Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by admittedlyfussy:
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
If I had never been on a cruise before perhaps I would have found the Gem to be very nice but having cruised a few times before, on a different line, I must say that I doubt I would book a cruise on Norweigen again. Certainly not the GEM. I would rather pay a bit more up front and be sure to have consistantly excellent service and quality.
Perhaps due to the cruise line or as my husband tried to convince me a sign of the economic times?… I felt things were cheap…and corners were cut.
Was a nice, restful vacation with pleasant ports and lovely scenery.
I found that although most staff were helpful and pleasant we had some unpleasant experiences on this cruise.The entertainment was good BUT always way to LOUD in areas that were combined with other activities. People smoking in the casino was unpleasant had to walk through the casino to get to shows.
And activities... $70.00 to play BINGO????? $54.00 for soda?
I did not love the More dining experience…The Garden cafe was OK... while serving area clean had ample stations so you did not wait on line as in most buffet settings, but it had boring food choices and steal bread! Breakfast on the deck was nice each morning, thank goodness we were lucky to have exceptionaly warm weather. But again poor bakery choices…(I did love the stewed tomatoes!)
Our first night dinner we planned the Grand Pacific (after attending the drill there- liked the atmosphere).Made reservations for 7 people (#in our traveling group). My husband and I were very excited to show how wonderful a dining experience on ship could be. Unforunately we were met with a waitress who made every request we had seem like she would have to cut off her hand and stop the boat to make it happen! Maybe silly but I expect to be able to order a shrimp coctail when I go out to dinner….appartently the only shrimp on the entire ship was 2mm sized canned shrimp…. really …the expetience went down hill from there….
We tried the Magenta the next night and found the staff to be MORE than accomodating ,pleasant and truely helpful. They had the spirit of cruising that I knew from prior experiences and we all decided that we would book our table and wait staff there for the remainer of the cruise.
It was troublesome (to me) to feel that I was hesitant to try the other dining options…It also felt very "nickle and dimed" if I would try to dine else where. The menus where OK but nothing was extraordinary... never once was filet mignon offered…again something I look for when I go out to dinner.
These are regular everyday options on Princess Cruise Line.
Activities in the main lobby of the ship that was open to 3 decks of dining options….was WAY to LOUD and would have ruined any other dining option (at an extra $$) I would have wanted to experience, like the Brazilian steak house. While they food looked amazing I must say …I found accidently ocassionally myself walking through the restraunt to get to my state room…the noise and thought of people walking past my table really was not appealling to have to pay an extra $20.00 each person!
was unfortunate that one of the main atractions for excursons was a National Park that I wanted to visit. Excursions were OK and staff was helpful and organized getting people on and off the ship.Tendering at ports was well run.
Disembarkation was initially chaotic due to most passingers carrying off there own luggage.The place we planned to meet our party was closed off , then we were unable to get on an elevator due to massive amount of luggage and people…every elevtor full, elderly people trying to carry luggage down stairs etc…Staff trying to keep things moving were loud and yelling at passingers causing chaotic atmosphere. lines were formed on the ship that wrapped around and through the ship …all very confusing and unnerving. Once people actually started leaving the ship it was smoother and went well once in terminal. Less
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I called to book my cruise directly through Norwegian web site and cruise consultant. I was advised not to select larger room/suite on 11th floor because of potential noise and activity on the 12th floor….Well …booking aft 8thdeck room for view and balcony … BIG MISTAKE!!!! turns out it is above the night club that opens @ 11:30 pm! loud base music and noise every night until 3am!!!!! Also…bathroom with sepeated toilet way too small..and toilet paper ….NOT Charmin that's for sure!Shower,temperature, water pressure and size... nice but could not dry myself without opening the door into the state room.Room/furniture also smelled sweaty…..I could not sit on sofa because of the ordor of old perspiration like a teen age boys hair after a football game.
Port and Shore Excursions
Walked to town green, discovered free island hop on hop off bus with couple of different route choices. Route taken was pleasant ride with beautiful veiws, was afraid to get off bus with fear would not be able to get back on another bus to get back to town. Worried about timing.National park closed…unfortunate…
Took shorter tour. Crowded 1 hour ride on bus up coast to light house. Pleasant veiws nice country side. One store at Lighthouse destination crowded and chaotic, difficult shopping not time for chowder….could not enter Lighthouse, took pictures and returned.
Bay of Fundy
LONG 2.5 hour ride each way to destination. Beautiful scenes and lots of water views. Unfortunate that bus broke down x 40 minutes, got it working but set timing for rest of tour off and felt rushed and missed change of tides.Once arrived to destination... what advertised as buffet lunch was actually small cafeteria style sandwich, cup of soup and cupcake served up by mean cafeteria lady who told us eat fast cause they were closing.…returning to ship 18 people were crammed in small replacement bus…uncomfortable. tour guide was nice and appologetic.
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