My family of four returned yesterday from our trip on the Norwegian Gem. We booked two inside rooms side by side, but not connected. This worked out well since my children are 17 and 13 and were happy to have their own space and their own bathroom. I had originally booked a larger oceanview for the four of us, changed the reservation and ended up spending less money and having more privacy and more space.
The ship was immaculate. Then room stewards were cheerful, accomodating, and great. Somehow my daughters and I ended up with two different stewards and they were both great in their own way. I work for a company that requires excellent service from their employees and have been in a role where I would do drop in visits to rate the customer service of various company locations; so having my mind flip into that mode, I did notice quite a few crew members who did not greet the passengers, or who seemed very impersonal. In the restaurant (Magenta) the gals at the front counter were carrying on a side conversation in a foreign language which seemed to be the epitome of rudeness. So, overall, it was a mixed bag on the service. - The waiters/ waitresses were overall good in the Grand Pacific and Magenta.
We enjoyed the ship. I love the Garden Cafe deck on 12 in the rear. Anytime we used the buffet, we always walked all of the way back and ate outdoors which we enjoyed. This was one of the things I really liked about this ship. I also liked the pool deck on 12. My husband and I enjoyed being able to swim in the adult pool without worrying about bumping into children playing in the water.
We enjoyed the skits done by The Second City. I was glad they were on board. We were able to see the comedian Phil Tag.
The Cocoa Beach at Cape Canaveral was very pretty. It was a nice beach day. The private island was just okay to me. I had been on a nicer private island in the Bahamas in the past. We did not really enjoy Nassau. I would recommend steering clear of the hair braiding right in front of the port. The woman did double braids on my daughter's hair in order to charge me double which left a bad taste in my mouth right off the bat. - If you go to them, be very clear UP FRONT exactly how many braids they will be doing before you agree to do this!
Overall we had a very nice family vacation. The freestyle cruising works out well for traveling with children because you have the freedom to go with the flow and have an unstructured vacation.