As a member of NCL's Platinum rewards program, we have almost exclusively sailed Norwegian and have highly recommended this cruise line to friends and family. We have been very pleased with the ships, ports, staff, food, entertainment, and especially the free-style experience. In fact, when we decided to go on a cruise, we simply turned to NCL to choose a ship and itinerary that fits our needs. Not any more. This Jade sailing experience puts this cruise line into the very poor category and it looks like they are positioning themselves as a low level provider.
Our biggest issue was the staff. They not only had too few, they were poorly trained. NCL offered a "Free Drinks Package" as an incentive when we booked the cruise and signified this with a marker on our room keys. We had extensive waits for drink service in all of their venues and when no one came to take our orders, we waited in long lines at the bars to get our drinks. In every case, the bartender told us a different requirement to get our drinks. One said we could get two drinks per key, one said one per key, one took one key and gave us four drinks. We of course learned very soon to always provide one key for every drink, it was very inconvenient to order for three 'seniors' who were less mobile (and we are not heavy drinkers). I can say that contrary to our prior NCL experience, I only recall three friendly and helpful staff members on this cruise and for the first time on NCL I witnessed staff ignoring passenger needs.
NCL has always been known for excellent entertainment and very good food, but this cruise didn't measure up. My wife and I wanted to walk out on a very bad stage performance, but stayed because we were with other guests. Later we learned they wanted to leave,too. The dancing and singing was poor and that's being kind. After many enjoyable meals on all of our other ships, the Jade offered only adequate food. That is not what we took a cruise for, it didn't meet expectations.
The cabin was one of the good parts of the cruise even if the ship is due for updating and our cabin steward is one of the three friendly and helpful staff that we saw on the ship.
Great port, walked the area.
Stayed on ship, no good options for our group. Private island not available.
Good boarding facility and experience.