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Our first impression of the Gem as we spotted it in Barcelona harbour when we arrived at 12 noon was wow. The ship is truely huge and very impressive at first sight. The embarkation process was carried out without fuss or delay and we were onboard in no time. Though we couldnt get to our rooms until 2pm there was champagne being served in the Crystal Atrium and we were able to wonder about the ship at our leisure, which allowed us to get our bearings a bit. We had booked a BD balcony room (Deck 8) but the exact room number was to be allocated on arrival. We found we had been upgraded without charge to a BB room on deck 10 which was lovely. These rooms were not large but were well laid out and the balcony was an absolute must. We had our own view coming into and leaving each post and saw the most amazing sunsets. I think this would have been the same on deck 8 but we heard from other guests on deck 8 that there was some noise in the evenings from the Theatre below. When we got to the room we had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary. Absolutely lovely and complimentary. As others have reported the pool area is lovely but it can be difficult to find seats and the hot tubs were full of teenagers. We managed to get in once during the week but we had many full days in port so this really wasn't a big problem. Most mornings we ate in the Garden Cafe which was self service and had something for everyone. Seating could be a problem but we found we could take our breakfast through to La Cucina next door and get a seat without any problem. We had breakfast in Grand Pacific on our last morning as we had more time which was lovely. For our evening meals we used Grand Pacific, lovely food and excellent service, Magenta, same food as Grand Pacific but a more casual environment. We had 2 meals in speciality restuarants and had very mixed experiences. We used Le Bistro once and had a beautiful meal with great service. On our last night we went for La Cucina but found the food to be quite poor considering there was a cover charge. If you love Italian food, dont waste your money. We enjoyed the evening entertainment but didnt stay up too late as we had many early starts for port tours.

Excellent way to see the Western Med in style in a week

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Ferrers

Trip Details
Our first impression of the Gem as we spotted it in Barcelona harbour when we arrived at 12 noon was wow. The ship is truely huge and very impressive at first sight. The embarkation process was carried out without fuss or delay and we were onboard in no time. Though we couldnt get to our rooms until 2pm there was champagne being served in the Crystal Atrium and we were able to wonder about the ship at our leisure, which allowed us to get our bearings a bit. We had booked a BD balcony room (Deck 8) but the exact room number was to be allocated on arrival. We found we had been upgraded without charge to a BB room on deck 10 which was lovely. These rooms were not large but were well laid out and the balcony was an absolute must. We had our own view coming into and leaving each post and saw the most amazing sunsets. I think this would have been the same on deck 8 but we heard from other guests on deck 8 that there was some noise in the evenings from the Theatre below. When we got to the room we had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary. Absolutely lovely and complimentary.
As others have reported the pool area is lovely but it can be difficult to find seats and the hot tubs were full of teenagers. We managed to get in once during the week but we had many full days in port so this really wasn't a big problem.
Most mornings we ate in the Garden Cafe which was self service and had something for everyone. Seating could be a problem but we found we could take our breakfast through to La Cucina next door and get a seat without any problem. We had breakfast in Grand Pacific on our last morning as we had more time which was lovely.
For our evening meals we used Grand Pacific, lovely food and excellent service, Magenta, same food as Grand Pacific but a more casual environment. We had 2 meals in speciality restuarants and had very mixed experiences. We used Le Bistro once and had a beautiful meal with great service. On our last night we went for La Cucina but found the food to be quite poor considering there was a cover charge. If you love Italian food, dont waste your money.
We enjoyed the evening entertainment but didnt stay up too late as we had many early starts for port tours.
Ferrers’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB 10140
Small room but quite adequate for 2 people. Bathroom well equipped, balcony excellent with lovely views. LCD TV, coffee machine with coffee and sugar replenished twice a day. Very clean. bed large and very comfortable. Hallways very quiet
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Malta (Valletta)
    We had visited Malta before so didnt do an organised excursion. There was a public bus parked at the port waiting for Gem guests as they arrived. I understand this is a new service which only cost 1 euro per person return and included a free map of Valetta. The bus took us up the steep hill to Valetta town and dropped us at the main bus depot just at the gates to the Old Town. We walked around Valetta at our leisure. On the day we visited it was a public holiday so many of the shops were closed but we spoke to a local gentleman who gave us great information and pointed us to the gardens where we were able to see a commemoration ceremony and the cannons being fired over the harbour. Maltese people are warm and friendly and very welcoming of visitors.
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  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Again we had an early start as we had a private tour with Miles and Miles. Today we had 2 minibuses of 8 and Daniel was our guide. The small bus allowed us to be driven to each of the main attractions witin Rome without too much walking. We had lunch in a restuarant suggested by the tour guide and it was ok but not really to the same standard as the meal in Sorrento and twice the price! In the afternoon we had a tour of the Vatical booked for the group. Our Vatical guide was Caren who was the aunt of our guide and the mother of the guide in the second minibus. Caren is orgiinally from Blackpool but has lived in Rome for many years. She gave us little receivers and earphones so that whereever we were we could still hear her. This proved to be a wonderful asset when some of us became detached from the group in the crouds in the Vatical. The tour was amazing and one of the highlights of the week. Caren was absolutely fabulous. The roads of Rome were mad and again the use of mobiles whist driveing us was an issue for me. Please have a re-think miles and Miles,
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