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We chose this cruise as it was calling at ports we had not visited before and wanted to transit the Panama Canal from the other direction (Pacific to Caribbean) as we had been through the canal in the past from Caribbean to Pacific Ocean. We have also sailed on the Jewel before in September 2009 as well as other NCL ships, so were well acquainted with life on board. Embarkation at San Pedro, California was seamless (we did have a penthouse suite!) Far easier than progress through arrivals at LAX!!! We stayed two nights in San Pedro at the Double Tree Hotel prior to this cruise; not the best of areas as not much to see or do there. Hotel was quite good with complimentary transfer to the port. The hotel does offer a free shuttle bus to local areas too. Our aft penthouse suite (10166) was a little disappointing in size with a small bathroom leading off a very narrow short corridor separating it from the wardrobe. The wardrobe was accessible from both sides though. The bathroom itself, though small in area, was well equipped with lots of towels. The tap (faucet) over the hand basin was too long and did not swivel, so you could possibly hit your face on it whilst washing. There was a large, comfortable bed with curtains to surround it if required. Although the wardrobe was a good size, drawer spaces were a bit small. There were two safes in the suite plus a flat panel TV and coffee machine that would supply a variety of hot drinks. The balcony was provided with two sun loungers and a small table. Occasionally we experienced smut landing on the area. Service from our Concierge (Bruno) was impeccable and the Butler (Rofino) and room maid (Mary Ann) did a great job of looking after us. We like the freestyle dining offered by NCL and there are other specialty venues available. Generally we were not very impressed with the overall dining during this cruise. We used the French "Le Bistro" restaurant twice, that was quite good. We did not enjoy the "Teppanyaki" at all, nor the Brazilian "Moderno" (awful!) "Cagney's" was fine. Then there are the two main dining rooms, "Azura" and "Tsar's Palace", we ate in "Azura" a few times and that was quite good. Other options include the "Garden Cafe" (the general, self-service buffet) which is pretty good in most areas. Then there is "O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill" (I did enjoy my hot-dog there!), "Chin Chin" (did not use), "La Cucina" (Italian that we did not venture into) and finally "Sushi Bar" again, not experienced. I would certainly be reluctant to pay the cover charges for some of these venues, but we had four complimentary options to use included in our package along with the "Ultimate Beverage Package" (that does not allow you to obtain a can of soft drink, nor a bottle of water or specialty coffees & teas). Also included was 250 minutes of Wi-Fi use plus some on board spending credit. Entertainment was very good indeed, never disappointed with NCL in that respect. Lots of activities to choose from, but we took a relaxed approach to those. We took two shore excursions with NCL (Cabo San Lucas, up close whale watching by Zodiac boat, great!) and a coach trip to the town of Antigua in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Also, we booked independent excursions in Acapulco (apart from watching the cliff divers we do not recommend Acapulco at all), Puntarenas (very disappointed with the excursion we chose to visit Turubari Eco Park (saw some animals, but only in pens, and the aerial tram ride lasted just a few minutes in each direction. No wonder there were very few other tourists about!) and Cartagena (we had a car with driver and guide who showed us around the city, stopping for photo opportunities and wandering about. Very good indeed, a lovely place that we enjoyed thoroughly.) The area from the ship's dock to the outside of the port was incredibly with lots of birds, monkeys and other wildlife roaming free where my wife was hand feeding parrots, toucans and small monkeys with fresh mango pieces. So much better that the expensive visit to the eco park!!! There is a large souvenir area there, too, where you can buy and post your cards along with food and drink outlets; very pleasant indeed! Disembarkation at the Port of Miami took an interminable time, we were directed to the slow lane, it seemed! Then spent one night at the Hilton Hotel, Miami Beach, where the included buffet breakfast was appalling! We will not be returning there.

Panama Canal, January 2017

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Brabus08

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Trip Details
We chose this cruise as it was calling at ports we had not visited before and wanted to transit the Panama Canal from the other direction (Pacific to Caribbean) as we had been through the canal in the past from Caribbean to Pacific Ocean.

We have also sailed on the Jewel before in September 2009 as well as other NCL ships, so were well acquainted with life on board.

Embarkation at San Pedro, California was seamless (we did have a penthouse suite!) Far easier than progress through arrivals at LAX!!! We stayed two nights in San Pedro at the Double Tree Hotel prior to this cruise; not the best of areas as not much to see or do there. Hotel was quite good with complimentary transfer to the port. The hotel does offer a free shuttle bus to local areas too.

Our aft penthouse suite (10166) was a little disappointing in size with a small bathroom leading off a very narrow short corridor separating it from the wardrobe. The wardrobe was accessible from both sides though. The bathroom itself, though small in area, was well equipped with lots of towels. The tap (faucet) over the hand basin was too long and did not swivel, so you could possibly hit your face on it whilst washing. There was a large, comfortable bed with curtains to surround it if required. Although the wardrobe was a good size, drawer spaces were a bit small. There were two safes in the suite plus a flat panel TV and coffee machine that would supply a variety of hot drinks. The balcony was provided with two sun loungers and a small table. Occasionally we experienced smut landing on the area.

Service from our Concierge (Bruno) was impeccable and the Butler (Rofino) and room maid (Mary Ann) did a great job of looking after us.

We like the freestyle dining offered by NCL and there are other specialty venues available. Generally we were not very impressed with the overall dining during this cruise. We used the French "Le Bistro" restaurant twice, that was quite good. We did not enjoy the "Teppanyaki" at all, nor the Brazilian "Moderno" (awful!) "Cagney's" was fine. Then there are the two main dining rooms, "Azura" and "Tsar's Palace", we ate in "Azura" a few times and that was quite good. Other options include the "Garden Cafe" (the general, self-service buffet) which is pretty good in most areas. Then there is "O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill" (I did enjoy my hot-dog there!), "Chin Chin" (did not use), "La Cucina" (Italian that we did not venture into) and finally "Sushi Bar" again, not experienced. I would certainly be reluctant to pay the cover charges for some of these venues, but we had four complimentary options to use included in our package along with the "Ultimate Beverage Package" (that does not allow you to obtain a can of soft drink, nor a bottle of water or specialty coffees & teas). Also included was 250 minutes of Wi-Fi use plus some on board spending credit.

Entertainment was very good indeed, never disappointed with NCL in that respect. Lots of activities to choose from, but we took a relaxed approach to those.

We took two shore excursions with NCL (Cabo San Lucas, up close whale watching by Zodiac boat, great!) and a coach trip to the town of Antigua in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Also, we booked independent excursions in Acapulco (apart from watching the cliff divers we do not recommend Acapulco at all), Puntarenas (very disappointed with the excursion we chose to visit Turubari Eco Park (saw some animals, but only in pens, and the aerial tram ride lasted just a few minutes in each direction. No wonder there were very few other tourists about!) and Cartagena (we had a car with driver and guide who showed us around the city, stopping for photo opportunities and wandering about. Very good indeed, a lovely place that we enjoyed thoroughly.) The area from the ship's dock to the outside of the port was incredibly with lots of birds, monkeys and other wildlife roaming free where my wife was hand feeding parrots, toucans and small monkeys with fresh mango pieces. So much better that the expensive visit to the eco park!!! There is a large souvenir area there, too, where you can buy and post your cards along with food and drink outlets; very pleasant indeed!

Disembarkation at the Port of Miami took an interminable time, we were directed to the slow lane, it seemed! Then spent one night at the Hilton Hotel, Miami Beach, where the included buffet breakfast was appalling! We will not be returning there.
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Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SF 10166
Our aft penthouse suite (10166) was a little disappointing in size with a small bathroom leading off a very narrow short corridor separating it from the wardrobe. The wardrobe was accessible from both sides though. The bathroom itself, though small in area, was well equipped with lots of towels. The tap (faucet) over the hand basin was too long and did not swivel, so you could possibly hit your face on it whilst washing. There was a large, comfortable bed with curtains to surround it if required. Although the wardrobe was a good size, drawer spaces were a bit small. There were two safes in the suite plus a flat panel TV and coffee machine that would supply a variety of hot drinks. The balcony was provided with two sun loungers and a small table. Occasionally we experienced smut landing on the area.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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