Being that this was the first time I cruised during hurricane season and Isaac was somewhere in the Atlantic, I knew the boat would be a bit rocky and I wasn't sure what to expect. We arrived at the terminal in NYC at about 11am, the wait was short and we got onto the ship pretty quickly. The first place we went while the state rooms were getting ready was deck 12. First we stopped at the buffet, the food was horrible. I figured well maybe they haven't laid out all of the options and headed to the pool. NOT kid friendly at all!! The kids pool is 4'11 - 5'6...UM HELLO?? If the kids don't know how to swim they have to go over to the baby pool which my 5 year old was NOT going to. It is on the side and covered, one little slide and all babies. So, the good part about it is he got to really learn how to swim. BUT, the pool is crowded! I mean crowded! To get in there we were lucky. For the adults there is a pool on the opposite side, but obviosly I couldn't go there.
Then the state rooms were ready and we headed over..not bad. I can't complain. It was clean and the housekeeper was really pleasant and nice.
Dinner time was stressful every night. Freestyle cruising I am not a fan of. You wait on line, the waiter's arent to nice. They barely speak english! Since we were avoiding a storm it was really rocky the first two days so Grand Pacific which is located all the way on the back of the boat has a pleasant view but you can't see much of it if your sitting back there on a rocky boat- I was in the bathroom puking the first 3 days. Some crewmembers noticed I was sick and were nice enough to get me some stale crackers :)
The only restaurant I enjoyed was Tepenyaki. Unfortunately it's $25 a person. I never thought this could happen but yes I starved on this cruise, Aside from breakfast which was really good. Its the same food every night, same taste, same seasoning.
Back to the pool, The whole 7 days I could not lounge on the deck. There are not enough seats, people put their towels on the chairs at 7:30 to hold their spot, which leaves no room for anyone else. I had to pull a chair up to the edge of the pool for hours so I could watch the kids. I was nervous the whole time because of the over crowded pool. kids jumping in and out and parents not watching. Not a relaxing experience.
I was bored after the first few days', my kids did have a blast I must say. Crowds and Rude People don't seem to bother them. Both ate cause they were hungry, not cause the food was good. I won't cruise on the GEM again.
The private Island in the Bahamas was beautiful, but grab a towel and prepare to sit on the sand. Again, not enough chairs and rude people holding seats, too many seats and not sitting.
Took almost two hours to get off the ship and through customs...
Happy to be home