12 Norwegian Jewel Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We chose Norwegian cruise ship Jewel for the Freestyle Cruising. We have taken many Caribbean cruises and liked the idea of not having to pack all the extra evening wear. Packing of warmer clothing for layering in cooler climates can be ... Read More
We chose Norwegian cruise ship Jewel for the Freestyle Cruising. We have taken many Caribbean cruises and liked the idea of not having to pack all the extra evening wear. Packing of warmer clothing for layering in cooler climates can be difficult when trying to stay within TSA luggage weight requirements. We found the more relaxed way of dressing & dining made for a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. We could choose when and where to dine and dress up or down by our own choice. We had read many complaints about "unfriendly" staff on the Norwegian Jewel prior to our cruise. We did not experience this at all. Any staff members that we encountered were always very pleasant and more than willing to serve our needs. The only complaint that we have concerning this cruise was the embarkation process in Vancouver. We took our hotel shuttle to the port. When we arrived we had to board an elevator with our luggage and wait in line on the second level to have our check-in luggage taken from us. As, we are an older couple, this was a very tedious process. More notable was the fact that anyone dropped by shuttle who was boarding the Disney Cruise ship had their luggage taken immediately from them upon arrival - they did not have to drag their luggage for any distance. We felt that the Disney cruise people were being catered to. We have never before experienced this process of dragging our luggage around before boarding on any other cruise (company) before. We don't know if this was the port's or Norwegian's policy - but we feel that much improvement is needed in this process. In summary, we had a very wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed ... Read More
Embarked at Papeete ran very smoothly . Especially loved our cabin and its position on the ship. It was a disabled cabin so had heaps of room to accommodate a wheelchair (which we did not have). The only downside to this cruise as opposed to the others we have traveled on is the staff were not as friendly and some were quite rude. We traveled with another couple who had room 9098 which was the mirror image of our cabin. Food was OK but would not rave about it. We chose this cruise especially for the Itinerary which had a few sea days in between islands as we think it gets a bit tiring having a stop everyday and then you get bored having a few sea days . We got to stay in Bora Bora for an extra day as one of the other Islands were cancelled. We thought this was was great as other cruise ships we have been on would just give you an extra sea day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I had purchased two Cruise Rewards on a prior Norwegian cruise and I had to use them before they expired. Well I was amazed that this cruise line had really changed a lot. I had a few issues on my prior cruise about 4 years ago. ... Read More
I had purchased two Cruise Rewards on a prior Norwegian cruise and I had to use them before they expired. Well I was amazed that this cruise line had really changed a lot. I had a few issues on my prior cruise about 4 years ago. Embarkation was very smooth. When we boarded the ship our room wasn't ready. An announcement at 1 p.m. said all the rooms were ready and to enjoy your cruise. Our room wasn't ready but we waiting for the cabin steward to finish. We were tired and wanted to rest before the life boat and safety drill. it was nice that you did not have to take the life jacket to the drill. Everything was smooth on the drill and our cruise began. The buffet was big and roomy and I could maneuver around with my walker. The variety was amazing and the food was hot and fresh. My husband even commented that this cruise was like night and day from the last one. When we went to the 'freestyle dinner' there was never a long line. We we're always able to walk in and be seated. The service in the buffet and dining room was great. They were always filling up the water in the dining room and the food was served quickly. This ship was very nice. We were able to find our way around the ship. There are helpful signs posted throughout the ship of where everything was located. Our cabin was great. I was able to have a handicapped cabin. The bathroom was accessible for my walker. We only went to one show "Bank on the Run" and it was very good. We have sailed the Mexican Riviera several time so we did not book any shore excursions. We did not travel with children but there were a lot of kids on board. My main concern with Norwegian is they do not have a self-serve laundry. Since I have mobility issues I like packing light and was not able to go with one suitcase and small essential bag. We have been on 49 cruises and having laundry service is important to us. We have free laundry service on two other cruise lines. Both of these other cruise lines have self-serve laundry facilities and I visit them. We have decided not to go on Norwegian again because we like to go for 14 days and unable to maneuver all the luggage required. We usually do back to back cruises and have laundry service. This was a great cruise and it was a hard decision. When we disembark the ship it was quick and we had no issues. Pier 92 at the World Cruise Center in LA has a huge freight elevation for disembarking passengers and we did not have to wait in a huge long line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Great service. Hot food selections at the buffet were not warm. Good Friday(4/14) had very few fish meals. This is a fast, meatless day for Catholics. Theater seats uncomfortable: no leg room. Rows are two long and difficult to ... Read More
Great service. Hot food selections at the buffet were not warm. Good Friday(4/14) had very few fish meals. This is a fast, meatless day for Catholics. Theater seats uncomfortable: no leg room. Rows are two long and difficult to get to center seats without disturbing everyone. Movies in Star Dust were sci-fi, terror, or inappropriate for families since this was a school vacation week. Talent was great in Star Dust. Need a card to show where places were on ship. Dinners in dining room great. The staff was very helpful at all times. My handicapped room was specious and convenient for my needs. I had a wheel chair and two canes. The walk-in shower was very convenient. The higher toilet made it easier to get up from it. Everything was clean. The demonstrations were excellent. I especially liked the fruit center pieces. Music on the pool deck was good. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First time with NCL, and its more casual style, which generally worked well. One criticism though is the reluctance of NCL to give you any information about the ship! Deck plans are strictly for the website, and almost unprintable, and ... Read More
First time with NCL, and its more casual style, which generally worked well. One criticism though is the reluctance of NCL to give you any information about the ship! Deck plans are strictly for the website, and almost unprintable, and supplying a paper elevation plan on-board was not much help when trying to find best wheelchair routes on an asymmetric ship! Also scant information was provided on ports of call unless it was for franchised shopping. Even beforehand, their UK helpline couldn't even tell us whether there were one or more showtimes each evening, nor when, in order to plan mealtime bookings in advance (since my wife is disabled, we didn't want to be so casual as to have to hang around waiting for a table). Maybe this is only a first timers problem. Boarding and disembarkation always seem to be chaotic and though we checked-in quite quickly, we were then held for over an hour and a half because staff said that the port lift (Miami) was not working, and promptly forgot about us (we missed the ship intro tour). Again, even with timed departures in LA, this took more than an hour in the accelerated wheelchair lane, and for many it must have been over two hours shuffling in endless queues along elevated walkways alongside the ship (Should an emergency occur during this time, like a fire in the port hall or on the ship, one dreads to think what might happen as thousands of people have nowhere to go quickly.). That said, once on board ship, staff were incredibly helpful and patient when necessary, almost always with a welcoming smile. Disabled facilities were generally good and though we booked too late to get a disabled room, our inside cabin on Deck 8 was adequate (save the struggle to get into the loo through a 17" wide doorway(could easily have been 19-20" wide entry with no need for another door inside the small bathroom). Our other minor gripe was that some of the floor strips at ship bulkheads across public corridors were raised above the level of the floors maybe 1/2 ", which would bring a wheelchair to a jarring halt if not anticipated - but only some and it was not always apparent which! So NCL, please can you feather all your floors at bulkhead joints to provide a smooth passage for wheels? On the up side, from people we met, it appeared that singles are well catered for by NCL too. We thought that for mass catering the food was generally good, though there could have been a little more variety in the casual restaurants' evening menus. We used the Garden Cafe for very good breakfasts and sometimes lunch, after one disastrous attempt to have a served breakfast in O'Sheehans, which took forever and the eggs still came very undercooked. In the evenings we sampled Tsar and Azura almost equally, finding Tsar to have the best service (especially if you requested something slightly different), though with one exception of one excellent waitress in Azura. One downside of the casual dining was that you had to remember to ask every time if you wanted to share a table and meet with other passengers, and also that you generally had different waiting staff every time, with less chance to build a relationship which might encourage one into additional tipping. Sometimes we did think that the food descriptions on the menus might have been written by the Entertainments Director rather than the Chef, but so long as you didn't have fixed expectations of what would turn-up, labelled as a classic dish, all was well. If you want to go for more than one experience of a speciality restaurant, it makes much sense to purchase a fixed-price multiple dining pack. We chose the baseline of three, selecting Cagney's steakhouse, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. The food was excellent (best probably filet mignon in Cagneys and lamb rack in Le Bistro), though rather too noisy a display in Teppanyaki and also too rushed to attend to supporting service (drinks etc.) - but if you were there just for the show -fine maybe ....!! (thankfully there were no Japanese guests to be appalled). Sadly, the ultimate drinks package (UDP) wasn't, as many common spirits attracted a premium payment, and normal lattes and cappuccinos were not included, unless you had some alcohol in them! Outside the restaurants you had to buy bottled water at an extortionate price too, and are not allowed to bring any back to the ship from excursions. Ship-booked tours were a plenty, but pricey, and generally OK, having the advantage that it was their responsibility to get you back to the ship before it departed (but forget the"scenic Pacific" train ride in Costa Rica and just go for the Tarcoles river trip, unless you want a diesel shunter to pull you through the garbage back-yards of a no-where village, when they can get it working!). We went independent with Julio tours to Leon (Nicaragua) which was excellent on all counts. The daytime sail through the Panama Canal was fascinating, even for those not technically-inclined, and it was worth watching the film about its construction beforehand (just a pity they didn't show the more recent tv film about the new cut, too). Having a historical interest, the old colonial cities of Cartagena, Leon and Antigua are all worth a visit, though the latter two are a bumpy and sometimes challenging ride for wheelchairs! (OK with Nike attitude!). Though there are always a fair number of different activities on ship, we didn't overall rate the main evening shows that highly, with a few exceptions, like Cirque Bijou and a member of the galley crew whose singing got a standing ovation - he was definitely employed in the wrong department! Also sound quality was very muffled in several parts of the main theatre, especially on the upper deck (7), and sound-levels were often set so-high that parts of singers' voices appeared to have been clipped-off in the equipment. Otherwise, the variety of musicians on board were generally good and often appeared at their best in the numerous smaller venues and events around the ship. In all, a memorable and generally very satisfying cruise, with a good balance of on and off ship activities and itinerary, and a canal trip which truly shows it as a wonder of the world. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in ... Read More
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in the garden buffet. Cagney's steakhouse was the best of all and Moderno's was second best. We tried all of the pay extra restaurants and most of the included restaurants. None were what I would call bad, most was pleasant and enjoyable. We were not impressed with O'Sheehan's. The poolside BBQ, was not really a BBQ. The food was prepared int he kitchen and then kind of finished off-kept warm over hot coals. Our favorite drink discovery was the BBC - you have got to try one of these! Since the room came with a bunch of free booze and drinks as well as the drink package, we really did not try many of the bars. The main thing was the room on this cruise. I know many people say you don;t cruise for the cabin - but we had a hard time leaving our cabin! it was seriously amazing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but ... Read More
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but seemed to be brand new. The cabin was somewhat cramped but that was to be expected. There were more than enough activities to keep all on board occupied 24x7. They have a theater where there were a mix of shows Vegas style, poolside BBQ and parties, a great variety of all kinds of restaurants with eclectic menus. The staff were all extremely courteous and efficient and the service was generally of a high standard. They have a lot of activities for children.We had three shore excursions which were well planned and covered interesting sites. All in all a good trip except for a major billing problem wherein they erroneously charged me upwards of $4200. this was a major inconvenience and as of writing this charge though accepted by them as an oversight has still to be reversed. The entire trip was soured by one accounting clerk's slip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The Norwegian Jewel is a wonderful ship. Lots of great meeting places including the Martini bar, the Fizz lounge and the Atrium Java bar. The entertainment was excellent especially loved the show band and Randon. I did not enjoy the Garden ... Read More
The Norwegian Jewel is a wonderful ship. Lots of great meeting places including the Martini bar, the Fizz lounge and the Atrium Java bar. The entertainment was excellent especially loved the show band and Randon. I did not enjoy the Garden Cafe. It was very busy and noisy and you could not find a seat at peak times. We enjoyed the Tsars restaurant for breakfast and dinner. I don't enjoy anytime dinning but we did manage to find a wonderful waiter named David from Jamaica who waited on us every night. He definitely made our dining experience something special. Our group tried La Cucina as well as Modernos and to be honest it wasn't worth the extra money. All of the staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful throughout our trip. I loved that the senior staff all attended our Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. It really made the experience special. The store on the ship was disappointing. There were some sales on the pool deck during the day but really limited selectio if you were looking for gifts to take home. There are daily BBQs poolside over the lunch hour that are very good. We had the drink package which I enjoyed. It does include most drinks but I was disappointed that it did not include bottled water or the specialty coffees. You can order an Irish coffe thou which I enjoyed. Saving of lounge chairs was also a major issue. There are limited loungers and many guests reserved some in the sun and another set in the shade. I know this is a problem on almost every ship but it just seemed to be worse here as there weren't that many areas with loungers. The spinnaker lounge was great and I enjoyed the entertainment here. Don't miss the bridge viewing area on deck 11 forward port side lots of great memorabilia and a chance to watch the Captain in action. Overall a nice ship and a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We actually had a wonderful cruise except for our Concierge he was worthless and that always causes a lot of un needed stress all the way around. We had called him on the first day and asked him to book our Christmas Eve and day after ... Read More
We actually had a wonderful cruise except for our Concierge he was worthless and that always causes a lot of un needed stress all the way around. We had called him on the first day and asked him to book our Christmas Eve and day after Christmas dinners as we choose to only pre-book our Christmas day dinner. Finally after not hearing from him with our confirmations on the 3rd day of the cruise i called him again and he stated you never called me and my sister-in-law was right there when i did, so i did not appreciate being called a liar. I finally gave up on him and turned to our wonderful butler Ronald, he got things straightened out for us on the 4th day of the cruise, we could actually enjoy ourselves more. Toot Toot our room steward was wonderful and did everything as we had asked of him. But there again a hic-up. He got sick and when his replacement came they emptied out our bin with my husbands 8 magazines, glasses and magnifying glass in it. Now we are only talking about minimum dollars but it is just common sense, you have a bin with all this stuff in it, you don't throw it away!!??!! All of the shoes were good. We ate in all the restaurants except Teppanyaki. One slight problem we had was in Tsars Palace as they had the waiter also going for drinks, which just put a slight delay in getting our dinner order in. But once it was in, there was no problem at all. We were surprised at the fact that Cagney's meat was not up to par as usually we experience, maybe it's because we ate at Le Bistro on the prior night and it was exceptional!!! Moderno on the last night was horrible, not at all what we usually experience.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have sailed with NCL several times & we have done this itinerary before as a repositioning to/from Vancouver and the Mexican Riviera return to L.A. This is the first time that we have done both as back to back. Coming into San Pedro ... Read More
We have sailed with NCL several times & we have done this itinerary before as a repositioning to/from Vancouver and the Mexican Riviera return to L.A. This is the first time that we have done both as back to back. Coming into San Pedro (L.A.) we had the option of staying onboard, which was nice. But we chose to go across the port to the Ports-of-Call just to get out. This used to be a bustling community of little shops, but most now stand empty. We did browse through a great art gallary (Parkhurst Gallary) and a Jeweler, where we found puzzle rings (Middle Eastern style); worth the trip. The NCL Jewel has been into dry-dock & some public areas have been renovated since the last time we sailed on it. Improvements were made to the Photo Gallary, the Blue Lagoon was replaced with O'Sheehan's Pub and the Moderno Brazilian restaurant has been moved to Deck 13 beside Cagney's Steakhouse. The view from Moderno in the evening as the sun goes down is incredible. This space used to be a piano lounge & was rarely used before; good decision NCL, although our grandkids will miss the Blue Lagoon. The staff & crew are very friendly & eager to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Our Stateroom Steward was amazing. Tip: I often tell people that if you desire a robe in your stateroom, just ask your room steward & they will likey provide them. We were travelling with my aged mother who uses a wheelchair to get around. The crew was very attentive to her & assisted at every port, including tendering at Cabo San Lucas. We had no problem accessing any area of the ship & we loved that we could walk around the ship outside on Deck 7. Overall we always enjoy sailing with NCL & this trip was no exception. We recommend this trip to our friends & family, especially those who have not sailed before. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are a late 60's couple married 46 years with at least 14 prior cruises to our credit, 5 long cruises across the Atlantic with lots of sea days. This was a much anticipated cruise with lots of research including the McCullough book ... Read More
We are a late 60's couple married 46 years with at least 14 prior cruises to our credit, 5 long cruises across the Atlantic with lots of sea days. This was a much anticipated cruise with lots of research including the McCullough book "Path between the Seas". Of course the cruise was much more than the day we spent going through the canal. We like lazy at sea days with lots of time to read and relax. If one watches carefully, even the open ocean can have visual rewards. First the misses. The tours and travels were not really capable of dealing with a handicap scooter and coordination with tour operators was marginal. We had to cancel several tours because we were informed the tour operator could not accommodate a small 3 wheel, take-apart scooter , only to find when we walked out on the dock there were lots of huge buses which would have accommodated us easily. We even asked a bus driver if the scooter could be loaded and he assured it could easily be done. The lack of meaningful lectures was sorely missed. The selection of movies available was interesting to say the least, but playing "The Hobbit" 8 times a day was annoying. I could go on, but why bother. The Azura dining room was dark and noisy, Tzar's was much better and open almost every day for all meals. Some nice bits. Osheehan's and ChinChin were greatly appreciated. Food everywhere and no need for a coke package if you can do with fruit juice, coffee and water at all times. The Jewel rides VERY smoothly and was extremely well handled. Our Steward Paul was a wonderful part of our cruise. look up "Quiet efficiency" and his picture will be there. The library on board was one of the largest I have seen on any boat and even had a few Atlas's available to peruse. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I enjoyed the cruise and am very glad I went. However, my biggest disappointment in the cruise was the activities and entertainment. Except for the shore excursions, the on board offerings were somewhat simple and mindless. ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise and am very glad I went. However, my biggest disappointment in the cruise was the activities and entertainment. Except for the shore excursions, the on board offerings were somewhat simple and mindless. 70's-80's Pop culture, mindless TV game shows etc. and low-level (though well executed) Las Vegas stage shows are fine, even fun, but when they are the only options, it seems like they are being aimed at the lowest common denominator of the population. I did not hear one note of classical music during the entire cruise. (Couldn't there be an audio channel on the TV?) There were no lectures and really no activities that required any thought or intellect--and this is a shame because, for example, people (especially children and teens!) came back from seeing wonderful Mayan ruins, indigenous populations and local economy and history and had no clue what they had seen. So much more could have been done to enrich the experience of the cruisers with a little education and preparation. And how about a couple of rudimentary Spanish lessons--or conversation groups to revive people's knowledge of Spanish? Instead we had big prep sessions and relentless print ads in our daily bulletins to alert people to shopping opportunities! All of this tended to lower the level of conversation on the boat to the catatonic level of a week long visit to a mall. Of course most people come aboard with friends and family, with whom they tend to stick to the exclusion of other passengers, so I don't expect too much in the way of scintillating company. But the most interesting conversation I had during the entire cruise was with a 13 year old boy whose family went off to a specialty restaurant. He was a musician and also interested in child psychology. My other conversations, though pleasant, were mostly stories about casino gambling, how drunk people got the night before, how much they paid for jewelry and how they missed seeing football during the week. The ship is using the internet for its operations. Why does it have to be so expensive for the passengers? Also, even if external internet access is not provided, the "intRAnet" (on-board internet) could be used so much more effectively. There is a "community" section on the internet that is free. This could be used to post restaurant menus, event schedules, television schedules (movies) and many other bits of information that passengers would like to have available. It is already up and running but has only ship embarcation schedules. Regarding food, generally it was OK, but by no means did it ever rise to the level of fine dining and the two extra-charge specialty restaurants were just not that much better than the complementary dining options. I did not try Cagney's steak house, but to my surprise The Brazilian churrascaria, Moderno, had nearly flavorless grilled meats, some of which were actually too tough to eat. La Cucina, the Italian restaurant, was better, but only one cut above the Olive Garden. The outdoor grill barbecue offerings were also dry, tough and flavorless. The Tsar's palace and Azura had dishes that looked good, but were only occasionally really well prepared. I had to do something I never do--namely send food back because it simply was not worth eating. I found the Garden Grill buffet had the best chance to provide edible food, some of which was quite good--the small Indian offerings being reliably tasty. And why should we have to pay extra for espresso? The Garden Grill already has coffee machines that grind and fresh-brew quite decent Americano coffee. Machines that do this and also provide espresso are everywhere. It would be so easy to install them, and it would add a lot to the experience of the cruise. Small matters: The chairs in the library are extremely uncomfortable and narrow. The library was rather heavily used, and more space with comfortable chairs for reading would be welcome. I had plug adapters for European electric plugs, so I could use the library or card room with my own computer for a more pleasant place to do some writing, but others who only had US plugs were frustrated. For folks like me who like to spend recreational time not only reading but writing, a room with tables and universal electric outlets for our own computers would be most welcome. It would be good to have adapters available, or dual wall plugs. Although a service charge of 12% was added to the bill, I felt continually pressured to offer additional tips--even for coffee. I would so much prefer a service charge of 15-18% and a no-tipping policy throughout the ship. This is exacerbated by the fact that the ship is full of concessionaires who work on commission. These are likeable folks, but their income depends on hard selling (and up-selling) and this became obsessive and egregious at times. The shore excursions were the high point of the trip for me. There was a large variety of excursions for different tastes, and the guides and activities were informative and fun. All this said, I want to commend the ship on the superb quality of the crew who were consistently helpful, happy and competent. They made the cruise a pleasure at all times. I also want to commend the ship on its excellent environmental policies. I would cruise with NCL again if only to support this effort. It made me feel that I was not harming the earth quite so much when indulging in a cruise experience.   Read Less
Sail Date October 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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