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Norwegian Gem Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,530 Reviews

NCL Gem: Watch your wallet

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Lavinia1

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2009
  • Destination: the Western Mediterranean

We have taken many cruises in the past 15 years. Most with NCL. This itinerary was our favorite so far. We had a problem checking in the day of our cruise, due to a computer glitch at NCL, Miami. So problem here is you have to wait until that office opens...we sat for 4 hours. We found the ship to be about half full. The staff were all very polite. The freestyle dining is important to us as we do not like to have to be told where to eat at a defined time. The 7 "gourmet" restaurants were well worth the minimal extra charge. They were almost empty, the food was far superior, and the service was excellent. The main dining was acceptable, a large variety of food. My husband really liked it. I found some things to be lacking. The ice cream quality is poor, the lack of beverages included in the price. I did like the fact that no one enters the eateries or the ship without a hand disinfectant sprayed on your hands. The excursions: Here is my main complaint. They are so expensive it is ridiculous. The staff does not help you at all with any info about the ports. They would not tell us where the train station was, the bus stop,.... nothing. The ports, all except Cannes and Malta, were about an hour from the main cities in Italy. Rome, Florence, Pisa. We did research before going and I knew to catch the train and bus. One example, in Rome we took the train, got the 9Euro pass for the day, this includes all train and bus for the day. We saw the Coliseum, Forum, St. Peters and Vatican museum. We spent a total of about 80 euro for the whole day. To do this trip with NCL was about $450 a person. Outrageous. My other complaint is when you arrive they automatically add $12 charge a day per person to your bill. So the cruise is more expensive than we thought.

Oh, and did I mention the gym is beautiful... you can use the eqiupment. Don't think about taking a class unless you want to pay even more....anything to make a $.

Lavinia1's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

We had an inside cabin on the 10th floor. No problems with noise, traffice, room was too warm even with the air conditioning on full blast. Shower nice.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Rome (Civitavecchia)

I would say the cruise line fails its travelers here. The excursions were all very expensive when going to ports. Just the bus alone to Rome was $120 per person. We did it for 9 Euro (about $12.00). The selection of ports is very nice.

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