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The Cellar Dweller

Jewel Review 11/05/06

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I will present the review from embarkment, the ship, restaurants, excursions and misc items.


First let me start off by saying it was nice to rekindle and or repair past relationships (John and Cynthia; Karen, Catherine & Chris; Elisa (Erby) & Slavik and of course to meet new relationships.



Compared to 2005 trip on the Jewel this trip was much easier and faster. However, the ability to get on the ship was later than the year prior. The cruisers with a disability and suites were let on around 12:10PM followed by Latitudes people.


Upon arriving at our stateroom deck 10 the room was not complete. A dirty dish on the counter, towels on the floor and the carpet was not vacuumed. However, we met our cabin Steward and he allowed us to put our carryon on the bed. We were able to lock our valuables in the safe. This is really not a complaint, but more for information.



The ship for the most part was very clean and very pleasing to the eye. However, there were a few area needing sprucing up. But it may have been a timing issue. The bar stools at the Maltings Beer and Whisky Bar needs replacing they are extremely uncomfortable. I was very please with the viewing area of the Bridge. It was Very Educational. Thanks AVERY for your 26 years of Navy Training. You explained a lot to me.

I will add more about the ship as I progress.




The only main restaurant I attended was the Tsar's. We had two dinners and one lunch. Dinner the first night with a party of four was fine. The waiter was good and the service was acceptable. However, the food selection was just okay. Had lunch was totally unacceptable? The menu was just awful. I settled for a Portabella burger and received a hamburger that was petrified. The waitress never came back on a timely basis to see how things were. When she did return, when everyone else was just about finished she asked was there something wrong and I told her you brought the wrong meal. She then asked if I wanted something else, well since everyone else was just about finished I said no. My wife also stated her meal was luke warm and not good at all.


Now the best for last. The last day of the cruise I called my concierge to find out if I would have a problem with a table for eight with out a reservation (being a main dining room I didn't think they would accept a reservation) well to my surprise the concierge was very happy to make the reservation. This was the best part of this meal. Arrived timely at 6:30PM. Had a rectangular table for eight. I would have preferred a round table as they are made for talking and seeing all at the table, but not a big deal. Members brought two bottles of wine to share. The menu selection was not very good. Orders were taken after some time. Dishes left on the table in between course for quite some time. The follow up by the waitress and busboy (person) was just awful. The main entry I had (lamb) was cold actually the sauce over the lamb had jellied. Potatoes were ice-cold. My wife’s fish was just okay (taste), but was luke warm. The service became so bad one table member had enough and started to confront those with the responsibility. I must admit the higher up she went the ruder the person became. All in all our satisfaction was not met. They just did not understand what our young voice was trying to say. Our young voice was saying what can you do for the group rather than settle on reducing her wine tab (only $15.00 an up grade). They just didn't seem to care. There seemed to be more assistants and matridee than waiter and busboy (person). My wife and I are convinced the specialty restaurants are the places to eat. I'm so glad we only ate at the main dining rooms 3 times.




We found the Garden Cafe to be very good for breakfast and lunch especially the days at sea. One night we we're not very hungry and caught the Garden for a little snack I think it was around 8:00PM, wasn't bad.




Has been my favorite the last two years. Attended two evenings. Formal night attended to with another couple. All of us found the service to be the best. All had appetizers; my escargot was the best actually had a double portion. The filet mignon with the foiegras was outstanding. While I’m not a desert person what the others had seemed very good, especially the chocolate fondue. One of the table members asked for lobster tail (not being on the menu) was able to have it with his steak. Good size portion. The second night it was just the two of us and was a repeat performance by a different wait staff.




We went there once last year and once this year. Both times we were dissatisfied with the meal and the service. It took over and hour to receive our main entry. We did however, have many visitors to the table apologizing for the lack of service. What are could not understand the restaurant was not full (very busy). Upon receiving the entree my steak was very tough, not very palatable. We never received any of the condiments to go along with the meal that we asked for ex. sour-cream for the baked potatoes along with extra butter. I might try it again.





If you want a fun evening this is it. You need to go there with a group. However the night we went we were a group of four and the other four at the hibachi were nice. The food was good and plentiful. However, the only negative thing the chef was not entertaining. Actually he shook the salt and peppers shakers a few times and tapped his fork and knife a few times. That was it. Yes he attempted to catch something in his chef hat never made it was caught by the floor. But we think he was in the learning stage. This was okay by us. We had a great time with the group, would definitely do this again.




Jean Ryan Co finally got their act together with the production of Second City, compared to last year (same) it was 1000% better. This is not to be a negative against the Jean Ryan Co more of a comparison to last year. We have always enjoyed their productions. The Cirque Bijou was also great. It was easy to understand the story behind it.

The Magic Show just okay, I thought it rather cheesy, would not sit through this again.


Crew Member’s night was very entertaining, some very good voices.




I really can’t write much about the casino, I’m not a gambler. I did pass through the casino a few times. People seemed to be enjoying themselves was clean and roomy considering the number of people and machines. The only thing I notice there was no one sitting in the high rollers area at anytime I passed through the casino.





My wife and I had VIP status meaning our luggage was placed in an area by it’s self and we would be the first off after the express people. There was a delay caused by customs. Apparently a few people did not pass though the customs area timely. Once we had clearance, it was great. Walked off the ship to our luggage, found the luggage right away and was through the customs agent and in a taxi in less than 10 minutes. Great Job NCL.

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Nice review, Bob. I didn't realize -- sitting at the other end of the table -- that you had had a problem with the quality of the food, in addition to the service issues. Our two entrees were both served warrm and were quite good. Ron's Mahi-Mahi was better than his steak, but they were both acceptable.


I do agree with you that the menu choices weren't as good as usual, but I think change is coming there. These menus looked to me like they were the ones implemented last January, and unfortunately the Jewel must be one of the last ships scheduled to receive the new menus that are supposed to be in place fleet wide by the end of November. We still prefer dining in the main dining rooms to fighting the reservations battle with the specialty restaurants, but luckily were able to find something we liked each night and never did have a problem with the food quality.


It was nice to meet up with you guys in person. Maybe some day we can do it again.

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Thank you (and all other 11/5 critics) for your review. I leave my house in eight hours...will board the Jewel for 11/19 sailing. I hear the new menus will be implemented on this sailing. I will write review upon my return. I enjoyed following your 11/5 group! It helped make my turn easier!


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Of our meals in the main dining rooms, all but one were in Azura, which is a much smaller room than Tsars, and we never had a meal that wasn't fresh and warm. Perhaps it's easier to get meals from kitchen to table in the smaller room than the larger. For what it's worth, we also found Azura to be a much more attractive room--cozier, and more stylish with the banquettes surrounding the room.

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Thank you for your review. Do you happen to know if stamps are sold on board and if they take your post cards to mail for you at the ports?


Cruisin Patty

Yes they have stamps from all around the world. More so the islands you will visit.

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