Sail Date: August 2019
We had an interior room; however, I recommend a balcony room as Alaska offers beautiful scenery especially when going thru fjords. Overall, the ship was great. It has been recently remodeled and they did a great job. The food was amazing. ... Read More
We had an interior room; however, I recommend a balcony room as Alaska offers beautiful scenery especially when going thru fjords. Overall, the ship was great. It has been recently remodeled and they did a great job. The food was amazing. We ate in the Tsar, Azura, and Chin Chin. Being vegetarian, they were very accommodating and we could pre-order our meals the day before. Regardless of which restaurant we ate at, Tsar's or Azura, they would have our order. Chin Chin didn't have very many vegetarian options. Being with meat eaters in our group, we wanted to dine together. The others weren't too thrilled with the food there either. The sushi was good, but that's extra charge. The shows were great - Larry Omaha (comedian), Anna and Vlad (acrobats), and the main show on the last night were amazing. Must see!! We missed the Quest but Perfect Couple game was hilarious!! Don't miss it!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Before boarding, we spent several days in Alaska on our own. The day we boarded, we traveled from Anchorage to Seward via the Coastal Classic route on the Alaska Railroad. Although we booked independently from NCL, they still checked our ... Read More
Before boarding, we spent several days in Alaska on our own. The day we boarded, we traveled from Anchorage to Seward via the Coastal Classic route on the Alaska Railroad. Although we booked independently from NCL, they still checked our bags straight through from Anchorage, and they were waiting for us in our cabin when we boarded! The Coastal Classic train 100% surpassed expectations, it was absolutely breathtaking! Once in Seward, we boarded an independently booked excursion through Major Marine Tours, the 6 hour Kenai Fjords tour. Again, absolutely exceeded our expectations, it was fantastic! So many marine creatures that we saw: otters, sea lions, seals, whales, eagles, puffins... And Aialik Glacier was awe-inspiring. The blue ice was so vivid, and in the smaller boat we were able to get much closer than the cruise ship could get, so we could easily hear the sonic boom when it calved! Embarkation went very smoothly, we were through the line and on the ship in probably 10-15 minutes. We missed the main muster drill because we were still on our excursion, so we attended the make-up drill just before sailaway. The dining was typical, no complaints, but the only really memorable meals were at the specialty restaurants (we ate at Cagneys, La Cucina, and Moderno this cruise). We had the social media internet package, and it worked well for Facebook, texts, Instagram, Twitter, etc, but I was surprised that it wouldn't let me update my Wordpress blog. No complaints on speed, it worked reasonably well. The entertainment was generally excellent, especially the shows. Velvet was interesting, although I wouldn't have paid an upcharge for it like I think is happening on other ships. Vlad and Anna, the acrobats, were absolutely fantastic, both in their own show and in the Cirque Bijou show the last night. We found the comedian on this cruise, Larry Omaha, highly entertaining as well. My only criticism for the cruise director's staff would be the scheduling of activities - inexplicably, while we were in port, there were a bunch of activities scheduled (including our personal favorite, trivia), but on the sea days, there seemed to actually be fewer activities scheduled, which seems odd. Not the end of the world as I'm perfectly capable of entertaining myself on sea days, even in Alaska, but it was a bit weird. Service was fantastic, absolutely no complaints. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The ports were a bit more hit or miss in my opinion. Seward was great, as previously stated. The next port was Icy Strait Point, which was not a favorite. With the Joy in port at the same time, it was very crowded, and everything seemed even more overpriced than the rest of Alaska. We attended the In Alaska's Wildest Kitchen excursion through NCL, and it was interesting, but not nearly worth what it cost in my opinion. We then walked the Memorial Trail into Hoonah, where we had been told we could catch the shuttle back one-way. First of all, there's basically nothing of interest in Hoonah, or if there was, it certainly wasn't obvious. Secondly, the shuttle system was a big cluster. TWICE, we had a shuttle appear only to be informed moments later that she couldn't take us after all, as she had to pick up customers at the airport. We waited a good 20+ minutes for a shuttle, in a long line, and then two more showed up immediately after. We heard of others waiting 45 minutes or more. In addition, the shuttle pickup was not marked. At all. We just saw a bunch of people heading that way (I assume from where they'd been dropped off), and followed. Next stop was Juneau, where we rented a car at the nearby Avis rental and drove to Mendenhall Glacier. You can't get very close to the glacier without an excursion directly to it, we found, but we were able to see it, and to hike the area, including Nugget Falls, and the salmon ladder, where black bears were evident. The Visitor Center was interesting, but couldn't occupy one for more than 30 minutes. We drove back to Juneau and stopped at the Juneau city museum, which was interesting - probably a 30-45 minute stop. We then headed back for a 1pm all-aboard so we could go to Dawes Glacier on the ship that afternoon. Both Hubbard and Dawes were nice, but not comparable to the experience we had getting close up to Aialik. Next port was Skagway, where we booked the White Pass and Yukon train through Chilkoot Charters. Very professional and well done, the train ride is very scenic as well as interesting to hear the narration of the history of the area. We then boarded a bus that headed further into the Yukon territory, including lunch near Carcross and several photo stops. Our driver, Jennie, was great, very informative as well as entertaining. I had managed to injure my leg that morning running back to the ship to get our passports, so we weren't able to do any real exploring in Skagway, unfortunately. In Ketchikan, we had booked a Black Bear tour through Kiwanti Adventures, and definitely saw the bears. Of course, so did a lot of people who paid a lot less for a rainforest tour, as well as some that may have just happened to be in the parking lot at the right time. That said, we were much closer to the bear and probably got much better photos. If seeing a black bear is important, it's a good tour to book! We disembarked in Vancouver, and did the Vancouver City Highlights tour through LandSea Adventures. In retrospect, we should have booked their Vancouver Delights tour instead, as it has very high ratings, but it's a longer tour and would have started to make me nervous about getting to the airport in time. In any case, the City Highlights tour was good, we got to see a lot of the City, including Granville Island, Stanley Park, and the English Bay area. Our driver, Ira, was very informative and entertaining as well. Overall, we will definitely be back, although may try to mix things up with some different ports if possible! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship because my husband and my daughters did the same trip six years ago. They were very happy about the trip. There was nothing similar. I want to start with airport to cruise ship transfer. We booked it previously and ... Read More
We chose this ship because my husband and my daughters did the same trip six years ago. They were very happy about the trip. There was nothing similar. I want to start with airport to cruise ship transfer. We booked it previously and it looked very convenient. At the airport they took all our luggages and we were told they would have delivered luggages directly to our room. We embarked at 1pm. Around 6 pm when there was no luggage called the guest service. They told us very rudely luggage would be delivered until 9 pm. We didn't have any appropriate clothes for dining rooms. We were told we can eat at other open buffet. Luggages came at 8.30pm. Food was horrible. Same type of food every day. Chef had a strange taste. Everything including deserts had sweet and spicy together. In restaurants there was not a special theme any day. We never ate this kind of tasteless food in anywhere. I only give you an example to make everyone understand food quality. We ordered brownie with ice cream in our last night at the restaurant. There came regular cake with raisins with ice cream!!! It wasn't even brown!! For tea, coffee and water you have to go certain areas. In only deck 12. Not a single convenient place when you use the sun deck or other quiet places. Is there any housekeeping? They came only once a day. They brought enough towels sometimes, they forgot to pick up used glasses or dishes. They left lotion only once during seven day trip. I sailed Norwegian and other cruise lines before. Housekeeping was always incredible. Whenever we left the room they were in the room to clean. It was always spotless. In this trip it was just disappointment. Guest service was so rude. They were ordering us what to do not to try help. The best thing in the ship was shows. The team were amazing.We had good memories with them to remember. I will never sail again with Norwegian. I will never advice this ship to anyone as well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Jewel to Alaska for several reasons. Entertainment, good food, Alaskan ports to visit, and the NCL family. Entertainment on the ship is always available. Our favorite venue is the Stardust evening shows. The cruise ... Read More
We chose the Jewel to Alaska for several reasons. Entertainment, good food, Alaskan ports to visit, and the NCL family. Entertainment on the ship is always available. Our favorite venue is the Stardust evening shows. The cruise performers put on three outstanding shows. The first was Velvet, a music and dance production with many costume changes and a fantastic light show set to the music. The second was a collection of songs and dances. It also had the wonderful voices, lights, dancing, along with the stage band. The last performance showcased the acrobatic abilities of the cast. Amazing!!! Other nightly shows included a very funny comedian with a late night bonus. He could really work the crowd. There was a Russian couple that performed feats of strength and balance, as well as aerials. Good food was found everywhere. Our favorite was the Garden Cafe. Rowen Luna, an assistant chef, was at a carving station. His salmon was the best on the ship, and I tried a couple different salmon dishes. He always greeted us and wished us an enjoyable cruise. He also took the time to explain how the meats were prepared in the big ovens. His roast suckling pig was a work of art and flavor. Of course, NCL strives to make everyone feel welcome and part of their family. That is the main reason we prefer NCL over the other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This trip... our second to Alaska, we decided to expand our horizons & visit Denali National Park! All I can say is the entire experience was amazing... we learned more than we expected & Alex, the tour guide was awesome! The ... Read More
This trip... our second to Alaska, we decided to expand our horizons & visit Denali National Park! All I can say is the entire experience was amazing... we learned more than we expected & Alex, the tour guide was awesome! The train was comfy ... the bus was great & each and every step along the way - we were given expectations - what the rooms would be like (some had no ac), when to have luggage ready, where to be when & every little detail! The entire land portion was fun, exciting, a learning experience, fun and extremely well organized! We opted for the Denali portion first so we could unpack & stay put once we got on the Jewel --- worked perfectly! Now the Jewel ... the renovations are beautiful & very stately ... all of the somewhat gaudy decor has been replace and the entire ship is BEAUTIFUL! We love the new look and NCL has lots to be proud of... that for sure! We always book a suite & love the extra attention to our needs and this was no difference ... our concierge, Butler & steward were amazing ... we loved them all! They took care of our every single need ... even a blanket for sitting out on the deck when the glacier viewing was chilly! Weather was warm for many of the days and I'm delighted we had been watching the weather... who would think we would go to Alaska & get tan sitting on our forward deck? Amazing! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have sailed with NCL in the past and we picked this cruise because we liked the itinerary of the land and cruise. The land part was very fast paced with early days and a lot of time on buses. We liked that we got to see so much of ... Read More
We have sailed with NCL in the past and we picked this cruise because we liked the itinerary of the land and cruise. The land part was very fast paced with early days and a lot of time on buses. We liked that we got to see so much of Alaska and our tour guide Madonna and bus driver Steve were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We spent the first day in Fairbanks and the first morning at Susan Butcher's Trail Break Kennels. She won the 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990 Iditarod. Even though she passed away a few years ago, her husband and daughters continue on the tradition. We learned a lot about the history of dog mushing and got to see the dogs first hand. They are all so happy. The highlight was getting to hold the puppies. We then went on to see the Alaskan Pipeline and panned for gold. We chose the optional River Boat Cruise in the afternoon which was also fun and informative. We saw a replica of a Native Alaskan village and it was great to see all of the culture of Alaska. We also saw another presentation for the Trail Break Kennels. We got in to Fairbanks a day early and we stayed at the Rivers Edge Resort.They have a bunch of nice cabins on the river. The restaurant attached is the best in Fairbanks and it was really good! Day 2 was a train ride to Denali National Park. The train was very nice and we had an optional breakfast on board. We then took a bus tour in to the Park. We were on the bus for about 8 hours total but we saw lots of wildlife and tour guide was very informative. He stopped anytime we saw wildlife. We had multiple rest stops and we were able to see Denali (Mt McKinley) which was so beautiful. We stayed at the Grand Denali Resrt. Beautiful views overlooking the river. The restaurant was really good as well. Try the salmon cakes! Day 3 was another train ride to Talkeetna, a cute town where we had lunch. Think Northern Exposure. Then on to Anchorage. We spent the night and then got up to see Anchorage. We stayed at the Sheraton. It took 2 hours to get our luggage. Trying to get coffee in the morning took forever. They were completely under staffed even though they knew 3 tour buses were coming in and leaving at the same time. No apologies and complete indifference. Unfortunately being on a land part of the cruise apparently gives you last priority to board the ship. While everyone else was able to board at noon we were not able to board til about 5:30. We were stalled in Anchorage and then we stopped briefly at the Wildlife Conservation Center. Then stalled again in Seward. By then most of us were done with buses. It should be that you leave by 9am, drive to the Conservation Center and board the ship at noon for lunch. We had a suite as we were traveling with our two adult daughters and it made better sense than to have 2 cabins. Just an FYI. If you have a 2 bedroom suite you only get 1 hotel room on the land part of the cruise which we thought was ridiculous! Luckily we figured this out before and paid more money to get 2 hotel rooms but our tour guide says that a lot of times people figure this out for the first time when they check in. We had the Ruby Penthouse suite which was amazing! Getting a suite gets you priority check in and a concierge who helps you throughout the cruise. Dinner reservations, priority disembarkation at ports etc. Our suite also came with butler service. It was so nice to have breakfast brought to our room or have hot chocolate in the afternoon. Also you had special deck privileges for viewing glaciers. Our suite had a bedroom and bath right when you got in. Think inside cabin. It had a full bed and a twin bed bunk bed. The bathroom was a decent size. Then there was a living room with a table with four chairs and a couch and coffee table and a balcony. It had a refrigerator and Nespresso coffee maker. The second bedroom was right off the living room with a King size bed and a huge bathroom with double sinks, a big closet a tub with floor to ceiling windows and a walk in shower with floor to ceiling windows as well, and multiple jets. We loved the suite!!! Also with a suite you get your own private dining room for breakfast and lunch. The food in there was really good!!! Also you get priority disembarkation and we got through customs very quickly. The ship was recently remodeled and felt new and nice. The only problem is this is a very small ship. So there are not a lot of extra amenities. There is a spa and a casino and a theater but no other things to do. The scenery is breathtaking but unless you are into Bingo or playing cards there is not a lot to do on the ship. The game room (board games, cards, etc.) was packed. They should have made it twice as big with the lack of other activities. Luckily we had our suite. We often brought cards to a bar area and played there. The food was ok. In the upgraded restaurants the food was really good but in the main dining rooms it was just ok. I was disappointed that on an Alaska cruise there was not more salmon or King Crab. We actually ate off the ship in very port and had the most amazing meals. With all of that seafood available it should have been offered more on board. The shows were good with a mix of musical, comedy and a Cirque show. We always got seats no problem and they have people bringing you drinks right up to showtime. The casino was fun but the table had a $10 minimum and went from there. Most sat empty. We would have used the table more if maybe there was a $5 table. The ports of Icy Strait, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan were small and could be seen in about an hour or two. Most people took excursions at each port. Since we had done the land part we just walked around, ate and enjoyed the quietness of the ship. The excursions were really expensive. Most were around $200 per person and with four of us that would mean spending another $800. The highlights were the Hubbard Glacier and Dawes Glacier. We were amazed at the beautiful blue iceberg and seeing seals float by on them was so serene. We did have a photo session at the Hubbard Glacier. It is not cost for the session and you pay for the pics only if you like them. For one pic it was $250 and it went from there. If they would reduce their cost we would have bought many more! Beware the drink packages on this cruise are outrageous. Luckily ours were included but it was $900 per person for 7 days. The bar service was great though and you never had to wait for a drink. Ali at the mojito bar was awesome!! He had our drink order down by Day 2 and we only went a couple times. Overall this was an amazing trip. Next time we would pick a bigger ship but that being said I do believe being on a a smaller ship let us go into see some of the glaciers we might not have seen. The service was fantastic. Everyone was very nice and most went out of their way to make sure you had what you wanted. There were 2000 passengers and 1000 crew so you definitely felt like people were there to help you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband picked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, so this was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime. Before I tell the negative let me give you the positive. This was a two week trip the first week on land was done thru NCL with ... Read More
My husband picked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, so this was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime. Before I tell the negative let me give you the positive. This was a two week trip the first week on land was done thru NCL with premiere travel we had a awesome guide and wonderful motor coach driver. The cruise on the other hand was still good but a let down after the first week. The Norwegian Jewel Staff was very rude but what do you expect when you pay your tips up front. The food was the same thing everyday and very bland. It was like eating in a hospital. I talked to several people that ate at the specialty restaurants and said it was horrible so we never wasted our money. Day 4 they started running out of beer. The ship was just okay nothing spectacular very hard to find things on board. the cabins where very worn. The activities on board for the most part where good. The comedian was awesome. Getting on and off the ship was very easy, but again the employees very rude. We chose a wifi package... don't because you'll never be able to get on, unless you would like to up grade for more money. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had done an Alaska cruise 3 years ago and wanted to go back and see the interior parts of Alaska. Both the land portion and cruise were fantastic! Our embarkation was easy since we arrived in Seward around 3:00 in the afternoon. We ... Read More
We had done an Alaska cruise 3 years ago and wanted to go back and see the interior parts of Alaska. Both the land portion and cruise were fantastic! Our embarkation was easy since we arrived in Seward around 3:00 in the afternoon. We were immediately shown to our forward suite. The Jewel was renovated and was beautiful. Our suite was very roomy and we certainly enjoyed it but I have to say that I don't care for the wind you get on the balcony. When we were in port or seeing glaciers, it was great! We saw Hubbard and Sawyer Glaciers and they were both beautiful. We had dinner in Cagney's, LeBistro and Teppanyaki and it is hard to choose which would be the best. All three are excellent! I did notice that the "show" that Teppanyaki usually does while preparing the meal was non existent. Not sure why they cut that out but the food was great! We also visited the buffet once and O'Shehan's once. No complaints at either. Dinner in the main dining room was also very nice. All the food was good as always. Entertainment was good but not great. I thought Rock You Tonight was the best show we saw. The 45 minutes just flew by and we wanted more! Velvet was okay but didn't seem to have a good flow to it. The comedian, Carl Strong, was very funny and we enjoyed him. Le Cirque Bijou was incredible. My only problem was trying to keep up with all the acts, there were several going on at the same time. Icy Strait Point was a great port that we had not visited on our previous cruise. Our excursion, Whales & Wildlife, was great and I highly recommend it. We saw bears, eagles, whales and sea lions. In Skagway, we visited a Musher's Camp and actually had a ride in a sled. We got to hold puppies too. Bottom line, this was a great cruise! If you have the time, I encourage you to do the land tour before the cruise. We did the Authentic Alaska and it was incredible! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I wanted to go to Alaska, experience wonderful and beautiful scenery, experience of a lifetime. Food was good, room with a balcony was perfect. Me and my husband do not do the nightlife, bars or lounges, but we enjoyed the trip, stayed on ... Read More
I wanted to go to Alaska, experience wonderful and beautiful scenery, experience of a lifetime. Food was good, room with a balcony was perfect. Me and my husband do not do the nightlife, bars or lounges, but we enjoyed the trip, stayed on our balcony and eat whenever we wanted. Dressed up two different nights and went to the restaurants. The bike excursion was one of the best, loved it! Train excursion was amazing, and the kayaking was an awesome experience. We went along with my sister and her husband, no children. The choice of excursions were good, and we had a really enjoyable time. Loved the balcony, that made our trip the best it could be. You need an ice cream bar, not just the dispensers with ice cream. The food was good would have liked more fish salmon etc. Boat needs to be updated, but all in all it was amazing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship and the associated land tour. We were not disappointed. The service on the ship was exemplary. Everyone we came in contact with was friendly and helpful. When our shower overflowed a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship and the associated land tour. We were not disappointed. The service on the ship was exemplary. Everyone we came in contact with was friendly and helpful. When our shower overflowed a little due to a slow drain, Guest Services sent maintenance to our cabin within 30 minutes. The variety of food was good in the buffet and the complimentary restaurants. We also enjoyed the shows. The narration during the glacier viewing was informative and interesting. The captain turned the ship so passengers could enjoy the views from wherever they were on the ship. Our favorite port excursions were “Alaska Whales and Rainforest Trails” and the sea fishermen’s tour in Ketchikan on the Aleutian Ballard from The Deadliest Catch. Guides for both of these excursions were extremely knowledgeable and personable while behaving in a professional way. The captain on the whale watching excursion was in touch with other boats and knew exactly where the whales were that day. The captain and crew on the Aleutian Ballard were beyond description in the way they presented their tour in an entertaining way. An added delight was when they surprised us by feeding eagles from the boat. They must have attracted 3 dozen eagles right up to the boat. What a delight! Yep! We’d happily do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
All staff were very cordial and engaging., eager to assist with any of our needs. Loved visiting the ports and especially the glaciers. The ship was very clean and committed to the prevention of infection I especially loved the washy washy ... Read More
All staff were very cordial and engaging., eager to assist with any of our needs. Loved visiting the ports and especially the glaciers. The ship was very clean and committed to the prevention of infection I especially loved the washy washy station and the bathrooms were always clean The cruise line can improve on the selection of entrees offering more exquisite dining without charging an additional fee. I would have liked to see more involvement by the activity staff at the poolside it always makes for a better day when there is a band playing and games to entertain you. We loved our precruise land tour as well. This offered us a close encounter with Alaska’s greatest offerings, we were able to observe moose, brown bears, caribou, dall sheep and countless America’s national bird the bald eagle. Although we were very awe struck with Alaska, we feel the cruise line can upgrade to offer more exquisite dining especially by offering lobster tails as part of the ever changing daily menu. In conclusion we would recommend visiting our 49th state on the Jewel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Good variety of food & places to eat. Loved the Japanese restaurant. For the most part, the service was excellent. Shore excursions booked through NCL were great. Loved the entertainment, only missed one night. Jake was a good ... Read More
Good variety of food & places to eat. Loved the Japanese restaurant. For the most part, the service was excellent. Shore excursions booked through NCL were great. Loved the entertainment, only missed one night. Jake was a good emcee . Bartenders were great. Drink variety was good. Loved the overall experience. Would have no problem recommending NCL to my friends and family. Liked the fact that they had things for you to do on the days we were at sea. Played bingo on those days. Did trivia one day. Visited the casino a couple of times. Enjoyed Deal or No Deal. That was very entertaining. Some day I hope to take another cruise with NCL. It was a very good experience. Weather was absolutely perfect. Couldn't have asked for better. Would have liked to spend time by the pool, but we were on the go too much! Good job NCL!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First trip to Alaska. 31st cruise overall. Arrived in Anchorage: June 21 @ 1:15 AM (a day early) and stayed at Inlet Hotel that included 24 hr shuttle and breakfast in the morning. Good hotel for a brief stayover. Great breakfast in ... Read More
First trip to Alaska. 31st cruise overall. Arrived in Anchorage: June 21 @ 1:15 AM (a day early) and stayed at Inlet Hotel that included 24 hr shuttle and breakfast in the morning. Good hotel for a brief stayover. Great breakfast in restaurant instead of doing included con't breakfast. They offered us $10 p/person off for sit-down leisurely paced meal. Do it. After some rest checked out of Inlet to go to NCL assigned hotel Hilton Anchorage via Uber (which was only 1 mile away but we had lot's of luggage). We were on the Anchorage Denali Express Pre Cruise Tour and then to embark on the Jewel Monday June 24. Our luggage was held by their Hotel Porter while we explored Anchorage. Did some trails nearby and enjoyed the hotel area. After dinner we were exhausted but decided to check at front desk (7:30 pm ish) if they knew anything about NCL land tour we were starting tomorrow. On our PDF in cruise doc's it said to "Meet your Tour Director" in lobby Saturday morning. This information is INCORRECT. The NCL Tour Directors were at the hotel from 3-8 pm in the lobby on Friday. If I didn't be nosy and check out happenings at Front Desk - we would have been in trouble with the scheduling the following morning -as luggage with special tags (2 kinds of tags) and Luggage Pull was at 6 AM on Saturday. I had 19 people in my group so it was hectic for me locating everyone with correct information- luggage tags & new schedule. A side note: We saw a banner and table in lobby for RCCL but nothing for NCL NCL was located in a side room off the lobby that nobody could see with NO SIGNAGE. Happy to report that this was our only big hiccup with tour and cruise. One minor issue is that one of our bags going to Denali was left behind but Tour Director tried hard to make it up. She was very nice and gave us excellent information. NCL Accommodations were all nice locations and properties. If I were to do over: one more day in Denali. The hotel was great Grizzly Bear Resort. Too much to see in short time. Embarkation was a breeze at 4-4:30 pm in Seward. I had a Balcony Stateroom 9044 - and with this itinerary- I don't feel that starboard side of ship made a difference. We had 4 Specialty Dinners included: we did Cagney's 2X, La Cucina, and Moderno. I have a shellfish allergy so some restaurants I had to eliminate and some items on menu's I cannot have because of contaminated oil in fryers or on cutting surfaces. They always asked before taking orders if there are allergies. All my meals onboard were very good to excellent. All our servers were also great. We had no complaints. The shows at night that we saw were excellent. NCL does SHINE on entertainment. Ports: Seward from the bus. Next time we would spend a day here. Impressive driving to the Port from Anchorage At Sea with Hubbard Glacier: magnificent viewing from several area's on the ship. Icy Strait Point: walked to Hoonah and saw totem pole carvers, brew house, and then walked back around ISP shops and restaurants. Juneau: We did Whale watching with Juneau Tours Skagway: White Pass Scenic Railway, Red Dog Saloon, walking thru town. Ketchikan: Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show It was too early for the Salmon to be running so I wish we could have seen that. I am sure we might have seen more bears also with the fish. Did alot of walking around in Ketchikan -Married Man's Trail, Totem Heritage Center, Hatchery & Eagle Center, Creek Street, Funicular Tram to the Lodge. Vancouver: Got off the ship at 9 AM. Plan A -Was going to find CDS in Canada Place to hold and deliver our luggage to airport so that we could tour -however they are no longer there according to Gray Line tours. I checked online a week prior and it did not tell me otherwise so we did Plan B. Gray Line had a luggage holding area until 5 pm but no airport delivery. Since it was Canada Day, a national Holiday, it was CRAZY around port and around all tourist area's. We settled for Hop on Hop off bus to tour Vancouver which was fine. Just the crowds were huge. Picked up luggage at 3:40 pm and walked 1.5 blocks with luggage and crowds to train station- destination going to airport. It was easy once we got there. Ate dinner in airport and waited 3 hours before airline check in. Didn't want to chance getting to airport with luggage hold and crowds. Many of my group stayed 1-2 extra nights which they were able to enjoy Vancouver more.....but it was pricey because of the Holiday. Great trip but need a vacation to rest. LOL Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Most beautiful state in America. Norwegian does a fantastic job of showing the beautiful scenery and explaining what you are seeing. The glaciers are beautiful, although the caving is sad to see. The ride is smooth. We had 80-85 degree ... Read More
Most beautiful state in America. Norwegian does a fantastic job of showing the beautiful scenery and explaining what you are seeing. The glaciers are beautiful, although the caving is sad to see. The ride is smooth. We had 80-85 degree weather which made it an unreal expats we were able to enjoy the pool and music when on board. Excursions were unbelievable. We went snorkeling-we were kept warm, safe and showed amazing sea life by amazing guides. Bike and brewery great exercise, sites, with a trip to a glacier and beer. And of course nothing better than the puppies and sled dogs. We did the land and sea so we played with puppies 3 different times, along with a ride (4x4) pulled by dogs-their summer workout. The food was excellent. Staff amazing-helps wherever needed. Entertainment was great. The shows were professionally done. The comic was amazing, they even let him do an extra show. If you haven’t been GO BEFORE IT MELTS! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
At the urging of our son-in-law and daughter and wanting to go to Alaska, we decided to take our first cruise. We went to Alaska first and then took the cruise from Seward down to Vancouver. It was a wonderful trip including the beautiful ... Read More
At the urging of our son-in-law and daughter and wanting to go to Alaska, we decided to take our first cruise. We went to Alaska first and then took the cruise from Seward down to Vancouver. It was a wonderful trip including the beautiful scenery along the way. My wife and I were surprised with all the very nice restaurants, the variety of food and the wonderful service we had all the week. The food was wonderful everywhere we ate with a great variety of items. At the four ports we took advantage of four excursions which made the trip more memorable. My wife was impressed with the towel animals that were left on our bed. The cabin was very nice and kept clean twice a day. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony and taking photos of the snow capped mountains as we cruised the straits. We were impressed with the Norwegian Jewel and would recommend this trip to everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband, my sister, her husband and I were on Norwegian Alaska Land/Sea Tour. We had an awesome time. Norwegian did a great job with the itinerary. The tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. The Norwegian Jewel was a great ship. We ... Read More
My husband, my sister, her husband and I were on Norwegian Alaska Land/Sea Tour. We had an awesome time. Norwegian did a great job with the itinerary. The tour guide was very nice and knowledgeable. The Norwegian Jewel was a great ship. We had an inside cabin 9569 and it was perfect for us since there is 21 hours of daylight in June. There was plenty of room for the two of us to get around the side of the bed and to use the desk at the bottom of the bed. There is plenty of storage for luggage once we unpacked. The lighting was easy to find and the temperature in the room worked great. The bathroom shower was a nice size. But the way the toilet is placed it is hard to have enough leg room if you are very tall. Our room steward was very friendly and kept the room cleaned. We received towel animals each night which was a nice gesture. We saw the comedian twice on the cruise. He was better the first time. The second time he did an adult version which wasn't as good as his family show. We also saw the show where they sang 70-80 songs. That was a little corny and the singers were not that good. We didn't get to any of the other shows. The food in the buffet was always good and plenty to choose from. We did eat often at O'Sheeans and always enjoyed what we got. The service was always fast and friendly. The only specialty restaurant we ate at was Moderno. The service there was very good and the food was very good. I tried their specialty drink and did not like that at all. We had the land portion of our trip first then got the ship in Seward and finished in Vancouver. Embankment and Disembarkation went very smoothly with no issues. We loved everything about this cruise. We did a Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour in Juneau. We did see some whales, seals and Eagles. In Seward we did the Ghosts & Good Time Girls Walking Tour and it was very informative and lots of fun. In Ketchican we did the All you can eat Crab Feast and Lumberjack show. This was a great meal and the Lumberjack show was very entertaining. We would definitely cruise with Norwegian again. Since this was our second time on the Jewel we would probably pick another ship next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds ... Read More
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds of bags to trying to funnel out of the building thru on small doorway, it was poorly organized.....The staterooms/cabins, our was a port side forward balcony cabin, were extremely tiny, more like cramped; I mean cramped! There wasn't enough drawer space to accommodate my fiance' and nothing for my clothes but some shelves behind the entry door. The hanger closest worked, barely.....Although the cabin's bathroom was adequate with respect to the sink and shower, the attached, but separate, toilet space was tight, and both of us are of average height and weight. I have no idea how anyone carrying "some extra baggage" would be able to use it....Now, as to the food, be it in the buffet or the dining room, lacked any culinary appeal or chef's touch. Consider this: you're in Alaska, the salmon, halibut, king crab "capital" of the US and they served salmon as an entree once for dinner, once. No Lox, no Halibut, No Crab, and N Salmon, only unimaginative beef, pork and chicken dishes. Even the desserts were unexciting...As to the drinks? We each purchased the Premium Beverage Package which was far from it. If you didn't specifically ask the bartender for a certain high end brand of alcohol, they ignored the symbol "PBP" in bold, on your shipboard cabin card, and instead poured swill from the well. What a rip!.......The entertainment eg. the show Velvet, on our first night, was downright awful! Never cared to see anything else....So, as I said, if not for the sites, excursions, this would have been a complete waste of money! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for ... Read More
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for hanging and shelves. The bed was very uncomfortable and I heard the same from others. Service in the main dining room was very good but was disappointed in the service in the specialty dining rooms. Anyone can cook a steak or Italian meal so the service should have been exceptional. Casino dealers were very friendly and helpful. Players club wasn’t even worth signing up for. Very little to do onboard. Bring playing cards because the card room was busy and the ship ran out of playing cards. I did use the treadmills in the fitness center. There were plenty of them so there was no wait. Ports were great. Definitely do the White Pass railroad trip and the whale watching in Hoonah was great. Going into Glacier Bay was really exciting and it was great that the boat did a full turn in the bay so everyone could see. I would do the cruise again, just not on Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & ... Read More
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & Disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was clean but you can tell it was older and a little tired. It was a lot smaller than the others I had been on, and I think I do prefer the larger ones. Our cabin was fine, the ports were fine, the two excursions we went on were fine.The service was fine and all the help were very friendly. They did not have a "Broadway" style show, but did have a nice circus type show. We very much enjoyed their comedian. What was VERY disappointing was the food. From the buffet to the specialty dining, it all seemed to fall short. The exception was the French Restaurant, it was the only really nice meal we had. Cagney's had been my favorite on other cruises and I could not wait to order my steak and the best fries I had ever had, Parmesian Truffle Fries. After it was served, it tasted like regular fries so I asked the waiter and he grinned at me and said they were out of the truffle oil. I would think I should have been told that at the time I placed my order so I had the choice to change my order. I could not seem to get anyone that knew how to cook eggs over medium. In truth, I was so over the no taste food on that ship. It seems like every time we take a cruise on NCL we find new things that are no longer available. When they first came out with the UBP, they had a really great selection of Whiskeys & Bourbons. On our next cruise they had cut the selection in half, and the next cut it to barely any choice, which really did not make my hubby happy. I had a drink I always liked, a Mudslide. Imagine my surprise when I ordered it on this cruise and they forgot the whip cream on top. When I questioned the bartender, he said they cut out having whip cream since they returned from Asia. I know for us, the food and drinks are a great part of feeling we are on vacation. I think it is time for us to revisit other cruise lines. I liked NCL's free styling dining and casual dress, but it seems they are making free with cutting the quality of food and drinks and that don't work for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families with young kids. The kids center, Splash Academy, was open from 9 am until 10:30 pm (and even later for a fee) every day! We thought that the closing time would be too late for our 4 and 8 year old but they loved it so much and never wanted to leave. We gave up on 8 pm bedtimes. The staff did an awesome job with keeping the kids entertained and happy. There were theme nights, active games, silly songs and jokes, sports, prizes, and at the end of the cruise, they had the kids put on a circus show. My hubby and I really enjoyed our free time! Some of the food was just okay but some of the food was fantastic too. Garden Buffet had hits and misses but was decent overall. The kids loved the Garden Buffet. Fruit, tomatoes and salad greens were super fresh at the beginning of the cruise but started to look wilted at the end. The grilled fish, burgers, prime rib (served only the first 2 nights), raita, were good but other dishes like stir fries, fried rice, indian dishes, casseroles, and stews, basically any hot entrée with sauce weren't that good. Salads, fruit, made to order omelettes, made to order pastas, bacon, and eggs benedict were good. Desserts weren't that good. Self service coffee and espressos weren't good but passable. We had 2 really good meals at Tsar's Palace and 1 that wasn't. Desserts were good. The sirloin steak at Azura was cooked perfectly but the peppercorn sauce wasn't good. O'Sheehans burgers and fries were fine. But the nachos were terrible and the fish and chips weren't that good. We didn't try it for breakfast but wouldn't recommend it for lunch or dinner. The fee based dining at Cagneys, Le Bistro and Moderno were EXCELLENT. We ordered macaroni and cheese for my 5 year old; it's her favorite; and it was a terrible dish at all the restaurants. The worst mac and cheese ever. Even Kraft Dinner would have been better. I couldn't tell what was is in it. It was orange and looked good but it was awful, had a powdered chicken soup stock after taste. I spoke with serving staff and they agreed that it was really bad. At Tsars Palace, Azura and O'Sheehans, some of the staff were friendly, helpful and fast, even going beyond, while I felt ignored by some of the staff. For example, we didn't get any water for 15 minutes one time at Tsar's, I normally wouldn't have noticed it but we were super thirsty, and it seemed like there was confusion on who was looking after us. But one server at Tsar's would pleasantly fill my wine glass without me asking, sourced out the french baguette that my fussy 5 year old would only eat, and even offered us complimentary cappuccinos. Service at the fee based dining was wonderful. I didn't really see our room steward, although he was friendly, that much while I did see the neighboring steward often. On our first day, we noticed all these brown reddish flakes on our bed. The neighboring steward cleaned it up because our room steward was returning in the evening from his time off. The neighboring steward thought that it came from the AC/heating element. We didn't have that problem again. The main pool was salt water and pleasantly warm. We enjoyed the pool even on rainy days. The production cast shows were FANTASTIC. They are so talented! We enjoyed Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Aerial Duo and Le Cirque Bijou. On our second night, we kept hearing a consistent banging below. We were on deck 9. Someone from guest services came up and determined that because the water was so choppy, that a lifeboat on deck 8 was likely making that noise. He apologized for the noise and we said that it's no trouble and it's out of their control. Later, we heard someone working on the lifeboat below while water spray was hitting our 9th deck window! The banging stop and I felt so sorry for the person who had to work in that weather. We were lucky to not have booked any excursions in Skagway, one of the scheduled ports, because the Captain decided to stop in Haines instead, explaining that there had been a barge carrier jet fuel leak where we were supposed to berth. But then I heard all these different stories from other people, and they were angry and just wanted the truth. The bars were good. We really enjoyed the drinks from the bar in the Atrium. The bar in the Spinnaker Lounge (at the front of the ship) wasn't as good as the Atrium one. We had the best pina coladas at atrium, and mojitos at Topsiders (even better than the mojito bar). The driving range, and tennis/basketball court/soccer field were fun. Embarkation and disembarkation from all ports were efficient and smooth. Luggage management was efficient and fast. The Discovery Center in Ketchikan was fantastic and informative. Our kids earned a cool junior ranger badge there. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were awe inspiring. But it was depressing to see how much Glacier Bay has retreated and to learn from the Park Ranger that it, and other glaciers, will be gone in 20 years because of climate change. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall, was very happy with our (my dad and I) cruise and this ship. - We enjoyed the ship over all. It was easy to get around and the signage was very helpful. It was always clean. It had just been refurbished, so while you ... Read More
Overall, was very happy with our (my dad and I) cruise and this ship. - We enjoyed the ship over all. It was easy to get around and the signage was very helpful. It was always clean. It had just been refurbished, so while you could tell it was an older ship, it was stylish and up to date. We loved that the ship was a smaller one, and I've decided I like that better than the new larger ships. We were very impressed with how close the Captain was able to get us to the glaciers. He was very good at maneuvering the ship through the ice to the glaciers and positioning the ship so everyone could see everything. The views were breathtaking and we were very pleased with this aspect of the cruise. The ship was easy to get on and off at ports. The lines always moved quickly. There was always staff to help you find where you needed to go. We were very pleased that we could keep our luggage with us the last night and take it ourselves on the final day. The one thing we did not care for was the smoking policy. Smoking was allowed in the casino, which smelled up the theatre and the lounges on either side of the casino. Smoking was also allowed at the Pit Stop on deck 13, which meant you could smell smoke all over the pool deck. I also observed people smoking on the open decks while we were docking. - For a small inside cabin, there was ample storage for two people who had severely overpacked. We did bring an extension cord (used for a CPAP) and multi-outlet adapters (didn't use.) The lamps over the beds had USB ports. Our steward, Mark, was fabulous. He made sure to say hello and chat a little every time he saw us in the hallway, was constantly asking what else we needed, and straightened our room several times a day. Our room was very clean before we got there and stayed that way throughout our trip. Our room (8531) was also VERY quiet. - We very much enjoyed the freestyle dining and the fact that food was always available somewhere on board. The food on the ship was good, not great, but good. I had expected it to be better, but it is institutional, rather bland food. The choices were ample, and we found some restaurants to be better than others. Azura was our favorite for dinner. We found the service to be lacking in O'Sheehan's. We never had to wait long in line to be seated, though seating could be tricky to find for breakfast in the Garden Cafe. We had hoped to have more regional food choices, but they did serve a delicious smoked salmon chowder on the pool deck one day, and they did bring on fresh salmon for dinner in Ketchikan. My dad was very happy with the steaks he had in the dining room. We did not try the specialty dining. That said, limited gluten-free choices were there, but not as common as I had been lead to believe by the NCL customer service staff I talked with prior to the cruise. Although the signs said gluten-free muffins were available for breakfast, the staff could never find anything but gluten-free white bread when I asked. There were no gluten-free buns for sandwiches or burgers, no gluten-free breads in the main dining rooms, and no gluten-free desserts other than ice cream or fruit. Other guests with food sensitivities were having issues with dining as well. We also found it very odd that coffee and tea were seemingly only available in the Garden Cafe during the evening, none of the lounges had it. I had been told by NCL customer service that I would get a card for a birthday cake on the last night of my cruise, but that never happened. Even if it had, I doubt that I would have been able to eat it. We had the UBP package and were happy with most of the drinks. We loved the martinis at Shakers and were very happy with the drinks out of the Spinnaker. My dad tried a bottled beer a couple of times and thought it was skunky, but he was happy drinking martinis after that. The bartenders were willing to make changes to the drinks if you asked, and I felt the drinks ran a little strong most days. - Entertainment and activities were plentiful except for the last full day at sea. The main productions were fantastic each night. We were very lucky to have the hilarious Tim Kominski as our comic. We enjoyed most of the evening lounge singers and bands. Most of the "game shows" the cruise staff did were fun. There were many options for trivia, bingo, pictionary, painting, etc... Several of them came with an extra charge. The Q & A's with the staff were all interesting. Unfortunately there weren't many enrichment activities. It would have been nice to have a few more opportunities to hear about the history of Alaska, the gold rush, and all the glaciers/wildlife we were seeing. - We did not do any excursions sponsored by the ship, as we had arranged our own. The port towns were small, but were easy to walk and felt safe, had ample shopping, and had some good restaurants. Maps were available at the visitor centers. The ports were very crowded when there were 4 or 5 ships docked at the same time. - We found the service on the ship to be phenomenal. From our wonderful steward, to serving staff who remembered us in different venues, to the effervescent cruise staff running games, to the bartenders who learned our names and the drinks we liked by day two. Everyone was friendly and willing to chat. The staff of this ship really made our trip very special. - The NCL app was very helpful. You could connect to it without purchasing the wifi package. It would allow you to see your account, book excursions, and see the activities available that day. Thank you NCL. We will definitely be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some ... Read More
The trip itself was fantastic, Alaska is an exceptionally beautiful state, but when you go on a trip to a destination that prides itself on being the crab, salmon and halibut capital of the world, wouldn’t you think there would be some of any of those served on the ship? Well no there wasn’t, and the the food in all restaurants, because we tried every single one, was the blandest food we’ve ever had. If you closed your eyes and took a bite of food, most the time it was hard to tell what you were eating. As far as the service goes, it was great! Entertainment was good. Our cabin was very nice, we had a balcony room and our personal attendant was awesome. Every day there would be a new, adorable animal on our bed made of towels. Embankment and disembarkment went smooth. Ketchikan was our favorite, we went into town and bought a lunch of King crab legs and halibut. Shore excursions were to Icey Strait, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan and all were nice. We would probably go again, but not with Norwegian. We did a land cruise tour before the actual ship cruise, which started in Fairbanks and ended in Seward where we caught the ship and it was fantastic, we had an awesome tour director, she was extremely knowledgeable about Alaska, she really takes pride in her beautiful state and our bus/coach driver was also excellent. Denali was great and the glass domed train to Talkeetna was fantastic, the food on the train was excellent, as was the train narrator, she was very knowledgeable too. All in all an awesome trip other than the not so great food on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first ... Read More
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first meal in Azura was bit slow and clunky but the food was good and we weren't in any big hurry! Overall the meals were fine, particularly the specialty restaurants. The food in the main dining rooms was "good", and the service was more than adequate. Specialty restaurants were SUPERB, especially Le Bistro and La Cucina! Our mini-suite was perfect and our Room Steward, Rolando did an excellent job keeping it clean and tending to any of our requests...kudos to Rolando! The extra USB ports were a nice add. Overall the refurbished ship was clean and redecorated nicely. I was a bit disappointed that the seats in the Stardust Theater were not replaced during the refurb. They were low and uncomfortable two years ago and they are the same now. We were so busy, we managed only one show..."Rock You Tonight". It was GREAT...wonderful singers, dancers and band. An awesome production! I do like the smaller ships like the Jewel where you do not need to make reservations to get into every event. The ship entertainment was good...some very talented folks. Lots of pop music & jazz. I do wish there was some "Classical" music on board, maybe in the main lobby. It might give the ship kind of a "high class" feel. (There is a grand piano there which I have never seen used.) The gym was clean and all the machines seem to be working. The bar service was spot on. I will say the wine in the wine tasting event was a step lower that those I've been to in the past...and believe me I am not a wine snob. But I did pay extra for some GREAT wine in the specialty restaurants. Of course you go to Alaska for the spectacular views and scenery. The glacier viewing was excellent. I did spot humpbacks on three occasions from our balcony. Lots of good "Kodak Moments". Just staring out the balcony at the snow capped peaks was awe inspiring (especially for a couple from "flat" Florida!) The best part of the cruise were the ports and excursions. We did the Zip Rider/Wale watching tour...WOO HOO, what an adrenaline rush! We did the Helicopter Ride to the Glacier and Dog Sled Mushing, which was probably the best shore excursion we've ever been on! We also did the Wilderness Glacier trip where we canoed up to a glacier...also an outstanding trip! Between my camera and my Go-Pro I took over 2100 pics...many great memories. Overall the ship, crew and cruise met all of our expectations. Kudos to General Manager Steve for running a tight ship. Kudos to Jenny, Group services Coordinator for coordinating the Meet & Mingle and kudos to Dilip our Concierge who was always ready to assist us! Now that Alaska is crossed off the bucket list, it's time for French Polynesia/Hawaii in 2020. THANKS NCL! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) ... Read More
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) 11628 (MB Minisuite port side near stern) 11554-11156 (connecting aft-facing M1 Minisuites). All seemed quite pleased with their cabins and experienced no real noise issues. The SC was under the library, the MB under La Cucina and the M1s under Great Outdoors. Public Spaces. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. Dining. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. We had dinner in Tsar’s Palace once and Azura 3 times. The food was neither outstanding nor awful. A couple of our group had breakfast in Tsar’s Palace once or twice. Our first specialty dinner was in Cagney’s, no complaints. It isn’t Ruth’s Chris but pretty good for a cruise ship. Moderno was a hit, most not having eaten in a churrascaria before. Our final specialty restaurant was La Cucina, which was my favorite. Being in a suite I had breakfast in Moderno one time. If I didn’t have family with me I would have eaten there for breakfast and lunch more frequently. We didn’t make it to Le Bistro, Teppanyaki or Chin Chin. Chin Chin doesn’t take reservations and there always seemed to be a line. I liked O’Sheehan’s, had a couple of lunches there and one breakfast there. The fish and chips were good, but the corned beef hash didn’t live up to its hype. The butler brought us breakfast in our suite most days. I’m not a fan of buffets. I only had breakfast there once and it was cereal and bananas. Oddly the milk choices were whole milk and skim. I am used to seeing 2%. I didn’t find much that interested me for lunch. The pizza was not very good, even when it first came out of the oven. The crust was doughy and the sauce bland. My doctor would have liked me to have a turkey burger or a garden burger, but the sign said it would take 15 minutes to prepare. They were making paninis a couple of the days. The Cuban one was tasty, the Mexican one not so much. My wife liked the buffet a lot. Drink. We found ourselves at Magnum/Shakers/Maltings fairly frequently, nice place for a before dinner drink or for a night cap. Topsiders and the Pit Stop were the closest bars to our suite, limited selection but a quick and easy place to grab a drink for the cabin. One pet peeve was that the menus listed Bulleitt Rye but no bars had it. Twice I ordered it and saw the bartender grab the bottle of Bulleitt Bourbon. I spoke with the Beverage Manager about this, and he said he’d look into it, but it never materialized. Service. Our butler (Lazaro), concierge (Dilip) and steward (Jonex) were great. We had sent a letter in advance asking for help in setting up a brief Bon Voyage party/toast. We didn’t arrive at the port until 5 pm, and the party was set for 6:45. I had my doubts about it getting set up, having read reports that such requests are typically ignored, but everything was ready and perfect. We had to tender in Icy Strait Point because the Norwegian Joy behemoth was in port. Dilip arranged priority tendering for our entire party of eight. The bus crew in the buffet were way too intrusive, often trying to grab one’s plate before it was finished. In dining rooms, on a couple of occasions, I had my glass of San Pellegrino ($6 a bottle with gratuity) “refreshed” with iced tap water. Fitness Center. We used the Fitness Center a couple of times. There was plenty of modern well-maintained equipment. My only criticism was that there were only 4 bikes (2 upright, 2 recumbent), making them often unavailable. In another room on Deck 12 (labeled Aerobics on the deck plan) there were a large number of bikes not in use, apparently for some sort of spinning class. Based on the demand I saw, some of these should be moved the Fitness Center. Splash Academy. There weren’t a lot of kids onboard, given that school was still in session in parts of the country. Age groups were combined. Our 8-year-old granddaughter had a blast. Her 12-year-old sister went once and did not return, not being interest in hanging out with little kids. Entertainment. Stage shows are not our thing, did not attend. The lounge and pool side performers seemed talented. Cruise Director. Don’t normally care but this guy’s voice was extremely annoying. Excursions. Icy Strait Point. We did the “Wildlife and Bear Search Tour” from Alaska Shore Excursions. We were aware that May was not the best time to see bears, but we did see a few and several eagles. The tour guide was informative and entertaining. The best option in ISP may well be whale watching, but all in our group had done a whale watching tour out of Dana Point a few years earlier. We all had fun and he dropped a few of us in Hoonah on the way back. We had beers in a brewery pub and walked back to town. Juneau. “Dogsledding on Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter” This was our only NCL excursion. Worth every penny of it, once in a lifetime experience. Copter ride over mountains and glaciers landing on Mendenhall Glacier at the dogsled camp. We all got to take different positions on the sleds, way cool. Got to know the dogs as well. Skagway. We rented two Jeeps from DIY Jeep Tours. The jeeps had CB radios to communicate back and forth, as well as audio narration. I had also purchased Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike highway. We did a round trip to Emerald Lake in the Yukon. The rental place was a bit disorganized. Make it clear when making the reservation that you want the included lunch and be aware that you are going to have to refill the tank when you are done. This took us much farther than the White Pass Railway, we saw a lot of the same scenery and were able to stop and take pictures when we wanted to. Skagway is a nice little town and much less of a tourist trap than Ketchikan or Juneau. Ketchikan. Not much to see here, lots of opportunities to separate you from your money. Creek Street is a nice photo op. We just walked around, shopped, found a dive bar. Transfers. Embarkation. This cruise was in a tight window and half of our group didn’t get into Anchorage until late the night before embarkation. The train to Seward is quite popular be it leaves way too early to suit our late arrivals. We purchased the “Anchorage to Seward Wildlife Tour & Transfer” from Alaska Shore Experts. Nice scenery and narration along the way, a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and a 5 pm arrival at the port. It suited our needs well Disembarkation. We bought the $15 transfer to the Vancouver Airport from NCL. It was awful. We stood in line in a hot room for nearly an hour waiting to board the bus. Overall. We really liked the Jewel. If we were to cruise on Norwegian again we’d definitely seek out a Jewel class ship if it were an option. I find it ironic that it is considered a small, old ship. It carries 2367 passengers and was christened in 2005. That makes it about the same size as others ships we been on (discounting the 700 passenger Adonia) and the newest ship. It looked sharp after its dry dock. The size made it not seem crowded, didn’t see any long lines (although the concierge helped a couple of times). Read Less
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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