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

Nice Ship, Fun Times, Not the Best Itinerary

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by MJCos

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

We traveled with a large group so, you can be sure we had a good time. The ship was quite nice and a perfect size--not too big. The staff was great--especially Diamond in the Bliss Lounge, Sandra in the piano bar, and of course our steward, Asep. Everyone working onboard was friendly, hard working, and attentive. The specialty restaurants were great-Teppanyaki, Cagney's, La Cucina, and Moderno (Teppanyaki the best) and dining in Alizar and the Grand Pacific were also very nice. The Garden Cafe always had a variety of offerings if you wanted to eat quickly but, finding seating was not always easy. The other dining areas around the ship were also very good. It was never difficult to find something delicious to eat, or drink either. We enjoyed the piano player, Toze, and the guitar player, David, enjoyed listening to their music, singing, and dancing-while it lasted. Sometimes it ended too early, stopping for a game show or some other activity which resulted in lots of people leaving with no where else to go to dance. We didn't go to any of the shows in the Stardust Theatre after the first night so I can't say anything about them. The ports of call were not the greatest. We did private tours in Cartagena and Costa Maya and they were our best excursions. Harvest Cay was nice and we enjoyed spending a relaxing day on a beautiful beach. The private beach in Roatan was okay and the animal refuge there was interesting. Our excursions, with not a lot to choose from, in Colon and Limon were fair at best and certainly not worth the price. It would have been far more interesting staying on the ship in Colon and going back through the canal to see what we couldn't see going through the first time. Limon was too much the same as Colon. Both of these cities were so run down and poverty stricken, that it was difficult and depressing driving through them to get to where we were going. I think my favorite days were our five days at sea. Disembarkation was easier than on any other cruise we have been on which made for a pleasant ending to an enjoyable vacation.

MJCos's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11550

Our cabin was wonderful! It was very spacious with plenty of closet space/nooks and crannies to put everything in our very over-packed luggage with room to spare. A full tub in the bathroom was a nice surprise. The location on the 11th floor was perfect with just one level up to the pool deck and the Garden Cafe. The only down side came around 5:30 in the morning when the lounge chairs were unstacked and placed along the pool deck--it got a bit noisy. Even still, I would highly recommend this location. The balcony was large and made for a nice quiet spot to retreat to when we wanted some down time.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Colon (Cristobal)

Eco cruise was okay at best. The Gatun Locks a little more interesting with an informative film and viewing area.

Cartagena (Colombia)

Great tour and excellent guide through the city!


Stayed at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami Hotel which was great with shuttles to the ship for a small fee. We ate dinner at a local restaurant, Sparky's Roadside BBQ, and it was delicious. It's very small and a bit slow--make a reservation if you have a large group and enjoy!

The rainforest walk was okay--not too informative, walking along a boardwalk type path. Searched for animals in the trees on the canal cruise and we did see them but not too exciting. The countryside tour was really just a drive back to the ship stopping by a roadside gift shop.

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This was okay. I would recommend doing some of the guided tours on the island.

The best excursion of our trip! The ride to the Chacchoben Ruins was made quite informative by Eliot. At the ruins, we were met by Edder, who was an excellent knowledgable guide. Our next guide, Maria, taught us some Mayan words and shares some interesting facts about the Mayan way of life as we traveled to a Chacchoben village. There we visited a local Mayan family's home where we enjoyed a delicious Mayan lunch and toured the lovely gardens. Fantastic day!!

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