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This is my 2nd cruise on the Jewel (1st was 3 years ago), 8th cruise with NCL and 24th cruise overall. The 1st time on the Jewel 3 years ago, I thought NCL was the best. I thought NCL had the best food, best ship, best service and nicest crew. During the last 3 years I raved about the Jewel and told everyone taking a cruise to try NCL. That has changed after my cruise on the Jewel last week. The ship and cruise line has drastically changed to be the worst for its customers and the best for its own bottom line. NCL = Never Care Line and you will see why. EMBARKATION THIS WAS A MESS. We got to the port at 12 30 PM only to see a long line of about 400 passengers waiting to enter the building IN THE HOT SUN. THIS WAS NOT FUN. After about 45 mins we got inside the building and through security, only to find another very long line of about 500 passengers waiting to check in. After another hour in line we were finally able to get on board the Jewel. THIS WAS NOT A GREAT START TO A VACATION, this theme of long line for everything continued throughout the cruise. At a 2 15 PM we finally got on board. I thought to myself, great we can go to our cabin and start relaxing on our vacation. HOWEVER EVERYONE ON THE SHIP HAD TO WAIT ANOTHER HOUR BEFORE THE CABINS WERE READY. NCL used to have someone walk you to your cabin, not so anymore. GARDEN CAFÉ The buffet on the 12th deck was always overcrowded and many times we could not even find seats. Many times we had to find seating all the way at the back of the ship. The food in the buffet was always bland and the buffet always had lines, NOT AN ENJOYABLE experience. ALSO, 2 DAYS DURING LUNCH THEY RAN OUT OF PLATES AND CUPS IN THE BUFFET, THIS IS UNHEARD OF IN THE RESTAURANT WORLD AND COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE ANYWHERE. TSAR MAN DINING ROOM THIS IS THE AREA WHERE I SAW THE BIGGEST DECLINE IN SERVICE. 3 years ago, the waiters and waitresses were very nice, pleasant and efficient. Now they just throw the food at you without even a smile on their faces. Every time you ask for something, they act as if they are doing you such a big favor. NO MORE ARE THE DAYS OF GREAT SERVICE. I GUESS SINCE THEIR TIP IS ADDED AUTOMATICALLY EVERYDAY, THEY FEEL THEY ARE GOING TO GET PAID WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY SERVICE AT ALL. Also the selections, portions and quality of food provided is not very good. BASCIALLY THEY WANT YOU TO PAY EXTRA TO GET GOOD TASTING FOOD AND SERVICE BY GOING TO A PAID RESTAURANT. Also this dining room has a very long wait time. One day for breakfast we ordered bagels, salmon and tomatoes. THE TOMATOE WAS VERY GREEN AND THE SALMON WAS BLACK ALL OVER AS IF IT WAS SPOILED. I DON'T SEE HOW THEY THINK THEY CAN SERVE THAT KIND OF FOOD AND THINK SOMEONE WILL ACTUALLY EAT IT. I WOULD NOT EVEN GIVE THAT FOOD TO MY PET. IT THEN TOOK 20 MINS TO GET A MANAGER TO RESOLVE THE SITUATION. I HAVE PICTURES OF THE DISH THEY SERVED US, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. AZURE SECONDARY DINING ROOM Since the service was so terrible in TSAR, we tried this dining room, something I never had to do 3 years ago. I must say the service was much better than TSAR and would recommend this dining room every time over the service and wait time at TSAR. CAGNEYS STEAK This was my 4th experience at Cagney's and it was the most expensive. Never Care Line has raised the price from 15.00 per person to 25.00 per person (I am going to talk about the drastically higher prices for everything later). The service was excellent, but the food was not as good as the last 3 times I have been at Cagney's. The medium well prime rib I ordered came all bloody, then our waitress told us, that is what a medium well prime rib is, all bloody. Knowing better we asked for the manager who was shocked and immediately had the cook prepare a correctly cooked medium well prime rib which tasted very good. For 25.00 I would not recommend Cagney's. TANGO SPANISH This was my 5th dining experience at Tangos. As usual the food and service was excellent. But again the price went from FREE to 10.00 per person. NCL has started charging for everything possible which does not make an enjoyable vacation. Murder Mystery Dinner I have been to the murder mystery dinner before. It was very disorganized and not fun. It used to be free, now Never Care Line charges 15.00 per person. SKIP IT. PRICES Let's talk about prices from 3 years ago (on the Jewel) and 2 years ago (on the Pearl) THEN NOW TANGO free 10.00 MAMA free 10.00 MYSTERY free 15.00 GYM CLASSES free 12.00 FRENCH 10.00 20.00 STEAK 15.00 25.00 CHINESE 10.00 20.00 JAPANESE 15.00 25.00 SUSHI 10.00 15.00 TIPS 10.00 12.00 4 x 6 photo 9.95 19.95 Embarkation 4 x 6 photo for 19.95, GET REAL. YOU CAN GET A 8 x 10 photo for only 5.00 more TIPS Never Care Line now automatically charges 12.00 per day FOR tips, a 20 percent increase from 10.00 it used to charge. LET ME GET THIS, MUCH WORST SERVICE, 20 PERCENT HIGHER TIPS, they really are NEVER CARE LINE = NCL. CABIN Nice balcony cabin on the 10th deck very close to restaurants and activities and yet very quiet. The balcony was very small though, you can barely relax on it and you cannot eat on it, too small. To get a bigger balcony, you have to upgrade to a mini suite on the 11th deck. Princess cruises have a balcony twice the size for the same price. LINES EVERYWHERE Everywhere you went there were always long lines waiting for you. To get off the ship at ports, to get back on the ship at the ports. To eat at the buffet, to eat in the dining rooms. At customer service, at the shore excursion desk, at the photo gallery. Never Care Line needs help with their crowd management. TOURS Never Care Line tours are very much overpriced and very disorganized. Do yourself a favor, take an independent tour or don't take a tour at all, you will enjoy yourself much more. SHOWS I must say the shows on NCL are excellent, the best of any cruise line, this is the onlty thing that has not changed since 3 years ago, they have the same excellent shows. DISEMBARKATION This was good, we got off the ship 30 mins early, but then there was a long line to get our luggage, the usual with Never Care Line. SUMMARY I don't know if we will ever cruise with Never Care Line again. Once I thought highly of Never Care Line, now I would never recommend Never Care Line to anyone.

NCL = Never Care Line

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by CaptainKirk

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2009
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
This is my 2nd cruise on the Jewel (1st was 3 years ago), 8th cruise with NCL and 24th cruise overall.
The 1st time on the Jewel 3 years ago, I thought NCL was the best.
I thought NCL had the best food, best ship, best service and nicest crew.
During the last 3 years I raved about the Jewel and told everyone taking a cruise to try NCL.
That has changed after my cruise on the Jewel last week.
The ship and cruise line has drastically changed to be the worst for its customers and the best for its own bottom line.
NCL = Never Care Line and you will see why.
EMBARKATION THIS WAS A MESS. We got to the port at 12 30 PM only to see a long line of about 400 passengers waiting to enter the building IN THE HOT SUN. THIS WAS NOT FUN. After about 45 mins we got inside the building and through security, only to find another very long line of about 500 passengers waiting to check in. After another hour in line we were finally able to get on board the Jewel. THIS WAS NOT A GREAT START TO A VACATION, this theme of long line for everything continued throughout the cruise.
At a 2 15 PM we finally got on board. I thought to myself, great we can go to our cabin and start relaxing on our vacation. HOWEVER EVERYONE ON THE SHIP HAD TO WAIT ANOTHER HOUR BEFORE THE CABINS WERE READY. NCL used to have someone walk you to your cabin, not so anymore.
GARDEN CAFÉ The buffet on the 12th deck was always overcrowded and many times we could not even find seats. Many times we had to find seating all the way at the back of the ship. The food in the buffet was always bland and the buffet always had lines, NOT AN ENJOYABLE experience.
ALSO, 2 DAYS DURING LUNCH THEY RAN OUT OF PLATES AND CUPS IN THE BUFFET, THIS IS UNHEARD OF IN THE RESTAURANT WORLD AND COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE ANYWHERE.
TSAR MAN DINING ROOM THIS IS THE AREA WHERE I SAW THE BIGGEST DECLINE IN SERVICE. 3 years ago, the waiters and waitresses were very nice, pleasant and efficient. Now they just throw the food at you without even a smile on their faces. Every time you ask for something, they act as if they are doing you such a big favor. NO MORE ARE THE DAYS OF GREAT SERVICE. I GUESS SINCE THEIR TIP IS ADDED AUTOMATICALLY EVERYDAY, THEY FEEL THEY ARE GOING TO GET PAID WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY SERVICE AT ALL.
Also the selections, portions and quality of food provided is not very good. BASCIALLY THEY WANT YOU TO PAY EXTRA TO GET GOOD TASTING FOOD AND SERVICE BY GOING TO A PAID RESTAURANT. Also this dining room has a very long wait time.
One day for breakfast we ordered bagels, salmon and tomatoes. THE TOMATOE WAS VERY GREEN AND THE SALMON WAS BLACK ALL OVER AS IF IT WAS SPOILED. I DON'T SEE HOW THEY THINK THEY CAN SERVE THAT KIND OF FOOD AND THINK SOMEONE WILL ACTUALLY EAT IT. I WOULD NOT EVEN GIVE THAT FOOD TO MY PET. IT THEN TOOK 20 MINS TO GET A MANAGER TO RESOLVE THE SITUATION.
I HAVE PICTURES OF THE DISH THEY SERVED US, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING.
AZURE SECONDARY DINING ROOM Since the service was so terrible in TSAR, we tried this dining room, something I never had to do 3 years ago. I must say the service was much better than TSAR and would recommend this dining room every time over the service and wait time at TSAR.
CAGNEYS STEAK This was my 4th experience at Cagney's and it was the most expensive. Never Care Line has raised the price from 15.00 per person to 25.00 per person (I am going to talk about the drastically higher prices for everything later). The service was excellent, but the food was not as good as the last 3 times I have been at Cagney's.
The medium well prime rib I ordered came all bloody, then our waitress told us, that is what a medium well prime rib is, all bloody. Knowing better we asked for the manager who was shocked and immediately had the cook prepare a correctly cooked medium well prime rib which tasted very good.
For 25.00 I would not recommend Cagney's.
TANGO SPANISH This was my 5th dining experience at Tangos. As usual the food and service was excellent. But again the price went from FREE to 10.00 per person. NCL has started charging for everything possible which does not make an enjoyable vacation.
Murder Mystery Dinner I have been to the murder mystery dinner before. It was very disorganized and not fun. It used to be free, now Never Care Line charges 15.00 per person. SKIP IT.
PRICES Let's talk about prices from 3 years ago (on the Jewel) and 2 years ago (on the Pearl)
THEN NOW
TANGO free 10.00 MAMA free 10.00 MYSTERY free 15.00 GYM CLASSES free 12.00 FRENCH 10.00 20.00 STEAK 15.00 25.00 CHINESE 10.00 20.00 JAPANESE 15.00 25.00 SUSHI 10.00 15.00 TIPS 10.00 12.00 4 x 6 photo 9.95 19.95 Embarkation 4 x 6 photo for 19.95, GET REAL. YOU CAN GET A 8 x 10 photo for only 5.00 more
TIPS Never Care Line now automatically charges 12.00 per day FOR tips, a 20 percent increase from 10.00 it used to charge.
LET ME GET THIS, MUCH WORST SERVICE, 20 PERCENT HIGHER TIPS, they really are NEVER CARE LINE = NCL.
CABIN Nice balcony cabin on the 10th deck very close to restaurants and activities and yet very quiet.
The balcony was very small though, you can barely relax on it and you cannot eat on it, too small.
To get a bigger balcony, you have to upgrade to a mini suite on the 11th deck.
Princess cruises have a balcony twice the size for the same price.
LINES EVERYWHERE Everywhere you went there were always long lines waiting for you. To get off the ship at ports, to get back on the ship at the ports. To eat at the buffet, to eat in the dining rooms. At customer service, at the shore excursion desk, at the photo gallery.
Never Care Line needs help with their crowd management.
TOURS Never Care Line tours are very much overpriced and very disorganized. Do yourself a favor, take an independent tour or don't take a tour at all, you will enjoy yourself much more.
SHOWS I must say the shows on NCL are excellent, the best of any cruise line, this is the onlty thing that has not changed since 3 years ago, they have the same excellent shows.
DISEMBARKATION This was good, we got off the ship 30 mins early, but then there was a long line to get our luggage, the usual with Never Care Line.
SUMMARY I don't know if we will ever cruise with Never Care Line again. Once I thought highly of Never Care Line, now I would never recommend Never Care Line to anyone.
CaptainKirk’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10060
Nice balcony cabin on the 10th deck very close to restaurants and activites and yet very quiet.

The balcony was very small though, you can barely relax on it and you cannot eat on it, too small.

To get a bigger balcony, you have to upgrade to a mini suite on the 11th deck.

Princess cruises has a balconey twice the size for the same price.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins