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We selected this cruise because it had some less common stops - Sitka, Victoria, and Hoonah. The stops were all amazing, and I was especially impressed with Sitka and Hoonah (Icy Point). The weather was pretty cold, not unexpected for Alaska in May, so not much time was spent on deck. The food on this trip was very disappointing. There were never available tables at the buffet and the specialty restaurants (with the exception of the Brazilian one - it was awesome) were just OK. My son compared the food in the Italian restaurant to Chef Boyardee. On previous NCL cruises, the Italian was our favorite, so I'm not sure what was up on the Jewel. They also didn't seem to be leaving the restaurants open long enough. For one stop, the all-aboard time was 1:30. They closed the dining room at 1:30 that day, and the pool deck was closed for weather. So at the time when nearly everyone was returning to the ship, only O'Sheehans and the buffet were open. And they closed the buffet at 2:30! We ended up skipping lunch that day because there was no place to eat that had tables available. The cabins are smaller and dated, but manageable. The cover on the couch actually had some holes worn into it, and there were clothes in the closet when we arrived. In my Mom's cabin next door, the beds had been left as a Queen instead of the requested two twins, and the cabin steward asked if he could fix it the next day (ummm - no). We had to go to customer service in the lobby to get that fixed. Cabin service improved on about the third day, and we didn't have any issues after that. We will try Norwegian again, but not the Jewel.

Beautiful scenery, shaky start, marginal food

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by cylis9

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We selected this cruise because it had some less common stops - Sitka, Victoria, and Hoonah. The stops were all amazing, and I was especially impressed with Sitka and Hoonah (Icy Point). The weather was pretty cold, not unexpected for Alaska in May, so not much time was spent on deck.

The food on this trip was very disappointing. There were never available tables at the buffet and the specialty restaurants (with the exception of the Brazilian one - it was awesome) were just OK. My son compared the food in the Italian restaurant to Chef Boyardee. On previous NCL cruises, the Italian was our favorite, so I'm not sure what was up on the Jewel. They also didn't seem to be leaving the restaurants open long enough. For one stop, the all-aboard time was 1:30. They closed the dining room at 1:30 that day, and the pool deck was closed for weather. So at the time when nearly everyone was returning to the ship, only O'Sheehans and the buffet were open. And they closed the buffet at 2:30! We ended up skipping lunch that day because there was no place to eat that had tables available.

The cabins are smaller and dated, but manageable. The cover on the couch actually had some holes worn into it, and there were clothes in the closet when we arrived. In my Mom's cabin next door, the beds had been left as a Queen instead of the requested two twins, and the cabin steward asked if he could fix it the next day (ummm - no). We had to go to customer service in the lobby to get that fixed. Cabin service improved on about the third day, and we didn't have any issues after that.

We will try Norwegian again, but not the Jewel.
cylis9’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9534
Small, dated, and short on storage. It was nice to have the couch, but I really would have preferred some extra drawers instead (there were only three).
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Icy Strait
    I was not expecting much from this port and was pleasantly surprised. We took a short nature walk which was beautiful. If I had this one to do over, I would have booked a longer nature trip or the whale watching. We saw more whales while wandering around in Hoonah than we did on our whale watching excursion in Juneau.
    View All 333 Icy Strait Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Icy Strait Cruise Port Review
  • Whale Watching
    6-hour tour left zero time in Juneau, but worth it. We were especially impressed with the whale watching portion.
    View All 841 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Saxman Native Village
    Interesting. If you have mobility issues, let them drive you up the hill. The "short easy walk" wasn't easy to my 78-year-old Mom.
    View All 100 Saxman Native Village Reviews
  • Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest
    The tour we took included Fortress of the Bears, the Raptor center, and a wildlife quest by boat. We saw otters and had a good view of the volcano, but this one paled after Juneau and Hoonah. If I could do this day over, I would still have visited the raptor center but would have spent the rest of the day wandering around town or taking the Russian history excursion.
    View All 68 Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest Reviews
  • Scenic Victoria City Tour
    Victoria was beautiful, but this tour is just a two-hour bus ride pointing out various pretty houses. Pass.
    View All 53 Scenic Victoria City Tour Reviews