Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Relaxation and Family Fun

Sail Date: August 14, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family w/young children

Room Type: Oceanview

Upon arrival, our family was greeted with a warm and friendly staff and the ship appeared clean and inviting. Our first stop was the Kids Club, as we were traveling with 3 kids ages 6-9. Our children were excited by the staff that greeted them and the activity schedule that was posted for the week. They were especially surprised about the Nickelodeon Crew that would be on board this ship hosting games and challenges all week. My husband and I knew we were in a good place when we arrived poolside with the band playing and the tropical beverages circulating.
During the week we enjoyed having our stateroom cleaned by a very friendly room steward who helped meet our every need. The enormous selection of food in the Garden Cafe and in all of the restaurants met our every dietary desire. The entertainment was of the highest quality; we still repeat some of the comedy lines and refer to our favorite scenes often. Our children loved the Kids Club and sometimes were mad when we arrived to pick them up. They'd often beg to stay longer and that was fine with us! I used the running track and fitness center daily and enjoyed keeping up with my regular exercise routine. I found all of my favorite machines there and made use of the group exercise room as well. Each of the ports offered something different and we were able to plan excursions that suited our family's needs and interests. Anything you do is great . . . you're on vacation!
I have been on 12+ cruises and I continue to book these kinds of vacations because they offer the best vacation value anywhere. There is nowhere else you can go for the price where you get friendly, professional service, excellent food, quality entertainment, free childcare, and the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. My favorite things about my experience on the Jewel are (in order):
romantic evening dinners outside under the light of the moon (without the kids)
time to myself to exercise, read, and relax poolside with the kids in Kids Club
family activities such as games, dancing, and pizza making
tropical music from the live band poolside
the dancing, singing, magic, and comedy shows daily
exciting shore excursions
the cleanliness of everything aboard
comfortable beds and staterooms in which to nap each afternoon
There were just a few things of which future travelers should be aware before cruising on this ship. There are a lot of people on board. Sometimes there were many people in the buffet area and navigating the food lines was tricky. Try to eat at "off peak" hours to avoid the crowds. The off-shore excursions can become very expensive if you are traveling with a family. My advice is to plan ahead. Research the ports and what's available to do at each location. Decide which days to take an excursion arranged on-board and which days you may just want to take a bus to the beach to save some money. You can do both and enjoy the trip and save money at the same time. Also, think about your bar bill. Those fancy drinks and sodas can add up quickly. Again, plan ahead. Purchase the soda package if you'll be drinking more than a soda or two each day and set a budget for yourself for your bar drinks. The pool area can get very crowded too on "at-sea" days. We tried to swim early in the day and then again in the evening when it wasn't too hot or too crowded.
I've been traveling with my children since the first one was born and each Norwegian cruise gets better and better for us. It's not easy to travel anywhere with children. It's most times more work than it's worth. With a cruise, my husband and I feel like we had a break and yet had fun with the kids too. My children have the time of their lives on the Norwegian cruises and look forward to next one before we even disembark the ship at the end of the week. A cruise is the best family vacation, hands down!

Pros: Family Activities

Cons: The Pool Area Crowd

Recommends Norwegian Jewel? Yes!

Food and Dining
I was disappointed with the dining room food menu. I felt that since the specialty restaurants came on board ships, the dining room stinks so that people will pay extra money for the restaurants. The steaks were tough, the lobster over-cooked, the pasta dishes lacked flavor, and the service was sometimes very slow.
Cabin / Stateroom
staterooms and the ship overall was very clean and comfortable. I loved the bed and the pillows.
Ship Quality
Service and Staff
staff was friendly but the room stewards were all especially cheerful
we really enjoyed the entertainment
Children's Programs
loved the kids' programs! The kids loved them too.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas
too many people in a small space. The buffet line was crazy. We actually didn't eat on the island. We waited to return to the ship.
Port Canaveral, Florida
Not too interesting. The excursions were all very long and expensive. The local beach was nice but not too exciting.
Don't Miss: Take the Travel Lynx bus . . . it's cheap and takes you to Coco Beach, Walmart and the mall with all day transfers included.
Nassau, Bahamas
We enjoyed a day pass at the Sheraton Resort. It was beautiful and affordable. The kids wanted to swim in the pools.

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