Returned from a 9 night cruise on the Norwegian Gem .I'm a 57 year old business owner and biker who enjoys cruising . This was the 28th voyage and the 10th on NCL that my wife and I have taken. We're platinum members and NCL gives us some decent Perks.
Getting to the port was not a problem for us as we live on Long Island ,we take the LIRR to penn station ,than grab a cab to the pier ,This is by far the least expensive way around 60.00 each way for both of us ,We've learned to travel lighter and have one large and 2 carry-on between both of us . Since we have platinum status there were no long lines to wait on ,we were on the ship in about 20 minutes.[thank you NCL]
We pretty well know what to expect,and what we should expect from the cruise line as we have cruised on most of the popular lines ,Holland,Carnival,NCL,Cunard,Royal Caribbean,and Celebrity. We booked a Mini-suite ,which is adequate ,not spacious,Had a nice flat screen interactive TV ,cold refrig. plenty of draws and storage space ,the room was clean and the bathroom had enough room and shelves for both of us .
I'm not going to review or rate the ports as everybody has there own likes and dislikes ,as long as it's not raining or cold I like them all.
Now some things NCL seems to have changed or implemented recently ,there "free TV" has a very limited selection,unless you enjoy the endless spiel from the on board shopping consultant,be prepared to spent 9.99 each to watch recent Movies ,In our mini-suite it was almost impossible to find a comfortable place to sit and watch TV or read. Sofa bed [disguised as a couch]is hard as a rock ,when you lean back the seat would slide forward,so you're always fighting to try and be comfortable. The other choice was the bed ,but the pillows were horrible. Toward the end of the cruise our cabin steward told us we could have requested different pillows[I should have known].
Buffet was good for breakfast ,had omlett stations,plenty of choices for all types of eggs,fruit ,breads etc. LeBistro [french restaurant] is in my opinion the best place to have diner ,we dined there 3 times and it was always excellant. The regular dining halls [free] had long waits at dinner times,so if you like NCL 'free style" be sure you also don't mind waiting on line.
I no longer like some of NCLs new policys ,there retun policy in ship stores ,and Liquor policy ,if you purchase liquor from stores in ports ,you can't pick it up until the final day [not the night before] I didn't enjoy getting up at 6.00 am the final morning to wait on a line for pick-up.
Now on a past NCL cruised we upgrade to a owners suite [$$$] upon getting on ship they discover a pint of vodka in my carry-on ,Criminal offense on NCL ,of coarse they confiscate it ,But all this did was really tee me off ,I'm spending close to 5g on cabin and at least another 1.5g in casino and speality restaurants ,other cruise lines have not treated me that way.