15 Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Mexican Riviera

Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our ... Read More
Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our stateroom person. The shows and entertainment were great. The gym has modern equipment that I was able to use and enjoyed. We enjoyed playing in the casino although I lost quite a bit of money. Would be nice if I got some back but did not happen. We took 2 excursion tours and we both enjoyed it. The tour guides was very good and knowledgeable and the price was great too. Overall we had a great time. This is our first rime to cruise with NCL but would take NCL again for our future cruises if given special deals and offers. My husband is a retired Military and be nice if we get some good Military offer too. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise because San Pedro is within easy driving distance so don't have a needless flight. Also, the UBP (beverage package) was a perk, probably what sealed the deal. Otherwise we could have taken another line or Holland ... Read More
Chose this cruise because San Pedro is within easy driving distance so don't have a needless flight. Also, the UBP (beverage package) was a perk, probably what sealed the deal. Otherwise we could have taken another line or Holland American out of San Diego like we did last year. Loved the Jewel. Not too big or crowded. Easy on and easy off. User friendly. Not the best food in history but plenty of choices (Hey, this is NCL, not Oceana). We ate at O'Sheehan's twice,Chin Chin(Chinatown it's not),the Garden Cafe, and Azura. Everything was satisfactory. The waiters were all terrific. This was part of Spring Break week so there were a lot of children and teenagers aboard.All very well behaved. Didn't notice any drunken college kids. They must have taken the Carnival. Had an inside cabin. Not paying extra for a room I don't use. We go for the Ports, not the ship or cabin. Everything went smooth as silk. We'll be back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife and I have taken 14 cruises together in the last 6 years. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and HAL. This was our first cruise on any NCL ship. We are senior citizens and do not have a lot of extra money but ... Read More
My wife and I have taken 14 cruises together in the last 6 years. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and HAL. This was our first cruise on any NCL ship. We are senior citizens and do not have a lot of extra money but love cruising. We are able to take as many cruises as we do because we budget carefully and shop heavily for the best cruise deals we can possibly find. We will never cruise Regent or Oceania as we would have to make a cruise on one of those lines our one cruise in 3-5 years because of price. I say this because in reviewing our cruises, I always try and compare apples to apples. The cruise lines we have cruised on are what I call mass market cruise lines. I do not expect from them gourmet food or spacious standard staterooms. I expect good to very good food in the complimentary food venues and adequately sized staterooms with adequate storage. The other thing you should know before I proceed with my review of this ship is that when we cruise, the ship itself is our destination. We do not care about ports and do not do excursions. If we could go on a 12-15 day cruise where all the days were sea days, that would be ideal for us. Given these parameters and our biases, I will proceed with my review of the Norwegian Jewel. The Jewel is the smallest ship we have been on to date. No big atrium with glass elevators. A small atrium with no elevators. We had an obstructed oceanview cabin, #8556. Despite the fact that we had more problems on this ship than any other ship we have been on, we enjoyed this cruise as much as any cruise we have been on. We entered the ship on deck 7. Since our cabin was on deck 8, we needed only to go up one floor. We were immediately impressed with the color scheme and decor of the Jewel. Wood paneling and bright but not overwhelming colors throughout. Our cabin was the smallest cabin we have had on any of our cruises with some tight spaces in various parts of the cabin but because of the way it was laid out and decorated, it seemed a little larger than it was. In any case, we made do and got used to it pretty quickly. It proved to be adequate for our needs. Problem #1 occurred when my suitcase arrived. I am very sensitive to heat and overheat easily. If this happens for a prolonged period of time, I get sick. I always have the thermostat turned down to the lowest setting but this has seldom proved adequate. I carry with me a small portable electric fan to aid in keeping me cool. My suitcase arrived with my fan missing and a love note from security telling me it was a prohibited item and would be returned to me at the end of the trip. I had read the list of prohibited items from NCL's website (as I always do before I book with any cruise line) and there was nothing in there even hinting that the fan might be a problem. It listed dangerous or potentially dangerous items and no hair dryers or irons, the standard prohibitions that all cruise lines have. So I went down to guest relations with the letter and explained that I have taken my little $7 fan on every cruise that I have been on so far and no other cruise line has prohibited it. He asked me if I had cruised NCL before. I told him no. he said "well, each cruise line has their own policies". I said that is fine but I checked NCL's prohibited item list and it wasn't on there. He pulled it up on the computer and quickly read through it and could not find any indication that the fan would be banned. I told him I wanted to talk to a ship's officer, the captain if necessary, as this was a medical issue that would endanger my health. If I had any indication ahead of time that I couldn’t have a fan, I would never have booked with NCL, ever! Also, I would have gotten a note from my MD if necessary, but again, there was no indication that this would be a problem. I asked him to tell me how my fan would be considered dangerous by any stretch of the imagination. He asked me to wait while he went in back and talked to someone. When he returned, he now said the fan was confiscated because it had do be checked to make sure it would not damage their electrical system by drawing too much current. They were going to have their electrician check it and if he approved it, it would be returned to me. He added, “we generate our own electricity so we have to be careful”. What? Other cruise ships DON’T generate their own electricity? Do they use the world’s largest extension cord? Whatever. I told him that would be fine. Just have the electrician give the fan the once over (after he is done checking the electric toothbrushes) and return it to me once he okays it, which I had no doubt he would. I pointed out that I have a CPAP machine which they let go through which I was confident drew a heck of a lot more current than the fan. I got the fan back late that night. But this was an unnecessary hassle that could have been avoided and a bad way to start the cruise. Problem #2 – When I went to put valuables in the room safe, to which you enter a 4-digit code, after I entered 3 digits, I encountered an error message. I obviously could not lock the safe as I needed to enter 4 digits. I advised the room steward who notified his supervisor. They sent someone up who repaired it but it continued to have problems locking. It would take anywhere from 4-6 attempts before it would lock. It opened fine. Problem #3 – About 2 hours after we arrived in the room, the toilet stopped working. It would not flush. I reported it to both my room steward and guest services. They had a plumber come up and after about an hour and a half it started working again. The next day it again stopped working at about the same time. Another call to guest services. Plumber again. Fixed after two hours. Third day, no problems. Fourth day, toilet stopped working in the early evening. Told the room steward who said yes, all of our section had stopped working. There was apparently a woman in one of the floors above us who was putting tampons down the toilet in violation of the small sign over the toilet that said not to flush anything but toilet paper. Fifth day, toilet again went out in the early afternoon. Another call to guest services. By this time, I was feeling pretty miffed about the inconvenience. I went down to guest services and remarked that I felt I should be provided some compensation given the frequency of the inconvenience. The guest services representative looked it up in his computer and told me that I had only reported one incident which had occurred that day. I told him, no, I had reported 4 incidents over a 5 day period. He said they had a record of only one reported incident, which was caused by another guest and they could do nothing about what another guest does, so I was not entitled to any compensation. I again said I had called guest services every time. He said it wasn’t in the computer so that was that. The 6th day was OK. The 7th day, night before disembarkation, the toilet went out again in the middle of the night. I called guest services. It was fixed by 3 am. Somebody in guest services must have discovered that I was telling the truth because earlier in the evening I received a call indicating that we would receive an onboard credit for the inconvenience. Problem #4 – Room noise. The noise from the entertainment in the Fyzz lounge on floor 7, below us, was very clear in our room. It sounded like it was coming from next door. We could not only hear all the instruments, but it was so loud we were able to make out the words of the songs they were singing. Additionally, on one morning, we were awakened but a very loud tapping, like someone hammering. This went on for half an hour. On another morning we were awakened by the sound of lifeboats being lowered. Since this was a matter of room location and there were no other rooms available, nothing could be done. Those were the problems. Now for the good stuff. Food – Here is where the Jewel shines. The Norwegian Jewel had one of the largest varieties of food and absolutely the most food accessibility of any ship we have been on, bar none. The food, in my opinion, ranged from good to very good. Cagney’s steakhouse, which we ate at one night, was excellent! If you are a steak person, this is worth the upcharge, although we had 3 specialty restaurants included as a promotion in booking this cruise, so it cost us nothing. We also ate at Le Bistro (very good despite them cooking my filet medium-well when I ordered it medium-rare. I sent it back and they cooked me a new one) and Moderno, also very good. Although there is a $7.95 charge for room service, there is a complimentary 24 hour pub restaurant, O’ Sheehan’s, which quickly became my go to place (loved the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce). It had a limited (although not severely limited) but tasty menu, which frankly, obliterated the need for room service. In addition, there were late snacks, which were really late night meals, available at various venues on the ship depending upon the hour, through midnight. You would never go hungry, despite the hour or your tastes and it was all complimentary – no upcharge. Kudos to NCL for that. RCCL could take a hint. Our last cruise on Anthem, there was nothing decent to eat, except pizza, after 9 pm unless you wanted to pay an upcharge. Complimentary room service on Anthem consisted of two pathetic wraps. The buffet had a wide variety of food, much of it very tasty, but too little available seating for the number of passengers. This was particularly evident on embarkation day for lunch and sea days, particularly at breakfast time. It was impossible to find seats, even at a shared table. People stood like vultures waiting to grab the first available seat of someone leaving. One of NCL’s policies which I do not like is that they prohibit you bringing factory sealed cans of soda pop on board. You must buy from them on board at exorbitant prices or go without soda pop altogether. Their stupid explanation for this is that they are preventing sneaking alcohol on board. Yeah? When was the last time they found somebody sneaking alcohol on board in a factory sealed soda pop can? Maybe, like never. The real explanation is that they want to get more money out of you. In any case, their complimentary food available policy makes up for a lot of ills, soda pop policy among them. Environment – We found the ship’s use of space and décor to our liking. The rich wood paneling, the use of fun colors and the use of available space was well done. We loved eating in Tsar’s dining room, which was gorgeous. The fitness room was well fitted. There are only two small pools and three small hot tubs. The pools were too cold to be of use all but one of the days we were there. The library was one of the best we have seen on a ship. The game room was nicely designed with good game tables. Both had very nice views. Activities - There seemed to be a wide variety of activities in the daily ship paper. I did not go to most of them as my wife and I are readers. We become “cruise potatoes” on cruises. We take cruises for R&R. We like to kick back, relax and read. We find a comfortable place to lounge, read for a while and then change locales and continue reading. We break for eating, napping and shows. Entertainment – In all the cruises we have been on, there were never performers who were not talented. Some had more talent than others, but all had sufficient talent to perform professionally. That being said, there has been entertainment I enjoyed greatly as well as entertainment I did not care for. That is a matter of personal taste. The Jewel had a production show, a comedian, a magician/comedian and a cirque style acrobatic music show in the main theater. There was also a very talented guitarist vocalist in one of the lounges. I enjoyed all of it to one degree or another. I thought that they had a well balanced variety of entertainment. Crew - I found the crew of the Jewel to be unfailingly polite and 99% of them of them to be bend over backwards friendly, even the ones who had to defend policies not of their making and sound like a moron doing it, because they had no choice. Almost every single crew member I came into contact with always had a smile on their face and attitude of they wanted to do anything and everything they could to make this the best vacation I ever had. Hail to the staff!!! They deserve my gratitude for doing their best to correct or help me cope with problems and make my cruise enjoyable. My room steward, Danlito (call me Donny) was outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for better. The problem with the Jewel is not a problem with the Jewel. It is a problem with NCL’s executive and administrative staff who make stupid and aggravating policies that irritate their customers and then put their line staff in the position of having to carry out and defend those policies over which they have no control or authority. If the customer is unhappy, of course it is the poor line staff that gets blamed as the corporate execs in their ivy tower don’t ever have to take the heat or hear the complaints. They just make the rules and collect fat paychecks and benefits. The line staff are just working their butts off and trying to keep their jobs. Despite all the problems, I would cruise the Jewel again in a New York minute but pick a different cabin. We had one of the best times we have had on a cruise and given the difficulties we encountered, that is saying a lot. I gave the Jewel 4 stars instead of 5 because of the problems we encountered, the lack of decent swimming pools, the soda pop policy and the crowded buffet seating. But….there is a lot to like about the Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We typically cruise in anything from inside to balconies, and this was our first full suite (Penthouse with large balcony). I thought it would be interesting for the readers to read a compare and contrast in the summary. This cruise was a ... Read More
We typically cruise in anything from inside to balconies, and this was our first full suite (Penthouse with large balcony). I thought it would be interesting for the readers to read a compare and contrast in the summary. This cruise was a seven day Mexican Riviera trip on the Norwegian Jewel, but we had sailed on the Jewel in 2015 on a 19 night Panama Canal Cruise in a balcony cabin. Our last cruise in January 2017 was an inexpensive last minute 4 day Bahamas RCL cruise in a SMALL inside cabin. We traveled with my daughter and SIL and their two children, ages 7 and 10. This was our first time traveling with family and it was wonderful! First, I want to state that I feel privileged just being able to cruise and see many parts of the world while someone else does the cooking and cleaning. Second, the suite life hasn’t spoiled me, and I’m happy to return to an inside if I cruise again. Did I appreciate the suite life? You bet! Embarkation We chose PrimeTime Shuttle for our transportation from LAX to SanPedro. Their private van ($73) costs less than the shared option. I can’t say they were totally efficient, but I would still recommend them. San Pedro doesn’t have a wide assortment of good options for hotels, so we chose the Marriott Doubletree. Their restaurant was just fine for a simple dinner, and they offered some nice early dining options such as a hamburger, fries and a beer for $10. There are not many restaurants in the area. The Doubletree provided a free shuttle to the pier the next morning, and we arrived about 10:30. The USS Iowa was docked right in front of our ship. The Iowa opened at 10:00 and we were anxious to get onboard, so passed on this opportunity. After dropping off our bags with the porter, we went through security and then onto the area for suite guests. The check-in process was very efficient, but there wouldn’t be much waiting for the general check-in if you arrived after 11:00. There were a variety of sandwiches, fruits, cookies, etc. to enjoy while we waited in the special suites area. The concierge came at about 11:30 to walk us to Moderno for lunch. Access to our cabin was available at the same time everyone else had. Summary: Suite passengers receive complimentary food and quicker check-in. My experience with the non-suite waiting area is that the people tend to be more social with strangers. The regular passengers can access the ship at about the same time and can enjoy lunch at either the buffet or the MDR- Tsars. Most ships funnel the regular passengers to the buffet which is often VERY crowded. We always choose the dining room for embarkation lunch. Cabins: We were in a forward Penthouse Suite with Large balcony on the ninth deck. It was decorated very tastefully. We had a very large king size bed with very comfortable pillows. There was a table for two for in-cabin dining and a large desk area with a DVD player. A small couch (could sleep one person) was near the window. There was a very nice makeup area for my use, and the shower/tub was large with nice amenities (lotions, poof, cotton balls, q-tips, etc.) The hair dryer was a nice high power one that stayed on rather than the type in the inside cabins where you have to hold the button continuously. The butler, Ronald, introduced himself and instructed us on how to use the Lavazza coffee/tea machine. There was a pantry filled with glasses, cups, cloth napkins, etc. He brought in a nice flower arrangement and two plates of chocolate covered strawberries (one for us as suite guests and one for Platinum Latitudes) and fresh fruit. Our family was in the adjoining Owner’s Suite which was larger and had Haven privileges. They had two balconies: one forward and one on the side. Their dining table was a bit more formal, and they had a few extra benefits: a pillow menu, cookies, gummy bears and M&M’s on demand. The butler unlocked the access doors between the cabins. We had been cautioned that the forward cabins were on the breezy side, but greatly enjoyed them while at port and while sailing between the ports in Mexico where the weather is warmer. The temps in LA were in the 60’s and even the first day out, the winds and chilly breezes made the regular pool areas not pleasant. Also, the fog horn, if necessary, is obviously located very close to the front near the bridge, and it blasted every five minutes from about 5 AM one morning in Mazatlan. The anchor makes a loud racket in the forward area when the ship has to tender, so that was another morning of a surprise at about 5-6 AM. Summary: The cabin experience was of course significantly different in a Suite. I enjoyed being pampered with all sorts of extras and upgrades. Keep in mind that your gratuities are not only higher in suites, but there are more people to tip: the Butler and Concierge are amongst those not included in the gratuities. Our last cruise was a last minute one on RCL to the Bahamas where the inside cabin was so tiny that if you kept the beds together, one person against the wall had to crawl over the other to get out. There was also a bunk bed above, and it was easy to hit your head on it (yes I did). Fitting more than two people in a tiny inside cabin is only for the super budget conscious and patient and flexible temperaments. The cabin was on deck 2, and strange clunking noises could be heard at various times, and the pillows were worn and flat. The TV was above the head of the bed, which made viewing it in bed ridiculous. That said, the cruise was about $50 per night pp, so it was a great bargain if you could handle the tiny room and inconveniences. The steward also did a great job keeping it cleaned. Our balcony cabin on a previous NCL Jewel cruise was very nice and comfortable with a couch and all the basics we needed for a very nice Panama Canal cruise. The steward was excellent. So, one’s budget and personality type guide the decision to go inside, OV, balcony or suite. As a person with a grateful and non-demanding spirit, I can enjoy any cabin. Main Areas: The Jewel is a very nice and well-maintained ship with great features. The atrium isn’t a stunner like some other ships but is tasteful and more functional. There are many areas to relax in all around the ship. The Great Outdoors is a wonderful place to eat from the buffet and still enjoy the outdoors. Many of NCL’s smaller or newer ships have few places to eat outside, but the great outdoors (aft) and the topsider’s grille on the pool deck offer plenty of nice eating areas. You won’t find these on some of the larger ships. The Spinnaker on the 13th deck is a lovely place to sit and watch for whales/dolphins and the ocean. Entertainment (dancing) and game shows are featured here during the afternoon and evening. The Fizz Lounge is another nice dance floor and features many of the performers. The pools are a good size, and one is adult only. The Haven pool is quite small but a very nice option on days when the weather isn’t cooperating as the roof is retractable. Of course, you need to be in an Owner’s Suite or one of the adjoining Haven area suites to use it. On warm days, the pools look like people soup. The chair hogs come out early like they do on all cruise ships and nothing is done. We removed towels from chairs that were unoccupied for over an hour. Then, you also have the supercharged chair hogs who rotate between their chairs in the sun and the shade. Yikes. Drink Package: All the adults had the drink package. In general, it was observed that the mixed drinks were watered down. The beer, wine, and hard liquors were just fine. Note that you can order a drink up to $15 if you use the UBP. Dining: Complimentary Tsar’s Dining Palace is one of our favorite NCL restaurants. We love the décor, and the service was always good. It pays tribute to the grand Russian palaces. We love to sit in the aft area to watch the wake. My absolute favorite food was the Vietnamese Pho Soup (I’m a soup lover.) Go to Tsars for lunch on the first day to avoid the crowds in the Café. Azura is the other complimentary dining area with a modern décor that has the same menu as Tsars. O’Sheehans is the Irish pub that is available 24 hours. The soup and the corned beef sandwich are great. They offer a special each evening that is posted around the ship. The Jewel has nice seating near the window at this pub. Garden Café is well laid out in stations and has a very nice assortment of foods. Their desserts are often better than the main restaurants, and you can see what you are getting. If it is crowded, remember that you can take your food into LaCucina where you will find seating. Chin-Chin was busy, and we ate there only once on our PC cruise. We were not impressed. The food is similar to any Chinese takeout in the US. Our opinion tends to match many others on CC. The Topsider Grill and luncheon cookouts are available in the afternoon and for an early breakfast. A nice option in good weather. Cover Charge Dining: Teppanyaki is their Japanese Steakhouse. Make your reservations early as the times are more limited. We enjoyed all the foods, and the meat was tender and flavorful. A children’s menu is NOT available here, and kids often don’t eat many of the selections (except our ten-year-old grandson who consumed huge quantities of filet mignon.) This is a very worthwhile experience. Cagneys is their traditional steakhouse and was our favorite. The beef was excellent, and the desserts were amazing. I had the Oreo cheesecake. The service was impeccable. Moderno is their Brazilian steakhouse. The salad bar has some excellent selections, and most of the meat was tender and flavorful. Excellent service. LaCucina was better than many have reported. We both had the Chicken Parmigiana. Not as high quality as Cagney’s, but it was a pleasant option. My grandson reported that my lasagna was much better than at LaCucina although he liked theirs too. LeBistro has been a disappointment on two different cruises. The service was SLOW and a bit confused. My salmon was to be cooked MW but was raw, and my dessert was a glorified applesauce. Now I know that a tatin must mean “sweet applesauce” in French. The manager noticed I wasn’t eating my food and wanted to make things right, but the slow service discouraged me from allowing him to replace the foods. I was pleasant with the servers but disappointed. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone to Cagney’s twice! Suite Breakfasts and Lunches in Moderno, which is only for suites’ passengers were very quiet, and the service was excellent. There are some very nice options (smoked salmon), and we ate in Moderno several times for both meals. Modernos is a great option on disembarkation morning. Summary: The type of dining experience on the Jewel (except at Moderno for breakfast and lunch) isn’t affected by cabin selection. All of the food was very good to excellent (except LeBistro). I can’t understand reviewers who describe the food as “inedible.” The food on RCL’s Majesty of the Seas was definitely a step below the food on the Jewel. I think this is because the standards are overall lower on the 3-4 day Bahama cruises. The food on our other RCL cruises has been of very good quality. I have cruised with four different cruise lines and think the dining experience is more similar than different. Cruises below seven days probably (IMHO) provide a more inferior product. Also, cruises geared to an older and more demanding population have better quality foods (Transatlantics, European and Panama Canal cruises.) NCL does not offer traditional seating which we have come not to prefer. We almost always agree to share a table (which we did one night in Tsars), and it was a very nice experience. The possibility of having tedious tablemates for 14 night+ cruises makes us choose freestyle or MyTimeDining options. Entertainment: Stardust Theatre Entertainment- The singers, dancers, and other entertainers were all very good. I’ve seen some of the shows before, so therefore performances like Band on the Run were repeats for us. We enjoy dancing (swing, waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, merengue, etc.) and the bands and performers tried to get people on the dance floor, but it just wasn’t happening on this sailing. I think it has to do with so many families and children on the ship. Much to our amusement, we became “the dancers.” People would stop us during the day on the ship and compliment us on our dancing. That was more of a statement on the lack of quality dancers on the ship if anyone considered us as “the dancers.” The show band, led by Larry was our favorite source for entertainment. The other groups (Souled Out, Tropical Four) were very good. Rockaway Duo…not so much. A Mariachi Band came onboard while we were in Puerto Vallarta and that was great entertainment for about three hours at the pool area. The singers and dancers and the acrobatic performers were excellent. The parties were pretty pathetic and lacked energy, and The White Hot Party was a dud. The cruise director’s staff was dancing but didn’t spark much energy from the passengers. Pedro, the cruise director, was probably my least favorite cruise director with whom we have sailed. Ian Bagswell had just left, and he is fantastic, so I was already disappointed. Pedro was pleasant but not very noticeable and rarely introduced a show in the Stardust. We reserved the Karaoke room (three available) in the Fizz lounge, and that was fun, but my daughter thought the list was outdated. You need to make reservations, and they are only open at night. Summary: The entertainment and activities were often geared to families, which is appropriate since there were many children onboard. The ship at “full capacity” is about 2,400, but this sailing had over 2,900 passengers, making it busier and slightly more crowded. The spring break kids were all well behaved, though. There were few college age people onboard. Crew and Officers The captain, Pelle Fredricksson was very pleasant, as was Steve Jacobsen, the head of the hotel dept. We met the officers at the Suites party in the Haven. Most of the staff around the ship were very nice and hard working. I encountered only one grumpy cabin steward (not ours) that we passed quite often on deck 9 and it was obvious that he didn’t like to say hello to anyone. All the waiters and servers were efficient and very friendly. Summary: We have been on about 13 cruises and only had one ship experience (Holland Westerdam) were the crew wasn’t up to par. We must choose happy, well-run ships. Cabin status doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to the efficiency and happiness of the crew. Platinum Latitudes We just achieved platinum status, and so enjoyed a few nice upgrades. There was a bottle of sparkling wine and two large bottles of water. We also received a small brochure that had the coupons for the free bag of laundry and the two complimentary dinners. Since we also had the UDP, we selected LeBistro (where we received another bottle of wine) and LaCucina. Another very nice experience was the ship tour offered to Platinum Latitudes. We were taken to the laundry area (huge enterprise!), the kitchens (the soup area was most impressive) and the dressing room area for the dancers. Really an interesting experience. Internet: We had the internet package included as a benefit with Free At Sea, and it worked well most of the time. Early morning and late day provide the fastest connections. Most of the adults we traveled with had purchased the I-Concierge app (install it at home), and it was a little tricky to get used to. It didn’t work at times and totally failed for about 48 hours. The internet manager told me the internet was down, and he even used my phone to check the status- not working. Summary: The internet was complimentary with our package, but I also realize many folks can’t do without, so it was a bonus. We didn’t use the IConcierge app as much as we thought we would. Excursions: Our family of six experienced three different excursions. Las Calitas private island (Puerto Vallarta)- The family was impressed with the well-run experience. Even the travel time by boat was informative and entertaining. The highlight was swimming with sea lions, but there is so much to do and only three hours on the island. The experience received an A+. Near the dock, we also stopped at the Market. There is a mall, Walmart and Sam’s Club, Hospital, etc. right across from the ship. Mazatlan Historic Walking Tour (ship tour) We took vans to the first stop at the Cathedral and visited other interesting sites including the opera house, cliff divers, “Aztec dancers,” etc. Of course, we had to “visit” the tour guide’s favorite shops. Lots of people to tip on this experience… Lots of walking. Cabo San Lucas- Our favorite port stop. Clean and relatively safe. The family did the dolphin swim which we were allowed to watch and photograph (not up close, though). They “rode” the dolphin easy- on its belly, more adventurous- holding the fin and then for the brave- going underwater with the dolphin and getting projected out of the water. Wow! They also gave this an A+. Cabo is a great port to walk around, buy souvenirs, etc. We visited our first “Farmacia” which would require you to do a little research online to know what you are doing. Summary: Excursion experiences are not affected by room category. We usually do private excursions not associated with the ship, but the LasCalitas day was sold out privately and only available through the ship. Note: it was sold out once we were on board, so book this early! We also had a $50 excursion credit for each port, so that motivated everyone to use the ship’s tours. Debarkation was a bit of a disappointment. We had read that the Owner’s Suite (which is H3) had concierge assistance and we even received special instructions to go to Chin Chin’s for help off the ship. This was NO help at all. The concierge had left the ship as she had finished her contract and was going home, so her assistant just showed us off the ship (easy to do on your own.) We were given the option of standing in a long line to take the elevator or the escalator. We were on our own with the hordes of people in line going through customs. After we had made it through customs, I saw a staff member who had just helped another person skip the line and asked her what the policy was. She said you had to be a cabin physically in the Haven, not one of the Haven cabins on other parts of the ship. I also asked about the policy on cruise critic, and learned the concierge “walk off” appears to vary with the ship and port. We found PrimeTime Shuttle to the right of the dock and waited maybe ten mins for our private van. We witnessed the manager trying to rip off a walk up customer with an outrageous price ($50 pp). Fortunately, this man had done his homework, and the driver then offered him a very appealing rate. If you are going to a hotel, it costs $20 more. Part of our group was going to a hotel on Century Blvd. We continued to the airport and picked up the Thrifty shuttle to go to their off-airport facility. The rental facility was right across the street from where our daughter and her family were left off. If I had known that, we could have saved 30 minutes. Thrifty was very efficient. We would be very happy to sail on the Jewel again. Like some of its sister ships, the Jewel offers most features that you would expect or desire. The Jewel class ships are our favorite class in the NCL fleet. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This ... Read More
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This was not ACCEPTABLE. Many cruisers were very upset.. since when can't you wa ch the rose bowl parade and the Ros Bowl game. Now for the food, mediocre at best in Tsars, Azure and Osheehans. They really want you to go to the specialtys. La Bistro, excellent as was Cagneys. Modernos was good but felt rushed. There should be an age limit at specialty restaurants as infants crying at dinner was unacceptable. Will not go on NCL AGAIN, we are elite on Celebrity and will continue to cruise on them. There is no need to go to their specialty restaurants, as the food in the dining room is of a much higher quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so ... Read More
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so we were very happy to see the NCL ladies at the airport for our transfers to the ship. However, when we got to the port, they did not know we were coming, the porters had been dismissed, and the greeters were confused that we were so late. All was eventually worked out, and we got aboard about 1.5 hours before sailing. Service was great in the main dining rooms, not so great in the Bistro and La Cucina. We thought the food in the main dining was better than in the 2 for-pay restaurants we ate in. We are Platinum, so did not have to pay - would have been very disappointed had that not been the case. We canceled any other reservations we had and returned to Azura, our complimentary dining room of choice. We extra-tipped everyone there who made our dining experience so pleasant. Breakfast in the Tsar Palace was great also. Go there on disembarkment day to wait for your color to be called - service was fast and the food was hot. We only went to two shows as the regular show timing did not fit with our dining plans - I don't think we missed much, based on the two shows we did attend. The Thermal Suite was very nice, with 2 exceptions: the robes are too small for people of size (of which there were many on the ship), and people tended to hog the heated ceramic loungers in the suite - no time limits are posted as guidelines. When I pointed both of these issues out to the staff member, she just smiled (about the robes) and said "That would be rude" (about people hogging the ceramic loungers). We expected a "Spring Break" atmosphere aboard this cruise, given that it was a 7 day Mexican Riviera, and we were not disappointed. However, there are plenty of quiet spaces aboard for those who do not want to indulge in the party. Since we travel to Mexico extensively, and have visited all the ports numerous times, we did not do shore excursions, so I have no advice for that. We did go ashore in Mazatlan to the coffee purveyor in the first building at the port - for a $3 Coffee Americano (really good) you got their wi-fi - as we wanted to check our email without paying the ridiculous prices for wi-fi on board ship. The Jewel is a really nice ship, well-maintained with a great crew. The Captain was the most accessible that I have sailed with - he loves to talk. If you are looking for a nice get-away, I highly recommend this ship (except for the the for-pay restaurants and the too-small robes in the cabins and the spa). Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our first time with NCL and probably our last. We booked this with a small group of friends and the organizer bailed on us. We were curious about NCL and the price was decent so we went ahead with the cruise as planned. The ... Read More
This was our first time with NCL and probably our last. We booked this with a small group of friends and the organizer bailed on us. We were curious about NCL and the price was decent so we went ahead with the cruise as planned. The ship was okay, our mini-suite was okay but both could use a face-lift. Their decorators could use a lesson or two. No complaints about the food, actually it was better than anticipated. We ate in their specialty restaurants 5 times and in the regular dining rooms a few times. The food in the regular dining rooms was very good and the buffet was pretty good. My husband and I along with our friends appreciated the fact we could get fried eggs for breakfast on the buffet. My only complaint was no Lox and bagels except as salmon flavored cream cheese but you can't have everything. The staff were wonderful and absolutely no complaints there. Our cabin steward kept our cabin very clean and when asked for something always took care of it immediately. This was our 4th cruise to Mexico so we didn't care about the ports or shore excursions. My husband and friends enjoyed the Cirque de Soli type show. Our only regret was signing up for Thermal Spa. Very small, the men and women are kept separate except one area. Drink package is very misleading. Another error on our part. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Nov 2, 2016 on the NCL Jewel to Mexican Riviera. It was fantastic. Booked 2 bedroom suite in the Haven for just the two of us and couldn't have asked for better! The butler, concierge, and valet did everything we asked and then ... Read More
Nov 2, 2016 on the NCL Jewel to Mexican Riviera. It was fantastic. Booked 2 bedroom suite in the Haven for just the two of us and couldn't have asked for better! The butler, concierge, and valet did everything we asked and then some. They went beyond our expectations. Laundry service was wonderful. We also enjoyed en suite dining. It was nice to have so many specialty dining evenings, too. Strolling along the various public decks was calm and peaceful. Didn't take advantage of the spa and we never ate in the main dining rooms. We traveled with another couple who were in suite 14512 and they couldn't have been more pleased with the ship I can't imagine cruising with NCL in any other suite! We are Platinum members and that makes for a lot of nice special touches. We liked the private seating area for all the shows. Wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows are not to be missed. Really great magic and funny comedian who doesn't have to be raunchy to be funny, Desserts and buffets were delicious and service in dining rooms was great. One nice thing about the Jewel is that ALL the staff try to make your cruise experience a wonderful one. The gratutities are mandatory so let them do all they do to help insure your pleasant trip. Love that the ship is kept very clean inside and out. Washy Washy. My drink package was excellent as I never had an issue with anything I asked for and my drinks were not watered down as I had read on other reviews. The captain was everywhere on the ship and accessible to all. Cruise director Iain was also very personable and friendly and funny. Wish we had an overnight in Cabo San Lucas as it would be nice to spend the whole day at the beach or doing activities. Last tender is at 2:30 so you need to start your morning very early to enjoy as much time on land as possible. Other than that, I would definitely go again on this cruise and I know I would have loved it just as much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and ... Read More
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and charging corkage for it when you are dropping off your bags at the curb. We received ours at 9pm the first night, ridiculous system currently in place. They have an adult pool and children's side by side. Smoking is upstairs above it at the Sky High Bar and fun crowd. Many Children, Elderly and Honeymooners on the ship. Not a lot of teens. The restaurants have similar food (Tsar's and Azur). When returning from a excursion you are double checked and xray machine for alcohol. If you have it is confiscated and returned to you on the last night. The Las Caletas Hideaway excursion is very fun, but not recommended for anyone who has a hard time walking. Free stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, inner tubes, kayaking and fun floating docks. Decent Lunch too. You cannot bring a wheelchair. Beware of being bombarded with Mexicans when leaving the ship in Mazatlán and Cabo trying to sell you taxi rides and ship rides. It's crazy. Do not let them touch you, by putting bracelets on you ..SAY NO. Be prepared when leaving the ship to stand in a line with hundreds of people.. be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was fabulous the crew on the ship was fantastic! Puerta vallarta was nice loved doing the Mexican Fiesta, Tequila tasting was fun .Mazatlan Shrimp fest was just ok the grounds there was very pretty, Cabo San Lucas was Great we ... Read More
The cruise was fabulous the crew on the ship was fantastic! Puerta vallarta was nice loved doing the Mexican Fiesta, Tequila tasting was fun .Mazatlan Shrimp fest was just ok the grounds there was very pretty, Cabo San Lucas was Great we did the Beach Resort food was very very good, beach was Great. Would do Cabo again. All excersion drivers and guides were great. Cabin was small for 3 people but we did not spend much time in there at all. Food at the eateries was good and had plenty of it. Shows in the theater was very good. Loved having the animals made out of towels on our bed each night. Our cabin guys was very attentive and was prompt with our requests and he keep our room clean. Thank you to all of the staff. All in all had a great vacation would love to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed out of LA and made it as far as Puerto Viarta when the ship broke down and we had to spend overnight in port, as well as being told we would not be traveling to Mazatlan To say that it was uncomfortable is nothing but the truth ... Read More
We sailed out of LA and made it as far as Puerto Viarta when the ship broke down and we had to spend overnight in port, as well as being told we would not be traveling to Mazatlan To say that it was uncomfortable is nothing but the truth no a/c and it was quite muggy. We broke down because of mechanical problems that had been fixed earlier in the year. I have to say that the only bright star of the cruise was the staff onboard they had to deal with a couple hundred or more extremely angry passengers, which I can't blame them. On top of that Norwegian has decided that the California coast is no longer to be sailed. Only cruises on west coast is Alaska in spring. Sorry to say might have to cruise another line, which would be sad as I generally enjoy sailing with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Special last minute offer attracted us and we had been on NCL before. Most of the services varied from good to excellent including cabin steward, bar, entertainment, dining service and the ongoing presence of senior officers. HOWEVER ... Read More
Special last minute offer attracted us and we had been on NCL before. Most of the services varied from good to excellent including cabin steward, bar, entertainment, dining service and the ongoing presence of senior officers. HOWEVER the quality of food in the major no supplement restaurants though served in opulent surroundings left a lot to be desired. Average was probably a generous statement. Consider a menu for evening meal that includes "Bangers and Mash". We also ate at the Asian food restaurant, Given we come from a Canadian province that has a high Chinese population and quality Chinese restaurants we are familiar with this ethnic cuisine. Aboard our ship the two dishes we chose were barely palatable. We have sailed NCL before and have to ask "What is going wrong with the food?" Since a highlight of any cruise is often dining, it is unlikely that, in spite of the excellent service of the staff, that we will be boarding NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We will always refer to this as the eating cruise. The ship has 17 different eateries, but over 7 days we only tried 15, missing two extra-cost dining rooms. Best food ever on a ship. Everything else was up to cruise ship standards, ... Read More
We will always refer to this as the eating cruise. The ship has 17 different eateries, but over 7 days we only tried 15, missing two extra-cost dining rooms. Best food ever on a ship. Everything else was up to cruise ship standards, basically on a par with the competition. Pool deck was excessively noisy with games, exercises and music for the deaf. In fact the theatre shows also seemed to be directed at the hearing impaired, or soon to be impaired. Great library, but upright seats uncomfortable. Loved the tennis court. Almost regulation size and by far the biggest and best I've ever seen on a ship. Wide decks made for pleasant evening strolling and they were well used. Lack of formal dress code (or hardly any dress code) was pleasant. Entertainment was usual cruise ship mediocre and invariably loud, really loud. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
a 7 day cruise to Mexico was supper every crew member went out of there way to make my cruise sensational dining staff always helped me with what was carrying and find a table and even got me my coffee the shows were great. Port ... Read More
a 7 day cruise to Mexico was supper every crew member went out of there way to make my cruise sensational dining staff always helped me with what was carrying and find a table and even got me my coffee the shows were great. Port & Shore excursions I went on 3 one each day even the food and shows were were entertaining took lots of pictures. The children s clubs did a great except for around the pool I hardly saw them and at the end of the cruise they put on a great performance My cabin was serviced everyday. Disembarkation was not happy ONLY because I had to leave the ship. sit down dining was #1 food served hot and presents well. Price was and enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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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