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We wanted to try sailing out of New York. We've sailed from New Orleans, Galveston, Tampa and three times from Miami. When I google mapped the route from LaGuardia and it said over an hour to go 10 miles, I couldn't believe it. But it took well over an hour on a shuttle/tour bus. Nice ride from the airport. After the cruse we took the 3 or 4 hour tour offered by Norwegian. Well worth it, we had time to kill before our flight anyway. We got to see many of the places we've seen on TV; the bull, Rockefeller plaza, times square and many more. Nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there, way too busy for a Midwesterner like me. On the way out of port we saw the statue of liberty, the front of her. From the park off of the interstate you only see the back of the statue. It was raining both on departure and return but, the view was still spectacular. It rained almost every day we were gone but, it cleared up for the beach day and for a little pool time. The best part of the cruise was the thermal pass. We had thought about getting one on the last cruise but didn't get around to it. The first day on the ship we were walking around getting our bearings and stopped in the spa. After a shoulder rub and some sweet smelling potions we decided to go for it. Best decision of the cruise. We missed the first day thinking they said open until 11pm and getting there at 9:50 only to find out it closed at 10 but, after that we when every day. Steam room, sauna, three different whirlpools, heated loungers. Got to admit on the last day we were the ones that others probably complained about. We met another couple and got talking in the big whirlpool. The one with the chairs and the high pressure sprayer and the fence like structure that you can lean on and talked so much and over the noise that other people started giving us those looks. Sorry enjoying ourselves. The ship seemed to be in good shape. Seemed crowded though. One of the whirlpools by the pool had 10 to 15 kids in it from sun up to sun down every day. Hard to get a chair by the pool, partially because it rained so many times. We've decided that western Caribbean or southern Caribbean cruises maybe for more than 7 days are more to our liking. We are late 50's and prefer a more laid back atmosphere. This was our first time in a mini suite. We've stayed in several types from inside to suites. Of course we liked the suite the best. The mini was a good compromise. It had a tub and a little more room. We were close to an elevator. We've stayed in hotels and been by the elevator and the noise was terrible. Not on the cruise though, neither the people or the machine it self. So being close was a perk. We had a nice balcony and sitting area with only one pinch point, at the end and side of the bed where the closet is. We always go to the show every night. I got my wife to sit close to the stage for the first time and she loved it. From the first few rows in the center we were able to see much more detail than ever before. The dancers facial expressions, the jugglers hands, the concentration on the face of the acrobats. We could also see the band playing the music. The trombone's slide, the trumpet players fingers, all so close you could almost touch them. One thing we missed was them having the white hot party on the deck. The last two times it's been in one of the lounges. On the Star last November there seemed to be enough room for every one both in the lounge and on the dance floor. On the Gem we could barely get into the room. I don't know if there were that many more people or just that many more that went to the party. There seemingly were a lot of rooms that had extra guest in them. The two next to us had 4in one and 5 in the other. Again it seemed crowded. One thing to check before you leave. We were supposed to have some free internet minutes. Didn't check to see if they were on our cruise documents, which they were not. Once on the cruise, we were told that they couldn't check to see if we were supposed to have any and all we could do was call a customer service number once we got back. We really don't want to send much time on the internet. All we really want to do is check in for our flight the last day. We signed up for another cruise this November. Same thing, supposed to have free minutes, 250 for 'distinctive voyages' + 250 more for 'free at sea', get all four in a suite, not on the document. Haven't resolved it yet.

First time thermal spa and mini suite

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by LisaandMike

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We wanted to try sailing out of New York. We've sailed from New Orleans, Galveston, Tampa and three times from Miami. When I google mapped the route from LaGuardia and it said over an hour to go 10 miles, I couldn't believe it. But it took well over an hour on a shuttle/tour bus. Nice ride from the airport. After the cruse we took the 3 or 4 hour tour offered by Norwegian. Well worth it, we had time to kill before our flight anyway. We got to see many of the places we've seen on TV; the bull, Rockefeller plaza, times square and many more. Nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there, way too busy for a Midwesterner like me.

On the way out of port we saw the statue of liberty, the front of her. From the park off of the interstate you only see the back of the statue. It was raining both on departure and return but, the view was still spectacular. It rained almost every day we were gone but, it cleared up for the beach day and for a little pool time.

The best part of the cruise was the thermal pass. We had thought about getting one on the last cruise but didn't get around to it. The first day on the ship we were walking around getting our bearings and stopped in the spa. After a shoulder rub and some sweet smelling potions we decided to go for it. Best decision of the cruise. We missed the first day thinking they said open until 11pm and getting there at 9:50 only to find out it closed at 10 but, after that we when every day. Steam room, sauna, three different whirlpools, heated loungers. Got to admit on the last day we were the ones that others probably complained about. We met another couple and got talking in the big whirlpool. The one with the chairs and the high pressure sprayer and the fence like structure that you can lean on and talked so much and over the noise that other people started giving us those looks. Sorry enjoying ourselves.

The ship seemed to be in good shape. Seemed crowded though. One of the whirlpools by the pool had 10 to 15 kids in it from sun up to sun down every day. Hard to get a chair by the pool, partially because it rained so many times. We've decided that western Caribbean or southern Caribbean cruises maybe for more than 7 days are more to our liking. We are late 50's and prefer a more laid back atmosphere.

This was our first time in a mini suite. We've stayed in several types from inside to suites. Of course we liked the suite the best. The mini was a good compromise. It had a tub and a little more room. We were close to an elevator. We've stayed in hotels and been by the elevator and the noise was terrible. Not on the cruise though, neither the people or the machine it self. So being close was a perk. We had a nice balcony and sitting area with only one pinch point, at the end and side of the bed where the closet is.

We always go to the show every night. I got my wife to sit close to the stage for the first time and she loved it. From the first few rows in the center we were able to see much more detail than ever before. The dancers facial expressions, the jugglers hands, the concentration on the face of the acrobats. We could also see the band playing the music. The trombone's slide, the trumpet players fingers, all so close you could almost touch them.

One thing we missed was them having the white hot party on the deck. The last two times it's been in one of the lounges. On the Star last November there seemed to be enough room for every one both in the lounge and on the dance floor. On the Gem we could barely get into the room. I don't know if there were that many more people or just that many more that went to the party. There seemingly were a lot of rooms that had extra guest in them. The two next to us had 4in one and 5 in the other. Again it seemed crowded.

One thing to check before you leave. We were supposed to have some free internet minutes. Didn't check to see if they were on our cruise documents, which they were not. Once on the cruise, we were told that they couldn't check to see if we were supposed to have any and all we could do was call a customer service number once we got back. We really don't want to send much time on the internet. All we really want to do is check in for our flight the last day. We signed up for another cruise this November. Same thing, supposed to have free minutes, 250 for 'distinctive voyages' + 250 more for 'free at sea', get all four in a suite, not on the document. Haven't resolved it yet.
LisaandMike’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11570
Liked the cabin. Occasional noise from the deck above, pool area. Not enough for concern. Clean and neat with just enough room.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    More sites than can be seen in 3 or 4 hours but we tried. Definitely would recommend to anyone that not from New York
    View All 33 City Tour Reviews