The Ship and Staff are great, but the food and on-board activities... not so much (Good Overall value.)
Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: January 31, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Jewel
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 8119
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
MY wife and I wanted a cheap getaway so we opted for an interior cabin. Our background: We sailed 3x with Carnival, 3x with Princess, 1x Holland America, 1x with Royal Caribbean, 1x Disney and was our first time on NCL.
+ Boarding process very good and no long waits were experienced. (Top Notch.)
+ Ships decor nice... Stylish
+ Inside cabin was compact but surprisingly well laid out. No issues and was acceptable.
+ Best bathroom shower and sink for an interior state room - Shower door was a great plus - no flimsy curtain here and the sink was large and faucet was high with plenty of hand room.
+/- Toilet on angle that doesn't allow leg room to wall and you have to sit slightly side saddle on an already small opening. (Not as bad as the inside cabin Royal Caribbean toilet.)
- Experienced Slow service in sit-down restaurants.
- Coffee tea cart virtually non existing - only once for the 7 day cruise.
+ Good OJ and more selection for the included drinks
+/- Food variety at buffets seems to be less as cruise progressed. There was still plenty of food and we always found something to eat, but we rate the food the lowest of all previous cruise experiences.
- Sit down restaurant food and all deserts seemed like presentation took priority over taste.
- What no lobster? (It appears that it's only offered in the specialty restaurants.)
- Cookies please! (Cookie availability was hit or miss... mostly miss.)
- Simple hearty deserts please! Stop the foo-foo fancy-tasteless ones. The coconut cream pie and banana cream pie were very good but only had them available once.
+ Good quality ice cream in the soft-serve machines.
- I love my ice cream but I don't like it when they have to get it for me and they don't know how to make a cone. Causes backup and a line. Machines were often down and it seemed like they were trying to ration the ice cream as the cruise continued.
- Cakes dry - Bread and muffins not very good.
+ Main production shows were excellent very talented singers and dancers
- Other entertainment and activities were mediocre at best and sparse on the final sea day.
+ Love the NCL concierge app!!! Just wish that it listed all ship activities vs just the main ones.
Bottom line: We would recommend NCL and we will probably sail with them again. If we do sail with them, it would definitely be based on a lower price.
One other thing to consider if leaving from the Houston port... ground transportation seemed excessively expensive. for the two of us... $80 from IAH airport to Hobby Hotel - 25min drive, $50 Hobby hotel to cruise port - 15min drive, and $90 Cruise port to Airport. (For $100 we ended up taking the Houston Highlight tour - worth the $10 extra bucks since we had a 7pm flight.) Our ground transportation totaled $230 not including any tips.