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We chose this trip for the itinerary. We recently retired and we were hopeing for a trip of a lifetime. Overall the itinerary was a good one with stops in very interesting ports. However, we have sailed with Norwegian 6 times now and this was probably the least organized in terms of shore excursions that we have ever been on. We found the shore excursions to be rated incorrectly in terms of difficulty. The weather in South East Asia is oppressively hot, and even though the ship recommends staying hydrated on the side trips, we were not allow to take water on or off the ship in most ports of call. In most circumstances the tours lasted 4-6 hours and many without water or even a small boxed lunch. Would it be too much to ask for NCL to throw us a some water and a banana? One poor gentleman actually passed out in Bangkok due to the heat and dehydration. The days that we had to be tendered in to the shore were nightmares! Neither the shore excursion crew were organized nor the buses etc. at the port. The tenders are HOT and uncomfortable and NCL consistently feels the need to PACK the tender full of people before leaving the ship. In Cambodia we chose to take the Level1 shore excursion through Ream Naitonal Park. It was "billed" as a boat ride and tour of the countryside. In our group we had a woman with broken ribs and another walking with a cane. The boats were slippery and difficult to get in and out of. But that wasn't the worse of it. When we got out of the boats we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with a guide that spoke very little english, who led the group on a one+ mile hike through rice fields, across duck boards, through marshes and through mud and muck. I truly have no idea how the woman with the cane made the trip. We stopped at little hut that was a school where cute Cambodian children sang to us and showed us how they write their language. Then we hiked another 1+ mile or so through some very tretuous and muddy paths to find the bus. We were not provided ANY water or any food this entire trip. The native people did provide us a sample of fruit if you dared to eat it. Many people were bitten by ants and scraped up with nettles. One person slipped on the mud upon leaving. It was NO LEVEL 1 - that's for sure. And we found this to be true with several other shore excursions as well. Overall the trip was lovely, but the ship was also headed into dry dock at Singapore and we got the sense that in the last few days of the trip those working on the shiip really started not to care so much about customer service. Everything was removed from our cabin mini-bars two days in advance of the cruise being over. Workman started to repair the ship and you would find them in your room fixing things all the time. For a ship that advertises NO LITTER on the seas, they started to scrap paint off the outside railiings about 3 days into the curise and my husband and I watched (disgusted) as thousands of led based paint chips flew into the ocean. There is a lot to improve on this trip. And the Jewel itself is in need of some serious renovation.

Overall good cruise but not without hiccups

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by MerrittSpier

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We chose this trip for the itinerary. We recently retired and we were hopeing for a trip of a lifetime. Overall the itinerary was a good one with stops in very interesting ports. However, we have sailed with Norwegian 6 times now and this was probably the least organized in terms of shore excursions that we have ever been on. We found the shore excursions to be rated incorrectly in terms of difficulty. The weather in South East Asia is oppressively hot, and even though the ship recommends staying hydrated on the side trips, we were not allow to take water on or off the ship in most ports of call. In most circumstances the tours lasted 4-6 hours and many without water or even a small boxed lunch. Would it be too much to ask for NCL to throw us a some water and a banana? One poor gentleman actually passed out in Bangkok due to the heat and dehydration.

The days that we had to be tendered in to the shore were nightmares! Neither the shore excursion crew were organized nor the buses etc. at the port. The tenders are HOT and uncomfortable and NCL consistently feels the need to PACK the tender full of people before leaving the ship.

In Cambodia we chose to take the Level1 shore excursion through Ream Naitonal Park. It was "billed" as a boat ride and tour of the countryside. In our group we had a woman with broken ribs and another walking with a cane. The boats were slippery and difficult to get in and out of. But that wasn't the worse of it. When we got out of the boats we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with a guide that spoke very little english, who led the group on a one+ mile hike through rice fields, across duck boards, through marshes and through mud and muck. I truly have no idea how the woman with the cane made the trip. We stopped at little hut that was a school where cute Cambodian children sang to us and showed us how they write their language. Then we hiked another 1+ mile or so through some very tretuous and muddy paths to find the bus. We were not provided ANY water or any food this entire trip. The native people did provide us a sample of fruit if you dared to eat it. Many people were bitten by ants and scraped up with nettles. One person slipped on the mud upon leaving. It was NO LEVEL 1 - that's for sure. And we found this to be true with several other shore excursions as well.

Overall the trip was lovely, but the ship was also headed into dry dock at Singapore and we got the sense that in the last few days of the trip those working on the shiip really started not to care so much about customer service. Everything was removed from our cabin mini-bars two days in advance of the cruise being over. Workman started to repair the ship and you would find them in your room fixing things all the time. For a ship that advertises NO LITTER on the seas, they started to scrap paint off the outside railiings about 3 days into the curise and my husband and I watched (disgusted) as thousands of led based paint chips flew into the ocean.

There is a lot to improve on this trip. And the Jewel itself is in need of some serious renovation.
MerrittSpier’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 14008
We were in The Haven - 2 room suite which we normally get. The cabin iteself was typical. It has not changed since the first time we took a Norweigen cruise but we like The Haven and we like the space that the room provides us. We do not, nor have we ever, understood why the bathroom in the master bedroom has the best views and when you are in bed you look straight through the bathroom to the sea. This is odd. The bathroom should be behind the bedroom. Additionally, the master bedroom A/C tends not to work well and the room has a tendency to get very stuffy. Someone told me that the ship A/C is cooled by sea water and as the waters get warner, the A/C starts to work less and less. This seems plausable to me and certainly was the case on this trip. All over the ship the A/C got less and less effective as we traveled more south.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Actually the trip was called "Best of Bangkok in a Day" and it was an excellent tour. However, it was extremely HOT and humid. We were NOT offered water. Be forwarned that Bangkok is at least 2.5 hours from the port. We would advise taking a tour on day one and spending the night in Bangkok to avoid having to make a 5+ hours trip back and forth each day. Due to grid lock traffic (to be expected in Bangkok) some people's tours did not get back until midnight which meant NO dinner.
    View All 40 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Great tour guide. Saw amazing bonzai display and went to a flower market.
    View All 36 City Tour Reviews
  • 4WD Jeep Jungle Tour
    Jeep ride fun. Interesting coconut plant tour and rubber tree plant tour. Elephant park a real bummer! NCL should work with Koh Samui officials to ONLY take side trips to the Elephant sancutary where they are saving the elephants from the hard work of entertaining tourists and giving tourists rides.
    View All 9 4WD Jeep Jungle Tour Reviews
  • Taipei (Keelung)
    We went to some shloky theme park and temple. It was a disappointment.
    View All 12,811 Taipei (Keelung) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Taipei (Keelung) Cruise Port Review