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Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Jewel

  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Jewel Review

Launched in 2005 as the first in the Jewel-class of ships, Norwegian Jewel was also the line’s first ship that could be viewed as a total floating resort with a layout offering easy access to all public spaces. During the summer, the ship sails Alaska itineraries; during the winter she repositions to the Caribbean and sails weeklong trips.

Jewel-class ships are the next step in the continuing evolution of Freestyle ship design: the interior location of some public rooms and restaurants has been tweaked since the introduction of Freestyle cruising vessels, and new categories of deluxe accommodations have been added.

These ships have more than a dozen dining alternatives, a variety of entertainment options, and expansive areas reserved for children and teens. Pools have waterslides and a plethora of lounge chairs, although when your ship is full, it can be difficult to find one in a prime location. Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem introduced the line's first rock-climbing walls, as well as Bliss Lounge, which has trendy South Beach decor, and the first full-size 10-pin bowling alleys on modern cruise ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line (originally known as Norwegian Caribbean Line) set sail in 1966 with an entirely new concept: regularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established Norwegian as a winner for active adults and families. With the introduction of the now-retired SS Norway in 1979, Norwegian ushered in the era of cruises on megasize ships. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for four decades, and is as much at home in Europe as it is in the Caribbean.

Noted for top-quality, high-energy entertainment and emphasis on fitness facilities and programs, Norwegian combines action, activities, and a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. Now co-owned by Genting Hong Kong Limited and Apollo Management, a private equity company, Norwegian continues to be an industry innovator.

From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that it's often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegian's largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • There are both main-stage and nightclub performances by Second City
  • The ship's tranquil library offers a quiet escape with a sea view
  • Courtyard Villa accommodations are like a ship within a ship and have a private pool area

Cons

  • There is a fee for use of the thermal suites in the spa
  • Freestyle dining doesn't mean you can get to eat precisely when you want to
  • For such a large ship, the Internet center is tiny
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,081
  • Entered Service 2005
  • Gross Tons 93,502
  • Length 965 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,188
  • Passenger Capacity 2,376
  • Width 105 feet
  • New

Feb 7, 2017

Review of Norwegian Jewel

Leigh Age: 50 Occupation:Healthcare worker Number of Cruises: 1 Cruise Line: Norwegian Ship: Norwegian Jewel Sailing Date: 2016-10-18 Itinerary: Los Angeles to Mexican riviera It was a disaster from go to whoa Luke warm and tasteless food. One exception was the Brazilian themed restaurant The bed was uncomfortable and the seat was hard. The bathroom was a bit small. I am 6 feet tall so i struggled to dry myself in such a small space. Brian who was

our steward was very nice and he was good to us all trip. He made animals out of towels and other paraphernalia . We chose an Internet package and a food package. This entitled us to 250 minutes of Internet and 3 free meals at the restaurants that you had to pay to eat at. Our package that we booked had 4 meals but that was not what we received and when we queried at customer service they told us to contact the agent who booked the trip for us and that was like it or lump it. The Internet was ok but if you use twenty seconds for example they take a whole minute of time off the allotment. We looked at the excursions onboard . Because we come from another country our exchange rate to American is not the best so we were very mindful of this. The prices for the excursions started at 150$ per person to 250$ .We thought that was over the top so we did not book any excursion on the ship. We were supposed to make 3 stops at Mazatlan , Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Mazatlan was cancelled before we boarded because the ship needed maintenance which we were told would be carried out in Vallarta Two and a half days at sea. We disembarked down the gangway to the dock. We were asked by a tour guide hombre if we wanted a 3 hour tour for 20$ US. We agreed and we were 2 of 8 that they wanted for the minibus. They got two more people and then 4 more. We returned to the ship after visiting the town and went back to our room. The next day the maintenance was scheduled to finish at 5pm. It didn't finish til 11 pm and we were late leaving. The next morning the captain announced that were not stopping at Cabo because there was not enough time to get back to L.A. There was a lot of upset passengers and we heard a lot of stories which I cannot repeat here's. The management of. Norwegian decided to refund 25% of the fare. 50$ per stateroom, and 19$ for the non existent port charges at Cabo also the gave 25% off our next trip on Norwegian( NOT) Other general tips I can give are. Parents don't let your kids run in the ship, especially near the rooms. Thud thud thud. Also we got in one lift eventually to find three boys had pressed all of the floors and they took great delight in running down the stairs to laugh as the doors opened. We were going to the 4th floor sick bay where my wife had a cough and fever. We were charged 140 to see the doctor, 45 for flu test, and 57 for a strep test. The doctor said a cold. Do you have a fever for a cold....I didn't think so. Incidentally when we arrived back in L.A we flew to Houston and were taken to doctor where my wife was diagnosed with Bronchitis. Lol. While we were still on board I got some cold sores and my wife got pink eye . There are hand disinfectant things all over the ship but I guess some people don't use them 2500 people is too many to sail with in my opinion. This was a bad experience and anyone who reads this beware this is not a joke.

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  • New

Oct 17, 2016

Los Angeles to Mexican riviera

It was a disaster from go to whoa Luke warm and tasteless food. One exception was the Brazilian themed restaurant The bed was uncomfortable and the seat was hard. The bathroom was a bit small. I am 6 feet tall so i struggled to dry myself in such a small space. Brian who was our steward was very nice and he was good to us all trip. He made animals out of towels and other paraphernalia . We chose an Internet package and a food package.

This entitled us to 250 minutes of Internet and 3 free meals at the restaurants that you had to pay to eat at. Our package that we booked had 4 meals but that was not what we received and when we queried at customer service they told us to contact the agent who booked the trip for us and that was like it or lump it. The Internet was ok but if you use twenty seconds for example they take a whole minute of time off the allotment. We looked at the excursions onboard . Because we come from another country our exchange rate to American is not the best so we were very mindful of this. The prices for the excursions started at 150$ per person to 250$ .We thought that was over the top so we did not book any excursion on the ship. We were supposed to make 3 stops at Mazatlan , Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Mazatlan was cancelled before we boarded because the ship needed maintenance which we were told would be carried out in Vallarta Two and a half days at sea. We disembarked down the gangway to the dock. We were asked by a tour guide hombre if we wanted a 3 hour tour for 20$ US. We agreed and we were 2 of 8 that they wanted for the minibus. They got two more people and then 4 more. We returned to the ship after visiting the town and went back to our room. The next day the maintenance was scheduled to finish at 5pm. It didn't finish til 11 pm and we were late leaving. The next morning the captain announced that were not stopping at Cabo because there was not enough time to get back to L.A. There was a lot of upset passengers and we heard a lot of stories which I cannot repeat here's. The management of. Norwegian decided to refund 25% of the fare. 50$ per stateroom, and 19$ for the non existent port charges at Cabo also the gave 25% off our next trip on Norwegian( NOT) Other general tips I can give are. Parents don't let your kids run in the ship, especially near the rooms. Thud thud thud. Also we got in one lift eventually to find three boys had pressed all of the floors and they took great delight in running down the stairs to laugh as the doors opened. We were going to the 4th floor sick bay where my wife had a cough and fever. We were charged 140 to see the doctor, 45 for flu test, and 57 for a strep test. The doctor said a cold. Do you have a fever for a cold....I didn't think so. Incidentally when we arrived back in L.A we flew to Houston and were taken to doctor where my wife was diagnosed with Bronchitis. Lol. While we were still on board I got some cold sores and my wife got pink eye . There are hand disinfectant things all over the ship but I guess some people don't use them 2500 people is too many to sail with in my opinion. This was a bad experience and anyone who reads this beware this is not a joke.

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  • New

Sep 27, 2016

Alaska

I had always thought Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) was a notch above the others, so I was excited when we booked our 10 day Alaskan Cruise on NCL. However, less than a week after we got underway, We couldn't hardly wait for the cruise to be over so we could get some decent food! My husband and I both questioned if the cruise line might be suffering financially and trying to save every penny they could. Overall, the food was never hot, and poorly

prepared, it often lacked flavor and at times was what as kids we called "mystery meat". Our friends refused to order beef after having a nasty textured hamburger. I sent back two rib-eye steaks, one tough one in the main dining room, and one that was tasteless, with one quarter hunk of fat in the Italian restaurant. I sent back the duck, it was raw, in the French restaurant. I couldn't eat the scrambled eggs in the main dining room. There was no consistency in what an item would taste like from one day to the next. Waffles good one day, inedible the next. The salad dressing was watered down. Pizza brought by room service had a half inch of cheese, was greasy and disgusting. I complained at nearly every meal, I was always offered an alternative. I expressed our displeasure with the food to guest services and was offered a free meal at a speciality restaurant. NCL staff member V, did you not hear me? The food was awful, why would I want more? They sent us a bottle of Merlot and a plate of little cakes and a couple chocolates that we left onboard. My husband doesn't drink alcohol, I don't drink red wine, and I'm not going to pack a bottle of red wine in a suitcase! A refund of the money we paid extra to eat in five speciality restaurants would have been more appropriate. Our stateroom was smaller than those on other cruise lines, although the shower was larger. We enjoyed a balcony stateroom. The bed was hard. Sitting on the sofa was like sitting on cement. The paint was chipped, and metal rusting in a few areas on the balcony. The safe didn't lock 90% of the time. However our cabin boy was awesome! Always friendly, called us by name and kept the room clean and supplied. We really didn't participate in any activities. We loved the helicopter tour of the Mendenhall glacier! Our seaplane tour of Misty Fiords was cancelled due to weather, but others went later and said it was great. The whole shopping deal in Skagway and Ketchikan was troubling, a lot of pressure to buy. Glacier Bay was the highlight of our cruise. For the most part we had great weather, and being one of the last cruises of the season, there were many sales for people who wanted to shop. With two exceptions, the staff is the real jewel on this ship. This was my second Alaskan cruise. There are too many other areas to see, so likely will not do another. Regardless, I will never again book a trip on NCL, dreading meal time really put a pall over the entire cruise.

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  • New

Mar 4, 2016

Panama Canal

Be careful if you win anything from the spa. I won the big $150 credit worth $132 on a port day. The $18% tip is $27 on $150. I had a massage on port day and was charged the 18% as if it was a sea day. Anything from the spa is not free, even though they say it is. I was compensated from customer service with a bottle of wine. We booked a Miami city tour, 2hrs. ending at the airport ...$49 per person. The tour was just over one hour, due to delays

getting off the ship. You can easily walk off at this port if you are a light packer like us. There is a free people mover in downtown Miami. Saving chairs and sun beds on this ship was also a problem...we do not play this game so often could not find a chair at their excellent BBQ's. And pool entertainment. There were towels on chairs, but no person for hours. The food on this ship was excellent. The buffet was great and so were the dining rooms. The stateroom was small, but we knew that, and are well organized. The room and ship in general, is very clean. Our room steward was great. The onboard activities were good. The night shows were the best we have seen (21 cruises) The one tour we took, Miami city tour, was not great....expensive and short Overall we would choose Norwegian again as the food and entertainment were great. It was a healthy happy ship. I would have nothing to do with the spa or shore excursions. The room we were in, inside cabin was quiet, even though there was a service room beside it.

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By Amy_CR

  • New

Dec 24, 2015

Mexican Riviera

So good things first: A.) This was our first cruise and the embarkation / disembarkation at all the ports (including LA) was fast. We were particularly worried about the disembarkation at LA because we had a flight to catch, but there were no problems there (ship arrived at 8am, we were at LAX with our luggage by 10:30am). B.) Food, entertainment (especially the acrobatics and the magic show) and on-board activities were great.

C.) Ports were gorgeous and felt very safe. Temperature at the ports were perfect for swimming but not too hot. D.) And last but certainly not least, our steward was very friendly and helpful. The folded towel animals were adorable! Now the bad (from least to worst): A.) Ship is gorgeous but noticeably aged. The toilet needed to be serviced our second day because it lost suction. The cabin door stopped locking after our third day. The toilet was fixed in 30 minutes. The non-lockable door took 2.5 hours to get a carpenter on-site (during which time we were stuck in the cabin to make sure our belongings were safe). B.) Don't expect lost keycards to be deactivated by guest services. We lost a keycard by the pool and went to guest services to get it deactivated and a new one issued. New card never worked (didn't open the door at all, after 3 trips to the service desk for a rep there to check). Old card was eventually returned to us by another guest. We were astonished to realize that it still opened out cabin door and scanned into the ship and the dining areas - guest services assured us it was deactivated immediately. And below you can read about our continuing saga with guest services: C.) Service on the ship was great everywhere except at guest services. General questions were fine (how do we disembark / tender, etc) but be prepared for an extremely unapologetic and accusatory attitude if you actually have a complaint. My sister and I were up on the 14th deck taking pictures of the sunset after we came back from Mazatlan and were unaware that the deck was booked for a private function. A man from the party that booked the deck told us to get off the deck less than politely. We are two petite sized females and didn't want to argue with other guests so we left. However, we felt uncomfortable that this happened and it certainly dampened our mood. Moreover, we were confused as to why a crew member wasn't there to inform us that this was the case and that another passenger essentially shooed us off the deck. Thus began our story. 1.) We went to the service desk to figure out what happened. The rep there told us the deck was indeed booked and gave us a freestyle daily to figure out which areas were closed at certain times. We thought maybe we were in the wrong and didn't read freestyle daily correctly. 2.) Freestyle daily had no mention that the deck was closed to the public. Now it seemed like the service rep didn't give us correct information. So we returned. And the second rep told us there would be no more of these private functions that would book out public areas. Still no mention of any apology that there was no crew to close off the area / explain. (There were private functions booked in at least 2 dining areas, one of which became closed to the public, after he told us this.) 3.) Guest service assistant manager came out. We explained the situation to him. He told us he was there around that time and didn't see us. Which sounded like he was calling us liars. We told him we have pictures during the sunset showing the time and place. At that point, he asked us if we wanted the guests from the function to apologize. No! We didn't have a problem with the other guests - they probably paid for the deck and felt equally confused as to why we were there. We just wanted an apology from NCL that this happened and more importantly, that there would be more clear information in the future so we wouldn't be put in this uncomfortable situation again. No apology given. He repeated that he was there and didn't see us. The entire experience with guest services changed what was originally curiosity and a hope for a just an apology (not monetary, just acknowledgement and reassurance) into what felt like accusation. It left a fun cruising experience with a bitter aftertaste and makes us seriously consider another cruise line even though we love the idea of freestyle cruising.

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