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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
let me begin with the embarkation, it was fast and easy and everyone is very helpful. Only draw back, when I embarked, my bedroom is not yet ready, but it was fine, I had a mani-pedi while waiting for my room and she was really nice, I ... Read More
let me begin with the embarkation, it was fast and easy and everyone is very helpful. Only draw back, when I embarked, my bedroom is not yet ready, but it was fine, I had a mani-pedi while waiting for my room and she was really nice, I think her name is Latoya. The bedroom assigned to me was bigger than I expected. It was very comfortable and very clean. I have everything I need for my trip. The food is excellent, especially the variety. I love the Filipino crew, they are so friendly and very generous of their time and talent. They serve me (us) with a smile on their face. The entertainment was also really good, on the first night it was such a great musical, and on the second night it was a nice magic show. Or maybe I’m confused, maybe it’s the other way around. But nevertheless I enjoyed both shows. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Wanted to see the fjords and always liked ncl. Jade was recently refurbished and looks great. Ports were small but really enjoyed them. Seems they have cutback on the latitudes party. No more prizes and it is now early in the day when you ... Read More
Wanted to see the fjords and always liked ncl. Jade was recently refurbished and looks great. Ports were small but really enjoyed them. Seems they have cutback on the latitudes party. No more prizes and it is now early in the day when you are less likely to drink. Appetizers were cubes of cheese only. Very poor way to treat best customers. Show us you really care and make our experience special. As I remember we use to have two parties and one the captain was there. This party was a waste of time. Cruise critic party was pretty much over before it began. Officers introduced themselves then left did not stick around to talk. We noticed little things that were special are disappearing. No more crew show and other shows cut out. We still like the freestyle dining. Speciality restaurants were all excellent main dining room good. Shows were excellent except the magician very amateurish almost embarrassing. We would like to continue to sail ncl but make platinum members special and don’t cut back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat in an acceptable and well-organized manner. The Jade is a stylishly remodeled ship holding a little over 2,000 passengers. Our interior cabin was well-designed and we especially liked the larger shower in comparison to other cruise lines we have traveled with in the past. I was a little nervous about the cruise before we left as many of the reviews of this ship and NCL have tended to be on the negative side. Our experience was wonderful. The Freestyle platform allowed us to eat when and where we wanted. The food was pretty good. Some dishes were excellent and others were average. My biggest concern with foos was the lack of bold flavors. Dishes marked spicy were rather banal in my opinion. We did really love the wide variety of dining options. We were always able to find seating when we used the buffet. The entertainment was good but a bit inconsistent. Some of the solo acts were average. The main singers and dancers were very excellent and talented. The crew was a bit more reserved than we had experienced with other lines. We did eventually find some crew members who were more friendly and willing to engage with us. Excursions were well organized. We had to tender 3 times. Each time we were off the ship quickly. The quality was wonderful and we had good guides and experiences. I have read disparaging reviews about NCL always hounding people to spend money. We did not experience that. We felt that they always would ask you if wanted something like, for example, bottled water at a meal (for a cost). However, we would say no and they did not pressure us further. We never felt badgered to spend additional money on the cruise. We would travel with NCL again if there was an itinerary we liked. We felt we definitely received good value for fare. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything ... Read More
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything was organized. The excursions,embarking and disembarking as well. When returning to the ship from excursions we were always greeted by hot chocolate,l juice and a hot towel. We tried three of the specialty restaurants and they were excellent. The food in the main dining rooms and buffet was excellent so we didn't really need to eat in the specialty restaurant. I must say the Treppanaki restaurant was a special treat. All of the shore excursions were excellent and a good value. This is the first time we have tried an inside cabin and we really didn't miss not having a window. We didn't spend much time in our cabin as there was so much to do. We were also very impressed with the condition of the ship. It was in beautiful shape. Just like it was brand new. Overall this was an excellent cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted something different than the usual Caribbean cruise, and this was an excellent choice. Every day was another spectacular scenic view and/or interesting town or small city. I highly recommend a Norwegian fiord cruise once in ... Read More
I wanted something different than the usual Caribbean cruise, and this was an excellent choice. Every day was another spectacular scenic view and/or interesting town or small city. I highly recommend a Norwegian fiord cruise once in your life. The NCL Jade is a very nice ship, which looks new because of it's recent refurbish. You might expect one rough sea day, as this is the North Sea after all. Very convenient start of the trip from Hamburg Germany, only one day away from the start of the ports of call. The weather in August was about half foggy/rainy and half sunny. The temps were 55 to 70 ish. I packed a light winter down parka which compresses down to a very small package and I am glad I brought it, I used it many tour days. I did not have any Norwegian Kroner and it was no problem, all vendors seemed to take a visa card, even for a cup of coffee. I did have some Euro's for Germany which I am glad I had for cash transactions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise for the marvelous places it was going at a reasonable price. That being said, IF we had not gotten the upgrade it would have been a very different story. We booked an outside cabin that would have been fine, but because ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the marvelous places it was going at a reasonable price. That being said, IF we had not gotten the upgrade it would have been a very different story. We booked an outside cabin that would have been fine, but because we did a "guarantee" cabin NCL chose to move us from our first assigned cabin to a horrible location on the fourth deck. From a window to a porthole with bunks. They must have decided we would be generous with our bidding for an upgrade and we were. For an additional $1000.00 we got an aft facing mini-suite. It provided for beautiful views of everything from our balcony. Still awakened every morning at 5 am by the sliding of chairs above us as they set the tables and chairs out on the deck. If you have a choice do not book an aft on deck eleven. The "no smoking" balcony was not a rule our neighbors chose to follow and since our balcony was mostly enclosed the smoke was terrible. It only took three complaints to customer service and one actual visit to them before anything was done to correct the situation. Too many people smoking everywhere they could get away with it and there really wasn't any enforcement. The toilet stopped working for two days in a row. The first day was all day, the second only for a short time. Very little variety in entertainment, two great shows but everything else was very repetitive. The buffet was better than the dining room on most nights, although the steak that was available every night was very good. Asian restaurant was terrible. O'Sheehan's was fine but service was slow and drinks were warm. We only booked one of our tours through the ship and it was great but so were all the others booked locally that were cheaper. Blue Puffin does a great trip to Nordkapp, not to be missed. The ship only offers transportation. Yes, I would recommend this fantastic visit to the fjords of Norway but I would suggest a different cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise. The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully ... Read More
We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise. The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully decorated. There is a wide variety of dining venues, along with bars/lounges, spa areas, and casino. The passengers on this cruise appeared to be there for the scenery, rather than being a party crowd that you find on shorter, more tropical cruises. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. Our balcony room was comfortable, and well maintained by our attentive steward. Of note, there were quite a few outlets and charging ports in the cabin, more than most hotel rooms offer. The lighting could have been a little better. The food and service in the four specialty restaurants we dined in were outstanding. These dining areas were rarely busy. Buffet and main dining room food offered good variety, but average quality. Service in the Grand Pacific main dining room tended to be inconsistent, but better in the second dining room, the Alazar. Finding seating at the buffet, the Garden Cafe, was challenging, particularly at breakfast time. O’Sheehan’s bar and grill was overlooked and rarely busy, so offered a good alternative for breakfast. While spa services were expensive as is typical for this type of environment, the thermal spa pass was a bargain. For a flat rate, we had unlimited access to the private hot tubs and saunas in the spa. A limited number of passes are sold, so these areas are not typically crowded. This was a very worthwhile investment. Due to the climate, passengers made little use of the pool deck. As is common for cruise ships, the pools and hot tubs are too small, probably of necessity, to accommodate the demand when the weather is warm. The bars and lounges were ok. There was a nice mojito bar on the 13th deck that was rarely open and usually empty. Entertainment of varying quality was offered in most. The “Show Band” was particularly good. We did not visit the casino or attend any specialty shows, though several people commented that the shows were quite good. I don’t really understand the draw of art galleries, jewelry, and watches on cruise ships, but they tend to be a common element for some reason. The main attraction for us was the ports. We were not completely satisfied with the cruise line sponsored excursions, opting to schedule only one of them. The one that we chose, a waterfall hike in Geiranger, was excellent, however. At the remaining ports, we researched and booked excursions independently that were of more interest to us, or simply ventured out on our own. One unpleasant aspect of the cruise was the tendering process. The ship docked in three ports and was tendered at three. The latter process was a nightmare. Very small boats were used to transport passengers rather than the larger ferry-type boats that I am more accustomed to. The process necessitated passengers to line up for tendering passes the day before, and in order to get a relatively early boat, one had to spend an hour or more in line for these tickets. Guests would be lined up halfway down the length of the deck at these times. This does not make a positive impression. Fellow passengers remarked that this experience would prevent them from booking with NCL in the future. Even excursion operators commented on the ongoing inefficiency of the NCL tendering system. Cruise directors frequently reiterated the advantage of not needing tendering tickets for excursions booked through NCL, but I don’t feel that I should be extorted into booking a less interesting excursion because of the dismal tendering process. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted to visit friends in Hamburg and this cruise left from Hamburg, so we were able to combine a nice visit of a few days followed by an enjoyable cruise. This was our first NCL cruise and we felt the crew members on this cruise ... Read More
We wanted to visit friends in Hamburg and this cruise left from Hamburg, so we were able to combine a nice visit of a few days followed by an enjoyable cruise. This was our first NCL cruise and we felt the crew members on this cruise were very friendly and helpful, more so than on previous cruise lines we have used. Food was generally very good, although we were not fully aware that "dress up" nights were not scheduled and totally optional, so we would not bother packing those bulky clothes next time. Our major complaint would have to be that we often experienced many of the food items in the buffet lines were often not hot, especially at breakfast. The company needs to find a better way to keep food hot and appetizing. This was not true for everything, but certain items were nearly always lukewarm at best, and as usual scrambled eggs were not "done" as we would have preferred. We also felt that excursions were rather pricey considering what was offered. I would recommend buying the drink package, as drinks were, I thought, very expensive. Be aware, however, that you must pay $192 up front for tips. We thought that was a pretty high price for tips. At 20%, that's tips for almost $1000 worth of drinks, which for moderate drinkers, seems rather high. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted to see the far north area of Europe and go to North Cape. We enjoyed seeing the sun set for only a short period and crossing the Arctic Circle. We also wanted to spend some time in Hamburg, Germany before the cruise. We ... Read More
We wanted to see the far north area of Europe and go to North Cape. We enjoyed seeing the sun set for only a short period and crossing the Arctic Circle. We also wanted to spend some time in Hamburg, Germany before the cruise. We enjoyed the 11 days and all the excursions and stops on this cruise. As always, the entertainment on our cruise for top notch, the service at all the restaurants was excellent and the entire crew on board the Jade were most accommodating. Our room steward, Alvin was also very welcoming and took very good care of our stateroom. We like this size of a ship to cruise on. We have been on the Getaway, but found that it has way no many people on it. We appreciate having a ship that accommodates only about 2,000 passengers. My wife and I enjoyed the dance and party activities that were scheduled throughout the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, this was a very nice cruise! Beautiful ship, nice crew, great itinerary. We arrived in Hamburg a day early and stayed at the Sofitel Alter Wall. Great hotel, very comfortable and perfect location. A taxi ride from the airport ... Read More
Overall, this was a very nice cruise! Beautiful ship, nice crew, great itinerary. We arrived in Hamburg a day early and stayed at the Sofitel Alter Wall. Great hotel, very comfortable and perfect location. A taxi ride from the airport was about 30 euro and from the hotel to the cruise port, another 30 euro. We arrived at the Steinwerder cruise terminal around 1pm, and apparently, so did everyone else! It was a crazy scene. Fortunately, we had booked through the casino and they had a dedicated check-in desk. That saved us a ton of time. We boarded quickly and enjoyed lunch in the Grand Pacific dining room. Thanks to advice from Cruise Critic members, we always start our cruises with lunch in the dining room and avoid the chaos of the buffet. Our cabin was ready by 2pm and we found it to be very comfortable. Plenty of outlets to charge phones and batteries. Plenty of hangers in the closet. Nice balcony. We were mid-ship but back a bit, deck 10, which turned out to be the perfect location. We could use the stairs and avoid the elevators during peak times. The food, overall, was ok. I'm not a meat eater, so I always chose the fish option. I found the fish entrees to be excellent. My husband and friends always chose a steak option and were often disappointed with the quality of the meat. The buffet for breakfast was ok. Not great, not bad. Just eh. One of the best perks of the cruise was the Ultimate Beverage Package! It included soft drinks and alcoholic drinks $15 and under. No specialty coffees. We could use it any time, anywhere. It was easy to use and I paid a one-time tip fee of $99 for each of us. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants and found the Alizar restaurant to be boring and dark. We stuck with the Grand Pacific dining room for dinner. We did try O'Sheehans for lunch one day. It was ok. Seems like a large portion of the ship is taken up by this restaurant that isn't really all that. Our first and last day was a sea day. In between, we stopped at Alesund, Geiranger, Olden and Bergen. All beautiful stops and very enjoyable. This was our first time on NCL and they seemed to do excursions better than RCI or Princess. It was organized and smooth. Disembarkation was extremely easy. We just walked off with our luggage after breakfast and it took all of 10 minutes. We docked at Altona, a different cruise terminal than where we left from the week before. There were plenty of taxis and we found one easily for our 2 mile drive to the Altona train station. We have done a few cruises, 3 on Princess and 2 on RCI. This was our first NCI cruise. It was a good trip and we had a great time, but it did seem to lack the enthusiasm or professionalism of Princess. Not sure what the difference was, but we noticed something. I would sail NCI again, but only for the itinerary, not the ship. I would say the pros of the cruise were....nice ship & crew, nice cabin, easy to get around the ship, good excursions, no wait for dinner. We greatly enjoyed eating breakfast outside every morning at the back of the Garden Cafe. The cons....no self laundry room on board. Only option is to send it out. The buffet was ok, not very appealing. We never met our room steward. I didn't think that was possible. He never introduced himself. NEVER. No complaints with the room care. I just read so many stories about how the room steward adds to the cruise experience. One major complaint, and this has nothing to do with NCI, but there were many large groups on this cruise. So many kids that were rude, pushy, loud, running up and down the hallways, jumping on chairs, strollers that were just left anywhere, blocking walking paths. It did take away a little enjoyment of the cruise. They would plow into the elevators, not giving you a chance to get off first. I highly recommend Norway as a cruise destination. Beautiful country and very nice people! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We were first time cruisers and Norway had been on my husbands "must see" list for years. We had heard great recommendations from friends who had been on Norwegian before and decided it was time. We traveled to Hamburg and stayed ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and Norway had been on my husbands "must see" list for years. We had heard great recommendations from friends who had been on Norwegian before and decided it was time. We traveled to Hamburg and stayed overnight, which gave us half a day to explore the town. We used the suggested car park which was easy, and Embarkation was extremely easy and just took a few minutes. We explored the ship a little and had lunch in one of the restaurants while waiting to go to our room. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room and balcony, and everything we encountered on the ship was very clean. The restaurants were managed very well and employees were all very helpful. We wished, however, that there had been some kind of list of on board restaurants with brief info about each one in a brochure or something in our room for us to refer to. There were a lot of restaurants and I think we missed quite a few of them because we didn't know they were there. The daily newsletter we got was very helpful and we referred to it often. We had an excellent room steward who took great care of our room for us and even made us several towel animals! The fjords and towns we visited were all gorgeous, we had such a good time. A great experience for our first cruise; we hope to go again!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise, quite frankly, because it was the only cruise that had the size of room we wanted during the time frame we needed. We knew absolutely nothing about Norway, but had already done a Mediterranean cruise and wanted to do ... Read More
We chose this cruise, quite frankly, because it was the only cruise that had the size of room we wanted during the time frame we needed. We knew absolutely nothing about Norway, but had already done a Mediterranean cruise and wanted to do something a little different. We had no idea how much we would end up loving it! This was our first NCL and their service and attention to detail is some of the best we've experienced. We also booked during a sale, so included in our room was the unlimited beverage package for 2, 125 minutes of internet (or a $125 credit toward the $175 unlimited internet package, which is what we did -- you can just have only one device logged into the wifi at once), $50 shore excursion credit per day, paid gratuities for 2, a $150 on board credit, and 5 restaurant credits for 2 people (will explain more down below). The unlimited beverage package was amazing (we had never had it before) because we never worried about whether or not to get a drink -- but had it not been included, I do not think we would have gotten it because it is $89/day + gratuities, which would be hard to justify as most drinks are around $9 (unless you are drinking 10+ drinks a day!). Because we had a suite, there were several perks included in it that will make it hard to cruise any other way. First, when checking in in Hamburg, we got to skip the line and go through the priority line (which no one was in) and it probably saved at least 45 minutes as the regular line was VERY long. Next, they had our butler (Camylla) escort us from the check in, through security, and on to the ship to our room and gave us the run down on everything. She was amazing! She would check on us every day and ask us if we needed anything or had any questions. She also brought us a snack every afternoon. There was reserved seating in the balcony for the shows each now for the suite & Haven people and the Suite & Haven guests got to eat breakfast in Moderno's and lunch in Cagney's, which was great!! Although the Garden Cafe (the buffet) had a larger selection for breakfast and lunch, having the quiet and secluded restaurants to eat at was much more relaxing. As stated above, we got to eat at 5 of the speciality restaurants for free because of the sale that we booked during. We bought the 5 dining package for our daughter (was around $100) so it would be paid for her too. We booked it with Carlos (the concierge for the suites) on the second day, but we should have booked sooner because a lot of the times we wanted were already full (specifically Tepenyaki, which we could only get into at 9 pm on the second to last night). We normally would not have gone to the speciality restaurants since the main dining is free...but since it was included we did it and I'm so glad we did! I will list them below: Cagneys Steakhouse: My daughter and I both got the filet mignon (rare) and it was one of the best we've ever had!! Ricardo was our waiter and he was the best!! My daughter asked for honey mustard for the truffle fries and they didn't have any so he made her up some on his own!! Moderno's Brazilian Churrascaria: If you like this type of restaurant (where they have a salad bar and then they come around and shave meat off the skewers at your table), then you will love it!! The food was great, but it is just way too much food for us. Le Bistro French: Probably our favorite!! The atmosphere is amazing and the food is some of the best. French onion soup, escargot, duck, lamb, chocolate fondue served in a pineapple bowl are just of few to name! La Cucina Italian: Also one of our favorites, but it was not very crowded when we went so not sure if it was an off night or just not as popular with others. My daughter said it was the best caesar salad she's ever had! I had the beef carpaccio as an app and the osso bucco as my entree and both were incredible!! The bellini's are so good too! We never did this, but apparently La Cucina serves as the overflow room to sit in for the Garden Cafe. Tapenyaki's Hibachi Grill: This was so fun, even though we could only get in at 9 pm on the second to last night! They can only hold around 100 people/night, so it fills up quickly. We sat by a great family, but it is a little hard to hear each other because it's so loud. The food was some of the best hibachi we've had, but we were so full from the rice by the time our meat/seafood came that we could barely eat it! Free Restaurants: Grand Pacific: We ate here on the first and last nights. Not sure if we didn't like it as much because it really is not as good, or if it was just because we had such great experiences at the specialty restaurants! I think it is the latter...because the food was still good--just not as great/unique/fun as the others! The service is great, in the sense that it is fast, but the waiters seem a little more stressed (rightfully so -- it is a big place!) and they do not know the menu as well because it changes every night. Alazar's: Never ate here, but it is a smaller/less casual version of the GP main dining room and the menu looked good! O'Sheehan's: Ate here twice and the fish and chips were outstanding! Just the right portion size. They are open 22/7 (only closed between 4am-6am), which was great for the days that we ate lunch after 3 (when the Garden Cafe closes) or after 2 (when Cagney's closed for the suite people) and we didn't want to eat in the GC. Jasmine Garden: never ate here because my husband doesn't love Chinese food (we had to convince him to go to Tapenyaki's) but it was always packed so I'm sure it is good! Garden Cafe: This is the buffet. We ate here for lunch on the first day and on a couple of the port days. The food really is great quality and they have a wide variety of cuisines! They serve lunch until 3, "snack" from 3:30-5:00, dinner at 5:30. For dinner they have a crepe station and the nutella crepes are excellent!! Bars: Plenty of bars to go around on the ship. Spinnaker Lounge had great views and was where they held Bingo (which was a little overpriced to be honest, although it was enticing with the great prizes) and the nightly dance parties (we never went to, but if you are into that they looked fun!) Bliss Lounge was always a great place to stop and get a drink before dinner because it was in a good location. I would recommend getting a glass of wine before dinner and bringing it into dinner because there is a bigger selection of wine at the bars than there is at the restaurants! "The Great Outsider" was a bar in the very back of the ship on 12 outside and it had the best mud slides!! Entertainment: We actually went to the shows every night, which is something we have never done before! The acrobat act (I think it is called Duo Mistika) was really great and got a standing ovation! The magic show actually ended up being pretty entertaining as well! The cruise performers were pretty good (not the best we've seen but certainly not the worst) but the "Elements" show on the second to last night was outstanding!! The cruise director, Richard Matics, was great! He always remembered us when we saw him around the ship and he was very present! Ports: We ended up not buying any of the shore excursions because we just really did not have time to research it before hand and then the only ones left were either too pricy or we just weren't interested in. Alesund: we hiked up to the look out point -- highly recommend! It was a steep hike up the way we went, so make sure you just take the stairs up instead of hiking the long way (unless you want the exercise like my husband and daughter who did it twice). Geiranger: this day was the best for having the front balcony! Absolutely stunning views through the fjord. We just sort of walked around and my husband and daughter did a 10k hike (the red trail), which they said was difficult but worth it for the views! This day probably would have been the best for an excursion. Olden: We did the glacier sightseeing bus (looks like a hop on hop off bus) for around $30/person. This was awesome!! It takes you out to a view of the glaciers and a few other spots. If you want to go to the actual glaciers, though, I would book it through an excursion. My husband and daughter (again) hiked up to the top of a mountain to a look out point and said it amazing views and not too bad of a hike! Wifi tip: the coop grocery store (about a ten minute walk) had free wifi. Bergen: Probably would have been our favorite place except for it was POURING rain the whole time! We did the hop on hop off (around $30) just to get out of the rain, but it was a good way to see the city. We also went through the fish market, which was fun! Cons (really not bad things, but just things that could have been better!) -the wifi did not work very well except on the two days at sea. I think it was because we were in the fjords and the mountains were high...but not completely sure. Really wasn't a big deal because it was great to not spend time on our phones, but if you need to access for work then it could be an issue! -there were not great TV stations. Again, not a huge deal because we didn't have much time to watch TV anyway, but it is fun to watch movies in our room usually and there was only one movie channel that didn't play the best movies. We could check out DVD's from our butler, but we never actually did because we never had time! This may not be an issue for some people, but they didn't have Fox News and only had Sky News and CNBC, which were not great. But again, it was probably good to have a break from the news world for a week! Random Pro's: -There was a walking deck on deck 7 that went all the way around (3 laps = 1 mile) and a jogging deck on 13 (5.5 laps = 1 mile) and both were great! -This may seem random, but the carpet outside of the staterooms had fish that were swimming toward the front of the ship. It actually was very helpful in remembering which way we were heading! -Getting off and on the ship at the ports (on deck 4) always went very smoothly! I'm probably forgetting things, but overall it was one of the best cruise experiences we've ever had and will definitely cruise with NCL again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My partner and I have been on four cruises, all previously on Royal Caribbean. We've loved every one of them. But we've long wanted to sail the Norwegian fjords, we realized with five weeks notice that we had the time and NCL had ... Read More
My partner and I have been on four cruises, all previously on Royal Caribbean. We've loved every one of them. But we've long wanted to sail the Norwegian fjords, we realized with five weeks notice that we had the time and NCL had the space ... so we bit the bullet and booked this cruise. Every minute of it, every dollar spent, was worth it. We spent five days in Hamburg before the cruise, renting an Airbnb and exploring the city (as well as taking day trips to Lubeck and Berlin). Hamburg is very much worth a few days of visiting before or after the cruise. For our one more night in Hamburg (where I am now), we've booked a hotel near the airport for an early flight. Taxi is certainly the best way to reach the Steinwerder cruise center. From the town center, it cost us 37 euros. (To the airport area afterward, our taxi cost 57 euros.) Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Long lines (especially since we had no status on NCL), but handled efficiently. All very friendly and pleasant. The Norwegian Jade is a beautiful ship. As you can see from other reviews and online videos, the 2017 renovation really has paid off. We never lacked for a variety of spaces for fun and entertainment, or a quiet place to read. On a cruise like this with a lot of scenery as we left the ports, we really valued all the space on the pool and sun decks and in the Spinnaker lounge (deck 13 at the front of the ship with windows all around). Only inside cabins were left when we booked, so this space was especially valuable to us. Dining & Beverages So this was one of the biggest differences we experienced from Royal Caribbean. We've always been traditional diners, enjoying sitting at a large table with strangers and getting to know new people from around the world, having the same server each night, and eating generally great food in the main dining room. None of these were true of our main dining room experience on NCL. I'm sure most people prefer freestyle dining, but we actually missed getting to know others, and getting to know our servers. The main dining room food ranged from just fine to nearly inedible. The service was hit or miss. When we were shuffled down one evening from the Grand Pacific to the Alizar, the service and atmosphere were even worse. Jasmine, the complimentary Chinese dinner option, was fine (although neither authentically Chinese nor even the American version of Chinese you'll be expecting). I'd give this part 2 stars, but... The specialty restaurants were AMAZING. We made a last-minute decision to add the dining package (for 4 nights) to our cruise and it was the best decision we made for the whole trip. Moderno, the Brazilian chiaroscurra place, was excellent and fun. Teppanyaki was predictably fun and the food was very good. Le Bistro was really, really good French food with impeccable service. And Cagney's was the best meal of our trip, with one of the best filet mignons I've ever had, delicious sides, and a great open-kitchen atmosphere. Five stars for the specialty dining. Factor the price ($100 per person all-in got us four dinners) into your cruise planning. Totally worth it. I should mention here that another big part of the enjoyment of this cruise was having the ultimate beverage package, which was included with our fare (and seemed to be with a lot of people's fares). We've never had this before -- but we'll never go on a cruise again without it. The added sense of luxury of not worrying about paying for another drink -- and the freedom to enjoy a variety and try new things, not to mention accompany the delicious specialty dinners for no additional charge -- was worth every penny. And the Jade has perhaps a dozen different bars, with different specialties, different bartenders you get to know, and enough different atmospheres that you'll want to take advantage of the variety. Entertainment We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of almost every show. The production cast of singers and dancers were consistently excellent, and the shows were just long enough to display their talents (and no longer). The aerialists on our ship were genuinely excellent. Only the magician was, well, lame. We also had two featured performers: Becky O'Brien (whose tribute show to Judy Garland was truly fantastic, even if its excellence was lost on some of this very international crowd) and flamenco guitarist Adam Westcott (whose talents were incomparable but whose art may not quite command the stage sufficiently in a setting like this). Onboard activities were -- well -- stereotypical of cruises. Bingo, couple competitions, trivia, poolside dance parties, towel-folding demonstrations. The cruise director, Richard, was very earnest, but not a very interesting personality. We don't really go on cruises for this stuff, but if we did, the activities lineup would not have provided anything extra special. Service Overall, service was excellent. We met fun bartenders who remembered our drinks and engaged in conversation. Our room steward, Zen, was incredibly kind and hard-working and pleasant day and night. The servers in the specialty restaurants were very, very good at what they did. (In the main dining room, perhaps less so--although they may just have been overworked.) Ports of Call/Shore Excursions The real star of this cruise is Norway itself. Never have we encountered such beauty, and each day seemed to be a little more beautiful than the last. (We also had extraordinarily warm and dry weather for every stop except Flam.) Bergen: Just walking around the city made for a beautiful day. Walking off the ship you come to the old-town of Bryggen. We took the funicular to the top of Mount Troyen and hiked down (highly recommend), and just enjoyed the beautiful, flower-filled, friendly downtown. Olden: A charming little town where most people go for the outdoorsy excursions. We booked a bus ride up to Birksdaal Glacier, which is in a national park and accessible by a hike of a couple miles up. (You can do this on your own without the ship, but be advised the line for buying tickets, or for picking up pre-booked online tickets will be very long, so it's worth getting off the ship earlier rather than later). TOTALLY WORTH THE HIKE past waterfalls and fields of wildflowers if you're up to it physically. Trondheim: The Nidaros Cathedral is the thing you must do. Take one of the tours. Climb the tower. Tour the adjacent Archibishop's Palace (which has an extensive museum). Glorious. Geiranger: On our own, we pre-booked the little electric cars from an outfit called eMobility. Although the pickup was a bit hectic, these are a fantastic day of fun. We did the 3-hour rental that guides you all the way up to the top of Dalsnibba. Whether you drive yourself there in one of these cars or take a bus, you don't want to miss this on the visit to Geiranger. Alesund: A beautiful and charming town. We took a city bus out to the Sonnmore open-air museum showing buildings from the region built over the last seven centuries. It was fascinating but a bit do-it-yourself as tours go. A nice change. Flam: Our only bad-weather day, we ended up just taking the train up to Myrdal and back again (cancelling our reservations to bike back down). It was beautiful and totally worth doing. We booked our tickets with the Norwegian rail system online. Highly recommend. We loved this cruise, and would certainly recommend it. We would also cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We have cruised over a dozen times. I have learned if you treat the cruise staff with respect - you will generally get good service. If you treat them like they are mere servants - you will receive lesser quality service. We have no ... Read More
We have cruised over a dozen times. I have learned if you treat the cruise staff with respect - you will generally get good service. If you treat them like they are mere servants - you will receive lesser quality service. We have no complaints about the service we received in all parts of the ship including housekeeping, food service, bar service, etc. We are very happy with the service we received. Many on here seem to complain about room size. You are on a cruise and face it - cabins are smaller than hotel rooms. We have been on many cruises and we are use to the limited space. We had a balcony cabin and I am glad we did on this cruise which had so many beautiful views. One idea I read about was buying magnet hooks to hook things to. I bought some 40 point hooks and they worked great!!! Some of the entertainment was great, especially Duo Odyssey. They were spectacular. We had a chance to visit with them later and they are very down to earth nice people. The other shows with the ship dancers and singers were good. I was not impressed with the soloist or the guitarist. Those shows were weak IMO. The spanish guitarist was very talented, it just wasn't my kind of music. There were no comic acts on the cruise which disappointed me. They said this was because this was a foreign port, so they don't do comic acts when there are a lot of foreign speakers. The Cruise Directors' staff did a good (not great job). I think they need to be a bit more creative in some of their activities. I thought the variety of food in the buffet was a bit less than other NCL cruises we have been on. They use to make cookies, but not anymore. Cagneys was wonderful. Moderno was okay. The main dining rooms were good. Most of the excursions were good to great. The excursion on Trondheim at a music museum and garden was over hyped and a disappointment. Bytheway, the Jade is a very nice ship for adults and we had a good time. We often take our grandkids with us on cruises (not this time). There is very little for children to do on this ship like NCL ships like Escape, Getaway, Epic, etc. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The pros: * You can enjoy a variety of included food options, plus you can roam freely, even throughout one evening. No fixed timing or location. That’s quite unique and great! * ship feels like new, nice cabins and (small) ... Read More
The pros: * You can enjoy a variety of included food options, plus you can roam freely, even throughout one evening. No fixed timing or location. That’s quite unique and great! * ship feels like new, nice cabins and (small) bathrooms * superfriendly and efficient staff. Doesn‘t go that much for the rarely visible officers nor the reception desk. The cons: * Bagage drop in Hamburg (terminal soley used by NCL that day) 1 hour wait * followed by checkin (no status line) 2,5 hours wait * waiting lines to get a tender ticket * always waiting lines when tendering ashore (groups are called way to early) * 1 hour wait tendering back in Geiranger, 20+ min waits on other tender and bus transfers (very last seat must be taken) * waiting lines at favorite included restaurants like Jasmine Garden as you can’t make reservations for these restaurants (advantages see above) * ok food at buffet restaurant Garden Cafe got really boring after one week (being rethemed, rearranged, regrouped but not really altered) * Internet connection (I’m aware of ship/satellite implications) really bad. Picked the $35/day (it’s 2018, guys!) unlimited streaming package. Worked fine next to the Internet help desk but not properly in my midship room or other public places (long blackouts, long waits when loading, error messages on YouTube, ...). Insanely unfair offering. Not sorted throughout the cruise. * NCL refused to honor our Cruise credit despite it being stated on their very own booking confirmation. Couldn’t be sorted. Got phone number in Southampton to discuss. * 45 min bus ride (no guide) to north cape for 2 adults and 2 kids (aged 15) comes at a total of $600 * booked, among others, the “Lavazza Coffee specialities package”. The only (!) decent coffee at java cafe comes at an hefty extra charge. Same goes for fresh juices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the Jade for the itinerary to Norway and the North Cape. We have cruised with NCL and other cruise lines many times. Cutbacks in the regular Dining Rooms was very evident. Food selection and service was poor. Thank goodness for ... Read More
We chose the Jade for the itinerary to Norway and the North Cape. We have cruised with NCL and other cruise lines many times. Cutbacks in the regular Dining Rooms was very evident. Food selection and service was poor. Thank goodness for Cagney's Steakhouse and the Italian specialty Restaurants. The Pub (O'Sheehan's) was an excellent lunch eatery with good service. Entertainment was good and had a nice variety. Casino was adequate in size and games. The Fitness Center was a good variety of equipment and trainer was well involved Shore Excursions was priced very high. The stores had a average selection and were over priced. NCL is even charging a $7.95 room service charge for each occasion used. Latitudes program benefits have been decreased as well. NCL built their reputation with us as a cost/value cruise line in the past. This is not evident today based on our last two cruises with you. NCL can do much better as experienced in the past. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The itinerary was fabulous scenery. The weather sunny and warm at each stop with a small rain at one port. The food service was excellent and room housekeeping and restaurant employees were always smiling and friendly. The ship decor ... Read More
The itinerary was fabulous scenery. The weather sunny and warm at each stop with a small rain at one port. The food service was excellent and room housekeeping and restaurant employees were always smiling and friendly. The ship decor was comfortable and the top Spinnacker lounge was a wonderful getaway to see the wonders of Norway from up above comfort peacefully. The entertainment was excellent especially the Elements show with magicians and acrobats hanging from the ceiling and singing and dancing and snowflakes galore. The fish were on the carpet swimming forward so we did not get lost to our inside cozy room forward. The ship web cam on TV was our window to the world. The buffet area had a wonderful eating area in the back to see the sights and feel the breeze. The free style dining was easy and the free style clothing norm was comfortable to each persons style. I could have packed half the clothes I took along. It was a SUPER CRUISE. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Out of 17 cruises, 7 with NCL, this was my best experience. The Ports of Call along with overall great weather is what led to this conclusion. Weather can make or break your trip. Oh my gosh, we were 300 miles north of the Arctic ... Read More
Out of 17 cruises, 7 with NCL, this was my best experience. The Ports of Call along with overall great weather is what led to this conclusion. Weather can make or break your trip. Oh my gosh, we were 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Honnisvag Norway and it was sunny and 68 degrees. The tours off the ship were excellent with very knowledgeable English speaking guides. Bergen was probably our best stop and be sure and take the funicular if a nice day to the top of Mt. Floyen. Over the top breathtaking view down to the city and harbor. Never had a bad experience with service in all departments or dining all over the ship. Only three complaints come to mind. Smoking in the Casino is still permissible. We had to leave an adjoining lounge to the casino because of the smell of smoke. In addition,one afternoon as we are cruising down a long fjord to the Svartisen glacier relaxing in the Spinnaker Lounge (Level 13 with panoramic view) with about 60 other people and a future cruise presentation commences. Wouldn't have been so bad, but they lowered the shades to the windows. Idiots. Then when the presentation was over 45 minutes later no one knew how to raise the shades back up. Took an additional 25 minutes to finally find someone to correct the problem. The windows in the Grand Pacific dining room need to be replaced. They were so scratched up you couldn't see out very well. I highly recommend this 12 day cruise out of Hamburg and hoping you have good weather. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Single traveler on '12 Days Norway And North Cape' with 'Norwegian Jade' from Hamburg. I chose this cruise to finally see the fjord landscapes and many other sights of Norway. Embarkation - This took 2 hours in the ... Read More
Single traveler on '12 Days Norway And North Cape' with 'Norwegian Jade' from Hamburg. I chose this cruise to finally see the fjord landscapes and many other sights of Norway. Embarkation - This took 2 hours in the Cruise Center Steinwerder and was one of my longest CheckIn procedures at all. Refreshment drinks and snacks were offered to countless people standing in a single line for all CheckIn counters. Security Drill - It was done professionally and was one of my quickest drills ever. No life vests to bring with from the stateroom, it was not necessary to wear one at all. The drill was in English language with most important details in German language as well. The Ship - An older one, but renovated in 2017, less signs of wear and tear therefore. Lounges had some charm of looking old fashioned and the pool area a little bit undecorated. Sun loungers were collected early on sunny evenings, guests were friendly evicted from them by deck staff sometimes. Deck areas were closed due to strong wind on the third sea day, while the wind speed was lower than the ship's speed, as displayed on the TV ticker with comprehensive nautical and meteorological information. Partially deck area closures also happened at other times without any recognizable reason, there may have been painting works. As many older ships, 'Norwegian Jade' has a classical promenade around the life boats. Orientation was made more simple on this ship, compared to others. The sports court above the 'Garden Café' was well audible when guests were dining, noisy banging and tramping. There was no storm during the cruise, thus the ship always sailed very stable. Crew And Staff - They were mostly friendly and open. The stateroom steward made a good job. Spa staff used every opportunity to attract cruise guests for spa and massages. Cruise director Richard Matic made several announcements on nearly every day to invite cruise guests for events and shows. Dining - At bars, cups and glasses were filled half with ice on the first few days, staff more and more began to ask then, whether the guest wanted ice at all. I only go to buffet restaurants, since I don't like to wait and then have a reduced choice in restaurants with service at the tables. Sometimes, especially on sea days, it was hard but not impossible to find a free table. Breakfast was available also on the open sun sail covered aft deck of the 'Garden Café', even after closure of the buffet restaurant at 10:30am. For lunch and dinner, the choice of food was a little bit limited, sometimes the offered food was just lukewarm, especially rice. There was always a very interesting theme evening with food from a particular country or region in the world. The pastries section was throughout good and there were 2 self service ice cream machines. A small selection of soft drinks, some were sugar free, as well as coffee and tea was included in the cruise fare in the morning, for lunch, in the evening and for the late snacks from self service machines. Pieces of pineapple and water melon were not peeled off, guests had to do it on their own, using knifes which usually were not really sharp. French crêpes and Italian pasta were prepared for the guests on their individual wishes just in time. There was always plenty of different meat and some fish, as well as an Asian corner, with delicious and well spiced Asian food. Labels were in English language, but very spicy food also had a note in German. Nearly everything I tried tasted good or even very good, except the sausages. 'NCL' could have loaded high quality German sausages in Hamburg, but they did not. Staff usually asked friendly before taking dishes away from the table. The Guests - Majority of passengers were Germans of a higher average age. Other remarkable proportions were from Spain, Italy, North America, many other European countries and Middle East. Loudspeaker announcements were made in English, German and Spanish. From my observation, the ship is kid friendly, there were lots of kids and youths, and I also saw people in wheel chairs and with rollators. Shore Excursions - This is something I usually organize on my own. Disembarkation at ports of call was nearly always without any problems, no long waiting, at tender ports, everything well organized. The ship was mostly very punctual. Guests were generally not allowed to bring beverages on board. Entertainment - Too less time to enjoy all the offers. Usually, there were different entertainment opportunities in many venues at the same time. Music, dance, games, no reason for boredom. I missed proper information on the 3 possible midnight sun appearances on this cruise, most passengers thus may have missed the first midnight sun, which was the only good one. The passage around Nordkapp however was announced in the 'Freestyle Daily' program with quite exact times. Shopping - A big duty free shop offered different things, from clothes to gifts, spirits and tobacco, as well as perfumes. I missed price labels on candy, chocolate and potato chip products. Special sales were offered sometimes. Internet - Access prices were significantly higher than I knew it from other cruises, and together with the fact that in northern latitudes internet via satellite is not guaranteed or even technically impossible, I waived purchasing an internet package on this cruise. Land based LTE internet access was available most of the time, when the ship cruised in coastal areas, and in ports anyway. Disembarkation - Elevators did not stop on the deck from where the disembarkation took place in Hamburg, for whatever reason. Cruise guests were allowed to take the baggage from the ship on their own, and so did I it without any waiting after arrival. Thank you very much 'Norwegian Cruise Line', for this cruise on 'Norwegian Jade'! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We liked the destinations as well as the fact that the ship was not super big. The early booking perks were also a plus - free drink package and $50 credit per shore excursion in each port. We had been on the ship before and were very ... Read More
We liked the destinations as well as the fact that the ship was not super big. The early booking perks were also a plus - free drink package and $50 credit per shore excursion in each port. We had been on the ship before and were very satisfied with our prior experience. We choose our cruises mainly for the ports of call and these did not disappoint. We normally do not travel in the summer due to the crowds, but our choice of itinerary necessitated a summer trip. We had no issues until we reached Scotland where there were thousands of tourists - no super crowd issues until our last stop. Our land excursions were booked through the cruise line and they were quite satisfactory. Our room was always immaculate and we had a wonderful room steward. Since the cruise was two weeks, we, by choice, requested the same servers in the restaurant - Dorejean and Lyndell - and were give excellent service. They quickly learned our drink preferences - wines, iced tea, decaf coffee. We looked forward to seeing them each evening. All in all, a great trip for two senior citizens! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had been satisfied with NCL twice before. Great itinerary but organized chaos on several occasions. The main buffet dining, the Garden Cafe, was always CROWDED!! People fought for tables far ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had been satisfied with NCL twice before. Great itinerary but organized chaos on several occasions. The main buffet dining, the Garden Cafe, was always CROWDED!! People fought for tables far away from the buffet at every meal dining early or late. As this was a North Sea cruise, it was cool outside so outdoor seating was not pleasant. The Spirit that we sailed last year never had this problem. It seems that they removed dining space to insert a teenager center with the recent remodel. They provided a reduced breakfast food service at the back of the ship but it was often closed when the Garden Cafe was open. Very frustrating! And they did not ask for any feedback. Maybe it’ll come later. They seemed to have eliminated feedback on dining service that we provided on the Spirit. When we arrived in the Shetland Islands, the immigration line stretched the length of the ship with minimal staff organization. The tender line to get back on board in Edinburg was an hour. The disembarkation process was smooth, but the taxi line was 90 minutes long!! The cabins were very nice and the food ranged from acceptable at the buffet to good in the sit down restaurants. Avoid the teppan dining. Staff professional but minimally friendly. Limited discussion of tours with no history lectures or other educational programs. Stage shows were not as high quality as we found on the NCL Spirit last year that were exceptional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary ... Read More
As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary which particularly interested me, as Iceland has been a country I have always wanted to visit, and this seemed a cost effective way of doing so. My party arrived by train in Hamburg and stayed overnight, before boarding the following day. The queues at check-in looked horrendous, however, we were able to embark quickly as I have Latitudes status and access to a fast-track desk. Once inside, we went to have a light lunch in Grand Pacific, until the announcement was made that the cabins were ready, and our luggage was delivered shortly afterwards. Most of our meals were eaten in Grand Pacific. Whilst the food was well cooked, and service generally good, at breakfast, it was difficult just to order eggs. These came with country potatoes, whether you wanted them or not, and the piles of abandoned potatoes on people's plates were a common sight. Why it seemed so difficult to order eggs and toast and receive just eggs and toast was a mystery. Several times, we went to Garden Cafe for a snack or late lunch and found it difficult to get a table. There were a number of people who had finished eating, but were not moving on, instead, talking or playing cards. O'Sheehans seemed to be less frantic, although the pub food might not be to everyone's taste. The entertainment was the usual mixture of music, shows and silly games organised by the cruise director and his team. It would have been nice to have some information about the places we were seeing, as Iceland might very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the ports: Alesund was a delightful town. I had booked a day trip with Norwegian Excursions, and Monica, our guide, provided a excellent guided tour of the sights, including some of the small islands nearby. We had no plans for Bergen, so simply took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus from the port gate. After a circuit, we stopped off at the Fish Market for prawns and ate them overlooking the harbour. The Hanseatic Museum at Bryggen is also worth visiting to find out more about the trade in salted cod and how this was important for the economy. Shetland. A tender port and another day with no specific excursions planned. After a smooth transfer, we walked through the town and went to the Shetland Museum and Archives. This is highly recommended as it explains the development and culture of the Shetland Islands, and is free entrance. The cafe is also excellent. Reykjavik. The Jade stayed overnight in port and we visited the Golden Circle with Reykjavik Excursions. Eric the guide was very engaging and my only complaint was that it was fraught getting off the ship as 2500+ passengers all wanted to board their tour busses at the same time and our bus had not arrived. Fortunately it was all solved, but a designated bus stop would have been helpful. The second day in Reykjavik was spent visiting the city and the Hallgrimskirkja. Akureyri. This town in the north of Iceland is quite different. We had an excursion with The Travelling Viking, and saw the Godafoss waterfall and the Christmas House as well as a state of the art farm where the cows are milked electronically. The Faroe Islands did not seem to be geared up for cruise ship tourism yet. There are things to see and do, but the impression we got was that the cruise ships are just things which pass by. Once passengers are on the quayside, a bus has to drive though stacks of shipping containers, as walking out of the port on foot is not allowed. Invergordon. Wow Scotland provided our excursion and were excellent, with plenty of background information about Culloden and the other sites we visited, and lots of funny anecdotes. Sadly, the Loch Ness monster was having a siesta on this occasion. Edinburgh. Another tender port and a city which needs to be explored in more detail. The centre is quite compact, so walking is very easy. I enjoyed looking at the tartans in the shops on the Royal Mile. Overall, it was a good cruise, and I would go again, but probably not with the exact same itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Like the coolness and beauty of Norway during the hot Texas August weather back home. Staff was very friendly most everywhere. Had slow service in the Grand dining room a couple of times, but usually good everywhere else. Enjoyed the ... Read More
Like the coolness and beauty of Norway during the hot Texas August weather back home. Staff was very friendly most everywhere. Had slow service in the Grand dining room a couple of times, but usually good everywhere else. Enjoyed the shows arriving early to get good seats. Ship was sometimes crowded but after being on the Epic where you have to reserve any shows, it was more comfortable and easy going. Every time I checked the four hot tubs they were only warm, not hot and being in the cool weather like Norway in August, you need hot water. The Cabin Stewards were very friendly and did a great job keeping the cabins clean and stocked. Gus did a great job on his animal towels as we left at the end of the cruise we had five creatures on the tables! Our worse experience was the Immigration process in the dining area on deck 6 at Southampton England, took over an hour to get through leaving very little time for breakfast and to catch an 8 a.m, excursion. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise is an excellent value for your money. The food, entertainment and service were great. The ship was recently renovated so everything looked new and nothing looked run down. Our cabin was always very clean. We are a family of ... Read More
This cruise is an excellent value for your money. The food, entertainment and service were great. The ship was recently renovated so everything looked new and nothing looked run down. Our cabin was always very clean. We are a family of four so we left the pull out couch and the upper bunk lowered each day. This made it a little hard to get onto the balcony, but we managed. My kids enjoyed the kids club, especially my teenager. They also loved the garden cafe so much that they went there while my hubby and I went to the other dining restaurants on occasion. It was nice to get our mini date nights! The staff on the ship was always so cheery and friendly. We didn't go on any of the cruise shore excursions as we did some research ahead of time and found our own excursions: rafting, canoeing, kayaking, renting a car and driving to a lighthouse/beach, walking around the towns. There was never a problem getting back to the boat on time. The cruise ship was very prompt at the ports and disembarkation and reembarkation was always very easy. I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise from Hamburg to Southampton mainly for the price in high season as the next cruise return to Southampton seemed to double in price. We also liked the idea of taking in the sights of Hamburg pre cruise as this was ... Read More
We chose this cruise from Hamburg to Southampton mainly for the price in high season as the next cruise return to Southampton seemed to double in price. We also liked the idea of taking in the sights of Hamburg pre cruise as this was somewhere we had never visited. Emabarkation was quite smooth taking around 40 minutes at around 1130AM. We chose Jade also because of her recent refurb which to be honest we found to be a bit of a disapointment nothing on-board gives you the wow factor, some of the public rooms where nice but nothing special. The ship as a whole was ok but to be honest would I remember any of the venues in a few weeks? I would have to say no. All of the Special Dining venues where excellent including Cagneys, Le Bistro, Tepyanki and Moderno's. Didnt do Le Cucina as to me this was just an extention of the buffet(Garden Cafe.) with mediocere decoration and few table cloths. This comes to my biggest bug bare of the whole cruise the Garden Cafe, plainly not big enough when this size ship is full with to many large tables taken up by so few, on two occasions found myself leaving after walking the whole length of Garden Café twice with no joy trying to find a table. Human beings need some form of organisation at the food counters and having remote islands does not work! People bombarding you from both sides as you try and work your way across. Mayhem. Do yourself a favour avoid the cattle market and just go to the Pacific Dining Room or O'Sheehans for breakfast as these where both excellent with O'Sheehans having the smaller choice of the two. The two shows we did where both good but be warned arrive early for Elements as I would say the first 8 seats from either side of the theatre are pointless with very little view, we saw lots of people just getting up and leaving due to the poor visibility in these areas. Also arrive early for the Bingo & Raffle in the Spinnaker Lounge(Nice View). as fights broke out over the seating and security had to be brought in to remove some passengers, well it all adds to the entertainment. We did not use any of the ships excursions as we found them very expensive so planned all of our excursions privately online before the cruise. Service was excellent in all of the bars, Pacific Dining Room, Jasmine Garden, O'Sheehans and all of the extra pay dining venues. Our only let down was the Alizar dining room with long waiting times for food, cold food and for some reason unhappy staff. Ports of call where all fantastic with the exception of Kristiansand found it to be a bit dull compared to all of the other stops. Our two teenagers absolutely loved the Teens club, Entourage and where there every moment they could. Both the teens said this was the best cruise they had been on! We enjoyed the cruise but this was mainly because of the great friends we made and beautiful locations. We would travel NCL again but maybe on one of the newer/larger ships with hopefully a bit more pizazz. Read Less
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