2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise as a family cruise. My self, wife , son, 2 grandkids and my 92 tear old mother. Cabin: Our cabin was 9545 and is the worst cabin by far that I have had on any cruise. Your could here the toilet flush in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family cruise. My self, wife , son, 2 grandkids and my 92 tear old mother. Cabin: Our cabin was 9545 and is the worst cabin by far that I have had on any cruise. Your could here the toilet flush in the rooms around us. I don't know if there was a crew walk way, the other side of the wall at the back of the stateroom, Often through out the night we would get a loud rumbling sound that sounded like a loud clap of thunder. The hose to our shower was leaking where it was connected to the shower head. Cabin steward was notified the second day of the cruise. It was still leaking at the end of the cruise. Room was clean and made up good everyday. Dinning: Main dinning Hall: We had 2 dinner and a breakfast in the main dinning hall. The breakfast was wonderful. Eggs, waffles hash browns and corn beef hash. First dinner nothing memorable. I can't even remember what I had. The second meal I had seafood pasta. I didn't finish the dish. Chin Chin was nothing=g more than the middle of the road Chinese. I had the Orange Beef. Buffet: We had most meals their. The menu pretty much didn't change. I know the mixed berries were not fresh but frozen. I had chunks that hadn't thawed yet in my dish. I suspect that the pastries were frozen also. Over all just buffet food. I have been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises, 2 Carnival cruises and 2 American Steamship cruises and the food by far would rank at the bottom. Crew: The crew was very friendly and extremely helpful to us. Especially my 92 year old mother. Entertainment and Activities: We did not attend the Stardust shows but the entertainment in the bars was real good. As far as activities go, I felt they were lacking on sea days compared to past cruises. Shore excursions: We went on 2 and they were both great. Juneau we went on one of the mushing trips. It was very interesting and the scenery was beautiful. Skagway we booked the railroad and gold panning excursion. It was well worth the price. Cruise was northbound July 15 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship because my husband and my daughters did the same trip six years ago. They were very happy about the trip. There was nothing similar. I want to start with airport to cruise ship transfer. We booked it previously and ... Read More
We chose this ship because my husband and my daughters did the same trip six years ago. They were very happy about the trip. There was nothing similar. I want to start with airport to cruise ship transfer. We booked it previously and it looked very convenient. At the airport they took all our luggages and we were told they would have delivered luggages directly to our room. We embarked at 1pm. Around 6 pm when there was no luggage called the guest service. They told us very rudely luggage would be delivered until 9 pm. We didn't have any appropriate clothes for dining rooms. We were told we can eat at other open buffet. Luggages came at 8.30pm. Food was horrible. Same type of food every day. Chef had a strange taste. Everything including deserts had sweet and spicy together. In restaurants there was not a special theme any day. We never ate this kind of tasteless food in anywhere. I only give you an example to make everyone understand food quality. We ordered brownie with ice cream in our last night at the restaurant. There came regular cake with raisins with ice cream!!! It wasn't even brown!! For tea, coffee and water you have to go certain areas. In only deck 12. Not a single convenient place when you use the sun deck or other quiet places. Is there any housekeeping? They came only once a day. They brought enough towels sometimes, they forgot to pick up used glasses or dishes. They left lotion only once during seven day trip. I sailed Norwegian and other cruise lines before. Housekeeping was always incredible. Whenever we left the room they were in the room to clean. It was always spotless. In this trip it was just disappointment. Guest service was so rude. They were ordering us what to do not to try help. The best thing in the ship was shows. The team were amazing.We had good memories with them to remember. I will never sail again with Norwegian. I will never advice this ship to anyone as well. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband picked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, so this was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime. Before I tell the negative let me give you the positive. This was a two week trip the first week on land was done thru NCL with ... Read More
My husband picked this trip for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, so this was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime. Before I tell the negative let me give you the positive. This was a two week trip the first week on land was done thru NCL with premiere travel we had a awesome guide and wonderful motor coach driver. The cruise on the other hand was still good but a let down after the first week. The Norwegian Jewel Staff was very rude but what do you expect when you pay your tips up front. The food was the same thing everyday and very bland. It was like eating in a hospital. I talked to several people that ate at the specialty restaurants and said it was horrible so we never wasted our money. Day 4 they started running out of beer. The ship was just okay nothing spectacular very hard to find things on board. the cabins where very worn. The activities on board for the most part where good. The comedian was awesome. Getting on and off the ship was very easy, but again the employees very rude. We chose a wifi package... don't because you'll never be able to get on, unless you would like to up grade for more money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds ... Read More
OK, here goes. The excursions saved this cruise from be horrific and, at that, they only increased my rating to Poor. Embarkation was fine, no real hassles. Disembarkation was a fiasco. From trying to identify your luggage out of hundreds of bags to trying to funnel out of the building thru on small doorway, it was poorly organized.....The staterooms/cabins, our was a port side forward balcony cabin, were extremely tiny, more like cramped; I mean cramped! There wasn't enough drawer space to accommodate my fiance' and nothing for my clothes but some shelves behind the entry door. The hanger closest worked, barely.....Although the cabin's bathroom was adequate with respect to the sink and shower, the attached, but separate, toilet space was tight, and both of us are of average height and weight. I have no idea how anyone carrying "some extra baggage" would be able to use it....Now, as to the food, be it in the buffet or the dining room, lacked any culinary appeal or chef's touch. Consider this: you're in Alaska, the salmon, halibut, king crab "capital" of the US and they served salmon as an entree once for dinner, once. No Lox, no Halibut, No Crab, and N Salmon, only unimaginative beef, pork and chicken dishes. Even the desserts were unexciting...As to the drinks? We each purchased the Premium Beverage Package which was far from it. If you didn't specifically ask the bartender for a certain high end brand of alcohol, they ignored the symbol "PBP" in bold, on your shipboard cabin card, and instead poured swill from the well. What a rip!.......The entertainment eg. the show Velvet, on our first night, was downright awful! Never cared to see anything else....So, as I said, if not for the sites, excursions, this would have been a complete waste of money! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for ... Read More
Alaska is one of the prettiest places I have ever cruised but not the best cruise. The cabin was great. Had an ocean view room, saw the interior rooms and had friends with a balcony. I think our room was laid out the best. Lots of room for hanging and shelves. The bed was very uncomfortable and I heard the same from others. Service in the main dining room was very good but was disappointed in the service in the specialty dining rooms. Anyone can cook a steak or Italian meal so the service should have been exceptional. Casino dealers were very friendly and helpful. Players club wasn’t even worth signing up for. Very little to do onboard. Bring playing cards because the card room was busy and the ship ran out of playing cards. I did use the treadmills in the fitness center. There were plenty of them so there was no wait. Ports were great. Definitely do the White Pass railroad trip and the whale watching in Hoonah was great. Going into Glacier Bay was really exciting and it was great that the boat did a full turn in the bay so everyone could see. I would do the cruise again, just not on Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & ... Read More
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & Disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was clean but you can tell it was older and a little tired. It was a lot smaller than the others I had been on, and I think I do prefer the larger ones. Our cabin was fine, the ports were fine, the two excursions we went on were fine.The service was fine and all the help were very friendly. They did not have a "Broadway" style show, but did have a nice circus type show. We very much enjoyed their comedian. What was VERY disappointing was the food. From the buffet to the specialty dining, it all seemed to fall short. The exception was the French Restaurant, it was the only really nice meal we had. Cagney's had been my favorite on other cruises and I could not wait to order my steak and the best fries I had ever had, Parmesian Truffle Fries. After it was served, it tasted like regular fries so I asked the waiter and he grinned at me and said they were out of the truffle oil. I would think I should have been told that at the time I placed my order so I had the choice to change my order. I could not seem to get anyone that knew how to cook eggs over medium. In truth, I was so over the no taste food on that ship. It seems like every time we take a cruise on NCL we find new things that are no longer available. When they first came out with the UBP, they had a really great selection of Whiskeys & Bourbons. On our next cruise they had cut the selection in half, and the next cut it to barely any choice, which really did not make my hubby happy. I had a drink I always liked, a Mudslide. Imagine my surprise when I ordered it on this cruise and they forgot the whip cream on top. When I questioned the bartender, he said they cut out having whip cream since they returned from Asia. I know for us, the food and drinks are a great part of feeling we are on vacation. I think it is time for us to revisit other cruise lines. I liked NCL's free styling dining and casual dress, but it seems they are making free with cutting the quality of food and drinks and that don't work for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We picked the NCL Jewel for its Alaskan itinerary and the fact that it was going to be a rehabbed ship by the time we sailed (we booked more than a year in advance). Before the cruise started the price was reduced drastically, almost half ... Read More
We picked the NCL Jewel for its Alaskan itinerary and the fact that it was going to be a rehabbed ship by the time we sailed (we booked more than a year in advance). Before the cruise started the price was reduced drastically, almost half of what we paid but we were only given a $300 credit after waiting on hold 30 minutes. I understand that is their policy but it is a terrible one and a frustrating process. Fast Forward to the cruise: Embarkation: Customs and check-in were good. Only issue with check-in was later on in the ship, the card ran at check-in never made it to our file on the ship so had to take the time out of our vacation to re-do that and the ships' accounting department was having problems with the credit card machines. Staterooms rooms are okay - updated linens and carpet (that was already peeling off of the baseboard). The carpet, even though new, was stained already. The deck was very dirty (looked like I had blood on my deck, window and walls that was never cleaned). Bathrooms haven't been touched and are a terrible wood paneling. Ship: It looks pretty with its fresh coat of paint but lacking much to do if you're not into gambling or sitting at bars. It was dirty inside though. The windows couldn't be seen out of because of all the salt water build up on them. It was also very hot on our ship. Dining: This is where the cruise takes a nose dive. We were a party of 8. Every night (except for the last night) our dinners in speciality-paid-for restaurants were 2-1/2 hours long! Food came out cold and overcooked. The worst being our dinner at Cangey's that is advertised on the ship as having 'cooked to order crab cakes.' We sat for an hour before we received our glass of wine - I asked the waitress why it was taking so long, "she was busy" - there were 4 other tables. We complained to the restaurant manager to get an "okay, we can start over" - the meal hadn't even started yet! With a view of the kitchen we saw our crab cakes go in a microwave to be warmed before sitting on the runner's ledge for 20 minutes before making it to our table, cold. Asked for warm, fresh crab cakes. Saw the same crab cakes that left our table, go back in that same microwave, to just be returned to our table. Terrible. ALL of our steaks (a party of 8) were overcooked and cold. Solution: I can warm that up for you. So my steak is extra overcooked? No thank you. Waitress poured a beer that overflowed the glass, left it to us to clean up. Asked for new napkins, never got them. All of these meals took so long that we missed every nighttime show and/or event. Customer Service: Completely lacking throughout the ship. Tables were dirty at the buffet, with servers standing around watching the scenery go by (Alaskan cruise). Went to the guest services desk looking for help after our terrible meal at Cagney's and we were told that only the restaurant manager could help us. Spa: Unless you want to be sold the entire time skip it. My massage had a sales pitch before, during and after. We opted to book the thermal suite spa pass for the week. The pools in the spa had cold water, asked them to turn up the heat, nothing was done about it. Ports: The Alaskan ports that were scheduled were amazing, I'll definitely go back just on another cruise line. Our Skagway port was relocated due to a fuel spill (now that we are home, we've not found one report of a fuel spill) to a small town that did their best to accommodate a last minute ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
we had 7 days inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seward. It was our first cruise and we were very excited about it. We had a party of 5 people and booked two staterooms. According to our more experienced friends Norwegian is the best ... Read More
we had 7 days inner passage cruise from Vancouver to Seward. It was our first cruise and we were very excited about it. We had a party of 5 people and booked two staterooms. According to our more experienced friends Norwegian is the best cruise line so we decided to go with them, what a mistake...it is probably our last time with Norwegian. Let me start with the booking process. Since we had family flying from Europe, we booked our staterooms in January, and got two staterooms with the porthole. Around April, the price dropped and we were upgraded to a balcony stateroom which was nice. However, two weeks before the cruise, the price dropped even further and the balcony stateroom was cheaper than the window room we originally booked. I called Norwegian and asked if they can give any on board credit, since the price difference was around $2,500 (total or five people). However, Norwegian refused to provide any credits claiming that I already received one upgrade and no more adjustments would be made. I wrote customer support team and didn't receive any response. After a week of waiting I reached out directly to a VP of customer relationships and within two hours received a call from a rep, who apologized for not responding to an email and offered $40 on board credit for it, but no credit for a price drop. The lesson to be learnt is to wait two weeks before the cruise if you are sailing off season and the ship is not sold out. The cruise experience itself was ok, the rooms were fine, the balcony is definitely a plus. The quality of food, was mediocre but perfectly edible. We didn't go to the specialty restaurants as we didn't feel like paying extra money for ship food. Also, I believe that the food in Tzar is not cooked on board but rather reheat. In Ketchikan we didn't take any off shore excursions from the ship, but purchased city tour with a local provider on the dock. The tour was complete waste of time and money, they took us outside of the village to a parking lot, and we were waiting 30 minutes for a bears to show up, but they didn't. Then we continued to a totem park, which was not impressive. Asking a guide if there is the only totem park in the town, the guid said that it is free one. Juno was nice, but raining. we bought a gold panning and salmon baking excursion which we enjoyed. The huge disappointment which left very bad taste in our mouth was Skagway, We were supposed to dock at Skagway, but the captain decided to dock in Haines instead releasing the information that there is an oil spill in the harbor and it's not safe. The shore excursions for many people were canceled. When we arrived to Skagway by taking a ferry we learned that there was no spill and the mayor and harbor master released a statement confirming that there is no spill. We understood that the captain didn't want to dock next to a fuel barge, which doesn't make sense as the barge docks in Skagway every week. Moreover, why did he lie about the spill. So disappointed by the false information from the crew. Lost my trust in them. Another issue was the way NCL handled the shore excursions, specifically some morning excursions were canceled but the later excursions still had some availability, but the crew didn't rebook people from the morning excursions. Cruising around glaciers was nice, but there were so many people trying to take a pictures, and pushing everyone. The entertainment program was hit-and-miss: the comic had very low bar rude jokes, but the acrobatic show was awesome. One of the rare good experiences was in the Splash Academy. My 5 yo son loved it so much, so we even ended up tipping the Splash Academy staff. Another issue is new mandatory 15$ a day service charge which was imposed starting April, after I booked the cruise. At some point we couldn't wait to get off to the end of the cruise and be over with it. Alaska is amazingly beautiful, but exploring it from the ship with 2,500 strangers doesn't allow to immerse and really enjoy the nature. Probably we won't be doing anymore cruises anytime soon, and definitely not with Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and ... Read More
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and terrible and rarely served hot in main dining room !!!! Beef I tasted were from the cheapest cuts from the cheapest vendor and tasted HORRIBLE!!! Norwegian is such a stingy cruise line they don't even allow you to bring water bottles on the ship cause they want to sell them to you at $4.00 a 20 ounce bottle plus a whopping 20% service charge to boot!!! Wine prices were also very steep for wine that costs $4.00 a bottle in California they charge $26 PLUS 20 % service on top of that!!!If wine you bring wine from home they confiscate it or demand $15 a bottle service charge even if you drink it in the privacy of your own room. Norwegian scans your luggage and if they find wine they make you pick up your luggage and pay service charge of $15 a bottle. EVERYTHING on the ship is expensive and the the excursions are outrageous. They price gouge their customers at every single opportunity!!!! There supplemental restaurants are substandard and there chefs are cooks NOT chefs!! Cagneys was steak was a HUGE grilled piece of fat with perhaps 35% meat on it!!! The french restaurant was also TERRIBLE!!! French soup tasted like salt soup and the four mushrooms soup also tasted extremely salty!!! I paid $1375 for a window including a single supplement not a bad price had the food been edible. I will say the room was nice and the gym was acceptable and opened till 11:00. I would NEVER cruise with this company again!!When you won a trivia game you got no prize. On another cruise ship the winning trivia group got a bottle of sparkling wine but this company is too cheap to do that. Also at breakfast the eggs Benedict was awful and the lox and bagels comes with yellow cream cheese that tastes like chemicals and grease!!!If you cruise alone they rarely ever seat you with other people at dinner and lunch so you either eat dinner with the single cruisers or you eat alone on this ship !!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Where to start? Let me start with the positives , I found the crew (except for the hostess in Chin Chin) to be universally cheerful and helpful. The Cast and Crew of the stage entertainment were excellent and professional - I really ... Read More
Where to start? Let me start with the positives , I found the crew (except for the hostess in Chin Chin) to be universally cheerful and helpful. The Cast and Crew of the stage entertainment were excellent and professional - I really enjoyed the cast shows. And that's it.... Now lets look at the negatives. Our Balcony room , especially the bathroom was tiny. It was the same size of my inside cabin on the P&O Oriana......and THAT was lacking in the cat swinging facilities. The bed was comfortable , the balcony area was the smallest I have used in all my cruises. Excursions. I booked 3 with CruiseExcursions.com and all were half the cost of the Norwegian offerings (for the same tour). Thankfully , the debacle of the tendering at Ko Samui seems to have been sorted , in fact , to give them their due , it was probably the most efficient operation I have experienced.The three excursions that I booked with Norwegian occured as expected. One problem with the itinerary of this Cruise was that the cities advertised were a very long distance from the ports used , Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi were all at least a 4 hour round trip. We had an overnight stay in 'Bangkok' but there was no real prospect of sampling its infamous nightlife because of the travelling time . This was a wasted overnight stay , a far better option would have been to overnight in Ha Long Bay which seemed to offer many excellent sightseeing opportunities and could be walked to in 15 mins!. Norwegian charged $99 for a Cambodian Visa , irrespective if you left the ship or not , now it may be Cambodian law that a visa must be issued , but the visa in my passport cost $30.... a $70 profit filched by Norwegian left a very bad taste in my mouth. Entertainment. I hardly saw the Cruise Director at all, and the offerings during the day were a mixture of quizzes and deck sports. There were however , a large choice of Pay activities . The Pool areas were clean and there were plenty of sunbeds. Evening entertainment consisted of a variety of one , two or four piece bands that played in all the main lounges and bars , in fact it was difficult to find some peace and quiet . entertainment finished early , the deck parties closed down when there were hundreds still partying, and most venues shut at midnight, despite having guests using them eg: Karaoke bar!. Food . I found the food palatable but not exciting . We tried Tsars Palace and Azure for evening meals , portions were small. There was no problem about getting a table for 2 , in fact we were never asked if we wanted to share a table....so imagine our surprise when a couple were sat at our table in Azure! Luckily , we enjoy sharing......... The buffet restaurant was good for variety , but they should install some microwaves for guests to reheat the lukewarm offerings. The Jewel is the smallest ship in NCL's fleet, TBH it was tooo small for me , there wasn't the breadth of entertainment that you get on the larger ships . This visit for me didn't give me any reason to book NCL in the future, i'm off back to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chosen for the timing, stops, and convenience from Taiwan. The problems started with embarkation. 4 huge seating areas. A few wandering workers. You get a number for the 15 service desks. Turns out 50 people have the same number. Worse, ... Read More
Chosen for the timing, stops, and convenience from Taiwan. The problems started with embarkation. 4 huge seating areas. A few wandering workers. You get a number for the 15 service desks. Turns out 50 people have the same number. Worse, the announcement of the number is called out by someone walking the aisles amid the din. The cabin was the tiniest ever encountered, with stool angled from the wall but not enough to put a leg over. Supplies would run out, and no morning service until after noon. There was not a decent steak on board, not at the buffet, not at the dining room, not at the steakhouse. No lobster. I was informed they stopped serving libster 10 years ago, though the NCL booking agent assured mre there would be a lobster night. In contrast, Holland America has at least 1 lobster night on every cruise we've been on, as well as great steak every night. Very few activities on board, and no happy hour at all. That's enough. My wife said never again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined a group of friends who had selected this cruise. The food in the dining room at dinner time was inconsistent, ranging from very good to inedible (eg steaks). Our server Marie was excellent. Breakfast and lunch in the ... Read More
We joined a group of friends who had selected this cruise. The food in the dining room at dinner time was inconsistent, ranging from very good to inedible (eg steaks). Our server Marie was excellent. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room was consistently very good. Our cabin midship on the fourth deck by the tender gangway should not be used for guests. There was consistent irritating noises day and night from ship operations. The on-board entertainment and musicians were excellent. We particularly enjoyed listening to the Love Brothers and Lira. Other than the Tsar’s Palace main dining room we ate in O’Sheehan’s which we found quite good. We did not eat at the Garden Cafe buffet or any of the specialty restaurants. The alcohol prices were more than we were willing to pay even though we enjoy a glass of wine at dinner time. The majority of our alcohol consumption was while we were in port. We chose private shore excursions with our group of twelve rather than ship excursions. We prefer the chance to customize our own tours at a cost savings. For example the Ancient Temples Tour in Ko Samui, Thailand listed at $149.00 per person from the ship was done by our group by private tour arranged on shore for $20.00 per person for basically the same tour. Activities listed in the daily schedule were mostly money making for the cruise line. In summary it is highly unlikely that we will sail with Norwegian again unless they are the only ones that have an itinerary that we want to do. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of ... Read More
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of NCL branded drinking water. If you want any other brand, you need to buy it from the bar where the price (including automatically 20% service) comes to over $6. 20% service is for handing you the bottle. Specialty restaurants are extra. Best choices for shore tours are sold at a price too high for the level of this cruise. The activities may become overcrowded in particular in shore tours. From the specialty restaurants. we preferred the steakhouse Cagney's and Chin Chin Chinese, Sushi). Chin Chin is included except sushi, Cagney's is extra with prices on a la carte menu. It is worth to purchase the specialty restaurant package that basically includes 5 meals in any specialty restaurant. Out of 8 entertainment opportunities, only 2 were of good quality, both in the last days of the cruise. There is one shore trip included in each port, however we found out that in about 50% of the ports we preferred to purchase non included shore tours which are relative expensive. If you want to enjoy, plan to spend around $2000 extra per cabin - that would include gratuities, specialty restaurants, shore tours and reasonable drinking. The unlimited drink package is about $100/pp/day, for a 14 days cruise, only this may be $2,800..... Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Jewel South East Asia March 2019 - 12 day cruise. We are a couple from Montreal, Canada and travelling with a 6-yr old who enjoys adventure and travel as much as we do. This is not our first cruise, but first time on an NCL cruise. ... Read More
NCL Jewel South East Asia March 2019 - 12 day cruise. We are a couple from Montreal, Canada and travelling with a 6-yr old who enjoys adventure and travel as much as we do. This is not our first cruise, but first time on an NCL cruise. TRAVEL AGENCY We booked this cruise through a travel agency thinking that there could be some benefits that we could not otherwise access. None that I can see, but $100 to open our files. Once I gave my credit card info, my stateroom was booked, at the very front of the ship ( yes - the bow, and steps further ahead you are in the ocean) without my knowledge. I have just read an interesting article going over one of the most exciting step in the cruise is finding and booking the stateroom. Well not for us, and could do nothing to change it, without paying extra. This is a 294m ship long, with the buffet restaurant at the other end of the ship, and most other activities in mid-ship. This became, by default, our daily walking exercise. The last 2 days of the cruise, the ship was going through rough seas and I can tell you that it was not pleasant to be at either end of the ship. We opted to prepay the ship service charge and going for the unlimited beverage package, to avoid the pressure of thinking twice before ordering drinks. This package does not include freshly pressed fruit juices, bottled water or alcoholic drinks over US$15. RESEARCH I must have spent 100's of hours planning, researching and documenting to plan for this NCL South East Asia cruise. Info that I extracted from internet is very fragmented, incomplete, and at times contradictory. Many coming from some arrogant contributors. SOME TIPS Things that we brought along 1. Travel Adaptors (Canada uses 110-120V, Far East 220-240V) Just make sure that your electronic devices are dual voltage. The Adaptor is just a device to make your electronics fit in the holes. Adaptors are not power converters. 2. Battery Chargers (must be with your carry on, NOT allowed in checked-in Luggage) 3. Spare unlocked smart phone (used as hotspot for other devices and laptops to connect to ) 4. Photocopy Passport ( 40cs colour copy at Office Depot). NCL keeps all Passports and return them on the day prior to final destination. You will need a copy of your passport if you buy a SIM card. If crumpled, difficult for the SIM card cashier to scan to complete your purchase). If offshore and requested by local authorities, you need to show your room card key and a govt picture ID. This is where the copy passport also comes in handy. 5. Deet Insect Repellent. We got bitten just once (luckily!) close to the docks at dusk. 6. Roll of toilet paper (off shore excursions). 7. Singapore $300 in cash (CAD306) for 2 days. 8. Thai Bhat 8,000 in cash (CAD365) for 2 days 9. Hong Kong $4,000 in cash (CAD706) for 4 days. We did self-guided tours for Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. You can certainly use less cash and more credit. We used credit cards for hotels/lodgings and higher value purchases in reliable establishments. Canadians do not need visa for these 3 countries above. For Cambodia and Vietnam, while self-guided tours are possible, if you stay close to the Port, we opted to book local tour guides to play it safe. PRE-PLANNING We online ordered a SIM card (Smart Comfort - SIM Card Asia) from SIM OPTIONS for US$39.90 + 9.90 = US$49.80 (CAD$68.45) delivered to our Hotel in Singapore. This gives us 12GB internet, 3G+ connection, valid for 30 days from first use, plug and play and valid for Singapore, Vietnam and Hongkong. The card will barely work where the ship docks, with fluctuating on-off signals. On land, and just simple emails, you would be ok. I am used to 135Mbps download speed at home, and that SIM card speed is nowhere comparable, but nevertheless acceptable and useful when on shore. If you find the speed too slow, relatively easy to buy sim in all 3 countries above. Singapore sells the 3-day sim at 7-11 convenience store (they all speak English) for S$13. I bought a sim in Phu My, Vietnam at a phone store, 10 mins taxi ride from the cruise port, for 140,000 VD (CAD$8). I wanted their fastest data SIM card for minimum of 3 days. Could not get myself understood, even with the help of Google Translate on my phone. My taxi driver with his very limited English, rescued me. They did not accept payment in US$. Once again, driver came to the rescue and lent me local money. HEADING TOWARDS CRUISE From our hotel in Singapore, we took a taxi to the Marina Cruise Centre. If you let Hotel concierge book the taxi for you, they do not tell you that there is a S$2 fee to your cab fares. Lots of taxis coming in to drop passengers off, all the time, that we took instead. We arrived at the Cruise Centre just after 2 pm, with a huge line up, with a good number of NCL staff to welcome and guide us. We left our tagged luggages at the entrance, and got them later just outside our stateroom. We got in the queue while filling up our profile forms and authorization for NCL to charge for Cambodia and Vietnam visa. (No Thailand visa required for Canadians). When we completed our forms, well over 200 people had joined the queue after us. US$89 per person for visa to go ashore in Sihanoukville, Cambodia is crazily expensive, given that this is only a one day (actually only 6-7 hours since ship leaves at 5pm) offshore excursion and total ripoff by NCL US$69 per person for visa to go ashore in Vietnamese ports is equally brutal in price. For a family of 3, the cost of these 2 visa would be a hefty US$474 (CAD640) We will now include this visa factor when evaluating costs for future cruises. Internet research to procure a visa for these 2 countries revealed it is easier said than done, as there are misleading, contradicting and incomplete information in any cruise forums/Trip advisor, and even "official" site. NCL takes advantage of this visa situation to make some good easy money from us all. Some reliable post claims that Celebrity cruise charges a single digit visa fee per person. Besides the very long wait in the queue, actual check-in was painless and our pictures were taken that would be used when embarking and disembarking the ship. We were told that NCL would use these same pictures taken for visa purposes. We downloaded the NCL app to view features of the ship and facilities offered. The app is only focused on advertising for their paid restaurants and offshore excursions. The rest is totally useless. No other pertinent information that’s worth hanging on to the app. 2 hours later, we finally went onboard. Our stateroom was ready when we got on board, reasonably clean and fully equipped. 2 single beds - Let housekeeping join them together to make a queen size bed, or the beds will somehow separate by next morning! Child wall overhead foldable bed 30” Flat TV Shower stall, toilet & sink. Shower gel and shampoo dispenser Soap bar, body lotion. Bath towels and beach towels Tissue paper Toilet paper (Dollar store quality) Safe (did not work), hair dryer, hangers, ice bucket. 2 bottled water labelled $5.50 each Mini fridge Room thermostat. Shelves to store stuffs. Two pouffes Two night tables with lamps. Three outlets on each of the 2 mini workspace: For laptop, double usb and a 3-prong. We used our travel adapter on the 3-prong outlets for charging other dual voltage devices. As we moved the night table around to maximize space, we found a pair of sunglasses behind, which we handed to our housekeeper. This therefore tells us that the room is not necessarily spick and span, as one would have liked it to be. Housekeeping is done daily. Twice daily actually. At about 5pm there was a mandatory drill regarding safety protocol where everyone has to attend (staff updating attendance register to ensure everyone attended) for about 30 mins. Ordering drinks at the bar was painless as our adult card keys were marked with the prepaid beverage code. We only needed to show 1 card to order for our 2 drinks. Long line up on the very first day. ONBOARD INTERNET NCL has a number of options, all crazily expensive. - Unlimited WIFI US$25.50 per day online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$29.99) No VPN, no streaming. - Unlimited WIFI with VPN and streaming US$29.50 per day online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$34.99) - 250 Anytime minutes for US$105 online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$125). No VPN and no streaming. Need to log out when done, to stop the minutes counter. Note that for the unlimited options above, you will have to pay for the entire duration of the cruise, as there is no pro-rata charge. You therefore cannot purchase for a few days only, as I originally thought I could do. It's all or nothing unlimited package. After the 4th day of the cruise, the unlimited options are no longer available. Signals strength is best in common areas, but works to a lesser degree in the stateroom. Our first day on the ship was very promising and eager to start our adventure ... On the second day, a sea day, at 6am we were surprised that the Garden Cafe, and other restaurants were not open. Later in the same morning, we went to the restaurant reservation and politely enquired about opening hours of restaurants, to plan our offshore excursions. Arlene, on the customer service, raised her ducky squeeky voice to reply with such an attitude that took us all by surprise. For sure one of the worst staff we have ever encountered on any cruise ship. Ever. She sometimes worked at Chin Chin restaurant that my 6-yr old avoided like the pest. Seriously! We then realized that many of the staff, in general, on board the NCL Jewel are either ill-mannered or totally did not give a . Very cold treatment at the Tsar restaurant before we got seated. On the eve of the last day, on Friday Mar 15, at 7.54pm, I ordered a Scotch at the Atrium and the barman stated that he will give me a premium Scotch. I responded, that as long as I do not get billed, since I have a prepaid package. He stated that he will key in a lower grade Scotch. Another barman called vmal murmured, loud enough for me to hear: "Why such a fuss? This is the last night of the cruise" and turned his back on me without me having a chance to respond. I am flabbergasted with these kind of remarks. They sometimes forget that we are the customer. CRUISE REVIEW 1. The itinerary to South East Asia is splendid. 2. The ship itself has been renovated recently and feels like new. 3. Our stateroom was small but descent and contains everything one would require. 4. Staff attitude is perhaps one of the triggering point in liking or not liking a cruise line. While there are many lovely and polite staff on board, there is an equal if not more unpleasant staff on the NCL Jewel. Too many. 5. Process for check-in takes way too long. 6. The charge for visa is grossly exaggerated. 7. There is limited upfront information to a lot of things. The actual location where the ship docks at each port seems to be kept in secrecy. I arranged for a driver to pick us up in Phu My, Vietnam (as indicated on all documents we have) and have a nasty surprise that we docked at Cai Mep and had difficulty to contact the driver for this new location. In Sihanoukville, Cambodia we walked from the docks to the gate to meet our guide. In fact, there is a free shuttle to the gate but it was not advertised. What was advertised was $15 shuttle from docks to the City. 8. Going ashore using tender (In Ko Samui, Thailand) is a nightmare. Chaotic and totally disorganized. 9. Everyday struggle at the Garden Cafe Buffet to find a table, as the restaurant is too small to cater for the number of passengers. 10. Only a couple of good night entertainment show, and the rest is mediocre. Overall, the worst cruise line experience we have had. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've been on a few cruises but consider ourselves newbies. We book a SE asia cruise on Norwegian Jewel. I don't know if my comments are strictly about Norwegian but about cruising in general. Our primary concern is the lack ... Read More
We've been on a few cruises but consider ourselves newbies. We book a SE asia cruise on Norwegian Jewel. I don't know if my comments are strictly about Norwegian but about cruising in general. Our primary concern is the lack of complete information upfront. Costs exceeded our expecttions. When we booked our cruise I looked at the price and decided it was within our budget. We saw some promotions being offered and liked them. However as we got deeper into the purchase we discovered a number of surprises: 1. onboard credit was advertised as $1,000 but found it depended on the price of the cabin. 2. the $500 credit only applied if we had a mastercard. I had to find a relative to supply. 3. beverage package was "free" but added a charge for "gratuities". The gratuity charge would pay for a month of drinks in most bars. 4. bought an independent tour and was unable to use it because the tender time was over 20 minutes and priority was given to "frequent flyiers" and tours purchased from the cruise line. 5. paid for medical support but was still charged $480 for a visit when my wife got sick. 6. $29 per day for room charges (2 people) should have been included in the purchase price or made optional. 7. visas were required for Vietnam and Cambodia but there web site indicated that the cruise ship was taking care of it. Almost $400 was added to our charges. 8. no easy to find email address to send questions into the cruise line. instead we had to wait 30-45 minutes to talk to a live person. since we booked through expedia instead of the cruise line directly. we got transferred to a different person each time. 9. disclosures about how long it would take to get to cities should be listed on web site. it was 2 hours to Bangkok, 2.5 hours to Saigon and over 3 hours to get to Hamoi. If we forget all the "surprise" charges for inexperienced cruisers the trip was enjoyable. and the low tide which prevented the tenders from returning to the ship as planned probably wasn't the fault of the cruise ship (unless they checked with the tide timetable).. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Was booked on Voyage of the Seas out of Singapore but as friends pulled out of the holiday, we cancelled our RC cruise and booked with Norwegian as the dates matched our flight times.....wished we hadn’t now. We’re big fans of ... Read More
Was booked on Voyage of the Seas out of Singapore but as friends pulled out of the holiday, we cancelled our RC cruise and booked with Norwegian as the dates matched our flight times.....wished we hadn’t now. We’re big fans of Norwegian hence why we swapped to this trip. We couldn’t fault our previous cruise on the Breakaway so we had high hopes for our first cruise to the Far East. Firstly, let me say the places we visited were excellent as were the people and our only complaint would be that we didn’t have enough time in them so we are planning to return and spend a few days in each as one day in Bangkok for example just isn’t enough. But as for the cruise itself.... we weren’t happy. The good parts.... as mentioned, the itinerary was great, the frontline cruise staff (waiting staff, cabin steward, bar staff etc) were all great, polite and lovely as they usually are. Food in the Garden Cafe buffet restaurant, Chin Chin’s and Cagney’s speciality restaurant was excellent. The ship’s public areas were nice and smart due to a recent refurb and the ship itself was a smooth sailer. Now for the bad/frustrating elements...... the food in the main Azura restaurant (other than the meal on the last night) wasn’t great and neither was Cucina, Le Bistro & Moderna speciality restaurants. I had a filet mignon in Le Bistro that was so dry, I had to take mouthfuls of water just to swallow it. The oceanview cabin we had was probably the smallest we have ever had with a tiny, weird offset toilet and a bed where we couldn’t walk down the sides to the bed as the overhang of the unused pull down bed meant I had to climb over the bed each night to get into it. As part of the refit, the cabins have been largely left but they’ve replaced the old square tv’s with flat widescreen ones but when open, they overhang the narrow walkway to the door and/or bathroom so it’s easy to unexpectedly walk into at night. The onboard internet was a joke. You don’t need an internet package to access the NCL app functions but the WiFi wouldn’t hold the signal unless I activated our minutes package so I was effectively using up internet minutes to access onboard info. Sometimes it would but most times, it wouldn’t stay connected? In the main, the ship seemed understaffed. Hardly any drinks waiting staff around the ship for example on the pool deck or the buffet so you end up going to the bars, which in itself isn’t a problem. But when you get there and there are often 8+ customers waiting to order various drinks and cocktails and there is only one guy serving? The big single issues.... Embarkation was a nightmare. We were in group 1 as we were amongst the first to check in and despite being Latitidues members, it seemed your status wasn’t as relevant as the queue you started in as the latitudes queued people were given different group identifiers (colours as opposed to number) and were called forward before anyone else. Then the lady with the mic finally called out Group 1, exactly the same as she had called the other groups, so we all stood and started heading towards the ship before she then said ‘don’t go yet....just get ready’?? So we had all moved off our seats whereby newly checked in passengers were now coming through and sitting in them and she’s telling us not to go but to get prepared. Then she said it again and held us in limbo. It was like she was winding us up. Eventually, we get told to go towards the ship. All in all, we had our paperwork checked 6 or 7 times from the time we entered the terminal before going aboard. Why? Completely unnecessary and time consuming as people had put away their documents and just retained their sail away cards and then had to keep retrieving them so someone else could check them.... just wasting time. The first port was Koh Samui which was a tender port. We obeyed the cruise directors instructions to be actually ready to leave the ship before getting a tender ticket. Big mistake..... they didn’t launch enough tenders and we waited for over 2 hours to be called and it was 2 hours 40 minutes before we got to Koh Samui. There were big gaps in calling groups forward. Tenders were taking roughly 10 minutes to load, 20 minutes to cross and approx 5 mins to unload before returning to the ship for the next group. They only had 6 tenders running. So we didn’t get to Koh Samui until 11.40 ish and the last tender was scheduled for 4pm which meant we would only have 3-4 hours in port. Anyway, we headed back around 2.45pm as we didn’t have enough time to go exploring and there was already a long queue on the pier. Instead of loading 2 tenders at a time (as there was 2 loading/unloading points when discharging passengers earlier), NCL was only boarding from 1 point for some reason? The queue was getting longer and longer behind us and people were getting tetchy as some passengers seemingly decided that queuing wasn’t for them and pushed past everyone towards the front, which caused upset for some who were queuing in the hot sunshine. We watched as the NCL crew were seemingly messing around with one of the tenders and after 20 minutes or so, they had to throw a line onto it and tow it. At first we weren’t sure what was going on and thought it had perhaps broken down but it became apparent the tender had run aground as the tide was going out and the NCL crew hadn’t anticipated this. Then all the waiting tenders (there were 4 waiting by this point) turned around and sailed off. Bearing in mind we were watching this fiasco and had no idea what was happening as in typical fashion, we weren’t being told anything. We were towards the middle/front of the queue and didn’t hear anything informing us of what was occurring but we noticed that the queue behind were all moving back down the pier and we could see a mass of people heading towards another pier. So we followed and realised they were changing the boarding location of the tenders to where the other cruise ships (Tui and Aida) we’re boarding from. It was chaos with people rushing and we ended up in a mass crowd near where we think the tenders might now be boarding from. The reason I say that is that we still hadn’t any info from NCL so we were following everyone else like sheep without direct info. There must have been over 1500 people all crowded in. It was very hot, chaotic and a nightmare. We didn’t get back on the ship until 6.20pm (3 hours 35 mins after we joined the initial queue). So all in all, we spent something like 6 hours and 15 minutes waiting for and on a tender. It was a complete joke where we wasted loads of time instead of enjoying the actual port we wanted to visit. The ship left much later than planned..... Tui and Aida didn’t seem to have any problems. In Cambodia, when we got to the pier, there was a line for the shuttle bus. We had to sign up for the $15 tickets so boarded the bus to the town where we ended up hiring a Tuk Tuk type taxi. What we didn’t know was there was a free shuttle bus to the port gate, which is what we would have taken to get a Tuk Tuk, but this wasn’t signposted. When we got to the next port (Phu My), we opted to hire a taxi to go to Saigon. Our relatives decided to take the shuttle to the local town again at a cost of $15. So they went to the desk on the pier exactly as we did at the port before but they, along with everyone else, were told they had to go back on board and get tickets from Reception?? So people were going back and forwards as the procedure kept changing. At the next port, it was tickets on the pier again?? Just disorganised and chaotic. Now with regards to Cambodia, we need a visa for entry and you can get them on arrival. This visa is around $30 so when passengers were being charged $89, they were kicking up. Prior to us leaving the UK, we were told by NCL that visas for different countries could be between $29 and $89 and passengers from different countries may have different visas levered upon them. NCL didn’t specify the prices for different ports. It would be logical to assume that different countries have different charges but to charge $89 for a $30 visa is criminal. NCL are charging almost twice the price of the actual visa for printing out a form that we could have filled out ourselves but they didn’t give us the option. Some people had applied for an online e visa but it didn’t apply to the port of Sihanoukville. It applied to Sihanoukville airport down the road but not the sea port? So some passengers had paid for one visa ($30) and then got charged $89 by NCL regardless of whether they got off the ship or not. Loads of people were complaining at reception and removing their onboard gratuities. One receptionist was even advising it?? And this was for just one day in Cambodia and due to Sihanoukville being subjected to mass building works across the city amongst severe poverty, some cruise ship staff were even advising against bothering to go ashore as they said ‘it wasn’t very nice’?? You couldn’t make it up. We went to a few of the theatre shows. Whilst watching shows, we often had to get up and down multiple times as guests were arriving 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then 20 minutes after the show had began. Personally, I think it’s discourteous to arrive so late and interrupt passengers trying to watch a show but there obviously wasn’t anyone from NCL stopping people from entering the theatre so late so it continued unabated. I saw people across the theatre from us getting up to let people in 30 minutes after the start time?? Lastly, at disembarkation in Hong Kong, we had flights departing at 14.25 so thought we had loads of time to kill in the morning as on pretty much all cruises we’ve been on, disembarkation is usually pretty swift. But no, just to finish the cruise in the same manner the rest of the disorganised chaos had been, we came off the ship and into a departure hall that was chock full of people in a huge, meandering queue where you couldn’t work out where the end of the line was. It took 2 hours to get out of this and into another long queue for taxis. So despite having what we thought was loads of time, we ended up rushing to make our flight. Luckily, we ended up seeing a limo driver who was touting for fares and pulled us out of the queue and into his MPV in the car park above. We headed off to the airport where we just made our check in. If we had stayed in the taxi queue, we wouldn’t have made it. There were no NCL staff around and despite seeing this chaos, NCL on the ship didn’t think to change tack and call passengers who needed to make flights as a priority. The whole cruise from start to finish was a disorganised mess. It felt like the managing senior staff on the NCL Jewel hadn’t operated on cruises before as pretty much every aspect was disorganised and dysfunctional. In that regard, I felt for the front line staff who had to put up with passengers complaints and sour moods when it wasn’t their fault. In my opinion, it seems to me that NCL are trying to have a presence in the Far East as it looks good when advertising how far and wide their ships sail. They achieve this by having one ship doing multiple itinerary’s in far off places BUT they aren’t operating in these various regions all season so do not know the peculiarities of each port and end up in distant berths and having other problems. NCL need to decide if they want to run these routes and if so, do it properly or maybe with a senior crew who are capable of adapting to changing and varying ports/conditions as opposed to ones who are perhaps used to going through the motions in ports they visit week in, week out. For us in the future, we will have to weigh up the likelihood of a positive experience on NCL on far out routes versus an alternative cruise line with more experience in the region. It might be a better option?? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one ... Read More
Went on this cruise with two friends. Generally saying the ship spent far to much time navigating from one port to the other and spent ample time when it was at a location, making it not possible to make a longer trip ashore. Also, one could not call it a Pacific cruise, as it only went to New Caledonia in the pacific. If you really want to do something you had to take NCL's expensive shore excursions. In my opinion it was no coincidence, in this regard, that for example the tendering at Airlie Beach started well after 08.00 am and ended about 04.30pm. This meant one could not take any excursion that could be booked ashore, these all started around 08.00 am and ended around 05.00 pm. Timewise, there was no single problem of anchoring far before 08.00 am and leaving far after 05.00 pm. The really expensive shore excursions (around US$ 290,--) were really disappointing, what I heard from participants, including a visit to the Barrier Reef, with snorkeling around dead coral. There was a lot of tendering, which gave a headache, as shore excursions went first, often taking ½-1 hour, than you had to get tender tickets at 07.00 in the morning, really nice when you had a late evening. When tendering started at for example 08.00 it would mean if you did not have tickets you might get a tender at 10.00 am or later. Also, in some of the ports you had to pay (heavily) for the bus transfer to the main town, which I find appalling, when it says in the brochure and trip description that the cruise goes to that harbour. Typical example: visit of Airlie Beach, we arrived in Yorkeys Knob and had to pay for the transfer to Airlie beach. Food was normal. Service was great of all personnel. Shows were (far) above average. Outside sport facilities were above average. No quiet pool area for adults only, just a pool for adults. Only really quiet area on board was the library, which was small. Other areas might be quiet for some time, but then always some activity was started, that was inevitably noisy. In the evening in the main dance/disco area, the spinnaker lounge, our dj Ricii did a, most of the time, horrible job with his music choice, chasing people away (so less bar sales), so generally after 11.30 pm it got pretty empty most of the time. Several people complainted about this with the cruise director, that literally said he could not do anything about it. Drinks cost (beer to cocktails) incl. the 20% mandatory tip was very high, generally from about US$ 9.-- to 15.--. Soda's sowhat cheaper. I had an all in package. A large yellowish/blue smoke cloud was visible coming from the ships chimneys, that did not disappear rightaway as water vapor does. As a engine technician I can say this smoke is not belonging to a ship of which the captain claimed during the QA on the ship that she is a clean ship in regard of exhaust emissions. See the other review visiting Milford sound. Basically I would say the cruise is ok for families with children that want to cruise for a reasonable amount of money and don't expect to go a lot ashore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per ... Read More
This was my second Norwegian cruise. Norwegian is pretty low cost and has some good itineraries that make it appealing especially in some of the areas where the ports seem to be more expensive (Baltic and Australia seem to cost more per day than Med or caribbean). This ship was less crowded (it was a pretty full ship but the spaces seemed better matched to its carrying capacity) than the last time but the staff was weaker, the food more bland and the entertainment weak and repetitive. This was a decent ship with a good port itinerary and ok crowding and our room was ok size and bathroom was good. however Safe in our room was broken and they did nothing to fix it except take notes. Staff was weak at service and solving problems or dealing with requests. Food was weak in cafeteria and main restaurant. Specialty dining food was good though. It seemed like they made the regular food weak so you would buy the specialty dining. Entertainment was weak and repetitive - almost the same show repackaged 10 of 15 nights. All basic song and dance routines except 1 comedian, 1 hypnotist and 2 duo song/comedy shows. Pool was closed often for non understandable reasons and impossible to tell if it was open or closed without trekking up there. Music was loud above our room every night - after 3 nights of complaining and after i suggested maybe they could turn it down at 10pm they did do that the 4th night - and it worked. but on the 5th it was back up and i was not able to get them to adjust it again. most staff are hopeless notetakers saying yes sir, yes sir but intending to do nothing. We had 4 sea days and very little organized extra activities. One day there was bridge in a decent space but they would not offer it again. i dont know if htey were lazy or not competent when we asked about it. The 2 things that will prevent me from cruising Norwegian again were 1. the noise above our room every night not addressed and 2. strange blocking of our access around the ship every day at port (combined with a strange configuration of elevators and stairs). The elevator configuration does not help where one set of elevators did not reach our floor and neither did one set of stairways. For the first week i was forever getting stuck in a stairway with now way out. I would take the stairs down from deck 8 to deck 6, get stuck, have to go back up to deck 8, walk to the back of the ship, go down the stairs to deck 5 then walk back to the front of the ship to my room. I also had to do this the first 3 times we stopped in a port just to get off the boat. Luckily after a few days they improved their instructions to their staff to let us out from deck 5. But it took a lot of complaining. most staff i spoke to just didnt care - it wasnt their job to ask questions. There were a number of issues like this where the staff was unhelpful it seemed because they are micromanaged. For example the pool was often closed for "rough weather" - but there was no way of knowing 1. what was the measure of rough weather to close, 2. was it closed now (i had to go up to deck 12 and look (did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell many times on the way back), 3. when it was opened again (or when they expected it to open or re-asses - i had to go back up to deck 12 to look - did i mention getting stuck in the stairwell again). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar ... Read More
Food in buffet very ordinary club standard, sometimes less. Finding somewhere to sit was a feral activity like an overcrowded food court in a shopping centre at lunchtime a few days before Christmas. Food in restaurants was average. Bar service was poor, staff generally unfriendly and understaffed. Waited >15mins to be served and paying 20% service charge for no service. Waiters brought a different drink to the one ordered (because it was claimed to be out of stock) without checking with the customer first. This happened at least 3 times in different lounges. Restaurant service also poor in some instances - cold food, wrong drinks. Unimaginative on board activities during sea days. Chin Chin Asian restaurant is false advertising. Very limited "complimentary" (included in fare) choices on menu and I, a lousy cook can cook better. Cabin steward service ok but had to find own toilet paper from the trolley outside. Entertainment (stage shows) ok. Daily newsletter should have next port information which it didn't. Ship advertised as 4 star but overall a 3 star experience at best and no star at worst. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip ... Read More
Food not the best not much variety pasta and fish ,Christmas Day some food was cold ,wouldn’t recommend ship or cruise go up to desk and take gratites off or you’ll stung for massive bill just tell you tip who you won’t to tip yourself ,watch one major travel company who will try and get to sign up to gratitudes before you get on ship ,wouldn’t recommend ship to anybody everything is expensive ,drinks served up with no imagination ,food boring entertainment no good no coffe card tours are to expensive ,the Chinese restraint was terrible no flavour ,no wonder the restraint was empty most nights ,with the roast turkey for lunch on the 12 th floor no roast vegetables on Christmas Day chips only could you imagine Christmas Day with chips sweet weren’t to bad asked for custard they promise everything and deliver nothing caramel sauce full of sugar ,look for a better ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The 1st cruise sailed from Sydney on Dec 1, 2018 to Dec 13, 2018. The 2nd cruise sailed from Sydney on Dec 13, 2018 to December 20, 2018. We chose these cruises because we liked the itineraries. We purchased a specialty dining ... Read More
The 1st cruise sailed from Sydney on Dec 1, 2018 to Dec 13, 2018. The 2nd cruise sailed from Sydney on Dec 13, 2018 to December 20, 2018. We chose these cruises because we liked the itineraries. We purchased a specialty dining package. We were infected by a norovirus along with other passengers. On the second day in the main dining room, I was given a drinking glass that was obviously used by a previous guess (fruit juice at the bottom/covered finger prints). I was disgusted. I brought it to the attention of the waiter. At that point it was obvious why there was a norovirus infecting passengers. We had prime rib in O'Sheehan's. That was well below anything we had been served on other cruise lines. On one occasion, in the main dining room, I ordered a veal dish but was served 2 link sausages. Whether they were veal, I could not tell. The cabin stewardess (stateroom no. 9594) did not introduce herself to us. From a card in a cabin, we found out her name but her direct line was 00 which did not link to her directly. We could not contact her when we were missing tissue paper, towels, coffee cups or coffee. We met the cabin stewardess outside the cabin and asked for 2 robes and a coffee maker. The bath robes arrived wrinkled. One was missing a belt, the other one had stains. The coffee maker came with an unfitted top which made it impossible to pour. We did not feel welcomed by the stewardess. This was our 7th cruise, but it is the first one that never offered filet mignon or lobster tail in the complimentary dining. Lobster was not offered even in specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
In 2017 we sailed on the Norwegian Getaway, in the Haven, and it was terrific. Everything went well. But, this year we chose the Jewel for the itinerary and it was not even in the same league as the Getaway (again, we were in the Haven). ... Read More
In 2017 we sailed on the Norwegian Getaway, in the Haven, and it was terrific. Everything went well. But, this year we chose the Jewel for the itinerary and it was not even in the same league as the Getaway (again, we were in the Haven). Started out trying to get onboard. Should have had "priority" check-in. Took about 6 agents before someone actually knew there was a priority check-in line and where it was. The Jewel had a "mini-Haven" (no restaurant or lounge) but we knew that in advance. Had a special place for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner or a bar. Turned out to be a bigger deal than we thought. The TV rarely worked correctly. Even the ship navigation page had the wrong information on it to include time of day - which was kind of important since we crossed time zones twice. The TV does not have an account status page and that was a real downer. Communications delivered to the cabin were often incorrect or conflicting. It was like the ship staff did not communicate with the hotel staff. The sundry shop was part of the duty free store so you could not get a pack of aspirin when you were in port. But, the worst thing was the internet. We bought the all-you-can-eat package since one of us had to connect with work during the cruise. The internet was so slow the VPN timed out before it could make a connection. Could not get to email because comcast streams videos so they blocked comcast. BUT, we tried to book two future cruises (on a different ship) and they could not do it because their internet was too slow!!! However, the staff was outstanding! Even better than the year prior and I didn't think that was possible. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 ... Read More
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 pm. Captain and crew did not communicate why this was necessary. 4. Many staff seemed unable to provide basic information. Our steward was not contactable when we needed . It may be a lack of appropriate training 5 Cocktails served in plastic cups with little or no garnishes. Ecomy measure? 6 Guest services not a happy lot. Unsmiling, not friendly, officious and at times rude 7 Embarkation was a disaster. Many staff were inexperienced. Disembarkation was however a dream. 8 Some of the shows were good : others not so much. 9 Leisure activities offered did not reallynsuit us It was a poor experince aboard the NorwegianJewel. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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