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Booked this 10 night round trip to Quebec City from New York, to see the fall colors. Our 6th cruise with NCL and 15th counting the others. It was easy to fly in and out of NY on SWA. Stayed at the HIE Manhattan 538 W 48th St. We stayed there 2 nights before cruise. I wouldn't try to fly in the morning of cruise, because of all the traffic. It was a 1 1/2 block walk to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Left HIE at 10:30am and arrived at baggage drop area 15 minutes later. A lot of congestion with cruisers getting off ship, and walking across the street to find transportation. Took elevator up to NCL check in area to fill out paperwork in the suite lounge. Had a pastry and OJ, then at 11:00 the concierge took us to Cagney's for lunch. Originally booked a BA Balcony Mid Ship Cabin, but moved up to the 2 Bedroom Suite with the NCL Bid Upgrade Program. We lucked out because our bid was at the bottom of the poor category, according to NCL. Had a sea day between each port, which made the extras nice, since there was only the 2 of us. The main disappointment was we only got to stop at 3 cruise ports. Halifax NS, Quebec City Q, and Corner Brook NL. Sydney NS was skipped because it was a tender port. The Captain was expecting a storm coming our way, and decided we needed to head back to NY early. (Probably wanted to make sure the next cruise would be delayed.) He made his announcement in the middle of the 7pm show (after leaving Corner Brook) while we were in the theatre. The Cruise Director told us after the show. The seas got a little rough later the next day, after we would have stopped at Sydney. Then later that night there were really rough seas for about 24 hours. Quebec City was an overnight port, but we were shorted 8 hours there. Arrived at 5pm instead of 1pm, and left at 6pm instead of 10pm. Had to go slow in the St. Lawrence Seaway because of whales. The shows were like any other NCL Cruise. Made it to all but one of them. Kind of disappointed that the cruise director never recognized the Veterans aboard, during his announcements after the shows. NCL and most of the other cruise lines have on our past cruises. Like to say a big thank you to Benson the Room Steward, Manolito the Butler, and Elvina the Concierge. We appreciated everything you did for us. The service was great all over the Gem. Never ate at either of the main dining rooms during the evening meals. Only ate in the main dining room twice at breakfast, and twice at lunch. Had the 4 specialty dinner special, and 2 more dinners for being Platinum Members. Our favorites were Cagney's, La Cucina, and Le Bistro. The Moderno had breakfast and Cagney's had lunch for suite guests. Also, ate a few times at O'Sheenans, which we enjoyed and was quick with big screen tv to watch. We only booked one tour with NCL, which was at Corner Brook. That was a big mistake! Couldn't find any private tours on Tripadvisor or any through Viator. Paid $89 each (10 % discount for Platinum Members) for a 3 hour tour on a big bus. Some people knew to make a deal with a cab driver at the port, and they got a longer and cheaper tour. Two ladies we met later onboard got a cab for $75 total, who went more places and was much longer than ours was. (Maybe this will help someone on a future cruise stop.) The people were very friendly, and not many ships stop here.

10 Night Cruise / 3 Ports

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by morrisretired

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Family Penthouse with Balcony
Booked this 10 night round trip to Quebec City from New York, to see the fall colors. Our 6th cruise with NCL and 15th counting the others. It was easy to fly in and out of NY on SWA. Stayed at the HIE Manhattan 538 W 48th St. We stayed there 2 nights before cruise. I wouldn't try to fly in the morning of cruise, because of all the traffic. It was a 1 1/2 block walk to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Left HIE at 10:30am and arrived at baggage drop area 15 minutes later. A lot of congestion with cruisers getting off ship, and walking across the street to find transportation. Took elevator up to NCL check in area to fill out paperwork in the suite lounge. Had a pastry and OJ, then at 11:00 the concierge took us to Cagney's for lunch.

Originally booked a BA Balcony Mid Ship Cabin, but moved up to the 2 Bedroom Suite with the NCL Bid Upgrade Program. We lucked out because our bid was at the bottom of the poor category, according to NCL. Had a sea day between each port, which made the extras nice, since there was only the 2 of us.

The main disappointment was we only got to stop at 3 cruise ports. Halifax NS, Quebec City Q, and Corner Brook NL. Sydney NS was skipped because it was a tender port. The Captain was expecting a storm coming our way, and decided we needed to head back to NY early. (Probably wanted to make sure the next cruise would be delayed.) He made his announcement in the middle of the 7pm show (after leaving Corner Brook) while we were in the theatre. The Cruise Director told us after the show. The seas got a little rough later the next day, after we would have stopped at Sydney. Then later that night there were really rough seas for about 24 hours. Quebec City was an overnight port, but we were shorted 8 hours there. Arrived at 5pm instead of 1pm, and left at 6pm instead of 10pm. Had to go slow in the St. Lawrence Seaway because of whales.

The shows were like any other NCL Cruise. Made it to all but one of them. Kind of disappointed that the cruise director never recognized the Veterans aboard, during his announcements after the shows. NCL and most of the other cruise lines have on our past cruises.

Like to say a big thank you to Benson the Room Steward, Manolito the Butler, and Elvina the Concierge. We appreciated everything you did for us. The service was great all over the Gem.

Never ate at either of the main dining rooms during the evening meals. Only ate in the main dining room twice at breakfast, and twice at lunch. Had the 4 specialty dinner special, and 2 more dinners for being Platinum Members. Our favorites were Cagney's, La Cucina, and Le Bistro. The Moderno had breakfast and Cagney's had lunch for suite guests. Also, ate a few times at O'Sheenans, which we enjoyed and was quick with big screen tv to watch.

We only booked one tour with NCL, which was at Corner Brook. That was a big mistake! Couldn't find any private tours on Tripadvisor or any through Viator. Paid $89 each (10 % discount for Platinum Members) for a 3 hour tour on a big bus. Some people knew to make a deal with a cab driver at the port, and they got a longer and cheaper tour. Two ladies we met later onboard got a cab for $75 total, who went more places and was much longer than ours was. (Maybe this will help someone on a future cruise stop.) The people were very friendly, and not many ships stop here.
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Cabin Review

Family Penthouse with Balcony
Cabin SC 11012
Really enjoyed the 2 Bedroom / Bathroom Suite which had plenty of room. It can hold 6 people. The balcony is small, but we spent very little time out there. The bathroom shower and soaking tub extend out and take space away from the balcony. That makes for more space inside. Be sure to pull the shades down in the glass shower and tub area. There is also a sliding wooden door between living /dining area and the bedroom / large bathroom area. Just lock the door. So, you can order breakfast and the butler can drop it off, as long as the door sign does not say 'Do Not Disturb." The same thing for afternoon snacks he brings. That way you don't have to rush around when he rings the door bell!
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins