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Several years ago my wife and I sailed to Alaska aboard the NCL PEARL and had a wonderful time with great food including lobster the first night. We are retired and this latest Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel for our 50th anniversary was disappointing in many ways. Smaller Atrium with only a piano and no live music. The buffet food was not that good, had burnt crust pizza, luke warm food, tough meat, biscuits that crumbled apart, some of the buffet food was good, but it was usually everyday common food. Lots of children running all over, some people dressed like slobs. The Azura and Czars palace restaurants had better quality food and great service but we were annoyed by roaming photographers and a "loud mouth" we shared a table with. Cagney's was very good and enjoyed the meal, superb waiter service, but within one hour later we both had a diarrhea from it, perhaps the mushrooms? Never did see any lobster, king crab, prime rib anywhere except the "specialty restaurants". On disembarkation, we saw a poster advertising prime rib that night at O'Sheehan's bar and grill (was not on our cruise). All the alcohol drink prices very high with automatic gratuity of 15%. The head bartender at the cocktail lounge didn't know how to make a Bacardi cocktail and insisted it was Bacardi rum mixed with Pepsi or just on the rocks. Oh boy!!! The ship itself (Jewel) was older than the Pearl, not as nice but was well kept up. I got scolded by one of the photographers (Russian girl) for taking a photograph inside that area and was ordered to delete it off my camera. Our stateroom was clean and comfortable, the stewardess was FANTASTIC, so very friendly and took care of all our needs, gave her a big tip. Theater shows we attended at the Stardust theater were good, but many did not appeal to us because they were for children or adult themed. Unlike the Alaska sailing, all there was to see, was the sea itself and not much to do on board except eat, drink, gamble, walk around, sit by the pool (water too cold to swim) or go into the hot tub for a little while. The shore excursions were okay except for the switch NCL pulled on us... we booked our cruise when Roatan was port of call, and made plans for a good shore excursion, then they switched to Banana Coast and left us with bad choices for a shore excursion there. We took one that was supposed to be a walking tour through what we thought was jungle preserve with monkeys and wildlife to see. Instead it was a muddy road trip in a bus without air conditioning and arrived at a vegetable farm with fruit trees and rescue habitat for a few native animals. Got covered in fire ants walking around while being shown tomato plants, onions, limes, lemons, etc., how not to touch things like cashew nuts. Terrible tour!!!!!!!! Hope things get better there, so much poverty. But the people were friendly despite a hundred or so armed police all over the place. Lots of police presence in Belize and Cozumel also, bars on windows, razor wire, run down shacks. I tried to buy tourist junk from the people who needed the money just because they could use it and not the fat cats who own the fancy shops. In Belize, the trip to Altun Ha was very good and our tours guides fantastic. Enjoyed that excursion. Same with the mini-sub tour in Cozumel but did not feel comfortable walking around and within 1-block off the main tourist street we turned around and went back because of all the shady characters and run down businesses. Anyway, I was spoiled by the Alaska trip and doubt that I will ever take another cruise.

Disappointed in the Jewel

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by IBM1401

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Several years ago my wife and I sailed to Alaska aboard the NCL PEARL and had a wonderful time with great food including lobster the first night. We are retired and this latest Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel for our 50th anniversary was disappointing in many ways. Smaller Atrium with only a piano and no live music. The buffet food was not that good, had burnt crust pizza, luke warm food, tough meat, biscuits that crumbled apart, some of the buffet food was good, but it was usually everyday common food. Lots of children running all over, some people dressed like slobs. The Azura and Czars palace restaurants had better quality food and great service but we were annoyed by roaming photographers and a "loud mouth" we shared a table with. Cagney's was very good and enjoyed the meal, superb waiter service, but within one hour later we both had a diarrhea from it, perhaps the mushrooms? Never did see any lobster, king crab, prime rib anywhere except the "specialty restaurants".
On disembarkation, we saw a poster advertising prime rib that night at O'Sheehan's bar and grill (was not on our cruise). All the alcohol drink prices very high with automatic gratuity of 15%. The head bartender at the cocktail lounge didn't know how to make a Bacardi cocktail and insisted it was Bacardi rum mixed with Pepsi or just on the rocks. Oh boy!!! The ship itself (Jewel) was older than the Pearl, not as nice but was well kept up. I got scolded by one of the photographers (Russian girl) for taking a photograph inside that area and was ordered to delete it off my camera.
Our stateroom was clean and comfortable, the stewardess was FANTASTIC, so very friendly and took care of all our needs, gave her a big tip. Theater shows we attended at the Stardust theater were good, but many did not appeal to us because they were for children or adult themed. Unlike the Alaska sailing, all there was to see, was the sea itself and not much to do on board except eat, drink, gamble, walk around, sit by the pool (water too cold to swim) or go into the hot tub for a little while.
The shore excursions were okay except for the switch NCL pulled on us... we booked our cruise when Roatan was port of call, and made plans for a good shore excursion, then they switched to Banana Coast and left us with bad choices for a shore excursion there. We took one that was supposed to be a walking tour through what we thought was jungle preserve with monkeys and wildlife to see. Instead it was a muddy road trip in a bus without air conditioning and arrived at a vegetable farm with fruit trees and rescue habitat for a few native animals. Got covered in fire ants walking around while being shown tomato plants, onions, limes, lemons, etc., how not to touch things like cashew nuts. Terrible tour!!!!!!!! Hope things get better there, so much poverty. But the people were friendly despite a hundred or so armed police all over the place. Lots of police presence in Belize and Cozumel also, bars on windows, razor wire, run down shacks. I tried to buy tourist junk from the people who needed the money just because they could use it and not the fat cats who own the fancy shops. In Belize, the trip to Altun Ha was very good and our tours guides fantastic. Enjoyed that excursion. Same with the mini-sub tour in Cozumel but did not feel comfortable walking around and within 1-block off the main tourist street we turned around and went back because of all the shady characters and run down businesses. Anyway, I was spoiled by the Alaska trip and doubt that I will ever take another cruise.
IBM1401’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB
Cabin furnishings were older, but clean, bathroom was very clean. Our stewardess was fantastic
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Campo del Mar Nature Park Walking Tour
    TERRIBLE !!!!!!! THIS WAS NOT A NATURE PARK, IT WAS A GARDEN AND FRUIT RANCH WITH SOME RESCUE ANIMALS IN CAGES OWNED BY SOME CANADIAN DEVELOPER WHO IS BUILDING TRUJILLO AS A NCL PORT. I regret booking it and was a total waste of money except to see all the absolute poverty on the bus trip there and back.
    View All 4 Campo del Mar Nature Park Walking Tour Reviews