Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by ster46
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Canada & New England
Our dinner at the Steakhouse was average at best. The steaks were mediocre. We had to send 2 back that were way overcooked.
The Chinese restaurant was the worst I ever had. I am not kidding. The worst ever. The takeout place next to your grocery store is WAY better. I tried to eat, left and got wings.
Normal dining room: 45 minute wait for a table. 3 hour dinner, totaling just under FOUR HOURS. I sent a steak back. They also got an order wrong. By the time my son got his steak, everyone else was nearly done eating. We waited over 2 hours for our main dish. Myself, and my kids, spit out our disgusting dessert and left. Can you imagine, KIDS refusing to eat sweets? At one point a woman came by and asked how our meal was. I responded, "I wasn't going to complain, but since you asked, this was by far the worst cruise dinner I ever had." She said, "OK." and walked away.
The cruise is no fun if you want to party.
The Casino bar closes when they want. The last night they closed at midnight. On Carnival I usually stay out until 2am, and on some night up to 4am.
The late night buffet was inedible. I threw the food away, once again got wings from O'Sheehans (I did like that place).
Because there is so little to do, 90% of the ship is in bed by 10pm.
On a Carnival 7 day cruise, there are usually 4 comedians and 14 adult shows and 7 family friendly shows. On the Norwegian Gen, there was 1 single show, performed 2 times!!!! ONE SHOW!! SEVEN NIGHTS!!!
No sing along piano bar like on Carnival. Instead there is a piano player in the Atrium that plays Sinatra to the delight of the elderly patrons.
I hoped to show my 11 yr son a good time at the kids club. He absolutely loved the Carnival Kids on Club. We took him there 3 times. The first time they said it's late (as if 10:30 is late) we are closing. The second time they gave him a hoola-hoop. The third time they put a ball on the floor and told him it was an island that he was stranded on and had to survive. He said, "I don't EVER want to go back there!"
We slept in 1 morning and called room service for a pot of coffee. They wanted $9!!! They said that had we called 5 minutes earlier, it would have been free. Carnivall is free 24 hours.
The room steward gave us 4 pillows for 4 people, we called to get more.
She gave us 2 coffee cups and coffee for only 2 people. We called for more.
She gave us 2 pool towels for 4 people. We called for 2 more.
She didn’t change the couch bed back to a couch. We had 4 people with nowhere to sit. We called to have this fixed.
We aren't spoiled whiners. I haven't had a complaint in 20 cruises. We had 4 complaints in the first 24 hours.
After our 4th complaint, the head of the room stewards replaced her with a really good guy and gave us top-notch attention after that. Jonathon was awesome, and we awarded him for improving our cruise experience. Thanks Jonathon. So friendly, and does a great job.
The slot machines were very tight. I didn't see nearly the nice jackpots as I usually see on Carnival. So we didn't do well at gambling, which is usually expected. We're not careless, we lost what we were willing and able to lose, so my review is not based on being a bad sport. That said, when we play that much on carnival we get complimentary spa packages, room credits, even got a free cruise once. Norwegian? You guessed it. NOTHING. They hoard every penny. Their casino raffle wasn't a raffle where someone wins. Instead it was five lottery numbers from 0 to 60. So your odds of winning the $2000 were about the same odds as hitting the Power-ball for $300M.
Worst of all, we booked a vow renewal for our parents celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and they emailed us telling us to pay on the ship. Then we get an email THE DAY BEFORE the cruise saying that it was cancelled because we didn’t pay. My wife called and we are told there is nothing they can do, the offices closed until Monday. So my wife was in a total panic. She set this all up. We had 12 people in our party. Some flew to New York from as far away as Hawaii. She is in New York, calling people in Maine frantically trying to set up the vow renewal, and got everything set up for a ceremony in Maine. (This was supposed to be a surprise, but the surprised was ruined thanks to this Norwegian screw up). We got on the ship, and a guy calls our room to set up the ceremony, so it WASN'T cancelled. Norwegian screwed up again. Then we have to scramble to cancel everything in Maine. It was a nightmare. The ceremony was nice.
They had a photographer for the ceremony. He charged $400 for a single picture, and 5 more photos, digital copies ONLY, on a memory card. We spend nearly $1000 for a 5 minute ceremony and a picture (and no, it wasn't performed by the captain as we were told it would be).
Our group probably spent well over $50,000 that week and it was boring and stressful.
I will never cruise Norwegian again.
If we didn’t have a fun party of 12 people, it would have been horrible.
We made our own fun since there wan't anything to do.
On the last day, the band was on the deck, and we were all in the hot tub singing loudly to the live band (which was pretty fun by the way, and I liked the band). They brought the microphone to us so we were doing the singing. Best time we had all week. The whole ship was filming us. Like we were having fun and they were so shocked that they filmed us. I started yelling: “Look everybody, a Carnival cruise just broke out on Norwegian!” 12 people singing was rare enough on Norwegian to be filmed I guess.
So ends our vacation. Overall, the ports were great and we made the vacation great in spite of Norwegian's efforts to ruin it. I'm already starting to plan my next cruise (not on Norwegian).
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