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I choose this cruise because it worked best for the time frame we had. I also selected it because I believe cruising in one direction in Alasaka is a better way to go. The Jewel is old and needs updates. The food is more than plentiful, but lacking in quality. I know many go to eat themselves silly, but even the dinning rooms with extra fees or paid meals were less than gourmet. Often the protein was fine but side dishes were awful. Multiple restaurants served side dishes in small aluminum pots that didn't hold heat and were just awful in appearance in addition to contents being terrible. At Moderna restaurant we were given a 9:30 seating which was fine with us but it was a Brazilian BBQ so as soon as we started they said it was last call for the foods being offered. Not the waiters fault, but frustrating. Another speciality dinner, we were seated then before we even got our drinks we ordered, four officers from on board came in, they ordered wine and their meals and had everything before we even got our drinks. Seeing as they downed two bottles of wine I hope they were not going back to work, but it was frustrating we couldn't even get our drinks in that time. The excursions were fine, but if you really want to see Alaska extend out before and do it properly. I suggest the guided Exit Glacier ice hike or climb out of Seward if you really want to be on a Glacier and see all of its terrain. What I did enjoy was the staff in the regular dinning rooms, housekeeping and those in the lesser positions. They were polite, friendly, helpful and happy. Ask them for recommendations on local establishments to eat, drink and shop. Or if you need anything above and beyond they were right there to help. The upper level staff at some the better restaurants and those at the various speciality locations were always slow, angry, annoyed and just plain rude. They seemed to be older and possibly burnt out? I don't know, but asking for lemon for my water almost put one waitress over the top. The exception was the guys at the Sushi bar, and the waiters at Moderno. They were fun, attentive, and professional. The pluses were getting a balcony room facing shore, we simply could sit out and watch the glaciers calving as we passed by. Though it rains a lot, on the southern end of the trip when it was warm and dry, we could sit out and enjoy the scenic views and simply relax. The gym staff was motivating and fun, I enjoyed the classes they offered very much, and tried many new formats. The art talks were interesting and informative though they did get a bit redundant at times. the auctions were a bit too long, and there was some behind the scenes maneuvering to try and get bidders to buy more. The shows and comedians were as expected, and there was certainly things going on to choose from. A naturalist speaking would have been a nice perk. Excursions were fun, but a bit too pricey for what they offered. We did helicopter to Glacier hike, dogsledding, ATVing, train ride, and were supposed to do zodiac boats but that got screwed up and ended up on boat ride to Fjords. We were disappointed the woman at the excursions desk was unfriendly and unhelpful. She tried to pacify us with a $50 credit towards the ride we ended up on, but made no effort to help us resolve the error in the first place. All in all, if you are looking for a bargain cruise this is fine, especially if you don't care about eating so much. Especially fresh fish and crab, not a lot of options for those which is disappointing considering the location you are in. If you truly want to experience Alaska I would say spend the money elsewhere,

Not Really Worth It

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Noregrebals

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I choose this cruise because it worked best for the time frame we had. I also selected it because I believe cruising in one direction in Alasaka is a better way to go. The Jewel is old and needs updates. The food is more than plentiful, but lacking in quality. I know many go to eat themselves silly, but even the dinning rooms with extra fees or paid meals were less than gourmet. Often the protein was fine but side dishes were awful. Multiple restaurants served side dishes in small aluminum pots that didn't hold heat and were just awful in appearance in addition to contents being terrible. At Moderna restaurant we were given a 9:30 seating which was fine with us but it was a Brazilian BBQ so as soon as we started they said it was last call for the foods being offered. Not the waiters fault, but frustrating. Another speciality dinner, we were seated then before we even got our drinks we ordered, four officers from on board came in, they ordered wine and their meals and had everything before we even got our drinks. Seeing as they downed two bottles of wine I hope they were not going back to work, but it was frustrating we couldn't even get our drinks in that time. The excursions were fine, but if you really want to see Alaska extend out before and do it properly. I suggest the guided Exit Glacier ice hike or climb out of Seward if you really want to be on a Glacier and see all of its terrain. What I did enjoy was the staff in the regular dinning rooms, housekeeping and those in the lesser positions. They were polite, friendly, helpful and happy. Ask them for recommendations on local establishments to eat, drink and shop. Or if you need anything above and beyond they were right there to help. The upper level staff at some the better restaurants and those at the various speciality locations were always slow, angry, annoyed and just plain rude. They seemed to be older and possibly burnt out? I don't know, but asking for lemon for my water almost put one waitress over the top. The exception was the guys at the Sushi bar, and the waiters at Moderno. They were fun, attentive, and professional.

The pluses were getting a balcony room facing shore, we simply could sit out and watch the glaciers calving as we passed by. Though it rains a lot, on the southern end of the trip when it was warm and dry, we could sit out and enjoy the scenic views and simply relax. The gym staff was motivating and fun, I enjoyed the classes they offered very much, and tried many new formats. The art talks were interesting and informative though they did get a bit redundant at times. the auctions were a bit too long, and there was some behind the scenes maneuvering to try and get bidders to buy more. The shows and comedians were as expected, and there was certainly things going on to choose from. A naturalist speaking would have been a nice perk.

Excursions were fun, but a bit too pricey for what they offered. We did helicopter to Glacier hike, dogsledding, ATVing, train ride, and were supposed to do zodiac boats but that got screwed up and ended up on boat ride to Fjords. We were disappointed the woman at the excursions desk was unfriendly and unhelpful. She tried to pacify us with a $50 credit towards the ride we ended up on, but made no effort to help us resolve the error in the first place.

All in all, if you are looking for a bargain cruise this is fine, especially if you don't care about eating so much. Especially fresh fish and crab, not a lot of options for those which is disappointing considering the location you are in. If you truly want to experience Alaska I would say spend the money elsewhere,
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD 10606
The room is outdated, the flooring is old, the fabric lining the pullout sleeper is frayed. The bathroom is fine, and the space is fine and closet space is ample.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • ATV Expedition
    Fun to drive ATV, saw eagles but nothing else. Driver was a bit strange, would have been better with better guide.
    View All 10 ATV Expedition Reviews
  • Helicopter Tour
    Helicopter ride was beautiful. Hiking on Glacier was poor, saw no real changes in terrain, no real safety talk about how to walk, and function in crampons. This would be better excursion as just helicopter ride. That would be a five.
    View All 125 Helicopter Tour Reviews
  • Misty Fjords Flightseeing
    We had booked Zodiak tour, NCL excursions screwed up and put us on Fjords boat ride. Didn't know that until it was too late to change. Really disappointing as we very much wanted to see sea life during trip. NCL was not helpful at all in fixing this. Buyer beware!
    View All 154 Misty Fjords Flightseeing Reviews
  • Seward
    This is where we boarded. We did our own excursion here hiking Exit Glacier. By far better than anything else we did on cruise. Get in the Glacier, see the beauty in the ice.
    View All 190 Seward Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Seward Cruise Port Review
  • Dog Sledding
    Spent a lot of time driving. First to location, then another vehicle up to dogs. The drivers were somewhat informative, but I think more information about the scenery and whole process would make this better. Time on sleds was fun, the dogs are amazing. The puppies are sweet.
    View All 153 Dog Sledding Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    White pass railway was fine, we did train from Anchorage to Seward, that was better. Didn't really need to do both, should have done something else instead.
    View All 1,107 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews