First time cruiser here and I can't wait to do another. The first line of my review says it all. If not for the fact I was completely exhausted after nine days, I would have enjoyed just staying in the cabin and going around one more time.
Two days before departure I read numerous reviews and found myself more than a little concerned. The reviews for the food on the Norwegian Gem were less than flattering. I enjoy good food and was preparing myself for the worst. Luckily my fears were put to rest the first night at dinner. The lobster and redfish was great. As some other reviewers mentioned the portions were on the small side but there was no problem getting second or third entries. Never did I get the impression that it was too much trouble for any request during meals. In fact I never heard the word "no" during the cruise. Every request was met with a smile. The prime rib was also outstanding.
This is the experience I had with food throughout the cruise. To be fair if I had to pick out a weak spot in the menu it would the soups. They were OK but were lacking flavors that would compel you to order them again.
I was really happy with the inside stateroom. It looked small at first but after a day I really didn't give it a second thought. Turned out it was plenty big enough for 2. In fact the shower was larger than my shower at home. I did find the toilet a little closer to the wall that normal but it was manageable. One added bonus of an inside room is you can not tell what time it is. Great for catching up on some much needed sleep in the morning. As others have mentioned everything on the ship was spotless. It was great to see such attention to cleanliness.
Overall I really enjoyed cruising on the Gem. Cruise director Ken and assistant cruise director Liz made it fun. I found the shows very entertaining. Even when the seas got a little choppy the shows continued without a hitch. Hats off to all the performers. No cruise is going to be perfect. You just have to go with the flow. I wish there had been less smoke in the casino but on the bright side that probably save me a few bucks :-)
I am not really into writing reviews so this is just a small sample of what I experienced. The fact that I can't wait to do it again with Norwegian should say it all. The Gem is a fantastic ship with plenty to do everyday. Its hard to believe its five years old already, everything looks and shines like new.
Thanks Norwegian for making this vacation special.