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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Default NCL Jewel comments

We have been on 3 or 4 NCL cruises in the last 2 1/2 years out of LA and I love the Freestyle cruising and while I dont think NCL meals are up to the yummy sweets etc you get on Princess as a over all experience I think NCL is clearly the best value we have ever experienced in 35 years of cruising ( between 50 & 60 cruises), we are thinking of taking the Jewel with Balcony out of Miami (April)onto Europe and have at least 1 or maybe 2 back to backs and flying out of Athens or visa versa fly to Athens (Sept)and cruise back Oct. I am horrifed to see only negative comments on this ship.................... has anyone been on it and HAVE a good word for it, or is it simply too big for the size of the crew and the prices charged, meaning a far less service, as this would be our main cruise for the year I dont want to have it dash my high thoughts of what we have experienced with NCL over the past few years
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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We had an enjoyable trip on the Jewel when we sailed on 11/6. While everything wasn't perfect, I felt like it was due to some rather extenuating services, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to sail her again.

The ship was beuatiful, our cabin was just fine (an outside view on deck 5), our room stewards were wonderful. The week we sailed was, unfortunately, one or two weeks before the new menus were introduced to the Jewel. We liked all our meals during the week, even while thinking that the "wow" factor was missing from the menus. However, since they were the old menus, I wouldn't worry about that at all.

We did have a small problem when we were boarding -- I'm not sure if it's really a problem with our passports (yikes!!) like the girl checking us in thought, or it if was some sort of computer glitch, or maybe even operator error. She put my information in, saved it, and started on my husband's information. When she swiped my passport, the screen suddenly had a combination of his information and my information -- and she had trouble getting it fixed. Extenuating circumstance #1: it was the first sailing for the Jewel after her transatlantic trip, so the computers were having some glitches, and most of the clerks were new. What should have been a 2 minute check in took more like 15, but it didn't matter anyway as the ship wasn't ready for boarding. Did it ruin our trip? Definitely not.

As far as service on the ship, we did have a couple of issues with the dining staff. Extenuating circumstance #2: there were 122 new crew members who boarded the ship in Miami that week. A lot of it was due to crew from the Jewel being transferred to the Pearl, and it did affect the service in a few circumstances. We were quite conscous of new waiters being trained in the dining room, but we're pretty easy going and it really didn't affect us much. Our only real issue was the last night of the cruise, when we had a group of 8 of us from our cruise critic group dining together. We did have some real problems with service that night, but I think it was a combination of the larger size group, combined with the new staff. Again, it certainly didn't ruin my cruise.

Your itinerary sounds like a wonderful idea, and I would have no hesitation at all in sailing the Jewel. We didn't find the service to be that different from what we've had on other NCL ships, with the exception of the adove mentioned issues. One point, if it pertains to you, is that NCL seems to have eliminated the wine stewards from the dining room (fleet wide). I've read some comments about that affecting the service, as your wait staff is now expected to serve your wine. Again, not a major concern for us, but it does seem to really bother some cruisers.

Have a wonderful cruise!
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Old January 6th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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I think Ute-fan covered it well and I am surprised to hear you say you have read nothing but negatives about the Jewel. I have read pretty much the opposite.

I would imagine with 122 new crew members the service didn't run too smoothly. Ute addressed this.

We cruised the Jewel across the Northern Atlantic in 2005. I can't priase her enough. Since then DH has taken 2 cruises and me, 3. With the exception of my Sun cruise we have some back a little disappointed. Why, we miss the Jewel, that's why.

Like anything there is room for improvement, but we saw very few negatives. Our food was very good, but we had a couple of bad experiences. In 10 days I would expect this. We were not happy with Tangos as I love Las Rambles on the Sun and Tangos just doesn't offer the real tapas. I could bring up a few other things;

As for the elimination of the wine stewards, we are wine drinkers but this does not bother us one bit.

I can not imagine anyone not being satisfied with the Jewel. Go, enjoy, and get back to us when you return months from now.

Nita
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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:45 PM
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Thank you both Ute Fan & Nmita for the time you spent in replying to my question, I am most grateful for the info, as I am not a wine person and I LOVE !!! Freestlye ( when are ALL lines going to wakeup) the dining room doenst really bother me either, on ships that large crew change over is northing new so I can live with that and computers !!!##%%%%%## well that can happen at Target on any given day so I feel so much more comfortable about this
happy cruising to both of you and thanks
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:21 PM
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My husband and I sailed on the Jewel in September 2005 to New England/Canada when she was quite new. We are in our late 50's and have traveled quite a bit. It was our first NCL cruise, though, and we loved it! We thought the Jewel was just wonderful.

Our room steward was efficient and friendly and our mini-suite (starboard side, aft) was comfy and had plenty of room for storage, especially drawer space. Even our queen bed seemed to be larger than a queen. My husband is 6' 6" and we worried about having a queen bed, but it was VERY comfortable.

We adored our balcony; however, we find HAL's balconies to be a bit more private because their dividers between staterooms go all the way to the railing. NCL has an acrylic divider those last few feet to the railing. I thought we would hate that, but we adjusted. The only time we saw a lot of other people out on their balconies the same time we were was when we sailed out of New York harbor.

We found the Jewel's crew to be very international and interesting. They were friendly, too. We could hardly go anywhere on board without having a crew member say "HI" or "Have a good day."

We found our fellow passengers nice, cooperative and friendly, with a couple of exceptions but you always find those types wherever you go. Our suite must have been nicely insulated, as we never heard our neighbors on either side of our suite or noise from the hallway or elevator area.

We ate in ALL the restaurants on board; our best meals on board were, surprisingly, in the Italian and Spanish ones. We even found the Garden Cafe buffet to be quite good for a buffet--nice variety and quick for a hot breakfast in the morning. We did find the room service menu a bit limited, but the food was always delivered promptly and hot.

Our embarkation and debarkation on the Jewel went smoothly in New York. We liked that you could "linger" a bit that last morning, if you wanted.

We had such a good time on the Jewel that we are sailing on the Sun in just 75 days. Right now NCL seems to be going the places we want to go (perfect itineraries) and for the right price.

We really think you will like the Jewel--we would not hesitate to sail on her again!
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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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As I have said before, it blows my mind when I see a negative review on the Jewel. We have sailed 20 plus times, all mass marketed lines except one and have yet to enjoy a cruise more than we did the Jewel. Again, if you keep an open mind, love a friendly crew (I am sure the new one is great) and see the value I would go and enjoy. NMnita
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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I just took my first and only cruise on NCL's JEWEL 1/7/07 out of Miami and I have to say that ship rocks!

So many good things to say about the crew (has to be one of the best in the world! Always smiling, checking in on you and I felt, building a relationship with you. The food was great almost everywhere. I think it was raffles or something like that which had very small portions (order 3 servings of something if you really want a lot). The buffet didn't change, I guess that much over the course of the week (we ate here more than we normally wood have because this was a theme cruise of sorts with our favorite band moe. (moe.org) and as such we didn't even want to put on pants a few nights..

Loved Teppenyaki and both the dinning rooms. Get the Gnocci (and send me some) at Tsars. Hell just order a little of everything and share with your family and friends. I would say that if a cruise gets better than NCL then I will never know. I really like the Jewel and would cruise with her anywhere. We hit some 12+ waves and I thought she faired mighty well.

We had a great time getting down at the Spinnaker Lounge, seeing our band play the pooldeck and the main theatre. Biggest bummer was not being able to Tender into Great Stirrup Quay but we still had a blast.

I really would like to do another cruise with NCL's Jewel either in the Med, in the Northeast (if they do that route) or with another great band.

I just wish it wasn't obvious how much they are out to get your money on these ships.

Question: can you every go back once you have had a balcony? Something tells me no! I could spend the better part of my cruise on my own private balcony with my iPod and a nice cocktail.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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funlovenjay,

You can go back if you have a husband that doing see the value of a little piece of cement. On the onther hand you can cruise with your daughter who won't go back and know how much fun you will have watching the world go by every morning, noon and night: NMNita
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Old January 27th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Thank you to everyone in regard to my question - Theres a saying "you cant please all the people all the time" and to be honest we have sailed 50-60 cruises in the "better commerical ships" over the years and I do not think there is better value for money be it food or space or quality of servie than NCL- sure you will find on EVERY ship even the "Silver Service" 3 times the price, something that you could do better or you didnt like but NCL does it well in most areas and I do not think if someone was doing their very first cruise on a ship and chose a NCL they could get back on quick enough! I am delighted the Jewel has great reports as since my post I/we have now booked back to backs out of Miami and to Europe
as for as can you go back to anything after a balcony on ANY ship...............I can honestly say I wont cruise unless its balcony at least these day, it just offers that extra and makes any cruise awesome
many thanks again to all
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Old January 29th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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we were next to her in antigua, aboard crown princess, and went to the beach with people that were on jewel. They said she was a beautiful ship and they were very happy with the jewel. To me the jewel looked like a great ship. Very new.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Did you read my review on the readers review board? We cruised the jewel april 2006. Top notch service and food. I think it was our most enjoyable cruise! We had such a great time that I was in PCD (post cruise depression) many weeks after we got off.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's the management of the ship at that particular sailing that makes the cruise enjoyable or not? (and not the particular ship or line) How could a cruise that I enjoyed soooo much be disliked by someone else....and vice versa?
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Old February 1st, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbo
Did you read my review on the readers review board? We cruised the jewel april 2006. Top notch service and food. I think it was our most enjoyable cruise! We had such a great time that I was in PCD (post cruise depression) many weeks after we got off.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's the management of the ship at that particular sailing that makes the cruise enjoyable or not? (and not the particular ship or line) How could a cruise that I enjoyed soooo much be disliked by someone else....and vice versa?
Kimbo, yes, management of a ship at any time can affect people's overall view, but the Jewel get outstanding reviews over and over from both, passengers and professioanl travel councilors. No matter what line or what ship you are going to have someone come back with a negative.

We were on the Jewel when she truely was brand new: it was a north Atlantic crossing, her first. almost everyone you ran into was in awe of everything about the ship, from the decor, to the food, the crew, everything. We, however ate 3 meals (just happened that way) with a lady who claimed she had cruised 76 times and didn't like anything about the ship. She hated the food, too spicey. Many had one complaint about the food, like most lines, a little bland. They we had another gal, part of our group as a matter of fact that started her gripes at our meet and greet party; she didn't like the hotel NCL used for pre-cruise stay. She didn't like the tour we set up (private from the cruise line) it wasn't worth the money, nor did she like where they sat she and DH in Cagney's. Afterall she is a latitude member. When we missed a port, due to fog and rain she beleived we deserved an OBC. Another couple thought adding tips were awful, they admitted they didn't really beleive in the tipping custom. If any of the above had written a review I can imagine what it would have said.

The opinion you hold of the Jewel is the one held by most cruisers and there will always be the other side. Ute_fan said it best, there were a few problems but it didn't stop them from having a good cruise. NMNita
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Old February 1st, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
we had another gal, part of our group as a matter of fact that started her gripes at our meet and greet party; she didn't like the hotel NCL used for pre-cruise stay. She didn't like the tour we set up (private from the cruise line) it wasn't worth the money, nor did she like where they sat she and DH in Cagney's. Afterall she is a latitude member. When we missed a port, due to fog and rain she beleived we deserved an OBC.
Hey mnita...that girl was on my last trip! Same issues. Tried to push her bad mojo onto the rest of us girls. wouldn't even smile in any but just one picture that we had taken. There is always one in a bunch isn't there?
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Old February 1st, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
we had another gal, part of our group as a matter of fact that started her gripes at our meet and greet party; she didn't like the hotel NCL used for pre-cruise stay. She didn't like the tour we set up (private from the cruise line) it wasn't worth the money, nor did she like where they sat she and DH in Cagney's. Afterall she is a latitude member. When we missed a port, due to fog and rain she beleived we deserved an OBC.
Hey mnita...that girl was on my last trip! Same issues. Tried to push her bad mojo onto the rest of us girls. wouldn't even smile in any but just one picture that we had taken. There is always one in a bunch isn't there?
i bet that gal wasn't you?

I found a couple of ways to handle these characters: 1-ask them what they think the ship should do for them? 2-just continue to let them know how wonderful you think the ship is; if they don't like the food, I say, which meal was that you thought was so bad, golly we had a great steak, etc or 3-I did say to the gal that griped about the food on the Jewel, over and over; "boy you really don't like this ship or NCL do you?" It was amazing how quickly she changed her tune.
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