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NCL Jewel.

NCL Jewel.

Postby issyalex » 24 Nov 2013 18:35

this was our first cruise with NCL. we usually cruise with Celebrity. we went with no preconceptions and were pleasantly surprised.

we embarked the Jewel in New Orleans after 9 days touring Tennessee, three of which we spent in wonderful New Orleans. we spent 7 nights onboard visiting the Caribbean.

we dined most nights in Tzar's MDR. it was beautifully decorated. the food was very good but the service was a hit or a miss. most of the time it was a hit but sometimes they would bring out your salad/soup course before your starter or main course. however this was not a problem most of the time. most of the waiters were very friendly and efficient, just a few were not. there was usually a wait for our table but the booking girl gave us an approx time wait, a buzzer and tokens for a glass of bubbly. a very nice touch. one night she told us that we would have a 10 min wait but we were just walking to the bar when the buzzer went off......10 secs after being given it. :lol: on our last night there was no queue and were told we could go right in. when I said, jokingly, 'what no bubbly vouchers' she just laughed and handed us our vouchers. ;)

we ate in Le Bistro specialty restaurant one night. the food was excellent but the service leaved a lot to be desired especially for a specialty restaurant. our main courses appeared before our soup/salad course, no one topped up our wine glasses, we had to ask for our water glasses to be topped up etc.

our oceanview cabin was not the biggest cabin but it was perfectly formed. it had more storage than Celebrity's 'S' class. there were at least 9 good sized drawers which the 'S' class sadly lacks. the bathroom was a good size. the shower was large with a glass door but the toilet area had a glass door/partial wall which made the bathroom feel small. you had to open the door when you were drying yourself after a shower, no big hardship for us. our cabin steward was very good. he kept our cabin spotless and nothing was too much trouble for him. even although he was very busy he always had time to stop and chat to us.

the evening entertainment was fine. we always found something to amuse ourselves with.

our port of calls was nothing special.......Cozumel, Belize city, Roatan Bay Islands and Costa Maya. I had prebooked a local tour in Belize for a speedboat ride and a tour of the Mayan ruins. it was a fascinating tour. we just wandered around in the other ports. it was a great chill out cruise as we had had a very busy 9 days touring prior to boarding and still had another 4 busy days after disembarking.

would I cruise with NCL again?.................................................... YES! NCL does what it says on the pack, nothing more nothing less. you know what your are getting.
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NCL Jewel.

Postby grannyM » 24 Nov 2013 19:08

Thank you Issy for that review of Norwegian Jewel.

Sorry to hear things were a bit 'hit and miss' in the MDR. Main course before starter is just so silly. Obvious whoever was in charge of that station was not doing their job properly. We have sailed two 7x7 back-to-backs on Norwegian Jade and I think we probably had a better experience in the MDR. We also had a meal in Le Bistro on Jade but both the food and the service were absolutely perfect.

We would definitely go with them again because we enjoyed what they call 'Freedom cruising'. :)
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby JollyJill » 24 Nov 2013 19:21

Thanks for your review Issy. We haven't cruised with NCL but would certainly like to give it a try if the itinerary appealed to us. It's interesting to read that despite the problems you had in the MDR, you would still sail with them again, so you must have been impressed overall. :)
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby Tiggy » 24 Nov 2013 19:22

Thanks Issy. We were on Jade and, like Marie, we had a better experience in the MDR than you had. We tried Cagneys and Tepanyaki but the MDR was very good. Our bathroom was the same as yours and it did feel small because it was divided into three parts. I didn't like the buffet but loved the cafe (can't remember the name of it) for lunch and light breakfast.
I am glad you enjoyed NCL -we did as well. :D
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby issyalex » 24 Nov 2013 19:53

despite the dining room serving experience yes I would sail with them. they were not pretending to be something that they were not, unlike P&O.

we were very surprised on 'dress up or not night' at how many did dress up.....long dresses and DJ's. we did not take ours as they would have taken up too much room in our suitcases. we had enough to pack for the three weeks holiday as it was!! lol even on normal nights people were dressing up. I was glad that I had taken dressy tops for evenings. :)

Jill give them a go. you will enjoy NCL.
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NCL Jewel.

Postby Mungo » 24 Nov 2013 20:06

Thank you! :D

Not tried NCL but wouldn't mind giving them a try. :D
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby sevenseascoaster » 24 Nov 2013 20:56

Really enjoyed that Issy. its great to read a review about a line you haven't tried yet, and to hear someones take on the good bits and the not so good as you see it.
Glad you had lots of good bits :)
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby tomvet » 24 Nov 2013 23:56

Thanks for the review Issy. We did a similar itinerary to yours on the NCL Pearl (a similar ship to Jewel) and a med cruise on the Jade - we loved both ships. We tried all the speciality restaurants on the Pearl including Cagneys. On the Jade we were on a budget (3rd cruise that year!) and used the MDR only and it was great. I hope your experience is the exception rather than the rule!
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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby dopeyngrumpy » 25 May 2014 12:24

Latecomer to this thread, interestingly I find the NCL service atmosphere closer to Celebrity than Royal Caribbean is, the staff are always friendly and seem happy to be there - MDR can be a little hit and miss, not so much in the food quality but the service and similar. Also have to admit to being addicted to the speciality , or is that specialty restaurants - they are so much better than most of the indifferent restaurants around me - (accepting that major cities have more "good" places to eat.

I spend more on board an NCL ship than Celebrity but that is more to do with my interests than any pushing by the cruiseline... I avoid bingo on both and think the announcements are irritating.

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Re: NCL Jewel.

Postby khkate » 25 May 2014 16:47

Thanks for the review - sounds like a the perfect 'chill and relax' before/after a hectic land holiday.
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