592 Norwegian Jewel Family Cruise Reviews

Chose NCL because of pricing and extras including dining and drink packages. Friendly staff and passengers. Great vibe on ship. Ship was clean and easy to get around once you're oriented. Cabin was clean and comfortable but seriously ... Read More
Chose NCL because of pricing and extras including dining and drink packages. Friendly staff and passengers. Great vibe on ship. Ship was clean and easy to get around once you're oriented. Cabin was clean and comfortable but seriously in need of a refresh. Dining was OK going from terrible service and food in Tsar's to very good food and better service in Cagney's and Le Bistro. We generally found the wait staff in the restaurants to be too pushy and impatient, like they wanted you to be ready to order within moments of sitting down. We learned to push back. Staff and bartenders in the lounges were friendly and very good at mixing cocktails. Enjoyed the Magician and the Acrobats in the theater and the bands in the Spinnaker Lounge. Only took one excursion, Misty Fjords, and it was wonderful with incredible scenery. Wife spent 2 half days in the spa and loved it. We found the ports have become over commercialized since our last visit several years ago. Too many tacky jewelry stores. Might cruise NCL again if the circumstances are right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Food - Many many options in Garden Café, including vegetarian choices. However, had to call 24 hr in advance to go to any of the other complimentary dining restaurants to ensure there were vegetarian choices. That deterred us from going ... Read More
Food - Many many options in Garden Café, including vegetarian choices. However, had to call 24 hr in advance to go to any of the other complimentary dining restaurants to ensure there were vegetarian choices. That deterred us from going to the sit down dinners and we only stuck to Garden Café. Entertainment - Good shows every evening. Ports - Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Victoria all are very beautiful. We lucked out with the weather - clear skies and low 70s. Kids activities - Our 4 year old and 5 year old loved the Splash Academy and the pool Stateroom - Mid-ship mini-suite was good; however we had to call guest services 4 times on 4 different days as the toilet flush was not working. The issue was resolved in 1-2 hrs. We enjoyed spending time in the balcony and it was the money when we were crusing Endicott arm to see the Dawes Glacier. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I have only cruised with Norwegian so I have no personal experience to compare it to, but I also have no desire to try another cruise line because I am so happy with this one. Their staff is superb, so happy and friendly and helpful! All ... Read More
I have only cruised with Norwegian so I have no personal experience to compare it to, but I also have no desire to try another cruise line because I am so happy with this one. Their staff is superb, so happy and friendly and helpful! All the Norwegian ships I've been on have been so clean throughout the whole cruise. The food is delicious and there is a wide variety to choose from. But the thing that sets them apart from all the other cruise lines is their open dining. I love the freedom to choose where to eat and when to eat. Sometimes I don't feel like socializing so I pick a table for two. Other times I sit with people I don't know or invite others to sit by me. If I feel like dressing up and going to a fancier restaurant I can, but if I don't I don't have to. For this reason alone, the freestyle dining, I think I will stick with Norwegian for my cruising experiences. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our 5th cruise and the second one with NCL. We chose this cruise to Alaska to celebrate the 21st birthday of one of our granddaughters. We had three cabins, two adjoining with balconies and one inside just down the hall. The ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise and the second one with NCL. We chose this cruise to Alaska to celebrate the 21st birthday of one of our granddaughters. We had three cabins, two adjoining with balconies and one inside just down the hall. The rooms were very clean and the cabin stewards were attentive and helpful. There was a bit of a mix-up regarding the dinner reservations for the birthday celebration but the dining room staff went out of their way to make it up to us. We prefer Norwegian's freestyle cruising because it's more of a vacation if one does not have to worry about dressing up on formal nights. This is especially true if you're traveling with children. All in all, this was our best cruise yet. The ship is very clean, the staff go out of their way to help and Captain Pelle Fredericksson was amazing! We are definitely Norwegian fans!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
There was a large group of us who decided to go to Alaska in July, 2017. We choose the Jewel for two reason, price and drink package. Our travel agent worked with NCL and got us all in the same cabin areas. This was my second time on ... Read More
There was a large group of us who decided to go to Alaska in July, 2017. We choose the Jewel for two reason, price and drink package. Our travel agent worked with NCL and got us all in the same cabin areas. This was my second time on NCL - did the Pride of America in Hawaii in February 2016. The Jewel is a smaller ship but it never made you feel that way. Food: the food was delicious! The Garden Cafe was always busy but there was plenty of seating and plenty of a variety of food. A few of us chose to eat at some of the specialty restaurants - Cagney’s - HIGHLY RECOMMEND, Le Bistro - was good, Maderno - very good, La Cucina, Italian was also very good. We ate several times in the main dining rooms for breakfast and a few dinners. Always great food and good service. Cabin: Room 5530 – large ocean view window. Our room had plenty of storage places and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was nice, because it had three separate areas and plenty of room. It was located close to the elevators and you did not hear any noise from the hallway. The only issue that I had was our cabin steward was not the greatest. Our room was always kept up but he never gave us drinking glasses, filled our ice bucket with water, sometimes would forgot some of our towels. He would smile at us when we would see him, but I don’t think he understood English. Boarding and Disembarking from ship: We left from Seattle and I would say it was the easiest boarding and disembarking that I have ever had. We have cruised at least 15 other cruises and this was the best. We were allowed on the ship around 11:00 am and our rooms were ready by 1:00 with luggage shortly following us getting into our room. Disembarking was a breeze. We filled out some paperwork that let the cruise ship take our luggage on the last night of the cruise and we never saw it again until our destination airport. One thing – YOU MUST TURN IN YOUR PAPERWORK by the time they state on the paper. We had a few in our group that tried to turn in their paperwork an hour later than the scheduled time and they were turned away. Entertainment: The singer/dancers on the ship were good. Kept you entertained but the stage and props were a little weak. They had a comedian Rodney Laney who was really funny BUT the highlight of the entertainment was the magician/comedian, Jean-Pierre Parent. His magic was unbelievable and he was very funny. There were lots of places around the ship that had wonderful bands, signers and music. also, the cruise director never sat down – he was all over the ship with a warm smile, day, afternoon or evening. He and the captain even said good bye when we were leaving the ship. Ports of Call: Ketchikan – beautiful town with lots of things to do and see. We took a seaplane out to the Misty Fjords and it was just unbelievable! Would highly recommend doing this tour. Juneau – arrived in Juneau with some fog and light rain. Our tour – helicopter/dog sled on Mendenhall Glacier was cancelled. I was disappointed but can’t help the weather. We decided to go on the whale/wildlife tour, which was good and saw lots of whales. Cruised past the Sawyer Glacier and the captain got us a close as possible. It was beautiful what a beautiful blue color the glacier and ice chunks were. Skagway – was a quaint town with a real western feel. We took the White Pass Scenic Railway and it was just breathtaking. This is a must see and do. Victoria, BC – Beautiful town with gorgeous flowers. Did some the tourist sites, Empress Hotel, walked up to China Town, stopped by the Fisherman’s Pier. Nice town to visit for a few hours. My recommendations, if you want a good cruise with great ports at a reasonable price, do this ship. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise at the last minute based on getting a better price over princess. My parents loved princess and none of us had ever tried Norwegian. I had done Royal and carnival before but never NCL. My very first impression of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute based on getting a better price over princess. My parents loved princess and none of us had ever tried Norwegian. I had done Royal and carnival before but never NCL. My very first impression of the boat was it was older, didn’t have a good flow, no fancy atrium like royal, and no closing outdoor pool area like carnival has if it is raining. However the staff, ininerary, and overall cruise won me over. I loved the freestyle cruising. I thought all the staff was incredible. The captain was my favorite of all and the cruise director Richard was awesome. The buffets had plenty of areas to eat and they seemed to be open most of the time. They were very clean and had sanitizer stations everywhere. The captain was always telling us when he would see wildlife so we could go see it. I loved this cruise so much my the time it was done. Anytime freestyle dining totally wins in my books and the entertainment was world class. Wished they had a closing pool area for the colder days and an outside or any type of movie theater. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Nickle and dime to death. Can't even bring a bottle of water. Can't fill up your own water bottles in the cafeteria. Can't get soda anywhere but the bar. Watered down, overpriced drinks. Sub-par entertainment that is ... Read More
Nickle and dime to death. Can't even bring a bottle of water. Can't fill up your own water bottles in the cafeteria. Can't get soda anywhere but the bar. Watered down, overpriced drinks. Sub-par entertainment that is mostly just a sales pitch for more cruises with watered down drinks and sub-par entertainment. Cirque de bijou? More like Circle De Boring. Fire and Ice needs to go back to the Howard Johnson lounge. Most of the crew barely speaks English, and barely hide their contempt for Americans. The pre-tipping policy guarantees that they won't give a rats back end whether you enjoy the trip or not. So it's expensive up front, and you have to tip twice to get a refill a tiny little glass of iced tea? The hallways smell like sewage, the dining halls are super crowded and noisy, and somebody is constantly trying to spray you with some mystery liquid at every entrance. The whole point of cruising to Alaska was to see the glacier, and they wouldn't get closer than a mile away. To much ice. There were other boats up closer, btw. Fitness classes were just commercials for good feet or some detox powder. Will never use NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We booked this cruise as a family cruise with my daughter, husband and grand children. My main complaint is that this company nickel and dimes you on everything. For example, we had to pay $26+ every night for the pleasure of having ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a family cruise with my daughter, husband and grand children. My main complaint is that this company nickel and dimes you on everything. For example, we had to pay $26+ every night for the pleasure of having someone make our bed and $50 for someone to move our bags! We were pleased that our grandchildren enjoyed the kids club but there wasn't anything suitable for us as older cruisers. There were some alternate restaurants that you had to pay for and they were were expensive. On the whole the food was plentiful but we don't want to eat burgers, hotdogs and the like. There were some Asian alternative on the buffet counters and we enjoyed them. On most of the shore stops we found our own transportation as the ones offered on the ship were about twice as expensive. The one we booked was a train journey at Skagway and I don't recommend it. It took 3 hours and other than lots of trees and a few waterfalls there wasn't much to see. We had a cabin with a balcony. The room itself was clean but the bathroom smelled badly and we had to request two times before someone cleaned it with disinfectant. The deck was dirty and didn't look as it if had been cleaned for a long time. The embarkation and departure both went smoothly and they have a good system for doing both. If we do another cruise, we will probably look for another cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel. We had a group of 10 in 3 rooms. One room was a suite, one a mini suite and one a balcony room. We were very pleased with our cruise. The shore excursions were all ... Read More
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel. We had a group of 10 in 3 rooms. One room was a suite, one a mini suite and one a balcony room. We were very pleased with our cruise. The shore excursions were all incredible. The scenery and itinerary were fantastic. The only things that could use a bit improvement, in our opinions, were the quality of the food and the amount of time spent at the actual ports. The food in the specialty restaurants was (as expected) significantly better than the buffet. The buffet was not up to our expectations. The other (complimentary) restaurants were good. We were disappointed in the quality of the meats in the Brazilian steakhouse, but the sushi restaurant was excellent! The pool areas and bars were easily accessible and not overly crowded. We were able to find areas on the ship easily that were more private as well. Overall, we were all very pleased. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We booked our cruise through Costco.com and booked this particular because the dates worked well for everyone in our party (13 of us total) and it went round-trip out of Seattle. Embarkation and disembarkation went more smoothly than any ... Read More
We booked our cruise through Costco.com and booked this particular because the dates worked well for everyone in our party (13 of us total) and it went round-trip out of Seattle. Embarkation and disembarkation went more smoothly than any cruise any of us had been on before. Our stateroom was mostly good, however when we got there the first day we noticed there was a sizing sticker from a new piece of clothing stuck to a mirror. Also, one of the drawers didn't shut all the way. Upon inspection, we found someone else's undershirt had fallen behind the drawers. Kinda wish that had been found before we got there, but otherwise our stateroom worked well for us. Entertainment was great, but activities were a little lacking. There always seemed to be things going on, but nothing super interesting to us. We did participate in some activities and did have some fun with those. However, it wasn't until the last full day on the ship that we found out about activity cards that we could have had signed by the staff/crew who led them which we could have received some sort of prize for participation in a certain number of events. The last day of the cruise is really not the time to be hearing about such things... Our biggest complaint would have to be the fitness facilities - mostly the misrepresentation of the jogging "track." In pictures it looks like your run-of-the-mill track, but it is just the deck plating painted brown. It is slippery when wet - it rained a little on the trip and it also appeared to have been hosed down at some point. The water should have been pushed away for the safety of those who would like to use it. All that aside, most of the track was closed for the entirety of our trip. Even during trip, crew members would talk about the track as if it was open. It was super frustrating since the fitness center had a limited number of treadmills/elliptical machines that always seemed to be in use. The food was great and plentiful and the dining staff in Tsar's were amazing! My wife is gluten intolerant and they were very accommodating with that, as well! Other staff and crew that we passed by always said hello and were overall very friendly. Overall, we had a lot of fun, we saw amazing glaciers, and had an overall smooth sail. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The Jewel is a nice ship - little older but nice -- but so far I love all of NCL -- -this is our 5th time to Alaska - took long time friends and some family members that have never been on a cruise. The staff was INCREDIBLE!!!! Everyone ... Read More
The Jewel is a nice ship - little older but nice -- but so far I love all of NCL -- -this is our 5th time to Alaska - took long time friends and some family members that have never been on a cruise. The staff was INCREDIBLE!!!! Everyone on that ship was incredible !!! The food was ok -- wasn't the best but wasn't the worse -- I have never had really bad food on any cruise I have taken. The Entertainment was ok as well -- I felt that could improve at the Stardust shows for sure. All the game shows were just as awesome as they always are. Enjoyed ourselves. Loved Alaska yet again! We went to Cagneys -- we tried to do Teppenyaki but it was just too booked up for the week - we looooove that restaurant. Cagneys was awesome -- but it has changed over the years with the pricing - it's now it's pay as you go (what you eat - has a price for each menu item) instead of a flat fee to eat - wish that would not have changed - but as usual it was delicious. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have always want to go to Alaska. We had family going and it was a perfect time. Since, we live near the city we were departing from there was no need to explore it. Our embarkation process went smoothly and was well organized. ... Read More
We have always want to go to Alaska. We had family going and it was a perfect time. Since, we live near the city we were departing from there was no need to explore it. Our embarkation process went smoothly and was well organized. Disembarkation was timely at all ports giving some time for independent exploring either before or after excursions; it would be nice to have a little extra time in each port but that is a choice if doing excursions. The ship was clean and if work needed to be done it was done in a timely manner. Our cabin was well kept and our steward and housekeeping were awesome. Eating was nice due to a variety of dining experiences and foods. Entertainment was fitting for most during prime hours. Service was prompt and you could tell the staff took pride in what they were doing. Ports were great but crowded that is to be expected with so many people. Shore excursions for the most part were very informative. We would definitely take another cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, Princess, and Holland America. NCL fell short of all of these lines, particularly Disney. Here are the pro's and con's. Pro's - Large stateroom (it was handicap accessible outside cabin) - Bacon was available all day at the Garden Buffet (who doesn't need bacon all day?) - Friendly, responsive room stewards. - Good bar staff at O'Sheehan's. - Really tasty Indian food at the Garden Buffet. Con's - Service in free dining rooms (Tsar's Palace, Azura, Chin Chin) was SLOW and wait staff was not very responsive. - Too many added-cost dining rooms and too few free dining rooms. - Food at Chin Chin was horrible - not even up to par with someplace like Panda Express - seriously, don't waste your time. - The wait staff at some of the free restaurants can be surly at times. - Carpets were threadbare in cabin and in certain parts of ship - although they were replacing the common area carpets while we were there - which meant places were often off limits, and smelled of chemicals. - The third/fourth person beds were NOT converted back during daytime, nor were bedspreads put back on beds - I mean, why pay for a cabin with a sofa if the sofa was NEVER usable as a sofa! - The food in the free dining rooms was ALWAYS delivered lukewarm/cold to the table - have you ever had cold Eggs Benedict? - Sodas have to be served by bar servers, which means standing in line at bars, even if you have purchased the soda option (unless you're at one of the full-service restaurants). - The menus in the main restaurants have little variety. - The ship was always rocking, despite calm seas. - The onboard communication in the app, which costs $9.95, worked rarely, and some parts of the ship were completely "dead" zones. - The activity list in the app was incomplete. - There were large chunks of the day where there seemed to be no activities. - The karaoke software didn't work for during at least three of the seven nights. - The flavor of the food overall was not very good. - Too many smoking areas, including on the promenade deck, which is where you want to go to exercise. Facefuls of second-hand smoke are not pleasant. - Smoke free areas were not enforced. - Sanitizing hands prior to entering restaurants was not enforced. Lots of people waltzed right by the crew member holding hand sanitizer. - Activity crew members had very thick accents, making comprehension difficult. - No naturalist - while we were on the way to Dawes Glacier, the activity director read some information on the area, but, because of his thick accent, it was totally incomprehensible. Comparing this cruise to Disney - well, there is basically no way to compare them. Disney is the gold standard, especially if you are travelling with kids or young adults, and if you don't smoke/gamble. Additionally, It seems that all of the effort in dining on this NCL ship goes into the SEVERAL added-cost restaurants. I won't return to this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to travel with our 4 year old grandson this particular week and leave from Seattle. We got a great deal about 40 days prior to sailing on an inside guarantee and for $100 we bid and were upgraded to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to travel with our 4 year old grandson this particular week and leave from Seattle. We got a great deal about 40 days prior to sailing on an inside guarantee and for $100 we bid and were upgraded to an ocean view with picture window (OC) on deck 5. The cabin was fine with a pullman style bunk that folded out of the wall. We started with the lower beds together, but found maneuvering too difficult and had them separated into twins and it worked much better. Plenty of storage space. I really liked the bathroom setup with 3 sections (shower/sink/toilet) separated by sliding glass doors. Used the mini-fridge, safe and hair dryer supplied. The curtains did a poor job of keeping out the light (over 19 hours of daylight the week we traveled) and I had a black plastic sheet that I taped over the window at night. Even so there was some light at 3:45 AM (Is it wakeup time Nana?). Our steward was not thorough, often forgetting to refill soap/tissue, empty garbage or replace towels. Always seemed to be some item that he missed. When asked/reminded he was quick to remedy and was very friendly, as were all of the staff we encountered. Our favorite port was Skagway - Junior Ranger Activity Center and the Mollie Walsh playground were perfect for the grandson. He also really enjoyed the glacier and ice floe at Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Arm fjord. Kids club was hit/miss, he enjoyed a couple of activities, but is a shy guy and was timid about joining in with unknown children. The tiny kiddie pool with slide was a hit (even when the outside temp was 50 degrees). The counselors seemed encouraging and engaging. This was our first time with the "freestyle" dining and although I was skeptical, we really liked it. The Garden Cafe buffet was always VERY crowded, we always found seating in the very back though. The daily poolside grilling was a nice touch. Didn't see much entertainment with the 4 yo along, but caught the end of a Tina Turner tribute that was fantastic, fun song/dance/acrobatic performance, and watched a movie (Beauty and the Beast) in the theater one afternoon. All in all a great way to spend a week with a 4 year old whose parents were away. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my first cruise, and I went in with very few expectations. I was traveling in a group of 25, for my grandparents anniversary. We were a good mix of ages, with some kids around 10, a handful in their 20s, the parents in their ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and I went in with very few expectations. I was traveling in a group of 25, for my grandparents anniversary. We were a good mix of ages, with some kids around 10, a handful in their 20s, the parents in their 40s/50s, and then the grandparents and a couple of their own friends. It was because we had such a large group that this cruise was fun, someone was always willing to do something with you. Embarkation was a breeze, we showed up at 12pm at the dock in Seattle and were on board within 30 minutes. As we expected the buffet was a zoo, and we found a cozy spot in the additional seating area in La Cucina that ended up being our main go-to place to sit when we went to the buffet. I highly recommend hitting the pool on the first day, its pretty much the only day we were able to comfortably be in the water. The whole family was on the deck drinking and dancing, it was great. At least two people in every cabin had the unlimited beverage package, and the servers in general were happy to give up to two, sometimes more drinks per card, so everyone was able to drink for free during the course of the trip. The only hiccup we had here was in the Brazilian Steakhouse where they only let us charge drinks to the person who had the card. Some staff at OSheans were a bit testy about this as well, but I think it only happened twice. Food on the cruise overall was average at best. The buffet is probably the safest way to go because you can always find something you like. At the sit-down places like Tsars and Azura, plates are very hit or miss. My medium rate strip steak was a disaster. No flavor, no seasoning. It must rank among some of the worst beef I have ever eaten. I have better tasting beef in economy class international flights. Several times some of our group members went to the buffet *after* the sit down place to fill up. In buffet the Indian food was always quite good, sweet potato burrito was memorable, as was the turkey sandwich with ricotta. Crepe station was really tasty, getting the chocolate fondue mixed w sour cherry compote was a highlight. The appetizers at the paid Brazilian Steakhouse were amazing, the meat was meh. Probably not worth the cover charge. OSheans was a great spot, all of their food was quite good, we usually ended up grabbing snacks and beers there every day, and especially hit it up after late night dancing/entertainment at Spinnaker. Pound cake was excellent. The ship itself is old and somewhat outdated, which didn't bother me much, but its without many public places to relax and spend time at. Mostly bars, which didn't bother me much! The children's activities seemed way too cheesy for our kids, so they just stayed with us the whole time, which ended up being fine. Library and game room fill up super quickly. The library literally has only 4 tables to work at, so I ended up doing my work in restaurants with my laptop. Gym fills up early in the morning, but thin out pretty quickly. Its a nice gym, if a bit musty. It was always a little confusing for me to find a public bathroom or a trashbin. While dated decor-wise, the ship was clean and well maintained. Towards the end of the trip, deck 9 aft smelled like sewerage in the hallway. The staff regularly came and "refreshed" the hallway with airfreshener, doing the best they could. I appreciated the effort. Entertainment was good. We enjoyed JP the comedian/magician and Rob Long the comedian. They were sharp and funny. Fire and Ice musical impersonations, especially Michael Jackson were a highlight. We really didn't take advantage of entertainment/activities until the night time; I didn't appreciate the Ciruqe-esque shows nor the acrobatics, but thats just me, most of the family liked them. If you're a night owl, Spinnaker lounge is really fun to listen to music, grab drinks, and dance the night away. The best views of the icebergs and sunset are seen here too. Service was average. I had the impression that cruise ship staff go above and beyond the call of duty and can be almost saccharine in their demeanor, but I didn't find this to be the case at all. Everyone was courteous , but nothing out of the ordinary. Our room was always made up very quickly, which I deeply appreciated. The Ports were quite fun. In Ketchikan, we were lazy and just walked around the town and got some local food. The self guided walking tour is really good and there are several museums you can check out. As soon as you get off the boat just go to the visitors center and get a map from the helpful staff there. Interesting history of prostitution and frontier life in this town. In Juneau, we saw the Mendelhall glacier, for a 30$ round trip shuttle, I bargained down from 35$ since we had a large group. I recommend this excursion, and that you take the trail to the falls. It takes about 1.5 hours total from leaving Juneau to getting back to the shuttle station, we were a bit rushed and didnt get the time to check out the visitors center as long as I like because we were running out of time to get on the boat. Good food in Juneau, get the crab bisque from the main crab shack. Avoid the Red Dog Saloon, I found the staff to be abrasive and rude not to just our party, but to many others that were on our cruise. In Skagway, half of us walked the town and the other half did a bus tour that mirrored the train. Bus folks loved their tour, we loved walking the town. Library has a good museum with really wonderful artifacts. Check out the Skagway Fish Company for lunch. It is expensive, but well well worth it. The mussels and crab were the best I have had in my life. Spicy, but worth the burn! We got to the boat 1 minute before our call time, and were really ashamed to be so late. The fun part however was watching other people from our balcony come on to the boat later than us. It felt like half of our side of the boat was on their balconies "cheering on" the latecomers. I stayed on the boat in Victoria with a few others. Family went to Buchart gardens and liked it. For this port, you arrive at around 3pm (rather than early morning) so everyone is trying to get off the boat at the same time. Don't wait in line. Head up to OSheans and relax and wait for the line to die down around 4, and walk right off the ship. We bought the unlimited internet package and were happy that we did. The speed was more than satisfactory and while I am not sure I can say it was "worth" the money, I'm very happy we had connection. We got our bill every other day and were not hit with any "surprise" charges during the course of the trip that we need to later rectify. Getting off the cruise was pretty simple, we chose to carry our bags and walk off. Took an uber to the airport and that was that. Random tips: -do your duty free shopping early, we didn't realize that it would be open only for an hour on the last day -you get charged tax for your beverages as you leave Seattle and are in American waters. Its not much, (maybe 80 cents to a dollar a drink) but some people were not happy to see that charge -bring dramamine. we had one night where very few people got a full nights sleep because the boat was rocking so hard. I suppose this is something to note, the boat *does* sway a bit during the day and at night it is certainly noticeable as you're trying to doze off. -Buy super strong magnets from Amazon. The walls are magnetic and its really handy to have extra hooks (thanks cruisetips tv!) Overall I'm glad we took this trip, but given how expensive it was and considering value for money, I don't think I would do this cruise itinerary again, and certainly wouldn't go on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my first cruise. My sister chose the cruise because she gets seriously discounted cruises with Norwegian. As a result, I didn't have much say in the cruise line. We upgraded to a balcony cabin through a "bid" ... Read More
This was my first cruise. My sister chose the cruise because she gets seriously discounted cruises with Norwegian. As a result, I didn't have much say in the cruise line. We upgraded to a balcony cabin through a "bid" process. The stateroom was nice - a balcony room is a must, especially on an Alaska cruise. I enjoyed most aspects of the cruise but a couple of factors seriously reduced my enjoyment. 1) The food - there are a few restaurants that you can eat at with no extra charge plus a cafeteria. This food is, almost without exception, mediocre. Except for the cafeteria, the service is very slow. But they do have several restaurants that have an "upcharge" that serve very good food at expensive prices. So if you think your cruise will include all of your dining costs, that's only true if you don't care much about having tasty food. 2) There was a lot of "hard sell" on photos, gambling, you name it. I got an expensive massage and after was pushed to buy $400 worth of skin care products and hundreds more on orthotics. It was obnoxious. The beauty of Alaska was stunning, so the destination was not the problem. We arranged our shore excursion separate from the cruise to save money and were very satisfied with their value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose Norwegian for its flexible dining and casual attire. We specifically chose the Jewel for the itinerary which included Tracy Arm Fjord. The cruise staff was wonderful. Service was superb. The stateroom was comfortable, ... Read More
We chose Norwegian for its flexible dining and casual attire. We specifically chose the Jewel for the itinerary which included Tracy Arm Fjord. The cruise staff was wonderful. Service was superb. The stateroom was comfortable, functional and clean. Despite its small size it was more comfortable than a motel room. The food was wonderful. We loved the choice of food options and being able to eat when we liked and to choose from 5 restaurants of where to eat. We are very disappointed for a number of reasons. First, the ship did not cruise the advertised itinerary. This was a once in a lifetime trip for us and required a large portion of our savings. The ship did not sail on the inside of Vancouver Island as advertised and it did not cruise Tracy Arm Fjord as advertised. We were very disappointed that we missed what we spent lots of money to see. Second, the cruise was not all inclusive and we felt nickel and dimed at every turn. First, is the drink package. We found out after booking and paying in full for the cruise that only water, tea and coffee are included. If you want juice or soda it is extra $62/person extra. Also, the entertainment was not all inclusive either. Bingo was $40 a card, Let's Make a Deal also cost additional funds. On day 5 of the 7 day cruise they informed us that a new service fee had been implemented April 1, 2017 (our payment deadline was March 12, 2017) to the tune of $16.99 per person per day. I don't even think it is legal to add a fee like that after the cruise was paid in full. Classes in the fitness center were also extra and after paying for a package of 3 spin classes they only held 2 classes. These things greatly increased the cost of the trip beyond making Norwegian less affordable than we had originally thought. Third, the entertainment was average. We primarily went to see the scenery yet after the first day they tied up all the deck chairs and they were not available the rest of the cruise. The return trip was so far from shore that we couldn't see land at all and it was very rough waters making for a 24 hours of rocking which was miserable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Family voted for cold and boy they got it! Only 2 days of sunshine with lots of rocking, rolling and raining. Great views, fun excursions, seafood galore and time to relax were on our agenda. Ships decor is more suited to the Caribbean but ... Read More
Family voted for cold and boy they got it! Only 2 days of sunshine with lots of rocking, rolling and raining. Great views, fun excursions, seafood galore and time to relax were on our agenda. Ships decor is more suited to the Caribbean but it was well maintained, staff were always helpful, enjoyed a few of the daily activities, loved the Thermal Spa, tried all the Specialty dining - Moderno was our favorite! Upgrade to a balcony was worth it for the extra space and location for Glacier views. Kudos to the Hotel Director- Steve for clean rooms and Cruise Director- Keith and the Entertainers for great shows! Buffet food was just okay so we tried the Great Outdoors or restaurants for breakfast. Disappointed to find out no Carlo's Bakery on Jewel but did get a cake and decor in our room for our 35th Anniversary. Also liked the CC Meet and Mingle with hosts Toastboy and Ships Officers. Brought home salmon, souvenirs, sweet memories and soooo many pictures. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My mother always dreamed of seeing Alaska; after my father died, I invited her and my daughter on an Alaskan cruise. My mother had never been on a cruise, but had friends who had shared about their travels. My daughter needed a break ... Read More
My mother always dreamed of seeing Alaska; after my father died, I invited her and my daughter on an Alaskan cruise. My mother had never been on a cruise, but had friends who had shared about their travels. My daughter needed a break before starting nursing school; she'd been on one cruise, the Caribbean for her honeymoon. This was my 7th cruise (all on NCL), the 4th to Alaska, and my first on the Jewel. Embarkation was a breeze. As a Latitudes member, we went to the express line. Cheerful staff greeted us and directed us to the appropriate lines. (Since we live near Seattle, I thought that would be a fun retirement job!) My one complaint was having to wait awhile (maybe 15 minutes?) in a large room after checking in and before boarding. Once onboard, we headed straight to Tsar's Palace, which would become our go-to meal spot for most of the cruise. Our cabin was almost ready by the time we got there after lunch. We were able to upgrade to a balcony using my NCL credit card points, and then successfully bid to get a mini-suite. So glad we went for the mini-suite; when the third bed was made up, we could barely move around. It was my first cruise with a balcony, and I'll never see Alaska without one! When we cruised up Endacott Arm, we could watch from the comfort of our room and not get rained on or jockey for a spot on the deck. Our steward gave us top service. The ship itself was bigger than most that I'd been on, but not as massive as the Escape which we took on our last cruise. My mom and I had the Specialty Dining Package, so I bought one for my daughter even though she's a vegan and I wasn't sure she'd find anything to eat. But staff at Tepanyaki, La Cucina and Le Bistro were great about adapting dishes for her. Mom and I enjoyed the food there as well; I thought the service at Le Bistro was a bit slow, but daughter said that's just French. Most of our meals were at Tsar's Palace. Food and service were great. I was surprised more people didn't eat there; we could always get a good seat. Tried Azura for dinner one night; good food and service - but noisier and more crowded. My daughter had a few meals at the Garden Cafe because she could choose her food (said the veggie burgers were great), but had to ask staff what was in each dish to know what was vegan. She found the main dining room would cater to her diet, and even had a staff member assigned for special diets. She also was able to get soy milk in her specialty coffees, though wished it were available in more venues. My mom enjoyed her coffee in the Garden Cafe every morning while we slept in, but wished there was a way to save her seat when she got up for a refill. I'm not one who takes a cruise for the entertainment venues, but traveling with a young adult I did more than normally. Enjoyed the comedian; my daughter loved "Fire and Ice." We hit the Fizz Lounge one night, and my daughter repaid me for 8 years of voice lessons by singing Karaoke. She and I also went to the wine and chocolate tasting, and learned a lot about wine selection. Good value for the cost. Daughter used the gym several times. Shops were great, and had 25-cent postcards, which is a great value and almost as low as on shore. (I don't buy art, jewelry or luxury goods on ship, but did pick up some duty-free liquor for my husband.) Service as always was excellent. Our steward was hard working, and called us Mama, Grandma and Caroline. All the other staff were great, although the person at the shore excursion desk wasn't able to tell me whether there would be vegan food available on our Yukon stop. (There was.) In his defense, I didn't ask until the night before and he hadn't received a response to his e-mail by the time we left the ship. The top officers were very visible, and had one or two Q&A session, in addition to being at the Cruise Critic reception. Internet service was slow but satisfactory. The three of us split 250 minutes (plus an addition 30 for Latitudes members.) You can log onto the ship's ap for free. We learned that you could text to and from iPhones without being on the Internet (and of course, being on airplane mode except when close to shore). All of our shore excursions were great. In Ketchikan, we took the Eagles, Lighthouse and Totem boat tour. We saw many eagles. Two warnings: You don't actually go into lighthouse, but watch from the boat; and the salmon dip isn't as good as they make it out to be. In Juneau, I had booked a trip to Mendenhall that was at the glacier for 2 1/2 hours - which is a great amount of time if you want to hike out to the falls, but way too much if you just want to see the glacier. That didn't leave us much time in Juneau to shop or see other sites. Second mistake of the day: Our bus driver dropped us in town to shop, and said we could take a shuttle to our ship or take a "10-minute walk." Seeing the long line for the shuttle, I thought we could just walk to the ship, but it was much longer than we thought. I finally hailed a taxi (who stopped illegally for us) and gave him an outrageous tip. Because of water conditions, we traveled up Endacott Arm instead of Tracy Arm. We saw the same sorts of floating ice, seals, eagles, etc. Daws Glacier is not as impressive as Sawyer, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Because we were in our rooms, we didn't hear the reason for the change of route. This is where the balcony was worth the money. In Skagway, we booked a bus to Yukon, where we had a chicken dinner and then stopped in Carcross. We took the White Pass railroad back to Skagway. The bus ride was a real highlight, not the least because of our driver, Savino, who was superb. He said that maybe 20 percent of tours see bears, but we had FIVE BEAR SIGHTINGS! So exciting. The railroad trip was also a highlight. The one drawback was it filled our entire day in Skagway, with no time for shopping (I'm a postcard collector). In Victoria, we took an excursion to Butchart Gardens. Our bus driver gave us a great narration on the way out. It was Friday afternoon, so traffic was terrible. It was a sunny day so the gardens were beautiful, but bright sun is not the best for photos. Again, not enough time in Victoria. We splurged on the photo package, and were delighted to find the photos were put on a USB drive so that we could print/scrapbook the ones we liked. Photo staff did a great job. One disappointment was the souvenir photo taken in Tepanyaki was not included in the package, but purchased separately (which meant it wasn't on the drive). Debarkation was extremely efficient - maybe too efficient. We live an hour away, so I texted my husband when we got in line thinking that would be enough time. We were on the curb in 20 minutes. Had fun people watching, but no place to sit (and no restroom once you get past security.) All in all, it was a great cruise, and I'm already booked on the Jewel next year for our 40th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We choose this cruise for all the family members to get together which there were all ages. We all had a great time. The Crew was amazing. I was amazed on how helpful they were in addition to the Crew who was in the buffet area. They ... Read More
We choose this cruise for all the family members to get together which there were all ages. We all had a great time. The Crew was amazing. I was amazed on how helpful they were in addition to the Crew who was in the buffet area. They were friendly. We appreciated a crew member who was always nice and kind to us every time we ate. He was professional, always smiling and would say hi to us every time we saw him while we were eating. I was amazed on how many people worked on the cruise and how they all work really hard to make our vacation special for my family. We were lucky to be able to have this opportunity to do this. The excursions were a lot of fun which there were many excursions to meet all of our families wants and need. It was fabulous Thank you to the Crew - The Norwegian Jewel for the trip to Alaska on June 10th 2017 Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wonderful Cruise to Alaska from Seattle. Emarkation at this port needs a little work,a bit disorganized.Seattle its self was wonderful, wish we had come a few days earlier, versus the one extra day that we had.The Jewel is a beautiful ... Read More
Wonderful Cruise to Alaska from Seattle. Emarkation at this port needs a little work,a bit disorganized.Seattle its self was wonderful, wish we had come a few days earlier, versus the one extra day that we had.The Jewel is a beautiful older ship. Its is kept up very nicely. We had a balcony room that I would highly recommend for Alaska. You will get a lot of use with it, especially sailing through the inner passageway.The entertainment was good, and the staff was nice for the most part. The food was good ( not great, but good enough) but the by mid cruise, you realize that is the same old thing every day pretty much. Wish they would mix it up a bit. all of the excursions were advertised correctly, and delivered what was promised. We had three different ages groups with us, and everyone found something to their liking. Very please with the excursions. Disembarkation was easy, until we go to the public transportation part. We had a part of 8 of the airport, and we got separated after paying for a shuttle for 8 people. Our group had to wait 20 minutes at the airport for us. the woman was nasty and screaming at everyone, It was so crazy I took a picture of her screaming and waving her hands. Plan old nasty! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my second time on the jewel (first time cruised from NYC) I was pleasantly surprised they revamped the ship nicely. We selected a back cabin facing the back so we could see as much as possible - this was a great option however I ... Read More
This was my second time on the jewel (first time cruised from NYC) I was pleasantly surprised they revamped the ship nicely. We selected a back cabin facing the back so we could see as much as possible - this was a great option however I did get seasick on a sea day. The spa was a little sketchy this time around with the masseuse offering me "free" products if I bought some other stuff - well i fell for it but had buyers remorse and returned it - well when they didn't see one of the products on the receipt they went ballistic - i think the girl got fired. Anyway, the excursion were great esp the Photography Sea/Land excursion. We spent a couple hours on the water seeing whales, eagles, seals etc with great photo ops. Then a hike on a glacier - just amazing. The other excursion was a bus trip into Yukon Terriority and took the train back - again great photo opps! It was chilly and misty most of the time, so we did not spend any time on the deck and i had to buy a heavier coat. We could not sail near the glaciers due to the amount of ice still in the water. I would love to go again and do a Southbound 1-way cruise! This was for my son's graduation present - all he ever wanted to do was go to Alaska - he loved it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This could have been a 5 star review, but a couple of glitches and the company's policies dropped it to a 4. First the problems: 1. I was hosting a family group of 7 members. I purchased through the required promo package a ... Read More
This could have been a 5 star review, but a couple of glitches and the company's policies dropped it to a 4. First the problems: 1. I was hosting a family group of 7 members. I purchased through the required promo package a 250 minute Internet Package, and 7 specialty dining packages of 3 meals each. In the cruise information paperwork the company clearly showed the internet and meal packages as being part of what we paid for. Nonetheless when we arrived on board the internet package and 5 of the meal packages had not been authorized by the head office in Miami. The personnel on the ship reviewed our paperwork and agreed we had clearly purchased and were entitled to the packages, but Miami would have to authorize them. It took several trips to the Cruise service desk and several hours of my time to get this straightened out. The ship personnel did their best, but were not allowed by Miami to clear us for the packages, despite my having documentation from NCL that I had arranged and paid for these packages. For the meals, we continually had to sign charges for our meals as though we had not already paid for them. Eventually the cruise line did acknowledge we were being charged in error, and the charges were reversed. 2. NCL cuts corners in odd ways. They serve Pepsi products, and you cannot buy Coca-Cola products on board. Ask for a Coke, get a Pepsi, and get charged for it to boot. I bought a 6-pack of diet Coke ashore, and they tried to confiscate it from me on my return to the ship. When I complained that I had repeatedly tried to buy Diet Coke aboard but they wouldn't let me, they finally let me keep it. Also, if you ask for cream for your coffee, you will get skim or low fat milk. If you ask for half-and-half in a restaurant, they will say, "Yes, cream." And they will bring the milk anyway. After our repeated requests, they finally started putting out the small individual half-and-half containers. 3. In common I guess with most cruise lines, the shore excursions are highly marked up. I was told by tour operators that NCL charges them 20% to send them passengers, and in the case of going fishing in Ketchikan for Halibut and King Salmon, the charge published was $499 per person. For $500 I was able to directly book fishing for both my son-in-law and myself, and we had a great time for half the price. 4. For our pictures, we were repeatedly told they would give us our pictures on a memory stick. They didn't tell us there would be a $20 charge for the stick. They should have told us. For the good: There is lots to appreciate and applaud: 1. The cabins were tastefully decorated and comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Lots of room for luggage under the beds. We had 3 people in one cabin, and 4 in another. There was adequate room for all, and it worked out well. Our room steward was very efficient and unobtrusive, while at the same time being very genial. Nice job, Mr. Charles! 2. The food was incomparable. Gourmet in the specialty restaurants, and impeccably served. There is a large open buffet on deck 12 which is open almost all the time. The food there was very efficiently presented, and very good, though not gourmet as in the specialty dining rooms. But the convenience was awesome! There are 16 total venues for eating ranging from casual with hamburgers and hot dogs all the way to the gourmet. The food service department is very well run. SPECIAL COMMENT: The drinking water served in the dining rooms is delicious. I was happy drinking it as a beverage. 3. In 4 cruises total, this is the first time I have had opportunity to talk with the ship's senior officers. The Head of the Hotel Department was constantly present making sure things were going well. He was very approachable, and happy to chat. There was a Question and Answer session with the Captain, the Head of Engineering, and the Hotel Director announced ahead of time, which was well attended. Nice job, Captain Kenneth, Head of Engineering Ivan, and Hotel Director Steven. 4. We had 2 teenagers, 14 and 16, in our group. They enjoyed themselves thoroughly in the Entourage Club, where parents are not allowed. There were all sorts of activities for them, and they were delighted with the experience. NCL does a nice job of having a family oriented program. 5. There are several entertainment spots, with a range of atmospheres, ranging from quite casual to surprisingly ornate. For 2600 guests, there is a very nice theater which seats just over a thousand guests. It is astounding. All the seats have good views. There is a large stage, and the shows I saw were amazing. It is very well done. 6. There is a very well equipped gym and work-out room. There are 11 treadmills, 4 or 5 elliptical machines, and a large variety of weight and resistance machines. There is also a large rack of free weights, starting at 5 pounds, and going well heavier than I wanted to mess with. I spend a lot of time in the gym at home, and they had everything I wanted.. There is also a basketball/ tennis/whatever court, as well as an outdoor jogging track. There are a couple of golf practice areas enclosed by nets. Deck 7, the promenade deck, has a continuous deck about a third of a mile around, so those who wish to walk have a good area for it. 7. There is a well equipped library, and a nice card room. 8. Part of our cruise was in the Pacific, and there were some swells running. The ship has a stabilizer system which appeared to be working well. From time to time we could feel some movement, but nothing objectionable. 9. NCL has the Embarkation and Debarking process very well organized. All-in-all we had a very good experience. If not for the Administrative problems I would have cheerfully rated the cruise as a 5. I do recommend Norwegian Cruise Line, in spite of the problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our second cruise to Alaska, but our first cruise with Norwegian. Our first cruise was with Oceania and we really enjoyed it. Since Oceania and Norwegian are owned by the same company we set our expectations high based upon our ... Read More
This was our second cruise to Alaska, but our first cruise with Norwegian. Our first cruise was with Oceania and we really enjoyed it. Since Oceania and Norwegian are owned by the same company we set our expectations high based upon our experience on Oceania. Wanting the best the Norwegian Jewel had to offer we booked the Haven two bedroom stateroom. The Haven provides a personalized experience since access is restricted to only Haven guests. We had our own pool, hot tub, steam room, and exercise equipment, along with a secured portion of the top deck. Haven guests also receive priority embarkation and debarkation. Our stateroom stewardess and our butler were fantastic, however, our concierge was an over-actor that made anything (including dinner reservations) seem like it was a monumental task. He also had a condescending attitude. The rest of the staff was professional and friendly. The food at all the main venues was only fair tasting and we had to send several steaks back for being severely over-cooked. The specialty restaurants, which cost extra, had better food, but they still didn't compare to Oceania. Norwegian travel reps and customer service really push bottled water ($48 for a 24 pack of 1 liter bottles) but you don't need it. Water and tea is always available in the buffet area. Although the Jewel was refurbished in 2014, it desperately needs another one. Many of the furnishings look worn and dated (1970 ish). The plastic palm trees at the pool made me think I was at a cheap discount store. The entertainment was very good, but they either had a blown speaker or the volume was too loud as most of the singing sounded distorted. Our 7 day cruise from Seattle to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, BC, and back to Seattle cost $11,809.68 USD for a family of 4. Overall, the cruise was disappointing and we won't be sailing with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 7th cruise with NCL and third time to Alaska. Overall it was a wonderful vacation, but I really noticed the cutbacks on this trip. The crew was very good and the ship was lovely but the first missing perk was noticed the first ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with NCL and third time to Alaska. Overall it was a wonderful vacation, but I really noticed the cutbacks on this trip. The crew was very good and the ship was lovely but the first missing perk was noticed the first night when we got to our cabin after dinner. No more Andes chocolate mints on the pillow before bed. (Not a huge deal, but yeah, I always loved that!) The first sea day was nice, but the second budget cut was noticed here. Arts and Crafts used to be much better. Now it's pretty much just 3 days of origami, and the other crafts were prepackaged journal, memory box and cards. Really nothing crafty to learn. In fact most craft classes they gave out the package and said "The instructions are inside and it's just stickers, have fun" and left. Years past I learned how to make earrings, wine glass markers, flowered hair clips, you know.... actual crafts. This was kind of sad. The ports were great and the kids adored the Splash Academy. The shows were good too. (although I missed the comedian's show) I really enjoyed the Bijou Circus and the magician. Another missing perk was the lack of lobster night. I don't care for it, but my husband was bummed about this. I thought the food was really good and we ate at the specialty restaurant twice (Cagney's and La Cucina ) Both of those were nice, but I liked the food in the main dining just as much so couldn't justify paying extra. The other difference I noticed was the latitudes party. They used to give us a letter that you'd turn in and they'd do drawings for prizes. Not anymore, now it was pretty much just a chance to get a drink and listen to them try to convince you to put down a new cruise deposit. Even the hors d'oeuvrs were pitiful. It was just cubes of cheese and water crackers!! It was the most boring Lat party I have ever seen!! Anyway, our group had a great time, and I know we will cruise again, but just wish it was more like the past. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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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