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31 Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

I chose the Norwegian Pearl because my wife and daughter had previously cruised on it before. Although, there had been an outbreak of the Norovirus on the previous cruise, the crew did an excellent accommodating everyone and making the ... Read More
I chose the Norwegian Pearl because my wife and daughter had previously cruised on it before. Although, there had been an outbreak of the Norovirus on the previous cruise, the crew did an excellent accommodating everyone and making the necessary adjustments to prevent any further illnesses. I read some of the reviews and you would think the people were on a different cruise. Highlights were the itinerary (loved Amsterdam, stops in Bergen, Flam & Geiranger, Norway & Bruges, the staff & the specialty restaurants especially Le Bistro and Cagneys where had excellent dinners. We experienced zero problems communicating with staff; everyone from our room steward, many food and drink servers and dining room staff and waiters were great. A good morning, afternoon or evening greeting plus a smile was always returned with the same. Never did we experience any rudeness. We enjoyed the variety of the nightly entertainment as well as the daily entertainers in the atrium and various lounges especially Magnum's Champagne & Wine Bar . Maybe some of the critics should try it once a while and leave there attitude of entitlement back in their homeland but there are some folks that are unhappy before they get on the cruise and nothing is going to make them happy. We avoid those travelers and surround ourselves with upbeat friendly travelers of which there were many. Our 93 old companion said what's not to love on a cruise with the staff ensuring you are having a memorable experience. She summed up our Norwegian Pearl cruise by calling it the Trip of a Lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My hubby and I chose this cruise because the ports were so fantastic. Stops in Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. I had always dreamed of seeing Norway and it did not disappoint. We flew to Heathrow direct from Atlanta the day before the ... Read More
My hubby and I chose this cruise because the ports were so fantastic. Stops in Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. I had always dreamed of seeing Norway and it did not disappoint. We flew to Heathrow direct from Atlanta the day before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place near the airport. Since we arrived in the early morning we had to pay for two nights but it was worth it to have a bed to sleep in. After a 6 hr. nap, we walked across the street and caught a local bus to a pub where we had a Sunday Roast. Fantastic!! We used the hotel hoppa bus to get to and from the airport. It was 5 pounds each way. We then road it back the next morning to catch the Norwegian shuttle. We had previously been on this ship. It was really about the same with a few upgrades. Our inside cabin was small but adequate for us. The first few days the dining was actually pretty good, but as the cruise progressed it seemed like the menu was not very desirable. Really the food was disappointing. The entertainment that was brought on board were actually good. However the musicians around the ship were really not good at all. It was low level music to say the least. But the worse was the seating in the main venue. You were either cramped with no foot room or sat on the front row. The seats were so low you had to have help to get up!! Our room steward was great, in the dining rooms it was very hard to get what you ordered in a reasonable time. Ports - Bergen - Beautiful, easy to walk around on your own. We rode the funnicular to the top (I purchased the tickets on line before leaving home) then walked to the fish market for lunch. We took the Roedne Fjiord cruise. I booked it online before leaving as it was sold out for the afternoon we were there. I can not recomment it enough. It was absolutely amazing. It was three and a half hours into a beautiful fjiord. You do not want to miss this. In Alesund, we rode the little blue train around ($30.00pp USA_ It was a fun way to see the city. Afterwards, we walked around and had lunch in a local fish market/restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We planned our cruise on NCL Jade nearly a year before sailing. As the cruise was planned to celebrate a special 60th birthday, I was asked to plan the cruise due to my experience in cruising. We were a party of 11 adults (family and ... Read More
We planned our cruise on NCL Jade nearly a year before sailing. As the cruise was planned to celebrate a special 60th birthday, I was asked to plan the cruise due to my experience in cruising. We were a party of 11 adults (family and friends) travelling together. 9 of the 11 individuals had never sailed before and hence I had to choose a ship and itinerary that would suit all. We settled on NCL Jade 9 day cruise as it offered an interesting itinerary covering 5 Norwegian stops (Haugesund, Hellesyt-Geiranger, Flam, Alesund and Bergen) and 1 Scottish (Kirkwall in Orkney) stop. Also it offered 2 days on sea. Moreover 3 birthdays, including the special 60th, would be celebrated on the cruise. As I had sailed Jade before, I knew it would suit everyone. Jade is a very elegant ship and not too big. Easy to manoeuvre around and from my previous experience, I was aware of the good food and entertainment offered on board. Also the premium all inclusive experience which had all beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) of up to $15 in value included in addition to pre-paid gratuities which was an added bonus as we wouldn't need to worry about these extra onboard charges at the end of the cruise. Although we had booked 11 months in advance, it seemed the time for the cruise arrived very quickly. On the day of departure, it was a wonderful sunny day and we drove to Southampton in 3 cars. Due to the bank holiday weekend, traffic was a bit heavy but we got to the car parking area in 2 hours. We were shuttled to the ship within half an hour or so as there were 4 ships sailing that day and lot of us arrived at the same time. However once we got to the cruise terminal, we dropped off our baggage and headed inside to check in. Check in was very swift and there were no queues whatsoever. Once checked in, we had a short wait to board. However we were inside the ship by 1.30pm or so. Unlike my previous experience on NCL and many other cruise lines, there was no one to welcome or guide us as we entered the ship. Hence we made our own way to our cabins to drop off our hand luggage before heading to the Garden cafe for a buffet lunch. This was a large area on the starboard side of the ship which extended from the aft to the pool side in the centre. Hence, despite it being busy, we all found seats easily. Food was good with a vegetarian Indian section too. There were various other food serving areas like salad station, pizza and pasta counters, burger bar, breads section, desserts area etc. So all of us found something or other to eat here most days during lunch time. I noticed that the ship had a refurbishment from the last time we were on Jade which was more than 3 years ago. The garden cafe looked great and the cabins had new carpets and lighting which looked good. However the pool area looked very bare after getting rid of the water slides and colourful side columns. Couldn't wait to explore rest of the ship and see what other changes were made. We walked along the upper deck area which had a jogging track and basketball/football sports court. 2 pools and 4 hot tubs were located in the centre of the ship. As we made our way to the lower decks, we noticed that the atrium had a different look. It used to be very colourful with flowers on the ceiling. However this had changed to white elegant lights which changed colour in the evenings. The moderno churascarria speciality restaurant on deck 8 had changed to Irish pub O'Sheehans complimentary restaurant which was open all day and night. The photo gallery had a makeover and so did one of the lounges called Bliss lounge which looked completely different. Most of the ship had new carpets too! The theatre, casino and main dining rooms didn't seem to have had much change apart from new carpets and wall displays. Plenty of bars through the ship and it seemed there was new furniture added to make the ship look very fresh and vibrant. On the whole, the 2 of us who had sailed on the Jade before, were quite happy about the overall refurbishment except for the pool area. Soon after we explored the ship, it was time for the emergency drill. Unlike other cruise lines, you do not need to take your life jackets to the drill and the muster stations are located in one of the ship's inside areas like theatre, dining room etc. Ours was in the bliss lounge. The drill was very boring and lasted around 15mins. Once this was done, we headed to the sail off party on the pool deck. This was quite good with peppy music and dancing by the professional dancers followed by rest joining in to dance. Some of our group had good fun starting off the cruise in such an energetic way. Once we set sail, we headed to our cabins to get ready before planning to meet up for drinks later. All our cabins were balcony cabins on 3 levels. One was an accessible cabin which had plenty of room to move around the cabin, large roll in shower area and one could access the balcony in a wheelchair. The rest of our cabins were of good size too with a seperate shower and toilet area with sink in the middle. There was a small sofa next to the beds with a flat screen tv which had various channels including a latest english movie channel too. The balcony was quite huge (compared to some newer ships)with 2 chairs. There was plenty of storage and power points. Also every cabin had a safe and a mini fridge. Unfortunately the alcohol in the fridge was not part of our drinks package so we asked for it to be removed so we could store out complimentary bottles of water in there. As part of the premium inclusive package, we each received 1l bottle of water per day. However they gave us 18 bottles of water per cabin together on the 1st day and hence cluttered the dressing area.It would be better if they could provide bottles of water daily as per our need rather than all together. We didn't use up all our bottles of water by end of the cruise and had to leave them behind. I would definitely recommend getting a balcony cabin for this cruise as it's the best way to make the most of the beautiful surroundings of Norway. However to be honest, personally I wouldn't go on a cruise with a cabin without a balcony as it's nice to have some personal outside space which you don't have to share with others. Our room attendant was not very good as he didn't come to introduce himself, wouldn't answer phone calls and didn't heed to all our requests. However cabin was left nice and tidy on most days. I think he was new and was being coached by someone. Most of the other group members said they had very good room stewards who left them towel animals on most evenings. We weren't left with a single animal in the whole cruise. May be our room steward just wasn't trained how to make them. Also missed chocolates on the pillows every night which NCL should bring back. We met for drinks at the beer/whisky tankards bar and this along with the adjacent champagne bar became our usual meeting area for pre-dinner drinks each evening. Drinks were great with excellent cocktails on offer. Mojitos bar on deck 13 did some excellent mojitos but we only managed to get there 3 times. Also the bar guy in the tankards bar was excellent and always was very patient with all our requests. It was easy to get to the Alizar main dining room where we dined most nights. We usually got 2 tables nearby and were seated generally within 15 minutes of getting a buzzer. Service was generally good and the food was very good too. Vegetarian options were limited however plenty of fish and meat options. Red wine was excellent and we had a different kind each night eg. Merlot/Shiraz/Cabernet etc. However unlike other cruise lines where a wine steward would come and take your order promptly, we sometimes had to tell them we wanted to order wine before they took our drinks order. On the contrary, someone always came to offer us chargeable bottled water which we declined and went for normal water. On the second night of the cruise, we dined at the Grand Pacific which is much more grander but we preferred the more intimate Alizar. We managed to get a table of 11 at the grand Pacific which was great and at a prebooked time that suited us. Service was generally good that day too however none of the soups on the menu said vegetarian and as half of our party were vegetarians, we thought we would make a request to see if they could make us soups with vegetable stock or prepare other vegetarian items not in the main menu. The maitre'D came and declined that we could only order from the menu and no changes could be made as per recommendations from their head office in Miami. This was very disheartening as in our previous cruises on NCL we could always make simple requests like vegetable stock soups or another vegetarian item not on the menu. We asked if there was a vegetarian menu and he declined again. Hence we had to ask him to call his boss. Initially he said she was off duty but later managed to call her to come. She wouldn't come to our table and asked one of us to go and speak to her which we declined. Anyway, later she came and was not at all apologetic about why they couldn't accept our dietary needs request. However she said there was a vegetarian menu which came as a big surprise to us as the maitre'D had denied they had one. It took them a long time to get the menu but once they did, we could see there were several options we could have from there if the vegetarian options on the main menu were not suitable. NCL should train their maitre'Ds well so that they can understand every customers dietary needs. If he had given us the menu initially we wouldn't have needed to call his boss. Anyway, we didn't want this hitch to affect our cruise and tried to forget about it. We returned to this dining room a few days later and had excellent service. Also the next days menu and the vegetarian menu was presented to us every evening so we could make our selection if required. We thoroughly enjoyed rest of our meals in the main dining rooms in the evening. Those who tried garden cafe for a meal one evening, also said they would not go back there for evening meals as quality, presentation and service was far better in the main dining rooms. None of us got a chance to go to any speciality restaurants like teppanyaki, steak restaurant etc. so can't comment on them. On sea days, there were several activities around the ship like port talks, game shows like deal or no deal, bingo, cake making demonstration, towel folding class etc. There was something for everyone to keep one occupied. However they need to have movies in the theatre on sea days for those like myself who enjoy that. We tried O'Sheehans, the Irish pub, for lunch on first sea day but food and service was below par and never went back except for a coffee one day. However some of our party went there for fish and chips and really enjoyed them. There is another complimentary asian restaurant called Jasmine in the evening but we never got a chance to try that. Most of the shows we saw were outstanding especially the production show, 'Elements' which was excellent. Although, we have seen this on other NCL ships, we always enjoy this one. The welcome aboard show was good and gave us a glimpse on things to come on the cruise. We loved the British opera singer (sorry can't remember his name) and the British 3 men band called 'the Knights' both of whom got standing ovations. The magician and his partner were good too. We missed the acrobatic show but saw them in the 'Elements' and they were excellent. We missed one of the production shows called 'Blazing boots' but did manage to see the 1st production show (can't remember the name of that one) which was average. On the whole, the quality of shows on NCL is far superior than those we have seen on other cruise lines. We were lucky with weather at most ports. The 1st sea day was dull and there was some rain in the afternoon however most of us were occupied with activities inside the ship. The first port stop was Haugesund which was cloudy and windy in the morning. 2 of us did an NCL excursion to beautiful Skudenshavn which is a pretty little town with white buildings and a museum. Rest of us hired a taxi or went by bus to some waterfalls which were hour and half away. They enjoyed their excursion too. In the afternoon it started raining whilst we were shopping in Haugesund so returned to ship slightly earlier. The next day we sailed into Hellesyt where we dropped off some passengers for a land tour to Geiranger. Once they got off, we sailed into Geiranger. The sail in was excellent and it was worth being on upper decks or your balcony. However being on upper decks is better as there is beautiful scenery on both sides of the ship. It was partly cloudy and quite chilly that morning. Once we reached Geiranger (which was most of ours favourite port), we got off the ship via the floatable walkway (a marvellous engineering feat) and made our way to meet our driver who was going to take us on a private excursion. As we were slightly early, we did some shopping in the beautiful small town area. He collected us on time and took us on our 3 hour trip which had 3 stops. This was one of our best private excursions as the scenery was awesome and we had great weather all day. We also went to Mount Dalsnibba which had an excellent view of the glaciers and ship below. Some of our best personal photos were from this trip. At the end of the tour, the driver dropped some of us off near a waterfall whereby we could walk down into town along the walkway adjacent to the waterfalls. This was a lovely walk downhill and therefater we went to more shops and then headed back to the ship. The day after we reached Flam which was another pretty port. However our ship had to tender due to another ship being in port. This meant that one of our group members who was in a wheel chair couldn't get off the ship. In the morning it was partly cloudy with some sun and we enjoyed looking around the Flam shops and did a 45min toy train ride which was fun. Then 2 of us headed back to ship whilst rest stayed in town. After lunch and a bit of rest came back to town and we went on the famous 'Flam train journey'. The train journey was good but despite the scenery being great and stopping at some beautiful water falls whereby there was a lady dancing to some Celtic music, we somehow felt this trip fell short of our high expectations. The short stop where we had waffles and coffee was a damp squib as the waffles had gone cold by the time we got there and it had started raining. Some of us did a short hike nearby there to see some waterfalls and a lake but that wasn't very interesting either. The train ride back was the same way. Ideally I would have done a land journey by coach and took train ride back or vice versa. We got back to ship quite late that evening which was when we celebrated my brother in law's 60th birthday bash. We had pre dinner celebration prosecco at our favourite whisky bar followed by a lovely meal at grand Pacific dining room. This culminated with a special eggless cake which was preordered and staff singing away 'Happy birthday'. We ended the evening by dancing away to some great tunes in the spinnakers lounge in deck 13. Certainly a birthday to remember! The next day we were in mesmerising Alesund! Most of the group did the hop on hop off tour which they enjoyed with great views from Aksla viewpoint. The weather was sunny most of the day. 2 of us did full day 'land of trolls' NCL tour which was one of the best tours we have ever done in terms of the scenery we encountered on this trip. However our lunch stop didn't have much for vegetarians except for salads despite telling the ship and tour guide in advance. Our last stop in Norway was in Bergen where we had a clear sunny day with warm temperatures. We all did hop on hop off tour. We got off at Mount Floyen funicular but there was a long queue to go up via the funicular. So, 8 of us decided to hike up thinking it wouldn't be that difficult as we saw several people making their way up. It was a difficult hike especially the 2nd half when it got quite steep. However all of us made it to the top and celebrated our hike by taking photos against beautiful backdrop of Bergen and our ship. We took the funicular down as there was not much queue and walked to fish market. Went to nearby restaurant whereby some of us had fish and chips and beer. Apparently those who ate fish said it was really good. We walked around beautiful Bergen and then took hop on hop off bus back to the ship. Our last stop was in Kirkwall, Orkney islands in Scotland. The weather was overcast but dry. 2 of us took a South Island tour which was panoramic and had a stop at a small church which was interesting. Also the tour guide was excellent and told us lot of world war stories which occurred in the area. Then we headed to Kirkwall to see the downtown area which was lovely with great shops and a cathedral whereby a wedding was going on. 2 of us walked to highland distillery to sample and buy whisky but we were not allowed to as tours were full and they wouldn't let us try the whisky without a tour which is a bit silly. Anyway went back to town to do some souvenir shopping before heading back to ship. Our final day at sea was sunny but windy. However there was a lot going on to keep us occupied. Also, lot of us bought photos from the photo gallery which were not cheap but as a lot of professional shots were very good, we were tempted to buy some. We also did some shopping on the onboard shops. I went to captains Q&A session which was ok as most of the questions that were asked were not very interesting. That evening we had to leave our bags outside the door before retiring to bed as is norm with most cruise lines. The disembarkation next day was very smooth and we were off the ship by 9am when our luggage tag colour was called. On the whole we all had an excellent cruise despite the small hiccup we had on the 2nd evening of our cruise. Most of the staff who come from over 40 countries in the world were always smiling and helpful. Have to mention the wishy washy ladies/men here who did an excellent job ensuring everyone's hands were sprayed with antibacterial before entering buffet area or entering the ship. Also towels and refreshments were offered as we embarked at the end of each day in port. The captain was visible a few times and ensured his team did a good job. Must mention Richard, the cruise director, who was always visible and did an excellent job. He and his entertainment team were just brilliant and made everyone happy. Missed the crew show on this cruise but Richard said he will try and get one going soon again. Highly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to sail through the majestic Norwegian fjords. Great for groups of family/friends and for me, the best way to experience the fjords of Norway! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this 9 day cruise because we wanted to sail the Norwegian Fjords. We loved spending each day in a different port and then getting back on the ship at dinner time, sailing at night and getting into a new port early the next ... Read More
We chose this 9 day cruise because we wanted to sail the Norwegian Fjords. We loved spending each day in a different port and then getting back on the ship at dinner time, sailing at night and getting into a new port early the next morning. Hotels and restaurants in Norway are really expensive and so it was great to come back to the Jade every evening and know that we didn’t have a hotel or food bill! The Norwegian Jade is a smaller boat and that was what we wanted. The staff was extremely service oriented and friendly. They all seemed to love thier job! The ship was immaculate! The only negative about the cruise was the food. We chose to upgrade 8 of our meals in the specialty restaurants. Moderno was horrible, Teppanyaki and La Cucina were fair. Cagneys and Le Bistro were hit or miss depending on the day and the meal ordered. Grand Pacific dining room is beautiful and the food was ok. The breakfast buffet was reasonable (you can’t really screw up breakfast and there was a good selection) but the main buffet for lunch and dinner was a dissapointment and most days the food was exactly the same. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise to see the fjords, the people of Norway and their way of life and to ride the famous Flam train. The cabin was great and I want to especially commend our cabin service person, Liping. She was absolutely PERFECT. ... Read More
I chose this cruise to see the fjords, the people of Norway and their way of life and to ride the famous Flam train. The cabin was great and I want to especially commend our cabin service person, Liping. She was absolutely PERFECT. Please let her know. The rest of the staff were all excellent and you could not ask for better service and attention. Entertainment was very good. I did not get to all the shows but did go to Elements which was done excellently. (Did not like the smoke machine that went with the show since my throat was sensitive to it.) Richard Matic was outstanding. I really enjoyed the question and answer time with the Captain and two crew members. Felt that the Captain was a take charge person and could handle any situation. Although sometimes during the night we did speed up a bit much. Only had to take one Dramamine when I went to Deck 13 once. The Flam was Terrific as well as the venicular ride on the other stop. That raspberry jam on the Flam ride was out of this world and I bought a jar. As I said the overall service was OUTSTANDING. You could just Look puzzled and the staff read your mind and helped out. I did have the buffet pictured a little different in my mind. I thought since we were in Norway there would be fresh shellfish on ice, along with crab. There was none of this. But, myself and my three friends I traveled with all missed enjoying the "lobster dinner" and when we asked why it was missing in action we were told that lobster were depleted in spite of the fact that the ship indicates they purchased 1000 pounds. So it went somewhere...not sure where because we did Not have lobster dinner which normally is accompanied with baked Alaska for desert. So we would have really enjoyed that if it had happened, but it Did Not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose this cruise for the marvelous places it was going at a reasonable price. That being said, IF we had not gotten the upgrade it would have been a very different story. We booked an outside cabin that would have been fine, but because ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the marvelous places it was going at a reasonable price. That being said, IF we had not gotten the upgrade it would have been a very different story. We booked an outside cabin that would have been fine, but because we did a "guarantee" cabin NCL chose to move us from our first assigned cabin to a horrible location on the fourth deck. From a window to a porthole with bunks. They must have decided we would be generous with our bidding for an upgrade and we were. For an additional $1000.00 we got an aft facing mini-suite. It provided for beautiful views of everything from our balcony. Still awakened every morning at 5 am by the sliding of chairs above us as they set the tables and chairs out on the deck. If you have a choice do not book an aft on deck eleven. The "no smoking" balcony was not a rule our neighbors chose to follow and since our balcony was mostly enclosed the smoke was terrible. It only took three complaints to customer service and one actual visit to them before anything was done to correct the situation. Too many people smoking everywhere they could get away with it and there really wasn't any enforcement. The toilet stopped working for two days in a row. The first day was all day, the second only for a short time. Very little variety in entertainment, two great shows but everything else was very repetitive. The buffet was better than the dining room on most nights, although the steak that was available every night was very good. Asian restaurant was terrible. O'Sheehan's was fine but service was slow and drinks were warm. We only booked one of our tours through the ship and it was great but so were all the others booked locally that were cheaper. Blue Puffin does a great trip to Nordkapp, not to be missed. The ship only offers transportation. Yes, I would recommend this fantastic visit to the fjords of Norway but I would suggest a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise. The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully ... Read More
We chose this NCL Jade cruise for its itinerary: up the western coast of Norway and into the Arctic Circle. We were very pleased with most aspects of the cruise. The Jade is a comparatively small ship, comfortable and tastefully decorated. There is a wide variety of dining venues, along with bars/lounges, spa areas, and casino. The passengers on this cruise appeared to be there for the scenery, rather than being a party crowd that you find on shorter, more tropical cruises. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. Our balcony room was comfortable, and well maintained by our attentive steward. Of note, there were quite a few outlets and charging ports in the cabin, more than most hotel rooms offer. The lighting could have been a little better. The food and service in the four specialty restaurants we dined in were outstanding. These dining areas were rarely busy. Buffet and main dining room food offered good variety, but average quality. Service in the Grand Pacific main dining room tended to be inconsistent, but better in the second dining room, the Alazar. Finding seating at the buffet, the Garden Cafe, was challenging, particularly at breakfast time. O’Sheehan’s bar and grill was overlooked and rarely busy, so offered a good alternative for breakfast. While spa services were expensive as is typical for this type of environment, the thermal spa pass was a bargain. For a flat rate, we had unlimited access to the private hot tubs and saunas in the spa. A limited number of passes are sold, so these areas are not typically crowded. This was a very worthwhile investment. Due to the climate, passengers made little use of the pool deck. As is common for cruise ships, the pools and hot tubs are too small, probably of necessity, to accommodate the demand when the weather is warm. The bars and lounges were ok. There was a nice mojito bar on the 13th deck that was rarely open and usually empty. Entertainment of varying quality was offered in most. The “Show Band” was particularly good. We did not visit the casino or attend any specialty shows, though several people commented that the shows were quite good. I don’t really understand the draw of art galleries, jewelry, and watches on cruise ships, but they tend to be a common element for some reason. The main attraction for us was the ports. We were not completely satisfied with the cruise line sponsored excursions, opting to schedule only one of them. The one that we chose, a waterfall hike in Geiranger, was excellent, however. At the remaining ports, we researched and booked excursions independently that were of more interest to us, or simply ventured out on our own. One unpleasant aspect of the cruise was the tendering process. The ship docked in three ports and was tendered at three. The latter process was a nightmare. Very small boats were used to transport passengers rather than the larger ferry-type boats that I am more accustomed to. The process necessitated passengers to line up for tendering passes the day before, and in order to get a relatively early boat, one had to spend an hour or more in line for these tickets. Guests would be lined up halfway down the length of the deck at these times. This does not make a positive impression. Fellow passengers remarked that this experience would prevent them from booking with NCL in the future. Even excursion operators commented on the ongoing inefficiency of the NCL tendering system. Cruise directors frequently reiterated the advantage of not needing tendering tickets for excursions booked through NCL, but I don’t feel that I should be extorted into booking a less interesting excursion because of the dismal tendering process. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted to visit friends in Hamburg and this cruise left from Hamburg, so we were able to combine a nice visit of a few days followed by an enjoyable cruise. This was our first NCL cruise and we felt the crew members on this cruise ... Read More
We wanted to visit friends in Hamburg and this cruise left from Hamburg, so we were able to combine a nice visit of a few days followed by an enjoyable cruise. This was our first NCL cruise and we felt the crew members on this cruise were very friendly and helpful, more so than on previous cruise lines we have used. Food was generally very good, although we were not fully aware that "dress up" nights were not scheduled and totally optional, so we would not bother packing those bulky clothes next time. Our major complaint would have to be that we often experienced many of the food items in the buffet lines were often not hot, especially at breakfast. The company needs to find a better way to keep food hot and appetizing. This was not true for everything, but certain items were nearly always lukewarm at best, and as usual scrambled eggs were not "done" as we would have preferred. We also felt that excursions were rather pricey considering what was offered. I would recommend buying the drink package, as drinks were, I thought, very expensive. Be aware, however, that you must pay $192 up front for tips. We thought that was a pretty high price for tips. At 20%, that's tips for almost $1000 worth of drinks, which for moderate drinkers, seems rather high. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have cruised over a dozen times. I have learned if you treat the cruise staff with respect - you will generally get good service. If you treat them like they are mere servants - you will receive lesser quality service. We have no ... Read More
We have cruised over a dozen times. I have learned if you treat the cruise staff with respect - you will generally get good service. If you treat them like they are mere servants - you will receive lesser quality service. We have no complaints about the service we received in all parts of the ship including housekeeping, food service, bar service, etc. We are very happy with the service we received. Many on here seem to complain about room size. You are on a cruise and face it - cabins are smaller than hotel rooms. We have been on many cruises and we are use to the limited space. We had a balcony cabin and I am glad we did on this cruise which had so many beautiful views. One idea I read about was buying magnet hooks to hook things to. I bought some 40 point hooks and they worked great!!! Some of the entertainment was great, especially Duo Odyssey. They were spectacular. We had a chance to visit with them later and they are very down to earth nice people. The other shows with the ship dancers and singers were good. I was not impressed with the soloist or the guitarist. Those shows were weak IMO. The spanish guitarist was very talented, it just wasn't my kind of music. There were no comic acts on the cruise which disappointed me. They said this was because this was a foreign port, so they don't do comic acts when there are a lot of foreign speakers. The Cruise Directors' staff did a good (not great job). I think they need to be a bit more creative in some of their activities. I thought the variety of food in the buffet was a bit less than other NCL cruises we have been on. They use to make cookies, but not anymore. Cagneys was wonderful. Moderno was okay. The main dining rooms were good. Most of the excursions were good to great. The excursion on Trondheim at a music museum and garden was over hyped and a disappointment. Bytheway, the Jade is a very nice ship for adults and we had a good time. We often take our grandkids with us on cruises (not this time). There is very little for children to do on this ship like NCL ships like Escape, Getaway, Epic, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Single traveler on '12 Days Norway And North Cape' with 'Norwegian Jade' from Hamburg. I chose this cruise to finally see the fjord landscapes and many other sights of Norway. Embarkation - This took 2 hours in the ... Read More
Single traveler on '12 Days Norway And North Cape' with 'Norwegian Jade' from Hamburg. I chose this cruise to finally see the fjord landscapes and many other sights of Norway. Embarkation - This took 2 hours in the Cruise Center Steinwerder and was one of my longest CheckIn procedures at all. Refreshment drinks and snacks were offered to countless people standing in a single line for all CheckIn counters. Security Drill - It was done professionally and was one of my quickest drills ever. No life vests to bring with from the stateroom, it was not necessary to wear one at all. The drill was in English language with most important details in German language as well. The Ship - An older one, but renovated in 2017, less signs of wear and tear therefore. Lounges had some charm of looking old fashioned and the pool area a little bit undecorated. Sun loungers were collected early on sunny evenings, guests were friendly evicted from them by deck staff sometimes. Deck areas were closed due to strong wind on the third sea day, while the wind speed was lower than the ship's speed, as displayed on the TV ticker with comprehensive nautical and meteorological information. Partially deck area closures also happened at other times without any recognizable reason, there may have been painting works. As many older ships, 'Norwegian Jade' has a classical promenade around the life boats. Orientation was made more simple on this ship, compared to others. The sports court above the 'Garden Café' was well audible when guests were dining, noisy banging and tramping. There was no storm during the cruise, thus the ship always sailed very stable. Crew And Staff - They were mostly friendly and open. The stateroom steward made a good job. Spa staff used every opportunity to attract cruise guests for spa and massages. Cruise director Richard Matic made several announcements on nearly every day to invite cruise guests for events and shows. Dining - At bars, cups and glasses were filled half with ice on the first few days, staff more and more began to ask then, whether the guest wanted ice at all. I only go to buffet restaurants, since I don't like to wait and then have a reduced choice in restaurants with service at the tables. Sometimes, especially on sea days, it was hard but not impossible to find a free table. Breakfast was available also on the open sun sail covered aft deck of the 'Garden Café', even after closure of the buffet restaurant at 10:30am. For lunch and dinner, the choice of food was a little bit limited, sometimes the offered food was just lukewarm, especially rice. There was always a very interesting theme evening with food from a particular country or region in the world. The pastries section was throughout good and there were 2 self service ice cream machines. A small selection of soft drinks, some were sugar free, as well as coffee and tea was included in the cruise fare in the morning, for lunch, in the evening and for the late snacks from self service machines. Pieces of pineapple and water melon were not peeled off, guests had to do it on their own, using knifes which usually were not really sharp. French crêpes and Italian pasta were prepared for the guests on their individual wishes just in time. There was always plenty of different meat and some fish, as well as an Asian corner, with delicious and well spiced Asian food. Labels were in English language, but very spicy food also had a note in German. Nearly everything I tried tasted good or even very good, except the sausages. 'NCL' could have loaded high quality German sausages in Hamburg, but they did not. Staff usually asked friendly before taking dishes away from the table. The Guests - Majority of passengers were Germans of a higher average age. Other remarkable proportions were from Spain, Italy, North America, many other European countries and Middle East. Loudspeaker announcements were made in English, German and Spanish. From my observation, the ship is kid friendly, there were lots of kids and youths, and I also saw people in wheel chairs and with rollators. Shore Excursions - This is something I usually organize on my own. Disembarkation at ports of call was nearly always without any problems, no long waiting, at tender ports, everything well organized. The ship was mostly very punctual. Guests were generally not allowed to bring beverages on board. Entertainment - Too less time to enjoy all the offers. Usually, there were different entertainment opportunities in many venues at the same time. Music, dance, games, no reason for boredom. I missed proper information on the 3 possible midnight sun appearances on this cruise, most passengers thus may have missed the first midnight sun, which was the only good one. The passage around Nordkapp however was announced in the 'Freestyle Daily' program with quite exact times. Shopping - A big duty free shop offered different things, from clothes to gifts, spirits and tobacco, as well as perfumes. I missed price labels on candy, chocolate and potato chip products. Special sales were offered sometimes. Internet - Access prices were significantly higher than I knew it from other cruises, and together with the fact that in northern latitudes internet via satellite is not guaranteed or even technically impossible, I waived purchasing an internet package on this cruise. Land based LTE internet access was available most of the time, when the ship cruised in coastal areas, and in ports anyway. Disembarkation - Elevators did not stop on the deck from where the disembarkation took place in Hamburg, for whatever reason. Cruise guests were allowed to take the baggage from the ship on their own, and so did I it without any waiting after arrival. Thank you very much 'Norwegian Cruise Line', for this cruise on 'Norwegian Jade'! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my 2nd time on a NCL ship. My first memorable experience with Jewel and impressive service from NCL Sydney office were the reasons for my 2nd time. This particular trip was arranged as all of us had not been to Norway. From ... Read More
This was my 2nd time on a NCL ship. My first memorable experience with Jewel and impressive service from NCL Sydney office were the reasons for my 2nd time. This particular trip was arranged as all of us had not been to Norway. From the booking to every single arrangement, our NCL consultant, Michelle Farren had been very helpful with her prompt response, despite 17 of us in the group. It was handed over to Hayley, who helped us before we sailed. Awesome service from NCL Sydney office!i never thought would happen to any cruise line due to some past negative experiences. Every day, our cruise ship, Norwegian Jade passed by different mountains. In the early summer, the snow covered mountains and visits to the fairytale lands in Norway warmed my heart during this memorable cruise trip. It's indeed a very beautiful Norwegian Fjords' journey, which all of us had enjoyed very much. We had selected 2 Free at Seas for each cabin. On top of that, we were given the Distinctive Voyages with few more addtional benefits, such as 250 min free wifi, 120 phone call credit that allows us to call any part of the world, another $50 shore credit per port etc. Most of us were busy every day taking part in different shore excursions. Though a few incidents happened on the ship, upon receipt of my comments, its cruuse director & guest services manager had contacted me personally. Service recoveries were offered to my cruise mates and I had received a complimentary wine & chocolates as well. Thanks for the prompt response and I was grateful that my friends were happy before they left the ship. I saw the Carbaret show by the production team onboard and it was really interesting to showcase Broadway musical at the lounge. The Cruise Director and his team had performed a very interesting "Movie Sketch Comedy Show'. Very great teamwork! Among the specialty restaurants, my team mates loved Cagney, Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria. Teppanyaki may require some improvements on the skills by the Chef. Grand Pacific, Alizar and Cafe Garden were great! We all love the foods. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We booked this as our 1st cruise for our family of 4. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly at Southampton, we arrived quite early (about 10.30am) and were onboard enjoying lunch by 12. Disembarkation took no more than 30 ... Read More
We booked this as our 1st cruise for our family of 4. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly at Southampton, we arrived quite early (about 10.30am) and were onboard enjoying lunch by 12. Disembarkation took no more than 30 mins after leaving our cabin. Our cabin was mid ship inside and was perfectly adequate for 4 of us, with nice big beds and plenty of storage space. Our steward was lovely and kept the cabin perfectly clean and tidy during our trip. Food on board was very good, the buffet in particular. There was plenty of choice with many included restaurants as well as the speciality dining. We decided that there was enough choice with the speciality restaurants and didn't get bored of any of the inclusive ones. Our main dining room of choice was Alizar along with the garden cafe and O'sheehans. The fajitas at O'Sheehans were particularly lovely. We didn't really enjoy the Chinese restaurant Jasmine - I thought the Chinese food in the garden cafe was much nicer. The entertainment was good and varied, we loved the theatre shows. There was always something going on in the many bars or by the pool or you could just relax with a book somewhere quiet. Norway was a beautiful country to visit, even my children (boys 8 & 13) found it really interesting and loved visiting the different towns. We didn't do any of excursions as it was our 1st cruise and were quite glad of that as we were not stuck to a timetable. The only excursion we would have liked to have done was the flam railway which we would certainly book on our next visit. Overall the Jade was a fab ship for a 1st experience and has left us all wanting to try other cruises in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first NCL cruise, we chose it purely for the itinerary, all the other Fjord cruises were 7 days only. All our previous cruises have been with P&O. Embarkation was very good, arrived at 11.05 & was onboard by 11.50, a ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise, we chose it purely for the itinerary, all the other Fjord cruises were 7 days only. All our previous cruises have been with P&O. Embarkation was very good, arrived at 11.05 & was onboard by 11.50, a lot less chaotic than with P&O! Balcony cabin was fine, liked the wardrobe layout better then hanging space & the bathroom was a definite improvement, with a separate toilet & shower enclosure. Had lunch in the Grand pacific mdr & that was fine, just a salad. Explored the ship & found layout quite easy, not quite the wow factor of some other ships but fine. The layout of the buffet was better than P&O's which we avoid like the plague! A lot more room around the food counters & tables cleared pretty quickly, however, the lack of trays makes getting food quite a balancing act! We ate mainly in the Grand Pacific dining room apart from the following: Jasmine Asian restaurant, thought that was very poor with wrong orders & very average food, tried Cagneys for a burger & ended up leaving it, together with the warm cider! Had one meal in the Italian who's name escapes me! This was a specialty restaurant & the starters were lovely as were the desserts, but the pizza was decidedly underwhelming. Overall we thought the food was below the standard of P&O & we had a few duff courses in the mdr, always like cheese after meals but on here you got a miserly selection of soft cheeses, manly very strong blue & 2 crackers, not keen on grapes full of seeds either! Ordered a lamb madras curry & got a bowl with a pile of tough dry lamb with almost no sauce & nothing else, no rice, chutney or poppadoms etc. Entertainment in the theatre was variable, Liked the Russian duo, the illusionist & the show on the next to last night, disappointed that there wasn't a lot of choices as just the same old acts night after night in other venues, lots of bingo & happy camper type games! The only exception was Randon who played guitar & sang in the atrium, very good indeed. Staff in general seemed polite & helpful, perhaps more so than on P&O? Only took one ships excursion to the fishing village of Skudeneshavn, this turned out to be a bit like a Fawlty Towers sketch as the guide didn't seem to know anything about the place & instead spent most of the trip there & back telling us about the sex life of young people in Norway :) Led us to a museum in the town which was good & then told us to meet later at the bus, failed however to tell us how to find it & almost everyone spent the next 30 minutes lost in the town! Not impressed! Weather on the trip was not great with rain & cloud for most places except Oslo, we enjoyed the scenery though & might go back sometime. Would we sail with NCL again? Probably not, just not the wow factor or food we had hoped for! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Very good value. Excellent service.Wine could be better the by the glass selection poor.The main dining room food was really good while I bought some of the specialty restaurants there was no need. The ports were all easy to walk around ... Read More
Very good value. Excellent service.Wine could be better the by the glass selection poor.The main dining room food was really good while I bought some of the specialty restaurants there was no need. The ports were all easy to walk around and one didn’t need to buy any excursions. The dancers and singers were very good as were the illusionist and the acrobatic couple 2 U.K. singers were not so good and had a line of patter the audience couldn’t understand as it was too U.K. oriented. The passengers were from over 100 countries and that added to the atmosphere. The hostess for the solo cruisers was excellent and really went out of her way to be helpful. Some classical music would have been good rather than only popular music though the Brazilian band were good. The ship is in good condition and is well maintained the crew is excellent in all areas and seem genuinely caring and well managed and supervised. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Service great on the Jade. Food was good however they have cut back a bit on the menus in specialty restaurants. What they have is still very good. Entertainment was ok but the "Showtime Band" was excellent & best Ive ever ... Read More
Service great on the Jade. Food was good however they have cut back a bit on the menus in specialty restaurants. What they have is still very good. Entertainment was ok but the "Showtime Band" was excellent & best Ive ever seen on a cruise ship. The Iconcierge app was not well managed on this ship as it is on the larger ones. Frequently info there was incomplete or incorrect. The ship itself is very nice after the refurbishment! Fitness center was very good with equipment up to date. My wife enjoyed the spa. The casino was empty most of the time. We were most impressed by the consistent level of service. You can tell NCL must have processes in place to treat and reward their people well by the way the EE's treat the customers and the fact that many employees return to new contracts over & over. They just need someone to take ownership of the IConsierge app if they are going to sell it. It only had 3 ports listed for the whole 12 day trip & nobody in excursions could explain it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The cruise was fine. The Garden Cafe was too crowded. Food selections were good but too many people - bumping into each other, few choices of places to sit. Other dining rooms OK. Specialty restaurants: We only went to La Cucina, twice, ... Read More
The cruise was fine. The Garden Cafe was too crowded. Food selections were good but too many people - bumping into each other, few choices of places to sit. Other dining rooms OK. Specialty restaurants: We only went to La Cucina, twice, which was good, but few customers the times we were there. Needs better availability advertised. Evening shows in Stardust Theater were good. Beatles show too loud. Fitness center good and good location. Library - a bit slow on services, unlocking of book cabinets. Not enough info on shore excursions. Need local maps. We would like to have some educational lectures, describing places we were going and their history. Or lectures on other subjects would be acceptable. Our rooms and room service were fine. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine. We had no children with us. We would go again. We had some advance warning that we might have rain, but we had good weather the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were on the Jade in June 2017 after the refurbishment. Had sailed on the Jade in the Mediterranean in 2015. Absolutely loved the new colours - more earthy tones which were definitely easier on the eyes compared to the loud Hawaiian ... Read More
We were on the Jade in June 2017 after the refurbishment. Had sailed on the Jade in the Mediterranean in 2015. Absolutely loved the new colours - more earthy tones which were definitely easier on the eyes compared to the loud Hawaiian motifs previously. The best lounge is the Spinnaker which now has gorgeous ceiling to floor glass vistas throughout so we were able to enjoy the stunning ocean views while dancing the night away while cruising in the land of the midnight sun! CABIN We were in a mini-suite which was spacious and comfy. There was adequate storage space for the two of us. Our cabin attendant was absolutely lovely and always had a smile whenever we met her. She topped up the ice bucket for us twice a day which was a nice treat. Balcony was roomy with 2 chairs and a small coffee table (no space for recliners though). Our previous Jade abode was a 2 bedroom suite so I can't make a direct comparison between the old and new here. DINING Main Dining Room The queues were never long here and we were able to be seated within 5 minutes most days. We had our dinner 7 nights in the Grand Pacific with 1 night in Alizar. We also had several lunches here including on embarkation day (btw do have your lunch here on embarkation day, not many knew it was open and the buffet lunch was jammed packed). As with our previous experience, the dining service was patchy depending on where we were seated and who our servers were. We received outstanding service during 2 meals from Filipino servers who were on par with the attentive specialty dining servers - they were prompt in their service, letting us know if there was a slight delay in our food arrival, took our beverage orders & served them promptly and one server even ensured that our beverages were topped up without us asking (we were on the UBP). These 2 experiences were the highlight of our experience in the MDRs. We had one absolutely horrible experience at the Grand Pacific - our water took half an hour to arrive after being seated, not to mention excruciatingly slow and bad service : wrong orders, courses served to the wrong person, even the audacity to demand that we ordered our beverage top-ups at the same time for all 6 of us so that she didn't have to walk multiple times to fetch the drinks!! O SHEEHAN'S This 24 hour eatery has now debuted on the Jade and provides good quality meals anytime of the day or night. We ate lunch here whenever we were late returning from the port. Specialty Dining Teppanyaki We dined here twice. Sad to say there is no longer any lobster tail in the menu. The new SDP is restricted to 1 entree per person, but they were kind to offer us a once -off of sharing an additional entree. Food and the showmanship was of the usual good standard. Cagney's & Le Bistro's Excellent as always in food and service. Again, no lobster to be found anymore! With the SDP, one is restricted to 1 order per section of the menu: 1 appetiser, 1 of salad or soup, 1 entree, 1 dessert. Those without the SDP now pay a la carte prices. So purchase the SDP if you want to to dine in the specialty restaurants. The UBP This included Ultimate Beverage Package is excellent value as it covers almost all drinks under USD 15 in any venue onboard. Excluded drinks are of the top premium variety. We were able to enjoy many different beers, wine, cocktails, coffee liqueurs etc and probably ended up drinking a little too much but hey! we ARE on holiday. We could never understand why specialty coffees were excluded from the package but made up for it by having Irish coffee & other coffee liqueurs instead. ENTERTAINMENT We found the entertainment good in general except for 2 shows - the mentallist and the guitarist. The latter was touted as special and I was expecting a virtuoso classic guitarist but it turned out to be of the strumming "garden" variety, so ordinary and boring. We enjoyed Carl Locksly (the Voice finalist) who performed twice - he enthralled us on 2 nights with his superb renditions of classical, pop and well known West End musical numbers. BARS We had an excellent guitarist, Jumari, who performed nightly to sell out crowds - in fact many came early to get a seat, otherwise it was standing room only. Excellent repertoire and rapport with the audience. He got many on their feet dancing, clapping and singing along night after night. Wonderfully entertaining! Service was slow at times - I think this is due to many passengers having the UBP, often the servers were unable to cope with the demand. CRUISE DIRECTOR Our Italian cruise director was very good, humorous and able to do his multilingual spiels nightly in a very short time which was excellent! Nothing worse then sitting while 3 different translations are painstakingly repeated. GYM Lovely treadmills, stationary bikes and cross trainers all with ocean views - but always so busy! Guess everyone wanted to lose those extra calories! FELLOW GUESTS A large number of Germans as we had embarked in Hamburg, many Spanish passengers as well. Mostly over 50s with some families and teenagers. SHORE EXCURSIONS We did not take any of the ship shore excursions which were horribly overpriced. We did our own waterfall walking tour in Geiranger (having been there 2 years earlier - done the Danisba tour & the fantastic RIB boat trip then), Trondheim walk to see the Nidaros Cathedral & canal houses, Alesund walk up to the Aksla viewpoint (highly recommended), Bergen to see the Hanseatic wooden houses, Bryggen area and the fish market. For the Lofotens, we hired a minivan which took us to all the highlights of these spectacular islands 5 hours at only 4855NOK (for 16pax). Contact Arctic Buss. For Honningsvag, minivan for 16pax 4 hours at 4500 NOK. Contact Nordkapp bilservice. Both of these can be pre-booked without any deposit. We made up the numbers on the cruise critic roll call & I had arranged for the bus companies to collect payment individually by credit card on the day itself so no need to worry about collecting cash! For Tromso, we did the Arctic Landscapes tour with the Wandering Owl. Lovely day & lovely sights! We love Norwegian for the freestyle - dress up or down everyday, dine whenever you want, lots of dining choices - lunch was not restricted to the buffet - the 24 hour O Sheehan's and MDR was always available unlike Royal Caribbean ( where the MDR was open only on sea days). Complimentary dining included the 2 MDRs, the Asian restaurant, O Sheehan's as well as the buffet. Plus a good variety of specialty dining restaurants. So far, Norwegian is still our favourite cruise line for the above reasons especially when they have the freebies of the UBP, SDP etc included in their offers! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on most of the major cruise lines . Celebrity is our favorite with Norwegian a close 2nd . Celebrity is a little more upscale where Norwegian is more relaxed but still a solid cruise . Norwegian takes a chance with its ... Read More
We have been on most of the major cruise lines . Celebrity is our favorite with Norwegian a close 2nd . Celebrity is a little more upscale where Norwegian is more relaxed but still a solid cruise . Norwegian takes a chance with its design . The Jades main dining room is a knockout . Wood panel walls and artful lighting . Gauguin like paintings fill the dining room . You feel your eating in a 1920 social club . The food is good enough . A little hit and miss . You will wish the steak was a better cut of meat but still enjoy your dinning experience . I like the relax "I can wear jeans to dinner approach" . This approach works well after a full day of sight seeing and you do not have the energy to dress up . We had a two bed room suite . Its great for a family of 4 . Our girls loved the kids room with a lower double size bed and a bunk . Our master room had a queen . Flat screen T.V. . We could of closed our Master bedroom off from the girls with a heavy door but we choose not too . The Walk in shower was roomy with a great view of the sea . The girls like the oversized tub . Over all this was the best room we ever had on any ship . A very nice perk of the suite is you have breakfast and lunch in a smaller private dinning room . The food was really good . Fresh waffles , French toast made to order . The girls loved the hot chocolate . The Service in the private dinning room was very detailed and personal . I give Norwegian very high marks on the suite dinning . The Suite comes with a Butler . My one big complaint was him . We saw him twice the whole cruise . Our suite was not in the Haven area . I think this is where he must of spent most of his time . I was more sad then mad about him not being around . It would of been nice . I did not tip the Butler . The Jade is a big ship but not a Mega ship . The shows were good . The cast of singers and dancers worked over many nights in different roles . Over the 9 nights of the cruise you feel you know each singer and dances strengths and weakness . Last year we were on the Mega ship Allure of the Sea . The shows on the Mega ship were grand but not personal . You have more choices on the mega ships but you give up the "homely" feel . On the Jade I felt like I was at a resort instead of a Mall . We sailed from Southampton to Norway . We never did a ship Shore excursion not because we did not want to but due to they were mostly sold out . This worked out to be a blessing since we did most everything we wanted was 1/2 the price on our own . Norway is Beautiful . Never have I seen so many water falls . The mountains are tall and rough on top with very green wet farms in the valley . Picture perfect . Would we go on Norwegian again ? . Norwegian Cruise are not perfect but they are so easily going and relaxed . You are going the be excited by the ports and happy with the amount of time spend at each port . I like the down to earth people the Cruise line attracts . People have glass of wine and sing at the piano bar , but never too much or too loud . Norwegian does a really good job and I am happy to sail on her ships again and again . Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first cruise on NCL, but our third to Norway. Our overall impression of the Jade was very good, lots to like. It seems larger than it was, with lots of deck space, and a lovely wide promenade deck. There were several ... Read More
This was our first cruise on NCL, but our third to Norway. Our overall impression of the Jade was very good, lots to like. It seems larger than it was, with lots of deck space, and a lovely wide promenade deck. There were several bars and lounges, each with different activities in the evening, so there was a very pleasant buzzy atmosphere, plenty going on. Apart from the buffet at times, the ship didn't feel crowded. We were disappointed with the Atrium, which lacked any wow factor. It was particularly uninviting in the evenings, as the musician entertaining the occupants was using amplification sufficient for a large stadium. We loved the Bridge viewing room on deck 11! Very interesting, especially on the sea days, to watch what was going on, and intriguing to see what information the crew have available. A big negative was the casino, which allows smoking. Because of a gangway problem at Southampton, we had to board and walk through the casino. It was a very big room, and stank like a stale ashtray, so that was our only venture into it. Maybe in the future, when they have followed other cruise lines, and banned indoor smoking, and replaced all the soft furnishings and carpet in the casino. We had booked a mid ship balcony cabin. It was very comfortable and attractively decorated since the dry dock. There was plenty of hanging space and storage, but very lacking in desk space to put items. The biggest shelf was taken up with a coffee maker, there was no coffee table and because we had a sofa, there was only one tiny bedside table. The air conditioning was effective and responsive, and there was a very adequate hair dryer. The balcony was fairly small, but enough room to sit out, and nothing like the ludicrous ones on P and O Britannia , or the Royal Princess class. The bathroom had good and bad points. The shower had a glass sliding door, and good water pressure. The toilet also had a sliding glass door, but I can't imagine who would be able to close it! We are both under 5 foot 6, and not too overweight, but it was very snug in there! However, it did work well, no blockages etc! Our cabin steward, Jamie, was friendly and efficient, and we loved the towel animals! Haven't had those before, but we thought they were great fun! We ate almost exclusively in the buffet. It could be crowded at peak breakfast and lunch times, but there was plenty of seating at night. The serving area was well laid out, we found enough choice to keep us happy. The food was very American in style, but during the week, more vegetables appeared on the hot food counter! There were two types of bacon, crispy American style, and 'soft' bacon, which was just undercooked American style. You might also want to take a jar of marmalade with you if that is important, there were small individual portions of Heinz marmalade on offer, which were like runny syrup. Maybe Heinz should stick to ketchup! However, the butter was an excellent French brand. There were some cooked to order items, omelettes, pasta, and crepes, and a section of Asian stir frys and curries. We generally found the food hot enough. The chef in charge was present during most meals, very hands on and keeping an eye on things, which was good to see. The coffee was not good, although there were some machines which ground beans and were a little better. Not as good as Celebrity, but far better than Princess, which we found undrinkable. The seating in the buffet wasn't quite as good as on some ships. Very few tables for two, so many tables for four were only occupied by couples. There was also very little space behind the chairs, so a couple of times, we found ourselves trapped and unable to vacate our seats without having to disturb other diners nearer the aisles. It was pleasing to see the on deck food venues open and offering burgers etc even when the weather wasn't brilliant, rather than shutting up shop at the first opportunity. We were disappointed with the coffee offering in the Atrium. We are happy to pay extra for espresso style coffees, and often have these with a pastry as an alternative breakfast. However, the coffee served was really only passable rather than good, and there were no food items to accompany the coffee, other than pricey macarons or individual chocolates. On all the other cruise lines we have used, there were complimentary pastries etc available to enjoy with your coffee. ( the International Cafe on Princess ships was exceptionally good, Cafe al Bacio on Celebrity had the best coffee and a nice range of things to nibble, and even P and O provided pastries, although you were only allowed one!) Our coffee bill for the week came to nil, but we made up for it on shore instead! I only ate once in the MDR. I was promptly seated at a table for two, and service was friendly and quick. I did laugh though, when my roast turkey dinner with sprouts arrived. Three halves of Brussels sprout, yes, one and a half sprouts in total! However a quick request for some more vegetables, and a plate of broccoli, green beans and more sprouts arrived almost instantaneously, so not an issue! We enjoyed some of the entertainment, although we were mainly cruising for the scenery. We laughed at the comedian, Al Brown, and I enjoyed the quartet, Ancora, although, as it sadly often the case, the backing musicians did get too loud. The show Elements, was excellent. I was not expecting such a well choreographed, well presented production. The magician and the trapeze type artists had parts to play, but the stars of the show were the dancers. I am a big fan and attender of modern ballet, and the dancers in Elements were of a professional standard equal to many I've seen in professional ballet companies in the UK and abroad. Even my husband, who reluctantly accompanied me, really enjoyed himself, and was very impressed. I was disappointed by the cigarette smell in the theatre, though. I usually assume that by avoiding the area outside the casino, and entering the theatre on the upper deck, I will not be bothered. However, the smell pervaded the front staircase, and even the upper seating in the theatre. If I had booked a cabin near the front staircase, I would have been very annoyed that the corridor outside did not smell as fresh and clean as the rest of the ship. I suppose that coming from the UK, we have got used to all indoor areas being smoke free, and smelling clean and inviting. It was quite a shock, especially after the majority of our previous cruises being on Celebrity and a couple on P and O, which are smoke free inside. It was like stepping into the old days,when pubs and cinemas stank like old ashtrays. The staff on the ship were always friendly and approachable. The customer service desk were very pleasant, bar staff were fine. We had the UBP and tried a few cocktails, disappointingly made from pre mixed bottles but tasted ok, and wine with meals. After the novelty of the drinks package wore off, we found we drank less and less as the week wore on, especially as it was a port intensive cruise, so wouldn't bother again unless it was a perk. The cruise director Roberto, seemed to work hard, and we saw him a lot around the ship. There were more announcements than we are used to, and not always clear to follow. I was not impressed by the young man in the Future Cruise Sales office, who either wasn't able to answer my query or felt it was too much effort to bother. The shops on board were not very tempting. Lots of watches, expensive rings that wouldn't be wearable in the UK as they looked so gaudy and fake, and there were a few beachwear items and cruise line branded t shirt type things, that would help out in an emergency. There was a good selection of perfumery, but they didn't have the brand I wanted, so I don't know whether there were sufficient savings to be had. The alcohol prices looked worse than UK prices. Nothing to tempt me to buy anything, and I am usually very easily tempted! We chose this cruise for the ports, two of which were new to us. It is a shame that the sail into the fjords takes place so early in the day, especially when the port at the end is very small with little to do. The scenery in Norway is so spectacular that it should be made more of a feature. I was looking forward to stopping in Hellesylt to drop off excursion passengers, and then having a leisurely daylight cruise to Geiranger after breakfast. However, because it was so early in the season, the roads were still blocked by snow and ice and the Hellesylt stop was cancelled. So we sailed down a UNESCO World Heritage Site while most passengers were still asleep! Doesn't make sense to me. In Alaska, we were treated to day time scenic cruises to view the glaciers. Why not in Norway? We didn't take any ship excursions, I hate coach or taxi rides, so we walked around the various ports and enjoyed coffee and cake in cafés shore, to make up for the lack on the ship. Would we cruise with NCL again? Quite probably, if the itinerary was good. Did we like the Jade, yes, it had a lot going for it. My overall preference would be the Solstice class Celebrity ships, great bathrooms, non smoking interiors, but let down by the repetitive European itineraries and the short promenade deck. What would improve the Jade? Smoke free casino. I wouldn't hesitate to book her again. However I have heard bad things about the breakaway class NCL ships, with smoke drifting up from the casino into other areas, so it looks as if I'd have to be very selective about which NCL ships I would consider. Apparently, RCCL ships go smoke free when they cruise from Southampton, so we will give them a try. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
A bit about me, its only my second cruise on this line, but we are hooked and have booked more to follow. This is a great ship st start on because of the freestyle dining. The ship is great, the staff great and the food was great. the ... Read More
A bit about me, its only my second cruise on this line, but we are hooked and have booked more to follow. This is a great ship st start on because of the freestyle dining. The ship is great, the staff great and the food was great. the guests were a good mix of ages and nationalities. most guests being English speaking. I would like more formal dress at dinner and because of this the next cruises are booked with other cruise lines. This is a great starter ship for anyone and it will get you hooked like us. We went on a fiords cruise and had a fantastic holiday, the ship is just the right size. One negative point is the casino, I know for many people this is a great place but the antiquated idea to allow people to smoke in the casino is atrocious.Its not the guests I feel sorry for, If they want to smoke its their decision.To expect staff to work in conditions like that is not acceptable in the modern world. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose Norwegian Cruise Line to see the Norwegian Fjords - thought they would be the best at this itinerary. Embarkation was a nightmare in Southampton but disembarkation was a piece of cake. Apparently the ship has had some updates ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Cruise Line to see the Norwegian Fjords - thought they would be the best at this itinerary. Embarkation was a nightmare in Southampton but disembarkation was a piece of cake. Apparently the ship has had some updates done to it - taken away the tropical look and replaced with more contemporary styling. The cabins are fine but would really appreciate a night light in the bathrooms. Not sure how anyone with some extra pounds would be able to use the toilets. Buffet is typical. Usually our food was cold by the time we found seats. Specialty restaurants are all excellent. Entertainment is quite good but would like to see more production shows. Encora Group is excellent and should not be missed. Seats in the showroom need to be replaced - old and lumpy! There are no activities with the officers and guests. Only got to see the Captain once during a question and answer period. He never came to a Latitudes Meeting or Cruise Critic Meeting as he does on the Celebrity Line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife and I wanted to see the Norwegian fjords for a number of years and this cruise presented us with the opportunity to do so. We had never cruised on such a large ship before - we have been on other cruises with smaller cruise lines ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to see the Norwegian fjords for a number of years and this cruise presented us with the opportunity to do so. We had never cruised on such a large ship before - we have been on other cruises with smaller cruise lines (Oceania, as an example) and did not know how our experience was going to be cruising on Norwegian Cruise Lines. All in all we were quite pleased with our cabin (suite), food experience, staff and the ship in general - very positive. There were a couple of negative experience - the SPA, for example. We pre-booked the SPA before sailing. Once we went on the ship and saw the SPA we cancelled this activity - the SPA itself was small, crowded and we cancelled before using it. There was some problem initially until we spoke to the manager of the SPA who let us off the hook. It was our mistake - however, The excursions were not that exciting - adequate - landscape and fjords were beautiful. The guides tried hard to please. I should mention that there was one excursion that fell way below the standard. That excursion was the bus tour to Hardanger fjord. The problem - an eight hour trip that was to include a ferry ride across the fjord. However, the ferry was cancelled. As a result the bus had to ride around the fjord and therefore our first stop was to eat lunch (45 minutes) then get back on the bus to visit a waterfall (20 minutes0 and then ride back to the ship. All in all - two stops - for eight hours. Unsatisfactory. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Took this cruise with All inclusive drinks package. We wanted a different cruise and thought the splendour of the fjords would be a great sight to see. Weather was a bit iffy at first but nothing we can do about that. Nice balcony cabin, ... Read More
Took this cruise with All inclusive drinks package. We wanted a different cruise and thought the splendour of the fjords would be a great sight to see. Weather was a bit iffy at first but nothing we can do about that. Nice balcony cabin, good food, apart from the Jasmine restaurant food was cold and had to ask for it to be re heated. La Cucina was a disappointment too, far too much parmesan made the dish very salty. Restaurant food was very good as was The Bistro and Cagneys Grill, the stakes at both were superb. We felt the trips offered were very overpriced and would advise never to buy a trip on board. Some we spoke to booked trips direct from UK and saved a load of money. We didn't bother as we were content to check out the ports we visited individually. Our second cruise with Norwegian and would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We choose this cruise based on the itinerary and because the NCL has thermal spa packages available. We had a mid level inside cabin. Our room stewardess was very good. DINING: we enjoyed the dining, with the exception of the coffee. ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on the itinerary and because the NCL has thermal spa packages available. We had a mid level inside cabin. Our room stewardess was very good. DINING: we enjoyed the dining, with the exception of the coffee. The coffee onboard the ship was horrible... (with the exception of the JAVA bar-- which you paid extra for-- they had delicious coffee there! Again you had yo pay EXTRA if you wanted a decent cup of coffee, which can add up!!!! ) I'm not a coffee drinker and my husband never complains about anything so when he stated the coffee was BAD -- I had to taste it-- it tasted like weak instant coffee-- BAD! that being said the food onboard the ship was very good. However, I did not like the fact the in the main dining rooms-- they had items on the menu that you had to pay for if you ordered them, for example, the serf and turf and lobster. I can understand paying extra for the speciality restaurants; but, in the main dining room-- anything on the menu should be FREE of charge. In the past, the cruise line ALWAYS served lobster one night-- not so anymore-- if you want it-- you pay extra for it. I drink GREEN TEA and the ship ran out of it on DAY 10.... maybe the could buy more GREEN tea in the future. Also, would recommend the buffet items (snacks) be open till 12:00 midnight -- it closed at 11:00 so after the later show, we had to rush up to deck 12 for a snack-- and the servers were cleaning up putting everything away-- the buffet should be open till midnight. O'Sheehan Bar and Restaurant -- anytime we went there they were always on break so we could not get anything to eat-- suggest NCL publish O'Sheehan hours so you knew when you could get food-- they publish it is open 24 hrs-- and it may be but we could never get anything to eat because we always showed up when the staff was on break. One night we ate there and the female server NEVER came back to take our dessert order-- after 30 minutes of waiting we left and headed to deck 12. Entertainment-- EXCELLENT-- the Cruise Director, Mark was exceptional and so was DJ Anonymous!!!!! Ports and excursions: loved the ports and the shore excursions too were great with the exception of SCOTLAND. I recommend-- do NOT take the Stirling Castle Tour-- it was the worse tour I took in 23 years of cruising.... IT was so bad that I asked for out money back and of course the ship excursion people said, "NO" but, they gave me and my husband a 10% credit. But I didn't want to argue on vacation. Why was it so bad? -- our tour guide MARTIN-- went to get tickets and left the group to their own devises-- he NEVER gave us tickets-- in fact we never saw him again till the bus ride back to the ship. Some folks on tour caught up with him -- but we never saw him again till the bus. WE HAD NO TICKET to get into the castle and paid for a guided tour... that is why the excursions people should have given us a FULL refund. The ship's Captain Matias Andersson was one of the best Captains we ever sailed with-- he was knowledge and very personable. Always had a smile on his face and was happy to see everyone. He gave a special Vikings lecture that was educational and I wish the other ships would have more lectures like it. Kudos to the thermal spa personnel -- it was always VERY clean, neat, and the therapists there were wonderful. Had 2 massages which were terrific!!! Highly recommend it. We did not travel with children. Yes, I would take this cruise again -- with the exception of avoiding the Stirling Castle, LOL All in all it was the vacation of a lifetime!! But since this is a critique-- there are some MINOR things the beverage personnel, O'Sheehan's and ship's excursions personnel could have done to make it a 5 star experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I chose this cruise because a group was going from my community and I wanted to see Norway, Iceland and the other ports. We signed up for a tour of Copenhagen at the start of the trip. However, our guide did not show up and although the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a group was going from my community and I wanted to see Norway, Iceland and the other ports. We signed up for a tour of Copenhagen at the start of the trip. However, our guide did not show up and although the driver was available, he could not narrate adequately. Trip was cut short and cancelled. Embarkation went smoothly. Disembarkation was strange. We were taken to the airport and then stood in a very long line, waiting 30 minutes of more to get our luggag e. The cabin was fine, with a nice bathroom, shower was adequate size, keeping the water where it belonged. Staff was friendly and helpful throughout the ship. There was not enough casual seating, especially when weather deteriorated and it was not desirable to be outside. Lots of people ended up sitting in the dining area of the cafeteria as there were few other places to go to sit. Could use a nice lounge, larger library and game area. Could use more informational sessions, especially as we visited 6 different countries. An intro session for each country would have been nice. Too much resource spent on silly games. Entertainment in the main theater was too loud, with announcers and singers screaming into microphones at high volume. If you have a good mic, you don't need to scream. Trip and excursions were pricey, with high service fee at the end. Food was generally good, but not outstanding. Additional charges for better meals in main dining room and in specialty dining rooms. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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