Norwegian Jewel Cruise Ship: Overview and Things To Do

Here's everything you need to know about the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship, with an over and things to do onboard.

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The lead vessel of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jewel-class, Norwegian Jewel entered service in 2005. While the ship is just over 15 years old, recent refurbishments have brought the vessel into the modern age. 

A mid-size ship, it offers a mix of all the amenities you need and plenty of activity options, without being overwhelming. Even if it’s not technically a mega-ship, Norwegian Jewel still manages to provide all of the dining and entertainment you’ll need during an average cruise.

Thinking of taking a Norwegian Jewel cruise in the near future? Here’s everything you need to know, from what kind of staterooms you can expect, to what kind of children’s activities are going to be offered for the kiddos.

Norwegian Jewel Ship Stats 

As mentioned above, Norwegian Jewel is firmly a mid-size ship. It’s not too big, not too small. It gives you a little bit of everything you need, but you’re not going to get lost walking from your stateroom or suite to dinner (probably). Here are your need-to-know ship stats.

  • A gross tonnage of 93,502 GT
  • Length of 965 feet (or just over 294 meters)
  • 15 decks
  • An average guest capacity of 2,394 passengers 
  • A crew of 1,072 members 
  • Nearly 1,200 cabins 
  • 540 cabins with balconies 

Construction and History

Norwegian Jewel was the cruise line’s very first Jewel-class ship. At the time of launch, the Jewel class featured the largest ships among Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet, up until 2009, when the line began building Norwegian Epic, which would outrank Norwegian Jewel by a hefty 60,000 GTE. 

Norwegian Jewel was ordered in 2003 and built at Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The ship launched in 2005, christened in Miami by godmother and former First Lady Melania Trump. The ship entered service in December of 2005. The ship then underwent a dry dock refurbishment period in 2018.

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: GTS Productions / Shutterstock

Other ships in the Jewel class include Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Pearl. Norwegian Jade was originally christened as the Pride of Hawaii, as it was, at first, going to be used as a U.S. flagged ship beneath the NCL America brand.

However, this endeavor proved unsuccessful for Norwegian Cruise Line, and so this particular ship was renamed and partially redesigned to fit the rest of the Jewel class better. 

Staterooms

Norwegian Jewel offers a mix of staterooms, including:

  • Interior staterooms
  • Ocean-view staterooms
  • Balcony staterooms 

Since all of the nearly 1,200 cabins and suites received refurbishments during the 2018 dry dock, you can expect updated interiors that are designed to please the modern traveler.

There are even USB outlets in each stateroom and suite, so you can stay charged on the go, and all your much-needed amenities, such as coffee makers and hair dryers, are accounted for.

(Photo Courtesy: NCL)

Interior staterooms manage to look roomy and comfortable, even though they are interior, so your smallest option on the ship. Interior staterooms include lit mirrors and hung televisions, a blue and gray color palette and an overall aesthetic that would look at home in most modern budget hotels.

If you’re traveling alone or as a couple and you don’t plan on spending a ton of time in your stateroom during your cruise (after all, there are so many other things to do and see than simply sitting in bed watching TV), or if you want to save some cash, the interior staterooms are the way to go.

The oceanview rooms are a little bit more of an upgrade. They’re only slightly larger than the interior staterooms, but they still manage to feel a lot larger because of the windows.

(Photo Courtesy: NCL)

That aside, it’s important to note that the windows aren’t huge. Whereas some cruise ships will give you big, expansive, floor-to-ceiling or even wall-to-wall views, that’s not what you’ll find here. Instead, expect awkwardly-placed windows behind the bed. 

Lastly, the balcony staterooms are the most stylish and spacious of your stateroom options, with separate seating areas, a full entertainment center with shelving versus just a television hung on the wall and, of course, that big balcony.

Balconies feature seating, small tables and translucent railing, for the least-interrupted views. Balconies are also accessed via a floor-to-ceiling glass door that takes up most of your exterior wall, for even more views without even leaving bed. 

Suites

As for suites, you have several different options if you want an upgrade. These include:

  • Club Balcony suites
  • The Haven suites
  • Mini suites
  • Traditional suites (penthouse and family)
  • Deluxe Owner’s suites

Your most basic option out of these will be the miniature suites. With just under 300 square feet, they’re bigger than your balcony staterooms, with bigger interiors and more exterior space.

Each miniature suite includes a convertible sofa and large bathrooms that come with bathtubs versus just a standing shower. This all makes the mini suites suitable for families who need extra space (and maybe a tub for the toddlers) but who don’t want to splurge on a larger suite or multiple staterooms.

The Haven Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony Master Bedroom
The Haven Bedroom Family Villa with Balcony Master Bedroom (Photo Courtesy: NCL)

Club Balcony suites are, similarly, essentially an upgrade from your miniature suite, which is an upgrade from your balcony staterooms. You get a balcony, an extra sitting room and a large bathroom.

The traditional, average suites range in size and can be further broken down into multiple categories. Penthouse suites are a little bit larger and feature a separate bedroom and living and dining area, plus a walk-in closet and large balcony.

These suites also come with extra service. Family suites feature multiple bedrooms, and can hold up to six passengers, making them ideal for not just families but groups of friends as well.

The Haven Bedroom Garden Villa Master Suite
The Haven Bedroom Garden Villa Master Suite (Photo Courtesy: NCL)

The Haven suites are likewise split into several different types, but staying in The Haven overall is a great idea, no matter which type of suite you choose.

A newer offering from Norwegian, The Haven is a VIP area of the ship that comes with its own perks and private spaces that regular cruisers can’t access. Haven guests have their own fitness area, courtyard, pool, hot tub and more.

Read Also: Things to Do on a Norwegian Joy Cruise

Haven suites include Courtyard Penthouses, which feature large bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas. Haven Family Suites feature two bedrooms each. Haven Garden Villas and Owner’s Suites are the largest accommodations options on the ship, with extra perks such as hot tubs on the balconies, panoramic ocean views, pianos and more.

The Haven Deluxe Owner's Suite with Large Balcony Master Bedroom
The Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suite with Large Balcony Master Bedroom (Photo Courtesy: NCL)

Deluxe Owner’s suites are a brand-new option as of the ship’s 2018 refurbishment. They offer large balconies (balconies that are even bigger than some of the other staterooms in total) and can accommodate four travelers each. 

Restaurants

Norwegian Jewel offers a nice variety of restaurants. If you’re on an average cruise, you should be able to try a little bit of everything, without feeling like you missed out on anything in particular. 

Complimentary restaurants include: 

  • Azura, one of the ship’s two main restaurants, offering American fare
  • Tsar’s Palace, the second of the ship’s two main restaurants, also offering American cruising fare
  • The Garden Cafe, for breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets
  • Chin Chin Asian Restaurant, for authentic noodles, soups and more
  • O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, for Irish pub classics and beers
  • The Great Outdoors, for pool-side burgers, dogs and drinks
  • Topsiders Bar & Grill, for more of the same, again, poolside 

Room service is also available, 24 hours a day, but you do have to pay a $9.95 service fee if you order room service, except for if you order the continental breakfast before 10 a.m., or if you’re staying in a suite with butler service. In addition to the service fee, you’ll also be charged a 20% gratuity fee.

Le Bistro
Le Bistro French Restaurant (Photo Courtesy: NCL)

Beyond the above complimentary restaurants, the cost of which is included in your cruise fare, the ship also offers a handful of specialty restaurants, which come with an additional fee. These include…

  • Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian-style steakhouse with a 43-item salad bar and 12 meat options
  • Sushi, for contemporary Japanese cuisine 
  • La Cucina, a traditional Italian eatery
  • The Atrium Cafe, for cocktails and coffee in the center of everything 
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse, for classic steakhouse-style eats 
  • Le Bistro, for a French dining experience 
  • Teppanyaki, for Japanese-style grilling 

Bars and Lounges

Grab a drink at one of Norwegian Jewel’s many watering holes. The ship is filled with spots to settle in for a cozy night with a glass of whiskey, or to party the night away with your favorite cocktails. Your options will include:

The Pit Stop
The Pit Stop (Photo Courtesy: NCL)
  • Atrium Cafe & Bar, where you can get your caffeine fix in the morning and your cocktail fix in the evening 
  • Bliss Ultra Lounge, for clubbing all night
  • Magnum’s Champagne & Wine Bar, for your favorite bubbly in an Art Deco atmosphere
  • Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar, for a modern look but classic whiskeys
  • O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill, for a classic pub feel
  • The Sake Bar, for a wide selection of sakes and Asian beers
  • Shakers Martini & Cocktail Bar, for all your favorite cocktails in a 1970s-inspired setting
  • Spinnaker Lounge, for lots of music and dancing
  • Sugarcane Mojito Bar, for muddled drinks all day
  • The Great Outdoors, for drinks poolside
  • The Pit Stop, for frosty and frozen adult beverages outdoors 
  • Topsiders Bar, for even more poolside drinks

Pools

But what’s a cruise without a sea day spent by the pool? While cruising on Norwegian Jewel, you’ll find six hot tubs all along Deck 12, plus Sapphire Pool, the main pool area with lots of sun beds and deck chairs (more than 300!), also on Deck 12. The pool also features a separate kids’ pool area.

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Ship
Norwegian Jewel Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: NCL)

The Haven features its own, small indoor pool and one hot tub, that you’ll get access to if you book a stay in a Haven suite. 

If you want to take in the sights and sounds of the pool, but you’d rather stay nice and dry in the sun, check out the sun decks on Decks 14 and 15. 

Kids Venues

Just like all Norwegian Cruise Line vessels, Norwegian Jewel features a Splash Academy, which is the cruise line’s children’s programming hub. The Splash Academy is split into various age groups, with programming suited for each.

Worth Reading: Norwegian Cruise Line Tips and Tricks

The Guppies group is for kids aged 6 months to 2 years, but you can’t just drop your kid off for the programming; a parent must be present for all programming for this age group.

Norwegian Jewel

The Turtles group is for ages 3 to 5. The Seals group is for ages 6 to 9. The Dolphins group is for ages 10 to 12.

A separate kids venue is the Entourage Teens Club that’s designed for ages 13 to 17. A little less structured and more geared toward socializing, the teens club offers gaming consoles and a juice bar, and special events such as gaming nights and movie showings. Your child can attend any of the programming for free on sea days.

Norwegian Jewel Cruises

Ready to hit the high seas and take a Norwegian Jewel cruise? Book a cruise for you and your family now. This ship sets sail to a variety of destinations and offers something for just about every traveler, whether you prefer family-friendly offerings, lots of fun in the sun, plenty of dining and drinks or a little bit of it all. 

FAQ:

How old is the Norwegian Jewel?

Norwegian Jewel entered service in 2005. While the ship is just over 15 years old, recent refurbishments in 2018 have brought the vessel into the modern age.

How many passengers does the Norwegian Jewel carry?

Norwegian Jewel boasts an average capacity of 2,394 passengers, and carries an additional crew of 1,072 members. Passengers are spread out across nearly 1,200 cabins, with nearly half of those cabins offering balconies. 

Does the Norwegian Jewel have an indoor pool?

The Norwegian Jewel does offer an indoor pool, but only in its VIP Haven area. If you book a Haven suite, you’ll have access to this small indoor pool. Otherwise, you’ll have to stick to the main pool area on Deck 12.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddlehttps://hollyriddle.org/
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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