Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Vote

2 out of 5

Worst cruise I have ever taken

Sail Date: March 31, 2012

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

Ill start by saying that this, by far, was the worst cruise that I have ever been on. Not quite the worst vacation ever, including land vacations, but its close. I have sailed once with Costa and 6 times with RC, and this NCL cruise aboard the Jewel cannot hold a candle to these ships, let alone to any resort found along the Jersey and Delaware shore.

I basically feel as though I was ripped off. This ship tried to nickel and dime me the entire time I was there. Their free coffee tasted like *expletive deleted*. I heard from a frequent cruiser that the coffee is made from a concentrated syrup Perhaps you should just brew it, or at least get a better syrup. I may complain about coffee, but even the crummiest cup of coffee can be saved and made palatable with enough cream and sugar. This stuff barely even resembled coffee. You need to fix that because its really just unacceptable. I roast my own beans so if you need me to consult for you, track me down and Ill do just that, free of charge, I just want you to promise me that you will never ever serve something so horrible tasting again on your cruise ships to any human soul.
Oh yes, the nickel and diming. Juice costs money at the bars, I get that, but include something for your restaraunts. Even lemonade and fruit punch will do it. Anything besides unsweeted iced tea. They had free liquor tastings, but the whiskey tastings and martini tasting cost money? Explain that one to me. And what is the deal with it costing twenty bucks to play 2 games of bingo that last a max of 30 minutes, usually more like 15 minutes. Either double the bingo cards to make it last longer or halve the price.

And just some general suggestions, can you put some clocks in the staterooms and some more clocks around the ship? It will cost you the price of one balcony stateroom to buy digital red letter clocks for all the rooms. Another stateroom cost to buy trendy large clocks for the rest of the ship. People will be more likely to attend all your planned events if they know what time it is. For your private islands, you need more small tender ships. Waiting in line to get on or off the boat shouldnt take 30-45 minutes. On all my RC cruises it took no more than 10 minutes of waiting to get a tender to or fro where ever I was going. You were stuffing 400 people on each tender, who ever approved of that as a money saving good idea should be *various expletives deleted, use your imagination*

Below is what wouldnt fit in the Dining section: The beans shouldnt be more than 3 weeks older than their roast date and the coffee should be brewed for 4-5 minutes. Mine tasted like 3 month old coffee brewed for a minute and a half (yes, I am a coffee snob). Teppanyaki, their hibachi, 5 stars all around. It is their priciest restaurant, but its worth it. Chin Chin, their Asian fusion specialty restaurant was quite literally the worst Asian food I have ever eaten. Aside from the flavor of their food being worse than 6 month old freezer burned reheated Chinese food (though the ingredients were fresh, they just dont know how to cook) the service was unacceptable. They brought only half our dishes out for appetizers (brought 3 for my GF but didnt bring mine out for another 10 minutes), then they brought out dinner, 3 of my 4, they didnt bring the rice, and they brought my GF a single dish of something she didnt order and her rice. Then they brought her another dish she didnt order, then her lomein came about 20 minutes later. Mind you were were in a restaurant that could seat 100 and we were one of only 2 couples dining at the time. We couldnt come to fill ourselves with this food and just left. The staff was confused/concerned that we skipped dessert, but at that point I had insulted my taste buds enough. Their Azura meals were average cruise cuisine and their buffet was what I would expect. Though I am disappointed that I couldnt get juice at the buffets or restaurants w

Pros: The french specialty restaurant and the Wine bar

Cons: Some of the worst service I have ever experienced. Poor stateroom attendant, 50/50 bar staff, poor dining service.

Recommends Norwegian Jewel? No.

Cabin / Stateroom
I had to ask the front desk 5 separate times for an extra duvet blanket, I was brought 2 super thin blankets, but finally I was hand delivered the duvet I requested by the man in charge on my deck, it only took 2 days. The tv is a 13 inch old style model, no flat panels here. I tried ordering room service at 1am only to be hung up on 4 times in 10 minutes at which point I had to make my way to their 24 hour restaurant. There was no ice bucket in our room for the first 4 days of the cruise, the last 3 days there was an ice bucket, but it was never filled despite me leaving it out and uncovered (they just recovered it and put it back). Our mini fridge was not stocked with what was on the list, it was half full, and several things were in duplicate. Instead of housing 2 sodas and a frappacino, it instead had 6 beers, 2 of each for 3 types. We had to specifically ask for more toilet paper as it was not restocked regularly. Out of all 7 nights, we received 2 towel animals
Service and Staff
I wouldnt mind paying the service charge if I received prompt service for it. The room attendant, whoever was in charge of 5065 on the 3/31-4/7 NYC to FL to Bahama cruise, you need to shape up. Room service, please answer your phone. Wait staff, move quickly, come back to the table at least once during the meal and ask if things are ok, and etc. And would it kill you guys to smile? Of the entire ship I probably encountered 10 people who did their jobs as well as they should, and the rest just dont seem to try. This ship, this company, is in the service industry and from my frequent travels, they come out in the bottom 10%, right on par with roach motels. I will not cruise on Norwegian again until the aforementioned issues are addressed, which I foresee as unlikely to happen.
Food and Dining
At any eating venue (not counting the buffet) it would take at least 5 minutes, often 10, just to get a glass of water, half the time with no ice. And if we drank our water and it was empty, we would wait another 5-10 minutes for a refill. Breakfast was had at the buffet the first day then at Tsars every other day. They got my order wrong every single morning, and by wrong I mean they forgot to bring all of what I ordered. If I requested cereal, fruit, eggs, bacon, and potatoes, just pick one or 2 of these each day and it was missing. The first 2 days I asked a 2nd or 3rd time for the rest of my meals. Later in the week I over ordered and just expected (rightfully so) for something to be missing.

The specialty restaurants seemed to be hit or miss. Le Bistro, their French place, was great. Fantastic service, very attentive, very good food. I must point out though that their French pressed coffee was made from stale beans and was not brewed long enough.
Ship Quality
The ship was of decent quality, pretty clean, good lounge chairs and interior chairs for the most part. Portions of the deck and stairs were regularly closed for maintenance every day of the cruise, varying across the ship. I could not make a full rotation around the deck 7 walking track on 2 separate days, one while at port, another while at sea. Whos idea was it to vacuum the main stairway in front of your main dining venue right before dinner time?? This is poor planning and timing. Any hotel manager with more than a year of experience should know better, and this ship has been around for 7 years now.
The entertainment was ok, Cirque Bijou was pretty awesome. For the most part they covered what most ships covered and they did it well enough.

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