Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by decemberpsyche: 3rd cruise, first review.
Overall Member Rating
3rd cruise, first review.
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We were on the Gem Bahamas 6/8-6/15. It was my husband, our son (16) and I. I'll skip the pre cruise stuff, because it was pouring in NY that day and it isn't Norwegian's fault that we couldn't do what we wanted. Really it's no one's fault, can't help the weather.
Embarkation, It went fine, fairly fast. I hate waiting in any sort of line anywhere. I'm always impatient and just don't like it, so I won't be too harsh. We got to Pier 88 around 11ish. The guys handling the luggage were friendly and helpful. We are latitudes members and were shown our line, that was fine. It wasn't very long, length wise, but it seemed to take longer than it should. At one point the group behind us and I joked that it was almost like Wal-Mart, 20 registers and only 3 open. The system did shut down, temporarily, but not for long. Over all it went smooth and as fast as it could. I can't fault the cruise line for some people having no concept of being prepared and having paperwork, id's, etc More ready.
Cabin, We were in cabin 4512. A first for us. We normally do inside cabins, but got an upgrade. It worked for us. It felt more spacious than a inside. I like that we had a large enough window sill that I could sit in it and watch the water. We could hear the ocean splashing the boat and feel the motions of water, but I found it relaxing. Our steward, Sibly, saw me in the hall the first day on my way to the spa and introduced himself. He was probably the best steward we've had on any of our cruises.
Our son is 16, so we didn't see a lot of him on the ship. He loves it and it gives us alone couple time. He made a group of friends (though it did take a couple of days) who I'm assuming are planning on staying in touch since he made the comment that they were all friends via facebook before our cab was on the way to the airport.
After this point I guess I'll do day by day.
Day 1- Embarkation- covered that. Once on the ship, we went straight to MDR for lunch. We were pretty early so there absolutely no crowding and were seated right by the window at the rear. Nice view, friendly server, food was fine. I thought the tea was too strong, but I just watered it down and was fine. After lunch we wandered. I set up a spa treatment, which I got later that day. The spa is nice and I enjoyed my treatment. We had dinner in the MDR that night too. I enjoyed it. Saw someone I chatted with from CC message boards and had to introduce myself. We went to the show, I don't remember now what show it was, but it was good all the shows were. The newlywed, not so newlywed game was funny as usual. Hubby went to cigar bar met some others there that we would meet up with numerous times through out the cruise. Rakeesh was superb! He remembered us everytime he saw us. What cigars hubby liked, and what we liked to drink.
Day 2- Sea day, Had the 2nd of my 3 spa treatments. Went to the CC meet and greet, got to put faces and real names to posts and met some nice people. We were late because of the spa treatment so I didn't get to meet the crew that showed up, but I heard the captain even came. Had the first of our sushi lunches. The sushi is to die for, and is a tie for our favorite place to eat on board. Name that tune immediately and conveniently only close flight of steps down. Wandered for a bit, gambled, then trivia, where I remet (met her smoking in casino early) Hillary and we joined up to make a team. Dinner at Le Bistro. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Not thinking I would by looking at the menu. Another enjoyable show. Perfect couples, was ok, but not as funny or good as Newlywed... Back to cigar bar to hand out with our new friends Chris and Johnny and more great service from Rakeesh. There was also a Coast Guard rescue this day. I feel horrible for the family that had to endure this, but it was interesting to see.
Day 3- Port Canaveral. Got up early had an enjoyable breakfast alone before my final spa treatment. After spa, trivia time with Hillary and Marianne. We didn't get off the ship in FL. Pool was nice more space this day, but I burnt pretty fast, (but not painfully). Trivia again. We had dinner at LaCucina this night. Good but not excellent. This also started the trend of our crappy seating at meal times. I think this was the last dinner we at with our son too. The rest he ate with his new friends. Show, and cigar bar to end the evening.
Day 4- Stirrup Cay. DS and I to breakfast and ran into Hillary and her dad and enjoyed our meal with them. We weren't in a hurry so lounged around. Tendering to the cay was not good. Why assign numbers if you aren't going to check them, and with more than one boat going back and forth I don't understand why it took so long. The shopping is meh on the island, and I thought the prices for most of the stuff was better on the ship. The beach is rocky so beware. Tendering back wasn't any better. Not Norwegian's fault but I actually had someone, who had taken numerous pix I might add, shove their camera in front of mine for the 1 picture I wanted to take of the ship. Dinner at Moderno. This is the other restaurant tied for our favorite on the ship. Awesome salad bar, awesome meats and pineapple, awesome sides. Another instance of our server being superb! (I'll get to that next)
Day 5- Nassau. I got up early and went to breakfast in MDR were I saw our server from the night before, who remembered me by name. We went snorkeling here. I prefer snorkeling in Cancun, but it was nice to not have to wear a life jacket if I didn't want to. Would have enjoyed it more, but I had issues with my gear. My son LOVED it. Shopping was so-so didn't really buy anything but a tote bag. I wasn't too impressed with the Bahamas but that's on the Bahamas and not Norwegian. Dinner at Magenta, where they sat hubby and I at a 6 top right by the kitchen door. We could almost see in. At least 3 times someone stopped and asked if more were joining us. Food was good. Of course we did our daily trivia, and nightly shows, and more time in cigar bar. That night we met up with a couple from CC and spent the night chatting with them.
Day 6- Sea Day. This was probably the nicest day on the ship weather wise. Breakfast, morning trivia. Then we attempted to go to the pool. It was packed like sardines there. At one point the did sexy legs competition and we didn't even bother trying to look for space. Ended up lounging in one of the big round loungers on the 14th deck. We found a couple spots by the pool later in the afternoon and did swim a bit, but swam the kids pools because although we got splashed more, at least you could move. Name that tv tune, PM trivia, and dinner at Orchid Garden. Food was good, service not so much at first. Again sat right by the entrance with nicer more comfortable seating readily available. We were forgotten about until the manager stopped by to check on us. He was great, but it took awhile for our server to get her groove. The lettuce wraps are the best thing on the menu here and I could eat serving after serving. We were wiped on this day and went to bed early.
Day 7- Sea Day. It rained most of this day. You find out just how many people are on board when you can't really spread out outside. I woke up with a killer migraine this morning so I was very clean as I took at least 4 showers to help relieve the pain in my head. Trivia, wandering, went future cruise lecture, which has me pumped because I really, really want to go on the Jade in Sept. Which just happens to leave Venice the day we have a wedding to go to there. More trivia, which thanks to partnering up with Hillary I'm happy to say we won progressive trivia. Went to lunch at the sushi bar again. Dinner at Cagney's good, but a lot of food. Might be on of the few places where the portions are NOT small. We went to the final show, which I always find to be one of the best of the cruise. Found Chris and Johnny again to hang out and chat.
Day 8- Debarkation. Smooth and easy.
Random thoughts; I don't get what the big deal about Sinan is. He was any better than any other cruise director we've had, and sometimes he was actually kinda annoying.
Crossing the street to get a cab to the airport, I had private driver yank my luggage out of my hands and offer us a ride. He tried to yank it back even after I grabbed it back.
It was a good trip. I met great people, who I hope I stay in contact with. And bonus it has hubby seriously considering the Jade when we go to Italy in Sept. Only downfall to the Jade, it would be our 3 jewel class ship in a row and we'd like to see the other class ships too. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Very rocky beach. But nice to lay on by the water.
Snorkeling was ok. Of course it rained. I had issues with my equipment, and had to trade it out, second set was better but still not good enough for me to truly enjoy the experience. My mask leaked and I was always having to empty it. My son loved it. He was one of the last ones back on the boat. Great rum punch for the trip back.
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