Fun ports, ship experience was boring
Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: February 28, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Jewel
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 8553
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
My family of 5, including teenagers, had a great time at Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. However, in all 3 locations we arranged our own excursions and avoided the tourism as much as possible. We went to a private beech on Cozumel, found a guy with a boat to take us snorkeling with sharks & stingrays in Belize, and rented a car to drive across the island in Honduras. Had we stayed with the heard of people disembarking the ship, I doubt our experience would have been as good. Full disclosure: we're not the tourist type and usually try to take the path less traveled; this was also our first cruise experience.
This luded 3 whole days at sea. For our family, this was WAY too much. Also, the food in the main dining rooms was just mediocre. The concepts we're good - duck confit, chateaubriand, beef tartare, cherries jubilee, etc. However, the execution was below par and obviously prepared in large quantities for a lot of people. Somewhat understandable, but disappointing. The one upscale restaurant we tried was noticeably higher in quality. Although, depending on what you ordered, it was a second up-sell.
I very much disliked the constant "selling" on board. Everything is way overpriced. I'm accustomed to paying double store price for wine in a restaurant, but here it was triple. Mixed drinks were $10-12, and weren't made well. We did enjoy the mojito flight at one of the bars, and thought the price of $15 was fair.
Staff was very friendly and professional. No complaints in that department.
Overall, there is no other way to take a family of 5 on a 7 night vacation out of the country for this price. It was far from ideal, but we enjoyed relaxing, spending time together, and exploring the port locations. We probably won't cruise again. But we are definitely going back to Belize!!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
If you can, swing for the upscale restaurants. They are worth it. Also, unless you're a borderline alcoholic, I'd avoid the drink package.