NCL Jewel Cruising Review

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NCL Jewel - Western Caribbean

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Departure, USA

Departure Saturday, March 22, 2008
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At Sea
Grand Cayman Island
At Sea


This was a family cruise that I booked about three months prior to departure. I booked five cabins at once, and was offered an upgrade to the Owner's Suite for some of the cabins a week in advance. This is usually due to a cancellation. In any case, NCL offered an upgrade from a balcony suite to the Owner's Suite for more than $1,000 per person - a deal - but I thought I could do better. I told them to call back when they could go lower. Sure enough, within a few days they called back and I upgraded two of the cabins. It was well worth it !

Pre-trip packing. Roll and rubber-band all the clothes for wrinkle free unpacking.

Typically I'll only take about half of what I set out.

I now travel with a 17 inch roll-aboard from Ebags. I love this bag. It has side pockets for shoes and has a deep interior for clothes.

With everything ready to go, it's compact and easy to pack/un-pack.

Departure Flights

NWA WorldClubs

I booked this flight on the NWA site, and it was changed after I had booked it. The new flight departed at 6:00 a.m. Flight to Detroit was on time, and the runway was snow covered and slippery. I sat by a pilot on the way there and he mentioned that we were indeed skidding down the runway when the brakes were applied.

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Detroit to Miami

Enroute to Miami

The flight to Miami had a late departure and other delays including headwinds and thunderstorms at Miami. This was one of those annoying flights when you get stuck next to a very loud child. When we landed, it was just pouring rain. You could barely see the runway when we touched down the rain was so heavy.

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Hilton - Ocean Drive

Upon arrival I caught a cab to Miami Beach. From the airport to the beach, there are set rates, in this case $32.00 one way. The standard cab rate from the seaport to airport is $24.00 I was staying at the Hilton at 101 Ocean Drive. Great location, clean, but old building and construction outside.

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Snacks are available - but with a high surcharge. Walk down to the local market instead.

Good quality flat screen and soundsystem.

Huge bed.

Entertainment center. There was WiFi from the Drake Public Network, but could not connect. iPhone worked just fine.

View from the balcony.

South Beach on a rainy spring day.

Room snack menu and prices.

Evening roomservice - Caprese.

End of Travel Day

After settling in the room, I ventured out in the rain to the local market. La Playa Market was small, but had everything you might need, plus some great smelling sandwich food. There I got an apple, 6-pack of water, suntain lotion and a Cuban for lunch. It was pouring rain all day - so there wasn't much to do in South Beach. The flights down were ok, but I've noticed that the NWA fleet is getting old and tired. If you get an Airbus, you're lucky. If you get stuck with a 757 or 767, the seats are old and uncomfortable, even in business class. Hopefully the older planes will be cycled out. The WorldClubs are great, when you can find them. Miami does not have one.

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7665 Corporate Center Drive, Miami, FL 33126

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