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We booked this cruise only about 3 weeks before the sailing date - it seemed like the perfect easy family vacation. I had been on another cruise with Carnival many years ago but this was the first cruise for my hubby and daughter. The ship was very nice - it had been refurbished a couple of years ago. Overall, we had a great time, but there were definitely some shortcomings. First, I need to praise the staff - they really went above and beyond to please us in so many ways. My daughter is a very picky eater and on the first day, she found a dish she liked at the Chinese restaurant. On a few of the other nights, even though we were eating in other restaurants, we mentioned this dish and it was made and brought to her at the restaurant we were at!! Now if that isn't service, then I don't know what is. We did notice that there could have been a few more family or kid oriented activities for those kids who did not enroll in the splash academy. We also had a couple of issues with the shore excursions - definitely not worth the price we were charged. I understand that you pay a premium to book through the ship, but it was still overpriced. The original boat ride we were supposed to go on in Port Canaveral was cancelled because not enough people signed up. They let us know the day before so we had enough time to go to the shore excursion desk and find a new excursion. We found a similar boat ride and they gave us a tiny discount to make up for the inconvenience. It was a pretty disappointing boat ride. We also booked a day at Atlantis and for what we paid, we only had access to the beach and the aquarium. Our favorite day was the private island. The tender ride was a bit bumpy, but it was a short ride. My daughter had the greatest time floating in the water on a raft we rented for $16!!! It was really beautiful and relaxing there. They told us to keep hydrated, but there really was not a lot of water available. They served a very nice lunch with a theme of an island!!! We enjoyed the entertainment - the magician could have done a few more tricks, but we still enjoyed him. It was nice that there were 2 shows each night, so we didn't have to rush through dinner or anything. There seemed to be music all over the place at most times. There were also a lot of giveaways and raffle type of events. I loved being able to eat where we wanted, when we wanted. The only places we had to make reservations were at the specialty restaurants. Now on to the food - overall, we enjoyed the food - there was always something for everyone, especially at the buffet. Some of the food was a bit disappointing - the soups, and a lot of the meat was dry and not flavorful. I also expected higher quality fish at the meals. The French restaurant was a disappointment - the quality was not great and we had a little trouble with the service. Our favorite restaurant was Moderno and my daughter loved the teppenyaki place - she is still talking about it. The pools were small but it was a treat for my daughter to be able to go into a hot tub and she enjoyed the slide. We didn't really have any problems finding chairs. The cabin was not huge, but we didn't feel cramped in it. We especially loved the turn down service with the animals made out of towels. We had a family size window and it was fine. The embarkation was fine, but the welcome when we first got on the ship could have been better. Overall, it was a blast - the staff truly aimed to please and we really had quality family time together.

We had a great time!!!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by gail444

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
We booked this cruise only about 3 weeks before the sailing date - it seemed like the perfect easy family vacation. I had been on another cruise with Carnival many years ago but this was the first cruise for my hubby and daughter. The ship was very nice - it had been refurbished a couple of years ago. Overall, we had a great time, but there were definitely some shortcomings. First, I need to praise the staff - they really went above and beyond to please us in so many ways. My daughter is a very picky eater and on the first day, she found a dish she liked at the Chinese restaurant. On a few of the other nights, even though we were eating in other restaurants, we mentioned this dish and it was made and brought to her at the restaurant we were at!! Now if that isn't service, then I don't know what is. We did notice that there could have been a few more family or kid oriented activities for those kids who did not enroll in the splash academy. We also had a couple of issues with the shore excursions - definitely not worth the price we were charged. I understand that you pay a premium to book through the ship, but it was still overpriced. The original boat ride we were supposed to go on in Port Canaveral was cancelled because not enough people signed up. They let us know the day before so we had enough time to go to the shore excursion desk and find a new excursion. We found a similar boat ride and they gave us a tiny discount to make up for the inconvenience. It was a pretty disappointing boat ride. We also booked a day at Atlantis and for what we paid, we only had access to the beach and the aquarium. Our favorite day was the private island. The tender ride was a bit bumpy, but it was a short ride. My daughter had the greatest time floating in the water on a raft we rented for $16!!! It was really beautiful and relaxing there. They told us to keep hydrated, but there really was not a lot of water available. They served a very nice lunch with a theme of an island!!! We enjoyed the entertainment - the magician could have done a few more tricks, but we still enjoyed him. It was nice that there were 2 shows each night, so we didn't have to rush through dinner or anything. There seemed to be music all over the place at most times. There were also a lot of giveaways and raffle type of events. I loved being able to eat where we wanted, when we wanted. The only places we had to make reservations were at the specialty restaurants. Now on to the food - overall, we enjoyed the food - there was always something for everyone, especially at the buffet. Some of the food was a bit disappointing - the soups, and a lot of the meat was dry and not flavorful. I also expected higher quality fish at the meals. The French restaurant was a disappointment - the quality was not great and we had a little trouble with the service. Our favorite restaurant was Moderno and my daughter loved the teppenyaki place - she is still talking about it. The pools were small but it was a treat for my daughter to be able to go into a hot tub and she enjoyed the slide. We didn't really have any problems finding chairs. The cabin was not huge, but we didn't feel cramped in it. We especially loved the turn down service with the animals made out of towels. We had a family size window and it was fine. The embarkation was fine, but the welcome when we first got on the ship could have been better. Overall, it was a blast - the staff truly aimed to please and we really had quality family time together.
gail444’s Full Rating Summary
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