November 2015 - Norwegian Jade to Caribbean - Western
The Norwegian Jade is a very nice ship and this itinerary is hard to beat. Cozumel, Belize and Roatan are great places to visit. We were very happy with the ship. The staff were very pleasant and the room attendants were great. We only ate in the complimentary dining venues so I can't speak for the specialty restaurants but we were very happy with the food. The selections were good and the quality of the food was good with a couple of exceptions: 1) The sirloin steaks that are on the menu at every dinner were tough and three out of four were over-cooked, even when one was sent back the cook still over-cooked the next steak by a full degree (I'm sure that they are way better at Cagney's Steakhouse, they better be or there would be a mutiny on the bounty). 2) The chocolate butterscotch brownies were dry and a real disappointment. The wait staff service ranged from VERY slow and non-attentive to VERY good. If you want a really good waitress ask for Rosalie from the Philippines. She was great and so we asked for her section after we found her. The ship was three hours late departing Houston due to time required to fuel up; therefore, we were late arriving in Cozumel which resulted in us missing our scuba diving trip. That was a real downer. We went out on a snorkel boat but the so-called reef (Sky reef) was really lame and disappointing. Belize is a shallow port requiring tendering to shore. This process was painful. I found out why they call it Norwegian Cruise LINES. The LINES are seemingly endless. It took 1 1/2 hours to get to shore and that was with getting up and standing in line for tender tickets an hour before they were to start giving out tickets. As luck would have it, all of the piers were full when we got to Roatan and we got to tender to shore again. Another 1 1/2 hour standing in line and riding a tender boat full of people. The late arrivals to all three ports was a huge disappointment on this cruise and is the reason that the cruise did not rank higher. The entertainment was good. The comedian was OK, not great but he was entertaining. The acrobats and magician were truly amazing. I didn't really care for the dancers but most dancers don't interest me so don't judge them on my account. Nathaniel Reed was amazing on the piano at night. If you get a chance to see this guy he is awesome! Disembarking at Houston was the last of the painful experiences. Another huge Norwegian Cruise LINE! It wouldn't have mattered when you chose to leave the ship you were going to have to stand in line for another 1 1/2 hours to get through customs. The exception to this is if you are a Latitudes Platinum member in which case you get expedited in the short line, probably about a 20 - 30 minute wait.