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Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

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Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

We are interested in cruising in the South Pacific. Has anyone traveled there on the Jewel?
We are open to all your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Wapak

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3 hours ago, Wapak said:
Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

We are interested in cruising in the South Pacific. Has anyone traveled there on the Jewel?
We are open to all your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Wapak

 

Depends on which islands  .... with around 3500 on-board there are smaller South Pacific islands that will have far fewer inhabitants than on the ship  ..... meaning infrastructure could bean issue. 

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And make sure you're not visiting an island on a Sunday . . . Most place will be closed

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to be a downer but I truly wouldn't go on a big ship. These islands are tiny-tiny and can't handle the masses coming off a behemoth. They're not like the Caribbean where small islands have had years to adjust to tourism. This is like putting the state of California's population inside Rhode Island's. Hot sun, massive congestion, paradise gone awry. You would not see the pristine gorgeous-ness of some of the islands because of the vast influx of humanity. Save your dollars and do something that might cost a little more but where you can enjoy the islands how they were meant to be enjoyed- on a smaller ship. Think Oceania or Pacific Princess (Princess has good prices and 650 passengers!) They can all be had at good prices. I know NCL Jewel probably has great prices but it's at considerable cost to your enjoyment of most ports.

Windstar and Crystal also does the So Pacific at a lot more cost, lol! But you can do a 10 day intensive Tahiti on Marco Polo for same cost as you can do Oceania. Save the most beautiful places in the world for the ships that were truly meant to visit them.

 

 

Edited by Petoonya

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Posted (edited)

A ship like the Jewel is totally wrong.  Oceania and Princess are also way too big.  A Paul Gauguin or Windstar cruise is by far the best option here unless you have a large budget and can afford a 100-passenger expedition ship.  People think the South Pacific islands are like the Caribbean islands with their cruise terminals and infrastructure.  They are nothing like that, thank goodness.

Edited by Fletcher

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22 hours ago, Wapak said:
Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

We are interested in cruising in the South Pacific. Has anyone traveled there on the Jewel?
We are open to all your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Wapak
 
We are booked on the Norwegian Jewel for February 28 visiting the South Pacific. Yes, I do agree it would be a nicer experience aboard a smaller ship, but we are still going on the Jewel. We were on the Jewel two years ago and visited some smaller ports in New Zealand and I did not find the ports to be crowded. Akorora has a population of way under a 1000 which was one of the ports we visited. I have cruised on the smaller ships of 50 to 150 passengers and have enjoyed them immensely, but given the choice of visiting the South Pacific on a big ship or not visiting at all, I would definitely go on a big ship.
 
 
 

 

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1 hour ago, stjohnbeachlover said:

 

 

Big difference between Akorora and a small island in French Polynesia. Akorora isn't an isolated area, your close to several other smaller communities and within a short drive of the urban city of Christchurch  ..... major difference.

 

I think the point being made is you can go on a huge ship and miss the opportunity of enjoying French Polynesia the way it is meant to be enjoyed .... 

 

Heck, some of the smaller ships will change their routing when they know a huge ship is visiting and the reason is to make sure their passengers enjoy it the way it is suppose to be enjoyed.

 

If you go on a huge ship and leave your assumptions on the way French Polynesia is will be incorrect.

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18 hours ago, Fletcher said:

A ship like the Jewel is totally wrong.  Oceania and Princess are also way too big.  A Paul Gauguin or Windstar cruise is by far the best option here unless you have a large budget and can afford a 100-passenger expedition ship.  People think the South Pacific islands are like the Caribbean islands with their cruise terminals and infrastructure.  They are nothing like that, thank goodness.

 

I'm probably the oldest one entering an opinion at age 67, but I've been on all the ships discussed here except for Crystal and the Jewel. Yes on Marco Polo x1 , yes on Oceania x3, yes on Pacific Princess x1, and yes on Windstar x2 most recently last December. My personal favorite having done them all is Wind Spirit but If someone is on a budget there is certainly nothing wrong with a smaller ship like Oceania or Princess.  Wind Spirit is a mere 5,000 gross tons, PG 22000 gross tons and Oceania and Princess R class ships are 30000. Wind Star will always have my heart but size wise PG and Oceania/Princess aren't really that far off!

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3 hours ago, Petoonya said:

 

Yes on Marco Polo x1 , yes on Oceania x3

 

Have no idea where my head was!! A thousand apologies to the fans of the beloved Paul Gaugain. Don't know why I referred to PG as Marco Polo🙄

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On 8/19/2019 at 6:51 AM, Wapak said:
Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

We are interested in cruising in the South Pacific. Has anyone traveled there on the Jewel?
We are open to all your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Wapak

We sailed on the Jewel to the South Pacific two years ago.  We enjoyed it and it's a great ship.

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Take Matira Beach on Bora Bora.  Two thousand people, hardly any infrastructure at all, hardly any toilets, everyone drinking gallons of water, fizzy drinks, beers . . . would I go swimming?  Er . . . no.

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Feel like we "anti-massive-ships-in-South Pacific" are just lamenting the potential loss of the grandeur of places like Bora Bora... like what happened in Hawaii. When too many people visit a tiny island for 8-10 hours stuff gets trampled. Natives get rattled.

The earth groans lol.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Petoonya said:

Feel like we "anti-massive-ships-in-South Pacific" are just lamenting the potential loss of the grandeur of places like Bora Bora... like what happened in Hawaii. When too many people visit a tiny island for 8-10 hours stuff gets trampled. Natives get rattled.

The earth groans lol.

 

And we who are in love with French Polynesia will venture out further to get away from the crowds or stick on small ships that maneuver around the big whales in order to give their guest a better glimpse of Polynesia. I'm just glad we found paradise before the masses ....

 

 

 

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I was on the Jewel in 2017 and cruised Papeete to Sydney. I had an absolutely wonderful time and loved the ship. So much so that I have booked to cruise again and repeat the itinerary in November. Passenger capacity was around 2,000 and it didn’t feel crowded anywhere. I did a lot of snorkelling excursions booked privately through local operators in French Polynesia. They need a certain number to operate their tour to fit the cruiseship schedule which can be hard on the smaller ships. The Jewel, being a mid size ship is very stable in the water something I appreciated when getting closer to Aus as I remember past cruises on smaller ships in this region feeling quite ill. I had no problems whatsoever with the Jewel. 

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On 9/12/2019 at 9:40 AM, karoo said:

I was on the Jewel in 2017 and cruised Papeete to Sydney. I had an absolutely wonderful time and loved the ship. So much so that I have booked to cruise again and repeat the itinerary in November. Passenger capacity was around 2,000 and it didn’t feel crowded anywhere. I did a lot of snorkelling excursions booked privately through local operators in French Polynesia. They need a certain number to operate their tour to fit the cruiseship schedule which can be hard on the smaller ships. The Jewel, being a mid size ship is very stable in the water something I appreciated when getting closer to Aus as I remember past cruises on smaller ships in this region feeling quite ill. I had no problems whatsoever with the Jewel. 

You may have had no problem with the Jewel but the locals may have had problems with it. And from talking to locals as I have they did.

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11 hours ago, Petoonya said:

You may have had no problem with the Jewel but the locals may have had problems with it. And from talking to locals as I have they did.

 

I guess it depends which locals you talk to. I know the local tour operators that I booked through were all extremely grateful for the money they made that day. L'Excursion Bleue said it was the most tourists they've ever had in one day and I got that response from many of the operators. Nothing but positive comments. Even the Pago Pago bus driver/guide who took us to his kid's school, house etc as well as many of the highlights of the island -said when a big cruise ship (it's really midsize) visits they make lots of money. Visiting his home and family was very humbling and I'm sure the money he made that day was much appreciated. Tourism in many of these places is their number one industry. As long as we respect the people, are careful not to damage the coral I'm sure the money that pours into their economy all helps. JMO

Edited by karoo

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21 hours ago, Petoonya said:

You may have had no problem with the Jewel but the locals may have had problems with it. And from talking to locals as I have they did.

I agree with Karoo.  We have been on Golden Princess to some of these places(Bora Bora, Papeete, Pago Pago) and the people were very welcoming and happy to have us in their community.  My husband and I just visit with anyone who is around and we have never gotten a negative response at all.  At the stores and shops, they are thrilled to talk to us and happy to have the income. We are also going on the Jewel and are very much looking forward to it.

 

We just returned from Princess's maiden voyage to Greenland and even the small village with 1000 people were very, very happy to have a ship that size(almost 4000 total people) visit.  They made tons of money in a very poor area.  School kids even went to the pier to practice their English skills.  

 

It may be a pain to have so many people in town, but if it makes the community money, then I think it is good.

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:51 PM, Wapak said:
Cruising to South Pacific on Norwegian Jewel

We are interested in cruising in the South Pacific. Has anyone traveled there on the Jewel?
We are open to all your thoughts and comments.

Thanks
Wapak

 

I wouldn't worry about this so-called overcrowding.

 

I've been to numerous South Pacific Islands that had no more infrastructure than a landing jetty, on 2000-2500 pax ships similar in size to the Jewel.

 

There was never any problems with overcrowding, even on islands you can walk around in 30 minutes. People naturally spread out so that they don't get in each other's way.

 

Go to the islands, you will love it. Ignore the people more interested in bragging about their conspicuous consumption than enjoying a cruise.

Edited by SinbadThePorter

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4 minutes ago, Level six said:

?

To answer your question the largest ship I've been on in French Polynesia was The Tahitian Princess and the Ocean Princess when they were under Princess. They are sister ships, both carried around 680 and that is about as big as I recommend as on Rangiroa it was a bit 'busy' getting to and from the pier. 

 

Then we went on the Paul Gauguin and never looked back. It was a night and day difference. On Princess we were nickel-ed and dime to death. On the PG everything was included, even the bar tab and tips. When we added everything up there really was only a few hundred dollars difference but the superior experience was worth so much more and a few hundred dollars. 

 

One of the major differences beyond what I've already stated is the crew. The PG is known for the outstanding crew with one of the highest return rates of any ship on the seas. The islands are beautiful but the experience is so much better on a small ship where the crew knows everything about the islands as the ship is home based in French Polynesia. 

 

We've been on Norwegian on a large ship (not in French Polynesia), will never do that again. As I said, it's like apples and oranges, you can't compare, it's not even close 😉

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I have been on over 40 cruises including on many small ships, and the only cruise I hated was on the Paul Gauguin in FP.   Went a few years later to the same places on a larger ship for one quarter of the cost, and the entire experience was so much better.  I disagree that small ships are always better and in some areas of the world, I prefer a larger ship in rough waters.

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I would love to be able to visit the South Pacific on a smaller ship, I have cruised Oceania before and love them. However, right now the only way I can afford to do it is on the Emerald Princess, a very large ship. Sailing into and out of LA saves a lot of money on flights for us. 


I take the trip being fully aware that 3000 people will make the islands less desirable than they would otherwise be. We are doing our best to make plans that do not involve ships tours, and take us a little off the beaten track. 

 

Hopefully, if I win the lottery, or do well in retirement I can go back one day on the Paul Gauguin. But you never know what will happen in the future, so right now I am taking the opportunity to travel to somewhere I have always wanted to visit. 🥰

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