Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by MIDVALCRE: Even minded review, I hope.
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Even minded review, I hope.
Great: Really enjoyed the freestyle dining, never waited more than a minute to be seated at the Grand Pacific. Never went to any of the specialty dining, but only because we felt the food at the Grand Pacific met our needs very well. Crew Members were very nice. Food and service. Work out Classes. Kids Club HOURS rather than hour blocks. Shows were top notch. Comedian Jeff Harms excellent. Our Room Steward was very very good. GSC was very VERY nice. Tenders were easy on and off. A bit of construction, but understandable if they're trying to improve it all the time. Port Canaveral disembarkation very smooth. Embarkation in NYC was smooth and easy. Personally I loved the giant Chess set which offered a bit of "down time" for my son and I to spend time together without so much outside distractions.
Good: Pools were good. Diverse crowd was good, was nice to have a good mix of people. Spring breakers were mostly good, brought excitement and fun to the trip. More Family sports were good (see below for adult sports tho.)
OK: Buffet Food the usual, a bit crowded as the Cafe is set up lengthwise and not the easiest to navigate while looking for tables. The curved tables should probably lose the upright chairs (esp. when empty) as they were more a hindrance than used. Water slide ok, but needs to gain some speed both to get on it and the ride, both too slow. Big Ken: (I know this one is touchy cause many feel personally offended when "THEIR" favorite CD is critiqued, but he was just ok in my book). Rarely saw him during the day, though maybe that was just a coincidence. Thought he was a bit flat in the hosting of the shows tho the farewell show was a VERY funny bit. The ship itself was OK as far as things to do, but I may have been spoiled a bit by the R.C.'s Independence Class which has more stuff to do than one has time to complete them all in a week.
Not so Good: Hot tubs were crowded, esp with kids. Need to make one kids only (if they should even be in a hot tub at all??? ((mine included))) Not sure what chemicals are used in pool water but was WICKED HARSH and I used to be a swimmer so Ive had my fair share of chlorine in the eyes. Some spring breakers (and the seemingly always drunk air guitar guy who thought nearly falling over on children at the FAMILY white party was a cool thing to do?) could be a bit obnoxious at times. I'm all for a good time, but a place and time for everything. To NCL's credit, drunk air guitar guy DID get escorted out from the family party. Kids Club check in and check out not as easy as R.C. Understand the one door to keep track, but the signing the papers in and out is a bit dated. Need to go to scannable wristbands. Lack of Adult Sports: freestyle is nice, but I'd like a bit more to do in the sports department. Never saw deck volleyball once. Whats up with canceling Adult Dodgeball due to fog btw??? Did not get any notice of disembarkation procedures for last day (i.e. luggage options). GSC Beach Volleyball site needs more sand and some snow fencing (and again, some advanced game time would be nice).
Bad: Smoking on the balconies. Needs to stop! The smoke lingers in any next door balcony AND even comes into your room if your door is open. And we weren't the only ones to complain about this. DJ on GSC: repeated songs multiple times. In one afternoon heard "YMCA" at least 3 times "I'm Sexy and I Know It" 4 times and not sure how many times we heard DJ Otzi's version of "Hey Baby" (still embedded in my brain). With so many great songs out there, this really kinda annoyed me.
The worst part is that it had to end tho. I am no cruising aficionado, so this review may be more helpful to someone new to cruising, but I would definitely recommend it to someone new to cruising. My only other experience to judge this against has been Royal Caribbean (twice) and NCL did a great job in comparison. My only regret is that I/we did not do more to make friends with some of the other guests aboard. So little time and so much to do and sometimes a bit too loud to talk and it is easy to find yourself on the last day wishing you had more time to meet the other guests. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Gem Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony Deck Eight
Great Balcony, but smoking policy needs to be changed to NO SMOKING ALLOWED. Deck chairs on pool deck above DO make noise when being dragged but was never a factor of waking us up early or disturbing us in any way.