5 New Orleans Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

The ship rocked and shook continuously. If the constant rocking and chugging does not make you sick, then the constant singing in the inferior buffet dining about "washy, washy, washy" will make most definitely nauseate you. ... Read More
The ship rocked and shook continuously. If the constant rocking and chugging does not make you sick, then the constant singing in the inferior buffet dining about "washy, washy, washy" will make most definitely nauseate you. This was my 10th cruise; second on NCL. The first time was 20 years ago on a different ship which at the time was probably new and simply re-christened as the Jewel. We had a balcony room which was exactly the same size as any other ship I have been on - only this one was completely outdated. The food was awful. Usually I try to lose 10 pounds before going on a cruise so I can eat away and not feel guilty about gaining. I probably lost 15 pounds on this cruise. The choices that were repeated nightly were slim. The "specials" of the night were especially disgusting. Our steward kept the room clean but didn't seem overly excited to clean or replenish towels and toilet paper as needed. I am a neat-freak so I do not let the room get messy. There were three of us in the room - and cruise lovers know you are not in the room that much. But when we would go out for the day and come back at 2ish and the room still had not been cleaned and the hallways smelled like dirty socks - well it was not pleasant. The weather played a factor in docking in Belize so it took longer than normal to get on the tender to take us to the island. There were so many people trying to get off at the same time and it was so unorganized, but those who had excursions planned were given first priority. So since we were one of those with priority, we were re-routed through a section of the ship that I am quite certain whoever has shares in NCL would have flipped out that we were even privy to this area. It showed their survey scores. Guess what? They were ALL terrible - every section was 80 or below. It is not a kid-friendly ship. The entertainment was mediocre. The dining staff made new rules every night. One night men could where shorts; the next my 18 year old son came in with shorts and was told he could not enter the half-full dining room. Seconds later four older gentlemen all in separate parties entered the dining room wearing shorts. After speaking with all 4 men I found out the hostess had told them the same, but they told her there had been no dress code regarding shorts the previous nights, so she let them enter. I went from person to person until I got to the 6th person who finally was a true angel; he cared. None of the 5 before him cared to listen to my complaint; passing it off to the next person. This 6th man, who was the ONLY person on the ship who seemed to really truly care about the passengers calmed my down, called the kitchen and had a pizza sent to my son's room. The next night he arranged for champagne and a fresh full size chocolate cake to be delivered to our table. That was the ONLY positive part of this entire debacle. Other than that one truly wonderful experience with the head of the dining area who had to be called in after arguing continuously with the 5th person, I would never, ever, ever - even if it was free, go on this ship or this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our cruise vacation started off at the Marriott in the french quarters, great location but a bit pricey for the accommodations. Parking is valet only and will cost 35.00 plus tax per day. The rooms are small and the decor is more like a ... Read More
Our cruise vacation started off at the Marriott in the french quarters, great location but a bit pricey for the accommodations. Parking is valet only and will cost 35.00 plus tax per day. The rooms are small and the decor is more like a 2-star but the beds are very comfortable. They had a Starbucks and we enjoyed having that option at the hotel. First off me and my husband are in our late 30's and have no children. We like to vacation and don't mind spending extra money to get better service and accommodations. This is why we book suites when we cruise. We booked the 2 bedroom family suite with balcony. We've stayed in this suite before and enjoyed having the two bathrooms and really love the layout of the suite. Although we didn't use the second bedroom it was nice to have a place to store our luggage. The good- --The Unlimited Beverage Package was good. We enjoyed trying different drinks each day and our favorite two was the Bloody Mary and Bushwacker. --The breads were great. They give many options in your bread basket each night at dinner and I really was glad to sample each. --The Roasted Chicken at lunch in Cagney's and the Cagney fries. --The shows were great and we really enjoyed the ones that we watched. --Had many really nice staff members through out the ship. --Our fellow cruise passengers were friendly and everyone seemed to mingle well. --The coffee in the suites was nice and I enjoyed many cups. --I lost a 200.00 casino ticket and it was turned in by a staff member! How great was that. kudos for keeping honesty alive. --Easy on and easy off ship. The Bad- --Number one would be the POOR quality of food. This was a major disappointment. I was shocked at how bad the quality of food was. We are in no way hard to please. The bacon was so thin it was like eating bacon flavored tissue paper. The food was cheap tasting even the burgers and fries. Cold soggy wings at blue lagoon. I really am put off on how bad the food was. I really felt ripped off because I paid a lot of money for this cruise and would have been fine eating decent fries and burgers and couldn't even get that! The steaks were thin and not as described. Soup was blah. Pork was small over cooked and tasteless. Salt shakers were either not working or broken. Ncl really has pushed the limit with the quality of food. Buffet at Golden Corral is better than the food they served us on our cruise. --The hip hop music at the pool was strange. Most of the people enjoying the pool area was 50 and above. I think the music was more suited for the staff? --The sewer smell throughout the ship, and the mold smell from our shower...(gross)! --Multiple public restrooms were foul smelling and needed cleaning. --Casino was to small and over crowded. Reeked of smoke...many smokers on our cruise. Smoking doesn't bother me but if you are bothered by it you will want to stay clear of the casino because it's bad, and you will definitely smell like a smoker when you leave. Had the food been up to par this vacation would have been great. When I book my next cruise I will search out other cruise lines to find one that most meets our needs. Food isn't everything on vacation but we like enjoy ourselves and splurge on foods we wouldn't normally eat, but NCL made this impossible. Next time I will read more reviews and search other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My husband and I decided to take a cruise after 20 years and do I feel stupid. I saw the add for free balcony upgrades and thought GREAT. well that didn't happen. We got one of the poorest rooms on the ship. We did an excursion every ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a cruise after 20 years and do I feel stupid. I saw the add for free balcony upgrades and thought GREAT. well that didn't happen. We got one of the poorest rooms on the ship. We did an excursion every day and in all was very disappointed. We went to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. In Cozumel we did the zip line, not what we expected at all it was fun but we just went from tower to tower. Not worth the money. Don't plan on walking down the street of Cozumel because you are accosted by people wanting you to go in there shops and buy, and spend. Belize was very dirty. We did the air boat ride hoping to see some wild life and didn't see much of anything. On the pier we waited for the tended to return to the boat (about 80 % of the passengers were over 55) there was a tent with chairs. It was about 90 out and we wanted to sit for a minute. We were treated like trash because it was a VIP area and security almost got physical with us and would not let us sit; even though no other passengers were there. Roatan was nice and we did the nature and archeology tour. We did see spider monkeys which was fun but all the ruins were reproductions which was disappointing. Costa Maya we did the snuba which sounded fun, but save your money. We just walked off the beach and say trash and garbage with a few fish in the water. Be prepared that with every excursion even though you pay for them they also expect a tip, even the bus driver. The food on the ship was very good but be prepared to wait to get into the two main dinning rooms. All in all I wished I had saved my money. I feel like an idiot thinking this would be fun. NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We ( my mom, boyfriend and I) decided on the Norwegian Jewel because it was the cheapest price for the locations it was going to. We live in Oklahoma and decided that we would drive to New Orleans. The ship went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, ... Read More
We ( my mom, boyfriend and I) decided on the Norwegian Jewel because it was the cheapest price for the locations it was going to. We live in Oklahoma and decided that we would drive to New Orleans. The ship went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Getting on the boat was simple enough and our room was not ready until about 1pm and that was fine because we went and ate at Tzars Palace. Food Our first thought on the food was that it was pretty good. The desserts on the other hand were weird and it seemed like every single dessert item was made with gelatin. The first dessert we tried was chocolate mouse( the best of the three), some sort of berry cheesecake( did not taste anything like cheesecake), and Panna Cotta (very rubbery and tasteless). I love dessert and I love to try new desserts, but the ones on this boat were just plain strange. Even the chocolate cake we had contained weird jelly balls throughout the slice. The only good dessert we had was in a pay restaurant( we tried the hot pot) and it was a green tea cake with green tea ice cream and it actually tasted like what it was supposed to. The food was pretty good and we actually had our room a floor below the buffet which was nice because that was out favorite place to eat on the boat. Each day in the buffet they would have a different theme and the food would change to be a part of the theme such as when we were in Mexico there was mexican food or when we were in the Caribbean they served Caribbean food. We decided to try the pizza delivery for $5 and it was the most disgusting pizza we have ever eaten. It did not taste like real cheese and the "cheese" was about an inch thick. So if your thinking of trying the pizza delivery, think again and just go to the buffet and get a slice or two there. The pizza at the buffet was actually good. They also served food by the pool, but be careful because we saw them making what looked like stir fry noodles with vegetables so we went over and each got a plate. My mom and I do not eat seafood and my boyfriend is allergic to shellfish. This dish was filled with shrimp and clams and all sorts of seafood. I'm glad we saw it because that could have been bad. There was no sign letting people know what it was. Room Our room was great. We had the mini suite which we paid about $900 per person. We had a giant balcony and it was nice to be able to relax on the balcony. The couch in our suite folded out to a big bed which my mom slept on and our steward Orlando pulled out and put up each day. He was such an amazing steward! The bathroom was not as small as I thought it would be. Our room was nice and quiet and we were not around any of the clubs or anything so it was a good spot. Entertainment I'm not sure why everyone seems to like the entertainment on this boat. I'm actually kind of baffled by what they call "entertainment". We tried several times to go to shows but the shows were so dumb that we left. I was really excited about the Cirque Bijou or whatever it was called. We got to the show early and got some great balcony seats. The show started and my boyfriend and I were looking at each other and laughing because it was so childish and they were not even doing anything that was interesting or fun to watch. The first act was a girl that stood on the shoulders of a man and all she did was hold two hula hoops and twirl them around her arms. The audience sure loved that for some reason because there were cheers and applause ? I was expecting something similar to cirque du soleil. Boy were we disappointed! We decided to give it another chance to impress us. The next act was a few people on stage dancing? it seemed like they were trying to do some sort of Indian dance with their arms or something but it just looked like something that a kid could come up with. We tried to stay for another act before we left but as soon as we saw adults doing cartwheels and a few flips we about died of laughter and had to leave. Don't expect anything professional if you attend these shows. We were really disappointed with the entertainment onboard and I feel like the only entertainment we liked was going to the art auctions on board to watch people get suckered into buying "art". I won't lie the auctions were very engaging and were pretty fun and you get free art just for going. We went to the newlywed not so newlywed game show which was pretty entertaining to watch. Pool The pool was pretty small and was cold almost the whole time so we did not really get to swim unless we wanted to be freezing while doing it. We did get in the hot tub twice, but it was not really as hot as other hot tubs I've been in. They were not bad though, but they were always crowded. Fitness Center We only went in there a few times but the machines are really nice and have touchscreen monitors. You can play games on the monitors while exercising or even watch the ocean through the widow or from a camera on deck. When we first booked I thought that they were going to have free zumba sessions, but you have to pay for those and the only free stuff in the fitness center were not very good, mostly seminars about fitness. Random In the daily newspaper thing we noticed that the actives with a star are pay activities. So when we saw a martini tasting with no star we got excited to finally see and try something you don't have to pay for. When we got there they told us it was $15 per person. What a crock. For the price we paid there should be more free things to do on the boat. We went to a pastry making seminar, but when we got there it was retarded. There was already a cake made and they just got a random person from the audience and had them put icing on it and some berries... I'm sorry but this is not a pastry making seminar. I did not pay to come on this cruise to watch some woman try her hand at decorating a cake. My mom got sick with food poisoning the day before our last port. The nurses in the infirmary were very nice and kind to her. If you go down there for food poisoning you don't have to pay, which was nice. Originally my boyfriend and I went to the shop to see if they has any medicine for sale, but they didn't, so we went o ask if they had any in the doctors and when we asked they said we should bring her down and there would be no charge. It's a good thing we brought her down because my mom ended up having to be taken down there again to get an IV for dehydration. They were very professional and treated us like family. They gave my mom Gatorade packets and medicine and even called to check up on her for the rest of the trip. Overall It was not bad, but I feel like all the seminars on the ship were there only to get you to buy something. The entertainment was lacking in professionalism and uniqueness. There are more pay restaurants than free ones. I feel like everywhere you go on the ship they are trying to get more money out of you. WE are never going to book on a Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Where to begin? I have been on several Cruise lines (including previous NCL cruises) and this was the WORST cruise ever! It started off on a disappointing note when we entered the ship. NO music. NO welcome champagne. NO excitement. We ... Read More
Where to begin? I have been on several Cruise lines (including previous NCL cruises) and this was the WORST cruise ever! It started off on a disappointing note when we entered the ship. NO music. NO welcome champagne. NO excitement. We had to walk around and wait for our cabin to be ready. Once Tzar's was ready for lunch, our entire party of 17 went to eat. They refused to push tables together so we could all be at one table. We waited over an hour to get our food. The wait staff was rude and inattentive. The food was tasteless. Bad start that will prove to only get worse. One of my suitcases was delivered to the wrong cabin and I reported it to the Service desk. I was told it should reach me by 8:00pm. Well, by 10:00pm it still had not arrived. All they could say was "we are still looking for it" and I had to spend $39 in the gift shop for a few basic toiletries. My bag showed up 3 days later. I found out later that they have complimentary toiletry items but I was never offered that, even though I had been in contact with the service desk numerous times. We decided to take advantage of a "special" NCL offered prior to our cruise...3 specialty restaurants for $57 (they chose the three...LaCucina, Cagney's and Le Bistro). You HAD to eat at LaCucina's on the 1st night. The food was AWFUL. Then we found out we missed out on the Surf & Turf in the open dining rooms. On our Le Bistro night, there was lobster on the menu, but you had to pay an additional $10 for it! SERIOUSLY??? There is a $20 cover charge already! Everyone else got it for FREE on embarkation night!!! We decided to stick to the buffet because Azura and Tzars had such SLOW service and the wait staff was terrible and rude. They acted like they were doing us a favor by taking our order and bringing out our food. However, for the most part, the food everywhere was not good. The desserts (except for the creme brûlée in Le Bistro) were tasteless. On our last day at sea, we planned out what we wanted to do. There was a magician show at 11:00 and a comedy show at 12:00 in the large theatre. The art auction was at 1:00. Well, the magician set up a table ON THE STAGE to sell his book and some magic items after he completed his act. He continued to sell until 12:15, causing the comedy show to start late. This in turn caused the comedy show to run late. Because we were seated in the 3rd row, we weren't going to be rude and get up and leave before the show was over. So, I missed the art auction. They should not allow anything to be sold on the stage and they should keep things ON TIME. One night we went to listen to a band doing a Bob Marley tribute at Magnum's Lounge. They were fantastic, but we had to leave early because the amount of smoke from the casino and the cigar bar (one on each side the lounge) was overwhelming. They really need a better ventilation system. By far, the RUDEST staff was in the Blue Lagoon. They literally would take your order (after waiting 20 minutes) by asking "what you want?" in a sharp tone. When my sister asked for a refill on her coffee, the waitress said "self serve!" as she pointed to the coffee area. There are so many other things I could say, but I'm sure some of my other family members will write their own bad experiences soon. We all agreed we will NEVER sail on NCL again. People, please think long and hard before going on this ship.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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