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The cruise to Canada and New England was considered a "distinctive voyage". It was okay, but there are a lot of caveats. It's not like Norwegian had anything disastrous happen on this cruise (and I hate people who complain excessively about vacation), it's just that it was... well, a boring itinerary and a boring ship. Additionally, it's important to know that the Canada cruises skew a lot older than other ships (not that NCL can change that). We did this as our honeymoon and oftentimes, by midnight we were the ONLY people out in public areas. If you like nightlife at all, this ship has none. There was never anybody in Bliss, the nightclub. There were almost NO children on our ship. It was pretty much only older folks. First, the ship. The Gem has a sort of confusing layout. It's not intuitive. Our cabin was aft and many of the activities we enjoyed were in Spinnaker Lounge, on deck 13 Forward. The problem is, to get there oftentimes you have to go up or down a deck to get across the ship. The flow of getting around takes a lot to get used to on the Gem. I hit a lot of dead ends trying to get to an attraction. The Gem also clearly is in need of an update in terms of its attractions and restaurants/bars. A lot of the "theming" is blatantly dated, like the martini bar. Our cabin was great, no complaints, a lot of storage space. In fact, I had more closet space in an oceanview than I had on my last cruise in a balcony! Only complaint is that NCL televisions are tiny, but that's true across the line and not just on the Gem. Dining was sometimes an up and down experience. Meals we had in the MDR were muddled - for example, my husband loved his prime rib one night, but another night would think he had the worst French onion soup he's ever had. The specialty dining was excellent, as usual. We think the specialty dining is still a good value, compared to DC where we are from. The buffet was usually just for a quick meal - I would avoid it at breakfast and go to O'Sheehans or the MDR if possible. You'll get a way more appetizing breakfast. The ports were mixed. We loved Bar Harbor, Maine - incredibly charming, a lot to walk around in the downtown area, and beautiful in its national park. St. John was cute and the reversing rapids was a nice attraction. By far the worst place was Sydney, NS - very little to see in the town and the decent excursions were taking you 45 minutes or an hour away. Ending in Quebec City was a highlight of the cruise, although I question the cruise beginning or ending with an overnight, as we did and the next cruise did. It means that for a lot of the cruise, relatively, things like the duty-free shop and casino are closed. Service was great. We always enjoy the staff and our steward. Never had to wait to get a drink or be served in a restaurant. Not a lot of lines on the Gem. We got a lot of great tips from the crew, who go out of their way to be friendly. Entertainment on board was a mixed bag. First of all, the production singers were great but the shows showcasing them were really terrible. A lot of jukebox revues without any plot or substance to them, and songs that did not show off their particular cast. I am lucky I went to the cabaret and got to see songs picked particularly for the singers - they were amazing when able to be themselves. The other entertainers did well - we enjoyed the acrobatics show and the comedian - but none were really stellar. We liked the four-piece band that traveled around the ship. Definitely, the piano player/singer aboard was awful - he had no energy and terrible vocals. I actively avoided places where he was playing. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves but would not take this ship or itinerary again.

Nothing too bad, but rather dull ship and itinerary

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by jules528

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Trip Details
The cruise to Canada and New England was considered a "distinctive voyage". It was okay, but there are a lot of caveats. It's not like Norwegian had anything disastrous happen on this cruise (and I hate people who complain excessively about vacation), it's just that it was... well, a boring itinerary and a boring ship. Additionally, it's important to know that the Canada cruises skew a lot older than other ships (not that NCL can change that). We did this as our honeymoon and oftentimes, by midnight we were the ONLY people out in public areas. If you like nightlife at all, this ship has none. There was never anybody in Bliss, the nightclub. There were almost NO children on our ship. It was pretty much only older folks.

First, the ship. The Gem has a sort of confusing layout. It's not intuitive. Our cabin was aft and many of the activities we enjoyed were in Spinnaker Lounge, on deck 13 Forward. The problem is, to get there oftentimes you have to go up or down a deck to get across the ship. The flow of getting around takes a lot to get used to on the Gem. I hit a lot of dead ends trying to get to an attraction. The Gem also clearly is in need of an update in terms of its attractions and restaurants/bars. A lot of the "theming" is blatantly dated, like the martini bar.

Our cabin was great, no complaints, a lot of storage space. In fact, I had more closet space in an oceanview than I had on my last cruise in a balcony! Only complaint is that NCL televisions are tiny, but that's true across the line and not just on the Gem.

Dining was sometimes an up and down experience. Meals we had in the MDR were muddled - for example, my husband loved his prime rib one night, but another night would think he had the worst French onion soup he's ever had. The specialty dining was excellent, as usual. We think the specialty dining is still a good value, compared to DC where we are from. The buffet was usually just for a quick meal - I would avoid it at breakfast and go to O'Sheehans or the MDR if possible. You'll get a way more appetizing breakfast.

The ports were mixed. We loved Bar Harbor, Maine - incredibly charming, a lot to walk around in the downtown area, and beautiful in its national park. St. John was cute and the reversing rapids was a nice attraction. By far the worst place was Sydney, NS - very little to see in the town and the decent excursions were taking you 45 minutes or an hour away. Ending in Quebec City was a highlight of the cruise, although I question the cruise beginning or ending with an overnight, as we did and the next cruise did. It means that for a lot of the cruise, relatively, things like the duty-free shop and casino are closed.

Service was great. We always enjoy the staff and our steward. Never had to wait to get a drink or be served in a restaurant. Not a lot of lines on the Gem. We got a lot of great tips from the crew, who go out of their way to be friendly.

Entertainment on board was a mixed bag. First of all, the production singers were great but the shows showcasing them were really terrible. A lot of jukebox revues without any plot or substance to them, and songs that did not show off their particular cast. I am lucky I went to the cabaret and got to see songs picked particularly for the singers - they were amazing when able to be themselves. The other entertainers did well - we enjoyed the acrobatics show and the comedian - but none were really stellar. We liked the four-piece band that traveled around the ship. Definitely, the piano player/singer aboard was awful - he had no energy and terrible vocals. I actively avoided places where he was playing.

Overall, we enjoyed ourselves but would not take this ship or itinerary again.
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OA 8612
Cabin was big enough to move around in for two. Nice bathroom with separation between toilet, sink, and shower - good so that I could do my makeup to get ready while husband was in the shower, etc.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews