This was our first ever family cruise and I am so glad we chose to have it on the Jade. What an amazing holiday!!!
Embarkation at Venice was very easy, drop off your cases and go and check in. Our cabin was ready for us straight away.
The cabin size was surprisingly bigger than we thought it would be from the room plan pictures on the NCL website. There was more than enough room for 2 adults, a teenage daughter and our 2 year old son (plus cases!!)
The staff on the ship help to make the holiday. They were all fabulous at their jobs and so happy and welcoming. Nothing was too much bother and they really helped to enhance our cruise experience. There was no pushy sales from any of the staff, no trying to sell extra drinks or shore excursions or one of the numerous photos they take of you!!! If you want to buy they are there for you, otherwise you were left alone.
The food was in abundance, no matter what time of day it was, you could eat if you wanted too. The garden cafe was great for breakfast and lunch with lots of choice from carved joints to curry to stir fry to burgers, pretty much everybody is catered for. We ate in the Grand Pacific and Alizar most evenings. This was a 3 course meal and the menu was great considering it is included as a free restaurant. Steaks were available everyday along with chef specialities. We also went to Cagney's steakhouse which was great for a special occasion but to be honest, the steaks are just as good in the main restaurants so you do not need to spend the extra money. One thing my husband noted was that 1 person would sit at a table for 6 people rather than a smaller table so families struggled to get a table and the staff did not move them to a smaller table.
We did not go to all the theatre's shows as we had our 2 year old son with us, but the couple of shows we did see were brilliant.
The only real negative thing we have to say is that there was nowhere to play with our 2 year old son. Treetops has a 2 - 5 year old club, but you have to leave the children there. There is not even a settling in period where parents can go for 10 minutes just to familiarize your child with the new surroundings. Our son had broken his leg 2 weeks before the cruise and had the plaster removed the day before we travelled. He was therefore a little clingy and unsteady on his leg. He did not want to be left with strangers and there was no play area suitable for us to play with him. So note to NCL, not all parents want to "dump" their children for the holiday, as a family cruise we wanted to spend quality family time together and a play area suitable to our son and us would have been much appreciated.
Port disembarkation was very easy, on all ports except one we docked at the port and could leave pretty much immediately from the ship. We had one tender in Split and this did take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to our tender number 7 (thank goodness we got an early number or we could have been waiting hours!!), more tender boats would have been helpful here and sped the process up.
Disembarking the ship at Venice on the final morning was extremely easy.
Overall, we had an amazing time and the Jade was wonderful. NCL should be very proud of their staff as they made our holiday 10 out of 10 despite our one complaint.