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628 Norwegian (NCL) Vancouver Cruise Reviews

The employees were great. The food was always cold and the same except in the upgrade restaurants. At one port there were no shuttles or buses and we were not told so if you couldn’t walk dir 30 min in 90 degree weather you didn’t go ... Read More
The employees were great. The food was always cold and the same except in the upgrade restaurants. At one port there were no shuttles or buses and we were not told so if you couldn’t walk dir 30 min in 90 degree weather you didn’t go anywhere because the taxi line was LONG and over an hr wait Couldn’t get by the pool because people would get up early and grab towels to save chairs until they had breakfast or did what ever they wanted to. I will not go on the jewel again There was 1 med size pool and one smaller pool but to many people to be able to use them. The bartenders were great and our room girl was fantastic. The people in the buffet always seemed to not want to be there. The captain only got on the intercom at 10:00 every morning but only gave information about the boat which we could find on the tv. Also everything on the tv was repeated every day nothing different Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the NCL-Getaway previously and we enjoyed that cruise enough to give the Jewel a try. We were excited to go to Hawaii, especially during the months of October and November. The ship had approx 2400 guests on board and many ... Read More
We were on the NCL-Getaway previously and we enjoyed that cruise enough to give the Jewel a try. We were excited to go to Hawaii, especially during the months of October and November. The ship had approx 2400 guests on board and many were seniors with some families with youngsters. We had an ocean-view room on the port side and it was comfortable for a couple, although from time to time, we could hear ocean waves crashing onto the hull. There were fewer interesting on board activities during the day and the so called tennis court was not designed to be one. We purposely purchased the specialty dining package, unfortunately, we had MANY disappointing meals at various specialty restaurants. Otherwise, we enjoyed most of the nightly entertainment. We arrived to every port on time and the tendering process to Kona was also timely executed. We did most of the sightseeing on our own by renting a car but we also had fun with one shore excursion arranged by NCL. Overall, the cruise met our expectation of visiting the four islands and the crew were polite and accommodating. Only wish they have better restaurants and day time activities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve ... Read More
This was my third cruise on NCL, previous two being on the Star in 2007 and 2009. The recent refurbishment of the Jewel made for a more luxurious trip. Spaces and amenities were clean and fresh feeling. The availability of self-serve espresso machines in the buffet was a pleasant surprise and one I wish was available when I cruised Alaska. Service was exceptional on this sailing, better than anything I have experience on NCL or Royal Caribbean in the past and definitely the highlight of the trip, especially traveling with a young daughter. The crew members were personally engaging and accommodating and quickly endeared themselves to my young daughter. Royal Caribbean still has better food in my opinion but the range of options on the Jewel helped redeem the dining experience. O'Sheehan's bar and grill is a decent off-hours option for food. All in all I would sail on this ship again, especially for the family friendly environment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose cruise as it was after operation and before chemotherapy. And you never know. We had the 5 ultimate dining pkg as an inducement and the 2 for latitudes platinum. We ate well. Liked the old decor of last year before refit. But did ... Read More
Chose cruise as it was after operation and before chemotherapy. And you never know. We had the 5 ultimate dining pkg as an inducement and the 2 for latitudes platinum. We ate well. Liked the old decor of last year before refit. But did like sub chargers in room and lights. Two pride of America cruises under our belts so old hat. Captain of jewel stayed further out from napali coast than pride of America did. But he was a nubie on this cruise in Hawaii. Did not like air package travel to airport at end of cruise when they expected to take us to airport in morning and wait all day for 8:55 pm flight. No option to opt out and get 40 dollars they charged so we found luggage storage at terminal and took bus w/o Waikiki for day. Roberts Hawaii big bus picked us up for about 32 dollars and took us to airport from cruise terminal. We were only couple on full size bus. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
100% enjoyed this cruise, which was a repositioning cruise at the end of the Alaska season. I booked it as a whim, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date. The Jewel is just the right size for me as a solo ... Read More
100% enjoyed this cruise, which was a repositioning cruise at the end of the Alaska season. I booked it as a whim, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date. The Jewel is just the right size for me as a solo traveler: not so huge that you get lost for days. She looks beautiful after her recent drydock & everything was spic and span. Jewel also boasts one of the friendliest & most awesome crews at sea. I had an obstructed oceanview cabin, which was plenty of room for me. The location was mostly quiet, but I would occasionally be surprised by a worker right outside my window doing maintenance on the lifeboat. Oops, sorry about leaving the curtain open that one time. Service from the cabin steward was unobtrusive to the point of being invisible... he never introduced himself, but I assumed the guy who was greeting me by name in the hallway was my steward. The room was always made up or turned down when I returned from wherever had been, though. Service everywhere else was excellent -- friendly bartenders & great staff in the dining venues. I also met up with the solo cruiser's social group, which met every night prior to dinner time. Brenda, the solo coordinator, was a BIG part of the reason this cruise was so awesome. She really helped bring a fun group together & made it easy to find a friend to have dinner with, hang out at a show, or whatever. The food was about the same as other NCL cruises I've done: pretty good, not awesome. The menus aren't particularly adventurous. I mostly stayed away from the MDRs, because I find them a little lackluster, and stuck to specialty dining or the Asian venue. The sushi was particularly good! Entertainment was uniformly excellent. Jewel, as a smaller NCL ship, doesn't have the big Broadway-style shows... instead it has several song-and-dance revues, which I loved. Le Cirque Bijou was amazing. The weather wasn't particularly conducive to sunning by the pool... so I don't think I was on the pool deck all week. A few hardy souls tried the hot tubs, but for the most part it was empty! Would have been different in sunnier climes, I'm sure. Overall, a very relaxing & enjoyable cruise on a lovely ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Ship was great but It’s been really frustrating. Couldn’t book dinner and activities prior to cruise. Can’t get reservations onboard. Go karts completely booked the entire cruise, my kids can’t go. Only able to have dinner in main ... Read More
Ship was great but It’s been really frustrating. Couldn’t book dinner and activities prior to cruise. Can’t get reservations onboard. Go karts completely booked the entire cruise, my kids can’t go. Only able to have dinner in main dining room twice on 5 night cruise. Missed port in Vancouver. Currently been in line for 1 hour 20 minutes to get off boat in San Francisco. Every time we call concierge, it goes to front desk. Room is great, concierge service is non existent and total waste of money. Credit card went missing from our account, couldn’t play in casino last night. Onboard credits were t correct on our account. I can’t tell you how much time was wasted calling about reservations, accounts, credits etc. not relaxing! Inside family cabin was awesome! Lots of space and storage. Loved having two bathrooms. Best cabin we’ve stayed in! Never again. We’ll stick with land vacations or RCI. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took advantage of Ncl free flight, that was a mistake. We landed at 8pm and had to be checked in by 10. When we arrived at cruiseport they treated us as if we were a huge inconvenience. They gave us our cards and told us to checkin ... Read More
We took advantage of Ncl free flight, that was a mistake. We landed at 8pm and had to be checked in by 10. When we arrived at cruiseport they treated us as if we were a huge inconvenience. They gave us our cards and told us to checkin onboard deck 6. The crew would not let us onboard said to go back and check in, after several minutes of arguing we were escorted to guest service. Our escort spoke with a guest service agent who clearly wanted nothing to do with us. After 10 minutes it was clear he had no idea how to check us in and went to get someone else. She took our cards never acknowledged us, smiled, or made any eye contact. At least she knew how to check in. The ship is beautiful but our experience with crew continued. They did not smile, make eye contact and quite frequently made you feel like you were an inconvenience. I think I heard washee washee twice the whole cruise. We were unable to stop at Victoria, so only San Francisco port. It took 1 1/2 hours to get off., and we were one of first groups called. One person taking key cards for entire ship. Customs not well organized. No one was allowed back on until almost 2pm, apparently they had a few passengers that they could not find. Food is good, plentiful of course. Cagney's is excellent. Never saw cruise director. Enjoyed Footloose and Elements. Racetrack has increased price. Laser tag is now 1 game for 9.95. Enjoyed the 7d and indy car. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise with my DD for a little getaway. Embarkation was very good on the ship in 15 min. Debarkation was also good. We didn't get to stop in Victoria, however we have been before so it was fine. We had customs ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my DD for a little getaway. Embarkation was very good on the ship in 15 min. Debarkation was also good. We didn't get to stop in Victoria, however we have been before so it was fine. We had customs in San Francisco, which was fairly long getting off the ship, so a shorter time in port. However we walked to Pier 39 and enjoyed the Aquarium, shopping and all that was there. The Ship was big and new and clean. The atrium had a beautiful chandelier and staircase, but the rest of the ship I wouldn't say was fancy. We enjoyed laser tag. The race cars were fun, but there was a long wait, even with reservations. The Galaxy Pavilion was too expensive for only a couple minutes, so we didn't do any of the VR games. There were 3 main dinning rooms , serving the same thing in all of them. I liked the smaller atmosphere of Taste & Savor restaurants, besides these there is the Local that has a small menu, breakfast was fine, but we tried the fish & chips and they were like fish sticks. Then there is the Buffet and the Observation Lounge with a smaller buffet that is complimentary. Everything else is A La Carte restaurants. We did not go to any of them. The Service was very good. Very friendly staff. The entertainment we saw, Elements was well done, kind of different, but good. We did not like Foot Loose. Our Cabin was a balcony. I found it to be small compared to other cruiselines, but it was fine. I might go again, but I'm not sure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we ... Read More
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we were informed Victoria had to be cancelled due to tidal issues and this resulted in a delay of departure from Vancouver due to passing under Lions Bridge. Naturally this was quite disappointing for such a short cruise however we were issued $50 onboard credit. We were not issued any refund of port fees though. Embarkation: Relatively straight forward and I was on the ship within 15 minutes. I had completed everything online so it was a matter of collecting my sea pass and signing paperwork. Cabin: I had 13162 which was on deck 13 (ironically the medical centre is also located on this deck) and this was a port side mid ship balcony. The cabin was fine with plenty of storage space and a nice (albeit small) balcony. I liked the location as I wasn't far from the stairs and just two levels up to the Observation Deck and close to the Garden Café. My attendant was friendly enough but I wouldn't say he went above and beyond. On one day close to the end, he didn't even bother removing the glasses from my room or wiping the coffee from the side table. Savour: I had breakfast here three times during the trip. I liked sitting by the window and watching the World go by. I found the service to be very good as was the food. I highly recommend the chocolate pancakes. Also try the cinnamon rolls - literally the best ever!! I had lunch here and the cheese burger was very disappointing however the philly steak sandwich was good. Personally I found The Local to be better for the fast food types such as hot dogs/burgers. I had dinner and it was very nice. The menu was the same each night though and the same in all restaurants (Savour/Taste/The Manhattan). Taste/The Manhattan: I had dinner in both and as mentioned above the menu is the same. The service was excellent in The Manhattan and fine in Taste. One point to note on the service in the restaurants, every time someone interacted with me they were shocked I was dining alone. In the end it was comical but also rather draining. Women are able to dine alone and it's not some sad affair. Garden café: The worse place ever! So chaotic. I only went once for breakfast and it was awful. The food was average but trying to get a table was awful. Walking around with your food and having to rush for a table is not enjoyable. American Diner: I decided to try breakfast here one day and it was fine, nothing special. Limited buffet available but nice service. La Cucina Italian: I had two specialist dinning available, sadly I regret dining here. The food was average at best. Pear salad was nice but on the main dining menu and I can't even remember my mine so it shows how uneventful that was. Ocean blue: This was the best meal of my cruise. Incredible sea food and lovely service. Try the scallops for starter (they are very small!) and the mixed seafood for main - perfect. Just a note with the specialist dining, they were very restrictive with when you could book. I was informed they were fully booked however both times I was seated, there were plenty of free tables. This is disappointing as I could've switched my reservation to Cagney's but they said they were full. The Local: I had lunch here on embarkment and it was bit manic but the nachos were good. I had another lunch here and whilst the line was long to be seated, it went fairly quickly and the hot dog was great. Again lovely service. The Observation Deck: Snacks were regularly available during the day here although I didn't eat any. They had soups and salad for lunch and a few other items. I would often fill up my water bottle here and grab a decaff coffee before heading to bed. I won't comment on each bar but all had a great selection of drinks. I do want to say how wonderful Jomar Parculos and Maxime Mathurin at the H20 spice bar were. Always so friendly and happy. H20 Spice: I loved coming here in the afternoon for a dip in the hot tub. It was great being adults only. Only suggestion would be to show a film or something on the big screen. Whilst the beach pictures were nice, it could have been put to better use. Pools/Slides: Great adults only pool, very deep. Sadly a little chilly for our cruise. The hot tubs on the pool deck were full of unaccompanied children - not good. Maximum capacity in the hot tubs were always over due to the amount of kids in there. I did the water slide with the ring. This was great fun with the lights however I whimpered out of the ocean loop. Although it was only a few seconds long, it looked so scary and some lighter people were getting stuck. Pulse fitness centre: The gym was average size but always pretty busy (surprisingly). People were often using equipment and had no clue how to do it safely. Wearing sandals and man bags on the cross trainer was ridiculous. They held a stretch class (7am) and abs class (7.30am) in The Cavan Club. I assume they held it there as there is no room in the gym. Go karting: Again this seemed to be fully booked all the time but I managed to secure a slot. It was worth the wait as it was fun but it was very difficult to overtake other drivers. Worth the $15. Footloose: An excellent show! I was so impressed with the singing and dancing. You must go watch the show. Elements: Unbelievably disappointing. Everything they did, I could have done (I'm intermediate aerialist). I expected the show to be a lot better. It was very colourful so I think that's what makes people think it's great when the actual acrobatics was pretty tame. Personally the issue I had was the lack of quality entertainment. It felt like there wasn't much going on, especially in the evenings. If you couldn't get a show booked then the other entertainment was in the Atrium. Sometimes it was good and other times not such much. There wasn't much going on during the day either. Hardly any activities. Overall I was impressed with my first NCL cruise. I personally prefer bigger ships so perhaps I should consider that in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Let's start at the beginning. Ist port victoria cancelled, received email 3 day before sailing tides too high to get under bridge. When you are only stopping at one other port on a five day cruise it seems almost like a cruise to ... Read More
Let's start at the beginning. Ist port victoria cancelled, received email 3 day before sailing tides too high to get under bridge. When you are only stopping at one other port on a five day cruise it seems almost like a cruise to nowhere. First day got right on ship and was in cabin by 11am. This was due to ship being deboarded the day before. Crew party that night, which left some of the staff hungover (things were not up to snuff on day 1, food and restaurant service) .Service and food were much better as the cruise went on. First night Manhattan room, then Savor or Taste the remainder. Did not experience the specialty restaurants. What was once the standard on cruise ships is now an extra priced option. Our cabin steward was great, Putu was his name. We played a lot of Video poker at the bar in the casino and the bartenders were all pretty good. Both shows ere excellent, footloose and elements, and Rob Little comedy was superb! I was disappointed that the ship did not have the thermal spa as I would have paid extra for that. We had the drink package , but had to pay an additional $20 for 6 one liter bottles of water (gratuity included). what a ripoff. The gym was large with a bunch of treadmills but only about 8 machines which I didn't care for. They would be better off with Cybex or Life Fitness than the ones they had. Buffet was good with a large variety of food, mostly tasty and fresh. Our cabin 10132 was towards the front port side of ship. It was quiet, had great view out of balcony, but was a bit extra walk from forward bank of elevators. Elevators almost always busy, I guess a fact of life with a near full ship? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is our 8th cruise - and it keeps getting better. Staff service was outstanding. Ship was clean, very well organized. We had a balcony suite on the 14th floor - everything working. I love the fact that there is no more bathtubs - ... Read More
This is our 8th cruise - and it keeps getting better. Staff service was outstanding. Ship was clean, very well organized. We had a balcony suite on the 14th floor - everything working. I love the fact that there is no more bathtubs - efficient layout. A lot of dining options - we went to Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Local Grill, Garden Buffet, Savor, Taste, and Teppanyaki. Not everything was perfect, but the little hiccups can easily be looked over because of the awesome service. Was a little bummed that Victoria was cancelled, but can't fight the elements of the weather. A lot of activities on the ship as well. In the end, this trip brought our family awesome memories. A family member went on the racetrack. Yes, the charge extra, but it was so worth it. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our balcony was priceless... really priceless. The port in Vancouver was clean and beautiful. Granted that we did not depart on the original schedule, they made it up in activities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family and I decided to finally do a cruise since we have always wanted to do one but never had the chance. Until our friends wanted to the same so we booked it. Arriving to the ship it was an easy process getting on and they even take ... Read More
My family and I decided to finally do a cruise since we have always wanted to do one but never had the chance. Until our friends wanted to the same so we booked it. Arriving to the ship it was an easy process getting on and they even take your bags to your room. When you get on the boat you already have the key to your room and your bags will be waiting their for you. The cruise we went on had only been five days. The only downfall was that we weren’t able to stop in Victoria Canada due to the low tide. Which then they had gifted everyone $50 for credit to spend however you wished. My kids really enjoyed the Entourage since they had the opportunity to interact and make friends with other kids on the boat. They also enjoyed the activities that they had planned. As well as there teen counselors Wakanda and WiFi. They said that they were overall fun and funny people to be around and because of them my kids would like to go on another cruise and have them as their teen counselors again. Overall would definitely see myself planning another family cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all ... Read More
I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all meat is overcooked, sitting area is also limited and spread out, only one section of buffet, if you can't find a table close by (which most likely is occupied), you have to walked three blocks to get to the food station, very poor design, should at least put the buffet in the center, only a few items of food with displayed with limited selection and quantity. Hot noodles was served with three to four string of noodles (why bother) almost all customers asks for 3-4 portions Salad varieties is so terrible and only couple of bottle thousand island and French dressing Fruit varieties is poor and limited. mostly not quite ready, maybe worry they would go bad? I lost weight at the cruise by doing and eating nothing. I feel totally ripped off and no one anywhere to complain We were denied access to the theatre because I was pushing a stroller, claimed that the hall is full and yet they allowed someone else to walk in and invite them to stand at the back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Meh
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my ... Read More
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my expectations were too high. And also the Wi-Fi that I paid for sucks so bad that nobody should buy it, just do without. I know it’s a satellite-based Wi-Fi but they shouldn’t try to sell it if it doesn’t work. The room TV was nice except it didn’t work unless you want to watch commercials for people trying to sell you watches, diamonds and artwork, up selling everything on the ship when I see there’s not much to look at when on the high seas. Crew was very friendly and the excursions made the trip. If I had to do it again I’d fly to Ketchikan and use that as my base of operations. The people of Alaska make it a great place to visit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The ... Read More
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The entertainment was outstanding, especially Ana and Vlad and the Circus Bijou. The food was great, plenty f choice in the buffet, the Irish bar had a great selection as did the Chin Chin Asian restaurant but e mainly ate in the Tsar's main dining room where Alex and team, the special diets co-ordinator made my cruise. Eating out with severe allergies and food restrictions can be a nerve-racking operation with limited choices and constant fears of cross-contamination. Not so on the Jewel. Every day Alex and team brought menus, from whichever restaurant I wanted for me to pre-select, then they and the chef created my food, brought special items (the gluten-free breads were the best I've ever had), the smoked salmon benedict and cinnamon french toast for breakfast were outstanding and every dining experience a delight. Thank you so much. PS Alaska was amazing too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had ... Read More
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had been changed to 7:00 p.m. We had the whole day to kill so were given a recommendation to take the seabus to North Vancouver. We did that, and thankfully the weather was nice. Walked around and basically watched our ship floating in the middle of the water - all day. The onboarding process was horrendous and no one was happy. We were supposed to board at 7:00 pm - waited in line since 6:30 pm. We were herded like cattle into a gymnasium type area and sat there with no water or communication. Long process!! Finally got on the ship around 9:30 p.m. Had to go to the muster stations at 11:00 p.m. - had no food at that point and the crew were not pleasant. Didn't get our luggage until midnight. The next morning I noticed a $30.00 service charge to our room. We didn't cruise the first day and they still had the gall to charge us. I complained to customer service and their only answer was that they couldn't do anything about it. The food in the buffet was terrible. Very bland and no variety. Part of our package included 3 specialty dining restaurants. What they don't tell you is that only includes limited items on the menu. You can't order the 35.00 steak. The Local was about the only place that had great food. We loved their chicken wings and decided to order them one night to take to our room. I asked for a plate and when asked why I said we wanted to take it to our room. We were told that wasn't allowed due to "sanitary" reason, but we could order room service (and pay for it) and that would be okay. Really?? Not sanitary for us to take it - but hell - you can load up at the buffet and take it to your room - that's okay. They nickel and dime you to death. This was was advertised as a 6 day cruise, but with leaving Vancouver at 2:30 a.m., and sitting in Victoria for two days (Seattle was cancelled) - this should be touted as a 5 day cruise and we should be refunded for a day. We didn't find the staff exceptionally pleasant - most of them were flying back home after the cruise, and I think they just wanted to get off as well. We will NEVER, EVER take Norwegian again - even if it was free. You would still get nickel and dimed to death on everything else. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are Platinum Plus (30+ cruises) and consider ourselves "loyalists." Unfortunately, our experience on the Bliss in September pushed us to look elsewhere. We'd also had a not so great experience on the Bliss in April but ... Read More
We are Platinum Plus (30+ cruises) and consider ourselves "loyalists." Unfortunately, our experience on the Bliss in September pushed us to look elsewhere. We'd also had a not so great experience on the Bliss in April but explained it away by the newness of the ship, etc. This time, we couldn't explain away the below average experience. It really makes us sad b/c we've loved NCL for so many reasons. Unfortunately, the changes in NCL (growing too big too fast) are impacting customer service, the cruise experience, and food quality. No longer is there a "family" feel...we felt like just another number (I know we are no matter what but there was not even a pretense to care). On top of that, we brought along our 2 cousins and our travel agent (who'd never sailed NCL) and she brought along 7 others. We had been ranting and raving about NCL to her so she wanted to try it to share her good experiences with her customers. First, we were not allowed to board until 10p. It was chaos (as other reviews have indicated). We ate in the MDR - the most mediocre food (at best) ever. Then the muster drill at 11p. Really? Most everyone was asleep listening to the drill...elderly folk were exhausted, parents were drained, kids were irritable, and everyone else (including myself) were dumbfounded at the sheer stupidity of keeping us at the drill so long (longer than usual). When we get to our room, there is a letter indicating we will not be stopping at Seattle as planned but would stay in Victoria for 2 days. There was no explanation and no one knew anything. Later we'd find out that supposedly Seattle port did not have enough Customs agents to allow us to pass through. We found this incredibly hard to believe. There was never an apology or explanation from the Captain or Hotel Director. In fact, the Senior Officers were nowhere to be found. Gone are the days where Senior Officers socialized a bit during the morning/afternoon in the Atrium. Guest Services was a joke. I loved sailing NCL b/c it felt like EVERYONE knew their jobs so well and I could depend/trust the information I was provided. This was not true of Guest Services - all of whom barely looked up from their computers when speaking to us. Shore Excursions Desk gave us wrong information indicating we should follow immigration process when we stopped in San Francisco ("listen for announcement"). Thank goodness I didn't trust this (mis)information and asked around and found that if you had an excursion, you could get off the ship at the excursion time. Food - the worst MDR experiences we've ever had. The food was tepid with poor presentation (it really seemed that the chefs just threw food on the plates). Orders were continually wrong, waiters didn't know answers to simple questions regarding the food, and service was horrendous. Several times waiters brought us our soup and appetizer at the same time. So we had all of our plates prior to the main meal at one time. I actually muttered "well this is new" and the waiter asked if I'd rather they hold it for me until I was ready. I declined since I knew all that meant was for it to go sit in a cold room and who knew how long it'd be for him to come around again to bring it to me. One of the Officers told me that about 30% of the staff were entirely new employees. It showed. On this trip (and the one in April on the Bliss) there were no smiling faces, "good mornings," or anyone who seemed to care that we were paying guests on a cruise ship. Everything was done with what seemed like a great deal of effort, from the hostess swiping our key cards when we checked in for dinner to handing us menus (vs tossing them to us). No more pulling out chairs for us and forget about a napkin on your lap. Platinum members? Didn't matter...there was nothing special for us. In fact, the Lattitudes party was in the Observation lounge and EVERYONE stopped by to get a drink at the bar, regardless of status. Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was pathetic - some of the Senior Officers were there and they were hurriedly introduced and they quickly ran off to somewhere else after their names were called. I often felt like saying "sorry to bother you." Not what you want when you've spent a nice chunk of change on a cruise. I wasn't sad when it was time to leave and it was hard for me to give a standing ovation at the farewell party. When I got home, I felt like I'd never even been on a vacation. I also started getting on Cruise Critic and looking at reviews of HAL, obtained other members' opinions, and called HAL for information. Did you know that a person at HAL actually answers the phone without waiting on hold for 30+ minutes?! So not only did NCL give my travel agent nothing to encourage her customers to try, her companions saying they'll go back to their usual smaller/more expensive cruises, and my cousins got driven back to Disney, but they also helped me decide to spread my wings and try HAL. Maybe I'll get back some of that feeling of being valued. While I feel a bit disloyal, I really felt the need to speak with my money and go elsewhere at least for now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on ... Read More
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on porting in Seattle. So because we missed out in Seattle spent an extra day in Victoria Was looking forward to San Francisco and we couldn’t get off the ship until after noon even though ship was ported in the early morning. Not what our itinerary had told us Public washrooms we’re discussing. Toilets seemed to not be flushing properly and guesses continued to use them..... Food was undercooked a few times and service was terrible. We had two dining speciality packages and one of those evenings our waiter forgot to submit our food order and it took nearly an hour and 40 minutes to receive our food Terrible experience all around! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in ... Read More
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in Vancouver were so disorganized and they waited until 7pm to start the process. They could have started earlier and gave us our passenger pass. NCL deleted our stop at Seattle without any prior notice. We found out this deletion when we boarded the ship. NCL however compensated us with $50 each. Entertainment were mostly Broadway musicals without any variety. Some of the entertainment has an entrance fee. The inside room was smaller than the smaller ship. When we reached San Francisco, all passengers must check with the immigration at the terminal building. With more than 4000 passengers to process, NCL provided only 1 checkout counter to check IDs. No wonder the cue was really long. Because of this long line, I started to get sick and passed out while on the line. Per my wife, NO NCL PERSONNEL assisted us while I was laying on the floor. Thank God, one of the passenger called 911. I was taken to the emergency room of California Pacific Medical Center. It took the hospital more than 5 hours to complete the medical tests and diagnosis. I missed the ship and NCL provided us a hotel room and a flight home to Los Angeles the following day. I believe the long line gave me the stress and sickness. I will never a large NCL ship cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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