This cruise was the fifth and shortest of our cruises with NCL; as we have a long flight from Australia anything less than 4 weeks is not worth the bother. We took a back to back 9 day Mediterranean/Morocco and 12 day Mediterranean commencing 10 March. We had cruised on the Norwegian Pearl for 4 weeks in the States last year so we were pretty familiar with the ship - almost the same. However the Jade was a cut above in almost every department. The immediate impression on boarding the Jade was - spick and span, efficient, welcoming and helpful and this impression was confirmed during the entire 21 days. The food in both buffet and restaurants was a very good standard; in particular the beautiful lobster dishes which were plentiful. Camembert, sushi, smoked salmon, shrimp cocktails in the buffet for example. The entertainment was very good and the itinerary was great with 13 interesting ports.
I do have a couple of criticisms of this ship and this is that though there are a lot of restaurants, only the main 2 (which have the same menu) and the Buffet are without charge. There is another - The Blue Lagoon which has a very limited menu and is really only suitable for a snack. This is a reduction of 2 "free restaurants" in comparison to the Pearl last year. This I am sure, resulted in waiting times for the main restaurants, particularly at peak times as we had observed that the "pay" restaurants were almost deserted at the same time. Even though the waiting time was never long, I overheard many complaints that the "eat when you want" claim was untrue.
We had to change cabins after the first leg and this was a hassle. Our cabin steward hadn't been informed and nothing was coordinated; we were told to vacate our cabin by 9am but the next cabin was unready and it still was unready by 10.30. There seemed to be no liaison between deck supervisors for this contingency.
A couple to tips: Once the ship calls into Egypt/Alexandria any self service STOPS. Avoid trying to even get a cup of tea in the buffet. Eat in the restaurants - its faster and less stressful. Don't go on the excursion to Touradant in Morocco, it was dreadful, do go on the "Behind the Scenes Tour" it was great.
A couple of tips: When the ship has been into Egypt/Alexandria all self service STOPS. Eat in the restaurants, it is faster and far less stressful. Don't take the Touradant Excursion in Morocco, it is dreadful. Do take the "Behind the Scenes Tour", it is truly amazing.