The ship is great with good food, in sumptuous surroundings, with great facilities and activities. The drawback is that there is a hard sell culture for everything, even from the waiters. The ship's crew are all smiles and happiness if you buy but if you don't, their faces drop and they start treating you like second class citizens.
My wife and I are both teetotal and only ever drink water with our meals. We thought this would be fine but it wasn't. The food is included in the price of your booking but you have to pay for all your drinks apart from water. The first time we dined, the waitress came to take our orders but when we asked for water with our food, her face dropped and she looked very aggrieved. She returned with bottles of water which are $6 dollars each so I told her that we just wanted a jug of water which is free. From then on her face looked like thunder when she served us. She ignored us when we tried to get her attention, it seemed that she More
deliberately took the longest time possible to serve us and with other tables that were buying wine and suchlike, she was all sweetness and light. This was our experience with virtually all the waiters during every mealtime.
On the first day when I went out on deck and sat on a lounger, a waiter approached me jovially and asked if I would like something to drink. When I asked for a regular glass of water he pretended not to hear me and just walked away. My wife was shocked and the next time he walked passed us she asked him for two glasses of water. He rolled his eyes in disgust and muttered "Oh my God" before walking away and returning with just one glass of water.
It seems that it is the ship's policy to treat you so badly if you don't spend money that you feel obliged to eventually buy from them, however with me it had the opposite effect. It made me determined to dig my heels in and spend as little money with them as possible...I refuse to be bullied into spending money with them.
On top of the constant barrage of hard selling techniques for their various products, activities, tours and excursions, etc, we were billed $12 per person per day for service charges. This extra was not mentioned in any of the literature when booking and considering the service that we got, I did begrudge paying it.
It is such a shame that they have this culture on board because everything else about the cruise was great but to be honest this ruined the whole experience for me. I could not relax on board because I was made to feel like a second class citizen. Less
Norwegian Gem Cruises to the Western Mediterranean