The Norwegian Jade was built in 2006, and refurbished in 2017. The result? A medium-sized cruise ship that packs a lot into its relatively small frame. That means lots to do.
And that’s a good thing. With the ability to hold about 2,500 passengers at double capacity, there are a lot of folks looking for ways to have fun. And despite being an older ship, the Jade doesn’t disappoint.
Whether you want to just sit back and relax on your cruise or have an active, energetic vacation, you’ll find something that will entertain you on your trip.
Here’s a list of nearly two dozen ideas of things to do onboard…
(Headed to Harvest Caye on your trip? See our profile and pictures.)
Purchase and Smoke a Cigar
If you’re a cigar smoker — or a cigar smoker when you’re on vacation — then you’re in luck on the Norwegian Jade. There is a cigar lounge on the ship (deck 6). Here you can buy yourself a smoke and light up in a dedicated space without bothering anyone with the smell. Even if you don’t usually smoke, it’s a fun thing to do on vacation in order to make a memorable trip.
Get Some Sun on the Freestyle Sun Deck
On the Jade there are a number of spots where you can catch some sun. There’s the pool deck, a deck above the pool, and then the Freestyle Sun Deck. This space isn’t that large, but it’s the highest point on the ship and private. You can lounge here without a lot of eyes on you and not worrying about kids or the noise of the pool.
People Watch From the Pit Stop Bar
A deck above and overlooking the pool is the Pit Stop. It’s one of the most popular bars on the ship that has some outdoor seating, but the most popular spot are the barstools that overlook the pool below. Have a drink and take in the beautiful day while also doing some people watching — including the dancing and contests that go on poolside.
Dine Outdoors With Dramatic Views
One of the most unique features of the Jade is the number of spots where you can eat outside. While it seems like it would be common on cruise ships, spaces have to be specially designed to combat the wind — or else food and everything else would go flying. The Jade has outdoor seating at the back of the ship (which blocks the wind) and a canopy overhead. It’s a favorite place to have a bite while taking in 180-degree views.
Grab a Steak at Cagney’s
It’s a classic steakhouse, but something that everyone should experience on a cruise. Offering a dark, intimate setting, it’s a great place to take a date that likes to eat. On the menu you’ll find everything you’d expect from a steakhouse — wedge salads, shrimp cocktails, filet mignon, ribeyes, lobster, and a ton of different sides. If you’re going to have one night out to enjoy a specialty restaurant, this is a great choice.
Eat for Free at O’Sheehans 24 Hours a Day
O’Sheehans (supposed to sound like “oceans,” get it?) is the Irish-style pub restaurant on the ship. It’s open 24-hours-a-day and absolutely free to eat. You can get burgers, dogs, wings, and salads — along with a few Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. Go down and grab a bite whenever you’re hungry.
Hit Up the Arcade
It’s small, but the Norwegian Jade features its own arcade that’s perfect for both kids and adults. You’ll find shooting games, air hockey, racing games, and of course skill cranes. Best of all, on cruise ships you don’t have to worry about quarters. Simply swipe your card to play and the charge is debited to your account.
Make New Friends at the Heart of the Ship
If you want to know the heartbeat of the Norwegian Jade, then it’s near the center of the ship. Here, outside the casino and where two bars (Magnums and Mixers) are located turns into a focal point. With plenty of seating it’s a great place to hang out, meet other passengers, have a drink, or just people watch. No matter if you’re outgoing or an introvert, it’s a fun place to hang out in the evenings before or after dinner.
Get Your Workout In Overlooking the Water
Surprisingly, the Norwegian Jade gym offers one of the best spots on the ship. The gym is large, complete with weight machines, treadmills, cardio equipment, and more. What makes the gym really great, however, is the view. Located near the pool, you’re up high on the ship with a long expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s nothing like getting a jog on the treadmill while watching the sea go slowly by.
Look for the Little Red Fish
One of the unique things about the Jade is… the carpet? In the hallways of the cabins, there is a design that features thousands of little fish swimming. What’s unique is that they all face toward the front of the ship. It’s an easy way to tell if you are heading forward or aft. The thing is, all the fish face forward except for one little red fish every so often that is facing the wrong way.
Splash in the Kiddie Pool
For health reasons, kids aren’t allowed in the pool area unless they are potty trained. That a bummer for parents of smaller kids. If you have a small child, there is a splash pool for them to use. To be honest, it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. It’s located on the pool deck, tucked into a small corner.
Check Out the Live Music in the Evening
We mentioned that you can meet new people in the lounge area outside the casino. There is also another reason to hang out here in the evenings — live music. Bands and musicians play each night, offering some nice entertainment while you have a drink and socialize. We especially recommend the renditions of The Beatles if you want some favorites that you can sing along to.
Hit the Dance Party
If you’re a late-nighter, then check out the White Hot Dance Party. Typically starting around 11, these parties encourage you to wear all white (don’t worry if you don’t have it) and dance like no one’s watching. It’s energetic and fun, but don’t expect to wake up early the next morning after the late night out.
Watch the Crew Steer the Ship
Ever wonder what it takes to drive the ship? You can get an amazing look. Tucked away on the port side of deck 11, there is a room that the very front of the ship (walk down past all the cabins) where you can view the staff steer the ship. There are also computer screens showing the ship’s track, speed, and more. One of the neat things about the viewing room is that it is adorned with plaques and mementos of all the ports the ship has visited. You get a chance to see that Norwegian Jade has truly traveled the world.
Practice Your Golf Stroke
If your a golfer, you don’t want to let your game get rusty while you’re on vacation. Plus, who doesn’t like to drive golf balls? There are two golfing cages (one on either side of the ship). They aren’t much, but you can check out a club and a bucket of balls for free and practice your swing. Head to the towel station on the pool deck to get the equipment.
Download the Cruise Norwegian App
Ok, maybe downloading an app isn’t the most fun. But it can be worth your time. The Cruise Norwegian app is a handy app that is your guide to everything on the ship. From deck plans to restaurants reservations to a full schedule of everything happening on the ship, it can save you a lot of time by putting everything you need to know in the palm of your hand. Best of all, the app is free. You can download it once you board or even before you get on the ship.
Hit the Spa for a Relaxing Massage
What’s a cruise ship without a spa? Norwegian Jade is no different. The spa is located forward on deck 11 and comes with all sorts of amenities including thermal suites and steam rooms. Get a massage while on your cruise to really hammer home that you’re on vacation.
Check Out the Library for Something New to Read
Next to the spa on deck 11 is the ship’s library. If you’re a reader and forgot a book — or just want something different to read, check it out. You can take books to your cabin to read or just hang out in the library. And for a cruise ship, there is a surprising amount of material available for passengers.
Try Your Luck in the Casino
Aptly named the Jade Casino, the ship’s gambling area is always a popular place to be. The decor is Asian-inspired and inside you’ll find all the games you’d expect. Like to play the slot machines? You’re covered (including penny slots). You’ll also find video poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, and more. In fact, there are even games you won’t find on land like coin pusher machines and “skill crane”-like games with stacks of cash.
Try Your Luck With a Scratch Off Ticket
Earlier we mentioned the casino, but there is one unique game we’ve never seen on a cruise ship — scratch-off tickets. On the Norwegian Jade you can get NCL’s own lottery tickets to scratch off and see if you’ve won. They cost $10 each. No word on the sort of odds or payouts they offer, but know that in general the payouts in a cruise casino aren’t that great.
Don’t Miss the Evening Entertainment Shows
Like most ships, Norwegian Jade has a number of production shows that they put on to entertain guests each night. The shows change from time to time, but they are always top notch. As a bonus, they are also free to attend and one of the most popular things to do on the ship.
Take Part in the Late-Night Game Shows
One of the big draws in the evening are the late-night game shows. Whether it’s the ship’s version of The Newlywed Game or a dance contest, these shows ask for participation from the audience. We like them because they turn out to be the funniest things on the ship. There’s something hilarious about watching people open up in front of hundreds of strangers. If you don’t want to be a contestant, don’t worry, you don’t have to be if you don’t want to.
Watch the Late-Night Comedian
If you’re a fan of comedy, don’t miss the comedian on the ship. These folks have usually appeared on television specials and have serious talent. In other words, you’re going to laugh. There are usually a couple of shows — one earlier in the night that’s appropriate for all ages and another that is adults-only. Be warned, depending on the comedian, things can get pretty raunchy.
Have more questions about sailing on the Norwegian Jade? Let us know in the comments below…