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We recently sailed on the Norwegian Jade from Southampton to the North Cape, leaving June 17. We enjoyed it, especially the opportunity to explore Northern Norway, a land of magnificent scenery, charming villages and interesting history. Here are some of the things we liked the most, compared to other cruises we’ve been on: 1. The roomy bathroom. Compared to other cruise ships, this was almost a regular bathroom. If you drop the soap in the shower you can pick it up without getting out of the shower. This may not seem like a big deal but compared to the torturously small bathrooms on other ships this seemed luxurious. 2. The big theater. There was plenty of room and lots of good seats. We could show up just before the show and get good seats together with no problem. On Princess we always had to waste an hour each evening holding seats in the theater. 3. The European style coffee machine in the buffet. This machine individually grinds and brews a nice cup of crema-topped Americano any time you want it, and it’s complimentary. 4. The bonus of four dinners at the specialty restaurants. These restaurants were very beautiful, with lovely service and excellent food (except for the lasagna at La Cucina). We enjoyed the opportunity to try our favorites, which normally would have been a splurge. Here are some of the things that were disappointing: 1. No lectures or anything else related to our destination. Last year we took a Princess cruise around South America and they had local performers, including a pair of terrific tango dancers who gave lessons, knowledgeable lectures about each upcoming port (with no mention of ship’s tours or shopping) and naturalist narration when cruising straits or glacial areas. We were looking forward to something similar or better from Norwegian Cruise Lines on their own home turf. There were none of these. Even the gift shop was oblivious to where we were, selling flip-flops, tank tops and Caribbean souvenir cups to people going to the frozen north. The only acknowledgement of where we were was a hokey “ceremony” for crossing the Arctic Circle, which happened several hours before we actually crossed. 2. Flakey service. Much of the service was very nice and professional, but too often it was inexcusably messed up. We got off to a bad start when we first boarded, eager for a nice lunch in the main dining room. An employee greeted us but could not tell us how to get to the restaurant. He eventually found it on a map and told us it was on the 6th floor. He did not tell us that we could get to it only from the 7th. We found it eventually and ordered lunch. I ordered a second starter as my main. They brought both first courses, then my second course, but they never brought my husband’s second course. This type of thing happened other times. Often three of us would be served their main course, but that of the fourth person would only come much later. 3. Spend! Spend! Spend! There seemed to be too much emphasis on selling to us. The tour of the ship emphasized things that cost money. The port lecture just described the ship’s tours (nothing we didn’t already know from the website). There were interminable announcements over the public-address system. I stopped opening the door to listen to them, because they always seemed to be about Bingo, or something on sale in the gift shop, or how we could save $500 on our next cruise. The raffle at the theater brought to mind a struggling non-profit desperate to raise a little cash. 4. No electricity at bedside or, in fact, anywhere on that entire wall. We had to run a cord across the room (and cover it with a bath towel to avoid a trip hazard) for my husband’s CPAP machine.

We came to experience Norway, not to play Bingo

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by jandcj

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We recently sailed on the Norwegian Jade from Southampton to the North Cape, leaving June 17. We enjoyed it, especially the opportunity to explore Northern Norway, a land of magnificent scenery, charming villages and interesting history.

Here are some of the things we liked the most, compared to other cruises we’ve been on:

1. The roomy bathroom. Compared to other cruise ships, this was almost a regular bathroom. If you drop the soap in the shower you can pick it up without getting out of the shower. This may not seem like a big deal but compared to the torturously small bathrooms on other ships this seemed luxurious.

2. The big theater. There was plenty of room and lots of good seats. We could show up just before the show and get good seats together with no problem. On Princess we always had to waste an hour each evening holding seats in the theater.

3. The European style coffee machine in the buffet. This machine individually grinds and brews a nice cup of crema-topped Americano any time you want it, and it’s complimentary.

4. The bonus of four dinners at the specialty restaurants. These restaurants were very beautiful, with lovely service and excellent food (except for the lasagna at La Cucina). We enjoyed the opportunity to try our favorites, which normally would have been a splurge.

Here are some of the things that were disappointing:

1. No lectures or anything else related to our destination. Last year we took a Princess cruise around South America and they had local performers, including a pair of terrific tango dancers who gave lessons, knowledgeable lectures about each upcoming port (with no mention of ship’s tours or shopping) and naturalist narration when cruising straits or glacial areas. We were looking forward to something similar or better from Norwegian Cruise Lines on their own home turf. There were none of these. Even the gift shop was oblivious to where we were, selling flip-flops, tank tops and Caribbean souvenir cups to people going to the frozen north. The only acknowledgement of where we were was a hokey “ceremony” for crossing the Arctic Circle, which happened several hours before we actually crossed.

2. Flakey service. Much of the service was very nice and professional, but too often it was inexcusably messed up. We got off to a bad start when we first boarded, eager for a nice lunch in the main dining room. An employee greeted us but could not tell us how to get to the restaurant. He eventually found it on a map and told us it was on the 6th floor. He did not tell us that we could get to it only from the 7th. We found it eventually and ordered lunch. I ordered a second starter as my main. They brought both first courses, then my second course, but they never brought my husband’s second course. This type of thing happened other times. Often three of us would be served their main course, but that of the fourth person would only come much later.

3. Spend! Spend! Spend! There seemed to be too much emphasis on selling to us. The tour of the ship emphasized things that cost money. The port lecture just described the ship’s tours (nothing we didn’t already know from the website). There were interminable announcements over the public-address system. I stopped opening the door to listen to them, because they always seemed to be about Bingo, or something on sale in the gift shop, or how we could save $500 on our next cruise. The raffle at the theater brought to mind a struggling non-profit desperate to raise a little cash.

4. No electricity at bedside or, in fact, anywhere on that entire wall. We had to run a cord across the room (and cover it with a bath towel to avoid a trip hazard) for my husband’s CPAP machine.
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