Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by marygvancott
- Sail Date: May 2018
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Inside
The cruise ship was spacious and clean, the staff accommodating and pleasant. We were particularly happy with the dance classes taught by the cruise staff and loved our training in waltz, fox trot, salsa, cha cha and line dancing. We also really enjoyed the trivia games that immediately followed the dance lessons.
Our favorite location on the ship was what they call the "Great Outdoors," the back of the Garden Cafe and an outdoor patio that allows you to look back over the wake. We loved having our meals here, making use of its bar, and taking pictures as we moved in and out of the ports. To accommodate the overflow in the Garden Cafe food area, another buffet line (smaller) was set up in the back, as well as a coffee/tea station. We utilized this area frequently and were grateful not to have to go back into the busy larger food area to replenish our plates.
We had an interior cabin, which is always our choice as we spend so little time in it. The soundproofing was perfect, the bed very comfortable and the shower perfect for our preferences. Our cabin steward, Richard, was not only extremely efficient, but he made the most intricately detailed towel creatures we have seen on any cruise! We also enjoyed the Bow Cam channel as it gave us a window to the outside.
The shore excursions were wonderful, eputable companies and engaging guides. All but one of our excursions were through the ship. We very much enjoyed all of them.
Our favorite restaurant on the ship was Le Bistro (which fills quickly). The service was top quality and the food even better. Our waiter, Henrique, deserves "Best Waiter" awards. We wished we had booked more reservations here. Lovely in every way.
My only negative comment has to do with their use of hand sanitizer. I am a retired health director so please forgive me being picky here - I just understand the seriousness of viral spread on the close quarters of a ship and want to share my concerns:
Every time we entered the Garden Cafe, there was a staff member at each door with a spray bottle to provide guests with a "squirt" of hand sanitizer. This didn’t work for two reasons… the first reason is the amount provided was barely enough to cover your hands and not anywhere near the amount you could get by using one of the ball-shaped units stationed at each door - the second reason is that person was not always at the door waiting for you. Sometimes you’d see them talking to guests or another staff member and the area would have many guests just moving into the dining area without cleaning their hands.
As important as hand washing is anywhere, and most especially on a cruise ship, the only instruction provided in this safety technique came on the Safety channel, one of the TV choices in the cabin. If you didn’t specifically watch this channel, you would miss important information about hand washing, life jackets and the ship’s alarms. This channel is not required viewing - I just happened upon it when I was flipping stations around - nor was hand washing covered during the life jacket muster where all the information we needed about the alarms and how to don the gear was covered thoroughly.
I have been on many cruises and my favorite cruise company tries a different approach and seems to get very good results. During the muster, all guests are required to watch a brief video on how to wash their hands. In addition, this same video is played at strategic times when it can be viewed by many - for example, before the beginning of an entertainment show in the large theater, or in a bar on the video screen. By the end of the cruise, I had seen that video many times.
This same company also had staff stationed at the doors to their buffet restaurant but, instead of administering the hand sanitizer themselves, they directed each passenger either to a hand washing sink area, or to the large ball-shaped unit, and required them to clean their hands using one of these methods before entering the food area. Guests learned quickly that this was part of the meal process so people engaged in one of these whether a staff member was there or not. The mistake that NCL makes is not training the guests to take responsibility for their own hand cleaning by doing it for them - and then in an insufficient manner. This results in the guests becoming dependent on employee availability. During the times the employee wasn't available, most guests walked directly into the dining area without cleaning their hands.
NCL should revisit their hand sanitization practice - perhaps even doing a survey of sorts to see how frequently people clean their hands in the absence of one of the "squirters." When a virus can spread so quickly in such close surroundings, this should be one of the first concerns of any cruise line.
Truly, this was a lovely cruise and I'd sail with NCL again - but I'd avoid the staff with spray bottles and stick with the bal-shapedl units so you know your hands are clean!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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