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We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed slightly in that only one side of the bed has a cabinet. This was a little awkward and I don't really understand why they did this. The storage was adequate with plenty of room under the bed for a hard body suitcase on each side and also the hand luggage trolley cases fit too. The bathroom was fine - my criteria of trying to not book cruises with shower curtains was fully met and so I was happy with that. Embarkation was perfectly fine with a small amount of queueing. We noticed that, if you have a disability of any kind, there was a separate area with seating so that is a "mind at rest" thing for some people. We were allowed into our cabins after a fairly short wait and the luggage arrived pretty quickly so that we could unpack and explore before attending the drill. We didn't have a dining package on this cruise and so used the main rooms and Chin Chin (our favourite because the service is just so much better than the other places, even though the menu is more limited). We also ate a couple of times in O'Sheehans, especially after getting back on the ship after a hard day's exploring. We did have some complaints including the ubiquitous "over-cooked fish" - I just don't get why, when you send it back, it comes back nearly every time perfectly cooked, they don't just do it that way the first time around. Its such a waste of food, but it was completely inedible on a number of occasions. I was also served some frozen potatoes which sort of explains the fish as they must pre-cook and freeze a lot of the dishes. I suppose that's fine for most things, after all it is mass-catering, but they need to work on it. We had attended the meet and greet and so had received the card with the phone numbers on. We used them and things improved a little, along with a little complimentary Sushi to apologise, which was very nice and unexpected. The ship had a lot of new crew on board and it was especially noticeable in Tsar's Palace dining room. They have to be trained, of course, but maybe don't put all of the new staff in the same place! Azura was better and the staff in there were much more upbeat and good at service. There were good staff in Tsar's Palace but, on this occasion, the atmosphere could be strained at times whereas the other venues didnt have that vibe. I'm sure it is temporary and will be back to normal once the staff find their feet. The shows were outstanding, as usual. In particular we loved Rock you Tonight, Anna and Vlad, Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The other shows were good, just these were great. The Tap Pack could become a favourite in time. The comedians and hypnotists were not to my taste but others enjoyed them. Overall the entertainment staff do a great job. A shout out to Dexter for the dance classes on sea days. We had a lot of sea days on this leg and so the enrichment programmes become important, especially when you have 2 or 3 days of not so good weather. We enjoyed the talks on Polynesian Art and the navigation and Atoll talks. We didn't ever use the pool or the sun loungers but I didn't hear any complaints. (I'm too pale to sit in that sort of sun unfortunately but I did enjoy sitting on my balcony in the shade and watching out for sea life - the pacific is so vast that we didn't see a single other ship on the 5 days at sea, only a couple of flying fish and one pod of dolphins but hey the colours of the sea and just the peace was great). We embarked in Oahu and had spent a couple of days beforehand exploring with friends who had hired a car. I can highly recommend a visit to Pearl Harbour and some shopping in Honolulu - there are some great deals to be had if you search them out! The Hawaii Islands were a great place to have some really good days out, Volcanos, Blow Holes, Mountains, Views, Beaches, Waterfalls - whatever you like you will find it. My own highlight was the sailaway from Nawiliwili and viewing the Napali Coast from the deck of the ship. What an awesome place. However, that wasn't the only highlight. I think my favourite was Kauai Island but its truly hard to chose. I don't know what excursions were on offer specifically from the ship but the usual comment about the price is in order. It cost us $280 over the full four islands for four of us - including hiring a car, petrol, entrance fees to whatever we wanted to see and some drinks - including coffees in McDs for the free wifi. That was $140 per couple. As far as I could see $140 per person per day was the average cost of the excursions in each port - just not good value for money at all. This needs to be fixed by the company. Nuku Hiva was pretty special - we had a beach day but there were other things to do. We didn't book any ships excursions on this leg of the trip and were certainly glad as they are completely overpriced. You can book on the dockside for around a third of the price and better if you have a large group as you have bargaining power. Mo'orea - booked a lagoon sailing with sharks and stingrays - utterly beautiful although I didn't swim with the sharks! Despite what was being claimed, I had read that three weeks earlier, in the exact same reefs, a woman had her hands and boobs eaten by a shark. While the people in the boats keep feeding them and the stingrays, they will continue to be a danger to human beings. After the tour we had a good wander and found a local beer (delicious). Raiatea - again booked a tour at the harbour and visited Marae Taputapuatea which was very spiritual. Pearls, Vanilla, Volcanic Craters, Rivers that are the sea as well. We saw children having swimming lessons with the fish around them. I think this was my favourite place of the whole trip but I loved it all tbh. Bora Bora - again got off the tender boat (which was always easy and there were few queues except first thing in the morning. We visited this port twice on the back to back so on this visit we did a land tour and met the delightful Delores (who used to be in the tank regiment just outside of Paris). We visited Bloody Mary's bar but didn't have a drink - although you could. I took the advice of friends and stayed off the beach area there as it is renowned for people being bitten by sand flies. The visit to the place where they hand make the Pareau ended in my purse being lightened as I couldn't resist one of the dresses they were selling. The views all around the island are stunning. We did a lagoon tour on the next visit so I shall cover that in my next review. Pape'ete Tahiti. - Not my favourite place of the tour but that may have been coloured by the poor showing on the tour we booked dockside. I'm not sure that any of the others, including the ships tours, were any better - I didn't hear anyone praising the place but it was still nice to see the island. This was the end of this part of the cruise and was disembarkation day. We had to change cabins and it was chaotic due to the card printing machine not working properly. I'm not sure why the crew couldn't have delivered the new key cards to the cabins as there was no checking of ID etc. It resulted in huge queues at the guest services desk where they were having to reprint nearly all of the cards as none of them seemed to work on board (although they did work so that you could get on and off the ship). There must be a better way and it will be interesting to see if it was any better in Sydney as there were quite a number of guests staying on until Auckland. There was very little wifi to be had once you left the accessibility of McD's or Starbucks in Hawaii. Bora Bora - there was a cafe not far from the port where you could pay $5 for 30 minutes but it was very slow. There was free wifi in the tourist information centre but it hardly ever worked. Pape'ete - there was good wifi in a cafe near the port, you just had to buy a drink and also there was free wifi in the tourist information centre, but I dont know if it was fast or not. If you can afford it I would upgrade your wifi packages on the ship if you need to be in contact with home for whatever reason. Nuku Hiva had wifi in the cafe on the port - free as long as you bought food - I'm not sure that anyone on a cruise needs to eat food in a port - but crack on if you can manage it. It certainly smelled good! We loved the cruise. Being from the UK, it means that these places are normally too far away so this was an ideal opportunity. We found the sea days fine, although the sea day in between Nuku Hiva and Mo'orea was a killer for us - nothing wrong with the ships entertainment, it was just a perception that this was definitely the longest day. We crossed the equator during this trip and they did the ceremony! We got wrapped in togas (bed sheets!) King Neptune granted us safe passage as long as we kissed the (most disgusting) fish and then submitted to a glug of slime. It was great fun although in 85% humidity the togas were a little on the warm side! We didn't have any children with us but there were some on the cruise. They genuinely seemed to having a great time - even the "too cool for school" teenagers! We hardly ever saw or heard them during the sea days which usually means there is plenty to do to keep them out of trouble and harms way. The Jewel is a lovely ship with some seriously nice crew who go out of their way to try to make sure you have a good time. The food is my only bug bear but it never is bad enough to spoil my adventures. I would go back no problem at all - where is that lottery ticket!

Had a great time

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by mystic1963

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Transpacific
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney.

We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case

It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed slightly in that only one side of the bed has a cabinet. This was a little awkward and I don't really understand why they did this. The storage was adequate with plenty of room under the bed for a hard body suitcase on each side and also the hand luggage trolley cases fit too.

The bathroom was fine - my criteria of trying to not book cruises with shower curtains was fully met and so I was happy with that.

Embarkation was perfectly fine with a small amount of queueing. We noticed that, if you have a disability of any kind, there was a separate area with seating so that is a "mind at rest" thing for some people.

We were allowed into our cabins after a fairly short wait and the luggage arrived pretty quickly so that we could unpack and explore before attending the drill.

We didn't have a dining package on this cruise and so used the main rooms and Chin Chin (our favourite because the service is just so much better than the other places, even though the menu is more limited). We also ate a couple of times in O'Sheehans, especially after getting back on the ship after a hard day's exploring. We did have some complaints including the ubiquitous "over-cooked fish" - I just don't get why, when you send it back, it comes back nearly every time perfectly cooked, they don't just do it that way the first time around. Its such a waste of food, but it was completely inedible on a number of occasions. I was also served some frozen potatoes which sort of explains the fish as they must pre-cook and freeze a lot of the dishes. I suppose that's fine for most things, after all it is mass-catering, but they need to work on it. We had attended the meet and greet and so had received the card with the phone numbers on. We used them and things improved a little, along with a little complimentary Sushi to apologise, which was very nice and unexpected. The ship had a lot of new crew on board and it was especially noticeable in Tsar's Palace dining room. They have to be trained, of course, but maybe don't put all of the new staff in the same place! Azura was better and the staff in there were much more upbeat and good at service. There were good staff in Tsar's Palace but, on this occasion, the atmosphere could be strained at times whereas the other venues didnt have that vibe. I'm sure it is temporary and will be back to normal once the staff find their feet.

The shows were outstanding, as usual. In particular we loved Rock you Tonight, Anna and Vlad, Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The other shows were good, just these were great. The Tap Pack could become a favourite in time. The comedians and hypnotists were not to my taste but others enjoyed them. Overall the entertainment staff do a great job. A shout out to Dexter for the dance classes on sea days.

We had a lot of sea days on this leg and so the enrichment programmes become important, especially when you have 2 or 3 days of not so good weather. We enjoyed the talks on Polynesian Art and the navigation and Atoll talks. We didn't ever use the pool or the sun loungers but I didn't hear any complaints. (I'm too pale to sit in that sort of sun unfortunately but I did enjoy sitting on my balcony in the shade and watching out for sea life - the pacific is so vast that we didn't see a single other ship on the 5 days at sea, only a couple of flying fish and one pod of dolphins but hey the colours of the sea and just the peace was great).

We embarked in Oahu and had spent a couple of days beforehand exploring with friends who had hired a car.

I can highly recommend a visit to Pearl Harbour and some shopping in Honolulu - there are some great deals to be had if you search them out!

The Hawaii Islands were a great place to have some really good days out, Volcanos, Blow Holes, Mountains, Views, Beaches, Waterfalls - whatever you like you will find it.

My own highlight was the sailaway from Nawiliwili and viewing the Napali Coast from the deck of the ship. What an awesome place. However, that wasn't the only highlight. I think my favourite was Kauai Island but its truly hard to chose. I don't know what excursions were on offer specifically from the ship but the usual comment about the price is in order. It cost us $280 over the full four islands for four of us - including hiring a car, petrol, entrance fees to whatever we wanted to see and some drinks - including coffees in McDs for the free wifi. That was $140 per couple. As far as I could see $140 per person per day was the average cost of the excursions in each port - just not good value for money at all. This needs to be fixed by the company.

Nuku Hiva was pretty special - we had a beach day but there were other things to do. We didn't book any ships excursions on this leg of the trip and were certainly glad as they are completely overpriced. You can book on the dockside for around a third of the price and better if you have a large group as you have bargaining power.

Mo'orea - booked a lagoon sailing with sharks and stingrays - utterly beautiful although I didn't swim with the sharks! Despite what was being claimed, I had read that three weeks earlier, in the exact same reefs, a woman had her hands and boobs eaten by a shark. While the people in the boats keep feeding them and the stingrays, they will continue to be a danger to human beings. After the tour we had a good wander and found a local beer (delicious).

Raiatea - again booked a tour at the harbour and visited Marae Taputapuatea which was very spiritual. Pearls, Vanilla, Volcanic Craters, Rivers that are the sea as well. We saw children having swimming lessons with the fish around them. I think this was my favourite place of the whole trip but I loved it all tbh.

Bora Bora - again got off the tender boat (which was always easy and there were few queues except first thing in the morning. We visited this port twice on the back to back so on this visit we did a land tour and met the delightful Delores (who used to be in the tank regiment just outside of Paris). We visited Bloody Mary's bar but didn't have a drink - although you could. I took the advice of friends and stayed off the beach area there as it is renowned for people being bitten by sand flies. The visit to the place where they hand make the Pareau ended in my purse being lightened as I couldn't resist one of the dresses they were selling. The views all around the island are stunning. We did a lagoon tour on the next visit so I shall cover that in my next review.

Pape'ete Tahiti. - Not my favourite place of the tour but that may have been coloured by the poor showing on the tour we booked dockside. I'm not sure that any of the others, including the ships tours, were any better - I didn't hear anyone praising the place but it was still nice to see the island.

This was the end of this part of the cruise and was disembarkation day. We had to change cabins and it was chaotic due to the card printing machine not working properly. I'm not sure why the crew couldn't have delivered the new key cards to the cabins as there was no checking of ID etc. It resulted in huge queues at the guest services desk where they were having to reprint nearly all of the cards as none of them seemed to work on board (although they did work so that you could get on and off the ship). There must be a better way and it will be interesting to see if it was any better in Sydney as there were quite a number of guests staying on until Auckland.

There was very little wifi to be had once you left the accessibility of McD's or Starbucks in Hawaii. Bora Bora - there was a cafe not far from the port where you could pay $5 for 30 minutes but it was very slow. There was free wifi in the tourist information centre but it hardly ever worked.

Pape'ete - there was good wifi in a cafe near the port, you just had to buy a drink and also there was free wifi in the tourist information centre, but I dont know if it was fast or not. If you can afford it I would upgrade your wifi packages on the ship if you need to be in contact with home for whatever reason.

Nuku Hiva had wifi in the cafe on the port - free as long as you bought food - I'm not sure that anyone on a cruise needs to eat food in a port - but crack on if you can manage it. It certainly smelled good!

We loved the cruise. Being from the UK, it means that these places are normally too far away so this was an ideal opportunity. We found the sea days fine, although the sea day in between Nuku Hiva and Mo'orea was a killer for us - nothing wrong with the ships entertainment, it was just a perception that this was definitely the longest day.

We crossed the equator during this trip and they did the ceremony! We got wrapped in togas (bed sheets!) King Neptune granted us safe passage as long as we kissed the (most disgusting) fish and then submitted to a glug of slime. It was great fun although in 85% humidity the togas were a little on the warm side!

We didn't have any children with us but there were some on the cruise. They genuinely seemed to having a great time - even the "too cool for school" teenagers! We hardly ever saw or heard them during the sea days which usually means there is plenty to do to keep them out of trouble and harms way.

The Jewel is a lovely ship with some seriously nice crew who go out of their way to try to make sure you have a good time. The food is my only bug bear but it never is bad enough to spoil my adventures.

I would go back no problem at all - where is that lottery ticket!
mystic1963’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B2 9644
The cabin was on the port side and mid-ships. The storage was fine although its always a little cramped. There were three large drawers and plenty of hangers in the wardrobe. The bedside cabinet was on the left hand side but the right hand side of the bed didn't have a cabinet and you had to use the settee. The balcony was standard with two chairs that were fairly comfortable and a small table (we would have liked it to be a little bigger but we managed). They have removed the shelf in this cabin next to the door of the balcony but there was a storage area there with a handy shelf to put all of the "crap" that you accumulate during a cruise!
The coffee machine was easy to use but we ended up buying some instant coffee in one of the ports because the coffee pods were very weak to taste. Its just a matter of what you like - they provide two decaf and two ordinary coffee pods twice a day.
The bathroom had little storage but again we managed as we just make sure we are very tidy.
The towels were decent quality and our steward made sure we had an extra one each day as I have long hair and so need two when showering. We also asked for dressing gowns which they provided straight away. They have stopped doing the slippers and I did wish I had taken mine with me a couple of times as, when the sun went in, it could be quite cold.
The air conditioning worked well and we could alter the temperature in the cabin quite quickly.
The channels on the TV included four film channels, four or five news channels which also showed other stuff like documentaries etc. We like to watch the TV while relaxing in the room in the afternoons before getting ready. It may be less important to others.
We also like the navigation channel, especially in parts of the world like the South Pacific where there is just so much more out there than you can easily visit. Lots of food for thought and conversation starters.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bora Bora
    We got off on the tender boat very easily and booked a land tour on this occasion. I think we paid about $30 or $35 each which, for Bora Bora is pretty decent.

    The wonderful Delores ( the ex-tank regiment member) was our guide and she drove us to all of the main viewing points for this island. We also visited Bloody Mary's beach bar and a place where they make Pareau - I ended up buying a dress there and I wore it loads on the rest of the cruise. There are beautiful beaches and gorgeous mountains all around you. The water is fantastic - just dont forget your beach shoes as the sand is actually dead coral that is still being ground down by the sea and is as rough as ..........
    View All 160 Bora Bora Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Hilo
    Hired a car again - make sure you get off the ship early and send the driver to the hire place as the queues can be ridiculous.

    We had a trip to see the volcanos and the waterfalls. Definitely worth the effort, we especially loved the blow holes - just wish I could have seen the volcanos before the eruption so that I could compare and contrast.

    The distances are large so make sure you plan in advance and you will make the most of your day.
    View All 567 Hilo Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Honolulu
    Went to Pearl Harbour museum in a hire car. Pretty emotional experience and worth the trip. I believe there are a number of bus tours which go there. Easy to get around and free (very important feature!)

    Our hotel before embarkation was the Hilton Waikiki Beach Resort. It has ABC stores situated in the grounds and they will save you a fortune. It is right on the beach so easy for a swim or a walk although apparently the sand is imported from Australia! They should try somewhere else as it is really rough on your feet and hard to walk on.

    Lots of shopping to be done and some bargains to be had. Our suitcase was ruined and we went to somewhere recommended by the hotel, I cant remember the name but it had Dress For Less in it somewhere.

    Shirts were easy to find and it was up to you how much you paid. I spoke to someone who said they found a silk one in a TK Maxx for around $20 which is a bargain.

    Its a commercial centre but there are some really nice places to see if you just venture out of the main town. Lots of free wifi to be had. Make the most of it, it wont last!
    View All 673 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kauai
    My favourite place, even though the weather wasnt great. We were lucky because we were quick off the mark and got up to the viewing points before the clouds came down. If you are doing a helicopter ride here, you will need to be off the ship as early as you can because the clouds come down every day and by 1100am you cant see anything.

    The main viewing platform is right up on the top of the volcano and we got there early at around 1030am. It was already shrouded in cloud and so we didnt bother paying the $5 to go up there. Ask the woman in the hut before putting your money in the machine to pay. Its per car so its not huge price but its a waste if you cant see anything at the viewing point. Save the money and buy something in their conservation store instead. At least then you are still contributing but getting value for money at the same time.

    Its an amazing island and the sail away the next morning was outstanding - all along the Napali Coast line (part of the Jurassic Park film if you are wondering). Awesome - go up to the Spinnaker Lounge and bag an early seat at the front of the ship - the Captain did sail both ways though so if you miss out and have a balcony cabin you will still see it. Very special indeed.
    View All 533 Kauai Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Maui
    We hired a car and took a trip to Lahaina and some shopping along the beautiful main street in the old town. Nice beaches in this area too and Bettys Beach Cafe further along the main road in a little side centre called 505 Front Street.

    Made me think of the Waltons as there was a Historic house in town called the Baldwin Home which is now a museum and worth a visit.

    Lots of history dotted around the shops so keep wandering up side streets. An amazing Banyan tree provided some much needed shade at midday. You'll find something to suit all tastes in this lovely little town.
    View All 615 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Moorea
    Probably the most beautiful place I had ever seen - this was what I wrote on my faceache page.

    We got off very easily on the tender boats and then booked an excursion dockside - I think it cost us around $40 each for a boat ride to a beach with snorkelling and drinks and snacks of various fruit. We also had another boat which collected you from the beach and took you to the reefs to swim with sharks and stingrays an all sorts of amazingly coloured fish. I didn't get in the water - what with the sharks that had attacked someone just three weeks earlier, err I think not! - but the water is so clear that I still got some pretty awesome photographs.
    You got loads of time and the trip from the dock to the beach and back was across the most amazing lagoon and went past lots of interesting sights on the waterside.
    Definitely worth the money. We went back to the docks more or less straight after the trip to the reefs but you could stay on the beach as long as you liked - the last boat back was at 1500 and the ship didnt sail until 1800 so you had plenty of time.

    Great cafe at the end of the road out of the port called Hinano which had some local beer and a lovely walk along a main road with some interesting little houses to nose at.
    The public beach was around 30-45 mins walk along that road - turn right at the top past the Hinano cafe and keep going. We didnt go to that beach but quite a lot of people did - too far for the poor crew though - they didnt get enough time off the ship to go that far.
    Didnt find any free wifi but there was a post office selling time slots - they just ran out before we could get there.
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