Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by mrandmrsmevy
- Sail Date: October 2011
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
At the lifeboat drill I was quite disturbed when I saw a passenger carrying a small dog. I was actually shocked. I was unaware that Norwegian or any other cruise line for that matter, had started allowing pets on board. From talking to other passengers I think there were at least 3 dogs on the ship. I am very allergic to dogs and was glad that the only time I saw the dog was at the lifeboat drill. Where did it go to the bathroom? Even after a thorough cleaning, if there had been a dog in my cabin prior to this sailing I would have known it in a second and that would have made my cruise more than miserable.
The Stardust theater entertainment and the band Ocean Vibe were very good. The rest of on board activities were, well just let me say lame for the most part. The "Dancing with the Jade Stars" and Karaoke contest male host was, for lack of a better description, kind of creepy. The activities themselves could have been done much, much better. There didn't seem to be any activities by the pool area that I can remember other than Ocean Vibe, which as I mentioned before were very good.
I feel that there should be a place for adults to go without having to worry about kids after a certain hour. The Spinnaker Lounge should be like this but is not. There were children there until all hours of the night and I did not feel as though this is an appropriate place for kids under 18 at minimum after 9 or 10PM. Late at night, some of the crew freely mingled with the passengers in this lounge as well which I felt was odd.
As far as communication, I found out after having my laundry done paying $93.00 that if you fill the bag, the crew will do your laundry for $25.00. This should be told to passengers clearly in the beginning, not 3 days out. I found out that I needed funds, where you can only get American funds from the ATM, on a morning in port when I found out to get the money I had to get it from the casino cashier. The casino was closed so I was unable to get the funds I needed. Fortunately I had enough on my credit card to get Euros from the front desk on my ship account. I never did get the funds from the casino and am disputing the transaction currently with my credit card company.
The food on the ship was excellent. I had no problems with the waiter/waitress staff and enjoyed the freestyle dinner idea. We did not use any of the "pay for" places as we were very happy with the food we had. The hamburgers were the best on any ship I have been on to this point. I was a little disappointed that there was not a "midnight buffet" during the entire cruise. This has always been one of the things I look forward to.
The cleanliness of the ship was excellent. There were people all over spraying sanitizer on passengers hands before entering any of the places where food was served. Thank you for that as I did see some ill passengers and we did not get sick.
Thank you Rodney for the most excellent beer tasting activity. You are knowledgeable and picked out some very good beers, we had a blast.
We did not use Norwegian for any of the port of call tours as they were just too expensive. I booked tours with outside companies prior and got 3 times the activities without been rushed or "herded" at a fraction of the cost. I still got back to the ship in plenty of time with every activity I did.
Overall the cruise was a good value and the ports of call were amazing, we even got to see Stromboli erupting as we passed by. What a sight. I do not however feel as though I would use Norwegian Cruise line again. I have not used Norwegian since the mid 90's when I went on 2 cruises and found that they were much better than this cruise.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
AlexandriaFor this port we used Memphis Tours and did an overnight in Cairo. Our guide was Tarek and we had the time of our lives. We felt very safe with Tarek as he was a former Egyptian bodybuilding champion. He is very knowledgeable and always protected us from being harassed by vendors. He introduced us to a trusted vendor where we negotiated a fair price for pictures with camels by the Pyramids ahead of time and did not worry about losing our camera or get overcharged to get off the camel.View All 120 Alexandria Cruise Port Reviews
After this we went to the Sphynx and then to the step Pyramid. We also went to a small restaurant for lunch where the food was out of this world. He took us to trusted shops for souvenirs where we were not pressured at all and the prices were more than fair. The Nile dinner cruise was OK but not what I expected.
We stayed at the LeMeridian Hotel in Cairo which was incredible. The next day we went to the museum and again we felt very safe and were not rushed at all. After an amazing lunch on the banks of the Nile river we wen back to the ship.
Our driver was Ahmed and I can not thank him enough for the great driving. For those reading this that have never been in Egypt, a great driver is as important as a great guide trust me. Thank you again Tarek and Ahmed we will never forget you.
View Cruise Critic's Alexandria Cruise Port Review
Athens (Piraeus)Before Athens we went to Olympia, however it is not listed as a port of call. so this review is for ports 1 and 2. We used Athens Taxi for our tours and booked them ahead of time. We used Athens Taxi for both days and got a very good deal. Having this tour gave as a more intimate experience and our drivers Nick and John were the best.View All 1,108 Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Reviews
We saw a 13th century Turkish castle before anyone got there, got a private tour at a small winery, Nick gave us his wife's home made Baklava (WOW), we even got to tour a WW1 Greek battleship and see a replica of an ancient Greek warship. The restaurants we went to were small, intimate with just the right atmosphere we were looking for. Plus the food was unbelievable. Thank you John and Nick for memories we will never forget.
View Cruise Critic's Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Review
IzmirFor this tour we used Ephesus tours. Our guide was Banu Akin. She was very knowledgeable and we were never rushed. For those reading this make sure no matter what company you use to do the "Terrace Houses" at Ephesus. This is not to be missed, they are the homes of the super rich of the day with indoor hot and cold running water, saunas, and even an indoor bathroom. A must see trust me it is worth the extra couple of bucks.View All 184 Izmir Cruise Port Reviews
Lunch was at an outside restaurant where the food was out of this world. Watching how rugs were made was amazing even though we did feel a little pressured to buy a rug. We did buy a small one which is OK as it is unbelievable and we did get a good deal. We don't go on vacation to just buy the Chinese made tourist crap.
We also got to see a fashion show for leather coats, which is something I never thought I would enjoy. The place we went for that that had incredible leather coats and jackets at a good price but we were not pressured into buying anything. Thank you Banu for a great tour.
View Cruise Critic's Izmir Cruise Port Review
Rome (Civitavecchia)We stayed in Rome for 3 days after the cruise and pretty much did things on our own. We did use Dark Rome tours for a tour before we left. We went to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius which was a great time. Our guide was Ashley and she did a great job. 1 other tour I did with Dark Rome did not work out as well.View All 1,883 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
We stayed at the Hilton Rome Airport for 2 nights prior to our cruise and Sheraton Roma for 2 nights after. Both hotels were nice but the Hilton was a bit far from downtown.
Rome was, well what can you say incredible. Be prepared for a lot of walking but you can see everything in a couple of days as long as you don't want to go into the Sistine Chapel. You will need 1 day just for that, the lines are very long.
View Cruise Critic's Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Review