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A few observations for future cruisers on this itinerary/ship/line, just back from 8 days on Jade. 1. Harvest Caye; there is much garbage written about this. Guys... it's IN Belize... but it's not 'Belize', it's a private island - think of it like a big resort hotel where the rooms pull up in the morning and leave in the evening. Don't go there expecting a genuine cultural experience... it's a RESORT style island. You CAN sunbathe on a nice beach, zip-line, kayak, you name it, and the whole place is done superbly well if you accept it for what it is. By far the best private island experience of ANY cruise line. Beach Villas looked SUPERB, Pool Cabana's good but costly for what you get, we rented a clamshell on the beach when we arrived for $29 all day. There were plenty available all day. We watched the Parasailers... they seemed to be having a BLAST and wayyyy more airtime than most places. 2. You're on a 'relatively cheap' cruise... not a cultural exchange trip. See it for what it is. 3. We got an upgrade to an aft-facing Penthouse and really cannot fault the experience at all, from breakfast at Cagney's, a Butler, daily visits from Concierge, the service was above and beyond anything we had experienced before and the cabin itself was superb... especially the Lazazza Espresso machine! Well worth the up-sell folks. 4. With one or two notable exceptions, bar staff (especially during the day) on Jade were the worst/least attentive we'd experienced on NCL. Guests were literally screaming at them for basic service and they avoided eye contact/failed to scan the bar. Basic stuff for a good barman and sadly lacking here. 5. The Ultimate beverage package (UBP) is great if you want nice booze... but NCL is pushing it too hard as a free offer - which meant far too many people were making far too much use of it. There were at least two full-on fights with splattering blood between guests on Jade and wayyy too many unpleasant drunks. Also many folks abusing it and 'buying' drinks for folks that didn't have it, and even their kids. The current positioning of the UBP is going to get NCL into trouble, it's just a matter of time. 6. Guatamala - our view - don't bother! Port sucks and it really had little to offer, we stayed on board and re-charged. Quote from our Roatan guide "Where were you guys yesterday" - Guatamala - "Oh this'll make up for that for sure!" 7. Roatan - superb in pretty much every respect. We took the Tabyana Beach excursion and were very well looked after - treated like people really cared. Snorkeling the best we'd seen in the Caribbean... but we're divers so have been spoiled! Compared to most, this was better, coral is actually alive! 8. Cozumel is Cozumel - Costa Maya was a very pleasant surprise and was actually the closest to a 'cultural' experience - underdeveloped (so far), natural and a glimpse of what Mexico can be. We also went for a ride in a Dune Buggy which made an amusing if bone-jarring interlude. 9. Jade - hard to fault the Gem Class ships - just right in our opinion. 10. Specialty restaurants - a real winner considering the price. Our advise - just price this dinner up-charge into the cost of your cruise, well worth the quality, service and serenity. Harder for large families we acknowledge, just saying it's good if you can stretch to it. 11. Embarkation in Tampa SUCKED big time... but I suspect that this had more to do with the Port Authority being incompetent and running a B-team than with NCL themselves. As soon as we were on board this was forgotten.

Western Carribean, New Years Eve, Penthouse 10166

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Notnewtoit

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
A few observations for future cruisers on this itinerary/ship/line, just back from 8 days on Jade.

1. Harvest Caye; there is much garbage written about this. Guys... it's IN Belize... but it's not 'Belize', it's a private island - think of it like a big resort hotel where the rooms pull up in the morning and leave in the evening. Don't go there expecting a genuine cultural experience... it's a RESORT style island. You CAN sunbathe on a nice beach, zip-line, kayak, you name it, and the whole place is done superbly well if you accept it for what it is. By far the best private island experience of ANY cruise line. Beach Villas looked SUPERB, Pool Cabana's good but costly for what you get, we rented a clamshell on the beach when we arrived for $29 all day. There were plenty available all day. We watched the Parasailers... they seemed to be having a BLAST and wayyyy more airtime than most places.

2. You're on a 'relatively cheap' cruise... not a cultural exchange trip. See it for what it is.

3. We got an upgrade to an aft-facing Penthouse and really cannot fault the experience at all, from breakfast at Cagney's, a Butler, daily visits from Concierge, the service was above and beyond anything we had experienced before and the cabin itself was superb... especially the Lazazza Espresso machine! Well worth the up-sell folks.

4. With one or two notable exceptions, bar staff (especially during the day) on Jade were the worst/least attentive we'd experienced on NCL. Guests were literally screaming at them for basic service and they avoided eye contact/failed to scan the bar. Basic stuff for a good barman and sadly lacking here.

5. The Ultimate beverage package (UBP) is great if you want nice booze... but NCL is pushing it too hard as a free offer - which meant far too many people were making far too much use of it. There were at least two full-on fights with splattering blood between guests on Jade and wayyy too many unpleasant drunks. Also many folks abusing it and 'buying' drinks for folks that didn't have it, and even their kids. The current positioning of the UBP is going to get NCL into trouble, it's just a matter of time.

6. Guatamala - our view - don't bother! Port sucks and it really had little to offer, we stayed on board and re-charged. Quote from our Roatan guide "Where were you guys yesterday" - Guatamala - "Oh this'll make up for that for sure!"

7. Roatan - superb in pretty much every respect. We took the Tabyana Beach excursion and were very well looked after - treated like people really cared. Snorkeling the best we'd seen in the Caribbean... but we're divers so have been spoiled! Compared to most, this was better, coral is actually alive!

8. Cozumel is Cozumel - Costa Maya was a very pleasant surprise and was actually the closest to a 'cultural' experience - underdeveloped (so far), natural and a glimpse of what Mexico can be. We also went for a ride in a Dune Buggy which made an amusing if bone-jarring interlude.

9. Jade - hard to fault the Gem Class ships - just right in our opinion.

10. Specialty restaurants - a real winner considering the price. Our advise - just price this dinner up-charge into the cost of your cruise, well worth the quality, service and serenity. Harder for large families we acknowledge, just saying it's good if you can stretch to it.

11. Embarkation in Tampa SUCKED big time... but I suspect that this had more to do with the Port Authority being incompetent and running a B-team than with NCL themselves. As soon as we were on board this was forgotten.
Notnewtoit’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SE 10166
We got an upgrade to an aft-facing Penthouse and really cannot fault the experience at all, from breakfast at Cagney's, a Butler who could make pretty much anything happen, daily visits from Concierge, the service was above and beyond anything we had experienced before and the cabin itself was large and superb... especially the Lazazza Espresso machine! Well worth the up-sell folks.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews