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Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,389 Reviews

Good but not great

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Goonda

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony

Did the 13 day South Pacific and North Queensland Cruise. Family of 4 in Aft Mini-Suite.

Kids 10 and 16.

The itinerary was pretty good with nice visits to Noumea, Isle of Pines (Magnificent), Lifou, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane and Sydney.

No need for overpriced shore excursions at any port (although due to brief stops at Cairns and Airlie Beach only the ridiculously expensive short excursions to the Great Barrier Reef were the only option to see that sight. Relatively brief stays at these far north Queensland locations.

At Noumea we bought a tour bus ticket that took us to most of the local sights for aprox US$35 each bought at the cruise port office. Good value and decent stop and walk about the Cultural Centre.

No need for any shore excursions at either Isle of Pines of Lifou. Both are tenders that seemed to run pretty well. Isle of PInes of the pick of the Islands and has fabulous crystal clear waters and some good snorkling. All walking distance from the tender port.

At Cairns I organised to do the Skyrail Gondola online at half the price of the overpriced shore excursions. Was a really nice trip over the rainforest to the groovy town of Kilanda. Had to get up early to get early tenders for this stop.

At Airlie Beach rented jetskis right at the tender port. Again had to get up early to get an early tender ticket.

Norwegian charged us US$15 for the shuttle bus into Brisbane. The port was in the middle of nowhere so had no real choice. Should be included if you ask me.

Food in the main dining room was really bad. We only ate there for dinner twice. Pretty much returned all our meals. Tasted very pre-prepared in advance and overcooked. Copious amounts of butter on everything. Buffet was also ordinary in my opinion. The specialty restaurants Cagneys, Teppanyaki and Italian were good. One shouldnt have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a good meal in my opinion. Meals at O'Sheehans were OK. Meals at ChinChins were OK but pretty bland. The sushi option was pretty good but again you pay for it.

The ship has been well renovated at dry dock and everything looks nice and modern. BUT they've removed the waterslide - much to the kids disappointment!!!!

Staff were pretty good in general but some were argumentative and surly.

Entertainment hit and miss in my opinion. There should NEVER be a Michael Buble' tribute show - NEVER!!!!!!!

Not much to do on sea days but sit around the pool. Very little in the way of activities.

Had a few issues at disembarkation where they advertised the wrong time and we came close to missing our flights.

Goonda's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M1 11156

Nicely renovated at dry dock. Everything clean and modern. Bedding is king and fold out sofa bed which was a little squeezy for the kids. They also complained that it was a bit hard and we got an extra quilt for them to sleep on top of. Modern TV. Ensuite a little tight. Shower over bath. In general the cabin was comfortable enough to live out of for a couple of weeks but if sharing with kids you do need the sofa bed raised during the day as that is your relaxation area. Balcony was quite spacious - had 2 chairs and a table. Good view at the rear of the ship.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Sydney (Australia)

Ship at Port is right at Circular Quay , Sydney. Right opposite Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Spectacular Port.

Good day tour with decent stop at Cultural Centre and lookouts. US$35 each at port office.

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Isle of Pines (New Caledonia)

Magnificent tropical island. Crystal clear waters. Snorkling. Impossible to take a bad photo.

Skyrail Tour

Took Gondolas over the rainforest to and from town of Kilanda.

View All 26 Skyrail Tour Reviews

Took shuttle to city. Went to Southbank for a few drinks at the beer garden overlooking the man made beach and pool. Nice clean city.

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