Sail Date: October 2011
The cruise was very good. Food was excellent as was the choice of eating places. Crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Cabin was adequate although it is a long time since I have seen such an old fashioned television! The shore ... Read More
The cruise was very good. Food was excellent as was the choice of eating places. Crew were extremely friendly and helpful. Cabin was adequate although it is a long time since I have seen such an old fashioned television! The shore excursions were excellent; good range to choose from and very well conducted. What then was wrong? In the cabin, there were no instructions on use of the TV (i.e.channel selection) or of the telephone. No tannoy in the cabin so ships announcements were not received there. Also the wide range of eating places was not well advertised in the cabins; sample menus available in the cabin would have made selection of where to eat so much more relaxed and enjoyable. In the public areas there were few, in fact no places to go to quietly relax with a drink or a coffee. Usually there were only two venues open during the day (unless you wanted to be out on deck). These are the Java Cafe and The Spinnaker Lounge. However these were mostly taken over for activities, demonstrations etc and no place for a quiet sit down with refreshment. The Java Cafe also seemed a particularly strange place for entertainment by small groups or singers perched on a stairway balcony and completely blocking the stairs. Health and safety? Despite this use of these venues we found little to do during the days at sea, far less choice and interest than we have found on previous cruises. Some of the entertainment was good. But an item that the entertainment crew called Fountains was appalling. Despite the emphasis on health and hygiene to the extent of discouraging a friendly handshake, the act involved 7 or 8 crew members spitting out water at one another! Hypocrisy! Another so called comedian seemed to think jokes about illness and injury (including 9/11) were amusing. Very bad taste. It is one thing to make light of a situation in which you find yourself but another completely to generally make jokes about these things. An Irish singer/raconteur, a balancing act and a ventriloquist were each very good so it wasn't all bad. Good in parts therefore and could be so much better if there was more attention to detail and to coordination. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Ship: The Jewel holds 2376 passengers and 1089 crew. I like Norwegian's brightly colored decor on their ships. This is the size ship I prefer to cruise on. Activities: Since my sister-in-law and I both scrapbook, we enjoyed the ... Read More
Ship: The Jewel holds 2376 passengers and 1089 crew. I like Norwegian's brightly colored decor on their ships. This is the size ship I prefer to cruise on. Activities: Since my sister-in-law and I both scrapbook, we enjoyed the craft classes that were offered. Service: After a bad experience on the NCL Gem at Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised with the attitude and friendliness of the staff. Stateroom: We had a balcony and its the only way to cruise! Our cabin looked like it could have used some refurbishing, however. The showers on NCL ships are the best. Roomy with lots of hot water. Plenty of storage room, too. On four prior NCL cruises, we found a Mr. Coffee in our cabin. How wonderful to have fresh brewed coffee when you wake up! The Jewel, however, just had a pot to heat hot water. Instant coffee just doesn't make it! You don't automatically get bathrobes anymore. We had to ask for them. No mints on the pillow at night, either. Our cabin steward, Marlon, was just wonderful and took very good care of us. Dining: Well, we only had lobster offered once and on the first night of the cruise which I thought was odd. The food was good with a couple of things outstanding. Be sure to order the crab patty appetizer and the salmon on the alternate menu. Don't look for any shrimp cocktails, they're history. They weren't even offered once. Also, no escargot, either. I think NCL does a good job with their breakfast and lunch buffets and its really nice to have the Blue Lagoon (open 24 hours a day) available. On our dinner menus we told to ask about the regional specialty entree. It was certainly not for the region we were travelling in as it was tacos, burritos, etc. Certainly nothing reflecting Canada or New England. Entertainment: Absolutely the BEST entertainment on any cruise ship I have been on!!! After our first stop in Sydney, a local group, the Cape Breton Trio, was invited on board to perform a local folklore for us. They were very good. Went to see Kenny Byrd's (ventriloquist) show. I didn't expect much, but was really surprised at how funny it was. The absolute best ever shows were Incanto and Le Cirque Bijou. WOW! The shows featured Alesia and Massimo, who were superb. If you don't care about your itinerary, book this ship for the shows! Ports: We both liked our tour to Peggy's Cove from Halifax the best, but our other tours were good, too. The only problem with tours, however, is that you never seem to have enough time to explore the area and take pictures. In Halifax, they have a pink bus that is free for sightseeing right from the port. Disembarkation: We carried off our own bags. I certainly like this better than giving up my luggage the night before. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
Background Info: My wife and I are fifty and took this cruise out of Manhattan for our Anniversary. We are middle (maybe upper middle) class family and have traveled. We have stayed in motels/hotels/resorts/very nice hotels. We eat out ... Read More
Background Info: My wife and I are fifty and took this cruise out of Manhattan for our Anniversary. We are middle (maybe upper middle) class family and have traveled. We have stayed in motels/hotels/resorts/very nice hotels. We eat out often and have been to some very nice restaurants in the past. This was our third cruise in a twenty year time span. Hotel Info: We stayed in Manhattan prior and post cruise. That I will leave up to you and your needs in accommodations, Manhattan can have very pricey rooms. I like to arrive early and leave late so plane problems do not make me miss the boat (and vice versa). Ship Info: WE took the NCL Jewel Nova Scotia cruise in October to see the fall foliage. We had a balcony room (10040) on the starboard side (the boat left in the afternoon giving us a great view of the Statue of Liberty from our room. On return in the early morning the other side had a night view from their room (But you can always go up on deck). Activities: The Fall foliage tour was a bust. The leaves had not turned and the cruise ports are boring without it. Hint: Next time I will wait and check the internet maps, when I see the leaves have changed we can hop a plane and take a ground tour or drive. Service: I hate to say it but the service on NCL was really really BAD. I can't say the crew was rude, they always say please, thank you, Sir, Madame. But getting them to do it with a smile. it's more of an attitude. I got the impression the crew is not happy with their jobs. About half 50/50, give poor (slow) service or look unhappy. The other half are fine, and occasional bad service can be over looked, but 50/50 does not come close to cutting it. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Getting on was fine, we waited in line about half an hour but getting off was a mess, I felt like they were throwing us out with the bath water. No they did throw us out. This might be the N.Y. Port Authority area but it still reflects on NCL. Leave extra time (over two hours) to get off the ship, get your own bag (no help), and catch a cab. It was sad to watch the older passengers trying to haul one or two big suit cases three blocks and then have to cross a busy N.Y. intersection with construction going on all over the place. Thanks NCL, the last impressions are the lasting ones. Stateroom: The ship is newer and the room is quite nice, small (O.K. real small) but nice. Not spotless clean (crew again ) but fine. For a Ship designed in the 21st century to have a tube T.V. (not flat panel) and to have 7 channels of programming is beyond poor. You might say people do not go on a cruise to watch T.V. But what if you have children or get ill and have to stay in the room or as we did, have bad weather and miss a port leaving you with an extra day at sea. HINT: Bring your own bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, lotion. The ship either does not provide it or its really cheap quality. The internet is wiifi (75 cents a minute.no.. not a miss print a minute) unless you bring your own Ethernet cable (how many people travel with their own cable!) Dining: I was going to call the food Home Town Buffet with a Waiter, but Home Town Buffet is not that bad and you never see the waiter. Just poor, really sad, a disappointment. Too be fare to the cook (chief um no cook) to feed two thousand people three times a day more or less at the same time is a big order. I would say its more NCLs fault for supplying low quality, low grade food. HINT: All the food comes from the same kitchen, does not matter where you dine. Same quality and same service, I observed the same person as my waiter in the dining room one day, cleaning up on the buffet deck the next. Entertainment: The show and music performances on the ship were great. In fact I was surprised by how good it was. I am also glad I have something good to say as this review is getting to be a downer (waaaaa). HINT: This is where you have to look at the average age of the passengers. The cruise director knows in advance the age and picks the entertainment to match. I'm sure the D.J. did not want to play that music, he was told what to play (I hope). Summary: So anyone going on a cruise looking for an all inclusive trip, dont look at NCL. From before you even get on they try to nickel and dime you to pay extra for everything. It just gets old after seven days (would you like your coffee in the collectors cup only $5.95 extra). One review I read before the trip had the right attitude. She said that her suite was great and they ate every meal in the pay extra restaurant and it was a great cruise and the service was just the best. It's just the person who chooses to stay in a balcony room and does not want to pay extra at every meal have to suck it up. As long as you know before you go..then you can't complain. If you are looking for a moving hotel room that has a great and I mean great view (O.K. it's a small small moving room), ours came out to be $430 a night, in Hawaii you might get that hotel room, in Halifax Nova Scotia you could get the whole hotel floor, then this cruise might be for you. To me the problem is that you need accountants involved i n your business decisions. NCL though is run by accountants and accountants don't make the best PR decisions, so you feel nicked and dimed. I will try another cruise line next time. Hint: Be careful when you are comparing prices between cruise lines, NCL charges a mandatory tip, not only on your stateroom, also on your bar bill, every time you get a beer a tip is included, mandatory. Also when you go to the pay extra restaurant, dont think you can order whatever you want off the menu, the good stuff is another extra/extra charge. So it all adds up and can make the cruise line that seemed to cost more at face value be about the same price. 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Sail Date: October 2011
Fodd was good and plentiful. The entertainment was superb. Embarkation was a breeze. Ken the cruise director was fantastic, always directing a fun time for all on the cruise. Scott, his assistant cruise director, was high energy and a ... Read More
Fodd was good and plentiful. The entertainment was superb. Embarkation was a breeze. Ken the cruise director was fantastic, always directing a fun time for all on the cruise. Scott, his assistant cruise director, was high energy and a quick wit. I know that this cruise to Canada and New England would be great as Kevin Sheehan, the CEO for Norwegian, was on the cruise with his wife and daughter on vacation. Where to begin. The entertainment. Rosie, of Fire and Ice, is a tremendous singer, doing reviews of Tina Turner, MoTown, Michael Jackson and Soul Train. What a voice. David Naster, is a veteran comedian, with many laughs and some profound insights. Modal Magic-great singers and music. Incanto-what great acrobats. Manniso and Alessia. The NCL singers and dancers-what great shows and also great acrobats especially at the last night's show, Le Cirque Bijou. Kenny Byrd a great ventroloquist. Harry O'Donoghue a great Irish story teller, comedian and singer. The happy action was on the ship, the ports in Canada and New England were so-so Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Had a terrific time. This was my 2nd time on the Jewel (first was the Dover-NYC t/a in 9/09). And the ship still looks great and has to have the friendliest crew at sea. Forget any negative remarks you've read about service being bad ... Read More
Had a terrific time. This was my 2nd time on the Jewel (first was the Dover-NYC t/a in 9/09). And the ship still looks great and has to have the friendliest crew at sea. Forget any negative remarks you've read about service being bad due to Freestyle cruising. The staff works their tails off and are as friendly as can be. They always made sure that you were happy with your selection and wanted to know if there was anything else they could bring you. I had all of my dinners at the Azura (mid-ship) restaurant where you could wear shorts (it said so in the Freestyle Daily dress code). I had the same wait team every night. I first met them at the boarding day lunch in the Tsar's Palace dining room. Later that evening it turned out they were my wait team at Azura. They were so terrific I made a point of asking for them from then on and did I ever feel spoiled! The new menu was very good and I think I only ordered an entree twice from the Favorite Selections. That was the salmon fillet which was excellent and the rib eye which was okay (I should have asked for it medium instead of rare). I also ordered spaghetti but as a side. I had it done all 3 ways (carbonara, marinara, and bolognese) and they were all excellent. I would have liked to have tried the pork tenderloin medallions. They looked great. From the Signature Specialties I would say my favorites were the Blackened Louisiana Red Snapper with gumbo; Eggplant Parmesan; and the Grilled Pork Chop. I didn't dine in any of the specialty restaurants for dinner. I did book the Best of All luncheon at Le Bistro.The Best of All luncheon at Le Bistro is an introduction to the various specialty restaurants on the Jewel. For $15. per person you order some selections from the menu and the rest are served buffet style. I had a nice meal. All of the hot selections chosen from the menu were excellent. I enjoyed the crab cakes (could have been larger); the escargots (probably the best I've ever had); the beef tenderloin (first one came out overcooked and too salty; the 2nd was perfect). From the buffet I found the chowder excellent (but I would have preferred if that was brought to the table to avoid accidents) as well as the sushi, caesar salad, tomato with mozzarella; and all of the desserts. What I did not think looked appetizing at all were the hot selections on the buffet. I would have preferred if they were cooked to order. However, I had more than my fill from what I did eat so no real complaints. All of the small sizes added up to one pretty large lunch. And I didn't indulge half the way others did.The other dining spot that got my "business" a lot was the Blue Lagoon. I'm gonna miss those chicken wings, I tell you. And that brownie sundae is to die for, although it is only available til 5 pm. It needs to be added to the evening menu. Service there was always friendly. I even had breakfast there when the mdr was already shut for breakfast and I still wanted a hot breakfast served to me. I wish that could be 24/7 like on the Epic but I guess the galley isn't set up for it. Only ate at the Garden Cafe twice (for lunch). Once I had a few Chinese selections which were just okay. But the other lunch was fantastic, consisting of marinated skirt steak sliced at the buffet, lemon pepper rotisserie chicken and caesar salad. I could eat that every day.But enough about food because the feature of the ship that really had me going was the entertainment. There was so much to do and see that sometimes dinner had to be wedged in an that was the beauty of Freestyle cruising. First, there is the team of Fire & Ice from Barbados. Rosie, the vocalist, really has the ship rocking (in a good way). I saw them perform a variety of music styles in the Fyzz Lounge, a Motwon tribute in the Atrium, a show with the ship's orchestra in the Spinnaker Lounge saluting Tina Turner (don't miss this one folks) and another show in the Spinnaker devouted to soul. I skipped the Michael Jackson tribute because I think it conflicted with something else. Then there's a Harmony Duo which is a pianist and violinist who play both pop tunes and classical. They usually played in the Atrium. I noticed on the first evening of the cruise there was some polite applause after each song. By the end of the cruise the applause grew larger and more often and their following grew and people appreciated the music. They were receiving loads of requests. In addition to these 2 steady acts there were others who performed in lounges. Then there were the main shows in the Stardust Theatre. I don't recall the last time I saw so many shows in a ship's theatre but it probably was an NCL cruise, since I am convinced they are tops when it comes to booking shows. I saw the production show "Band on the Run", "Incanto", an adage balancing act consisting of a couple who formerly performed at the Lido de Paris (the bodies on the both of them were not to be believed), a very funny ventriloquist, Kenny Byrd(who was also very friendly and always stopped to have a chat) and Le Cirque Bijou, which is NCL's version of Cirque du Soleil. I had already seen this show 2 years ago but the aerial acts make it worth seeing again, especially since the adage act were featured (woof!). The ship's orchestra treated us one evening to a set of dixieland and jazz in Bar City, which was terrific. I could go on but this give you an idea of the variety and the high level of entertainment. When I took my first cruise, on the Norway, back in 1997 I was riding a bus to the ship and set next to this sweet, elderly lady. I asked her why she chose the NCL and she said it was because she felt it offered the finest entertainment at sea and I have to agree with her.I attended 2 of the Martini tastings. There were 4 altogether, but I only attended the 2 held during the sea days. I'd say you definitely get your $15. worth, although on the Epic you did get 1 extra bonus martini at each tasting. Marcelo, the bartender at Bar City was the host and he is a very funny and charming fellow.The cruise itself turned out to be the least appealing feature. We actually missed the port of Saint John, New Brunswick. This after having missed St. John's, Newfoundland 2 years earlier on the same ship. And I was on a lounger in the spa both times when I noticed the ship stopped heading to port and made a turn. I mean, talk about your deja vu! Having been to Saint John, NB many times, I can say we really didn't miss anything and getting the $12. and change for the port charge credited to my account more than made up for it. Sydney turned out to be my favorite stop. The weather was cloudy in the am and rainy in the pm, but the independent tour I took through Don Blackwood was amazing. The tour last 8 hours and took us along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton and then along Bras d'Or Lake to Baddeck,home of Alexander Graham Bell. The fall foliage was starting so we saw a bit of color. We also spotted about 6 bald eagles which was more than I saw in Alaska. We also spotted a moose but it was already hunted and lying in the back of a pick-up truck. Our guide (Richard Fogarty - a real treasure) explained to us that the moose destroy trees by eating from the tops of them which prevents them from growing. Cape Breton has some breathtaking views, similar to the ones you see on Pacific Coast Highway 1 in California. This tour made it all the more interesting. We also stopped at the Sea Gull for lunch, a family owned and run restaurant which features homemade seafood chowder. A large bowl with a Diet Coke cost a whopping $10. Halifax was nasty and since I've been there many times, I decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the spa. In fact, the weather was so bad during most of the cruise that I figured the cost of the spa pass $119. was a better investment than in a balcony (I had an inside that was more than sufficient). Portland Maine treated us to sunny skies but very chilly temperatures. The sea day back was the one truly outstanding say during the cruise and I was glad to bet back to some nice weather here in NYC.Speaking of my inside cabin, I have to say that the one crew member who could have been a bit better was my cabin steward. He kept forgetting to empty the waste basket. I could live with that except there was a banana peel which should have been removed sooner. Nothing earth shattering but I was surprised even after I reminded him, that it went untouched again.One more note on the entertainment. The Dancing with the Jewel Stars show done up in the Spinnaker was a riot. It's more fun to see it live but you can also catch it on the in-cabin tv for several days. I don't think NCL is the only line featuring this but it's definitely something worth seeing I realized that I didn't mention anything about embarkation and disembarkation. Embarkation was a breeze. It took a while to get to the pier because the traffic was a little crowded with the number of ships in port. But once my cab got to the pier, my luggage was taken quickly, I was inside the terminal and there was no line to get thru security and hardly anyone ahead of me at the Latitudes check-in. I was handed a boarding card (#8) but by the time I finished checking in and signing up for the spa pass they already called the # and announced all #'s were permitted to board so I really didn't wait at all. This was at 11:30 am. I just waited around in the Atrium for 30 minutes until the Tsar's Palace opened for lunch.Disembarkation was a bit more difficult. I went for breakfast at the Tsar's Palace and then returned to my cabin. They wanted everyone out of their cabins by 9 am. They had started the express disembarkation around 8 am. My color luggage tag (tan) was called at 8:50. When I got to the Atrium there was a line to leave so I sat and waited. The line moved in few minutes so I left, thinking things were moving. However, once I got off the gangway there was a very long line to get into the terminal building. Plus you need to walk to the far end of the terminal. You then need to take an escalator down one flight to get to the luggage area and then get in line for customs. Lastly, there is quite a long walk to the 12th Avenue exit, which worsens if you have more than 1 piece of luggage, even with wheels.One thing I didn't expect, at first, was to have a bill of over $300. Oh, there were no mistakes, and no, I didn't go out on a tear. But the spa pass was $119. Daily service charge came to $84. So just these 2 charges came to over $200. So my drinks and incidentals were only about $100. which is okay for a 7 day cruise. The average drink price with tip came to $6.50 which is pretty reasonable. On top of this I tipped my wait team an additional $30. since they did a great job.So, as you can see, I really love this ship and after 2 horrible cruises on other NCL cruises I was glad to see that I made the right decision in giving the Jewel another try. It builds my confidence to know this so I can return to the other ships on NCL I also enjoyed, such as the Spirit and the Gem. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
This was our 9th cruise, 4th on NCL. Cruising out of New York gave some time to sight see prior to the cruise. The Jewel was a very nice ship. Embarkation and debarkation went without any problems. The ship was very clean and our ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, 4th on NCL. Cruising out of New York gave some time to sight see prior to the cruise. The Jewel was a very nice ship. Embarkation and debarkation went without any problems. The ship was very clean and our stateroom was quite adequate with more storage the we needed. Rommel, our room steward, was the best we have ever had. The entertainment was second only to the Epic. Big Ken kept things moving and light. Big Ken, the CD, also sang very well. Captain Lars was a joy, great sense of humor. We enjoyed exercising and were a little disappointed that so many treadmills were out of order. Hope this is corrected in the future. We had great service throughout the ship, but the Tsars restaurant staff was great. All in all the food was only fair at best, but still we had plenty of choices. We ate at Cagney's and my steak was great. The ports was nice but not very exciting. The fall foliage was all still green. Portland and Halifax were very nice. Sidney had nothing much but a nice pub and Canadian beer. I must say this was a nice ship and I would be glad to sail on it again. Oops my wife eats veg and was disappointed that the meals were mostly pasta and not more creative Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Cruised on the NCL Jewel last week of September 2011. This was our first cruise to Canada/New England, and we had a great time. We love sailing with NCL and this was our first cruise on the Jewel for the Canada New England itinerary. ... Read More
Cruised on the NCL Jewel last week of September 2011. This was our first cruise to Canada/New England, and we had a great time. We love sailing with NCL and this was our first cruise on the Jewel for the Canada New England itinerary. We flew in to NYC on September 24th, into JFK airport. Found out after booking that NCL does not offer transportation from JFK - should have booked into La Guardia instead. Our plane was one hour late, so we were a little rushed getting to the ship - should have listened to the advise of flying in the day before the cruise. Luckily traffic was very light and our cab made it into the city with plenty of time ($45 flat fare into Manhattan + tolls and tip = $65) Traffic into Cruise terminal was terrible, it took us about 1/2 hour to reach the ship after we got to terminal. Embarkation was a breeze. We are latitude members having cruised on NCL many times before, so we were escorted to a special line with no waiting! We checked all our luggage at the entrance - should have kept our hand luggage with my husbands medications - so we proceeded to the buffet for a nice lunch while we waited for the staterooms to be ready, which happened at 2:00 pm promptly, EXCEPT of course for the hand luggage that had the meds, which was not delivered to our stateroom until after 5:30 PM!Leaving New York Harbor is a great experience. We went up to the sun deck on the deck 13 and had a great view of the Harbor, The DJ played patriotic songs, including God Bless America, and of course NEW YORK, NY as we passed by the Statue of Liberty. It was quite beautiful. The Jewel is a great ship, it is kept immaculately clean. All the common areas are updated and looking great. We found the entertainment to be very varied and having something for every taste. There is a nice small library, a card room, and many areas where you can relax. The Stardust theater is huge and very comfortable. The Spinnaker lounge is fabulous offering panoramic views. Our cabin was a mini-suite on deck 11 mid ship. The balcony was superb! The cabin was huge, bed was wonderful, and our bathroom even had a full sized tub! We had a fully stocked refrigerator, and a coffee maker. Our room steward was very attentive and made sure our room was made up and turn down service was offered every night. Food on the Jewel is plentiful and available at any time of day or night. The Buffet offers a variety of foods. We chose to sleep in most mornings and hit the breakfast buffet around 10:30 for brunch. They offer hot and cold choices, and we always took advantage of the made to order omelette stations, where they will cook your eggs to order. There are many choices for Dinner, but we dined at the Tsar Palace most days. One side of their menu has pretty standard choices that stay the same everyday, and the other side offers choices that change daily, including a daily Chef's special that is usually very good. On other cruises I have purchased the Soda card since I do not drink alcoholic beverages, but this time I chose the Bottled water special instead, which offered six one-liter bottles of water for $20. Drinks are available throughout the ship, and are paid with your room key depending on what you have, prices range from $5 to $10 depending on what you have, and always include tip. This itinerary has two days at sea, and stops in Sidney, Halifax, St John, and Portland. I will post reviews of these ports separately. Disembarkation was very easy for us as we carried out our own luggage, and were able to leave the ship at our leisure. There was a slight delay with Customs, but it cleared up within 15 minutes. We took a yellow cab to our Hotel in Times Square across the pier. All in all we had a great time on this cruise. We look forward to our next one! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
Background Information: My wife and I are in our mid 30's. My sister and her husband are in the late 20's and their daughter is almost 4. This is my 6th cruise and my wife's 5th. It was the first sailing for my sister and ... Read More
Background Information: My wife and I are in our mid 30's. My sister and her husband are in the late 20's and their daughter is almost 4. This is my 6th cruise and my wife's 5th. It was the first sailing for my sister and her family. Both families drove in to Queens and left our vehicles at my in laws (we live in Upstate NY and my sister is from RI). This is one of the best reasons to leave from NY for us. Embarkation: We have left from NY before and I have to say this was the easiest embarkation ever. No line as we got there around 11:15. My wife and I are Latitude members and were sent to a different line from our fellow party members. Did not matter since we both were finished at the same time with pre-boarding ritual and got on the boat at were able to walk on together. :) I had done my research before the cruise (almost to a sickening extent) on CC boards to find out all of the helpful hints for this ship. It definitely paid off and the advice of previous cruisers was helpful. Sail Away: We lucked out with weather and had a great sail away right past lady liberty. Activities: I have to say this is one area that I thought the ship was seriously lacking. ON one of the sea days my bro in law took out the daily activity sheet and showed me something quite funny. First the spacing on the sheet was ridiculous to make up room and make the page appear full. Secondly, they actually listed library open as an activity. That is sad . We usually go to the art auctions for the excitement and these were horrible as well. NO giveaways, only brought up expensive works and the speed at which the auction was conducted was horrendously slow. The art auctioneer was very knowledgable but needs to speed things up. They offererd free art to all that attend but not once was anything handed out. Ship could use more activities for sure Service: I found the service adequate. Room steward was awesome & did a great job Stateroom: Our room was fine and served its purpose. We spent hardly any time in the room. Dining: Before we left I read all of the dining reviews. I found the food to be decent. You can not expect 5 star cuisine on a lower priced cruise line. It is ridiculous to even think that going in. The buffet was good, the main dining room was above average and the specialty dining was decent. We only did the best of all brunch for the specialty restaurants. It was ok but nothing spectacular. Best thing about the food was the crepe station everynight right after dinner. Don't forget about the crepes. Kids Club: Our niece was in the Kids club and really liked it. She kep begging her mom to go there so I assumed she was having a good time. Entertainment: All of the shows were good. THE magician was kinda crappy, but that's what happens when you sit too close to the performance. Disembarkation: The crew screwed up a bit letting us off and it was poorly coordinated but all in all not too bad. I have been through worse. Where you get off in NYC is a little hectic but with good planning you will be all right. Summary: Great cruise. Halifax is a beautiful place. Portland is also one of my fave ports for this itinerary. The other 2 ports in Canada could have been there or not, did not make or break the trip. I would def do again, we all had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We stayed in New York a few days before the cruise - what a GREAT city! Loved it. Need to go back! Central Park, Top of the Rock, open top bus tour, Lion King on Broadway, Time Square... Embarkation : Just OK. Reasonably quick. Our ... Read More
We stayed in New York a few days before the cruise - what a GREAT city! Loved it. Need to go back! Central Park, Top of the Rock, open top bus tour, Lion King on Broadway, Time Square... Embarkation : Just OK. Reasonably quick. Our 3rd NCL cruise so we were in the priority line - but so was everyone else! Something like 90% of passengers had sailed with NCL before, so also had priority boarding. Perhaps it would have been quicker in the other line... Sailing out of New York was awesome. Ship : Pretty much as we remembered it 3 years ago. Brightly colored carpets everywhere, nice stateroom and balcony. Food : Only OK. Service not great - we were only offered drinks ONCE in the restaurant! Also the main dining room were able to cope with special dietary requirement (gluten free), but the other restaurants weren't so good. We spent so much time trying to get hold of gluten free food outside the main restaurant we gave up trying. Would have been nice to have eaten somewhere else once in a while... such a shame when the Jewel has so many other eating options available. Entertainment : This has definitely improved. Saw a couple of great productions from the resident team, a good comedian and some acrobats in the main theatre. The pianist in the Champagne Bar area was fantastic with his Elton John, Beatles and request evenings - as was the guitarist. PORTS OF CALL: Sydney, Nova Scotia - Took NCLs Scenic Cabot Trail excursion. $139 for around 8 hrs sat on a coach - which included a 5 min stop for a photo, 15 mins to queue for a toilet, 30 mins in a Bikers Diner for soup and a DIY sandwich (NCLs excursion description very misleading here - thought we were going to be eating in the Keltic Lodge...) and finally 10 mins at the beach near the Keltic Lodge. Overcast weather didn't help here. Halifax, Nova Scotia - Spent the morning walking around the beatiful harbor and citadel in Halifax, then took NCLs afternoon tour to Peggy's Cove & Titanic Cemetery. This tour was half the price of the last one, and one hundred times better! Peggy's was beautiful, the Cemetery was moving, and our tour guide (an ex History Teacher) was fascinating, telling us all about 5 disasters which had impacted Halifax. An excellent day - and beautiful weather too :-) St John, Bay of Fundy - Problems mooring lead to us disembarking late. Had considered booking the Ride the Rapids tour direct with the operator. So glad we didn't, as we would have missed our time slot. Paid twice as much to do it with NCL instead. Overpriced - but we had a blast! And yes, you WILL get wet, no, SOAKED, so wear as little as possible!! Portland, Maine - Oh, how disappointing. It was soooo foggy, we couldn't tell if Portland was pretty or not... so we took a local bus ($10 return) to an out of town shopping mall. Nice, but would have liked to have SEEN something of Portland. Disembarkation : Sailing back into New York, was once again AWESOME! We decided to walk off with our own luggage after enjoying a leisurely breakfast overlooking Concorde located on the Intrepid on the adjacent pier - lovely :-) However, it was a big mistake to delay our departure as it was absolute chaos by the time we left, and probably took the best part of 3 hours to get to the taxi rank! Not a great ending to the cruise... but hey, at least we had another few days in New York. Pier 17, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall St, 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island... A-MA-ZING :-) Summary : Would DEFINITELY go back to New York. But New England? Been there - don't need to go back. Probably won't be back on NCL either - destinations are getting more and more limited... Shame. NCL Jewel in the Baltic 3yrs ago, and NCL Sun in Alaska 4yrs ago were great. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Do not stay on the 11th deck. You will be under the kids play area with the noise so bad you will have to talk louder or you will be under the buffet with carts being pushed over the tile floor or you will be under - you get the picture. ... Read More
Do not stay on the 11th deck. You will be under the kids play area with the noise so bad you will have to talk louder or you will be under the buffet with carts being pushed over the tile floor or you will be under - you get the picture. Make sure the only thing on the deck above you is sky or other cabins. If you do have any type of an issue the Ill-informed main desk personnel and their lack of ability/training make them inept in addressing or handling a problem. The Hotel Director, Bryan, on the other hand is the only one you want to deal with - sharp gent Having to push a plunger on a wall mounted dispenser for soap and shampoo is way too cheesy. We expected a bit more than toiletries being dispensed like a public rest room in an airport. We had to purchase facial soap; conditioner and body wash just to be able to bathe. Don't waste your money on the "upscale" restaurants. You will not have any different of a dining experience from the Dining Rooms with the exception of the menu. On other cruise ships when you pay $25/per person for the steak house you receive white table linens, your salad and dessert made at your table, etc., like an upscale restaurant should be. Not on his ship - you sit at a varnished wooden table. If you don't smoke the Casino is basically off limits. The good: Embarkation though the VIP check in, Cleanliness of the ship, Quality of the food, Professional courtesy shown by the staff (except front desk and night time supervisor), Disembarkation One last point and this seems to be on all the non-all inclusive cruise lines. Why does a Bud Light need to be $5.00? Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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