We had just completed a cruise on Celebrity from Hawaii to Sydney and loved it so when we saw this itinerary (much better) for a great price we decided to fly back to Hawaii and do it all again.
Again embarkation in Honolulu was a breeze. Sadly our upgrade bids failed and so did our attempts onboard, was surprising to find out the cruise was sold out as it had not been selling well when we booked last minute.
It is our first time on Jewel but she is a carbon copy of the Jade so no issues with orientation. She is a little dated but is maintained well and was generally clean. As with other NCL ships in these classes the public area configuration means sometimes changing levels and there is a lack of public walkway space so on these longer cruises with an older clientele it can be slo moving at times. The positives of these ships are not too many passengers, the full promenade deck, the terrific views from Spinnaker lounge and the aft facing bar outside the buffet. The pool deck is a reasonable size for the number of passengers compared to their larger ships. There is a great variety of dining options. On this cruise smoking had been banned on the promenade deck which is fantastic but was a shame that they did not advertise it correctly so past passengers continually smoked out there despite there being no ashtrays and put everyone at risk by either throwing their butts overboard or extinguishing them on everything from paper packets to the ships dining ware (disgusting) and caused a lot of consternation between passengers and the smokers and the crew. I have no idea why the officers refused to put signs up rather than employ security staff who were regularly ignored. Again we were annoyed by the drinks tax issue NCL claims in USA ports, no other line charges these on drinks ordered under a pre paid drinks package - how can there be tax when there has been no transaction, NCL may as well charge you tax on your meals and accomodation under this logic, the hotel director could not explain this and the chief financial officer simply refused to meet us, we were told “it’s only $15” which is true but if you consider a small sum then you pay it!
Unusual shape but we liked it. Very modern. Bathroom in good condition. Very quiet. Close to stairs. Attendant was poor.
Lovely Waikiki is easy.
Took a local bus to the south side of the island and went snorkeling at Ulua beach which was very nice, saw some turtles.
Walked to Richardson Beach park (about an hour) to go snorkeling. Coral is quite good. Also visited Carlsbad park, nicer for relaxing and swimming but snorkeling poor.
Took a Lyft to Popui state park which is a lovely place for a swim and laze about. Turtle came up onto the beach. After walked the Mahalupe Heritage trail which is fantastic. The next morning the ship sailed the picturesque Nepali coast which was breathtaking.
We also stopped in Marquesas which is not listed here, it was fantastic, very little infrastructure and tourism but so wild. We hiked to local lookout which was hot and amazing. Also visited the unique Notre Dame and swam at the beach.
For Moorea - we rented a car from Alberts which was really reasonable. Island is easy to drive around and stopped at beaches for snorkeling- loved Pineapple beach (best sand and not a sole on it).