Prior to leaving for this cruise I began in early January reading about the past cruises (Oct., Nov and Dec ) aboard the Jade and saw that most were pleased but apparently one cruise was not able to dock in Greece and passengers were disgruntled with the reasons they were told. I decided to have an optimistic attitude prior to leaving and therefore my cruise was better than expected.
First, I think the ship colors are bright and cheerful and pleasant to the eyes. This is a very large ship (my largest one yet) and I really enjoyed daily exploring and finding new bars and new restaurants on board. We did not try and see it all the first day at sea.
We had dinner our first night in the Le Bistro and was very pleased with service and food - off to a good start. We were very satisfied with our cabin which had a very large picture window and 2 twin beds that made a double bed. Our luggage was delivered within a couple of hours boarding. During the course of the trip we ate in the LeBistro twice, the mexican restaurant twice, sushi one time and Cagney's once. All met or exceeded our expectations. We had dinner in all of the included restaurants and only ate once in the buffet as seating is a real problem. We participated in the cookout the last day at sea and again was pleased.
We chose to handle our own excursions or to go out on our own with the exception of Egypt. Due to some mishandling by the ship of my passport between leaving Barcelona and being told we could pick them up prior to arrival in Egypt - Norwegian arranged a complimentary one day excursion with one of their tours and to their credit the front office manager contacted the individual who I had paid a deposit to prior to leaving the US and told her my situation. The individual gave our deposit in cash (US) to another passenger the next day and they returned to our stateroom so we were not out any money. For those of you that are not aware when Egypt is part of the itinerary the cruise line is required to keep and hold your passport from the time you check in until the day prior to arrival in Egypt. This was a bit of concern for us but as with many other things you feel confident that they have done this many times before and all is or will be well. In our case, we found out differently. My passport was 'misplaced' the entire day at sea prior to Egypt and while working with the on board Immigration officer' we were assured and explained how an emergency passport would be arranged for me IF mine did not turn up. They were all very professional in how they handled this scary situation and answered all of our questions. They handled the tour for us, gave us a letter for a dinner/wine in any on board restaurant and were scheduling time for me to call home and advise my family of the situation. Late in the evening they called and said my passport and been found and it was being delivered to my stateroom. They also told us to carry on with all of the complimentary items. You can't imagine what a relief it was to see my passport and from that point forward it never left my handbag. I do believe this was an isolated incident and we knew they were as concerned over the situation as we were. After this incident we were back to enjoying the cruise and looked forward to Egypt and Malta.
Overall we were very pleased with the ship, the staff, the food, the ports, and embarkation and disembarkation was the greatest. One comment is that we were allowed (1) bottle of wine in our suitcase on board the ship. We learned that we could purchase a bottle of wine or champagne from one of the bars/restaurants and take to our cabin but of course it was not inexpensive. We would like to see an 'all inclusive' deal offered in the future. We would like to be allowed to bring a bottle of alcohol on board as well as we enjoy a cocktail or two in our cabin in the evenings. Understanding that this keeps you out of their bars and spending money on their cocktails. A small charge to bring a bottle on board would be acceptable and a small charge for 'setups' also would be acceptable. I believe the only negative I have to say is it seemed everywhere you went during the day in a public room there was loud music. Some areas were so loud you couldn't carry on a normal conversation with anyone around you. Music in bars and public rooms are fine but just not so loud in such small closed in areas. We are on board to listen but also to socialize.