I heard complaints about "cut backs" on the food but we found the food good. I love the cesear salad and pretzel rolls and do not miss the crepes in the Garden Buffet at the station near the Great Outdoors. We love the Great Outdoors and had dinner out there several times and two nights in Tsars which is very nice. We also had dinner in Teppanyanki one night and have to say we are probably the minority in not enjoying the meal itself. It is entertaining and we had gone with friends celebrating a birthday but would not choose to go again in the future.
We had a balcony on deck 9 and it was one of the smallest cabins we have ever had but sufficient storage. We were taken by surprise with the new no smoking policy in the staterooms and ironic we had this balcony booked as DH is unfortunately a smoker. I am not really sure when this was put into effect and we do not usually book balconies and again it worked out well that we did.
The best part of this cruise was the crew!! Having been on the Jewel before, I must say that this time the crew went out of their way. Our cabin attendant Joseph was wonderful, made sure to say hello several times a day and ask if we needed anything.
It was spring break and many college students onboard and we enjoyed watching them have such a great time, especially on the pool deck. The music on the pool deck was geared to the younger crowd but we do enjoy it. There was a DJ daily and several different bands on other days.
Also, there was entertainment nightly in the Atrium which I don't remember from other cruises and we enjoyed the Tribute to the Beatles.
We haven't been to Great Stirrup Cay since the improvements and very much enjoyed our day there. Plently of lounges there now, a new building for the buffet as well as new restrooms and bar serving areas.
In Port Canaveral we booked the Pontoon Boat Wildlife excursion and very much enjoyed seeing dolphins, manatee, many birds and the beautiful homes along the Banana River and was also a highlight of this cruise.
My only complaint would be disembarking, which is never fun, but I believe NCL needs to be more clear with the walk off instructions for those who choose to carry off their own luggage. This started out a little after 8 a.m. but it seems that many people assumed they could "walk off" at any time and many chose 9:30 to 10:00 which caused a jam up and delayed those of us with colored luggage tags with assigned times. We were "light blue" for a 10:00 a.m. disembark to meet our bus which was to begin loading at 10:30 but at 10:20 we had not been called and took it upon ourselves to get in line as not to miss the bus.
Getting off the ship is never fun, but again there was a major delay due to everyone wanting to walk off at the same time. Once downstairs in the luggage area we had a very nice porter assist us with our luggage and there is a separate line on the side of the customs area for those with porter assistance which was very convenient and quick.
For those who are sailing on the Jewel, you will have a fabulous time I am sure. The entertainment was also very good and don't miss some of the game type entertainment in the Fizz Lounge and Spinnaker. We enjoyed "Bandeoki" with passengers singing with the band and saw some very good talent.
Good job NCL, we love sailing from NYC and will be back to do it again!
NCL Jewel 4/24/10 - Bahamas
NCL Gem 2/28/09 - Bahamas
NCL Dawn 10/05/08 - Bermuda
NCL Spirit 5/11/08 - Bahamas
RCCL Empress of the Seas 10/06/07 - Bermuda
Celebrity Zenith 10/7/06 - Bermuda
NCL Spirit 6/18/06 - Bahamas
RCCL Empress of the Seas 10/02/04 - Bermuda
Carnival Triumph 3/7/02 - Eastern Caribbean
RCCL Enchantment 10/07/01 - Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Destiny 7/15/00 - Canada