6 Norwegian Jewel Singles Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date May 2018
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
Sail Date July 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 March 2016
I enjoyed the cruise and am very glad I went. However, my biggest disappointment in the cruise was the activities and entertainment. Except for the shore excursions, the on board offerings were somewhat simple and mindless. ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise and am very glad I went. However, my biggest disappointment in the cruise was the activities and entertainment. Except for the shore excursions, the on board offerings were somewhat simple and mindless. 70's-80's Pop culture, mindless TV game shows etc. and low-level (though well executed) Las Vegas stage shows are fine, even fun, but when they are the only options, it seems like they are being aimed at the lowest common denominator of the population. I did not hear one note of classical music during the entire cruise. (Couldn't there be an audio channel on the TV?) There were no lectures and really no activities that required any thought or intellect--and this is a shame because, for example, people (especially children and teens!) came back from seeing wonderful Mayan ruins, indigenous populations and local economy and history and had no clue what they had seen. So much more could have been done to enrich the experience of the cruisers with a little education and preparation. And how about a couple of rudimentary Spanish lessons--or conversation groups to revive people's knowledge of Spanish? Instead we had big prep sessions and relentless print ads in our daily bulletins to alert people to shopping opportunities! All of this tended to lower the level of conversation on the boat to the catatonic level of a week long visit to a mall. Of course most people come aboard with friends and family, with whom they tend to stick to the exclusion of other passengers, so I don't expect too much in the way of scintillating company. But the most interesting conversation I had during the entire cruise was with a 13 year old boy whose family went off to a specialty restaurant. He was a musician and also interested in child psychology. My other conversations, though pleasant, were mostly stories about casino gambling, how drunk people got the night before, how much they paid for jewelry and how they missed seeing football during the week. The ship is using the internet for its operations. Why does it have to be so expensive for the passengers? Also, even if external internet access is not provided, the "intRAnet" (on-board internet) could be used so much more effectively. There is a "community" section on the internet that is free. This could be used to post restaurant menus, event schedules, television schedules (movies) and many other bits of information that passengers would like to have available. It is already up and running but has only ship embarcation schedules. Regarding food, generally it was OK, but by no means did it ever rise to the level of fine dining and the two extra-charge specialty restaurants were just not that much better than the complementary dining options. I did not try Cagney's steak house, but to my surprise The Brazilian churrascaria, Moderno, had nearly flavorless grilled meats, some of which were actually too tough to eat. La Cucina, the Italian restaurant, was better, but only one cut above the Olive Garden. The outdoor grill barbecue offerings were also dry, tough and flavorless. The Tsar's palace and Azura had dishes that looked good, but were only occasionally really well prepared. I had to do something I never do--namely send food back because it simply was not worth eating. I found the Garden Grill buffet had the best chance to provide edible food, some of which was quite good--the small Indian offerings being reliably tasty. And why should we have to pay extra for espresso? The Garden Grill already has coffee machines that grind and fresh-brew quite decent Americano coffee. Machines that do this and also provide espresso are everywhere. It would be so easy to install them, and it would add a lot to the experience of the cruise. Small matters: The chairs in the library are extremely uncomfortable and narrow. The library was rather heavily used, and more space with comfortable chairs for reading would be welcome. I had plug adapters for European electric plugs, so I could use the library or card room with my own computer for a more pleasant place to do some writing, but others who only had US plugs were frustrated. For folks like me who like to spend recreational time not only reading but writing, a room with tables and universal electric outlets for our own computers would be most welcome. It would be good to have adapters available, or dual wall plugs. Although a service charge of 12% was added to the bill, I felt continually pressured to offer additional tips--even for coffee. I would so much prefer a service charge of 15-18% and a no-tipping policy throughout the ship. This is exacerbated by the fact that the ship is full of concessionaires who work on commission. These are likeable folks, but their income depends on hard selling (and up-selling) and this became obsessive and egregious at times. The shore excursions were the high point of the trip for me. There was a large variety of excursions for different tastes, and the guides and activities were informative and fun. All this said, I want to commend the ship on the superb quality of the crew who were consistently helpful, happy and competent. They made the cruise a pleasure at all times. I also want to commend the ship on its excellent environmental policies. I would cruise with NCL again if only to support this effort. It made me feel that I was not harming the earth quite so much when indulging in a cruise experience.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
NYC
A little bit about me: I am 45 years old. This is probably my 7th cruise. I previously have sailed on the following cruise lines: NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival. Just got back from a "one-nighter" ... Read More
A little bit about me: I am 45 years old. This is probably my 7th cruise. I previously have sailed on the following cruise lines: NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival. Just got back from a "one-nighter" on the NCL Jewel. Ship departed from NYC Pier 88 on Saturday January 22, 2011 . When I arrived at the pier at 12:00PM it was a total cluster: there were massive crowds. At first it seemed a little disorganized. However the lines moved rather quickly once inside the terminal. I was able to board the ship at about 1:00. Since the cabin was not ready, I went to Tsar's Restaurant. I was seated rather quickly. It took a while for the waiter to come by and take my order....probably because there were a lot of people in the restaurant. I ordered a club sandwich and a diet pepsi. Food arrived in about 15 minutes. Food was OK. Once I was done it took a long time for somebody to clear the table... I was able to go to my balcony cabin on the 11th floor at 2:00 PM. Room was nice. It was spacious and it was definitely enough for me...Not sure how two people would do in the room. My only two room criticisms are that the queen size bed is comprised of two twin beds pushed together. While sleeping, I could feel the gap between the two beds. I also wish that the bathroom had mini individual bottles of shampoo and body wash. There was a dispenser for these products. Bathroom was a good size, there was even a full-sized bathtub... Prior to departure, I spent time in the ship's champagne bar, Magnum's. It was nice. They had a nice selection of champagnes. Prices were reasonable. For dinner I made a reservation for the Teppanyaki restaurant. Hint: make your specialty restaurant dinner reservations as soon as possible. Food was really good and the chefs did a wonderful presentation. I did not spend much time in the casino because it was very smoky. I was able to pick up two bottles in the Duty Free shop. Hint: there is no limit as to how much stuff you can bring back, you do not go through Customs. So shop til you drop! Overall I had a nice time. I did notice that people were VERY casually attired. Some guest were just plain sloppy! I guess freestyle not only applies to dining options, but to attire as well. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a 7. Next month I am going on the NCL Gem for another one -nighter! Departing the ship was a breeze. I was off the ship in about 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was my 8th cruise and first time on Norwegian. I've done RCCL 3 times, Celebrity 2 times, Carnival 1 time, Princess 1 time. Also the first time I am writing a review. I am a 31 yr old single male from New Jersey who loves ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise and first time on Norwegian. I've done RCCL 3 times, Celebrity 2 times, Carnival 1 time, Princess 1 time. Also the first time I am writing a review. I am a 31 yr old single male from New Jersey who loves cruising and found a good deal for a balcony cabin out of NYC so I booked it. Embarkation: If you are going to the mid-town port from NY I highly recommend doing what I did which was take NY waterway from Weehawkin. It costs $210 for the week to park at the pier. Between parking and the ferry, it cost me $97, and only pleasant 10 minute (8 block) walk along 12th Ave. I got there early, about 10:45, checking in went quick and smooth, and sat in the waiting room. We were able to board at 11:30, after exploring went to Tsar's palace for a nice lunch. I highly recommend using Tsar's for lunch as all week there was practically nobody there and you got great service. The buffet is usually crowded. Food: I'm not too picky. I thought at worst it was ok and at best very good. There wasn't anythng I ate the whole week that I did not like or was not cooked properly (except maybe the lobster on the 2nd night but it is typical for cruise lobster to be tough). Beef was cooked fine and how you asked which contradicts other reviews I read which said it comes out well done no matter what. That being said they are not very abitious with their menu offerings. It's pretty basic but that's ok. I guess if you want a bit more gourmet you go on Celebrity. Because of the Freestyle concept the service is more informal but it is much quicker than other ships. Typically dinner is 1:00 - 1:30, whereas on other lines it's usually over 2 hours. I did breakfast buffet most of the time which I thought was very good with a good selection. NCL's bread is absolutely to die for! Lunch buffet also good but I like to keep it simple with sandwich's and fries/salad. I split between Tsar's and the buffet for lunch. I did not do the buffet for dinner. For specialty dining I did Teppenyaki habachi and Tango's Mexican. Teppenyaki was a lot of fun and good for me since it was a group seating as opposed to eating solo at Tsar's. Food was good, about the same as any habachi in the US, and for $25 it cost about the same. I had filet and shrimp which was very good and green tea cake and green tea ice cream. Ok so with tip maybe $35 or so. Tango's was just ok, fine for $10, if any more I would have been disappointed. Most of the appetizers are greasy. I had the lobster tacos which were ok but the lobster meat was buried under a gloppy cream sauce and I wouldn't even have been able to identify it was lobster if it didn't say so on the menu. You get a margarita included which is about the size of a shot glass. Cinammon chocolate cake was delicious! Ship: Decor is cheap and tacky, goofy cheap colors. Believe me this has no bearing on my enjoyment of the cruise. I just have a lot to compare to. Royal Carribean has the best and most beautiful ships. My biggest complaint of the entire vacation was the pool set up which I believe is typical for NCL. There is a main pool area with a pool and 2 hot tubs for kids/families, and same for adults. This is no where near big enough for a ship of this size. If you want to spend time around the pool during the day, think MTV spring break. People literally on top of each other and music absolutely blasting. Fortunately for me, I have fair skin and only use the pool after about 5:00 when it is less crowded and the music thankfully stops at 5:30. NCL could completely solve this by adding what RCCL has which is the quiet adult only "solarium" pool on each ship. On RCCL this is one of my favorite parts. In a separate area from the loud pool area and feels like a Turkish bath. Activities: Clearly they need to supplement their cash flow with many activities with a fee. Everyday there are multiple "tasting" sessions with food. I really can't comment on this because it didn't do it. They have the usual trivia and games but I would like to see more free activities. Entertainment: There was a comedian magician, a "do-opp" group, and production shows. The magician and do opp group performed in multiple evening shows which cut their costs but there was less variety. However I enjoyed both of them so didn't mind, but if you expect a completely different show each night you will be disappointed. Cabin: I had a balcony for the first time on the 10th deck. Very nice and well kept, cabin service 3 times per day. I loved sitting on the balcony and watching the ocean go by. Room service on the balcony was great. Need a bigger table out there though. I was alone in the room so I had plenty of space but I can imagine 2 in a room would feel cramped, I used pretty much all of the drawer space and most of the closet space. Here is one tip though! They offered a laundry special of $25 for an entire bag, which I didn't do because I didn't need it but it I do NCL again I will pack less and take advantage of that mid-week. Ports: Cape Canaveral - nothing to do unless you do an excertion or take a shuttle to cocoa beach. I did the airboat which was fun but as always a bit overpriced. Great Stirrup Cay - nice but small beach. You MUST get to the photo gallery early to get a ticket for the 1st or 2nd tender. There are not enough beach chairs for everybody. They do a BBQ on the beach which is great, plenty of seating to eat. Basic stuff, burgers/dogs/chicken/sides/salads. Nassau - 3rd time here, not a big fan. Walked around a bit and went to Senor Frogs. It was a fun party atmosphere. Experience: As I mentioned I did travel alone and although I was there to just kick back and enjoy myself, I would like to have met some people. I felt like the only single on the ship. It was dominated by families and couples. They had 2 "events" for singles (which basicly meant NCL suggests a place and time and they expect people to just show up and talk, there is absolutely nothing about it that is organized). I went to both but clearly I was the only one there for it. Maybe the Epic will be better for me next time I decide to travel solo. As I mentioned earlier, I was eating solo in the main dining room all but one night when I met a couple. They don't do big tables, you sit down and eat with your party. And while that is what most people would prefer, including myself if I was traveling with others, it is not good for a solo traveler. Here is the best thing about the entire cruise (depending on your point of view). Dress code is NON-EXISTANT! I packed 2 pairs of kakis and 2 pairs of jeans but didn't need them at all. Some guys wore gym shorts and tank tops for dinner! NCL's attitude is that is YOUR vacation and you wear what you want. That is more than fine with me. I was comfortable wearing Kakis shorts and polo shirts for dinner. Keep this in mind when packing. Overall: I had a great time. No it's not up to RCCL or Celebrity's level of food/ship quality/service, but still quite good and great for laid back families with kids who don't want to dress up. For the right price I would do NCL again, but all things equal my favority is still RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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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