We traveled on the Norwegian Jewel from 12/27-1/3/10. It was our 1st time on the Jewel or on any NCL cruise for that matter, although we have already cruised on Royal and Carnival. We enjoyed the amenities on the ship. The staterooms were nicely appointed. The overall ship ambiance was great; the ship is well maintained. It didn't really seem crowded except for the pool area which we thought was rather small and the Garden Cafe which always seemed crazy busy. We had trouble finding a table at this place usually and it just did not make for a pleasant meal. It was loud, crowded, the food was only so-so and frankly not worth the aggravation to fight the crowds to go there for any of the meals.
The entertainment was fairly good. Our favorite shows were Cirque Bijou and Band on the Run. The other shows were OK, but these 2 were by far the best in our opinion.
We share the same thoughts as some of the other cruisers that this cruise line is ALL about the up-sell. There is a hidden cost associated with everything and the prices do seem overinflated. Nonetheless, we did eat at some of the specialty restaurants looking for a more enjoyable dining experience. The best one of the ones we sampled was Teppanyaki. Both the service and the food were good. The food at Le Bistro was very good, but the service did not match the quality of restaurant they want to portray there. Tango's and Cagney's were good but certainly not worth what the ship charges to eat there.
Don't recommend getting off the ship here.
Very nice. Great ziplining and trip to the mayan ruins. Do your own tours NOT the ship sponsored tours. Reputable tour operators at port way cheaper than on ship!!
Great Beach. Beautiful warm water. Great seafood at any of the local restaurants. No need to do any of the excursions if you'd rather do your own thing!! Can rent a golf cart for the day to use around the island but do it early or they will run out!! A taxi to the beach will cost $5.00 round trip.