We traveled on the Jewel 3 months after its maiden voyage from Europe to the US. We found the Jewel to be a beautiful ship, and of course it's a NCL mega cruiser and it's second newest ship in their International fleet. The Pearl is the newest, with the Gem to soon follow late 2007. I can't imagine any major changes since we sailed last year. I can only think the service is better, and the ship still in new condition. The restaruants are beautiful and all handsomely decorated. The pools and inside atriums very nice. Atriums are small compared to ships in the RCL line. The Stardust showroom is huge and very top of the line. The lounges spectacular, and we found every amenity of the ship was great. As for the ship, I am sure that you will enjoy the cruise. In some ways all the cruises become the same, but it is what you, the cruiser expects, the quality of the food is very important. We enjoyed the speciality restaruants, especially Teppanyaki, the Japanese restaruant. We did have a bad experience in Cagney's the steakhouse, but will say, once we voiced our opinion, not complained, our waiter provided me with a much better quality steak. The Italian restaruant is excellent and found the buffets to be very good. I am not sure if the buffet stations have been updated like the new NCL Pearl. Half the fun on a ship is integrating with other passengers, simply saying hello and making new friends. There will always be some points of dissatisfaction, but this is normal. Debarking for ports of call can be time consuming, lots of pictures constantly being taken, lots of people. But what can you expect when you have over 2200+ passengers on one ship. Although the ship is large, it will take several days to find all the areas, and I am sure that you will run into other passengers that you have met quite frequently. Be sure to join in on the ships activities and be prepared to spend a few bucks on board. This might be for the casino, a few drinks, bingo games and specialty restaruants as some have a surcharge per person to dine in them. We love the freestyle dinig program that only NCL offers and for the value, we keep going back to NCL for more. This text is of course one couples opinion. I am sure that some posters here had a bad time, while others have had a great time. Take these message board for the information, not the fear of what may be ahead on your cruise. You will be the judge after it's all over if you enjoyed the experience or not. And beleive me, cruising is an experience. From the passengers on board, the dining, the food, the entertainment, the sea, the ports. Most importantly travel with an open mind, do what YOU want to do, and let us all know how YOU liked the cruise. It will be either good or bad, but on the Jewel it's quite hard to have a bad cruise. Bottom line, it's a beautiful ship, lots to do, great food, great service.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy..........it's a vacation.
Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA
Pearl Feb 2nd, 2007 for 9 days to Southern Carribean
Pearl May 20th, 2007 for 7 days to Alaska