I boarded the ncl Gem in New York City was fairly easy despite long lines to get on board about 230. Took around 35 minutes.
Upon entering my cabin they were some issues with things not working correctly but all in all the cabin was very nice comfortable bed a bathroom with a shower with shower doors and a very small probably a 12-14 inch television screen.
I've been on several hundred Cruises as a matter fact I used to work on a cruise ship back in the 1980s
More recent days I sell predominately Princess cruises ,Holland American Cruises ,celebrity cruises and RCCL Caribbean cruises.
Generally I go for the food and the service and not necessarily the games and parties I like to stay quiet in my cabin and enjoy the peace read some books watch some in the movies and whatever service and roam around the ports hanging with some locals if possible.
However, the Bliss Ultra lounge with its beautiful velvet fabrics and lounge beds and bowling lanes drew me out several nights. The 50's night and the 70's night was fun. So many little Snookie and Pauly Ds on the dance floor!
Took a few Yoga classes $12 each. Easy stuff. Nice class.
The ship itself is beautiful it's based on gemstones it's done in jewel tones everything is purple , green emerald colors and Mardi gras type art work on the walls. The ceilings are very low and the ship makes use of every square inch of space because of it.
There's many bars on board there is a number of MDR dining room restaurants where the dining is complementary and the food is not bad at the restaurants including the buffet.
My only issue is the food is salted enough to give you a coronary
This trip I am a solo traveler a woman traveling alone on a ship and I love it.
Do what I want when I want to go or I want the eat and sleep its great! I'm not the only solo traveler on the ship there are others you have to pay double the price if you are a solo traveler unless you're traveling on one of Norwegian Cruise lines ships that have a studio like the Norwegian epic.
I spend most of my time in the thermal Suite for 189$ for the 9 days has numerous heated tile beds and hot tubs that are not hot and steam room for men and women very beautiful and nicely laid out better than other ships such as Princess and Holland America.
My only complaint would be that the water has to many chemicals in it and it burns your skin and your eyes
Internet is a big rip off at $.75 per minute you can buy a plan for hundred minutes for $55 still huge rip off
We are day 4 we are in Puerto Rico today- i'm trying to write this little by little each day at the ship cruise so because my memory is not that great these days
So far I must admit the service that I've received as a solo woman traveler in her 50s has been very good my cabin steward is excellent as attentive and the food servers have been excellent been served very very quickly
I have had numerous issues with my cabin neighbors making a racquet always laughing screaming slamming doors slamming doors two and 3 o'clock in the morning each night I had to call security on several occasions.
Guessing that the walls are thinner than they should be. Eventually they moved cabins and I'm thankful for that.
Anyway you get a lot of first-time cruisers on board and they think that they're the only people on the ship people trying to sleep and they're walking down the hallway having loud conversations, or kids running up and down the corridors.
Have an inside cabin midship on deck four. Would love to get a better look at the haven cabins if i return with my family i'd consider it for the right price.
I called ahead of time to confirm why there was so many crew areas on deck 4 and no one at NCL could answer me
Well now I know what those areas are they are for disembarkation of passengers and also for the tenders, and baggage storage areas. Lots of noise can't say I recommend you staying on that deck if you want quiet. If you are prone to seasickness make sure you get a mid ship cabin on a lower level , people in the front and rear of the ship couldn't move around easily on rough seas.
I will admit to you that I do like to sleep most mornings when I'm on a cruise
So don't count on that too much here on the Norwegian gem
Fellow passengers are either 50s 60s or 70s most without children this time of year mostly retirees. Lots of big bloated Americans.
There are a few teenagers and a good handful of younger children under the age of five years old that are not yet school-age onboard
I've sailed many times with RCCL Caribbean cruises and Princess and Holland , celebrity but apart from working for Norwegian Cruise lines in the 1980s this is the first time that I've been back.
Food used to be bland without very much Vriety and their coffee used to be a liquid they didn't even have cream it was terrible was inedible food which is why I have not been back to NCL all these years
However things have changed and they must have hired a good chef because the food that iVe had has been very good even in the buffet very good. One thing though, all the food is loaded with salt. Desserts are a little flavorless but for the tiramisu in the MDR and the crepes in the dinner buffet.
The drinks are also very good and not overly priced at about between seven and nine dollars each drink
There's not very much on television I think there's four or five channels and they don't play current movies unless you want to pay $10 for each pay-per-view movie
They do nickel and Dime you to death even being conservative I will leave a $500 tab and that's just for one person
But when you want to get out of New York City quickly and not me from Florida this is a good way out for nine days
I booked my passage the day before and left following day I couldn't take anymore of New York and the snow the weather this winter is ridiculously horrific -
Today we are in st Maarten if you come into Port Sunday French side is basically closed the Dutch side however is open and ready for business.
St. Maarten is a very friendly island people are very very lovely and the beaches are beautiful what more needs to be said enjoy!
If you stop in to a drugstore here on the island you can pick up very lovely French toiletries inexpensive cannot get in the states.
One thing to remember if you do take the Norwegian gem out of New York City for nine days you're going to be at sea all but 30 hours so sure you choose your ship wisely and enjoy cruising or you may not be happy.
There is a huge casino on board the ship it's very well equipped they even have pai GAO poker they have a live action poker game Texas holdem they have a craps game they also have a mini baccarat and a full baccarat along open on request as well as many blackjack tables and slots. I don't gamble but if you'd like to gamble will love this casino it's open late. Reaks of cigarette smoke though which makes it hard to breath in there.
One thing I have to admit about the crowd on board they are predominately either New York or from New Jersey or from Canada . NYers can be a brash and there are more than a few wiseguys on board you may or may not be comfortable around their colorful language.
The TVs are tiny. The stations are limited to about 8 and most of them like the kids nickelodeon channel repeats all day every day. Also there is bbc news and fox propaganda news, once and a while the cooking channel pops up and a station that plays movies from the last 5 years. Chicago , Lincoln, Sherlock Holmes , ironman, Thor .
Bedding in the cabin was extremely comfortable. I have a bad back and i had no issues with the beds and the comforter was nice too. However, one day i stripped the sheets as i wanted the cabin steward to put clean ones on for me and the mattress cover was filthy. Looked like stains from passengers who had been sick. That wasnt a very nice surprise to see.
Was in samana today. It's truly a ghetto. People looking to rip you off any way they can. People begging for your shoes. It's just sad. I don't recommend you go into town unless you want to go to the pharmacy. There are 5 or so. You can buy cheap meds without a script. I bought asthma inhalers that cost me 100$ in the USA for 7$ here. Also some Zithromax and a few other meds. Other then that stick to the Cayo beach or go to the waterfalls, just be careful who you go with. A ships tour in this case would be best for most, although a woman here went on a tour horseback riding booked it thru the ship, and when she went to the stables they asked her for another 50$. She gave it to them and hopefully NCL will take care of this for her . I met up with a few ship mates at a little restaurant and we ordered 3 piña coladas given a bill for 16$ when the menu clearly stated they were 12$ for the 3 of them. People are desperate here. Mind yourself. Children approach you begging for anything you have. It's hard to say no to kids when they clearly have so little. Haiti is on the other side of the Island in case you didn't know that.
There are more then a few loud foul mouth New Yorkers on the ship. Pushy and demanding and rude to the staff and crew. It's hard to watch. I'm from NYC and find that behavior despicable. Also makes it difficult to find a peaceful spot on the ship. It's the in your face crowd here. Even in the thermal suite area where there are signs for silence , people ignore it. I pointed out the silence sign to one woman after she jumped in the pool shouting. Guess she has never been to a spa. She said ok ok. Then on her way out screamed at the top of her lungs, just for spite. Classless slob.
I enjoy cruising but enjoy spending time in the cabin and reading in secluded nooks. There is a nice library on the ship and you can take out books on the honor system. There are no clocks anywhere . Freestyle yes but you still need to know the time for dinner and shows. Bring a watch .
Ship is extremely clean I'd give it an A for sure in the cleanliness category .
The shows I've seen were all decent and Entertaining enough. Dancers and singers good but not phenomenal
2nd nights jersey boys numbers were very good, and one night there was 1970's show that was kewl. The international show was excellent. Bring something white to wear for the white hot party and don't miss the chocolate buffet. Just be careful not to get trampled on.
On port days you may be too tired to go to the shows . Tonight I'm so beat I'm ordering room service. Dinner in bed! Maybe spring for a pay for view.
Last sea day here , heading back to NYC. It's so rough I was jarred out of bed. Everything outdoors is closed. 14 foot seas. Blustery.
Actually looking forward to getting off the ship because of the fellow passengers just loud and obnoxious and won't shut up for a second anywhere you go. Guess that's par for the course, people are just on all the time and are overloaded. Don't know how to turn off. If your looking for peace I'd keep looking because there is none here. Ships full to the brim every trip I've been told.
If your here with your family and your an American or Canadian you'll be happy enough with all you receive on the NCL gem. After all , they are leaving from NYC and we are the toughest crowd to please. We demand the best food the best shows the best service. Why leave the city for less? So they will cater to you. Just ask. Chances are they will accommodate you for whatever it is you are requesting.
Bag out before midnight, ready to disembark in the morning. 9 days is enough here when the seas get rough. In spring you will have better weather and more time outside going out and coming back.