1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Gem
Overall, the vacation was fantastic, but I have to admit I was not impressed at all with NCL and will likely not sail with them again. Embarkation was fairly easy, they had to send us to 3 different lines because their key cards were not working, but it did not take that long and we were on board in under 30 minutes - very nice. The ship is very nice and very clean. I liked the layout of the ship and the cabin was fantastic - excellent bathroom - best I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The shower was great. The activities were limited it seemed compared to other ships with not as many things going on, but that may have been to being at so many ports of call. The biggest problem on board was the customer service - it was lousy at the two free dining rooms. Freestyle dining did not work very well for us as every time we wanted to eat we had to wait at least 30 minutes or so. We were told we could not make reservations unless we were in a party of 6 or more which was unfortunate. The food was definitely not up to par - poor choices and horrible desserts (very stale). I could live with hamburgers and hot dogs if service was good, but the waiters were very bad - they were down right rude to us at times, never smiling, very unfriendly. The same went for the room stewards who never made up our room till late at night even with the make up room sign on the door. We finally complained on day #3 (definitely something not in our nature to do, but it was really bad). After that the room stewards were very nice and had things done quickly. We also had a meeting with the restaurant manager Monica who was very nice and made sure we had reservations even though there were just two of us. She was great. I think they make things uncomfortable for you in the free dining rooms to get you to pay for the specialty restaurants...not sure. The ports of call were all great - had NCL tours in Pompeii (Excavations), Rome (Rome and the Vatican) and Florence (Splendors of Florence) which were all great although they could cut out the lunch on the full day tours as that was a waste of 2 hours that could be spent touring instead. The shows were pretty good, loved the singers and dancers, did not attend the magician or comediens. Disembarkation was very very easy, off the ship before 6AM to catch an early flight. Overall great trip, but would not go with NCL again due to the customer service unless the reates were really good.

Had a great week, but service was truly lacking

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by xiphoid76

Trip Details
Overall, the vacation was fantastic, but I have to admit I was not impressed at all with NCL and will likely not sail with them again.
Embarkation was fairly easy, they had to send us to 3 different lines because their key cards were not working, but it did not take that long and we were on board in under 30 minutes - very nice.
The ship is very nice and very clean. I liked the layout of the ship and the cabin was fantastic - excellent bathroom - best I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The shower was great.
The activities were limited it seemed compared to other ships with not as many things going on, but that may have been to being at so many ports of call.
The biggest problem on board was the customer service - it was lousy at the two free dining rooms. Freestyle dining did not work very well for us as every time we wanted to eat we had to wait at least 30 minutes or so. We were told we could not make reservations unless we were in a party of 6 or more which was unfortunate.
The food was definitely not up to par - poor choices and horrible desserts (very stale). I could live with hamburgers and hot dogs if service was good, but the waiters were very bad - they were down right rude to us at times, never smiling, very unfriendly.
The same went for the room stewards who never made up our room till late at night even with the make up room sign on the door.
We finally complained on day #3 (definitely something not in our nature to do, but it was really bad). After that the room stewards were very nice and had things done quickly. We also had a meeting with the restaurant manager Monica who was very nice and made sure we had reservations even though there were just two of us. She was great. I think they make things uncomfortable for you in the free dining rooms to get you to pay for the specialty restaurants...not sure.
The ports of call were all great - had NCL tours in Pompeii (Excavations), Rome (Rome and the Vatican) and Florence (Splendors of Florence) which were all great although they could cut out the lunch on the full day tours as that was a waste of 2 hours that could be spent touring instead.
The shows were pretty good, loved the singers and dancers, did not attend the magician or comediens.
Disembarkation was very very easy, off the ship before 6AM to catch an early flight.
Overall great trip, but would not go with NCL again due to the customer service unless the reates were really good.
xiphoid76’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Gem price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.