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2246 Norwegian Jewel Reviews

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4.5

Alaskan Cruise by Geneann

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Awesome cruise! Love the shows and enjoyed the excursions!

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The Ship and Staff are great, but the food and on-board activities... not so much (Good Overall value.) by dmnd100

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Caribbean - Western

MY wife and I wanted a cheap getaway so we opted for an interior cabin. Our background: We sailed 3x with Carnival, 3x with Princess, 1x Holland America, 1x with Royal Caribbean, 1x Disney and was our first time on NCL. 

+ Boarding process very good and no long waits were experienced. (Top Notch.)

+ Ships decor nice... Stylish 

+ Inside cabin was compact but surprisingly well laid out. No issues and was acceptable. 

+ Best bathroom shower and sink for an interior state room - Shower door was a great plus - no flimsy curtain here and the sink was large and faucet was high with plenty of hand room.  

+/- Toilet on angle that doesn't allow leg room to wall and you have to sit slightly side saddle on an already small opening.  (Not as bad as the inside cabin Royal Caribbean toilet.)

- Experienced Slow service in sit-down restaurants. 

- Coffee tea cart virtually non existing - only once for the 7 day cruise.   

+ Good OJ and more selection for the included drinks 

+/- Food variety at buffets seems to be less as cruise progressed.  There was still plenty of food and we always found something to eat, but we rate the food the lowest of all previous cruise experiences.

- Sit down restaurant food and all deserts seemed like presentation took priority over taste. 

- What no lobster? (It appears that it's only offered in the specialty restaurants.)

- Cookies please!   (Cookie availability was hit or miss... mostly miss.)

- Simple hearty deserts please! Stop the foo-foo fancy-tasteless ones. The coconut cream pie and banana cream pie were very good but only had them available once.  

+ Good quality ice cream in the soft-serve machines.

- I love my ice cream but I don't like it when they have to get it for me and they don't know how to make a cone.  Causes backup and a line.   Machines were often down and it seemed like they were trying to ration the ice cream as the cruise continued.

- Cakes dry - Bread and muffins not very good.

+ Main production shows were excellent very talented singers and dancers 

- Other entertainment and activities were mediocre at best and sparse on the final sea day. 

+ Love the NCL concierge app!!!  Just wish that it listed all ship activities vs just the main ones.

Bottom line:  We would recommend NCL and we will probably sail with them again.  If we do sail with them, it would definitely be based on a lower price.

One other thing to consider if leaving from the Houston port... ground transportation seemed excessively expensive.  for the two of us... $80 from IAH airport to Hobby Hotel - 25min drive, $50 Hobby hotel to cruise port - 15min drive, and $90 Cruise port to Airport.  (For $100 we ended up taking the Houston Highlight tour - worth the $10 extra bucks since we had a 7pm flight.)  Our ground transportation totaled $230 not including any tips.

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North to Alaska with friends!!! by stoweawaytravel

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

This is our second cruise to Alaska with NCL. The scenery is as Beautiful the second time around. As for the staff we had no problems, when they saw us in the halls or in any public area they always said hi. Some even asked if everything was fine. Uttron  looked after our room, and we were never disappointed. We always had enough towels, and animals on our bed. He asked if we had any pets and we said yes a boxer. so guess what we had a boxer that day. The food was good. We did eat in the complimentary restaurants many times, and specialty also. The only concern that I really have is that some of the on board activities were high in price. ie Bingo and Deal or no Deal could be a little less. We  enjoyed our captain and his sense of humor. And lets not forget  Zesty Zack and Cool Kevin. We had great times joking around with them. All in all we would do it again. Looking forward to our next NCL freestyle cruise. One of the couples that cruised with us have cruised many times and with other lines, and she said this is the friendliest staff and the best she has been on. I know everyone enjoyed the freestyle concept. Keep up the good work NCL!!!!

 

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Great experience by dlford58

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Loved the freestyle cruising. We could eat where we wanted, when we wanted. Great entertainment. The crew was upbeat and entertaining. The waters were rough until we got in the channel on the way up and a little on the way back. The ports were great. The flowers in Victoria are beautiful. The crew makes you feel like family. It is a cruise everyone should experience. I have cruised before on a different cruise line and I really liked the way Norwegian does the debarking. It was very easy and quick.

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5.0

Freestyle is the Best by Knifemaker

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We love freestyle cruising because everything is on your schedule (whatever that may be). Norwegian Cruiseline looks after every detail of your cruise. Be involved with activities as much as you want or just relax on the back deck and watch for whales. One evening I found a small metal filing beside my dessert. I immediately took it to the dessert steward. They were so kind and grateful that I brought it to their attention. They sent chocolate covered strawberries to our stateroom as a "thank you". They also gave us a fun cocktail reception because we had sailed with them before. I have sailed with Holland America and Royal Carribean. They are both good but Norwegian is our style.

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5.0

NCL Rocks🤘🤘 by RYCHER

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Getting on and off was a breeze. The staff was awesome (Washy Washy). I will definitely use NCL in the futire and recommend them to potential cruisers. Cya next time😊😊😊

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4.6

Exceeded our Expectations by dbrackney

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Our Alaska cruise could not have been more enjoyable. We were blessed with amazing weather and the ship experience was great.

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4.0

great trip by jblank2123

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Panama Canal, Central America

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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3.9

Updated Jewel good mid-sized ship for Alaska by flyguy747

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Great cruise great venues good ship for glacier viewing

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4.2

7 Night cruise northbound from Vancouver to Seward Alaska by AJMcC

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Norwegian Jewel

It was overall a great cruise yet the food was a bit lacking all of the ports were amazing and had amazing hospitality I do recommend Juneau tours and Skagway tours they helped me get most of the pictures I have now

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Wonderful itinerary, awful ship by mllatko

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

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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Cruising north. by BillPritchard

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: North America

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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4.0

Fantastic Cruise by Drahead

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Mexico

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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4.9

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

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Mexico

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

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7 Night Mexican Riviera by wdnolasco

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Mexico

Nice cruise, very entertaining, a lot of activities and show performances onboard.

You have to read the daily schedule provided and schedule your activities.

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Cruise Like a Norwegian - In Style! by jharr465

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

This was our second cruise and the first time with Norwegian.  We had always wanted to see some of Alaska and we were hoping this would be the cruise of a lifetime for us.  I am 68 and retired and my wife is 56 and a teacher.  We had to fly from Florida to Seattle to make the cruise, so it was a big trip for us.  We spent the extra money and booked a Balcony Stateroom.  It was worth it.  The room was surprisingly spacious for the two of us and offerred private viewing of some of the cruise and made the room seem open and bright.  The boarding process was very orderly and painless in Seattle and the personnel were friendly and helpful.  The ship was absolutely beautiful! The decor colors were red mahogany and a dark blue and purple.  It was in top condition down to every detail.  The facilities were clean and bright and we were just amazed at the venues for the different activities.  The ship was much better appointed than the Carnival ship we traveled on before.  The food was plentiful and varied.  There was a selection of buffets that carried a choice of hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, several main dishes, hot and cold drinks, salads, breads, desserts and ice cream.  There was always somewhere open to eat.  For a slight cover charge there were upscale restaurants available for a more luxurious dining experience.  Everywhere we ate the food was good, fresh and hot.  The excursions we chose were excellent.  We enjoyed the ability to pre-purchase the excursions on the web before sailing.  The excursions were also rated by physical effort required to enjoy them.  This allowed us to select excursions suited to our energy levels.  All in all, we enjoyed this cruise and would recommend Norwegian for your

Alaska cruise.

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3 Comments

Not perfect but No Regrets by howard128

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

This was the first cruise we have ever taken so I have no other experiences to measure it by.  However, I don't see how much more could have been improved for our trip.  From the people who checked us in to the hidden people who work behind the scienes this cruise operated like they have made a hundred of them  before.  This was the maiden voyage for this year and after a 10 day layoff there seemed to be a lag of getting underway.  One criticism I have is that teh ship is designed to encourage passengers to buy drinks and if you trying to push fluids their "free:" bars are located only in dining areas.  Glasses  in the buffet (as well as other area) are 6 oz juice tumblers.,  We try to drink 20 oz at meals and water between.   $4 bottles of water add up and are awkward to carry around.  We came home dehidrated.  We also would have liked the buffets to elevate their game by providing simple well prepared vegetables and fresh meats.  Sauces are messages to the passenger that this is a "left over" we want to disguise. Our room was big and clean and our cabin boy was always happy eveb with the long hours he worked.. A happy weak for us with no regrets.

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7 day cruise to Caribbean visit to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, Costa Maya by VerleDownard

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Caribbean - Western

The checking in experience inNew Orleans was great since we had done most of it on line. We had an inside cabinet and the music at night from lounges made it diffcult to sleep.  We took one excursion that was booked on line to Actun Ha in Belize.  Seeing the Mayan pryamids was the main reason for cruise and it was a good experience to the pryamids.  The entertainment on the ship was excellent.  We did not go to any of the speciality restaurants.  The food and service was good and clean.  The ship had a very casual environment which we liked. The 2 days at sea there were

lots of activities which you could be involved in.  There was a great program for kids, which we did not use, but saw lots of activities they were involved with.  We had beautiful weather for the entire cruise.  People we meet on the islands were very friendly and helpful and spoke English.

 

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Fantastic food, good ship, great excursions and a good selection of ports! by rabreen

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Caribbean - Western

This is the second time we have done this cruise out of New Orleans.  Our first experience was on the Spirit in the summer of 2011.  Embarkation was fairly, well, chaotic.  Much worse than I remember our first cruise.  I don't remember the exact layout of the New Orleans cruise terminal, but I seem to remember a much more organized and professional embarkation the last time.  This time, it appears as though Carnival Cruise lines occupies the spot that Norwegian used to occupy.  While the process was quick - it just seemed overly chaotic.  Employees telling us to go somewhere (we were with a group of 7 people) and we ended up getting split up at check-in with other employees trying to shuttle us through like cattle as quickly as they could. Not the end of the world, of course - just not a good first impression.

 

We boarded the Jewel.  If you're used to a ship that has a grand entrance and a 3 or more level main atrium like area --- you might be a bit disappointed with this one.  Maybe it was the dock at New Orleans, but we boarded the ship and had to walk outside about a 1/3 of the way aft to the main entrance.  Upon entering - it's a more simple and plain 2 story atrium area.  Not a huge deal either, just not as initially impressive as the others.  Our daughters (who had also been on the Spirit previously) were looking forward to the glass elevators and this ship does not have that.

 

The ship left New Orleans right on time and after many cruises - I still like New Orleans departures best.  You get a bit of river cruising under your belt for several hours instead of immediatly departing into the ocean.  I like either standing on the pool or sun deck (or balcony) watching the river action as we leave.  You come very close to other vessels on your way out and it just amazes me that there is such granular control of such a huge vessel.

 

We used our first day at sea to check out and get used to the ship.  We found it pretty easy to get around - three main stair cases and only a couple of those 'dead-ends' where you can't get from one end of the ship to another - most of which were at the very lowest levels.  There are places to just sit all over this ship and we were very impressed with that.

 

Cozumel was our first port - and probably our least favorite.  I have to caveat that with the fact that we did not do any of the excursions here because we were planning on hanging out at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville right at the end of the pier.  The weather didn't cooperate for us this time around.  However, we have done this on previous cruises into this port and it's a blast.  Free swimming (and Internet) and the drinks were reasonably priced.

 

Belize was our next port and, while the weather was not great, it held up long enough for us to get our Altun Ha Mayan Ruins tour in.  This tour gets an A+ from me.  Altun Ha was approximately 1 hour away by bus on what could best be described as a one-lane back road by our standards.  However, our guide was pointing out interesting things about Belize the entire way out there and we had a Mayan decendent deliver the last 10 minutes of the tour or so with facts about the ruins we were about to see.  We didn't do anything else in this port and headed back to the ship with our memories and lots and lots of pictures.

 

Roatan was the next port.  We chose the Maya Key excursion.  The weather had been poor earlier in the week - so poor that the dock where our 5 minute boat ride was to leave from the port to Maya Key was damaged.  This in itself was not too bad - but the communication to us was terrible.  We heard what the problem was from another cruiser also on the tour - not from Norwegian or the tour operator.  We ended up losing about an hour getting to Maya Key and, because they had to run busses through the city to pick us up instead of a constant 5 minute ferry operation from the island to the port, we lost 2 hours at the tail end of the excursion too.  Standing there in the rain, I was getting more and more frustrated --- HOWEVER, once we got to Maya Key I was thoroughly impressed!  Extremely clean, plenty of beaches, a pool, almost a mini-zoo (they had Puma's, Monkeys, Sea Lions, Crocidiles and many, many other animals), a replica Mayan Ruins, inexpensive drinks (compared to ship costs).  Overall - even with the problems we experienced, the tour was simply fantastic.  Don't miss this one as there is literally something for everyone here.  I also visited Diamonds International - and I know people have mixed feelings about this place.  For me, I was looking for a Breitling watch and I got what appears to be a real bargain here.  So - Chalk me up on the positive side for Diamonds International - and, if you ask they have a local beer that they will give you for free as you are browsing.

 

Costa Maya - we love this port.  There is a great pool with swim-up bars and plenty upon plenty of beach chairs.  No need for an excursion here at all if you're looking to relax and soak up some sun.  Senor Frogs and Carlos and Charlies (which seem to be related somehow) are both right there.  There will be a guy going around selling open bar passes when you get there.  He starts trying to sell them to you for $45.  He will sell them for $25 if you bargain with him.

 

The Food on the ship was excellent - simply cannot say enough about it.  We ate in main dining about 3 of the 7 nights and the buffet a couple of other nights.  We had been grazing our way through the ship most of the week, so a few nights we ate at the Blue Lagoon (a comfort food 24x7) place to eat which is my absolute favorite.  Buffalo Chicken wings that are to die for.  The service in the main dining rooms was okay - seemed understaffed.  Don't get me wrong, the service people were excellent - I just couldn't tell if they were naturally slow or just had too many tables. I think it was too many tables.

 

The slow service also seemed to be in the bars on the ship.  Unless you could find a completely empty bar to go to, you were going to find yourself waiting.  Especially at the pool bars.  I mean, I actually felt bad getting in line to buy an overpriced drink because I knew the person behind the bar was working as quickly as they could.  When I say person - I mean one person.  Seemed crazy for a pool bar to have a single person working, but that was the theme for most of the bars on this ship.

 

Our state room was probably the largest we have had on any cruise we have been on.  We had a balcony with adjoining doors for the room our adult daughters were in.  The room was clean, modern and overall very, very nice.  No complaints about the stateroom.  Like most other Norwegian cruises I have been on - they run newly released movies on the TV.  We had "Jobs" and "Planes" among the titles -- which all were just released to DVD at this time.

 

Overall - this cruise isn't a 5 star, but a high 4 star.  Really enjoyed ourselves and would recommend to new cruisers and seasoned cruisers alike.

 

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Fantastic by boat

Sail date: / Traveled as: Large Group
Ship: Norwegian Jewel / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

To start with, the personnel was terrific, The food was excellent. One of the booked tours , Fish hatchery, was disappointing. The fish weren't due for a few more weeks. You Should have known that, and advised us. I wouldn't have gone on that tour had I known. We fished at Ketchikan, Had a great time. the captain was great. The train ride at Skagway was the most Beautiful sight of Mountains we've seen, with waterfalls and snow, It was just beautiful . Butchart Gardens , again, marvelous. I hope the $12.00 per person per day , goes to the room Cleaner. Michael was very sure to take care of our needs.

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