What a fabulous way to spend a week!: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by April7901

Norwegian Jade 5
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What a fabulous way to spend a week!

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
I traveled on a 7-day Western Mediterranean on the Jade, out of Barcelona. Ports were Monte Carlo, Livorno (Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, and Palma de Mallorca.

The Jade was a lovely ship. Admittedly, I did not spend significant time investigating details and running around the ship. To be honest, by the time we were finished with port days, we were way too exhausted to do much of anything!

There were three adult women in an aft BA. It was *tight* with the third bed (sofa bed) made up - but we more than managed. We certainly didn't spend enough time in our cabin to be horribly inconvenienced. The balcony was a wonderful addition, though I probably would not opt for a balcony on such a port-intensive trip again.

We went to several of the shows - the opening night, the 60's revue, Elements, and what was advertised as "Spanish ballet" - but I saw nothing resembling ballet. The shows were good - I actually recognized one of the dancers from my More previous cruise on the Sky!

Food was pretty good. I'm super picky, and I was always able to find something to eat. We did Papa's Italian Kitchen one night, and Cagney's one night. we did Alizar a few times, and Grand Pacific one time. We ate in the buffet one night, and did lunch at Blue Lagoon. Had drinks at many of the bars, and all were pretty good.

Our cruise director, Gary, was just enthusiastic enough without being obnoxious. I barely noticed the announcements, and he was always very pleasant.

I did purchase the spa pass for the week ($99). It was absolutely, totally 100% worth it for me. There was nothing quite like coming in after a long day of walking, and going straight to the spa for an uninterrupted hour of bliss between the ladies only whirlpool, thalassotherapy pool, and relaxing in the lounge with a hot cup of tea. I probably would not do the spa pass on a less intense cruise, though.

I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, and purchased my Cruise Reward to start planning the next! Less

Published 11/29/10

Cabin review: B18134 Aft-Facing Balcony

Our cabin would have been perfect for two. With three, it was tight - but we knew that going in. The balcony was wonderful - sheltered enough from the noises above, no soot issues. It was cozy and comfortable.

Read All Aft-Facing Balcony (B1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We chose to do Barcelona on our own. We stopped by La Sagrada Familia, choosing not go to inside. Though I'd heard wonderful things about it, we were pretty jet lagged and tired, and knew we had a long week ahead of us.

The Magic Fountains were under construction - which we did not learn until we were standing in front of them :(

We did make time to go and take a tour of Palau de la Musica, which was absolutely stunning. What an amazing concert hall - and if you go, do make sure to save a few minutes to have a pastry at their cafe. The chocolate-filled pastry is among the best I've ever had!

We stayed at Hotel Continental on Las Ramblas, both pre and post cruise. Pre-cruise, our room was tiny and right off the lobby / breakfast room. We did have a balcony on the Ramblas, but it was annoying. Be prepared to leave your key at the front desk when you leave (as I had done this in London ten years ago, it did not strike me as all that strange), and a slightly wonky elevator.

Post-cruise, we were on the 2nd floor, and the room was much nicer, though decorated in the same pink and plastic :)

We had intended to go to Montserrat, but the weather forecast was rather uncertain. As it turned out, there was a transportation strike that day of the funicular and the cable car, thus we wouldn't have been able to go anyway!

Instead, we enjoyed the bustle of a city buzzing with the Pope's presence, and wandered around Placa Catalunya. We discovered a wonderful crafts market along the street just one block east of the Ramblas, just south of the Placa. So, if you walk up the Ramblas to Placa Catalunya, turn right at the Placa, walk past the Hard Rock, at the next street - turn right. At least on Sunday mornings, there's a line of small stalls, filled with crafters selling their products. We found some wonderful handmade purses, jewelry, and etched glass.

Read 1729 Barcelona Reviews

In Livorno (Florence), we chose to use Rome in Limo for our tour, and spent a lovely day with Alberto. We stopped in Pisa for a brief walk through, and then on to Florence.

So many sights, so little time - but we are confident we saw much more than we ever could have on a large bus tour. Well worth the money.

It poured down rain for most of our day in Monte Carlo, so I'm afraid I can't give it a proper review.

We did an NCL-sponsored excursion, which took us on a bus tour along the F1 circuit, and into (past) Eze and Nice. We had lovely views, but I could have done without the stop at the perfume factory.

Very bus-intensive.

We got back to the ship, intending to explore Monte-Carlo in the afternoon on our own. With all the rain, though, I opted to stay on the ship.

Once again, we spent the day with Rome in Limo, and Stefano. They provided us with a mini-van, even though there were only three of us, in order for us to enjoy the views along the Amalfi Drive.

This was probably my favorite port. The Amalfi coast is absolutely stunning, and the "only" thing to do is simply enjoy the beauty. We also spent time in Pompeii.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

We did an NCL excursion in the morning, which took us on a bus through the mountains before heading to an old mansion, now set up as a museum. We drove back through more mountains and back to the port. The views were lovely.

We then wandered around Palma a bit on our own before walking back to the ship.

Again we chose to spend our day with Rome in Limo, and spent a wonderful day with Nicola.

He took us through all the main sights in Rome, and though there's no possible way to cover Rome in a day, we were quite pleased with everything we were able to see.

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