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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Reviews

NCL Norwegian Jewel reviews

NCL Norwegian Jewel reviews

Average customer rating:
     4.09 / 5

Average Rating based on 4 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 4.004.00
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 4.004.00
EntertainmentEntertainment = 4.754.75
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 3.503.50
Food QualityFood Quality = 3.503.50
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 4.754.75
SpaSpa = 4.004.00
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 3.753.75
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 4.254.25

NCL Norwegian Jewel itineraries and information

Amberd123 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 33
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Good shows, overpriced bingo, chaotic buffet, poor planning, December 31, 2010
Reviewer: Amberd123

Pros: Dining (not buffet), private island, nightly shows, nice rooms

Cons: No indoor pool, many schedule mistakes, buffet chaos, overpriced bingo

Date of cruise: December 19, 2010

Departure port: New York, NY

Region visited: Bahamas

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 8615

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Overall, good cruise - but needs improvement. The ship is in excellent condition, but doesn't have an indoor pool. The daily schedule had lots of mistakes and wasn't clearly displayed everywhere on the ship.

The buffet was usually chaotic and shut down without warning (usually an hour early). There were times where we were hungry because there was no place to eat (except a huge line for a restaurant or room service).

The private island we went to was very nice and looks like it will receive improvements in the future. The boat that takes you to the island, however, gets jammed packed with people so that everyone is treated like cattle.

The dining rooms (at no cost) served great food and I would recommend avoiding the buffet and going to these restaurants whenever possible. Also, bingo was so overpriced....we won at bingo and still didn't receive enough to cover the price of entry.

The casino was nice. The shows were good but the activities were a bit lacking (with no clear prize won for trivia, etc.). Auctions were supposed to have free champagne, but we never saw any.

Clearly, good and bad with this cruise, but we still had a good time. It could have been a fantastic time if they improve on some of these things, though!

Jennifer saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 33
Beautiful and clean. Some staff seemed cranky. Great entertaiment., August 25, 2010
Reviewer: Jennifer

Pros: Ship was so clean and beautiful, entertainment was fun and beautiful theater

Cons: Very crowded, small pool deck for the amount of people, not many activites

Date of cruise: August 7, 2010

Departure port: NY, NY

Region visited: Bahamas

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 9056

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Beautiful and clean ship but overall compared to other cruises, definitely not my favorite. I'm back and forth on the "Freestyle" thing.

Being on the Jewel was the first time I experienced "freestyle" cruising. Not sure if I would do it again, although it was great for families with children or younger groups. I had a 10-year-old who was stuck at an in-between age trying to enjoy the kids club, not much for him, and a 17-year-old who had a blast.

The ship was so clean and beautiful. Would have liked to have seen less restaurants (they had cover charges and were not included in the price) and instead a bigger pool deck and more sport activities.

The arcade was small and expensive (my 10-year-old racked up about $160) and the casino was loud and allowed smoking, which I know can be controversial but I am a non-smoker and I couldn't stand to stay in there for long.

The ship was fully booked and so crowded we had trouble finding spots on the pool deck to lounge. Especially because we were at sea for 3-1/2 days, this became very frustrating. The pool was nice and my son loved the water slide.

The entertainment was GREAT. Beautiful theater and the shows were fun and enjoyable. One thing I have always loved about past cruises were the personable and friendly staff. Some of the staff, particularly the pool deck staff seemed so cranky, and our room steward also seemed unpleasant at times.

Another drawback I found with the Freestyle was the open dining. While some may think it a plus and it was nice at times, on traditional cruises I always loved having the same waitstaff and getting to know them throughout the vacation, it always made it more enjoyable.

The food was just okay. I think with the Freestyle you have many more options and food is always available at some location, but I think because of that the food lacked presentation. No fancy midnight buffets. They had one 11 p.m. chocolate buffet that was nice. Again, this might be something that's more enjoyable for families though.

Room service had a nice menu and was always available and included in the price which was nice for my kids. The staterooms were nice as far as staterooms go. The bars and lounges were really nice and clean.

I hated our itinerary. We were late getting to Port Canaveral and that left us with not much to do there. The private island, Stirrup Cay, was horribly small and rocky. Nassau was nice. As a resident of NJ I did love leaving out of NY and the terminal was beautiful and clean.

One other con was I felt like they were constantly selling. The specialty restaurants were extra, the internet cafe was extra, the arcade was extra, cappuccino or espresso were extra. The photography was beautifully done but so expensive. Every time I wanted a drink and forgot to say "No special glass" I had to pay extra for the glass.

Every time I wanted A beer they tried getting me to buy a bucket of beer. I'm not a drinker and yet I had quite a tab at the end. I feel like I complained a lot but it was a nice ship and the entertainment was great.

Overall it was an okay vacation and we had a good experience on this ship, my children had a nice time. My biggest con, was again, the itinerary so I might just try it again with a different itinerary.

Bydesignprez saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 44
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Very enjoyable and so clean....., July 7, 2010
Reviewer: Bydesignprez

Pros: The staff were very friendly and the ship was kept absolutely sparkling clean

Cons: The gambling place and using tenders at three port stops

Date of cruise: February 22, 2019

Departure port: Miami

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 9648

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

This was my first cruise in many years so I very much enjoyed the Freestyle Dining as we could eat when we wanted to and the choice of the (included) restaurants was reasonable. We tried the Mexican restaurant once and the service was just that bit snappier and the food nicely done, but unless you focus on food the regular restaurants were quite acceptable.

We timed our dining so that we could eat a leisurely meal and then go to a show and we never waited more than five minutes. Blue Lagoon was probably our favorite as the Tsar's Palace was just too big and impersonal. The chocolate lover's event was a big success in the Garden Cafe otherwise we did not go to the Buffet. I am on holiday and like to be waited on.

The lack of irons is a pain as it supposes you will use their service for a fee. Every where you go, you are nickel and dimed but I suppose that's how they make their money.

We found the sun decks very crowded and apparently everyone wanted a lounger at the same time so we ended up searching for and locating some out of the way location. I would hope they would have a better way to make that enjoyable but I am not sure how it would work in practice.

The use of tenders at ports meant long waits and arcane rules about when you can get on. Not enjoyable.

The cleanliness was outstanding and they had people stationed at each restaurant entrance with hand sanitizer. Excellent idea - should do this at home!

The Stardust Theater put on a number of excellent shows. The last evening was the staff night and it started off weak and many people got up and went to the casino. Then it improved and was actually very entertaining. The cruise director worked very hard at making sure everyone had fun.

We are booked on another NCL cruise - so clearly we thought it good. Cruise ships have really improved since the 1960s (I was quite young then)

Hazily saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
One of our best cruises in the last 5 years!, May 19, 2010
Reviewer: Hazily

Pros: Clean ship, friendly staff, great entertainment, awesome showers

Cons: Of course, cabin size, and too much bingo!

Date of cruise: April 11, 2019

Departure port: Miami

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 9032

Good for children: Yes

This was our third NCL cruise, 13th in total. This was a 13-night repositioning cruise for the Jewel from Miami to New York. Weather was perfect every day, seas were like bath water and our experience on the Jewel far exceeded our expectations!

Our last NCL cruise on the NCL Wind in Hawaii was shortly after they adopted the "freestyle" dining and it wasn't well designed. Although we had serious reservations about trying NCL again, we were more than pleasantly surprized and totally enjoyed the freestyle option this sailing. The entertainers were very good on this sailing also - Cat's Meow (a capella group) and the Cirque Bijou exceptional, in fact.

The boarding process needs some improvement - NCL is a little behind technologically it seems, from the entire website to the pre-cruise documents to the boarding process to several things on the ship. The TV's in the cabins were lousy, to say the least - too small, not flat screen, poor sound. You cannot review your charges on the TV in your cabin which we didn't like.

The bedding was very nice both in the quality of sheets and comfort of the bed. And for once, I actually liked the pillows! The temperature control in the cabin worked well also. We asked for a coffee pot vs. the hot water pot in our cabin and received one within a couple hours. Our cabin steward was very effective and timely every one of the 13 days. We were very appreciative of the glassed-in shower - you could actually turn around in the shower and not get water all over the bathroom! The towels were very nice also - clean, soft, and relatively new, not flat and scratchy. On previous NCL cruises we have enjoyed the selection of toiletries, however, in our balcony cabin, the shampoo, bath gel, etc. were not in small containers, but rather in a dispenser in the shower. The were definitely not the same quality as we had enjoyed previously, but were adequate.

We had no problem finding chairs near the pools. There seemed to be plenty of chairs even on the nicest days. We ate in the main dining rooms about eight nights and were seated with only minimal delay each time - and there were six of us. We also ate in the Italian restaurant and the Mexican restaurant each once. The Italian restaurant (Mama's) was tasty, well presented and had great service. We didn't care for the food in the Mexican restaurant (Tango's), however, we frequent many excellent Mexican restaurants in Denver and the ship's menu just didn't compare in taste or variety to what we are used to. The Blue Lagoon restaurant became a favorite for late lunch and breakfasts - nice setting, quiet, good food, great service. The buffet was laid out much better than on our last two cruises on the Golden Princess and Diamond Princess, and had a lot of variety for every taste. We felt the buffet was above average.

This was a very relaxing, comfortable cruise. As I said before, we had rather low expectations, but the NCL Jewel and her staff far exceeded those expectations in almost every area. We were so impressed we have booked a group of 25 on the NCL Pearl later this year!

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