2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise as it was longer than the seven night cruise that we had done before and included three extra ports. We flew into Seattle the night before from Australia. As platinum latitudes members embarking was a breeze as we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was longer than the seven night cruise that we had done before and included three extra ports. We flew into Seattle the night before from Australia. As platinum latitudes members embarking was a breeze as we went when we wanted. had priority check in and were on the ship 20 minutes after getting out of the cab, Our deck 9 Balcony cabin although a bit small, was quite comfortable the only con was the bathroom as the toilet was a bit of a tight squeeze as I am not a small person. The crew of the jewel were great. Dave the Cruise Director a fellow Aussie was fantastic and very approachable. The Captain was a real character and due to his skill showed us several glaciers so close up you felt you could touch them. All of the Ports were nice even though the weather in a couple of them was ordinary. Ketchikan -Took local tour. Very Good Juneau - Walked around town. End of season sales in all the shops. Skagway. Weather was not great, Did short local tour OnlyFair. Icy Straight A beautiful place, not too much to do .Plenty of wildlife to see. Sitka Highlight of the cruise did local tour Top Class very reasonable price. Prince Rupert Just walked around town. Very beautiful place. Entertainment on the ship was quite good, the shows top class. The production shows as good as any you would see in the world. The food was quite good, We used the specialty restaurants a lot as well as the main complementary restaurants. The buffet left a bit to be desired for dinner. Breakfast and lunch was OK. Back to Vancouver Took the easy walk off option. Best way to go off the ship in 15 minutes from Cabin to out of terminal. Would recommend this cruise over the seven day option. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
I thought the cruise was almost perfect. Was disappointed that the Good Feet arch supports were not actually discounted $100. Checked on-line and the price was the same after the "discount". Attended 2 art auctions. Bid ... Read More
I thought the cruise was almost perfect. Was disappointed that the Good Feet arch supports were not actually discounted $100. Checked on-line and the price was the same after the "discount". Attended 2 art auctions. Bid on an item and thought it was reserved until I paid for it. 2nd auction, I requested prices on 2 items and an appointment was made later that day and I was under the impression that the meeting was to discuss the price. 20 minutes late, I was informed that there was no longer the auction price but full. Really. I did not even get the initial item I bid on. Never been to an art auction before and these problems were unexpected. Extremely disappointed. First cruise I have ever been on that a fee is charged for the steam room. Another disappointment. Ate dinner in the buffet once and was the last time. Good variety but very bland. Room steward was great! Did truly enjoy every port!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I flew into Seattle two nights before departing Seattle on the NCL Jewel for a 10-night Alaskan cruise to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We packed 3 medium size suitcases and one large suitcase anticipating ... Read More
My husband and I flew into Seattle two nights before departing Seattle on the NCL Jewel for a 10-night Alaskan cruise to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We packed 3 medium size suitcases and one large suitcase anticipating really cold temps in Alaska with layering clothes and warm winter boots. We did the 10-hour tour by Northwest which included a tour to the Boeing Airplane Factory. We really enjoyed this tour of the Seattle downtown and surrounding areas including the Salmon fish ladder at Ballard Locks and Dam. NCL embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at the pier about 1030, dropped off our luggage, and stood in line to get our cabin card assigned, then sat waiting for our boarding group to be called. We were boarded and having lunch by 1:00pm at the Garden Cafe. NCL Jewel left port in Seattle around 4pmish on Saturday 23 Sep 2017. Our cabin was 10528, a balcony cabin, close to elevators. The room and balcony were kept clean during our 10-night cruise. Our cabin steward was a young lady (Wuan One sp?) who sang happy birthday to me and made me a cake out of a towel, flowers and sparkly confetti. Very sweet of her!! Cabin furnishings were showing wear and tear; recommend to NCL to refurbish within the year. Electronics for cabin need to be updated as well. The food was great at each of the complimentary restaurants except for the Chin Chin. We ate there the last evening and ordered Kung Pao chicken, steamed rice and spring rolls. The chicken was very tough, the sauce tasted old. Rice and spring rolls were good. I experienced extreme gas for several hours afterwards and frequent trips to bathroom. Maybe their other dishes are better. Entertainment and activities were outstanding. Something for everyone throughout the day even when in port. Alaska was beautiful (Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Prince Rupert, Icy Strait Point). We discovered that we over packed (way too many clothes and cold weather boots which were never worn). Our trip lasted 17 days flying from Cincinnati to Denver (one night), Denver to Seattle (2 nights in Seattle), NCL Jewel 10-night Alaskan cruise, 1 night in Vancouver, AMTRAK train ride from Vancouver to Seattle on the Cascades Train in business class (very nice), 2 night AMTRAK train ride on the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago, one night in Chicago, and flight from Chicago O'Hare to Cincinnati Airport. The two-night train ride on AMTRAK was not very restful, with us waking each time the train hot a bump, rocked or rolled. We slept for 13 hours straight in Chicago on a luxurious bed with a great view of the city at Magnificent Mile location. Flight from Chicago to Cincinnati on United was very relaxing. Made it home Saturday night by 9pm and slept for another 13 hours. Good thing my husband and I are retired (we are both in our young 60s), but we definitely needed a rest from our 17 day journey (trip of a lifetime and now marked off our bucket list). A word to the wise for advice on packing: We only needed clothes really for seven days as most outfits could be interchanged and worn again. We did not need heavy winter coats. We did not need cold weather boots. We could have taken three medium sized suitcases and two personal carry on bags and have been just fine. The more suitcases you have, the more difficult to navigate without assistance and additional expenses. There is plenty of room under the bed to store the suitcases. NCL Jewel freestyle cruising fit our needs where we could dine when we wanted to within restaurant hours. The perks associated with our cruise included the ultimate beverage package, $100 onboard credit and $50 per cabin deduction for port excursion. Drinks being served while still in Washington area while free under our package still incurred state tax which quickly eroded the onboard credit. Drinks could be pretty potent, so advise being aware and conscious of number of drinks consumed. They hit you hard when you get up and start moving around a rocking ship. Too easy to stumble from the rocking and fall and get hurt before ever starting the vacation. Also Medicare insured folks should be aware that Medicare does not pay outside the USA. One of our friends had to visit the ships doctor for a bad cold that turned for the worse and had to get a prescription for medicine (antibiotics, etc). His bill was $500. I have since discovered that Medicare insured folks can purchase additional supplemental or gap insurance that does cover outside the USA. We immensely enjoyed the WhitePass and Youkon Route train ride in Skagway and the Otter Express excursion in Sitka. We saw over 50 humpback whales, sea otters and seals and bald eagles in Sitka. Overall: This was a great experience. My husband and I had never been to Alaska and we loved the parts we saw. Luscious pine tree forests, beautiful pristine waters, and Oh My Goodness: The glaciers were magnificent! We witnessed and heard the loud cracking noise of calvings before they occurred. The staff on the NCL Jewel were extremely professional, courteous and helpful and actually looked and acted they were glad to be there serving the NCL Jewel and its customers. We loved it. We highly recommend taking this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The itinerary of this cruise was not to be believed. We saw the 49 day from Seattle to Sydney and then found they had an opportunity to extend the trip by combining a 5 day to Tasmania with a 13 day to New Zealand after reaching Sydney. ... Read More
The itinerary of this cruise was not to be believed. We saw the 49 day from Seattle to Sydney and then found they had an opportunity to extend the trip by combining a 5 day to Tasmania with a 13 day to New Zealand after reaching Sydney. Embarkation in Seattle was a little confusing to us, as well as the NCL personnel. There were circumstances we later learned that were overblown that kept cash paying customers from coming to Seattle to board the ship. They received a notice that if they were allowed to board the ship as their booking stated that they would be in violation of the Jones Act in some fashion. Most of us seasoned travelers could never figure out what the violation would have been unless it had something to do with the way the trip was booked by some of the cruisers in separate segments instead of the entire 49 day initial segment altogether. Anyway once we got past the visa/ETA snafu the boarding process was quick and efficient. We were welcomed aboard at the top of the ramp by a host of Officers and Uniformed Staff and once inside there was champagne being distributed by the wait staff and musicians were playing in the atrium. Having sailed with NCL on a few occasions we were familiar with the process of waiting for the staterooms to be announced as ready. We went up one deck to O'Sheehans and had some mozzarella cheese sticks and French fries while we waited. It wasn't long before they announced our floor was ready and we proceeded down what I like to call the "Secret Passageways" ( a couple of hallways on each side of the bar) to our room which was also located on Deck 8. The same as O'Sheehans. Clean, comfortable, cool and laid out well is how I would describe our Starboard side Oceanview Cat.A stateroom. Lots of closet space and convenient to the main dining room, Tsars, which has its Main Entrance just one floor below ours. The restaurant itself is on Deck 6. A spacious shower and the toilet was not cramped as is with a lot of other rooms. They replaced the mirror in our bathroom about 10 days before we reached Sydney. It was on their list of things to do. We had no issue with it. All in all I can recommend Stateroom 8122 as a good choice for location and quietness. The entertainment and Cruise Directors staff aboard the Jewel for this voyage was second to none. The Jewel Showband, the guest musicians playing guitars and piano in the atrium, the Alambre Trio, Taylor Kundolf, Fire and Ice, Temperature, the singers and dancers of the Jewel Production Cast and the Burn The Floor dancers kept everyone applauding the whole trip! Bravo.. The ports visited on this voyage were in order: Seattle WA, Ketchikan AK, Cruise Sawyer Glacier, Juneau AK, Skagway AK, Cruise Glacier Bay, Icy Point Strait AK, Sitka AK, Prince Rupert BC, Vancouver BC, Hilo HI, Nawiliwili Kauai HI, Kahului Maui HI (2 nights), Honolulu HI, Nawiliwili Kauai HI (2nd time), Hilo HI (2nd time), Nuku Hiva French Polynesia, Fakarava FP, Bora Bora FP, Moorea FP, Papeete FP, Raiatea FP, Bora Bora (2nd time and overnight),Pagp Pago American Samoa, Cossing International Dateline, Lautoka Fiji, Suva Fiji, Port Vila Vanuatu, Noumea New Caledonia, Isle of Pines New Caledonia, Sydney Australia, Burnie Tasmania, Hobart Tasmania, Sydney (2nd time) Melbourne, Australia, Burnie Tasmania (2nd time) Wellington New Zealand, Napier NZ, Tauranga NZ, Auckland NZ, Bay of Islands NZ and finally Sydney for disembarkation. 68 wonderful action filled days intertwined with days of nothing but leisure and enjoying the amenities of the NCL Jewel. Accolades to the Captains and the staff for our numerous tendering to a lot of these exotic locations that went off without a hitch. Using tender tickets and discovering that using ALL of the boats available was the best way to go with getting passengers off the ship and onto these islands so they could spend their time onshore. The weather cooperated 95% of the entire cruise with smooth sailing. The Jewel is a very capable ship and I look forward to visiting her again for another round of adventure. The officers made it clear that this voyage was a learning tool for them as well as an adventure for the passengers. Other than Alaska and Hawaii these were waters not traveled by an NCL vessel before and caution with safety seemed to be in place at all times. If this itinerary is ever visited again, along most of the same lines, I would seriously consider boarding for it once more. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about ... Read More
Alaska destination offered online. Was talked into buying insurance. Had a small medical problem. They charged huge amount of money for consult and 10 pills. They said they did not know how to get our money back. Knew nothing about insurance. When we talked to agent when we booked they said medical would be covered. ??? Service in dining room was terrible. Food was mainly served cold and not seasoned. The best part of the cruise was the intertainment at the evening shows. Best I have seen. The beverage packages were very expensive. I like some wine but could not drink enough to pay for daily package and individually very expensive per glass. The staff in general were wonderful especially our room steward. With open cruising he was the only one who remembered who we were. Sorry to say my husband and I probably would not cruise on Norwegian Cruise line again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise to take my Grand Children on our yearly Grand Children vacation during the Labor Day week. We have done this cruise before with other Grand Children ages 6 - 12. The only real positive thing I can say is the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to take my Grand Children on our yearly Grand Children vacation during the Labor Day week. We have done this cruise before with other Grand Children ages 6 - 12. The only real positive thing I can say is the "Splash Academy" is still top of the line. The Grand Children want to attend and request to return when we pick them up. Other than that, the cruise was disappointing on many levels. 1) The entertainment did not meet the audience expectations. The cruise director was not in tune with the overall audience. He had Mo Town entertainment for an audience of people who like to dance 1950, 60 etc. They even were playing Caribbean music as we pulled into Victoria. They even hip hopped "Unchained Melody. As we passed the music venues it was apparent the cruise director was out of tune, low to no audience. On a positive note there was a Trio of musicians that we were able to dance to the music, we had to dance in front of the Concierge desk or in the walkway. 2) The port stays were reduced from earlier cruises. We were limited in time to do 2 things. Such as Juneau, we just finished the Glacier and had to rush back to the ship, no time for sight seeing, shopping and souvenirs. The Norwegian Pearl was moving in as we were pulling out. NCL may have saved money on port charges, but cruisers were not really happy. 3) Food at the complimentary restaurants was mediocre at best, servers looked they were in training. Did their best but nothing to write home about. 4) The specialty restaurants were great, for the extra money you get the service you expect from all restaurants. Specialty Restaurant servers entertained the Grand Children and made their experience memorable. 5) I walked into bingo looking for my spouse and the Bingo caller said I was confusing everyone by standing. Oh well I just left. I did hear her ask what numbers people needed, found that interesting. 6) The room stewards were efficient and nice. The Cigar lounge was nice, and attendance were efficient. Front desk and Restaurant reservations were efficient. For these reasons I have a problem of paying a mandatory Service Fee for eachpassenger, When the service and entertainment is not up to par for NCL. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We are frequent cruisers (more than 50), so many of our cruises are last minute and just getaway vacations. This was the case on the Jewel. That said, it was our first cruise on this ship and we were pleasantly surprised. Many reviews ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers (more than 50), so many of our cruises are last minute and just getaway vacations. This was the case on the Jewel. That said, it was our first cruise on this ship and we were pleasantly surprised. Many reviews question the food and/or service, but we found both to be more than satisfying. We had most of our meals in Tsar's Palace (one of the main complimentary dining rooms). With only one exception (the first night), we found the food to be very nice. Certainly not gourmet, but well prepared. We found comfort food and interesting new choices. We also took a galley tour and head chef, Patrick, was very gracious and explained the entire food prep process. He was kind enough to come to our table the last night to give me a recipe for napoleons, that I had inquired about. We also dined in two specialty dining rooms, Le Bistro, which is a favorite of ours, and La Cucina, their Italian restaurant. Le Bistro continues to shine; their four mushroom soup is exquisite. Salmon in that restaurant is exceptional. We have dined in this restaurant on many ships and have never been disappointed. La Cucina was also very good, but I find Italian food more comfort than gourmet. I still love it, but it's generally not awe inspiring. The buffet was actually very nice on this ship. Lots of different stations, always a bar-b-que and outdoor grill and an aft outside area. The selections were very good and soft serve ice cream machines were available in several spots - important for those with kids. Service was very good in all the dining venues. The staff on board seemed to be very friendly and accommodating, something that is hit or miss on most cruises. It may be because the Captain was the most friendly and communicative captain we have ever sailed with. Captain Pelle seemed to be everywhere and willing to engage with passengers at every opportunity. As most do, he was at the welcome show, the farewell show and at some "meet and greets". But, he was also at the dance party and danced with several passengers. He appeared on the dock at Victoria to provide pictures; he was friendly, funny and available. We had a medical emergency on our sail from Skagway to Victoria that required a detour to Prince Rupert to evacuate a passenger. The captain and staff communicated with us through the entire ordeal. The detour changed our arrival in Victoria from 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The original schedule provided the Victoria stop was 2:30 - 9:30 p.m. Obviously most shore excursions were cancelled and we wondered if we would have ANY time in Victoria (a favorite stop). The Captain arranged an extension for our time there and we left at 12:30 a.m. That allowed those who had not been to Victoria to see the city at night and experience the beautiful sights in town. Some small shops remained open and, of course, the pubs were available. The production company aboard this cruise was exceptionally talented. The shows were heavily infused with "Cirque" type performances. You expect good singers and dancers, but many did double duty as flyers, acrobats and bungee artists. Jocko and Marie were special performers who did strength moves, gymnastic balance and flyer acts that truly amazed. Some of the production singers and dancers did separate shows and they were all fantastic. The Cruise Director, Richard Matic was very good! We have sailed with him before and he has grown into his role very well. He also seemed to be everywhere. There were not many children on board, but those that were seemed to be having a great time. They have a children's program and several areas just for them. We did not do any shore excursions this trip, but on previous cruises we have taken the tram to Mt Roberts in Juneau, zip-lined in Ketchikan, rode the White Horse Pass train in Skagway and can recommend all of them. Generally you can buy them cheaper off ship, but you must do what makes you comfortable. Both embarkation and debarkation went swiftly, but we are platinum members, so we get priority in both areas. However, there did not seem to be an issues and people were able to board or debark fairly smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Norwegian was recommended to me by a friend who had sailed with them over 6 years ago. This was my first cruise ever. Alaska is incredible. Highly recommend getting a cabin with a balcony. The cruise ship was very good and I had the ... Read More
Norwegian was recommended to me by a friend who had sailed with them over 6 years ago. This was my first cruise ever. Alaska is incredible. Highly recommend getting a cabin with a balcony. The cruise ship was very good and I had the best sleep I have had in ages. The critics are correct however, the food is not up to standard. Wish the cruise line would have less variety on the menus and concentrate on quality. As an example, NEVER put Eggs Benedict as a choice in a buffet, it becomes disgusting cold glop stuff. Buffet area is crowded and busy. We did meet some nice fellow travelers there, as we had to share tables quite often. Specialty dining, we only went to two and I recommend Moderno if you love well prepared meat. Drinks were expensive, beer is $6.95 a bottle. The staff were very good and I loved how informal and friendly the captain was(Captain P. Erickson). Went to a few of the main events in the theatre and they were good, not 'oh, my lord,wow that was amazing!', but good. The cabin was wonderful, comfortable and clean. The balcony was well worth the extra cost and is probably the reason why my husband and I did not participate in the many activities offered onboard. We spent a lot of time on the balcony watching distant whales, orcas and the most amazing scenery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel. We had a group of 10 in 3 rooms. One room was a suite, one a mini suite and one a balcony room. We were very pleased with our cruise. The shore excursions were all ... Read More
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel. We had a group of 10 in 3 rooms. One room was a suite, one a mini suite and one a balcony room. We were very pleased with our cruise. The shore excursions were all incredible. The scenery and itinerary were fantastic. The only things that could use a bit improvement, in our opinions, were the quality of the food and the amount of time spent at the actual ports. The food in the specialty restaurants was (as expected) significantly better than the buffet. The buffet was not up to our expectations. The other (complimentary) restaurants were good. We were disappointed in the quality of the meats in the Brazilian steakhouse, but the sushi restaurant was excellent! The pool areas and bars were easily accessible and not overly crowded. We were able to find areas on the ship easily that were more private as well. Overall, we were all very pleased. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My 85-year-old mother-in-law is finally getting to her bucket list and took my husband and me on this cruise. Her money. She is not wealthy. She has never led an extravagent life-style, so this was a huge deal for her. I helped make the ... Read More
My 85-year-old mother-in-law is finally getting to her bucket list and took my husband and me on this cruise. Her money. She is not wealthy. She has never led an extravagent life-style, so this was a huge deal for her. I helped make the reservations and schedule air flights. She was shocked at the cost, but hey, she's 85 years old, and things just aren't as cheap as she'd ever remember! But no sooner did I book the cruise, then the add-on charges came. The gratuity fee - okay, she got that and paid it. The cost to have anything besides water, coffee or tea on board. The additional gratuity that was added because there was a rate increase after we booked. On board, it was the cost to do anything. When embarking, we were taken to the buffet line immediately, only to find out later that there was a charge for eating at it since we hadn't left the dock yet. Entertainment costs everywhere. Bingo - $40 a card. Alcohol was outrageously expensive - we figured that out before we left and actually got their alcohol package, where we could drink as much as we wanted for one cost - only to have another gratuity cost slapped on that meant we had to drink an additional 3 drinks a day to make it worth while. Pressure everywhere to buy from them - photographers constantly taking your picture, saying you don't HAVE to buy (but of course they're only taking your picture so you will buy). To do any activities in their fitness center - all cost. Dining entrees with extra costs attached, even in the "free" restaurants. Casino fees, if you play some games (didn't know that until afterwards and it was billed to me). If you wanted help finding transportation that was not NCL related, the staff didn't keep information on hand. We had to be on a bare-bones budget, and I've never worked so hard in my life just making sure whatever move we made did not cost us. We still managed to somehow get charged $204 onto our card for some things we had no idea why ($56 is what I was expecting). That's the bad side. There are mediocre sides. The ship looks dated. But it's still very nice. Food was plentiful and interesting, but far from gourmet. Very crowded at times, which was very unnerving for my mother-in-law, especially in the buffet restaurant. My mother-in-law was in a wheelchair, and the deck hallways were very narrow. For some reason, the housekeeping staff kept their cleaning carts in the hallways, making it impossible to pass them in the hall - mom had to get out of the chair, toddle a few steps while I folded the chair, passed it by the cleaning cart, then opened the chair again and wheel her about 80 feet to the next cleaning cart. . . usually 3 or 4 each trek. It also made the deck hallway look very dowdy. The good sides, and there are plenty: Great staff! A large majority are Philipino, so there are some language barriers, for which I am willing to tolerate, since I saw how damn hard those people worked! We befriended a couple of them - they work 10 months 7days a week, then get two months off. That was hard to see, but have to admit, don't know any Americans who would do this kind of schedule! They WORKED HARD! We were all very impressed. My mother-in-law took a shine to one server in particular, who greeted her with a hug every time we saw her - it made the difference for my mother-in-law! Our cabin steward, with whom there was a huge language barrier, did a fantastic job. Bartenders were good, although not a single consistent drink the entire cruise. We loved our cabin, even though it wasn't anything fancy. Since we had someone in a wheelchair, we got a handicap-accessible cabin for the three of us. It was to sleep 3. Still don't understand why they had a bunk bed as one of the beds - one of us had to get into it each night, and none of us are spring chickens. Obviously, mom always got a real bed. . . . But it was large and spacious, to accommodate the wheelchair, and always clean as a whistle. Hint - if you're going to Alaska in June/July, remember you'll have light in the sky most of the night - whether you want a window or not depends on whether you want to see light in the sky all night. This is the first time we've traveled with my mom-in-law as a handicapped person. We got royal treatment for this, going to the head of most every line, and privileged seating many places. It was nice, I admit, but I can see someone abusing this, like they do in Disneyland. But, most importantly, the staff treated my mom-in-law like she was the most important woman in the room, and she so needed that. It truly was the trip of her lifetime! Overall - if you don't mind spending money haphazardly, there is plenty to spend money on in this trip. Otherwise, be prepared to shell out at every turn. Ask lots of questions before consenting to anything they give you. You can have a good time, but it may be more work than you think it's worth. We loved Alaska! That view was FREE! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
I loved my experience on The Norwegian Jewel. I liked the smaller ship. The crew couldn't have been any nicer, always helpful with big smiles. I especially enjoyed the French and Italian restaurants. I also liked all the other dining ... Read More
I loved my experience on The Norwegian Jewel. I liked the smaller ship. The crew couldn't have been any nicer, always helpful with big smiles. I especially enjoyed the French and Italian restaurants. I also liked all the other dining options. The Casino was so fun (Leslie did a great job). My room was comfortable and always clean. My friend and I signed up for a shore excursion at every port. Our best was the zip lining in Skagway. Dusty and Ducky had so much patience with us two "old" ladies. It was a blast! The other excursions were also enjoyable. There were plenty of on board activities to keep you as busy as you wanted to be. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly - everyone was so kind and helpful. I definitely plan to cruise Norwegian again, hopefully out of Boston to New England and Canada. I highly recommend the Alaska cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I will start with the good, which isn't a whole lot. Good cabin steward and the ships show band was excellent. Now for the bad! Was greeted by a plumbing problem being worked on a couple of doors down from our cabin when we ... Read More
I will start with the good, which isn't a whole lot. Good cabin steward and the ships show band was excellent. Now for the bad! Was greeted by a plumbing problem being worked on a couple of doors down from our cabin when we got on board. The toilet in our room was not working. The ship is a bit worn and in need of some tlc. Food is poor to mediocre at best. We did do one specialty restaurant which was the Teppynaki where the food was good but service was not. The sushi at Chin Chin reminds you of something you would get at a grocery store. The only meal we had at the Azul dining room was good. Rest of the meals we had are not worth mentioning. The entertainment on this ship outside of the show band was bad. The ships band performed stand alone at a couple of other venues and they were excellent. Rest of the entertainment we ended up walking out of. If you are looking for a cruise with an enclosed pool, this is not the ship for you. They heat the pools but it is so cool outside, you really can not enjoy it. As silver members of NCL's Latitudes program this cruise by far was the worse one we have ever been on. This is also our last NCL cruise. We have cruised with Princess, Celebrity and others that do a much better job for the money. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines, and it was also the last. We have done several cruises with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. This cruise line does not measure up for us. We paid $4,000 to upgrade from an inside ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines, and it was also the last. We have done several cruises with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. This cruise line does not measure up for us. We paid $4,000 to upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside cabin on the back of the boat. The cabin was small and bathroom except for the shower was very tight. I'm a little over 6' tall and it was almost impossible to use the toilet. There was simply no room to even stand up. You had to move out of the toilet compartment to get your pants up. In addition to this as part of the upgrade package we were supposed to get internet included, a beverage package and gratuities. That never happened. They would not honor it and blamed it on our travel agent. The food was substandard, well below anything we have experienced in the past, I did like the open dining concept though. My wife enjoys playing the slot machines, but the whole casino was a smoking area, so if your a non smoker, it was tough to stay there for very long. The one good comment I would have was the stateroom attendant did an excellent job of looking after our room. The other bathrooms on board ship were passable, some clean others not so clean. We had booked three excursions on this trip, Two were good, White Pass summit by rail and a bus excursion that toured a hatchery, a glacier, and a botanical garden. Thee third was a water tour, the mists of Skagway (??). We got 10 minutes out and had to return because of a mechanical problem. I have to say there is way better value for your money than Norwegian Cruise lines. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
People we were traveling with already had their reservation so had no choice The ship was very clean and the service, for the most part, was excellent. Food was awful. Cold food was room temp, hot food was room temp. regardless of ... Read More
People we were traveling with already had their reservation so had no choice The ship was very clean and the service, for the most part, was excellent. Food was awful. Cold food was room temp, hot food was room temp. regardless of restaurant. Nothing outstanding. Mixed drinks varied depending upon bartender. Some good - some undrinkable. Menu only added 2 or 3 new items. Basically same entrees nightly. Cabin was mediocre at best. Kind of like a Motel 6. Relaxed and casual dress was to be expected but many of the passengers looked like what is jokingly called people of Walmart. Announcements over the PA system could not be heard due to noise and poor acoustics. Passenger safety drill was a joke. We were herded into a bar and most of us couldn't even see their life vest demonstration, not to mention we were not sent to see where our lifeboats were located. Overall quite a disappointment. Will not take Norwegian again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My mother always dreamed of seeing Alaska; after my father died, I invited her and my daughter on an Alaskan cruise. My mother had never been on a cruise, but had friends who had shared about their travels. My daughter needed a break ... Read More
My mother always dreamed of seeing Alaska; after my father died, I invited her and my daughter on an Alaskan cruise. My mother had never been on a cruise, but had friends who had shared about their travels. My daughter needed a break before starting nursing school; she'd been on one cruise, the Caribbean for her honeymoon. This was my 7th cruise (all on NCL), the 4th to Alaska, and my first on the Jewel. Embarkation was a breeze. As a Latitudes member, we went to the express line. Cheerful staff greeted us and directed us to the appropriate lines. (Since we live near Seattle, I thought that would be a fun retirement job!) My one complaint was having to wait awhile (maybe 15 minutes?) in a large room after checking in and before boarding. Once onboard, we headed straight to Tsar's Palace, which would become our go-to meal spot for most of the cruise. Our cabin was almost ready by the time we got there after lunch. We were able to upgrade to a balcony using my NCL credit card points, and then successfully bid to get a mini-suite. So glad we went for the mini-suite; when the third bed was made up, we could barely move around. It was my first cruise with a balcony, and I'll never see Alaska without one! When we cruised up Endacott Arm, we could watch from the comfort of our room and not get rained on or jockey for a spot on the deck. Our steward gave us top service. The ship itself was bigger than most that I'd been on, but not as massive as the Escape which we took on our last cruise. My mom and I had the Specialty Dining Package, so I bought one for my daughter even though she's a vegan and I wasn't sure she'd find anything to eat. But staff at Tepanyaki, La Cucina and Le Bistro were great about adapting dishes for her. Mom and I enjoyed the food there as well; I thought the service at Le Bistro was a bit slow, but daughter said that's just French. Most of our meals were at Tsar's Palace. Food and service were great. I was surprised more people didn't eat there; we could always get a good seat. Tried Azura for dinner one night; good food and service - but noisier and more crowded. My daughter had a few meals at the Garden Cafe because she could choose her food (said the veggie burgers were great), but had to ask staff what was in each dish to know what was vegan. She found the main dining room would cater to her diet, and even had a staff member assigned for special diets. She also was able to get soy milk in her specialty coffees, though wished it were available in more venues. My mom enjoyed her coffee in the Garden Cafe every morning while we slept in, but wished there was a way to save her seat when she got up for a refill. I'm not one who takes a cruise for the entertainment venues, but traveling with a young adult I did more than normally. Enjoyed the comedian; my daughter loved "Fire and Ice." We hit the Fizz Lounge one night, and my daughter repaid me for 8 years of voice lessons by singing Karaoke. She and I also went to the wine and chocolate tasting, and learned a lot about wine selection. Good value for the cost. Daughter used the gym several times. Shops were great, and had 25-cent postcards, which is a great value and almost as low as on shore. (I don't buy art, jewelry or luxury goods on ship, but did pick up some duty-free liquor for my husband.) Service as always was excellent. Our steward was hard working, and called us Mama, Grandma and Caroline. All the other staff were great, although the person at the shore excursion desk wasn't able to tell me whether there would be vegan food available on our Yukon stop. (There was.) In his defense, I didn't ask until the night before and he hadn't received a response to his e-mail by the time we left the ship. The top officers were very visible, and had one or two Q&A session, in addition to being at the Cruise Critic reception. Internet service was slow but satisfactory. The three of us split 250 minutes (plus an addition 30 for Latitudes members.) You can log onto the ship's ap for free. We learned that you could text to and from iPhones without being on the Internet (and of course, being on airplane mode except when close to shore). All of our shore excursions were great. In Ketchikan, we took the Eagles, Lighthouse and Totem boat tour. We saw many eagles. Two warnings: You don't actually go into lighthouse, but watch from the boat; and the salmon dip isn't as good as they make it out to be. In Juneau, I had booked a trip to Mendenhall that was at the glacier for 2 1/2 hours - which is a great amount of time if you want to hike out to the falls, but way too much if you just want to see the glacier. That didn't leave us much time in Juneau to shop or see other sites. Second mistake of the day: Our bus driver dropped us in town to shop, and said we could take a shuttle to our ship or take a "10-minute walk." Seeing the long line for the shuttle, I thought we could just walk to the ship, but it was much longer than we thought. I finally hailed a taxi (who stopped illegally for us) and gave him an outrageous tip. Because of water conditions, we traveled up Endacott Arm instead of Tracy Arm. We saw the same sorts of floating ice, seals, eagles, etc. Daws Glacier is not as impressive as Sawyer, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Because we were in our rooms, we didn't hear the reason for the change of route. This is where the balcony was worth the money. In Skagway, we booked a bus to Yukon, where we had a chicken dinner and then stopped in Carcross. We took the White Pass railroad back to Skagway. The bus ride was a real highlight, not the least because of our driver, Savino, who was superb. He said that maybe 20 percent of tours see bears, but we had FIVE BEAR SIGHTINGS! So exciting. The railroad trip was also a highlight. The one drawback was it filled our entire day in Skagway, with no time for shopping (I'm a postcard collector). In Victoria, we took an excursion to Butchart Gardens. Our bus driver gave us a great narration on the way out. It was Friday afternoon, so traffic was terrible. It was a sunny day so the gardens were beautiful, but bright sun is not the best for photos. Again, not enough time in Victoria. We splurged on the photo package, and were delighted to find the photos were put on a USB drive so that we could print/scrapbook the ones we liked. Photo staff did a great job. One disappointment was the souvenir photo taken in Tepanyaki was not included in the package, but purchased separately (which meant it wasn't on the drive). Debarkation was extremely efficient - maybe too efficient. We live an hour away, so I texted my husband when we got in line thinking that would be enough time. We were on the curb in 20 minutes. Had fun people watching, but no place to sit (and no restroom once you get past security.) All in all, it was a great cruise, and I'm already booked on the Jewel next year for our 40th wedding anniversary. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. ... Read More
We chose this ship because of previous Norwegian cruise line experience and that it was leaving out of Seattle. However, we felt the Jewel fell short in the dining experience. The food at the Buffet and the dessert area were disappointing. There always seemed to be the same choices and the flavors were monotonous. One night they advertised a seafood buffet and had a picture of shrimp. We felt really mislead when we found only fish and some Paella. They had no other seafood. We were doubly disappointed when we talked to guests from a neighboring ship who delighted in being served king crab legs on their ship's buffet. Azura, one of the complimentary dining rooms, had some better choices for dinner most nights, but we found it mediocre at best. The service was super slow in Azura. It took about 90 minutes to get thru dinner. Several meals were way too salty, so much so they were inedible. Other items were super spicey. We thought they should indicate on the menu when something would be spicy hot. The waiters in several restaurants routinely took a drink order from one person and ignored everyone else at the table. It was as if they were not trained to go around the table and ask if everyone wanted iced tea so they could bring it all at once. As a result they spent too much time going back and forth just bringing one tea at a time and racing off before anyone else could ask for one too. Little things like cream cheese and lox were absent from the buffet. There was never a big chocolate night like on other ships. There were not enough chairs and tables in the buffet so we had to circle like sharks looking for a spot. I expect that on Carnival but not on Norwegian. The entire dining experience was frustrating. Even using room service fell short. We ordered tea and coffee and they brought cream but no sugar. We had an early excursion and didn't have time to wait for a re-delivery. The staff on the ship were very pleasant and helpful. The entertainment, Cirque show and the Tina Turner tribute were both great shows. Reynaldo, one of the bar waiters was awesome. He was a funny, friendly face each day. He learned our names and took an interest in us. Bingo cost upwards of $39 to play. The beer and wine tastings were $20 plus 18% gratuity. We just didn't want to pay that much. $5 bingo would have suited us better. We traveled with one person in a wheel chair. The hallways were sometimes tough for her to negotiate because the cleaning staff had trash bags, ice coolers and vacuums in the halls. As for excursions, we booked two thru the ship and two thru another web site. We had a great experience with both excursions booked elsewhere. We even saved about $10 per person on those tours. Of the 2 tours we booked thru the ship, one was fine and one fell short. The whale watching in Victoria was the one that didn't measure up. We spent about 75 minutes getting to the whales and 75 minutes returning, with only 30 minutes to whale watch. They only stopped the boat once, and only for a few minutes, so we were stuck trying to take pics while moving and breathing engine fumes. When we came back to Shore we had to circle for 45 minutes because the operator didn't have a dock far enough away from other cruise ships coming in. We had to wait till the big ships docked before we could get in. This took time away from shopping and left us just bobbing around waiting. We did use the I concierge app to text each other on the ship. I would give it 3 stars out of 5. It sometimes would not alert us when a text came in. It gave a few of us a running total of our daily expenditures, but for some of us this didn't work. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Wonderful cruise, fantastic staff, good food, clean ship. We chose Norwegian for their freestyle dining, that was great, we could eat when we wanted at 6 restaurants, so we didn't purchase a dining plan, however we did spend extra ... Read More
Wonderful cruise, fantastic staff, good food, clean ship. We chose Norwegian for their freestyle dining, that was great, we could eat when we wanted at 6 restaurants, so we didn't purchase a dining plan, however we did spend extra to eat at the hibachi grill Teppanyaki our last night...we upgraded from an inside cabin to a rear balcony cabin, SO glad we did, we couldn't have asked for a better view- 180 degrees! Quiet, we couldn't hear our neighbors or the ship and we had a personal balcony to view the glacier! Kudos to our room steward Remo..he took good care of us. We waited 35 years to go to Alaska, we were seeing everything we could, so our excursions were longer, we did book thru the ship. Yes, they were more expensive, but we didn't worry about being left behind if we were late. On & off ship was easy, having everything tied into your room key was convenient. We recommend the trip to George Inlet Lodge, the salmon bake was scrumptious (& I don't like salmon!) and Lenny was a fantastic tour guide on the bus ride to the Yukon! Buchart Gardens in Victoria smelled heavenly. On ship, games were pricey, but free entertainment was good. Loved the musicians. Of course, drinks were high..we didn't purchase a beverage package, as we are not drinkers, but did pay for soda. Carrying your own water bottle was easy too, just fill up at the restaurants. Only complaint I would have is the casino is a smoking area, and we had to walk through there to get to the theater & front bar to play the crew games. Some days the smoke was pretty strong. Staff was wonderful, they really went out of their way to accomodate you. My husband is handicapped, and the ship is very easy to navigate. Over all, we DID NOT want to get off the ship in Seattle! We will definitely be returning to Norwegian for our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My girl friend had never been to Alaska & I wanted her to see the place. The cruise could not have been any better. The weather, the ship, the people i.e. cruise staff, could not have been more helpful, great or exciting! ... Read More
My girl friend had never been to Alaska & I wanted her to see the place. The cruise could not have been any better. The weather, the ship, the people i.e. cruise staff, could not have been more helpful, great or exciting! NCL's Jewel is a great ship for Alaska and we were there! The meals were some of the best we have ever had. Especially at La Cantina, Le Bistro & the Brazilian one. ............ just turn to card over for more food! The shore excursions were good and the White Pass rail trip out of this world. The one thing that I was sorta worried about was the hotel in Seattle (Hotel Seattle) ....it is/was a very old hotel tht could use an update, but the LOCATION can not be beaten., right downtown in the heart of things and getting there from SEA-TAC couldn't be any easier. For our next cruise we are doing another trans-atlantic and again, we can't wait! Thanks to NCL and the Norwegian Jewel for an amazing cruise. WE WILL BE BACK. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Alaska is the only state I had never been in, so when the opportunity presented itself to take this cruise to Alaska, we said why not. We did not travel with any children We cruised in the Norwegian Jewel, We stayed in cabin 8624, it ... Read More
Alaska is the only state I had never been in, so when the opportunity presented itself to take this cruise to Alaska, we said why not. We did not travel with any children We cruised in the Norwegian Jewel, We stayed in cabin 8624, it was the perfect location, I read everything I could find on this particular ship, and truly became frightened at all the negative comments I read. Then I decided the only opinion that mattered was going to be mine. The entire cruise, from start to finish was an amazing experience. Embarking was a breeze, and the walk off disembarking was wonderful! The entertainment on the cruise was excellent, the magician, the dancers, the singers, everyone was great, we went every night. We booked 2 excursions, In Skagway it was the plane ride followed by the crab feast, the plane pilot was most informative and the crab was all you can eat, and they weren't kidding. It was excellent. In Ketchikan it was the train ride to the Yukon, it too was excellent, The food and the service throughout our entire cruise was superior in every way, the food was prepared excellent, the waitstaff was considerate and attentive, we never had an bad experience throughout the trip. Embankment was easy, the terminal was clean, the lines moved fast, And the Walk off disembarkment was the easiest we have ever experienced. Overall, I would say, the heck with all the negative reviews, read only the positive ones, they are the truthful ones. Enjoy your trip, I guarantee, you're gonna love it!8624 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east ... Read More
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east coast the day before arriving at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles airport well after 11:00 p.m. Good choice, we had points, so a freebie, but the location was great and the shuttle to airport in the morning to meet NCL shuttle was best way for us. We paid $25 each to have NCL shuttle us from LAX to San Pedro port. About half hour bus ride, but with all NCL folk. Could have gotten Super Shuttle for $18 or so, but they would have stopped at hotels along the way. Plus I felt more comfortable having NCL be in charge. Check in was fairly easy, we are Latitude and got through the line quick, but lines weren't bad for others not Latitude at about 11:30. We traveled light, carry on and backpack for the 7 days, so no experience with the luggage drop this time, although it looked pretty crowded and confusing for first timers. Our room was on the 11 deck and a mini suite. Always book balcony, so this was a first and OMG to have a big bathroom, with a full size tub and separate toilet area made all the difference. It will be hard to go back. We had more storage than we've ever had although the balcony was a bit smaller, but adequate. Grabbed lunch in Tsar's for a nice sit down lunch and avoided the buffet crowds. Met some nice folk in the line checking in and ended up having quite a few meals together. Couple sea days were much needed for us and we didn't mind. Lots of activities on board if you wanted to participate. First port was Puerta Vallarta, we usually don't book excursions, but a $50 credit enticed us. Glad for our choice of John Huston's property, Las Caletas. for $139 each. Nice 1/2 hour double decker boat ride to island, music on board. I would do this excursion again. We had a great time partaking in the cooking class with the chef. No crowds. Made seafood paella, guacamole, salsa and sea bass ceviche. Wandered around the property which wasn't crowded at all. Many little areas with hammocks overlooking and overhanging the water, nice walking paths, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkle, swimming etc, all included in the price. Lots of life guards everywhere watching. There are some huge rocks in the water, so be aware and wear water shoes. Also had about 4-5 little "islands" that you could swim out to, really a large float that had a palm tree, hammock, umbrella and deck chairs to sit on. Very tropical. Food was awesome at many little areas and open air restaurants, also included was food and mucho drinks. Please tip the guys tho, they worked so very hard the whole time we were there. Walked to the top where they had zip line, giant slide that spit you out in the water - was going to do it until I climbed to the top and asked a couple guys who had just finished. They were pretty macho, and said it was fun, but the force of hitting the water was pretty intense. That's all I needed to hear as I didn't want to end up in a Mexican hospital. Loved this excursion and loved that once we got there, we didn't have to pull out our wallets for anything! Mazatlan- winged it and probably should have planned better or stayed on board. Planned on going to Stone Island as I had read reviews on how to get there and planned on going to Lety's restaurant, but ended up wandering around like a tourist near port - not much there. Cabo San Lucas - was windy and cool. Excursions cancelled. Had planned on renting a catamaran, but it was a no go. Lots of long sleeve and sweatshirts sold there. Took a pedal bike for $8 to Old Town, which we thought would be a town, maybe church, historical stuff. Ended up being vendor market, with anything from meat, poultry to clothing. Stunk to high heaven. Grabbed a cab back and wandered around the Marina and shops near the port. You really need to get out of the port area or have a plan. Weather didn't cooperate for many. Another sea day and back to San Pedro. Entertainment - Ended up being picked for the Newly Wed game and that was fun as it always is. Husband always shy, but agreed this time - go figure. Good memories and a DVD to show at holidays with our kids! We love NCL's entertainment. The "kids" in the song/dance troupe were very good and we enjoyed each night something new and different. The comedian Sam's early shows were hysterical and his late night adult show even better. Don't come late unless you want to be made fun of. JP was a magic/comedian and was also very entertaining - no we couldn't figure out his tricks. Will be on Penn & Teller coming up. I think NCL had it's act together and the staff was spectacular. We met the Cruise Critic people and the Officers the second day, they arranged a private tour of the galley for us on the last sea day. I have NEVER seen such a clean "restaurant" their last score was 100% and I can see why. Latitude cocktail party always a nice touch as they try to make you feel special.Captain was very nice and seemed to take much time with each guest we saw him interacting with. He was hoping to dock and be there for the birth of his first grandchild, so I hope he made it. Good staff, all seemed happy and under control. We enjoyed the complimentary restaurants and ate mostly at Tsars and Chin Chin. Usually got breakfast at the back of the ship and ate it there. Very nice bartenders there and quieter. Went to every show available and enjoyed them all. Bought a couple "future cruise" deals they were promoting. Can use within 4 years, so that keeps us coming back. Probably do Pride of America again (#4) to Hawaii as we love that one and our special balcony room which I won't mention the number here! Or Greek Islands, depending on how the world situation is. The NCL staff was super friendly, accommodating. Pedro the cruise director was really good, restaurant staff, bartenders (First time for beverage package, and I will say it was worth it, but not in the calories). Can't really say we had any issues, but then again, we go on a cruise not trying to be picky and complaining. You're on a cruise people, things happen, roll with it or make yourself miserable. It's a floating hotel, you're not unpacking, or driving. Relax. P.S. Getting off the boat was another matter I almost forgot - if you have a flight - leave early because we were backed up quite a bit. When you leave gangway, don't wait for an elevator - find the escalators - I think to the far left as you leave gangway. We got shuttled into a line that was for elevators and we didn't know there was an option until too late. Every wheelchair, handicapped, elderly person got to the front of the line we were in and only so many could fit in 1 elevator. Also you will be in a long que to go through customs once you get off the elevator/escalator. Don't cut your flight close by staying on the boat too long. Good half hour plus in custom line, plus the elevator line, made for an hour plus after we left the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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: March 2017
Chose this cruise because San Pedro is within easy driving distance so don't have a needless flight. Also, the UBP (beverage package) was a perk, probably what sealed the deal. Otherwise we could have taken another line or Holland ... Read More
Chose this cruise because San Pedro is within easy driving distance so don't have a needless flight. Also, the UBP (beverage package) was a perk, probably what sealed the deal. Otherwise we could have taken another line or Holland American out of San Diego like we did last year. Loved the Jewel. Not too big or crowded. Easy on and easy off. User friendly. Not the best food in history but plenty of choices (Hey, this is NCL, not Oceana). We ate at O'Sheehan's twice,Chin Chin(Chinatown it's not),the Garden Cafe, and Azura. Everything was satisfactory. The waiters were all terrific. This was part of Spring Break week so there were a lot of children and teenagers aboard.All very well behaved. Didn't notice any drunken college kids. They must have taken the Carnival. Had an inside cabin. Not paying extra for a room I don't use. We go for the Ports, not the ship or cabin. Everything went smooth as silk. We'll be back. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My wife and I have taken 14 cruises together in the last 6 years. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and HAL. This was our first cruise on any NCL ship. We are senior citizens and do not have a lot of extra money but ... Read More
My wife and I have taken 14 cruises together in the last 6 years. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and HAL. This was our first cruise on any NCL ship. We are senior citizens and do not have a lot of extra money but love cruising. We are able to take as many cruises as we do because we budget carefully and shop heavily for the best cruise deals we can possibly find. We will never cruise Regent or Oceania as we would have to make a cruise on one of those lines our one cruise in 3-5 years because of price. I say this because in reviewing our cruises, I always try and compare apples to apples. The cruise lines we have cruised on are what I call mass market cruise lines. I do not expect from them gourmet food or spacious standard staterooms. I expect good to very good food in the complimentary food venues and adequately sized staterooms with adequate storage. The other thing you should know before I proceed with my review of this ship is that when we cruise, the ship itself is our destination. We do not care about ports and do not do excursions. If we could go on a 12-15 day cruise where all the days were sea days, that would be ideal for us. Given these parameters and our biases, I will proceed with my review of the Norwegian Jewel. The Jewel is the smallest ship we have been on to date. No big atrium with glass elevators. A small atrium with no elevators. We had an obstructed oceanview cabin, #8556. Despite the fact that we had more problems on this ship than any other ship we have been on, we enjoyed this cruise as much as any cruise we have been on. We entered the ship on deck 7. Since our cabin was on deck 8, we needed only to go up one floor. We were immediately impressed with the color scheme and decor of the Jewel. Wood paneling and bright but not overwhelming colors throughout. Our cabin was the smallest cabin we have had on any of our cruises with some tight spaces in various parts of the cabin but because of the way it was laid out and decorated, it seemed a little larger than it was. In any case, we made do and got used to it pretty quickly. It proved to be adequate for our needs. Problem #1 occurred when my suitcase arrived. I am very sensitive to heat and overheat easily. If this happens for a prolonged period of time, I get sick. I always have the thermostat turned down to the lowest setting but this has seldom proved adequate. I carry with me a small portable electric fan to aid in keeping me cool. My suitcase arrived with my fan missing and a love note from security telling me it was a prohibited item and would be returned to me at the end of the trip. I had read the list of prohibited items from NCL's website (as I always do before I book with any cruise line) and there was nothing in there even hinting that the fan might be a problem. It listed dangerous or potentially dangerous items and no hair dryers or irons, the standard prohibitions that all cruise lines have. So I went down to guest relations with the letter and explained that I have taken my little $7 fan on every cruise that I have been on so far and no other cruise line has prohibited it. He asked me if I had cruised NCL before. I told him no. he said "well, each cruise line has their own policies". I said that is fine but I checked NCL's prohibited item list and it wasn't on there. He pulled it up on the computer and quickly read through it and could not find any indication that the fan would be banned. I told him I wanted to talk to a ship's officer, the captain if necessary, as this was a medical issue that would endanger my health. If I had any indication ahead of time that I couldn’t have a fan, I would never have booked with NCL, ever! Also, I would have gotten a note from my MD if necessary, but again, there was no indication that this would be a problem. I asked him to tell me how my fan would be considered dangerous by any stretch of the imagination. He asked me to wait while he went in back and talked to someone. When he returned, he now said the fan was confiscated because it had do be checked to make sure it would not damage their electrical system by drawing too much current. They were going to have their electrician check it and if he approved it, it would be returned to me. He added, “we generate our own electricity so we have to be careful”. What? Other cruise ships DON’T generate their own electricity? Do they use the world’s largest extension cord? Whatever. I told him that would be fine. Just have the electrician give the fan the once over (after he is done checking the electric toothbrushes) and return it to me once he okays it, which I had no doubt he would. I pointed out that I have a CPAP machine which they let go through which I was confident drew a heck of a lot more current than the fan. I got the fan back late that night. But this was an unnecessary hassle that could have been avoided and a bad way to start the cruise. Problem #2 – When I went to put valuables in the room safe, to which you enter a 4-digit code, after I entered 3 digits, I encountered an error message. I obviously could not lock the safe as I needed to enter 4 digits. I advised the room steward who notified his supervisor. They sent someone up who repaired it but it continued to have problems locking. It would take anywhere from 4-6 attempts before it would lock. It opened fine. Problem #3 – About 2 hours after we arrived in the room, the toilet stopped working. It would not flush. I reported it to both my room steward and guest services. They had a plumber come up and after about an hour and a half it started working again. The next day it again stopped working at about the same time. Another call to guest services. Plumber again. Fixed after two hours. Third day, no problems. Fourth day, toilet stopped working in the early evening. Told the room steward who said yes, all of our section had stopped working. There was apparently a woman in one of the floors above us who was putting tampons down the toilet in violation of the small sign over the toilet that said not to flush anything but toilet paper. Fifth day, toilet again went out in the early afternoon. Another call to guest services. By this time, I was feeling pretty miffed about the inconvenience. I went down to guest services and remarked that I felt I should be provided some compensation given the frequency of the inconvenience. The guest services representative looked it up in his computer and told me that I had only reported one incident which had occurred that day. I told him, no, I had reported 4 incidents over a 5 day period. He said they had a record of only one reported incident, which was caused by another guest and they could do nothing about what another guest does, so I was not entitled to any compensation. I again said I had called guest services every time. He said it wasn’t in the computer so that was that. The 6th day was OK. The 7th day, night before disembarkation, the toilet went out again in the middle of the night. I called guest services. It was fixed by 3 am. Somebody in guest services must have discovered that I was telling the truth because earlier in the evening I received a call indicating that we would receive an onboard credit for the inconvenience. Problem #4 – Room noise. The noise from the entertainment in the Fyzz lounge on floor 7, below us, was very clear in our room. It sounded like it was coming from next door. We could not only hear all the instruments, but it was so loud we were able to make out the words of the songs they were singing. Additionally, on one morning, we were awakened but a very loud tapping, like someone hammering. This went on for half an hour. On another morning we were awakened by the sound of lifeboats being lowered. Since this was a matter of room location and there were no other rooms available, nothing could be done. Those were the problems. Now for the good stuff. Food – Here is where the Jewel shines. The Norwegian Jewel had one of the largest varieties of food and absolutely the most food accessibility of any ship we have been on, bar none. The food, in my opinion, ranged from good to very good. Cagney’s steakhouse, which we ate at one night, was excellent! If you are a steak person, this is worth the upcharge, although we had 3 specialty restaurants included as a promotion in booking this cruise, so it cost us nothing. We also ate at Le Bistro (very good despite them cooking my filet medium-well when I ordered it medium-rare. I sent it back and they cooked me a new one) and Moderno, also very good. Although there is a $7.95 charge for room service, there is a complimentary 24 hour pub restaurant, O’ Sheehan’s, which quickly became my go to place (loved the fried mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce). It had a limited (although not severely limited) but tasty menu, which frankly, obliterated the need for room service. In addition, there were late snacks, which were really late night meals, available at various venues on the ship depending upon the hour, through midnight. You would never go hungry, despite the hour or your tastes and it was all complimentary – no upcharge. Kudos to NCL for that. RCCL could take a hint. Our last cruise on Anthem, there was nothing decent to eat, except pizza, after 9 pm unless you wanted to pay an upcharge. Complimentary room service on Anthem consisted of two pathetic wraps. The buffet had a wide variety of food, much of it very tasty, but too little available seating for the number of passengers. This was particularly evident on embarkation day for lunch and sea days, particularly at breakfast time. It was impossible to find seats, even at a shared table. People stood like vultures waiting to grab the first available seat of someone leaving. One of NCL’s policies which I do not like is that they prohibit you bringing factory sealed cans of soda pop on board. You must buy from them on board at exorbitant prices or go without soda pop altogether. Their stupid explanation for this is that they are preventing sneaking alcohol on board. Yeah? When was the last time they found somebody sneaking alcohol on board in a factory sealed soda pop can? Maybe, like never. The real explanation is that they want to get more money out of you. In any case, their complimentary food available policy makes up for a lot of ills, soda pop policy among them. Environment – We found the ship’s use of space and décor to our liking. The rich wood paneling, the use of fun colors and the use of available space was well done. We loved eating in Tsar’s dining room, which was gorgeous. The fitness room was well fitted. There are only two small pools and three small hot tubs. The pools were too cold to be of use all but one of the days we were there. The library was one of the best we have seen on a ship. The game room was nicely designed with good game tables. Both had very nice views. Activities - There seemed to be a wide variety of activities in the daily ship paper. I did not go to most of them as my wife and I are readers. We become “cruise potatoes” on cruises. We take cruises for R&R. We like to kick back, relax and read. We find a comfortable place to lounge, read for a while and then change locales and continue reading. We break for eating, napping and shows. Entertainment – In all the cruises we have been on, there were never performers who were not talented. Some had more talent than others, but all had sufficient talent to perform professionally. That being said, there has been entertainment I enjoyed greatly as well as entertainment I did not care for. That is a matter of personal taste. The Jewel had a production show, a comedian, a magician/comedian and a cirque style acrobatic music show in the main theater. There was also a very talented guitarist vocalist in one of the lounges. I enjoyed all of it to one degree or another. I thought that they had a well balanced variety of entertainment. Crew - I found the crew of the Jewel to be unfailingly polite and 99% of them of them to be bend over backwards friendly, even the ones who had to defend policies not of their making and sound like a moron doing it, because they had no choice. Almost every single crew member I came into contact with always had a smile on their face and attitude of they wanted to do anything and everything they could to make this the best vacation I ever had. Hail to the staff!!! They deserve my gratitude for doing their best to correct or help me cope with problems and make my cruise enjoyable. My room steward, Danlito (call me Donny) was outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for better. The problem with the Jewel is not a problem with the Jewel. It is a problem with NCL’s executive and administrative staff who make stupid and aggravating policies that irritate their customers and then put their line staff in the position of having to carry out and defend those policies over which they have no control or authority. If the customer is unhappy, of course it is the poor line staff that gets blamed as the corporate execs in their ivy tower don’t ever have to take the heat or hear the complaints. They just make the rules and collect fat paychecks and benefits. The line staff are just working their butts off and trying to keep their jobs. Despite all the problems, I would cruise the Jewel again in a New York minute but pick a different cabin. We had one of the best times we have had on a cruise and given the difficulties we encountered, that is saying a lot. I gave the Jewel 4 stars instead of 5 because of the problems we encountered, the lack of decent swimming pools, the soda pop policy and the crowded buffet seating. But….there is a lot to like about the Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
We typically cruise in anything from inside to balconies, and this was our first full suite (Penthouse with large balcony). I thought it would be interesting for the readers to read a compare and contrast in the summary. This cruise was a ... Read More
We typically cruise in anything from inside to balconies, and this was our first full suite (Penthouse with large balcony). I thought it would be interesting for the readers to read a compare and contrast in the summary. This cruise was a seven day Mexican Riviera trip on the Norwegian Jewel, but we had sailed on the Jewel in 2015 on a 19 night Panama Canal Cruise in a balcony cabin. Our last cruise in January 2017 was an inexpensive last minute 4 day Bahamas RCL cruise in a SMALL inside cabin. We traveled with my daughter and SIL and their two children, ages 7 and 10. This was our first time traveling with family and it was wonderful! First, I want to state that I feel privileged just being able to cruise and see many parts of the world while someone else does the cooking and cleaning. Second, the suite life hasn’t spoiled me, and I’m happy to return to an inside if I cruise again. Did I appreciate the suite life? You bet! Embarkation We chose PrimeTime Shuttle for our transportation from LAX to SanPedro. Their private van ($73) costs less than the shared option. I can’t say they were totally efficient, but I would still recommend them. San Pedro doesn’t have a wide assortment of good options for hotels, so we chose the Marriott Doubletree. Their restaurant was just fine for a simple dinner, and they offered some nice early dining options such as a hamburger, fries and a beer for $10. There are not many restaurants in the area. The Doubletree provided a free shuttle to the pier the next morning, and we arrived about 10:30. The USS Iowa was docked right in front of our ship. The Iowa opened at 10:00 and we were anxious to get onboard, so passed on this opportunity. After dropping off our bags with the porter, we went through security and then onto the area for suite guests. The check-in process was very efficient, but there wouldn’t be much waiting for the general check-in if you arrived after 11:00. There were a variety of sandwiches, fruits, cookies, etc. to enjoy while we waited in the special suites area. The concierge came at about 11:30 to walk us to Moderno for lunch. Access to our cabin was available at the same time everyone else had. Summary: Suite passengers receive complimentary food and quicker check-in. My experience with the non-suite waiting area is that the people tend to be more social with strangers. The regular passengers can access the ship at about the same time and can enjoy lunch at either the buffet or the MDR- Tsars. Most ships funnel the regular passengers to the buffet which is often VERY crowded. We always choose the dining room for embarkation lunch. Cabins: We were in a forward Penthouse Suite with Large balcony on the ninth deck. It was decorated very tastefully. We had a very large king size bed with very comfortable pillows. There was a table for two for in-cabin dining and a large desk area with a DVD player. A small couch (could sleep one person) was near the window. There was a very nice makeup area for my use, and the shower/tub was large with nice amenities (lotions, poof, cotton balls, q-tips, etc.) The hair dryer was a nice high power one that stayed on rather than the type in the inside cabins where you have to hold the button continuously. The butler, Ronald, introduced himself and instructed us on how to use the Lavazza coffee/tea machine. There was a pantry filled with glasses, cups, cloth napkins, etc. He brought in a nice flower arrangement and two plates of chocolate covered strawberries (one for us as suite guests and one for Platinum Latitudes) and fresh fruit. Our family was in the adjoining Owner’s Suite which was larger and had Haven privileges. They had two balconies: one forward and one on the side. Their dining table was a bit more formal, and they had a few extra benefits: a pillow menu, cookies, gummy bears and M&M’s on demand. The butler unlocked the access doors between the cabins. We had been cautioned that the forward cabins were on the breezy side, but greatly enjoyed them while at port and while sailing between the ports in Mexico where the weather is warmer. The temps in LA were in the 60’s and even the first day out, the winds and chilly breezes made the regular pool areas not pleasant. Also, the fog horn, if necessary, is obviously located very close to the front near the bridge, and it blasted every five minutes from about 5 AM one morning in Mazatlan. The anchor makes a loud racket in the forward area when the ship has to tender, so that was another morning of a surprise at about 5-6 AM. Summary: The cabin experience was of course significantly different in a Suite. I enjoyed being pampered with all sorts of extras and upgrades. Keep in mind that your gratuities are not only higher in suites, but there are more people to tip: the Butler and Concierge are amongst those not included in the gratuities. Our last cruise was a last minute one on RCL to the Bahamas where the inside cabin was so tiny that if you kept the beds together, one person against the wall had to crawl over the other to get out. There was also a bunk bed above, and it was easy to hit your head on it (yes I did). Fitting more than two people in a tiny inside cabin is only for the super budget conscious and patient and flexible temperaments. The cabin was on deck 2, and strange clunking noises could be heard at various times, and the pillows were worn and flat. The TV was above the head of the bed, which made viewing it in bed ridiculous. That said, the cruise was about $50 per night pp, so it was a great bargain if you could handle the tiny room and inconveniences. The steward also did a great job keeping it cleaned. Our balcony cabin on a previous NCL Jewel cruise was very nice and comfortable with a couch and all the basics we needed for a very nice Panama Canal cruise. The steward was excellent. So, one’s budget and personality type guide the decision to go inside, OV, balcony or suite. As a person with a grateful and non-demanding spirit, I can enjoy any cabin. Main Areas: The Jewel is a very nice and well-maintained ship with great features. The atrium isn’t a stunner like some other ships but is tasteful and more functional. There are many areas to relax in all around the ship. The Great Outdoors is a wonderful place to eat from the buffet and still enjoy the outdoors. Many of NCL’s smaller or newer ships have few places to eat outside, but the great outdoors (aft) and the topsider’s grille on the pool deck offer plenty of nice eating areas. You won’t find these on some of the larger ships. The Spinnaker on the 13th deck is a lovely place to sit and watch for whales/dolphins and the ocean. Entertainment (dancing) and game shows are featured here during the afternoon and evening. The Fizz Lounge is another nice dance floor and features many of the performers. The pools are a good size, and one is adult only. The Haven pool is quite small but a very nice option on days when the weather isn’t cooperating as the roof is retractable. Of course, you need to be in an Owner’s Suite or one of the adjoining Haven area suites to use it. On warm days, the pools look like people soup. The chair hogs come out early like they do on all cruise ships and nothing is done. We removed towels from chairs that were unoccupied for over an hour. Then, you also have the supercharged chair hogs who rotate between their chairs in the sun and the shade. Yikes. Drink Package: All the adults had the drink package. In general, it was observed that the mixed drinks were watered down. The beer, wine, and hard liquors were just fine. Note that you can order a drink up to $15 if you use the UBP. Dining: Complimentary Tsar’s Dining Palace is one of our favorite NCL restaurants. We love the décor, and the service was always good. It pays tribute to the grand Russian palaces. We love to sit in the aft area to watch the wake. My absolute favorite food was the Vietnamese Pho Soup (I’m a soup lover.) Go to Tsars for lunch on the first day to avoid the crowds in the Café. Azura is the other complimentary dining area with a modern décor that has the same menu as Tsars. O’Sheehans is the Irish pub that is available 24 hours. The soup and the corned beef sandwich are great. They offer a special each evening that is posted around the ship. The Jewel has nice seating near the window at this pub. Garden Café is well laid out in stations and has a very nice assortment of foods. Their desserts are often better than the main restaurants, and you can see what you are getting. If it is crowded, remember that you can take your food into LaCucina where you will find seating. Chin-Chin was busy, and we ate there only once on our PC cruise. We were not impressed. The food is similar to any Chinese takeout in the US. Our opinion tends to match many others on CC. The Topsider Grill and luncheon cookouts are available in the afternoon and for an early breakfast. A nice option in good weather. Cover Charge Dining: Teppanyaki is their Japanese Steakhouse. Make your reservations early as the times are more limited. We enjoyed all the foods, and the meat was tender and flavorful. A children’s menu is NOT available here, and kids often don’t eat many of the selections (except our ten-year-old grandson who consumed huge quantities of filet mignon.) This is a very worthwhile experience. Cagneys is their traditional steakhouse and was our favorite. The beef was excellent, and the desserts were amazing. I had the Oreo cheesecake. The service was impeccable. Moderno is their Brazilian steakhouse. The salad bar has some excellent selections, and most of the meat was tender and flavorful. Excellent service. LaCucina was better than many have reported. We both had the Chicken Parmigiana. Not as high quality as Cagney’s, but it was a pleasant option. My grandson reported that my lasagna was much better than at LaCucina although he liked theirs too. LeBistro has been a disappointment on two different cruises. The service was SLOW and a bit confused. My salmon was to be cooked MW but was raw, and my dessert was a glorified applesauce. Now I know that a tatin must mean “sweet applesauce” in French. The manager noticed I wasn’t eating my food and wanted to make things right, but the slow service discouraged me from allowing him to replace the foods. I was pleasant with the servers but disappointed. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone to Cagney’s twice! Suite Breakfasts and Lunches in Moderno, which is only for suites’ passengers were very quiet, and the service was excellent. There are some very nice options (smoked salmon), and we ate in Moderno several times for both meals. Modernos is a great option on disembarkation morning. Summary: The type of dining experience on the Jewel (except at Moderno for breakfast and lunch) isn’t affected by cabin selection. All of the food was very good to excellent (except LeBistro). I can’t understand reviewers who describe the food as “inedible.” The food on RCL’s Majesty of the Seas was definitely a step below the food on the Jewel. I think this is because the standards are overall lower on the 3-4 day Bahama cruises. The food on our other RCL cruises has been of very good quality. I have cruised with four different cruise lines and think the dining experience is more similar than different. Cruises below seven days probably (IMHO) provide a more inferior product. Also, cruises geared to an older and more demanding population have better quality foods (Transatlantics, European and Panama Canal cruises.) NCL does not offer traditional seating which we have come not to prefer. We almost always agree to share a table (which we did one night in Tsars), and it was a very nice experience. The possibility of having tedious tablemates for 14 night+ cruises makes us choose freestyle or MyTimeDining options. Entertainment: Stardust Theatre Entertainment- The singers, dancers, and other entertainers were all very good. I’ve seen some of the shows before, so therefore performances like Band on the Run were repeats for us. We enjoy dancing (swing, waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, merengue, etc.) and the bands and performers tried to get people on the dance floor, but it just wasn’t happening on this sailing. I think it has to do with so many families and children on the ship. Much to our amusement, we became “the dancers.” People would stop us during the day on the ship and compliment us on our dancing. That was more of a statement on the lack of quality dancers on the ship if anyone considered us as “the dancers.” The show band, led by Larry was our favorite source for entertainment. The other groups (Souled Out, Tropical Four) were very good. Rockaway Duo…not so much. A Mariachi Band came onboard while we were in Puerto Vallarta and that was great entertainment for about three hours at the pool area. The singers and dancers and the acrobatic performers were excellent. The parties were pretty pathetic and lacked energy, and The White Hot Party was a dud. The cruise director’s staff was dancing but didn’t spark much energy from the passengers. Pedro, the cruise director, was probably my least favorite cruise director with whom we have sailed. Ian Bagswell had just left, and he is fantastic, so I was already disappointed. Pedro was pleasant but not very noticeable and rarely introduced a show in the Stardust. We reserved the Karaoke room (three available) in the Fizz lounge, and that was fun, but my daughter thought the list was outdated. You need to make reservations, and they are only open at night. Summary: The entertainment and activities were often geared to families, which is appropriate since there were many children onboard. The ship at “full capacity” is about 2,400, but this sailing had over 2,900 passengers, making it busier and slightly more crowded. The spring break kids were all well behaved, though. There were few college age people onboard. Crew and Officers The captain, Pelle Fredricksson was very pleasant, as was Steve Jacobsen, the head of the hotel dept. We met the officers at the Suites party in the Haven. Most of the staff around the ship were very nice and hard working. I encountered only one grumpy cabin steward (not ours) that we passed quite often on deck 9 and it was obvious that he didn’t like to say hello to anyone. All the waiters and servers were efficient and very friendly. Summary: We have been on about 13 cruises and only had one ship experience (Holland Westerdam) were the crew wasn’t up to par. We must choose happy, well-run ships. Cabin status doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to the efficiency and happiness of the crew. Platinum Latitudes We just achieved platinum status, and so enjoyed a few nice upgrades. There was a bottle of sparkling wine and two large bottles of water. We also received a small brochure that had the coupons for the free bag of laundry and the two complimentary dinners. Since we also had the UDP, we selected LeBistro (where we received another bottle of wine) and LaCucina. Another very nice experience was the ship tour offered to Platinum Latitudes. We were taken to the laundry area (huge enterprise!), the kitchens (the soup area was most impressive) and the dressing room area for the dancers. Really an interesting experience. Internet: We had the internet package included as a benefit with Free At Sea, and it worked well most of the time. Early morning and late day provide the fastest connections. Most of the adults we traveled with had purchased the I-Concierge app (install it at home), and it was a little tricky to get used to. It didn’t work at times and totally failed for about 48 hours. The internet manager told me the internet was down, and he even used my phone to check the status- not working. Summary: The internet was complimentary with our package, but I also realize many folks can’t do without, so it was a bonus. We didn’t use the IConcierge app as much as we thought we would. Excursions: Our family of six experienced three different excursions. Las Calitas private island (Puerto Vallarta)- The family was impressed with the well-run experience. Even the travel time by boat was informative and entertaining. The highlight was swimming with sea lions, but there is so much to do and only three hours on the island. The experience received an A+. Near the dock, we also stopped at the Market. There is a mall, Walmart and Sam’s Club, Hospital, etc. right across from the ship. Mazatlan Historic Walking Tour (ship tour) We took vans to the first stop at the Cathedral and visited other interesting sites including the opera house, cliff divers, “Aztec dancers,” etc. Of course, we had to “visit” the tour guide’s favorite shops. Lots of people to tip on this experience… Lots of walking. Cabo San Lucas- Our favorite port stop. Clean and relatively safe. The family did the dolphin swim which we were allowed to watch and photograph (not up close, though). They “rode” the dolphin easy- on its belly, more adventurous- holding the fin and then for the brave- going underwater with the dolphin and getting projected out of the water. Wow! They also gave this an A+. Cabo is a great port to walk around, buy souvenirs, etc. We visited our first “Farmacia” which would require you to do a little research online to know what you are doing. Summary: Excursion experiences are not affected by room category. We usually do private excursions not associated with the ship, but the LasCalitas day was sold out privately and only available through the ship. Note: it was sold out once we were on board, so book this early! We also had a $50 excursion credit for each port, so that motivated everyone to use the ship’s tours. Debarkation was a bit of a disappointment. We had read that the Owner’s Suite (which is H3) had concierge assistance and we even received special instructions to go to Chin Chin’s for help off the ship. This was NO help at all. The concierge had left the ship as she had finished her contract and was going home, so her assistant just showed us off the ship (easy to do on your own.) We were given the option of standing in a long line to take the elevator or the escalator. We were on our own with the hordes of people in line going through customs. After we had made it through customs, I saw a staff member who had just helped another person skip the line and asked her what the policy was. She said you had to be a cabin physically in the Haven, not one of the Haven cabins on other parts of the ship. I also asked about the policy on cruise critic, and learned the concierge “walk off” appears to vary with the ship and port. We found PrimeTime Shuttle to the right of the dock and waited maybe ten mins for our private van. We witnessed the manager trying to rip off a walk up customer with an outrageous price ($50 pp). Fortunately, this man had done his homework, and the driver then offered him a very appealing rate. If you are going to a hotel, it costs $20 more. Part of our group was going to a hotel on Century Blvd. We continued to the airport and picked up the Thrifty shuttle to go to their off-airport facility. The rental facility was right across the street from where our daughter and her family were left off. If I had known that, we could have saved 30 minutes. Thrifty was very efficient. We would be very happy to sail on the Jewel again. Like some of its sister ships, the Jewel offers most features that you would expect or desire. The Jewel class ships are our favorite class in the NCL fleet. Read Less
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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