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Just off Norwegian Jewel Nov 18-23


Warm Breezes

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DH, DS(13), DD(10) and myself just returned from the Norwegian Jewel, Nov 18-23 cruise. We had a wonderful time. This was our 5th cruise, 1st on NCL. Previous cruises were on Disney and Carnival. Highlights are as follows:

Embarkation: Arrived at port around 11:00, onboard about 12:30. It went pretty smoothly.

Cabin: Inside room 8521. It was small but we knew that when we booked. The shower was great. The pillows were flat and hard. We all slept hard every night though. Our Room Steward was very friendly and the best one we’ve had yet. In comparison, we prefer Carnival’s bedding, Disney’s room size, and NCL’s room steward.

Food: I believe taste is a matter of individual preference. We ate at Cagneys, Mama’s, Tangos, Blue Lagoon, Azura’s, Tzar’s, and the Great Outdoors. We preferred the food at the Blue Lagoon and Tango’s. The Great Outdoors had a great selection. We loved freestyle dining and had no problems making reservations. In comparison, we prefer Disney’s Palo to Cagneys, the Great Outdoors had better selection than Carnival or Disney’s buffett. Overall Disney’s food tasted better but Carnivals tasted about the same. Service was comparible to both cruise lines with out the dancing/entertaining waiters.

Entertainment: The comedians were pretty good. The production numbers were not as good. DD is a competitive dancer so we are used to seeing pretty talented dancers. This was the first time this troop from Jean Anne Ryan Co performed these numbers for audiences so that could explain some of the miss-cues. We thought the Ballet Dancer and the Ball Room Dancers were great but the rest were not so great. DD thought she was a better tap dancer than the guy doing the tap number and I would have to agree. In comparison, Disney shows are top notch, Carnival and NCL’s comedians were about the same and Carnivals production numbers were slightly better than NCL’s.

Excursions: We took a taxi to Mr. Sancho’s in Cozumel. We had a wonderful time. The beach was not crowded at all and the weather was gorgeous. In Grand Cayman we did the Stingray City Sandbar and Island Tour. We loved Stingray City. The rock formations in Hell were worth seeing, the Tortuga Rumcake Store was packed and we did not have much time there. We were supposed to go to the Turtle Farm but for some reason we were taken to a Conch Shell house and place to buy souvenirs instead. Not sure why. That was a little disappointing.

Activities: There was plenty to do. We signed the kids up for the children’s clubs but there were no activities that they wanted to do so they did not participate. They did not participate in Carnival’s either and only did Disney’s because the friends we were with did. They loved the Basketball/Soccer courts, the giant chess/checkers boards, Shuffleboard, Wii, and other games run by the entertainment staff during the cruise. We were disappointed that the talent show was cancelled due to lack of participation. DD had created a tap number to do in the show. She had participated in Carnival and Disney’s talent shows. I won $50 overall in the casino. We kept very busy.

Debarkation: Went really smooth.

Let me know if I can answer anyone’s questions. We had a great time. I know I ranked Disney higher in a lot of categories, but I would expect that to be the case since I paid almost double per day for Disney over NCL and Carnival. We would cruise NCL again and loved the freestyle dining.

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Thanks for a great review. I particularly enjoyed the comparisons as we have sailed some of the same ships or class of ships. I totally agree about PALO - it is by far the best specialty restaurant we have tried - Mmmmm :)

 

The Jewel is next, and I am really looking forward to it. I love Freestyle!

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what time do we get off the ship

 

I have to go back to FLL for the plane ride back home

Self Assist started debarking around 8:00. Then color coded tags that you picked up in the atrium (watch the dailies) went next with the last colors being called around 9:45.

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thanks for the review - we're sailing on her 2/29/08 and are starving for information.

 

About Grand Cayman - if I recall the Conch Shell house is where they parked the van and then you had to cross a street to get to the Turtle Farm. I know the Turtle Farm was not what I expected and had suffered a lot of damage in recent hurricanes. Did you ask your guide or was he one of those quiet ones that just drove?

They have built a new turtle farm that we expected to stop at. Our guide did not talk much and he had dropped us off at the place where we went to Sting Ray City before I realized we never got to see the Turtle Farm. He wasn't a very good guide. He didn't even let people know where to see the Rock formations in Hell when he stopped there. I think many people got off went to the souvenir shop and never even went behind it to see what we were stopping for.

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Our family is thinking about the Jewel next year. How were the sleeping arrangements? We went on the Dawn in 2005 and they had a bed in the middle of the two twins and one bunk bed. Traveling with myself, husband, 20year old and 15 year old son made it difficult to sleep. Is the Jewel beds the same way? Thanks for you help

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Thanks for the review. We, too, are a family of 4(10,16yrs.) thinking about an IS on the Jewel(9day) next year. I will be interested to hear about the bed situation also. (We found Carnival's Quad IS cabins quite adequate.)

Sorry to hear about the Kids Club. I have a 10yr.old 'dancing' daughter also, and in 2005 on Carnival she and her older sis did lots of Club things. Last time on Carnival in 2007 not so much. Did you get a Kids Club itinerary for the Jewel?

(Too bad about the Turtle Farm-it was quite neat!)

Sounds like you had a good time overall and would return to NCL.

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The room was set up at night to have the two twin beds pushed together with a roll out bed (that is stored underneath one of the beds during the day) under the bunk in the wall (which is folded flat to the wall during the day). The roll out bed sat a lot lower than the twin beds giving the person who slept in it more headroom under the bunk. DD slept on the bunk. DS slept on the roll out and DH & I had the 2 twins pushed together. During the day the twins were pushed back against the walls with an isle way in-between. There was room under one of the beds to store all of our luggage. It was tighter than Carnival - but not a problem for the time we spent in the room.

 

I did not keep a kids daily since my kids looked at it the first day and then decided there was nothing that they wanted to do. They can entertain themselves very well and they get along together great. I did purchase the teen pass for them to share. They loved the virgin strawberry daquiris that they got daily with it.

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Maybe you can let us know was lobster still being offered?Was the pool crowed,was there a lot of seat being saved by the pool?

Lobster was served the first night at sea.

 

The pool was crowded on the at sea days. DD and I went out to go to the pool about 2:00 pm on the second day at sea and could not find a chair anywhere. There were quite a lot of chair hogs that day. We gave up, grabbed some books, and headed up to the Spinnaker Lounge for the loungers by the windows.

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Thanks for clearing up the lobster issue.The pool isnt really laided out to well anyway,and with the chair hogs I figured it would be difficult to find a good spot by the pool.Thanks again for the reply. TOM

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The pool was crowded on the at sea days. DD and I went out to go to the pool about 2:00 pm on the second day at sea and could not find a chair anywhere. There were quite a lot of chair hogs that day. We gave up, grabbed some books, and headed up to the Spinnaker Lounge for the loungers by the windows.

 

 

Ugh- even when were on the Crown Princess this year, there were towels sprawled out over all the chairs at 7AM! That is a MAJOR pet peeve of ours- totally inconsiderate :(

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We are booked on the Jewel this summer (12 night Baltic). I understand that smoking is permitted in the cabins on NCL. I did not know this when we booked. I HATE the smell of smoke and so I am quite concerned that our cabin (minisuite) will reek of smoke :eek: ! Did you have any problems with this? Thanks in advance!

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We are booked on the Jewel this summer (12 night Baltic). I understand that smoking is permitted in the cabins on NCL. I did not know this when we booked. I HATE the smell of smoke and so I am quite concerned that our cabin (minisuite) will reek of smoke :eek: ! Did you have any problems with this? Thanks in advance!

There was an ashtray in our room but I did not smell any smoke in the room. I can usually pick up the smell quite easily since we do not smoke or allow it in our home. I didn't even have problems in the casino this time. Usually the smoke irritates my eyes when I go into a casino and I end up throwing my contacts away for a fresh pair after a visit. I didn't have to do that this time.

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