112 Sydney (Australia) Norwegian Jewel Cruise Reviews

This was our second NCL cruise. The other was six years ago and since then we have cruised exclusively on Celebrity. The embarkation was quick and efficient. We chose a penthouse suite at the back of the ship. This was not part of ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise. The other was six years ago and since then we have cruised exclusively on Celebrity. The embarkation was quick and efficient. We chose a penthouse suite at the back of the ship. This was not part of the Haven but did gain us access to the breakfast and dinner in Moderno as well as other suite perks. I'm glad we did not stay in the Haven. The courtyard and swimming pool are tiny and I would not have utilised these facilities. First, the positives. The ship has recently undergone a drydock renovation and it looks good. The decor has been modernised and the pool area decluttered. The ship was very clean and well-maintained. Dining: We dined at Cagney's, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, Moderno and Azura. The food at Cagney's and Le Bistro was tasty and the service was good. My criticism would be a lack of vegetables. The meal plates were dominated by meat and after a few days we were longing for some greens. The food at Azura was very good too. My biggest disappointment was the Teppanyaki. Culturally, it bordered on offensive. The cooks were Filipino, pretending to be cooking an authentic Japanese dish. They were not. The food was very average - fried rice with a meat choice. Again, very few vegetables. The whole experience reminded me of being on a conveyor belt at an amusement park. Four tables were served at a time and it was very much a case of getting the people through and then out a side exit so more people could be moved through. A complete rip off. To add insult to injury the 'sake bar' only had two sakes. Very disappointing. My most pleasant surprise was the Moderno churrascaria. A fabulous salad bar and nicely cooked meat skewers. Very friendly staff too. Beverages: We purchased the premium plus beverage package. Most of the bar staff were unfamiliar with the package and some were put out at being asked to serve anything more than standard spirits and wine. It NCL are going to upsell these packages, they need to train the staff. When it came to cocktails, many of the staff had the American habit of putting in way too much sugar syrup. We had to ask them to halve the amount. One positive of the premium plus package was that all of the wines available by the bottle were excellent. Whoever was buying these wines in has done a good job of sourcing them. The premium plus package also included unlimited specialty coffees. Unfortunately, the baristas were Starbucks trained and so, while obliging, the coffees were not good. If NCL are pitching their product at New Zealanders and Australians, they need to employ baristas from those countries who actually know what a good cup of coffee tastes like. Entertainment: The stage shows were a pleasant surprise. Plainly NCL had spent a lot of money on sets, costumes and performers. We really enjoyed Velvet and the final show Le Cirque bijou. The only disappointment in the shows was the behaviour of some of the other guests. The first night a woman tried to save two rows of seats for her "closest friends" and distracted from the start of the show trying to wave them down. The second night, the people behind us talked through the entire show. I understand that it must be hard for the cruise line to monitor this sort of impoliteness. Service: The staff were mostly friendly and helpful (except some of the bar staff). Carlos, the suite concierge was the best we've ever had. He is smart, capable and hard-working. I would love to see him in charge of more of the restaurants and bars. Fitness centre: We bought a pass to attend unlimited classes. There were not enough scheduled to make it worth our while. I would like to have seen more cycling and TRX classes. Also, the gym attendants were unsafe in taking Pilates classes. There was a danger in injuring passengers as they did not modify the activities for those of differing experience levels. Ports: We stayed in Sydney at the start of the cruise. It's a great city and I strongly recommend staying in the downtown area. Unfortunately, there was a bit of smoke about due to the bushfires. Wellington: We skipped Dunedin and the Sounds due to poor weather and made an unscheduled stop in Wellington. We headed into Cuba street and went to a nice restaurant and bar. Akaroa: Always beautiful little Akaroa. We enjoyed a walk through the historic cemetery and finished with Fish and Chips on the waterfront. Picton: We enjoyed a lovely walk to the lookout and then followed the pathway to Bob's Bay. Beautiful views and great sailaway through the Marlborough Sounds. Napier: We took a car and headed to Te Mata peak. We stopped in at Craggy Range winery for a tasting. Fabulous wine. Tauranga: We arrived during a triathlon. We enjoyed a walk around the Mount, followed by coffee and ice cream. Bay of Islands: It was a beautiful day but as there was a twenty minute tender into Paihia we decided to stay on board. On arriving in Auckland we decided to skip breakfast and were among the first off the ship. The disembarkation process was fast and easy. In summary, while overall we had a good time, I prefer the Celebrity product when it comes to dining and service. I am unlikely to cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Standing in a queue with 2000 people to disembark in Auckland NZ while 2 staff look up each passenger manually in a book. I'll find out why in an hour or so. Worst disembarcation I've had in 30 years. Crew are stiff. Food is ... Read More
Standing in a queue with 2000 people to disembark in Auckland NZ while 2 staff look up each passenger manually in a book. I'll find out why in an hour or so. Worst disembarcation I've had in 30 years. Crew are stiff. Food is terrible (stale bread served up with dinner multiple times). Cabin so small there is no chair or table. Not enough space to walk down the side of the bed. Public spaces aren't big enough for the number of passengers. Power board confiscated at boarding with no prior notice. Bag took until 8pm to reach the cabin. Makes it hard to dress for dinner. The lottery ticket promotion in the showroom before the performance was also a bit much to take. Also remember to add $15 per person per day +20% service fee to your bill. Greed greed greed. Outside the showroom the entertainment was repetitive. Same act, different location. Only good point was the acrobats in the showroom. Spend your money with someone else. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Sydney (Pre-Cruise) We landed early in the morning and were in the arrival hall in under an hour. We collected a pocket WiFi that was reserved through Klook and purchased Opal cards from the WH Smith store for the public transportation. ... Read More
Sydney (Pre-Cruise) We landed early in the morning and were in the arrival hall in under an hour. We collected a pocket WiFi that was reserved through Klook and purchased Opal cards from the WH Smith store for the public transportation. We looked for a Wespac Bank ATM (Bank of America’s partner), but were unable to locate one. That was an exception. Wespac branches and/or ATMs were all over Sydney and New Zealand for the duration of our trip. Per the information found on Cruise Critic, we located the Bus 400 stand easily and rode it to the Mascot Station. After dropping off luggage at the hotel, we went to Chinatown for lunch. The rest of the day was spent exploring Darling Harbour and along George Street. The Queen Victoria Building was very nice. Our timing was not too good as we missed the “I am Free Walking Tour” that had a meeting point at Town Hall. The next day, we took the train all the way to Circular Quay to visit the Opera House. The area was extremely crowded. Afterwards, we walked across the Harbour Bridge. The view from the bridge was breathtaking. While on the bridge, we saw people participating in the Harbour Bridge Climb. Luna Park is on the other side but there was nothing for us there. We took the ferry back from Milson Point. Cruise We took the train back to Circular Quay. After dropping off the pocket WiFi at the Australian Post on Pitt Street using the pre-paid envelope, I went across the street to exchange the remaining Australian dollars to New Zealand dollars at the ANZ bank. After reading quite a few negative reviews about the money exchangers, I rather pay the $8 fee to a reputable bank. In my case, the fee worked out to be about 4%. The Overseas Passenger Terminal was a short and easy walk away. We dropped our bags off at around 11:15 a.m. and were on board before noon as the entire process was smooth and efficient. This was our fifth cruise with NCL and second on the Jewel. I noticed the space of our inside stateroom was made more efficient. Unfortunately, the food is not as good as I remember. Wellington This was not on the original itinerary. The inclement weather at the Fjords forced the change. So Wellington replaced Port Chalmers/Dunedin. The ship docked around 6 p.m. on the third night. We rode the free shuttle bus into town. But most of the stores and attractions were closed. The next morning, we hiked up to Mount Victoria from the second shuttle stop. We also visited the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and walked along the waterfront. From the waterfront, we walked along Lambton Quay to do some shopping. We ended up at the Beehive where the first shuttle stop was. Akaroa This is a tender port. We picked up our tender tickets out by the pool right before heading into the buffet for breakfast. The timing was perfect as our number was called just as we finished eating. Cruisers who have booked an excursion through NCL or were at Gold Level or above did not need tender tickets. Even though the tender boat ride was under 20 minutes, the total time from when our number was called to when we set foot on Akaroa spanned about 45 minutes. Take that into consideration if you make an independent excursion arrangement. By the way, there were many vendors offering tours at the pier. They were very casual (unlike the in-your-face pestering we have encountered at numerous other ports). We opted to do things on our own again and walked to Newton’s Waterfall first. The distance was under 2 miles but all uphill. Note that you will have to go pass two fences. The first can be opened but the second had to be stepped over. The waterfall was just a small one. There are other walks to take. I saw a sign in town encouraging visitors to access www.bpwalk.co.nz. After coming back down, we paid a short visit to the lighthouse. For lunch, we had meat pies and baguette from Akaroa Butchery and Deli per the recommendation of the Cruise Critic community. The crusts were super flaky. The beef pie was very good. The lamb pie could use some more seasoning. Nonetheless, these were the best meat pies we had on the whole trip. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping. The artisan markets had much to offer. By the way, we saw a sign for a laundromat at the corner of Rue Lavaud and Rue Brittan in case you need it. Picton This is another small port town. Most of the excursions involve wine tasting that did not suit us. We rode the complimentary shuttle bus into town and embarked on yet another hike. Since the All Aboard time was early, 3:30 p.m., we chose a short Bay/Harbour View hike. Along the way we encountered quite a few New Zealanders heading to Bob’s Bay. The harbour view from the top is as nice as expected. Note, there are also laundromats near the shuttle stop. Napier We did not get off the ship until almost 10 a.m. to take the complimentary shuttle into town. With an all aboard time being 3:30 p.m. again, we stayed around the first stop and got nice pictures at Hawke’s Bay and the Sunken Garden. We also visited the museum (free entry and free WiFi). The rest of the time was spent shopping and eating. The pies (steak, butter chicken and apple & custard) at Jesters were pretty good. The crust was not as flaky as I like. Tauranga We booked a custom tour with Scott Tours to visit Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Te Puia geyser. The ship docked after 9 a.m. and was cleared by 9:30. We managed to be on the wharf by 9:45. Our tour guide/driver Geoff was waiting for us. We had an excellent day! The first stop was actually at a boiling mud pool. Then on to Wai-O-Tapu where we spent 2 hours. The Champagne Pool was as advertised. After lunch, we went to Te Puia. We had a chance to visit a Kiwi bird sanctuary and a woodcarving workshop before the eruption. It was certainly worth the wait. On the way back, we stopped for hoki poki ice-cream as well as at a kiwi farm. All in all, it was the best day of the cruise. Bay of Islands This is another tender port. The same strategy of picking up tender tickets as we headed for breakfast worked out again. Our number was called just as we finished eating. We booked a tour with Bay of Islands Shuttles & Shore Trips to visit the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves and Opua Kauri Forest Walk. The tour was scheduled to depart at 9:30 a.m. We were on the wharf by 8:45. Two people in our group did not get to the wharf on time. The tour operator, Ken, waited as long as he could. I missed the official introduction, but the forest walk must have been led by a naturalist. She was very knowledgeable. When we got to the glow worm caves, a local Maori guide led that walk. Before dropping us off in town, Paihia, we stopped at the Hundertwasser Toilets. Ken treated us to donuts (they are more like cream puffs). Auckland (Post-Cruise) We made a reservation with Kiwi Day Trips to visit the Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. We had a fantastic day. The 11-hour trip was highly organized. On another day, we took the ferry to visit Rangitoto Island and hiked to the summit. Unfortunately, the track to the lava caves was closed. On the way back, we stopped off at Devonport. We picked up chocolates to take home at Devonport Chocolates. We also purchased a combination ticket for the ferry to Waiheke Island with hop-on hop-off bus tickets. Since we are not wine drinkers, we did not find the visit appealing. We did stop off at Rangihoua Estates and picked up olive oil and chutney. In between, we managed to find time shopping around the CBD and even the Westfield Newmarket mall. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overpriced everything, in US$, especially drinks, auto 20% gratuity on everything to staff who don't deserve it. Outrageously expensive excursions. On board activities run by staff with English as a second language, they were ... Read More
Overpriced everything, in US$, especially drinks, auto 20% gratuity on everything to staff who don't deserve it. Outrageously expensive excursions. On board activities run by staff with English as a second language, they were incomprehensible, activities boring. Food was OK. Specialty restaurants food quality not worth it. Best food was in Azura. Will not be a repeat customer, extremely poor value on this cruise. Internet access is hugely overpriced, you even have to pay extra for their app to be able to text other passengers. My wife's on board credit card got cut off daily which allowed us the opportunity to wait in their queue at the service desk every day! Duty free booze was not worth it, i can get better prices at retail in Australia. Staff were mostly just going through the motion in terms of service, understandable given they are paid almost nothing and work 80+ hours per week. Having said that, there were a couple of people who served us who truly did care and their service was rewarded. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was the Best cruise I have ever been on. It was a Holiday cruise in December and just the Best Time!!! Christmas caroling, cookies and fun things to do. And the Christmas buffets were spectacular. The food was really good and at ... Read More
This was the Best cruise I have ever been on. It was a Holiday cruise in December and just the Best Time!!! Christmas caroling, cookies and fun things to do. And the Christmas buffets were spectacular. The food was really good and at times excellent. The buffets were just terrific and I spent most of the time eating at the buffets because they were so good, and the staff were very accommodating. The entertainment was better then even the shows I have seen in Palm Beach County Florida at the Kravis Center; they were Spectacular (from the phenomenal singers, to the fabulous dancers, "Red Velvet", Le Cirque Bijou, etc.), can't say enough. The Cruise Director and staff were so awesome, always smiling, sincere, friendly, and helpful; and they were at the dance floors quite a bit which was a lot of fun. The room stewards were absolutely great. So much to do on the ship that I couldn't choose sometimes because I wanted to do it all. The fitness center was the best. And then the excursions, well words can't describe how phenomenal they were!!! You have to go on "Nature's Wonders Wildlife Safari", "Queen Charlotte Track Hike", and "Hawks Bay Countryside" you simply can't miss, just awesome!!! But the best was actually cruising through Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound; absolutely breathtaking!!! New Zealand is just absolutely Beautiful and the people are just as beautiful as the Country. I think this might be as good as it gets, just the best vacation I have ever had and probably will ever have. I could keep writing. And I met "my person" on the cruise (fingers crossed, prayers going up), we are dating! Thank you Norwegian Jewel for literally, "The Time Of My Life"! And I mean that with all sincerity! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I have just returned from a 12-day cruise (Sydney/New Zealand/Sydney) on the Norwegian Jewel. We have previously been on 12 cruises from 7 to 48 nights with 5 different cruise lines ranging from 3 to 5 stars and rate our ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a 12-day cruise (Sydney/New Zealand/Sydney) on the Norwegian Jewel. We have previously been on 12 cruises from 7 to 48 nights with 5 different cruise lines ranging from 3 to 5 stars and rate our Norwegian Jewel cruise at a barely 3-star level for the following reasons: MISSING LUGGAGE: We arrived at our cabin to find one large suitcase missing. We made 4 phone calls to Customer Services and were told each time that it would eventually be delivered to our cabin. When at 8 pm it was still undelivered, we personally visited the Customer Services section and insisted that someone look for our suitcase. We were told that it had been impounded because it didn’t have an NCL label. This label had been attached at the dock BY NCL STAFF but obviously not well enough to survive their luggage handlers. HOWEVER, our suitcase DID HAVE A PERSONAL LABEL ATTACHED in a leather case containing our full names, address and phone contact details. We eventually received the suitcase around 9.30 pm that night ! NO LAUNDRY OR IRONING FACILITIES: There are no passenger laundries or ironing facilities on this ship CHILD’S BATH: DO NOT be seduced by the inclusion of a “luxury bath” in a mini-suite. If you are a child 12 years or under, the bath will be fine for you. If you are a slim adult, you may get your butt into the water but that’s all – your upper torso including your shoulders WILL NOT FIT – the bath is simply too narrow. Also there is an overflow outlet that will ensure that you don’t get more than about 150 mm of water in the bottom of the bath at any time. MINI-SUITE SIZE AND LAYOUT: The mini-suite on Norwegian Jewel is cramped and about 50 square feet smaller than a similar mini-suite on say the Emerald Princess. It has a small wardrobe that is so close to the bed as to prevent opening the robe door – by comparison, Emerald Princess has a large walk-in clothes storage/dressing room STAFF: Staff were about 98% from Philippines. While they were all courteous and friendly, most had basic English only – hard to understand – little or no knowledge of ship – Couldn’t get answers or got incorrect answers to simple questions like “Where is . . . “, “When does . . . . . open?”, “Is there a show on tonight ?” etc. However, there was one waiter serving in the Azura dining room who stood head and shoulders above the rest. He was from South America – spoke excellent English – the ultimate professional – very knowledgeable about food and wines and gave us the best (and quickest) service of all on the ship. This man would fit easily into any one of the very best restaurants in the World DRINKS PACKAGE: Only consider buying a Drinks Package if you drink a lot of alcohol drinks under $15 each. The package DOES NOT INCLUDE bottled wine, coffee, water, mini bar, fresh juices, or any alcohol drinks above $15 etc. FOOD: As the food staff were almost exclusively Asian, all the food had that “Asian” taste. The range of food available was boring and repetitive We enjoyed our evening at the Teppanyaki Japanese restaurant but found Cagney’s Steakhouse a hit and miss affair. My wife had a fillet steak that was acceptable whereas my rib fillet steak was around 50% gristle and very “chewy”. We found both the Italian and French restaurants pretty average and uninspiring and the Garden Café buffet food pathetic. Best overall food and service were at the Azura main dining room Décor: Only two variations of one colour (light brown and dark brown) have been used throughout the ship giving it an uninviting and almost depressing appearance. Surely some different colours could have been incorporated into the décor to brighten the ship up a little ! Would we cruise again on the Norwegian Jewel ? NO. Would we cruise again with Norwegian Cruise Line ? NO Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We paid top dollar for this average cruise. Had previously been on a Celebrity Cruise and thought the food was bad but nothing could compare to the slop on this ship. Poorly cooked and presented, mostly stone cold and very little ... Read More
We paid top dollar for this average cruise. Had previously been on a Celebrity Cruise and thought the food was bad but nothing could compare to the slop on this ship. Poorly cooked and presented, mostly stone cold and very little supervision from staff. Children digging their hands in the food and not being deterred by staff. Had to send food back in one of the paid restaurants ( food overall was average and then had to pay 20% surcharge plus a tip for average food). Ended up cancelling the restaurants covered by our dining package and eating for free at Tasrs Palace and Azura where the food and service were much better. Nowhere decent to get a coffee except the swill at Starbucks, which you had to pay for. Entertainment-average. Activities- poor. Staff- very friendly. Excursions- great if you want to spend hours on a bus going to wineries to try wines Aussies can get cheaper in any Dan Murphy’s. Too many sea days. Pools- only 2 small pools for 2,500 people and they were netted off half the time. We found the only games room-10 tables and a motley assortment of half a dozen games for 2,500 people. Library not staffed most of the time. Activities pathetically organised and not worth participating in. Bars small and crowded and music too loud for the venues, causing people to shout. Very poor value for money overall. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is our sixth cruise, second with Norwegian, the others have been with Royal Caribbean. I haven’t submitted a review before, but have spent a great deal of time reading others before booking previous cruises so thought it’s my ... Read More
This is our sixth cruise, second with Norwegian, the others have been with Royal Caribbean. I haven’t submitted a review before, but have spent a great deal of time reading others before booking previous cruises so thought it’s my turn to give some (hopefully) helpful tips. We cruised with Norwegian Jewel, in penthouse suite 9000 which is at the forward of the ship, sailing from Sydney to Auckland. We flew into Sydney from Melbourne on the morning of the cruise. Booked transfers through Norwegian which cost about $48 each (Australian). Easy to find the right person at the airport, they held up a sign identifying themselves as Norwegian transfers and were dressed professionally. There were other travellers that had booked transfers also so it was a small walk to another terminal & short wait for them to collect their luggage then into a comfortable mini van. Dropped off at the pier, then it was mayhem. People crowding around a small table where there were about four staff to help people to attach their luggage labels onto their luggage, but so many people had not printed out their labels prior which delayed others who just wanted to staple their labels on. They needed lines put in place of people who had heir labels and other line for others that didn’t. Tip- bring your own small stapler. Then a few steps to other staff who took the luggage then onto checkin. Because we were in a penthouse suite, we skipped the queues, was so quick and easy to get our ship cards, and through security then we were personally escorted onto the ship by a butler, and taken to one of the restaurants for lunch for suite & haven guests only. We had breakfast every day in this restaurant, menu didn’t change but all the food was amazing, never got bored. There was cooked breakfast which was cooked to order, wait staff brought out cooked breakfast, tea & coffees & toast. There was also a good sized buffet where you could help yourself, there were fresh fruit, porridge, meats, cheese, pastries, yoghurt, water & juice. (Drinks weren’t individually packed so couldn’t take back to room, apart from chocolate milk) We sometimes had lunch there also and again, menu didn’t change but never got a chance to try all that was available. What was impressive was that the suite/haven restaurant was open every day for lunch, sea days & port days. For dinner we mainly went to Tsars restaurant which opened at 530pm. There was usually a queue starting at 5pm and sometimes they let you in 15 minutes early but try to get there at 530pm to get the good seats. Not sure if it was because we were suite guests but we mainly got window tables, except for the two times that we went later, were sat in busy areas. Service was a bit hit & miss but overall I think they did a pretty good job considering how busy it is. Food again, fabulous! You can order what you want, if you can’t decide between two entree, just order both! Menus changed daily but the meals under the heading ‘classic’ remained the same. The restaurant had large floor to ceiling windows at the back of the ship so to get a table there, you could watch the ship depart the port, while sipping your wine, so relaxing. We tried the Asian restaurant, Chin chin. Was free of charge, but not really impressed. Wait staff busy, polite enough but appeared unhappy, food a bit blah. The only thing that was good was the spring rolls - delish! The other free of charge restaurant was Azure which served the same meals as Tsars, room not as impressive, ate there once just to see what it was like, preferred Tsars. There of course was the buffet, had amazing amount of choice of food, always busy, a bit to noisy for me. Walking through the buffet was another small buffet outside where you could sit, lovely view. There was a 24hour restaurant which served pub style food, again free, good for a late night snack, sometimes a live band played on the steps near there so good to enjoy a drink before dinner watching some music. There were also many other bars with music, all good. Found it much quicker to get served at bars in Norwegian compared to Royal Caribbean, less queues, happier bar staff. Don’t know if it’s because there are more bars and that they are open longer? Every night there were shows, 715pm and 915pm (except for first and last night where there was one show only). Get there early to get good seats. There were bar staff that wander the aisles so you can order drinks and they’ll bring them to you. Went to most of the shows, all were fantastic, except for first night, was an introduction to the entertainment, give it a miss. Now some tips to you cruisers, hopefully it will help you save some money. The only reason I gave Norwegian Jewel 4 out of 5 was the expense. I thought Royal was terrible with trying to sell you extra things, well Norwegian does it in a sneaky manner. We got our room with deal of 50% of second guest. This meant the we didn’t get free at sea deal. No drink package, no specialty dining, no internet, no extra $ to put to shore excursions. I thought that by choosing this 50% of second guest saved about $2000, and that we wouldn’t spend that much on extras. Was I wrong! (By the way, when I mention $, I’m referring to Australian $) I bought water package and internet package prior to cruise. I think the water was $75 for 24 one litre bottles. This was enough for the two of us for the ten day cruise. There is water available in the buffet but you aren’t allowed to fill up bottles, so if you can be bothered to bring cups back & forth or bring a jug to fill then that would save you $. Restaurants do serve you iced water in glasses. The internet package cost close to $500 for unlimited access and streaming. We could only use one device at a time but was easy to use, a bit slow at times but pretty impressive considering at times it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere and could still access the internet! There was other plans for the internet, we got the most expensive one as didn’t want to worry about going over with access and getting stung with excess use $. The other thing we paid upfront was the gratuities. This was almost $500 for both of us. Think it should be included in the price, didn’t realise you have to pay it until you go to pay your deposit for the cruise. So keep in mind, the advertised price sounds good but there is the additional gratuities on top of that. Now the sneakiness - almost everything you buy on board has extra gratuities added onto. So you are paying extra gratuities. So keep in mind that all $ on board is US. A cocktail was US$11. Then they add 20% gratuities on top of that. Then you need to convert to AU$. So one cocktail costs A$19.20 I also got a wine package that I bought the day we embarked. It was four bottles for US$88. Thought that wasn’t too bad AU$130, $32.50 per bottle, expensive but better then paying for seperate glasses. Wasn’t told that they were going to add an extra 20% onto that. Got charged US$105.60 which was AU$154, queried at customer service and was told that it was written on the piece of paper that I signed, I said that I wasn’t told this and felt I was mislead. She shrugged at me and repeated that I had signed agreeing to it. When I said that I’d already paid the gratuities, she said that was for housekeeping, not for bar staff. Got the impression that she has to tell this to many people often. I felt so ripped off. So please people, be aware of this. I think in hindsight it is worth paying extra upfront for the free at sea promo if you can get that. We did have a rude shock at the end when we got our final bill. The other thing is don’t book shore excursions through the ship. It’s very expensive. We booked our tours through cruiseexcursions.co.nz, book one tour, get 10% off on your other tours booked. They use smaller, local tour groups. Had fantastic tours through them and they guarantee to return you to ship in time for departure. Disembarking was easy. Meet at Chin Chin restaurant, escorted to front of line and followed queue out. Was messy picking up luggage, people were jumping the queue, a bit frustrating but didn’t stress as we didn’t have a plane to catch. Ship docks right at Auckland city, so was easy to get off ship and walk to our accommodation. We stayed for two nights at Barclays suites (don’t bother, not clean and they gave a stranger access card to our room, thank goodness we were in the room at the time. Front desk just shrugged it off.) Oh, and another tip - the ship doesn’t have laundry facilities for guests to do our laundry but about halfway through cruise there was a special where you could fill a large bag of clothes to be laundered for US$20 (no gratuities added onto this one!) Returned the next day washed and folded. Hope this review helps you cruisers out there! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After receiving an upgrade to a penthouse suite our cruise was absolutely amazing. I would challenge any cruise to serve up a better meal than that of Le Bistro. Every dining experience was excellent even the regular buffet. The staff ... Read More
After receiving an upgrade to a penthouse suite our cruise was absolutely amazing. I would challenge any cruise to serve up a better meal than that of Le Bistro. Every dining experience was excellent even the regular buffet. The staff were ever so attentive and to my wire's dismay the bar staff went all out to ensure that you were never thirsty. I would encourage every cruiser on this ship to befriend Vini in the Bliss bar. The music wasn't that great, to my taste, however, the Circus performance was as efgood as I've seen anywhere. A tip, get there early as both shows fill up extremely quickly. The cleanliness of all areas was amazing. I cannot remember seeing anything at all out of place. My personal room steward, Greg, was personable, polite, enthusiastic and ensured our cabin was everything we would expect. It was like a five star hotel. Disembarking and embarking was easy, staff did their job so efficiently. The staff were genuinely interested in you as a person not a figure. I would recommend this cruise line to every prospective cruiser especially for the relaxed atmosphere on board. 5 stars NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking ... Read More
Excursions and Tendering left much to be desired. A cigar lounge was a wonderful treat but cigar prices were not in sync with retail prices. Animosity existed between cigaret smokers and cigar smokers because of limitations on smoking areas. Internet access was poor and far too over priced for the service provided (very poor value). Coordination between the pre-cruise online system and the on ship online system seemed overly lacking Or nonexistent. Excursions credits were issued thru two systems making it difficult to track without the costly internet packages. Vegetarian options were outstanding at the main cafeteria but dismal at the restaurants. The medical facility on board was extremely efficient and functional. The ship is beautiful but some facilities were under utilized at times. Room Attendants did an outstanding job of meeting passenger needs. Casual attire dining was greatly appreciated by most all passengers. It was difficult or impossible to understand the Captain’s announcements because of accents and limitations re audio to halls and public space where noise made understanding the Captain even more difficult. Most evening shows were entertaining but a little amateurish at times. Obvious to this passenger, was an extremely defensive attitude displayed by many Customer Service and Excursions employees. Almost a philosophy of “the customer is always wrong”. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked ... Read More
Cabin Type: Balcony Day two into our holiday cruise i received a rather rude letter in my stateroom, a courtesy phone call would have been nicer, stating that my credit card was stopped and i had my ship card cancelled,having checked and called my bank it had never been stopped..it was the the ships staff's fault..no apology and rude service at the service desk. Drink package extremely too high. My wife did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. The drinks were grossly overpriced and had another 20% added on top plus USD prices then converted to AUD...biggest rip off ever. The tender service was shocking at every port, waiting lines up to three hours in the hot sun. The food was terrible even in the restaurants, the buffet was cheap and sloppy. Just ok service at restaurants, even the specialty ones (3). The cabin beds were hard Had to take pain pills for a severe bad back pain .The whole 19 days were pretty dismal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we always choose Norwegian for our cruising. By now, we've been to nearly every Caribbean island. We've cruised the North Sea, we've cruised the Baltic. It was time to visit Australia and the last Asian country we have yet to visit, Indonesia. Besides, sick of snow and freezing temperatures, it was a great time to chase the summer heat. One thing we really didn't consider too much, was that if you want to get to know a bit about Australia or Indonesia, for that matter, you're not likely to do it on a cruise. If you take an excursion at every Australian port, for instance, you will have spent a total of ten or twelve hours in Australia. It took us twice that long just to fly there! On the other hand, if you're looking to put a pin in that map on the wall in two more countries and escape the winter doldrums, then this may be the cruise for you. So, having said that, the weather was great for the most part, more hot and humid as we headed north towards the equator, but that was expected. The excursions were all good, but nothing spectacular. There were a few tender ports of call and I did hear a lot of people who left the ship on their own or who'd booked private excursions (not with Norwegian) complain about long lines and waiting times. But if you had purchased an excursions though NCL, there were no problems, just the typical crowding in the Stardust Theatre with everybody sitting in an end seat trying to be first off. It seemed to me that the rest of the passengers on the ship were a mostly older, sedate crowd with very few visible children which is always nice. The breakfast buffet would be crowded in the mornings with more people than seats, but what was nice was that they'd allow you to bring your food in to La Cucina. Wow! what a difference to sit at a nice table with not too many people and no loud-talkers! Only about thirty steps outside the Garden Cafe I can't imagine why so few people would take the short journey. We had every breakfast there and dinners were either in one of the two main dining rooms or at a pay restaurant (we had seven meals coming to us), so not one dinner in the buffet. All things considered, it wasn't a bad cruise and our longest one to date. Still, the nineteen nights went fast. Would I do it again? Sure, but this time we're looking at Sydney to New Zealand. And one thing I would do differently: I would definitely arrive a few days before the cruise instead of three hours before the cruise! Sydney looks like a beautiful city and next time I would like to actually see it! And one last thing: no matter the cruise, the people who work for NCL are truly incredible. Imagine leaving your family for ten months at a time (I know...some of you may enjoy that), working long hard hours for probably not a lot of money, living three or four to a small inside cabin and still smile at us all the time and say hello and ask how our day is going? Can you imagine? We have met some nice, down to earth people on our cruises and always treat them with dignity and respect. I hope everyone else does, too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
No service Kaos when using tender Only care revenue with shore excursion otherwise they consider us as normal Cancel one day in darwin and not offer anything back Old Not well maintained No personnal service even 19 ... Read More
No service Kaos when using tender Only care revenue with shore excursion otherwise they consider us as normal Cancel one day in darwin and not offer anything back Old Not well maintained No personnal service even 19 nights on Need to wait 15-20 min everynight with pager for go eat dinning room. Really basic. Night show always one signer with band almost everynight bored What else i can add it was the worst experience even after more than 70 cruise with othe cie and with norwegian cruise line too. I feel like the personnal do not care and just do regular job. No wow about this cruise at all. I was expecting much more about norwegian cruise line. And nothing happen. No sorry nothing. I will keep as experience and will never cruise with them again. They dont merit my business. If you need to choose choose other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship was just recently renovated and everything was beautiful and clean. The cabin was adequate in size (we had an inside). Dining at the buffet was outstanding. Dining in the restaurants was sometimes not good. Chicken was dry and ... Read More
The ship was just recently renovated and everything was beautiful and clean. The cabin was adequate in size (we had an inside). Dining at the buffet was outstanding. Dining in the restaurants was sometimes not good. Chicken was dry and fish overcooked. The desserts were superb.. The entertainment was varied and good, however the daytime activities such as the lectures were boring and badly presented. The speaker had most of us dozing. The best part was the itinerary. The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Starting in Sydney provided us with an opportunity to visit this lovely city. Koalas, wallabys, kangaroo, Komodo dragons were all on our list and we saw plenty of them. Hunter Valley was a little disappointing as we did not actually visit the vineyard itself. The wines we also not to our liking. However the cheeses were great! We were also disappointed in the Kuranda ship excursion as we had to pay extra for the butterfly sanctuary as well as the koala sanctuary. Then it rained and the skyrail which was the whole reason for being there was closed. Our snorkeling experience in the Great Barrier Reef and in the Whitsundays and also at Pink Beach near Komodo was wonderful. We organized our own excursions as the ones on the ship were too expensive. Indonesia-Komodo, Bali, & Semarang were exceptional. Lush foliage, monkey forest, batik, gold, silver, temples & lewak coffee filed all of our senses.Our final destination was Singapore. What a city! This was indeed a fabulous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Embarkation went smooth in Sydney but some people did not see the little sign that said once onboard you could not disembark. Ship was much improved coming out of a recent drydock. Had a nice inside ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. Embarkation went smooth in Sydney but some people did not see the little sign that said once onboard you could not disembark. Ship was much improved coming out of a recent drydock. Had a nice inside cabin and room attendant Nathan was excellent. Dining was good in main dining room except for the veal one night. The specialty dining venues were good and even the buffet was better than I remembered. Traveled solo and our solos coordinator Patrick helped us out with dinner reservations, show seating and whatever else we needed. The entertainment was hit and miss. Liked the idea of three overnights especially in the tender ports because the tendering process did not go so well. It was nice to have the second day so you could get out early and see the place. Did a couple ships excursions which would have been ok except that they were in a hurry to get you back to the ship although it was not sailing for another three hours. The rest of the excursions I did were organized by CC members. They went great and a special thanks to the members who organized them. The only real negative was the tender ports. I will be avoiding them whenever possible in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. ... Read More
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. We had a balcony a couple besides our stateroom is my wife's high school classmate from 1971 and 6 other new guest with NCL and first time cruisers. We had a great time and and had a lot of specialty dinners. Our group had received a lot of surprises from the Senior Officers that we have met on previous cruises with Norwegian and made our cruise more enjoyable not only for us previous cruisers but for our 6 other friends that we brought with us. They even sent fresh tropical fruits from Indonesia was sent to all our cabins. Shore excursions was great that we all got into the same bus every time we book. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the ... Read More
Itinerary of the cruise was great. Going into two different countries Australia and Indonesia made it feel as though we were on two different cruises. If you are looking at a longer cruise such as this 19 day one, please realize that the majority of the clients will be older. Younger people with families don't have the time. That being said, the entertainment and activities director made a grave mistake of NOT having evening audience participation game show activities, assuming the older clientele was not interested. Instead he opted for all evening entertainment singing based. in a nutshell "We were bored." Afternoon activities were not much better. There were more activities to choose from on port days for the few who stayed aboard, then on sea days when everyone was aboard. Generally I would participate in quick "Pop Up" activities such as goofy golf. With these afternoon activities being held in the atrium or a lounge on the 7th floor I participated in two, and both activities were poorly attended. The other days I was on the 12 floor at the pool area like everyone else. Location was key to success here and this was a big miss by the activities staff. The nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater was either excellent, (comedians, magic, vocal group, acrobatics, cruise ship show) or mediocre (the two Aussie soloist). With only three nights of comedy and magic and fifteen nights of music, plus music in every lounge from 7 pm on, I was music-out. Enough was enough. Variety was sorely needed. Ports and shore excursions, OH BOY!! The ports chosen were great WHEN we actually docked near that area. The whole thing of docking in a port that doesn't accommodate a smaller cruise ship and then forcing everyone to tender into port made for VERY TRYING DAYS!!!! New Castle, docking and then taking a shuttle into the town was no big deal, very understandable. The shuttle stop location was convenient and easy to find, with shuttle service often and NCL provided. BUT when a cruise line states Cairns and you are actually at Yorkey's Knob which requires tender boats to get to shore, where there is absolutely nothing but a boating club. AND NCL requires you to pay them $15 a person to use their arranged shuttle service to Cairns, the town actually listed as the port of call, why did NCL charge me port fee??? On top of that, the staff announced for tender tickets to give yourself 2 hours to get off the ship, I gave us 3 HOURS and barely made it ashore in time for an excursion. Then in the afternoon it took me 3.5 HOURS of standing in line to get on a return tender. If this waste of time, 6.5 hours, had only happened at one port, it would have be tolerable, but NO it happened again and again: AIRLIE BEACH, CAIRNS 2 days, BALI 2 days. 5 of the 11 port days is ridiculous!!!!! SHORE EXCURSIONS: simple - BOOK YOUR OWN. Research the country and you will quickly see every excursion the ship offers plus more at 1/3 the cost. Plus the private excursions provide more service than the ship offered ones as a small group. Why is NCL so expensive? Borobudur Temple: NCL $249 USD Local $85 USD. What is the price gouging all about??? The ship as a whole was nicely laid out. Our stateroom on the 8th floor was nice size, quiet, and comfortable. The room steward did an excellent job of making up the room and providing us with a towel animal nightly. The public areas, especially the areas around the pool needed a lot more attention. Other NCL ships were have been on the walking deck, outdoor pool and bar areas were hosed down nightly. On the 5th day my husband made a polite complaint about it and the staff responded immediately. The areas were much better. The personal service from every employee from the service desk, bars, dining areas, and entertainment staff was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ports of call were a great deciding factor for us to take this cruise, embarking was smooth . The ship had undergone a recent refit and found it easy to navigate all areas. The average age for cruise was approx 55- 65 there were ... Read More
The ports of call were a great deciding factor for us to take this cruise, embarking was smooth . The ship had undergone a recent refit and found it easy to navigate all areas. The average age for cruise was approx 55- 65 there were minimal children There was a good mix of travellers from around the world Tzars palace (ain restaurant was more formal than Azures, Chin Chin &O’Sheeghans was a great drop in for a quick sack if needed we didn’t dine in speciality restaurants as all complimentary restaurants provided great service with a variety of menus. Entertainment was particularly good on the Australian leg, however on the Indonesian leg entertainment seemed to be of lower quality, but still entertaining. Activities on board All the usual trivia, bingo etc. however it was noticed that on sea days minimal activities were provided & on port days more activities were scheduled We chose independent tours off the ship due to the high cost os ship shore excursions.we found that when we tendered on Queensland Cairns (Yorkys Knob overnight at 10.00am most shore tours started at 7.00-8.00am it was also difficult to book a full day tour due to time constraints on return t ship times We were able to find a private half day charter , some people stayed in overnight accommodation . Unfortunately there was a medical emergency. On our way to Darwin and the ship returned to Cairns loosing our first day in Darwin where we had a full day tour booked - fortunately guest services were helpful in providing assistance by calling. Where I was able to reschedule my tour. Komodo island was good saw the dragons they were not lively and appeared to be drugged for viewing , we also visited Pink Beach. The coral there was outstanding better the the GBR- again an independent tour - ship tours only provided Komodo island Bali. Overnighted - many stayed in overnight accommodation - the tendering process was a a nightmare taking over two hours and taking over 35 min to get to shore causing many tours to be severely shortened- ship tours were late in returning Overall the cruise was enjoyable we would recommend taking this cruise and the ports were good the weather was hot & humid but it was not extreme Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had ... Read More
Good food staff very attentive & friendly and well trained on the boat Let down by shore excursion fiasco! Also the embarkation person to allocate our cabin forgot his glasses & logged us into the wrong stateroom . We had to get the supervisor to sort this out ! BAD EXPERIENCE RE TENDERS IN KOH SAMUI RE LACK OF SUFFICIENT TENDERS RE COST ISSUE (HAD A 2.5 HOUR WAIT TO LEAVE SHIP + 2.5 HOUR EMBARKATION DELAY TUI MANAGED IT WELL & BOUGHT IN LOCAL TENDERS IN FRONT OF NCL We booked a premium brand but were not given premium service ! It ruined our first port of call & both myself & wife returned to the boat ill ! We will be very reluctant to recommend again after this opening experience THE CAPTAIN GAVE A POOR EXCUSE 3 days after the event blaming it on passenger safety & as recompense would not use tenders in HALONG BAY insulting as the original itinerary never mentioned tenders on this stop Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise and found the experience excellent. Embankment was fine although in Sydney it takes a little while to clear customs. The ship had been recently refurbished and was like new. However some of the updates looked like it had been a rush job but it was still very good. We found the ship very easy to navigate and explore. This was stark contrast to our previous cruise with MSC in Northern Europe. The food on board was probably the best we have experienced on a cruise particularly the buffet and the french restaurant. Simple but good. Cruise staff were friendly but not overly friendly and our cabin was well maintained, As per usual NCL Ports of call were excellent and getting off and on the ship was seamless.Did not use onboard excursions as it was much cheaper to organise our own. Disembarkment in Sydney was excellent and the quickest we have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with school holidays as we took two of our 4 children with us aged 10 & 14. This was a bad idea as they were bored the whole trip. The kids club was mainly playing video games and this didn’t interest them. So I had to entertain my kids. It was not much of a holiday for me tbh. If you were over 50 then this trip is perfect from the music to the classes for origami and vegetables carving. Even the shows were ABBA and Elton John . The shows were good but my kids were not impressed. Johnny Balance was onboard doing magic and is fantastic as well as funny and cute to boot. Being an American ship the gratuities were about $15 per person per room per day which was about $900. Beware of gratuities when booking a cruise. The good coffee was about $5 US but was worth it. The food was amazing too and there was plenty of variety. My girls had to sleep on a fold out lounge that was as hard as a rock. I don’t know how they got any sleep at all. The tours are an absolute ripoff. It is better to wait till you get to each port and do your own thing. Every port has a free shuttle bus to take you into town where you can hire a taxi to take you to the places you would like to see and it would still work out cheaper that the price they charge onboard. Remembering that it is in US dollars and the cheapest tour was $65 each to the aquarium. When we got there they have a big sign saying a family of four is $60. It cost us $260 US onboard, what a joke. Be very careful when booking tours onboard as you don’t get anything for the money you pay. We went on a tour of one of the islands and the information being given to us by the bus driver was no different to the information written on the brochure onboard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before ... Read More
My sister and I have just returned from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise on the Norwegian Jewel sailing to New Zealand. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, with lovely views of the harbour from the rooftop pool area, the night before sailing. The hotel was clean and comfortable and a 5 minute walk to the cruise terminal. Embarkation was quick and painless. Although the ship was full it never felt crowded, there were always seats available and quiet areas to relax in. The service from the stewards, waiters, bar staff and guest services was generally pleasant and attentive. I was very impressed by the lifeguards at the pool who were always diligent in supervising the pool area. There was a high standard of cleanliness throughout the ship and a large emphasis on hygiene (washy washy). For the MDR we preferred Tsars over Azura as the decor was much brighter. The food was generally good, obviously we found some dishes better than others but that could have been our taste. Everything was well cooked and the meals always came out hot. One of our favourite appetisers was the Mozzarella Ravioli. O'Sheehans was okay for a quick breakfast or a snack. We used the dining package to go to the speciality restaurants with Le Bistro coming out on top with their beef fillet which melted in your mouth. Cagney's and Teppanyaki were good too. We were disappointed in Moderno as some of the meat was a bit tough and the service not up to the standard we expected. It might have been an off night as other people on the same cruise said Moderno's food and service was great when they went. We preferred not to eat at the buffet but it was well populated at meal times. Entertainment on board was excellent from the bands playing at the pool to the guitarist in the bar areas. The theatre shows that we went to were of an extremely high standard. The three production shows are not to be missed and the comedian Simon had us laughing continuously. Our favourite ports were Tauranga where we walked around the base of Mt Maunganui, Napier where we did a wine and food tour with Frankly Tours (highly recommended) and Akaroa where we strolled around the bay and browsed through all the stores. The scenery of the Sounds was amazing, lots of photo opportunities. Disembarkation was easy and well organised with no long queues when we disembarked. Overall I would definitely sail with NCL again with a preference for the smaller NCL ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you ... Read More
Review of Norwegian Cruise Lines ship Jewel 1/5/19 thru 1/30/19 The Norwegian Jewel can be a good value depending on your priorities. I’ll touch on what I felt were the major items to help you make that decision. Price: When you compare prices, the NCL ships appear to be a good value. Remember to add mandatory port charges and $15 per person per day gratuities. These might be included in other competing prices. Also, most added amenities costs extra. Some things you expect (shore excursions, casino play, spa treatments, and liquor). Some things are surprises (fountain soft drinks, coffee (anything but regular), Wi-Fi (only 2G), bottled water (you cannot take off or bring on any water, but theirs), and any room food service (except continental breakfast). Staterooms: The staterooms are a good size compared to other similar priced ships. The mini-suite level and above have bathtubs with retractable clothes lines. The water was always hot and had good pressure. The room stewards and stewardesses are polite and attentive. I would not recommend anything smaller than a mini-suite for more than two people for more than a week. A balcony room (next level down) might be acceptable for three people for only a week. Ship: The ship has been refurbished, but is still showing its age. Everything was kept clean and there were no funky smells (like on some other older ships). There is no grand entrance with chandeliers, curving staircases, glass elevators, or a shopping gallery. There were a few burnt out light bulbs in the common areas, and the common bathroom towel dispensers don’t work. The twin pools are small, but there are four hot tubs. There are no newer extras such as water slides, climbing walls, target shooting, or similar activities. There are shuffleboards, ping pong tables, gym, basketball hoops, casino, spa, theater, card room, library, and several bars. The ship doctor is only available for a few hours a day, charges $150 to see you, and does not have a pharmacy (your need to take his prescription ashore at the next port to have it filled). All of the personnel were helpful and courteous whenever we met in the hallways, in the dining areas, or on the ship decks. Partway through the cruise, the sole of my shoe came loose. The hotel staff had someone repair it within a few days. Our cabin tv was not working properly and would only get about half of the channels. It took them ten days of working in our cabin (a few hours each day) to get all of the channels all of the time. Dining: There are buffets and dining rooms included in your price. There are six specialty restaurants which are $30 (or more) per person per meal. The included food options are fine for breakfast and lunch, but plan on buying dinner (the food is much better). In the included food places, the meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, or seafood) was consistently over cooked. Wine runs about $9 per glass, but you can buy four mix and match bottles starting at $105 ($88 plus 20% duty charge) to drink anywhere on the ship. Entertainment: Most of the singers on our cruise are non-American born performers singing American songs. So, the songs might not sound exactly as you think they should. But they all were pleasant and did try their best. The musicians from the various bands were generally good, and some were very good. The other types of performers were average to good. The productions were not as lavish as on other ships we have been on. Shore Excursion Department: This was the biggest disappointment. The shore tour descriptions don’t match reality, and they are double the price of booking them on your own. The personnel in the department have not been on the excursions, so they cannot answer any questions. Their standard response was “The descriptions are written by our head office in Miami. It is unknown where they get their information. We only know what is in the description.” It would have been nice if the Excursion Department put a talk on the night before in one of the lounges regarding the following day’s port. The talk would include: 1) Why the ship chose this particular port, 2) How to get around, 3) What is special to see, to eat, and to buy in this port, and 4) Approximately how much money do these activities cost (so you bring enough money ashore). Alas, this is not the case. You are completely on your own, so make sure that you do a lot of research before you go (including reading reviews of the things you are thinking of doing). We saved for years and traveled to the other side of the world and booked ship tours, only to learn these lessons the hard way. There is nothing worse than to have your dinner companions say “Did you see that special ______? It only happens in this one place in the world.” And to realize that the ship never mentioned it because they didn’t have a tour doing it that they could make money off you. On the ship tours that we did book, they never left the ship on time (some over an hour later) which cut into the excursion time. Rather than leave the port a little bit later to compensate, the excursion was cut short (i.e. you may have paid for a five hour tour, but you only got four hours). However, if you book tours on your own, you need to remember that you won’t be allowed to get off the ship for an hour or two after its port arrival time. Ship tours have priority in disembarking. Due to amount of time needed to get off and on the ship, most ports only had six hours ashore. Our cruise went to the South Pacific and Australia. We had well over a hundred snorkelers and scuba divers (some like us even brought our own equipment). Water sports are what this part of the world is known for. And there was not a single talk put on by the Excursion Department (or anyone else) regarding the places to go while in port. It was only later that we learned that if we had taken the local bus to the other side of the islands, that the water, fish, and coral were so much more superior. It was easy to tell that the Department was geared towards how to make the most money off the passengers, and not how to ensure that the passengers have their best time possible. Conclusion: If you can get a great price, are not looking for a fancy ship or food, and are willing to tackle ports on your own (or pay high prices), then the Norwegian Jewel cruise may be a good vacation for you. While we have done several Norwegian cruises in the past, I'm not sure we would cruise on the Jewel again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be ... Read More
Norwegian jewel ,January 5/1/19 very enjoyable for first time traveling on norweigan line ,except for our cabin "HORRIBLE " We visited Noumea,isle of pine ,lifou,cairns ,Airlie beach ,and Brisbane ,my favorite would have to be isle of pines ,such a pretty place and snorkeling was fantastic.Most staff were great no problems at all ,except for customer service most were not that approachable the rest were pretty friendly .Food in all area i found nothing to fault and had a good variety ,entertainment shows were fantastic lots of different shows to see.. couple of entertainers were a little boring ,others were good ,facility clean and tidy ,most excursions were as usual expensive and found similar tours much cheaper offboard We had a free drink package ,this made for a pleasant trip as expenses were cut massively what a big saving , we still had to pay for water and coffee as these weren't included, water was around $74 AU for 12x 1Lt water .my experience with our room was the most disappointed part of our trip very sleep deprived ,otherwise we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a new cruise line after a couple of less-than-impressive experiences with our long-time favorites, Princess. We had heard good things about NCL, so it seemed a good option to explore when I received a really good promotional offer. The deal turned out even better than I expected, because it included two premium drinks packages, which saved us a fortune! We're not big drinkers so these packages don't usually make financial sense for us to buy but with the cost of drinks on the ship I was glad I didn't have to pay. As an example, an Irish coffee cost $9.95US + gratuity so about $14AUD. These mandatory gratuities really annoy me. If I receive excellent service I will reward it. But fixed fees are just a way of subsidizing cheapskate employers :-( The spa services were over-priced as usual, and the girls were (also as usual) more focused on selling me stuff I didn't want rather than concentrating on providing good service. There was one very unpleasant experience where a group of us - including a significant number of elderly and disabled people - were taken from the comfort of the theater where we were waiting to board a tender to take us on a shore excursion, and left standing in the bowels of the ship for over 30 minutes. No need for that at all. Now that those complaints are out of the way, let me tell you - this was a FANTASTIC cruise! We had a wheelchair accessible mini-suite which was just amazing and provided all the facilities we needed. The cabin steward was almost psychic in knowing what we might want and providing it in advance. The food was wonderful wherever we ate, and there were lots of free alternatives to the buffet-style meals in the Garden Cafe. The specialty restaurants were good, but I didn't feel I really needed to pay extra to eat there because the free food was excellent in terms of variety and quality. Entertainment was good, although we were disappointed not to see the Cirque show because of technical issues. The ship was large enough to be interesting and have great facilities without having so many passengers that there were logistical difficulties. Would I recommend NCL to others? That's a definite YES. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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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