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We sailed on the Norwegian Gem on the Panama Canal cruise from January 27 through February 15, 2019. The cruise was sold out. The formal dining facilities are very nice. The buffet ... well, not so much. Caution - if you choose the complimentary beverage package (provided it is available), you have to pay the 18% gratuity on the overly inflated "retail value" of the package. I believe the gratuity alone was over $300 per person, or $600 per cabin. I suspect we drank less than $600 of drinks while we were on the ship. Our stateroom location was a nightmare. See further description below. Though the room steward was outstanding. Pool bar bartenders were rude and pool wait staff were nearly non-existent. We had to get our drinks ourselves ... after having paid a $300+ gratuity up-front. There is clearly not enough public space for all passengers on board. Ship excursions were fairly boring and the tendering process was horrendous. What was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime turned into a huge disappointment.

Nightmare on Panama Canal Cruise

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by NC1-Cruisers

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Trip Details
We sailed on the Norwegian Gem on the Panama Canal cruise from January 27 through February 15, 2019. The cruise was sold out.

The formal dining facilities are very nice. The buffet ... well, not so much.

Caution - if you choose the complimentary beverage package (provided it is available), you have to pay the 18% gratuity on the overly inflated "retail value" of the package. I believe the gratuity alone was over $300 per person, or $600 per cabin. I suspect we drank less than $600 of drinks while we were on the ship.

Our stateroom location was a nightmare. See further description below. Though the room steward was outstanding.

Pool bar bartenders were rude and pool wait staff were nearly non-existent. We had to get our drinks ourselves ... after having paid a $300+ gratuity up-front.

There is clearly not enough public space for all passengers on board.

Ship excursions were fairly boring and the tendering process was horrendous.

What was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime turned into a huge disappointment.
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 11614
If you go on this ship, be very careful of where your cabin is located. The night we checked into our stateroom, we got almost no sleep. There were constant loud noises from the galley that was above us. We reported the noise issues to guest relations the next day and regularly after that.

Having gotten absolutely no relief with respect to the noises keeping us awake at night, i requested to talk with the manager for guest relations. As a result, I learned the following:
• we were not the first guests to report the issue. The constant noise in our stateroom is a “known issue” and "some guests are more sensitive to the noise than others".
• the ship was full and there was no other stateroom to which we could move.
• when i told them that we had been denied the quiet enjoyment of our room and ncl has not made good on its contract, they said there is nothing they could do on the ship. It would have to be taken up with customer relations (“ship coordinator”) at ncl headquarters after the cruise is over ... Which is exactly what i will do.

Shame on ncl for not disclosing a known problem with respect to the room and selling the room to us at retail rates.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins