Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by chris_kelowna: Good cabin, great steward, so-so food
Overall Member Rating
Good cabin, great steward, so-so food
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
We have cruised once on Princess (in 2001 to Alaska - doesn't count, too long ago!) and last year on Voyager of the Seas from Sydney, Australia around New Zealand to Perth, Australia. This was our first European cruise and our first on NCL. Embarkation was a breeze, very fast and easy. We had boarded a little later (around 12:30) and our cabin was ready. We had a forward balcony cabin 8044 and were very happy with it. The cabin was cleverly designed and there was plentiful storage for my spouse and I. The bathroom is separated into three areas, a generous shower with a sliding glass door, a sink/vanity (very small) and a toilet, also with a sliding glass door. There was a mini-fridge in the room, equipped with the usually selection. We removed those from the fridge and checked with our steward. She asked if we could store the mini-bar contents in our room as there was not a lot of room in her locker. We used the lowest shelf and that was fine. Our balcony was equipped with two chairs More
and a small table. The balconies on the Jade are quite sheltered and because it was April on the Med, we were glad of the shelter. We could sit outside without being blown away!. My side of the bed was not particularly comfortable, I kept feeling like I was going to fall out - the reverse really of sagging in the middle. There were plentiful pillows and there was a mattress topper on the bed when we got there. Our steward, Juni, was excellent. She always had a big smile and offered to bring me ice twice a day. We had cute towel animals almost every day. This was our first balcony room and I believe we are now spoiled forever! We did not eat in any specialty restaurants, but we did eat in both main dining rooms, in the Garden Café, and in the Blue Lagoon as well as the snack bar at the back of the ship. - I don't remember what it was called but it was just beyond the Garden Café. The best thing food related was that there was a free espresso machine in the Garden Café, dispensing both caffeinated and decaf coffee. In the morning by the oatmeal, there was also warmed milk - I had a latte every morning after I discovered this! The food on the ship was a major disappointment. Both dining rooms had the same core menu and in each only one or two items changed daily. All of the fish dishes we ordered came terribly overdone. Salad often had brown pieces in it. Lava cake was overcooked so that it was just soggy in the middle, not at all molten. Almost all the food looked a whole lot better than it tasted. There were little options for vegetarians - nothing on a regular basis. One of our dining companions asked for a vegetarian meal and was presented with a dish of steamed broccoli, green beans, and peas/carrots mix. Later the waiter brought her breaded fried eggplant - no sauce or anything. Nothing we ate was memorable for any good reason. Entertainment was so-so. We are not at all interested in magic, juggling, or variety shows. We did attend Shout which was quite good. A couple of good movies were presented in the Medusa bar and shown on a not so big TV screen. The lack of a proper cinema was a disappointment. Most of the staff were lovely, but we did run into attitude a number of times - from staff we were seeing for the first time. Not sure what was happening in their life, but should not be my concern. The ports of call were excellent (it's why we chose this cruise) and the balcony was good. Getting on and off the ship at embarkation, ports, and debarkation was a breeze, that was one thing NCL did very well. Granted our cruising experience is limited, but unless the itinerary was beyond excellent and the price a giveaway, I don't think we'd cruise Norwegian again. Less
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