Sail Date: May 2018
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the ... Read More
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the country. It truly was a whale bonanza this year- think we can rest easy about the future of the humpback for a while. They are real showmen I'm convinced. Saw some of the lack of crew prep for disembark evolutions that others have noticed. Whatever the reasons, they are non-excusable. Continue to be amazed that people can stare at their phones; difficult to call their phones smart, while viewing some of the most incredible glaciers, wildlife, and natural beauty literally 360 degrees around them. Enough of the negative. Shore excursions were enjoyable, but overpriced through the ship. In Alaska especially, there are many other more reasonable providers of whale watching and White Mountain trips just to name a couple. This really was a unique cruise for me anyway, in that involved northern Japan and Russia. It also was long enough to really make some friends and settle down to a routine of your own choosing- difficult things to accomplish in a week or less cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has ... Read More
Firstly I start by saying I've been on 27 cruises and there are good and bad points on every cruise. I’ve cruised with P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Australia. This is my opinion only, everyone has differing tastes. An experience for a first time cruiser will generally be different to that of an experienced cruiser. I chose this cruise as I wanted to try NCL. The people on board this cruise consisted of only 230 Aussies (surprising for a cruise out of Australia), 430 Germans, UK, Canadians and USA, Asians. There were very few children on board. Embarkation: Terrible, probably the worst I’ve experienced. We were queued and standing for several hours. I really felt for the elderly passengers. The hold-up/bottleneck appeared to be in the Customs area (there were only 4 officials processing when I went through). Cabin The Good: good size bathroom and shower. The shower had a sliding door not a curtain; however you needed to sit sideways on the toilet. They have little swimming fish printed on the carpet in the hallways showing the direction to the bow. My room was located above the theatre but I wasn’t interrupted by noise. The Bad: very small, poorly designed room, very tight to get round the bed and I kept hitting my head on the bunk bed (which was raised) and the light fittings in the bed head. No room steward name in the room and when I introduced myself on the second day of the cruise she never gave me her name and never greeted me by name, also general poor attention to detail in room. Very few TV channels other than cruise line advertising. There were too many loud entertainment announcements outside the cabin and in public areas (disruptive), cabin walls are very thin and you can easily hear neighbours, mattresses need replacing - they’re old and lumpy. Entertainment The Good: Entertainment was better than average, Burn the floor was excellent, as was Cirque Bijou, the physical comedian and the acrobats were great. Good Australian cruise director: David Food The Good: good variety in main dining room menu and service in the main dining rooms was excellent. Flexible dining and dress options are good however as I was traveling solo if I wished to share a table for dinner it was usually a table for 4 so I ended up sitting next to a couple, good glassware in main restaurants The Bad: average, lukewarm food - the food in the main dining room had been prepared well in advance and tasted like it had been sitting around for quite a while (often lukewarm and stale bread with dinner). The Garden Cafe is like a cafeteria and the quality of the food is poor with cheap artificially flavoured ingredients. In the outdoor areas, drinks are served in disposable plastic cups. They ran out of many items; my wine on day 2, fresh fruit was limited (they ran out of water melon on arrival to New Zealand) they have a mojito bar and ran out of mint! they ran out of fresh milk and had milk in little UHT containers. I actually lost weight on this Cruise General The Good: great wide decks, good lifts and onboard communication screens. Port arrivals and disembarkation were well organised. Most of the staff were friendly and offered good service The Bad: very dated décor, low ceilings and very dark throughout the ship especially in the restaurants. General cleaning and removal of rubbish around the vessel was not up to standard. Empty cigarette packs and dirty glasses were noticed in some areas for 3 days before they were cleaned away. Room service dirty dishes left in hallways for many hours. Drinks were very expensive as an 18% gratuity is added to each purchase and then USA to Australian conversion. A very expensive $39 US for airport shuttle (double the price of Australian cruises), Shore excursions were also very overpriced. Smoking is allowed in Casino. Staff often talked amongst themselves in their own languages in front of guests. Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
My brother and I chose this cruise because it traveled through French Polynesia to Australia on an itinerary we liked. We always wanted to see Tahiti and Fiji, and this cruise also included Bora Bora, Moorea, and Raitea in French ... Read More
My brother and I chose this cruise because it traveled through French Polynesia to Australia on an itinerary we liked. We always wanted to see Tahiti and Fiji, and this cruise also included Bora Bora, Moorea, and Raitea in French Polynesia, as well as Samoa, Vanuatu, and 2 islands in New Caledonia as well. There was an itinerary glitch. Apia, Samoa was cancelled due to port construction, but an overnight and extra day was added in Bora Bora. This was an excellent trade off. The staff in all hotel and restaurant positions was universally friendly and helpful. It has always been my experience that NCL staff is top notch when it comes to friendliness. The entertainment was varied and generally very good. I rate only 2 days out of 17 as sub par. Burn The Floor dance shows are very good. Public spaces were better than expected. You didn't feel crowded in any venue. Food and accommodations were as expected. Embarkation was outstanding. Overall, the value and amenities exceeded my expectations, and I am platinum plus on NCL. This was a good cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We went to Alaska on the Jewel. I was so impressed with how well the ship was maintained and kept clean. The staff was so nice and friendly. The officers and crew were awesome. We had the pleasure to meet the Captain several times and ... Read More
We went to Alaska on the Jewel. I was so impressed with how well the ship was maintained and kept clean. The staff was so nice and friendly. The officers and crew were awesome. We had the pleasure to meet the Captain several times and it was obvious he cares about his ship. I enjoyed looking at all the plaques from the ports of call that the Jewel has been to, she's been all over the world. I really enjoyed the cruise into the Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier. It was so peaceful and magical and i appreciated the Captain navigating us through the chunks of ice so quietly and slowly. It was truly magical. I was nervous after i booked this cruise because of the bad reviews about the food being barely edible. But i found that to be the complete opposite. They had such a wide selection of fresh and delicious foods to appeal to everyone! I am a picky eater, i mostly eat whole fresh foods , and the Jewel had everything i needed at the buffet to make delicious meals . A fresh salad bar, low cal dressing options, fresh fruit that was chilled and delicious, yogurt, cereals, lots of lean meat options, cheeses, whole grains, fresh breads, etc. They also had the typical casino style buffet dishes which i never find appetizing and are not edible regardless of where i go. I didn't eat any of those dishes so i can't give a review of them. If someone served themselves a gross looking buffet dish and complains its gross, that's on them. My meals were delicious. I wouldn't expect everyone to find every buffet dish to their liking. I was really happy with the selection of foods, there was something for everyone. We also had a meal at Cagneys, it was a nice meal. And we had a meal at Teppanyaki's and it was just ok, the food is too heavy for me, i prefer lighter meals. At the two free dining rooms, i was able to order salads and an appetizer for my meals and they came fresh and tasted just fine. The entertainment was awesome, there are some wonderfully talented people on this ship, from the choreographers to the set designers to the actors to the musicians. I really enjoyed the shows. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta with our niece and her husband as well as our adult daughter. The Le Cirque Bijou show was the BEST show I have seen on ANY cruise. The comedian and magician shows are not to be missed. Really great magic and funny comedian who doesn't have to be raunchy to be funny, Desserts and buffets were delicious and service in dining rooms was great. One nice thing about the Jewel is that ALL the staff try to make your cruise experience a wonderful one. The gratutities are mandatory so let them do all they do to help insure your pleasant trip. Love that the ship is kept very clean inside and out. Washy Washy. My drink package was excellent as I never had an issue with anything I asked for and my drinks were not watered down as I had read on other reviews. The captain was everywhere on the ship and accessible to all. Cruise director Iain was also very personable and friendly and funny. Wish we had an overnight in Cabo San Lucas as it would be nice to spend the whole day at the beach or doing activities. Last tender is at 2:30 so you need to start your morning very early to enjoy as much time on land as possible. Other than that, I would definitely go again on this cruise and I know I would have loved it just as much. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but ... Read More
I had always wanted to do the Alaska cruise and so we decided to go with NCL. This was a 7 night cruise starting from and terminating at Seattle. The embarkation was pretty smooth and the ship was sparkling, it is 10 years old but seemed to be brand new. The cabin was somewhat cramped but that was to be expected. There were more than enough activities to keep all on board occupied 24x7. They have a theater where there were a mix of shows Vegas style, poolside BBQ and parties, a great variety of all kinds of restaurants with eclectic menus. The staff were all extremely courteous and efficient and the service was generally of a high standard. They have a lot of activities for children.We had three shore excursions which were well planned and covered interesting sites. All in all a good trip except for a major billing problem wherein they erroneously charged me upwards of $4200. this was a major inconvenience and as of writing this charge though accepted by them as an oversight has still to be reversed. The entire trip was soured by one accounting clerk's slip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Cabin was awesome 9542 Steward Pablo was awesome Entire staff was awesome,everyone treated me well Solo cruiser. Food was good/great,but you have to shop the complimentary nightly specials as 1 night i paid for lamb chops, one ... Read More
Cabin was awesome 9542 Steward Pablo was awesome Entire staff was awesome,everyone treated me well Solo cruiser. Food was good/great,but you have to shop the complimentary nightly specials as 1 night i paid for lamb chops, one night they were free in complimentary dining. Pool areas/spas way outdated. POOL AREAS NEED UPDATING Way,way too many kids,,but it was spring break,so probably the week i chose to cruise.... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
My Wife and I departed for our cruise on the Norwegian Jewel on 10/11, returning on 10/18 to the Mexican Rivera. We had initially paid over $1,800 for the (2) of us, and found that tickets were going for $350pp 2 weeks before the cruise, ... Read More
My Wife and I departed for our cruise on the Norwegian Jewel on 10/11, returning on 10/18 to the Mexican Rivera. We had initially paid over $1,800 for the (2) of us, and found that tickets were going for $350pp 2 weeks before the cruise, which was troubling. Norwegian upgraded us to a Balcony Room, but there was still a large difference between what we initially paid, and the discounts being given, and would not provide further compensation. After putting that aspect aside, we boarded the cruise and tried to enjoy ourselves. We had selected the Dining Package, and made reservations the subsequent day(s) we would be at-sea. The first night we ate at the Buffet for lunch and Sushi Bar for dinner. After experiencing what the free food at the buffet was like, and the paid food at the mediocre Sushi Bar, we decided it would be best to cancel our Food Package, and go with the Drink Package instead. I was told it needed corporate approval, but as long as it was an option to one of the initial packages we could select, that they would approve and any monies spent would be credited back. (2) days after the fact our cruise is ½ over, and the request was Declined after having spent monies, because it was stated it was never an option in the original package (which we have emails attesting to otherwise showing the Drink Package being available if we didn’t select the Dining Package). The food on the ENTIRE cruise was mediocre at best, and it was very disappointing to have our request denied on our Honeymoon, and some of the extra features we were told about over the phone, were never even offered to us (ie. Cake and Champagne was supposed to be delivered to our room for our honeymoon gratis, but never was received any of the nights). I also asked that a one-time charge on my credit card be issued, to cover for some of the drinks I intended to purchase, and find they issued additional charges that I NEVER authorized, and now have to wait for holds to be released by my bank for the charges. We are very disenchanted with Norwegian’s policies, and see little reason to go back/let alone provide any referrals to family/friends at this point. The food from the Buffet seems to be "recycled" into the other restaurants (ie. One night they had Antipasta, and the next night there was a "Vegetable Salad" with the same stuff. Grilled Chicken was turned into Fried Chicken the next day). The cruise feels like a time-share were we should have been paid, as before/after every show either the entertainers or the staff, try to sell you something. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This is my 4th cruise and 4th cruise line. It was my first time with NCL. We headed out on Aug 29th, 2015 doing the inside passage of Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. The ship was very average in every way. The food was pretty poor - ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise and 4th cruise line. It was my first time with NCL. We headed out on Aug 29th, 2015 doing the inside passage of Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. The ship was very average in every way. The food was pretty poor - average. The entertainment was average, service was average. If you have never cruised before and don't have anything to compare it too you will probably rate it as good. The two things that really annoyed me about this cruise was: 1) They tried to ram raffle tickets and this quick pick scratch offs things down your throat every single day - multiple times a day. Instead of scratch offs though they were these little door things you open. 2) Smoking! There were so many smokers on there that you would have thought it was a smoking cruise. Why smoking is allowed anywhere these days other than in peoples cars and house in beyond me! Would be sitting down on a quite area of the ship when a smoker or two would either come sit close by or just stand there smoking. Got ran off several times a day due to smokers. Also, was in the casino quite a few times and was doing really good on roulette one night until a few smokers came and joined the table. I had to leave the casino and work up with a sore throat the next day. Trying to think of some positives about the ship but really can't. It was not bad at all and I am not trying to be negative. It was just very average in every way. The ship layout was not good. There is about 2300 passengers on board and it seemed like it. I went on the emerald princess a few years ago and the ships are the same size - The emerald princess had almost 3100 passengers but somehow it seemed the Norwegian Jewell had twice as many passengers as the Emerald Princess. Felt like cattle being led to the eating trough most days. Excursions: We did not book anything through NCL as with any cruise line they add 20% for themselves. We booked everything on our own and had no issues. In Ketchikan we did salmon fishing - Unfortunately, the weather was not good for fishing and they were just getting over major storms and flooding. Still had fun though. Juneau - probably most least favorite place. However, we did the float plane - 5 glaciers and taku lodge with Wings airlines and I thought that was great! they food was great! salmon was amazing! Skagway - This was my favorite of all the stops. We did the Yukon deluxe and had Brian as a driver and guide. Very funny and likable guy. Also, very smart. Was a great excursion! Last stop was Victoria, BC. Is a pretty neat city. Not a ton to do, but worth a visit. I think 5 or 6 hours here and you have done about all there is to offer. All in all - an average cruise with good excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I will start by stating a few things that certainly influenced this review. This was my first cruise ever, and I was vacationing alone. Prior to getting on the ship I tried to find some info for first time cruisers, what to expect, what ... Read More
I will start by stating a few things that certainly influenced this review. This was my first cruise ever, and I was vacationing alone. Prior to getting on the ship I tried to find some info for first time cruisers, what to expect, what there was to do, things particular to Norwegian from their website, but it just didn't exist. So I did what most people do and talked to friends and family that had cruised before. I also read some stuff on this website. In my opinion, the crew and staff on the Jewel made things very uncomfortable and confusing (particularly on the embarkation day) for 1st timers. For example, I knew that they were having a lunch somewhere, but once you got on the ship there were no signs or crew members directing you where to go. I eventually found my way to the buffet but once there it was soooo crowded, they was no where to sit, plus I was by myself,so I had to carry my food, drink, ect all with me (along with my carry on because rooms weren't ready yet) and search for a place to sit. I also knew (from speaking with friends/family) that sodas would be extra so I paid for the soft drink package and got a sticker and mug, but had no clue how it worked to get a drink at the buffet. I ended up just eating a little because the 1st time I got up I came back to my seat being taken. (As a side note on the buffet I will say I only ate here twice more, both times feeling it very difficult to find a seat, and also that the food was never better than OK, and most of the dishes I tried were terrible) I also felt very disappointed with the ship activities, particularly on the 2nd at sea day. It seemed that the majority of activities were either aimed at children or gambling. My family/friends had all told me stories about things they had done on ships from seeing movies, to watching culinary and sushi demos, music, ect. While I will say they did have many musical acts in the evenings, during the day activities seemed very limited unless you wanted to shell out $50 per bingo session during the day. As far as port and shore excursions I have a few points. Due to the length and travel time needed to get to Alaska from Seattle and back port time is very limited on this cruise. While in port I did chat with people on other ships, as well as at several of the ports all aboard times for each ship at port were listed, and the all aboard time for this ship was much earlier than any other. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every single excursion I did. (Ketchikan- AK Logde and sea feast, Juneau- Mendanhall Glarier by helicopter and guided walk, Skagway White pass rail and Gold panning, sled dogs and 40 below experience, Victoria- Orca whale watching) That being said, if I had not gone to the excursion desk by chance before meeting for my excursion in Juneau I would have not been notified the excursion I had originally booked was cancelled in time to select a different one. While I understand a rule not to call a stateroom prior to 7am, if a excursion is meeting at 7:30 there should be some exception to this so people can actually make new plans and make them. The excursion staff was not the most pleasant or helpful, and that's putting it gently. The last point I will discuss in this review is dining. While I obviously was underwhelmed in the buffet, the rest of the dining experience I will call a mixed bag. I ate at both main dining rooms, and both Chin Chin and O'Sheehans (the other 2 complimentary restaurants on board) I also paid the eat at 1 signature restaurant; Tepanyaki. As far as variety and selection, I was very happy with my choices, and with the exception of the fried chicken night at O'Sheehans, enjoyed every meal (foodwise) at each restaurant. It should be noted that while very food, the portion size at chin chin in tiny, I ordered 2 entres and could have easily eaten 3 with no issue. The reason I call my overall experience a mixed bag was primarily the way you are handled as a single diner. Norwegian does "freestyle" dining, so you are not assigned a dining room or service time each evening. They also don't seat you with others, this meant that I was seated alone at nearly every meal. Occasionally (like breakfast, I am sooo not a morning person) this was nice, but it did make for an isolated feeling some days. If you are going in a group this wouldn't be an issue, it just was for me as a solo vacationer. Overall, I enjoyed my time in Alaska, I don't think I will give up cruising. It was my first time, but next time I will absolutely try a different cruise line. Perhaps if I am going with someone else I may give Norwegian another try, but its unlikely. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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