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Giantfan13

Off the Jewel in Alaska

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We are experienced cruisers, and have no particular favorites, having cruised NCL about 8 times, RCCL, MSC, Princess and Carnival, but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. 

Our main reason was the food. We are not pure vegetarians but we do not eat meat and we opt for the fish most nights while cruising. I can honestly say, on all seven nights we did not have one well prepared fish entrée. First of all, the cuts (or fillets) of the fish have become so thin that any sort of cooking will basically dry them out unless done perfectly. They were dry and several nights uneatable. I did complain to our server and then to the Maître 'D and if not seated with people most nights we would have complained to the chef. If I had ordered anything like this in any restaurant, it would be sent back or we would leave. Really, it was just uneatable. Again, I assume it was because the cuts were so thin--is NCL trying to save more money by cutting the fish so thin as to get extra portions from them? My DW did eat from the fish they have every nite which was a fried flounder, but I stay away from fried foods.

 

Our second complaint was the entertainment on this cruise. Now we are seniors and I would say the majority of the passengers were seniors, but the entertainment seemed geared to a much young audience. The production shows were well done, just not to our liking with much more modern music that we would like. OK, maybe this is just us, but we thought since most of the people are seniors, maybe shows geared towards them might be better? They also has a comedienne who was so bad, people were walking out all thru his show. He was hard to understand, and he just wasn't funny. They also had a husband and wife acrobatic show, which some said was good, it just didn't interest us. Out of 7 nights we only attended 3 shows that we thought would interest us and from others that we spoke to, except for the sort of Circus Soliel thing they do, the theater was half empty most nights. 

So I am usually not a complainer and will roll with the punches and take things in stride, but when you cannot enjoy dinner and don't like the entertainment, maybe it's time to switch cruise lines for a while. We have been with RCCL for our last several cruises and find them more to our liking. We sailed NCL because of a credit we had from a past Breakaway cruise, but, really we will think hard and long about cruising with NCL again. 

 

BTW, the service was GREAT. It sure seemed as if all crew memberswent out of their way to be friendly and try to be helpful. It was much appreciated and noted.

 

You want to flame me, go ahead, but I just wanted to write what I felt was an honest assessment of this cruise and did the same to NCL in our post cruise survey. 

 

Cheers

Len

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11 minutes ago, Giantfan13 said:

We are experienced cruisers, and have no particular favorites, having cruised NCL about 8 times, RCCL, MSC, Princess and Carnival, but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. 

Our main reason was the food. We are not pure vegetarians but we do not eat meat and we opt for the fish most nights while cruising. I can honestly say, on all seven nights we did not have one well prepared fish entrée. First of all, the cuts (or fillets) of the fish have become so thin that any sort of cooking will basically dry them out unless done perfectly. They were dry and several nights uneatable. I did complain to our server and then to the Maître 'D and if not seated with people most nights we would have complained to the chef. If I had ordered anything like this in any restaurant, it would be sent back or we would leave. Really, it was just uneatable. Again, I assume it was because the cuts were so thin--is NCL trying to save more money by cutting the fish so thin as to get extra portions from them? My DW did eat from the fish they have every nite which was a fried flounder, but I stay away from fried foods.

 

Our second complaint was the entertainment on this cruise. Now we are seniors and I would say the majority of the passengers were seniors, but the entertainment seemed geared to a much young audience. The production shows were well done, just not to our liking with much more modern music that we would like. OK, maybe this is just us, but we thought since most of the people are seniors, maybe shows geared towards them might be better? They also has a comedienne who was so bad, people were walking out all thru his show. He was hard to understand, and he just wasn't funny. They also had a husband and wife acrobatic show, which some said was good, it just didn't interest us. Out of 7 nights we only attended 3 shows that we thought would interest us and from others that we spoke to, except for the sort of Circus Soliel thing they do, the theater was half empty most nights. 

So I am usually not a complainer and will roll with the punches and take things in stride, but when you cannot enjoy dinner and don't like the entertainment, maybe it's time to switch cruise lines for a while. We have been with RCCL for our last several cruises and find them more to our liking. We sailed NCL because of a credit we had from a past Breakaway cruise, but, really we will think hard and long about cruising with NCL again. 

 

BTW, the service was GREAT. It sure seemed as if all crew memberswent out of their way to be friendly and try to be helpful. It was much appreciated and noted.

 

You want to flame me, go ahead, but I just wanted to write what I felt was an honest assessment of this cruise and did the same to NCL in our post cruise survey. 

 

Cheers

Len

Len, everyone has his/hers idea or food. So I am not going to disagree with you. All I can say is: when we eat in the MDR we usually get Salmon and have never had a bad piece or one not cooked correctly.. Maybe we have been lucky but I am guessing it isn't just our luck. We have probably had Salmon over a dozen times on NCL> 

 

As for the entertainment, I somewhat agree with you, but I also realize and as often that you have cruised I would think you would know this: the entertainment on any ship, regardless of the line is contracted out for sometimes years. Though you were on a cruise that was mostly seniors, this same ship will be heading to the Caribbean and the entertainment will be geared to their customers which overall will not be seniors. We have simply, lately found we enjoy the piano bar or something like that after dinner and rarely bother with shows except maybe a comedian. Certainly you will not find the entertainment geared to our age group on Carnival and not that much on RCCL either. Maybe you are a better candidate for MSC or Princess 

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1 hour ago, newmexicoNita said:

Len, everyone has his/hers idea or food. So I am not going to disagree with you. All I can say is: when we eat in the MDR we usually get Salmon and have never had a bad piece or one not cooked correctly.. Maybe we have been lucky but I am guessing it isn't just our luck. We have probably had Salmon over a dozen times on NCL> 

 

As for the entertainment, I somewhat agree with you, but I also realize and as often that you have cruised I would think you would know this: the entertainment on any ship, regardless of the line is contracted out for sometimes years. Though you were on a cruise that was mostly seniors, this same ship will be heading to the Caribbean and the entertainment will be geared to their customers which overall will not be seniors. We have simply, lately found we enjoy the piano bar or something like that after dinner and rarely bother with shows except maybe a comedian. Certainly you will not find the entertainment geared to our age group on Carnival and not that much on RCCL either. Maybe you are a better candidate for MSC or Princess 

I fully understand. We also have never really had a bad piece of salmon. Salmon is usually on the every night menu if you don't like the fish entrée, but believe me, even the salmon was overcooked. It was like they either pre cook it and when ordered they just zap it a bit, or they leave the cooked fish under those heat lamps and if the fish is cut so thin, it will dry it out. 

And in Alaska, you would think the salmon would be spectacular, but just not this case. I hope it is just a sort of quirk and not the future.

 

Cheers

Len

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3 hours ago, Giantfan13 said:

We are experienced cruisers, and have no particular favorites, having cruised NCL about 8 times, RCCL, MSC, Princess and Carnival, but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. 

Our main reason was the food. We are not pure vegetarians but we do not eat meat and we opt for the fish most nights while cruising. I can honestly say, on all seven nights we did not have one well prepared fish entrée. First of all, the cuts (or fillets) of the fish have become so thin that any sort of cooking will basically dry them out unless done perfectly. They were dry and several nights uneatable. I did complain to our server and then to the Maître 'D and if not seated with people most nights we would have complained to the chef. If I had ordered anything like this in any restaurant, it would be sent back or we would leave. Really, it was just uneatable. Again, I assume it was because the cuts were so thin--is NCL trying to save more money by cutting the fish so thin as to get extra portions from them? My DW did eat from the fish they have every nite which was a fried flounder, but I stay away from fried foods.

 

Our second complaint was the entertainment on this cruise. Now we are seniors and I would say the majority of the passengers were seniors, but the entertainment seemed geared to a much young audience. The production shows were well done, just not to our liking with much more modern music that we would like. OK, maybe this is just us, but we thought since most of the people are seniors, maybe shows geared towards them might be better? They also has a comedienne who was so bad, people were walking out all thru his show. He was hard to understand, and he just wasn't funny. They also had a husband and wife acrobatic show, which some said was good, it just didn't interest us. Out of 7 nights we only attended 3 shows that we thought would interest us and from others that we spoke to, except for the sort of Circus Soliel thing they do, the theater was half empty most nights. 

So I am usually not a complainer and will roll with the punches and take things in stride, but when you cannot enjoy dinner and don't like the entertainment, maybe it's time to switch cruise lines for a while. We have been with RCCL for our last several cruises and find them more to our liking. We sailed NCL because of a credit we had from a past Breakaway cruise, but, really we will think hard and long about cruising with NCL again. 

 

BTW, the service was GREAT. It sure seemed as if all crew memberswent out of their way to be friendly and try to be helpful. It was much appreciated and noted.

 

You want to flame me, go ahead, but I just wanted to write what I felt was an honest assessment of this cruise and did the same to NCL in our post cruise survey. 

 

Cheers

Len

 

 

Hi Len,

 

I am on the same cruise as you!!   Am sitting out on the aft deck looking down at Ketchikan right now and your post caught my eye.   

 

I agree with you generally about the food.   My wife and I have sailed on many cruises across many lines, and this is the worst food we have ever had.   We used to eat in the Norwegian specialty restaurants, but Norwegian has jacked the prices up on those to something crazy, whether you eat a la carte or buy the dining packages.

 

I also understand what you are saying about the entertainment.   If the type and style are not for you they are not for you.  But my wife and I (both in our early 60s) like the  music and choreography of the Jewel shows.   And as for quality, I happen to think the production shows on the Jewel are the BEST I have ever seen on a cruise ship!  There are four extremely talented singers in the Jewel production cast, and usually you only have maybe one good singer.   And the show band performers are all very, very good, my wife and I seek them out every night they perform apart from the production cast.   So to each his own!

 

Paul

 

PS, yes the comedian, not too good.  I was wondering if he was drunk, his delivery was slow and a bit slurred.

 

Edited by Petersonfcu

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We both eat salmon on NCL regularly and have only had the odd "poor" piece.   My wife also eats other fish and says it is a good option.  BUT we don't eat in the buffet so in the MDR it seems to be cooked as ordered and is good.

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I get it, sometimes a cruise is just not up to par.  We have been on the Jewel several times and will be again in about a month, so I was interested in your post.  Sometimes things just add up and it makes the cruise no fun.  We have always enjoyed the Jewel. 

 

Having said that, it is on all cruise ships and cruise lines from time to time.  We just got off the Caribbean Princess and that cruise had me saying, "no more Princess".  One night in the theater (you had to be there an hour early to get a seat) they were blasting rap music!!  Rap music for an hour!!  The average age on board was 80.  We are in our 50's and hated it, plus it was so loud.  Anyway, it happens.  Sorry you had a bad experience.  

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@Giantfan13

 

but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. 

 

Out of interest who were the officers on the cruise?  We have cruised on the Jewel a number of times and have found the officers on it, that we have dealt with, to be very amenable to written and/or verbal comments/requests and even complaints.

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Entertainment outside of the theater varies greatly ship to ship.  We are in our mid-40’s and often feel like the entertainment/music is geared to a much older audience. 

 

Also, if you have a dining package, the Dover Sole at Le Bistro was fabulous last month on the Star and the Epic.

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2 hours ago, Petersonfcu said:

 

 

Hi Len,

 

I am on the same cruise as you!!   Am sitting out on the aft deck looking down at Ketchikan right now and your post caught my eye.   

 

I agree with you generally about the food.   My wife and I have sailed on many cruises across many lines, and this is the worst food we have ever had.   We used to eat in the Norwegian specialty restaurants, but Norwegian has jacked the prices up on those to something crazy, whether you eat a la carte or buy the dining packages.

 

I also understand what you are saying about the entertainment.   If the type and style are not for you they are not for you.  But my wife and I (both in our early 60s) like the  music and choreography of the Jewel shows.   And as for quality, I happen to think the production shows on the Jewel are the BEST I have ever seen on a cruise ship!  There are four extremely talented singers in the Jewel production cast, and usually you only have maybe one good singer.   And the show band performers are all very, very good, my wife and I seek them out every night they perform apart from the production cast.   So to each his own!

 

Paul

 

PS, yes the comedian, not too good.  I was wondering if he was drunk, his delivery was slow and a bit slurred.

 

Paul

 

 Hope you are enjoying the cruise and have had wonderful weather.

 

I do agree the production cast was wonderful and they tried very hard. I was NOT criticizing them at all, it was more the material that they were working with, if you get my drift. 

 

Cheers

Len

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1 hour ago, casofilia said:

@Giantfan13

 

but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. 

 

Out of interest who were the officers on the cruise?  We have cruised on the Jewel a number of times and have found the officers on it, that we have dealt with, to be very amenable to written and/or verbal comments/requests and even complaints.

As I said, the officers and staff were very nice and everyone had a smile on their face. I did find the Captain very hard to understand as he has a very heavy accent. 

 

Again, I would have really liked to have the chef come out and see the fish that we had to eat and ask him if he would eat that if he ordered it at a restaurant, but we always try to share a table and every nite we did, and I just did not want to make a huge scene out of it. I did mention this twice to the maitre'D and they apologized many times, but the food never changed. I do all the cooking in my house and though I am far from being a chef, I know how to cook, and you simply cannot cut fish so thin and leave it sit, or whatever they do to it, and then serve it and expect it to be moist.

 

As was said, every ship is different and every cruise line does their own thing, on this ship at this time, the fish was uneatable. I cannot speak for any of the other meals, like chicken or steak, everyone we ate with seemed to enjoy theirs, I can only speak for the fish entrees.

 

Cheers

Len

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I was on the Jewel in August.

 

Now that I think about it the shows were more for the 30's 40's crowd.

I did notice the average age was 60's. 

I actually loved that part of the cruise even though I'm 41 and when with my 12 year old son.

 

I'm not a big foodie but it's been mentioned a lot that the food quality isn't extraordinary. I'ts good but if you are expecting 5 star food like at a restaurant at home it won't happen.

 

 

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2 hours ago, K_e_short said:

I was on the Jewel in August.

 

Now that I think about it the shows were more for the 30's 40's crowd.

I did notice the average age was 60's. 

I actually loved that part of the cruise even though I'm 41 and when with my 12 year old son.

 

I'm not a big foodie but it's been mentioned a lot that the food quality isn't extraordinary. I'ts good but if you are expecting 5 star food like at a restaurant at home it won't happen.

 

 

We have about 25 cruises under our belts and I know about food on cruise ships. When I say this was the worst fish entrees we have ever had, well, that's simply the way it is. We always dine in the MDR so I cannot comment on how the buffet food was, couldn't be any worse. AND, to your comment about 5 star food. When we started cruising maybe 25 years ago, we did expect 5 star dinners every night. Isn't that what cruise lines advertised--gourmet dinners every night, all included in your price? Maybe now, when there are just so many pay for dinner venues on every ship, they are truly cutting back on food in the MDR, trying to encourage people to pay for better food? I surely don't know. What I do know was on this particular ship, on this particular cruise, the fish entrees were not good. Not to keep being repetitious but the fillets were almost paper thing and mostly dry. Today, maybe we really don't expect 5 star meals in the MDR (though we should), we should expect 4 star meals. seems they care more about the presentation than they do about how it is cooked and tastes. 

 

Cheers

Len

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22 hours ago, Giantfan13 said:

I fully understand. We also have never really had a bad piece of salmon. Salmon is usually on the every night menu if you don't like the fish entrée, but believe me, even the salmon was overcooked. It was like they either pre cook it and when ordered they just zap it a bit, or they leave the cooked fish under those heat lamps and if the fish is cut so thin, it will dry it out. 

And in Alaska, you would think the salmon would be spectacular, but just not this case. I hope it is just a sort of quirk and not the future.

 

Cheers

Len

Well Len, it might have to do with you being a Giants fan and I am a staunch Redskins fan. At least when I am on the ship in a few weeks I will have free booze cause the way my team is playing I will need it.  Giants not much better.  😥

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20 hours ago, Petersonfcu said:

 

 

Hi Len,

 

I am on the same cruise as you!!   Am sitting out on the aft deck looking down at Ketchikan right now and your post caught my eye.   

 

I agree with you generally about the food.   My wife and I have sailed on many cruises across many lines, and this is the worst food we have ever had.   We used to eat in the Norwegian specialty restaurants, but Norwegian has jacked the prices up on those to something crazy, whether you eat a la carte or buy the dining packages.

 

I also understand what you are saying about the entertainment.   If the type and style are not for you they are not for you.  But my wife and I (both in our early 60s) like the  music and choreography of the Jewel shows.   And as for quality, I happen to think the production shows on the Jewel are the BEST I have ever seen on a cruise ship!  There are four extremely talented singers in the Jewel production cast, and usually you only have maybe one good singer.   And the show band performers are all very, very good, my wife and I seek them out every night they perform apart from the production cast.   So to each his own!

 

Paul

 

PS, yes the comedian, not too good.  I was wondering if he was drunk, his delivery was slow and a bit slurred.

 

agree about the prices of the specialty dining rooms. I think that has to do with so many now using the dining package or the dining perks. They have to make their money some way. We are lucky between the free dinners with "free at sea" and plat plus we do eat mostly in the specialty dining rooms. 

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OP, Thanks for your review and thoughts. 
 

We would agree about fish dishes. Precooked fish dishes from frozen fish, smothered in odd seasoning/sauces has never worked for us either. 

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6 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

Well Len, it might have to do with you being a Giants fan and I am a staunch Redskins fan. At least when I am on the ship in a few weeks I will have free booze cause the way my team is playing I will need it.  Giants not much better.  😥

Ha Nita, we finally broke into the win column today, but it is still going to be a long year.

 

Funny thing is, we opened against the Cowgirls, and I fully expected this game to be shown some where on the ship, but NO. They did not pick up the NFL package as the Jewel is going to be sailing out of Australia and they aren't going to be showing any NFL games on her this season.  BOOOOOO

 

Cheers

Len

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10 hours ago, Giantfan13 said:

Ha Nita, we finally broke into the win column today, but it is still going to be a long year.

 

Funny thing is, we opened against the Cowgirls, and I fully expected this game to be shown some where on the ship, but NO. They did not pick up the NFL package as the Jewel is going to be sailing out of Australia and they aren't going to be showing any NFL games on her this season.  BOOOOOO

 

Cheers

Len

Len, we had to suffer through not watching any football on the Jewel when she cruised from Dover to NYC when she made her maiden voyage, but t was only 1 Sunday.   10 day cruise on HAL about 10 years ago, 2 Sundays, no American sports at all. DAMN

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7 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

Len, we had to suffer through not watching any football on the Jewel when she cruised from Dover to NYC when she made her maiden voyage, but t was only 1 Sunday.   10 day cruise on HAL about 10 years ago, 2 Sundays, no American sports at all. DAMN

Yes, quite a bit of chatter here and elsewhere about the lack of American football on some cruise ships.   In in my experience, we have never on any cruise been able to see a live American football game on the stateroom TVs, but on some cruises, maybe about half? you can see a game on the bar/casino TV.  We just did a virtual B2B, cruising the HAL Westerdam from Vancouver to Anchorage, and then returning to Vancouver on the Jewel.   The bars and casinos on the Westerdam did have live American football, both college and pro.   And I believe the Westerdam, like the Jewel, is about to set sail for Asia and maybe Australia.

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1 hour ago, Petersonfcu said:

Yes, quite a bit of chatter here and elsewhere about the lack of American football on some cruise ships.   In in my experience, we have never on any cruise been able to see a live American football game on the stateroom TVs, but on some cruises, maybe about half? you can see a game on the bar/casino TV.  We just did a virtual B2B, cruising the HAL Westerdam from Vancouver to Anchorage, and then returning to Vancouver on the Jewel.   The bars and casinos on the Westerdam did have live American football, both college and pro.   And I believe the Westerdam, like the Jewel, is about to set sail for Asia and maybe Australia.

we were on the I don't remember dam and it was late Nov. The height of the season, we did get basketball European style and that was about the height of sports period. e

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We did a TA last December, and although my Giants were out of it, I am still a gung ho football fan and wanted to watch. We were on RCCL and the only games they were able to show where the National games or any on cable, like NFL network, or ESPN. We were able to get Sunday Night football, but anything on local stations, Like FOX or CBS we couldn't get. 

 

Cheers

Len

Edited by Giantfan13

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How did football become a topic on this thread.  I though we cruise to cruise, not watch football.  Come on now nuckleheads.  There is more to life than football.  That is what I was told on a earlier when I started cruising the Jewel when football season started.  And anybody who cruises for food and entertainment are just silly.  Ha Ha Ha.  Now people get a life.

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2 minutes ago, jskinsd said:

How did football become a topic on this thread.  I though we cruise to cruise, not watch football.  Come on now nuckleheads.  There is more to life than football.  That is what I was told on a earlier when I started cruising the Jewel when football season started.  And anybody who cruises for food and entertainment are just silly.  Ha Ha Ha.  Now people get a life.

No one is cruising just to watch football, anymore than any of us cruise just to exercise or get a sun ta. The OP started the thread to inform us about the lack of a particular activity. :classic_sleep:

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9 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

No one is cruising just to watch football, anymore than any of us cruise just to exercise or get a sun ta. The OP started the thread to inform us about the lack of a particular activity. :classic_sleep:

Oh.  Really.  Then why did you bring up football.  My Bad.

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