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Norwegian Gem Review

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72% of cruisers loved it
  • Excellent value for the money
  • 13 restaurants, featuring worldwide cuisine
  • Expansive health club and spa

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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.
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Norwegian Gem Member Reviews 1044 Reviews
   Cruise Like A Norwegian...
October 2014

We just returned from an 11 night cruise on the Gem and had a great time. A few days before sailing we decided to upgrade to a Mini Suite Guarantee and in our case it REALLY paid off. We were upgraded to a 2 bedroom penthouse suite!

So, ...continue


   A Decent but Unexceptional Cruise
October 2014

This was my first time on the Gem or any NCL ship and it was a mixed bag.

Though offerings were plentiful at the buffet as well as in the MDRs, the quality of the food was mediocre as was the taste of most dishes. We had two dinners at ...continue


   Nice vacation
October 2014

we sailed from 10/27 to 11/7/14 to Eastern Caribbean.Ship was pretty nice as we had never sailed on the Gem before, but have been on other NCL ships, this one compared favorably to the others..Had really nice weather until we left St.Kitts on ...continue


1 - 3 of 1044 Reviews


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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
4.2
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
 
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