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You've read the mixed reviews good and bad so here's mine. Whatever issues the Jade had, yes they were admittedly real according to the staff, those issues are long gone. This is a great cruise, well done by a hard working crew. Do yourself a great vacation, enjoy an outstanding ship, a quality experience, and just be informed ahead about how some things work as much as you can. Embarkation in Houston around noon was a breeze, fast, efficient, short lines, and we made it through quickly. The Ship was reported full. We were able to drop our carry-on stuff in the room and went to get a bite to eat. The required Muster drill was fast and painless. We were off to a great start. Garden cafe - is typical cruise ship fare, our choice for breakfast, quick, after excursion meals and snacks. We ate dinners in three "pay extra restaurants" as well as the Grand Pacific, Alizar, and Jasmine garden which are complimentary. More on those later. Cagneys Steak house - appetizers ordered were shrimp cocktail, lump crab salad with arugula, arugula salad with pears, onions, red peppers, raspberry vinaigrette, Mexican Caesar salad, whole cold water lobster, and filet mignon. Great service, quality food and presentation. The bill totaled $80 which was part our 3 meal dining package. Saturday and Sunday at sea we just relaxed, tried to orient ourselves to the ship, fore, aft, and the different ship levels and what's where. The Garden cafe is on deck 12, which we would frequent for coffee, breakfast, and occasionally at other times. Several of f the bars, music, the theater are on decks six and seven along with the front desk. Spinnaker is on 12. Pools are on 12. Take your time it's a nice sized ship with lots of venues. Cozumel - we had priority status for getting off and were one of the first 15 people off the ship. It's a fair walk down, across the pier, and you have to walk through the entire shopping area to get downstairs to a taxi. We found a taxi, agreed to the fare ($12 for all 3), and made our way quickly to PalMar SMALL Snorkel beach club. We were welcomed, found a spot on the small beach area, and settled in for the day. We had reserved our spot, paid half in advance, and took care of the rest, in cash, when we arrived. They don't take cards, only cash. It's $14 per person which includes 2 beverages per person. Not bad for $14. If you are not interested in crowds, multiple activities, and want a quiet place to sun and Snorkel this was our ideal day. After my son and I were getting out of the water, here came the Snorkel tour boats one after another to drop off snorkelers right where we had just been. We watched, enjoyed one of our two beverages, and relaxed. I went out snorkeling one more time. We ordered quesadillas, $8 and ceviche $12, both were freshly prepared and delicious along with our 2nd beverage. The green habenero sauce was hot but excellent. It was our ideal day, quiet, beautiful water, and a cold beverage. You did need solid shoes to navigate the rocky shore to get in the water but the best snorkeling is off rocky beaches not sandy ones. The owner came out and explained they had gotten permission to create an "entry/exit" point on the rocks which is needed. But we got in, saw lots of different reef fish and enjoyed it very much. We easily got a taxi back to the pier and were back on the ship in plenty of time. I tried to negotiate for some Cuban Cigars in town near the dock but they were too rich for my budget. An enjoyable day in Cozumel for sure. We had dinner at the Jasmine Garden. We ordered pot stickers, egg drop and corn soup, fried calamari, Wakame salad (seaweed and cabbage with a sweet vinaigrette), orange beef, sweet and sour pork, Mahi Mahi, udon noodles with seafood. The Green tea ice cream was very good. Service was good and the food good as well. It was busy every time we walked by. My son and I shared a spicy tuna roll from the sushi place, an extra $7, but it was really good 8 piece sushi roll. Our son returned to eat more sushi on Thursday so I know it was really good. We stayed on the ship instead of tendering into Belize. Spent a relaxing day in the spa, took a nap, got some sun and avoided the tenders and the crowds. The music in the bars is really good. The Masquerade duo played to the Sr crowd quite well. They played a Beatles set one night, the Eagles the next. There was a single guy Carlos, from Columbia in a nearby bar who is outstanding. He's an excellent guitarist and singer and thoroughly enjoys what he does. We heard him three times in three days. Cripton The magician was as good as advertised. Not a long show but worth the time for sure. His wife disappears from all kinds of boxes and then reappears. He does an impressive floating table too. Roatan - We arranged for a private transport from the Pier. Tendering is certainly will one of the Jades issues. It takes time. Get your tickets early if you want an early tender. We took a bit of a tour of island, including West Bay, then made our way to Infinity Bay Beach Resort for a day of snorkeling. We had wristbands reserved ahead by our driver and walked right to the beach, found loungers and went snorkeling, saw lots of fish and the coral and reef is definitely worth seeing. The beach was eventually packed with 4 ships in port. Yes, local folks are walking by trying to sell you everything. Met the Donut man and enjoyed his pineapple donuts, (3 for $5). The, hawkers are plentiful up and down the beach but they won't pester you if you say no. We left at 2 and arrived back at the pier about 2:30 as the last tender was at 3. It was a long line. There must have been 500 people waiting. It took some time moving up as filling the tenders is kind of slow. If impatient there's a bar on the dock for a drink or snack as you wait. Meet your shipmates, share your days experience and relax. Tendering wasn't completely done until around 4. All in all a really enjoyable day. I overheard a lady the next morning saying it took her party an hour and a half to get back on the ship. It didn't take us that long but it was at least 45 minutes or a bit more. As long as you are in line to tender you will be fine, it just takes awhile. Alizar - Our menu selections included appetizers of Calamari, prosciutto with melon and arugula salad, burger sliders, main dishes of prawns with linguini, gnocchi with braised short ribs and snow peas, strip loin Steak with onion strings, and for desserts, strawberries napoleon with mixed berry sauce. Snickerdoodle pound cake with ice cream, chocolate volcano, service outstanding, food was excellent all around, served in a timely fashion, efficient, a very good meal and dining experience. Went to hear comedian David Naster last night in the Stardust theater. He is hilarious. He does real life that's funny. He's a seasoned comedian and kid friendly. We'll be going to hear him again on the trip back to Houston as well. Our preferred breakfast spot is the Garden buffet. I love the eggs cooked to order, all you can eat bacon, and biscuits and gravy. It's not my own homemade sausage gravy but very good nonetheless. There's any kind of breakfast you can ask for from continental, waffles, cereal, fruit and more. Moderno restaurant is a Brazilian churrascaria. It's another word for "meat fest." There's a serve yourself salad bar which was really good and fresh. Offered were two kinds of soup, a Brazilian bean soup and another, chorizo, salami, olives, a cold shrimp pasta, a cold bean and corn salad, a pear and walnut salad, and much more. After the salad they bring you a "meat plate," The gauchos come by and offer you all different meats, sirloin, filet mignon, garlic Beef, chorizo, two kinds of chicken, grilled lamb cops, shrimp and fish. All the meat we tried was outstanding favorites were the sirloin, filet and lamb. The bill was $25 per person but it was one of our three dinners I added as part of the dining package. It was a really enjoyable meal. The desserts weren't our favorite, (no chocolate), flan, rice pudding, and a mango cream cold sort of ice cream offering. We went to the 9:30 pm variety show which includes all the evening shows stars, magic, acrobatics, dancers, and singers concluding with the Norwegian song by all the staff coming out and joining in. It's surely worth the time. We then heard the Jade staff band do a few oldies in their Glenn Miller tribute, then we made our way down and listened to Carlos again. We enjoyed all the musicians on board but he was by far our favorite. I read a review a couple of cruises back from someone that recommended you bring your own coffee cup and I've done that since. It makes it really convenient if you like fixing more than the one cup. I'm sure same could be said for tea, water or juice. We also brought our Yeti coozies to keep the other beverages cold. We booked early enough to have the beverage package included, a nice bonus especially if you drink, order drinks anywhere and let them swipe your card. The only added charge is tax while in Texas waters, i.e. on the way out and possibly the last night in if the ship is early. It's a tax you can't avoid. La Cucina restaurant is the Italian specialty restaurant. It was excellent. We ordered minestrone Soup, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, osobucco, lobster linguine and desserts I can't recall now but we enjoyed the specialty dining and will likely do it again next time. All said, we loved the Jade, her hard working, friendly crew, and pretty much everything about it. For the value it provides, the convenience of sailing from Texas and for a quality cruise, sail the Jade, enjoy the ride, it's your vacation!!

We Loved the Jade!!

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by davidel57

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
You've read the mixed reviews good and bad so here's mine. Whatever issues the Jade had, yes they were admittedly real according to the staff, those issues are long gone. This is a great cruise, well done by a hard working crew. Do yourself a great vacation, enjoy an outstanding ship, a quality experience, and just be informed ahead about how some things work as much as you can.

Embarkation in Houston around noon was a breeze, fast, efficient, short lines, and we made it through quickly. The Ship was reported full. We were able to drop our carry-on stuff in the room and went to get a bite to eat. The required Muster drill was fast and painless. We were off to a great start.

Garden cafe - is typical cruise ship fare, our choice for breakfast, quick, after excursion meals and snacks. We ate dinners in three "pay extra restaurants" as well as the Grand Pacific, Alizar, and Jasmine garden which are complimentary. More on those later.

Cagneys Steak house - appetizers ordered were shrimp cocktail, lump crab salad with arugula, arugula salad with pears, onions, red peppers, raspberry vinaigrette, Mexican Caesar salad, whole cold water lobster, and filet mignon. Great service, quality food and presentation. The bill totaled $80 which was part our 3 meal dining package.

Saturday and Sunday at sea we just relaxed, tried to orient ourselves to the ship, fore, aft, and the different ship levels and what's where. The Garden cafe is on deck 12, which we would frequent for coffee, breakfast, and occasionally at other times. Several of f the bars, music, the theater are on decks six and seven along with the front desk. Spinnaker is on 12. Pools are on 12. Take your time it's a nice sized ship with lots of venues.

Cozumel - we had priority status for getting off and were one of the first 15 people off the ship. It's a fair walk down, across the pier, and you have to walk through the entire shopping area to get downstairs to a taxi. We found a taxi, agreed to the fare ($12 for all 3), and made our way quickly to PalMar SMALL Snorkel beach club. We were welcomed, found a spot on the small beach area, and settled in for the day. We had reserved our spot, paid half in advance, and took care of the rest, in cash, when we arrived. They don't take cards, only cash. It's $14 per person which includes 2 beverages per person. Not bad for $14. If you are not interested in crowds, multiple activities, and want a quiet place to sun and Snorkel this was our ideal day. After my son and I were getting out of the water, here came the Snorkel tour boats one after another to drop off snorkelers right where we had just been. We watched, enjoyed one of our two beverages, and relaxed.

I went out snorkeling one more time. We ordered quesadillas, $8 and ceviche $12, both were freshly prepared and delicious along with our 2nd beverage. The green habenero sauce was hot but excellent. It was our ideal day, quiet, beautiful water, and a cold beverage. You did need solid shoes to navigate the rocky shore to get in the water but the best snorkeling is off rocky beaches not sandy ones. The owner came out and explained they had gotten permission to create an "entry/exit" point on the rocks which is needed. But we got in, saw lots of different reef fish and enjoyed it very much. We easily got a taxi back to the pier and were back on the ship in plenty of time. I tried to negotiate for some Cuban Cigars in town near the dock but they were too rich for my budget. An enjoyable day in Cozumel for sure.

We had dinner at the Jasmine Garden. We ordered pot stickers, egg drop and corn soup, fried calamari, Wakame salad (seaweed and cabbage with a sweet vinaigrette), orange beef, sweet and sour pork, Mahi Mahi, udon noodles with seafood. The Green tea ice cream was very good. Service was good and the food good as well. It was busy every time we walked by. My son and I shared a spicy tuna roll from the sushi place, an extra $7, but it was really good 8 piece sushi roll. Our son returned to eat more sushi on Thursday so I know it was really good.

We stayed on the ship instead of tendering into Belize. Spent a relaxing day in the spa, took a nap, got some sun and avoided the tenders and the crowds.

The music in the bars is really good. The Masquerade duo played to the Sr crowd quite well. They played a Beatles set one night, the Eagles the next. There was a single guy Carlos, from Columbia in a nearby bar who is outstanding. He's an excellent guitarist and singer and thoroughly enjoys what he does. We heard him three times in three days.

Cripton The magician was as good as advertised. Not a long show but worth the time for sure. His wife disappears from all kinds of boxes and then reappears. He does an impressive floating table too.

Roatan - We arranged for a private transport from the Pier. Tendering is certainly will one of the Jades issues. It takes time. Get your tickets early if you want an early tender. We took a bit of a tour of island, including West Bay, then made our way to Infinity Bay Beach Resort for a day of snorkeling. We had wristbands reserved ahead by our driver and walked right to the beach, found loungers and went snorkeling, saw lots of fish and the coral and reef is definitely worth seeing. The beach was eventually packed with 4 ships in port. Yes, local folks are walking by trying to sell you everything. Met the Donut man and enjoyed his pineapple donuts, (3 for $5). The, hawkers are plentiful up and down the beach but they won't pester you if you say no. We left at 2 and arrived back at the pier about 2:30 as the last tender was at 3. It was a long line. There must have been 500 people waiting. It took some time moving up as filling the tenders is kind of slow. If impatient there's a bar on the dock for a drink or snack as you wait. Meet your shipmates, share your days experience and relax. Tendering wasn't completely done until around 4. All in all a really enjoyable day.

I overheard a lady the next morning saying it took her party an hour and a half to get back on the ship. It didn't take us that long but it was at least 45 minutes or a bit more. As long as you are in line to tender you will be fine, it just takes awhile.

Alizar - Our menu selections included appetizers of Calamari, prosciutto with melon and arugula salad, burger sliders, main dishes of prawns with linguini, gnocchi with braised short ribs and snow peas, strip loin Steak with onion strings, and for desserts, strawberries napoleon with mixed berry sauce. Snickerdoodle pound cake with ice cream, chocolate volcano, service outstanding, food was excellent all around, served in a timely fashion, efficient, a very good meal and dining experience.

Went to hear comedian David Naster last night in the Stardust theater. He is hilarious. He does real life that's funny. He's a seasoned comedian and kid friendly. We'll be going to hear him again on the trip back to Houston as well.

Our preferred breakfast spot is the Garden buffet. I love the eggs cooked to order, all you can eat bacon, and biscuits and gravy. It's not my own homemade sausage gravy but very good nonetheless. There's any kind of breakfast you can ask for from continental, waffles, cereal, fruit and more.

Moderno restaurant is a Brazilian churrascaria. It's another word for "meat fest." There's a serve yourself salad bar which was really good and fresh. Offered were two kinds of soup, a Brazilian bean soup and another, chorizo, salami, olives, a cold shrimp pasta, a cold bean and corn salad, a pear and walnut salad, and much more. After the salad they bring you a "meat plate," The gauchos come by and offer you all different meats, sirloin, filet mignon, garlic Beef, chorizo, two kinds of chicken, grilled lamb cops, shrimp and fish. All the meat we tried was outstanding favorites were the sirloin, filet and lamb. The bill was $25 per person but it was one of our three dinners I added as part of the dining package. It was a really enjoyable meal. The desserts weren't our favorite, (no chocolate), flan, rice pudding, and a mango cream cold sort of ice cream offering.

We went to the 9:30 pm variety show which includes all the evening shows stars, magic, acrobatics, dancers, and singers concluding with the Norwegian song by all the staff coming out and joining in. It's surely worth the time. We then heard the Jade staff band do a few oldies in their Glenn Miller tribute, then we made our way down and listened to Carlos again. We enjoyed all the musicians on board but he was by far our favorite.

I read a review a couple of cruises back from someone that recommended you bring your own coffee cup and I've done that since. It makes it really convenient if you like fixing more than the one cup. I'm sure same could be said for tea, water or juice. We also brought our Yeti coozies to keep the other beverages cold. We booked early enough to have the beverage package included, a nice bonus especially if you drink, order drinks anywhere and let them swipe your card. The only added charge is tax while in Texas waters, i.e. on the way out and possibly the last night in if the ship is early. It's a tax you can't avoid.

La Cucina restaurant is the Italian specialty restaurant. It was excellent. We ordered minestrone Soup, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, osobucco, lobster linguine and desserts I can't recall now but we enjoyed the specialty dining and will likely do it again next time.

All said, we loved the Jade, her hard working, friendly crew, and pretty much everything about it. For the value it provides, the convenience of sailing from Texas and for a quality cruise, sail the Jade, enjoy the ride, it's your vacation!!
davidel57’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11088
Great cabin. Nice and roomy. Liked the extra space in the bathroom and storage. Balcony has three chairs. Couch fabric a bit dated but overall a nice upgrade. Might have chosen a room not directly below the Garden cafe. It got a bit noisy at times.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews