Hotel Review: Hilton Rome
Taking the long way to the port
Review: Jade Penthouse Suite 10166
Day in Olympia, Greece
Day in Athens, Greece
Day in Kusadasi, Turkey
Day in Istanbul, Turkey
Day in Naples/Pompeii, Italy
Hotel Review: Hotel Holiday
We were excited to see our room, and it was finally time! Norwegian Jade’s Penthouse Suite 10166 is also known as a Romance Suite, since it used to be sold as a room for 2, with a maximum of 3 guests instead of 4. It is located on Deck 10, in the very back of the ship (aft). This turned out to be a fantastic location and I’m now an absolute fan of these staterooms. True, pretty much all of the restaurants and activities were forward, but that just meant a bit more exercise which balanced out with all the extra desserts and goodies onboard.
We walked all the way to the back of the ship and there it was – 10166, our home for the next 10 days. Right next to the room number was a sign that could be changed by rotating the wheel. This was an easy way of communicating that I didn’t wish to be disturbed if I was napping, or that I was out of the room and was ready for it to be cleaned. Not once was there any confusion where the attendant made a mistake and came in, nor did I return to the room after having placed the sign requesting cleaning to not have it cleaned. A pet peeve of mine in hotels is when I’ve taken the time to carefully hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign, only to have housekeeping repeatedly knock on the door or worse, walk right in.
I walked in and immediately felt the “wow” factor. This was our first suite, and the room from just inside the door looked huge.
Just inside the door were two cubbyholes. I found those helpful for placing used room service items on so when the attendant came to collect them they were right inside the door.
Around the corner there was a coffee machine complete with beans that worked great. Ordinarily Lavazza coffee throughout the ship was a for-charge item, so it was nice to have an in-room coffee maker for free anytime use. The coffee was good, too. Tea bags were also provided, along with numerous cups and saucers.
The mini bar was stocked with soft drinks and alcohol, and although I could have had the attendant remove everything on the first day I decided to keep it there in case I wanted to have something when eating in the cabin.
There was so much room in this cabin there was no need to worry about finding space to put things.
The bed was an actual queen bed, not two smaller beds pushed together plus it had a pillow top mattress so it was very comfortable. The fluffy feather duvet was just right. The sheets were soft, though for some reason there wasn’t a fitted sheet on the mattress and the flat sheet seemed too short, so I often awoke to find the sheets in disarray.
On both sides of the bed there were small nightstands and cubbyholes. This was just enough space to keep books or small items nearby, and the small bedside reading lamps didn’t have too strong of a light beam to be distracting.
The left bedside table also held a mobile phone which could be used to call the butler from anywhere on the ship. Our butler was great, but I never felt the need to actually take that phone with me and call him from anywhere else on the ship.
There were two silky looking heavy curtains near the bed that weren’t just decoration. They could be pulled along a track in the ceiling so that just the bed would be completely blocked out from any outside light. This would be handy if one person woke up early and wanted to move around the cabin without disturbing the other. It was also a great feature for ensuring an extra dark sleeping environment since the curtains by the window also blocked out light.
A pillow menu card was bedside, and I requested feather pillows on the first day. They were brought promptly and thereafter the bed had four pillows.
The couch had a removable top cushion and could have been folded out to accommodate a third person.
The curtains helped separate the two sleeping areas too if needed for privacy.
Originally there was a small table at the foot of the bed, but I took the advice of someone and moved the table over in front of the small couch instead. That way no one bumped their knees when navigating to the restroom in the middle of the night, and opened up the passageway to the closet. Plus, the long low table worked well for room service. Yes, the colors in the room were bright, but I didn’t find them too outlandish. It just seemed fun and colorful rather than overly tacky.
The closet had loads of space. Life jackets were on the top shelf, and it made no difference at all.
Two terrycloth bathrobes and slippers waited inside. There were plenty of hangers, though I’d brought my own wire ones as well.
I had to have the cabin attendant show me where the light switch was in the closet, since I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off the first night. A small button was inside right next to a tiny red light. I must have overlooked it when putting the clothes away. I did think it strange that the closet had been placed in the middle of the room. It was convenient to be able to pull clothes out right near the door or just after a shower, but it also took up space. If the closet had been along the wall instead it would have opened up the dressing area so that it wasn’t a narrow hallway. Just my thoughts though, maybe others love the closet setup.
There were drawers galore, but I preferred the shelves that the cabinet doors swung open to reveal in between the bed and closet.
The dressing and vanity area included a large mirror, several more drawers, and a nice chair. There were two huge cubbyholes to the right of the vanity table, and since there was an outlet near the table the bottom cubby was a convenient place to store laptops and other electronics while they were charging.
Here’s a sideways look at the cubbyholes.
There were two temperature controls, one for the “bedroom” and one for the sitting area. They were easy to change with just the touch of a button. I’m a bit sensitive to lights when sleeping, so I simply placed a band-aid over the top of the bedroom one which blocked out the glare of the green shine but still allowed me to see the setting.
The bathroom was functional, but I didn’t find the design exceptionally smart.
A sliding glass door separated the toilet from the sink area which would be nice for people traveling together that needed a bit of privacy. If not needing privacy though, the small toilet room just felt…small.
A sliding shower door on the opposite side did the same with the tub/shower combo.
Ordinarily I would have loved having a tub, but for some reason (closed off with no view? regular sized?) this tub just wasn’t appealing. Plus, the whole bathroom was too sectioned off for my taste. It was split into thirds by using the sliding glass doors and even with them all slid open it didn’t feel very large.
There was a hanging tag near the tub that offered some fun bath treats at exorbitant prices, so perhaps someone enjoying way too many BahamaMamas might ring the butler to request caviar while bathing. $499 for a single bath? You’d need that eye mask to avoid looking at your credit card statement.
Elemis amenities were in the bathroom, which I was pleased about. I generally like Elemis and find it to have not too strong of a scent. There was a wall-mounted dispenser as well, which I did not use.
Our stateroom attendant did a great job of making sure our restroom was clean and had lots of fresh towels when we wanted them replaced. There was also a bath mat towel for after the shower, a trash can under the sink and a scale for those who were gluttons for punishment while on a cruise.
The flat screen TV in the living room had a small DVD player that came with a list of complimentary movies that could be borrowed. What fun! I’d brought my own DVD’s too, not knowing which DVD’s were on the list or if the ones I wanted would be available.
The dining area was a good size and had four chairs. Since there were only two of us traveling together the table could be pushed against the wall to give more space in the middle of the room. If there had been a fourth person though that fake plant in the corner would have had to be stowed in the closet perhaps. The table became an easy place to drop items after returning to the room after a day’s excursions.
Charging electronics in the cubbyhole near the bathroom vanity worked well, but there was also another outlet on the desk.
The desk area was sort of a catch-all for papers. Since there were daily newsletters and a ton of invites to the art auctions, before they ended up in the trash they usually sat on the desk for a bit.
The balcony was hands-down the best part of the room, and was outstanding.
When we first got to the room we opened the bottle of sparkling Duc wine that was in the room as a welcome amenity. The Duc wine didn’t taste good at all (does anyone actually enjoy it?), but the view off the back of the ship was incredible.
There were two full loungers with pads, two chairs, a small table, and plenty of space to move around. When the sun poured on the balcony from a particular angle, I could move the loungers around to find a perfect position.
At nighttime when we returned from dinner and our cabin steward had done turndown, he brought in the two long lounger cushions and tucked them against the sliding glass doors just inside. He explained that he did that so they wouldn’t get damp from any evening moisture. In the morning we’d just take them back outside again, and if we forgot they’d magically appear there once the cabin steward came in the morning.
I had worried that the sound of the wake from the ship would be too noisy, but it wasn’t at all. Rather it was just a peaceful sound. Also, instead of being limited to the view from just one side of the boat and missing the sunrise or sunset, I could see both. Misty mornings, cargo ships, large swells, it was all very mesmerizing.
I loved this balcony! Some people spend a lot of time with activities around the ship, but I preferred to spend the majority of my time right there on the balcony. It was quiet with gorgeous views.
For those readers trying to decide if this is the right room/balcony for you, here’s a little helpful info. On the back of the ship on the 10th deck, there were a total of 6 rooms. The two in the middle were regular balcony rooms and there were two Penthouse suites on either side of them.
Here’s a view to the left. I would have expected the only suite to the left to have had a better side view, but the wall came up almost as high without an extra cutout. The balcony may have been just a bit smaller too as it rounded the corner.
Here’s a view to the right, looking first across the regular balconies and then the other Penthouse suites to the far side.
The rooms on deck 11 above had smaller balconies so deck 10 jutted out, and those just below on deck 9 looked to be the same size but I believe at least two of the Penthouse suites were handicap accessible.
Two decks up on 12 was the garden buffet. People occasionally came to the railing to look out over the water especially in the evenings when the ship was pulling out from a port.
There was thankfully very little to no soot on our balcony during the cruise, so the wind must have been taking it away. There was one negative about the balcony. In the mornings we’d wake up to find food scraps and sometimes garbage on our deck. The first morning we thought maybe there had been a storm the night before, but then we found out that in the evenings after the garden cafe closed, the staff actually hosed off the deck which pushed all the junk down onto our deck. I was not ok with that. Besides dirt, wet half-eaten pizza slices, pieces of muffins and sausage being an unwelcome sight on the balcony it was also potentially unfriendly to wildlife. Straw wrappers, papers and napkins got picked up in the breeze and carried away. We notified staff right away and they stopped doing it for a few days but I would be willing to bet that they haven’t changed their procedure and still hose off the deck today. Surely there must be a better way to clean off the deck?!
We heard no ship rumbling or vibration noises, didn’t experience a wind tunnel effect when the sliding glass door was open, and honestly think that the Penthouse suite we were in was probably had one of the largest balconies on the entire ship.
The position of the stateroom was ideal for us. Because of the room’s location all the way in the back there was never anyone running past the door on the way to their stateroom, and there were no noisy shouts or door slams. In fact, I only saw or heard the people on either side of the room a handful of times during the entire trip. It had tons of storage space, total blackout curtains that worked great and a large open area in the middle of the room. We hit the jackpot with this particular room, especially being beginners to cruising.
For those who would love to see a video of the suite, click here.
We would pick this exact stateroom again in a heartbeat.