I chose this cruise for our sisters cruise. My sister had been on the Jade last year to Cuba. I had wanted to go to Cuba, but my husband wanted to wait until the port is improved. The port is a problem because they have only one slip ... Read More
I chose this cruise for our sisters cruise. My sister had been on the Jade last year to Cuba. I had wanted to go to Cuba, but my husband wanted to wait until the port is improved. The port is a problem because they have only one slip that will accommodate a cruise ship. We were supposed to have two days in Cuba ,but we ended up leaving at 2:00. We learned from the hotel manager that their next cruise to Cuba was only getting one day in Cuba. They have to leave at 6 in the morning. I was very pleased with the Jade staff. They are so friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward was From India, but I can't remember his name. When we would leave our cabin, he would suddenly pop out of nowhere and greet us by name. I didn't go to any of their shows. There was nothing that interested me. I did play black jack in the casinos. I know the basics of blackjack, but I usually depend on my husband to tell me when to split and double. All the dealers were so helpful. I would ask them what should I do. All were wonderful except for one female dealer. She told me to do what I thought best. Needless to say I didn't tip them. I didn't take any of Norwegian tours. They were way overpriced!! I got went another couple I met on Cruise Critic's roll call. We split the cost of a private tour through Havana Journeys . It was excellent! Our guide was Eileen. I can't remember out driver's name, but he was a nurse at a local hospital. We paid $120 for six hours which we split 4 ways. We were going to start with a walking tour of old Havana. I felt faint immediately. I have a hard time walking. I had my sister run up to where the others were and pay our share of the tour, because their was no way I could walk all over Old Havana. We started walking back to the ship. We had not gotten very far, when the guide came running up to me. ( Now mine you, she already had our money). She said "I cannot bear that you came all this way and you don't get to see my beautiful country". She said we could do the driving tour first and wait until the end and do the walking tour at the end with the other couple. That was above and beyond. They did the tour around what we wanted to do. I wanted to buy a Cuban cigar, so she took us to a cigar store. She guided me in what cigar to buy. The people there only make $20 a month. Our driver who was a nurse says he only made $20 a month. They live in a house with there extended family's. There education is free, but you do have to pay it back. The men can pay it back by serving in the Army, but females can't. Most of the toilets do not have seats on them. They don't have toilet paper or soap. I brought soap and shampoo to give away. I also brought mini snickers to give away. You can't imagine how their eyes lit up when they saw the candy. I gave the driver two pieces and he said he was saving one for his girlfriend. Our guides were so proud of their country even though they have basically nothing.
Back to our cruise-- due to rough seas we were not allowed to tender to Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas- which was fine with me. I like days at Sea better. They refunded us the cost of the tender. One thing I was very upset about was my spicy Bloody Mary. I like one ever morning, but I am not a bar tender. I do not know how to make it spicy! I went to the bar at the back of the buffet. I asked for it spicy and they told me I had to make it spicy myself. Mine you, they had no worchire sauce or hot sauce for me to make it myself. I was also upset that they didn't have an O'Sheehan's Restaurant on board. But I still had a wonderful time. If you don't have a good time on a cruise it is your fault!
Oh, I forgot to mention our cabin was the smallest cabin, I have ever cruised in. Read Less