241 Norwegian Jewel Family Cruise Reviews

August 23-30 was cloudy, drizzly, rainy, cool but we still managed to do all we had planned. Embarkation was a breeze. Our first cruise on NCL. 15th cruise in total. We were onboard having lunch in Tsar DR at 12:30 and at 1 we heard the ... Read More
August 23-30 was cloudy, drizzly, rainy, cool but we still managed to do all we had planned. Embarkation was a breeze. Our first cruise on NCL. 15th cruise in total. We were onboard having lunch in Tsar DR at 12:30 and at 1 we heard the announcement that the rooms were ready. Because of reviews about the food I had paid for the dining pkg and had made reservations ahead for Moderno the first night. I tried their Classic Caipiroska cocktail even though I am not a cocktail drinker but it sounded so different and it was very good. The salad bar is amazing. Be sure to try the mushrooms, hearts of palm and yellow beet salad. I had seconds of those. Don't take the bread from the buffet table, wait for the Brazilian cheese bread to be put on your table. Meat: lamb chop very good, chicken breast/leg very good, beef ribs excellent, all other meats (except sausage which we didn't try) were tough. Desserts okay. Sides were rice (plain), black beans, garlic mashed very good and fried sweet bananas excellent. Evening show introduced dancers, Nickolodian and comedian. Pretty good show. Breakfast in Garden Cafe early. Several omelet stations. Other cruises we've been on had only one and always a big line up so this was great. Breakfast was great. We noticed prime rib being served one evening and it looked really good but..we had the dining pkg. Tried bingo but as with other cruise lines it is overpriced. I am a bingo player so I know that to get a full card in 47 numbers is almost impossible. I play 3 times a week and I've never seen it done yet. So you might as well wait for the last session of the week when they offer a $1000 in whatever numbers it takes. 55 is definitely possible for a full card. It had been 30C when we left Seattle but the temperature had quickly dropped to 20C and continued to go lower over the week. The Seattle sun disappeared never to be seen but briefly again. First time we'd heard a ship's foghorn. Lunch in Tzar. Do try the roasted peach dessert if they offer it. That was the best dessert of the entire cruise! Dinner at Teppanyaki. Very entertaining but way too much food. Better than saying too little but a lot of waste of seafood, chicken and beef. Even the guys could not finish. Entertainment tonight was Duo Deja Vu, a couple from Russia who combined dance, gymnastics, acrobatic skills and even singing. Excellent. Do not miss it. Clocks back 1 hour tonight. Ketchikan: 16C, rainy and foggy. Breakfast at O'Sheehan's. Food okay, coffee undrinkable. (Do look in the Garden Cafe for the coffee units with the beans on top. Grinds your coffee fresh.) Bought ahead the tickets for the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show from NCL because same price as at the show. 1 1/2 blocks from pier. Great show even in the rain. Get there early so you can sit in the tiered, covered section. Late comers are given a poncho and chair and seat in front to the side. Not as good a view. After show tour Creek Street. We even saw a fellow catch a salmon while we watched. Lunch at O'Sheehans. Chicken pot pie is excellent. Dinner at La Cucina. My husband loved the calamari, ossobuco and tiramisu and I enjoyed mixed salad, pork scallopini and rhubarb pana cotta. Show tonight was the comedian David Nester and he was very funny. Juneau: 14C and pouring rain. Breakfast again in Garden Cafe. Met 5 others as we had arranged a tour to the glacier which was less expensive with 7 of us sharing the cost. (Met through cruise critic roll call.) Explored Nugget Falls and Mendenhall Glacier. We were soaked even with rain ponchos and waterproof jackets under that. Back to ship to change and the rain stopped for a bit so we took the free shuttle into town and had lunch at Tracey's King Crab Shack because we had seen it a year ago on Top Chef. Expensive but if you like crab do go here. Look on their website so you know what to order. Ship left Juneau early and we sailed to Tracy Arms and up to the glacier in the bay. Fantastic scenery. We bought a balcony cabin just for this but it was rainy, cold and windy and we had to keep going in to get warm. The ship rotated in the bay so we saw all sides. Dinner at Cagney's. My filet was very good but my husband found his New York strip loin was tough. We did not see the show this night because it was a music night and we do not like loud music. Skagway: 15C and cloudy, but not raining! We had bought the NCL tickets for Best of Skagway and White Pass Railway. Expensive but definitely worth it. Bus trip up. Train down with the most amazing scenery both ways. Liarsville Salmon Bake and entertainment. Gold panning. Red Onion Saloon tour of upstairs where the madames entertained the guys. Stay in town after or the bus will take you back. You can see the ship from the corner in town but there is also a free shuttle. Dinner at Chin Chin. Appetizers were great. Entrees are what you would find in any Chinese restaurant. Not impressed and server was just not good, she had not been trained well. Deal or no Deal was fun. Show was comedy and magic of Jean Pierre Parent and he was very good. Clocks forward 1 hour tonight. Thursday was a sea day. Eggs Benedict in main DR were okay. Service was bad. Dinner at Le Bistro with 3 friends we had met on the glacier excursion. This was the best restaurant so far with the best trained servers so we booked it again for the next night. The pork was really good as was the steak, scallops, duck, everything any of us tried was very good. Show was Le Cirque Bijou. If you only go to one show, go to this one. Excellent! Victoria: cloudy but 19C and finally warm enough to go on the balcony and out on deck. Breakfast and lunch in MD and both times I left food. It just was not good and no one cared to even ask why I didn't eat it. The friends we had met lived in Victoria and they had made arrangements to disembark there so we met them and they gave us a tour of Victoria. It seems like a very nice place. Enjoyable tour. Dinner at Le Bistro was once again excellent. Last entertainment included all the singers and dancers. By the way, the casino closed at 9:30 that morning and did not reopen. Maybe has to do with not being in international waters from Victoria to Seattle? Seattle: We booked the NCL excursion Best of Seattle so were off early. Went up the Space Needle and toured Pike's Market and were dropped off at noon at the airport. Worth the price I thought. If you've read this far then you have probably guessed that we enjoyed the entertainment onboard, all of the shore excursions we went on and the ship in general. Our room steward was excellent. We were not impressed with the training the servers had received. We really expected that the females would be served first, that wine would be not be poured from across the table, that the plate would be presented with meat forward as it was set out by the chef, etc. but that only happened correctly in Le Bistro with Chin Chin being the worst. We will probably not sail NCL again but who knows. We seem to go with whatever line has the itinerary we want. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
OK, first off, I very rarely write reviews. But after reading so many bad reviews about this cruise I decided I would write one as well. Maybe because I read the reviews before going, I was not expecting a lot in regards to the food. I ... Read More
OK, first off, I very rarely write reviews. But after reading so many bad reviews about this cruise I decided I would write one as well. Maybe because I read the reviews before going, I was not expecting a lot in regards to the food. I agree with most of the reviews about the food in the main dining halls. We went to the Garden Café way too many times. My daughter liked the food there and the ability for her to choose anything. The food there was decent. Some items better than others. We went to Tsar's Palace once. The food wasn't great. It was ok. My daughter's hamburger was raw so she didn't eat anything. We ordered room service a few times and that was definitely the best way to eat with the complimentary dining options. We had dinner the first night in the Teppanyaki Room and that was well worth the upgrade price. My wife and I really enjoyed the dinner there. My 6 year old did not, but she is so picky we didn't expect her to like much of anything there. The next night we had dinner at Cagney's Steakhouse and loved it so much we went back the very next night again. I can't say enough about how good their steaks were. I could have had that every night of the cruise if we hadn't decided to explore many of the other options. Deserts here were by far better than any of the other dining locations. Our next to last night we had dinner at La Cucina and were disappointed. We figured after the great meals at the previous two specialty dining we should be pleased here, but were not. The Italian meals were no better than what you get in the Garden Café or Tsar's Palace. Heck, I would have preferred to eat at Olive Garden instead! Save your money and go to Cagney's. We also had some great meals at the ports. In Juneau, don't miss out on Tracy's King Crab Shack. It's literally just a couple of shacks just off the port where you dock. They had the best Alaska King crab legs I have ever had!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The ship, crew, food and entertainment were great. As usual the drimks were expensive. The onboard activities were fun and the pool drck could accomodate all who wished to enjoy (this was not the case for our last cruise on Carnival. ... Read More
The ship, crew, food and entertainment were great. As usual the drimks were expensive. The onboard activities were fun and the pool drck could accomodate all who wished to enjoy (this was not the case for our last cruise on Carnival. Boarding and unboarding in Seattle as well as at ports of call was organized and efficient. The only thing we did that we would not recommend was gold panning on Sagway. Typical tourist trap that was not worth the money. On the other hand do not miss the whale watching in Juneau or the Duck boat tour in Victoria. (THE duck in Vitoria is significantly better than Ketchican). The lumberjack show in Ketchican was very enjoyable even in the rain (arrive early to be under cover.) The other word to the wise arrive at the pier for departure as early as possible the Seatle traffic in that part of town is terrible and the parking deck directions were not good. Get their by noon if you are driving. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was a father/son trip. My son was 7yo at the time of the cruise, and I was 36. We departed from Seattle, the Marriott Waterfront hotel is directly across the street and was an easy walk for us to make. The cruise ship had it's ... Read More
This was a father/son trip. My son was 7yo at the time of the cruise, and I was 36. We departed from Seattle, the Marriott Waterfront hotel is directly across the street and was an easy walk for us to make. The cruise ship had it's +'s and-'s. The staff was absolutely wonderful. Everywhere I turned there was scaring and eager staff member. The food was neither lights out great, nor run of the mill. The food was fresh and tasty. The endless soft serve ice-cream was a popular stop for my son....and I must confess that I never protested stopping by the ice-cream machine. We really got a kick out of the ice sculptures and fruit animals. They really tried to make the food fun. The Czars dining room is spectacular. The peking duck was very nice. Our cabin was an ocean view, as seen between two life boats. It was what one would expect from a cruise ship cabin. The ship itself was very nice. I wasn't crazy about the kids program, and only had my son there one day. The Nickelodeon character events were fun for the younger kids. The pool area was very ordinary and my son had little desire to hangout. My son did enjoy the large outdoor chess board, the golf driving range (though it wasn't all that convenient) and the shuffle board. The comedian and magician were wonderful sources of entertainment during the cruise. The shore excursions were AWESOME. Panning for gold in Juneau was outstanding and a must for anyone traveling with little boys. Also, the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan was unforgettable, and an absolute must for anyone who hasn't ever seen such a show....and for those traveling with little ones. These events were fun for the entire family. Also, when in Ketchikan look for the works of local native furrier Christy Ruby. I bough a seal/otter trapper hat and a seal/otter purse. Both were gifts for dear friends, and I've never been so popular! If you don't have time to shop in Ketchikan, you can also find her work on Etsy.com   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
First the Ship. The Jewel is a nice ship with some recent additions including a Humidor room, Sheehan's Bar and Grill, Mojito bar and an improved Photo gallery. The common areas were in great shape and well maintained. We had a ... Read More
First the Ship. The Jewel is a nice ship with some recent additions including a Humidor room, Sheehan's Bar and Grill, Mojito bar and an improved Photo gallery. The common areas were in great shape and well maintained. We had a balcony room (which I highly recommend for the Alaska itinerary). It was nice but the room was showing its age. The ship was built in 2005 and will probably get a refurbishment soon. The food at the buffets are ok to good, the main restaurant's good to very good and the specialty restaurants very good to excellent. I recommend Cagney's Steak House! I traveled with my wife and 9 yr old son and loved the freestyle concept. Experienced cruisers had to get used to this but we preferred it. Now Alaska. It was amazing. The views from our balcony were unbelievable. We didn't see as much wildlife as we hoped but that was ok. The weather was cold (average high in the mid fifties) with sun, clouds and rain everyday. If you blinked the weather changed. Bring rain gear and a warm jacket for the days at sea; particularly if you go early or late into the season. We hope to cruise on Norwegian again but out of Boston (my location ) or New York to save on travel. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We are a early 60's couple who booked the Panama Canal cruise for the third time. This time my mother, who just turned 90, came with us, wanting to see the new locks on the Canal. We love this itinerary because the 13 days is more ... Read More
We are a early 60's couple who booked the Panama Canal cruise for the third time. This time my mother, who just turned 90, came with us, wanting to see the new locks on the Canal. We love this itinerary because the 13 days is more relaxing than the usual 7-day cruises, it is a warm weather cruise and there are an almost equal number of port and sea days. This was our 10th Norwegian cruise; we have also cruised once on Crystal. We are unapologetic Norwegian ambassadors! Pre-Cruise Preparations - My husband has emphysema and travels with a portable oxygen concentrator (POC), and mom walks with a cane or a rolling walker. That said, traveling can be challenging in this situation. We contacted Norwegian's Access Desk to inform them that we would need 2 wheelchairs at embarkation and disembarkation. We also advised them that mom needs a low/no salt diet. The representative said that once on board we would be contactd to pre-order her meals. More on that under Dining. The airline also requires advance notification with doctor's signature that we are traveling with a POC, as well as the request for wheelchairs for distance. Travel to Embarkation - We flew United to NOLA on Good Friday. We decided to fold, duct tape and check the walker as luggage. It came through with no problem. The wheelchair porters/pushers were prompt and very helpful. The Airport Limosine driver went above and beyond fitting us and our three large, one medium, one carry-on, a POC and the walker in the Town Car (yes, we always manage to overpack!). New Orleans - We stayed at the Windsor Court Hotel, booked through our travel agent. It did not disappoint. The room included "Continental Breakfast" but we ordered a full breakfast and it was covered. We dined at Galatoire's in the French Quarter on Saturday night. Good food, but getting to the upstairs dining room was difficult for mom to walk all the way to the back of the restaurant through a crowded dining room, up the elevator, then back to the front dining room, then back again after dinner. We took a trip to Rouse's market to purchase 8 bottles of wine. Embarkation - We caught a taxi to the port for $7 per person. The taxi dropped us off at the terminal. After we unloaded all our luggage and the porter put it on his cart we found out we would have to walk a long hallway to get to an entrance that would have been closer, and no wheelchairs were available until after we went through security. It would have been better to go to the furthest entrance. We went to the head of the line as mom can not stand for longer than a few minutes without pain. The security agent got us an escort that took us through security quickly. We knew to hand carry our wine, and were directed to the corkage table to pay the $15/bottle corkage, and then to the section to wait for a wheelchair. We waited about 30 minutes for our turn to get 2 wheelchairs. They were very slow in coming. Eventually we got the wheelchairs, got checked in quickly, taken to the VIP lounge and on to the ship. Yay! The Ship - The Jewel was going into dry-dock immediately after our cruise. There was some wear and tear visible that I assume will be upgraded in dry-dock. The ship was clean and the crew was quite visible in cleaning. We had a 2-bedroom Haven Villa and mom was next door in a Haven Penthouse. The living room, bedroom and master bath are exactly the same in both cabins, but the balcony is 1-2 feet deeper in the 2-bedroom. The cabins are luxurious with wood paneling, queen bed in the master bedroom, lots of closet space and storage space in the master bedroom and bath. Minimal storage in the second bedroom. Hot water was slow in coming to the cabin, we had to run the shower to get it more quickly. The butler and steward were fine, though not impressive. We have had some that matched us much better and may have unfair expectations. Dining - We ate at five of the specialty restaurants and in Azura main dining room the rest of the nights. Le Bistro, Cagney's, Chin Chin, Mama's/La Cucina are always our favorites. We also ate at the Teppanyaki, which was better than the last time. Mom needed a low/no salt diet. We were not contacted as promised by the Access Desk rep, but the first night at Azura we asked about it and were introduced to one of our Vacation Heroes, Felicitas J. She was helpful, knowledgeable and a delight. She explained that mom could see the next night's menu and pre-order so sauces and dishes would be prepared with no salt. She also explained which restaurants prepared foods "a la minute" with low/no salt and which needed a pre-order. The result was that it worked extremely well and mom had minimal ankle swelling. We like Azura as it is midship and easy to get to from the Haven. Most of the time the food was varied, good, and well prepared. Ports - Cartagena - we didn't get off this time as we've been there twice before. Huatulco - rglcruise organized a tour with Adelino. He had a late model 13 passenger van and took us through Huatulco to Santa Maria. We walked through a portion of the town, had quesadillas with fresh made tortillas, and watched a carniceria wield his knife. He also told us the history of the area. We drove up into the mountains to a coffee plantation and small town. Adelino was great a communicating his love of his home nation and state. Puerto Vallarta - Just off the ship is a small area with shops to purchase souvenirs and the ever present Diamond International. Walmart is within walking distance from the port for those sundries you've run out of. Cabo San Lucas - This is a tender port. Lots of shopping and restaurants at the dock. Also, there are lots of opportunities to catch an independent operator for a tour of the area by boat. Disembarkation - We arranged with Virginia, the concierge, to have the wheelchairs pick us up. They came a little after the designated time, but then whisked us off very quickly.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife and I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Jewel. What a great experience! First let me say that we have sailed on Carnival and Royal many times, but this was our first experience with Norwegian. I will begin by saying that ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Jewel. What a great experience! First let me say that we have sailed on Carnival and Royal many times, but this was our first experience with Norwegian. I will begin by saying that unlike some who post, I have never been on a cruise I hated. In my mind even a not so great trip is still better than a week at work. With that said, I will outline some of the differences I noticed. First of all the ship appears to accommodate fewer passengers for its size than some other ships we have been on. That gave us the feeling of a bit more space in the public areas. As with most ships the rooms are a bit on the small side. The bathrooms however are designed with one feature that should be standard on all ships. It has a sliding glass door. That may seem like a small thing but on other ships we have been on they have a small curtain. It almost always allows water all over the floor. We booked at the last possible minute. Literally 7 days prior to sailing. Because of this we didn't have much choice on room selection. We were assigned to deck 8 mid ship. We were concerned because the public spaces were directly below. After looking on a map of the ship we determined we were directly above the Karaoke room. We had absolutely no issue with noise. The bonus of deck 8 was that the 24 hour restaurant was located on that floor. This made it super convenient to slip over and get a cup of coffee or snack without schlepping all over the ship. This is something to consider if you like to keep late hours. By the way, the 24 hour restaurant is the the best kept secret on the ship. I think most passengers don't even realize its there. There is almost never a wait to be seated. I also have to say that we found the staff to be more attentive than other lines we have been on. This is not to say the others had problems because they did not. Its just that we noticed more personal attention from the ships officers. Many times we were approached by them and they would ask about our experience. Afterward they would record our room numbers. Much to our surprise we would find a small gift awaiting us in our stateroom along with a note from them thanking us for sailing with them. I thought this was a very nice personal touch. Norwegian also offers something called the Ultimate Dining Experience. For about $120/person you get unlimited dining in any of the specialty restaurants on the ship. Since my wife and I had been to many of our port calls many times, we decided to skip most of the excursions. Instead, we opted for the dining experience. What a treat. This has to be the best value of any offering I have seen on a cruise line. The food was really a step up. If you like fine dining, this is something to experience. Overall I say kudos to Norwegian for a great trip and a tremendous value.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We (two adults and our eleven year old son, plus we brought a couple and their son along too) traveled by limo to get to the port which made it all easy and stress free. Checking in and getting ready to board was also an easy process. ... Read More
We (two adults and our eleven year old son, plus we brought a couple and their son along too) traveled by limo to get to the port which made it all easy and stress free. Checking in and getting ready to board was also an easy process. Every one was nice and helpful. From the moment we stepped aboard the ship we were greeted with smiles and a happy welcome aboard. Hand Sanitizer- NCL does its best to keep us healthy and germ free. I appreciated all of the Washy Washy! Anytime that you walked into a dining room, on to the ship or into any public area there was a hand sanitizer waiting for you. Sometimes they would even sing you a song about it. Cabin: We were on the ship and let into our cabin in no time. We were located 10608 balcony, Mid ship. Perfect location for families, Splash Academy and the buffet (where the ice cream is at) was just two floors up. The space and storage in the room was fine for the three of us, we had enough cubbies and closet space for our clothes and shoes. A Balcony on port side is the best to see the ports when arriving and leaving. The balcony was a little hard to get to when the sofa bed is out but the bed easily slid right out of the way. The bathrooms had a nice sliding door in them to separate the toilet from the vanity and shower area. Room Steward- We had the best room steward, always a happy greeting from him. Our room was always clean and straight. He learned our schedule and made sure that he was never "in our way" and that we had everything that we could need and more. And the towel animals are always a favorite of ours too. Kids Club- As soon as we got on board we went to find Splash Academy and to sign up. The crew invited us in and explained how everything worked and introduced themselves to us and our son. It was a hit with our 11 year old son. He enjoyed hanging out with the crew and his new friends. He was always ready to go! Activities- There are always tons of activities to choose from. A few of the ones that we did were, line dancing, wine tasting and bingo. All were fun! Public Areas- They was always somewhere that you could find a nice area to either hang out with friends or to be alone. The Pool area was always crowded, there are plenty enough chairs if the passengers would stop "saving" the chairs with their towels and leaving them like that all day. The bar and grill next to the pool was always ready to please with food and drinks. Dining- Lots of choices! The buffet food is really good and the staff does an outstanding job of keeping the passenger chaos controlled by keeping the food filled, the area clean and the tables ready for the next person. The sit down table service was great and preferred by us. We enjoy a more quiet and controlled dining experience so we chose to eat in the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants and their food was delicious and the service was excellent. We also enjoy some room service which is always a winner. Entertainment- Our cruise director always made sure that there was plenty to do and let us know when and where it was happening. The shows were all very good and a good mixture of different types of entertainment, something for everyone. The comedian and magician were a hit with us. Spa- Ahhhh the spa ;) What a wonderful thing and the service was excellent. I purchased the week long spa pass and I enjoyed every second I spent in there. It was so nice to be able to go to the spa anytime that I wanted to get into the steam room, the Jacuzzi, the sauna or just to sit and relax on the hot stone lounge chairs, especially after port play. I also had a massage that was so relaxing. The entire spa staff was professional and personable. Ports and Excursions-Our Itinerary was Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. In Cozumel we made chocolate and loved it. We went to Altun Ha ruins in Belize, awesome and very educational. In Rotan we did the archeological hike and wildlife tour, it was beautiful! We did not get to port in Coast Maya because the waves were so high that they would of washed us off of the pier. Thanks goodness our Captain keeps us safe! So we had an extra day at sea and the Cruise Director changed the daily schedule so we all had lots of fun activities to choose from. The Staff- We were treated like royalty. We got to meet the top crew men and women of the ship on our first full day which was a treat. Anytime that they saw us they would make an effort to say hello and to make sure that we were having a great time. The entire staff was incredible and made this tip for us! We could not of asked for a better crew. So Happy!! Disembark - We got up on our last morning to have breakfast in Cagney's then headed to our room for our carry off bags then it was time to disembark. Our color was called and we walked right off and headed to customs. No problem, easy as pie. We brought with us a family of three, this was their first cruise and NCL did not let us down. I was so proud for them to be aboard the Jewel with this crew showing them how cruising is suppose to be. This was a great trip with NCL, the ship is awesome and the crew is outstanding, each and every one of them were our vacation hero's! I have already pre-booked our next NCL cruise and ready to start planning.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My husband and I decided to surprise our kids with a family vacation a few days before Spring Break. My kids are 13 & 14. Due to our crazy schedules, we felt we needed some quality family time. We have been on 4 cruises as a family and ... Read More
My husband and I decided to surprise our kids with a family vacation a few days before Spring Break. My kids are 13 & 14. Due to our crazy schedules, we felt we needed some quality family time. We have been on 4 cruises as a family and 3 have been on NCL. Our first was on Disney when the kids were young. Freestyle dining works out great for my family. We took Amtrak from IL to New Orleans. Once we arrived to the station, the line for taxis was very long. The train was late, so perhaps that is why. We (actually my husband) decided we could walk to the hotel.( 5 suitcases, 4 backpacks, 1 cooler, 3 small string backpacks and my big purse. Yep – we must have been quite a site!) But it was probably for the best because I do not think we would have got a taxi for at least an hour. Once I switched suitcases with my husband, the walk wasn’t that bad. It took us maybe 15-20 minutes to get to the Marriott Convention Center. This hotel is across from the port. Great location! The next day we just walked across the street and down a small block and we were there. After arriving at the hotel, we showered up and changed and had a nice night. We have been to New Orleans before so we knew our way around. We went to Grand Isle for dinner and Café Du Monde for dessert. On Sunday my husband and daughter ran 4 - 5 miles around the city and took some great photos too. We left the hotel around 12:30 and walked across the street to the terminal. As soon as we got there, someone took our luggage and then we entered the building. Embarking took about an hour from when we arrived to when we got on the ship. A worker there said it is normally much quicker. We went straight to the buffet for lunch. I was glad we went there first because it was closing when we left. We went to the Spa to get passes. For $150 each (adults only), you get to use the Spa the full week. Saunas, Hot Tubs, Steam Rooms – it is very relaxing. There is a section for co-ed too. I would meet my husband in there most days. They have these heated tile lounge chairs that were so comfortable I feel asleep each time. CABIN: Our cabin was 8568. It was an obstructed window room. It had two small port holes that we really could not see out of. The windows were fogged up. If you put your face right next to the window you could see a little, but we just liked it for the light that came through and it is also bigger than the inside rooms. The bed was VERY comfortable. Better than most hotel rooms. My son slept on the bunk that pulled out from the wall, which was not very comfortable. My daughter had the pop up bed next to ours and that was only slightly better. The closet is large but only had about 10-15 hangers. I had brought 20 extra hangers, knowing that we would need much more. Between the closet, the drawers, and the shelves, there was plenty of space for our clothes and things. Most of our luggage fit under the bed and one went into the closet. CREW: The crew on this ship was the best! Everyone was so friendly, especially all the cabin stewards we would pass on the way to our cabin. Jamie the Entertainment Director was also the best we have had. I saw her so many times walking from place to place and she always greeting me. All of the waiters and waitresses that we had were also very friendly. I cannot say enough about this crew. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was great! We missed Band on the Run, but my daughter and I saw all the other shows. The 4 of us all loved the comedian Dave Naster. His show was so funny! He also put on a session about Bullying and about how laughter can help during a crisis. He seems like a great guy to know. The magician/comedian show was very funny. Two shows that you do not want to miss! We have played the Deal or No Deal before, so we only played once this time. That was fun, but of course we did not win. We stayed away from Bingo. They also had three movies in the theater that we watched: Frozen, Catching Fire, and Gravity. The movies were also shown on the TV but it is more fun to watch it in the theater. We went with our daughter to the family white hot party. We just watched but she had a great time dancing with a friend she had made. We also listened to music in a few of the bars a couple of nights and really enjoyed it. However, most nights we were pretty tired after port days and after the shows. We probably went to bed around 11 each night. PORTS: We have been to these ports before, so we didn’t really feel like we had to do much. (Plus we were on a budget due to another vacation planned for June) In Cozumel we took a taxi to Chankannab National Park. The taxi ride was $12 and it cost $21 ($19 with a coupon I found) each. We had been there before and we had swam with the dolphins and had a great experience, so we decided to go back. It has a beautiful beach with nice lounge chairs, and nice walking paths. My husband and daughter snorkeled too. I was hoping to see the sea lion show but we missed it. There is a pool there too in case you don’t want to go into the ocean. The next Port was Belize. I decided to get my hair cut and highlighted that morning in the salon since I didn’t get a chance before we left. It cost me a fortune, but that is to be expected on a ship. Then my daughter and I took a late tender and went and did some shopping at the port. We stopped at the Wet Lizard for cokes and salsa. We stopped there b/c of the wifi but we were not able to get on. Then we found a frozen yogurt place and she said it was really good. We had a nice time shopping together. The 3rd port was Roatan. The four of our shopped at the port and then went to the straw market, which is really just a building that you go to the second floor to see some ladies all selling the same thing. However, there was a place called the Crusty Crab that had wifi so we bought something to drink and sat there on our phones checking email and posting pics to FB. It is a very small place and almost everyone there was a crew member. We saw a couple of people video chatting, probably with family back home. Our last port was Costa Maya. This was to be the highlight of our trip because we booked an awesome beach resort. However, after trying to dock, the port authority told the ship they should not. The water was really rough! This was SOOOO disappointing to my family. Never again will I have our best excursion on the last day. I will make sure it is earlier so that if this happens again, we can book something else for the next port. Instead we found a spot by the pool but in the shade and had a pool day. The kids pool is right next to the adult pool. I think this works out really well. There is a slide but all the kids going down (no matter the size) seemed to get stuck in the same spot and would have to push themselves down. Not much fun, according to my daughter. FOOD: My daughter always wanted to eat at the MDR and my son always wanted the buffet. So we compromised. As a family we ate at both MDRs and then one night went to La Cucina and had a great meal. On the other nights, the boys went to the buffet and the girls went to the MDRs. We did have to wait a few times, but each time that happened it was for about 20 minutes and they would give us a slip for a free coke or champagne at the bar. I have read reviews that said the service was slow. We never experienced that. In fact it was quite the opposite on the days my daughter and I ate alone. The servers were always very polite. Once night when the four of us were eating, the waitress brought us two extra appetizers to try. Then for dessert she brought us what we ordered and also surprised us with a banana split as a bonus. That was a nice surprise! The only two things that we thought were missing on this ship was a diner and an irish pub. On the Spirit and the Dawn, the Blue Lagoon is set up more like a Diner. On the Jewel it was a normal restaurant and you had to wait to be sat. We prefer the diner feel. We also missed the Irish Pub that is on the Sprit and the Dawn. Leaving the ship was very easy. We chose to get off at 10 since our train did not depart until 1:30. It was easy to find out luggage and customs only took about 5 minutes. We did have to wait about 15 min for a taxi, but that wasn’t long. We had enough time to drop off our luggage with Amtrak and walk to Hard Rock Café and then for Frozen Yogurt near Bourbon. It was a great vacation and awesome family time.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
First things first, this was our first ncl cruise and the first time in new orleans. Also, there were 4 in our group all over 50 years of age. We have been loyal to royal in the past so we were a bit nervous of what to expect from ncl. We ... Read More
First things first, this was our first ncl cruise and the first time in new orleans. Also, there were 4 in our group all over 50 years of age. We have been loyal to royal in the past so we were a bit nervous of what to expect from ncl. We arrived NOLA around 6 pm and stayed at the intercontinental, it is under renovation but all was well. As a matter of fact our room wasnt ready so they gave us a suite. Not much time to see or do anything as it was a long day flying down from Canada. We showed up at embarkation around 11:00 am and found it one of the easiest procedure yet, however the taxi drop off location was a bit of a mess. Our rooms were ready around 1:00 so we had a couple of hours to explore and have some lunch. The garden buffet was well stocked and there was lots of tables available. Once in our cabin ( balcony) we did notice some areas that needed some attention so we pointed them out to our cabin attendant and they were immediately taken care of. Our ports of call were Cosumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya. We went cave tubing in Belize ( I highly recommend it) and we explored the Myan Ruins in Costa Maya ( it was awesome as well). Cosumel is Cosumel as this was our third time there and we found Roatan a bit sketchy outside the port area. During the cruise we went to a specialty restaurant for dinner 5 times. All were great with Cagneys being our favorite ( we went there twice). Also we had the Blue Lagoon twice, once I brought it back to our cabin and once we sat down at a table. Their wings are fantastic!!! All in all we enjoyed this cruise and even took advantage to their future booking special and placed 250.00 down on a future cruise and enjoyed a 100 obc on this cruise. We have 4 yrs to decide on a cruise but it wont take us that long to decide I am sure. Disembarkation was just a easy as embarkation. We stayed one night at the Hilton Riverside (very nice) which is an easy walk from the pier. I timed it and it took us less than 8 minutes. We walked outside and found out after that you can do it inside which would have been easier I am sure. Our day in New Orleans was great. The weather was nice and my wife and I grabbed a map and got a daypass on the trolley system ( 3 dollars for the day ). We explored the sights and sounds and truly enjoyed New Orleans so much so that we would like to return and spend more time there. All I can say is NCL we will be back and New Orleans hope to see you soon.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My husband and I took our fist trip alone with out our son (who is nearly 3) in February. We went for the 2 bedroom penthouse suite and were glad we did just because it was nice to have 2 bathrooms, the more comfortable chairs on the ... Read More
My husband and I took our fist trip alone with out our son (who is nearly 3) in February. We went for the 2 bedroom penthouse suite and were glad we did just because it was nice to have 2 bathrooms, the more comfortable chairs on the balcony and some space to spread out. Since we were in a suite, we had priority embarkation (awesome), a butler (imperative), and breakfast/lunch at Cagney's (the best perk of all). We arrived in NOLA and it was rainy, so we skipped the french quarter and just boarded the boat. We had lunch at Cagneys (seriously, have I told you it was the best perk) and explored the ship a bit. Our room was awesome. I slept in every bed in the room during our 7 night stay, but preferred the lounge chairs on the balcony or the floor to any of the beds. I kid you not, I slept on the floor 3 of the 7 nights and on the patio 2x. The bed was hard as a rock, as was the pull down bunk and the pull out couch. I have a bad back, so it was easier to sleep on the floor and know what I would wake up with. MDR food was pretty crappy as was the buffet, but again, I am on a special diet and cant have fried food, dairy, or sugar, so most of the options for me were removed before we got started. The ports of call were great and I will re-state again that the suites have the priority stuff and we were on the first tender off the boat in Belize which meant we got to our excursions earlier than anyone else. We booked all the excursions through external sources and were very happy with all of them. Coral Breeze Tours (Belize), Argel and Adiel King (cozumel), and Subway Watersports (Roatan) were all excellent and I will do them again. The boat was clean, there were no lines for food (ever) and the shows were fine. Don't spend the money on the hibachi restaurant (it sucked) but go ahead and pop for cagneys if you aren't in a suite. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My wife and I, along with her sister, sailed out of New Orleans the second week of January. Embarkation was very smooth and orderly. We visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. There are two ports on the Honduran ... Read More
My wife and I, along with her sister, sailed out of New Orleans the second week of January. Embarkation was very smooth and orderly. We visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya. There are two ports on the Honduran island of Roatan(Mahogany Bay and Coxen Hole). Our ship docked at the Coxen Hole port. The port is secured by a high privacy wall within which there is a very limited number of shops for the ship's passengers to visit...... furthermore, item selection in those few shops is very limited and scattered. My suggestion (to Norwegian) would be to secure rights to dock at Mahogany Bay or else visit some other Caribbean port or island. As far as the other ports that we visited, they were all very interesting, entertaining and worthwhile. Cozumel has it all....shopping, excursions, beaches, rentals, etc. Service on the ship was good(I'm not a fan of mandatory tipping as Norwegian requires---they put it on your account at the first of the cruise and you pay it whether or not someone deserved it! That, my friend, is NOT a tip[gratuity]....that is a service charge!) The nightly entertainment was very good.....comedians were good, magician was fantastic, singers were extremely talented and the production shows were great......the cruise director(Jamiee) was one of the best that I've ever cruised with......she kept us informed of things that we needed to be informed about....and she did not get on the PA system and ramble about this and that....she was to the point and then "out of sight"! If I was given the opportunity to change ONE thing and one thing only about this ship and its management, it would be this: When you're showing sports activity on a TV screen, show sports that are popular with Americans seeing as the overwhelming majority of your guests are Americans! We do not play soccer, nor do we want to watch it ! We like football, baseball, and basketball......go with the majority....show football, especially during football season! If there's not a "live" game on, then show last Sunday's reruns.....anything but SOCCER ! No evidence of that old NoroVirus monster.....there were hand cleanser dispensers everywhere as well as workers at the entrances of all dining areas with their little hand sprayer bottles. Debarkation was great....."self assist" debarkation is a breeze if you're able to carry all your luggage off the ship! New Orleans is working hard to make the Julia Street Ship Terminal very "guest friendly". In summary, the Jewel is a great ship with comfortable surroundings and accommodations. I look forward to a return visit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We are a family of four from Saskatchewan Canada. Kids ages are 2 weeks shy of 3 years old (we'll get into this issue later) and 5 1/2. We sailed on the January 5th sailing of the Norwegian Jewel. -Embarkation was great. Bags were ... Read More
We are a family of four from Saskatchewan Canada. Kids ages are 2 weeks shy of 3 years old (we'll get into this issue later) and 5 1/2. We sailed on the January 5th sailing of the Norwegian Jewel. -Embarkation was great. Bags were taken out of our hands by cruise staff outside the port entrance. Very easy, either print tags at home or they provide you some. Big lineup inside only took maybe 20 minutes. It was well organized at the port and staff were friendly. -The staff on this ship are TOP NOTCH. Every single staff member that we encountered went out of their way to make our stay great, in particular with our kids. The kids club people are SO great my son cried and didn't want to leave, in particular one lady named Popsy. The Nickelodeon staff are also wonderful and all the Nick events were great and the kids LOVED them. Erik went out of his way and knew my kids names and everything. There is one thing that was not exceptional and that was the fact that my daughter was two weeks shy of 3 years old. She was not permitted in the kids club at all (it is a parent-free zone) and she was so sad and jealous that her brother got to go. The under 3 room is more geared towards 18 month olds and there is no leadership there just free play baby toys for parents and babies. There was one under three activity a port day and they were ALWAYS at 5:30... could you pick a more inconvenient time?!? Anyway, that's my only beef about this whole cruise. I would not recommend sailing with a "grown up" two year old that is close to three. -The weather was pretty bad, it was actually sweater weather in Cozumel. Obviously this is not the cruise ship's fault. -There is TONS to do for all ages on this cruise. There's deal or no deal and bingo daily, lots of fun evening games and parties for the adults (that we did not attend as there is no baby sitting for a two year old ... GRUMBLE*** ) -We went to one show, Cirque Bijou, an acrobat performance... so great, LOVED it. -Watched some of the couples and cruise people games on t.v. and they were hilarious. They had dancing with the stars and a couple game, really great. -We stayed in a very basic stateroom, it was clean and our steward was great. Not huge obviously but plenty big enough for our family of four. -Embarkation at port literally could not have been better in any way. We NEVER waiting in a single line-up. And there was a tender port they assign you a number and you get on that boat or any one later than that. SO easy. Really great job. -We basically only dined in the "free" restaurants and the food was excellent. Azura served up lobster and steak for me and a chicken dish for the hubby. Kids had kid food. It was wonderful. LOVED getting to choose when we wanted to eat and not have assigned seating. The Buffet was really good too. They had a Mexican theme night among other things. Lots of choices. We really liked it. We had Sushi once and it was really great too. The Japanese Steakhouse looked really good too. -There seemed to be some good shopping on the ship, we didn't shop much - The weather wasn't great so we didn't swim on the ship. My son liked the waterslide and it's cool they have a kids only hot tub. -SERVICE WAS EXCEPTIONAL, seriously top notch. PORTS: All the ports had pushy pushy sales people at every turn, but I expected this. Just have to say no and try not to make eye contact. In Honduras people will follow you whether you want them to or not and give you a little bit of history and expect a tip. Just saying. COZUMEL: Windy, rainy and cool. But Playa Mia on a nice day would be GREAT. Awesome kids waterpark, little park for them to play on, a store that sells beach toys and merchandise, a large buffet (which to be honest really wasn't very good) and they have water sports and water trampolines, a swim up bar. I would recommend on a nice sunny day for sure. BELIZE CITY: We took a horse and buggy ride which was quaint though the sights and history are, to be truthful, not that exciting. Anyway, we still enjoyed it. I also enjoyed a curb-side coconut with the local rum added ;) I don't think the snorkeling or scuba happened due to water conditions, but this is the second largest barrier reef in the world and the largest natural one. I'm sure it was out of this world. HONDURAS: We went to Gumbalimba Animal Preserve. We had SO MUCH FUN. The foliage is lovely. The pirate stuff is a little contrived (not many artifacts and the cave is man made) and the insectarium is all preserved specimens, but interesting. The rope bridge was really fun. There were lots of pretty humming birds at the feeders. The animals are all imported but that didn't concern me. We got to hold a parrot and take our own pictures, the parrot ate the top of my son's hat off, he couldn't stop laughing. The money's are the stars of the show. They were on and off of us for at least 20 minutes. They stole my daughters kid camera (we got it back) and she thought that was so funny. They also stole this lady's water bottle, took the lid off and drank it! It was just special if you love animals like I do. COSTA MAYA: The port has a pool and shops and places to drink so you don't actually have to leave. But we took the cheap bus ride into the town and payed to have pop at the Senior Frogs. Really nice beach, but the water is really shallow due to a natural reed break a short distance out. You can snorkel here, we didn't. As it was the only hot day, my husband and I were lobsters. But we had a wonderful time. So did the kids.I didn't eat there so I don't know what the food is like. We did the walk off disembarkation and just walked off at our leisure. If you can't carry all your luggage or don't wish to you are assigned a color I think and you leave at the time assigned. Really, really easy and friendly port officials. OVERALL we LOVED this Ship and our time here. Sea days were fun and I almost wish this ship only did three ports to add that extra sea day to relax. Very much worth the money we paid !! Be aware though there is some nickle and diming with the extra restaurants and pop which was not terribly affordable. If you drink it can get pretty expensive as well, since we only have a little it was fine for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We went on the NCL Jewel and my family was really pleased. We booked the ocean view. So when I came inside, our cabin came with a free wine bottle! Later that day, a worker knocked the door and gave us free chocolate covered strawberries! ... Read More
We went on the NCL Jewel and my family was really pleased. We booked the ocean view. So when I came inside, our cabin came with a free wine bottle! Later that day, a worker knocked the door and gave us free chocolate covered strawberries! Garden Cafe is the cafe on the ship and the food was spectacular! They had over 30 items and they even had Indian and Chinese food! Every evening they had a chocolate fountain in the cafe. One of the nights they had a late night chocolate buffet which was amazing! I will say, the atrium is not that amazing. When we went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, we had to take a boat to land. The cabins are smaller than the cabins on carnival and they only clean your room 2 times a day. My children enjoyed the towel animals. The kids club was nice and at the end of the cruise they put on a circus! Every day there would be one show that was performed at 7:15 P.M AND at 9:15 PM. The magic and comedy shows were so good. The main dining rooms had food that pretty much was the same like Azura ( a main dining room) might have broiled salmon and T'sars( another main dining room might have baked salmon. One difference was that the Azura was a regular restaurant and T'sars was a fancy restaurant. One thing the children loved was before you go inside Garden Cafe there was a "Washy Washy Guy" and he would give a squirt of hand sanitizer and sing "washy washy is good for you, good for me good for us Washy Washy everyday makes you healthy", in the tune of the nursery rhyme London Bridge. This was a amazing cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first cruise on Norwegian, and we were pleasantly surprised. From our check-in, to embarkation, to retuning back to New Orleans, everything was great. We travelled in what NCL calls a mini-suite, and it was a bit cramped with ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Norwegian, and we were pleasantly surprised. From our check-in, to embarkation, to retuning back to New Orleans, everything was great. We travelled in what NCL calls a mini-suite, and it was a bit cramped with two adults and two teens. We managed just fine though, and felt the cost to book a cabin above this category wasn't necessary. The Jewel is very nice for its size and age, and is maintained well. NCL waitstaff was very attentive and we never wanted for anything. We went to the first night show, and I wasn't too impressed. That opinion changed over the week, and I must say the production on day 6 was probably the best we have ever seen on a ship (aerialists, dancing and singing). The comedic magician (J.P. Parent) was great as well. Meals in the main and secondary dining room were all very good. We ate in three of the ship's specialty restaurants. Steak place was above average. LeBistro (French) and Moderno's (Churascarrea) were excellent. Dining and food options are many and varied, and we never felt too rushed or crowded. The ships dining "status" system that shows wait times, availability for seating, etc. was very helpful. We had multiple spa treatments between the four of us over the course of the cruise, and they were all very good. We paid to have access to the "relaxation room" with private aromatherapy pool, heated chaise lounges, etc. and were glad we did. We had rainy weather on embarkation day and first day at sea, and it was crowded then. The remainder of the week, we had wonderful weather and the facilities never felt crowded. The ports of call on this voyage (Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan and Costa Maya) were all places we've visited before, and definitely an enjoyable itinerary. We had a fabulous trip, and will definitely cruise with Norwegian again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Just returned home from seven days on the NCL Jewel. Have been on one other Carnaval cruise. In short, out experience on this cruise was wonderful. Service was great. Someone to help you anytime for whatever you need. The food was endless. ... Read More
Just returned home from seven days on the NCL Jewel. Have been on one other Carnaval cruise. In short, out experience on this cruise was wonderful. Service was great. Someone to help you anytime for whatever you need. The food was endless. The Garden Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet style. Complete with craving station, crepe station, omelet station, and burger, dog, pizza line. The food here was well prepared and beautifully presented. The up-charge restaurants are worth the investment. The Italian restaurant, La Cucina was excellent. The steakhouse restaurant, Cagany's served Black Angus beef. Very nice and the beef top shelf. Several of the speciality restaurants booked up early. Monitors around the ship keep passengers up to date on the reservation status. I should mention the Tsar's and Azure are free and offer excellent food. I think the service is good as any restaurant I have ever visited. The ship was spotlessly clean. Must attention is given to hand sanitation which is comforting. I appreciate dining on china and heavy flatware. Our mini suite on comfortable and spacious. It had a refrigerator which was very handy. The balcony provided fresh air and beautiful views. Did I like this cruise? You bet!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first cruise as a family. I have cruised before but my husband and kids (5y girl, 7y girl, and 9y boy) had not. Our 7y daughter has autism (moderately verbal, echolalia with severe sensory issues). We drove from Ohio to NOLA, ... Read More
This was our first cruise as a family. I have cruised before but my husband and kids (5y girl, 7y girl, and 9y boy) had not. Our 7y daughter has autism (moderately verbal, echolalia with severe sensory issues). We drove from Ohio to NOLA, stayed overnight near port and boarded the ship early on Sunday for a 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. The Port of New Orleans is a disorganized mess. There is a lot going on and, if you drive, you have to get in several different car lines- one to drop bags, one to park. The signage is confusing and there are a lot of people walking in places that only cars should be. They have the sky walk from the lot to the pier shut down so you have to walk in the busy intersections, over a rail road and road ways. If you have anyone with sound sensitivity- take ear muffs, you'll need them! Prior to the cruise our TA setup an escort through the security line that was a godsend. NCL sent a representative that helped us by pass a line the would have taken hours and would have prevented our ASD 7y to board- she would have been in full meltdown if we waited in the line. Instead we boarded in less than 10min. The escort then took us to check in and allowed us to bypass this line as well. We were staying in a Family Suite AB so we were afforded suite perks and the escort took us to the VIP lounge prior to boarding to meet our concierge and butler. Then we were taken to Cagney's for lunch and then to our suite. We booked the AB Suite for the perks because we were not sure how well our ASD 7y would do on her first cruise. We wanted a larger room, the shower and tub would help during meltdowns and food from almost anywhere on the ship could be delivered (so we wouldn't miss out if she didn't fare well and we were stuck in the suite). Best decision we could make. Our other children loved the kids club and pool. Our ASD did not tolerate the restaurants well and had no desire to go to the kids club (I think there was too much noise for her)- so we spent a lot of time in cabin, on the balcony and had several meals delivered. She did not use the tub for meltdowns as much as it was for entertainment. The suite also allows priority tenders- escorted past the line in GC without an issue. It also comes with snacks delivered in the afternoon and prior to bed (cookies each night- kids loved it). The snacks range from sandwiches to chocolate covered strawberries. I also had pitchers of iced tea delivered which was nice while sitting on the balcony watching the ocean. There was also a complimentary bottle of Prosecco for the suite which was nice in the evening- mixed with a little juice it kept our bar tab down. The suite itself has a large bedroom/ bath with a tub, dining and sitting area, kids bedroom/bath and a large balcony. It was a good amount of space for us and the kids fit nice in the bedroom with a pull down. We also liked the coffee machine and we had the fridge emptied for sodas/juice we brought on board (also our ASD has the fun skill of being able to open pop tabs- that is an expensive skill when a minibar is involved). The restaurants we did venture our to were great. Cagney's for breakfast everyday was a treat- the staff were great and they were really nice to the two other kids. They have good choices for breakfast and a nice little buffet of fruits, cereals and sliced meats/cheeses to pick from. The choices for lunch were good but they had few kids choices so we ate several lunches at the outdoor buffet or Garden Café. We also ate at Chin Chin, Mama's and Le Bistro. Each specialty restaurant was worth the cover for choice and serving size. Service was always prompt and they accommodated us with a sleeping child at times without a problem. Also had several meals delivered by butler from MDR- always prompt and hot.The ASD 7y didn't eat much due to her sensitivity and pickiness- pizza, cereal, grilled cheese, and cookies. We spent a lot of time by the pool. Pool chairs are at a premium and NCL does nothing about people saving chairs- it makes it hard to watch 3 smaller kids in the pool without having to stand the entire time. The pool is salt water but the kids enjoyed it. The water slide is only open from 10a-6p, which makes it hard to explain to the special needs kid who wants to ride it at 8a and 8p.The pool deck always has a band or some sort of entertainment. The kids participated in the Nickelodeon events and the hubs did a relay to win beer. Waiters are plentiful and there is a small buffet mid-day and the Garden Café is close. We saw several shows and listened to several cover bands in different bars. All were good. The Band on The Run was fun. Twosome Awesome did a great Beatles rendition. We also did the Dora Dance Pty and went to the White Hot Party. All were fun and had great music. As with any cruise alcohol is expensive so plan accordingly. There was also the usual cruise classes and exercise sessions- we did not participate in any. Montego Bay Jamaica is a beautiful yet very poor port. We took a cab $5/person to Doctor's Cave Beach. The cab let us out 5 blocks away from our destination and we had to walk. The "Hip Strip" is very seedy and the people of MoBay are pushy and don't lose any opportunity to sell anything. There are people pushing "ganja" right at you. I did not feel "unsafe" but it is a place to know where you are going and be confident- watch your belongings and give firm "no's". However, once you get to the beach you are in a crystal blue paradise. Chairs and umbrellas cost but t is worth it. There is a café, waiters delivering drinks on the beach and calm blue water. People are also selling things on the beach. The 5y got her hair braided and loved it. The ride back to the pier was less intimidating- we ate lunch on the ship and waited for sail away. We tendered in Grand Cayman. For ASD you need ear muffs again- the boats are loud and completely filled with people(so a lot of voices). We then took an excursion to Sea World Observatory boat. It was really neat and perfect for ASD- not completely enclosed and there is an upper deck if you encounter problems. The guide was nice and pointed our fish to my other two kids- they were fascinated. After that we walked around and shopped. We ventured to Burger King to get nuggets for the ASD (because she had only eaten cereal and pizza in days)- it was really expensive and they did not have nuggets. Stopped at duty free to pickup Doritos (for the ASD) and tendered back to the ship. My son was impressed with the cold towels (there was no greeting in Jamaica). Cozumel was a later day than the other two. We left the ship and walked through a market and around the streets close to port for a while. The ear muffs came in handy again- a lot of cars and people. The people of Cozumel also try to sell everything but they are less pushy than in Jamaica. We got several souvenirs and stuff for the kids. Then we took an $18 cab to Mr Sanchos (free beach and a VIP section). The water is gorgeous and there are free beach chairs. There is food and alcohol available and water toys to rent. My hubs and son rented a jet ski. We got tacos and nachos delivered along with some drinks. There is also a VIP section that charges $50/person for unlimited alcohol and use of a pool and water toys- we chose the free (pay as you go) because we had kids with us and could not possibly drink that much alcohol. In all we spent $45 and had a really good day. Then we took another cab ride (this time $25) back to port. Upon boarding the ship this time there was a huge greeting line with music and cold towels- the kids loved it (even the ASD). One service we did use a lot of was the kids club. My ASD 7y only went one night- sounds did echo and she did not seem interested in the activities. However, the other two LOVED the kids club. They asked to go as soon as they were done in the pool everyday. The activities for the day are adjusted for age. The did crafts and a princess parade for the little ones. They also did a pirate scavenger hunt for all ages that they both liked. Before this cruise I did not understand why anyone would send their kids to a kids club on vacation- I thought "I like taking vacations with my kids why would I send them away". I was so wrong. The kids loved it and it let them make friends. It also gave us a little down time (even though we had the ASD 7y with us she was usually asleep and we could put ear muffs on and take her along to dinner and shows). I would not hesitate now to let them go as long as they want to. The night that the ASD 7y did go, she had a great time and we were able to eat a whole meal and go see a cover band in a bar before they called us to pick her up- that was nice and the staff handled her well. Another thing we noticed is that there is a person at the door but a "wanderer" could easily get by them- so we warned them that our ASD 7y was a wanderer and may try to get out. Disembarkation was easy. We were in priority due to the suite. We met the concierge and were walked off quickly. Finding a porter in baggage claim was difficult and the porters have to walk all the way across a busy street in traffic, over rail road tracks to your car. It was awkward and I felt compelled to tip more than I would have if they just had to go to the curb. We will definitely be cruising as a family again and will chose NCL because this experience was nice and the suite perks are helpful with ASD. It is more laid back than other lines and it fit well for our family.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ... Read More
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ended up under splash academy with very energetic kids running back and forth till 10:30 PM so forget about sleeping till then. we walked around, watched shows or what not so it was not too big a deal. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth only issue was the pulling into the terminal which took us 1 hr to go around the block due to the convention and the cab driver making the wrong turn. Jewel is going to be dry docked to get a face lift next year. I loved the lay out of the garden cafe. Food was great. Variety was good too. we ate out only 1 night. Due to hurricane in Philippines, few of the employees were replace with new people. ALL THE staff was wonderful. Calling home from the ship was only $1.99 a minute - not bad, . My cabin steward Mark called every body by their first name. How he remembered - god alone knows NCL charges $25 if you loose their towel - like all the other cruise ships ( some charges up to $40 - absurd) so make sure you don't loose them. Cab from the hotel near airport to the pier was $34 for 2 of us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ... Read More
My husband and I did this for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had booked a long time ago and by the time cruise came around price had dropped and they bumped us from our BA balcony to a Mini suite. Cabin might have been bigger but we ended up under splash academy with very energetic kids running back and forth till 10:30 PM so forget about sleeping till then. we walked around, watched shows or what not so it was not too big a deal. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth only issue was the pulling into the terminal which took us 1 hr to go around the block due to the convention and the cab driver making the wrong turn. Jewel is going to be dry docked to get a face lift next year. I loved the lay out of the garden cafe. Food was great. Variety was good too. we ate out only 1 night. Due to hurricane in Philippines, few of the employees were replace with new people. ALL THE staff was wonderful. Calling home from the ship was only $1.99 a minute - not bad, . My cabin steward Mark called every body by their first name. How he remembered - god alone knows NCL charges $25 if you loose their towel - like all the other cruise ships ( some charges up to $40 - absurd) so make sure you don't loose them. Cab from the hotel near airport to the pier was $34 for 2 of us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our first Norwegian Cruise and we loved it. The boarding was a little chaotic for us. We were staying in a balcony suite and were told that we would be taken to a special room where we would be given food and drink and allowed to ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian Cruise and we loved it. The boarding was a little chaotic for us. We were staying in a balcony suite and were told that we would be taken to a special room where we would be given food and drink and allowed to board first when we arrived at the terminal. No one at the terminal knew where we were supposed to go. After being told by security to stand in the wrong line twice we were told to just sit and wait till our number was called. After an hour we caught up with a Norwegian Cruise supervisor, Nigel Garbut. This guy was wonderful and made sure we were taken care of. We were on board and having lunch in Cagney's restaurant twenty minutes after meeting him. After lunch around 1:00 pm our room was ready. Our butler, concierge , and room attendent all came by and introduced themselves. There were fresh flowers, fruit, and a bottle of Champagne waiting for us. My wife and I were celebrating our 30th. Wedding anniversary. All of the staff on the Norwegian Jewel were fantastic and catered to our every whim. We ate at a few of the specialty restaurants during our trip and the food was delicious as was the casual dining at the buffet, Tsar's Palace, and Azura Restaurant. We were allowed to dine in Cagney's for lunch and dinner since we were in a suite. The eggs Benedict was fabulous! We did the ATV riding in Cozumel, Mexico. Well worth it! We also did the Calypso Trolly tour in Belize, I won't be doing that again anytime soon. We were brought to a small cramped room where it was about 98 degrees. After a twenty minute explanation we were brought out to the trolly where we were bombarded by about fifteen vendors who were trying to sell everything from beads to massages, they would not take no for an answer. I was very disappointed that Calypso did absolutely nothing to get these people away. They tour started out well but got a little scarey when we were brought though the southern part of town. A very heavy police presence, bars on every residence and business and even armed (what looked like military personal carrying AK-47 assault rifles. Never again! OK back to the cruise. The shows on board were great and we always found something to do. My wife visited the shopping area and got some great deals on some jewelry. She even won a blue topaz! There was always plenty of food to eat. Besides free room service there is great tasting pizza, burgers and hot dogs by the pool, and last but not least the buffet. There was also a chocolate night which we missed, we were just too exhausted! We have sailed Royal Caribbean and Carnival but nothing come close to our experience with Norwegian. The Norwegian Jewel was clean, well maintained, and the staff was phenomenal! We can't wait to return!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
After reading months of Jewel reviews, I was prepared to be a little let down based on the comments of so many. Boy was I wrong! My wife and I are experienced cruisers including working for Cunard. I will try to keep my comments about the ... Read More
After reading months of Jewel reviews, I was prepared to be a little let down based on the comments of so many. Boy was I wrong! My wife and I are experienced cruisers including working for Cunard. I will try to keep my comments about the ship and crew and not the ports of call. Embarkation was relatively painless, although the construction around the terminal made for a huge traffic jam. Arriving on the ship we were greeted by music and a very welcoming cruise staff, and there was never a let down in the enthusiasm and courtesy for the rest of the cruise. The entire cruise staff had such a positive helpful attitude! Being a cc member I attended a meet and greet and the entire hotel management team showed up. We were given their personal phone extensions and asked that we call with any issues. I don't think they got a call all week! After meeting them I was amazed how often I saw them all week mingling with passengers or overseeing their people to ensure everything ran smoothly. We were a party of seven from 15, 19 and 22 to 50's to 80's so this is a "consensus" review. We had two balcony cabins and one inside cabin. The balcony cabins we big enough for two comfortably, but the third person made for cramped quarters when the sofa bed was out. We will try to get a cabin that has a fold down bunk the next time. There is literally no way to get to the balcony without walking on the bed! Storage was just enough for three. The baths were big, but we felt the glass door for the toilet wasn't needed. In fact the inside cabin was slightly smaller and didn't have the toilet divider and actually felt bigger. Our cabin steward was always available and ready to help with anything. OK - the food. After reading some really bad review we were a little nervous. We ate our breakfasts at the buffet and it was always good and fresh. There was everything you could want including museli( a cruise ship tradition) . Granted, the hollandaise sauce was not what one would get at a nice restaurant, but they are cooking for 3,000! And the ship was full of passengers who seem to develop a feeding frenzy when they hit the buffet. Having sailed NCL before we were familiar with the specialty restaurants and ate six of seven dinners there. We did have one meal in Tsars dining room and I guess our only real let down was the food there was not as good as we hoped. I agree with the previous review that mentioned the canned peas and carrots. I wasn't bad food, it just wasn't the "wow" we wanted it to be. We believe that part of the NCL experience is going to the specialty restaurants. Our review- le Bistro was wonderful. Great food, top drawer service (Budi was our waiter- he doubles as the breakfast "washy washy " guitar player). We ate there twice. The Italian was the most pleasant surprise. Everything was delicious. The osso bucco was outstanding. Again great service. The Churriscaria was a culinary adventure ! Cagneys was a great steak dinner as well. I strongly recommend you plan to spend the extra money and treat yourself to these great restaurants. It will make your cruise so much more memorable. There is very good snack food at the Blue Lagoon. The entertainment was the most pleasant surprise of our cruise. A very funny comedian, a not- to- be missed magician, and production shows that had great dancers. We had a cocktail every night in a different bar and and each one had a unique atmosphere. Prices ranged from $5.25 to $10.00 depending on the drink. The Jewel is not as fancy as some other ships, but has a very relaxed charm. Although a little tired, she is kept clean and tidy by an industrious crew. It was the most stable ship we have ever been on, with very little movement. It was very easy to get around, and even though the ship was full, the layout spread everyone out so we never felt cramped. Our only real negative experience was the staff in the store. They seemed a bit rude and put off if one needed help. In summary we say book your cruise on Jewel. You will be treated wonderfully! Just plan on spending the extra money and enjoy the specialty restaurants. You will have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I was on the 6 day reposition cruise from Vanvouver to Los Angeles, celebrating my 10-year anniversary with my wife. A friend's family also joined us. Booked about 6 months before sailing and paid 1100 for two for an inside cabin. ... Read More
I was on the 6 day reposition cruise from Vanvouver to Los Angeles, celebrating my 10-year anniversary with my wife. A friend's family also joined us. Booked about 6 months before sailing and paid 1100 for two for an inside cabin. One week prior sailing the pricing has gone down to $800 for two, so I called Costco travel. No you will not get a refund for the difference (unless you got a "lowest price guaranteed package), but Costco is nice enough to get NCL to upgrade my cabin to oceanview for free. (At the time the ocean view cabins were about 1000 for two, so I guess you can "exchange" to anything that's under the price you paid originally.) I arrived 3 days early to Vancouver to do some sightseeing, with a rental car that I picked up from Avis @ airport. The return location is Hornby Street that's fairly close to Canada Place. However, this time NCL was assigned to use this "Ballantyne Pier", and I've heard bad thing about that neighborhood, so my original plan of "dropoff -> return car -> walk" was changed to "dropoff -> return car -> taxi". Taxi was $13 from Hornby Street to Ballantyne Street, and $15 including tip was all I paid. Pretty reasonable. Btw, the Port's website is misleading on the directions. You simply take Heatley north and it will drop you in front of the cruise terminal. Don't take Clark unless you're coming from the east. The embarkation was smooth. I love the facilities of Ballantyne Pier. Easy curb-side drop off and less traffic. The entire process from the point the taxi drops me off, to myself reunite with wife and friends, to actually set foot on the ship, was about 35 minutes. Once aboard, we proceed to Tsar main dining room for lunch. It's just much nicer than the buffet. It is very hard to get seats for buffet and pool side since most of the passengers are there, and we have a few carry-on luggages and young children. Many don't realize some ships do have the main dining room open for lunch, and they don't publicize that, so you need to ask. Room Cleaning/Organizing: Great. Rick was the staff. He's just great. Room Maintenance: Our shower door fell off the first day. It was not fixed until the third day. For me it is on the slower side. I do have spa pass so this causes only little trouble, but what if I didn't have a spa pass? Shower doors are pretty much standard, so get one from an empty cabin, or get one from a staff's room, is a better approach. Dining: This is the fourth time I'm on an NCL cruise. This time the food is salty. The first day I thought it's just a rare occasion that the head chef overlooked, but throughout the entire cruise, doesn't matter which dining room we go, the food is consistently salty. Think NCL did that on purpose to push you to try specialty restaurants? Well, the paid restaurants also have the same problem. Buffet is the only exception, so every night after my main dining, after taking just a few bites because too salty, I will proceed to buffet to continue my meals. One thing to point out, desserts are still great. Good varieties and flavors, and even have sugar free version. Spa: The spa pass was $119 because it's only 6 days. It's money well spent. Most of the trip is cold, so spa provided an indoor and quiet place. Male and demale have their own area so if getting completely naked is your thing, then you have a place to go. Of course there also has a co-ed area that you get to relax side by side with your spouse, families and friends. OJ and tea is served all day inthe co-ed area so that's great. On a sea-day I spend the entire afternoon here, staring at sea and listen to the music. Main dining crew: I tink the crew are a little not as friendly as before. My 6 dinners there, only one night I'd say it has the NCL standard I used to get. Very little interactions. Is it because it's reposition cruise? Buffet: For me the buffet scored high this time. Good food, and they have a guy singing the "washing-washing hands" song all day. He's great! Kids loved him. That song still stuck with me. Shore Excursions: I walked all ports. See below: Victoria: 30 minutes walking from pier to down town. (if you want, cab is about $15 including tip, but walking along shore and nice houese are great!) Astoria: the city is selling $7 ticket that gives you all day trolley ride (Runs from just ourside the pier and goes east for a few miles. Not too far. Only one car, runs back and forth. If you can't board at the beginning, you will never be able to board along the way. Most of the people board at pier, and rides all the way, and then rides all the way back.) , all day shuttle bus rides (Pier -> Commercial/10th ->Maritime Museum -> Marine/9th -> Pier. they have 5-6 busses running this route and average wait is about 15-20 minutes), and the transfer bus to Astoria Column (The staff will tell you to be at Commercial/10th at 1PM sharp, but you can pretty much arrive any time after 1PM. The bus stop is on Commercial/10th and on the north east corner, on 10th. They have 2-3 busses running this route and the wait is about 20 minutes) I rode the bus to Maritime Musem, Do some sightseeing, then had to try really hard to board the east bound trolley. When the trolley comes to the stop, our group of six are the only ones getting off. We continue walking east-ward on the river-front walk and visited Pier 39 (has a small bumblebee museum teling you the history of Bumblebee in Astoria). Then we walk back and took 45 minutes (in rain) to get back to Commercial/10th to ride transfer shuttle to Column. Column is great, you get climb all the way up and get some really good pictures. It also has a clean bathroom facilities in the parking lot. SF: We opt to walk from Pier 35 to the beginning of Taylor St cable car, so we can purchase the all day ticket ($14). With cable car $6 one way and $12 round trip, all-day ticket is the way to go. You can ride cable car all day, ride bus 30 to Palace of Fine Art, ride bus 28 to Golden Gate bridge, 39 to Coit Tower, and ride Street Car "F" from Fisherman's back to the cruise terminal. Debarkation: The day before debark you should proceed to excursion desk, and there you can see the luggage tags up for grab. You take the ones that match your schedule. I live in OC so there's no rush, and I pisked the 10AM debark time (and actually get called at 9:30AM the day of debark, so it runs pretty smooth) I had a PrimeTime shuttle picking us up. Pretty easy to find the shuttle stop. Conclusion: Very nice trip. Everything went the way it should, except the food. Food is salty, especially the seafood. I've chat with a few people I met on the ship, and pretty much the same feeling, so it's not just me.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was a first cruise to Alaska and as an introduction to Alaska it was awesome. Our group included my wife and me, our two young adult sons, and my 83 yr. old mother-in-law (who was on her first cruise). It is hard to find anything to ... Read More
This was a first cruise to Alaska and as an introduction to Alaska it was awesome. Our group included my wife and me, our two young adult sons, and my 83 yr. old mother-in-law (who was on her first cruise). It is hard to find anything to criticize. The overall experience on the Norwegian Jewel is geared to a family traveling together. There are activities for young children and if there is a demographic group that may be not well represented it is young adult singles. We did not avail ourselves of any of the specialty dining options, prefering to dine in the Tsar's dining room and Azura, with the occasional foray to the Garden Cafe and the Blue Lagoon. The menu selection in the Tsar's and Azura are varied with several changes as the cruise contiues. Presentation and quality are very good and, of course, you can add extra entrees if you are hungry! Since we cruise for the total experience, we book interior staterooms rather than balcony rooms. Our cabin, though small (143 sq. feet) provided everything we needed in sleeping and bath facilities. It was clean, comfortable and very quiet. Don, our steward was attentive and kept the cabin well supplied and clean (even though we were somewhat cluttered with our "stuff"). Embarcation was quick and easy. I suggest that anyone driving and parking use the Republic Parking service across the street from Pier 66 in Seattle.) We arrived at noon on the day of sailing and had a very nice lunch in the Garden Cafe and followed that up with a tour of the ship to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the ship. We then went topside and took in the downtown Seattle skyline views and Puget Sound views. Cast-off took place on-time and it was a wonder to watch this large ship navigate through a very busy harbor scene with a lot of pleasure boats running around. A few notes about the shipboard experience. NCL entertainment is well produced and thought out. The entertainers a first class and the shows are well worth it. Comedian/Magician Jeanne Pierre was very entertaining and funny. Cruise Director Jaime de Souza was very personable and made us all feel like we were members of the family. The entertainment was first class and appropriate for all ages. The Cirque de Bijou show in the Stardust Theater was the highlight of the cruise. The other shows were excellent and varied! As a counterpoint to the Stardust Theater productions the various lounge acts were very good and we enjoyed that experience when we wanted less of a "production" experience. The entertainment is appropriate for all ages and parents will not have to worry about any raunchy shows. The ship is clean and well maintained. The staff and crew were very courteous and friendly and really appear to enjoy their jobs. If I was traveling with young children or grandchildren, I would not hesitate to take a cruise with NCL. There are activities onboard ship that are staffed from early morning until late evening and the kids we saw were having a great time. Hope this helps! Enjoy the experience! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was a "family" cruise; husband, wife, and (adult) daughter. A great chance to "re-connect" with our daughter, who we see every few months. This was our second cruise with NCL and second time on the Jewel, so we ... Read More
This was a "family" cruise; husband, wife, and (adult) daughter. A great chance to "re-connect" with our daughter, who we see every few months. This was our second cruise with NCL and second time on the Jewel, so we knew what to expect. We live on the east coast, so flew to Seattle a couple of days ahead of embarkation; had a "studio suite" at the Seattle Downtown Sheraton; the extra room size was great for the three of us, at a good rate. We booked a balcony cabin for "mom & dad"; daughter had her own, inside single cabin. The balcony cabin had plenty of room for the two of us, with a king bed and couch. We tried three (adults) in the same size cabin on a previous cruise, and don't recommend it. There is no room to maneuver with the couch pulled out for sleeping. Embarkation was efficient and friendly. Ports were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, BC. In Ketchikan, my daughter and I did a salmon fishing trip, which we arranged privately. Great excursion if you like to fish; six people on a 35 foot boat, experienced fisherman/captain, and we caught fish. You can have them processed and sent home... or not. "Mom" did a nice "trolley" tour, as an NCL-arranged shore excursion. In Juneau, Daughter and I took a shuttle bus to the Mendenhall Glacier, then hiked an easy two-mile path to a waterfall next to the glacier. You can book shore excursions through NCL, but there is no need. There are about 20 "excursion" booths at the Juneau visitor center, just waiting to help you. The shuttle to the glacier was $16 round trip. In Skagway, we rode on the scenic railway to the White Pass, where the miners crossed the mountains to the Yukon; fantastic scenery. You can book the railway privately, but we booked through NCL because it got a "private" train which picked up right on the cruise dock. "Mom" has a mobility problem, so the extra $4 was worth it. A trip "highlight" was cruising in Tracey Arm (fjord) to the Sawyer Glacier. It is amazing how the big cruise ships maneuver in the narrow fjord. Victoria, BC, is a really "pretty" place. Mom and Daughter did a "traditional" English tea at the Empress Hotel, arranged privately; pricey, but a fun mother/daughter experience. There are plenty of shore excursion opportunities, but I just walked around downtown, did some shopping, and enjoyed a "buskers" festival that was going on all over time. Each of the Alaska towns have "fully embraced" the tourist trade, so many of the shops near the cruise terminals are "tie ins" to ship shopping promotions (jewelry, art, resort clothes, etc.) and have nothing to do with Alaska. Get beyond the first few blocks to get a more "local" experience. I can't say enough good about the Jewel crew and staff; attentive, friendly, and efficient. Everyone, from cabin stewards to officers, were true professionals. Embarkation was quick and painless. We had arranged shuttle service to the airport from the pier; we were "whisked away" without trouble. Personally, I would have preferred more time at the Alaska ports. A one-week cruise to Alaska from Seattle only allows three days in Alaska. But, all things considered, a good trip. A good, clean ship, great crew, and fantastic scenery. Oh, by the way, we had wonderful weather for the entire week; sunny and warm. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We were two first-time senior cruisers, one of whom has limited mobility and requires a wheelchair, and travelling with our son's family, including their toddler. We booked a handicap accessible cabin, which we could not view on line ... Read More
We were two first-time senior cruisers, one of whom has limited mobility and requires a wheelchair, and travelling with our son's family, including their toddler. We booked a handicap accessible cabin, which we could not view on line and hoped for the best. We did pre-cruise planning with the customer service desk, which was quite professional, competent and comfortable with our circumstance. Reading some of the reviews, re: limited cabin space, etc., we had some reservations. Embarkation: NCL assistance was very helpful, and supportive of our special needs and expedited our boarding. Amazingly efficient considering the masses. Cabin: How absolutely pleased that our anxieties weren't warranted. To start, we could wheel our chair into and around the cabin and easily into a bathroom, which had access to a shower with fold down bench/hand-held shower head, and ample, sturdy 'grab bars'. Mirror, sink, toilet and toiletry shelves were arranged, in kind. Closet was accessible with ample storage space, too. Our balcony was well worth the added cost and made it possible to enjoy the stunning Alaskan scenery with terrific accessibility, convenience and relative privacy. Food: We ate mainly in the Tsar's Palace dinning room and at the buffet in the Garden Cafe. And though the latter had reserved seating for handicapped persons, it was quite limited. This was not a problem as we found seating for our family, elsewhere. The staff were exceedingly friendly, accommodating and helpful, especially in the Tsar's Palace who were attentive, accommodating and considerate to our special needs, including dietary ones. In fact, staff/crew were the same throughout the ship and our voyage. Excursions: Not being certain about how we'd be in our times in ports, we did not make excursion reservations beforehand. We chose to do so on the day-of and locally; this was fairly easy, e.g., plenty of taxis, etc. Of note, each time we disembarked, we were greeted by a Jewel staffer, asked to help and who wheeled my wife down to the shore and upon our return, another staffer wheeled her back onto the ship. Kudos! Entertainment: Fun, high energy but limited and not very accessible seating for handicapped individuals, e.g., narrow aisles, limited space between rows of seats. Not much one can do but a limitation, nonetheless. Disembarkation: What a civil and sane approach, i.e., select the time you wish to depart and remain in your cabin until your "color"/time is called. Staff expedites process quite well. Bags meet you in the terminal. And you're "on the street" shortly after retrieving your bags. In closing, big time kudos to NCL for their disabled friendly attention, consideration and service and for the layout and amenities in our cabin. On behalf of my special needs family, "well done!" and thanks for making our voyage so enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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