Let me start by saying I have read some bad reviews from people that have traveled on this ship and all I can say is I have NO IDEA what ship they were on but it wasn't the Jade I was on. I LOVE THIS SHIP! My friend and I just got back from a 7 day cruise to Venice, Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir, Split and back to Venice. This ship is so clean and had such a good vibe...I never wanted to leave. The entire crew was absolutely wonderful! We had a BB Balcony state room on the 10th floor...cabin 10512 and Michelle was our room keeper. Fabulous room! Really comfy bed, super clean linens and loved the bathroom. Sliding door to separate toilet, lots of fresh towels every day and the water pressure in the shower was amazing. Michelle makes a mean towel monkey too! (They make your towels into animal shapes sometimes) Lots of storage space for clothes....big closets and shelves. There was also a vanity, desk, TV, pull out sofa and mini bar. The only minus I can think of is that we didn't use the pull out bed (we were 2 friends...male and female traveling together) as it didn't look like it had been given fresh linens in a while. We shared the huge queen size bed so it was fine with us.
Yes the ship is designed with big palm trees and Hawaiian fashion as it was initially The Pride of Hawaii but I love the cheesiness of it all honestly. The whole vibe of the ship was awesome...especially the disembarkation parties on the pool deck when you're leaving ports....loved it! Great mix of people and nationalities. I got to know people from 22 -70 years old and had a blast doing it. The food all over the ship was excellent!
I have no idea why so many people are complaining about the restaurants that have a small cover charge....don't go there if you don't want to. The free restaurants are excellent. We ate at Alizar or the Garden buffet almost every night. Actually, the buffet was my favorite part of the ship and I never even had time to try everything it offered. The Spinnaker Lounge is the night club on the ship but a lot of under age kids are allowed to stay into the wee hours of the night and inappropriate things sometimes happen so if you have kids....bad thin gs can happen even on a cruise ship. Put your kids to bed at night where they belong...that's all I'm saying. My favorite part of the cruise was the Lychee Sakitini after dinner in the Martini bar on deck 6. Sam and John are excellent bartenders and I really looked forward to hearing the pianist John play every night. Having been off the ship a few days now....I really miss hearing him play.
Drink prices....AGAIN...I have no idea what people are complaining about. The prices were totally reasonable unless you're from the sticks and you're used to $2 Budweiser...I don't get it. I ran up exactly as outrageous a bar tab I expected to and it was worth every penny. Free all day in the buffet are coffee, tea and iced tea. There's juice in the morning with breakfast. Fine with me.
The pool and pool area are super clean and I actually asked the pool maintenance guy how it all worked when he had emptied the pool for cleaning one night. The pool is refilled with fresh sea water quite often and he was so sweet telling me about it. I talked to the staff more than passengers actually...they were all so nice!
THE SPA....oh my....the spa! I bought the $119 week long package to the spa. (They only sell 40 women and 40 men passes each trip so when you get on the ship...RUN THERE and get one) There are women only, men only and co ed areas here. In the women only there is a huge hot tub right above the captain's room so you're in a hut tub in the front of the ship with nothing but deep blue ocean in front of you and on the right side. It was indescribable and decadent...I felt like a queen. They also have a windowed sauna (again...ocean right outside) and a steam room with eucalyptus in the steam.. There are lockers with robes and towels inside, showers and these mosaic tiled showers with light therapy and your choice of ice rain or tropical rain. There is also a cold plunger pool which is my favorite thing. It's a great way to wake up between being pool side all day and dressing for dinner. The co ed area has a huge hot tub that you lay down in....ahhhhhhmazing and heated mosaic tile beds right in front of the windows that put you to sleep in about 5 seconds. Trust me....get the pass!
They use hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE on the ship to keep people safe. I never use it myself but on the ship...it's necessary. Just use it and cooperate. Say hello to the "washy washy, happy happy" lady at the garden cafe for me....I LOVED her!
I also loved "Champagne Duo" that usually performed out by the pool....they sang such great songs and really set the mood on the pool deck. Everything was just so harmonious....I really miss it. On days when you are at sea.....you have to get up really early to get a deck chair and reserving for over an hour is not allowed so plan your attack ahead of time or you'll be standing or up a deck or two above the pool. I never saw the ship actually run out of deck chairs though. If you look, you'll find one somewhere.
All the excursions we took were fabulous but in in Athens I scheduled an air conditioned Mercedes Taxi and it was the smartest thing I could have done. The owner of the company picked us up at port himself and took us everywhere we wanted to go in 5 hours...he even bought us lunch at this brick oven place. Amex had accidentally canceled my card while I was on the ship and when I told him where the Athens Amex office was....he took me there and I was on my way in no time. We went straight to the Parthenon before it got too hot or crowded and doing it without a group is a breeze...then you just split when you want to. He and his drivers also really know a lot about the history and i got as much knowledge from him as I would have from any tour guide. He also had a video of Athens that played in the car and sent me home with a book and DVD. The best part? It was only 150 Euro for us both. 150 per tour! Can't beat it....30 Euro dawn payment through Pay Pal and you're all set. The best part was we got to go to a lot of scenic spots that a tour bus would never have been able to get to and he even brought us to Parliament for the changing of the guards. I highly recommend you do it too! Ask for John! http://www.athenstoursguide.com/
Anyway, I loved this ship...loved the ports...loved the crew...loved it all. If you can't have fun on this ship....you need to take a long look at your life cause I can't wait to go back!