Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
11

2 out of 5

Not Recommended for People Like Me

Sail Date: May 30, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

The reasons why I liked this particular cruise:

-The ports were great. Alaska is beautiful and a cruise is a great way to experience it.

-The buffet food was great. Lots to choose from and well stocked and clean. Not at all like your usual buffet.

-The dining rooms (free ones) were elegant and tasty. It was fun to be able to order the appetizer, main dish, and dessert without having to be concerned about additional cost. 

-We didn't feel under dressed anywhere on the ship. I wore jeans all the time and felt comfortable. Although I did wear a nice blouse with my jeans for dinner, lots of people just wore t-shirts.

-We could dine at any time, and could dine alone - rather than with a bunch of strangers.

-It's great to be taken care of. Having our stateroom ready for us when we got back from anything was so refreshing. Plus, being treated like we were important all over the ship was really nice, especially at dinner.

The reasons why I didn't like this particular cruise:

-Although the buffet was pretty fabulous, finding a seat each time was a great big hassle. I felt like a vulture hovering about until someone would get up to leave and I could grab their table. This made the buffet less enjoyable for me, but my husband didn't seem to mind.

-The two free dining rooms always had the same menu. Why have two different dining rooms offering the same food? I think they meant to do that because one looks more upscale, but when everyone is dressed casual, it doesn't seem to matter. Also, the dining room menu of about 12 entrees, only changed a couple of them each night, and the rest remained the same. So, for someone like me, that doesn't like very much (no chicken or seafood, just beef or pasta) that didn't leave me many choices. Also, their lasagna was pretty bad - so I didn't order pasta more than once. The steak was really good, though.

-The ship only has one theater - and that theater offers the same show twice a night. We saw a show there every night. With the exception of the first night - the rest of the shows were very low quality. The magician, who was also a comedian, did very little magic and what he did could be done by amateur magicians. The comedian on the comedy night was fairly funny, but he was also easily distracted and didn't seem to have much of a show, more of a rambling about whatever came to his mind. The acrobat/music combo Cirque show on the final night was downright embarrassing to watch. It was awful as the singers were off key and the acrobats looked like they were in pain.

-For day time entertainment, if you didn't want to partake with the rowdy poolside crowd - you were left with either Bingo or Deal or No Deal. Both of which cost (in my opinion) too much. $40 for Bingo, $20 for Deal or No Deal. We did play Deal or No Deal, which was kinda fun. I was hoping for a movie theater - or at least for more daytime activities which didn't involve dance lessons or paying money to participate. So, I would have liked to see more entertainment during the day which wouldn't cost money.

-When we cruised by the glacier, it would have been so great if they would have turned off the music blaring from the poolside, so that we could hear the sounds of nature and potentially hear calving from the glacier, or seals barking. When my sister cruised, she said they had complete silence on the boat. That would have been awesome.

For anyone considering this cruise, keep in mind that the two at-sea days can be problematic if you get seasick. On our way back from Alaska, the seas were rough and many people stayed in the cabins the whole day. I normally am quite prone to seasickness, but I had been taken Bonine regularly and it kept the sickness away. Also, if you take the train ride in Skagway, keep in mind that this can cause motion sickness. Especially if you take a lot of pictures (which you should!).

Although I'm not recommending this cruise, I do have to say that the ports of call made our trip completely worth it. If the cruise portion would have lived up to the hype, I know I would be whole-heartedly recommending it. This being said, the next time I cruise, it would have to either be on a different NCL ship, or on a different cruise line.

 

 

Ship Quality
It looks out of date - especially the bar areas.
Food and Dining
The food was mostly excellent, with the exception of the pasta. The buffet was too crowded, but I don't think that should affect the food/dining score.
Service and Staff
They were all awesome - and did everything they could to make people happy.
Entertainment
The ship only had one theater and played the same show twice a night. The entertainment was very poor quality.
Children's Programs I didn't have any children with me, so I can't rate this section.
Onboard Activities
Most of the activities cost money or are they types of things that are too boring to attend, especially among a crowd where you can't see anything.
Destinations and Excursions
The destinations were awesome. I highly recommend going off on your own in Ketchikan, as the public bus ($1 each way) is much cheaper and faster than any excursion. It can take you pretty much wherever you would want to go.
Cabin / Stateroom
This served our needs. With the lack of light, I think I slept better than I have in years! The bed was comfortable and the location seemed as stable as the public areas of the ship on our high seas a rockin' day.
Seattle, Washington
I live here, so I DO love it here!
Ketchikan, Alaska
A cute small town. I recommend heading off on your own - taking the bus. We went up to Totem Bight State Park, took the bus back to the Walmart, transferred buses to the University by the trail up there. It was a beautiful hike - and you could see all the way down to the cruise ship. The trail eventually leads down towards town, where you can shop.
Juneau, Alaska
The Mendenhall Glacier was wonderful - although way too crowded for my tastes. You do have to see the waterfall, though. It's gorgeous, and offers a great view of the glacier.
Cruise Sawyer Glacier
This was so beautiful! Keep your eyes out for the seals on the icebergs. And bring binoculars!
Skagway, Alaska
My husband and I had a difficult time deciding whether or not to go on the train ride, as it's really expensive. We finally decided to go, and we are so glad we did! I definitely recommend going in the afternoon, as the people who went in the morning had too much clouds/fog that they couldn't see much.
Victoria, British Columbia
We didn't schedule anything to do here other than the BC Museum. It was a nice museum and I recommend it. Just be sure that you don't wear yourself out before heading back to the ship, as it's kinda a long walk.

Tip

I've read a tip before about going to the Cucina restaurant if the Garden Cafe was closed - but please be aware that the cafe is pretty far away to walk with an arm full of food PLUS it wasn't always open for additional seating.



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