Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Cruise Line


NCL's new Norwegian Jewel offers the biggest, most luxurious and most innovative suite complex at sea. She shines from bow to stern with an incredible array of outstanding amenities including 10 distinct restaurants, 13 bars and lounges, 3 swimming pools, spa and more. This is the crowning jewel to our incredible fleet of Freestyle Ships.

Key details

  • Crew 1100
  • Passengers 2240
  • Decks 15
  • Launch Year 2001
  • Registry Panama

Reviews summary

Above average
( 6 reviews)
  • 3 room
  • 3 service
  • 1 value
  • 1 food

Norwegian Jewel traveller reviews

Horrible Food... Don't Cruise Norwegian

Reviewed Mon 30th of June 2014

"Just got back from taking the Norwegian Jewel for a week in Alaska. While the trip was great, the room was small but nice, the staff was nice and everything was clean and well done, the food was horrible. We did a cruise on Royal Caribbean about 6 months ago on a 7 day for the exact same price and the food in the complimentary dining room was STUNNING. I mean absolutely delicious. The Norwegian cruise food was one step up from cafeteria food, and the dining room was the same food as the buffet where on Royal Caribbean the complimentary dining room menu was an entirely different menu, obviously made to order by well trained chefs. On the Norwegian, it seemed like they sent someone to the buffet to get your meal. It was horribly disappointing. I will never never go on a Norwegian Cruise again. The food was the equivalent to Denny's, while the food on Royal Caribbean was equal to Emeril's or Manning's. Don't cruise on Norwegian.

And if you have any food intolerance or special needs, forget about it. They are not going to accommodate you. We eat mostly gluten free, but not out of medical necessity. When we were on the Royal Caribbean, they were fastidious about making sure dietary needs were accommodated and provided fantastic and delicious alternatives. I doubt that anyone would have felt the slightest bit deprived being on a gluten free diet on the Royal Caribbean. If we had truly had a medical need to eat gluten free on the Norwegian Jewel, we would have probably been relegated to eating white rice, or ended up in the hospital. I don't think that you could possibly have figured out what was safe to eat and what was not.

Also, several other points. They have a staff member standing in the buffet entrance to make sure that you disinfect your hands. He sings a little 'washy washy' song to the tune of a children's song... over and over and over and over and over again. I wanted to punch him every time I walked by. Horribly annoying.

Also, they keep the hot tubs at 95 degrees F. This is fine in the Caribbean, but too cold when it's 50 degrees with 20 mile an hour winds. The hot tubs would have been a perfect place to be in foul weather, but not on this ship.

Last but not least, my honey got vomiting and diarrhea. While I'm not blaming the ship since we both ate all the same things and I did not get sick, what I am complaining about was the way it was handled. I'm an ER and ICU nurse, so I know what I'm talking about, and cruise ships are NOTORIOUS for outbreaks of infectious diarrhea. So, I go to medical just to let them know and see if they wanted to test him for infectious diarrhea or quiz him about what food he ate, etc. in order to contain what could have been a budding outbreak. They could have not been less interested. The ONLY way they wanted to know about his illness is if he were to pay $150 to be treated. Well, he didn't need treatment, so they didn't have any interest in him. This was extremely concerning to me and, by itself was reason not to go back.

Their lack of interest in preventing an outbreak was equivalent to their lack of care with the food. Don't EVER cruise Norwegian. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 28th of June 2014

Rating breakdown

  • 3 Room
  • 3 Service
  • 1 Value
  • 1 Food

we had the best holiday ever onboard the...

Reviewed Sun 16th of March 2008

"we had the best holiday ever onboard the norwegian jewel , it's the first time we have been on a cruise so it was an experience , the free style dining was great too plenty of food and it was really good quality food with excelent drinks and the music was fantastic too . The state rooms we had were outside with balcony with ensuite shower and toilet , tea/ coffee facilities also , the staff were great too they had lots of patients and would do anything for you . "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 16th of March 2008

We (my husband and I aged 56 and 55 resp...

Reviewed Tue 2nd of October 2007

"We (my husband and I aged 56 and 55 respectively) originally booked the NCL Jewel cruise because we liked the itinerary. We have previously sailed on the QE2 and so were unsure how “Freestyle” cruising would suit us. From Heathrow to Istanbul (remind me never to fly from HR again!) onward to Izmir for Ephesus, Dubrovnik, Venice, Naples, Rome and Barcelona. We flew back to the UK from Barcelona.

First impressions were good – the ship looked colourful and huge. Embarkation was fine and our cabin (inside on deck 9) though quite small, was adequate and clean. The bed was comfortable and suited us although we had to request additional softer pillows. The shower was powerful and spacious and although other critiques had said the hairdryers on the ship were powerful, I was not convinced they would be – I thought they would be those silly little piped in dyers you get in some hotel rooms. However, the dryer was great – almost professional!! Small things make me happy…... There was also a launderette on our floor and I think, a couple more dotted about on the ship. Four quarters for soap powder and then free use of washing machine and dryer – there were also 2 x irons and boards. The launderette rooms are small and always busy – pick a shore day to use.

Customer base ranged from families – there were quite a few teenagers and a couple of dozen younger children – to couples of all ages. I was really quite surprised by the average age profile – younger than I expected. There seemed to be many different nationalities on board but mainly Americans and Brits.

Staff – fantastic. Friendly, efficient, professional.

Lounges and bars – Bar City was a nice place for pre dinner drinks. Quiet and in a position to watch the comings and goings of our fellow passengers. It got a bit more buzzy after dinner and when the shows were finished. Never went to Fizz, the Karaoke bar but the Star Bar was OK. The Spinnaker lounge seemed to be where it all happened later in the evening. We went a couple of times and enjoyed the 60’s music night.

Entertainment – We never went to the theatre to see the shows. Not our kind of thing – reports ranged from excellent to abysmal – personal taste I suppose. The individual entertainers and bands dotted around the ship in other lounges were professional and very good.

Restaurants – There’s always more to restaurants than the food but the main free restaurants, Tsars Palace and Azura were fine. Tsars was impressive in a Hollywood sort of way – lots of glitz, big and noisy. Azura was more contemporary, smaller and noisy. We tried a few of the optional restaurants. I felt The Bistro was pretentious, nicely fitted but kidding itself on that it was a quality restaurant. Cagneys – we had the best steak ever there and went back a second time. Sushi was good and the chefs were happy to advise. Tepannyaki, the Japanese restaurant is worth a visit to enjoy the entertainment provided by the chefs. Mama’s Italian place always seemed to be busy but we managed to get in one night and it was disappointing. We couldn't get in the main restaurant and so sat on the deck outside at what was The Great Outdoors through the day so maybe we didn't get the full experience and atmosphere. Speaking of The Great Outdoors – it was, for us, the best place for lunch and/or afternoon tea.

The Food – apart from Cagney’s, Teppanyaki and Sushi, was average – up-market canteen food of which there was a huge quantity, which is not a bad thing necessarily – they are catering for thousands of people after all but don’t expect haute cuisine. Most of the food was pre-processed – for instance in the majority of the restaurants, all the chicken, veal, lamb, steaks etc came with those stripes on them that are supposed to be barbecue grill marks. Yeah right. I was looking forward to some great puddings – New York cheesecake etc, again all was pre-prepared and the cheesecake was like marshmallow with sponge base. – not my taste. However, all were nicely presented with drizzles of coulis and flakes of chocolate. Breakfast, however, in The Garden Cafe was superb. Lots of fresh fruit, cereals, freshly made to order omelettes, waffles, pastries, bacon, sausages, hash browns, beans, cream cheese, pickled herring. You say it - the buffet probably had it! Something for everyone and well presented.

Drinks – Iced water on the ship was free at cafés and restaurants. Half litre bottles of water were around $3.60. Some drinks were expensive – cheapest wine for instance was around $7.50 a glass for, I think, 125ml. The cheapest bottle of wine averaged $32 and rose to $00’s. Cocktails could work out cheaper but not many were mixed by the barman - many came from pre packed cartons. The champagne cocktails were good!

Spa – I only went once - on a ship day when there was a special on offer - 3 x treatments for $99. Hot stone massage, neck and shoulder massage and foot and ankle massage. It was very relaxing. The spa treatment rooms are great. Lots of aromatherapy candles, tinkling music and birdsong, plants, low lighting and fluffy towels. Elemis products.

Summary – we had a great value for money holiday with no real complaints, but not necessarily one we would repeat soon. Lots of comments on board about NCL trying to get you to part with ever more money (soft drinks, cost of excursions, photos, extra cost for certain restaurants) and I would agree to a certain extent, but you don’t need to spend it. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 2nd of October 2007

Great cruise on a beautiful, spotlessly...

Reviewed Mon 9th of July 2007

"Great cruise on a beautiful, spotlessly clean ship. Very friendly, courteous staff. Shore excursions well organised. Would recommend Scenic French Riviera tour.

Room for improvement on shows. Food very good, especially in Garden Cafe, Cagney's Steakhouse was a bit disappointing. As a non-swimmer, I would have liked a shallow end in the pool, even the children’s' pool was quite deep."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 9th of July 2007

This was the best cruise we have had to...

Reviewed Tue 29th of August 2006

"This was the best cruise we have had to date. Everything perfect. Had an inside cabin which we found to be more than adequate. The only moan we did have was the price of drinks, they were quite expensive plus 15% service charge.

This was quite evident in the numbers of people in the bars. We did not eat in any of the extra charge restaurants as we were more than happy with all the food on offer, especially Mamas Italian restaurant.

We opted out of the 10$ a day gratuity and tipped as we went along which saves quite a bit on money."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 29th of August 2006

We sailed on one of the two day, inaugur...

Reviewed Fri 6th of January 2006

"We sailed on one of the two day, inaugural mini sailings on this stunning new ship. We stayed in a balcony cabin, which, although on the small size, was perfectly formed. Storage was well organised and the cabin was well equipped with amongst the usual things a safe, fridge, TV and own coffee and tea making facilities. The bathroom facilities are second to none, with separate privacy screens to both shower and toilet.

The restaurant options onboard are excellent, with a choice of 10 restaurants, including Asian Fusion, French, Teppanyaki and Steak/Lobster house. The French and Steak house are both excellent.

Entertainment onboard was excellent. A fantastic cruise. So good in fact, it inspired us to book a longer cruise on Jewel's sister ship Norwegian Dawn in the Caribbean.

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 6th of January 2006

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