5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people ... Read More
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people were unhappy as they had made prior arrangements for some scheduled ports of call. The ship could only manage half speed. $200 USD per person was credited to ship board accounts as compensation. However by the time we reached Darwin new parts were delivered to the ship and the remainder of the schedule could revert to the original. The rooms, while refurbished to a good standard, are still very small. We were on deck 9 with balcony. In the toilet (smallest ever - when sitting on the toilet you could rest your forehead on the facing wall - beware if you are a larger travelers!) Room steward was excellent and was very helpful. Food was overall disappointing and lacked variety. The Tsar's Palace dining room was nicely refurbished, but staff were overall quite indifferent at times, and didn't interact, as on other cruise lines. We dined at The Azura Restaurant the first evening, but found the staff inattentive and the food was cold - yes we complained! Le Bistro was our 'best of the bunch' with a good selection and attentive staff. We are early diners so benefited from having the venue mainly to ourselves. The 'Chinese' restaurant on board was disappointing, a very limited menu (you could pay extra for two alternative dishes) and again service was average. The Irish themed restaurant was lacking in real Irish themed food, and was really just a cafe. Shore excursions were reasonable, although on Bali it was quite shocking to see the poverty in the areas we were driven through. The ship has limited shopping options but service was good. The entertainment was a highlight , very high standard and good variety. Another highlight was the 'The Spinnaker' lounge which was a nicely refurbished lounge at the top of the ship, with glass all around, a bar, and events and entertainment throughout the day and evening. A nice area to 'chill out' during the day with a book. The on board TV and video system has been upgraded and vision quality is good (best 'bow camera' we have seen) though there is no 'programme guide and many 'genre' are misnamed - some of the most violent movies were on the 'family movies channel'. Also there is no system to check your account in your room on this system, you have to go to Guest Relations and request a printed copy. Major disappointment was the shore excursions to shore at Airlie Beach were via 'ships tender' and also contractor's catamarans, we went on a 'cat' and returned on a ship's tender. The return crossing was 30 minutes in rough seas (10 minutes outward on the'Cat') the rough seas resulted in sea water coming into the boat at times , very frightened passengers and 2 people in our tender suffering minor injuries. It was very scary with waves crashing over the boat. On returning to the ship, I went to 'Guest Services' and said that having had some experience in Work Health and Safety, I would recommend not using the tenders for the remainder of the day, instead using the 'Catamaran's', in the interest of passenger safety. The Guest Services staff member seemed uninterested and said if there was a problem it was up to the 'Pilot' to report it! I said I had passed the message to them and that I could do no more. One other matter worth mentioning, was an excellent presentation by the staff responsible for future cruise bookings, on the things guests should be aware of, and wary of, when booking cruises. The jargon and pitfalls were explained and some of the background on how and why cruise lines offer upgrades and specials. Also there relationship with agents. We found this quite refreshing and very helpful. It would be good if other 'lines' were as open on these issues. A 'Q and A' session at the end was unhurried and everyone was able to ask there individual questions, long after the session was supposed to conclude. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started ... Read More
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started in Singapore ( a beautiful city), that we could have toured for a couple more days. Arriaval at the docks and embarkment went great, almost seamless with no delays from delivery straight to the ship and our stateroom. Our state room man was excellent, the ship just returned from dry dock with new carpet and several other upgrades. Went to 3 special dining with excellent food and service. The Garden Cafe had a very good selection of food, with good flavor. Did 20 excursions and enjoyed each one for different reasons. The entertainment was very professional and very good. We would do this trip again in a heart beat. The one thing that I am sorry that we where not aware of until too late, that the ship was to continue on to Tasmania, which we would most definitly would have added Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and although we usually avoid the buffet, we actually loved it for therange and quality of food offered. The steakhouse restaurant was delicious too! We booked one shore excursion with the ship which was comparable in cost to the other twoI had booked independently for other ports. The standard of entertainment was fantastic! Again, nailed it as far as appealing to many different cultures and ages on board. Although this was an older ship to some of the ones we have been on before, it was impeccably maintained and the ambience in the smaller restaurants and bars was spot on. This was also smaller than some of the other ships we have experienced which gave it a more personal feel. Definitely recommend this trip to others! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay a maximum of a 100% Single Supplement. I paid the same as 2 passengers but while they would receive 2 Free at Seas, I only received one. And the amount NCL charged for the tips/taxes for the Free Drinks package was over $300 US. Not so free! The information then stated that in order to step onto Russian territory, you had to have either a Russian visa or be booked on an NCL excursion. This proved to be a lie, since as long as you didn't leave Petropavlovsk, no visa was required. As I have visited Alaska on several previous occasions, I was quite happy to fend for myself in the 3 Alaskan ports. I eventually was able to get a Russian excursion that wasn't several hundred dollars due to the perseverance of my agent, and I was very glad that I booked excursions for the 4 Japanese ports. The last one took us on a highlights of Tokyo and then to my hotel. Tokyo is a very intimidating city as far as getting around, so after the cruise, I was very glad to book with another tour company that picked us up from our hotel, took us to the bullet train station, to Kyoto for a tour there, and then all the way back to my hotel. On the final day, I had already booked an airport shuttle to take me to Narita airport, which was not far off a 2 hour trip. I truly feel fortunate that each activity that I had planned went off without a hitch. Embarkation was terrible in Vancouver. Even though I was provided with a 12 to 12:30pm time slot, I didn't actually get on board until after 3pm. NCL doesn't seem to think that its customers have any issues with standing in long lineups, with very little support for those who use walkers/wheelchairs. I can't stand for long periods so was very happy that my hardbody carry-on luggage could be used to sit on. I was totally exhausted by the time I reached my cabin. As far as the actual cruise, the food was fine in the 3 regular waited-on restaurants, as it was at the pay extra restaurants, although I questioned why I had bothered to pay the extra amount. The entertainment was okay but not as good as my previous cruises on the Sun and Dawn. My cabin attendant didn't get my room cleaned until mid-afternoon each day, not something I was used to with NCL. I have wanted to visit Japan for many years, so am glad that I took this cruise, along with the visit to Russia. Due to another passenger's medical emergency, we ended up turning around and visited an island south of the Kamchatka peninsula, which happened to coincide with a volcano starting to erupt straight ahead of us. I have never seen a volcano erupt before in person. There were 3 that erupted within a 24 hour period that passengers were able to see, and despite a couple of typhoons hitting Japan, we were able to miss both of them by the ship changing its course to avoid them. I will be on the Queen Elizabeth next June, a high end cruise line. I wonder why I was able to obtain a whole cabin on this ship for myself, while paying 0% supplement?! I will be looking at other cruise lines other than NCL in the future. I used to think that NCL had the best features, but no more. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on ... Read More
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on time. Even the port where we were tendered were handled well and in a timely manner. We also found out that we could opt out of the automatic $14.50/person gratuity entry to our on board account, and instead pay them directly to those we had dealings with. We had hoped to take advantage of the beverage package as one of our “perks”. However when we were told that we had to pay the gratuities on the retail price of the package up front (it would have been $400+/person) we opted out. Other cruise lines we have had this perk with have you paying gratuities each time you use it, which really seems more fair to me, especially as we are not heavy drinkers. We wouldn’t even drink enough to cover the amount of the gratuities paid. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty ... Read More
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty restaurants, and they were all wonderful. When we ate in the main dinning room, we were able to have the same table with the same wait staff each night who treated us royalty. The ports were all interesting. I did not do any ship shore excursions in Alaska, as I have done them before, however I did do the excursions in Russia and each port in Japan. All done well with good English speaking guides. The last tour/excursion was in Tokyo and this took us to the hotel NCL had arranged. The hotel was magnificent. Another great experience thanks to NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has ... Read More
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has begun to show its age. Room and food service were excellent Food was less sophisticated than say Holland Cruiselines but selection was broader to accomodate more nationalities. Entertainment was above average as were the enrichment activities- very iportant on a repositioning cruise. Disembarkation was orderly. Shuttle buses to connect city transportation were welcome. Excursions were much more expensive than what one could buy on shore. In Petropavlovsk thtat was not a choice but the excursion to Kaytak village was worth the money. The seamanship was excellent particularly how the crew managed to avoid a typhoon and yet to make every schediuled port with enough on-shore time. USD14.50 per-day charge is much larger than what we paid elsewhere just a year ago. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather ... Read More
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather was fantastic, NCL however was a very mixed bag. But don’t get me wrong, even a mediocre day on a cruise is pretty damn good. Internet Service - we paid for the unlimited streaming service advertised / offered. NCL should not advertise and collect large sums of money for services when it can’t come anywhere clise to delivering them. Yes I’m aware of the technical challenges of providing internet service at sea, but I believed NCL’s advertising because their competition also advertises this service. Unlike NCL however their competition actually privides it (and charges less). Main dining restaurant service was suprisingly bad. It got very old missing the evening shows because dinner service was soooo slow. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was okay, but not the best. We enjoyed the slow Pacific crossing, but having been on 2 previous Alaska cruises, that part wasn't a highlight. Petropavlovsk was a great stop because of the great weather and the stops in Japan were interesting and surprisingly different from each other, making it a good introduction to Japan. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Sadly, our embarkation in Vancouver was a disaster due to slow processing blamed on inadequate numbers of staff. As a Vancouverite, I was embarrassed by both the slow service and the obnoxious cruise terminal staff directing traffic. Vancouver really needs to do better. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but the quality of the presentations was only average. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center was replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.2
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 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.1

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