1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Gem
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food generally has changed dramatically since we first started cruising 20 years ago. There was very little repetition in the entrees and the chef was very creative. The chocolate and flan/crème brulee desserts were excellent. The quality of the hand dipped ice cream was a bit below par. I have been on more than 6 cruises, 2 of which have been on Norwegian -- Gem and Dawn. The Gem is generally a well maintained, older ship which does show its age in a few areas. Oddly, the rest rooms near the bar lounges are very small, and could use upgrades. The mini-suites were very comfortable and well appointed. There was more than enough storage for our things. In one of the three suites we occupied, the bathroom fixture above the commode suddenly fell off the wall and shattered while someone was in there. Fortunately, he was standing and the fixture did not fall on him. It may be worthwhile to check these fixtures as they likely loosen over time. The cabin steward did clean the glass right away. The Kennedy Space Center excursion was a bit rushed, so arriving in Cape Canaveral sooner would have helped, considering the steep price of the tickets. I rented a cabana on the private island, which was well worth the price; the private shower was a pleasant surprise becuase it is not mentioned in the description of the cabana on the excursion site. Two disappointments: First, I paid for the premium wifi/internet access and the service was extremely slow, making work almost impossible -- it took 10 minutes to load just one screen. For $230, I expected much better speed, and it would have been better to limit the number of subscribers rather than sell to everyone, becuase I certainly did not get my money's worth for the access. Second, we ordered our photographs late Friday morning and due to an error in fulfilling our print request, our ability to pick up the photos was delayed. We went to pick them up after the show, but found mistake. They rushed the correction and called our cabin at 10:45 PM to pick up (altho the photo shop closed at 11, which didn't give us much time to get there), but we had already retired to our cabins and figured we would pick them up in the morning. However, when went Saturday morning, we were told that we would have to pay tax since we were in port. This was however, not made apparent to us the night before, which would have incentivized me to make the trip to the studio when I received the call. After some debate, and a call to the manager, we were compensated with 3 additional prints, which we really did not want or need, since the tax had to be paid. I think that this situation could have been slightly better handled on Friday night. Nonetheless, I good time was had by all, and we would certainly travel with Norwegian again. You made a believer out of my brother, who was cynical about being "stuck on a boat" for a week!

Overall great cruise

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by reallym0m

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food generally has changed dramatically since we first started cruising 20 years ago. There was very little repetition in the entrees and the chef was very creative. The chocolate and flan/crème brulee desserts were excellent. The quality of the hand dipped ice cream was a bit below par. I have been on more than 6 cruises, 2 of which have been on Norwegian -- Gem and Dawn. The Gem is generally a well maintained, older ship which does show its age in a few areas. Oddly, the rest rooms near the bar lounges are very small, and could use upgrades.

The mini-suites were very comfortable and well appointed. There was more than enough storage for our things. In one of the three suites we occupied, the bathroom fixture above the commode suddenly fell off the wall and shattered while someone was in there. Fortunately, he was standing and the fixture did not fall on him. It may be worthwhile to check these fixtures as they likely loosen over time. The cabin steward did clean the glass right away.

The Kennedy Space Center excursion was a bit rushed, so arriving in Cape Canaveral sooner would have helped, considering the steep price of the tickets. I rented a cabana on the private island, which was well worth the price; the private shower was a pleasant surprise becuase it is not mentioned in the description of the cabana on the excursion site.

Two disappointments: First, I paid for the premium wifi/internet access and the service was extremely slow, making work almost impossible -- it took 10 minutes to load just one screen. For $230, I expected much better speed, and it would have been better to limit the number of subscribers rather than sell to everyone, becuase I certainly did not get my money's worth for the access. Second, we ordered our photographs late Friday morning and due to an error in fulfilling our print request, our ability to pick up the photos was delayed. We went to pick them up after the show, but found mistake. They rushed the correction and called our cabin at 10:45 PM to pick up (altho the photo shop closed at 11, which didn't give us much time to get there), but we had already retired to our cabins and figured we would pick them up in the morning. However, when went Saturday morning, we were told that we would have to pay tax since we were in port. This was however, not made apparent to us the night before, which would have incentivized me to make the trip to the studio when I received the call. After some debate, and a call to the manager, we were compensated with 3 additional prints, which we really did not want or need, since the tax had to be paid. I think that this situation could have been slightly better handled on Friday night.

Nonetheless, I good time was had by all, and we would certainly travel with Norwegian again. You made a believer out of my brother, who was cynical about being "stuck on a boat" for a week!
reallym0m’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Gem price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 11036
see above
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Great Stirrup Cay
    Cabana was great. Enjoyed the quieter part of the island. Although walk seemed very far in the heat of the sun. Paddle boarding excursion was not well organized. When I booked online, i had to reserve a specific time, but when we arrived we were told that you could take the paddle boards at any time, and they ran out of boards for paid clients. The boards should be guaranteed available for those who paid in advance, especially when a time was reserved. Second, the excursion site and the ticket did not indicate that an adult 18 or over must also paddle board with a 17 year old, thus we were not prepared for the adult to participate. Generally, the information on the cruise's online portal was either incorrect or inconsistent, which either way created confusion and frustration for us.
    View All 13,326 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review
  • Kennedy Space Center
    Great tour but not enough time to see everything leisurely even though the park was not very large. If you really want to get the full experience, need at least another hour.
    View All 206 Kennedy Space Center Reviews