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As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary which particularly interested me, as Iceland has been a country I have always wanted to visit, and this seemed a cost effective way of doing so. My party arrived by train in Hamburg and stayed overnight, before boarding the following day. The queues at check-in looked horrendous, however, we were able to embark quickly as I have Latitudes status and access to a fast-track desk. Once inside, we went to have a light lunch in Grand Pacific, until the announcement was made that the cabins were ready, and our luggage was delivered shortly afterwards. Most of our meals were eaten in Grand Pacific. Whilst the food was well cooked, and service generally good, at breakfast, it was difficult just to order eggs. These came with country potatoes, whether you wanted them or not, and the piles of abandoned potatoes on people's plates were a common sight. Why it seemed so difficult to order eggs and toast and receive just eggs and toast was a mystery. Several times, we went to Garden Cafe for a snack or late lunch and found it difficult to get a table. There were a number of people who had finished eating, but were not moving on, instead, talking or playing cards. O'Sheehans seemed to be less frantic, although the pub food might not be to everyone's taste. The entertainment was the usual mixture of music, shows and silly games organised by the cruise director and his team. It would have been nice to have some information about the places we were seeing, as Iceland might very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the ports: Alesund was a delightful town. I had booked a day trip with Norwegian Excursions, and Monica, our guide, provided a excellent guided tour of the sights, including some of the small islands nearby. We had no plans for Bergen, so simply took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus from the port gate. After a circuit, we stopped off at the Fish Market for prawns and ate them overlooking the harbour. The Hanseatic Museum at Bryggen is also worth visiting to find out more about the trade in salted cod and how this was important for the economy. Shetland. A tender port and another day with no specific excursions planned. After a smooth transfer, we walked through the town and went to the Shetland Museum and Archives. This is highly recommended as it explains the development and culture of the Shetland Islands, and is free entrance. The cafe is also excellent. Reykjavik. The Jade stayed overnight in port and we visited the Golden Circle with Reykjavik Excursions. Eric the guide was very engaging and my only complaint was that it was fraught getting off the ship as 2500+ passengers all wanted to board their tour busses at the same time and our bus had not arrived. Fortunately it was all solved, but a designated bus stop would have been helpful. The second day in Reykjavik was spent visiting the city and the Hallgrimskirkja. Akureyri. This town in the north of Iceland is quite different. We had an excursion with The Travelling Viking, and saw the Godafoss waterfall and the Christmas House as well as a state of the art farm where the cows are milked electronically. The Faroe Islands did not seem to be geared up for cruise ship tourism yet. There are things to see and do, but the impression we got was that the cruise ships are just things which pass by. Once passengers are on the quayside, a bus has to drive though stacks of shipping containers, as walking out of the port on foot is not allowed. Invergordon. Wow Scotland provided our excursion and were excellent, with plenty of background information about Culloden and the other sites we visited, and lots of funny anecdotes. Sadly, the Loch Ness monster was having a siesta on this occasion. Edinburgh. Another tender port and a city which needs to be explored in more detail. The centre is quite compact, so walking is very easy. I enjoyed looking at the tartans in the shops on the Royal Mile. Overall, it was a good cruise, and I would go again, but probably not with the exact same itinerary.

Hamburg via the Arctic Circle

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Chocolate Teapot

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary which particularly interested me, as Iceland has been a country I have always wanted to visit, and this seemed a cost effective way of doing so.

My party arrived by train in Hamburg and stayed overnight, before boarding the following day. The queues at check-in looked horrendous, however, we were able to embark quickly as I have Latitudes status and access to a fast-track desk. Once inside, we went to have a light lunch in Grand Pacific, until the announcement was made that the cabins were ready, and our luggage was delivered shortly afterwards.

Most of our meals were eaten in Grand Pacific. Whilst the food was well cooked, and service generally good, at breakfast, it was difficult just to order eggs. These came with country potatoes, whether you wanted them or not, and the piles of abandoned potatoes on people's plates were a common sight. Why it seemed so difficult to order eggs and toast and receive just eggs and toast was a mystery.

Several times, we went to Garden Cafe for a snack or late lunch and found it difficult to get a table. There were a number of people who had finished eating, but were not moving on, instead, talking or playing cards. O'Sheehans seemed to be less frantic, although the pub food might not be to everyone's taste.

The entertainment was the usual mixture of music, shows and silly games organised by the cruise director and his team. It would have been nice to have some information about the places we were seeing, as Iceland might very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Of the ports:

Alesund was a delightful town. I had booked a day trip with Norwegian Excursions, and Monica, our guide, provided a excellent guided tour of the sights, including some of the small islands nearby.

We had no plans for Bergen, so simply took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus from the port gate. After a circuit, we stopped off at the Fish Market for prawns and ate them overlooking the harbour. The Hanseatic Museum at Bryggen is also worth visiting to find out more about the trade in salted cod and how this was important for the economy.

Shetland. A tender port and another day with no specific excursions planned. After a smooth transfer, we walked through the town and went to the Shetland Museum and Archives. This is highly recommended as it explains the development and culture of the Shetland Islands, and is free entrance. The cafe is also excellent.

Reykjavik. The Jade stayed overnight in port and we visited the Golden Circle with Reykjavik Excursions. Eric the guide was very engaging and my only complaint was that it was fraught getting off the ship as 2500+ passengers all wanted to board their tour busses at the same time and our bus had not arrived. Fortunately it was all solved, but a designated bus stop would have been helpful. The second day in Reykjavik was spent visiting the city and the Hallgrimskirkja.

Akureyri. This town in the north of Iceland is quite different. We had an excursion with The Travelling Viking, and saw the Godafoss waterfall and the Christmas House as well as a state of the art farm where the cows are milked electronically.

The Faroe Islands did not seem to be geared up for cruise ship tourism yet. There are things to see and do, but the impression we got was that the cruise ships are just things which pass by. Once passengers are on the quayside, a bus has to drive though stacks of shipping containers, as walking out of the port on foot is not allowed.

Invergordon. Wow Scotland provided our excursion and were excellent, with plenty of background information about Culloden and the other sites we visited, and lots of funny anecdotes. Sadly, the Loch Ness monster was having a siesta on this occasion.

Edinburgh. Another tender port and a city which needs to be explored in more detail. The centre is quite compact, so walking is very easy. I enjoyed looking at the tartans in the shops on the Royal Mile.

Overall, it was a good cruise, and I would go again, but probably not with the exact same itinerary.
Chocolate Teapot’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB
As a voyage to Norway and Iceland is going to encompass incredible scenery, paying extra for a balcony is worth it, although sometimes it was too cold and windy to sit outside.

The cabin was comfortable and the bathroom excellent.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins