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This was our 7th cruise with NCL and third time to Alaska. Overall it was a wonderful vacation, but I really noticed the cutbacks on this trip. The crew was very good and the ship was lovely but the first missing perk was noticed the first night when we got to our cabin after dinner. No more Andes chocolate mints on the pillow before bed. (Not a huge deal, but yeah, I always loved that!) The first sea day was nice, but the second budget cut was noticed here. Arts and Crafts used to be much better. Now it's pretty much just 3 days of origami, and the other crafts were prepackaged journal, memory box and cards. Really nothing crafty to learn. In fact most craft classes they gave out the package and said "The instructions are inside and it's just stickers, have fun" and left. Years past I learned how to make earrings, wine glass markers, flowered hair clips, you know.... actual crafts. This was kind of sad. The ports were great and the kids adored the Splash Academy. The shows were good too. (although I missed the comedian's show) I really enjoyed the Bijou Circus and the magician. Another missing perk was the lack of lobster night. I don't care for it, but my husband was bummed about this. I thought the food was really good and we ate at the specialty restaurant twice (Cagney's and La Cucina ) Both of those were nice, but I liked the food in the main dining just as much so couldn't justify paying extra. The other difference I noticed was the latitudes party. They used to give us a letter that you'd turn in and they'd do drawings for prizes. Not anymore, now it was pretty much just a chance to get a drink and listen to them try to convince you to put down a new cruise deposit. Even the hors d'oeuvrs were pitiful. It was just cubes of cheese and water crackers!! It was the most boring Lat party I have ever seen!! Anyway, our group had a great time, and I know we will cruise again, but just wish it was more like the past.

A wonderful trip, but missed many of the old perks

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Gilbert Cruisers

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
This was our 7th cruise with NCL and third time to Alaska. Overall it was a wonderful vacation, but I really noticed the cutbacks on this trip. The crew was very good and the ship was lovely but the first missing perk was noticed the first night when we got to our cabin after dinner. No more Andes chocolate mints on the pillow before bed. (Not a huge deal, but yeah, I always loved that!) The first sea day was nice, but the second budget cut was noticed here. Arts and Crafts used to be much better. Now it's pretty much just 3 days of origami, and the other crafts were prepackaged journal, memory box and cards. Really nothing crafty to learn. In fact most craft classes they gave out the package and said "The instructions are inside and it's just stickers, have fun" and left. Years past I learned how to make earrings, wine glass markers, flowered hair clips, you know.... actual crafts. This was kind of sad. The ports were great and the kids adored the Splash Academy. The shows were good too. (although I missed the comedian's show) I really enjoyed the Bijou Circus and the magician. Another missing perk was the lack of lobster night. I don't care for it, but my husband was bummed about this. I thought the food was really good and we ate at the specialty restaurant twice (Cagney's and La Cucina ) Both of those were nice, but I liked the food in the main dining just as much so couldn't justify paying extra.

The other difference I noticed was the latitudes party. They used to give us a letter that you'd turn in and they'd do drawings for prizes. Not anymore, now it was pretty much just a chance to get a drink and listen to them try to convince you to put down a new cruise deposit. Even the hors d'oeuvrs were pitiful. It was just cubes of cheese and water crackers!! It was the most boring Lat party I have ever seen!!

Anyway, our group had a great time, and I know we will cruise again, but just wish it was more like the past.
Gilbert Cruisers’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B2 9130
We originally booked an inside cabin, but got a chance to bid on an upgrade. We put in a moderate bid for a balcony and were happily surprised that it was accepted. With 2 kids also in the cabin I am so glad we got the balcony!! The extra space was so needed!
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mendenhall Glacier
    This was a fabulous tour with the exception that the time at Mendenhall was much too short. We decided to hike out to Nugget Falls and barely got back to the van in time. We never did get to see the visitors center! Our guide was funny and informative. He also took us over to Douglas Island to get a great picture of our ship.
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  • Ketchikan
    Didn't have a planned excursion, just walked up to Creek Street. Took the Married man's trail up to the salomon ladders (didn't see any salomon) It was a nice walk. Then because it was raining we went to the Alaska Discovery Center.
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    NCL really has the best Seattle port. The other 2 cruise ship docks are further north and not anywhere near as pretty. Pier 66 is lovely!
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  • Skagway
    We had been here before and took the train, so decided to rent a car (from Avis) and 7 of us took off into the wilds of Alaska and Canada. We drove the Klondike highway all the was up to Emerald Lake. Spent about an hour in Carcross and had lunch. Followed a very helpful mile post guide I found on the internet and made tons of stops. It was a gorgeous day!!!! Got a wonderful tour for the 7 of us for only $200!!! So amazing
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  • Butchart Gardens
    The garden tour through NCL as more expensive and super crowded (my Aunt and Uncle went with them as they had excursion credit) We went with CVS and it was a smaller group (23 of us) a roomy bus and we got a little bit longer visit. The gardens were spectacular and I would totally go again!
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