Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

insidecabin

Jewel review.

Recommended Posts

Ok I Will break this up so questions can be asked(and I can do some work).

 

Back this morning from the first of the 2 uk 2 day shakedown/promotional cruises.

 

The ship took passengers on on Friday, VIP,trade,press and some regular cruisers.

Sat uk people boarded so about 1400 guest total.

 

The ship was not finished so there were workmen doing the odd jobs, but most services available and a selection of cabins available for viewing. Groups were being shown round with info being aimed at the trade(capacity of resaurants bars etc). It also looked like NCL had non ship personel on board checking things out. The ship was far from full so it will be difficult to judge how crowded it will get/feel when at capacity. I may be usefull t oread with a deck plan if you can

 

Background we have only sailed the Dream and Sun with NCL so what i think as new may not be.

 

The first thing that hit us was the decor, it is bright in the a lot of the public areas kind of retro, but the second day I had warmed to it and it did not seem so bad. The cabin corridors are dark wood panels(not real) and the doors Blue with which makes them feel a lot darker than on other ships and they feel narrow. If you look at the deck plans you will see that some decks have a lot of doglegs in the passageways not sure I like this.

 

They have made an area called bar central an open plan trio of beer/whisky, martini/cocktail,champane/wine with a small atirium with stairs up tothe asian food area. this actually works well once you get used to the decor.

more on the bars later.

 

Dinning,

 

The 10 dinning locations are a bit spread out and although the layout may be different from the other ships I think the food will be usual NCL fare. We had Presidents dinner on Sat, Sushi/Tex mex Sun all very good. Lunch/breakfast same as sun as far as I could remember

 

The main dinning room Tsars Palace is very impresive The rest of the dinning areas are more subdued and in keeping with the theme.

 

The buffet(Garden cafe) did get a bit crowded at breakfast and again the few times I walked through the tables close to the buffet were full so you have to use table futher away. The table section is long and narrow which I do not like. The weather could have contibuted since the outdoor buffet was not full but the number of table there seemed to be less than the Sun so could cause problems for the warmer cruises.

 

Mama's Italian kitchen seemed to be packed very quickly if the information on the plasma screens with the Info on waiting times for each location

 

I think this is a new feature for NCL so you don't need to spend time finding somewhere that can take you, There is a flag that shows if they are taking big parties which will be handy for groups.

 

24 hour dinning in the buffet with a small snack "cook to order" menu for late hours.

 

 

Part 2 later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

24 hour dinning in the buffet with a small snack "cook to order" menu for late hours.

 

 

 

That sounds like a good idea. Is that replacing the blue lagoon restaurant for twenty four hour dining, or is there still a blue lagoon type eatery on the Jewel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see we have some great internal shots from Andreas, I have had a quick look and they do give a good feel of the ship. Especially the glitzy decor in some of the entertainment spots.

 

Deck 7

 

The reception area is spacious, with shore desk off to one side, and the "java cafe" with full bar service and special coffee and a cake stand. A handy spot while waiting to meet people ready to go ashore.

 

Above the reception crystal atrium is the Blue lagoon(?) on one side and "Tango's"(tex mex/tapas) on the other, which means that a single entertainer can serve all three areas at once.

(These are the only public areas on deck 8.)

 

I don't have a freestyle daily with me for opening times will add a note later tonight when I get home.

 

Aft of the reception area are the photo,art and shops which is great because you only need to go that way IF you want too. Access to the Tsars palace is this way(from bars) but if you are coming from your cabin you can avoid. A lot of ships have these money generators on a normal passenger flow route which can be annoying.

 

A short walk forward from reception and you are in the asian food area with Teppanyaki (which has window into the corridor), ChinChin, sushi and sake bar. I like the fact that this area is visible so you can see how busy it is. As I said there are stairs down to bar central from here which is handy.

 

A short distance forwad again and we have Fyzz the Karaoke bar/lounge, decor is very loud, not sure if a dedicated karaoke is new or if it will work. For me the jury is out. They also held an art auction here but not sure if it will be the regular venue or what else they will do here.

 

Forward again and we have the theatre(upper section) looks absolutly fantastic. The chairs have aircon so you get cool air from the chair in front, the rake is good so great view for nearly everyone but there are a few pillers at the outer edges.

If you have difficulty with stairs you need to pick your entrance because this theatre cover 2 decks. so deck 6 is better for the lower seats

 

The show, Band on the run I believe is new and the cast did a great job, Loud,fun what can I say but well done, a refreshing change from some of the shows I have seen.

 

Deck 6

 

The casino(V.quiet, but a lot of guest were on business) which has the usual slots a couple of craps and roulette tables, 5card,3card,BJ etc. sits between the theatre and bar central

At the bottom of the mini atrium stairs from deck 7 there is the entrance to le bistro and the cigar bar also sits here. This bar area decor grows on you after a day but there is nowhere that has a real PUB atmosphere if you like that sort of thing. I think the open bar Idea is new and it may get crowded since as well as drinkers it also serves le bistro and Azura pre/post dining, The Azura is the second main resaurant but is much smaller than the tzar. On this trip the menues were the same as the Tsars. Tzar opens for lunc and breakfast.

 

 

more later,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your review. It has hightened my anticipation for our October sail on the Jewel. I will look forward to any other information you have to offer.

 

Happy cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First cabin review.

 

There were cabins open for viewing(all grades) so we got a good look round. They were still fitting out a lot of cabins and looking at the photos from the 4th they had added thing like phones to the suites by the time we looked at them on Sun but on some decks the corridors were still full of paintings waiting to be hung in the cabins.

 

Starting with the basics(insides,outsides)

 

If you look at the deck plans(deck 8) you will see some cabins run parallel to the deck and other perpendicular which is more traditional. The parallel cabins have a BIG problem. The door is in the middle so beds to one side bathroom and wardrobe/vanity space to the other. this means the bathroom door, wardrobe door and vanity chair all want to occupy the same space. It is impossible for two people to get ready for dinner at the same time.

 

Not sure if it is new but the bathroom module is a rectangle split into three separated by slidding doors, Shower room great no curtain and spacious centre door from cabin to sink area and enough space for bits and bobs, Toilet cubicle with sliding door VERY cramped and I am not that big or tall. This will be a struggle for some of our larger friends. Cabin facilities safe,fridge,coffee/tea making, small tv and a good hair dryer, SIngle US 110v outlet (forgot to look for ethernet port). Overall the cabins are nice but this bathroom facility is only a partial change for the better. The balcony cabin I looked at had the same bathroom module so would suffer from the same problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they still have a group performing just above the Java Cafe in the atrium?

If so, would you know the name of the group? Did you notice if pianist/vocalist extraordinare Pamala Stanley was performing and if so, in which lounge? Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

insidecabin

 

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. You hit on a couple of concerns I had with the new design. The concept of Bar central with all the bars clustered together seemed to me to have the potenial of creating a very crowed space.

 

Did you get a chance to look inside the Bistro. I loved the intimate space on the Dawn but now it has taken over the much larger space that was Impressions. Just wondering if it seemed too large for its purpose.

 

For thosee that want a quiet (more pub like) place to drink it seems the Star Bar is all that remains but it has been cut in half to open up more space for Cagneys.

 

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We look forward to hearing more from the Jewel. thanks for being the first to report back. It does answer some questions and puts us in the mood to get our chance to review her. Only 2 weeks and 12 days for us. NMNita

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Insidecabin...thanks for the information! Were you able to see any of the Penthouse suites? AB, AC, AD, AE's? I'd really like to know about the Romance Suites (AD) that are facing aft. How were they decorated..layout...bathroom...balcony...well..just about everything! :)

 

Thanks again!

Michele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will try to answer the questions later,

 

There was a good package deal(inc air) for early Dec on the Jewel for uk guest a while back and I hesitated. We wish we had booked it now.

For the record as if you couldn't tell we book insides and hope for the upgrade fairy unless the difference is small. So on that note my thoughts on how the other half live in the Garden Villa and the new Courtyard complex.

 

As some of you have worked out the concierge lounge is in this area which is accessable only by room card to the lift(elevator) or access door for Deck 14 which has the accomodations and the private courtyards 1 for each of the gardens and a group area for the rest of the suites. deck 15 has the private seating/sunning areas.

 

The group courtyard has pool,jacuzi,steam room and some real fancy seating areas. This area is wonderfull and has a great feel to it, ideal for a few friends to get together, the cabins are realy geared for families with the childrens bedroom being very small. So if you have a large family group(s) this may be the place for you.

The area has a retractable roof which I have not seen mentioned anywhere.

 

Checking the web Owner's suites(AA,D9,D10) also have access to these area so it could get a bit cowded if everyone want to use them.

 

The main bedroom of the garden villa has seperate room with spa tub and shower twin basens. This bedroom and the the main living area both open on to the small deck area with the covered tub and the steam room, exteria stairs take you up to the vast open deck. The living room window overlook the main pool. Take a look at the pics(another thread) and dream. They can accomodate 8 + 3 cribs so ideal for that muti genreration family holiday. You really need to fill this space if you are to get the average cost down to something reasonable from the 1st,2nd pricing.

 

It looks like the butler has a seperate area for each garden villa(in room dinning?) but this was not open for us neither were the other two bedrooms.

 

These rooms are all well equipped with plasma tv,portable phones and other goodies which I have seen listed on another thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As expected Jean Ann Ryan still provide the main show team,

Show : "Band on the run." Great.

 

The rest of the what look like they will be regulars are

 

Ironics : Contemporay,Night club band (singers)

 

Had a listen to some of there stuff and they are fun group ideal for pre disco dance and pool side. It looks like the plan is to theme the late night sessions in the spinnaker lounge which is to be the Disco. we had 50,60 rock-N-roll Sock hop and 70-80 welcome aboard party. This group kicks things of before the DJ takes over around midnight.

 

Scot Allman : guitar vocals

 

I think he will be stationed in the star bar 6.00pm to close. went up to check out one night late and he was pretty good Nice chap came over for a chat between sets. This bar is very cosy and a lot smaller than on the dawn since they extended Cagneys. I liked it.

 

Vladimir Krvjan : Piano : Bar city easy listening on both days till about 12.00pm

 

Los Vientos : Atrium/java cafe. they finish 10:30 easy listening I seem to remember some latin stuff getting thrown in. This covers dinning music for the blue lagoon and Tango's.

 

The Fyzz lounge is just used for Karaoke.

 

There is a piano in Tsars and I seem to remember someone was playing when we had a look one evening.

 

 

For some reason NCL still use a comedian Mike Goddard in europe, nice enough chap, but his act does not really work on the ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cabins that were open for viewing were( * viewed)

 

A1 :14500 : Garden villa*

AA :9504 : Owners suite

A3 : 14512 : Courtyard villa*

AE : 9170 : Penthouse*

AF : 11650 : Mini Suite

BB : 9106,9606 : OV balcony*

DD :5076,5576 : OV

G : 8564,8566 : OV obstucted*

K: 4589, 4583 : inside

 

I have done the villas and OV's

 

The Penthouse I though was a bit on the small size but I never had one so maby the same as the other ships. There are some good photos of this cabin if you check out link provided on an other thread by Andreas. Fixtures are of a high standard and I seem to rember there were toiletries rather than the dispensers(soap,gell,shampo) that were in the cheaper cabins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Timing look similar to the other ships.

 

Freestyle dinning:

7:00am - 11:00pm Blue lagoon

24hour room service

 

Breakfast

5:30-10:30 Garden caffe

7:30-11:30 Great outdoors

7:00-09:00 Tsars.

 

Lunch/afternoon

12:00-02:00 Tsars

11:30-03:00 Garden cafe

12:30-04:30 Great outdoors

 

Dinner

Starts at 5:30 and on the freestyle is says the Specialities close at "close" but I am not sure how late they will serve.

Mains close 10:00pm and like to be prompt Buffet 9:30.

Late night

Garden cafe on menu and casino snacks.

Since they are putting the disco up in spinnikers maby they will do snacks there as well but not on this trip.

 

Out doors.

 

The outdoor grill did open but not sure on the times.

 

There are screens showing how full each place is, which works ok, but they will have to work out how to show the Teppanyaki since thay need to change it to show number of places available for each sitting.

 

Cover charges are

 

Chin Chin $12:50

All you can eat sushi $5 ( this was $10 last year on the sun!)

Sushi/teppanyaki A la carte pricing.

Cagney's $20

Le Bistro $15 (surf & turf extra)

 

As I said before with 2 days you don't get a chance to try stuff but NCL do try to keep the product consistant across the fleet so expect similar main menues and buffet selections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought drinks seemed a bit more expensive than when we were on the sun last year but I may be wrong. Don't forget the 15%

 

NCL daily souvenir 13oz glass $8.00

 

Smoothies souvenir 15oz cup $9.00 $6.00(alc free)

 

Cocktail classics $5.50 creams $5.75

 

spirits $5.25+ eg black label $5.75 grey goose $7.00 remy XO $15

 

Beer Domestic $3.95 import $4.50 fosters oil $6.50

 

soda Fountain $1.25 can $1.75

 

evian ltr $4.50

 

I have a menu(not the martin one) so if something specific just ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That sounds like a good idea. Is that replacing the blue lagoon restaurant for twenty four hour dining, or is there still a blue lagoon type eatery on the Jewel.

 

Yes. Garden cafe replaces Blue Lagoon as 24 hour eatery on the Jewel, though the menu is similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
insidecabin

 

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. You hit on a couple of concerns I had with the new design. The concept of Bar central with all the bars clustered together seemed to me to have the potenial of creating a very crowed space.

 

Did you get a chance to look inside the Bistro. I loved the intimate space on the Dawn but now it has taken over the much larger space that was Impressions. Just wondering if it seemed too large for its purpose.

 

For thosee that want a quiet (more pub like) place to drink it seems the Star Bar is all that remains but it has been cut in half to open up more space for Cagneys.

 

Thanks again

 

 

Bar City was fairly busy at times, though from what I noticed, Maltings seemed the quiter end of things.

 

I liked the Le Bistro a lot - quite large (not as large as the Sun AFAIR) and several "U" -shaped booths which afforded a nice degree of privacy to those who wanted it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No question, but I really wanted to thank insidecabin for all the information provided.

 

give yourself a well deserved pat on the back

 

-Monte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes. Garden cafe replaces Blue Lagoon as 24 hour eatery on the Jewel, though the menu is similar.

 

I am confused :confused: The Blue Lagoon on the Jewel is located mid ship port deck 8. Is it now not a 24 hour source for fish and chips :eek: Perhaps they elected to open the buffet instead for the short cruises.

 

"The Blue Lagoon, though somewhat small, offers burgers, sandwiches and similar fare 24 hours a day."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am confused :confused: The Blue Lagoon on the Jewel is located mid ship port deck 8. Is it now not a 24 hour source for fish and chips :eek: Perhaps they elected to open the buffet instead for the short cruises.

 

"The Blue Lagoon, though somewhat small, offers burgers, sandwiches and similar fare 24 hours a day."

 

Whether it will change I am not sure, but Blue Lagoon was definately not a 24 hour eatery.. it is shut at times during the day.

 

Can't remember seeing Fish n Chips on the menu either.. sorry ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delighted to hear that some of my favorite musicians from the Dawn will be performing in the atrium of the Jewel- piano virtuoso Vladimir Krivian and our favorite quartet Anna Y Los Vientos. Really looking forward to hearing them again on the Jewel in October.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Delighted to hear that some of my favorite musicians from the Dawn will be performing in the atrium of the Jewel- piano virtuoso Vladimir Krivian and our favorite quartet Anna Y Los Vientos. Really looking forward to hearing them again on the Jewel in October.

 

Also it looks like Pamala Stanley will be onboard soon from her Website -"The Jewel " from August 15 thru November 15, 2005.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also it looks like Pamala Stanley will be onboard soon from her Website -"The Jewel " from August 15 thru November 15, 2005.

 

My favorite musical sextet from the Dawn will now all be on the Jewel for our cruises. Who could ask for anything more? Counting the days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I remember the late Night snack menu and the Blue laggon menu looked very similar and there was Fish and chips.

 

Not sure if the change from blue laggon to Garden for the 24hr is permanent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SOme more random thoughts,

 

The Azura and Le Bistro are seperated by a metal gate type affair which could be moved very easily so they will be able to change the ratio of table very easly. Similar arrangment with the star bar and the extended Cagnies. The increased capacity of Cagneys and Le Bistro is a sign that they are popular but they do generate a lot of onboard revenue.

 

Having had a look a the deck plans for the dawn I see that the jewel has a similar layout with some new twists that can be fixed later without too much disruption if they don't work .

 

The freestyle sundeck could easily be used for clothing optional for the european market. You cannot get there by accident. There is also another sunning area at the strern which is not marked on the deck plans.

 

A significant number of the crew are from the rest of the fleet so chances are you will meet an old friend.

 

I actually like did the ship a lot but when at full capacity do wonder if some areas will be come a bit busy. In particular the walkway between the Azura and the theatre through bar central/city.

 

On these 2 day trips it would have been nice to have had the alternatives open for lunch that way the guests could have tried four places instead of two.

 

Lets hope someone starts a "live from the Jewel" thread to keep us all up to date with the ships progress as they fine tune the operation.

 

It was a great to get the chance to try out the ship and at the bargain price of £49($85)pp for the 2 nights(no trade freeby for me). We lke the NCL freestyle but will avoid the non purpose builds after a mediocre experience on the Dream. We have our first Celebrity booked for next year but still need to fill the 2005 quota, shame I missed the Jewel deal earlier since I think it is going to be very popular I don't think it will come back on sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...