Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Horatio Hornblower
- Sail Date: December 2014
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
The Jewel sails out of the Port of Houston which is in the industrial part of the metro and surrounded by refineries. It is not the most attractive place to begin your vacation. Embarkation was not as smooth as Carnivals process but I got on board ship with little trouble.
The Jewel is a very nice ship but a bit dated compared to the Carnival Magic. Since I was traveling alone, I didn't eat in the formal Dining room nor pay extra to eat in the other upscale restaurants. I found that the buffet food and choices were outstanding. The food was the best buffet food I have eaten on any cruise. I also ate in the sports bar and that food also was very good. There is an omelet station on the stern that got very little attention so if you like omelets for breakfast then eat there. It is also a very nice spot to watch the world cruise by.
There was a lot going on on this ship and I would say I saw more fun planned activities on the Jewel then any other one I've sailed on. Every day there was a huge BBQ hosted on the pool deck with some great food.
The entertainment was outstanding, the best I've seen at sea. The crew actually looked like they were having fun. Every crew member I interacted with was friendly.
This cruise stopped at Cozumel, Belize and the Banana Coast. I've been to Cozumel a lot of times and its a nice place to visit. Since I was not traveling with my wife I decided not to get off in Belize as I wanted to save that experience with her. The Banana Coast stop is not worth getting off of the ship in my opinion other then to say you visited Honduras. The stop is not developed, the beach is rough but if you want the experience of visiting a small Central American town then go right ahead.
The passengers on this trip were mostly low energy, low keyed passengers. It may be because of the time of year but this was not a party ship. It was made up of a lot of senior cruisers some young couples and some young families. I found it a very relaxing trip, the ship was not crowded even though the crew said it was full.
I will cruise again next year on Norwegian out of the Port of Houston. Next fall the Jade is scheduled to sail from the port.
The ship was on par with most of the ships sailing out of Gulf of Mexico ports, the crew was great, the food and service was great and the entertainment was great.
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