Norwegian Jade Review
- Pros: Venues are spread evenly throughout the ship, limiting congestion
- Cons: Standard cabins are a bit on the small side
- Bottom Line: Recent refurbishments have the ship looking and feeling like new
Norwegian Jade Overview
Launched in 2006, Norwegian Jade isn't Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel, but via the Norwegian Edge project, the cruise line has made it look and feel new throughout. Cabins have been refurbished; carpeting and furniture have been replaced; some existing restaurants have been moved (Moderno Churrascaria) or expanded (Cagney's), while new ones were added (O'Sheehan's); and the formerly garish orange, purple and pink color palette has largely been replaced with more subdued tones.
What first greets you at embarkation is the vessel's revamped atrium area on Deck 7. It sports modern furniture in subdued hues of black, tan and cream. The neutrality of it all is nicely offset by a funky custom chandelier, which hangs overhead and features color-changing lights.
Although Norwegian has a reputation for nickel-and-diming its customers, we found the number and cost of for-fee offerings comparable to those of other lines. There were also plenty of free options, the quality and variety of which were above average. To boot, service was some of the best we've had at sea, with crew seeming to genuinely enjoy their jobs.
Entertainment on Norwegian Jade is in a category all its own. Shows included a comedian, a magician, a country music medley and an absolutely phenomenal Cirque du Soleil-type performance that included acrobats, aerialists, dancing and magic.
Above all, despite its age, Norwegian Jade holds its own among some of the newer, larger, more flashy ships in the fleet.
Norwegian Jade Fellow Passengers
The majority of passengers on Norwegian Jade's Europe-based itineraries are from the U.K. The rest are a mixture of people from Australia, France, Spain, North America, Mexico, Japan and Korea. The average age hovers around 55, with the largest number of passengers in the 55 to 70 range. During summer months, expect a sizable influx in families. Caribbean itineraries draw a younger, more American passenger base, including families.
Norwegian Jade Dress Code
Norwegian Jade's dress code is relaxed, with many people adopting a casual style -- bathing suits, T-shirts, shorts and jeans -- during the day. At night, passengers tend to dress smartly but comfortably, with most opting for slacks and blouses or collared shirts. Norwegian ships don't have formal nights, but each sailing offers at least one "Dress Up or Not Night," on which passengers can dress up if they want to. Few on our Caribbean sailing chose to do so; Europe voyages tend to be a bit dressier.
Norwegian Jade Gratuity
Norwegian charges a "service fee" of $13.99 per person, per day, for passengers booked in standard cabins and mini-suites. Those in suites are charged $16.99 per person, per day. Cruisers wishing to adjust or remove the charges must fill out a form post-cruise to request a refund.
Norwegian recommends that suite passengers who use butler and concierge services tip according to the level of service rendered.
An 18 percent gratuity will be added to all bar purchases and services in the spa and salon.