January 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Houston Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jewel
A very nice winter getaway
The temperature was -10°F when we left Minnesota on the 13th for the drive to Houston, so we were extremely appreciative of the perfect weather. Boarding was fantastic. As we were travelling with my 89-year old in-laws, we had requested wheel chairs (for boarding only) for both. Special assistance line was non-existent when we arrived (about 10:30 AM); we were able to walk right up to the check-in desk, and board immediately after filling out the paperwork. Dropped off our bags and went to the dining room for lunch, figuring the buffet might be crowded. Disembarking was just as easy (we carried off all of our luggage ourselves).
Food was as expected (very good for the most part) with one glaring exception - no lobster night. Chocolate night was also a bit of a disappointment (several ok chocolate desserts were offered in the main dining rooms), however, the Chocolate Volcano dessert, which was offered every night in the main dining rooms, gets 5 stars from all six of us. I do believe I ate more smoked salmon in seven breakfasts than I ate in the previous year. 5 stars for that. The biscuits for the biscuits and gravy were definitely not to my liking, so I felt obligated to make up for that by going for the chocolate croissants. The crepes get two big thumbs up - they'd rate even higher if the crepe station included ice cream as a possible filling/topping.
We enjoyed all of the evening shows in the Stardust Theater; the lounge singers and bands I'd rate as ranging from good to excellent. The Cruise Director's staff did an excellent job with the various activities.
My wife and I had an inside stateroom. It was small, as expected, but the bed was very comfortable and the thermostat allowed us to adjust the temperature to my wife's liking (meaning a bit warmer than I like). Often, our room was not made up until after lunch. Not a big deal for us; I guess we were just near the end of the line.
All-in-all I'd definitely recommend this cruise.