May 2015 - Norwegian Jade to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
One of the highlights of this cruise over any other port city was the departure and arrival in Venice. The boat circles the main island with incredible views! That was such an unexpected bonus! The ship itself is very well maintained (a little bit dated decor) and the staff was great! Late in the week a lot of them were going on break and new staff coming on, so there was some transition there. We have cruised other lines before, this was our first experience with Norwegian and it was really good. The ports were fantastic and we'd highly recommend the cruise line, and the itinerary. It would be even better if we didn't feel like there were so many extra charges everywhere. For example, we did not purchase any beverage packages (we try to avoid sodas), and were very curious beforehand if we'd have anything at all to drink. It all worked out fine, but between that, charges for video games that 12 and unders can access, and various other service charges--> it all seems to be NON all-inclusive and somewhat misleading. I understand that's pretty par for the industry, but still a bit off-putting. Our cabin stewards were excellent, I'd love to know how much of the daily service fees (12.95 per person per day x7) actually reach the staff, as THEY are the ones who really make or break the cruise experience. We are so thankful for them! The only excursion we did was in Ephesus and the tour guide there was amazing. The rest seemed to be at a high premium price, and we and our 4 kids navigated just fine without the convenience and high fee attached. It's very easy to spend many times the cruise price onboard so you have to be cautious.