Was it spectacular? No, but cruising just isn't what it used to be 25 years ago. OK, so what do you expect from people who are worked many hours a day for very little pay. A very pleasant, polite crew (for the most part) who try to make 2,500 people happy on a daily basis. I'm not complaining as my family of 4 had a wonderful time.
My sisters and I decided to take a last minute cruise and selected the GEM as it is a cab ride away. I had been on her a few years back on a European sail, so I knew the ship well. Must say she continues to be in good condition with very few flaws.
Embarkation was good but, full disclosure, mother is in a wheelchair, so we had access to the front of the line! Our handicap cabin was very well appointed with all of our necessities. A big "thumbs up" for our cabin steward Gilbert Gendibe who provided us with all of our needs with a smile.
Analisa Alvares, proved to be an excellent server in both the Grand Restaurant and Le Bistro, if you have the opportunity, sort her out, you won't be disappointed. Finally, Aithel Soriano, Guest Relations was absolutely wonderful. We initially had a couple of kinks which she quickly resolved.
Read the menu carefully and you won't be disappointed with your food selection. My sisters and I made very wise choices and picked savory dishes that enhanced our food experience.
Luckily for us we have family in Orlando and had a great family reunion, can't say much about the excursions. NCL's private island is just that.....an island for some fun in the sun! Families and younger couples looked like they were having a grand time. Lots of things to do and of course, lots and lots of food!
An overnight in Nassau put a different spin on the cruise. A four-hour ride from the private island arriving in Nassau at 10:00 p.m. was a little weird but we made the best of it by cabbing it to Atlantis and seeing the entire place at night including the Aquarium and also got a little gambling in! Next day, spent the day at the Hilton, a hop, skip and a jump from the pier.
All in all, we would do it again. We weren't looking for high adventure and got what we planned for, an easy going 7 days with good food and beach time.
Oh, almost forgot to mention the entertainment. Mediocre, at best, if you have children in high school I'm sure you've seen better singers and dancers. Skip the shows and take a moonlit walk, a dunk in the hot tub, a drink at a bar or if you're up to it the clubs seemed to be doing very well.
Hope this was helpful.