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Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by dbsb3233

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Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade
Member Name: dbsb3233
Cruise Date: June 2013
Embarkation: Venice
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Cabin Category: OF
Cabin Number: 4568
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Norwegian Jade Cruise Reviews | Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 3.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 3.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Jade Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Jade Deck Plans
NCL Jade, Venice/Dubrovnik/Athens/Irmir/Split

Embarkation - Once we got into the cruise terminal, there were no lines at all. We just walked up to an agent and checked in, and headed to the ship. Must have timed it just right. But for those that have never cruised out of Venice before, be aware that it takes some effort (at least if you get to/from the airport by water). We took the Alilaguna water bus from the airport. Decided to take the long route (almost 2 hours) that goes by the other islands, since we had extra time and we thought it might be nice to tour the wider lagoon. Dragging your luggage on/off the boat, up the ramps, down the long sidewalk at the airport, etc. takes a bit of muscle and effort. And the baggage drop was in a different building around the corner. Luckily they had someone fairly close directing us there so we only had to backtrack a little when they told us that.

Disembarkation - We stayed one day/night at a hotel after the cruise. That's an even bigger chore dragging bags that far. It was a 10-15 minute walk to get to the "People Mover" tram (which avoids an extra 10-15 minute walk) to get to Piazza Roma, where we then bought vaporetto tickets and caught the #1 down the Grand Canal to the St Marks area near our hotel. The People Mover was mobbed with hoards of people. And it must have been 100 degrees in that thing when they closed the doors. Escalator broke down and we had to drag our bags up to the platform (instead of waiting for 50 people rushing the elevator. If we even cruised out of Venice again (which we won't), I'd skip the People Mover and just walk the rest of the way.

Cabin - I wrote a separate review for that. Other than the A/C cutting off at night, we were mostly pleased with the cabin.

Ship - On the whole the ship was OK. It's not as big as some of the RC ships we're more used to (or the NCL Epic we sailed on last year), but it was sufficient. Fewer facilities, fewer activities, weaker entertainment... pretty much what goes along with sailing on a smaller ship vs a larger one. But overall it was still pretty good.

Excursions - We used the NCL excursions at every port. Love the way NCL organizes their excursions, where you meet in the theater, they call your group, you line up and they but the bus# sticker on you. Then you simply head outside and head to the buses and find your number. Far better method than RC uses (where you try to find the group in the mob with the right sign, if they even bother holding it up). All the excursions had good guides and drivers.

Food - Typical cruise food. Good but not great in the main dining room. We LOVE the Freestyle seating, where our group of 4 could just get a table of our own, when we wanted. There was a line at peak times (like right after a show lets out) but we only had to wait a couple of nights. The other days we were seated right away. The buffet for breakfast was usually super-crowded and we really had to work to find a table. But that's common on most cruises. Food there was just "eh", like most cruise buffets.

Overall - Happy with the cruise, and I'm glad we got to see Venice once in my lifetime. But once was enough. We got a good flavor of it in our 1.5 days after the cruise. It's too much effort to get around (even just to/from the airport to the cruise terminal) for us to be interested in going back again. We can cross that destination off our bucket lists now.

Publication Date: 07/11/13
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