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deefer

Live from Singapore to HK on the Jewel-March 10th 2018

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LOVE this review. We too are going to be on the NCL Jewel as of November 5. Ours will be the first cruise after the Jewel comes out of a 2 week drydock. Sounds like it could use some updating. Also, we are booked into an SF category Aft Suite on Deck 9. Also we are spending 3 nights in Singapore prior to the cruise. Your trip has alot of similarities from ours except the ports since ours is a 7 night cruise docking in Thailand and Malaysia.

 

I have a couple questions-

1) Why do they keep your passport during the entire trip? We've done about a dozen cruises and I've never seen/heard that before.

2) As part of your suite benefits, do you get to eat in Cagneys for breakfast & lunch? We were in an aft suite on the Jewel a few years ago for a Pacific Coastal cruise and we had that benefit which I love for breakfast.

3) I do not understand why they could not escort you to your cabin. You said it was immigration procedures but couldn't a staff meet you on the ship at the gangway and meet you and bring you the rest of the way? We did a Haven suite on the NCL Baltic cruise last year and no one escorted us. It's not that I need handholding but we have found that initial conversation we learn ALOT about what benefits we get.

4) On a couple of the comments section on the sheet what you'll need at each port, it says "bring....any original government photo ID when going ashore". I assume that means maybe a drivers license since you don't have an "original" passport in hand?

 

Keep up the great reporting!!!

Bill

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On Princess they told us they were taking care all of the immigration procedures for us in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand no charge. We gave up our passports BEFORE we got on the ship, were given a copy that first night, and got them back the night before disembarkation. Never had to show anyone our passport copies in any of the 4 ports.

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When we did the Grand Med cruise in 2014 they took our passports on the Spirit before the two Greece and two Turkey ports, got them back on the sea day on the way to Naples.

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I am doing Jewel Yokohama to Singapore in October - it also has the overnight stay in Laem chabang.

 

Did NCL have any overnight tours and what arrangements if any, did you have to make with the ship for your overnight stay on your private tour.

 

Enjoying your thread very much

 

The only NCL excursions offered to Bangkok were day trips, did not see any overnight trips.

 

We did not make any special arrangements with the ship for staying overnight.

 

The only little hiccup we could have had was with our “overnight bag”. We thought it would be easier to just take our smaller suitcase, as it on rollers, than to have to haul our carry on bags over our shoulders. Bruno told us we may have to be searched on the way out (why? not sure. It was busy that morning so didn’t ask, if I remember will ask him at a later time). We were not searched but they did question us to make sure we were planning to return.

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I’m a little concerned about this passport business. I will be on the Jewel next week. I have already purchased Shanghai Disney tickets and JR pass... but both state at the bottom that i need a valid passport when collecting tickets. I wonder how big of a problem this will be.

 

 

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You were lucky to be able to do this tour. I have just had contact with BKK Tours and they are not now operating excursions out of Laem Chabang as it is too far from Bangkok.

 

I agree, we were lucky...We are sitting in the van with BKK on the way back to the ship as I type this so I ask our guide to confirm your post.

 

She says they have stopped going to the port to pickup groups organized on cruise critic roll calls. I guess they have enough demand in the Bangkok area that it is no longer worth the headache (these are my words, she was more gracious) of going to get groups where people don’t show up or are late which has caused fighting between the cruisers. In short, a few bad apples ruined it for those who are following.

 

She said they would still consider picking up private tours at the port (where the group all knows each other and has one contact person) if they had availability.

 

She says what cruisers from roll calls have been doing is catching a bus to Bangkok, then BKK picks them up at the bus station - and the touring begins. Tours are identical except pickup/drop off is the bus station instead of the port.

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LOVE this review. We too are going to be on the NCL Jewel as of November 5....

 

I have a couple questions-

1) Why do they keep your passport during the entire trip? We've done about a dozen cruises and I've never seen/heard that before.

2) As part of your suite benefits, do you get to eat in Cagneys for breakfast & lunch? We were in an aft suite on the Jewel a few years ago for a Pacific Coastal cruise and we had that benefit which I love for breakfast.

3) I do not understand why they could not escort you to your cabin. You said it was immigration procedures but couldn't a staff meet you on the ship at the gangway and meet you and bring you the rest of the way? We did a Haven suite on the NCL Baltic cruise last year and no one escorted us. It's not that I need handholding but we have found that initial conversation we learn ALOT about what benefits we get.

4) On a couple of the comments section on the sheet what you'll need at each port, it says "bring....any original government photo ID when going ashore". I assume that means maybe a drivers license since you don't have an "original" passport in hand?

 

Keep up the great reporting!!!

Bill

 

1. I assumed they keep the passports as the ship personnel clear customs for us. We just walk off the ship, do not meet a customs agent. I expect when I get my passport back there will be a stamp for Thailand and Vietnam in it. These are my assumptions, but since there is enough interest I’m going to ask Bruno and get back to everyone. I’m also going to ask if we could get our passports back if needed.

 

2. Yes you get the suite breakfast/lunch but it is hosted in Moderno’s. We actually ate there for breakfast the first 2 mornings. Have yet to make lunch.

 

3. We are like you and don’t care if we are escorted to our room. I want to assure you that you will have all your questions addressed in the boarding lounge area in Singapore (at least this was our experience). We have a good understanding of the benefits that come with a suite but Bruno still spent several minutes with us going over everything, ensuring we didn’t have any questions.

 

4. Yes, Drivers License, Green Card etc. I always bring ID

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I’m a little concerned about this passport business. I will be on the Jewel next week. I have already purchased Shanghai Disney tickets and JR pass... but both state at the bottom that i need a valid passport when collecting tickets. I wonder how big of a problem this will be.

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I will find out what you have to do to get your passport back. Who knows, maybe they don’t collect it on your leg.

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Day 4 - Bangkok in the Evening

 

After we freshen up, using trip advisor we find a restaurant for dinner that’s walking distance. It was delicious.....my favorite of all the thai eats we had over the last 2 days and that’s saying a lot as everything was amazing.

 

It’s called Than Ying Restaurant - our meal was 2 appetizers, pad Thai, a curry dish, white rice and Diet Coke. Meal came to about $50 USD (with tip). Highly recommended - I would take a taxi to eat here.

 

One of the appetizers, sticky noodle

IMG_0497.thumb.jpg.4b4574290506b9901ba228ce63b8931e.jpg

 

the restaurant has a nice ambiance

IMG_0498.thumb.jpg.aa375429abd7ee08fe09d5e115734a5f.jpg

 

We then take the sky train to the Asiatique Market and walk around for a bit. Unlike Singapore there are no hosts to help you purchase tickets and most people do not speak English. Adds a little adventure to the trip. We already knew what stop we had to get off at, and with sign language, watching others, we figured out how to purchase the tickets we needed.

 

On the way back we took a tuk tuk - holy crap, sitting in the back, no windows, no seatbelts, crazy driving - yet somehow felt safe. Cost for this thrill ride was 200 baht (about $3 usd).

 

Here’s a pic of our Thai Mario Andretti

IMG_0499.thumb.jpg.518d80dde54fcb6bd909c2b2d3e6ae11.jpg

 

 

 

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Day 5 - Morning in Bangkok - then back to the ship

 

This morning we get picked up by our tour guide and head to the train market. Pretty cool. The train goes through quite slowly but our guide told us that before tourists started coming to the area the train would whip through at 20km/hr.

IMG_0510.thumb.jpg.acaf3cf6f4822175fa1bba727d151b26.jpg

 

We walked around the market, our tour guide bought us some Durin (may have misspelled this) - it’s that smelly prickly fruit that is an acquired taste. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it. Tasted like a non sweet melon with a garlic twinge.

This is what it looks like

IMG_0502.thumb.jpg.a663724d90cb1eeaaf16424835aa6ad4.jpg

 

As a side note, throughout the trip wherever we were our guide was always buying us food to sample - refused to allow us to pay for any of it (including any coffee stops). I felt like I was putting some kind of food in my mouth every 30 minutes!

 

Then we head to the floating market, get in a boat and look at the goods for purchase

IMG_0513.thumb.jpg.9263523ac6a576bee7f8fd6dd6d42030.jpg

 

We stop and have some mango sticky rice ..... it’s been a half hour - my mouth needs more food! Delicious.

IMG_0515.thumb.jpg.9d66d10099a804005a394dd76bc96634.jpg

Made by this lovely woman

IMG_0517.thumb.jpg.9e4522d902cd9cfec38f88e98669a7a2.jpg

 

We then head to a coconut farm where they demonstrate how they make coconut sugar (tastes a little like maple syrup) and coconut milk.

IMG_0518.thumb.jpg.9c7f8afc8ad1283b6571273758addaa7.jpg

 

It’s around 11am and it’s time to head back - even though we final boarding is 330p - our guide tells us traffic is very unpredictable. On average it takes them 3 hrs - but they have had trips that take 4.5 hrs. We listen to the expert and head back to the ship - we stop and grab a “take away” lunch on route - as usual fantastic.

 

Make it to the ship in record time..... back on board by 215p. Just hit the spa, feel all refreshed and going to go enjoy the evening. I heard several announcements for about 6 passengers to call the guest service desk - hopefully they made it back!

 

 

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I’m really enjoying your trip report and the photo’s. We join The Jewel on 16 April for the Shanghai to Tokyo segment. Also booked an Aft Penthouse, so photo’s very helpful. I have one question please. Priority disembarkation - do the ship organised tours disembark before Suite guests?

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I’m really enjoying your trip report and the photo’s. We join The Jewel on 16 April for the Shanghai to Tokyo segment. Also booked an Aft Penthouse, so photo’s very helpful. I have one question please. Priority disembarkation - do the ship organised tours disembark before Suite guests?

 

We’ve only had 2 ports so far.

 

The first was a tender & we were on the first tender with cruisers who were on ship excursions. We were escorted to the front of the line and just got on the tender with them. So I guess we sort of disembark at the same time with tenders.

 

We docked in Bangkok and were escorted off - there was no line. I think we beat the excursions in that case. If I have a different experience with any of the other ports I will report back.

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Just got off this ship in Singapore enjoying her next adventures on the leg we were on the tendering was terrible

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Love your review. It's taking me back to my West Pac days in the Navy. Thanks for posting it.

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Passport queries answered

 

As we guessed - they keep the passports to help for getting visas and clearing customs.

 

They give them back at the end of the cruise but you can retrieve them at any time - if your in a suite from the concierge, in a regular cabin from guest services desk.

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Day 6 - at sea

 

Nice lazy day today - slept until 7am!!!

 

Spent a few hours in the casino and hung out in the spa.

 

The thermal spa on the Jewel has a smaller coed area than the larger ships.

 

This is the coed thalasso spa

IMG_0417.thumb.jpg.4cb711d6c99da972b0328e79bf0a6771.jpg

 

and the coed lounging area (with the heated stone loungers)

IMG_0415.thumb.jpg.ae6efec7b460a0c9e377165c9345c59d.jpg

 

The women’s spa area includes

....a hot tub

IMG_0429.thumb.jpg.1df6a07ce78b7156063d78bb4ec01d24.jpg

 

...a dry sauna

IMG_0422.thumb.jpg.d95859c16ac3a83500ad7b4f53caabc4.jpg

 

...an herbal sauna (the picture is just a steamed up door so instead you get the plaque located just outside)

IMG_0421.thumb.jpg.4c03374163c343b8755a2719a8ab4a34.jpg

 

...an ice soak (never seen this used)

IMG_0420.thumb.jpg.30f46a11e299969ced92974df35088c8.jpg

 

...a rinse off shower area

IMG_0419.thumb.jpg.8410686962bb93ac49cbc00dd05fd0c4.jpg

 

...2 tropical/ice drench showers

IMG_0425.thumb.jpg.f9d3b0f5ca80332d24bddb4cb7d3470f.jpg

IMG_0426.thumb.jpg.c6708a48300fec66db2a56fc8e3b4b9f.jpg

IMG_0428.thumb.jpg.01a685fde06ca593ecad10985290a561.jpg

 

...3 normal showers

IMG_0423.thumb.jpg.fba5328a41cb9c74b28bae15a1d39466.jpg

 

...a changing area

IMG_0424.thumb.jpg.8235c7704cc802b9c4ff8cce5f1af893.jpg

 

...and a lounge area

IMG_0418.thumb.jpg.949ef5dab07e5bbaf9b7feb1232f364c.jpg

 

From the way my husband describes it the male area is very similar. I’ve read on other boards that people find the hot tubs not that hot - I agree - they are still nice - warm, but could be warmer.

 

 

 

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We’ve only had 2 ports so far.

 

The first was a tender & we were on the first tender with cruisers who were on ship excursions. We were escorted to the front of the line and just got on the tender with them. So I guess we sort of disembark at the same time with tenders.

 

We docked in Bangkok and were escorted off - there was no line. I think we beat the excursions in that case. If I have a different experience with any of the other ports I will report back.

 

 

Thanks so much. We are mostly ship tours, so will just do what we are told, but in Beijing, we are doing a private tour and I am trying to give our guide some idea as to the time we will get off the ship. I suspect everyone on board will be taking tours that set off early that day, so every little helps!!

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Great review! We will be boarding the Jewel for the China/Japan cruise shortly. We are currently traveling from Bangkok to Hong Kong.

 

Regarding passports at the Grand Palace. We were told by our hotel that passports were required; they were not. The only reason you would need your passport would be to rent an audio guide. Passports were not checked at the ticket booth.

 

As for passports being collected on board, you can go to Guest Services to retrieve your passport at any time. They are collected to make immigration easier; all of that is taken care of by Guest Services saving you time while in port. However, you can get your passport back if you need it for a particular port.

 

 

 

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Day 6 dinner - @ Cagney’s

 

Okay, the Jewel must have the “old” menu fleet wide....pizza at La Cucina, and look what I had at Cagney’s

IMG_0538.thumb.jpg.faee9ba6b9a5c26e1af223c3696f07a1.jpg

Yes that’s right - Wagu Beef Sliders - this appetizer was not available at Cagney’s on my last 3 (or more) cruises - my favorite menu item at Cagney’s so this was a pleasant surprise.

 

My husband had the Caesar salad

IMG_0537.thumb.jpg.74306723c23980f2e4359234b5bc21f2.jpg

 

For the main entree he had the filet, and I had the Truffle Chicken

IMG_0539.thumb.jpg.a7c0e057f8026e3a23ca2137eec284f3.jpg

IMG_0541.thumb.jpg.09a6c319f110a302eacd8b97b62073d0.jpg

 

Here are our sides which we shared, mushrooms, mac n cheese, onion rings and gratin potato

IMG_0542.thumb.jpg.f477ac25ebd1dbc490151bfc46dda4f0.jpg

 

I’m really not a steak person - I’m always happy with Cagney’s but I’m never blown away by the food the way others report until this meal.

Best Cagney’s meal we have had in our many NCL cruisers. Not sure why it was significantly better. Maybe because everything was piping hot? Maybe because this cruise is in Asia and it’s an amazing experience? Maybe because I was surprised with the beef sliders?

 

Again no room for dessert!

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