Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by go3: Hooked on cruising
Overall Member Rating
Hooked on cruising
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
This was our first cruise ever, and it was a great experience for us. The ship was just fine, the shows were great, the dining was good (great for the restaurants with a cover charge, they were effectively worth the money) and the staff was friendly and helpful, so much so that we were almost embarrassed to ask for anything.
We took the unlimited spa-access package for US$ 119 for one week, which was great value for money : sauna, steam bath, hot tub and heated relaxing beds with the best view of the ship was well worth the investment.
The mini-suite was fine other than that we didn't like the decoration very much, but that is debatable as taste usually is.
All in all, the cruise was fine and the excursions looked interesting (we only booked one in Athens, so to avoid any problems with the strikes going on when we were there and that one was satisfactory).
The only negative points for us, were :
1) The constant money grabbing going on : More everything other than the buffet food and the shows were paid services, so the cruise was anything but the all-inclusive deal that was advertised. As Europeans, the system of gratuity, auto-gratuity, cover charges and tipping will always be incomprehensible to us, since we are used to pay the amount on the price tag without a whole slough of taxes and other charges being added. As frequent travelers, we can handle it, but most people we met on the cruise were complaining about the less then transparent pricing scheme.
2) Everything was oriented towards US customers (and in a lesser extend English/UK customers), but less than 1/3 of the passengers can from there, so NCL might try and change the way they do things to accommodate the majority of their clients on their none-American lines. Less
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Cabin review: MB11508 Mini-Suite with Balcony
Stateroom 11508 : Just in front of one of those "Crew Only" doors. Apparently, this was the main Deck #11 access door, so from 6 in the morning, the door slammed shut every 60 seconds or so with a loud bang, waking up all the pundits (well me at least). It would be a great help if the engineers would find a way to make these doors seal properly but without the big bangRead All Mini-Suite with Balcony (MB) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Having been to Athens on several occasions before, this was the time we decided to go up the Acropolis.
If you've never been to Athens it is definitely worth the visit, especially if you take the time to roam the Plaka area. The Acropolis is one of those must-see sites and the tour we took from the cruise ship was exactly right : not too long and allowing a lot of free time to roam around.
This must have been the cleanest world heritage site I've ever seen. We both were a bit ill (unrelated to anything that happened on our cruise), so we only spent limited time here.
The ice cream was very good and the people were nice. We'll definitely be coming back here to get a better look.
The NCL terminal stands alone and separate from the other terminals. Luckily we had a private driver to get us from the Airport to the terminal which knew the ropes. We came in early and the NCL was not yet in place to meet us, but we figured it out by ourselves.
Start of check in was a bit of a chaos, due to computer malfunctions and some confusing caused by non-Italian AND non-English speaking customers. A big let down, were the Italian customs and other civil servants who were less than helpful and interested. The 10 or so people we saw, where less enthusiastic and helpful than the worst crew member on the Jade....
We missed the embarkation picture, but for the rest, the embarkation went smoothly and was a snap.
Just one logistical question : why does it take 10 hours to get our bags to our cabin ?
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An Enjoyable Cruise