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Norwegian Jewel Review

2018 Best for Entertainment
2017 Best for First Timers
2016 Best Overall
View More

Find a Norwegian Jewel Cruise from £594

Norwegian Jewel
4.0 / 5.0
2389 reviews

Pros
Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options
Cons
Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover
Bottom Line
Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.

About

Passengers
2,376

Crew
1,100

Passenger to Crew
2.16:1

Launched
2005

Shore Excursions
678
Sails To
Alaska, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal & Central America
Norwegian (NCL) Cruise Deals
Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Norwegian Jewel Overview

More than 14 years old, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbishment in late 2018. Upgraded areas include all cabins, suites, restaurants, cafes, the teen-only Entourage club, main pool and atrium. There are two new bars -- Bliss Ultra Lounge, offering dance music after dark, and The Pit Stop, a 1950s-themed bar with a view of the pool. Two Deluxe Owner’s Suites have also been added in The Haven.

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The new look is decidely more modern to the point of being unrecognizable in some public areas. Some people may lament the loss of the water slide and fake palm trees around the pool, but the result is a more relaxing space, especially for adults. Add to that an always-casual, laid-back ambience and a wealth of dining venues, and Norwegian Jewel is a comfortable base from which to explore any port of call.

The first of Norwegian Cruise Line's Jewel-class ships, Norwegian Jewel may lack many of the bells and whistles of its younger fleetmates (no rock wall, bowling alley or ropes course), but it's anything but boring. With dozens of daily activities, numerous lounges for live music and 10 eateries, the variety of choices is dazzling. You'll find it all, from cheesy poolside traditions (sexiest leg contest, anyone?) and interactive game shows (the Not So Newlywed Game never gets old) to breathtaking aerial acts and a logic-defying magician in the main theater.

Our favorite spot to grab breakfast and lunch on the go was the large O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill. Spacious and bright, thanks to windows on both sides, it dishes up guilty pleasure pub grub like fish 'n' chips and chicken pot pies. A pleasant side effect of O'Sheehan's, open 24/7, is that it takes pressure off the main dining rooms, making the waits for dinner, which in the past could be up to an hour, much shorter. We never waited more than five minutes for a table, regardless of whether we showed up at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.

Although it's a big ship, there is plenty of nifty digital signage that not only lets passengers know what's going on onboard, but allows them to make dining reservations and buy shore excursions on the spot. See that Cagney's is filling up fast? No need to get up to the reservations desk. Just swipe your key card, choose your dining time and you're all set to go.

 

For more details about cabins, dining and things to do, see the separate sections of this review.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in two main dining rooms and at Chin Chin, O’Sheehan’s pub, the Garden Cafe buffet and Topsiders Grill; also Continental breakfast room service
  • Main theater production shows and live music in various venues
  • Most onboard activities, except as noted
  • Use of the fitness center (excluding most classes and training sessions)
  • Use of the sports deck
  • Splash Academy kids club

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($15 per person, per day for anyone in a standard stateroom; $18 per person, per day, for people in The Haven, Concierge-level cabins and all suites)
  • Drinks, excluding water, tea, coffee and select juices from the buffet
  • Gratuities of 20 percent on beverage, spa, salon and specialty dining purchases
  • Room service fee of $9.95 (waived for suites and continental breakfast orders)
  • Most specialty dining
  • Spa and salon services, as well as entry to the spa's thermal suite
  • Most fitness center classes
  • Select daily activities including alcohol tastings, bingo, and gameshows like Deal or No Deal
  • After-hours kids supervision programs at the Splash Academy
  • Shore excursions
  • Internet access and packages
  • Photos taken by shipboard photographers, artwork from the art gallery

Top Norwegian Jewel Itineraries

Norwegian Jewel
7 night alaska - vancouver (van/van)

Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Vancouver

View All Norwegian Jewel Itineraries (24)

Fellow Passengers

In Australia and Asia, the majority of passengers are expeced to be locals. In Alaska, you'll find a bit more of an international mix with passengers from America, Australia, Europe and Asia also onboard. The ship draws a broad range of age groups, especially during summer and winter/spring breaks when children and teens are out of school.


Norwegian Jewel Dress Code

Daytime: Casual dress is the name of the game when it comes to Norwegian's freestyle cruising.

Evening: You might spot a handful of passengers in suits or cocktail dresses on the ship's one (very optional) formal night, but most stick to a fairly laid-back version of formal (i.e. pants, collared shirts, sundresses, skirts, etc.). Shorts are allowed in all dining venues except the Tsar's Palace main dining room and Le Bistro French restaurant.

Not permitted: After 5 p.m., tank tops, flip-flops and baseball caps are not permitted in any of the restaurants.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Norwegian Cruise Line.


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Norwegian Jewel Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins3.04.1
Dining4.03.7
Entertainment4.04
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation4.03.9
Family4.03.9
Enrichment1.03.4
Service3.04.1
Value For Money4.03.8

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More about Norwegian Jewel

Where does Norwegian Jewel sail from?

Norwegian Jewel departs from Vancouver, Sydney, Seward, Auckland, Honolulu, Tahiti, San Diego and Miami

How much does it cost to go on Norwegian Jewel?

Cruises on Norwegian Jewel start from £594 per person.

Is Norwegian Jewel a good ship to cruise on?

Norwegian Jewel won 12 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2018 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for First Timers
  • 2016 Best Overall
  • 2016 Best for Embarkation
  • 2016 Best for Entertainment
  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best for Families
  • 2016 Best for First Timers
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2014 Best for Entertainment
  • 2013 Best for Entertainment
Show More

Norwegian Jewel Member Reviews

Norwegian Jewel
davemoz
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Would we cruise again on the Norwegian Jewel ? NO. Would we cruise again with Norwegian Cruise Line ? NO... Read More
Norwegian Jewel
marlowman
Sail Date: Feb 2020
I would recommend this ship and Norwegian.... Read More
Norwegian Jewel
helena and paul
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Ohterwise - thank you so much Norwegian and the Jewel - its officers, crew and staff and entertianers and everyone who works on board for making travelling so enjoyable! You know how to pamper!... Read More
Norwegian Jewel
MY Schavuit
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Being from Sweden the Auckland to Sydney sailing was quite exotic for us so the Norwegian Jewel was our choice for this year. General impression of the ship. I liked the ship in general.... Read More

Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet

Norwegian Sky
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

2195 reviews

One of Norwegian's oldest, smallest ships; main attractions are the 24/7 open bar on its three-night Bahamas cruises and four-night sailings to Cuba.

Norwegian Sky Cruises to the Bahamas Norwegian Sky Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean View All Norwegian Sky Cruises
Norwegian Sun
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of the smaller ships in the Norwegian fleet, Norwegian Sun offers 1,936 passengers 14 dining options, nine bars, five hot tubs, golf driving net, Mandara Spa and a walking/jogging track.

Norwegian Star
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Launched in 2001, 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star was the first Norwegian ship custom built for Freestyle Cruising, which touts a plethora of dining, cabin and entertainment options.

Norwegian Dawn
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Freestyle cruising means lots of choice for free and for-fee dining, drinking and entertainment, and no set dining times; holds some 3,000 cruisers.

Norwegian Spirit
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Mid-sized family-friendly cruise ship carries 2,018 passengers; offers 17 dining venues, Buccaneer's Wet & Wild Kids’ Pool, Bollywood-style nightclub and large theatre

Pride of America

The year-round, all-Hawaiian island itineraries are the ship's main draw; also offers nearly a dozen free and for-fee dining options; can hold near 3,000.

Norwegian Jewel
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Freestyle cruising means two dozen free and for-fee restaurants and bars to choose from, plus no set dining times or assigned tables; holds about 3,000 cruisers.

Norwegian Pearl
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Plenty of eateries, bars and daily activities keep this 3,000-passenger ship hopping; often chartered for music and pop culture theme cruises.

Norwegian Gem
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


More than 10 restaurants offer everything from a traditional steakhouse to Brazilian and Japanese; entertainment includes big stage shows; holds some 3,000 cruisers.

Norwegian Jade
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Family-friendly and carries 2,402 passengers; offers nine dining options, casino, Haven Courtyard, large pool deck with two pools and the Wipe Out Teens Club.

Norwegian Epic
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


19-deck mega-ship carrying about 4,500 people; features "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" stage show, the Beatle's-inspired Cavern Club lounge and solo cabins.

Norwegian Breakaway
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


An NYC-themed mega-ship, carrying some 4,500 cruisers; highlights include outdoor restaurant seating, a ropes course, multistory water slides and 18 dining venues.

Norwegian Getaway
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A Miami-themed megaship, holding some 4,500 cruisers; features outdoor restaurant seating, a ropes course, multistory waterslides and 18 dining venues.

Norwegian Escape
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carries some 4,500 people; features Broadway-style entertainment, an expansive ropes course and 17 restaurants including the first at-sea Margaritaville.

Norwegian Joy
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Norwegian Joy is packed with engaging activities and spaces, and while there's no doubt it has quiet areas -- such as the gorgeous and serene Observation Lounge -- the ship's character is driven more by all there is to do than anything else.

Norwegian Bliss
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Norwegian's newest ship, which will sail in Alaska and Caribbean, launches June 2018; highlights include 82 solo cabins with virtual ocean views and a massive observation lounge.

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