We had been on the NCL Dawn and the Pearl before and liked them very much, so we were not prepared for the disappointment and dislike for the Jade. AVOID at all costs any cabin on the 4th deck forward! We endured no sleep for 2 nights in cabin 4504 before complaining to the front desk. There was banging and clanging all night long as if giant metal plates were sliding around and crashing into each other. The staff acted like they had never heard such thing before and said for us to wait another night and call when it started so they could see what the problem was. Of course when it started and we called, no one answered the phone. So on day 3, totally exhausted we demanded another room. They gave us an inside room and a $200 shipboard credit on the 8th (8705) deck and we finally were able to rest. The room steward on deck 8 was pretty much invisible and forgot basic things, like TOWELS AND FACECLOTHS and ice. Don't even think about chocolates at night. We were at the front desk one day and someone else was complaining about the noise in their room. They also were on deck 4 forward and were being given the same "never heard that before". So we had to set them straight before they lost any more sleep.
The food at the Garden Buffet was decent. The salad bar lacked for a lot of things. Sometimes there were additions like beans, olives etc., sometimes only the bare basics. The drink machines were often empty. The crowds and pushing and shoving were unbelievable. We tried really hard to like the dining room at dinner. The meat I had one night could not be chewed. The baked potatoes were the size of golf balls. The specials the last 2 nights were tilapia and catfish. REALLY! There were no shrimp cocktails, filet mignons, lobster, lamb chops, only what was the cheapest thing they could find. In fairness, one night there was a very thin piece of prime rib that was very good. A good sized man would have had to order several of those to get more than 4 ounces of meat. Everything was so heavily salted, some of it was inedible. Appetizers were completely uninspiring. On other cruises the appetizers were so good, we would choose several of them and call that dinner. At least none of us gained any weight!
The ports were excellent and very interesting. The shore excursions we took from the ship were very good and reasonably priced. Entertainment was so-so. We've seen the same shows on other cruises. On-board activities were very limited. On other cruises there was a travel director who was so informative on all the ports and very helpful in choosing what to do. There was no one on the Jade.
Debarkation was confusing because we got no color coded tags or instructions because we had booked through Online Vacation Center. In the past, the ship worked with them, but not this time. We just had to figure it out.
So we are done cruising with NCL. It's too bad they've cut so many corners. We will stick to our favorite Celebrity in the future.