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125 Norwegian (NCL) Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked ... Read More
Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked and called my bank it had never been stopped..it was the the ships staff's fault..no apology and rude service at the service desk. Drink package extremely too high. My wife did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. The drinks were grossly overpriced and had another 20% added on top plus USD prices then converted to AUD...biggest rip off ever. The tender service was shocking at every port, waiting lines up to three hours in the hot sun. The food was terrible even in the restaurants, the buffet was cheap and sloppy. Just ok service at restaurants, even the specialty ones (3). The cabin beds were hard Had to take pain pills for a severe bad back pain .The whole 19 days were pretty dismal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
No service Kaos when using tender Only care revenue with shore excursion otherwise they consider us as normal Cancel one day in darwin and not offer anything back Old Not well maintained No personnal service even 19 ... Read More
No service Kaos when using tender Only care revenue with shore excursion otherwise they consider us as normal Cancel one day in darwin and not offer anything back Old Not well maintained No personnal service even 19 nights on Need to wait 15-20 min everynight with pager for go eat dinning room. Really basic. Night show always one signer with band almost everynight bored What else i can add it was the worst experience even after more than 70 cruise with othe cie and with norwegian cruise line too. I feel like the personnal do not care and just do regular job. No wow about this cruise at all. I was expecting much more about norwegian cruise line. And nothing happen. No sorry nothing. I will keep as experience and will never cruise with them again. They dont merit my business. If you need to choose choose other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking ... Read More
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking areas. Internet access was poor and far too over priced for the service provided (very poor value). Coordination between the pre-cruise online system and the on ship online system seemed overly lacking Or nonexistent. Excursions credits were issued thru two systems making it difficult to track without the costly internet packages. Vegetarian options were outstanding at the main cafeteria but dismal at the restaurants. The medical facility on board was extremely efficient and functional. The ship is beautiful but some facilities were under utilized at times. Room Attendants did an outstanding job of meeting passenger needs. Casual attire dining was greatly appreciated by most all passengers. It was difficult or impossible to understand the Captain’s announcements because of accents and limitations re audio to halls and public space where noise made understanding the Captain even more difficult. Most evening shows were entertaining but a little amateurish at times. Obvious to this passenger, was an extremely defensive attitude displayed by many Customer Service and Excursions employees. Almost a philosophy of “the customer is always wrong”. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the ... Read More
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the majority of the clients will be older. Younger people with families don't have the time. That being said, the entertainment and activities director made a grave mistake of NOT having evening audience participation game show activities, assuming the older clientele was not interested. Instead he opted for all evening entertainment singing based. in a nutshell "We were bored." Afternoon activities were not much better. There were more activities to choose from on port days for the few who stayed aboard, then on sea days when everyone was aboard. Generally I would participate in quick "Pop Up" activities such as goofy golf. With these afternoon activities being held in the atrium or a lounge on the 7th floor I participated in two, and both activities were poorly attended. The other days I was on the 12 floor at the pool area like everyone else. Location was key to success here and this was a big miss by the activities staff. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was either excellent, (comedians, magic, vocal group, acrobatics, cruise ship show) or mediocre (the two Aussie soloist). With only three nights of comedy and magic and fifteen nights of music, plus music in every lounge from 7 pm on, I was music-out. Enough was enough. Variety was sorely needed. Ports and shore excursions, OH BOY!! The ports chosen were great WHEN we actually docked near that area. The whole thing of docking in a port that doesn't accommodate a smaller cruise ship and then forcing everyone to tender into port made for VERY TRYING DAYS!!!! New Castle, docking and then taking a shuttle into the town was no big deal, very understandable. The shuttle stop location was convenient and easy to find, with shuttle service often and NCL provided. BUT when a cruise line states Cairns and you are actually at Yorkey's Knob which requires tender boats to get to shore, where there is absolutely nothing but a boating club. AND NCL requires you to pay them $15 a person to use their arranged shuttle service to Cairns, the town actually listed as the port of call, why did NCL charge me port fee??? On top of that, the staff announced for tender tickets to give yourself 2 hours to get off the ship, I gave us 3 HOURS and barely made it ashore in time for an excursion. Then in the afternoon it took me 3.5 HOURS of standing in line to get on a return tender. If this waste of time, 6.5 hours, had only happened at one port, it would have be tolerable, but NO it happened again and again: AIRLIE BEACH, CAIRNS 2 days, BALI 2 days. 5 of the 11 port days is ridiculous!!!!! SHORE EXCURSIONS: simple - BOOK YOUR OWN. Research the country and you will quickly see every excursion the ship offers plus more at 1/3 the cost. Plus the private excursions provide more service than the ship offered ones as a small group. Why is NCL so expensive? Borobudur Temple: NCL $249 USD Local $85 USD. What is the price gouging all about??? The ship as a whole was nicely laid out. Our stateroom on the 8th floor was nice size, quiet, and comfortable. The room steward did an excellent job of making up the room and providing us with a towel animal nightly. The public areas, especially the areas around the pool needed a lot more attention. Other NCL ships were have been on the walking deck, outdoor pool and bar areas were hosed down nightly. On the 5th day my husband made a polite complaint about it and the staff responded immediately. The areas were much better. The personal service from every employee from the service desk, bars, dining areas, and entertainment staff was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last Asian country we have yet to visit, Indonesia. Besides, sick of snow and freezing temperatures, it was a great time to chase the summer heat. One thing we really didn't consider too much, was that if you want to get to know a bit about Australia or Indonesia, for that matter, you're not likely to do it on a cruise. If you take an excursion at every Australian port, for instance, you will have spent a total of ten or twelve hours in Australia. It took us twice that long just to fly there! On the other hand, if you're looking to put a pin in that map on the wall in two more countries and escape the winter doldrums, then this may be the cruise for you. So, having said that, the weather was great for the most part, more hot and humid as we headed north towards the equator, but that was expected. The excursions were all good, but nothing spectacular. There were a few tender ports of call and I did hear a lot of people who left the ship on their own or who'd booked private excursions (not with Norwegian) complain about long lines and waiting times. But if you had purchased an excursions though NCL, there were no problems, just the typical crowding in the Stardust Theatre with everybody sitting in an end seat trying to be first off. It seemed to me that the rest of the passengers on the ship were a mostly older, sedate crowd with very few visible children which is always nice. The breakfast buffet would be crowded in the mornings with more people than seats, but what was nice was that they'd allow you to bring your food in to La Cucina. Wow! what a difference to sit at a nice table with not too many people and no loud-talkers! Only about thirty steps outside the Garden Cafe I can't imagine why so few people would take the short journey. We had every breakfast there and dinners were either in one of the two main dining rooms or at a pay restaurant (we had seven meals coming to us), so not one dinner in the buffet. All things considered, it wasn't a bad cruise and our longest one to date. Still, the nineteen nights went fast. Would I do it again? Sure, but this time we're looking at Sydney to New Zealand. And one thing I would do differently: I would definitely arrive a few days before the cruise instead of three hours before the cruise! Sydney looks like a beautiful city and next time I would like to actually see it! And one last thing: no matter the cruise, the people who work for NCL are truly incredible. Imagine leaving your family for ten months at a time (I know...some of you may enjoy that), working long hard hours for probably not a lot of money, living three or four to a small inside cabin and still smile at us all the time and say hello and ask how our day is going? Can you imagine? We have met some nice, down to earth people on our cruises and always treat them with dignity and respect. I hope everyone else does, too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship was just recently renovated and everything was beautiful and clean. The cabin was adequate in size (we had an inside). Dining at the buffet was outstanding. Dining in the restaurants was sometimes not good. Chicken was dry and ... Read More
The ship was just recently renovated and everything was beautiful and clean. The cabin was adequate in size (we had an inside). Dining at the buffet was outstanding. Dining in the restaurants was sometimes not good. Chicken was dry and fish overcooked. The desserts were superb.. The entertainment was varied and good, however the daytime activities such as the lectures were boring and badly presented. The speaker had most of us dozing. The best part was the itinerary. The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Starting in Sydney provided us with an opportunity to visit this lovely city. Koalas, wallabys, kangaroo, Komodo dragons were all on our list and we saw plenty of them. Hunter Valley was a little disappointing as we did not actually visit the vineyard itself. The wines we also not to our liking. However the cheeses were great! We were also disappointed in the Kuranda ship excursion as we had to pay extra for the butterfly sanctuary as well as the koala sanctuary. Then it rained and the skyrail which was the whole reason for being there was closed. Our snorkeling experience in the Great Barrier Reef and in the Whitsundays and also at Pink Beach near Komodo was wonderful. We organized our own excursions as the ones on the ship were too expensive. Indonesia-Komodo, Bali, & Semarang were exceptional. Lush foliage, monkey forest, batik, gold, silver, temples & lewak coffee filed all of our senses.Our final destination was Singapore. What a city! This was indeed a fabulous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ports of call were a great deciding factor for us to take this cruise, embarking was smooth . The ship had undergone a recent refit and found it easy to navigate all areas. The average age for cruise was approx 55- 65 there were ... Read More
The ports of call were a great deciding factor for us to take this cruise, embarking was smooth . The ship had undergone a recent refit and found it easy to navigate all areas. The average age for cruise was approx 55- 65 there were minimal children There was a good mix of travellers from around the world Tzars palace (ain restaurant was more formal than Azures, Chin Chin &O’Sheeghans was a great drop in for a quick sack if needed we didn’t dine in speciality restaurants as all complimentary restaurants provided great service with a variety of menus. Entertainment was particularly good on the Australian leg, however on the Indonesian leg entertainment seemed to be of lower quality, but still entertaining. Activities on board All the usual trivia, bingo etc. however it was noticed that on sea days minimal activities were provided & on port days more activities were scheduled We chose independent tours off the ship due to the high cost os ship shore excursions.we found that when we tendered on Queensland Cairns (Yorkys Knob overnight at 10.00am most shore tours started at 7.00-8.00am it was also difficult to book a full day tour due to time constraints on return t ship times We were able to find a private half day charter , some people stayed in overnight accommodation . Unfortunately there was a medical emergency. On our way to Darwin and the ship returned to Cairns loosing our first day in Darwin where we had a full day tour booked - fortunately guest services were helpful in providing assistance by calling. Where I was able to reschedule my tour. Komodo island was good saw the dragons they were not lively and appeared to be drugged for viewing , we also visited Pink Beach. The coral there was outstanding better the the GBR- again an independent tour - ship tours only provided Komodo island Bali. Overnighted - many stayed in overnight accommodation - the tendering process was a a nightmare taking over two hours and taking over 35 min to get to shore causing many tours to be severely shortened- ship tours were late in returning Overall the cruise was enjoyable we would recommend taking this cruise and the ports were good the weather was hot & humid but it was not extreme Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. ... Read More
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. We had a balcony a couple besides our stateroom is my wife's high school classmate from 1971 and 6 other new guest with NCL and first time cruisers. We had a great time and and had a lot of specialty dinners. Our group had received a lot of surprises from the Senior Officers that we have met on previous cruises with Norwegian and made our cruise more enjoyable not only for us previous cruisers but for our 6 other friends that we brought with us. They even sent fresh tropical fruits from Indonesia was sent to all our cabins. Shore excursions was great that we all got into the same bus every time we book. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Embarkation went smooth in Sydney but some people did not see the little sign that said once onboard you could not disembark. Ship was much improved coming out of a recent drydock. Had a nice inside ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Embarkation went smooth in Sydney but some people did not see the little sign that said once onboard you could not disembark. Ship was much improved coming out of a recent drydock. Had a nice inside cabin and room attendant Nathan was excellent. Dining was good in main dining room except for the veal one night. The specialty dining venues were good and even the buffet was better than I remembered. Traveled solo and our solos coordinator Patrick helped us out with dinner reservations, show seating and whatever else we needed. The entertainment was hit and miss. Liked the idea of three overnights especially in the tender ports because the tendering process did not go so well. It was nice to have the second day so you could get out early and see the place. Did a couple ships excursions which would have been ok except that they were in a hurry to get you back to the ship although it was not sailing for another three hours. The rest of the excursions I did were organized by CC members. They went great and a special thanks to the members who organized them. The only real negative was the tender ports. I will be avoiding them whenever possible in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had ... Read More
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had to get the supervisor to sort this out ! BAD EXPERIENCE RE TENDERS IN KOH SAMUI RE LACK OF SUFFICIENT TENDERS RE COST ISSUE (HAD A 2.5 HOUR WAIT TO LEAVE SHIP + 2.5 HOUR EMBARKATION DELAY TUI MANAGED IT WELL & BOUGHT IN LOCAL TENDERS IN FRONT OF NCL We booked a premium brand but were not given premium service ! It ruined our first port of call & both myself & wife returned to the boat ill ! We will be very reluctant to recommend again after this opening experience THE CAPTAIN GAVE A POOR EXCUSE 3 days after the event blaming it on passenger safety & as recompense would not use tenders in HALONG BAY insulting as the original itinerary never mentioned tenders on this stop Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest them. So I had to entertain my kids. It was not much of a holiday for me tbh. If you were over 50 then this trip is perfect from the music to the classes for origami and vegetables carving. Even the shows were ABBA and Elton John . The shows were good but my kids were not impressed. Johnny Balance was onboard doing magic and is fantastic as well as funny and cute to boot. Being an American ship the gratuities were about $15 per person per room per day which was about $900. Beware of gratuities when booking a cruise. The good coffee was about $5 US but was worth it. The food was amazing too and there was plenty of variety. My girls had to sleep on a fold out lounge that was as hard as a rock. I don’t know how they got any sleep at all. The tours are an absolute ripoff. It is better to wait till you get to each port and do your own thing. Every port has a free shuttle bus to take you into town where you can hire a taxi to take you to the places you would like to see and it would still work out cheaper that the price they charge onboard. Remembering that it is in US dollars and the cheapest tour was $65 each to the aquarium. When we got there they have a big sign saying a family of four is $60. It cost us $260 US onboard, what a joke. Be very careful when booking tours onboard as you don’t get anything for the money you pay. We went on a tour of one of the islands and the information being given to us by the bus driver was no different to the information written on the brochure onboard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before ... Read More
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before sailing. The hotel was clean and comfortable and a 5 minute walk to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was quick and painless. Although the ship was full it never felt crowded, there were always seats available and quiet areas to relax in. The service from the stewards, waiters, bar staff and guest services was generally pleasant and attentive. I was very impressed by the lifeguards at the pool who were always diligent in supervising the pool area. There was a high standard of cleanliness throughout the ship and a large emphasis on hygiene (washy washy). For the MDR we preferred Tsars over Azura as the decor was much brighter. The food was generally good, obviously we found some dishes better than others but that could have been our taste. Everything was well cooked and the meals always came out hot. One of our favourite appetisers was the Mozzarella Ravioli. O'Sheehans was okay for a quick breakfast or a snack. We used the dining package to go to the speciality restaurants with Le Bistro coming out on top with their beef fillet which melted in your mouth. Cagney's and Teppanyaki were good too. We were disappointed in Moderno as some of the meat was a bit tough and the service not up to the standard we expected. It might have been an off night as other people on the same cruise said Moderno's food and service was great when they went. We preferred not to eat at the buffet but it was well populated at meal times. Entertainment on board was excellent from the bands playing at the pool to the guitarist in the bar areas. The theatre shows that we went to were of an extremely high standard. The three production shows are not to be missed and the comedian Simon had us laughing continuously. Our favourite ports were Tauranga where we walked around the base of Mt Maunganui, Napier where we did a wine and food tour with Frankly Tours (highly recommended) and Akaroa where we strolled around the bay and browsed through all the stores. The scenery of the Sounds was amazing, lots of photo opportunities. Disembarkation was easy and well organised with no long queues when we disembarked. Overall I would definitely sail with NCL again with a preference for the smaller NCL ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates looked like it had been a rush job but it was still very good. We found the ship very easy to navigate and explore. This was stark contrast to our previous cruise with MSC in Northern Europe. The food on board was probably the best we have experienced on a cruise particularly the buffet and the french restaurant. Simple but good. Cruise staff were friendly but not overly friendly and our cabin was well maintained, As per usual NCL Ports of call were excellent and getting off and on the ship was seamless.Did not use onboard excursions as it was much cheaper to organise our own. Disembarkment in Sydney was excellent and the quickest we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one ... Read More
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one could not call it a Pacific cruise, as it only went to New Caledonia in the pacific. If you really want to do something you had to take NCL's expensive shore excursions. In my opinion it was no coincidence, in this regard, that for example the tendering at Airlie Beach started well after 08.00 am and ended about 04.30pm. This meant one could not take any excursion that could be booked ashore, these all started around 08.00 am and ended around 05.00 pm. Timewise, there was no single problem of anchoring far before 08.00 am and leaving far after 05.00 pm. The really expensive shore excursions (around US$ 290,--) were really disappointing, what I heard from participants, including a visit to the Barrier Reef, with snorkeling around dead coral. There was a lot of tendering, which gave a headache, as shore excursions went first, often taking ½-1 hour, than you had to get tender tickets at 07.00 in the morning, really nice when you had a late evening. When tendering started at for example 08.00 it would mean if you did not have tickets you might get a tender at 10.00 am or later. Also, in some of the ports you had to pay (heavily) for the bus transfer to the main town, which I find appalling, when it says in the brochure and trip description that the cruise goes to that harbour. Typical example: visit of Airlie Beach, we arrived in Yorkeys Knob and had to pay for the transfer to Airlie beach. Food was normal. Service was great of all personnel. Shows were (far) above average. Outside sport facilities were above average. No quiet pool area for adults only, just a pool for adults. Only really quiet area on board was the library, which was small. Other areas might be quiet for some time, but then always some activity was started, that was inevitably noisy. In the evening in the main dance/disco area, the spinnaker lounge, our dj Ricii did a, most of the time, horrible job with his music choice, chasing people away (so less bar sales), so generally after 11.30 pm it got pretty empty most of the time. Several people complainted about this with the cruise director, that literally said he could not do anything about it. Drinks cost (beer to cocktails) incl. the 20% mandatory tip was very high, generally from about US$ 9.-- to 15.--. Soda's sowhat cheaper. I had an all in package. A large yellowish/blue smoke cloud was visible coming from the ships chimneys, that did not disappear rightaway as water vapor does. As a engine technician I can say this smoke is not belonging to a ship of which the captain claimed during the QA on the ship that she is a clean ship in regard of exhaust emissions. See the other review visiting Milford sound. Basically I would say the cruise is ok for families with children that want to cruise for a reasonable amount of money and don't expect to go a lot ashore. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Did the 13 day South Pacific and North Queensland Cruise. Family of 4 in Aft Mini-Suite. Kids 10 and 16. The itinerary was pretty good with nice visits to Noumea, Isle of Pines (Magnificent), Lifou, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane ... Read More
Did the 13 day South Pacific and North Queensland Cruise. Family of 4 in Aft Mini-Suite. Kids 10 and 16. The itinerary was pretty good with nice visits to Noumea, Isle of Pines (Magnificent), Lifou, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane and Sydney. No need for overpriced shore excursions at any port (although due to brief stops at Cairns and Airlie Beach only the ridiculously expensive short excursions to the Great Barrier Reef were the only option to see that sight. Relatively brief stays at these far north Queensland locations. At Noumea we bought a tour bus ticket that took us to most of the local sights for aprox US$35 each bought at the cruise port office. Good value and decent stop and walk about the Cultural Centre. No need for any shore excursions at either Isle of Pines of Lifou. Both are tenders that seemed to run pretty well. Isle of PInes of the pick of the Islands and has fabulous crystal clear waters and some good snorkling. All walking distance from the tender port. At Cairns I organised to do the Skyrail Gondola online at half the price of the overpriced shore excursions. Was a really nice trip over the rainforest to the groovy town of Kilanda. Had to get up early to get early tenders for this stop. At Airlie Beach rented jetskis right at the tender port. Again had to get up early to get an early tender ticket. Norwegian charged us US$15 for the shuttle bus into Brisbane. The port was in the middle of nowhere so had no real choice. Should be included if you ask me. Food in the main dining room was really bad. We only ate there for dinner twice. Pretty much returned all our meals. Tasted very pre-prepared in advance and overcooked. Copious amounts of butter on everything. Buffet was also ordinary in my opinion. The specialty restaurants Cagneys, Teppanyaki and Italian were good. One shouldnt have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a good meal in my opinion. Meals at O'Sheehans were OK. Meals at ChinChins were OK but pretty bland. The sushi option was pretty good but again you pay for it. The ship has been well renovated at dry dock and everything looks nice and modern. BUT they've removed the waterslide - much to the kids disappointment!!!! Staff were pretty good in general but some were argumentative and surly. Entertainment hit and miss in my opinion. There should NEVER be a Michael Buble' tribute show - NEVER!!!!!!! Not much to do on sea days but sit around the pool. Very little in the way of activities. Had a few issues at disembarkation where they advertised the wrong time and we came close to missing our flights. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you ... Read More
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you compare prices, the NCL ships appear to be a good value. Remember to add mandatory port charges and $15 per person per day gratuities. These might be included in other competing prices. Also, most added amenities costs extra. Some things you expect (shore excursions, casino play, spa treatments, and liquor). Some things are surprises (fountain soft drinks, coffee (anything but regular), Wi-Fi (only 2G), bottled water (you cannot take off or bring on any water, but theirs), and any room food service (except continental breakfast). Staterooms: The staterooms are a good size compared to other similar priced ships. The mini-suite level and above have bathtubs with retractable clothes lines. The water was always hot and had good pressure. The room stewards and stewardesses are polite and attentive. I would not recommend anything smaller than a mini-suite for more than two people for more than a week. A balcony room (next level down) might be acceptable for three people for only a week. Ship: The ship has been refurbished, but is still showing its age. Everything was kept clean and there were no funky smells (like on some other older ships). There is no grand entrance with chandeliers, curving staircases, glass elevators, or a shopping gallery. There were a few burnt out light bulbs in the common areas, and the common bathroom towel dispensers don’t work. The twin pools are small, but there are four hot tubs. There are no newer extras such as water slides, climbing walls, target shooting, or similar activities. There are shuffleboards, ping pong tables, gym, basketball hoops, casino, spa, theater, card room, library, and several bars. The ship doctor is only available for a few hours a day, charges $150 to see you, and does not have a pharmacy (your need to take his prescription ashore at the next port to have it filled). All of the personnel were helpful and courteous whenever we met in the hallways, in the dining areas, or on the ship decks. Partway through the cruise, the sole of my shoe came loose. The hotel staff had someone repair it within a few days. Our cabin tv was not working properly and would only get about half of the channels. It took them ten days of working in our cabin (a few hours each day) to get all of the channels all of the time. Dining: There are buffets and dining rooms included in your price. There are six specialty restaurants which are $30 (or more) per person per meal. The included food options are fine for breakfast and lunch, but plan on buying dinner (the food is much better). In the included food places, the meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or seafood) was consistently over cooked. Wine runs about $9 per glass, but you can buy four mix and match bottles starting at $105 ($88 plus 20% duty charge) to drink anywhere on the ship. Entertainment: Most of the singers on our cruise are non-American born performers singing American songs. So, the songs might not sound exactly as you think they should. But they all were pleasant and did try their best. The musicians from the various bands were generally good, and some were very good. The other types of performers were average to good. The productions were not as lavish as on other ships we have been on. Shore Excursion Department: This was the biggest disappointment. The shore tour descriptions don’t match reality, and they are double the price of booking them on your own. The personnel in the department have not been on the excursions, so they cannot answer any questions. Their standard response was “The descriptions are written by our head office in Miami. It is unknown where they get their information. We only know what is in the description.” It would have been nice if the Excursion Department put a talk on the night before in one of the lounges regarding the following day’s port. The talk would include: 1) Why the ship chose this particular port, 2) How to get around, 3) What is special to see, to eat, and to buy in this port, and 4) Approximately how much money do these activities cost (so you bring enough money ashore). Alas, this is not the case. You are completely on your own, so make sure that you do a lot of research before you go (including reading reviews of the things you are thinking of doing). We saved for years and traveled to the other side of the world and booked ship tours, only to learn these lessons the hard way. There is nothing worse than to have your dinner companions say “Did you see that special ______? It only happens in this one place in the world.” And to realize that the ship never mentioned it because they didn’t have a tour doing it that they could make money off you. On the ship tours that we did book, they never left the ship on time (some over an hour later) which cut into the excursion time. Rather than leave the port a little bit later to compensate, the excursion was cut short (i.e. you may have paid for a five hour tour, but you only got four hours). However, if you book tours on your own, you need to remember that you won’t be allowed to get off the ship for an hour or two after its port arrival time. Ship tours have priority in disembarking. Due to amount of time needed to get off and on the ship, most ports only had six hours ashore. Our cruise went to the South Pacific and Australia. We had well over a hundred snorkelers and scuba divers (some like us even brought our own equipment). Water sports are what this part of the world is known for. And there was not a single talk put on by the Excursion Department (or anyone else) regarding the places to go while in port. It was only later that we learned that if we had taken the local bus to the other side of the islands, that the water, fish, and coral were so much more superior. It was easy to tell that the Department was geared towards how to make the most money off the passengers, and not how to ensure that the passengers have their best time possible. Conclusion: If you can get a great price, are not looking for a fancy ship or food, and are willing to tackle ports on your own (or pay high prices), then the Norwegian Jewel cruise may be a good vacation for you. While we have done several Norwegian cruises in the past, I'm not sure we would cruise on the Jewel again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because of the private watercolor class which was offered to me on full cruising days through Art in the Mountains. Because of that class, I was busy on all of the cruising days. We came early to Sydney and stayed a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the private watercolor class which was offered to me on full cruising days through Art in the Mountains. Because of that class, I was busy on all of the cruising days. We came early to Sydney and stayed a couple more days after leaving the ship. This were great days of exploring the city and learning about Australia's history. I felt like the excursions were expensive for what we got. And that the descriptions of the excursions were not always accurate or maybe a little misleading. This was disappointing. Additionally, the descriptions of next day locations did not always appear accurate, ie. distances to a specific site which needed a car, when people could walk without difficulty; car needed when public buses were available; cycling along path, when actually frequently along traffic. Big problem between what we found on line and what excursion staff told us, who did clearly not have any personal experience or knowledge of the excursion. Quite frustrating. We also did not get any of our boarding paper work before leaving home. It was a mess!!! Were it not for a well versed hotel desk clerk, we would have not had any of the things we needed including suitcase tags, etc. Your communication was not good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be ... Read More
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be isle of pines ,such a pretty place and snorkeling was fantastic.Most staff were great no problems at all ,except for customer service most were not that approachable the rest were pretty friendly .Food in all area i found nothing to fault and had a good variety ,entertainment shows were fantastic lots of different shows to see.. couple of entertainers were a little boring ,others were good ,facility clean and tidy ,most excursions were as usual expensive and found similar tours much cheaper offboard We had a free drink package ,this made for a pleasant trip as expenses were cut massively what a big saving , we still had to pay for water and coffee as these weren't included, water was around $74 AU for 12x 1Lt water .my experience with our room was the most disappointed part of our trip very sleep deprived ,otherwise we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and ... Read More
Traveling with a disabled person, was concerned that it would be a nightmare but was very happy with the attention given that made sure our trip was comfortable. Every issue and concern was resolved immediately. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy. Sydney was an absolutely beautiful pier. The food and service at Cagneys was delightful. Selection of food was varied and very good in all other restaurants. Felt the taste of the food of the Chinese restaurant Chin Chin did not live up to my exceptional experience in the Norwegian Gem. Not sure if they modify the food taste and spices based on where in the world is sailing from. The tours were all good to excellent. My cabin Stewart was one on the best I ever had and I have been on dozens of cruises. The disability officer on board was exceptional. We were lucky and had exceptionally smooth voyage with minimal rough seas. The entertainment was varied and unquie. The cirque Bijou was mesmerizing and worth the trip. One on the better shows I have seen. The other shows were good as well. Had great lounge singers. Fell in love with Carrie who played guitar and sang songs in some of the lounges. Had small glitches in the 13 days aboard but every one was resolved to my satisfaction. Pleased with the customer service orientation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I received a really good promotional offer. The deal turned out even better than I expected, because it included two premium drinks packages, which saved us a fortune! We're not big drinkers so these packages don't usually make financial sense for us to buy but with the cost of drinks on the ship I was glad I didn't have to pay. As an example, an Irish coffee cost $9.95US + gratuity so about $14AUD. These mandatory gratuities really annoy me. If I receive excellent service I will reward it. But fixed fees are just a way of subsidizing cheapskate employers :-( The spa services were over-priced as usual, and the girls were (also as usual) more focused on selling me stuff I didn't want rather than concentrating on providing good service. There was one very unpleasant experience where a group of us - including a significant number of elderly and disabled people - were taken from the comfort of the theater where we were waiting to board a tender to take us on a shore excursion, and left standing in the bowels of the ship for over 30 minutes. No need for that at all. Now that those complaints are out of the way, let me tell you - this was a FANTASTIC cruise! We had a wheelchair accessible mini-suite which was just amazing and provided all the facilities we needed. The cabin steward was almost psychic in knowing what we might want and providing it in advance. The food was wonderful wherever we ate, and there were lots of free alternatives to the buffet-style meals in the Garden Cafe. The specialty restaurants were good, but I didn't feel I really needed to pay extra to eat there because the free food was excellent in terms of variety and quality. Entertainment was good, although we were disappointed not to see the Cirque show because of technical issues. The ship was large enough to be interesting and have great facilities without having so many passengers that there were logistical difficulties. Would I recommend NCL to others? That's a definite YES. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip ... Read More
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip yourself ,watch one major travel company who will try and get to sign up to gratitudes before you get on ship ,wouldn’t recommend ship to anybody everything is expensive ,drinks served up with no imagination ,food boring entertainment no good no coffe card tours are to expensive ,the Chinese restraint was terrible no flavour ,no wonder the restraint was empty most nights ,with the roast turkey for lunch on the 12 th floor no roast vegetables on Christmas Day chips only could you imagine Christmas Day with chips sweet weren’t to bad asked for custard they promise everything and deliver nothing caramel sauce full of sugar ,look for a better ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar ... Read More
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar service was poor, staff generally unfriendly and understaffed. Waited >15mins to be served and paying 20% service charge for no service. Waiters brought a different drink to the one ordered (because it was claimed to be out of stock) without checking with the customer first. This happened at least 3 times in different lounges. Restaurant service also poor in some instances - cold food, wrong drinks. Unimaginative on board activities during sea days. Chin Chin Asian restaurant is false advertising. Very limited "complimentary" (included in fare) choices on menu and I, a lousy cook can cook better. Cabin steward service ok but had to find own toilet paper from the trolley outside. Entertainment (stage shows) ok. Daily newsletter should have next port information which it didn't. Ship advertised as 4 star but overall a 3 star experience at best and no star at worst. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per ... Read More
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per day than Med or caribbean). This ship was less crowded (it was a pretty full ship but the spaces seemed better matched to its carrying capacity) than the last time but the staff was weaker, the food more bland and the entertainment weak and repetitive. This was a decent ship with a good port itinerary and ok crowding and our room was ok size and bathroom was good. however Safe in our room was broken and they did nothing to fix it except take notes. Staff was weak at service and solving problems or dealing with requests. Food was weak in cafeteria and main restaurant. Specialty dining food was good though. It seemed like they made the regular food weak so you would buy the specialty dining. Entertainment was weak and repetitive - almost the same show repackaged 10 of 15 nights. All basic song and dance routines except 1 comedian, 1 hypnotist and 2 duo song/comedy shows. Pool was closed often for non understandable reasons and impossible to tell if it was open or closed without trekking up there. Music was loud above our room every night - after 3 nights of complaining and after i suggested maybe they could turn it down at 10pm they did do that the 4th night - and it worked. but on the 5th it was back up and i was not able to get them to adjust it again. most staff are hopeless notetakers saying yes sir, yes sir but intending to do nothing. We had 4 sea days and very little organized extra activities. One day there was bridge in a decent space but they would not offer it again. i dont know if htey were lazy or not competent when we asked about it. The 2 things that will prevent me from cruising Norwegian again were 1. the noise above our room every night not addressed and 2. strange blocking of our access around the ship every day at port (combined with a strange configuration of elevators and stairs). The elevator configuration does not help where one set of elevators did not reach our floor and neither did one set of stairways. For the first week i was forever getting stuck in a stairway with now way out. I would take the stairs down from deck 8 to deck 6, get stuck, have to go back up to deck 8, walk to the back of the ship, go down the stairs to deck 5 then walk back to the front of the ship to my room. I also had to do this the first 3 times we stopped in a port just to get off the boat. Luckily after a few days they improved their instructions to their staff to let us out from deck 5. But it took a lot of complaining. most staff i spoke to just didnt care - it wasnt their job to ask questions. There were a number of issues like this where the staff was unhelpful it seemed because they are micromanaged. For example the pool was often closed for "rough weather" - but there was no way of knowing 1. what was the measure of rough weather to close, 2. was it closed now (i had to go up to deck 12 and look (did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell many times on the way back), 3. when it was opened again (or when they expected it to open or re-asses - i had to go back up to deck 12 to look - did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell again). Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. ... Read More
We did this cruise to compare it to Royal Caribbean just to see if there were any differences as we usually cruise with RCL. We will be going back to RCL. Eventhough the ship has had a refurbishment, it didnt really feel like it. Our inside cabin was tiny. No where to sit so had to lay on the bed to watch tv. Had to hunch over and crab walk along side the bed to get into it as there was a fold down bunk attached to the wall. Very tiny room. It seemed the staff were not very happy at all. We were one on the last in the dinning room after lunch one day and it was really the first time I saw staff in there smiling and happy, because everyone was leaving. Eventhough I am a recreational smoker, I could not believe they allowed somking everywhere in the casion whenever it was open! Yuck. The food was very average. Moderno, the Brazilian restaurant that is an additional cost was the best food on board. If you were unlucky enough as us to be ones without a drinks package included, the pricing is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. It worked out to be $185 AUD per person per day!! What a joke. Of course we didnt partake. The entertainment was ok, the best being the aerialist couple who were outstanding. There was no indoor pool so when the weather was not great, there was no swimming at all. Drinks were expensive. There showed the cost in US dollars then in tiny print down the bottom of the menu it said plus 20% gratuity plus 10% GST. So you must add 30% to the advertised drinks price displayed. Always take your own coffee as we do as the stuff they claim to be coffee is not drinkable. Overall we were disappointed and wony try Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we ... Read More
I decided I would like to take a Christmas/New Year cruise to relax for awhile. Our first couple of days were not too bad as we found our way around and studied the dining facilities etc. On our third day we arrived in Melbourne where we would spend the next two nights and fortunately we have relatives there so spent the time with them. Two days at sea took us towards New Zealand and the sounds. Then everything went wrong. First of all I came down with acute gastro which we were told was taken onto the ship by a passenger and this was the night before Dunedin so had to spend the next couple of days in the cabin with room service (not that I was up to eating anything). As I started to recover my husband came down with it so another two days spent in the cabin. By the time we were feeling well enough to venture about we had missed the first 4 ports of call. I went up to the Garden Cafe as I did not really want to eat too much and thought that it would be the best approach. How wrong could I have been. None of the food there could persuade me to eat other than a couple of crackers and two slices of french stick. I found most of the bread on board seem to be sweet as though there was sugar in it. Had a look at a desert and whereas I like apple crumble I could not persuade myself to have choc/orange sauce on it. (where was the vanilla custard) so decided against it. I think they need to change their menu a little more as most days there might have been a couple of different dishes but mostly everything was the same. It is also a sad affair that I had to purchase a half a dozen bottles of water for the cabin which obviously went on our bill but could have drunk as much alcohol as we liked because we had the drinks package included in our fare which by the way was not cheap. We paid over $11,000 or the two of us and heard a few passengers bragging that they had managed to get their trip for $1,500 each. OK they had an inside cabin but that is a big difference. On a good note the ship itself has a good layout and the couple of shows I did manage to see where very good. I was surprise there wasn't a few more chairs with small tables on deck 7 most of the seating was around the swimming pool area and in the sun so found myself sitting on the balcony of the cabin so I could have a drink at my side and look out to sea. We have traveled extensively on cruise ships previously so in the end was very disappointed with this venture on a new to us cruise company. No more Norwegian for me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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