The Gem is an ok ship for what it is. However, I found that it lacked a few of the amenities of other ships such as the Dawn or the Star. There is a lobby area obviously, but had none of the opulence of other ships, no grand staircase or anything like that. Also, the lobby area looks like it's re-purposed to serve a lot of different things, so it was strange. Example, they have a large screen that takes up a wall in the lobby. This serves as the movie viewing room, while at the same time a place for the jewelry store to set up shop and sell jewelry, as well as the noisy front desk area. It felt very cramped in that sea always. The Star, at least, had an actual movie theater. I will not be using the Gem again, sadly, it's much too bland, has a weird layout, and the theme is pointless.
Very inconsistent. We're huge trivia fans and the Progressive Trivia was always held at different times. Also, there were a few days where there was simply little to nothing to do on board, for a couple like us, in our 30s. Many of the activities were geared at tweens, teens, or people in their 50s and up. I found that a lot of the things that filled the schedule were seminars; not my cup of tea at all. Oh, here's my biggest complaint on entertainment: The FINALE SHOW: WORST EXCUSE FOR A FINALE SHOW I'VE EVER WITNESSED ON A SHIP! The Entertainment director there BEN KITCHEN should be re-assigned or re-trained because if that's his idea of a final show, he shouldn't be employed. It consisted of: one of the staff members sing a couple of songs on a guitar, a magician/comedian (wasn't too bad actually, prob the only good part of the show) and 2 staff dancers performed a ripped-off version of silk ropes aerial show, which lasted a few minutes. They weren't even wearing decent costumes. Her costume looked like it had been bought at Party City and the male performer was wearing nothing but a pair of ripped jean shorts. Ta-da! That was it folks, thanks for cruising with us. WOW. Meanwhile, 2 years ago on the Norwegian Star the show consisted of a REAL, world-renowned aerial acrobat duo, who had even performed with Cirque du Soleil. Their aerial show was out of this world. They wore beautiful matching costumes, as they danced to a marvelous music piece. They were pros, it was clear as day. Then, at the end, they brought out ALL of the staff who helped make our cruise as special as it was, head chefs, head waiters, head housekeepers, bus boys, the guy who sang at the cafeteria every day 'Happy Happy, Washy, Washy", and we all gave them a standing ovation as our way of saying thanks. Now, THAT is what a FINALE show SHOULD consist of. Ben Kitchen is a poor choice for an Entertainment Director, bring in someone who actually knows how to put on a show and actually has a personality.
Best food I've ever had on a cruise. Even other NCL cruises I've done don't compare. Outstanding food at the Grand Pacific, as well as Magenta, and even on the buffet. The only exception being La Cucina, save your money. It's not worth the extra $15.
For the most part, AWESOME staff. Jenny, the Hotel Director is amazing, always peppy, always smiling, always looking to see if she can make your day better. This lady is a pro at her job. Keep up the good work Jenny!! Also, my housekeeper, Katherine C. such a nice young lady, always smiling, always accommodating!