89 Norwegian Jewel Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was the 2nd leg of our 30 days from Hawaii to Australia which was an amazing itinerary with great weather. I covered most of the detail in part 1 of my review. A third of passengers were back to back so the vibe of the ship ... Read More
This was the 2nd leg of our 30 days from Hawaii to Australia which was an amazing itinerary with great weather. I covered most of the detail in part 1 of my review. A third of passengers were back to back so the vibe of the ship didn’t change too much. This itinerary was much more balanced than the first leg with no more than 2 concurrent sea days. The CD also settled more on this leg and got in the moment and did a much better job of creating a positive mood and hosted some talks and also got on the microphone when we were sailing thru Fiji. Tahani the assistant cruise director hosted a great progressive trivia and has a great ability to chat and remember the passengers. This cruise had a fantastic tap group from Australia who were highly entertaining. Candace (idol winner) was again superb as was Igor the band leader saxophonist. The other guest entertainers were ok without being great. As previously mentioned the activities lacked diversity and the activities staff seemed nervous and inexperienced. One new thing was the concert on the final night of the cruise in the Spinnakers lounge which featured all the musicians from around the ship it was a great event they should continue in the future. We did have cabin problems on this leg, strangely NCL gave very few back to backers the same cabin despite booking the same category, this caused unnecessary workload and unsettled the flow. This is the 2nd time we have done b2b on NCL and both times it has been handled poorly. We were never notified of the meeting. The queues to get new key cards took more than 2 hours! At least time they rolled the accounts smoothly. We were assigned a new inside cabin (11085) which was considered an upgrade to an IA from an IC and it was slightly better and in good condition but our previously voiced concerns (didn’t want to move) over potential noise problems were valid as on the first night we could hear everything from the buffet (particularly the late night cleaning), we had a downgrade move to an inside on 9 which was a much smaller room but also suffered from noise from the plumbing pipes behind the back wall. Thankfully one of the senior guest relations officers found us an oceanview on 4 to make up for some of the poor problems we suffered in the first leg. This cabin was an OF and was much larger than the previous inside cabins so we were much happier. It did suffer from noise as well as it was opposite the electrical station so a lot of buzzing was off putting and it was very noisy when entering port but at least it was much more comfortable. Our cabin attendant on this leg was first class. As on the last leg the hotel director was very visible and hands on and once again the loading and offloading of passengers in the ports was first rate. Food and service remained a high standard but again we were treated very poorly in specialist restaurants (we almost walked out of the Italian due to the incredibly rude hostess - thankfully the Maître D rescued the night but still a sour experience after an unbelievable port day) when using our platinum dining vouchers. Having said that my steak in Cagneys was first class. It was noticeable that less drinks are in the premium package than previously. Overall a great itinerary at a very good price. The onboard experience improved from the first leg but activities still need improving. Would recommend this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had just completed a cruise on Celebrity from Hawaii to Sydney and loved it so when we saw this itinerary (much better) for a great price we decided to fly back to Hawaii and do it all again. Again embarkation in Honolulu was a ... Read More
We had just completed a cruise on Celebrity from Hawaii to Sydney and loved it so when we saw this itinerary (much better) for a great price we decided to fly back to Hawaii and do it all again. Again embarkation in Honolulu was a breeze. Sadly our upgrade bids failed and so did our attempts onboard, was surprising to find out the cruise was sold out as it had not been selling well when we booked last minute. It is our first time on Jewel but she is a carbon copy of the Jade so no issues with orientation. She is a little dated but is maintained well and was generally clean. As with other NCL ships in these classes the public area configuration means sometimes changing levels and there is a lack of public walkway space so on these longer cruises with an older clientele it can be slo moving at times. The positives of these ships are not too many passengers, the full promenade deck, the terrific views from Spinnaker lounge and the aft facing bar outside the buffet. The pool deck is a reasonable size for the number of passengers compared to their larger ships. There is a great variety of dining options. On this cruise smoking had been banned on the promenade deck which is fantastic but was a shame that they did not advertise it correctly so past passengers continually smoked out there despite there being no ashtrays and put everyone at risk by either throwing their butts overboard or extinguishing them on everything from paper packets to the ships dining ware (disgusting) and caused a lot of consternation between passengers and the smokers and the crew. I have no idea why the officers refused to put signs up rather than employ security staff who were regularly ignored. Again we were annoyed by the drinks tax issue NCL claims in USA ports, no other line charges these on drinks ordered under a pre paid drinks package - how can there be tax when there has been no transaction, NCL may as well charge you tax on your meals and accomodation under this logic, the hotel director could not explain this and the chief financial officer simply refused to meet us, we were told “it’s only $15” which is true but if you consider a small sum then you pay it! We had cabin 10,145 an inside which had an interesting configuration being parallel to the hallway but we enjoyed this as it seemed to utilise the space better, the cabin also felt modern. Unfortunately we had a junior steward who regularly forgot to deliver mail and laundry and often didn’t clear out dirty glasses and plates. Dining - was generally good. We find NCL is always behind other main lines like X and HAL but for the price paid was good quality with plenty of options. We tended to have breakfast in the buffet on the outside deck on port days or Osheehans for a change. Lunch on sea days we always dined in the mdr as we enjoy the views over the wake and the attentive service. Dinner in the Tsars palace was very good and the venue felt more spacious than on other ships, service was always top notch. When we felt like a change we alternated between Chin Chin and Osheehans which do tasty quick meals. The Chinese needs more vegetarian and seafood options. We don’t like the Azura mdr compared to Tsars as it feels dark and claustrophobic and the staff seem more rushed. As platinum members we get 2 specialty restaurants and we tried the French and the Italian- as on other ships we were treated like 2nd class citizens for dining under this program which is very strange and it certainly doesn’t incentivise us to pay for additional dining in these venues. Food and service in the French was good but only marginally better than the mdr so could not justify paying. The Italian is a nice space but the pizza is the same as in the buffet (slightly better toppings) and the rest of the food was decent without being outstanding. This cruise changed CDs on day 4 which I have never seen before and in our view it seemed to disrupt the flow the ship had attained. Dave the new CD seemed to moan about being back at work constantly and was constantly talking about cruising around Australia and NZ (this cruise didn’t go to those places - nor did the following one except for its final destination). Also, the activities seemed to be lessened on the changeover and considering we had 5 sea days in a row there was a complete lack of variety in activities (NCL seems to have gotten mundane in this area compared to Celebrity). Strangely they had a lot more activities on port days? On the plus side there was a couple of great matinee shows in particular by Igor the band leader and saxophonist. The production shows were well performed and the cast seemed very talented, I do feel like some semblance of a story line would be good but this is just nit picking. Guest entertainment was generally good, personally I don’t like ABBA so the 2 nights of identical show were a bit much, I also don’t go to hypnotist shows anymore (reports were that someone didn’t come out of it Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked the snorkeling/beach day in Moorea. The staff was very friendly and hardworking and the ship was clean and pleasant. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and found the food in the dining room and buffet to be good. We have sailed on other cruise lines, some with higher ratings, but were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian. I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise. Aside from the ports a highlight was crossing the equator by sea. It was a spectacular day weather wise, the cruise director was a great Neptune, and we enjoyed the kissing of the fish ceremony. Our only negative experience was an issue with the passport collection and the coffee at the buffet was pretty bad. Other than that it was a dream trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary - and the fact we could do back to back all the way to Sydney. We had a balcony cabin - number 9644 in this case It was perfectly fine but since the ship was in dry dock, the cabin has changed slightly in that only one side of the bed has a cabinet. This was a little awkward and I don't really understand why they did this. The storage was adequate with plenty of room under the bed for a hard body suitcase on each side and also the hand luggage trolley cases fit too. The bathroom was fine - my criteria of trying to not book cruises with shower curtains was fully met and so I was happy with that. Embarkation was perfectly fine with a small amount of queueing. We noticed that, if you have a disability of any kind, there was a separate area with seating so that is a "mind at rest" thing for some people. We were allowed into our cabins after a fairly short wait and the luggage arrived pretty quickly so that we could unpack and explore before attending the drill. We didn't have a dining package on this cruise and so used the main rooms and Chin Chin (our favourite because the service is just so much better than the other places, even though the menu is more limited). We also ate a couple of times in O'Sheehans, especially after getting back on the ship after a hard day's exploring. We did have some complaints including the ubiquitous "over-cooked fish" - I just don't get why, when you send it back, it comes back nearly every time perfectly cooked, they don't just do it that way the first time around. Its such a waste of food, but it was completely inedible on a number of occasions. I was also served some frozen potatoes which sort of explains the fish as they must pre-cook and freeze a lot of the dishes. I suppose that's fine for most things, after all it is mass-catering, but they need to work on it. We had attended the meet and greet and so had received the card with the phone numbers on. We used them and things improved a little, along with a little complimentary Sushi to apologise, which was very nice and unexpected. The ship had a lot of new crew on board and it was especially noticeable in Tsar's Palace dining room. They have to be trained, of course, but maybe don't put all of the new staff in the same place! Azura was better and the staff in there were much more upbeat and good at service. There were good staff in Tsar's Palace but, on this occasion, the atmosphere could be strained at times whereas the other venues didnt have that vibe. I'm sure it is temporary and will be back to normal once the staff find their feet. The shows were outstanding, as usual. In particular we loved Rock you Tonight, Anna and Vlad, Le Cirque Bijou and Velvet. The other shows were good, just these were great. The Tap Pack could become a favourite in time. The comedians and hypnotists were not to my taste but others enjoyed them. Overall the entertainment staff do a great job. A shout out to Dexter for the dance classes on sea days. We had a lot of sea days on this leg and so the enrichment programmes become important, especially when you have 2 or 3 days of not so good weather. We enjoyed the talks on Polynesian Art and the navigation and Atoll talks. We didn't ever use the pool or the sun loungers but I didn't hear any complaints. (I'm too pale to sit in that sort of sun unfortunately but I did enjoy sitting on my balcony in the shade and watching out for sea life - the pacific is so vast that we didn't see a single other ship on the 5 days at sea, only a couple of flying fish and one pod of dolphins but hey the colours of the sea and just the peace was great). We embarked in Oahu and had spent a couple of days beforehand exploring with friends who had hired a car. I can highly recommend a visit to Pearl Harbour and some shopping in Honolulu - there are some great deals to be had if you search them out! The Hawaii Islands were a great place to have some really good days out, Volcanos, Blow Holes, Mountains, Views, Beaches, Waterfalls - whatever you like you will find it. My own highlight was the sailaway from Nawiliwili and viewing the Napali Coast from the deck of the ship. What an awesome place. However, that wasn't the only highlight. I think my favourite was Kauai Island but its truly hard to chose. I don't know what excursions were on offer specifically from the ship but the usual comment about the price is in order. It cost us $280 over the full four islands for four of us - including hiring a car, petrol, entrance fees to whatever we wanted to see and some drinks - including coffees in McDs for the free wifi. That was $140 per couple. As far as I could see $140 per person per day was the average cost of the excursions in each port - just not good value for money at all. This needs to be fixed by the company. Nuku Hiva was pretty special - we had a beach day but there were other things to do. We didn't book any ships excursions on this leg of the trip and were certainly glad as they are completely overpriced. You can book on the dockside for around a third of the price and better if you have a large group as you have bargaining power. Mo'orea - booked a lagoon sailing with sharks and stingrays - utterly beautiful although I didn't swim with the sharks! Despite what was being claimed, I had read that three weeks earlier, in the exact same reefs, a woman had her hands and boobs eaten by a shark. While the people in the boats keep feeding them and the stingrays, they will continue to be a danger to human beings. After the tour we had a good wander and found a local beer (delicious). Raiatea - again booked a tour at the harbour and visited Marae Taputapuatea which was very spiritual. Pearls, Vanilla, Volcanic Craters, Rivers that are the sea as well. We saw children having swimming lessons with the fish around them. I think this was my favourite place of the whole trip but I loved it all tbh. Bora Bora - again got off the tender boat (which was always easy and there were few queues except first thing in the morning. We visited this port twice on the back to back so on this visit we did a land tour and met the delightful Delores (who used to be in the tank regiment just outside of Paris). We visited Bloody Mary's bar but didn't have a drink - although you could. I took the advice of friends and stayed off the beach area there as it is renowned for people being bitten by sand flies. The visit to the place where they hand make the Pareau ended in my purse being lightened as I couldn't resist one of the dresses they were selling. The views all around the island are stunning. We did a lagoon tour on the next visit so I shall cover that in my next review. Pape'ete Tahiti. - Not my favourite place of the tour but that may have been coloured by the poor showing on the tour we booked dockside. I'm not sure that any of the others, including the ships tours, were any better - I didn't hear anyone praising the place but it was still nice to see the island. This was the end of this part of the cruise and was disembarkation day. We had to change cabins and it was chaotic due to the card printing machine not working properly. I'm not sure why the crew couldn't have delivered the new key cards to the cabins as there was no checking of ID etc. It resulted in huge queues at the guest services desk where they were having to reprint nearly all of the cards as none of them seemed to work on board (although they did work so that you could get on and off the ship). There must be a better way and it will be interesting to see if it was any better in Sydney as there were quite a number of guests staying on until Auckland. There was very little wifi to be had once you left the accessibility of McD's or Starbucks in Hawaii. Bora Bora - there was a cafe not far from the port where you could pay $5 for 30 minutes but it was very slow. There was free wifi in the tourist information centre but it hardly ever worked. Pape'ete - there was good wifi in a cafe near the port, you just had to buy a drink and also there was free wifi in the tourist information centre, but I dont know if it was fast or not. If you can afford it I would upgrade your wifi packages on the ship if you need to be in contact with home for whatever reason. Nuku Hiva had wifi in the cafe on the port - free as long as you bought food - I'm not sure that anyone on a cruise needs to eat food in a port - but crack on if you can manage it. It certainly smelled good! We loved the cruise. Being from the UK, it means that these places are normally too far away so this was an ideal opportunity. We found the sea days fine, although the sea day in between Nuku Hiva and Mo'orea was a killer for us - nothing wrong with the ships entertainment, it was just a perception that this was definitely the longest day. We crossed the equator during this trip and they did the ceremony! We got wrapped in togas (bed sheets!) King Neptune granted us safe passage as long as we kissed the (most disgusting) fish and then submitted to a glug of slime. It was great fun although in 85% humidity the togas were a little on the warm side! We didn't have any children with us but there were some on the cruise. They genuinely seemed to having a great time - even the "too cool for school" teenagers! We hardly ever saw or heard them during the sea days which usually means there is plenty to do to keep them out of trouble and harms way. The Jewel is a lovely ship with some seriously nice crew who go out of their way to try to make sure you have a good time. The food is my only bug bear but it never is bad enough to spoil my adventures. I would go back no problem at all - where is that lottery ticket! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of hotel, transportation, food and entertainment. When participating on shore excursions there were numerous activities scheduled each day on board to keep one entertained for the individual as well as group activities if one wish to be involved a group function. As for myself the food provided was a large variety to satisfy the palette of the most selected person. i have only traveled on Norwegian since I started cruise after taking my first cruise of three days several years ago. Is the line perfect nope, but which one is! For me it's what I have been looking for and will continue to use the line to meet my goals of seeing the world one port at a time. My motto is from a shirt that I found on the Jewel earlier this year, "Cruising Is My Happy Place". Happy cruising...... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the drawers, closet, & washroom. Our room steward was great, the crew was smiling & happy everywhere we went. Waiters in Tsar’s Palace were awesome! My aunt has a food allergy & the food allergy guy, Alex, took such good care of her. We had 2 specialty dinners and enjoyed both. Found lots of space at the pool & in the outdoor cafe. Enjoyed the renovated areas on the pool deck where they’ve removed lounge seating type couches & replaced with tables as it seems to allow for more people to enjoy the space. I was super impressed with the Hawaiian show that came on-board one afternoon. The performers were great and it turned out that the show they did was very similar to the luau show that we went to after the cruise. Overall I continue to be very happy with NCL & the Jewel class ships. First time on NCL for my relatives and I think they are both on board for doing another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. We loved the on board lectures, the activities, and just the opportunity to take naps or find a place to read. The restaurants and the food were terrific---never disappointed. Loved all the shore excursions---got a chance to see the calmer side of the islands, not just the shopping and hustle side. The entertainment was very good with quite a variety. We also enjoyed listening to the different musicians and groups on board. The cruise staff also recognized Veterans on board---several get-togethers were organized and the final party included 53 Veterans from the US and Canada. It was a great cruise---we are counting it as one of the best cruises since we have retired!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that ... Read More
We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that deserve 0 stars. First, the good news. I was highly impressed by the efficiency in embarkation and disembarkation. It went so smoothly! Very orderly and methodical. This was the first time that we were able to get on board at Noon, eat lunch, and go directly to our cabin by 1 PM. Disembarkation was simple too, using the Walk Off program. US Customs came onboard and the process was very easy. The ship was super-clean and tastefully decorated. The cabin was a standard balcony cabin, small but in perfect condition. The room steward, Eric, was excellent, too! Very friendly and hard working! We appreciated his efforts. End of good news. Sadly, there is more bad news than good. Let's start with the food. The breakfast buffet was always excellent, but lunch and dinner food was low quality. You could really tell that Norwegian was trying to stretch a dollar. For example, in the Azura dining room, they served scallops as an appetizer. Sounds good, right? It might have been if they weren't BAY SCALLOPS! That's right, five teeny, tiny bay scallops on a plate. If you can't serve real SEA SCALLOPS, then don't bother serving scallops at all! Cuts of meat were pounded paper thin and there were no expensive fish dishes in the main dining rooms. Lots of tilapia-type dishes, but no shrimp cocktail, lobster, etc. Unlike the luxury cruises, which of course, Norwegian is not. Now to the specialty restaurants that we tried: The Chin Chin restaurant (Asian) is horrible. I took one bite of the chicken dish and spit it out. Disgusting! If you are used to good Asian cuisine, don't bother going here, even though it is free. Cagney's Steakhouse was OK, but not great. A sad note about Cagney's - if you are a Platinum Latitudes member, you get a comp for Cagney's. This would be good BUT the comp limits you to only $35 per person. Which doesn't go far in a steakhouse. Be aware if you use the comp. The Brazilian steakhouse was the high point of dining. It is excellent. However, if you use your Latitudes comp, be aware that it only covers about one half the cost of dinner, which is typically $39 per person. The absolute WORSE thing about the ship is the Spa. What a joke. The hot tubs weren't hot, the saunas were broken, and there was a male crew member in the Ladies locker room while there were women in it getting dressed! I complained to the Spa manager, and asked for a refund. She said that she couldn't refund me for my thermal spa package, since I had bought it online, so I had to wait until I got home to call Norwegian. (I went to Guest Services onboard, though, who quickly processed a refund. Strange that they could help me but the Spa Manager could not.) My final complaint about the ship is the choice of onboard activities. I would honestly guess that half of the activities are designed to sell you something. For example, the Look 10 Years Younger seminar is a sales pitch for Botox. The Wine and Chocolate Paring is a chance to sell you a $19 sample of wine and chocolate. The list goes on and on. I was really getting tired of being "nickeled and dimed at activities", so I stopped going. We will take another Norwegian cruise for sure, but we have learned what to do, and not do, while on board these ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip ... Read More
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip was booked well in advance as it was our first time to be able to take advantage of a repositioning cruise. The trip went from Vancouver, to Victoria, to Astoria. Then there was a sea day before visiting San Francisco and Monterrey and finishing in Los Angeles. We flew up to Vancouver a couple of days early and stayed at the Accent Inn out near the airport. Nice place- fun “punny” signage and easy access. We rented a car out at the airport and spent Sunday seeing the sites in Vancouver. Stanley Park was very nice with the fall foliage adding some color. On Monday we took the AirTrain to the Cruiseport. It could not have been any easier. We checked in earlier than we had planned, and apparently many others did as well. There used to be special lines that NCL would use for repeat customers that were members of Latitudes, but this time the only ones able to skip the lines were Haven and Suites guests. We were in line for over an hour, though it was constantly moving. We carried our bags on ourselves, and the rooms were immediately available when we boarded about 2:00. Our friends hadn’t been on the ship before, so we toured and saw some of the newly improved areas from the last drydock. We were a little late setting sail, but not as late as the Norwegian Joy had been the day before. They missed low tide and had to sit in Vancouver overnight since they couldn’t fit under the bridge. The word from the unhappy customers was that they were losing their day in Victoria due to the problem. It was no problem for the Jewel and we were only about an hour late- and Victoria was plenty close. We dined in the main dining room that evening and I think we got the best seat in the house- at the very back of the ship with a tremendous view. This is where they used to place the Captain’s Table back in the days before Freestyle dining. Victoria was glorious. We have visited there before, but this was the first time we ventured out to Butchart Gardens. Simply said- they were magnificent. We will return there on future visits to Victoria. We had about 30 minutes of rain, but that was the only weather we had all trip long. Not bad for early October in the Pacific Northwest. Astoria didn’t have a car available to rent by the time I got around to shopping for one. We went on the ship’s tour out to Fort Stevens. There isn’t much to see, and having a car would have been cheaper, but it turned out well. We visited the “Tower” in town and had some beautiful views both from the base and after we went up the 164 step circular staircase to the top. Then we headed across the bridge to Ft. Stevens State Park. The waves crashing on the beach was something out of a movie. The actual Fort Stevens stop was not that interesting. Our tour guide, Dita, was funny so she made the trip better than it would have been. We took the local transit bus into town, but instead of being on the bus we were give a ride in a 1926 Dodge Brothers car. That was a blast. The drive pointed out a fish and chips place just across the street from the Maritime Museum that is a converted fishing boat- and we had a wonderful lunch there. We spent the sea day quietly. The hot tubs were not overly crowded so we were able to stay in for as long as we liked. Then just some reading and relaxing, along with a single visit to the nicely furnished fitness facility. San Francisco has become such a disaster that we decided to stay only in the touristy areas. We hadn’t ridden the trolley cars for years so we rode on up, then watched the Marine Band give a mini-concert and rode another back down. We then walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf and had a great lunch of Clam Chowder and Sourdough bowls at Boudin’s on the Wharf. We then returned back to the ship in anticipation of the air show that was being put on due to it being “Fleet Week” in the Bay Area. The Blue Angels did not disappoint and the fantail area up on Deck 12 was the perfect place to watch it. The ship even got buzzed at the start of the show- when no one was expecting it so we got off to a rousing start. Monterrey once again did not have a car available. The only car rental there was an Enterprise office that you could not pick up a car before 9, and had to return it by 12. We just decided to stay onboard ship and relax again. Getting off in Los Angeles was simple. Again we just carried our bags off and left when we wanted to. Since we live only about 30 miles away our son came over and picked us up about 8 AM. We had the Specialty Dining Package for three nights. The Teppanyaki Grill was fabulous, probably the best meat and meal available on the ship, and the presentation was done well. They have their shtick down to a science. We also dined at Le Bistro one night and had a very good meal. La Cucina- now that is a different story. This was the last time I let my friends choose which specialty restaurant to go to as it was really not good at all. To give you an idea the best tasting thing on the menu was the antipasti appetizer! We dined in the main dining room twice and thought the food and service was better than our last couple of trips on the Jewel. The other night we walked up to Chin Chin early without a reservation. The food was good, but the service was non-existent. Both times we ordered food different foods came out from what we had ordered. Geronimo just didn’t have a clue! The MDR was a better experience, contrary to our last visit on the Jewel. The buffet was where we ate breakfast each morning. The food is the same every day so it is a struggle to change things up a little. I do appreciate that you can order freshly cooked eggs at the Omelette station. I’ll have mine over easy please! Entertainment was pretty good, but not outstanding. We don’t do magic or comedy shows but enjoy the musical performances. Candice Glover, from American Idol Season 12, was the headliner the last couple of nights. She has an amazing voice, but has very little stage presence. She needed to have Dan the Man, the Cruise Director, up there cracking jokes to keep the audience entertained….but he wasn’t there…… The room, an Oceanview on Deck 5, was just fine. We got a guaranteed room last time and got stuck behind a support structure so we appreciated the big window in the room. The attendant never introduced himself but everything was cleaned up every time we came back to the room. They have a hard job so his efforts were appreciated. The safe in the room was not in working order, but we just dealt with it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise partly because it conveniently started in my home town, Vancouver, and ended up in my bud's town, LA. We try to take a trip every year someplace together, and I had never been on a cruise before. The price seemed ... Read More
I chose this cruise partly because it conveniently started in my home town, Vancouver, and ended up in my bud's town, LA. We try to take a trip every year someplace together, and I had never been on a cruise before. The price seemed reasonable, so we booked it. Ports visited: Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Monterey, LA. We were both very happy with this cruise experience. We loved our very comfortable upgraded cabin, Obstructed Oceanview, with wood panelling and lots of storage space. We liked most of the restaurants, particularly Tsar's Palace, and Azura. However, I found Chin Chin to be very ho hum. Being from Vancouver, there is a high bar for Asian food, though. We did tend to spend a fair bit of time hanging out in the large buffet style Garden Cafe on the 12th Deck, since it was convenient, had nice views, was attached to the aft deck area, and a LARGE variety of food for every mealtime, as well as sublime desserts. (and a good espresso machine) I must say the crew on-board was very friendly and attentive: the real jewels here! Smooth embarkation, disembarkation and customs experience. The entertainment greatly exceeded our expectations. We took in Dinner and a Show every night, which was a real treat. The performers on the shows, Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Cirque de Bijou, were outstanding singers and dancers. I wanted to find out who the stars in this cast were, but there is no info on the NCL site. Also Russians Vlad and Anna, classically trained dancers and acrobats, blew us away. Entertainment in the lounges was also quite enjoyable. We became Aldo fans after his Latin hits performance. I had bought a new bathing suit just for this cruise, so I HAD to check out the poolside for a day. Fortunately we had mostly nice sunny days and up on the 12th deck pool and hot tub area I have to admit it was quite glorious. I was able to spend some time working out in the well equipped fitness centre, and there are places on deck to walk and jog if you need to work off your overindulgence at the restaurants. We were fortunate we had good weather for our 2 excursions onshore and both were very good. I particularly liked the Dim Sum and tour in San Francisco. We brunched at the New Asia in Chinatown, which when I remarked to some of my table mates that it was very "authentic" and "funky", were less than kind about the atmosphere/decor: they did not seem to appreciate its "authenticity". The Dim Sum though was scrumptious, and I myself had no complaints! Overall, we loved this cruise, and will do it again if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which NCL is famous for. Hence had no reservations about booking the cruise on NCL Jewel. We have always liked the smaller NCL ships like Spirit, Sun, Star and Jade. The only NCL cruise which we didn't like was on the Epic and hence have resisted in booking on bigger ships. Also itineraries on bigger ships are catered for mass markets whereas the smaller ships offer very interesting itineraries sailing to ports which are not visited by bigger ships. We flew to Singapore from London via BA and stayed for 1 night at one of the riverside hotels in Singapore. We had been to Singapore a few times before hence only stayed for 1 night however if you have never been to Singapore before, I would highly recommend staying 3 to 4 nights prior to cruise to take in most of this fabulous city. On the day of the cruise we took a local taxi to the cruise terminal for only 10 Singapore dollars and were at the port just after 11am. Check in was quick however as the cruise was visiting so many different countries, everyone's passports had to be throughly checked to ensure everyone had correct visas. I had made sure we had all the visas required (only Cambodia visa required for UK citizens) however lot of people who were checking in didn't have the correct visas so were charged a huge amount by the ship to get the visas and this was even before the cruise had begun. Thus lot of people were complaining how they were charged so much money eg. Ship charged $89 for each person for Cambodia visa however I had obtained them for £30 each by visiting Cambodian embassy in London. It is the passenger's responsibility (not the cruise line's) to ensure they have the the correct visas. So please be carefully in checking if any visas required well before travelling. In this cruise, the cruise line could arrange the visas (at a much higher cost) for all countries it was sailing to which was great for those who hadn't arranged them. However for some cruises you wouldn't be allowed to board if you didn't have the correct visa. Once checked in, we queued for the immigration which took about half an hour (much lesser than my previous cruise from Singapore which had taken well over an hour in the queue). Thereafter we boarded this beautiful ship which was just refurbished a few months ago. Everything seemed new in the public areas like furniture and carpets which was great. However I was surprised to see no embarkation photos being taken. In fact we noticed that very few photos were taken either at ports, or on open decks or in dining areas. May be this is for the best as most people don't end up buying them and hence have to be discarded. We were asked to go to garden cafe for lunch as cabins were not going to be ready till 1pm. There was plenty of choice including plenty of vegetarian options. However NCL have changed their food labelling system in the garden cafe. Before, all vegetarian food had a green symbol on label and red for non veg. However now they have green symbol for cold food and red for hot food which is silly as one can see if the food is hot or cold. When I queried that with the senior staff member at the restaurant, I was told that NCL had made that change so junior staff could interact more with customers as they would have to verbally advise someone who was vegetarian regarding what food was vegetarian or not. This was silly as most staff didn't know what food item was vegetarian or not when I queried and had to check with someone else. Also they were too busy to talk to guests. NCL need to bring in another system to identify vegetarian foods in garden cafe like 'V'symbol on the labels which is what they have in menus in all other restaurants. I was also advised by the senior staff that there was a seperate vegetarian section. However I told him that the vegetarian section only had Indian options and if I wanted to try other vegetarian cuisines I had to go to other areas of buffet which didn't have correctly marked labels. Anyway there was nothing he could do as NCL head office had made that decision. Although we used garden cafe for breakfasts and lunches only we soon became used to what foods were vegetarian or not as the menu didn't change much there. Food was good and loved their Indian veggie South Indian breakfast options. Cabins were ready after 1pm as advised. We had a port side balcony cabin on level 9 towards the aft of the ship. Great place as it was close to get to restaurants and was always quieter at the back end of the ship. The cabin was well appointed with new carpets and wall paintings. The bathroom was similar in design to Jade with seperate shower and toilet with sink in middle. Seems no changes had been made there. TV was on the smaller side compared to big screen ones on newer ships. However it had a great range of movies and news channels. It had around 4 movie channels showing drama, action, comedy and family movies. Also several news channels like BBC and several American and Australian ones but no CNN. The balcony was adequate size with 2 chairs and a table. Storage area was adequate too with plenty of drawers and shelves and hanging space too. The cabin steward, Alexandro, always kept the cabin nice and tidy with lovely towel animals every evening on the bed. He knocked the door when the luggage arrived (around 2pm). We unpacked our cases straight away and hid them away under the beds so we didn't have to see them again for the next 12 days. That is the beauty of cruising, you visit fascinating places nearly every day without packing and unpacking. After the fire drill and safety briefing at 4pm, the ship soon set sail after 5pm towards Koh Samui in Thailand. Food in the main dining rooms (Tsars palace and Azura) was great with a few vegetarian options everyday. Also I had a voice message and a letter left in cabin to say that if I wasn't happy with the vegetarian selections, I could speak to maitre'd who would arrange to get any other special requests prepared. However I didn't need to as I was happy with the choices they had on main menu. We dined mainly at Azura as it had a more intimate atmosphere but also visited Tsars palace a few times. As we had 3 day dining package in addition to the drinks package included, we visited the Italian, teppanyaki and French restaurant on 3 nights. Loved the French and teppanyaki restaurants and would be happy to go back. However not happy with the Italian one as the food choices that had were already in main dining room and garden cafe menus. Also service at Italian restaurant was not up to the mark. Never tried chin chin and O'Sheehans restaurants which were the other 2 complimentary options. However visited the O'Sheehans bar regularly as got great service from barman there. The other bars that we visited were at bliss lounge, pit stop which overlooked the pool deck and bar at the back of the ship. Didn't visit most of the bars on level 6 as we used to in the Jade. Late evenings we mainly visited the spinnakers lounge as it had the dance floor and live bands playing followed by DJ. However the bar staff were not very good and often got drinks mixed up or couldn't understand what we wanted. Anyway we enjoyed our times there most evenings. The shows in the theatre were great. Loved the 3 production shows: Rock you, velvet and Cirque De Bijou were all brilliant. Singers were great and so were all the dancers and aerialists. Also loved Mary Jess, the British singer who wowed us all with her operatic singing. Also enjoyed the local Thai dancers show, the Australian tap pack show and music shows by 2 of the singers from the production shows. In fact there wasn't a single show we didn't like which was a first as usually there always a few shows we don't end up liking. The cruise director, Dan, seemed to do a good job and also sang in the bands in spinakkers lounge. However we were shocked to see him telling off some junior staff when we docked in Hong Kong that they couldn't get off the ship until all passengers were off the ship. That is no way to talk to anyone, no matter how senior you are to them. Other than that he was always approachable and friendly. The other bands who played music around the ship were not as good as what we have experienced on other ships. There were very few activities during sea days with only 1 afternoon movie on each of the 4 sea days. We were given popcorn on 2 of those days but not the other 2. Probably ran out. NCL should certainly be screening more movies especially on sea days. Also lack of daytime activities during sea days was a disgrace. Luckily we had 3 good sunny sea days so most people were busy around the pool area. However on our last overcast and cooler sea day, there seemed to be nothing much to do around the ship. The captain of the ship could hardly ever been heard or seen. In fact we didn't hear him for first 2 days. Also he wasn't present at the finale show. An apology regarding the tendering chaos at Koh Samui (more about that later) came 2 days later. In our recent cruises, we have got used to captains who have been very visible around the ship and making announcements and jokes over the tannoy system. However this captain didn't seem to enjoy interacting with his guests. The first port of call was Koh Samui. This was the only port where ship had to tender. It was a beautiful sunny day and tendering process started early in the morning. We took an excursion to see temples and views of Koh Samui which was great. As we were on the tour, we didn't need a tender ticket to get off ship so were one of the first ones to get off. Tour finished at lunch time after which we went around the town and got back to tendering area around 2.30 or so. We were one of the lucky ones to get a tender back as soon as we got there. However thereafter it seems some people were queuing up for 3 hours or so to get a tender back. We were not sure what was happening as no announcements were made at the time. We were supposed to depart by 5pm but we didn't leave till around 9pm as passengers couldn't be brought back to the ship. Later we found out that due to change in tides, they couldn't load tender boats to full capacity. However that should have been known in advance and arrangements made to bring guests back from another tendering area. Lack of information to guests on ship was frustrating and captain only apologised regarding that 2 days later which is not good. If an incident happens, passengers need to be informed as soon as possible. We were in lam Chabong (gateway to Bangkok which is 2.5 hours away and Pattaya which is an hour away) for next 2 days. On the first day we did canals and Royal barges tour in Bangkok which was excellent with a great meal at a 5 star hotel. A lovely sunny but very humid day. Got back to ship around 6pm that day. Next day was another hot and sunny day and we did an ancient city tour near Bangkok which was very interesting too. Ship departed at 4pm that day and we were back an hour before that. The problem with this port is that it's too far away from the main cities. So one couldn't enjoy the night life offered by any of these 2 cities unless you were prepared to pay extortionate taxi costs (as no shuttles were offered at night). The ship should make arrangements for this for any overnight ports so guests can enjoy nightlife at these ports. Also, if you didn't do an excursion, the costs of day time shuttles to Bangkok were quite high. I'm sure guests wouldn't have minded paying for night time shuttles rather than for taxis. So in our opinion, this was a wasted overnight port and would have rather been in a port like Halong bay overnight to enjoy the nightlife offered there as it was easy to get into town from port area. This was our last port in Thailand. Next day, we were in Cambodia (Sihanoukville). We enjoyed this port and did a lovely excursion to temples, market and beaches on a sunny and hot day. However would have loved to visit Angkor Wat if we had an overnight stop. The main reason people visit Cambodia is to see Angkor Wat. So an overnight stop here rather than in Lam Chabong would have been better. Anyway, will have to make another trip to Cambodia too see that. After a day at sea, we entered Vietnam. Our first port was Saigon however the city was over an hour away from port. It was very hot and humid again. Very busy city with lots of motorbikes everywhere. It was a long day (over 9 hours) and we visited Buddhist pagoda, market, notre dam cathedral, presidential palace, lacquer showroom and were given 1.5 hours free time in between. No lunch was included. In fact not even a bottle of water was provided on this long day. Very difficult to cross busy roads in this city as hardly any pedestrian lights and no one pays attention to zebra crossings. Good to see this city once but would never go back there again. We had another sea day and then visited chan May in Vietnam where we did an excursion to see Da nang and marble beach. Had a good day sightseeing, visiting a museum, temple, da nang beach and a marble showroom but didn't actually see marble beach as it was a private beach for the 5 star hotels there. So not sure why the excursion had marble beach in its title. However we enjoyed the day which was once again hot and humid. The last stop in Vietnam was Ha long bay which was the highlight of this cruise. It was a misty day but luckily no rain which was forecast. We did a junk boat cruise around the islands and visited a cave which was very interesting. In the afternoon we walked to a local theme park and went on some really good roller coasters there. Surprised that the entry free to theme park including unlimited rides was only US $2 each. However when we tried to walk around the town area, we were hassled by guys on motorbikes trying to sell you stuff. So we returned back earlier. After another day at sea, we docked in Hong Kong. Debarkation was smooth on ship's part. However after a smooth immigration, the queue to get out of baggage area was long as there was not enough ground transportation for everyone as 2 ships were disembarking at same time. For Hong Kong to have such a nice new terminal and not have enough ground transportation for 2 ships, was a surprise. Hopefully it was a one off situation and doesn't happen regularly. We were out of the baggage area by 10.15 or so. We took a MTR tube to Hong Kong station which has down town facilities to check in luggage for certain flights. We got our boarding passes and then went to explore the beautiful city before returning back at night to take train to airport. All went very smoothly with no hiccups and we arrived back to London next day morning. On the whole I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to see highlights of Far East countries like Vietnam without any hardship involved. The itinerary was great but if they make minor changes in future like having overnight stop in Cambodia or Ha long bay, it would only make it better. The ship was great and I would give 4.5 stars for the cruising experience. Definitely one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. ... Read More
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. We had a balcony a couple besides our stateroom is my wife's high school classmate from 1971 and 6 other new guest with NCL and first time cruisers. We had a great time and and had a lot of specialty dinners. Our group had received a lot of surprises from the Senior Officers that we have met on previous cruises with Norwegian and made our cruise more enjoyable not only for us previous cruisers but for our 6 other friends that we brought with us. They even sent fresh tropical fruits from Indonesia was sent to all our cabins. Shore excursions was great that we all got into the same bus every time we book. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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
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
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
Sail Date November 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
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
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
Sail Date September 2018
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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