Needed time to unwind after Jade: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Parsifal

Norwegian Jade 4
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Needed time to unwind after Jade

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
I shall try and make this as neutral as possible.

This cruise was booked by my Aunt as a gift for me, in order to help me recuperate from some medical treatments.

My Aunt cruises for about 6 month continuous through the year and I go on at least 1 cruise or transatlantic crossing every year.

As a General Manager of Hotels for some 20 years, I tend to not be over critical, but try to 'switch off' and relax when in other hospitality establishments.

I also like to say that it is my strong opinion that one always gets what one pays for.

Our Inside Stateroom 9559 was immaculate and perfectly clean and comfortable, I also like to note that the Shower room was one of the most spacious I have seen (for this type of category). By the time we reached our room at 3pm our luggage was in our room. Our Steward Jose and his team were polite and very efficient. And our room was made up and turned down at convenient times at all times.

I also More found that all the public areas where spotless clean throughout the cruise.

Immediately after embarking we purchased a soda card each, as well as a premium Wine and Champagne package, we also paid for a bar set up in our state room. We went to the SPA and booked several treatments for the entire cruise.

We also booked the speciality restaurants Cagney's, Le Bistro and Papa's Italian.

Having done all this, we did get extremely annoyed with the constant HARD SELL (being approached by staff sometimes several times a day and even by the same person) to book restaurants, whilst either having breakfast or whilst relaxing/reading on deck.

What I found even more disturbing was the treatment (looks) the bar staff gave one when asking to get a soda or refill. (I have since written a letter to NCL, advising them to retrain their staff, to understand that if a passenger buys a soda package or wine package they have already paid the service charge.

I have also received confirmation of this from NCL head office).

Dining: We have visited the main dining room Grand Pacific on Boarding Day for lunch and thought that the food was wonderful and the service friendly and efficient. However at other times we were rather surprised at the foods taste, preparation and the time of service/ staff attention. We also noticed that it was rather loud and very disturbing 'background noise' i.e. staff running with glass/crockery and linens.

The speciality Restaurants: Papa's the food was simply divine especially their Beef Carpaccio and their Entrecote (melt in the mouth!).

Le Bistro also very delectable dishes.

Cagney's, very enjoyable and the service wonderful.

What surprised me most of all was the Garden Cafe, the food and choice served there was by far superior than that served in the main dining rooms. As I am an early riser, I found the Breakfast simply delightful, from French Toast to Eggs Benedict, Fruit etc... all sublime. But don't come late as it will be very crowded. The same for lunch and dinner.

Entertainment: I only visited one show 'SHOUT', which I personally enjoyed, however I was shocked to see children sitting in the auditorium and was rather shocked as the show uses a lot of sexual and drug references (this is a show about 60's London). I overheard several American families the next day saying how shocked they were.

I understand that there is now a Parental advise in place.My Aunt visited all the other shows and enjoyed them very much.

All in all, we did enjoy the cruise, with a few problems, however theses have been resolved by head office and I will be back on Jade very soon! Less

Published 12/30/10

Cabin review: IB9559 Mid-Ship Inside

This was only my second inside cabin ever and to my great surprise I found it very spacious. Enough storage space for two light travellers, with hanging space and drawers, a dressing/writing table with mirror. Electric outlets for USA appliances and Continental Plugs but NO UK electric outlets. Generous sized Shower/Wetroom with Sink and Toilet.Beds can be turned into 1 Double or 2 singles.

Read All Mid-Ship Inside (IB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Monaco is one of the easiest ports of call for the independent minded traveller. Once the ship has docked, simply walk of into the reception terminal where free welcome packs from the Monte Carlo Maritime society are handed out (the packs contain a map of Monte Carlo and all visitors attractions as well as some discount vouchers for various places). From the port one can walk through the Monte Carlo Yacht Club and is immediately in the town centre for the Casino, Shopping etc. There are regular buses running between Monaco and Nice and it is well worth taking the ride along the Cote d'azur.

Naples Port is very easy, simply walk off the ship and you can either go straight into Naples, or take taxi to the train station to go to Pompeii. We had chosen to take the Speed Boat from Naples harbour (the ferry terminal is directly next to the port) to Capri. If you do go to Capri, make sure to check when the last speed boat goes back, again DON'T leave it to the last one! Also beware in Naples Harbour there are many beggars, and an assortment of street vendors that run after you with their assortment of sunglasses,bags,jewellery. My advise is to stick with other people from the ship until you are away from the port.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

Palma de Mallorca is easy to explore on your own. Use the shuttle bus which will drop and collect you from just opposite the Cathedral. Walk through the old town, visit the cathedral, enjoy some delicious pastries. Very clean and easy.

As with most ports in Italy, walking is not permitted within the ports, so one must use the shuttle bus. Unfortunately NCL makes do with only one shuttle bus (friends of mine where in port with celebrity cruises on the same day and they had 3 shuttle buses running), so do be prepared to queue. Once the shuttle has dropped you off at the harbour gates, simply walk to the train station which is approx. 5 minutes walk. Purchase a B.I.R.G ticket to Rome, which also includes the Rome Metro system. I took the train to San Pietro, from there it is a 5 minute walk to St.Peters Square and the Vatican. Tip: Pre book ticket online for Vatican Museum if you want to see the Sistine Chapel, but do St.Peters Basilica (free of charge) first thing in the morning as the queues will be very long later on in the day! Make sure you know what time the train goes back from the train station to Civitavecchia and do NOT take the last train as it can a.)be late or not running or b.) be too crowded.

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