Sail Date: December 2018
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. ... Read More
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. Welcome aboard was nice when we first entered the ship. Overall crew and staff were nice. This ship is bare bones though, entertainment was just ok, the activities from the cruise director were sparse. Bars were ok, some great bartenders like Joel and Ketut. Mary Ann in Magenta is wonderful! My overall complaint with this ship is that the lunch served in the buffet is the same every single day. The have a huge salad bar station with little ingredients, pizza, a pasta station which is the same every day. Vegetarian section which is basically a combination of the salad bar and stir fried vegetables everyday. Asian section for lunch was a joke...it had stir fried vegetables (same as vegetarian section), a fried rice and an indian dish. NO creativity on this ship what so ever. In the main dining room the menu is literally the same. This was an 11 days cruise and the main dining room had the same menu every single lunch. Sad! We have been a sister ship, the Jade, and the food was speictauar on it. The Gem needs to look at what it offers its passengers. I don't recommend this ship unless you want one with very little to do. Poorly managed Splash Academy. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit ... Read More
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit that the food quality was better now than previously. Norwegian is no Royal Caribbean however. Lobster was nowhere on the menu for any of the restaurants or dining rooms. The dining room experience was nice but the service is extremely slow. Give yourself at least 2 1/2 hours for dinner. The long unpredictable dining time makes seeing a scheduled show at the theater a challenge. One night we went to dinner at 6:30 and hand to skip the dessert portion of our meal because we didn't want to miss the 9:00 show. Speaking of shows, the production (singing, music, and dancing) is excellent. There were times while we were at sea that there wasn't anything to do. This is an old ship, so there is only a pool slide, athletic court, and rock climbing wall. We had the Carnival Sunshine in port with us in Puerto Rico and St. Kitts, and that ship seemed like it contained an adult and children playground in the back of the boat. Disembarkation was a nightmare. They need more structure with this process. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This is my 12th cruise on the Gem, twice a year annually since 2012. I love the size of the ship, the food in both the main dining rooms and specialties was great, the lounge entertainment was exceptional, my room was always clean and ... Read More
This is my 12th cruise on the Gem, twice a year annually since 2012. I love the size of the ship, the food in both the main dining rooms and specialties was great, the lounge entertainment was exceptional, my room was always clean and ready when I needed it. This cruise is ideal for adults, or adults travelling with older teens or young adults. My main purpose to cruising is relaxation, which is readily achieved through the ample pool decks, and pools, separated for adults and children. This cruise does not provide "amusement type amenities" which takes up too much deck space for my liking, but rather is geared towards those who enjoy sun bathing and offers both lively and quite deck spaces. The ports were outstanding: the Southern and Eastern Caribbean out of NYC! The ports offered both interesting excursions through the ship, or were very friendly to those who went to beaches and destinations on their own. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My travel agent suggested it as a good first time cruise to see if we would like to go on a cruise. It was perfect. We chose to leave from New York because we live here and I didn't want to fly. Embarkation was pretty easy just waited ... Read More
My travel agent suggested it as a good first time cruise to see if we would like to go on a cruise. It was perfect. We chose to leave from New York because we live here and I didn't want to fly. Embarkation was pretty easy just waited in a queue for 1/2 hour. We had a snack at O'Sheehan's pure bar food. My chicken wings were just what I needed but my mother's Irish American Stew, was underwhelming. Please don't call it a stew. Even the server who took our order explained it was a soup but that was not the underwhelming part: description said it had corned beef in it. It must have been very small chunks because my mom found the potatoes but no corned beef. I really loved the cabin. We had a balcony which we enjoyed. Sitting and reading in the tropics with the warm breezes. Having a glass of wine. The stop at Great Strirrup Cay was great. The weather was perfect and the food was good. Had a lovely time sitting near the water and people watching. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We love, love, love the Gem and her staff and crew, and as usual they did not disappoint us. We are suite travelers (aft penthouse, no Haven on Gem). Having been on the Gem many times for us it was old home week with greetings from all of ... Read More
We love, love, love the Gem and her staff and crew, and as usual they did not disappoint us. We are suite travelers (aft penthouse, no Haven on Gem). Having been on the Gem many times for us it was old home week with greetings from all of the staff and crew we have come to know and love. This is one of the things that keep us coming back. We have done this itinerary many times and usually only get off in Great Stirrup Cay. Since DH has not seen the new Atlantis exhibit, we did go there on a ship sponsored tour. Being a child of the space age, I really love the Kennedy Space Center, and even though I've see the Atlantis exhi8bit before, I still got chills and he just loved it. Teacake performed this cruise, and all I can say is if you see her in the line up,don't miss this show. She has an awesome voice and does Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin songs. Even my old stogie, Italian DH, who doesn't understand all of what is said or sung, loves her voice and enjoys the show. Sadly I was sick (bad cold) for the rest of the cruise, so I spent time sleeping in the cabin and keeping germ spread to a minimum. This is where having a butler really is great. She brought me hot chicken soup and plenty of tea with honey and lemon! Our only disappointments with this cruise have to do with new corporate changes. The first being with photos.Now when they take a picture in a restaurant they come back with prints to buy then and there, they are not available later. We found this very disappointing as we like to review and decide at the end of the cruise. his resulted in buying much fewer pictures then usual. Yes, even as frequent cruisers, we still buy pictures! The second is much more subjective as anything to do with dining is. They have removed the potato soup from the Cagney's menu, as well as zucchini and spinach as sides. Also, as suite guests, the removed the salads from the lunch menu. We missed all of these. In La Cucina, folks may be happy to hear that they brought back the pizza. Not of interest to us. Sadly though the removed the carpaccio, beef lazagna, and lamb chops. Food is subjective and not all will agree with our disappointment and I understand that. Did this ruin our cruise, no, but felt the need to mention since NCL does read the reviews. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Had a wonderfully relaxing vacation on the Gem. Our cabin 9158 balcony was kept immaculately clean by our terrific steward, Victor! We had plenty of room and enjoyed spending time on the balcony during sailaway and once we reached warmer ... Read More
Had a wonderfully relaxing vacation on the Gem. Our cabin 9158 balcony was kept immaculately clean by our terrific steward, Victor! We had plenty of room and enjoyed spending time on the balcony during sailaway and once we reached warmer weather. We visited Cocoa Beach by shuttle (thru NCL) from the port, dropped off by the surf shop. There were clean bathrooms and a short stroll to the beach. We took a long walk to the Cocoa beach pier, enjoyed some cocktails and strolled back along the water's edge. We shopped a bit and met up with the shuttle back to the ship. The cost of the shuttle was 15 each round trip. There was free Wi-Fi on the shuttle, it was about a 10 minute drive from the pier. We made it Great Stirrup Cay for a lovely day at the beach. Always a fun time there with plenty to each and drink, always a lounge in sun or shade, you may have to walk a bit to find one if you arrive late in the morning. Our next stop was the Bahamas, and we again strolled to our day resort the British Colonial Hilton. Beach, pool, bar and food all included for around $80 person. The voucher includes $40 food and drink person and towels! Clean bathroom and lots of lounges and clamshells. Beautiful rresort! We booked this on our own. The ship was very clean, and never felt crowded. Food was good , we eat at the main dining rooms and o'sheehans, and the Asian restaurant, with an occasional stop at the buffet or topsiders. Embark and Debark were smooth. We will definitely sail on the Gem again. Love leaving out of NYC! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I choose this cruise because a friend won the trip. We were treated well because we were Casino cruisers, so our embarkment was quick and painless! We ate when we got on the ship at OSheehan's and the food was not very good. The portions ... Read More
I choose this cruise because a friend won the trip. We were treated well because we were Casino cruisers, so our embarkment was quick and painless! We ate when we got on the ship at OSheehan's and the food was not very good. The portions for the appetizers were small and although we could have ordered more they were not good enough to want to. I understand about why there are not straws, but it is hard to drink frozen drinks without a straw-there has to be a way around this. I was very disappointed on the overall trip and I would never travel on this line again especially at this time of year. I was surprised at the lack of pride many of the workers had for their jobs except for the bar staff, room staff and entertainment. The wait staff was less than efficient, most of the time the wait for food and drinks was poor. One night I did not get my glass of wine I ordered at the start of my meal until my dessert came. I was pleased that you could order 2 drinks at a time which came in handy since the staff was not good at coming to you. I felt the food was the same at the buffet each day- little variety, in the dining rooms it was almost the same each night. I had pork one night and it was tough, and a steak another that was less than tender. I had a couple pasta meals with seafood that were good- On Carnival we had lobster one night- Hmm did I miss that night on the Gem- nope was not offered. I was unimpressed with the taste and variety. Excursions? I missed a whole island with no compensation, Our excursion in Florida was cancelled, and Nassau was fine. super disappointing! The shows were impressive- the bands were fantastic and the dancers in Blazin Boots and the show the last night were superb.supurb I would most likely go back to Carnival even if they charged more for the same cruise, because the staff seems to really like their jobs-they have entertainment at meals and the staff was great with the children. I did not feel any connection with any of the servers except for at the bars. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. ... Read More
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. Mantobi (washy washy lady ) was always soo cheery and made our day !! And morning ! She is the sweetest! The shows were great. Food was absolutely delicious. Ate like a queen every night. They took such good care of us ! The guy cleaning our room (9551) was so great our room was so clean and he would leave us cute animals out of towels. Always made our day. The crew was beyond amazing! Deff coming back to the gem ! The guy that hosted the game shows he was hilarious and very entertaining! There was so much to do I wish it was longer. 7 days wasn’t enough ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our recent cruise on the Gem was mix of hits and misses. The highlight for us was that we upgraded to a suite. Our cabin was a Aft Penthouse located on Deck 8. I was very nervous about noise from the wake and the Bliss Nightclub. ... Read More
Our recent cruise on the Gem was mix of hits and misses. The highlight for us was that we upgraded to a suite. Our cabin was a Aft Penthouse located on Deck 8. I was very nervous about noise from the wake and the Bliss Nightclub. Neither was ever a problem. Our Butler and Stewards were wonderful. Our cabin was always made up and turned down whenever we went out. The extra perks of having a concierge, private breakfast and lunch, priority boarding and disembarkation are priceless. If you have the chance and it makes financial sense for you, I highly recommend upgrading. One interesting note about bidding for Upgrades. We were chatting with our cabin neighbors. They shared with us that they did not bid for their cabin. They were called by the Upgrade Fairy and offered an upgrade for far less than we paid to bid!! So folks the Upgrade Fairy does exist!! It was a little sad to us that we paid $750 more than our neighbors for the same experience. Honestly we will bid again if the opportunity arises because it is so worth it to us. Just wanted to debunk the myth that the Upgrade Fairy has flown away. I had read many reviews mentioning problems with the bartenders. Sadly, I have to confirm these problems do exist. The best bartenders on the ship are located at the Atrium Bar and the worst are at O'Sheehan's. The others were a mixed bag. We were met with rude indifference at O'Sheehan's multiple times. We don't expect Disney Happy everywhere we go but we do expect polite/ interested service. It was very off putting. The private breakfast and lunch at Moderno and Cagney's were wonderful!! The quiet elegant meals were outstanding. The servers were attentive and knew who we were after the first meal. We ate at Teppanyaki, Cagney's and Le Cucina. Loved them all. The buffet had a nice selection that seemed fresh and varied. Seating however was very chaotic especially when we couldn't use the outdoors. We only ate at Magenta once. It was fine. Nothing special. The Entertainment was a little boring. This may be a phenomenon of being on a smaller ship. We've been on the Breakaway twice and I think the size differences led to less options on the Gem. We played BINGO and Deal or No Deal several times. We also did martini and wine tastings. All of those options are for a fee. I realize that they need to be and would be on any cruise line. I can see where someone travelling on a budget would be a little challenged to stay engaged. The stage shows were SoSo. The singers are outstanding!! The other performers & dancers not so much. The dancers were so out of sync it was almost embarrassing to see. Also the theater seats are so uncomfortable and many are broken. My conclusion is that we probably wouldn't sail on the Gem again. Not because we hated it, more because we found we like the larger ships. Our next cruise is on the Escape in May. Can't Wait!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a ... Read More
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a smaller ship compare to other Norwegian ships or other cruise lines. The cabin is also small compare to other cruise lines especially the bathroom. However, I love the food option on the ship except the food at Orchid Garden which was horrible, it was way too salty. Also, the handicapped areas at Garden Cafe were always occupied. The cruise staffs should help the special needed passengers. All shows at Stardust theater were magnificent except the comedy show which was not funny at all. Yet, the services on the ship was exceptional. The cruise staff for activities were super friendly and helpful especially the girls named Sarah and Ranya. I'd like to try different ship from Norwegian next time. Read Less
Norwegian Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.8

Find a Norwegian Gem Cruise