12 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Asia

My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the add on pre cruise tour of Cambodia. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Once onboard we were told an announcement would be broadcast when our cabins were ready. After a bit of exploring we went to the buffet for a drink and a snack. Much the same as all other buffets people piling plates like it was to be their last meal and difficult to find a seat. No announcement came so we went looking to find our cabin was ready. The room was clean and tidy but a bit on the small side to other cabins and rather less storage. The balcony was also on the small side and a bit scruffy. My wife's luggage turned up fairly prompt but no sign of mine so off we went exploring and to have a cocktail or two. Time for dinner and still no luggage. I informed our cabin steward who said she would go and find out where it was. We didn't see her again until 3 days later when she said hello and asked how we were. The next time was our last night when she asked us to fill out a card that chose a crew member who excelled. So it was off to dinner in the clothes I had been wearing all day. Dinner was ok but nothing to brag about. Back to the cabin still no luggage so off to customer services. I told them of the problem and rather offhandedly the lady asked me if I had checked the luggage room. when I replied no I though luggage was always delivered to the staterooms. She said I should have checked there. Keep calm I told myself. I had to ask her where it was and made my way there. I located my case in the said room and was told it had been held back because there was a pair of scissors in my case. I had to get the scissors out and show them and was then told they were ok and I could take my case. This was now 9.00pm. My wife asked them why the information had not been sent to our room instead of us having to go round investigating. Norwegians customer experience is slowly going down the pan. Dining was not a great experience. We used Azure once and thought the room was dark and the low ceiling made it feel too compact and the meal was average but service was very good. Chin Chin was bright and cheerful and the meal was excellent as was the service. The other nights we had dinner in the Tsars Palace. This is a very delightful room, bright, spacious and luxurious. Service was ok most nights but there were some excellent waiters. The meals were quite mediocre and didn't live up to the opulence of the room. One night I had a lamb shank that was served with a slice of carrot and half a roast potato. I am not a huge eater but this was a bit ridiculous. Another night we ordered Irish coffees and as soon as they arrived we could see they were not right. The cream had all dissolved into the coffee, we picked them up and they were cold. We told the waiter who took them away and replaced them. The replacements weren't cold but slightly warm. We just left them. We told our waiter the following night and he told us they had run out of the whipped cream and were using powdered cream. He told us he would personally make coffees for us. The ones he made were very good. We found a lot of the meals we had were very average and quite often they were only warm. This was the only cruise where I only had one cooked breakfast due to the first one being lukewarm. The rest of the time it was toast, fruit and cereals. Bar service in general was very good except for when they ran out of mint for the mojitos. There was only one night where the entertainment was excellent. This was the Circus act. Some of the acrobatics were spectacular. The rock night was enjoyable. Two of the nights had solo female singers who I thought we just ok. The other night was not my scene at all with some very weird artists. the strangest being one huge overweight guy dancing in a leotard. It made me wonder why females have to cover their breasts when this guy had bigger breasts than some of the girls and he had them swinging about everywhere. But he was well received but not by me. The resident band were very good and performed a wide variety of songs. I cant comment on the activities on board as we only had one sea day so didn't explore. Cant comment on excursions either as we planned our own. We could not find any information on the ports we visited. This was our first Norwegian cruise and we found nothing that would make us want to cruise with them again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the longest embark that we had to endure after a long flight from US to Hong Kong one day prior. We were tired and hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed by the time we got on board because it was time for Muster. Our package included premium beverage, four specialty dining restaurants, unlimited internet, which was nice although the internet was crawling most of the time, and 120 free phone calls of which we used 55 minutes. We were extremely dissapponted to find out that we had to pay NCL $69 each to get a Viet Nam Visa and $89 each for a Cambodia Visa at embark. Of course, we were not aware of getting visas in advance because we planned not to get off in Cambodia because the ship only port one day there, and because we were in Cambodia 2017. The River Cruise Company advised us in advance that we had to get visa for Nam and Cambodia, but NCL did not. Moreover, Viet Nam charges $25 for its Visa; Cambodia charges $30, and it took us less than 5 weeks to get both visa. NCL charged $69 and $89, 3x the charge??? When several passengers asked the crews at the reception, one said because it was an emergency visas; other said to me because they “are merchant” visas. I pointed to that crew member the Viet Nam visa that was stapled to my passports in 2017 indicating that was a “merchant” visa, too, yet, I didn’t have to pay $69 and I got to keep the visa. I don’t know if that crew member got trained appropriately or he thought he could fool me into believing his feeble infor. On this trip, we had to turn in our Nam Visa on the last port day in Nam. So for those who want to keep it for souvenir are of our luck! The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was mediocre and poor in some instances. The restaurants’ staffs seemed trying but the execution was poor. At Cagney’s Steak house, I asked for a medium rare filet mignon, it came out rare. The server took it back, the kitchen recooked the steak that I already cut into instead of giving me a new one. What happened if I were sick with a cold or have some kind of contagious illness? Some thoughts for the management. Another incident at Chin Chin, Asian Fusion Restaurant, a line item on the menu, “Chinese Chicken...” one of the passengers asked the server, “what is Chinese Chicken?” The server responded with a laugh, “may be it’s small...” He then apologized later knowing what he said was inappropriate. Note for NCL management, there should be no Chinese Chickens, no American Chickens, and etc...on the menu. There were many more that we could name. In summary, we have cruised many times on large cruise ships and many more on river cruise ships, our experiences were better than NCL, which was our first time. We are not so sure if we want to give NCL a second chance! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of ... Read More
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of NCL branded drinking water. If you want any other brand, you need to buy it from the bar where the price (including automatically 20% service) comes to over $6. 20% service is for handing you the bottle. Specialty restaurants are extra. Best choices for shore tours are sold at a price too high for the level of this cruise. The activities may become overcrowded in particular in shore tours. From the specialty restaurants. we preferred the steakhouse Cagney's and Chin Chin Chinese, Sushi). Chin Chin is included except sushi, Cagney's is extra with prices on a la carte menu. It is worth to purchase the specialty restaurant package that basically includes 5 meals in any specialty restaurant. Out of 8 entertainment opportunities, only 2 were of good quality, both in the last days of the cruise. There is one shore trip included in each port, however we found out that in about 50% of the ports we preferred to purchase non included shore tours which are relative expensive. If you want to enjoy, plan to spend around $2000 extra per cabin - that would include gratuities, specialty restaurants, shore tours and reasonable drinking. The unlimited drink package is about $100/pp/day, for a 14 days cruise, only this may be $2,800..... Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a couples cruise to Asia covering Singapore (2 nights Pre-cruise) Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Hong Kong (2 nights post cruise) as part of celebrating my retirement Positives include quality of the ship (Refurbished in ... Read More
This was a couples cruise to Asia covering Singapore (2 nights Pre-cruise) Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Hong Kong (2 nights post cruise) as part of celebrating my retirement Positives include quality of the ship (Refurbished in 2018), quality of the food & choice of restaurants and shows performed by the ship’s cast were of a very high standard Negatives & where NCL really need to up their game are 1. Lack of organisational skills especially on-shore excursions. We booked 2 thru NCL & both times there was considerable delays in getting bus numbers allocated & getting all guests ashore. Worse was on Koh Samui where tenders were required & NCL only used 5 to transport around 2000 people over a journey that too 20 minutes each way. No surprise that we were 3 hours delayed on leaving port that night!! One other complaint about staff were those involved in teh excursions team. It is normal that they will have local knowledge & experience of the various local ports as well as fact sheets that help guests doing their ‘own thing’. NCL staff had neither & could only provide detail on the shore excursions that they offered 2. Costs - altho NCL came in around the same package cost as other cruise lines the fact they offered extras in the form of on-board credit & internet access anything that had to be paid for on the ship was way more expensive than experienced with other cruise lines. Average cost per excursion was €99 some of which we could have done ourselves at a fraction of the cost. We were also forced to purchase a Visa for Cambodia even if we were NOT going on-shore & staying on the ship. I enquired Pre-cruise & the embassy could provide this @ €35 per person it didn’t state that we would need a visa if we were not disembarking however, NCL billed us €99 per person. Considerable admin fee in my opinion 3 altho the ship’s cast provided excellent shows the acts brought on-board were less than impressive. In fact out of the 5 acts only one, Mary Jess, provided the standard of performance experienced on other ship’s 4. The locations visited were part of the reason we booked the cruise however, was surprised that the ship docked in what can only be described as container yards or working shipyards with the majority miles from the locations that we wanted to visit. For example, in Da Nang it was a 30 minute shuttle bus transfer (@$15pp) to the town/beach & that was the best/closest. Worse was Bangkok (2.5hr drive) & Hanoi (3hr drive) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Lots of issues This is the worst experience we had with NCL. A/C not working, hot water & cold change during shower, shower door jam would not close, problem with ship engine, not getting to port on schedule and leaving early, staffs ... Read More
Lots of issues This is the worst experience we had with NCL. A/C not working, hot water & cold change during shower, shower door jam would not close, problem with ship engine, not getting to port on schedule and leaving early, staffs not train (service terrible). for example, the waiter pour coffee for our friends but forget to pour it for us. In the past, our room were service for 3 times a day, on this cruise skip the morning service. We spoke with a lot of guests on this cruise, they also also indicated NCL have cut back on their service. Over all we had a bad experience. we were hoping for some compensation but no offer of compensation were made. No A/C in rm for hrs. No TV for couple days. Staff not trained, poor service. Rm cleaned late afternoon. No Port talks given and little info on ship. Arrive Ports late and cuts. Worst cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 ... Read More
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 pm. Captain and crew did not communicate why this was necessary. 4. Many staff seemed unable to provide basic information. Our steward was not contactable when we needed . It may be a lack of appropriate training 5 Cocktails served in plastic cups with little or no garnishes. Ecomy measure? 6 Guest services not a happy lot. Unsmiling, not friendly, officious and at times rude 7 Embarkation was a disaster. Many staff were inexperienced. Disembarkation was however a dream. 8 Some of the shows were good : others not so much. 9 Leisure activities offered did not reallynsuit us It was a poor experince aboard the NorwegianJewel. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The food and the service was the worst I have ever experienced in comparing to the 19 cruises I had before. Menu in the complimentary restaurants were almost the same every day for 15 days. We chose to eat outside of the ship as many ... Read More
The food and the service was the worst I have ever experienced in comparing to the 19 cruises I had before. Menu in the complimentary restaurants were almost the same every day for 15 days. We chose to eat outside of the ship as many times as possible. Waiters and most of the crew members never greeted any guests, including sales personnel in the shops, they just ignored you. Shows were terrible, only the shows by Lisa Anna Ching and the acrobat show at the end of the cruise were good in a 15-night cruise. Shuttle bus for Kagoshima was $15 per person which was a ripoff and no shutter bus was arranged in Shanghai which was a distance from the nearest subway station. Due to the visa problem of a few guests, the ship was delayed to arrive in Hong Kong which had created problems in the shuttle bus service. I definitely will not take any NCL cruise again and use the same money to go for other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard ... Read More
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard outside, deck 4) and were happy with the general experience. We took the perks at sea package and had 4 dinners for two at the specialty restaurants plus $50 off each person's tour at all of the ports. Also we got 250 internet minutes and 2 hours of ship to USA calls. We used all of these perks, even made some doctor appointments back home. The food at the upgrade restaurants was very good, especially at Cagneys where the filet was great. We also used the French restaurant, but liked Cagneys better. As to the dining rooms and the Lido, we found them to be good, but not great. Like most cruises, some items were very good and others just so-so. Service was OK, and the buffet was clean and appetizing. I recall that there were 12 port days on the 15 day cruise. We naturally used the ship tours for about 9 ports, but at Kobe we made independent tours that included the castle at Hemiji and the Kobe city zoo or animal preserve. We rate both of these as top notch. Overall, we really enjoyed the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le ... Read More
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le Bistro still our favorite. Proper cleanliness throughout the ship - male thermal suite always maintained well. Entertainment fair to poor. Same shows as 4 years ago. Music way to loud all venues. (When asked to pipe down upon port arrival [so we could enjoy Japan's Pier Greeting Performance by musicians and dancers] the topside pool musicians said no because its in our contract. Ruined the arrival for many.) This being an Orient cruise only 1 local entertainment brought on board although we ported at 8 different piers. Most disappointing. Cabin bedding terrible -- Norwegian changed mattresses for us and still could see the slump in the beds. Felt like sleeping in a hammock. Service charges are non-stop. Though our service charges were paid up front, still hit up with charges every time we orderrd a drink, food, or activity. These are a major rip off for all cruisers. Unusually long waits for NCL sponsored Destination Tours, and long lines on-board to book these tours. Do so before sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we ... Read More
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we were at the front on deck 5 and our friends were aft on deck 8. we spoke to infinity cruises who we booked through, the paperwork and organisation for infinity leaves a lot to be desired(at one time we had 2 extra people on our booking we had never heard off) they said it was the fault of ncl, ncl said it was infinity’s fault but offered to upgrade us for £700 per person(they must have thought that we would be happy to be ripped off) eventually we boarded the jewel, cafe and restaurant staff were top quality, customer services were also excellent as were the bar staff, food really good. trying to get a seat in the garden cafe at times was impossible, spent a lot of time wandering round trying to find seats. shore excursion staff had no idea about the places we were visiting, and got the feeling one of the staff was full of his own importance. communication was awful, the morning announcement over the speaker system was next to useless as you could not hear a word in the garden cafe, thought a member of staff would have told someone. the cabin was noisy, window was misted up so did not see a lot sometimes, the housekeeper i think did his own thing, 15 20 on 2 days before the room was made up, think he had difficulty getting up in the morning, was not the best housekeeper we have had by a mile. towards the end they ran out of some draught and bottled bears, and soft drinks. the organisation for the trips was chaos with everyone queuing up to wait in the theatre at once. we were told to collect our passports between 5 am and 7 am (yes 5am 7am) on the day we disembark, but then changed their minds and made it after 2pm the day we were in. altogether we have cruise 6 times with ncl, but this ship seemed dysfunctional with no coordination, will not go with ncl again, or will we book through infinity. i must say that the entertainment was first class. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This cruise was a lot of B2B trips. I did the 29 days from Sydney to Hong Kong. I was a single traveler, so got inside cabin on 10th deck. Menguel was my expert Steward. A lot of the ports were tendering ports. That means a lot of me-me, ... Read More
This cruise was a lot of B2B trips. I did the 29 days from Sydney to Hong Kong. I was a single traveler, so got inside cabin on 10th deck. Menguel was my expert Steward. A lot of the ports were tendering ports. That means a lot of me-me, pushing & shoving. Ships staff can’t comment or interfere with this type of behavior. They just smile & say, they’re sorry & doing best they can. Just plan ahead & get out early. Don’t ruin your fabulous vacation by getting upset over things you have no control over. It’ll work out fine. Ports were AMAZING. I guess new cruises will have overnight in Hong Kong as well. I did 4 days early in Sydney & 4 days post in Hong Kong. I was the most surprised in Vietnam ports. Loved Singapore. I had excellent guides. They really went into details for us. We used shoreexcursionsasia.com. Best tours, best prices. No need to convert currency in all countries. Only Australia, Singapore, & Hong Kong. All others wanted US dollars. Don’t need to overpack. Ship offered $19.99 bag laundry service. Duct tape your bag for strength & cram it full. You’ll cross the equator, so get ready for a fabulous Toga party. Food was what you’d expect on a cruise. This ships passengers average age was 63. Only 17 kids. Very laid back. Loved it. Take underwater camera. The beaches are amazing. I snorkeled GBR 2Xs, & snorkeled the beautiful pink beach on Komodo, Indonesia. AMAZING!!! Take poncho & sun screen. Definitely a hat. I love my new backbush Australian hat. Shows were so so. I’m not into the loud type of shows. So, only went to ones that interested me. Shore excursions main man, Marcus, was a delight. He tried to get people to understand the tendering rules, but they didn’t listen. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, ... Read More
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, is that time. Far too many people, rocking up in board shorts, singlets and thongs and expecting to be allowed entry to the Dining Rooms. We are not snobs by any means, but we do like to make an effort and dress appropriately, when we enter and are served a meal, in the ships main dining room. You want to dress and act like rednecks, then go to the Buffett. We did notice that waiter service, in the bars and dining areas, appeared to be cut back a little, compared to other ships. The food on board was very good, but we have experienced better on other Cruise Lines. Staff were very good, as we have found on other ships, but lacking in numbers on this ship. All the on board venues, both dining and entertainment, could have used some additional staff also, but on the whole, our cruise was good. The main theatre entertainment on this ship was exceptional and probably the best we have seen throughout our 15 cruises so far. The smaller bars provided reasonable music, but nothing you would write home about. Cruise Director and staff were always mingling with the passengers and available to answer questions. The Captain and ship's officers were seen to be walking around the ship daily and always speaking with the passengers. We joined the ship in Papeete and the whole process of getting on board, seemed to take forever, but this may have been the first time, a ship has embarked hundreds of passengers here and the facilities were just not up to task. Disembarking in Sydney was fine without any problems. As stated above with minor grievances set aside, I would recommend this ship for future cruises, if your happy to hang out in your shorts and thongs all day, then this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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