Back2Back Cruise 25/8/12 - 8/9/12
Terminal - A little confusing and very noisy but soon on board, a nice welcome and directed to deck 12 for lunch. First shock as full of guests pushing and shoving their way around the servery and the volume of noise was terrible, so no lunch for us until much later.
Stateroom - These are released at 12.30. Ours had a large comfortable bed, plenty of storage. The bathroom is very small and if you are tall, like my husband, the toilet was not easy to use. 5002 is in a quiet location with a fantastic steward.
Ship - The ship is easy to find your way around, colourful and clean. Sun decks and pool deck with two pools, one adult with two hot tubs and children's pool with hot tubs. They are not really big enough for the deck area and ship would benefit from an adult only pool on another deck away from all the noise and food. If you want to laze in the sun on 'at sea' days make sure you are up early to get a sunbed as there are not enough to go around. If you leave your bed unattended someone may take it or the staff will after 45 minutes.
Dining - Speciality restaurants you have to pay extra for, WHY? You have paid for the cruise including food then they want you to pay again! There could be long queues and wait at the included dining rooms, that is not very good. Maybe if they charged a little more for the cruise and then included all the dining options maybe no queues.
Bars - Our favorite was 'The Great Outdoors' but we did not like the prices 1 bottle of beer USD 5.50, glass of house wine USD 6.45 plus 15% autogratuity. It is like being mugged very politely. I have to mention Tiago Miranda, bartender, a really great guy.
Guests - Mainly Italian who are rude, greedy and very loud, they have no volume control nor do they have control over their children. The children are wild and unruly with no manners, they have no problem with pushing and shoving people out of their way, that goes for their parents as well. They pile their plates high with food then leave most of it. They take food out of the dining areas and if they drop some, well some else will either pick it up or slip on it! The second week not so many children as the school holidays were over but enough to still cause a few problems.
Ports of Call - We did not take part on any of the organised tours as we prefer to do our own thing. If tenders were being used you had to get a ticket but if you had a ticket for tender 22 you had a very long wait, we were lucky we had tender 6 but we still had a long wait as they needed to transport guests on organised tours off. Sometimes we were not given enough information regarding how far away we were from the centre e.g. Dubrovnik or if shuttle buses were available.
Overall we enjoyed our time on the Jade, some things we loved and others we hated. Dining was never a really good experience, the food was good but sometimes only warm not hot but it was fellow guests who spoilt things. We would cruise again but would be very careful not to embark in Venice and would want an 'adult only' ship possibly with a smaller number of passengers but not NCL. Some guest had cruised several times with NCL and thought they were the best. Also the USD 12.00 per person per day service charge does seem rather excessive as we would prefer to give the money, personally, to the staff we wanted to. I do wonder how much the staff actually receive.