Great time on the Jade: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by Dipsylee

Norwegian Jade 5
Member Since 2002
148 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great time on the Jade

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
My husband and I are experienced cruisers. This is our 3rd cruise with NCL. We found the Jade to be the nicest of the NCL ships we have cruised. We arrived the day before embarkation and stayed at Le Meridien. We love Barcelona, so spent our time just walking the Gothic Quarter. The morning of the cruise was rainy, but by noon the sun was out and we had a beautiful day!

Embarkation was pretty easy, once we found the VIP check in line. We were escorted to our cabin by our butler, Caesar.

We were very happy with our cabin size. The closet was good sized, too, and accessible from both sides. The bath had a door separating the toilet area from the sink and bathtub, which was nice. A dressing area was located between the closet and bathroom, and had good storage surrounding it, plus a lighted magnifying mirror. Storage for the whole cabin was good, as was the lighting. Our balcony was nice sized, and had a lounger, small table and one other chair. We were on More the aft, port corner, deck 9. Caesar emptied our fridge for us, so we could fill it with our own soft drinks. He also saw to it that we had ice in the ice bucket almost all of the time. We also had an arrangement of fresh flowers in our cabin, which lasted a full week!

Our luggage arrived so promptly that we got busy unpacking and missed lunchtime in Cagney's that day. So we went to the Garden Cafe and had a good lunch. That night we dined in the Grand Pacific dining room. We enjoyed all of our dinners onboard the Jade. We alternated between the GP and the Alizar most nights. We actually preferred the Alizar (the menus are the same) just because it felt a little more intimate to us. Portion sizes were fine with us. By the time we got to dessert we were glad that the portions weren't any larger! Our first day at sea we met with our Cruise Critic group in Le Bistro. We had a great time putting faces with names! We had planned some shore excursions with some of our CC friends, so we set up another meeting to organize those. The Captain and other officers plus Karen, our cruise director, met with us that first day and welcomed us all aboard. At lunch that day there was a Beerfest at the Great Outdoors cafe, so we found a table there, and lunched with some of our CC friends.

Our second sea day we passed by Stromboli Island around 8:15am. It's one of the 3 active volcanoes in Italy. It was a beautiful scene, from our aft balcony! There was even a rainbow, to add to the beauty. It was chilly that day, but not raining. That morning we met with other Cruise Critics that we were going to tour Istanbul with, to firm up those plans. In the afternoon we took part in a wine tasting ($15 pp) in Le Bistro. Fun time, and met some more fun friends! That evening there was a Captain's cocktail party for suite guests. Met some new friends from Australia there. After dinner we went to the Los Locos show in the theater. From the description in the daily newsletter I was tempted to skip the show, but we were glad we didn't! These 3 guys were so wild and crazy!

As we arrived into Istanbul we were out on our balcony and had so much fun watching the dolphins following the ship!! There were dozens of them! It was so unexpected! We loved it. We left Istanbul on Monday morning, and our weather improved more and more, the further we sailed south. The show that night was a magic show. I say it was more show than magic. We were not impressed with this night's entertainment. But I will say it was the only night we were disappointed. The next day was a sea day, so we just took it easy. It was also our 2nd Dress Up or Not night. We did. The show that night was Flash & Fever. It was an old fashioned variety show, bringing back memories of some Ed Sullivan acts. Really enjoyable!

Our last day at sea the Jade had some electrical problems. Midship had the power out from 3 to 4 in the afternoon. Because of the inconvenience the Captain ordered complimentary wine for all at dinner that night, which was a very nice touch! Spent most of the afternoon packing, to have our baggage ready to set out by 10pm that night.

Disembarkation was a breeze. We met our concierge, Florentina, at Jasmine Garden at 7am and she led us off the ship, we picked up our luggage, we hopped in a cab and were at the airport by 7:30! Less

Published 04/11/11

Cabin review: SF9670 Penthouse with Large Balcony

Our cabin location was so quiet! No disturbances at all! We loved opening the balcony door during the day for the sound of the water. It was so soothing! I also loved the lighting in the cabin. There was a light down on the floor, so if you got up in the night it just lit your way, without lighting up the whole room.

Read All Penthouse with Large Balcony (SF) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Here we had set up a private tour for just the 2 of us, with George the Famous Taxi Driver of Greece. He was waiting for us as we walked out of the terminal, and he kept us on the go for the entire day. We visited the Acropolis, the Agora, saw the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Olympic Stadium. Saw the view from the highest point in Athens, and shopped in the Plaka and toured the Acropolis Museum. Had a great lunch at a small restaurant, of moussaka and veal, plus Mythos beer and a local red wine. Also stopped in a bakery across from the restaurant to buy some wonderful baklava!! By the time we arrived back at the ship we had a quick dinner and just headed back to the cabin. We were exhausted! One nice perk of being in a suite is having your concierge escort you off the ship. She let us know what time to be in Cagney's, and we were taken in a small group off ahead of the rest of the passengers.

We did a day and a half tour in Istanbul, with a group of Cruise Critic friends. It did rain all the first day (from 1pm till 6pm). If you don't have an umbrella, and need one, there will be plenty of street vendors to supply you! Our tour guide here was Fatma ACAR. She is extremely knowledgeable, and thoroughly enjoys showing you her country! We visited Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar this first day. Traffic was absolutely miserable, so I was glad we were being driven. The next day Fatma met us at 8:45am. We had a larger group for our second day. It wasn't raining, but it was colder! We started with Topkapi Palace then went to the Blue Mosque. We lunched at a restaurant called the Pudding Shop. Then some went to a rug shop near the Grand Bazaar while others of us shopped at some of the shops that were open on Sunday. We were bussed back to the ship around 4:45. The 2 of us then had plans of our own, to go on a Bosphorus Dinner Cruise. It was the highlight of Istanbul for us! Dinner was grilled onboard (beef and chicken kabobs), plus all sorts of salads, couscous, bread and fruit. Complimentary local drinks were included. (Beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks) Then there were folk dances and a belly dancer, who had all of the men up dancing with her! Afterwards passengers and crew alike were up dancing till the cruise was over. The views from the boat were absolutely beautiful. The city lights make for a wonderful cruise!
Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Got priority disembarkation again. We had another private tour set up here, to see Ephesus. We worked with Go Ephesus and were very happy with our arrangements! Oya was our guide and Errol was our driver. Our first stop was Mary's House. Oya purchased our tickets, then led us up to Mary's house and put us in the front of the line. We stopped at the springs to drink from each one for health, wealth and love. I will say I was amazed at the people with bags of bottles to fill at the springs. They kind of stopped the flow of tourists! From there we went onto Ephesus and the Terrace Houses. Again, Oya handled buying our tickets, then gave us a guided tour throughout the entire site. We stopped for lunch at an outdoor terrace, then visited a pottery factory, which was so interesting! We were back to the ship by 4:30 that day, and again we were tired out! But did make it to the comedy show that night.
Read 184 Izmir Reviews

Malta was our favorite port! We look forward to returning someday! One day was not long enough. We toured the Hypogeum, which was amazing!! But if you are interested in seeing it, make reservations far in advance! They only take 10 visitors in an hour, so you have to have reservations. We visited Mdina as well. What a beautiful city!! We walked it for over an hour, and every turn you took had another gorgeous view. Just so much charm!! We also walked Valetta for a time. We visited Sts Peter and Pauls Co-Cathedral mostly so we could see the Caravaggio's. Definitely worth the visit! This port was so easy, since everyone speaks English, and it's so clean, beautiful and interesting.

Actually we didn't go into Rome on a shore excursion. This was the only port where we booked NCL's shore excursion, and we chose the Tarquinia Biking Adventure. It was a great choice! We were a small group, only 5 plus our guide. We were bussed to Tarquinia, with another tour group, but they were dropped off at the necropolis, and we were taken a couple blocks further to pick up our bicycles and helmets. We biked through the town, uphill and down, to different scenic overlooks, a church, the city hall then the town square. We had free time there, to visit the museum or sit at a sidewalk cafe. Tarquinia is just a charming town, and so beautiful!! Then we biked on to a farm out in the countryside, where we learned about olive oil production, then had a chance to sample some of the locally produced foods. Olives, preserves, sun dried tomatoes, bruschetta, pates plus local wines. The farm had a beautiful terrace so it was a relaxing end to our bike ride! We were bussed back to Civitavecchia in time to be able to wander around there for a bit before heading back to the ship.

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Member Since 2002
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