162 Norwegian Jewel Family Cruise Reviews

This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve ... Read More
This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve espresso machines in the buffet was a pleasant surprise and one I wish was available when I cruised Alaska. Service was exceptional on this sailing, better than anything I have experience on NCL or Royal Caribbean in the past and definitely the highlight of the trip, especially traveling with a young daughter. The crew members were personally engaging and accommodating and quickly endeared themselves to my young daughter. Royal Caribbean still has better food in my opinion but the range of options on the Jewel helped redeem the dining experience. O'Sheehan's bar and grill is a decent off-hours option for food. All in all I would sail on this ship again, especially for the family friendly environment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife ... Read More
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife generously upgraded our balcony room to a Haven suite as a birthday gift. We've had suites before on RC and MSC, but this one was significantly larger including a separate second bedroom / bathroom for our seven year old. The Haven itself is fantastic. Haven areas are on the restricted decks (14 and 15) and include private dining for breakfast and lunch in Moderno, a covered pool/hot-tub that is nice and warm on the coldest/windiest of Alaskan days, a private area on top of the ship (on deck 15) where you can enjoy 360 degree views, butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority seating in the theater, priority embarkation and debarkation, etc. Truly awesome! We were very spoiled for the week! Overall, this is the way to see the coastline. There are some places where it just makes sense to go by ship. Norway (which we did on MSC after Norwegian canceled our cruise without explanation) and Alaska glacier areas are two examples. We spent innumerable hours watching gorgeous scenery out of our balcony with hours and hours going by with no sight of humans. Spectacular! OK, but onto the cruise stuff you guys might care to read about. First, service. We were pretty segregated the whole trip, so we didn't interact much in the public areas of the ship with the exception of listening to music in a bar or two. Our cabin steward, butler (Loy) and concierge (John) were all great. We asked a lot from John during the trip and he was intelligent, helpful and fully understood the context of what his guests would want. In our experience, not many crew members (especially non-native English speakers) are very good at getting the nuances of American culture even after a decade or more working on ships. John just "got it" and made our cruise much better that it would have been without his assistance. Such staff are worth attracting to the ship because they can accomplish more than a dozen 'newbs' can. We spent a bit of time chatting with the General Manager as well, who I think has one of the coolest jobs. OK, so all-in-all the service we received was great. Public service, I really can't say one way or the other albeit we ran into a couple service staff that would randomly bring up how they had toddlers at home that they only got to see every 8 months. We have run into this story many times before (always from SouthEast Asian staff) and I'm cool with it as long as it doesn't sound like a pity story in an effort to get additional gratuity. If we have been speaking with you frequently and we ask, fine, but don't bring it up out of the blue, please people. It's odd. Music: We had a Spanish guitarist that was quite talented and my daughter danced (mostly alone) for at least an hour. We didn't get much in the way of jazz which was surprising for a cruise full of retirees. The show band did a bit and were quite good. None of the other musicians did much for us. There was a Phillipino group singing pop tunes which was pretty awful, but there were enough people watching so at least some people thought it was OK. At least there wasn't a Calypso band on board. Entertainment: We thought it was surprisingly good. Generally the shows don't do much for us. We saw a hypnotist that we had seen before in the Canary Islands, a couple shows with the main dance/musicians, a smart comedian (geared to older age audiences) and a couple shows that were "Cirque" themed. The Cirque stuff was the best. The rest were quite good as well. Cabin: Mostly covered above, but overall it was excellent. Some of the tiles on the bathroom floor were loose and there was an odd frame thing around the master bath toilet flushing button, but the rest was in good shape and very clean. Specialty Dining: We didn't eat in any non-specialty restaurants this trip unless you count having sushi and other stuff at Chin Chin. Everything cost extra in the specialty dining, of course, but we were surprised by how much more expensive it was as compared to Norweigan's prior cover-charge approach. The prices were comparable to what I would expect to pay for a similar restaurant at home, which didn't take into account what we weren't eating at the main dining room / buffet, etc. I am fine with paying 'a la carte, but at least make the pricing reasonable, folks! Perhaps that was why many of the restaurants looked pretty empty at least at the early-ish times were were eating. OK, for the details; Chin Chin: the cheapest of the bunch as most of the food is free. The food was quite good quality and our service there was excellent. It was a bit loud and crowded, but that's fully understandable. We got the last available table which was by the entrance to Teppanyaki, so my daughter got to watch the show (again). The show band was playing for part of dinner downstairs, so that was pleasurable. The sushi from Sushi was excellent. In retrospect, I would have repeated this place more than once. La Cucina: Any Italian would lose their mind in this place. The food was 'meh', albeit the pasta dish we had was prepared perfectly. Italian cuisine must consist of the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the rule is to not screw up the great ingredients by overcooking or over-embellishing. I got the Osso Bucco and was sadly disappointed. It was of poor quality, not prepared well, not flavorful, and didn't even come with the marrow fork. I asked for one and the (Filipino) staff had no clue what I was talking about. Who serves Osso Bucco without a marrow fork?! Not anyone that has familiarity with Italian cuisine. Anyway, I viewed this as a symptom of not hiring more people that are familiar with the cuisines and service expected from a restaurant of that theme. C'mon Norwegian, stop hiring 90% of your staff from the Philippines just because they are cheap and can't sue foreign countries. We know what you are doing! Teppanyaki: This is a typical cheap Japanese steak house. Sit around the grill and get a little show. Service was poor, the food was fine, and the "Japanese chef" was almost as good as you'd find in a comparable place back home. Le Bistro: Good food, good service, somewhat limited menu, and a nice view out the windows (we were eating while passing whales which was really cool). Cagney's: This was the best restaurant in our opinion. The steaks and veal were excellent. The sides were priced separately and were quite expensive but tiny portions. What the heck? Very good service from our favorite server. The sommelier however was really irritating and had no clue what he was doing. He showed up at our table like Lenny and Squiggy arriving at Laverne and Shirley's apartment with a loud "Hello!". He then proceeded to open and pour our wine, but poured my glass and then my wife's. The rules are simple people: The one who orders the wine is asked to taste. Then you serve it to the oldest woman down to the youngest and then the men. Oh and he poured massive pours. What the heck? I was visibly irritated and made a comment to our server. I'm sure anyone server on the ship could have served the wine properly. Why this guy couldn't is a mystery, but I ran into him again at Moderno. This time he obnoxiously pretended to speak Spanish (he was Filipino) and was desperate to point me to a bottle. (I can choose my own wine, thank you very much!) I later complained about his boorish behavior to John, our concierge who relayed it to the head sommelier. Moderno: We ate here for breakfast and lunch every day as we were in the Haven. Service was excellent and the food quality was good, but the menu never changed over the seven days. We mentioned it to the General Manager, but he didn't think it was an issue except on longer cruises. For dinner it is a Brazilian steakhouse that gets its food from the kitchen in Cagney's. The food quality was good, but some of the staff didn't understand the whole 'red card means stop, green card means go' thing. Its basic rules for a Brazillian steakhouse people. The servers bringing the meat should know this. Beverages: Good, but overpriced. Oh, I forgot to mention that we selected a beverage package as one of our free incentives for booking the cruise in the first place, but when my wife upgraded to a Haven Suite, they took this benefit away without telling us. It became a whole two days of trying to sort it out through our concierge, who ended up losing that battle on our behalf. They charge a lot for drinks on this ship. A typical mixed drink was $11+ and a can of soda was $3.50. The drink packages are really expensive too. After a day or two we figured out that we'd never drink enough to make the package worthwhile even at the high prices, so we just paid for what we wanted. We bought bottles of wine every night (which were reasonably priced), so at least that was fine. Fitness Center: They have a whole room full of nice bikes that they only allow to be used when there is a spin class. The rest of the bikes were awful, my wife tells me. I used the treadmill once, which was fine, then I started running on the track on deck 13 instead which involves frequently asking people to move when they are blocking the track. Shore Excursions: We did our own for the most part. We took a helicopter flight and landed on a glacier, we took a cool train ride into Yukon territory (that one was cruise arranged), we kayaked with sea lions, seals and humpback whales, and we did a sled-dog training event. All were awesome and the ones we arranged were cheaper than the ship excursions, but they were still pricey. That said, all were worth it! Why This is Our Last Large Ship Cruise: We just learned how much these ships pollute the air. One cruise line in its European cruises pollutes MORE than every car in Europe combined. What the heck?! It turns out that they could "scrub" the exhaust, but then it just dumps sulfuric acid into the ocean directly. It appears that having your hotel / restaurants move around with you everywhere is wasteful. Who knew? Anyway, we'll just do more fly and drive trips which albeit bad, have much less of a carbon impact than a big ship. Time to go nuclear, folks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views ... Read More
This was my birthday present to go to Alaska!!! A beautiful trip! To see the Glaciers up close was amazing. A must see State. Everyday was better than the last day! Definitely get a balcony for this trip... waking up to those views everyday are breathtaking!!! Even laying in bed bed looking out out the water is so relaxing and refreshing. The entertainment and activities on board were great... definitely something for everyone. I took advantage of the Spa and it was wonderful, to relax and get pampered. The ports and excursions were so fun! The train rain is a must! The staff was fantastic. The drinks and food were good. The higher end dining rooms were great, nice to dress up! The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely organized all the to the airport!!! Thank you Norwegian Jewel... hopefully I'll see you again soon for another cruise to another destination Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cabins were kept spotless and we always enjoyed the placement of our kids stuffed animals. Whenever we had a question, our stuffed animal wrangler/room steward, was more than willing to stop what he was doing to explain things to us. ... Read More
Our cabins were kept spotless and we always enjoyed the placement of our kids stuffed animals. Whenever we had a question, our stuffed animal wrangler/room steward, was more than willing to stop what he was doing to explain things to us. This was our first cruise to ever take. We had our 5.5 year old & 7 month old. Our oldest loved splash academy and our youngest enjoyed being able to drum his hands on any surface he could touch. The food was not our favorite though. It didn’t leave a lot of options some days. It seems like they mainly focused on food from the Asian or Indian cultures. We are a lot of cheeseburgers. Also, the fancier restaurants didn’t have very good descriptions for the types of meals. It we always knew that if we didn’t like a meal there, we could go to the garden cafe to get a burger. I was really hoping they would have some simpler desserts. A lot of them had jellies or “goo” on them, especially the cakes. My oldest d that they had chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter cookies. Overall, we did enjoy our trip and would love to take another in the future with our boys. We would just hope that the food options improve. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted a one way Alaskan cruise and this cruise was most suitable for our dates and timing. Cabin was clean and nice. Our cabin attendant was good and did a great job throughout our journey. This cruise had a good entertainment and ... Read More
We wanted a one way Alaskan cruise and this cruise was most suitable for our dates and timing. Cabin was clean and nice. Our cabin attendant was good and did a great job throughout our journey. This cruise had a good entertainment and activities too. We enjoyed all the shows. Hats off to the hard working Housekeeping and restaurant staff. We booked few excursions through ship and it went well. We could not do much at Juneau port due to not so good weather. This cruise had excellent itinerary. We covered nice ports, beautiful glaciers and some great food at shores/ports too. We are not so pleased with the quality and taste of the food at complimentary restaurants. It’s really very disappointing to see Indian food tastes below average when the cruise had Head Chef and F&B manager from India. This is a shame! Overall we had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wanted to go to Alaska, experience wonderful and beautiful scenery, experience of a lifetime. Food was good, room with a balcony was perfect. Me and my husband do not do the nightlife, bars or lounges, but we enjoyed the trip, stayed on ... Read More
I wanted to go to Alaska, experience wonderful and beautiful scenery, experience of a lifetime. Food was good, room with a balcony was perfect. Me and my husband do not do the nightlife, bars or lounges, but we enjoyed the trip, stayed on our balcony and eat whenever we wanted. Dressed up two different nights and went to the restaurants. The bike excursion was one of the best, loved it! Train excursion was amazing, and the kayaking was an awesome experience. We went along with my sister and her husband, no children. The choice of excursions were good, and we had a really enjoyable time. Loved the balcony, that made our trip the best it could be. You need an ice cream bar, not just the dispensers with ice cream. The food was good would have liked more fish salmon etc. Boat needs to be updated, but all in all it was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Unplugged, family time together, wanted to explore Alaska with the hopes of returning on our own in future. Wonderful first cruise experience. Excursions were all booked through NCL - whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, ... Read More
Unplugged, family time together, wanted to explore Alaska with the hopes of returning on our own in future. Wonderful first cruise experience. Excursions were all booked through NCL - whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Musher’s Camp (our favorite) and Zip-Lining In Skagway, and Lumberjack Show and Electrics Buggies in Ketchikan. Cagney’s was our favorite. Also loved The Garden Buffet and Sheehan’s Pub. Not as fond of Teppanyaki. Generally – food was good.fresh, with a variety of choices including fruit and veggies. All of our staff encounters were positive - everywhere. Hand sanitizer used everywhere. We liked the suite and thought NCL did a good job at finding space for storage throughout all spaces. Embarkations in Vancouver was well thought out and smooth, though prepare for lines. Disembarkation in Seward was managed well, too. Some cons to note: sports court was disappointing, and any outdoor activities were limited, including shuffle board, ping pong, and golfing after around 6pm. Huge checkerboard on deck, no pieces in container. Pools were ok but not used much given temperatures. Arcade premium pass is expensive – if you choose to play games without, they run about $1.50 per game, give or take. There are a limited number of games one can pla using the package. Several are still pay to play. Great entertainment. Loved the dinner and adult drink packages. Wouldn’t do soda for kids again given that ours don’t drink much, and there is complimentary lemonade and iced tea at most places. Bottled water is overpriced, and none of us got sick with drinking the water onboard. NCL needs to add specialty coffee drinks to their premium drink package like Princess. And laundry - they did offer a bundled laundry mid cruise for $20 - anything you could fit in their laundry bag. It took two days to get it back. Great first cruise - would go again if we found the right deal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families with young kids. The kids center, Splash Academy, was open from 9 am until 10:30 pm (and even later for a fee) every day! We thought that the closing time would be too late for our 4 and 8 year old but they loved it so much and never wanted to leave. We gave up on 8 pm bedtimes. The staff did an awesome job with keeping the kids entertained and happy. There were theme nights, active games, silly songs and jokes, sports, prizes, and at the end of the cruise, they had the kids put on a circus show. My hubby and I really enjoyed our free time! Some of the food was just okay but some of the food was fantastic too. Garden Buffet had hits and misses but was decent overall. The kids loved the Garden Buffet. Fruit, tomatoes and salad greens were super fresh at the beginning of the cruise but started to look wilted at the end. The grilled fish, burgers, prime rib (served only the first 2 nights), raita, were good but other dishes like stir fries, fried rice, indian dishes, casseroles, and stews, basically any hot entrée with sauce weren't that good. Salads, fruit, made to order omelettes, made to order pastas, bacon, and eggs benedict were good. Desserts weren't that good. Self service coffee and espressos weren't good but passable. We had 2 really good meals at Tsar's Palace and 1 that wasn't. Desserts were good. The sirloin steak at Azura was cooked perfectly but the peppercorn sauce wasn't good. O'Sheehans burgers and fries were fine. But the nachos were terrible and the fish and chips weren't that good. We didn't try it for breakfast but wouldn't recommend it for lunch or dinner. The fee based dining at Cagneys, Le Bistro and Moderno were EXCELLENT. We ordered macaroni and cheese for my 5 year old; it's her favorite; and it was a terrible dish at all the restaurants. The worst mac and cheese ever. Even Kraft Dinner would have been better. I couldn't tell what was is in it. It was orange and looked good but it was awful, had a powdered chicken soup stock after taste. I spoke with serving staff and they agreed that it was really bad. At Tsars Palace, Azura and O'Sheehans, some of the staff were friendly, helpful and fast, even going beyond, while I felt ignored by some of the staff. For example, we didn't get any water for 15 minutes one time at Tsar's, I normally wouldn't have noticed it but we were super thirsty, and it seemed like there was confusion on who was looking after us. But one server at Tsar's would pleasantly fill my wine glass without me asking, sourced out the french baguette that my fussy 5 year old would only eat, and even offered us complimentary cappuccinos. Service at the fee based dining was wonderful. I didn't really see our room steward, although he was friendly, that much while I did see the neighboring steward often. On our first day, we noticed all these brown reddish flakes on our bed. The neighboring steward cleaned it up because our room steward was returning in the evening from his time off. The neighboring steward thought that it came from the AC/heating element. We didn't have that problem again. The main pool was salt water and pleasantly warm. We enjoyed the pool even on rainy days. The production cast shows were FANTASTIC. They are so talented! We enjoyed Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Aerial Duo and Le Cirque Bijou. On our second night, we kept hearing a consistent banging below. We were on deck 9. Someone from guest services came up and determined that because the water was so choppy, that a lifeboat on deck 8 was likely making that noise. He apologized for the noise and we said that it's no trouble and it's out of their control. Later, we heard someone working on the lifeboat below while water spray was hitting our 9th deck window! The banging stop and I felt so sorry for the person who had to work in that weather. We were lucky to not have booked any excursions in Skagway, one of the scheduled ports, because the Captain decided to stop in Haines instead, explaining that there had been a barge carrier jet fuel leak where we were supposed to berth. But then I heard all these different stories from other people, and they were angry and just wanted the truth. The bars were good. We really enjoyed the drinks from the bar in the Atrium. The bar in the Spinnaker Lounge (at the front of the ship) wasn't as good as the Atrium one. We had the best pina coladas at atrium, and mojitos at Topsiders (even better than the mojito bar). The driving range, and tennis/basketball court/soccer field were fun. Embarkation and disembarkation from all ports were efficient and smooth. Luggage management was efficient and fast. The Discovery Center in Ketchikan was fantastic and informative. Our kids earned a cool junior ranger badge there. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were awe inspiring. But it was depressing to see how much Glacier Bay has retreated and to learn from the Park Ranger that it, and other glaciers, will be gone in 20 years because of climate change. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Generally, overall, it was a very good experience. At the embarkation dock (after getting off the bus from Anchorage), we chose to keep our bags with us and took them to our cabins ourselves. There were no issues about that. Since ... Read More
Generally, overall, it was a very good experience. At the embarkation dock (after getting off the bus from Anchorage), we chose to keep our bags with us and took them to our cabins ourselves. There were no issues about that. Since we were cruising on a budget, we did not book any excursions and found we enjoyed everything else just fine. It is amazing what you can find! We cruised with two teens (16 years old) and our adult daughter. All were able to find something they enjoyed. The teens, however, were disappointed in the "Entourage" (the teen lounge). I think it just wasn't their speed. They enjoyed the pool, the "Card Room" and especially the karaoke nights. Everyone we came into contact with were very professional and pleasant to work with. All were very responsive to questions and requests. After boarding, we had to request that our room steward reconfigure our cabins (our needs changed after booking). They were very prompt and accommodating. The buffet was HUGE and quite tasty. I will have to admit, though, the mousse was anything but mousse. It was more like pudding with too much gelatin. Oh, well. There was plenty of other goodies! Really, the only less than optimal dining experience we had was at Cagney's. I ordered the salmon (typically very good). Unfortunately, I found it lukewarm on the edges and cold and raw in the middle. The wait staff were quick to correct the issue and bring me another plate. However, what I was brought was still the same - lukewarm, cold and raw. The waiter tried to tell me that this was the usual way it was served????? After I sent it back yet again, requesting that it be cooked longer than "usual," I received a well-done piece of salmon - hot/crispy on the outside, hot in the middle and generally dry (now not the best salmon I've had). I decided that I would eat it anyway as service was rather slow and we had already been there almost an hour, but the waiter really seemed to be trying. We were comped the plate and three desserts. Otherwise, in the food department.... if you ever went hungry on the Jewel, it was your own fault! The shows in the Stardust Theater were good, especially the comedian. He had a packed house every show. Even his "Q&A" session in the Spinnaker Lounge was standing room only and that was packed 4 and 5 rows deep! This was our 2nd cruise on NCL and we will do it again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are two 50 something sisters on our first trip to Asia. The Jewel was perfect for us with many activities on board that appealed to each of us. One sister is a Vegan and we were introduced to our pre-order contact the first night. ... Read More
We are two 50 something sisters on our first trip to Asia. The Jewel was perfect for us with many activities on board that appealed to each of us. One sister is a Vegan and we were introduced to our pre-order contact the first night. Joy was fantastic and although he had many special diet parties on board, he took the time to customize our pre-orders. The only bad dish we had was in La Cucina and it was the risotto dish from the menu - it was so salty it was inedible. We've read the other reviews and were not dissapointed in this cruise at all. The service was fine. The shore excursions we took were fine and we took advantage of the Shore-ex credit and the beverage package. With the hot weather, we did buy a lot of bottled water - which does add up cost wise. Embarkation involved several lines, but check in with NCL went quickly. The Singapore immigration line moved at a snails pace which of course is out of NCL'[s control. We had lunch in the MDR and our room was ready at about 1:00pm. One of our bags didn't show up before dinner so I went looking for it. It was in a holding room because my contact lens liquids were thought to be cans of beer - ha! Previous Cruise Critic reviews and our roll call were both a wealth of information - so we were not surprised by the charges for the Vietnam and Cambodian visas. We chose not to get them directly from the California embassies. We also knew that Ha Long Bay was no longer a tender port because a new international pier had opened several months ago. We also knew that Koh Samui was the only tender port and that 2 other 2,000 passenger ships were in that day. When NCL cancelled the shore excursion we had booked, we found a private tour and were concerned about meeting on time. Again, Cruise Critic helped us out. We went to the Meet & Greet the day before and were informed that there would be 6 lifeboat tenders. A member from the previous cruise from Sydney asked about Latitudes assistance and the officers contacted Cruise Next staff to make it happen. We met early and this is the only reason we made our private tour and were back just before the return tender problems. The tender problems in Koh Samui were very poorly handled. When we saw local tenders and ship tenders still coming back at 6:30, we knew it was bad news. What we heard from others was terrible. Standing in that heat on a pier for 3 hours is inexcusable. As others have noted in their reviews, the Captain didn't address the issue until two nights later and basically said it was up to the port, not his fault. And that at our last port we would stay an extra hour until 9:00pm. Ridiculous. On our second Thailand shore excursion, we went to Pattaya where the main attraction is the Sanctuary of Truth. It was good, but we had to endure a local guide instead of our shore ex guide. Then we were taken to a jeweler mall to shop. This should have been disclosed. It was a complete waste of time, but was air conditioned. The shore ex manager's response was that all Thailand tours go to jewelry malls just like carpet factories in Turkey. Huh, we were on a tour in Bangkok the day before and no jewelry mall. Singapore and Ha Long Bay were the highlights of the cruise. We took the ship junk cruise excursion and thought it was a great value. We also had a fantastic local guide on the boat. The junks met up at the ship instead of on the pier. We went in the afternoon, which seemed to be a bit less hectic than what we saw in the morning. Best tip for this port, is to be up early when the ship sails through the bay - magical. As others have mentioned, the production show were great. The Thai show was good as was Frenchie Davis. Karaoke was fun the first couple of nights. The other music acts in the bars were not as good as on other NCL ships, but the show band was quite good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be ... Read More
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be isle of pines ,such a pretty place and snorkeling was fantastic.Most staff were great no problems at all ,except for customer service most were not that approachable the rest were pretty friendly .Food in all area i found nothing to fault and had a good variety ,entertainment shows were fantastic lots of different shows to see.. couple of entertainers were a little boring ,others were good ,facility clean and tidy ,most excursions were as usual expensive and found similar tours much cheaper offboard We had a free drink package ,this made for a pleasant trip as expenses were cut massively what a big saving , we still had to pay for water and coffee as these weren't included, water was around $74 AU for 12x 1Lt water .my experience with our room was the most disappointed part of our trip very sleep deprived ,otherwise we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Tokyo-singapore oct 18. this was my first cruise, undertaken with a group of 14 family/friends. Whilst we really enjoyed the cruise overall, a few of the ports certainly left a lot to be desired, being quite a distance from any large ... Read More
Tokyo-singapore oct 18. this was my first cruise, undertaken with a group of 14 family/friends. Whilst we really enjoyed the cruise overall, a few of the ports certainly left a lot to be desired, being quite a distance from any large cities (Bangkok was a 3-4 hr drive!) & as stated in some previous reviews, the tendering process was a nightmare & in one instance (Koh Samui), downright dangerous when trying to reboard the ship. Sihanoukville in Cambodia was probably the worst, atrocious roads & flithy, smelly markets. Why NCL would think this was a good tourist destination astounds me, & to make matters worse, they charged $89USD per person for a visa, regardless of whether or not you stayed on board (according to the cambodian website, visas are approx $38USD). On the plus side, we found the ship facilities very good. Our cabin (deck 5 midship) was cleaned spotlessly every day with the steward checking each evening whether we required anything. The restaurants & bars were never too busy to get seating, though we did book a couple of times being such a large group. We only dined once in Azure & whilst the food was tasty, it was only just warm. Cagneys & the Tepanyaki were definately highlights. Staff were all friendly & helpful & there seemed to be onboard activities most of the day if you wished to participate. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I booked this cruise with land tour. Overall I was very pleased with the service. Flights to Alaska and back to New York: avoid United Airlines and Chicago airports at any cost!!! Better overpay the tickets, but do not subject ... Read More
I booked this cruise with land tour. Overall I was very pleased with the service. Flights to Alaska and back to New York: avoid United Airlines and Chicago airports at any cost!!! Better overpay the tickets, but do not subject yourself to the lowest service ever!!! Flying back on Canada Airway was spectacular. And They will check in your first bag for free:)) Land tour: it was worth the money! The guides are very knowledgeable, service is was very good. You will not be able to see all splendor of Alaska without land tour. Cruise on Norwegian Jewel: good service, overpriced excursions and below average food. If you have Indian chef and Indian restaurant manager do not expect any miracles!!! Vegetarians do not know how to make steak :((. The best part of it: I lost some weight on this cruise. I do not think they cook on the cruise at all.. maybe eggs??? but everything else came from factory kitchen and was just reheated on the ship. The quality of this food is going down on Norwegian cruise ships since I sailed with them for the first time in 2010. Shore Excursions: ridiculously overpriced. $600 for a helicopter ride over a glacier! In New York helicopter ride over the city is $350. Whale watching for $300??? No, thank you. the most interesting place was Skagway. There was even a Broadway show there! But the ship did not advertise it... In their terms people go on the cruises only to buy copies artwork and diamonds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was ... Read More
We chose this Alaskan Cruise because it was on our bucket list. We stayed in a balcony room on the 9th floor, room 9086. Our room was cared for my Marilyn, a very courteous and caring person who is from the Philippines. Our room was immaculate everyday and we had enough coffee, cream, and sugar daily. Our animal towels were very cool. We left the ship every chance we got but always came back to a clean room to relax before each meal. The activities on the ship were pretty good, especially the nighttime entertainment! The singers were spectacular and Katya and Nikolay were outstanding! Bingo was fun albeit we did not win anything. The casino staff was top notch and the food staff and table helpers were always pleasant. My wife and I were very content with everything. We also did a 75 minute couples massage. The upsell of products after the massage was not necessary. Overall, we had a great time and would do it again! Lastly my romance package for $299 blew up because there weren't any fresh red Roses in Seward the day we departed. NCL made it up to me by giving us the sparkling wine, chocolate dipped strawberries, and snacks for free along with a $100 credit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL ... Read More
We chose the 7 day cruise and 5 day land (Alyeaka/Denali) cruise to experience different ports and to see Denali. The weather was magnificent as it only rained 1 day on the cruise and it was clear and sunny while in Denali. The NCL Jewel is showing her wear, thus the reason for her update in September 2018. We had great service in the MDR, along with specialty restaurants, Le Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki. The multiple bars are great as we enjoyed plenty of cocktails with our UBP. We especially like the Martini Bar (Shakers) with Lorelie, Anna & Ida keeping us hydrated with their drink mixing skills. As for restaurant service, April Joy was our favorite along with Sebastian. Our cabin steward, Fernando, kept our room/bathroom clean and comfortable while giving us some unique and cute towel arrangements during turn down. We enjoyed Band on the Run (our favorite of 5 cruises), the comedy show cirque type show with the husband/wife team, but were not overly impressed with the magic show. Yes, the ship is due for a refurb and I look forward to cruising on her again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best ... Read More
We really enjoyed our time on NCL. We traveled as a family of four on the Jewel. Our two teens met lots of other teens in Entourage and really enjoyed their time as well (I overheard my 13yo say that her days at sea were some of her best memories of the cruise). Our biggest gripe was that the mini-suite was sold to us as a roomier cabin with bunks for our teens. Instead they spent the week sleeping on a hard sofa bed. The cabin was really roomy for a family of four. The food was really good. The service was slow, but still good at Tsar's Palace. We absolutely loved the Le Bistro restaurant and Cagney's was excellent as well. Teppenyaki was good, but I don't think I'd go again (our neighborhood restaurant similar to Teppenyaki is way better). The front desk never seemed to be able to answer questions directly, they either couldn't help or provided inaccurate information. Evangeline who was handled specialty dining reservations and also was the Maitre d in Azura is an excellent asset/employee for Norwegian! Wow, she really has it going on!! From day one she remembered my name and was always asking how my trip was going. All of the staff were so kind. My kids loved the washy, washy ladies. NCL is great about making something so necessary, so fun! Entertainment was good. The magician was a little slow, but the Cirque show was amazing and the acrobats were fantastic. We loved all of the ports, it would be nice if their were more options to get to Anchorage after the cruise. The Garden Cafe was a good option always. The croissants were excellent as were most of the food stations. We liked the Indian food options and would love to see NCL offer an Indian food specialty restaurant. We played Bingo a number of times, we felt that the payout was really cheap compared to Royal Caribbean and Disney. Payouts were meager at best. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few ... Read More
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few negatives. Sports facilities are not good. There were just broken tennis rackets, no tennis balls available to play other than some rain drenched old balls that were left on the court and there was no one to help even when they advertise open play hours. For other Indian vegetarians out there planning a cruise this is probably not the right food option. Rice used is jasmine rice and other sticky rice instead of basmati which is non sticky and goes well with indian palate. Also in general the veg options were not the best dishes of the chefs on board. Desserts section however was excellent. Also none of the other restaurants (other than garden cafe) had an selection of veg options which was really disappointing as we could not visit any onboard restaurant like azura or tsars palace even though we tried booking a table. This was disappointing as we travelled with parents who are a bit aged. The other cruise line we did before had much better food selection for Indian vegetarians. Lastly, one of the other things we observed was that none of the ships crew other than some specific location we had to go to had any idea as to where any place on the ship was. Simple questions like where is "tradewinds" which is the shopping store would get blank stares when that crew member was literally a few feet away from the tradewinds location. That was really funny and i think they can do a better job of training all crew members of every available facility on board. This tradewinds was not an isolated incident, crew members regularly failed to point out where things were when asked although tradewinds was very funny because of how close this crew member was to the actual location we were looking for. I won the ping pong competition on board but did not have any option to select my prize. Only available option was an XXL T shirt which i cant use. Could have been better managed. However it is also nice to point out some nice things. We enjoyed the dance classes they offered, the movie shows, the music (fire and ice, onboard musician crew and on and on) and MOST SPECIAL was the daily Broadway type shows they did in star dust theatre which were beyond fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my husband and I and our three adult children. We decided to do a cruise because it was our first trip to Alaska and a cruise seemed a good way to get an overview. We chose the Norwegian Jewel because we were a bit late making travel arrangements and the 7-day southbound cruise from Seward to Vancouver had availability and fit into all of our calendars. None of our land arrangements prior to or after the cruise were part of the cruise package. After considering our cabin options we decided on two 2-bedroom suites - one for the "kids" (they're not kids at all) and one for my husband and I. I thought some of the perks I'd read about would be frivolous and even silly - things like having a butler and concierge - but in reality they were quite helpful. Our concierge met us as soon as we were checked in and escorted us up to our suites. He also met us in a designated place before every shore excursion and escorted us to the front of the line of folks waiting to exit the ship, so there was never a wait. He was also available to make/change dinner reservations for us, helped us locate a few belongings that ended up in the lost and found, and made sure we were happy throughout the trip. Other perks of this cabin level included having exclusive access to the Moderno Restaurant for breakfast and lunch, as well as access to The Haven sundeck for glacier viewing. Afternoon snacks were delivered to our room each day by our butler - chocolate-covered strawberries, a crudite plate, fresh fruit, and cheese and crackers were among the afternoon surprises. We truly enjoyed the food in the a la carte restaurants, particularly Cagney's Steakhouse and Le Bistro. But we were underwhelmed by the quality of the food at Azura, Tsars Palace, Cin Cin (and the sushi bar) and O'Sheehan's. We like to have dinner relatively late (8:30 or so) and found much of the food in these restaurants to be less than fresh and not hot by the time we were served. And it was somewhat ironic that in an area where the best salmon on the planet is so plentiful it's often given away in some towns, the salmon on the ship was all previously frozen. As for shore excursions - I booked them all myself, prior to the cruise, and opted for tours with small, independent tour operators in each port, rather than the large-group excursions offered by the cruise line. I'd do exactly the same thing again because they gave us a more intimate, "up close and personal" look at the areas we were visiting. We enjoyed the shows as well as the lounge entertainment and found the service throughout the cruise to be outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was ... Read More
Chosen as a family cruise destination. Especially enjoyed the variety of food venues, and some of the entertainment in the theater and lounge areas. The option of selecting specialty dining, drink, excursion or wi-fi packages was appreciated. Embarkation in Vancouver and disembarkation in Seward went smoothly, as well as from the all ports we stopped at. Convenient to be able to step off right at dockside, as opposed to being tendered. Also liked the size of the Norwegian Jewel. Because the size of it wasn't overwhelming, you were able to find your way around easily and quickly, with locations being well-marked. Time spent in the glacial bays was long enough to give passengers time to take photos/videos of the glaciers. Only disappointment (although slight) was not enough dessert options in the Garden Cafe. More variety including cookies and bars would have been great. Otherwise, most everything we tried was well-prepared and delicious. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise going to the 3 ports in Alaska. Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and ending in Seward. Really enjoyed being in the passage way seeing the beautiful snow capped mountains on both side of the ship most of the way. Saw some whales blow their spouts and saw some sea otters. Did not like the open ocean time as it got a little rough, hard to walk and my brother got motion sickness. Great food, enjoyed the shows. Enjoyed the Card room and restaurants and the open decks with track and pools and ping pong and shuffleboard. Really enjoyed the excursions on the ports. Only bad part was getting off at the end when the luggage did not get off in time and we had to pick it up later, it caused quite a bit of tension. All the people, workers, servers were great, provided very food service. Over all great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons: our two oldest children, who accompanied us, had requested Alaska, and my parents wanted a return trip to Alaska for their 55th wedding anniversary. We liked the 9-day itinerary as opposed to the typical 7-day trip, and we had a couple of Norwegian deposits saved up. We flew to Seattle two nights before the cruise and enjoyed a full day of sightseeing the day before departure. Embarkation did not go very well because of the previous cruise's tardy disembarkation, which created a big traffic jam on the sidewalk in front of the port as people were trying to board shuttles while others were trying to drop off luggage and check in. The muster drill and sail-away were both delayed. Our experience on board was very good. There's a great selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges. The nightly entertainment was good quality; the stage band in particular was fantastic, and the various members in it were always impressive when they played in various places around the ship during the cruise. In general we had great service from the crew, although our food tended to come very slowly in the main dining room. Our weather was great for Alaska, and we enjoyed our shore excursions. The one big disappointment was a that a rock slide forced the cancellation of our train ride to White Horse Pass out of Skagway. We traveled with two teens, 15 and 13, who both loved the Entourage facility and went there as often as they could. Although there are many other cruise destinations I want to visit, I would do this cruise again if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard ... Read More
We opted for this one as the price was a little bit down, it hit some new ports for us, and we were able to link up with our son at the Kobe port. While the ship is not new and shows its age here and there, we had a good cabin (standard outside, deck 4) and were happy with the general experience. We took the perks at sea package and had 4 dinners for two at the specialty restaurants plus $50 off each person's tour at all of the ports. Also we got 250 internet minutes and 2 hours of ship to USA calls. We used all of these perks, even made some doctor appointments back home. The food at the upgrade restaurants was very good, especially at Cagneys where the filet was great. We also used the French restaurant, but liked Cagneys better. As to the dining rooms and the Lido, we found them to be good, but not great. Like most cruises, some items were very good and others just so-so. Service was OK, and the buffet was clean and appetizing. I recall that there were 12 port days on the 15 day cruise. We naturally used the ship tours for about 9 ports, but at Kobe we made independent tours that included the castle at Hemiji and the Kobe city zoo or animal preserve. We rate both of these as top notch. Overall, we really enjoyed the trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all ... Read More
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all tastes. Our inside cabin was adequate and our cabin steward did his best. Dining was generally good. The two main restaurants were fine, the buffet (Market cafe) often a scrum but the food was good. The speciality restaurants were good. Service was generally good, some outstanding, some poor. Entertainment became a bit samey but we were on the ship for 40 nights so that was to be expected. Ports on this leg of the cruise were great. We did not take any NCL excursions but seldom heard anything good from those who did take them so this is an area on this ship that NCL should look carefully at. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have sailed on Norwegian many times. I really enjoy the Jewel Class ships. When I saw this itinerary I was excited. The ship itself is showing its wear but I believe it is up for dry dock after it goes to Alaska this season. You ... Read More
We have sailed on Norwegian many times. I really enjoy the Jewel Class ships. When I saw this itinerary I was excited. The ship itself is showing its wear but I believe it is up for dry dock after it goes to Alaska this season. You couldn't beat the itinerary. We started in Singapore has two stops in Thailand and three in Vietnam before ending on Hong Kong. I had done some research on the port before we started so I know most of them were industrial and we would need to be bused to any sightseeing or cities. Knowing this going in was helpful. This isn't like the Caribbean where you can just walk off the ship and everything is there. We did ship tours for all the stop except Bangkok. We were glad we had ship tour for the tender ports. No worry about getting tender tickets and making it to your private excursions. NCL did a good job with the tours themselves. The guides spoke very good English. We heard some private tours were not easy to understand. We however could have been provided water on the excursions. We were told we could not take water off the ship and were not offered any during the tour or be directed where to buy some. It was hot so water was essential. The nightly shows were top notch. There were two Burn the Floor performances. I was surprised at that because I thought they were only on the Breakaway class ships. I was a bit disappointed in the nightly cruise staff directed game shows. I generally really enjoy them and they seemed to be lacking on this ship. It was an older crowd so I understand the evening entertainment was directed towards them but the pace of the entertainment other than the nightly theater show was very slow. The food on the ship was good. I wouldn't say gourmet but that wasn't my expectation. We ate at Cagney's and Modero with our Latitudes benefit. Generally we don't pay for the specialty restaurants and would not have if it had not been free. If you are meat eater Modero and Cagney's is pretty good. I really enjoy their salad bar and sides. But for us paying extra for it is just not worth it. For some it probably is. We never had to wait at the main dining room. We generally ate about 6PM. We saw lines a little later but it appeared to be moving quickly. Overall it was a great trip. We enjoyed see all the different cultures at all the ports. We have already booked our next cruise with NCL. I know these ports were new to them so they were learning how to navigate. I give the staff props for getting out passports back to us the night before the cruise ended. They cleared customs with Hong Kong on the ship so basically we got our luggage and walked off the ship. Very easy Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We did back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the Singapore to Hong Kong part of the cruise. By this time we had had a poor experience Sydney to Singapore. Luckily the Hotel Director Claus left the ship and a new one ... Read More
We did back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the Singapore to Hong Kong part of the cruise. By this time we had had a poor experience Sydney to Singapore. Luckily the Hotel Director Claus left the ship and a new one arrived - Stephen - who was much better. He immediately realised that he had inherited a poor cruise and set about changes which improved the quality of the experience, arranging back to back events and generally sorting out the tendering and port arrangements. We had a much better experience, back to the usual standard we expect from NCL. The ship is in need of a refurb - planned - but generally the experience was good. Cabin was good for an inside. Steward good. Most of the crew were excellent, a few poor experiences but thats how it goes. Entertainment could be improved substantially - 'Dan the Man' not quite the invisible man as he can be but he was also new (from Sydney) so perhaps inherited a poor plan. Our own planned shore excursions were great, NCLs not so and the onboard team needs to be broken up and refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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