Cruised on the Norwegian Jewel for a 5-day getaway from Sydney to Tasmania and return.
We had an aft Penthouse suite, room 10002.
As we were in the Penthouse, wife’s 50th birthday present, we were given preferred boarding and demarcation status which made life very easy. Our concierge could not have been more helpful.
We also had the services of a butler who was extremely polite and helpful, we did not use this service very much as we were slightly uncomfortable getting someone else to do things we could very easily do ourselves, so it’s a service we did not get full benefit from.
Before I get to my 2 complaints about this cruising experience I would like to say that the staff on board, especially the room attendants and bar staff were exemplary, the food in the specialty restaurants were nice but the service and food at the Le Bistro French restaurant was something special, Cagney’s was average, again over cooked dry pork. Modenas Brazilian restaurant was very nice, plenty to eat and we enjoyed the food and service there. Le bistro was easily the best dining experience we had on board.
In the garden café, main food area, the food was plentiful but the cooked meats were always over cooked and the food was only lukewarm. The pastries though were fantastic. No issue with waiting in lines, everything was accessible and tables were found without a problem.
Entertainment wise they certainly catered to a large cross section of the guests. We saw the show in the stardust theatre and it was amazing. The various bars and outdoor areas always had entertainment, singers, activities etc.
Our first port of call was Burnie, Tasmania, shuttle busses were plentiful and very little waiting, great service. Had a look around in town but did not go on any excursions, relaxing day then back on board for an afternoon feed and nap. Next port of call was Hobart, Took the oysters and wine tasting excursion. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and we could here her clearly, took a look around Hobart on the bus before heading to the Oyster farm. We were shown the mechanics of farming oysters which was interesting, then we heading back to their restaurant for some oysters and wine tasting. This is where if got disappointing. The wine tasting comprised on 1 wine and we got one small mouthful, we then got 6 fresh oysters. We were expected to purchase lunch there, which we did, then herded on the bus and another drive before heading back to the boat.
The biggest complaint I have is how they charge your credit card for all onboard expenses. Even though we had all packages as part of our deal we still racked up $1500 USD in service charges and purchases, this isn’t the problem though, you spend whatever you wish. The problem was that during the trip they were charging our card as pending purchases so it reduced the available cash. As we were disembarking we swipe our cards and I was told I could not leave the ship until I saw the accounts team. My wife stayed outside by the boarding ramp while I was escorted to the accounts dept. They said I owed them 2500 usd on my account and my card was not accepting the amount, this was because they had already charged my account with this amount as pending. I then had to find the money or they would not let me off the boat. They were very rude about this and I was tempted to see how far they would go in preventing me to leave the boat. However, due to my common-sense and frustration I ended up paying the full amount. The 2500 usd they had pending said it would be released back into my account within 30 days, now that is double dipping plain and simple. I also asked why they did not informed me of this before I was about to disembark, they said they did not know where I was, which was strange as no attempt was made as we were in our room.
Unfortunately, it soured the entire trip for us. We had booked another cruise while on board but we will now demand a refund on our deposit and spend our money elsewhere.
Spacious cabin, terrific service. We had a very large balcony but due to the location of the bridge directly above it made the balcony useless as it provided no privacy. Bed was soft but comfortable, good room to lounge in. Bathroom was standard and toilet cramped.
Tour guide was excellent, oyster farming was interesting as for wine tasting? we got 1 small mouthful from 1 wine. disappointing.View All 7 Tasmanian Wine Tasting Reviews