1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Gem
This was my husband's and I second cruise, the first w/ our 2 children age 14 and 17. It was my daughters 17 birthday was the day we left port. We booked 2 cabins (inside on Deck 9) as close together as possible. No adjoining rooms were available as we booked about 4 weeks prior to departure. Embarkation: We drove to the pier and found ample parking available, ($220 for 7 night cruise). The ship had arrived late so we were delayed boarding the ship. The lines moved quickly and efficiently and there was ample space to wait. We received the standard glass of champagne and the card instructing everyone to go to either the Garden Buffet or the Grand Pacific dining room. After reading some posts on CC, we decided to go to the Grand Pacific and had a nice relaxing lunch. Cabin: The 2 inside cabins that we booked were clean and comfortable w/ ample storage. This was our first inside cabin, and at first, I missed the natural light. But the room was essentially sound proof and beds and pillows were AWESOME! My husband and I slept great throughout the cruise. The bathrooms were adequate size w/ a great shower. Children's room was 2 doors down. Hallways seemed VERY narrow. Keycards should be supplied w/ sleeves to avoid being "demagnetized", had to have them reset several times because of exposure to cell phones/cameras. Pool: All I can say is not enough lounge chairs set up. The ship was full and there were several stacks of lounges not set out. People walked around and around looking for seating. Waiters @ pool were great as was the towel service. Kids Area: Traveled w/ friends who had a 9 year old. She loved the kids pool as well as the childrens activities. Not a whole lot going on for teens, but they had a blast. Restaurants: Our biggest complaint is that they now charge for Tequila and Cucina. The Tequila surcharge was a surprise, as it hadn't been posted in CC before. We ate at Cagney's the first night and the food and service was wonderful. Was surprised that there was an additional charge for the high end items in addition to the $25 pp. It was my daughter's birthday, and a nice cake and song was provided gratis. Le Bistro was excellent as well and well worth the monies. If you wait until late in the cruise, 2 for 1 deals are offered w/ the speciality restaurants. Overall, a nice trip made even better by VIP service. Unfortunately, now we can never go back! Tequila was just OK, $10 surcharge for Mexican is outrageous. Our group of 13 people had reservations @ Teppanyaki one evening @ 8:45. Very disappointing. Other chefs actually entertained their patrons, it seems like ours was on orientation. The orders were not served @ the same time, even though only 2 different orders were placed. Very expensive and NOT worth it. Martini tasting interesting and worth it, as was the sushi demonstration. Spa: My husband took advantage of the gym most days and spent the $75 for the additional spa relaxation room. Great deal. We had a Mother and daughter massage (50 min) on the last day and loved it. Were able to use the relaxation rooms (hydrotherapy, steam, sauna) afterwards w/o charge. Drinks: BEWARE! If you have a teenager, make sure their room card has a cut on the corner or else they will be served alcohol. My daughter did order an alcoholic beverage (not in my presence) and was served. I did complain @ the reception desk, her card was modified and the charges reversed. Excursions: Booking process needs to be updated to reflect availability when calling prior to the cruise. The reservation agents had no idea what was available. 3 of my excursions were canceled due to weather conditions. The sea was very rough. Be careful of trip times, they differ when booking and when you get your actual tickets. If you plan to go to Atlantis, book a room at Comfort Suites. You can have full access @ Atlantis for approx. $210 for a family of 4 with Aquadventure, Beach, the Dig, and the Casino. Water taxi over to Atlantis is $6/pp round trip. Comfort Suites will give you a pass early in the morning, despite check-in being @ 3. Shopping: If you want souvenirs, buy them in Nassau, Freeport's are twice as much. We did book the Eco-Horseback Ride in Freeport. Interesting, but not exciting. Horses do no more than walk. Despite advise of NCL, you can wear shorts ,wear waterproof shoes, or go barefoot and the stable discourages you from bringing your digital camera, but sells disposables for $10. . Surprise! Disembarkation: Smooth, with the exception of the escalator descending to the pier. Difficult to maneuver w/ luggage.

Mad dash for lounge chairs on full ship

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by fletchlisa

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2008
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
This was my husband's and I second cruise, the first w/ our 2 children age 14 and 17. It was my daughters 17 birthday was the day we left port. We booked 2 cabins (inside on Deck 9) as close together as possible. No adjoining rooms were available as we booked about 4 weeks prior to departure.
Embarkation: We drove to the pier and found ample parking available, ($220 for 7 night cruise). The ship had arrived late so we were delayed boarding the ship. The lines moved quickly and efficiently and there was ample space to wait. We received the standard glass of champagne and the card instructing everyone to go to either the Garden Buffet or the Grand Pacific dining room. After reading some posts on CC, we decided to go to the Grand Pacific and had a nice relaxing lunch.
Cabin: The 2 inside cabins that we booked were clean and comfortable w/ ample storage. This was our first inside cabin, and at first, I missed the natural light. But the room was essentially sound proof and beds and pillows were AWESOME! My husband and I slept great throughout the cruise. The bathrooms were adequate size w/ a great shower. Children's room was 2 doors down. Hallways seemed VERY narrow. Keycards should be supplied w/ sleeves to avoid being "demagnetized", had to have them reset several times because of exposure to cell phones/cameras.
Pool: All I can say is not enough lounge chairs set up. The ship was full and there were several stacks of lounges not set out. People walked around and around looking for seating. Waiters @ pool were great as was the towel service.
Kids Area: Traveled w/ friends who had a 9 year old. She loved the kids pool as well as the childrens activities. Not a whole lot going on for teens, but they had a blast.
Restaurants: Our biggest complaint is that they now charge for Tequila and Cucina. The Tequila surcharge was a surprise, as it hadn't been posted in CC before. We ate at Cagney's the first night and the food and service was wonderful. Was surprised that there was an additional charge for the high end items in addition to the $25 pp. It was my daughter's birthday, and a nice cake and song was provided gratis. Le Bistro was excellent as well and well worth the monies. If you wait until late in the cruise, 2 for 1 deals are offered w/ the speciality restaurants. Overall, a nice trip made even better by VIP service. Unfortunately, now we can never go back! Tequila was just OK, $10 surcharge for Mexican is outrageous. Our group of 13 people had reservations @ Teppanyaki one evening @ 8:45. Very disappointing. Other chefs actually entertained their patrons, it seems like ours was on orientation. The orders were not served @ the same time, even though only 2 different orders were placed. Very expensive and NOT worth it. Martini tasting interesting and worth it, as was the sushi demonstration.
Spa: My husband took advantage of the gym most days and spent the $75 for the additional spa relaxation room. Great deal. We had a Mother and daughter massage (50 min) on the last day and loved it. Were able to use the relaxation rooms (hydrotherapy, steam, sauna) afterwards w/o charge.
Drinks: BEWARE! If you have a teenager, make sure their room card has a cut on the corner or else they will be served alcohol. My daughter did order an alcoholic beverage (not in my presence) and was served. I did complain @ the reception desk, her card was modified and the charges reversed.
Excursions: Booking process needs to be updated to reflect availability when calling prior to the cruise. The reservation agents had no idea what was available. 3 of my excursions were canceled due to weather conditions. The sea was very rough. Be careful of trip times, they differ when booking and when you get your actual tickets. If you plan to go to Atlantis, book a room at Comfort Suites. You can have full access @ Atlantis for approx. $210 for a family of 4 with Aquadventure, Beach, the Dig, and the Casino. Water taxi over to Atlantis is $6/pp round trip. Comfort Suites will give you a pass early in the morning, despite check-in being @ 3.
Shopping: If you want souvenirs, buy them in Nassau, Freeport's are twice as much.
We did book the Eco-Horseback Ride in Freeport. Interesting, but not exciting. Horses do no more than walk. Despite advise of NCL, you can wear shorts ,wear waterproof shoes, or go barefoot and the stable discourages you from bringing your digital camera, but sells disposables for $10. . Surprise!
Disembarkation: Smooth, with the exception of the escalator descending to the pier. Difficult to maneuver w/ luggage.
fletchlisa’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Gem price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email