1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I felt that I was treated like royalty; The bartender knew what drink I wanted made sure he took care of me. The solo director Jeffu was wonderful well organized; The price was perfect as a solo cruiser; I travel a lot of Royal ... Read More
I felt that I was treated like royalty; The bartender knew what drink I wanted made sure he took care of me. The solo director Jeffu was wonderful well organized; The price was perfect as a solo cruiser; I travel a lot of Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL and always have a great time on NCL. Repeat cruiser I am going to on the NCL Breakaway Transatlatlantic in April; I think the class of people were nice; The food was good, great entertainment; The cruise needs to be a bit updated; I have been on the GEM three time now still now complaints. Would definitely be sailing again. The workers were wonderful and friendly; Great activities; If you are looking for cheap then go on Carnival Cruise lines. The cabins are nice and clean. The waiters were wonderful and I even celebrated my birthday on the ship. AAA+++++ What more could you ask for; Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Ran out of butter? Toward the end, more butter appeared (I suspect from another NCL ship at the same port) I ordered an Omelette in the Main Dining. The server stated that it would take 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. Main dining service was ... Read More
Ran out of butter? Toward the end, more butter appeared (I suspect from another NCL ship at the same port) I ordered an Omelette in the Main Dining. The server stated that it would take 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. Main dining service was abysmal. Wait, wait, wait. (maybe thath's why they are called WAIT staff?) In O'Sheehans Pub, appetizers served AFTER main course. I only asked for chips! I asked 3x for water. Finally, asked hostess. She didn't care about the service but got the water. She said that since the weather was bad outside, more people came inside and they only have so much grill space. How's this: wait on line in Garden Court for selections. Then no seating available! Cabin Staff was terrific. Entertainment: Magician, Hypnotist, Dancers, were great. Ports of Call were good except St. Lucia. Overall, I did expect more Hurricane damage and was happy to see no devastation. 3 Code Alphas. Washee-Washee. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted a longer cruise that left from New York. We enjoyed the city on both sides of the cruise. We left NYC and headed into the big snow storm. Captain and crew did great job keeping us informed and safe. We had booked this cruise ... Read More
Wanted a longer cruise that left from New York. We enjoyed the city on both sides of the cruise. We left NYC and headed into the big snow storm. Captain and crew did great job keeping us informed and safe. We had booked this cruise long before the hurricane's forced changes to our itinerary. We were delighted with our ports of call. St Lucia was the most amazing. St Croix remains in need of recovery but if felt good to shop there and bring money into the economy. Ship is a great size. Found the speciality dining superior to MDR overall. For us the buffet was lackluster, and crowded. O'Sheehan's is convenient but food is a mixed bag. Found it and buffet OK for a late snack but better choices like MDR for breakfast or lunch. Orchid Garden was sub-par and sushi roll was pedestrian at best. Go to Cagney's for a filet if you can. Le Bistro was my favorite but I ate far too much and felt like a slug... So worth it. Spent lots of time listening to music at bars through out our ship. Atrium and Martini bars are best for listening. Spinnaker lounge is a great place for sail a-ways. We booked all our excursions from outside vendors. NCL was late in offerings because of port changes. The entertainment was good although the shows are not a draw for me but my husband enjoyed some, especially the comedy. Tim Kaminsky shows were mostly good. His PG13 final show was least funny. Bathroom humor should at least be funny. We enjoyed the trivia offerings. Progressive trivia was fun and competitive. Visual trivia enjoyable and the audio music trivia was as much sing a long as it was game. Tribond trivia was my favorite. Troy our progressive trivia host was fun. We love NCL and the Gem Crew were awesome. Maria the Communication officer was so kind to me. We had thermal suite passes but would not buy again. Main pool is hard to enter and hot tub felt claustrophobic. Same people camped our in best chairs constantly. Rough seas meant no water features most if first two days . Did not use gym or other spa services. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
While we had some rough weather to start off our cruise the holiday was a great one! From outstanding service, food and atmosphere - we enjoyed our Anniversary Cruise. Would highly recommend this cruise line. Specialty dining package is ... Read More
While we had some rough weather to start off our cruise the holiday was a great one! From outstanding service, food and atmosphere - we enjoyed our Anniversary Cruise. Would highly recommend this cruise line. Specialty dining package is amazing. We will come back. Sailing out of New York City was a nice experience - going from frozen to tropics - a great transition. No airport hassels to deal with - drive to the port and off you go. The ship has everything you need and it is a nice size, easy to find and navigate to where you want to go and do. The cabins were spacious and modern - well kept and cleaned. Our cabin steward called us by name every time he saw us. The service was fantastic - everyone wanted to make sure you were having a good time and anything you needed you just had to ask. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this cruise due to the price. We have sailed on the gem twice before so we were familiar with the ship. I was satisfied with the cruise but would like to see more activities. It was hard to hear the music in the lounges because ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the price. We have sailed on the gem twice before so we were familiar with the ship. I was satisfied with the cruise but would like to see more activities. It was hard to hear the music in the lounges because of the rude passengers that talked loudly while the performer was playing. My wife got the thermo spa package which was much cheaper ($50 discount) if purchased on line. The crew was very friendly and the food was okay but there were many rude passengers. The captain was the best part of the trip. He told it like it was and we enjoyed his daily updates. The sea was rough the first two nights because of the storm we sailed thru but that is to be expected. However the first two nights there was a loud constant banging of a loose cart or shower door. I had to complain twice and nothing was done. After the second night of complaining to the front desk we were offered a different room which was a nice gesture but no explanation of what the noise was. We declined the room change because we liked our room location and the seas were again calm and the noise stopped. Unfortunately the noise returned the last night when the seas were rough again. So they did not fix the problem only ignored it, Our cabin steward was average. The nightly entertainment shows were very good but the entertainment staff was average and as stated before not many daily activities were offered. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because the NY port was easy to get to and the dates fit our schedule. Overall, we were very pleased with NCL and would cruise with them again. Getting on board took much longer than it should have (very inefficient ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the NY port was easy to get to and the dates fit our schedule. Overall, we were very pleased with NCL and would cruise with them again. Getting on board took much longer than it should have (very inefficient process) but everyone was helpful and courteous. Our first two/three days were quite rough but our captain kept us informed and we especially appreciated his reassurance that the ship was safe and had weathered bigger storms. We enjoyed the guitarist and hypnotist and listening in on the trivia contest and the dance lessons. We used the running track every day and soon discovered the times when the buffet would be less crowded. Food ranged from outstanding to bland/cold but there were more than enough choices and we loved the crepes, the pretzel stick, the french fries and all of the fresh fruits. The library was our favorite find; we read a few books and enjoyed the quiet atmosphere. Sadly it was not staffed regularly, and when it wasn't the books were not accessible. Terrible WIFI, tiny and poorly staffed internet lounge. I would have liked more detailed info on the different islands we visited. Next time I will do more research on our destinations, but overall this was a fun experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We are platinum cruisers with Princess Cruise Lines. The only reason we chose NCL for this cruise was that we didn't have to fly; for this cruise NCL left from NYC and we live 2 hours away. For any other than their Canada-New England ... Read More
We are platinum cruisers with Princess Cruise Lines. The only reason we chose NCL for this cruise was that we didn't have to fly; for this cruise NCL left from NYC and we live 2 hours away. For any other than their Canada-New England cruise, we would have had to fly to an embarkation port for Princess. If at all possible, in the future we prefer to return to a Princess cruise. Items to make note of on NCL: 1. Food was much too salty, in some instances barely or not edible. Skimpy buffet. 2. Entertaimment was average, during the comedian's (?) show people were leaving. The hypnotist's show was not believable. I think the subjects were rehearsed and not really hypnotized. 3. Disembarkation was slow. 4. Room maid didin't return all our soiled towels for clean ones. Then argued with me that she did. 5. Some employees were sincere, some were obviously not! Princess is a finer cruise line than NCL and it shows!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was my first winter cruise ,likely my last at least out of NY! not anything to do with the GEM or NCL I just prefer the warm weather and feel like you lose those warm days! The cruise itself had a rough start as the first full sea ... Read More
This was my first winter cruise ,likely my last at least out of NY! not anything to do with the GEM or NCL I just prefer the warm weather and feel like you lose those warm days! The cruise itself had a rough start as the first full sea day was spent in 25-30 waves, I was impressed that the gem handled the rough waters as well as it did. I am blessed to not get sea sick so I wasn't too worried and felt the captain kept us updated well. The best decision I did make was to purchase the thermal spa! it was so worth it especially with cold weather. so relaxing in there. We chose the ultimate beverage package and the dining package with our trip and the beverages were wonderful as always. The dining package was outstanding! we ate at teppanyaki, la cucina , Cagney's and Moderno. Cagney's was my favorite but all the specialty restaurants were amazing! The complimentary dining rooms weren't bad, but I do feel like the food choices and flavor has gone down. I found the food choices to be ok, but the flavors were bland, but enjoyable. the service all over the ship was wonderful though! I have never had a bad experience with any crew member in any of my cruises with NCL they never disappoint. My cabin was a BA mid ship balcony room 10096. well kept , great size bathroom. the ports: st.johns antigua had some beautiful beaches , took a taxi tour around the island and went to a beach for a few. best $25 spent, not pre booked. St.Lucia- so I purchased a tour via shipmate app! what a disaster the driver showed up 45 min late and was kind of a dick about it. Anyway we took a tour to the volcano and the waterfall in Soufriere which was quite enjoyable, however the driver kept stopping alongside the road for little shacks to have us buy stuff, after we asked him not too. But other than that we were the only 2 in the tour so we returned to boat after seeing the waterfall and volcano. They were both so beautiful but expect to spend a lot of time driving about 1.5 each way. . St. Kitts- Was my favorite island! will return for sure, we had another bad shipmate tour experience lol talk about bad luck! apparently they cancelled our dune buggy tour! the rep said we sent you an email! meanwhile we have been on a boat since Wednesday so of course I didn't receive the email! lol anyway ended up taking a cab to beach cost $4 and spent the day there, the water was beautiful and lovely didn't feel so hassled by people. the port area was full of shops and colors and the people so friendly! loved every second. St.Croix - disappointing , the water was beautiful but the beaches had glass on it and was rocky! not worth risking cutting my feet, walked around the town it was so sad to see how affected by the storm it was. hopefully they can rebuild all in all I had a lovely time on the GEM its a beautiful ship, can't wait to sail again with NCL. already planning my next escape for 2019 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We went to visit our son living in New York and chose to include a getaway to warmer climes, hence the Gem. The checkin and embarkation process(as well as the subsequent disembarkation) was short staffed, chaotic and made me think that ... Read More
We went to visit our son living in New York and chose to include a getaway to warmer climes, hence the Gem. The checkin and embarkation process(as well as the subsequent disembarkation) was short staffed, chaotic and made me think that this was what Ellis Island must have been like. Bags were very late to the stateroom. Our overall impression of the ship was that she was tired and in need of refurbishing. Stains on the upholstery were everywhere, along with scratches, nicks, stains and other signs of serious wear and tear and deferred maintenance. It was loud all around the ship, as if loud music everywhere made for a good time and thus it was near impossible to find a quiet, calm space. Signs of cost cutting abounded. An early morning cup of coffee that I could take back to my wife in our cabin was not available in the buffet, as there were no paper cups available other than uncovered 2 ounce cups. One could get a cup to go by paying downstairs at the barista station. The cabin was of decent size, with excellent storage space. The bed was fine. The sofa was stained. The bathroom was interesting. The shower stall was large, the hand held shower head powerful with water as hot as one could tolerate. The commode was interesting, residing in a tiny alcove so that the commode itself was angled 30 degrees toward the sink area. I am not a big man, 5'10", 155. I had to sit and angle myself another 30 degrees to use the commode! Soap and toiletries were lowest end. The buffet was fine in terms of food quality, and variety, although on a 10 day cruise there was a lot of repetition. The Asian food selections were particularly good. A significant problem existed with the cooking of poultry. Twice my wife got roast chicken, cut up by staff at the buffet, that was seriously undercooked, this being a public health hazard. Staff was appropriately concerned about this, but then it recurred. Bussing of tables was just plain inadequate, in terms of cleaning of tables. The French restaurant was very poor as was its Italian counterpart. In those restaurants the staff was disinterested. The steakhouse, Cagney's, however, was terrific. The food was very good, staff attentive and animated, making for a very pleasant 3 visits that we had. The main dining rooms were more than adequate, as was the service. Bar service was short staffed, making for long waits. Customer service desk was fine. The overall feel of the the ship was overcrowded, overly loud, understaffed, undermaintained, and made the choice of names for the top end floors(the Haven) obvious. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I have always been very happy with Norwegian especially the Gem it is my favorite ship. I was very disappointed on this cruise. Staff is no longer happy and engaging with passengers, they seem stressed and overworked. giveaways and ... Read More
I have always been very happy with Norwegian especially the Gem it is my favorite ship. I was very disappointed on this cruise. Staff is no longer happy and engaging with passengers, they seem stressed and overworked. giveaways and general amenities are poor and barely exist anymore. No chocolate on the pillow, no glass of champagne when you are delayed at a restaurant. Little Wow factors are gone. I love the concept of free style cruising and casual dress code BUT there were people on this trip that came to dinner dressed worse than homeless people. sweat pants, hoodies with the hood on, ripped shirts, unbelievable. enough to loose you appetite. There needs to be some kind of dress code when dining in the restaurants. If you can't even groom yourself you don't belong at a table with a tablecloth.. One women came to the main dining room in her pajamas!. I may be old fashion but come on have a little self respect. Food has gone downhill dramatically. If you like hamburgers, hot dogs and fries this is the cruise for you. Dining room food is poor, choices bad. appetizers are skimpy and the same except for one or two every night.. Soups were watery and salty and deserts were boring, Cheap sweet cake. portions are so small you need to order two entrees. I hate to say it but I would compare it to food in a diner. Cabins are clean we had a mini suite, common areas ok but wait staff in the lounges and at the pool are non-existent, maybe two or three drink waiters for the entire pool area. Lines at the bars are long, Entertainment in the theater were good even excellent but lounge music was just fair., Norwegian has taken casual to a new level. I'm no longer comfortable with their business plan. 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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