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What we thought was a 14-day cruise was actually two cruises back-to-back although the cruise wasn’t advertised in that way. This meant that the second Saturday of the cruise was spent with the amazingly irritating messages for disembarkation in the morning and then the even more irritating messages (in five languages), once everyone was back on board, for muster drill for those embarking on their “first” cruise. It was disruptive, to stay the least. Moreover, services on the ship that day were curtailed (no internet for several hours, dining rooms closed for lunch, other facilities closed as well). This two-in-one cruise also led to a strange itinerary, with the ship going past one week places that it docked at the next. Yes, we should have figured this out before we boarded, but if you’re not all that familiar with this part of the Mediterranean, you don’t wonder why you’re not visiting Athens before you’ve visited Mykonos and Santorini. Once you’re on board, you see why you’re basically going in two big circles. You’re on two cruises, and Day 1 of the second, your actual Day 8, is basic turmoil until the ship sets sail after 6 pm. The first week, the menu was repetitive and mediocre at best. Some of the staff seemed confused and uncertain when we asked them questions; it seemed as if a disproportionate number of them were in training. Sometimes, instead of telling us they didn’t know, they made things up, giving us completely wrong information that almost resulted, one day, in our missing our tender group and disembarking for a private tour. But even the incompetent staff members were friendly and polite, so our complaint was not with the staff but with management (what were they doing, putting untrained staff to work, some of whom had such poor English skills that they couldn’t even understand questions?). My sister, who was traveling with us, met a couple who went to the front desk to complain about a deficiency of service and were told that the ship had no complaint forms—in effect, We don’t do complaints. During the second week, a new menu was introduced. The dining room was abuzz; the head honcho from Miami strode through, stopping at tables and asking people to fill out the Comments card left on each table. The new menu was a definite improvement, but we’d already spent a week eating inferior meals, and it’s not as if this was a bargain-rate cruise. The daily newsletter, the Freestyle Daily, was a joke. There was hardly any useful information in it beyond the temperature prediction; it was just one ad after another. Our cabin was pleasant, and our cabin steward and several other staff members with whom we were in frequent contact were excellent. However, the waiters are rotated in the dining rooms in such a way that you can’t really form any kind of bond with them. On Princess cruises, if you go to the same dining room every night, you end up with the same waiters, and we found this not only enjoyable but better for the waiters, since we could then tip them adequately. Instead of collecting luggage the night before departure and sending it on to the airlines, the ship collected the luggage and put it in a warehouse by the ship’s dock so that we could collect it ourselves and drag it to a bus the next morning—an airport bus that cost $30. By contrast, the bus from the airport into Venice cost only 6 euros. This is but one example of our feeling that we were being constantly nickel-and-dimed.  

Never again

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by au large

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2014
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
What we thought was a 14-day cruise was actually two cruises back-to-back although the cruise wasn’t advertised in that way. This meant that the second Saturday of the cruise was spent with the amazingly irritating messages for disembarkation in the morning and then the even more irritating messages (in five languages), once everyone was back on board, for muster drill for those embarking on their “first” cruise. It was disruptive, to stay the least. Moreover, services on the ship that day were curtailed (no internet for several hours, dining rooms closed for lunch, other facilities closed as well).
This two-in-one cruise also led to a strange itinerary, with the ship going past one week places that it docked at the next. Yes, we should have figured this out before we boarded, but if you’re not all that familiar with this part of the Mediterranean, you don’t wonder why you’re not visiting Athens before you’ve visited Mykonos and Santorini. Once you’re on board, you see why you’re basically going in two big circles. You’re on two cruises, and Day 1 of the second, your actual Day 8, is basic turmoil until the ship sets sail after 6 pm.
The first week, the menu was repetitive and mediocre at best. Some of the staff seemed confused and uncertain when we asked them questions; it seemed as if a disproportionate number of them were in training. Sometimes, instead of telling us they didn’t know, they made things up, giving us completely wrong information that almost resulted, one day, in our missing our tender group and disembarking for a private tour.
But even the incompetent staff members were friendly and polite, so our complaint was not with the staff but with management (what were they doing, putting untrained staff to work, some of whom had such poor English skills that they couldn’t even understand questions?). My sister, who was traveling with us, met a couple who went to the front desk to complain about a deficiency of service and were told that the ship had no complaint forms—in effect, We don’t do complaints.
During the second week, a new menu was introduced. The dining room was abuzz; the head honcho from Miami strode through, stopping at tables and asking people to fill out the Comments card left on each table. The new menu was a definite improvement, but we’d already spent a week eating inferior meals, and it’s not as if this was a bargain-rate cruise.
The daily newsletter, the Freestyle Daily, was a joke. There was hardly any useful information in it beyond the temperature prediction; it was just one ad after another.
Our cabin was pleasant, and our cabin steward and several other staff members with whom we were in frequent contact were excellent. However, the waiters are rotated in the dining rooms in such a way that you can’t really form any kind of bond with them. On Princess cruises, if you go to the same dining room every night, you end up with the same waiters, and we found this not only enjoyable but better for the waiters, since we could then tip them adequately.
Instead of collecting luggage the night before departure and sending it on to the airlines, the ship collected the luggage and put it in a warehouse by the ship’s dock so that we could collect it ourselves and drag it to a bus the next morning—an airport bus that cost $30. By contrast, the bus from the airport into Venice cost only 6 euros. This is but one example of our feeling that we were being constantly nickel-and-dimed.
 
au large’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BX
The cabin was the good part. It was well laid-out, spacious, and comfortable.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins