Extensive Norwegian Jade (NCL) Review Part 2 – Impressions & Itinerary

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Part 1: Transportation

Part 2: Impressions & Itinerary

The Norwegian Jade started its life as a U.S. flagged cruise ship known as the Pride of Hawaii.  In 2008 the ship was pulled from its home in Hawaii, remodeled a bit (mostly adding a casino) and then shipped off to Europe where it has been sailing year round since.

The Jade's front desk still has remnants of the ship's Hawaiian past.
The Jade’s front desk still has remnants of the ship’s Hawaiian past.

When the Jade was remodeled during its move from Hawaii to the Mediterranean, a few things were changed, but the decor remained the same for the most part.  Prior to getting on the ship I had read complaints about how the ship’s look just doesn’t fit in with a European itinerary.  While I tend to agree with that sentiment, it didn’t change how much we enjoyed our cruises.

Originally we were only going to do an 11 day trip on the Jade, but low prices and the availability of time, led us to book a back to back which gave us a full three weeks on the ship.  The first itinerary had stops in Olympia and Athens, Greece, Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey and Naples, Italy. (This itinerary is available for 2014 sailings.)  Our second go around once again brought us back to Naples, but we also enjoyed Alanya, Turkey, Haifa, Israel, Limassol, Cyprus and Heraklion, Greece. (This itinerary has been axed in favor of Western Caribbean ports in 2014.)

The itinerary for our first 11 days on the Jade!
The itinerary for our first 11 days on the Jade!

Both of these itineraries originally had stops in Egypt.  After the instability in that country during the later part of 2012, Norwegian canceled those ports.  This meant that anyone who booked had an opportunity to cancel and many did.  This perfect storm lead to mind-blowingly low prices.  The three of us sailed for twenty-one days for about $100 TOTAL per day including taxes!

A later update will focus on the ports and how they are for families, so I want to close with our overall impressions of the Jade.  The ship itself is nice.  It is not fancy like a Celebrity ship and doesn’t have as many things to do as one of the newer classes of Royal Caribbean ships.  The decor reminds me of Hawaii with plenty of flowers and island decorations everywhere.  While this description may seem a little scattered, our experience on the ship was not.  The Jade provided an experience every bit as good as that on other lines and far superior to what you get on Carnival.  More next time!


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  1. I couldn’t find a comment box for your post on how to get from the airport to the Rome cruise port so I am commenting here. Thanks so much for that detailed information. I was looking at a cruise sailing out of Rome, but I ultimately decided to do one out of Nice. Your post was very helpful and it’ll come in handy when I do sail out of Rome in the future (must book a cruise first!). Now for me to figure out how to get from the Nice airport to the cruise terminal.

    Also, thanks for the directions for the Vancouver cruise port as well! That is one port that I would love to sail out of. I am a public transportation kind of person so I’ll most likely be doing that when and if I sail out of Rome and Vancouver.

    I originally started off as a cruise enthuist and just started the miles + points hobby last year so it’s nice to see your blog posts about cruises and miles + points. Will you be doing a post on the best credit card to use for cruise travel? I am currently using my arrival to offset some of the cost, but I am also using my RCCL and Sapphire since I get double points on RCCL charges/travel. I would love to hear your opinion on what you think is the best card.

    • I will have an upcoming post on the different cruise credit cards. In my opinion the Arrival card is the best card right now since you get 2x points on everything. With the RCCL card your points are locked into their line. With the Arrival you can use your points on any travel spending.

    • Usually the best way to get cheap cruise fares is to be constantly looking. You have to be really flexible with your dates and usually the best fares are found 1-2 months out. I am going to have an upcoming post about cruising for almost free by using cards like the Arrival which pays for any travel expense. That is how I did my recent Norwegian Jewel cruise. You can also use tools like cruisecompete.com to get the best incentives from travel agents.


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