Plusses and Minuses: Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Wilhelmina5

Norwegian Jewel 4
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Plusses and Minuses

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We enjoyed the ship, which was large and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It may have helped that the ship was only 2/3 full during our cruise, so the staff was not overwhelmed with work. On the last day at sea, I needed a wheel chair to get from location to location. While the rental of a wheel chair was excessive for one day (the week's charge of about $ 230.00), a staff member appeared promptly when summoned to transport me for free.

The food was generally well prepared, with the exception of lobster tail and fish on the first night in the Azure Dining Room. The staff also seemed busier there than in the other restaurants. We liked the Tsar's Palace, which was quieter and nicer with attentive service. However, the menu changed very little from night to night. A highlight was the Big Band Brunch at Le Bistro, where we also had a very nice evening meal of Bouillabaisse. The food was really exceptional in this restaurant. There was a great variety of good More food at the Garden Cafe, but this venue was very busy and noisy. However, there were no lines. Whenever a staff member noticed that I had a cane, he/she would offer to help by carrying the food. The barbecue on the pool deck on day 4 yielded some very good ribs.

Our room had an obstructed view and was well located near the mid-ship elevators. It seemed roomy with adequate storage space and it was quiet despite the closeness of the elevators. The room was kept neat and clean by our room steward, who also made amusing towel sculptures. Ice packs were provided upon request within a reasonable time. Problems such as a stuck toilet and a flood in the bathroom were attended to quickly.

The entertainment in the Stardust Theatre was highly variable. The acrobats and gymnasts were quite good, but the comedian was not all that funny. Announcements and music were much too loud. We did like the piano music and vocals in Bar City and the music during the Big Band Brunch was also pleasant and not overly loud. The Big Band music and accompanying vocals at the Tsar's Palace were too loud.

The pool area was pleasant, but there too the music was overly loud. During day 2 and 3 the adult pool was overheated to a temperature of between 82 and 84 F, which made swimming difficult.

I also had occasion to sample the services at the Medical Center. There was no wait and the physicians seemed friendly and capable, but the bill for medications did hurt.

It was disappointing that we did not get to go on the private island at Great Stirrup Cay on day 4, because of rough seas. Instead we spent much of the day at the pool side. The water in the adult pool was somewhat cooler than on days 2 and 3, which made it better suited for swimming. Less

Published 12/22/11

Cabin review: OK Obstructed Oceanview

The cabin has a view obstructed by life boats. This was fine with me, because I did not feel closed in and the cabin did get day light. The cabin was quite close to the elevators, but it was rarely noisy. I heard loud voices only a few times late in the evening. Storage space was quite adequate and the cabin did not seem overly crowded. However, the bathroom/toilet was rather small and it was a step up from the room into the bathroom area.

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Port and Shore Excursions

I went on the Seahorse sailboat to a snorkeling spot. The water was a bit rough, but the crew was very nice in helping us get on and off the boat. They also provided extra flotation, which made things easier for less experienced snorkelers. The crew made sure everyone was o.k. It was an interesting experience. Rum punch was provided. However, I was disappointed that only the jib was used to sail (with assistance of a motor). (The mainsail was left rolled up.) So, we did not get a real sailing experience. After we got back in Nassau, I walked around the section of town near the harbor. There were many high end stores and the area was somewhat picturesque. Some of the stores had very overpriced merchandise. There was also a straw market, which I did not explore in detail.
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I went on a pontoon boat cruise arranged by the cruise line on the Banana river. It was a cloudy day. Everything was well arranged. The narration on the bus to the boat was very good. So was the narration on the boat. We saw many birds as well as dolphins, but no manatees. Much interesting information on the local wildlife was provided. Upon return from our excursion, I went back on the ship.

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