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Age: 32


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Sailing Date: 03-20-2009

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

Overall, this cruise met our needs - an inexpensive last minute vacation and the opportunity to see the south Caribbean from Miami instead of San Juan like other lines. If I was looking for a once in a lifetime cruise experience, though, this would not be it. The quality was just not there.

If you ate at the buffet, it was cafeteria quality at best. The same selections everyday, and nothing impressive. Never a blueberry or a strawberry, or a tropical fruit just cantelope and pineapple, bananas, apples and oranges. The second day at sea, the bread is all day old (so didn't seem to be baked on the ship). The main dining rooms are chaotic and the food isn't much better than at the buffet. For lobster night, the tails were significantly overdone (we complained and got another and it was not better). Very disappointing. For the "Chocoholics Buffet" night, everything pie or mouse was basically chocolate pudding. If you want to pay for a specialty restaurant (which we did twice), it is well worth it. Chin Chins - the food and service were both exceptional, and highly recommened. $15 extra per person. Freestyle dining is nice...but I'd rather have a rigid schedule and better food and service.

The room was clean and new, and the bathroom and shower large. Our stateroom steward showed us great hospitality!

We would have liked more and higher quality onboard activiites. NCL is discontinuing the NCL-U series, and for good reason - the lecturers were uninspiring and not even subject matter experts. Some NCL-U events (wine tastings, etc.) charged a fee. Cirque Bijou was a great, Las Vegas quality show. Second City Comedy - I guess it would be ok if you're a fan, but if you're not a fan - it's not even entertaining. Joe Yannetti the comedian - SO funny. There were times at sea when there wasn't anything that appealled to us to do, which was disappointing - especially on a rough day when the pool was closed.

In the Dominica Republic, we did the Cayo Leventado beach escape. It's a short tender ride to the island, and it's a nice, simple beach day. We got to watch the people that did the swim with sea lion adventure, and that was a lot of fun. Be sure to get a Coco Loco drink - you wil love it! Do not miss the Tiami catamaran in Barbados! You swim with sea turtles in the wild - we had 5! You snorkle a shipwreck and a reef . You stop at the beach of Sandy Lane resort - where Tiger Woods got married. I could have floated around in that water forever! In Tortola, I really liked the Sage Mountain Hike. You have a brief - and easy - hike to see native flora and fauna, to a view of almost all the British and American Virgin Islands. Then, you stop briefly at a rum distillery and onto Cane Garden Bay beach. It's a little bit of everything with beautiful scenery. In St. Lucia - definitely take a catamaran tour to the Pitons. In Antiqua, we went on our own ($12 taxi ride each way) to Dickenson Bay Beach (where you find the Sandals resort). Prettiest beach on the cruise, and an opportunity to save some $. Chairs were $5/each and an umbrella was $24 more, but we didn't do that. Lots of water sports available, and a few restaurants/bars.

My best friend and I were looking for a last minute cruise - and were pleased to find this 10-day itinerary for a reasonable price. We set our expectations low in terms of quality, and focused on the ports of call. Based on this, it met our low expectations. All in all, it was a nice vacation, but definitely not a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I think this is common to NCL cruises as compared to Royal Caribbean or a more upscale brand. Barbados and Antiqua are wonderful. The Dominican Republic was a bust - I don't know anyone on the ship that liked it. St Lucia was also not great , which was really suprising since so many friends who had been to one of the island's Sandal's resorts loved it. It you notice, NCL is changing this stop to St. Kitts. I'm not sure what St. Kitts is like - but good move in my opinion.

I hope this is helpful!

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