The GOOD, The Bad, The Ugly and the VERY UGLY!: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by JRA1708

Norwegian Gem 5
Member Since 2011
356 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

The GOOD, The Bad, The Ugly and the VERY UGLY!

Sail Date: December 2013
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
I am gonna start off saying that anyone interested can go to the NCL forum and I will be posting a more extensive review with pictures in a few days. We were a party of 6 adult family members traveling together in a 2 bedroom Haven Suite. We left the night before and drove from Pittsburgh to Newark NJ Ramada Inn. Thank goodness we did this because of the snow storm that hit Saturday the day we departed. The Ramada Inn Newark Airport hotel was very nice. I almost cancelled this hotel reservation due to some really bad reviews on Tripadivor. We got a really good deal by booking thru Trinity Reservations. $117 a night, plus your car stays for up to 14 days free. I'm glad I didn't cancel because the hotel was nice, beds were comfy and the staff was really friendly and helpful. Yes, some of the hotel looked a little worn, but it was clean and they are currently renovating. We ate at their restaurant Teddy's, the food was good with average prices. Our server was friendly and when we asked More for 2 TV's channels to be turned to the Pittsburgh Penguin game, it was done quickly with no problem.

Saturday Dec 14th we were picked up by Lincoln Limousine around 9:30 am, our driver's name was Sadean. He was friendly and personable. We were dropped off at the Port of Manhattan and by 11am we were sitting in Cagneys.

Ok, now I'm not sure where to start so I'll start with the GOOD…The Haven was AWESOME! I loved everything about it. Our 2 bedroom suite was very nice and yes it can be done with 6 adults. We loved our Butler Jeffrey and our service with Rodrigo while relaxing at the Haven Pool. They were genuine and supper supper friendly. Gigi and the young man (I can't remember his name at the moment) made up and turned down our room everyday were friendly and polite. Now a sore spot..and I know this will make some peoples heads spin, but our Concierge was rude and very impolite. I was shocked and actually took a step back from one comment he made to my brother. By Tuesday, I had had enough of his attitude and went to the Cruise customer service desk and complained. I am NOT an uppity person. We live on a farm, and I am a nurse. We work hard and treat people as we want to be treated. Needless to say, I was impressed at how Bonita Customer Care Director handled it. 

Now for the Ugly..The first 2 days at sea were rough because of the weather. The ship pitched and swayed for 2 days and all but me in our suite were sick. And I mean had to stay in bed sea sick. All were green around the gills.

There is another part that started out very good, then went to ugly within 24hrs. We went to Tappanyaki and ate on Monday night. We loved it, the chef's were fun and the food was Great! The next morning one of our party started throwing up and visiting the bathroom quite frequently. She tried to venture into San Juan hoping she would feel better, we made it threw one Forte and she had to go back to she ship. I went with her to infirmary, they gave her medicine and she was quarantined to the room for 24hrs. I was worried that we all would end up being sick, but we ended up all being fine. So did she, after 24hrs she was good as new and enjoyed the rest of the cruise.

Here is another GOOD if not EXCELLENT part of the cruise. The Entertainment! Every show was VERY GOOD! The production shows, the Juggler, Second City and all the shows in the Spinnaker were very well done. We enjoyed all!

The cruise wait staff..were friendly and actually seemed to like their job. Matt, the CD was funny and personable. Dan Dan the assistant CD was Hilarious! And MAN can they both SING! Both Fantastic!

Now for the VERY UGLY! The Garden Cafe and "Some" Fellow cruise passengers. I mean COME ON PEOPLE ACT LIKE YOU HAVE EATEN BEFORE!!! I have been on 6 cruises, and have never experienced such rudeness by fellow passengers. They run into you, knock food out of your hands, cut in line and never say "sorry" or "excuse me"! I watched one little girl, while her father sat and watched..fling spaghetti noodles around covered in sauce like it was a lasso. Sauce was flying everywhere and her father never said a word to her. Sauce was going on the seats, windows and other people as they walked past. It was so unbelievably rude and nasty. Not only to me (yes I got sauce splattered on me) but the staff that had to clean it up. What makes it even sadder is the food in the Garden Cafe wasn't bad, some selections were very taste, but I tried to avoid it at all cost.

The rudeness didn't end in the Garden Cafe either. My daughter held a door open for a lady that had a baby in a stroller and the women must have been experiencing the same rudeness throughout the cruise because she thanked my daughter over and over again stating that so many people had let the door slam on her most of the cruise. On the last night for the fare well show, we sat in middle row daughter had to get out of the row making the people on the end seats stand. When she came back and tried to get back in the row, they told her she wasn't getting in because they weren't standing up again…WHAT!!?? she told them "Thats my family and I am sitting with them and if you don't stand to let me in I will climb over you" they wouldn't budge. So she raised her leg to climb over them, and then they stood in a huff!! I mean really people..if you don't want to have to get up and down during a show that is packed DON'T SIT ON AN END SEAT!!

All in all we had a good time on this cruise. I mean there were somethings that could have ruined this whole vacation but we aren't that type of people. We had good weather on all the islands and enjoyed all our excursions. If you want more detail on our excursions read my more detailed review on the NCL forum site. This was my second cruise with NCL and I probably will cruise with them again, because they can't control the weather and they can't make people have manners. Less

Published 12/31/13

Cabin review: H414012 Courtyard Villa with Balcony

Suite #14012 was a real gem. We loved the bathroom in the master bedroom. Beds were very comfy and there was lots of space and closet space. We asked Jeffrey our Butler to bring a lounger for the balcony and it was there by the next morning.

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