Jewel Haven Mexican Riviera Photo Review 1/3/16

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#1
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
It's so exciting to finally be able to do my review, after waiting close to a year for this cruise. Of course, that also means the cruise is over :-( but a fantastic time was had by all, so now we just have to plan another one.

A little about us. We traveled as a group of 6 -- myself, my DH, college age DD1 and DD2, high school freshman DD3, and DD1's BF in a Haven Family Suite. Our first Haven experience, and definitely not our last, although it may be a while before we can swing another one. This was a first cruise for the kids, and about the 6th for DH and I. We live in the Los Angeles area, so there will be no pre-cruise info about hotels etc. The parking at the pier was $16 per day when we entered on the 3rd, and $17 per day when we left on the 10th -- they did honor the $16 price for the full week.

We were very fortunate to have a wonderful CC group aboard, and we got together several times during the cruise. We had so much fun, that there is already talk of planning a group trip in the future. I'm hoping some or all of them will chime in here and make this a bit of a group review. I will be presenting some Haven focus in the review, and touching on some details that I was interested in before we sailed. I don't yet have all the photos from other members of the family, but want to get started, as who knows how long they will take to email them to me -- so I'll add in any good ones as they come along.

I also had a bit of focus on family portrait photos, so you will see some of those, and maybe some tips/ideas for the amateur photographer (which I am) for to use on their cruises. Not a lot on that, but a few things that helped me get the pics I wanted.

For those with upcoming Mexican Riviera cruises, the weather out of Los Angeles and the first sea day, as well as the last two sea days, was on the chilly side, so pack some clothes for that. The three port days were hot, so make sure you have summer wear, and plenty of sunscreen for those days. We did most of our port outings as early in the day as possible to avoid the hottest part of the day, and that worked great for us.



The Jewel from our parking space!!



Embarkation was pretty easy, but more chaotic for me, personally, than I expected. Probably because I was the family keeper of all passports, cruise docs and hours of CC research stored in my brain -- everyone looked to me to lead the way. We arrived at the port at around 10:45, dropped our bags at the porter tent, and then parked. A very short walk to the entrance, where we had to get in a super short line to show our passports and cruise docs to the first group of security officers. Then inside (while scrambling to secure the passports, etc., since we don't need them to go thru the detectors) to another short line for the actual security screening of person and bags.

Then into the main check in area, where we were handed health cards for all the 18 and over peeps, and given the general direction for check in. I had to grab out all the papers/docs again, and show them to a representative, who tried to direct us to the Latitudes checkin line. But I could see the Haven sign up ahead, so I mentioned we were Haven, and then she said, "Oh, you need to talk to this guy" and passed us off to the guy next to her. He quickly checked our names off his list, and showed us the Suite check-in counter. There was no line, and we were able to walk up, hand over our e-doc, passports, and health cards. They took all of our pics, and escorted us to the Suite waiting area.


The had seating and snacks (but no little tables, which made holding the snack, a beverage and your purse a challenge, lol). You can see the new Concierge, Joaquin to the right in the photo.



Here is my husband's plate of goodies -- it was very nicely presented, and they kept the table re-stocked. We only waited in the lounge a short time -- long enough for a few of us to use the restroom, eat a snack, meet Oldnursie from our rollcall, and then get our welcome packet from Joaquin ( I believe it was his first week aboard, and possible his first assignment as Concierge - not entirely sure on that) DD2 did not get a keycard in the packet, so we had to wait a few minutes for that. They were trying to get the suite passengers up and onboard (some of us were already too relaxed I think, and surprisingly not jumping up so fast.) We still didn't have the missing keycard, but the one staffer wanted to get us onboard, so rather than just directing us like some were doing, he personally escorted us upstairs, thru the actual boarding procedure (he verbally gave the guy DD2's info, since there was no keycard) and took us to the hallway near the midship elevator and had us wait while he got the card. He was back in just a few moments, and we were off.

They had a single elevator set aside for Haven/Suite guests with a staff member to show us how the card worked and he took us up to deck 13 for lunch in Modernos. I didn't do a great job keeping up with the exact amount of time from parking to arriving at Modernos, but it was less than an hour.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
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2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
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Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#2
Toledo, Ohio
505 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Beautiful photos!!! Thank you for taking the time to share your review!
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Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil & those who come to grab the fruit.








#3
Southwest Louisiana
862 Posts
Joined May 2010
We will be in the Haven on 2/7. Anxious to read more of your review. Also curious to see how the concierge did. We have only had a bad one one time and he is no longer with the company so I am hoping we have another great experience with this one.
#4
721 Posts
Joined May 2014
Following....

Did this cruise last month so it will be nice to see your pictures and thoughts.
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#5
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by MrsPhoenix91
Beautiful photos!!! Thank you for taking the time to share your review!
My pleasure! I certainly appreciated all the other reviews when I was eagerly anticipating my turn.

And I'll take a moment to "add" to the review for those that are curious, the photos I'll be posting are a combination of iphone6, and Canon 5D Mark iii (those are the ones I have to convert first). So far, all the pics are from an iphone.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#6
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by toyotaford
We will be in the Haven on 2/7. Anxious to read more of your review. Also curious to see how the concierge did. We have only had a bad one one time and he is no longer with the company so I am hoping we have another great experience with this one.

I'm not going to have a lot of info for you on this one. I had pre-booked all our dining reservations, and the one thing we asked for, from Joaquin (which I'll go into later in the review) he didn't follow thru on -- it didn't get done, and he never got back to us about it. We pretty much never saw him, but we also didn't eat much in Modernos, and at present, the Concierge Lounge is closed for "renovation". I put that in quotes because we saw zero activity that would suggest any work was being done there. The door was always closed, and no traffic of workers in and out. We were disappointed, as we wanted to play some card games up there.

At the disembarkation meeting, Joaquin had to ask what cabin we were in, that's how little we saw him. Now, I'm not saying he wasn't amazing for other guests --we really didn't need Concierge service, didn't reach out to him much, but I wasn't happy that we didn't an answer or any communication on the one request. I believe that Hanno was just onboard as Concierge the week before, and another suite guest on our rollcall mentioned Joaquin had been their steward or butler on a previous cruise, so I assume he was recently promoted. He seems like a really nice guy, and I'm gonna go with the thought that he was just new to the job, and not yet settled in.

We did use priority tendering in Cabo, but it was someone else who took us down. And he escorted us off (from Chin Chin's to the card swiping station on deck) at the end of the cruise. Hope that helps
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#7
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by janpo
Following....

Did this cruise last month so it will be nice to see your pictures and thoughts.
And I was eagerly reading your comments when you got back, lol
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Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#8
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Weird -- I've tried three times to post my next section of the review, and it doesn't show up. Watch it post three times sometime in the middle of the night, lol.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#9
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I guess I will retype it, and hope it works this time, and doesn't suddenly appear from thin air multiple times. Maybe I'll write it better this time, lol
Actually, it looks like several of my posts didn't actually appear. So I have to redo the better part of day one. Sigh.

OK, so we went up to Modernos, and were given a spacious table and our waiter, Luis, arrived to take our order. Luis works in Cagney's at night, so hopefully you will get a chance to meet him even if you aren't in a suite, as he was great.



We ordered: Grilled Prosciutto (arugula was a bit yellow each time we ordered anything that included it, and the prosciutto was a different texture/flavor than what I'm used to, but it was enjoyable), Fettucini with Porcini Mushrooms (meh -- which I'd heard before, but wanted to try myself, DD1 had same reaction), Pear Pleasure for me (very strong, not my favorite, but fun to try), the Bruschetta with Peppers and Mozzarella (they liked), Flounder Milanese (DH loved it), Mixed greens (good), Soup of the Day, Smoked Salmon (DD2 didn't care for it, but it was her first smoked salmon) Roasted Chicken (DD3 liked it) and some desserts, which were approved of.







We were done by 1pm, and decided to check if we could put our carry-on pieces in the cabin. We went upstairs, and the Haven was quiet as can be. We walked down the gorgeous hall, the Courtyard calling from the left, and finally, after all these months, stood in front of the Bird of Paradise suite -- cabin 14510
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2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
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Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
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#10
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I'm going to cover the suite over several posts, since my larger posts disappeared.


The hallway looking back towards the Haven entrance -- so our cabin is on the left in this shot, and the courtyard is on the right.




BF discovers the coffee machine. The Jewel Haven still has the Lavazza machines.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/CY3Fmi]
The second bedroom
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2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
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Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
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#11
Gilbert, Arizona
733 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Great review and writing style! It's going to be fun reliving the cruise through your review and photos. We had such a fun group of folks. Thanks!
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Love FREEstyle cruising. FEEstyle, not so much.




MSC Seaside, Eastern Caribbean, Sept 2018
Ruby Princess, Mexican Riviera, March 2018
MSC Seaside, B2B East & West Caribbean, Feb 2018
Norwegian Breakaway, Bahamas, Nov 2017
Carnival Pride, Bahamas, Oct 2017
Norwegian Sun, Alaska, Sept 2017
RCI Oasis of the Seas, W. Caribbean, Jun 2017
Ruby Princess, Mexican Riviera, Jan 2017
MSC Divina, Caribbean & Antilles, Dec 2016
Norwegian Getaway, W. Caribbean, Oct 2016
Norwegian Escape, E. Caribbean, May 2016
Norwegian Jewel, Mexican Riviera, Jan 2016
Norwegian Getaway, E. Caribbean, Oct. 2015
Norwegian Sky, Bahamas, July 2014
Norwegian Dawn, Western Caribbean, March 2014
Norwegian Breakaway, Bermuda, June 2013
Norwegian Pearl, Alaska, June 2012
Norwegian Epic, Western Caribbean, February 2011
Norwegian Sky, Bahamas, November 2010
Norwegian Pearl, Alaska, June 2009

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#12
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008

Second Bedroom Closet


Bathroom


Shower


Sink

The kids (DD1, DD3, and BF) did well in here. The steward kept the couch made into a bed all week, and we didn't have much in the way of space issues. My DD2 slept on the couch in the family room, which converts into a surprisingly comfy bed. We had her put her things in our room, since there was a lot of space.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#13
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008








I was so happy when we entered the room, that the vibrant carpet and couch had been replaced. Last year, when I first started researching the cabin, I read a comment about the carpets being replaced during the dry dock in late 2014, but couldn't find any photos or videos post drydock. I asked, and was basically told everything was the same. But, it was not -- no vivid green carpets and bright purple couch. The previous decor was certainly Jewel-like, but not really to my taste, so this was a pleasant change for me. It did look a bit as if they just pulled whatever they had in the warehouse that would work, as opposed to a purposeful interior design, but I think that's the norm for most dry-docks, and it was still an inviting and luxurious cabin. We loved it!
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#14
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We loved, loved, loved having this Lavazza machine. DH had some trouble getting the pods into it, but it made wonderful coffee, which we enjoyed every morning, usually on the balcony, but sometimes in the Courtyard for breakfast. Yes, they do serve coffee in the Courtyard, but it is simply awful, lol. They don't offer the French Press there, only in the specialty restaurants.



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2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
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#15
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
This bathroom is incredible -- and very handy with 4 women in the cabin. The closet space was quite ample, and the sink/vanity area had plenty of drawers and cabinets under both sinks. I loved the little makeup area, with reasonable lighting, makeup mirror and a little stool.






Bath Salts in the window to the balcony


The Jewel has the new Bulgari products. The fragrance was nice, but a little strong for me, so I used my own. Everyone else used the Bulgari. I did like the bar soap. The sinks have liquid soap dispensers as well.
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Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#16
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
This was a tricky area of the bathroom. It's a nice shower, love the jet arrangement, but it is very narrow. DH found it quite spacious for a cabin shower, but since I'm shorter, and have long hair, I had to stand right up next to the window looking into the main part of the bathroom to get the water flow on my back, and not the top of my head. This made it feel like I was pressed up against the window. It was pretty amazing having a shower while at sea -- very surreal feeling.

Also, the window looks down onto a deck below. I took some shots both from the inside, and from outside at dusk (blinds weren't down, and never got a chance to see how it looked at night with the blinds down.)





We mostly avoided showers at night, although one evening I had to take one just after sailaway. I could see people walking below, no idea if they could see in -- but none of them looked up. I imagine most just don't have a clue they are walking under someone's shower. At one point, a teenage boy stopped along the railing facing toward the cabin to pose for a photo -- that made me jump back, lol. If it is a real issue for you, I would suggest booking the 14012 or 14512 cabin on this ship, as they are past the area where the deck juts out below.

Here are some photos of how the deck looks for the 14010 and 14510 cabins:


This is looking straight down from the balcony


And this is looking to the right, which is towards the bow

I had searched for info on what the deck below looked like from the cabin, as I'd read it was partially extended out, but didn't find any photos of it -- so here they are :-)
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2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
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Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
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#17
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
So that's about it for the cabin, and I will do the Courtyard and Sundeck later in the review. Tomorrow I will re-do the rest of day one, and maybe day two if I have time. I have a lot of photos to review and convert to jpg, but I don't want to spend two long getting the review done, as I'm more likely to forget details if too much time elapses.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Just up front, we did not do many of the ship board activities -- we had more fun doing our own thing with the family or with our CC friends. No spa for us either -- didn't think we would have time to enjoy it, and I was right.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
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2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean
#18
Carmel, CA USA
1,172 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thank you for your review! We're on the 2/13 14 day Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel in 11024, a non haven suite!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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#19
460 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Thank you so much for this review! I haven't seen many Mexico haven reviews. So I have a few questions??

Was the haven top open much or at all? Was it busy on the sea days? Ive heard the regular pool deck can get crowded, how about the haven or haven deck? We've only done haven/suite to alaska so don't know how it is in warmer weather

Is jon still the courtyard butler?

Thx
Originally posted by Wavesprite
Thank you for your review! We're on the 2/13 14 day Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel in 11024, a non haven suite!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Love room 11024
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Angela
NCL Star - 03/2018 - 9 Day Mexican Riviera
NCL Pride of America - 12/2017 - Hawaii - Deluxe Penthouse
NCL Jewel - 05/2017 - Alaska, Van to Sea 8 Day - Haven
Carnival Inspiration -11/16 - Baja Mexico
NCL Jewel - 02/2016 - Mexican Riviera - Haven
NCL Jewel - 05/2015 - Alaska, RT Seattle - First Haven!
NCL Jewel - 07/2013 - Alaska, RT Seattle - First Suite!
Carnival Inspiration 05/2004 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Spirit 02/2005 - Southern Mexican Riviera
NCL Sky 07/2001 - Alaska, RT Seattle - Honeymoon!
NCL Sky 08/2000 - Alaska, RT Seattle
Carnival Elation 08/1999 - Mexican Riviera
Carnival Jubilee 06/1997 - Mexican Riviera
Big Red Boat 01/1990 - Bahamas


#20
1,168 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by amarvel
Thank you so much for this review! I haven't seen many Mexico haven reviews. So I have a few questions??

Was the haven top open much or at all? Was it busy on the sea days? Ive heard the regular pool deck can get crowded, how about the haven or haven deck? We've only done haven/suite to alaska so don't know how it is in warmer weather

Is jon still the courtyard butler?

Thx

Love room 11024
You're welcome -- I noticed during my research phase that there were not really any photo reviews of the Jewel Haven that were newer than 2 years or so.

The sundeck was open most, if not all the time. But the waves were too robust on the return sea days for them to leave the loungers out, so they were tied up. It's also super windy up there when sailing. We went up there several times, and never saw anyone else. We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset up there in Cabo -- champagne in hand. The starboard side is open to the public, but no one seems to realize it, so that side was also almost always empty.

I heard that Jon was promoted to Butler and is on another ship. Len is the new Courtyard valet, and we loved him. He is new to working on a cruise ship, and has only been on the Jewel for about a month. So he doesn't know all the drinks by heart yet, etc., but he is super enthusiastic and wants to do an amazing job for everyone. He's just really delightful, and we hated saying goodbye to him. My kids keep commenting that they miss him, and hope his passengers this week are nice.
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Ruby Princess 5 Day to Cabo Review
Jewel Haven Review 2016
Princess Renewal of Vows Review

2018 Ruby Princess to Cabo
2017 Ruby Princess Mexican Riviera
2016 Norwegian Jewel to the Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sky - Pacific Coastal
RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
NCL Seaward - Caribbean
Cunard Countess - Caribbean