1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Jewel
We did a 5 day Land Tour before arriving in Seward on the Southbound cruise. We are a middle-aged couple and went with another couple. Loved our mini-suite mid-ship room. Spacious, well kept and very attentive steward. Our decor was a bit dated as some have mentioned. We spent our mornings trying to work out in the gym which was only 1 floor above us. Hard to jog on the outside track because walkers were also walking more than 2 abreast at times! We had a great view of the glaciers when we got close by. I loved our balcony, although many times a little too cool. Don't expect to have breakfast on your balcony! We did order Room Service, which is complementary for a Continental Breakfast. If you order a specialty meal, there is a surcharge. We enjoyed the Garden Cafe buffet. It has everything for everyone. It is hectic like a mad dash for supplies before a hurricane. The food was good, better for some dishes. We didn't expect it to be great, but the breakfast was sufficient and we had the Salad Bar and some sides to go with it at lunch. Your plates are cleared quickly and there are more than enough waitstaff to help. The 3 Specialty Meals were outstanding! We ate at Moderno, Le Bistro and Azura. Moderno had an extensive Salad Bar and multitude of meats! Portion size was very good at Azura and Le Bistro French cuisine was delicious. Do you know you can have a great breakfast at O'Sheehans and Tsar's Palace? Not buffet, but most of the things you get at the Garden Cafe, just not the busy atmosphere. They are a bit limited, but they have nightly specials which aren't bad. Our first meal on board at Tsar's Palace was not very memorable, but they got better during the week. These are the free meals. The shore excursions -- I think I might have passed on a few of them. I didn't know how far the town was in relation to the boat. I think I'd like to have explored the area more than taking some of our excursions. Icy Strait was my favorite with multiple whale sightings and our trek to a viewing platform to see the bears and wildlife. We were fortunate because the salmon started running an hour before we came. We were told the morning tour had hardly any sightings of bears and eagles. Take advantage of the Laundry Service -- all you can stuff in a bag for $20. Comes towards to end of the cruise. There is no laundry on board, although I managed a few thin pieces to wash and dry in my room. I loved the size of our ship, this being my first cruise. I believe about 2,500 guests vs. the 4,000 plus on some larger cruise ships. I hesitated to book a cruise for fear of contracting norovirus. They do an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing and I know my fear was unfounded. Cruising isn't for everyone. I don't know what I would do if I stayed on the ship for 7 days. We don't drink all day, it was too cold to be in the pool, there wasn't much in the way of shopping, and the entertainment and card/bingo games were not our thing. Yes, I'd go again with knowing what to consider for our next trip.

First Cruise -- Things to Think About

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by HNLmom

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We did a 5 day Land Tour before arriving in Seward on the Southbound cruise. We are a middle-aged couple and went with another couple. Loved our mini-suite mid-ship room. Spacious, well kept and very attentive steward. Our decor was a bit dated as some have mentioned. We spent our mornings trying to work out in the gym which was only 1 floor above us. Hard to jog on the outside track because walkers were also walking more than 2 abreast at times! We had a great view of the glaciers when we got close by. I loved our balcony, although many times a little too cool. Don't expect to have breakfast on your balcony! We did order Room Service, which is complementary for a Continental Breakfast. If you order a specialty meal, there is a surcharge.

We enjoyed the Garden Cafe buffet. It has everything for everyone. It is hectic like a mad dash for supplies before a hurricane. The food was good, better for some dishes. We didn't expect it to be great, but the breakfast was sufficient and we had the Salad Bar and some sides to go with it at lunch. Your plates are cleared quickly and there are more than enough waitstaff to help.

The 3 Specialty Meals were outstanding! We ate at Moderno, Le Bistro and Azura. Moderno had an extensive Salad Bar and multitude of meats! Portion size was very good at Azura and Le Bistro French cuisine was delicious.

Do you know you can have a great breakfast at O'Sheehans and Tsar's Palace? Not buffet, but most of the things you get at the Garden Cafe, just not the busy atmosphere. They are a bit limited, but they have nightly specials which aren't bad. Our first meal on board at Tsar's Palace was not very memorable, but they got better during the week. These are the free meals.

The shore excursions -- I think I might have passed on a few of them. I didn't know how far the town was in relation to the boat. I think I'd like to have explored the area more than taking some of our excursions. Icy Strait was my favorite with multiple whale sightings and our trek to a viewing platform to see the bears and wildlife. We were fortunate because the salmon started running an hour before we came. We were told the morning tour had hardly any sightings of bears and eagles.

Take advantage of the Laundry Service -- all you can stuff in a bag for $20. Comes towards to end of the cruise. There is no laundry on board, although I managed a few thin pieces to wash and dry in my room.

I loved the size of our ship, this being my first cruise. I believe about 2,500 guests vs. the 4,000 plus on some larger cruise ships. I hesitated to book a cruise for fear of contracting norovirus. They do an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing and I know my fear was unfounded.

Cruising isn't for everyone. I don't know what I would do if I stayed on the ship for 7 days. We don't drink all day, it was too cold to be in the pool, there wasn't much in the way of shopping, and the entertainment and card/bingo games were not our thing. Yes, I'd go again with knowing what to consider for our next trip.
HNLmom’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Jewel price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11th Floor
Convenient to get to other parts of the ship. Decor a little dated. Spacious with a tub and ample storage.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews