Cruisers are spoiled for choice on Norwegian Jade, with cabins ranging from entry-level insides to $10,000-a-week Garden Villas that seem more like something you'd find at a five-star resort than on a mainstream mega-ship. Sixty percent of the 1,080 standard cabins are outsides, and of those, 54 percent have balconies. Best of all, for families, interconnecting cabins are available in a range of categories from standard insides to suites. And it's not just apples to apples: Different grades of cabins can be interconnected -- balcony to suite or suite to penthouse, for example -- to create two- to five-bedroom combos for small or large clans.
All cabins have a richer feel due to cherry wood finishes, and boast mini-fridges (you can have it customized or emptied), safes and in-cabin coffee facilities.
Standard inside and oceanview cabins (143 and 161 square feet, respectively) are very small by industry standards, but they're functional, with a sitting area, two twin beds that convert to a queen, and partitioned bathrooms with sliding door shower stalls on one side, a separate toilet compartment on the other and a central sink area. The oceanview cabins with balconies are slightly roomier (167 square feet, with a 38-square-foot balcony); 134 mini-suites are larger still (231 square feet, with a 54-square-foot balcony) and include a full-sized sofa and a small bathtub.
If you're booked in a balcony or mini-suite, NCL will add small touches like bathrobes.
Those looking to splurge should consider booking one of the 48 suites, which include pillow-top mattresses, down comforters and Euro pillows. Suite passengers receive a free bottle of Champagne, evening canapes, private breakfast and lunch in Cagney's Steakhouse (with steak and eggs, eggs Benedict and French toast rounding out the menu; at lunch, try the Caesar salad with chicken or steak); and MP3 connections.
The 375-square-foot Romance Suites (there are four) feature a balcony, full tub and shower, and living and dining areas. The 341-square-foot Penthouse Suites (there are 24) feature a living area, balcony, dining area, separate bedroom with queen-size bed, and bath and separate shower with massaging heads; most have a "spare" bedroom (slightly bigger than a big closet and outfitted with two twin beds -- great for kids). The living and dining areas are equipped with a mini-fridge (stocked with complimentary waters and sodas). There are three flat-screen TV's -- one in the living area, one in the main bedroom and one above the tub; the first two have CD/DVD players.
The exclusive 14th deck is where you'll find the 10 440- to 572-square-foot Courtyard Villas -- a concept introduced on Norwegian Jewel. They are essentially larger versions of the Penthouse Suites (save for the fabulous tub set against a window with a birds-eye view), but what's extra is that they surround a private courtyard shared by all Courtyard Villa guests. The space is gorgeous, with a sleek pool, a Balinese bed, a Jacuzzi, a treadmill and a Stairmaster; one deck up is an exclusive sun deck with wicker loungers and a hammock. Included in the mix are Family Villas, which add another bedroom and accommodate five.
The only categories above Courtyard Villas are the Owner's Suites on Decks 9 and 10 (there are five) and the Garden Villas (there are two), on Deck 14 with the Courtyard Villas. The Owner's Suites offer king beds, BOSE entertainment centers, a whirlpool tub and walk-in closets; guests booked in these cabins are granted access to the courtyard. But the kings of all cabins are the Garden Villas, each with a private roof terrace and garden for open-air dining, hot tubbing and sunning. These complexes include three separate bedrooms -- one with a whirlpool tub -- and BOSE accouterments.
All suite passengers (including the penthouse and romance cabins) also have a concierge and butler at their disposal to arrange restaurant reservations, expedite room service orders, stock diet Cokes in the mini-fridge, etc. Elemis products in the bathroom are replenished daily. The in-cabin coffee maker is also upgraded to a fancy espresso and cappuccino machine, and balcony furniture improves from plastic found elsewhere to teak.
All cabins on Deck 14, as well as the owner's suites on Decks 9 and 10, have Wi-Fi; otherwise, in-cabin Internet access is available shipwide, but don't forget your Ethernet cable. TV programming includes a selection of movies, plus CNN, Fox News, ESPN. The interactive Freestyle TV system can be used for ordering room service, accessing e-mail, confirming shore excursion bookings, etc.
The ship offers 27 cabins in a variety of categories for disabled and wheelchair-bound passengers.
Our cabin was perfectly acceptable. We had enough storage for 2. The bed was very comfortable. Our steward went out of his way to help us with any request and the bathroom had enough room with a terrific shower with sliding door.