked a bit more worn, but not too bad. The wifi was slow and the prices per package/per minute were crazy. Oh well. I just used it less. Casino: Big suprise, lost money. I generally play slots in vegas and other casinos. These slots seemed like airport slots you find in LAS. Tight, but still payout occasionally. I had some luck, but only after losing a bunch. I was never up, always chasing the dragon until I ran out of my budget. I did get into the finals for the slot tourni, but lost the final and got a tshirt as a prize. Oh well again. Unlike the OCT cruisers, we went to all the ports with no issue. All I will mention about the excursions is not to do the ATV and Boat nature Excusion. That was a mistake. From 8am to 2PM they only fed us chips and salsa, then on the way back to the dock in the moldy smelling bus from the 1980's, the "tour guide" kept upselling the "best place to eat in Mazatlan". The only bathrooms on this excusion did not have toilet paper. That was for both the mens and womens room. This led to an angry wife using her shirt. The tour had an hour lectuare about turtles, but only in Spanish then translated into Spanglish. It was horrible. Oh, I got yelled at in spanish for having fun on the short 30 minute ATV ride. Nothing dangerous was going on, but since the guide only spoke spanish, he could only make hand guestures. Very confusing. I spoke with NCL desk and they gave me a partial refund, which was good enough. 1 Star for not killing us in the sketchy bus. We didnt go to any shows. So no opinion on that.

Honeymoon on Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by dandman1416

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was me and DW fourth cruise together. We've been on RCCL and Carnival. So I have a lot of comparisons to make. All of the ships hold the same similar sizes, designs, and gross tonage of around 65-93,000.

Pre-cruise info:

we flew from SFO to LAX and stayed over a night at the Westin LAX. I gave it a 4 star rating because they upgraded my room to a suite and treated us great. Minimal complaints, but I could see why some may give them low scores or low star ratings. I used free points for the stay, so I was pretty laid back.

On Embarkation day, we popped back to LAX and took the transfer bus using NCL for $25pp. It worked great and allowed us to skip the bag porter line once we got to the pier.

Check-in took a solid 30 minutes and it seemed slightly chaotic as we entered, but they eventually got all the people through. The internet router hanging from a rope 12 ft in the air was enough to raise an eyebrow, but hey..we were about to get on a cruise, so no biggie.

Once on board (around 12:30/1pm), our mini-suite was ready-with comped chocolate covered strawberries and comped wine waiting for us. See more details about cabin below.

Food:

Generally, the food was from fair to good. From the buffett, to the specialty restaurants, it was all ranging between 6-8 in a 1 0f 10 score. Of course YMMV. We did Cagneys on night 5. I got the Filet and DW got a NY steak. Both were really good. No complaints, but nothing life changing happened to our tastebuds. This was our best "experience" with the food on board.

We also did the Italian style restaurant (La Cucina I think). This was pretty much a sit down restaurant that serves plated Italian food you could find sometime throughout the week in the buffet. My lasagna was cold for a few bites (like it wasn't fully cooked all the way through). I got brochette and asked for no anchovies. Guess what, they put them on anyway. Service, even in a up-sell paying restaurant, is coming from staff members dressed up in nicer outfits. There is still a language barrier issue which commonly caused confusion.

For us, we just took it in stride and were happy to be on vacation. Although, we were lucky. Ive read other previous reviews and it sounds like if something goes wrong, the ship is not very helpful.

Customer Service:

There is a large gap between NCL and RCCL in customer service. The upsell around the ship was almost robotic. At one point, I was at the bar grabbing 2 glasses of champagne, and the bartender asked why I didnt just buy a bottle of Dom for $200. I mentioned my UDP and how it was all free and pre-paid. He just generically said, "no, a bottle is better for you, you should get it".

I also splurged on some acupuncture and the sales pitch was strong as we walked out of the treatment room. I just said No and she stopped asking after 2 more times.

Ship:

Jewel is old, but doesnt seem that old compared to some of the ships I've seen before. Most of the carpet in the public areas looked new. The cabin carpet looked a bit more worn, but not too bad. The wifi was slow and the prices per package/per minute were crazy. Oh well. I just used it less.

Casino:

Big suprise, lost money. I generally play slots in vegas and other casinos. These slots seemed like airport slots you find in LAS. Tight, but still payout occasionally. I had some luck, but only after losing a bunch. I was never up, always chasing the dragon until I ran out of my budget. I did get into the finals for the slot tourni, but lost the final and got a tshirt as a prize. Oh well again.

Unlike the OCT cruisers, we went to all the ports with no issue.

All I will mention about the excursions is not to do the ATV and Boat nature Excusion. That was a mistake. From 8am to 2PM they only fed us chips and salsa, then on the way back to the dock in the moldy smelling bus from the 1980's, the "tour guide" kept upselling the "best place to eat in Mazatlan". The only bathrooms on this excusion did not have toilet paper. That was for both the mens and womens room. This led to an angry wife using her shirt. The tour had an hour lectuare about turtles, but only in Spanish then translated into Spanglish. It was horrible. Oh, I got yelled at in spanish for having fun on the short 30 minute ATV ride. Nothing dangerous was going on, but since the guide only spoke spanish, he could only make hand guestures. Very confusing. I spoke with NCL desk and they gave me a partial refund, which was good enough. 1 Star for not killing us in the sketchy bus.

We didnt go to any shows. So no opinion on that.
dandman1416’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Jewel price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11058
Good size with plenty of drawer space. Bathroom was big enough, but as others have put it, the doors that dont block anything seem pointless. Our cabin attendant Rudolpho was average. We've been spoiled by others, so he didn't impress us. I was constantly clearing old plates and silverware out of the cabin because he just left it there. It was really weird. I feel like the pre-tip gratuity has ruined it for the whole system. Why work really hard if you get the tip either way? Right? The balcony was a good size, but our neighbors down one or two doors (who happen to be Russian) kept yelling loudly on their phones at all hours of the night. The walls between cabins were fine. Mid ship was great. Minimal movement was nice for those who are sensitive.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews