Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by DavidC
- Sail Date: December 2011
- Destination: Canary Islands
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Porthole Window
NCL is not Norwegian but American and the currency on board is American Dollars. There is a Bureau de Change on Board but there is a charge of 10$ per transaction plus an unfavourable exchange rate.
There are a number of restaurants but all except 4 have cover charges ranging from 10$ to 25$.
Of the 4 without cover charge 3 are waiter serviced. In all three the waiters are very obliging and attentive. Unfortunately the chefs seem to be unable to cook anything properly apart from Rib eye steak - everything else seems to be overcooked or otherwise poorly prepared/ kept before service. Additionally the menu was unchanging from week to week. (There were specialities introduced each night but they were unappealing).
The Garden Cafe - a self service restaurant - was generally very good with a different roast every day plus stations for freshly prepared Stir Fry or Grill although even there they had problems keeping the food hot.
The management philosophy appears to be to get the punters on board and then use every trick in the book to fleece them. The hard sell was evident everywhere.
Water was 5$ a bottle (plus a 15% service charge), beer 5.45$/12 fl.oz. bottle (plus 15% service charge) and the cheapest (house) wine 22$/bottle (plus 15% service charge)
Additionally there was a 12$/day/person service charge just for being aboard.
Coffee was free but any variation (eg cappuccino or latte) was extra.
Bags were Xrayed each time you left or boarded the ship to ensure the you did not smuggle aboard anything that might affect profits (e.g. Wine).
There was a "duty free" shop on board but the prices were not low and additionally you could only reserve alcohol to be kept until departure.
Shore excursions were vastly overpriced. A taxi was often much cheaper.
At the end of the voyage they couldn't get us off the ship quickly enough. We were bussed to the airport with over 2 hours to wait before check in commenced.
In conclusion I cannot recommend NCL to anyone other than an American to whom these charges might seem reasonable.
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