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Oakman58

NCL Jade - 1/16/16 to 1/23/16 Nature's Wrath

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Day 3 Cozumel

I'll bet you didn't think I'd ever get to the end of this day did ya.

 

After freshening up in our cabin, we met J & M at the Stardust Theater for the 7:30 show. Tonight the show was Illusions of Cripton and Renata. I was hoping for a magician/comedian but no, this was serious magician with what I call mechanical tricks. Put the lady in a box and make it look like she shrinks, put the lady in a box and make it look like he is separating her body into parts, put the lady in a triangle and she disappears, etc. I’m an old grumpy man and I’ve seen this style of illusions too many times to be entertained. Many of the secrets of these tricks have already been exposed on TV shows years ago. To his credit, he was an excellent showman and the children in the audience loved his magic. It was just not my cup of tea.

 

After the show the four of us headed to the Jasmine restaurant for some Asian food. The service we received was very slow, the servers were curt, and the food wasn’t very good. My brother-in-law loves Asian food and was really disappointed in his meal. It wasn’t all bad though, the egg drop soup I had for an appetizer was excellent. My sister had ordered some Sushi from the al la carte side of the menu and she said it was excellent too.

 

After dinner we called it an evening and went back to our cabins. That was a late dinner for me so I went for a stroll on deck 13 to burn off some of that meal. It was after 9:30 so I was surprised to see kids still in the hot tub and pool on deck 12.

 

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I mentioned earlier that I didn’t like some of the Hawaiian decorations on the ship. The gaudiest of those in my opinion was the lighting above the mid-ship elevators on deck 7. It reminded me of someone’s great aunt who wore way too much makeup and too much jewelry. It was just too over the top for me.

 

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My wife didn’t like the ceiling in the Atrium either. She thought it was a little overboard, I did too.

 

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I know these decorations are because the ship was originally the Pride of Hawaii but I still don't like them.

 

 

Whew! End of Day 3

Edited by Oakman58

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I am so loving your review. Your descriptions are over the top funny. I read your Tequila after show experience with the bench to my husband. It is something he would do. I think you guys you great in the donkey picture. The story of the day will be a great memory for the 4 of you. I am going to suggest to our roll call to read your review.

 

Wife of another Grumpy Man over 70;)

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Thank you for the detail that you go into describing excursions as well as your day. I am really enjoying it. You might be a "grumpy old man" but you have a delightful sense of humor. Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

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Before I begin the post about the next day of our cruise, I wanted to post some photos of the seating area and some of the food stations available in the Garden Café. I liked the individual stations on the Jade as opposed to the cafeteria style on the Dawn and the Star. Breakfast was also available at the Great Outdoors at the rear of deck 12.

 

 

If you’re a breakfast person, take the time to look at all of the available stations on your first morning. Had it not been for my wife, I wouldn’t have even known eggs benedict were available. You could get fried eggs at both of the omelet stations too.

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The early risers station usually opened about 30 minutes before the rest of the breakfast stations. This was more like a continental breakfast.

 

 

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I included this picture so you healthy people know fresh fruit is available, I'm a bacon and eggs guy myself.

 

 

 

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Day 4 – BELIZE

Rain drops keep falling on my head.

 

We set our clocks back last night as suggested by the notice placed in our room. My body doesn’t adjust as easily as a clock so instead of getting an extra hour of sleep I was awake at 4:45 AM.

 

The morning sky was very overcast but at least it wasn’t raining. While I was drinking my coffee on the balcony a small boat pulled alongside our ship and a man climbed aboard. I’m guessing he was the harbor pilot and not a terrorist.

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Our shore excursion today was Altun Ha & Old Belize River. Our excursion had a meeting time at 8:45 in the Stardust Theater. However, J & M used one of their suite perks of priority tendering and took us with them. The meeting place for suite people was the Star Bar on deck 13 and when we arrived a crew member gave us common folk the third degree. When we mentioned we were with J & M all was well with the world again. J & M showed up a few minutes later and we were escorted down to deck 4 via the secret crew elevators to the tender area.

 

It didn’t take me long to get the feeling of being “special” as we passed a long line of passengers waiting to board the tenders. As we walked past these poor lowly baggage class passengers, I could feel them giving us the “stink eye” and “evil eye” and I’m pretty sure I saw one passenger sticking a pin in a voodoo doll. “Ha,” I thought to myself, “let them eat cake.”

 

In no time we were on the tender boat for the 20 minute ride to the pier. I know a lot of folks don’t like tendering but I don’t mind at all and use it as an opportunity to take photos of the ship at anchor.

 

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At the pier we were met by our tour guide and he boarded us on a bus for the long drive to Altun Ha. We no sooner had started the drive when a light rain began to fall. It rained off and on for the entire ride until we arrived at Altun Ha and then thankfully it stopped.

 

Altun Ha is an ancient Mayan city and our tour guide, Gus, was very knowledgeable, personable, and answered all of our questions.

 

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Gus herding us onto the steps of a ruin to tell us of the history and culture of the Mayan people.

 

The end of the tour culminated with Gus breaking our group into those who wanted to climb to the top of the highest ruin and those who didn’t. I went with the group that would climb and the others were taken to where we had entered the ruins to shop with the many vendors there.

 

The climb to the top was a series of uneven rock steps that thankfully had a handrail.

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I am very thankful and lucky that I am still in good enough health to climb to the top of these ruins. I have to admit I was breathing heavily by the time I made it to the top. Actually I looked more like a fish out of water gasping for breath, I just wasn’t flopping around.

 

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The view from the top of the tallest ruin at Altun Ha.

 

 

The steps going back down were quite steep and I made sure I kept my focus walking down. I didn’t want to embarrass myself the way I did at the tequila excursion.

 

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As our tour of Altun Ha ended and we were boarding our bus to head to the Old Belize River where we would have lunch and then a boat ride on the river, it began to rain again.

 

Day 4 continued in my next post.

Edited by Oakman58

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Thanks for the review! I will be on in 2 weeks. You're lucky the "entitled" suite people haven't jumped in here yet to criticize you for jumping in the priority :)

Edited by pr0pel

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Absolutely enjoying the review! There are so few of the Jade that I feel like I'm going on a blind date with a ship. Now I know what to expect. :)

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Day 4 BELIZE (cont.)

 

 

It was another long bus ride, in the rain at times, to the Old Belize River. Once there we were served a lunch that included a drink. The funny thing is you could have a beer or a Pepsi but if you wanted a Pepsi Light it cost you a dollar. The tables to eat at were outside but fortunately under cover.

 

After lunch we boarded the boat and headed down the river. I didn’t know until we were underway that this would be a 21 mile ride that would take us all the way back to our pier where the tenders would pick us up. I had been expecting a short boat trip and a bus ride back to the pier. I considered this much longer boat ride a bonus. Soon after leaving the dock it started to rain. I felt sorry for those in the very front of the boat since they didn’t have any overhead cover at all.

 

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The umbrella you see in the picture didn't last the trip once the boat opened up both engines. The wind was too much for it.

 

 

It wasn’t long before we got our first glimpse of wildlife in the form of monkeys.

 

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The black blob is a monkey. I think he was upside down with his butt in the air.

 

It rained off and on and our guide complained that the rain would hurt our chances to see a lot of wildlife. Regardless, we did see wildlife. We all got wet too, especially when the guide opened up the twin engines on the boat to get to certain areas of the river he knew contained wildlife. I was so glad we had our emergency ponchos with us.

 

Our guide had great eyes for seeing wildlife. At one point as we were blasting down the river our guide quickly slowed the boat and yelled “Bats.” He turned the boat around and sure enough, there was a line of bats on one of the trees by the river. This species of long-nosed bat lines up single file on tree trunks. (Yes I had to Google what species of bat that was.)

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We also saw a few crocodiles.

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About 6 feet long, but plenty big enough I wouldn't want to mess with it.

 

 

 

 

At one point at a bend in the river, I was surprised to see woman washing clothes in the river.

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Hey lady, there are crocs in this river...and I don't mean shoes.

 

 

 

 

We also saw iguanas and exotic birds on our trip down river.

 

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Even the birds were seeking shelter from the rain in the trees.

 

 

 

 

When we arrived back at the pier we walked over to where the tender boats were loading and we were back on the ship at 4:30.

 

After resting up a bit and cleaning up, we met J & M for dinner in the Grand Pacific dining room. On the menu tonight was Beef Tenderloin Chateaubriand so I had to order that. It was fantastic as was the entire meal. The staff in the Grand Pacific was very friendly and their service was excellent.

 

After dinner we separated from J & M to go to the Stardust Theater for tonight’s show, Soul Duo. When I first saw that name I thought it was going to be a musical act that I wouldn’t be interested in. My wife read the description in the Freestyle Daily and as it turned out, the act was acrobats from Kiev, Ukraine. I’m so glad we went to this show because the man and woman team were great. Definitely a show worth seeing.

 

Back in our cabin the towel animal our steward left us was an excellent little crab.

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At least there is a handrail along with no tequila. :) You brightened my morning with your humor.

 

I'm glad you are enjoying my report.

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Absolutely enjoying the review! There are so few of the Jade that I feel like I'm going on a blind date with a ship. Now I know what to expect. :)

 

You're going to have a great time on the Jade. The crew was fantastic.

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I love the bat picture. Some of them looking like they have scowling faces on their backs.

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I believe the flower ceiling is meant to be kind of like the Chihuly ceiling of the lobby of the Bellagio hotel but with Hawaiian flowers. I have no idea if Chihuly was involved in the Jade's (formerly Pride of Hawaii's) ceiling or not, but there are definitely some of his works on the Gem Class ships. You can see the Bellagio ceiling here:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/chihulys-art-blossoms-bellagio-and-beyond

 

Here people on Cruise Critic are discussing the similarity:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=687047

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A few more pictures taken on the Jade.

 

This is a photo of the doors that lead to the mysterious "whatever" rooms in the Medusa Lounge. I still don't know what they are for. Everytime I tried to open them they were locked.

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This next photo is the ship's library. You're probably wondering what a guy like me is doing in a library. I was wondering that myself.

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A picture of the Bali Hai grill on deck 13. We never did eat or drink there during the cruise.

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A picture of the Guest Services desk on deck 7.

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A view looking down on the deck 14 sundeck from the deck 15 sundeck.

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This was on the sundeck too. I think it's purpose was to wet your hot little body so it would glisten in the sunlight as you sunbathed.

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Edited by Oakman58

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I believe the flower ceiling is meant to be kind of like the Chihuly ceiling of the lobby of the Bellagio hotel but with Hawaiian flowers. I have no idea if Chihuly was involved in the Jade's (formerly Pride of Hawaii's) ceiling or not, but there are definitely some of his works on the Gem Class ships. You can see the Bellagio ceiling here:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/arts-culture/chihulys-art-blossoms-bellagio-and-beyond

 

Here people on Cruise Critic are discussing the similarity:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=687047

 

The first time I saw them I thought of Dale Chihuly and while I like his works, I didn't think they fit the ship very well. Especially over the elevators.

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Thanks for the review! I will be on in 2 weeks. You're lucky the "entitled" suite people haven't jumped in here yet to criticize you for jumping in the priority :)

 

 

As a suite person here, no jumping. It is pretty common knowledge that the Concierge will usually let the non suite guests accompany suite guests on priority tenders.

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A few more pictures taken on the Jade.

 

This is a photo of the doors that lead to the mysterious "whatever" rooms in the Medusa Lounge. I still don't know what they are for. Everytime I tried to open them they were locked.

2912qg3.jpg

 

From what I have seen on videos, I'm pretty sure those are the personal karaoke rooms.

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Thank you for the great review. We were also on the cruise and had a great time. Fabulous food. I agree, the Great Outdoors is a great location for breakfast and lunch, weather permitting. We tired many of the extra pay restaurants and they were all well worth the extra money. We purchased the 4 restaurant package. We flew in the day of the cruise and used the ship transfers and they went very smooth.

 

This is the first time we went to the show every night and glad we did. They got better every night. Don't miss any of the shows.

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DAY 5 – ROATAN, HONDURAS

WHAT TIME DO WE MEET?

 

We had a scheduled arrival time in Roatan at 8:00 AM but we were anchored in the harbor and launching lifeboats for tendering shortly after 6:00 AM. I had read on another thread that sometimes the Jade would go to the pier for a couple of hours before heading out to anchor in the bay. Nope, didn’t happen and the pier was unoccupied. C’mon Captain, isn’t it first come, first served? How about sashaying the Jade up to the pier for us? I believe by 7:00 we were already into tendering operation and still no ship at the pier.

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Long about 8:00 here came the Dawn waltzing into the harbor like she owned it. She was a sassy gal and was wearing a grin on her bow that ran from port to starboard. Apparently she had pier priority over the Jade and was proud of it.

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Our excursion today was Maya Key – Private Island Resort and we had a meeting time of 8:45. Just before we left our cabin to head up to the Star Bar to meet up with J & M our phone rang. It was J & M who were already in the Star Bar, we hadn’t paid attention to our excursion tickets our meeting time was on the pier, not the Star Bar. Oh oh, not good. My wife and I hustled out of our cabin and through the ship like O.J. Simpson in the Hertz car commercial. We hurdled children and old folks in electric scooters and at one point I think I knocked a room service tray from a crew member’s shoulder. In no time at all we were in the Star Bar. J & M were shocked at the speed of our arrival. We were quickly put on the crew’s elevator, taken down to deck 4, and soon we were zippity-doo-da-daying past the baggage class passengers and onto a tender. Fortunately the tender ride was just 5 minutes to the pier and when we arrived at the pier our excursion hadn’t left yet.

 

It was another short boat ride to the Maya Key Island. This island is also an animal rescue facility and has replicas of Mayan temples.

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I believe the island only covers 11 acres and it has a beautiful beach. Apparently it is also right in the flight path of the air nearby airport in Roatan.

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After enjoying the beach I decided to set off and do a little exploring. I was particularly interested in the replicas of the Mayan temples. Climbing around on the temples was permitted so naturally I had to climb to the top. On the way up I didn’t notice a large tree limb hanging over the structure and I wacked the top of my head pretty darn good on it. Fortunately there was no one around to see this mishap. I didn’t tell anyone about this graceful move and when my wife reads this I’m sure she is going to give me “the look.”

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Our island was close enough that we could see both the Jade and the Dawn in the harbor. As you can see in the picture the Jade is anchored close to shore. Tendering really wasn’t all that bad.

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Day 5 continued in my next post.

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Day 5 - Roatan, Honduras (cont.)

Our excursion included a lunch so around noon the four of us got into a long line of hungry folks. The food was very good, the chicken was tender, and the fish was delicious. As you can see by the menu below there were other ships that did this excursion too.

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We ate our lunch at tables by the beautiful pool that was available to us on this excursion.

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After lunch we went back down to the beach and walked through the animal rescue area. The animal rescue shelter had quite of collection of exotic birds, big cats, and monkeys.

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I think it was 1:30 when we decided to catch the boat going back to the pier where we could catch a tender back to our ship. We were back onboard the Jade just after 2:00.

 

Day 5 Continued in next post.

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"Long about 8:00 here came the Dawn waltzing into the harbor like she owned it. She was a sassy gal and was wearing a grin on her bow that ran from port to starboard. Apparently she had pier priority over the Jade and was proud of it."

 

Beautiful pic and great caption!

 

 

Robert

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Just curious--what is on the Health Form that you mention for embarkation? Is it the generic "have you had a fever" one that we saw following the Ebola outbreaks, or is there more to it?

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From what I have seen on videos, I'm pretty sure those are the personal karaoke rooms.

 

That would make sense because the Medusa Lounge is where they had the Karaoke at night. I believe there was a fee to use those rooms.

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Just curious--what is on the Health Form that you mention for embarkation? Is it the generic "have you had a fever" one that we saw following the Ebola outbreaks, or is there more to it?

 

I don't know what the one for NCL looks like but here's an example of carnivals health form.

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Edited by Jana60

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