We recently sailed on NCL Jade on 11-day Mediterranean itinerary. We had not sailed in many years and never on Norwegian but took advantage of partnership with Caesars Total Rewards program. Our trip was fantastic from start to finish. ... Read More
We recently sailed on NCL Jade on 11-day Mediterranean itinerary. We had not sailed in many years and never on Norwegian but took advantage of partnership with Caesars Total Rewards program. Our trip was fantastic from start to finish. I have read some negative reviews of Jade on this board and suffice it to say we had a completely different experience. Not perfect in every respect but totally positive experience overall.
We booked in Haven class and while I cannot speak to how it may be in other cabins or experiences, but all of the staff we met went the extra mile to make sure that we were happy. Prompt and friendly at all times, eager to help. They seemed to have an attitude in general to make your vacation as positive as possible. Bottom line: we are actively looking as to when we can sail the Jade and NCL again.
Ship is not huge but big enough. Generally seemed clean and well kept. Not a mega ship by any means but plenty of space and activities. Our 13-year-old enjoyed the teen club and many events.
Our cabin (10004) was great. Well appointed and plenty of space. Shower was plenty big and closet had more than enough room for everything. Dining area that we did not use except for maybe one time. Best aspect - two balconies, one in front (bow) and one on the side. Bow was great for sailing in and sailing out, but too windy to use on sea days or once ship picks up speed. Beautiful sunsets from the front of the ship and a great way to see ports as you sailed in and out. From the front balcony you basically had the same view as the bridge crew. When front balcony could not be used, you also have a side balcony to watch the ocean on sea days, read, enjoy fresh air, etc.
Dining: We did not make use of all of the outlets and actually never went to the main formal dining room one time. Free venues we went the buffet several times and the food was quick and very good. Some options rotated, some were consistent. Great for a quick breakfast when we had tours. Jasmine the Chinese was also good and we went to O'Sheehans a few times. Our son thought O'Sheehan's was the best food he ever had. Specialty dining we went to Cagney's, La Cucina, Moderno, and Teppanyaki and all were excellent. As Haven class passengers, we had Moderno exclusively for breakfast and Cagney's for lunch. We used Moderno much more frequently to get away from the hustle and bustle of people of rushing to their various tours. They had a little buffet of pastry and yogurt and also food to order. In short, it was great to have this additional option.
Activities: We did not do any of the usual cruise activities but they seemed fun and the crew had a lot of energy. Our son loved the teen club and the staff. Met a lot of new friends there and they had great activities. Casino was fine, never particularly crowded. Again friendly and helpful staff. Lots of tournaments and other fun events.
We went to three shows: Blazing Boots (entertaining although I am not a country person); Imagika (or something like that - magic guy), which also passed the time although not amazing, and Elements, which was great. Other shows we missed were the singer, acrobats, and violinist. Showroom includes Haven class seats which were not the best seats in the house, but nice to know they were there and you didn't have to worry about arriving early. Spent time in the Spinnaker lounge listening to music. Large venue, great views, good drinks. Enjoyable place for downtime. We are not huge drinkers and generally avoided the busier/party areas including the pool. We did use the Haven deck pool on a few occasions and the Haven sundeck. The latter was never very crowded at all and was a great option.
My wife used both the gym and spa and said they were great. I opted to leave my workouts at home. They also have a card room with board games and other games, which we used on occasion. Video arcade had Guitar Hero and some other fun games.
Service: As stated, everyone in all aspects of the ship seemed very committed to our enjoyment and needs. All questions were answered, all needs were met. In Haven class, you have use of a concierge and a butler (Bruno and Leo for us), who were both fantastic. Whatever need you had, whatever question you asked, they had it covered. One night I got sick, Leo brought room service and movies. Bruno had all of the information on the ports and what to do and what to avoid. Came around at breakfast and asked you for your plans and gave you suggestions. He also had periodic meetings/presentations to go over critical information and the ports. If you had cruise excursions (we did only one instead opting for private), Bruno and his team got you to your bus first.
As a Haven/suite guest, the concierge team also takes you down the back stairs to get off the ship when you are ready so you skip the line. This was great as on the first day, the line for tender tickets at Santorini was about 400 people long (we got right on a tender when we were ready), and the last day at Livorno we got in late due to a port mishap of some kind. The line to get off the ship was 3 decks long up the stairs. We went right downstairs as soon as the ship was cleared. Leo also kept our room stocked with drinks and water for our excursions. These types of benefits and peace of mind made the Haven completely worth it, even aside from our awesome and spacious cabin.
Excursions: We opted for mostly private excursions so we could control timing. A few suggestions regarding the various ports:
Santorini: When you get off the ship the line for the cable car to Fira was enormous. Instead we took the water taxi straight to Oia. No line, hopped right on the boat. A bit of a walk up the hill to a bus but in the end, far better and Oia is much more scenic than Fira.
Rhodes: Underestimated how great this city was. We hired a driver when we got off the ship and ended up being worth it. Saw so much more than we anticipated!
Malta: Very underrated stop. Beautiful sail in. We were there on Sunday so much was closed, so still very interesting. We enjoyed the palace and museum with a history of the medieval knights.
Livorno: We booked a Pisa/Florence excursion but in my view, it was too much for one day. Nice to see many things but not enough time at any location to appreciate anything. Pisa only or Pisa/Lucca might have been better. We did see David statue which was great. Your view may vary.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Another huge benefit of Haven class. At embarkation, you skip the line completely to a separate area. Maybe 50-75 people on line when we got to port. Instead, we went to separate area, no line and on the ship eating lunch 15 minutes later. Disembarkation you do not get a set time. Concierge team takes you off the ship whenever you like in the window. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before departing.
Bottom Line: We loved our trip on the Jade and it was fantastic in every major respect. I would sail NCL and the Jade again without hesitation. Read Less