11 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Bahamas

This cruise is designed for NY/NJ area residents who don't want to fly. Probably 3/4 of the ship were locals. As Chicago area residents we always have to fly somewhere to catch a cruise, so usually go south and get the full warm ... Read More
This cruise is designed for NY/NJ area residents who don't want to fly. Probably 3/4 of the ship were locals. As Chicago area residents we always have to fly somewhere to catch a cruise, so usually go south and get the full warm weather escape. Flights to NYC were cheap, so gave this a try. Enjoyed a day in NYC prior to cruise. This cruise gives you 3 warm days. The 4 sea days are cool (40s and 50s F). Not great balcony weather, so if booking winter out of NYC, an interior or ocean view may be a better value. Cabin 8040 is a "hull" balcony. It is cheapest, as most prefer a full view. On winter out of NYC, the hull is actually a benefit - extra wind protection. Hull also offers extra privacy. Neighbor can't peek around wall. Jewel was in good condition. I have read a few others complaining about stuff. When you see presentations of the new Breakaway, you see room for improvement. However, the ship was as good as it was when we sailed in 2008. If you like Jewel class, your expectations will be met. I like buffet-ing at the aft facing great outdoors area -- something the Star/Dawn don't offer. Cruising by the NYC area is one of the highlights. If you plan on watching from your balcony, embarking port side, sees the statue of liberty. Starboard sees NYC. Reversed for 6am return. Your best views will be outside on top deck. Ports - Cheap cruise if you don't go to theme parks. The only ship excursion we took was a $13 shuttle to Cocoa beach in Port Canaveral. Nice to have a port with US mobile access. There is shopping by the beach if you need anything. Great Stirrup Cay was good for snorkeling. Bring your own gear -- cost to rent ($40) is about what I spent purchasing. You can skip fins, but vest is required. Nassau just walked around. Walked to water tower / queen stair / fort area that you can see from the ship. Not much to town area. Caught some dunkin doughnut wifi to catch up with home. Walked along Junkanoo beach. Since we didn't spend much at ports, purchased the 3 pack specialty restaurant deal online. Cagney's and Bistro were worthy upgrades. Mama's (Italian) didn't seem like much of an upgrade over MDR. Overall enjoyed food on ship. Burned off most of it walking laps around promenade (3 laps = mile). Disembark - Storm related delays others have reported seem to be cleared up. We did self walk out and were out by 8:30am with no lines. Walked over to a shuttle service to airport. Enjoyed the vacation. Purchased a cruise reward (future credit), so will likely continue on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We set sail out of NYC on 3/31 and were headed to Cape Canaveral, GSC, and Nassau, Bahamas. We arrived at the pier around noon and we were on the boat by 12:30. As you can see, the embarkation process was quick and efficient. With our ... Read More
We set sail out of NYC on 3/31 and were headed to Cape Canaveral, GSC, and Nassau, Bahamas. We arrived at the pier around noon and we were on the boat by 12:30. As you can see, the embarkation process was quick and efficient. With our carry-on bags in hand, we headed to the Garden Cafe to grab a quick lunch and enjoy the view of the NYC skyline, even the weather was pretty cold and misty. The buffet food was good, but not great. It is what you should expect from an all you can eat buffet. We got into our balcony stateroom by 1:30 and it was great. Pretty large in size with a nice private balcony. The room was clean and comfortable. I was surprised to see such a large shower. We enjoyed an awesome steak dinner at Cagneys! If there is one specialty restaurant that you decide to go to, go there. The filet mignon was the best that I have ever tasted and the service was great. It was my boyfriends birthday and the staff went out of their way to make sure that it was a memorable meal. Cake was brought out for him as they sang to him. After that, we enjoyed seeing the lights of the Jersey shore as we headed south, even though it was quite chilly. The next day, we set out to hang around the pool in our bathing suits, even though it was only 65 degrees. I managed to burn a little bit! Kids were all over the pools because the temperature doesn't affect them! That night, we went to the new Brazilian restaurant on board and left completely full. That restaurant was an awesome experience. Waiters just kept bringing out different meats for you to enjoy until you can't eat anymore. Our first stop was Cape Canaveral. A lot of people are not happy with this port and complain that there is nothing to do. However, it is my firm belief that you need to choose a cruise that works for you and that you need to make the most out of every experience. If you choose a cruise with this port, don't fuss that there is little to do. My boyfriend and I took the $5 shuttle from CC to Cocoa Beach. Don't waste your money and book the shuttle through NCL. NCL will charge you $15.99. Just walk right out of the pier and there are plenty of taxis ready to take you on the cheap. We hung out on Cocoa Beach and explored the town a bit. My boyfriend took a private surfing lesson at Ron Jon's and he loved every minute of it. Again, book around the cruise line as it is much cheaper. After that, we headed to the Sandbar to grab $1 margaritas and shrimp tacos. Awesome place to eat! The next day we headed to GSC. The water is too shallow around the island to dock, so tender boats were sent to the Jewel for us to board. The tendering process was quick and easy. Crew members helped guide you to the right place. The island is beautiful. You honestly would not realize that there is any kind of construction going on. We hung out at the beach, enjoyed the lunch buffet, and headed to our jet ski excursion. That was a beautiful experience and we really got to enjoy the tour of the island and the surrounding islands. The guides went a little too fast though! We ate in Azura that night and it was pretty good. You can really order as much as you want. I would order a salad and an appetizer. an entree, and dessert. This really filled me up. The portions were on the smaller side, but believe me, you will not go hungry. On to Nassau! We had two gorgeous beach days and decided to take our own tour of the city of Nassau. I did some research before the trip and I knew that we wanted to see the Queen's Staircase and the Gardens of Versailles. We also wanted conch fritters! We walked to the Queen's staircase, enjoyed some history about it from a local, and then climbed up! We also visited Fort Finmore, which is highest spot on the island and offers a great view of Nassau. Then, we took the water taxi ($4/pp) and headed to Paradise Island. We walked 1.5 miles to the gardens. I love to walk places and would rather do that than taxi around the islands. The gardens are quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. We walked back to the Paradise Island Bridge and were going to head to the Fish Fry for conch fritters. A great meal was shared, and you get 12 conch fritters for $4! We also went to the Straw Market, where bartering is encouraged and fun! We picked up lots of trinkets for our families. Back to the boat! We ate in the MDR that night, and again, the food and the service was good, but not great. The last day on board was a good day to relax, read a book, eat, enjoy the casino, or look at the Freestyle guide. The water was super rough, with 12 foot waves. It was awesome to watch the water. There really wasn't much to do until the evening. As for entertainment on the ship, it was great. The magician was funny, as was our comedian on the ship. They were both genuinely comedic and it wasn't forced. The husband and wife acrobatic duo were breathtaking, and we actually ate next to them at the buffet. The singers and dancers were a little corny though, and it was like they were trying too hard. We went to every show in the Stardust theatre at 9:30. There were less children during that time slot. The service that we received was high quality. Employees went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed every minute of our "cruise vacation." From the captain to the "washy washy" girls, everyone seemed to care. The whole boat was very clean and presentable. If there was a problem or a mistake, it was corrected efficiently. The activities onboard were pretty good. The bars and parties were great, especially the White Hot Party. The chocolate buffet was delightful and there were a few fountains set out with plenty of chocolate choices. Overall, a fabulous vacation. It was cool to see the weather and the water change as we headed out of NYC into the Bahamas. A cruise vacation is what you make out of it, and that is up to you! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
My husband and I just got off our 7 day cruise on the Jewel, it was really fun and a really relaxing cruise. Our cabin was wonderful we had the owners suite 10004 and our butler Totaram was very good if we needed anything we just had to ... Read More
My husband and I just got off our 7 day cruise on the Jewel, it was really fun and a really relaxing cruise. Our cabin was wonderful we had the owners suite 10004 and our butler Totaram was very good if we needed anything we just had to call. Romeo our room steward was great anything we needed he had for us the room was very clean. I had heard some bad things before going on this cruise but was pleasantly surprised the whole crew were great. I had 3 Spa treatments and Barbara who did them was very good. Ryan our concierge was very attentive to our needs even called us when he had not seen us in a day. Richard the cruise director was everywhere he was so nice and always stopped to talk to people. We also got to meet Brian the hotel manager and Capt. Lars both men were very nice and really took time to talk to people. I put together the meet and greet for this cruise and Rachelle the group organizer was very helpful and nice. One bar waiter at the casino was very good his name is Abin Antony, always smiling and making you feel good. The last people were the washy washy girls at the buffet wonderful girls. Food was very good normal cruise food, we ate at the two main dinning rooms and 3 specialty restaurants. Tangos was ok my food was good but my husband got meat that was not chewable. Mamas was very good. And Cagney's was very good for dinner and breakfast. Cabin was a joy clean, had lots of room. The haven for suites is a wonderful place very relaxing. We did our own thing at ports so no excursions. The children were always being entertained so they were great good programs for them. Overall one of our best crises, clean, organized, crew was friendly and neat, well run ship. Beside the meat in Tangos only one other issue and don't know how they can solve it. The smoke in the Casino was awful need better ventilation. But the casino was fun and staff was great. Last thing the entertainment on this ship is top notch very enjoyable. In closing I would do this ship again, very nice ship and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This was our twelfth cruise, and our seventh on NCL. However, prior to the Jewel, we had only been on NCL weekend cruises to nowhere. If you are thinking about NCL, these little weekend cruises are perfect to whet your appetite. Our first ... Read More
This was our twelfth cruise, and our seventh on NCL. However, prior to the Jewel, we had only been on NCL weekend cruises to nowhere. If you are thinking about NCL, these little weekend cruises are perfect to whet your appetite. Our first full length cruise on NCL did not disappoint, and we hope to make the Jewel in January a yearly tradition. Embarkation: Embarkation in New York City on January 14, 2012, was smooth. We parked in port, which was convenient, although expensive at $30 a day. We arrived later in the afternoon and avoided the crowd. Because we are frequent cruisers, we stood on the Latitudes line and were processed through security and reception, and on the ship in less than forty-five minutes. Cabin: Our cabin was a midship minisuite, starboard and closer to being forward than precisely midship. We were very pleased with the size of the room, as we are a couple. There was plenty of storage space with many drawers. We hung our clothes in the closet but felt that the space between the bed and the closet was too narrow to accommodate our luggage. However, there was enough room in the cabin to prop our large cases in the area outside of the bathroom. You could also use under the bed for luggage storage. We enjoyed the sunset from our private balcony and spent many relaxing, romantic evenings simply enjoying the ocean and the breathtaking sunsets. The bathroom was large by cruise ship standards with a tub and sink, and the toilet was separated with a frosted glass door. My only criticisms are that there was chipped and exposed wood on the vanity, and the only bathroom amenities were liquid soap and shampoo in a dispenser. We brought our own conditioner and bar of soap because we knew what to expect. The condition of the rest of the room was fine and showed little or no wear. Overall, the room was quiet, although on the first night and last morning we heard loud footsteps above us from the pool deck. Perhaps if the cruise was during warmer weather, there would have been more noise. Food: We ate dinner twice in two specialty restaurants: Mama's and Le Bistro. The food in Le Bistro was excellent and the service was superb. The waitress added a third entrée to our order because she thought we should try the steak. She also added a third dessert, because she said the crème brulee was "oooh-la-la." Boy was she right! She advised us to buy a bottle of wine and have it stored in the cellar for our next meal to save some money. That was great advice and worked well for us. The food at Mama's has improved over the years. I thought that the pork saltimbocca was pretty good and the tiramisu was fantastic. Service was also very good. We ate dinner once in Tsar's main dining room and once in the less formal Azura. Service was very slow, and the food was average. I had the lobster tail on the first night, that was good, but the portion was very small. The chicken Milanese that I had for lunch was dry and the French fries were always cold. We did, however, enjoy the musicians that accompanied dinner in the Tsar's main dining room for dinner. We accepted the main dining room cuisine for what it was. If you want better quality, you have to pay for it. We knew that, so were not disappointed in our choices. We visited the buffet a few times as well. After all, eating is the main sport on a ship! Don't miss the pretzel rolls in the Garden Cafe! Yum! The macadamia nut cookies are also delicious. However, the chocolate buffet is overrated. There is a chocolate fountain for fondue but the rest of it was basically squares of chocolate cake and brownies that tasted like institutional quality food. Nothing was gourmet about the chocolate buffet, although the ice carvings and chocolate carvings were nice to look at. We also enjoyed breakfast on the warmer days in the Great Outdoors, where a buffet breakfast was served outside. All of our favorites were there. Entertainment: We really enjoyed the piano player, Fabrizio and listened to him play every night in Bar City. His Thursday night Italian music set was especially popular. He was very friendly and mixed with the audience during his breaks. The show band was likewise very good, and Bruce, the acoustic guitar player, was entertaining as well. There is also a Mexican band that we heard sing in Tsar's and the Crystal Atrium who were very talented as well. We went to the Jean Pierre comedy/magician show, which was ok, but I did not like how he hawked his book and magic kit for hugely inflated prices ($15 for a little soft cover pamphlet and $25 for the kit). I thought the sales pitch was tacky. The married acrobatics duo of Duo Elegia was excellent, and they performed in two shows, including the wildly popular French themed Cirque Bistro. The NCL staffed show, Fountains, was pretty hilarious. Ports: We did Port Canaveral on our own by renting a car from Avis. Avis and a few other companies have free pick up from the port to their office. We then drove to Epcot and had a wonderful, fun filled time. The pace was a bit frantic because there is so much to do, but we loved every minute of it. Don't do the NCL excursion because it costs $79 a person just for the bus. We rented the car for $36 and the cab ride back to the ship was $15! Great Stirrup Cay was paradise. We rented a clam shell lounge and rested and relaxed. There was a nice buffet on the island, as well as music. Most people were congregated in a densely populated area, but if you walked away from the crowd, you could steal a few moments of privacy further down the beach. Nassau is tropical but grimy and very third world. We took the ship excursion, Atlantis Beach Day. Although it was expensive, we did not want to risk day passes on our own because 4 ships were in port. We did not like that the vans used to transport us had folding jump seats down the aisle, where every last sole was crammed in. Surely, this would not pass safety standards in the U.S. and the older folks on the van seemed to have some trouble sitting in those seats. Other than that, the Atlantis was beautiful. We spent time on their beach, enjoying the sun, then moved to a shady area by the pool. We also had a private guided tour of their aquarium, the Digs, which was included in our ticket. We chose a late tour and avoided all the crowds from the ship. We then tried our luck at slots. Staff: Overall, the staff was friendly and excellent. Our steward always welcomed us each by name (with Mrs. and Sir in front of our first names). She made cute towel animals on most nights. The only rude server was a woman who tended to the bagel station in the Great Outdoors on our second to last day at sea. She left her station and then scolded us for helping ourselves without the tongs, which were absent. Special praise also goes to the Latitudes representative, David, who gave us complimentary wine and chocolate dipped strawberries to make up for our missing nightly chocolates on our pillows (a perk as silver Latitudes members). It was really above and beyond the call of duty. We also enjoyed the two Latitudes parties and the great door prizes. Disembarkation: Our disembarkation was virtually seamless! We picked the 9:30 time, and NCL supplied the convenient color coded tags for our luggage. Earlier disembarkation times were delayed due to a congested gangway, and I think that our disembarkation was delayed as well. However, we had a sit down breakfast in the Tsar's dining room, vacated our cabin by 9:00 and relaxed in Bar City. We did not mind the delay and felt relaxed, rather than rushed or stressed. We hired a porter once we got off the ship and that bypassed the extremely long customs line. We were out of the customs line in about 5 minutes with our luggage delivered to the snowy roof of the adjacent pier for the price of a tip. This was a great romantic getaway and a HUGE value for the money. We enjoyed the warm weather, the nice accommodations, the great entertainment and the superior service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was the first cruise that either of us have taken. I guess we will take it step by step Embarkation: We arrived at the port at about 1130. We had booked a suite and in turn got to go through the VIP check in and got a welcome ... Read More
This was the first cruise that either of us have taken. I guess we will take it step by step Embarkation: We arrived at the port at about 1130. We had booked a suite and in turn got to go through the VIP check in and got a welcome lunch in Cagney's. We had been seated in Cagney's by 12. By 1:30-2 we were able to get into our room. Room: As stated we were in a Suite, which was located on the bow of the boat. The room was awesome. This suite has a king sized bed, a lounge area with couch and chair, and a dining area with a table. The closet has ample space for storage. the draws could be a little bigger but it worked. The bathroom has a actual bath as well as a separate room in the bath for the toilet. The best was as comfortable as any bed I've slept on and plenty of pillows. The suite as a mini-bar (can be a little pricy). My favorite thing is the coffee machine. This machine make the best coffee I have ever had (its like a grind and brew kurreg machine) Our butler Nelson introduced himself promptly and for the entire cruise was very attentive and helpful. Nelson always had snack for us in our room for us when we came back. The room steward, Romeo, was one of the greatest people we met. Romeo knew our name immediately and always called us by them. anything we need we had and Romeo always had our room nice and tidy. The only negatives about this particular room is that you feel every little movement of the ship (being on the bow) and the wind can get a little noisy when at sea. The wind problem is solved by closing the Bulk head door. Entertainment: We went to all of the evening shows and have to say they where amazing. I have to mention the guest talents, David Naster, Crazy Horse, and Jeff the juggler. These three acts kept us entertain on several different occasions. The staff entertainers where great including the Karaoke, the bingo, deal or no deal, and our favorite the Newly Wed Game (we ended up as couple number 1). Food: We ate in the main dinning room 2 or 3 time and had great dinners there each time. For lunch we usualy did the buffet which always had plenty of choices but not a lot of seating. If your having trouble finding a place to sit at lunch try in Mama's there is usually seating there (MaMa's is not serving food during lunch) For breakfast we did the Buffet once (ok) Ate in our room twice which was ok and Cagney's 3 times. The Breakfast in Cagney' is awesome, nothing like having Steak, crab cakes, smoke lox, and eggs for breakfast. We did eat lunch in Cagney's once as well and had a great steak for lunch For dinner We ate at MaMa's, Temenyaki, Tango, and Chin Chin. MaMa's had great Italian food and I had my first risotto and became a believer in it. Temenyaki was equally good and enjoyed a good show with an even better steak Tango was so so tex mex style food but i dont think it was worth the cover and last but not least was Chin Chin's, and all i have to say is save your money, it was not worth it at all to me. For other snacks we ate in the Blue Lagoons which serves excellent wings, went to the sushi place which made great rolls and ordered a pizza in our room that was so-so too much cheese and sauce The staff on board were extremely friendly and always attentive. The Only real negative thing i would have to say is the Spa. They sell a Spa pass to use the relaxation chairs and whirlpools and a few other thing. This pass is suppose to be limited but it was always crowded in the spa. And the Spa services are way over priced. Shore Excretions: We did not so any of the ship ones do to bad weather we did not even go to the private island We did rent a scooter in nausea and was very disappointed with the way the "non-tourist" area where. You figured with all the tourism this tiny Island get they would be able to take care of it a little better. Disembarkation Was a breeze. Again as with embarkation we had priority disembarkation so the ship docked at 8am and we where in our car and on the way home by about 9am. Conclution As far as value, i thought we got a lot for our money. The only thing I would do a little different next time is be a little more frugal with the money on board the ship because our tab did get a little high (mostly from the spa stuff). Also the extra money we paid for the suite is differently worth it with all the stuff you get for it, (Priority embarkation/ disembarkation, the butler and access to Cagney' for breakfast and lunch). Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
From the minute we stepped into the Limo to get to NYC, to the minute we walked into our home afterwards, we had a wonderful time! The Jewel was spotless, colorful, friendly and fun. The shows were great! Massimo & Aleisha (or whatever ... Read More
From the minute we stepped into the Limo to get to NYC, to the minute we walked into our home afterwards, we had a wonderful time! The Jewel was spotless, colorful, friendly and fun. The shows were great! Massimo & Aleisha (or whatever their names were) were AMAZING (she's an Olympic gymnast & dancer). They are a husband & wife team. She's gotta be a contortionist or has no tendons because she stretched & bent herself into all sorts of positions, while he threw her around the stage. It was great! Comedians from "Second City" were there. Their improv was wonderful and original - although some of their inner annoyances got in the way of their talent (like the spats between Cicily & Alex...). Another comedian - Steven Scott, also performed. He was good. We didn't go to the juggling act. Not something that sounds even remotely interesting to me or my husband. The food was good! Sushi was out of this world! Definitely worth the $15/person cover charge! The Blue Lagoon (free 24/7 comfort food)had great Buffalo Wings. Garden cafe - always packed but food is good. "happy happy, washy washy" The gym was small but nice. Never packed but we were there around 8am. Room Service breakfast was great. It was a wake up call to tell you they're on their way. Breakfast on the balcony, watching the sunrise is amazing! The last night of the cruise they had a 'Cirque de Bijou' that was great too! dancers, gymnasts, people coming down from the ceiling! The cruise director, Shonna needs to lay off the prozac. The ports: Port Canaveral, FL - nothing to do within walking distance, so if you're not going to a theme park in Orlando or taking the shuttle to Cocoa Beach... stay on the boat. Luckily I used to live there so we met up with friends and went to the beach. Great Stirrup Cay - NCL private island. A day at the beach. No problem finding an empty chair and we were the last group off the boat! Defiantly go snorkeling!! There's a lot of brightly colored fish under your feet! Bring your own snorkeling equipment & save yourself the $30 rental fee! They had a buffet of burgers, dogs, pizza & a bunch of salad stuff too. Nassau, Bahamas - GO TO THE PIRATE MUSEUM! It was fun. You do get hassled by a lot of locals, but they only ask once :) Bacardi store has amazing prices! Senor Frogs is close too! The straw market is a bit of a maze/pain in the neck. Everyone is trying to 'cut you a deal' and it's annoying when you hear them all bad mouth each other "no one else will give this to you for $50, I'll give it to you for $45" meanwhile the girl in the next booth just said the same thing for $20 less. whatever. The boat: we were on 10 AFT balcony. Was close to everything except Spinnaker lounge (which is 13 or 14 fwd). The pools were always packed (STOP reserving chairs at 5 am!!) Would've been nice if the kids pool (and the little boy who would stand at the top of the water slide and yell down to his friends, day after day)was far far away from the adult pool. We saw NO nickelodeon characters, probably because we purposely avoided any areas that they were having an event in. Look around for other sun decks - we found 3 that no one was on even though the pool was packed! nice and quiet by the basketball court.... (hint hint) Spinnaker Lounge has the best couch ever!! (the green one, shaped like a 'W') We are definitely going to be cruising again with NCL! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
The buffet area was mass confusion every morning. Children and adults were running from station to station at breakfast. Finding a place to sit at breakfast was a chore. By the time I sat down my food was cold. While the entertainment ... Read More
The buffet area was mass confusion every morning. Children and adults were running from station to station at breakfast. Finding a place to sit at breakfast was a chore. By the time I sat down my food was cold. While the entertainment was very good, I found the shows to be very repetitious. JP the comedian, The Cats Meow singers and the 2nd City Group were on every night. I think that the singers and the comedy acts should be switched when the ship meets up with a sister ship in port. This would keep the entertainment fresh. The ship was very clean and the staff were wonderful. The food in the main dining room was excellent. We tried the speciality restaurants and the food was just okay. It seems silly to have to pay for a speciality restaurant when all the food should be included in the price of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
After getting married in April and gutting/rehabbing our new house from January through July, me and my wife decided to finally take our long overdue honeymoon. It was my first cruise, and my wife had been on one other cruise previously ... Read More
After getting married in April and gutting/rehabbing our new house from January through July, me and my wife decided to finally take our long overdue honeymoon. It was my first cruise, and my wife had been on one other cruise previously with her family (Norwegian Spirit from Boston to Bermuda). We chose the Norwegian Jewel based on the ports and the price. It left from NYC, and visited Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. The ship was in fairly good shape, with the usual wear and tear of a relatively older ship, but there were never any broken elevators, noisy repairs, or unsightly work crews that some people have complained about. We had an inside cabin, which was very small, but this was not an issue for us as we were out and about from when we woke up to when we went to sleep. The room stewards were very good, in fact we very rarely saw them, but we always had towels and sheets and anything else that we needed. The crew and cruise staff were very friendly and the amount of activities offered throughout the day was at some times overwhelming. Luckily you get the "Freestyle Daily" each night, NCLs own daily newspaper with a schedule of events and specials, so that you can have a good idea on what you can do for the next day. The nickelodeon cast was on our ship, so there were a good amount of children, but we never felt overrun or outnumbered. The food was kind of hit or miss for our cruise. Most of the specialty restaurants were very good (but you do have to pay extra), and I would definitely recommend Cagney's if you ever take a Norwegian Cruise. The buffet was as expected, it had a large variety of food which was on the better side, but it was very crowded during the main meal times. The main dining rooms were a nice compromise between the buffet and specialty restaurants. We only went there on the last day, but would definitely go more often on our next cruise as the food was very good, the service prompt, and best of all it is included in the price. I think my wife's favorite part of cruising is the shows, and Norwegian put on some top notch performances. There are two shows a night, which makes seeing them much easier, and we saw everything from Magicians, to comedians, to a Cirque du Soleil-esq acrobat act. The cruise staff was also very good at incorporating the acts into other everyday activities, like late night game shows and up close magic performances. Overall the entertainment on the Jewel gets an A++. As for the ports, we chose this cruise for Port Canaveral, because the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios had just opened and my wife and I are both huge nerds and couldn't wait to see it. The park was AMAZING, and the excursion to the park was OK, be prepared to take an hour long bus ride there and back. You also only have about five hours in the park...so you should know exactly where you are going to get the most out of your time. Great Stirrup Cay was a very nice beach day, and the water was super warm. The tendering process can take a while, and I would recommend going to the front desk in the morning and getting a tender ticket so you can get to the beach and secure a nice spot (I would recommend the hammocks that they have set up in the trees). In Nassau we did the Sea Lions Encounter excursion (in the same place as swim with the dolphins) and I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this trip. You get to meet the sea lions, see them do some tricks, hug them, feed them, and play with them. We also purchased a painting done by one of the sea lions, and the proceeds went to rescuing sea creatures in need. The port of Nassau left something to be desired. The town was very crowded and busy, so unless you really like to shop an excursion was your best bet. Overall, the Jewel was an amazing experience. It had plenty of activities to keep you entertained all day long (And at night), but there were also plenty of spots on board where you could just curl up and catch some rays or read a book. I am already planning my next cruise with NCL and would highly recommend this cruise line to anyone looking to "Get Away" (I know that is Southwest Airlines but it works) :=P Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Background: My wife (25) and I (26) were on the May 22nd- 29th sailing aboard the NCL Jewel. We had zero experience with NCL as this was only our second cruise, and I must say we were spoiled on our first cruise which was RCL Liberty of ... Read More
Background: My wife (25) and I (26) were on the May 22nd- 29th sailing aboard the NCL Jewel. We had zero experience with NCL as this was only our second cruise, and I must say we were spoiled on our first cruise which was RCL Liberty of the Seas (a massive ship). We chose NCL because of price, time line and the fact it left from NY. Embarkation: I live in Cherry Hill near Philadelphia, and we decided to take the bus since we did not want to pay parking and could not have someone drop us off or pick us up. We took an early bus (Bolt Bus from Cherry Hill mall). After a short taxi ride we arrived on pier around 10:45. At the time they were not letting anybody through and had a small wait. As we were there early the process to get into the terminal was quick and painless. However, we did have to wait in the terminal for about an hour before we were actually boarded. All in all it wasn't that bad as a process since we were there early. We heard the Buffet would be crowded so we went to the TSAR's to eat (will do food later). Stateroom: My wife and I are in agreement that since we are rarely in our room that instead of splurging on a balcony we save that money and put it towards the excursions or other cost of cruising. Our stateroom was in 11131 all the way at the aft of the ship. I was nervous about this as I read a lot of reviews saying that it was noisy and you can hear everything from the Garden Buffet above you. After staying in the room I must say I was glad the buffet was as close as it took me only a couple seconds to get food and eat haha. I will be honest and say you will hear some noises but you really have to be listening for them to be that bad. Like all cruise reviews it depends on the person I guess. I will add this with RCL's liberty of the seas the inside rooms are pretty big but bathrooms tiny (especially the shower). The inside room on NCL Jewel were a little small but the shower was pretty big for a cruise boat and I enjoyed that. Service: Overall service on the ship was great except for a few small bumps. We did encounter some people with poor attitudes and we immediately put in some "Dear John letters". Our main CD was Ian B. (I don't know how to spell is last name forgot), he was a great CD very funny and very engaging. I also enjoy the work of his assistant the great Bingo boy Sinan. I will add this that I did purchase the Soda plan and while it was worth it, it seems like not one server is happy when you show them that little sticker. Be prepared to wait a little bit on getting your soda or refills. Other than that service was great. Food: I understand this is a subjective topic but I will add my two cents. I thought the food was great where ever I went (Except once). I love breakfast and ate it at the garden buffet every day except the once I did the Le Bistro Brunch (more later). For all those who complained about not enough seats must have not realized that Mama's kitchen in the Aft was open for anyone to sit in (for breakfast and sometimes lunch). Of course if you go eat during the real busy times you will have trouble finding a seat for dinner. I only ate Lunch or dinner at the Garden buffet twice as my wife and I were usually too full from breakfast or because we like to enjoy the MDR and its ever changing menu. We mainly dined at the Tsars and only did Azura once (small and can get loud). Overall the menu was diverse and tasty. I liked everything I tried and my favorites by far were in desert category. If you see the peach and blueberry cobbler or the sugar free lemon pie please order double because they are spectacular. I spent a couple lunches and many late night 4th meals at the Blue Lagoon because the Buffalo wings there are amazing (recommended by fell CC members). On one of the dress up or dress down nights we chose to eat at Cagney's and although the dinner takes longer it was great food. Last but not least was the Le Bistro Brunch ($15pp cover); the buffet and salad bar were great. If you are doing this I recommend not ordering the Eggs Benedict as it is the same thing you can get upstairs in the Garden Buffet. Other than that it was well worth the extra cover. Entertainment: Overall I was quite pleased with the entertainment on board the ship. The best of all I must say was the Cirque Bijou show as the performers are quite talented. I would recommend getting there early as it fills up quick at both Shows. The same performers were in "Band on the Run" which is an entertaining flash back of songs and dance through the 70's. Jean Pierre the magician/comedian is also a must see as it was an overall pleasing performance (a lil adult humor at times but mostly above the heads of little ones). The Second City comedy group is hilarious whether at the clean night showing or their adult show later on in the night. The chocolate goddess of love was just ehh. We saw her on opening night and it was funny because she embarrassed (in good fun) 4 grown men, but we chose not to see her full show. I must say I wish the final show which makes up acts from the cruise crew lasted longer as many did ethnic dances or routines and were quite entertaining. Overall I enjoyed the secondary late night entertainment. Dancing with the Jewel Stars was a great hit as was the not so newlywed game. I thought the Quest game could be better as if you weren't on a team you weren't really involved. Make sure you get there early as seats fill up fast however, I will add this do not be like the rude people leaving the theater early just to get seats. The White hot party was a blast so make sure you bring some white to wear (you do not have to but it's all in good fun). For those worried about nickelodeon please do not. Besides witnessing one slime show you have to try to see the characters. I never once saw Dora or SpongeBob and never thought the ship was overrun with kids. Shore Excursions: Our first stop was in Port Canaveral. We had some trouble getting off the boat as the lines were held up and became a little long. Other than that it was a great experience as I chose to do the surf lessons from Ron Jon Surf academy and my wife watched/ recorded from the beach. This was an experience of the lifetime and I recommend it to all with caveat saying there is a reason why most surfers are "ripped" or in great shape. Surfing is a workout and you will get pounded by the waves and it is very tiring. Our next stop was the NCL owned island of Great Stirrup Cay. The tender process did take some time but it allowed my wife and me to sleep in a little and enjoy breakfast. The island is small and because we were doing Atlantis aqua adventure the next day we decided to just lie around and tan. The island and water were beautiful. There were not enough chairs until later in the day so we laid our towels out. I will say this and not to do with NCL but I am appalled a people general rudeness and lack of caring. People routinely stepped on our towels and trampled on our stuff even with us sitting right there. That I can get over but the lack of caring from people is sick. By the end of the day the beach was littered with trash, cigarette butts and bottles. It's a shame really. Lastly we went to Nassau Bahamas. There we decided to enjoy the day at Atlantis Aqua Adventure. We did not go through the boat; we did our own thing through comfort Suites. All I can say it was cheaper and faster than doing it through the boat. We got there a lot earlier than the people who went through NCL. Aqua Adventure was great time I especially enjoyed the rapids river as it is different and more fun than the lazy river. Debarkation: As others have said this was a mad house. I guess NCL forgot it was fleet week so we disembarked at the small pier. They were only allowing 60 people off at a time and it was a mad house. Whether walk of Color luggage tag no one was listening and everyone was getting in line to get off. This was understandable because a lot people had flights and buses (Me) to catch. The line stretched from the fwd of the ship to the Aft with people and their luggage. That line was the only long part because once in the terminal for US citizens it was pretty much grab your luggage and go. We made our bus with plenty time to spare. Overall: Great Trip, Great food, great shows, great almost everything. I enjoyed freestyle cruising. I will say that I am a fan of the bigger boats so my next NCL experience probably will be with the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Unfortunately, this critique will primarily be about the suite, the services and amenities that came with it, First off, my FiancEe and I had not vacationed in two years. We definitely needed it. Our cruise left on April 24, 2010, out of ... Read More
Unfortunately, this critique will primarily be about the suite, the services and amenities that came with it, First off, my FiancEe and I had not vacationed in two years. We definitely needed it. Our cruise left on April 24, 2010, out of NYC. We stayed in the Pink Diamond Suite, which is an Owner's Suite (AA). This particular suite has two balconies. This suite is located on deck 10, specifically in the left front portion of the ship. Having balconies in the front and side (port) and also having 5 windows. The front balcony has two lounge chairs and a table. The side balcony has four chairs, two tables and a foot stool. The side balcony is equivalent to two balconies. Back to the inside of the suite, there are two bathrooms. The smaller bathroom is basically a toilet, sink and telephone. The main bathroom has his/her sinks, full bathtub with TV, separate shower stall, toilet with telephone and two windows. Also in the main bathroom area is a walk in closet, having his/her closet space, two robes with matching slippers, a pressing machine, make up area, and two safes. The living room area has a couch, chair and a very comfortable large lounge type chair, large TV with DVD player. The dining area has a table with four chairs. There is a wet bar having a coffee machine and refrigerator. You receive complimentary champagne, large bottle of water, large bottle of mineral water and 6 bottles of liquor or you could substitute the liquor for 3 bottles of wine, which we chose (2 red and 1 white). The bedroom area consists of a large queen size bed, with some of the most comfortable bedding ever...the sleep we got was out of this world. You receive the same size TV with DVD player at the end of your bed. The bedroom area is also your gateway to the front balcony, therefore you have a large window and the doors just past the bed. I say doors, because you have the water tight door as well as a another door to deal with. Pictures of our suite can be found at: http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u80/bmn68/Cruise042410/ Look for our folders on the left. You can see various times of our cruise, as well. There are only four of such suites, having two on deck 10 and again two on deck 9. As an Owner Suite you receive Concierge and Butler service. Other perks with the suite is access to Cagney's breakfast and lunch service; having access to deck 14, specifically, the Concierge Lounge, Villa Sundeck and Private Lounge areas, which has a pool, hot tub, sauna, gym and plenty of lounge chairs and sun. You also have special seating area in the Stardust Theatre (upper left balcony area). You will know this after your first day, because the muster drill has you appearing in the same area...I deem it a perk, as most of the people on the ship will be going outside, as you remain inside. Also you don't have to bring or wear the life preserver. Ok, now for the break down. The suite was beyond expectation (10 rating). Our Butler was outstanding (10 rating). Our Steward was exceptional (10 rating). Our Concierge was the only reason why I cannot give a perfect rating for my critique. Since we rated the above, the rating our Concierge receives is a strong 8. I will explain the reason why it wasn't a 10 in a moment. Another perk you receive having a suite, is the Owner/Villa Suites Lounge area during the check-in process. In this room you have access to coffee, tea, water and snacks. You meet your Concierge and are provided an escort to your room. Out of the seven days, we took advantage of our Butler by dining in lunch and dinner 5 of the days. Having the suite gave us access to all the restaurants on the ship (menus provided in the room), with the exception of the Japanese - Teppanyaki restaurant. As we dined in our suite a lot, we chose the following restaurants: Cagney's, Le Bistro, Chin-Chin, Mama's Italian Kitchen and the Azura. The first day we had lunch by the main pool, as they offered a barbecue (The Grill). We were provided 3 plates of food, consisting of various cheeses, nuts, fruits, hors d'oeuvres and chocolates daily at 4pm, which were compliments from the various heads of departments on the cruise ship. From leaving NYC, the only bad weather day was Sunday, in which it rained and was windy. However, being a sea day, it didn't affect us, as our side balcony was enclosed. The rest of the cruise we had just about perfect weather, given the month. The wind primarily was blowing from the rear right to the front left. Simply meaning we hardly had any wind from our front balcony except for the wind from moving forward, which provided a cool welcomed breeze into our suite. Each night we were fortunate to have the sunset on the left side of the ship. Each day we were fortunate to have the sun on our front balcony. I was burnt by the third day of the cruise. We are gamblers, therefore just about every night we were in the casino. Having been on the Dawn and Spirit, I can tell you that this casino gives you more of the Atlantic City feel, as it is appears to be larger. The pit bosses were great. They knew our names and even provided us free drinks, which made our losses less felt. They provided free coffee/tea and offered a buffet style food arrangement after midnight. This kept us going till 0430 hours in the morning. We closed the casino twice. By the end of the cruise, we made out...sorry NCL! We attended the Cirque Bijou show on the last night. It was standing room only and rightfully so. The show was great. This particular cruise has three stops scheduled. First was Port Canaveral, FL, NCL's private island and on to Nassau, Bahamas. Due to rough waves at their private island, we headed to Nassau instead. Instead of one day at Nassau, we had two days. Having been to their private island twice, I was not complaining about skipping it. It is a pain getting off and on the ship and the beach is always crowded. We did not participate in any of the excursions. Now onto why I cannot provide the Concierge a 10 rating. Keep in mind my rating of a strong 8 is not bad. Anyways, I asked while at Port Canaveral, FL if my father (in his 60's) could board the ship and stay with us for a while in the suite. I provided the Concierge my father's DOB and driver's license, as per his request. Sunday afternoon he contacted us and stated that my father could not come on board. I know this is a personal reason, however I felt the Concierge ignored us for the rest of the cruise afterwards. We normally cruise in suites and know what service they normally provide. After Sunday, we never spoke nor saw the Concierge. Again my rating is personal, take it for what it is worth. As part of the Cruise Critic gang, we met at 1100 hours on Sunday in the Azura Restaurant. We met the Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director, and various other crew members. The Captain offered a tour of the bridge on Thursday. Later during the day on Thursday there was a Cabin Crawl...where everyone can see each other rooms. We passed on the bridge tour, as we were privileged to have our own private tour on the Spirit. That and the real reason was the fact we closed the casino that morning...LOL! Overall, we highly recommend this ship. We were pampered. It is a very clean ship. It was a very relaxing ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We sailed out of New York to Port Canaveral and the Bahamas. It turns out it was the Nick Theme cruise which we did not know about until we were on the ship. We were wondering why there were so many children on this cruise. It was pretty ... Read More
We sailed out of New York to Port Canaveral and the Bahamas. It turns out it was the Nick Theme cruise which we did not know about until we were on the ship. We were wondering why there were so many children on this cruise. It was pretty contained and the kids were no bother at all. The embarkation process at the Port of Manhattan was easy. We live in Brooklyn and it didn't take long for us to get there by subway. We were on the ship within a half hour of arriving at the port. We went to the Garden Cafe/Great Outdoors for lunch and to wait for our room to be ready. Great day weather wise. The muster drill was easy and quick. The sail away party was a lot of fun. Our state room was an ocean view room. There was plenty of drawer and closet space. The bathroom was good size and we liked the separation of the toilet and shower. My only complaint was there was no amenities basket in the bathroom like on other cruises. We only got a small bottle of lotion. No biggie! Our room steward and his assistant were excellent. I cannot remember their names. They showed us the little dial that is on the outside of your room that you turn for cleaning, turn down etc. They were very attentive. The bed was really comfortable and we always had plenty of ice and towels. I give the gym a low rating due to always too being crowded during peak hours Some people hogging the equipment past the 30 minute limit. The two days at sea going south were a little chilly and the weather was a little sketchy. But by the time we got to Florida it was sunny and warm. Freestyle Cruising- We loved the concept and took full advantage. We did not mind paying the cover charges. I will say that the Tex Mex dining was the worst of the pay dining and Blue Lagoon was the worst of the free dining. The tex mex did not really have much flavor and was some what cold. And Blue Lagoon was pretty inedible. We really enjoyed Cagney's, Tappanki's and Le Bistro. We went to the "Jazz Brunch" at Le Bistro and really enjoyed it. We thought the food in Tzar's was just okay. Garden Cafe was good for breakfast and lunch items. We enjoyed the "tastings" they had. We went to the Sangria and Tapas tasting that was excellent. Living in New York we are used to the higher prices for going out to eat so we thought the cover charges were more than reasonable. We are casual people and liked that even in the pay dining rooms we didn't have to get dressed up. We liked the casual atmosphere through out the ship. The staff and crew were great and really friendly. We never got anything less than a smile or a hello from anyone. "Big Al" the bartender at Maltings beer and whiskey bar was the best. He greeted us by name the second day we met us. He would have our beers poured by the time we sat down. All in all we had a great cruise. This was our second cruise but our first with Norwegian. Our first cruise was with Carnival. We would put Norwegian ahead of Carnival. Would certainly use NCL again. We wish we were still on the ship. I want to close by saying that we purchased our cruise through a travel website. We got a great deal and thought that we really got our moneys worth and then some. We thought the drink prices were reasonable and the dining options were great. A great trip and a great honeymoon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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