Just returned from 14 day Eastern Med cruise on NCL Jade. This was our fourth cruise on all parts of the spectrum and the first with NCL.
Embarkation and Disembarkation: Very slick operation and the easiest by far. Don’t be alarmed if the Embarkation and bag drop off point is some distance from the Jade, you will be taken to the vessel by coach.
Staff: Very hard to fault, hard working, extremely pleasant and courteous.
Dining: The food was varied, flavoursome and plentiful. With one exception of a meal I had in one of the restaurants, extremely well prepared, catering for all tastes.
The buffet was not the best of experiences, not I hasten to add due to the standard of food but the seating arrangements. Trying to find a table at peak times was difficult made more so when you were carrying a plate of food and a drink. Surely a staff member could be allocated to assist?
Shows: Extremely good, amazing talent, but don’t go expecting Phantom of the Opera.
Shore Excursions: We only went on one from Azmir, as we found it quite easy to make our own way around using Toms Port Guides. See www.tomsportguides.com . Our trip to Ephesus was good but in our view far too hurried in order to get the group to a carpet factory for a sales pitch.
Stateroom: We opted for an outside cabin on the lower deck. It turned out to be a family room with an interlocking door to the next cabin. Storage space all that you could ask for, but the downside was that to get into the queen size bed you had to negotiate a bunk bed, which was fixed to the cabin wall. That task normally ended up with a painful encounter. After a week a room upgrade was requested for which we were willing to pay. Regrettably Client Services did not, as promised, respond.
A couple of negatives. I didn’t enjoy trying to find a sun lounger on ‘sea days’; the choice was sun desks packed to capacity with sprawling bodies or a place in deep shade and a brisk chill wind underneath a canopy.
I didn’t enjoy those who took possession of the hot tubs on deck, usually with a glass of wine and made it clear they were intent to staying and neither did I like the few parents who allowed their children to ignore ‘Adults Only’ areas; all of which were clearly signposted.
But a definite 4/5 and if I can get over the garish paintwork on the hull and around the ship, we will be back.