Best for families and first time cruisers- with caveats: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by MinaimeIslee
Overall Member Rating
Best for families and first time cruisers- with caveats
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Teaspoons were rarely included in the table service. Beverages were not offered at the table in the buffet area, nor were refills, you had to go get your own. I was given large soup spoon to eat what was their version of apple pie. Trays were not available either at the buffet. Some guests carried three plates at a time.
The buffet looked like left overs from the sit down dinning rooms and was mostly a free for all. I heard that even a fight or few had taken place at the Garden Buffet. Mostly the food offered was fish, and chicken with few sea foods or creative chef offerings in the main dining rooms. The diserts were bland and unrecognizable.
The entertainment was at a secondary school level, at best. The comedians included a couple of old jokes in each performance, which lasted a full 35 to 40 minutes, the magic was at a fourth grade offering, and the dancers had little synchronization, while the guest usually climbed over me to get to vacant center seat, after the show had started. Exit was a stampeed that resembled a cattle rush.
Now the good part - this will be short. Our suite was small, guady and cramped with too much furniture, but well kept by the room steward. We had plenty of towels, and service was both friendly, prompt, and gracious. The staff was stellular through the ship. I give them a 10 out of a possible 10!. Mostly from the phillipines and Indonesia they were the brightest offering of the cruise.
Embarcation and debarcation were not well executed. Our room was not ready when we boarded. Shopping onbard was very limited. Public areas were cramped. Pool areas were dominated by loud children running amuck, with cold water, and very little snacks available most of the time. Less
Cabin review: 11108
This is not a restfull, vacation. Expect the typical rude ethnic New Yorker, and younger children who were not parented, a few Canadians who squabble over every penny they spent, the pretensious who claimed great wealth but booked the cheapest accomodations available, both lower inside and lower deck, the "too poor to dress appropriately" yet taking a cruise, and those who thought that grits were good breakfast items.
Port and Shore Excursions
Tour was a rip off. Driver spoke no English, his tour master (son) spoke only a few words. Every stop was a encounter with pan handlers. The shopping part lasted about 10 minutes. When we returned to the ship the driver wanted more money than we had agreed to. He did not get it. The island is extremely poor. EXTREMELY POOR with little too offer yet you need to see how some people must have to live. You will not forget it. Most live on the street with dogs and chickens and it seems that no one works.
The best port on the itinery. We got a special tour together and hired our own taxi and driver. The Dutch part is great - clean and enjoyable. The French is poor, dirty and lots of shacks. Exception is Oriental Beach and the "Clothing optional" Beach. Nice. Not for children. Much too see here if you get my drift. Not for the blue nose crowd.