Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Norwegian CruiseLines has gone downhill in past few years!

Sail Date: December 30, 2012

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Suite

Really, NCL has really gone downhill - this last cruise was a travesty on so many levels. You feel that you are being shaken down all the time for "extras" - very few amenities are gratis and overpriced. For those of us who paid for a mini-suite, there are no privileges like on Celebrity where you have a "concierge room." All the "speciality" restaurants are extra and not worth the price. The Garden Cafe where the buffets are held, feels like a high school cafeteria, overcrowded, not a lot of choice and sadly lacking. So noisy that you cannot stand being in the room. This is my 4th or 5th NCL cruise, and I will never take one again. The entertainment was not up to cruise standards - one night of a magician is enough and not 3! The couple from Cirque du Soleil was fabulous - but they were overused - again 3 times! Choreography for dancers was terrible and silly- these are not good "production numers." This is my 25th cruise and, believe me, Celebrity, Cunard, Royal Caribbean and Princess are better in every way. So many of the rooms are used for the restaurants, that there is not place on the ship to just "get away." The library is small and crowded - there is not even a movie theater on the ship. The new years celebration was basically in the Spinnaker Lounge and there were not enough chairs for all the people who wanted to attend - no free champagne at midnight or decent hats. We left and went back to our rooms rather than stand for an hour in an overcrowded room and being pushed and shoved. Hats were handed out but nothing said "Happy New Year" - only Norwegian Cruise Lines - so cheap. The staff does work hard, but they are up against many unhappy passengers. The only place that we felt welcome was in the Tsar's Palace, the seater treated us like we were special. Also, young man who cleaned the room was very pleasant. Other than that, we were all like cattle being moved around the ship with awful activities that were only meant to "sell" us something. Even the exercise classes were extra - the wait for the treadmills in the gyms was over one hour. I guess if you have passengers who don't know any better - then they can continue doing what they are doing. But for the discerning passenger who pays top dollar and expects good service and some sort of elegance on a vacation - then NCL is not the cruise line to take!
Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
New York, New York
Great to have a ship leave from NYC
Nassau, Bahamas
Some people go to Atlantis, but there are many things to do in Nassau. Straw market is fun.
Great Stirrup Cay (Cruiseline Private Island), Bahamas
Walk to the third beach area where there are less crowds. If you want some shade, you have to arrange a "tent" before hand on the ship - they don't tell you that.
Port Canaveral, Florida
Do not miss going to The Kennedy Space Center - amazing experience!


Try to go on a cruise when it is not a holiday weekend and the ship is jam packed.

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