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Norwegian Gem Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2530 reviews
9 Awards

Gratitiuous Sex and Violence on the High Seas

Review for Norwegian Gem to the Western Mediterranean
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First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jul 2009
Cabin: Aft-Facing Balcony

First day back at work after our cruise.  Here's a few personal observations.I thought the general attitude of the passengers was a little more inconsiderate than when I did the NCL Jewel on a similar itinerary two years ago.  There was a lot more cutting into lines and just pushing around you as if you didn't exist.  At the chocoholic buffet, we actually got disgusted and left.  When you see an inconsiderate boob carrying three plates of cake, pushing around you because they're going to starve to death if they don't get a fourth - give me a break already!I don't know why people have to stand in front of doorways to have their conversations.  The ship's large enough that they can move three feet so other passengers can walk through the doorways.  I felt like I was on a cruise going out of New York (where I live).  I'm not politeness-man, but when a 35 year old man pushes me out of the way on the ice cream line at the buffet - come on already you pig!  It's not going to run out.Chair hogs - well, you've heard all that before.Anyhow, my main purpose isn't to complain, just wanted to get that off my chest.The ship is wonderful.  We were in aft balcony 9674 and were very pleased with the room (although I wouldn't spend the extra $500 for a BA that I did versus a regular BB balcony again.  For a suite, that would be a different story).   Our room steward, Christopher, was great and kept us in clean towels and a tidy room, what more could you ask for?Every time you look over your shoulder, there was somebody cleaning something.  The public areas were well policed and cleaned, except the last day when 20-30 knot winds kicked up leaving Cannes and glasses, plates and food were blowing around the sun deck.  Nobody from the ship came up to pick anything up, and I wasn't going to clean up after the rest of the passengers.We didn't attend any of the shows - just weren't interested.  The earliest we dinned was 9:00, usually 9:30 and once at 10:30.  We ate at Cagney's twice, it was great both times.  The Grand Pacific dining room always had a line when we went there so we chose the Magenta dining room instead.  Food was good, service was great.  Blue Lagoon was so-so, very limited menu, more like appetizers than dinner.  Tequila's was really good - we had the fajitas for two and a pitcher of white Sangria that we couldn't finish.  We did the buffet for breakfast most mornings and had room service once.  Omlettes could have been made with a little less oil, scrambled eggs were delicious, if you like them soaked in butter (I do).  They had eggs Benedict with spinach instead of Canadian bacon, which saved me a good 50 calories for the week.The poolside bar makes a really good hamburger, and a little hint for you, the ketchup dispenser is always empty but the one labeled "Sauce" is ketchup.  The french fries at the pool were consistently great (hot, salty, crispy outside and potato-ey inside).Good choices for salads for the health conscious, if you take it easy with the dressing.Embarkation was a bit slow.  There was a bizarre twist with some international immigration law that between July 5 and July 15, the Italian government wanted the ship to collect our passports so they could be presented for inspection on docking in Naples.  (Don't ask me to explain, I'm just a guest.)  They took our passports on embarkation, gave us a photocopy, and gave them back on Wednesday afternoon when we left Naples.  I think that process was just for our cruise, your upcoming cruise shouldn't be affected.Disembarkation was a breeze.  We walked off the ship with our luggage at about 8:45 and there was no line.  However, at 8:15, you couldn't find a seat at the buffet because it was full, so I'm guessing people who waited until 9:30 to leave may have had a different experience.We didn't do any ship excursions.  The one I wanted they cancelled, so we did the Italian train system instead.Real quickly on the stops:Malta - Hired a private gondola for a harbor tour, right outside the boat.  I seem to remember 30 Euros for the two of us for a 40 minute ride.  Well worth it.  Then we walked through town.  The trip leaving Malta was fun.  The city is an amazing site to see and the ship plays some very dramatic music.  You'll probably love it.Naples - Hired a private taxi driver on the pier to take us to Pompeii.  He waited 2 hours while we toured the ruins, then drove us to Sorrento and waited another hour and a half while we walked around and had some pizza and wine.  We paid him 150 Euro, plus a 25 euro tip.Rome - Took the train from Civvitachevia.  We walked off the boat and walked out of the pier (yes, it is legal in Civvitachvia).  There is a shuttle bus but it was full and they told us it would be half an hour until the next one, so we walked.  We saw three shuttle buses go by while we walked!  Anyhow, it's about half an hour walk from the ship to the train station.  We bought a BIRG ticket for 9 Euro.  That gives you unlimited travel on trains and the Rome metro for a 24 hour period after you validate your ticket.  Another note:  after we bought our tickets, nobody checked them either in Civvatechia or in Rome.  We could have just walked onto the train.  Livorno:  We planned to take the 10:00 train to Florence and got off the ship at 9AM.  Big mistake.  The shuttle bus from the ship to Livorno got us there at 9:50, and we couldn't find a taxi willing to take us to the train station.  So instead, we took a 15 Euro bus tour to Pisa.  You pick it up where the port shuttle drips you off.   That was for round trip air conditioned bus to Pisa, and two hours at Pisa.  Cannes:  We walked off the ship, browsed in the flea market, shopped around for another half hour and spent two hours on the beach sunning ourselves.Our only real problem on the entire cruise was when my GF put a diamond necklace in a napkin to straighten out the chain, followed by yours truly deciding to tidy up the cabin by throwing out all the papers laying around.  (NCL does provide a bit of paper advertisement you know.)   When we realized the next day, we called ship's security and I asked them if they would look through the garbage, but I guess you know where this story is heading. (The steward told me garbage is incinerated quickly and yesterday's trash was definitely burned up by now).  The head of security offered to tear the cabin apart to search for the necklace, but we didn't want to waste half a day when we were sure the necklace was gone.  They filled out a report for us to give to our insurance company and we'll see what happens.My GF was very upset, but it was spilled milk and we focused on enjoying  the rest of the trip.  Which we did.  I think the cabin steward was even more upset - he must have figured we were going to blame him.Bottom line:  I'd go back in a second, even with all the slobs at the buffet!

Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Balcony

Cabin B1

Quiet Location.  Great View.  Across from Crew space - could hear steward in hallway early in morning.

20 Helpful Votes

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