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We went on this first cruise for our 30th anniversary. I chose this Norwegian cruise after reviewing choices from our travel agent. I based my choice on the itinerary of the trip, online reviews (including Cruise Critic), YouTube videos from previous passengers, the smaller size of the ship and the price for a balcony stateroom. Everything about this first cruise was fabulous! Every staff and crew member was polite, courteous and professional. They called us by name, looked us in the eyes, smiled all the time and all asked if we needed anything. The ship was very clean, attractive and had a great variety of events. We could also get away to the quiet of our stateroom and not hear our neighbors or people in the hallways. We made our hotel stay before the trip thru NCL. There was a representative from NCL at the hotel the morning of departure to explain to us what to expect in getting on the ship and there were 2 large buses to get us to the port. We did arrive in Vancouver Canada the day before the cruise and intended to explore the city but travel weariness had us staying in. In hindsight I'd book an extra night so that we would be able to spend a day in Vancouver, it looked beautiful from the bus. Our excursions were arranged through the ship ahead of time and were very easy to get on and off in time for the leaving from port. I appreciated the variety of excursions and the range of costs which allowed for anyone to meet budget constraints. We took the inflateable boat to Betten Island and hiked through a rain forest for our Ketchikan stop. We did see eagles and a whale on this trip. We did the Mendenhall Glacier/Nugget Falls and Mt Roberts Tram excursion in Juneau. I would recommend this as the glacier and falls were absolutely beautiful. The view from the top of Mt Roberts is incredible! I don't recommend eating in the restaurant at the top of the tram... very slow service and little choice on the menu. Our excusion in Skagway had to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond NCL control and we were reimbursed for the missed trip. However, we still saw the town and got a good appreciation for the settlers that opened the town and the gold rush seekers' experiences. Glacier Bay is so amazing and this cruise also went to Hubbard Glacier. We saw more whales in this fjord. Tip: don't try to take pictures or videos of whales! They are too quick and you'll miss them. Just watch these graceful creatures and buy souvenir photos. LOL! If you can, take a trip that goes to Hubbard!! So massive and beautiful! Not all itineraries include this stop, so be aware. We made a hotel booking independently of the cruise at the end of the trip so that we could rest before the return flight. Once the ship found out we had this reservation, they made arrangement to get our luggage from the ship to the hotel for us. We did shuttle from the ship to the city center in Anchorage with other passengers and then had to make our own arrangement to get from there to the hotel. Fortunately it was only a few blocks walk. Side note: we booked at the Sheraton Spa Hotel in Anchorage. It has no shuttle service to anything and the rooms had little sound dampening between rooms. We listened to our neighbors argue for 3-4 hours before bed. The food was very good. We did get a meal deal for 3 meals in the restaurants that are not complimentary. Cagney Steakhouse is the best!! We ate there twice. We also ate in the Italian venue La Cocina and it was ok.... not spectacular and not bad. The Garden Café and Great Outdoors had a large variety of food and each day there was a theme for one of the meals, as in Italian or German. This is a complimentary buffet and the food was fresh, never had any hint of being massed produced or under heat lamps. I am a nurse and was impressed with the ship's focus on hand hygiene as we boarded/re-boarded the ship and when entering food service areas. Now when I use the hand gel at work I smile and think "washy washy" as the crew would say :) We had a great time on this trip and have come away with great memories of Alaska. Thank You Norwegian! Thank you Zac Wilson at Daydream Vacations for being our travel agent!

Excellent First Cruise!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by tdwieman

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We went on this first cruise for our 30th anniversary. I chose this Norwegian cruise after reviewing choices from our travel agent. I based my choice on the itinerary of the trip, online reviews (including Cruise Critic), YouTube videos from previous passengers, the smaller size of the ship and the price for a balcony stateroom.

Everything about this first cruise was fabulous! Every staff and crew member was polite, courteous and professional. They called us by name, looked us in the eyes, smiled all the time and all asked if we needed anything. The ship was very clean, attractive and had a great variety of events. We could also get away to the quiet of our stateroom and not hear our neighbors or people in the hallways.

We made our hotel stay before the trip thru NCL. There was a representative from NCL at the hotel the morning of departure to explain to us what to expect in getting on the ship and there were 2 large buses to get us to the port. We did arrive in Vancouver Canada the day before the cruise and intended to explore the city but travel weariness had us staying in. In hindsight I'd book an extra night so that we would be able to spend a day in Vancouver, it looked beautiful from the bus.

Our excursions were arranged through the ship ahead of time and were very easy to get on and off in time for the leaving from port. I appreciated the variety of excursions and the range of costs which allowed for anyone to meet budget constraints. We took the inflateable boat to Betten Island and hiked through a rain forest for our Ketchikan stop. We did see eagles and a whale on this trip. We did the Mendenhall Glacier/Nugget Falls and Mt Roberts Tram excursion in Juneau. I would recommend this as the glacier and falls were absolutely beautiful. The view from the top of Mt Roberts is incredible! I don't recommend eating in the restaurant at the top of the tram... very slow service and little choice on the menu. Our excusion in Skagway had to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond NCL control and we were reimbursed for the missed trip. However, we still saw the town and got a good appreciation for the settlers that opened the town and the gold rush seekers' experiences.

Glacier Bay is so amazing and this cruise also went to Hubbard Glacier. We saw more whales in this fjord. Tip: don't try to take pictures or videos of whales! They are too quick and you'll miss them. Just watch these graceful creatures and buy souvenir photos. LOL! If you can, take a trip that goes to Hubbard!! So massive and beautiful! Not all itineraries include this stop, so be aware.

We made a hotel booking independently of the cruise at the end of the trip so that we could rest before the return flight. Once the ship found out we had this reservation, they made arrangement to get our luggage from the ship to the hotel for us. We did shuttle from the ship to the city center in Anchorage with other passengers and then had to make our own arrangement to get from there to the hotel. Fortunately it was only a few blocks walk. Side note: we booked at the Sheraton Spa Hotel in Anchorage. It has no shuttle service to anything and the rooms had little sound dampening between rooms. We listened to our neighbors argue for 3-4 hours before bed.

The food was very good. We did get a meal deal for 3 meals in the restaurants that are not complimentary. Cagney Steakhouse is the best!! We ate there twice. We also ate in the Italian venue La Cocina and it was ok.... not spectacular and not bad. The Garden Café and Great Outdoors had a large variety of food and each day there was a theme for one of the meals, as in Italian or German. This is a complimentary buffet and the food was fresh, never had any hint of being massed produced or under heat lamps.

I am a nurse and was impressed with the ship's focus on hand hygiene as we boarded/re-boarded the ship and when entering food service areas. Now when I use the hand gel at work I smile and think "washy washy" as the crew would say :)

We had a great time on this trip and have come away with great memories of Alaska. Thank You Norwegian! Thank you Zac Wilson at Daydream Vacations for being our travel agent!
tdwieman’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9136
This was a one way trip north so we chose a balcony stateroom on the starboard side so that we faced the shoreline all the way north. Based on reviews I learned to request to NOT be on deck 8 as the lifeboats can block your balcony view on that deck. Our steward was fantastic and kept our room tidy and clean. He was great with his "towel animals" he placed on our bed each night. Once he learned I like ice water there was always ice in the room.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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