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This was our second tour of duty on the Jewel, first time was on an Alaskan cruise in July 2016. I like the Jewel as it's easy to navigate and doesn't have endless corridors like those mega ships. Embarkation was pretty quick. Lots of parking at the cruise terminal ($18/day) and after dropping off our luggage, we were on the ship within 10-minutes. With this itinerary, we were going to a much warmer climate, so there was a more vibrant crowd, and it was during Spring Break. There were a significant amount of children on this cruise and during the sea days, it was chaotic. Kids (mostly boys 8-14 years old) running amuck down the halls, through the buffet, up and down the stairs, without any regard to noise or other people. Where were their parents? Probably lounging around the pool, forgetting they have kids. Entertainment was the same as on our Alaskan cruise, it was boring! Band on the Run and Le Cirque Bijou were modified slightly, two new comedians, David Naster who thankfully was super funny, Steven Scott however was dry, and of course the Russian couple with their acrobatic moves. Side note: If you are able bodied, please do not sit in the seats clearly marked for those with disabilities, please!. Dining was very standard NCL, we had the specialty dining package and ate at Cagney’s which is always delicious and twice at Moderno. The Garden Café (buffet) as always, will get hectic, especially during sea days. People seem to lose all sense of composure and manners at a buffet; the food will not run out people, it’s not your last meal! Since we were redeeming a comp cruise certificate, it entitled us to an interior stateroom. We usually stay in a balcony stateroom but, the upgrade fee was nearly equivalent to a full fare at $800, and not the difference between the price of an interior room to balcony which was $149 per, and for that, I was disappointed. But, it ended up working out great, and if anything we slept well and slept in as the room was super dark. During debarkation, a lot of people choose to do the self service walk out at 8am, probably were all local folks, but they started at about 7:50am The line was pretty long and there was another line to take the one escalator and one elevator. All in all, we were at our car by 8:15am. There were also a couple new policies implemented, such as prohibiting any bottled water, soda, to be brought on to the ship (so you can buy theirs and pay the premium prices) and the dress code at Tsar’s Palace, gentlemen MUST wear a collared shirt and pants. They didn’t have a dress code before, why now? It’s called “Freestyle” cruising after all, right? Overall, this was our 4th cruise on NCL, after graduating from Carnival, and I’m starting to feel the NCL experience is turning into Carnival, so it might be time to move on.

Mexican Riviera 4/2 - 4/9

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by norcalnick

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our second tour of duty on the Jewel, first time was on an Alaskan cruise in July 2016. I like the Jewel as it's easy to navigate and doesn't have endless corridors like those mega ships.

Embarkation was pretty quick. Lots of parking at the cruise terminal ($18/day) and after dropping off our luggage, we were on the ship within 10-minutes.

With this itinerary, we were going to a much warmer climate, so there was a more vibrant crowd, and it was during Spring Break. There were a significant amount of children on this cruise and during the sea days, it was chaotic. Kids (mostly boys 8-14 years old) running amuck down the halls, through the buffet, up and down the stairs, without any regard to noise or other people. Where were their parents? Probably lounging around the pool, forgetting they have kids.

Entertainment was the same as on our Alaskan cruise, it was boring! Band on the Run and Le Cirque Bijou were modified slightly, two new comedians, David Naster who thankfully was super funny, Steven Scott however was dry, and of course the Russian couple with their acrobatic moves. Side note: If you are able bodied, please do not sit in the seats clearly marked for those with disabilities, please!.

Dining was very standard NCL, we had the specialty dining package and ate at Cagney’s which is always delicious and twice at Moderno. The Garden Café (buffet) as always, will get hectic, especially during sea days. People seem to lose all sense of composure and manners at a buffet; the food will not run out people, it’s not your last meal!

Since we were redeeming a comp cruise certificate, it entitled us to an interior stateroom. We usually stay in a balcony stateroom but, the upgrade fee was nearly equivalent to a full fare at $800, and not the difference between the price of an interior room to balcony which was $149 per, and for that, I was disappointed. But, it ended up working out great, and if anything we slept well and slept in as the room was super dark.

During debarkation, a lot of people choose to do the self service walk out at 8am, probably were all local folks, but they started at about 7:50am The line was pretty long and there was another line to take the one escalator and one elevator. All in all, we were at our car by 8:15am.

There were also a couple new policies implemented, such as prohibiting any bottled water, soda, to be brought on to the ship (so you can buy theirs and pay the premium prices) and the dress code at Tsar’s Palace, gentlemen MUST wear a collared shirt and pants. They didn’t have a dress code before, why now? It’s called “Freestyle” cruising after all, right?

Overall, this was our 4th cruise on NCL, after graduating from Carnival, and I’m starting to feel the NCL experience is turning into Carnival, so it might be time to move on.
norcalnick’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IX 10653
ADA stateroom, with a door wide enough to fit my scooter, and not have to navigate the Panama Canal, with the standard stateroom doors. Only two outlets at the desk, so bring an extension cord if you want to charge your phone by your bed. Bathroom was adequate, with a roll in shower, and grab bars everywhere. The shower seat was difficult to figure out but, once you figured it out, it was easy. TV programming is minimal, MSNBC which seems to only show "Lockup," Fox News, BBC America, and recurring programming/movies.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    There was a lot to see and do once you arrived at the port via tender. My scooter (Smart Scoot) is portable so we had no issues using the tender. We walked (scooted!) all the way around to a nice mall, then made our way back and ate at Tacos Locos off the main road. It's located near a Senor Frogs. The food was delicious and cheap! Do yourself a favor and skip Senor Frogs and Cabo Wabo, get some authentic Mexican food, after all, you're in Mexico! In terms of accessibility for my fellow scooter or wheelchair folks, it was super easy. Cabo was 98% ADA friendly and had no trouble at all whatsoever getting around.
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  • Mazatlan
    We took a taxi from the port and the driver was kind enough to take us on a tour of the city for a few more dollars before dropping us to the Golden Zone. From there, it was a nice walk (or scoot!) along the boardwalk until we decided to just hail another taxi back to the ship. For those using a scooter, I had no issues, except some "ramps" if you call it that, to the stores were so steep or, some just didn't have any.
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  • Puerto Vallarta
    We tried heading towards town by foot (or scooter) but it was difficult for me as a lot of the curbs were narrow, or started/ended with no ramp. So, we just turned around and went to the mall and Wal Mart across the street, which was probably THE cleanest and most organized Wal Mart I've ever been to! TIP: Get your PV souvenirs here, they are much cheaper!
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