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Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by matt151617

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Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem
Member Name: matt151617
Cruise Date: November 2012
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Cabin Category: ID
Cabin Number: 8519
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Norwegian Gem Cruise Reviews | Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews | NCL Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5+
Public Rooms 5+
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 5+
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Norwegian Gem Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Norwegian Gem Deck Plans
Norwegian Gem Caribbean 2012
Can't say enough good stuff about this cruise. We arrived in New York pretty early, and the boarding process took about 2 hours. We had taken a bus down, and took a taxi over to the docks. There was some down time waiting around to get on, but they had hot chocolate and hot dogs available. Once on board, we went straight to the sit-down restaurant (the buffet at boarding time is always insane). Had a nice meal, then wandered around getting to know the ship. We were on the Norwegian Jewel last time and it was basically the same layout. The captain came on and said there was a Coast Guard delay, so the ship left an hour late. When we passed the Statue of Liberty it was almost dark, so we didn't really get to see much. The ride down to Puerto Rico was slightly choppy but not too bad.

Our room was forward and center on deck 8. We had no problems with it, there was adequate shelving for our stuff in the closet and bathroom. Bed was very comfortable. There was a few TV channels, but the satellite feed cut out a lot (MSNBC, FOX News, ESPN, BBC).

The entertainment was fantastic. There was much more stuff that appealed to us than our last cruise, and the quality was better also. The cruise director was a riot and did a great job. All the other performers were extremely friendly and we had lots of conversations with them.

Service, as it was on the last ship, was beyond fantastic. We never had a single problem or unfriendly crew member. We chatted with a few of them about the various ports they had been to.

The food was also fantastic. We ate in the buffet a few times, but it was usually so crowded we tried to avoid it. The 2 sit-down restaurants were great and also allowed portion control (we overate way too much on the last cruise).

The only bad time we had was the last port, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (which isn't on the port list). I don't have a clue why they went here. There's no dock, so they had to use the lifeboats as tender boats, and it was a good 20 minute ride to shore. Trying to get off the ship, we somehow ended up in the shore excursion line (nothing was marked). A shore excursion crew member gave us attitude about not being in the right line. After we got to the correct line and got on shore, we were baffled at how awful the city was. The beach was covered in trash and and smelled terrible. There were kids picking through garbage and stray dogs roaming around. Nothing was for sale except a few junky things, and we got hounded by taxi drivers the entire time. After a couple minutes we got right back on the tender boat and spend the rest of the time on the ship. Maybe the shore excursions were better, but the cheapest one was $55/person.

The ride back was also not very fun. We hit some sort of front system which resulted in 40 mph winds and 25 foot seas. It became almost impossible to walk on the ship. The 30 mph speed of the ship along with the wind resulted in 70 mph wind on the decks, and they closed most of the outdoor decks. My girlfriend, even with dramamine, got really seasick and spent almost 24 hours dizzy and nauseous. We arrived back in New York at 6am (4 hours ahead of schedule), and disembarkation started at 7am. They pretty much forced us off at 9:30am. Due to some sort of problems at the port, everyone had to get off at deck 4, which resulted in a huge traffic jam. We cleared Customs by 10:30, and unfortunately didn't have a bus home until 4pm (we planned off of the 10am arrival).

Even with the bad second half, it was still a great time and I wouldn't hesitate to take Norwegian again.

Publication Date: 12/10/12
Read the Eastern Caribbean ports review by matt151617
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