My husband and I just returned from an overnight cruise to nowhere and had a fantastic experience. We're in our early 40's with 2 small children, so this short trip was a perfect pre-Valentine's getaway. Leaving out of NYC was a breeze. We drove up from Philly, went through the Lincoln Tunnel and BAM! There we were! Parked on the deck adjacent to the ship and after a five minute walk were in the terminal.
We saw this cruise offered online and immediately jumped on it because of the price, and my hubby upgraded us to a suite (9170) at additional cost. This gave us priority embarkation, and upon boarding we were escorted to Cagney's for a great lunch. After, we went to our cabin which was Aft deck 9. PLENTY of space, espresso machine, king bed, bathtub, champagne, fruit basket, snacks....we might do this more often! We pulled out of port promptly at 6 pm and passed the Statue of Liberty on our way to sea. After all the bad weather of the prior weeks, we were blessed with calm seas and clear skies. It was awesome.
But more about the ship.....we've been on the RC Adventure of the Seas twice, and while the Gem is noticeably smaller, it is a very nicely decorated and maintained ship. Never felt crowded or cramped. Staff was friendly and accommodating. Food was tasty; however, we did not get great service at Moderno. Just extremely slooow. I'd skip the specialty restaurant next time around. There was plenty of entertainment and the acrobat show was amazing! Had a good time with karaoke, danced, listened to the reggae band in the atrium. Ate some more. Drank. Fellow cruisers were festive and friendly.....folks were bending the elbow pretty deep, but not in the frat-party style. FYI - there were very few kids on this sailing. While most of the behavior was relatively tame, it was still an adults vibe. People were out to party and have fun. My little ones would have been out of place.
The next morning we ate again at Cagney's (because of our upgrade) while everyone else had the buffet or the other sit-down restaurant. We had to be off the ship by 10 am, and the cruiseline made periodic announcement s to "encourage" our departure. Didn't feel rushed though, and we ate, disembarked and were on the road by 10:30. For $250, it was money well spent and I encourage anyone to jump on this deal the next time it's offered!