We cruised on the Gem last year to Bermuda with our two kids (now 2.5 and 4.5) and had an incredible, special experience.
This year, we took the Gem to the Bahamas with our kids on the 7 day cruise. Our room smelled like urine and no matter how many times our state attendant (said he) cleaned the bathroom, it still smelled. The room was dirty and had obvious wear and tear.
Kids Club was so crowded that it sometimes took 20 minutes to sign in our sign out our kids. They spent way too much time watching TV shows and movies, probably a result of it being so crowded.
We got sour milk FOUR TIMES in the first two days. It was disgusting. Our kids drank it in their sippy cups. Thankfully no one got sick. One of the waiters at Grand Pacific brought us milk and told us to smell it before we gave it to our kids. That's when it struck us, they KNOW the milk has been bad and are continuing to serve it!! We called to let the manager know, and although he was very nice and got rid (finally) of the batch of milk and gave us a (very cheap) bottle of wine, it seems to me like something that should have been done once the waiters noticed the trend of sour milk. It was gotten from several different places on the boat.
We were given a bottle of wine in our room and a complimentary bottle because of the milk situation. One bottle we brought home. The wine was terrible. I decided to check it out online. The cost per bottle? $2.64!!!!! Can you find cheaper wine? By the case it's probably no more than $2/bottle. Insulting, to say the least.
Forewarning....do NOT do the overpriced Atlantis excursion if you have little kids and/or you don't like waiting on lines for hours. We splurged and booked the excursion. We waited on lines off the boat in Nassau for an hour and a half and never made it! We tried to take the shuttle but the lines were ridiculous and people were pushing each other to get on. We finally decided to suck it up and take a cab. The guy tried to rip us off, so we then got OUT of the cab. At that point, I had had it. Went back to the boat and missed the whole day on Nassau. It was so upsetting. The best they did for us was refund our money for not going. No apologies, NOTHING. SOOOO disappointed with the Shore Excursion people and Norwegian in general. When you're spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars a day for a vacation, losing a day of vacation because of poor management is a great way to ruin the whole 7 day vacation.
On the plus side, the staff was super sweet to our kids and the entertainment (Gem Crew) was amazing. Really amazing.
Great Stirrup Cay was fun. Very very crowded, but fun. Enough beach chairs. Great BBQ.
Cocoa Beach in Florida was also fun. You can just take a cab when you get there. No need to worry about booking an excursion.