Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox

Norwegian Gem Review

Home > Cruise Ship Reviews > NCL > Norwegian Gem Review
72% of cruisers loved it
  • Excellent value for the money
  • 13 restaurants, featuring worldwide cuisine
  • Expansive health club and spa

Show the Lowest Price
Departure Month
Please select at least one vendor.
Avoya Travel
Expedia
American Discount Cruises
Onboard.com
iCruise.com
CheapCruises.com
Cruise.com
Priceline.com
Direct Line Cruises

Norwegian Gem Overview

(4.5) 4.5 out of 5+ star rating
Norwegian takes a one-ship-fits-all approach to cruising with Gem, where rock climbing meets shuffleboard and hot-stone massages meet Guitar Hero and chess played with comically large game pieces.

Gem launched in 2007, and on it, Norwegian Cruise Line continues to refine its Freestyle Cruising concept, which focuses on flexibility and a casual atmosphere. On Gem, more than 2,300 passengers enjoy the freedom to dine where, when and with whom they wish (except for when reservations require otherwise). The dress code is relaxed, with an optional formal night for those looking to get all dolled up. In spring 2008, the ship underwent the company's Freestyle 2.0 upgrade program, receiving several enhancements to its menus, new beds throughout and service tweaks at all levels.

If casual is the goal, entertainment is the modus operandi. As passengers board Gem, they're greeted in the main atrium with blaring beats spun by a D.J. whose ruby red turntable is almost as flashy as the glowing space itself. Thirteen bars, an enormous 1,115-seat theater -- featuring Second City and Broadway-esque productions -- and a dozen restaurants keep the ship hopping throughout the trip.

The ship also accommodates those in need of quiet time; from the spacious and serene spa, with armchairs overlooking a vast ocean expanse, to a variety of lounges and a library, there are nooks aplenty for relaxation.

The ability to shift between active and restful, party and calm, at a moment's notice is Norwegian's calling card. With so many options, Gem ensures that you can find time to do what you want onboard -- whatever that may be.
Norwegian Gem Fellow Passengers
Passengers are predominately from the U.S. and Canada. The average age varies; on longer cruises, the ship appeals to older passengers. On seven-night trips during school holiday seasons, it's dominated by families.
Norwegian Gem Dress Code
Just about anything goes, wardrobe-wise, with most passengers wearing casual, poolside garb during the day and resort casual-style clothing -- including jeans -- at night. (Shorts and tank tops are only permitted in the Garden Cafe and Blue Lagoon after hours.) Grand Pacific is the ship's dress-up restaurant in the evenings.
Norwegian Gem Gratuity
Passengers are charged $12 per person, per day (including kids ages 3 and up). A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to orders for drinks (from sodas and juices to bottles of wine and cocktails). The Yin & Yang Spa automatically adds an 18 percent tip on all spa and salon services and, oddly enough, on fitness programs at its Body Waves facility. There's no gratuity expected to counselors of the kids programs, but tips are gratefully accepted. (Aim for about $3 per day, per child.) Passengers in suites that come with butlers tip at their own discretion. (Plan to pay $3 to $5 per day, per person -- more if you made a lot of extra requests.)

The onboard currency is the U.S. dollar.
Print the entire ship review


Norwegian Gem Member Reviews 1026 Reviews
   Different Every Time
September 2014

This was our third time with this itinerary, the fourth time on the Gem, the eighth time on NCL and the tenth cruise overall. So I'll tell you now we had a great time. We (My wife and I both in our upper 50's) always do. Everything isn't always ...continue


   Amazing vacation!
September 2014

I'm sorry, if my review will be grammaticly incorrect, english is my second language.

My experience with this ship was amazing! Little bit background. We are couple, 28 and 32 years old, no kids. First we took a tour at 1.30. You will see ...continue


   Never Again
September 2014

Imagine my surprise: Norwegian is as bad as Carnival.

I booked this cruise because I wanted a convenient fun quick vacation the week of Labor Day. School will be back, no kids! Norwegian was affordable - everyone in my party can get our ...continue


1 - 3 of 1026 Reviews


Overview   Cabins   Dining   Activities   Family   Itineraries   Deck Plans   More Reviews  
 

Show the Lowest Price
Departure Month
Please select at least one vendor.
Avoya Travel
Expedia
American Discount Cruises
Onboard.com
iCruise.com
CheapCruises.com
Direct Line Cruises
Cruise.com
Priceline.com
Sponsored Listings:
Norwegian Gem Ratings
Member Rating
Dining
4.0
3.9
Public Rooms
5.0
4.4
Cabins
5.0
4.3
Entertainment
5.0
4.0
Spa & Fitness
4.0
4.1
Family & Children
4.0
3.6
Shore Excursions
3.0
4.3
Enrichment
4.0
NA
Service
4.0
4.3
Value-for-Money
5.0
4.0
Rates
4.0
3.8

Sailing From

Cruises To
Bahamas
Canada & New England
Caribbean - All
Cruise to Nowhere
Eastern Caribbean

Explore This Ship
Ship Stats
Crew: 1,101
Launched: 2007
Decks: 15
Tonnage: 93,530
Passengers: 2,394
Registry: Bahamas
CDC Score: 97
 
Community
Join the Forums
Get answers from real cruisers on the forums


About UsAdvertisingEditorial DisclaimerPress
PrivacySite MapStoreSubscribe
X

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.