Family Fun on the Gem: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Kathi6
Overall Member Rating
Family Fun on the Gem
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
There were 16 in our group. We had two quads, and four double rooms. My husband and myself, our 4 adult sons, and their wives and 6 kids, age 1 1/2, 4, 3, 7, 12 and 13. Check-in went well. Lunch at the Buffet. Nice sail away. Everyone enjoyed seeing NY City from the deck, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island were beautiful. Since we are from NJ we enjoyed seeing Sandy Hook. Make sure to be on deck when you pass under the bridge. The Kids all enjoyed their first glimpse of Sponge Bob and friends dancing with the band.
At Port Canaveral we took the shuttle to Co Co Beach. Beautiful sandy beach with warm water and nice size waves. Chairs and umbrellas are available to rent. You can pick up snacks and drinks at the drop off point. Stayed for several hours. The shuttle ran every 20 minutes or so.
We had a little early rain at Great Stirrup Cay so we were delayed some More getting off the ship. Some members of our party went parasailing and they enjoyed it very much. We had our own snorkel gear and that was fun. Water a little cloudy but kids enjoyed it. Lunch was good. Watch your time because they stop serving at 2 PM. I found that there was enough beach chairs. The island is very much a work in progress but it should be nice when it is furnished. NCL did a pretty good job tendering all the people back and forth.
Next stop, Nassau. Two members of our party took the excursion to the water park at the Atlantis. They enjoyed it and felt it was worth the money. My son and his son walked to Junkanoo Beach. It is on the other side of Senor Frog. Other Son took a water taxi to Paradise Island and then a free shuttle to Cabbage Beach. Very nice, sandy beach and , clear water. Small overpriced snack stand there. No problems getting back to the ship even with 3 kids under 7 and one in a stroller. My husband and I are scuba divers so we contacted Stuarts Cove and went diving with the sharks. They picked us up and made sure we were back to the ship in time. We rented all gear from them and it was fine. They offer snorkel trips also and I do recommend then but it was quite a long way from the pier.
Some highlights of the ship....Kids club was great, cupcake decorating and make you own pizza was something that everyone did together. Older boys liked the shows, Second City was the best. Family dances were fun. Enough activities for everyone. Pool area was a little crowded. Kids only pool was over 5 ft, deep. You couldn't stand in it and hold your child. The slide was fun. The buffet area was always crowded so it was easier to eat in one of the dinning rooms with the little ones. Less confusing. They liked the Blue Lagoon. Snacks were always available.
Rooms were fine for 4. Even with a porta crib, bunk, stroller, and tons of baby stuff it didn't seem to crowded. Lots of places to store things and the fridge came in handy for milk and late night snacks. I will say that we expected lots of kids on this cruise and there were, I did not expect teens running in the halls at 4 AM. NCL should address this. Other cruise lines have a curfew for under 18.
This was a wonderful cruise, I am very happy that we did this. Our family has memories that will last a lifetime. Less