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Sail Date: October 2014
Embarkation was a breeze! Got to port around 11am. Walked right in, got picture taken, sat in our assigned area about 5 minutes and then were told to board ship! Went to buffet and ate, food was great! Cabin - had a family balcony on deck ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze! Got to port around 11am. Walked right in, got picture taken, sat in our assigned area about 5 minutes and then were told to board ship! Went to buffet and ate, food was great! Cabin - had a family balcony on deck 9. was close to elevators. Was much smaller then balcony cabins on RCL. Husband is tall so had a hard time crawling in and out of the bed with less than a foot between bed and wall. Food - ate every night in Magenta one of the two main dining rooms. Food has really improved since last year when we cruised on the Pearl. Ate breakfast and lunch in the Garden Café buffet every day. usually had a late night snack around 11pm every night. DH had a hamburger in Blue Lagoon one late night and he said it was delicious. Chocolate night in buffet was great. Think I tried one of everything. Last year had to toss most of it, was so awful, so even the desserts have really improved. Entertainment - Was not impressed with Jeff Harms the comedian. We didn't laugh, so left 2nd time he was in the show. The Gem dancers and singers were pretty good. Liked the Abba tribute and the 70s tribute. The piano man, (cant remember his name) was NOT funny at all, He was CRUDE. On the Pearl the piano man Jim was hilarious, saw him every night, so we were very disappointed in this guy. Casino was fun played every night. I won a BIG jackpot on the Wheel of Fortune slot. Ports were great. We liked walking around the town of Bar Harbor, saw the Vanderbilt mansions in Newport RI, took the HOHO in Boston. Disembarkation was super easy. Walked off with our suitcases, was in a cab by 8:30am. (HINT) Cab driver told us next time to fly into Newark which is 15 minutes from port and a lot cheaper hotels than Manhattan. We flew into JFK was an hour and half drive in the traffic.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Great First Time Cruise Stateroom was spacious and comfortable. Get a balcony....great for morning coffee. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Our steward was attentive and personable. Food was good. We avoided the buffets and ... Read More
Great First Time Cruise Stateroom was spacious and comfortable. Get a balcony....great for morning coffee. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Our steward was attentive and personable. Food was good. We avoided the buffets and choose the restaurants. Grand Pacific Dining Room was the best. Beautiful room which reminded me of the liners from the 1930's. We also tried the pay restaurants and always had good meals. Cagney's was an elegant restaurant. Don't miss the chocolate buffet. The facilities were first rate, particularly the gym and library..great ocean view. Stardust theater is enormous, never had a problem finding a seat. My only criticism is the crystal atrium, kinda tacky. It was filled with merchants plying their wares...felt like walmart. By far the best part was the evening entertainment...the shows were the best!!!! Great singers and dancers. We also enjoyed the string quartet. Never a dull moment on the ship. if you take the Canada cruise the highlight is Quebec City. Rained in Halifax...the countryside in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is beautiful so I suggest you leave the ports and head there. Get a cab to drive you around. Hope this review is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Our main reason for this cruise was sailing into Maritime Canada and seeing Prince Edward Island for the first time. Many years ago, I was a stewardess with T.C.A. (Air Canada) and never did see the downtown areas of Halifax, Sydney and ... Read More
Our main reason for this cruise was sailing into Maritime Canada and seeing Prince Edward Island for the first time. Many years ago, I was a stewardess with T.C.A. (Air Canada) and never did see the downtown areas of Halifax, Sydney and St. John, so this was of particular interest to me and did not disappoint. The countryside all around those ports is worth exploring as much as you can, and we did it mostly with the ship's excursions. After boarding, we had lunch in Tsars before getting into our cabin. Soups were particularly good on this cruise. In fact, the food was really quite good, as was the service. Fish was served moist and tasty, never dry. We did Mama Mia's one night and enjoyed the setting and food. Our cabin was promptly made up each day by Ronald and Leonard. Pity any fat person trying to rise from the potty as the space was tight. Our cabin was badly in need of better lighting, especially the tiny reading light by the bed. I noticed that the inside cabins had lovely big lights by the bed. I had to use my little mag-lite to find the numbers on the phone. The beds were quite comfortable however. First port was Newport which we did enjoy, and found a tour on our own at the visitors center. When you get off the ship, turn left down the first street and you will find this informative place. We went around the town and saw many of the mansions without touring inside, and saw everything we needed for $25.00 each, by mini van. Boston: We were quite familiar with this town, so just wandered around the Quincy Market. St.John: Again, we just wandered aroung this cute little town and enjoyed walking through the indoor market. Halifax: We took the ship's excursion to Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. This was quite lovely, with rolling countryside and colourful houses. We had lobster sandwiches for lunch. Mahone Bay had a pumpkin festival where there was a competition for gayly decorated scarecrows. The town had those really fun characters displayed all over the town. Sydney: We took the Heart of the Island tour which gave us a good taste of the pretty countryside and Scottish heritage. The Iona village was most enjoyable with tea and oatcakes after viewing the early settler's dwellings and farms. Prince Edward: Unfortunately, the morning was a bit wet, but not cold as we drove to the north shore and saw the red cliffs at the National Park. There was a stop at the Anne of Green Gables House which was most enjoyable. The sun came out for our lunch at the P.E.I. Preserves Company which overlooked the Clyde River in the area known as New Glasgow. Our host Bruce Macaughton greeted us in his kilt and served up a great lunch of lobster and the best raspberry cream pie I have ever tasted. The weather got a bit blustry sailing out the harbour and the ship was rocking a bit that night. One of the passengers had to be lifted by helicopter to Halifax, but we heard later that he was doing well. We found the staff and service very good on the cruise. John O'Hara is the Hotel Director and is a delightful and approachable man should you have a problem. The entertainment was quite enjoyable and highlighted by those amazing gymnists. I wish NCL would go back to the mini broadway musicals which were really the best. The NCL Jewell is a lovely ship altogether and we enjoyed the cruise, especially the sail out of New York, past the Statue of Liberty in the clearing weather. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We took the Norweigian dawn on 9/26-10/3 for a 7 day Canada New England Cruise and the vacation far exceeded our expectations! my husband and I are 30 something professionals and this is our 3rd cruise with both sets of parents and our 2 ... Read More
We took the Norweigian dawn on 9/26-10/3 for a 7 day Canada New England Cruise and the vacation far exceeded our expectations! my husband and I are 30 something professionals and this is our 3rd cruise with both sets of parents and our 2 kids- 4 and 8 months. We find cruises let us be together when we want but also have time without kids to have fun! We have traveled everywhere from Hong Kong, all of Europe, Morroco, Egypt etc. So we are well traveled and have stayed in good, and bad accomdoations. The vast majority of the cruise is an older crowd, our 2 kids were 2 out of 30 on the whole ship. We took this as a positive as they got special attention everywhere...people loved them everywhere we went! on the downs side the kids buffets and kids club were on limited operation but there was always something for the kids. Embarkation went pretty smoothly we arrived at 1 pm and were on the ship by 2pm. We had inside cabins which were small but we prefer to splurge on shore excursions and keep cabins simple. The Sailaway party around the statute of liberty was a blast! The music was fun, they had grills going, there was a chill in the air and everyone was having a great time! Our 4 yr old loved it. We found the food in garden cafe to be fine- we have eaten at the best restaurants but expect cruise food and by that standard it was pretty good. We also ate at Venetian and Aqua which were also on par I would say with a olive garden, fridays kind of place. we also did Teppanyaki which was exceptional and bamboos which was so so. We had no problem getting reservation at any time in the specialtys. We booked private excursions in every port and it worked out really good for us. With such a large group and small kids we did not want to wait in line. Here is my quick review: -Nova Scotia; Peggys Cove was gorgeous...a must do. use great Earth Expeditions for a private tour. Also hike granite barrens if you can. -Saint Johns; Fundy jet Boat was a blast, tons of fun but you get completely wet. tide was in when we went to St. Martins so it was not worth the drive. used Freedom Travel. kind of a boring port otherwise. -Bar Harbour; Looooved it! Was gorgeous and national park certainly deserves more than 1 day. We did a beginner rock climbing course with Atlantic climbing and ate lunch at Stewmans. both were exceptional. -Boston-it rained -Newport-again gorgeous, but use a tour. we did the bus and it was long and tiring. We also toured the Vanderbilt which was beautiful but difficult to do with kids. All in all a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Comments regarding our 9/11 cruise to New England and Canada: Embarkation was long (as it was for us in May). Organized Cruise Critic meet and greet where we met the Captain and other high ranking personnel. John (Hotel ... Read More
Comments regarding our 9/11 cruise to New England and Canada: Embarkation was long (as it was for us in May). Organized Cruise Critic meet and greet where we met the Captain and other high ranking personnel. John (Hotel Director) does read his Dear John letters. We were also invited to see the bridge later that week - very impressive and I was surprised that we were allowed to go to the bridge. Activities - OSA (Organized Staff Activities - trivia, napkin folding, sports, etc...), attend and participate, get signatures, redeem for mugs or cards or shirts or pens. We enjoy participating and meeting others. My husband purchased one of the spa passes to be able to use the sauna, jacuzzi, etc... There are a limited number of these passes sold on the first day. Huge large screen in Atrium showed football games (and the bar there distributed free popcorn). Older clientele - since we are in our 50's, we felt like young'uns! There were less than 15 kids on board, we were told. 2 weeks earlier, there were hundreds of kids. We had sailed on the Jewel in May and there were tons of kids at that time. We hardly ever saw our room steward, but the room was always cleaned early in the day (usually while we were eating breakfast). Loved those towel animals (elephant, monkey, dog, etc...). Enjoyed having a balcony - we were the furthest balcony towards the stern on Deck 10. Meals in main dining room - many evenings, there was a line so we had to get buzzers and wait 15-20 minutes or so. This was a little aggravating. We shared a table once or twice (and met interesting people), but then just requested a table for the 2 of us. After awhile, the hostess at Tsar's recognized us and knew about our seating preference. Chin Chin was wonderful although I don't see us doing it again if the kids were with us due to its extra cost. Entertainment - had previously seen some of the acts when we sailed in late May so we skipped the entertainment some nights, but overall we do enjoy the acts. Just get to the theatre 30 minutes ahead so that you can get good seats. We had great weather throughout the cruise (temps in the 60's and 70's), slight whitecaps in the Strait of St Lawrence. The last day at sea, Igor raised some more waves. I was surprised (and slightly disappointed) that no leaves had changed. We did play some of the cheap slots at the Casino. Newport - got a 1 day bus pass at visitor's center. Got off at far end of Cliff Walk and did about 2/3rds of the walk. Caught a bus and rode back to the Tennis Hall of Fame and stopped to grab a bowl of chowder at a nearby restaurant. We caught the bus back to downtown and the tender. (This was the only place that we had to tender.) Halifax - as there were 2 other cruise ships docked the same day, the Jewel docked in a restricted area which meant that we had to take a bus out of the restricted area to the public area. The ride was a few minutes. There are some shops nearby and then we walked along the water to downtown (about 15-20 minutes or so). Since we had already been in Halifax 2 other times, the person at the visitor's center suggested that we take the ferry across the harbor to Dartmouth. It's a 10-15 minute ride and if you come back within 90 minutes the return trip is free! Just make sure you ask for a transfer when you get your ticket. So a round trip for the 2 of us was less than $5. An indie movie was being filmed near where the ferry docked so we watched that for awhile. We walked around and then caught a ferry back. Walking along the water in Halifax was relaxing and we popped in some shops here and there. Quebec - what a beautiful place! I was there in March (along with lots of snow), so I was anxious to see what the city looked like at this time of year. The narrow streets and old buildings were lovely. We took the funicular up the hill ($2/person). It certainly was a nice easy way to get up to the "new" city. At the top of the hill, there was a free archaeology exhibit showing a dig and since I am married to an archeologist, we wandered through it. Lots of street performers - singers, mimes, animated silver woman, etc... Sydney - not too much to do in this city. It was a Sunday and most of the shops weren't open. We had been here once before, so just walking around was okay. Corner Brook - was cancelled. This was the only place that we had booked a shore excursion and we were disappointed when the port was cancelled. Oh well - another time, I guess. One of the highlights of this 10 day cruise was seeing whales spouting while sailing in the St Lawrence Seaway. We would definitely do this itinerary again. Read Less
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