This was our 2nd cruise, the last to the Caribbean. We have had two land trips to Quebec City, and since seeing the cruise ships there, made it our goal to return again, via cruise ship. We WON!
The Gem and its staff were always a delight and quite personable when indivually approached. Only on the last wo days, in the MDR, was there a noticable declination of service. We had an MA balcony room, with an outstanding steward (ROLLY), and totally loved the night sea-air for sleepoing.
The age demographics were indeed a surprise, although we are a part of it. (How did we get here, so fast?)
We immediately signed up for the Chef's Table upon boarding, the to the Grand Pacific for a fine lunch to begin our adventure. The Chef's Table is always a guaranteed winner. Also, we experienced the Behind the Scenes Tour (exciting to see just how much involvement is required to maintain and please all on board. The Murder Mystery Dinner in Le Bristo, featuring the Second City crew, ran a close second place (be sure to be seated in view of the room center, though).
As posted by others, we had our share of rain, and frequently. However, our particular cruise mode is formost: relax, and enjoy. We were in our room much more than we thought we would - and enjoyed every minute of it - great view, fresh air, naps, snacks. Yes, we are easy to please.
Saw all Stardust shows, except Chef's Table night, and really enjoyed them all; the best was Jeff Harms!! Ate in both MDR, Blue Lagoon, and the buffet; and was generally pleased with the food selections and quallity (think I had the Grilled Shrimp Greek Salad almost every day).
Was a bit disappointed with the Free-style dining, as our only other cruise was on Carnival, and enjoyed meeting many other people at 6 or 8 place tables.
Enjoyed Halifax for shopping near the pier, and Corner Brook only offered more nap time, but really liked the musuem at Sydney, in the upper rooms at the pier shopping (rain not withstanding).
We decided not to take any shore excursions (due to knee problems), but thorouhgly enjoyed all of the ship's entertainment. We did walk through Lower Town, once again - there can never be disappointment with visiting Old Quebec City. Our return trip was blessed with pretty calm seas, and since we had our car atop the terminal, we avoided all the lines, and were in the last ten people off the ship. Our itenary will change, but we will definitely sail NCL again (we purchased an advance depost). And, I did mange to tell two other couples about Cruise Critic (I was soooo ahead of the game, with the knowledge I gleaned from all the great comments). Toilet rocked again this morning...