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Sail Date: May 2019
The first thing I noticed about this ship and continued to experience was the amazing staff. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. This was our first time with NCL. I found that the ship was not as easy to find my way around as some ... Read More
The first thing I noticed about this ship and continued to experience was the amazing staff. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. This was our first time with NCL. I found that the ship was not as easy to find my way around as some Royal Carribean ships. But otherwise the different options for eating, the pool area, and lounges added a lot of variety. My biggest complaint is the buffett. The food area was all in one area that got super crowded and seating was hard to find or you had to sit far away from the food. I was also disappointed in the food options at the buffett. For kids that do not go to the kids club there are very little options. There is no more than one baby group a day for 45 mins. There is a great kids pool. We were unable to enjoy any shows because of the kids but I heard they were great. Read Less
Gem
Sail Date: May 2019
Back from the May 24, 2019 sailing of Gem to Bermuda. This was our 19th NCL cruise, and second time on the Gem. All prior reviews are posted on here. We had an obstructed window room on Deck 8 that had two oblong porthole windows. ... Read More
Back from the May 24, 2019 sailing of Gem to Bermuda. This was our 19th NCL cruise, and second time on the Gem. All prior reviews are posted on here. We had an obstructed window room on Deck 8 that had two oblong porthole windows. Love these rooms for their value and location. No complaints here and our steward, Fan, was terrific. Customer Service overall was subpar on this sailing which was very unusual for us. We found it particularly so given that CruiseNext told us that there were only about 25 platinum’s and above on board. We requested to dine with officers as part of our platinum plus benefit. The dinner was canceled due to “lack of participation”. This is absurd as nowhere does the fine print state this. If we were the only two who requested it, I still feel we should have been accommodated. We sent out laundry twice and the second time they send us someone else’s underwear and socks and a shirt went missing. All was corrected in the end, but no idea how this happened. It was a first for us. LeBistro was ATROCIOUS. The Escargot (normally the thing I look forward to most) had zero garlic or seasoning. I ordered lamb medium rare, comes out well done. My fiancé ordered his medium, also came out well done. Now this is the best (or worst) part. When we send it back, the Maître D comes out. We indicated that the meat was way over done. He then proceeds to ARGUE with my fiancé. Now I know that some people don’t know meat temps but we do and there is a HUGE difference between medium rare and well done. This guy was the first truly rude staffer we’ve ever met on an NCL ship. He should NOT be assigned to this job particularly in a specialty. To add to the insanity, it took close to 20 minutes for them to refire the lamb. There were literally only 5 other tables seated at this time. No excuse. A refire should never take that long. Moderno was just ok. Salad bar very limited and meats were all well done. LaCucina which is usually the worst restaurant on board was very good this time. Cagneys (ate here twice) was great both nights. No issues with the MDR or O’Sheehans. We rarely went to the buffet but it was ok when we did (we are just not buffet people). Bartenders were great. Gary in Spinnaker was fun as were the gents working the Magnum’s bar. We did always get good strong pours. Activities on board seemed somewhat limited compared to our other cruises. We mostly relaxed. Casino was not kind early in the week, by day 6 I was winning. I have seen this trend before so my new plan is to not start gambling until day 5 or 6. I will say a nice to have was the fact they showed the Stanley Cup playoff games which people loved. They also set up food – wings, dogs, nachos, etc. First one was in Spinnaker, second one in the Theater due to the demand. Shows were fantastic except for Swing! which wasn’t our scene (it was a 1940’s jazz thing). Blazin’ Boots and Get Down Tonight we’d seen before but were still enjoyable (hey, you do this many cruises you’re gonna get repeats). Dan Bennett, the acrobats and the comedian were all good. Bermuda was gorgeous as always. We rented twice from Somerset Bridge Watersports. First time was a Boston Whaler boat and the second time was a jet ski tour. Service pre-cruise right up through the end of the tours was fantastic. Tony Roache and his staff are excellent and I encourage anyone to make the short bus ride out there. Much better tours than the ones offered right at the dockyard. Found some secluded beaches and inlets frequented by locals so it was nice to avoid the crowds. Did some walking on the Rail Trail as well which I always enjoy. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We take the Boston to Bermuda cruise each year around this time. This year we left on May 3, The Gem is new to Boston, and I think it is an upgrade from the Dawn. It is very similar, but It is newer with many improvements. The layout is ... Read More
We take the Boston to Bermuda cruise each year around this time. This year we left on May 3, The Gem is new to Boston, and I think it is an upgrade from the Dawn. It is very similar, but It is newer with many improvements. The layout is better, there is lots of outdoor deck space, and two pools outside. The smoking room is tucked into a corner, and the smoke seems to stay inside. The champagne bar is a much larger area than on the Dawn, and so is La Cuchina and Le Bistro. It also has a Spinnaker Lounge with panoramic windows on deck 13, and the Great Outdoors eating area in the back of the ship. Both are lacking on the Dawn, along with a card room and larger library. There is even a bridge viewing room. The decor is different and has been updated. We enjoyed exploring all week. Where it is the same is the great crew and staff. The food was the same, we enjoyed everything we had in the Pacific dining room, Garden Cafe, O'Sheehans, and the specialty restaurants. We never had trouble finding something we liked. Le Bistro had the most wonderful service. There was a well attended Meet and Greet on the first sea day. Lots of familiar people who do the trip over and over. People were familiar with the cruise it made it relaxing and calm. We did the wine tasting, lots of great information and a chance to try new wines. The shows were great, Blazing Boots, and Get Down Tonight, lots of energy, and great dancing. Though there seemed to be a sound problem the night we saw Get Down Tonight the music was very loud and it was hard to hear the singers. The Ukranian acrobats/drummers/dancers had a unusual act that left us puzzled about what we had seen. Don't miss the cabaret night with the singers. Our butler Josephine was great, she brought everything we asked, and came by to see us every day with treats, she was friendly and pleasant and seemed to be able to answer every question. We ate one dinner and two breakfasts in our cabin on the table and chairs which is great. The weather in the Boston area has been terrible this spring, cold and rainy. It was the same on the way down to Bermuda, we had a bumpy ride down, but it was perfect when we got there, sunny in the 70's lots of flowers. We will be back next year. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
5/17/19 Norwegian Gem A little about us - I am 62 and my husband is 72, we have been on 60+ cruises and although I cannot remember how many specifically with NCL, enough to be Platinum. We have sailed the Jewel class before, on the ... Read More
5/17/19 Norwegian Gem A little about us - I am 62 and my husband is 72, we have been on 60+ cruises and although I cannot remember how many specifically with NCL, enough to be Platinum. We have sailed the Jewel class before, on the Pearl, which we loved, so I was hoping for the same experience on the Gem. We were traveling with my sister-in-law (who has been on several cruises, one with NCL) and her 2 granddaughters, who had never cruised before. Rather than do a day by day review, I will break it down into sections. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION Although it is probably not all NCL’s fault, I will NEVER sail out of Boston again. The total scene is a hot mess. If Boston EVER wants to see an influx of ships sailing from there, than they need to do something about the traffic into and out of the port. On Embarkation day they have a baggage check for your carry-ons in the Bliss Lounge and the Grand Pacific Dining Room is open for lunch. I highly recommend taking advantage of lunch here rather than dealing with the crowds at the Garden Café. SHIP The ship was very pretty and kept spotless. I LOVE this size of ship. It seems to have the best space to passenger ratio. I don’t remember ever feeling like the ship was overcrowded. CABIN We had an inside category IA cabin and it was TINY!!!! With the beds pushed together as a queen/king I literally had to sit on the bed and slide my legs UNDER the corner of a table to get to my side of the bed. I have never seen a cabin so small, however, I will say there was more than enough storage for the 2 of us. The bathroom, well that’s another story. The shower is a good size and has a sliding glass door vs. a shower curtain (which I loved), but the toilet was positioned so that anyone but a small child would almost hit their knees on the wall. I am not a large person (size 10) and I almost hit the wall with my knees. I can’t imagine a large person using that toilet. STAFF Everyone was amazing. Although we were never addressed by name by anyone, everyone was very friendly, helpful and respectful. I did not run into one rude or unfriendly staff member the entire cruise. DINING We ate at Cagneys, Moderno’s, Grand Pacific, Magenta, O’Sheehans and the Garden Café, so we made the rounds. Cagney’s was amazing and our server, Ankit, was incredibly friendly and helpful. We had a blast there and it set the tone for the entire cruise (we ate there the first night). We had a good time at Moderno’s and I like the new location where the Star Bar used to be. It was too noisy across from O’Sheehans. The food was good and plentiful – you could not possibly leave there hungry. We preferred the Grand Pacific dining room over Magenta. We had a party of 5 and in the Grand Pacific they gave us a table to six and removed a place setting. In the Magenta they squeezed us into a table for 4, which made it very tight. I also thought the Magenta dining room was tight in general. The food in the main dining rooms was mostly good and served at the appropriate temperature. My husband and I missed some of our favorites (shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, escargot, etc.), but we didn’t go hungry. I really enjoyed all of the different stations in the Garden Café, but they need to find a way to establish what line is for which station. Many people didn’t know what they were standing in line for. I also wish they had a drink station right at the front of the café. Many times I was just going for a drink and had to walk beyond the first food serving station for it. I DID like that coffee service was available at several spots throughout the ship in the morning – the Bali Hai bar, the casino and O’Sheehans (you could get coffee to go at all times in O’Sheehans). We ate at O’Sheehans a lot for breakfast and lunch. The only disappointment was when we arrived at O’Sheehans for breakfast one day at 10:50 AM (they’re supposed to serve breakfast till 11:00 AM) and were told that they were CLOSED until 11:30 AM so that they could transition to the lunch menu. In all of my NCL cruises I have only seen O’Sheehans closed once and that was at 5:00 AM, while they were cleaning the kitchen, which is an appropriate time since there’s not many people up at 5:00 AM. I was slightly annoyed that a 24 hour restaurant was closed for over a half hour in the middle of the day. Despite that, we didn’t go hungry as the Great Outdoors was still open. DAILY ACTIVITIES I found the activities lacking. Most of them were some type of seminar where they would try to sell you something at the end. I missed having trivia different types of trivia 3-4 times a day. There were a lot of dance classes, but I’m too old for that. Also, they held most of the activities in the Atrium, which is too small and lacked seating. It would have been better in Magnums Champagne Bar, which had a TON of seating. Imagine trying to do origami in your lap (because there were no tables) or standing up (due to lack of seating). ENTERTAINMENT We went to all of the production shows and none of them disappointed. They were all awesome and I believe that NCL has some of the best production shows at sea. I love that they still have a show band and don’t use canned music for their shows. During the evening there were several music options, either in the Atrium or Magnum’s. Both venues were always well attended. CASINO Although not everyone will care about this, I will share for those that do. The casino is TINY in comparison to other ships. The types of slot machines were limited and they were missing several of my favorites (only one Buffalo machine and not one Hot Roll machine). Also, the table minimum for Black Jack was $10 and they only had 2 of them, not to mention that BJ only paid 6/5 on these tables. I’m used to that on $5 tables, but not $10 tables. BERMUDA What can I say, Bermuda is GORGEOUS!!! This was our 4th cruise to Bermuda, so we’ve pretty much already seen and done it all, but we crammed as much as we could into the trip for our traveling companions, who had never been there. We did a 6 hour tour on Sunday, which took us all over the island and showed us the best landmarks. On Monday we caught the first NCL ferry to St. George at 9 AM and explored all day, not getting back to the ship till 11 PM. On Tuesday the weather was expected to be bad, so we just hung around the dockyard, went to Snorkel Beach and did some shopping. Would I sail the Gem again, probably, just not out of Boston. Overall, the cruise did not disappoint and we had a great time with family. If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll try to answer while everything is still fresh in my mind. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the embarkation out of Boston and that we would be in Bermuda for 2 1/2 days. Both embarkation/disembarkation was slow but we expected this. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. There were many ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the embarkation out of Boston and that we would be in Bermuda for 2 1/2 days. Both embarkation/disembarkation was slow but we expected this. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. There were many activities scheduled, although we attended few. We had the spa package which included use of the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and wonderful heated tiled chaises. We went there every day. I read 2 books. Service was good, everyone was friendly, we did not encounter anything negative related to staff. We purposely booked an inside cabin as we have never done so in the past. It had plenty of space and we tend to overpack. We would probably book an inside cabin in the future. The room steward, Errol kept the room clean, we always had plenty of towels. He also left us towel animals every night. We attended all the variety shows in the theatre, most were good, we especially liked the acrobatic brothers, they were spectacular. Bermuda is beautiful. We did the Clearwater Beach excursion which is located in St. Georges. The beach was very nice, weather was good. There were several other beaches, as well as a nature preserve, walking distance from there. It included lunch which was a fish sandwich-(was OK, not really to my liking) and a Rum swizzle. We walked around the dockyard on the first day, went to Hamilton by ferry and returned on the bus on the last. We had the drink package, I rarely drink and my husband has a beer about once a week at home. I did try several drinks and did not feel bad that I only took a sip and set it down if I didn’t like it. The blended drinks all came with paper straws. The drink package seemed like the best value with the free at sea offers. We ate at Cagney’s one night, we both had the filet which was good, but the sides were pretty pathetic. My husband thought the mac & cheese was worse than the Kraft type. We ate mostly at the main dining rooms, Magenta and Grand Pacific which were very good. We ate at O’Sheehan’s which was mediocre at best. We went to the buffet a couple of times and there was plenty of selection and most was good. I am not sure what went on with the desserts there, a lot were gelatin based, very yucky. We took the stairs up and down, walked after meals on the outside decks. We did not go to the gym, we both gained a few pounds. which we knew was the consequence of eating without abandon. We would go on the Gem again and get the drink and spa packages as well. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I liked the presentation of Picasso's biography The Norwegian Dawn had better entertainment. The comedian, I think his name was Jeff kept forgetting what he said and was drinking beer during his show. Not funny was several ... Read More
I liked the presentation of Picasso's biography The Norwegian Dawn had better entertainment. The comedian, I think his name was Jeff kept forgetting what he said and was drinking beer during his show. Not funny was several peoples' opinion. The food at the buffet was good. I was glad they had Indian food and Asian night was very good . I was disappointed in Italian night and Caribbean night food. Dinning room menus which we checked every day didn't interest us. I was disappointed that we didn't dine in the dining rooms. 3 locations for elevators was good. $138 for tax and tips you have to pay when you take the "free" liquor package. On the Gem and Dawn the theater seats are close to each other. your knees will touch the seat in front of you and seats slant forward so we kept sliding forward. My legs were in pain. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was a cruise of first for us as it was our 1st Norwegian Cruise (platinum on Carnival), 1st Bermuda cruise, 1st time leaving out of a Northern port (Boston), 1st time in a suite (Opal Penthouse 2 bedroom family suite), and 1st time ... Read More
This was a cruise of first for us as it was our 1st Norwegian Cruise (platinum on Carnival), 1st Bermuda cruise, 1st time leaving out of a Northern port (Boston), 1st time in a suite (Opal Penthouse 2 bedroom family suite), and 1st time staying in a port overnight. I have to say this was an absolutely amazing trip. We spent time in Boston exploring the city including a trip to the Boston Tea Party Museum and a trip to Fenway. Boston is an interesting city, but it was still a little cold for us southerners and the roads were more chaotic than we are used to in the south. This is a cool port to leave from on a cruise ship, but much smaller than we are used to. We took a Lyft to the cruise port and it was very easy drop off just crowded down a congested street. Our luggage was taken and we were directed into a waiting area since it wasn’t time to go through security and get on the ship just yet. This was an outdoor space that’s covered where we waited in a long line to go in. Once inside everything was a breeze. We had a suite booked so we got through security and were directed to another line to get checked in. Everyone working at the port seemed brand new so we waited an extra 20mins trying to get checked in when the normal line would’ve been faster. It seemed as if only one person had a clue what was going on, but I’m sure it’s gotten better now as they have been in those positions for a few weeks. This didn’t bother us and we were quickly escorted into the suite waiting area with cookies, fruit, sandwiches, coffee, juices, and more. Our concierge greeted us and let us know what she could help us with and any plans we wanted to schedule. She also provided us with the daily so we knew all the activities once on board. From here we were them escorted onto the ship and into Carney’s for a suite guests exclusive lunch. It was very good and a great perk of having a suite. The steak and truffle fries with the brownie dessert was one of the best meals all trip. We left here to go to our cabin which was ready for us and absolutely amazing. The Gem itself isn’t a brand new fancy ship, but it has a lot to offer. It has quite a few dining areas complimentary and for an upcharge. We only tried Chaney’s and Moderno for upcharge. We ate a good bit of our meals in Magenta and a few in Grand Pacific. Coming from Carnival cruiseline, the whole freestyle dining was new to us and there were plenty of things we liked about it. We loved being able to book a dining time through the app and it could change each day. We loved having 2 different main dining rooms to choose from. We also really enjoyed the food. The few things we didn’t like were the staff seemed to be less involved and slightly more rude than we are used to in the dining areas because with freestyle dining we didn’t have the same staff each night. We know we could’ve asked for the same, but we didn’t find anyone serving us early on that we truly had a great experience with. This didn’t change from breakfast, lunch, or dinner we felt the same way at all meals. On our last 2 days we found a waiter for breakfast/lunch and a waitress for dinner that we wished we had found earlier on and could’ve asked for each time. I will say as far as suite dining goes those meals and staff were absolutely incredible. It was just in the main dining we didn’t get that same feel we are used to from our wait staff on carnival. Lastly, we didn’t like how even in the casual dining rooms hats were not allowed. It seems if you are going to have 2 different dining areas and one of which is more lenient this would be okay. We noticed a lot of frustration from people throughout the cruise because of this. Especially since this itinerary has us docked in the same spot for 3 days and people wanted to come and go as they please. Overall, the food was excellent, but some of the desserts could use some improvements. We were very fond of the pound cake French toast at breakfast and liked how breakfast rotated out some specials. As far as the main buffet, we didn’t eat here all that often, but the few things we had very delicious. I can’t compliment enough how the structure of the buffet lines being in sections instead of one huge line made such an incredible difference in lines. It was great to be able to just walk up to pizza, salad bar, or up to the main grill foods, or fruit, or dessert without waiting in a line to grab just a piece of bread. As far as activities go we loved that it had a rock wall, pool with water slide, a golf driving net, a library, multiple liquor and wine tastings and bars, the great outdoors outside deck, a chapel, and lots of amazing lounges. The shows and entertainment were pretty good. The ship itself seemed to not have a ton of activities, but there was still enough to do. It really lacked activities after 10pm. We hosted the cruise critic meet and greet so that was a blast getting to know the crew, cruise director, and fellow cruisers. Ferdie was a great cruise Director and kind guy. Our cabin was absolutely breathtaking. At the time of booking we are a family of 4 and to buy 2 ocean view rooms it was only a small price difference between that and a 2 bedroom family suite with balcony so we went with the family suite. This made our cruise and really impressed us with our opinion on Norwegian. Everything was top notch from the room, Butler, cabin steward, and concierge. What an experience it is to have an opportunity in a suite. This is something if you’re debating you should definitely go for. The shower has ocean views, the tub has ocean views, the balcony is large, the room has the main bedroom with full size bathroom, then a pull out couch and living room in a separate room with kitchen type area, then the front bedroom which has its own bathroom inside. Our butler brought us a water pitcher to keep in our fridge each day, ice, and daily afternoon snacks such as sandwiches, cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, fruit, cheese and crackers, and more. This trip was truly amazing and left us with a great vacation and lots of memories. As far as the destination, Bermuda is by far one of our favorite places we’ve ever been. It feels very safe and absolutely loved being on the island for 3 days. There’s no shortage of activities here and we are already planning to come back. We loved having the suite perk of 1st off the ship on the first day as it allowed us to get to Horseshoe bay before a lot of the crowds. We had a great time at the beach that whole day. We spent the next day at Crystal Caves, St. George, Admiralty Park, and in Hamilton. The last day rained, but that didn’t stop us from hanging out in the dockyard, going to Gibbs lighthouse, and spending some time at Bonefish. We enjoyed the entire island and would love to do a catamaran in our next trip there, more beach time, and play golf. Public transportation was a breeze for us and everything can be relatively inexpensive if well planned out. Don’t miss the chance to see Bermuda especially a chance with 3 days there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My daughter has taken this cruise twice before on the Dawn. There were 8 of us on this trip, myself, my husband, our 2 younger children, my oldest daughter, her boyfriend, my mother-in-law, and my daughters boyfriends mother. This was our ... Read More
My daughter has taken this cruise twice before on the Dawn. There were 8 of us on this trip, myself, my husband, our 2 younger children, my oldest daughter, her boyfriend, my mother-in-law, and my daughters boyfriends mother. This was our first cruise, as my husband and myself have never cruised before. The cruise director was excellent his name was Ferdie, the shows were great, we have a daughter that loves musicals so this was right up her alley. The dining experience was great, my husband and myself had 3 nights of specialty dining, we went to Cagney's, Moderna, and Le Bistro. The meals were plentiful and excellent. We went and explored the island on our own, which was also an excellent experience. We will definately be cruising again. The activities on board were also alot of fun, we were a group of 8 and 2 out of the eight of us were called up for Deal or No Deal, and 3 were pulled up on stage during 2 shows. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I like the Boston to Bermuda because you don't have to fly anywhere. One of my granddaughters is not fond of flying! One of my granddaughters is on a Gluten free diet. Solistio, our waitress, was very helpful in explaining how to ... Read More
I like the Boston to Bermuda because you don't have to fly anywhere. One of my granddaughters is not fond of flying! One of my granddaughters is on a Gluten free diet. Solistio, our waitress, was very helpful in explaining how to order her meals the night before for the following day. The entertainment was great. Shout out to Ferdie. Also, the photo-graphers were fun. I like that they are not in your face all the time like they used to be. One of the photographers had a unique style of taking shots but once we figured out what was going on, it worked! I was disappointed that there was no info on board regarding the free Ferry to St George. We found out about it at the Tourist Info Booth on the island. Also, the chairs in the M..... dining room are very uncomfortable. You can not sit up straight in them. Same for the chairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. They are too big (and uncomfortable). Also, I would like to thank the IConcierge. He was very helpful and I think he could use a partner! It was a very busy desk! I am ready to go again! Eileen Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, and Holland America had two choices. We have always liked the Veendam because of its classic design and the quality of the service and the size of the Neptune Suites. There were no glitches ... Read More
We wanted to sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome, and Holland America had two choices. We have always liked the Veendam because of its classic design and the quality of the service and the size of the Neptune Suites. There were no glitches on embarkation and disembarkation. The lectures were informative and pleasing; the Kitchen at Sea was great as was the entertainment. We were the first passengers to enjoy the new carpets and the new chairs and the number of renovations on this ship! There will always be a place for these smaller ships in the industry. (1200 Passengers, but about 1000 on our crossing) the captain was all around the ship, available for questions, and very informative about the nuts and bolts of the ship and the navigaion. He was from Scotland and had the sense of humor, understated, and excellent rapport with his staff and of course the passengers! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it left close to home (Boston) and we had never been to Bermuda, and for the free at sea packages. We chose the unlimited beverage package, well worth it!! The ship was nice, smaller and more intimate than a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left close to home (Boston) and we had never been to Bermuda, and for the free at sea packages. We chose the unlimited beverage package, well worth it!! The ship was nice, smaller and more intimate than a bigger ship, but still plenty of room so you didn't feel crowded. The entertainment was great! The Sea Shakers and Vibe and Justin Golan, were amazing!! Everyone on board was super friendly and helpful. The dining was good, food was hot and there was always plenty too choose from. We had an inside cabin on deck 10 aft and it was very quiet. We did not do any shore excursions in Bermuda, we chose to go on our own and had a blast doing so!! The public transportation and mini buses right at the dock yard were great! We would definitely do it again and are even thinking about bringing our children this time!! We both had a great time and really enjoyed the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had heard positive things. Very disappointed, we took this cruise for out fortieth wedding anniversary. Cold food was served starting the first night and every meal after that except at O’Sheehans. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard positive things. Very disappointed, we took this cruise for out fortieth wedding anniversary. Cold food was served starting the first night and every meal after that except at O’Sheehans. The specialty restaurants weren’t any better than the rest of the dining. We paid all of our fees before we took the cruise and were still charged $30.00 every day. I will not take another Norwegian cruise line cruise. We were charged to play some of the games and the biggest prize that an audience member won during Deal or no Deal was $50.00. The cards cost $25.00 per card. I really was disappointed because you hear so much about how good the food is and you look forward to this. It certainly did not even come close to what I have read. The shows were good. I will give the, that. I enjoyed all the shows that I attended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Chosen by my Travel Agent. Also, only ship that leaves from Boston to Bermuda every week throughout the Summer. Gem is a great ship. Nothing was overlooked and the food, the crew, and the entertainment was spectacular. My only suggestion ... Read More
Chosen by my Travel Agent. Also, only ship that leaves from Boston to Bermuda every week throughout the Summer. Gem is a great ship. Nothing was overlooked and the food, the crew, and the entertainment was spectacular. My only suggestion is that you skip the specialty dining rooms and the main dining rooms. The buffet on the 12th deck has by far, the best food, and selection on the ship. Entertainment was excellent, weather it be the main theater or one of the lounges.There were more than enough shore excursions to choose from, considering the size of Bermuda, which by the way is a beautiful and friendly island. I would definatly pick Norwegean when I cruise again. of course that depends if the ship is going to where I want to go, Then again, I would like to take the cruise out of Boston to Montreal Please excuse any spelling misteakes. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Family Cruise with Children ages 26 to 15(5Kids) along with wife's Mother and Father and my father. We tried to make dinner reservations on Fri/Sat and Tues night for the Freestyle dining room for 7pm and were told they do not take ... Read More
Family Cruise with Children ages 26 to 15(5Kids) along with wife's Mother and Father and my father. We tried to make dinner reservations on Fri/Sat and Tues night for the Freestyle dining room for 7pm and were told they do not take reservations for that many between 5 and 7. My Father who is 90 and in a scooter was told he could take his scooter off the ship in Bermuda even though we took it off the previous day. We took it and when we came back security told him he had to walk through security, which he couldn't. The day we arrived the room housekeeper said she showed no one being in our room for the cruise. We went to the Irish restaurant for lunch one day I got there 10 minutes early and they seated me by the window for 11 people, the mgr came over and told I could not sit there unless all 11 people were there because someone else may come in and want the window table. The restaurant was empty and no one in line to come in. Food was cold in the dining room(magenta) Very unfriendly service all around. I have been on Norwegian a few times and was very surprised. Seems like things have gone down hill when it comes to service. In the past when we embarked the cruise lines including Norwegian always had a large amount of staff greeting us, servers offering drinks, music playing. Not this time, there was 1 person as you got on the ship. No music nothing very blah. The Wednesday we were at sea all day they closed the pools for maintenance, people were not happy. It was reopened Thursday but by then we were further North and too cool to swim. The basketball court and rock climbing wall were open very limited hours 5-7pm one day. They had a family dodge ball tournament one day from 5 to 530pm-- not much time for a game. I not consider going on the Norwegian Gem again. I was on a Carnival Cruise last year and it was outstanding. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Proximity to our home and the port made our decision. The staff were all very helpful,friendly and fun. The guitar player ,Leo Jostol, was awesome, incredible and very fun to watch and his guitar playing beyond good. The singing with the ... Read More
Proximity to our home and the port made our decision. The staff were all very helpful,friendly and fun. The guitar player ,Leo Jostol, was awesome, incredible and very fun to watch and his guitar playing beyond good. The singing with the cruise director on the last evening was very good as his voice was fabulous. Our new friends, the YUMMY,YUMMY for your TUMMY girls were most enjoyable and a lot of fun. Made meals fun. The food was plentiful and delicious. Most of the guests were great but many were very ignorant,especially in the fact that they repeatedly cut in front of people in mobility scooters. The entertainment was very enjoyable, just long enough and very professional.some of the music was way too loud for my old ears,but I just put my fingers in my ears. It was a great cruise. The free ferry to St. georges was most enjoyable and a very welcome ‘perk’. Thank you Norwegian for that treat. The staff were very kind and helpful to me and great help with going ashore in my mobility machine (scooter). I would take this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been cruising, for a very long time (( Almost exclusively, with Norwegian )) And had just experienced, a most horrific experience, aboard the Norwegian Dawn (( More on that, in another review )) …. Our almost total ... Read More
We have been cruising, for a very long time (( Almost exclusively, with Norwegian )) And had just experienced, a most horrific experience, aboard the Norwegian Dawn (( More on that, in another review )) …. Our almost total displeasure, would eventually surface however, with some personal correspondence, with Norwegian's CEO …. Suffice to say, that an overflowing toilet (( Which would NOT be rectified, until the 10th day, of a 14 day cruise )) would be merely, the common denominator, of a myriad of disappointments …. From cafeteria quality food (( Within the main dining room )) To clearly monotonous offerings (( Within the garden café )) People were scrambling, to the Signature Venues, in numbers, that we have never seen …. People were referencing that offering (( Garden Café )) akin to FILLER GULTCH ')) Before continuing, let us just say, that we would unceremoniously disembark, disputing a mini bar charge, that we did NOT owe …. Only to discover, that the other 14 couples, in that particular group, …. Were disputing, the very same thing !!! All of this, was met with a STONE FACED service desk (( Who would merely suggest, that we go find our ROOM STEWARD )) …. Not the Norwegian, that we had grown to KNOW & LOVE ??? (( As change, seems to prevail )) As amenities disappear, at an alarming rate !!! So yes, …. Buoyed by our personal correspondence (( And a partial refund )) This was to be, our MAKE or BREAK experience …. Suffice to say, that the Norwegian Gem, is furlong's ahead, of the Norwegian Dawn, …. In both FORM & FUNCTION …. The service, albeit NOT cruising of old, was POLITE & ACCURATE, …. Whereas our ROOM STEWARD (( Sagar Kanagula )) was the VERY BEST EVER !!! Ty Sagar …. Also, Having had such a NEGATIVE dining experience aboard the DAWN, …. We would arm ourselves, with 5 SIGNATURE restaurants, …. So we might more closely assimilate, the cruising of OLD ')) This would prove to be, however, ,,,, A bit of overkill, …. As our exposure in both, the MAIN dining ROOM & GARDEN CAFE, …. Were more than adequate !!! Not the same can be said, however, …. For the MANDARA SPA, …. Who will stoop to any level, to STEAL your BUSINESS ((' Their latest façade, …. Was to leave a $50.00 dollar GIFT CARD, in your STATEROOM MAIL SLOT (( Alleging it to be, gratis of your ROOM STEWARD )) The catch being, that it could NOT be COMBINED, with any other offers ??? When attempts were made, for CLARIFICATION, …. It was finally divulged, that this in fact, had NOTHING to do with your STEWARD !!! LIARS …. Deception does NOT set well with US, …. And Norwegian seems to be, quite OK with it ??? REALLY …. When one steps back, and stops to consider, the BIG PICTURE, …. We find ourselves, less APPRECIATED by NOWEGIAN, then in the PAST …. With a non apologetic VISION, that no longer MATCHES our OWN !!! Going forward, …. We will forever feel, a NEED to buy UP, …. Into Signature Venues (( That have recently, been COMPROMISED, by WALKIN BARS & NOISE )) From which, we can only conclude, …. Why not choose, a more ELEQUENT CRUISE LINE, to begin with ??? We can only pray, …. That you can one day find, …. That Cruise to Shangri La …. You can rest assured, …. At least for US, …. It will NOT be with NORWEGIAN !!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Gem is easier to get around than The Dawn, especially in the buffet area as there is a separate walkway for passing through so you are not walking into guests who are holding plates, etc. The food has gone downhill every year on the ... Read More
The Gem is easier to get around than The Dawn, especially in the buffet area as there is a separate walkway for passing through so you are not walking into guests who are holding plates, etc. The food has gone downhill every year on the Norwegian line. This year, 2019, the beef was fatty, tough and tasteless. Even the pay restaurants were just average. However, Norwegian has the best entertainment and shows. Forget their pasteries as they all taste the same: chocolate, vanilla, lime, you cannot tell the difference and not worth gaining weight over. Just wish our cruise terminal could get more cruises lines so there could be more of a choice for cruising. Service was great and staff very friendly and nice. Great embarkation and debarkation. Wish they would give you ice in the cabins, as I had to ask for it. Overall, for the price, you get what you pay for and it was a fun cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
When the prices went down dramatically we decided to take a last minute cruise out of Boston. Since we live there, there was no flight needed. We have been to Bermuda before and enjoy having 3 days in port. We knew we were taking a ... Read More
When the prices went down dramatically we decided to take a last minute cruise out of Boston. Since we live there, there was no flight needed. We have been to Bermuda before and enjoy having 3 days in port. We knew we were taking a chance on weather at this time of year. But it turned out better than we expected. Partly sunny with temperatures in the mid 70s. Embarkation was fast, we arrived around 10:30am, dropped our luggage off and proceeded up the escalator to check in. We were group 4 and waited about 20 minutes before being called to board. We booked a guarantee balcony. We were assigned a mid-ship balcony on deck 10 and then put a bid in for an upgrade. We got the bid and ended up with an aft-mini suite on deck 11. I loved it! We were directly in the middle and had great views! It was room 11156. We had 3 people in our room. I slept on the pull-out couch which was ok for one person but I would not suggest 2 people sleeping there. It was kind of hard, so we requested a mattress pad and that worked great. We left the couch made as a bed the whole trip and still had plenty of room to walk by to the balcony and use the desk. The bathroom had a bathtub. The sides of that are pretty high and could be difficult for some people to get in. Also the sides of the tub angle in so when rocky we had to stand side ways to be steady. There were no towel animals until we asked the steward for a couple. She did say she was instructed not to do them unless asked. So if you like them, don't forget to ask! We ate at a few places: the main dining hall the Grand Pacific, the buffet, the Great Outdoors, Magenta, O'Sheehan's (all 5 of those complimentary), Cagneys and Maderno (both for a fee). My parents were Platinum so they got both of those free. I liked all the restaurants but Maderno is not my favorite. I would not do that one again. I like choosing a meal and having it served completely rather than waiting for things to come around one by one. We really like the Great Outdoors when it was warm. It's a smaller version of the buffet and you can sit outside either undercover or not. I made reservations for the main dining rooms prior to boarding. We made specialty dining reservations on boarding day because we didn't know my parents qualified for the free specialty dining until we got to our room. We went to some of the shows. We enjoyed all the shows with the Production Cast Singers and the Chernov Brothers. The Chernov Brothers turned out to be different than I expected, don't miss it! We missed the piano playing comedian. He only had one show on our trip and it turned out to be during one of our specialty dining times. We saw a sneak peak on the first night at the welcome aboard show, not sure it that is what it's called, but it's when they show you a sampling of the entertainment. We heard from others he was great! We also went to some trivia, bingo and origami crafts. They were fun. I did not have the drink package, so I stuck mostly with the drink of the day. I also go a couple bottles of wine. The waitress held those for me and brought them out at each dinner when I wanted them. All the staff we interacted with were great. We especially liked Novi in the Grand Pacific and Sarah, Sarah, Sarah for China who did a lot of activities like bingo. Since we had been to Bermuda before and did not pre-book any excursions. We ended up going to the National Museum of Bermuda (the fort you see while docked), took the ferry to Hamilton and went to the Ocean Discovery Center, went to Gibb's Lighthouse, and did some shopping at the dockyard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this 7nt Roundtrip to Bermuda because we had heard how wonderful Bermuda is. After going, we can see why this is a repeat port to visit for many of the people onboard the Norwegian Gem! Three days and 2 nights in port in Bermuda ... Read More
We chose this 7nt Roundtrip to Bermuda because we had heard how wonderful Bermuda is. After going, we can see why this is a repeat port to visit for many of the people onboard the Norwegian Gem! Three days and 2 nights in port in Bermuda gives you a more time to get to see your destination without exhausting yourselves. The people are friendly, the cities and beaches are clean and safe and maybe best of all, no pushy salespeople around every corner! Embarkation security was efficient and check in agent was fast and friendly but one of the directional staff was obnoxious! While we and four other guests were getting Spa info from the ship's staff, she was YELLING at us repeatedly to sit down. She would walk directly behind us saying I'm telling you to sit down! The Spa staff member apologized profusely. I wish I had asked to speak to the directional person's boss. Other directional staff were fine. We chose an obstructed view cabin to save money this time around. Still had a decent view over the lifeboat and the location was great. We were really close to O'Sheehan's where you can get a relaxed uncrowded breakfast served to you or get selfserve coffee in the morning. The shower was bigger than many other ships we've been on but be warned if you are tall, we met a gentleman who was 6'4" who could use the shower but had to use the public toilet because the toilets are sectioned off and the space between the seat and the walls made it impossible for him to sit down. Although our room attendant cleaned well, he missed our room the last 2 mornings when we were out for hours. The fact that he approached us on the first day to explain why a cabin might be missed should have been a sign! We have gotten used to exceptional service from our room attendants so this was disappointing. No additional gratuity for him! So many more great things on board though! Three great headline shows- a comedian, a piano playing/comedian/acrobat and a sexy circus dance show. We watched one of the production shows-Get Down Tonight with 70's music and really enjoyed it. Although some of the dancers were not as polished as others, the pace was great and the singing was good too! If your into country music, we heard Blazin' Boots was a great show. Movie Sketch Comedy Show put on by the Cruise Director's Staff is hilarious! Don't miss it! Great variety of music around the ship. Our favorite was Vibz Quartet, what a voice! The crowd interactive entertainer Justin Golan on the piano was really fun too. The Sea Shakers had great moves to go along with their singing! We had some really good meals, but quality was inconsistent. What you loved one day was not as good the next. Not a foodie cruise! Cagney's food was all delicious but boy that place was loud! Several times in dining we wondered if they were short of staff. The Java Café and Bar in the Arium had terrific high energy staff and great drinks- coffee and mixed drinks!(and beer!) We bought the Week long Thalassotherapy Spa Passes which I think are a great bargain! That pool will knock all the kinks out of your body! Only once did the staff let guests in the pool get too loud and rowdy, otherwise this is a great place to relax, nap or read a bit. I do think the check in staff needs to be more welcoming when checking in with the pass. My husband had one hot stone massage which he loved, but we wish they would stop doing the "consultation" at the end. We live driving distance to Western Caribbean cruises but when I take my granddaughter for her first cruise, I think I will bring her on this itinerary to Bermuda instead even though we'll have to fly. We did ship excursions this cruise but got lots of tips on how to get around on your own too. We did the train trolley tour when we arrived to get the lay of the land and got lots of great tips from the driver guide. All the beaches were beautiful. Some have calmer waters like the Clearwater Beach Triangle tour beaches, but even the beach walking distance from the pier, Snorkel Park Beach, is good! Those two seemed best for swimming and snorkeling and I would definitely take my granddaughter to those. We only spent a short time walking Horseshoe Bay beach. It is big and beautiful but the waves are big too! Jellyfish were there as well and we did not see any on the other beaches, so be careful! The walking tour to Tobacco Bay Beach was too strenuous for many of the guests who went and the beach seemed more a young adults, loud music sort of beach. It's small and the chair attendant was rude so I would not go back to that beach. Restaurants near the pier were great! We enjoyed the Frog and Onion Pub and Bone Fish Bar and Grill. Also tucked around back in the dock area is a Bermudian shop where everything is locally made. We will definitely go on another Bermuda cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My significant other and I just returned from the Boston to Bermuda cruise (5/3-5/10). We were on a Royal Caribbean cruise in December which we enjoyed very much but unfortunately we were very disappointed in the cruise on the Gem for ... Read More
My significant other and I just returned from the Boston to Bermuda cruise (5/3-5/10). We were on a Royal Caribbean cruise in December which we enjoyed very much but unfortunately we were very disappointed in the cruise on the Gem for several reasons. I purposely took notes so that I could let the customer relations department know about my first Norwegian experience. I do not believe you can fix something if you are unaware the problem exists. • 5/4 during our first experience at the pool below the upper bar, it was a windy day and the trash from above was blowing down into the pool area (cigarette boxes, cups, wrappers). It would be one thing if someone was cleaning this up and on top of it but the trash sat there and accumulated the entire time we were at the pool. There were plenty of people standing at a table pushing spa products but nobody to pick up or sweep the area. • We had a couples pedicure scheduled for the morning at 9:00am that we scheduled during our tour of the spa. Not one person mentioned to us there is a time difference and that we should adjust our phones accordingly. Although it may have been written someplace it was the next morning and we had no idea. The spa called us three or four times and we answered the phone but nobody said anything. We learned 10 minutes later the cord on the phone was broken and unless you held it a certain way the person on the other end could not hear you speaking. They told us that they could fit us in if we hurried. • 5/5 mid-morning/afternoon we were at the Garden Café and there was a loud banging coming from what I thought was the other side of the bar area so I ran around to see what the loud noise was and the gentleman at the counter informed me they were working in the room behind the bar. Right after that there was loud grinding noise on top of the banging that continued for at least 20 minutes to a half hour or more. • 5/6 approximately 7am we were awoken by loud clanging noise that continued until 9am. When we complained they mentioned something about the life boats but this was still unacceptable at these hours or at all during the cruise. • 5/6 the main pool bar had approximately 20-25 people waiting with one bartender on. • Our friend fell getting off the boat to go to town, when she came back on the boat immediately after falling to get Band-Aids for her road rash knees they told her the doctor would not be available until 5pm. She went to get band aids at the front desk and they told her she could purchase them. • 5/8 it was a beautiful day and everyone was at the pool. Unfortunately both pools were drained and closed. There were men in white coveralls in the pool doing some sort of maintenance for most of the day. At some point they put on masks and were applying some sort of toxic chemical that they were wearing masks to put on. The concerning thing for every guest aside from the inconvenience of the pool being closed was now this incredibly strong chemical smell wafting up into the area where all the guest were sitting without masks. Not only is this a health hazard but just a mindless act that I am shocked Norwegian corporate signed off on. • There were parts of the boat that were roped off and being painted while the cruise hardly half way through. This was not due to the wind that was an entirely different thing and I completely understand the decks being closed off for high wind. • During Bingo the final day there was a 10 minutes hard sell for re-cruising if you book now you can get all of these discounts, which honestly in my opinion was too much considering there was construction on the boat the majority of the time we were cruising. • The final day we headed back to the garden café to get a drink and again there was a group of men in white coveralls painting the stairs white. In summary, I am truly disappointed with the lack of staffing, the lack of professionalism, the nickel and diming for everything. Since when does a premium drink package not include water, soda or coffee? I walked up to more than two bars where the bartenders were either arguing with each other or ignoring the customers. I think it was the first day we sat at O’Sheehans to eat and they said we could eat at the bar but we had to walk over to the hostess stand and get menus. I then pointed out there was a menu right behind the gentleman who said this. I don’t mind walking over to the hostess stand I understand that is the policy when you are trying to be seated in the dining area. This was day one and the lack of interest in the guests or to make us feel welcome should have been a red flag because it was consistent throughout the entire cruise. It is not for us to know that the waiters shouldn’t come behind the bar because the bartender kept yelling at them. I am have been in the hospitality industry my entire work life and know exactly what needs to be done to make someone feel welcome and appreciated. If this was the representation of Norwegian that this company has put forth to keep people cruising on their boats then I can say without a doubt we will be pursuing our next vacation with a different cruise line. The biggest disappointment for me is that I have heard so many great things about Norwegian and was really looking forward to a great vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first time cruising and it was to celebrate friend's birthday. We had a really fun week. All staff were entertaining (washy! washy!) and attentive, any issues we had they were fixed promptly. We were very impressed with ... Read More
This was my first time cruising and it was to celebrate friend's birthday. We had a really fun week. All staff were entertaining (washy! washy!) and attentive, any issues we had they were fixed promptly. We were very impressed with our waiter in the magenta dining room from the very first night. He was attentive and could anticipate our needs. Let's just say, we requested him for the rest of the cruise. There were plenty and a variety of things to do on board is game shows, tastings, art shows, theater shows, shopping, bingo. There was something for everyone. For someone that doesn't typically like live bands they were very entertaining and not too loud in smaller venues on the ship. I recommend the Vybz Quartet! They have an island vibe to their music which makes want to get up and dance. We did the Gosling's sunset rum cruise excursion, which was well worth every penny. The tasting part was obviously great but it was also very informative about history and cocktail pairings. Overall, this was an amazing first cruise and I can not wait to plan my next one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Love Bermuda from Boston We live in Massachusetts so this cruise is very convenient. We have done this cruise a few times but we wanted to try a different ship. Great experience. The service, the dining, the entertainment were all ... Read More
Love Bermuda from Boston We live in Massachusetts so this cruise is very convenient. We have done this cruise a few times but we wanted to try a different ship. Great experience. The service, the dining, the entertainment were all excellent. Getting used to the Buffet area took some getting used to. The meal package was a very good offering. The French restaurant was extremely good. The main dining room was very nice, the service was excellent and the food quality was very good. Magenta the back up complimentary restaurant was also very good. Service here was also excellent. We are not big drinkers, so to get a value from the free beverage package (gratuities are charged to you) we would have to drink more than we were comfortable drinking. The people in the cruise directors staff were outstanding and extremely helpful. The cruise again staff were also extremely helpful and willing to explain any questions you may have. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the cruise because it was out of Boston, and we live nearby so we did not have to take an airplane to get to the ship. Our Boston embarkation and disembarkation experiences were excellent, quick and easy. After boarding the ship ... Read More
We chose the cruise because it was out of Boston, and we live nearby so we did not have to take an airplane to get to the ship. Our Boston embarkation and disembarkation experiences were excellent, quick and easy. After boarding the ship we learned that bottled water was not included in our drink package and any drinks on the package ordered while in the port of Boston were subject to a Massachusetts surcharge. The overall appearance of the ship was good. Our Penthouse cabin was forward and was dark, it had one one window and a solid steel waterproof door to the balcony which was supposed to be closed while we were at sea. The deck furniture was piled up and lashed down for safety while we sailed. The closets in the cabin had broken hinges and clasps and allowed the doors to bang when we were at sea. The cabin crew were excellent. The dining menus for the specialty and standard restaurants were static with basic selections. The food was all right. The room temperature in Le Bistro was excessive and we left before we were served. The ship's casino was excessively smokey without a non smoking section. The attitude of all of the crew members was excellent. We found the destination at the Dockyards in Bermuda to be a great base to see the island with easy on-off accessibility and transportation alternatives. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose to do a cruise out of Boston to Bermuda because we live in NH and it seemed easy - just Uber to Boston and Uber home. I don't typically love cruises, I've been on maybe 10 in my life but I have found as I have gotten ... Read More
I chose to do a cruise out of Boston to Bermuda because we live in NH and it seemed easy - just Uber to Boston and Uber home. I don't typically love cruises, I've been on maybe 10 in my life but I have found as I have gotten older I am pickier about my vacations and cruising just always seemed like a "cattle call" to me. However, I have a 14 year old and was traveling with just him, so this seemed like the best option. I should preface this by saying that, if you are happy with Carnival or 3 Star vacations then this cruise would be right up your alley. It's all about expectations, I suppose. But for the money, I found the food to be sub par and the service to be downright horrendous. Our Embarkation was relatively painless so I had high hopes. We went to eat lunch and when they made the announcement that the rooms were ready, we headed downstairs only to find that ours was, indeed, just being started. We had to wait an additional hour to get into our room. The luggage arrived about a half an hour later. We had made reservations for Cagney's that evening as a cruise rep I talked to on the phone said it was like a 5 Star Steak restaurant that would rival Ruth's Chris. This was not the case. The service was terrible, for starters. Our server was not friendly, seemed irritated she had to do her job, and rushed us through our very expensive dinner. The steak was tasteless and I had to keep asking our server for things that she had forgotten. Service continued much the same throughout the cruise. The bartenders tended not to make any eye contact so I was often not sure if they heard my order or not. No smiling, minimal interaction. The pool bar and the Spinnaker Lounge seemed to be the worst, but I did find two good bartenders at the Martini Bar on the 6th floor. Only personable bartenders I came across the whole seven days. The service at the pool is not good. If you wanted a server to come get your drink order, you essentially had to chase them down. They spent much of their time just standing there, looking unhappy and unapproachable. One time I ordered a Rum Swizzle, the national drink of Bermuda (where we were cruising to) and he came back and said the bartender had never heard of this and they couldn't make it. I got up myself and went to the bar and was happily sipping one within 5-10 minutes (service is also not fast). My worst experience was with the Excursion Manager. I had gone up to the desk to try and cancel my night fishing excursion because my son was seasick. I was two hours past the cancellation time and when I was told I couldn't cancel, I asked to speak to the Manager. He came barreling out of the back room, didn't greet me and had absolutely no customer service skills, and proceeded to tell me that if I had a problem I could take it up with the front desk and then turned on his heals and went back to his office. I was shocked, and did complain, but I didn't really get the impression that anyone was that concerned about my negative experience. One woman who helped me make dinner reservations for the week was rude and surly. I got one word answers to my questions and she kept looking around while i was talking to her. I finally gave up and walked away with only the two reservations I had made because she was so distracted and unfriendly. We ended up dining at Moderno, La Cucina, Magenta, and the sushi bar. Moderno was ok - very overpriced and the meat wasn't that tasty and was overcooked. La Cucina was, in my opinion, the best restaurant for the money and service onboard. We ate there twice, canceling our second pre-reserved night at Cagney's after our first experience. Burratta appetizer is good, pizza is good, Osso Bucco was above average. The sushi bar was terrible and I believe we were eating previously frozen tuna. Magenta, one of the two main dining rooms, was surprisingly ok for mass produced food. The only downside about La Cucina is that it's right under the basketball court (bad planning) and you can hear the game going on right above your head, so it's a bit distracting. The buffet was the "cattle call" I was expecting. Tons of people cluelessly milling around for the feeding. Burgers were overcooked, eggs terribly runny, etc...The french fries were ok, when they were available. They were constantly running out and the "chef" in charge of them didn't seem to notice or care. The cruise director and staff were very loud, verging on obnoxious. Any interaction I had, from bingo to pool entertainment, had me gritting my teeth because of incessant chatter and commentary. They weren't personally friendly on a one on one basis, but really put on a show that went overboard when they were in front of a crowd. I had a facial at the spa, and the very young woman who performed the service opened boxes and wrappers right in my ear while I was trying to relax and enjoy the $165 50 minute facial. It was distracting and showed lack of experience. I thought the spa services were terribly overpriced. The excursions, outside of my experience with the excursion desk, were ok. Our Kayak trip got canceled due to wind; and the night fishing was average. We did the Dolphin Quest excursion but didn't book through the boat. That was the highlight of the whole week and definitely worth the money. My son spent a lot of time in the Entourage, the teen room. The person who runs this is named "A OK" and she doesn't really seemed interested in her job. She looks bored and isn't very engaging. There were some good activities that my son enjoyed, but mostly the kids play video games and she reads the paper. I got the distinct impression from every interaction I had with the staff of this ship that 90% of them were miserable and annoyed. I could have lived with the sub par food had the service been friendly and engaging. I will NEVER take another Norwegian Cruise. This is my second (first was on the EPIC). My first experience was similar, although not quite as bad, and I thought I would give it another try. If a great vacation for you includes good food and a friendly service staff, you will want to steer clear of the Gem and even Norwegian as a whole. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Go with Carnival if you want to have a fun time and great food. Specially if you have kids. Let’s start with embarkation on the Gem. We had to wait because the rooms weren’t ready. Why? I mean didn’t they expect us? My son and I ... Read More
Go with Carnival if you want to have a fun time and great food. Specially if you have kids. Let’s start with embarkation on the Gem. We had to wait because the rooms weren’t ready. Why? I mean didn’t they expect us? My son and I wanted to drop off our things and then explore and eat. We couldn’t. As soon as I walked in it was dead. Nothing exciting. I actually fell asleep for a little on the chair. No cruise director or staff to make you feel like you’re going to have a great time. When I went on my cruise with Carnival as soon as we walked in they greeted us with huge smiles and pictures then we went to our room. Afterwards on the deck there was a live DJ with some awesome music. Overall great atmosphere but not Norwegian. So after finally going to our rooms we got some food. The buffet was blah and the burgers were GROSS. I went with my 12 yr old and he wasn’t liking the food either. When it came time for lunch/dinner the staff was super nice but very busy. They are under staffed. I waited too many times. It’s not their fault though. On Carnival they were staffed well and way better service and way better food! The menu on the Norwegian dining rooms are repetitive. Everyday same thing! Every morning/evening same thing! Ugh The itinerary on the gem was sooooooooo boring. Nothing to do! Just bingo here and there and then some bootleg game shows. The cleaning staff did an awesome job with our room though so I can’t complain there. They were super friendly and always made our cabin up. Also, Everything on the ship is extra and expensive. Not going with this cruise line again. Read Less

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