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We booked our flight with Ryanair to Rome Ciampino airport and decided to fly the night before and have a night in a hotel near the airport. We booked one of the Ryanair hotels, the Palacavicchi hotel. We phoned the hotel when we landed at the airport and they came and transferred us to the hotel for 5 Euros. The hotel was very good and we had a nice breakfast and were transferred back to the airport to get the bus to Rome Termini. This I had booked online for 16 Euros return for the two of us. Once at Rome termini, a journey of about 40 mins, we bought tickets for the train to Civitavecchia, 12 Euros for the two of us. The train took about an hour and from the station we walked down the road to the port entrance where there was a free shuttle bus to the ship. The embarkation was very well organised and we were onboard in no time. Unfortunately I had packed my travel iron in my suitcase and so I received a letter saying that I had to come and claim and open my luggage so that the iron could be removed and held until the end of the cruise. This led to my luggage not being delivered promptly. I had only cruised once before with NCL and that was on the Jade five years ago. I have cruised with many different cruise lines all of which have traditional dining. In some ways, freestyle is good as you can eat at whatever time you want and where you want, provided you book the restaurant before hand to get the time you want. If you eat in the buffet it usually means that you sit on a table on your own so you don't get to meet people and get to know them well as with traditional dining. Also it is very informal in the buffet so you don't need to dress up at all, just jeans will do. This may suit some people but for me part of the cruise experience is getting dressed for the evening in at least a smart casual outfit. There was a good choice of dishes in the buffet for all meals. The best evening meal we had was in the Alizar restaurant where we were sat on a table with another couple and had a good meal and good conversation. The speciality restaurants seemed to be popular but we are not used to paying extra for food on a cruise and so did not go to them. The entertainment was of a good standard overall and shows lasted an hour which was longer than on some other cruise lines. We did have breakfast in our cabin once as we had to go on an early excursion and thought that it would save us time. It was delivered at the last minute of the time allotted and there were no bowls for the cereal and no coffee in the coffee pot so it was not really acceptable. Overall the crew were outstanding in their service, the cabin steward and the staff in the various restaurants and buffet. What was missing from this cruise was any lectures or enrichment program. We usually enjoy going to interesting lectures when on a cruise but there was nothing like that offered. The library was a decent size and offered a fair selection of books. The disembarkation was disorderly and confusing. You were given the choice of walking off the ship with your luggage and this seemed to be taken up by many passengers. There was a stampede down the stairs to reach deck 4 to disembark and some people went down on the lifts and then caused disputes near the doors and checkout area. More organisation needs to be arranged to remove the hassle and Argo for a lot of people, many of which got quite irate at times.

Is freestyle cruising for you?

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Topcatvalerie

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
We booked our flight with Ryanair to Rome Ciampino airport and decided to fly the night before and have a night in a hotel near the airport. We booked one of the Ryanair hotels, the Palacavicchi hotel. We phoned the hotel when we landed at the airport and they came and transferred us to the hotel for 5 Euros. The hotel was very good and we had a nice breakfast and were transferred back to the airport to get the bus to Rome Termini. This I had booked online for 16 Euros return for the two of us. Once at Rome termini, a journey of about 40 mins, we bought tickets for the train to Civitavecchia, 12 Euros for the two of us. The train took about an hour and from the station we walked down the road to the port entrance where there was a free shuttle bus to the ship. The embarkation was very well organised and we were onboard in no time. Unfortunately I had packed my travel iron in my suitcase and so I received a letter saying that I had to come and claim and open my luggage so that the iron could be removed and held until the end of the cruise. This led to my luggage not being delivered promptly.
I had only cruised once before with NCL and that was on the Jade five years ago. I have cruised with many different cruise lines all of which have traditional dining. In some ways, freestyle is good as you can eat at whatever time you want and where you want, provided you book the restaurant before hand to get the time you want. If you eat in the buffet it usually means that you sit on a table on your own so you don't get to meet people and get to know them well as with traditional dining. Also it is very informal in the buffet so you don't need to dress up at all, just jeans will do. This may suit some people but for me part of the cruise experience is getting dressed for the evening in at least a smart casual outfit. There was a good choice of dishes in the buffet for all meals. The best evening meal we had was in the Alizar restaurant where we were sat on a table with another couple and had a good meal and good conversation. The speciality restaurants seemed to be popular but we are not used to paying extra for food on a cruise and so did not go to them. The entertainment was of a good standard overall and shows lasted an hour which was longer than on some other cruise lines.
We did have breakfast in our cabin once as we had to go on an early excursion and thought that it would save us time. It was delivered at the last minute of the time allotted and there were no bowls for the cereal and no coffee in the coffee pot so it was not really acceptable.
Overall the crew were outstanding in their service, the cabin steward and the staff in the various restaurants and buffet.
What was missing from this cruise was any lectures or enrichment program. We usually enjoy going to interesting lectures when on a cruise but there was nothing like that offered. The library was a decent size and offered a fair selection of books.
The disembarkation was disorderly and confusing. You were given the choice of walking off the ship with your luggage and this seemed to be taken up by many passengers. There was a stampede down the stairs to reach deck 4 to disembark and some people went down on the lifts and then caused disputes near the doors and checkout area. More organisation needs to be arranged to remove the hassle and Argo for a lot of people, many of which got quite irate at times.
Topcatvalerie’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IB 9069
Our cabin was good, kept clean very efficiently by our cabin steward Christian. We had a double bed in the cabin and there was space to get down the side of the bed on both sides. The bathroom and shower was a good size, the shower being bigger than on some ships we have been on. There was a shower screen and plenty of room in the shower cubicle.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    I booked this trip as it was cheaper than the same tour offered by NCL. We went from the ship on the shuttle to the outside of the port where we were picked up in mini buses and driven to Florence. We were taken to the Duomo and then given a time to be back there for the pick up. We had printed off a Walking tour from the internet and so we followed this route and viewed all the famous buildings. We did not have time to go inside the Duomo etc but we think that in a day, just seeing the main sights is adequate and the queues were long everywhere.
    View All 79 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    We did our own walking tour of Palermo. I printed off a walking tour from the internet which included the Cathedral and Normandi Palace with the Palatin Chapel. This was outstanding and definitely worth visiting. It is not included in the ship tours. It costs 5 Euros each to go in if you are over 65 and can prove it. Well worth it, really remarkable. The Town Hall is also worth a visit. It is free and has beautiful rooms, paintings and treasures. I had been to Palermo once before and done a city tour but this was better and a lot cheaper.
    View All 27 City Tour Reviews