Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
7+ cruises

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3 out of 5

Less Quality & Quantity SPEND! SPEND!

Sail Date: January 01, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Suite

I was expecting the same level of service and quality of food as RC & Celebrity. Portions are small in the dining room. If you want the food you expect on other cruise lines you will not get it without paying extra for each meal onboard.

The cruise was low priced for a reason.

Freestyle Cruising = More fees + Less Quality/Quantity of Food + Tips for the Officers + Fewer Activities

The staff was friendly. The excuse for each deficiency was that it was NCL Freestyle. They have automatic debits on your account everyday of $12 for tips. Unfortunately according to each steward that I spoke with they only got a very small amount of tips. You figure over 2000 guests paying $12/day for about 1000 staff that is $25/day per every staff member. The official mantra was that the $12/day tip went only to housekeeping and restaurant staff.

My solution is to give direct tips every night to the waiter/waitress & to your room steward(ess). On the next to the last day you can back-off all or most of the tips from your bill. I had much better service this way.

There are few events onboard except for selling you something or gambling or drinking. I simply stayed pool side in the shade.

IF you like low ceilings and no open interior spaces you will love this. It reminded me of a finished basement. It was well done and tasteful but I always felt enclosed. The corridors are 3-4 feet wide. This is far less than RC, Celebrity and Carnival. You feel like you are in a tunnel or a cheap hotel in the corridors.

It is very clean with a great decor!

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Lower quality & quantity of food, narrow corridors, drund entertainer, cheap

Recommends Norwegian Jewel? Yes!

Entertainment
The night shows are usually great. One night there was a 22 year old man from New Orleans that appeared to be very intoxicated or high. He could not dance to the beat at all. His singing was garbled and did not match the music. There was a steady stream of people leaving all during the show

I got up and left half way thru. This is rare for me to do. It was terrible.

The other singers, dancers and comedian were very good to excellent. So 5 out of 6 nights is pretty good!

The day time activities are limited to selling, drinking & extensive gambling options! There were few free activities except being pool side.

If you have a lot of money to drink, gamble and buy you can still enjoy the pool and workout club. I saw a large number of people that got bills for over $1000 when they left the ship! Wow were they angry for drinking and buying and paying extra for meals!
Ship Quality
IF you like low ceilings and no open interior spaces you will love this. It reminded me of a finished basement. It was well done and tasteful but I always felt enclosed. The corridors are 3-4 feet wide. This is far less than RC, Celebrity and Carnival. You feel like you are in a tunnel or a cheap hotel in the corridors.

It is very clean with a great decor!
Food and Dining
You can eat dinner 5:30 to 9:00pm. I prefer a set time with a large table every night. This is not possible but it is freestyle.

The portions are small and the good food is in the extra pay restaurants. If you want great food you will pay for it or go on another cruise line without freestyle

There are many specialty restaurants and you will pay extra. The food in most of these are not up to Celebrity or RC standards either.
Cabin / Stateroom
clean and comfortable
Service and Staff

Good staff except at the service desk. Every question is met with "it is NCL Freestyle. "
Do not expect a smile when you ask to give your own tips on your own.


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