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We have now cruised on almost all of the Jewel class ships: the Gem, the Jewel, the Pearl and the Jade. The Jade felt like a home away from home because the layout was so similar to the other Jewel class ships. We knew our way around without ever having been on the ship. The Jade is the perfect size. It never felt crowded, and there was always a quiet corner to get away from the crowds. Unlike the Breakaway, there were seldom lines for anything and you could always find a seat at the buffet. Sometimes we had to wait until 9:30 for dinner at the specialty restaurants, so book those early. Embarkation in Southampton was seamless. We arrived around 1:00 and there was no line for checking in or security. We were on board within five to ten minutes....compare that to hours in New York boarding the Breakaway. I was also impressed with how easy it was to get a porter at Southampton. Again, this was a breath of fresh air as compared to New York. We ate at Cagney's, Le Bistro, La Cucina and the Grand Pacific. The food at the specialty restaurants was of a much better quality than the main dining room. Service in the Grand Pacific was excruciatingly slow. It took about two hours or more for lunch and dinner. At lunch time, the Grand Pacific was only a quarter full and yet the staff encouraged us to sit with strangers. We didn't mind, but we don't know what was behind the push for this. It seemed unnecessary. The lunch choices in Grand Pacific got tired and boring fast. We were equally unimpressed with the quality of lunch at the buffet. We did enjoy breakfast at the Great Outdoors. That offers a smaller buffet outside, which most people had not discovered. So, it has a semi private feel. For entertainment, we loved the singer/guitar player in the atrium, Randon. He had quite a following and played classic rock. They also had a mellow classical guitar player. The Russian acrobat duo, Duo Deja Vu, were very good and the husband sang as well. The Elememts show was also well done with a Cirque du Soliel feel. We played trivia a few times, but wished that they had progressive trivia. There also was only a very narrow window of time (an hour) to redeem prizes for activity cards. It seemed like they tried to make it difficult to redeem for what I am sure were cheap trinkets. We had a mini suite and enjoyed our large balcony. Again, the balcony was twice the size of a Breakaway mini suite balcony. Our steward was so friendly and always greeted us by name, even if we were far away down the hall. We had a different, cute towel animal each night. It appears that they are still refurbishing the Jade. On our first night or two, we had a larger circular table on our balcony but after our first port of call, it was replaced with a much smaller square table. We did note that the air quality was not great, as it was very dry in the cabin and the hall on deck 11 seemed to have some odors. Our ports of call were great: Rotterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg. Rotterdam even had a band welcoming us and they set up tables with vendors in the terminal for last minute shopping. There were Hop on Hop off buses at the port in Oslo and Copenhagen. We noticed that the cruise line made it appear that there were not these choices, perhaps to steer people towards their excursions. Hamburg was very special, as there was a cruise weekend going on. We were in a parade of ships, the city was lit in blue and fireworks illuminated the sky. There were street festivals with great food, entertainment and drinks within walking distance of the ship. We were disappointed with our Amsterdam excursion, Windmills and Clogs. It ended up being a two hour lunch in Amsterdam and a view of the city from inside the bus. We would not have booked this, had we known that the city experience was limited to an unnecessarily long lunch. We did get a 25 percent refund for complaining. Despite never ending rain, we had a great time on this cruise.

Fantastic Northern European cruise

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Poipu04

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Trip Details
We have now cruised on almost all of the Jewel class ships: the Gem, the Jewel, the Pearl and the Jade. The Jade felt like a home away from home because the layout was so similar to the other Jewel class ships. We knew our way around without ever having been on the ship. The Jade is the perfect size. It never felt crowded, and there was always a quiet corner to get away from the crowds. Unlike the Breakaway, there were seldom lines for anything and you could always find a seat at the buffet. Sometimes we had to wait until 9:30 for dinner at the specialty restaurants, so book those early.

Embarkation in Southampton was seamless. We arrived around 1:00 and there was no line for checking in or security. We were on board within five to ten minutes....compare that to hours in New York boarding the Breakaway. I was also impressed with how easy it was to get a porter at Southampton. Again, this was a breath of fresh air as compared to New York.

We ate at Cagney's, Le Bistro, La Cucina and the Grand Pacific. The food at the specialty restaurants was of a much better quality than the main dining room. Service in the Grand Pacific was excruciatingly slow. It took about two hours or more for lunch and dinner. At lunch time, the Grand Pacific was only a quarter full and yet the staff encouraged us to sit with strangers. We didn't mind, but we don't know what was behind the push for this. It seemed unnecessary. The lunch choices in Grand Pacific got tired and boring fast. We were equally unimpressed with the quality of lunch at the buffet. We did enjoy breakfast at the Great Outdoors. That offers a smaller buffet outside, which most people had not discovered. So, it has a semi private feel.

For entertainment, we loved the singer/guitar player in the atrium, Randon. He had quite a following and played classic rock. They also had a mellow classical guitar player. The Russian acrobat duo, Duo Deja Vu, were very good and the husband sang as well. The Elememts show was also well done with a Cirque du Soliel feel.

We played trivia a few times, but wished that they had progressive trivia. There also was only a very narrow window of time (an hour) to redeem prizes for activity cards. It seemed like they tried to make it difficult to redeem for what I am sure were cheap trinkets.

We had a mini suite and enjoyed our large balcony. Again, the balcony was twice the size of a Breakaway mini suite balcony. Our steward was so friendly and always greeted us by name, even if we were far away down the hall. We had a different, cute towel animal each night. It appears that they are still refurbishing the Jade. On our first night or two, we had a larger circular table on our balcony but after our first port of call, it was replaced with a much smaller square table.

We did note that the air quality was not great, as it was very dry in the cabin and the hall on deck 11 seemed to have some odors.

Our ports of call were great: Rotterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg. Rotterdam even had a band welcoming us and they set up tables with vendors in the terminal for last minute shopping. There were Hop on Hop off buses at the port in Oslo and Copenhagen. We noticed that the cruise line made it appear that there were not these choices, perhaps to steer people towards their excursions. Hamburg was very special, as there was a cruise weekend going on. We were in a parade of ships, the city was lit in blue and fireworks illuminated the sky. There were street festivals with great food, entertainment and drinks within walking distance of the ship.

We were disappointed with our Amsterdam excursion, Windmills and Clogs. It ended up being a two hour lunch in Amsterdam and a view of the city from inside the bus. We would not have booked this, had we known that the city experience was limited to an unnecessarily long lunch. We did get a 25 percent refund for complaining.

Despite never ending rain, we had a great time on this cruise.
Poipu04’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11034
It's possible that we were under the pool deck, as we heard deck chairs being pulled in the morning. It was very cold and wet, so there was little pool activity. I think in a warm climate, this could be a noisy cabin. We were also on the side where the pilot jumps from the ship to the pilot boat, so it was exciting to see this twice.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Lubeck Walking Tour
    Excellent tour guide, took us on foot to the Holstein Gate, St. Mary's church and a few other sites. Our bathroom stop was at the Niederegger marzipan shop so we got two tours for the price of one. There was really no time to grab a quick bite, other than the marzipan. We then had a great visit to the Brau Berger brewery, with a flight of four beers, a pretzel and a souvenir glass.
    View All 10 Lubeck Walking Tour Reviews
  • Rotterdam
    We were very disappointed. This turned into a two hour lunch at a historic restaurant in Amsterdam. That is the only time our feet touched the ground in that city. Otherwise, everything was seen from inside a bus. The lunch was good but we could have eaten something on the fly so we could experience sites in person. We broke away from the group to see Zaanse Schans, which was a good choice as most people complained that the guided tour was not good. We had an hour of free time since we didn't go with the group. It was quite a rush but we saw a lot more than the group. There was hardly anytime to take in the sites and shop.
    View All 12,970 Rotterdam Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rotterdam Cruise Port Review