Just back from Venice after travelling on the Norwegian Jade in an inside cabin. Having read a few 'moans' beforehand about the food, freestyle dining, sun-loungers, bathroom size,etc, we were a wee bit nervous about how we would enjoy it. Shouldn't have worried - read on!
Embarkation was fine and smooth. Went for inside cabin for the first time. Thought it was fine. CRT TV didn't bother us as we were not there to watch Corrie!. Toilet/shower was small, but the shower cubicle was bigger than we've had on RCI. If it is an issue with you that you don't get the wee bottles of shampoo etc in the toilet, stay at home.
Freestyle dining was fine. We ate in the Alizar dining room three times then stopped using it as the service was dreadfully slow, though the food was fine. Used Grand Pacific dining room the rest of the time and didn't have to wait for a table once, even though it was busy when we went there. Food was very good ( and hot), and service was first class. Didn't use the speciality restaurants as the food was so good in the Grand Pacific. Think others had the same idea as these restaurants were mostly empty every night. Garden Cafe buffet could get a bit busy at times but we always got a table, at times sharing. Again, food was good.
Couple of the bars lacked atmosphere and were quiet at night. Drink is expensive, but bear in mind that it is at least a double measure you get so not as bad as you think. Main Atrium Bar, the Aloha, was busy with good atmosphere. Entertainment in main Stardust Theatre - mixed. Magician we hated, Roberto and Dorado were amazing, but both acted were on once each week and again for a bit during the excellent 'Elements' show at the end of the Cruise. Otherwise the main theatre shows were pretty good, with the odd bummer but so what. Cruise Director Gio and his staff were the best we've ever encountered on a Cruise.
On-board shops - extortionate. Photographs - ditto. Fitness 'talks' lead to a big 'sell' at the end so avoid them. Poolside area always busy as you expect and the band/singer playing were good. Note - the music entertainment in all bars and at the poolside were the same almost every day/night of the cruise ! Never once failed to get sun-loungers - regardless of what time of day we went to get them! Given there is a 15% gratuity of all drinks, and that you have paid a chunk of money for the cruise in the first place, you can easily avoid the $12 a day per person add-on to your bill by going to Customer services the day before the cruise ends and asking for a 'yellow form' to cancel the charge as you wish to do 'Personal Tipping'. We did it and there was no problem whatsoever.
As we were on a back-to-back cruise, we spent the day in Venice midway. Took a waterbus from the dock, 15euro per person return. Drops you near St Mark's square. Very busy but we loved Venice. A 'must-do' is the Doges Palace. Easy walk too to the Rialto Bridge. Overall, we loved the Cruise and any issues or irritations were so minor as to hardly mention. Just get on with it, live it, and love it!