6 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Canada & New England

Background Info: My wife and I are fifty and took this cruise out of Manhattan for our Anniversary. We are middle (maybe upper middle) class family and have traveled. We have stayed in motels/hotels/resorts/very nice hotels. We eat out ... Read More
Background Info: My wife and I are fifty and took this cruise out of Manhattan for our Anniversary. We are middle (maybe upper middle) class family and have traveled. We have stayed in motels/hotels/resorts/very nice hotels. We eat out often and have been to some very nice restaurants in the past. This was our third cruise in a twenty year time span. Hotel Info: We stayed in Manhattan prior and post cruise. That I will leave up to you and your needs in accommodations, Manhattan can have very pricey rooms. I like to arrive early and leave late so plane problems do not make me miss the boat (and vice versa). Ship Info: WE took the NCL Jewel Nova Scotia cruise in October to see the fall foliage. We had a balcony room (10040) on the starboard side (the boat left in the afternoon giving us a great view of the Statue of Liberty from our room. On return in the early morning the other side had a night view from their room (But you can always go up on deck). Activities: The Fall foliage tour was a bust. The leaves had not turned and the cruise ports are boring without it. Hint: Next time I will wait and check the internet maps, when I see the leaves have changed we can hop a plane and take a ground tour or drive. Service: I hate to say it but the service on NCL was really really BAD. I can't say the crew was rude, they always say please, thank you, Sir, Madame. But getting them to do it with a smile. it's more of an attitude. I got the impression the crew is not happy with their jobs. About half 50/50, give poor (slow) service or look unhappy. The other half are fine, and occasional bad service can be over looked, but 50/50 does not come close to cutting it. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Getting on was fine, we waited in line about half an hour but getting off was a mess, I felt like they were throwing us out with the bath water. No they did throw us out. This might be the N.Y. Port Authority area but it still reflects on NCL. Leave extra time (over two hours) to get off the ship, get your own bag (no help), and catch a cab. It was sad to watch the older passengers trying to haul one or two big suit cases three blocks and then have to cross a busy N.Y. intersection with construction going on all over the place. Thanks NCL, the last impressions are the lasting ones. Stateroom: The ship is newer and the room is quite nice, small (O.K. real small) but nice. Not spotless clean (crew again ) but fine. For a Ship designed in the 21st century to have a tube T.V. (not flat panel) and to have 7 channels of programming is beyond poor. You might say people do not go on a cruise to watch T.V. But what if you have children or get ill and have to stay in the room or as we did, have bad weather and miss a port leaving you with an extra day at sea. HINT: Bring your own bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, lotion. The ship either does not provide it or its really cheap quality. The internet is wiifi (75 cents a minute.no.. not a miss print a minute) unless you bring your own Ethernet cable (how many people travel with their own cable!) Dining: I was going to call the food Home Town Buffet with a Waiter, but Home Town Buffet is not that bad and you never see the waiter. Just poor, really sad, a disappointment. Too be fare to the cook (chief um no cook) to feed two thousand people three times a day more or less at the same time is a big order. I would say its more NCLs fault for supplying low quality, low grade food. HINT: All the food comes from the same kitchen, does not matter where you dine. Same quality and same service, I observed the same person as my waiter in the dining room one day, cleaning up on the buffet deck the next. Entertainment: The show and music performances on the ship were great. In fact I was surprised by how good it was. I am also glad I have something good to say as this review is getting to be a downer (waaaaa). HINT: This is where you have to look at the average age of the passengers. The cruise director knows in advance the age and picks the entertainment to match. I'm sure the D.J. did not want to play that music, he was told what to play (I hope). Summary: So anyone going on a cruise looking for an all inclusive trip, dont look at NCL. From before you even get on they try to nickel and dime you to pay extra for everything. It just gets old after seven days (would you like your coffee in the collectors cup only $5.95 extra). One review I read before the trip had the right attitude. She said that her suite was great and they ate every meal in the pay extra restaurant and it was a great cruise and the service was just the best. It's just the person who chooses to stay in a balcony room and does not want to pay extra at every meal have to suck it up. As long as you know before you go..then you can't complain. If you are looking for a moving hotel room that has a great and I mean great view (O.K. it's a small small moving room), ours came out to be $430 a night, in Hawaii you might get that hotel room, in Halifax Nova Scotia you could get the whole hotel floor, then this cruise might be for you. To me the problem is that you need accountants involved i n your business decisions. NCL though is run by accountants and accountants don't make the best PR decisions, so you feel nicked and dimed. I will try another cruise line next time. Hint: Be careful when you are comparing prices between cruise lines, NCL charges a mandatory tip, not only on your stateroom, also on your bar bill, every time you get a beer a tip is included, mandatory. Also when you go to the pay extra restaurant, dont think you can order whatever you want off the menu, the good stuff is another extra/extra charge. So it all adds up and can make the cruise line that seemed to cost more at face value be about the same price. 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Sail Date October 2011
Background Information: My wife and I are in our mid 30's. My sister and her husband are in the late 20's and their daughter is almost 4. This is my 6th cruise and my wife's 5th. It was the first sailing for my sister and ... Read More
Background Information: My wife and I are in our mid 30's. My sister and her husband are in the late 20's and their daughter is almost 4. This is my 6th cruise and my wife's 5th. It was the first sailing for my sister and her family. Both families drove in to Queens and left our vehicles at my in laws (we live in Upstate NY and my sister is from RI). This is one of the best reasons to leave from NY for us. Embarkation: We have left from NY before and I have to say this was the easiest embarkation ever. No line as we got there around 11:15. My wife and I are Latitude members and were sent to a different line from our fellow party members. Did not matter since we both were finished at the same time with pre-boarding ritual and got on the boat at were able to walk on together. :) I had done my research before the cruise (almost to a sickening extent) on CC boards to find out all of the helpful hints for this ship. It definitely paid off and the advice of previous cruisers was helpful. Sail Away: We lucked out with weather and had a great sail away right past lady liberty. Activities: I have to say this is one area that I thought the ship was seriously lacking. ON one of the sea days my bro in law took out the daily activity sheet and showed me something quite funny. First the spacing on the sheet was ridiculous to make up room and make the page appear full. Secondly, they actually listed library open as an activity. That is sad . We usually go to the art auctions for the excitement and these were horrible as well. NO giveaways, only brought up expensive works and the speed at which the auction was conducted was horrendously slow. The art auctioneer was very knowledgable but needs to speed things up. They offererd free art to all that attend but not once was anything handed out. Ship could use more activities for sure Service: I found the service adequate. Room steward was awesome & did a great job Stateroom: Our room was fine and served its purpose. We spent hardly any time in the room. Dining: Before we left I read all of the dining reviews. I found the food to be decent. You can not expect 5 star cuisine on a lower priced cruise line. It is ridiculous to even think that going in. The buffet was good, the main dining room was above average and the specialty dining was decent. We only did the best of all brunch for the specialty restaurants. It was ok but nothing spectacular. Best thing about the food was the crepe station everynight right after dinner. Don't forget about the crepes. Kids Club: Our niece was in the Kids club and really liked it. She kep begging her mom to go there so I assumed she was having a good time. Entertainment: All of the shows were good. THE magician was kinda crappy, but that's what happens when you sit too close to the performance. Disembarkation: The crew screwed up a bit letting us off and it was poorly coordinated but all in all not too bad. I have been through worse. Where you get off in NYC is a little hectic but with good planning you will be all right. Summary: Great cruise. Halifax is a beautiful place. Portland is also one of my fave ports for this itinerary. The other 2 ports in Canada could have been there or not, did not make or break the trip. I would def do again, we all had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Our cruise to Canada and New England aboard Norwegian Jewel was below our expectations. We had cruised on Norwegian previously to Mexico and had a good experience once we adjusted to "free-styling". We are experienced ... Read More
Our cruise to Canada and New England aboard Norwegian Jewel was below our expectations. We had cruised on Norwegian previously to Mexico and had a good experience once we adjusted to "free-styling". We are experienced cruisers, 5 different lines over 13 cruises now. So here's the list in categories THE SHIP ITSELF1. Never, on any of our cruises, have I ever NOT been able to sit on the toilet in my stateroom. I'm 6'2" and physically could not fit (no knee room) on the toilet. Its designed at a 45 degree angle for some reason and would have been just fine mounted straight on. Otherwise, the bathroom and specifically the shower was quite spacious as stateroom bathrooms go. 2. Because of the Freestyle cruising emphasis on specialty restaurants, a high percentage of public area on the ship is dedicated to dining. When the weather got bad and the outside decks had to be avoided, the congestion in the public areas was remarkable. Don't think I ever saw a ship's library totally full before. 3. The ship allegedly, has issues with the thrust bearings on one of its azipods(propulsion system). So NCL cancelled the stop at Corner Brook Newfoundland, very disappointing, but to make it up those already booked, every stateroom got $100 on-board credit. So hey, stuff happens. Here's the funny thing though... we kept an eye on the ship's speed for the entire cruise... our speed over the ground (SOG in nautical terms) never exceeded 15 knots. That was it, 15 knots TOPS to Newport, Halifax, Quebec City and Sydney. After we were done with Sydney, NS and on our way to NYC... miraculously the Jewel became capable of making 22 Knots which is very close to her fastest possible top speed. So tell me again why NCL cancelled Newfoundland if she was able to haul that fast even in rough sea conditions? I have a theory, below. DINING 1. If you've never cruised on NCL before understand what "freestyle cruising" means... -Every day, when dinner time comes(you choose when that is, fair enough) you have to make a decision on where to eat, it becomes a topic of discussion every day, so if you like to keep busy with stuff like this you might like it. -Choose the wrong time to go to a restaurant and you will wait in line. They have TV monitors around the ship to help you see which restaurants are busiest and how long the wait might be. Maybe that dining strategy you and the family have been discussing all afternoon now has to be changed. -You never get to be known to a particular waiter/waitress so if you like feel like you're something special in the dining room, you'll just have to settle for using your imagination. 2. In all fairness, the food on-board the Jewel was quite good. Specialty restaurants we used on this trip were the Sushi Bar, The French and Tex-Mex restaurants. Not sure that there was any difference between the quality of the food at the buffet and the main dining rooms. ACTIVITIES and CRUISE STAFF Here's where I had the most problem with this cruise. 1. Every day you get a "Freestyle Daily" which tells you all about upcoming events for the next day. After a couple days on this cruise I started to categorize and keep track of the items on the schedule that were involved in raising more money from the passengers. "NCL U" NCL University is evidently all about educating people about alcohol. $$ programs at the gym, $$$ at the spa, $$$ at the shops, $$$$ at the poker tournament or bingo. You get the picture. I've never seen it so blatant and in-your-face on any other line OR on the NCL Sun(my only other NCL experience). 2. Back to the events again... there was a very high percentage of NON-events listed to make the list look fuller... I'm sorry, "Bridge with your fellow passengers" is not an event. Enjoy ping pong pool deck. 3. TRIVIA LOVERS.... don't bother with the Jewel. No one really cares about it. Poorly prepared trivia quizzes, repeated questions, staff that didn't know anything about the subject matter. They had a new system of people getting initials on a card for participating in an organized activity and an extra one for winning a quiz and then accumulating those signatures throughout the cruise. Evidently those with the most signatures at the end of the cruise got to choose better prizes than those with fewer signatures. So after every organized activity you had to stand in line(an NCL tradition) to get the cruise staff person to sign your card. Many of us just didn't bother with it and hey, that's just fine with NCL, have to give away less stuff. 4. CONSPIRACY THEORY Here it is... After being sucked up to for for more money for 7 days, and then seeing that the Jewel was able to cruise at a full 22 knots, I concluded, as did many others aboard, that NCL cancelled Newfoundland because doing so would generate more revenue. All those people stuck indoors with plenty of ways to spend money, beats letting them go ashore and missing out on the revenue. BOTTOM LINE OR NCL____If you've never cruised on NCL before, do not look forward to excellence in any aspect of the cruise. Its pretty run of the mill service, food is good but not outstanding (unless you spring extra bucks for it). BOTTOM LINE ON THE JEWEL_____ Specifically on the Jewel, I think the cruise staff is lazy, inattentive and unmotivated by anything but raising revenue. Lets face it, all the cruise lines are hurting to some extent, but for me, NCL really rubbed it in my face. It will be a long time before I'll try NCL again. If you know your way around cruising, you know that "Freestyle Cruising" is just a marketing trick designed to attract those that have never cruised before. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This was our first NCL cruise and we were a bit apprehensive at first because we had heard some negative things about NCL. Let me say that nothing we heard was true and, in fact, this was one of the best cruises we have taken. We flew ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise and we were a bit apprehensive at first because we had heard some negative things about NCL. Let me say that nothing we heard was true and, in fact, this was one of the best cruises we have taken. We flew into LGA on Friday and used Dial7 car service to pick us up. (http://www.dial7.com) I found an internet coupon and the cost of a private car was the same as a taxi. We stayed at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central (141 East 44th Street, New York City, NY 10017.) This is a quaint, quiet hotel. We took cab to the pier on Saturday morning and completed the check-in process in less than 30 minutes. The cabins were not available until 2 p.m. so we walked around the ship and sat on one of the upper decks and watch the boats and activity on the water. We were docked at Pier 88 (next to the Intrepid). The rooms were done early so we found our room (10022). The room was small but efficient. The balcony does help make the room seem larger and not so cramped. Our luggage arrived by 5 p.m. No kidding!! We originally had not booked a balcony cabin, but with the itinerary changes, we moved to a balcony. We signed up for the Thermal Spa pass for the week. This gave us access to the spa facilities (sauna, steam room, hot tub, and heated ceramic chairs). Best money we spent all week. The relaxation room was quiet and is the right up front of the ship with a wonderful view. I needed this cruise for the downtime to rest and relax from a busy and chaotic year. The extra sea days allowed me to take time for myself and relax. Type A people will not like all the sea days in this itinerary. Having the balcony to sit and watch the sea was wonderful. The food was good -- both in the general dining rooms and in the specialty restaurants. The two speciality restaurants we visited were Chin Chin (Asian) twice and Tapas (Tex-Mex) once. I had a seafood dish at each dinner. The entertainment was great. Cirque Bijou was phenomenal. Lynn Trefzger, ventriloquist, had great audience participation. The Second City shows were funny and the cast showed up at other ship-sponsored events which allowed them to showcase their talents. The entire crew was friendly -- even the guys doing maintenance. Our cabin stewards (Umberto and Myrna) were fantastic. We asked for an extra pillow and it arrived in seconds (I kid you not!). Because of the itinerary and length of cruise, this tended to draw an older crowd. There were few children on board (at one time, I heard a count of 6). We never had to wait for an elevator (unless it was after a show). The passengers were pleasant and friendly. The highlight of the cruise was having the captain invite the Cruise Critic members to visit the bridge during a sea day. I encourage you to sign up for your cruise's roll call on Cruise Critic and go to the meet and greet. We met the captain and his officers and this is where the bridge invitation came from. Overall, the captain was really involved with the ship's activities. Shona (cruise director) and Sinan (assistant cruise director) were fantastic. We lucked out and had excellent weather for the entire cruise. Sun, 60s, and smooth sailing was the norm. The last day was windy and rocky but it was a sea day and there was packing to do! Things to know before taking this cruise: 1. This is not a large ship so there are not a lot of activities taking place. We heard several people complaining that they did not have enough to do as they were used to being on the larger cruise ships. We went for rest and relaxation and this ship was perfect for this. 2. Plan to pack clothes that can worn in layers. The weather would be cool in the mornings (high 50s) and warmer in the afternoons (middle 60s). It can also be windy. 3. If you're looking to see the leaves changing, take this cruise on a later date. The leaves were just beginning to turn colors when we were there. 4. If you use a wheelchair, take the handicapped accessible tours. Both Halifax and Quebec City are on steep hills and it would be difficult for companions to push the chair. Also Quebec City, in the areas we were, were full of steps and I saw few ramps. 5. The ship offered two laundry specials which meant we didn't need to pack as many clothes since we could send them out. There are no public laundry facilities on board. We were disappointed by the itinerary changes but would take this cruise again in hopes of getting to the other ports. We arrived at 8 a.m. in NYC. We elected to carry off our own luggage and sailed through customs. We walked across the street for a taxi and there was a large line waiting for taxis. An event at the United Nations had forced a lot of street closings so there was a lot of chaos at the taxi stand. At one point, a private car driver asked if we needed a ride and jumped at this opportunity to get out of the taxi line. We found two other ladies to ride with us to LGA and we arrived at the airport way before some people found a cab. Next time, I would arrange for transportation to pick us up. To sum it up, we enjoyed our first NCL cruise and this will not be our last. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Short review - we found the staff to be wonderful if we had any problems they did their best to solve them they were very warm and friendly. We found the food to be great. We didn't have any problem getting substitutions during ... Read More
Short review - we found the staff to be wonderful if we had any problems they did their best to solve them they were very warm and friendly. We found the food to be great. We didn't have any problem getting substitutions during dinner, my husband doesn't eat vegetables and would always ask for a substition. The beef Wellington and Prime Rib were fabulous. The entertainment was fabulous and well worth the price of the trip. All the entertainment in the bars and lounges were great also. If you are not entertained on this trip you would have a hard time finding anything to entertain you! As usual we heard people complain about things but that is normal, you can't make everyone happy all the time. I think some customers expectations are beyond reasonable and are too hard to please. We did not use the gym, we walked on the walking track on decks 7 or 12 if we wanted exercise. We wanted to be outside as much as possible. We also did not use the spa. Embarkation - my parents drove us to NYC on 9/11. I thought we would have a lot of traffic, but we had no problems getting into the city. We had a very slight delay going thru the Lincoln Tunnel. We arrived around 11:30 and we were on the ship by 12:15. Very simple process and we waited maybe 15 minutes. We stopped to take pictures and took our time getting on. We went up to the garden cafe to eat and went to the very back of the ship and sat in the New York sunshine as it was a very beautiful day in the 70's. Around 1:30 the announcement came that we could go to our staterooms. We waited until 2 o'clock until the stampede to the rooms was over and we had no trouble. Went to the room and unpacked the carryon and sat on our balcony, our luggage came to the room at 3:30. Unpacked the rest of the luggage and by then we were ready to leave. We primarily picked this cruise for our 20th anniversary and because we would not have to fly since we live in PA. I was really excited about leaving from New York and going by the New York skyline. We were on port side so we initially could not see the Statue of Liberty but as we were past all the buildings the ships back end swung out and we could see her. It was very beautiful exciting leaving New York City. We had dinner at Azura, we both had Salmon which was very good. Saturday's entertainment was the comedian Ross Bennett very good show he was very funny. Sunday - we had a very beautiful day in Newport, RI. We had slept in a little and did not get a tender ticket. By the time we were done with breakfast we could get right on the tender after a 5 minute wait. We went to the visitors center and got the #67 bus, the back parking lot there is a set of yellow poles you stand at and wait the bus goes every 20 minutes. We paid the $6.00 each so we could hop on and off whenever we wanted. We took the bus to the beginning of the Cliff Walk, at Ruggles Ave. we exited and toured The Breakers, this is a very beautiful home. We walked down to the tea house and decided not to go any further the walking was getting treacherous so we back tracked to Ruggles Ave. and jumped back on the #67 bus and went back to the visitors Center we walked around the shops for a while and got on one of the last tenders back to the ship. Sunday night we had dinner in Tsars dining room sat with another nice couple from Virginia had a very enjoyable evening. Entertainment was hypnotist Brenda Kaye is was a good show and funny. Monday - was a sea day. Had a Cruise Critic roll call meeting at 11 o'clock with the Captain and his staff. We had a very informative meeting and got to ask any questions we had. Relaxed most of the day and walked around on deck 7 on the walking track. Had dinner at Tsars again. Entertainment was Harry O'Donoghue singer/songwriter/storyteller from Ireland. Very entertaining. Tuesday - docked in Halifax at 7am. Because I ran out of time planning our ports before we left I didn't have anything prescheduled. I did have the phone numbers for the 3 car rental agencies. I called Avis and got a Jeep Cherokee. We walked there which was a good hike up hill, he told us the shuttle wasn't running because no other ships had scheduled cars. Lesson learned, make sure to call ahead! We drove down the coast to Peggy's Cove and on further to Lunenburg. We took the scenic Lighthouse route on the way down and took route 103 back we were running out of time and needed the fastest way back. Having the car and being on our own was great then we could stay as long as we wanted we would do this again. Although we did get back too late to drive around Halifax. Had dinner at Azure and the entertainment was The Second City comedy group, very hilarious show. If we had been to the early show we would have gone back and seen the second show. Wednesday - was a sea day and also our anniversary. We slept in and relaxed by the pool reading and sleeping. We made reservations for Cagney's Steakhouse. We both had strip steaks and they were fabulous, very tender and juicy. We would pay the extra $25 pp to go there again. They gave us a small coconut cake and sang to us. Entertainment was the NCL band and singers in Band on the Run. They sang and danced to songs from the 70's, very good show. Thursday - was also a sea day since they had cancelled our stop in Cornerbrook. We had a cruise critic meeting to tour the bridge with the captain. He explained the process of docking and we got to ask any questions. We had a pretty good turnout so at times it was hard to hear everything the Captain was saying. We walked around on the bridge and took pictures with the Captain. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and napping! Had dinner at Tsars, entertainment was Jean Pierre Parent comedian and magician from Montreal this was also a very funny and entertaining show. Friday - we were dock from 7am to 7pm in Quebec City, what a beautiful city! We had a 3 hour tour outside of the city with Taxi Coop. He took us to a local vineyard and orchard on the island of Ile d'Orleans. On the way back to Quebec we stopped at St Anne's Bacillica and the Montermacy Waterfall. We would highly recommend this company. We ask him anything about Quebec he was very open. Got back to the ship at lunch time had a quick lunch and spent the rest of the day walking around Quebec City. This is a very clean beautiful city, I wish we had been there for more than a day. We did not see the entertainment Friday night, we were in the city until 7pm and then sat on our balcony to sail out it was a very beautiful day. We did see the entertainment in the Spinnaker that evening, Liar's Club. The liars were Daniel from Second City, Magician Jean Pierre, Cruise Director Shona and Assistant Cruise Director Sinan. This was very entertaining, they had very obtuse words and the audience had to guess who was telling the truth about the meaning of the word. Saturday - was a sea day and we spent the day relaxing and napping again! NCL had a murder mystery dinner which was an extra $20pp, this included dinner at Azura. This was the first murder mystery we joined in on and while I found it fun there were too many people participating. There were almost 150 and we were split up into groups of 8 and the tables were sitting right beside each other. We had 2 people in our group that could not speak loud enough and tables aside of us that were yelling. One table finished about 15 minutes before us and when the leader read the answer to the murder she actually yelled as she was talking so you could not help but hear her. I took notice as she was talking later that she was talking normally, not sure why she found it necessary to yell the answer. I didn't say anything so I don't know if anyone else in our group heard. So before I do this again I would inquire as to how many people were participating. Entertainment was ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger she was very funny and entertaining. Sunday - was in Sydney Nova Scotia. We took the NCL excursion to the Fortress of Louisbourg for $84.99pp. Since our time in Sydney was cut back to 4 ½ hours we thought we would let NCL drive us then if we were late it would be ok. This included about a 1 hour drive to the fort. You do not have enough time at the fort to see everything so while we found the whole trip very cool they should extend the time at the fort for another 2 hours to enable the visitors to see more. This was an actual village from the 1700's that was destroyed by the English in 1760. Canada reconstructed all the buildings starting in 1960's. It is the largest reconstructed 18th century town in North America. There are costumed interpreters all thru the village you can talk to and you can see the process of the reconstruction from the architecture, the costumes, the dig, everthing you can imagine. We would go there on our own if we get up there again. It was a good trip but $85pp is too expensive for the amount of time you are there. The website for the fort is www.pc.gc.ca/louisbourg. The entertainment for Saturday was Le Cirque Bijou which was fabulous. We actually saw this twice because the first time was packed and we had to sit up in the balcony to the side so there were things we missed. This was also the night they had some of the staff from the ship up on the stage and you could take pictures after the show. Monday - our last day at sea. The ocean started getting 7 - 15 foot swells because of Hurricane Igor. The pool was closed and it was pretty windy on the outside decks. They had a smaller show with Second City in the Spinnaker Lounge and we mostly relaxed the rest of the day. The entertainment for the evening was a Farewell Variety Show, Lynn Trefzger the ventriloquist and singer Jane Powell performed. It was a good close to the cruise. Tuesday - I got up at 5am so I would be ready when we sailed into NYC, and I was so happy I got up early. We were sailing up the Hudson as the sun was rising. We sat on the balcony as we were sailing by the Statue of Liberty, it was so great. Disembarkation was easy, since my parents were picking us up we took our time eating breakfast and waited for last call to get off the ship. It was pretty busy getting off and we took our own luggage. We walked thru the line and were directed right to customs. There were about 8 lines for United States citizens and 5 lines for citizens outside the United States. Passengers getting picked up by private cars or Limousines are to get picked up on Level 2, cabs and excursions are picked up on Level 1. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We followed our usual procedure of booking through our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant. Over the years, she has become more than an efficient and knowledgeable cruise consultant. She is, now, considered a trusted family member. She knows ... Read More
We followed our usual procedure of booking through our NCL Personal Cruise Consultant. Over the years, she has become more than an efficient and knowledgeable cruise consultant. She is, now, considered a trusted family member. She knows our likes and dislikes better than we and is ever ready to take those idiosyncratic little questions that always occur between booking and sailing. Living in the Midwest (Chicago), travel to and from the cruise is more complicated for us than those lucky people who reside near embarkation cities. To reduce travel costs, we take two BIG B2B2B+ cruises per year of 2 or 3 weeks each. Also, we alternate between air and train travel, in order to use frequent flyer miles for our plane travel. In the same vein, we visit the embarkation and disembarkation cities for several days. For this trek, we opted to take Amtrak from Chicago to New York City on the "Lake Shore Limited", departing at 9pm on Friday and arriving in the Big Apple at 6:30 pm on Saturday. We took a bedroom compartment which was comfortable and provided enough room to relax while alternating between enjoying the scenery and scrabble. complimented with our BYO wine. The daylight travel along the Hudson river was magnificent. For the price of a taxi, we pr-booked a private car service (Dial 7) to meet us at the Pennsylvania station which we learned about through the Cruise Critic thread. We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn, Times Square which was within walking distance to city bus tours and the theaters. The hotel was lovely and the full breakfast (included) was served in very plush surroundings. On Sunday, we used the hop on/off bus tour of Manhattan for a memory rekindling of past memories and took in the theater in the evening. On Monday, local friends we'd met on an earlier cruise picked us up and gave us a tour of Brooklyn, including a fantastic meal at the "Karczma" Polish restaurant. In my opinion, Polish cooking raises peasant food to an art form and we were not disappointed with the "sampler" dinner. On Tuesday, the "Dial 7" car service transported us from the hotel to the pier. The transfer of luggage from car to porters was quick and painless, as was the pre-boarding check in with NCL at 11 am. With our "Suite" priority boarding and the super welcome by Concierge Anca Samfir and Hotel Director Steve Jacobsen, we were in our Cabin by 11:30, enjoying the magnificent NYC skyline from our huge balcony, while sipping champagne. We decided to make full use of our "Suite" inclusions. After the a heart stirring sail away past the twin tower site, Lady Liberty, and Ellis Island (entry point for our parents and grandparents), we ordered dinner in the cabin from "Cagney's" menu, served, course by course, by our butler, Charlie. The next day, we docked in Boston at 8:30 am and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the Suite dining room before embarking on an NCL "Freedom Trail Walk" excursion at 12:30 pm. While we enjoyed the first 2 1/2 hours, herself was having severe back pain (pre surgery) and we decided to return to the ship an hour early. This wasn't too bad, since we were meeting two of her relatives (at 4:30) for a family reunion at the "au bon pain" located in the terminal building at the dock. The Boston sail away was nice but could not compare with the splendor of New York. We had 7:30 dinner reservations at the Tango restaurant. I consider the Tango to be one of the secret jewels of the Jewel. I know it has had mixed reviews but I think this is due to a lack of understanding of a "fusion" restaurant. Tango is a fusion of Tex-Mex (spicy)and Spanish Tapas (more bland). You're seated with complimentary Margaritas and presented with a menu by the ship's best dining staff, starting with Maitre'D, Elena (going to Epic?). I think they give it extra "oomph" to compensate for their Cinderella "step child" reputation. A "not to miss" dish is the "Lobster Taco". It's chunks of lobster meat in a white wine sauce wrapped in a taco. Ask for it, even if it's not on the menu. Also, don't forget to order the "White Sangria" it's delightful. The next day was "at sea" and we had a lovely Meet & Greet, in the Bistro, with Captain Constantinos Fafalios (a warm and charming people person) and his, ever helpful staff, including: Hotel Director Steve Jacobsen and Service Coordinator Rochelle Brown. In the evening, we returned to the Bistro for a romantic dinner, in gown and tux for dress up night, before seeing the late show (Band On the Run) which was enjoyable. On Friday, we docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia at 8am. We booked NCL's Peggy's Cove and City excursion by double decker bus. It was a quick once over that included the juxtaposition of the scenic and city modern. It was nice but not memorable. That night, we dined in our cabin, ordering from the Main Dining Room menu. Our butler had a fix our likes and dislikes and offered several recommendations, based upon his recon of the kitchen. His suggestions were spot on and we learned a valuable lesson: "listen to Charlie". Saturday was "at sea". But, this was our first cruise with platinum benefits and we really enjoyed our "behind the scenes" ship's tour. Our guide, Service Coordinator Rochelle Brown, in turn, introduced us to various officers and departments: Hotel Services, Dir. Jacobsen; Waste Management, Environ. Off. Marcos; Beverages, Dir. Harris; Food Prep, Dir. Saldana; Laundry, Mstr. Windandar; Theater, Dir. "Svetlana"; and (saving the best for last) The Bridge, Captain Fafalios. That evening, we dined at Mama's Italian, our favorite restaurant. Their house specialty is what we consider the Haute Cusine Italiano: Osso Bucco and Rissotto. With a bottle of Chianti, we were in heaven. Sunday was "Quebec Day". A local resident and fellow CCer (Julie) offered to guide a tour of "her home town" on the CC thread. We gleefully accepted and were delighted with her offer and our acceptance. She escorted 10 fellow CCers on a short walking tour of the "old lower city" (look for the 3D murals on the sides of buildings), followed by a funicular ride to the upper walled city and the world famous Chateau Frontenac. It was magnificent. She suggested a lovely and reasonably priced place for lunch (Restaurant aux anciens Canadiens), adjacent to the Chateau. We dined in our cabin that evening, ordering from (you guessed it) the French Bistro menu. It kept the mood and moment of a wonderful day flowing into the night. Monday was "at sea" and we decided to make it "Pamper Ourselves" Day. We spent the day using our NCL Deluxe Honeymoon Package ($229): Breakfast in bed, Two 25-minute Massages, Honeymooners' Champagne and Cake party with photo, CanapEs delivered to stateroom with the included champagne (saved from embarkation), and a Romantic dinner for two in Bistro with a complimentary bottle of wine. The 2nd night at the Bistro kept the after glow of Quebec alive. On Tuesday, we docked at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. We had an early breakfast in the Suite's dining room and headed off for NCL's "Charlottetown by double decker" bus excursion at 8:15 am. There really isn't much to see in this port but at least we can say "we've been there..done that." We invited some friends for an "in cabin" dinner and ordered from the Main Dining Room menu. Great friendship and good wine, what more can you ask for? Ah, Wednesday...Sydney, Nova Scotia. After breakfast, we headed for our 8:15 am NCL's Bras D'or Lakes Grand Tour. This was very memorable day for me. The scenery is awe inspiring and includes a visit to the Alexander Graham Bell Museum (it's where he retired). But the Highland Village Living Museum in the town of Iona is very special to me. My ancestors (The MacNeills) were from the Scottish Hebrides island of Bara, about 40 miles north of Ireland. In the late 1500s, half of them went to Ireland to help their cousins (The O'Neill's) in the last war of Irish nobility against England. After the war was lost, the MacNeill's were not permitted to return home and were forced to remain in Ireland with no land or work. Many of the descendants of the MacNeills who had remained in Bara, eventually emigrated to Nova Scotia in the 1800s and founded the town of Iona. This tour gave me the chance to reconnect with the saga of my roots which I first learned from my mother's knee. It was back to the Bistro for dinner, using our platinum comp with wine and toasting my good fortune that my ancestors had been stranded in Ireland, eventually forcing them to emigrate to the United States. After dinner, we adjourned to the theater for "Cirque Bijou"...This is a must see. The evening was topped off with late night dessert at the Chocoholic Buffet. Thursday was spent at sea with a day of leisure. We finished off the day with dinner in the Asian fusion restaurant Chin Chin (ok but not great) and the comradeship of new friends for a farewell dinner. On Friday, we docked in New York at 8am. We bid our new friends an "Until that time" goodbye. For us, 10 days, completed....14 more to go. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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