Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Jewel
Sailing Date: March 4th, 2007
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review
My wife and I sailed the Eastern Caribbean aboard the NCL
Jewel in March of 2007.
The NCL Jewel is a relatively new ship, (2005 ?) and showed little wear. The color scheme is bright and contemporary which gives you a clue as to its character. This ship does not have a soft sell atmosphere but inspires more of a keep-busy nature, however, not at that frenzied Carnival pace.
The good stuff first. With few exceptions, the crew members, at every level, could not have been more accommodating. Due to a misunderstanding with Air Tran our luggage was left at the Miami airport and not transferred to the ship before we sailed. It was not NCL’s fault but they handled it with great élan. With considerable persistence they found our luggage and had it flown to San Juan to meet us the following day. They picked it up at the SJ airport and when we returned to the ship from our tour of Old San Juan it was waiting for us outside our cabin. Kudos NCL!
Our last cruise was five years ago on the Princess Grand and we were spoiled! When the cruise was over it felt like we had been pampered. That was not the case with NCL. “Freestyle Cruising” is not for us! Not enough old world shmoozing. With NCL, formal night (s) are optional and there was a mad mix of different levels of dress…strangely distracting and disappointing at the same time. We missed the elegance of the formal evenings.
The food aboard the Jewel was not disappointing, great variety and generally the quality was good. Some of the restaurants required reservations and exacted an up-charge…not so aboard the Princess Grand. We found those requiring an up-charge were not worth the expense of $20. per head. The main dining rooms aboard the Jewel were excellent in décor, service, food selection and quality.
When we first arrived on board we found our cabin to be generally unclean. It had not been vacuumed, the mirrors had not been cleaned, the balcony furniture was unclean and in a state of disarray. The cabin steward reacted immediately and had it cleaned within half an hour. Just one more thing unlike Princess.
In the future, when selecting our cruise line, we will, most likely, choose Princess.