We experienced the Jade as a very family friendly ship. Possibly because of our sailing was during the Easter holiday, many children were on board for which a lot of special activities were organized in areas set aside for them.
Embarkation in Cittavechia went very smooth, whereupon everybody had to go to the buffet restaurant “Garden Café” as the cabins were not yet ready.
As we could book this cruise for a special price the ship offered very good value for money.
However if we would have had to pay the official brochure price I would consider it overpriced for the quality offered.
The general rooms on the ship are pretty limited offering a relatively poor ambiance (compared to e.g. more expensive cruiselines like Oceania, Celebrity and HAL).
Especially on rainy sea days almost everybody is packed in the uncosy canteen like “Garden restaurant”.
It is a pity that the –in principle- forward looking “Pinnacle Lounge” has been converted in an area aimed at dance parties with a band stand blocking a large part of the view.
Almost no comfortable seats were to be found anywhere: they were all very hard and mainly a bit like straight dinner table chairs. No comfortable lounge areas.
A lot of place has been converted in specialty restaurants (at fee) which were used only sparsely. Hence a pity of the wasted space!
Enough of our maybe somewhat negative observations. As said before overall a very good value for money was offered.
Cabins are small but adequate, service is very good while the shows are even excellent. The food in the main restaurants was good but simple, with a fairly limited variety.
Variety in the buffet restaurant is slightly better compared to the Grand Pacific and Alizar main restaurants, but the ambiance is much less. We did have dinner once in the specialty restaurant “Le Bistro”. The quality of the food was slightly better superior to the main restaurants, but the service was worse (initially we were hurried along: the second course was put on the table while the first one was not yet finished. Upon our request to slow down a bit, we were completely ignored). We didn’t think it was worth the extra money and were glad that we didn’t buy the specialty dining package.
We really enjoyed the shows, which are the strong point of this ship. Especially the production show Elements was very good while the Graffiti Classics show was one of the best/funniest we have seen for a long time.
We organised our port excursions everywhere ourselves, so I cannot comment on the excursions offered by the ship.
We booked 1 tour by a local operator: the Pompeii and Amalfi coast tour from Naples.
Searching on the web it looked like we could only book a tour to the Amalfi coast when we would pay for a whole car (which would be pretty expensive for just 2 persons). After some searching we found an offer to buy single seats in a small van as part of a group whereby the risk of a less then full bus is taken by the operator: SmartCruiseTours.com. It turned out to be a very well organised, comfortable tour with all together only 5 guests in a little bus. A captain seat for everybody!
Maybe it is good to mention that no visa for Turkey were needed.
Before departure we searched the net whether a visum was needed for cruise passengers.
Everywhere we were told that such was the case, preferable to be arranged by internet.
In reality everybody got a boarding card and passports were not even checked.