6 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Bahamas

My boyfriend and I decided to take this cruise due to my teaching job giving me the week off. We were unsure of the weather. We lucked out with the warm weather. The day we left NYC it was 60 and sunny! The next day going down was choppy ... Read More
My boyfriend and I decided to take this cruise due to my teaching job giving me the week off. We were unsure of the weather. We lucked out with the warm weather. The day we left NYC it was 60 and sunny! The next day going down was choppy and rough. After that we had smooth sailing. NCL does a fantastic job at organization. I loved the daily freestyle book. There were plenty of activities. Richard the cruise director is everywhere all hours and friendly. We were never board. There is entertainment at the pool and all about the ship nightly. We were able to use the outside pools and hot tubs with no problem. I purchased the 119 extra spa pass and loved it. The boyfriend hung out in the casino during my spa time. Even with 900 kids on board, you hardly noticed it, due to a kids camp that NCL runs. The food was awesome, much better then other cruise lines. We preferred Azura dinning room over TSARS. The seafood dishes and steak dishes were much better, as well as the wait staff. On the last night we went to Cagney's Steak house for the extra $25pp. We were blown away. The oysters and shrimp cocktail were huge! The filet mignon was to die for. You must try this one. The only complaint that we had was that shrimp cocktail was not available in the regular dinning rooms. Also, we are not big drinkers, so the $50 unlimited soda card is a deal. We absolutely loved the Stirrup Cay trip. He went up to the pool at 7:30 to get the 1st tender tickets off the boat. You want to do that in order get a lounge chair. We also brought our own snorkel sets from home. We saved $70 in rentals! In Nassau, we did the Sailfish sail and snorkel. Book online before your cruise and you save a couple of bucks. That was good, except the water was cold! Next time I will bring a wet suit. The staff could have been nicer they were very unfriendly. Therefore, they did not get tips. The only negative comment I would have is our balcony room. It was very small for even just the 2 of us. For the amount of money we spent, I felt that it should have been slightly larger. Overall a 9 out of 10! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We enjoyed the ship, which was large and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It may have helped that the ship was only 2/3 full during our cruise, so the staff was not overwhelmed with work. On the last day at sea, I ... Read More
We enjoyed the ship, which was large and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It may have helped that the ship was only 2/3 full during our cruise, so the staff was not overwhelmed with work. On the last day at sea, I needed a wheel chair to get from location to location. While the rental of a wheel chair was excessive for one day (the week's charge of about $ 230.00), a staff member appeared promptly when summoned to transport me for free. The food was generally well prepared, with the exception of lobster tail and fish on the first night in the Azure Dining Room. The staff also seemed busier there than in the other restaurants. We liked the Tsar's Palace, which was quieter and nicer with attentive service. However, the menu changed very little from night to night. A highlight was the Big Band Brunch at Le Bistro, where we also had a very nice evening meal of Bouillabaisse. The food was really exceptional in this restaurant. There was a great variety of good food at the Garden Cafe, but this venue was very busy and noisy. However, there were no lines. Whenever a staff member noticed that I had a cane, he/she would offer to help by carrying the food. The barbecue on the pool deck on day 4 yielded some very good ribs. Our room had an obstructed view and was well located near the mid-ship elevators. It seemed roomy with adequate storage space and it was quiet despite the closeness of the elevators. The room was kept neat and clean by our room steward, who also made amusing towel sculptures. Ice packs were provided upon request within a reasonable time. Problems such as a stuck toilet and a flood in the bathroom were attended to quickly. The entertainment in the Stardust Theatre was highly variable. The acrobats and gymnasts were quite good, but the comedian was not all that funny. Announcements and music were much too loud. We did like the piano music and vocals in Bar City and the music during the Big Band Brunch was also pleasant and not overly loud. The Big Band music and accompanying vocals at the Tsar's Palace were too loud. The pool area was pleasant, but there too the music was overly loud. During day 2 and 3 the adult pool was overheated to a temperature of between 82 and 84 F, which made swimming difficult. I also had occasion to sample the services at the Medical Center. There was no wait and the physicians seemed friendly and capable, but the bill for medications did hurt. It was disappointing that we did not get to go on the private island at Great Stirrup Cay on day 4, because of rough seas. Instead we spent much of the day at the pool side. The water in the adult pool was somewhat cooler than on days 2 and 3, which made it better suited for swimming. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We left on the NCL Jewel out of NYC on June 25. As usual the NCL checkin was much better than Carnival (We are 6 time Carnival Cruises, 2nd time on NCL) Did not realize that this was a "Nickolodean" Cruise, with 900+ children ... Read More
We left on the NCL Jewel out of NYC on June 25. As usual the NCL checkin was much better than Carnival (We are 6 time Carnival Cruises, 2nd time on NCL) Did not realize that this was a "Nickolodean" Cruise, with 900+ children , but it did not seem there were any more than other summer cruises we have gone on. Entertainment was great, main dining rooms "ok", upgrade dining rooms "Good". Only pet peeve, with all cruise lines is the internet charges they slam you with. There should be free WIFI on all ships! Cabin Stewards were invisible, because of the automatic $12 a day per person gratuity. On Carnival, they were all over us "begging" for tips, very disconcerting. More upscale crowd on NCL, did not book any shore excursions, rented car at port Caniveral and went to Kennedy space center on our own. Private Island was "OK" but much construction, did own taxi trip in Nassau, wife won necklace at drawing at Diamonds. Good Trip, craps table paid off nice! Put $250 deposit down for future NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Ok, folks, here's my two cents, if it's worth that! We are me, a 46 yo teacher; DH, a 47 yo journalist; and DS, an 8 yo wild man. We've cruised twice before with DCL and LOVED it. We booked NCL because of the dramatic price ... Read More
Ok, folks, here's my two cents, if it's worth that! We are me, a 46 yo teacher; DH, a 47 yo journalist; and DS, an 8 yo wild man. We've cruised twice before with DCL and LOVED it. We booked NCL because of the dramatic price difference, including being able to save on airfare by driving to NYC from Columbia, MD and because DS is a SpongeBob fanatic, so he would still get his character fix. I was concerned whether or not NCL would compare favorably but was pleased with the comparison. Embarkation We had a speedy 3+ hour drive from Columbia to the NYC terminal, which was easy to find and navigate. We dropped off our luggage at the "Drop off" section, then circled back around and followed the "Parking" signs to the roof. Considering how much we saved on airfare, we found the $210 to park for the week a fair tradeoff. We passed quickly through security and waited behind two other groups in line for check-in for about 3-5 minutes, then checked in easily. A quick embarkation photo and we were in seats by about 10:30. During the hour or so that we waited for them to begin boarding, DS bought himself a soda package, and I made dinner reservations for Tepanyaki at the tables that were set up in the terminal. When boarding began, we went straight up to Deck 12 and tried to eat at the Garden Cafe. It was such a cold, dreary day in New York that the A/C was a bit of overkill, and DH was feeling very chilled. We relocated to a poolside table which felt a bit warmer. DS got right into the pool with one other little boy and had a blast for at least an hour. I ran down to guest services to make sure OBC's were properly applied (they all were), and then they announced that staterooms were ready. Stateroom We were in mini-suite 11504 and were very pleased with it. It's right near the forward stairs/elevators and beneath the spa, which I figured would be very quiet. It's said that Disney staterooms are some of the largest in the industry, so I was concerned how these would compare, but our mini-suite was at least as roomy as the oceanview room we had on DCL. I liked having the bathtub in the bathroom, since I have a little one, and the pullout sofa was extremely roomy and comfortable when converted to a bed. Everything was clean and bright, and our room steward, Leslie, showed up shortly to introduce himself. He was charming and accommodating and emptied the mini fridge for us happily at my request to make room for our stuff. This was our first time cruising in a room with a balcony, and I will never go without again! I spent a great deal of time out there reading or having a drink while waiting for the boys to wake or just for some me time. Dining We mainly took advantage of the MDR's, the Garden Cafe, and Topsider's Grill, with the exception of the Nickelodeon Character Breakfast, one night at Tepanyaki, and a lunch at Sushi. The food was ok. DH is a fairly picky eater and had some difficulty finding things he was interested in eating. He pretty much stuck with the sirloin steak at dinner. I enjoyed the dill smoked salmon and liked the leg of lamb on the first night, but found the vanilla soufflE a bit eggy. Likewise, a chicken piccata on night three bore little resemblance to any kind of piccata I've ever eaten. The chicken breast was very tender, but then it was as if the chef gave it an egg wash and baked it without completing the rest of the recipe...no breading, no lemon, no capers; just a chicken breast with a coating of egg on it. The beef wellington was pretty good, and the lobster tail and snapper on lobster night was good, if a bit small. The rest of the included meals were ok. We both really enjoyed our meals at Tepanyaki. The chef was really entertaining and the food was unbelievable. I had a seafood combination with lobster, scallops, and calamari, and DS ordered the land and sea: filet mignon and shrimp. Everything was seasoned with a garlic butter that made it all taste fantastic, and the fried rice was a masterpiece on its own. My lunch at sushi was a sushi lover's dream! The chocolate buffet was great to look at, but the actual desserts were not mind blowing, and I found little to get really excited about. Overall, I felt that the food that's included was satisfying and filling, but not much more. Ports/Excursions Port Canaveral: We planned to go to Ron Jon's for some shopping and then spend the afternoon at the International Palms Resort where they have a fantastic kids' pool with a pirate ship play structure in it and beach access. This was originally a Beach Break excursion that I booked through NCL, but it was cancelled shortly after I booked it. I planned to take the FREE Radisson shuttle to Ron Jon's, the Cocoa Beach Trolley for $3.10 for the three of us to the resort, and then I guess a cab back to the boat. Turns out the Radisson shuttle was not running, so our transportation costs increased considerably as we ended up taking a cab to Ron Jon's. Other than that, it was a great day. Since there have recently been jellyfish infestations at the beaches in the area, I was glad to have booked the room where DS LOVED the pool. It was a brutally hot day in Florida (97 degrees), so we both spent a lot of time in the water. DH fell asleep in the room before DH and I finished changing into our suits! Great Stirrup Cay: It was a great day! The tendering process was a bit confusing as crowds crammed into the stairways and inched down the halls only to be turned around and redirected to a different exit when the tender boat we prepared to board filled up right before we got there. Once seated on the tender boat, all was well, however, and we were able to find some loungers near the hippo slide on which DS had a fantastic time. After riding it a few times, DS and I headed to the water where I rented a yellow float and pulled up a beach chair. We took turns paddling around on it, and DS enjoyed climbing onto a big raft tethered to a post in the middle of the water. DH, not much of a beach guy, took an early tender back to the ship, and after a couple more hours, DS returned to the hippo slide where the motor had failed, so everyone waited while they reinflated it. Then they had to wait for the water pressure to build back up in one of the hoses, and finally, DS rode it a few more times. Finally, DS and I shopped, ate barbeque (which was very good and not at all crowded), and headed back. I am obsessive about reapplying sunscreen, and while I saw many people back onboard badly burned, DS had not a spot of red on him. A couple of spots on my back that I missed got a little red, but I could live with it. Nassau: We booked the Blackbeard's Cay Stingray Adventure directly through Blackbeard's for me, which was a little cheaper than doing it through NCL, with only a beach day for DH and DS. In the meantime, DS changed his mind and decided he wanted to swim with the stingrays after all. It was a short and interesting catamaran trip on the Coral II with a guided tour by the captain and first mate that took about 25 minutes until we reached the island. Once on the island we were sent directly to the bar to check in and pay our balance where an additional $10 got DS upgraded to Stingray Adventure status. This was a fantastic experience with plenty of opportunities to touch, feed, and hold the rays and snorkel with the fish that populated the little lagoon. Refreshments and shopping were available there, and I was excited to buy a conch shell that you could blow like a horn, as I teach Lord of the Flies in my 8th grade language arts classes! Definitely an excellent adventure. Onboard Activities Fitness Center: This is a high priority for me, and NCL's fitness center was first rate. It's set up with all LifeFitness equipment including elliptical trainers, treadmills, exercise bikes, and a couple of rowing machines for cardio, several benches and a full set of dumbbells, and a satisfactory variety of resistance machines, including a double pulley system. I always worked out at 6:00 AM, when they open. There was no wait for equipment at that time, and there were never any classes then in the exercise studio where a supply of stability and Bosu balls were available for core training. I was able to get a great workout, and I know I will miss having that fantastic view of the ocean when I get onto my usual elliptical at my gym here at home. I even got to see dolphins leaping out of the water on day two! Pools: I did witness some of the chair hog issues mentioned so frequently on the boards, but I only had trouble getting a sunbed myself on a couple of occassions. Since I try not to bake in the sun, most of the time I was happy to settle myself at a table under the covered area while DS played in the pool. He LOVED the slide, and even though the body of the family pool is pretty deep, he either played near the steps or put on his life jacket, as he's not a confident swimmer. As mentioned before, the jacuzzis are very hot, but once you get used to them, they feel great. Splashdown Kids Club: Sometimes the checkin line would move very slowly, and the staff could be a bit ineffecient about moving it along. I was also surprised at how unfamiliar they seemed right up to the last day with my son's name, while the Team Nick crew got to know it right away. They had some pretty good activities, particularly the pajama party on the last night. DS really liked the big climbing structure at the back of the kids' room, but he rarely got to play in it. They frequently closed it off, and when it was open it seemed he was always there when it was the little kids' turn to play in it. I did like, however, that they didn't have movies/TV playing constantly and many activities got the kids up and moving. Nickelodeon Activities: These were great! DS loves costumed character, so we attended every meet and greet opportunity as well as the character breakfast which was on day three. The Nick Live Poolside! events were fun and well attended, and DS got slimed, even though he didn't answer his question correctly. On the final afternoon, they moved Slime Time Live! into the Stardust Theatre, and the show was great fun. We attended two of the arts and crafts sessions where DS colored his own bandana and canvas tote bag and then got to participate in a fashion show to display his artwork. The Team Nick crew was fantastic, fun, energetic, and really great with the kids. This was definitely a highlight of the cruise, which was gratifying since it was one of the main reasons we chose this cruise. Arcade: The boys spent a lot of time here playing air hockey, Hydro Thunder, and trying their luck at the claw machine. They were very lucky, and DS brought home 11 little stuffed animals in his Nickelodeon tote bag! I even enjoyed a game of Guitar Hero on one outing. Lounges: We enjoyed an evening of karaoke at the Fyzze Lounge and a family afternoon of Wii. DH and I had a bartender pour my martini into a glass balance on his forehead at Shakers Bar and chatted with a delightful elderly couple from New York. DH enjoyed watching his beloved Bruins win the Stanley Cup amid a crowd of rabid Boston fans in the Fyzze Lounge and even provided the victory soundtrack of "Sweet Caroline" and "Dirty Water" on his iPhone to be played to the celebratory crowd through the karaoke setup. I really enjoyed the group Modal Magic both at Fyzze and poolside. Gift Shop: I found the kids' selections to be a bit meager, but the souvenirs were plentiful. They had a good assortment of ornaments, which I like to collect, and the apparel was nice. On the last couple of days they had some remarkable sales, so hold out until the end before you purchase. Overall: We had a great time and were sorry when it was time to leave. I would definitely rank NCL right up there with DCL, and DH felt the same way. As we were lining up to disembark (very easy, BTW) DS asked when we would return! Not soon enough, if you ask me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
This was my 3rd cruise, and my partners 2nd. Our previous had been on Princess, so we will do some comparing here. Also this cruise had ALOT of children on board, so we'll give some tips on how to avoid them :)We live in CT and ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, and my partners 2nd. Our previous had been on Princess, so we will do some comparing here. Also this cruise had ALOT of children on board, so we'll give some tips on how to avoid them :)We live in CT and sailed out of NYC. We took the metro north line to grand central and then walked from there. It was a little bit of a hike, as we each had just a backpack (with 2 bottles of wine in each) and a small suitcase, but we managed just fine. We walked back afterwards as well. It's about a 30 min walk.Embarkation was quick and easy. About 30 mins. They did charge us for each of our bottles of wine-$15 each, but still a good deal. We bought cheap wine, and paid the fee and it was still cheaper than paying for a bottle on the ship. And we're not picky! We were on the boat in no time, and headed straight to Tsar's for lunch!We had an inside room. The beds were separated when we arrived, but we left a note for the room steward and they quickly fixed it. We also asked for the fridge/mini bar to be cleared so that we could put in some wine, which they also did. There were plenty of drawers, shelves, and hooks everywhere to keep all of our belongings. We didn't plan on spending much time in there, so the size was not a problem at all for us.The ship itself was nice. clean. Had basically 4 main floors: 6-for food; 7-for bars and theater; 12-for pool and spa; 13-more bars.Dining-We ate mostly in Tsar's. Although we liked the decor better in Azura, the views are much better from Tsar's as there are large windows on each side and off the back. Because of 'freestyle' seating, we were never asked to share a table, and were always given a table for 2, usually right by a window, with very little wait, if any. That was GREAT. The food however, wasn't always the best. The mahi mahi the first night was rather dry and that set us off on the wrong foot. We are vegetarian/pescatarians and found that there weren't very many options for us on the menu. The "Vegetarian Special" was often something that we didn't understand and weren't willing to try. The fish was sometimes accompanied with a meat like sausage, and the pasta often with meat. The scallop appetizers were always great, but other than that, nothing really wow-ed us. Lobster was not on formal night, which was a little odd. The breakfast and lunch menus were always the same, there were no daily specials, and you could get many of the same things in the garden cafe (their buffet). But--in order to stay away from the kids and the crowds we often choose Tsar's. Overall-it was okay, but we were unimpressed.As far as activities on the ship. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust Theater was great! Jean Pierre, the comedian/magician was awesome, and did a 'close-up' show during the last sea day, which was nice. Le Cirque Bijou, as we had heard, was fantastic! The production cast plus the Duoartmotion dancers made a great combo. The typical newlywed and couples games were funny, as on any ship. The 'Idol' night was rather poor. Most of the cruise staff organized activities during the day were filled with kids. However, we did do (and win) the digital scavenger hunt....we got two decks of cards, which we gave to some kids. Dance classes were good, but usually only about 30 mins. We had 3 sea days total, and there was always plenty to do.There were kid's clubs and teens clubs. From the reaction during the crew show, the kids really loved their youth staff. If the kids weren't in there they were mostly at the pool-which we did NOT visit! We did sit out on deck 13 one morning for a few hours. There were also kids wandering around everyone, many eating or hanging out in the bar/lounge areas. Many unattended tweens and teens.Because there were over 1,000 kids on board, plus, knowing that our first and last sea days would probably not be beautiful weather b/c of our proximity to to nyc, we decided to get a pass for the thermal suites or the 'chill out lounge' as they call it. This was a GREAT idea. Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and our favorite... the thermal chairs. It was $120 for the week, but well worth it to get away from the crowds (aka, kids). It was hardly ever busy and we made use of it almost every day.The service overall was okay. Everyone did what they needed to do and were nice about it. But we didn't notice anyone really going out of their way. Towel animals were very fun.For the ports/excursions... In port canaveral, we have family that picked us up and we spent the day at epcot. It was crowded, but great. Dinner at Grill's Seafood in Port Canaveral---a GREAT meal!Great Stirrup Cay was nice. We waited until open tendering, which was fine, we were in no rush... there's only so long a person can sit at the beach out in the sun. So, if you don't mind waiting it's great. we went from about 12-5 and by 4ish the island was cleared out and there was plenty of room. In the Bahamas we did the Seahorse Sail and Snorkel. It was nice. We met some nice people on the boat and did some cruise comparing! You could see Atlantis in the distance. It was not too scenic otherwise. The snorkeling was in the middle of a cove/reef. Tons of fish, which people were feeding. Some nice corals. If you're a first time snorkeler, it was nice. However, we've done some snorkeling in Aruba/ Bonaire, and this just didn't compare!Disembarkation, we had the same theory as the tendering... wait it out, and go whenever we wanted! We carried off our own luggage so we could leave whenever and not have to wait for our color to be called. We left our room at 9am and were out on the street by 9:20. So easy.Now to compare-last year we had been on Princess and we had a much better time overall. Clearly-our ports on Princess were much better, but putting that aside.... The dining on Princess was MUCH better. There were nights when we just didn't know what to pick because there were so many options, and every meal was great. This trip, there were too many times when we didn't know what to pick because there wasn't anything that looked good at all. The activities on Princess were longer, for example, the dance classes were usually about an hour, and these ranged from 20-40 mins. Also on Princess, they usually plan so that after 2 country line dancing classes, they have a country line dancing night, where you could try out your new skills. Nothing like this happened on Norwegian. The spa on Norwegian was nice, however the services were too expensive for us. Princess seemed slightly more reasonable, and had some daily specials.In the future, if given a choice between Princess and Norwegian, we would go with Princess. However, the convenience of NYC is really nice for us. We've been advised to try Royal, and most likely will soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Day 1 - If you have someone dropping you off to NYC, make sure you enter the Pier from 55th or be prepared to circle around a few times. The lines were really long, perhaps because the cruise was fully booked. It took over an hour to board ... Read More
Day 1 - If you have someone dropping you off to NYC, make sure you enter the Pier from 55th or be prepared to circle around a few times. The lines were really long, perhaps because the cruise was fully booked. It took over an hour to board the ship. Tsar's is excellent. Lot of good choices and definitely recommend getting there before 2 pm on boarding day to get lunch. On other days, get to Tsar's before 1 for lunch. Rooms are usually ready after 3:00 pm, and the drill is at 4:00 PM. Deck 12 / 13 by the pool area gets very crowded and loud. The kid's club opens at 8:00 pm, but the line is really long on boarding day. Took over an hour to check-in my child, though I had registered earlier. The hotel director later stated that they had over 700 kids onboard. Attended first night "Welcome aboard" show at Stardust Theater, and it was impressive. Day 2 - Meet and Greet was at 11:00 AM at Azuro's. Great opportunity to meet ship staff, notably Shona Blair the Cruise Director who is from a small town in Seattle. Her boss John O'hara has genuine concern that your cruise on the Jewel will be the best ever. FYI, his extension is 8888. We asked for bridge and galley tours, and were told it may happen on the last day - which it did. Day 3 - Arrived Port Canaveral on time. Cell phone started working when we were close to the port, however not from the room. Get to Deck 6 or 12 facing the land. Took the FREE shuttle to Cocoa Beach. NCL shouldn't be charging $20 for the same ride. Anyway, the free shuttle takes you to Ron Jons. You get a 15% coupon on the bus. While many loved the shop, I didn't find a reason to shop from here, unless you have forgotten to pack something such as swim gear. Cocoa beach is a 5 minute walk from the bus stop. There is a Walmart across from Ron Jons, and there are a couple of good and reasonably priced restaurants in the area - Punjab Restaurant (Indian) and Florida Sea House were named by the bus driver (Ron). Please tip the bus driver at least $1, as they depend on such tips. Across from Ron Jons is a Walmart and you can buy soda and bring it on ship for the rest of the cruise. We actually headed back to the ship for lunch. I was surprised to see the number of people who stayed back on ship. The pool area was full again, and kids were everywhere. Relaxed in the room, ate dinner at Tsar's, and headed to Stardust Theatre. The comedian Steven Scott had a show at 7:30 PM and was entertaining. Before he came on, Shona the cruise director told us of her experience from the morning, which was hilarious: Normally I don't step out of the ship, but one of the passengers asked me where the line for the KSC excursion was. One of the staff had pointed the guests towards the bus, and at the front of the line was a woman who was wearing a mini skirt that was really short, and really tight resulting in her being able to take only very small steps. When the bus door opened, she was unable to get on the bus, because her tight skirt wouldn't let her take a big step. She wiggled and tried again, but was unsuccessful. The people in the line were getting agitated. Then she tried to loosen a button, but again was unsuccessful. The driver of the bus took a step back as he didn't want to get into any sort of trouble. With the passengers getting more agitated, the man behind her held her from the back, and lifted her into the bus. The woman got really mad and said "You don't know me well enough to handle me like that". The man said "Sure, you can pull my zipper up and down a few times, and we both know each other". Day 4 - Great Stirrup Cay It is very difficult to get on the first tender, however if you really want to be amongst the first to get to the island, buy an excursion such as the $20 unlimited Hippo slide. Kids and most adults will love the Hippo ride. From NCL's perspective, if you spend money, you are understandably treated better. If you prefer not to be rushed, eat lunch and leave later when there aren't too many people getting on the tenders. I should probably have done that, however I ended up coming back for a light lunch and shower, and headed back to the island. Snorkeling is the main activity on this island, and you have to pay $30 to rent the gear. Get your own gear, and rent the vest for 5-6 bucks. I wasn't overly impressed with snorkeling, though it is fun. I expected to see more fish, and corals, but it was limited, and the water was really salty. However you can wash off at the island itself and get lunch there. If you eat Halal, there's no sea food, but they have veggie burgers if you ask. Ice cold water and fresh fruit was probably what I enjoyed best though. On your way back, you will want to be amongst the first ones to get off the tender, as they scan everything all over again, and it takes 20 minutes or so to offload the 150-200 passengers from each tender. Tenders have different points to get off, so ask one of the crew members in advance. We made it to the 7:30 pm Second City show. It was good, but I was expecting more out of it. Day 5 - The best day on the cruise, spent at Nassau. Now I know why a lot of people are crazy about Bahamas. Ship gets there early in the morning. We ate breakfast and headed out at 9:30 am. Took the water taxi ($3 per person each way) to Paradise Island where the Atlantis is. Bottled water was being sold in the taxi for $1, and we were told that the same thing is $5 at the Atlantis. The aquarium in Atlantis behind the casino is great, considering it is free. There are a lot of fish including sting rays in there. You can also snorkel with them if you buy the pass. We took the water taxi back, and went to the straw market. My daughter loved the braiding there. Bought tee-shirts 3 for $10, and a cap for $8. We headed back to the ship for lunch since it is right by the straw market. After lunch, I rented the scooty for $25 including gas, and $10 for insurance. You have to give a deposit of $20, and pretty much have to tip everyone. Keep some singles, as everyone is expecting you to tip. The scooty was the most fun for us. Though the guy gave a beaten up scooty, it was a lot of fun riding it all over the island. I went to the far end of the island - about 7 miles, and then headed back to downtown. Visited McDonalds (free wifi) and the Pirate musuem, which was good, but not huge. We saw the Incanto show which lived up to the hype. Alisa was amazing, and the act in the end was perfect. Around 9:30 pm the pool area was great, not crowded for the first time! Day 6 - On sea Attended the international crew show. It wasn't anything out of the world, but these were all crew members who have other jobs and it was nice to see them display their talents. Juggling show was house full. The two jugglers were good and the show was loved by the kids. They made a few errors, but they weren't very noticeable. The liars show was nice too, but it is for adults only. All 4 artists try to explain the meaning of the word, but 3 of them are lying. The words they used were interesting... "blennophobia" - fear of slimy gluey stuff "plotlokton" shouting eskimo woman "pismire" pissing ant "tittup" horse sound Day 7 - On sea Bridge tour was very nice. Cirque Bijou was nice though a lot of it was dominated by Alisa, and if you saw Incanto, there are a few repeats. Tsar's honored a special meal request on the last sea day. Instant Win strips seemed like a waste of money. Disembarkation - Disaster Day So far everything was great, but this was the worst morning for most if not all passengers. Seriously NCL needs to improve the process. Firstly, other than Garden Cafe, none of the restaurants seemed to be open. A lot of people got to the Garden Cafe after 9 am, and it was closed. Can you believe it? Once NCL knows you will be getting off, there's no food. There were huge delays with the debarkation, so a lot of hungry folks were still on the ship until 11:30 AM. Long lines at the immigration. This was one place where you would prefer not to have a US passport. The line for non US citizens was very short. Pros • Great shows • Nassau is fantastic (weather permitting). The water in the ocean is crystal clear. • Shona, the Cruise Director is very friendly and approachable. My daughter requested her to dance with her, and she complied. • John O'Hara the Hotel Director makes extra efforts to honor requests. • Towel animals were often made by the room steward, and were adorable. • Good gym, great location and view, though the treadmills in the front row are too high. • Ship is very punctual. It departed all the ports on time and will leave people behind who are late. Cons • $210 for parking at the Pier is a rip off. Find cheaper parking or take a cab, if you're local. • Laundromat is not self service. They offered $25 deals, but I would rather do my own laundry. • While freestyle cruising is great, I prefer dedicated wait staff who can easily address special requests. • Crowd can be rowdy. Too many kids can make too much noise. • Tendering at Great Stirrup takes time. • The Garden buffet should be open for 24 hours like other cruise ships. They have some 24 hour restaurants, but they aren't as easily accessible. The specialty restaurants should have longer hours. I tried Tsar's at 9:30 for breakfast, but was late, and they weren't accepting anyone for lunch after 1:00 pm either. • Some ethnic cuisines were off, Indians don't eat beef or pork, but one of those items was featured under the Indian selection every night. • Too noisy at Great Stirrup due to the construction going on. • Get breakfast early on disembarkation day. Be prepared for long lines while debarking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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