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Norwegian Gem Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,530 Reviews

A Unique Experience

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by LouNe16

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window

We stumbled on this cruise while checking out Latitudes offers. I was hesitant but my wife had never been out East so this would check quite a few boxes for her and I had 2 or 3 places I would be willing to go see.

The thought of doing the Atlantic Provinces & New England by cruise ship never actually occurred to us but once we learned about it, we thought it might be a good way to see a part of North America neither of us had ever been too (for the most part).

Sailing out of Quebec City was great for us and getting an extra day there was a bonus as we love that city! (We had been once before) There's so much to do & see. We just walked around looking a various historic sites and were surprised by a local art exhibit we found at the City Hall.

The second stop was La Baie/Saguenay. We had no idea Canada had fjords!! Great stop for such a small town.

After that was Charlottetown. Such a pretty city with great food & even better people!

Then on to Sydney. From here, we took an excursion to my personal favourite spot of the cruise - Louisbourg!! Just an amazing restoration.

Halifax was next. Another great historic city with plenty to see (too much to do in just 1 day).

Saint John was the last Canadian stop. Not much to see within walking distance but a few nice photo ops up the hill at King's Square.

There were 2 stops in Maine - Portland & "Bah ha ba"! (Bar Harbour) They embrace their accent even on the souvenirs. Both very touristy but if you like lobster, you can certainly get your fill at either place! For the beer snob (I count myself as one), Portland has a ton of craft breweries to explore & sample!!

Last stop before NYC was Boston. So much history here too but the only drawback is that we would have needed several days to explore it all as everything is so far apart. The Freedom Trail is a very good starting point and/or reference.

The only negative about the trip/itinerary was the weather at this time of year was cold and damp most days. Would have preferred a summer tour instead.

As for the ship itself, it was very nice. It's been renovated recently and looked good. The service was typical NCL - spot on! Only 1 blemish with the service: the main dining room & kitchen had multiple instances of difficulty adjusting to simple requests to slightly modify meals choices.

Overall, it was a great experience and worth doing. Should be done at least once!

For the history buff, it should be a bucket list item!

LouNe16's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OB 5600

Our cabin was the standard size with beautiful finishes & a nice large window.

There were 2 minor negatives: there wasn't sufficient legroom when sitting on the throne and they didn't factor in the joined bed set-up when placing the furniture. My side only had 6" of walking room at the end of the bed because the desk was right up against it!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Quincy Marketplace

We waited for over an hour out in the cold to get the shuttle to the market and coming back it wasn't very well organised and/or clear how/where to get the shuttle back to the ship.

View All 4 Quincy Marketplace Reviews
Fortress of Louisbourg

What an amazing restoration! Just wish we had more time to explore as it's too big to cover it all in the allotted time. Wish there was more flexibility for the return trip (e.g. multiple buses so why not let us choose our return time).

View All 20 Fortress of Louisbourg Reviews

Great citadel on the hill and nice boardwalk by the harbour.


We were welcomed by volunteers in period costumes who enthusiastically welcomed any tourist walking by and some samples of local products. There's a quaint little Fjord Museum at the other end of the bay that does a fun virtual tour through time & space around the area. Near the museum there's a bizarre art piece: a pyramid made from yield signs!! Worth 'slowing down' for a look if you're already in the area! ;-)

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

Beautiful town with amazing food, beer & even better people!!

Saint John (New Brunswick)

Not much of interest within walking distance of the pier. King's Square is maybe worth the hike. Everything else is a drive to get to.

Bar Harbor

Touristy town. It was nice to see but wouldn't go back.

New York (Manhattan)

Dirty, busy, and full of rude people! Don't enjoy NYC at all!!

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