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This was to have been a cruise of a lifetime, 18 days from Sydney to Singapore but sadly Norwegian let us down. The ports of call were fantastic and we had such high expectations but we unexpectedly found that virtually all of the ports involved a tender and/or shuttle bus and these were unacceptably long, hot and disorganised. In order to ensure getting off the ship we had to get up at 6 am to queue for tender tickets. To return to the ship there was often a long wait and tenders were hot and crowded. There was a sense of disorganisation and staff were working out problems as they arose rather than genuine planning for each port. We did not expect to dock at working industrial ports where there was no way of getting to the towns apart from shuttle. Nor did we expect to anchor at least half an hour tender journey away, followed by a bus journey to town. The ship itself was plagued with toilets constantly blocking which was distressing and frustrating. The ship is tired and in need of some TLC. I am a vegetarian and the staff seemed to toally lack awareness of dietary needs. The buffet had very limited options and even those meals that were supposed to be vegetarian often had meat within them in some form of another eg a meat stock in the soups and even pork in one pea soup! There were virtually no non meat soups in the buffet and no non meat sandwiches. Another problem was the lack of sunbeds on deck. There was good deck space but the ship lacked the beds, which once again meant early rising to secure one and the system to remove towels from unused beds was not carried out by staff. On the positive side, the entertainment in the theatre was excellent on most nights and the bands around the ship were really good. The two Burn the Floor shows were outstanding and probably the best shows I have seen on a cruise chip. The general ambience within all the bars and lounges was warm and friendly and many people chatted and made friends. The staff in the dining rooms, cabins and guest services did everything they could to be helpful and remained pleasant but there was a general feeling that the management of the ship was lacking and staff were left to deal with unhappy passengers without the support needed to stop tempers rising.

Great Itinerary, shame about the ship

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Judge32

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was to have been a cruise of a lifetime, 18 days from Sydney to Singapore but sadly Norwegian let us down. The ports of call were fantastic and we had such high expectations but we unexpectedly found that virtually all of the ports involved a tender and/or shuttle bus and these were unacceptably long, hot and disorganised. In order to ensure getting off the ship we had to get up at 6 am to queue for tender tickets. To return to the ship there was often a long wait and tenders were hot and crowded. There was a sense of disorganisation and staff were working out problems as they arose rather than genuine planning for each port.

We did not expect to dock at working industrial ports where there was no way of getting to the towns apart from shuttle. Nor did we expect to anchor at least half an hour tender journey away, followed by a bus journey to town.

The ship itself was plagued with toilets constantly blocking which was distressing and frustrating. The ship is tired and in need of some TLC.

I am a vegetarian and the staff seemed to toally lack awareness of dietary needs. The buffet had very limited options and even those meals that were supposed to be vegetarian often had meat within them in some form of another eg a meat stock in the soups and even pork in one pea soup! There were virtually no non meat soups in the buffet and no non meat sandwiches.

Another problem was the lack of sunbeds on deck. There was good deck space but the ship lacked the beds, which once again meant early rising to secure one and the system to remove towels from unused beds was not carried out by staff.

On the positive side, the entertainment in the theatre was excellent on most nights and the bands around the ship were really good. The two Burn the Floor shows were outstanding and probably the best shows I have seen on a cruise chip. The general ambience within all the bars and lounges was warm and friendly and many people chatted and made friends.

The staff in the dining rooms, cabins and guest services did everything they could to be helpful and remained pleasant but there was a general feeling that the management of the ship was lacking and staff were left to deal with unhappy passengers without the support needed to stop tempers rising.
Judge32’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9042
Our Balcony cabin was small and poorly lit. I found it difficult to see during evening hours. The balcony had signs of rust and peeling paint and was not particularly clean.

The shower worked well but the toilet blocked six times during the 18 days.
There was a stain on the carpet that I had been told could not be removed.

The cabin needs some updating.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bali
    we took a local taxi for 8 people and paid around £12.50 per person for the entire day. We visited the monkey forest, rice terraces and elephant sanctuary. A wonderful day at a fraction of the price that the ship would have charged.
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  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Overall it was a good excursion. However we wanted to be dropped off in town to meet some friends staying in Brisbane and this would have required us to get the shuttle back. We were told by the excursion desk that this was not possible. On starting the tour, the guide specifically asked who wanted to be dropped off. This mis information made us have to cancel our visit to friends and was disappointing.
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  • Skyrail Tour
    We did this independently and took a taxi from the port to the skyrail. This was much cheaper than using the ship tour and a wonderful tour.
    View All 18 Skyrail Tour Reviews
  • Darwin
    We visited a local reptile park that had crocodiles. It was ok but nothing special.
    The day was cut short by the ship due to road closures in Darwin for a relay race taking place. This information meant that we had to return to the shuttle at 2.30 pm instead of 4.30 pm.
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  • Komodo Island
    Ths tour was a massive disappointment. we took the ship's tour and it was over sold so that there were many groups all going within five minute slots. Each group had to wait for the previous one to move on. We saw three dragons at a watering hole. we had to clamber to get pictures.
    The tour was about one and a half hours of walking and seeing virtually nothing. The guide tried his best to give information but it was limited.
    The ship should have told us that there would be locals selling trinkets and that there were options to extend the tours with the local guides to see more once on the island.
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