3 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

This was my 13th cruise but my first time on NCL. I found the Jewel to be gaudy and not up to the aesthetics of other ships I had sailed. I also found it to be crowded. I attribute this to Norwegian's free style cruising. It seems ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise but my first time on NCL. I found the Jewel to be gaudy and not up to the aesthetics of other ships I had sailed. I also found it to be crowded. I attribute this to Norwegian's free style cruising. It seems everyone on ship tries to do the same thing at the same place at the same time. In traditional early/late seating only half the passengers do the same thing at the same time. The breakfast buffet was especially annoying with the crowds and the fact that there are no waiters to serve you coffee and juice. Also no trays to carry your food. By the time you get your food and then the coffee and juice and find a table everything is cold. Every other cruise line I have been on served you coffee, etc. Adding to the crowding is the fact that there are 7 specialty restaurants. These had to take up space that was formerly occupied by other facilities, such as lounges. There were too few lounges resulting in overcrowding. Also the quality of the main lounge group "Next Stage" was below par. Fabrizio in the piano lounge was also below par and there was no intimacy in the piano lounge nor a dance area. 3 bars are squeezed into an area called bar city. At best it seats maybe 150 people in this entire area. To accommodate the entire ship this is ridiculous. To Norwegians credit the food was above average. Not great but always decent. The specialty restaurants were hit and miss. I could not even chew my T bone steak in "Cagney's" the steak house specialty restaurant. Yet "Modernero" was excellent. The noise level in the Tsar's Palace MD was upsetting and the service was bad. They were definitely understaffed as the staff was busting their butts, but failing. Yet in the other MD, with the same menu, the service was better, but not good. Also the Stardust theater had some of the best acts I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The bottom line is I've never experienced a bad cruise and this was not bad either. But I would rate the ship below most for spaciousness and decor. The crowding caused stress, not relaxation. However for the price we paid it was an excellent value and we did enjoy ourselves. If you keep your expectations low, you will enjoy yourself too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Although the Gem is still my favorite the Jewel gives it stiff competition. We had sailed on the Jewel in the past and found the ship to be in great shape. We arrived at the pier around 3:00 so there was no line, we went right to our ... Read More
Although the Gem is still my favorite the Jewel gives it stiff competition. We had sailed on the Jewel in the past and found the ship to be in great shape. We arrived at the pier around 3:00 so there was no line, we went right to our cabin then headed up on deck for the sailaway. The weather was a little cold and allot windy, but the photo ops were fantastic. We had about 100 people at our M&G and we were greeted by Captain Idar, Hotel Director Hugo and other ships officers. We had a very active board and it was great to meet everyone. I was very impressed with the entertainment on the Jewel. There was something going on everywhere. Next Stage played everything from Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd to current top 40 songs. I was truely amazed at how good they were. Cruise Director Jamie and her staff were excellant. They really kept everyone entertained. Food was plentyful and good. Yes some nights were better then others. The night we went to Mama's the food was so salty that I couldn't eat it and I didn't care for Moderno. I think they should bring back Salsa. Cagneys was great. The Salmon in Azura was one of the best salmon dishes I have ever had. I did find it hard to get drinks in any of the dining venues. But hey that saved me some money. We did think that the food was improved over past cruises. We booked all our excursions through NCL and they were all great! They were definatly improved over past cruises, especially the beach break with lunch in Antigua. Weather was great throughout the cruise. A little exciting on the last sea day, but overall that wasn't to bad. I am already booked on the Breakaway and looking forward to another NCL experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Over all the trip on Norwegian Jewel was good. My wife and I have sailed with NCL many times in the past but was surprised by the deceptive nature of the drinks served by the bars onboard. Twice they tried to pass off a Miller Lite draft ... Read More
Over all the trip on Norwegian Jewel was good. My wife and I have sailed with NCL many times in the past but was surprised by the deceptive nature of the drinks served by the bars onboard. Twice they tried to pass off a Miller Lite draft as Amstel Light. They also substituted a cheaper tequila in our margaritas when we paid for premium. When we brought these matters to their attention their initial reaction was dismissive and troubling. We had to press the issue to get attention but were never really assured that it wouldn't happen again. Enough bad stuff There were several bright spots. Caesar, who works at the sky high bar, was excellent. We noticed him the first day. This guy really stands out and has the perfect attitude for his business. None of the things above occurred at his station and if you sail the Jewel find him. Sylvia, the Lattitudes representative onboard was also excellent. It is always a pleasure to meet someone so professional and skilled in what they do. Eat in the Specialty Restaurants when sailing the Jewel they are well worth it. Cagney's, the Steak House, was especially good. We have eaten at the same name restaurant on other NCL ships but they were nothing like this one. Everything was top notch. Ports: Samana, Dominican Republic...if you don't book an excursion, don't bother getting off the ship. Tortola, BVI.....go see the baths of Virgin Gorda Antigua ....this will be the first tourist type town with plenty of shops and activity around the port. Wadadli catamaran cruise and snorkel is a great adventure. If no excursion, take a taxi to one of the beaches. Barbados....get out of Bridgetown and see some country side. St. Johns Church is a spectacular view of the Atlantic. St. Lucia...Get away from the Port!! An excursion is a must here. Many things to do or see. Aerial tram and zip line was super. Catamaran down to the Pitons. Overall we recommend the NCL Jewel. Order you drinks at the bar and watch every move they make or stick to bottled drinks and take it easy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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