Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by tailgatemel
- Sail Date: November 2016
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
There are 4 sit-down restaurants you can go to that are included at no extra cost.
This ship is "freestyle" so you can go in and ask for a table and eat at anytime whenever they are open. Here they are:
1. Jasmine gardens, which is asian food (sushi is extra), we ate here one night, it was very enjoyable and tasty. It is only open for dinner starting at 5:30
2. Blue Lagoon, which is kind of more of a cafe, they have a more limited menu of burgers, wings, appetizers, sandwiches etc. It is open 24/7 and it is a nice place for a snack or lunch if you want to be seated and served.
3. Alizar - this is the main dining room mid ship that is directly off of floor 6. It serves the SAME MENU as the Grand Pacific. It is not open for lunch. We did not go to anything other than the buffett or room service for breakfast so I cannot speak for breakfast at any of the sit down restaurants. The menu consists of several "constant" items that are always on the menu each day, then several items that change daily. There are also a few "specialty" dinners that cost extra (usually $24.99) on the menu, and that is usually your better steaks and seafood like lobster tail. There is no "captains dinner" on any of the nights.
4. Grand Pacific - this is the main dining room in the rear of the ship. It is kind of tricky to get to, you have to go to floor 7 rear elevator lobby and walk down half a flight to get to the entrance of this dining room. It is the much more ornate and formal than Alizar and has a great view out the back. That being said, it is the same menu and service as Alizar.
Norwegian lists 4 additional dining options:
1. Garden Cafe - this is the buffet. When it is busy, it is often tough to find a table to sit at... typical buffet.
2. Great Outdoors - this is in the rear of the boat, if you keep walking through the Garden cafe you will run into it, it is basically the buffet in a smaller version. The nice thing is that it has breakfast for later in the day. It is not always open, however. It is also nice because it is adjacent to the rear bar, which usually isn't as busy as the pool bars.
3. Topsiders - this is a really small buffet located by the pool. It has hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and salads and things like that. Great for a quick bite to eat. It is right next to the main pool bar.
4. Bali Hai Grill - this is one level up overlooking the pool area. There is a bar right there also that was always packed, so I never actually saw anyone getting food from it.
The food was good, it was better than I expected. I liked the main dining rooms and they wouldn't give you giant portions, so if you ordered a couple things off of the appetizer/salad menu, with your dinner it wasn't too much.
There are several "pay" restaurants - we went to "Moderno" one night - it was $24.99 + gratuity, so it came out to about $30 a person. It was the "brazillian steakhouse" . The "salad bar" was really good... it had lots of meats and cheeses and items that were not salad things. The meats were good, there wasn't a *huge* selection, mainly because it is a small restaurant. But we left full and happy. We did not go to any other pay restaurants.
Our cabin... well, again, we were trying to be economical, so we stuffed 4 people in our room. There were two single beds on each side of the room, and there was one "cot size" bed that pulled out and filled the space between... so three of us were sleeping in a row, but we each had our own mattress, with the center mattress being slightly narrower, but still large enough for a good sized adult. There was also one bunk that flipped down off the wall over one of the single beds. That made the 4 people. There was a good amount of space for our stuff. There were 2 sets of 3 drawers, a double doored closet, and about 8 cubby holes to put your stuff in. We managed. The bathroom was tight, but adequate, it is tough for a full size person to change in there, especially if you are over 5'10". They kept our cabin clean and ready for us each night and brought us fresh ice in our ice bucket each night. There is a mini fridge, that comes stocked, and you can pay for the stuff, but if you want to use it for yourself you will need to remove items and put them back in.
We did breakfast room service 4 of the mornings since we had early excursions. It is free if you just get "continental" items, or $7.95 per ROOM if you get anything else. There are two omelet options, and french toast and maybe pancakes. I was disappointed that you could not order bacon by itself and nothing came with bacon. You could get muffins, juice, coffee and cereal also. For the $8 a day we did it, it was worth it to insure that we got going for our excursions, since the buffet was way up on floor 12.
Entertainment: We did trivia twice, watched the comedian on the last night and also saw the "elements" show. The comedian and elements show were great, and were just the right length. We saw the "not so newlywed" game on TV one day and that was hilarious.
The pool was always very busy, we didn't get to use it much because we did excursions 4 of the days and the last full day the weather was bad. They had a band there and it was always very festive.
We did 4 excursions:
- Cozumel we did the "12 meter regatta" on the americas cup sailboats. It was well organized and the crew was great, unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of wind, so it wasn't very exciting. But the water and the boats were beautiful. They gave us beer or soda on board and then some rum punch afterwards.
- Casa Maya we did the "ATV and beach tour" This was our favorite. They split you up into groups by experience, which was nice since we were all experienced.. and we got to go pretty fast and get a little muddy. I would not recommend it if you don't like bumps or mud... The ATV ride is around 45 minutes on the ATV. Then they take you to the beach where there are beach chairs and they bring you drinks for free! Good drinks too! Of course, we tipped our guy, and the food was extra (which we did get, and it was very good also). The beach itself was very nice, there was a long walkway to other sections of the beach and other beach club areas, but beware that (as in most Caribbean places) the vendors are going to hassle you to buy stuff. They came around by the beach chairs some also.
- Honduras (Roatan Island) - we did the "Jolly Roger" catamaran and snorkeling. The ride over and back on the bus was eye opening. Honduras is very poor. The boat and snorkeling were great. The guides were very friendly and energetic. I had been on other snorkeling trips in Hawaii, and this was different, in that the guide was in the water and swam you around some places around the reef. My guide took my waterproof camera and dove and took some awesome pictures for me. Then you all went back on the boat and headed back... The ride back is fun, they serve rum and soda and have some great jerk chicken an other items to eat included in the cost of the trip. They try to make it a party on the way back. The port shops themselves were nice, I would HIGHLY NOT recommend going outside the port without being on a excursion that starts within the port. There were some pretty sketchy people waiting right outside the gate.
- Belize (Harvest Caye) - This is Norwegians newest private island. They would only be docked there until 1:00 PM.. our excursion took us on another boat straight from our boat on a 20 minute ride to a pier where we took an hour long bus ride to where our "Rain forest river tubing" occurred. The tubing itself was very nice, and the guide was excellent. It, however, was only 40 minutes. And it cost $5 to rent a locker if you wanted to change when you get there. We didn't get to see any of Harvest Caye. Norwegian did refund us half of the cost of our excursion, and said it was one of the first times it had been done, so I believe they will work to improve it.
Our service on board was excellent. Always someone attentive and happy to see you and make conversation.
I did use the elliptical one day in the fitness room, and it was pretty old.
I enjoyed the cruise, I did get seasick some two of the nights. That was a big disappointment, so I am not sure I will cruise again, I would like, to, but probably a shorter cruise. I was a bit disappointment in the lack of the enforcement of the dress code in the main dining room. I can understand some things, but baseball caps, booty shorts, ripped jeans and flip flops can be worn to the buffet or the Blue Lagoon.
Oh and one last thing, I was very impressed by the drink menu and quality of drinks included in the ultimate drink package. I was expected the lowest level stuff.... granted patron was not included, but 1800 tequila is great and bulleit burbon and name brand beers and some microbrews, plus lots of fancy cocktails!
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The room itself is also right by the tender doors, so it did get noisy, but it was SUPER convenient when getting on and off port.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
ATV AdventureAwesome! Great fun trip! About 45 min ATV then off to the beach for free drinks!View All 45 ATV Adventure Reviews
America's CupGreat crew! Wish there would have been more wind!View All 39 America's Cup Reviews
SnorkelingWe did "Jolly Roger" Catamaran snorkeling. Great fun! Cool reefs while snorkeling then good food an drinks (included) on the way back.View All 263 Snorkeling Reviews
TampaWe got dropped off and someone took our bags, it took us a half hour to get on the boat.. returning there was a long line it took an hour.View All 561 Tampa Cruise Port Reviews
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