141 Norwegian Jewel Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

This is the 2nd time on NCL Jewel which was booked the very last minute. Since the last time has to say she went thru refurbishment and looks a LOT better. NCL took out the Chocolate Night and the lobster night but did have a sea food ... Read More
This is the 2nd time on NCL Jewel which was booked the very last minute. Since the last time has to say she went thru refurbishment and looks a LOT better. NCL took out the Chocolate Night and the lobster night but did have a sea food night on the last day. Cabin was clean and even when we did not wanted it cleaned, Sam cleaned it anyways. Food was ok. Menu hardly changed from November 2014. We had a meet and greet and it was nice to have the Sr officers come to it. We were at Cozumel ; Belize and Rotan - We have been to all these ports before and have to say did not take any shore excursions. This is the last time NCL was going to Belize city and they will be going to Harvest Cay ( NCL private Island) We flew into Houston on the day of the cruise and came back the same day. Houston port is in the middle of nowhere surrounded by industrial. We do cabin Bar Set up and have to say till you leave TX water and go into international waters, your mini fridge is sealed and alcohol will not be in your cabin. So be prepared. Entertainment was good. Circus was AWESOME! that was worth the trip. JP was funny. Sam Greaseman was ok. it was Jaime's ( cruise director's) last cruise. She is good, Friendly and approachable. Wish her good luck. We had priority disembarkation however it was a night mare. Line was so long. People were coming from all direction. once out supper shuttle was right outside so had no worries getting in. ( we had taken round trip blue shuttle for $98) This was an unplanned cruise since we could not wait to get out to the sea due to the crazy winter and glad we did. we have one planned on Epic and another one on Spirit. I am addicted to NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I found a handful of people complaining about length of time to get a drink. We found the best waiter the 1st day & our group just meshed with him. He had the best personality & went the extra mile for us daily. We usually started ... Read More
I found a handful of people complaining about length of time to get a drink. We found the best waiter the 1st day & our group just meshed with him. He had the best personality & went the extra mile for us daily. We usually started out the day with a nice tip because he was well deserving of it. I hope you all are lucky enough to meet Oswell Raymond. He will make your trip extra special. You will leave feeling like family! Food was always good. The sushi was delicious & well worth the little extra. Music by the pool was always upbeat & fun. The comedian was pretty funny too. My only complaint would be the bathroom close to the pool. It was clean, but each day it stunk like yearn a bit more. By the end of day five I didn't even bother using that room - the indoor room was very close by so, it was never a bother! I am anxious to take my next Norwegian cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Cruise Critic has been such a helper to prepare for our first trip - we read 300+ reviews and tips and came back from the cruise today happy and fulfilled! The roll call is the must - we felt connected even before the trip. Tim and Debbie ... Read More
Cruise Critic has been such a helper to prepare for our first trip - we read 300+ reviews and tips and came back from the cruise today happy and fulfilled! The roll call is the must - we felt connected even before the trip. Tim and Debbie were such nice hosts and arranged a very nice meet and greet on the first sea day. Cruise critic is influential - The senior officers showed up for us and gave us a nice intro and a card of all their contact information. I told Gary, the manager of guest service, about my experience with his staff and feedback. He took notes and the next day we got a plate of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room as his appreciation. Tim and Debbie and quite a few members opened up their staterooms for the cabin crawling - it was so fun and I can see the jealousy eyes from other guests! We visited several inside cabins (many personalization ideas), ocean view, balcony, mini suite and a suite. WOW! I know what I want for the next cruise. Free style and unlimited beverage package are king! As first-time cruiser, My husband and I were not sure what to expect. Free style is a relief for him and UBP gave us the reason to explore and hang out. NCL Jewel does have a nice crew. Our waitress Reubenlene at the Tsar dinning room has been so helpful and taken good care of us every dinner. I am also impressed by the Hotel Director Steven - the best example of walking management I have ever seen. He is EVERYWHERE! At 8am he might walk by the pool and later on greet you at the breakfast buffet. When you come back from excursion he is the washy washy person at the security. You see him constantly at the hallway of every deck. Of course on the welcome and farewell shows you see him and his staff. He personally read every guest comment card and recognizes his team - Reubenlene showed me a photo of her being recognized by him last time! The trip was not perfect (bad traffic and weather when we were in Houston, noisy afternoon near our cabin when all the lifeboats were back from Banana Coast, no towel animals, only lobster sauce pasta on the last night, my skin and swim suit reaction to the hot tub chlorine...) but we did have a great time and felt the hospitality and the good service from every crew member.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
BARS Loved the staff - Bartenders in the Spinnaker lounge were the absolute best. They took care of us, made us drinks based on our tastes ie: sweet, not too sweet, etc. (we seriously even went home and bought liquor based on their ... Read More
BARS Loved the staff - Bartenders in the Spinnaker lounge were the absolute best. They took care of us, made us drinks based on our tastes ie: sweet, not too sweet, etc. (we seriously even went home and bought liquor based on their recommendations). A. Kumar, in particular was awesome. Tip them well! They know what they're doing. RESTAURANTS/FOOD Le bistro was probably my favorite restaurant. I went to Cagney's the night before, and I think I actually liked the beef tenderloin I got at Le Bistro over the filet at Cagney's (though both were amazing). The buffet style food they had was alright, nothing to write home about, but it was fun to have a different style or theme each day. And I'm a sucker for breakfast foods - which I loved, even if all I ate was pretty much a parfait with a piece of french toast each morning. POOL They only have two pools, and they are *right* next to eachother, so the pool area is packed the entire time. and, yes, there is an adults only pool, but it's directly next to the other pool, so you are constantly surrounded by screaming children. I'm sorry, not a kid person, I'm just not at that stage in my life, and I'm on a vacation at a place that isn't Disneyland...   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was my third cruise and my friends first. I chose Houston port because of flights available for me and she could drive. We found a great hotel near the port where she could leave the car while we sailed. I had previously sailed out of ... Read More
This was my third cruise and my friends first. I chose Houston port because of flights available for me and she could drive. We found a great hotel near the port where she could leave the car while we sailed. I had previously sailed out of New York and Miami. Although I had been to Cozumel before this was by far a much nicer stop than my last visit. I really think it was the difference in the ports that we stopped at this time. There is no word or phrase that I can find that describes the beauty of Coxen Hole, Hondorus. We had a private tour of the island and an excursion by boat through the mangroves. Absolutely wonderful. We were also quite happy with the port shopping. The Jewel has an on board shopping adviser. She was knowledgeable and helpful in making that experience better than my previous cruises. I liked the fact that Norwegian has vetted the local shops and extended a warranty to those on the approved list. It saved time and gave us comfort that we weren't being taken advantage of. Our cabin was close the elevator that was central to most of the dining facilities. We enjoyed being able to eat when and where we chose. It was like making a decision at home and going to a local restaurant. No first and second seating. From a buffet to BBQ at the pool or formal dining you chose when and where. The only way we will go again. The service was phenomenal. I celebrated my birthday during the week and they went all out to help me celebrate. From cake to balloons and streamers in our stateroom.This cruise was by far my BEST ever. We are now planning when and where we do our next Norwegian vacation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Since this was our first cruise with NCL (we've done 3 others on another line), I read the reviews here before we left. When I saw several that said the crew wasn't as friendly or helpful as on other ships, I thought "surely ... Read More
Since this was our first cruise with NCL (we've done 3 others on another line), I read the reviews here before we left. When I saw several that said the crew wasn't as friendly or helpful as on other ships, I thought "surely not", but I'm sorry to report that that was our experience also. Not every crew member, of course. Our cabin stewards were great and we did occasionally meet someone who was cheerful and eager to help, but mostly the crew seemed depressed. No one was rude to us, but no one seemed to have much energy. The service (and food) in the main two dining rooms was terrible, so much so that we finally started eating at the buffet on deck, even though we would have preferred the dining rooms. The food was another area of disappointment. On our other cruises, the food was GREAT. Dangerously so. On the Jewel, the food on the buffet was good (but not great) and the food in the dining rooms was poor (at best). The menu in the dining rooms would sound great but the actual food just didn't seem very professionally prepared. But all in all, we enjoyed the cruise. It was nice to get to a warm climate in the middle of January. The ship is nice and NCL didn't seem to be selling constantly like, say, Carnival does. And although the ship was full, it didn't seem as crowded as our Carnival cruises, but that might have been because this seemed to be mostly an older crowd. Oh, and getting on and off the ship was about as easy as it gets. (By the way, this was out of Houston, sailing to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize in January). So... our first experience with NCL. If there were a place I wanted to go and NCL was the only (or much much cheaper) carrier, I'd go with them. Our trip wasn't terrible. We had a good time, all in all. But all else being equal, if I had a choice among carriers, I think we'd go with someone else. We didn't hate our cruise on the Jewel; we were just a little disappointed. Some of the other reviewers, who were on the same cruise we were on, seemed to like it just fine - loved it in fact. So there you go..... Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My wife and I booked our cruise two weeks prior to sailing We're in our 60's and have cruised since 2006. This was our first cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). We usually cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines but were looking ... Read More
My wife and I booked our cruise two weeks prior to sailing We're in our 60's and have cruised since 2006. This was our first cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). We usually cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines but were looking forward to experience NCL style cruising. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 5 and also had the Ultimate Beverage as part of our cruise package. The itinerary was Cozumel, Belize, and Trujillo Honduras. We drove to the cruise terminal on the day of the cruise from Granbury, Texas. The cruise terminal located near La Porte, Texas is called the Bayport Cruise Terminal. It is located in a remote area that is without any other businesses other then the cruise terminal and a parking lot. Don't count on being able to buy any last minute items you may need before boarding from a nearby gas station or convenience store because there are none near the cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal around 11:00 AM and parked without problems. We had reserved our parking space online for $75.00. We did not drop off any luggage with the terminal porters. We carried our luggage thru security without difficulty and after only a few minutes of waiting we had our key card to our room and a boarding group number. We sat for no more then 30 minutes then our boarding number was called. We walked into the ship carrying our luggage and went to our cabin to drop them off. Our cabin was not ready, but our cabin steward allowed us to drop off our luggage in our room. There was a announcement for the passengers saying the cabins were not going to be ready until 1:30 PM. We went to the Tsar's Palace dining room for lunch which was one of two main dining rooms. The other main dining room is called the Azura. The Tsar's Palace dining room was very nice and nearly empty. We read online that most people went to the buffet on deck 12 for their lunch and didn't know lunch was also served in the Tsar's Palace. Lunch is served Restaurant style from a menu with a starter, entree, and dessert. There was one difference between the two dinning rooms. Tsar's Palace has a stricter dress code then the Azura dinning room in the evenings. You can't wear shorts at the Tsar's Palace in the evenings except on the first night when most people are still waiting for their luggage. Both dinning rooms allowed shorts during breakfast and lunch, but only the Azura allowed shorts in the evenings. The following dinning facilities are complimentary: Azura Garden Cafe (Buffett) Great Outdoors O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill Tsar's Palace ============================== Extra Cost dinning facilities Cagney's Steakhouse $30.00 per person Chin Chin Asian Fusion $15 per person Let Bistro French $20.00 per person La Cucina Italian $15 per person Modemo Brazilian $20 per person Mongolian Hot Pot $15 per person Sushi Bar A La Carte. Teppanyaki $25 per person There are also 13 different bars located on the ship. We liked the Spinnaker bar because of the great views. Located on deck 13 near the bow of the ship, it offers full bar service as well as generous comfortable seating with panoramic views from the front of the ship. We ate multiple times in the Tsar's Palace and Azura main dining rooms. We preferred the Azura dinning room because we could wear shorts in the evenings. The menu was the same for both restaurants. Service took about one hour in either restaurant . Both included bar service. The Garden Cafe Buffett was very nice. We liked the way it was set up with multiple, separate stations for the various food items. One station for desserts, one for salads, one for sandwiches, one for wok cooking, and one for other hot foods. There was also a children's area with everything set up for kids. Tables, chairs, and Buffett items there were all at a child's height. It was popular with families with small children. Soft serve ice creams with a variety of toppings were available. During lunch it seemed there was a crew member who served the ice cream. Between meal times the ice cream was self serve. The ship had a live band playing in the pool area several times during the cruise. I'm not sure if the band was playing every day or not, but we saw it several times when we were in the pool area. During the evening shows there was also a 7 piece band providing the music for the main production magic show The TV in the cabin was a flat screen model complete with remote with sleep timer. The channel selection was limited compared to what have experienced on other cruise lines. This by itself is not a big issue for us. What we viewed as a problem was the only channel that showed national network shows. It would start showing a show like The Big Bang Theory and without warning after about 15 minutes into the show, it would switch to something like The Mentalist. After you got over the previous show being terminated before the end of the show and started watching The Mentalist, it would suddenly terminate before the normal ending and jump to another show. I don't think we ever managed to see a show end normally for the whole week. We don't sit in our cabin all day watching TV, but like we watch some TV before going to sleep and enjoy seeing what shows are available when they don't terminate suddenly and jump to another unrelated show. Not a deal breaker for us, maybe there was a problem with the TV, it wasn't anything worth complaining to Guest Services. Just something we noticed and didn't care for. I'm not going to write much about the cruise ports, we've been to Cozumel and Belize many times but had not been to the NCL port of Trujillo where we were tendered. The tender process for NCL was very organized compared to Carnival tender operations we have been on. Trujillo appears to be a new port for NCL and there was very little to be seen right at the port. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was easy and quick. Diamond and Platinum passengers are allowed off the ship first. Then passengers who are carrying ALL of their luggage are allowed to leave the ship and proceed thru Customs. We were off the ship by 7:15 AM and on the road home by 7:30 AM. We noticed there were more Customs agents manning all of the Customs stations in the terminal. At the Carnival terminal we noticed there are not enough Customs agents to man all the Customs stations on numerous occasions which can really slow down getting thru Customs. Our overall impression of the Jewel was favorable with the exception of the FreeStyle dinning which we did not care for, although many cruisers seem to like it. A major part of cruising for us is meeting new friends during meal times and especially during the evening meal. We like to compare our day with our table mates, find out what excursions they took and finding out if they enjoyed them. We prefer assigned seating at a specific time and sharing a table with other cruisers. Not everyone may like that style of dining, but it's what we like. That alone will keep us from cruising with Norwegian again. To sum things up, we liked most everything on the Jewel. The food was decent and would of been even better if delivered to our table while it was hot. The shows were great, the live music near the pool and during in the main theater for the magic show was great. The only really negative thing for us was the FreeStyle dinning, and we knew it was going to be different then Carnivals dinning with assigned seating and assigned times. We thought we would give it a try and see if we liked it. Turns out FreeStyle dinning is not for us, but that's just our opinion and opinions are like belly buttons... everyone has one. Keep on cruising Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We booked this as a Christmas present to out adult kids/spouses. We stayed at the Best western in Seabrook that has a 50.00 Car parking /shuttle to the boat.(not sure I'd recommend. I think someone there got my CC number...Though ... Read More
We booked this as a Christmas present to out adult kids/spouses. We stayed at the Best western in Seabrook that has a 50.00 Car parking /shuttle to the boat.(not sure I'd recommend. I think someone there got my CC number...Though can't prove it yet.)Rooms were ok-Breakfast was nice. For the Jewel- We Had 3 rooms One balcony and 2 ocean views(on turned sideways 8090) honest- rooms felt a bit small. But were ok. When they join beds together..still a crack down the center.MEH. Service over all was excellent. People were nice- helpful.. Only real issue was I pre-ordered a Birthday Cake for my daughter in law- They got a note saying it was not available- they would refund and send strawberries- NEVER CAME... and got a bottle of wine(we don't drink so its a waste) so she took it too the Service desk which only offered to trade for 4 cans of soda.. wow really?? But as I said all the other experiences were great! TZAR's palace was our families Fav! we ended up eating there 5 of 7 nights! Food was Excellent! Ranging from Ribs, to Salmon to Roast Duck , Chicken, Prime Rib.. the Garden was great for Breakfast and late nite snacks. Azul(very slow service) OShehans good food- a bit slow on service. Cir de Bejuol is not to be missed! It was out standing!!! and the Duo night was equally great. Deal or no deal was a fun activity and Bingo callers need new jokes! Star-fish Snorkel was Raining like crazy- but still a good trip..Even our 4 yr old grandson went and had a great time!(Banana Coast) Snorkel the Barrier reef in Belize was ok- not what I expected..but reef was cool. Swim with the dolphins Excursion was great! My daughter and daughter in law both went and had a time of their life! great pics too!(cozumel- chukkanuab) Kids club for grandson was good- Not Disney- but good. Embarkation and Disembarkation both went smooth in Houston- Much better than Princess!! WE WILL TAKE the Jewel Again! Had a great time! Great FOOD... very relaxing ;)   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
The Norwegian Jewel, overall appears to be a great ship. This was my first cruise and I was impressed. The diverse crew assisted you throughout the ship and are always there to help. The ship had many shows and activities for adults and ... Read More
The Norwegian Jewel, overall appears to be a great ship. This was my first cruise and I was impressed. The diverse crew assisted you throughout the ship and are always there to help. The ship had many shows and activities for adults and families such as Nickelodeon Slime Time and White Hot party. The first day: When you first arrive at the ship, you want to head to guest services and ask for the ship layout and schedule. This will help you find your way around the ship and plan your day. Without these two key pieces of paper you will be lost. If you have kids, ask about their Splash academy and Entourage program. Splash academy and Entourage: These two programs are for kids ages 3-17 and have their own program. The Splash academy (ages 3-12) acts as a "childcare" but allows your child to have fun and learn new skills. At the end of the cruise they put together a circus featuring all the children in Splash academy. Entourage(ages 13-17) is a place for teens to hang out, play foosball, air hokey, Wii, and more. They have different activities for the teens such as foosball tournaments and charades. Pools: The Jewel has 3 different pools, one for toddlers, kids, and adults. All three are located on deck 12. The toddler pool is a small 2ft deep pool with a small slide and Jacuzzi just for them. The kids and adult pool are shaped the same way but the kids pool has a horrible slide.Half way down, you stop and you have to push yourself down. Overall the pools are good for small children and relaxing but no major excitement. Entertainment: Each night the ship hosted entertainment for all ages in the Stardust theater. They had gymnasts, jugglers, and a comedian preform throughout the seven nights. Most of the shows were preformed twice during the night. If you weren't interested in shows they had music and dances on different decks. In your stateroom TV, they also showed previous shows on board and a wide range of movies such as the Giver, and Divergent. Food: The Jewel had a wide range of restaurants from buffets to fancy sit down places. The major restaurant, I think, is Garden Cafe. It is a buffet with ice cream throughout the entire day and each night has slightly different cuisines. For example, one night they had a Mexican cuisine and another night the featured seafood. Unfortunately though, breakfast is always the same at Garden Cafe and at the other complimentary restaurants. In conclusion, the Norwegian Jewel is an awesome ship with fantastic shows, activities and food. It hosts activities for all ages and keeps you busy throughout the day with an option to relax. The crew makes you feel special and helps in any way they can. Overall the Jewel is a fantastic ship.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
From the start I noticed issues. I'll keep it brief: clearly an understaffed ship. Service in bars and restaurants, including the pay restaurants, was brisk, harried, with some service personnel snapping at each other due to being ... Read More
From the start I noticed issues. I'll keep it brief: clearly an understaffed ship. Service in bars and restaurants, including the pay restaurants, was brisk, harried, with some service personnel snapping at each other due to being overwhelmed. I watched one bartender literally sweating, alone, behind a bar trying to keep up with the orders and it wasn't happening. He got on the phone and begged for help but none arrived. Felt bad for him to be honest; these people already work hard as it is. Cagney's was excellent; again service was a problem. Chin Chin was quite simply, awful. No other way to put it. Service again was bad, but worse than any other place, and food went into the trash. I saw this happening at most other tables. We waited an hour for food that was not good at all, an no compensation of any kind, not even a visit to our table by the maitre'd. The French restaurant was excellent, but again service was rushed. So sad, because I'm happy to pay for the meal, but slow down and let me enjoy. Cabin service was excellent, pool side was fun and lots of food options to choose from. Saw some great shows as well. But overall it was just meh. The overall service was enough for me to steer clear of this line forever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 3rd cruise but first for Norwegian, Everything was great, we really did enjoy this ship. We went on a budget so we got a inside cabin and the Bed was so Comfortable and the Pillows were the Best! I miss them already. The cabin ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise but first for Norwegian, Everything was great, we really did enjoy this ship. We went on a budget so we got a inside cabin and the Bed was so Comfortable and the Pillows were the Best! I miss them already. The cabin was pretty tight but we expected that, it was hard to manuever the luggage around as no place really to put it except lay it on the bed when ready to get clothes out. When we arrived we had a nice tray of choclate covered pineapple wedges and the next day a nice bottle of wine was delivered. The food was good, no complaints except the coffee was way to strong for me and as I love bacon for Breakfast it was alwas so greasy. I know they have to cook alot of it at a time but it was alwas pretty greasy no matter what day or when. They provided plenty of cleaning of your hands, one Guy that sang, Washy Washy, Happy, Happy all day long and it got to be pretty funny, but the idea was for everyone to keep hands washed Hand santizers everywhere you go so that was a good feeling. I loved there Big dining room that were we normally ate dinner, Couldn't go in there at night in shorts so was little more upscale but the service was outstanding, The menu changes every night. We would usually eat breakfast there too, althou we did choose the buffet at times which was HUGE, but too many people and hard to find a place to sit. No matter what you needed they would provide the best service to get it to you. The entertainment was great, So many choices of what you wanted to do, makes the cruise more enjoyable, We traveled with our Daughter and her husband and as they are in there early 20's they enjoyed the music at the pool side and meet alot of people they partyed with. We did two excursions one in Cozmel for shopping, One in Belize City to visit ruins, (worst trip we took) Roads were Horrible and we didn't enjoy the ride at all. Then last stop was in Honduras and the ship had made a stop in Banana Coast, This was the 2nd time the ship had stopped there and the people were thrilled to see us, Very Friendly, It was extremly hot (86% humidity) I couldn't take the heat hardly, After a little walk we stopped into a covered area that faced the beach and sat down for a cold beer, The staff didn't all speck English so they had to get translators to help, People of that area were walking around selling there trinkets that got kinda of annoying, Keep saying no and they would move on but they 15 others would come by. We did meet one buy that did speak English and we had a nice visit with him and he explained the Honduras way of living, He told us where he lived they had no electricity so no TV. I found that interesting how they lived. Other than that this Cruise was well worth what we paid!. Oh and forgot to mention the Dismarkment was the worse.. Somehow they never could get clearnce for us to get off ship and we stood in line around the ship for 3 hours. That was Bad but they did walk around with cookies and pastrys to apease us. I know it wasn't there fault but people were tired and getting upset. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first Norwegian cruise and I must say it was great! From the beginning to the end it was nothing short of wonderful! We have been celebrating our 25th Anniv. all year long since April of 2013. We have been on 6 cruises during ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian cruise and I must say it was great! From the beginning to the end it was nothing short of wonderful! We have been celebrating our 25th Anniv. all year long since April of 2013. We have been on 6 cruises during this time......two Disney and 4 Carnival.....and we agree that our cruise on the Norwegian Jewel was by far in a category of its own.....which in our opinion is Great! The food was sooooo delicious! Mr. Messiah and his crew do a fantastic job! The service was very good and the wait time was just like any other restaurant that you order food from with table service. The buffets were the best ....no complaints here! The crew members there were all willing to please you in anyway to make you satisfied. The captain would walk around and talk with the guests and take pictures it made us feel special. That's probably why the crew members were always so friendly and helpful because their boss was always being the example. Everyone was so helpful in so many ways it would take a long list to describe. Thank you Romeo for making us feel special on our first cruise with Norwegian. And inviting us to the captains party!!!!! He is the guy to see if you are wanting to get $100.00 on board credit if you are planning to take a 6 or more night cruise within the next four years, you can put $250.00 down and receive the $100.00 on board credit to spent on your present cruise. I thought this was fantastic because we plan on taking another Norwegian Cruise before the four years is up. Another great incentive from Norwegian....Thank You ...Thank you!!! The room steward was great! He always made sure I had an extra towel and ice in the bucket and our room was always so clean. The whole ship was clean, we didn't see a rust stain of any kind anywhere on the ship. The whole place is spotless!!!! The port of calls were amazing .....and the excursion prices where reasonable...we even got to the ports earlier then the time we were supposed to and we got to disembark early and easy...that was wonderful!!!! In Cozumel we went to Passion Island all inclusive for $70.00 each includes boat ride to and from port, loved it beautiful beach great food and drinks!!!! In Belize.we went to Bacab Jungle Park Pool and lunch....$54.99 each .....it was a wonderful fun day there in the sun !! Roatan was great......we booked our beach excursion through Island Marketing Ltd....West Bay Beach...Banarama Beach....$66.00 for two of us, includes transportation to and from port, a lounge chair , a drink and entrance fee, ask for Ms. Karen she is a great tour guide and will help you get set up on beach.....this beach is sooooooo beautiful!!!!!! crystal clear water and the sand is so smooth under your feet in water....No Rocks or Shells!!!! In Costa Maya......they have a beautiful huge swimming pool to use free with swim up bar to buy drinks .......but we had booked an excursion to Tequila Beach, $64.00 for two of us, includes all drinks and food and lounge chair, umbrella but the cab was $3.00 a piece for each way.......the water was clear but there was rocks and shells at bottom........Not my favorite! Next time we will stay at port and enjoy the pool for Free! I would recommend this cruise to anyone who needs a break from the real world and take a trip into paradise for the best vacation you need to have! Try this cruise and you will not regret it and if you do you are probably hard to please to begin with!   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
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
Sail Date January 2014
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 December 2013
This was our second cruise on NCL and we have cruised many times out of New Orleans (our home port) on CCL and RCL. We (wife and I) have been on over twenty cruises and have never had a bad time. Getting on the Jewel was very fast, get ... Read More
This was our second cruise on NCL and we have cruised many times out of New Orleans (our home port) on CCL and RCL. We (wife and I) have been on over twenty cruises and have never had a bad time. Getting on the Jewel was very fast, get to the pier around 10:45 or 11 and you will be on board around 11:30. Don't forget if you are a latitudes member there is a special quicker line for you. Parking is $112 in the outside lot called the whale lot. Food on this ship in all areas is very good and some of the best I've had on a cruise ship. However, the service in the main dining rooms for either lunch or dinner is some of the worst and slowest service ever. I believe because they already have their tips and the staff does not really work for them anymore as they did back in the day of tip envelopes. Many cruise lines are going with the prepaid tips and service is really suffering because of this. Dress on this ship anywhere is VERY casual and the majority simply wear slacks, nice shorts, polo style shirts or simple sun dresses. Leave your formal items at home. Multiple times we waited in MDR for either lunch or dinner for over 30 minutes before we were served ANYTHING, and several times we were the first ones into the MDR. Our main problem with NCL is the Anytime Dining which is anything but "anytime." We had a group of 11 and the only time we could ever get a reservation was either 5:00 or 9:00. Then when we showed up for our time we were given a pager and told they would beep us when the table was ready. usually this wait would be from 15 to 30 minutes. This also seemed to be happening for others with groups for two or more. Multiple times in the MDR's it was just my wife and I for breakfast or lunch and we experience waits of nearly 30 minutes just to receive our drink order. The two specialty restaurants we ate in were outstanding, The Brazilian restaurant where they served all the carved meat is not to be missed and the fry table is outstanding. Overall the food is excellent, but repeats items often, but the service is some of the worst ever. The ship is very clean and the staterooms (we had a balcony and my kids had an inside cabin) are your average cruise line type in decent condition. The shower is larger than most other lines and the hairdryer is the best hairdryer I have ever used. The TV is horrible with no ability to access your account online and the channels come and go for no reason. Our room steward was excellent and most of the other cruise staff are friendly. We did not like the lay out of the ship and found it flowed poorly with us always having to go up or down and front or back, it seemed like a boxy old house and not planned very well. Had a great time, but due to the anytime dining we won't cruise NCL again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
4th NCL cruise out of N.O.....getting on an off the ship was super easy. Easy check in and easy off. The ships crew is absolutely fantastic! Excellent service all around from everyone! Great cabin stewards, restaurant/bar staff and ... Read More
4th NCL cruise out of N.O.....getting on an off the ship was super easy. Easy check in and easy off. The ships crew is absolutely fantastic! Excellent service all around from everyone! Great cabin stewards, restaurant/bar staff and entertainers. The shows in the theatre were great, JP the magician does and excellent show and is very funny, Band on the Run was great, and the Cirque show was awesome! The food though was about as blah as can be though. Plentiful, but just plain and very, very boring. Repeat cruisers with NCL will be disappointed to find the exact same foods as last years cruise. (NCL changes the menus every TWO years!!) Food is definitely uninspired, under seasoned, plain, boring. (this was repeated over and over by a majority of other guests we spoke with). There was a time when all food was the caliber of the cover charge restaurants. It would be nice to have some more variety, with all the Phillippine chefs onboard, it was disappointing to not have one single dish from their country ever, not even in the Asian cover restaurant!! Why not take advantage of their true talents?? On our cruise, we had to tender in both Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. Major issues with their tender process, it took over two hours to get off the ship in Cozumel (and we were group 4!!), and over an hour to get back on. With very limited time in port - usually 9am - 3:3 pm there wasn't nearly enough time. The line to get back on the ship in Cayman was about 4 blocks long, no other ships in any of the ports had such issues. The dock in Jamaica was in the working cargo area, and very undesirable. It seems everywhere we were the Carnival and RCL ships had the premium docking areas, The cabins were very clean, nicely furnished, but had some issues. No clocks at all in cabins, no way to set an alarm or see the time. TV had very limited channel selection, yet had 5 NCL only channels for them to sell everything under the sun. Granted no one goes on a cruise to watch TV, but in inclement weather, or for late night it shouldn't be that hard to provide more channels. If it can be done in a plane at 40,000 feet it shouldn't be that hard to provide at least a dozen choices on a ship. On deck 11 midship there was always an overwhelming smell of sewerage, not very nice, and apparently nothing can be done about this. Internet charges are pretty outrageous also. You can expect to be nickel and dimed everywhere on board. In cover charge restaurants, many of the specialty entrees had a fee in addition to the cover charge. The photo gallery charges are sheer outrageous! $12.95 for each and every 6x8 photograph, and most of them were thrown away, such a complete waste of paper, chemicals and time. One would think that they would rethink their pricing strategy here! Another disappointment is that when booking a spa massage, you actually have to pay an additional charge to use such things as the sauna, or even take a shower. Another sad example of the nickel and diming! The ship itself is very well maintained, and there seemed to be enough elevators. Big complaint on the pool deck, which crams too many things in one area. the kids pool should be completely separate from the adult area, but they are all in one area. Our cruise had over 500 kids, and you could definitely notice it everywhere! Parents should control their kids better, but of course they don't. Suggestion to NCL, get rid of the water slide. Its crappy and just makes things worse! Huge complaint was on port days, when getting on the ship in late afternoons, the only food available were the horrible hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries on deck, and there was a mad rush for this with not nearly enough workers to handle the crowds. perhaps they should keep the deck bbq open longer, or open the buffet earlier on these days. Note to NCL...if you are going to attempt a chocolate buffet, please get some better recipes for the items you offer, overall they were just awful. Overall we had a pleasant time, however not sure if we would choose NCL again. We did enjoy New Orleans, and had a great pre cruise stay at the St. Philip French Quarter Apt. hotel, which we would highly recommend. It would be nice to see NCL put a real first rate modern ship in the New Orleans market though. It seems Carnival offers a far superior product with the Sunshine. It looks fabulous, and we ran into many guests from this ship and they were all very positive about it. As far as the itinerary, perhaps it would be better if the ship docked rather than tendered, and they could totally replace Jamaica, as most people we talked to thought this was the least favorite stop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I have been dreaming of a cruise for several years. I had been planning to do one, and I was offered a free cruise from Horseshoe Casino. After upgrading, fees and taxes, it seemed to equate to a buy a cruise get one free. It was not a bad ... Read More
I have been dreaming of a cruise for several years. I had been planning to do one, and I was offered a free cruise from Horseshoe Casino. After upgrading, fees and taxes, it seemed to equate to a buy a cruise get one free. It was not a bad deal. I also received 2 casino cards that provided complimentary drinks in the casino. We arrived in New Orleans on Saturday and stayed the night. We were able to park for free at the Harrahs Casino garage. On Sunday morning, we drove over and dropped our luggage off. It seemed a bit hectic as there was a lot of cruise traffic for Norwegian Jewel and Carnival. We parked our car, and walked back over to board. The boarding too me was much like boarding at the airport, although it may have been a bit quicker. Our cabin was located on deck 10, midship, port side. One thing I recall is as I exited the elevators and started down the isle, a certain area seemed to have a bad sewer smell. I just walked fast to get by, and was happy that the smell was not near my cabin. In preparing for my trip I knew I have a history of getting motion sickness. Therefore, I had my seabands on, and had the travel patch for behind the ear. The doctor had instructed me to put on when I boarded the ship. I thought better, and figured I would rely on the seabands. I felt good the first day, but basically we were just cruising very easily down the Mississippi River. I thought this is a piece of cake. The first day at sea, I woke up early, and felt fine. We had breakfast and a nice lunch. We walked and explored the ship. The wind was very strong, and I felt a lot of ship movement. All of the sudden I started feeling bad and I applied the patch behind my ear. Well the patch usually takes a few hours. I started feeling miserable. The sea sickness to me is so bad, that you almost feel like jumping into the water and ending it. By this time we must have been dead in the center of the Gulf of Mexico. I had no idea of what to expect, all you see is water, nothing else. I think I thought I would see birds, and fish jumping in the water. My nice husband fetched me green apples and I slept for a while. Later I went to the high center of the ship and tried to relax and get fresh air. Wonderful news the next day, I woke up and felt great. The patch worked. We had another day at sea. The next day we arrived in Jamaica. I booked excursion to see Rose Hall. The trip was long as traffic seemed terrible, and I was surprised that the tour bus took us by their airport. The airport did not seem to be anything to see, and a waste of time. They also took us to Margaritaville, which too me was cliché. Also the tour bus was packed, and there was not a free seat. It seemed miserable. Rose Hall was very interesting and historic and had a nice high view of the ocean. The next day we arrived at the Cayman Islands. I did a beach excursion. It was nice, but did not feel like a lot of time at the beach. I am used to Florida beach, and never really can see my feet through the water. There it was like I could see too much, and there were these little spiny ball things, that you were afraid you would step on. Day 5 we arrived at Cosumel Mexico. I booked the Tulum excursion, as my husband had always wanted to see the Mayan Indian ruins. I did not realize that we would be taking a ferry from Cosumel to Tulum. I was scared to death I would again get sea sick. People all around me got seasick. But this time my patch was on, and I did not get sick. Although it was not a fun time on the ferry. Tulum was beautiful, and worth the ferry ride. I was very pleased with what I saw of Mexico, as I had very low expectations. I was picturing it being dirty and very unpleasant. I found it was great, and was my favorite stop. The ocean and beach on the side of the cliff of the Tulum ruins were simply beautiful. Time just went way to fast. We enjoyed some tacos at Tulum, the salsa and chips are still fresh in my memory, and I cannot wait to go back and have some more. Maybe some day. Day 6 we were back on ship for the last day at sea. The evening was very interesting as it appeared as that we were close to land. We could see a lot of lights and maybe sandbars. I think we were seeing oil rigs. It was dark so it was hard to see. I did see another cruise ship come by. We were able to wave at each other. Day 7, we awoke and we were back in New Orleans. We had breakfast and got off the ship. I removed my patch. I felt great. We walked around New Orleans, and had dinner at Mothers. We spent the night at Harrahs. The next morning when I woke up, I felt bad. I had a rocking feeling, and felt like I was moving. I did not get really sick, but I just did not have balance. I felt like this for almost a week. At that point I said never again will I cruise. Now, the feeling is behind me, and it has been almost 3 months. The cold weather here at home, has made me want to do it again. I do want to try cruising again. I don't know why, but overall I had a wonderful time. Next time, I will do the patch correctly, and I am wondering if one of the bigger ships would help.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My sister & I arrived 3 days early to our Sunday Nov. 10th departure. Totally enjoyed New Orleans, my third time there, and her first. As this was our 2nd NCL cruise, first being 2011 NCL Epic Transatlantic we had high hopes this ... Read More
My sister & I arrived 3 days early to our Sunday Nov. 10th departure. Totally enjoyed New Orleans, my third time there, and her first. As this was our 2nd NCL cruise, first being 2011 NCL Epic Transatlantic we had high hopes this cruise would be as good. We each had our own inside cabin, next door to each other, as she is a night owl, and we both enjoy our privacy. From the first step on the ship.... it was disappointing. I have sailed over 34 cruises, and never have I walked along the deck (100 yds. or so) to enter the ship by elevators. We were looking forward to the overwhelming experience of entering an atrium area, or large lobby. By elevators? Really? Our cabins were not ready until 1 pm, and we were onboard at 11:30 am. We made our way to the spa to preset our weeks appts. Our 1st and most important part of our vacation!! LOL. Went then to buffet. Nice and spacious for a buffet, and will organized. Love the attention to the hand sanitizing!! Washy Washy was great!! (YouTube NCL washy washy). Cleanest ship by far with this detail. WIsh Princess would catch a clue how to implement this!!! Big disappointment was the food. Dining room was horrible. Warm salads, cold soups. Best dinner was the specialty teppanyaki, well worth the $25 fee. You can get anything you want on the menu, combined.... they don't tell you that, but we learned from someone ordering from our table! So order up and enjoy all the filet, seafood you want! Shows were by standard....just a cruise show. Guess I'm spoiled with having been on the Oasis/Allure and seeing broadway shows, etc. Casino was very smoking. Wish they could learn how to upscale there ventilation system in that part of ship. Spa was awesome. We both bought the week pkg. to enjoy the sauna/steam, hot tubs, and reclining tiled lounge chairs..... so worth the $119 for the whole week. They only sell a certain amount, so this area is not over crowded, well worth heading to spa upon boarding to insure we got this package. Overall it was fun, as my sister and I just made the best of it, but I will not be cruising NCL again, as there are better cruise companies in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
my husband and myself booked a suite on deck 11 for this cruise.everything from day one was unsatisfactory. our room safe would not function the coffee maker was broken, when it was replaced we were given another machine still containing ... Read More
my husband and myself booked a suite on deck 11 for this cruise.everything from day one was unsatisfactory. our room safe would not function the coffee maker was broken, when it was replaced we were given another machine still containing the dregs of someone elses coffee!!!the overall look of the ship is rather jaded carpets in the public areas were torn and frayed carpets in our companions state room were very stained and marked paint peeling on most of the outside areas.as platinum members we were entitled to a complimentary dinner in the bistro so we booked when we got on for the night of the 14th feb, our booking was accepted, we recieved a call 9 days later tell ing us we could not have the booking as it was valentines day and there was a special menu @$49 per head ,didnt they know this when they took our booking?we contacted the hotel director with our concerns who asked us to take the dinner complementary we explained that we did not want the dinner but at his insistance we went, BIG MISTAKE the meal was inedible my husbands fish was raw and I ordered gnocchi which was dried and stuck to the plate, the menu was no different to the usual menu so why the $49 charge? again we complained and were offerd the obligatory bottle of wine to shut us up(which we again refused) it seems they think a free bottle of wine solves all problems. the dining room staff were a joke we were served meals without cutlery waited 45 minutes just to take an order again we felt like complainers and even as the restaurant manager was talking to us our meals were served and guess what they were the wrong order,we asked why this was so and we were told all the goodstaff had been taken for the new ship the breakaway my question is ,is our money not as good as the people who are going to travel on the breakaway?? food in the buffet again cold and miserable and being a former restaurant owner myself noticed a couple of things that would not pass health inspectors like cold scrambled eggs being put onto the almost finished serving dish and being warmed only by the bain marie (hello salmonella)!!!! we did leave a deposit for another cruise as we have never been disappointed with NCL before but again the cruise consultant was very disinterested and continued reading some kind of material whilst half heartedly getting us to sign paperwork.entertainment was very good and saved the day for us. one big mistake was to stay on board for the week end to nowhere which ended up as a free for all booze week end, people were even taking plates of hot food into the show room!!! they just seemed to trash the ship with no one supervising. all in all NCL let themselves and their loyal customers down on this voyage. this may make them realise that all customers are important not just the ones they are trying to lure to the new ships Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
About us, DH is 74 and I'm 61. This was my 6th and DH's 5th cruise with NCL. We were in a SF suite, 10666. This was one of our fastest embarkations ever! We arrived at the pier just before noon and were sitting in ... Read More
About us, DH is 74 and I'm 61. This was my 6th and DH's 5th cruise with NCL. We were in a SF suite, 10666. This was one of our fastest embarkations ever! We arrived at the pier just before noon and were sitting in Cagney's by 12:15! Yes we had the VIP line, but all lines were very short and moving right along! Our waitress was Lili and she and Carl (also a she, not he) became our favorites in Cagney's. They were so much fun and always had warm smiles to greet us. John D'Souza was the concierge and we found him to be very caring. He was always around the ship in the restaurants, atrium, outside the show theater and I even ran into him in the casino once! Whenever he saw us he would ask what he could do for us. We're fairly low maintenance so aside from some dinner reservations we really had no special requests, though he did keep asking every time he saw us. I did finally stump him on the next to last day when he stopped by our table. I told him I did have a request for him and he said, "Anything". I then asked him to have the Captain turn the ship around so we could head back to the islands. I wish I had a picture of his face! This was our second time in an SF suite, the previous one was the corner cabin and this one was one over. While essentially the same, this cabin was slightly smaller and there was less room between the bed and the wall. That was DH's side and he noticed it right away. It certainly was not a show stopper for us. The biggest treat for DH is the espresso machine! We happened to have a brand new one and the menu instructions were still in Italian. When the butler said he would change it, we said no since DH's primary language is Italian. Our butler was Chris and he was very accommodating to all of our special requests. He already had stocked the coffee machine per our pre-concierge requests. He switched out our sparkling wine for red wine and kept DH stocked with his breakfast cereal and milk, I prefer Cagney's most days. We're not crazy about all of the mid-afternoon snacks and requested just cheese and crackers and that's what we got each day. I had breakfast in the cabin on a couple of port days and it was always delivered hot and on time! Our room steward was Barrington. My first and only special request was for a step stool to get into the tub. I recently had knee surgery and those tubs are not the easiest when you have knee problems. He brought me the step stool right away and always kept the cabin in tip top shape. Most nights we got a towel animal and he would arrange my PJs in all different styles. If he was in the area of our room when we were heading back, he'd always come over and open the door for us. Such a nice touch! We had a very active roll call group and the meet and greet was well attended. The Captain and some officers came to say hi, and Hugo the food and beverage manager did a short Q&A. Right after the meet and greet we did a slot pull and managed to get back $14 of our $20 investment. We had most of our dinners in Tsars. We loved our waiter the first evening and requested to have him the rest of the cruise whenever we were in the main dining room. This requires sitting in a different section each time, but that was no problem for us as we really liked the waiter. We had a standing 7pm reservation and would always advise the Matre'd in advance if we were dining elsewhere on a particular evening. The food in the main dining room is okay and we certainly did not go hungry! There were no problems with special requests to substitute vegetables (e.g. spinach instead of green beans) and on lobster night DH requested and received two lobster tails. We were lucky to have dinner with the Captain one evening in Tsars. He was very personable and it was a highlight of our cruise. We also had a free dinner in Bistro (I'm Platinum) and that dinner was outstanding! We also had dinner in Cagney's twice and the filet minion was very tender! A friend and I did lunch once in Tepanayki since neither of our husbands like it. It's the same menu as at dinner and the waitress said they need at least 4 reservations to do a luncheon. Luckily another couple had also made reservations that day! Of note, my guess is the average age on this cruise was around 70! As a result, there were very many early diners so if you didn't have a reservation, you could end up with a long wait in the main dining rooms. We often saw a line and many folks with pagers. It sure pays to make the reservations at the beginning of the week! We didn't go to many of the shows in stardust since neither DH nor I are into hypnotist and comedians. We did enjoy the 70s show, the le circ and the crew talent show. We only caught a bit of Oh What a Night since that got switched to the last night since one of the performers was ill earlier in the week. We had a late reservation in Cagney's that night. We hit the casino most nights and most nights donated our budgeted money. I usually play Let it Ride but the table wasn't very good to me most nights. Luckily one night I went to the Poker machine and hit a jackpot so I managed to come home with my budgeted money. DH left all of his there in the slots and at the roulette table. Ports: San Juan, we stayed on the ship St. Thomas -- DH went to Limetree Beach and I did some shopping St. Maartin -- We went to LeGallion beach with a group from our roll call. Great beach with very calm water. Perfect for families or folks like me with bad knees! I do understand that this beach can get crowded with locals on the weekend since it is such a great beach for kids. St. Lucia -- We walked around town a bit and I could not wait to get back to the ship! Folks kept walking up to you offering tours and many followed you down the street even if you said no! DH did ask one driver the fare to the beach and was quoted $50 each way. Many folks I talked to had the same reaction that I did. Barbados -- Since we'd been here before and it was a Sunday we stayed on the ship Antigua -- We went to Coconut Beach Club with a group from our roll call. I had found this on the port of call section of cruise critic. There were 8 of us and the cab was $4 per person each way. At the club they charged $45 per person for use of the beach, loungers, pool, buffet lunch and open bar. The only disappointment for a few was that the beer was served in cups, not a bottle or can. The buffet was great. The beach had a fair number of waves that day and was windy. We were told some days it's very calm, just depends upon the weather. DH enjoyed the water, but with bad knees I limited myself to walking along the water's edge. All in all we had a great cruise, enjoyed meeting new friends and running into old ones from previous cruises. Now I have a long wait until my next cruise so have a serious case of Post Cruise Depression! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Do not know where to start but we found everything but the entertainment terrible! The free style dinning let us every night with poor service; long waits before coffee and dessert. We felt that the staff already knew they were getting ... Read More
Do not know where to start but we found everything but the entertainment terrible! The free style dinning let us every night with poor service; long waits before coffee and dessert. We felt that the staff already knew they were getting paid so why bother? We were not giving the opportunity to not tip them as this is automatically placed on your account each day. The population was extremely old! I know that this is not Norwegians fault but my God, all the scooters, walkers, and canes became a safety hazard for everyone else. Way too many passengers for the size of ship, it seemed. Another area that we found truly amazing was that the tv in our room was older, tube type, 11 inch screen, with only four or five stations; only two were movies and they replayed over and over! The Jewel looks beat up! It looked tired! I found myself constantly comparing this ship and its services to Royal Caribbean, which we are avid cruisers. There is no comparison at all! Our travel agent did tell us that but we thought possibly it would be nice to try another line. We will never, ever, book another cruise with Norwegian again! If not for the entertainment I would rate this entire cruise a two star! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We were scheduled on the Norwegian Jewel Jan 20th to Feb 1st out of NYC. Because of winter weather, we decided to spend the weekend in the city, and not worry about the potential problem. We had a car service take us from New Jersey, on ... Read More
We were scheduled on the Norwegian Jewel Jan 20th to Feb 1st out of NYC. Because of winter weather, we decided to spend the weekend in the city, and not worry about the potential problem. We had a car service take us from New Jersey, on Friday, to the city, and then a car service to ship on Sunday, around 12:30pm. We were in an owners suite so getting on the ship was quick. We were escorted to Cagney's for lunch, and by the time we were done we went to the suite. We were in suite 9004 (Haven) at the front of the ship. This was the second and last time we would take a suite or room at the front of the ship. Too much sea movement felt along with wasted areas. That said, it is a beautiful suite with a lot of room. Side balcony could be bigger. A very large bathroom and a guest washroom make it convenient. It is totally quiet and dark at night. The bed, king size, is very comfortable. There is a dining area, a living room and bar area. Plenty of storage and closet space. Three flat screen TV's. We used Cagney's for breakfast and some lunches. We used the haven courtyard for many of our lunches. Dinner we only used the specialty restaurants. They were better than average and well worth the additional money required. We liked the variety of choices in cuisines. We have traveled on so many ships and have been to the islands multiple times that we now look to the ship to be our resort and want to make the ship as comfortable for us as possible. We shop at the various stops. We know which merchants carry what we are looking for. The shows were fine. Some better than others. I was happy just to have an indoor lounge and an outdoor area to smoke a cigar and relax with a drink. The staff were really and truly trying to please. They were fine people and a pleasure. Our suite was clean always. The butler made everything easy. Our concierge, John, was unbelievable. He anticipated all our needs. I have had suites before, but the level of professionalism by our team was great. The butler in the haven was terrific. He made our time there well worth it. We liked this cruise so much, we have signed up for a fall cruise on Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
"Location, location, location" was the inexorable lure for us to cruise on the Norwegian Jewel in late January. The idea of taking a taxi to embark only a few blocks from our Manhattan apartment, avoiding the hellish airport, and ... Read More
"Location, location, location" was the inexorable lure for us to cruise on the Norwegian Jewel in late January. The idea of taking a taxi to embark only a few blocks from our Manhattan apartment, avoiding the hellish airport, and winding up on gorgeous Caribbean beaches was more than we could resist. Furthermore, Norwegian's promotion of "freestyle" cruising seemed attractive enough. We imagined no dress up, none of the usual cruise formalities, etc. However the experience was not for us. Although we do not think of ourselves as habitual cruisers, we have, over the past ten years, managed to sail with a number of other cruise lines: Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Carnival, Celebrity, even Disney (with our granddaughter), and Norwegian was certainly the bottom of the cruise-line industry as we have experienced it. Norwegian's "freestyle" business model really means that much of the ship is physically, aesthetically, and socially devoted to their many you-pay restaurants. This results in serious lack of the commodious and interesting public spaces of other lines. The ship is studded with TV monitors, not unlike airport ETA boards, constantly blinking updates on which restaurants are "filling up fast." Now in the interest of full disclosure, we are New York foodies and we do not cruise for the food. We do our cruise dining in the all-included dining room and buffet. Given the scale of service, we do not expect much and we are not disappointed. But on the Jewel we often could not even find a seat for breakfast in the crowded buffet. We ate most of our dinners in the "Tsar's Palace" dining room dedicated to centuries of tasteless autocracy and mediocre fare. As always on these ships the wait staff is terrific, underpaid, and overworked. Our cabin was designated as a "mini-suite," but was not as large or well-designed as the regular balcony cabin on Holland America or the mini-suite on Royal Caribbean, for instance. The closet could only be accessed by sitting on the bed. One night our toilet clogged and it took four calls and nearly two hours to get a maintenance person with a plunger to our room to fix it while the front desk kept insisting that it could be remedied from "the control room." This makes for a funny story after the fact, but at the time...not so much. The ship was built in 2003 (I think) and recently "refurbished," but you wouldn't know it. It has a shabby look: the veneer is wearing off the buffet tables, the composite deck material on the promenade is cracked and peeling. (Oh, where are the teak decks of yesteryear?) This ship is indeed one of those unappealing rectangular floating resorts, but not even a three star version in our opinion. Finally, we haven't given up on cruising, but we decided we are not "freestyle" people. (One more thing about "freestyle." Many people do dress up a lot.) As we look back on all of our experiences afloat, there is something to be said, after all, to dining regularly with a group of ship mates (6-8 is our preference) who engage in conversations about the day's events and happenings, and become, if only temporarily, friends. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We arrived at the NY Terminal around noon and the embarkation was prompt and smooth. We were greeted by a friendly familiar face Concierge John D'Souza/India. We were delighted to sail once again with one of our favorite NCL Hotel ... Read More
We arrived at the NY Terminal around noon and the embarkation was prompt and smooth. We were greeted by a friendly familiar face Concierge John D'Souza/India. We were delighted to sail once again with one of our favorite NCL Hotel Directors Hugo/Belgium. He runs a happy ship and we knew we were in good hands. After an excellent lunch, we went to our cabin which had been excellently prepared by our young cabin attendant Marisa/Philippines who took care of our every request throughout the cruise. We had our boat drill in one of the main dining rooms (it was very cold outside) and thankfully without having to bring our life jackets from our cabins. We thought we might have rough seas that night due to high winds but the entire three sea days south were incredibly calm and sunny. Some passengers were already in the heated pools on the first sea day. We had a well attended cruise-critic roll call Meet and Greet at 11AM of the first sea day well organized by Randy and Lynn from our Progressive Trivia team. After the first sea day, I was doing lap swimming in the pool every morning when it opened at 7AM before breakfast. The weather continued to be outstanding for the first 11 days of our 12 day cruise. Sunny and warm at all our 6 ports. FOOD: The food and service was especially good in Cagney's (Sandra/Philippines & Wayam/Indonesia), Le Bistro (Aisa/Philippines) and Tsar's Palace (Jacqueline/Philippines). We also enjoyed a good variety of food at the Garden Cafe buffet and the poolside barbecues. I managed to gain 6 lbs. on this 12 day cruise so the food was very good. ENTERTAINMENT: We were pleased to see many familiar talented performers on this cruise especially pianist/vocalist Fabrizio Caligaris/Italy) playing to SRO crowd nightly in bar city. On the final days of the cruise, another familiar pianist/vocalist Bernie Martini took Farizio's place. Also outstanding when they performed in various venues throughout the ship were Mirage Duo and Next Stage. Some of the production shows in the Stardust Theatre were outstanding especially Le Cirque Bijou, Donny Ray Evins Nat King Cole tribute, and Celia and Julien. We must acknowledge the unique talents of the Jewel show band led by another familiar face, Larry Lockwood (trumpeter extraordinaire). They provided dance music many evenings in the Spinnaker Lounge as well as playing for a unique brunch in the Tsar's Palace main dining room. There was some musicians performing nightly in the Tsars Palace dining room, an example of how Hotel Director Hugo runs his ship. Cruise Director Jaime/Canada was friendly, personable and always available throughout the ship. We also enjoyed participating in Progressive Team Trivia hosted by Dyvon/U.S. in which our team the "Jewel Jivers" managed to finish on top at the end of the cruise. Lots of good entertainment for many tastes throughout the ship. My wife really enjoyed the fitness classes provide by Simone/South Africa and JAL. PORTS: Our late arrival at our first port left little time for anything other than mailing some post cards and doing some shopping. Due to limited mobility, I decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the empty pools, warm sunny weather and the daily activities. My wife did enjoy the beach excursions in St. thomas, Barbados and St. Lucia and the shopping in St. Maarten. WEATHER: After 11 days of calm seas and sunny skies, our luck finally ran out on our final sea day before arriving back in New York. High winds and 25 foot seas managed to shake up things a bit and break not a few dishes in the dining rooms. But in the late afternoon and evening, things managed to calm down enough for us to finish our debarkation packing.SUMMARY: Another outstanding NCL mid-winter breakaway cruise to the warm Caribbean round trip out of New York (no more flying for us). We look forward to another NCL mid-winter cruise in January 2014. the friendly NCL staff always make us feel at home. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
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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