NCL Jewel AC Penthouse Review! January 2008 From the moment we stepped into the cruise terminal until we boarded the bus to the airport home, we felt like VIP was stamped on our foreheads. We were whisked to the Suites area to get registered (a breeze) then through to the special seating area until we boarded the ship. We met our concierge, Alex here and only sat for about 15 minutes until we boarded the ship and were escorted to our forward penthouse suite, 9500. We met our phenomenal room stewards, Ross and Leonor and also our butler, Maurice.
Our stateroom was everything I could have asked! I loved it's colors, nice and bright. There was plenty of room, tons of storage and it was really lovely. The bathroom was nice sized, with a tub, separate loo and sink area. Nice amenities as well. I loved the vanity area for getting ready. The closet was large and you could access it from both sides. We used the espresso machine daily at least.
However, it's the balcony that makes this room so wonderful. Our balcony was, in a word- HUGE!! It's one of 4, the biggest balconies on the ship. Even the bigger suites on the sides didn't have a balcony as big. We spent so much time on it. In fact, we spent a lot of time in our room on this ship because it was so cozy and comfortable. Not to mention the most comfortable bed on any ship I've taken. I don't understand some of the reviews I had read prior to cruising in this room, the wind never kept us off the balcony, even on one night when we had gale force winds! In fact, we kept our door open each night to get that wonderful breeze. You could easily fit 25 people out there. It was great when docking because you could see everything happening.
As far as the ship itself, it's beautiful. Nicely laid out and with the best cruise staff I've encountered. This was my 13th cruise but my first with NCL. We loved every minute of it. The crystal atrium was beautiful and a great place to people watch! The Java Cafe had some yummy treats and great espresso and cappuccino. Our favorite places were the Spinnaker lounge for fun and games and getting together with other cruise critic members, the Great Outdoors for a quick bite to eat/drink, Fyzz Lounge for dancing.
As far as restaurants go, we enjoyed room service for breakfast each day. A nice variety plus for suites you can get room service from the specialty restaurants. Also, because we were in a suite, we ate lunch at Cagney's many days and it was fantastic. The best wait staff was there at lunch! For dinner, we ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Tsar's room service, Blue Lagoon and the Garden Cafe on nights we didn't want to dress up at all. My favorite by far was Cagney's, but we ate so well during this cruise that all venues were tasty. In fact, the "make your own" pasta at the Garden Cafe was great!
We saw Cirque Bijou which was absolutely fantastic. It is truly the best show on the high seas! We missed Band on the Run and one other show, but caught the Quest, Newlywed Game, the great band in the Spinnaker, Fyzz Lounge for dancing, etc.
We didn't book any shore trips but one huge perk was having our concierge, Alex. While having breakfast in Cozumel we saw someone parasailing. Because the suites have cell phones for our use, we luckily took it to port with us. Michael called Alex and asked if we could parasail. Within 5 minutes he called back and had it all set up. Within 15 minutes we were on the boat getting ready to go up 500 feet in the air! Thanks Alex!!
In Grand Cayman we went to Exotic Tattoos and I got my first tattoo and Michael had some work done on one of his. I'll never forget that shore trip! Caz did a great job and was very nice, although the owner needs an update on people skills.
What were the highlights of this trip? Our wonderful stateroom and the special attention we received. The Captain's VIP cocktail party was wonderful, the canapes were received each night, priority tender tickets, etc.
Who really made this trip wonderful? Ross and Leonor- the best room stewards ever, Maurice our butler, Alex our concierge, and the many, many crew who really went above and beyond to ensure we had a good time.
I have many pictures to share if you'd like and a couple videos. Feel free to email me and I'll be happy to send them to you. firstname.lastname@example.org
We can't wait to give NCL another try and we'd love to be back on board the Jewel as soon as possible! This cruise was FLAWLESS from beginning to end!