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4.4 out of 5

Great Cruise! by Dumadag

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (young children)

We had a great time and will definitely consider going on another cruise. Possibly European Cruise.

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4.2 out of 5

Great time on the high seas! by DanandRene

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Did this cruise for our 15th wedding anniversary. We were joined by my brother and his wife. We had a lot of great family time. It was very relaxing. We all had a great time.

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4.5 out of 5

Impressed by ChrissyD1994

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This was our first time. Love freestyle. Staff are very well trained and are really pleasant to be around, the ship is lovely, the captain is cute…we'll be back…AAA+

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2.7 out of 5

Last time with Norwegian by daspoopdeck

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

A very underwhelming cruise compared to the others that I have been on. Alaska, Canada and Seattle were all beautiful, it was strictly the experience on board the ship that was bad. I decided to try NCL again after bad experiences on the Star in 2013, but after a repeat of the same issues I had in 2013 this time, I will cruise with Carnival and Holland America in the future, never NCL again.

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4.2 out of 5

Fantastic Alaska Cruise on the Norwegian Jewel! by samboothbass

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The only reason we took points off is because many things felt very nickel-and-dimey. Lots and lots of fees. We're not sure we would book Norwegian again. I am also upset that I did not realize that I could have gotten a discount as a Caesars Platinum member....

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1.7 out of 5

Wonderful itinerary, awful ship by mllatko

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Ports of call were great, and highly recommended. But you should absolutely go see them on a different ship from a different cruise line. The NCL Jewel features below average entertainment, terrible staff, even worse food, on a beat-up, dirty ship.

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4.4 out of 5

Whole Family Enjoyed It by LibbyFamBam

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

You've paid a lot for this vacation, make the best of it and r e l a x. Do a little research before the trip and learn about the different things to do in each port. Don't limit yourself to what the ship offers. Some of their options might be perfect for you, all I'm saying is don't limit yourself. Be low-key and ask the locals questions. We had a lot more fun and learned a lot more about the area that way. Set realistic expectations. Obviously if something is wrong, talk to the staff about it. They were very accommodating and want your cruise to be awesome. On the other hand, set realistic expectations. Don't go out of your way to find stuff to complain about - you'll be sure to find it and that's no way to spend a vacation. I'm not trying to be insulting or condescending by saying all of this - unfortunately the more I observe people, the more I realize it needs saying. Fortunately it works both ways. Seek out the positive, and you'll find a lot more of that too. Have a great vacation!

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5 out of 5

Amazing!!! by RhondaKC

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

My husband and I went on the same cruise 2 years ago. We loved it so much we returned again this year with my sister, her husband and another couple who are our very best friends. They all helped us celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.  It was an amazing trip and the staff of Norwegian were wonderful!!!  Everyone enjoyed the trip and no one had any problems!!!  We will be loyal customers!

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4 out of 5

Overall, a great trip by king41636780

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Overall, I enjoyed my 7-day cruise on the Norwegian Jewel.  I’ve cruised many times before on at least three other cruise lines.  For the most part, this was comparable to the others.  The ship was beautiful and clean, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.  The Jewel is one of the smaller ships in the fleet and I find that I enjoy them more than the larger ones.  On the smaller ships the crew is more cohesive and personable.  And you see them more often so they learn your names and they almost become friends. Larger ships are more impersonal.

 

The activities and entertainment was wonderful.  Our favorite band was The Temperature.  Loved the White Hot Party.  Went to a couple of shows.  They were good but similar in that the company seemed to made up of singers, a few dancers, and some awesome acrobats.  All in all they were enjoyable even though I saw some of the same acrobatic tricks twice.  They were just as thrilling the second time.

 

One place Norwegian needs help is with technology.  I found their website difficult to navigate and not as informative as it could have been.  The itinerary was incomplete.  Online, the departure time on one of the days was missing and I booked a tour through an outside company that I thought would fit the schedule.  Once on the ship, I learned that the ship was departing before my tour ended.  I had to frantically call the tour company to re-schedule, paying over $100 for a ship-to-shore phone call.  Another problem was the Norwegian app.  I was so excited to have the ship’s activity schedule at my fingertips.  But after the 2nd day, I didn’t use it because it had errors and missing information.  The hardcopy schedule delivered to my room every night was more accurate.  The online schedule should have been the most accurate because it can be updated at any time.  Seemed as though no one was doing that, so it was very static and unreliable.  That was a missed opportunity.

 

The food was OK; I’ve had better on cruise ships.  I like the “freestyle dining” on Norwegian so you’re not assigned to a dining room and a table.  Occasionally there would be a dish or a dessert that was wonderful.  But overall I’d give the food a 6.  Only went to one specialty restaurant—the Brazilian one (name escapes me).  The food there was excellent!!!

 

If the price is right, I would take another Norwegian cruise.

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4 out of 5

Great crew by valmal17

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The crew on the ship are fantastic! They are super friendly and helpful. They'll always take a moment to stop and speak with you, even if just to ask you about your day. And that's how the whole staff acts from the chefs to the stateroom maintenance to the spa workers.  They're all really friendly. 

 

There are a few things that Norwegian could do a little better at. The food at the regular dining areas were just ok. The food at the specially restaurants was really amazing. I would have also appreciated some better entertainment geared towards my age group. There were only 2 movie channels and a couple movie nights. The channels often re-aired some of the same movies multiple times. Charging less for the activities they do have would also be beneficial. 

 

Overall the trip was great. The locations and shore excursions were lots of fun and there were a lot of options. I saw everything I wanted to see and more onboard and onshore. I would highly recommend this cruise to others. 

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3 out of 5

Somewhat disappointed as a first time cruiser....... by Gdaym8

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Reading the blogs in regards to the Norwegian Jewel were spot on.  Ranking:

1) Entertainment (the entertainment staff really does a great job on the Jewel) 2) Activities (there is something to do every hour of every day on the Jewel.  You will never get bored.)  3) Room (Penthouse room at the front of the boat had a huge deck with amazing views)  4) Service (everyone was very friendly and helpful. We had a Butler, Rex and a private Concierge, Bruno.  Both were very helpful and attentive.) 5) Food (This was the biggest disappointment.  The food was beyond horrible.  We were looking forward to our ports of call just to get decent food.  The Teppanyaki specialty restaurant had the best food.)         .       

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5 out of 5

Don't judge a ship by its cover! by ARCJCM

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We recently returned from an eight-day inside passage Alaska cruise on the Norwegian Jewel. We sailed in an Owner’s Suite (10004 — category H3), which is part of The Haven. For those like myself who prefer to see rather than read, I've posted videos of our trip and our cabin to a YouTube playlist, which can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDWI8b8Zxdm2J8XAVKehnsy0cLDOFcCgj

 

This was our first cruise, and we were big cruise skeptics. Our vacation travel is generally more geared toward luxury, and we tend to avoid crowds, which is why we’ve avoided cruising. Because we were eager to see Alaska, we decided to shelve our cruise prejudice, knowing that cruising is the most efficient way to see the state. To quickly get to the point, although our trip didn't start out so well, we ended up having an amazing vacation on the Jewel, and we're already looking forward to taking more trips with Norwegian soon.

As you're reading this review, keep in mind that it starts negative and gets positive. I’m trying to be candid about our experience, so it only makes sense to share our experience and impressions as they really happened!

DEPARTURE:

Our cruise departed from Vancouver, BC, and returned to Seattle, WA. As cruise newbies, we found the security, customs, and boarding process in Vancouver to be chaotic and confusing. We thought maybe it was just our newness that made us overwhelmed by the process, but we talked with several frequent cruisers who said they had never seen it so bad before. We were told to expect that we would be directed to an area reserved for Haven and Suite guests, but that didn't happen — eventually we found this area, but there were no staff present, so we didn't know what to do. We later learned that the absence of staff was due to an all-crew drill that, unfortunately for us, coincided with our scheduled embarkation. From staff and other regular NCL cruisers, it sounds like this embarkation process was absolutely not the norm.

SHIP & CABIN:

 

Once we got on the ship, our initial reaction was quite negative. The common areas looked old and dated, and the pool deck, in particular, felt like it had been designed in the 70s. The  obnoxiously loud (but fading) color scheme on the pool deck looked like something out of a circus or an old Las Vegas casino. The plastic, cartoon-style palm trees surrounding the pool were especially ugly. For a ship built in 2005 — and subsequently renovated — we were surprised at some of these design decisions.

While our Owner's Suite was similarly dated in appearance, it was spacious (700+ square feet) and functional, and offered some of the best views on the ship. Our suite was 10004, which is on the front-starboard side of the ship, positioned directly below the ship's bridge. We've made a video tour of this cabin, which you can view on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vJyplnCQraA

The decor of the suite didn't feel like something designed in this century. The carpet looked new, but the furnishings, wall/ceiling treatments, artwork, TVs, and bathroom finishings all looked old and worn. However, we grew to love this room.

The suite is very functional with ample living space, dining space, and privacy. The living area includes a pull-out sofa, lounge chair and chaise, in addition to a 32” (or so) old plasma TV and DVD player. The dining area has a large table with four chairs and could comfortably accommodate four diners. In addition to the master bathroom with a dual-vanity, the suite included a half-bath, which certainly came in handy when getting ready in the mornings.

In the bedroom, the king-size bed was comfortable, and the linens were fine, if not particularly memorable. The bedroom has another small, dated plasma TV with a DVD player. There is also a writing desk with additional storage, though it's unlikely you'll need it — this suite has a massive walk-in closet connected to the master bathroom. We felt like we had plenty of places to hide our junk!

Aside from the incredible views afforded by the two balconies, we grew to love this suite because of its size and function. We had privacy from each other when we wanted it, but could keep it open when we didn't. It has plenty of space for storage — more than you'll likely need. And the furniture, while ugly, was comfortable and functional.

We'd like to see Norwegian update the technology in the room to include modern TVs with on-demand movie offerings. We were disappointed that the TVs were so old that they didn't include HDMI ports that we would use to connect our iPads to watch our own TV shows, movies and videos.

And lastly, we'd like to see Norwegian install better window coverings in the master bath. The current coverings are see-through, and with a window looking out to the side balcony, you couldn't help but feel a little exposed — and yes, you can clearly see through the shade from the balcony in to the bathroom (we tested it so you don't have to).

 

During a more extensive refit, I'm confident this room could be made stunning, but even as it stands today, we would happily sail in it again.

 

DINING:

Dining onboard was, I imagine, fairly typical for Norwegian. The specialty/up-charge restaurants we tried were all exceptionally good. We ate at Teppanyaki (hibachi-style Japanese), Le Bistro (French), La Cucina (Italian), and Cagney's (steakhouse). Our personal favorite was Cagney's, which we visited twice. Also, as guests of The Haven, we were entitled to breakfast and lunch in Moderno, reserved for guests in The Haven and certain suites. While we never went to breakfast, this lunch was also exceptional, and the food was always well prepared, hot, and delicious. We did wish, however, that the lunch menu had changed at least once over our eight days, but this wasn't too much of a concern because we liked what was offered — we just ended up eating it more than once.

 

We also tried three of the free dining venues on the ship: Chin Chin (Chinese), the Garden Cafe (buffet), and room service. Chin Chin was very good and what you would expect from a Western-style Chinese restaurant. We were also impressed with the buffet, and left it feeling very satisfied. Room service, however, was not good. The food tasted like something from a school cafeteria, so if you're ordering from the standard room service menu, stick to the simple things, like desserts and sandwiches.

 

SERVICE:

 

After the initial confusion with boarding, service was exceptional, which is really what helped change our perspective on the trip. If I had to pinpoint one thing that made our trip special, it was the quality of service we received from the staff onboard. With very few exceptions, the staff were polite, professional, happy, and committed to creating a positive guest experience. For us, the real standouts were our suite's butler, Mary Jane, and the concierge for suites and The Haven, Bruno. Mary Jane was warm, personable, and informative. She handled all of our requests with aplomb, and always went out of her way to do something special and unexpected for us. Bruno was a consummate professional who took great strides to accommodate us for everything from last-minute reservations in the specialty dining restaurants to getting us tickets on fully-booked excursions after our original excursions were cancelled due to inclement weather. I really hope we have an opportunity to cruise with Mary Jane and Bruno again because they make an excellent team. Norwegian would do well to keep them on staff!

 

We also grew quite close to the wait staff in Cagney's because they also served lunch in Moderno for Haven and suite guests. It was nice getting to know each of them, and when we would see them around the ship, they would always greet us by name and ask about our trip. This really made us feel welcome and looked after.

The only “service” complaint we have is about the onboard internet and is not tied to a member of the staff. To put it bluntly, the internet is terrible. We bought two unlimited internet packages and wouldn't do it again. When it worked, it barely worked — and the rest of the time, it just didn't work at all. Save your money and just wait until you get in to port!

 

EXCURSIONS:

By now, you're probably as tired of reading as I am of typing, but I'll leave a quick note on excursions. We scheduled excursions in every port on our trip through Norwegian, and all of them were high-quality and worthwhile. But because of Alaska's moody weather patterns, we did have a few that got cancelled — namely those that involved flying (the “pilot's choice” glacier tour by helicopter, and a seaplane tour). Bruno, the concierge for The Haven, managed to get us on a seaplane tour at a later port, which I would highly recommend. Not only is the scenery beautiful, the ride itself was fun! And make sure that if you're in Alaska you do at least one whale-watching trip. You will almost certainly see a lot of whales, and it was really breathtaking.

IN CONCLUSION:

 

In sum, our trip was excellent. Better than expected. The staff — in particular our butler, Mary Jane, and concierge, Bruno — were exemplary. Our inside passage itinerary was a perfect introduction to Alaska. And once we stopped fixating on the aesthetics of the ship and allowed ourselves to relax, we ended up having an amazing time. We loved the size of the Jewel — and by the time we were done with the cruise, we felt like we knew every nook and cranny of the ship, and grew to love its character. Just like with people, I think the same saying applies to ships: You can't always judge a book, or ship, by its cover.

On the last day of our cruise, we made deposits for two future cruises with NCL in The Haven. We're already excited to figure out where we want to go next, and I'm hopeful that the next cruises live up to the ridiculously high standard set by our first.

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5 out of 5

Cruising north. by BillPritchard

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

The weather in the ports was great. The Haven is always nice but not quite Like it is on the bigger/newer NCL ships. They could offer a bit more. The crew were very nice and helpful. Victoria is a clean beautiful city. We took a pedicab tour that was informative and fun. Tea at the Empress is an experience not to be missed. Though pricy is was worth. Ask for Raymond he was an exceptional server. The weather at sea was cool/cold and the the ocean rough at times, but very doable.

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3 out of 5

A very fun trip by sguidi

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This is the 5 th Mexican cruise for us, You will NOT go hungry. Some places to eat are better than others, by far! For some reason on this cruise the employees did not seem as happy as they do on other cruise lines. The ship is older and the entertainment is not as good as other lines i have been on. Bingo prizes are much smaller than other cruises. I believe they use Bingo to make up a lot of profit for them. The pool was closed 2 times due to "accidents", and that was unfortunate. But for the price i would do it again noting what i said above.

 

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4 out of 5

Fantastic Cruise by Drahead

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The ship had all of the cabins filled but it did not seem overcrowded. We were able to get in Cagney's on 3 nights easily without any reservations. We ate mostly at the Garden Cafe and at the barbecues on the 12th deck. Food was very good with a good variety. We had rib eye steak and porterhouse and all of the extras plus shrimp cocktails as appetizers. The staff was very attentive. O'Sheehans Bar & Grill was open for late night snacks. At the aft of the ship adjacent to the Garden Cafe is the Great Outdoors which has outdoor seating. We would take our breakfast out there and watch the view. We bought a 6 pack of water when we first got on the ship. There was a small refrigerator in our cabin.

 

After walking at the 3 ports we used the Thermal Spa which helped the sore backs and legs. We would highly recommend it. The heated tile loungers with a panoramic view of the ocean is heavenly. The spa staff are helpful. 

 

We had the unlimited drink package and the 3 specialty dinner package. You had to pay for any drink amount above $15 which did not happen. There are complimentary breakfast selections with coffee and breakfast rolls for free. The additional charge of $7.95 is for omelets and other meals. No need to have meals in your room since the dining areas are close by.

 

Lots of things to do which are scheduled on-board like Bingo, art shows, trivia sessions and karaoke. The entertainment was live music around the ship to Broadway shows and comedians. Every night was different venue. You do not need to book a seat for the shows. The casino was fun! My husband played the Texas Holdem tournament and I played the quarter push game.

 

I would highly recommend this cruise! The only thing we would do next time is book a cabin with a balcony and not a porthole view. The tender boat from Cabo picked up the passengers directly below out porthole window.

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5 out of 5

Freestyle is great! by airspace123

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

I took my parents for their 55th anniversary. It was our first cruise. Freestyle really worked for us as they like to wear comfortable clothes and shoes without worrying about formal dress codes. We really enjoyed the acrobatic show by Rinat and Elena. We had to get up early for The Land's End excursion at Cabo. It was nice, but the boat ride was rough. The bus tour at Puerto Vallarta was physically challenged for my parents as it involved a lot of walking on steps and slope. The topless bus tour at Mazatlan was nice for people who cannot walk a lot. 

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5 out of 5

Excellent Trip on the Jewel by aprilann

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (young children)

We had a wonderful time on the Jewel this spring. Our 2-Bedroom Family Suite (11030) was awesome, albeit a little noisy at times, as we could hear people running on the pool deck above. The bathtub may have been the best part, right next to the window, although the side window looking out to the balcony was a little disconcerting, as anyone could see in if it was light inside and dark outside. Overall, a great cruise, though. We can't wait to go back!

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3 out of 5

A nice little cruise. by drpritchard2003

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

We chose this cruise for two reasons: It left from our home port of San Pedro Ca. and it was a Haven cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines. The Haven is very nice. This ships Haven does not have the Haven restaurant Or lounge with the bar.  It is still a great setting for cruising. We have done this Itinerary many times so there is little that is new. Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are wonderful stops. Mazatlan is nice but the shopping and sights are far from where the ship docks.

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4 out of 5

great trip by jblank2123

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

Getting to see new places, just relaxing

The ship is in good shape, food was ok.

Rude foreigners is getting to more bothersome.

Lobster is only on the additional cost as it is on most ships.

Shows were above average for the most part.

Weather was perfect.

Only about 14 kids on the whole ship.

Excursions are over priced but if you are not planning on going back it is a chance too see the location. The Bus, boat and train was the most disappointing in Guatemala.

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4.9 out of 5

On a scale of 1 to 10 this was a "9" by Cadyllac

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise was great despite being complementary. The staff and service was great and friendly. We truly enjoyed ourselves.

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