I shall try and make this as neutral as possible.
This cruise was booked by my Aunt as a gift for me, in order to help me recuperate from some medical treatments.
My Aunt cruises for about 6 month continuous through the year and I go on at least 1 cruise or transatlantic crossing every year.
As a General Manager of Hotels for some 20 years, I tend to not be over critical, but try to 'switch off' and relax when in other hospitality establishments.
I also like to say that it is my strong opinion that one always gets what one pays for.
Our Inside Stateroom 9559 was immaculate and perfectly clean and comfortable, I also like to note that the Shower room was one of the most spacious I have seen (for this type of category). By the time we reached our room at 3pm our luggage was in our room. Our Steward Jose and his team were polite and very efficient. And our room was made up and turned down at convenient times at all times.
I also found that all the public areas where spotless clean throughout the cruise.
Immediately after embarking we purchased a soda card each, as well as a premium Wine and Champagne package, we also paid for a bar set up in our state room. We went to the SPA and booked several treatments for the entire cruise.
We also booked the speciality restaurants Cagney's, Le Bistro and Papa's Italian.
Having done all this, we did get extremely annoyed with the constant HARD SELL (being approached by staff sometimes several times a day and even by the same person) to book restaurants, whilst either having breakfast or whilst relaxing/reading on deck.
What I found even more disturbing was the treatment (looks) the bar staff gave one when asking to get a soda or refill. (I have since written a letter to NCL, advising them to retrain their staff, to understand that if a passenger buys a soda package or wine package they have already paid the service charge.
I have also received confirmation of this from NCL head office).
Dining: We have visited the main dining room Grand Pacific on Boarding Day for lunch and thought that the food was wonderful and the service friendly and efficient. However at other times we were rather surprised at the foods taste, preparation and the time of service/ staff attention. We also noticed that it was rather loud and very disturbing 'background noise' i.e. staff running with glass/crockery and linens.
The speciality Restaurants: Papa's the food was simply divine especially their Beef Carpaccio and their Entrecote (melt in the mouth!).
Le Bistro also very delectable dishes.
Cagney's, very enjoyable and the service wonderful.
What surprised me most of all was the Garden Cafe, the food and choice served there was by far superior than that served in the main dining rooms. As I am an early riser, I found the Breakfast simply delightful, from French Toast to Eggs Benedict, Fruit etc... all sublime. But don't come late as it will be very crowded. The same for lunch and dinner.
Entertainment: I only visited one show 'SHOUT', which I personally enjoyed, however I was shocked to see children sitting in the auditorium and was rather shocked as the show uses a lot of sexual and drug references (this is a show about 60's London). I overheard several American families the next day saying how shocked they were.
I understand that there is now a Parental advise in place.My Aunt visited all the other shows and enjoyed them very much.
All in all, we did enjoy the cruise, with a few problems, however theses have been resolved by head office and I will be back on Jade very soon!