Having heard so many good things about the Norwegian Jade we were really looking forward to trying her out for ourselves. We felt really at home on her from the moment we boarded, the décor is bright and almost Costa loud in places but it still retains a classical feel too.
Let me take you on a quick tour around some of the ship with the aid of some photos which I took during the 7 days we were onboard.
When we boarded the ship on deck 7 which is the promenade deck and were ushered through straight into the atrium which on the Jade is only a 2 story affair. It’s a nice big open space which is full of chairs and tables which we found always had people sitting there whenever we passed through. Around the perimeter there is the perfume shop, guest relations, a bar, shore excursions desks and the dining reservations desk. Its much like the atrium on most ships and not too dissimilar to the Spirit.
From there if you walk right heading towards the aft passing through the Art Gallery and Internet Cafe which seemed to occupy the same space. I liked the idea of the monitors facing the wall which provides privacy for the user. It never seemed too busy and I only used it once for checking in on our return flight.
Moving further back you will find the Tradewinds Duty Free shop which has to go down as one of the biggest we have encountered on a ship, whereas most ships have separate areas for jewels, watches and souvenirs, on the Jade it is all in one area and feels very much like a department store. As with the Spirit we felt the branded merchandise seemed to be lacking somewhat and with the slightly inflated prices we were not tempted to buy anything, not even a key ring for my collection.
After doing a circuit and coming out on the opposite side we passed through the photo gallery and then back through the atrium towards the Jasmine Garden and Teppaniyaki restaurants which are two of the many speciality restaurants onboard. We never used either of them but they did appear to be very popular amongst other passengers.
The next area we came to on this deck was the Medusa Lounge & Nightclub which was one of my favourite looking areas of the ship and there always seemed to something going on in there such as Karaoke or dancing lessons and the like. You could actually be forgiven that you were on a Costa ship in this area.
Forward of that and at the front is the Stardust theatre which is another one of my favourite spaces. I tried sitting in numerous seats and deduced that the view was far superior in the stalls and in a central location so to speak. On the upper levels on the wings there were a glass screens and posts which seemed to sit right on your eye level. Yes you could see through it but it was very distracting.
From there we take the stairs up the Spinnaker Lounge on deck 13. Very nicely laid out open space and always something going on in there according to the daily programme. We only ever visited here while having our wander round.
Back out on deck and in the open there is the pool area. (not many takers on a wet embarkation day) A very popular area on a sea day with lots of live pool side music going on.
At the top of the central stair tower, there is Cagneys Steak House and a great little bar called the Star Bar. We came here a few times as it never seemed busy, was very comfortable and had a nice ambiance with a nice view out onto the pool deck.
The Garden Cafe (buffet) is another area we regularly frequented and we found it easy to use even when reasonably crowded, we tend to wait until we think the rush is over before moving in. The downside is the food servery areas are all at one end and it could be a bit of a trek if you could only find a table at the opposite end.
Our first choice for casual dining during the day was always at the back of the ship in an open area called The Great Outdoors. At peak times tables here were like hens teeth. The area boasts its own grille which is not open all the time and only really at peak times such as breakfast and lunch and tea. There is also a bar in the middle which is in a great position and very useful when dining out there.
When we couldn’t find a seat in The Great Outdoors we would always opt for plan B and go into the La Cucina Italian Restaurant which during the day acted as a buffet overflow. We could virtually guarantee a seat in there as most people are basically lazy and it involved a walk from the .
Our favoured evening dining venue was the Grand Pacific dining room at the rear of the ship. We never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table. We were absolutely fascinated at how quick they turn the tables round for the next diners.
The promenade deck which you can walk all the way around. We did many a lap on this and in particular the sea days. Lets take you on a lap with a few photos.
The bridge viewing area………….. Not quite as intimate as the one on the Spirit but still a nice idea and a great place for all the port memorabilia the ship has collected over the years.
The artwork on the stair half landings all carry a Hawaiian theme from the ships previous life when she was know as Pride of Hawaii.
The aft stairs……
The midship stairs……..
The ship was a real pleasure to sail on and she is in magnificent condition, all the paintwork was in fantastic nick with no flaking anywhere, everything looked like it had just had its first coat out of the ship yard.
The layout in some areas is probably the only area where I would give it some criticism but even that sometimes worked in our favour. To gain access to the upper decks from mid ship to stern there was only one door at the top of the mid ship stairs and if you wanted to come up from the aft stairs you had to walk through the buffet and then through the Great Outdoors and then up a set of stairs of which there were one either side. It meant that this area saw little traffic and the sun deck on deck 15 was often completely deserted which suited us down to the ground.
There are many areas of the ship which we never used and the above is only really the places we encountered, if the cruise had been longer than 7 days then maybe we could have experienced more. For instance there was another complimentary dining room on deck 6 midship called Alizhar and close by to that Le Bistro and a couple of other bars. I never even set foot on the casino once so cannot even tell how big it was.