Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by shade34098:
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Where to begin. Sea Day 1, I sat a table over in the breakfast buffet, from an elderly gentleman who had a walker sitting next to his table, he asked an attendant for a cup of coffee. The attendant told him he would have to get it himself and then pointed him in the direction of the other side of the room.
Overall service on the ship was deplorable, though not to say there weren't a few shining stars on the staff. Sadly, the bad staff severely outweighed the quality staff. On at least 4 occasions in 2 different restaurants, we sat and waited for in excess of 20 minutes for someone to come over and offer bread/water, take our order, etc. The whole philosophy of "Freestyle" goes out the window when they want to. If you want something during the night, your choices are to get dressed and go down to the restaurant that is open, and sit there and eat (no takeout allowed, and a big sign saying NO TAKEOUT) or pay $4 for room service (which you can't get the same things as if you More went to the restaurant).
There is ONE, yes ONE drink menu for the entire ship. Every bar has the same 30 items. Supposed to be "themed" bars, yet there is only a few drinks available.
We signed up our 12 year old to do Swimming with the dolphins in Anguilla (St Martin Port) and since his mother and I wanted to just come and watch, we were told by the staff (stateside) we would have to buy an observers pass, which we were okay with, and knew we would have to pay something. The stateside employee told us it would run about $45-50 per observer since it was just to cover the cost of the boat ride (and lunch) over to the other Island. They told us that we could book on the ship for the observer, no problem (IMO). We get on the ship and were shell shocked that it would be $100/per observer for the boat ride over. Needless to say we're a bit upset. During the conversation it came up that when we booked our excursions, there was only a few excursions available on San Juan. One being ATV riding, another being Trapeze, and horseback riding. There was only 5 of us in the group, 2 being my senior citizen parents, and one of us, a 20 week pregnant woman. I begged and pleaded and asked for the Baccardi Tour, but I was told that due to our arrival time (1500 hrs) it was not available. While on board, the excursion desk told us that yes it was available but it was never coordinated between the ship and the shoreside excursion group. There were only 3 seats left, so it was impossible for our entire group to go.
The people on the ship were as rude as rude can be. I'd like to think of myself as a civilized human being, and when you need to stop to tie your shoe, or look at your cruise guide, you find somewhere to move, out of the way, and then look at it... I'm not going to say there weren't people like that, but there were so many that just were so rude.
IMO the ship was completely understaffed, and I don't know firsthand, this is coming from my parents who were speaking to a bartender, but his observation was that the Norwegian Breakaway was in port in NYC for the SuperBowl and most of the regular staff was moved over there and an almost brand new crew was brought on.
Most of the waiters had no idea how to understand english and their only ability to take my order was to actually point to it on the menu.
Desert options were very light. There wasn't anything fancier than chocolate cake. Less
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