Norwegian Jade July 2017 Review

Norwegian Jade in Bergen Norway. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

This was our third cruise on the Norwegian Jade, but the first since the estimated $40 million refurbishment; needless to say I was looking forward to see how much of the original Pride of Hawaii was left.

In the main Atrium the roof used to have very large plastic flowers, and have now been replaced with a curving lighting display which changes colours to create a bold lighting display, which takes some time to get used to. The surrounding orange roof tiles have been replaced by a plain white tile, which reflects the new colours from the lights. The red furniture and wooden floor have also gone, and have been replaced with light blue and gray seating with marble tiled flooring. The Java Coffee and cake bar has been replaced by the Atrium Cafe and Bar, still offering cookies and handmade chocolates at $1.50 per one. At centre stage is still the grand piano where musicians play; we had onboard a talented Guitarist called Jumari, who could play a wide range of music from Rock to the Blues. Jumari also had a night on the Stardust Theatre with a Neil Diamond tribute; He filled the theatre as he fills the Atrium. The bar staff in the Atrium are as ever attentive and soon learn your tipple of choice and your name.


Norwegian Jade’s New Atrium, Photo Credit Dave Jones

Surrounding the Atrium (deck 8) is now the O’Sheehans Neighbourhood Bar and Grill; replacing the Blue Lagoon, offering a good selection from the bar and a simple menu, and some extra seating for the musicians playing in the Atrium. Around the base of the Atrium you still have the Guest Services, Onboard Credit Desk, Restaurant Reservations, Shore Excursions Desk, and the CruiseNext Desk; all have had a subtle make over’s. Overall a nice relaxing area, offering some great entertainment and a area to meet and chat.

The Main Pool area has had a major refurbishment. Gone are those plastic palm tree lights, and the large slide, it still contains two large pools and 4 Jacuzzi’s. The whole decking area has been renewed with decking replacing the green lino, and the pool tiling is now a vivid blue, compared to the pale green before. Topsiders Bar and Grill is still there offer the usual hotdogs and burgers, and cocktails. Above the pool area on deck 13 is the Pit Stop themed bar offering cool beer and iced cocktails, a great place to cool off. Overall the area looks a lot larger, and cleaner; it is a great improvement.

Norwegian Jade New Pool Deck Space, Photo Credit Dave Jones.

Complimentary Dining or NCL’s branded ‘Freestyle Dining’ hasn’t changed that much, except for the addition of O’Sheehans. The Grand Pacific main restaurant has had its bright and load carpet changed and the large Hawaiian Statue disappeared. The menu hasn’t changed, and you still need a minimum of an hour to enjoy your meal. Jasmine and Alizar restaurants are the same as they were, with the possibility of having a lick of paint. The menu is the same as in the Grand Pacific, and still gets very busy. The Garden Cafe has had a major change, the tables and chairs are now brown or green, and the carpet has been toned down, gone have the large bright coloured floral flooring and replaced by two toned gray square lines. This has made the whole area look clean and very modern.

Speciality Dining or dining that has an extra charge, offers unique individual experience. There are six restaurants offering a 5 star service, and a high quality of food; enough to satisfy all tastes.

Norwegian Jades Cagney’s SteakHouse Photo Credit Dave Jones.

  • ·         Cagney’s is Norwegians signature steakhouse offering a large range of steaks, chicken and fish.
  • ·         La Cucina is Jades Italian offing and I can vouch for the pasta dishes they send out.
  • ·         Le Bistro is set in a typical French setting, with a French Polynesian decor; little tip for enjoying your meal, don’t eat for 5 hours before your reservation, as the portions are huge.
  • ·         The Sushi bar offers exactly what it says; raw fish in rice, as you can tell I’m not a fan.
  • ·         Teppanyaki is a sort of a diner show, where the chef cooks your choice of food in front of you. The food tastes amazing, but after you’ve been there a few times, you just want your food served. Teppanyaki is worth a visit for good food and a bit of fun.
  • ·         Churrascara Modderno is a Brazilian meat feast from all cuts of steak, Lamb, Chicken, Pork, sausages and even Pineapple. Modderno is my personal favourite, and the meat just keeps coming for as long as you want.

The Norwegians Jade has one main theatre over two decks called ‘StarDust Theatre’. I first went on the Jade in 2011 and the show have not changed that much, it holds a cheesy first night show, an illusionist, a Russian acrobatic display, and a juggler who was very good and funny. A Beatles tribute band played two shows and were good, shame John Lennon came from Glasgow not Liverpool. There was also a unique string quartet that played, danced and had a Python sense of humour. For once bingo tickets or lottery tickets weren’t push down our necks. We watched the shows from the private Haven balcony, I don’t think we had the best views, and saw the Magician hidden secretes, and anything that was going on in the wings.

Norwegian Jade’s Stardust Theater Photo Credit Dave Jones

We stayed in room 14010 a two bed Haven Villa, we chose Haven because it was only a few hundred pounds more than booking two balcony cabins, to accommodate or family and is spread over two decks 14 and 15; both of which you need a keycard to gain entrance. So what do you get, priority boarding, and tendering. A butler (which we don’t know what to do with), a room stewardess to keep the rooms clean, and a Concierge who can book excursions and Speciality dining bookings, and is the main first contact to deal with any complaints. Our room had two bedrooms, one a sofa bed, but both had an personal bathroom; the main bedroom had his and her basins, large shower, separate WC, and a bath with a picture window. In both room there are plenty of wardrobe space, and a flat screen TV and DVD player. The living area has a sofa bed, coffee table, dinner table with four chairs, and patio doors leading out to a large balcony with table and chairs. There are five air conditioning units spread around, offing personal comfort in all areas.

Norwegian Jade’s Haven Suite Master Bed. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

We had a few problems with a large vibration below the room which was sorted out, and the water from the shower and taps being having no cold water, and hot enough to boil lobsters; which a engineer came and sorted it out within three minutes, after a very large rant. The room was more than large enough for us, and the complementary snacks at 3pm were a bonus. The Haven also has a smallish pool, large Jacuzzi and sun beds all under a retractable roof. Above the pool area on deck 15 is a large sun deck with sun lounges and four large, four poster sun beds.

Norwegian Jade’s Haven Court Yard with Pool and Jacuzzi. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

Norwegian Jade’s Haven Court Yard with Pool and Jacuzzi. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

On the pool deck there is an area for having meals delivered from Cagney’s, and a waiter for getting you your favourite drink from the bar. There is also a table with a coffee and tea station with various cookies and confectionary to help yourself with. In my point of view the Haven was worth the extra money paid, but all options should be weighed before choosing. If you travel with a large family it is worth looking into, as it might save you a few pounds.

Norwegian Jade has 15 bars and lounges, all offer different entertainment options, from Musicians, comedians, bingo, quizzes to party nights and Mr and Mrs Shows. We enjoyed the Musicians in the Atrium and spent a bit of time in the ‘Mixers Martini & Cocktail bar’ and ‘The Bliss Lounge’. There are other options from the ‘Spinnaker Bar’ to a ‘Cigar Lounge’ to explore. A lot of the bars and lounges have been refurbished to a tastefully finish, the waiters and waitress are constantly hovering around to keep your drinks topped up.

The last topic is shopping, there is no Norwegian logo shops; so don’t expect to pick up any Jade souvenirs’. There are plenty of watches, and jewellery display cases, and quite a few designer clothing racks. You can also pick up your duty free goods like Cigarettes, Cigars, Booze and perfumes. I do have my doubts about the cost of the jewellery, and will be investigating a real example about a diamond ring, with various prices; so keep an eye on my blog for the results.

Norwegian Jade’s Gift Shop. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

There is a Spa and Fitness centre offering the usual treadmills, bicycles, weights and stretching mats. The thermal suite offers a Thalasso pool, various steam rooms and saunas. A strange thing was the Jacuzzi’s are situated in the Male and Female and are not a mixed Jacuzzi, as are the steam rooms! Our son who has a grade 0 haircut all over, went to the spa to find out how much it was to get his grade one cut before he goes back to work, he was told it would cost $95, for basically 5 minutes max of a hair dressers time, work that one out.

Norwegian Jades Fitness Center. Photo Credit Dave Jones.

Over all the Norwegian Jade offers a great cruise option, with some great value itineraries; her refurbishment has given Jade a fresh new look, I still think there are a few touch ups still going on, but overall she is looking good. Jade is only 38 meters wide (Beam) and 294 meters long, so can be classed as a small but very friendly ship, able to enter the smaller ports, and the need to tender is a lot less than say the Breakaway class. Jade has a passenger to crew ratio of 3 passengers to 1.3 crew, which is a good ratio, and means the crew will remember your name and favourite tipple. The crew offer excellent professionalism, with a friendliness that can’t be matched. Will I book another cruise on the Norwegian Jade, with no hesitation, we have met a wide range of new friends from all over the world who helped make the cruise a very memorable one.

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Norwegian Dawn debuts after extensive refit

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed into her seasonal homeport of Boston, Massachusetts on 17 June following a month-long drydock.

Norwegian Dream, which was renovated as part of the US$400 million The Norwegian Edge programme, now has two new restaurants, three new bars and lounges, updated design and décor in all public spaces, and refurbished staterooms and suites.

“As with each of the ship refurbishments in the Norwegian Edge programme, this was not your average drydock,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and COO. “Norwegian Dawn was brought down to the steel in many spaces and rebuilt to evoke the look and feel of the newest Norwegian ships, allowing guests sailing on her to enjoy all of the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian offers, along with a more premium experience from bow to stern.”

Norwegian Dawn debuts after extensive refit

New dining venues include Mexican restaurant Los Lobos Cantina, which will open on 1 July, and the popular O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill. Now, guests can also visit bars such as Sugarcane Mojito Bar, Bliss Lounge (formerly Spinnakers Lounge) and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar to enable guests to enjoy tastings and educational events. This venue was previously the Pearly King Pub.

Existing complimentary dining venues, such as The Venetian, Aqua, Bamboo Asian Restaurant and the Garden Café, have all been revamped with new flooring, wall coverings, furniture, artwork, signage and decorative lighting.

Similar upgrades where completed in the ship’s speciality restaurants, including Cagney’s Steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria, which has been moved to Deck 13 adjacent to Sugarcane Mojito Bar. Le Bistro and La Cucina have also switched places, while Teppanyaki restaurant has been doubled in size to add to more tables and a divider between Bamboo and Teppanyaki.

The ship’s existing bars and lounges – such as Gatsby’s Champagne Bar and the Cigar Bar – have also been fitted with new flooring, furniture, decorative lighting, artwork and more. All staterooms received updated carpets, bedding, drapery, artwork, flat screen TVs and furniture. The two Garden Villas were completely remodeled with new flooring, inside and outside furniture, ceilings, lighting, bedding, décor and 42-inch flat screen TVs.

Other highlights include refreshed décor in the public spaces, elevators, toilets, the library and the Atrium – which also features an additional seating area – while the upgraded shopping area has been renamed Tradewinds. Tides, which sells jewellery, was added to the Atrium. The Photo Gallery also features individual digital monitors and larger photo display panels, while the Dawn Casino and Entourage teen space and video arcade were refurbished. The Stardust Theater has reupholstered and recushioned seats, and will offer performances of Band on the Run, Showdown and Elements.

Meanwhile, the pool deck has new decking, white awnings, exterior showers, pool loungers, and a fresh look to all exterior corridors. In addition, the Bimini Bar overlooking the main pool deck was redesigned, the Pulse Fitness Center now offers Techno Gym equipment, and the Mandara Spa has updated treatment rooms and a new barber shop, nail salon, spa pool and eight heated loungers.

Norwegian Dawn will sail from Boston to Bermuda each week until the end of October, spending three nights in port. In the winter, the ship will sail from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean, calling at Norwegian’s private island Harvest Caye, as well as Belize.

Six Things Experienced Cruisers Would Never Do on a Norwegian Cruise

Experienced cruisers are well prepared. From what to pack, to where to go, to what to do, these guests have traveling down to a fine art. Here are six things you would never catch a seasoned cruiser doing!


Boats in Italy

Though both ship and boat seem to be an interchangeable term among guests, seasoned cruisers know that calling these majestic beauties a “boat” is just not right. Due to factors like size and where and how the vessel operates, rightfully classifies our ships as… well ships.


Compass and Map

No matter how you cruise, there will come a time when you lose your sense of direction. If this isn’t disorienting enough, try being told “aft, forward, starboard, and port.” Experienced cruisers know to brush up on their nautical terms before setting sail. When your captain announces, “complimentary lobster tails, Deck 15 Aft” you won’t want to miss a beat.


Shore Excursion Desk

There are two ways guests can go about their cruise, plan it out or play it by ear. Although both are fine options, you will never find an experienced cruiser with a checklist leaving it up to chance. These folks know what they want and they know that their wish list activities fill up fast. Whether it’s a specialty dining venue, a Broadway show, or a shore excursion, it pays to be proactive and book ahead of time!



Experienced cruisers are flexible with their travel plans. At any time the Captain can change a port of call due to things like inclement weather. Remember, the Captain has your best interest at heart if he has to reroute you to another destination.



Just like a draft can be created in your home, the same can be done onboard a cruise ship. Anyone who has ever stayed in a balcony room or a suite knows to be careful having the stateroom and balcony door open at the same time. With the ship reaching speeds of up to 26 knots (approximately 30 mph!), the right gust of wind could blow your valuables right out the door.


Garden Cafe

After a long day at the pool, there’s nothing better than heading over to the buffet for a cool drink and a bite to eat. “WASHY WASHY, HAPPY HAPPY, SMILEY SMILEY” the crew will echo as they greet you at the entrance, cleaning down your hands. Experienced cruisers embrace the “Washy Washy” crew, because they know the importance of cleanliness on a ship