Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Musical Megan: Never again with NCL
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Never again with NCL
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
The flight and embarkation all went reasonably smoothly and it was helpful that our bags were delivered to our cabins directly from the wagon that took them from the airport. Our cabins were ready, and the ovation of mine, midships and near the lifts, was ideal because of my walking problems, so I was very pleased about this. Unfortunately my cabin had been made up as a double, despite my request for twin beds, and had I left it like this I would hardly have been able to move around the cabin. The toilet cubicle was very small and as someone who has arthritis quite severely this caused problems. My cabin steward was very helpful - and unfailingly cheerful - and sorted the bed situation out within a few hours.
I have cruised with many cruise lines over the last ten years and unfortunately the standards of Norwegian Jade fell well below what I have come to expect. The standard of food in the restaurants was very poor - only three courses, too much repetition of choices, which More were limited to begin with, and often barely warm and/or overcooked when they eventually came to table. Table service was very slow and not always friendly and the waiters' understanding of English/knowledge of the menu components was often limited. On two occasions I had to leave the meal after my starter in order to meet a friend at the late show in the theatre - having been at the table for two hours! On two occasions we paid a supplement (usually at least 20$) to go to one of the speciality restaurants, where the food was more like what i would expect in the main restaurants, but in the Teppenyaki restaurant four of our party of suffered significant stomach upsets overnight, following this meal. The cost of very mediocre wine was prohibitive.
The standard of the shows in the Stardust theatre was very poor and amateurish - apart from the acrobats who were quite good - and the MC Jill made me ashamed to be British. Her attempts at communicating in Italian were embarrassing and underlined what every continental believes about the British and languages.The words she spoke on Christmas Eve - speaking about that Christmas means to Britons - were banal and certainly did not reflect the views of many of us. Usually, the shows are interspersed with more cultural entertainment on alternate nights. Not on Jade - there was nothing remotely cultural at any time, anywhere.
Normally on a cruise, and especially on sea days, I rush around from one activity to another, failing to fit in all the things I would like to do. On Jade I was struggling to find anything that appealed and spent a lot of the time in the poorly equipped library, whose shelves were rarely open. Thank goodness for my kindle. Many of the so called 'seminars' were actually little more than selling opportunities for the SPA, which was extortionately expensive. Even a trip behind the scenes incurred a charge - unheard of!
Bearing in mind that we spent christmas on the ship the Christmas celebrations were a joke. The food was a poor as ever, the show even worse the usual; there was appalling Carol singing on Christmas Eve and a token service that was a total embarrassment. The priest who should have been o board was not present on the ship and a stand-in chaplain took as so-called service, introduced by Jill with the words "welcome to the show". It was not in any sense a spiritual experience.
On disembarkation day we had to leave the ship at 6.45am, although our flights were not till 12.15. We were at the airport in Rome not long after eight, could not check in till 9.30 and there was nowhere to sit, or get a drink. Not a good experience.
The places we visited - Olympia, Athens, Ephesus, Istanbul and Naples were wonderful, but the cost of organised tours was very expensive compared with what you could do on your own.
All in all a very disappointing holiday, cruise-wise and one that I have no desire to repeat. Other 'value for money' cruise lines such as MSC offer a far better experience to the same destinations. Less
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