4 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Canada & New England

Fodd was good and plentiful. The entertainment was superb. Embarkation was a breeze. Ken the cruise director was fantastic, always directing a fun time for all on the cruise. Scott, his assistant cruise director, was high energy and a ... Read More
Fodd was good and plentiful. The entertainment was superb. Embarkation was a breeze. Ken the cruise director was fantastic, always directing a fun time for all on the cruise. Scott, his assistant cruise director, was high energy and a quick wit. I know that this cruise to Canada and New England would be great as Kevin Sheehan, the CEO for Norwegian, was on the cruise with his wife and daughter on vacation. Where to begin. The entertainment. Rosie, of Fire and Ice, is a tremendous singer, doing reviews of Tina Turner, MoTown, Michael Jackson and Soul Train. What a voice. David Naster, is a veteran comedian, with many laughs and some profound insights. Modal Magic-great singers and music. Incanto-what great acrobats. Manniso and Alessia. The NCL singers and dancers-what great shows and also great acrobats especially at the last night's show, Le Cirque Bijou. Kenny Byrd a great ventroloquist. Harry O'Donoghue a great Irish story teller, comedian and singer. The happy action was on the ship, the ports in Canada and New England were so-so Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Norwegian Jewel Cruise September 17 to 14th, 2011 Traveling with 6 couples was a great experience for all of us combining good friends with great scenery. We left New York City Harbor and had a great time taking in the Empire State ... Read More
Norwegian Jewel Cruise September 17 to 14th, 2011 Traveling with 6 couples was a great experience for all of us combining good friends with great scenery. We left New York City Harbor and had a great time taking in the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the city skyline before heading in for dinner. The cruise was on the Norwegian Jewel based on some research, talking to our travel agent and reading reviews on this site. We took a limo early Saturday morning that dropped us off right at the pier that was really nice and then picked us up for the return. Dining we ate breakfasts in the Garden Buffet and most lunches. It was good and you could get all types of food including eating healthy with a lot of fruit up to eggs, bacon, waffles, etc. We ate around 8:00 am and it was never crowed until later. Lunches except on the day we got on the ship when we ate at the Tsar's Palace offered many options as well. Evening meals we preferred the Tsar's palace as they could seat 12 together most of the time. We did eat at Chin Chin one evening and it was good Chinese food, but did not make us change from the Tsar's Palace. Also tried Azura's but it was noisy and the food was the same. Of course you can eat your way through the day. Activities: we went to most of the evening shows in the Stardust theater and liked the 70s dance show, the Incanto show with a man and woman who were tremendous acrobats and Murray the Magician. Murray also gave some magic trick lessons that you should not miss and get there early to get a seat. Also the show on the last night was great. We did take advantage of other performers who were located in the different areas based on the type of music they played. Fitness Center and deck for walking on 7 were all part of our routine and the last day most of our group took advantage of the pool as it warmed up. The early part of the trip was cool and was a nice change from the hotter weather we had been experiencing at home. Sydney, Nova Scotia Here we decided to take the NCL excursion to the Fortress Of Louisbourg that was the morning trip that left at 10:30 and was 3 ½ hours. Our guide was very informative and shared some interesting stories about the site from his boyhood that brought depth to the visit. Once we arrive, he took us on an hour tour and then left us alone for 45 minutes. We saw several homes and buildings all that were reconstructed. A soldier demonstrated the preparing of her rifle to shoot and described her uniform. We bought some bread baked in the bakery and spent time inside several buildings including eth Governor's home in the Fort. We skirted showers because there was an afternoon tour that was hit by showers so we felt lucky to tour the site in the morning. It was a great choice. There is a small building at the cruise terminal where crafts are sold by local craftsperson, but we did not fine much for us Overall a great trip that we would do again and take in some other areas to tour because these ports have a lot to offer for excursions. 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
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 3.8
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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