Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by norwooda: Never ever again
Overall Member Rating
Never ever again
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
The cabin was small but nice and clean. The staff were very pleasant. The pros stop here.
I was disappointed from the get go. After speaking to NCL multiple times on the phone and asking over and over again about the different charges and asking if there were any additional fees or charges and told that there were none, I was very upset when I found out that there would be a $12 charge per day per person for service fees so that tipping was not needed. That's great and all, but what about all the meals eaten off the ship and all the times we turned away the room stewards because they showed up too late or too early? The charge was atrocious.
The food was hit or miss. Magenta typically had nice meals but the buffets were disgusting. How so many people were at the buffets all the time, I just don't know. They must not have any standards with food. I was also irritated at the cover charges for restaurants since this was a question asked before the cruise was booked and More NCL said that all 10 restaurants were included in our charges. Guess that the cover charges were in the fine print somewhere.
Then there was the tendering services to Dubrovnik. What a disaster! We were in group 4 and we had to wait an hour and 45 minutes to get off the boat because they didn't know what they were doing and the stairs were completely jammed with people who were just holding up the process and the NCL staff would not get them out of the way. We got there at 1pm and the last tender left at 8:30pm so our 7 and a half hours became almost 5 and a half. Very disappointing for visiting such a lovely town.
Also, guest services will flat out lie to you. When deciding if we wanted to book an excursion to Athens we asked the excursions desk how far the Acropolis was from the drop off point of the bus and if it could be walked or if there were other forms of transportation. We were told it is a minimum 45 minute walk and there was no other transportation other than cab. We decided to book the $129/person excursion for 6 and 1/2 hours. We then found out that there was a metro station right outside the cruise terminal and for 1 euro we could get right to the Acropolis and the walk from the bus to the Acropolis was less than 10 minutes. Horrible service. The 6 and 1/2 hour tour only ended up consisting for 1 hour on the Acropolis and 1 and 1/2 hours in the Plaka. Much of this was due to elderly women who could not walk unassisted either because of the physical demand or because they wore heels! Yes, heels to the Acropolis excursion that was described as only for the adventurous traveler, wear comfortable shoes, and not for people who cannot climb up 75 steep stairs and walk uneven terrain. It was miserable. All they wanted to do was go to the cheap souvenir shops to buy crap from China. And they bought plenty of that in the Plaka. They had so much trouble walking around the Acropolis and complained incessantly to suddenly boogey around the Plaka hitting as many shops as possible. Thanks for ruining my day.
This cruise is also really geared toward the elderly traveler. A younger person is not interested in daily bingo or bridge tournaments or all day buffets. We want to experience the European sights.
The pool area was a joke. For the amount of people on the ship and two days at sea, two tiny pools don't cut it. Also, there are signs everywhere telling people that unattended items left for more than 30 minutes will be brought to lost and found so that people don't lay claim to the choice chairs all day when they spend most of the day in the buffet. This never happened of course. All the chairs are claimed by 7:30, yet no one is there. Books and bags and glasses are but no one is in sight. It was extremely frustrating.
I would never cruise NCL again. NEVER! Less
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