Fantastic Ship, Weather, Itinerary, and a wonderful cruise/land experience on the NCL Jewel

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 8
Helpful Votes: 148

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Jewel

7 Night Alaska Glacier Bay Northbound (Vancouver To Seward)

Sail date: August 20, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 10068

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We really enjoyed this cruise. The itinerary kept us busy and gave us plenty to see and do. We also chose the land portion (Alyeska and Train) portion that gave us a stopover on day 1 at the Alyeska Resort (wonderful), where we had dinner at the top of the mountain in the restaurant, Seven Glaciers. We then stopped for a little over 2 days in Denali, with our stay located at the Denali Park Village (cabins, hotel rooms). I was okay with this location as it was conveniently located just a short ride to Denali Park. We then had a Deluxe Dome Train Ride to Talkeetna that offered many wonderful views of Denali Park (yes, for 3 days in a row, we saw the top of Denali). My biggest issue is that NCL advertised the train ride ending up in Anchorage (we booked in 11/2017), but the train ended up in Talkeetna where we then had an hour ride to Anchorage. We found out that NCL saved around $90 pp and the majority of our 40+ people on our bus were very unhappy about this. Ironically, NCL is still advertising the train ride all the way to Anchorage. Our "Alaska Guide" tour operators told us this has happened frequently and not just to our group.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Quick, efficient and well-organized

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
We spent a lot of our time while on the ship at Shakers Martini and Champagne Bar. We had excellent service from Lorelie, Anna and Ida. All 3 can pour a great martini, as well as, some unique and specialty drinks that aren't even on the drink menu. They are all personable and remembered our names for the entire cruise. Our best meal was in Le Bistro, along with Cagney's and a so so experience in Teppanyaki (way too much soy). We also enjoyed both Tsar and Azura and were pleased with the variety of daily and specialty selections. The buffet was a bit crowded (to be expected) in the mornings of an early port arrival, but we found the food choices to be abundant and tasty.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We really didn't partake in any of the cruise activities (bingo, pull tabs, etc.), as been there and done that before, as we opted to keep some $ in our own pockets.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We really enjoyed the show "Band on the Run" which was one of the best shows we have seen in our 5 cruises on NCL. The comedian was also very good, though, the magician, well.....not so much.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Our room (10068) steward, Fernando, was fantastic. He was efficient and made some great towel arrangements each day of our cruise. We came across some great food staff as well. From Sebastian at dinner and breakfast, to our favorite, April Joy, for breakfast and dinner. We have cruised with April Joy and she is a bundle of energy, humor and makes for an enjoyable dining experience.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
We enjoyed the ship immensely. However, the wear did show in our room, but not enough to put a damper on our cruise. It will be redone in the next month or so and I am sure it will be back to its original "Jewel" like finish.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The room is not as big as some of the other mid-ship balcony rooms we have had. However, the bed was comfortable and there was plenty of space to store our belongings. There isn't as much drawer space as on other ships, but there were plenty of open storage areas near the door. The bathroom was just okay as it was a bit cramped when using the toilet.

Ship tip

We loved the mid-ship balcony, starboard side for our northbound cruise.

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
We arrived in Vancouver on Friday (8/17) prior to our cruise leaving on Monday (8/20). We enjoyed our time in Vancouver. We did the zip line at Grouse Mountain (fantastic) and spent a few hours at Capilano Suspension Bridge, along with a walk almost around Stanley Park. We ate at Top of Vancouver Revolving restaurant (great night time views and the food is just okay), and Cactus Club Cafe (excellent).

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
Nice port with plenty to see and do. We opted for the Misty Fjords & Wilderness Explorer boat tour. The beginning of the tour was rather boring up until we got to the Fjord area that offered spectacular views, waterfalls and plenty of eagles.

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
Juneau was a very cool port (no pun intended). We chose our own excursion via JuneauTours.com to go whale watching and visit the Mendenhall Glacier. We chose this as the tour gave us more than enough time to explore the area around the glacier and time to walk down to Nugget Falls. They also put us on many whales. We also did the Mt. Roberts Tramway, which offered scenic views up on top of Mt. Roberts.

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
Probably our favorite port of those we visited. It was really special due to the White Pass Scenic Railway excursion, which left almost directly from the cruise ship area first thing in the morning. In addition, we did an afternoon hike/float trip via SkagwayFloat.com.

Seward (Anchorage), Alaska

3 out of 5
We were only in Seward/Anchorage for an evening, so we really didn't get a chance to experience this area.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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