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2,932 Norwegian (NCL) Alaska Cruise Reviews

This was one of our all-time favourite cruises! The Norwegian Bliss is one of the most beautiful ships we've been on (modern, tasteful, understated elegance rather than in your face opulence). The staff were amazing - all were ... Read More
This was one of our all-time favourite cruises! The Norwegian Bliss is one of the most beautiful ships we've been on (modern, tasteful, understated elegance rather than in your face opulence). The staff were amazing - all were genuinely friendly and helpful. The port stops in Juneau and Skagway were awesome - as were the shore excursions (visit to glacier, whale watching, kayaking and White Pass train). We were disappointed that we had to skip Ketchikan b/c of high winds, but oh well.... We normally cruise Royal Carribbean, and many warned us to lower our expectations on the dining - no way! The food was great, with many options to choose from. If you can get the specialty dining as part of a FREE AT SEA promotion - do it - its definitely worth it! (So is the open bar :)). Because we went in mid September, there were very few kids aboard - so that might be of note to some. We did the spa package (thermal suite) which was expensive but well worth it (it was chilly most days, so the pool deck and waterslides were not in the cards for us - but a daring few did take advantage). Would definitely recommend it on a late season Alaska itinerary! In terms of entertainment, Jersey Boys was simply breathtaking - and from someone who goes to musical theatre regularly, that says a lot. The musical SIX was really not enjoyable to us (I really don't know why they'd sub that in - again, comes from someone who goes to shows regularly) - but the performers were all very talented with excellent pipes. The Beatles shows in the Cavern Club were outstanding (the guy who played Paul had him down pat - mannerisms and everything!!). Would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone young or old! Go see the glaciers before they're gone!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We always wanted to go to Alaska and NCL's Seattle to Seattle schedule worked well for us. I was a little nervous about the Joy after reading some reviews but we decided to take a chance and book an Aft facing cabin in the Haven. ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Alaska and NCL's Seattle to Seattle schedule worked well for us. I was a little nervous about the Joy after reading some reviews but we decided to take a chance and book an Aft facing cabin in the Haven. Note that this is a Haven suite.....in that the room is incredible and the bathroom is enormous and the butler is always available and helpful in bringing drinks, ice etc....The only drawback is that you have to walk the length of the ship (and up a few floors for us) to get to the Haven bar/restaurant/observation deck.....because this cabin in on the aft... But the Aft facing balcony and view makes it all worth it!! We only ate one time outside of the Haven - because the food and the selection in the Haven was such that we never ate the same thing twice. Cagneys was good - but crowded with people from the rest of the ship. We rode the go carts without having to wait one second....and played laser tag and didnt have to wait for that either. Both of them were very fun and worth the extra cost. We did go down to the buffet to see what it was like....don't go unless you have to... The shows were top notch....Footloose and Elements....felt like we were in Vegas! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Flew to Seattle the previous day and got a little bit of exploring done there, then embarked the next morning. Embarkation staff was incredibly friendly and the process went much more smoothly and quickly than I had expected. My friend and ... Read More
Flew to Seattle the previous day and got a little bit of exploring done there, then embarked the next morning. Embarkation staff was incredibly friendly and the process went much more smoothly and quickly than I had expected. My friend and I had a blast exploring the ship and checking out the different bars and restaurants, though we did not do many of the entertainment experiences. Our cabin was comfortable and clean, and the staff was very attentive. In general, our dining experiences were great - plenty of variety in the main dining rooms and buffet, and the specialty restaurants were very good. Not quite excellent, but still enjoyed the meals. I was very impressed with the friendliness and effectiveness of the crew, as well as overall cleanliness of the ship (I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so that was refreshing). Though we had a minor itinerary change due to ice, the captain and crew definitely made up for it by routing us to a different glacier and popular whale-sighting area, where we ended up spotting hundreds of whales surfacing, showing fins, and even breaching. Amazing experience. Had a great time onboard the ship, but definitely enjoyed the destinations more. My minor complaints were as follows: wifi was unreliable and slow, observation areas were nearly always crowded, and elevators were quite slow (to the point that we took stairs almost every time). Disembarkation went just as smoothly and seemingly quicker than embarkation. Although this was our first cruise, we very much enjoyed every moment. Heard mixed reviews while onboard of others who had been on multiple cruises - lots of compliments, but also lots of complaints. Overall, we had a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I wanted to see Alaska. We chose the NCL Jewel because it went to the Hubbard Glacier, Glacier National Park, and the main towns Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The price was reasonable so we chose to do our first back to back trip. The ... Read More
I wanted to see Alaska. We chose the NCL Jewel because it went to the Hubbard Glacier, Glacier National Park, and the main towns Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The price was reasonable so we chose to do our first back to back trip. The service was friendly. The food was good in the main dining rooms. buffet, and specialty dining. The entertainment was enjoyable. Fire an Ice was our favorite entertainment. Cruise Director Dan did an excellent job. We booked these cruises separate so we changed cabins in between cruises. We were given a sticker to wear in Seward so we could walk right in without waiting in line to board the ship to start the second seven days of our cruise. In September there were only a few children which was nice. They had 700 children on a 7 day cruise in the summer. We stay in an inside cabin because we are only in our room to sleep. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends of ours were sailing on it, and asked us to join them. We also had made friends with many of the crew members, and were eager to see who would still be on the ship. It made us extremely happy that Dan was still the Cruise Director! We really think he's great, and extremely personable and approachable. He happily welcomed us back. To our dismay, many of our other favorite crew members were no longer on board. We do realize contracts end, and no one is guaranteed to come back to the same ship upon renewal. We had a balcony room on deck 9--one door down from our cabin last year. We also had the Unlimited beverage package, and the three specialty dining package, and 250 minutes of wi-fi, along with $50 towards each shore excursion and $50 on board credit per person as our perks. We couldn't make use of the friends and family are free, or the free air fare. The entertainment was excellent as usual. The production company is extremely talented, and very friendly when you see them on board ship when they're not performing. We had good service from our cabin steward who was very friendly and eager to help with anything. The shore excursions were excellent for the most part. The Salmon Bake was not as good as we had expected. I wouldn't do that again. The Crab Fest, and the White Mountain Yukon Pass Railroad ride I've done twice now. Obviously, I think they're absolutely worth doing again. We were disappointed that LeBistro Restaurant didn't match the quality or service that we have experienced on previous cruises. Cagney's also was better on past cruises. The bar service was lacking as well. I would make a suggestion for the Starlight Theater that you get cup holders for the chairs. I noticed that the refurbishment there only consisted of reupholstering the chairs, new carpet, and a brand new stage curtain. Thank goodness you got rid of the Peacock! We are planning another cruise next year on the Jewel, and are hoping that a longer cruise will pan out to be better than this one. We're sailing from Hawaii to Papeete, and Papeete to Austrailia--a repositioning cruise. As a loyal NCL Platinum Latitudes member , and a travel agent, I am hopeful that some of my concerns will be addressed, so my clients will not be disappointed when I recommend and book an NCL cruise for them. I purchased four Cruise Next certificates for use next year, and I'm hoping NCL doesn't disappoint me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise to celebrate our 35th Anniversary and my wife's retirement. Inside Passage itinerary was on wife's bucket list. I Chose NCL because we had our honeymoon cruise with them in the Caribbean. I chose the mini ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate our 35th Anniversary and my wife's retirement. Inside Passage itinerary was on wife's bucket list. I Chose NCL because we had our honeymoon cruise with them in the Caribbean. I chose the mini balcony suite 11094 in the middle of the ship as an upgrade to our usual window room. Boarding was ok, not great. Line moved steadily, but no one was checking appointment times, it was just kind of a free for all. No issues getting on the ship. Our room was ready when we boarded. Cabin Steward was a sweetheart, kept things in great shape. Entertainment around ship was ok, not great. Production Cast in Stardust theater was excellent overall. The lounge acts were so- so. The comedian was hilarious. Casino Staff was totally excellent, I was addressed by name from day one, and they all were very pleasant to be around. Buffet was ok, only ate breakfast and 1 lunch there. Staff was nice, and washee washee crew had a blast Specialty Restaurants: Moderno was good, ate night one, plenty of food to choose from, and staff was friendly Le Bistro night 2, disappointing. Service had no sophistication at all, food was just ok, nothing special about it at all and extremely small portions. no name recognition, no celebration recognition... Teppanyaki- great company at the table, fun time. food had zero flavor, very typical of this type of restaurant. Our Chef was a novice....very friendly, but certainly needed to hone his show skills more before being turned loose. everything was rushed...deserts were terrible Cagneys- saved for last night, arrived half an hour early, got sat 40 minutes later. Waited 10 minutes and finally waitress came over and asked for dinner order before even seeing if we wanted a drink, when I said we wanted to get something to drink, she just left. 5 minutes later guy comes over to take order for decent bottle of wine (100$+) We wait 10 minutes and he comes back with wine....not a great presentation, and then wants to get paid for wine on the spot. Very weird. Waitress comes back and takes order..pretty much all she was was an order taker...never refilled wine glasses, or attempted to engage us in conversation. Ribeye Steak was of very poor quality, Filet was cooked correctly. cheesy grits were excellent. She brought us the wrong desert to start, correct desert was ok, again, not great. Spa- took the tour the first day and the hard sell was almost unbearable...we did get a couple massage the next day which was AWESOME! I did buy thermal spa passes before the cruise...an expensive mistake as we never found the time to use them at all used the fitness center once, it was more than adequate Shore Excursions: Most booked independently : Ketchikan:Misty Fjords Seaplane on Carlin Air thru Viator.com- Excellent! Crabfeast and Lumberjack Show thru AlaskaShoreexcursions.com- Excellent Juneau: Best of Juneau thru shoreexcursionsgroup.com- Excellent ( Whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier, and Salmon Feast) Skagway: Best of Skagway thru NCL ( Bus RIde, Train Ride Down White Pass, another Salmon Bake, Red Onion Tour) Excellent Cruise Director was good...The views were humbling, and with the exception of the specialty restaurants missing the service mark most of the time, and the food being probably no more special than what was served in the main dining rooms, we really enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views ... Read More
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views everyday are breathtaking!!! Even laying in bed bed looking out out the water is so relaxing and refreshing. The entertainment and activities on board were great... definitely something for everyone. I took advantage of the Spa and it was wonderful, to relax and get pampered. The ports and excursions were so fun! The train rain is a must! The staff was fantastic. The drinks and food were good. The higher end dining rooms were great, nice to dress up! The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely organized all the to the airport!!! Thank you Norwegian Jewel... hopefully I'll see you again soon for another cruise to another destination Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had really wanted to see Alaska and felt by cruising, we could see several ports and all the beauty. Views were amazing! Wish there had been more ice on the glaciers. Everything was planned down to a science of getting you ... Read More
We had really wanted to see Alaska and felt by cruising, we could see several ports and all the beauty. Views were amazing! Wish there had been more ice on the glaciers. Everything was planned down to a science of getting you from point A to point B. Food was excellent! Variety of food was incredible as well. Something for everyone. The shows on board were spot on and very entertaining. Super happy with the 2 we went to. Shopping was lots of fun as most things were half price since this was season end. Met several new friends to stay in touch with. So glad we got the balcony suite. To be able to walk out and see the scenery, the water, the whales along side ship, the pilot boats up close, even the rangers embarking and disembarking was simply amazing. We both highly recommend you doing this and enjoy God's creations prior to more global warming. Very pleased and most happy we decided to cruise with The Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Another fun cruise on NCL. Embarkation in Vancouver B.C was efficient and disembarkation in Seward, Alaska for the last Alaska Rail passenger run to Anchorage was equally expeditious (although it was an early). The 114 mile scenic run ... Read More
Another fun cruise on NCL. Embarkation in Vancouver B.C was efficient and disembarkation in Seward, Alaska for the last Alaska Rail passenger run to Anchorage was equally expeditious (although it was an early). The 114 mile scenic run hugged the shoreline and afforded some stunning views of the raw beauty of Alaska, the water, the mountains and the wildlife lending credence to Alaska`s claim of being the Last Frontier. Vancouver is a city that has a warm and inviting population and efficient transportation system. I got there a day early and spent the time before the cruise wandering around. Great port to sail out of. The highlights of this cruise were Glacier Bay on day 6 and the Hubbard glacier on day 7. We got real close to the Margerie Glacier and the Lamplugh Glacier and were treated to some awesomely impressive views as the ship entered the bay and did a complete turnaround at these glaciers affording great views from all over the ship. Enhancing the experience at Glacier Bay was a commentary on Glacier Bay running on the Jewel`s TV channel. This commentary was presented by USPS rangers of the Glacier Bay National Park. Augmenting this commentary and presentation, the rangers and Friends on the Glacier Bay had tables set up with souvenir books, maps of Glacier Bay and DVD`s of some of the best nature photos of Alaska I`d seen. Nice touch Norwegian ! This cruise followed Alaska`s inside passage. On day three, the Jewel visited Ketchikan, the Salmon Capitol of the World. Day four found us visiting the only state capital that cannot be reached by road, Juneau. Day five we stopped in Skagway, another picturesque town with a connection with the Gold Rush. These are unique towns worth experiencing and Norwegian saw to it that we had time in each that was long enough to fully savor the experience. Shuttles to the towns were convenient and efficient. A memorable cruise marked by stunning scenery and memorable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Wanted to try this newer large ship. Ship itself was very nice. Appeared clean and in good condition. Unable to bring your own soda or bottled water on board They only serve fountain Pepsi products, which I am not a fan of. Still, ... Read More
Wanted to try this newer large ship. Ship itself was very nice. Appeared clean and in good condition. Unable to bring your own soda or bottled water on board They only serve fountain Pepsi products, which I am not a fan of. Still, difficult to get waiters or bartenders to get you soda products. Waited on alcohol consumers first. Would not buy that package again Muster drill was unorganized. Customers seated in assigned area and staff came and made every one “get out” and they were late setting up and wanted to scan cruise cards as people walked in . Same exact lunch menu every day in restaurants only ok. Buffet seating was a zoo-anytime around meal time. Food was edible but nothing special. Desserts were not worth waiting for. Pastries always stale. Balcony room acceptable, not particularly large, could not push suitcase pass end of end and wall “Jersey Boys” show high quality entertainment. Comedians you can skip Unable to make scheduled stop in Ketchikan due to size of ship. Waters rough due to wind. Two other ships (Princess and Holland America) were able to dock) so that was a bummer Scheduled stop in Victoria was changed after we booked- originally scheduled for 6 but was changed to 8pm . Not much to see in the dark. Highlight definitely the Day in Glacier Bay-great weather and beautiful views! Despite notices in the daily ship newsletter, people were allowed to sleep in public areas - shoes off, feet all over the furniture, full sleep masks covering their eyes , so the observation area was difficult to use Overall would choose a different cruise line and itinerary if doing it again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been planning this trip since January 2019. We live in Nashville so we flew to ORD to catch Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle with a two night stay in Glacier National Park. This part if the trip was fantastic. We arrived in Seattle ... Read More
We have been planning this trip since January 2019. We live in Nashville so we flew to ORD to catch Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle with a two night stay in Glacier National Park. This part if the trip was fantastic. We arrived in Seattle and boarded the ship quickly, which is one of the best embarkations ever. Beautiful balcony room in 13th floor. Our room steward is pesky. Knocking on door when do not disturb was illuminated. But did not bring bottled water for two days after requested. We enjoyed the freestyle dining but most restaurants served the same food. So, choices were not what we had hoped for. Our first port was Juno, not much going on here. It’s like a manufactured cruise ship stop. Skagway was next and we loved this port. We had booked an independent tour and very much enjoyed this port of call. The town is very quaint and the people and shop owners are very nice. The weather wasn’t great but this was not the fault of NCL, but the beginning of weather issues for the remainder of the trip. Our third port was to be Ketchikan, AK. and we had a crab fishing tour scheduled that we had been looking forward to for months. We were awakened by an announcement at 7am that the stop was cancelled due to weather. Our money for the tour would be refunded. And they were trying to get an early arrival at our final port of call, which was originally scheduled for 2 pm until 11 pm when trip was booked but upon boarding the ship we noticed it was changed to 8 pm to 11 pm. So early arrival would be great especially after being coupled up for 3 days. No early arrival approved for Victoria, B.C. we arrived a bit after 8 pm in the pouring rain with not enough shuttle buses or taxis to get 4000 passengers off the pier and into town efficiently. We waited in line for about 20 minutes town decided it was pointless to pay $30 bucks r/t into a place we didn’t know in the dark and pouring rain. We were looking for a specific item that we had hoped to purchase in Ketchikan, but didn’t have any assurance that stores would be open once we got there and we would only have a little over an hour to look for it. Cruise Director did not know what if anything would still be open and we were directed to the tacky pier store. We were not looking for magnets or coffee cups and this store was mobbed with people. So, in a nutshell, we feel robbed of two ports ( half of the trip). We live on the other side of the country and it’s unlikely we will get back to Alaksa again. It’s not a cheap trip Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a combination of Good/Excellent and Poor (with some neutral thrown in) - getting us to a "GOOD" rating. Have cruised with Norwegian exclusively for last 6 vacation – not sure about the next. Excellent/Very ... Read More
This cruise was a combination of Good/Excellent and Poor (with some neutral thrown in) - getting us to a "GOOD" rating. Have cruised with Norwegian exclusively for last 6 vacation – not sure about the next. Excellent/Very Good The staff - Save for a few miss-charges on the account and an inability to get us the water ordered, were great. Always well intended, very courteous, attentive and helpful. The bar and lounge staff were excellent – funny, engaging and most knowledgeable. The wait staff as well – especially efficient. Specialty Restaurants – Los Lobos, La Cucina and Le Bistro were wonderful. The food was prepared and presented very well. Service and pacing were spot-on. Le Bistro was one of the very few (3) establishments I have ever gotten a steak cooked correctly (Bleu). Other Restaurants – For its intent, the Garden Café was very good. Laid out well and the food stations were run efficiently (passengers aside!). A very good selection of food types and styles. The Local was a good addition and nice “stop in” place. Well situated. And good wings! The Ship – Nicely laid out with seemingly something different around each corner. Bright where it should be and softer when needed. Well decorated but not gaudy. A very good, fun ship to cruise on. The observation deck was wonderful. Entertainment – Other than SIX (talented performers – disjointed plot and execution) the shows we saw (see comment later) were phenomenal. Length and timing were very good. Very talented personnel. Logistics – Best embarkation process I’ve ever seen – bar none! Valet Check worked nicely (until Alaska Air lost a piece of luggage). Off/On Lines were long, but crew worked it well. Phone app worked well and was much easier than lugging paper around and standing in line for reservations (although it did cost $10 – really, they don’t make enough everywhere else!) Poor Specialty Restaurants Q was disappointing. Nice venue and concept but the food was mediocre at best. Brisket dry, chicken tough (and no indication of smoking), ribs tough (but tasty), sauces one-note and not authentic. Accompaniments not well flavored. Teppanyaki was mixed. Food was good (best shrimp of the trip) but organization was non-existent. Chef nearly left off part of three (3) meals until remined and was constantly trying out out-shout the other chef. Seemingly staffed sufficiently but not effectively. Request for some drinks went ignored? Dessert took 10 mins after meal to appear without anyone asking for drinks or other (while at least three (3) people stood around looking to clear dishes). Much worse than last experience on smaller ship. Ocean Blue was the worst of the bunch! Timing of the meal was way off – bought entrée before was done the salad (“wedge” with the lettuce cut the wrong way). Pasta in the seafood pasta was cut and over cooked, used old bay scallops and older shrimp. My fish was overdone and seared on the wrong side (skin wet and flaccid) and the flavors were just not exciting – very bland and “out of a bottle” tasting. Logistics – Two (2) stops of less than 5 hours (one at night) for a ship this size just did not make any sense (one of which we couldn’t execute due to weather). Gave a couple of hours in port at best with 4000+ passengers trying to get off/on. Would do better with one less port and more time. Entertainment – Limiting passengers to three (3) shows (without letting them know until trying to book the 4th) during the entire 7-day cruise was not good. One would expect access to nightly shows without having to queue up in “Stand-By” lines (and a port call at 2000-0000 does not substitute as a show!). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Alaskan cruise was always one of my ambitions. This cruise was coupled with a pre-cruise three night stay in Seattle, which we very much enjoyed. I cannot fault the organisation of embarkation and disembarkation - very good ... Read More
The Alaskan cruise was always one of my ambitions. This cruise was coupled with a pre-cruise three night stay in Seattle, which we very much enjoyed. I cannot fault the organisation of embarkation and disembarkation - very good considering the number of people involved. The ship staff were always very friendly and helpful and the ship was always spotless. The main downside for me was its sheer size and the number of passengers, especially at mealtimes in the self-service cafe. It was often difficult to find a table and get through the crowds without spilling anything. The food I found OK, nothing to write home about in any of the restaurants we tried. Also, no-one dresses for dinner! It seems that so long as you are fully clothed and your jeans are not torn or faded, anything goes! I feel that this should be made more clear to people prior to booking. We couldn't call into Ketchikan because of high winds, which meant that we had three days at sea in wet and windy weather and couldn't comfortably go on deck. We attended a few trivia quizzes, fruit and veg carving and origami lessons but gave the bingo, art auctions and karaoke a miss. We had booked our shore excursions independently and everything went smoothly there. The evening entertainment was very good - Jersey Boys and Six, plus the Liverpool Beatles. I personally would not go on this ship again - too big for its own good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were supposed to go to Alaska in April on the Norwegian Joy. They cancelled our trip and offered us the same rate on another cruise. On our re-booked trip on the Norwegian Bliss, they cancelled our third port at Ketchikan, saying it was ... Read More
We were supposed to go to Alaska in April on the Norwegian Joy. They cancelled our trip and offered us the same rate on another cruise. On our re-booked trip on the Norwegian Bliss, they cancelled our third port at Ketchikan, saying it was poor weather. This meant that we were at sea for 72 hours straight including the day in Glacier Bay. It was my first cruise, so I had a lot to learn, but in talking to others who have cruised to Alaska on other cruise lines, I'm not sure Norwegian was a good choice. If we were to do it over, I would have spent more on the shore excursions, maybe less on the room. I would also look for a one-way itinerary to minimize time at sea. I used a prescription sea sick patch, but had a number of bad moments and by the last two days at Sea in the 72 hours stretch, they were taping "sea sickness" bags to the stairs for people to take. Our room and cabin steward were top notch. Plenty of room to put items in the bathroom. In the room, there was room in the closet, on shelves in the closet and in small cupboards near fridge. Our steward helped us tape down an extension cord and got me distilled water for my CPAP machine. He was on top of everything. Loved having the balcony. Entertainment/Things to Do: The big shows were great- Jersey Boys, the musical Six – so glad we booked in advance. The Beatles band and the Comedy show were seen in the big auditorium, We couldn’t get tickets until we were on board and the small “club” venues sold out super fast. The music in the Atrium and Observation Lounge were good, but the entertainer, Beau Tahana, in the District Brew house showed incredible musicality. Beau Tahana was listed as providing comedy and music in the District Brew house. He was so much more… he played music of Elton John, Joe Cocker, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Orbison and many more. He would morph from one song or style to another seamlessly. He might be singing Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets, and segue into the Lion King Circle of Life song by Elton John, and come back to the original. Or a song might go from pop to sounding like Johnny Cash was now signing the same song. He incorporated funny comments like the “Washy-Washy” we heard from the staff to sanitize our hands as we entered the Garden Café Buffet. When asked where he was from, we got a slice of life on Deck 4 as he talked about living at the waterline. We liked the printed daily event info, it helped us figure out what/where events were. Rangers talk during Glacier Bay, and ranger station set up on Observation deck was great. The observation deck itself was wonderful. Ports: I was very disappointed that we did not go to one of our three ports - Ketchikan. I think if the ship was smaller we might have gone - the weather did not seem that bad. I thought Norwegian would add some fun activities to make up for it, very little was added. The times in port were too short, and poorly timed. You could pick one shore excursion and maybe have a little more time to walk around the town. No info provided about what to do in town, but we could go to a shore excursion talk and a separate shopping planning talk before each port. It seemed very commercial, geared to making money for NCL, not to benefit the NCL customers. Going to Victoria cost $15 each way to go into town, and we were arriving at 8pm and leaving at midnight. Heard they are required to stop at an international location before returning to US. General: Elevator wait was consistently long – 2 banks of elevators, about 14 levels used by 4000 passengers, many with mobility issues, so stairs were not a good option. Every "fun" activity was preceded by an annoying shore excursions sales pitch. Nothing was ever provided about what to do in a port unless it was going to result in money for Norwegian. We thought there would be talks on Alaska nature and history and port information, heard that Princess does this in Alaska. Other than the ranger's talk on Glacier Bay (which was great), there was nothing like that. We had "free" but horribly inconvenient airfare. Flight out of SFO at 7 am on a Sunday meant no opportunity to take public transportation there, adding a significant cost with either private airport transportation or a hotel the night before. Same on the return - booked us on a 9:50 am flight which meant we had to carry all bags off the ship at 7am. Food: Dinner at specialty French restaurant, Le Bistro, was fabulous! Crab "cake" to start, sauteed prawns for my main and the chocolate fondue dessert for two was incredible. The server in La Cucina (specialty restaurant) spilled olive oil on my one good blouse I planned to wear to our other specialty dinners. The manager offered to launder it, but I did not trust sending a delicate top to the ship's laundry. She comped us with a free bottle of wine. My steak at Cagney's (specialty restaurant), was ordered medium and was so under cooked it looked like sushi. I should have sent it back, but then all of the timing with my husband's meal would be off. Seating in the garden cafe (main buffet) was a joke, we circled and circled to find seats each time. We finally figured out there was a mini buffet in the morning at Jimmy Buffet's. We ate in several regular restaurants (The Local, Taste, the Manhattan Room). Overall, food was usually presented beautifully (especially desserts), but the taste wasn't that great. At the buffet, the Indian dishes were great, and I had a Chinese peppercorn stir fry that was wonderful. You could stand in line for a custom omelette. They served both self-serve soft serve ice cream and scooped ice cream with toppings. You could request cookies at the dessert areas. Could not get coffee at bars unless it had alcohol in it. Wish there had been more places to get coffee and soft drinks other than the garden cafe and observation lounge. We had the drinks package as part of our "free at sea" options and my husband loved trying different drinks. We also had a limited amount of free Wi-Fi in our package. I forgot to log out once and burned up all my minutes and they reinstated them for me after looking up my account.. It took a while to be able to track our overall spending and charges, but found we could see them on both TV in our cabin on the NCL app on our phone, which was also a way to look up entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It has been on my bucket list for years to cruise, we decided my 60th was a good reason to go. What a great vacation. I felt so relaxed and could want for nothing my whole trip. When we started out it was just going to be me and my wife. I ... Read More
It has been on my bucket list for years to cruise, we decided my 60th was a good reason to go. What a great vacation. I felt so relaxed and could want for nothing my whole trip. When we started out it was just going to be me and my wife. I said the more the merrier so we reached out to our kids their friends, our friends. We ended up with 14 takers so it was so enjoyable to do this together. We upgraded to a balcony king suite and I think it was really worth it. WE had the Spa package also.....I think its a must !!!! We had the ultimate drink package....so worth it. The food was good at all the free eateries. The buffet is good, lottsa choices, nice staff. We also were allowed to eat at Manhattan and Taste both of which are step up white linen dining and both were fabulous. The casino was fun when its open too. We liked Juneau as our first stop we walked the town, many of our group did the glacier tour. The Red dog saloon is crowded but fun. Skagway is a really cute stop we toured town and just walked around and shopped and ate a little. Had such a nice day there. Wind caused us to bypass Ketchikan but we all made new plans on the boat. Darn I had to spa twice that day !!! We saw 2 shows on the boat Six and Jersey boys. Both were fabulous and we highly recommend them to anyone. I can just say this was an amazing, relaxing most pampered trip I have ever gone on Their service crew is totally top notch, bartenders are flawless, room crews are really good and just so nice. The views are amazing all day long. Don't wait to book yours, I would spend a little more and everything will be included that you will need. I want to give a quick shout out to our entry to the buffet girl that I am sad to say I lost her name.....She had a great entry line......." Hello, Happy Happy, Washy Washy !!" as she sprayed some hand sanitize into your hands before entering the buffet. She had the whole boat saying it by the end of the trip and she made everyone smile !!! It is my new line forever before I do dinner now !! Awesome boat, great great staff. I will go again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to go on the Bliss after reading about it so we chose their Alaska route. It was wonderful. We treated ourselves to the Haven and the level of service there was better than we could have imagined. Every crew member knew our ... Read More
We wanted to go on the Bliss after reading about it so we chose their Alaska route. It was wonderful. We treated ourselves to the Haven and the level of service there was better than we could have imagined. Every crew member knew our names after the first day and called us by name the whole trip. The restaurant was the best one on the ship. Anything we needed was taken care of by the concierge or butler. The stateroom was beautiful and we received daily amenities. The Horizon lounge as so relaxing. We never wanted to leave the Haven! We enjoyed the Thermal Spa almost every day-it is worth the cost. The go carts were a lot of fun-glad we did them early as the weather later in the week kept them closed. We are in Ocean Blue and Le Bistro-two of the specialty restaurants-and they were outstanding. The comedy show was great. We love NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have been planning and reviewing this cruise for a year! I have read so many reviews and now that I have been on the ship I have to say that whomever doesnt enjoy themselves on a trip like this will never be happy !!!! We had the best ... Read More
I have been planning and reviewing this cruise for a year! I have read so many reviews and now that I have been on the ship I have to say that whomever doesnt enjoy themselves on a trip like this will never be happy !!!! We had the best time ever. The crew and service were AMAZING. The ship was AMAZING. The excursions were AMAZING. The ship was perfect to see Alaska. We just couldnt have had a better time. We have sailed NCL many times and we splurged and booked the HAVEN because it was my 50th birthday, all I can say is wow, double wow, wow wow...... It will hard to ever go back to "regular rooms" again. Our personal staff were remarkable. We didnt want for a single thing on this ship. We felt like royalty. Worth every penny!!! I did notice that there were a few minutes of traffic jams at the elevators right after the shows were over but that is to be expected. It is just like when going to a concert or sporting event. When you leave you have to be patient to get out of the parking lot.....I really didnt notice anyone having a real problem with it. As I said prior, it would be really hard to get upset about much when you are on a ship like this. The ship itself was beautiful. We saw both our private observation deck and the one for the rest of the ship and they were both aimed to please!!! And did!! Entertainment was very good. We only saw female entertainers other than the comedian which is a first on any ship we have been on. We just saw Jersey Boys at the Theatre in town so we did not see it on the ship. We saw SIX, and Prohibition, which was definitely worth the upcharge. LIke I said the comedian was top notch. We played the games, and really kept busy. We did not try the lazer tag or the go carts, mainly because it was just cold and there were a few "rocky" moments with the waters and my mom didnt want to be outside. Again, the staff were just the icing on the cake and we couldnt be happier. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
7 days of nickel and diming... and when u wuestion the chatges on the card.. they look at you stupid. Every thing is over crowded..the staff is rude.. people stuffed on elevators like sardines...ans the says at sea there is nothing to do ... Read More
7 days of nickel and diming... and when u wuestion the chatges on the card.. they look at you stupid. Every thing is over crowded..the staff is rude.. people stuffed on elevators like sardines...ans the says at sea there is nothing to do that does not include money. Got a pedicure..it was a good one .. however the while time they are insulting my skin care.. telling u ne I need botox for my face and a skin care regiment for the rest of my body...when i turned it down..they told me that she doesnt understand because what i am using isn't working ....so much for a relaxing 45 minutes that cost $75 with a self imposed 20% tip for herself .. mu whole party had the ultimate dining package..my oldest son for left out..their mistake.. and would not fix it.. good thing there is so much food they allowed us to share Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our third NCL Cruise. Our first ever cruise to Alaska. I should change my CC handle to "CigarCruiser" because, I will always address cigar related issues to cruising. Cruise ship musts for us include cabin comforts, ... Read More
This was our third NCL Cruise. Our first ever cruise to Alaska. I should change my CC handle to "CigarCruiser" because, I will always address cigar related issues to cruising. Cruise ship musts for us include cabin comforts, specialty restaurants, and a reasonable cigar lounge. NCL continues to meet these criteria for us. We had a mini-suite category cabin on deck 8. We ate at 7 of the specialty restaurants (5 for dinner and 2 for lunch). I visited the Humidor Lounge daily. We chose the "sail away" rate, as opposed to the more inclusive rates. Our rationale is that we don't drink that much. In fact, I'm pretty sure the "Gratuity/Service Charge" of $154 per person was greater than the amount we consumed on the voyage. I didn't use the ship's internet. We bought a 4 meal specialty dining plan. The Restaurants: La Cuccina, Italian. I had Osso Bucco, my wife had Veal Scallopini. Very good dinner. American Diner. We had lunch. Its kind of open air, so, it was chilly. I had skirt steak chimichurri ($15). My wife had their cheeseburger ($11). Cheeseburger gets vote for best burger at sea now, surpassing previous #1 of Carnival's Guy's Burger and HAL's made to order burgers. Yeah, you have to pay for it, but, its worth it. The skirt steak was great, also. This one isn't expensive enough to use your meal plan, so, I don't think many people are eating there. But, its worth it. Q, Texas BBQ. I had the Texas sampler with brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. My wife had the ribs. This was surprisingly good. I've never been a brisket fan (I guess, being from Alabama). The brisket was very tender. Everything else was very good. We'll go back. Our bill total before being zero'd out by the meal plan was about $70, so, it justifies the meal plan, but, just barely. Teppanyaki, Japanese Hibachi show dinner. This was fun. I had filet and scallops. This specialty actually costs more than our local similar restaurants at $39.95 apiece. So, this one and Q, I think seem to be unsubsidized by the dining portion of your cruise fare. Increasingly, the costs of the specialty restaurants appear to be comparable to similar quality restaurants on land. But, its worth using the specialty plan here. Cagney's, Steak. This was the best Cagney's we have experienced. Both of our steaks (a filet and a porterhouse) were cooked pretty accurately. This was very good. I'd say half way between Outback and Flemings or Ruth's Chris on my quality meter. The cost (without the dining plan is also about half way between. Great choice for your specialty plan. Food Republic, Mostly Asian. My wife loves this place. Its all small plates. We tried a few, and spent $70 (didn't use specialty plan). It was all good. I particularly liked the pork belly with ramen and the scotch eggs. Le Bistro, French. We had 8 oz filets. They were different from Cagney's, which surprised me. Also very good. Just a little less expensive than Cagney's, but, not much. Probably your second best choice for specialty plan. The Humidor Lounge, Cigars. If you enjoy a cigar or two while on vacation, this is a nice hideaway on the 8th deck. Unlike other ships, its not attached to Malting's Whiskey Bar. There were signs (3 of them) prominently displayed, stating that this lounge for for cigars only and that cigarettes were prohibited there. Well, that didn't matter, which shouldn't matter to anyone other than cigar lovers and cigarette smokers. If you like cigarettes, then this place beats the pants off of the corner of H2O Spice, where it was cold through most of the Alaskan Cruise, and many smokers were only too happy to adopt this as their home at sea. I was fortunate to find a seat in the lounge for my cigar. I didn't complain, and I don't think anyone else did, either. But, NCL, to their credit, did make a few attempts at enforcement. But, too many staff came through to provide implied consent. My fear here is that this is fast becoming an airport smoking lounge. When the ship realizes this, they will just re-purpose the room. The cigarette smokers will go where they are allowed. And, cigar aficionados will abandon the line. There are 18 comfortable seats in this room. You have to use the telephone to order drinks or cigars. One decent smoking bar would generate more revenue, and it would show more concern for their cigarette smoking/paying guests. IMHO. Entertainment. We skipped the Footloose show. This is notable, because the Broadway type shows on Breakaway and Bliss (Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys) were amazing. We went to the opening Theater Entertainment Sampler. They did 2 numbers from Footloose, and, I want to be charitable here, but, they just weren't good. We did go to Elements. This show was amazing. It is not to be missed. The Russian aerial acrobatic and ballet couple were awesome. The magician (PJ Wen) provided spectacular illusions. We were mesmerized throughout this show. Finally, the Beatles Tribute Band did a long set concert covering the Beatles career on Friday afternoon before we landed at Victoria. What a great show. The Cavern Club is just not big enough for the quality of their shows (also true on Bliss). But, I get what they are trying to re-create here. On both cruises where they have a Cavern Club, the band has done a long show in the theater on the final day or night of the cruise. The theater was packed for their show, demonstrating why it was so hard to get into the Cavern Club during the week. The final point on entertainment. You might be surprised to learn that the best singer on the ship is probably the cruise director, Dan Dan. He was on the Bliss earlier this year before transferring to the Joy. He is a brilliant singer. He should do a show. He will sing toward the end of your cruise. You should not miss it. Our cabin was a mini-suite, which seems a lot like a balcony cabin, except it has 2 sinks. I see some traditionalists complain about the less personable approach to housekeeping, but, I don't try to get to know maids at hotels. The guy cleaned our room, replaced our towels, got us ice, and he was courteous when he saw us. I don't think I want any more than that. The ship is like other large ships. It's beautiful. We found our way around pretty well. Once embarkation was done, it was pretty easy to get around. We didn't go to top decks much, because it wasn't really warm enough for pool activity. But, we were able to get elevators when we needed them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I have cruised 2 times on Norwegian, 2 times on Princess and Celebrity and once on Carnival and Royal and this was far and away THE best cruise ever. We sailed from Seattle to the Inside Passage with a stop in beautiful ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised 2 times on Norwegian, 2 times on Princess and Celebrity and once on Carnival and Royal and this was far and away THE best cruise ever. We sailed from Seattle to the Inside Passage with a stop in beautiful Victoria BC. Why was this so great? Embarkation super fast- no line Best food including buffet Friendly efficient staff Best itinerary and friendly tour operators Cleanliness Tons of wildlife to see Drinks in the brew pub. Tucked away and a great secret. We ate in 3 restaurants because we had the specialty dining package. Steakhouse was the best. Steak was perfectly prepared and seasoned well. Food was prepared hot and presented nicely. Pace was good. We did the white rail pass and 4 Mile hike in Skagway. If you are not in shape do not take it. Luckily we are and it was lovely because it was small and the location was away from crowds. I can see people who aren’t steady on their feet falling all over the place. Read the cruise literature and don’t push it. We also highly recommend the secret garden and tea tour in Victoria. Again, super small tour and delicious tray of tea sandwiches and treats. Victoria was so beautiful and Canadians are as nice as you think. Sweet way to wrap up the week. The captain had to divert us to the Davidson glacier due to visibility issues. Impressive engineering, fully rotating the ship 3 times so we could get great photos. Not so friendly local fishermen who were upset at the need to pull up their nets. :) We don’t do shows so I can’t say how that was. Nor did we really participate in any onboard activities. (I hate people as a rule because of the way they act on vacation). Sitting in the observation lounge at sea was a treat and we saw many whales and dolphins. I could go on about our experience but it exceeded my expectations. The weather played a big factor (yes, I know that’s not a direct result of anything the line controls) but the service we received all around means we will be back. My only complaint is this ship needs a thermal spa. We missed it on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am an avid cruiser. I have been on about 20 cruise with varying cruise lines, so I have a lot of experience to pull from. We had an amazing time. The boat is stunning. All spaces are brand new, and really clean. The bars and lounges had ... Read More
I am an avid cruiser. I have been on about 20 cruise with varying cruise lines, so I have a lot of experience to pull from. We had an amazing time. The boat is stunning. All spaces are brand new, and really clean. The bars and lounges had excellent menus, and we did have the drink package. Main dining rooms are better than expected, but not as good as the specialty. We did book with a 3-night specialty promo. Elements was an excellent show, did get to see all of Footloose, we were tired. We had a mid-ship balcony, which was in excellent condition. You almost need a balcony on this itinerary. Service was good, but not outstanding. We really enjoyed the observation lounge. I only had one complaint about the entire experience. I was a little disappointed about our Glacier Bay sailing. I have been to Alaska before with princess cruises. We sailed right into a massive glacier that showed calving. This itinerary sailed into a glacier that was inside a mountain, and didn't give the intended affect. Still beautiful, but that factor was missing. Due to this, our Juneau day was only a half day port, which is super disappointing. Every other aspect of this trip was perfect! I would cruise this exact sailing again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cheaper then Disneys, but we should have paid the extra money. Customer service was lacking, acted like you bothered them to ask question. Didn't get final bill until morning of disembarking, ran put of time to address issues, ... Read More
Cheaper then Disneys, but we should have paid the extra money. Customer service was lacking, acted like you bothered them to ask question. Didn't get final bill until morning of disembarking, ran put of time to address issues, was supposed to get the bill 430 day b4. Entertainment was like High School musical...had one night in Bliss lounge with old school music n place was packed, band took a break n came back n played differentudic n EVERYONE left, not hard to figure out your audience. They painted our balcony so we had very strong paint funes n couldn't set outside, stupid to do that. Couldn't get waited in in lounges, wait staff walked right by you n wouldn't even make eye contact...what the heck? IT guy was beyond rude, never received our free bottle of wine for being a repeat Norwegian cruiser... way below standard from first cruise in Hawaii Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Alaska cruise was great. The ship was extremely clean, the staff goes out of their way to be friendly, The entertainment was good in quality of shows and variety. The cruise from start to finish was well organized. NCL made it easy to get ... Read More
Alaska cruise was great. The ship was extremely clean, the staff goes out of their way to be friendly, The entertainment was good in quality of shows and variety. The cruise from start to finish was well organized. NCL made it easy to get on and off the ship. The two big disappointments on the ship were 1. The food served on board the Jewel was a huge disappointment. NCL does a lot of things right but because the preparation and food was so bad we will never cruise with NCL again. If anyone from NCL is reading this don't take our word for it pull up a chair and dine in one of your restaurants. . I recommend starting in O'shea's. The 2nd disappointment was the smoke filled casino. I understand there are plenty of people that like to smoke while they gamble and I understand that. There are also some of us that don't enjoy cigarette smoke. How hard would it be to reserve a small section for non smokers. Other cruise lines do a much better job in accommodating smokers and non smokers in the casino area of the ship. Our overall experience was great. We would not select NCL again on any of our future cruises for the reasons identified above. Kind regards, Kevin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If you are not a meat eater, beware of this cruise line because the choices for you at dinner time are very sparse. I mean who wants to eat the same dish at dinner for 7 nights? Vegetable lasagna gets really boring after day 2. Not ... Read More
If you are not a meat eater, beware of this cruise line because the choices for you at dinner time are very sparse. I mean who wants to eat the same dish at dinner for 7 nights? Vegetable lasagna gets really boring after day 2. Not sure why this cruise line does not step up like Celebrity has. It is certainly less expensive to serve well rounded vegetable or vegan dishes to your clients instead of expensive meat type dishes. Of course, one must also just look around and see the girthing of Americans. Or those cruisers who do not understand the concept of a buffet -- and insist on bringing back a plate piled as high as the Eiffel Tower (and spilling some of it all over the floors for others to slip upon). C'mon Norwegian -- step up. My spouse has already said NO to suggestions of another sailing with you -- no matter what price or itinerary -- and that is solely due to a lack of appropriate "food choices" for vegans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our previous cruise was on NCL and in booking a trip to Alaska, we choose it again and were not disappointed. The NCL Jewel was updated last fall and feels like a new ship. Our mini-suite was perfect with a little extra room and full bath. ... Read More
Our previous cruise was on NCL and in booking a trip to Alaska, we choose it again and were not disappointed. The NCL Jewel was updated last fall and feels like a new ship. Our mini-suite was perfect with a little extra room and full bath. We were traveling with our adult children, so it was nice to have the extra space when they visited us or used our balcony for glacier viewing. The staff are exceptionally friendly and are committed to providing a high level of service. While we don't have another cruise line to which we can compare our experiences, we are usually very active on vacations and were hesitant to even consider a cruise. We enjoy the "freestyle" options on Norwegian. Dining hours are flexible, you can find plenty of healthy options and the upgraded dining options are excellent and worth the cost. The thermal spa is an add-on, but is something you might consider--a peaceful getaway and great place to read while enjoying the gorgeous scenery from the front of the ship. And there are plenty of night life options for all ages. The promenade on Deck 7 is great for walking while enjoying 360 views. We saw a number of whales while walking the morning we entered the inside passage. We chose the one way trip from Seward to Vancouver. We arrived early in Anchorage and spend four days in Denali with a rental car. We then took a bus from the Anchorage airport to Seward to board the ship. The Bike, Hike and Float excursion in Skayway was our favorite and a great value. In Juneau, we were disappointed in the kayaking near Mendenhall Glacier (only an hour on the water and seemed to go in circles), but also had time for a hike to the top of Mount Roberts (and then took the tram down). In Icy Strait we walked to the nearby town of Hookah. Overall, a great trip and would choose NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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