Being Platinum Latitude members, we have sailed quite often to the Caribbean and Alaska, but our first transatlantic repositioning cruise on the NCL Jade out of the Houston port was simple and easy. Taking this cruise for the first time was a great adventure. Some surprises, for example,how calm the waters of the Atlantic remained for most of the trip, made for an enjoyable crossing. The Jade is in need of some refurbishing in the public areas. Some of the chairs in the atrium are very uncomfortable and broken. In the Spinnaker lounge there are sectionals that come apart too easily. But the ship is clean and the staff is exceptionally dedicated and friendly. Our mini suite was spacious with plenty of storage. We were able to store all clothing and luggage easily. Our steward, J.B. was efficient and willing to do anything we needed done. All venues around the ship offered a variety of entertainments. We enjoyed going to the productions in the theater. Most were typical cruise ship entertainment, but they were enjoyable. There were two complementary main dining restaurants. The menus remained the same for the most part, either a few entree changes each night. We ate some of our meals there, but chose to eat in the speciality dining venues more than half of the time. There is also a buffet that is available, but we usually prefer to sit down to a quite meal in the evenings. We only ate at the buffet one time for breakfast. The food choices there were good and the quality of food choices was excellent. Some of our shore excursions were enjoyable. Our Funchal, Madiera, "Best of Madeira" was fun and enjoyable. Our tour guide made the excursion enjoyable. The activities chosen gave us a good idea of the life in Funchal. Taking the sky lift to the top of the mountains of Funchal and the 2km toboggan ride down the steep street was fun and exciting. So glad we were able experience that adventure. The excursion we chose to tour Malta was not as enjoyable. Too many drive-bys with no chance to get out and explore the historic places. We did get to spend some time at the Blue Grotto for some photo opportunities, and we did stop at a fishing village with an opportunity to buy souvenirs. Our guide talked too fast, and we didn't get much out of this excursion. We chose a private tour in Barcelona sponsored by Baecelona Day Tours. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would use this company again. The tour had a small group, and this made the tour more personable. This tour also included a tour to Montserrat monastery. It was beautiful with a breathtaking view. All places chosen by this tour company were educational and interesting. I would definitely use this tour group again. As the cruise ended, the only negative side would be the 6 times we had to move out clocks forward. It did cause our sleeping habits to change and we slept later each day, making us miss some shipboard activities during the mornings.
This cabin was spacious and clean with a balcony large enough to have 3 chairs and small table. There was plenty of storage. The room had a large couch, a desk and chair, and a table. A curtain could be drawn across the room between the couch and the bed for more privacy, if needed. There was a safe and a mini bar. Plenty of mirrors were available. The bath had a tub/shower combination and was roomy. I didn't feel cramped inside while getting dressed.