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Norwegian Gem Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,530 Reviews

This Latitude membership is not worth it !!!!!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by chiefwoodie

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2008
  • Destination: the Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window

As we all know anyone who sails on more than 2 cruises with NCL is a Latitude member so what is it worth? My wife and I are both Gold members so we have been on a few cruises mostly with NCL but this last is one we will remember for a while.


New Building in New York but still has problems. NCL poor signage as where to go. We asked an NCL representative as to where we should go but she was too busy talking so we were herded into the LINE. Ran into friends and asked what we were doing there and then spoke to a caring NCL member who corrected the problem.

It should be a requirement that if you do not sanitize your hands as asked then you do not get on the ship or you are denied access to eating areas. You need someone in authority present a large gathering areas to make sure EVERYONE complies.

Once on Board we were sent to the 12th deck to the Garden Cafe where everyone else was sent. Now simple mathematics should take over here but not for NCL. Why do you send all of the incoming passengers to this area when there is limited seating???? NCL creates the problem by not letting you go to your cabin prior to 2:00pm Why? Staff needed for life boat drill. Hint!!! have drill later within the 24 hours that is stated at every drill and more personnel available for Dining Rooms so the passenger can use the ship!

Stateroom: Nothing great standard room but with new costly add ons, TV now has a pay for view style directly from cabin. New films 11.95 Adult 14.95 Older films 5.95. If you want regular TV one spends more time watching poor signal or dark screen than movie channels. If you want news or sports or more sports they come in loud and clear. Why did NCL change from showing movies on board rather than acquiring a feed that is not reliable?

Entertainment: This was great went to all the shows: Musicals, comedian, magician and finale, always had a view no matter where you were seated in Stardust Theater.

Casino or SMOKE PIT:

Very limited number of games to enjoy. Biggest turnoff is smoking smoking and smoking. You can not have an area packed with people and smoking where you do not have air handling machines. If you just pass through this area your clothes will reek with the smell smoke once you get back to your cabin NCL needs to address this problem or designate this a no smoking area. The non smokers out number the smoker so why are we subjected to the second hand smoke


Private Island: Got VIP tender tickets but I think the rest of the ship got the same ticket. NCL instructed those with these ticket to proceed to 4th floor forward and when we got to the 5th floor which was where our cabin was the hallway was COMPLETELY BLOCKED WITH PEOPLE. The stairs were crowded and the people on the floors could not get onto the stairs because of the upper levels coming down. Now for someone who has an extremely extensive background in safety this does not present itself as a confidence builder for NCL. AT NO TIME WAS A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NCL IN THE STAIR CASES SUPERVISING DEPARTURES TO THE PRIVATE ISLAND. This is a no brainer. If you hand out a limited number of these passes only these people should be allowed anywhere near the tender area at not to stock pile people in these stairs. NCL IS always BOASTING ABOUT SAFETY AND FIRE BUT THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CREATE THE CAPACITY SITUATIONS AND OFFER NO GUIDANCE TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM. If this same type of situation were to exist in say a theater on land the event would be stopped until the aisle or staircase was cleared!!!!! This is a FACT!!!

Port Canaveral Wildlife Encounter-A Pontoon Boat cruise Very interesting and informative. Great guides and lots of local wildlife to see. Highlights included sightings of manatees and bottle nose dolphins. Tour take place on a completely cover pontoon boat. Laid back pace. Lagoon winds through the COCOA BEACH community where the waterway is used as streets. Very good price also.

Nassau,Bahamas I had been told by NCL NOT to do a private tour but guess what we did and it was extremely professional. Now look at it this way. All of those tour operators that meet you at the entrance to the building are certified and have been to school for their profession. They are all registered and all charge the same price for the tours. They undercut NCL and do a better job. Tour included usual spots as well as the Atlantis with a guided tour there and return to starting point for $25.00 per was well worth it.

ATLANTIS NCL runs a few tours to this area but one needs to be informed some are costly.

Discover Atlantis and Harbour Cruise Atlantis Beach Break Atlantis Aquaventure

Now if you check prior to departing for your cruise one will get a surprise for the amount of money one will pay on these tours. Call Atlantis directly price change

Or you could do the following:

Get a taxi to Atlantis, and go to the Hotel desk. Ask about a one day pass for the Aquaventure park and one can go.

Or Taxi to Atlantis and sign up for tour of Dig at the hotel there for a price.

Or taxi to Atlantis and view the marine habitat at no cost to yourself.

We were informed while on our tour that Atlantis has rights to one of the smaller resort area down the road which is not highly published. What has been done is to get a room for the day at this resort and Atlantis will give passes to Aquaventure for all that are registered ( Which if you are traveling as a family could be worth it.) Freeport: Mostly everyone got off ship so decided to stay on board and relax; Nice day sun and pool Accessibility to anything on board.


Here is the trick for the Grand Pacific Room:

Get there early and sit on the right hand side of the room in the tables numbering in the 80's. They are fast and you get hot food. If you sit in the rear of the dining room food is cold and rarely see server or table staff. Menu is small portions and does not have the old reliable of broiled chicken and a baked potato!!! for those who do not like the selections.

Garden Cafe

All food is individually prepared in front of you while you wait if you should want to do so. Also available is cafeteria style food stations consisting of mexican, italian, asian cuisine. Usually 2 carving station of different meats.

Always have burgers, dogs, salads, french fries, pizza and other fast food available while this area is open.

Note: There are NO TRAYS to place plates while walking back to your table NCL what is up with this.

Chocolate Buffet:

Held in Garden Cafe at 9:30 PM. NCL needs to allow passengers in prior to opening up to general for PICTURES. This is a night that some parents just sit back and let kids go into lines and load up their plates and eat a nothing from them. Running around and not supervised is great for these kids but it make the other passengers wonder where the parents are!


Had Yellow Tag for early off because of the baggage we came on with.

If you want to carry off your own luggage then you can be the first ones off also with a majority of the rest of the ship.

After waiting a little over an hour Yellow was called and we proceed to the designated area to get off of the ship only to be met with laggers from the carry off session. After using bridge from ship to building had to go through other colors to find yellow tagged bags. Once found had to continue into corral area and wait for the small number of custom agents to look at passports and then out of terminal building. The nice thing about new building is the incoming cruisers are on the upper level and those leaving are on the lower level.


All in all on a scale of the famous 1-5 rating I would give this on a 3 only because we have been on other cruises and see what can be done. For a first time cruiser I would expect a lower rating. So for a ship that was just commissioned in November it is clear that NCL needs to do some more work if they want to keep repeat cruisers!!!!

Really do not know how NCL will adjust their ways when the comment cards were not handed out for passenger comment and concerns. Really note impressed

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