593 Norwegian Jewel Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because my brother pics all our cruises and I just trust his choices..lol. I have been traveling with Norwegian for 4 years now and it is amazing. So spoiled by the time i get home,have a hard time adjusting. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my brother pics all our cruises and I just trust his choices..lol. I have been traveling with Norwegian for 4 years now and it is amazing. So spoiled by the time i get home,have a hard time adjusting. We had the most wonderful crew, but our waiter was one of the most pleasing people i have ever met. Word of warning...on this ship and a few others. The pull out bed is as hard as a rock, so it would be fine for kids, but not adults. Even though it was so hard our room steward brought extra padding and blankets to make it a softer experience..Thanks to all the crew and we will be back traveling with you next and forever..I know i should quit smoking, but if i choose not to i may have quit going, because i see Norwegian is sending surveys out asking if you would cruise if it was no smoking. Im done if they do..cancel the food for heavy people..they wont be going either then.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our 5 th cruise with ncl. 3 of them on this ship. We are latatude members because we have traveled with them so many times. We are awarded certain perks. Standing in line for over 2 hours is not one of them. No more bringing soda ... Read More
This was our 5 th cruise with ncl. 3 of them on this ship. We are latatude members because we have traveled with them so many times. We are awarded certain perks. Standing in line for over 2 hours is not one of them. No more bringing soda or water on board, company policy. Once on board the room was great. Large bathroom with a tub. If you bring your own coffee be sure to bring basket type filters. They don't sell any on the ship. When are the cruise ships going to start puting more than one electrical plug in? I'm tired of bringing my own power strips. Cabin stewards were great as usual. Food was just average. Lots of Germans on board to cruise through the canal so we had Bavarian food in the buffet. BBQ on the swim deck was good. We had free dinners in the specialty restraints. The Cagney restraunt had the best filet I ever ate. We ate there 3 times. No more free lobster in the main dining room, company policy. No more midnight chocolate party, company policy. The entertainment was average. Seen most of them on other NCL sailings. How bout something new. The shore excursion to the jungle train ride and boat ride was lame. The train traveled next to the road we drove in on. We did happen to see a few monkeys. The rride up a river to see alligators was also lame. We did see a couple of alligators , lots of birds and many rare Michelin black wall tires. Also a few Nike shoes on the bank. Can ya clean up the mess a little Costa Rica. The hop on hop off buss in Cartagena worked for us. We stopped at the beach and went swimming. Why did the maintainace crew close and paint the swimming pool on the ship for a couple days on the hottest part of the trip? Of all the ships we have been on , Ian was the best cruise director . He had magic tricks in the morning and jokes at night after the shows in the main theatre. Gina Welch our personal cruise consultant was very good to us over the years, we will miss you. Come on NCl can ya get your ship together? Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my first time with Norwegian. Honestly, I was very disappointed with everything, from food to entertainment. For 15 days, we had the same menu in the Garden Café, in specialty dining venues like Chin Chin, Teppanyaki, ... Read More
This was my first time with Norwegian. Honestly, I was very disappointed with everything, from food to entertainment. For 15 days, we had the same menu in the Garden Café, in specialty dining venues like Chin Chin, Teppanyaki, Moderno,... and they were not that good either. On other cruise liners, the waiter/waitress normally came over asking for what we want for our drinks but not here. When I asked, they simply directed me to the station so I could "serve" myself. The entertainment most of the time were one-man shows. Except for the circuit performance near the end of the cruise, all were mediocre. I was disgusted by the way the entertainment staff, if I remember correctly his name was Henry, conducted at the Shout about Movie game. When a lady asked him to stand in the middle of the room in order to be fair to both teams, he responded that she should be actively engaging instead of "complaining". On a positive note, the disembarkation of Cabo San Lucas went smoothly with Norwegian tenders. We bought this cruise due to its interesting itinerary but would not do it again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We tried this cruise ship to go to Mexico. The food was HORRENDOUS in most of the restaurants, specially at Chin Chin restaurant. We much preferred the food in the Garden Cafe to the specialy restaurants. The Haven breakfast had limited ... Read More
We tried this cruise ship to go to Mexico. The food was HORRENDOUS in most of the restaurants, specially at Chin Chin restaurant. We much preferred the food in the Garden Cafe to the specialy restaurants. The Haven breakfast had limited food and not very tasty... you can have special order but it wasnt cooked well and took a very long time to cook. Food was terrible... best food was in Garden Cafe. The ship is Old and Small and Front Desk hotel manager is RUDE... the pool deck area is wayyyy too small compared to the other cruises we have taken. The White Party was *DEAD*. They held it at Spinnaker Lounge cuz it was raining in pool deck... when we arrived 30 minutes after the party started there were only @10 passengers on the dance floor...that was the extent of the White Night experience. Usually bartenders and servers would dress up like angels and entertain, dance throughout the night, make the party lively... that was absent here. Our room was not cleaned in detail when we first checked in and the blinds were broken and never fixed even after we complained about it. The chrome fixtures in the room were very dusty and there was hair/dirt in the outer edges of the bathrooms, carpet looked old, faded and dirty... detail cleaning was poor. The hammock, umbrellas, cushions, shades were not set up at all in our private deck. We kept complaining that they needed to set it up and they finally did it right on the 3rd port of call. We didnt purchase any shore excursions from the ship... we saved so much money by buying outside the ship and the Mexicans gave us half price discount. We had great excursions that we arranged with the locals on our own. We attended a free seminar on feet inserts and they managed to convince me to buy a pair for $200. They said there was a free 7 day trial. When I tried to return it before the 7 day period they refused to give my money back. I recall the guy told me they never had a return in their history of selling this... I can see why. We were happy with the entertainment... the New Yorker standup comedian was great, and the dancers were talented and wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our group of 12 was on the NORWEGIAN JEWEL from December 23 -30, 2016. The group was my wife and I (4 other cruises) in an Oceanview stateroom, my 29 year old son and his girlfriend (first cruise) in an Oceanview stateroom, my 24 year old ... Read More
Our group of 12 was on the NORWEGIAN JEWEL from December 23 -30, 2016. The group was my wife and I (4 other cruises) in an Oceanview stateroom, my 29 year old son and his girlfriend (first cruise) in an Oceanview stateroom, my 24 year old daughter and her boyfriend (3rd cruise) in an Oceanview stateroom, my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents (2nd cruise) in an Oceanview stateroom, our son’s girlfriend’s aunt and the girlfriend’s 10 year old son (1st cruise) in a balcony stateroom and the aunt’s sister and husband (2nd cruise) in an Interior stateroom. Whew! Confusing group, I know. Main point is that we had a variety of ages and experience. The aunt and her sister were both renting scooters and had some mobility issues. But EVERYONE had a great time. Different takes from everyone, but I’ll focus as best I can on the overall experience, but understand that not everyone did everything I talk about here. EMBARKATION: This was a disappointing mess. My wife and I plus a few others in the group arrived in LA that morning. It was pretty fast (30 minutes) to get from LA to the port, and we used a VERY nice van service. There are lots in a city that size…our group of 8 was big enough (with all the suitcases) to get our very own van, but at no extra charge. We arrived at the port and it took forever for the porter to take our bags. Yes, we had a lot, but it took longer than it should have. Then a port representative met us to help with our family member who needed a wheelchair. One family member was allowed to go with her, but that meant having her niece leave her little boy with us…and as we aren’t his family members, we couldn’t bring him on the ship. What a mess! Finally, our son, the boy, the niece and the aunt all went off and my wife and I fended for ourselves. We were glad to see a line for “repeat” customers (we’re bronze…lowest level) but it saved no time. We all ended up at the same check-in counters. The wait was 45 minutes. In the end, we were the last folks on the ship from our whole group. Normally we are on by noon or 1. It was after two, and cabins were already available, so the ship was a madhouse. RESTAURANTS: I’ll start with THE GREAT OUTDOORS. This was where we met up with most of our group as we waited for muster drill. As always, this is a great spot to look around at the views, grab a drink, get some food and NOT have significant crowds. You have to walk all the way through the very long cafeteria to get to it, and I guess a lot of folks just won’t bother. The buffet doesn’t have as many choices as the main buffet, but it still has PLENTY to choose from. The atmosphere is just so much more relaxing. We spent time in the late evenings as well (once we were in Mexican temps…it was a little chilly in SoCal!). Buffet is open late, the bar is pouring and the sound of the ship moving through the ocean is relaxing. You can have a party atmosphere here or a calm one. Our first couple of dinners, we did as a group of 12. With the Christmas holidays, I had to reserve seats for Christmas Eve (formal night) as well as Christmas brunch and then Christmas night dinner. Our first night (the 23rd) we tried out Tsar’s, the more “formal” or “traditional” of the two MDRs. We were seated quickly and the food and service was very nice. The following night was good as well. Folks were seldom truly formal (saw a small smattering of tuxes), but there were plenty of suits. I don’t know if Christmas Eve just brought out a larger selection of dressier folks. Not every meal everyone had was a homerun, and there were a few uneaten appetizers or entrees…but I liked everything I had for the most part. On the first night, I had the prime rib and it was very tasty. (I had prime rib on EXPLORER OF THE SEAS 3 months prior, and that was quite tasteless.) Anyway, when Christmas brunch came around, things fell apart a bit from a service perspective. So much so, they gave me a free bottle of wine. Very slow. Wrong items arriving. Half the table receiving their entrees and the other half waiting forever. It was not good, so after that, our party never had dinner at Tsar’s again. We made the move to Azura that night and while, to be honest, I like the formal Tsar’s a bit better…everyone seemed to feel more at ease, so I was happy. The service was good too. Food is the same as at Tsar’s…but the more contemporary atmosphere is quite different. I recommend you try both. They each have something nice to offer. (By the way, Tsar’s is open for breakfast, and I highly recommend it. You can often get a table by a window and have a lovely view of the ocean while you gorge yourself!). We had lunch on the 24th at CHIN-CHIN, the included Chinese place. For lunch, it is a noodle house…and it was quite tasty!! A couple of the older members of our group were not so enchanted by the unorthodox food…but most of us loved it. (If you wanted an alcoholic beverage, though, you had to run down a level and get it from one of the bars. We had no bar service there, as for some reason, the bar at the sushi joint was closed at lunch time.) We only tried the main buffet one for breakfast and once for lunch. It is fine. Crowded but fine. We ended up having several breakfast’s at O’SHEEHAN’S, the delightful “open almost all the time” sit down place with a large, Irish-themed bar adjacent. The have a limited menu of things like burgers, fries, tuna sandwich, etc…but for breakfast, they have essentially the same choices as Tsar’s and it’s a bit more casual. (A great place for a pre or post-hangover dose of protein, too.) Service, to be honest, was always a bit indifferent, but it was efficient, so I was happy enough. The only specialty restaurant we did was TEPPANYAKI, as a group of 12 on the 28th. We had a blast, and the food was terrific. Fresh and tasty and plentiful. There is an extra charge, which I think is a bit high (about $30, I think)…but if you can do a splurge, this is a fun time. Only gripe was that they were 15 minutes late seating us, so we were a bit pressed for time to catch the show in the theater. We did not try other specialty places this time, as we enjoyed having dinner with our kids and their SOs. The older folks in the group did try some other spots and gave glowing reports about Cagney’s and less-than-enthused about the Italian spot. BARS Many of us had selected the drink package as one of our ad-ons (part of the special), and we sure got our money’s worth. It was the holidays, and for most of the trip, the weather was warm and sunny. So we indulged a fair amount. The limit was $15, and we seldom exceeded it. And not everything needed to be well drinks, either. Jack Daniels, Johnny Black, etc. were all covered. I saw no real “generic” names. Strangely, Dark and Stormy’s were more than $15??!! I was able to order a Moscow Mule with dark instead of white rum…so that was just a little odd. I can’t speak much about the wine…we had very little of that, but my kids often got a glass at dinner and seemed satisfied. They are not very knowledgeable, though! Beer was the usual disappointing array. A couple of places had Heineken on draft, but overall the selection was poor. I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a Pale Ale from Lagunita’s though. That seemed like a random (but nice) choice to pop up in a sea of Budweiser, Coors & Sam Adams lager. The bars themselves all had various things to offer, but most really had the same stuff as anyone else. The notable exception was the Mojito Bar (connected to Cagney’s Steakhouse) which poured some really unusual and tasty mojitos you couldn’t get anywhere else. They have more limited hours, so make plans to drop by. It is a bit more “elegant” than many of the bars and they actually serve a chex-mix type of thing to encourage lingering. So you might feel out of place stopping by in your swim trunks and flip-flops. Otherwise, it’s a standard selection of pool-side bars, bars in the two clubs and a smattering throughout the ship. Each bar was nice and the service was generally good. I was always able to order two drinks with just one card. And ordering doubles was never an issue. Frankly, some of these guys poured with a very heavy hand. I ordered a double Cape Cod for my wife, and they basically filled the glass with vodka and then splashed a smidgen of cranberry juice on top. Watch out! ENTERTAINMENT As with all other cruises we’ve done, this was a bit hit and miss. The Norwegian Jewel cast was actually pretty good and we enjoyed BAND OF THE RUN, essentially a collection of songs from the 70s / 80s. High energy, fast moving and the live band was great. In fact, most of the shows featured the live band, and they were always a pretty tight ensemble. Yes, they stared hard at their cheat sheets and weren’t terribly charismatic…but they sounded really great. We enjoyed ourselves overall at these shows. We didn’t spend much time with the other entertainment on the ship, except occasionally a song or two in Spinnaker’s, the bigger of the clubs, with a dance floor and lots of seating. Spinnaker’s is the site of many daytime “games” as well. This place gets a lot of use, but when it is not in use, there is no better spot for some quiet time reading or looking at the sea. MISC: We spent some time playing board games in the game room. It’s so nice that they have that. It’s a simple little feature (right next to the library) but on this family oriented cruise…it was packed! Speaking of family oriented…THE QUEST game show, which is usually for adults only, was REALLY for adults only. It is held in the Spinnaker, which makes it possible for more people to get involved (compared to, say, the Ice Arena on a Royal Caribbean ship, where you can just watch and laugh if you want). The challenges got quite racy at the end, and as my son said once “I definitely saw some nudity.” So be warned. We laughed our butts off, but I was a little surprised as well. Spinnaker also hosted White Hot night, because the weather had gotten very blustery. Being indoors dampened this event, and it was a bit of a flop, I would say. We had looked forward to it, but somehow, being inside just wasn’t as fun as spreading out over the two levels around the pool, tropical drink in hand, dancing like fool. The 10 year old with us spent LOTS of time on the sports court. Soccer tournaments, basketball, etc. He enjoyed the Kids Club (can’t remember the name) and was immediately ready to do another cruise! CABIN: We had an oceanview room on deck 5, so this featured a picture window, rather than a porthole. It was a perfectly serviceable cabin…just like any other. If you’ve cruised before, you know what I mean. If not…just expect something that looks like an inexpensive hotel room, but much smaller. Store your suitcases under the bed. Bring handing cosmetic bags as there is essentially no counter space. (I will say, though, that the room had perhaps a little bit more storage space than we’ve had before. We actually had an unused drawer! Our steward was fine…nothing special, but our room was always clean and towels always stocked and ice always provided. We didn’t see him much, but didn’t really need to. DISEMBARKATION This was essentially a breeze, although we had to wait extra for the two wheelchairs we needed. This made us amongst the last to debark, but everything was smooth. You can still get a lovely breakfast in Tsar’s and I recommend that. One last shot of really nice, tablecloth service! (One tip…we had rented a couple of vehicles from the Enterprise dealership in San Pedro. Their shuttle took us there and then my son and I had to wait for over an hour to get cars. It was SO terribly jam-packed. The staff was overwhelmed. It’s a tiny office and you actually have to wait outside. Find another solution!! Take an uber to a neighboring town for a rental car. (We had to spend about 8 hours in LA before our flight, so we wanted a bit of freedom to move around.) Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
One thing that surprised me that is dramatic different from the Royal Caribbean cruise is the ballroom dancing music perform by the bands. Each band only perform an hour so we always had to switch from one band to the next. It's like ... Read More
One thing that surprised me that is dramatic different from the Royal Caribbean cruise is the ballroom dancing music perform by the bands. Each band only perform an hour so we always had to switch from one band to the next. It's like we always had to search around for the availability which is a torture. Also, the restaurant Chin Chin was not even up to standard Chinese food. they got to change standards, soon. When we book the cruise, the agent tells us that only "Casual dress" is for this freestyle cruising and no need to bring formal clothes. But, that isn't the case as a handful of passengers in suits or cocktail dresses on the ship's one (very optional) formal night. Shorts are allowed in all dining venues except the Tsar's Palace main dining room and Le Bistro French restaurant. Overall, it is a very good trip and I enjoyed the hospitality that I received from the crews members. I definitely will take it again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in ... Read More
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in the garden buffet. Cagney's steakhouse was the best of all and Moderno's was second best. We tried all of the pay extra restaurants and most of the included restaurants. None were what I would call bad, most was pleasant and enjoyable. We were not impressed with O'Sheehan's. The poolside BBQ, was not really a BBQ. The food was prepared int he kitchen and then kind of finished off-kept warm over hot coals. Our favorite drink discovery was the BBC - you have got to try one of these! Since the room came with a bunch of free booze and drinks as well as the drink package, we really did not try many of the bars. The main thing was the room on this cruise. I know many people say you don;t cruise for the cabin - but we had a hard time leaving our cabin! it was seriously amazing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We stayed in the forward penthouse suite, which was great! The room was a nice size and the balcony was awesome. The perks like having a butler and concierge was really helpful. We got to board/disembark first, always had a spot to sit ... Read More
We stayed in the forward penthouse suite, which was great! The room was a nice size and the balcony was awesome. The perks like having a butler and concierge was really helpful. We got to board/disembark first, always had a spot to sit at shows, and could have breakfast at a separate restaurant that was a lot quieter than the main buffet. I also liked that room service was free because we did use that a few times. Every afternoon, we'd get snacks like peanut butter sandwiches, a cheese platter, even a gingerbread house on Christmas. That was a nice touch. The food was good and bad. Lots of food options and most were fine, but some not so good. The sushi bar specialty dining was terrible. The rice had too much vinegar that you could taste so everything tasted bitter. The chinese food had very dry chicken. Overall the food wasn't great but there was plenty of it so you could always get something else. The Splash Academy kids club was pretty good. The kids had fun-not amazingly "wow" fun, but they enjoyed it. The last day they did a performance for the parents, which was really cute. What I didn't like about the club was that you had to pick up the kids every 2 hours for their meals and by the time you went to check them in (it took about 15 minutes each time), as well as picking them up (always a line). Lots of time wasted on that. The activities were pretty good on board but a lot you had to pay for to do. We did massages, which were really pricey. $200 each and the lady spent about 15 minutes afterwards trying to sell me a bunch of products. It was good until the sales pitch. Tips are not included so be prepared to pay a few hundred more at the end- also butler and concierge not included in the tips the board takes, so we spend more than $700 on tips..yikes! With Norwegian we did have some issues before our cruise. Our original cruise was cancelled/rescheduled a few days later and dropped from 8 nights to 7. Compensation for a family of four was $25, no joke. Also we were supposed to get 3 specialty dining nights free and we only got that after wasting a lot of hours...they wanted to give us $75 TOTAL instead- mind you, the specialty dining ranges from $25-$50 each person, so it should have been $75-$150 EACH. Everything was in our e-mail confirmation but Norwegian said it was an issue we had to talk to costco about. The boat was very rocky. I think the jewel being a smaller vessel had something to do with it. I felt sick, and the rocking was pretty noticeable by other passengers. The staff was very nice/helpful and the kids had a great time. I am not sure I would go again on this cruise line/ship- will opt for a larger ship next time that is more inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
A little bit about us, we are a family of four. Mom and Dad in their 30’s, with a five year old daughter and two year old son (will be three in January). For the adults, this was our 10th cruise. However, this was our first cruise with ... Read More
A little bit about us, we are a family of four. Mom and Dad in their 30’s, with a five year old daughter and two year old son (will be three in January). For the adults, this was our 10th cruise. However, this was our first cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. This was our daughter’s second cruise and our son’s first cruise. Thanks to fellow cruise critic member KiaOra, I am stealing your review format. I like it a lot and allows me to compile my thoughts more succinctly. Pre-Cruise We live in Phoenix so we drove to the Los Angeles area the day before embarkation and stayed at an Embassy Suites in Santa Ana. The next morning we had an easy drive to the port. I will say of all the ports I have been to, this port had the least signage and we wandered aimlessly to figure out how to drop bags and then park in the surface lot. If you are driving to San Pedro, parking is currently $17 per day in the surface lot. Embarkation Due to upgrading/upselling to the two-bedroom family penthouse suite, our embarkation process was very simple. I was attempting to surprise my wife with the upgrade and managed to keep it a secret until we went into the “priority” check-in line. Word of caution, similar to TSA security, you are not allowed to bring liquids through security. This was a bit of a surprise as we had filled our reusable water bottles and had to suck them down while in line. There was an option to get out of line and dump in water fountain but we didn’t want to do that. After getting through security I took us to the priority line and we were checked-in within about 10 minutes and headed over to the “Lounge” area to enjoy snacks and drinks prior to boarding. About 30 minutes later we were escorted onboard by a butler who took us to our room to drop off our carry-on luggage and then off to Moderno Suite lunch. Ports Puerto Vallarta – we had a great time. This was the day of my wife’s birthday and she really wanted to swim with the dolphins. We booked outside of the ship and went to Dolphin Discovery and Aquaventures water park. We booked outside of the ship and saved a few bucks. Just a fair warning, they take LOTS of pictures and those pictures are expensive. We purchased the “main” package and it was about $132 US, the nice thing was that we got all the pictures electronically. The water park was AWESOME and my kids had a great time. I would highly recommend this excursion. Mazatlan – We did a Stone Island excursion, also booked outside the ship. This was a nice relaxing day on the beach with lunch, drinks and shopping. Cabo – We did not have an excursion here. We took the tender to the harbor and hired a water taxi to take us to Medano Beach. This was another relaxing day on the beach. At the beach there were lots of vendors with the normal arts/crafts and an occasional food vendor. Dining & Drinking Overall, we found the food in all of the restaurants to be good to outstanding. We had three nights of specialty dining. We ate at Cagney’s, Teppenyaki and Le Bistro. The food in these three restaurants was outstanding! We ate in Tsar’s three nights and found most of the food to be very good. We ate in Chin Chin one night and this food was ok. Not the best and not the worst Chinese food we’ve eaten. We pretty much steered away from the buffet. Mom and Dad have never really enjoyed buffets. With that said the Crepe station was amazing and we had crepes multiple times! Our kids really liked the kid’s area buffet. They thought it was really neat to be able to get their own food. Although, they “don’t like” most of what was there. Additionally, we had the Unlimited Beverage Package and we USED it. We never had a problem getting a drink from a server or bartender. Every once in a while they would want to see both of our cards but that was not a big deal. We never ended up ordering a drink over $15 and we tried lots of different drinks. Entertainment We attended three of the evening shows and found them to all be very good. Both of the kids really enjoyed the acrobatic shows and we enjoyed the comedy show. You can always find music on the ship, some better than others but the music was plentiful. On our sea days we spent most of our time at the pool enjoying the hot tubs and the kids loved the big slide! Disembarkation Overall this process went very smoothly. However, the customs line was very long but the port staff did a great job of keeping it moving. We collected our bags, hired a porter, retrieved the car, loaded up and hit the road for Phoenix. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows are not to be missed. Really great magic and funny comedian who doesn't have to be raunchy to be funny, Desserts and buffets were delicious and service in dining rooms was great. One nice thing about the Jewel is that ALL the staff try to make your cruise experience a wonderful one. The gratutities are mandatory so let them do all they do to help insure your pleasant trip. Love that the ship is kept very clean inside and out. Washy Washy. My drink package was excellent as I never had an issue with anything I asked for and my drinks were not watered down as I had read on other reviews. The captain was everywhere on the ship and accessible to all. Cruise director Iain was also very personable and friendly and funny. Wish we had an overnight in Cabo San Lucas as it would be nice to spend the whole day at the beach or doing activities. Last tender is at 2:30 so you need to start your morning very early to enjoy as much time on land as possible. Other than that, I would definitely go again on this cruise and I know I would have loved it just as much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and ... Read More
This is an average cruise ship with small rooms. (Read my room review) The food was decent and complimentary Juices, lemonade and water when dining. They confiscate your wine at check in (San Pedro) as they have NO SYSTEM for counting and charging corkage for it when you are dropping off your bags at the curb. We received ours at 9pm the first night, ridiculous system currently in place. They have an adult pool and children's side by side. Smoking is upstairs above it at the Sky High Bar and fun crowd. Many Children, Elderly and Honeymooners on the ship. Not a lot of teens. The restaurants have similar food (Tsar's and Azur). When returning from a excursion you are double checked and xray machine for alcohol. If you have it is confiscated and returned to you on the last night. The Las Caletas Hideaway excursion is very fun, but not recommended for anyone who has a hard time walking. Free stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, inner tubes, kayaking and fun floating docks. Decent Lunch too. You cannot bring a wheelchair. Beware of being bombarded with Mexicans when leaving the ship in Mazatlán and Cabo trying to sell you taxi rides and ship rides. It's crazy. Do not let them touch you, by putting bracelets on you ..SAY NO. Be prepared when leaving the ship to stand in a line with hundreds of people.. be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We are a young family with 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and 3. We recently went on a Norwegian Cruise with 3 other families. Our previous two family cruises were on the Disney Cruise Line. This was not our first choice, but we thought hey, why ... Read More
We are a young family with 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and 3. We recently went on a Norwegian Cruise with 3 other families. Our previous two family cruises were on the Disney Cruise Line. This was not our first choice, but we thought hey, why not? Unfortunately, we realized this cruise was not suited for our young family's needs and desires. Ship - B The Jewel was a little tired, a little worn. The bathrooms, pool, and atrium area were all beautiful and looked to be recently remodeled. I was very impressed with the beautiful pool area. There was a decent sized family pool with a smaller wraparound deck to sit on, and an equally sized adults only pool. Both pools were flanked by two hot tubs. The family pool also had a great water slide! The pool is much better than the pools on the Disney Cruise ships, mostly due to space vs user ratio. Cabin - A Our Deck 11 mini suite cabin was spacious, with a large comfortable bed, and a smaller pull out bed that slept our two kids fine. We also had a walk out balcony that offered incredible views. The bathroom was decently sized and well designed with pocket doors for privacy into the toilet and shower tub. The closet and drawers had ample storage space for our family of 5 and the under the bed area was enough for our 2 large suitcases! We put our bulky stroller out on the balcony, though I think it would've also fit under the bed. Dining - B I believe the reason why people choose Norwegian is for the ample amounts of food that are always available. There was no shortage of food on this boat. Everywhere I turned at every moment, there were people eating! We ate most of our meals at the Garden Cafe buffet with our kids, which had plentiful and varied dining options. I had a slider once and it was great. The regular fries were disgusting. The curly fries were delicious but I only saw them once. My kids regularly ate pizza and hot dogs. I stuck to the Indian food (yum! The head chef is from India), the salads, and fruit. There was a crepe station that my daughter went to once. She also tried all the different beautifully displayed cakes. Each night the buffet had a different theme: Mediterranean, Asian, South Western, seafood, etc. But the American junk food staples were always present, as were the Asian style foods. We went to Tsar's twice and it was fine. It really all depends on what you order. We went to Azura's once and I also enjoyed my food there. The grill O'Sheenans (I think) had disgusting fish and chips but I think my hubby enjoyed his buffalo wings. Our friends' boys loved the pot pies. Chin Chins was a hit or miss. The seafood udon I ordered had zero flavor. The hot and sour soup was good. Other things were salty. If I had to do it again I would probably skip the specialty style free dining such as Chin Chins and O' Sheehan and stick to the buffet or the main dining rooms. During sea days, they serve a delicious BBQ lunch on the pool deck! I also read many conflicting things about the drinks. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package. There were some delicious cocktails on board but you definitely have to ask for a double or triple shot (or a floater). No point in drinking all the calories and staying sober! After awhile I stuck to the wine. The Malbec was very good! We did not tip each time we ordered a cocktail like I read somewhere. I am not sure how they made their cash but I think it somehow adds up at the end. Either way I am sure they would appreciate an extra tip. I also read a lot of complaints about the coffee. People complained there was no place to get free coffee on the ship. This is untrue. We had a coffee maker in our cabin, and coffee was always flowing in the Garden Cafe. We did not pay extra for the UBP but I would recommend having it! Activities - D This is what colors my opinion about NCL the most. 80% of the daytime activities were geared towards adults, and specifically selling things. "Buy a Raffle Ticket for this auction!" "Come see our tanzanite earrings!" "Visit the Art Gallery for champagne and buy this art!" "Ladies Free Pamper but buy this foot insert!". We skipped all of those. The few daytime family activities they had were Origami, Pool side games and activities, and a few cooking demonstrations. One HUGE complaint I have is that NOTHING on this ship is open until 9am with the exception of breakfast. It is unfortunate enough that having young kids means a 6:30am wake up time, but even worse when you have to twiddle your thumbs for 2.5 hours waiting for SOMETHING to do on boat, whether it be the kid's club, or anything else. Also, the television choices in the cabin were dismal. 10 channels, 5 of them being NCL advertisement, 2-3 being news, and the other 2-3 being adult content. There were those mornings when my kids were awake, hubby and I were trying to use the bathroom and get ready, and the kids were going bonkers being crammed into a tiny room. A little TV show would've helped ease the pain!!! Nighttime Activites - the reason why our friends chose this line was for the night life. They had lots of great adult or older child oriented shows in the evening. We went to a magic show and two acrobatic shows, all of them which were very entertaining and excellent. My youngest kid was not interested at all, so that was unfortunate. There were some amazing musicians on boat. I especially enjoyed the Prism band on the pool deck at night. Their singers were incredible! One of them was doing a Selena medley and she rocked it! There was some dancing in the Spinnaker Lounge late at night. My biggest gripe with the evening activities was that I could not go to any of them, and they were the only ones I was interested in (see lame daytime activities above). More to come on why I couldn't go... Splash Academy - C The main reason why we go on cruises is because we love the idea of having some adult only time on vacation. We've had such positive experiences with Disney Cruise Line and we were hoping for a similar experience here. We didn't get it. Here is why. Splash Academy is much smaller. Families are not NCL's target audience, so they don't invest a ton into the childcare. I get that. But I did not understand their hours. They are open 9-12am, 2-5pm, and 7-10:30pm. Why? Is it not possible to rotate employees in and out so that you are open longer? For families whose kids wake up so early, it is nice to have an earlier drop off time. DCL is open 7-midnight every day, with no closures. I didn't want to dump my kids off and not see them an entire day, but it would've been nice to have the flexibility in my schedule. Maybe drop them off earlier in the morning so I could work out, then do some pool time mid day. Etc etc. As a result of their dinnertime closure, I felt like I was eating for HOURS every evening. First I took the kids to dinner at the buffet. Then wait for Splash Academy to open. Then I would drop them off and go to my own dinner. And here is the best part. On TWO separate nights, when I went to drop off my younger kids, they told me they were FULL. At occupancy. And my children could not go in. WHAT?! You know how many kids and their exact ages before the boat even leaves! You should be prepared to staff this! This ruined TWO nights of dinner plans. So instead I wandered around the boat, looking for something to do with the kids that was age appropriate and enticing. Because there was no way I was going back to the room of boredom (why don't you have a kid's channel?!!!) Also, Splash Academy closes at 10:30. Yes, you can pay extra for late night hours, where the kids play Wii and stuff, but no thanks. (Yes normally my kids are asleep at that time, but some of those excursion days they took a late nap, so a later bedtime was in store.) So all of those fun nighttime activities...goodbye. You sounded fun. On the plus side, Splash had many fun and engaging themed activities happening. My oldest child had fun. After a couple of days, my youngest refused to go. My middle could be bribed. Service - A+ Thank you, to all the hard working, friendly, and smiling crew members. You really made the NCL a nice place for 7 days. You were wonderful. Thanks for all that you do. Ports and Shore Excursions - A+ We were transported off and on very easily and treated well. Coming back on board NCL provided us with cold towels, lemonade, water, and ice cream. Getting off the boat there were always photographers and different photo ops with props and people in costume. We enjoyed our time in Mexico. We did not pay for any port excursions so I cannot speak for that. Extra - - They have a library on the 12th floor which I loved exploring. There were kids books and books in many different languages to check out and read. I scored the first night and found Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! - There is a game room next to the library. We had a special date night with our daughter there and played Monopoly. That was a nice touch. - They also had a Video Arcade that we took my son to on our special date night. Our package included a $50 free arcade credit. There aren't a ton of games, but the ones they had held the interest of kids ages 3-12 (those were the ages of the kids we were traveling with) and beyond. Note: Arcade is open from 9am-10:30pm. - Gym - hubby and I both spent a lot of time here. The gym is very nice and well equipped. It was spacious enough but got busy at certain times of the day. The downside was there were some free classes that I tried to take but they canceled them with no warning. Not surprisingly, the pay to exercise classes went on without a hitch. - Photos - those photographers are into their jobs and will take quite a few of your family in every single configuration and pose! We had a package for 50 prints free. While our family did not have 50 shots to take home, some of our friends took quite a few family photos. Overall I thought this cruise was well priced, but much better for older adults or people traveling without children. The Disney Cruise Line is much more oriented for families. For example: 1) Kid's club open 7am-midnight with no closures. Extremely large kid's club with so many people on staff. Much more interactive and fun. Good for all ages - I met some teens and asked them if they liked it. It was an overwhelming yes! 2) They will even feed your kid in the kid's club for no additional charge during dinner or lunch hours if you want to have a special meal to yourselves. They also pick up your kid early from the main dining halls and take them to the kids club so you can finish your 3-4 course meal in peace. 3) There is always family friendly activities on board. Meet characters, take an art class together, watch a movie in their full sized movie theater or on the pool deck, play family games together. etc. There was always something to do that was family oriented and fun 4) The evening shows are better suited for kids. Sometimes the storyline was hokey, but the production value was Broadway standards and so was the talent. My youngsters always enjoyed them I know this was long but hopefully informative! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked this cruise as a family vacation. The room was nice and roomy, we had a mini suite. But there was limited seating available in the room. We even had one of the balcony chairs brought inside to extra seating as needed. Other ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a family vacation. The room was nice and roomy, we had a mini suite. But there was limited seating available in the room. We even had one of the balcony chairs brought inside to extra seating as needed. Other than that the room was nice. Ship overall was nice. Food was good at all the locations that we ate at. I did really like the food at Sheehans and Cagneys. Service was good throughout. Bar tenders were generally attentive. One of the main complaints that my son had (he is 15) is the teens club was closed the majority of the time. It was only open when activities were scheduled. On other cruise lines we have been on the teens club was always open to hang out in even if activities were not scheduled. Overall the wait times to get seated for dining was good. However once seated the service was sllooow. Long wait times between courses and the food arrived warm or cold at times. I did put a deposit down for another NCL cruise. I will give it another shot. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this cruise because it offered the FREE drink package PLUS three specialty dinners. I also had a friend out in the LA area that wanted to go along but couldn't afford to fly to either Galveston, N.O., or Miami so we took the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offered the FREE drink package PLUS three specialty dinners. I also had a friend out in the LA area that wanted to go along but couldn't afford to fly to either Galveston, N.O., or Miami so we took the NCCL Jewel since he'd never had an NCL cruise. The boarding process was smooth but there could have been a few more agents getting people their credentials. Baggage handling wasn't very smooth, though, as there was no signage where you could drop off your bags without paying a porter. The drink package was awesome even for someone who doesn't usually buy those expensive drinks onboard ANY cruise line. The bartenders were generous with the alcohol and very friendly. I asked and was told there were over 1000 cruisers who chose the FREE drink package but even so there was never a long line waiting to get drinks. Something interesting for this cruise was the number of children onboard. I was surprised at the number of kids on the ship, so, again, I asked and was told there were over 350 kids under the age of 18. It seems some schools in Utah and Arizona had a 3-day school week and the parents I talked to said it was a good time to get away. I was very impressed by the shows on the Jewel. The last show, Bijour, was awesome with the stage presents and athleticism of the actors. The comic was very funny and the magician was fantastic. As for the food, I was disappointed by the Garden Café and the Tsar. The food was good but I am not into lots of spices and curry so the food wasn't for me. I did LOVE the Modermo Brazilian restaurant. The food was fantastic and the service impeccable. I also ate at Teppanaki, a fix your food at the table style restaurant. The chef gave us a show that was not only entertaining but he fixed our entrees to our liking. The last specialty restaurant I ate at was La Cucina, an Italian style restaurant. The food was plentiful and prepared perfectly. We had way more than we needed and then they came over with the desserts. We were very full and pleased by what we had there. Our balcony room was very roomy! Two people could not pass one another in the aisle without one step9ng between the beds or waiting at the sliding glass door until there was space. The bathroom was also small in size. I thought Carnival bathrooms were stingy with space but this nicely decorated bathroom didn't give one enough space to dry after a shower. The pools on the Jewel were nice but with only two for the masses there was not enough space to spread out even if there were enough loungers available which there were NOT! The pool deck also got extremely hot and one guest burned her foot and could not walk well afterwards. At lunch during sea days the dining staff did prepare a barbeque of many different foods and the smell on the pol deck made your mouth waters. I'd done this same itinerary on Princess and there wasn't much difference in where we docked. Wal*mart and Sams are still across the street in Puerto Vallarta. At Mazatlan, this time, I did take a private taxi around the city and stopped at the churches and had the driver take me around the harbor. The narrow streets and all the street construction/repair was not good for getting around. It is unfortunate that both NCL and Princess get to Cabo very early (7 AM) and leave just as early (3 PM) that I feel they shortchange their guests. It would be nice to leave at 6 PM, as we did at our other two stops, so we could enjoy seeing more than just the harbor. I have to give NCL a Thumbs Up for how they handled getting off the ship at thee end of the cruise. I've been on Celebrity, Carnival and Princess and NCL had everyone off the ship by 10 AM. Even Customs went smoother than I'd even seen it and was happy NOT to have to wait until the agent asked a zillion questions of everyone and took fingerprints, photos, etc. Were there items on the Jewel that I didn't appreciate, sure! Like at the specialty restaurants. We had reservations but people would get in line trying to change theirs or move them while the rest of us had to wait until the hostess helped them while totally ignoring us. The ship does have a Restaurant Reservation Desk for people to use but the hostess never suggested that. That happened at all 3 specialty restaurants we went to. I am not a fan of when the staff member in charge of an activity has to put in their own jokes and make funny statements they believe is adding to the 'fun'. NOT! for me! I'm not there to listen to an untrained 'comic' and their insistent laugh. Could NCL Jewel do things better, sure, there is always room for improvement in everything and everyone. Would I go again? Probably , if the price was right and so was the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the second time we took this cruise as our family vacation. The first cruise was in October 2015 and we had an excellent experience. We booked a two bedroom family suite and we did enjoy the cabin. Since we travel with our ... Read More
This was the second time we took this cruise as our family vacation. The first cruise was in October 2015 and we had an excellent experience. We booked a two bedroom family suite and we did enjoy the cabin. Since we travel with our children who are 8 and 11, we appreciate having a separate bedroom and bath for them to use. Our butler, concierge and room steward were all excellent and we had no issues. We did have issues with two of three ports being cancelled due to a maintenance problem. We also were floating in the water for 5 hours after we left LA for an unexplained reason. I would have never booked a cruise (with children) that had 5 sea days on an older ship. There was very little for my boys to do on board. They were bored with ping pong and the mini slide at the overcrowded pool by Monday. They hated the kids club on board. The staff grouped kids ages 6-12 together and catered the activities to the younger children. My boys were told to take it easy in playing games to make it fair to the young kids. They actually had to play a version of duck duck goose. How is that fun at their ages? Every evening was the same complaint about being bored. The entire program needs to be revamped. My husband enjoys gambling on cruises and was upset that the casino was closed for two nights during our stay in Puerto Vallarta. Many other guests were as well. The free drinking program on board led to many drunk people on board. I think they were all so bored with the lack of activities that they just drank. Again, not a good scene for kids. We attempted to play some board games in the game room only to find that most of them were missing pieces or instructions. This was a little frustrating for us as well. The TV selection on board was also terrible. The same movies were recycling over and over again. Both DVD players in our suite did not work. Last year, I was able to bring water and juice and a sleeve of Diet Coke on board. This year it was confiscated during check in. They only serve Pepsi on the ship. My husband got a massage on board out of boredom. He enjoyed the service but all of the services were very pricey! If you are traveling with children, I would advise you to take another ship and consider using another cruise line. We payed a lot for a suite and didn't have a good time! All of us couldn't wait to get off the ship in LA! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Was my 2nd NCL cruise and 5th overall and first with our kids 6 and 8. As you see from the others on the same cruise, this was one that was not as planned by NCL well. Got the email about missing 1 port before we left. On the first night ... Read More
Was my 2nd NCL cruise and 5th overall and first with our kids 6 and 8. As you see from the others on the same cruise, this was one that was not as planned by NCL well. Got the email about missing 1 port before we left. On the first night on the boat I noticed on the TV channel it showed us going back towards LA which I found odd but come to find out it was the engine room fire/smoke issue. I do not fault them for that as I would rather have been back in port that left out to sea with an issue such as this. The communication as we got to PV was lacking to say the least. We knew we had 2 days but was told the 2nd day we needed to be back on the ship by 2 30 PM. Then around 10 pm they announce a delay and say it will be 5 pm to get back. If we would've know that we could've plan a more intense adventure. We did not leave till almost 1 a.m. that night and knew than there was no way to get to Cabo with any time to due much with the tenders that you have to do there. We weren't told til about 9 or 10 a.m. the next day that we were infact going straight back to LA without stopping. This needed to be communicated better and felt bad for the staff as people were getting irate with them and they have no control. We work in the hospitality industry so really felt for them. IDK if we will cruise with NCL again as the ship was older which we knew, but the kids started getting cabin fever by the 5th day with not much new to do. The shows were OK and he food is what you expect nothing too great but kept you full. Kids club was good for the kids and us too but they were kinda overwhelmed also. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Oct 9-16 i was on the ncl jewel, 4 days before we left we got a email from the cruise line that we would miss mazatilon. the port we wanted to go to. we could not rebook the cruise ti close to sailing. had they sent the email early we ... Read More
Oct 9-16 i was on the ncl jewel, 4 days before we left we got a email from the cruise line that we would miss mazatilon. the port we wanted to go to. we could not rebook the cruise ti close to sailing. had they sent the email early we would have rebooked. they didnt give us a choice.make a long story short we missed cabo too. they knew this ship needed repairs they tried to fix it in seattle, they also did repairs on the ship like carpeting the stairs blocks the stair ways. i didnt book this cruise to go on a repair cruise , we had a haven mini suite, the air barley worked the cabin boy never made our room up late afternoo and turn down was at 9pm at night, he didnt keep very clean. room service was not good never got any butter or creams in the morning for our rolls . there was also a fire on board to 5 hours out. this ship should not have been out on the open ocean. the best food was la bristal and cangys. the rest was just food. the casino was so hot my hair was wet. the slots were tight. when they said we were not going to cabo the whole ship went crazy people were so mad there was a muntity on board the lines were huge to get to guest services . i didnt pay to stand in lines trying to find what they were going to do. we got 50.00 for the room and 25% off the next cruise and port charges. there was a lady lawyer on board she took emails from us she had 30 pages front and back that she took to corropt on monday she lives by there. ncl should give every person on that ship a free cruise. we waited 8 months fro this cruise , to have it ruined by ncl. we bought candy on board and it was all spoiled yes they took it back but the candy we took home was spoiled. we have been on 8 cruises never have i been on one like this. one highlight was in the martini bar the waitress mi, was great she was friendly and could not do enough for us always had a smile on her face happy to us everyday. she gets a 100% from us. great job mi. we are waiting to see what ncl will do to make this up to us and everyone else on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed out of LA and made it as far as Puerto Viarta when the ship broke down and we had to spend overnight in port, as well as being told we would not be traveling to Mazatlan To say that it was uncomfortable is nothing but the truth ... Read More
We sailed out of LA and made it as far as Puerto Viarta when the ship broke down and we had to spend overnight in port, as well as being told we would not be traveling to Mazatlan To say that it was uncomfortable is nothing but the truth no a/c and it was quite muggy. We broke down because of mechanical problems that had been fixed earlier in the year. I have to say that the only bright star of the cruise was the staff onboard they had to deal with a couple hundred or more extremely angry passengers, which I can't blame them. On top of that Norwegian has decided that the California coast is no longer to be sailed. Only cruises on west coast is Alaska in spring. Sorry to say might have to cruise another line, which would be sad as I generally enjoy sailing with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto ... Read More
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto villarta and we would be there overnight we thought ok we can deal with that. We get on ship to discover our cabo excursion was cancelled so we go down to schedule for another one and the ones we want are sold out ok we decide we will just shop in cabo and do our own thing. We go to schedule our specialty dining and they are full we have to eat at 10:00 pm and one of them were totally booked. The 2 days at sea were lacking of entertainment and the staff is so rude the bars usually only had one bartender so the wait was ridiculous. We get to Puerto Vallarta and our excursions were awesome on the second day was told to be back at the ship by 2:59 we would set sail at 3:30 pm ar 8:00pm the captain came on and said the URGENT maintenance (they had said it was routine) had taken longer and would set sail by 10:00 pm for cabo. The next morning at 8:00 am the captain came on again stating we were not able to set sail until 11:30 that night and they would have to cancel cabo. So NO MAZALTAN AND NO CABO we were at sea for 5 days of the 7. The food was by far monotonous the same thing over and over again. The staff became more rude because the guest were frustrated. We only seen one port and everyone wondered why we paid all these port fees they did agree to refund 25% of the cruise on our last day but that is really a insult seeing how we not only did not see 2 ports but also waisted a week of vacation. I have cruised many time on other cruise lines this was my first on Norweigen and it will be our last. We had planned to schedule a Alaska cruise with em them while there but I will find another cruise line for that. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports it was visiting, the inclusions along with the freestyle option. For our honeymoon we wanted to be able to do what we wanted, when we wanted and how we wanted. The freestyle cruising option was great for ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports it was visiting, the inclusions along with the freestyle option. For our honeymoon we wanted to be able to do what we wanted, when we wanted and how we wanted. The freestyle cruising option was great for this. We could go to dinner in our flip flops and casual wear or we could get dressed up if we wanted to. That flexibility was great. The overall appearance of the ship was outstanding. It was very clean, updated and the attention to every detail was fantastic. We had a balcony room and for a cruise ship it was very spacious. The upgrade to this style of room was well worth it and I would never cruise in a non-balcony room again. The staff was always there to tidy up the room and provide anything we needed. The temperature was always perfect, water was hot and plenty of storage space (and the bed was very comfy!). We had the unlimited beverage package included which is great when you want to consume alcoholic beverages (pretty much anything you want is included). Be cautious of the mixed drinks as they are VERY watered down. The safest bet for a good drink is a martini, wine or beer. The one disappointment (which I know is fairly standard when cruising) is the non-alcoholic beverages were not included. They were able to give us all of the alcohol in the world, but if we wanted a plain coffee we would have to go to the dining room and have breakfast to get it or pay for it at the bar (just add booze and it's included). The food at the complimentary restaurants was very good. I wouldn't claim it to be over the top 5-star status, but it was very good. There was always a good variety of food options to chose from and you can, of course, order as much as you want. If you want to have any of the specialty foods (e.g., steak, lobster, etc.), expect to pay extra. If you only want to consume what's included, expect to eat at the same 3 restaurants or one of the buffets (buffets are NOT our thing, but if that's your thing you'll have a wide variety of food options; however, it's a buffet... enough said?). Probably the BEST part of the cruise was the entertainment. NCL clearly puts a LOT of energy and focus on ensuring they hire some top talent. The entertainers, singers, performers, comedians, aerialist, dancers, etc.; all absolutely phenomenal. We attended each of the shows while onboard and hands down the best part of the ship! We did opt to purchase the shore excursions through NCL. If you've never cruised before or if you've never visited the destination, I would highly recommend this option. They do a fantastic job at ensuring you see the destination, learn about it and give you a VERY good variety of sights. The tour guides / companies were VERY good, VERY accommodating and VERY helpful. In Cabo, their are several tour options as soon as you get off of the boat. This is the one stop we probably could have saved some money and purchased an excursion off of the boat given the NCL excursions are over priced. The one (unexpected) disappointment we experienced was the overall service. The very general, simply put, feedback we have is there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of what is (and isn't) from the staff. They are all just kind of "there" but it's evident left hand wasn't talking to the right hand. We had several experiences where one person would give us information and upon following up, the next person had no idea what the first person was referring to. Additionally, the wait staff and most bartenders were all friendly, but not overly excited to be there and didn't seem excited to be serving their guests. In addition, we had 6 gifts (excursions and specialty dining) purchased for us for wedding gifts to enjoy while we were on the boat. In summary, not a single person we spoke to (around 10 in total) was able to track down or find these ship credits. It took us connecting to wi-fi at one of the ports and contacting NCL directly to understand what happened. On board we got every excuse under the sun, yet none of the explanations matched exactly what did happen. We learned that when a gift is purchased, they much be purchased well in advance of your sail date; otherwise, the credits will not be transferred to your account. That's what happened to us. Our friends and family purchased the gifts the day prior to us sailing. The good news, we were able to transfer the funds as cash to our bank account when we returned; however, the bad new was the funds weren't available to us during the trip. The most disappointing part of this was the service staff wasn't able to help us understand what happened. We (ourselves) got it resolved and still had an amazing honeymoon, but this experience from the service staff was extremely disheartening. All of this being said, the pros and cons even each other out. We would absolutely take this cruise again and recommend it to others with one disclosure.... we will just lower our expectations where we may have set them too high and advise others the same. If you do that, you'll love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Family of 2 adults, 6 year old and 1 10 month old sailed the 5 day Vancouver to LA in a 2 br suite 11506. Fantastic experience from start to finish. Embarkation and disembarkation was always very easy. Cabin was in reat shape and is just ... Read More
Family of 2 adults, 6 year old and 1 10 month old sailed the 5 day Vancouver to LA in a 2 br suite 11506. Fantastic experience from start to finish. Embarkation and disembarkation was always very easy. Cabin was in reat shape and is just the perfect set up for a family. As others have noted a little noise in this cabin around 4 or 5 am from scraping chairs on the above deck. I only noticed it if I was already awake. Didn't get much use out of our butler but our steward Raymundo accomodated our unique sleeping and nap schedules while going out of his way to engage with our kids. The staff in general were great, especially in dealing our children. Our baby hit a couple milestones on this trip including learning how to clap and that was in part thanks to all the lovely attention from the staff. We never tried the main dining room. Ate in Moderno's for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was Cucina, so so, Cagney's, terrific, and Moderno, terrific as well. Hit the buffet a few random times and it was ok. Drink service was great with good pours and fast, friendly delivery. Kids programs were ok. Missing the Nickeleodeon characters. Used to be better imho but staff worked hard and were friendly. I think we got a good last minute deal and definitely got our money's worth. Props to the Cruise Critic folks who organized a great pub crawl! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
NEVER AGAIN!...This is the title of my review. Yes, after being Silver member of Norwegian Cruise line (using this cruise line many times for different destinations) - this cruise to Alaska with NCL will be my LAST cruise with them. And ... Read More
NEVER AGAIN!...This is the title of my review. Yes, after being Silver member of Norwegian Cruise line (using this cruise line many times for different destinations) - this cruise to Alaska with NCL will be my LAST cruise with them. And here is why. I wouldn't complain about the bed size in cabin (very small SINGLE beds) but I'll start with FOOD in restaurants. As you already familiar, cruise line has many restaurants, starting with 'specialty' restaurants where you can PAY an additional money for the quality of the food...but guess what NCL Jewel decide to do? Yes, they decided to use 'PAY extra' for food in main restaurants where food in the menu should be complimentary, without any charge! I was unpleasantly surprised when I saw $24.99 charges (plus 18% gratuity) applied for few dishes in main restaurant...for Surf and Turf item and Beef Steaks...!!! So, I called the restaurant manager and asked why would these items be included in Main restaurants at all? What is the reason to add 'La Carte' charges in complimentary restaurants? And explanation was: 'we have new management and it's our new policy, so called 'pilot' to see if people likes it'. What to be like about? If I want to pay extra for my food then I would choose the specialty restaurant not the main/complimentary restaurant...I absolutely don't need to see these charges and be intimidated with these additional charges options, in my opinion! Or maybe NCL think that if my stomach is hungry then my brain will not be able to think and I'll pay extra?!!!!!...hahahaha...right... NCL has been bought by Oceania cruise line year ago and quality of the food on NCL went down drastically, from salty soups to uneatable meat (try to cut your beef and duck and you'll see what I mean!). I saw/hear a lot of people complaining about, saying that they never been seeing such a low quality of food!...Now, let's talk about something else...like TOILET PAPER (because after such food I can guarantee you that your next stop will be toilet:). Oh these TOILET PAPER!!!! Let me tell you, my friends, forget about nice outfit in your luggage. Net time you're traveling with NCL - bring your nice toilet paper instead!:)...NCL provides not toilet paper but some kind of quality of paper which cannot be used for your nose when you'll sneeze!...And it's not the laughing matter...I truly want to send the roll of such toilet paper to CEO of NCL...I would pack it nicely, with red bow and send with the special delivery to CEO's wife...but, unfortunately, customer desk would not give me NCL CEO home address!...oh well, maybe someone will read this review and will NOT use NCL for their next cruise. This will be my 'pay back'...because for me, NCL is NEVER AGAIN, for sure!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have been on NCL a few times now - the breakaway - the pearl - and Spirit This one was a bit lack lustre. Bad news first: The garden Restaurant... a nightmare finding anywhere to sit at meal times... there seems to be a lot ... Read More
We have been on NCL a few times now - the breakaway - the pearl - and Spirit This one was a bit lack lustre. Bad news first: The garden Restaurant... a nightmare finding anywhere to sit at meal times... there seems to be a lot of people not necessarily eating... just sitting in groups or playing mahjong type games. it must be difficult for the crew to move them on BUT if you cant sit down to eat whats the point. the real problem is the people who are selfish enough to just sit there. we tried to avoid it as much as possible and eat elsewhere with waited tables. plus table manners seem somewhat better in those restaurants. Te main reception... on a couple of cruises now I've noticed (and so have others I've spoken to ) the staff on the main reception are arrogant and argumentative. on this cruise we had the ULTIMATE DRINKS PACKAGE - as usual... this in the past has meant any drinks included - like an all inclusive hotel. but this year i was asked to pay a premium for any drinks over $15 on top of what we had already paid. i asked why at the reception desk - the person i spoke to kept interrupting as i was speaking and wasnt listening to everything i was saying - he would ask me something that i had just told him a minute before... anyway.. long story short he didnt know what he was talking about - for example he insisted it was the Washington tax - when it wasnt and in the end started to quote terms and conditions to me - the last resort of someone with no clue how to deal with a complaint. the more he spoke to me the more unhappy i got. i still feel that if its called ULTIMATE something then thats what it should be. The good bits The waiting staff in resturants are very good and the cabin attendant "Micky" was a little gem. The ship is clean and comfortable overall and in good condition Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Overall the cruise was alright considering my wife and I have been on a dozen or so cruises and my mom traveled with us who has been on over 30 cruises. The destination of Alaska was first time that my wife and I had been up there, we ... Read More
Overall the cruise was alright considering my wife and I have been on a dozen or so cruises and my mom traveled with us who has been on over 30 cruises. The destination of Alaska was first time that my wife and I had been up there, we have done quite a few trips to the caribbean & mexico, my mom on the other hand has been all over the place on cruises. We ended up in a 2 bedroom family suite 11524 (a result of an upsale, a worthwhile phone call if you thinking about it) which resulted in us having my mom join us on the trip. This room is directly beneath the gym, towards the back of the gym, the only noise complaints we had were the first two night where the dance crew was working out after the gym was closed and dropped heavy weights directly above the master bedroom. A call to our butlers remedied this situation thankfully. The room itself is nice for a cruise ship, as space is precious onboard and the seating / couch area was nice. On the contrary there are some hiccups in the room, the "second bedroom" is merely a space for another couch to fold out. Once it folds down it takes the whole room, and it stays down the whole trip, it doesn't feel like a true second bedroom. The mattress in that room wasn't comfortable at all, even after adding a egg crate on top of it. Also in that room there is very little storage in that room, magnetic hooks might help hold extra jackets/shirts that don't fit in the small closet. Also we ended up sliding my moms luggage under our bed in the master as there wasn't room under the couch/bed. The second issue with the room is the master bathroom, first thing in there was the size of the head/toilet, its so tight you can't even turn around without bumping into the phone thats in there inadvertantly dialing to set up a wake up call... the second issue with the bathroom is the window between the balcony and the tub. If you are in the tub and someone is on the balcony (or even your neighbors are on theirs) they can look directly into the tub and shower area. Also if you are in port the shower faces directly out to the ocean or the port. My wife and mom did enjoy the lavazza coffee/espresso machine that was in the room. Ronald, our butler, and Dewa, our room steward, both did well and kept everything stocked and cleaned. (Hopefully you like gummy bears and M&Ms because Ronald will keep you stocked up on them) Dining onboard... ugh. That about sums it up. The food was the worst we have had on any cruise. We talked to many people who echoed our observation, and overheard other complaints to the dining staff management. With the free style cruising and open dining options it didn't seem like the wait staff had any incentive to make any of the dining experiences special, or just take 5 minutes of time to get to know you. It started with our first meal while we were in Cagney's (a perk of being able to visit a special restaurant for breakfast and lunch for those in suites) where both my wife and mother were served their meals and I wasn't. It took the wait staff about 5 minutes to realize I didn't have a main course in front of me, he went to go find it,then blamed it on the chef and ended up bringing me the first steak he could find which was well done when I ordered it medium. It continued that night at O'sheenans where I was delivered the wrong desert, and our last night in Azura the server first words to us after we sat down with the menus was "What you want?" The meals we had otherwise weren't anything special, sometimes tasteless, and no lobster on the whole cruise unless you paid $25 extra in one of the main dining rooms. The buffet was insanely packed, looked like most people found a table and then stayed all day, it was usually really loud and congested. They offered additional seating in La Cucina for those which couldn't find tables in the buffet area, otherwise it was outside dining. Otherwise we did have the specialty dining package, we visited Le Bistro, Cagney's, Tappenaki and Moderno. Le Bistro, service was actually good, steak was alright. Cagney's steak was good and service was good. Tappenaki, food portions were a bit small for me, show was good, didn't like the single desert option at all. Moderno's was almost empty when we went, got the cold shoulder from our server, didn't feel special at all. *Note, we pre-booked our seating times for dinner, and found that the only times were definitely later (8:30 or later) at night. Although when we got on board there were plenty of earlier dining times available. When we were at Moderno's when we got seated at 8:30 there were only 8 of the 50 tables filled. My wife and I had the drink package as well, this works out if you like beer and wine, mixed drinks on the other hand sucked. Don't bother order a long island ice tea, its a pre mixed in a bottle at the bar, if you order a mojito they will deliver it with a salad of mint. Best choice is to get something they only have to pour, or bring the bottle out to you. Entertainment wise, my mom enjoyed the quartet of male singers. The Cirque style shows really centered on a single couple, they did well, the rest of the crew did what they could but lacked the talent of the other couple. The ports: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Straight Point, Glacier Bay, Sitka and Victoria were great. Ketchikan we went to the lumberjack show, it was a lot of fun (they do veterans discounts) later we went to anna belles for some king crab and later took a walk down the harbor. Overall it was a nice place. In Juneau we took one of the local buses up to Mendenhall Glacier, its a really nice park and I suggest going on one of the private tours so you can take your time at the glacier and not have to rush to get back to the bus. Skagway we took the white pass railway and got really lucky with some great weather, it was a great trip up with some amazing scenery. Later we stopped to do some gold panning and check out a dredge. Icy Straight Point was a nice low key day to just walk around the port. They have a small museum about the old salmon factory, had a couple food options, the huge zip line and a small nature trail which we took a walk on. Glacier bay was absolutely fantastic, we got insanely lucky with the sun, and a beautiful layer of snow on the mountains. Sitka we took the bus to town (which is about 5-7 miles from where the boat docs) we just walked around the town, went to the totem pole park, and then walked around the city.Victoria we took a local cab to the Butchart gardens which were fantastic, and its actually cheaper to take a cab and pay for the entrance fee then book through the cruise ship. The ships shore excursions were insanely expensive, leaving us to only do one thing through the ship, there are plenty of other options within the ports that you can do, or book independently and do the same excursions for less. The last thing I would say is that the ship just has a bit of a weird lay out. There isn't a single main meeting/larger area like an atrium, the main store is all the way in the back of the boat (we only visited it once for bonine), it seemed like it was out of the way. Since this was an alaskan cruise we spent a lot of time indoors, and opted to stay more in the suite then other places on board. One smart idea was they recorded your room number for every picture they take of you on board, then when you visit the photo gallery you can either find your cabin's folder with all your pictures or look them up on one of the computer they have simply by sliding your room card. Overall, we got a few days into the trip and then all looked at each other and agreed that we would rather be on a carnival (or insert cruise line here...) ship instead of the NCL Jewel. This will be our last NCL cruise for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Good luck cruise hunting! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Jewel is an older ship ( I believe 2006 retro fitted 2014 ) but very nice to cruise on. We had a 10th deck balcony room with a great ocean view. A tad smaller than used to but still good. Our steward was always keeping room stocked ... Read More
The Jewel is an older ship ( I believe 2006 retro fitted 2014 ) but very nice to cruise on. We had a 10th deck balcony room with a great ocean view. A tad smaller than used to but still good. Our steward was always keeping room stocked and clean. Our food and selection were good. Only used the buffet once for breakfast,was a little crowded We took our meals the main included restaurants. not crowded and solid service and good food. We used the casino some, and took in some of the entertainment. All were enjoyable The cruise to Alaska was very nice. Lots of nice views. The ports were fun and enjoyed talking to the people there. We had exceptional weather for our port days as this is the rainy season Port days were 60 to 70 degrees and dry Our next cruise is with NCL to eastern Caribbean during Christmas Holidays. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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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