Very nice, some "nickle&diming" food ok
Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Ship: Norwegian Jewel
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago
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).
Food and Dining
Buffet - great selection, a bit of a madhouse at most times. Like most buffets, though, food was only so-so.
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)
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
Service and Staff
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 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
Pros: Ship was beautiful, service was good
Cons: too much "nickle and diming", would rate food B-, kids program only decent