Was on Jewel 2/28 to 3/7 to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. We were just searching the last minute cruises out of Galveston, Houston, and New Orleans, to see what kind of deals were out there. We live less than 3 hours from the two ... Read More
Was on Jewel 2/28 to 3/7 to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. We were just searching the last minute cruises out of Galveston, Houston, and New Orleans, to see what kind of deals were out there. We live less than 3 hours from the two Texas Ports. Got a discounted Penthouse Suite at the front of the Jewel with the ultimate beverage, ultimate dining, $300 OBC, and $100 OBC. All our other cruises (10) have been in a balcony. We really enjoyed the suite.
We were on the Jewel for 16 nights, when it came from Los Angeles to Houston thru the Panama Canal, this past fall. With Steven Jacobsen in charge of all onboard Hotel Operations, and Messiah Ritzinger in charge of all onboard Food and Beverage Operations - you are in "GOOD HANDS." These two men are the "BEST" that I have seen on any cruise line. You will see them all over the ship, making sure that every thing is going smoothly.
We really enjoyed this cruise in the suite! Richard Remulta was our butler. He was just a phone call away - if we needed anything. Florentina Popa was our Concierge, always ready to help us out. She usually answered our questions before we could ask them. Florentia always greeted us by our name, whenever we saw her around the ship. Being in a suite you got to eat breakfast and lunch in the Monderno. It was never crowded in there. The French Pressed Coffee served there was great. We even had Richard bring us the French Pressed Coffee with our early breakfast, on the morning of disembarkation in Houston. After breakfast we met Florentia, and she escorted the suite cruisers carrying their luggage, off the ship first. That was a nice option. We had to get home early to pick our Jack Russell up from the "Puppy Hotel", because they closed at noon.
Since we had the Ultimate Dining Package, all our evening meals were at the specialty restaurants. Our favorite was the Teppanyaki. The chef puts on a show while cooking your meal on a grill in front of you. The Moderno served all kinds of meats sliced off skewers they brought around to your table. It was good, but not much in side orders to go along with the meat, though. Cagney's was like a steak/sea food place. We ate there twice and service was very slow. Le Bistro was the French place and we enjoyed it. The Mongolian Hot Pot cooks your choice of meat and vegetables in a pot, on top of a warming plate, in the center of your table. That was pretty neat. Chin Chin an Asian place and La Cucina an Italian place were the least favorites. I think we should have skipped them and went to one of the main dining rooms.
Enjoyed the Ultimate Beverage package. We are not big drinkers, but it was nice to have wine at meals, drinks/beers in the casinos, at the shows, around the pool, sitting in the bars and on deck, etc. Did get my share of the Pepsi products, too. We wouldn't buy the package, though. On the Panama Canal Cruise we both got enough points on our casino cards, for free drinks in the casino.
Used our $400 OBC to buy a future cruise credit with Norwegian for $250, and got $100 back in OBC. So that left a $250 OBC balance. We took the balance of OBC in three separate transactions at the casino, where we got cash. They charge a 3% fee - so it cost $3 for getting $100 cash at the cashier. Wanted to make sure we didn't leave any nonrefundable credit when we got off the Jewel. It worked out fine, since we weren't taking any excursions, buying drinks, or specialty dining.
We had been to Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize on two other cruises (one exactly one year ago on the Caribbean Princess out of Houston). So we just got off the ship late, walked around the ports for a little shopping and came back to the ship early.
We went to all the evening shows in the theatre. Some of the performers were the same ones we saw on the Panama Canal Cruise, 5 months earlier. May have varied a little, though. It would have been nice to see a little more rotation, of them between the other ships. It probably saved us money - keeping us out of the casino.
This was our 11th cruise overall, and 3rd with Norwegian. We enjoy the anytime dining! You are on vacation and shouldn't need to eat at a certain time. It is nice to be flexible. Another thing I like, is being able to wear shorts to most of the restaurants. Le Bistro was the only one I had to wear long pants at. You can't wear shorts at night to Tsar's either, but there is always Azura. Learned this from the previous cruise.
The Norwegian Employees starting at the top with Steven Jacobsen and Messiah Ritzinger and all throughout the Jewel, are so friendly and helpful. I never ran into one employee that didn't seem to enjoy their job, and they would always greet you with a smile. Can't forget the "Washy Washy Guy" at the buffet. He is a very good singer and guitar player. Saw him when the crew put on a talent show in the theatre. Read Less