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This trip was hands down one of my favorite vacations that we took! Leaving from NY was simple, easy, and quick. We were with the Casinos at Sea program so going through embarkation processes were sped up. Got into boat around 12:30 and got into room at 3:30. We ate at the pool grill/buffet that they have there. Here is my rundown of everything that happened. Food: The food is fantastic in every place that serves it. Dining room meals were all good and can be fitted to dietary restrictions. We did 3 specialty places, Cagney’s, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. Book ahead of time, as these places really fill up quick. Teppanyaki was easily the favorite, thanks to our chef Kim, and surprisingly, Moderno 2nd, then Cagney’s 3rd. In no way was the food bad at Cagney’s it was arguably the best food on board, the food was just as good at the other 2 and the experiences really add on to that. Orchid Garden food is fantastic, Buffet is horribly busy and needs expanded. They had 3 areas to sit, plus they used the back deck, and even had to use the adjacent La Cucins for overflow. That was kinda ridiculous. Bars are all very good and the surprise factor of this trip was O’Sheehans. We were forced to have breakfast one morning there due to dining room closed and buffet too full, and the food was just as good as the dining rooms. O’Sheehans has awesome wings, soups, and much more. I had zero complaints with the food. Room: We had an Mini-Suite on Deck 11, right below the buffet and pool deck. Quite honestly, no noise complaints ever. They were very quiet and we were right beside the elevators, as they also were not noisy. Room was large, bathroom was really nice, just be careful steeping into the shower, as it’s a full tub. Balcony was pretty large. I would 100% get this room, and instead of spending money on large excursions or cheap souvenirs, get a mini-suite room. It is 100% worth it. Our steward, John Quiatchon, was AMAZING. NCL, give this man a raise or promote him. He was fantastic, room was spotless, fun towel animals, and accommodating to our every need. John was fantastic and one of the best employees we encountered on the ship. Entertainment: We did a mix of the shows, music in various areas, and the numerous game shows happening in Spinnaker. The comedian, Tim Kaminski, was hilarious and a fun show. Blazing Boots was kinda boring, but I don’t regret seeing it. Get Down Tonight was fantastic, and the best show was the acrobat husband and wife duo. So fantastic! The live music is at a premium on this ship. Tsurita brought the house down every time, and the band Prims was amazing. They made for some fun nights. The game shows in the Spinnaker Lounge were tons of fun and open for anyone to play. We love Troy and Vivian, and they brought fun, jokes, and good times to the trip. We miss these 2 the most! Service: the overall people on board were pretty good, except for the select few. The Washy Washy girls are so underrated and are a highlight of the trip. They are such fun people and made the buffet enjoyable! They’d take pictures with cruise passengers and they had so much fun. Some people were kinda mean and don’t speak English, so they basically talked behind our back while we’re eating dinner. I’m currently in my 3rd year of Spanish, and I could pick up the words they were saying. I’m not dumb. Otherwise, service was at a premium. Shore Excursions: It rained every port we went to, Florida, GSC, and Nassau. However, the sun did come out for a little while and the rain quit and we still had fun. We did the Daytona International Speedway tour, which was very good and not so touristy. They really take you on the track and inside places. Don’t listen to the guide that takes the bus with you from port to the raceway, as when it says it’s an hour and a half drive, it’s only 45 minutes, while it was pouring down rain. GSC was very nice and the $20 umbrella for 3 chairs was well worth it. Biggest takeaway from the island: GO TO THE FARTHEST BEACH AS POSSIBLE. This was quiet, relaxing, and a fun time. The food was all very good, especially the Abaco Taco bar. We did a kayaking tour and our tour guides were amazing. We got out onto 2 different hidden beaches and it was so amazing and beautiful. We also went snorkeling, but halfway through that it rained and they called us back to shore. Very good snorkeling here. In Nassau, we did Blue Laggon Island. This island was so beautiful and once again, go far down the beach. Go to the North Beach, it’s a quiet and private beach where snorkeling takes place, and was so awesome. Food was amazing, plenty of activities to do, and the 20 minute tender ride over was full of sight seeing and also things. No complaints about shore excursions whatsoever. Disembarkation: this was easily the worst part of the cruise. The boat was supposed to dock at 8, having us out of our rooms at 8:30. Boat didn’t dock until 9:30, and the first person off went off in handcuffs. A fight broke out in the Atrium as people were going crazy and wanted to get off. We were supposed to meet our driver at 10, but instead he was forced to wait until 1:30. Disembarkation was slow, but Alan, a worker there, who also helped us with Embarkation, made it very enjoyable and helpful. Customs was a very long time, as there was 16 stalls for people to go through, and only 4 open. This process was 75% slower the way I see it. Long lines as not fun times. Only bad part of trip was this. Ship: the ship itself is very beautiful with many areas to hang out, relax, or do whatever you please. The ship didn’t rock that bad entirely until the final night, and even then it wasn’t bad. They had barf bags at the end of every staircase, but they weren’t needed. The captain’s monologue each day was hilarious and insightful, and our cruise director, Joey, has hilarious and tons of fun. In conclusion, this was my first cruise, and won’t be my last. I plan on trying Royal Carribean, but I will stay loyal to NCL. They have a special place in my heart. I will forever remember this time and will never have many things to say bad about it. This is a great cruise for first timers, as the itinerary was good. I would do this exact same cruise again.

Must Do

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by avidcruiselover1118

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This trip was hands down one of my favorite vacations that we took! Leaving from NY was simple, easy, and quick. We were with the Casinos at Sea program so going through embarkation processes were sped up. Got into boat around 12:30 and got into room at 3:30. We ate at the pool grill/buffet that they have there. Here is my rundown of everything that happened.

Food: The food is fantastic in every place that serves it. Dining room meals were all good and can be fitted to dietary restrictions. We did 3 specialty places, Cagney’s, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. Book ahead of time, as these places really fill up quick. Teppanyaki was easily the favorite, thanks to our chef Kim, and surprisingly, Moderno 2nd, then Cagney’s 3rd. In no way was the food bad at Cagney’s it was arguably the best food on board, the food was just as good at the other 2 and the experiences really add on to that. Orchid Garden food is fantastic, Buffet is horribly busy and needs expanded. They had 3 areas to sit, plus they used the back deck, and even had to use the adjacent La Cucins for overflow. That was kinda ridiculous. Bars are all very good and the surprise factor of this trip was O’Sheehans. We were forced to have breakfast one morning there due to dining room closed and buffet too full, and the food was just as good as the dining rooms. O’Sheehans has awesome wings, soups, and much more. I had zero complaints with the food.

Room: We had an Mini-Suite on Deck 11, right below the buffet and pool deck. Quite honestly, no noise complaints ever. They were very quiet and we were right beside the elevators, as they also were not noisy. Room was large, bathroom was really nice, just be careful steeping into the shower, as it’s a full tub. Balcony was pretty large. I would 100% get this room, and instead of spending money on large excursions or cheap souvenirs, get a mini-suite room. It is 100% worth it. Our steward, John Quiatchon, was AMAZING. NCL, give this man a raise or promote him. He was fantastic, room was spotless, fun towel animals, and accommodating to our every need. John was fantastic and one of the best employees we encountered on the ship.

Entertainment: We did a mix of the shows, music in various areas, and the numerous game shows happening in Spinnaker. The comedian, Tim Kaminski, was hilarious and a fun show. Blazing Boots was kinda boring, but I don’t regret seeing it. Get Down Tonight was fantastic, and the best show was the acrobat husband and wife duo. So fantastic! The live music is at a premium on this ship. Tsurita brought the house down every time, and the band Prims was amazing. They made for some fun nights. The game shows in the Spinnaker Lounge were tons of fun and open for anyone to play. We love Troy and Vivian, and they brought fun, jokes, and good times to the trip. We miss these 2 the most!

Service: the overall people on board were pretty good, except for the select few. The Washy Washy girls are so underrated and are a highlight of the trip. They are such fun people and made the buffet enjoyable! They’d take pictures with cruise passengers and they had so much fun. Some people were kinda mean and don’t speak English, so they basically talked behind our back while we’re eating dinner. I’m currently in my 3rd year of Spanish, and I could pick up the words they were saying. I’m not dumb. Otherwise, service was at a premium.

Shore Excursions: It rained every port we went to, Florida, GSC, and Nassau. However, the sun did come out for a little while and the rain quit and we still had fun. We did the Daytona International Speedway tour, which was very good and not so touristy. They really take you on the track and inside places. Don’t listen to the guide that takes the bus with you from port to the raceway, as when it says it’s an hour and a half drive, it’s only 45 minutes, while it was pouring down rain. GSC was very nice and the $20 umbrella for 3 chairs was well worth it. Biggest takeaway from the island: GO TO THE FARTHEST BEACH AS POSSIBLE. This was quiet, relaxing, and a fun time. The food was all very good, especially the Abaco Taco bar. We did a kayaking tour and our tour guides were amazing. We got out onto 2 different hidden beaches and it was so amazing and beautiful. We also went snorkeling, but halfway through that it rained and they called us back to shore. Very good snorkeling here. In Nassau, we did Blue Laggon Island. This island was so beautiful and once again, go far down the beach. Go to the North Beach, it’s a quiet and private beach where snorkeling takes place, and was so awesome. Food was amazing, plenty of activities to do, and the 20 minute tender ride over was full of sight seeing and also things. No complaints about shore excursions whatsoever.

Disembarkation: this was easily the worst part of the cruise. The boat was supposed to dock at 8, having us out of our rooms at 8:30. Boat didn’t dock until 9:30, and the first person off went off in handcuffs. A fight broke out in the Atrium as people were going crazy and wanted to get off. We were supposed to meet our driver at 10, but instead he was forced to wait until 1:30. Disembarkation was slow, but Alan, a worker there, who also helped us with Embarkation, made it very enjoyable and helpful. Customs was a very long time, as there was 16 stalls for people to go through, and only 4 open. This process was 75% slower the way I see it. Long lines as not fun times. Only bad part of trip was this.

Ship: the ship itself is very beautiful with many areas to hang out, relax, or do whatever you please. The ship didn’t rock that bad entirely until the final night, and even then it wasn’t bad. They had barf bags at the end of every staircase, but they weren’t needed. The captain’s monologue each day was hilarious and insightful, and our cruise director, Joey, has hilarious and tons of fun.

In conclusion, this was my first cruise, and won’t be my last. I plan on trying Royal Carribean, but I will stay loyal to NCL. They have a special place in my heart. I will forever remember this time and will never have many things to say bad about it. This is a great cruise for first timers, as the itinerary was good. I would do this exact same cruise again.
avidcruiselover1118’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11074
This cabin is 100% worth every penny. This category is close to the stairs and elevators, with little noise.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins