Recently myself, Lee, Seth (6) & Eli (10 months) cruised on the Norwegian Jade from Hamburg back to Southampton. Back in June we had an awesome day touring on her so we promised the boys we would take a cruise on her soon. Here are some of our favourite things about the Jade (there’s plenty more believe me) If you have any questions about the Jade or any other cruise ship then join our community group where you can ask thousands of seasoned cruisers anything at all about cruising, share your own experiences or just talk ship!
O’Sheehan’s is all about comfort food, a strong drink and great entertainment. So grab a table, order a drink, pick your favourite dishes and keep them coming! I can personally recommend the BBQ wings for starters – maybe 2 lots, the chipotle chicken burger for the main event and a brownie cheesecake to finish it all off.
Below O’Sheehan’s is the atrium where live music is played most of the day, the acts are wonderful and often get the audience involved in song suggestions or have everyone clapping and dancing along. I could’ve happily eaten in here for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The kids club daily activity sheet is always full to the brim of exciting things for kids of all ages to get involved in. Seth found himself a friend who was on the same cruise whilst we were on the aeroplane so he was super enthusiastic about going in to the kids club to spend time with his new pal, I’d really recommend trying to get your children to speak with other children their age before you do pop them in the kids club because they’ll be more likely to want to go in and you can enjoy some much deserved adult time.
The kids club staff are great and really make the effort to make your children feel special, they give themselves silly names – our favourite was Mr Vampire! Seth really enjoyed the ball games activity where they all played together in a sort of mini olympics and he even attended the late night Wii session (it’s $6 per hour and runs from 10.30pm – 1.30pm) they got bored soon after getting on the Wii and were allowed to run around the kids area like mad-men until we returned at 11.30pm, Seth was thoroughly tired out after that and went to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Next door is an arcade room which is full of exciting 1 and 2 player games, the games range in price and there are some amazing top prizes to be won (there was an Xbox One on our cruise!)
There are 2 main dining rooms you can eat in for your evening meal that share the same menu but have a different atmosphere and decor. Alizar is more informal but is still a beautiful place to eat however personally, I prefer the more formal dining for dinner so we opted for the Grand Pacific so we could get a little dressed up.
The food was good however the starter portions were maybe a little small for our liking but thats just us! You can order more than one dish at a time so if you like a little bit more then I’d say it’s best to try a couple of starters – go on, you’re on holiday! The service in the Grand Pacific is really good and they couldn’t have been any more attentive, our waiters and waitresses were fantastic with the kids too.
Deal or No Deal
I loved this game, I’m usually a bingo girl but this converted me. It works exactly like the TV version and there are 2 games per sitting, in each game one lucky player is chosen to be the contestant and has a chance to win an extra $500 on top of their cards winnings. There are chances to win instant win scratch cards, free photo prints and lots of money prizes too. The host (usually the cruise director) gets the audience involved and you find yourself really getting into the game very early on. Each card costs $25 (cheaper than the bingo which is $40 – $50 per play) and it lasts about an hour in total so grab a drink, find a seat and enjoy!
The shows we watched absolutely blew our minds, the first was the magic show “Elements” which is a Cirque du Soleil style magic show full of acrobatics, aerials & lots of mind-blowing illusions. The final illusion is amazing and I’m still confused as to how that was even possible! The other show we saw was “Blazin’ Boots” which I really enjoyed, it’s a tribute to country pop full of flawless choreography, amazing vocals and more costumes changes than you’ve had hot dinners! You’ll hear heart-wrenching ballads and up-beat country hits to get you singing and dancing along from superstars like Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert and many more. The Stardust theatre seats just over 1000 guests and is very spacious with plenty of good vantage points. We never struggled to find a seat and really loved it’s funky upholstery and decor.
We all know stateroom bathrooms can be really small however this is not the case on Norwegian Jade. It’s split into 3 sections, the shower is really spacious I was so impressed with this, the sink and vanity area is also quite large and the toilet has a sliding door meaning the kids can use the loo whilst you shower and it’s like you’re in separate rooms!
“Washy Washy Happy Happy” Song
We’ve all heard about the song, you’ll hear it entering the buffet and you’ll not be able to get it out of your head for the duration of your cruise. I love that NCL are committed to protecting their passengers from illness but still keep it light-hearted and fun for all.
The Crew Love Kids
It makes cruising with kids so enjoyable, if I had a dollar for every time I heard “hello baby” on the Jade I wouldn’t ever leave the cocktail bar! They made the boys feel so special and Seth felt so comfortable with the crew that he hugged every single member he passed when we disembarked, it was so lovely to watch but also quite sad that we were leaving them behind.
The Towel Animals
I know I’m not alone on this one, my heart would race whilst opening the door after evening turndown hoping to see a little towel friend and I wasn’t ever disappointed! We had a penguin on the first night and a chimp on the last night and I think I loved it more than the kids did! We even had a lovely little note from our steward on the last evening which made us feel all warm and fuzzy.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with NCL as much as I have, I can totally understand why some cruisers are so loyal to them, the service is what makes a cruise for me and NCL’s service was perfect all round. I’m looking forward to booking a longer cruise, maybe on one of their larger ships, so keep a look out for more NCL blogs in the future!
Thanks for reading,