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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 43


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Sailing Date: 2012-08-11

Itinerary: Alaska

We decided to go with Norwegian, instead of Holland America, because Cruises Only encouraged us to pay more and go with a ship with a younger demographic. We paid more than double to go with NCL. How frustrating to find out that virtually everything costs extra. Of the 12 dining room, 8 have extra charges. Sushi is a la carte, sodas cost money, if you want juice at lunch or dinner - extra. Alcohol is extra. Using the Internet - .75 cents per minute or $59 or 100 minutes - outrageous. Exercise classes - extra. Using the steam and sauna - $149 for the week. Ridiculous. The excursions are very expensive if purchased through the ship. Wait until town...You'll know if the weather is reasonable, and save money; or buy via the Internet beforehand. The worst is the informercial salesman on the ship hawking all sorts of jewelry and goods or the spa selling Botox and cleansing treatments. It really cheapens the experience. Let me get you a deal...right. The ship sells artwork, photos at every turn. If our family pays over $4500 to go on a cruise, I don't want to be nickel and dimed in every corridor.

We paid extra to get rooms adjacent to each other. When we arrived, our room view was obstructed - 95%. They could not move us (or do anything for us - just apologized - no credits or efforts to please us). Might as well have gotten an inside cabin- better than a view of the lifeboat in all of its glory.

Lots of kids. Swarming the game room. Bridge players and adults looking for a quiet space - beware. They had organized bridge games, but sometimes all of the tables were taken by kids and families playing Monopoly or Mahjong. When I asked about getting a table for the game (on the day's calendar), they said "sorry, but we cannot ask people to leave." If they have a ping pong tournament on the schedule and people are playing, they ask them to leave. When they have a show and kids are playing on the stage, they ask them to leave. I don't see why they can't reserve the tables for an organized game. When I spoke to the front desk, they said, "sorry." The next day, bridge was not on the schedule.

We took full advantage of the Alaskan ports. Best activities - dog sled camp in Skagway (a drive, not helicopter - much more affordable. There is one in Juneau too, but may sell out). Deadliest Catch fishing trip was fantastic. See the Mendenhall Glacier on your own - just take the bright blue bus from Juneau - $16 round trip.

Bring your own bottles of alcohol on board. You can't bring them into the dining room, but you can drink them in your stateroom.

The staff on board was very polite and always smiling. The front desk was nice, but not very helpful.

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