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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.
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.)
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!