Having tried - and enjoyed - other cruise lines we are still confirmed fans of our favourites NCL who consistently produce quality cruising at a reasonable price.
The freestyle dining concept has been a proven success right from the start and it is still the best answer for the feeding of the masses. We ate in the Alizar, one of the main dining rooms, on several occasions and the food was absolutely top class. We turned up when we liked for dinner and never had to wait more than ten minutes before our buzzer called us to our table.
The speciality restaurants are even better and we enjoyed the extra-special service and food at the Jasmine Garden and Papas Italian Kitchen as well as a Jazz Brunch in Le Bistro and a wine-tasting in Cagneys. These treats cost a few dollars extra but it is a holiday after all.
I have read complaints about the buffet restaurants but a bit of overcrowding happens on every ship we have ever been on, especially when everyone decides to eat at the same time. The Jade, however, has an ace up its sleeve in the Blue Lagoon where you are served in a peaceful atmosphere at any time as it is open 24 hours. Breakfast in the Blue Lagoon is a must as far as we are concerned.
Our balcony stateroom had everything we could ask for, apart from a lack of sunshine which is unusual for the Canaries at this time of year. But it was pleasant enough most days although a bit windy.
We only went to one show, Elements, which was little short of amazing and proved just how far entertainment has progressed on cruise ships during the last decade.
The staff were friendly, cheerful and willing to go the extra mile to keep the atmosphere enjoyable, exactly as we had found it on our previous cruise aboard the Jade before her refit. She may have lost some of her Hawaiian garishness but she still is a colourful character.
Our pet hate is persistent photographers but the Jade snappers accepted a polite refusal with good grace. No complaints there from us.
Overall, it was yet another pleasant, relaxing holiday aboard a great ship where you can do what you want when you want.