200 Norwegian Jewel Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date April 2017
Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our ... Read More
Our dining experiences were all good and satisfactory from breakfast to dinner. We tried different restaurants and they were all excellent in food and services. All the waiters and attendants gave excellent services including our stateroom person. The shows and entertainment were great. The gym has modern equipment that I was able to use and enjoyed. We enjoyed playing in the casino although I lost quite a bit of money. Would be nice if I got some back but did not happen. We took 2 excursion tours and we both enjoyed it. The tour guides was very good and knowledgeable and the price was great too. Overall we had a great time. This is our first rime to cruise with NCL but would take NCL again for our future cruises if given special deals and offers. My husband is a retired Military and be nice if we get some good Military offer too. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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
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
Sail Date March 2017
We wanted to experience a full transit of the canal and booked this trip with friends. We had a great time and the canal experience was unforgettable in every way. The ship is beautiful and the staff was very good. NCL has some ... Read More
We wanted to experience a full transit of the canal and booked this trip with friends. We had a great time and the canal experience was unforgettable in every way. The ship is beautiful and the staff was very good. NCL has some opportunities available to improve on management of large numbers of people (embarkation and tender days were not the best for managing the flow of people). The shows were very good.We enjoyed all of the ports (we book private tours in ports and have always been satisfied with them!). The weather was good but hot. The food in the buffet and the restaurants was very good (the buffet was not always the hottest food but far from cold and very enjoyable). The one small "hiccup" we had with bar service was handled very professionally and we were very satisfied. All-in-all an excellent two weeks. We have always enjoyed our NCL cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Cruise was chosen because of length and destination. Buffet food was delicious, but ice cream machines were not always functioning. It would have been nice to have an ice cream machine near the pool. Coffee was too strong for our taste. ... Read More
Cruise was chosen because of length and destination. Buffet food was delicious, but ice cream machines were not always functioning. It would have been nice to have an ice cream machine near the pool. Coffee was too strong for our taste. We watered it down. Decor in dining rooms was not as elegant as some larger ships. Personnel were fabulous. Our room stewardess (last name Harris) was very friendly and helpful. A woman who worked in various positions, especially the games played, (Shirley I think) was a true joy. I think she was having as much fun as we were. Shows in main theater were very good. Pool area was crammed with chairs, many of which were saved and no one ever came to sit there. Many times, we could not find a chair. A sign stated that chairs remaining unoccupied for 1 hour would be cleared for other guests. That never happened. Apparently some guests reserved a chair in the sun and another one in the shade. That shouldn't be allowed when so many other guests are looking for a seat. The ship is older but is clean and well maintained. We purchased the soft drink package. Water was not included and should have been. Over all, the trip was a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our 5 th cruise with ncl. 3 of them on this ship. We are latatude members because we have traveled with them so many times. We are awarded certain perks. Standing in line for over 2 hours is not one of them. No more bringing soda ... Read More
This was our 5 th cruise with ncl. 3 of them on this ship. We are latatude members because we have traveled with them so many times. We are awarded certain perks. Standing in line for over 2 hours is not one of them. No more bringing soda or water on board, company policy. Once on board the room was great. Large bathroom with a tub. If you bring your own coffee be sure to bring basket type filters. They don't sell any on the ship. When are the cruise ships going to start puting more than one electrical plug in? I'm tired of bringing my own power strips. Cabin stewards were great as usual. Food was just average. Lots of Germans on board to cruise through the canal so we had Bavarian food in the buffet. BBQ on the swim deck was good. We had free dinners in the specialty restraints. The Cagney restraunt had the best filet I ever ate. We ate there 3 times. No more free lobster in the main dining room, company policy. No more midnight chocolate party, company policy. The entertainment was average. Seen most of them on other NCL sailings. How bout something new. The shore excursion to the jungle train ride and boat ride was lame. The train traveled next to the road we drove in on. We did happen to see a few monkeys. The rride up a river to see alligators was also lame. We did see a couple of alligators , lots of birds and many rare Michelin black wall tires. Also a few Nike shoes on the bank. Can ya clean up the mess a little Costa Rica. The hop on hop off buss in Cartagena worked for us. We stopped at the beach and went swimming. Why did the maintainace crew close and paint the swimming pool on the ship for a couple days on the hottest part of the trip? Of all the ships we have been on , Ian was the best cruise director . He had magic tricks in the morning and jokes at night after the shows in the main theatre. Gina Welch our personal cruise consultant was very good to us over the years, we will miss you. Come on NCl can ya get your ship together? Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Partly because of price but not significance difference. Organization of boarding procedure in Miami - extremely poor - substandard. Service and employees - very good. Excursion vere very poorly organized mainly information to ... Read More
Partly because of price but not significance difference. Organization of boarding procedure in Miami - extremely poor - substandard. Service and employees - very good. Excursion vere very poorly organized mainly information to participants to and how to leave ship. Returning from excursions well organized. Entertainment - shows were one of the lowest quality we experienced.. FOOD VERY POOR based on central Europe standards. Wiener schnitzel served clearly showed, that the chef did not see even picture how the wiener schnitzel looks like. French soup was served eleven times on occasion even twice - lunch and supper and it did not tasted as french onion soup. Pasta was grossly overcooked even when served in Italian Cuisine Restaurant. Great majority of the food served were of East Indian origins using strange spices and combinations. Corn sitting in the sweetened milk, roast beef served but no mashed potatoes just to name few. When I tried to mention this issue to supervisor of servers, she was more concerned about the cabin number where are staying in instead of to listen about the issue of food. I said please accept my apology to bother you. Disembarking in LA did have some shortcomings and direction to transportation using busses to an airport should be streamlined. We experienced much better environment, service and food on MSC and other smaller Greek's company - name I could not recall. Based on our experience we booked next cruise South America using different cruise line. Disappointed, that MSC does not have itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I along with two other couples booked this Panama Canal cruise. My husband and I have been on a lot of cruises (17 for him and 19 for me). My husband is 63 and I am 58. We were excited about this cruise because every port ... Read More
My husband and I along with two other couples booked this Panama Canal cruise. My husband and I have been on a lot of cruises (17 for him and 19 for me). My husband is 63 and I am 58. We were excited about this cruise because every port was a new port for us. Also, crossing through the Canal was on our bucket list. We normally sail with Carnival. This was only our second Norwegian cruise. We booked the UBP because we didn't want to be nickled and dimed for every little thing. Some days I almost got my money's worth in just sodas. I was initially upset about the new bottled water policy but we both brought on a Brita water bottle that filters your water for you. Even the days we had water straight from the tap, it wasn't bad. We had an inside on the 11th floor. Some mornings there was a little noise above our room. We may have been above the kitchen. It never did wake me up, but if you were awake, you could definitely hear it. The food was very good (probably not as good as Carnival's in my opinion) but definitely a lot of choices. We ate in the main dining room for 12 of our 16 nights on board. We did like the buffet food and thought it was a little better than Carnival's. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants, but we did have sushi at the sushi restaurant a couple of times. There were plenty of activities on board. Some of my friends were participating in 5 or more activities every day. I did go to most of the shows in the evenings but other than that I only went to about 5 other activities the whole 16 days. My husband and I like to just relax and read. We did get off at every port but other than Guatamala, we booked all our excursions on our own. I would have to say (for me) the Mexican ports were my favorite. Overall, I enjoyed my cruise. In fact, we have another 16 day cruise booked for next January on Norwegian from Sydney, Australia. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
First time with NCL, and its more casual style, which generally worked well. One criticism though is the reluctance of NCL to give you any information about the ship! Deck plans are strictly for the website, and almost unprintable, and ... Read More
First time with NCL, and its more casual style, which generally worked well. One criticism though is the reluctance of NCL to give you any information about the ship! Deck plans are strictly for the website, and almost unprintable, and supplying a paper elevation plan on-board was not much help when trying to find best wheelchair routes on an asymmetric ship! Also scant information was provided on ports of call unless it was for franchised shopping. Even beforehand, their UK helpline couldn't even tell us whether there were one or more showtimes each evening, nor when, in order to plan mealtime bookings in advance (since my wife is disabled, we didn't want to be so casual as to have to hang around waiting for a table). Maybe this is only a first timers problem. Boarding and disembarkation always seem to be chaotic and though we checked-in quite quickly, we were then held for over an hour and a half because staff said that the port lift (Miami) was not working, and promptly forgot about us (we missed the ship intro tour). Again, even with timed departures in LA, this took more than an hour in the accelerated wheelchair lane, and for many it must have been over two hours shuffling in endless queues along elevated walkways alongside the ship (Should an emergency occur during this time, like a fire in the port hall or on the ship, one dreads to think what might happen as thousands of people have nowhere to go quickly.). That said, once on board ship, staff were incredibly helpful and patient when necessary, almost always with a welcoming smile. Disabled facilities were generally good and though we booked too late to get a disabled room, our inside cabin on Deck 8 was adequate (save the struggle to get into the loo through a 17" wide doorway(could easily have been 19-20" wide entry with no need for another door inside the small bathroom). Our other minor gripe was that some of the floor strips at ship bulkheads across public corridors were raised above the level of the floors maybe 1/2 ", which would bring a wheelchair to a jarring halt if not anticipated - but only some and it was not always apparent which! So NCL, please can you feather all your floors at bulkhead joints to provide a smooth passage for wheels? On the up side, from people we met, it appeared that singles are well catered for by NCL too. We thought that for mass catering the food was generally good, though there could have been a little more variety in the casual restaurants' evening menus. We used the Garden Cafe for very good breakfasts and sometimes lunch, after one disastrous attempt to have a served breakfast in O'Sheehans, which took forever and the eggs still came very undercooked. In the evenings we sampled Tsar and Azura almost equally, finding Tsar to have the best service (especially if you requested something slightly different), though with one exception of one excellent waitress in Azura. One downside of the casual dining was that you had to remember to ask every time if you wanted to share a table and meet with other passengers, and also that you generally had different waiting staff every time, with less chance to build a relationship which might encourage one into additional tipping. Sometimes we did think that the food descriptions on the menus might have been written by the Entertainments Director rather than the Chef, but so long as you didn't have fixed expectations of what would turn-up, labelled as a classic dish, all was well. If you want to go for more than one experience of a speciality restaurant, it makes much sense to purchase a fixed-price multiple dining pack. We chose the baseline of three, selecting Cagney's steakhouse, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. The food was excellent (best probably filet mignon in Cagneys and lamb rack in Le Bistro), though rather too noisy a display in Teppanyaki and also too rushed to attend to supporting service (drinks etc.) - but if you were there just for the show -fine maybe ....!! (thankfully there were no Japanese guests to be appalled). Sadly, the ultimate drinks package (UDP) wasn't, as many common spirits attracted a premium payment, and normal lattes and cappuccinos were not included, unless you had some alcohol in them! Outside the restaurants you had to buy bottled water at an extortionate price too, and are not allowed to bring any back to the ship from excursions. Ship-booked tours were a plenty, but pricey, and generally OK, having the advantage that it was their responsibility to get you back to the ship before it departed (but forget the"scenic Pacific" train ride in Costa Rica and just go for the Tarcoles river trip, unless you want a diesel shunter to pull you through the garbage back-yards of a no-where village, when they can get it working!). We went independent with Julio tours to Leon (Nicaragua) which was excellent on all counts. The daytime sail through the Panama Canal was fascinating, even for those not technically-inclined, and it was worth watching the film about its construction beforehand (just a pity they didn't show the more recent tv film about the new cut, too). Having a historical interest, the old colonial cities of Cartagena, Leon and Antigua are all worth a visit, though the latter two are a bumpy and sometimes challenging ride for wheelchairs! (OK with Nike attitude!). Though there are always a fair number of different activities on ship, we didn't overall rate the main evening shows that highly, with a few exceptions, like Cirque Bijou and a member of the galley crew whose singing got a standing ovation - he was definitely employed in the wrong department! Also sound quality was very muffled in several parts of the main theatre, especially on the upper deck (7), and sound-levels were often set so-high that parts of singers' voices appeared to have been clipped-off in the equipment. Otherwise, the variety of musicians on board were generally good and often appeared at their best in the numerous smaller venues and events around the ship. In all, a memorable and generally very satisfying cruise, with a good balance of on and off ship activities and itinerary, and a canal trip which truly shows it as a wonder of the world. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We flew in from London and stayed that night at an airport hotel before being transferred to the ship. My wife and I chose this cruise be cause it gave us the opportunity to do some whale watching, travel the Panama Canal and get some ... Read More
We flew in from London and stayed that night at an airport hotel before being transferred to the ship. My wife and I chose this cruise be cause it gave us the opportunity to do some whale watching, travel the Panama Canal and get some warm sunshine. Embarkation was pretty quick compared to some we have experienced. Disembarkation was slow due to congestion at the port of Miami. We were 30 minutes late in getting off. Previous comments claimed that the ship was looking tired. We did not think so although the colour scheme was a bit too garish for our taste. All the public areas seemed well cared for. Our cabin (10566) was clean but at first seemed to have a slightly funny smell. This went with time. Our main complaint was that the bathroom was miniscule again compared to others we have experienced. It was impossible to sit on the toilet and close the door due to the position of the toilet. There was no room for a bedside table on one side as the couch was up against the bed. The balcony was adequate . Dining was OK ish with bog standard offerings on the complementary menu. More interesting dishes were charged extra. This is something we have not experienced before. One American guest with a lot of Norwegian cruise experience claimed that this is a trend that has been going on for some time. Even the Italian speciality restaurant for which a charge was made really did not have more than average food on offer. As we had an all inclusive beverage package we were not forced to pay the high prices for drinks. Interestingly this package did not include the mini bar or bottled water in the cabin!! It also had a strange limitation on the value of any individual drink but allowed you to order any amount of the drink in smaller quantities! There was a good range of entertainments on offer during the night with a very energetic song and dance team and some good comedians. We were sad that there were no interesting speakers on offer so cruise days could drag. With one exception all the crew were attentive, helpful and polite. Our cabin steward was there if you wanted him but did not intrude if you did not. The excursions were well managed except on one tour when it was impossible to hear the guide due to a poor sound reproduction system on the bus. The ports had the usual tourist traps that meant that you hade to walk past lots of stalls offering local stuff getting on and off the ship. Would we use Norwegian again? Only if the locations visited were of interest. We much prefer Cunard and Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Booked this Panama Canal cruise from L.A. to Miami to cross off my bucket list. Got a great price inclusive of air and transfers. Embarkation at San Pedro went relatively smoothly. Food at Garden Cafe was average at best. Breakfast was ... Read More
Booked this Panama Canal cruise from L.A. to Miami to cross off my bucket list. Got a great price inclusive of air and transfers. Embarkation at San Pedro went relatively smoothly. Food at Garden Cafe was average at best. Breakfast was the same each day, ;lunches and dinners had a bit more variety. Nice that they had Congee for breakfast every morning. Coffee was horrible, with no flavour at all. Juices were overly sweet. Pasta Station was quite good, Had dinner most nights in Azura Dining Room. Our Special Diet Server, Melody, was awesome looking after our no sodium requests. Communication was extremely poor, as even though we preordered the night before, hostess and waiters always gave us the regular menu when being seated and looked confused when we informed them that we had already ordered off the special diet menu the night before. This info need to be filtered down to the staff a lot more efficiently. Cabin was made way too late in afternoon, sometimes not till 1:00pm or later. Poorly designed room, as there were no electrical outlets close to our beds. They were located far away, and had to borrow two extension cords from Guest Services to plug in medical equipment. Absolutely hate that NCL adds on a mandatory $189 USD service charge onto account, and had to plead with Guest Services to remove them, as we wished to tip in cash an amount we felt was consistent with service provided. The customer should determine amount, not the Cruise Line. Entertainment onboard was superb, went to every 7pm show at Stardust Theatre. Cruise Director, Iain Bagshaw was the best I've ever seen. Absolutely hilarious, personable, and a Magician to boot. Enjoyed Raegar, Dan Bennett, David Naster, Chris Pendleton, George Solomon, and Elegy (Rinat and Elena). All shows were throughly entertaining. Ports of Call were just ok, stayed mostly close to port and did our own walking tours. Keep in mind that these are not cosmopolitan cities, so overall not too bad. Constantly pestered in Acapulco by taxi drivers and guys wanting to set us up for massages with young senoritas. Was asked eight times during two block walk from terminal to restaurant. Ship is outdated, but knew this being going onboard. Overall , a very geriatric crowd as we felt like kids onboard compared to other passengers. Would I repeat, probably not, unless it was a smoking great deal presented to me... Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise as it was calling at ports we had not visited before and wanted to transit the Panama Canal from the other direction (Pacific to Caribbean) as we had been through the canal in the past from Caribbean to Pacific Ocean. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was calling at ports we had not visited before and wanted to transit the Panama Canal from the other direction (Pacific to Caribbean) as we had been through the canal in the past from Caribbean to Pacific Ocean. We have also sailed on the Jewel before in September 2009 as well as other NCL ships, so were well acquainted with life on board. Embarkation at San Pedro, California was seamless (we did have a penthouse suite!) Far easier than progress through arrivals at LAX!!! We stayed two nights in San Pedro at the Double Tree Hotel prior to this cruise; not the best of areas as not much to see or do there. Hotel was quite good with complimentary transfer to the port. The hotel does offer a free shuttle bus to local areas too. Our aft penthouse suite (10166) was a little disappointing in size with a small bathroom leading off a very narrow short corridor separating it from the wardrobe. The wardrobe was accessible from both sides though. The bathroom itself, though small in area, was well equipped with lots of towels. The tap (faucet) over the hand basin was too long and did not swivel, so you could possibly hit your face on it whilst washing. There was a large, comfortable bed with curtains to surround it if required. Although the wardrobe was a good size, drawer spaces were a bit small. There were two safes in the suite plus a flat panel TV and coffee machine that would supply a variety of hot drinks. The balcony was provided with two sun loungers and a small table. Occasionally we experienced smut landing on the area. Service from our Concierge (Bruno) was impeccable and the Butler (Rofino) and room maid (Mary Ann) did a great job of looking after us. We like the freestyle dining offered by NCL and there are other specialty venues available. Generally we were not very impressed with the overall dining during this cruise. We used the French "Le Bistro" restaurant twice, that was quite good. We did not enjoy the "Teppanyaki" at all, nor the Brazilian "Moderno" (awful!) "Cagney's" was fine. Then there are the two main dining rooms, "Azura" and "Tsar's Palace", we ate in "Azura" a few times and that was quite good. Other options include the "Garden Cafe" (the general, self-service buffet) which is pretty good in most areas. Then there is "O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill" (I did enjoy my hot-dog there!), "Chin Chin" (did not use), "La Cucina" (Italian that we did not venture into) and finally "Sushi Bar" again, not experienced. I would certainly be reluctant to pay the cover charges for some of these venues, but we had four complimentary options to use included in our package along with the "Ultimate Beverage Package" (that does not allow you to obtain a can of soft drink, nor a bottle of water or specialty coffees & teas). Also included was 250 minutes of Wi-Fi use plus some on board spending credit. Entertainment was very good indeed, never disappointed with NCL in that respect. Lots of activities to choose from, but we took a relaxed approach to those. We took two shore excursions with NCL (Cabo San Lucas, up close whale watching by Zodiac boat, great!) and a coach trip to the town of Antigua in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Also, we booked independent excursions in Acapulco (apart from watching the cliff divers we do not recommend Acapulco at all), Puntarenas (very disappointed with the excursion we chose to visit Turubari Eco Park (saw some animals, but only in pens, and the aerial tram ride lasted just a few minutes in each direction. No wonder there were very few other tourists about!) and Cartagena (we had a car with driver and guide who showed us around the city, stopping for photo opportunities and wandering about. Very good indeed, a lovely place that we enjoyed thoroughly.) The area from the ship's dock to the outside of the port was incredibly with lots of birds, monkeys and other wildlife roaming free where my wife was hand feeding parrots, toucans and small monkeys with fresh mango pieces. So much better that the expensive visit to the eco park!!! There is a large souvenir area there, too, where you can buy and post your cards along with food and drink outlets; very pleasant indeed! Disembarkation at the Port of Miami took an interminable time, we were directed to the slow lane, it seemed! Then spent one night at the Hilton Hotel, Miami Beach, where the included buffet breakfast was appalling! We will not be returning there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was an item on our bucket list. We had heard so much about cruising the Panama Canal that we decided that would be our next trip. What a great decision. Our room was at the very back of the ship, and we enjoyed many an hour sitting ... Read More
This was an item on our bucket list. We had heard so much about cruising the Panama Canal that we decided that would be our next trip. What a great decision. Our room was at the very back of the ship, and we enjoyed many an hour sitting on the balcony enjoying the view. Norbie, our room steward was so good, I asked him if he would like to come home with us! LOL Mary Jane, our butler took very good care of us.When she found out that my husband loves chocolate chip cookies, she brought him some every afternoon.And when she learned that we were ice tea drinkers, there was always a pitcher of tea in our mini fridge. The shows were very good, especially the Russian couple. Food in each of the restaurants we ate in was good to very good. We had a great time at Tapanyaki restaurant. Our suite was 9672 on level 9 in the very back. Very roomy, lots of storage, and suitcases could fit under the bed to get them out of the way. Overall, we would recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This ... Read More
We haven't cruised NCL in the past 25 years and now I know why. Ship was fine, upgraded to a mini suite so cabin was very nice. Staff was attentive. This was a New Years cruise, and did not have access to any Collage bowl games. This was not ACCEPTABLE. Many cruisers were very upset.. since when can't you wa ch the rose bowl parade and the Ros Bowl game. Now for the food, mediocre at best in Tsars, Azure and Osheehans. They really want you to go to the specialtys. La Bistro, excellent as was Cagneys. Modernos was good but felt rushed. There should be an age limit at specialty restaurants as infants crying at dinner was unacceptable. Will not go on NCL AGAIN, we are elite on Celebrity and will continue to cruise on them. There is no need to go to their specialty restaurants, as the food in the dining room is of a much higher quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall, it was a great cruise. Embarkation went smoothly and crew greeted us with smiles and were helpful in guiding us around the ship. First, I might say that we are not picky cruisers. This was our 18th cruise on various cruise ... Read More
Overall, it was a great cruise. Embarkation went smoothly and crew greeted us with smiles and were helpful in guiding us around the ship. First, I might say that we are not picky cruisers. This was our 18th cruise on various cruise lines and we enjoy many aspects of cruising. We travel extensively and understand and appreciate that other cultures are not like ours. With that said, I am giving my honest opinion of our experience on this cruise. Our balcony cabin was a bit outdated and the carpet was stained with spills from previous guests, especially around the coffee pot area. The sofa smelled stale and unclean. I understand that there is a short turn around between guests, but I think Norwegian could do better in providing a clean cabin for guests. The food was nicely presented and a nice variety was provided. We especially enjoyed O'Shann's. Entertainment was just ok. The trip through the Panama Canal was the main reason we chose this cruise, so we were not expecting much in the ports along the way. Some had interesting things to see and do, but some were not worth going outside of the port area. We had been to many of those areas before and knew what to expect so that was ok. We had really great service at the Atrium Bar. All of the servers and bar tenders went out of their way to be friendly and courteous no matter how busy they were. Gusti was our favorite! He was efficient and provided excellent service to us as well as other guests. His humor kept us coming back to that bar. We met Lance Harlow on the first day of our cruise and he was great to provide information throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in ... Read More
We stayed in the Garden Villa, 5 people. Very comfortable and definitely a trip to remember. over 4000 sq foot villa. has every thing you could ask for. My wife had a small motorized scooter it worked very well. Meals were OK in the garden buffet. Cagney's steakhouse was the best of all and Moderno's was second best. We tried all of the pay extra restaurants and most of the included restaurants. None were what I would call bad, most was pleasant and enjoyable. We were not impressed with O'Sheehan's. The poolside BBQ, was not really a BBQ. The food was prepared int he kitchen and then kind of finished off-kept warm over hot coals. Our favorite drink discovery was the BBC - you have got to try one of these! Since the room came with a bunch of free booze and drinks as well as the drink package, we really did not try many of the bars. The main thing was the room on this cruise. I know many people say you don;t cruise for the cabin - but we had a hard time leaving our cabin! it was seriously amazing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so ... Read More
We booked two weeks before sailing and got an enclosed balcony cabin for the first time - we loved it! Ultra quiet and quite roomy. Storage space was limited, but okay for a 7 (or 10) day cruise. Our flight was delayed on sail day, so we were very happy to see the NCL ladies at the airport for our transfers to the ship. However, when we got to the port, they did not know we were coming, the porters had been dismissed, and the greeters were confused that we were so late. All was eventually worked out, and we got aboard about 1.5 hours before sailing. Service was great in the main dining rooms, not so great in the Bistro and La Cucina. We thought the food in the main dining was better than in the 2 for-pay restaurants we ate in. We are Platinum, so did not have to pay - would have been very disappointed had that not been the case. We canceled any other reservations we had and returned to Azura, our complimentary dining room of choice. We extra-tipped everyone there who made our dining experience so pleasant. Breakfast in the Tsar Palace was great also. Go there on disembarkment day to wait for your color to be called - service was fast and the food was hot. We only went to two shows as the regular show timing did not fit with our dining plans - I don't think we missed much, based on the two shows we did attend. The Thermal Suite was very nice, with 2 exceptions: the robes are too small for people of size (of which there were many on the ship), and people tended to hog the heated ceramic loungers in the suite - no time limits are posted as guidelines. When I pointed both of these issues out to the staff member, she just smiled (about the robes) and said "That would be rude" (about people hogging the ceramic loungers). We expected a "Spring Break" atmosphere aboard this cruise, given that it was a 7 day Mexican Riviera, and we were not disappointed. However, there are plenty of quiet spaces aboard for those who do not want to indulge in the party. Since we travel to Mexico extensively, and have visited all the ports numerous times, we did not do shore excursions, so I have no advice for that. We did go ashore in Mazatlan to the coffee purveyor in the first building at the port - for a $3 Coffee Americano (really good) you got their wi-fi - as we wanted to check our email without paying the ridiculous prices for wi-fi on board ship. The Jewel is a really nice ship, well-maintained with a great crew. The Captain was the most accessible that I have sailed with - he loves to talk. If you are looking for a nice get-away, I highly recommend this ship (except for the the for-pay restaurants and the too-small robes in the cabins and the spa). Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our first time with NCL and probably our last. We booked this with a small group of friends and the organizer bailed on us. We were curious about NCL and the price was decent so we went ahead with the cruise as planned. The ... Read More
This was our first time with NCL and probably our last. We booked this with a small group of friends and the organizer bailed on us. We were curious about NCL and the price was decent so we went ahead with the cruise as planned. The ship was okay, our mini-suite was okay but both could use a face-lift. Their decorators could use a lesson or two. No complaints about the food, actually it was better than anticipated. We ate in their specialty restaurants 5 times and in the regular dining rooms a few times. The food in the regular dining rooms was very good and the buffet was pretty good. My husband and I along with our friends appreciated the fact we could get fried eggs for breakfast on the buffet. My only complaint was no Lox and bagels except as salmon flavored cream cheese but you can't have everything. The staff were wonderful and absolutely no complaints there. Our cabin steward kept our cabin very clean and when asked for something always took care of it immediately. This was our 4th cruise to Mexico so we didn't care about the ports or shore excursions. My husband and friends enjoyed the Cirque de Soli type show. Our only regret was signing up for Thermal Spa. Very small, the men and women are kept separate except one area. Drink package is very misleading. Another error on our part. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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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