Gem July 2012: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by eggy
Overall Member Rating
Gem July 2012
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Stateroom: As expected on any ship, our stateroom was small, but surprisingly roomy the way it was designed. Our steward, Pablo, was excellent! Not sure the guy ever sleeps, he seemed to be always available regardless of the time of day or night. Every time we left the room, we came back to the room straightened and tidied up.
Entertainment: We only went to a few of the shows, but everything we went to was top notch entertainment. Loved Second City Comedy! Wish we had gotten back to the adults only show with Second City but we didn't make it. The Gem dancers/singers were phenomenal and provided entertaining shows with excellent voices and dance routines. We went to the "Battle of the Sexes" and had great laughs and a fun time. The singer, guitar player, Leo, outside of the champagne bar was entertaining and had a great voice. We sat down and listened to More him a few different nights and he always hit the songs dead on and provided great entertainment.
Food: I've heard a lot of stories both here and from friends about the horrible food on mnay different cruise lines. As always, NCL outdid themselves with the food! I really like the themes in the buffet which change daily and span the globe from British to Caribbean and everything in between. We ate at teppanyaki and Cagney's Steak house. Teppanyaki is well worth the experience and a lot of fun. Book before you cruise as there's not many tables and they fill up quick!
Staff: Ken, the Cruise Director, was our Cruise Director last year as well on the Spirit. He remembered us and greeted us like old friends. Ken is the best Cruise Director we have had on any of our cruises. He goes out of his way to make sure everyone on the ship is having fun regardless of what their choice of fun may be. Ken spends his entire day all over the ship talking with people and checking to make sure everything is running smoothly. If anyone has an issue that needs to be addressed, Ken is on the phone addressing it before he walks away from the person that let him know. He truly knows how to take care of his guests! Edwardo at the Maltings bar was the best bartender one could ask for! We met Edwardo before we left NYC bar tending at the Bar above the pool. He was attentive, entertaining and fun to vbe around and talk to. We spent just about all of our bar time at Maltings with Edwardo. I hope to see him again on anther one of our cruises.
Casino: we spent a lot more time than we had planned at the casino! The staff was beyond attentive. The bar tender was always available and spent extra time to make sure that the drinks he mixed were perfect for each customer. The slot attendants spent a lot of time chatting with their guests and were extremely knowledgeable about every slot machine in the casino which was great if you couldn't figure out why it looked like you should have won and didn't. It also worked well vice versa. We actually expected to come home with nothing but walked away with quite a nice sum of winnings.
The Ship in General: No matter where you were on the ship, you could tell that the staff takes great pride in their ship. The ship is clean and there is always someone right there to vacuum, polish or clean even the slightest imperfection. Every staff member that we encountered had a smile and truly looked like they were happy to be there.
Ports: Great Stirrup Cay is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen! For being a private island owned by a cruise line, NCL has been careful to provide an entertaining and fun atmosphere and yet keep the nature and pristineness of this island intact. Nassau was a lot of fun as well. You can't go to Nassau without spending at least an hour or two at Senior Frogs. Even if you don't drink, it's worth the time to stop by and watch the entertainment and fun!
Excursions: We went on the Air boat tour in Florida and had a lot of fun zipping around the river. We were within reaching distance of an 8 foot alligator eating a catfish. An experience I won't soon forget. We went para-sailing at Great Stirrup Cay. What an adventure! We also got some great photos from high above the ocean. We went on the Sea Lion encounter at Blue Lagoon. It's not only entertaining and the opportunity to meet the sea lions, but it's also an educational opportunity to learn about caring for our oceans and marine life.
This was a great cruise that we will probably repeat again (maybe aboard the Breakaway!) It was nice to only have 3 ports and 3 days at sea. Many times in the past, we have felt rushed stopping at several ports and you never seem to have enough time to explore the ship and take the downtime and relaxation you came for when you stop at so many ports. Less