I have been to 22 countries on business and pleasure. Visiting and experiencing Norway on the Jade had to be my most enjoyable vacation to-date. Having a Norwegian crew bring you to small and large Norwegian ports up and down the coast was a unique pleasure with some breathtaking views. Their pride and joy for their country was infectious.
Entertainment: Since English made up the majority of the passengers and US was the second category, the Jade had a mix of English and American entertainers. For other nationalities, the Jade had several acts that could be enjoyed by any European (dancing, singing, etc.). I particularly like the 2nd City Comedy act but this group's humor tended to miss with most of the European audiences. The music was enjoyable - I particularly liked the group that sang Black Gospel music which surprisingly was liked by Europeans and Americans. The Jade had several evening music venues (Rock, Swing, Show Tunes, etc.) which did a brisk business. More
Fitness Rooms: Many of the fitness machines were broken or had minor issues. I used the facilities daily but you had to go off-cycle since the fitness rooms were crowded (made worse but several broken machines). Easily fixed problem but never was resolved and looked as if they were unresolved for awhile.
Food: The food was enjoyable but nothing above an A-minus. No truly unique meals but very consistent with ample supplies of Norwegian Salmon. The free food venues were typically crowded with the value-added food venues tended to be less than half-full.
Jade, the Ship: The ship itself is quite modern and comfortable. The crew wanted to please and the ship was quite modern. The only negative was the interior decoration were bizarre. I understand the Jade was moved from Hawaii to Europe but the interior design was awful regardless on what continent the ship was located.
Excursions: The shore excursions were the highlight of the trip. The trip to the Bird Sanctuary on an Island near Honningsvag was breath-taking. In one view, I must have seen about 3,000 Puffins flying and diving into the frigid waters to find fish. There were also birds of prey which struck and killed one of the Puffins (sad but a part of nature) within view of the boat. I took the early both to the Bird Sanctuary but hear other cruisers complaining since they did not see the birds that we did. The excursion and hike to the Glacier was beautiful, as well.
Norwegian Towns: We visited small and large Norwegian towns. While the large towns had the most history and architecture, I enjoyed being greeted by Norwegians from the small towns who were excited about the Jade coming to their small town (like Alesund). For many of the ports, we had local bands and towns people greet us when we left the ship.
Enjoyable International Guests: It was personally enjoyable to have passengers from all over the world - mainly Europe but a few from South America, Mexico, US, etc. Gaining international perspectives and making new friends at dinner was an unexpected pleasure. Free-style cruising with optional mixing of patrons at dinner tables made for enjoyable dinner conversations.
The only bad experience was the poor seamanship on the small boats or tenders that took us to/from the ports when anchored away from the docks. There was a lack of training and we nearly had a collision with another tender. Several older passengers might have been lost in the frigid waters with such a tender accident. Less