First time cruising with Norwegian: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by rsds

Norwegian Gem 3
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

First time cruising with Norwegian

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We took a bus from Providence to New York. We had taken this tour out of Providence before but this time was more chaotic than the first time. However, we arrived at the terminal around noontime and the embarkation was quite smooth.

We had lunch at the buffet around 1:30. It was very crowded but we expected that being the first day and everyone going there, waiting for their rooms to be ready. We found it very strange that we could not take anything we wanted from the buffet, everything was given to us by a staff member with plastic gloves. Any of the cruises we have been on in the past, never had this policy in place. But, since this was the first time with Norwegian, we went with the flow.

A special moment for me was sailing by the Statue of Liberty with God Bless the U.S.A. playing in the background.

The seas were smooth sailing all the way down to Florida and back.

We ate at 2 specialty restaurants and they were just OK, Cagney's and More Modernos. I found the food in the main dining room to be just as good. Would not pay the extra money to eat there again.

We enjoyed breakfast at the Blue Lagoon the first couple of mornings. Food was good, service a little slow. Great place to eat as long as you are not in a hurry.

At Great Stirrup Cay where we did the kayaking tour. We had a good time. However, our trip went downhill from there. My husband was so sick later that afternoon with vomiting and diarrhea. This put a damper on the remainder of the trip. We thought it was food poisoning from something he had eaten at the buffet at first. But then, I got sick a couple of days later, no vomiting but queasy stomach and diarrhea and I started with a sore throat and it kicked up my asthma and bronchitis. We got home last Sunday and I have not been able to go to work. Today, I went to the doctors and was told I had the Norwalk Virus and since it is very contagious he wants me home for the rest of the week. When you go on vacation, the last thing you want to happen is being sick for another week. After looking back, I now know why they were handing salt and pepper packets with tongs and had the staff handing out everything else. You could not touch one thing.

We only saw our room steward a few times during the entire week which is something else that we found strange. No one shook our hand anytime throughout the cruise. All this would have been understandable, if someone informed us of what was going on.

We had a balcony but unfortunately couldn't use it as much as we would have like to. We had smokers next to us and unfortunately the wind was blowing in our direction. I wish Norwegian would do something about that. The free cruise was for an inside cabin and I upgraded to a balcony. I was upset that I paid an extra $500.00 to have a balcony and then have smokers next door. I looked out at the ocean with my door shut a lot. That was very disappointing.

Something different on Norwegian, was a little dial under your room number. You could set it for "do not disturb" "make up room" "turn down room" or "welcome". I thought this was a very nice feature. You would know if your room steward had been in, if it read "welcome".

If it wasn't for other passengers talking about loved ones being sick that they were there with, one would never know about the outbreak. We were surprised to hear that hundreds of people were sick standing in line to disembark.

The entertainment in the theatre was top notch. We really enjoyed the shows every night. Unfortunately, my husband missed Colorz because of being sick.

Yes, there were hundreds of children on this cruise. One thing I did notice was a lot of teens were sitting on the stairs and I don't think that should have been allowed.

Our safe was locked when we got there but fixed right away. Thank you.

That was our trip in review. It started off well but unfortunately it ended on a downhill slide. I think the trip would have been much different for us if it wasn't for the virus! Less

Published 04/25/12
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Cabin review: BA9600 Mid-Ship Balcony

Closet was good size. We did bring hangers from home because there are never enough on any cruise we have taken. Our room was great, right off the elevator and never bothered by noise. Balcony a good size, however, if you have smokers next door and you are not a smoker you will be very disappointed. Bed very comfortable. Our safe was locked when we got there but fixed right away. Size of the safe quite big, holds a lot. Bathroom adequate.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We took the kayak tour. It was fun and very informative. We kayaked to an island and stopped for awhile. Saw a beautiful starfish along with other sea life and got a history lesson about the island. Then got back in our kayaks and headed back to the outdoor buffet.

Beach Break

We went to the Atlantis. The tour guide walked us to the beach where most people wanted to go. However, my husband and I wanted to see the aquarium. So, once at the beach, we headed off by ourselves and took a lot of pictures along the way. The grounds are beautiful and the aquarium was amazing. The size of some of those stingrays were unbelievable. It was well worth the time. However, at lunch, my husband headed back to the ship because he was still not feeling well. The resort is gorgeous. We had been there once before, but did not take the excursion and missed out on a lot. Glad we did it this time.

The Pontoon Boat was relaxing. We saw manatees and dolphins. They served us soda, pretzels and cookies. Very nice tour guides. The we drove a short distance to the air boat adventure. We had a blast. We saw so many alligators it was truly an amazing experience.

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