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This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL. Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami to the Caribbean in January 2015. Because this was a mere two months from the first, I assumed the dishes in the main dining salons and the speciality restaurants were on the winter menu and hadn't been changed. So I was surprised when the food was the same on a transatlantic trip from Miami to Dover in May 2015. We left it a year and then tried the Hawaiian one in June 2016. Again, the dishes were the same. For this Christmas 2018 cruise, we could see the improvements in the refit, especially in the Bliss Louunge and Spinnaker which is now sited at the top and front of the 13 deck as well as fresh decor in the cabins etc. On a separate note, it was lovely to see the Aussie entertainment director, Dave who we met on our first cruise. But everyone knows, cruises revolve around mealtimes so we again paid a 10-night specialty restaurant package, and had our first lunch onboard after embarkation in Tsars main dining salon. We were right at the end of lunch service and there were only about 10 tables to serve, so I was surprised the waiter took ages to come with our dishes. I did notice a lot of waiters wafting about unproductively. My husband's fries were cold while the waiter brought me the wrong dish which I could see was overcooked salmon, On Christmas Day lunch there, the Christmas dishes were a perfunctory piece of paper clipped to the menu. The local pub would have put them to shame for presentation, taste and temperature. There were no roast potatoes so you could hardly call it a Christmas lunch! Even dinner at Cagney's that night felt a bit flat. Even in Cagneys Steakhouse our medium rare steaks turned up medium done on several occasions. The Garden Cafe buffet turned out to have the freshest, most varied and tasty dishes. However we didn't pay thousands to eat at a cafeteria for 2 weeks i am reluctant to travel with NCL ever again.

Ship itself was good but they haven't changed the menu for 4 years!!!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by cyberchick67

Trip Details
This is our 5th cruise in 4 years with NCL.

Our first one in November 2014 was from Boston to New Orleans which was great as it was our first and everything was new to us. Our second was a week-long "booze cruise' from Miami to the Caribbean in January 2015. Because this was a mere two months from the first, I assumed the dishes in the main dining salons and the speciality restaurants were on the winter menu and hadn't been changed. So I was surprised when the food was the same on a transatlantic trip from Miami to Dover in May 2015. We left it a year and then tried the Hawaiian one in June 2016. Again, the dishes were the same.

For this Christmas 2018 cruise, we could see the improvements in the refit, especially in the Bliss Louunge and Spinnaker which is now sited at the top and front of the 13 deck as well as fresh decor in the cabins etc. On a separate note, it was lovely to see the Aussie entertainment director, Dave who we met on our first cruise.

But everyone knows, cruises revolve around mealtimes so we again paid a 10-night specialty restaurant package, and had our first lunch onboard after embarkation in Tsars main dining salon. We were right at the end of lunch service and there were only about 10 tables to serve, so I was surprised the waiter took ages to come with our dishes. I did notice a lot of waiters wafting about unproductively. My husband's fries were cold while the waiter brought me the wrong dish which I could see was overcooked salmon,

On Christmas Day lunch there, the Christmas dishes were a perfunctory piece of paper clipped to the menu. The local pub would have put them to shame for presentation, taste and temperature. There were no roast potatoes so you could hardly call it a Christmas lunch! Even dinner at Cagney's that night felt a bit flat.

Even in Cagneys Steakhouse our medium rare steaks turned up medium done on several occasions.

The Garden Cafe buffet turned out to have the freshest, most varied and tasty dishes. However we didn't pay thousands to eat at a cafeteria for 2 weeks

i am reluctant to travel with NCL ever again.
cyberchick67’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9468
Our cabin is actually for people with disablities and was around the corner from the 9th deck Aft lifts. I was concerned it would be noisy but it wasn't and it was extra roomy as a result.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Napier is where my mother was born which is a city completely devastated by an earthquake in 1931 where the town's leaders decided to rebuild entirely in Art Deco style. Today it has a world-famous Art Deco festival every February. On this tour we finally got to visit a chocolate shop and winery and luckily we bought a case to get delivered home to Australia as we never saw another winery again which is incredible considering NZ is well-known for its wines and vineyards.
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  • Tauranga
    We arrived in Tauranga on New Year's Day to do The Hobbiton tour. When Peter Jackson's location scouts were combing NZ , they helicoptered over this bucolic farm property and thought it looked like "ancient England" and arranged to built a mock set for The Lord of the Rings. Three years later when they returned to shoot The Hobbit, the canny owner suggested they build it for real, reasoning that avid fans would travel worldwide to see it . They obviously had a lot of fun with the set design and I loved their incredible attention to detail - even the bathroom sign for the disabled featured an icon of a wheelchair with carved wooden carriage spokes! Today it draws 350,000 visitors a year which is pretty incredible.
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