40 Norwegian Jewel Fitness Cruise Reviews

Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists ... Read More
We were on a South America Cruise with NCl Sun. The attitude of the staff was more to be desired. Food just ok. We tried this NCL Jewel for Cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. Entertainment was average to below expectation. Same artists rotating to take their turns. Little changed. On Sea day, the ship entertainment is dead. Nothing happening and the daily programme is the same like the previous day.Why can,t we have a movie in Stardust theatre everday or have a large screen facing the swimming pool to show recently released movies If you go on Princess Cruise lines, you have entertainment on the big screen rather than same old muscians playing the same songs. Have you ever wondered if people near the pool really listen to what they are singing about. BORING. Needs to put on an entertainment that is refreshing and enjoyable. I hope the message gets to the entertainment dept. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We went to Alaska on the Jewel. I was so impressed with how well the ship was maintained and kept clean. The staff was so nice and friendly. The officers and crew were awesome. We had the pleasure to meet the Captain several times and ... Read More
We went to Alaska on the Jewel. I was so impressed with how well the ship was maintained and kept clean. The staff was so nice and friendly. The officers and crew were awesome. We had the pleasure to meet the Captain several times and it was obvious he cares about his ship. I enjoyed looking at all the plaques from the ports of call that the Jewel has been to, she's been all over the world. I really enjoyed the cruise into the Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier. It was so peaceful and magical and i appreciated the Captain navigating us through the chunks of ice so quietly and slowly. It was truly magical. I was nervous after i booked this cruise because of the bad reviews about the food being barely edible. But i found that to be the complete opposite. They had such a wide selection of fresh and delicious foods to appeal to everyone! I am a picky eater, i mostly eat whole fresh foods , and the Jewel had everything i needed at the buffet to make delicious meals . A fresh salad bar, low cal dressing options, fresh fruit that was chilled and delicious, yogurt, cereals, lots of lean meat options, cheeses, whole grains, fresh breads, etc. They also had the typical casino style buffet dishes which i never find appetizing and are not edible regardless of where i go. I didn't eat any of those dishes so i can't give a review of them. If someone served themselves a gross looking buffet dish and complains its gross, that's on them. My meals were delicious. I wouldn't expect everyone to find every buffet dish to their liking. I was really happy with the selection of foods, there was something for everyone. We also had a meal at Cagneys, it was a nice meal. And we had a meal at Teppanyaki's and it was just ok, the food is too heavy for me, i prefer lighter meals. At the two free dining rooms, i was able to order salads and an appetizer for my meals and they came fresh and tasted just fine. The entertainment was awesome, there are some wonderfully talented people on this ship, from the choreographers to the set designers to the actors to the musicians. I really enjoyed the shows. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We choose this cruise for all the family members to get together which there were all ages. We all had a great time. The Crew was amazing. I was amazed on how helpful they were in addition to the Crew who was in the buffet area. They ... Read More
We choose this cruise for all the family members to get together which there were all ages. We all had a great time. The Crew was amazing. I was amazed on how helpful they were in addition to the Crew who was in the buffet area. They were friendly. We appreciated a crew member who was always nice and kind to us every time we ate. He was professional, always smiling and would say hi to us every time we saw him while we were eating. I was amazed on how many people worked on the cruise and how they all work really hard to make our vacation special for my family. We were lucky to be able to have this opportunity to do this. The excursions were a lot of fun which there were many excursions to meet all of our families wants and need. It was fabulous Thank you to the Crew - The Norwegian Jewel for the trip to Alaska on June 10th 2017 Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our third time with NCL on the Mexican Riviera. Our second cruise on the Jewel. The Jewel was refurbished since the last time we were on it although I don't remember any significant differences from our 2014 cruise. The ... Read More
This is our third time with NCL on the Mexican Riviera. Our second cruise on the Jewel. The Jewel was refurbished since the last time we were on it although I don't remember any significant differences from our 2014 cruise. The ship's condition was, in general, quite good. Our inside cabin (10617) was, well, an inside cabin. A nice quiet one mostly thanks to quiet neighbors. Deck 10 is nice since it is below other cabins. I wouldn't recommend anything on Deck 11 (where all the mini-suites are) because of the potential noise from the activities (restaurants, pool, gym, Splash Academy) above on Deck 12. I am a guy who wants to be asleep by 10 p.m. The only criticism of the particular cabin I have is that the lower portion of the shower appears to be deteriorating. Minor issue. Our cabin steward, Deu, was efficient. Good towel animals--always a source of amusement for me. We ate at Garden Cafe, Teppanyaki, Cagney's, Le Bistro, and Moderno. All were very good to excellent. I learned that one now has to ask for smoked salmon at breakfast in the Garden Cafe. A minor hassle but I got my beloved salmon most mornings. The steaks at Cagney's always are excellent, and my lamb at both Moderno and Le Bistro were top notch too. Service left little to be desired at any of the specialty restaurants. The evening shows were all good. We attended each one except for one of the comedians. I've seen "Band on the Run" a few times before. Always entertaining. "Luminescence" with the acrobats was new to me and the lighting effects were very engaging. I did attend a "meet and greet" with three of the performers. It was interesting to hear about their history and experience onboard. The gymnast/dancer from the Ukraine, Alexis, was very personable and told us a bit of his struggles to get from the Ukraine to a job with NCL. I "invested" in a pass to the Thermal Suites at the spa on the advice of other folks on Cruise Critic. A great investment. The men's side of the area was generally quiet, a good place to relax with a wonderful view from forward on Deck 11. The facilities are pretty compute with hot tub, steam, sauna and assorted showers. I found the common room (which includes heated tile couches) to be full of people who yammered constantly. I mostly avoided it. There is a sign what requests quiet but even the crew members don't respect it. Having been on the same cruise before, we limited our shore excursions to a great walk around Mazatlan. It is worth walking to the beach and seeing the divers and the great sculptures. I was not approached by annoying street vendors. The only annoyance was super aggressive cab drivers trying to lure us into a cab when we wanted to walk. I'm thinking pepper spray next time but that would be wrong. In Puerta Vallarta, we walked around a bit, visiting the local Starbucks. Embarkation was a breeze. I noticed there was a section for Platinum and Platinum Plus but once we had our key cards, we walked directly onto the Jewel (and into the Garden Cafe). Disembarkation was OK too but the lines getting off as we descended the ramps were confusing. No big deal. We had an 8:45 a.m. disembarkation time scheduled and were on our ground transport and rolling by 9 a.m. I thought the Cruise Director, Pedro, was "OK". We all have our on tastes. The Cruise Next lady, Cristina, was helpful. The session with the ship's officers (Captain, Hotel Director, Engineering head) was very interesting and worth attending. I'm a daily gym rat. The gym on the Jewel is fairly large (and I did note that the floors had been replaced since my last visit there), and has adequate equipment. It opened at 6 a.m. daily. I appreciated that. Some mornings it was fairly full, other times pretty empty. The stationary bikes, stair steppers and treadmills all have good entertainment options if you have plug-in headphones to go with the video. Their is a locker room attached. I appreciate the Bridge viewing room aft on Deck 11. It is run to see the bridge. No tours of the area. We did get to see backstage, the laundry area and the main kitchens. Worth the walk. No children on this trip so I can't comment about that. I attended a couple spa-related sessions (free) with the acupuncturist, Echo, and the "Good Feet" gym guy, David. They were both interesting. I didn't buy anything. I would definitely go on the same cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our ... Read More
Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our stateroom person. The shows and entertainment were great. The gym has modern equipment that I was able to use and enjoyed. We enjoyed playing in the casino although I lost quite a bit of money. Would be nice if I got some back but did not happen. We took 2 excursion tours and we both enjoyed it. The tour guides was very good and knowledgeable and the price was great too. Overall we had a great time. This is our first rime to cruise with NCL but would take NCL again for our future cruises if given special deals and offers. My husband is a retired Military and be nice if we get some good Military offer too. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I wanted to see the Panama Canal and surrounding countries. This was my retirement present. This was a great price, and the idea of a 14 day cruise sounded wonderful. It did not disappoint. Getting to see the panama Canal was absolutely ... Read More
I wanted to see the Panama Canal and surrounding countries. This was my retirement present. This was a great price, and the idea of a 14 day cruise sounded wonderful. It did not disappoint. Getting to see the panama Canal was absolutely awesome, plus we got visit Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas. It was so amazing. The staff was beyond exceptional and service was wonderful. My room was clean and our needs were always met. Everyone was very friendly and acted like they enjoyed their job. The entertainment was excellent and their was so many offerings of things to do on the ship you were never bored, plus it seemed to me there was something for everyone. I definitely cruise with them again. The excursions offered were great and so were the guides that did them. Book early though because they do sell out. This whole experience in my opinion was a 5 star event! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so ... Read More
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so we were very happy to see the NCL ladies at the airport for our transfers to the ship. However, when we got to the port, they did not know we were coming, the porters had been dismissed, and the greeters were confused that we were so late. All was eventually worked out, and we got aboard about 1.5 hours before sailing. Service was great in the main dining rooms, not so great in the Bistro and La Cucina. We thought the food in the main dining was better than in the 2 for-pay restaurants we ate in. We are Platinum, so did not have to pay - would have been very disappointed had that not been the case. We canceled any other reservations we had and returned to Azura, our complimentary dining room of choice. We extra-tipped everyone there who made our dining experience so pleasant. Breakfast in the Tsar Palace was great also. Go there on disembarkment day to wait for your color to be called - service was fast and the food was hot. We only went to two shows as the regular show timing did not fit with our dining plans - I don't think we missed much, based on the two shows we did attend. The Thermal Suite was very nice, with 2 exceptions: the robes are too small for people of size (of which there were many on the ship), and people tended to hog the heated ceramic loungers in the suite - no time limits are posted as guidelines. When I pointed both of these issues out to the staff member, she just smiled (about the robes) and said "That would be rude" (about people hogging the ceramic loungers). We expected a "Spring Break" atmosphere aboard this cruise, given that it was a 7 day Mexican Riviera, and we were not disappointed. However, there are plenty of quiet spaces aboard for those who do not want to indulge in the party. Since we travel to Mexico extensively, and have visited all the ports numerous times, we did not do shore excursions, so I have no advice for that. We did go ashore in Mazatlan to the coffee purveyor in the first building at the port - for a $3 Coffee Americano (really good) you got their wi-fi - as we wanted to check our email without paying the ridiculous prices for wi-fi on board ship. The Jewel is a really nice ship, well-maintained with a great crew. The Captain was the most accessible that I have sailed with - he loves to talk. If you are looking for a nice get-away, I highly recommend this ship (except for the the for-pay restaurants and the too-small robes in the cabins and the spa). Read Less
Sail Date November 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
This sailing was my second cruise. I went with a friend from college, and we were both excited to see Mexico. Overall, I was generally pleased with the sailing, and the way that Norwegian handled some hiccups along the way. The original ... Read More
This sailing was my second cruise. I went with a friend from college, and we were both excited to see Mexico. Overall, I was generally pleased with the sailing, and the way that Norwegian handled some hiccups along the way. The original itinerary had us sailing out of San Pedro on the 9th, spending the 10th and 11th at sea, spending the 12th, 13th, and 14th in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas respectively, spending one more day at sea on the 15th, and finally arriving back in San Pedro early on the 16th. A little over a week from sailing, we were informed by Norwegian that the ship would overnight in Puerto Vallarta and skip Mazatlan so they could take care of some maintenance. This maintenance ended up taking longer than NCL anticipated, so we left Puerto Vallarta almost 12 hours behind schedule and had to skip Cabo San Lucas entirely. So, the final tally was two port days (both in the same port) and four sea days. Embarkation was painless. NCL has you pick an embarkation time during online registration, which seems to avoid big lines at the check-in counter. We walked right up to a counter when we got there, and even when the line got a little bigger later in the day, it never seemed to be more than a few minutes. We boarded around noon, and our stateroom was ready at around 1:30, just as we were finishing lunch. Debarkation took a little longer, but I'd say we were off the boat and waiting for a cab within half an hour of leaving our stateroom. The crewmembers handling this process seemed to have everything under control. The ship itself seemed to be in good shape. The public areas were well decorated and furnished, and everything seemed fairly new/contemporary. There were thoughtful touches throughout. The library, for example, had a door that had been adjusted to close slowly & noiselessly (as opposed to slamming & disrupting everyone inside). Similarly, the cabin was nicely appointed, and didn't show any signs of wear. I usually ate lunch at the buffet, which was alright. In addition to the usual/expected buffet fare (pizza, burgers, fried things), they had a decent selection of more healthy/lighter stuff, like salads, grilled vegetables, grilled chicken breast, and stir fry, as well as a seemingly endless supply of fruit. For a picky eater like me, that was a nice surprise. It seemed like they had a great deal of variety at their dessert table, and the few desserts I tried were quite good. We tried three speciality restaurants (Moderno, La Cucina, Le Bistro), which I thought were generally underwhelming. The menus are interesting, but the actual food wasn't that much better/more distinctive than what you could get at the buffet or the main dining room for free, and the preparation was inconsistent (my pasta was undercooked in La Cucina, and my lamb was overcooked/underseasoned in Le Bistro). They were a nice change of pace on the ship, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at any of them on shore. If I were booking again, I'd skip the unlimited dining package and just stick to the main dining room or buffet. We ate dinner at Azura a couple of times. The food wasn't amazing (again, about what you'd get at the buffet), but we liked the more relaxed and quieter atmosphere compared to the buffet. Service was consistently slow, and some of the portions were pretty tiny (we had to go to the buffet to top off after one meal). We eat a lot, so this might not be an issue for most people. Overall, I thought the food was mediocre to decent. I didn't starve, but I generally eat better at home. I felt the same way about my last cruise, which makes me think I'm a harsh food critic. That said, I didn't go on the cruise for the food, so I'm not holding that against NCL. We didn't partake of too much entertainment on the ship. We only really saw the shows at night, which we enjoyed. There were two different comedians and some acrobatic shows. I was disappointed that there weren't more enrichment activities available. My last cruise (on Celebrity) had some guest speakers give lectures on science and history in the theater on sea days, which were genuinely interesting and educational. The closest thing NCL had was a sales seminar on diet supplements. Thanks, but no thanks. The fitness facilities were pretty good for a cruise ship. In terms of strength equipment, the gym had the standard complement of cable machines (leg press, shoulder press, lat pulldown, chest press, leg curl, seated dip, back extension, cable row, I'm probably forgetting a couple), two flat benches, and dumbbells up to 75 pounds. There were also about 20 treadmills, 2 upright bikes, 3 recumbent bikes, and a couple rowing machines. The staff offered the standard complement of fitness classes (for a fee), which took place in a separate room; a nice touch, since those of us in the main gym didn't have to hear the soundtrack for spin class. As long as I avoided peak times, I never had to wait for anything (being a cyclist helps, since everyone wants a treadmill). There's also a jogging track on deck 13, and a walking circuit on deck 7. I ended up booking my own shore excursions, which turned into two bike rides, once for each port day. On the first day I did a mountain bike ride with Eco Ride Mex tours. I went with the Vallejo route, which was a pretty easy and very scenic 13 or 14 mile round trip into the mountains. This was a lot of fun. The climb up was just hard enough to get the blood pumping after two days on the ship, and the ride down fast and bumpy enough to be fun without being intimidating. I followed that on the next day with a ride to El Columpio, led by Bici Bucerias. This was the highlight of my trip; it's a 55ish mile ride through & south of PV, ultimately ending in a decent climb to refreshments and views. Just a great way to get an up-close and personal view of PV & the areas surrounding it. Both outfits had good, well-maintained bikes and knowledgeable guides, and I'd highly recommend either of them if you're a biker looking for your fix after too much time at the buffet. We were happy with the service and crew. Our room steward always greeted us if he saw us in the hallway & asked if we needed anything, and the staff at restaurants were friendly and pleasant to us. I spent a lot of time on sea days reading in the Spinnaker lounge, and the bar staff there were great at making sure that I had everything I needed, but not in a way that interrupted my book. We never met the cruise director or any of the officers, but they always seemed to be around and mingling with the guests. My only criticism is with how communication around the itinerary change was handled. The first communication (an email not too long before sailing) was fine, and gave me time to book a second shore excursion in PV. I cut that second excursion a bit short to be back on the boat in time for a 2pm sail away on the second PV day, but we ended up not sailing until almost midnight. I'm not sure if anyone on the crew was in a position to do this, but if someone had said "our new sail away time is 8pm, go back out and have fun", I could have seen more of the town before we left. That said, it's hard to fault the crew for this...given the length of time it took NCL to communicate their official response to us, I can imagine them being just as much in the dark as we were. Overall, I liked my experience on the Jewel. I basically wanted a floating hotel with food, ample sun, a quiet place to read, and eventual visits to some Mexican ports where I could do stuff, and I got almost all of that. If communication around the mechanical troubles had been handled a little better, I wouldn't really have anything to gripe about. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but ... Read More
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but seemed to be brand new. The cabin was somewhat cramped but that was to be expected. There were more than enough activities to keep all on board occupied 24x7. They have a theater where there were a mix of shows Vegas style, poolside BBQ and parties, a great variety of all kinds of restaurants with eclectic menus. The staff were all extremely courteous and efficient and the service was generally of a high standard. They have a lot of activities for children.We had three shore excursions which were well planned and covered interesting sites. All in all a good trip except for a major billing problem wherein they erroneously charged me upwards of $4200. this was a major inconvenience and as of writing this charge though accepted by them as an oversight has still to be reversed. The entire trip was soured by one accounting clerk's slip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Ship was extremely well managed. Staff were friendly and helpful. Food was better than the average. Evening shows were mixed. Some very good shows and some were not so good. Ports visited were not as good as what we have experienced in the ... Read More
Ship was extremely well managed. Staff were friendly and helpful. Food was better than the average. Evening shows were mixed. Some very good shows and some were not so good. Ports visited were not as good as what we have experienced in the Caribbean. Embarkation in Miami was poorly organized and problematic. Disembarkation from San Pedro was much better and well organized. Management staff was always in view and ran a tight ship. The Panama Canal experience was handled very well by cruise staff. Daily activities for sea days fell far short of what we have experienced on other ships. Fitness equipment was average. Elliptical machines were not the best quality, However, extremely good channel selection on the cable on individual machines. Weights were way off in stated poundage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I try to take 2 cruise every year This was our second for 2015 on Norwegian Jewel The first one was on Princess The embarkation process was one of the fastest By 11:30 we were on board The food was better than on Princess ... Read More
I try to take 2 cruise every year This was our second for 2015 on Norwegian Jewel The first one was on Princess The embarkation process was one of the fastest By 11:30 we were on board The food was better than on Princess tastier and more variety We were lucky to have a very good room steward On day 1 water temp in the pool was 67deg F I asked the Captain to get a tour of the area where they process the ocean water prior to entering the pool but he had new regulations and could not accommodate the request On day 2 water was 70 deg F but debris was floating in the water I swim with a dive mask all the time so I see more details in the pool than the crew doing the cleaning. The pump jets and the recirculation did not seem to work On day 3 the water was clear 80 deg F the jets were working . I still wonder why it took 3 days to get to this point In CABO SAN LUCAS we tendered to shore and the process was very fast and well setup My wife liked very much the entertainment. I usually stay on deck The boat had a very good Zumba instructor. His name was Cristian. Beats all the ones we saw on PRINCESS by a mile. Coming back we had one day with 20ft swells but the boat stabilizers worked very well and the ride was very smooth to me With the exception of the pool we had a very good time and we would go back on this ship Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This is my 4th cruise and 4th cruise line. It was my first time with NCL. We headed out on Aug 29th, 2015 doing the inside passage of Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. The ship was very average in every way. The food was pretty poor - ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise and 4th cruise line. It was my first time with NCL. We headed out on Aug 29th, 2015 doing the inside passage of Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. The ship was very average in every way. The food was pretty poor - average. The entertainment was average, service was average. If you have never cruised before and don't have anything to compare it too you will probably rate it as good. The two things that really annoyed me about this cruise was: 1) They tried to ram raffle tickets and this quick pick scratch offs things down your throat every single day - multiple times a day. Instead of scratch offs though they were these little door things you open. 2) Smoking! There were so many smokers on there that you would have thought it was a smoking cruise. Why smoking is allowed anywhere these days other than in peoples cars and house in beyond me! Would be sitting down on a quite area of the ship when a smoker or two would either come sit close by or just stand there smoking. Got ran off several times a day due to smokers. Also, was in the casino quite a few times and was doing really good on roulette one night until a few smokers came and joined the table. I had to leave the casino and work up with a sore throat the next day. Trying to think of some positives about the ship but really can't. It was not bad at all and I am not trying to be negative. It was just very average in every way. The ship layout was not good. There is about 2300 passengers on board and it seemed like it. I went on the emerald princess a few years ago and the ships are the same size - The emerald princess had almost 3100 passengers but somehow it seemed the Norwegian Jewell had twice as many passengers as the Emerald Princess. Felt like cattle being led to the eating trough most days. Excursions: We did not book anything through NCL as with any cruise line they add 20% for themselves. We booked everything on our own and had no issues. In Ketchikan we did salmon fishing - Unfortunately, the weather was not good for fishing and they were just getting over major storms and flooding. Still had fun though. Juneau - probably most least favorite place. However, we did the float plane - 5 glaciers and taku lodge with Wings airlines and I thought that was great! they food was great! salmon was amazing! Skagway - This was my favorite of all the stops. We did the Yukon deluxe and had Brian as a driver and guide. Very funny and likable guy. Also, very smart. Was a great excursion! Last stop was Victoria, BC. Is a pretty neat city. Not a ton to do, but worth a visit. I think 5 or 6 hours here and you have done about all there is to offer. All in all - an average cruise with good excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel with three ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan. I traveled with my wife and her parents, siblings, and their spouses, staying in a block of rooms on the fifth deck. Once I ... Read More
I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel with three ports of call: Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan. I traveled with my wife and her parents, siblings, and their spouses, staying in a block of rooms on the fifth deck. Once I got oriented, I could get from one part of the ship to any other in less than five minutes. The food was excellent and the service in the full-service restaurants was fantastic, although occasionally a little slow. The entertainment, which consisted of several types of live music, dancing, and acrobatics, as well as comedy and magic, was very good, but not always appropriate for children. The large theater generally filled up for each of the two evening shows. I did have to negotiate wet decks during my early morning runs, although there were plenty of treadmills available in the exercise room as an alternative. The weight equipment was in excellent shape. There were also several types of fitness classes available, some of which required an additional fee. The combination basketball/tennis/soccer venue was only open during certain times, but it wasn't that heavily used. The deck chairs on the 12th and 13th decks would fill up by late morning on each sea day. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
If you like food, even a little bit, I advise against travelling on the Norwegian Jewel (and by extension, the entire Norewegian line). The food is terrible (buffet and complimentary restaurants). Many people are happy with the food. Good ... Read More
If you like food, even a little bit, I advise against travelling on the Norwegian Jewel (and by extension, the entire Norewegian line). The food is terrible (buffet and complimentary restaurants). Many people are happy with the food. Good for them. I am happy for them. But if you actually like food, you will not be happy with NCL. I'll not even discuss the buffet, other to say that A. it's elementary school cafeteria quality food, and B. that buffet food also shows up in the restaurants. So, the complimentary restaurant food: American cheese in the omelettes? (Maybe it was velveeta, but it was still inedible.) Thin baked bacon, the cheapest possible on the international market. I didn't care/dare to even try the sausage. They serve the same cuts of meat and call them different things. As in, the same thin processed cut of meat is served as 'rib eye steak', 'sirloin steak', and 'new york strip'. The same sausage is served as 'bratwurst' and 'kielbasa' (of which it is neither). And the same strip of meat served as 'short ribs' and 'baby back ribs'. The shrimp was fine. It's shrimp, seemingly tough to ruin. Mashed potatoes were fine. Asparagus was ok. Chicken dishes were ok but low quality. Salmon was run of the low end mill. My gal had some fish one night she took one bite of and left the rest. I had fish and chips one night...square fish blocks...terrible. They seemed to only have one gravy the entire trip, for all the dishes. The lamb shank was all right, but pretty gamey. It was not even close to 'fine dining' There was not a single sucessful desert, in the buffet or otherwise. The cheesecake was not actually cheesecake (you need cream cheese as an ingredient for that). The apple pie thing was so solid and gelatinous that you could bounce it off the floor. By day two every ounce of excitement at what desert might offer was drowned deep in the dark depths of a cold, cold ocean. Granted, I'm comparing the food to my one experience on Royal Caribbean. Where I was EXCITED to go to lunches and dinners. 9 out of every 10 dishes was GOOD on that boat. 10 out of 10 dishes on the Norwegian Jewel were not only not good, they were disappointingly not good. There was no reason to complain to the servers. There was no reason for them to look at our 90% unfinished meals and ask if they could take it back or make it better or bring something else (only one waitress out of the 15 or so that served us over the week actually asked).....because there was nothing to fix, and nothign better to bring out as a replacement. They didn't 'miss the mark'. They had no mark to hit, and they suceeded at their goals, which are to make cheap buffet quality dinners. My gal and I laughed...there -really- was nothing to complain about, because they were serving exactly what they were aspiring to serve. Unfortunately, what they were serving was crap. It's a good thing I got food poisoning and didn't have to eat anything for two days, because that's two days I didn't have to go to meals and look at the lowest of low quality meals and decide which were the least insulting to put down my gullet. I don't actually blame the boat for the food poisoning (because who knows what that was from), but I do blame the cruise line for not giving a damn about my dining experience, and for having such low standards and subjecting me to them. The boat itself was fine, always on time, well run, etc. No complaints there. Getting on/off the boat was easy for ports of call and embarkation/arrival, etc. The room cleaner guy was just fine, the restaurant service was ok (but without the high standards I experienced on Royal Caribbean...they were just doing their job/just walking around with 'food' as opposed to delivering 'great food because that's important to us'. Alaska is BEAUTIFUL. NCL food is TERRIBLE. Royal Caribbean sells a cook book of the food you had on your vacation. NCL does not. For good reason.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Originally I was worried about the number of sea days debut b/c we were with friends we spent the afternoon playing cards on those days. The steward we had was excellent in taking care of our cabin. The gym could use a few more recumbent ... Read More
Originally I was worried about the number of sea days debut b/c we were with friends we spent the afternoon playing cards on those days. The steward we had was excellent in taking care of our cabin. The gym could use a few more recumbent bikes-- the exercise room stayed empty most of the time but the tread mills, elliptical machines and bikes stayed very busy. The food was the best. We ate at both the freestyle dining rooms -- Azure and Tsar's for dinner And the Cafe on deck 12 for breakfast and lunch. The choices were amazing and there were plenty of serving stations so there were virtually no lines. We were greeted regularly by the officers as they moved through the dining room. Our excursions were as advertised and went well. They were worth the money. One was cancelled in Puerto Vallarta b/c of lack of participation but there was room on another which turned out to be a lot of fun. We rode the camels in Cabo San Lucas and our guide was a scream. I loved it. The only issue we had was the shuttle to the airport. We had to wait an hour after disembarking for a bus-- there were several which filled up fast. We were told that there weren't enough buses available that day. Don't know if it was NCL or the bus company that messed up but next time we will take a taxi. The shuttle for 2 people was $30. No idea what a taxi would cost but there would be no wait. OVERALL, we had a wonderful trip. The passage thru the Panama Canal was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We headed out in February for a beautiful cruise on the Jewel for 7 relaxing days. Beyond a shadow of a doubt we were treated with some of the BEST service from the staff on this cruise. The food was outstanding! KUDOS to the dining staff ... Read More
We headed out in February for a beautiful cruise on the Jewel for 7 relaxing days. Beyond a shadow of a doubt we were treated with some of the BEST service from the staff on this cruise. The food was outstanding! KUDOS to the dining staff and their Executive Sous Chef and Double KUDOS to Mr. Messiah for having such a fantastic staff in the Food division. Our cabin Stewart was top notch with a smile and willingness to take care of anything you might need! Everywhere we went on this ship we encountered smiling friendly workers. The down side of this cruise........ Lack of entertainment for adults over 30 and under 80. Come 10 Pm the ship shut down. There were no interesting shows or entertainment for the guests after 10 pm.When we say the ship shuts down at 10 PM we mean it shuts down. They close the adult Jacuzzi, the pools and most all Bars at 10 Pm Even the ONE bar open was a dud.With mainly workers present. The shows provided were good but there was no variety of choice each day. We are not bingo players and found that at times after dinner that there was nothing for us to do, If the show of the day was not to our liking. It appeared to us that the line catered more to the elderly and the super young and forgot about us in the middle. All in all this was a great cruise and will cruise this line again if for nothing else than the great service! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This is my fourth cruise, third carrier. 50 year old couple/empty nesters. The NCL Jewel was a nice ship. Clean, tidy and well organized. Staff ratio was good , overall size of the ship and layout and flow worked. There were enough ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise, third carrier. 50 year old couple/empty nesters. The NCL Jewel was a nice ship. Clean, tidy and well organized. Staff ratio was good , overall size of the ship and layout and flow worked. There were enough restaurants and food variety that one should not have a problem finding something worth eating. The main plus was the crew. Sorry Captain but we all know who runs the ship (Inside). That right, RIchard Janicki, Hotel Director runs a tight ship! Staff uniforms were pressed and sharp. His team did not look like they rolled out of bed like some other lines I've been on. Each member was on their toes and looking to assist passengers. I watched how they interacted with guests and each attempted to ensure that the guests had what they needed. Now I know there might be a few that disagree and that's ok because you can't please 2600 guests but the crew did their best . I would be re-missed if I didn't point out that Noel Chaves, Restaurant Manager was always on the floor to ensure guests enjoyed a great dining experience. Katya Plyakova, Beverage Manager has a great selection of wines and two good tasting events. Unfortunately, someone needs to share with NCL that the beer tasting of their low qualify beer choices is not a beer tasting event. It could use some improvement by adding two or three higher end micro beers. I have no real complaints and would recommend NCL to first time cruisers Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
First, this was my first cruise and my girlfriend's 5th We arrived on time (actually we had VIP boarding but due to a medical problem that morning boarded with the rest of the passengers). We received our shipboard cards and asked ... Read More
First, this was my first cruise and my girlfriend's 5th We arrived on time (actually we had VIP boarding but due to a medical problem that morning boarded with the rest of the passengers). We received our shipboard cards and asked about the ultimate beverage package. We were told that that had been received and there was nothing we needed to do. The ship was pretty and in good condition. We found our room, which happened to be a handicapped room so it was a bit bigger. My girlfriend said the ship was one of the prettier she had been on. So off we went and had a drink apiece. After each drink they give you a ticket which you sign which includes the auto-gratuity of 15% plus any additional gratuity you want to add. At a second bar we were again presented a bill and we inquired about the drink package we had purchased. The barmaid said we didn't have the sticker. So my girlfriend goes off to guest services who ask her to prove we paid for it. So my girlfriend goes to the room, but our itineraries had been printed before we had purchased it (we added it the day before). So now she went to the purser's office who asked for proof. Fortunately she found an email on her phone where it showed that we had paid. Then after the purser found "proof". So the purser out the sticker on our guest cards. Then she went back to guest services to get the previous charges taken off. They did this, but not after a 45 minute wait in line. Now here is the deal...all in fine print. you can have a mixed drink but it must list under $10.00 d includes a single ounce or 1.5 ounces or liquor per 12 ounce drink. A double would have been over the $10 limit and resulted in a full charge to the account. Beer was included up to $5.95 per beer. Wine could only be purchased by the glass and was only covered to $8.00 a glass. Each drink had to be billed separately. No giving the bartender your card and just getting refills as needed. No bottles of wine. If you brought your own wine on board, they confiscated it and you could retrieve it. They added a $15 corkage fee for each bottle whether you drank it in your room or brought it to the restaurants. The drinks were expensive given the minimal alcohol content. $8.75 was the average price. This contrasted to on shore where the drinks were almost overly potent...but $5-$7 each. The ultimate beverage package was $49/day per person and everyone in the room had to buy it. They still charged the automatic gratuity to account. Wine by the bottle (which is not included in the beverage package) runs 2-3 times liquor store prices. One could buy a bottle of grey goose vodka....for $120. The duty free shop sold it, but they put it away until you got back to your embarkation point. Duty free alcohol purchased ashore was similarly taken away from you and given back the night before disembarkation. They will allow you to bring your own soft drinks on board and being borderline diabetic I had sugar free tonic water. Eventually my girlfriend and I learned to go order the alcohol straight on the rocks, combine it into one drink and add our own mixers. The food in the main dining room was Freestyle. No reservations. It was fair to good except for the steaks which were clearly select or utility grade beef. The fish, chicken and pork were better. Breakfast in the main dining rooms was good. On the initial day at sea, seas were high and my girlfriend was a bit motion sick. I went to the main restaurant. They offered to either let me eat alone and then pack food for her, let me wait and take the food, or deliver it. I chose delivery. 5 minutes later they were there with out meals (as opposed to room service....see later). Additionally there was a buffet on the twelfth floor which was fine too. Not great food, not terrible, but not open late. 3:30 in the afternoon was a difficult time to find anyplace to get a snack or meal. We pre-paid for 3 specialty restaurants. The hibachi restaurant (Teppanaki) was standard Hibachi fair. Of course they lost the record we had already paid and charged us again. The steak house (Cagney's) was quite good. Of course the specialty restaurants were an extra $25 per person per meal. Two of our 4 excursions were cancelled due to weather. No fault of the cruise line. On the hand they are often late in notifying you and the excursion desk has minimal hours and minimal staff. So by the time you get there you find that everything is booked. So one day we took off on a tour or Roatan (honduras) with a taxi. It lasted as long and was 2/3 the price. I guess the cruise line marks up the tours quite a bit. Of course if you go about on your own and are late getting back the do not hold the ship. If it is their excursion they will. Dining late is difficult. No midnight buffet and limited menu where you can find food. Two attempts at room service were horrific. 45 minutes for an ice cold dry burger one. The second time at 11:50 PM I called and was once again and was told 45 minutes. After 55 minutes nothing had arrived. I just left, went to a comfort food restaurnant and was back in 10 minutes. Steward service is $12 per person per day. So I guess we spent $168 additional to have the room cleaned. They did bring ice and I did leave a tip. What surprised me the most was that there was no guide or magazine to the ship as to what was where, when it was open, etc. One had to ask to receive the daily guide (which we learned by the 4th day). When we had a request....such as an extra customs declaration form we were told to come to guest services....which was always undermanned and entailed a 45 minute wait. Internet was so slow as to be painful. It was as slow as dial up or even slower. Wasted $20 trying to check one e-mail. Of course they charge for internet. Finally, you will receive luggage tag to put on your luggage before disembarkation. Just like before we embarked, they take your luggage and eventually deliver it to your room (they lost one piece). What they don't tell you is that you have to go to guest services to get these for disembarkation. By the time we had called to find out we were well into the late disembarkation times. This company or this cruise has a serious communication problem. Every financial error is in there favor. They lost that we had signed up for their drink package....then made drinks so weak that beer was stronger. They lost that we had paid for the specialty restaurant so we had to get that refunded. The bill is inscrutable. There is a $30 non-refundable credit...for what it is unclear. So with the cancellations of the excurisions, I will get a credit to my credit card. But the $30 non-refundable credit went down to $25.60. I was so tired of arguing with them I gave up. There are few adult activities on the ship. The sports bar had one channel and no sound. We could watch European soccer on Saturday when college sports were on. There was bingo, a casino, and a show or two. Not much. Better dining was available....all at a higher cost. What it comes down to is that I think they sell the cabins cheap, the drinks expensive and weak, and then nickle and dime you at ever turn. I calculated it out and even though we drank quite a bit, we lost money on the drink package. We like good wines. We brought wine with us. We should have brought a case, paid the $15 corcage fee and been happier. The cruise was nice, but I think I will go with another cruise line in the future. Final note, customs in New Orleans seems not to care how much alcohol one brings in. The ship board people gave bad information. You are allowed one liter duty free per person. The shipboard people said..."as much as you want". We told customs 2 liters per person.....they just waived us through. I guess 2400 people arriving at once overwhelms them a bit.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
NORWEGIAN JEWEL  ALASKA CRUISE  July 20-27, 2013 Just returned from a 7 day Sawyer Glacier cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. I was traveling with 2 friends. This was one of the best cruises I have taken, and I am so glad we did ... Read More
NORWEGIAN JEWEL  ALASKA CRUISE  July 20-27, 2013 Just returned from a 7 day Sawyer Glacier cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. I was traveling with 2 friends. This was one of the best cruises I have taken, and I am so glad we did an Alaska cruise. We originally booked an interior stateroom, which did raise some concerns about being cramped. Two days before the cruise, NCL called to offer an upgrade to a balcony cabin for a very reasonable price. We were extremely glad we took advantage of the upgrade. We made extensive use of the balcony. I would now say having a balcony on an Alaska cruise really makes a major difference in your experience. We were still a little crowded in the 205 sq ft balcony stateroom, so I can just imagine how cramped the original 143 sq ft interior stateroom would have been. PRE & POST-CRUISE HOTELS & TRANSFERS We purchased one night pre and post-cruise hotel packages from NCL in Seattle. We arrived rather late (from three different cities) the night before the cruise, so we did not really get to enjoy the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle. It was a very nice hotel, but I actually liked the Crowne Plaza where we stayed the night after the cruise better. The room at the Crowne Plaza was much more spacious. Both hotels are conveniently located in downtown Seattle with easy access to all attractions. Transfer to and from the ship and hotels was included in the hotel packages. They transfer you on a large coach. I am not sure this was really a convenience, however. Our transfer from the Renaissance Hotel to the ship went pretty smoothly, but the transfer from the ship to the Crowne Plaza took a long time because they had problems opening and closing a door on the bus to load a passenger in a wheelchair. I would think these things would be regularly inspected to comply with safety regulations, but it seemed this door had not been used or tested in a very long time. All in all, I think we would have had a quicker and smoother transfer from hotel to ship and vice versa if we had taken a taxi on our own. EMBARKATION Embarkation went fairly smoothly. The Seattle cruise terminal used by NCL is a bit cramped. There is only one security screening area, and the line was long and winding, but it moved fast. Once we got through security, the check-in desk was very cramped with makeshift stations set up on tables to add additional check-in stations. You were shoulder-to-shoulder with the people checking in at the stations next to you. Check-in went pretty quickly and we walked right on the ship. They announced staterooms were ready while we were having lunch right after boarding. We left Seattle right on time at 4 pm. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE JEWEL I have sailed on the Norwegian Star and Dawn, so the layout of the Norwegian Jewel was very familiar. Although its a newer ship than the Star, Dawn or Sun, which I have also sailed on, I found the Jewel to be more worn than any of these other ships. There were no serious issues, but the furniture was more worn than I have seen on other NCL ships. This was especially true of the chairs in the Tsars Palace dining room. They were nicked, scraped and chipped. Perhaps the Jewel has not yet gone into dry dock for refurbishment. I dont want to make too much of these relatively minor issues, as they really did not impact our enjoyment of the cruise at all. One of the things that really makes me cringe when reading reviews on Cruise Critic is the phrase: Its showing its age. Usually people who say this are the ones inspecting every inch of the ship with a microscope. STATEROOM As previously mentioned, we were upgraded to a balcony. I cant imagine having done this cruise now without the balcony. I like the general decor of NCL cabins. I like the wood (laminate?) walls and the colorful but tasteful design. I also like NCL showers such as they have on the Jewel, Star and Dawn the best of all cruise lines I have been on, The rectangular showers are quite roomy, and I like the glass doors instead of a shower curtain. Id prefer they did not have the wall separating the sink area and toilet. I think that makes the bathroom a little cramped, but its not a big deal. Because there were 3 of us in the cabin, the sofa turned into a 3rd bed. I find the beds on NCL ships to be very comfortable. I've read complaints about the beds being hard, but I prefer a firm bed. I slept on the sofa sleeper bed. It did not feel like a sofa sleeper at all. It felt like a regular bed. I would have liked a thicker pillow though. When the stateroom attendant opened the sofa sleeper in the evening, it did block easy access to the balcony, but we were able to squeeze through to the balcony without much difficulty. Storage space in the stateroom was very good. Some of the furniture in the cabin looks like it had been a while since it was dusted. DINING We ate in both main dining rooms, at the buffet, the poolside BBQ, Cagneys, La Cucina and Moderno. I thought the food was good at all locations. Selection was good. We ordered the delivery pizza ($5 charge for a large pizza) to eat on our balcony while we were sailing through the Tracy Arm. The pizza was hot, fresh and very tasty. It was much better than the free pizza at the buffet. Seating at the buffet was often a challenge, more so than I experienced on the 3 other NCL ships on which I have sailed. The Jewel has a Great Outdoors seating area as an extension of the buffet at the back of the ship. Im not sure this is very practical for an Alaska cruise, however, since it was often too cold to sit out there to eat while at sea or at night. Food got cold pretty quickly when seated in the Great Outdoors area. They seemed to be pumping heat into the area from somewhere, but it was not adequate in countering the cold winds. During lunch and breakfast, they do open La Cucina for overflow seating for the buffet. It was easier to get a table there on most days. My biggest complaint with the buffet was the lack of utensils. Most tables in the Great Outdoors area lacked baskets with the pre-wrapped utensils, salt and pepper shakers and condiments. Tables that had the baskets often were empty or only had one or two set in the basket. On previous NCL cruises these baskets were always filled with sets of utensils and staff were always walking around with trays to refill the baskets with new sets. I never once saw staff carrying trays to refill the utensil sets in the baskets. By the time you found a table and then searched for a set of utensils, your food would often be cold. I liked that the buffet had several islands rather than a cafeteria line setup, but all the food islands were all at one end of the buffet. If you were seated in the Great Outdoors it was a long walk back to the food stations to get dessert or seconds. It would have been better to position the food stations in the center. The layout and management of the buffet on the Jewel were definitely inferior to the buffets on the 3 other NCL ships I have sailed on. I ate in the buffet on the Jewel less frequently than on other NCL ships due to these problems. ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment on the Jewel was fantastic. We really enjoyed the shows in the Stardust Theatre. Band on the Run was on the second night, and the acrobat couple from Ukraine called Soul Duo who performed on night 4 were incredible. Their show is not to be missed. The Soul Duo team also performed in the Le Cirque Bijou show on night 6. This is another must see show. PORTS Ketchikan Ketchikan is more of a working fishing port than a tourist destination. I think Ketchikan works best as a starting point for excursions in the area. The ship docks right in the center of town, so everything in town is an easy walk. The Creek St area was cute, and the waterfront area in town was nice. They have a visitor center with clean restrooms right on the waterfront. We visited the Totem Heritage Center, which was interesting. It costs $5 to enter. It was fun watching the floatplanes take off and land right alongside the ship. They sure have a lot of floatplanes in Ketchikan. Theres the Lumberjack show right in town, which I wish we had done instead of the Duck tour. The Duck tour was very disappointing, and it cost $42 a person. I have done the Duck tour in Boston and thought it was fantastic. Of course, Boston is a large city with countless cultural and historic attractions. The Ketchikan Duck tour included a short drive through the center of town, followed by a short sail in the harbor. You can see everything in town much better on foot. The highlight of the water portion of the Duck tour was the closed Burger King and the story of why it failed in Ketchikan. The failure of the Burger King had to do with the position of the drive-up window and fierce winds in winter. Fascinating! ? Also, the Duck tour vehicle was enclosed in plexiglass with only small portholes for ventilation. The roof was clear plexiglass, which allowed the sun to beat down on the passengers. This created a greenhouse-type environment that was stifling I wanted to do the catamaran cruise to the Misty Fjords, but it was very pricey. Another alternative I liked was the canoe and rainforest hike excursion. My friends and I dithered about what to do in Ketchikan, and we opted for the Duck tour only upon arrival in Ketchikan. Juneau Juneau is a nice, clean town. We did the rafting trip on the river at the Mendenhall Glacier booked through Viator ($135/per person). Views of the glacier and mountains were beautiful on this trip. The rapids were fun but not too rough, making the excursion appropriate for all ages. I was surprised a bit that the river passed through a suburban area towards the end of the trip. We looked at more backyards than wilderness during this portion of the trip. The provided snacks of salmon spread, crackers, reindeer sausage and veggies at the end of the rafting trip. We saw a couple of bald eagles, but no other wildlife on the river. The free shuttle takes you from the ship to the visitor center at the base of the Mt Roberts Tramway. Here all the tour companies have booths where you can easily arrange any type of excursion in the Juneau area. The price for the shuttle to the Mendenhall Glacier was $8. Im not sure if that was roundtrip or not, as we had transportation included in our excursion to the river rafting at Mendenhall Lake. Tracy Arm/Sawyer Glacier We departed Juneau at 1:30 pm and arrived at the entrance to the Tracy Arm around 4:00 pm. The weather was beautiful when we left Juneau, but it got misty and overcast when we reached the Tracy Arm. This did not really impact our enjoyment of the Tracy Arm, however, as we could still see everything pretty well. The ice flow increased the deeper we got into the fjord. We had a good view of the Sawyer Glacier, but we could not close enough to see it calfing due to the heavy ice flow. Seeing the Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier was quite an experience. Skagway Skagway is a real frontier, Gold Rush town. It is very clean and well-preserved. We booked an excursion to British Columbia and Yukon, which lasted 6 hours, so we didnt have much time to explore Skagway. Its a small town which consists of one street in its commercial district, so we did manage a quick tour of the town when we got back from our excursion. Its a short walk to the ship from town, but it started raining pretty hard while we were walking back so we were pretty wet and cold when we boarded the ship. British Columbia & Yukon Excursion We booked this excursion through Viator. The tour was run by Frontier Excursions & Adventures. Our guide Ian was excellent. They picked us up at the dock and we drove up the Klondike Highway into British Columbia and then up to Carcross, Yukon. The snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes were spectacular. Lunch was provided at the Caribou Crossing stop in Yukon. It consisted of tasty BBQ chicken, half a baked potato, coleslaw and donuts for dessert. Drinks are available for purchase. They have a small museum and gift shop as well as a petting zoo for children. They also have sled dogs there that you can play with and take pictures with for free. You can also travel up to Carcross, Yukon on the White Pass Railroad from Skagway. I believe the rail excursion costs quite a bit more (approx $170/per person) than we paid ($103/per person) for the van tour. Going by van we saw the same scenery as the rail trip and had more flexibility to make stops at scenic spots. Also, I dont know if they transport the rail passengers to the Caribou Crossing stop outside Carcross. Sailing the Inside Passage One of my friends said the scenery sailing the Inside Passage made him feel like he was in the Lord of the Rings movies. Sailing the Inside Passage is a stunning voyage that everyone should have a chance to experience. Snow-capped mountains, glaciers, deep green forests, the sea, the sky all contributed to an amazing experience. Sunsets (around 10 pm) were a blaze of color. We didnt see as much wildlife as we hoped, but the animals are not adhering to a schedule for our benefit. We saw some dolphins, a brief glimpse of an orca, a couple of bald eagles. We did not see any bears or moose. Victoria, BC We arrived in Victoria at 2:30 pm on our last day. We opted to sightsee independently. We walked around town and took a short harbor cruise. Victoria is clean and cute. I liked it more than I expected. FELLOW PASSENGERS The demographics of our cruise were very diverse. There were young, old, middle aged, all races, multi-generations families, singles, couples, groups of friends, all types of relationships represented. There were a lot of children on the cruise, and they were all very well behaved. The group on this cruise was a fun group, which was evident from day one by the number of people participating in the sailaway dance party. The Spinnaker Lounge was always crowded at night, and the vibe during all activities was upbeat and fun. WEATHER Weather was variable throughout the cruise. I personally did not mind times when it was cold or rainy. It seemed appropriate for the Alaska experience. We had nice weather in Ketchikan and Juneau during our port calls. As mentioned, it started to rain hard at the end of our stay in Skagway, but it was clear and sunny for our excursion up the Klondike Highway to Yukon. It is important to be prepared for any and all types of weather though n an Alaska cruise. Sweatshirts or hoodies, a light raincoat, a warm jacket and gloves and definitely welcome, especially when it gets cold . When it was sunny, temps were spring-like, but it could be very cold and windy at night on deck or sitting on the balcony of our stateroom. DISEMBARKATION We were among the last to disembark (at 9:30 am) since we had a pre-arranged transfer from the ship to the post-cruise hotel booked through NCL. The disembarkation process went very smoothly. Luggage was easy to find when we got off the ship. As previously mentioned, the transfer to the hotel was delayed due to problems getting the door to load a wheelchair passenger onto the bus opened and then closed again. Thankfully our trip on this bus was a short one. Not sure what this says about the overall maintenance of the bus.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We arrived at the NY Terminal around noon and the embarkation was prompt and smooth. We were greeted by a friendly familiar face Concierge John D'Souza/India. We were delighted to sail once again with one of our favorite NCL Hotel ... Read More
We arrived at the NY Terminal around noon and the embarkation was prompt and smooth. We were greeted by a friendly familiar face Concierge John D'Souza/India. We were delighted to sail once again with one of our favorite NCL Hotel Directors Hugo/Belgium. He runs a happy ship and we knew we were in good hands. After an excellent lunch, we went to our cabin which had been excellently prepared by our young cabin attendant Marisa/Philippines who took care of our every request throughout the cruise. We had our boat drill in one of the main dining rooms (it was very cold outside) and thankfully without having to bring our life jackets from our cabins. We thought we might have rough seas that night due to high winds but the entire three sea days south were incredibly calm and sunny. Some passengers were already in the heated pools on the first sea day. We had a well attended cruise-critic roll call Meet and Greet at 11AM of the first sea day well organized by Randy and Lynn from our Progressive Trivia team. After the first sea day, I was doing lap swimming in the pool every morning when it opened at 7AM before breakfast. The weather continued to be outstanding for the first 11 days of our 12 day cruise. Sunny and warm at all our 6 ports. FOOD: The food and service was especially good in Cagney's (Sandra/Philippines & Wayam/Indonesia), Le Bistro (Aisa/Philippines) and Tsar's Palace (Jacqueline/Philippines). We also enjoyed a good variety of food at the Garden Cafe buffet and the poolside barbecues. I managed to gain 6 lbs. on this 12 day cruise so the food was very good. ENTERTAINMENT: We were pleased to see many familiar talented performers on this cruise especially pianist/vocalist Fabrizio Caligaris/Italy) playing to SRO crowd nightly in bar city. On the final days of the cruise, another familiar pianist/vocalist Bernie Martini took Farizio's place. Also outstanding when they performed in various venues throughout the ship were Mirage Duo and Next Stage. Some of the production shows in the Stardust Theatre were outstanding especially Le Cirque Bijou, Donny Ray Evins Nat King Cole tribute, and Celia and Julien. We must acknowledge the unique talents of the Jewel show band led by another familiar face, Larry Lockwood (trumpeter extraordinaire). They provided dance music many evenings in the Spinnaker Lounge as well as playing for a unique brunch in the Tsar's Palace main dining room. There was some musicians performing nightly in the Tsars Palace dining room, an example of how Hotel Director Hugo runs his ship. Cruise Director Jaime/Canada was friendly, personable and always available throughout the ship. We also enjoyed participating in Progressive Team Trivia hosted by Dyvon/U.S. in which our team the "Jewel Jivers" managed to finish on top at the end of the cruise. Lots of good entertainment for many tastes throughout the ship. My wife really enjoyed the fitness classes provide by Simone/South Africa and JAL. PORTS: Our late arrival at our first port left little time for anything other than mailing some post cards and doing some shopping. Due to limited mobility, I decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the empty pools, warm sunny weather and the daily activities. My wife did enjoy the beach excursions in St. thomas, Barbados and St. Lucia and the shopping in St. Maarten. WEATHER: After 11 days of calm seas and sunny skies, our luck finally ran out on our final sea day before arriving back in New York. High winds and 25 foot seas managed to shake up things a bit and break not a few dishes in the dining rooms. But in the late afternoon and evening, things managed to calm down enough for us to finish our debarkation packing.SUMMARY: Another outstanding NCL mid-winter breakaway cruise to the warm Caribbean round trip out of New York (no more flying for us). We look forward to another NCL mid-winter cruise in January 2014. the friendly NCL staff always make us feel at home. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was my 13th cruise but my first time on NCL. I found the Jewel to be gaudy and not up to the aesthetics of other ships I had sailed. I also found it to be crowded. I attribute this to Norwegian's free style cruising. It seems ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise but my first time on NCL. I found the Jewel to be gaudy and not up to the aesthetics of other ships I had sailed. I also found it to be crowded. I attribute this to Norwegian's free style cruising. It seems everyone on ship tries to do the same thing at the same place at the same time. In traditional early/late seating only half the passengers do the same thing at the same time. The breakfast buffet was especially annoying with the crowds and the fact that there are no waiters to serve you coffee and juice. Also no trays to carry your food. By the time you get your food and then the coffee and juice and find a table everything is cold. Every other cruise line I have been on served you coffee, etc. Adding to the crowding is the fact that there are 7 specialty restaurants. These had to take up space that was formerly occupied by other facilities, such as lounges. There were too few lounges resulting in overcrowding. Also the quality of the main lounge group "Next Stage" was below par. Fabrizio in the piano lounge was also below par and there was no intimacy in the piano lounge nor a dance area. 3 bars are squeezed into an area called bar city. At best it seats maybe 150 people in this entire area. To accommodate the entire ship this is ridiculous. To Norwegians credit the food was above average. Not great but always decent. The specialty restaurants were hit and miss. I could not even chew my T bone steak in "Cagney's" the steak house specialty restaurant. Yet "Modernero" was excellent. The noise level in the Tsar's Palace MD was upsetting and the service was bad. They were definitely understaffed as the staff was busting their butts, but failing. Yet in the other MD, with the same menu, the service was better, but not good. Also the Stardust theater had some of the best acts I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The bottom line is I've never experienced a bad cruise and this was not bad either. But I would rate the ship below most for spaciousness and decor. The crowding caused stress, not relaxation. However for the price we paid it was an excellent value and we did enjoy ourselves. If you keep your expectations low, you will enjoy yourself too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Although the Gem is still my favorite the Jewel gives it stiff competition. We had sailed on the Jewel in the past and found the ship to be in great shape. We arrived at the pier around 3:00 so there was no line, we went right to our ... Read More
Although the Gem is still my favorite the Jewel gives it stiff competition. We had sailed on the Jewel in the past and found the ship to be in great shape. We arrived at the pier around 3:00 so there was no line, we went right to our cabin then headed up on deck for the sailaway. The weather was a little cold and allot windy, but the photo ops were fantastic. We had about 100 people at our M&G and we were greeted by Captain Idar, Hotel Director Hugo and other ships officers. We had a very active board and it was great to meet everyone. I was very impressed with the entertainment on the Jewel. There was something going on everywhere. Next Stage played everything from Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd to current top 40 songs. I was truely amazed at how good they were. Cruise Director Jamie and her staff were excellant. They really kept everyone entertained. Food was plentyful and good. Yes some nights were better then others. The night we went to Mama's the food was so salty that I couldn't eat it and I didn't care for Moderno. I think they should bring back Salsa. Cagneys was great. The Salmon in Azura was one of the best salmon dishes I have ever had. I did find it hard to get drinks in any of the dining venues. But hey that saved me some money. We did think that the food was improved over past cruises. We booked all our excursions through NCL and they were all great! They were definatly improved over past cruises, especially the beach break with lunch in Antigua. Weather was great throughout the cruise. A little exciting on the last sea day, but overall that wasn't to bad. I am already booked on the Breakaway and looking forward to another NCL experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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