NCL Jade to Mediterranean: The good, the bad and the ugly: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by 1gemini

Norwegian Jade 4
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NCL Jade to Mediterranean: The good, the bad and the ugly

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
The last NCL cruise we took was on the Epic in September 2010. The Jade by comparison, though not as GRAND as the EPIC was far more comfortable. Though the cabin decor is not as nice as on the EPIC, the cabin seemed more spacious and easier to maneuver around in. I guess when push comes to shove, comfort is more important than aesthetics. The beds could be more comfortable, though.

The food was a vast improvement over our previous NCL experience. I don't know if that should be attributed to the executive chef on board the Jade or if the improvement is NCL-wide. Although we did dine in two of the specialty restaurants, we could easily have been happy in the regular dining room. The menus and the food were excellent! We were part of a large group and most nights had standing reservations in the same part of the dining room. The staff that served us were excellent. Most memorable was Monika from Romania. She served us with such poise, grace and efficiency. Her customer More service went a long way to making the 2 weeks very special.

In other parts of the ship, service was not too hot, though. Some of the wait staff in the Blue Lagoon left a lot to be desired. They seemed more interested in socializing with one another than doing their jobs. Housekeeping was OK. I don't know if our steward came on board midway thru the cruise but, Victor was an absolute joy! We enjoyed his cheery greetings when we passed him in the hallway and on land.

The entertainment was varied and excellent. This is one of the reasons we return to NCL.

The shore excursions were good but pricey. It would be easy to spend as much on shore excursions as it is on the cruise itself. A few times, we ventured out on our own which was OK too. Sadly, I waited too long to try to take advantage of some of the great recommendations made on Cruise Critic. If I had planned earlier, we could have saved a bundle. Less

Published 05/22/11

Cabin review: B29134 Family Balcony

The cabin was nice. We had a nice balcony on deck 9 aft close to the middle. The bed wasn't too comfortable but that could be attributed to my age. My neighbors were a bit noisy at times but the cruise line can't enforce courtesy. (It seemed the hallways were quieter than the noise coming from my neighbor's balconies.) I simply closed my patio window. After having been on the EPIC last Sept, I have a whole new appreciation for a standard cabin. The layout is much more user friendly. The bath room is a bit cramped but at least it's private.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Took a tour of the Acropolis. Fascinating! Glad I could see it, probably won't be back unless I'm on another cruise in which case, I would just go to town and putter around.

This is where we got on. What a beautiful city! We plan to return on a land-based vacation to explore further. We arrived the day before embarking on our cruise so did not have a lot of time to explore. What we did see, we liked. Museums galore, it's like a huge shopping mall! We went to a Flamenco dinner show that was superb! It was walking distance from our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Majestic. It was nice.
Read 1727 Barcelona Reviews

Actually docked in Livorno. We were told it was a holiday and that the museums would be closed so didn't beat a path into Florence. Because Florence was a 90-minute train ride away, there wasn't a whole lot of quality time to really see FLorence. If I were to visit Florence again, it would be a land-based vacation. We would have been better off staying in Livorno and seeing some of the points of interest there.

Wow!! Not only was the port right smack dab in the middle of town, the skyline was gorgeous!! What a beautiful city!! We were there for about 2 days and loved every minute of it. You could stay as near to the ship as you wanted and still have cool mosques and palaces to explore. Transportation is wonderful. Gets you so close to everything. The Grand Bazaar was fun! I would return to this city in a heartbeat! Preferably off season and when the dollar recovers.
Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Took a tour to Ephesus to see more ruins. Interesting. Glad to have seen it, probably won't return.
Read 184 Izmir Reviews

Not a lot there. Looks almost like many of the ports in Mexico. shops, restaurants etc. Just change the merchandise design.

We took a tour to Olympia which was fascinating. I think we've seen everything we need to see there and probably won't return or if we do on another cruise, won't spend too much time on expensive tours.

Beautiful! Convenient access to the main attractions. Spent most of the day on a tour in France, though. Saw the main sites with the remaining time.

We actually docked in Piraeus. After our experience trying to get to Florence from the Livorno Port, we thought it best to bite the bullet and get on a tour into Rome. Rome is an amazing city! So much to see. So little time to see it with the amount of time in port. This would be a great city to explore on a land based trip. The short trip did whet our appetitites. In view of the time available, our tour guide managed to get the highlights in.

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Member Since 2011
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