1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Jade
I did a Baltic cruise in 2015 on the NCL Star. It was absolutely lovely. The Jade in 2017, however, although a nicer ship (it had been refurbished to a less gaudy, less beach-themed motif), was a dramatically worse experience. From top to bottom, with a few exceptions, the staff were unhelpful and often downright rude. We were yelled at on more than one occasion for offenses such as asking to see a menu 10 minutes before a bar opened, or following signs for disembarkation when a crewmember though we should have known (despite clear instructions to the contrary) to wait before descendinn. In over 40 countries of travel and 5 cruises, this was by far the worst experience I've ever had with staff--and I'm neither picky nor hard to please! Perhaps chalk it up to mandatory tips, rather than merit-based tipping? And while I enjoyed every meal on the 2015 NCL Star, there were meals that were almost unedible on the Jade, including rancid bacon at O'Sheehans for breakfast one morning. The specialty restaurants were the exception. Finally, while the NCL Star put out gorgeous, location-specific crafts and souvenirs for my Baltics cruise (a wonderful touch!) the NCL Jade had Caribbean-themed items in the gift shop throughout the cruise, with a few incredibly cheap and tacky Norway-themed items strewn on a few tables about halfway through the itinerary. All in all, this cruise felt like somewhat of an afterthought for NCL, or something simply geared toward making money, rather than offering up a wonderful experience designed to garner repeat customers. I'm not likely to ever cruise with NCL again! That being said, the itinerary was absolutely wonderful, and I'd recommend the Norwegian fjords as a destination wholeheartedly! We also thoroughly enjoyed the hardworking entertainment staff, and the shows they put on (particularly Blazing Boots).

5 star itinerary on a 2 star cruise--NCL has really gone downhill since 2015!

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Sarah.Barracuda

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
I did a Baltic cruise in 2015 on the NCL Star. It was absolutely lovely. The Jade in 2017, however, although a nicer ship (it had been refurbished to a less gaudy, less beach-themed motif), was a dramatically worse experience. From top to bottom, with a few exceptions, the staff were unhelpful and often downright rude. We were yelled at on more than one occasion for offenses such as asking to see a menu 10 minutes before a bar opened, or following signs for disembarkation when a crewmember though we should have known (despite clear instructions to the contrary) to wait before descendinn. In over 40 countries of travel and 5 cruises, this was by far the worst experience I've ever had with staff--and I'm neither picky nor hard to please! Perhaps chalk it up to mandatory tips, rather than merit-based tipping? And while I enjoyed every meal on the 2015 NCL Star, there were meals that were almost unedible on the Jade, including rancid bacon at O'Sheehans for breakfast one morning. The specialty restaurants were the exception. Finally, while the NCL Star put out gorgeous, location-specific crafts and souvenirs for my Baltics cruise (a wonderful touch!) the NCL Jade had Caribbean-themed items in the gift shop throughout the cruise, with a few incredibly cheap and tacky Norway-themed items strewn on a few tables about halfway through the itinerary. All in all, this cruise felt like somewhat of an afterthought for NCL, or something simply geared toward making money, rather than offering up a wonderful experience designed to garner repeat customers. I'm not likely to ever cruise with NCL again! That being said, the itinerary was absolutely wonderful, and I'd recommend the Norwegian fjords as a destination wholeheartedly! We also thoroughly enjoyed the hardworking entertainment staff, and the shows they put on (particularly Blazing Boots).
Sarah.Barracuda’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Jade price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8088
The cabin was very nice, although the view was--as promised--obstructed. It was spacious and tastefully decorated with two tall oval-shaped windows. One window had an obstructed view that still offered up a full range of sight out the windown (sky to sea); the other window's view began about halfway up the window, so you had to look out the other window (or the bow cam) to see the water. We only had one towel animal (which are always fun), and never were told the name of our cabin steward.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Naeroyfjord
    We booked this ferry ride plus return bus independently of the ship. I believe it is the only tour like this offered. The ferry ride was lovely, if somewhat crowded. Afterward, however, we asked THREE DIFFERENT employees of this company which bus to get on to return to Flam, and showed them our ticket to confirm. To be clear, the ticket very clearly says 'Gudvangen to Flam' and NOTHING else. There is zero room for misinterpretation. The first employee put us on bus 3, and three other employees confirmed we were on the correct bus. This bus, however, actually went to Voss, not Flam. When we alerted the bus driver to this (it took us approximately 25-30 minutes to realize we were not headed back to Flam!) it was 6:45 (our ship departed the harbor at 8pm with the last tender boat at 7:30). The driver pulled over on the side of the road and told us to get out and wait at a bus stop near there for a bus to come the other way and take us back to Flam. Of course, no such bus came. With less than an hour to get back to our cruise ship (and all of our possessions and necessary medications), and with absolutely NO concern or help from this company (who had dropped us off in the middle of nowhere!) we ended up having to hitchhike back to Flam (there was no internet service to locate other assistance--because middle of nowhere). We made it back to Flam with the ship still in the harbor, but were told the ship would not send a tender boat for us because it was too late; we then were told we would have to rent a private plane on our own dime to get us to the next port. When we protested that this was NOT OUR FAULT, the boat crew, who was actually really nice and helpful, put us on a RIB boat and took us out to the ship. It worked out in the end, but I cannot fathom the level of disorganization, unprofessionalism, and general disregard for safety that would allow this company to not only put us on the wrong bus (and confirm it twice), but then drop us off in the middle of nowhere and leave me and my 66 year old mother to fend for ourselves and make our way back to the cruise ship (which housed our clothes, extra money, medications, etc.). I'd avoid this company at all costs unless you're prepared to figure out for yourselves--against all instruction from the company, and with zero help--how to get back to Flam!
    View All 10 Naeroyfjord Reviews
  • Mount Dalsnibba
    We booked this tour independently, and the company (and tour guide) was fantastic. I highly recommend! Each stop (and the drive to reach them) was incredibly beautiful, and this tour managed to hit all three--the lookout over Geiranger fjord, Dalsnibba Lake, and Eagle Road. Much cheaper than the cruise ship, with fewer people and a strong itinerary.
    View All 69 Mount Dalsnibba Reviews
  • Lerwick (Shetland Islands)
    We booked a private tour with Ruth Dale of Scenic Shetland. I left a full review on their Facebook page, but to summarize, this was an absolutely perfect day. Ruth was lovely, and planned an itinerary that showed us the most lovely parts of the island, got us into places most people don't get to see (including cruise ship excursion passengers), and was prepared with tea, cookies, extra hats for the wind, etc. I highly recommend booking with this company, although do it as far in advance as possible--she books up quickly!
    View All 106 Lerwick (Shetland Islands) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Lerwick (Shetland Islands) Cruise Port Review
  • Stavanger
    We attempted to book the 'Panoramic Stavanger' cruise, but were told it was sold out. We never heard otherwise, and were never contacted about any openings. Yet when we exited our room that morning, two tickets for the excursion were tucked in our door. Good thing we were up and ready to go on time! It was poorly handled by the cruise ship, but worked out in the end. The excursion provided a great overview of Stavanger, and the viking swords monument--the highlight of the excursion--were really cool. As a tip (or plea), please be aware of your fellow travelers when taking photos at popular, photogenic spots like this. On our excursion, there was one family that stood RIGHT next to the swords for the entire stop, looking through their photos, setting up new ones, etc.--they undoubtedly were in every single other person's photographs. When you get there, please take your turn getting your photos, then move away from the attraction so other people can take lovely photos as well!
    View All 13,945 Stavanger Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Stavanger Cruise Port Review