The Gem is a beautiful ship, inside and out. We drove to NYC from our hometown in PA; about a three hour ride. Very easy to get to the port (#88). The embarkation was a bit delayed but no big deal, we were on vacation! The parking and getting on the ship was a breeze; very organized.
We ate in 5 different venues, which all had their own distinct character. The lounges were all beautiful and comfortable. Julie (Gem's cruise director) was very nice and at most, if not all, events. We saw a show every night and they were all very nicely performed.
Disembarkation was smooth; just sad it was over:(
First Sea Day: Temps were about 60, but the sun was shining. We found some indoor fun with BINGO! The lounges are so beautifully designed. We were a bit slow to figure the dinner thing out and by the time we were starving, everything was crowded. However, Orchid Garden (Asian Rest.) was not so crowded. We were seated right away and the food was wonderful. In fact, I didn't have a bad meal at all while on the Gem.
First Port: Port Canaveral, FL. We took the Disney excursion using just the transfer. We had pre-ordered the park tickets which saved time in line when we were there, plus about $20 less per ticket. It was a fabulous Day. We ate dinner in Magenta. Food was good. They do enforce the no shorts rule, so be aware.
Second Port: Great Stirrup Cay. We were unable to dock due to high winds so we just moved on to Nassau early. We arrived in Nassau in the late afternoon and spent a little time around the dock town shopping. Dinner that night was at Cagney's. What an amazing meal!
Our next day the excursion was to Atlantis. What a beautiful place! We ate that night in Tequila. The food was very good; though not extremely authentic; more Tex-Mex.
The last port was Freeport. Our excursion was a coastline cruise and shopping tour. It was canceled due to high winds. We decided to get a taxi and do our own shopping which turned out to be nice as well.
Our last sea day was relaxing and fun. Disembarkation was easy and nice to be able to stay in our room until time to leave.