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This could have been a 5 star review, but a couple of glitches and the company's policies dropped it to a 4. First the problems: 1. I was hosting a family group of 7 members. I purchased through the required promo package a 250 minute Internet Package, and 7 specialty dining packages of 3 meals each. In the cruise information paperwork the company clearly showed the internet and meal packages as being part of what we paid for. Nonetheless when we arrived on board the internet package and 5 of the meal packages had not been authorized by the head office in Miami. The personnel on the ship reviewed our paperwork and agreed we had clearly purchased and were entitled to the packages, but Miami would have to authorize them. It took several trips to the Cruise service desk and several hours of my time to get this straightened out. The ship personnel did their best, but were not allowed by Miami to clear us for the packages, despite my having documentation from NCL that I had arranged and paid for these packages. For the meals, we continually had to sign charges for our meals as though we had not already paid for them. Eventually the cruise line did acknowledge we were being charged in error, and the charges were reversed. 2. NCL cuts corners in odd ways. They serve Pepsi products, and you cannot buy Coca-Cola products on board. Ask for a Coke, get a Pepsi, and get charged for it to boot. I bought a 6-pack of diet Coke ashore, and they tried to confiscate it from me on my return to the ship. When I complained that I had repeatedly tried to buy Diet Coke aboard but they wouldn't let me, they finally let me keep it. Also, if you ask for cream for your coffee, you will get skim or low fat milk. If you ask for half-and-half in a restaurant, they will say, "Yes, cream." And they will bring the milk anyway. After our repeated requests, they finally started putting out the small individual half-and-half containers. 3. In common I guess with most cruise lines, the shore excursions are highly marked up. I was told by tour operators that NCL charges them 20% to send them passengers, and in the case of going fishing in Ketchikan for Halibut and King Salmon, the charge published was $499 per person. For $500 I was able to directly book fishing for both my son-in-law and myself, and we had a great time for half the price. 4. For our pictures, we were repeatedly told they would give us our pictures on a memory stick. They didn't tell us there would be a $20 charge for the stick. They should have told us. For the good: There is lots to appreciate and applaud: 1. The cabins were tastefully decorated and comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Lots of room for luggage under the beds. We had 3 people in one cabin, and 4 in another. There was adequate room for all, and it worked out well. Our room steward was very efficient and unobtrusive, while at the same time being very genial. Nice job, Mr. Charles! 2. The food was incomparable. Gourmet in the specialty restaurants, and impeccably served. There is a large open buffet on deck 12 which is open almost all the time. The food there was very efficiently presented, and very good, though not gourmet as in the specialty dining rooms. But the convenience was awesome! There are 16 total venues for eating ranging from casual with hamburgers and hot dogs all the way to the gourmet. The food service department is very well run. SPECIAL COMMENT: The drinking water served in the dining rooms is delicious. I was happy drinking it as a beverage. 3. In 4 cruises total, this is the first time I have had opportunity to talk with the ship's senior officers. The Head of the Hotel Department was constantly present making sure things were going well. He was very approachable, and happy to chat. There was a Question and Answer session with the Captain, the Head of Engineering, and the Hotel Director announced ahead of time, which was well attended. Nice job, Captain Kenneth, Head of Engineering Ivan, and Hotel Director Steven. 4. We had 2 teenagers, 14 and 16, in our group. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the Entourage Club, where parents are not allowed. There were all sorts of activities for them, and they were delighted with the experience. NCL does a nice job of having a family oriented program. 5. There are several entertainment spots, with a range of atmospheres, ranging from quite casual to surprisingly ornate. For 2600 guests, there is a very nice theater which seats just over a thousand guests. It is astounding. All the seats have good views. There is a large stage, and the shows I saw were amazing. It is very well done. 6. There is a very well equipped gym and work-out room. There are 11 treadmills, 4 or 5 elliptical machines, and a large variety of weight and resistance machines. There is also a large rack of free weights, starting at 5 pounds, and going well heavier than I wanted to mess with. I spend a lot of time in the gym at home, and they had everything I wanted.. There is also a basketball/ tennis/whatever court, as well as an outdoor jogging track. There are a couple of golf practice areas enclosed by nets. Deck 7, the promenade deck, has a continuous deck about a third of a mile around, so those who wish to walk have a good area for it. 7. There is a well equipped library, and a nice card room. 8. Part of our cruise was in the Pacific, and there were some swells running. The ship has a stabilizer system which appeared to be working well. From time to time we could feel some movement, but nothing objectionable. 9. NCL has the Embarkation and Debarking process very well organized. All-in-all we had a very good experience. If not for the Administrative problems I would have cheerfully rated the cruise as a 5. I do recommend Norwegian Cruise Line, in spite of the problems.

Very good, should have been better.

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Rustypilot

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Oceanview Picture Window
This could have been a 5 star review, but a couple of glitches and the company's policies dropped it to a 4.

First the problems:

1. I was hosting a family group of 7 members. I purchased through the required promo package a 250 minute Internet Package, and 7 specialty dining packages of 3 meals each. In the cruise information paperwork the company clearly showed the internet and meal packages as being part of what we paid for. Nonetheless when we arrived on board the internet package and 5 of the meal packages had not been authorized by the head office in Miami. The personnel on the ship reviewed our paperwork and agreed we had clearly purchased and were entitled to the packages, but Miami would have to authorize them. It took several trips to the Cruise service desk and several hours of my time to get this straightened out. The ship personnel did their best, but were not allowed by Miami to clear us for the packages, despite my having documentation from NCL that I had arranged and paid for these packages. For the meals, we continually had to sign charges for our meals as though we had not already paid for them. Eventually the cruise line did acknowledge we were being charged in error, and the charges were reversed.

2. NCL cuts corners in odd ways. They serve Pepsi products, and you cannot buy Coca-Cola products on board. Ask for a Coke, get a Pepsi, and get charged for it to boot. I bought a 6-pack of diet Coke ashore, and they tried to confiscate it from me on my return to the ship. When I complained that I had repeatedly tried to buy Diet Coke aboard but they wouldn't let me, they finally let me keep it.

Also, if you ask for cream for your coffee, you will get skim or low fat milk. If you ask for half-and-half in a restaurant, they will say, "Yes, cream." And they will bring the milk anyway. After our repeated requests, they finally started putting out the small individual half-and-half containers.

3. In common I guess with most cruise lines, the shore excursions are highly marked up. I was told by tour operators that NCL charges them 20% to send them passengers, and in the case of going fishing in Ketchikan for Halibut and King Salmon, the charge published was $499 per person. For $500 I was able to directly book fishing for both my son-in-law and myself, and we had a great time for half the price.

4. For our pictures, we were repeatedly told they would give us our pictures on a memory stick. They didn't tell us there would be a $20 charge for the stick. They should have told us.

For the good: There is lots to appreciate and applaud:

1. The cabins were tastefully decorated and comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Lots of room for luggage under the beds. We had 3 people in one cabin, and 4 in another. There was adequate room for all, and it worked out well. Our room steward was very efficient and unobtrusive, while at the same time being very genial. Nice job, Mr. Charles!

2. The food was incomparable. Gourmet in the specialty restaurants, and impeccably served. There is a large open buffet on deck 12 which is open almost all the time. The food there was very efficiently presented, and very good, though not gourmet as in the specialty dining rooms. But the convenience was awesome! There are 16 total venues for eating ranging from casual with hamburgers and hot dogs all the way to the gourmet. The food service department is very well run. SPECIAL COMMENT: The drinking water served in the dining rooms is delicious. I was happy drinking it as a beverage.

3. In 4 cruises total, this is the first time I have had opportunity to talk with the ship's senior officers. The Head of the Hotel Department was constantly present making sure things were going well. He was very approachable, and happy to chat. There was a Question and Answer session with the Captain, the Head of Engineering, and the Hotel Director announced ahead of time, which was well attended. Nice job, Captain Kenneth, Head of Engineering Ivan, and Hotel Director Steven.

4. We had 2 teenagers, 14 and 16, in our group. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the Entourage Club, where parents are not allowed. There were all sorts of activities for them, and they were delighted with the experience. NCL does a nice job of having a family oriented program.

5. There are several entertainment spots, with a range of atmospheres, ranging from quite casual to surprisingly ornate. For 2600 guests, there is a very nice theater which seats just over a thousand guests. It is astounding. All the seats have good views. There is a large stage, and the shows I saw were amazing. It is very well done.

6. There is a very well equipped gym and work-out room. There are 11 treadmills, 4 or 5 elliptical machines, and a large variety of weight and resistance machines. There is also a large rack of free weights, starting at 5 pounds, and going well heavier than I wanted to mess with. I spend a lot of time in the gym at home, and they had everything I wanted.. There is also a basketball/ tennis/whatever court, as well as an outdoor jogging track. There are a couple of golf practice areas enclosed by nets. Deck 7, the promenade deck, has a continuous deck about a third of a mile around, so those who wish to walk have a good area for it.

7. There is a well equipped library, and a nice card room.

8. Part of our cruise was in the Pacific, and there were some swells running. The ship has a stabilizer system which appeared to be working well. From time to time we could feel some movement, but nothing objectionable.

9. NCL has the Embarkation and Debarking process very well organized.

All-in-all we had a very good experience. If not for the Administrative problems I would have cheerfully rated the cruise as a 5. I do recommend Norwegian Cruise Line, in spite of the problems.
Rustypilot’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Family Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin O1 5067/5068
With 7 of us, we had the 3 guys in an inside cabin and the 4 ladies in the outside Oceanview room across the hall.
Both cabins had 2 twin beds which could be made into a queen sized bed, and a pull down bunk over one of the twin beds. This was good for 3 people, but not good for 4. The ladies had a trundle bed between the twin beds. Having a second pull down bunk would have worked out much better for them. There was plenty of room for a 4th bed.

If we do this again, I will choose a balcony room for the 4 gals, and a facing inside room for the 3 of us guys. According to the sales information, the balcony rooms are about 50 square feet larger than the room our ladies had. They could have used the space, especially with the trundle bed.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins