Norwegian Jade Review

Another 18 days - Dubai to Athens

Review for the Mediterranean Cruise on Norwegian Jade
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Sussex Duo
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Value for Money
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Sail Date: Feb 2023

SUMMARY

The Norwegian Jade is a nice sized ship with a good layout and a spacious theatre. The main dining rooms were well organized and quite spacious. The various specialty dining venues were even better and we enjoyed several good meals in Le Bistro, Cagney's, La Cucina and Moderna. The Teppanyaki was entertaining and we enjoyed the food there but the Jasmine (free anytime) was very mediocre.

Evening entertainment was limited and repetitive. We found little to do of interest on sea days. Service was good but charges seemed high. Most places accepted USD or credit cards. NCL excursions are now very over-priced and not very exciting, so we made our own arrangements with the locals.

Cabin Review

Our initial impressions were not great, as the cabin was the smallest we have ever had and it had limited storage space. The cabin bathrooms were small but adequate and the shower looked dated but was actually a good size.

Port Reviews

Abu Dhabi

Port is very large and the ship docked some distance from the Terminal. Took shuttle to Terminal 1 then bus 44 to the town centre using 5 trip contactless card. No information desk at the terminal, so managed to get a map from the Sofitel Hotel near the gardens. We had passed the Abu Dhabi Mall en route but did not go there. Alternative was the Hop On Hop Off bus from the port (right by the ship) which runs every 30 mins and cost 270 AED (about £65).

Aqaba (Petra)

After four more boring days at sea we finally reached Aquabar, where many passengers appeared to head off to Petra. Having been to Petra before, whilst staying in Eilat, Israel, we avoided the long journey and just took the free shuttle into Aquaba. There is not much to see or do there but some of the spice shops were interesting. The mosque, which we had not noticed previously, was closed.

Dubai

Dubai was the mid-point of our back-to-back cruises, so we had a full day there.

We decided to visit the Miracle Garden, even though it was some distance from the port. The shuttle from the port went to the Dubai Mall where we joined the Red Metro line to the Emirates Mall. Bus number 105 then took us non-stop to the Miracle Garden. The metro ticket also works on the bus and is used on entry and exit (like the train station). There is also a Butterfly Garden, with seven glass domes, which is mainly for children and is located adjacent to the Miracle Garden. The garden is large and rather Disney-like but it takes 2 to 3 hours to see everything. There is plenty of shade and pleasant places for food and drink, especially fruit juice. Entry to the Miracle Garden was 75 AED (about £17) and fares were just 20 AED return but it takes at least 1.5 hours and plenty of walking at the Mall to get there.

Haifa (Tel Aviv)

Haifa, Israel 3 *

Free shuttle to the German quarter in town but there is very little to see or do there.

The Station is close to the port, across a bridge but you are not allowed to cross the bridge. We had to return to the shuttle drop off point to get back to the ship, even though we had our passports etc. Taxis are also not allowed on the port, which was a pain because the shuttle did not run from midday until 13.30.

Gardens are on 3 levels with many steps but access is difficult. Cable car was some distance from the drop off point, and would need a taxi.

Jerusalem (Ashdod)

The free shuttle took passengers a couple of miles to a small mall in town, where local taxi drivers searched for people hoping to visit Jerusalem. Taxis from the port or even the ship's tours were a better option. There was very little else in the town and absolutely no tourist information. Jaffa old town and Tel Aviv were more local alternatives to Jerusalem.

Limassol

Bus 30 took us the 8 Km into town for 1.5 euros (5 euros for a day pass).

Limassol is a nice town but is spoilt by the graffiti everywhere. Walk along the sea front takes you past a small sculpture park. The central market is no longer there but you can get good coffee there for 3.5 euros. Cathedral and the other large churches are worth a quick visit. The castle does not look very attractive but was said to be worth a visit.

Rhodes

Ship docks right in front of the Old Town, which is very attractive. Easy to explore with a tourist office adjacent to the archeological museum. Coffee in main square is over priced because of its location. Palace of the Grand Masters is well worth a visit and good value at 4 euros.

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