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This was our 3rd cruise (the first one with Norwegian). First, the good stuff. The itinerary was great (Alaskan cruise with stops at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan). We booked a couple excursions with Norwegian and those were also great. Our ship (Norwegian Jewel) was clean and comfortable. As with most ships, the staterooms are small but ours was laid out well. Most of the staff was very friendly and helpful. Now the not so good stuff. The communication prior to the cruise was poor. We received plenty of emails about uploading our documentation to their website (passport numbers, etc.), purchasing insurance and booking excursions. However, we didn't receive any emails about printing off our boarding docs or what to expect when we arrived at the ship, nor did we receive anything in the mail. I had to login to the website and search for our boarding docs in order to print them. This isn't the end of the world, but there should have been emails reminding folks to print their boarding docs prior to their trip because e-tickets are not an option. Another frustration involved the lack of adequate staffing at the reception/service counter. We waited in line for over 30 minutes several times just to get basic information. For example, we didn't receive the daily newsletter for the first 2 days and had to stand in line for 30 minutes to find out what activities were happening when/where on the ship. I'm not sure why the daily activity sheet wasn't available somewhere for people to grab them, but they weren't. The people who helped us at the service counter were very unfriendly. Finally, the food was disappointing. We've been on 2 other cruises and loved the food. We were expecting beautiful displays of fruit, seafood, etc., but there were none. The food in the specialty restaurants was fantastic, but we only dined at them a couple times because of the added expense (all the extras such as internet, specialty restaurants, beverage packages, etc. add up quickly). The food in the main dining rooms and buffet was okay at best. The alfredo sauce tasted like flour paste (I don't think there was actually any cheese in the sauce), the french fries were always cold, the ice cream machines didn't work properly half the time, and in general, the food was bland and unexciting. I guess this just isn't Norwegian's specialty. Overall, we had a good trip, but I think we'll steer toward other cruise lines in the future. It wasn't a "bad" experience, but it just wasn't what we were expecting based on our other trips.

Highlights and Lowlights

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Lisa67

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
This was our 3rd cruise (the first one with Norwegian). First, the good stuff. The itinerary was great (Alaskan cruise with stops at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan). We booked a couple excursions with Norwegian and those were also great. Our ship (Norwegian Jewel) was clean and comfortable. As with most ships, the staterooms are small but ours was laid out well. Most of the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Now the not so good stuff. The communication prior to the cruise was poor. We received plenty of emails about uploading our documentation to their website (passport numbers, etc.), purchasing insurance and booking excursions. However, we didn't receive any emails about printing off our boarding docs or what to expect when we arrived at the ship, nor did we receive anything in the mail. I had to login to the website and search for our boarding docs in order to print them. This isn't the end of the world, but there should have been emails reminding folks to print their boarding docs prior to their trip because e-tickets are not an option. Another frustration involved the lack of adequate staffing at the reception/service counter. We waited in line for over 30 minutes several times just to get basic information. For example, we didn't receive the daily newsletter for the first 2 days and had to stand in line for 30 minutes to find out what activities were happening when/where on the ship. I'm not sure why the daily activity sheet wasn't available somewhere for people to grab them, but they weren't. The people who helped us at the service counter were very unfriendly. Finally, the food was disappointing. We've been on 2 other cruises and loved the food. We were expecting beautiful displays of fruit, seafood, etc., but there were none. The food in the specialty restaurants was fantastic, but we only dined at them a couple times because of the added expense (all the extras such as internet, specialty restaurants, beverage packages, etc. add up quickly). The food in the main dining rooms and buffet was okay at best. The alfredo sauce tasted like flour paste (I don't think there was actually any cheese in the sauce), the french fries were always cold, the ice cream machines didn't work properly half the time, and in general, the food was bland and unexciting. I guess this just isn't Norwegian's specialty.

Overall, we had a good trip, but I think we'll steer toward other cruise lines in the future. It wasn't a "bad" experience, but it just wasn't what we were expecting based on our other trips.
Lisa67’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
Cabin OF 4560
The cabin was small, but it was laid out well. It was clean and comfortable. Our steward was great.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Whale Watching
    Our whale watching tour was great. We saw numerous whales and the boat was comfortable and heated. It would have been nice to get a little closer to the whales so we could get some better pictures, but regulations prevented us from doing so. Overall, this we recommend this excursion.
    View All 132 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Helicopter Tour
    We did the Juneau Icefield Helicopter Tour and it was amazing! Best excursion of the trip. The views of the glacier from the helicopter were spectacular and it was an unforgettable experience to walk on them. We highly recommend this tour. It's a little expensive, but it's worth it.
    View All 107 Helicopter Tour Reviews
  • Lumberjack Show
    Overall, the lumberjack show was fun and entertaining. The jokes were a little corny, but that's to be expected. It's a nice activity if you're going to be in Ketchikan for the day.
    View All 276 Lumberjack Show Reviews