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Gary

Age: 60

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Jade

Sailing Date: 2011-01-27

Itinerary: Barcelona to Morocco

Overall the cruise was enjoyable with a few low points when on land. The crew was friendly and helpful. The ship was clean although there was a current outbreak of stomach virus onboard.

Since our last cruise, NCL has decided "Freestyle" cruising is not so free anymore. The alternate resturants all have an upcharge now. Although the main dining rooms were good but crowded, the alternate dining rooms, with one exception, were fairly empty on a fully booked cruise. We found the Garden Cafe buffet food disappointing and very crowded for breakfast and lunch when at sea. Often guests were wandering the cafe and adjoining decks with plates of food looking for a place to perch. The weather was cool so the outdoor areas were uncomfortable and windy at times. One experience stands out. For dessert after dinner, the cheese plate consisted of three chunks of cheese and a few Saltine crackers. Not what I expected.

Clean and well maintained. The attendants were really nice and kept things orderly. They knew us by name and were always greeting us in the hall with a friendly "Hello".

The shows in the theatre were better than on other ships. They were all well produced and were loaded with talented performers. We enjoyed a wine tasting class. As expected, there was always a price with most activities.

The shore excursions were really not worth the cost compared to other cruises we have taken. We cancelled one on the last stop in Malaga and were glad we did. The excursions were primarily a bus ride, often criss-crossing the same parts of the city or driving an hour up a windy road for a 10 minute rest stop. The "Taste of Maderia" excursion actually did not even include the famous Maderia wine but only a local table wine. During our excursions in Morocco, it seemed the guides were primarily interested in getting us in front of shop keepers who were determined to sell their wares. We ended up purchasing a rug that was promised to be shipped to the States. No sign of it yet but we are crossing our fingers it will eventually arrive. If you plan to buy a rug in Morocco, search the web for bartering techniques before you go. The tour of the grand mosque in Casablanca should not be missed. Some tours apparently did not let you get inside, only tour the exterior and grounds. Seeing the inside is a must. Lunch at Rick's cafe in Casablanca was surprising good.

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