Booked this cruise last minute! I haven’t ever done that; however, this was the perfect cruise itinerary. Two private islands NCL Great Stirrup Cay, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya (Mahaual) and Key West! I couldnt pass up!
Booking the 7 night Caribbean Cruise Norwegian Jade from Miami, FL was a simple decision, two private islands and Key West were the itinerary, and the casino offered this as a free cruise because of prior play. Coming from a large NCL Cruise Ship just a couple months prior, I was curious what the Norwegian Jade would be like. Here are the highlights with my thoughts and a photo journal of the ship.
First impressions of the ship come as you enter into the Atrium space. The Atrium is nice and cozy, sandwiched between the bar and cafe. There is a large screen with announcements and location map on the dual staircase above the Atrium. You can find the Guest Services and Shore Excursions here also. Heavenly light shines on the centerpiece of the space, the grand piano. Many comfortable and roomy chairs benches await the cruise passengers and are snuggled in by warm lit lamps and small clear tables. Patrons in the pub O’Sheehans can overlook the Atrium from the next deck with the clear glass half walls. The Atrium also has a glassy, wavy chandelier light that spreads across the ceiling and changes colors as the days go by. You can find relaxing music such as guitar or piano here most evenings.
One of my favorite first things to do when I get on a ship is to go see the upper pool deck and views of the port. The pool space of a ship says a lot about the ship itself. This ship’s pool area is so nice! For a smaller ship, this deck has everything you need and is very spacious. I was surprised. There is a bar and small snacks space on one end and stage on the other. There are two main pools, adults only and family. The pools are clean and bright. An abundance of seating is available, not only in lounge chairs, also there is a seating on the pool edge and cool off with your feet in, in the pool there is a lower level just to sit in water, and the deck above. I also noticed a couple of outdoor couch pods if you’re the lucky ones to score that spot. The family pool has stairs for easy entry. There are also two hot tubs one for adults and one for family. Tucked in the corner is the kiddie pool with a small slide for the littles. Lots of chairs soon to be full once the ship is out to sea! I will definitely be back for sailaway too to surround myself with happy people ready to have a good time.
From the pool deck there are stairs that lead to the upper deck overlooking the pool. You will find Topsiders bar and a small space with burgers and hotdogs with the toppings. There is seating here for the burgers with a 50s Grill feel. My favorite spot is the stools and long counter overlooking the pool area this is where I found myself most afternoons enjoying a Mango Meltdown or another adult beverage. It’s a great spot for listening to music, watching entertainment by the pool, and people watching, yes soon people are dancing and having fun!
There are also upper decks for sunbathing or reading in a quiet spot away from the pool party vibe. Take in great views up here too!
Spinnaker Lounge is by far one of the top places to hang out on the Norwegian Jade. On deck 15, this cozy venue has a variety of chairs, tables, a stage, and a bar. The Spinnaker Lounge is great for Trivia, Officer Q&A, evening shows, and dance parties. I was so impressed by this space, this is a quiet place to come during the day and get a nice view of the ocean or ports. Definitely must check it out if you can.
There are many great places to eat on this ship, we mainly ate in the Garden Cafe Buffet because it was quick and easy. Two lines for the same foods to help a bit with flow. Nice places to sit, even some with a view which is nice. Through the buffet to the outer deck you can sit in the shade and grab a bite from that line too.
We spent a little time (and money) in the Jade Casino. We did come out ahead for the week. Although, it was smaller and older than some ships, still a nice space and lots of energy and fun later in the evening. Metal ceiling tiles give a retro look, reminds me of a casino on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. There are red chinese lanterns from the ceiling and that’s a common color in this casino, rug to chairs and walls. I guess red is a lucky color? There are 4 poker spots on each side of the bar, plenty of space sit and play while the bartender can easily provide drinks. There are a variety of slot machines to pick from. Be sure to stake your claim on a machine before sailaway to guarantee slot play on your favorites! It does get busy. I did not notice too much smoke smell on my sailing.
Another sweet area to highlight is called, Bar City, next to the casino. Three lounges adjacent to each other and something for everyone: Whiskey and Beer Bar, Martini Bar, and Champagne and Wine Bar. At the end near the casino you find a charming space for a performer and comfortable chairs. We heard music here many times, or even walking by upstairs as it is open to the upper deck.
Video Room Tour
Check out the room too! This space was really nice!