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

Fall Leaves were Great

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Melinda Brasher

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: Canada & New England

The fall leaves were gorgeous.

The weather was too cold to enjoy the outdoor areas very much.

I think in the future I might choose an itinerary with fewer ports, as we exhausted ourselves with port after port. However, some people might love that. But I did love the ports. And I would hate to have missed any of them.

This late in the year (early October), it was dark for most of the sail in and out of beautiful Saguenay Fjord, which was a big shame. Maybe Norwegian could have adjusted the schedule a little so that either the sail in or the sail out was during daylight?

The ship was very nice.

The food was good overall.

The evening entertainment would have been very good except it was WAY too loud. Painfully loud. I couldn't even stay for most of the nights. When I asked if it could be turned down, I was made to feel stupid and was told that no one else had complained. However, there was a Q and A at the end of the cruise. I didn't go, but friends told me that many people there complained about the ridiculously loud volume of the shows in the theater. The excuse of "It's live music; it's loud" is nonsense. It's AMPLIFIED live music. Just turn down the amplification.

They gave my mom a really hard time about carrying distilled water onboard for her C-Pap. It's a medical device, yet they made her feel like a criminal. They supposedly provide distilled water, but we had to beg about 3 times for the first fill-up, and they didn't simply give us the water. They put it in the machine themselves while we weren't there. I don't like the idea of other people touching my medical equipment, especially if they have no training on the particular machine (they all have quirks). And how do we know for sure it was really distilled water?

The crew was all very nice except for the people at the desk who dismissed me and made me feel stupid because the noise level was physically hurting me.

Melinda Brasher's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Quebec City

Gorgeous old town. Feels like Europe. Wander around on your own and take time to find a favorite little nook.


Locals were so welcoming and put on entertainment right at the dock in the morning. Locals we talked to were so friendly. Welcome center people went above and beyond for me. Centre Plein Aire Bec-Scie is totally worth it, though you have to take a cab to get there. It was one of my favorite things about the whole cruise (of course, the leaves were changing, which made it even more beautiful than usual, probably)

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

As a huge Anne of Green Gable fan, I was delighted. We rented a car and drove around the island, saw beaches, lighthouses, Anne's house, autumn leaves. Very nice day. We didn't have much time in Charlottetown, so I can't say much, but it seemed nice.

Sydney (Nova Scotia)

I really enjoyed Sydney. Walked around historic part, found a local Christmas craft fair, did a multi-step geo cache, and took the local bus to a nature trail (Baille Ard). Leaves were turning and it was GORGEOUS. People were friendly.


We didn't do a whole lot here, but the waterfront walk was nice, and the public gardens. Oh, and we visited the awesome central library.

Saint John (New Brunswick)

Because I'm a nerd, I found the Reversing Falls pretty amazing. We went near low tide and again near high tide, and it was pretty cool. There's also a nice little center and waterfront walk. I think if you take an excursion to the caves or the Hopwell Rocks, that would be really cool too.

Portland (Maine)

Nice historic center, nice walk on the Eastern promenade and down to the beach where I looked for shells and relaxed. Don't miss the historic cemetery on the way to the eastern promenade. It's a small place, very walkable. Watch for lighthouses while you sail in and out.

Bar Harbor

Such a beautiful town!!! The national park is awesome too. I wish I'd had more time there. And don't miss the walk across the sandbar at low tide to Bar Island. Just don't let high tide strand you.


I felt like I was in the birthplace of America. Walk the Freedom Trail. It's amazing.

New York (Manhattan)

I think you're a New York person or you're not. It was too crowded for me, but I enjoyed seeing so many famous sites.

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Melinda Brasher
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