15 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Australia & New Zealand

Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked ... Read More
Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked and called my bank it had never been stopped..it was the the ships staff's fault..no apology and rude service at the service desk. Drink package extremely too high. My wife did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. The drinks were grossly overpriced and had another 20% added on top plus USD prices then converted to AUD...biggest rip off ever. The tender service was shocking at every port, waiting lines up to three hours in the hot sun. The food was terrible even in the restaurants, the buffet was cheap and sloppy. Just ok service at restaurants, even the specialty ones (3). The cabin beds were hard Had to take pain pills for a severe bad back pain .The whole 19 days were pretty dismal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates looked like it had been a rush job but it was still very good. We found the ship very easy to navigate and explore. This was stark contrast to our previous cruise with MSC in Northern Europe. The food on board was probably the best we have experienced on a cruise particularly the buffet and the french restaurant. Simple but good. Cruise staff were friendly but not overly friendly and our cabin was well maintained, As per usual NCL Ports of call were excellent and getting off and on the ship was seamless.Did not use onboard excursions as it was much cheaper to organise our own. Disembarkment in Sydney was excellent and the quickest we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because of the private watercolor class which was offered to me on full cruising days through Art in the Mountains. Because of that class, I was busy on all of the cruising days. We came early to Sydney and stayed a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the private watercolor class which was offered to me on full cruising days through Art in the Mountains. Because of that class, I was busy on all of the cruising days. We came early to Sydney and stayed a couple more days after leaving the ship. This were great days of exploring the city and learning about Australia's history. I felt like the excursions were expensive for what we got. And that the descriptions of the excursions were not always accurate or maybe a little misleading. This was disappointing. Additionally, the descriptions of next day locations did not always appear accurate, ie. distances to a specific site which needed a car, when people could walk without difficulty; car needed when public buses were available; cycling along path, when actually frequently along traffic. Big problem between what we found on line and what excursion staff told us, who did clearly not have any personal experience or knowledge of the excursion. Quite frustrating. We also did not get any of our boarding paper work before leaving home. It was a mess!!! Were it not for a well versed hotel desk clerk, we would have not had any of the things we needed including suitcase tags, etc. Your communication was not good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and ... Read More
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy. Sydney was an absolutely beautiful pier. The food and service at Cagneys was delightful. Selection of food was varied and very good in all other restaurants. Felt the taste of the food of the Chinese restaurant Chin Chin did not live up to my exceptional experience in the Norwegian Gem. Not sure if they modify the food taste and spices based on where in the world is sailing from. The tours were all good to excellent. My cabin Stewart was one on the best I ever had and I have been on dozens of cruises. The disability officer on board was exceptional. We were lucky and had exceptionally smooth voyage with minimal rough seas. The entertainment was varied and unquie. The cirque Bijou was mesmerizing and worth the trip. One on the better shows I have seen. The other shows were good as well. Had great lounge singers. Fell in love with Carrie who played guitar and sang songs in some of the lounges. Had small glitches in the 13 days aboard but every one was resolved to my satisfaction. Pleased with the customer service orientation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we ... Read More
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we would spend the next two nights and fortunately we have relatives there so spent the time with them. Two days at sea took us towards New Zealand and the sounds. Then everything went wrong. First of all I came down with acute gastro which we were told was taken onto the ship by a passenger and this was the night before Dunedin so had to spend the next couple of days in the cabin with room service (not that I was up to eating anything). As I started to recover my husband came down with it so another two days spent in the cabin. By the time we were feeling well enough to venture about we had missed the first 4 ports of call. I went up to the Garden Cafe as I did not really want to eat too much and thought that it would be the best approach. How wrong could I have been. None of the food there could persuade me to eat other than a couple of crackers and two slices of french stick. I found most of the bread on board seem to be sweet as though there was sugar in it. Had a look at a desert and whereas I like apple crumble I could not persuade myself to have choc/orange sauce on it. (where was the vanilla custard) so decided against it. I think they need to change their menu a little more as most days there might have been a couple of different dishes but mostly everything was the same. It is also a sad affair that I had to purchase a half a dozen bottles of water for the cabin which obviously went on our bill but could have drunk as much alcohol as we liked because we had the drinks package included in our fare which by the way was not cheap. We paid over $11,000 or the two of us and heard a few passengers bragging that they had managed to get their trip for $1,500 each. OK they had an inside cabin but that is a big difference. On a good note the ship itself has a good layout and the couple of shows I did manage to see where very good. I was surprise there wasn't a few more chairs with small tables on deck 7 most of the seating was around the swimming pool area and in the sun so found myself sitting on the balcony of the cabin so I could have a drink at my side and look out to sea. We have traveled extensively on cruise ships previously so in the end was very disappointed with this venture on a new to us cruise company. No more Norwegian for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Itinery was good, until they changed the whole 19 days , the day before we sailed. This ship had the worst service, worst food and as far as things to do on board,,,,bored,bored,bored. Its all about making as much money as they can on ncl. ... Read More
Itinery was good, until they changed the whole 19 days , the day before we sailed. This ship had the worst service, worst food and as far as things to do on board,,,,bored,bored,bored. Its all about making as much money as they can on ncl. When you complained about things they just say thanks for your feedback. We got off after 9 nights, this was a 19 night cruise. Never had such rude staff, bland boring food. No one was happy on board. The woman at Azure dining room didnt even greet you at night, just looked at you. Buffet staff didnt help cleaning tables etc. Didn't have range of beer, and what they did have was flat. If you complained to pool deck bar staff, they just ignored you and walked away then charged you for drinks you didn't even have, another argument with concierge staff. Don 't know how they can take your money, then change itinery to below what you had booked for. Seats in theatre were so low down, shows were ok. Started repeating acts. I would never recommend to anyone, we have been on several cruises with other lines and they were all great. So many unhappy people on board, glad we disembarked half way through wasn't going to stay another night on the cruise from hell. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists ... Read More
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists rotating to take their turns. Little changed. On Sea day, the ship entertainment is dead. Nothing happening and the daily programme is the same like the previous day.Why can,t we have a movie in Stardust theatre everday or have a large screen facing the swimming pool to show recently released movies If you go on Princess Cruise lines, you have entertainment on the big screen rather than same old muscians playing the same songs. Have you ever wondered if people near the pool really listen to what they are singing about. BORING. Needs to put on an entertainment that is refreshing and enjoyable. I hope the message gets to the entertainment dept. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My wife and I like to try different ships/different destinations hence Norwegian Jewel for the first time and Kangaroo Island and Eden as places we had not visited. First impressions are very important and when we boarded the ship and ... Read More
My wife and I like to try different ships/different destinations hence Norwegian Jewel for the first time and Kangaroo Island and Eden as places we had not visited. First impressions are very important and when we boarded the ship and entered the Atrium it was very bright and spacious and gave a good feeling. We had booked through an American Travel Company 12 months ago at a very reasonable price which included the Ultimate Drink Package and 4 Specialty Dinners which made the price even more appealing. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to know that you did not have to keep tabs on what you had. We could not fault the food although the Garden Cafe was much the same as buffets on other cruise lines. We certainly can recommend Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Moderno and La Cucina Specialty Restaurants. I read on Cruise Critic that "Jewel" is in the TOP 10 Ships for entertainment and we have to agree with over 200 cruise days to our credit we have just experienced the best two shows we have ever seen on water, BURN THE FLOOR, seeing is believing and these 2 shows were closely followed by LE CIRQUE BIJOU and THE BARRICADE BOYS. You would think this would be enough to bring us back to NCL but what did it for us was when the Captain, Officers and various members of the crew were on stage thanking us (passengers) or cruising with them and then they lined the corridor out of the theatre shaking our hand. Thankyou Captain Kenneth for a wonderful 10 days. Oh well back to reality 'til next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this ship as usually cruise with Princess and wanted a change. As Australians who had been to most of the ports it was more for rest and relaxation than for new experiences. I had read many reviews of this ship and was concerned that ... Read More
Chose this ship as usually cruise with Princess and wanted a change. As Australians who had been to most of the ports it was more for rest and relaxation than for new experiences. I had read many reviews of this ship and was concerned that we may be disappointed with the food and the decor. Not at all. Overall the food was very good but occasionally we had dishes in the buffet that could have been hotter. Menus in the dining rooms were varied and service was efficient. Staff were excellent and so friendly and helpful. Our cabins were smaller than some I've had on other ships, as was the balcony, but spotlessly clean with comfy beds. Entertainment was varied and most performances were excellent, particularly String Fever and the balancing duo. Theatre was large and always managed to get a good seat. Bars were on the small side and when music was played seats were hard to get. Outdoor areas were under utilised by our group due to the rough seas but would have liked a game of tennis on the full sized court. Embarkation and debarkation were efficient and speedy. Did not take any of the ship's excursions as prefer to do our own thing. The tender operations were good, so long as we waited until the rush was over. When the ship has completed its refurbishing it will look more modern but our group of 4 were happy with the bright colours and the fish patterned carpet which showed us the way to our cabin. Only one place to buy coffee and the staff were rushed off their feet. Coffee not up to Australian standards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have just returned from a 10 day cruise on Norwegian Jewel around the southern ports of Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Contrary to what I have read on some reviews, the food on board was very nice, with about 10 ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10 day cruise on Norwegian Jewel around the southern ports of Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Contrary to what I have read on some reviews, the food on board was very nice, with about 10 different places where you could eat. We found the Teppanyaki and Brazilian BBQ our favourite, but had no complaints with the other restaurants. We had the Specialty Dining Package, and never lined up to get into any of the restaurants. The anytime-dining means you don’t have to make a booking, so just turn up when you’re ready and meet new people every time you dine. You would be hard to please if you faulted the food on the ship. People please remember this is a Cruise ship and not a Michelin Star restaurant. One thing we were very impressed with was the facilities for people with disabilities. In the Garden Cafe and in the Stardust Theatre there were seats and areas reserved for people mobility aides. The shows were as good as any we had seen on other cruise lines and varied and entertaining. Burn The Floor put on some excellent shows. As well, there is entertainment in other bars and the Spinnaker lounge. Our favourite was Hotwire. There are digital noticeboards around the ship to keep you up to date with what’s going on during the day and also the booking availability of the various restaurants. Getting on and off at most ports was reasonable good. We didn’t do any Ship excursions because we had been to most of the ports before so just did our own thing. Two people we would particularly like to thank are Anton Oborovich (Asst. Executive Housekeeper) and our Cabin Stewart Alberto, who went out of their way to make this a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We originally chose this ship for the itinerary and to try out a different line. The original itinerary included Melbourne, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln, Hobart and Eden. This was changed after 6 months to Melbourne, Adelaide, ... Read More
We originally chose this ship for the itinerary and to try out a different line. The original itinerary included Melbourne, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln, Hobart and Eden. This was changed after 6 months to Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Burnie, Hobart, Eden and Sydney. Still an excellent itinerary with 18 hours in Melbourne allowing us a full day visiting family. The visits to Kangaroo Island and Eden were not full days and with both ports being tender operations made it difficult to get full value out of the offered tours. We opted to go it alone or book with private tour groups saving many dollars. Embarkation and Debark at Sydney was a breeze and a pleasant experience. The ship is very comfortable but certainly showing her age. We had some stormy seas but being fully stabilized, the ship handled the seas with ease. However, i would not want to be accommodated in one of the suites as these are way up high on deck 14. We understand she will be going into dry dock in Singapore early March after her repositioning cruise from Sydney. The demographics on board was mainly from the Americas with also many Europeans and Asians. There were fewer Australian's than expected with most having sailed with NCL previously. The Roll Call meet and greet was well supported and attended by all of the senior officers. Each attendee introduced themselves and each of the officers gave an outline of their roles. One oof the better meet and greets we have attended. There are 13 restaurants to choose from with 7 being complimentary. We did not opt for a speciality dining package but there certainly is something for everyone, from Tepenyaki to Steakhouses, Italian to French. We ate in either of the 2 main dining rooms or at the Garden buffet. Tzar's main dining is at the rear of the ship. The service was excellent however, the meals were average with, for example, Baked Salmon being served overcooked. The Azura dining room is located centrally and would suit people suffering from the motion of the ocean. We could not fault the food from the Garden Cafe with a different base menu each day. This buffet is situated on the starboard side from midhip and spills out into the Great Outdoors seating area on the aft deck. This location also serves late night snacks and drinks. O'Sheehans bar & grill is on deck 8 midship just above the Java Cafe in the Atrium on deck 7 and is open from 6am through to 4am! Great for light meals but also serves a massive mixed grill. On occasions we found the music wafting up from the Java cafe to be too loud to enjoy the meal. The Java Cafe serves as the only Espresso coffee bar on the ship and doubles as a normal bar. Long waiting times for coffee is the result with the barman come barista concentrating mainly on serving drinks. We understand that this situation is about to change with the next refurbishment. There are also 13 bars but not many Australian brands of drink to choose from. However, considering that there was no shortage of alcohol, we did not observe any unruly behaviour. Dress code is relaxed to compliment the free style dining theme. The main dining rooms require neat casual and above with no shorts, thongs etc and we were happy to observe these reguirements being strictly adhered to. A pleasant change from some of the sloppy standards on some of the ships operating out Australia. Smoking is restricted to designated areas but it was disappointing to see that smoking was allowed in the Casino which is not allowed under Australian law. We avoided this area as best we could but a couple of the popular bars were in close proximity. The ship also has a Cigar Room, Library room and Card playing room. The entertainment was outstanding including singers and dancers from Burn the Floor and death defying aerial acts. The Spinnaker lounge on deck 13 forward gives fantastic 180 degree views and much of the games are played out here. There is a fantastic kids club but on this cruise there were only 19 children and we never saw them. Port services were outstanding with each port providing huge community involvement. There was no shortage of volunteers at each port. Unfortunately our time at Kangaroo Island, Burnie and Eden were far too short and rushed. Tour operators had to cut short their standard tours with the longer tours returning late and passengers complaining. Cruise Pricing with NCL includes a number of perks (and you have no choice but to take up this option). We booked a balcony cabin giving you a selection of 2 out of 5 perks. We opted for the Ultimate drink package and prepaid gratuities (the latter no longer being available). Being our first cruise with this line, the drink package came in very handy and we did not have worry about this extra cost. NCL charges 20% gratuity on top of every drink but this is included if you have the package. However, we cannot justify the extra $1000 per person on a 10 day cruise included in the base fare. We have loyalty club benefits on other cruise lines which more than adequately covers these so called perks on NCL. Therefore we will not book another cruise with this line. Overall we had a very enjoyable cruise with a fabulouse itinerary but unfortunately the ship will not be visiting Kangaroo Island next season. This is a big mistake as Australians are looking for variety in the itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this particular cruise because it went Sydney to Sydney and as we live near Sydney it was very convenient. The itinerary was also very attractive with 9 ports to visit. Embarkation went smoothly, even for first timers on NCL. ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it went Sydney to Sydney and as we live near Sydney it was very convenient. The itinerary was also very attractive with 9 ports to visit. Embarkation went smoothly, even for first timers on NCL. We went on board and were told that the cabins were not quite ready, so went for lunch at O'Sheehan's Irish Pub and were pleasantly surprised. My husband had soup and a burger and I had the tuna sandwich. Rather pleasant I must say. Once the cabins were ready we found ours easily. Cabin 8050 with a decent oceanview (not quite 7unobstructed, but pretty happy). The beds were made up as a queen so as soon as we met our cabin steward (Mark) we asked him to split them up so there was a lot more room. Our luggage was delivered quickly and even though there wasn't a lot of cupboard space I managed to fit all our clothes in it. 6 Large drawers and some open shelves helped a lot too. Quite adequate surprisingly. There were quite a few clothes hangers, but I bring everything on hangers so we had more than enough. In general the cruise was good. There was plenty of entertainment on board, music everywhere. Could have done with some quieter areas for reading as the Spinnaker's Lounge and Fyzz Lounge were also used for general entertainment. We played scrabble in the card room and that was good. The only negative there that we encountered people bringing in their meals and drinks which should not be allowed. The main negative for us was the FOOD. We had breakfast in the Outdoor Café most days. Could not stomach the Garden Bufffet at all. It reminded us of a shopping mall's food court, HORRIBLE!!!!! For lunch I was usually O'Sheehand's and for dinner we went to both Azura and Tsar, both served the same food. Azura was a bit dark, whilst Tsar's was bright. We met some lovely people during our shared dinners nd that was a highlight, because the food was in general abominable. The plates looked like a dog's dinner and the quality was rather low. Extremely disappointing as cruisers generally really look forward to their dinners. Desserts very dismissable. Blueberry cheesecake? What was that? And pavlova in a meringue nest??? The best thing about the dinners was the bread and the ice water. We used Chin Chin which was not the best Asdian place we have ever been to. One day we booked La Cucina because my husband wanted Spaghetti Marinara only to find out that Marinara is just a sauce, NO seafood whatsoever. We walked out before ordering. Teppanyaki was very disappointing. I have never seen fake Japanese Teppnyaki chefs before and the one we had was particularly clumsy as he dropped his chopping knives several tims. He then proceeded t9o cook a whole bunch of garlic for the fried rice and added spoonfuls of garlic butter several times. The filet mignon was beautiful, or would have been if h had not drowned it in soy sauce. Unbelievably salty. It cost us a bomb and was on of the worst meals we had. The service though throughout the ship was impeccable. From our cabin steward Mark to to wait staff, everyone did their best. Happy with the crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a 14 day cruise with a great itinerary - lots of ports to visit in New Zealand. Seamless embarkation with no wait at all and disembarkation was equally quick and easy. The ship's entertainment crew member, Gabby, ... Read More
This was a 14 day cruise with a great itinerary - lots of ports to visit in New Zealand. Seamless embarkation with no wait at all and disembarkation was equally quick and easy. The ship's entertainment crew member, Gabby, was responsible for the solo singles get-togethers, amongst her many other duties, and she was absolute fantastic. All our group concurred. She made a huge difference to our enjoyment level. The service by other staff members was also of a high standard. Reception staff, I.T internet cafe, the dinning staff, the excursion crew and the other entertainment staff genuinely surpassed service I have encountered on other cruise lines. It is surprising what a huge difference service can make! The ship is older than most other cruise ships but it was very clean and the dated lounges etc. didn't make a big difference to the overall enjoyment. I believe it will be going in for a retrofit in the next year or so. Evening entertainment was superb as were the shore excursions. Lots to choose from and their "Free at Sea" make the excursions more affordable. The excursion crew were somewhat disorganized and this often resulted in groups leaving the ship late for excursions. One was as late as 45 minutes - due to on board staff (not on-shore contractors) The only average or slightly below average was the food. It was institutional, boring and not as good as other N.C.L. ships. Unless one ate in the fine dining (surcharge) restaurant, in which case the food was better quality with more variety. Overall, this was the best cruise I have been on. Thank you N.C.L. !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room ... Read More
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room waiters. Especially the females. Some were rude and kept you waiting for ages before reluctantly acknowledging your existence. Then there was the consistently cold food. It became a game to see which one of us would be the first to get a hot meal. To be fair, there were some friendly staff in a couple of the bars. The managers of the dining rooms fell over themselves to assure you that things would improve and tell you that other people were praising the staff. Little changed for the better, especially breakfast on the last day when they made it obvious that we were not welcome because they had other things to do. And don't even think of eating in O Sheehan's. The final straw was the imposition of gst charges without notice half way into the cruise. Australian customs came on board and had to have heavy talks with them about selling duty free whilst in port. They refused to issue refunds or gst advice. I have encountered these charges on any other cruise. They simply had no idea what they were doing. The financial controller refused to meet with anyone and anyone else with authority had others blocking your way to them. We will never use Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was chosen as a short experience for a number of long time friends to get together for a few days, rather than just meeting for the occasional meal together, and would include the friends partners rather than just a "boys ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a short experience for a number of long time friends to get together for a few days, rather than just meeting for the occasional meal together, and would include the friends partners rather than just a "boys thing". The cruise was for 5 days, From Sydney to Tasmania and return, with days in port at Devonport and Hobart. The cruise was a pleasant experience, being the shortest duration we have experienced, and our first cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. Entertainment, particularly the evening floor shows was possibly the best we have experienced, with a cast of 7 musicians, 2 separate singers and about 12 dancers. We dined in specialty restaurants each evening, and the reservation service worked well. Restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful, particularly as wife has a dairy intolerance, and so the waiters always ensured that all the food that she had in the restaurants was suitable. All the meals were delivered in a hot condition, and no-one in our group had any complaints regarding the food. We did not take any shore excursions, as we were all familiar with the ports. All the crew were friendly and helpful when needed, and were a credit to the ship and company. After enjoying this small sample, we have booked our next cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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