My husband and I just returned from our cruise aboard the Gem. Let me start by saying this was our 6th cruise aboard NCL ships and our 15 cruise. I always check the reviews before sailing on a different ship and have found that I cannot rely on the reviews. Almost ever review that I read said there was something wrong with the Gem. We found just the opposite.
We were booked in the Owners Deluxe Suite (suite no 15000). Since this was our 35th wedding anniversary we wanted something special. NCL stepped up to the plate. Our room steward, Rodrigo, our butler, Zahid, and our consigner Carlos were exceptional. There was nothing that we could have asked for more.
Anyone who can, should at one time stay in the owner’s deluxe suite. The room was beautiful. We had a large sitting area, bar area, table with two chairs, desk, king bed, vanity area, and big bathroom. In the bathroom there was a separate shower, toilet, double sink, and an amazing bath tub. I also must add that there was a television in the bathroom. Also, the balcony was tremendous. There were two lounge chairs, two regular chairs, table, couch and hot tub. The hot tub was exceptional. My husband and I enjoyed the hot tub almost every day.
On our first day, we arrived at the pier about 11:00. We proceeded to the priority line and was checked in. It took about 15 minutes to do so. We were then escorted to the priority lounge and waited about 10 minutes before we were escorted onboard. Since we were staying in the Haven we were able to have lunch in Cagney’s. As always, the food was delicious. The service was excellent thanks to Dino our waiter. That evening we had dinner in Le Bistro. (I recommend anyone who can, buy the dinner package, the restaurants are excellent). Again service was excellent.
During the week we had dinner at Cagney’s, LaCucina, Moderno Churrascaria, and Teppanyaki. The only place I was disappointed with was Moderno Churrascaria. The food was good, but having been told about the New York Restaurant, I was expecting more. The waiter comes around with food, Chicken, Sausage, and beef. You receive a slice of each. The salad bar was very good. When I asked for an additional piece of chicken I felt as if I was imposing on the waiter. This surprised me. Let me say that this did not ruin my vacation. Some people would complain and say that this was horrible. I chucked it up to me having higher expectations based on another restaurant.
My husband and I went to see the welcome aboard show which was very enjoyable. We did not go to see any other show. We stumbled upon a lounge show next to Magnums bar, outside of Le Bistro. The piano player and singer Patricia Watson was exceptional. She knew how to draw in the crowd and have audience participation. My husband and I went to almost all of her shows.
We did go to the Murder Mystery Lunch. It was great. Second City was the performers and they did an excellent job. I highly recommend anyone who can go see it.
The overall condition of the ship is very clean. Reading the reviews I was anticipating a dirty ship and a ship that needed much repairs. This is not true. A few places we did notice that the carpeting needed to be replaced, but overall it was beautiful.
People may say that because we were in the Owners Deluxe suite is why we had excellent service. This is not true. Most people did not know that when we were in the bars or any other place on the ship. We were treated with respect. The service was always exceptional. People need to realize that the crew is away from their families for months on end and if they do have a bad day, that’s okay. My husband and I had several conversations with the staff, and understand more how bad they miss there families. Many have children at home and this is the only way they can support them. I give them all credit for what they do. NCL should be proud of their staff. They are fantastic.
Since we did not get off at the ports, I cannot write about them. My husband and I enjoy the ship and elect to stay about during the ports of call.
On our last day, debarkation was extremely easy. We were off the ship and through customs within ½ hour.
I am looking forward to my next cruise aboard the Breakaway in September. Congratulations to NCL for a terrific crew and a fantastic ship.