9 Norwegian Jewel Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they ... Read More
Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they had thrown together and mashed the food together from the night before on several occasions. Even the meals in the dining room sub par. My daughter had to remind the waiter on 3 occasions about missed things and one night a waiter got the orders wrong 4 different times. He just wasn't listening. Nodding his head and off he went. That happened more often then usual from our past cruises. We were Mid ship 5067 and 5069. Inside. But don't ever book anything in that area because the bars are above you and all you get until 2 in the morning is banging, sliding of equipment and noises I never knew existed. Sleep was challenging to say the least. If you have any mobility problems don't do the Thermal Spa. Trying to get in and out of the hot tubs was difficult. I wasted $186 and could only go there once. I was terrified I'd fall trying to get in and out. I was not the only one who felt that way. Others had the same concerns. Unfortunately when they refurbished by the Jewel and the Jade they left the seats in the Stardust theatre with no upgrades. When you sit down it is almost like falling onto the floor and the seats are slanted downward so it is uncomfortable. Unless there is a destination only NCL does at a decent price, I am not sure I would cruise with them again. The specialty restaurants were okay but found the ones on the Jade better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cabin smallest we had ever had, cabin steward hard to comment on as we only saw him a couple of time's but he was very pleasant when we did bump into him . Trips so overpriced we actually cancelled them all apart from the first one ... Read More
Cabin smallest we had ever had, cabin steward hard to comment on as we only saw him a couple of time's but he was very pleasant when we did bump into him . Trips so overpriced we actually cancelled them all apart from the first one (Phuket) and did our own thing from then on for easily a quarter of the price being asked for by NCL, we were very lucky that another passenger mentioned this to us, Something I would recommend to everybody! Entertainment in the evening on two particular nights was excellent and would have happily paid to see them in the West End but the rest was pretty mediocre. We dined on 3 separate nights in Speciality restaurants being Cagney's, Moderno Churrascaria, & La Cucina. Cagneys was excellent, Moderno was also very good, but would not rate La Cucina (poor menu choice and food was only luke warm and not particularly appetising). The main restaurants were reasonable apart from the food when it reached us was nearly always lukewarm, but have to say the staff were on the whole lovely. With so many cruise lines to choose from would we go with NCL again it is very debatable as overall impression was of a company putting profit over the wellbeing of their customers, especially as the life boat drill was a farce and I have never seen anything like it on any other cruise line, heaven help us if there had been an emergency!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists ... Read More
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists rotating to take their turns. Little changed. On Sea day, the ship entertainment is dead. Nothing happening and the daily programme is the same like the previous day.Why can,t we have a movie in Stardust theatre everday or have a large screen facing the swimming pool to show recently released movies If you go on Princess Cruise lines, you have entertainment on the big screen rather than same old muscians playing the same songs. Have you ever wondered if people near the pool really listen to what they are singing about. BORING. Needs to put on an entertainment that is refreshing and enjoyable. I hope the message gets to the entertainment dept. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My 85-year-old mother-in-law is finally getting to her bucket list and took my husband and me on this cruise. Her money. She is not wealthy. She has never led an extravagent life-style, so this was a huge deal for her. I helped make the ... Read More
My 85-year-old mother-in-law is finally getting to her bucket list and took my husband and me on this cruise. Her money. She is not wealthy. She has never led an extravagent life-style, so this was a huge deal for her. I helped make the reservations and schedule air flights. She was shocked at the cost, but hey, she's 85 years old, and things just aren't as cheap as she'd ever remember! But no sooner did I book the cruise, then the add-on charges came. The gratuity fee - okay, she got that and paid it. The cost to have anything besides water, coffee or tea on board. The additional gratuity that was added because there was a rate increase after we booked. On board, it was the cost to do anything. When embarking, we were taken to the buffet line immediately, only to find out later that there was a charge for eating at it since we hadn't left the dock yet. Entertainment costs everywhere. Bingo - $40 a card. Alcohol was outrageously expensive - we figured that out before we left and actually got their alcohol package, where we could drink as much as we wanted for one cost - only to have another gratuity cost slapped on that meant we had to drink an additional 3 drinks a day to make it worth while. Pressure everywhere to buy from them - photographers constantly taking your picture, saying you don't HAVE to buy (but of course they're only taking your picture so you will buy). To do any activities in their fitness center - all cost. Dining entrees with extra costs attached, even in the "free" restaurants. Casino fees, if you play some games (didn't know that until afterwards and it was billed to me). If you wanted help finding transportation that was not NCL related, the staff didn't keep information on hand. We had to be on a bare-bones budget, and I've never worked so hard in my life just making sure whatever move we made did not cost us. We still managed to somehow get charged $204 onto our card for some things we had no idea why ($56 is what I was expecting). That's the bad side. There are mediocre sides. The ship looks dated. But it's still very nice. Food was plentiful and interesting, but far from gourmet. Very crowded at times, which was very unnerving for my mother-in-law, especially in the buffet restaurant. My mother-in-law was in a wheelchair, and the deck hallways were very narrow. For some reason, the housekeeping staff kept their cleaning carts in the hallways, making it impossible to pass them in the hall - mom had to get out of the chair, toddle a few steps while I folded the chair, passed it by the cleaning cart, then opened the chair again and wheel her about 80 feet to the next cleaning cart. . . usually 3 or 4 each trek. It also made the deck hallway look very dowdy. The good sides, and there are plenty: Great staff! A large majority are Philipino, so there are some language barriers, for which I am willing to tolerate, since I saw how damn hard those people worked! We befriended a couple of them - they work 10 months 7days a week, then get two months off. That was hard to see, but have to admit, don't know any Americans who would do this kind of schedule! They WORKED HARD! We were all very impressed. My mother-in-law took a shine to one server in particular, who greeted her with a hug every time we saw her - it made the difference for my mother-in-law! Our cabin steward, with whom there was a huge language barrier, did a fantastic job. Bartenders were good, although not a single consistent drink the entire cruise. We loved our cabin, even though it wasn't anything fancy. Since we had someone in a wheelchair, we got a handicap-accessible cabin for the three of us. It was to sleep 3. Still don't understand why they had a bunk bed as one of the beds - one of us had to get into it each night, and none of us are spring chickens. Obviously, mom always got a real bed. . . . But it was large and spacious, to accommodate the wheelchair, and always clean as a whistle. Hint - if you're going to Alaska in June/July, remember you'll have light in the sky most of the night - whether you want a window or not depends on whether you want to see light in the sky all night. This is the first time we've traveled with my mom-in-law as a handicapped person. We got royal treatment for this, going to the head of most every line, and privileged seating many places. It was nice, I admit, but I can see someone abusing this, like they do in Disneyland. But, most importantly, the staff treated my mom-in-law like she was the most important woman in the room, and she so needed that. It truly was the trip of her lifetime! Overall - if you don't mind spending money haphazardly, there is plenty to spend money on in this trip. Otherwise, be prepared to shell out at every turn. Ask lots of questions before consenting to anything they give you. You can have a good time, but it may be more work than you think it's worth. We loved Alaska! That view was FREE! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. ... Read More
We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. There always seemed to be the same choices and the flavors were monotonous. One night they advertised a seafood buffet and had a picture of shrimp. We felt really mislead when we found only fish and some Paella. They had no other seafood. We were doubly disappointed when we talked to guests from a neighboring ship who delighted in being served king crab legs on their ship's buffet. Azura, one of the complimentary dining rooms, had some better choices for dinner most nights, but we found it mediocre at best. The service was super slow in Azura. It took about 90 minutes to get thru dinner. Several meals were way too salty, so much so they were inedible. Other items were super spicey. We thought they should indicate on the menu when something would be spicy hot. The waiters in several restaurants routinely took a drink order from one person and ignored everyone else at the table. It was as if they were not trained to go around the table and ask if everyone wanted iced tea so they could bring it all at once. As a result they spent too much time going back and forth just bringing one tea at a time and racing off before anyone else could ask for one too. Little things like cream cheese and lox were absent from the buffet. There was never a big chocolate night like on other ships. There were not enough chairs and tables in the buffet so we had to circle like sharks looking for a spot. I expect that on Carnival but not on Norwegian. The entire dining experience was frustrating. Even using room service fell short. We ordered tea and coffee and they brought cream but no sugar. We had an early excursion and didn't have time to wait for a re-delivery. The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. The entertainment, Cirque show and the Tina Turner tribute were both great shows. Reynaldo, one of the bar waiters was awesome. He was a funny, friendly face each day. He learned our names and took an interest in us. Bingo cost upwards of $39 to play. The beer and wine tastings were $20 plus 18% gratuity. We just didn't want to pay that much. $5 bingo would have suited us better. We traveled with one person in a wheel chair. The hallways were sometimes tough for her to negotiate because the cleaning staff had trash bags, ice coolers and vacuums in the halls. As for excursions, we booked two thru the ship and two thru another web site. We had a great experience with both excursions booked elsewhere. We even saved about $10 per person on those tours. Of the 2 tours we booked thru the ship, one was fine and one fell short. The whale watching in Victoria was the one that didn't measure up. We spent about 75 minutes getting to the whales and 75 minutes returning, with only 30 minutes to whale watch. They only stopped the boat once, and only for a few minutes, so we were stuck trying to take pics while moving and breathing engine fumes. When we came back to Shore we had to circle for 45 minutes because the operator didn't have a dock far enough away from other cruise ships coming in. We had to wait till the big ships docked before we could get in. This took time away from shopping and left us just bobbing around waiting. We did use the I concierge app to text each other on the ship. I would give it 3 stars out of 5. It sometimes would not alert us when a text came in. It gave a few of us a running total of our daily expenditures, but for some of us this didn't work. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our second tour of duty on the Jewel, first time was on an Alaskan cruise in July 2016. I like the Jewel as it's easy to navigate and doesn't have endless corridors like those mega ships. Embarkation was pretty ... Read More
This was our second tour of duty on the Jewel, first time was on an Alaskan cruise in July 2016. I like the Jewel as it's easy to navigate and doesn't have endless corridors like those mega ships. Embarkation was pretty quick. Lots of parking at the cruise terminal ($18/day) and after dropping off our luggage, we were on the ship within 10-minutes. With this itinerary, we were going to a much warmer climate, so there was a more vibrant crowd, and it was during Spring Break. There were a significant amount of children on this cruise and during the sea days, it was chaotic. Kids (mostly boys 8-14 years old) running amuck down the halls, through the buffet, up and down the stairs, without any regard to noise or other people. Where were their parents? Probably lounging around the pool, forgetting they have kids. Entertainment was the same as on our Alaskan cruise, it was boring! Band on the Run and Le Cirque Bijou were modified slightly, two new comedians, David Naster who thankfully was super funny, Steven Scott however was dry, and of course the Russian couple with their acrobatic moves. Side note: If you are able bodied, please do not sit in the seats clearly marked for those with disabilities, please!. Dining was very standard NCL, we had the specialty dining package and ate at Cagney’s which is always delicious and twice at Moderno. The Garden Café (buffet) as always, will get hectic, especially during sea days. People seem to lose all sense of composure and manners at a buffet; the food will not run out people, it’s not your last meal! Since we were redeeming a comp cruise certificate, it entitled us to an interior stateroom. We usually stay in a balcony stateroom but, the upgrade fee was nearly equivalent to a full fare at $800, and not the difference between the price of an interior room to balcony which was $149 per, and for that, I was disappointed. But, it ended up working out great, and if anything we slept well and slept in as the room was super dark. During debarkation, a lot of people choose to do the self service walk out at 8am, probably were all local folks, but they started at about 7:50am The line was pretty long and there was another line to take the one escalator and one elevator. All in all, we were at our car by 8:15am. There were also a couple new policies implemented, such as prohibiting any bottled water, soda, to be brought on to the ship (so you can buy theirs and pay the premium prices) and the dress code at Tsar’s Palace, gentlemen MUST wear a collared shirt and pants. They didn’t have a dress code before, why now? It’s called “Freestyle” cruising after all, right? Overall, this was our 4th cruise on NCL, after graduating from Carnival, and I’m starting to feel the NCL experience is turning into Carnival, so it might be time to move on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We've taken five cruises on NCL, all in the Haven going back about six years. We had certain expectations based on that past experience, and we were disappointed with a number of them. Let's start with the embarkation. My ... Read More
We've taken five cruises on NCL, all in the Haven going back about six years. We had certain expectations based on that past experience, and we were disappointed with a number of them. Let's start with the embarkation. My wife needs a wheelchair to get from the curb to the cabin. We had to wait 45 minutes sitting outside in Los Angeles before a wheelchair came and this was after I nagged half a dozen employees to get their attention. In the past, there was a "Haven" lounge area before we got onto the ship where we had a snack, got our ID cards, had a chance to meet with the Concierge and had a nice welcome. And then we were personally escorted to our cabin. Not so this time. No lounge, no welcome. We did get escorted to our cabin, but I think that was because of the wheelchair. The cabin, a two bedroom suite, was as we expected. Very clean, very well appointed. The decor has been updated and is much better. Everything worked as it should. But. In the past, Haven passengers were given a couple of bottles of liquor/wine of their choice. This time not. We had snacks/treats delivered every afternoon as part of the Haven butler service, but there was very little variety. On a fourteen day cruise it got very repetitive. The cabin service, butler, steward and concierge was without fault and is, of course, one of the big attractions of the Haven service. We especially love the unpacking and packing of luggage. In the private pool area, there were a lot of gaps during the day, when there was no service. As for the dining, we knew what we were getting into and so there were no surprises. NCL has some nice variety in restaurants, but we find that the flavoring of dishes in the specialty restaurants is just too timid. We were disappointed that Cagney's, which used to be open for breakfast and lunch for Haven passengers, is now only for dinner. The Moderno space is where Haven passengers can get lunch and breakfast. Speaking of Cagney's, this is our favorite NCL restaurant and we ate there about every other day. But what happened to the menu? The number of choices is much less than the original and we missed the variety. Perhaps our biggest disappointment was the cancellation of the Chef's Table special dinner. We had done that on every one of our prior cruises. It was a great opportunity to meet like minded dining companions. So, I think this will be our last "Haven" trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and ... Read More
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and charging corkage for it when you are dropping off your bags at the curb. We received ours at 9pm the first night, ridiculous system currently in place. They have an adult pool and children's side by side. Smoking is upstairs above it at the Sky High Bar and fun crowd. Many Children, Elderly and Honeymooners on the ship. Not a lot of teens. The restaurants have similar food (Tsar's and Azur). When returning from a excursion you are double checked and xray machine for alcohol. If you have it is confiscated and returned to you on the last night. The Las Caletas Hideaway excursion is very fun, but not recommended for anyone who has a hard time walking. Free stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, inner tubes, kayaking and fun floating docks. Decent Lunch too. You cannot bring a wheelchair. Beware of being bombarded with Mexicans when leaving the ship in Mazatlán and Cabo trying to sell you taxi rides and ship rides. It's crazy. Do not let them touch you, by putting bracelets on you ..SAY NO. Be prepared when leaving the ship to stand in a line with hundreds of people.. be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
December 22-29,. 2013 We arrived in New Orleans one day early and stayed at the Riverside Hilton right on the Mississippi. We had a lovely river front room. Loved this hotel and it's location.. By the way the taxi fare from the ... Read More
December 22-29,. 2013 We arrived in New Orleans one day early and stayed at the Riverside Hilton right on the Mississippi. We had a lovely river front room. Loved this hotel and it's location.. By the way the taxi fare from the airport to New Orleans is $30. I was surprised by the number of people that walked from their hotels to the ship, bags and all. We did this also. I was glad to save the taxi fare to the cruise port. We didn't get to the pier until 1pm. It was the usual mad house of people but it didn't take long to get on the ship. By the time we got on board the staterooms were ready. We found our cabin, dropped our carry ons and went to lunch in the buffet. We really liked the buffet and ate all our meals here except two. The service and food in the dining room was the poorest of any ship I have been on and I have been on lots of cruises and cruise lines. We went to the dining room on the first night thinking that was lobster night, however, they changed the menus around because of Christmas. The service was awful. We were virtually ignored. I could not get my water refilled so I had to drink my husbands water. I don't know what the problem was because the dining room was deserted. I had the Mahimahi which was tasteless and dry. My husband had prime rib which he really enjoyed. We didn't stay for desert as we couldn't get desert menus. We finally got up and walked out. We also went to the dining room on Christmas eve as that was lobster night. The lobster was small but tasty. The steak on the other hand was terrible. It was ¼ thick and I am sure it must have been pork as it was so greasy. Being from Kansas I know my beef. Service was better this night but again we left early as the food was so bad. We went straight from the dining room to the buffet where the food was better. We never went back to the dining room and are glad we didn't. We had a lovely balcony cabin on deck 10. We had an excellent room steward. When we didn't get service because we had our do not disturb sign out he was so upset. As if it was his fault. I think this had to be the best room steward we ever had. Friendly but not intrusive. Our trouble was our balcony neighbors ahead of us. They smoked. It made our balcony unusable as they smoked non stop. Not only did they smoke cigarettes but cigars also and if that isn't bad enough they also smoked weed. Not only did they smoke but when they were out on their balcony they talked loudly. Whenever me and my husband were on our balcony we whispered as to not disturb anyone. Unfortunate to pay all that money for a balcony and not be able to use it, however, we had no recourse. I was sure I was not going to like the cruise director Jamie. At first she really got on my nerves but I must admit she grew on me. Now the assistant cruise director (Sin) was the annoying one. He continually acted like a ADHD 6 year old that needed medication. If he thinks this is funny, he needs to grow up. The shows on this ship were quite good. I am usually really tough on the singers being a singer myself, however, the male lead singer on this ship was exceptional. The other two lady singers were also quite good. The production show I really liked as I like watching all the dancing. We had a magician one night. I personally don't like magicians as I can't figure out how they do the things they do. However, he was quite entertaining as he integrated comedy into his show. We did have one comedian who was funny. At least he made us laugh. The singers and dancers put on a show especially for Christmas. It was lovely. Some Christmas carols and also secular Christmas songs. They did a great job. The ship had caroling in the atrium. It was very crowded. Perhaps they should have had it in the theater where more people could have come. Only problem was the piano player. He played all the carols so fast we could hardly spit the words out. It was like he couldn't wait to be done so he did all the carols in triple time. I went to all the game shows like newly wed game, quest and dancing with the stars. They were fun as usual with a lot of laughs to be had. I am sorry to say my fellow passengers on this ship were not into following rules of any kind. The no kids in the front row of the show room rule was a joke as every night the front row had kids in it. One night two parents had their child sitting with them in the front row when the announcer stated no children in the front row. The child heard this and said to her mother. “Mom we have to move” To which her mother replied. “They don't mean you, dear”. Unbelievable!!! Why have the rule if you are not going to enforce it. Also the no seat saving fell on mute ears. There was the usual seat saving. Then not all the people in their group would come and there would be empty seats in a full theater. I can understand saving a seat for your spouse but this saving 6 seats for family and just sending the kids early is ridiculous. I must say they did have lots of reserved disabled seating in the buffet and in the show room. As this was a Christmas cruise there were a lot families. There were 800 kids on this cruise, however, we really didn't have a problem with them. I think the Children's program must of taken care of them. There were quite a few times kids would run full speed down our hallway like a heard of wild elephants but we endured it. There is really nothing you can do. We never went to the pool or hot tubs. They were just too crowded. The entire pool area was too crowded. The ports of call on this itinerary were exceptional. Cozumel, Belize city, Roatan and Costa Maya. In Cozumel we took at taxi to the Money bar for $10 each way. The beach is wonderful here and the snorkeling is very good. In Belize we went cave tubing with Island marketing. This was a poor excursion. The tubing was very good but I would go with a different company for sure. In Roatan we purchased a beach/transfer package thru Bananarama resort to Tabyana Beach. This was also very poor. The beach was so crowded you could hardly move. You couldn't snorkel because of all the dive boats parked in shore. It was too dangerous to snorkel in among those boats as they can't see you. We had been to this beach previously last year and thought it was beautiful, however, it has now been ruined by overcrowding of people and boats. In Costa Maya we went to Maya Chan beach. This was an fully inclusive beach day and it was fantastic. Food, drinks, beach, kayaking, snorkeling and personalized service. I can't recommend them high enough. We had a good cruise despite the bad dining room food, bad dining room service and horrible balcony neighbors. We paid quite a bit for this cruise and for the money I think I will book Celebrity next time or just do an all inclusive resort. I think we are getting to the age where we prefer being with adults with mature adult behavior.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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