We had the great misfortune of cruising on the Norwegian Gem with 700 rude, screaming, poorly behaving Catalonian children, along with their parents who were just too happy seeing their children off on their own, while creating general ... Read More
We had the great misfortune of cruising on the Norwegian Gem with 700 rude, screaming, poorly behaving Catalonian children, along with their parents who were just too happy seeing their children off on their own, while creating general havoc on the ship. Every area was treated as if it was a playground rather than a cruise ship.
From the Captain on down, NO staff member was willing to intervene or say anything to these rowdy children, who had literally taken over the boat and ruined the cruise experience for everyone other than these children's parents.
MORAL TO THE STORY: Ask the cruise line, before you book, how many youngsters are expected on the sailing,and if it is a "school holiday week" in the port area from which you are departing. If the answer is "yes", take your money and run!
GIANT POOL SLIDE: Yes the Gem has a giant,circular pool slide. This should have been a "hint" that the boat would be flooded with kids. From early in the morning till late at night, you were certain to hear the "blaring" of the whistle of the slide monitor. Note-this is the only area on the ship where a staff member was trying to control the children's behavior. Trying to keep them out of the adjacent, "Adults Only Pool" was a near impossibility.
SHIP DECOR: Gaudy you would expect on a lower-end line. Very disappointing for a brand new ship. (Of course, if NCL keeps booking large groups of unruly youngsters, the ship will look 20 years old within 2 years. Don't expect a soaring atrium or marble stairways-no such amenities on this ship.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We had booked a two-bedroom penthouse suite.(#11030) Decor was early Chinese Brothel, but the amenities were wonderful-four flat screen TV's, Jacuzzi tub and separate(8 head)shower with picture windows, huge dressing area, king-size bed in the master bedroom,a second smaller bedroom with bath, a butler on call,a large balcony as well as a sitting/dining room area. The suite also came with a "worthless", don't bother me Concierge.
SOME OTHER "JOYS" OF SAILING ON THE GEM: Children sticking their hands in the buffet food, no washing of hands or using hand sanitizer before or after using the bathroom, doing cartwheels up and down the corridors in their underwear, sitting in the Casino using the gaming machines, blocking entry to and from the elevators and stairwells, shoving and pushing even disabled passengers, putting their shoes on the upholstered furniture in the dining rooms and using the eating utensils as musical instruments. I could go on and on, but it just makes me more upset to remember this cruise from the netherworld !!
NOISE: The ship is poorly insulated for noise deflection. We could hear screaming children, slamming doors, and loud music from the 12th deck until the wee hours of the morning. At times, it felt as if the ceiling would collapse into the suite. If you go, take earplugs!
FOOD: Mediocre at best, unless you ate in one of the "pay extra" specialty restaurants. Since these restaurants also came with "screaming children", the extra cost was not worth the investment. There was little variety of food on the menu. A large group of appetizers, entrees and desserts were repeated night-after-night.
DINING ROOM STAFF: As other reviewers mentioned, the staff were poorly trained. The wait staff in the main dining rooms should have been employed at fast food restaurants sensibility for table manners, placing or removing dishes,or ordering wine. Dining was a rather sad experience-something not worth getting dressed up for. (On at least two nights, the dining room staff were wearing tee shirts-bizarre!)
CUSTOMER SERVICE: As mentioned by other reviewers, it was nonexistent. The reception desk staff were rude, and would stare a hole through you rather than make pleasant eye contact. Everything, without exception, was too much trouble for them.
PHOTO STAFF: Take it or leave it attitude. Even when they made errors on the prints, they were unwilling to re-run the photos to take out the blems-So, they got none of our usual cruise photo money.
SHOPS: Too few, with very little selection for a boat of this size.
ENTERTAINMENT: Mediocre to really bad. In the theatre, there was one singer with a strong, broadway-style voice and an excellent Flamenco guitarist. Unfortunately, the guitarist was accompanied by a dancer who hadn't a clue about Flamenco. For most of the shows, the dancers were not even in step with each other. At times, you actually felt sorry for them-and then you remembered that "you were paying for this"!
EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: A breeze ! They were just too willing to see you get your own luggage on and off the ship, which was OK by us.
SHORE EXCURSIONS: Refused to purchase any. With a little preparation, you could see all the highlights at 20% of what they were asking for shore excursions. Read Less