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wblevin

LOVE the JEWEL in a suite 3/19-26/06

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We just got off the NCL Jewel on Sunday (so glad we opted for the Jewel rather than the Star Princess when we were making our final decision last fall – she was in port next to us that afternoon before the fire! I can’t imagine the fear that must have gone through that ship, thank goodness most passengers and crew were not harmed).

 

We are two couples that sail in style once a year. We had penthouse suites #9172 and #9672. This was my husband’s and my 35th cruise and 5th on NCL, which has gotten better and better with each cruise. We all have agreed that this was one of the best cruises ever and NCL really did make us feel like royalty throughout the week.

 

Embarkation was super fast. We arrived at the pier and there was one person in front of us. After handing in our cruise documents, we were shown to the concierge lounge where we received our cruise cards and were literally on the ship within 10 minutes of entering the cruise terminal.

 

I will start with our only complaint of the week - I hadn't done all my homework and didn't realize that we had handicap cabins. This posed pluses and minuses. On the plus side, the room was very spacious and hubby and I weren't tripping over each other at all. The minus side was the shower. Unless you are very careful and don't move, the drainage in the showers was not very good. My first shower flooded the entire bathroom and seeped out into the carpet in the room which was damp for the next 3 days. We complained to the cabin steward and front desk and they built a dam of towels around the drain so that as long as we were careful about keeping the curtain inside the towel barrier, the floor stayed fairly dry.

 

The cabin was great for wheelchair bound people with mirror in the bathroom that can be angled downward, a closet bar that can be adjusted downward for someone in a chair to reach their clothes easily and a number of emergency buttons and pulls around the room. For everyone there is plenty of drawer and cubby space, a large flat screen TV and DVD player. There is also a very nice coffee/espresso/cappuccino maker in the room. A lounge chair, regular chair and small table are out on the balcony. The bed was very comfortable (unlike our last Princess cruise) with a nice soft duvet sheet cover that is changed regularly. Two luxury bathrobes (not the thin waffle material) are also in the room for your use during the week. There were a number of electric outlets around and plug in internet service is available in the cabin for a fee (with extra minutes given for package purchases).

 

The suite comes with butler and concierge services. Ruth, our concierge was wonderful throughout the week giving us VIP tender tickets that allowed us to get on any tender we wanted without waiting in line for tickets – a big plus as we tendered at almost every port. She made dinner reservations for us at several of the specialty restaurants and had hors deuvres delivered every evening including chocolate covered strawberries, shrimp cocktail and caviar. Other suite amenities included a private cocktail party with the captain, reserved balcony seating for suite guests only in the theater, one complementary night at the specialty restaurant of your choice, 20% discount on spa services on port days, and breakfast and lunch served only to VIPs in Cagney’s and Le Bistro, my husband particularly loved this. Our friends love breakfast on the balcony and said that it came daily hot and delicious.

 

The ship is absolutely gorgeous. There are hand sanitizers all around the restaurants and upon entering and exiting the ship. The food was excellent – probably the best we have had on any ship. The lunch buffet was excellent serving fresh tossed Caesar salad every day, soft serve ice cream with the fixings, a separate area for the kids with their own buffet.

 

The activities on board were typical and they ran trivia usually twice a day (our favorite). The shows were fabulous with the Jean Ryan Dancers - so high energy and Circ Bijeau (sp??) is not to be missed – amazing what these people can do with their bodies! Some of the acts are done overhead of the first 8 rows in the theater – some of the audience was reaching up and could almost touch the performers. Many of the activities are shown in the cabin TVs afterward. We missed the crew show live but caught the recap on the TV – soooo sorry we missed the finale of the show – the cruise staff performing in the World Premier of Fountains – another must to see, either in person or on the TV. The “If I were not Upon the Sea” has been replaced with this clever production which I am sure will spread throughout the cruise ships.

 

Debarkation was good. We all met in Chin Chin at 7:45 am and as soon as the ship was cleared, we were the first group off led by Concierge Ruth.

 

NCL is pushing their new repeat cruisers program that is rather convoluted IMO but basically for a deposit of $3000 toward your next cruise(s), you instantly become a Platnum member (or $500 for Gold member) which entitles you to most if not all of the suite perks listed above until the deposit money runs out. We actually signed up for it, but somehow the paperwork got lost. A major complaint that I do have is that the NCL Gem is due out this coming November with the new NCL Opal to follow in 2007, however, they staff could not tell us what the itinerary will be of either ship – they need to figure it out soon IMO.

 

Bottom line – we loved the ship, the food, the freestyle, the entertainment, the activities, the cabins and especially the royal treatment. NCL has moved to first place in my choice of cruises although I haven’t updated my profile yet – I will. I highly recommend people giving NCL another chance with all the improvements that they have made over the years. Any questions, please feel free to email me.

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Wow! Thanks for this, Wendy. We sail three weeks this Sunday and I'm looking forward to it even more now.

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wblevin:

 

Enjoyed your comments above. I am considering the Jewel for a March 2007 cruise, same as your cruise, and am wondering if you saw very many children on board? I am trying to convince my daughter to cruise with me, and she has an 11 year old and 2 year old daughter who would be cruising with us.

 

Thanking you in advance, Pat

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I will start with our only complaint of the week - I hadn't done all my homework and didn't realize that we had handicap cabins. This posed pluses and minuses. On the plus side, the room was very spacious and hubby and I weren't tripping over each other at all. The minus side was the shower. Unless you are very careful and don't move, the drainage in the showers was not very good. My first shower flooded the entire bathroom and seeped out into the carpet in the room which was damp for the next 3 days. We complained to the cabin steward and front desk and they built a dam of towels around the drain so that as long as we were careful about keeping the curtain inside the towel barrier, the floor stayed fairly dry.

 

.

 

Welcome to my world - As posted in detail here loved the cabin but faced the same issue on the Transatlantic back in Sept. I was lucky and discovered the solution before the water reached the carpet. :D

 

Look familiar :confused:

jewelshower.JPG.2dbffee3117ace5c7fce19a5629c8553.JPG

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Enjoyed your comments above. I am considering the Jewel for a March 2007 cruise, same as your cruise, and am wondering if you saw very many children on board? I am trying to convince my daughter to cruise with me, and she has an 11 year old and 2 year old daughter who would be cruising with us.

We were on the same cruise with our almost 3 year old son (he'll be 3 in July). There were a lot of kids on this sailing because it was Spring Break. Our son really enjoyed the kids program and is still talking about it!

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HI Wendy, Enjoyed reading your review. We were on the March 12th cruise to the EC and had an excellent time on the Jewel. We bought the Bonus Reward Program (Platinum) and will use it when we cruise on the Spirit out of New York in July. We will be invited to the captain's private cocktail party; how does one dress for this? Is it formal (we haven't taken any formal wear on our last three cruises ) or resort smart? Thanks

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Resort Casual is ALWAYS appropriate on NCL ships.

 

While the Captain may be in unifiorm, it certainly will not be his best.

 

Why should you when he isn't?

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I believe there were over 200 teenagers and 600 kids on board last week. Although our children did not come on this cruise with us, they have sailed on NCL several times and love it.

 

Regarding clothing, we did not pack anything fancier than resort casual and I never felt out of place. Of course there are always some that dress black tie, but I think the majority were less formal.

 

LTC - we also filled out all the paperwork for the Platnum program and paid our deposit and applied and were approved for the NCL CC. Unfortunately, when they checked us out on Sunday, the used our Amex instead. My husband went down to the desk to inquire about it and apparently they lost our paperwork. He was so annoyed about it that he canceled the whole thing and decided he will write a letter to the company. After pushing the program 2ce a day all week long, you would think they would take better care of things. Hoping they will give us the extra points anyway - we are sure to sail them again.

 

One other footnote that I forgot to add - Monday I was looking out over the ocean and happened to see a small boat in the distance - shortly after the captain came on the loud speaker to annouce that they people in the boat were waving there hands wildly indicating a distress signal. The ship stopped and over the next 15 minutes or so - still not sure if we went to them or they came to us - or maybe both - lol - the boat with 5 men pulled up along side our massive ship. The Captain then announced that we had taken 5 Cuban refugees onboard and they would be dropped in Roatan after receiving medical attention and food. Very interesting - unfortunately for them, they would all be headed back to Cuba because of Honduras laws. If they had waved us down later in the week, they would have had a much better scenario to look forward to.

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