As the first of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jewel-class ships, this 2,376-passenger gem launched the line's roomier ships with a larger selection of restaurants and lounges, as well as ample around-the-clock activities, in 2005. A 2014 dry-dock rehab brought onboard a pub (open 24/7) and a new floor in the dance spot Spinnaker Lounge, as well as easy-to-use digital kiosks for booking restaurant reservations. The Norwegian Jewel still doesn’t feature the sporty extras of its newer sister ships (like a bowling alley or ropes course), but you'll still find lots to do on board.
What We Love
Cabin Choices: The 1,188 cabins are split into five categories, ranging from small 138-square-foot inside rooms to 4,891-square-foot Haven Garden Villas. This includes approximately 140 interconnecting cabins, which are ideal for families.
Staying Active: In addition to late-night revelry, Norwegian Jewel has a full cardio- and strength-training fitness center (with sea views), along with a bevy of calorie-burning classes. On deck, you'll also find a jogging track as well as sports courts for volleyball, basketball, and tennis.
A Full Plate of Dining Options: Whether you're in the mood for steak at Cagney's or hibachi at Teppanyaki, Italian at La Cucina or Brazilian at Moderno, there's a different specialty restaurant to suit your taste practically every night of your cruise.
Best Known For
Entertainment Extravaganzas: Acrobats, singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, and musicians of every genre fill a rousing roster. Passengers can get in on the act, too, with trivia contests, games (Deal or No Deal, bingo), sports tournaments, karaoke, and salsa dancing classes.
Nightlife: No matter your beverage preference, you’ll find the perfect place to toast. The ship has 15 bars and lounges, ranging from Magnum’s Champagne & Wine Bar to Shakers Martini & Cocktail Bar, to Maltings Beer & Whisky Bar.
The Haven: Cruisers who book this high-level suite category have the most private accommodations tucked away at the top of the ship, plus perks including access to their own private deck and 24-hour butler and concierge service.
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Who It's Best For
Families: All ages are accommodated at the well-run Splash Academy youth center (ages 6 months to 12 years), plus there's the Entourage teens Club (13 to 17 years) that features gaming consoles, Club Underground hangout spot, and a juice bar. There's also a kids-only pool and an indoor play gym.
First-Timers: The ship's manageable size makes it good for cruise newbies who want to test the waters without the overwhelming passenger count and activity choices of some larger vessels.
Pacific Coast Cruisers: It's not a far drive for West Coasters to set sail on the ship's Pacific itineraries, which head to the Mexican Riviera and Alaska, or down the coast from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You'll Face Many Decisions: From specialty restaurants to spa treatments, classes, and shore excursions, you'll find lots of choices on this ship, as long as you don't mind the potential surcharges. That said, some passengers might feel dismayed their vacation involves so much effort orchestrating what to do, when, and where.
It's Missing the Line's Best Features: Norwegian's newer ships not only have more exciting activities, such as the action-packed sports complex and aqua park on Breakaway-Class ships, but also quality stage shows, including "After Midnight" and "Rock of Ages" as well as line-favorite hang out spots Margaritaville and Sugarcane Mojito Bar.
Laura Manske is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Redbook, InStyle, and Cosmopolitan.
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Norwegian Jewel at a Glance
- Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
- Class: Jewel
- Number of Passengers: 2376
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2005
- Refurbish Date: 2014