On Friday, we received word that the Gem would be late getting into NYC. This was due to the Gem leaving Boston Harbor late, due to being in dry dock for a full week. On Saturday, we had anticipated a long wait, once we got to the cruise terminal. They had food for us, as we waited for our ship to come in. Once the ship came in, at 5:00 pm, all choas erupted. People were trying to check in, but there was a glitch with the computer. We had arrived at the port around 2:00 pm, on that afternoon. We talked to some first time cruisers, who were really fun to hang out with. That passed the time, but we were still anxious to get onboard. The first time cruisers had not received the message about the Gem arriving later. Many people were very upset because they were in the same boat, where they did not receive word on the late Gem.
Once we were able to board, around 7:30 pm, we went straight to our cabin. Luckily, the suitcases were at our door. We walked inside, and were very pleased with the picture window, and the size of our cabin. It was adequate enough for our 7 day cruise. Our cabin stewards were very nice, however, we didn't feel the hospitality to be up to par with the Norwegain Dawn. We were a little disappointed in that sense.
Dinner in The Grand Pacific Dining Room was also chaotic. They had many of us sharing tables with other people, because they were so crowded. We didn't mind sharing with out table mates. We were, however, disturbed by the parents a few tables over. Their children were running back and forth across the dining room, and basically being obnoxious. We couldn't figure out who was more obnoxious, the parents who couldn't control their kids, or the kids themselves. We ran into that family more than once, and I must admit, those children were getting more and more obnoxious as the cruise went on.
They cut out Great Stirrup Cay, so we were on the ship for two full days, before we reached Port Canaveral, Florida. The ship arrived into port around 7:30 am. They started letting people off around 8:30 am. George and I were supposed to get off the ship at 1:30 pm. They turned the ship around at 1:30 pm, and we were very upset with the crew. We had someone waiting to meet us, and they couldn't wait any longer. So, because of the poor planning on NCL's behalf, we missed out on that opportunity. We ended up staying on board the ship, and tried to stay warm. Florida was really cold. We weren't too happy that we were kept in cold weather for two days heading south. Plus, we had expected Florida to be warmer.
That same day, the Norwegian Jewel was docked in Port Canaveral, Florida. We were all upset to see that they had left on Sunday, and were in Port Canaveral the same day as us. A lot of complaining was going on at that time. One question of the day was, If the Jewel left NYC one day after us, and made it to Florida the same time as us, how come we couldn't go to Great Stirrup Cay? Hmmm...Word problems are so interesting.
After Florida, we went to Nassau, Bahamas. That was okay. George bought a nice souvenir. We ended up getting back to the ship, and found out that he couldn't bring the souvenir to our room. So, we were both upset when they said we could pick it up the day of debarkation. We complained, and finally, got somewhere. They delivered it to our room the evening before we got into port, along with the other stuff we bought in the gift shop on board.
The facilities were very clean. However, we found every place we went on the ship to be overly crowded. If we had better weather, we would have all been outside for most of the cruise. As it was, we were freezing, and only had two beautiful days of weather, Wednesday, and Thursday.
We were very disappointed with the service in The Grand Pacific Dining Room. They kept pushing the specialty resturants on the passengers. A lot of us were complaining, because we expected the restaurants that were free to have better service than we were given.
I must say, I'm glad we did get away. We would like to cruise NCL again, however, we will change our prefrences. We will go to Bermuda instead of Florida and The Bahamas.