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We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise. The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully decorated. There is a wide variety of dining venues, along with bars/lounges, spa areas, and casino. The passengers on this cruise appeared to be there for the scenery, rather than being a party crowd that you find on shorter, more tropical cruises. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. Our balcony room was comfortable, and well maintained by our attentive steward. Of note, there were quite a few outlets and charging ports in the cabin, more than most hotel rooms offer. The lighting could have been a little better. The food and service in the four specialty restaurants we dined in were outstanding. These dining areas were rarely busy. Buffet and main dining room food offered good variety, but average quality. Service in the Grand Pacific main dining room tended to be inconsistent, but better in the second dining room, the Alazar. Finding seating at the buffet, the Garden Cafe, was challenging, particularly at breakfast time. O’Sheehan’s bar and grill was overlooked and rarely busy, so offered a good alternative for breakfast. While spa services were expensive as is typical for this type of environment, the thermal spa pass was a bargain. For a flat rate, we had unlimited access to the private hot tubs and saunas in the spa. A limited number of passes are sold, so these areas are not typically crowded. This was a very worthwhile investment. Due to the climate, passengers made little use of the pool deck. As is common for cruise ships, the pools and hot tubs are too small, probably of necessity, to accommodate the demand when the weather is warm. The bars and lounges were ok. There was a nice mojito bar on the 13th deck that was rarely open and usually empty. Entertainment of varying quality was offered in most. The “Show Band” was particularly good. We did not visit the casino or attend any specialty shows, though several people commented that the shows were quite good. I don’t really understand the draw of art galleries, jewelry, and watches on cruise ships, but they tend to be a common element for some reason. The main attraction for us was the ports. We were not completely satisfied with the cruise line sponsored excursions, opting to schedule only one of them. The one that we chose, a waterfall hike in Geiranger, was excellent, however. At the remaining ports, we researched and booked excursions independently that were of more interest to us, or simply ventured out on our own. One unpleasant aspect of the cruise was the tendering process. The ship docked in three ports and was tendered at three. The latter process was a nightmare. Very small boats were used to transport passengers rather than the larger ferry-type boats that I am more accustomed to. The process necessitated passengers to line up for tendering passes the day before, and in order to get a relatively early boat, one had to spend an hour or more in line for these tickets. Guests would be lined up halfway down the length of the deck at these times. This does not make a positive impression. Fellow passengers remarked that this experience would prevent them from booking with NCL in the future. Even excursion operators commented on the ongoing inefficiency of the NCL tendering system. Cruise directors frequently reiterated the advantage of not needing tendering tickets for excursions booked through NCL, but I don’t feel that I should be extorted into booking a less interesting excursion because of the dismal tendering process.

Predominantly very good

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Jodeee

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Trip Details
We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise.

The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully decorated. There is a wide variety of dining venues, along with bars/lounges, spa areas, and casino. The passengers on this cruise appeared to be there for the scenery, rather than being a party crowd that you find on shorter, more tropical cruises. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly.

Our balcony room was comfortable, and well maintained by our attentive steward. Of note, there were quite a few outlets and charging ports in the cabin, more than most hotel rooms offer. The lighting could have been a little better.

The food and service in the four specialty restaurants we dined in were outstanding. These dining areas were rarely busy. Buffet and main dining room food offered good variety, but average quality. Service in the Grand Pacific main dining room tended to be inconsistent, but better in the second dining room, the Alazar. Finding seating at the buffet, the Garden Cafe, was challenging, particularly at breakfast time. O’Sheehan’s bar and grill was overlooked and rarely busy, so offered a good alternative for breakfast.

While spa services were expensive as is typical for this type of environment, the thermal spa pass was a bargain. For a flat rate, we had unlimited access to the private hot tubs and saunas in the spa. A limited number of passes are sold, so these areas are not typically crowded. This was a very worthwhile investment.

Due to the climate, passengers made little use of the pool deck. As is common for cruise ships, the pools and hot tubs are too small, probably of necessity, to accommodate the demand when the weather is warm.

The bars and lounges were ok. There was a nice mojito bar on the 13th deck that was rarely open and usually empty. Entertainment of varying quality was offered in most. The “Show Band” was particularly good. We did not visit the casino or attend any specialty shows, though several people commented that the shows were quite good.

I don’t really understand the draw of art galleries, jewelry, and watches on cruise ships, but they tend to be a common element for some reason.

The main attraction for us was the ports. We were not completely satisfied with the cruise line sponsored excursions, opting to schedule only one of them. The one that we chose, a waterfall hike in Geiranger, was excellent, however. At the remaining ports, we researched and booked excursions independently that were of more interest to us, or simply ventured out on our own.

One unpleasant aspect of the cruise was the tendering process. The ship docked in three ports and was tendered at three. The latter process was a nightmare. Very small boats were used to transport passengers rather than the larger ferry-type boats that I am more accustomed to. The process necessitated passengers to line up for tendering passes the day before, and in order to get a relatively early boat, one had to spend an hour or more in line for these tickets. Guests would be lined up halfway down the length of the deck at these times. This does not make a positive impression. Fellow passengers remarked that this experience would prevent them from booking with NCL in the future. Even excursion operators commented on the ongoing inefficiency of the NCL tendering system. Cruise directors frequently reiterated the advantage of not needing tendering tickets for excursions booked through NCL, but I don’t feel that I should be extorted into booking a less interesting excursion because of the dismal tendering process.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9638
Comfortable and excellent steward services. Lots of outlets and charging ports, dim lighting. Great balcony.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews