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I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, Princess, and Holland America. NCL fell short of all of these lines, particularly Disney. Here are the pro's and con's. Pro's - Large stateroom (it was handicap accessible outside cabin) - Bacon was available all day at the Garden Buffet (who doesn't need bacon all day?) - Friendly, responsive room stewards. - Good bar staff at O'Sheehan's. - Really tasty Indian food at the Garden Buffet. Con's - Service in free dining rooms (Tsar's Palace, Azura, Chin Chin) was SLOW and wait staff was not very responsive. - Too many added-cost dining rooms and too few free dining rooms. - Food at Chin Chin was horrible - not even up to par with someplace like Panda Express - seriously, don't waste your time. - The wait staff at some of the free restaurants can be surly at times. - Carpets were threadbare in cabin and in certain parts of ship - although they were replacing the common area carpets while we were there - which meant places were often off limits, and smelled of chemicals. - The third/fourth person beds were NOT converted back during daytime, nor were bedspreads put back on beds - I mean, why pay for a cabin with a sofa if the sofa was NEVER usable as a sofa! - The food in the free dining rooms was ALWAYS delivered lukewarm/cold to the table - have you ever had cold Eggs Benedict? - Sodas have to be served by bar servers, which means standing in line at bars, even if you have purchased the soda option (unless you're at one of the full-service restaurants). - The menus in the main restaurants have little variety. - The ship was always rocking, despite calm seas. - The onboard communication in the app, which costs $9.95, worked rarely, and some parts of the ship were completely "dead" zones. - The activity list in the app was incomplete. - There were large chunks of the day where there seemed to be no activities. - The karaoke software didn't work for during at least three of the seven nights. - The flavor of the food overall was not very good. - Too many smoking areas, including on the promenade deck, which is where you want to go to exercise. Facefuls of second-hand smoke are not pleasant. - Smoke free areas were not enforced. - Sanitizing hands prior to entering restaurants was not enforced. Lots of people waltzed right by the crew member holding hand sanitizer. - Activity crew members had very thick accents, making comprehension difficult. - No naturalist - while we were on the way to Dawes Glacier, the activity director read some information on the area, but, because of his thick accent, it was totally incomprehensible. Comparing this cruise to Disney - well, there is basically no way to compare them. Disney is the gold standard, especially if you are travelling with kids or young adults, and if you don't smoke/gamble. Additionally, It seems that all of the effort in dining on this NCL ship goes into the SEVERAL added-cost restaurants. I won't return to this cruise line.

Not Up to Par with Other Cruise Lines

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Dilmemma

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, Princess, and Holland America. NCL fell short of all of these lines, particularly Disney. Here are the pro's and con's.

Pro's

- Large stateroom (it was handicap accessible outside cabin)

- Bacon was available all day at the Garden Buffet (who doesn't need bacon all day?)

- Friendly, responsive room stewards.

- Good bar staff at O'Sheehan's.

- Really tasty Indian food at the Garden Buffet.

Con's

- Service in free dining rooms (Tsar's Palace, Azura, Chin Chin) was SLOW and wait staff was not very responsive.

- Too many added-cost dining rooms and too few free dining rooms.

- Food at Chin Chin was horrible - not even up to par with someplace like Panda Express - seriously, don't waste your time.

- The wait staff at some of the free restaurants can be surly at times.

- Carpets were threadbare in cabin and in certain parts of ship - although they were replacing the common area carpets while we were there - which meant places were often off limits, and smelled of chemicals.

- The third/fourth person beds were NOT converted back during daytime, nor were bedspreads put back on beds - I mean, why pay for a cabin with a sofa if the sofa was NEVER usable as a sofa!

- The food in the free dining rooms was ALWAYS delivered lukewarm/cold to the table - have you ever had cold Eggs Benedict?

- Sodas have to be served by bar servers, which means standing in line at bars, even if you have purchased the soda option (unless you're at one of the full-service restaurants).

- The menus in the main restaurants have little variety.

- The ship was always rocking, despite calm seas.

- The onboard communication in the app, which costs $9.95, worked rarely, and some parts of the ship were completely "dead" zones.

- The activity list in the app was incomplete.

- There were large chunks of the day where there seemed to be no activities.

- The karaoke software didn't work for during at least three of the seven nights.

- The flavor of the food overall was not very good.

- Too many smoking areas, including on the promenade deck, which is where you want to go to exercise. Facefuls of second-hand smoke are not pleasant.

- Smoke free areas were not enforced.

- Sanitizing hands prior to entering restaurants was not enforced. Lots of people waltzed right by the crew member holding hand sanitizer.

- Activity crew members had very thick accents, making comprehension difficult.

- No naturalist - while we were on the way to Dawes Glacier, the activity director read some information on the area, but, because of his thick accent, it was totally incomprehensible.

Comparing this cruise to Disney - well, there is basically no way to compare them. Disney is the gold standard, especially if you are travelling with kids or young adults, and if you don't smoke/gamble. Additionally, It seems that all of the effort in dining on this NCL ship goes into the SEVERAL added-cost restaurants. I won't return to this cruise line.
Dilmemma’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
Cabin OF 8102
The handicapped accessible outside cabin was very roomy, although the third person bunk above the bed was ALWAYS in the way, especially when sleeping on the bed beneath. I cracked my skull on it at least 3 times.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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