This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 3rd on NCL. We flew to Anchorage on Saturday for the Monday cruise. You do need to plan $100+ to get yourself to the port. We did a taxi from Seward with another couple to save $. The train/bus options are either morning or early afternoon. We booked guaranteed less than a month before the cruise. Got a good price and all 5 options. Room assignment given within a week.
The pros: We enjoyed this midsize ship better than last year’s Bliss. Less crowds and easier to navigate. The Jewel’s dry dock was well done. Balcony room was smaller than others, but well-planned storage makes it tolerable. Staff was efficient and courteous. Dining rooms and buffet were very good. Easy to get on and off the ship. We took advantage of the future cruise certificates, after reading the contract we could see no downside to committing to future NCL cruises.
The cons: the weather was grey and damp, not NCL’s fault. We still enjoyed the views and ports, just didn’t get great pictures. Also due to weather, we missed Tracey Arm and stayed in Juneau until 9 pm. La Cucina was our least favorite dining room. Meat we ordered was dried out and flavorless, veal and chicken cacciatore. We will skip this option next cruise.
Overall, we find the NCL ships to be more elegant and the clientele more to our taste. Although we are Carnival platinum, we think we’ve outgrown the fun ships.
Room was small but adequate. Storage is well planned. Steward did a fine job.
Weather was poor, not the vendor’s fault. No whales but a couple sea lions. Meh.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Wanted to use perk and hubby wanted to gold pan. Short but we enjoyed knowledgeable guide. Shopped rest of time. Would have preferred Tracy Arm in the afternoon but icy waters prevented it.View All 56 Gold Panning Reviews
The whales put on a show despite the rain and cold. Might try a smaller boat and independent vendor next time,View All 161 Whale Watching Reviews
Hooked up with another couple from Cruise Critic and did tour of town. Enjoyable and went where group wanted. Shopped afterwards and took advantage of Tongas stores shipping offer to get bulky Grands gifts home.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Took the $5 bus offer from the town and went shopping. Bad weather prevailed. Would book a tour of some kind next time. We’ve done Dyea Dave in the past but might try railroad next time.