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Norwegian Jade Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,011 Reviews

Midnight Sun Cruise

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by JMHamburg

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2018
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Inside

Single traveler on '12 Days Norway And North Cape' with 'Norwegian Jade' from Hamburg. I chose this cruise to finally see the fjord landscapes and many other sights of Norway.

Embarkation - This took 2 hours in the Cruise Center Steinwerder and was one of my longest CheckIn procedures at all. Refreshment drinks and snacks were offered to countless people standing in a single line for all CheckIn counters.

Security Drill - It was done professionally and was one of my quickest drills ever. No life vests to bring with from the stateroom, it was not necessary to wear one at all. The drill was in English language with most important details in German language as well.

The Ship - An older one, but renovated in 2017, less signs of wear and tear therefore. Lounges had some charm of looking old fashioned and the pool area a little bit undecorated. Sun loungers were collected early on sunny evenings, guests were friendly evicted from them by deck staff sometimes. Deck areas were closed due to strong wind on the third sea day, while the wind speed was lower than the ship's speed, as displayed on the TV ticker with comprehensive nautical and meteorological information. Partially deck area closures also happened at other times without any recognizable reason, there may have been painting works. As many older ships, 'Norwegian Jade' has a classical promenade around the life boats. Orientation was made more simple on this ship, compared to others. The sports court above the 'Garden Café' was well audible when guests were dining, noisy banging and tramping. There was no storm during the cruise, thus the ship always sailed very stable.

Crew And Staff - They were mostly friendly and open. The stateroom steward made a good job. Spa staff used every opportunity to attract cruise guests for spa and massages. Cruise director Richard Matic made several announcements on nearly every day to invite cruise guests for events and shows.

Dining - At bars, cups and glasses were filled half with ice on the first few days, staff more and more began to ask then, whether the guest wanted ice at all. I only go to buffet restaurants, since I don't like to wait and then have a reduced choice in restaurants with service at the tables. Sometimes, especially on sea days, it was hard but not impossible to find a free table. Breakfast was available also on the open sun sail covered aft deck of the 'Garden Café', even after closure of the buffet restaurant at 10:30am. For lunch and dinner, the choice of food was a little bit limited, sometimes the offered food was just lukewarm, especially rice. There was always a very interesting theme evening with food from a particular country or region in the world. The pastries section was throughout good and there were 2 self service ice cream machines. A small selection of soft drinks, some were sugar free, as well as coffee and tea was included in the cruise fare in the morning, for lunch, in the evening and for the late snacks from self service machines. Pieces of pineapple and water melon were not peeled off, guests had to do it on their own, using knifes which usually were not really sharp. French crêpes and Italian pasta were prepared for the guests on their individual wishes just in time. There was always plenty of different meat and some fish, as well as an Asian corner, with delicious and well spiced Asian food. Labels were in English language, but very spicy food also had a note in German. Nearly everything I tried tasted good or even very good, except the sausages. 'NCL' could have loaded high quality German sausages in Hamburg, but they did not. Staff usually asked friendly before taking dishes away from the table.

The Guests - Majority of passengers were Germans of a higher average age. Other remarkable proportions were from Spain, Italy, North America, many other European countries and Middle East. Loudspeaker announcements were made in English, German and Spanish. From my observation, the ship is kid friendly, there were lots of kids and youths, and I also saw people in wheel chairs and with rollators.

Shore Excursions - This is something I usually organize on my own. Disembarkation at ports of call was nearly always without any problems, no long waiting, at tender ports, everything well organized. The ship was mostly very punctual. Guests were generally not allowed to bring beverages on board.

Entertainment - Too less time to enjoy all the offers. Usually, there were different entertainment opportunities in many venues at the same time. Music, dance, games, no reason for boredom. I missed proper information on the 3 possible midnight sun appearances on this cruise, most passengers thus may have missed the first midnight sun, which was the only good one. The passage around Nordkapp however was announced in the 'Freestyle Daily' program with quite exact times.

Shopping - A big duty free shop offered different things, from clothes to gifts, spirits and tobacco, as well as perfumes. I missed price labels on candy, chocolate and potato chip products. Special sales were offered sometimes.

Internet - Access prices were significantly higher than I knew it from other cruises, and together with the fact that in northern latitudes internet via satellite is not guaranteed or even technically impossible, I waived purchasing an internet package on this cruise. Land based LTE internet access was available most of the time, when the ship cruised in coastal areas, and in ports anyway.

Disembarkation - Elevators did not stop on the deck from where the disembarkation took place in Hamburg, for whatever reason. Cruise guests were allowed to take the baggage from the ship on their own, and so did I it without any waiting after arrival.

Thank you very much 'Norwegian Cruise Line', for this cruise on 'Norwegian Jade'!

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Cabin Review

Cabin ID 9519

My 'Interior Stateroom' #519 on deck 9 starboard side had a king size double bed with bedside tables. Ship's vibrations and engine noise were transmitted into the pillows. There was a commode with stool, a big safe for valuables, a phone and a minibar stocked with refreshment and alcoholic drinks. Storage for clothes was partially occupied with pillows, blankets and life vests. There was a socket for EU and some more for US plugs, as well as a socket at the commode for charging with an USB cable. Some very few international TV channels were offered in most important languages only, a moving map provided ship's position and plenty of other nautical and meteorological information. There was only the single main light switch next to the door, the main stateroom light could not be turned on or off at the bed for example. Night light switches were at the bed, but I could bump my head at the night light boxes mounted directly above the pillows. The boxes each also had an USB plug for charging electronic devices. There was quite annoying cigar smoke coming to the stateroom from the air condition several times for each a while every day, twice it was even exhaust fume. The stateroom was quiet, no annoying loudspeaker announcements, but they could be heard on the bow cam TV channel 24.

Bathroom with very spacious shower, gel as well as conditioner dispensers and a clothesline. The shower temperature oscillated constantly between warm and not so warm. Mirror, toilet, washbasin with soap dispenser, towels and flannels. Some toiletries were provided.

Stateroom cleaning was carried out twice a day. From my observation, balcony staterooms received a written note on the evening before the balconies would be cleaned. Security information was on the stateroom door, an air conditioner thermostat next to the bathroom door. I usually found a towel animal on the bed in the evenings, together with the 6-page and closely printed planner 'Freestyle Daily', containing all necessary information.

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