Sail Date: March 2018
Embarkation was a bit unorganized. My friend needed a wheelchair to get on the ship and it was quite a chaotic process to say the least. We were told to be there at 11:00 o'clock thinking we would board first but that was not the case. We ... Read More
Embarkation was a bit unorganized. My friend needed a wheelchair to get on the ship and it was quite a chaotic process to say the least. We were told to be there at 11:00 o'clock thinking we would board first but that was not the case. We were near to the last people to board, at least the cabin was ready. The cabin was really nice , and Arthur our steward was wonderful the entire time. The restaurant selection was good but only went to two of them. We are not big meat eaters, the fish selections were far and few between. We ended up going to the steak house twice because they had more variety of fish than any one else. The fruit on the ship was never ripe. You think the tropical fruits would be ripe since you're going to the Caribbean! Very disappointing. The music on the ship was very enjoyable, it was a pleasure to be able to find music just about any time of the day or night. Musicians were excellent. I found it very difficult to communicate with most of the staff. The English language was not there forte. You ask a question and you would get a smile and "yes of course" regardless of the question. It became very frustrating. I would ask for directions and most of the time just a blank stare. My friend had a walker so the shortest routes were important to us. We did a lot of unnecessary walking the first few days. We docked in Martinique which was wonderful, but then St. Lucia and St. Kitts were tenders. It was almost impossible for my friend to do this. The seas were very rough and it was very dangerous. A man fell over that silly high step right in front of us trying to exit the tender . Don't know what the crew was thinking, and he was a young man. Words were said by some of the staff that NCL was too cheap to pay to dock and this was the first cruise this year to use tenders with theses ports We cancelled shore excursions be cause of the tender situation because we weren't sure my friend would be able to get on and off. Once again disappointed. Then no St. Thomas because of a storm. I love the sea in just about any condition but that ship at night was very noisy, was very hard to stay asleep. I will think long and hard before I take another cruise. This was my first. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Even though one of our ports was cancelled due to the impending storm, I'm glad NCL put our safety at first and got us home safely. There is so much to do on the ship. From the casino, lots of activities, there's always somewhere to eat ... Read More
Even though one of our ports was cancelled due to the impending storm, I'm glad NCL put our safety at first and got us home safely. There is so much to do on the ship. From the casino, lots of activities, there's always somewhere to eat and drink, game shows, crafts, dancing and the shows every night, Wow, the shows were awesome! The service was outstanding. Everyone was so friendly and nice and went above and beyond. I really enjoyed "Kara with a K" with the cruise team and we thought Joey was hilarious. The fun themed dances at night were great and we laughed so hard at some of the game shows. We loved all the food! The last night we had Prime Rib at the Grand Pacific, it was amazingly tender and so good! My only complaint was I thought the Bingo was expensive, but we still played, just not every day. I had a blast. Would definitely sail her again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We decided to try a cruise out of NYC so we didn't have to fly. Embarkation went reasonably well considering 2500 passengers are trying to get thru security and check at the same time. We arrived at the terminal at around 12:30pm and it ... Read More
We decided to try a cruise out of NYC so we didn't have to fly. Embarkation went reasonably well considering 2500 passengers are trying to get thru security and check at the same time. We arrived at the terminal at around 12:30pm and it took about 90 minutes to be processed and board the ship. Our room was a typical balcony cabin. A little on the small side but fine for sleeping and showering. We had an enclosed balcony because we were up near the bow and the enclosure is obviously meant for increased weather protection. We thought it was good. A little more privacy compared to a regular balcony. Some people will like the enclosure and some won't. The only drawback to the cabin was that it is directly over the Stardust Theatre so we sometimes could hear PA system coming thru the floor. Lots of dining options on board. Our favorite casual spot was the the Great Outdoors buffet on the back of the ship. It's a smaller version of the main buffet with outdoor seating overlooking the ocean. There is a big sun awning set up with most of tables under the awning and a few directly in the sun. We had breakfast here every morning of the cruise. We also ate at the Grand Pacific dining room and the Irish pub a lot. Did't try any of the premium restaurants as we thought they were overpriced and the food in the main dining rooms was very good. The comedian on board was Tim Kaminsky. He was excellent! If he is on your ship - go see him! The rest of the shows were just ok. Lots of dancing/musical shows put on by the ships dancers in the main theatre. I'll write about the excursions and trips ashore in a separate review. In a nutshell, they were all good and the ports offer lots of shopping. Beware of the the street vendors in St -Lucia and St. Kitts as they seem to be even more aggressive than usual. Especially the monkey photo guys in St - Kitts! We decided to take the cruise NYC tour with airport dropoff. A little pricey, but worth it for us. As it is considered an excursion, We were escorted off the ship past all the crowds to customs. Our bags had been been delivered to just beside the customs inspectors and we were past customs and on our tour bus in about 15 minutes. The bus driver and tour guide were fantastic! He was very knowledable about NYC and it showed in his speil. He talked for most of the 3 hours and we never got tired of listening to him. They took us on a bus tour of all the major sites in Manhatten. We got off the bus for about 40 minutes to walk around the ground zero area. At the end we were dropped off at LAGuardia . Thank you Winston and RIchard!! Over all in was a terrific cruise and we will certainly go on another. The ship wasn't as big as the new mega ships and this was a nice surprise! Lineups for the dining rooms were few and we never had any trouble finding a deck lounger somewhere outside. Yes, the chair hogs were there but the crew were right on top of that and if you left for more than 2 hours, the crew would come along and collect your towel and free up the chair. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been sailing with Norwegian for nearly 25 years and have had wonderful experiences on the Norway, the Jewel, the Dawn and the Gem as well as several others. When the Dawn was moved from New York to Boston, we began our cruising on ... Read More
We have been sailing with Norwegian for nearly 25 years and have had wonderful experiences on the Norway, the Jewel, the Dawn and the Gem as well as several others. When the Dawn was moved from New York to Boston, we began our cruising on the Gem and have made two vacations per year aboard one of our favorite ships ever since. This year, with the storms this past Fall destroying many of the Caribbean islands, NCL chose Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Kitts as replacements. We never cared for Martinique and were deeply disappointed in NCL's choices. Sadly, with a storm at sea, the Gem's captain decided (for safety's sake) to skip St. Thomas and head back to New York. Overall, the ports available to us were somewhat lackluster. The staff on the Gem were wonderful - from our cabin steward, to our waiters to the cruise staff. We always feel at home when we sail on the Gem. The food this year was better than most prior years and with the four specialty dinners that were perqs, we ate well. Cagney was greatly improved over prior years and we ate there twice! The Bistro's food and service was also good. Being frequent sailors, we have seen many of the shows and most of the entertainment before. The "talent" in the atrium and Magnums was merely okay. We didn't feel the excitement and energy that is apparent on the Dawn in the atrium with Jose and Patty. NCL would do themselves a favor by finding talent that was more upbeat and exciting. Surely the guests would spend more time (and perhaps more money) in the evening with better entertainment in the common areas on board. Although we were somewhat disappointed in the ports chosen and the entertainment on board, we still love the Gem and will sail again out of New York on our next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Everything was wonderful , we sailed on the Gem at least 5 times now, we like the idear of the w-fi and saw alot of improvements . we were alittle displeased because the Captain decided not to stop at st Martin becauce of the weather up ... Read More
Everything was wonderful , we sailed on the Gem at least 5 times now, we like the idear of the w-fi and saw alot of improvements . we were alittle displeased because the Captain decided not to stop at st Martin becauce of the weather up north ,we were really looking forward to st Martin becauce we were celabrating or 37 year anniversary and were thinking about buying a diamond in st. Martin , also we asked alot of people about the strom and no one knew were it was , i think everyone should have been informed exactly were the strom was and what the captain is going to do to avoid it . Anyway we still hit rought seas coming home for 2 days ,our room was in the front of the ship and the noise was terrible, at times it was almost like we had hit something , and could not sleep. we met alot of seniors on the ship and they said never again.... also i think people should get some kind of reinbursement for not going to St Martin . we overheard a person talking on his phone , his was about 40 years of age and he said the cruise was a waist of money. We ate at the outdoor barbeque a couple of times the food was great but one time the rice was cold. also we were hoping to see the water show at the end of the cruise were the staff spits water at each other in roman dress it was always very funny. One last thing we paided alot for this criuse, i think its the most we ever paid , at first i saw 749 for 10 days and as the criuse got closer the price kept going up ,in total we paid close to 3,000 for a inside room . we usally buy cruise next deposit but not this year ..i think we will try another line just to compare the difference.... also my wife was recovering from hip surgery and injoyed the hot tubs , BUT there were many kids jumping and diveing in the tubs ,with water wing and goggles , my wife told one of them the stop jumping becauce she was afraid the child would hurt her foot and then we had a confronation with the father he was giving me bad looks and said i dont like the way you talked to my dauther...the sign says children should be superviced, after that we were alittle afraid of this person... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our third time on the Gem and the convenience of travelling round-trip from NYC, our hometown, was one the reasons why we chose this trip. Also, freestyle cruising made it easier for us to pack our bags and enjoy the relaxed ... Read More
This was our third time on the Gem and the convenience of travelling round-trip from NYC, our hometown, was one the reasons why we chose this trip. Also, freestyle cruising made it easier for us to pack our bags and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere through the ship. Although we had been to the most of the Caribbean islands before, the inclusion of Martinique, which we had never visited before, was a plus. My hubby and I have reached Platinum status, so added perks made it more enticing for us to get on board a ship where we were welcomed and well treated by staff in all areas. I have no complaints as regards service and entertainment. Yes, some entertainers were better than others but that was just a mater of personal opinion. Worthy of special note is the internet manager from Belarus who was not only technically skilled but was very patient and good natured in dealing with passengers needing assistance with their devices Our cabin was well appointed by our attentive and diligent steward. The food we ate in dining areas was pretty good. As regards specialty dining, La Cucina was my favorite although I had only one other to compare with. As regards shore excursions, I would suggest the following: If there is a tour leaving around 11 a.m. and not returning until after 3 p.m., a lunch break should be included. On a particular Martinique excursion, we were offered only a bottle of water and no time to buy a snack, so by the time we got back to the ship (after 3) we were very hungry. Luckily our excursion in St. Lucia, although similar to timeframe of the afore-mentioned one, came with a free local beverage and the opportunity to purchase lunch at a modest price along the way. We will return to Norwegian since we have made a deposit for a future cruise. Hopefully, this line will consider more Western Caribbean itineraries out of NYC, perhaps with Cuba included. . Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise and we went to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. It was the best vacation decision ever made. We had a blast on the ship and never had a day where we were bored. I wasn't sure if our 12 year old would get bored ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we went to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. It was the best vacation decision ever made. We had a blast on the ship and never had a day where we were bored. I wasn't sure if our 12 year old would get bored since she was traveling with adults but there were so many things for us to all do together. We tried to hit as many activities as we could because the staff was hilarious. Paul Newman, Joey, and Troy were our favorites!!!! Food and drink were amazing as well as all the shows we attended. We have only been back for 5 days and I am already thinking about when we can book our next vacation!!!!! So much fun!!!! We only booked one excursion because we wanted to be able to explore the islands. The one excursion we went on, Catamaran Snorkel and Sail in St Lucia, made us wish we had booked more. We will definately book at least two on our next cruise. It was a great experience and the rum punch was a hit with the whole group. LOL Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We made the best of our trip however there were maybe 20-30 people under 35 on the entire ship. The food was cold for the first few days but did seem to get warmer over time. The restaurants were hit or miss with food quality and taste. ... Read More
We made the best of our trip however there were maybe 20-30 people under 35 on the entire ship. The food was cold for the first few days but did seem to get warmer over time. The restaurants were hit or miss with food quality and taste. The staff was amazing and always made the trip fun regardless of the age group on board , they even participate in a lot of activities and even danced with us. Our last island trip was cancelled due to weather which was ok we would rather be safe than sorry. The last few days of the trip the boat was extremely rocky ( maybe due to weather) we were on the 8th floor with a window and sometimes heard noises that sounded like cannons being blown at the side of the boat (maybe waves). We also did not have the drink package as they wanted my friend and i to both pay 1,700 per person to add it which was more than what we paid for the trip. Over all the staff was super friendly and fun , the ship was clean and there were alot of activities available per the cruise staff. I will not be doing another 10 day cruise because for me personally it's too long. I would however try Norwegian again maybe not as long and read reviews first to have a younger crowd (trust me even if your in your 50's tripping over scooter or being coughed on is not fun at any age. Don't get me wrong i'm 25 and not much of a party person but the amount of walkers, scooters and the smell of a retirement home was not fun. If you are thinking of booking the gem do your research on the time frame and age range, also try to get the best deal possible and include the drink package if it's affordable, even if you don't drink a lot it will be worth it. I ordered two drinks and two shots and paid 55.00. In closing staff is wonderful, ship is clean, age group of those on board was a lot older than expected. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
It was like coming home when you enter the Gem. It is the perfect size. Not so large you get lost. The crew was great and by mid cruise the crew gets to know your names. I only gave this an average review due to 2 issues i had. The ... Read More
It was like coming home when you enter the Gem. It is the perfect size. Not so large you get lost. The crew was great and by mid cruise the crew gets to know your names. I only gave this an average review due to 2 issues i had. The first was i specifically asked a week before the cruise if St. Lucia and St. Kitts would be tenders and they told us they would not. The first day on the cruise we found out both were tenders. The other issue I had was the cancellation of St. Thomas after you were on board from the last port. This seemed planned. The ship refueled at port. Also we were told we would be we were going to change the route back to NYC to avoid a storm coming up the coast. The course back was exactly as planned and was not adjusted at all. Amazing we were due to arrive back in NYC at 10am and arrived before 8am. It just seemed to planned. If it was not for those 2 items i would have given this 5 stars. The food was good and varied and the entertainment was much better then the last cruise. I would highly recommend the Gem but again I thought it was shady about the tenders and cancelling St. Thomas. 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

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