Day 1 "They took a box and looked if it would float!" This quote from the captain of the Disney Wonder was aimed at the Carnival Glory and the Mariner of the Sea, but it described my first impression of the Norwegian Jade perfectly. I had seen photos of the ship before and it looked like she had quite a classic shape, but this all depends on the angle from which the photo is taken. We had flown to Southampton the previous day and spend the night before the cruise at a hotel right by the port. Our room overlooked the berth on which the Norwegian Jade was docked so we got a good view of her as soon as she arrived at Southampton. We had been told by the hotel the evening before that no pedestrians would be allowed to enter the port and that we would need to take a taxi even though the entrance to the port was less than 100 yards aware. However, while we were looking at the ship, we noticed that people with suitcases walked up to the guard house and were admitted. So we took our luggage, checked out of the hotel and walked over to the port. As soon as we entered the port area, they waived us over to hand in our luggage. Unfortunately we had not received any luggage tags and they did not have any either. We were advised to proceed to the check in area and they would sort out the luggage tags there. When we got there, we were advised that check in was not open yet and that they are still trying to sort out the luggage tag situation and that other people had the same problem. At 11:00 the check in opened and I checked again what I need to do as I did not have any luggage tag. They send me to the building opposite where they had a member of staff with a passenger manifest to issue luggage tags. Most people in that line did not even have their cabin numbers yet. We at least had that. About 10 minutes later our suitcase had been tagged and taken off me. We then proceeded through security and to check in. We were given a short health questionnaire to fill out. Apparently we were directed to the wrong line and ended up with the repeat cruisers. As we had been sent to the wrong line, we were still given a red boarding card. Check in went very quickly and smoothly and we were directed to the departure lounge to wait until the ship was ready for embarkation. This was much less manic than what we are used to. They had displays with complimentary magazines (including World of Cruising) out and there was iced water, tea and coffee out. We were sitting there for about 20 minutes when they announced that embarkation would commenced and they called the first group of passengers. I was more than a little surprised when they invited anybody with a red boarding card to embark first. We headed over to the gangway and the embarkation photo was taken. We then entered the ship and our key cards were scanned. Then we were on the ship proper. Rather than the wide open space of the atrium on the Disney Magic or Wonder, we stepped into a relatively narrow corridor in front of one of the main dining rooms. There were staff giving out glasses of champagne and orange juice. From there we were directed to the lifts. Above the lifts there were glass flower sculptures that reminded me of the flower chandelier in the atrium on the Magic and the Wonder and I felt right at home. We headed straight up to the spa on deck 12 to get our length of cruise pass for the Thermal Suite for the first part of our cruise. They were offering an Ultimate Couples Pass, that for only $1.50 more than two length of cruise passes, they also gave you an hour in the Exotic Rhassul. I had been wanting to do this last year, but we were not entirely sure about it and never did it. However, for $1.50 we really could not lose. Once we had our passes, we headed for lunch. True to form, they tried their best to direct us to the buffet on deck 12. Fortunately I had been reading up on the ship beforehand and was aware that one of the main dining rooms would be open for a sit down lunch and this would be a lot more relaxed then the buffet. So we headed down to deck 7 having a quick look at the pools on the way. The Norwegian Jade started her life as the Pride of Hawaii and a lot of the décor is still very tropical, including the pool deck. Add to that that the sun was shining and it was unseasonably warm and you could have believed that we were in the Caribbean rather than in Southampton. We headed down to the Grand Pacific dining room, which is the bigger of the two main dining rooms and the only one that is open for breakfast and lunch. The Grand Pacific Dining Room looks like a ball room in an Art Nouveau style, but the art work is all Hawaiian, which to me does not really work. We were seated straight away and had a table for two by the window. The food was simple, but quite nice (split pea soup, ribs, potato wedges and coleslaw followed by peach and blueberry coppler with vanilla ice cream for me, fruit cocktail, Tilapia with rice and vegetables and apple spice cake for DH). After lunch and coffee, we headed out to explore the ship as the cabins were not due to be ready until 2 pm.