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Manxcruiser

Just off the Jewel

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What can I say........OMG we had the best time ever! After reading some of the negative comments about NCL on here I went with trepidation. But, anyways here is my account of our cruise. We cruised with 2 teenage girls 15 & 17...

 

The coach ride to the port is very short and the site of the ship is quite impressive as you come over the hill. Embarking is so easy. If you are arriving by coach, you just go straight in and up to the ticket desk.

 

They do all their bits and pieces and away you go. We didn't arrive until about 3-3:30 and by the time we got to our cabin and put things down it was time for the life boat drill. Afterwards, the girls changed into swim suits and headed for the pools (which btw are saltwater and chlorine)

We wandered around and went outside as well..there was a poolside BBQ going on..so we decided to eat our dinner then. We weren't fussed.

 

I did try and make our reservations for the specialty restaurants that afternoon but couldn't..I did them the next morning, Monday night we ate in the Garden restaurant (buffet)......We ate in Cagneys on the 27th which was a nice restaurant. The next 2 nights we ate in Tango's only cause I made and miscalculated the days..but the food was good, the second night we had the tapas starters and they were lovely. Friday night we ate in Chin Chins and that to us was the best meal of the whole cruise. Saturday night we ate again with some friends in the Garden Restaurant again.

 

 

Other than one problem with a shore excursion (explain below

) we thought the whole thing was wonderful. The staff were friendly and helpful.

 

The food rating went from OK to WOW!, and I can't see where ANYONE would go hungry on this cruise......!!!!!!! There was food everywhere!!!!!

 

We did purchase adults soft drinks package and thought this was a good deal.......

 

The excursion we had a problem with was the Baroque tour to Rome and it was our fault..to go into St. Peters Basilica you must cover your knees and shoulders.......both girls wore mini skirts and one had a tank top on.....I totally didn't think about what was happening! So they were denied entry into the church.

 

OH and it was HOT HOT!!!! humid and HOT!!!

 

We loved all of our excursions, but the girls got tired of getting up early and going out..the last 2 we had to cancel, which you must do within 48 hours before, luckily they were able to sell our tickets on and we weren't charged for them.

 

Any question will be glad to answer.........

 

Really depressed to be home now!!!

 

 

OH and the shows were good as well! except for the magician I thought he was poo! But alot of ppl did enjoy him.......Be sure and catch Edge..he is brilliant!

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Glad you had a great time. We cant wait until Aug 6 when we go with our 14 and 11 year old. We have been seeing mixed opinions of dress for dinner. Were people dressed up or was it pretty casual. We go on a lot of cruises and we were hoping this would be casual.

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Thanks for the review...I am looking forward to planning a cruise on the Jewel...ah Italy....

 

Linda

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so glad you had such a great time....the depression only last about a month or so,lol, then it's not quite so bad after that ;)

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Hi

Thanks for a great review.

Your ship days when you didn't go on tours, how crowded was the ship?

Can you please list the shows day by day?

 

Thanks in advance:)

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Glad you had a great time. We cant wait until Aug 6 when we go with our 14 and 11 year old. We have been seeing mixed opinions of dress for dinner. Were people dressed up or was it pretty casual. We go on a lot of cruises and we were hoping this would be casual.

 

Some ppl were dressed up to the nines..but we didn't....alot of men were in chinos and short sleeve shirts..and women had floaty skirts...mainly just nice clothes.......I wouldn't bother taking any tuxes or evening gowns..and to be honest it was hot last week and I can't see it getting any cooler!

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Hi

Thanks for a great review.

Your ship days when you didn't go on tours, how crowded was the ship?

Can you please list the shows day by day?

 

Thanks in advance:)

 

In the morning the ship was pretty empty cause most of the tours left around 7:30..except for the all day tour to Rome we were back on board by 1'oclock

 

Sunday was the Jean Ann Ryne company doing the "Band on the Run" show which was entertaining

Monday was The evolution of manipulation with Edge (GREAT show!)

Tuesday was Charles Bach the Magician

Wednesday was

Thursday was

Friday was Cirque de Bijue

 

I have the daily newspapers from the ship, let me find them and I will fill in the rest!

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In the morning the ship was pretty empty cause most of the tours left around 7:30..except for the all day tour to Rome we were back on board by 1'oclock

 

Sunday was the Jean Ann Ryne company doing the "Band on the Run" show which was entertaining

Monday was The evolution of manipulation with Edge (GREAT show!)

Tuesday was Charles Bach the Magician

Wednesday was

Thursday was

Friday was Cirque de Bijue

 

I have the daily newspapers from the ship, let me find them and I will fill in the rest!

 

 

Got some of my Freestyle ashores out and

 

Wednesday it was Charles Bach and they had the Awesome 80's dance party in Spinnaker Lounge

 

Thursday was The Second City-Comedy sketches, Song & Improvisation

 

Friday was Cirque Bijou which is FAB!

Saturday was Charles Bach, Edge, and Chris Tollette-Aerial Display

 

:D

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Hi,

 

We'll travel next 30th of July, and we are very ancious.

 

I'd like to know if it's possible to reserve the restaurants in the cabin by TV interactive or if it's only in the reception.

 

Which are the best restaurants to eat with two littlw children (2 and 4 years old).

 

What did you visit in Messina? Did you go to Taormina and to the beach? Do you know if Messina Beach is far away from the pier?

 

Do you know if "Lido di Tarquinia" (The beach near Civitavecchia) is a good beach to kids? and if it has a bus?

 

Regards

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nice to read a review from a brit as they all seem to be from americans. Loads of questions for you . WE are an inside cabin info about soap shampoo etc. Are there tea and coffee making facilities. Can you take water and coke on board. How much will be hubbies pint cost him. Did you pay the 10$ a day or did you do your own thing. Anything else you can think of would be great.

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Thanks for the great review, can you get out your freestyle dailies again and tell me who the captain the the hotel director was on your cruise?

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:) Nifty little review....thanks! We saw Edge's show on the Zuiderdam a couple of years ago....very entertaining and unique. We are considering the Pearl (sister to the Jewel) for next Spring. Any comments about the cabins (size, location, amenities etc) will be greatly appreciated. Later....:)ink!

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The price of a pint Bud Or Bud light is $5.50, bottled Bud $3.95, coke $1.75 all plus 15% auto gratuity. We also had an inside cabin with soap and shampoo provided by dispensers in bathroom, tea and coffee in cabin also a bottle of Evian water $5.50 provided daily. Being from the Uk i also enjoyed Maltings Bar where Bass Bitter was on draught also Boddies in cans and bottled Newcastle Brown.

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thanks for your reply. Do you know it is o.k.to take cans of coke etc aboard.Did you pay the 1o$ a day charge or did you tip as you pleased.:)

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Hi,

 

We'll travel next 30th of July, and we are very ancious.

 

I'd like to know if it's possible to reserve the restaurants in the cabin by TV interactive or if it's only in the reception.

 

Which are the best restaurants to eat with two littlw children (2 and 4 years old).

 

What did you visit in Messina? Did you go to Taormina and to the beach? Do you know if Messina Beach is far away from the pier?

 

Do you know if "Lido di Tarquinia" (The beach near Civitavecchia) is a good beach to kids? and if it has a bus?

 

Regards

 

The Garden Court had a children's buffet for little ones...when you go thru the main doors and turn left it is situated at the back of the room, and they had little tables and chairs by it. Looks like they did chicken nuggets and fries and hot dogs...

 

As for Messina we just got off and walked to the square where the church was and watched the clock and walked back. We didn't have anything planned for that day.

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thanks for your reply. Do you know it is o.k.to take cans of coke etc aboard.Did you pay the 1o$ a day charge or did you tip as you pleased.:)

 

 

Hi Pauline

 

We bought the soft drinks package which gave us unlimited coke consumption.

 

I had them take off the $10 a day tip for the 2 children but left it on for myself and my husband, and we added extra where we saw fit in the specialty restaurant.

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I had them take off the $10 a day tip for the 2 children

 

I'm just curious, but did the children experience horrible service? Was their room not cleaned? Were the hallways they walked down not cleaned?

 

Did nobody clear their trays in the Garden Cafe?

 

 

Why would you punish all of these people by taking away their tips? :(

Is it because you chose to tip more to one person when you went for a special meal?

 

I really wish NCL would NOT allow people to remove their tips, under any circumstances.

 

Imagine going into your local restaurant, and saying to the busboy...it's okay...your salary is being cut today, because yesterday I got my hair cut, and I tipped the stylist more than usual. :rolleyes:

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I can see why you'd cancel tips for kids....we are taking 4 kids plus a baby next year on the ncl jewel and that will equate to $50 a day, (4 adult tip prices and two kids at $5 each), that is in american funds and it really adds up for us, that is $350 US for a week of tipping!! Not to mention the pop card for the kids and all of our beverages, it is steep! I can see tipping for the youngest ones at your discretion.

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I can see why you'd cancel tips for kids....we are taking 4 kids plus a baby next year on the ncl jewel and that will equate to $50 a day, (4 adult tip prices and two kids at $5 each), that is in american funds and it really adds up for us, that is $350 US for a week of tipping!! Not to mention the pop card for the kids and all of our beverages, it is steep! I can see tipping for the youngest ones at your discretion.

 

OK..so MAYBE it would be all right to adjust a tip for the youngest children, but the OP's 'children' were 15 and 17!!! Considering they didn't really have complaints about the staff I think they should have left the tip as is.

 

$10/day per person covers tips for that persons meals and cabin. If there are no complaints it seems perfectly justified to me. So does the $5/day for the children under 12.

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Gee, and I was afraid I should've tipped more than I have for my kids on cruises. I leave them at the $10/day AND then I give additional to the kids crew supervisors. After all, as teenagers they get the same daily service that I have + the kids club.

 

Looking forward to our next cruise-the boys are now too old for the kids club. :)

 

-Monte

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I can see why you'd cancel tips for kids....we are taking 4 kids plus a baby next year on the ncl jewel and that will equate to $50 a day, (4 adult tip prices and two kids at $5 each), that is in american funds and it really adds up for us, that is $350 US for a week of tipping!! Not to mention the pop card for the kids and all of our beverages, it is steep! I can see tipping for the youngest ones at your discretion.

 

 

Here's a thought.... try NOT stiffing the help, and having the kids go without the soda card....:eek:

 

Kids make messes, and the stewards, busboys, cleaners, etc. have to work EXTRA because of your kids.

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Gee, and I was afraid I should've tipped more than I have for my kids on cruises. I leave them at the $10/day AND then I give additional to the kids crew supervisors. After all, as teenagers they get the same daily service that I have + the kids club.

 

Looking forward to our next cruise-the boys are now too old for the kids club. :)

 

-Monte

 

mbisson......you absolutely did the right thing. We did the same on our cruise. The thought of adjusting the $10/day never crossed our minds! And more IMPORTANTLY... the kids crew ARE NOT included in the $10/day tip pool so the tips the passengers give them at the end of the week are the ONLY tips they get.

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Here's a thought.... try NOT stiffing the help, and having the kids go without the soda card....:eek:

 

Kids make messes, and the stewards, busboys, cleaners, etc. have to work EXTRA because of your kids.

 

sjbdtz... I have to agree with you. To me the soda card is expensive anyway. Considering the amount of time you spend off the ship on excursions and the fact that the soda sizes are small you would have to drink alot of soda to get your money's worth. Skip the card, save some money and drink water or juice. Not to mention I have a hard time justifying someone adjusting the tips for no good reason at all when they can pay for 4 kids and a baby to go on a cruise in the first place.

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A little pause for thought about tipping from ManxCruiser's other half......

 

I have read through the posts with interest and perhaps we should give the following a bit of consideration.

 

PLEASE be advised however, that I am not meaning to diminish the fine service that is provided on board, just put things into perspective....

 

Cruise shows on TV often talk about tipping on board, and they suggest as a general rule of thumb the following tip amounts, per person, per day:

 

Waiter $4 per person per day

BusBoy $4 per person per day

Cabin Staff $4 per person per day

 

So by NCL terms we are actually slightly under the norm, but here's the interesting bit (please remember the advisory above people and don't whine about the figures ;) )

 

On our deck we had two great guys who did an excellent job.

It would appear that they had between 30 and 50 staterooms to look after between them. The waiters, waitresses, clearing staff etc. etc also did a great job, but it is more difficult to work out figures with these people, so back to the room-guys.

 

(And so the maths start!)

 

Assuming an average of 3 people per state room with 2 guys working on 40 rooms and allowing the $4 per person per day as suggested by the executives advertising cruises.

 

3 people per stateroom x $4 per person = $12 per stateroom per day

$12 x 40 staterooms = $480 per day

$480 x 7 days = $3360 per week

$3360 / 2 staff = $1680 per cabin steward per week

$1680 x 52 weeks = $87360 per year in tips for each cabin steward

 

But there's more. Add to the above, the following:

 

Basic weekly wage, boarding, food, clothing, laundry, days off in exotic locations, no bills for on board living

 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not reply to this just to complain to say that they deserve the tips because they provide an excellent service. I know that, and I agree that they do an excellent job.

 

All this post is for, is to bring some people who have posted back to earth in relation to tipping.

 

That's my two penneth worth anyway!

 

Happy cruising!!

 

And let's not forget.....

 

NCL Freestyle cruising - It's your holiday.. so enjoy it your way!!

 

:D

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