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Norwegian Gem Cabins

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Editor Rating
Very Good
Kim Foley MacKinnon

Norwegian Gem offers cabins to suit just about every preference and budget, from interior cabins outfitted with just the basics to an over-the-top "villa" with enough room to host a party. All cabins have stocked mini-fridges (sodas, sparking water and beer -- for a fee), coffee/tea facilities, flat-screen televisions, safes and telephones.

TV programming includes a selection of movies and TV shows, plus a music channel, several news channels and ship-related channels that show location, general information and the view from a bridge cam.

Reading lights embedded in the walls directly above the beds are a nice touch, as are the bedside USB ports for charging devices.

While standard cabins are comfortable and well laid out, they are rather tight. Ocean-view rooms inside staterooms make for very cozy quarters. There is adequate closet and drawer space for most couples, but you won't want to overpack. Even with just two people in a balcony cabin, we used every bit of space we had, even using a shelf over the TV for clothes. With four people, it would be trickier.

All but some inside cabins have "split bathroom" configurations: Within one space you'll find a glass-enclosed shower on one side, a closeable toilet chamber on the other a sink in the middle. Inside cabin and mini-suite bathrooms have wall-mounted pumps for hand soap, shampoo and body wash in the shower, instead of wasteful small bottles. All cabins have a hair dryer.

Gem has 27 wheelchair-accessible rooms with options in almost every category.

Inside: At 138 square feet, interior cabins are located on all passenger decks: 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Family inside cabins sleep up to four, with the inclusion of pull-down beds. A small desk with a stool, and a table and chair are in the room.

Oceanview: Cabins with a window or porthole, depending on the room, are located on Decks 4, 5 and 8, and run 155 to 161 square feet. A family option (only on Deck 5), with pull-down beds, sleeps up to four passengers.

Balcony: Balcony cabins are 200 to 205 square feet, including the 38-square-foot balcony. These cabins also have small sofa beds, which can serve as third and fourth berths. Balcony cabins are located on Decks 8, 9 and 10. Two mesh chairs with a tiny table are located on the balcony.

Mini-suite: At 272 to 285 square feet, mini-suites offer a small amount of additional interior space and a larger balcony (54 square feet). They also have full bathtubs -- a bonus for families. All mini-suites are located on Deck 11 and accommodate up to four people. These rooms feature sofas, which can be converted into beds, and the same outdoor furniture as standard balcony cabins.

Suite: Gem's non-The Haven suites range from those with extra room for couches and larger bathrooms to much larger options. Passengers in suites have butler and concierge service. Other perks include an open bar drink package (for passengers over age 21), free Wi-Fi, $50 excursion credit at each port and specialty dining packages for two passengers. They also receive priority boarding at check-in.

The non-The Haven penthouse suites (341–387 square feet and 489–581 square feet) include dining areas, queen-sized beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, luxury bathrooms with separate bathtubs/showers, powder room areas and large balconies with tables and reclining lounge chairs.

The forward-facing penthouse balcony suites (Decks 9 and 10), ranging in size from 489 to 581 square feet, with 144- to 284-square-foot balconies, can accommodate three passengers. It has a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, bathroom with shower and tub, a living area, dining area and large private balcony.

The aft-facing penthouse balcony suites (341 to 387 square feet, with 54- to 100-square-foot balconies) also sleep three, with some suites able to connect to The Haven Owner's Suite for even more space (Decks 8, 9 and 10).

Two-bedroom family suites on Deck 11, at 544 square feet (but with small 54-square-foot balconies), are ideal for larger parties, accommodating up to six passengers. Family suites can also connect to a mini-suite for even more room. All suites include butler and concierge service.

The Haven: Located at the top of the ship on Deck 14, The Haven -- a keycard-access-only suite enclave -- is a "ship within a ship" concept. Suites share a private courtyard, complete with a covered plunge pool and private hot tub an exclusive sun deck. Residents of The Haven's suites, which include Garden Villas, Owner's Suites, Family Villas and penthouses, all share private elevator access to their exclusive quarters.

All The Haven suites also include butler and concierge services, luxurious bath amenities and perks, such as priority boarding at check-in and skip-the-line privilege/personal escorts on and off the ship at ports of call.

Additionally, The Haven passengers receive a free open bar drink package (for passengers over age 21), free Wi-Fi, $50 excursion credit at each port and specialty dining packages for two.

Penthouse: Penthouses in The Haven run 440 square feet (with a 60-square-foot balcony), sleep three and include a bedroom with a queen-sized bed. A curtain divides the bed from a small entertainment area with a love seat, small glass table and another table with three chairs. There's also a desk, an espresso machine and a vanity. The bathroom features a tub and shower.

Two-Bedroom Family Villa: The Family Villas, which sleep as many as six people, come in at 572 square feet (with an 85-square-foot balcony). The villa has two bedrooms (one master and one separate children's room), plus two bathrooms, one with an oval tub.

Owner's Suite: Owner's Suites, which measure approximately 791 square feet (including a 151-square-foot-balcony), face forward. Since they are at the corners of the ship's bow, Owner's Suites have private sun decks at the front and along the side and a hot tub on the balcony.

Deluxe Owner's Suite: Each Deluxe Owner's Suite measure 1,197 square feet, including a large balcony at 567 square feet. These rooms, which have separate living and dining areas, sleep up to four people and are the only cabins located on Deck 15.

Three-Bedroom Garden Villa: For a real splurge, check out the Garden Villas, which measure 4,252 square feet (including a massive 1,675-square-foot-balcony) and sleep eight people. They have individual saunas, hot tubs, private sunbathing areas, three bedrooms, three baths with tubs, a powder room, living room, dining room and a grand piano.

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