Sail Date: January 2014
I really enjoyed this relaxing cruise that had some fun stops. Itinerary, which was New Orleans, at sea, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, at sea, New Orleans. Just the right mix of sea days for relaxing and ports to explore and stay ... Read More
I really enjoyed this relaxing cruise that had some fun stops. Itinerary, which was New Orleans, at sea, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, at sea, New Orleans. Just the right mix of sea days for relaxing and ports to explore and stay busy. This was our first time cruising on Norwegian, but we had cruised multiple times with Carnival in the past, so many of my observations are sort of what was different. Overall I had a very nice time, and would certainly cruise with Norwegian again. I realize in my review, I am sort of picking at the nits of what could have been better, but it was still a very nice time, and I thought we got our money and entertainment value from this cruise. Other Guests on the cruise: I thought the average age on this cruise was older than my previous carnival cruises, but it wasn't so old that the ship was filled with 02 and electric scooters either. I thought that the average guests were a bit more upscale than past carnival cruises, but for the most part weren't overly aloof. Basically a decent mix of people that we enjoyed cruising with and chatting with when you got a chance. I think that there weren't many children on board due to our selection of dates, but the children that were on board seem occupied by the ship kids programs and weren't running around all over the ship. I found that the cruise critic meet and greet plus cabin crawl a fun way to meet some of the fellow cruisers, and an opportunity to meet a big chunk of the senior ship officers. The crew: I thought that Norwegian does an excellent job in training of the crew to be welcoming and engaging. I thought in particular that we saw more of the ships officers in the dining rooms, buffets, entertainment, etc. You felt like they were there to be helpful, and to ensure that everyone was getting quality service. In particular, I thought the crew/ship/cruise line really prioritized sanitation. The "Washy Washy" stations were a new twist for us, but I was told that is standard on Norwegian. In the past, we were on ships that had lots of hand sanitizer stations, but you couldn't count on your fellow passengers to use them before they started handling all the buffet serving utensils right before you handled them. In particular during the busy times, they would even put a crew member manning the soft serve ice cream, which I realized was so that they had a decent chance of keeping it sanitary. Overall we were very impressed at how good the crew was about following the sanitation rules on what they touched/didn't touch while wearing their gloves and serving food. The ship: I thought that the ship was well maintained, all though I wouldn't normally comment about decor, we were originally thinking that the fish carpet in the cabin hallways was a bit cheesy, till we realized that the fish always point towards the bow, which was a clever little reinforcement of where you are going. I thought that they did a few small things that really helped getting around the ship, for instance the clear guide in the elevators on what floor things were on, also that usually you could see a diagram of that deck as you leave the elevator and many were oriented correctly to eliminate confusion. I think if they added some vertical lines to the elevator guides to tell you whether things were forward, midship, or aft would be helpful, along with a sign in the elevator telling you that you are on the midship elevator for instance. I think they have a lot of space dedicated to the specialty restaurants and there is a big push to get you into them and spending more money. I thought that they weren't very oriented to electronic self help for the guests as there were no automated kiosks or in cabin interface to do shore excursions, account balance, dinner reservation, etc, so all of those things require that you stand in line at the appropriate desk and have a crew member help you with it. I think a simple time/temp/forecast plus maybe a position map/speed/heading on the cabin TV would have been very helpful as well. They have a bridge observation area, which was a neat treat, and we also participated in a behind the scenes tour on our last at sea day which was very interesting. Ship board entertainment: I thought that they filled the main auditorium with alternative entertainment like a comedian, and a ventriloquist a bit more than other lines, where you would expect that in some of the bigger small venues. The Cirque De Bijou show was an excellent gymnast/acrobatic type performance, very impressive, I suggest you don't miss that one. I thought some of the various small music performances on the ship were more annoying than entertaining, sometimes you would think "Hey they are doing a good job, and then the next song you begin to wonder if they hit any of the right notes along the way". Cabin: I am a cheap skate, the room is for changing clothes, crashing at the end of the night, and an occasional nap in between. So we don't splurge on rooms. We kind of like ocean view since we appreciate the light, and when waking up there is more of an indication of what time it is and a peak to see what the weather is like. So we opted for deck 8 ocean view obstructed, no room preference, and they "upgraded" us to deck 5 porthole at the very front of the ship. I'm not sure that is actually much of an upgrade. Being that far forward, we did hear some mechanical noises, such as the bow thrusters, and possibly the stabilizers deploying. I did hear some sound that was like a massive air compressor or maybe a big dryer starting up several times, not sure what it was, but i think if you were on deck 4 it would have been loud. After having sailed on the ship, not sure I would want a deck 4 cabin as everyone ends up filing past your room for shore excursions and I think it would be ugly for getting around if they ever closed the water tight doors. Food in general: Well I know this one ranges all over the place based on peoples expectation. Also a side note, that we spent several days in New Orleans before the cruise and had some fabulous food, so by comparison the cruise food wasn't that impressive. In general on past cruises, I believe that food quality has gone down over the years as all the cruise lines all try to cut back where they can. Norwegian really pushes the specialty restaurants, but we only at the Cagney Steak house once. Cagneys Steak house: I thought that the Steak house had sort of a limited menu if you weren't interested in steak, so hopefully everyone in your party is looking for a steak . I must say they did prepare a very good steak, and it may have even been the best meal I have had on a cruise ship. Did it compare to the one I had in New Orleans just before we left, no not really. Was it slightly better than prime rib night in the main dining room, yes a little bit. Was it worth $60 + $10 tip for the two of us (plus the cost of the main dining room meal we gave up to go to the steakhouse) no not really, I think at that price point (more if you add wine, etc) that you can eat much better at a good restaurant on shore. The steak house was very empty when we went there, but there was one big group in there who got their order in front of us, so the meal took forever for us to get served, but even discounting that, we spent alot of time at the table waiting for the waitress to come over and get our drinks, our order, our apps, our dessert order, etc, and we weren't sharing a waitress with the large group either. At that price point I expect very good service, which wasn't really up to the level that I think you should have considering the premium to be there. Main Dining room: The wait for the main dining room was almost always 30+ minutes, and we tried early, we tried late, and it was almost always 30 minutes plus. When they did have that long of a wait they gave us coupons to go get a glass of champane, which was very classy of them. Service was slow once you got into the main dining room, so along with the wait to get in, if you had any hope of making it to the show you were planning on, forget it, you aren't going to make it. The food was for the most part well presented, but the quality was at the high end of buffet food as far as quality in my opinion. On the night they do surf and turf, since I'm not a huge lobster fan, I ordered the other steak on the menu which I assumed was basically the steak from the surf and turf. Wrong, I also found out that strip steak means sliced beef. If I was making a steak sandwich, that would have been a good choice, but left me disappointed when everyone else got a decent, but small steak with their surf and turf and I am eating a low quality sandwich steak cut. You could certainly tell your waiter to get you something else, but it wouldn't have been worth the huge wait at that point. The prime rib night was good, but only an adequate portion if you got a decent app and desert. I tried an Empanada app and burrito entry one night, and I was disappointed in both, not sure what they were using for Tortilla, but seemed more like a dough than a tortilla and was what was also used on the empanada. It was also the tiniest burrito I have had in a while. The food overall was good, but unimpressive. Desserts were good, but nothing you would rant and rave about later. We ate at the blue lagoon which is there 'comfort food' main dining option once for lunch once, and once for a late night snack. I was kind of surprised, how difficult is cheese sticks or chicken wings, but both were subpar, I've had much better wings at dive bars than this. Also we ordered a hot prosciutto and cheese sandwich, which sounded mouth watering, but it was basically a lot of bread, some melted cheese and a hint of prosciutto. While certainly edible, it was overall disappointing, especially since I liked the quieter cafe style of the blue lagoon. Buffet: we ate at the buffet for breakfast, and occasional a lunch/snack. Food quality looked pretty good for a buffet, but the buffet seemed closed more often and longer when we walked through as they were doing meal change over. The sign would tell you an alternate place if you wanted to eat, but not necessarily where it was. Buffet layout seemed good, as it didn't seem to get bogged down as badly as other buffets we have seen. Shore excursions: Like all cruise ships, most of the excursions are overpriced. Depending on what you are doing, you can probably book it yourself for much cheaper, but anything that takes you far from the ship, or a long tour, you are vulnerable to not making it back to the ship on time. Waiting for you in cabin was a list that had excursion name and number, and not much else as many of the excursions sound alike so you need to determine which one you want. There was a black and white short summary of excursions available at the shore excursion desk, but you are better off looking at the website before you leave, and picking which ones you want and writing down the 'exact' name and number. It appeared that the online list was inclusive of all the options that were onboard (not true on some past carnival cruises). Cozumel: I have been to Cozumel multiple times for dive trips and cruise ship stops. This time we did a catamaran trip to passion Island (private island). I'd been there before, so I knew what to expect, and it is a lovely time at a very nice beach with a buffet and an open bar. The catamaran was a motor cat, not a sail cat, but it was probably a good thing since Passion island is all the way to the north end of Cozumel. We docked at the older International pier, which is very nice in my opinion since its within easy walking distance of downtown and the square. And when we got back, we still had time to have a leisurely stroll down to the square, people watch and have a drink before heading back to the dock. Like the newer cruise ship dock, the international pier now has that same sort of a gauntlet of shops that you HAVE to go by in order to get out of the pier area, I find that a bit annoying, but what can you do, its the same from both piers. Belize: While tendering to a port isn't exactly a fun time, especially as far out as the ships have to anchor here, it wasn't a bad tender ride other than length of time. Our favorite excursion of the cruise was the Lamanai Mayan ruins via a boat (I think they called it mayan ruins and river safari). Basically after a long bus ride, they drop you on some boats. The boats held quit a few people, but had twin 200hp outboards on back, and once you got out of the no wake zone those boats were flying down the river, it was sort of an adventure in itself. The ruins were fun, and we must have hit the timing right, as many times, we would walk up to a set of ruins and there were no people around, and you could quickly capture some photos before there were tons of other tourists in them. We were also allowed to scale the high temple, which was a lot of fun and felt like a major accomplishment, although we had a couple of sore muscles the next day from it. Roatan: We had booked with Little French Key for Roatan on our own and not with the cruise line. You have to go outside of the pier area to get picked up by them, where you will get crushed with offers of people willing to drive you somewhere or take you on a tour etc. I would probably use the more reputable people that are inside the pier area offering the same sort of thing rather than some guy who happens to own a car. We missed meeting up with the Little french key people, as we weren't going to stand out in that crush of hawkers outside the gate for long, but it was seriously raining at the time, so we didn't feel to bad about missing it. When the rain let up later in the day, we walked the 10 minute walk down to Coxen Hole. Alot of aggressive vendors, and Coxen hole looked like a very poor area and not a very pleasant touristy area. While not as frightening as Jamacia is when you get off the beaten path, I certainly wouldn't be in that area at night if we had a late departure time. My advise when walking outside the pier area is to keep walking, if you stop moving the more aggressive ones really come on strong. We bought a few nice trinkets from the non-aggressive vendors, and then wondered back to the ship. A few people we talked with later said they just negotiated a taxi for a couple of people to do a tour of the island since it was raining and they really enjoyed it and it wasn't much money (like $15-20 a person I think). Costa Maya: Costa Maya is basically an effort to create a cruise line stop where nothing much existed before. There is a small fishing village near by, but I have to assume that they are more touristy than fishing these days. As you drive through the town near the pier, you can see streets laid out that are completely unoccupied, I think they hope that they will be the next Playa de Carmen eventually, but right now, not much there. We did another mayan ruins tour plus lunch/beach break. Alot of time in the bus to get us to the ruins and back. Good tour guide along the way and at the ruins. But I think we enjoyed the ruins in Belize more. With all the time on the bus, not a huge amount of time left for the beach. Beach area included a buffet lunch and an open bar. Beach area was okay, not as clean and pristine as Passion Island was in Cozumel. Also the beach area has not a hotel and there is nothing nearby, its basically just a beach area set up for visiting cruise ships. But it also wasn't exceptionally close to the pier area, so I think it was like another 30 minutes on the bus to bet back to the pier. We got back with basically no time to spare, so we headed back on the boat as soon as we got off the bus. I heard several people say that just taking a cheap taxi to the fishing village grabbing a cheap lunch, having a few drinks, and maybe getting an affordable massage was an inexpensive and wonderful way to spend the afternoon in Costa Maya. New Orleans: a great place to eat, drink, and listen to music, I hope that you take advantage of a few days either before or after your cruise to spend some time here. Anyway, I have listed alot of small complaints, and maybe I am not as good at highlighting the good things, but it was a fun cruise, and If I had to do it all over again, I certainly would, although I might change some of my dining choices, and possibly some excursion choices based on what I know now but even as we did it, we had a lot of fun and are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Not going to dwell on the common stuff. We have sailed out of New Orleans many times on different lines, as well as NCL. This cruise they seemed to have it together. Embarkation and disembarkation was a snap. Another couple cruised with ... Read More
Not going to dwell on the common stuff. We have sailed out of New Orleans many times on different lines, as well as NCL. This cruise they seemed to have it together. Embarkation and disembarkation was a snap. Another couple cruised with us, their first time on NCL, so we were a bit concerned that they may not have a good time. We worried for not. They loved it. Boarding the ship, officers and Dora characters, and balloons, and music welcomed us aboard. Our friends were wooed, they said this is the first time they've ever had such a welcoming. We opted for an inside cabin this trip, although a bit small, we found it ample. Beds were comfy, bathroom good size, and nicely laid out. Our cabin stewardess JoAnn was the best. The ship was very clean and staff very visible and personable. Our ports of call were, Cozumel, Belize, Cost Maya, and Roataan. We did the Salsa & Salsa at Cozumel, out third time, our friends enjoyed it and had a blast. Did not get off in Belize, been there done that. Costa Maya brought us to the Maya Chan resort. Although we didn't have the best day weather wise, it was still a pretty good choice. Except for the drive to and from, the roads were weather worn and a bit rough. The food was good, and the booze unlimited. What a surprise getting off and on the ship, officers and crew were lined up cheering us off and cheering us back. Our friends thought that was a hoot. Last port Roataan, nothing new here, we got off and shopped the little store area at the pier. All in all the ports were great, no complaints. Food; only restaurant we did not eat at was the Azura. Tip, upon embarkation, go to Tsars for lunch, less crowded. Moderno, was very good, especially if you like meat!!!! Unlimited service, it was great. Blue Lagoon, good for mid-day and late night snack. Mama's or La Curcina (sp,) very very good, we lucked out and got free wine the night we dined. Cagney's, it was steak, it was nice, good service, but nothing really special. Garden Cafe' and The Great Outdoors, I'm putting these together because they are located in the same area. The Great Outdoors has different hours. The food in both was ample and anyone that says the food was inedible or not enough choices must live the life. We found both these venues to offer a great selection and everything was well prepared. Le Bistro, by far the best meal we had aboard. Great ambience, great food, great service. Did not do any of the other restaurants. Casino was nice, other than I left some dollars there! Entertainment was good and we loved the music offered in multiple lounges. Our favorite lounge was the Java Cafe, Marcia and Viviana were the best. Took very very good care of us. I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift, we had a blast and yes, we will sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We sailed the Jewel the week after our first Carnival cruise on the Elation. Our only other Norwegian experience was an Alaskan cruise at least 10 years ago. We've also been on Royal Caribbean several times in between. We really ... Read More
We sailed the Jewel the week after our first Carnival cruise on the Elation. Our only other Norwegian experience was an Alaskan cruise at least 10 years ago. We've also been on Royal Caribbean several times in between. We really enjoyed the Elation cruise, but since the Jewel is a larger ship in a different class we expected more, and in some areas, we got it. The Jewel has a more contemporary look and feel and we noticed things like the glass was much clearer and the elevators were faster. We had cabin 4554 with a porthole. The room was much smaller than our cabin on the Elation, but quite functional. The bathroom was also much smaller, but again, everything worked well. You needed to slide a credit card to lock the safe. I prefer entering a number and locking my credit cards in the safe. Our cabin steward never introduced himself. He gave us a thinner blanket and beach towels when we requested them. He did a good job of cleaning the room, but not always at the most opportune times for us. He might knock and we'd tell him we were leaving the room in 10 min., then come back a couple of hours later and the room hadn't been cleaned yet. No big deal, but on the Elation, our room was always done when we came back from breakfast and dinner. We thought the food on the ship was good. When we boarded we headed to Tzars for lunch. The salad and sandwich were average, but it was a nice quiet alternative to the buffet. The lobster on the first night was excellent and our waitress brought more when we asked for it. The steak served with it was OK. The lamb shank was very good. The only really disappointing meal was the New Orleans shrimp and steak, which I ordered mostly for the shrimp. There were 3 tiny fried shrimp on top of a mediocre steak. Desserts could've been better. One night we saw a waiter serve what looked like flourless chocolate cake, which was not on the menu, to another table. The next night we asked about it and our waiter said that if we asked for it he had to bring it to us and he did. It was good, but still not the best flourless chocolate cake I've ever had. We also ate in Azure a couple of nights and overall the service was fine in both restaurants. There was a good variety of food in the buffet at breakfast and lunch. The fruit was good - melon, pineapple, grapes, oranges, bananas, apples. The cooked to order omelets were good, but slow. Muffins were OK. Little chocolate croissants were good, but often gone. They had a couple of coffee machines that brewed individual cups, so you had to push the button and wait. They had the best coffee. Entertainment was very good. In addition to the shows in the main theater, there was a lot of live music around the ship. Of the three cruise lines we've experienced, Norwegian is the best for live music. Live music poolside added to the enjoyment of sunshine and a margarita. At night there was always a choice of different live music, always something to dance to, and usually other dancers, too. One night there was a Mardi Gras parade that guests were welcome to join. We all got beads and a few people really got into it with exotic hair colors and a few towel animals. It ended on the pool deck with a band, dancing, and a beautiful carved fruit display and snacks, including beignets (unfortunately they weren't the same as Cafe du Monde's). Our cruise director, Julie, who was very good, taught some line dances, etc., and it was a fun night. We're tennis players and were happy to find out the sports court could sometimes be used for tennis. We used it before getting off in Cozumel. There is a very low overhead net which effectively took away my lobs, but it was still fun to be playing on the ship. It was listed as open for tennis, 3 of the 4 ports days from 8:30 to 10:30. Unfortunately, the 2nd port day I was sick, and the 3rd it was raining. Why it wasn't set up the 4th day, I don't know, because there was nothing else going on at that time, so we set it up ourselves and played before getting off in Costa Maya. We also used the ping pong tables and shuffleboard courts. We liked the itinerary, but all did not go as planned. We had a good time snorkeling at the Money Bar in Cozumel, but that night I was violently ill. I don't know if it was the margarita and guac at the Money Bar or something on the ship. Anyway, we missed Belize the next day because of it. The following day was Roatan and we planned on snorkeling at West Bay beach, where we found great snorkeling once before, but it was pouring rain and the water was all churned up, so that was out. We enjoyed a beach day at the Krazy Lobster at Mahahual in Costa Maya, the last port. We found it strange that we were given no information about disembarking in the newsletter or otherwise. I went to guest services and there was a board on the wall that did explain the options and had luggage tags with different times that you could grab. We decided to carry our luggage off and it couldn't have been quicker. No lines at all at around 8:45. We were parked in the Fulton garage a few blocks away ($8 per night for rooftop parking, reserved online), so we rolled our luggage over there and were off. We thought that overall the crew was friendly and accessible, including the officers. It was a great cruise, and it sure beat shivering in Wisconsin! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was the best vacation/cruise I have ever experienced. I was very nervous at first having never cruised before. Didn't know what to expect or if I would even enjoy it for that matter. We traveled with 6 other couples that are ... Read More
This was the best vacation/cruise I have ever experienced. I was very nervous at first having never cruised before. Didn't know what to expect or if I would even enjoy it for that matter. We traveled with 6 other couples that are cruise veterans. I can only tell you we had the time of our lives. All the staff made us feel like we were at home and part of their family. They ALWAYS had a smile on their faces and were going above and beyond to show everyone a great time. I was so impressed with the cleanliness of the ship and how they are so adamant about sanitation. The food and selection of food was great as well. We never went hungry or waited a minute for service. I especially appreciated watching how well everyone worked together and how much they took the time to thank us and their crew for all their hard work. The Cruise Director, Captain and their Executive Staff made their presence known and were eager to assist you. They didn't just hide in their offices and talk over the intercom all day. I highly recommend this ship and cruise line to everyone and anyone. I am so happy with the way the trip turned out and I can be a very picky person. Kudos to Norweigan. Hope to be cruising with you again really soon. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This ship and crew provided us with an OUTSTANDING cruise to the Western Caribbean during late January '14. As a result, we've already started planning our next getaway with NCL! Our aft balcony cabin on deck 10 spoiled us, ... Read More
This ship and crew provided us with an OUTSTANDING cruise to the Western Caribbean during late January '14. As a result, we've already started planning our next getaway with NCL! Our aft balcony cabin on deck 10 spoiled us, offering excellent views, convenience to the elevators and the ships amenities. We absolutely loved the Great Outdoors seating area and bar too! The staff, including the bartenders, dining staff and steward all provided excellent service. The free style dining is priceless and the dining upgrades were of good value. If you plan on staying on the ship and foregoing on shore time, the ultimate beverage package may be of value, but you've got to work pretty hard to break even on the cost. Finally, the diversity of the passenger's ages, origins and interests were evident and enjoyed. "Kids" of all ages seemed to have a great time. However, if you're into mega water slides, it'd be better to ride a bigger boat with the younger, young crowd. Go ahead, travel during Spring Break too if that floats your boat. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Background: This is our 4th NCL cruise, 2x Epic and POA. We traveled with our 20 something kids and had a balcony and 2 inside rooms. We precruise we stayed at Drury Inn, which I would highly recommend. The rooms were large, included a ... Read More
Background: This is our 4th NCL cruise, 2x Epic and POA. We traveled with our 20 something kids and had a balcony and 2 inside rooms. We precruise we stayed at Drury Inn, which I would highly recommend. The rooms were large, included a decent breakfast, and snack and drink from 5:30-7 PM. It was conveniently located near the french quarter. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel which was $74 before tip for 5 passengers. To the port from the hotel it was $35.00 (for a 5 minute ride!) Embarkation: arrived at terminal before 11 am and was on the ship by 11:30. Ship: We went straight to the spa, to sign for the week package ($150) It was nothing compared to the spa on the Epic, but was a great sanctuary, to be in a quiet area, especially since it was a little on the cold side during the cruise. We went to eat lunch at The Tzar palace, which was a beautiful dining room, and good. Since we weren't able to sign up for the excursion in Rhoatan on line because it was filled, we went to the excursion desk and were able to get on the Maya Key excursion, just at a later time and for $10.00 more than if we were able to sign up on line. We went to our room about 1:00 and it was very well layed out. there were plenty of room for our things. There is some wear and tear on the ship. There was a rip in the bed skirt and the mirrors had fingermarks on them and the room was very dusty. Gym area was good, and was always able to find a treadmill, etc. Staff: We had a great experience, all were courteous, friendly and loved the Washy people in the dining room. Entertainment: For a small size ship, entertainment was pretty good. Our favorites were Band on the run. Dancers and singers were top notch. We also liked the ventriloquist. Disembarkation: did walk off and it was very easy   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was our fifth cruise on NCL. We have enjoyed our previous NCL cruises. Our last two cruises were with family on other cruise lines. Last year we did a 10 day Alaskan cruise, which -- truth be told, if it had been our first, we would ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on NCL. We have enjoyed our previous NCL cruises. Our last two cruises were with family on other cruise lines. Last year we did a 10 day Alaskan cruise, which -- truth be told, if it had been our first, we would not have likely went on another cruise again. But our recent 7 day Western Caribbean out of New Orleans has definitely brought back the cruising bug as we have already purchased a Cruise Reward for our next one. The Good Pre-cruise/Embarkation: Cruising in and out of New Orleans was a breeze. The staff that run NCL check in are friendly and organized. The ship crew was great. Always genuinely friendly and helpful. Very good dining experiences in all of the specialty restaurants. We did the ultimate dining package and ate in different specialty venues every night. Service was excellent. We also had great experiences in the Blue Lagoon and the main dining room too. One thing I really favored about the NCL Jewel is the bathroom layout. We were in a balcony stateroom and the the shower felt larger than the ones we have had on balcony cabins of our last 2 non-NCL cruises. Finding and enjoying time in the bridge viewing room on Deck 11 Forward. We would visit during the day to watch the officers on the bridge and at night to check out the instruments to see where the ship was and how fast it was going. The Bad Just a minor nit. Our stateroom steward was not at the level of service we have experienced on ANY of our previous cruises. We don't require much interaction, but we literally saw him 3 times over the course of 7 days. Once because we sought him out for items he did not leave in the room. No information about the programming on the stateroom TV. We understand watching tv isn't a big cruise ship past time, but it was very limited compared to previous sailings [ on NCL or other ships ] Felt like there were fewer activities and/or presentations available. Could just be a destination/itinerary issue, but on previous cruises there would sometimes be talks about the culture or country information about ports on a sea day [ outside of shopping and excursion sales talks ]. Last sea day was good with the Q+A with ship officers and the crew talent show though. The Ugly Honestly, nothing really.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We had a wonderful time. NCL keeps getting better and better in our opinion. This was our first Jewel (class) cruise. If I were 'forced' to complain, complaints would be minor. We are pretty 'normal', ... Read More
We had a wonderful time. NCL keeps getting better and better in our opinion. This was our first Jewel (class) cruise. If I were 'forced' to complain, complaints would be minor. We are pretty 'normal', 'average' folks and - to us - the food, crew, entertainment were all excellent. This is our second cruise as platinum and I think NCL has us 'for life'.lol We used our both our platinum dinner 'vouchers' at LeBistro. Very nice. My one and only complaint (suggestion) is that they do away with their French Press coffee system until they get it down-pat! It was close to weak tea both evenings...or like dishwater according to my Italian-born DH. This was on both nights and, so, not just a one night fluke! DH kiddingly said that if this is Frances answer to Italy's Espresso, Italy wins!!! The only reason I mention this is that - as afterdinner coffee lovers - it was a poor way to end an otherwise excellent dining experience!! We are 'ship' cruisers and so our shore experiences are limited. No tours, just a stroll through port shops for gifts for family/grand kids. I always have to find 'Shut up and fish' teeshirts for a certain grandson who wears them out between cruises! The slot machines were kind. I only came out $60 ahead after deducting my slotplaycoupon purchase and a small cash donation on top of that from my winning, but, I am more than happy with that. I want to talk about our cabin but I see that is another section and so I'll wait. In closing, it was truly a wonderful experience and if you are reading this prior to your own Jewel cruise, I can only say that I'm sure you'll look back on your experience as fondly as I am! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
My wife and I, along with her sister, sailed out of New Orleans the second week of January. Embarkation was very smooth and orderly. We visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. There are two ports on the Honduran ... Read More
My wife and I, along with her sister, sailed out of New Orleans the second week of January. Embarkation was very smooth and orderly. We visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. There are two ports on the Honduran island of Roatan(Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole). Our ship docked at the Coxen Hole port. The port is secured by a high privacy wall within which there is a very limited number of shops for the ship's passengers to visit...... furthermore, item selection in those few shops is very limited and scattered. My suggestion (to Norwegian) would be to secure rights to dock at Mahogany Bay or else visit some other Caribbean port or island. As far as the other ports that we visited, they were all very interesting, entertaining and worthwhile. Cozumel has it all....shopping, excursions, beaches, rentals, etc. Service on the ship was good(I'm not a fan of mandatory tipping as Norwegian requires---they put it on your account at the first of the cruise and you pay it whether or not someone deserved it! That, my friend, is NOT a tip[gratuity]....that is a service charge!) The nightly entertainment was very good.....comedians were good, magician was fantastic, singers were extremely talented and the production shows were great......the cruise director(Jamiee) was one of the best that I've ever cruised with......she kept us informed of things that we needed to be informed about....and she did not get on the PA system and ramble about this and that....she was to the point and then "out of sight"! If I was given the opportunity to change ONE thing and one thing only about this ship and its management, it would be this: When you're showing sports activity on a TV screen, show sports that are popular with Americans seeing as the overwhelming majority of your guests are Americans! We do not play soccer, nor do we want to watch it ! We like football, baseball, and basketball......go with the majority....show football, especially during football season! If there's not a "live" game on, then show last Sunday's reruns.....anything but SOCCER ! No evidence of that old NoroVirus monster.....there were hand cleanser dispensers everywhere as well as workers at the entrances of all dining areas with their little hand sprayer bottles. Debarkation was great....."self assist" debarkation is a breeze if you're able to carry all your luggage off the ship! New Orleans is working hard to make the Julia Street Ship Terminal very "guest friendly". In summary, the Jewel is a great ship with comfortable surroundings and accommodations. I look forward to a return visit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
We were offered an upgrade to the Haven shortly before our cruise and we jumped on it. The Haven experience is the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. The only down side was we were offered a two bedroom villa, but on arrival found ... Read More
We were offered an upgrade to the Haven shortly before our cruise and we jumped on it. The Haven experience is the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. The only down side was we were offered a two bedroom villa, but on arrival found the second bedroom to be the size of a closet with no window. This may work for children, but not for two adult friends who do not share a bed. The master bedroom had a queen size bed which could not be separated and a magnificent bathroom. There was also a second full bath. We had a bathtub with a picture window so that you could watch the ocean go by as you bathed. The shower also had a floor to ceiling window for ocean viewing as you showered. The cabin was bright and colorfully decorated. We had a roomy balcony with two chairs and two small tables. There was a table which seated four and a coffee, espresso, capucchino machine. We had a cordless phone to use anywhere on the ship to contact our butler or concierge. Our butler's name was Walter and he was great. We had a wonderful selection for room service and Walter placed a cloth tablecloth down before setting our table and serving our meal. We had the option of eating breakfast and lunch in Cagney's which was only open to Haven guests. I had a large shrimp cocktail every day at lunch. Just a few steps from our cabin, was our own private swimming pool, hot tub, and lounge chairs reserved just for Haven guests. There were always snacks out here and coffee, tea, and ice water. The area had a sliding sun roof so it could be enjoyed rain or shine. On deck 15, Haven guests have a private sun deck with plenty of loungers. Food: As guests in the Haven, we could dine at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch. Meals there were quite good and I especially liked my shrimp cocktail daily with lunch. There is a breakfast buffet as well as menu offerings. We had dinner one night at Cagney's and Mama's. Both were very good. Dinners in the main dining room were very good, too. Service: The crew on this ship were delightful! Always smiling. Our butler, Walter was a gem. He made our cruise so special. There was no request that Walter couldn't carry out. Entertainment: There were the usual cruise ship shows with a magician, comedian, and musical revues. The best show by far was Le Cirque Bijou. This show is like a smaller version of a Cirque du Soleil show seen in Las Vegas. The performers were just awesome as they were flying over the audience. The balancing acts were amazing considering that it was a little bumpy the night they performed. Summary: Our experience in the Haven was over the top! The service and amenities were awesome. It was just so peaceful and relaxing. If there is any way you can do it, book a suite in the Haven. This was the best cruise experience I've ever had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
This was my first NCL cruise and I have to say over all I was very impressed with NCL and the Jewel and my expectations were exceeded. We were part of a group of 28 guys and gals who all met online through a Prostate Cancer support group ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I have to say over all I was very impressed with NCL and the Jewel and my expectations were exceeded. We were part of a group of 28 guys and gals who all met online through a Prostate Cancer support group and every one of us had the time of our lives thanks to our zest for living and NCL’s spectacular service on this cruise. We ended up getting upgraded from a BA Balcony After reading for several months some of the very negative reviews on CC about NCL and the Jewel I can only ask, did those people ever really cruise on the Jewel? I have read reports of inedible food, poor service and bad attitudes from the Jewel’s crew, which after our experience is just too hard to believe. We have sailed in the past on HAL, Celebrity and RCCL and I would have to rate this cruise with the NCL Jewel over all equal or a little better than any past cruise experience. I will break down my review in several parts for easier reading. Embarkation from New Orleans: This was so easy and couldn’t have been any smoother. We checked in at about 11:00 am and were on the ship by 11:30 and eating lunch in Tsars by noon. Our stateroom was ready by 1:00pm and our entire luggage was delivered by 3:00pm. Our Cabin and room steward: We originally booked a BA cabin on the 10th deck but a week before departure we received a free upgrade to a MA Mini suite stateroom #11044. It was spacious and comfortable with a large balcony and more storage space than we could fill. Within minutes of getting into our room our Steward, Joseph, introduced himself and greeted us by our names, something he did every time we saw him on the cruise. He was fantastic and one of the best room stewards on any cruise of ours. Our stateroom was spotless the whole week thanks to Joseph. The food and dining service: We had dinners in Tsars, (2 times), Azura (3 times), Le Bistro, (once) and Chin Chin (once). I found the food in the 2 MDR’s to be very good with nice selections. The food was always hot and served promptly. Presentation was always good and over all the quality was on par with our last couple of HAL cruises. The Prime rib one night was thick cut, delicious, tender and well seasoned. The Lambs shanks were exceptional good and the large lobster tail served with a nice steak the first night was the best on any cruise so far. In the 3 nights we ate in Azura we had the same server, Daniela, and she was spectacular, and she got several nominations for our cruise hero for the week. She even made us a special desert one night and was a lot of fun to talk too. She gave us all the wow factor. I did find the service in the 2 nights in Tsars to be spotty and lacking but we got what we ordered and on time. The biggest problem was trying to get drinks ordered as the servers had to take the orders and bring us drinks, something that could be more efficient if separate servers are used for all bar and drink orders. We had room service for breakfast 6 mornings and it was on time every day and exactly what we ordered. On one morning we did breakfast in Tsars for the eggs Benedict, but had to send them back to get yokes that were not hard and the hollandaise sauce was tasteless. This was a disappointment. Our one meal in Le Bistro was awesome and one of the best specialty restaurant experiences on any cruise. MY wife had the filet and it was thick and cooked perfectly and almost fork tender. I had the rack of lamb and it was fantastic. We also ordered the steamed muscles and they are served in a delicious cream broth that was very good, something I did not expect to have on a cruise. This was the best $20 spent on this cruise and the service was as great as the food. Now for the one very big disappointment, the dinner in Chin Chin. We had wanted to go back to Le Bistro but there was a long wait so we decided to give Chin Chin a try as it was almost empty and as we found out for a good reason. The food was way below par and not as good as our neighborhood Chinese restaurant here at home. I ordered the scallops and they were tough, chewy and tasteless. The lettuce wraps appetizer was also tasteless and bland. We also order some Sushi that was very good and fresh before our dinner and when we complained about the Chin Chin food quality the $25 of sushi was given to us at no charge. Most of our lunches were in the Topsider Grill and/or the buffets and I found all of the food to be very good and well worth eating. One lunch was in the Blue Lagoon and I found the fish and chips to be excellent as was the service. Entertainment: We attended 3 shows in the Stardust Theater and they all were very good. The biggest standout was the Comedian named Noodles Levenstein who was hilarious and fellow passengers talked about him for days after he performed. This had to be one of the funniest comedy routines I have ever seen and it was even appropriate for all audiences. The next night we saw a Michael James who does a balancing and juggling act which was just good. The last show we saw was Le Cirque Bijou which was fantastic and on an evening when the seas were rough and the ship was rolling pretty good. Crew and Officers: I can’t say enough about how impressed I was with both the crew members and the officers of the Jewel. I never saw anything but smiles on their faces and they were always asking if they could do anything to help make our cruise any better. The first day at our CC Meet & Greet I told the Hotel Director, Richard how impressed I was with the Lobster dinner the first night and how so far NCL had met my expectations. The next day a plate of chocolate covered strawberries showed up in our cabin with a thank you note for him. I saw him at almost every dinner asking passengers how their experiences so far on the cruise. On Friday night at our dinner in Azura he found me and remembered our conversation from the M&G and asked if the Jewel was still exceeding my expectations, I told most definitely it had. I responded about how could there be so many negative reviews about NCL and the Jewel and had those people really been on the Jewel, he told me he reads all reviews online about the Jewel and that often wonders the same thing. Well on Saturday we got another plate of chocolate covered strawberries thanking me for my kind comments. Disembarkation at New Orleans: Since we drove to New Orleans we chose to walk off with our luggage to get a head start from home. We got in line at 7:45am and the line was very long but moved very well. We were through customs and off the ship by 8:30am Negatives: Not too many but I think the TV channels selections could be better, specially for sporting events. Saturday Dec 7th was the NCAA Football conference championship games and not one of them was available anywhere on the ship. The only ESPN we got was ESPN Caribbean and it had non stop soccer on Saturday, it didn’t even offer score updates for the college games. I think MCL needs to take a long look at Chin Chin as a lot of improvement is needed and it takes up a lot of space for the few people who use it. Our best specialty meal on the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 2 years ago was in the Tamarind Asian Fusion restaurant and NCL should take some lessons from HAL. Finally: This was a great cruise and we were impressed and would most definitely cruise with NCL again. I would also never hesitate to recommend NCL to anyone. There was not one complaint from our group and most agreed with me about cruising with NCL in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I really liked this ship from the moment we came aboard. The staff were very friendly and seemed to really be interested in assisting you. I would say that the Jewel needs more elevators, I've been on several ships, and this was the ... Read More
I really liked this ship from the moment we came aboard. The staff were very friendly and seemed to really be interested in assisting you. I would say that the Jewel needs more elevators, I've been on several ships, and this was the first one where the elevators were always packed. As for the food, we tried once to go the dining room for dinner and were told we could make a resrvation for 2 hours later, we just stuck with the buffet. The food on the buffet was very good, my only issue with the buffet is that it closed several times a day, while it was closed, there weren't many eating options. However I noticed during the closures, that the buffet was cleaned top to bottom, this was nice to see. We went a few times to the cappuccino bar, the staff there were super nice. We had dinner one night at one of the specialty restaurants (the steak house) I was surprised that the service was not very good at all, the food wasn't great either (my girlfriend ordered her steak medium well, and it was still bloody) the server never asked why half of it was uneaten. I was sad, because when we had gone to specialty restaurants on other ships, we were really wowed, but we were really let down, the buffet was much better. Our cabin was small, no big deal except for the bathroom, the toilet had a door that separated it from the rest of the bathroom. This would be fine if you think airliner bathrooms are big, I am a large guy, and every time I used the bathroom, I would have to smash into the opening to get into the toilet area, were the door removed, there wouldn't be a problem. There was lots to do onboard, there were several pools and hot tubs, if you wanted to spend some money, there was a very nice looking spa. The theater had very good acts. We watched a few movies in our cabin, it'd be good if they would list what and when they were playing those, but we happened on a few. I'd gladly cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We are in our 60's and this was our 6th NCL cruise and 1st time on Jewel. We drove to NOLA from Louisville on the 13th, which is 11 hours, but good roads and stayed at the Clarion Inn on Canal for $80./night. It was excellent for the ... Read More
We are in our 60's and this was our 6th NCL cruise and 1st time on Jewel. We drove to NOLA from Louisville on the 13th, which is 11 hours, but good roads and stayed at the Clarion Inn on Canal for $80./night. It was excellent for the price with a helpful porter and free breakfast. Our room on the 15th fl. faced Canal looking towards the river and was clean and bigger than expected, although the sink in the bathroom was the smallest ever. It had a small kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator. Had dinner at Felix's and my 1st char-grilled oysters, which I really loved. Crawfish etoufee was good and seafood gumbo was excellent. Waitress Adrianna was excellent and we got in after a 5 minute wait with no reserv. Sat. a.m. took the free Fr. Qtr. walking tour with Melissa which was 2 hrs. of interesting info and about 1 mile, ending at the French Mkt. Walked down to Crescent City Brewhouse for lunch and used the BOGO coupon for shrimp & grits, redfish and Red Stallion beer. All were as good as we remembered from last yr. Then it was streetcar to hotel for nap and some college basketball. Used the 10% off coupon at Oceana for dinner(no reserv. and about a 10 min. wait). Had my first Sazerac, some wonderful crab cakes, tuna and red fish. It was" wacky Santa bar hop night" and some folks went all out with costumes. The cold front was moving in on the walk back to the hotel. We used the Fulton St. roof top garage parking for $8./night which worked out great, as I got a spot next to the stair. (One short flight down to elevator. Had a good, chatty shuttle driver to the port about 11:00 and were on board at 11:40. Had a quiet lunch at Tsar's and a 5 min. boat drill in the theatre. After all the negative comments about the MDR surf and turf I've read in the past, I still had to try it after seeing one recent good review and it was very good. We skipped the Welcome Aboard show and enjoyed our first "mini-suite". Cabin and balcony are about 1 1/2 times the size of balcony cabins. We had a good bed, but there was a slight sewage smell in the bath that came and went a few times thru the wk.. Met our steward, Tirso, who took good care of us all wk. I love doing my early morning stretch routine in the Spinnaker watching the sea and sun rise, but a few times I had to ask the cleaning guy to raise the shades which had been down overnight. They always had mellow tunes on the PA. We had Blue Lagoon omelets for breakfast, were in the slot tourn. (losers) and an excellent buffet lunch after the Meet and Greet in LeBistro. The Band on the Run show was excellent and there was a 10 min. wait at Tsar's for dinner. The lemon chicken was excellent and the shrimp/chicken was very good. I think somebody screwed up and we got 2 coupons for a free anniversary cake, so used 1 Mon. night and it was creamy-dreamy. We had calm seas all wk. Tues. had Bl. Lag. breakfast, walked on deck 7 and lunch at Bl. Lagoon. Made an unscheduled 1 hr. stop at Grand Cayman for a medevac. Had our "anniv. dinner" at Le Bistro, which was busy, so service was slow until it cleared out and Cinderella, our server, went overboard with the food, as I couldn't decide between the duck and the seafood bouillabasse, so she brought me both! Had the escargot and 4 cornets for appet., ordered the choc. fondue and since there was a 10 min. wait for that, Cinderella brought us a creme brulee in the meantime. Obviously I left there quite stuffed, as I hate to see food get thrown away. Wed. - Docked at the cargo pier in MoBay and shuttled to the terminal. The "cabs" are really minivans and we got off at the Dr's Cave beach stop, which is next door to Bigg's BBQ, which is where we had a good jerk chicken salad, Red Stripe Bold and FREE small beach. Taxi to pier was $5./pp. Won $29. on a nickel slot (gave it back later) and had a good dinner in Azura of eggplant parm., crab cake and bread pudding. Heard some of Twosome Awesome, Cuarteto Tropicale and the show band, all very good. Thur.( Gr. Cayman) enjoyed break. at Great Outdoors, had a problem with cabin safe which Security quickly fixed. Short tender ride and minivan taxi ($4/pp) to Royal Palms. Had excellent food and service from Mike, but was not crazy about Caybrew beer. Went to Lattitudes party in Spinnaker with plenty of champagne, wine, beer and cheese. Dinner of very good tilapia and 2nd Anniv. cake in Tsar's. Went to chocoholic buffet, but turned around when I saw the crowd waiting to get in. Comedian Darrell Joyce had cliche material, but did it very well. Fri - Cozumel- Was once again amazed that I was alone in the Spinnaker to stretch and that other early-risers hadn't found it or cared. With 7 ships in port (although Allure should count as 2) we would have had to tender into the International Pier, so we stayed on board. It was interesting to watch the tendering process from our balcony and the crew's life boat drills. They had problems returning the life boats though, which delayed the last tender, which delayed our departure. Had a wonderful prime rib at Tsar's and enjoyed the Cirque Bijou show. Saturday - Stretched alone again, had buffet break. and watched the pastry demo in the atrium followed by samples of the black forest cherry cake, lunch at Tsar's and the lame magic show in the theatre. Had a good Indian/German buffet dinner, but the crepes are overrated. Signed up for Cruise Rewards. Cuarteto Trop. rocked in Fizz and the all-star concert in the theatre was mixed vocally, but the 9-piece band rocked. Sunday - awoke at 5 am to an intense thunder storm, which was down to a drizzle by the time we disembarked. We used the EZ walk-off, as did a lot of other folks. Overall we had a great experience and the only negatives were the fact that there were 2800 pass. on board including 400 children. ( Oh well, nothing to be done about that) and the fact that too many fat white men insist on going shirtless. I too am an old, fat white guy and, trust me fellas, nobody wants to see it.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We went on the NCL Jewel and my family was really pleased. We booked the ocean view. So when I came inside, our cabin came with a free wine bottle! Later that day, a worker knocked the door and gave us free chocolate covered strawberries! ... Read More
We went on the NCL Jewel and my family was really pleased. We booked the ocean view. So when I came inside, our cabin came with a free wine bottle! Later that day, a worker knocked the door and gave us free chocolate covered strawberries! Garden Cafe is the cafe on the ship and the food was spectacular! They had over 30 items and they even had Indian and Chinese food! Every evening they had a chocolate fountain in the cafe. One of the nights they had a late night chocolate buffet which was amazing! I will say, the atrium is not that amazing. When we went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, we had to take a boat to land. The cabins are smaller than the cabins on carnival and they only clean your room 2 times a day. My children enjoyed the towel animals. The kids club was nice and at the end of the cruise they put on a circus! Every day there would be one show that was performed at 7:15 P.M AND at 9:15 PM. The magic and comedy shows were so good. The main dining rooms had food that pretty much was the same like Azura ( a main dining room) might have broiled salmon and T'sars( another main dining room might have baked salmon. One difference was that the Azura was a regular restaurant and T'sars was a fancy restaurant. One thing the children loved was before you go inside Garden Cafe there was a "Washy Washy Guy" and he would give a squirt of hand sanitizer and sing "washy washy is good for you, good for me good for us Washy Washy everyday makes you healthy", in the tune of the nursery rhyme London Bridge. This was a amazing cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We had a wonderful 7-night cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. I am sure my DW will write her own review, so this one will be from my perspective. We drove from Columbus, Ohio to New Orleans, over the Thanksgiving holiday. We ... Read More
We had a wonderful 7-night cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. I am sure my DW will write her own review, so this one will be from my perspective. We drove from Columbus, Ohio to New Orleans, over the Thanksgiving holiday. We spent a night in Birmingham, Alabama, then two nights in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. We thought about staying in NOLA and getting a "Park and Cruise" deal, but the big college football game was that weekend, so we were decided to stay about an hour and 15 minutes east. We drove into NOLA Sunday morning and parked at the Convention Center lot for $12 a day. We booked this online and had no problem getting in. We were early enough to leave our stuff in the car and head over to Cafe du Monde for Sunday morning beignets, which are so good! EMBARKATION: Smooth as silk. We got to the terminal about 1 or so, and there was a small line through security and to check in, but they both moved right along. We were on the ship by 2 and right to our cabin. Our luggage arrived by 4 and we watched the turn around and sail away from the lower sundeck (Deck 12) on a cool, but comfortable afternoon. CABIN: We were upgraded to an outside obstructed view cabin on deck 8, which looked out at a lifeboat. No problem at all, since all I wanted was the natural light. I do not spend time at all staring out the window, since I can just go up to the pool deck and look out all I want!! The bathroom had doors that separated the shower from the sink, and sink from the toilet. it is small, but manageable. The bed was comfortable and I slept well each evening. Everything worked, except the safe. The batteries died on the safe the final morning, prompting a call to our concierge to get security to come up and fix it, which they did, and we were able to get our passports and my DW's purse out in plenty of time. One thing I did notice was that our cabin steward never addressed us by name. Not once. This was the first cruise that this has happened. Just something I noticed. I even went out of the way to call him by his name each time I saw him, but he never called me or my DW by name. Otherwise, my room was always clean and taken care of. THE JEWEL: The Jewel is the namesake of the class of ships. I found her to be very well laid out and easy to navigate once I was familiar with the layout. Being on deck 8 forward put us right in the center - main restaurants and shops down and aft, most everything else up and aft, Stardust Theater down and forward. Pretty easy. The ship was always clean, nicely taken care of, and the public areas were easy to navigate. Nothing ever seemed to be ignored and the ship itself was a pleasure to be enjoyed. THE STAFF: The ship is the Jewel. The staff is the diamond the sparkles the brightest! I was the organizer of our Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. We had a fantastic turnout for the event, which was attended by about 8 officers who welcomed our group, answered our questions and made us laugh and feel right at home. I believe the officers were impressed as well, citing the great turnout. They offered our group members an opportunity to dine for an evening with one of them, and many took advantage of that. Our gift exchange was a hoot, and we even made a few dollars on our slot pull in the casino!! There wasn't a staff member that we encountered who didn't take good care of us or anything that we needed. The drink server by the pool remembered me whenever he saw me (I fell in love with the Mudslide drinks I enjoyed...) and one of the MDR waitstaff, a woman from Thailand, I think her name was Simreepe (?), who was an assistant during the SOLAS assembly drill, chatted with me and remembered me the entire trip. She really was delightful and very pleasant! We were lucky enough to be given a concierge and she was exceptionally good and very attentive to us. From being able to dine at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch, to a complimentary dinner there, a wonderfully informative Bridge tour, priority disembarkation, a cocktail party with the Captain, to taking care of the safe issue on the last day. Just a superb woman and wonderful asset to NCL. DINING: We dined in the Garden Buffet, Cagney's Steakhouse, both Azura and Tsar's Palace, and Blue Lagoon. The MDR's were wonderful, with really tasty food and great service. We had to wait for Tsar's Palace one evening, but they gave us a pager and a coupon for a drink at any bar while we waited, which was very nice. The food at the buffet was rather good as well, with the selections changing on different evening to reflect a theme - Caribbean, German, etc.. The chocolate buffet was there as well one evening, The Blue Lagoon is a casual place on deck 8, so easy for us to get to. Very good fish and chips. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows I did attend, and the activities I did were quite fun, thanks to the wonderful staff that SIn, the Cruise Director, had, Sin was quite good and very funny. He was filling in, so not sure if he will be there if you sail, but he is quite good!! We were able to have a private bridge tour, and it was quite special to see how the ship functions. Highly recommended if you can get it. PORTS: Each port had it's own unique style, The contrast of the rugged hills of Jamaica with the flatness of Grand Cayman, and the bustle of Cozumel, was fun. The Jewel's crew even welcomed passengers back on board in Cozumel with music and dancing! Right in front of the Carnival Magic, which was docked next to us! They looked very jealous... DISEMBARKATION: Had priority disembarkation, so it was very painless. In fact, we were probably eating at Cafe du Monde before the second wave of people were off the ship!! OVERALL: The best cruise that we have taken!! The staff was the best, the ship was great, the ports were wonderful, the food very good. Truly value for the money, and the experience was over anything I had hoped for! I thank all of the Cruise Critic folks for coming to the Meet and Greet! I also thank the staff of the Norwegian Jewel for ta fantastic vacation!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our first cruise on Norwegian, and we were pleasantly surprised. From our check-in, to embarkation, to retuning back to New Orleans, everything was great. We travelled in what NCL calls a mini-suite, and it was a bit cramped with ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Norwegian, and we were pleasantly surprised. From our check-in, to embarkation, to retuning back to New Orleans, everything was great. We travelled in what NCL calls a mini-suite, and it was a bit cramped with two adults and two teens. We managed just fine though, and felt the cost to book a cabin above this category wasn't necessary. The Jewel is very nice for its size and age, and is maintained well. NCL waitstaff was very attentive and we never wanted for anything. We went to the first night show, and I wasn't too impressed. That opinion changed over the week, and I must say the production on day 6 was probably the best we have ever seen on a ship (aerialists, dancing and singing). The comedic magician (J.P. Parent) was great as well. Meals in the main and secondary dining room were all very good. We ate in three of the ship's specialty restaurants. Steak place was above average. LeBistro (French) and Moderno's (Churascarrea) were excellent. Dining and food options are many and varied, and we never felt too rushed or crowded. The ships dining "status" system that shows wait times, availability for seating, etc. was very helpful. We had multiple spa treatments between the four of us over the course of the cruise, and they were all very good. We paid to have access to the "relaxation room" with private aromatherapy pool, heated chaise lounges, etc. and were glad we did. We had rainy weather on embarkation day and first day at sea, and it was crowded then. The remainder of the week, we had wonderful weather and the facilities never felt crowded. The ports of call on this voyage (Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya) were all places we've visited before, and definitely an enjoyable itinerary. We had a fabulous trip, and will definitely cruise with Norwegian again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This cruise exceeded my expectations. I’ll admit I read lots of reviews of the ship and prepared myself to not expect much. I have to say I wonder if some of the people were even on the Jewel. Embarkation was a piece of cake. DH and I ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations. I’ll admit I read lots of reviews of the ship and prepared myself to not expect much. I have to say I wonder if some of the people were even on the Jewel. Embarkation was a piece of cake. DH and I cruised out of NO before and I enjoyed NO so much that when we had an opportunity for a second cruise out of NO we jumped at it. We pre-booked our parking at the Fulton street garage and took the trolley to Café Du Monde enjoyed some beignets and had a leisurely walk back to the garage to get our luggage and head to the port by shuttle around 12:45. Shuttle dropped us off and we basically walked right on the ship. The ship was nice, and easy to navigate. It took a day or two to figure out where everything was and the best way to get from place to place but that’s part of the fun! The first sea day we had a CC meet & greet. We had a great turnout and it was nice to meet all the folks we had been chatting with over the months leading to the cruise. We had a gift exchange of gifts that were unique to each person’s home state. That was lots of fun and we learned a little about some of the states too. NCL went out of their way to make us feel like they appreciated us sailing with them. I don’t remember exactly how many officers came but there were a lot. They talked a little about the ship and themselves and answered our questions. They give us a card with their phone numbers and seemed sincere when they said to call if we needed anything. They had a sign-up sheet that we could sign up to have dinner with an officer. DH and I didn’t sign up but talked to CC friends who did and they really enjoyed it. We saw several of the officers during the cruise and they remembered us which surprised me with the number of people they encounter every day. The food was good for the most part. The steak did leave something to be desired in the dining rooms but then again I think my expectations may have been high. We ate several of our evening meals in the dining room and enjoyed the specials each night. The desserts in the dining rooms were lacking but there was always something good at the buffet if we really wanted something sweet. The buffet was surprisingly good and the Blue Lagoon was good. We especially liked the wings at Blue Lagoon. We don’t usually pay extra for the specialty restaurants but did try Cagney’s this time. It was as good as I expected. The nightly entertainment was good overall. Some better than others but then again we all have different tastes and expectations. I always remember I’m on a cruise ship, not Broadway, not Las Vegas, etc. There are inherent limitations based on the venue. There was always something to do. The activities staff worked hard to make things fun. There was lots of trivia, name your tune, quiz type games during the morning and afternoon. Sin was our cruise director and watching him act out the clues made it worth going just for that. The evening “game shows” were lots of fun and laughs too. My DH who usually just tolerates the game shows when I drag him with me joined in and had a great time. Here’s a little advice - Look at the daily and you’ll find lots to do that doesn’t cost a cent. Go participate, meet new people, who cares if you don’t know anything about Broadway show tunes or movie lines. As one of the activities staff said – who cares you’re never going to see these people again, have fun. Don’t forget to pick up your activities card and get it signed when you participate in an activities staff event. The more you play the bigger the prize! Special kudos to the officers and staff when we were in Cozumel. As we were walking back to the ship there was loud dance party music playing. We turned the corner and it was a party. We got to walk (or dance in most cases) the red carpet. The red carpet was lined with officers and staff welcoming us back. The kids got to dance with Sponge Bob or other Nickelodeon characters. There was a Carnival ship sharing the dock and I had to laugh when I saw Carnival staff members sneaking over to get their pictures taken with Sponge Bob. Disembarkation was pretty smooth too. We carried off our luggage and were eating beignets at Café Du Monde before we knew it. Overall, I’d have to say this was the best cruise I’ve been on so far. We’re planning on cruising next to Alaska and we enjoyed the Jewel so much we’re looking at booking the Jewel for Alaska too.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Just returned home from seven days on the NCL Jewel. Have been on one other Carnaval cruise. In short, out experience on this cruise was wonderful. Service was great. Someone to help you anytime for whatever you need. The food was endless. ... Read More
Just returned home from seven days on the NCL Jewel. Have been on one other Carnaval cruise. In short, out experience on this cruise was wonderful. Service was great. Someone to help you anytime for whatever you need. The food was endless. The Garden Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet style. Complete with craving station, crepe station, omelet station, and burger, dog, pizza line. The food here was well prepared and beautifully presented. The up-charge restaurants are worth the investment. The Italian restaurant, La Cucina was excellent. The steakhouse restaurant, Cagany's served Black Angus beef. Very nice and the beef top shelf. Several of the speciality restaurants booked up early. Monitors around the ship keep passengers up to date on the reservation status. I should mention the Tsar's and Azure are free and offer excellent food. I think the service is good as any restaurant I have ever visited. The ship was spotlessly clean. Must attention is given to hand sanitation which is comforting. I appreciate dining on china and heavy flatware. Our mini suite on comfortable and spacious. It had a refrigerator which was very handy. The balcony provided fresh air and beautiful views. Did I like this cruise? You bet!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I meant to do this review earlier, but life intervened. Since I found reading the reviews of the Jewel really helpful in planning our cruise, though, I thought I’d at least try to get a few notes down. OVERALL EXPERIENCE – This was ... Read More
I meant to do this review earlier, but life intervened. Since I found reading the reviews of the Jewel really helpful in planning our cruise, though, I thought I’d at least try to get a few notes down. OVERALL EXPERIENCE – This was our first time cruising, and we were both a bit dubious. We’re middle-aged, childless, middle-income, fairly well travelled. Our concerns – Would we hate the food? Would we be turned off by the herd atmosphere? Would we be surrounded by screaming kids? Would we have claustrophobia?? No on all counts. We had a wonderful time, and we’re looking forward to our next cruise ASAP. HIGHLIGHTS – catamaran snorkeling excusion (Roatan); dinner in LeBistro; Chef’s Table; wine tasting; winning $50 at roulette; just the whole cruise experience – loved it. LOWLIGHTS – steak (?) at Azura; somewhat slow service in restaurants; Garden Buffett. Overall, not many! EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION – We drove to NOLA, spent the night at the Omni near the French Quarter (enjoyed it), had dinner at K-Paul’s (really, really enjoyed it). We were cruising with friends who are cruise and NCL vets, and they wanted to get on/off as quickly as possible. We packed lightly, got to cruise parking at the Julia terminal early (maybe 9:30?). We walked from the car to the terminal, got checked in very quickly, and were eating lunch in Tsar’s a little before noon. At the end of the cruise, we were ready to walk off the boat at 7:30 a.m. on the last day with our light luggage – we were among the first off the boat. Smooth all around – we were on the interstate before 8:30 a.m. OVERALL BOAT IMPRESSIONS – comfortable, extremely clean, well laid out. It didn’t seem crowded at all (well, except for the buffett…. See below). I enjoyed the spa, the library (checked out a couple of books for see days), hanging out by the pool with a drink, coffee in the atrium, walking around the outside deck, checking out the duty free. For us the size of the boat (ship…. My husband kept correcting me…) we just right – not too small and not so large that it was a pain to get places. FOOD AND DRINK – Overall, we were both pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. We usually ate breakfast at Tsar’s or the Great Outdoors and were always happy with the choices and quality. We used room service a couple of times – I think the limited choice is understandable given the magnitude of the task. It was nice to get hot beverages, fresh fruit and cereal when we didn’t want to go out – always on time and fine. We had dinner twice at Azura and this was a mixed bag – the first dinner was really good, the second (steak and lobster) not good at all – lobster way too salty and the steak was…. Mystery meat. Yuck. Also service in Azura was very hit or miss. Our friends who have travelled NCL several times speculate that it was just understaffed – hard to say whether this was a one-time or ongoing problem. Cutbacks? That was the only truly bad meal I had on board. I really disliked the Garden Buffett for two reasons: (1) way too crowded and noisy and (2) food just ok. Not bad, but there are much better alternatives. We really enjoyed “freestyle” – we loved the ability to decide when/where/how dressed up depending on our mood. SPECIALTY DINING – we had really good experiences with this. We had dinner at Le Bistro once – food excellent, service super slow. The food was so good, though, that next cruise we’ll probably do two dinners there. Dinner at Cagney’s once – the food and service were very good, but we wouldn’t go back. As good as it was, it was just a steakhouse – we would go back to Le Bistro instead because in spite of the service problem, the food was much more interesting. Dinner at Chin-Chin once – very good. OTHER FOOD AND DRINK – We didn’t think the wine/cocktails were too outrageous. About what you’d expect to pay in a restaurant. We took a bottle of wine on board and paid the corkage, but next time we won’t . The wines by the glass on board give you flexibility and are reasonable. Enjoyed ‘bar alley’ and hanging out with a hard cider. We attended two wine-tastings in the Bistro space and enjoyed both – interesting, informative, and well-organized. CHEF’S TABLE – this deserves its own mention. For me it was the highlight of the whole trip. All four of us (me, DH, and couple friends) are foodies. When we saw there was a sign-up for a Chef’s Table for an $89 per person upcharge we all signed up. It was worth every penny. There were fourteen diners in a special room in the Bistro. Champagne in the bar while we gathered; Counting the amuse Bouche and granite, there were nine courses with three wines. They took pictures of all of us with the Executive Chef, Mr. Santos and gave us both a complimentary group shot and couple-with-chef shot. With each course, Chef Santos came out and talked about what it was and what went into its pre, and the sommelier talked about each of the wines. After dinner, they sent us as a group to the whiskey bar for complimentary coffee and after dinner drinks. The food was really excellent, interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable throughout. At the end of the dinner, Chef Santos told us that he had arranged an extra Christmas gift for us – a private tour of the kitchen operations/galley the next morning. So next morning we gathered again for a fascinating tour of the galleys – an unbelievably clean and efficient operation. The whole experience from beginning to end was a delight – we really felt like special guests. I would highly recommend the Chef’s Table to anyone who enjoys food. OTHER ACTIVITIES – we enjoyed the carol sing in the atrium (although as someone else said, the piano players seemed to want to get it over with as soon as possible – we couldn’t keep up.) The captain was there singing away with everyone else. My husband loved the snorkel/catamaran trip in Roatan, and was very complimentary of the organization and friendliness of the crew of the excursion. My main ‘activity’ was reading on the balcony and looking at the ocean, with a nice side trip to the spa. DH attended some shows and trivia contests and the like – said they were enjoyable. OUR CABIN – forward min-suite with balcony on deck 11. We are both “big and tall” people, and we were very comfortable. The bathroom was well organized and the shower was big enough. The room was well laid out with plenty of storage. We’re glad we got a balcony – it makes the room seem much bigger and is a great place to sit out and read or have a drink if you’re looking for quiet. Bed was roomy and comfortable. Walter, our steward, was great – he was friendly and helpful, and we always had everything we needed. Excellent towel animals, too.  So… we’re converts. We’re saving up for our next NCL cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was our first time on Norwegian and first time sailing from New Orleans. We've been on six other cruises. Living close to New Orleans, we drove to the port. We parked at a lot on Convention Blvd for 84 dollars for the week and ... Read More
This was our first time on Norwegian and first time sailing from New Orleans. We've been on six other cruises. Living close to New Orleans, we drove to the port. We parked at a lot on Convention Blvd for 84 dollars for the week and were driven to the port. The line to get through security was long, only two x-ray machines were in operation. Once past security things went quickly and we were on the Jewel in no time. Cabin 8072 is an obstructed ocean view. There was no view as the two small windows were covered in an opaque film, I guess to prevent the crew from seeing into the cabin. We ate most of our meals at the buffet. The buffet is laid out well and there was plenty of food. Omelts to order and plently of bacon. We ate twice at Tsar's and found the food and service to be very good. Both my wife and I thought the food on Jewel was very good. We went to the theatre three nights and the entertainment was good. We had beautiful weather the entire week except for a brief rain in Cozumel. We did ship's excursion in Jamaica and Cozumel. Went to Appleton Estate Rum tour in Jamacia and Tulum ruins when in Cozumel. While at sea we worked on our suntan. Never has trouble finding a recliner to lay on. Room stewart keep the room in good shape. I'd do this cruise again as we had a very good time. We were impressed with Norwegian and the Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was a much anticipated cruise as we were a group of 8 family members traveling together, two were first time cruisers. Embarkation was a breeze since we had one person requiring wheelchair assistance. The first thing I noticed ... Read More
This was a much anticipated cruise as we were a group of 8 family members traveling together, two were first time cruisers. Embarkation was a breeze since we had one person requiring wheelchair assistance. The first thing I noticed different from my cruise on the Star in April 13 was no happy crew greeting us with music and dance as we boarded. Guess this should have been a indication of how it was going to go from there.... We ate in the Tzar dining room as a group three times and each time the service was very good. The first time was lunch after boarding and then twice for dinner. We made reservations and the table was always ready with no wait. I wish I could say that this service continued to other times that I dined there. The service was from fair to downright bad! Service was at best sporadic and if you wanted something you were always having to flag a staff member down to ask. I ate in the buffet one night and it was OK. Nothing spectacular. The Blue Lagoon was a favorite of mine on the Star and was looking forward to dining here for several meals on the Jewel. Breakfast was good and the first couple of days, service was fairly good. Same thing for lunch. As the days progressed the service became really slow. The young lady who would seat you never did smile! She acted like she didn't want to be there, didn't care you if got a seat or not and one time was on her cell phone not paying attention to people that were waiting. I've been to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel many times so I'll leave the port reporting to someone else. I will say it was the first time that I've ever docked at the commercial terminal in Jamaica (Montego Bay) and it appeared as though it was a first for NCL as well. Information given was not totally correct but didn't cause big concerns. Just aggravations. I was confined to my cabin the days we were in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with the flu. My family said they enjoyed both ports. I'll add here that room service was the best! Always arriving quickly. I had a mid-ship balcony stateroom on deck 10. It was exactly what I expected as I has sailed this category before. Ample storage for two people. Love, love the balcony, especially when confined to cabin! The entertainment I did get to see was good as were some of the game shows. The Art auction which I went to once, was to pushy. I've bought art on board cruises in the past but never encountered the pushy sellers. Only went one time because of them. Overall, everyone in our family group had a wonderful time, no thanks to the sourpuss crew. I won't give up on NCL because of this. Bought a furture cruise credit and will be looking to see where I want to go next.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We had a group of 4 cruised with NCL Jewel before Xmas last year. Since this is our first time, there is no reference to compare with. We live only one hour away from NOLA, lucky for us we don't need a hotel. Embarkation is pretty ... Read More
We had a group of 4 cruised with NCL Jewel before Xmas last year. Since this is our first time, there is no reference to compare with. We live only one hour away from NOLA, lucky for us we don't need a hotel. Embarkation is pretty fast, bringing all necessary documents and pre-printed boarding pass definitely accelerated this process. Food is fine. Our favorite restaurant is Azura and Tsar's palace, which provide standard four-course meal for dinner (steak in Azura is really nice). The big buffet dinning on the upper deck (sorry I forgot the name) is close to everything (i.e. pool, card room, fitness center, playground etc.) The only complaint about the food is we barely got any seafood. (I know this is NCL, but we actually expected lobster or so) Among the three ports (Georgetown, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; Cozumel), we like Grand Cayman the most. The most disappointment is the shore excursion we attended in Georgetown, which we bought from the ship. We thought we would go soft with our first shore excursion for the safety sake, which was proven a wrong decision, and the worst part is the 30-min shopping in a really small shop in the middle of nowhere. For that reason, we took a taxi to the beach by ourselves in Grand Cayman. Love the water and the beach there. However, the NCL shore excursion we bought on the ship for the submarine in Cozumel is pretty nice. And we still have the time to go to beach by ourselves after the excursion. But the water and the beach is big disappointment compared to Grand Cayman, probably the taxi driver didn't take us to the good place. For dressing, we saw people dressing in formal attires, but 80% of them worn whatever you want to be comfortable including us. But jeans and flipflop are not allowed in the two main dinning room. Overall, first time cruise is pretty pleasant. No hassle no worries. I've seen people in a large group bringing walkie-talkie, which I think is really a good idea since there is no way to get in touch with your friends once you are out of your cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ... Read More
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ended up under splash academy with very energetic kids running back and forth till 10:30 PM so forget about sleeping till then. we walked around, watched shows or what not so it was not too big a deal. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth only issue was the pulling into the terminal which took us 1 hr to go around the block due to the convention and the cab driver making the wrong turn. Jewel is going to be dry docked to get a face lift next year. I loved the lay out of the garden cafe. Food was great. Variety was good too. we ate out only 1 night. Due to hurricane in Philippines, few of the employees were replace with new people. ALL THE staff was wonderful. Calling home from the ship was only $1.99 a minute - not bad, . My cabin steward Mark called every body by their first name. How he remembered - god alone knows NCL charges $25 if you loose their towel - like all the other cruise ships ( some charges up to $40 - absurd) so make sure you don't loose them. Cab from the hotel near airport to the pier was $34 for 2 of us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
My partner and I decided in late October to take a last minute cruise from New Orleans in Early mid November ohm the Norwergian Jewel just to get away and relax a bit. This is our third cruise with Norwegian in three years so we are ... Read More
My partner and I decided in late October to take a last minute cruise from New Orleans in Early mid November ohm the Norwergian Jewel just to get away and relax a bit. This is our third cruise with Norwegian in three years so we are obviously Norwegian fans. We are very successful in business and work for ourselves. I would say that though we tend to be somewhat frugal we will splurge and enjoy small luxuries when possible. On our past two trips we chose an Ocean View Stateroom on the Spirit and a Balcony on the Epic. This time I started with an inexpensive Inside guaranty cabin for $299 ea (I was being very frugal). However, we had a big contract come through so I then upgraded one week later to a mini-suite gty cabin for $200 more each. Still a great bargain. The mini Suites on the Jewel are a bit larger and fitted out a little nicer than the standard Balcony Staterooms. However mini-SUITE is a bit of a misnomer as they do not include any of the luxuries included in a real suite such as: Priority Embarkation, seating in the balcony 'boxes' for shows, Captains Cocktail Party, Bridge Tour, Private Suite Only dining every day in Cagney's for Breakfast and Lunch, Butler and Concierge Service, hors d'oeuvres and sweets delivered to the cabin late afternoon and each night before bed, Champagne and fresh flowers upon arrival in the cabin, Priority tinkering to shore, and basically being treated like royalty. All of these little luxuries are included in the penthouse suites. However there is one category even higher which is the Haven Suites on Deck 14 with private access to a sliding glass roofed courtyard with a tiny pool (probably 16' by 8') and deck chairs which are shared by 12 -14 suites in this private area. As we were a guaranty mini-suite category we weren't assigned a cabin until two days before the cruise but were very shocked and pleasantly surprised to be upgrade for free to a 2 Bedroom-2 Bath Penthouse suite with all of the luxuries listed above except the Haven Courtyard access. I started researching the cabin number ( Stateroom 11518 - the Opal Suite ) and found that the one negative is that it is located below the weight room and the treadmill area. Several comments indicated that this was very loud and quite disruptive for relaxation from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm each night. We decided this would be an issue if we were paying the extra $600- 800 each to choose this suite but we could certainly live thorough the noise and not look a "gift horse in the mouth"! This turned out to be the right mind set. The gym was loud as people were constantly dropping weights and it sounded like the ceiling could come don a few time. We honestly did get used to it and even had a good sense of humor about it. The suite itself was incredible! Using our card keys we entered into an entry foyer with two doorways. The first door leads to a small interior bedroom and nicely sized private bath with it's own key card access door. Rubber door stops were provided to keep the doors propped open if you so choose. Also accessed from the foyer was a second card keyed door that lead to the main area of the suite (also with a door stop provided). This triple locked door configuration makes the suite perfect for families or room mate situations. Just be careful through! If one of the doors swings shut they automatically lock. I'll explain why this can be a problem in moment. :-0 The main door to the suite proper is flanked by really cool looking lighted columns creating a some what grand entry. Through this door is a lovely wood paneled living area with a table and four chairs, mini bar and cappuccino maker, sofa, two chairs and entertainment center with one of four flat screen televisions and a dvd player. A fairly small balcony is off the living room with two very nice wicker looking padded deck chairs, a small end table, and a foot stool. They are nicer than the chairs on the neighboring non-suite balconies. The view from the 11th floor bacon is unobstructed and very nice. Through the main sitting room is an opening with a very heavy and substantial glass pocked door leading to an open concept grand master bath. The master bath is breathtaking! Unlike any other stateroom configuration I have ever seen, there is a soaking tub and a walk in luxury shower that extend out past the balcony and give you panoramic views of the ocean! The shower actually has one wall that is a floor to ceiling glass panel with a sheer drop down to the water below. There is a privacy screen that can be lowered but it isn't needed unless you are in port facing a dock. The shower itself has two shower heads (one is a removable hand held sprayer) and two body sprays. All of the fixtures are Hans Grohe slimline modern sprayers. Very elegant and high end. The main pat of the bathos a marble floored are with an eight foot long double vanity, multiple mirrors, glass shelving with elegant glass jars for provided toiletries such as cotton balls and bath salts. There are several different lighting sources such as recessed lighten and wall sconces. There is a separate glass enclosed water closet area with a privet phone and a flat screen tv over the tub. In the are you walk into from the living room there is a carpeted section with a large floor to ceiling clothes closet and a built in cabinet housing two safes, armoire storage, and four drawers. There were also multiple compartments, doors, and drawers in the bath are. Too many to use them all. On the interior wall of the open concept bath is a curtained nook for the VERY COMFORTABLE queen sized master bed. It sits in a wood paneled and mirrored alcove with a chandelier over the bed, room to both sides for end tables with drawers, shelves, plugs, phones, and wall mounted halogen reading lights. You can also control most of the lights in the bed/bath sea of the suite from wall mounted switches to either side of the bed. The alcove contains another flat screen tv, built in media center with dvd player, and more storage. One funny story about the three locking doors from the foyer. My partner decided he was going to sleep on the sofa in the living room. between reading habits, television watching, etc... this is how we live now. The first night of the cruise he got up about 2:00am and went through the door to the foyer and then through the door to the interior guest room to use the secondary bathroom. Somehow he knocked the door closed to the main sitting room which automatically locked! He tried knocking softly so as not to wake the neighbors but I didn't hear him all the way through to the master bed alcove. He ended sleeping in the guest room and remained locked out until I discovered him in there the next morning. Needless to say we made sure the doors remained propped ope the rest of the cruise. :-) I know this is long and detailed. So to sum up: Eric the room steward was fantastic. John De'Souza, the head concierge was incredible. He even went out of his way to make us comfortable as a same sex couple though we aren't obvious in any way. All of the other suite guests were ver friendly and accepting of us as well. We never felt out of place or uncomfortable. This was one of the best vacations we have ever had! My partner and I have been together for 27 years. We are life partners and business partners in a very successful Interior Design Firm in Northern Alabama. Though we are both males we fit in well with any group and have never experienced any real negativity or blatant negativity form anyone. I only mention then because we found that Norwegian Cruise lInes has always been very gay friendly and accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ... Read More
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ended up under splash academy with very energetic kids running back and forth till 10:30 PM so forget about sleeping till then. we walked around, watched shows or what not so it was not too big a deal. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth only issue was the pulling into the terminal which took us 1 hr to go around the block due to the convention and the cab driver making the wrong turn. Jewel is going to be dry docked to get a face lift next year. I loved the lay out of the garden cafe. Food was great. Variety was good too. we ate out only 1 night. Due to hurricane in Philippines, few of the employees were replace with new people. ALL THE staff was wonderful. Calling home from the ship was only $1.99 a minute - not bad, . My cabin steward Mark called every body by their first name. How he remembered - god alone knows NCL charges $25 if you loose their towel - like all the other cruise ships ( some charges up to $40 - absurd) so make sure you don't loose them. Cab from the hotel near airport to the pier was $34 for 2 of us. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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