November 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Houston Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jade
Cruise Jade out of Houston 7 nights.
I have cruised on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival for a total of 9 cruises.
1. Inside Stateroom was spacious, had a queen bed, bathroom and shower was very spacious.
2. Room Steward was very accommodating. Folded towels 4 out of the 7 nights into animals.
3. Really liked Freestyle Dining. We were able to eat in the Grand Pacific (service was prompt and courteous) or the Alizar whenever we wanted with no wait.
4. Ship had a lot of activities we enjoyed and we never had any problems finding room to sit although we did arrive about 15 minutes early to most.
5. Ship was clean and well maintained. All bathrooms were functional and well kept.
6. Theater was large, well laid out any seat was good, never had a problem getting a seat, and the shows were enjoyable.
1. Food taste was very mediocre through out the ship, we ate at the Garden Cafe buffet 1 time, the variety was impressive but taste was bland. All the other buffets were somewhat limited and suffered the same flavor issues.
2. Blue Lagoon was never open 24 hours even though they published that in the daily news letter. We were able to get 1 good meal out 3 attempts. Service was prompt and courteous.
3. Grand Pacific and the Alizar had the same menu. Service in the Alizar was extremely slow and after two meals we primarily ate in the Grand Pacific.
4. All complimentary venues refused to cook beef any less than medium even though the menus insinuated under cooked was possible.
5. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants. The entrance fee and entree up charges ($20 per person to get in and $10 on select entrees) made this just as expensive as eating at nicer restaurants in Dallas.
6. The Bars were open at odd times, other than the Atrium, Topsiders, and the Great Outdoors all the others did not open till 5:00pm or later and Tankard's was closed 4 out 6 days.
7. The bar wait staff would not serve you unless you stood up and waved at them, even then more times than not they would look at you and not serve you. You had to go up to the bar and the Bar staff was very rude especially at the Atrium and the Casino. I avoided those locations whenever possible.
8. The wait at the Bars was a minimum of 20 minutes to get served...very slow service. Gratuity was included on all drink orders and the service reflected that. If you bought a drink an 18% gratuity was added. NO SINGLE BAR STAFF I HAD CONTACT WITH DESERVED THAT TIP!
9. For those of you who purchase the Ultimate Drink Package the same issues above applied. The feed back from other passangers confirmed this not be isolated incidents. The average cost of a drink is $11.00 up to $13.00. We saved $600.00 by not purchasing the Drink Package!
10. My wife does not drink alcohol or sodas. It was near impossible to get tea or coffee away from the buffets. Only the Spinnaker would serve her coffee and NO OTHER bar would get her an Ice Tea. One morning we were up early for a shore excursion she went to the Atrium Bar where the had pastries out and was told she would have to pay for the coffee. They informed her she could go upstairs to the Blue Lagoon a get a free cup but she had gone to the Blue lagoon first and they were closed? The only other choice was to go to the top and rear of the ship to the buffets.
Summary: Overall I would not cruise with Norwegian again. There was no Midnight Buffet, no lobster served outside of the specialty restaurants, Chocolate Night was cancelled (stated due to cost) and substituted with a additional chocolate desert on all menus, bland food, and extremely poor bar service. I cruise for the food, drinks, entertainment (on ship and off ship), and accommodations in that order and this cruise only fulfilled entertainment and accommodations.