32 Norwegian Jewel Senior Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise on Norwegian. The room was very small compared to other ships I've been on. This was not a luxury-appointed ship - very basic. The ship store was very, very small with very little in it. The entertainment ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Norwegian. The room was very small compared to other ships I've been on. This was not a luxury-appointed ship - very basic. The ship store was very, very small with very little in it. The entertainment was average, at best. This particular cruise had a Nickelodean theme and therefore I think it was more family-oriented. Food was average. There was more than the normal number of specialty dining restaurants, which led me to believe they were more interested in getting you into those restaurants to spend money than they were to making good food in the buffet and main dining room, although the main dining room was beautiful and never busy. The servers in the dining room were very attentive. Our steward was a very nice guy, but he seemed to be overloaded, like maybe they had cut back on stewards so he had too much to do. The hallways were always crowded with cleaning supplies. I would rate this ship on par with Carnival - nothing special. I was expecting more due to the rating of the ship. I don't think we'll sail on Norwegian in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This is probably our 20th cruise. This is our first Norwegian Cruise Line trip. We bought the all inclusive package with tips included. Our room was nice and the room steward was nice- but average. Our waiters at dinner where pretty ... Read More
This is probably our 20th cruise. This is our first Norwegian Cruise Line trip. We bought the all inclusive package with tips included. Our room was nice and the room steward was nice- but average. Our waiters at dinner where pretty good but we ate at the fine dining restaurants every night. My big concern was the archaic system for paying (which ironically, we did not have to pay because we bought the all in or all inclusive package). We were told it was for record keeping. There seemed to be limited staff to get you drinks and then there system for paying took close to another ten minutes. One time at a pool bar, it took over 20 minutes to order a drink and another significant period of time for the payment process to occur. They took your cruise card, used it through an old time card reader. Printed a receipt, then brought you the receipt and had you sign it. Yet getting on and off the ship was quick and they keep pretty good records just electronically. The casino had card readers that the bar staff carried around. One night at the Spinnaker Bar where I was the only one at the bar, the bartender was taking a pictures of what looked like an officer (at least he had that type of uniform). So I waited. When he finally got to me, he told me the bar service staff would bring me the drink. I looked over at the only staff member present, and now he was taking pictures of his officer friend. I had always though the customer comes first. This obviously is not the case with the bar staff. I felt that whoever is in charge is at fault. The staff seems to be poorly trained, yet often there were working as fast as they could, there system created a good part of the back log, and this detracted from our experience. I have sailed with Carnival, Princess, RCL, Windstar, Regent and Uniworld prior to NCL. We even sailed with Renaissance which is not longer in business. I doubt we will cruise again with NCL again. Most the service was average except for the bar service which was poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Several years ago my wife and I sailed to Alaska aboard the NCL PEARL and had a wonderful time with great food including lobster the first night. We are retired and this latest Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel for our 50th anniversary was ... Read More
Several years ago my wife and I sailed to Alaska aboard the NCL PEARL and had a wonderful time with great food including lobster the first night. We are retired and this latest Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel for our 50th anniversary was disappointing in many ways. Smaller Atrium with only a piano and no live music. The buffet food was not that good, had burnt crust pizza, luke warm food, tough meat, biscuits that crumbled apart, some of the buffet food was good, but it was usually everyday common food. Lots of children running all over, some people dressed like slobs. The Azura and Czars palace restaurants had better quality food and great service but we were annoyed by roaming photographers and a "loud mouth" we shared a table with. Cagney's was very good and enjoyed the meal, superb waiter service, but within one hour later we both had a diarrhea from it, perhaps the mushrooms? Never did see any lobster, king crab, prime rib anywhere except the "specialty restaurants". On disembarkation, we saw a poster advertising prime rib that night at O'Sheehan's bar and grill (was not on our cruise). All the alcohol drink prices very high with automatic gratuity of 15%. The head bartender at the cocktail lounge didn't know how to make a Bacardi cocktail and insisted it was Bacardi rum mixed with Pepsi or just on the rocks. Oh boy!!! The ship itself (Jewel) was older than the Pearl, not as nice but was well kept up. I got scolded by one of the photographers (Russian girl) for taking a photograph inside that area and was ordered to delete it off my camera. Our stateroom was clean and comfortable, the stewardess was FANTASTIC, so very friendly and took care of all our needs, gave her a big tip. Theater shows we attended at the Stardust theater were good, but many did not appeal to us because they were for children or adult themed. Unlike the Alaska sailing, all there was to see, was the sea itself and not much to do on board except eat, drink, gamble, walk around, sit by the pool (water too cold to swim) or go into the hot tub for a little while. The shore excursions were okay except for the switch NCL pulled on us... we booked our cruise when Roatan was port of call, and made plans for a good shore excursion, then they switched to Banana Coast and left us with bad choices for a shore excursion there. We took one that was supposed to be a walking tour through what we thought was jungle preserve with monkeys and wildlife to see. Instead it was a muddy road trip in a bus without air conditioning and arrived at a vegetable farm with fruit trees and rescue habitat for a few native animals. Got covered in fire ants walking around while being shown tomato plants, onions, limes, lemons, etc., how not to touch things like cashew nuts. Terrible tour!!!!!!!! Hope things get better there, so much poverty. But the people were friendly despite a hundred or so armed police all over the place. Lots of police presence in Belize and Cozumel also, bars on windows, razor wire, run down shacks. I tried to buy tourist junk from the people who needed the money just because they could use it and not the fat cats who own the fancy shops. In Belize, the trip to Altun Ha was very good and our tours guides fantastic. Enjoyed that excursion. Same with the mini-sub tour in Cozumel but did not feel comfortable walking around and within 1-block off the main tourist street we turned around and went back because of all the shady characters and run down businesses. Anyway, I was spoiled by the Alaska trip and doubt that I will ever take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We left New Orleans on Feb 2nd 2014 in the total fog. We did enjoy the city as it gave it a mysterious ambiance especially when you think about the cemetaries and legends that are vehiculed about it. Embarkation was not the easiest we had ... Read More
We left New Orleans on Feb 2nd 2014 in the total fog. We did enjoy the city as it gave it a mysterious ambiance especially when you think about the cemetaries and legends that are vehiculed about it. Embarkation was not the easiest we had in the past cruise we did. It was our second cruise with NCL (the other being on the Spirit to Bermudas a few years ago). So we knew it was not the standard we had with Celebrity or Princess, but we were aware there would be some difference. New Orleans port is, for what we saw, going under renovation. I hope it will be easier for people to be going through traffic as you have to wait many minutes just to be dropped with your luggages by the taxi: buses, cars, taxis all converge in a small area and it is chaos. We were litteraly 3 to 4 blocks away in a hotel but not close enough with our luggage to walk it. So the taxi was $7 per person ($14 for two) for a ride that should have lasted 3 minutes, but they charge per person as they know they will be stuck at the drop off zone. Once on the ship, we were able to get to our cabin quite rapidly, but that was after we were like a herd of tourist waiting in line for something like 45 minutes. Room: (inside cabin just under the casino). We were concerned a bit that the room that had been assigned to us would be noisy, but really, we heard nothing the whole week. The size of the room as OK and as expected. It was clean and our room stewart was always smiling and pleasant. He did an excellent job. One thing though: the matress on the side of my husband was really showing years of abuse, being shaped almost as a banana. We did not tell anybody, but maybe we should have mentioned it. Food: At first, we could not understand why some people had been complaining about the food. It was good and there was a good variety. But as the week progressed, we found it to be repetitive and very standard. The Garden Cafe Buffet presented many stations, but when you think about it, a whole section was for Indian food and stir fry. Personnally, we love exotic food, but it was always the same thing. For the pasta bar, it was pasta and your choice of sauce. Nothing else: no vegetable, no chicken, not shrimp. Pasta and sauce. I was told I would have to book at the paying restaurant if I wanted shrimp in my pasta! I had to laugh about it. They did offer a package at $119 per person to go and eat in any of the a la carte restaurant, but we relied on our past experience and left it open as we thought the main dining room would offer a better experience. Really, that is not what happened. On one of the evening, I really was disappointed with their "new Orleans combo of shrimp and beef". My idea of New Orleans style shrimps is not 3 breaded shrimps beside a small steak. I would have thought it would have been more creative. As for dessert, we were not the only one finding that there was way too many dessert made of gelatin. In the end, everything tasted the same. They did have the chocolate fountain at night at the Garden Cafe, but their main thing was the Bread Pudding. Yes it was very nice, but all by itsef in its category. I remember some sorbet (coconut once and pineaple another night) that were very good. We did eat at the Bistro (French cuisine). It was very good. We had the duck magret and confit and as for the started, the 4 cornets. Nicely presented and refined as well. we did attempt to eat at Moderno. We had heard that the food was really excellent. Oooops. Major problem there. Three of the restaurant a la carte gives on the Atrium: Chin Chin, Moderno, and the Sushi Bar. We had a reservation for the Moderno at 8.30 PM (they are not opened on lunch time except on sea days). We sat down and when our waiter came to take our order, we could not hear him. He almost had to scream so we could hear him. The inconceivable thing is that since there are no walls seperating the restaurant from the atrium, the shows scheduled (that night was a tribute to Neil Diamond) are so loud that you cannot hold a conversation! And it was until 9.30 PM. When the manager of the restaurant came to see us because we wanted to leave, he was very gracious and understanding. He also said that he has that kind of problem every week!!!! I sure hope that the refurbishing due in May will take cake of this problem. Already that the ship atrium is far from being impressive... this is really a major problem. No wonder there was always room in the restaurant. We did sample the sushis at the Sushi Bar before a late dinner and it was good. Shows: They were all excellent. Very impressive that show called Le Cirque Bijou. The performers were really on the ball and gave it all they had.Jaimie the cruise director is far from acting like on of these Diva we had seen on an European ship one day: she did a very good job, was funny without being vulgar, and we felt she really enjoyed people and her job too. Good for you Jaimie! She was accessible and always smiling. A good asset for NCL. As for all of the personnel, we can honestly say that they are very pleasant and work so hard to please their guests. Even the captain seems to be a good sport and seems close to his passengers. He also seems to show appreciation for his team (from the people in the laundry room to his officers). See below for our port reviews. In all, we enjoyed the destinations. We knew we did not want to spend too much, so we figured we had what we paid for. Was it a good deal? It was a honest deal. Knowing what we know, we would have paid a little bit more as we missed the dining experience this time. For us, it is part of the fun of cruising. We really look forward to these wonderful dinners. We hope that this will have been helpful.. And we take this opportunity to thank the family who was part of the cruise critics community and invited us, after the roll calls, to visit the Villa they had rented. It is rare that people will share this privilege. The mother (Christmas Carole) was a lovely lady. I will remember them for a long time.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was a cruise I had planned to celebrate my 60th birthday with my sister. She was my guest and birthday gift to myself. We traveled with 4 of my girlfriends as well. One of the girlfriends was a first timer so everything seemed great ... Read More
This was a cruise I had planned to celebrate my 60th birthday with my sister. She was my guest and birthday gift to myself. We traveled with 4 of my girlfriends as well. One of the girlfriends was a first timer so everything seemed great to her but the other 5 of us had cruised several times and so we had something to compare this cruise to. I've cruised on NCL 2 other times and everything seemed fine but I'm not sure if the crew was still in shock from their Hurricane Sandy experiences or what? But the dining hall waiters in Tsar seemed to be in a trance the whole week. We had to ask for coffee every night and if each person didn't ask personally, you got nothing. We had to ask for salt and pepper, utensils once, and generally you just felt like you were annoying them if you tried to get their attention. The Azure staff seemed a bit more "with it." One night in the the Azure a group of 8 children, no adults, were seated near us. The bunch ranged in age from about 14-7. Like all kids, they were loud and all the adult parties around kept looking at each other. I did speak to the maitre d on the way out about them being seated without supervision and the answer I got was, "Madame, this is a dining hall, they are allowed to come in and eat." Even if there are rules posted, no one ever enforces them. But then, this is true on all cruise ships that I've been on when it comes to children. I was a teacher for 32 years so I know how children should be acting in public. I had to get out of the hot tub because I was told by a mother that her 6 year old prefers the hot tub to the pool as her child was diving underwater in her goggles. Let's face it, in today's world, the kids run the households at home so why would we expect it to be any different on a ship? I must say that I did hear a pool attendant one time tell a child to stop jumping from the hot tub seat into the center of the hot tub but again no parent was in the with the child and the rule states that if a child is in the hot tub, so should their parent. So the attendant should have told the child to get out altogether. I probably won't choose NCL for a 4th time even though I like the anytime dining, you just don't get the feeling in the dining halls that you're really welcomed or on this voyage, even acknowledged.My other complaint was that the public bathrooms were always in need of attention the entire week. I NEVER once saw a restroom attendant cleaning and one particularly rocky evening, the restroom outside of the Spinneker Lounge had "puke" all over. My girlfriend had to flag down a drink server and bring it to his attention to call for a clean up. Every cruise ship that I've ever been on, someone is always keeping the restrooms spotless throughout the day.There were always papers on the floor and sink area was always wet. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I just sailed with NCL for the fourth and final time. How far the line has fallen. On the first dress up night, there were many passengers in shorts or jeans in the Czar dinning room. Passengers in the evening roaming the bars dressed in ... Read More
I just sailed with NCL for the fourth and final time. How far the line has fallen. On the first dress up night, there were many passengers in shorts or jeans in the Czar dinning room. Passengers in the evening roaming the bars dressed in shorts, bathing suits and collarless tee's. The lobster served on the formal night was a half of a small lobster. You could request a second helping and you got a second half lobster. On my thirteen previous cruises I always look forward to the lobster night as my favorite meal. Not so on NO CLASS LINE (NCL). The evening meal menu was a three course menu. Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert. I'm used to four or five course menus which would include the above and soup and salad as the additional two course. Not on NO CLASS LINE ! On the last night of our cruise we had reservations for the La Bistro. The speciality restaurant that charges $25 per person extra. Upon seating we discovered there is a additional $10 charge for Lobster or Steak. NO CLASS LINE. Before all the shows (which were very good) the staff pushed (sold) scratch off tickets for $20. I don't know how many were sold but they had two to three people in each aisle pushing them. They also had people trying to sell a Rose to each of the couples sitting in the bars. I didn't buy one for my partner but if NCL had any class they would have given the rose without charge to the females. NO CLASS LINE offered a tour of the galley and bridge that I would have enjoyed, but yes, you guessed it, there was a charge for it! At lunch, and during the day I usually enjoy a glass of Lemon Aid on previous cruises, but not on NCL. Only Ice Tea was available. I asked a restaurant officer about lemon aid and was told it was not company policy, only Ice Tea! After dinner I requested a cappuccino, but again was inform there would be a charge for it. I usually like to enjoy a drink and dance with my partner to soft music in a romantic lounge, not on NO CLASS LINE (NCL) My biggest disapointment though was the allowed dress code in the evenings. Crusing was always special to me. Wearing a pair of slacks and shirt with a colar to dinner, or even a sports jacket made the vacation something special. If you don't want to dress nicely you have the option to eat your dinner in the buffet. NCL should discourge dinning in shorts or jeans, not allow them into the theater or on the dance floor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I was pleasantly surprised at being greeted by numerous staff members and a glass of champagne upon boarding the Norwegian Jewel. This turned out to be the only personal contact of the whole cruise. The room stewards never introduced ... Read More
I was pleasantly surprised at being greeted by numerous staff members and a glass of champagne upon boarding the Norwegian Jewel. This turned out to be the only personal contact of the whole cruise. The room stewards never introduced themselves. With the "freestyle" dining, you never have the same Waite staff twice, so they don't get to know you and you don't get to know them. In the past when I cruised, knowing the Waite persons and them getting to know what and when I wanted certain things, such as coffee, was part of feeling "pampered" on a cruise. The staterooms on the Norwegian Jewel are substantially smaller than other ships I have cruised on. I had the privilege of seeing inside stateroom and balcony... The redeeming quality of this cruise was the entertainment. I was on this ship Dec. 13 - 20, 2009. The entertainment for this cruise was incredible. The Cats Pajamas, Ken Grove and Cirque Bijou were amazing! I do not and will not pay "cover charges" to go into "theme" restaurants, so I ate at the public restaurants, The Garden, T'Sars, Azura, Blue Lagoon.. Blue Lagoon was very good, the others were only adequate. The food over all was unimpressive. Will I cruise Norwegian Jewel again.. probably not. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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

Find a Norwegian Jewel Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click