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We are frequent cruisers (more than 50), so many of our cruises are last minute and just getaway vacations. This was the case on the Jewel. That said, it was our first cruise on this ship and we were pleasantly surprised. Many reviews question the food and/or service, but we found both to be more than satisfying. We had most of our meals in Tsar's Palace (one of the main complimentary dining rooms). With only one exception (the first night), we found the food to be very nice. Certainly not gourmet, but well prepared. We found comfort food and interesting new choices. We also took a galley tour and head chef, Patrick, was very gracious and explained the entire food prep process. He was kind enough to come to our table the last night to give me a recipe for napoleons, that I had inquired about. We also dined in two specialty dining rooms, Le Bistro, which is a favorite of ours, and La Cucina, their Italian restaurant. Le Bistro continues to shine; their four mushroom soup is exquisite. Salmon in that restaurant is exceptional. We have dined in this restaurant on many ships and have never been disappointed. La Cucina was also very good, but I find Italian food more comfort than gourmet. I still love it, but it's generally not awe inspiring. The buffet was actually very nice on this ship. Lots of different stations, always a bar-b-que and outdoor grill and an aft outside area. The selections were very good and soft serve ice cream machines were available in several spots - important for those with kids. Service was very good in all the dining venues. The staff on board seemed to be very friendly and accommodating, something that is hit or miss on most cruises. It may be because the Captain was the most friendly and communicative captain we have ever sailed with. Captain Pelle seemed to be everywhere and willing to engage with passengers at every opportunity. As most do, he was at the welcome show, the farewell show and at some "meet and greets". But, he was also at the dance party and danced with several passengers. He appeared on the dock at Victoria to provide pictures; he was friendly, funny and available. We had a medical emergency on our sail from Skagway to Victoria that required a detour to Prince Rupert to evacuate a passenger. The captain and staff communicated with us through the entire ordeal. The detour changed our arrival in Victoria from 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The original schedule provided the Victoria stop was 2:30 - 9:30 p.m. Obviously most shore excursions were cancelled and we wondered if we would have ANY time in Victoria (a favorite stop). The Captain arranged an extension for our time there and we left at 12:30 a.m. That allowed those who had not been to Victoria to see the city at night and experience the beautiful sights in town. Some small shops remained open and, of course, the pubs were available. The production company aboard this cruise was exceptionally talented. The shows were heavily infused with "Cirque" type performances. You expect good singers and dancers, but many did double duty as flyers, acrobats and bungee artists. Jocko and Marie were special performers who did strength moves, gymnastic balance and flyer acts that truly amazed. Some of the production singers and dancers did separate shows and they were all fantastic. The Cruise Director, Richard Matic was very good! We have sailed with him before and he has grown into his role very well. He also seemed to be everywhere. There were not many children on board, but those that were seemed to be having a great time. They have a children's program and several areas just for them. We did not do any shore excursions this trip, but on previous cruises we have taken the tram to Mt Roberts in Juneau, zip-lined in Ketchikan, rode the White Horse Pass train in Skagway and can recommend all of them. Generally you can buy them cheaper off ship, but you must do what makes you comfortable. Both embarkation and debarkation went swiftly, but we are platinum members, so we get priority in both areas. However, there did not seem to be an issues and people were able to board or debark fairly smoothly.

Stress Free - Lots to do and See

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Fortressgirl

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
We are frequent cruisers (more than 50), so many of our cruises are last minute and just getaway vacations. This was the case on the Jewel. That said, it was our first cruise on this ship and we were pleasantly surprised. Many reviews question the food and/or service, but we found both to be more than satisfying. We had most of our meals in Tsar's Palace (one of the main complimentary dining rooms). With only one exception (the first night), we found the food to be very nice. Certainly not gourmet, but well prepared. We found comfort food and interesting new choices. We also took a galley tour and head chef, Patrick, was very gracious and explained the entire food prep process. He was kind enough to come to our table the last night to give me a recipe for napoleons, that I had inquired about. We also dined in two specialty dining rooms, Le Bistro, which is a favorite of ours, and La Cucina, their Italian restaurant. Le Bistro continues to shine; their four mushroom soup is exquisite. Salmon in that restaurant is exceptional. We have dined in this restaurant on many ships and have never been disappointed. La Cucina was also very good, but I find Italian food more comfort than gourmet. I still love it, but it's generally not awe inspiring. The buffet was actually very nice on this ship. Lots of different stations, always a bar-b-que and outdoor grill and an aft outside area. The selections were very good and soft serve ice cream machines were available in several spots - important for those with kids.

Service was very good in all the dining venues. The staff on board seemed to be very friendly and accommodating, something that is hit or miss on most cruises. It may be because the Captain was the most friendly and communicative captain we have ever sailed with. Captain Pelle seemed to be everywhere and willing to engage with passengers at every opportunity. As most do, he was at the welcome show, the farewell show and at some "meet and greets". But, he was also at the dance party and danced with several passengers. He appeared on the dock at Victoria to provide pictures; he was friendly, funny and available. We had a medical emergency on our sail from Skagway to Victoria that required a detour to Prince Rupert to evacuate a passenger. The captain and staff communicated with us through the entire ordeal. The detour changed our arrival in Victoria from 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The original schedule provided the Victoria stop was 2:30 - 9:30 p.m. Obviously most shore excursions were cancelled and we wondered if we would have ANY time in Victoria (a favorite stop). The Captain arranged an extension for our time there and we left at 12:30 a.m. That allowed those who had not been to Victoria to see the city at night and experience the beautiful sights in town. Some small shops remained open and, of course, the pubs were available.

The production company aboard this cruise was exceptionally talented. The shows were heavily infused with "Cirque" type performances. You expect good singers and dancers, but many did double duty as flyers, acrobats and bungee artists. Jocko and Marie were special performers who did strength moves, gymnastic balance and flyer acts that truly amazed. Some of the production singers and dancers did separate shows and they were all fantastic. The Cruise Director, Richard Matic was very good! We have sailed with him before and he has grown into his role very well. He also seemed to be everywhere.

There were not many children on board, but those that were seemed to be having a great time. They have a children's program and several areas just for them.

We did not do any shore excursions this trip, but on previous cruises we have taken the tram to Mt Roberts in Juneau, zip-lined in Ketchikan, rode the White Horse Pass train in Skagway and can recommend all of them. Generally you can buy them cheaper off ship, but you must do what makes you comfortable.

Both embarkation and debarkation went swiftly, but we are platinum members, so we get priority in both areas. However, there did not seem to be an issues and people were able to board or debark fairly smoothly.
Fortressgirl’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8588
Bear in mind we booked last minute and chose the ocean view guaranty category for price and availability. We are also aware of what each category can be like. So...the cabin was certainly roomy for two of us and storage was plentiful. There are two banks of drawers (6 large ones and 1 desk drawer) and a complete tower of shelves next to the closet. The closet will fit everything you have. There are also extra shelves above the TV and above the desk. Here's the caveat...this cabin can accommodate four; one bunk and one trundle besides the 2 main twin beds. However, if four people sleep in this cabin, it can be a tight situation. Obviously, if the price is right, and you are a family with two small children, you can work it out. Wouldn't recommend it for older children. We asked our room steward to separate the beds into two ( it was originally put together for Queen). When the bed is together you risk hitting a knee on the desk. Walk around room is limited with that configuration. The cabin is almost fully obstructed by a lifeboat, but there are two half windows (long and narrow). You can see over the top, but if a view is important to you, choose another cabin. We were only concerned about the daylight, so it served our purpose. The bathroom, while small, is divided into three separated areas (glass doors). The shower area is great, big enough for most, and having a glass shower door instead of a curtain is wonderful. Water pressure is very good and it has a hand held shower head that can be placed in the holder. Make sure to test temperature first, it can get hot fast. Shampoo and shower gel dispensers are on the shower wall. Bar soap is also provided. The one area that is problematic is the toilet area. Since it is walled off, it is VERY tight. Larger bodies or folks with mobility issues could find it challenging. There is a bar for balance, but on the left side one tends to take hold of the bathroom door opening...DON'T DO That! My finger was there when my husband tried to access the closet, closed the door and my screams quickly alerted him that he was in trouble. ;-) I will live, but I would be very alert with small children. It is a bad design. This cabin is located on deck 8, mid-ship, close to O'Sheehan's and the main atrium. It's on a corner, so there is no cabin next to you on one side. It is a great location, no noise, but close to a bank of elevators. I would recommend it, but with the caveats I mentioned above.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins