Sailed with NCL 5 times: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by L.Ann Kuiken

Norwegian Gem 3
L.Ann Kuiken
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Sailed with NCL 5 times

Sail Date: November 2012
Destination: Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We booked a 9 day Eastern Caribbean cruise with NCL in February 2012. This being our 5th time cruising exclusively with NCL. Scheduled to depart on October 29th. Unfortunately hurricane Sandy decided to pay us a visit and our cruise was delayed. The coast guard had closed the port of New York, and NCL had no information on when it was expected to re-open. We had lost power had no TV, internet, or cell phone access. We would charge our cell phone and call NCL up to 2-3 times a day, to see what the status of our cruise was. Sometimes the customer service rep was downright nasty, being short tempered. Finally towards the end of the week, we found out our cruise was cut to 5 days, with a day and a half in Bermuda. We had already been to Bermuda, and figured we had our vacation planned, lets go. NCL gave us pro-rated on-board credit for the 4 missed days. If we chose to cancel we could get our 4 day refund, and 5 day credit.

Booking 9 months in advance I would periodically call More NCL to see if there were any upgrades, always being told that we had a 4 category upgrade for a balcony. If we wanted any upgrades we needed to pay additional fees.

The day of our embarkation arrived. There was no power in the Terminal, feeling cold and damp we were anxious to board the ship and find some warmth. We waited for our turn in line to check in. (having completed the on-line check in prior to Sandy.) We handed our e-ticket and passports to the agent, she looked at her computer screen and said "I'll be back", and left with our documents. Waiting for over 15 minutes I asked the supervisor if she could help us. Totally ignoring my request, "your agent will return soon". 10 minutes later the agent finally arrived and told us we were not in the computer. How can that be we asked? Having our e-ticket. I need to go and make your room keys now. We were finally able to board the ship, had some lunch and went to our stateroom. Very disappointed at the size of our room, and the balcony being "enveloped" by the ship. This was a 4 category upgrade?!?!
We went to the customer service desk, finding out the ship was only half full I asked for a different stateroom. Willing to pay additional if needed I was told there was no other available rooms. And the ship was only half full????

We had 1 sea day, went to Bermuda arriving on a Sunday. (All the shops were closed), we decided to visit the zoo/aquarium on our own and not pay the $89.00 per person shore excursion fee. (cost of 2 day bus/ferry pass $40.00 for the 2 of us). We did a little shopping Monday, and needed to be back on board by 3:30 for a 4pm departure.

We felt that the meals and entertainment were cut short. One comic boarding the ship while we were in Bermuda. There was also a comic hypnotist.
We never had a lobster night. The dinner choices were just mediocre.
Being latitude members we never received the ships pin, or discounts at the photo or gift shops.

It seemed to me this cruise was done to satisfy those passengers who "demanded" a cruise vacation. I should have been one of those who cancelled if I had only known what was ahead for us. NCL should have sucked up this cruise as a loss and canceled the whole trip. As I mentioned earlier, this was our 5th cruise with NCL. Maybe it's time to try another cruise company. I would have loved to say "Wow what a trip". This cruise surely did not meet my expectations. Less

Published 11/26/12

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L.Ann Kuiken
Member Since 2012
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