This is my second time on the Gem and I must say that it seems very well maintained for a ship of its age. The Gem shined again in this Eastern Caribbean jaunt. What I liked about this cruise was the number of sea days! We had 3 days down and 2 more on the way back. I shy away from the new port every day itineraries because they wear me out!
The ports: Samana, Dominica Republic. This is a very underdeveloped port but offers the naturalist a chance to see untouched beauty that may not last long. St Thomas is always a great stop and very pretty. St. Maaten (my first time) seems very American styled, but I understand that the french side is a better bet for the next visit. San Juan was a lot of fun and a great historic treasure.
The food on board was all well prepared and had a lot of variety. Bread at the table is not warm and used to be a nice touch. DISEMBARKATION WAS A MESS! The ship staff did not communicate with the non English speakers appropriately until it was to late. The result was a large number of people crowding the lower decks that were not cleared to come into the USA. Entertainment was great and I highly suggest you see "Man from Mars" wherever you are able to. Activities were great and I again participated in the Pub Crawl, that was a hoot! Keep up the good work NCL and we will be back to see soon