7 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Mexican Riviera

We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This ... Read More
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This was not ACCEPTABLE. Many cruisers were very upset.. since when can't you wa ch the rose bowl parade and the Ros Bowl game. Now for the food, mediocre at best in Tsars, Azure and Osheehans. They really want you to go to the specialtys. La Bistro, excellent as was Cagneys. Modernos was good but felt rushed. There should be an age limit at specialty restaurants as infants crying at dinner was unacceptable. Will not go on NCL AGAIN, we are elite on Celebrity and will continue to cruise on them. There is no need to go to their specialty restaurants, as the food in the dining room is of a much higher quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Critic This cruise has been a punishment on our sense of smell. First is the long walk to our cabin which gives us a variety of scents. The mid-ship portion has a nice flowery smell of an air freshener and then we hit the forward ... Read More
Critic This cruise has been a punishment on our sense of smell. First is the long walk to our cabin which gives us a variety of scents. The mid-ship portion has a nice flowery smell of an air freshener and then we hit the forward section where our cabin is and the lovely odour of the head comes wafting to our noses. Now I fear we will be sleeping within the ode de toilet but the fear doesn't bare out as the cabin is odour fee. Two of our bags are present so we unpack those and read the “what's happening today” where we see we shouldn't worry about our stray bag for another 5 hours. So off we go to explore the ship when I spot a familiar looking bag all alone in a hallway near the aft section of mid-ship. The colour tag is not the one I put on it but the personal name tag is mine! So back to the cabin we go and unpack it. I hope the crew member that left it there didn't search for it too long. After a bizarre incident in O'Sheehan's which I will explain later we returned to our cabin. Again through the flowery scent followed quickly by an open sewer but now mixed with diesel exhaust. We open the cabin door and the burned diesel odour has filled our cabin. We vent the room using the bathroom fan and along comes our Steward. We ask him what's up with the smell and he isn't quite getting what the problem is but would have someone look into it. I'm guessing the wind changed direction and since we are going as slow as possible (we are taking all night to do what the ferry does in 90 minutes) it is possible our own exhaust was blowing back to our air intakes as the problem did not reoccur and we never heard back from anyone about it. On our first sea day we decided we were going to sleep in but at 8:30ish (yes that's not yet sleeping in to us) we were woken by the powerful smell of paint. The cabin was full of it. It was so strong I thought they'd painted our cabin as we slept. The smell got stronger as time went by to the point I was considering evacuating to fresh air for fear of a gassing. We did our morning routine and left thinking surely the passageway would be full of the noxious gas but no, it was still its head smelling self. The hall smelled as if the toilet vacuum was venting there. We took our stoned (paint fumes) selves to the front desk. The desk clerk we spoke to went away, presumably to see where there is painting taking place, and after a lengthy absence he returned with a thank you he will look into it and leave us message on our phone. We got a message saying he’d t spoken with the maintenance supervisor and requested any further painting be halted. During the last potion of the cruise the familiar smell of paint returned to our cabin while were out on an excursion. This time the maintenance supervisor came to the cabin and confirmed we were smelling paint (in case we were mistaken?). He said he’d look into it. This was the last we heard from him and the last time we had paint in our cabin. Now for some positive and the O'Sheehan's event. I was having a beer on our first night and while my glass was sitting on the table I noticed it appeared as if I had spilled a bit, however the puddle was growing yet the glass was not overflowing. To see where it was coming from I lifted my glass. Suddenly the glass emptied all over the table and flowed on to my lap and that of my wife. As we leapt away from the fall of the beer I saw the top of the glass in my hand and the bottom of the glass still on the table. Seems the glass cracked all the way around and the beer was oozing through the crack until I lifted it up. The ship did pick up the cleaning bill for both of our outfits without hesitation. We were presented with a bottle of wine and chocolates twice. When I asked the person delivering them he didn’t know why we were getting them. I thought because I made two complaints perhaps? I did notice several others were getting the same thing so unless there were a lot of complaints I doubt this is why. Going freestyle (our first time) lets you eat when you're ready but only if they have space. We tried to make reservations which some of the ship’s paperwork recommended and they allowed it once but every other night they insisted they were not needed. On a couple occasions we arrived for dinner there was no line to get in there were several tables with diners along with empty seats. I guess those folks were not the sociable type cruisers because we were seated on a sofa at the kitchen entrance and asked to wait. After this we were always greeted pleasantly at Tzars by the hostess who, even though we didn’t eat there every night, knew us and our cabin number on sight. She routinely had us seated at or very near the big windows. Our thoughts on the remainder of the ship are mixed. We did like the layout of the ship itself and the variety of places to sit and eat or drink. Which is the purpose of a cruise isn’t it? While the food service was lacking we did find most of the food to be good. Of the eateries we partook most of the servers were not nearly attentive enough. The buffet always had a large selection of food and seating was not a serious difficulty as we have no trouble sharing. While we found the food in the buffet to be good, virtually every edge of every table we sat at was sticky. It seems like they wash the tops but not the sides. Our cabin carpet was very dirty. It looked like it needed a good cleaning more than a year ago. They began to change carpets in the halls during our cruise so hopefully the cabins are getting changed soon. The bathroom was a bit strange as the toilet was in on an angle and one corner of the seat was very close to a wall forcing one to sit sidesaddle. There was a serious lack of water pressure in the sink. Rinsing a toothbrush was a real challenge. We found most of the railings on stairways, elevators and halls to be sticky and in need of the washie washie team! Events during the cruise were disorganized. Of note was the Customs inspection in Astoria. The staff were calling out deck numbers to the que long before the previous decks had cleared Customs. This made the line for screening extremely long. A large number of procedures outlined in the “what's happening today”, on the TV, or over the public address system were in conflict with each other. The Cruise Director staff and the lounge entertainment were a bit cruder with their jokes than I would have expected. They didn’t cross my line as I can be pretty crude however, my wife was not too impressed. The acts were good but their jokes and those of the staff went a bit too far. Other than the smells in the cabin, a sense of a lack of organization, and my higher expectations, the overall cruise was acceptable. I was able to relax and enjoy most of my time onboard. However, for me to sail with NCL again it will have to be the right itinerary and the right price point now that I know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a combination repositioning and Mexican Riviera cruise totaling 12 days from Vancouver to Victoria, Astoria, LA, Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo and back to LA. We chose this cruise because of its length and the hope of getting ... Read More
This was a combination repositioning and Mexican Riviera cruise totaling 12 days from Vancouver to Victoria, Astoria, LA, Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo and back to LA. We chose this cruise because of its length and the hope of getting some fall weather in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. We did...and it was great...the weather that is. No rain, mild temperatures, and very calm seas. We actually booked a stern facing suite because we like seeing and hearing the wake and enjoying the ship's motion in that location. However, the seas were so calm that we might as well have been on land. The suite on Deck 9, was fabulous. Because it was a handicap suite, we had a little extra room which made relaxation either in the suite or on the balcony especially comfortable. Among other amenities, we were afforded an espresso machine and afternoonmunchies which we enjoyed daily. The shower was almost spacious and the closet and storage spaces were more than adequate. The king size bed was especially comfortable and very large. Norbie, our steward, was always attentive to our needs and between him and Ronald, our butler, we never lacked for any creature comforts and/or useful ship advice. We had the restaurant package (a good thing) because the main dining room food and service were spotty at best. We enjoyed all of our meals in the specialty restaurants although we skipped the Brazilian eatery. (We'd had it before and determined we do not care for Brazilian cuisine.) With the suite, we could eat breakfasts and lunches in one of the specialty restaurants in which the food and service was exemplary. The crab cakes benedict were to die for! Additionally, we latched onto a terrific waiter, a young man named Sameer, who helped to make each of our meals a very pleasurable experience. You don't get that in the complimentary dining rooms where lobster and specialty meat dishes were surcharged an additional $25-$30. I would suggest that cruisers pay for the specialty restaurants or get the specialty package where you get what you pay for. The entertainment was mostly excellent except for a comedienne who was anything but funny. Audience reaction was so poor, that she ended her show after 15 minutes. We took excursions in Victoria and Astoria which were marvelous. One was a bike ride around the city and the other was a short road trip to various places in Northwest Oregon which we enjoyed immensely. Bar service was excellent and although there were only two pools, one was for adults only and two of the four hot tubs excluded children as well. All in all, although we've been on better journeys, this cruise was well worth the time and money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise was a back to back repositioning cruise. The first 5 days we cruised from Vancouver to Victoria to Astoria and on the Los Angeles. this part of the cruise was a little boring as the stops were not very interesting for us. As ... Read More
The cruise was a back to back repositioning cruise. The first 5 days we cruised from Vancouver to Victoria to Astoria and on the Los Angeles. this part of the cruise was a little boring as the stops were not very interesting for us. As B.C. residents, we have been to Victoria many times. We didn't feel it was worth getting off to spend money on food and transportation. Astoria looked just like home with no attractions that interested us. There were a group of tents with local people selling some amazing things. We purchased a few things and were happy for the little jaunt off the ship. Los Angeles was for debarkation and embarkation of other passengers. We enjoyed the lull onboard as others got off and got on the ship. We had a lovely chat with one of the waiters and made a friendship. After the new passengers arrived onboard, the cruise felt different. I heard that the ship was completely full. There were lots of children and lots of people in general. The mood changed and it was more hectic. We enjoyed most of the shows. The singers were not very good. The Cirque Bijou was amazing as was Luminesence. The comedian and magician were also excellent. We went to the late shows as there were less kids. Azura was our favourite dinner complementary spot. The food was mostly very good. The beef was always tender and properly cooked to the right temperature. The salads and soups were very good. There were a few appetizers that could have been executed better. The desserts were very good for the most part. The service was usually good. We loved the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Cin Cin was terrible! Our one and only experience in Tsars Palace was horrific. We were a table of 5 sharing. Everyone's food came at a different time, we were missing cutlery and coffee cups. Everything was a miss. The server was blaming other people and it seemed extremely unorganized. We were there for breakfast and never returned. O'Sheehan's pub was very disappointing. The fish and chips were limp and cold. The only good things on the menu were the wings and chicken tenders. We used it as our snack place between meals. The service was bad everytime! It was consistently bad every time. The only reason we returned was for the 2 menu items mentioned above and because we had time to spare. The window seats had amazing views especially if we were at sea. We ate at Moderna, the Brazilian restaurant. It was a great experience. The service was excellent and it was the first time we encountered a waiter with personality! The food comes out on swords and cut tableside. Most of the beef was overcooked for my taste, but the lamb, chicken and sausage were spot on. The starters buffet was excellent as well. We also dined at Le Bistro. There were hits and misses. The muscles were bland and served in a container too big for the amount of mussels. The escargot were too lemony and with not enough garlic. Our mains were both excellent. I had the rack of lamb. Cooked perfectly and so tender I could cut it with a fork. My fiance had the duck done 2 ways. Both were very good. The French onion soup was delicious as was the mushroom soup. The creme brullee was one of the best I'd ever had and I've had many! French press coffee in decaf rounded out my dinner. Excellent! The service was laclustre at best. The ambiance was great, but the bar outside the restaurant was noisy. Overall, I would say this was a good cruise. Good value for money as we got the drink package for free. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Cool Cruise! Thanks NCL for the GREAT weather on the whole 12 day re-positioning cruise! Our 13th cruise and we're Platinum Club Members now. We received lots of goodies in our cabin almost every night. Noel, our Cabin Steward, was ... Read More
Cool Cruise! Thanks NCL for the GREAT weather on the whole 12 day re-positioning cruise! Our 13th cruise and we're Platinum Club Members now. We received lots of goodies in our cabin almost every night. Noel, our Cabin Steward, was probably the best we ever had...Johnny-On-The-Spot with any request. Our Wine Steward, Juvy, became good friends with us , since this is the 3rd cruise we've been on together. We made new friends on the ship as usual. The food was above average and "gourmet" quality at times. I can't comment on the Garden Cafe since we only ate there once...but Le Bistro was by far our favorite restaurant. The lounge music was good, however Barry the Piano Player had to tone it down due to his proximity to some of the restaurants. NCL needs to find a venue for him to "let loose" because that is when he is the best ...otherwise he sounds like a "Windham Hill Sampler" CD...way too mellow. The same goes for the Bernie the guitar player! There was always something to do on board. We always enjoy the wine tastings! All of our shore excursions were wonderful. In Astoria, Oregon we did the "Seafood & Wine" tour...Chef Holner was talented, funny & a superb chef. We did "Las Caletas Hide-Away" in Puerto Vallata...it probably was one of the best "beach resort" tours we've been on. Marj really liked her Coco Loco Coconut cocktail. If you go there, take your camera...there are lots of "Kodak Moments". The Staff on the tender (which took us to & from Las Caletas) were extremely funny & talented. We did the "Salsa & Salsa" in Mazatlan...many, many margaritas which allowed to believe we were really good salsa dancers! Overall, ALL of our shore excursions were great. What few problems we had were trivial...the Jewel is a clean, well maintained ship. Easy to get around. Not too big which allowed us to meet and make new friends. Kudos to NCL and again thanks for a great time! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I are avid cruisers but had never cruised on Norwegian before. We were taking our children and grandchildren on this cruise and thought that Norwegian would be a wise choice as much seemed to be offered for all ages and it ... Read More
My husband and I are avid cruisers but had never cruised on Norwegian before. We were taking our children and grandchildren on this cruise and thought that Norwegian would be a wise choice as much seemed to be offered for all ages and it left from our home port of Los Angeles. It felt clear to us that the majority of employees were not happy about working over the Christmas season, it was palpable as employee after employee was either blatantly rude or merely dismissive save for a couple of exceptions. Initially we were looking forward to the many dining options. After eating in the Italian Restaurant the first night (for a price), we changed our mind. The food was inedible and nobody seemed to care. The buffet smelled like a hospital cafetaria and the food tasted similar. The only thing I found that was tasty were the french fries. It was impossible to get reservations at any of the other restaurants except for Teppanyaki which was passable (also at a price). We had some problems with service at guest relations, who communicated that they could not solve our problems and we would have to take them up with customer service on our return. My husband spent 45 minutes on the phone trying to speak to a live person on our return. Unsuccessful, he emailed his complaint and received an email in return, telling him to expect a response within 15 days!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Left LA round trip Mexico (a cruise that we've done 24 times prior) with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. I enjoy this itinerary because it is relaxing and after traveling there so many times, I know where to Christmas ... Read More
Left LA round trip Mexico (a cruise that we've done 24 times prior) with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. I enjoy this itinerary because it is relaxing and after traveling there so many times, I know where to Christmas shop. I just love Mexico and their culture and people. The Jewel was my first time on the NCL Line. Their embarkation is the BEST by far. We arrived at 9:45am and was on the ship unpacking at 11:00am. Lunch was served and then off to the upper deck to just lounge around and get into the cruise spirit. It was like you had this extra day on the cruise. Off for a nap then ready for dinner. The choices of restaurants was wonderful and each one carried a theme as to the cuisine. Our room 9104 with our room Steward 'I Dewa Putra' was incredible. We explained to him our preferences about 'real sugar versus chemical sugar' and we enjoyed regular coffee instead of decaf. Towelselections, bed arrangements, and other incidentals that make our trip our own. He remembered, and was just a wonderful gentleman who worked around my schedule of sleeping late (10:00am) and continental breakfast by room service. He was the intrigitual part of making our vacation unique and special to us. Our room was the smallest we've been in with the bathroom toilet area even smaller!! I'm 6'4" and 220 lbs. I banged by elbows everywhere in the toilet area. Just how many passengers can you put on a ship? See NCL. Not good. The food from what I was served was poor to fair. My spouse's meals were enjoyed with gusto. One evening I ordered room service for dinner and had the "herb 1/2 chicken with veggies, baked potato, and a side sauce". It was INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously it was one of the BEST meals of the cruise. My other meal was from Chin-Chin Restuarant. Again one of the best meals that was INCREDIBLE!! The support staff who tends to your food orders, does so with such professionalism. Friendly, humorous and just full of life. They are amazing. Now comes the bad part. Effective August 15, 2015, NCL started this "Service Charge" of $13.50 daily for certain staterooms and $14.50 daily for suites. Read the "Ticket Contract" about these fees and its states in Paragraph 3 sections (a) to (d) about how the fees are up to your discretion but these fees are USED, dispersed and dispersed to the staff and crew subject to "JOB PERFORMANCE" reviews. That makes each and every passenger over the age of three (3) becoming a part of the employer/employee relationship. Then try to go to the Pursers Office (front desk) and get these fees removed from your account. After 4 hours of discussions about how you get a refund between 2-4 weeks, I made it very clear that I had spoken to my Credit Card Company and was told by said Credit Card Company that if NCL refused to cooperate I would be able to dispute the entire balance and that my balance due could be tied up for 60-90 days. When you "do the math" there was 2,700 individuals on board my cruise. It was a FULL cruise. 10% was 3 years and under, that leaves 2,430 X $13.50 (average) = $32,805.00 daily X 7 days = $229,635.00 per week of "Service Fees" that NCL purports goes to the entire staff BASED upon compensation packages for each individual's. $229,635.00 X 4 weeks = $918,540.00 in "Service Fees" per month. Do the staff and crew get a "Performance Review" monthly or quarterly, half a year or annually? As a business owner you're paying NCL's payroll. If not then where is the "Service Fees" actually going to? After the signing of the "required documents" where you have to state why your not willing to give your stewards, waitress, bartenders and the like a tip, I made it VERY clear that I was not going to complete any of that as I wasn't, at the time, displeased with any of the service staff. I tip to whom I wish, not what is expected by NCL. The guilt trip that ensues is enough to make you lash out against NCL having their hands in your pockets trying to get every penny, nickle, dime, quarter and dollar. Room Service is $7.95 with 18% gratuity. Any other cruise line does not charge this. I do in fact give room service staff a tip for bringing my meal to me. I give individuals CASH not placed upon my account. I've always done this. AND never had to be charged for "room service"!! These policies of paying for the payroll of the staff and crew on board the ship is really a disgrace. NCL has take the position that although this is not mandatory, the front desk comes across as this is the way things are and does EVERYTHING in their individual powers to discourage you from waiving your RIGHT not to do this. It is despicable and not the way to grab money from your passengers. The ship was very nice and kept clean. All crew and staff when they walked by you would smile and say Good morning/afternoon/evening. They made you feel good with being onboard. The disembarkation was unique as well. NCL has this "easy walk off" and if you have limited luggage, can carry your luggage off with you, you can leave early when the ship has been cleared. Just stand in line and first call your off. This was wonderful. All in all, this cruise was comfortable, relaxing and just what the doctor ordered. The constant penny, nickel and dime attitude of NCL is not. Will I travel on NCL again? Time will tell. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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