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Embarkation: We arrived around 11:30 am, went thru check-in, received our boarding number and went to the waiting area. Boarding was on schedule, and went smoothly. As we made our way through the crowded atrium, we were greeted with a glass of champagne. We chose to dine at the Grand Pacific for lunch. After lunch, we explored the ship, checked out our room and then went to the muster drill. We chose to stay on our balcony as we left port so we could view the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Cabin: We were in an AF aft mini-suite. Being newbies, we didn't expect our room to be as spacious as it was. There was plenty of storage/closet space, the bathroom was decent, the sitting area was comfortable, and the balcony was able to accommodate 4 adults comfortably. The bed was super comfy!! Our room stewards were friendly and kept our room nice & clean. We always had ice and of course towel animals every night! Dining: The only two places we didn't try were La Cucina & the Orchid Garden. Breakfast- we usually ate at the Garden Cafe. Food was good, there was a nice variety and the omelet station was very good. We didn't have a difficult time finding a table, but we noticed that around 9AM, it was very crowded. Had breakfast at Grand Pacific twice. It was a more relaxing, quiet atmosphere. Blue Lagoon - great hot wings, good sandwiches, service was a little slow- but we're on vacation- no hurry! We were satisfied with our meals at Grand Pacific & Magenta for lunch and dinner. There was a wait time for dinner seatings at the two main dining rooms, but we encounter that at restaurants at home, so it didn't bother us. Teppanyaki was okay, Le Bistro was very good, and our favorite was Cagney's. The waiters at all establishments were very accommodating and service was good. Regarding the cover charge at the specialty restaurants: IMO- was worth it at Le Bistro & Cagney's but Teppanyaki left us a little disappointed... Casino/ Entertainment: The casino had a nice variety of slot machines and table games. I'm mostly a slot player, and found enough to keep me happy! I even won the slot tournament!! One thing that could use some improvement is the process of cashing in your points for credits. You can only cash in your points from 6PM - 9PM on the last sea day... gets pretty crowded. We didn't go to any shows, but we enjoyed the live music at the lounges. We especially liked the guitar player at the Star Bar. Disembarkation: Chose to carry our own bags, get in line whenever you wanted. This was a little chaotic. The line was very long, but it went okay. Hindsight- Either I take less luggage, or get a colored tag with an scheduled disembarkation. I think I'll take less luggage.. I really overpacked!! Overall Experience: We had a great time and would definitely cruise again! The ship was beautiful, we made some good friends, and we loved the freestyle cruising concept.

First Cruise - A Real Gem!!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by GamblinGal

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2009
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony
Embarkation: We arrived around 11:30 am, went thru check-in, received our boarding number and went to the waiting area. Boarding was on schedule, and went smoothly. As we made our way through the crowded atrium, we were greeted with a glass of champagne. We chose to dine at the Grand Pacific for lunch. After lunch, we explored the ship, checked out our room and then went to the muster drill. We chose to stay on our balcony as we left port so we could view the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
Cabin: We were in an AF aft mini-suite. Being newbies, we didn't expect our room to be as spacious as it was. There was plenty of storage/closet space, the bathroom was decent, the sitting area was comfortable, and the balcony was able to accommodate 4 adults comfortably. The bed was super comfy!! Our room stewards were friendly and kept our room nice & clean. We always had ice and of course towel animals every night!
Dining: The only two places we didn't try were La Cucina & the Orchid Garden. Breakfast- we usually ate at the Garden Cafe. Food was good, there was a nice variety and the omelet station was very good. We didn't have a difficult time finding a table, but we noticed that around 9AM, it was very crowded. Had breakfast at Grand Pacific twice. It was a more relaxing, quiet atmosphere. Blue Lagoon - great hot wings, good sandwiches, service was a little slow- but we're on vacation- no hurry! We were satisfied with our meals at Grand Pacific & Magenta for lunch and dinner. There was a wait time for dinner seatings at the two main dining rooms, but we encounter that at restaurants at home, so it didn't bother us. Teppanyaki was okay, Le Bistro was very good, and our favorite was Cagney's. The waiters at all establishments were very accommodating and service was good. Regarding the cover charge at the specialty restaurants: IMO- was worth it at Le Bistro & Cagney's but Teppanyaki left us a little disappointed...
Casino/ Entertainment: The casino had a nice variety of slot machines and table games. I'm mostly a slot player, and found enough to keep me happy! I even won the slot tournament!! One thing that could use some improvement is the process of cashing in your points for credits. You can only cash in your points from 6PM - 9PM on the last sea day... gets pretty crowded. We didn't go to any shows, but we enjoyed the live music at the lounges. We especially liked the guitar player at the Star Bar.
Disembarkation: Chose to carry our own bags, get in line whenever you wanted. This was a little chaotic. The line was very long, but it went okay. Hindsight- Either I take less luggage, or get a colored tag with an scheduled disembarkation. I think I'll take less luggage.. I really overpacked!!
Overall Experience: We had a great time and would definitely cruise again! The ship was beautiful, we made some good friends, and we loved the freestyle cruising concept.
GamblinGal’s Full Rating Summary
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