5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We had a WONDERFUL time on the NCL Jade! It's a beautiful ship & has very nice, helpful & hardworking crew. We always saw someone or the other cleaning around the ship. The service was great!! The staff was always willing to ... Read More
We had a WONDERFUL time on the NCL Jade! It's a beautiful ship & has very nice, helpful & hardworking crew. We always saw someone or the other cleaning around the ship. The service was great!! The staff was always willing to help out & served with a smile, especially Komang (our Cabin Steward), Nikola (Blue Lagoon), Neale (Buffet & Grand Pacific Dining room), Geoffery (Le Bistro), Siti (Moderno), Faisal Malik (Assistant Maitre D') among many others. We loved the 'anytime Dining & freestyle cruising' that NCL is famous for, especially with the little ones! The shows were good (especially Elements & Comedy show) & live music at various places (atrium, pool, restaurants, lounges) was nice. Philly Joel the cruise director & his crew were great. Rest of the crew were all good as well. Our kids absolutely Loved the Kids/Youth Club (Splash academy) & didn't want to leave! They had different themes on different days/nights & did lots of activities/games,face painting, sports, etc. including a fun little circus show with all the kids from the club (the leaders helped them practice various skills ahead of time). The Kids' Club Leaders/Counselors were very caring & made sure that the kids were having fun & were well taken care of at all times! Among many other family friendly activities, they also had Pizza Making one day & Cupcake Decorating another day, for parents & kids to participate in together. All in all we had a great vacation & would love to go on another NCL cruise again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The jade is a beautiful ship. Sailing out of Houston was different. The port is about an hour from the airport so take into account a $100 taxi drive when planning. Getting out into the gulf was wavy, but interesting. Food was amazing. ... Read More
The jade is a beautiful ship. Sailing out of Houston was different. The port is about an hour from the airport so take into account a $100 taxi drive when planning. Getting out into the gulf was wavy, but interesting. Food was amazing. Good quality, nice choices. Alcohol was very good nice wine list and good selection for the beverage package. We dined at cagneys, le bistro and moderne. All very good. The only extras we had to pay was $2 in tax for the wine we got while at the dock and extra tips for the specialty dining we chose to add on. Staff was good. A bit light on English, but we always figured it out. Boat was clean and the crew was continually doing repairs. The shows were very good although the illusionist just fair. Games could have been better. Not sure if it was the staff or the contestants, not as high energy as we experienced in our previous cruise. Excursions were wonderful. We did the 12 meter sailing in Cozumel, the Mayan ruin and river trip in Belize and the Jolly Roger snorkeling in Routan. All well worth the money. Independent excursions can be cheaper, but you do not get the priority tenders. I highly recommend this ship and will be looking at NCL for future great vacations! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Hi, My DH and I were on the Norwegian Jade from 2/6-13th. This was our second cruise with our first being about 3-4 years ago on the NCL Pride of America to visit the Hawaiian islands. I was a bit nervous about cruising as I get ... Read More
Hi, My DH and I were on the Norwegian Jade from 2/6-13th. This was our second cruise with our first being about 3-4 years ago on the NCL Pride of America to visit the Hawaiian islands. I was a bit nervous about cruising as I get sea-sick on a raft in a pool. I was not sea-sick during the entire cruise :) and we had "rough" seas (although not too rough) on one day. My secret that worked for me was Bonine every 12 hours and I wore one of those wrist straps for sea-sickness. We had an aft suite (8632) in the back of the ship. We loved our suite and all the amenities that came with the Suite. We are big coffee drinkers and there was a very nice coffee machine in our room and we were well stocked each day for our coffee. Our room had a balcony and this was wonderful. Since we faced the back of the ship it was not windy and was a great place to sit and have coffee or an adult beverage or a nap! We took an excursion at each port of call. In Cozumel, we did the Tequila Tasting Tour. My DH was a bit of a skeptic at this tour and loved it! You learn about the art of Tequila making and Mexican heritage. It was very nicely done. In Belize, we went to the Altun Ha ruins. We only did the ruins and did not add on other things. This tour was also very nicely done. We had two guides and an intern and the three of them did a wonderful job. The tindering to and from the island was quick and easy. It rained in Roatan, but we still went to our Tabanya Beach tour. They cancelled the snorkeling piece and NCL was great at only charging us for the Beach portion of the tour. We sat under a tree and watched the rough seas. It was a bit chilly, but the people watching was good and if it would have been a sunny, warm day, this would have been lots of fun. We got to eat a Honduran lunch and then headed back to the ship on the first van back. We had fun despite the rain. The ship used their own Tinders and this worked well too. On the ship we ate at the following pay for meal restaurants: Teppenayka - LOVED this Cagneys - nice La Cucina - pretty good Brazilian Steak place - nice We had the hardest time finding a place/food that we liked for lunch. There is lots of food on board and it was for the most part very good. I ordered a chef salad at the 24 hour restaurant, doing the lunch hour, and it was pretty plain. I am not a foodie per say, but this meal lacked some flair. We stumbled into the officers Q&A session on one of the last two days at sea (it's right before a Bingo game) and we loved listening to the questions and the answers from the captain and other officers. We also signed up for the Thermal Spa and absolutely loved it. It may seem a big pricey at $149 each, but you get to go as much as you want and it was never crowded. Since our weather was not too warm, given the February date, most of the hot tubs in the pool area were stuffed full of people and kids. The Thermal Spa let you lay in this great hot tub and look out of the front of the ship. They also had these great ceramic heated chairs. There are separate men and ladies areas that have sauna's, additional hot tub, cold plunge, nice showers, couches to relax on, and a nice changing area. My DH and I have a marvelous time and are planning our next cruise to Alaska! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2016
I was on the Jade the first week of the new year and then back again in early February. Knowing the ship with all the nooks, crannies and foibles helped. Embark - We made our own way to the port this time around and were on board around ... Read More
I was on the Jade the first week of the new year and then back again in early February. Knowing the ship with all the nooks, crannies and foibles helped. Embark - We made our own way to the port this time around and were on board around noon. Our cabin was ready and the steward introduced himself and helped out a little with bedding. I found the mattresses and pillows on Jade to be uncomfortable on both cruises this winter. The steward did manage to add a mattress pad and find a few fluffier pillows. The beds have acquired a hollow in the middle. It was cool outside so we watched the sail away from the Spinnaker Lounge. Interesting to watch the ship navigate the Houston shipping channel. Dining - Buffet was the same as last cruise. The food was decent with ample choices. Lunch and dinner in the main dining rooms was good too but nothing overly inspiring. The Aisan noodle bar is good too. La Cucina, Cagney's and Le Bistro were all very good. Well worth having a dining package or better yet if it was a promotion. Bars - The entertainment on this ship was outstanding. All the live music was exceptional and karaoke in Medusa was fun. On Mardis Gras, the jazz band played some New Orleans classics that were fantastic. Entertainment - As I mentioned above the live music in the various venues was very good. The shows in the theatre were all quite good too. The acrobat couple were very good, the magic show is good fun and David Naster was outstanding. The extra talks he gave in the theatre were very enjoyable. Didn't see the juggler the last night or the Broadway style show. It's too bad Jade is leaving Houston and that will be the end of Bayport apparently after NCL and Princess pull out. It isn't very conveniently located and the Texas laws about booze and gambling don't help. It really was apparent on the last sea day that this cruise could have easily added another port of call. Although another tender stop in Grand Cayman may have been too much the ship was back into the Houston area by 9 pm on the the last day. And they were plodding along for most of it. A tip for cruisers with the UBP. If you don't want to pay for a coffee in the atrium from the premium coffee selection (espresso based drinks), just ask to them to add a splash of Bailey's and voila, it's a part of the bev package. All in all a good cruise, it seems that most of the kinks have worked out since the Jade made the trip from Europe in the fall. The Jade is a nice sized ship and is well laid out. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have cruised quite a bit (50+) and last sailed Norwegian about 9 years ago. We did not like the service or food on that cruise, so we did not go back. Our kids & grandkids cruised with us on this ship (Feb.6-13) and they liked the ... Read More
We have cruised quite a bit (50+) and last sailed Norwegian about 9 years ago. We did not like the service or food on that cruise, so we did not go back. Our kids & grandkids cruised with us on this ship (Feb.6-13) and they liked the free booze package and onboard ship credit deal so we went along with it. The food in the main dining room has improved since the last cruise, but still nothing to speak of. The service and food was inconsistent in all the dining rooms. One day we'd get a really good waiter and assistant and hot food, the next day cold food and a lackluster waiter/assistant. They have raised the price of their automatic gratuities to some of the highest in the industry, yet the service level is nowhere near the highest in the industry. I think they are just looking for ways to pay their employees without it coming from the company payroll. The debarkation process for the one port stop that we docked at was crazy. Telling you you get off on 4 but when you go to 4 they say you must go to 6. Too much confusion. For the tendering process people would line up an hour or so before they would give out the tickets so they could get off right away.... yet they still had a wait to get off. I think they should rethink some of these processes to simplify it for the passengers. We enjoyed a couple of the shows, but others were just ok. We are not big on jugglers and magicians. The drink package does actually cost you money. You must prepay the gratuities on the package. Then if your drink exceeded $15 they would charge you the difference. Many of the usual drinks were $16.95 or $15.95, so they tacked on those charges. I guess if you stick to the drink of the day, then you would not get the additional charges. We felt like we were being nickel and dimed for everything. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We went to specialty dining only. First three evenings dinner was cold. Great wine menu but only a few wines served by glass. Suite was good in regards to size and cleanliness. Balcony was dirty most of the time despite getting it cleaned ... Read More
We went to specialty dining only. First three evenings dinner was cold. Great wine menu but only a few wines served by glass. Suite was good in regards to size and cleanliness. Balcony was dirty most of the time despite getting it cleaned daily - it was in the aft. Staff seemed to be very concerned about being watch on camera all the time - example - I asked at the bar not to open bottles because I wanted to take such back to room - he pointed at camera and told me he had to open them. The concierge visited us twice and every time put his foot in the door. The second time I asked him to leave right away since I did not want him in the cabin. Booked an excursion - was not told that it was cancelled - did it on my own - just had to wait forever to get off the ship since they were disembarking by ticket and many passengers did not know about that. Casino bar was understaffed at all times - even sitting at the bar we had to wait up to 15 minutes to place an order. Full ash trees at all times and other trash every where. All public rest rooms where dirty at all times. My wife purchased an item at the spa after a $150 treatment. The item we were charged for was a totally different one, when I complained about it at the desk I as handed the phone and someone told me it was correct only to receive a message later on voice mail that a mistake was making by them - last night and they were closed by the time I received it. Too late and overcharged. Cruises are a people business but the entire time it seemed that employees were worried about making mistakes vs. doing what is right for customers and business. Had the same waiters for breakfast and dinner!!! Scary - poor guys! Every day!!First cruise last year on other ship great - this one - waste of money and a very tensed , not relaxing, atmosphere. Canceled next trip in a Haven suite already. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Very poor experience. Customer relations was terrible. Generally, crew was not friendly. Food was a big disappointment being vegetarians. NCL offered no help in despite having booked in advance with our request. Had to eat in the ... Read More
Very poor experience. Customer relations was terrible. Generally, crew was not friendly. Food was a big disappointment being vegetarians. NCL offered no help in despite having booked in advance with our request. Had to eat in the buffet. None of the restaurants would offer vegetarian food (some offered to cart food from the buffet). There were very few activities to do within the ship. There were a couple of events during the day that was interesting to us. The shows in the evening were quite good. The evening entertainment was decent. There were a band/musician in many of their clubs. Housekeeping was one of the few departments that was good. We didn't use the pool as the water was very cold most of the time. My daughter (8 yr) felt the big slide at the pool was unusable. She had to push herself down. This was a big disappointment. However, she liked the events at the kids club. The port days were generally good except Belize (our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Roatan). Again, the customer relations were very poor. For example, when I asked what to do at Roatan, the person at the destinations desk said she cant/wont help unless I book a tour. When I went to the general help desk, they said I need to go and ask the destinations help desk. I was able to get any information only after shouting at a few people. (to clarify this was not exotic information, I asked to know the name of the nearest beach in Roatan). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
I had read many negative reviews of this itinerary and was worried about my booking. I found that it was a very good cruise and that it was great value for the money. I wouldn’t call it luxurious, but it was more than adequate. We set ... Read More
I had read many negative reviews of this itinerary and was worried about my booking. I found that it was a very good cruise and that it was great value for the money. I wouldn’t call it luxurious, but it was more than adequate. We set sail on Jan. 30 2016. After arriving in Hobby Airport, we took Norwegian’s shuttle to the ship. This was $50 pp one way. I didn’t see a lot of taxis waiting and didn’t feel like dealing with the uncertainty of getting to the pier. You get on a big tour bus and drive through lots of urban sprawl, container shipyards, and petrochemical refineries to get to the ship. Embarkation was a little frustrating with lines that were about 30 minutes long. Once you got to the desk, you had to deal with a college student who wasn’t very well versed about the ship. They just take your picture and credit card. First night we tried to eat at Grand Pacific. We must of got there at the wrong time because it was absolutely packed with people trying to talk to the hostess who was busy giving out pagers. Eventually she would disappear and not come back. Then, everyone just rushed the restaurant and was remarkably seated as ”lots of tables just opened up.” I made reservations online for the main dining rooms months in advance, but these were not honored and it was first come first served. However, once you are seated, the food and service is actually really good. We recommend Jasmine Garden. The steamed pot stickers are remarkable, and the Lobster Cantonese ($25 upcharge) was unforgettable and probably the best thing I ate on the ship. The Sea Bass ($16 upcharge) was just OK. The rest of the menu, Americanized Chinese food, was pretty good. Desserts here were not impressive. Favorite bar is Star Bar near Cagney’s, on deck 12 aft. It is very quiet and you receive personalized service. The Best Money spent on the cruise was at the Mandara Spa for the Thermal Suites Pass. Book online ahead of time to pay $129 pp instead of $149 pp on ship. There is no couple’s discount. Includes unlimited use of the wet and dry saunas, various showers, hot tubs, and heated lounge chairs with spectacular views over the bridge. Behind the Scenes ship tour ($79 pp): The shore excursions staff was extremely helpful; Christian from Romania was an exceptional tour guide. The whole tour took about 2 hours 15 minutes. Started with a tour of the galley which was huge, then moved to the refrigeration and freezer food storage, saw guys cutting up chicken and beef. Professional photographer pictures were included. Saw the laundry and environmental /waste disposal areas . This portion was lead by the environmental officer and was extremely well done. Then we went to the Stardust Theater where there were coffee, tea, water, juice and an assortment of pastries and small sandwiches. Then went backstage to see the costumes and dressing rooms. Since Elements was being setup, they wouldn’t let us see that part, since it was to be kept a secret. This part of the tour was led by the stage manager/producer who was also very knowledgeable about ship life. We were encouraged to ask questions, and always I felt that Christian was well prepared. Tour ended in the bridge viewing room. You do not get to go on the bridge or see any engine compartment. The UBP was great, and was given to most of the people on the ship. It could take a while to get served at a bar. We wouldn’t drink enough to justify shelling out $69 pp per day. You get charged Houston sales tax on the value of your drinks while in port and until you reach international waters on day 1. Be aware that the "Fleetwide wine list" I found on the Norwegian web site did not apply to our cruise. There was a very limited selection of wines available by the glass. Most of the ship passengers are Texan, and 50+ crowd. Be aware that Belize and Roatan use tenders. The lines to get tickets are long, and the lines to get on the tenders are even longer. This tender process was extremely frustrating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
After about 14 cruises, this may be one of the best Norwegian Cruises I've ever been on. Stayed overnight pre and post cruise at Springhill Suites near Hobby airport for free using points (used their shuttle to dinner and to purchase ... Read More
After about 14 cruises, this may be one of the best Norwegian Cruises I've ever been on. Stayed overnight pre and post cruise at Springhill Suites near Hobby airport for free using points (used their shuttle to dinner and to purchase a case of water for the trip). We were at the terminal about 10 am to check-in the next morning using Super Shuttle from the airport, did organized boarding beginning at 11:30 am with Group 1 and we dropped of our luggage in our cabin by 11:45 am. It was very smooth. I've been on the Jade before and compared to some of the Carnival trips, I really liked the lay out of this ship. We were on deck 8 midship and since there was no center atrium open (as on other ships), the music didn't bother us. For example, we loved Deck 7 since we could walk around the ship at all hours. The food in the complimentary dining rooms was simply fabulous. I ate at some of the specialty restaurants on past NCL cruises and it's really not necessary. We had no wait for any dining room. My husband likes the idea of eating whenever we're ready rather than having a set time. We enjoyed spending time on Deck 6 next to Le Bistro with the champagne bar and piano player. The Star Bar and Spinnaker Lounge was great for reading a book while watching the waves. We had the unlimited beverage package and the bartenders were very accommodating with us trying different drinks. The service each day was fine. The internet was very slow and I heard many people get frustrated. The only thing that would probably need some improvement would be the gift shop. It was a large gift shop, but not much variety, especially for kids. On a few recent Carnival trips, there were substantial 50% savings on their duty free items like perfumes, colognes, cosmetics and alcohol. We did four shore excursions through NCL. Passion Island Beach Day in Cozumel was very good, the water was cold, food and drinks were included. There's a Starbucks at the end of the pier with free wifi. Altun Ha Ruins in Belize was also very good, 1 hour bus trip to the site, small restaurant with excellent beer and some shopping, free internet at the port with better shopping. Maya Key Beach Day in Roatan was the best, food was excellent, nice to see wildlife as well! There was also ziplining available at the port over the water for $30 or $40. The last excursion was being offered at the same price as a transfer to the airport and it included over 3 hours of a city tour in Houston with a few stops. We were off the ship about 8:30 am with the tour group. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
Our group of 2 couples enjoyed our cruise and especially our ports of call. We had booked our own private shore excursions ( honestly for half the ship's prices) and we're delighted with our tour guides and the whole experience. ... Read More
Our group of 2 couples enjoyed our cruise and especially our ports of call. We had booked our own private shore excursions ( honestly for half the ship's prices) and we're delighted with our tour guides and the whole experience. We have been on many cruises and thought the nightly entertainment was above average but typical for cruising. The food was adequate but we didn't splurge on the specialty restaurants. Service was excellent in every area and the staff was always pleasant and acknowledged our presence. All in all, a great week for $1600 for 2 people. Our biggest complaint is the chaos of the Garden Cafe dining but at least we have other choices. There are a lot of things that cost extra now that in the good old days were complimentary-lobster dinners, chocoholic buffet, the steam and sauna in the Spa. Still we had a fun time and can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Boy, people will complain about anything, won't they? Though we usually cruise on Princess, we chose Norwegian because it fit our schedule better this year. Despite what some of the reviews say, the Jade is a beautiful, clean ship ... Read More
Boy, people will complain about anything, won't they? Though we usually cruise on Princess, we chose Norwegian because it fit our schedule better this year. Despite what some of the reviews say, the Jade is a beautiful, clean ship with a friendly and helpful staff. The embarkation/disembarkation process was unbelievably quick and easy, and the ship left the on time as advertised. The food and service was outstanding both in the buffet and the restaurants. The activities on board were pretty much the same as Princess, trivia, name-that-tune, Bingo, hoops, etc. I actually thought the entertainment was better than Princess. There was live music everywhere and it was fantastic! I even danced in the during the Glenn Miller Tribute! I haven't danced in nearly 300 years! Of course, no ship is perfect and the Jade is no exception. I have only two issues and one is more of a personal preference than a complaint. First, on formal night I like to see formal. It was a little off-putting to be dining in the Grand Pacific in my suit next to someone whose idea of dressing for dinner was tucking in his Van Halen concert T shirt. But that's just me. Second, if they are going to allow smoking in the casino they should really put a door on it. We were on deck 8 directly above the casino, and though the smoke never found it's way to our stateroom, it was quite thick around the elevators and stairwell. Other than those two issues we were pleasantly surprised by the Jade. We had a great time, and so will you. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Stayed at Doubletree IAH before cruise. Don't recommend. Took a car service, Abdel, and he had rates lower than the rest by 20 to 30% and his service was second to none. We were VIPs so embarkation may have been easier for us but ... Read More
Stayed at Doubletree IAH before cruise. Don't recommend. Took a car service, Abdel, and he had rates lower than the rest by 20 to 30% and his service was second to none. We were VIPs so embarkation may have been easier for us but we had family in the other part and they almost beat us onboard. Once on board, we hit the great outdoors after, grabbed a drink and relaxed until cabin was ready. A recent review stated "drinks averaged over $15 unless you got the drink of the day" that is the dumbest comment I could've seen. And so far from the truth. We were a group of 6 and not one of us ever saw any extra charges on our drinks and we weren't asking for the cheap stuff. I drink martinis or B52 and I always asked for top of the line spirits. For instance, I asked for and received Ciroc, Kettle one, etc for those drinks and on the B52, same thing. No generic spirits, watched them make and they used what I asked for. Don't believe the whiners who will never have a good trip because they don't allow it. Service we had thru out was a 10. Food was a 7 in dining room. I'd like to see the nightly dinner menus change slightly. Buffet food was a 7 as well. I was pleasantly surprised how good the food was up there. Our group hit Jasmine's one night and most of us came away with sour stomachs that night. No barfing or anything like that, just sour stomachs. Only common thing is we all had the fried rice. Didn't ruin anything for us at all. The shows were ok but the fun stuff was in the Spinnaker lounge. The shows, the service, etc were outstanding in that lounge. And it's a great place to go during the day if you just need a bit of relaxing time without crowds. Most times, I was by myself in there to read. We had a 2 bedroom suite. If you ever get the chance, snap it up. Nothing like it. Master has a beautiful bathroom and has a door you close that allows complete privacy in case you and your spouse need some quality time or bath. Has a living room and small dining area. The coffee machine is awesome. Push a button and a great cup of coffee. Second bedroom has its own bathroom as well. We were always very busy on board. While you will always see more negative reviews that positive when reading these, it's not that bad. Some just need to realize no vacation is ever perfect. Just roll with it when problems happen. They are fixable. That said, only issues we had was people smoking in areas that said no smoking, smoke in the stairwells from casino and, of course, chair hogs. We had the same group of 30 each and every day go out T 8am and mark their chairs. Then not come back until after lunch or, on port days, after they got back on ship. One morning, we wanted to mess with them so we grabbed a couple used towels near towel shack and put them over 2 chairs. This one gal came in there and without any hesitation, threw the towels on to the stage and then went about claiming all their chairs. We watched from above. Have to admit, it was pretty funny. We like sitting above anyway. More peaceful plus, walking around the pool area can be difficult because people move their chairs all over so no clear line to get thru. Port days were very easy. The reason some reviewers give this bad reviews is because many don't have patience. Remember, everyone wants to be the first one off. If you do, then book an over priced NCL excursion or stand in line for hours to get one of the first tickets. As I said to our group, just relax, we will get off just let the impatient people who feel they need to be first to get off. We never had any issue in any port. Never. When you first board, try to avoid the elevators. You have the rushers and impatient people who are very rude. I walk with an assisted device and I was knocked over by impatient people 3 times during our cruise. 2 just kept walking and left me on the floor. I was there until someone came and helped me up. I would easily cruise NCL again. We've been on their ships many times before as well as other cruise lines around the world. We always enjoy NCL. One last thing, fitness room really needs to be improved. Only negative I would have with the Jade. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our second NCL cruise and we had a good time aboard the Jade, but it was not as friendly as the Jewel. The best feature was taking advantage of the ultimate beverage package. Of course, you must pay TABC until you are in open ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise and we had a good time aboard the Jade, but it was not as friendly as the Jewel. The best feature was taking advantage of the ultimate beverage package. Of course, you must pay TABC until you are in open water and I guess some of the beverage options are limited, but we did not find this to be negative. Aboard the Jewel - returning from Shore Excursions the crew would make a welcome back line to greet passengers. Since this was my previous NCL experience, I was disappointed about the lack of crew presence on this ship, especially at the pier. Entertainment was outstanding on the ship. We enjoyed the shows, and especially David Naster. All too often, jokes turn nasty but David Naster, "You Just Got to Laugh" was a great comedian and we bought his books and I have downloaded his app - he covers bully prevention, work situations, grief, and helping people laugh at themselves. Shore Excursions - we did the 12 meter race aboard America's Cup in Cozumel and it was exhilarating. I am not sure there are any restrictions - but it is an activity that requires a person to be able to move about on a moving boat - so take it into consideration. We did snorkeling at Tapyana Beach in Roatan and it was gorgeous; never saw so many fish or colors of coral. I love the Houston Terminal and being able to park your car and walk right in. It was a breeze to embark from Houston; no dropping off luggage, parking car, waiting for shuttle back to pier. Very disappointed NCL is leaving the Houston cruise terminal. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
Because of the Canadian dollar right now we a kind of budget trip. Stayed one day in Houston pre trip and one post to see space centre. The Jade was great service & food,we did not do the special dining, but found the Alizar, ... Read More
Because of the Canadian dollar right now we a kind of budget trip. Stayed one day in Houston pre trip and one post to see space centre. The Jade was great service & food,we did not do the special dining, but found the Alizar, Grand Pacific, Blue Lagoon And the Garden the buffet style very good with a little kids corner for our little people. Our room # 4598 & 4596 next to the tender door noisy at night Service is great at all bars & dining We dined at the Blue Lagoon, Alizar, Grand Pacific & the buffet Garden all were good service & selection. Entertainment that we seen singer in the Atrium was great also the Jamaican Band in the pool area was great.Kids club my grand sons were there they don't complain much, liked the water slide, & their bunk beds the best. Disembarkation was by deck levels was good. We stayed at hotel near airport then went to space center , you have to go there if in Houston Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
First time cruising with Norwegian; leery of all the negative reviews. After a few months the crew and staff seem to have found their routine. Found it to be in between Holland America and Carnival in terms of clientele, food, and ... Read More
First time cruising with Norwegian; leery of all the negative reviews. After a few months the crew and staff seem to have found their routine. Found it to be in between Holland America and Carnival in terms of clientele, food, and service. Best part the chance to dress much more casually. The ship was originally named the Pride of Hawaii, and the decor still reflected the Hawaiian theme. Some called it gaudy, but no more than on any other ship we have been on. Enjoyed the bright colors, Hawaiian prints, and shell collections. Admittedly we have been spoiled with the food and service on HAL. But this wasn't bad. Best explained by breakfast choices. HAL provides citrus that has been supremed, where as NCL gives you quartered chunks including the skin. NCL servers did not ask how we wanted our eggs cooked, the standard was a very runny, whites included sunny side up. Best choice the omelets. Quantities were certainly sufficient. Found we couldn't eat our standard, soup, salad, entree and dessert. Our best choices were three apps in the Alizar main dining room. Also enjoyed it more as it was more intimate than the large open room in the Grand Pacific. Garden Cafe our choice for lunch and snacks. Despite what other reviewers have stated, we had no problem with the servers, bartenders or room stewards. Service levels, as in any environment reflected how you treated the staff - that human nature. The most frustrating thing to me about the cruise was how rude some of my fellow travelers were to the staff. Yes, sometimes they are hard to understand. As with any other person, if you treat them with respect, get to know them and learn about their history they will respond in kind. But how would you feel miles away from home, family and loved ones, earning minimal wages, and having to speak a foreign language. If you paid attention to them as a person, talked to them, learned their history, they responded in-kind. NCL does have their "vacation hero" program which allows you to personalize your nomination for special recognition of the crew member. In terms of entertainment, many music choices including karaoke. The nightly stage shows were more production style, not the singers and dancers on other lines. But the award winning entertainers were very good. We didn't participate in any excursions, many have restrictions regarding neck and back problems, recent surgeries or age - all which applied to us. But there's plenty to do on board the ship, and it is much quieter when every one else is out and about. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Let me first say I am not a bot or employee of the cruise. I sell cars in Abilene, Tx. I usually don't write reviews but this cruise had so many negative reviews I just felt compelled to after my experience. We are 2 young couples ... Read More
Let me first say I am not a bot or employee of the cruise. I sell cars in Abilene, Tx. I usually don't write reviews but this cruise had so many negative reviews I just felt compelled to after my experience. We are 2 young couples (between 26 and 30) and 3 of us were on our 2nd cruise and one our first. I can't speak for the negative reviewers experience but if they had the same treatment we did then it is an attitude problem, not the cruiseline's problem. EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION: Unbelievably easy! Literally on and off the boat in under 30 minutes each. We were the only boat docked there at the time so we even got a spot within 100 yards of the boat. Less than half the time of the Carnival cruise we took. FOOD AND DRINK: We had the Ultimate Drink Package which is a MUST if you plan on drinking at all. Beers are about $6 and mixed drinks $8-9 so it is well worth it. The bartenders were very fast and attentive to the crowds and the waits were appropriate to how many people there were. Drinks made stronger upon request (and they took your request serious haha!) The food was very good, even on the buffet. Buffet had an incredibly wide variety of options (I love Indian food and had that almost every day). We got the 5 meal Specialty Dining Package and ate at every Specialty restaurant: Cagney's (Steakhouse), La Cucina (Italian), Le Bistro (French), Moderno (churasciria), and Teppyanaki (Hibachi). All were good, not 5 star knock you back in your seat but very good. Teppyanaki was the highest quality and our favorite. CABIN: Yeah it was small, it's a freaking ship! But it was literally cleaned every time we requested and the shower was actually surprisingly big. ENTERTAINMENT: If you got bored on this boat then I feel incredibly sorry for you. All the stage acts that we made it to were great, Acrobats, Illusionist, Comedian. Only complaint is there was no Adults Only Comedy but I think that was more the comedian that was on the boat's style, not a ship issue. There was also something going on all day from bingo, trivia, couple's game's, stuff in Casino all the time. It just blows my mind there are seriously reviews that there's nothing to do. In all fairness, we don't have kids and aren't senior citizens though. PORTS/TENDERING: I'll keep these short and just say they were all amazing and just say the tendering went very smooth. Only suggestion is if you book an excursion outside NCL be up pretty early to get your tender ticket so you can get on shore first and start enjoying. CONCLUSION: Best vacation ever. Not just cruise but vacation. Norwegian definitely knows how to show a good time. But, I will say, if you are a pack-a-tuxedo-for-dinner or expect-a-waiter-every-10-seconds type cruiser, this may not be for you. Or if you're traveling with a bunch of kids, don't blame the cruise for making you unhappy, it's probably those dang kids.But for two late 20's couples, it was the best time we've ever had. Take these reviews with a grain of salt, vacationing is all about deciding to have a good time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We signed up for both the Specialty Dining and free Ultimated Beverage package. Our first experience, which ended up being a sign of what was to come was at the Blue Lagoon while waiting for the cruise to start. Our order was late but ... Read More
We signed up for both the Specialty Dining and free Ultimated Beverage package. Our first experience, which ended up being a sign of what was to come was at the Blue Lagoon while waiting for the cruise to start. Our order was late but arrived at 2:30, well before the 3:00 drill that we were told about and were assured that there would be plenty of time to eat. At 2:45, our food and drinks were rudely taken away from us before the waiter asked if we were done. When we replied no, we were told sorry but we need your table, you need to leave now. That evening, at our visit to Cagney's, their "premier steakhouse", we were served a lukewarm steak with no charring, cold broiled shrimp and baked potatoes. When we complained, the server involved the ship's officer who serves as the manager. To make us feel better, he informed us that he had called all of our dining reservations for the rest of the week to make sure they served us hot food. As a retired restaurant manager, I couldn't believe his complete lack of food management skills or that he thought that his efforts would be appreciated and the thing to do. We ended up canceling our other reservation at this restaurant and our visits to all the others on the ship involved a combination of poor service, over sauced entrees, cold food and limited choices on the menus. When we complained to the restaurant reservations desk, instead of apologizing, she asked if we asked if we had asked for a recook of our entrees. The Garden Cafe buffet was even worse with the same items served all week. The staff is poorly trained and some have yet to master the English language. They ignore lines waiting for service and will take care of all line cutters ahead of you. The bars are basically self service since they have at most one server who ignores whole parts of the seating area. We learned this by waiting as long as 15 minutes or more with still no service or followup. Most of the bartenders would ignore your requests as to how you wanted your drink made and do it their way....then would have an attitude when you asked for it to be made over. Entertainment and other activities were on par with their food service. Three games of bingo were $69, their shopping talk turned out to be a joke after talking with other cruisers who knew of Norwegian's interest in the stores that she promoted. Overall, if Norwegian was the only cruise line available with this being our first cruise, we would never sail again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
We chose this cruise due to the embarkation port of Houston. The ship, crew, food and cruise were a total success. we were treated like we were the ship's captain from the moment we set food on board till we left the ship seven days ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the embarkation port of Houston. The ship, crew, food and cruise were a total success. we were treated like we were the ship's captain from the moment we set food on board till we left the ship seven days later. our only regret was the cruise did not last longer. we ate in most of the restaurants and not once were we disappointed in the food or the service. the room steward was the best as was our butler and concierge. they were all just a phone call away or often they were just outside in the hallway working so very easy to contact. Our stateroom I would compare to most any others on any cruise line. The night time activities and entertainment was very good and above what we have seen on other cruise lines. Freestyle dining is also a plus cause you eat when you want to and where you want to with no waiting for a specific table to sit at or time to eat. All in all it was a great cruise and we would sail on Norwegian again and on the jade again as well. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
We had our plans with friends canceled at the last minute and this cruise became plan B. One week before the cruise sailed we got a GREAT deal on an oceanview cabin. We normally plan our cruises months sometimes a year in advance. ... Read More
We had our plans with friends canceled at the last minute and this cruise became plan B. One week before the cruise sailed we got a GREAT deal on an oceanview cabin. We normally plan our cruises months sometimes a year in advance. Planning for me is part of the fun. We sailed on the NCL Jade out of Houston, January 16 – 23, 2016. We flew from Kansas City to Houston the day the ship sailed (on a flight with a connection in Dallas) needless to say, I was a little nervous. We normally fly in the day before. When we purchased the cruise one week before, we also purchased transfers and the 4 specialty dining package. We had cabin 5608 – good location for us. Our flight arrived in Houston 10 minutes early (we were there before noon) and since we only had carry-on bags we made our way to the NCL transfer desk in baggage claim. Easy to find and we were on the list. We waited with others about 20 minutes are then were boarded the bus. The bus ride was just over 30 minutes and then we arrived at the ship. Embarkation: The lines were long … We quickly found the loyalty line, and it was short, it may have been 5 minutes and we were getting our “Welcome Aboard” picture taken and getting on board. We dropped off our carry-on bags and it was Buffet, here we come…. We think NCL buffets are EXCELLENT and they had prime rib for lunch and also offered later in the cruise for dinner. We ate breakfast (all except one day) at the Garden Café. My husband likes to choices of the buffet for breakfast and lunch and we enjoyed the Great Outdoors seating for most meals (or the, La Cucina, the Italian Restaurant nearby) which was also open for over flow seating. We learned about the Great Outdoors when we sailed on the Pearl and Gem. We are foodies and LOVE the specialty restaurants. We ate at the Teppanyaki, Moderno, and twice at Cagney’s. We also tried Alizar, Jasmine Garden, and the Grand Pacific. The food was outstanding in all the restaurants. Of course, the extra pay are well worth the cover charge. We didn’t purchase drink packages as we are not big drinkers. One think I didn’t care for was when I ordered a Pepsi I got a glass not a can. I guess, next time I’ll ask for a can or bottle. NCL also needs to get a real Orange Juice machine in the buffet if they plan to sell "fresh squeezed Orange Juice" during breakfast. I stopped by a couple of days for a glass and it would take 5 to 10 minutes to juice oranges with an old fashioned juicer. This held up the bar line. The bridge viewing room was closed the several times we stopped by. Of course, we had several days of bad weather. The cruisecritic meeting was not well attended. But, the host did a great job, thank you Mike from Shawnee, and it was fun meeting the officers. We also attended the NCL Loyalty cocktail party, didn’t win anything, but my husband enjoyed a couple of rum punches. NCL is very good about recognizing their loyal customers with free cocktail events and we appreciate that. We didn’t use the internet much as it was expensive. I’ll look for one of the specials next time that includes the internet. It would have been nice to post on Facebook during the week. Free advertising for cruiseline, not sure why the internet has to be slow and expensive. We’ve been on 20+ cruises and this cruise had some of the best entertainment we’ve seen so far. The Elements was our favorite show and David Naster the comedian was also worth a shout out. We went to the show every night. We’ve only done that on the Oasis and Allure. I can’t say enough about the great entertainment. Whoever books the entertainers did an outstanding job. The staff were all very nice. We were especially impressed with our cabin attendant, Christina, who was one of the most professional attendants we have ever encountered. She was always around to see if we needed anything and quick to respond to any request. We didn’t do much in the ports. We walked around Cozumel and enjoyed the sunshine. We didn’t get off in Belize City as we had just been there in April and it was raining when the tenders were available without tender tickets. We got off in Roatan and shopped in the pier area and enjoyed the sunshine… I wish NCL had a private island Disembarkation went smoothly, we did "Easy Walk-Off" and we were off at 8:00 am. We waited for our transfer bus which left around 9:30 am. If we had known Super Shuttle vans would be available we would have use them. But, we had already paid for the transfer and our flight wasn’t until 12:10 pm. It was COLD waiting for the bus to arrive and many folks went back into to wait. The Jade was great!! We were drawn to NCL by the casual dress code. Since we wear jeans to work we like the more relaxed dress code. We still cruise other lines for locations but if we have the option we will select NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We take a cruise every year, typically in January and usually to the Caribbean. We have travelled on various cruise lines NCL, Celebrity, RCCL, Princess and Carnival. We choose this trip based on the itinerary and because we wanted to see ... Read More
We take a cruise every year, typically in January and usually to the Caribbean. We have travelled on various cruise lines NCL, Celebrity, RCCL, Princess and Carnival. We choose this trip based on the itinerary and because we wanted to see ruins in Belize. It was a bonus to us that we left out of Houston do we did not have airfare, it is unfortunate that the Houston cruise terminal is closing but not a deal breaker. The Jade was great. There isn't as much Hawaiian decor as I expected from other reviews although I would have enjoyed it as I have travelled to Hawaii many times. Every NCL employee we encountered offered a greeting and were smiling, this was great! Two days before our cruise I was offered the opportunity to upgrade and took it as a surprise for my other half, it was worth every cent! We went from a balcony to a 2 bedroom in the Haven. There were plenty of activities on board that kept us entertained. The shows were very good, we enjoy the singing and dancing. The only thing we did not care for with regard to the shows were the push to purchase their DVD at the end, while I expect this it shouldn't be a 10 minute pitch. We took two ship excursions one in Belize to Altun Ha which was amazing, I have been to Tulum many times and enjoyed seeing ruins with a jungle background instead of the beach. While it was drizzling it was perfect for pictures and walking the ruins, it would be very hot without the clouds. The road was fine with very little over dirt, less than a mile. We would have liked at least an hour rot explore on our own but knew it would be short. We will return and visit these ruins and others in the future. The second was in Roatan where we went to Maya Key and enjoyed the sunny day with great snorkeling and beach time. The water was calm and clear and fish abundant. The beach was clean and we did not experience issues with any bugs. They are a rescue and do a good job caring for the animals, employees were fantastic, attentive and always willing to answer questions. This excursion included lunch which was very good and plentiful. Cash bar was extremely reasonable and device very quick, be sure to bring cash for this. We chose to eat in the included venues for meals and found the service to be excellent. There are so many choices each day and they are happy to make modifications to plates for your taste. We had the Ultimate Beverage plan and always had prompt service. Only complaint is that we enjoy wine and the wine by the glass selection was a be lacking but that only allowed us to experiment with other cocktails. We will cruise again with NCL probably on the Jade. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
All in all a great trip. Would have been perfect if we had good weather. But NCL has no control over Mother Nature. Embarkation. Was fast and easy we were on the ship in about 30 minutes went to the service desk and put cash down on ... Read More
All in all a great trip. Would have been perfect if we had good weather. But NCL has no control over Mother Nature. Embarkation. Was fast and easy we were on the ship in about 30 minutes went to the service desk and put cash down on our room. We hate big credit card bills after vacation. They were helpful and courteous . Then off to our room which was ready. Dropped off our carry on bags and off to lunch in the Garden Cafe. Very busy as usual. But enjoyable. Weather was cool with off and on drizzle. The life boat drill was quick and easy once everyone showed up. Then on to explore the ship. We were a family of six my husband and I and our teen to young 20's We had the ultimate dinning package so we had dinner in all of the specialty restaurants. We loved Cagneys we went there twice. The Filet Mignon and lobster tales hit the spot our kids loved the baked potato soup and the shrimp cocktail and the Oreo cookie cheese cake was a BIG HIT. We also enjoyed Lebistro everyone tried to order something different they they hadn't had before. Some loving their choice but my youngest didn't love the Duck. The food was delicious. Modern I was very good the salad bar was so fresh and the meat was very good. But way to much we were on meat over load. Lacuchina was good. The shrimp risotto was pretty good but kind of generic. But I did hear the steak was delicious. Tenpenyaki was ok didn't love it was loud and the chefs stood back to back and it was like a competition who was louder who could get the jokes out first. Ate most of our breakfasts in ,either the Grand Paciffic or the blue lagoon both very decent. But the Grand Pacific had more selection. That was my husbands favorite. The entertainment was very good I enjoyed the show every night the comedian David Naster was so funny and he also had 2 other show during the day about laughter for healing and one about bullying. Both were great . The ILlusioniat Cripton was entertaining and the acrobats were awesome. The ships cast where very good too. Can't say a bad thing about any of the entertainment. We did go the the port shopping seminar it was informative we went to a cooking demo and a cake contest they were fun. We did find thing to do because the weather was bad and most of the time the pools were closed. Excursions . In Cozumel we went to Playa Mia. Were myself and 3 of the kids took a Mexican cooking class it was so much fun . While my husband and our youngest daughter spent the day swimming, snorkeling, using the water slides and water trampoline. We all met up later ( ps it was open bar all day) weather was overcast. We also did a little shopping at the port ( some pretty good buys) Sad to say our day in Belize it poured my husband and our middle daughter and I shopped in port . We did venture outside the wall. We did find things much cheaper but the weather was so bad we headed back to the ship. The 2 boys took our youngest daughter and went swimming with the sharks and rays. Surprisingly we found out it wasn't in a enclosed area they went out to the reef and snorkeled with the Sharks and rays. They LOVED it !!! They also went to a very small cay off Belise where they saw a very rural area. They really enjoyed everything about it. Roatán we had our best weather the sun was in and out. We went to the Gumbalimba preserve. It was a nice walk through a beautiful preserve, we saw birds bats monkeys and iguanas all up lose and hands. On we also went to the beach for a little while the kids did a little snorkeling . It was a great day. And again a little shopping. I was a little nervous about the cruise after seeing a lot of poor reviews but we had. No problems. Food was very good, service was good. Occasionally slow in the casino. Did feel like you get nickel and dime don some things. But my husband won a football square and I left the casino with a little more then I brought. ( oh we spent it just not in the casino ) Cabins were decent. We had adjoining balcony cabins 9032 and 9034. A little tight on storage for 3 but doable. And our steward Pedro was nice and helpful. It took a few days for him to make towel animals. But he brought everything we asked for. We won't sail out of Texas again because all the rules and taxes around alcohol and duty free. We will definitely. Sail NCL again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
I was looking for a last minute, affordable solo cruising experience and found it with NCL's Jade and a Western Caribbean cruise 16-23 January 2016. Finding any deals for solo cruisers has been almost impossible these days and I ... Read More
I was looking for a last minute, affordable solo cruising experience and found it with NCL's Jade and a Western Caribbean cruise 16-23 January 2016. Finding any deals for solo cruisers has been almost impossible these days and I do not understand why the cruise lines seem to have all started charging a full 100% single supplement for all cabins; we used to get a break if we were willing to take inside, lower deck cabins but no longer. I was fortunate in that after several days of shopping online this particular cruise price dropped to a 50% supplement. I tried to book immediately on NCL's website but it really is not user friendly at all as it will only show some decks and not all on which cabins are available. Frustrated, I had to go to a local travel agent and even she had to really hunt to get all the available cabin information. Note to NCL: redesign your website; see Princess's if you need a model as there is no problem booking any deck with available cabins on their website. Since Houston is a United Airlines hub and I was able to get a decent airfare a month out and arrived the evening before. Houston Intercontinental has a Marriott hotel within the airport but it is very expensive so I elected to stay at the nearby Baymont Inn and Suites which offered free breakfast and airport shuttle. It's also next door to a Sonic Drive-inn, Waffle House, and a convenience store. I was traveling on my own and I had read how terribly expensive taxis were from the airport to Bayport Cruise Terminal (about one hour away) so I elected to sign up for NCL's transfer bus at $50 each way. Our departing the airport was delayed as the bus picked up at Terminal A first and one of those passengers had wandered off when loading time came; most of us were waiting at Terminal C and had been since 8:30 am. We eventually reached the Cruise Terminal about 11:45 am. Our checked luggage was transferred from the bus to the terminal by the porters without charge. Embarkation was the usual long-line tediousness. However I did run into an issue going through security. I had a water bottle that was partially filled which I needed to use to take some medication about noon. The security staff said I could not take any open bottles through--I had never heard of that at a cruise terminal before! I insisted she empty and give it back to me. I later saw someone else with a larger bottle of water and she said she had no problem. Since I did not get on board until after 12:30, I had to take my medication late. One thing I do appreciate about NCL is that they let you drop off your carry-on luggage in you cabin even though the cabin is not ready until later. This makes going to lunch so much easier. However, what I did not like was the notice in the cabin that our checked luggage may not turn up until as late as 8 pm [we sailed at 4 pm]! Had I known that I would have brought my big suitcase on with me or at least packed differently. We were all directed up to the Garden Café buffet for lunch and it was a mad house with hardly anywhere to sit. I finally asked a couple of nice guys if I could join them at their table. This seating problem actually continued throughout the cruise. Almost all the tables are for four or six people and folks simply don't seem to want to share. NCL needs to reconfigure seating to more two-person tables and/or re-educate their passengers into sharing tables. Lifeboat drill was the shortest one I've ever attending on any ship. For me (25+ cruises) that was great, but I did wander whether first-timers really got enough information to handle an emergency correctly. Sail-away festivities had to be moved indoors as it was pouring rain that afternoon. Our Cruise Critic Roll Call group tried to meet in the Spinnaker Lounge after lifeboat drill, but the music was insanely loud and you could not even talk to someone standing two feet away. The Jade seemed to be in wonderful condition even if some of the décor was a bit "over-the-top" with bright colors and giant glass flowers hanging from the ceiling in places. The cabins are a bit small though. I especially liked the fish on the hall carpets which let you know which direction is forward (the gold/browns ones all swim in that direction) and aft (the little red guys are headed that direction). There were very few lounge chairs on the Promenade deck which is a shame as I always like to sit there as I can't be in the sun; and given our frequent rainy weather on this cruise it would have been a nice place to sit. The pool deck area had lots of chairs but also constant loud music. The library was one really nice place to escape as it was totally quiet and had comfortable chairs--it was often completely full. Unfortunately most other areas had constant music going. My greatest disappointment in this cruise was the total lack of any intellectual content to any of the on-board activities--I mean zero!. It was all silly games and sales pitches. The Port Talk was an absolute obscenity as far as I'm concerned. She spent well over an hour telling people where and why to buy jewelry. And her talk was interspersed with sexist comments. I watched her colleague trying to give her the time's up signal after an hour but she ignored him and kept going. Many people walked out, myself included. I never did learn anything about the ports at all. The Fitness Center was well laid-out and equipped. It was nice to have a separate aerobics room where there were mats for stretching if there was not a class going on in there. I never got to swim in the pools, however, as they seemed to be closed almost all the time except when we were in port. I realize we did have some rough sea days, but other times it was not that bad that the adult pool, at least, needed to be closed. I also disliked that normal pool opening time is not until 8 am. I like to swim early in the mornings before the sun hits the area. The Internet Café was located in the Art Gallery which means you were closed off from it during the Art Auctions--not good planning. Fortunately there were two computers in the Library. Internet access was the usual very slow and over priced as it is on all U.S. cruise lines. I also did not like the fact there were no daily newspapers available as there are on other cruise lines. I never attended any of the entertainment so I cannot comment on that area. I ate all my meals in the Garden Café and the Great Outdoors, both of which are buffet style. The food was O.K. to quite good and there was quite a variety. I especially liked the pasta bar and the pizza (really quite the best cruise ship pizza I've ever had). And I loved the sliced pound cake that was available as well as the to-die-for chocolate tarts. Many cruise lines feature all these fussy, creamy desserts so it's nice to have some simple alternatives. I found the staff, for the most part, to be very nice. I was especially impressed with my cabin attendant, Benson, who was one of the most professional attendants I have ever encountered. He was always checking to see if I needed anything and quick to respond to any requests. Since I had read so many negative reviews about the port and tender issues with this itinerary I elected to sign up for the ship's tours in all three ports. Personally I always prefer private tours, but in this case the tours were fairly decent. In Cozumel I did the Tulum Ruins tour which began with a very choppy ferry ride to the mainland and then a bus to the ruins. We got a basic tour of the ruins and then free time to explore them on our own, head down the steps to the beach, and/or shop and have lunch on our own in the "village" next to the ruins. Our ferry got back to the pier 15 minutes before sailing time so it was a quick dash back. Our guide did try to sell us stuff and asked for tips, but that is common in Mexico. In Belize City I signed up for the Lamanai Ruins and River Safari as I figured that would be the best chance to see birds. Our tour was the third one out on the tenders and then we were directed to a bus that was a bit late picking us up. I loved the river boat ride even with the light showers and we did pause to see some birds on the way to the ruins 25 miles upstream. Our ruin tour was a bit brief, but we did see what we came to see and then it was back in the boat and a fast and wet ride back to the restaurant for lunch--a very fast 20 minute lunch as we were running late by this point. We arrived back at the dock 5 minutes before the last tender was scheduled to leave and had to run. This was disappointing as many of us wanted to visit the chocolate shop or do other shopping and we thought the tour would be back earlier. For Roatan I just elected to do the Maya Quay Private Island. In this case our tour ticket said it was our tender ticket and we were to meet on the pier. Once I noticed the tenders were working (there were no announcements until much later) I headed down and got on shore by 7:30. I then walked over to the Maya Quay boat and made their first sailing ahead of my scheduled tour time. This turned out to be a great move as the island was very quiet. I headed up to the little museum where one of the young staff members, Ever, found me and offered me a private tour--it was great! He knew so much about each of their rescued animals and let me feed the monkeys peanuts. He was also walked me around their replica ruins and the museum--and all this before the crowds showed up (there were 3 or 4 ships in that day). There are scheduled group tours and activities throughout the day--some free and some paid. The resort has rentable lockers but each time you open one you have to pay another $2 so keep that in mind. Included lunch was basic chicken, beans and rice, and salad. Drinks were available for purchase. Snorkel gear and paddle boards were available for rent. The resort runs their boat back to the pier area every 30 minutes so you can return any time you want. My one suggestion is that NCL really needs to schedule more time in each port. The distance to travel between these ports is not that great and there is no reason they could not spend more time there. The two longer tours were quite good but it was so frustrating to have to "run" for the ship the minute they returned and not have any time in the port area at all. Disembarkation went smoothly but only because I took some short cuts. NCL offers something called "Easy Walk-Off" in which you keep your suitcases and walk off with them yourself as soon as the ship is cleared to disembark. Do this! I had booked the NCL transfer bus back to the airport and we were assigned a later disembarkation time with our luggage to be picked up in the terminal. Since I had kept my bag, I went ahead and walked off with the Easy Walk-Off people and was through customs/immigration by 8 am. Our transfer bus was scheduled to depart at 9 am, but I noticed when I came through the terminal that none of the checked luggage had even been brought off the ship yet. There was no way all those folks would be getting off the ship on time, claiming luggage and getting that bus filled by 9 am. Luckily for me the whole line of Super Shuttle vans were there waiting to take folks to either of the airports. Pricey at $66 to IAH, but they left immediately and I was checked in at the airport before NCL's bus even left the port! And I was able to get switch an earlier flight and got home 4 hours early. The last afternoon on board I had time to sit and talk to a travel professional who was on board. As we were comparing notes on the cruise and on how it compared to other cruise lines, I made the comment that this particular cruise would appeal to those folks for whom the Kardashians provide great television. Many passengers seemed to have selected the cruise because of the Unlimited Drinks Package and they started at it the minute the could. These folks did not seem bothered by the total lack of intellectual content as I was. I spoke to the Future Cruise specialist on board about this issue and she said it was typical of these shorter 7-day Caribbean cruises, but that other longer cruises would be different. I hope so because if NCL becomes the only solo-friendly U.S. cruise line out there, I may be back. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
2nd time cruiser. Went January 2015 on the Epic. Was a little worried that the Jade would be too small compared to the Epic, but it was fine. Quick thoughts: Balcony cabin was similar to the Epic, although with a traditional ... Read More
2nd time cruiser. Went January 2015 on the Epic. Was a little worried that the Jade would be too small compared to the Epic, but it was fine. Quick thoughts: Balcony cabin was similar to the Epic, although with a traditional bathroom. We had a hull balcony on Deck 8 but below the railing was glass. Good combination of view and privacy. Fit two regular chairs, but not much more. Good shower. Enjoyed movie options on tv. Regular dining was fine. Ate buffet every morning. No real variety, but custom omelettes were good. Breakfast and embarkation day could get crowded, but they opened up La Cucina for additional seating. Standard buffet for lunch. Carved meat, burgers, dogs, pizza, fries, asian selections, indian/vegetarian, and then some rotating hot entrees. At in Alizar twice and Grand Palace once. Thought service in Alizar was a bit better (faster). Grand Palace seemed very big and very crowded. Short lines getting in most nights. Service was slow but not ridiculously slow. Cagney's was excellent all around -- food and service. Le Bistro was very good. Enjoyed the food. Service at Cagney's was better. La Cucina was better than expected. Appetizer pizza was very good as was calamari. Too full to really eat our entrees. They did wrap up the pizza for our room. Bars. We enjoyed the martini bar area on 6, particularly before dinner time. Bartenders were fun and eager to make you a surprise drink. Spinnaker was our other main hangout. We knew a couple servers by name by mid-week and they took good care of us. Overall, no problems whatsoever with crew. Cabin steward and bartenders were very good. Not much interaction with captain or sailing crew. He made a few announcements when seas were rough, but that's about it (on Epic the captain made an announcement every day). Cruise director, assistant cruise director, and a couple of main support staff were fun; the rest were unmemorable, but ok nonetheless. Game shows, for example, were more fun on the Epic, but that could have been as much the passengers as the crew. Speaking of entertainment, we didn't take in a lot of shows. We went to the magic show one night and thought it was pretty corny. Ended up going back later in the week because weather was bad and saw the "mentalist" show from the same magician (Cripton). It was better, but nothing we hadn't seen before. To be fair, other passengers were complimentary. We didn't see Elements but heard good things. Embarkation and deembarkation were relatively easy, although I understand that NCL is leaving Houston soon. Port isn't exactly picturesque, but that's fine. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
To start with the good- the show "cripton" was excellent. He is an illusionist and performed some great illusions. His show as well as the acrobatic team were entertaining. Disemarkation-we had an excellent fellow who helped my ... Read More
To start with the good- the show "cripton" was excellent. He is an illusionist and performed some great illusions. His show as well as the acrobatic team were entertaining. Disemarkation-we had an excellent fellow who helped my mom in a wheelchair for getting off the ship. She had difficulty getting to the actual meeting place for that service but was helped once she got there. The not so good- I was reassured by NCL that my gluten-free dietary needs would be accompdated and that my disable mom would have no trouble getting around this ship. We were greatly disappointed. 1. You are required to order all 3 meals at dinner the day before for glulten-free. 2. The food is mediocre and at one point I was served something that was NOT gluten-free but was told it was. I subsequently got sick. 3. Service in the dining room where I was required to eat took almost 2 hours for every meal. We were told it was because of my special diet. However we ate at the alternate dining room which was smaller and they served our meals within an hour. 4. There were NO handicapped restrooms open or available for my mom who was traveling with me. She rented a scooter which required the use of an elevator. There were no designated elevator for handicapped use which proved to be challenging getting an elevator that wasn't filled with people. 5. Shore excursion team had no idea what was available at some of the advertised excursions. We took the botanical garden/beach tour and found that they have assistance for those who couldn't handle prolonged walking. This would have been helpful information before we took the excursion. They also had no idea if I could eat the lunch BBQ was being offered and would not permit me to take a gluten free sandwhich off the ship. I do believe that Celebrity has NCL beat in cabin size,comfort, dining, service, and overal cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
I was very unhappy with the customer service provided on the Norwegian Jade. My boyfriend and I were treated very rudely by the staff on the ship. We spoke to a manager in Mandara Spa and I was asking questions regarding the thermo-spa ... Read More
I was very unhappy with the customer service provided on the Norwegian Jade. My boyfriend and I were treated very rudely by the staff on the ship. We spoke to a manager in Mandara Spa and I was asking questions regarding the thermo-spa package. She was busy reading a piece of paper and responded to my questions while looking at the paper. I continued to speak to her and waited to see if she would acknowledge my presence and she was blatantly rude to both of us. In fact, in spite of her attitude my family and I purchased the package anyway. As we ate lunch and dinner in several locations: Pacific, Blue Lagoon, and Alizar we noticed that the service was EXTREMELY slow. Not only was the staff slow on several occasions but they were not personable nor friendly. I have been on many vessels on different cruise lines such as Princess and Royal and have never experienced such rude and slow service. All in all, the service was not at all pleasant. Cabin is very small and if you experience bad weather or rainy days the crew is not at all prepared to keep all the passengers entertained. There is absolutely NOTHING to do. No indoor pools or activities except Bingo or Deal or No Deal which require you to pay to have at most an hour of excitement? Do yourself a favor and don't go on this cruise. Other cruise lines do it better. Read Less
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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