Bedbugs and Wild Kids on NCL Jade: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by redtag

Norwegian Jade 1
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Bedbugs and Wild Kids on NCL Jade

Sail Date: August 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
In hindsight it was not the best plan to vacation in Barcelona and cruise from Barcelona in August, however, we have taken previous cruises in August on Princess with no problem including one in the Mediterranean. Barcelona is a very interesting city, and I am sure easier to navigate in spring or fall. We spent 5 nights at the Meridian Hotel near Plaza Catalunya. It was just "ok" and not as deluxe as you might expect a Meridian Hotel to be. Our room was very small and overlooked the 1894 Hotel next door. However, it was fairly quiet and had a nice bathroom. The hotel dining room was very expensive and most better restaurants were a long walk or cab ride. The crowds of people on Ramblas were overwhelming, and it was difficult to get up and down the street after 10:00 a.m. We did manage to get around to the major attractions mostly by taxi as cabs are always available, and you can go most places for $10 or less. Expect to do a lot of waiting in line for major tourist attractions and More restaurants-at least in August.

We took a cab to the port about 11:30 on the day of the cruise and hundreds of people were already there even though departure was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Signing in was disorderly and we waited in line for about half an hour for our turn at the counter. We boarded the ship, found our cabin and spent some time looking around as this was our first and we discovered later ourf last on NCL. The Jade has numerous extra charge dining rooms that take up a lot of space on the ship. On this sailing the ship was full and it was very difficult to find a table in the buffet which is too small for the size of the ship. The ship seems poorly organized and difficult to navigate compared to the 3 Princess ships we've cruised on.

This particular cruise was at least half maybe two thirds Spanish people. Jade must have given them a big discount for children as there was a very large number of children running wild around the ship, pounding up and down the halls at all hours. I don't know why, but they didn't seem to be participating in ship programs for children. There was always translation of announcements and programs in 3 or 4 languages which is time consuming and annoying when it happens all day every day. We also discovered that Spanish people are not used to waiting in line. Pushing and shoving your way to the front seems to be the custom.

The third day out I discovered to my horror the BEDBUG BITES! It can only be bedbugs when the bites are in certain places that are always covered during the day, and my itchy welts were exactly as described on the internet. On arrival home we emptied our bags in the garage so as not to take a chance on bringing the bugs in our house. I had read that some good hotels are having bedbug problems, but I didn't expect to encounter them on the cruise. Also, the Jade has no self-service laundries. I guess there isn't enough money in that activity.

NCL prides itself on advertising "freedom and free style" Near as I can tell that means freedom to cater to a class of people who are rude and poorly dressed. Overall the food, entertainment and ambience were very mediocre. Never again for us on NCL! Less

Published 08/25/10

Cabin review: OB5552 Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window

Our cabin was 5552 mid ship, ok window and view- noise from cabin next door and kids running down the hall. so so bed-certainly not up to first class hotel standards. Low deck meant than in some ports there are walls you can't see over from that level. Worst was BEDBUGS!

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Port and Shore Excursions

Barcelona is a beautiful city. We toured the major sites on our own prior to the cruise. I highly recommend it, but not in August as described in my review.

Read 1729 Barcelona Reviews

I am giving this a 3 because there is no listing for Livorno or Pisa. Most people go to Florence from Livorno, but we opted to go to Pisa since we had been to Florence previously. We took a taxi to the Central Station in Livorno-quite a distance and about 20 Euros. We then got the train about 15 minutes and 3 or 4 Euros to Pisa. Because we didn't know how to get the bus we walked several blocks to the Field of Miracles and the Leaning Tower. It was so crowded we were unable to go inside any of the buildings. We took a few photos and got the bus back to the station. Pisa except for the Field of Miracles seems to be a very unattractive ill kept town.

In Monaco we opted to take the ship tour to EZE and along the middle Corniche. It was about 4 hours and well worth it for the views along the coast. I would recommend taking that tour or a similar one. In the afternoon we walked up to the palace and town of Monte Carlo. In the cruise terminal we asked for directions to the escalator up to the town and were unable to find it. We later discovered that the escalator is not well marked and is inside a parking garage under the old town. So, we walked up many flights of steps unnecessarily. Keep to the left around the base of the rock above the cruise ship terminal in order to find the well hidden escalator. Monaco is beautiful and it was interesting to see all of the yachts, the palace and the casino.

Naples itself deserves a 0 in my book. It's dirty, unfriendly, crowded and dangerous. We had previously done a bus tour of Naples and so opted to go to Sorrento on the ship tour. Sorrento is very nice and I would like to go back for a longer visit. Sorrento is very tourist friendly, has beautiful views and interesting shopping.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

Palma is larger than I expected-a big city. We took the ship shuttle $10 each to town as the ship was moored quite a distance from the center of town. We walked from the drop off point to the cathedral and then walked around town, had some coffee at Cappucino-very pleasant. Palma is very attractive, however, I think we should have taken a tour in order to see more of the area. I would recommend taking a ship tour or the hop on hop off bus as it's too far to walk between the major sites.

Again, this is not about Rome because Civitavecchia is the port for Rome. We had been to Rome and opted to stay in Civitavecchia. We took a shuttle to the Roman Baths-about 10 minutes away from town-interesting and apparently seldom visited. Later we walked along the waterfront which is being reconstructed to be very attractive and pedestrian friendly.

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