47 Norwegian Jade Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for the itinerary First time cruise with NCL and likely the last -cruised withanother line for 5 previous cruises Visited seafood exporting countries and yet limited selection of fish on the menu and what there was ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary First time cruise with NCL and likely the last -cruised withanother line for 5 previous cruises Visited seafood exporting countries and yet limited selection of fish on the menu and what there was would be classified as mediocre at best Buffet menu offerings were the same every day so after two weeks it got a little “old” trying to decide what to have. Dining room selection was just ok One sight seeing excursion started at 4:30 pm (6 hr excursion) and the last 2-3 hours were sight seeing - rather difficult in the dark. Did I memtion they were not inexpensive. We did get a partial refund so that was helpful however I felt it should have been 30% vs 25% due to the fact it was wellover1/3 of the time allotted for the total excursion Expensive cruise - great itinerary but very ordinary experience so I think over priced. Very little info on ports of call so it seemed that they were trying to force people to take excursions that were over priced. They could have done a much better job giving customers good information on other on shore options. Evening shows were great but some of the entertainment in lounges was weak. Pirchased a unlimited gym membership and 30% or more special classes were cancelled without notice -instructor just didn’t show up. I got a refund on the membership after asking for one and am quite certain that I would not have got $ back if I didn’t ask. Pluses were the embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly I arranged for my own transportation post cruise because I was done with the nickel and diming during the cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary of the Norway Fjords. We have cruised on just about every "mass market" cruise line in existence and NCL remains one of our favorites for the entertainment, specialty dining restaurants and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary of the Norway Fjords. We have cruised on just about every "mass market" cruise line in existence and NCL remains one of our favorites for the entertainment, specialty dining restaurants and the CASUAL dining atmosphere. We were in the best specialty restaurants and were able to wear comfortable (nice) blue jeans. I know this puts some people off, but you can really dress up blue jeans with a nice button down shirt for men and dressy blouses for women. We were comfortable and did not have to worry about packing a ton of clothes. If dressing up for dinner is your thing, you would not like NCL. Embarkation and disembarkation: Both were a breeze. Very organized. We carried our own luggage off and were in London very early. Ports of Call : AMAZING. If you have not done Norway, DO IT. Make sure your ship does the Fjords, and splurge for a balcony cabin. You could reach out and touch the Fjords as we cruised in and out. See the pictures -- it looks like we squeezed through these narrow passageways. Ship photographers were on deck trying to catch the most beautiful pictures with waterfalls and mountains in the background. Ship and Cabin: The ship is small and easy to get around. The refurbishment made it look like a relatively new ship. The cabin was one of the BEST balcony cabins on any cruise. The layout of the shower and bathroom made it very roomy. The hair dryer plugs and vanity outside the bath made it easy to both get ready at once. Amount of shelves, storage and closet space was perfect. Very comfy bed -- mattresses and linens seem brand new. Dining: We ate about 4 nights in specialty restaurants and loved every one. We learned quickly that the Grand Pacific was better than Alizar (in our opinion). One trick that others taught us, especially on NCL, if you find a waiter or waitress that you love in the MDR, ask for that person every night. You may have to wait a little longer but totally worth seeing that familiar face every night. Another trick -- get your wine or drink at a bar before you go into the dining rooms and bring it in with you. I find that because of the freestyle dining -- and the fact that everyone is being seated at a different time -- that the flow is not as quick as it would be in a dining room that has a standard first and second seating. So if you bring your wine in with you --- you dont have to wait and can relax a little more. It is a trade-off with NCL --- you get to choose your own time and sit with people you choose --- but it does cause a little slowdown in overall service. We met an 80 year old couple that summed it up -- RELAX, you are on vacation. Entertainment: Most nights it was better than any ship. The final show ELEMENTS is absolutely the best, most extravagant show, I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The production Blazing Boots was also wonderful. The Duo Aerialists were like our own Cirque Du Soleil show. Amazing. The one criticism we did have was the musical entertainment that was in the show lounges. We love to sit and listen to music, dance, etc. and so we tried to do this both before and after dinner. We were shocked that two of their musical groups sang about 90% of their songs in spanish, when the guest were about 90% english speaking from USA and UK. It was weird. Then they would have a Motown night (which I love) and you show up and this Latin Group is trying to sing a non-Motown song and can barely pronounce English. I did voice my complaint to NCL about this, but was pretty much ignored and told to put it on the survey -- but I never got a survey. By about the third night I noticed most of the lounges were rather empty and I understand why. Cruise Director Richard was outstanding and we would see him all over the place. Twice we ran into him while we were hiking in ports and he would stop and chat with us. Very funny and just a great guy. Tendering back to the ship from Flam was a big problem. We were on a ship excursion, we got off of the train, and stood in the rain for almost two hours waiting to get back to the ship. The strange part was that you would think since we were on an NCL excursion that they could time it to avoid this. We missed our dinner reservation -- but so did most of those in line. But tendering always seems to be an issue. Only advice is to head back early. OVERALL -- we love this ship and have already booked it for next year in the Greek Isles. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Our first cruise on this ship and cruise line having normally gone with Cunard or P&O cruise. The ship compares well with other cruise lines, lots of places to eat and drink and good choice of food. The Garden Café on deck 12 has a ... Read More
Our first cruise on this ship and cruise line having normally gone with Cunard or P&O cruise. The ship compares well with other cruise lines, lots of places to eat and drink and good choice of food. The Garden Café on deck 12 has a good selection of food although tends to suit the American market more than the UK. Can get a bit packed quickly in mornings and some of the food is a bit on the cold side. The Grand Pacific restaurant is a beautiful restaurant. Theatre and quality of the shows was fab. No self service launderette and you have to pay per bag to have your washing done. Coffee tastes awful. The cruise itinerary was lovely. The cruise down to Geiranger is stunning, something to see. The town is quiet small but well worth walking around There is also a walk way which follows a water fall which can give some really good views down into the town and Fjord below. Alesund and Bergen, again, fab places to visit. Slight disappointment that we arrived in Kirkwell as we arrived late morning when another ship left Bergen after us but arrived and had a tender service in operation before we even saw to dock. The town is quiet small and can be packed if more than one cruise ship in port at the same time. Lots of history and things to see so would recommend a tours here Would definitely recommend this cruise ship and the Itinerary Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Hi all. We have just returned from a delightful Norwegian Fjords cruise aboard the NCL Jade. I will post a detailed review of this cruise soon. We did a similar cruise on the Eclipse two years ago. Until this cruise all of our cruises ... Read More
Hi all. We have just returned from a delightful Norwegian Fjords cruise aboard the NCL Jade. I will post a detailed review of this cruise soon. We did a similar cruise on the Eclipse two years ago. Until this cruise all of our cruises have been with Celebrity (the Eclipse) and I was quite nervous as to what the differences might be between the two lines. I found that it was not easy to find a comparison – and so here is mine. I stress that these are our experiences only, and of course your experiences might well be different. I have grouped this review into a variety of categories. Apologies for a long post! Embarkation, muster and debarkation Leaving from Southampton we found no real differences between the embarkation processes for Celebrity or NCL. We are Select with Celebrity and newbies on NCL, but didn't miss priority boarding. We were checked in quickly. With Celebrity it is then straight on to the ship where you get a welcome drink. For NCL we then had to wait about 20 mins in the terminal before boarding, and no welcome drink. We didn’t miss the welcome drink (we had a drinks package). Muster was similar on both lines – no videos to watch on NCL, so muster seemed quicker. Debarkation was smooth on both lines. Verdict: No meaningful difference. Staterooms We have had standard balcony and concierge staterooms on Celebrity. We had a Guaranteed balcony stateroom on Deck 9 on the NCL Jade. The stateroom was a little smaller on the Jade (more like the standard balcony on Celebrity Infinity). That said, the bed was larger on NCL, making for a better night’s sleep. There was plenty of storage space for our clothes and stuff on both lines, and cases went under the bed on both. Celebrity give chocs on the pillows (we never eat them) but no towel animals. NCL gave us towel animals each night (and we like those) but no chocs on pillows. On both lines our staterooms were well appointed, in good repair, clean and had pleasing décor. NCL had more plug sockets (including some USB charging sockets around the stateroom and in the bedside lights). Verdict: It is a close call but for us, NCL win this one for the towel animals, bigger bed and more sockets/USB charge points. Public areas (general) Although the Eclipse is a larger ship than the Jade, neither feel crowded. Both ships are well maintained and clean and tidy. Both are pleasant. But the décor of the Eclipse is more plush, perhaps more refined, and for us, more pleasing to the eye. Just somehow “a bit nicer”. Verdict: Celebrity wins this category easily. Complementary dining Before we cruised with NCL we had seen a fair few very negative reviews about their food and service. We were pleased to find that they did not generally reflect our experience. On Celebrity Eclipse we had Select (i.e. anytime) dining and your choices are the Oceanview Café (buffet), Mast grill (poolside), Aqua Spa Café (in the Solarium) and the main dining room. And the food is good, but we have found that the food in the buffet is generally luke warm at best, never hot. NCL have freestyle dining (again, anytime) and offers more choice, with two main dining rooms (Grand Pacific and Alizar), Jasmine (Asian), Garden Café (buffet), The great outdoors (a mini-version of the buffet at the back of the ship), Topsiders (poolside grill), Pitstop grill (not always open) and O’Sheehans (open 24 hours a day). We never actually made it to the main dining rooms on NCL, enjoying either O’Sheehans, the Garden Café, Jasmine or the Specialty dining rooms. However, we found the service to be prompt and the food to be good. Food quality and service quality was as good on both lines. NCL have screens that let you see how busy the various restaurants are. Verdict: NCL win this one purely because they offer more choice. Specialty Dining On the Eclipse there is Murano (a favourite though we have seen a decline, sadly, over 5 years), Tuscan grill, QSine (our least favourite) and Sushi on Five. Suite guests can dine in Luminae (and we have eaten there – but not hugely impressed that had to send a steak back 5 times to get it cooked correctly!). Aqua class can dine in Blu (which we have not tried). On NCL we had the choice of Cagneys Steakhouse, Teppanyaki, Moderno Churasscuria, Le Bistro, Sushi and an Italian restaurant we didn’t try and cannot remember the name of. Thus, a little more choice again on NCL than Celebrity. Food quality was comparable on both ships. We like Murano and Sushi on Five on the Eclipse. On NCL Jade we had excellent steak in Cagney’s, Moderno was an experience, and Le Bistro was good (without being quite so over the top as Murano). Verdict: Too close to call. Bars (and drinks package) A tricky one this, because Celebrity has fewer bars but does have the Martini Bar (which we love) and the World Class Bar (which we quite like). NCL doesn't have those but does have more bars and has Sugarcane (a mojito bar). While not ice-topped, it is the NCL equivalent, I guess, of the Martini bar. Whilst NCL has more bars, several of these are effectively the same (so all the bars in Bar Central on Deck 6 of the NCL Jade are VERY similar). Verdict: The Martini bar has to win, so Celebrity wins here. Regarding drinks packages, with Celebrity we have had a Classic drinks package included in the cruise fare, which we always upgrade to the Premium package. On NCL we were “premium all inclusive”. Both include drinks up to $15 but the NCL package excludes premium coffees and bottled water (you did get a litre a day per person in your stateroom). Also worth noting that the NCL drinks do not include a New Zealand Sauv Blanc in the premium all inclusive/ultimate beverage package range. On both lines, you pay the difference for drinks more expensive than the package. We found the selection of drinks perfectly acceptable on both lines. Whilst there was more choice on Celebrity, the cost of buying coffees/water was less than the cost of upgrading from Classic to Premium (and considerably so). Before we sailed I wanted to know if NCL had Clamato. They do. They also do a good Long Island Ice Tea! Ultimately, therefore, this one is a tie. However, if you love specialty coffees with cake, then Café Al Bacio on Celebrity would carry this in their favour. Verdict: Too close to call. Smoking areas A controversial one, this. We vape, rather than smoking but the rules for both are the same. On Celebrity you can smoke on one side of the promenade deck (where there are comfy seats), by the pool in a designated area, and at the back on the top of the ship in a designated area. No indoor smoking on Celebrity and no smoking in the casino. On the NCL Jade you can smoke on the promenade deck (deck 7) portside, but there was no seating (apparently they only put it out on warm weather cruises!), on Deck 13 port side by the Pitstop bar, in the Casino (if you are playing), and they have a cigar room where you can smoke/vape. These were our social hubs. Whilst the cigar room is pleasantly decorated, for a vape-er rather than a smoker the smell of cigarette smoke on clothes after time in there was unpleasant. Can appreciate lots of people would not like others smoking in the casino. No smoking on NCL jade where there is food. Controversially therefore, for comfort and consideration, Celebrity just win this one. Verdict: More comfortable for all concerned, I suspect, on Celebrity. Casino Didn’t spend much time in the Casino on last few cruises. Did note on the roulette table (my game) that on Celebrity chips are worth $1 and on NCL they are worth $2 – so more expensive to play. Similarly minimum bet for blackjack was higher ($10) on NCL rather than Celebrity ($6). Both have well equipped casinos. Rather like the Chinese theme in the Jade Casino. (Also like the Egyptian theme in the Celebrity Infinity). Verdict: Too close to call. Website and IT Without doubt, NCL win this one. We found their website easy to navigate, responsive and, hey, it worked. Alas Celebrity has a lot of work to do in this area. On the Eclipse there are smart TVs in your stateroom where you can see your on board account, and you can watch the free movies one by one by your choice. On the NCL Jade, you cant see your account through the TV, and the movie channel rolls through them (so you end up catching snippets – but they had some good movies!). However, NCL have their own App that works on board and on that you can see your account, book excursions, find info re ports etc. Verdict: NCL easily win this one. Tendering Have seen this issue crop up in reviews for NCL. We have had tender ports with both Celebrity and NCL and on both had no issues at all. Verdict: No meaningful difference. Overall we have had good cruises with both lines. We were pleased to find that NCL was an enjoyable (and more relaxed) alternative to Celebrity. We met great people on both lines and had a wonderful time. We no longer feel constrained to one cruise line! There are positives and negatives to both. Ultimately different does not necessarily mean better or worse. We would cruise with either line again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I wanted something different than the usual Caribbean cruise, and this was an excellent choice. Every day was another spectacular scenic view and/or interesting town or small city. I highly recommend a Norwegian fiord cruise once in ... Read More
I wanted something different than the usual Caribbean cruise, and this was an excellent choice. Every day was another spectacular scenic view and/or interesting town or small city. I highly recommend a Norwegian fiord cruise once in your life. The NCL Jade is a very nice ship, which looks new because of it's recent refurbish. You might expect one rough sea day, as this is the North Sea after all. Very convenient start of the trip from Hamburg Germany, only one day away from the start of the ports of call. The weather in August was about half foggy/rainy and half sunny. The temps were 55 to 70 ish. I packed a light winter down parka which compresses down to a very small package and I am glad I brought it, I used it many tour days. I did not have any Norwegian Kroner and it was no problem, all vendors seemed to take a visa card, even for a cup of coffee. I did have some Euro's for Germany which I am glad I had for cash transactions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything ... Read More
We have sailed on most major cruise lines, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. Overall we were very impressed. The food was the best ever and the crew was always accommodating and friendly. I was impressed by how well everything was organized. The excursions,embarking and disembarking as well. When returning to the ship from excursions we were always greeted by hot chocolate,l juice and a hot towel. We tried three of the specialty restaurants and they were excellent. The food in the main dining rooms and buffet was excellent so we didn't really need to eat in the specialty restaurant. I must say the Treppanaki restaurant was a special treat. All of the shore excursions were excellent and a good value. This is the first time we have tried an inside cabin and we really didn't miss not having a window. We didn't spend much time in our cabin as there was so much to do. We were also very impressed with the condition of the ship. It was in beautiful shape. Just like it was brand new. Overall this was an excellent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and first with NCL. We enjoyed our trip and saw many wonderful and scenic ports in Norway. Our cruise left from Hamburg, Germany. They have a smaller cruise port there but we were through the line and on the boat in an acceptable and well-organized manner. The Jade is a stylishly remodeled ship holding a little over 2,000 passengers. Our interior cabin was well-designed and we especially liked the larger shower in comparison to other cruise lines we have traveled with in the past. I was a little nervous about the cruise before we left as many of the reviews of this ship and NCL have tended to be on the negative side. Our experience was wonderful. The Freestyle platform allowed us to eat when and where we wanted. The food was pretty good. Some dishes were excellent and others were average. My biggest concern with foos was the lack of bold flavors. Dishes marked spicy were rather banal in my opinion. We did really love the wide variety of dining options. We were always able to find seating when we used the buffet. The entertainment was good but a bit inconsistent. Some of the solo acts were average. The main singers and dancers were very excellent and talented. The crew was a bit more reserved than we had experienced with other lines. We did eventually find some crew members who were more friendly and willing to engage with us. Excursions were well organized. We had to tender 3 times. Each time we were off the ship quickly. The quality was wonderful and we had good guides and experiences. I have read disparaging reviews about NCL always hounding people to spend money. We did not experience that. We felt that they always would ask you if wanted something like, for example, bottled water at a meal (for a cost). However, we would say no and they did not pressure us further. We never felt badgered to spend additional money on the cruise. We would travel with NCL again if there was an itinerary we liked. We felt we definitely received good value for fare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were first time cruisers and Norway had been on my husbands "must see" list for years. We had heard great recommendations from friends who had been on Norwegian before and decided it was time. We traveled to Hamburg and stayed ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and Norway had been on my husbands "must see" list for years. We had heard great recommendations from friends who had been on Norwegian before and decided it was time. We traveled to Hamburg and stayed overnight, which gave us half a day to explore the town. We used the suggested car park which was easy, and Embarkation was extremely easy and just took a few minutes. We explored the ship a little and had lunch in one of the restaurants while waiting to go to our room. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room and balcony, and everything we encountered on the ship was very clean. The restaurants were managed very well and employees were all very helpful. We wished, however, that there had been some kind of list of on board restaurants with brief info about each one in a brochure or something in our room for us to refer to. There were a lot of restaurants and I think we missed quite a few of them because we didn't know they were there. The daily newsletter we got was very helpful and we referred to it often. We had an excellent room steward who took great care of our room for us and even made us several towel animals! The fjords and towns we visited were all gorgeous, we had such a good time. A great experience for our first cruise; we hope to go again!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Overall, this was a very nice cruise! Beautiful ship, nice crew, great itinerary. We arrived in Hamburg a day early and stayed at the Sofitel Alter Wall. Great hotel, very comfortable and perfect location. A taxi ride from the airport ... Read More
Overall, this was a very nice cruise! Beautiful ship, nice crew, great itinerary. We arrived in Hamburg a day early and stayed at the Sofitel Alter Wall. Great hotel, very comfortable and perfect location. A taxi ride from the airport was about 30 euro and from the hotel to the cruise port, another 30 euro. We arrived at the Steinwerder cruise terminal around 1pm, and apparently, so did everyone else! It was a crazy scene. Fortunately, we had booked through the casino and they had a dedicated check-in desk. That saved us a ton of time. We boarded quickly and enjoyed lunch in the Grand Pacific dining room. Thanks to advice from Cruise Critic members, we always start our cruises with lunch in the dining room and avoid the chaos of the buffet. Our cabin was ready by 2pm and we found it to be very comfortable. Plenty of outlets to charge phones and batteries. Plenty of hangers in the closet. Nice balcony. We were mid-ship but back a bit, deck 10, which turned out to be the perfect location. We could use the stairs and avoid the elevators during peak times. The food, overall, was ok. I'm not a meat eater, so I always chose the fish option. I found the fish entrees to be excellent. My husband and friends always chose a steak option and were often disappointed with the quality of the meat. The buffet for breakfast was ok. Not great, not bad. Just eh. One of the best perks of the cruise was the Ultimate Beverage Package! It included soft drinks and alcoholic drinks $15 and under. No specialty coffees. We could use it any time, anywhere. It was easy to use and I paid a one-time tip fee of $99 for each of us. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants and found the Alizar restaurant to be boring and dark. We stuck with the Grand Pacific dining room for dinner. We did try O'Sheehans for lunch one day. It was ok. Seems like a large portion of the ship is taken up by this restaurant that isn't really all that. Our first and last day was a sea day. In between, we stopped at Alesund, Geiranger, Olden and Bergen. All beautiful stops and very enjoyable. This was our first time on NCL and they seemed to do excursions better than RCI or Princess. It was organized and smooth. Disembarkation was extremely easy. We just walked off with our luggage after breakfast and it took all of 10 minutes. We docked at Altona, a different cruise terminal than where we left from the week before. There were plenty of taxis and we found one easily for our 2 mile drive to the Altona train station. We have done a few cruises, 3 on Princess and 2 on RCI. This was our first NCI cruise. It was a good trip and we had a great time, but it did seem to lack the enthusiasm or professionalism of Princess. Not sure what the difference was, but we noticed something. I would sail NCI again, but only for the itinerary, not the ship. I would say the pros of the cruise were....nice ship & crew, nice cabin, easy to get around the ship, good excursions, no wait for dinner. We greatly enjoyed eating breakfast outside every morning at the back of the Garden Cafe. The cons....no self laundry room on board. Only option is to send it out. The buffet was ok, not very appealing. We never met our room steward. I didn't think that was possible. He never introduced himself. NEVER. No complaints with the room care. I just read so many stories about how the room steward adds to the cruise experience. One major complaint, and this has nothing to do with NCI, but there were many large groups on this cruise. So many kids that were rude, pushy, loud, running up and down the hallways, jumping on chairs, strollers that were just left anywhere, blocking walking paths. It did take away a little enjoyment of the cruise. They would plow into the elevators, not giving you a chance to get off first. I highly recommend Norway as a cruise destination. Beautiful country and very nice people! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My partner and I have been on four cruises, all previously on Royal Caribbean. We've loved every one of them. But we've long wanted to sail the Norwegian fjords, we realized with five weeks notice that we had the time and NCL had ... Read More
My partner and I have been on four cruises, all previously on Royal Caribbean. We've loved every one of them. But we've long wanted to sail the Norwegian fjords, we realized with five weeks notice that we had the time and NCL had the space ... so we bit the bullet and booked this cruise. Every minute of it, every dollar spent, was worth it. We spent five days in Hamburg before the cruise, renting an Airbnb and exploring the city (as well as taking day trips to Lubeck and Berlin). Hamburg is very much worth a few days of visiting before or after the cruise. For our one more night in Hamburg (where I am now), we've booked a hotel near the airport for an early flight. Taxi is certainly the best way to reach the Steinwerder cruise center. From the town center, it cost us 37 euros. (To the airport area afterward, our taxi cost 57 euros.) Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Long lines (especially since we had no status on NCL), but handled efficiently. All very friendly and pleasant. The Norwegian Jade is a beautiful ship. As you can see from other reviews and online videos, the 2017 renovation really has paid off. We never lacked for a variety of spaces for fun and entertainment, or a quiet place to read. On a cruise like this with a lot of scenery as we left the ports, we really valued all the space on the pool and sun decks and in the Spinnaker lounge (deck 13 at the front of the ship with windows all around). Only inside cabins were left when we booked, so this space was especially valuable to us. Dining & Beverages So this was one of the biggest differences we experienced from Royal Caribbean. We've always been traditional diners, enjoying sitting at a large table with strangers and getting to know new people from around the world, having the same server each night, and eating generally great food in the main dining room. None of these were true of our main dining room experience on NCL. I'm sure most people prefer freestyle dining, but we actually missed getting to know others, and getting to know our servers. The main dining room food ranged from just fine to nearly inedible. The service was hit or miss. When we were shuffled down one evening from the Grand Pacific to the Alizar, the service and atmosphere were even worse. Jasmine, the complimentary Chinese dinner option, was fine (although neither authentically Chinese nor even the American version of Chinese you'll be expecting). I'd give this part 2 stars, but... The specialty restaurants were AMAZING. We made a last-minute decision to add the dining package (for 4 nights) to our cruise and it was the best decision we made for the whole trip. Moderno, the Brazilian chiaroscurra place, was excellent and fun. Teppanyaki was predictably fun and the food was very good. Le Bistro was really, really good French food with impeccable service. And Cagney's was the best meal of our trip, with one of the best filet mignons I've ever had, delicious sides, and a great open-kitchen atmosphere. Five stars for the specialty dining. Factor the price ($100 per person all-in got us four dinners) into your cruise planning. Totally worth it. I should mention here that another big part of the enjoyment of this cruise was having the ultimate beverage package, which was included with our fare (and seemed to be with a lot of people's fares). We've never had this before -- but we'll never go on a cruise again without it. The added sense of luxury of not worrying about paying for another drink -- and the freedom to enjoy a variety and try new things, not to mention accompany the delicious specialty dinners for no additional charge -- was worth every penny. And the Jade has perhaps a dozen different bars, with different specialties, different bartenders you get to know, and enough different atmospheres that you'll want to take advantage of the variety. Entertainment We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of almost every show. The production cast of singers and dancers were consistently excellent, and the shows were just long enough to display their talents (and no longer). The aerialists on our ship were genuinely excellent. Only the magician was, well, lame. We also had two featured performers: Becky O'Brien (whose tribute show to Judy Garland was truly fantastic, even if its excellence was lost on some of this very international crowd) and flamenco guitarist Adam Westcott (whose talents were incomparable but whose art may not quite command the stage sufficiently in a setting like this). Onboard activities were -- well -- stereotypical of cruises. Bingo, couple competitions, trivia, poolside dance parties, towel-folding demonstrations. The cruise director, Richard, was very earnest, but not a very interesting personality. We don't really go on cruises for this stuff, but if we did, the activities lineup would not have provided anything extra special. Service Overall, service was excellent. We met fun bartenders who remembered our drinks and engaged in conversation. Our room steward, Zen, was incredibly kind and hard-working and pleasant day and night. The servers in the specialty restaurants were very, very good at what they did. (In the main dining room, perhaps less so--although they may just have been overworked.) Ports of Call/Shore Excursions The real star of this cruise is Norway itself. Never have we encountered such beauty, and each day seemed to be a little more beautiful than the last. (We also had extraordinarily warm and dry weather for every stop except Flam.) Bergen: Just walking around the city made for a beautiful day. Walking off the ship you come to the old-town of Bryggen. We took the funicular to the top of Mount Troyen and hiked down (highly recommend), and just enjoyed the beautiful, flower-filled, friendly downtown. Olden: A charming little town where most people go for the outdoorsy excursions. We booked a bus ride up to Birksdaal Glacier, which is in a national park and accessible by a hike of a couple miles up. (You can do this on your own without the ship, but be advised the line for buying tickets, or for picking up pre-booked online tickets will be very long, so it's worth getting off the ship earlier rather than later). TOTALLY WORTH THE HIKE past waterfalls and fields of wildflowers if you're up to it physically. Trondheim: The Nidaros Cathedral is the thing you must do. Take one of the tours. Climb the tower. Tour the adjacent Archibishop's Palace (which has an extensive museum). Glorious. Geiranger: On our own, we pre-booked the little electric cars from an outfit called eMobility. Although the pickup was a bit hectic, these are a fantastic day of fun. We did the 3-hour rental that guides you all the way up to the top of Dalsnibba. Whether you drive yourself there in one of these cars or take a bus, you don't want to miss this on the visit to Geiranger. Alesund: A beautiful and charming town. We took a city bus out to the Sonnmore open-air museum showing buildings from the region built over the last seven centuries. It was fascinating but a bit do-it-yourself as tours go. A nice change. Flam: Our only bad-weather day, we ended up just taking the train up to Myrdal and back again (cancelling our reservations to bike back down). It was beautiful and totally worth doing. We booked our tickets with the Norwegian rail system online. Highly recommend. We loved this cruise, and would certainly recommend it. We would also cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The pros: * You can enjoy a variety of included food options, plus you can roam freely, even throughout one evening. No fixed timing or location. That’s quite unique and great! * ship feels like new, nice cabins and (small) ... Read More
The pros: * You can enjoy a variety of included food options, plus you can roam freely, even throughout one evening. No fixed timing or location. That’s quite unique and great! * ship feels like new, nice cabins and (small) bathrooms * superfriendly and efficient staff. Doesn‘t go that much for the rarely visible officers nor the reception desk. The cons: * Bagage drop in Hamburg (terminal soley used by NCL that day) 1 hour wait * followed by checkin (no status line) 2,5 hours wait * waiting lines to get a tender ticket * always waiting lines when tendering ashore (groups are called way to early) * 1 hour wait tendering back in Geiranger, 20+ min waits on other tender and bus transfers (very last seat must be taken) * waiting lines at favorite included restaurants like Jasmine Garden as you can’t make reservations for these restaurants (advantages see above) * ok food at buffet restaurant Garden Cafe got really boring after one week (being rethemed, rearranged, regrouped but not really altered) * Internet connection (I’m aware of ship/satellite implications) really bad. Picked the $35/day (it’s 2018, guys!) unlimited streaming package. Worked fine next to the Internet help desk but not properly in my midship room or other public places (long blackouts, long waits when loading, error messages on YouTube, ...). Insanely unfair offering. Not sorted throughout the cruise. * NCL refused to honor our Cruise credit despite it being stated on their very own booking confirmation. Couldn’t be sorted. Got phone number in Southampton to discuss. * 45 min bus ride (no guide) to north cape for 2 adults and 2 kids (aged 15) comes at a total of $600 * booked, among others, the “Lavazza Coffee specialities package”. The only (!) decent coffee at java cafe comes at an hefty extra charge. Same goes for fresh juices. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary ... Read More
As many of my cruises have been with Norwegian's newer, larger ships, the Jade was a return to a smaller, more traditional vessel. That said, the ship has been recently refurbished and is comfortable and modern. It was the itinerary which particularly interested me, as Iceland has been a country I have always wanted to visit, and this seemed a cost effective way of doing so. My party arrived by train in Hamburg and stayed overnight, before boarding the following day. The queues at check-in looked horrendous, however, we were able to embark quickly as I have Latitudes status and access to a fast-track desk. Once inside, we went to have a light lunch in Grand Pacific, until the announcement was made that the cabins were ready, and our luggage was delivered shortly afterwards. Most of our meals were eaten in Grand Pacific. Whilst the food was well cooked, and service generally good, at breakfast, it was difficult just to order eggs. These came with country potatoes, whether you wanted them or not, and the piles of abandoned potatoes on people's plates were a common sight. Why it seemed so difficult to order eggs and toast and receive just eggs and toast was a mystery. Several times, we went to Garden Cafe for a snack or late lunch and found it difficult to get a table. There were a number of people who had finished eating, but were not moving on, instead, talking or playing cards. O'Sheehans seemed to be less frantic, although the pub food might not be to everyone's taste. The entertainment was the usual mixture of music, shows and silly games organised by the cruise director and his team. It would have been nice to have some information about the places we were seeing, as Iceland might very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the ports: Alesund was a delightful town. I had booked a day trip with Norwegian Excursions, and Monica, our guide, provided a excellent guided tour of the sights, including some of the small islands nearby. We had no plans for Bergen, so simply took the Hop-On Hop-Off bus from the port gate. After a circuit, we stopped off at the Fish Market for prawns and ate them overlooking the harbour. The Hanseatic Museum at Bryggen is also worth visiting to find out more about the trade in salted cod and how this was important for the economy. Shetland. A tender port and another day with no specific excursions planned. After a smooth transfer, we walked through the town and went to the Shetland Museum and Archives. This is highly recommended as it explains the development and culture of the Shetland Islands, and is free entrance. The cafe is also excellent. Reykjavik. The Jade stayed overnight in port and we visited the Golden Circle with Reykjavik Excursions. Eric the guide was very engaging and my only complaint was that it was fraught getting off the ship as 2500+ passengers all wanted to board their tour busses at the same time and our bus had not arrived. Fortunately it was all solved, but a designated bus stop would have been helpful. The second day in Reykjavik was spent visiting the city and the Hallgrimskirkja. Akureyri. This town in the north of Iceland is quite different. We had an excursion with The Travelling Viking, and saw the Godafoss waterfall and the Christmas House as well as a state of the art farm where the cows are milked electronically. The Faroe Islands did not seem to be geared up for cruise ship tourism yet. There are things to see and do, but the impression we got was that the cruise ships are just things which pass by. Once passengers are on the quayside, a bus has to drive though stacks of shipping containers, as walking out of the port on foot is not allowed. Invergordon. Wow Scotland provided our excursion and were excellent, with plenty of background information about Culloden and the other sites we visited, and lots of funny anecdotes. Sadly, the Loch Ness monster was having a siesta on this occasion. Edinburgh. Another tender port and a city which needs to be explored in more detail. The centre is quite compact, so walking is very easy. I enjoyed looking at the tartans in the shops on the Royal Mile. Overall, it was a good cruise, and I would go again, but probably not with the exact same itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had been satisfied with NCL twice before. Great itinerary but organized chaos on several occasions. The main buffet dining, the Garden Cafe, was always CROWDED!! People fought for tables far ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had been satisfied with NCL twice before. Great itinerary but organized chaos on several occasions. The main buffet dining, the Garden Cafe, was always CROWDED!! People fought for tables far away from the buffet at every meal dining early or late. As this was a North Sea cruise, it was cool outside so outdoor seating was not pleasant. The Spirit that we sailed last year never had this problem. It seems that they removed dining space to insert a teenager center with the recent remodel. They provided a reduced breakfast food service at the back of the ship but it was often closed when the Garden Cafe was open. Very frustrating! And they did not ask for any feedback. Maybe it’ll come later. They seemed to have eliminated feedback on dining service that we provided on the Spirit. When we arrived in the Shetland Islands, the immigration line stretched the length of the ship with minimal staff organization. The tender line to get back on board in Edinburg was an hour. The disembarkation process was smooth, but the taxi line was 90 minutes long!! The cabins were very nice and the food ranged from acceptable at the buffet to good in the sit down restaurants. Avoid the teppan dining. Staff professional but minimally friendly. Limited discussion of tours with no history lectures or other educational programs. Stage shows were not as high quality as we found on the NCL Spirit last year that were exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We sailed this cruise about 6 weeks after completing a Panama Canal/Transatlantic back to back on the Star. We spent a couple of days in Southampton just getting organised and post cruise visited Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath for 5 ... Read More
We sailed this cruise about 6 weeks after completing a Panama Canal/Transatlantic back to back on the Star. We spent a couple of days in Southampton just getting organised and post cruise visited Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath for 5 days. Embarkation was fairly standard with huge crowds, inefficient lines etc but the staff were pleasant and we did not have to wait too long. For disembarkation we took our own luggage and left the ship late morning. We have previously sailed on the Star and the Sun and the Jade felt like the 2 ships combined, it had the crows nest bar and outdoor rear facing bar/buffet of the Sun but also had the O'Sheehans and Magnum bars of the Star. Overall the Jade was more contemporary and neutral in styling than the other ships. The layout was similar and it has the same problems of congestion in the hallways due to the strange configuration. The public areas felt more spacious though. We had on OB oceanview on deck 4. The size was the same as the other ships which was ok. It was difficult to get past the furniture to the bed. Storage was limited. Bathroom was a good size. Shower pressure was average and our toilet leaked one night and flooded the cabin. We received some obc as compensation. The bed was very comfortable. Dining, same offering as other ships but food quality was poorer than we had on recent Star sailings. The meals in the MDR were very inconsistent even when ordering the same thing. Portions were small. French Bistro was the worst food on the ship (after being the best on the Star); Teppanyaki was way too salty (and I love salt) after being perfect on the Star; Cagneys was very good with superb service; La Cucina Italian was superb (after being average on the Sun). Service around the ship was very good especially in the bars with bar tenders remembering our names - amazing on such a big ship (maybe because being in our early 40's we were younger than most - the average age was 70). Entertainment - some new stage shows were appreciated with blazing boots very enjoyable and the new show (forgotten name) which was similar to a Cirque style show absolutely amazing. The guest entertainers tended to be average at best, Tre Amici had little connection, we have seen Lily Jane many times. There was loads of activities as usual and the cd and his staff did a great job. Ports - we had very mixed weather with heavy rain in Bergen and Tromso and wind in Honningsvag and Haugesand but Alesund, Stavanger and Loften were beautiful. Unlike recent cruises we actually had a reasonable amount of time in most ports. We organised our own days with car rentals in Loften and Alesund. A private excursion in Honningsvag. We walked or took public transport in the others. Other than the quality of food are only other disappointment was with the captain. We had high hopes when we heard he was Norwegian but we rarely heard from him. His greatest error was arriving an hour earlier than planned to the only glacier/fjord sailing planned and not telling anyone. Several people missed it. We were heading to the show and asked an officer to contact the Bridge and ask how long we would stay there and were told at least an hour, we came out 30 minutes later and we had already left. Other times when we were sailing thru picturesque fjord areas there was no mention of it. This is completely at odds with other cruises we have done and in particular to the other cruise we have done to Norway. Overall a good cruise and we appreciated the Jade over the other ships we have taken on ncl. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and i chose a cruise up the coast of Norway that passed the Arctic Circle and went up to the North cape. It was splendid scenery with very interesting animal life. I have no complaints with the level of service or ... Read More
My wife and i chose a cruise up the coast of Norway that passed the Arctic Circle and went up to the North cape. It was splendid scenery with very interesting animal life. I have no complaints with the level of service or friendliness, but note the following: This cruise line assumes you are like a child. There is no education on board. In a place teeming with interesting animal and bird life, you are on your own to learn about it. Cruising the glacier? Figure it all out for yourself. I would faint to hear even minimal facts or history of the ports we visited.. Norwegian assumes that because you are on vacation, you have no desire to learn anything. So what you get is shopping, shopping shopping, amateur shows, bingo, and music that explores no boundaries. Only tired rock and roll songs and very standard jazz (sometimes) is apparently allowed on the ship. The big "effort" at entertainment was a "viking ceremony" supposedly in honor of ancient Norsemen. It consisted of pouring water over the heads of passengers while they sat on a chair near the pool and wore plastic viking hats with horns. This was utterly disgusting. Not only was it not funny, it was an insult to the great history of Norwegians. Sea days are incredibly boring. I note that in our two Alaska cruises on Celebrity, there were wonderful naturalists who spent hours in the theatre educating us and entertaining us about the animal life, geology, and the seas. The ship is gorgeous, having recently been redone, but Norwegian made a terrible mistake. They took out one whole side of the 12th floor buffet and built a specialty restaurant. As a result, the buffet is terribly crowded nearly all the time, and finding a seat is a real challenge as you walk around with your food desperately trying to find a seat before your food gets cold. A disaster! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Our group consisted of my mother, who was just shy of 85, and myself in Owner’s suite cabin 9504, and my brother and his wife in the connecting balcony stateroom, 9506. Here are some general observations of the ship, itinerary, dining, ... Read More
Our group consisted of my mother, who was just shy of 85, and myself in Owner’s suite cabin 9504, and my brother and his wife in the connecting balcony stateroom, 9506. Here are some general observations of the ship, itinerary, dining, etc. The first point to mention is that prior to boarding, we took the NCL shuttle from Gatwick airport to the ship. NCL needs to update the information available online. The information states that the pickup point for the shuttle is at Gatwick’s North terminal only. We stayed over the night before at the Hilton connected to South terminal, so dutifully schlepped our luggage up to North terminal, only to find out that there is a pickup point at South terminal too. Mom was not happy. My brother and his wife went out of Heathrow airport which had multiple shuttle buses running, however there was only one for Gatwick, which meant we had to wait until all passengers had arrived. Two of the incoming flights were slightly delayed, so it was more like 1:30 PM before we arrived at the ship. Our stateroom just became available as we were boarding. We received a personal escort to O’Sheehan’s where we met my brother and his wife. This cruise attracts an older demographic. The average age of the passengers was 60 and there were only 75 children on board, of which there could not have been more than half a dozen or so teenagers. I did not get a nationality breakdown, but the percentage of Americans was certainly less than on the Getaway in the Baltic the year before. On that cruise, Americans made up about 40% of the passengers, while on this cruise it seemed that at least the Brits outnumbered the Americans. The crew seemed more diverse than on the Getaway as well. On the Getaway, Philippinos clearly dominated, but while well represented on the Jade, there seemed to be more from other places including Croatia, India, China and Latin America. My mom thought the Getaway was too big and things were too far away, so we intentionally chose a smaller ship for this year’s cruise. Overall it was an improvement; however being on the front of the ship did make some venues at least as far as on the Getaway where we were mid-ship. But the advantages of a front facing stateroom more than made up for it since mom could see out both sides of the ship without having to go up on deck. Compared to the Getaway, the Jade definitely experiences more motion. This was compounded by stormier seas and the fact that we were on the very front of the ship. Motion doesn’t bother us, but for those affected by motion, this may not be the stateroom for you. Mom and I both commented that we slept the best when the seas were at their stormiest. One thing to note is that when the storm door to the front deck is open, a draft will come through the stateroom door behind it. With temperatures in the 40s and 50s when getting to Northern Norway, this draft becomes very noticeable. Having a hull balcony on the side was certainly an advantage for this particular cruise as it provides good protection from the wind without significantly blocking the view. The room was all that we could have hoped for, and worked out well by making a common living room accessed from my brother’s stateroom. We pretty much always kept the connecting doors open except when sleeping. One thing we hoped could be done is to open the door on the side balcony too, but that is apparently not allowed. The closet next to the master bathroom is cavernous, I would only take points off for the amount of space available for folded items, while there is an overabundance of space for “knickknacks”. The shelf above the hanger rack cannot be used because the life preservers must be stored there. However since there were just two of us, it did not present any limitation, and there are places outside of the closet that could be used for flat storage. The bathroom was amazing, the only minor gripe I would have is with the mirror lighting. It really isn’t good enough for shaving, although the vanity mirror was excellent, just not my space. :) My mom and I are not much in the way of drinkers, and one place we screwed up was in ordering our three complementary bottles of liquor. Neither of us drink any kind of straight liquor and about the only mixed drink either of us have are margaritas. It was a bit awkward to keep asking the butler for mixers. In the future, I think we will just swap the liquor for bottles of wine. Our butler Putu was from India, steward Vanier was from the Philippines, and concierge Carlos was from Chile. All were outstanding. Putu was the consummate professional, we really never got to engage in idle chit-chat or otherwise crack his professional demeanor, and we did try. Vanier on the other hand was very engaging and always made time for us if he could. Carlos was a real hero for us on a couple occasions, including securing about the best table in the Grand Pacific dining room after a relatively disappointing experience at Alizar’s. We did not make a whole lot of use of the Haven area, mainly going up there on sea days when housekeeping needed to clean the room. There never were all that many people there, and usually the same ones. As cold and windy as this itinerary is, the Haven deck area went unused. We set out as an objective to eat at least one meal in every dining venue and one drink at every bar. My brother and I succeeded. We ate at seven specialty restaurants, doubling up on Le Bistro and Cagney’s. All were outstanding, although we would have to concede that Cagney’s on the Getaway was a bit better than on the Jade. Mom and my favorite restaurant on the Getaway was Le Bistro, and that was repeated on the Jade. The only real disappointment was at Alizar’s. We had a reservation, but were seated very close to the entrance, and all of our orders seemed to underwhelm. However our meal at the Grand Pacific was excellent, even though both restaurants share the same menu and kitchen, so I attribute the experience at Alazar’s as a one off. I have never been a big fan of the buffet, so it was pretty much as expected. We only used room service one time, to order pizza after hiking up to Manafossen waterfall. We only had lunch at O’Sheehan’s on a couple occasions, but have always liked it for breakfast and lunch. Not sure why people stream to the buffet when this is available, but I hope it stays that way. We had most breakfasts at suites only Moderno’s, and on sea days, lunch at Cagney’s. The crab cakes eggs Benedict at Moderno’s were excellent, as was the French dip sandwich at Cagney’s. The only bar that was a bit of a disappointment was the Saki bar. I never had Saki up to that point, so went there with my brother to taste a couple. Turns out the Saki bar only carries two brands and the bartender knew almost nothing about Saki including how to serve it. It was also the only instance where a crew member used the phrase “I only work here”. In fairness, he did come around and found a way to warm the Saki after he saw me holding my hands over the cup trying to warm it. The quietest bar was the mojito bar next to Moderno’s. There was rarely anyone there and it was always quiet. So if looking for a quiet place to get a drink, this is it. The best bartenders were found at the Champaign / Martini bar. Once you get them going they were a real riot, so that was the only bar at which we became “regulars”. The entertainment isn’t really why we go on cruises, but was decent. “Elements” was a lot of fun and my mom particularly like Tres Amichi. Los Blondes played a lot of classic rock and pop, including sets of the Beatles, ABBA, etc. and gave everything they played a bit of a Latin beat. My mom particularly liked Sean, who was a natural Kenny Rogers, playing a lot of Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, etc. I felt sorry for him when he had to play in the main atrium, as all the activity going on there drowns him out, however there a world of difference to hear him at the stage near the Champaign bar. I would also add that we like the performance venues on the Jade much better than on the Getaway, where such venues seemed to be more of an afterthought than by design. One tip about the Stardust theater, while we could sit in the exclusive Haven section, the best seats are actually in the section behind it, especially for “Elements”. Hat tip to concierge Carlos for that. We thought all of our shore excursions were quite good except “Northern Lights” which only my brother and his wife did. I did not go on that excursion so cannot really comment. We made one mistake in going to the Viking farm (Historic Avaldsnes and Viking Farm), in that it was a bit too hilly for mom. My brother and I had to help her up the final hill from the walk to the farm. In Bergen we went on our own to do some shopping and hoped to take the funicular, but the weather did not cooperate. The top of the funicular was pretty much in a cloud bank. In Lenkes, Lofoten, we did the Flakstad, Nusfjord and Sund tour. An unexpectedly pleasant surprise for me was a stop to see all sorts of antique machine tools and engines, mostly steam. I almost missed the bus talking to the machinist who had acquired much of the equipment. In Tromso, we did the polar expedition, and visited the sled dogs. It was raining, the dogs were drenched and many were shedding their winter coats, so overall not at their best, but all were friendly and happy to meet us. There were also three litters of puppies at the time. Having had several Norwegian Elkhounds, this was mom’s favorite stop. In Honningsvag, my brother and I split up from mom and his wife. We did the King Crab Safari through NCL, while they did the land only version booked directly through 71 North. While expensive, the King Crab Safari was an absolute blast and the highlight of the trip. The large crab do not live in the little bay or sound they took us, so the crab caught were only 3’ across or so. One already in the holding tank was a bit bigger. After pulling in a crab pot, the crab was prepared and we chowed down on some very delicious king crab. The ride back was a blast to, with the driver taking the boat full out and doing donuts and such. The morning session only had 16 people signed up. In Alesund, we again went on our own and took the hop on hop off bus. Unfortunately everyone else seemed to have the same idea, so stood in line for quite a while waiting to get on a bus. It was well worth it, however. The view from the top of the hill, still containing bunkers dating to WWII, was amazing. Lastly, in Stavanger, excepting mom, we did the hike up to Manafossen Waterfall. While we knew it was an activity level 3 tour, it was still a bit more than I had expected. The description said “hike” not “climb” after all. At 60 years old, I found I was not as sure footed as I thought, so getting to the top was a bit of a struggle. Getting down was even worse on suspect knees. But the view made it worth every bit of the effort. My biggest gripe would have to be with the ship’s wifi /cellular. I accidentally burned a lot of my time unknowingly when my phone connected to the ship’s cellular network. I had only authenticated with the wifi, and did not expect that the cellular would connect. Talking to NCL, they told me I have to keep roaming turned off. The problem is, if your carrier is T-Mobile America, you must turn roaming on to connect to T-Mobile in Europe. If nothing else, NCL needs to put a daily cap on connection time. For instance, if you get 250 minutes, then set a daily cap of 10% or 25 minutes, and require people to explicitly approve going over that cap. The fact that it is based on time rather than data usage is a bit problematic too, as the network was often very slow and took a long time just to pull in email. In the end I hardly used the ships wifi and waited until we were in port. All in all, a great trip, and NCL remains our go to cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
5th cruise with NCL and standards have generally fallen,there were several small niggles that accumulated to put a damper on the general cruise .No Smirnoff available in shop 1 day out of Southampton yet every bar seemed to have plenty ... Read More
5th cruise with NCL and standards have generally fallen,there were several small niggles that accumulated to put a damper on the general cruise .No Smirnoff available in shop 1 day out of Southampton yet every bar seemed to have plenty during whole cruise . Booked dinner for 6 pm on table of 6 ,we waited in large queue then give any available table mostly for 2 ,know they go on anytime dining so why ask and print on documents. Service time in restaurants very slow ,one morning had to leave as excursion was due ,this was one hour after entering .Cruise Next was a joke ,we wanted info and possible booking of further cruise in September,cruise next Director said look at web site,we then asked for a price for a specific cruise as we were flying from Glasgow and again told to look on website ,she seemed only interested in selling deposits .might just look at websites of all cruise lines.asked for tea in spinnaker lounge told no tea available yet this was just above garden buffet ,could the barman not have picked up phone and have it sent up or was this too much to ask .public toilet on deck 13 being cleaned ,no public toilet at the end of ship until deck 8 and had to get down stairs as legs are bad and could not wait for lift.Asked for melon as starter ,it came just slice no garnish and looked like it was just thrown on plate. Some on the staff were great especially around to magnum bar and in the bliss but others were surly.In general poor and will not be back on Jade Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Having cruised with several different cruise lines I think I can honestly say this was the worst and I would never cruise with them again The emphasis to spend money by Norwegian cruise lines is overwhelming. The overpriced gratuities ... Read More
Having cruised with several different cruise lines I think I can honestly say this was the worst and I would never cruise with them again The emphasis to spend money by Norwegian cruise lines is overwhelming. The overpriced gratuities £14pp per day and the additional 20% surcharge imposed upon drinks which are already double the cost of other cruise lines made this seemingly fairly priced cruise an extortionate price in total. In terms of their money grabbing ethics I think I was most disgusted when we arrived in Bergen. Having obviously purchased the cheapest docking bay the Jade was the furthest ship away from town. It was torrential rain when we arrived and rather than putting on shuttle buses for those with poor mobility (I have good mobility so the walk is no problem for me)they were selling cheap thin plastic ponchos for $3 Food in all restaurants was mediocre at best and inedible at worst (I had the toughest steak I've ever been served in one of the non free restaurant Cagneys). There were no vegetables served that weren't stir fried with limited and repetitive choice in the buffet self served on hard plastic plates drinks to be stirred with wooden sticks The entertainment was ok I guess if you like bingo, Mr & Mrs game shows and are keen on passenger humiliation. There are no really nice daytime lounge areas with everything geared around bars or areas where you can spend money. No seating available on the wrap round deck as obviously you can't buy anything there Although only one tender was listed in the cruise itinerary pre booking there were actually 3 tender transfers making it impossible for those with disabilities to go ashore. No explanation was given but it was noticeable that other ships had obviously paid to dock and the Jade had not. Shore excursions ranged between $85 for a walking tour around town to $295 If you want a good cruise at a reasonable price with good service and food then I suggest you look elsewhere and give Norwegian Cruise lines a miss Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I did a Baltic cruise in 2015 on the NCL Star. It was absolutely lovely. The Jade in 2017, however, although a nicer ship (it had been refurbished to a less gaudy, less beach-themed motif), was a dramatically worse experience. From top to ... Read More
I did a Baltic cruise in 2015 on the NCL Star. It was absolutely lovely. The Jade in 2017, however, although a nicer ship (it had been refurbished to a less gaudy, less beach-themed motif), was a dramatically worse experience. From top to bottom, with a few exceptions, the staff were unhelpful and often downright rude. We were yelled at on more than one occasion for offenses such as asking to see a menu 10 minutes before a bar opened, or following signs for disembarkation when a crewmember though we should have known (despite clear instructions to the contrary) to wait before descendinn. In over 40 countries of travel and 5 cruises, this was by far the worst experience I've ever had with staff--and I'm neither picky nor hard to please! Perhaps chalk it up to mandatory tips, rather than merit-based tipping? And while I enjoyed every meal on the 2015 NCL Star, there were meals that were almost unedible on the Jade, including rancid bacon at O'Sheehans for breakfast one morning. The specialty restaurants were the exception. Finally, while the NCL Star put out gorgeous, location-specific crafts and souvenirs for my Baltics cruise (a wonderful touch!) the NCL Jade had Caribbean-themed items in the gift shop throughout the cruise, with a few incredibly cheap and tacky Norway-themed items strewn on a few tables about halfway through the itinerary. All in all, this cruise felt like somewhat of an afterthought for NCL, or something simply geared toward making money, rather than offering up a wonderful experience designed to garner repeat customers. I'm not likely to ever cruise with NCL again! That being said, the itinerary was absolutely wonderful, and I'd recommend the Norwegian fjords as a destination wholeheartedly! We also thoroughly enjoyed the hardworking entertainment staff, and the shows they put on (particularly Blazing Boots). Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have had a really top notch cruise from start to finish. We boarded the ship in Southampton and embarkation was smooth and quick. We were on board by 11:30 am and enjoying all the ship had to offer. Our cabin wasn't ready but ... Read More
We have had a really top notch cruise from start to finish. We boarded the ship in Southampton and embarkation was smooth and quick. We were on board by 11:30 am and enjoying all the ship had to offer. Our cabin wasn't ready but that just gave us more time to explore the ship. The ship was lovely, all the public areas were clean and welcoming. When we did get to our cabin we found there to be plenty of storage space and it was clean and well appointed. Once we unpacked we went to have a couple of sailaway cocktails, we had the drinks package. We have sailed on other lines before with drinks packages, but we find that the NCL drinks package is the most inclusive with plenty to chose from. We then went for dinner in one of the MDRs. There was plenty of choice and the food was delicious. We also ate in the speciality restaurants and enjoyed the fayre there. We found them good value for money. There was plenty to do in the evening with entertainment at every venue, the musicians were good with a varied choice of songs to cater for all ages. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We had sailed this area before but it was our first time for Geiranger, Flam and Lerwick. The sail in to Geiranger and Flam was beautiful and we went on the Flam railway to Myrdal which was breath taking. We organised this independently and felt it was good value. All the information you need is online. There were some ports we had to tender but we found this no problem as we had priority tendering. We were well looked after whilst on this cruise, all the staff made us feel special. We are early risers and found that our cabin was usually made up after we came back from breakfast. We were really impressed with our cabin steward. We are big fans of NCL and have sailed on their larger ships and their older ones and have found the standard of service to be consistantly high. In fact we enjoyed this cruise so much we have booked again for next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Positives: 1) comfortable room and fabulous balcony with patio door. 2) 24k duo music was fabulous! 3) great cocktails! 4) specialty restaurants were very good. 5) cruise stops as well as number of stops on the cruise made ... Read More
Positives: 1) comfortable room and fabulous balcony with patio door. 2) 24k duo music was fabulous! 3) great cocktails! 4) specialty restaurants were very good. 5) cruise stops as well as number of stops on the cruise made the trip a great value. 6) the discounts on laundry and internet -- otherwise both were WAY overpriced! 7) Renato Suela was our housekeeper and he was absolutely lovely and helpful and hardworking. Negatives: 1) the first tender to Geiranger was an absolute disaster for no good reason and communication about it sucked. First piece of advice: your advice about "go to breakfast and then get in line for a tender ticket" is total misinformation. If cruisers did this, they would never get off the ship. Every time my husband woke up to get in line, the line was around the pool at least 35 minutes before 8am tender ticket time, especially for the first tender. We missed our fjord tour because of the tender issue and some employees were making calls for people to tell the tour boats to wait, but when we asked the crew to do this for us, they claimed there was no service and were totally rude and moody about it. 2) I never even considered booking a tour through the cruise ship, because the price per person was ridiculously high. Booked all my tours through fjordtours.com for a fraction of the cost and never once had an issue with getting back in time for the ship, which is supposedly the rationale for always booking tours through the cruise company. This was precisely why the first tender was so frustrating, because most people booked tours not through the cruise ship because of cost and then could not get off the ship. A specific example of an overpriced tour was in Lerwick, where it was $89 to see Scalloway Castle and the ponies. Scalloway castle entry is free and the museum is only 3 pounds to enter. I doubt ponies, a bus ride, and maybe a snack can possibly add up to $89 per person! 3) had to remind the internet manager to give us our free 10 minutes we bought with our on-sale $75 for 75+10 internet minutes or else we would not have received it. 4) food at the general buffet is too salty overall. I know most people drink heavily on cruises and this numbs their taste buds, but for those of us not drinking, the food is sometimes almost inedible. Chill out on the salt! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise to see the Norwegian Fjords.Norwegian Cruis Line had been highly recommended to us, in fact one friend said that the Norwegian Jade was their favourite ship!?!?!? We were first timers on a cruise and felt quite ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Norwegian Fjords.Norwegian Cruis Line had been highly recommended to us, in fact one friend said that the Norwegian Jade was their favourite ship!?!?!? We were first timers on a cruise and felt quite abandoned and out of our depth! No-one was at the terminal to direct us, or tell us what to do! We eventually discovered things as we went along, and finally managed to make our own way to the ship!! Supposedly, the ship had undergone a refurbishment last year, however, other passengers who had been on the ship before the refurb, could see no evidence of any refurb whatsoever!!!! The ship is like a cruise ferry, and certainly not very luxurious. It was expensive as we had booked a guaranteed balcony room, however, when we got to the room, it was reminiscent of a caravan on a holiday camp!!! The restaurants were of a poor quality, as was the food, which was often cold and tasteless. The entertainment was very poor and, as we thought, was more suited to a working men's social club!!!! Activities amounted to quizzes, bingo, games, crosswords, etc!!! If you like a drink at the bar, accompanied by a night club singer, then you'll be happy on the Jade. . .it's a very expensive way to do it though!!!! The service staff were all very friendly, however, the same could not be said of the ship's crew, who seemed to get out the wrong side of the bed most mornings!!! The excursions were okay, expensive, however, the only way to see the beautiful scenery that the Fjords have to offer! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
2 years ago we went all the Family with the Costa and it was very good, but last week I went with the Norwegian Jade from 8th till 17th June Room Cabin 9655 to the Fjords, And I tell you that this was not Good but Super and Excellent and I ... Read More
2 years ago we went all the Family with the Costa and it was very good, but last week I went with the Norwegian Jade from 8th till 17th June Room Cabin 9655 to the Fjords, And I tell you that this was not Good but Super and Excellent and I will not go for another cruise if it's not the Norwegian Jade. The customer care, Food, cleaning is hi-gening ecc ecc are more than the best, I highly recommend this ship, the staff are really caring and excellent people, we use to have lunch and dinner in the Pacific Restaurant and the head waiters Maria Refuela and Dusan Markovik where really excellent in there Job, the food menu changes everyday and believe me this is great food, even in deck 12 we use to go for breakfast. Thank you for a million times for giving us a great holiday. The only suggestions I would like to make (Not Complaining because there is nothing to complain about) is in the Casino, I like to play roulettes just for, to pass the time not lose and not to win a lot this should be at least 1 dollar and you put on the table as much as you want not minimum of 10 dollars, I have spoke to the Manager and he was great. The other thing I like to have a Grappa after dinner, but this was not in the Menu, I even spoke to the beverage manager, I assure you that I am going to suggest to my friends in Malta and relatives in Italy for a great cruise with Norwegian Jade. Thank you Captain and Crew and keep it up. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the length of time we had to cruise this itinerary. I must say we had done the fjords two times earlier on other lines. But this one on the Jade not only did the fjords but also the Shetland Islands. Loved ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the length of time we had to cruise this itinerary. I must say we had done the fjords two times earlier on other lines. But this one on the Jade not only did the fjords but also the Shetland Islands. Loved the ship, just the right size for us, lots of other activities as well as dining options. We do not recommend lightly as we have cruised 30 plus times. Now if you really need all the gimmicks of some of the newer ships this may not be for you. But if you want a good value with a great mix of people you will not be disappointed. The shore excursions were well organized, we took 3 from the ship and booked the others on our own as we had been before. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants, Cagney’s our personal favorites. We had an ocean view cabin which was fine as weather was chilly. Bergen was the only washout weather wise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted to visit London and Norway. London was wonderful. There was easy access to the underground. We had booked our transportation to the port through NCL. All we had to do is get back to the airport and off we went. Embarkation was ... Read More
We wanted to visit London and Norway. London was wonderful. There was easy access to the underground. We had booked our transportation to the port through NCL. All we had to do is get back to the airport and off we went. Embarkation was SUPERB. Once we were at the port we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Incredible! The show on the ship, Elements, was Awesome. The food was very good. Our cabin was wonderful. Sigh. As far as the ports, the highlight of the cruise were the views of the fjords. The ports were small and, if you didn't have a tour planned, there was not tons of atmosphere. We sort of expected to see more local color. Many of the shop clerks were from other countries and did not even speak Norwegian. On the ship, they have eliminated drinking straws. Surprisingly, this did make a difference when drinking sodas, etc. Now we will have to pack our own straws. We will cruise with NCL again to see more of the world. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Norwegian Jade Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 5.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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