I titled this review “Returning to the Jade village” as it is like coming home as you get out of the van on the arrival at the port and you start to meet the old friends you made on previous cruises. A lot of interesting changes here since the last time we cruised on the Jade last October and nearly all for the better. The first improvement was that if you turn left on entering the check-in and are travelling in the Haven, check in is in the Concierges lounge and we were met at the door by Omar O’Bresso who we last met on the Norwegian Star, a quick check-in and we were en route to the ship and lunch in Cagney’s. Everywhere we went we met old friends, and once we settled down for lunch, the food seemed to have improved somewhat. We were a party of five, three first time cruisers and my DW and I. Our youngest member was our three year old DGS and he soon made many friends around the ship.
There have been some positive changes on the Jade ahead of her refit and it was good to see that i-concierge was available and the wifi had been given an overhaul, making it easier to log in and out and it was said to be four times faster. The only negative thing I can comment on is that most of the seats and tables including the bar stools have been removed from the Star Bar and it is now a dark soulless place with me often the only one in there. I know this will become Moderno after the refit, but it is dead now despite the very best efforts of the bartender.
I chose not to get off the ship this time although the rest of the party did and had a great time. I had a great time too, meeting old friends and making new among the crew. The Haven staff were excellent, with Benjamin our Room Steward, Roberto the Courtyard Butler and Naveem our Butler looking after us very well indeed and all the staff at the restaurants we ate at, mainly Cagney’s, Le Bistro and La Cuccina were great, always fussing young Jack and making sure all went well. The food seems to have improved a lot, difficult to pin point but the steaks were excellent and the sea bass and salmon nearly perfect. Good quality food cooked to perfection.