November 2015 - Norwegian Jade to Caribbean - Western
I have cruised for a number of years and been on quite a few different lines and NCL several times. I sailed on the sister ship to the Jade in January 2015. The ship, the food, and the service was excellent. We decided to book the Jade on the November 14th sailing out of Houston. The ship was almost identical to the Jewel. We realized very quickly that it wasn't the Jewel. The wait staff was poor at best for the first 4 days. Normally on a cruise they are waiting on you hand and foot and you very seldom have to go to the bar to get your drink and when you do they are very prompt, at getting the drink. On the Jade they had very few servers in the various bars and long lines at every bar. We ate on the pool deck for lunch one afternoon no service and every table in the pool areal was dirty and not bussed.
The crew knew that the service was not adequate and at the meet the officers event their were so many complaints about the service we expected some kind of apology. Instead what we received was baffling the ship had just came back from Europe and this was its first trip in the Caribbean and they said that I guess the Texans drank so much they couldn't keep up.
Their were some bright spots the food was quite good and the steak I had at Cagney's was excellent as well as the service at both Cagney's and the main dining rooms. The cabin steward was ok but not quite good.
We were late arriving at every port on the cruise and we had to tender at both Belize (always tender), and Roatan, but in Roatan we used the life boats to tender. I think the drivers of the life boats had very little or no experience driving the tenders. They lowered the life boats and gave the drivers a few minutes to practice and then started to taking passengers ashore. Their inexperience showed and everyone was talking about that evening, In fact when we were tendering back to the ship, our driver actually ran into the ship hard enough that one passenger was injured. Overall I think giving them a 3 star is a little high if they had a star for "fair" I would have given them that.