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We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour each day on the balcony. Our cabin was the last aft cabin on the port side of the ship - cabin 10662. I was a little worried that being that far back and that far up, we would feel a lot of movement. It was very rocky on one rough sea day but we never did experience any sea sickness. We did not have any robes and asked for them the first day and were given two robes. While the cabin was a little worn, we didn't really have any problems. We had never been to Australia or New Zealand so every port was a brand new experience for us. We attended about half the nightly shows in Stardust and enjoyed them. We had about half our nightly meals in the Azura Main Dining room. Most of them were pretty good. I did order a Thai noodle dish that was barely edible but all in all I would give Azura an 8 out of 10 rating. We also had the SDP and dined in Cagneys twice, Teppanayaki once, and Le Bistro once. These meals were really good. This was one of the best cruises that I have ever taken. The only thing that I would have changed was the weather as we probably had rain on 8 or 10 of our days on board. Luckily, most days it only rained two or three hours and only one or two were all day rains.

Fantastic itinerary through Australia and New Zealand!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by stjohnbeachlover

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel last year through the Panama Canal, so we decided to book again when the Jewel headed down under. We splurged and reserved a balcony cabin this time and enjoyed it immensely. We spent at least an hour each day on the balcony. Our cabin was the last aft cabin on the port side of the ship - cabin 10662. I was a little worried that being that far back and that far up, we would feel a lot of movement. It was very rocky on one rough sea day but we never did experience any sea sickness. We did not have any robes and asked for them the first day and were given two robes. While the cabin was a little worn, we didn't really have any problems. We had never been to Australia or New Zealand so every port was a brand new experience for us. We attended about half the nightly shows in Stardust and enjoyed them. We had about half our nightly meals in the Azura Main Dining room. Most of them were pretty good. I did order a Thai noodle dish that was barely edible but all in all I would give Azura an 8 out of 10 rating. We also had the SDP and dined in Cagneys twice, Teppanayaki once, and Le Bistro once. These meals were really good. This was one of the best cruises that I have ever taken. The only thing that I would have changed was the weather as we probably had rain on 8 or 10 of our days on board. Luckily, most days it only rained two or three hours and only one or two were all day rains.
stjohnbeachlover’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB 10662
Loved the location and the views as we went through the sounds in New Zealand. It was very quiet.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akaroa
    We were picked up right by where the boats tender into Akaroa by a small mini bus. There were about 10 people on the bus. We were picked up by the penguin habitat's owner's niece. She was very friendly and informative about the whole island especially the penguins. We stopped at a couple scenic overlooks but it was rainy so the views were not too clear. We went to the penguins' rescue center and saw some penguins that were being rehabilitated and some that had come ashore on their own and were living in boxes near the water. We watched them feed the penguins and were given food to feed the sheep. It was a great tour!
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  • Auckland
    We just bought a ferry ticket (about $15 NZ roundtrip) per person and took a ferry over to Devenport. It was raining so we just wandered around the shops and went to the library and checked our email. We ate lunch in town and then took the ferry back to the ship. The ferry dock is right next to the ship.
    View All 13,278 Auckland Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Dunedin
    We only toured the store but they had some very unusual chocolate items. The factory itself is closing soon and moving to another location. I am not sure if the store will remain open or no. Most of the chocolate items were reasonable but I figured trying to get chocolate home without it melting would be hard, so I didn't purchase anything.
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  • Dunedin Train Station
    We took the bus from Chalmers (where we docked). We walked about three blocks into Chalmers on the main street and caught it for $5 per person each way. We walked over to the Dunedin train station and looked around and took a few pictures. There is a small gift shop and a craft area inside the train station.
    View All 19 Dunedin Train Station Reviews
  • Speights Brewery
    We had a noon resevation to tour the brewery that we had prebooked through BOOKME at a discount. The tour itself lasted right at an hour and then we sampled beer for another 15 or 20 minutes.
    View All 14 Speights Brewery Reviews
  • Melbourne
    We bought a MYKI Explorer card for $15 each at the port that allowed us to use transportation around Melbourne. We walked right outside the port and caught a bus to the city center. We then walked about four blocks to the Eureka Sky Deck. It is an 88 foot tower from which you can view the whole city of Melbourne. If you use your MYKI card, you get 10% off. I think the tickets were $15.50 each before the discount. We then went to the Victoria Market which is basically a big food market/flea market. We used the Free Tram that runs through the CBD to get here. We found the cheapest souvenirs of our whole trip. There are also lots of inexpensive places to grab lunch here. On the way back to the MYKI bus stop, we stopped and had drinks overlooking the water.
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  • Napier
    We rented bicycles for the day and rode about 20 miles round trip to some wineries near Napier. We did a wine tasting and got to keep the wine glasses. It was a very scenic ride as a lot of the ride was along the shore and through wetlands. This was such a fun day and not too expensive!
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  • Picton
    We picked up a catamaran that came directly to the ship and took us on a tour for a little over two hours through the Queen Charlotte Sounds. We saw lots of birds, some stingrays, and scenic landscapes. We were given bread to feed the fish that gathered around the catamaran. The weather was perfect!
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  • Ferry
    We took the Manly Ferry over to Manly beach and had fish and chips at one of the restaurants on the beach. The cost of the ferry was included in our daily Opal card cap.
    View All 7 Ferry Reviews
  • Sydney Opera House
    We took the one hour tour of the opera house. It was very informative. The only thing I did not like is they did not allow you to take any pictures in the individual performance venues even if stagehands were on stage. This required us to purchase postcards to get any pictures.
    View All 17 Sydney Opera House Reviews
  • Vaucluse House
    We didn't actually go inside but we walked through the gardens. They were beautiful. It is no charge to walk through the grounds.
    View All 1 Vaucluse House Reviews
  • Geothermal Springs
    A great trip to see the geothermal springs! We ate lunch at their restaurant. They had a decent selection of food at reasonable prices.
    View All 30 Geothermal Springs Reviews
  • Hobbiton Movie Set
    This was the second part of our tour this day. We toured the Hobbiton Movie set. As we pulled up, it was like a scene straight out of National Geographic as a dog was herding probably a hundred sheep down the road right in front of us. Even though I am not a Lord of the Rings fan, I really enjoyed this tour. The whole movie set was so scenic. I must have taken over a hundred pictures! I definitely would recommend this tour!
    View All 43 Hobbiton Movie Set Reviews
  • Wellington
    Although we didn't see too much snorkeling, it was more because we weren't used to wearing full wet suits and we had a lot of trouble adjusting our masks. The people at Wellington Dive Center went out of their way to make our day special. They even came and picked us up at another location near the ship when we couldn't find their van. People said it would be very cold (the water temperature was about 17 degrees C) but with the wet suits, it wasn't bad at all.
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  • City Tour
    The tour itself was wonderful but we were put on a bus with NO air conditioning and NO windows for 4 hours. Everyone was getting really hot as it was about 80 degrees outside and over 90 degrees on the bus. We went to five stops and no one wanted to get back on the bus after each stop. There were 40 of us on the bus and so many of the people complained about it that they refunded about 1/3 of the excursion price back to us. I think the entire amount should have been refunded. We stopped at a store to get water, the cable cars, a scenic overlook, the botanical gardens, and a church. It was so hot that the bus driver said he was going to refuse to work the next day if the air conditioning wasn't fixed. This was the worse excursion that I have ever taken and I have been on 20 cruises!
    View All 29 City Tour Reviews