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Cruise Critic has been such a helper to prepare for our first trip - we read 300+ reviews and tips and came back from the cruise today happy and fulfilled! The roll call is the must - we felt connected even before the trip. Tim and Debbie were such nice hosts and arranged a very nice meet and greet on the first sea day. Cruise critic is influential - The senior officers showed up for us and gave us a nice intro and a card of all their contact information. I told Gary, the manager of guest service, about my experience with his staff and feedback. He took notes and the next day we got a plate of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room as his appreciation. Tim and Debbie and quite a few members opened up their staterooms for the cabin crawling - it was so fun and I can see the jealousy eyes from other guests! We visited several inside cabins (many personalization ideas), ocean view, balcony, mini suite and a suite. WOW! I know what I want for the next cruise. Free style and unlimited beverage package are king! As first-time cruiser, My husband and I were not sure what to expect. Free style is a relief for him and UBP gave us the reason to explore and hang out. NCL Jewel does have a nice crew. Our waitress Reubenlene at the Tsar dinning room has been so helpful and taken good care of us every dinner. I am also impressed by the Hotel Director Steven - the best example of walking management I have ever seen. He is EVERYWHERE! At 8am he might walk by the pool and later on greet you at the breakfast buffet. When you come back from excursion he is the washy washy person at the security. You see him constantly at the hallway of every deck. Of course on the welcome and farewell shows you see him and his staff. He personally read every guest comment card and recognizes his team - Reubenlene showed me a photo of her being recognized by him last time! The trip was not perfect (bad traffic and weather when we were in Houston, noisy afternoon near our cabin when all the lifeboats were back from Banana Coast, no towel animals, only lobster sauce pasta on the last night, my skin and swim suit reaction to the hot tub chlorine...) but we did have a great time and felt the hospitality and the good service from every crew member.  

Cruise Critic and NCL Freestyle are blessings to the first time cruise

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Umemori

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
Cruise Critic has been such a helper to prepare for our first trip - we read 300+ reviews and tips and came back from the cruise today happy and fulfilled!
The roll call is the must - we felt connected even before the trip. Tim and Debbie were such nice hosts and arranged a very nice meet and greet on the first sea day. Cruise critic is influential - The senior officers showed up for us and gave us a nice intro and a card of all their contact information. I told Gary, the manager of guest service, about my experience with his staff and feedback. He took notes and the next day we got a plate of chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room as his appreciation. Tim and Debbie and quite a few members opened up their staterooms for the cabin crawling - it was so fun and I can see the jealousy eyes from other guests! We visited several inside cabins (many personalization ideas), ocean view, balcony, mini suite and a suite. WOW! I know what I want for the next cruise.
Free style and unlimited beverage package are king! As first-time cruiser, My husband and I were not sure what to expect. Free style is a relief for him and UBP gave us the reason to explore and hang out. NCL Jewel does have a nice crew. Our waitress Reubenlene at the Tsar dinning room has been so helpful and taken good care of us every dinner. I am also impressed by the Hotel Director Steven - the best example of walking management I have ever seen. He is EVERYWHERE! At 8am he might walk by the pool and later on greet you at the breakfast buffet. When you come back from excursion he is the washy washy person at the security. You see him constantly at the hallway of every deck. Of course on the welcome and farewell shows you see him and his staff. He personally read every guest comment card and recognizes his team - Reubenlene showed me a photo of her being recognized by him last time!
The trip was not perfect (bad traffic and weather when we were in Houston, noisy afternoon near our cabin when all the lifeboats were back from Banana Coast, no towel animals, only lobster sauce pasta on the last night, my skin and swim suit reaction to the hot tub chlorine...) but we did have a great time and felt the hospitality and the good service from every crew member.
 
Umemori’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OX 5106
Old but very cleana bit noisy during the nights and the afternoon at Banana Coast (machine/construction -type sound, not human voices)Plenty of storage space for two of usThe rubber portion near the window is loose and somewhat worn.Nice surprise about the ocean view window is that my husband saw a huge sting ray surfaced, chasing for something during one of the sea days...very cool!
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cave-Tubing
    Cave Tubing and Rainforest TrekLong bus ride to the cave (90 minutes), 25 minutes of hiking (carrying your own tube), floating itself is about 50 minutes. The guides were friendly and tried to filled the travel time with stories and jokes.Gorgeous caves and views with clear and cool water. You will get wet so change of clothes is recommended, wearing your water shoes - no barefoot nor flip flop allowed.Lunch was Belizean chicken and bean/rice - tasty and you gotta beware of their hot sauce!We gave it three stars probably because we had our expectations too high based on the reviews and travel channels. The activity level of cave tubing is low and the prep is too long - for us it was an once-a-lifetime thing and we will not go back. They do have a combo deal with zip lining - this might be a better alternative.Shopping for souvenirs? Do ask around to compare and do not rush into the decision too quickly - some stores leave price tags out INTENTIONALLY.
    View All 334 Cave-Tubing Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    Palancar Snorkel & Playa MiaOn-time and on schedule, our dive master Issac explained well and was very knowledgeable. The crew were helpful and attentive - unlimited water, soda, beer, and margarita.We saw many flying fish on the boat to the snorkeling site - nice ride for 45 minutes one way.Snorkeling itself was interesting (about 50 minutes); this is our first time to do the 'drift' snorkeling - you do need to feel comfortable swimming in the open water and pay attention to the current and the flag (where the guide is). Not recommended for the first time snorkelers. Quite a few fish and reefs - a small school of fish were following us and I almost bumped into one. We drifted from 30 feet to a drop of about 700 feet and saw a group of the scuba divers too.After the snorkeling, they took us to Playa Mia Grand Beach & Water Park for a light lunch/open bar and half day at the beach. The food was so-so but the beach was good. We used the shower room and the beach lounge chairs to enjoy the sun, the beach, and free WIFI. Looks like it is a private beach and there were less traffic. Plenty of kid pools and a nice slide - good for kids.
    View All 426 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Banana Coast (Trujillo)
    Lifeboats were used for tendering - quite an experience for us first time cruisers. Very new port of call, still under construction - we see some potential and want to visit it again in 3-5 years and observe how it evolves.Very hot that day - we were only there in the morning (nice walk on the beach and gift shop visiting) and decided to go back to the ship for lunch.Similar to many reviews, we enjoyed the people and environment there. It is not very commercialized and the merchants are very friendly there. You can get bottle water and coconut water in much more decent price than in other ports.
    View All 43 Banana Coast (Trujillo) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Banana Coast (Trujillo) Cruise Port Review