This was one of our best vacations ever. My wife and I have cruised before, but it was the first time for our daughter. She is 10 years old, and after countless and I mean countless trips to Disney we need a Mickey break. So we booked The Norwegian Gem, we got a fantastic price and my wife hates to fly. So leaving out of New York is easy because we live in South Jersey. Embarkation was so easy, before you know it, you are on the ship. I followed a reviewer's advice, and went to the Grand Pacific for a sit down meal, instead of fighting for a seat at buffet. I am only going to complain two little times during this review, so don’t take this as anything bad. We waited forever for our food, I guess they had new staff and this is where they let them try to serve. We ate dinner there to (First night surf and Turf) very small portions (but, you can order as many meals as you like as you know) and cold, we were not fans of the Grand Pacific, never ate there again. We manly ate breakfast in the Garden café. Second tiny complaint, fix the toasters!!! Okay got that off my chest. Here is a secret, a real hidden "Gem" is the outside seating in the Garden cafe. There are coffee stations and the same food without the fight of the main buffet line. Before 9:00am, it easy to a seat with a million dollar view. Did not really eat lunch, my daughter loved the hot dogs and the burgers we excellent. The poolside barbeques had phenomenal food. Magenta was good, the waiter was so funny and made our dinner entertaining. We ate at all of the specialty restaurants. La Cucina was good-very good. The Brazilian restaurant was excellent. Le bistro was excellent. Cagney’s was excellent. Tapenyaki was beyond excellent, so good and entertaining. Besides our first day at Grand Pacific, food was very good
We stayed in a mini suite on the 11th floor next to the bridge. It was very clean, quiet and comfortable. Our room Steward Gabriel was the best, made my wife feel safe during some rough seas and made my daughters day every day.
My wife and daughter loved the spa and the spa manager was very nice and helpful. My daughter played diva for the first couple of days and did not want to go to the kids club, she regretted it at the end. She met so many friends and had such a good time there. Those people have a lot of patience and do their job very well.
Entertainment was good; this is a good family boat . This is not your I am getting wasted for 9 nights boats, rarely saw anybody truly drunk, while 10 years ago that would have been me.
Ports San Juan was beautiful, take a tour and check out old San Juan. Nice shopping.
St Martin was our favorite, we booked a private tour with Capt. Bob Cass Souloja Destinations. Six hours on a power boat with snorkeling and alcohol, soft drinks, and lunch included. Highlight of our Cruise. St Thomas was beautiful, we took a tour we should have gone to magaens bay or St. John. Samana, well let’s just say go to the beach (Cave Levanto) a private island or do a private tour. We went on our own with a taxi, very nice people, but very poor country. We made a mistake, should have gone to the beach
Disembarkation was a breeze
Overall awesome time, I have read people getting mad about the $12 fee per person per day, added to their bill and they actually went to get it taken off. This is horrible; these awesome people make their money from tips. If you had to tip these people per day for dining and cleaning your room, it would be far more than the $12 bucks a day. Then I heard people complaining just to complain, listen I look at it this way, I did not pay for the Ritz Carlton so I did not expect Ritz Carlton food and Service. Actually sometimes, I received better. My daughter already wants to go next years and has not stop yelling come to the Spin-a-ca lounge! You need an English accent, to make it sound funny.