This was a truly lovely cruise! The Norwegian Gem is a beautiful ship, with colorful and clean accommodations, helpful and willing staff, a beautiful spa and wonderful, tropical ports in the dead of a NY winter! Who could ask for more! My only true disappointment besides a very crowded ship, were the hoards of middle school children and young teens roaming the ship and screaming, unruly 2 year olds at dinner! Really, is this a vacation!?(I honestly felt terrible for the parents of those unhappy tykes, not quite the vacation I would have enjoyed...)
Consequently, to avoid these gangs of children at all venues, we ate all nights but two in the specialty restaurants and spent a great deal of time in the adults only spa! This added up to "beau coup bucks" for NCL, as well as "nickeled and dimed for all activities; including $5 per bowling game per person, so I am sure there will be no complaints from the management!
We will likely not cruise with NCL again, we were not More
fans of the freestyle cruising despite the positive facts about this beautiful ship stated previously. This style of cruising appears more appropriate for large, loud, rambunctious families and not two overworked adults looking for some sun and peace! Less
The late arrival at port, 3PM, discouraged participation in any organized excursions. San Juan, PR, is a lovely Caribbean island with the benefits of being a US territory! There was much discussion prior to arrival of a potential visit to the local CVS! (?) We never personally found the CVS, but heard later that is was a huge destination for the NCL cruisers! We walked about and had a perfect margarita at "The Parrot Bar".
Another port and no organized excursion! We were familiar with the island and upon leaving the ship took a taxi to Grand Case, on the French side of the island. ( A bargain at $25/2 one way!)
We found a wonderful restaurant that offered a lounge chair and beach umbrella on and absolutely exquisite stretch of Grand Case beach, with the simple order of an iced tea!( and not a screaming child or rambunctious teen in sight!)
A truly, relaxing and beautiful day!
Our most favorite day! We booked a day cruise with alauntcharters.com, Ron and Carol who provided a beautiful day sail with snorkeling, swimming and lunch.
Two more experienced. charming and friendly hosts, I am sure cannot be found!
I highly recommend this full day sail with alauntcharters.com!