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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
April 1, 2018 to April 16, 2018 from Tokyo to Shanghai. First night in La Bistro first choice wine is not available, second the same. Cabin has noise and we are not able to slip. Cabin phone is not working. Change a cabin 2 times. Most of ... Read More
April 1, 2018 to April 16, 2018 from Tokyo to Shanghai. First night in La Bistro first choice wine is not available, second the same. Cabin has noise and we are not able to slip. Cabin phone is not working. Change a cabin 2 times. Most of food OK, but beef and burgers are not eatable. In Tsar restaurant waiting for desert 25 min, waiters disappeared and after desert came melted. Pastries and ice cream are very good. Watermelon is tasteless. All ports are excellent. All shore excursions are good, but one. Entertainment below average. Only two good shows for 15 days. Use a same musicians for 2 times. Customer service is a big issue, we need contact hotel director for resolve cabin noise issue. Cabin was clean and we have no problem. Information from bridge came very late and not clear. NCL need to improve customer service and not sail cabin with noise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We did the 16 night cruise from Tokyo to Shanghai with an excellent itinerary. Access to public transport from all the ports was easy and readily available. Embarking and disembarking was relatively easy and all went very smoothly except ... Read More
We did the 16 night cruise from Tokyo to Shanghai with an excellent itinerary. Access to public transport from all the ports was easy and readily available. Embarking and disembarking was relatively easy and all went very smoothly except for Hong Kong. The ship ported in HK at 11AM. Apparently. some passengers did not have visas for China so no one could disembark until that was sorted out. We got off the ship at 3PM and had to queue over an hour for the shuttle buses as there were only three. The entertainment on board was very good and varied. We did not do any excursions arranged by NCL as we manged to travel around easily on our own using local taxis and trains. We had a mid ship Oceanview stateroom which was an adequate size for two people. We were on the right hand side of the ship, avoid this side if you can, as it docks on this side and can be very noisy on port days. We received an excellent service from all staff especially in the restaurants and the reception desk. The standard of the food was average, Holland & America had better quality food and presentation. Please find attached some of the daily itineraries. Great cruise to see the Sakura blossom. I suggest you download the Travel Japan Wifi app before you travel on the Cruise if you want to use free WiFi in the ports. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard ... Read More
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard outside, deck 4) and were happy with the general experience. We took the perks at sea package and had 4 dinners for two at the specialty restaurants plus $50 off each person's tour at all of the ports. Also we got 250 internet minutes and 2 hours of ship to USA calls. We used all of these perks, even made some doctor appointments back home. The food at the upgrade restaurants was very good, especially at Cagneys where the filet was great. We also used the French restaurant, but liked Cagneys better. As to the dining rooms and the Lido, we found them to be good, but not great. Like most cruises, some items were very good and others just so-so. Service was OK, and the buffet was clean and appetizing. I recall that there were 12 port days on the 15 day cruise. We naturally used the ship tours for about 9 ports, but at Kobe we made independent tours that included the castle at Hemiji and the Kobe city zoo or animal preserve. We rate both of these as top notch. Overall, we really enjoyed the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Yokohama Japan, and ended in Shanghai, China however we continued with the next two cruise segments through Alaska to disembark in Seattle. ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Yokohama Japan, and ended in Shanghai, China however we continued with the next two cruise segments through Alaska to disembark in Seattle. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing visiting 6 port cities in Japan, 2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and 2 in China with only 2 sea days. In Kobe, and Hong Kong we enjoyed overnight stays and two days in each city. The cruise was enjoyable, and cabins and ship clean​,​ it is dated and wear is showing.... It is scheduled for a major drydock retrofit in October 2018. Food was reasonable throughout the varied ship restaurants. We noticed most restaurant food was only warm - the exception being the Garden Cafe upon opening. One of the most significant concerns remains " head office control " limiting the chefs ability to vary menus, and provide culinary cuisine more reflective of the Asian area of travel. While it is nice to not deal with the logistics of transport, and accommodation in this variety of cities, we did miss out on experiencing the local Japanese cuisine in more depth. Entertainment was varied and of reasonably good quality. However the absence of any entertainment reflective of the oriental culture, " enrichment programs " c​ultural , basic language , or port information was disappointing. Onboard activities have been severely curtailed, and the focus was clearly on NCL Shore excursions,​ and selling additional spa, dining, or health services. Most shore excursions were full bus loads of 50 people with a single often untrained guide. The accent, and limited English language, of the guides were often a limiting factor to the full enjoyment of the tour. We found tour​ options were limited to very traditional tourist sightseeing,​ and they varied widely in quality and value. As all locations were new to us, and due to the language and cultural challenges, we booked mostly NCL excursions. Increasingly we discovered more guests using independent guides, or venturing out on their own with taxis, and they were reporting much more satisfying experiences. The process to assemble participants & load the tour buses was often chaotic, with clients arriving late, not queuing respectfully, & not following instructions. Those guests were being rewarded with the best seats on the bus ! Frankly the waiting and disorganization caused many tours to be less than enjoyable. Communication issues with customs & immigration , & embarkation processes, were experienced, but to be expected with many new ports, and several foreign countries. For the most part staff were genuine and helpful, however there were several examples were it was obvious staff were not allowed to think, and responded accordingly with a " standard answer " even when it made absolutely no sense in the circumstances. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, ... Read More
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, 2018. The best part of the cruise is the fact that our Mini-Suite was kept immaculately tidy by our steward. The whole ship always looked tidy. Unfortunately, the positives stop there. NCL Jewel is a highly disorganized ship and the reasons are as follows: (1) from the initial port in HK up to disembarkation. People in HK were not even properly identified as NCL staff. They were grabbing the suitcases from our hotel limo as we arrived. (2)Furthermore, NO ONE in the check in counter in HK knew what Latitudes was. Only those in the Suites were assisted even if the Latitudes program supposedly provided for assistance on embarkation for those in Gold upwards (3)Restaurant reservation made online prior to the start of the cruise did not sync with the ship's system. Hence, I just wasted all that time planning the restaurants that we wanted to dine in. (4)The worst part is the staff at Azura ( on the first night) were demanding a print out from me for the proof of my reservation. I obviously do not walk around with hard copies of the reservation when it is supposed to be in their system as per my NCL account. I did not appreciate this because there were other patrons behind and I never expected to be treated in such fashion when the meal in question is an inclusion and not even a specialty restaurant. I later found out that the whole reservation system was not working for the entire length of the cruise(5) Water purchased in advance were not delivered to our room until after 3 follow ups. We were told that it would be delivered the next day which is unacceptable as my husband and I require such for our medication. (6) Shore excursion organizers at the start were not organized with guests even requesting that a line be formed during the process. This is disappointing as the staff should have organized the whole process better. I started wondering if they had trainees organizing these excursions. Also, some guests of the boat were complaining that the ship ran out of shore excursion openings for most of the tours. It is only for 11 days – how can they get it so wrong. (7) Room service did not deliver an order for nearly 3 hours because they supposedly failed to get our room number. We could not have our breakfast at the restaurants that morning as we were dealing with a family emergency over the phones. This was the height of how dysfunctional room service was. To order for beer at around 10 pm would take at least an hour to be delivered. (8) Food in the specialty restaurants are mostly SALTY. The dishes we enjoyed at the NCL Star are also offered at the Jewel but for some reason almost everything is about 3 times saltier. This made most of our dining experiences not enjoyable. Menus in the main dining areas/complimentary do not change at all. Azura and Tsar have near similar menus ( 9) Staff in the Garden Cafe are NOT very helpful and would really rather stand around than assist guests when the place is packed during meal time. The same goes with Azura. The staff members seem to be overwhelmed during peak times. Hence, guests are left waiting to be attended to. We dined there twice and it is sad to see that the main dining area could hardly cope and not get its act together. (10) As we had to leave the ship earlier than scheduled due to a family emergency, we had to disembark by ourselves. We have paid for the cruise until 01 April but had to leave by 30 March. We were supposed to disembark at around 11 am as our flight was at 3:00 pm. By 9:30 am, housekeeping wanted to check if we were still in our rooms. Yes, the very same room that we have paid for in full till April 1 including the unlimited internet charges I have paid for UNTIL April 1. An hour later, someone in guest relations also went to our room to check if we were still around. This was weird because they all knew we were only leaving past 11 am. I could not understand why they were rushing to get us out when the ship will still be docked until 7 or 8 pm in Kobe. Later, the disembarkation officer was VERY VERY rude and even raised her voice infront of everyone when I said that all I wanted was to get out of this ship once and for all. She should not be in hospitality if that is how she treats guests. Prior to our disembarkation and after having raised some of the issues above with customer relations, the Hotel Director Steven even offered to compensate us with US$200 off our bill for all the inconveniences we encountered. We find that insulting as we did not raise our issues to get freebies. We actually look down on people who try to pull that sort of stuff. In the long run, we believe people with legitimate issues suffer when an establishment assumes that people only whinge because they want to get freebies. We declined the offer and told him to use the funds instead towards boosting staff training and morale. He also later on sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to our Mini- Suite. We also sent that back and politely said thank you BUT no thank you to the messenger. Over-all we regret taking this cruise. It was only for 11 days but I think it stressed us out in the 9 days that we were inside that ship. We were so impressed with NCL Star that we even made 3 CruiseNext deposits in 2016. We are not regretting that decision. Since coming back to Australia, we have read some reviews other passengers have given Jewel and all I can conclude is that we are not alone with our findings. They also are the same with the sentiments of most of the people we interacted with on the boat. Most of them even swearing this would be the final time with NCL. I hope I am wrong to assume that NCL only treats guests from the Suites better than the rest. If someone in a Mini Suite this time cannot get decent satisfaction from a cruise liner then I don’t know what hope the other guests in the lower decks would feel. The ship is running very poorly because of low staff morale and inadequate training. Suffice to say, I will surely think thrice before recommending this vessel for a cruise. The Jewel is destroying the NCL brand and needs an overhaul. It has management and staff issues. We have cruised with both Princess and Celebrity on both levels, Suite and Mini Suite, and had absolutely none of these issues. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le ... Read More
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le Bistro still our favorite. Proper cleanliness throughout the ship - male thermal suite always maintained well. Entertainment fair to poor. Same shows as 4 years ago. Music way to loud all venues. (When asked to pipe down upon port arrival [so we could enjoy Japan's Pier Greeting Performance by musicians and dancers] the topside pool musicians said no because its in our contract. Ruined the arrival for many.) This being an Orient cruise only 1 local entertainment brought on board although we ported at 8 different piers. Most disappointing. Cabin bedding terrible -- Norwegian changed mattresses for us and still could see the slump in the beds. Felt like sleeping in a hammock. Service charges are non-stop. Though our service charges were paid up front, still hit up with charges every time we orderrd a drink, food, or activity. These are a major rip off for all cruisers. Unusually long waits for NCL sponsored Destination Tours, and long lines on-board to book these tours. Do so before sailing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all ... Read More
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all tastes. Our inside cabin was adequate and our cabin steward did his best. Dining was generally good. The two main restaurants were fine, the buffet (Market cafe) often a scrum but the food was good. The speciality restaurants were good. Service was generally good, some outstanding, some poor. Entertainment became a bit samey but we were on the ship for 40 nights so that was to be expected. Ports on this leg of the cruise were great. We did not take any NCL excursions but seldom heard anything good from those who did take them so this is an area on this ship that NCL should look carefully at. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary (China & Japan were top of our list). Unfortunately, the itinerary changed several times before our departure, which took some of the shine off it (particularly the loss of an overnight ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary (China & Japan were top of our list). Unfortunately, the itinerary changed several times before our departure, which took some of the shine off it (particularly the loss of an overnight stop at Beijing, which left us with very little time in between travelling from and to the port where the ship was docked), and the removal of a stop in South Korea (although this one was down to Chinese legislation) Embarkation was a bit of a nightmare, previous cruises we have been on, after checking in we have moved into a seperate 'holding area' waiting to board, but on this occasion everybody seemed to be hanging around together, making things rather confusing, blocking routes, etc. Once onboard things did improve, with the good points being as follows:- The public areas were always clean, the entertainment was very good compared to other cruises we have been on, and the bars and restaurants were plentiful and well stocked. One huge plus was the freedom dining, which allowed us to eat at whatever time we desired, with quite a few options to choose from (we were a group of 4 and we only had to wait once for a table, and that was for less than 10 minutes at one of the smaller complimentary restaurants). However, there were some negatives, as follows:- We had pre-booked some speciality restaurants prior to the cruise, but when we attended our first booking we were told that ALL online reservations had been lost (somewhere in cyber space no doubt). They did accommodate us on that first date, but only after a 40 minute wait and a gentle reminder from me that we were still waiting for a table. This first visit to was 3 days into the cruise, surely they would have known by that time that there was a problem with online reservations, and surely they could have made some sort of announcement...?? (our other reservations were re-booked, and all 4 restaurants we ate in were excellent, so no complaints after that initial problem) Some of the bar staff were a little rude, especially when my wife went to the bar (we have never come accross this on previous cruises, where 99.9% of bar staff have been brilliant) and a few of the customer service staff were even worse (not very helpful at all, in fact) The cabin, although adequate, was difficult to manouevre around, and the overhead bunk was a nightmare for me as I banged my shoulder on it many times when getting out of bed, despite it being 'stowed away'. The cruise ship's policy for passing through customs in Japan left a lot to be desired. It was explained through a flyer that every passenger required a 'face to face' inspection with a customs officer (pretty standard stuff at most ports, airports etc, you'd think). but the ship decided it was so complicated, we were to disembark at our first stop at pre-determined intervals, starting with the upper decks and working down to the lower decks. Great if your cabin was on deck 13 or 14, not so great if your cabin was on deck 5, like ours. If we had stuck to the ships plan, we would have been doing our 'face to face' (i.e. going through customs) over 2 and a half hours after the first passengers were allowed off. As we had pre-booked a private tour (costing a lot of money) I visited customer services to inform them that our party WOULD be leaving the boat at the time we had agreed to meet our tour guide (i.e. the time which NCL had said we would be docking at the port and allowing people off). After declining a 'free phonecall' to our guide to say we would be over 2 hours late, followed by several visits to the desk, and a refusal to give in (hence the comment earlier about the unhelpful staff) it was agreed to let us off earlier than our 'scheduled' time (but we were asked not to advertise the fact, so as not to upset other passengers on lower decks I presume!). One other thing, which didn't affect us but needs mentioning, was the lack of information provided by NCL prior to the cruise with regards visas. Fortunately we had done some research beforehand, and knew we needed visas, but there were several people onboard who could not leave the boat whilst in China because they didn't. One couple, we heard, were in their 80's and it had been their lifelong ambition to visit China but, because they were unaware that a visa was required, they had to stay on the boat. We also heard that another couple had even been turned away at the airport, so they didn't even get to go on the cruise. Can't say for certain if these stories are true, but I do know there were an awful lot of people stuck onboard while we were in China. Now it could be said that it was the passengers fault for not doing their research (and I agree to a certain extent), but we did a cruise last year to Thailand and Vietnam (similar countries to China and Japan in my opinion) and all the visas for that trip were sorted by the cruise ship (we just had to deposit our passports, and our cruise card effectively became our visa and passport). To be truthfully honest, I thought it would be exactly the same on this cruise, and it was only through a stroke of luck that we discovered a visa for China was required, otherwise we would have also been trapped onboard. So I can fully understand why some people may have not known they needed a visa. Surely an email from NCL a month or two before the cruise would easily have solved this problem, or at least made everybody aware? I've rambled on about the negatives but to be honest, we still had a fabulous time, and the cruise ship was generally great. Nothing is ever perfect, but most of the issues above could have been avoided, which would have made this cruise almost ... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We saw the advertisement for the cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo via China in the weekend Australian newspaper. The service staff, in the cabins and restaurants, were particularly impressive. Genuine friendliness and welcoming. Extremely ... Read More
We saw the advertisement for the cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo via China in the weekend Australian newspaper. The service staff, in the cabins and restaurants, were particularly impressive. Genuine friendliness and welcoming. Extremely helpful and obliging - no request was too much or too problematic to carry out. The entertainment in the theatre was of a very high standard - each evening's performance more professional than the previous one. All areas of the ship were clean, well cared for, appealing and comfortable to relax or be entertained in. Especially enjoyed the art education sessions given by Divan from Park West and his very entertaining art auctions. The speciality restaurants, La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cagney's Steakhouse were included in our food package and very worthwhile. Disembarkation and embarkation at each port was smooth and well organised. The reception committee on embarkation were very pleasant, welcoming and friendly. We organised our own shore excursions, so didn't use the ship's excursions. There were absolutely no problems or negative experiences throughout our cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we ... Read More
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we were at the front on deck 5 and our friends were aft on deck 8. we spoke to infinity cruises who we booked through, the paperwork and organisation for infinity leaves a lot to be desired(at one time we had 2 extra people on our booking we had never heard off) they said it was the fault of ncl, ncl said it was infinity’s fault but offered to upgrade us for £700 per person(they must have thought that we would be happy to be ripped off) eventually we boarded the jewel, cafe and restaurant staff were top quality, customer services were also excellent as were the bar staff, food really good. trying to get a seat in the garden cafe at times was impossible, spent a lot of time wandering round trying to find seats. shore excursion staff had no idea about the places we were visiting, and got the feeling one of the staff was full of his own importance. communication was awful, the morning announcement over the speaker system was next to useless as you could not hear a word in the garden cafe, thought a member of staff would have told someone. the cabin was noisy, window was misted up so did not see a lot sometimes, the housekeeper i think did his own thing, 15 20 on 2 days before the room was made up, think he had difficulty getting up in the morning, was not the best housekeeper we have had by a mile. towards the end they ran out of some draught and bottled bears, and soft drinks. the organisation for the trips was chaos with everyone queuing up to wait in the theatre at once. we were told to collect our passports between 5 am and 7 am (yes 5am 7am) on the day we disembark, but then changed their minds and made it after 2pm the day we were in. altogether we have cruise 6 times with ncl, but this ship seemed dysfunctional with no coordination, will not go with ncl again, or will we book through infinity. i must say that the entertainment was first class. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose 5his cruise because of the itinerary. Asia. We started in Singapore. Embarkation was easy and quick. Lunch in the dining room seemed to take forever, but since 5he cabins weren’t ready, it didn’t really matter. We found out ... Read More
We chose 5his cruise because of the itinerary. Asia. We started in Singapore. Embarkation was easy and quick. Lunch in the dining room seemed to take forever, but since 5he cabins weren’t ready, it didn’t really matter. We found out at that time that no bread is served with lunch entrees unless you ask for it. Dinner was supposed to start at 5, but because of the life boat drill, the room wasn’t set up until almost 6. It would have been nice if one of the many staff coming and going would have mentioned that. The second day on board, we went to lunch in the dining room and got the same menu as the first day. We told our server about it thinking it was a mistake. She said the lunch in the dining room is always the same. But since there are several dishes to choose from, that makes it different. We ate in the buffet from then on. The buffet was almost as bad or maybe worse when you consider that nothing was really fresh, except the fruit. Grilled cheese sandwiches were made one day for breakfast. All of them on display were hard and cold. I asked if they had new ones. The server opened a cooler door and pulled out already grilled cheese sandwiches and gave me one. It was not crisp or even warm. Many of the buffet dishes were like that; pre-made and stored until needed. They didn’t even rotate items. They just filled in the empty slots with items they pulled out of storage. Plus everything was the same day after day with about 8 items that changed depending on the theme of the day. Very disappointing. Our room was ok. Bed sagged in the middle and was a little lumpy. I slept ok on most nights. Our cabin steward did a good job cleaning our room, but e often didn’t get around to us until late morning. Most times our room was not turned down until well after dinner. Since the entertainment was only so so most nights, that meant we either had to leave the room again, or skip turn down service. Burn the Floor and Le Cirque Bijou were AWESOME!, the best shows we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. The rest of the entertainment was typical cruise ship singing, comedy and magic. Things to do during the day included things like sexy leg contest, trivia and bingo. They tried to do a painting class, but the instructors didn’t really have the experience to teach the class. There was no help or guidance. The subjects were too complicated and the time limit too short for beginner painters. People didn’t tend to sign up twice. Too bad because I was looking forward to that. The rest of the things to do involved either spending money or dumbing yourself down to actually enjoy. Things like the not so newly wed game was just an attempt to humiliate yourself to win a t-shirt. Not what I call fun. We took a shore excursion to visit a castle in Kyoto Japan, plus a pagoda. The write up sounded like something we’d like. After all, it’s a UNESCO site. Well, it was a 2 hour bus ride to the first site. Along the way our guide tried to engage us in learning more about the places we were going to see, but her accent was so pronounced that we could only interpret one word out of 4. About half of our bus was German, so they talked when she talked making that much harder to hear her. The castle was just an old wooden square separated by painted panels into square rooms. It might have meant more if we had time to read the placques next to each room. NCL had at least 10 buses doing this trip, so the castle was crowded. I got shoved many times during our visit. Lunch, however, was Amazing! It was another boring 2 hour ride back to the ship. Overall, the tour was not worth the time and definitely not worth the money. We are Platinum Plus latitudes reward members. We have seen the experience of cruising with NCL go from excellent to average. We’d say they’re a half step up from Carnival cruises. That may change since we’ve heard that Carnival is improving. We have no plans to sail with NCL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have sailed on Norwegian many times. I really enjoy the Jewel Class ships. When I saw this itinerary I was excited. The ship itself is showing its wear but I believe it is up for dry dock after it goes to Alaska this season. You ... Read More
We have sailed on Norwegian many times. I really enjoy the Jewel Class ships. When I saw this itinerary I was excited. The ship itself is showing its wear but I believe it is up for dry dock after it goes to Alaska this season. You couldn't beat the itinerary. We started in Singapore has two stops in Thailand and three in Vietnam before ending on Hong Kong. I had done some research on the port before we started so I know most of them were industrial and we would need to be bused to any sightseeing or cities. Knowing this going in was helpful. This isn't like the Caribbean where you can just walk off the ship and everything is there. We did ship tours for all the stop except Bangkok. We were glad we had ship tour for the tender ports. No worry about getting tender tickets and making it to your private excursions. NCL did a good job with the tours themselves. The guides spoke very good English. We heard some private tours were not easy to understand. We however could have been provided water on the excursions. We were told we could not take water off the ship and were not offered any during the tour or be directed where to buy some. It was hot so water was essential. The nightly shows were top notch. There were two Burn the Floor performances. I was surprised at that because I thought they were only on the Breakaway class ships. I was a bit disappointed in the nightly cruise staff directed game shows. I generally really enjoy them and they seemed to be lacking on this ship. It was an older crowd so I understand the evening entertainment was directed towards them but the pace of the entertainment other than the nightly theater show was very slow. The food on the ship was good. I wouldn't say gourmet but that wasn't my expectation. We ate at Cagney's and Modero with our Latitudes benefit. Generally we don't pay for the specialty restaurants and would not have if it had not been free. If you are meat eater Modero and Cagney's is pretty good. I really enjoy their salad bar and sides. But for us paying extra for it is just not worth it. For some it probably is. We never had to wait at the main dining room. We generally ate about 6PM. We saw lines a little later but it appeared to be moving quickly. Overall it was a great trip. We enjoyed see all the different cultures at all the ports. We have already booked our next cruise with NCL. I know these ports were new to them so they were learning how to navigate. I give the staff props for getting out passports back to us the night before the cruise ended. They cleared customs with Hong Kong on the ship so basically we got our luggage and walked off the ship. Very easy Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We did back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the Singapore to Hong Kong part of the cruise. By this time we had had a poor experience Sydney to Singapore. Luckily the Hotel Director Claus left the ship and a new one ... Read More
We did back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the Singapore to Hong Kong part of the cruise. By this time we had had a poor experience Sydney to Singapore. Luckily the Hotel Director Claus left the ship and a new one arrived - Stephen - who was much better. He immediately realised that he had inherited a poor cruise and set about changes which improved the quality of the experience, arranging back to back events and generally sorting out the tendering and port arrangements. We had a much better experience, back to the usual standard we expect from NCL. The ship is in need of a refurb - planned - but generally the experience was good. Cabin was good for an inside. Steward good. Most of the crew were excellent, a few poor experiences but thats how it goes. Entertainment could be improved substantially - 'Dan the Man' not quite the invisible man as he can be but he was also new (from Sydney) so perhaps inherited a poor plan. Our own planned shore excursions were great, NCLs not so and the onboard team needs to be broken up and refreshed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Loved it! We have never cruised before and, although l was sea sick for most of the time, we had no issues with the boat or the staff. Lovely staff who couldn't do enough for my family, especially my 5 year old twins. My girls ... Read More
Loved it! We have never cruised before and, although l was sea sick for most of the time, we had no issues with the boat or the staff. Lovely staff who couldn't do enough for my family, especially my 5 year old twins. My girls attended the Kids Club, but as there were not many children on board, most of the programs did not run as scheduled. More than enough entertainment to keep you busy each day. We only have 4 sea days, but l never felt bored. I was ore than happy though l use the pool or sit on one of the chairs on the promenade. I heard one couple complain that water was not included in the drinks package, but considering that you could walk down to a bar and grab an ice cold water at any time, l didn't see how that was a big deal. They also mentioned that coffees from the cafe were not included, but l wasn't a fan of the coffees there so that wouldn't bother me! My husband and l were a bit worried about the quality of the food, especially in the buffer (as the videos that we had seen online did not make the food look very appealing) but the restaurants including the Garden Cafe buffet were excellent. Always fresh and so much to chose from. If you could find something that liked to eat, then you weren't trying! We particularly loved Azura's restaurant, excellent food and wonderful service. Our cabin was an inside stateroom. It was only small, as expected but more than enough room to sit around a watch tv. We had a quad room, it there were 2 single beds (pushed together to make a double), a fold down single from the wall and a roll out single. More than enough room! And who wants to sit in their room anyway!!! Overall, l would definitely recommend this boat and particularly this itinerary to others. The countries we visited are some of my favourites (Vietnam, Thailand) and we would happily cruise with NCL again! Thankyou to everyone for a great trip!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose this cruise because of its destinations and we have cruised with Norwegian previously and had a very good experience on the spirit. Hence we thought we would experience the same level of service on the jewel however we were ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of its destinations and we have cruised with Norwegian previously and had a very good experience on the spirit. Hence we thought we would experience the same level of service on the jewel however we were thoroughly disappointed this time around. The excursions were disappointing and on one we had no opportunity of purchasing food / drink after spending 5 hrs in a coach in 82 degrees heat. We were given a 300ml bottle of warm water to drink the whole day from 1pm until arriving back on ship at 7.45 this is in humane and unacceptable . When making our complaint to Marcus the tour manager on board he was very dismissive and rude never in our lives have we been spoken to in this manner truly shocking way to treat your customers. The tendering was a major issue and we wasted many hours at each port of call queuing and tendering to/from ship in hot stuffy conditions. Two day advertised stops became one in reality we missed out on evening trip ashore for dinner in Bali as we didn't get back on board ship from our day excursion until 7.45 . This was our pearl anniversary cruise and we wanted it to be memorable and special however I'm sad to say it was disappointing and memorable for the wrong reasons. We will never cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and all the new ports of call. We booked the 40 day from Sydney Australia to Tokyo Japan. We were in a suite 10500 which was at the front of the ship and we loved the position and balcony. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and all the new ports of call. We booked the 40 day from Sydney Australia to Tokyo Japan. We were in a suite 10500 which was at the front of the ship and we loved the position and balcony. Our butler and cabin steward were friendly and helpful. Thank goodness we had the suite I am not sure I could have survived 40 days in any other type of cabin. We spent a lot of time in the suite. For many of the ports the ship anchored a long way off shore, resulting in long tenders, or it stopped in industrial ports that required expensive taxis into the closest town or paying the cruise line for a shuttle bus into town. The day after we left Sydney, bars were running out of certain types of wines and beers!! Really one day into a 40 day cruise. We were told that the ship was expecting to be restocked in Sydney but the container had not arrived. The one thing that really was annoying was that you could only get certain things at certain restaurants. For example something as simple as good mint tea was only available at Moderno and none of the other specialty restaurants, no attempt was made to get something for even, one night I couldn't even get a baked potato in the specialty french restaurant because "it is only served in the main dining room" I remember the days servers would have gone to the main dining room to get it. Although sometimes the server would get something for me they were few and far between. Menus were the same every day for 40 days in the specialty restaurants and at the Suites breakfast and lunch venue in the Moderno. Certain wines were available only in a few of the bars, even though they were listed on all bar menus. There was no attempt to get the one you wanted. Servers were bringing other drinks because they had ran out, they would not come back and ask what else you wanted just bring whatever and leave. I can not tell you how many drinks I sent back because they had ran out of what I ordered and brought me whatever they could lay hands on. I went back to the bar tender one time and asked him what he had given me, he said he didn't know! Food in the two main dining rooms was ok and to be honest did not see much difference between specialty dining food, the only difference was the smaller dining venues, although in Cagneys there were so many people crammed in there it was difficult to have a conversation. Gone are the nice quiet romantic dinner venues. Most of the shows were pretty bad particularly the comedians, the Cirque was fantastic as was a Japanese juggler/magician and the ballroom style dance group apart from that nothing we saw was outstanding and like many others we walked out of several shows. I have taken 15 cruises with NCL before the last one a 30 day two years ago and I can not believe how many things have changed, trimmed down to the bone with unhappy and overworked staff. Sad to say my last cruise on NCL Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
we booked this cruise because it was a great price and an itinerary we had done before and really enjoyed pros We have done many cruises but never NCL, I have to say we were pleasantly surprised embarkation was quick and efficient in ... Read More
we booked this cruise because it was a great price and an itinerary we had done before and really enjoyed pros We have done many cruises but never NCL, I have to say we were pleasantly surprised embarkation was quick and efficient in Sydney, the ship was lovely and easy to get around I didn't really notice too many signs of wear and tear.The inside cabin was very small the smallest we have experienced but it was adequate there was plenty of storage the bed was comfy and the bathroom large with a proper shower screen. Food generally was very good with plenty of choice we did not use the specialty restaurants Entertainment was good Burn the Floor were amazing with standing ovations at all the shows the best show I have seen on a cruise ship, the singer 24 Karat was also excellent we found the service to be good and apart from 2 exceptions the staff were very friendly and helpful, sometimes a little slow to get served at busy times particularly on sea days we did our own thing in the ports so I cant comment on ships excursions cons food in the buffet not very hot at times getting a sun bed on sea days was a nightmare there were people on sunbeds at 6.30am we called it sunbed wars! tendering was very slow in some ports but I dont know what the answer is when getting over 2,000 people off a ship, we had to get up very early to get tender tickets Overall we had a fantastic time I would cruise with NCL again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The cruise was a great experience with some superb destinations. The ship is in pretty decent condition but is probably ready for the re-fit due later this year. Food in the restaurants was average at best, its the same menu in Tsars ... Read More
The cruise was a great experience with some superb destinations. The ship is in pretty decent condition but is probably ready for the re-fit due later this year. Food in the restaurants was average at best, its the same menu in Tsars and Azura and was often bland and not hot enough. We finished the cruise using the buffet (Garden Cafe) as there was lots of choice and we could generally find something we liked. We paid for the upgrade restaurants on four occasions and found them to be excellent, well worth the premium paid. The shows in the Stardust theatre were generally good but were excellent when the ships own dance troop and singers performed. I can't speak highly enough of their shows - Broadway standards!! The drinks package is awesome, lots of choice of beers, cocktails and premium spirits. A couple of bad things:- On sea days, we were unable to secure a sun lounger as they had all been reserved by guests who got up early and saved them them with their towels. It was extremely annoying to see the same selfish people in the prime spots every sea day. (even though NCL had signs up saying sun loungers should not be reserved, this was not enforced) We had a number of destinations that could only be reached by Tender, the Tendering process was abysmal, they didn't seem to have enough Tender boats, the tender allocation process was shambolic and all this resulted in it taking up to 2.5 hours to reach shore after we arrived at the destination. I like a punt in the Casino but didn't bother as the minimum wager was too high ($10) and most of the tables were empty for most of the time. It was our first NCL cruise and we would cruise NCL again but they have some glaring issues they could easily resolve. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was a lot of B2B trips. I did the 29 days from Sydney to Hong Kong. I was a single traveler, so got inside cabin on 10th deck. Menguel was my expert Steward. A lot of the ports were tendering ports. That means a lot of me-me, ... Read More
This cruise was a lot of B2B trips. I did the 29 days from Sydney to Hong Kong. I was a single traveler, so got inside cabin on 10th deck. Menguel was my expert Steward. A lot of the ports were tendering ports. That means a lot of me-me, pushing & shoving. Ships staff can’t comment or interfere with this type of behavior. They just smile & say, they’re sorry & doing best they can. Just plan ahead & get out early. Don’t ruin your fabulous vacation by getting upset over things you have no control over. It’ll work out fine. Ports were AMAZING. I guess new cruises will have overnight in Hong Kong as well. I did 4 days early in Sydney & 4 days post in Hong Kong. I was the most surprised in Vietnam ports. Loved Singapore. I had excellent guides. They really went into details for us. We used shoreexcursionsasia.com. Best tours, best prices. No need to convert currency in all countries. Only Australia, Singapore, & Hong Kong. All others wanted US dollars. Don’t need to overpack. Ship offered $19.99 bag laundry service. Duct tape your bag for strength & cram it full. You’ll cross the equator, so get ready for a fabulous Toga party. Food was what you’d expect on a cruise. This ships passengers average age was 63. Only 17 kids. Very laid back. Loved it. Take underwater camera. The beaches are amazing. I snorkeled GBR 2Xs, & snorkeled the beautiful pink beach on Komodo, Indonesia. AMAZING!!! Take poncho & sun screen. Definitely a hat. I love my new backbush Australian hat. Shows were so so. I’m not into the loud type of shows. So, only went to ones that interested me. Shore excursions main man, Marcus, was a delight. He tried to get people to understand the tendering rules, but they didn’t listen. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai ... Read More
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai was great, a never-ending excursion of its own. Embarkation was a little slow, but then there were thousands boarding. Took about 1,5 hours. We had a great balcony cabin aft, wonderful views. No problems in the cabin. We were overwhelmed by an engaged crew (we spent our anniversary at sea and they really spoiled us). And to our surprise, complimentary breakfast in the cabin was offered daily. Some things we missed: No laundry promotion as on other Norwegian ships (one bag laundered for a price). Inexplicably, the fitness room was tiny, and it was crammed with users most of the day. And although we heard there had been Tai Chi classes on previous cruises, there were none on ours. The food in the buffet was disappointing, and if you are not prepared for ordinary Chinese table manners, better read up before hand; although the service was excellent. The food in the one specialty restaurant we went to (some kind of Fusion cuisine) was good, the service was excellent, and the food was prepared and appeared within minutes of ordering. The quality of the show was good. We were particularly impressed by the decor, especially the art work on display. We did not partake of shore excursions, since they were not bookable in advance for English speakers (the ship language was Mandarin). So we had made other arrangements prior. But there were free or very cheap shuttles (in Hiroshima, you have to change from shuttle to the train, so we opted for taxi). We travelled without children, but there were more children on this cruise than I've seen on 6 other cruises I've been on. In fact, it was the youngest group. It seemed many families were travelling with several generations. The many computer and virtual (4D, etc.) offers are certainly great for the youngsters, less for us. However, the Japanese cities were enough to keep us busy. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As the title suggests we were not overly impressed by the ship as far as first impressions goes it was a fail for Norwegian. The ship looked very nice at the docks we viewed it the night before boarding but alas that was to our only good ... Read More
As the title suggests we were not overly impressed by the ship as far as first impressions goes it was a fail for Norwegian. The ship looked very nice at the docks we viewed it the night before boarding but alas that was to our only good impression. The boarding experience was abysmal we lined up for and hour and a half in hot conditions imaging that it must be slow as they were checking people in but no that was just getting them on after finally making it on board we were told to climb two flights of stairs to finally do check-in. Disembarkation went a bit better at least we were never in weather conditions. I'm afraid my review is not going to be positive but here goes anyhow. The first onboard shock came with the size of the cabin the smallest I have ever been in the design was user unfriendly the cabin was supposed to be suitable for 4 fat chance. The upper bunk slid down from the side wall it protruded out making it a hazard getting in and out of bed the other side had a useless table almost against the bottom of the bed meaning you had to crawl in and out of bed. We met another couple experiencing the same difficulties who suggested we make it into twins (so romantic NOT) it made it a lot more workable but this was a special holiday we would have liked to share the same bed. The bathroom although compact did have a proper shower screen a first for us and much appreciated. BTW never did figure out where the fourth bunk would have gone if the were 4. Thinking it must be going to get better we headed to O'Sheehans for our first drink with a view only to be scolded by the waiter for sitting down without asking and going to the bar ourselves it took some days to return. This bar although situated in a good position seemed unable to handle crowds their service lacked each time we did return. On a positive note about O'Sheehans for those who wish to send a picture and short message home who do not have WiFi you can send from a machine just outside the bar on a daily basis. Other free food outlets were good enough if a bit repetitive the buffet sometimes suffered what many buffets suffer and that is not overly hot food. The main dining was usually pleasant if a little noisy I think maybe the ceilings are a little low. No one could have left the ship starving the washy washy girls were just delightful they made our days. The ship itself is well in need of its upcoming refurb old carpets seating and the Italian restaurant is so old hat its just not funny. I was told by other passengers that other ships are a lot nicer so I would recommend using one of them until after the refit. The outside deck space was very exposed during sunny weather some umbrellas would help greatly as shady spots were near impossible especially with the usual deck chair hogs who appear to rise before 5am. I was thinking post cruise some of the staff may be very tired and stressed as service was lacking in many area. We did find some staff very pleasant and friendly and interested to have conversation we enjoy talking to staff to find out about their home countries and to show interest in them personally. The entertainment was a bit of a fizzer the house bands were mostly boring except Temperature. The best attribute they had was the dance troupe Burn the Floor they were fabulous but were under utilized over the 18 nights they could have done double the shows. If that had happened I would have overlooked other disappointments they were so exciting highly talented and together with the acrobats just amazing. Black Tie were also very talented and we enjoyed both shows they made a change of pace and not the usual package comedy classical music and opera. I am not into magicians illusionist mediocre comedians or cover bands/artists and that made up the rest. As this cruise was on its way to Australia it would also have been helpful to have one chanel on the TV that had Australian news so damned sick of the Trump show and a better selection of movies then repeating the same over and over. The reason for our selecting this cruise was the ports and we were not let down. We began our holiday in Moorea several nights pre cruise loved it. Our first cruise port Raitea was lovely although we went of a private excursion to Tahaa to do ray and shark as well as drift snorkeling. Our second the much anticipated Bora Bora it lived up to all the hype same kind of excursion but added a coral garden and 2 to 3 mt lemon shark experience. Next American Samoa should have explored further but was not well that day I think it could have been interesting on the places further from the port. Unfortunately the choices in Fiji not the best but we still did go to and outer island from Lautoka but just looked around Suva on our own. Vila is always nice great duty free we spent the day on Erakor island just snorkeling and sunning hardly and guest so very relaxing. Noumea turned out to be a surprise went to Duck island first impression not great but once we found the snorkeling chanel it was supurb fabulous variety of fish and quality coral. Last of all and all time favorite Ilse of Pines such a sweet place even with all the ship on shore it still never gets overcrowded as there is both beach and lagoon. I can truly say I wish I could have loved the ship but just couldn't have never been able to find anything to compare with the smaller RC Radiance of the Sea design food and entertainment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, ... Read More
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, is that time. Far too many people, rocking up in board shorts, singlets and thongs and expecting to be allowed entry to the Dining Rooms. We are not snobs by any means, but we do like to make an effort and dress appropriately, when we enter and are served a meal, in the ships main dining room. You want to dress and act like rednecks, then go to the Buffett. We did notice that waiter service, in the bars and dining areas, appeared to be cut back a little, compared to other ships. The food on board was very good, but we have experienced better on other Cruise Lines. Staff were very good, as we have found on other ships, but lacking in numbers on this ship. All the on board venues, both dining and entertainment, could have used some additional staff also, but on the whole, our cruise was good. The main theatre entertainment on this ship was exceptional and probably the best we have seen throughout our 15 cruises so far. The smaller bars provided reasonable music, but nothing you would write home about. Cruise Director and staff were always mingling with the passengers and available to answer questions. The Captain and ship's officers were seen to be walking around the ship daily and always speaking with the passengers. We joined the ship in Papeete and the whole process of getting on board, seemed to take forever, but this may have been the first time, a ship has embarked hundreds of passengers here and the facilities were just not up to task. Disembarking in Sydney was fine without any problems. As stated above with minor grievances set aside, I would recommend this ship for future cruises, if your happy to hang out in your shorts and thongs all day, then this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Unless you have the dinning package and drinks package, having to eat in the complimentary dinning rooms can be very hit and miss, mostly miss. The food overall their was not good. Drinks for Aussies extremely expensive. If you wanted good ... Read More
Unless you have the dinning package and drinks package, having to eat in the complimentary dinning rooms can be very hit and miss, mostly miss. The food overall their was not good. Drinks for Aussies extremely expensive. If you wanted good food you had to dine in the extra pay dinning rooms, this should not be the case, why should the buffet be of such poor standard, cold, plastic sliced into salami not cut off, all bland. The inside cabins we all just called them kennels as they were so small. (have cruised in many inside before). On a bright note, the nightime production numbers by "Burn the Floor" were fantastic, first class. The ports we visited were fantastic, the tendering service worked okay. If you are unstable on your feet, don't cruise tendering ports, we saw too many people hurt and who could not handle the heat. The ambulance was at very port. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
As an itinerary cruiser this trip has been amazing! All the ports of call have been new to me and have provided so many days of wonderful sights. The ship, however, is past due for a face lift. "Tired" is putting it ... Read More
As an itinerary cruiser this trip has been amazing! All the ports of call have been new to me and have provided so many days of wonderful sights. The ship, however, is past due for a face lift. "Tired" is putting it mildly. Carpet is worn and dirty, a lot of the furniture is "old" and needs to be replaced. The library, where I had hoped to find some peace and quiet reeks of cigarette smoke; cannot stand to go in there. No smoking is allowed in the library, but, smoking is allowed at the outside bar located near the library. On a more positive note, the officers, staff and crew are very professional, courteous and generous. All the servers have smiles on their faces, officers are attentive and staff are willing to help in any way possible. Despite the "tiredness" of the ship we are booked on another cruise on this ship in April of 2018. The itinerary that is offered is our main reason for booking again on this same ship. The entertainment on the ship has been superb! Read Less
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