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This was our first cruise so booked a short one in case we didn't like it. Chose Norwegian as recommended by close friends who knew freestyle cruising would be the best fit for us. Ended up choosing Jade because of the itinerary, but checked reviews before committing. As this was our first cruise we have nothing to compare our experience to, but in a nutshell we loved it. Initial embarkation took longer than we expected, but we had no clue. It seemed kind of chaotic but now that we know what to expect it won't seem so bad next time. On the other hand, embarkation and disembarkation at ports was much quicker and smoother than expected. We also didn't realize that many of the amenities are available as soon as you board, such as the buffet and bars. We had already eaten so set off with our carry-ons to explore the ship, as our cabin was not ready (something else we learned.... it takes awhile for all the rooms to be cleaned). We made our way to the pool area, grabbed a beverage and enjoyed the people, sun and entertainment while waiting for our cabin and the safety meeting. Then back to the pool deck for the set sail party. So much fun! Once they announced the cabins were ready we went to check it out and our luggage was delivered soon after. We booked a mid-ship balcony on the recommendation of friends and it was perfect. We didn't expect a lot of space, but have to say it was very well laid out and other than having to put our suitcases on the little love seat to keep them out of our way, the entire cabin was very functional. Glad we splurged and went with a balcony for sure...loved that! The cabin was spotless and the beds and linens were very comfortable. Over the course of the cruise, when we were on the ship we spent our time around the pool. We didn't actually get in the pool so can't comment on that but lots of people did and seemed to be having a great time. The entertainment at the pool was so much fun. Lots of great music, both DJ and live. We attended the shows every night and found them to be of high quality. Enjoyed the casino; fair selection of slots and some actually paid! Service was good. There was lots of other entertainment in the evenings that we didn't get to such as live bands in lounges, guest participation games etc. Will make a better effort next time to explore more of the options. Tons of activities day and night! We mostly ate at the buffet except for one meal at Cagney's (steak house), which was spectacular! The buffet had great selection that changed somewhat every night and food was fresh and plentiful. We had breakfast at the buffet every morning and it was good too. My favourite part of the buffet was the girls who greeted everyone with a spray of hand sanitizer, a big smile and a "washy washy!" welcome! We never made it to the main dining room...next time for sure! We visited O'Sheehan's a couple times for late-night snacks. Food and service was good. Nice to have something available no matter how late! The level of service was excellent, with the exception of the pool bar where the line-ups tended to be rather lengthy. They could easily have had a couple more bartenders to keep up. Despite the wait, the bartenders were very pleasant and engaging. There was one fellow at the casino bar who wasn't very friendly at all but he was super-efficient. He was definitely the exception; every other staff member we encountered was wonderful. Special shout-out to the fellow who cleaned our room every day. Super friendly and polite, and provided exceptional service! We visited Key West first. A narrated shuttle from the ship to downtown was informative and quick. We didn't book any excursions as we were meeting up with friends and just wanted to explore the area on our own. Loved Key West and look forward to visiting again on another cruise as there is so much more to explore. It was very disappointing that we couldn't stop at Great Stirrup Cay the next day due to extreme wind, so we had a day at sea. There was lots of music and entertainment around the pool area, which was jam-packed and super fun! The wind was so strong they had half the upper deck closed, as it wasn't safe to put the loungers out so it was pretty crowded. We were thrilled later on to hear our amazing Captain was able to secure a spot to dock early in Nassau (our third port)! We arrived that evening at 7:00 and didn't have to be back on the ship until 5:30 pm the next day. Since it was dark and everything was closed we just took a shuttle over to Atlantis and played at the casino for a few hours and returned to the ship. The next day we wandered around downtown and did the straw market etc. Again, no excursions. Just wanted to explore. For a first cruise, we think this was perfect. Short enough and not too far out to offer us a little peace of mind in case we got sea-sick (we wore a patch and were just fine). Not sure how the Norwegian Jade compares to all the others but we loved it! From the amazing staff, the variety of activities, entertainment, dining and bars....we were thoroughly impressed! Not having cruised before and therefore nothing to compare to, I will be rating 3/5 for value, as I feel what we paid for a 4 day cruise was nearly as much as a 7 day all-inclusive vacation. I think we could have cruised for less with another line but Norwegian came highly recommended. That said, we were able to select 3 free at sea options, so chose liquor, specialty dining and 100 mins free wifi. Our bill at the end of the cruise was about $30 for purchases from the gift shop. I will be rating 5/5 for everything else, but again, nothing to compare to.

First Cruise - Loved It!

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by CBunte

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
This was our first cruise so booked a short one in case we didn't like it. Chose Norwegian as recommended by close friends who knew freestyle cruising would be the best fit for us. Ended up choosing Jade because of the itinerary, but checked reviews before committing. As this was our first cruise we have nothing to compare our experience to, but in a nutshell we loved it.

Initial embarkation took longer than we expected, but we had no clue. It seemed kind of chaotic but now that we know what to expect it won't seem so bad next time. On the other hand, embarkation and disembarkation at ports was much quicker and smoother than expected.

We also didn't realize that many of the amenities are available as soon as you board, such as the buffet and bars. We had already eaten so set off with our carry-ons to explore the ship, as our cabin was not ready (something else we learned.... it takes awhile for all the rooms to be cleaned). We made our way to the pool area, grabbed a beverage and enjoyed the people, sun and entertainment while waiting for our cabin and the safety meeting. Then back to the pool deck for the set sail party. So much fun!

Once they announced the cabins were ready we went to check it out and our luggage was delivered soon after. We booked a mid-ship balcony on the recommendation of friends and it was perfect. We didn't expect a lot of space, but have to say it was very well laid out and other than having to put our suitcases on the little love seat to keep them out of our way, the entire cabin was very functional. Glad we splurged and went with a balcony for sure...loved that! The cabin was spotless and the beds and linens were very comfortable.

Over the course of the cruise, when we were on the ship we spent our time around the pool. We didn't actually get in the pool so can't comment on that but lots of people did and seemed to be having a great time. The entertainment at the pool was so much fun. Lots of great music, both DJ and live. We attended the shows every night and found them to be of high quality. Enjoyed the casino; fair selection of slots and some actually paid! Service was good. There was lots of other entertainment in the evenings that we didn't get to such as live bands in lounges, guest participation games etc. Will make a better effort next time to explore more of the options. Tons of activities day and night!

We mostly ate at the buffet except for one meal at Cagney's (steak house), which was spectacular! The buffet had great selection that changed somewhat every night and food was fresh and plentiful. We had breakfast at the buffet every morning and it was good too. My favourite part of the buffet was the girls who greeted everyone with a spray of hand sanitizer, a big smile and a "washy washy!" welcome! We never made it to the main dining room...next time for sure! We visited O'Sheehan's a couple times for late-night snacks. Food and service was good. Nice to have something available no matter how late!

The level of service was excellent, with the exception of the pool bar where the line-ups tended to be rather lengthy. They could easily have had a couple more bartenders to keep up. Despite the wait, the bartenders were very pleasant and engaging. There was one fellow at the casino bar who wasn't very friendly at all but he was super-efficient. He was definitely the exception; every other staff member we encountered was wonderful. Special shout-out to the fellow who cleaned our room every day. Super friendly and polite, and provided exceptional service!

We visited Key West first. A narrated shuttle from the ship to downtown was informative and quick. We didn't book any excursions as we were meeting up with friends and just wanted to explore the area on our own. Loved Key West and look forward to visiting again on another cruise as there is so much more to explore. It was very disappointing that we couldn't stop at Great Stirrup Cay the next day due to extreme wind, so we had a day at sea. There was lots of music and entertainment around the pool area, which was jam-packed and super fun! The wind was so strong they had half the upper deck closed, as it wasn't safe to put the loungers out so it was pretty crowded. We were thrilled later on to hear our amazing Captain was able to secure a spot to dock early in Nassau (our third port)! We arrived that evening at 7:00 and didn't have to be back on the ship until 5:30 pm the next day. Since it was dark and everything was closed we just took a shuttle over to Atlantis and played at the casino for a few hours and returned to the ship. The next day we wandered around downtown and did the straw market etc. Again, no excursions. Just wanted to explore.

For a first cruise, we think this was perfect. Short enough and not too far out to offer us a little peace of mind in case we got sea-sick (we wore a patch and were just fine). Not sure how the Norwegian Jade compares to all the others but we loved it! From the amazing staff, the variety of activities, entertainment, dining and bars....we were thoroughly impressed!

Not having cruised before and therefore nothing to compare to, I will be rating 3/5 for value, as I feel what we paid for a 4 day cruise was nearly as much as a 7 day all-inclusive vacation. I think we could have cruised for less with another line but Norwegian came highly recommended. That said, we were able to select 3 free at sea options, so chose liquor, specialty dining and 100 mins free wifi. Our bill at the end of the cruise was about $30 for purchases from the gift shop. I will be rating 5/5 for everything else, but again, nothing to compare to.
CBunte’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10606
Excellent. See review above.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins