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I have cruised several times with NCL and typically find them to be a bit better than other cruise lines. However, I may have to reevaluate this after my latest venture with the Jade. As a first time cruiser from Southampton I should have done my homework and realized it was a significant distance from London. We arrived a day early and managed to catch a train to the port city. London was nice, my third visit so tried to see some things I had missed on previous visits. The embarkation process was fairly smooth, but we were late arrivals and the crowd was pretty thin. We had an inside cabin and it was a bit cramped but that is to be expected. The ship wasn't as well maintained or staffed as previous vessels we have been on. Service was particularly slow in the main dining rooms. Our cabin service was adequate. One major complaint I had was the seating in the Grand Pacific dining room. This was the first ship I have been on that only used 1/2 of a deck for their cafeteria. It was quite difficult to find seating on many occasions. Always were 2-3 people minimum in front of you at every station, regardless of time of day it seemed. The quality of the food was mediocre. I had overcooked prime rib one night, and another night the steak was so tough I could not eat it. The menu selection was also very disappointing as it was quite redundant. We received the "ultimate" beverage package but found out quickly it was not quite ultimate at all. It did not cover bottled water, fresh orange juice, soda, or premium coffee. The stewards and bartenders rarely provided wine lists unless requested and would try to pass off lesser quality alcohols unless you were very specific about what you wanted. The entertainment was one of the highlights of the trip. They had a couple of excellent singers, a wonderful duo of aerialists, a decent magician and the regular troupe was pretty good. The one comedian was a bit underwhelming though. The movie selection on the TV was quite good and very current. A lot of super hero movies. However, the ship did not provide an online account to review so you had to request a printout if you wanted to see where your bill stood. We used NCL for two shore excursions. We were told we got $50 per port credit which seemed to indicate we had $400 for the eight ports. However you only got to use $50 for any one excursion. They could have made that clearer in the beginning. The excursion in Akureryi was decent but most of it was spent driving back and forth to the waterfall. The waterfall was magnificent but the time allotted there was too short. In Orkney we booked a tour of the Neolithic village. This tour was very good and well worth the money. The guide was quite knowledgeable and thorough. The internet service was pretty good and we got 250 free minutes as part of our package. I still ended up buying 30 minutes the last night trying to book a passage to Heathrow and at that point it got very slow and I was unable to finish my booking. We had originally booked with NCL but found out the last night they would not get us to the airport early enough. Fortunately they were accommodating in refunding us for this trip.We ended up paying for a taxi to ensure we made our noon flight. Fortunately disembarkation was wonderfully smooth and easy. The cab online was quoted as 99 pounds but we ended up paying 165 pounds by using an onsite cab. He quoted us 150 but then added some sort of tax that was never mentioned prior to our arrival at the airport. Definitely book ahead for your trip to the airport. The ports and sights on this trip raised my rating of this cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. The smaller islands were nice but not nearly as scenic. The cruise ship was disappointing, particularly as I have always had an excellent experience with NCL previously. It seems like they are slashing budgets and it is reflected significantly in the service and food provided.

Norwegian Jade was a bit disappointing.

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by billbish72

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Inside
I have cruised several times with NCL and typically find them to be a bit better than other cruise lines. However, I may have to reevaluate this after my latest venture with the Jade.

As a first time cruiser from Southampton I should have done my homework and realized it was a significant distance from London. We arrived a day early and managed to catch a train to the port city. London was nice, my third visit so tried to see some things I had missed on previous visits.

The embarkation process was fairly smooth, but we were late arrivals and the crowd was pretty thin. We had an inside cabin and it was a bit cramped but that is to be expected. The ship wasn't as well maintained or staffed as previous vessels we have been on. Service was particularly slow in the main dining rooms. Our cabin service was adequate. One major complaint I had was the seating in the Grand Pacific dining room. This was the first ship I have been on that only used 1/2 of a deck for their cafeteria. It was quite difficult to find seating on many occasions. Always were 2-3 people minimum in front of you at every station, regardless of time of day it seemed. The quality of the food was mediocre. I had overcooked prime rib one night, and another night the steak was so tough I could not eat it. The menu selection was also very disappointing as it was quite redundant. We received the "ultimate" beverage package but found out quickly it was not quite ultimate at all. It did not cover bottled water, fresh orange juice, soda, or premium coffee. The stewards and bartenders rarely provided wine lists unless requested and would try to pass off lesser quality alcohols unless you were very specific about what you wanted.

The entertainment was one of the highlights of the trip. They had a couple of excellent singers, a wonderful duo of aerialists, a decent magician and the regular troupe was pretty good. The one comedian was a bit underwhelming though.

The movie selection on the TV was quite good and very current. A lot of super hero movies. However, the ship did not provide an online account to review so you had to request a printout if you wanted to see where your bill stood.

We used NCL for two shore excursions. We were told we got $50 per port credit which seemed to indicate we had $400 for the eight ports. However you only got to use $50 for any one excursion. They could have made that clearer in the beginning. The excursion in Akureryi was decent but most of it was spent driving back and forth to the waterfall. The waterfall was magnificent but the time allotted there was too short. In Orkney we booked a tour of the Neolithic village. This tour was very good and well worth the money. The guide was quite knowledgeable and thorough.

The internet service was pretty good and we got 250 free minutes as part of our package. I still ended up buying 30 minutes the last night trying to book a passage to Heathrow and at that point it got very slow and I was unable to finish my booking. We had originally booked with NCL but found out the last night they would not get us to the airport early enough. Fortunately they were accommodating in refunding us for this trip.We ended up paying for a taxi to ensure we made our noon flight. Fortunately disembarkation was wonderfully smooth and easy. The cab online was quoted as 99 pounds but we ended up paying 165 pounds by using an onsite cab. He quoted us 150 but then added some sort of tax that was never mentioned prior to our arrival at the airport. Definitely book ahead for your trip to the airport.

The ports and sights on this trip raised my rating of this cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. The smaller islands were nice but not nearly as scenic. The cruise ship was disappointing, particularly as I have always had an excellent experience with NCL previously. It seems like they are slashing budgets and it is reflected significantly in the service and food provided.
billbish72’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IC
Cabin was adequate and service was acceptable.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews