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Before our cruise, I read a lot of reviews on the Norwegian Jade. I have only been on a couple cruises, so I am not as seasoned as many are. But from all the reviews that complain of cold food, or bad food, or lack of service, I was expecting a horrible experience. But I found that for the price I paid for the cruise it was a pretty solid experience. The food was fine, sort of like Golden Corral (for the Americans reading this). Not awesome, but not horrible. There were often repeat dishes in the restaurants, but there were so many it was easy to not repeat our meals. I enjoyed our ocean view room as well. I was not impressed with the entertainment in the Stardust theater. For a family cruise I thought much of the dancing was unnecessarily loaded with sexual overtones (why did the one dancer need to take her top off at the end of one of those numbers?) The people who performed were very talented, but I didn't find that the hype of the shows lived up to the reality. The guitarist, Dave McHugh, who played at various places on the ship, was easily the most popular consistent entertainer. You had to show up early for his events if you wanted a seat. Yes, the pool area was always packed on days at sea. If you didn't have a chair by 9 AM, you'd likely have to get lucky and find one when someone gave it up. It's kind of a bummer, but it's what I expected. All in all, I'd do it again for the price I paid (maybe just for the privilege of getting a mojito from Jimmy at the Sugarcane bar!). I loved how Norwegian was very conscious of germs, and always were waiting to spray our hands any time we entered the ship or a dining area. I'm not much of a night owl (and wasn't enjoying the Stardust entertainment), so I enjoyed the in-room movies on several evenings. I wished I'd brought some of my own on my laptop, as there weren't many movies, and they just rotated. I think we saw parts of one movie four different times, while some of the movies I would have liked to see were running in the daytime and never shown in the evenings.

Two star price for a three star experience. Sounds fair...

Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by bnoof

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Before our cruise, I read a lot of reviews on the Norwegian Jade. I have only been on a couple cruises, so I am not as seasoned as many are. But from all the reviews that complain of cold food, or bad food, or lack of service, I was expecting a horrible experience. But I found that for the price I paid for the cruise it was a pretty solid experience. The food was fine, sort of like Golden Corral (for the Americans reading this). Not awesome, but not horrible. There were often repeat dishes in the restaurants, but there were so many it was easy to not repeat our meals. I enjoyed our ocean view room as well.

I was not impressed with the entertainment in the Stardust theater. For a family cruise I thought much of the dancing was unnecessarily loaded with sexual overtones (why did the one dancer need to take her top off at the end of one of those numbers?) The people who performed were very talented, but I didn't find that the hype of the shows lived up to the reality.

The guitarist, Dave McHugh, who played at various places on the ship, was easily the most popular consistent entertainer. You had to show up early for his events if you wanted a seat.

Yes, the pool area was always packed on days at sea. If you didn't have a chair by 9 AM, you'd likely have to get lucky and find one when someone gave it up. It's kind of a bummer, but it's what I expected.

All in all, I'd do it again for the price I paid (maybe just for the privilege of getting a mojito from Jimmy at the Sugarcane bar!).

I loved how Norwegian was very conscious of germs, and always were waiting to spray our hands any time we entered the ship or a dining area. I'm not much of a night owl (and wasn't enjoying the Stardust entertainment), so I enjoyed the in-room movies on several evenings. I wished I'd brought some of my own on my laptop, as there weren't many movies, and they just rotated. I think we saw parts of one movie four different times, while some of the movies I would have liked to see were running in the daytime and never shown in the evenings.
bnoof’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OB 5078
I think it's funny that people complain about the size of the cabins. They are not hotel rooms, and obviously the toilet and shower areas are small. Again, I'll take a lower priced cruise with a smaller shower than a more expensive cruise with a standard-sized bathroom. We had an ocean view room, and that made it not so claustrophobic. There were tons of drawers, hooks, and cubby holes, and even though we over-packed, there was plenty of space to put everything.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barbados
    We were hesitant to go here prior to arriving, as the reviews sounded like it was a little too much of a party scene for us. We were looking for something a little more subdued. But I could never get a clear read on which other beaches we worth visiting, and it WAS a good deal ($25/person, included a cup of punch, an hour snorkeling excursion, and a ride back to the post). It filled up pretty quick, and you need to sign up for the snorkeling when you first arrive since each group takes a while and your time is limited. The music was loud, so loud it was hard to hear when our names were called for the snorkeling, or when our food was ready. We should have gotten chairs further from the pier, as that was where the speakers were located. But the place filled up so fast, moving wasn't an option. People standing on the bar and pouring rum into the upturned faces of people gasping like fish begging for food isn't really our scene, so we'll probably go somewhere else next time. But it wasn't a bad day as it was.
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  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    Loved this island. We went straight to the Carambola resort at South Friar's beach (~8/person taxi) and rented a large cushioned "love seat" for $20. Lounged all day then returned to the port for a little shopping.
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  • Island Tour
    This was our favorite excursion. From meeting our guide at the port through his careful and interesting drive and exposition, this was a very enjoyable day. (Also, I am glad he was driving! I would never attempt to drive this island on my own.) After several roadside stops for views and pictures, or to visit a banana plantation and have a rum tasting (different stops), we proceeded to the volcanic mud baths, a waterfall (bring your towels), and lunch at Hummingbird beach (bring your water shoes). Definitely glad we booked this tour.
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  • St. Maarten
    Loved this day. Despite the cruise line telling us they had moved away from an excursion on Orient Beach because of the hurricane damage, we went anyway because of the good reviews we found here (...taking a taxi on your own is difficult; they work to make sure they are putting groups of people into the same vans. It cost us $9 per person each way in a van with 8 other people.) And we're glad we did! We stayed at the Bikini Beach portion of the bay. It's a very lovely beach, super clean, with a nice restaurant and bar right by it. The water was warmer than at the other islands, and swimming in the gentle water was nice. Renting chairs and umbrella was pretty standard...$20 or so for the day. There were a lot of people doing parasailing and riding jet skis, but it was a pretty chill group. The damage from the hurricane is still apparent in the nearby buildings, all of which were in various stages of repair. None looked habitable yet, though. We didn't notice that smoking was a problem, but you should know that it IS allowed on the beach. We saw a very small handful of topless women (probably count them on one hand) walking along the beach. So just be aware of that if you are bringing kids. The area further down the beach from us was a nude beach, and we assume that's where the women had walked from. But for the most part we didn't see many issues. On the way back to the port we still had a couple hours, so we asked our driver to drop us in downtown Philipsburg for some shopping. It was the same shopping as everywhere else, but we did note that the Philipsburg beach there was really nice, and with such great placement by the shops, we will probably go there next time. But it is definitely busier than at Orient.
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  • St. Thomas
    With just 4 couples we had a perfectly lovely day. Took a catamaran to Buck Island and swam with the wildlife, then went to Honeymoon beach. All the soda, water, and beer you could drink. Was a fun day and I'd love to do it again.
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