Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Deck Hand

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Very nice, some "nickle&diming" food ok

Sail Date: March 01, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/young children

Room Type: Balcony

I am recommending the Norwegian "Jewel" as a ship - it was very nice and clean. I'm a little torn about recommending NCL as a cruise line, though.

The rooms (we had an outside balcony) did a great job of maximizing space (some even have a bunk bed that flips down from the ceiling). Our state room was very well laid out, perfectly maintained and well-appointed. Daily cleaning and turn down service was excellent. Cleaning staff addressed all of our requests - an extra blanket, remove the coffee pot, etc.

Some "nickel and diming", automatic 18% on all bar and spa treatments plus mandatory $12/day/person gratuity that goes in to the general pot for cleaning staff, etc).

Pros: Ship was beautiful, service was good

Cons: too much "nickle and diming", would rate food B-, kids program only decent

Recommends Norwegian Jewel? Yes!

Children's Programs
Only average here - we only used this a couple of times with our 9 year old (can't speak for little kids or teens) - only a modest amount of physical room devoted to the kids area. We went over spring break, so it was pretty packed. Seemed like it was very well staffed. Included one or two dedicated hot tubs for kids only.
Food and Dining
I would give the food a B- or C+ based upon:

Buffet - great selection, a bit of a madhouse at most times. Like most buffets, though, food was only so-so.
Restaurants -
food was pretty good, most service was pretty slow - we had to rush them at the end to make a show. Only 4 of the ~10 restaurant were free (2 of these 4 were buffets). The non free rranged from $10-25 per person 'upcharge' - kids eat for 1/2 price, even if they order off of the adult menu.
Steak at Cagney's steakhouse ($25 upcharge) only ok
-Wine prices didn't seem overly high

- In addition, some things that I feel should be included like SODA, are not free - sodas are either $1.95 each, or you buy a full week unlimited pass for like $6.50 / day (~$50 for a week). My guess is that some other lines include this (I know Disney does), but charge much higher upfront fares.

- Room service - very fast, 24 hours, but limited variety. Breakfast options are limited to continental only (no eggs, breakfast meat, etc)

Service and Staff
Very helpful, cheerful, no real issues.

Service at outside bars and some restaurants was pretty slow-had to really flag down a waiter to get a beer when sitting at one of the tables several times.
Ship Quality

- Ship was new (2005).
- Kids program was only ok for our 9 year old
- No movie theater on board
- Hot tubs were always very crowded
- No bowling alley or rock wall like some other cruise lines
Cabin / Stateroom
Already mentioned, but very well-kept, well-appointed, well laid out.
Entertainment was the best feature - always plenty of live music on the ship, unique activities such as pub crawl, chocolate lovers buffet.

No movie theater, or unique stuff such as a rock wall or bowling alley.

Shows in theater were excellent - Cirque du Solei type show, comedian, magician, music variety

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