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Old 12-08-2005, 11:53 PM
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My husband and I are cruising the Caribbean (east and west) on the Jewel, leaving Miami on the 28th January.

From reviews I have read, there appears to be much confusion about this ship. For example, are there the usual formal evenings which, I must say, we do enjoy? do we tip or not? do we pay by credit card and what happens if we do not possess a credit card? is the ship over-run by unruly children throwing things about and rubbing cholcolate into carpets which is then not cleaned up? is the decor as tasteless and gaudy as I'm told it is?

We're so confused and concerned by conflicting reports on this ship.

Also, can anybody recommend excursions on this cruise?
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Old 12-09-2005, 09:12 AM
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Dorsey
I am a little confused as to why you would book this cruise with all the doubt's you have? I asked for input on this ship a month or so ago and got very little response.It is a new ship but apparently no one is sailing it.I decided to book something else.I did not feel comfortable WITH THE LACK RESPONSE I recieved to book it.Tom
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:52 AM
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Dorsey,

first of all welcome to Cruise-Chat.com.

May I ask whether you have booked this vacation through a travel agent specialized in cruises? I'm asking because it appears that you have made a booking knowing hardly anthing about the ship and the cruise line. Even without personally knowing the ship, a specialized travel agent should, no must be able to answer virtually all of your questions. NCL's policies are very clear for all ships, and "Norwegian Jewel" is not an exception here. Hence, I am somewhat surprised about the "confusion" you describe.

Quote:
For example, are there the usual formal evenings which, I must say, we do enjoy?
From The NCL web site:

Q. Are there any formal nights?
A. Yes, and they are optional. At least once during your cruise, one or more of the restaurants will host a formal dinner. There will be several other dining choices where resort casual attire is appropriate.

Quote:
do we tip or not?
From the NCL web site:

SERVICE CHARGE
A fixed service charge of $10 per person, per day will be added to your onboard account. For children ages 3-12, a $5 per person per day charge will be added to your onboard account; there is no charge for children under the age of three. Our crew is encouraged to work together as a service team and is compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that the service charge supports. It is our earnest wish that you enjoy your Freestyle Cruise experience and that our entire crew in all areas of the ship will provide you with the standard of service for which NCL is known. Therefore, if you have any concerns about the service you receive during your cruise, please bring them to the immediate attention of our reception desk staff on board so that we can address any issues in a timely manner before the cruise is over.

Both NCL and NCL America have a structured guest satisfaction program on board designed to handle any concerns raised by our guests relating to the service or on board product quickly and efficiently. In almost all cases we are able to come up with a satisfactory solution to any issues which are raised and make sure our guests can focus on enjoying their cruise vacation. In the unlikely event we cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue through our guest satisfaction program, guests will be able to adjust the service charge according to the level of inconvenience they feel they have experienced. Our clear priority is to have the opportunity of resolving the issue, when it happens, to everyone’s complete satisfaction.

GRATUITIES
Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on NCL America or Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Guests should not feel obliged to offer a gratuity for service that is generally rendered to all guests.

However, all of our staff are encouraged to "go the extra mile", and so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities entirely at the discretion of our guests who wish to acknowledge particular staff members for exceptional or outstanding service. In other words, there is genuinely no need to tip but you should feel free to do so if you have a desire to acknowledge particular individuals.

Also, certain staff positions provide service on an individual basis to only some guests. We encourage those guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. For example, for guests purchasing bar drinks the recommended gratuity is 15 percent. Similarly, for guests using concierge and butler services, we recommend they consider offering a gratuity commensurate with services rendered.

Quote:
do we pay by credit card and what happens if we do not possess a credit card?
From the NCL web site:

For your convenience, all shipboard expenses are charged to NCL's special onboard credit program. Sign up on the first day of your cruise, by establishing your method of payment with Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, travelers checks or cash. If you choose to settle your account with cash, a deposit will be required in advance. You may also use your debit card; however, please be advised that NCL obtains pre-authorization which some banks may hold for up to 30 days.

Quote:
is the ship over-run by unruly children throwing things about and rubbing cholcolate into carpets which is then not cleaned up?
Well, this is a somewhat strange question IMHO. The question is a bit like asking "Are cars red?" They are, sometimes, the answer could be. What I mean to say is that the passenger mix on a cruise ship can be very different for each cruise. I've been on cruises with 400-500 children onboard and you didn't notice them at all. I have also been on a cruise where half a dozen youngster troublemakers harrassed the whole ship. As you cruise is not during school holidays (and during spring break!) I highly doubt that the ship will be "over-run by unruly children".

Quote:
is the decor as tasteless and gaudy as I'm told it is?
Now, this is totally a matter of taste. I have been onboard, and IMHO the decor is fairly chic and modern, even though it looks a little cheap in places. But this opinion comes from somebody who sees dozens of cruise ships every year and hence has lots of other ships to compare "Norwegian Jewel" to. What I didn't like was the fact there is no teakwood decking anywhere on board, even in the garden villas' gardens, and some surfaces used in a couple of public spaces (both indoor and outdoor) have a certain "cheap plastic" look. But those are little details only. Generally spoken, this is a bright, modern ship, with interiors tailored towards the taste of North American passengers, but without all too obvious Las Vegas kitsch.

If there are any more questions about the ship itself, I'd be happy to help if I can.
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Raoul Fiebig

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Old 12-26-2005, 08:21 AM
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I am seriously considering booking a cruise on the Jewel for March 5th. or March 19th. The freestyle dining idea appeals to me. I would certainly like to hear more people opinions on this new ship. Do they have a casino with poker tables? How is the service and the food? Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:41 AM
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Yes, they do have a casino aboard. The only ships without a casino sail in Hawaiian waters, the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America. Even the Norwegian Wind has a casino, although it's not open when in Hawaiian waters, it's only open when going to or coming back from Fanning Island.

As for food, it's better than most fine hotel fare. Not quite up to 5 star quality, but definately in the 4 star range.
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Old 12-26-2005, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Clark:
Yes, they do have a casino aboard. The only ships without a casino sail in Hawaiian waters, the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America.
Ron, the Disney ships also do NOT have a casino, even in Caribbean waters.

Sandy
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Old 12-26-2005, 05:27 PM
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Hi Jeff. I visited Norwegian Jewel a couple of months ago. I can't speak of the service or food as I didn't sail, yet as Freestyle appeals to you, I'd imagine you'd love the variety of dining options available on the ship. I've generally been very satisfied with the quality of the food on our NCL cruises.

There is a large casino on board. It wasn't open at the time of my visit, but I'd be surprised if there were no poker tables.
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Old 12-26-2005, 06:14 PM
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Thanks for these responses! I really appreciate your help! There is just so much information out there that its difficult to narrow down the best cruise for us to go on.

We are not 100% sure that we will go on the NCL cruise. We do want to take a cruise in March, and have just started to look around at what is available. We are 2 married couples in our early 40's who live in Nashville. We would like about a 7-10 day cruise to the western or southern carribean. The port of origination doesnt matter to us. I dont know which cruise lines are the best or how to get the best deal. My wife and I took a cruise to St Thomas and St Martaan on Royal Carribean 5 years ago and had a great time. I would like to hear some of your recommendations for a cruise. We definitely dont want to go on the low end, but dont want to break the bank either. Food and service are of utmost importance. The free style dining on NCL appealed to me because of the variety of restaraunts one can select. We also like to play Poker so a casino with poker tournaments would be nice. Our wives would probably enjoy spa facilities. What would you guys recomend? What should I stay away from?
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Old 12-26-2005, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandy:Ron, the Disney ships also do NOT have a casino, even in Caribbean waters.Sandy
Sandy, this is the discussion forum for Norwegian Cruise Lines, not Disney Cruise Lines.

Of course my earlier answer included only the NCL ships.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:18 PM
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Happy Holidays To All:
My family and I will be on the Jewel for Passover. Wanted to know if NCL offers a seder and has the passover food available during the cruise.
Thank you.
 
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