The Best First Cruise for a Family: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Edster8
Overall Member Rating
The Best First Cruise for a Family
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
This was a 7 day family cruise in the month of June of 2013 given by my great Grandmother for all of the kids, some teenagers and some young adults and I enjoyed it until the end! :D
This was my FIRST cruise and I didn't know what to expect. :)
My grandmother and grandfather also came along and they have cruised since 2007.
I will try to give you a view that would be helpful for teens and also including family.
When we got onto the ship, you would we welcomed by the friendly staff and sure enough, I had made friends with the staff and the pool deck was not packed when we first got on. After the Mandatory Life Boat Drill, we had dinner at the Magenta Main Dining Room located on Deck #7, and they also have a kid's menu that has Hot Dogs, Cheeseburgers, Chicken Fingers and more... They have another dining room called the Grand Pacific but More that made me sea sick because it's in the back of the ship which rocks a little bit more and I suggest you bring some pills for the kids just in case they have never felt what it would be like to be on the back of a cruise ship. My favorite eating place was the Garden Cafe, on Deck #12. They had all kinds of things, from Pizza to Cheeseburgers to platters like seafood, meat and veggie platters. They were open from very early morning to late at night so that was pretty helpful. Also, after dinner they give you a paper that was called a "Daily" and it tells you what will happen tomorrow or the next day.
The curfew for teenagers under 18 is 1 AM and they have phones all over the ship if you need to get in touch with your family which is really helpful if you have any kind of problem.
On the first and second day, we had sea days which the ship travels in the Atlantic Ocean and they have a pool and hot tubs and even water slides for the kids or the teens. They have a kids pool and a adult pool, both pools have a depth of 7 feet deep. If your kids cannot swim, you must supervise them and they could have as much fun as you adults will have. You also, if you want a chair on the Pool Deck, you have to be there very early because "First Come, First Serve" comes in so you want to make sure you get to the Pool Deck if it's a Sea Day, about 9 or 10 AM.
After the cruise we had planned to take another cruise but we don't know when so I think it was the best family cruise ever!!! Less
Cabin review: 9568
Port and Shore Excursions
On the fourth and fifth day, we would be in the Bahamas.
There were two places that we went to when we were in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay, which is a private island owned by NCL and next to it is Little Stirrup Cay, which is another private island owned by Royal Caribbean and Carnival and you would be taken onto a Little Tender Boat from the ship to the actual island. On the island, there was one thing that I loved and would love to go again, it's called the Hippo Slide which is a big inflatable slide that had a big immense drop that you would feel like you were falling off a cliff :) but even adults were on it and they enjoyed it like the kids did.
Blue Lagoon Island Beach Day
On the fifth day, we would be in Nassau which is the capital of the Bahamas. On the island, you would see other ships pull in as your ship came in. On our ship we had also seen:
The Carnival Fantasy and Fascinations, NCL Sky, which my grandmother and grandfather took in the Winter of 2010 and they said it was better but they had to fly down to Florida which didn't take long but also the Royal Caribbean, Enchantment of the Seas was there too. You got to pick many ideas to do in the Bahamas, you could go to Atlantis or you could go to Blue Lagoon Island in which where we had went. You would take a 35 minute boat ride to the Island which included food, swimming and more. For the kids, there was a Dolphin Encounters and a Inflatable Waterpark in the ocean which amazed me! Your kids would enjoy it but they would have to wear life jackets because the water would be between 9 and 10 feet deep!
On the third day, we docked in Port Canaveral, Florida where they had this one excursion called the:
"Coco Beach Shopping Shuttle" and there was a variety of things that you could do, there was a "Ron Jon Surf Shop where there was a big fish tank and there was a shark in there and also other kinds of fish. There was a McDonalds right down the street if you and your kids were hungry and there would be a Shuttle Bus that you would take to the Shopping place, it would take you approximately 10 to 15 minutes.