6 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Caribbean - Western

I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel with three ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan. I traveled with my wife and her parents, siblings, and their spouses, staying in a block of rooms on the fifth deck. Once I ... Read More
I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel with three ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan. I traveled with my wife and her parents, siblings, and their spouses, staying in a block of rooms on the fifth deck. Once I got oriented, I could get from one part of the ship to any other in less than five minutes. The food was excellent and the service in the full-service restaurants was fantastic, although occasionally a little slow. The entertainment, which consisted of several types of live music, dancing, and acrobatics, as well as comedy and magic, was very good, but not always appropriate for children. The large theater generally filled up for each of the two evening shows. I did have to negotiate wet decks during my early morning runs, although there were plenty of treadmills available in the exercise room as an alternative. The weight equipment was in excellent shape. There were also several types of fitness classes available, some of which required an additional fee. The combination basketball/tennis/soccer venue was only open during certain times, but it wasn't that heavily used. The deck chairs on the 12th and 13th decks would fill up by late morning on each sea day. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We headed out in February for a beautiful cruise on the Jewel for 7 relaxing days. Beyond a shadow of a doubt we were treated with some of the BEST service from the staff on this cruise. The food was outstanding! KUDOS to the dining staff ... Read More
We headed out in February for a beautiful cruise on the Jewel for 7 relaxing days. Beyond a shadow of a doubt we were treated with some of the BEST service from the staff on this cruise. The food was outstanding! KUDOS to the dining staff and their Executive Sous Chef and Double KUDOS to Mr. Messiah for having such a fantastic staff in the Food division. Our cabin Stewart was top notch with a smile and willingness to take care of anything you might need! Everywhere we went on this ship we encountered smiling friendly workers. The down side of this cruise........ Lack of entertainment for adults over 30 and under 80. Come 10 Pm the ship shut down. There were no interesting shows or entertainment for the guests after 10 pm.When we say the ship shuts down at 10 PM we mean it shuts down. They close the adult Jacuzzi, the pools and most all Bars at 10 Pm Even the ONE bar open was a dud.With mainly workers present. The shows provided were good but there was no variety of choice each day. We are not bingo players and found that at times after dinner that there was nothing for us to do, If the show of the day was not to our liking. It appeared to us that the line catered more to the elderly and the super young and forgot about us in the middle. All in all this was a great cruise and will cruise this line again if for nothing else than the great service! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This is my fourth cruise, third carrier. 50 year old couple/empty nesters. The NCL Jewel was a nice ship. Clean, tidy and well organized. Staff ratio was good , overall size of the ship and layout and flow worked. There were enough ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise, third carrier. 50 year old couple/empty nesters. The NCL Jewel was a nice ship. Clean, tidy and well organized. Staff ratio was good , overall size of the ship and layout and flow worked. There were enough restaurants and food variety that one should not have a problem finding something worth eating. The main plus was the crew. Sorry Captain but we all know who runs the ship (Inside). That right, RIchard Janicki, Hotel Director runs a tight ship! Staff uniforms were pressed and sharp. His team did not look like they rolled out of bed like some other lines I've been on. Each member was on their toes and looking to assist passengers. I watched how they interacted with guests and each attempted to ensure that the guests had what they needed. Now I know there might be a few that disagree and that's ok because you can't please 2600 guests but the crew did their best . I would be re-missed if I didn't point out that Noel Chaves, Restaurant Manager was always on the floor to ensure guests enjoyed a great dining experience. Katya Plyakova, Beverage Manager has a great selection of wines and two good tasting events. Unfortunately, someone needs to share with NCL that the beer tasting of their low qualify beer choices is not a beer tasting event. It could use some improvement by adding two or three higher end micro beers. I have no real complaints and would recommend NCL to first time cruisers Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First, this was my first cruise and my girlfriend's 5th We arrived on time (actually we had VIP boarding but due to a medical problem that morning boarded with the rest of the passengers). We received our shipboard cards and asked ... Read More
First, this was my first cruise and my girlfriend's 5th We arrived on time (actually we had VIP boarding but due to a medical problem that morning boarded with the rest of the passengers). We received our shipboard cards and asked about the ultimate beverage package. We were told that that had been received and there was nothing we needed to do. The ship was pretty and in good condition. We found our room, which happened to be a handicapped room so it was a bit bigger. My girlfriend said the ship was one of the prettier she had been on. So off we went and had a drink apiece. After each drink they give you a ticket which you sign which includes the auto-gratuity of 15% plus any additional gratuity you want to add. At a second bar we were again presented a bill and we inquired about the drink package we had purchased. The barmaid said we didn't have the sticker. So my girlfriend goes off to guest services who ask her to prove we paid for it. So my girlfriend goes to the room, but our itineraries had been printed before we had purchased it (we added it the day before). So now she went to the purser's office who asked for proof. Fortunately she found an email on her phone where it showed that we had paid. Then after the purser found "proof". So the purser out the sticker on our guest cards. Then she went back to guest services to get the previous charges taken off. They did this, but not after a 45 minute wait in line. Now here is the deal...all in fine print. you can have a mixed drink but it must list under $10.00 d includes a single ounce or 1.5 ounces or liquor per 12 ounce drink. A double would have been over the $10 limit and resulted in a full charge to the account. Beer was included up to $5.95 per beer. Wine could only be purchased by the glass and was only covered to $8.00 a glass. Each drink had to be billed separately. No giving the bartender your card and just getting refills as needed. No bottles of wine. If you brought your own wine on board, they confiscated it and you could retrieve it. They added a $15 corkage fee for each bottle whether you drank it in your room or brought it to the restaurants. The drinks were expensive given the minimal alcohol content. $8.75 was the average price. This contrasted to on shore where the drinks were almost overly potent...but $5-$7 each. The ultimate beverage package was $49/day per person and everyone in the room had to buy it. They still charged the automatic gratuity to account. Wine by the bottle (which is not included in the beverage package) runs 2-3 times liquor store prices. One could buy a bottle of grey goose vodka....for $120. The duty free shop sold it, but they put it away until you got back to your embarkation point. Duty free alcohol purchased ashore was similarly taken away from you and given back the night before disembarkation. They will allow you to bring your own soft drinks on board and being borderline diabetic I had sugar free tonic water. Eventually my girlfriend and I learned to go order the alcohol straight on the rocks, combine it into one drink and add our own mixers. The food in the main dining room was Freestyle. No reservations. It was fair to good except for the steaks which were clearly select or utility grade beef. The fish, chicken and pork were better. Breakfast in the main dining rooms was good. On the initial day at sea, seas were high and my girlfriend was a bit motion sick. I went to the main restaurant. They offered to either let me eat alone and then pack food for her, let me wait and take the food, or deliver it. I chose delivery. 5 minutes later they were there with out meals (as opposed to room service....see later). Additionally there was a buffet on the twelfth floor which was fine too. Not great food, not terrible, but not open late. 3:30 in the afternoon was a difficult time to find anyplace to get a snack or meal. We pre-paid for 3 specialty restaurants. The hibachi restaurant (Teppanaki) was standard Hibachi fair. Of course they lost the record we had already paid and charged us again. The steak house (Cagney's) was quite good. Of course the specialty restaurants were an extra $25 per person per meal. Two of our 4 excursions were cancelled due to weather. No fault of the cruise line. On the hand they are often late in notifying you and the excursion desk has minimal hours and minimal staff. So by the time you get there you find that everything is booked. So one day we took off on a tour or Roatan (honduras) with a taxi. It lasted as long and was 2/3 the price. I guess the cruise line marks up the tours quite a bit. Of course if you go about on your own and are late getting back the do not hold the ship. If it is their excursion they will. Dining late is difficult. No midnight buffet and limited menu where you can find food. Two attempts at room service were horrific. 45 minutes for an ice cold dry burger one. The second time at 11:50 PM I called and was once again and was told 45 minutes. After 55 minutes nothing had arrived. I just left, went to a comfort food restaurnant and was back in 10 minutes. Steward service is $12 per person per day. So I guess we spent $168 additional to have the room cleaned. They did bring ice and I did leave a tip. What surprised me the most was that there was no guide or magazine to the ship as to what was where, when it was open, etc. One had to ask to receive the daily guide (which we learned by the 4th day). When we had a request....such as an extra customs declaration form we were told to come to guest services....which was always undermanned and entailed a 45 minute wait. Internet was so slow as to be painful. It was as slow as dial up or even slower. Wasted $20 trying to check one e-mail. Of course they charge for internet. Finally, you will receive luggage tag to put on your luggage before disembarkation. Just like before we embarked, they take your luggage and eventually deliver it to your room (they lost one piece). What they don't tell you is that you have to go to guest services to get these for disembarkation. By the time we had called to find out we were well into the late disembarkation times. This company or this cruise has a serious communication problem. Every financial error is in there favor. They lost that we had signed up for their drink package....then made drinks so weak that beer was stronger. They lost that we had paid for the specialty restaurant so we had to get that refunded. The bill is inscrutable. There is a $30 non-refundable credit...for what it is unclear. So with the cancellations of the excurisions, I will get a credit to my credit card. But the $30 non-refundable credit went down to $25.60. I was so tired of arguing with them I gave up. There are few adult activities on the ship. The sports bar had one channel and no sound. We could watch European soccer on Saturday when college sports were on. There was bingo, a casino, and a show or two. Not much. Better dining was available....all at a higher cost. What it comes down to is that I think they sell the cabins cheap, the drinks expensive and weak, and then nickle and dime you at ever turn. I calculated it out and even though we drank quite a bit, we lost money on the drink package. We like good wines. We brought wine with us. We should have brought a case, paid the $15 corcage fee and been happier. The cruise was nice, but I think I will go with another cruise line in the future. Final note, customs in New Orleans seems not to care how much alcohol one brings in. The ship board people gave bad information. You are allowed one liter duty free per person. The shipboard people said..."as much as you want". We told customs 2 liters per person.....they just waived us through. I guess 2400 people arriving at once overwhelms them a bit.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Boarded the jewel on Sunday Jan 10th, Had to ferry family from Hotel to port so by the time we got there after turning in rental car the lines for getting checked in were pretty long took about 35 to 40 min to get room key, I heard later ... Read More
Boarded the jewel on Sunday Jan 10th, Had to ferry family from Hotel to port so by the time we got there after turning in rental car the lines for getting checked in were pretty long took about 35 to 40 min to get room key, I heard later that there was some computer issues, we boarded around 1:00pm. Our Balcony room was very nice larger than other ships I've been on. The staff was very courteous our room steward was very efficient and always had our room made up and turned down in a timely manner. Really enjoyed the Comedian Tim Kaminsky very entertaining and seemed to be everywhere on the ship, very personable. All of the shows were very good, really enjoyed the Cat's Pajamas. Overall experience on ship was excellent, we did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants, the food at the main dinning halls was very good for the most part. The only time it ever felt crowded on ship was at the Garden Cafe and around the pool on the warmer days. The TV screens with the restaurant info was extremely helpful. I would recommend The jewel to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We are a retired couple in our mid-50's. This was our 7th NCL cruise, our 7th this year, and our 38th in the last 10 years. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the terminal at 10:30 AM and they began letting ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our mid-50's. This was our 7th NCL cruise, our 7th this year, and our 38th in the last 10 years. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the terminal at 10:30 AM and they began letting us in at 11:00 AM. Check in took about 5 minutes and they began boarding the ship at around 11:45 AM. NCL is now providing passengers with a boarding sequence number like Carnival, we were group 1 just behind the Wedding Parties and Suites. We ate lunch in the Tsar's Dining Room, this is so much more civilized than the the Garden Cafe on embarkation day. Rooms were available at 1:30 PM and our bags arrived before 4:00 PM. Our cabin steward Wilfred and his assistant Annacel called us by name immediately as we walked down the hall. Everything was well taken care of in our cabin, we had our robes, wine, on-board credit, and invitation to the first Latitudes party. Cabin was always cleaned quickly and effectively throughout the cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze with Express Walk-off. We were off the ship by 7:35 AM the day we arrived back in Miami. Entertainment on this cruise was well above average, and superior to other cruise lines. The Jean Ann Ryan Company production shows are not to be missed, and the last show Cirque Bijou is outstanding. In addition they had an excellent group of guest entertainers (Cats Pajama's Acapella Group, Patrick Murray and Matilda Ventriloquist, and Sam Griesbaum Comedian). In addition the show, pool, and Kenosis were great bands. The Cruise Director Que and his staff were excellent and we had lots of fun between Newlywed, Battle of the Sexes, White Hot Party, and other events they organized. Captain, Hotel Director, Food and Beverage Manager, Head Chef, and all the officers were customer focused and very friendly. We had a great Bridge Tour during our cruise and got to know the lead officers. Steve Jacobsen the Hotel Director is very good and has a great team supporting him. Food was up to NCL and other cruise line standards, we never had a meal we were not happy with. The only concern we had was that NCL has eliminated the Cooking Light items from the main dining room menu's. The Food and Beverage Manager Mustafa got to know me as the Cooking Light lady as I kept encouraging him to bring these items back. Specialty restaurants are always good, but this time we only ate at Mama's which was well worth the $10 cover charge. Fellow cruisers were outstanding, we met some really nice people on this cruise that we are staying in touch with since we departed the ship 12/6/09. We look forward to our next NCL cruises and are now limiting oursleves to NCL and Royal Caribbean. We are booked on the Epic and Oasis in 2010. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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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