Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Anne C
- Sail Date: June 2012
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We chose NCL because we wanted freestyle cruising and did not want to sail from the cold waters of Southampton. So NCL Jade it was. The itinerary suited us as there were nine ports of call in a 14 night holiday.
We flew Jet Two from Manchester; however, Manchester Airport was crowded and rather unpleasant as there were so many people in the Jet Two cramped area.
Embarkation for the Jade was quick and efficient and as soon as we boarded, we were able to access our state room.
We were on deck 11 -- a mini-suite which was ok -- rather dark colours and in need of refurbishment. The T.V. looked as if it had come out of the ark!! However, the bed was very comfortable and the cabin very clean. It was nice to have a bath tub as well as shower, BUT where were the toiletries? We had paid a lot of money for a mini-suite and we expected to have quality shower gel and body lotions etc. Even 3 star hotels supply better products. Apparently, Elemis products used to be supplied. Come on NCL -- you can do better -- this is penny pinching!
Please be aware if booking Deck 11 -- our cabin was directly below the gym and at 6am every day, there was a lot of banging and thuds coming from over-enthusiastic gym members! We complained but the ship was full and they couldn't move us. Customer services were most apologetic and offered us a free meal and wine at one of the speciality restaurants.
NCL Jade was decorated in a Hawaiian theme and was rather brash and tacky and it took a lot of getting used to. Having said that, the ship was extremely clean at all times.
But, oh, there was no escaping people and noise. We had not realised that it was the Italian and American children's school holidays and there were many kids on board. 400 in the first week and over 600 in the second week. We could not access a poolside sun bed as they were all taken at an early time and it was so noisy and busy.
There were many places to eat (many you had to pay a supplement). The food was good and of a high standard but the Garden Cafe (buffet) was crowded and people were pushing and filling their plates high with copious amounts of food. We struggled to find a seat and there was no escaping NOISE. Thank goodness we discovered The Blue Lagoon on Deck 8 which served breakfast at your table. Very few people knew about this and it was calm and quiet. There was not the choice but the ambience was super and we loved the crispy bacon!
The two main dining rooms were extremely busy especially after 7pm. We preferred the Alizar to the Grand Pacific. We also ate at Le Bistro on 3 occasions -- lovely, peaceful and good quality food.
Entertainment was of a high standard especially the New Orleans Jazz Group - Ed on trumpet was amazing. We would have liked to have some light classical concerts and also it would have been nice to have some interesting lectures -- not just sales talks! The theatre was lovely -- but there were too many juggling, magician, acrobats performing.
The ports of call were super -- and we booked 2 tours -- Olympia and Ephesus -- very expensive but most enjoyable. The worst port we visited was Piraeus which was filthy and Athens was just as bad.
The staff were most attentive, friendly and courteous at all times. Our cabin steward, Joel, was a delight as were the dining staff and customers service -- Marin Perez looked after us well.
Disappointingly, the drinks were very expensive -- outrageously overpriced. It cost us 80 dollars for 24 bottles of mineral water for our room. We did not buy any wine as even the cheapest bottle was overpriced. Shopping on ship was a joke. Everything so expensive- eg a 400gm bar of Toblerone cost 19 dollars. We had paid our gratuities of Â£91 each up front so we were not happy when every time we ordered a drink there was 15% gratuity added.
If you want a lively, noisy holiday with many children running around and some parents ramming buggies in front of you to jump the queues then The Jade is for you. Perhaps if we had sailed at a different time of year, it would have been quieter. Thanks must go the staff who worked tirelessly at all times and always with a smile on their faces.
TV very old box - needs updating and with more TV channels. The choice of films were better on the foreign channels.
Also, as this was a mini suite very cheap soap and shower dispensers were used - where was the Elemis range?
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Athens (Piraeus)Oh dear, Piraeus is a dreadful port - very dirty and full of litter and graffiti. We decided not to go in to Athens as it was very hot and crowded. If we had to return we would use the tourist bus near the port entrance and for 20 euros this would take you on a tour of AthensView All 1,107 Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Reviews
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CorfuEasy to access the local bus which takes you in to Corfu town.View All 547 Corfu Cruise Port Reviews
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DubrovnikThis was supposed to be a tender port but we docked nearby instead. However, NCL charged us 10$ each to use their shuttle bus. This should be FREE!View All 1,013 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
Dubrovnik is a gorgeous walled city. You must go on the walls - it takes about an hour and a half to walk them. You can change your euros at the little kiosk near the entrance to the walls.
View Cruise Critic's Dubrovnik Cruise Port Review
Archaeological Site of EphesusA must! The only negative is that it was extremely crowded - so many cruise ships in at the same time.View All 52 Archaeological Site of Ephesus Reviews
Celsus LibraryWow! Amazing ! This is s must.View All 3 Celsus Library Reviews
House of Virgin MaryWhen we arrived there, it was quiet and very calm.View All 23 House of Virgin Mary Reviews
Katakolon (Olympia)A very attractive port and the little village was a delight to walk round. We took an excursion to Olympia which was very good although rather expensive. If we were to return we would have hired a taxi to take us to Olympia. This is a must - a most interesting place and very clean.View All 474 Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Reviews
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MykonosAn attractive port and free shuttle bus in to the town. However, on our return there were long queues of people waiting to return and some were becoming rather impatient.View All 893 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
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SantoriniThis was a tender port and it was well organised for disembarking. However, as there were 4/5 other cruise ships in at the same time, there were very long queues to go up in the cable car - over 1 hour to wait in the very hot sunshine. many people returned to the ship as the cable car had broken down earlier. Do not walk up as this takes you the way of the donkeys and it is very dirty and smelly.View All 862 Santorini Cruise Port Reviews
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VeniceEmbarkation was very quick and efficient. Easy to access the Vaporetto in to St Marks Square.View All 1,233 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
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