592 Norwegian Jewel Family Cruise Reviews

My husband, 86 year old Dad and I embarked on the Jewel Sept. 3rd. My Dad hasn’t travelled for 17 years, other than short car trips. He desperately wanted to see Alaska, so invited us to go along with him! His mobility isn’t great ... Read More
My husband, 86 year old Dad and I embarked on the Jewel Sept. 3rd. My Dad hasn’t travelled for 17 years, other than short car trips. He desperately wanted to see Alaska, so invited us to go along with him! His mobility isn’t great and sometimes he requires the use of his cane. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and if you have not visited before, allow yourself at least three days here. We lived there for a number of years, so we just arrived the night before and sister-in-law drove us right to the Port. This was easy peasy as she just drove right into the terminal, employees are there to direct you where to park, we backed up in a spot, unloaded, and an employee was right there to whisk our luggage away. Easiest port ever! Embarkation from the Port of Vancouver went effortlessly. We embarked at 12:00 noon and only waited about 15 minutes before we were processed. Very streamlined and efficient with welcoming NCL representatives. Getting on the ship was a piece of cake, and that’s where we headed as soon as we were aboard! The Garden Cafe buffet was very busy, and as it was my Dad’s first experience and being 86, he was completely overwhelmed. This is where the organization of the Jewel’s buffet is brilliant. Hot, cold, desserts, etc. all organized in neat little islands, with beverage stations around the edges. This was so much easier to navigate than other buffets we have experienced, and so great for my very confused Dad. Considering how busy it was, it didn’t take long to find a seat, in fact we didn’t have a problem any time we ate there. The food was delicious, and we all agreed on that, as we all ate something a bit different. The crew in the buffet was wonderful, very friendly and helpful. They were all appreciative of compliments we made regarding the food. Continuing with th dining, Tsar’s dining room is beautiful with lovely high ceilings and huge windows aft over the wake. Our only complaint here was breakfast one morning. We were seated right away at 8:15 a.m. and given menus ... and we waited and waited. They brought coffee and still didn’t take our order. I asked for tea twice with no response. Finally caught the attention of a crew member who clearly was not responsible for the section we were in, but he acted quickly to ensure our orders were taken - this was 20 minutes after we were seated. I believe they were short staffed at that time of the morning, even though they had opened 15 minutes earlier. About halfway through our breakfast, there were suddenly twice as many crew working around us. Fortunately this was the only negative comment about Tsar’s, the service and food were excellent otherwise (shout out to Manu!). Same can be said for Azura’s. Not as pleasant as far as ambience goes, but the service was exceptional (thank you Alejandro and Gerald!). Always had a good experience in O’Sheehan’s as well, but their menu is quite limited. Had one meal at Chin Chin, and it was just average - the shrimp and chicken noodle dish we shared was almost void of shrimp and chicken! Won’t eat there again on any future cruise. As a common complaint, the cost of alcoholic beverages. They are expensive enough without adding 20% gratuity. We have always found this a bit ridiculous - 20%? Too steep. The ship itself is lovely. Clean everywhere we were, except one bathroom one night where a group of women had decided it was a great place to leave all their dirty drink glasses. Come on people! Think! How difficult is it to carry them out and leave them on a bar counter? Crew always touching up paint or vacuuming stairs and corridors, cleaning treads on stairs, polishing railings, etc. Always friendly and would greet us with a smile. Spinnaker lounge was nice with huge windows all around and comfy seating. Nice crew working there (Stefan was very friendly and attentive!). Funny game shows - really enjoyed Newlywed Game, yes or no, perfect couple, etc. The Stardust theatre was set up very well. Good views of the stage wherever we sat. The entertainment was very good, the ship shows are usually so well done and suitable for everyone. Well, except for the adult comedian! He was hilarious! The crew appreciation was great! Love to see everyone on stage and they seemed to be having a really good time too. The only negative for us were the two women in front of us. As the crew was entering the theatre and making their way to the front, they stood up in front of us. NO ONE ELSE WAS STANDING! Save that for when they are all on stage and certainly we always give them a standing ovation at that time. The problem was we couldn’t see - my 86 year old Dad has a difficult time getting to a standing position at the best of times. He asked them to sit down, and their response was “why don’t you stand up?” They did not sit down but giggled to one another. How ignorant can people be? It is only these situations that can ruin the good time we were having. Maybe when they are in their 80’s with mobility issues they will understand. We didn’t take part in bingo, casino, Deal or No Deal - but did trivia a few times. Those are always fun! Hubby and I both used the gym facilities - he used all the equipment offered and I took part in several classes. The first day, they offered a $49 deal to take in a variety of classes. Yoga, Pilates, spin class, TRX training. There are also free classes like fab abs and stretch. The yoga was quite good, Pilates too much for my one shoulder, fab abs was great one day and not so great the other time (not a safe class by the male instructor - it could be harmful to people with lower back issues - full crunches). Our starboard balcony cabin was on Deck 10 close to one of the elevator banks for my Dad. Great location! A tip for cruisers, if you are on a northbound Alaskan cruise choose a starboard cabin as you will be facing the coast all the way up. If you are southbound, choose a port side cabin. The cabin was in good condition and always super clean (thank you Lorenzo!). The only thing was the loveseat/sofa bed was a bit tattered. I think NCL should consider replacing all of these - my Dad’s was the same. We only did one shore excursion in Skagway, and it was with a private company in a small tour bus with 21 people aboard for 3.5 hours. It was great and very worthwhile. The guide was funny, engaging and knowledgeable. The tour went just to the Yukon border, and made a few stops along the way for photos and a bathroom break. Such gorgeous scenery. In Ketchikan we just walked off the ship and toured the town, went up the Married Man’s trail to the spawning area of the creek and continued our walk to the Totem Heritage Centre ((very interesting), and back through a park and a different route back to the town. Past an extremely shallow part of the creek and watched the salmon for quite a long time, right on the shore only feet away from us. We had gone back on the ship for lunch and just hubby and I headed back off the ship afterwards. The mornings are all Dad had energy for, so after lunch every day he would have a rest or nap! In Juneau, same thing, just walked off and headed for the Mt. Roberts Tramway. It was a clear blue sky day, and going to the top of the mountain seemed like a not-to-miss attraction. We were not disappointed. The views from the top are spectacular, there was a totem carving demonstration, a bald eagle kept there as she was injured and would not have survived if she hadn’t been rescued, a gift shop, restaurant, lots of photo ops. There are also hiking trails, but we didn’t do any of these as the tram and short little walks were enough for Dad. Took a stroll along the boardwalk - beautiful metal sculptures line the boardwalk, stopped and had a beer at the Red Dog Saloon (a must do, such an eclectic place!) and headed back to the ship for lunch. After lunch, hubby and I headed off again, this time walking to the bridge at the far end of town as we had heard about a humpback whale sculpture/fountain at the bridge. It was about a 15 minute walk, but we walk fast and it was so worth it. What a stunning piece of art. Then we did a more extensive walk around the town, where we had missed earlier. The Glacier Bay day was AMAZING! The wildlife, the glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, etc. Just loved it! Also the next day to Hubbard - same gorgeous scenery and the sheer size of this Glacier is phenomenal. Won’t ramble on, but if you can, choose an itinerary that includes Glacier Bay. A park ranger was onboard most of the day with a running commentary and then another ranger gave a presentation in the theatre in the afternoon. Disembarkation in Seward was as easy as it gets. We always just take our own luggage off whenever we want and that works for us. Took a bus to the Anchorage airport, no problems. The whole Alaska experience was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. Couple that with a beautiful, just-the-right-size ship and the amazing crew and having my Dad state “this is the best time I’ve had in my life” it really was a trip to remember. I would definitely cruise to Alaska again. And it really is the perfect itinerary for family members with mobility issues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My family and I have done a Disney cruise before. I was told not to expect the same luxury from NCL by friends. Well I do not know what they were talking about I loved ever second and everything about the NCL Jewel and its itinerary to ... Read More
My family and I have done a Disney cruise before. I was told not to expect the same luxury from NCL by friends. Well I do not know what they were talking about I loved ever second and everything about the NCL Jewel and its itinerary to Alaska! The food was superb, entertainment plentiful, cruise director Dan really is the man!! The band Sonata rules the land! I seriously never wanted to get off the boat, it was magical. There were breathtaking views. Superb service in every area. I spent a lot of time in the casino, and if you do that they will give you comp well drinks!! Super bonus, I even won a little on the slots. The towel findings on the bed were an extra special touch. Our room always loved amazing. I am happy they put such an emphasis on sanitation, especially at ports and eateries on board. Kept everyone healthy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We decided to cruise Alaska on NCL and it was the best cruise ever. The ship is beautiful and spacious, the food was excellent. The waters were smooth as glass. The views from our balcony where are breathtaking. We also enjoyed the ... Read More
We decided to cruise Alaska on NCL and it was the best cruise ever. The ship is beautiful and spacious, the food was excellent. The waters were smooth as glass. The views from our balcony where are breathtaking. We also enjoyed the entertainment and the service. I must make a notible mention about our bartender Zeljko Stefanovic. Probably the best and most knowledgeable bartender we have ever come to know. He was a true professional and showed his passion for his ctaft with every cocktail he created. The activities aboard ship were fun and well planned out. Our off ship excursions were amazing and we appreciated the variety of activities that were available. Looking forward to planning our next NCL cruise. Thank you everyone for making our vacation to Alaska one of the best we have ever had. I would highly recommend this Alaskan cruise to anyone thinking about doing it in the future. It was worth every penny and more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was ... Read More
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was immaculate everyday and we had enough coffee, cream, and sugar daily. Our animal towels were very cool. We left the ship every chance we got but always came back to a clean room to relax before each meal. The activities on the ship were pretty good, especially the nighttime entertainment! The singers were spectacular and Katya and Nikolay were outstanding! Bingo was fun albeit we did not win anything. The casino staff was top notch and the food staff and table helpers were always pleasant. My wife and I were very content with everything. We also did a 75 minute couples massage. The upsell of products after the massage was not necessary. Overall, we had a great time and would do it again! Lastly my romance package for $299 blew up because there weren't any fresh red Roses in Seward the day we departed. NCL made it up to me by giving us the sparkling wine, chocolate dipped strawberries, and snacks for free along with a $100 credit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL ... Read More
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL Jewel is showing her wear, thus the reason for her update in September 2018. We had great service in the MDR, along with specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki. The multiple bars are great as we enjoyed plenty of cocktails with our UBP. We especially like the Martini Bar (Shakers) with Lorelie, Anna & Ida keeping us hydrated with their drink mixing skills. As for restaurant service, April Joy was our favorite along with Sebastian. Our cabin steward, Fernando, kept our room/bathroom clean and comfortable while giving us some unique and cute towel arrangements during turn down. We enjoyed Band on the Run (our favorite of 5 cruises), the comedy show cirque type show with the husband/wife team, but were not overly impressed with the magic show. Yes, the ship is due for a refurb and I look forward to cruising on her again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
WE choose this cruise to travel to my wife's birthplace Juneau as well as being with two sons and 5 grandchildren. a great way to travel. We explored Victoria before the cruise and spent a little time in Vancouver. We plan to come ... Read More
WE choose this cruise to travel to my wife's birthplace Juneau as well as being with two sons and 5 grandchildren. a great way to travel. We explored Victoria before the cruise and spent a little time in Vancouver. We plan to come back to visit Vancouver. The getting on and off the ship was very smooth. The Norwegian Jewel is well run and has all the amenities one could ask for, including great dining options as well as super service. The evenings shows were tailored to families and tastefully done. The three ports visited, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway as well as the Hubbard glacier were just outstanding with really good experiences at each stop.the cabin held three persons comfortably and the top bunk had solid access. Cabin service was outstanding! We did the following in Ketchikan we did the trip to silver lake lodge on a boat with stops to watch the eagle family caring for the young eaglet as well as sea otters and harbor seals. the visit to the lodge area was great with a guide to tell us about the rain forest as well as point out the fauna. We saw deer, and the oldest red cedar, 400 years. The crab fest was well done and plenty of crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, corn on the cob, carrots, potatoes, and all the lemonade you could drink, plus home made chocolate chip cookies! WOW I would recommend this one. At Juneau we walked the town and found where my wife and her parents had lived, yes the house is still there. We then took the buss to the Mendenhall Glacier and it was great as well as saw the bear in the stream harvesting salmon. We also did the tramway to MT. Roberts and the views from the top were totally great even with the mists and clouds. A full day and a great one as well. then skagway here we rented three jeep wrangerlers and off we went to the Yukon. a great day of sights and learning new things, even got to lake Annie. The visit to the Hubbard was well done by the ship as everyone got to see and photograph the glacier. It calved at least twice while we were there and the noises from the glacier were awesome. then to Seward and the end of the line for us. And the start of some more great times in Alaska. We contracted with J & J Smart for a halibut fishing day. 10 Halibut caught and kept others caught and released plus a couple of small sharks. A great experience and a great place to contract. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Not many activities on ship as compared to other cruises. Food ( chicken) served was under cooked. Restaurant manager told me that some one would reach out to us. No one contacted. Also, there were some charges made to my account wrong, ... Read More
Not many activities on ship as compared to other cruises. Food ( chicken) served was under cooked. Restaurant manager told me that some one would reach out to us. No one contacted. Also, there were some charges made to my account wrong, had to go twice to get them off. My cousin who also went with his family, had put a block on his son, who is 13 years old at the time of boarding. He was able to play games in the arcade and the charges were billed to him. When customer service was reached on 7 th level, we were told the when we put block on his account, it was with contractors that work for NCL at port and they cannot do anything. Later those charges were removed by manager. Looks, innocent people get charged like these. They should provide the statement of charges every night so that customers could know what they are being charged for Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We originally choose Norwegian because it was less expensive. The cruise was fantastic. It was like a floating luxury hotel. The food was fabulous and available almost 24/7. We ate in the Garden Cafe most of the time. The service was ... Read More
We originally choose Norwegian because it was less expensive. The cruise was fantastic. It was like a floating luxury hotel. The food was fabulous and available almost 24/7. We ate in the Garden Cafe most of the time. The service was superb and the selection was amazing. We enjoyed the great shows in the Stardust Theater and other games,etc. throughout the ship. There were gymnasts that could outperform any other gymnast. The comedians were fun. The musicians were excellent. You could stay busy or just relax or a combination that suits your style. The scenery was superb. The staff on the ship were very friendly and always willing to assist. We have absolutely no complaints about our cruise with Norwegian. Prior to the cruise my husband was hesitant about a cruise as he thought he would not find activities he enjoyed. Now he is already talking about taking another cruise. Our adult children, their spouses and our 2 grandchildren were also on the cruise. Splash Academy was enjoyed by the grandchildren and gave the adults time to enjoy activities that would not be interesting for children. Splash Academy put on a show the last day with the children as the performers. This showed how well they worked with the children. All the children were prepared for their parts and were special to watch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Always wanted to experience a nice Cruise. That is why I picked Alaska with Norwegian. We as family really really enjoyed the maiden cruise. Food was excellent, Entertainment was great. Service was wonderful and cruse staff were so ... Read More
Always wanted to experience a nice Cruise. That is why I picked Alaska with Norwegian. We as family really really enjoyed the maiden cruise. Food was excellent, Entertainment was great. Service was wonderful and cruse staff were so hospitable and courteous. I liked the diversity in crise staff who were genuine. It was a wonderful experience overall. Some suggestions for consideration: 1. Could provide NAAN/CHAPPATHI/THIN ROTI in the Indian vegetarian diet. 2. Non smoking casino 3. Pool Table 4 More Cards packs and a bigger Cards Room 5. More Sugar Free Options especially in Desert Despite minor obervations, the Cruise was a dream vacation and we all thoroughly enjoyed the 7 days of experience and looking forward to our next vacation with Norwegian. May be we will do an European Tour or an Australia/Newzealand tour with family next year. Looking forward for more special offers and deals for the same from Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise because the dates were good; and I got a balcony stateroom, although I made my plans late. As a first time cruiser, I don't fine them friendly. Same at the store, they are not hiding it. The shore excursion ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the dates were good; and I got a balcony stateroom, although I made my plans late. As a first time cruiser, I don't fine them friendly. Same at the store, they are not hiding it. The shore excursion team made some mistakes and the good thing is they were so willing to fix their mistakes. However, one of their mistakes was to send me on a goose chase i.e. the wrong excursion, and when I got back I told them this is not what I have asked for. They agreed they made a mistake but only refunded me part of my money. So my day was lost, and I had to share the cost with them. That is not right.I should have gotten a full refund. The stateroom was a little cramped for 4 but we managed. I am assuming it's a ship and space is cramped on all ships. It's my first. Housekeeping was terrible. We left our towels on the floor, and the housekeeper picked them off the floor, and folded them on the rack. He also did that for a bed I had told him needed all new sheets and blanket, and I left the bed sheets on the floor. As I left the room, I told the housekeeper that I left the bedsheets on the floor, and I need fresh ones. When I came back later, housekeeper put the same sheets and blanket on the bed. How do I know? I had put a small mark on the bed sheets, and yep...the mark was there. Therefore I got confirmation that he was not changing my towel, just like I thought before. The towels were damped and on the rack. I had to get clean towel from housekeeping and I kept my bath towel in the closet. That is TERRIBLE. Then at the buffet, I noticed a service spoon on a dish - the handle was splashed with food and it was from the dish next to it. It was obvious that someone's hands got into the food and then they picked up the service spoon next to it. I told the staff who is watching over the food, and all she did was wiping the spoon. I frankly thought she was going to replaced that other food since someone's hand soaked into it. I was wrong. The last 2 days were at sea. That's when we saw the glaciers -- it was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best ... Read More
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best memories of the cruise). Our biggest gripe was that the mini-suite was sold to us as a roomier cabin with bunks for our teens. Instead they spent the week sleeping on a hard sofa bed. The cabin was really roomy for a family of four. The food was really good. The service was slow, but still good at Tsar's Palace. We absolutely loved the Le Bistro restaurant and Cagney's was excellent as well. Teppenyaki was good, but I don't think I'd go again (our neighborhood restaurant similar to Teppenyaki is way better). The front desk never seemed to be able to answer questions directly, they either couldn't help or provided inaccurate information. Evangeline who was handled specialty dining reservations and also was the Maitre d in Azura is an excellent asset/employee for Norwegian! Wow, she really has it going on!! From day one she remembered my name and was always asking how my trip was going. All of the staff were so kind. My kids loved the washy, washy ladies. NCL is great about making something so necessary, so fun! Entertainment was good. The magician was a little slow, but the Cirque show was amazing and the acrobats were fantastic. We loved all of the ports, it would be nice if their were more options to get to Anchorage after the cruise. The Garden Cafe was a good option always. The croissants were excellent as were most of the food stations. We liked the Indian food options and would love to see NCL offer an Indian food specialty restaurant. We played Bingo a number of times, we felt that the payout was really cheap compared to Royal Caribbean and Disney. Payouts were meager at best. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few ... Read More
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few negatives. Sports facilities are not good. There were just broken tennis rackets, no tennis balls available to play other than some rain drenched old balls that were left on the court and there was no one to help even when they advertise open play hours. For other Indian vegetarians out there planning a cruise this is probably not the right food option. Rice used is jasmine rice and other sticky rice instead of basmati which is non sticky and goes well with indian palate. Also in general the veg options were not the best dishes of the chefs on board. Desserts section however was excellent. Also none of the other restaurants (other than garden cafe) had an selection of veg options which was really disappointing as we could not visit any onboard restaurant like azura or tsars palace even though we tried booking a table. This was disappointing as we travelled with parents who are a bit aged. The other cruise line we did before had much better food selection for Indian vegetarians. Lastly, one of the other things we observed was that none of the ships crew other than some specific location we had to go to had any idea as to where any place on the ship was. Simple questions like where is "tradewinds" which is the shopping store would get blank stares when that crew member was literally a few feet away from the tradewinds location. That was really funny and i think they can do a better job of training all crew members of every available facility on board. This tradewinds was not an isolated incident, crew members regularly failed to point out where things were when asked although tradewinds was very funny because of how close this crew member was to the actual location we were looking for. I won the ping pong competition on board but did not have any option to select my prize. Only available option was an XXL T shirt which i cant use. Could have been better managed. However it is also nice to point out some nice things. We enjoyed the dance classes they offered, the movie shows, the music (fire and ice, onboard musician crew and on and on) and MOST SPECIAL was the daily Broadway type shows they did in star dust theatre which were beyond fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we were a bit late making travel arrangements and the 7-day southbound cruise from Seward to Vancouver had availability and fit into all of our calendars. None of our land arrangements prior to or after the cruise were part of the cruise package. After considering our cabin options we decided on two 2-bedroom suites - one for the "kids" (they're not kids at all) and one for my husband and I. I thought some of the perks I'd read about would be frivolous and even silly - things like having a butler and concierge - but in reality they were quite helpful. Our concierge met us as soon as we were checked in and escorted us up to our suites. He also met us in a designated place before every shore excursion and escorted us to the front of the line of folks waiting to exit the ship, so there was never a wait. He was also available to make/change dinner reservations for us, helped us locate a few belongings that ended up in the lost and found, and made sure we were happy throughout the trip. Other perks of this cabin level included having exclusive access to the Moderno Restaurant for breakfast and lunch, as well as access to The Haven sundeck for glacier viewing. Afternoon snacks were delivered to our room each day by our butler - chocolate-covered strawberries, a crudite plate, fresh fruit, and cheese and crackers were among the afternoon surprises. We truly enjoyed the food in the a la carte restaurants, particularly Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro. But we were underwhelmed by the quality of the food at Azura, Tsars Palace, Cin Cin (and the sushi bar) and O'Sheehan's. We like to have dinner relatively late (8:30 or so) and found much of the food in these restaurants to be less than fresh and not hot by the time we were served. And it was somewhat ironic that in an area where the best salmon on the planet is so plentiful it's often given away in some towns, the salmon on the ship was all previously frozen. As for shore excursions - I booked them all myself, prior to the cruise, and opted for tours with small, independent tour operators in each port, rather than the large-group excursions offered by the cruise line. I'd do exactly the same thing again because they gave us a more intimate, "up close and personal" look at the areas we were visiting. We enjoyed the shows as well as the lounge entertainment and found the service throughout the cruise to be outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was a family cruise with a total of 8 family members. NCL was chosen because other family members had previous experience with this Cruise Line. While we had a great time with family, and the excursions were fine, i found the food ... Read More
This was a family cruise with a total of 8 family members. NCL was chosen because other family members had previous experience with this Cruise Line. While we had a great time with family, and the excursions were fine, i found the food to be a great disappointment; unless you ate in a specialty restaurant. This being my first larger cruise ship, I was not sure what to expect. Choosing to go to one of the fitness workshops, I was extremely disappointed when the workshop ended with an attempt to sell me a detox program. I was taken aback by the sale techniques that seemed to be hidden throughout the ship. The food in the buffet and main dining rooms were so so. The main dining room food was better tasting than the buffet, but the food was not very hot. The buffet food was edible, but seemed to be the same items over and over again. The specialty restaurants that we went to were fantastic; The Brazilian Steakhouse, The Italian Restuarant and the Steakhouse. The food there was very tasty and was hot. I did not find the staff to be very hospitable with the exception of two persons; 1) Arnold our room steward and 2) Vladimir, the bar steward in the Stardust theater. Speaking of the Stardust Theater, most of the shows were very good with the exception of the comedian and variety show. I was very disappointed with NCL's customer service staff. Several times I called asking questions and did not feel that we received clear answers. The most disappointing part of this was not knowing any thing about the specifics of the land tour before getting to the land tour part. It would have been nice to know that optional excursions were offered on this part of the trip as well as at the cruise ports. I called customer service, asking if there was any information available and was told that there was not. I asked if NCL contracted with a tour group for the land part and was told that you did not, that NCL did the land tour. Had I known that the Land Tour contract was with Alaskan Premier Tours, I may have been able to look at their website or talk with them in advance. All in all vacation was great, but it is because I chose to not let this disappointing cruise experience ruin my time in Alaska. In the past, I have done small ship cruising and believe that in the future will choose to continue with the small ship experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Have had good to great experiences on NCL and decided to give them a go on their inside passage cruise - first time in that area. Contacted my regular NCL rep and he advised that the Jewel would be the best fit. Ship is OLD, I would even ... Read More
Have had good to great experiences on NCL and decided to give them a go on their inside passage cruise - first time in that area. Contacted my regular NCL rep and he advised that the Jewel would be the best fit. Ship is OLD, I would even say decrepit but paint even badly thrown on paint can hide a lot. The entertainment from the lounge acts to the stage performers were really sub par. So so bad. And when we are on the open water portion - it's too cold to be outside and it was almost like the in cruise entertainment was structured to be so average that it would drive folks to the casino? NO WORLD CUP GAMES SCREENED> NONE - ZERO _NOTHING. and I was really really looking forward to comfortably viewing all of them, ensconced in the cigar lounge - which but they way is more like an interior cabin than a lounge and it did not have TV or an access to a bar without having to walk outside - or even a way to call for a waiter. Port of calls: Vancouver: Most disorganized and incompetent embarkation process ever (not exaggerating) Juneau - Excellent though we were berthed a mile away from the city!! Skagway - a total waste of time. Overrated train ride. Recommend staying on board and getting some discounted (at ship rates) spa treatments. Ketchikan - Good experience and good first stop Glacier Bay - UN FREAKING BELIEVABLE - it was breathtaking, awe inspiring and even semi-religious. Seward - Disembarking was breeze - well organized. Small but worked famously Dining - Am constantly amazed at the array of offerings. The freshness of the salads and fruits were excellent. The coffee reminded me of what we used to get at Denny's in the 1970's and 80's before Starbucks jolted everyone out of that morass. Speaking of which - they know this and that's why good coffee is available to purchase !! Cruel and Unusual! Tried out 4 of the specialty restaurants - the food seemed to approximate what they wanted the menu said but it had a totally ersatz quality to it. We felt that there was not enough wait staff on this ship, they all seemed harried, hurried and lacked a certain shipboard camaraderie that we experienced on other vessels. Consensus of our group of 6 was that this was the worst individual and group experience on a cruise ever. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was ... Read More
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was appreciated. Embarkation in Vancouver and disembarkation in Seward went smoothly, as well as from the all ports we stopped at. Convenient to be able to step off right at dockside, as opposed to being tendered. Also liked the size of the Norwegian Jewel. Because the size of it wasn't overwhelming, you were able to find your way around easily and quickly, with locations being well-marked. Time spent in the glacial bays was long enough to give passengers time to take photos/videos of the glaciers. Only disappointment (although slight) was not enough dessert options in the Garden Cafe. More variety including cookies and bars would have been great. Otherwise, most everything we tried was well-prepared and delicious. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this Cruise for the destination of departing from SEWARD and returning to Vancouver BC Canada. The cabin was ok; still outdated in decor and amenities. Our cabin was cleaned well and was the best part of the cabin was the room ... Read More
I chose this Cruise for the destination of departing from SEWARD and returning to Vancouver BC Canada. The cabin was ok; still outdated in decor and amenities. Our cabin was cleaned well and was the best part of the cabin was the room service. The nightly entertainment was good with 2 nights being great. The food was quite disappointing; not interesting or fresh tasting. The buffet was not stocked well; popular items were not replenished timely. The staff did not seem motivated to serve or cook up food properly at the cooking stations. At least 2 days my egg white omelet was not cooked thru. Veggies ran out at omelet stations and were not available until next day. The desserts did not have good flavor; and each of the chocolate offering were DRY. Ordered Irish Coffee at TSAR'S restaurant and it was UNDRINKABLE (We paid for that.) The Salmon at same restaurant was overcooked and DRY and smelled Fishy. The Dining options included in the fare price were closed during the main part of the day (CHIN CHIN's). Drinks at Spinaker were also disappointing -specialty cocktails on the menu is what we ordered- did not taste anything like the description. I had ordered Bottled water prior to getting on the boat; not sure if transaction went thru but followed up day we got on boat called Assistance on the phone Twice -no one picked up the phone. First day on boat let my room attendant know he called by pressing 0 0 (not the button indicated on the phone) Phone was answered after several rings and he had me speak with CS was told my order of water would be in my room by 12PM and my room would be charged. Water not there by 12PM the second day; spoke with Room Attendant filled out water request form and FINALLY water showed up past 6:00pm DAY2. I booked 3 excursions; 2 with choice and 1 thru NCL. ALL excursions were as expected or better. I did have 1 Spa and it was good; it was at a discounted price since we attended a mini facial promotion on Day 1. Not sure if I would rate it as good if I had paid the full value to the service. I still enjoyed the CRUISE because ALASKA is incredible, the food on shore was exceptional and the excursions were great. I would not recommend NCL as the cruise line to this destination. I have done the Alaskan Cruise with Celebrity leaving from Seattle returning to Seattle 7 days that was a much more enjoyable boat, staff and food. I have cruised on another Celebrity boat thru PANAMA-South America -the food and service was MUCH Better. My First cruise was on Disney Magic to the Western Caribbean and that was great because my kids were young at the time and we had 1 of the 4 suites made our experience highly enjoyable. We had great service; great entertainment and ate at the specialty restaurant for 3 of the meals since food at the restaurant was much better than main dining hall. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose this cruise because of the ports. Originally we were supposed to be on NCL Sun and then they switched the ship. NCL Customer Service was awful and if they don't want travel agencies booking they're cruises, then they ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports. Originally we were supposed to be on NCL Sun and then they switched the ship. NCL Customer Service was awful and if they don't want travel agencies booking they're cruises, then they should stop that practice. We had two medical emergencies in the first 24 hours, one via hovercraft, the second required the ship to turn around in a gale/wind storm. Person had to be airlifted. They only announced two updates during the entire rescue. We were in the pink diamond owner suite and likewise had someone in our party in the adjoining balcony stateroom 10506. Boarding in Vancouver was fairly straight forward. The only irritation was the agent yelling about no drinks allowed through security. With regard to the Haven, the small pool was nice as weather on this trip was rainy. Unfortunately other than cookies, m and m's and gummies, no other food was available in the courtyard. Breakfast and lunch were either in Moderno or Cagneys. They were good. The food in most places was lack luster. Our Butler and Stateroom Attendant made up for the lack of follow through by the concierge. They kept us informed and updated on things happening and kept our suite in top shape. As for the concierge lounge, it is storage for NCL Jewel. On Disney which we have travelled twice, they're lounge has food, drinks, coffee, and more. We were able to get on and off the ship quickly. I will say that the captains reception in the courtyard and two glacier viewing socials were nice touches. We didn't attend any shows as our kids were in bed when they started. One other thing to be aware of is that they're is a real push to sell artwork, jewelry, etc on the ship. We chose not to buy any photos as $150 seems a high price for 10 photos. Besides, they're rarely was a photographer around. We are glad we did Alaska. As for NCL, I doubt will be on another of they're cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some whales blow their spouts and saw some sea otters. Did not like the open ocean time as it got a little rough, hard to walk and my brother got motion sickness. Great food, enjoyed the shows. Enjoyed the Card room and restaurants and the open decks with track and pools and ping pong and shuffleboard. Really enjoyed the excursions on the ports. Only bad part was getting off at the end when the luggage did not get off in time and we had to pick it up later, it caused quite a bit of tension. All the people, workers, servers were great, provided very food service. Over all great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise mainly for NCL's Freestyle cruising, so we could eat when we wanted, drink when we wanted and just have a good time. Embarkation - sheer mess. Half our fault, half the cruise port. Taxis pull into a completely ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for NCL's Freestyle cruising, so we could eat when we wanted, drink when we wanted and just have a good time. Embarkation - sheer mess. Half our fault, half the cruise port. Taxis pull into a completely separate area than other modes of transportation, so we had half of our party split up (as half of us took the baggage and older people and the rest walked). One couple in our group split, but didn't hand each other passports, figuring we would meet up after baggage drop and proceed to customs. Long story short, we were all kinds of crazy meeting back up. I am disappointed that NCL doesn't have separate lanes for anything less than platinum. I feel silver and gold travelers likely have their "stuff" together and can get through embarkation quickly and easily. Also, every traveller entered from the right... had to walk in one lane past everyone else (20 or so agents), then get your card, and walk back through one lane to exit back out right again. Colossal waste of time when they could have had it flow much better. Security crew was fine... no issues getting on or off the ship in ports. Food - On the previous cruise on the sister ship, we were invited to what is on this ship only Haven dining for breakfast. I do miss the crabcakes Benedict and it was half the reason I wanted to push for Gold or Platinum levels. Overall, the Baltics cruise had a crew that was a little more caring in their preparation, and many of the ethnic dishes were cooked more "authentic" than I felt this ship had. I guess I mean that this ship had a little blander food. The curry wasn't as curried, the spicy wasn't as spicy. Maybe as someone mentioned, this was a different demographic than a Euro-crowd. Dining Staff - Without doubt, the worst crew I have experienced in my 10+ cruises. One waiter in particular in O'Sheehans wins the crown for absolute worst. Not only did he not write down my order (insisting he had it memorized), but then when every one else in a 10 person table's food had come out except mine, he acted totally indifferent when I told him I was disappointed he not only didn't get it wrong, but didn't get it at all. He then said he had put the order in correctly, and it was coming, but it didn't come for another 10 minutes making it obvious that he had to order it again for the first time. I did feel that everyone was just going through the motions on the waitstaff. I will say that Chin-Chin was the most consistent in terms of good service, although this was specifically what I thought of when I thought that some of the ethnic dishes just weren't authentic enough. Room staff - Zero complaints. Very friendly, room was always clean although I rarely saw him... I did go to a friend's balcony though, and for the price they paid, I would hope the NCL staff goes through and touches up some more of the paint and things. Lots of chips and cracks and was not as clean as our inside cabin. Ports... Skagway and Juneau were awesome! Had the best clam chowder ever in Juneau, and Jamison from Chilkoot Tours made our Skagway tour awesome. We didn't have a plan in Ketchikan and ended up taking a "shuttle" bus from one of the vendors just off the ship. It was ok but not anything special. It was the tour guide's first day though. Fitness equipment - The gym was packed at peak times, which was fine, I didn't REALLY want to work out or I would have gone at a non-peak time. The basketball hoops were in disrepair, the tennis court was abysmal, and none of the basketballs were round (still don't know how that happened). There was no signage as to where to check equipment out either. As always, we walk off the ship with our luggage, so no complaints on disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I finally went on a family cruise for a trip of a lifetime, and was told how wonderful NCL is and how that treat their guests. Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed in what we experienced. Guest services personnel were less than ... Read More
I finally went on a family cruise for a trip of a lifetime, and was told how wonderful NCL is and how that treat their guests. Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed in what we experienced. Guest services personnel were less than helpful and just short of rude at times. Restaurants were by far less than great, and I would say fair compared to the two cruises I had taken with Carnival. One night our wait staff forgot our grandchildren's orders (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) and they came out much later that the main courses for the adults. Food in all locations tried were almost tasteless and small selections and portions. Our balcony cabin was wonderful and our attendant excellent. I personally was not expecting to have to pay the same daily gratuities for 2 children under the ages of 5 at the same rate as adults. Our time spent on land was great, and we enjoyed our shore excursions. Overall, the trip was not bad, but not good or great either. Would rate the overall experience as FAIR, and would recommend doing much more research before booking another NCL cruise. At this point, I would tell my family and friends to research other cruise lines before considering NCL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I traveled on the Jewel with my husband, aunt, and uncle. We all loved the boat. We had fantastic customer service everywhere we went. The dining was an experience in all dining areas. We enjoyed trying them all. The shows were ... Read More
I traveled on the Jewel with my husband, aunt, and uncle. We all loved the boat. We had fantastic customer service everywhere we went. The dining was an experience in all dining areas. We enjoyed trying them all. The shows were entertaining. We went to a few trivia and Q&A. We had great bar service from waiters. The boat was beautiful, loved the decor through out. Our cabin was small, we enjoyed having the balcony view. The terminal in Vancouver is very crazy. There were multiple ships in port. Cruisers for all cruise lines go through same security and customs. It's not till check in for your cruise line that you are filtered away from the others. It's very crowded, took about an hour. Even though this happens weekly, it seemed like the first day. We were expecting the worst at the cruise terminal after we disembarked. It was very smooth at the terminal, there was 2 ships in port. I would travel the Jewel again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The cruise was great. I was very pleased with the staff and the ship. A couple meals were questionable but wait staff got me out replacements in a matter of seconds. The ship looked great so I do not understand why people complain about ... Read More
The cruise was great. I was very pleased with the staff and the ship. A couple meals were questionable but wait staff got me out replacements in a matter of seconds. The ship looked great so I do not understand why people complain about the ship. Wife and I used the fitness facility which was one of the better ones that we've used on cruise ships. Overall, a great cruising experience. We paid for a cabin because everyone said you need to get a balcony for Alaska. I do not believe this to be true. I used my balcony maybe twice the whole trip. More often I would simply go to one of the many viewing areas on the ship. I never found them overcrowded in the least. Food was great. Loved the poolside barbque. The steaks and side dishes at the Steakhouse were fantastic. I loved the entertainment but the female comedian left something to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to the typical 7-day trip, and we had a couple of Norwegian deposits saved up. We flew to Seattle two nights before the cruise and enjoyed a full day of sightseeing the day before departure. Embarkation did not go very well because of the previous cruise's tardy disembarkation, which created a big traffic jam on the sidewalk in front of the port as people were trying to board shuttles while others were trying to drop off luggage and check in. The muster drill and sail-away were both delayed. Our experience on board was very good. There's a great selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges. The nightly entertainment was good quality; the stage band in particular was fantastic, and the various members in it were always impressive when they played in various places around the ship during the cruise. In general we had great service from the crew, although our food tended to come very slowly in the main dining room. Our weather was great for Alaska, and we enjoyed our shore excursions. The one big disappointment was a that a rock slide forced the cancellation of our train ride to White Horse Pass out of Skagway. We traveled with two teens, 15 and 13, who both loved the Entourage facility and went there as often as they could. Although there are many other cruise destinations I want to visit, I would do this cruise again if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I began our marriage 38 years ago in Alaska and decided to finally book a trip back. We took our 2 daughters, one who was born in Kodiak. All were very excited and anxious for what we hoped would be a trip filled with ... Read More
My wife and I began our marriage 38 years ago in Alaska and decided to finally book a trip back. We took our 2 daughters, one who was born in Kodiak. All were very excited and anxious for what we hoped would be a trip filled with recollections and new images. Embarkation was a disaster taking well over 2 hours with management alluding that it was us passengers who arrived later than their appointments that caused the issue. She took no responsibility for having sent staff home knowing how many passengers were yet to arrive. To make tings worse; we kept being told how good they were and their average wait time is 30 minutes. At this point my wife and I were thinking we had made a huge mistake leaving our well established loyalty to Princess. Once aboard ship and having finally received our luggage many hours later, we met our cabin steward who unfortunately was met with our frustration and very professionally asked how he could meet our expectations throughout our cruise which he did and actually exceeded our desires. We ate everywhere from the buffet to the specialty dining rooms to the regular dining rooms enjoying the quality and variety of food offered throughout the entire cruise. Advice - spring for the specialty Dining Package for at 3 nights and make sure you get to Cagney's. Outstanding service and steaks. Speaking of steaks; the regular dining room has steaks every night that are equal to other fee-extra restaurants on other ships. And don't forget the washy-washy greeter at the buffet entrance making hand sanitizing the most fun event of the day. REALLY!! Do you love wine? Bosco, the sommelier is the best. He offers unique offerings and pairing and leaves you wishing there were more classes offered. He is knowledgeable, informative and much like the staff on the Norwegian Jewel gives the appearance of loving being employed on the Norwegian Jewel and therefore passes that friendliness and happiness on to us, the passengers. If you love good music check out Leo who takes pride in literally knowing his followers and makes each one of us feel special as he remembers your name and greets you when you come to hear him sing. In Skagway, the train was cancelled due to a rock slide which sent everything into confusion. The professionalism exemplified the excursion staff was superlative as they calmly handled rebooking and advising alternative excursions for the day. A true picture of a well organization was evident when they took disaster and turned it to another routine day in port.. I would recommend the Norwegian Jewel for your next Alaska cruise if for no other reason to be enchanted by the likes of our new friends the washy-washy greeter, Bosco for some wine and education and last but not least, our friend Leo who like another couple who has booked 5 cruises to just see him will be doing the same. Thank you Norwegian Jewel for fulfilling our dreams. We will be joining NCL next year as we join you on the Encore in Southampton in November. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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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