Escape from Winter: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by ammagic

Norwegian Jewel 5
Member Since 2008
43 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Escape from Winter

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
This was my family's fourth Eastern Caribbean cruise in as many years. Although we didn't have plans for a cruise this winter as I took a "Honeymoon Cruise" in September, when I saw the prices and mentioned them to the family the response was "Book It!". We live in the NY area, on Long Island, so the trip to the ship is normally a "piece of cake". The day before the cruise we got a foot of snow and were concerned about the limo ride. As luck would have it everything was cleaned up and we had no problems. That was the first good news. The Embarkation had to be one of the best ever. We had arrived early because of our unfounded fear of traffic delays. The trip through security and the pre-boarding check in was a snap and well organized. We did have to wait almost an hour while they "cleaned" the ship. They said they do that every few trips but we suspected some "norovirus" might have occurred last trip.

When the boarding started everything went smoothly. Our cabin, a More mini-suite, was as expected. Our last two trips were on the NCL Gem in the same cabin type so we knew what to expect. We did spot a notice that they were offering a "Special Deal" for the first 50 folks with a 10 day pass to the spa for $119. We signed the wives up and they loved it. We departed about 30 minutes late due to the extra cleaning I suppose. There are two "Main Dinning Rooms". The bigger one "Tzar's Palace" is entered from deck 7 aft and a smaller one on deck 6 called Azure. Our experience on the Gem was the smaller one was better. Although they share the same kitchen the service and noise level was better in the Gem's "Magenta" dinning room. The opposite was true on the Jewel. The small dinning room had poor service and it seemed no dress code. I try not to be a "prig" but if I want to see sloppy people eating in flip flops while their children play computer games at the table I can go to Mc Donalds at home. The Tsar's Palace on the other hand was 4 star every time. We also ate at "Chin-Chin" Chineese and Mama's Italian Kitchen. Both of these "pay resturants" were worth every penny. To qualify that, I am Italian and I love to cook. I do not go to Italian resturants because, as all Italians know, Mom's cooking was best. I have to admit even the sauce at the buffet was good. (Sorry Mom)Somebody in the kitchen knows what he/she is doing! To conclude my "ship review", the ship is well laid out. The stations at the buffet were a big help. The first two days were tough with the crew serving food but it got better after that. I suppose there will always be people wandering about as if they hadn't ever been on a buffet before or are new to food. The bussing at the buffet was quick and it wasn't to hard to find a table. I thought the food was above average and better then the Gem. The ship itself was very clean and, as usual in my experience, the cabin attendants were wonderful. My only complaint with the food service was the coffee area back aft of the Garden Cafe was often closed. I understand they don't serve food there all day. There is a great seating area with tables back there and there were always folks sitting out side with a cup of coffee or some iced tea. When they closed the food line they also closed the coffee machines causing you to have to walk into the buffet to get a cup of coffee or an iced tea and then walk back through the crowds.

My other complaint was with the "Customer Service Desk". The short version was I booked three cabins at the same time, through the same agent, with the same credit card. We were to receive $100 cabin credit from NCL and an additional $140 from the Booking Agent. One cabin did get the additional $140 but the other two did not. I went to the desk to have them fix the oversight assuming they would contact my agent, their "Travel Partner", and fix it. Not so. Their responce was to "contact the office in Miami" and then decline the credit. When I asked for an explaination they told me to see my travel agent when I got home. After being "jerked around" for most of the cruise they said my agent agreed to give me a credit when I got home. I have worked in Customer Service for 31 years and never would have gotten away with that. THey should have issued the credit and worked it out with my agent, their "Travel Partner" in my opinion. My brother and I both spent the cruise with the feeling we were being "ripped off" and being treated poorly till the last two days. Less

Published 01/28/11

Cabin review: MB11122 Mini-Suite with Balcony

We were in cabin 11122 located starboard side aft by the stairway to the buffet. Great location to run up and grab a cup of coffee or a snack without bothering for room service. We did occasionally hear a bit of noise from the buffet. Not enough to offset the great location. I feel the "Mini Suite" is well worth the few extra bucks for the room. Some folks feel the room doesn't matter because you are never in it. I believe, in my humble opinion, if it's nice enough you would spend more time in it. I'm not a Bingo person and love sitting on my balcony with a "cup o' joe" watching the ocean go by from time to time.

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Port and Shore Excursions

This place gets better every time. Just strolled the shops at the pier but the folks are very friendly. Had a drink at the Napoleon Cafe. Relaxing and found a great shop on Heritage Quay. Children's gifts upstairs and great deals on nice gifts. Great owner. Have taken a cab to the beach in the past. Beautiful beachs.

Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

Here from 3PM till 11:30 PM. Still not sure why we even go there.

Read 2945 San Juan Reviews

Shopping on one street and the beach on the next! What could be better? Picked up a few gifts and hit the beach. Two chairs and an umbrella for the day for $15. Add a bucket of beer for $10 more, and you can't go wrong. Ate at the "Blue Bitch Inn" and went back to the sun and sand. Love it every year, truly a high point.

Always fun shopping. Cab drivers and jewelry store "hawkers" can get a bit overwhelming at times, but a fun stop. Jitney service is well organized. Shopping at the pier is convenient and the town is worth the trip.

Read 3993 St. Thomas Reviews

Not a lot to do here. A bit of shopping and Puser's for a "Pain Killer". Still beats New York in winter. We leave early for the trip back so it is a short stay and a last bit of "tropical island" before it all goes away.

Read 1237 Tortola Reviews

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