Norwegian Jade
Ranked #109 of 133 cruise ships

Former Names: Pride of Hawaii Norwegian Jade was designed for freestyle cruising and has ten distinctive restaurants, 14 separate lounges and bars and a wealth of activities. It also features 10 courtyard villas. However the increased venues result in reduced deck space. Norwegian Jade passengers tend to be mixed ages and American and some International. When all cabins have double occupancy, the ship provides a space ratio of 39.4 tons per passenger and a crew to passenger ratio of one for every 2.4 passengers. At full capacity the space ratio is 33.4 tons per passenger and the crew ratio is one to 2.8 passengers.
3/5
Norwegian Jade Norwegian Jade is rated 3 out of 5 from 11 Reviews
45% of users recommend this cruise ship
Review Overview (11 reviews)

Cleanliness 4 stars
Entertainment  stars
Food 3 stars
Staff 3 stars

Norwegian Jade Reviews

1/5
1
"Worst cruise ever"
E Thomson cruised on December 2013
My wife and I have been cruising for 30 years this cruise was the worst experience we have ever had poor service 50% of passengers were children. .
Just like Butlins at sea.

NCL never again. The organisation throughout the ship was non-existent. The eating arrangements were the poorest we have experienced on any cruise ship. Unable to dine in the dining rooms at lunch time any day. All dining rooms were closed, the only place opened was outdoors. The evening menu in the dining rooms was the same every evening unless you chose the "Chef's special" Hard luck if you did not like the ...
dish. This cruise is a total rip-off - 15% added to every drink regardless of choice. Also 12 dollars per person charged every day as a service charge (for cleaning your cabin and the use of dining facilities.

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Recommended: No
Review Rating

Cleanliness
1 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
1 stars

3/5
3

Val cruised on December 2010
Having sailed previously with NCL we were hoping that they would have improved. Unfortunately, they were a great deal worse. We can safely say that this was our worst cruise ever. We have sailed with most cruise lines from Cunard to Thompsons so a wide variety of standards all of whom were a great deal better than NCL.
The staterooms were clean and the cabin staff friendly and efficent. The entertainment staff were good particularly Robert and the entertainment fairly good. The Cruise Director seemed to go over the top in making announcements in so many languages which became irratating.
The biggest complaint is the excessive $12 per person ...
per day service charge. Tipping should be for extra special service provided not for staff that have not served you. You can get this removed but take care, we phoned the guest relations desk as instructed to get this charge removed as we tip staff as we go along. We were told to go to the desk on the morning of departure and they would print us a new invoice with the charge removed. We stood in a long line for over half an hour but had to leave as our coach for disembarkation was leaving. They still took the money from our credit card account. When writing to NCL they refused to reimburse this charge despite the explaination and we had asked on board for it to be removed. Customer Services were almost offensive in their reply refusing to address several complaints. All 10 of our cruising friends will not now use NCL again. There are rules but they are not enforced. Such as not saving sun loungers.
The standard of food in the main dining room was not up to cruise standard. Also at peak times there was a queue and you could miss the show. You can book but again only if there is a space at the time you want. It would appear it is yet another ploy by NCL to get passengers to pay to go into other restaraunts. NCL will probably get away with this for first time cruisers but any one who knows that the service, food and good management should be of a better standard would not use NCL. Finally, don\'t change currency on board they levey as 25% charge.

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Tour Operator: NCL
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
2 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Haggie cruised on December 2009
The ship was fine, very clean, very friendly, very big,very colourfull,
the food was what you wanted it to be, your choice, if you dont find what you like then get a fishing rod.
The cabin staff were fair but not good, although you got that welcome which meant remember to tip me on your departure. one tip for them get it right... and you may recieve a good tip.
The drinks were expensive including the water.Shore excursions we found to be good, with exception of greece, the guide was more interesred in guiding you to a silver shop.
One port that needs avoiding is Alexandria, the ship berths near a canal which has ...
to be highly dangerous in its hydrogen chloride gas content which is evident as the tide flows.
Very dissapointing was the absolute rip off of the on ship bingo, if they paid out as much money as they did compared with what they took in then they would be linched in the UK. they should all waar masks..
We also had a steak at Cagneys steak house, terrible thats all I have to say.
One thing generally the crew and staff were all very good, and the shows on board were sometimes brilliant odd one rubbish. but you cant please all.
you pays your money you takes your chance.
overall though it was good.
remember pay your gratuities up front and they are half price, otherwise $12 a day.
everything you buy on the ship attracts a further 15% gatuity on top of that.



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Tour Operator: NCL
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

3/5
3

Steven Kennedy cruised on September 2009
We have just returned from our cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Weather was warm and sunny; the organised tours were conducted in a professional manner considering the number of people involved. The crew were very courteous and helpful

The cleanness was very good despite the usual issue with Egypt.

We brought a package holiday and our Luggage was lost on transfer from Amsterdam to Istanbul along with 15 other people. The ships staffs were very helpful and collected the luggage from an early morning flight. Until the luggage arrived they gave us an overnight travel bag. I understand from other passengers that this was a usual occurrence with NCL.

All brought ...
aboard alcoholic drinks were confiscated. The on board price for a drink were comparative to UK upmarket Hotel prices plus 15% service charge. I did not see many people buying drinks. They have out priced themselves

The daily service charge was $12 per night per person which is the most expensive we have come across

The food was very bland. The food in the café was with more choice but it still a steak and chips cruise

The ships excursions were not value for money charging around one third more that we would normally pay.

NCL have invented many ways to charge for additional items including the on board shops although the on Board Jewellers seemed value for money?

The security in Egypt was very tight with lots of suited body guards with concealed machine pistols; police diverting traffic for us and the Tourist police every where. The Egyptian Security seemed very professional and well rehearsed.

The Entertainment varied ranging from excellent to very poor in the case of a comedian who’s claim to fame is that he met Benny Hill

We chose this cruise for the destinations but I think will try another some one else in future rather that NCL.

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Tour Operator: NCL Jade
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
1 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

julie cruised on July 2009
Sailed from Southampton, bliss as we only live about 5 miles away. Check in a little slow as they had encountered computor errors earlier on in day. Much better than waiting around at airport for delayed flights etc. as you are on your holiday immediately.

First impression was a very clean ship and smart looking inside cabin. The safety drill was given straight away then you were free to tuck into the delicious bbq and listen to the group as we sailed out.

The first shock we encountered was the price of the drinks 9$ for a cocktail, this price shock was evident throughout the cruise whichever way you ...
turned. Excursions are always expensive on cruises but NCL prices were the highest we had ever seen. Having previously cruised with Thomson , Island cruise and Ocean Village I thought perhaps going slightly up market we should expect the increase, but everyone we spoke to felt the prices were unreasonable.

The choice of food was always plentiful, nicely presented and tasty. I particularly enjoyed trying the chilled soups on the evening menu(yes they were supposed to be cold). We did not try the restaurants with added charges as we thought NCL were taking enough from us already what with the 15% service charge per drink. Feel they could have done away with a couple of these extra eateries as there was not enough room in the bars for everyone to be seated, so extra bars would have been nice.

The nightly shows in the Stardust theatre were enjoyable, the singers were very talented and there were a variety of acts from circus type balancing, spanish flammenco, magician, comics and a couple of West End type shows. Something for everyone.

The staff aboard the ship were some of the most polite staff I have ever encountered whilst cruising, hard working and happy in their work. The cabin stewards work a 10 hour day , 7 days a week with little time to go ashore (they were brilliant).

One more thing I must mention is the quietness of the ship in terms of movement and engine noise, you hardly know you are moving. Even on a rough evening the movement was minimal.

All in all a good cruising experience and I would go again but save harder for drinks, excursions etc.

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Tour Operator: Thomas Cook Cruises

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

2/5
2

VC cruised on April 2009
We have just returned from the above cruise, our first with NCL. Both my husband, my mother and myself have cruised several times in the past, but have never had such a disappointing experience. Intially things were looking very encouraging since our staterooms had been upgraded to balconies, which were very nice, and our room attendant was excellent throughout the cruise. However it was all down hill after that:-

Our first evening we ate in the main dining room (Pacific) - there were only a few guests when we were seated ...
and what seemed like more than enough staff to cope comfortabley with the service. We waited and waited and waited for our food, whilst observing the staff running around like headless chicken achieving nothing. When our starters eventually arrived they were tastless and uninspiring the steak which followed would have made good shoe soling material and the vegetables were conspicuous by their abscence. We declind desert and thought we might try the self service for desert - equally uninspiring.

Following our first disappointing dining experience we decided to try the speciality restaurants for the following 4 evenings of our cruise - we tried the French, Cagney\'s. Jasmine Garden and the Italian restaurants and to be quite frank the experience was little better. However to add insult to injury our experience and treatment in the Italian restaurant was unbelievable. We were greeted by the female head waiter who showed us to our seat whilst continuing a conversation with another member of staff and gesticulating with her hands to guide us to our table. The sun was setting very low and shining in our eyes on approaching the table and my husband on three separate occasions pointed this out to her requesting a different table. After getting no response from her verbally (she was still continuing her conversation with the other staff member) - she continued to gesture with her hands (now in an impatient way) for us to sit at the first table totally ignoring my husband\'s requests. Eventually my husband gestured to her that the sun was in his eyes and she then reluctantly and curtly responded to our request. The meal was perhaps on a par with that of our first night in the main dining room, but our treatment was far worse. Both my mother and I ordered Veal Masala which was cold and tough (how can that be when veal calves don\'t live long enough to develope into tough meat) we left most of our meal and our head of restaurant waiter added further insult to injury be approaching us to say she had observed we had not enjoyed our meal and had made a reduction in the cover charge. However this was not done in a gracious way, infact she was very intimidating in her manner and agruementative saying \"perhaps you do not understand Italian food\" I explained politely that we did, infact my husband is half italian and my mother had lived in Italy for many years. She was extremely rude and surly to say the least.


Our experience in general of the waiting staff was very poor (with the exception of the french restaurant) and this was reflected in my going to the customer service desk before leaving the ship, to request they remove the service charges from our bills. This was again a poor experience of customer relations, the member of staff who took our complaint with an attitude which was unbelievable, did not offer even the meerest hint of an apology. She did remove all of the service charges at my insistance and we did tip our stateroom attendant personally for his excelllent service. I might add they also charge an additional gratuity charge on every bar and restaurant transaction.

I have to say the cruise entertainment was quite good but not in comparison to RCL. NCL will not be getting anymore of our cash.

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Tour Operator: NCL
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
1 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

lynn rimmer cruised on February 2009
THIS WAS OUR FIRST TIME ON A CRUISE AND IT WAS GREAT JADE WAS GOOD THE STAFF COULD NOT DO ENOUGH FOR YOU ALWAYS READY TO HELP YOU AND ALWAYS REMEMBERD YOUR NAME. ARRIVING AT THE SHIP WAS VERY GOOD NO WAITING IN LONGLINES. MADE VERY WELCOME RIGHT AWAY. OUR CASES WERE AT OUR CABIN WHEN WE GOT THERE. THE FOOD WAS VERY GOOD SOMTHING FOR EVERY ONE. THE ONLY THING THAT I FOUND WAS THE EXTRA TIPS WE GOT CHARGE FOR AND THE TOURS COST A LOT BUT WE DID OUR OWN THING AT EACH PORT FELT VERY RELAXED NEVER FELT WE HAD TO GET ...
DRESSED UP AND EAT AT NIGHT WHEN WE WANTED TO. I WILL GO ON THE JADE AGAIN BUT THE OTHER THING WAS ON THE LAST DAY WE HAD TO LEAFVE THE SHIP AT 9AM AND WAS TAKEN TO THE AIRPORT AND OUR FLIGHT HOME WAS NOT TILL 8PM THAT NIGHT I STILL THINK WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO STAY ON THE SHIP STILL A LITTLE LATER JUST NOT BE ABLE TO USE OUR CABIN. BUT THAT IS THE ONLT THING I CAN SAY ABOUT THE JADE IT WAS FUN FUN ALL THE WAY

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Tour Operator: virgin

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

nick hunter cruised on July 2008
sailed on 26 july 2 wks med. 1st cruise great ship no complaints good food cabins very good, staff very friendly and helpful only downside thing was about the tours very expensive went on 2 cost us 500 euros for 2 tours all talk and not enough time in the resorts. eg monte carlo 45mins. tippin, we felt why should we pay more on top of what we paid for the cruise . so we signed a form at reception desk which they dont tell you ,to remove tipping charge form our bill and we tipped the staff ourselves, which worked out alot cheaper. otherwise it is alovely ship had a great time, will go again

Tour Operator: ncl

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
1 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Hamrag cruised on May 2008
Norwegian Jade Review


We cruised on the Jade for 14 nights from Southampton to the Med on 30th May. Embarkation was a bit of a nightmare. To beat the real queues get there by 11.00am, they will let you into the cruise terminal and commence boarding before 11.30am. During the peak boarding time (12.00 – 2.00pm) the queues are very, very long and it will take well over an hour to board! The other option is to board between 2.30 and 3.00pm when queues are shorter, taking about 30-45 minutes. Don’t worry about the fact the documents say you need to board by 2.00pm, you don’t and it helps immensely if ...
you have already completed your embarkation details on the NCL web-site beforehand! The boarding route is very hot, no air conditioning there.

Our first impression was that the décor looked a bit OTT, because the ship was built for the Hawaii cruising area. After a couple of days you do get over that, and it does not seem so bad. Certainly the ship and cabins are well presented and maintained and, relative to the star rating of NCL, of a high standard.

Freestyle is the NCL brand, and the word is ingrained in your thinking from boarding to disembarkation (and beyond)!! The opposite of “free” is “pay” and I would rename their branding Paystyle as NCL’s clear strategy is to get many dollars on your spend account.

There are a number of restaurants for eating in, many for a supplement. The 2 main dining rooms, the Garden Café (buffet style), Tapas/Mexican restaurant and Blue Lagoon (the only 24/7 option) all carry no supplement. The menus at the 2 main restaurants were, for us, lacking in imagination although the food and presentation was fine. The Garden Café is no worse than any other buffet style restaurant we have encountered, and comparable with the premium lines. The Tapas/Mexican restaurant is excellent if you like that type of food for a change (we did, once each week). The Blue Lagoon is also good, with a limited and standard menu, and also an option for breakfast.

Regarding the supplement restaurants the only one we tried was Cagney’s Steakhouse, and we went back again a couple of times. The Italian, French and Asian restaurant menus did not appeal to our tastes but many said they were good. Every night they offer a 2 for 1 pricing in the Cagney’s and the Italian and French restaurants usually between 5.30 and 6.30pm, but occasionally between 6.00pm to 7.00pm. You need to book early the day before to get the later times.

We only did one ship tour, which was well organised and good value. Everything else we DIY’d as we normally do…..much freer to set your own agenda that way!! As far as getting on and off at ports it is well organised and relatively quick, apart from Gibraltar!! This is the cheap booze capital in the Med and NCL apply a very strict no bringing alcohol on board policy, and are extremely hot at picking off the smugglers.

Entertainment during the daytime is absolutely geared towards getting more dollars onto your spend account. Sunbeds, as always, are hard to come by in the pool area and one deck above during sea days and from mid-afternoon in port. There is another option on the deck which is 2 above the pools. Evening entertainment is varied, which means it will not always be to your taste or ours but….we are all different and in our view NCL try to cater for all tastes during the course of the cruise. Many complained about the entertainment in the main show theatre, but it was acceptable to us. Most of the people complaining were comparing it with the premium lines like Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Princess, but NCL is not a premium line but probably competing with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. We would say that Royal Caribbean is slightly better overall than NCL. There are many bars, and live music to suit different tastes in many locations throughout the ship. We enjoyed wandering around after the main shows and listening to music in these locations. We do not gamble, but the casino by all accounts meets the requirement and certainly takes up a large area in mid-ship deck 6.

Overall we were satisfied with NCL, relative to the price paid, and would use them again for the right destinations and price etc. We would assess their product as a star rating above Thomson and Island, and probably half a star below Royal Caribbean.







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Tour Operator: Self booked

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
4 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Bob Bailey cruised on April 2008
We sailed on 30th May from Southampton on a 14 night cruise. The embarktion was not a pleasent experience. We arrived at about 10.45am and queued with many others to get to the security scanning equipment, which is run by the Port Authorities. There were two sides in the hall with equipment but only one side was being operated, causing lengthy queues. Once through the scanning we were onboard within 10 minutes, about 12 noon. The staff greet you with a glass of bubbly and try to get you to go to Deck 12 (Garden Cafe) for lunch. My tip is to go to the Grand Pacific Restaurant Deck 7, ...
which had about 15 couples in it as opposed to hundreds on Deck 12.

Our first impressions were good and knowing its Haiwian roots thought the decor was not OTT. It was spotless and we often saw cleaning staff throughout the ship during the cruise.

The Freedstyle concept suited us very well. We do not like being told when we may eat and who with. You can eat in the main restaurants at dinner between 5.30 and 10.00 At busy times you were sometimes given a pager and could sit for a few mintutes until it summoned you. We also like the speciality restaurants and tried Cagneys $20pp(steak house) twice, Le Bistro $20pp (French), Jasmine Gardens $15pp(Asian). Eat between 5.30 and 6.30 and they are 2 for 1, a very good deal IMO. Tapanyaki $25pp(Japanese cooking show and food)really enjoyed the experience and would recommend if you havn\'t done it before. The Grand Pacific was our choice of restaurant for other meals (no jeans for dinner). Choices were generally ok and \"always on\" was steak, salmon, chicken and veggie as well as Ceasars salad so were satisfied. Breakfast we took in either Grand Pacific or Blue Lagoon, which was also handy for a mid afternoon snack when returning from shore. We do not like upper deck cafes because they tend to be crowded, but the choices look good.

The staff were excellent and couldn\'t do enough for us. It is such a pity that many passengers (100\'s)queued on the last sea day to stop the Service Charge. Will not go on about this as it is up to individuals but it seemed that once word spread that people were amending or stopping the charge, others jumped on the band wagon. Not a pretty sight and mostly Brits.

The onboard entertainment ranged from very goood to poor. Having said this I believe entertainment is a personal thing and one mans meat ect. There was always something to watch/listen to in the evening so we were happy.

One comment that has been made on this site and others is the \"we want your money\" ethos. It did appear that NCL had instructed their staff to sell, sell, sell. Whether it be T shirts, raffle tickets, Bingo, drinks, excursions ect ect it was a little over done. We never booked shore excursions because they are IMO over priced. We DIY either with others or on our own. More freedom, cheaper and more fun.

We enjoyed the Freestyle concept and would certainly go again - at the right price !

Bob

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Tour Operator: Self booked (internet)

Recommended: Yes
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Staff
 stars

4/5
4

Chrissie cruised on March 2008
Lovely Ship - Fantastic Crew - But Never Again!

We sailed on the Jade’s inaugural cruise from Barcelona to Istanbul.

Our Flight Was from Cardiff to Barcelona by KLM via Amsterdam. We had a very short transfer time but our flight from Cardiff was delayed and we missed our connection so KLM booked us onto a later flight flying Business Class it made the total journey time if 12 hours.

Pre cruise stay at the Mont Blanc Barcelona. After our experience here we could never recommend this hotel to anyone. The room was fine, comfortable bed, and decent bathroom. All rooms had an exercise bike. The complementary breakfast buffet was mostly on ...
the poor side of average. At the price it would have been good to have freshly made tea, coffee and possibly toast brought to our table instead of the side table of thermos jugs and DIY toast, although you could order eggs and bacon cooked to order.

The Down Side. Within 24 hours my bag had been stolen from inside the hotel. The thieves remained on the premises. Only my husband’s intervention prevented them from going to our room and emptying the safe. Staff later let slip that there had been another theft which was from a safe on the same day.

Security at this hotel is dire. One reason is that the room and safe keys are both clearly marked with the room number. No-one was on security even at the weekend when there were about one hundred or more NCL guests and the function rooms were being used by people from outside the hotel. CCTV cameras were unavailable.

Staff assured me they would report the theft to the police but failed to do so leaving me with no time left to report it before the coach arrived to take us to the ship.

After the theft hotel staff were extremely rude and patronising to me, thus adding insult to injury. No-one from the hotel came to speak to me nor was there anywhere private to go to discuss what had happened. They made it very clear that although the theft happened in their hotel it was my lookout and they couldn’t care less.

Check in There was more queuing than we expected when we arrived, and we had to queue quite a while to board the ship but check in was smooth and efficient, and later we noticed that there were no queues at all.

The ship is beautiful, tastefully decorated with wonderfully soft carpets efficient lifts and it’s wonderful Art Deco Dining Room and mirrored passage from deck 6 into the Stardust Theatre and lot of Hawaiian art around the ship. We particularly like the pool deck lighting. Many of the crew were very experienced NCL old timers, efficient, confident and friendly. Cons. If we had a dollar for every time someone asked if they could ‘get me something from the bar’ we’d be able to afford another cruise.

Safety In line with other companies room key cards didn’t state our cabin number although the colour might have been a clue. The safe is battery operated. The battery failed on ours twice and had to be replaced. It might be worth checking whether the door stays shut in such an event, we found ours open. There was a power blackout and it was reassuring to see that in all the lifts automatically went to deck seven, and opened the doors which remained open until power was restored. This would be particularly Important if you ever got the maximum load of 20 people into it, because it was quite a squeeze with twelve or more.

Freestyle. Ends point blank at 8.00 am on disembarkation day! More of that later. As far as I could tell, Freestyle 2 was basically the opportunity to pay for extras. A lot of stuff came with a price tag. Speciality Restaurants ranged from $10 to $25 per head with additional charges on top for some of the dishes Some items on the Room Service Menu were at extra charge, a day pass for the spa was about $20 Tony and Tina’s Wedding ( a show) had a cover price too a lot of people complained about the food served there We‘d already eaten at Cagney‘s so can‘t comment.

Traditional Cruising Events seemed to not to be happening, at least, not in the traditional way we know and enjoy. Someone said that the Captain’s Cocktail party cost $19.95 per head, but I didn’t see it advertised at all. Singing waiters were a lot less evident than usual, and if there was a baked Alaska procession or midnight buffet we weren’t aware of either one. The crew show was whittled down to a procession onto the stage and one song about the Jade. Which was very disappointing for anyone who has ever seen the one on the Marco Polo which was also owned by NCL.

There were quite a few Freestyle 2 teething problems , especially when it came to dinner. There were enormous queues at the Grand Pacific and Alizar Dining rooms. I think partly because people weren’t booking the speciality restaurants in any great numbers, they seemed to be half empty much of the time. Walking past the Teppanyaki I only ever saw one or two of the four tables in use. The plasma information screens weren’t giving an accurate guide to restaurant availability, meaning that we’d turn up at the Alizar when the screen was showing as less than half full only to find a queue and no table available for more than an hour. They gave us pagers, which were a mixed blessing as we were told we had to come immediately they sounded. They wouldn’t work in the cabins, so we had to hang around the bars ready to jump up when summonsed. We found we had to go to dinner earlier and earlier, eventually we’d arrive at opening time in order to get a table, and hoped to be served in time to see a show, although service could be very slow indeed so there were no guarantees. It seemed that many others had the same idea so it was a bit chaotic at times.

After a lot of complaints, NCL introduced a ‘Happy Hour’ two-for-one at the speciality restaurants, and began asking people going into the main dining rooms whether they would be happy to share a table. It meant that if we wanted to eat at a particular time we’d have to book a table, or eat in the self service restaurant, both of which seemed to be against the ‘Freestyle’ concept. We felt we’d have been better off with the traditional two sitting dining option where we would know when and where we would be sitting, or we could choose the buffet instead.


Mattress toppers and fruit selection arrived in Rome, but we were never to see the Elemis toiletries or bathrobes or final night cookies promised for balcony cabins, nor the steak breakfasts with unlimited bloody mary and mimosas. I didn’t see the chocolate fountain, but it might have been there. The soft ice cream broke down mid cruise, as did the TV navigation and information channel.

Smoking is allowed in the casino which could have used much better ventilation, your cabin (but not in bed) and your balcony. Decks away from the jogging track, sports, eating and children’s areas. The Cigar Bar was moved away from it’s original location adjacent to the Champagne Bar, and is now at the open air Bali Hai bar on Deck 13, which also serves food. It was OK in reasonable weather, but we had our share of high winds, rain and cold, which made it fairly hazardous to even get there. There weren’t a lot of takers.

Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 with mini bar/fridge, coffee maker and efficient hairdryer. The bed was comfortable there was also a huge mirror, plenty of shelf and wardrobe space and of course, the balcony. We liked that there was a separate curtain and ‘black out’ liner to the window. The complimentary fruit took a few days to arrive, but then regularly replaced as it was eaten. Good sized shower room had a great detachable head power shower shampoo and shower gel dispenser.
Cons. Very dim lighting.

Entertainment was mostly fantastic. The Jade has set a very high benchmark which other lines will struggle to match with some really great singers, Second City an improvise and interactive act was really great. Smokey Joe’s Café was really good, although most of the songs were totally unfamiliar to us. Others included a film evening, a classical night with ballet then there were some quizzes and game shows dance classes etc. Tony and Tina’s Wedding (extra charge) was on during our evening in Venice, which I thought was a real shame, as a lot of people missed seeing it. Having unwillingly spent a long time over dinner, we missed the first half of SHOUT the Mod Musical, but crept into the back of the theatre to see what it was like. It didn’t appeal to us so we left soon afterwards. Outside I heard someone remark that it sounded as though someone had stood on the cat’s tail, and in all honesty, we couldn’t disagree. Other entertainment as provided by a very good pianist singer in one bar, a guitarist in another and the Skyline Band, Guys and Dolls and another pianist.

The Food was fantastic during the first part of the cruise, but tapered off a bit in the latter stages. Portion sizes were variable. Some quite small, and others twice what you’d expect. There was a good selection in the Garden Restaurant, with a special children’s area with hot dogs, burgers and chips. A salad bar, a hot food. Stir fry and griddle selection, as well as deserts and ice cream. Strangely there was no hot pudding. What you might expect to be a hot pudding like bread and butter pudding was served cold.

I found the soups a bit exotic. There was always a Chinese soup, a cold soup and one other which was usually made with some kind of seafood base, like bisques and chowders, presumably a result of the stock made from the remains of all the seafood in the speciality areas. Unable to eat shell fish in any form, I sometimes had to go to the Blue Lagoon the 24 hour eatery, which was waiter service, for plain old tomato soup. We had several very long waits of around an hour after ordering there, I think it may have been caused by one particular waiter rather than general.
Cons. Restaurants were crowded and often required booking. It often took a long time to get served. Except for that served in the Aloha Bar, or made in our cabin coffee maker the coffee ranged from just about drinkable to revolting. Very, very strong, not nearly hot enough, and often with a bitter taste. It seemed to me that it had been made for hours. From time to time, I’d order one in the hope that it was just about drinkable, and sometimes I was lucky. We were never served the free cappuccino that people raved about in past reviews in the restaurants which was a bit of a disappointment.

Room Service The first thing we ordered was great. Our last order never turned up. In between things were about ok except for our one and only breakfast order which was very late, and when it arrived we got two pots of dreadfully stewed coffee instead of the tea.

Children’s Facilities. We didn’t have children, but the children we saw with the play leaders around the ship, and the ones we spoke to all seemed to be having a whale of a time, and being very well entertained.

Internet Facilities. We didn’t use this service either, but we heard a lot of complaints that the minute by minute charge was very high and connection very slow.

A lot of fellow passengers where critical of the crew, mostly their inexperience. Nearly all those I chatted to were very long serving NCL crew members, who were brilliant. Generally the staff were good to excellent. Service at meals was often very slow but whether that was due to the waiters or the kitchen staff, I couldn\'t say. We had a very long wait in Cagney\'s and several in the Blue Lagoon. The entertainments staff were excellent. I noticed that many of the officers walked around with their noses in the air, very unlike the friendly greetings we\'d become used to. I never saw the captain at all.


Laundry Facilities. Don’t go looking for the launderettes, they had to go to make way for ‘Freestyle’. What could be more ‘Freestyle’ than having the opportunity to launder your own underwear, I can’t imagine, but NCL have the opposing view. Laundry and pressing facilities are available. As a guide to the price, T shirts were $3 each. Towards the end of the week they offered laundry at 15$ a bag so it would be a good idea to take clothes that can be tumble dried which will be returned clean and folded ready for packing.



Never Again Having booked early and paid a lot of money for the holiday including flights, transfers and a pre cruise stay through NCL via an agent. we were unprepared for the totally unacceptable ending to our cruise. They could have chosen an earlier flight that day NCL booked us on one that left Istanbul in the early evening which coincidentally was less expensive than the early flight which would have had us home by lunchtime. It was only towards the end of the cruise that we realised that we were required to leave the ship for transfer to the airport at 8.00 am. We were used to vacating our cabin at that sort of time, but not being told to leave the ship. This arrangement required a wait of something like seven unnecessary hours hanging around the airport, and meant a total journey time of 20 hours from Istanbul. The only alternative on offer was a 4 hour tour of the Spice Market and Chora Museum at an additional $59 each no refunds for the transfer we’d already booked and paid.

We know that they have to get ready for the next lot of passengers, but there are alternatives. We asked if we could be transferred to an earlier flight or even the same flight a day earlier, but were referred back to our agent. Not an easy option at sea, considering the cost of telephone calls. In any case, the flights had been booked by NCL not our agent. In the event we paid the extra money, took the tour, then spent another 5 hours at the airport, more than two more at our connection airport where the shops and snack bars were all shut, waiting for our (delayed) flight, before finally arriving home exhausted and fed up, ankles the size of footballs and some very nasty thoughts about what we‘d like to do to the NCL executive!

Overview. We loved the ship and the crew but we didn’t love all the extra charges, and certainly not the travel arrangements.







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Tour Operator: CruiseCo
Review Rating

Cleanliness
5 stars
Entertainment
5 stars
Food
3 stars
Staff
 stars
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