We found the Norwegian Jade to be a clean and nicely furnished ship Except for it's huge size, which did make it a bit unmanageable for our slightly handicapped companion,it was well equipped, the staterooms were lovely and clean, the bathrooms were very nice and we were only in the standard ocean view rooms. However, everything included a service charge/gratuity even the bottle of water in the stateroom. The amount added was 18%. As a warning 18% is also added to all spa services and all drinks in the bar. This in addition to $10 per day service charge seems excessive. We were told (too late) by other cruisers that you are allowed to refuse the $10 charge and that the service charge is not divided amongst crew members. Had we known this we would have tipped our room steward more generously. In addition we did not like not having assigned dinner times and seatings. Instead the lines for the dining rooms are long (except for the ones with additional cover charges and those rooms were pretty empty) and you are handed a pager just like your last experience at Applebees...and it can take just as long to be seated. The dining room staff seems overwhelmed and are unsmiling and unfriendly.
The destinations on this cruise were wonderful although the offered shore excursions were very pricey. It was easy enough to arrange a duplicate tour at the dock for 1/4th the price.
We had experienced a transatlantic cruise on the Fred Olsen, Balmoral in April 08 and the difference between a smaller ship and a large one was incredible. Bigger is not always better.