1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Jade
We chose Jade because we've cruised NCL 3-times prior and the service was outstanding. Our youngest daughter is getting ready to go overseas for several years, so this Southern Caribbean cruise was meant to be her farewell celebration. The cruise began to fall apart as hurricanes ravaged the Carribean. Our planned Southern Carribean cruise ports were decimated: San Juan, St. Thomas, Roseau, Bridgetown, Castries, and Phillipsburg. NCL contacted us shortly after Puerto Rico got hammered so bad. New itinerary pending...we'll notify you soon. It took a week or so, but NCL posted a new itinerary that included Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. Not even remotely comparable to the trip we had planned. Regardless, we figured the Haven would make up for the less than outstanding itinerary NCL had put together. The drastic change created a less than outstanding list of options, and quantity available, of shore excursions. Excursions had to be constantly checked up to the time of the cruise as some were being added slowly and others being deleted because companies pulled the offerings. We tried to get a VIP beach excursion, but it was booked not long after it became available. Previous trips in the Haven class were amazing trips of superior service. It started the minute you walked off of the bus and arrived at the pier. This time we had to go through security with all of the other passengers, no special Haven line as with past cruises. We did get to enter the Haven lounge to check-in once we cleared security. We were taken upstairs and immediately onto the ship as we arrived later at the pier this time around. We met the Concierge, Carlos, who had also just arrived on the ship the same day, just 15-minutes before the passengers. Carlos invited us to enjoy lunch in Cagney's to start our first cruise day and it was very good. We finished up lunch and returned to Carlos thinking he would escort us to our stateroom in the Haven. He eventually did, reluctantly, when I started at him blankly when he said we could go to our rooms now if we were ready. We put up our clothes and met our room steward and butler. Breakfast at Moderno's was a daily strain. Each day the cook managed to underperform on one or more food items. Eggs were overcooked most days, steak was overcooked routinely, and toast, yes toast, was a common issue. The toast was usually delivered 10- to 15-minutes after the plate arrived. I even had one day when toast was delivered and one of the two pieces wasn't even toasted, just fresh out of the bag. It was the most disappointing food experience of all of our four cruises. Even in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants, attention to detail was lacking at every turn and our wait staff typically forgot something during the course of a meal. The most alarming was when we encountered undercooked (raw) chicken and hamburgers on the buffet line. We notified the cook and she removed the chicken and put it back on the grill to finish cooking, but she left the serving plate on the line with undercooked chicken juice on it! Drink services around the ship and even in the Haven were poor. I had the Ultimate Beverage Package but I rarely saw staff coming around to take drink orders. As such, I was forced to stand in line for 10- to 15-minutes to order a drink at the bars around the ship. The Haven courtyard had 1, just 1, employee responsible for setting up food, taking orders, getting drinks, and keeping the Haven area stocked with towels and in neat order. The poor guy was set up for failure by the management. Nobody could keep 12-suites with all the Haven guests supplied with food and drinks throughout the day without incident. This was just a poor staffing decision by the ship's management. I also had a morning where I exited my stateroom only to find a fire alarm in the men's shower area in the Haven going off. I checked to make sure there was no fire and then I went searching for the ship's staff. I found our server for the Haven and he disarmed the alarm. That freaked me out a lot. It was a fire alarm on a ship in the early morning hours and nobody from the ship's staff seemed to be aware it was going off. That's a major problem as fire on a ship is the #1 danger to crew and passengers. Specialty acts on the ship were great. We saw two aerialists who were spectacular. Their show was by far the best we'd seen on a ship to date. We missed both performances by the comedian and a ventriloquist. The dance production team onboard was less than outstanding. We saw their first two performances and chose to skip the remaining two performances they were so poor. In summary, I paid a premium for the Haven. I paid the premium not just for more space, but for premiere service...I did not get what I paid for on this cruise. Service was poor throughout the ship and the vast majority of the ships staff didn't show any difference to our Haven status. I will likely cruise NCL again, but you'll never see me on the Jade.

Lackluster perfromance, port-to-port on Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by PK#1

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Courtyard Villa with Balcony
We chose Jade because we've cruised NCL 3-times prior and the service was outstanding. Our youngest daughter is getting ready to go overseas for several years, so this Southern Caribbean cruise was meant to be her farewell celebration.

The cruise began to fall apart as hurricanes ravaged the Carribean. Our planned Southern Carribean cruise ports were decimated: San Juan, St. Thomas, Roseau, Bridgetown, Castries, and Phillipsburg. NCL contacted us shortly after Puerto Rico got hammered so bad. New itinerary pending...we'll notify you soon. It took a week or so, but NCL posted a new itinerary that included Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. Not even remotely comparable to the trip we had planned. Regardless, we figured the Haven would make up for the less than outstanding itinerary NCL had put together.

The drastic change created a less than outstanding list of options, and quantity available, of shore excursions. Excursions had to be constantly checked up to the time of the cruise as some were being added slowly and others being deleted because companies pulled the offerings. We tried to get a VIP beach excursion, but it was booked not long after it became available.

Previous trips in the Haven class were amazing trips of superior service. It started the minute you walked off of the bus and arrived at the pier. This time we had to go through security with all of the other passengers, no special Haven line as with past cruises. We did get to enter the Haven lounge to check-in once we cleared security. We were taken upstairs and immediately onto the ship as we arrived later at the pier this time around. We met the Concierge, Carlos, who had also just arrived on the ship the same day, just 15-minutes before the passengers. Carlos invited us to enjoy lunch in Cagney's to start our first cruise day and it was very good. We finished up lunch and returned to Carlos thinking he would escort us to our stateroom in the Haven. He eventually did, reluctantly, when I started at him blankly when he said we could go to our rooms now if we were ready. We put up our clothes and met our room steward and butler.

Breakfast at Moderno's was a daily strain. Each day the cook managed to underperform on one or more food items. Eggs were overcooked most days, steak was overcooked routinely, and toast, yes toast, was a common issue. The toast was usually delivered 10- to 15-minutes after the plate arrived. I even had one day when toast was delivered and one of the two pieces wasn't even toasted, just fresh out of the bag. It was the most disappointing food experience of all of our four cruises. Even in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants, attention to detail was lacking at every turn and our wait staff typically forgot something during the course of a meal. The most alarming was when we encountered undercooked (raw) chicken and hamburgers on the buffet line. We notified the cook and she removed the chicken and put it back on the grill to finish cooking, but she left the serving plate on the line with undercooked chicken juice on it!

Drink services around the ship and even in the Haven were poor. I had the Ultimate Beverage Package but I rarely saw staff coming around to take drink orders. As such, I was forced to stand in line for 10- to 15-minutes to order a drink at the bars around the ship. The Haven courtyard had 1, just 1, employee responsible for setting up food, taking orders, getting drinks, and keeping the Haven area stocked with towels and in neat order. The poor guy was set up for failure by the management. Nobody could keep 12-suites with all the Haven guests supplied with food and drinks throughout the day without incident. This was just a poor staffing decision by the ship's management.

I also had a morning where I exited my stateroom only to find a fire alarm in the men's shower area in the Haven going off. I checked to make sure there was no fire and then I went searching for the ship's staff. I found our server for the Haven and he disarmed the alarm. That freaked me out a lot. It was a fire alarm on a ship in the early morning hours and nobody from the ship's staff seemed to be aware it was going off. That's a major problem as fire on a ship is the #1 danger to crew and passengers.

Specialty acts on the ship were great. We saw two aerialists who were spectacular. Their show was by far the best we'd seen on a ship to date. We missed both performances by the comedian and a ventriloquist. The dance production team onboard was less than outstanding. We saw their first two performances and chose to skip the remaining two performances they were so poor.

In summary, I paid a premium for the Haven. I paid the premium not just for more space, but for premiere service...I did not get what I paid for on this cruise. Service was poor throughout the ship and the vast majority of the ships staff didn't show any difference to our Haven status. I will likely cruise NCL again, but you'll never see me on the Jade.
PK#1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Jade price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Courtyard Villa with Balcony
Cabin H4 14012
Our stateroom was beautiful and spacious. The new décor onboard was very nice as well. No more loud neon colors, everything was changed to wood grain. Our room steward was one of the few highlights on this particular 10-day cruise.
Deck 14 Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    Tour operator took us on a 2-hr tour in a mini van. We hit many of the key spots, but she also took us through some residential areas to see how folks in Aruba actually live. We did have the option to stop at 2 different beaches, for up to 2-hours stay, while she took another tour around the island.
    View All 13,192 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    We took a water taxi from the pier to Klein Bonaire to do some snorkeling. The beach was small, but not many people were there, so it worked. We enjoyed about an hour long drift snorkel along a deep drop wall. We got to see some nice fish, but the reef was mostly dead. Guess the concept of Marine Sanctuary has room to grow in Bonaire yet. Still, decent value for $20/person we paid versus the $70+ per person the ship would have charged for same site.
    View All 147 Snorkeling Reviews