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

I remember when cruising used to be something special!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by noni6

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2017
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside

Unfortunately, this cruise started out poorly and never really got much better. My husband has an issue with standing for extended periods of time, so we requested an "assisted boarding". I made sure we had the documentation stating we requested the assisted boarding but that didn't help. When we arrived, I requested assistance but was told to have him sit on the concrete benches while I stood in line and someone would help me once we got inside. Well, that didn't happen. The women at the door only wanted to look at my boarding paperwork and push us along to another long line and up the escalator to another long line to the search and X-ray station. Yes, along the way, I showed my paperwork and repeatedly requested assistance to no avail. One women said, "Oh, yes, just get in this line and once you are checked in, someone with assist you." Well, at this point, mad and frustrated, I left my husband in line and went to the front of the line and asked the gentleman guiding people to the next window for help! He waived to the manager and she called me over. Although, she did check us in right then, she made no comment or apology. She just sent us over to sit and wait for assistance. We sat there and watched all of the people in the very long line board the ship. We have been on 10 cruises and the friends we were with have been on 18 cruises and neither one of us have ever seen this kind of lack of customer service. It will definitely be something we consider when choose a cruise line in the future.

As far as rating the ship, cabin, entertainment, ports, excursions and service, I would have to say, they were just okay with one exception. On the Puerto Quetzal - Casa Santo Domingo & Antiqua (PRQJ1811) shore excursion, we rode the bus for over an hour and a half to be dropped off in the Antigua town square. We then walked and walked and walked. Yes, we were aware of the amount of walking we would be doing, but because the bus couldn't get down many of the street because of the width, it also couldn't get down the rest of the streets due to road maintenance. Our tour consisted of basically walking around the entire town square trying to get back to the bus. Yes, we were with the tour guide but because we had to do all the extra walking, we didn't have any time to visit anything with one exception- the Jade shop. We were very short on time at this point so our visit to the coffee planation was very brief. You couldn't see everything.

A few glaring negatives; dining room service was extremely slow, not enough outside covered seating, lack of service in the lido buffet, everything is an extra cost, movie in theater was repetitive, the food at Chin Chin and O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill was uneatable, and now you can't even bring on a bottle of water or bottle of wine without an extra charge.

We originally chose Norwegian based on a pleasant past experience. Yes, it was several years ago and things do change, but we weren't prepared for this type of change. Overall, I would have to say, we were disappointed. Would we choose Norwegian in the future, with so many other options out there, I don't think so!


noni6's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IB 9577

The cabins are small but the configuration works good enough. The mattress was worn out and the extra foam we requested did little to help. The bathroom was fine but could use an electrical outlet for a hair. Yew, there is one my the mirror in the room but the lighting isn't great. The shower was nice in that you could get in and out without any obstructions. Overall, the cabin was adequate.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Miami

I marked- No to taking an excursion in Miami. Nothing to review.

The carriage ride was fine. The traffic was bad so we sat in the sun and listened to car honking to get the horse to move.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Rainforest Tour

It was okay. The food was just okay. We did enjoy the tour guide.

View All 28 Rainforest Tour Reviews
Snorkeling

Cold and murky water but the tour guides were very pleasant and wanted everyone to have a good time. They apologized for the murky water and took us on a little excursion around the rocks. You can't blame the tour company for the water or weather. It's called mother nature!!

View All 9 Snorkeling Reviews
Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

On the Puerto Quetzal - Casa Santo Domingo & Antiqua (PRQJ1811) shore excursion, we rode the bus for over an hour and a half to be dropped off in the Antigua town square. We then walked and walked and walked. Yes, we were aware of the amount of walking we would be doing, but because the bus couldn't get down many of the street because of the width, it also couldn't get down the rest of the streets due to road maintenance. Our tour consisted of basically walking around the entire town square trying to get back to the bus. Yes, we were with the tour guide but because we had to do all the extra walking, we didn't have any time to visit anything with one exception- the Jade shop. We were very short on time at this point so our visit to the coffee planation was very brief. You couldn't see everything.


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noni6
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