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Norwegian Gem March 12-22,1016. The cruise was way over crowded. We were told that there were 3,000 passengers on the ship, and 1/3 of them were teens. If you look up the stats on the Gem it claims it's capacity is 2400. It was "spring break" in Canada. It was also spring break in many US colleges and Universities. The US students must have gone elsewhere, but Canadians were the dominant participants on this cruise. There was also a large Chinese contingent. I like the diversity, I enjoyed practicing my French with some Quebecois. The cruise staff were amazing. Drew was the new cruise director, he stepped right in as if he had been there forever. .. which i suppose they are conditioned to do so changing ships with each vacation. His staff were professional and friendly. You could see them all over the ship stepping up to the challenges. I have come to the conclusion that the higher your level of cabin, the more you see your steward. I had an obstructed ocean view ada cabin. I saw him about four times in ten days. That doesn't mean he didn't clean; he cleaned my room well, twice each day. I have no complaints, in terms of his service; i just saw the stewards more often when i was in a balcony room. (and not at all when i had an inside). I had a great time playing trivia multiple times each day. Some games were incredibly difficult. Of course the pay to play activities were hawked and encouraged much more. I don't play those games any more. I spent three hours at the pool one morning while in port. all of the chairs were "reserved with towels" and I never saw a person come to those chairs. I began to believe that the towels were simply placed there for anyone's use; but i remembered other's complaints about this. Some how this practice needs to stop. There were only two of us in the pool, so the chairs were not reserved by us. Come on people. Either be at the pool or keep your towels in the room. The staff in Cagney's were lovely and welcoming. Le Bistro staff were also welcoming and kind. Meals in Cagney's were sometimes slow. in Le Bistro and the Grand Pacific I felt that service was reasonable in its time. The wait staff were always amazing. I tend to avoid the buffet if possible as it is difficult to navigate when disabled, though I walked through often to get to the aft elevator or to hang out in the Great Outdoors. I had one meal at Teppanyaki, the floor was exceptionally slippery, the food was good, however on previous cruises we were given a little of what everyone ordered and then a lot of what we ordered. On this cruise we were only given what we ordered. Had i known this, I would have ordered differently. I did not use room service. Having 1,000 teens prompted the staff to turn the Bliss lounge into an under 21 club at night. In the past it was an adults only lounge. This was a very smart move in my opinion. I did not have problems with teens all over the place, nor did i see lots of little kids outside of the buffet. Complaints: There were far fewer seats designated as handicapped seats in the Stardust Theater. This was distressing as I counted on having those seats available as my knee doesn't bend comfortably, if at all. The price of drinks has gone up 20%, ($8.80 -> $10.56) and yet we no longer get bar nuts with our drinks. The pools were way too crowded on sea days, and the passengers rudely left their towels on the chairs for hours at a time. The temperature in the thermal suite spa tubs was lower than in the past. (it was about 99˚ F) The orange juice is gone from the thermal suites, and when people got sick, so was the flavored water and teas (I don't remember if there was ever coffee). As a lattitudes member, I was disappointed that there were very few, not well indicated, signature products at the spa. (those that are eligible for discounts) Also in the past all purchases i've made in the photo gallery; generally ship pictures or destination pictures, have been discounted. This time I was told it was only the pictures taken of passengers that are discounted. Surprise surprise!! Ah well. It does take the loyalty incentive down a notch. My biggest complaint is against the hotel manager, Sonja. I wrote a note to her almost every day. Most of them were upbeat, one of them was a complaint. I never got a response to any of them. In the past I have always gotten responses from the hotel manager both when my comments were positive and when I was upset about something. Why cursed? The noro-virus was at a level that caused Saint Martin to deny us port. This upset many people. Those who fell ill, and their cabin mates, were quarantined for 48 hours. I'm sure that was difficult for families in inside cabins. The crew did their best to contain the virus I'm sure. Dancers and cruise activity staff were helping out in the buffet, which was no longer a buffet, but more like a cafeteria with staff serving everyone. There were also problems int the child care area. All in all, I stayed healthy, and so I had a very pleasant cruise. I enjoyed myself even though I was traveling solo for the first time. I still plan to cruise like a Norwegian.

Can a cruise be cursed?

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by skipperanne

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Obstructed Oceanview
Norwegian Gem March 12-22,1016.

The cruise was way over crowded. We were told that there were 3,000 passengers on the ship, and 1/3 of them were teens. If you look up the stats on the Gem it claims it's capacity is 2400. It was "spring break" in Canada. It was also spring break in many US colleges and Universities. The US students must have gone elsewhere, but Canadians were the dominant participants on this cruise. There was also a large Chinese contingent. I like the diversity, I enjoyed practicing my French with some Quebecois.

The cruise staff were amazing. Drew was the new cruise director, he stepped right in as if he had been there forever. .. which i suppose they are conditioned to do so changing ships with each vacation. His staff were professional and friendly. You could see them all over the ship stepping up to the challenges. I have come to the conclusion that the higher your level of cabin, the more you see your steward. I had an obstructed ocean view ada cabin. I saw him about four times in ten days. That doesn't mean he didn't clean; he cleaned my room well, twice each day. I have no complaints, in terms of his service; i just saw the stewards more often when i was in a balcony room. (and not at all when i had an inside).

I had a great time playing trivia multiple times each day. Some games were incredibly difficult. Of course the pay to play activities were hawked and encouraged much more. I don't play those games any more.

I spent three hours at the pool one morning while in port. all of the chairs were "reserved with towels" and I never saw a person come to those chairs. I began to believe that the towels were simply placed there for anyone's use; but i remembered other's complaints about this. Some how this practice needs to stop. There were only two of us in the pool, so the chairs were not reserved by us. Come on people. Either be at the pool or keep your towels in the room.

The staff in Cagney's were lovely and welcoming. Le Bistro staff were also welcoming and kind. Meals in Cagney's were sometimes slow. in Le Bistro and the Grand Pacific I felt that service was reasonable in its time. The wait staff were always amazing. I tend to avoid the buffet if possible as it is difficult to navigate when disabled, though I walked through often to get to the aft elevator or to hang out in the Great Outdoors. I had one meal at Teppanyaki, the floor was exceptionally slippery, the food was good, however on previous cruises we were given a little of what everyone ordered and then a lot of what we ordered. On this cruise we were only given what we ordered. Had i known this, I would have ordered differently. I did not use room service.

Having 1,000 teens prompted the staff to turn the Bliss lounge into an under 21 club at night. In the past it was an adults only lounge. This was a very smart move in my opinion. I did not have problems with teens all over the place, nor did i see lots of little kids outside of the buffet.

Complaints: There were far fewer seats designated as handicapped seats in the Stardust Theater. This was distressing as I counted on having those seats available as my knee doesn't bend comfortably, if at all. The price of drinks has gone up 20%, ($8.80 -> $10.56) and yet we no longer get bar nuts with our drinks. The pools were way too crowded on sea days, and the passengers rudely left their towels on the chairs for hours at a time. The temperature in the thermal suite spa tubs was lower than in the past. (it was about 99˚ F) The orange juice is gone from the thermal suites, and when people got sick, so was the flavored water and teas (I don't remember if there was ever coffee).

As a lattitudes member, I was disappointed that there were very few, not well indicated, signature products at the spa. (those that are eligible for discounts) Also in the past all purchases i've made in the photo gallery; generally ship pictures or destination pictures, have been discounted. This time I was told it was only the pictures taken of passengers that are discounted. Surprise surprise!! Ah well. It does take the loyalty incentive down a notch. My biggest complaint is against the hotel manager, Sonja. I wrote a note to her almost every day. Most of them were upbeat, one of them was a complaint. I never got a response to any of them. In the past I have always gotten responses from the hotel manager both when my comments were positive and when I was upset about something.

Why cursed? The noro-virus was at a level that caused Saint Martin to deny us port. This upset many people. Those who fell ill, and their cabin mates, were quarantined for 48 hours. I'm sure that was difficult for families in inside cabins. The crew did their best to contain the virus I'm sure. Dancers and cruise activity staff were helping out in the buffet, which was no longer a buffet, but more like a cafeteria with staff serving everyone. There were also problems int the child care area.

All in all, I stayed healthy, and so I had a very pleasant cruise. I enjoyed myself even though I was traveling solo for the first time. I still plan to cruise like a Norwegian.
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Cabin Review

Obstructed Oceanview
Cabin OK 8102
I was surprised at how much smaller this cabin was compared to the ADA cabins on the Sun. As I was traveling alone i did fine. The obstruction caused by the life boats was fine, and what I expected. I hadn't thought about the obstruction of the overhead deck, and the light pollution caused by the lights on the deck 7 promenade. Still I wasn't claustrophobic. The storage space was very limited. Three small drawers, and a clothes press type of closet. There were also open shelves, which i used for shirts and trousers. The shower bench would not open, but i was able to remove it and to stand. The first time I took a shower it set off the internal fire alarm an officer came to my door and inspected my room.
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