First and foremost, our thoughts are with the Jade's crew members who were from the Philippines who may have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan which occurred shortly after our cruise ended. We hope that the many wonderful crew members that we met did not suffer great losses and are beginning to recover.
We went on a 14-day Greek Isles and Adriatic cruise from Venice at the end of October and the entire cruise was absolutely perfect. Virtually every aspect of the cruise went beautifully including smooth seas and great weather. This was our first cruise on the Jade. Embarkation was very quick and effortless.
We booked an inside cabin which was quite comfortable and there was more than enough room for the two of us including storage space. It was an aft cabin and very quiet. Our cabin steward, Jonathan, went above and beyond to ensure that our cabin was clean and tidy and always asked how we were enjoying the cruise and if there was anything more that he could do for us. He was just wonderful.
Although we went on shore excursions nearly everyday, we did have enough time to explore the many amenities of the Jade and met very many nice shipmates from around the globe whom we really enjoyed talking with. We also really enjoyed the Cruise Critic reception where we were able to meet and talk with the ship's crew. That added a nice personal touch to our cruise.
I've read many reviews regarding what some consider to be high cost for the ship's shore excursions but we booked ship excursions for eight of the ten ports and felt that they were worth every penny. (Two ports we explored on our own and we later wished we had booked ship excursions for those as well.) The shore excursions were absolutely wonderful and worry-free. We especially enjoyed the Greek Fiesta, Olympia and "Godfather" tours but they were all very good. We should note that we have booked tours with other reputable tour companies on vacations and found the ship's excursions to be superior to others. Kudos also to the Captain who docked at Katakolon when three other cruise lines turned away because of high winds. It would have been quite a shame to miss Olympia!
We enjoyed all of our dining experiences including the Garden Café buffet which offered quite a variety of entrees everyday to accommodate many different tastes. We dined at the Grand Pacific and Alizar and found them both to be very good and a pleasant change from the Garden Café. We also tried Teppanyaki and Moderno and they were both wonderful as well although we could not finish all of the courses at Moderno -- so much food! We spent a good amount of time at the Great Outdoors for breakfasts and evening cocktails. We felt that the price of the cocktails (with the added gratuity) was about the same as we would be charged for them at a bar/restaurant at home. Service was excellent.
We had only enough time to watch a couple of shows and found them to be enjoyable and entertaining.
Very early in the morning we disembarked on our own with our luggage to a waiting car. Disembarkation took only about five minutes.
Our overall experience was fantastic and we can't wait to take our next cruise on the Jade which we've already booked -- 11-day Western Mediterranean. We also took advantage of the free upgrade and are looking forward to having a stateroom with balcony next time.