Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by brovol
- Sail Date: March 2009
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Family Penthouse with Balcony
Last year we had a Courtyard Villa, after on an upsell from an AB penthouse. We didn't get the upsell call this year. We were in penthouse #11512, an AB, which was identical to last years CV. I think the location is perfect. the 11th floor is all suites and mini suites on the outside, and it was very quiet. We did here some pounding from the treadmills in the gym above, but never at night; and we could hear it only in our living-room area.
We missed the courtyard pool area, but ended up utilizing more of the ships venues as a result. In the end, I am glad I didn't spend the extra $ on the CV.
The service was again quite good. Out butler, Mr T (cant recall his real name), and concierge, Alex, were both superb. Our cabin steward, Antonio, was substandard, and bothersome in another respect as well.
Several times, when my wife an daughter were alone in the room, he entered the cabin without knocking or ringing the doorbell. Each time he gave a lame reason for entering ('I'm just checking something", without further explanation). My wife thinks he figured our daughter was in the room by herself. Perhaps we are paranoid; but we never had this happen before, and on this cruise it occurred several times.
Dining was overall very good. Teppanyaki was outstanding. The Grand Pacific was very good, but a little slow. The food at the other asian restaurant, Orchid Garden, was a somewhat disappointing for a pay place. We were quite pleased, on the other hand, with the buffet, and actually ate there for dinner twice, after never having eaten dinner at a buffet on any of our previous cruises.
Service at Blue lagoon, unfortunately, was terrible. We waited 1/2 hour before we had anyone come to the table; and that only occurred after we complained twice. The wings were pretty good, but not worth the wait. Others had the same experience at Blue Lagoon.
We ate breakfast and lunch at Cagney's several times, and always had a positive experience. They now have a small buffet set up for breakfast in addition to the menu items. Its a nice addition.
Entertainment was excellent. The singers and dancers put on a great show. Our favorite entertainment venue, though, was the Star Bar, with guitarist James Capik. He is an amazing musician, and each night got more crowded with folks wanting to here his music.
The ship was filled. There was a group of 300+ University of Delaware students on spring break. They all purchased an unlimited alcohol package, and made sure they got their moneys worth. We thought the group was well behaved, and a great addition to the cruise. None of the students were anything but pleasant, courteous, and respectful.
We did not book this cruise for its itinerary. We didn't purchase any excursions, so I can offer nothing there.
The VIP embarkation, and walk-off disembarkation worked perfectly.
We like the freestyle concept. Norwegian does a nice job with its product, and the Gem is a quality ship.
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