Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by ScrapHappy44
- Sail Date: August 2018
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We arrived at the Steinwerder cruise terminal around 1pm, and apparently, so did everyone else! It was a crazy scene. Fortunately, we had booked through the casino and they had a dedicated check-in desk. That saved us a ton of time. We boarded quickly and enjoyed lunch in the Grand Pacific dining room. Thanks to advice from Cruise Critic members, we always start our cruises with lunch in the dining room and avoid the chaos of the buffet.
Our cabin was ready by 2pm and we found it to be very comfortable. Plenty of outlets to charge phones and batteries. Plenty of hangers in the closet. Nice balcony. We were mid-ship but back a bit, deck 10, which turned out to be the perfect location. We could use the stairs and avoid the elevators during peak times.
The food, overall, was ok. I'm not a meat eater, so I always chose the fish option. I found the fish entrees to be excellent. My husband and friends always chose a steak option and were often disappointed with the quality of the meat. The buffet for breakfast was ok. Not great, not bad. Just eh. One of the best perks of the cruise was the Ultimate Beverage Package! It included soft drinks and alcoholic drinks $15 and under. No specialty coffees. We could use it any time, anywhere. It was easy to use and I paid a one-time tip fee of $99 for each of us. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants and found the Alizar restaurant to be boring and dark. We stuck with the Grand Pacific dining room for dinner. We did try O'Sheehans for lunch one day. It was ok. Seems like a large portion of the ship is taken up by this restaurant that isn't really all that.
Our first and last day was a sea day. In between, we stopped at Alesund, Geiranger, Olden and Bergen. All beautiful stops and very enjoyable. This was our first time on NCL and they seemed to do excursions better than RCI or Princess. It was organized and smooth.
Disembarkation was extremely easy. We just walked off with our luggage after breakfast and it took all of 10 minutes. We docked at Altona, a different cruise terminal than where we left from the week before. There were plenty of taxis and we found one easily for our 2 mile drive to the Altona train station.
We have done a few cruises, 3 on Princess and 2 on RCI. This was our first NCI cruise. It was a good trip and we had a great time, but it did seem to lack the enthusiasm or professionalism of Princess. Not sure what the difference was, but we noticed something. I would sail NCI again, but only for the itinerary, not the ship.
I would say the pros of the cruise were....nice ship & crew, nice cabin, easy to get around the ship, good excursions, no wait for dinner. We greatly enjoyed eating breakfast outside every morning at the back of the Garden Cafe. The cons....no self laundry room on board. Only option is to send it out. The buffet was ok, not very appealing. We never met our room steward. I didn't think that was possible. He never introduced himself. NEVER. No complaints with the room care. I just read so many stories about how the room steward adds to the cruise experience.
One major complaint, and this has nothing to do with NCI, but there were many large groups on this cruise. So many kids that were rude, pushy, loud, running up and down the hallways, jumping on chairs, strollers that were just left anywhere, blocking walking paths. It did take away a little enjoyment of the cruise. They would plow into the elevators, not giving you a chance to get off first.
I highly recommend Norway as a cruise destination. Beautiful country and very nice people!
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