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ben55124

Jewel review - 2/24/2013 NYC - Bahamas

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This review was posted on member reviews, but had a couple errors on port/starboard locations in NYC. Corrected here, but I don't think I can correct the official review, so I have another humbling reminder of my imperfections.

 

Review...

 

This cruise is designed for NY/NJ area residents who don't want to fly. Majority of the ship were locals. As Chicago area residents we always have to fly somewhere to catch a cruise, so we usually go south and get the full warm weather escape. Flights to NYC were cheap, so gave this a try. Enjoyed a day in NYC prior to cruise. Thumbs up to Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden for value and location.

 

This February cruise gives you 3 warm days. The 4 sea days are cool (40s and 50s F). Not great balcony weather, so if booking winter out of NYC, an interior or ocean view may be a better value.

 

Cabin 8040 is a "hull" balcony. It is the cheapest category (we rolled the dice with BX), as most prefer a full view. On winter out of NYC, the hull offers a benefit - extra wind protection. Hull also adds extra privacy. Neighbor can't peek around divider.

 

Jewel was in good condition. I have read a few others complaining about stuff. When you see presentations of the new Breakaway, you see room for improvement. However, the ship was as good as it was when we sailed in 2008. If you like Jewel class, your expectations will be met. I like buffet-ing at the aft facing great outdoors area -- something the Star/Dawn don't offer.

 

Cruising by the NYC area is one of the highlights. If you plan on watching from your balcony, embarking starboard (right) side sees the statue of liberty. Port (left) sees NYC. Reversed for 6am return. Your best views will be outside on top deck.

 

Ports - Cheap cruise if you don't go to theme parks. The only ship excursion we took was a $13 shuttle to Cocoa beach in Port Canaveral. Nice to have a port with US mobile access. There is shopping by the beach if you need anything. Great Stirrup Cay was good for snorkeling. Bring your own gear -- cost to rent ($40) is about what I spent purchasing. You can skip fins, but vest is required. Nassau just walked around. Walked to water tower / queen stair / fort area that you can see from the ship. Not much to town area. Caught some dunkin doughnut wifi to catch up with home. Walked along Junkanoo beach.

 

Since we didn't spend much at ports, purchased the 3 pack specialty restaurant deal online. Cagney's and Bistro were worthy upgrades. Mama's (Italian) didn't seem like much of an upgrade over MDR. Overall enjoyed food on ship. Burned off most of it walking laps around promenade (3 laps = mile).

 

Disembark - Storm related delays others have reported seem to be cleared up. We did self walk out and were out by 8:30am with no lines. Walked over to a shuttle service to airport.

 

Enjoyed the vacation. Purchased a cruise reward (future credit), so will likely continue on NCL.

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Thanks for the review. We will be doing this sailing on the 17th so it is nice to hear some current info. I know that my roll-call has been looking for current dailies. Any chance that you have some that you can scan and post?

 

BTW... how was Junkanoo beach?

Edited by gma_pat

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gma-pat: Junkanoo beach looked ok and is an easy walk from ship. I didn't see anyone in the water -- even with Jewel and 3 Carnival ships docked. I think most Jewelers had their fill of beach at the private island. Atlantis resort seemed popular with families, but looked expensive to me.

 

Did not keep dailies. If you are curious of entertainment, they had Band on the Run (Jewel singers/dancers) - average, a Cirque husband and wife team - good, card trick guy - good, and comedian - good. A couple nights were repeat performances with new material.

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Thank you for the review. :)

 

When I sailed on the Jewel about 1 year ago, I thought she was well kept and in nice shape. My biggest complaint was that service in the MDR was hit or miss. Leaned more towards miss which was something I didn't expect though that was my first cruise. However, others in my party had sailed various lines/ships in the past and also felt similar in regard to service.

 

Obviously it wasn't that bad because I am booked with NCL again. :D

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Thanks for the info. on the entertainment.

 

One question I know that was on our roll call was if the Jewel had a "Best of" lunch - where you get to try some of the menu items from each of the speciality restaurants. I know that I have seen this in past cruises but was not sure if they are still doing this - or if it was offered on this itinerary. Thanks!

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gma_pat - I did not hear of a best-of lunch for this cruise. I recall hearing about it during our 2011 Pearl cruise. This would have been an obvious option during last 2 sea days. However, I could have missed it. I had the 3 specialty offer, so I wasn't looking for the lunch sampler.

 

Perhaps others can add if NCL is still doing the best-of lunch.

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Thanks for the review. Little over a year we will be doing that route on the Breakaway (did it in May 2007 on the Spirit).

 

Glad to hear that you didn't lay on your bed and cry the whole cruise since you had a hull balcony like that one poster a couple years back who got a hull balcony.

 

For the other poster re Junkanoo, we hit that once a couple years back. You just follow the sidewalk along the shorline/buildings towards the straw market and it is past the hotel. I was a bit skeptical before going but it was not too bad. The beach was decent enough, there were a few fixed shacks selling drinks and only about 15 minute walk tops. You can see the ships from there very easily as well. Plus it is free.

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Glad to hear that you didn't lay on your bed and cry the whole cruise since you had a hull balcony

 

Sounds like fun, but DW would not let me get away with that.

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Good review! It brought back my homesickness for the Jewel and her crew.

 

Thanks for posting it.

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I enjoyed your review.We were on the Jewel the week before you and we enjoyed the ship very much.

 

Marianne

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Thanks for your review, will be on Jewel in 2 weeks, I can't wait. Do you know if Jewel has movies at night on deck or a movie theater?

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This is great, thanks. I'm doing the same itinerary 3/24th. Did you dock at Terminal B or C in Port Canaveral right next to Jetty Beach/Park? I read somewhere that it is in walking distance to it. I'm trying to decide between going to Cocoa or Jetty...may just stay on the ship. Does the shuttle to Cocoa need to be reserved in advance or is it right on the port? How frequent does it run?

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nicki1pt - I don't know what the terminal was called at Port Canaveral. It was the one that didn't have Disney branding. No need to make arrangements for Cocoa Beach shuttle. Just walk off and they will have sign-ups that get billed to your room. NCL knows you have few other options. It does not appear to be a walker friendly port - no sidewalks or taxis, just busy roads. The port is designed more for embarkation. You may find better info from the port forums.

 

gizmo911 - The Jewel does not have a movie theater. There are movies that play on your cabin TV. I take a tablet filled with movies I want to watch.

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Thanks for your review, will be on Jewel in 2 weeks, I can't wait. Do you know if Jewel has movies at night on deck or a movie theater?

 

Last time I was on the jewel they showed movies in one of the lounges- fyzz.(sp?)

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Nice to hear Jewel is in good shape, taking our first cruise on the Jewel in April. I enjoyed your review, any chance you have a picture of your balcony? We also have a hull balcony, did GTY and this is where we were assigned. At first I was unsure, didn't even know there was such a thing as a hull balcony. Due to April weather being iffy, I think I am OK with it, we are on deck 9. We have been to Orlando many times, nice to hear there is an in-expensive shuttle in Port Canaveral.

 

Thanks Jamie

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Thanks for your review and for the good comments about having a hull balcony.

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