We left home from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada and travelled to Barcelona via Vancouver & Frankfurt (22 hrs), we arrived in Barcelona very tired, but the the excitement of being there and meeting up with our Family members from Halifax, Edmonton and Whitehorse (via Madrid)washed away the exhaustion and it was game on.
Had booked rooms at the Continental Hotel at the top of La Rambla and could not have been more pleased with the property and location, It is not a 5 star hotel but with good rates (112.00 euro)a balcony over looking La Rambla a 24 hour buffet, free beer, wine, coffee, and soft drinks and a most friendly staff how can you not like it.
After 2 days of exploring Barcelona which I will not detail here as it has been described by much better writers than I, but I will say it was all you read about and more, what a city! On Sunday it was grab some taxis and off to the Ship.
Embarkation - It was so easy and quick, we arrived gave the luggage to the porters and found the appropriate wicket to go to. Received Identification/Key Cards met the Concierge were assigned an escort and on to ship total time approx. 10 minutes and we were standing in the Atrium drinking champagne. It was then off to our stateroom.
We had booked a AB penthouse on deck 11 forward starboard side under the library and close to the forward elevators which turned out to be a brilliant location, handy to get around and no noise at all. My sister and sister in law had a adjoining AF to us and that worked out very well.
I cannot say enough about our suite, it was large, well appointed and attended to very professionally by Maurice our Butler and Myla the cabin attendant. It is a 2 bedroom suite and worked well as our daughter had the second bedroom with private washroom, TV etc. The Master Bathroom is outstanding with double sink vanity, soaker tub, separate toilet, shower (the best ever),makeup station and huge amounts of closets and drawers The living / dining area is large enough to entertain a small group and the coffee maker is first class, we had ordered a bar set-up and Maurice kept us in ice and snacks throughout the cruise.
Food - We found the food on the Jade to be above average or better in every venue we ate at including room service. The regular dining rooms and buffet are very good with the Grand Pacific being our favorite but nothing bad about The Alizar dining room either. The tomato soup,fish and chips or chicken wings at the blue lagoon would hit the spot anytime day or night. We always found something to our liking and if a dish was not what you were expecting, simple, order something else, you should not go away dissatisfied or hungry. We dined at the following surcharge venues, Cagney's - Very Good Steaks, Le Bistro - My Favorite (might have been the escargot or foie gras) Jasmine Garden - Wife's Favorite Paniolos Tapas & Salsa - Very Good One of the perks being in a suite is to have breakfast and lunch a Cagney's this is a good one. Great Breakfast Menu, Excellent service level, and lovely location.
Staff - We cannot say enough about the entire ships company from the Captain on down everyone had a smile and were always willing to accommodate whatever we requested. This needs to be recognized as they work very long hard shifts for 10 months or so with hardly any days off and for people to adjust the automatic gratuity downwards seems wrong to me. If someone had a problem with service or staff an appropriate word in someones ear would correct the issue.
Summary - The Jade is a Beautiful, clean, well maintained ship with lots to do or not, whatever your Style may be.