Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Big Al B.: Gem Canada/New England
Big Al B.
Member Since 2003
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Gem Canada/New England
General: We were traveling with a group of 7 other friends on this cruise.
Embarkation: Traffic getting to the pier was a total mess in NYC. We took a bus from Bethlehem, PA. It took over 1 1/2 hours to go from exit at Lincoln Tunnel to the pier. Mass confusion finding a porter. There were four ships in port. Huge line to wait for in the terminal, but it kept moving. Finally got through security and to the NCL sign-in area (Line to Security was both NCL and Carnival). Process stopped for 15 minutes while computers did a report. Line grew. We got on the ship to hear that lifeboat drill was in 15 minutes.
Cabin: There were a few small things about our cabin that I noticed. One was that one of the closet door hinges was starting to pull out of the side. The carpet needs a scrubbing. Other than that, the cabin was fine. There was plenty of storage space, the bed was comfortable, and the bathroom serviceable. The little compartment for the toilet was a bit cramped for a More big guy :). Shower was good.
Food: We had all our breakfasts and most lunches in the Garden Cafe. Selection and quality was very good. The seating area could get filled at times, but the layout of the buffet was one of the best I've seen. Outdoor buffets and the on deck BBQ were excellent. Most of our dinners were in the Mandara MDR. It was the only one that took reservations for a group of 9 like ours and then only 5:30 or 5:45. The food and selection was always quite good. There was a large every day choice section of the menu. One night some of us ate at the Teppanyaki. The meal was excellent, but I didn't think it was worth the $25 extra (plus tip to waiter and chef), and would probably not do it again.
Shows: The production shows were excellent. There was a comedian (Jeff Harms?) and a comedy juggler who were both very good. Two pianists, a trio, the show band, and a guitarist performed throughout the ship at different times and they were all good. There was another group who were in the Spinnaker and they were also fine.
Tendering: We tendered at Bar Harbor and Newport. Both times there seemed to be some delays at the start due to equipment problems. Once started, it was smooth.
Overall: We were all very satisfied with the experience and would recommend it to others. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Again, another place we've been. We took the free LL Bean bus around Arcadia and strolled through the town.
We rented cars and drove to Rockport along the coast. Lobster lunch :). Drive back to Boston was the main adventure. What a city to drive in. Not fun.
We've been to Halifax several times before, so we just strolled along the Harbor Walk to the Maritime Museum and went there. It was a nice museum with some things from the Titanic.
Our friends took a van tour to Peggy's Cove and for lobster and had a great time.
The Elms Mansion
Included a drive along Ocean Drive. Mansion had the nicest audio tour setup I've seen anywhere as far as ease of operation.