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This was my first cruise and it was not horrible. I've read some real horror stories and feel fortunate none of those things happened to us. I was not impressed, however, with the experience. I'm low maintenance. I don't care about having towels folded into animals. I don't need to be besties with the bartender or wait staff. Here's what bothered me about it. There were a ridiculous amount of people. The buffet was like a fight to the death for food. The bartenders were sometimes nice and sometimes rude. There were not enough bartenders. We did not have a drink package, as I absolutely refused to pay $1200 for drinks for 2 people. We do indulge at times, but are not huge drinkers anymore. The problem is there's not much else to do but go to the many bars and drink. So we're paying up to $13 a drink (beer and some other drinks are a little cheaper). They force you to pay 18% gratuity on top of that. They are using the absolute cheapest well liquors available and the drinks are not very strong. Too much mix of any kind means sugar overload or heartburn. I just wanted a few good, strong cocktails. By the end of it, I learned to order something they couldn't water down like a dirty martini. Enough about drinks. I really felt like they nickel and dime you to death. The forced gratuity, the daily $13.95 charge per person, the "free" room service that cost $7.95 per person, etc. When the guy came to lock our mini fridge, he argued with us about what we had taken, which was one very pricey Red Bull. He looked around our cabin and questioned us about water my mother had given me, which she had purchased. He questioned us about a diet Pepsi that we got elsewhere on the ship. Really annoying. The pool: this was a big one for me, as I was looking forward to some pool time in the winter. The pools are tiny. One pool is for adults only. Professional cruisers put their towels on chairs early in the morning to hold them all day. One day we got chairs at the pool. Could I have done the same thing? Yes, but it didn't feel right to me. The day we got there early I saved 2 extra seats for my sister and brother in law and felt really guilty. A lot of these professional cruisers simply do not care about anyone but themselves. We never had beach towels in our rooms. I have never cruised before and didn't know I was supposed to have them. We asked for some at the pool and had to put down a deposit. The guy said they should have been in our room but not his problem. Take it up with housekeeping. When I went to return the towels, the guy didn't speak English and just kept shoving a clipboard at me. I didn't understand what he wanted me to do. Finally, he just motioned for me to put them in the bin. I'm scared I'm going to end up with a charge on my card for them. We had lots of fun in the ports. We did our own thing and did not do the excursions. Be aware that you are going to poverty stricken countries. You are rich to them, and they are trying to survive. They will not hesitate to rip you off, so you just have to be careful. We went to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. Be very careful if you leave the port in Belize. It is dangerous. We hired a local to show us around. He was a big guy, packing a big gun. We got to see the real city and enjoyed it, although some things we saw were quite sad. I wish there would have been more time in the ports but I guess that's just part of cruising. One very disturbing thing happened to us. I can't prove anything but my husband may have been drugged. He had three drinks on New Years eve and totally blacked out. He doesn't remember ordering a $200 bottle of champagne. I was shocked and horrified, as we are not wealthy people. Right after that he literally fell over and I had to have help getting him back to the room. I was not intoxicated at all. He drank no more than I did. He felt dizzy and off for at least 24 hours. It was a scary experience and the only motivation I can think of for someone doing this would be the large automatic tip on the champagne. We were told by our guide in Belize that crew members buy drugs in the ports and sell them to passengers, so I don't find it totally out of the realm of possibility that he was drugged. I don't know. Maybe it was just some weird reaction. We will never know for sure. Heads up people. Never assume you are safe. Another thing that may be more of a suggestion than a complaint is that it's really hard if you're traveling with others to find them. The ship is like a city. If you don't plan to meet someone, you probably won't see them. If you text, you're going to be charged ridiculous rates. We should've taken walkie talkies. It would be nice if the ship had an app that would allow you to contact other passengers. I'm sure NCL would charge you an arm and a leg to use it though. My fault for not planning on that one. I found the cabin to be satisfactory. No complaints. They are small but it was fine. There is an amazing amount of storage in such a tiny space. We had a window room on the 5th deck. We liked watching the waves. Over 24 hours off the boat and I'm still dizzy. I feel like I'm on drugs or something. Just be aware of that if you have to go straight back to work or have something to do. I feel like you need a little recovery time. Like I said, this was my first cruise. I did a lot of research but still felt like I didn't know what was going on half the time. I just wasn't a huge fan of the whole experience. I would rather pay more and not feel nickeled and dimed to death or maybe go to an all inclusive resort. That's just me though.

Maybe cruising just isn't for me?

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by New2cruising2016

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
This was my first cruise and it was not horrible. I've read some real horror stories and feel fortunate none of those things happened to us. I was not impressed, however, with the experience. I'm low maintenance. I don't care about having towels folded into animals. I don't need to be besties with the bartender or wait staff.

Here's what bothered me about it. There were a ridiculous amount of people. The buffet was like a fight to the death for food. The bartenders were sometimes nice and sometimes rude. There were not enough bartenders. We did not have a drink package, as I absolutely refused to pay $1200 for drinks for 2 people. We do indulge at times, but are not huge drinkers anymore. The problem is there's not much else to do but go to the many bars and drink. So we're paying up to $13 a drink (beer and some other drinks are a little cheaper). They force you to pay 18% gratuity on top of that. They are using the absolute cheapest well liquors available and the drinks are not very strong. Too much mix of any kind means sugar overload or heartburn. I just wanted a few good, strong cocktails. By the end of it, I learned to order something they couldn't water down like a dirty martini. Enough about drinks.

I really felt like they nickel and dime you to death. The forced gratuity, the daily $13.95 charge per person, the "free" room service that cost $7.95 per person, etc. When the guy came to lock our mini fridge, he argued with us about what we had taken, which was one very pricey Red Bull. He looked around our cabin and questioned us about water my mother had given me, which she had purchased. He questioned us about a diet Pepsi that we got elsewhere on the ship. Really annoying.

The pool: this was a big one for me, as I was looking forward to some pool time in the winter. The pools are tiny. One pool is for adults only. Professional cruisers put their towels on chairs early in the morning to hold them all day. One day we got chairs at the pool. Could I have done the same thing? Yes, but it didn't feel right to me. The day we got there early I saved 2 extra seats for my sister and brother in law and felt really guilty. A lot of these professional cruisers simply do not care about anyone but themselves. We never had beach towels in our rooms. I have never cruised before and didn't know I was supposed to have them. We asked for some at the pool and had to put down a deposit. The guy said they should have been in our room but not his problem. Take it up with housekeeping. When I went to return the towels, the guy didn't speak English and just kept shoving a clipboard at me. I didn't understand what he wanted me to do. Finally, he just motioned for me to put them in the bin. I'm scared I'm going to end up with a charge on my card for them.

We had lots of fun in the ports. We did our own thing and did not do the excursions. Be aware that you are going to poverty stricken countries. You are rich to them, and they are trying to survive. They will not hesitate to rip you off, so you just have to be careful. We went to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. Be very careful if you leave the port in Belize. It is dangerous. We hired a local to show us around. He was a big guy, packing a big gun. We got to see the real city and enjoyed it, although some things we saw were quite sad. I wish there would have been more time in the ports but I guess that's just part of cruising.

One very disturbing thing happened to us. I can't prove anything but my husband may have been drugged. He had three drinks on New Years eve and totally blacked out. He doesn't remember ordering a $200 bottle of champagne. I was shocked and horrified, as we are not wealthy people. Right after that he literally fell over and I had to have help getting him back to the room. I was not intoxicated at all. He drank no more than I did. He felt dizzy and off for at least 24 hours. It was a scary experience and the only motivation I can think of for someone doing this would be the large automatic tip on the champagne. We were told by our guide in Belize that crew members buy drugs in the ports and sell them to passengers, so I don't find it totally out of the realm of possibility that he was drugged. I don't know. Maybe it was just some weird reaction. We will never know for sure. Heads up people. Never assume you are safe.

Another thing that may be more of a suggestion than a complaint is that it's really hard if you're traveling with others to find them. The ship is like a city. If you don't plan to meet someone, you probably won't see them. If you text, you're going to be charged ridiculous rates. We should've taken walkie talkies. It would be nice if the ship had an app that would allow you to contact other passengers. I'm sure NCL would charge you an arm and a leg to use it though. My fault for not planning on that one.

I found the cabin to be satisfactory. No complaints. They are small but it was fine. There is an amazing amount of storage in such a tiny space. We had a window room on the 5th deck. We liked watching the waves. Over 24 hours off the boat and I'm still dizzy. I feel like I'm on drugs or something. Just be aware of that if you have to go straight back to work or have something to do. I feel like you need a little recovery time.

Like I said, this was my first cruise. I did a lot of research but still felt like I didn't know what was going on half the time. I just wasn't a huge fan of the whole experience. I would rather pay more and not feel nickeled and dimed to death or maybe go to an all inclusive resort. That's just me though.
New2cruising2016’s Full Rating Summary
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