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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,389 Reviews

You get what you pay for

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by bonmarche

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window

We chose 5his cruise because of the itinerary. Asia. We started in Singapore. Embarkation was easy and quick. Lunch in the dining room seemed to take forever, but since 5he cabins weren’t ready, it didn’t really matter. We found out at that time that no bread is served with lunch entrees unless you ask for it. Dinner was supposed to start at 5, but because of the life boat drill, the room wasn’t set up until almost 6. It would have been nice if one of the many staff coming and going would have mentioned that.

The second day on board, we went to lunch in the dining room and got the same menu as the first day. We told our server about it thinking it was a mistake. She said the lunch in the dining room is always the same. But since there are several dishes to choose from, that makes it different. We ate in the buffet from then on.

The buffet was almost as bad or maybe worse when you consider that nothing was really fresh, except the fruit. Grilled cheese sandwiches were made one day for breakfast. All of them on display were hard and cold. I asked if they had new ones. The server opened a cooler door and pulled out already grilled cheese sandwiches and gave me one. It was not crisp or even warm. Many of the buffet dishes were like that; pre-made and stored until needed. They didn’t even rotate items. They just filled in the empty slots with items they pulled out of storage. Plus everything was the same day after day with about 8 items that changed depending on the theme of the day. Very disappointing.

Our room was ok. Bed sagged in the middle and was a little lumpy. I slept ok on most nights. Our cabin steward did a good job cleaning our room, but e often didn’t get around to us until late morning. Most times our room was not turned down until well after dinner. Since the entertainment was only so so most nights, that meant we either had to leave the room again, or skip turn down service.

Burn the Floor and Le Cirque Bijou were AWESOME!, the best shows we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. The rest of the entertainment was typical cruise ship singing, comedy and magic. Things to do during the day included things like sexy leg contest, trivia and bingo. They tried to do a painting class, but the instructors didn’t really have the experience to teach the class. There was no help or guidance. The subjects were too complicated and the time limit too short for beginner painters. People didn’t tend to sign up twice. Too bad because I was looking forward to that. The rest of the things to do involved either spending money or dumbing yourself down to actually enjoy. Things like the not so newly wed game was just an attempt to humiliate yourself to win a t-shirt. Not what I call fun.

We took a shore excursion to visit a castle in Kyoto Japan, plus a pagoda. The write up sounded like something we’d like. After all, it’s a UNESCO site. Well, it was a 2 hour bus ride to the first site. Along the way our guide tried to engage us in learning more about the places we were going to see, but her accent was so pronounced that we could only interpret one word out of 4. About half of our bus was German, so they talked when she talked making that much harder to hear her. The castle was just an old wooden square separated by painted panels into square rooms. It might have meant more if we had time to read the placques next to each room. NCL had at least 10 buses doing this trip, so the castle was crowded. I got shoved many times during our visit. Lunch, however, was Amazing! It was another boring 2 hour ride back to the ship. Overall, the tour was not worth the time and definitely not worth the money.

We are Platinum Plus latitudes reward members. We have seen the experience of cruising with NCL go from excellent to average. We’d say they’re a half step up from Carnival cruises. That may change since we’ve heard that Carnival is improving. We have no plans to sail with NCL again.


bonmarche's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OA 8114

Our window needed painting and a new mattress would really help. Our toilet stopped flushing a couple of times, but it was always fixed the same day. We always had noises at night. Sometimes it was a humming sound and sometimes it was docking noises. It was loud enough to wake me up.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Singapore

We did our own exploring. We found it easy to get around by train and walking. There were lots of things to see.

City Tour

Tour guide did a great job showing us points of interest.

View All 46 City Tour Reviews
River Cruise

Interesting to see the difference between the poor and the affluent.

View All 21 River Cruise Reviews
Rose Garden

We arrived late, so all the performers had gone home already.

View All 1 Rose Garden Reviews
Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple)

It was cool. It was bigger than I thought it would be.

View All 24 Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple) Reviews
Wat Traimit

Very good tour.

View All 3 Wat Traimit Reviews
Nijo Castle

The write up for this excursion sounded like something we’d like. After all, it’s a UNESCO site. Well, it was a 2 hour bus ride to the first site. Along the way our guide tried to engage us in learning more about the places we were going to see, but her accent was so pronounced that we could only interpret one word out of 4. About half of our bus was German, so they talked when she talked making that much harder to hear her. The castle was just an old wooden square separated by painted panels into square rooms. It might have meant more if we had time to read the placques next to each room. NCL had at least 10 buses doing this trip, so the castle was crowded. I got shoved many times during our visit. Lunch, however, was Amazing! It was another boring 2 hour ride back to the ship. Overall, the tour was not worth the time and definitely not worth the money.

View All 2 Nijo Castle Reviews
4WD Jeep Jungle Tour

Hot sweaty day. Spent a lot of time riding back and forth to see mediocre sites. Guide didn’t explain much.

View All 11 4WD Jeep Jungle Tour Reviews
Elephant Trekking

The elephant trek was boring. You got on the elephant and a trainer? drove him around a track. No one told us what this place was about. Did they rescue the animals? Were they captured? Who knows, they just wanted a tip and some bananas for the elephant to let them know we enjoyed the ride. It was not enjoyable. The elephant show was worse. The first 15 minutes was spent taking money from people and making the elephant take them for a ride around the rink. Kids were running up the elephants and begging to get on top. The elephants were wearing chains. They looked abused. The music was too loud and the host of the “show” was obnoxious and childish.

View All 11 Elephant Trekking Reviews
Thai Cooking Classes

They prepared the dishe on another table while we were eating lunch. Lunch was excellent.

View All 2 Thai Cooking Classes Reviews

We had a difficult time finding our way from the port terminal to the place where the HOHO bus was. There were no directions on line or at the terminal. We had to take a bus from the terminal to the train station. We took the train to the central stop. Then we walked to the nearest HOHO bus stop. We waited 40 minutes. By the time we got on the bus, we only had a couple of hours left in the day to actually use the service. Traffic was horrible so it took forever to make the first circuit. If you got off the bus, it was at least a 30 minute wait for the next one. The ticket was reasonably priced and it came with tickets for the Victoria peak tram, but the lines there went around the block. It was probably a 45 minute wait to get on the cable car. We rode the first circuit then ran to catch the ferry so we could take the train to the bus to get back on the ship in time for departure. This is probably something you’d want to do if you had a couple of days in Hong Kong.

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Huangyaguan Great Wall

Our tour guide spoke excellent English. He entertained us with stories about China and other tours he led. He was funny and interesting. The Wall was everything I hoped it would be.

View All 8 Huangyaguan Great Wall Reviews
Da Nang

Nothing to see or do on your own. You couldn’t get out of the port area unless you paid for a taxi or bus. The ship sold bus tickets for $30.

Mekong Delta Cruise

Excellent guide, funny, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about the sites he took us to. We visited a bee far, a coconut plantation, and a beautiful temple. We got samples of all types of fruit, tea, coconut candy, and honey. We listened to singers singing old fishermen songs of love and fortune. We had a pony cart ride too. It was a fun day. Lunch was very good served under a palm thatched pavilion next to the river.

View All 28 Mekong Delta Cruise Reviews

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bonmarche
8 Reviews Written
19 Helpful Votes
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