Overall, a great itinerary for visiting a bunch of Greek islands and Italy. Everyday was a port and every night back onboard for dinner. This kept us moving and visiting major historic sites. The NCL Jade crew did a great job of welcoming us. The food was average, nothing to die for. Would have been nice to have some Italian coffee on the ship such as Lavazza or another local Roman roast company. After all, wasn't this an Italian/Greek cruise? The included dinner venues seemed to have the same menu every night with minor differences which I did not care for. Maybe NCL should hire better executive chefs? Stay away from the horrible Jasmine restaurant as the food there was absolutely sickening. Do make reservations for the Teppanyaki and Maudero venues. Beware, the deck chairs were being reserved early by guest and the ship did not enforce the no reservation policies leaving you with no place to sit and enjoy the sun and pool.
5 out of 5
Excellant. Greeted by a porter when our hired car pulled up to terminal, didn't have to lift a finger to get baggaged checked! From there, it was a snap to be onboard with very minor waiting.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Honestly, we don't normally visit the buffet on a cruise, just for some quick snacking but when we did, well it is buffet quality food. The 2 included dining rooms, the Grand Pacific and Alazar, the staff service was great, but the food was so-so good. Didn't like any of the gravies on meats as they tasted canned and salty. STAY away from the Jasmine venue.., the food there was horrible and we couldn't eat it. Our server even commented that she never tasted Chinese food like this. We dined at the extra fee venues Teppanyaki and Moduro which were fantastic with great food dishes. If you are a die hard coffee drinker, beware, the coffee was horrible everywhere onboard... they use the Starbucks brand which always tastes lousy. If you are a Starbucks fan, you will be happy. Be sure to get your fill of coffee in Rome before boarding as you won't get decent cappuccino and coffee until you return to Rome.
Jasmine Asian Restaurant
1 out of 5
Horrible soupy food. Ordered sweet and sour pork and served something you would not recognize.
3 out of 5
Although we did not participate in activities onboard, there were the standard game room, fitness center, shuffleboard, chess, checkers, etc. These activities just didn't interest us. We did use the pools but it was extremely hard to find a deck chair. Other guest would come early in the morning and reserve their chairs with a towel. Even though the ship posted a no reserve policy, they did not enforce it. The ship also had a no smoking policy, but did not enforce it either.
2 out of 5
The shows onboard were fairly lousy. Overly sexual innuendos throughout the shows such as the male performers ripping off their shirts and gyration of their hips suggesting sexual content. We thought that a ship catering to families would have had more appropriate entertainment
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Everywhere we went onboard, the service was outstanding.
4 out of 5
Design and layout was easy to navigate. Everywhere we went, we experienced clean surfaces with an emphasis on sanitation. One issue was our cabin, under the bed hadn't been vacuumed in a while and all the carp;et looked a bit older throughout the ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The cabin was a good size for 2 adults. The head was nice with ample room for the john and someone showering/using the sink at the same time. A nice touch was the door to slide closed for the toilet.
Did the Ultimate Santorini tour. The guide was knowledgeable and enjoyable. The supplied lunch was disappointing as they served us a chicken platter. Expecting lamb. after the tour, we had free time to find a local gyro stand that was out of this world!!! Just 2,80 euro each!!!
Beautiful scenery in Sicily, but we found the locals to be rude. The cappuccino was terrible at 2 different bars we tried, but the canoli was excellent. The tour we took was Sicily Taormina and Mount Etna. The tour company was not well prepared as they did not supply any head sets to listen to the guide. With a group of around 40+, it was not feasible to get next to the guide to hear anything so we missed most of what she said. Was also disappointed when we reached Mount Etna as the guide did not plan enough time to explore the volcano. We wasted our time in Taormina window shopping. The supplied lunch was so-so eggplant and pasta, overly dry veal. There is no view at the restaurant so don't plan on a terrace view of the countryside.
Real nice, but again the tour company did not supply head phones so we could not enjoy any of the back story of the cities as we walked. Pisa was nice but again the guide only gave us 45 minutes there with 15 minute walks to and from the tower and Basilica. Would have been nice to have a few hours there. Loved Florence and again ate some local pizza!!
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