NCL Jade or rather Jaded: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Anne C

Norwegian Jade 3
Anne C

Overall Member Rating

NCL Jade or rather Jaded

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
We are a retired couple and for my 60th birthday, my husband knew I fancied cruising, although he wasn't particularly bothered.
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 More 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 £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. Less

Published 07/07/12

Cabin review: MB11522 Mini-Suite with Balcony

Room 11522 - room was fine but a little jaded. The decor was rather dark and uninviting. Cabin was below the gym and was very noisy in the early morning with lots of bangs and thuds from over enthusiastic gymsters. 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?

Read All Mini-Suite with Balcony (MB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

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 Athens

Easy to access the local bus which takes you in to Corfu town.
Read 500 Corfu Reviews

This 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! 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.

Archaeological Site of Ephesus

A must! The only negative is that it was extremely crowded - so many cruise ships in at the same time.

Celsus Library

Wow! Amazing ! This is s must.

House of Virgin Mary

When we arrived there, it was quiet and very calm.

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.

An 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.
Read 822 Mykonos Reviews

This 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.

Embarkation was very quick and efficient. Easy to access the Vaporetto in to St Marks Square.
Read 1130 Venice Reviews

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Anne C
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