42 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Alaska

Reading the blogs in regards to the Norwegian Jewel were spot on. Ranking: 1) Entertainment (the entertainment staff really does a great job on the Jewel) 2) Activities (there is something to do every hour of every day on the ... Read More
Reading the blogs in regards to the Norwegian Jewel were spot on. Ranking: 1) Entertainment (the entertainment staff really does a great job on the Jewel) 2) Activities (there is something to do every hour of every day on the Jewel. You will never get bored.) 3) Room (Penthouse room at the front of the boat had a huge deck with amazing views) 4) Service (everyone was very friendly and helpful. We had a Butler, Rex and a private Concierge, Bruno. Both were very helpful and attentive.) 5) Food (This was the biggest disappointment. The food was beyond horrible. We were looking forward to our ports of call just to get decent food. The Teppanyaki specialty restaurant had the best food.) NCL has a nice relaxed dress code. Which comes in handy when you are out on shore excursions all day and want to go to dinner when you get on the boat without having to change. Definitely check out the spa, its well worth it. Check out Lauron Randon in Magnums Champagne Bar. Great 70's singer. . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
First cruise ever, last on NCL. The ship was nice, did not seem dated to me as some say BUT.... Staff - friendly but usually only if prompted for help - I think I saw my room steward twice, both times because I needed something - there ... Read More
First cruise ever, last on NCL. The ship was nice, did not seem dated to me as some say BUT.... Staff - friendly but usually only if prompted for help - I think I saw my room steward twice, both times because I needed something - there was no lifejacket I could find (someone had stowed under the bed) and no robe unless you ask and that is for a mini suite? Food was simply horrid, with very few exceptions. The best food of course was in the specialty restaurants Le Bistro was very good, Cagney's was average, and Teppenyaki could take it or leave it. The normal food, was at times disgusting. Corned beef sandwich in O'Sheehans was simply cold rye toast with fatty corned beef - no sauce, cheese, toppings of any kind. Gross. Fries that came with anything were always cold, in fact nothing I ate was ever hot as most meals should be, lukewarm food at best, even eggs and soup. Again, gross. One night I was tired so ordered room service. I tried a cheeseburger, who can make a bad burger? NCL. Cold bun, mayo, thin beef patty and a totally unmelted slice of cheese. No cold fries this time, stale potato chips in a bowl. Really really bad. That was just a couple of examples I could go on. So if you want a nice cruise, pretty scenery (weather was gorgeous and sunny) and are on a DIET, sail NCL cause I actually think I lost a few pounds on that food. The other disturbing observation was a sewer smell that permeated the stateroom corridors much of the time, especially as you approached mid ship, and not just on one floor. Someone has a sewer leak? I asked a steward in passing if he smelled that? He either did not understand me or did not want to talk about it and brushed me off. Sewer fumes, again gross. Too bad too, everyone is asking about how my cruise was, knowing it was my first. and NCL blew it,and yes I am telling everyone who asks just how....... next time based on the feedback from others in the ports will try Princess, everyone on the Coral and Crown I met loved it. Sigh. Good to be home. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We embarked the Norwegian Jewel on June 4th from Seattle. We stayed in an inside room, no window or porthole. SHIP: PRO: The ship was overall very clean. CON: The ship was very outdated. CABIN: Overall our cabin was ... Read More
We embarked the Norwegian Jewel on June 4th from Seattle. We stayed in an inside room, no window or porthole. SHIP: PRO: The ship was overall very clean. CON: The ship was very outdated. CABIN: Overall our cabin was good. Our housekeeper was very polite and nice. They cleaned our cabin twice a day which was above and beyond. Although the room itself was clean, it was outdated. Favorite part of the room would be the spacious shower. DINING: OK, we as a family found the dining to be terrible. They offer a few different types of "free dining" all in which didn't serve good food. Luckily they had a salad bar which is what my family and I lived off of. There were a few things that we found to be ok. Waffles, salad bar, fruit, toast, and coffee. They had very little vegetarian options as everything had meat, even the chow-mien. Overall, they served the same things in the Garden Cafe, which is where we primarily ate. O'Sheehan's was by far the grossest food I've ever eaten in my life. Chin Chin's as well ... worst Chinese food ever. A young child actually went running out and threw up all over the floor. Tzars - "fancy restaurant" food was OK nothing to rave about about or complain about. Azura - my parents found there meal to be better there then Tzars and I was the opposite ... We both said the same things nothing the rave about. The menus pretty much stayed the same throughout the ship varying with one or two items a night. They provide speciality restaurants, we as a family did not attend any as they where about 30$ a person, there was four of us so do the math .. about 120$. Another upset would be the price of drinks, we are not heavy drinkers so buying the drink pass at 79$ a day would not benefit us. For example a Moscow Mule was $15.95 pus 18% gratuity. All mixed drinks where in the $16-20 range plus 18% gratuity. Beers were 7$ plus 18% gratuity. They make you pay a gratuity every swipe rather it be one coffee, or 2 drinks at the bar... & no you cannot keep a tab open. ENTERTAINMENT: WORST ENTERTAINMENT EVER: OK, sailing to Alaska you spend quite a bit of time on the boat as a total amount of time spent in the ports were a combine maybe 30 hours. The boat had little to do, and we often just walked laps due to being so bored. We wanted to play deal or no deal ... cost 19.95 to play a game ... Couldn't enjoy the pool as it was too cold outside and windy. The things we did included the 3 game shows spread throughout the week, the comedy show (ehhh), and the Circus show - this show was actually really neat to watch and we enjoyed it very much. There was a "white hot party" it was ok ... the staff made it enjoyable but it died out quickly. Overall, you where often left not knowing what to do so we caught up on all new release movies in our room. SERVICE: OK, the overall service was great. The staff was very attentive, and it was cool seeing all kinds of different cultures. There was one hiccup with service which included the shore excursion desk. In Juneau we were supposed to dog-sled but due to weather it was cancelled - which I understand safety first. However, there was about 25-30 of us who had planned that excursion - we met in the stardust theater at 7:15 AM and where told at about 7:40 that they were not flying helicopters. So everyone ran the the excursion desk to plan another adventure for the day. Arriving to the desk there was one person working - anyone who has planned or done an excursion you understand that you leave in early AM by around 8:30 depending on what you are doing. We waited in line for about 90 minutes until we were finally able to pick an excursion ... Here's the hiccup as she was helping guests in the line she was also answering phone calls from individuals in their rooms. Two of us wanted to plan dog-sledding for the following day in Skagway .. We finally got up to the counter and she told us to wait as she answered the phone and put three people down for dog-sledding in Skagway ... We proceeded to say that we wanted to dog-sled in Skagway since it was cancelled in Juneau ... she states " we are all booked for that trip I just gave away the last 3 spots" ... hmmm I've been waiting 90 minutes .. Anyways - all of the buses had left besides a whale watching tour and we picked that ... We had 6 minutes to get off of the ship and head to the bus ... We were very upset as where the people all around us. I went up to the service desk and asked if any of them could help or if the cruise director could assist the one lady .. the response was that only shore excursion people have access to the computers. Although the women said dog-sledding was sold out in Skagway we walked to the building and asked if they had spots ... They were AWESOME people and gave us 3 different times to choose from and it was 60$ cheaper. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: 1. Ketchikan: We did Jeep and Canoe Adventure : It was amazing and the people were wonderful ... we canoed across a lake, they served amazing clam chowder and I don't prefer clam chowder .. We then jeeped to a mountain side and the views were spectacular. Would recommend this tour. 2. Juneau: Whale watching - Overpriced and I could of lived without .. We did see whales but none breeching and hardly any tails. They people were very nice and served hot coco and snacks. 3, Skagway - Dogsledding - AMAZING if you can do it I would recommend doing it. Once in a lifetime experience 4: British Columbia: Zip-lining - It was a blast and they guides where very nice with a great sense of humor. Would recommend this tour. Overall, I would recommend bringing your own snacks on board .. As we entered the first town a lot of people went to the stores and bought sodas and snacks as a lot of people agreed to the food being bland and ehh. I would recommend if you can to buy your excursions on land, they were cheaper. I didn't like the fact that they nickel and dimed you for EVERYTHING!!! I wish we as people were able to tip who we wanted and how much we wanted because some did not deserve a tip and others deserved more. I wouldn't recommend this cruise for younger people as the entertainment lacked. Overall, I am happy we were able to see Alaska and enjoy a family vacation. We as a family decided that we would never cruise with NCL again as we have enjoyed other cruise lines better. The quality what not worth the overall price of the vacation. Thanks for reading .. I am not trying to be a negative nancy, I just wanted to write what our experience was like on the cruise and how we felt. I wish I could be more positive. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I are both well traveled and in the past preferred independent travel, however with a small child we decided to try a cruise to simplify the logistics. Did it ever! Returning to the same charming cabin (we did mini-suite ... Read More
My husband and I are both well traveled and in the past preferred independent travel, however with a small child we decided to try a cruise to simplify the logistics. Did it ever! Returning to the same charming cabin (we did mini-suite with balcony, totally worth the money), no unpacking and repacking, having easy choices for meals and ability to eat when we were hungry -- that helped make the trip more relaxing. Our toddler liked Splash Academy, the staff there made a big effort to make the kids feel welcomed, and we only wish we'd taken greater advantage of its awesome hours to have more time for ourselves. Ten days was actually a good period, we really hit our stride around day 6-7. For entertainment, we only saw the Cirque Bijou performance, which we really enjoyed though the volume was too loud. We brought ear plugs b/c I heard the tech rehearsal, but a man next to us who was hard of hearing from his army service said it was too loud for him too -- it just became noise, not music. The service was wonderful - everyone genuinely warm and willing to help. Prior to the cruise I was grumpy about the mandatory service charge, but once I was on the cruise I felt it was completely deserved! We even gave our steward a little extra. The Washy Washy guy is a genuine joyful daily presence. While some decor may seem dated to people more attuned to that than me, I found everything just fine, our cabin in perfect shape, and the ship is clean - everything is sparkling! You see staff cleaning, polishing, all the time. They have a trip you can book for a Backstage Tour - fascinating, totally worth the money if you are at all curious about how this cruise experience is created. Food: I am a foodie, but we just ate at the complimentary restaurants to put our money in other areas. Food was fine considering the volume they are cooking for, and the fact that I did not have to cook and clean up only enhanced the meals. Lots of variety at the Garden Cafe, we both loved the muesli there, delicious and the exec chef even gave me the recipe. Opportunity to get vegetables during meals. And what's not to love about a soft serve ice cream machine?! We also tried Tsar Room, but that felt too formal for us with a toddler so we ended up at Garden Cafe (eat breakfast in La Cucina, more mellow) and Azura for dinners. We tried O'Sheehan's one night and liked that, but never made it there for breakfast b/c of our Garden Cafe muesli addiction. If we were doing it again, we might wait until our toddler was a little older, at least 5. Between a preschool change a few weeks prior and then the cruise, there was a lot of new for him and we experienced a ton of meltdowns from our usually mellow child. He hit his stride late in the cruise, but I think an older child would be less overwhelmed and you can also take more advantage of Splash Academy evening hours to have a date night, every night! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
From Vancouver Canada area and drove down to Seattle the day before to see some of the sites. Traveled with another couple. Had a wonderful time. From the time that we got into to line to broad the ship in Seattle was given wonderful ... Read More
From Vancouver Canada area and drove down to Seattle the day before to see some of the sites. Traveled with another couple. Had a wonderful time. From the time that we got into to line to broad the ship in Seattle was given wonderful service I walk with a cane so at the dock in Seattle was put in a wheel chair to get through the security check and once got our key card was handed off to someone from the cruise line and taken up to our room. Lots of crew at the top of gangway to welcome you to the cruise with music. The rooms were very clean and had great service from Jhoel who was friendly and took great care of our room and greeted us by name every time we saw him. Jhoel made sure that we had a different animal made up with towels every night. Really missed having my bed made up in the morning and turned down at night when got home. Turning the bed down at night meant that he turned the bed side lights on for us. The ship had lots of different activities that we could take part in. I loved the hot tubs and the adult only swimming pool. The swimming pool was salt water and a great size to do laps which i like to do. Was very thankful that I had taken my swimming goggles. The water was a nice temperature. We had joined the cruise critic before leaving on the trip so took part at the Greet and meet and got information from the officers that attended. At this meeting they stressed that if you had a problem please let them know right away so that they could take care of it. We had some problems with our toilet not flushing but called the service number and they fixed it right up. As well had a flood of water from the bathroom that they cleaned up right away and came in and sanitized the bathroom and the carpet. They put a blower in the room for a couple of days drying the carpet which didn't bother us that much. This to me showed how good their service was because they fixed up a problem right away There are lots of choices to eat on this ship from garden café that was a buffet to sit down restaurants that gave 5 star services. Our favorite was the Tsar Place restaurant that was at the back of the boat and had a Russian decor to it. The food was excellent and the service was top notch and atmosphere very relaxing and like a 5 star restaurant. Went to chin Asian food for a meal and the food was good. As well had some Meals in the O’Sheehan’s pub. Services were great and the food okay. Went to the Azura for a meal the food and service was great but atmosphere very loud and busy. Had a meal in the le Bistro and had an excellent meal and the service was great. David has rack of lamb and I had tenderloin and both meals cooked to perfection and the desert crème brulia was outstanding. The Shows were all very good. My favorite was the Band on the run which had music from the 70 and 80 And le Cirque Bijou shows. Both were great can’t pick my favorite. Spend some time in the Casino and did win a little but good entertainment. The Spinnaker’s lounge was a great quiet area where you could have a drink and read or talk but have shows come on periodically that disrupt everything. Would be nice to have a quiet are inside when weather bad as the library too small. Another way that the ship shone in its service was that they always had wheel chairs to help people that needed them to get on and off the ship. When in Skagway when we disembarked we were the furthest from the mainland and there was quiet a walk from the ship. There were golf carts being run by the dock that took us to the end to catch our tours bus but was not running at 1700 when returning to the boat not sure who runs these but would be nice to have them running longer. However got half way back to the ship when someone from the jewel meant me with a wheel chair and took me back to my room. I had been walking with a lady who was walking with a walker and she was getting back on to the valder dam and no one from the ship came to help her up the ramp. But the jewel had people walking halfway down the dock to get its customers. One of the high lights is the day that we went up to Glacier Bay and the captain had the ship doing 360 so that we could see the glaciers from all angles. The weather was perfect and the scenery was outstanding. Ports of call Ketchikan We rented an electric car from rain barrel and were able to travel through the town to see some of the sites this was helpful for me especially as having some difficulty walking around Juneau Has pre booked a execution that took is first on a whale watching tour where we did see lots of whales Then up to mendall glazier where I enjoyed the visitor center and other enjoyed a walk to the falls. Then finished with a tour of the city sites. Skagway Another high lite. Had pre booked a tour with deyadave who picked us up at the dock and we traveled by small tour bus up to emerald lake Yukon and then driven back to Fraser where we took the train back to skagway. If ever up to Alaska deyadave gives a great tour up to the Yukon. Stopped in car cross Yukon for lunch at a small place called the bakery and the soup of the day salmon chowder was excellent. Dave was very knowable about the area and was quite the combian. Would take his tour again in a heartbeat. When in skagway take time to go to the forestry service office and watch the film about the gold rush. In Skagway would have been nice if the golf cart shuttle they had in the morning to move people along the dock to area that all the shuttles came to to pick up passengers would have run into the early evening. Not sure if this is the cruise ships responsibility or the skagway dock. Glacier Bay Not enough words to describe how wonderful it was Icy point. Small area. Well worth taking the shuttle into town. There is a wonderful building that active artist working on totem poles and other wood art work. Sitka Hired a taxi to take us around group of 4 cost 65 and hour. Was able to see the bear sanctuary that was sad to see the bears in captivity but others are heeled and released . As well the rapture center which heal birds to be released. Saw the bishop’s house and the church which was very interesting. Having the taxi was nice as the weather wasn’t that great. Victoria Has a nice look around town have been to Victoria as live in Vancouver and have family there. Weather was beautiful. Vancouver Home again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
First cruise from a young couple from California, If you are thinking of choosing to vacation on a cruise after looking at the offers be sure to at least have 2x the budget you expected to spend. We had balcony rooms that were supposed ... Read More
First cruise from a young couple from California, If you are thinking of choosing to vacation on a cruise after looking at the offers be sure to at least have 2x the budget you expected to spend. We had balcony rooms that were supposed to be around $1500 per person. So we said great for 3k we are going on a cruise. That was just the start of the spending. You need to book your plane ride to get to the sailing port if you don't live near and do hotel and transportation if you don't want to miss the ship because of airline trouble. The closer you get to the cruise date you receive all sorts of new charges including the ship obligatory gratuity which is a way of handing the tips for the crew to you instead of the cruise line paying them for it out of your ticket price. It may be a way for the staff to be motivated but they also expect gratuity on the ship for many services. Charges never stop through the trip so expect to have at least 2x your ticket price added to your vacation in order to get through it. We ended up spending north of 5k so be aware of that and we were mid range frugal. Overall spending was above 6k because of side excursions in Seattle and an extra night there. The biggest bait and switch of all was what they call the UBP or ultimate beverage package which we got. It couldn't be further from what the name implies. You can't get bottled water, coffee, canned softdrinks or any of the sort. You do get to have non canned softdrinks, water, some wines, beers and other alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails after you do a voucher every time instead of just swiping your cruise ID card and be done with it. They did not specify on the ship if the cabin faucet water was drinkable so you get killed with water bottle prices in the rooms which are about 7x normal store prices. We did manage to get a couple of bottled waters from a port but then we had to carry them after our excursion which was tiring and not worth it in the end. The alcoholic drinks and coffees/other drinks in the bars have a tax that you also have to pay like local port taxes or whatever they call it. We ended up paying about $50+ on top just on drink taxes and we didn't drink much. If you think you will be zipping a lot expect to be charged a lot more. It also has to be mentioned that bar personnel expect gratuities so drop them a few bucks once in a while or you will be kind of ignored and wait a lot longer for drinks the second time around. That said bar personnel was courteous and good spirited for the most part. The staff from your room stewards all the way to the senior officers and captain were all very well mannered and happy to help you at any point, special consideration to the restaurant and buffet staff as they have tough shifts and they still greet you with a smile and good service. If anything can be said about Norwegian Cruise Lines is that the staff has a good attitude and does their best to make it a pleasant experience at every turn. The balcony cabin was very well equipped and clean, we needed to wait until 1PM for them to be ready as they were still cleaning from the previous cruise that left earlier in the day. This could be improved by making boarding later instead of forcing you to be there at 10 or 11 in the morning to board. It is a way for you to know the ship, start consuming and spending as your room gets ready. Bean counters have been examining maximum profit chances at every turn here, but it makes it feel like cattle hoarded and not like passengers at moments. We ate mostly at the Buffet and twice at other restaurants like the Tsar & Azura. Food was mostly fine besides the TexMex night at the buffet which was pretty awful. The quality of that buffet was extremely bad but the rest of the days was fine. The Lobster night at the buffet was ridiculous as it was a bunch of pasta with traces of lobster tail. If we got a couple of small pieces it was a miracle. Fortunately the taste and flavor of most of the food every day was really good. The breakfast was our favorite. We would have loved the buffet to stay open later than 10PM as sometimes other activities have to be interrupted for dinner. There should also be a restaurant that is 24hrs open not just the room service for snacks. Now if you stay within the hours you will enjoy the ports much more as you will be in sync with the ship/excursion schedules. The Tsar looks like a vegas version of a Moscow palace but the Aft view was marvelous while we had dinner, highly recommend at least one night dinner there to check it out. The buffet had severe crowding problems every day, you could barely get a table and you had to walk very long stretches with your food up and down to eat at your table. The layout of the buffet table space was not thought out properly considering the amount of people that frequent it. We ended up walking to the outdoor aft section for a more enjoyable experience where there is a more limited food station close by. You will enjoy your meals much more if the wind and weather cooperate. The best part of the trip bar none was sailing the ocean and the ports in Alaska, you will not find terrain and grandiose mountains within ocean fjords like this anywhere except in Greenland or Iceland, northern Norway or Sweden. You cannot experience Alaska until you have been there, it is quite an amazing sight. This is what really made the cruise worth it and unforgettable. Get some excursions and make some talk with the locals it will make the experience much more of an adventure instead of a point A to Point B vacation. You will see how Alaskans live and thrive in harsh conditions and how they love the summer and cruise season and some of the ports we visited live of the cruise season as their primary source of income. Cruises are a very important part of the Alaskan economy and in just that you feel better by contributing to their economy a bit. The Population of Alaska was 736,732 in the last (2014) count. Under 1 million. This population swells to over 2 million with the cruise season from workers from the lower 48 including WA, OR, CA, UT, WY and more. Alaskans that live a full calendar year and are considered permanent residents of AK get also a dividend from Oil corporations from the Alaska Permanent Fund. In the 80s it got as low as $300 and up to $3000+ in 2008 due in part to Sarah Palin as some sort of campaign support gesture. In 2014 they got around $1,800 per inhabitant. It should help pay for basics like heat and gas, no one is getting rich here. One of your trips should be to see the Glacier but be aware that most excursions are too short for enjoying the places you visit for more than a few minutes. Try to get excursions that only visit the glacier for example and not sidetrip to other things like Salmon Bakes or Hatcheries. Those are fine but if you want to do some hikes we suggest you get a tour that stays at the glacier at least 4hrs. If you can afford a close to glacier boat or walk on a glacier with a helicopter you should do it but those were out of our budget. You will still get to see the Sawyer glacier from the ship as it gets as close as possible and you will get an impressive view and it will be the highlight of the trip if you do not leave the ship. You do get a feeling after all is over that you want to visit AK and it's cities for weeks at a time in the summer to get the most out of them. There is a lot to experience and it feels rushed to do it on a cruise. Problem is these places are so isolated that only by sea or air are reachable and some of the air is only by sea plane or Cessna like small planes. Your run of the mill jetliner will only be able to get to Juneau or anchorage in very modest runways. We missed looking at a bear by a few minutes as it was seen by a tour in front of us and it was a disappointment, it is more about luck than anything. Expect patience and luck to play a part in seeing wildlife. We did get to see bald eagles nesting in the wild which was a treat. The shows on the ship were good and as expected for such a ship. Chris Pendleton the female fiddle player / comedian and her 7yr old daughter were probably the best, it was a beautiful thing to see the mother and daughter play so well, it was the highlight of the shows. The magician/comic the worst as it was mostly slapstick and jokes at the expense of passengers and the tricks were only from the card deck. He was not bad but obnoxious, maybe doing the same show on a ship for 8mo makes you go nuts in that case we understand the man, it cant be easy. The acrobats were pretty good but as we have seen this done even better on Vegas with more spectacular venues it feels subpar. The athletics they did are fantastic and probably great by any standard and the venue is what hurts them. We thank all performers for doing it with heart of course. If you are expecting Vegas shows on a cruise ship this is not the one for you. It was more of an AGT vibe to the shows than extreme productions. That said it was fun and entertaining for the most part. Some entertainment like Deal or No Deal was painful to experience as the energy was lackluster even from the staff and it is basically a way to sell scratch tickets to passengers to pay for the prices and extract bonus cash for the cruise line. At every chance they wanted to sell you tickets to bingos, raffles or Deal or No Deal. It felt like the old Vegas strip at some instances. I guess there are a few cruisers that enjoy this sort of thing to get some excitement but it gets old quick. And the Diamond seller lady on the ship on TV and in the main Theater which is basically a paid pusher by the AK, Diamonds International jewelry industry for you to spend on diamonds and other stones/metals in Alaska. Funny thing is most of this merchandise if from South Africa, Russia, South America and Asia. Alaska is not unlike other ports like in the Caribbean which is a tourist trap for jewelers to sell their wares. There is nothing special here except the scenery and location with lower sales tax. But are the prices fair? As with anything it depends but expect the fabulous deals to be fabulous scams for the most part. Shop elsewhere for your jewelry. Do buy stuff on the local stores but refrain from dropping 1000s on jewelry that mostly benefit outside interests and international dealers and not the Alaskan People. Buy stuff they do locally, it will be more authentic and a better reminder of what the place offers. Internet Access: We paid for the full trip Wifi which was $160 , that is crazy expensive and it was extremely slow and buggy. It is satellite internet so it is not ideal and it did cut off at some moments like on the glacier visit which was a low point as we wanted to show family live images. We probably used it sporadically so we probably overpaid, we should have gotten one of the lower packages. Another money pit to the consumer, if you can, avoid it and use your phone plan while on ports of call as there was at least good signal in the towns and from the docked ship. TV on the rooms is terrible like 10 channels with the movie channel aspect ratio on the image squished which ruined the picture; the view from the front of the ship is grainy and low resolution, they could ad a better camera considering how expensive a ship this is. A simple GoPro HD camera would offer a way better view of the heading of the ship. There should also be an Aft view. There should also be a way to monitor the ship progress from the Norwegian App with hi res maps and real time positioning. It would make it better than the TV ship info channel. It was not bad but could be greatly improved. Sure you should be TV less in a trip like this but for late at night on a sea only day it helps to fall asleep. Meet strange people on the ship and on the ports, highly recommended, you might find new friends and or experience a way of life very much distanced from your own. It will make the trip last longer in your mind. All in all the experience was rewarding but could be much better with less selling/pushing and more class by the company in the way they conduct business. The ship needs to be given a full service with balcony wood varnished and or changed, some rugs need to be replaced as they are nearing the end of life also. They need to ad free water bottles to the UBP beverage package, its ridiculous to see people filling water dispensers and even baby bottles with buffet machine water dispensers. Water is a right not one for sale, give reasonable water prices on board it is wrong to press consumers to the extreme. UBP package should have water bottles at least 3 a day. My wife and I loved the experience but the Cruise part will take a long time to regain our trust and choose one. We could have spent a month in an all inclusive Caribbean outfit with fabulous beaches and food for the price we paid and maybe less. It is an expensive proposition and one we will not take likely the next time around. Cruise prices should reflect the entire cost up front and not charge stuff on top before sailing date, it becomes a budget issue way to quickly. I am more inclined to return if I have the full price minus excursions since the booking time, it is a bad business model for the consumer. We thank the staff for their great service and smiles and you made it much better with your sweat and tears, as for the company NCL itself we are not so pleased, You should treat the personnel and the passengers better instead of maximizing profits, no wonder your stock is going through the roof. There is a lot of good in the Jewel but also a lot of self inflicted bad by the pushing and spending, several areas could be improved but we doubt they will. Considering the staff has 8 months of continuous hardship it is amazing to us how well they manage, by the 7th day we were almost ready to capitulate in order to end the cruise even stay in Victoria, it gets very tiresome like an insane asylum at times. Cruising is probably not up our alley any time soon but it was something we wanted to do at least once in our lifetime. As our first cruise a Caribbean one might be in the cards in a few years, other than that the value of the experience is best placed in visiting places and doing your own travel. We saw 10 European nations for under $12k in 2010 which was 1/2 this price, we ate much better meals and we had way more in the way of memories and stories and it lasted 32 days not 7. If you have done everything except cruising, then check it out, you might enjoy it a lot. Freestyle cruising lets you dress casually for most dinners which is great, this is one of the big plus aspects of NWC. Alaska is a now destination for us, not a far away or inaccessible land now, it is an amazing place and one that everyone should visit at some point in their lives if they can and have the means. The cruise makes it much easier but if you want to really experience it do it the old fashion way by staying for a few weeks. And of course bring your camera and lots of memory cards! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
With this being my first cruise, I found it to be a wonderful experience. I had a balcony room with adjoining room with friends. Was very organized on checking into the ship. Many activities on the ship daily that I never did too many. All ... Read More
With this being my first cruise, I found it to be a wonderful experience. I had a balcony room with adjoining room with friends. Was very organized on checking into the ship. Many activities on the ship daily that I never did too many. All of the staff on the ship were very friendly and helpful at all times. Our room steward Seby greeted us daily as we left our room and always had it made up with great turn down service nightly. The staff at the 24 hr dining always had a smile on their face. I was very pleased that they had hand sanitizer going off and on the ship and had someone at the entrance of the open dining there to spray in all guests hands before entering to eat. I have heard through other friends of friends that this was not a good cruise line but I disagree, as this was a great experience made by the great staff on the ship. The shore excursions that I did were good. Some very high priced but some well worth the money. Just dis-appointed that NCL could not answer why an excursion we wanted to do but was not timed until we left Sagway was being offered. Come to find out when we left Skagway and went to an inlet at the base of a glacier a small boat that came back to the ship was that very excursion we wanted to do. So the customer service people answering the phones need to know all the details of each excursion for each cruise. I actually scheduled this cruise through an offer that I received from Total Rewards so it was a great value and price for me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I are 1st time cruisers. We have been married for 34 years and are a couple in our fifties who love to enjoy life. We have two daughters and five grandchildren. We live in a small town in Oklahoma. We flew from Dallas Fort ... Read More
My husband and I are 1st time cruisers. We have been married for 34 years and are a couple in our fifties who love to enjoy life. We have two daughters and five grandchildren. We live in a small town in Oklahoma. We flew from Dallas Fort Worth Airport to Seattle Washington Airport to start our trip. We stayed at the Seattle Hilton the night before our cruise. The motel was very pricey but overall a pretty good stay. We just got back from an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. We had a room with a big window to look out at the ocean. I wish now that we would have got a room with a balcony to enjoy the scenery more. I have to say it was the best vacation we have ever taken. The ship was beautiful, the staff was amazing and Alaska was breathtaking!! There was a waiter name Roy working the pool deck area that was amazing. He took great care of us and he remembered our names from the first day meeting us. I was expecting the food at the café, etc. to be a lot better then it was. It seemed like we were eating cafeteria food all the time and nothing just stood out and made us want to try it again. The shore excursions that we went on were amazing. I would have liked to spend more time at the ports rather than on the ship. Over all it was a great experience and we will be cruising again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My bucket list thing to do was go on a cruise to Alaska. I was booked on the Norwegian Jewel with a life long friend who hadn't even been a plane before, let alone a ship!! The ship was awesome!! The crew was very personable. The ... Read More
My bucket list thing to do was go on a cruise to Alaska. I was booked on the Norwegian Jewel with a life long friend who hadn't even been a plane before, let alone a ship!! The ship was awesome!! The crew was very personable. The housekeeping lady was very friendly and helpful to two "old ladies" and we enjoyed her bubbly personality and the towel animals. The variety of the shows every night was super. The helpfulness of the staff in the dining room was appreciated as we both had canes. The Shore Excursions were eye-opening. I was very impressed with the ship and crew and God-willing I hope to book another cruise in a couple of years. Thank you for a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I loved this cruise. My wife and I's first. I think it was key to have an aft-facing balcony. Seeing Dawes glacier bracketed by a 180 degree rainbow with waterfalls coming out of the mountains on the side was perhaps the most ... Read More
I loved this cruise. My wife and I's first. I think it was key to have an aft-facing balcony. Seeing Dawes glacier bracketed by a 180 degree rainbow with waterfalls coming out of the mountains on the side was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever seen - all from our private balcony while sipping a drink. Food was great. Staff was great. Entertainment was great. The only down part was a lot of the activities were very infomercialish. The seminar on metabolism was trying to sell you supplements, the seminar on shore shopping was trying to sell you diamonds at stores owned by the cruise line. We could have used real seminars on those subjects. Also, I think that I was the only one to actually swim in the pool - choosing to get in when everyone was on shore in Victoria. Normally it's just too crowded to really swim. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I have vacationed virtually every year of our 35 years of marriage, but had never taken a cruise. It appeared to be too confining for the manner in which we like to vacation. We chose the Alaskan cruise because it took us to ... Read More
My wife and I have vacationed virtually every year of our 35 years of marriage, but had never taken a cruise. It appeared to be too confining for the manner in which we like to vacation. We chose the Alaskan cruise because it took us to places that would be impossible or at least difficult to get to any other way. We chose Norwegian because of its good reputation and it was available through Costco. We enjoyed our trip thoroughly. Everything from the dining to the entertainment was enjoyable. We especially liked the options for every meal and especially at dinner. Eating with a bunch of strangers was not appealing to us either and thus another reason to stay away from cruising. Norwegian fixed that with its freestyle dining and the food was diverse and enjoyable. To be sure, the port schedule was still confining, but it was a great way to survey the area. In Juneau for example, we had six hours in port which was just enough time to take an excursion to see humpback whales. A trip well worth the cost, but it was all we had time to do. There was much more we wanted to see in Juneau. However, the trade off for that short time in port was the trip down the Endicot arm and seeing the Sawyer Glacier. Pretty spectacular! I don't see us taking a cruise to the Caribbean or any other tropical destination because of that whole schedule thing, but to areas that are remote like Alaska or perhaps the northeast part of North America. Yes, we will definitely do that and I can't imagine doing it on any another cruise line other than Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Seriously had the time of our lives. We took the 7-day Alaska inside passage on Norwegian Jewel, and wished it was (at least!) twice as long. The staff and crew truly work to make you feel like part of the 'family', and there ... Read More
Seriously had the time of our lives. We took the 7-day Alaska inside passage on Norwegian Jewel, and wished it was (at least!) twice as long. The staff and crew truly work to make you feel like part of the 'family', and there was never a shortage of fun experiences. "Freestyle" cruising is perfect for us, and the many options it affords made for a delightful experience. The only regret is that the 24-hour pub stopped serving 'adult beverages' after 2:00am. My partner and I are night owls, and would have enjoyed sipping Baileys and coffee on deck while enjoying the sea slip past. I would also have appreciated at least one vegetarian option on the late night menu. Small worries, indeed! I have to make special mention of the entertainment on this cruise. In a word, STUNNING! I have been a theatre professional for more than a quarter decade, and these were some of the finest productions I have seen. Kudos, all around. Even the 'smaller stage' shows in the various pubs and bars were exceptional. Our stateroom was great, and kept immaculately clean and well stocked. Tiny, but, really, who wants to spend time sitting in your cabin? We used it to sleep (very little!) and store our stuff. The rest of the time was spent enjoying all that the ship had to offer. Cruise Director Armen and his staff provided so much to do, that we need to book immediately again just to experience the moments we missed while doing other things. The food on the ship is plentiful... Very very plentiful. So many options that you may have trouble watching your waistline. I gained 10 pounds. Seriously. I cannot really rave about anything I ate (good, hearty, mostly buffet style), but there was also nothing to complain about. Perhaps we needed to try the specialty restaurants to be truly blown away. The service is second to none! After the first day, all the servers knew our names and preferences, and were eager to please. Again, these folks succeed in making you feel like a friend or family member. It was difficult to say goodbye to these fine people. As a first time cruiser, I cannot say enough about this trip. I KNOW we will be back, and would recommend this ship to anyone. Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having never been on a cruise before, I didn't really know what to expect but every experience was terrific. Activities ranged from trivia, bingo, game shows, dance parties, casino, entertainment (I'll come back to the ... Read More
Having never been on a cruise before, I didn't really know what to expect but every experience was terrific. Activities ranged from trivia, bingo, game shows, dance parties, casino, entertainment (I'll come back to the entertainment).... something was going on all the time. Loved the freestyle aspect of it as well. Eat wherever and whenever you wanted. There were so many options for free dining that we didn't feel like we needed to pay for the specialty restaurants. The food in the main garden cafe was typical buffet quality. Some things were delish and some were meh. Restaurant food was great though. The staff were amazing. The bar and casino staff were so friendly and the cruise staff were exceptional. They made you feel like we were all part of the same family. The ports were all pretty neat as well. Skagway was my favorite. We took the Ghosts and Goodtime Girls walking tour and learned a lot about the gold rush and Skagway. One thing I was sad about was not being able to use the jogging track. I am a morning runner but each morning the deck was too wet to run on, either from the rain or from the staff hosing the deck down. Luckily the fitness centre had lots of treadmills. Have you ever used a treadmill on a ship with 11 foot swells? Quite the experience! The best party of the cruise was the entertainment. An extremely talented group of singers, musicians, dancers, gymnasts put on fantastic Vegas-style review shows that were full of energy and excellent music. Do not miss these shows! What an incredible experience this cruise was. We are lucky that or first time turned out so well. Can't wait for the next one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall this ship is good. The staff is very nice and our room steward went above and beyond. After a few days some of the stairways and hallways started to smell like an outhouse. I talked to customer service and was told that ... Read More
Overall this ship is good. The staff is very nice and our room steward went above and beyond. After a few days some of the stairways and hallways started to smell like an outhouse. I talked to customer service and was told that people were flushing things they shouldn't of been and that the plumbers were working on it. The smell came and went. Also forget about going to the Garden Café and getting a table. It's going to be hard to do. Tons of people everywhere and kids running all over the place. We really liked O'Sheehan's so we ate primarily there and at Tsar's. Food was good. Desserts were a disappointment. Scenery in Alaska was unreal. Almost everyone I ran into was friendly and helpful, except for the people at the fish processing service. The best part of the trip was fishing in Ketchikan. We caught a 14 lb salmon. The skipper (Captain Bill) recommended that we have it processed at Cedar's lodge, then they would ship it back to our house. I just got 6 lb of salmon yesterday, in a package that was sent without coolant. It's 80+ degrees here, and it was on a fedex truck for 26 hours per the tracking information. I called up to the fish processor but they are telling me all this is normal. If you check tripadvisor reviews for the Cedar's Lodge in Ketchikan you will see other people are reporting being shorted fish as well. Per the fishmonger that I bought a whole salmon from in Pike's Place market (Seattle), the average total return on a king salmon is 65-70% (including head, gills, guts, etc). Incidentally (or not) the fish processor (Cedars) happens to sell King salmon for you to buy. If you do this excursion either throw the fish back or do not have it processed. This really ruined my vacation since the fishing trip was the highlight of it. I tried to call Norweigan customer service but I cannot get through the line. We booked another cruise in April 2016 on the Getaway in Miami but I am so upset about this I may cancel the future cruise. They shouldn't be putting cruise-goers in touch with shady vendors who ruin our best memories. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I had fun on our first cruise. The mini suite was perfect for us since I go to bed earlier than he does. It had a real balcony where we could sit and watch the wonderful scenery. Buffet meals were good, if you don't ... Read More
My husband and I had fun on our first cruise. The mini suite was perfect for us since I go to bed earlier than he does. It had a real balcony where we could sit and watch the wonderful scenery. Buffet meals were good, if you don't mind the school cafeteria atmosphere. Our favorite was breakfast table outside on the deck. Specialty restaurants were delicious and the service was excellent. Entertainment was very good if you like R&B and the Beatles and pop rock which we do. We went to all the theatre performances and enjoyed the comedian most of all. Only complaint I have is that there wasn't enough free time to spend in Juneau and Victoria, but there is only so much you can do in 7 days. Very nice spa and finess center onboard. Everything was sparkling clean and kept that way wherever you were on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
There were four of us on this cruise: husband/wife in 30s, grandma in 60s, and a 2 year-old. Our mini-suite cabin was great. We liked our steward, and we were very comfortable. The food was majorly disappointing on this cruise. ... Read More
There were four of us on this cruise: husband/wife in 30s, grandma in 60s, and a 2 year-old. Our mini-suite cabin was great. We liked our steward, and we were very comfortable. The food was majorly disappointing on this cruise. The organization of port days and shore excursions was not great. Some staff members (restaurants, BINGO) made it a memorable cruise for the WRONG reasons. Kids' activities for an active 2 year-old are not great. This is an under-served population. Staring with the food... We ate at The Garden Cafe a lot, and they had some good dishes, but the best part about this restaurant (which was always packed for every meal) is that you can go back and get something different if you don't like what's on your plate. So, your odds of leaving with a full-enough belly are pretty good. Breakfast is the best meal of the day, so fill up! It's also nice that they have cartons of milk at breakfast, so if your kid turns out to be like mine (he stopped eating on the cruise, and basically drank 5 bottles a day for sustenance), stock up your mini fridge. We at at Tsar's Palace once. The fried chicken was not hot, and the panko crust was soggy on the bottom, as if it had been sitting in a steam tray. One of our pieces of fried chicken (leg/thigh quarter) was raw. Good thing we cut it open first! The server wasn't terribly apologetic or concerned. Just asked if we wanted anything else, and walked away when we said we didn't. We ate at Azura twice. The first time was awesome. Our server was excellent, the food for three of us was excellent, and we were almost all very happy all around. Only my husband was disappointed with his 'striploin steak,' which was extremely fatty, not cooked properly, and cold. The second time was just OK, and we also had a creepy server who kept hovering between our table and our neighbor's, staring at our son. We were very used to extra attention over our little boy, and it was usually very sweet and welcomed, but this was extra creepy. Grandma told us not to worry about it at first, but then the guy just stood there for many, many minutes, staring and not saying anything, and not working... and finally, Grandma was swayed into thinking he was creepy, too. Plus, the food was not great -- the meat in the lasagne tasted like it was chopped up leftover previously-cooked steaks from the night before. (In fact, beef would be a continual disappointment on the cruise. We just didn't know it yet.) Desserts on both nights were pretty good! We ate at Cagney's Steakhouse once, thinking we were in for a treat (at least that's what all the marketing would have you believe!). Well, their menus say they use "Certified Angus Beef," and then try to explain that it's "a cut above" Choice, Select and Prime rated cuts. Well, it must be a literal note about where the cuts come from on the cow, because they were not good steaks, and certainly not better than even Outback steakhouse (I wouldn't even begin to compare with Ruth's Chris, or other even better steakhouses out there). Once again, my poor husband had a super fatty ribeye, which was cold. My filet mignon, which I ordered well-done (and I'm used to being asked if it can be butterflied, and I'm familiar with the fact that steak lovers think I'm an idiot right now. You can have your opinions, but I don't like undercooked meat)... was served to me cooked RARE. I even took a picture, because I was so shocked. My husband, who orders all steaks medium-rare, was kind of grossed out by my steak. It was difficult to get someone to come to our table to check on us, but I eventually got the manager's attention and they took my meal off the bill. During dessert, the waiter came and asked my husband for his room card, so he could process our bill. My husband was eating an ice cream sandwich, and had ice cream on both hands. I told the waiter, "This isn't really a good time." And the water replied, "Take your time," and proceeded to stand right next to our table, staring at my husband. He fumbled for his card just to get the weirdo waiter to go away. I ordered oreo cheesecake for dessert, and it was a huge portion, but didn't taste great. Also of note: every restaurant on this ship is 'all you can eat', and so you'd assume the same would go for these "specialty" restaurants, since they just say you're paying a "cover charge." However, at Cagney's, there's a note on the menu saying that each additional entree will come with a $10 charge. The first steaks aren't worth the $30/pp, folks, so don't bother ordering a second or a third. The side dishes were pretty good, and since those are limitless (and tiny portions), just order more of those if you feel you must try this restaurant. We ate at La Cucina once. First, I'll say that the location of this restaurant was not the best, because it's right under some kind of sports deck. I would not recommend it for a romantic dinner -- we heard a group of people periodically trample loudly over our heads (basketball or running track, maybe?). In terms of food: for my son, I ordered the sausage and pancetta pizza, but minus the pancetta. The waiter told me the pancetta *is* the sausage. I had to politely explain to him that pancetta is not sausage, that it's an uncured Italian meat similar to bacon. When he continued to disagree with me, I firmly explained that " e pancetta" (from the menu) in Italian means sausage AND pancetta, so they're not the same thing. He finally wrote something on his pad and continued with our order. (End of discussion, I guess.) The pizza came out correct from the kitchen, but I wonder how a *specialty* Italian restaurant has waiters who don't understand the menu. Very frustrating. Once again, one of our party ordered a ribeye steak, and once again, it was super fatty, undercooked, and cold. It was returned by this person (who never, never complains about food), and the manager took the meal off our tab. At the end of the meal, we had to rush off to a show on the ship, and the manager was nice enough to send our desserts to our room so we could enjoy them later (after lecturing us about how there's normally a fee for the service -- at a restaurant you just paid for). We had a reservation at Teppanyaki, but decided to cancel it the morning of, due to many factors (but partly because we weren't sure it would be worth $30/pp anyway), and we were not charged for the cancellation. This is a popular restaurant, so I'm sure they were able to fill our vacated seats. Finally, on our last night, we ate at Chin Chin from the "free" (included in cruise price) menu. It was our favorite restaurant experience. The Char Siu noodle soup was a favorite, as were the pot stickers (fried or steamed) and sweet and sour pork. The orange peel beef was (you guessed it) strangely fatty and not great. The Kung Pao chicken was OK but too dry. The desserts we tried (coconut tapioca pudding with mango sauce, red bean and chestnut triangles) were very good. All in all, it was our favorite dinner experience. I'm actually glad we didn't get to go back -- we were able to end on a high note! In terms of organization on the ship, as first time cruisers, we were a little bit clueless some of the time. So, here's a tip: listen to all announcements (channel 23 on our cabin's TV) and ready the Freestyle Daily cover-to-cover, or you could miss something. Restaurants were sometimes open for lunch, sometimes not. Their hours often changed daily. The Garden Cafe frequently closed as soon as everyone was getting back on the ship from a port. On our last shore excursion day, our disembarkation was delayed for an hour. And for that hour, hallways on the desk with a gangway were packed, and there were no cruise personnel acting as traffic cops. So, people were pushing/shoving in the elevator lobby. My husband grabbed ahold of my backpack so that we wouldn't be separated. Some random lady grabbed ahold of his backpack (oh jeeze, people!) and proceeded to pull him down backwards several times as the crowd moved us along. Where were the NCL people? Why wasn't there someone in the hallway saying that people needed to be orderly? Shouldn't they post personnel in the elevators, so that they prevent the lobby from being further cram-packed by panicked people on the elevators wanting to get off on the same floor? Shouldn't they have put people in a holding area until the whole situation was resolved? It was ridiculous, and to be honest, pretty scary. We were very disappointed with cruise personnel that day. Our cruise-sanction shore excursions ran over by an hour on two different occasions, so we were dropped off at the ship, and we had NO time to shop or do any individual sightseeing. The BINGO games were another part of the cruise that were deeply disappointing. My mom won on one of the games (which is neither here nor there, but I call it out to show that we're not just bitter losers). The way they entice you to keep playing and buying more cards is their "big raffle" on the last day of the cruise. The prize is a free cruise for two (no other info was given). Many people were saying that it was very cheap of NCL not to provide any secondary/consolation prizes. How about a free towel folding DVD? How about a NCL Bingo shirt? How about a free latte? Honestly, we're not asking for a lot.. but why not make it more fun for more people? It all seemed very cheap. In addition, one of their BINGO organizers was extremely sloppy and over-the-top at the mic, and many people in the room were upset by him. He went on and on and on about wanting to hook up with a woman from the US or Canada, making it very clear that it was for immigration reasons. (He also commented multiple times on how cute one of the guys in the audience was, so I'm not sure he's really into women, ladies.) He was disparaging to NCL, saying that he and another woman had been assigned together on another NCL ship (the Epic, I think?), and how they'd had an awesome time on that ship. Then, when they found out their new contract was on the NCL Jewel (a ship which we were all paying customers on, at that moment), they were super disappointed. He also talked at length about how he didn't need to take these contracts with NCL, and how he had a better job back home. Twice during the blackout BINGO game he was calling, a new number would appear on screen, and he never said it out loud. I'm not sure the older/visually impaired audience members even caught them, which seems extremely unfair. Since he doesn't seem to care much about his job, or enjoy it, and since he's intent in making the experience miserable/uncomfortable for everyone else, I'd highly recommend that NCL relieve him of his duties. Back on the topic of being cheap: I took my son to the Nickelodeon SpongeBob and Patrick "Meet and Greet" -- which is just an occasion for your kids/family to pose with these special characters, so that you can buy the pics from NCL. The NCL staff bring carts of Nickelodeon-themed merchandise into the room and repeatedly try to get you to buy it for "half price." The SpongeBob walkie talkies were being sold normally for $20, and "half price" for $10. I turned them over, and there was a ROSS (the "Dress for Less" store!) sticker saying the price was $10. So, NCL went out and bought second-run stuff from Ross, to resell on their cruise, for twice the price? That's such a ridiculous rip-off. They were unashamed. They were further unashamed about their hard sell tactics -- one NCL staff member went around to every KID in the room and tried to get them to buy an "autograph book." Behind me, he tried to pressure a little girl into saying she wanted one. He said things like, "Don't you want one? Are you sure? EVERYONE ELSE has one! Don't you want one? Everyone has one, so you don't want to miss out." He said it so many times that when I realized he was talking directly to a little girl of 7-8 years old, I turned around and said, pointedly, that my son didn't have one, so clearly, not everyone has one, and maybe he should leave the little girl alone. It was disgusting salesmanship. Regarding kids' programs: I was led to believe that I would be able to take my child, who is 2 years old, into the "kids' activities" as long as I stayed with him, which was great, since I didn't want to leave him anyway. However, as it turned out, we were not welcome *at all* in the Splash Academy room, and there are no "open hours" when we would be welcome at all. We were only allowed to use the "Guppies Playroom," which is a TINY space next to the kids' pool. Note: When your 2 year old passes by a kids' pool, he's not interested in the playroom on the other side, anyway. However, if you can get him there, he will be thoroughly disappointed at the tiny size, dark lighting conditions, and baby toys available in that space. It's really a baby play room (under 18 months), where parents can go for a little quiet time, where babies won't be trampled by older kiddos running around. Note that toddlers over 2 years old (for most kids) constitute a hazard for infants. We found the Guppies Playroom to be completely disappointing. The Guppies activities involved crayons and chalk, so your mileage may vary, but my son was totally uninterested. He wants to climb, run and jump. He wants to play with loud cars and throw things around. If he's doing art, he wants it to be paint, because it's messier than crayons/chalk. He is a totally under-served demographic on the NCL Jewel. He did LOVE the kids' pool, but we didn't love it so much when there were older kids creating chaos there (with no parental oversight, which should have been enforced). I filled out the survey that NCL emailed to me a couple of days after our cruise. They don't ask the right questions, so it's hard to give a truly honest answer (e.g. they ask a multiple-choice question about timing of port days, but not the level of organization, or how happy we were with the shore excursions themselves). They asked you to rate the kids' program (multiple-choice) but don't offer space to elaborate, not even when you give a low score. At the end of the survey, there is ONE open-ended section for further feedback, but it's limited to 1,000 characters, so it's hard to give this level of detail. I hope NCL pays attention to this review (and I'm sure there are others) and makes some updates. For now, regardless of how nice our cabin was, how nice our steward was, how friendly the majority of staff were, I would be very hesitant to try Norwegian again. I would definitely try out other cruise lines first. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise. I was amazed by how helpful, friendly and genuinely caring the staff was. The food was fantastic. I had delicious seafood 2-3 times a day. We found a bartender that is the best! Kumar made me and my husband ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I was amazed by how helpful, friendly and genuinely caring the staff was. The food was fantastic. I had delicious seafood 2-3 times a day. We found a bartender that is the best! Kumar made me and my husband drinks that were so good. I had him surprise me and after 1 or 2 questions he made me a drink that I loved. Every excursion was great. Not a problem on or off the ship. My only issue was that I was looking forward to Irish food at O'Douds restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruise. We took our grandson. Loved the Cruise as a Norwegian. Left the fancy clothes at home. Everyone, staff and tourists, were helpful and friendly. Great food-enjoyed the variety and different "ethnic" ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We took our grandson. Loved the Cruise as a Norwegian. Left the fancy clothes at home. Everyone, staff and tourists, were helpful and friendly. Great food-enjoyed the variety and different "ethnic" foods. Wonderful shore excursions. Evening entertainment-outstanding-those that we didn't go to, our grandson went to. Sufficient smoking areas, and those didn't bother me as a nonsmoker. Rooms were roomier than expected, as were the bathrooms, although a couple of more inches between the knees and wall on the commode would be nice (and I'm not a big or tall guy). Plan on cruising again on Norwegian (having been a stay on the land tourist for years). Didn't use any of the pay extra dining options. Embarkation and a breeze and folks helped you at every port. Lots of activities during the day. Some you could participate in, or watch, or watch later on TV ! Fitness room had everything one needed, especially on vacation and was large enough. And what scenery-on the Jewel in Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Trip was nice, but the fees they charge are outrageous. up to to 0.95 cents for internet 4.99 per minute for phone call. automatic 18% gratuity on any drink added to your bill including soda. up to $30 entrance fee for non inclusive ... Read More
Trip was nice, but the fees they charge are outrageous. up to to 0.95 cents for internet 4.99 per minute for phone call. automatic 18% gratuity on any drink added to your bill including soda. up to $30 entrance fee for non inclusive restaurants, a daily charge of $14 plus added to your bill per person per day as a service charge. A convenience charge for any meals ordered between 1030pm and 630am on top of the room service charge on top of the taxes on top of the gratuity. This became such a matter we all joked that they we were luck they didn't charge us a buck to go up and down in the elevator. Played bingo once.......after paying $76 (the largest package they had, 10 cards) realized there were only three games and with over a hundred folks there they payout was $156 for two of the games and an upgrade for the third game. Night before the end of the cruise they sold tickets for a free cruise for two.......when the drawing happened so many folks were in the room that arguments erupted over trying to get a seat so I just left. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I will start by stating a few things that certainly influenced this review. This was my first cruise ever, and I was vacationing alone. Prior to getting on the ship I tried to find some info for first time cruisers, what to expect, what ... Read More
I will start by stating a few things that certainly influenced this review. This was my first cruise ever, and I was vacationing alone. Prior to getting on the ship I tried to find some info for first time cruisers, what to expect, what there was to do, things particular to Norwegian from their website, but it just didn't exist. So I did what most people do and talked to friends and family that had cruised before. I also read some stuff on this website. In my opinion, the crew and staff on the Jewel made things very uncomfortable and confusing (particularly on the embarkation day) for 1st timers. For example, I knew that they were having a lunch somewhere, but once you got on the ship there were no signs or crew members directing you where to go. I eventually found my way to the buffet but once there it was soooo crowded, they was no where to sit, plus I was by myself,so I had to carry my food, drink, ect all with me (along with my carry on because rooms weren't ready yet) and search for a place to sit. I also knew (from speaking with friends/family) that sodas would be extra so I paid for the soft drink package and got a sticker and mug, but had no clue how it worked to get a drink at the buffet. I ended up just eating a little because the 1st time I got up I came back to my seat being taken. (As a side note on the buffet I will say I only ate here twice more, both times feeling it very difficult to find a seat, and also that the food was never better than OK, and most of the dishes I tried were terrible) I also felt very disappointed with the ship activities, particularly on the 2nd at sea day. It seemed that the majority of activities were either aimed at children or gambling. My family/friends had all told me stories about things they had done on ships from seeing movies, to watching culinary and sushi demos, music, ect. While I will say they did have many musical acts in the evenings, during the day activities seemed very limited unless you wanted to shell out $50 per bingo session during the day. As far as port and shore excursions I have a few points. Due to the length and travel time needed to get to Alaska from Seattle and back port time is very limited on this cruise. While in port I did chat with people on other ships, as well as at several of the ports all aboard times for each ship at port were listed, and the all aboard time for this ship was much earlier than any other. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every single excursion I did. (Ketchikan- AK Logde and sea feast, Juneau- Mendanhall Glarier by helicopter and guided walk, Skagway White pass rail and Gold panning, sled dogs and 40 below experience, Victoria- Orca whale watching) That being said, if I had not gone to the excursion desk by chance before meeting for my excursion in Juneau I would have not been notified the excursion I had originally booked was cancelled in time to select a different one. While I understand a rule not to call a stateroom prior to 7am, if a excursion is meeting at 7:30 there should be some exception to this so people can actually make new plans and make them. The excursion staff was not the most pleasant or helpful, and that's putting it gently. The last point I will discuss in this review is dining. While I obviously was underwhelmed in the buffet, the rest of the dining experience I will call a mixed bag. I ate at both main dining rooms, and both Chin Chin and O'Sheehans (the other 2 complimentary restaurants on board) I also paid the eat at 1 signature restaurant; Tepanyaki. As far as variety and selection, I was very happy with my choices, and with the exception of the fried chicken night at O'Sheehans, enjoyed every meal (foodwise) at each restaurant. It should be noted that while very food, the portion size at chin chin in tiny, I ordered 2 entres and could have easily eaten 3 with no issue. The reason I call my overall experience a mixed bag was primarily the way you are handled as a single diner. Norwegian does "freestyle" dining, so you are not assigned a dining room or service time each evening. They also don't seat you with others, this meant that I was seated alone at nearly every meal. Occasionally (like breakfast, I am sooo not a morning person) this was nice, but it did make for an isolated feeling some days. If you are going in a group this wouldn't be an issue, it just was for me as a solo vacationer. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Alaska, I don't think I will give up cruising. It was my first time, but next time I will absolutely try a different cruise line. Perhaps if I am going with someone else I may give Norwegian another try, but its unlikely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My boyfriend and I decided Alaska was a must see and thought a cruise would be the best way to see it! We could not have been more right! Everything from food, to staff, to accommodations to entertainment was so fantastic! The days we were ... Read More
My boyfriend and I decided Alaska was a must see and thought a cruise would be the best way to see it! We could not have been more right! Everything from food, to staff, to accommodations to entertainment was so fantastic! The days we were fully at sea were amazing, we were never bored!! We looked forward to getting our itinerary every night!! We played trivia, bingo, watched live bands play, a solo guitarist and even got to catch three tribute shows; Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and finally the amazing Tina Turner!! The fun never stops!! The food was endless and delicious!! The buffet had an amazing assortment for all three meals of the day and even late nite snacks. The casino also had a mini buffet after hours! If the FIVE free dining options aren't enough, you could spend a small fee to get another amazing meal at a specialty restaurant. We started in Seattle where we were able to spend a couple of hours walking around the Pike Place Market! I'm so glad we got a taste of this city, being from NY! I was amazed as to how easy it was to check in the boat and then immediately begin your vacation!! We wasted no time dropping out carry on bags in the room and running out to explore! Everytime we were leaving a port there was a massive pool party with a DJ going on!! There was def only one place to be when sailing off!! Because it was Alaska, it was not always bathing suit weather, but they offered pool deck blankets so you could be comfortable being outside! Our balcony stateroom was the perfect size for two. We were never cramped or felt tight. Having our own balcony was perfect for when we were sailing past the glacier! We had a private front row seat! The head of housekeeping for our section made himself very available to us, offering us ice and clean towels even when we didn't want our whole room cleaned. We ended up tipping him in cash on the last night. We only booked one excursion through the boat and it was flawless. We did dog sledding, the tickets were in our room on day one, we were told where to meet and guided easily to our shuttle. She was even kind enough to drop us off in town instead of back at the boat if we wanted, bc we had a few more hours of exploring the town when we were done! Dog sledding itself was amazing! We got to go on a mile trail in a sled and then after an explanation back at the camp, we were able to hold all the puppies! Def highlight! We were so excited about this trip that we booked a 2016 cruise for the Caribbean while we were still in the Jewel!! We are Norwegian cruisers for life! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Just returned from Alaska on the Norwegian Jewell. Ship was great, clean, safe and enjoyable. Have never seen as many ships officers out and about on other cruise lines. Always available to answer questions. Ports were beautiful. The ... Read More
Just returned from Alaska on the Norwegian Jewell. Ship was great, clean, safe and enjoyable. Have never seen as many ships officers out and about on other cruise lines. Always available to answer questions. Ports were beautiful. The Sawyer Glacier was amazing. We were a bit concerned about freestyle dining as it was a new concept to us. No reason to be concerned. It was fabulous. We had a few hiccups, mostly pre and post cruise. We booked the Crown Plaza in Seattle, through the cruise line. Also requested my husband have wheelchair assistance at the port. When we arrived at the Crown, we were forced to exit the shuttle into traffic. Then, to get into the hotel we had to go down a hill and around a corner or shlep luggage down a flight of stairs. Not handicap friendly at all. This was also the case, on Saturday to go to the ship. Wheelchair help at port was excellent. In Victoria, BC we were told a wheel chair would take my husband from the theater to the bus for our excursion. No one came. He had to walk. No handicap seating on bus. Sat in last row, Husband didn't get off at either of the 2 stops. I advise anyone with a mobility issue to NOT take the city tour, post cruise in Seattle. Again, we were the last on the bus because we needed the chair. I had to put the luggage on the bus, myself. Bus driver didn't offer to help. Again, last ones on, back to the bus. Again, not handicap friendly. Along walk up a hil and around the Space Needle to get into building and then a walk all the way around again. If when asked, the driver had told us there was an easier way, my husband would have enjoyed the tour. Instead he was in such pain he was unable to get off at Pikes Market. During the hour on the bus, the driver never spoke to him. Finally when we got to airport, driver tore one piece of luggage grabbing it from the side no the handles. Then he told us that if we needed a cart or a chair we needed to call the airline. It was not his job! Ruined our entire vacation with his arrogance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My first cruise was everything I ever hoped it would be! The entire staff went above and beyond to make this such a memorable vacation! I was very surprised by the size of the stateroom.. Very roomy and so glad to have booked a balcony ... Read More
My first cruise was everything I ever hoped it would be! The entire staff went above and beyond to make this such a memorable vacation! I was very surprised by the size of the stateroom.. Very roomy and so glad to have booked a balcony room! Even though my daughter and I spent time all over the ship and off shore exploring the cities, it was so amazing to be able to open the sliding glass door for some fresh air and step outside to enjoy the amazing views. There was an itenerary delivered every evening so we could plan the next day events and I was amazed at how there was something to do every hour of the day if you cared to. Recently released Theatrical movies were available and there was always more than enough to eat or drink. Cruising has to be one of the most hassle-free ways to vacation! Norwegian Jewel was sensational! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Alaska is beautiful and cruising with NCL was the best decision ever! Traveled with my husband and had a balcony room on the 9th floor right before the aft facing rooms. Was a good walk from the elevators but was a good thing for us as ... Read More
Alaska is beautiful and cruising with NCL was the best decision ever! Traveled with my husband and had a balcony room on the 9th floor right before the aft facing rooms. Was a good walk from the elevators but was a good thing for us as we ate alot and never visited the gym. The walk was very much needed after all the eating we did. The room location was great with respect to no disturbance, great room service, great room steward (steward in rooms near the aft facing balcony/suite was assigned to us and he was great), good food. We carried water bottles from home and filled it up on a regular basis from the water provided in the restaurants (that's if you don't buy the water package NCL gives). Had the Dining package and extremely enjoyed eating at Cagney's, Le Bistro and La Cucina. We preferred siting by the windows and had an eye out for whales the whole time. Great restaurant service. If Indian or love Indian food, the bouquet had Indian options during breakfast, lunch AND Dinner. Were a little disappointed with the music at Spinnaker Lounge first 2 days (played old music-which I am okay about but repeated most of the songs). Thoroughly enjoyed the white dance party at Spinnaker on the 2nd sea day. Made sure to attend all the night shows that took place at the Theater. Sat on the stairs twice cos we reached later than 15mins before the start of the show, and didn't mind sitting on the floor :). The hot tubs were great the the top deck. Shore excursions - did the White pass train ride at Skagway- totally worth the ride. Luckily sat in the last train cabin which had fewer people and had the outside platform fully to ourselves. Victoria (walked for 4hrs) & Ketchikan (walked for 3 hrs) - we downloaded an online walking tour guide and walked around the whole city taking pictures. Lots of totem poles and a fun walk. Ketchikan - if planing to buy jewelry, make sure to bargain a lot. Juneau- we took the $10 bus ride to Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and then hiked to the Falls. Saw beautiful icebergs during the walk. The port time given by NCL is more than enough to see the ports. Overall a great experience and plan to cruise with NCL hopefully soon again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my first cruise experience and it was seriously amazing! We flew in a day early so we wouldn't have to worry about missing the ship (which was good because we were delayed numerous times in our flights). Taking two toddlers ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience and it was seriously amazing! We flew in a day early so we wouldn't have to worry about missing the ship (which was good because we were delayed numerous times in our flights). Taking two toddlers thru check in to board ship was a bit crazy and the girl messed up our information so we were there a bit longer then other passengers but it wasn't to horrible of a wait. Once aboard the ship we found out that we had a spectacular view out of our balcony and our ship room was actually larger then the hotel room we stayed in the night before disembarkation. There were so many awesome activites on board that I actually didn't even get a chance to do everything I wanted. I did catch several live shows and my favorite was Luminescence! Those two performers were amazing. Bingo and Deal or No Deal weren't worth the cost of playing them, but now I know for next time. The weather at the end of May for Alaska and Canada was just beautiful. All the ports we stopped at had amazing scenery. The food was excellent in the buffet and the included restaurants! My 3 yo loved Splash Academy and still talks about going back, she doesn't understand that it was a cruise only experience. I was very glad they had a disembarkation option of carrying your own luggage. The process was relatively smooth and we even had to pick up a confiscated item that my husband forgot was in his checked luggage. The crew on board the Jewel were top notch. Everyone was so friendly and they even remembered my two kids' names. I was always impressed when the people giving out hand sanitizer would greet them by name. Some of them even sang which was fun. Our room steward also remembered my kids' names and even knew that my parents were staying in the adjacent room! In conclusion, I would go on a Norwegian cruise again in a heartbeat! I couldn't have asked for a better experience and all the crew on board were fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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

Find a Norwegian Jewel Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click