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Jewel from NY review w/ Lots of Pictures, Food Porn, and Helicopter Rescue Oh My!!!

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The long awaited day finally came!

 

No, not the wedding, but the start of VACATION! DW and I had been so long looking forward to this cruise since we booked it in July 2011 when I proposed for her hand in marriage. We came back from our Spirit cruise to the Western Caribbean and the freestyle reward credit didn’t have to wait long for its use! I don’t think any vacation will make the cut anymore as cruising has really made its impact for us.

 

Besides allowing us to turn off our phones, and leaving her purse and my wallet in the room safe, etc. it’s been so nice to simply get away. For someone who hasn’t cruised, it’s difficult to describe the joy DW and I get from just being able to sit, relax and spend time in each others company and meet new friends and experience new adventures. One of the best parts for us has also been able to do what we love: People Watch! She enjoys just watching people do anything and everything, while I (being hearing impaired and communicating primarily by reading lips) I will “eye-drop” others and listen in on what they are talking about. Many times when we go out to dinner, I follow along with several different conversations at once as I lip-drop from table to table...

Sunday October 14, 2012: Day One

 

We arrived to the port much later than planned due to our post wedding breakfast taking longer than anticipated at the hotel. We took a car service from Stamford Connecticut to Pier 88 in Manhattan. We knew there would be two ships in the pier as we received phone calls from NCL about the delay boarding process and how it was better if we arrived later, etc…

 

 

The Norwegian Star and Norwegian Jewel stood docked tall and proud next to one another when we got out of the car and carried our luggage to the curb. After a few minutes listening to the porters (Port America employees) yelling and cursing, we figured out on our own which pile to submit our large luggage bag to get delivered to our stateroom. I decided to carry my garment bag on as this carried some valuables, plus my laptop.

 

DW and I entered the terminal and were directed to the far end where the Jewel passengers were getting in lines to be processed. Now, DW (which I’ve long ago forgiven for this transgression) wasn’t in a happy mood as she doesn’t like crowds, nor trying to figure out where to go when she isn’t sure decided not to listen to me asking her to look for priority check-in (we were in a Haven suite) and she asked the first person she saw where she should be. This poor confused Port America woman (I think it was her first day) was getting bombarded with questions/requests, that she simply asked if we were latitudes members to which my wife replied “yes” and directed us to the longest line I’ve seen in quite a while; It then went something like this,

 

Me: Um, babe, I don’t think this is the right place for us…

 

DW: I don’t care I want to get this over with!

 

Me: But babe, if we find the right place we shouldn’t be in any lines…

 

DW: Come on let’s get in line I want to get aboard and take a nap!

 

Me: I know this isn’t going to go well when we get to the desk…We really need to find the right place to be…

 

At this point all appeals to DW failed as we were deep in the line and we’d have to just go with the crowd to the front. After about 20-30 minutes of rhythmic shuffling of bags and bodies, we made it! If only someone would raise their yellow NCL flag for the next person to approach. Now, to go back a little bit, I mentioned before how I eye-drop. Well, during this dance of bags and bodies, I took to eye-dropping people’s exchanges with the Port America employees at the counter. All the while, I kept watching one particular employee who just seemed to not be having a good day. She seemed very unpleasant and rude to nearly all the people she was checking in.

 

Of course we now made it to the front and she raised her yellow NCL flag. Ahh, how the fates decided to make this a bleh start of the day!

 

We approached her and she hastily looked at the e-docs we provided her. After huffing and speaking under her breath about idiots she typed the reservation number into the computer (I later figured out she missed the bar code on the e-docs since it printed on the back page and she didn’t check all the pages) only for her screen to “freeze” which she let us know several times with many choice words. I looked at my DW with a smirk but her glare wiped it right off.

 

I made mention we were in a suite and thus might not have been in the right place to begin with where the Port America employee didn’t seem to be listening as she banged harder and harder on her keyboard as if the more force she used would submit the computer under her will.

 

A quick glance at us and a huff of air had her stalking away from us for a few moments when she returned with a supervisor who looked at the screen and asked our cabin number as he checked a printed list resting under the keyboard. Seconds later my patience with the Port America worker came to an end when she looked at my wife and said we must be stupid as we shouldn’t have been in this line. She said and I quote “I can’t do anything for you two morons so you’ll have to go somewhere else”. Well, that just made me see red, but my DW who knows me too well pressed my side and directed me away from the counter to where the Port America supervisor was now taking us.

 

We entered a smaller and much more quieter room with a small counter and very few people. I noticed right away Ruth our Concierge and one of her assistants talking to other passengers. We were approached quickly with a white envelope with our platinum colored key cards and asked if we wanted any refreshments before boarding the ship.

 

After a few minutes, we were on our way! What a start of this cruise!

Edited by CTCruiser001

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Man what a way to start a cruise. I know for a fact that things got better for you but I'm looking forward to reading the rest and seeing all the pictures you took.

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I'm so excited for your review. We're on the Jewel next month and I can hardly contain myself! We are also in the Haven, we are in cabin 14514. What was your cabin number? Do you have pictures?? Sorry for bombarding you with questions! I just can't wait!

 

Katie

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Man what a way to start a cruise. I know for a fact that things got better for you but I'm looking forward to reading the rest and seeing all the pictures you took.

 

It was so good to meet you and your wife! DW told me about your "pre-cruise" surprise from your son, and while I didn't know about it to tell you both on the ship, Congratulations! :)

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I'm so excited for your review. We're on the Jewel next month and I can hardly contain myself! We are also in the Haven, we are in cabin 14514. What was your cabin number? Do you have pictures?? Sorry for bombarding you with questions! I just can't wait!

 

Katie

 

You'll be even more excited to know that we stayed in this very same suite! I have many pictures and will be posting them starting tomorrow...Sadly, I need to finish laundry and start getting ready for going back to work! Bleh!:rolleyes:

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I am definitely looking forward to the rest of your review! Thanks you for posting it.

 

I will say however, that you are a far better person than I would be if the woman checking me in called me a moron.

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We approached the gangway and it took all I had not to push aside Ruth’s assistant to run and start hugging every crew member I could find!

 

Norwegian has to have the best staff and crew at sea! Sure enough we soon entered the atrium and were greeted with smiles and hellos. The assistant concierge took us directly to the mid-ship elevator (this is the only elevator to the 14th deck where the Haven resides)…

 

I will admit it right now…I had a slight thrill putting the keycard into the slot on the top and pressing the Deck 14 button. There is something exciting to me about having access to something “forbidden” so it was a running thrill the whole trip to use that keycard slot.

 

We made it to the Haven level where we were greeted with wonderful dark wood panels and beautiful art and sculptures as we walked down the hallway to our suite. The hastily made glances into the Haven made us both excited and we were nearly bouncing on our feet to drop the bags in the room and explore! We entered our Suite 14514 and what a treat! While it was at first a little smaller than we thought it to be, it was still a very large and well-designed floor plan. I snapped off a few pictures before we made too much of a mess with all our clutter (I’m amazed at how good we were with covering nearly every square inch of table/counter/shelf space we had at our disposal later in the cruise!)

 

 

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Once we got everything settled and we were able to get the check-in excitement over with, we were ready to go explore! But we remembered the assistant concierge telling us if we wanted to eat lunch in Cagney’s we had to get there soon, so off we went. We were escorted to our table very shortly after arriving, and made small talk with our server.

 

Being that we had a semi-late breakfast, we weren’t starving, be we wanted to at least get something to eat as we weren’t sure what plans we would have for the rest of the day. DW received and enjoyed the Sesame Crusted Swordfish sandwich while I being a simple red blooded American received and enjoyed an All-Beef Burger with fries. Both sandwiches were very good.

 

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More to come tomorrow!

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I will say however, that you are a far better person than I would be if the woman checking me in called me a moron.

 

I was thinking the exact same thing.

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I will say however, that you are a far better person than I would be if the woman checking me in called me a moron.

 

I was thinking the exact same thing.

 

I am thankful for having my better half with me and that she was able to distract me with "Let's follow the short man with a shiny clipboard" comment which but me in a better mood. :o:)

 

Some things in life are just not worth the aggravation. :rolleyes:

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Congratulations and love your review so far. I also admire you for keeping your cool. I am not sure I would have just let it go.

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I agree it would have been hard to keep my cool, however in these situations, I remember the words spoken to me by the most level headed person I know. "you can respond in kind, but in the end, the only thing you've accomplished is getting yourself madder and they are still an imbecile." Basically, you have to just walk away and be thankful you live your life in a better place!

 

I love the room, thanks so much for posting the pix and not making me wait too long!

 

Katie

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I will say however, that you are a far better person than I would be if the woman checking me in called me a moron.

 

I was thinking that you'd chosen the perfect mate. She's upset and grumbling while you're calm, but as soon as you get riled she switches to calm and is able to diffuse your anger. ;)

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Love this review!! Great photos of your cabin! (trying to convince my DH to upgrade for ours!)

 

Awaiting your next installment - work is boring today.. lol

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When we completed lunch, we decided to head back to the suite and see if our large bag had arrived. No such luck. DW and I were exhausted from the wedding, reception and all the running around we did just before everything so she decided to stay in the room. Even though I was also tired, I was still too excited to be on a new ship so I ventured out to take some random pictures.

 

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Afterwards I returned to the room to see that our bag hadn’t made it to the cabin yet, and that DW was sound asleep on the sofa with the ship’s channel playing repeatedly. It would soon be time for Muster Drill.

 

I quickly unpacked the garment bag to start getting things put away and went to wake up DW when it was getting time to make our way to the muster station. We left the room to go to D1 which was located in the Blue Lagoon. I wasn't entirely thrilled seeing that we would be required to muster in such a difficult station should there be an issue where the ship would be evacuated. Being a worse case scenario person my entire life, I quickly started my spiel (as DW would call it) about why this space was a terrible idea...

 

First being it was right in the center of the ship and thus we would be required to fight our way through the hoards of other panicked passengers to get to the space, plus the space was loitered with potential debris from the chairs, tables, place settings, etc...Not to mention the deadly spikes on the ceiling of the atrium next to us which DW didn't help any when she told me it would be usefully to hold the bodies of pierced passengers when a rogue wave hit the ship and flipped us over.

 

Thankfully muster soon started and we paid great attention to the crew members showing us how to correctly place a life vest over ourselves, and we listened to the announcer talk about some other safety issues. I was very surprised that so many people were not paying attention, and also surprised that the crew didn't really do anything to make sure people were listening. In all, this drill was over in less than 5 minutes and everyone made their way to the sail-away party on the main pool deck.

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We walked around the crowds for a little while enjoying the elated moods of everyone and the happy atmosphere all around. People were lining up for food at the grills which Norwegian set up to serve all types of yummy grilled foods! It was a treat to get a taste of summer in the middle of fall as we started our trip!

 

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DW and I decided to head up to the Haven sundeck and experience some more private us time. It really was lovely to watch the ship sailing past tall buildings and mingle with the other ships and smaller boats in the Huston River.

 

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The Norwegian Dawn starting her engines getting ready to follow us out to sea. There was an Aida ship docked at Pier 90 as well.

 

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Our more private retreat where we enjoyed the sail-away at the very top of the ship!

 

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What a view to start the cruise! The Freedom Tower will be a very beautiful icon once completed.

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8117548196_04b64760cf.jpg

The Norwegian Dawn following us out to sea amid all the smaller sail boats made for a beautiful sight.

 

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We saw this RCCL (?) ship docked at the Brooklyn Dockyard. She came out between the Norwegian Dawn and Jewel en-route to the open sea.

 

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Lady Liberty standing fierce and proud. Such a magnificent reminder of our nation's history and of all the immigrants who saw her as a beacon of hope as they came to their new world.

 

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The mighty Verrazano-Narrows Bridge beckons before us!

 

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We made it! Close call but I knew the Captain would get us under safely!

 

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Goodbye NYC, we'll see you in a week!

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It was he Star berthed next to you in NYC. The Dawn sails out of Boston until this weekend before She heads for Her winter in home in Tampa.

I am enjoying your pictures and review. I hope you had a wonderful honeymoon/vacation.

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It was he Star berthed next to you in NYC. The Dawn sails out of Boston until this weekend before She heads for Her winter in home in Tampa.

I am enjoying your pictures and review. I hope you had a wonderful honeymoon/vacation.

 

Ack! Call it a brain fart...I was reminiscing of our oh-too-short weekend cruise on the Dawn last year. I knew it was the Star...Thank you for catching that! :)

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I'm surprised nobody is on that top deck.

 

There were several people on the deck with us. I just did my best to get shots without them included. ;)

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Little corrections:

1. It was NCL Star sailed to Bermuda.

2 It was Royal Carribean Explorer of Seas docked at Cape Liberty port in Bayonne, NJ. Brooklyn cruise port before Verrazano Bridge on opposite side...

 

Thanks for review!

 

Thank you! I just assumed...should have thought more about it as the RCCL ship is obviously on the NJ side! :D

 

I think I need more sleep to recover from this vacation! :rolleyes:

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Me and DW were on this cruise as well...glad to see you enjoyed yourselves(so far atleast it seems) we had some issues, but enjoy reading another perspective...btw, see you on breakaway next year, you can't get rid of us!!

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Once we started getting further out to sea, the winds picked up considerably, especially with us being on the top deck. We decided to head back down the the suite and in the hallway we met Rineah, who was our room steward. She was one of the best staff members we had the pleasure to be with on this sailing!

 

We got to the room and found that our large bag had finally been delivered. After hauling the beast into the suite, we proceeded to unpack everything and boy did the junk really spread! I even wondered if perhaps I had packed too much...Nah!

 

At this point I was really getting knackered. After such a long day, plus the wedding and reception the night before, I was nearly a zombie on my feet. We lay for a while on the bed enjoying the movements of the ocean and were soon lured into a blissful sleep.

 

Only for an extremely loud horn to sound causing me to lurch to my feet! Was there another ship heading on a crash collusion course to us?!? Was this the start of an alarm of some sort?!? I grabbed my camera and jumped out to the balcony in time to snap a few pictures of the Pilot ship sounding it's horn as it made it's way off the side of the Jewel.

 

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At this point we were both wide awake from the loud noise, so we took the time to go explore the Haven. What a wonderful treat this week will be! Here we met Cris who would be our butler for the week. I asked him to please have the minibar items removed completely from the room and he assured me it would be done soon.

 

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We then went off the explore the ship some more and among my pictures, I even snapped off a photo of the gift shop candy which was all the talk a few weeks ago on here...:rolleyes:

 

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Already it was dark out and we decided it was time for dinner. A quick consensus decided that we would go the Tsar's Palace as it was lobster night. I've never been a seafood eater, but she does enjoy it.

 

However, she decided that the lobster wasn't what she was in the mood for later and started with the Mushroom Quesadillas.

 

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I had a simple Caesar Salad...

 

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For dinner I tried the Specialty Steak which was delicious.

 

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And she decided to have the Specialty Barbeque Chicken dish, vs. the Lobster as originally planned!

 

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Dessert soon followed where I got my first French-pressed coffee....Yum!

 

She enjoyed the Bread Pudding while I stuck with my tried and true...Cheesecake!

 

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It was getting late in the evening of a very long day. DW and I headed to the Spinnaker Lounge where we listened to the Jewel Band perform some songs and watched couples dance...Soon it was time for bed!

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The suite check-in in NYC usually has its issues. It is not clearly marked and yes, the ladies on the other side of security just direct you to the Latitudes line. It takes "we are in a suite" to get to the right line.

Still, I can't believe how the check-in person talked to you. Downright unacceptable.

Thanks for posting your review and photos!!!

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We saw this RCCL (?) ship docked at the Brooklyn Dockyard. She came out between the Norwegian Dawn and Jewel en-route to the open sea.

 

 

 

 

That was Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas you passed at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ. Very nice ship too.

I always enjoy the journey down the Hudson River! Lots to see.

Edited by mizlorinj

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I like your review so far. Do you have any menu picture or dailles for the ship. We are going for thanksgiving and can't wait. Congratulation by the way.

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