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We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. There always seemed to be the same choices and the flavors were monotonous. One night they advertised a seafood buffet and had a picture of shrimp. We felt really mislead when we found only fish and some Paella. They had no other seafood. We were doubly disappointed when we talked to guests from a neighboring ship who delighted in being served king crab legs on their ship's buffet. Azura, one of the complimentary dining rooms, had some better choices for dinner most nights, but we found it mediocre at best. The service was super slow in Azura. It took about 90 minutes to get thru dinner. Several meals were way too salty, so much so they were inedible. Other items were super spicey. We thought they should indicate on the menu when something would be spicy hot. The waiters in several restaurants routinely took a drink order from one person and ignored everyone else at the table. It was as if they were not trained to go around the table and ask if everyone wanted iced tea so they could bring it all at once. As a result they spent too much time going back and forth just bringing one tea at a time and racing off before anyone else could ask for one too. Little things like cream cheese and lox were absent from the buffet. There was never a big chocolate night like on other ships. There were not enough chairs and tables in the buffet so we had to circle like sharks looking for a spot. I expect that on Carnival but not on Norwegian. The entire dining experience was frustrating. Even using room service fell short. We ordered tea and coffee and they brought cream but no sugar. We had an early excursion and didn't have time to wait for a re-delivery. The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. The entertainment, Cirque show and the Tina Turner tribute were both great shows. Reynaldo, one of the bar waiters was awesome. He was a funny, friendly face each day. He learned our names and took an interest in us. Bingo cost upwards of $39 to play. The beer and wine tastings were $20 plus 18% gratuity. We just didn't want to pay that much. $5 bingo would have suited us better. We traveled with one person in a wheel chair. The hallways were sometimes tough for her to negotiate because the cleaning staff had trash bags, ice coolers and vacuums in the halls. As for excursions, we booked two thru the ship and two thru another web site. We had a great experience with both excursions booked elsewhere. We even saved about $10 per person on those tours. Of the 2 tours we booked thru the ship, one was fine and one fell short. The whale watching in Victoria was the one that didn't measure up. We spent about 75 minutes getting to the whales and 75 minutes returning, with only 30 minutes to whale watch. They only stopped the boat once, and only for a few minutes, so we were stuck trying to take pics while moving and breathing engine fumes. When we came back to Shore we had to circle for 45 minutes because the operator didn't have a dock far enough away from other cruise ships coming in. We had to wait till the big ships docked before we could get in. This took time away from shopping and left us just bobbing around waiting. We did use the I concierge app to text each other on the ship. I would give it 3 stars out of 5. It sometimes would not alert us when a text came in. It gave a few of us a running total of our daily expenditures, but for some of us this didn't work.

The food was sub par

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Dancinbear9

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. There always seemed to be the same choices and the flavors were monotonous. One night they advertised a seafood buffet and had a picture of shrimp. We felt really mislead when we found only fish and some Paella. They had no other seafood. We were doubly disappointed when we talked to guests from a neighboring ship who delighted in being served king crab legs on their ship's buffet. Azura, one of the complimentary dining rooms, had some better choices for dinner most nights, but we found it mediocre at best. The service was super slow in Azura. It took about 90 minutes to get thru dinner. Several meals were way too salty, so much so they were inedible. Other items were super spicey. We thought they should indicate on the menu when something would be spicy hot. The waiters in several restaurants routinely took a drink order from one person and ignored everyone else at the table. It was as if they were not trained to go around the table and ask if everyone wanted iced tea so they could bring it all at once. As a result they spent too much time going back and forth just bringing one tea at a time and racing off before anyone else could ask for one too. Little things like cream cheese and lox were absent from the buffet. There was never a big chocolate night like on other ships. There were not enough chairs and tables in the buffet so we had to circle like sharks looking for a spot. I expect that on Carnival but not on Norwegian. The entire dining experience was frustrating. Even using room service fell short. We ordered tea and coffee and they brought cream but no sugar. We had an early excursion and didn't have time to wait for a re-delivery.

The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. The entertainment, Cirque show and the Tina Turner tribute were both great shows. Reynaldo, one of the bar waiters was awesome. He was a funny, friendly face each day. He learned our names and took an interest in us.

Bingo cost upwards of $39 to play. The beer and wine tastings were $20 plus 18% gratuity. We just didn't want to pay that much. $5 bingo would have suited us better.

We traveled with one person in a wheel chair. The hallways were sometimes tough for her to negotiate because the cleaning staff had trash bags, ice coolers and vacuums in the halls.

As for excursions, we booked two thru the ship and two thru another web site. We had a great experience with both excursions booked elsewhere. We even saved about $10 per person on those tours. Of the 2 tours we booked thru the ship, one was fine and one fell short. The whale watching in Victoria was the one that didn't measure up. We spent about 75 minutes getting to the whales and 75 minutes returning, with only 30 minutes to whale watch. They only stopped the boat once, and only for a few minutes, so we were stuck trying to take pics while moving and breathing engine fumes. When we came back to Shore we had to circle for 45 minutes because the operator didn't have a dock far enough away from other cruise ships coming in. We had to wait till the big ships docked before we could get in. This took time away from shopping and left us just bobbing around waiting.

We did use the I concierge app to text each other on the ship. I would give it 3 stars out of 5. It sometimes would not alert us when a text came in. It gave a few of us a running total of our daily expenditures, but for some of us this didn't work.
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IB 9603
The cabin was very nice. Our room was always clean and we always had fresh ice. We had enough storage space. The linens were nice. The bathroom was larger than on some other lines. Our cabin service was 5 star!
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews