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I boarded on Tuesday, April 19th in Miami. The NCL Jade's transatlantic cruise had originated in Houston a few days earlier. Embarkation was the smoothest and quickest ever. As I understand only some 200 passengers boarded in Miami. Disembarkation in Barcelona was equally smooth and efficient. This was my first transatlabtic cruise. We were blessed with calm seas and excellent temperatures. Only one day did the movement of the ship prevented my using the treadmill. The actual crossing from St. Thomas to Madeira, Portugal lasted one week. FOOD: The buffet is a great option for breakfast as it is varied and breakfast is pretty much the same. There is an ample selection of fresh fruit as well as the traditional hot breakfast dishes, baked goods, pastries, and breads. The coffee was good with nine of the coffee machines making fresh coffee grinding the beans for each cup. For lunch and dinner I used the main dining rooms although I did enjoy lunch at the buffet on various occasions as the selections are varied as well and there is always an excellent fresh and varied salad bar. For dessert there is the usual variety as well as fresh fruit, soft serve ice cream and varied cakes and puddings. I was never disappointed with the buffet elections for lunch. For dinner, the main dining rooms were usually excellent options and each offered the same menu. The difference appeared to be that in the Grand Pacific gentlemen cannot wear shorts for dinner. The appetizer and main course selections were always varied and in addition to the same list that appeared each day, there was amp other menu that changed daily, when I was not sure what to order, I always was pleased with their choice of NY Strip steak which was either served with fracked pepper or with a chimichurri. Each time I ordered the steak, it was excellent, as was the mahi mahi or salmon. Once of my favorite lunch options was the poached salmon with peas and snow peas which was always excellent in terms of ternderness and flavor. ENTERTAINMENT: Entertainment was varied and ok. I particularly enjoyed the song and dance production show and the one man song show with Carlos who has an excellent voice and a charming stage presence and ability to engage such a mixed audience. I found the comedian disappointingly not funny. The various single performers spread throughout the ship after dinner were varied and all excellent. PASSENGER PROFILE IMPACTS ENTERTAINMENT : Transatlantic cruises attract a calmer, older, highly educated, and more cordial passenger load. I found fellow passengers to be extremely polite, friendly, kind, and easy going. Compared to other NCL CRUISES I also found the music selection throughout the ship to be much more relaxed; more mellow rock and vocals and less Pit Bull, rap or hip hop. It was relaxingly delicious for a cruise. There was also a time where the promenade of deck 7 was pleasantly busy with walkers, some a little slower than others but the slow ones kindly staying on the right to allow the faster walker to maintain their pace. Many of these walkers had headphones and some elderly couples walked hand-in-hand which was lovely to see as the average age of the couples was on the high side. Everyone got along well. Mi also noticed that some walkers preferred to walk also in deck 7 but walked inside on the more cushioned carpet. Although there is an actual outdoor jogging track on deck 13 it did not have as much use as did the informal walkers' track on deck 7. Another wonderful observation of the transatlantic cruise is that the pool area is never full or loud. I also noticed that unlike in other cruises, passengers are very cordial with each other and there is not the morning rush to reserve lounge chairs. When a chair is being used there was usually a body on the chair. It was also nice to see the two pools hardly ever used or full and the four whirlpools always had plenty of space, and usually by 5 or 5:30 pm, one or more of the whirlpools were vacant. And although the pool slide was opened on every nice day at sea, there was hardly ever a line. The NCL JADE is neither one of the small nor large NCL ships. It is large enough to allow one to feel you have options in terms of places to go but small enough to get around. I would say it is between the massive new and luxurious EPIC which I very much enjoyed and the SUN which is older but quite nice as well. PORTS: The only criticism about transatlantic crossings is the absence of port visits. On this cruise, I boarded in Miami and our visits were only St. Thomas and Madeira in Portugal, then to the final stop in Barcelona. They could have easily added the Canaries, Malaga as they entered the Mediterranean or another Spanish port or a Caribbean island

Exceptional value, calm seas, excellent dining, few children, THE BEST!

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Hilarion

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Inside
I boarded on Tuesday, April 19th in Miami. The NCL Jade's transatlantic cruise had originated in Houston a few days earlier. Embarkation was the smoothest and quickest ever. As I understand only some 200 passengers boarded in Miami. Disembarkation in Barcelona was equally smooth and efficient.

This was my first transatlabtic cruise. We were blessed with calm seas and excellent temperatures. Only one day did the movement of the ship prevented my using the treadmill. The actual crossing from St. Thomas to Madeira, Portugal lasted one week.

FOOD:

The buffet is a great option for breakfast as it is varied and breakfast is pretty much the same. There is an ample selection of fresh fruit as well as the traditional hot breakfast dishes, baked goods, pastries, and breads. The coffee was good with nine of the coffee machines making fresh coffee grinding the beans for each cup.

For lunch and dinner I used the main dining rooms although I did enjoy lunch at the buffet on various occasions as the selections are varied as well and there is always an excellent fresh and varied salad bar. For dessert there is the usual variety as well as fresh fruit, soft serve ice cream and varied cakes and puddings. I was never disappointed with the buffet elections for lunch. For dinner, the main dining rooms were usually excellent options and each offered the same menu. The difference appeared to be that in the Grand Pacific gentlemen cannot wear shorts for dinner. The appetizer and main course selections were always varied and in addition to the same list that appeared each day, there was amp other menu that changed daily, when I was not sure what to order, I always was pleased with their choice of NY Strip steak which was either served with fracked pepper or with a chimichurri. Each time I ordered the steak, it was excellent, as was the mahi mahi or salmon. Once of my favorite lunch options was the poached salmon with peas and snow peas which was always excellent in terms of ternderness and flavor.

ENTERTAINMENT:

Entertainment was varied and ok. I particularly enjoyed the song and dance production show and the one man song show with Carlos who has an excellent voice and a charming stage presence and ability to engage such a mixed audience. I found the comedian disappointingly not funny. The various single performers spread throughout the ship after dinner were varied and all excellent.

PASSENGER PROFILE IMPACTS ENTERTAINMENT :

Transatlantic cruises attract a calmer, older, highly educated, and more cordial passenger load. I found fellow passengers to be extremely polite, friendly, kind, and easy going. Compared to other NCL CRUISES I also found the music selection throughout the ship to be much more relaxed; more mellow rock and vocals and less Pit Bull, rap or hip hop. It was relaxingly delicious for a cruise. There was also a time where the promenade of deck 7 was pleasantly busy with walkers, some a little slower than others but the slow ones kindly staying on the right to allow the faster walker to maintain their pace. Many of these walkers had headphones and some elderly couples walked hand-in-hand which was lovely to see as the average age of the couples was on the high side. Everyone got along well. Mi also noticed that some walkers preferred to walk also in deck 7 but walked inside on the more cushioned carpet. Although there is an actual outdoor jogging track on deck 13 it did not have as much use as did the informal walkers' track on deck 7.

Another wonderful observation of the transatlantic cruise is that the pool area is never full or loud. I also noticed that unlike in other cruises, passengers are very cordial with each other and there is not the morning rush to reserve lounge chairs. When a chair is being used there was usually a body on the chair. It was also nice to see the two pools hardly ever used or full and the four whirlpools always had plenty of space, and usually by 5 or 5:30 pm, one or more of the whirlpools were vacant. And although the pool slide was opened on every nice day at sea, there was hardly ever a line.

The NCL JADE is neither one of the small nor large NCL ships. It is large enough to allow one to feel you have options in terms of places to go but small enough to get around. I would say it is between the massive new and luxurious EPIC which I very much enjoyed and the SUN which is older but quite nice as well.

PORTS:

The only criticism about transatlantic crossings is the absence of port visits. On this cruise, I boarded in Miami and our visits were only St. Thomas and Madeira in Portugal, then to the final stop in Barcelona. They could have easily added the Canaries, Malaga as they entered the Mediterranean or another Spanish port or a Caribbean island
Hilarion’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IX 10083
CABIN:
NCL JADE Interior Cabin 10083 was excellent in it being two floors below the pools and buffet and three up from the main restaurants, shopping, walking promenade, atrium and theater on the 7th floor. I hardly used the elevators. It is also midship with a storage room on one side and a passenger cabin on the other meaning it is quiet in that the bed is by the storage room. It is the first interior room when you enter the hallway by the central elevators and staircase. It is a regularly sized smallish interior room but the benefits of location are such that I would be pleased to book it again. The room attendant was excellent. As I travel alone, after the first day, we agreed that the attendant would enter the room only once a day during dunnertime to exchange towels and make the bed.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins