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

Alaska Cruise on NCL Jewel was perfect!

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by namastenana

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

Our previous cruise was on NCL and in booking a trip to Alaska, we choose it again and were not disappointed. The NCL Jewel was updated last fall and feels like a new ship. Our mini-suite was perfect with a little extra room and full bath. We were traveling with our adult children, so it was nice to have the extra space when they visited us or used our balcony for glacier viewing. The staff are exceptionally friendly and are committed to providing a high level of service. While we don't have another cruise line to which we can compare our experiences, we are usually very active on vacations and were hesitant to even consider a cruise. We enjoy the "freestyle" options on Norwegian. Dining hours are flexible, you can find plenty of healthy options and the upgraded dining options are excellent and worth the cost. The thermal spa is an add-on, but is something you might consider--a peaceful getaway and great place to read while enjoying the gorgeous scenery from the front of the ship. And there are plenty of night life options for all ages. The promenade on Deck 7 is great for walking while enjoying 360 views. We saw a number of whales while walking the morning we entered the inside passage. We chose the one way trip from Seward to Vancouver. We arrived early in Anchorage and spend four days in Denali with a rental car. We then took a bus from the Anchorage airport to Seward to board the ship. The Bike, Hike and Float excursion in Skayway was our favorite and a great value. In Juneau, we were disappointed in the kayaking near Mendenhall Glacier (only an hour on the water and seemed to go in circles), but also had time for a hike to the top of Mount Roberts (and then took the tram down). In Icy Strait we walked to the nearby town of Hookah. Overall, a great trip and would choose NCL again.

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

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11098

We appreciated the extra room with a mini-suite and the full bath did not feel cramped. Plenty of room for storage and one floor below dining, the pool, and fitness area, but quiet. Balcony was great for viewing the glaciers.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


This was advertised as a Sea Kayak Adventure near Mendenhall Glacier--kayaking was high on our bucket list for this trip. However, we spent more time on the short bus ride there and back than in the water. This was advertised as a 90 minute kayaking experience, but we were out of the water in barely an hour. Even that hour was less than expected...we paddled and sat, paddled a bit and sat. Others in our group were also disappointed and expected a bit more in terms of exploring the lake and islands. It could have been a great experience, but perhaps this was more about our guide who seemed more interested in getting back to take his next group out.

View All 24 Kayaking Reviews

Best excursion of the trip. Biked 5 miles through the former Gold Rush town of Dyea, then hiked 2 miles of the Chilkoot Trail and had a relaxing raft ride back to our drop off point. A great value and great fun! Our guides (Becka, Tallysa and Brooke) were knowledgable and shared so much background about the area from both an historical and environmental perspective. Enjoyed by both those of us in our 60s and our adult kids who were traveling with us.

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Jeep Tour

We drove our jeeps to our local lake and paddled native canoes to the other side for a brief nature hike and tasty chowder, salmon spread and s'mores. After paddling back, the fun began and our guide led us through former logging roads in 4-wheel drive. We did this with our adult children and they did the driving. Great fun for all!

View All 14 Jeep Tour Reviews

We stayed an extra night in Vancouver before flying home. There is so much to see that it can seem overwhelming. We checked out bags at the dock and used public transportation to explore Stanley Park, Granville Island and the Chinese Garden in Chinatown. Fly Over Canada is at Canada Place and was our first stop (while waiting for the rain to stop). Highly recommend this theater experience as a great intro to Canada. Dinner at Cactus Cafe in Yaletown was excellent. Gastown is also a fun place to explore. Taxi ride to the airport the next morning was under 30 minutes.

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