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Although my husband and I are not first time cruisers, this cruise was the first for us in a few ways: our first cruise with NCL, first time for both the Flynn Cruiseport in Boston and Bermuda and first time for me traveling with mobility issues. Overall we had an enjoyable cruise. The Gem is a lovely ship and Bermuda a wonderful destination. We had beautiful weather for the most part and calm seas. The stateroom services by our cabin steward, Christian Paz, butler, Joaquin Dumipig, and concierge, Anoop Bhanu were exceptional. The Boston Cruise Port was convenient for us as we could drive there. The traffic at the Port is heavy, but we managed to sort ourselves out and use the parking garage and shuttle to deal with the car. Embarkation and disembarkation were made easy for us as because as Haven cruisers we bypassed the general lines which did seem to be congested. We also had a private waiting area and were then escorted onboard to Cagney’s for lunch while we waited for our cabin to be ready - only one of the perks for Haven level passengers. Dining and drinking: Our promo package included 3 free specialty restaurants. We chose Moderno, Le Bistro and La Cucina. All three were superior to the MDRs. I loved the escargot at Le Bistro, but overall we found that La Cucina was our favorite. We found that the MDRs had problems with getting food to the table hot, or sometimes even warm. We gave up at our second night at Magenta when both the appetizers and entrees were cool to the touch. I will give credit to the manager for coming over to try to offer us something else, but it was too little too late. We also enjoyed having the promo Unlimited Beverages package. Entertainment: We saw three shows at the Stardust Theater: the Welcome Aboard Show, Swing and Duo Wings - Aerial Acrobatic Show. The production band was especially good. We didn’t attend musical offerings in other venues as we found them to be excessively loud. At one point we decided to have dinner at O’Sheehan’s, but turned around as the music in the Atrium was too loud, and the singer sounded like bad Karaoke. Turning up the volume for a dance party is welcomed, but not in venues where you would like to carry on a conversation. Spa: I used the spa to get my hair shampooed and blown dry and had a manicure. Yes, it’s pricier than at home, but not outrageous. There was some up-sell, but it wasn’t too pushy. Accessibility Issues: Onboard the ship: Public halls are plenty wide enough for walkers, wheelchairs and scooters, but, beware of the narrow stateroom corridors when housekeeping carts can block the way. The theatre has designated handicapped passenger rows, but getting to them sometimes required going up and down a relatively steep incline. Restaurants are accommodating with ‘parking’ areas for the equipment once you’re seated. Hint: to avoid stairs, The Grand Pacific dining room’s accessible entrance is to the right of the stairs to the main entrance. I did find a fully accessible washroom on Deck 13 where Cagney’s and Moderno are located, but didn’t need or look for others. Going Ashore: Those of us with mobility issues face challenges finding suitable excursions offered by NCL. I had reserved the wheel chair accessible full island mini-bus tour, but it was cancelled due to lack of participation. We ended up hiring a private taxi for a tour and we were glad that we did. Of note: there is a road behind St. Peters Church in St. George’s that has a back, semi-accessible entrance to the church. It is well worth the effort to visit this lovely church and walk through the cemetery. The assistance to get on and off the ship at the dock was wonderful. The ramp can get steep at the end when getting off of the ship and there was always a strong person to help slow my walker down. When returning from walking around the Dockyard I would request and wheelchair ‘push’ up the ramp. The dockyard is fairly flat, but the surfaces can be uneven. 
The tram that circles the Dockyard can accommodate walkers. The National Museum of Bermuda was only accessible for me on the lower level due to a fairly steep incline to get to the upper area. The exhibits on the lower level were interesting and watching the Dolphin Quest participants was fun, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more accessibility support from the Museum. We loved this itinerary and there are so many things to see and do in Bermuda, more than one visit is a must do for us.

Gem Boston to Bermuda with Mobility Challenges

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by HuskyMom1

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Although my husband and I are not first time cruisers, this cruise was the first for us in a few ways: our first cruise with NCL, first time for both the Flynn Cruiseport in Boston and Bermuda and first time for me traveling with mobility issues.

Overall we had an enjoyable cruise. The Gem is a lovely ship and Bermuda a wonderful destination. We had beautiful weather for the most part and calm seas. The stateroom services by our cabin steward, Christian Paz, butler, Joaquin Dumipig, and concierge, Anoop Bhanu were exceptional. The Boston Cruise Port was convenient for us as we could drive there. The traffic at the Port is heavy, but we managed to sort ourselves out and use the parking garage and shuttle to deal with the car. Embarkation and disembarkation were made easy for us as because as Haven cruisers we bypassed the general lines which did seem to be congested. We also had a private waiting area and were then escorted onboard to Cagney’s for lunch while we waited for our cabin to be ready - only one of the perks for Haven level passengers.

Dining and drinking: Our promo package included 3 free specialty restaurants. We chose Moderno, Le Bistro and La Cucina. All three were superior to the MDRs. I loved the escargot at Le Bistro, but overall we found that La Cucina was our favorite. We found that the MDRs had problems with getting food to the table hot, or sometimes even warm. We gave up at our second night at Magenta when both the appetizers and entrees were cool to the touch. I will give credit to the manager for coming over to try to offer us something else, but it was too little too late. We also enjoyed having the promo Unlimited Beverages package.

Entertainment: We saw three shows at the Stardust Theater: the Welcome Aboard Show, Swing and Duo Wings - Aerial Acrobatic Show. The production band was especially good. We didn’t attend musical offerings in other venues as we found them to be excessively loud. At one point we decided to have dinner at O’Sheehan’s, but turned around as the music in the Atrium was too loud, and the singer sounded like bad Karaoke. Turning up the volume for a dance party is welcomed, but not in venues where you would like to carry on a conversation.

Spa: I used the spa to get my hair shampooed and blown dry and had a manicure. Yes, it’s pricier than at home, but not outrageous. There was some up-sell, but it wasn’t too pushy.

Accessibility Issues:

Onboard the ship: Public halls are plenty wide enough for walkers, wheelchairs and scooters, but, beware of the narrow stateroom corridors when housekeeping carts can block the way. The theatre has designated handicapped passenger rows, but getting to them sometimes required going up and down a relatively steep incline. Restaurants are accommodating with ‘parking’ areas for the equipment once you’re seated. Hint: to avoid stairs, The Grand Pacific dining room’s accessible entrance is to the right of the stairs to the main entrance. I did find a fully accessible washroom on Deck 13 where Cagney’s and Moderno are located, but didn’t need or look for others.

Going Ashore: Those of us with mobility issues face challenges finding suitable excursions offered by NCL. I had reserved the wheel chair accessible full island mini-bus tour, but it was cancelled due to lack of participation. We ended up hiring a private taxi for a tour and we were glad that we did. Of note: there is a road behind St. Peters Church in St. George’s that has a back, semi-accessible entrance to the church. It is well worth the effort to visit this lovely church and walk through the cemetery.

The assistance to get on and off the ship at the dock was wonderful. The ramp can get steep at the end when getting off of the ship and there was always a strong person to help slow my walker down. When returning from walking around the Dockyard I would request and wheelchair ‘push’ up the ramp. The dockyard is fairly flat, but the surfaces can be uneven. 
The tram that circles the Dockyard can accommodate walkers. The National Museum of Bermuda was only accessible for me on the lower level due to a fairly steep incline to get to the upper area. The exhibits on the lower level were interesting and watching the Dolphin Quest participants was fun, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t more accessibility support from the Museum.

We loved this itinerary and there are so many things to see and do in Bermuda, more than one visit is a must do for us.
HuskyMom1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin H3 10004
The cabin is quite large and has two balconies. The large balcony forward can only be used while in port due to the wind while cruising, but the side balcony can be enjoyed any time. There is plenty of storage and could easily accommodate another person. There is also an extra half bath, toilet and sink, which comes in handy. There is an espresso machine for coffee or lovely teas from Tea Forte. Storage of my walker wasn’t an issue. Beware that doorway thresholds can be challenging to navigate with walkers. Also, if you would be more comfortable having a shower chair in the shower, request one from your cabin steward.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews