200 Norwegian Jewel Senior Cruise Reviews

My wife and I like to try different ships/different destinations hence Norwegian Jewel for the first time and Kangaroo Island and Eden as places we had not visited. First impressions are very important and when we boarded the ship and ... Read More
My wife and I like to try different ships/different destinations hence Norwegian Jewel for the first time and Kangaroo Island and Eden as places we had not visited. First impressions are very important and when we boarded the ship and entered the Atrium it was very bright and spacious and gave a good feeling. We had booked through an American Travel Company 12 months ago at a very reasonable price which included the Ultimate Drink Package and 4 Specialty Dinners which made the price even more appealing. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to know that you did not have to keep tabs on what you had. We could not fault the food although the Garden Cafe was much the same as buffets on other cruise lines. We certainly can recommend Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Moderno and La Cucina Specialty Restaurants. I read on Cruise Critic that "Jewel" is in the TOP 10 Ships for entertainment and we have to agree with over 200 cruise days to our credit we have just experienced the best two shows we have ever seen on water, BURN THE FLOOR, seeing is believing and these 2 shows were closely followed by LE CIRQUE BIJOU and THE BARRICADE BOYS. You would think this would be enough to bring us back to NCL but what did it for us was when the Captain, Officers and various members of the crew were on stage thanking us (passengers) or cruising with them and then they lined the corridor out of the theatre shaking our hand. Thankyou Captain Kenneth for a wonderful 10 days. Oh well back to reality 'til next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this ship as usually cruise with Princess and wanted a change. As Australians who had been to most of the ports it was more for rest and relaxation than for new experiences. I had read many reviews of this ship and was concerned that ... Read More
Chose this ship as usually cruise with Princess and wanted a change. As Australians who had been to most of the ports it was more for rest and relaxation than for new experiences. I had read many reviews of this ship and was concerned that we may be disappointed with the food and the decor. Not at all. Overall the food was very good but occasionally we had dishes in the buffet that could have been hotter. Menus in the dining rooms were varied and service was efficient. Staff were excellent and so friendly and helpful. Our cabins were smaller than some I've had on other ships, as was the balcony, but spotlessly clean with comfy beds. Entertainment was varied and most performances were excellent, particularly String Fever and the balancing duo. Theatre was large and always managed to get a good seat. Bars were on the small side and when music was played seats were hard to get. Outdoor areas were under utilised by our group due to the rough seas but would have liked a game of tennis on the full sized court. Embarkation and debarkation were efficient and speedy. Did not take any of the ship's excursions as prefer to do our own thing. The tender operations were good, so long as we waited until the rush was over. When the ship has completed its refurbishing it will look more modern but our group of 4 were happy with the bright colours and the fish patterned carpet which showed us the way to our cabin. Only one place to buy coffee and the staff were rushed off their feet. Coffee not up to Australian standards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have just returned from a 10 day cruise on Norwegian Jewel around the southern ports of Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Contrary to what I have read on some reviews, the food on board was very nice, with about 10 ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10 day cruise on Norwegian Jewel around the southern ports of Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Contrary to what I have read on some reviews, the food on board was very nice, with about 10 different places where you could eat. We found the Teppanyaki and Brazilian BBQ our favourite, but had no complaints with the other restaurants. We had the Specialty Dining Package, and never lined up to get into any of the restaurants. The anytime-dining means you don’t have to make a booking, so just turn up when you’re ready and meet new people every time you dine. You would be hard to please if you faulted the food on the ship. People please remember this is a Cruise ship and not a Michelin Star restaurant. One thing we were very impressed with was the facilities for people with disabilities. In the Garden Cafe and in the Stardust Theatre there were seats and areas reserved for people mobility aides. The shows were as good as any we had seen on other cruise lines and varied and entertaining. Burn The Floor put on some excellent shows. As well, there is entertainment in other bars and the Spinnaker lounge. Our favourite was Hotwire. There are digital noticeboards around the ship to keep you up to date with what’s going on during the day and also the booking availability of the various restaurants. Getting on and off at most ports was reasonable good. We didn’t do any Ship excursions because we had been to most of the ports before so just did our own thing. Two people we would particularly like to thank are Anton Oborovich (Asst. Executive Housekeeper) and our Cabin Stewart Alberto, who went out of their way to make this a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We originally chose this ship for the itinerary and to try out a different line. The original itinerary included Melbourne, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln, Hobart and Eden. This was changed after 6 months to Melbourne, Adelaide, ... Read More
We originally chose this ship for the itinerary and to try out a different line. The original itinerary included Melbourne, Geelong, Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln, Hobart and Eden. This was changed after 6 months to Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Burnie, Hobart, Eden and Sydney. Still an excellent itinerary with 18 hours in Melbourne allowing us a full day visiting family. The visits to Kangaroo Island and Eden were not full days and with both ports being tender operations made it difficult to get full value out of the offered tours. We opted to go it alone or book with private tour groups saving many dollars. Embarkation and Debark at Sydney was a breeze and a pleasant experience. The ship is very comfortable but certainly showing her age. We had some stormy seas but being fully stabilized, the ship handled the seas with ease. However, i would not want to be accommodated in one of the suites as these are way up high on deck 14. We understand she will be going into dry dock in Singapore early March after her repositioning cruise from Sydney. The demographics on board was mainly from the Americas with also many Europeans and Asians. There were fewer Australian's than expected with most having sailed with NCL previously. The Roll Call meet and greet was well supported and attended by all of the senior officers. Each attendee introduced themselves and each of the officers gave an outline of their roles. One oof the better meet and greets we have attended. There are 13 restaurants to choose from with 7 being complimentary. We did not opt for a speciality dining package but there certainly is something for everyone, from Tepenyaki to Steakhouses, Italian to French. We ate in either of the 2 main dining rooms or at the Garden buffet. Tzar's main dining is at the rear of the ship. The service was excellent however, the meals were average with, for example, Baked Salmon being served overcooked. The Azura dining room is located centrally and would suit people suffering from the motion of the ocean. We could not fault the food from the Garden Cafe with a different base menu each day. This buffet is situated on the starboard side from midhip and spills out into the Great Outdoors seating area on the aft deck. This location also serves late night snacks and drinks. O'Sheehans bar & grill is on deck 8 midship just above the Java Cafe in the Atrium on deck 7 and is open from 6am through to 4am! Great for light meals but also serves a massive mixed grill. On occasions we found the music wafting up from the Java cafe to be too loud to enjoy the meal. The Java Cafe serves as the only Espresso coffee bar on the ship and doubles as a normal bar. Long waiting times for coffee is the result with the barman come barista concentrating mainly on serving drinks. We understand that this situation is about to change with the next refurbishment. There are also 13 bars but not many Australian brands of drink to choose from. However, considering that there was no shortage of alcohol, we did not observe any unruly behaviour. Dress code is relaxed to compliment the free style dining theme. The main dining rooms require neat casual and above with no shorts, thongs etc and we were happy to observe these reguirements being strictly adhered to. A pleasant change from some of the sloppy standards on some of the ships operating out Australia. Smoking is restricted to designated areas but it was disappointing to see that smoking was allowed in the Casino which is not allowed under Australian law. We avoided this area as best we could but a couple of the popular bars were in close proximity. The ship also has a Cigar Room, Library room and Card playing room. The entertainment was outstanding including singers and dancers from Burn the Floor and death defying aerial acts. The Spinnaker lounge on deck 13 forward gives fantastic 180 degree views and much of the games are played out here. There is a fantastic kids club but on this cruise there were only 19 children and we never saw them. Port services were outstanding with each port providing huge community involvement. There was no shortage of volunteers at each port. Unfortunately our time at Kangaroo Island, Burnie and Eden were far too short and rushed. Tour operators had to cut short their standard tours with the longer tours returning late and passengers complaining. Cruise Pricing with NCL includes a number of perks (and you have no choice but to take up this option). We booked a balcony cabin giving you a selection of 2 out of 5 perks. We opted for the Ultimate drink package and prepaid gratuities (the latter no longer being available). Being our first cruise with this line, the drink package came in very handy and we did not have worry about this extra cost. NCL charges 20% gratuity on top of every drink but this is included if you have the package. However, we cannot justify the extra $1000 per person on a 10 day cruise included in the base fare. We have loyalty club benefits on other cruise lines which more than adequately covers these so called perks on NCL. Therefore we will not book another cruise with this line. Overall we had a very enjoyable cruise with a fabulouse itinerary but unfortunately the ship will not be visiting Kangaroo Island next season. This is a big mistake as Australians are looking for variety in the itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this particular cruise because it went Sydney to Sydney and as we live near Sydney it was very convenient. The itinerary was also very attractive with 9 ports to visit. Embarkation went smoothly, even for first timers on NCL. ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it went Sydney to Sydney and as we live near Sydney it was very convenient. The itinerary was also very attractive with 9 ports to visit. Embarkation went smoothly, even for first timers on NCL. We went on board and were told that the cabins were not quite ready, so went for lunch at O'Sheehan's Irish Pub and were pleasantly surprised. My husband had soup and a burger and I had the tuna sandwich. Rather pleasant I must say. Once the cabins were ready we found ours easily. Cabin 8050 with a decent oceanview (not quite 7unobstructed, but pretty happy). The beds were made up as a queen so as soon as we met our cabin steward (Mark) we asked him to split them up so there was a lot more room. Our luggage was delivered quickly and even though there wasn't a lot of cupboard space I managed to fit all our clothes in it. 6 Large drawers and some open shelves helped a lot too. Quite adequate surprisingly. There were quite a few clothes hangers, but I bring everything on hangers so we had more than enough. In general the cruise was good. There was plenty of entertainment on board, music everywhere. Could have done with some quieter areas for reading as the Spinnaker's Lounge and Fyzz Lounge were also used for general entertainment. We played scrabble in the card room and that was good. The only negative there that we encountered people bringing in their meals and drinks which should not be allowed. The main negative for us was the FOOD. We had breakfast in the Outdoor Café most days. Could not stomach the Garden Bufffet at all. It reminded us of a shopping mall's food court, HORRIBLE!!!!! For lunch I was usually O'Sheehand's and for dinner we went to both Azura and Tsar, both served the same food. Azura was a bit dark, whilst Tsar's was bright. We met some lovely people during our shared dinners nd that was a highlight, because the food was in general abominable. The plates looked like a dog's dinner and the quality was rather low. Extremely disappointing as cruisers generally really look forward to their dinners. Desserts very dismissable. Blueberry cheesecake? What was that? And pavlova in a meringue nest??? The best thing about the dinners was the bread and the ice water. We used Chin Chin which was not the best Asdian place we have ever been to. One day we booked La Cucina because my husband wanted Spaghetti Marinara only to find out that Marinara is just a sauce, NO seafood whatsoever. We walked out before ordering. Teppanyaki was very disappointing. I have never seen fake Japanese Teppnyaki chefs before and the one we had was particularly clumsy as he dropped his chopping knives several tims. He then proceeded t9o cook a whole bunch of garlic for the fried rice and added spoonfuls of garlic butter several times. The filet mignon was beautiful, or would have been if h had not drowned it in soy sauce. Unbelievably salty. It cost us a bomb and was on of the worst meals we had. The service though throughout the ship was impeccable. From our cabin steward Mark to to wait staff, everyone did their best. Happy with the crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a 14 day cruise with a great itinerary - lots of ports to visit in New Zealand. Seamless embarkation with no wait at all and disembarkation was equally quick and easy. The ship's entertainment crew member, Gabby, ... Read More
This was a 14 day cruise with a great itinerary - lots of ports to visit in New Zealand. Seamless embarkation with no wait at all and disembarkation was equally quick and easy. The ship's entertainment crew member, Gabby, was responsible for the solo singles get-togethers, amongst her many other duties, and she was absolute fantastic. All our group concurred. She made a huge difference to our enjoyment level. The service by other staff members was also of a high standard. Reception staff, I.T internet cafe, the dinning staff, the excursion crew and the other entertainment staff genuinely surpassed service I have encountered on other cruise lines. It is surprising what a huge difference service can make! The ship is older than most other cruise ships but it was very clean and the dated lounges etc. didn't make a big difference to the overall enjoyment. I believe it will be going in for a retrofit in the next year or so. Evening entertainment was superb as were the shore excursions. Lots to choose from and their "Free at Sea" make the excursions more affordable. The excursion crew were somewhat disorganized and this often resulted in groups leaving the ship late for excursions. One was as late as 45 minutes - due to on board staff (not on-shore contractors) The only average or slightly below average was the food. It was institutional, boring and not as good as other N.C.L. ships. Unless one ate in the fine dining (surcharge) restaurant, in which case the food was better quality with more variety. Overall, this was the best cruise I have been on. Thank you N.C.L. !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room ... Read More
Last minute booking complete with drinks package for a short trip to Tasmania. No problem with the ship except the smell of smoke in some areas such as the card room and library. The problems concerned the bad attitude of the dining room waiters. Especially the females. Some were rude and kept you waiting for ages before reluctantly acknowledging your existence. Then there was the consistently cold food. It became a game to see which one of us would be the first to get a hot meal. To be fair, there were some friendly staff in a couple of the bars. The managers of the dining rooms fell over themselves to assure you that things would improve and tell you that other people were praising the staff. Little changed for the better, especially breakfast on the last day when they made it obvious that we were not welcome because they had other things to do. And don't even think of eating in O Sheehan's. The final straw was the imposition of gst charges without notice half way into the cruise. Australian customs came on board and had to have heavy talks with them about selling duty free whilst in port. They refused to issue refunds or gst advice. I have encountered these charges on any other cruise. They simply had no idea what they were doing. The financial controller refused to meet with anyone and anyone else with authority had others blocking your way to them. We will never use Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was chosen as a short experience for a number of long time friends to get together for a few days, rather than just meeting for the occasional meal together, and would include the friends partners rather than just a "boys ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as a short experience for a number of long time friends to get together for a few days, rather than just meeting for the occasional meal together, and would include the friends partners rather than just a "boys thing". The cruise was for 5 days, From Sydney to Tasmania and return, with days in port at Devonport and Hobart. The cruise was a pleasant experience, being the shortest duration we have experienced, and our first cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. Entertainment, particularly the evening floor shows was possibly the best we have experienced, with a cast of 7 musicians, 2 separate singers and about 12 dancers. We dined in specialty restaurants each evening, and the reservation service worked well. Restaurant staff were always friendly and helpful, particularly as wife has a dairy intolerance, and so the waiters always ensured that all the food that she had in the restaurants was suitable. All the meals were delivered in a hot condition, and no-one in our group had any complaints regarding the food. We did not take any shore excursions, as we were all familiar with the ports. All the crew were friendly and helpful when needed, and were a credit to the ship and company. After enjoying this small sample, we have booked our next cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, ... Read More
Very nice ship, fitted out well, plenty of eateries and bars, but the allowable dress code, was appalling. I understand people like to relax and unwind, but there is a time and place, where you need to make an effort and night time dining, is that time. Far too many people, rocking up in board shorts, singlets and thongs and expecting to be allowed entry to the Dining Rooms. We are not snobs by any means, but we do like to make an effort and dress appropriately, when we enter and are served a meal, in the ships main dining room. You want to dress and act like rednecks, then go to the Buffett. We did notice that waiter service, in the bars and dining areas, appeared to be cut back a little, compared to other ships. The food on board was very good, but we have experienced better on other Cruise Lines. Staff were very good, as we have found on other ships, but lacking in numbers on this ship. All the on board venues, both dining and entertainment, could have used some additional staff also, but on the whole, our cruise was good. The main theatre entertainment on this ship was exceptional and probably the best we have seen throughout our 15 cruises so far. The smaller bars provided reasonable music, but nothing you would write home about. Cruise Director and staff were always mingling with the passengers and available to answer questions. The Captain and ship's officers were seen to be walking around the ship daily and always speaking with the passengers. We joined the ship in Papeete and the whole process of getting on board, seemed to take forever, but this may have been the first time, a ship has embarked hundreds of passengers here and the facilities were just not up to task. Disembarking in Sydney was fine without any problems. As stated above with minor grievances set aside, I would recommend this ship for future cruises, if your happy to hang out in your shorts and thongs all day, then this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Best Cruise Ever. Cabin # 8008. This was a 10 day cruise. My 6th cruise with NCL. Best food. Best drinks. Best shows. Weather was a bit hit and miss. I love cruising. I think NCL does a great job. Some people like to complain about ... Read More
Best Cruise Ever. Cabin # 8008. This was a 10 day cruise. My 6th cruise with NCL. Best food. Best drinks. Best shows. Weather was a bit hit and miss. I love cruising. I think NCL does a great job. Some people like to complain about anything and everything! I prefer to see the glass " half full " . I think it is really important to treat each cruise as a separate event, and not to lump all the ships, staff, etc., into one big category. In a perfect world, I would like to see a NON smoking ship. The Casino, stinks. The pool deck can smell smokey as well. I would prefer some fans in the gym, as it gets stuffy. I also think that more and more people are abusing food on cruises. I cannot see how some people can eat and waste so much food. But, some things are NONE of my business ! Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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
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
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
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Sail Date June 2017
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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