Just returned from first cruise on Gem 14-21st September.
Good points were :-
Lovely spacious cabins, we had inside cabin and it was lovely big double bed, plenty of wardrobes, flat screen tv, tea/coffee facilities, mini bar and great bathroom. Even went inside the outdoor cabin with balcony and that was lovely.
Pool area and sunbeds were great and plenty off them even the day at sea.
Good entertainment the show we saw and well organized.
Different entertainment going on in various bars around the ship.
Bad points :-
Cafe garden was a scrum most times of the day and no trays so juggling food and looking for tables.
The restaurants with cover charges were not great, we ate in Cagney's which had a $20 per person cover charge on last night and ordered steaks and my husbands arrived without the chips and mine was cold so had to send back. Then I got mine back while hubbie was still waiting for his. Nightmare and no apologies from the waiters they all looked stressed. Then the bill arrived and they charged $10 for my daughter who ate a childs meal. I was fuming and told the staff who said she has to pay for her SEAT. Absolute joke wouldn't have minded if the food was good.
Orchid Garden another night meal arrived without the rice and then we must have had 3 staff come over telling us rice is on its way and turned up when meal was over.
Grand Pacific no cover was a lovely restaurant in decor but again food was coming out luke warm and you try and get somebody to take it back.
So overall food was disappointing in my eyes within the vessel.
Drinks were a little on the pricey side especially when they put on the 18% on everything. We went to the reception on the Friday and stated we didn't want the $10 per day tip as we wanted to complete ourselves to which she stated then by you doing that nobody is going to tip us here in reception ever or the cooks. She then stated we needed to make an appointment time with her manager the following day got to the point were I thought I just cannot be bothered standing there arguing and wasting my time so ended up paying the $70 and tipped nobody else. This should be removed in my eyes.
Kids Club was ok my daughter used in once but when we went past she was just crayoning in on her own she is 3 and nobody seemed interested alot of older spanish kids jumping round everywhere so we didn't take her again.
Kids under 6 not allowed to bowl in the bowling alley either.
Shops onboard were ok but expensive and usual tat.
Be careful of photographs everywhere you go there staff were taking photos of you and then selling them. I ended up buying the embarkation shot and it cost $30 but a suppose something to keep or put in a cupboard and collect dust.
Never did any excursions did our own and found them very easy and affordable.
To sum up the vessel was lovely and spacious but the food let it down in my opinion. I would travel with NCL again but the tips situation and the tax was annoying.