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This cruise was given to us by our children for our 40th Anniversary. As they say "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" :) As such, it was a wonderful trip, and NCL have very nice personnel. Still, this being our second NCL trip, and 4th Cruise overall, it is worth mentioning a few things. Some thoughts about food: 1. For whatever reason, no lobster was served on the ship. Strange for a Canada/NE trip, no? We thought so. 2. They do not know how to cook Italian. There was essentially NO halfway decent tomato sauce served anywhere, Not La Cucina, main dining room, buffets, anywhere. This seems like a complete oversight. 3. The main dining room and buffets had "cheesecake" that was some type of inedible pudding, and the buffet served a breakfast quiche that almost tasted the same. Both inedible. There were inexplicable things like this at each of our dining experiences. Nice tries, but falling far short of "good". Another weird item: soup. One day, the buffet was serving "Lentil soup". No way, it was actually pea soup. Next day they listed "Pea Soup". Wrong again: it was cream of broccoli. Third day they served another soup (long name which escapes me), we asked "what is it?"... three different folks in white outfits didn't know, someone eventually found someone in the back to tell us it was "chick pea" soup. Which it was (when tasted). Note each soup tasted fine/good. Just a weird experience. 4. Seafood, other than a lack of Lobster, was ok. One night had a terribly overcooked salmon, another overcooked shrimp, however, really good calamari (two different dining options), buffet seafood was generally good as well. 4 Last, on food, our favorite dining option was the Orchid garden. IF you have a taste for it, do NOT pass up the Green tea Ice Cream. Just saying. Entertainment: In general, excellent. There was a comedian, who I found to be family friendly and funny. Enough adult innuendo without going over the top with children present. The checkerboard guy, a juggler/entertainer, a power/gymastic type couple... outstanding, and the onboard entertainers... very good. Various onboard musicians were good as well, and we enjoyed a staff night at the Bistro lounge. Ship: The main ship was a little tired, our room was pleasant (a standard balcony suite). Since the weather and onshore excursions didn't suit us for a couple of ports, we stayed onboard more than we've done on past cruises, and noted a really really bad experience by the maintenance crew: they were chipping marine paint off a railing over the back deck (Outdoor Garden Cafe) and those chips were getting blown down way way too close to the buffet, while food was being served. Real black eye on the ship's staff there.

Good Room, Great Entertainment, Subpar Food

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by flyin

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This cruise was given to us by our children for our 40th Anniversary. As they say "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" :)

As such, it was a wonderful trip, and NCL have very nice personnel.

Still, this being our second NCL trip, and 4th Cruise overall, it is worth mentioning a few things.

Some thoughts about food:

1. For whatever reason, no lobster was served on the ship. Strange for a Canada/NE trip, no? We thought so.

2. They do not know how to cook Italian. There was essentially NO halfway decent tomato sauce served anywhere, Not La Cucina, main dining room, buffets, anywhere. This seems like a complete oversight.

3. The main dining room and buffets had "cheesecake" that was some type of inedible pudding, and the buffet served a breakfast quiche that almost tasted the same. Both inedible. There were inexplicable things like this at each of our dining experiences. Nice tries, but falling far short of "good". Another weird item: soup. One day, the buffet was serving "Lentil soup". No way, it was actually pea soup. Next day they listed "Pea Soup". Wrong again: it was cream of broccoli. Third day they served another soup (long name which escapes me), we asked "what is it?"... three different folks in white outfits didn't know, someone eventually found someone in the back to tell us it was "chick pea" soup. Which it was (when tasted). Note each soup tasted fine/good. Just a weird experience.

4. Seafood, other than a lack of Lobster, was ok. One night had a terribly overcooked salmon, another overcooked shrimp, however, really good calamari (two different dining options), buffet seafood was generally good as well.

4 Last, on food, our favorite dining option was the Orchid garden. IF you have a taste for it, do NOT pass up the Green tea Ice Cream. Just saying.

Entertainment:

In general, excellent. There was a comedian, who I found to be family friendly and funny. Enough adult innuendo without going over the top with children present. The checkerboard guy, a juggler/entertainer, a power/gymastic type couple... outstanding, and the onboard entertainers... very good.

Various onboard musicians were good as well, and we enjoyed a staff night at the Bistro lounge.

Ship:

The main ship was a little tired, our room was pleasant (a standard balcony suite).

Since the weather and onshore excursions didn't suit us for a couple of ports, we stayed onboard more than we've done on past cruises, and noted a really really bad experience by the maintenance crew: they were chipping marine paint off a railing over the back deck (Outdoor Garden Cafe) and those chips were getting blown down way way too close to the buffet, while food was being served. Real black eye on the ship's staff there.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC 9158
Nice, a bit smaller than I expected, but clean. Decent bed, ok sitting area.

Staff service was good, as one would expect.

Good room, watched the Statue of Liberty on the way down river during the start of the voyage. Returned to a glorious sunrise over lower Manhattan on the return.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews