Going Down Hill.............: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by patsypostbag

Norwegian Jade 3
Member Since 2010
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Overall Member Rating

Going Down Hill.............

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Canary Islands
Embarkation: Barcelona
I know you get what you pay for and this was a well discounted cruise but we went on this ship 10 months ago, in the same stateroom, and the ship has definitely gone downhill.

Embarkation was straightforward and efficient. The public areas clean and comfortable, though too much space is given to the casino (for a European market), the photo shop and jewellery store, the latter two being deserted during most parts of the day. The pool area was clean and bright and guests were valient in their attempts to sunbathe on quite cool days!. Finding a seat in the library, foyer - which was the hub of the ship - and other open areas on sea days was impossible.

Dining was dire. The food in the MDR was usually cold, stodgy, lacked flavour, often either over cooked (chicken) or under cooked (fish) and vegetables were scarce. The Freestyle dining meant waiting for 15-20 minutes every night for a table, unless you wanted to eat after nine, and even when sharing a table. This More time was not sufficient for you to "relax in a bar" over a drink, as was suggested to you. In the Garden Cafe the situation was worse and guests joked that you could get anything you wanted besides a table and chair. Tea became scarse halfway through the cruise and the coffee was ghastly. The waiting staff, who were usually friendly, were often overworked and did not have time to clear tables yet alone help guests with drinks, etc. No trays in this buffet area meant you spent ages traipsing backward and forwards in order to collect what you needed for a meal. We went to two of the speciality restaurants, the Chinese was good but the Italian was of a lower standard than an average high street restaurant. The fee paying restaurnats were mainly deserted except for the Tempenyaki, which was full each night.

The mini-suite we had was comfortable but was showing its age. However, it was dirty. On embarkation we found a jumper, stiff with age/dirt between the sofa and the door curtain; there were quavers and a CD cover under the bed. Mirrors, wood laminate and horizontal surfaces all showed finger marks and other stains. The bed had two matress toppers and was still lumpy.

The entertainment is a positive feature of this ship, however, the main shows had not changed in 10 months, nor had the quizzes, lectures, etc.

The reputation this ship/cruise line has for nickle and diming was well deserved and a main topic of conversation between guests was in relation to how they were feeling ripped off.

For us, the highlight of the cruise was the itinerary and our fellow guests, a very international mix, who were overwhelmingly charming and friendly. Less

Published 02/05/12

Cabin review: MB11122 Mini-Suite with Balcony

The mini-suite we had was comfortable but was showing its age. However, it was dirty. On embarkation we found a jumper, stiff with age/dirt between the sofa and the door curtain; there were quavers and a CD cover under the bed. Mirrors, wood laminate and horizontal surfaces all showed finger marks and other stains. The bed had two mattress toppers and was still lumpy. The pillows were lumpy. Sofas and carpets were stained and grubby. The balcony had one reclining chair and one ordinary chair and a minuscule table. Fridge and safe were standard. The TV was not flat screened and the choice of TV channels and movies were limited and dreary. The hair dryer was good and permanently wired to the vanity area by the TV, where the lighting was really poor. There was one plug and if you have computers, phone chargers, etc., it is worth thinking of bringing a two-way plug. Ample storage space and hangers. The cabin lighting wasn't good, A7C and heating were. The bathroom was fine, one of everything, and the glass enclosure on the bath was better than the plastic leg grabbing variety. Bathroom amenities were limited to a soap dispenser by the sink and a shower gel and shampoo dispenser by the bath. There was a washing line and sufficient storage space for toiletries. The cabin was serviced twice daily by a none too keen or efficient steward.

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Port and Shore Excursions

There is cheap hire car available dockside in Arrecife and a full days hire through Avis, Hertz, etc., with petrol and CDW was only 45 euros. Made the most of this and drove around all of the south of the island stopping at Stratvs Bodega for a tour and wine tasting. The wine growing process on this volcanic island is different, as are the wines, and this was a day well spent. Arrecife is small and not particularly exciting!

Funchal was delightful. Easy to walk to from the ship (15 mins)with lots to see and do wandering through the town. The HO HO bus is worth the 12 euros for a 100 minute trip.

MALAGA (not Seville). Malaga was excellent, lots to see and do in this manageable city that is walkable and interesting. Though we were there on a Sunday all the museums etc., are open - though not the shops. We planned our day taking the advice of Tripadvisor and going to the No 1 attraction in Malaga: the Museum of Glass and Crystal - a private collection of more than 300 pieces of glass arranged with furniture, pictures and decorative objects in rooms corresponding to different historical periods. The 18C house in which it is set is typically Spanish and has been lovingly restored. Our charming, erudite English guide/owner gave generously of his time to make this the highlight of our trip. The museum is a ten minute walk for the shuttle bus drop off point up past the cathedral. After this excellent morning we had a really great lunch in nearby Restuarante Vino Mio. A day to remember.

The main town of Tenerife, not so tourist friendly, so your day needs planning. Free shuttle bus to the port entrance and an easy walk to the town centre from there. A trip to Mount Teide (through toursbylocals.com) is worth arranging.
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