We chose this cruise from Hamburg to Southampton mainly for the price in high season as the next cruise return to Southampton seemed to double in price. We also liked the idea of taking in the sights of Hamburg pre cruise as this was somewhere we had never visited. Emabarkation was quite smooth taking around 40 minutes at around 1130AM. We chose Jade also because of her recent refurb which to be honest we found to be a bit of a disapointment nothing on-board gives you the wow factor, some of the public rooms where nice but nothing special. The ship as a whole was ok but to be honest would I remember any of the venues in a few weeks? I would have to say no. All of the Special Dining venues where excellent including Cagneys, Le Bistro, Tepyanki and Moderno's. Didnt do Le Cucina as to me this was just an extention of the buffet(Garden Cafe.) with mediocere decoration and few table cloths. This comes to my biggest bug bare of the whole cruise the Garden Cafe, plainly not big enough when this size ship is full with to many large tables taken up by so few, on two occasions found myself leaving after walking the whole length of Garden Café twice with no joy trying to find a table. Human beings need some form of organisation at the food counters and having remote islands does not work! People bombarding you from both sides as you try and work your way across. Mayhem. Do yourself a favour avoid the cattle market and just go to the Pacific Dining Room or O'Sheehans for breakfast as these where both excellent with O'Sheehans having the smaller choice of the two. The two shows we did where both good but be warned arrive early for Elements as I would say the first 8 seats from either side of the theatre are pointless with very little view, we saw lots of people just getting up and leaving due to the poor visibility in these areas. Also arrive early for the Bingo & Raffle in the Spinnaker Lounge(Nice View). as fights broke out over the seating and security had to be brought in to remove some passengers, well it all adds to the entertainment. We did not use any of the ships excursions as we found them very expensive so planned all of our excursions privately online before the cruise. Service was excellent in all of the bars, Pacific Dining Room, Jasmine Garden, O'Sheehans and all of the extra pay dining venues. Our only let down was the Alizar dining room with long waiting times for food, cold food and for some reason unhappy staff. Ports of call where all fantastic with the exception of Kristiansand found it to be a bit dull compared to all of the other stops. Our two teenagers absolutely loved the Teens club, Entourage and where there every moment they could. Both the teens said this was the best cruise they had been on! We enjoyed the cruise but this was mainly because of the great friends we made and beautiful locations. We would travel NCL again but maybe on one of the newer/larger ships with hopefully a bit more pizazz.
Although the cabins are smaller than other ships we have been on with a strange bed layout with only one upper bunk and a pull out single from under the double for a family of four, we soon got used to the configuration and found our cabin very homely. There is adequate storage space and with a bathroom larger than others with two doors separating the 3 areas of the bathroom. We found the lack of being able to view your online account using the TV quite frustrating and the choice of TV channels is also quite poor. Our cabin steward was a bit hit and miss, some days going ashore and finding him making up our cabin on return in the mid afternoon. If you are looking for an obstructed cabin 8054 would be a very good choice with little obstruction compared to others(See Photos). Beds are comfy with an in room hairdryer, TV, very small fridge and lockable safe as standard.
We where lucky with the weather at this port as it was a beautiful day. Climbed the nearby Big hill for wonderful panoramic views of the whole area. The town itself with its marina is quite picturesque.
Hamburg is a big port city with lots to do. Hamburg Dungeons was worth a visit for something different, the kids loved it!. the only english tour at this venue is at 10AM and it takes around 2 hours including the que to get in. Visit the fish market area on the river front and also the City Centre(Town Hall) for lots of cafes and shopping options.