Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

2 out of 5

Not What I expected

Sail Date: May 30, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

I have had some friends take this cruise (but on a different NCL ship) and they had a great time.  I think maybe my expectations were based on their experiences.  I'll start with announcements - these are made all day but you can't hear them in your cabin so if you miss the announcement you are missing information.  The cabin was very hot even though we had the air conditioner set on the lowest setting - thankfully we had a balcony so we could open the door.  On the 1st day at port (Ketchikan)we ordered breakfast to be delivered at 7 am - we had to call twice before it showed up at 8 am (we had a tour scheduled for 8:15) so we missed eating before the tour.  We never received an apology or explanation other than the kitchen was very busy. I was really disappointed in the on-board activities for days we were sailing.  If you aren't interested in Trivia, dancing classes or talks on anti-aging make sure you bring along plenty of reading material!  I couldn't figure out why they would charge for alcohol tastings (such as martinis) when we had the beverage package - wouldn't you think this was included when you could get these drinks for free at the bar?  At two stops you have to pay for shuttles to get back and forth to the cities (Skagway and Victoria - Victoria is a 35 - 40 minute walk from the ship).  We did find out after the cruise that there was an announcement made in Skagway that you could pick up wrist bands that allowed you to travel on the shuttle for free (but of course you couldn't hear that in your cabin)......  Also I wouldn't recommend the Italian restaurant that is not included in the complementary package.  The waiter was very friendly but the food was not as good as expected.  Also - they need some more bartenders at some of the restaurants during peak hours.  We waited almost 30 minutes at O'Sheehan's to order a drink and dinner at the bar but the bartender could never get to us.  At one point he asked a server to help us but they declined since we were sitting at the bar,

Overall we spent most of the time on board wandering around the deck and in our room watching movies since there wasn't a lot of activities to hold our interest for long.

Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
The ship was very clean and well maintained
Food and Dining
Other than the Tzar's Palace most of the food seemed very bland and over cooked.
Cabin / Stateroom
I'm so glad we got a balcony
Service and Staff
the majority of the employees were friendly and seemed to want to make your trip pleasant
Entertainment
We went to two shows (the rock-in-roll and the magician) both shows were enjoyable.
Children's Programs
There seemed to be a lot of thinks for kids to go to.
Onboard Activities
Unless you wanted to pay to play bingo or do tastings it seemed to leave trivia, dance classes, and anti-aging talks.
Destinations and Excursions
The towns all offer the same the thing - discounted jewwlery and cheap t-shirts
Seattle, Washington
I love visiting Seattle
Ketchikan, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Cruise Sawyer Glacier
The only thing I didn't like was there was a narrative going on over the loud speaker but you couldn't hear it in your room. It was very cold and windy so we went to our balcony to view
Skagway, Alaska
Victoria, British Columbia
Make sure you bring walking shows to get to the town.

Tip

Make sure you plan tours ahead of time when they are 1/2 off. We thought there would be enough to do in the towns to keep us entertained and only planned one tour in the first port.



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