My husband, my 13 year old daughter, and I just returned this morning from our 7 day Bermuda cruise on the Norwegian Gem. We had such a wonderful time that I can't stop talking about it!
We had only cruised once before, a quick 3-day Disney cruise when the kids were small- so I was a little concerned if there would be enough for everyone to do for 7 days. There was more than enough- with lots of relaxation time and yummy food to go along with it!
Embarkation was extremely smooth and quick, the lines moved very quickly and we were on board by 12:30. I was amazed that they let us in our stateroom right away (on the Disney cruise it wasn't until late afternoon), so we were able to drop our carry-ons and explore the ship. We were having lunch in Grand Pacific by 1 PM. The waiters were ultra-attentive, the room was lovely- more signs of things to come!
This brings us to... the food! We were just bowled over by how good and fresh everything was. We enjoyed the main dining rooms, the Magenta was our fave, although the first night we ate there the service was a tad slow. Teppanyaki was terrific-my daughter thought the chef was a riot and he really showed her lots of attention. I would also highly reccommend La Cucina- it never seemed to be full up but it was a very good choice. Our waitress suggested a pizza with our order and it was outstanding. We saved Cagneys for the last night. The steaks were fantastic (not to mention the shrimp cocktail and onion rings). Cagneys was the only restaurant we had difficulty with the service, the steaks took forever (about 30 mins) to arrive. But to be fair, they were dealing with 2 tables of 12 and 14 people and they took up most of the waiters' attention. Perhaps the most surprising thing to my husband and I was the buffet- he is a notorious buffet-hater and always complains that the food tastes warmed-up. But the breakfasts and lunches were really good, lots of food cooked to order, different and interesting ethnic choices (my daughter tried chicken tikka and loved it!). One night the wait was too long for a table at the main dining room so we had dinner at the buffet and liked it just fine! Freestyle dining was great.. some days we ate at 6, some at 8, etc.
Another nice surprise was our cabin, an oceanview w/porthole. I was concerned how the 3 of us would do in a small cabin and I must say it was perfectly adequate. Lots of cubbyholes and hiding places to put all our stuff,and 7 days worth fit great. I've been in hotel rooms where I never find as much space to unpack. Loved the warm wood tones (even in the shower!) and the bed was surprisingly comfortable.
The activities were lots of fun, yes, you do need to be a "joiner" but the cruisers certainly were there to have a good time. We did trivia and name that tune, these were great family activities. My daughter and I did bingo once but it was a tad pricey. We loved the pool and hot tubs, and when we had enough, there was usually an activity to distract us. Yes, it was sometimes tough to find lounge chairs, but we managed, so did everyone else.
We are not big showgoers so we were pleased that the second city troupe was onboard for something different, they were very funny indeed. Jeff Harms the comic was good (and clean!) and presided over a few activities that were very amusing. We liked the juggler, Roman, too! We could have done without the production show, it wasn't bad but reminded me too much of my daughter's dance recitals...a little too hokey for us. But our favorite by far was the Next Stage band.They gave a concert one night by the pool- and we lounged on the chairs with the pool lit up while they played hit after hit from Led Zep, Gus and Roses, AC/DC... can you tell how old we are?! It was our favorite night.
Kids clubs- my daughter liked the Leopard Lounge, the teen club, and spent a good amount of time hanging out there. If I had a criticism it is that I wished they broke the groups into 12-14 and 15-17, having a 13-17 range was a little too much- she was a bit intimidated by the older kids. But this could just be my personal thing. She met another kid her age on the 5th day and all was well!
Bermuda is a lovely destination, clean and friendly. If it's in your budget do the dolphin quest, my daughter and I will never forget it!
The staff could not have been friendlier or more attentive, Sinan the CD did seem to be everywhere and goofy in a good way. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to make you feel super pampered!
So yes this was one fabulous time... thanks to all!