39 Norwegian Jewel Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

100% enjoyed this cruise, which was a repositioning cruise at the end of the Alaska season. I booked it as a whim, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date. The Jewel is just the right size for me as a solo ... Read More
100% enjoyed this cruise, which was a repositioning cruise at the end of the Alaska season. I booked it as a whim, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date. The Jewel is just the right size for me as a solo traveler: not so huge that you get lost for days. She looks beautiful after her recent drydock & everything was spic and span. Jewel also boasts one of the friendliest & most awesome crews at sea. I had an obstructed oceanview cabin, which was plenty of room for me. The location was mostly quiet, but I would occasionally be surprised by a worker right outside my window doing maintenance on the lifeboat. Oops, sorry about leaving the curtain open that one time. Service from the cabin steward was unobtrusive to the point of being invisible... he never introduced himself, but I assumed the guy who was greeting me by name in the hallway was my steward. The room was always made up or turned down when I returned from wherever had been, though. Service everywhere else was excellent -- friendly bartenders & great staff in the dining venues. I also met up with the solo cruiser's social group, which met every night prior to dinner time. Brenda, the solo coordinator, was a BIG part of the reason this cruise was so awesome. She really helped bring a fun group together & made it easy to find a friend to have dinner with, hang out at a show, or whatever. The food was about the same as other NCL cruises I've done: pretty good, not awesome. The menus aren't particularly adventurous. I mostly stayed away from the MDRs, because I find them a little lackluster, and stuck to specialty dining or the Asian venue. The sushi was particularly good! Entertainment was uniformly excellent. Jewel, as a smaller NCL ship, doesn't have the big Broadway-style shows... instead it has several song-and-dance revues, which I loved. Le Cirque Bijou was amazing. The weather wasn't particularly conducive to sunning by the pool... so I don't think I was on the pool deck all week. A few hardy souls tried the hot tubs, but for the most part it was empty! Would have been different in sunnier climes, I'm sure. Overall, a very relaxing & enjoyable cruise on a lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that ... Read More
We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that deserve 0 stars. First, the good news. I was highly impressed by the efficiency in embarkation and disembarkation. It went so smoothly! Very orderly and methodical. This was the first time that we were able to get on board at Noon, eat lunch, and go directly to our cabin by 1 PM. Disembarkation was simple too, using the Walk Off program. US Customs came onboard and the process was very easy. The ship was super-clean and tastefully decorated. The cabin was a standard balcony cabin, small but in perfect condition. The room steward, Eric, was excellent, too! Very friendly and hard working! We appreciated his efforts. End of good news. Sadly, there is more bad news than good. Let's start with the food. The breakfast buffet was always excellent, but lunch and dinner food was low quality. You could really tell that Norwegian was trying to stretch a dollar. For example, in the Azura dining room, they served scallops as an appetizer. Sounds good, right? It might have been if they weren't BAY SCALLOPS! That's right, five teeny, tiny bay scallops on a plate. If you can't serve real SEA SCALLOPS, then don't bother serving scallops at all! Cuts of meat were pounded paper thin and there were no expensive fish dishes in the main dining rooms. Lots of tilapia-type dishes, but no shrimp cocktail, lobster, etc. Unlike the luxury cruises, which of course, Norwegian is not. Now to the specialty restaurants that we tried: The Chin Chin restaurant (Asian) is horrible. I took one bite of the chicken dish and spit it out. Disgusting! If you are used to good Asian cuisine, don't bother going here, even though it is free. Cagney's Steakhouse was OK, but not great. A sad note about Cagney's - if you are a Platinum Latitudes member, you get a comp for Cagney's. This would be good BUT the comp limits you to only $35 per person. Which doesn't go far in a steakhouse. Be aware if you use the comp. The Brazilian steakhouse was the high point of dining. It is excellent. However, if you use your Latitudes comp, be aware that it only covers about one half the cost of dinner, which is typically $39 per person. The absolute WORSE thing about the ship is the Spa. What a joke. The hot tubs weren't hot, the saunas were broken, and there was a male crew member in the Ladies locker room while there were women in it getting dressed! I complained to the Spa manager, and asked for a refund. She said that she couldn't refund me for my thermal spa package, since I had bought it online, so I had to wait until I got home to call Norwegian. (I went to Guest Services onboard, though, who quickly processed a refund. Strange that they could help me but the Spa Manager could not.) My final complaint about the ship is the choice of onboard activities. I would honestly guess that half of the activities are designed to sell you something. For example, the Look 10 Years Younger seminar is a sales pitch for Botox. The Wine and Chocolate Paring is a chance to sell you a $19 sample of wine and chocolate. The list goes on and on. I was really getting tired of being "nickeled and dimed at activities", so I stopped going. We will take another Norwegian cruise for sure, but we have learned what to do, and not do, while on board these ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip ... Read More
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip was booked well in advance as it was our first time to be able to take advantage of a repositioning cruise. The trip went from Vancouver, to Victoria, to Astoria. Then there was a sea day before visiting San Francisco and Monterrey and finishing in Los Angeles. We flew up to Vancouver a couple of days early and stayed at the Accent Inn out near the airport. Nice place- fun “punny” signage and easy access. We rented a car out at the airport and spent Sunday seeing the sites in Vancouver. Stanley Park was very nice with the fall foliage adding some color. On Monday we took the AirTrain to the Cruiseport. It could not have been any easier. We checked in earlier than we had planned, and apparently many others did as well. There used to be special lines that NCL would use for repeat customers that were members of Latitudes, but this time the only ones able to skip the lines were Haven and Suites guests. We were in line for over an hour, though it was constantly moving. We carried our bags on ourselves, and the rooms were immediately available when we boarded about 2:00. Our friends hadn’t been on the ship before, so we toured and saw some of the newly improved areas from the last drydock. We were a little late setting sail, but not as late as the Norwegian Joy had been the day before. They missed low tide and had to sit in Vancouver overnight since they couldn’t fit under the bridge. The word from the unhappy customers was that they were losing their day in Victoria due to the problem. It was no problem for the Jewel and we were only about an hour late- and Victoria was plenty close. We dined in the main dining room that evening and I think we got the best seat in the house- at the very back of the ship with a tremendous view. This is where they used to place the Captain’s Table back in the days before Freestyle dining. Victoria was glorious. We have visited there before, but this was the first time we ventured out to Butchart Gardens. Simply said- they were magnificent. We will return there on future visits to Victoria. We had about 30 minutes of rain, but that was the only weather we had all trip long. Not bad for early October in the Pacific Northwest. Astoria didn’t have a car available to rent by the time I got around to shopping for one. We went on the ship’s tour out to Fort Stevens. There isn’t much to see, and having a car would have been cheaper, but it turned out well. We visited the “Tower” in town and had some beautiful views both from the base and after we went up the 164 step circular staircase to the top. Then we headed across the bridge to Ft. Stevens State Park. The waves crashing on the beach was something out of a movie. The actual Fort Stevens stop was not that interesting. Our tour guide, Dita, was funny so she made the trip better than it would have been. We took the local transit bus into town, but instead of being on the bus we were give a ride in a 1926 Dodge Brothers car. That was a blast. The drive pointed out a fish and chips place just across the street from the Maritime Museum that is a converted fishing boat- and we had a wonderful lunch there. We spent the sea day quietly. The hot tubs were not overly crowded so we were able to stay in for as long as we liked. Then just some reading and relaxing, along with a single visit to the nicely furnished fitness facility. San Francisco has become such a disaster that we decided to stay only in the touristy areas. We hadn’t ridden the trolley cars for years so we rode on up, then watched the Marine Band give a mini-concert and rode another back down. We then walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf and had a great lunch of Clam Chowder and Sourdough bowls at Boudin’s on the Wharf. We then returned back to the ship in anticipation of the air show that was being put on due to it being “Fleet Week” in the Bay Area. The Blue Angels did not disappoint and the fantail area up on Deck 12 was the perfect place to watch it. The ship even got buzzed at the start of the show- when no one was expecting it so we got off to a rousing start. Monterrey once again did not have a car available. The only car rental there was an Enterprise office that you could not pick up a car before 9, and had to return it by 12. We just decided to stay onboard ship and relax again. Getting off in Los Angeles was simple. Again we just carried our bags off and left when we wanted to. Since we live only about 30 miles away our son came over and picked us up about 8 AM. We had the Specialty Dining Package for three nights. The Teppanyaki Grill was fabulous, probably the best meat and meal available on the ship, and the presentation was done well. They have their shtick down to a science. We also dined at Le Bistro one night and had a very good meal. La Cucina- now that is a different story. This was the last time I let my friends choose which specialty restaurant to go to as it was really not good at all. To give you an idea the best tasting thing on the menu was the antipasti appetizer! We dined in the main dining room twice and thought the food and service was better than our last couple of trips on the Jewel. The other night we walked up to Chin Chin early without a reservation. The food was good, but the service was non-existent. Both times we ordered food different foods came out from what we had ordered. Geronimo just didn’t have a clue! The MDR was a better experience, contrary to our last visit on the Jewel. The buffet was where we ate breakfast each morning. The food is the same every day so it is a struggle to change things up a little. I do appreciate that you can order freshly cooked eggs at the Omelette station. I’ll have mine over easy please! Entertainment was pretty good, but not outstanding. We don’t do magic or comedy shows but enjoy the musical performances. Candice Glover, from American Idol Season 12, was the headliner the last couple of nights. She has an amazing voice, but has very little stage presence. She needed to have Dan the Man, the Cruise Director, up there cracking jokes to keep the audience entertained….but he wasn’t there…… The room, an Oceanview on Deck 5, was just fine. We got a guaranteed room last time and got stuck behind a support structure so we appreciated the big window in the room. The attendant never introduced himself but everything was cleaned up every time we came back to the room. They have a hard job so his efforts were appreciated. The safe in the room was not in working order, but we just dealt with it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise partly because it conveniently started in my home town, Vancouver, and ended up in my bud's town, LA. We try to take a trip every year someplace together, and I had never been on a cruise before. The price seemed ... Read More
I chose this cruise partly because it conveniently started in my home town, Vancouver, and ended up in my bud's town, LA. We try to take a trip every year someplace together, and I had never been on a cruise before. The price seemed reasonable, so we booked it. Ports visited: Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Monterey, LA. We were both very happy with this cruise experience. We loved our very comfortable upgraded cabin, Obstructed Oceanview, with wood panelling and lots of storage space. We liked most of the restaurants, particularly Tsar's Palace, and Azura. However, I found Chin Chin to be very ho hum. Being from Vancouver, there is a high bar for Asian food, though. We did tend to spend a fair bit of time hanging out in the large buffet style Garden Cafe on the 12th Deck, since it was convenient, had nice views, was attached to the aft deck area, and a LARGE variety of food for every mealtime, as well as sublime desserts. (and a good espresso machine) I must say the crew on-board was very friendly and attentive: the real jewels here! Smooth embarkation, disembarkation and customs experience. The entertainment greatly exceeded our expectations. We took in Dinner and a Show every night, which was a real treat. The performers on the shows, Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Cirque de Bijou, were outstanding singers and dancers. I wanted to find out who the stars in this cast were, but there is no info on the NCL site. Also Russians Vlad and Anna, classically trained dancers and acrobats, blew us away. Entertainment in the lounges was also quite enjoyable. We became Aldo fans after his Latin hits performance. I had bought a new bathing suit just for this cruise, so I HAD to check out the poolside for a day. Fortunately we had mostly nice sunny days and up on the 12th deck pool and hot tub area I have to admit it was quite glorious. I was able to spend some time working out in the well equipped fitness centre, and there are places on deck to walk and jog if you need to work off your overindulgence at the restaurants. We were fortunate we had good weather for our 2 excursions onshore and both were very good. I particularly liked the Dim Sum and tour in San Francisco. We brunched at the New Asia in Chinatown, which when I remarked to some of my table mates that it was very "authentic" and "funky", were less than kind about the atmosphere/decor: they did not seem to appreciate its "authenticity". The Dim Sum though was scrumptious, and I myself had no complaints! Overall, we loved this cruise, and will do it again if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose the cruise for it's Itinerary- chose daring excursions, helicoptor ride over the glacier, glacial climbing, canoeing, off roading on the logging trails. Alaska landscape does not disapoint- enamored by Alaska's beauty !! ... Read More
Chose the cruise for it's Itinerary- chose daring excursions, helicoptor ride over the glacier, glacial climbing, canoeing, off roading on the logging trails. Alaska landscape does not disapoint- enamored by Alaska's beauty !! Had been to Alaska before, but this trip took the cake. Russia's Petropavlovsk was a small town people very friendly there surprised that there was lack of souvenirs. Japan was eye opening - took an excursion to Towana Lake & Gorge, what a way to see the beautiful greenery & streams - just stunning ! The tour included an authentic Japanese lunch which was so delicious. Never can get food like that back in the states. Entertainment: the boat had a good selection of entertainment Hypnotist Richard Barker was the best ! Barker put on a great show - went to both show times loved it that much. Barker then put on a late evening only adults show - and another slam dunk, just fun & fascinating. Hypnotist Richard Barker was a standout! He also did a seminar on Weight Loss which was very interesting and well attended. Other Entermaint standouts: The Russian Acrobatic Duo - just a wonderful pair wowing the audience, there was also an excellent Circ de Soliel thouroughly entertaining excellent quality and wow factor, too. There was even a group that did all Bee Gees songs and everyone stood for all the Saturday Night Fever tunes - loads of fun Restaurant Standout: Cagney's Steakhouse a premium restaurant if you take the dining package - did this one 2 times. Non Standouts: Basic food on the boat, disappointed with Garden Cafe, and even the grand dining rooms, seems if I order chicken it's anything but the breast meat, soups are cold, food lacks seasoning, service varied in terms of how long one had to wait for what they ordered, staff seem overworked since it appeared most seating were not staffed enough and therefore not all experiences were quality of any sort. Gettting a seat is another issue - most times ate outside on the deck - sometimes had to wear a jacket due to cold & wind, too :-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was okay, but not the best. We enjoyed the slow Pacific crossing, but having been on 2 previous Alaska cruises, that part wasn't a highlight. Petropavlovsk was a great stop because of the great weather and the stops in Japan were interesting and surprisingly different from each other, making it a good introduction to Japan. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Sadly, our embarkation in Vancouver was a disaster due to slow processing blamed on inadequate numbers of staff. As a Vancouverite, I was embarrassed by both the slow service and the obnoxious cruise terminal staff directing traffic. Vancouver really needs to do better. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but the quality of the presentations was only average. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center was replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We enjoyed a transatlantic Cruise on the Epic in April 2018, so decided to try the transpacific. This cruise was far better than the first. The ship was one of the medium size ones with about 2400 passengers as compared to the Epic with ... Read More
We enjoyed a transatlantic Cruise on the Epic in April 2018, so decided to try the transpacific. This cruise was far better than the first. The ship was one of the medium size ones with about 2400 passengers as compared to the Epic with about 4000. Unlike the Epic, most of the Jewel’s public areas were appropriately sized, some seats were normally, but not always, available in most bars, restaurants & entertainment without excessive waiting. Our mini suite on deck 11 was spacious & well laid out; I even had a bathtub! Food was very good, although menus did seem to start repeating toward the end of the 19 day cruise. Some passengers continued on for another 16 days. I think that might be too long on the same ship at one time. The music, shows & other activities were excellent and suited my tastes. Offering of shore excursions was varied & interesting. Cruise director, Dan the Man, was on top of everything, even the route change due to a typhoon! Staff was very friendly and service was excellent. A medical emergency which required an extra stop was handled well with good passenger communication as was the threat posed by a large typhoon. NCI made it clear that safety was their top priority. We really enjoyed the cruise, loved the Jewel & are looking forward to cruising with on her or a similar Norwegian ship again . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather ... Read More
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather was fantastic, NCL however was a very mixed bag. But don’t get me wrong, even a mediocre day on a cruise is pretty damn good. Internet Service - we paid for the unlimited streaming service advertised / offered. NCL should not advertise and collect large sums of money for services when it can’t come anywhere clise to delivering them. Yes I’m aware of the technical challenges of providing internet service at sea, but I believed NCL’s advertising because their competition also advertises this service. Unlike NCL however their competition actually privides it (and charges less). Main dining restaurant service was suprisingly bad. It got very old missing the evening shows because dinner service was soooo slow. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has ... Read More
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has begun to show its age. Room and food service were excellent Food was less sophisticated than say Holland Cruiselines but selection was broader to accomodate more nationalities. Entertainment was above average as were the enrichment activities- very iportant on a repositioning cruise. Disembarkation was orderly. Shuttle buses to connect city transportation were welcome. Excursions were much more expensive than what one could buy on shore. In Petropavlovsk thtat was not a choice but the excursion to Kaytak village was worth the money. The seamanship was excellent particularly how the crew managed to avoid a typhoon and yet to make every schediuled port with enough on-shore time. USD14.50 per-day charge is much larger than what we paid elsewhere just a year ago. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The itinerary was great! This was a repositioning cruise, and we thought was a great cruise for a great price. 19 nights sailing through Alaska, Russia, and ending in Japan. We stopped at 4 different stops in Alaska, one stop in Russia, ... Read More
The itinerary was great! This was a repositioning cruise, and we thought was a great cruise for a great price. 19 nights sailing through Alaska, Russia, and ending in Japan. We stopped at 4 different stops in Alaska, one stop in Russia, and 4 stops in Japan. This was everything we hoped it be. Great stops with fantastic tours. And the days at sea were just as enjoyable. The ships entertainment was top notch. We saw a show every night, and the shows were fantastic. There was a Cerque show that we saw that was as good as any major show you’d see in Vegas. The whole 19 nights seemed to just fly by. The staff was incredible, and the service was excellent. So friendly, and everyone worked so hard to make sure our journey was the best. The food was great, and all the different restaurants were fun to visit, and served delicious food. We will be doing another cruise with Norwegian very soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was the least favorite of my 4 NCL cruises (16 cruises total). This ship needs refurb. The carpets in the rooms are terrible. Some of the bad: -Food was cold or cool almost 50% of the time in the MDR. -How many times did the ... Read More
This was the least favorite of my 4 NCL cruises (16 cruises total). This ship needs refurb. The carpets in the rooms are terrible. Some of the bad: -Food was cold or cool almost 50% of the time in the MDR. -How many times did the matre d’ speak to us? Zero. In 21 days. But he visited the table next to us nightly. -JC Sanchez cruise director? Rarely left his office. Seen only at the show nightly -debarkation in Seattle took over 2 hours. My friends missed their noon NCL booked flight. -Internet was terrible. Out a solid 48 hours one time. They said they got a new satellite. It was worse after. -Volume of noice was so loud you couldn’t sleep till after midnight. In a “quiet”room -curtains had holes in them and Alaska sun shines 20 hours a day -Menus very repitative on 21 day cruise, and no fresh Alaska salmon?. -Chin Chin was really bad, and the food was half cold. Good: Fee dining was excellent Activities were lively and plentiful O’Sheehans was Great, and the staff and service excellent Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had high hopes for this cruise. From Tokyo to Seattle! Alaska is gorgeous! Unfortunately when all was said and done it was really "just OK". I won't review NCL specifically here other than to say that since we first ... Read More
We had high hopes for this cruise. From Tokyo to Seattle! Alaska is gorgeous! Unfortunately when all was said and done it was really "just OK". I won't review NCL specifically here other than to say that since we first sailed NCL 5 years ago we have noticed a steady decline in quality and amenities. Their "chocolate night" is gone. The quality of the food is noticeably lower. Etc. From other cruisers I've spoken with this is not unique to NCL (HAL has been mentioned a few times by people I know). But we sailed NCL, and so that's what I will criticize. The crew was fine. That has been the one constant in all our NCL cruises. They are friendly, helpful, and just generally really nice. No complaints there at all. That said, there were significant organizational problems with disembarking in several ports. In Petropavlosk, for example, we missed our excursion because getting off the ship took over four hours. I knew someone who claims he saw what the problem was, but I won't resort to hearsay since I didn't witness it myself. I will just say there is no excuse for those sorts of delays, and the organizing of the disembarking was a mess. It wasn't as bad in most of the other ports, though Seattle was a nightmare. Again, poor organizing caused us to have a drastically shortened tour of Seattle. We were supposed to see Pike Street and some other locations, but all we had time to do was the Space Needle. No refund, or even partial refund or ship credit, was offered for either of those fiascoes which were THEIR FAULT. The food was very mediocre. Some of it was downright bad. Their eggs Benedict was raw. Not just once, but each of the three or four times we checked it out. A runny yoke is expected, but most of the white was runny too. That's not right. There was a variety of dishes available, but the seasoning was almost always very mild. Mild to the point that you couldn't really tell it was seasoned many times. Even in the premium restaurants (which we ate a few times). All in all, unacceptable. I can't pin this only on the Jewel, or this cruise. As I said, we've sailed NCL several times over the past five years, several different ships, and we've noted the steady decline in food quality with each successive cruise. Unless something changed we probably would not do this sort of itinerary on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting Japan and Alaska. This was our 11th cruise, all previous cruises with Royal Carribbean and Princess Cruises. The embarkation process in Yokohama took over 2 hours, we had previously ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting Japan and Alaska. This was our 11th cruise, all previous cruises with Royal Carribbean and Princess Cruises. The embarkation process in Yokohama took over 2 hours, we had previously experienced 30 minutes maximum on other cruises. The same applied to disembarking we were left mid way on the gangway for 40 minutes with no explanation. The communication on the ship was very poor with instructions often contradictory. We finally met our cabin attendant on the 4th day which is not the usual practice on other cruise lines. The service in the dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner was non existent, orders were 80% of the time incorrectly prepared. The food was tasteless and uninteresting. Free style dining may have had something to do with this as we were not allocated with the same waiters at each meal and there appeared to be no personalised service provided. The customer service staff were sullen and quite grumpy given the nature of their job - to provide customer service. The Asian complimentary restaurant was also very tasteless, we had few meals there to get away from the dining room however we reverted to paying at the Specialty restaurants in a bid to find something of quality to eat. Entertainment in the theatre was just average, the two gymnastic performances were excellent. The plus was the music provided by the bands and guitar player/singer in the various bars each evening. We would definitely not travel with Norwegian again given there are a number of other cruise lines that offer a better experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a very clean, happy ship. The washy-washy staff even had a guitar and would serenade us as we entered the buffet. We ate at all of the complimentary venues except Azura. All of them had tasty choices. My favorite for embarkation ... Read More
This was a very clean, happy ship. The washy-washy staff even had a guitar and would serenade us as we entered the buffet. We ate at all of the complimentary venues except Azura. All of them had tasty choices. My favorite for embarkation day is always the Shrimp Sandwich on Pretzel Bun in the Tsars. Even though the lunch menu there does not change, I never had the same thing twice. The Chin Chin was good and the fried calamari was plentiful. We also ate at O’Sheehans and the burger was good. We ate all our dinners at Tsars. There are scones, cookies and fruit daily in the Great Outdoors at 3PM. Stephen Jacobsen was our Hotel Director and made sure that every staff member under him was a team player and he gave out his phone number freely to make sure there were no problems that went unresolved. He was out in the public areas almost all the time interacting with cruisers and staff. We didn’t have any problem finding loungers at the pool. The comedian and comedian-Magician were both very good. The Latitudes’ Party had cheese and crackers and of course drinks. We had fun doing a few trivia games. We did all NCL excursions and they turned out fine. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Repositioning cruise is a great value and a fabulous itinerary with San Francisco and Victoria stops. We only had to purchase one-way flights home since we were able to embark from our local port of Los Angeles. I don't need a bikini, ... Read More
Repositioning cruise is a great value and a fabulous itinerary with San Francisco and Victoria stops. We only had to purchase one-way flights home since we were able to embark from our local port of Los Angeles. I don't need a bikini, binge-drinking cruise at my age so I enjoyed the cool, northwest climates. Although, we had very nice, warm weather on our excursion days. We could not believe the menus and the food offerings. They were tremendous. We chose the Unlimited Dining Package to take advantage of the discount on three specialty dining restaurants: Moderno, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. Each one was fabulous with unbelievably delicious choices and the best service possible. We have been boasting ever since we disembarked. We felt a little like royalty in Tsar's Palace with the Salmon Benedict! We truly enjoyed the musical entertainers, especially Lisa Volk on piano and R. R. on guitar. The Cirque de Bijoux was particularly impressive with the singers, dancers and acrobatics. We were touched by the staff filling the stage and theater, and then lining the hallway afterward. I know they must do this every week, but man, I'm a softie. The ship was a beauty, and always so clean! Our cabin steward, Charlton, was perfect and very stealthy. He always managed to monitor when we would be out to tidy up and provide new sheets and towels. He always had a joke for us when we saw him, too. I'm sure there could be a few more modern touches to the Jewel relating to technology, but we enjoyed un-plugging during the cruise since the WiFi is WAY too expensive. We spent time in the Thermal Spa Suite with two passes. I can't tell you how wonderful the steam room and heated mosaic lounge chairs and jacuzzi pool were. I also took advantage of the Med Spa services. Anyone who needs a happy place should steam and dunk and lay on a heated lounge chair. Brink your shades because on a sunny day, the light reflecting from the ocean is very bright and beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because it went where we wanted to go. We loved it. Our first time with Norwegian. Why had no one told us before? We have only ever cruised with Princess. We will definitely go Norwegian again. The rooms are a little ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went where we wanted to go. We loved it. Our first time with Norwegian. Why had no one told us before? We have only ever cruised with Princess. We will definitely go Norwegian again. The rooms are a little smaller, but who cares? The bathrooms are MUCH larger. Actually spent time lounging in the shower. So many food options too. Staff was friendly attentive. Cirque shows and musicals were outstanding. We never felt crowded and never waited in a line-up. I hate buffets and yet these had beautiful and delicious ethnic foods. And (OMG!!) an espresso machine for your morning coffee included. Help yourself. We also loved being able to get on and off the ship with such ease. No hassles. It seems they just assume you know what you are doing so no one is directing you at every corner. Thank you, Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east ... Read More
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east coast the day before arriving at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles airport well after 11:00 p.m. Good choice, we had points, so a freebie, but the location was great and the shuttle to airport in the morning to meet NCL shuttle was best way for us. We paid $25 each to have NCL shuttle us from LAX to San Pedro port. About half hour bus ride, but with all NCL folk. Could have gotten Super Shuttle for $18 or so, but they would have stopped at hotels along the way. Plus I felt more comfortable having NCL be in charge. Check in was fairly easy, we are Latitude and got through the line quick, but lines weren't bad for others not Latitude at about 11:30. We traveled light, carry on and backpack for the 7 days, so no experience with the luggage drop this time, although it looked pretty crowded and confusing for first timers. Our room was on the 11 deck and a mini suite. Always book balcony, so this was a first and OMG to have a big bathroom, with a full size tub and separate toilet area made all the difference. It will be hard to go back. We had more storage than we've ever had although the balcony was a bit smaller, but adequate. Grabbed lunch in Tsar's for a nice sit down lunch and avoided the buffet crowds. Met some nice folk in the line checking in and ended up having quite a few meals together. Couple sea days were much needed for us and we didn't mind. Lots of activities on board if you wanted to participate. First port was Puerta Vallarta, we usually don't book excursions, but a $50 credit enticed us. Glad for our choice of John Huston's property, Las Caletas. for $139 each. Nice 1/2 hour double decker boat ride to island, music on board. I would do this excursion again. We had a great time partaking in the cooking class with the chef. No crowds. Made seafood paella, guacamole, salsa and sea bass ceviche. Wandered around the property which wasn't crowded at all. Many little areas with hammocks overlooking and overhanging the water, nice walking paths, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkle, swimming etc, all included in the price. Lots of life guards everywhere watching. There are some huge rocks in the water, so be aware and wear water shoes. Also had about 4-5 little "islands" that you could swim out to, really a large float that had a palm tree, hammock, umbrella and deck chairs to sit on. Very tropical. Food was awesome at many little areas and open air restaurants, also included was food and mucho drinks. Please tip the guys tho, they worked so very hard the whole time we were there. Walked to the top where they had zip line, giant slide that spit you out in the water - was going to do it until I climbed to the top and asked a couple guys who had just finished. They were pretty macho, and said it was fun, but the force of hitting the water was pretty intense. That's all I needed to hear as I didn't want to end up in a Mexican hospital. Loved this excursion and loved that once we got there, we didn't have to pull out our wallets for anything! Mazatlan- winged it and probably should have planned better or stayed on board. Planned on going to Stone Island as I had read reviews on how to get there and planned on going to Lety's restaurant, but ended up wandering around like a tourist near port - not much there. Cabo San Lucas - was windy and cool. Excursions cancelled. Had planned on renting a catamaran, but it was a no go. Lots of long sleeve and sweatshirts sold there. Took a pedal bike for $8 to Old Town, which we thought would be a town, maybe church, historical stuff. Ended up being vendor market, with anything from meat, poultry to clothing. Stunk to high heaven. Grabbed a cab back and wandered around the Marina and shops near the port. You really need to get out of the port area or have a plan. Weather didn't cooperate for many. Another sea day and back to San Pedro. Entertainment - Ended up being picked for the Newly Wed game and that was fun as it always is. Husband always shy, but agreed this time - go figure. Good memories and a DVD to show at holidays with our kids! We love NCL's entertainment. The "kids" in the song/dance troupe were very good and we enjoyed each night something new and different. The comedian Sam's early shows were hysterical and his late night adult show even better. Don't come late unless you want to be made fun of. JP was a magic/comedian and was also very entertaining - no we couldn't figure out his tricks. Will be on Penn & Teller coming up. I think NCL had it's act together and the staff was spectacular. We met the Cruise Critic people and the Officers the second day, they arranged a private tour of the galley for us on the last sea day. I have NEVER seen such a clean "restaurant" their last score was 100% and I can see why. Latitude cocktail party always a nice touch as they try to make you feel special.Captain was very nice and seemed to take much time with each guest we saw him interacting with. He was hoping to dock and be there for the birth of his first grandchild, so I hope he made it. Good staff, all seemed happy and under control. We enjoyed the complimentary restaurants and ate mostly at Tsars and Chin Chin. Usually got breakfast at the back of the ship and ate it there. Very nice bartenders there and quieter. Went to every show available and enjoyed them all. Bought a couple "future cruise" deals they were promoting. Can use within 4 years, so that keeps us coming back. Probably do Pride of America again (#4) to Hawaii as we love that one and our special balcony room which I won't mention the number here! Or Greek Islands, depending on how the world situation is. The NCL staff was super friendly, accommodating. Pedro the cruise director was really good, restaurant staff, bartenders (First time for beverage package, and I will say it was worth it, but not in the calories). Can't really say we had any issues, but then again, we go on a cruise not trying to be picky and complaining. You're on a cruise people, things happen, roll with it or make yourself miserable. It's a floating hotel, you're not unpacking, or driving. Relax. P.S. Getting off the boat was another matter I almost forgot - if you have a flight - leave early because we were backed up quite a bit. When you leave gangway, don't wait for an elevator - find the escalators - I think to the far left as you leave gangway. We got shuttled into a line that was for elevators and we didn't know there was an option until too late. Every wheelchair, handicapped, elderly person got to the front of the line we were in and only so many could fit in 1 elevator. Also you will be in a long que to go through customs once you get off the elevator/escalator. Don't cut your flight close by staying on the boat too long. Good half hour plus in custom line, plus the elevator line, made for an hour plus after we left the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Needed a short refresher cruise from a home port. We have sailed on several NCL ships including the Sky, Sun, Gem, Jade, Epic, Star, POA, and this last cruise on the Jewel. NCL has been consistent in their delivery of a nice lower cost ... Read More
Needed a short refresher cruise from a home port. We have sailed on several NCL ships including the Sky, Sun, Gem, Jade, Epic, Star, POA, and this last cruise on the Jewel. NCL has been consistent in their delivery of a nice lower cost product with a casual atmosphere, a little too casual in some venues....We have also sailed Princess, Disney and will be trying Celebrity in September 2017. The entertainment was adequate. The comedians Sam Fedele and Bob Brizendine, were FANTASTIC! Could have watched these Comedians all cruise. Luminescence was very good. The NCL group Souled Out was Fantastic! The Alambres trio were very good. The production show Band on the Run was TERRIBLE, Hokey and the Choreography of these talented kids was insulting to their talents. Le Cirque Bijou wasn't much better and we left after the Hokiness of Band on the Run. The food was typical, very good and ate too much of it. I do wish they did have a basic dress code, the tight tank tops on Men that looked dirty (also go by another name) should not be allowed in main dining rooms, very tacky. The service was pretty good in most venues with a few hiccups at O'Sheehans. The bar service was good, bought drinks individually and thought the $$ was fair. The food and dining experience was MUCH better in the Pay for Play venues. I liked Teppanyaki and Cagney's the best. Overall we had a great time, I make my own fun so really didn't have a big agenda. I wouldn't chose this ship until after a major refurbishment, I would chose another NCL ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I've wanted to do a Pacific Coastal since I started cruising. When I look at the Jewel the time and schedule were right along with the cost so I went for it. I got the beverage package and enjoyed that with many good drinks, and a ... Read More
I've wanted to do a Pacific Coastal since I started cruising. When I look at the Jewel the time and schedule were right along with the cost so I went for it. I got the beverage package and enjoyed that with many good drinks, and a couple of not so good pre-mixed ones, ick. I do wish NCL would allow for coffee drinks on the package but I was able to get a regular coffee with Baileys on the package at the Atruim. I had originally purchased an interior room but it went directly to a guarantee instead of letting me choose my cabin. That was fine with me since I didn't have any location requirements. When it finally was assigned about 70 days out, they had put me in a porthole cabin which I wound up liking very much. I also purchased a spa pass and enjoyed the spa thermal suite at least once a day. Since I had gone over the 250 minutes on my last cruise I just purchased the unlimited internet and decided I would do a live thread on the Norwegian board. It's titled "Live from the Jewel - 4/30/17 Pacific Coastal" there and under my CC name CoffeeGoddess. We did a cabin crawl and most of the cabins were really nice, except for the balcony on the balcony cabin. the coating had peeled up in places and the people in there talked about sticking to the floor when it heated up. Actually the entire Deck 14 forward on the ship was just like that with the coating missing in many places. Food was good, I ate in Azure twice for dinner and it was excellent with great service both times. Tsar's once at embarkation and it was super slow service; Sushi once and took a bit for the chef to come since I was sat exactly as they opened but the sushi was worth the wait. I also ate in O'seehans once and service there was also slow and the Garden Buffet always had a crowd but the food was good and I could always find a seat. The only real issue on this cruise was when I was waiting for the Group Coordinator, Luis, for our CC M&G. He was late, hadn't put up any signage, and when he finally showed blamed me because I hadn't called him back. Turns out after hearing from a couple of other people who had set up M&Gs with him on other sailings this very typical of him. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
we came with a party of 38 people the service on board was excellent, the food at the buffet had a lot to offer and was very good, and the fine dinning was excellent but some of the servers could have been a little more friendly, the on ... Read More
we came with a party of 38 people the service on board was excellent, the food at the buffet had a lot to offer and was very good, and the fine dinning was excellent but some of the servers could have been a little more friendly, the on board activities had a lot to offer or you could sit back and enjoy the cruise. This was my 3rd cruise and my first with Norwegian and was by far the best. Our Cabin was always clean as was the bath room the stewards could have not done any more to make us feel welcome. Being a smoker there were a few places one could go with out being a social out cast. My partner and I were very happy with the service so much so we will be going with Norwegian on our next cruise to Alaska next year. Would like to thank all the crew for a wonderful break Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I are Gold card holders with Carnival having been on 15+ cruises with them over the last 7 years so when we decided to try something different we went with NCL because the port in Long Beach California is so close by. As a ... Read More
My wife and I are Gold card holders with Carnival having been on 15+ cruises with them over the last 7 years so when we decided to try something different we went with NCL because the port in Long Beach California is so close by. As a note to understand some of my perspectives we are both in our early 50’s. My goal with this is to try and relate many of the questions that I had about the differences between the cruise lines and the overall ship experience. Frankly this is something that I looked all over the internet for and couldn’t find much about. First and foremost, here is what I believe is the main difference between the two; Carnival is setup as a weeklong party and NCL is set up as a weeklong vacation. I know that doesn’t completely make sense but try to think about it. NCL was all about relaxation and Carnival is all about partying. For myself, I don’t believe this changes the overall ratings of the cruises it just made things feel a little different. It is hard to walk around on a Carnival ship without being asked if you want a drink, on NCL… I had to wait multiple times in line at a bar because they didn’t have the bar staff approaching people that were sitting down. I sat 18 feet from the bar (yes I know I could get off my butt and go to the bar but there was a line) for over 20 minutes and then finally got up since no bar staff came around. (as a side note, on day one this wasn’t the case….. I just don’t know where all the staff that was there on day one disappeared to the rest of the cruise.) This wasn’t the case in the Casino where they always had plenty of staff to get you a drink. My wife and I also joked that on Carnival you dodged strollers and on NCL you dodged walkers…… again this is not a bad thing. On day one the ship was filled with the sounds of James Taylor, ACDC, Kansas, Zeplin,….. I could go on and on but the point is I knew 90% of the music that was played on this ship. ( you could really feel that they are going after my generation) On Carnival the music is party music, calypso by the pool to give the Jamaican vibe and more modern music in the other areas. Again, this doesn’t make things better, just different. My final comparison before I actually just focus on this specific cruise and ship. The atmosphere… the visuals, the overall appearance of the ships interior. Carnival is again a party... crazy colors and bright lights and odd décor that just makes your eyes bobble a bit when you are really drunk. NCL was much more elegant, relaxing, sit a spell……. Overall I love being on a cruise ship and getting away from the world. No phone, no email, no noise of the world bugging you. I hate that they are now starting to offer internet packages on the ship…. I go to these things to get away from it all….. 15 minutes away from port your phone stops working and just let the peace of life flow over you. Now this specific cruise and ship: We had an interior cabin. I like this since I can have a few drinks in the early afternoon and go to the cabin and take a nap in darkness. Awesome. It is also so much cheaper and what the hell do people spend huge dollars for a fancy room when there is so much to do on board? Maybe I am just a cheap skate…….. I would rather spend the money on the extra dining and drinking. Dining 1. It’s a cruise ship guys…. I read some reviews and they complain the buffet wasn’t exceptional, etc… It is a buffet. That’s all. And guess what, it’s basically the same buffet on day one as day 5 and day 7. I say that to let you know you are going to get sick of it. It is good but pace yourself so you don’t eat everything on day one thinking it will be different tomorrow, it’s not. So, try one thing today, one thing tomorrow, etc... this will keep the overall feel of it fresh. Dining 2. NCL has an interesting concept where you can go to various restaurants that are included in the price and a few that you pay extra for. We went to the Chinese restaurant and were surprised that it was pretty good. I suggest this to everyone…. and its free… (remember I can be a cheap skate) We also paid for the teppanyaki. We had a great time and the food was great, not amazing, great. I suggest this also. We never went to the “dining room” so I can’t say anything about that. Embark and debark… it’s a ship. Most of the waiting is due to security. There was a line but who cares, you’re on vacation. Getting off the ship was fast and simple. We always carry our own bags. Entertainment. The magician comic was the best on board. The other shows were okay. We did fall asleep with these two acrobats that just bored the crap out of us. I WILL STATE THIS AGAIN THOUGH… THE MUSIC WAS AWESOME! It was just nice walking around the ship and finding so many great live singers playing music that I grew up with. 70’s and 80’s tunes 90 % of the time. I was happy. Fitness and Recreation. I think this is the sports category……. The only exercise I got was lifting a drink up….. have to read someone else’s review to find out about this. Overall I had an absolute blast…. I always do. If you come to relax and just enjoy life, you will be doing well. If you come to be treated to 5 star service and the most amazing food on the planet…. You better start spending some serious cash and not bother with either Carnival or NCL. It is a good time. Good food. Good Drink. Peace and quiet. One last thought… not trying to be a jerk or anything…. If you have little ones that have to be in a stroller, take them to Disneyland. I know these cruises have a kids area, I have never been inclined to visit that part of the ship, but do you really go on a cruise to push a stroller around? How about if you go on a Disney cruise, twice the price, but the kids will probably have a great deal more fun. Just a thought. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto ... Read More
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto villarta and we would be there overnight we thought ok we can deal with that. We get on ship to discover our cabo excursion was cancelled so we go down to schedule for another one and the ones we want are sold out ok we decide we will just shop in cabo and do our own thing. We go to schedule our specialty dining and they are full we have to eat at 10:00 pm and one of them were totally booked. The 2 days at sea were lacking of entertainment and the staff is so rude the bars usually only had one bartender so the wait was ridiculous. We get to Puerto Vallarta and our excursions were awesome on the second day was told to be back at the ship by 2:59 we would set sail at 3:30 pm ar 8:00pm the captain came on and said the URGENT maintenance (they had said it was routine) had taken longer and would set sail by 10:00 pm for cabo. The next morning at 8:00 am the captain came on again stating we were not able to set sail until 11:30 that night and they would have to cancel cabo. So NO MAZALTAN AND NO CABO we were at sea for 5 days of the 7. The food was by far monotonous the same thing over and over again. The staff became more rude because the guest were frustrated. We only seen one port and everyone wondered why we paid all these port fees they did agree to refund 25% of the cruise on our last day but that is really a insult seeing how we not only did not see 2 ports but also waisted a week of vacation. I have cruised many time on other cruise lines this was my first on Norweigen and it will be our last. We had planned to schedule a Alaska cruise with em them while there but I will find another cruise line for that. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I cruised on the 10 day Alaskan cruise on the jewel last year. This year we chose to fly into Seattle and spend some time then take the Amtrak to Vancouver where we spent 4 days then board the Jewel to cruise back home to ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the 10 day Alaskan cruise on the jewel last year. This year we chose to fly into Seattle and spend some time then take the Amtrak to Vancouver where we spent 4 days then board the Jewel to cruise back home to LA. We love the Jewel which is why we chose to cruise on it again. First of all I'd like to say that I think many people have super high expectations from their cruises instead of just trying to enjoy their cruise. I broke down the cost and this cruise cost 130 dollars per person per day. That price includes a room with a view-we had been given a free upgrade to a balcony a few weeks prior and we are only bronze members, transportation back to LA, food, 3 specialty meals, entertainment and unlimited beverages. It also includes all the taxes as well including service charges for the meals and beverages. When I hear people complain that they didn't get lobster or bottled water I am always sort of frustrated. It's a great deal-you are waited on and entertained and your room is cleaned twice a day, If you don't take advantage of all the cruise does offer it's on you, not the cruiseline. And one more thing-If you do your research you would know all costs including gratuities, This is not specific to NCL-all cruiselines charge prepaid gratuities now. Now about the cruise-We took the earliest check in time. Embarkation in Vancouver went pretty smoothly, We had to wait an hour or so but boarded the ship at about 11:45. We went and checked out the buffet and it was crazy so we headed to O'Sheehans and were seated with a drink in our hands and lunch ordered by noon. We love O'Sheehans. The meatloaf, pot pie, fish and chips and tuna sandwich are great and the brownie cheesecake with caramel sauce and marshmallows is to die for! As far as food last year we only ate in the main dining room once and we were with a large group which was fine. This time we ate twice in Azura-we loved it. The food was great-here's my take on it. I cook dinner every night. I don't need a fancy meal-if I am being waited on and served food that is hot and tastes good-that's a vacation. We ate lunches in the buffet or O'Sheehans, As far as the buffet goes we always found something we liked-Tip-take a jacket with you and find a table first. Leave your jacket at the table then get your food. If you try to find a table after getting your food you will be eating cold food. We ate in Modeno the first night. The meats are so good. We love the pineapple too-wonderful meal! Our next specialty restaurant was Teppanyaki-Amazing. The show was great and my husband who isn't much of a steak man said the filet mignon was the best meat he had ever tasted! The garlic rice is yummy! On the last night we ate at Cagney's. Delicious! Great service and wonderful food! As I stated we had a balcony room-you can look online and find the best rooms on the ship-there's info as to what rooms are under bars and restaurants etc. Just do your homework. We loved the shows-we went to each one. That's part of the experience. The lounge acts were fine. We enjoyed spending some time outside-it had been too cold last year! The band Prism was lots of fun-we went to see them every night and the Beatles Tribute was awesome. There was plenty of fun to be had. The cruise director Archie was around often and very friendly. We saw a few people we recognized from last year. A waiter in the Spinnaker lounge and the Hotel Director Steven. We had a word with him one day, telling him that we enjoyed our trip so much the year before and decided to cruise again on the jewel. The next day we found chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine in our room along with a note from Steven. That was so nice! A special shout out to our amazing room steward Jason. These guys work really hard! I brought him a chocolate from Victoria and he was so appreciative. We probably saw him at least 3 times a day. Great great service. We love the freestyle cruising-being able to go eat whenever we feel like it is great. Sure some people dress pretty casually but that certainly doesn't ruin anything for me, As for the condition of the ship-of course things are going to get a bit run down. Do the math-there are 2300 people on the ship each week. But you will also see people polishing and cleaning areas of the ship constantly! Overall I think the condition of the ship is above average. We went to Victoria again on this cruise. On our first visit we only had the afternoon so we just walked around. This time we were there most of the day so we walked to Fisherman's Wharf then took a water taxi into Victoria. I had a groupon for the big bus hop on hop off. We took the full loop around then got off and had a wonderful lunch at Sams Deli. The coast of Victoria is so pretty! We walked around and did some shopping. Make sure to stop in at Beavertails when you're in Victoria-they are these flat paatries with your choice of toppings-you can even get half and half and they have yummy gelato too! Our second port was Astoria. We had been there and to the column so we just walked along the river walk a bit and took some pictures. There were some vendors selling some great artisan items. Astoria is pretty. We enjoyed our 2 days at sea. Very relaxing. I highly recommend a cruise on the Jewel-we are getting ready to make our reservation for the 10 day alaskan cruise for next September-the Jewel is heading to Australia after that! Of course there are always a few things that could be improved. The lounge acts could be better, the bar city bartenders could be friendlier and they could have diet coke instead of diet pepsi!! But Norwegian is great for people that like to have fun and appreciate the free drinks and meals offered! 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Sail Date September 2016
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and to see if we might like to start cruising with NCL. Took about 30 minutes to decide once was enough. We had the ultimate beverage package which included nothing but alcoholic drinks. Had to ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and to see if we might like to start cruising with NCL. Took about 30 minutes to decide once was enough. We had the ultimate beverage package which included nothing but alcoholic drinks. Had to purchase specialty coffee and bottled water. The poor servers spent as much time apologizing to the guests as they did serving. We ate in the specialty restaurants each night (part of our package). It was good, service was fairly good in most places. Our only main dining room experience was for breakfast our server was very sweet and nice, but slowwwww. Cabin attendant was also nice and efficient, we are used to getting to know and converse with our stewards. He said hello to us twice in 5 days. No communication about anything from start to finish. Cabin was small but lots...LOTS of storage, the shower was one of the best on any ship. We purchased the thermal spa pass and used it a lot. As always there were chair hogs and people that couldn't understand the concept of quiet and serenity. When it was good it was very very good, glad we spent the money for the most part. We didn't watch any of the evening shows so no comment on that. We have been on older refurbished ships with other cruise lines, in our opinion the Jewel showed her age. Not a very elegant ship, but this is very subjective, other guests found her beautiful. Final day was completely disorganized and poorly managed. It's like management on this shop missed Cruise Organization 101. Bottom line NCL is not for us, but we are quiet, non-party people. We have busy social work lives and prefer to just enjoy each other's company when cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because it was a short getaway from LA and it was cheap.(you get what your pay for!!) We had a balcony room which was very small. Right from the beginning, we got a bad impression. We had to check in on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a short getaway from LA and it was cheap.(you get what your pay for!!) We had a balcony room which was very small. Right from the beginning, we got a bad impression. We had to check in on the second floor of the Vancouver terminal. It was a long walk to the second floor. Once we got there, we checked in and were instructed to go back down stairs to board the ship. That walk was even longer, even after we went through the security. It was like walking through a maze to board the ship. When we got on board and to the room, I had to set up my C-PAP. Usually, on other lines, you call down for an extension cord and a steward brings it up and tapes it down for you. I called and was told that I had to come down and check it out. If I didn't bring it back, I would be charged. Ouch! What happened to service?. The guest relations line was extremely long and I got angrier and angrier as the afternoon went on. A man came up to me while in line and asked how everything was going? He was the "Hotel Manager", so I told him about the CPAP problem and the extension cord for which I was standing in this LONG line. He laughed and moved on to the next guy.( by the way, no one ever taped it down). I think we saw our cabin boy maybe 4 times at the most. We we charged a mandatory service fee per person, per day. -- Okay, we understood this but when we went to order breakfast in bed the next morning, we discovered an additional charge of $7.95 CONVENIENCE fee if it was delivered to our room. We have NEVER been charged on any other cruise line for having breakfast in our room!! Outrageous. They nickel and dime you to death. On the positive side, the food in the specialty restaurants was very good as well as the buffet. Also, as part of our package, we had 250 minutes of free wifi. Bottom line: If Norwegian offered us a FREE cruise, I would tell them to give it to someone else. No more for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 3.0 4.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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