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This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise there. We love sailing out of Boston, it is a much better embarkation than New York. NCL air sent us a list of what to expect for the all-inclusive cruise and they delivered exactly what they promised and more. They scheduled great flights both ways that were at appropriate times not too early for departure we arrived a 1:30 and the return flight was at 3:30 which gave us a leisurely morning in Boston. I did the math on the flights and we would have paid just under $800 for the tickets for which we paid $99 each. There seems to be some confusion online about how this works but if you can read and just trust that NCL is going to take care of you it all works fine. You won't get the flights until a few weeks before. But once you do, they are your flights and you have to get into the airlines website and choose a seat. You can then upgrade if you like, which we did. The airlines were Delta and American - one was direct, and one had one stop. Once purchased they are your tickets. It was a good experience on this cruise, but it didn't stop there. When we arrived in Boston, just as the info stated, an NCL representative met us at baggage. She was wonderful lady from Boston wearing an NCL bandana. She was there to meet only us. She loaded our bags on a cart and contacted the hotel van to pick us up. She waited with us until the Sheraton Airport van picked us and our luggage up. (about 15 minutes). While waiting she told us some things we could do while in Boston. It is nice arriving without having to figure out where to go next! Upon arriving at the hotel, we were literally greeted with a red carpet. We were immediately checked in and given access to the hotel. It was early. They gave us a gift bag with treats and water. The check in hostess provided us with info about the shuttle and how to get around. We were a little concerned at first as the Sheraton/Airport is outside of Boston, but there are some perks it is beside a shopping center which we found was a great place to pick up things for the cruise and really just shop if you like. There are several restaurants there as well and one in the hotel as well as a bar. They also provide free service to the subway/train to Boston. We checked in and took the shuttle to the train. It takes about $6 per person to go and return on the train. We went to the Aquarium stop from which there is a lot to see and do. We returned that evening and all we had to do is phone the hotel and they dispatched a van for us - about 15 minutes. They even verify the arrival by text just in case the driver cannot find you. They will also transport you to local restaurants as well. The breakfast at the Sheraton is good as well. Everything was included in our cruise price including tips. We were told at check in to be downstairs at about 11:30 for our transportation to the pier. Which at first concerned us as we usually like to board early. But we decided to just go with the flow. We checked out about 10:30 after breakfast and waited for the "ride" to the ship. While waiting we noticed a limo arrive and thought someone famous must be staying here. Surprise they transported us to the ship by limo. It was the best trip to port ever. A BMW limo with free Wi-Fi, snacks and water. We could’ve actually just driven around for a while. We were dropped off right at the door of the port and never touched a bag. (The tips were already included) For embarkation we processed through security in about 10 minutes and then the line at registration took about another 5 to get to the agent. After the presentation of all the docs and taking pictures the agent said you need to follow me. We followed him behind the priority boarding curtain and met our Concierge, Anoop. We were afforded priority boarding and given access to a concierge for the entire trip. We were in Cagney's eating a great lunch within an hour of arriving at the pier. This was the best embarkation ever! It really could not be better. We were finally on the ship and just had to do what NCL had planned for us all we had to do was get to the local airport on time. 5 stars!!!! This was our first time on the Gem. Though we have spent a lot of time on the Dawn over the past year as well as some of the bigger ships. The Gem is slightly bigger than the Dawn. There is a Great Outdoors much like the Sun and the Sky. The buffet seems to be a bit larger and is only on one side. We stayed in a balcony room 10128 which was a great choice, very near the stairs with easy access up and down. The cabin is slightly bigger than the Dawn, well at least a little more storage. It was clean and always kept that way by our steward. We only had to ask for Ice in the Ice bucket once, which was automatic after that. Dining on the Gem was GREAT!!! The breakfasts in Moderno each morning were really a highlight. We could’ve eaten lunch in Cagney’s each day but wow we were so stuffed! We dined in Le Bistro, Cagney’s, Moderno, The Grand Pacific and Magenta. They all were excellent. In fact, the Grand Pacific had the best wait staff on the whole cruise. This is the free restaurant. Magenta was a little too crowded but was okay, so if you hate crowds sail away the buffet is literally better. The one issue with dining was in La Cucina. It was nice looking facility however the experience was because they booked multiple large parties in too small of a space. It was raucous to say the least. We just skipped dessert and went to the bar. The concierge found us almost immediately and did admit that they knew it was too loud and they were working on it. My suggestion - don’t eat there!!!! Maybe then it could be really fixed! The buffet was good as well as the great outdoors. We did usually stop by the great outdoors before bed for a snack. The coolest dining experience on the Gem was the barbeque they prepared everyday on the pool deck. It was very safe and was awesome. I thought at first, we would never get anything to eat there but it was so fast there really was never a wait. This really was a unique experience. 5 stars!!!! And on the last day at sea they made the largest Black Forest Cake at sea. We found the Whisky Bar to the best, Zoran was a great bartender even when he had to explain to people that a Whisky Bar is not where you go to order a Margarita. He went next door an made them one. Bar service overall was 4 stars. A few times it seemed to be understaffed a little on the pool deck, but a good job. The entertainment on the ship was excellent as we have grown to expect from NCL. There was guitar Karaoke/tracks performer that we really did NOT care for. However, it seemed a lot of people liked tracks and pitchy, so they had something to go listen to. The biggest ISSUE on the whole cruise was in during the “White Hot” or “Glow Party” and yes, I know NCL is trying to rebrand it which is another issue. But, for some reason they had it inside and it was too packed and the allowed the youth to come after they had already had one especially for them. It was literally dangerous on the dance floor. Not sure who is responsible for this --- It was a beautiful night outside at the end of July leaving Bermuda. So, it was not a weather issue. THIS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! If they do this again, I will NEVER attend! I do not wish to get into a fight which almost happened as there was so much pushing around! I might mention there was also NO security present. Drinking and an overcrowded dance floor party is really a bad idea. My wife is small I had to shield her from the parents with kids hanging in the air and teenagers jumping into her. Bermuda is a great place to cruise it was 2 nights and three days in port. There is nothing near Bermuda so that is difficult to change. Bermuda is very safe compared to many other ports. The White-Hot Party Sunset Cruise offered by NCL was Superior. The same company did a cruise for snorkeling when we arrived. It is called Rising Son. We did another Sunset Cruise it was okay. It was cloudy and no I don’t blame the company on the weather. The ones from Rising Son are much better!!!! I got to drive the catamaran on the way back to the ship. We did book and off ship Food Tour in Hamilton for lunch. It was good, however too HOT! On the last day we took an NCL tour to Tobacco Bay. This was a great excursion. The snorkeling there is good especially if you have a wife that is not a strong swimmer. We went on a short historical tour and walked there from St. Georges. Probably a mile – though they will transport you if necessary. There was a lunch and we snorkeled for hours. There were so many fish right off the shore. Of course, the feeding of French fries probably contributed to this. I was caught in a true feeding frenzy once, but it was cool. We traveled back to Boston and we had the same treatment in reverse because we decided to stay a day later before going home. Boston is a great place to visit, lots to see and do for everyone. If you want a great local seafood experience check out Salty Girl. You will probably have to wait but it is worth it. We had limo back to hotel and a great time waiting to go home. This was a true all-inclusive cruise. I am not sure how it could really be much better. NCL free air and lodging the day before or after is a great deal and a wonderful experience. Just booked the next 3 with those included.

The Gem Is a great ship!!! It was a Wonderful All Inclusive Vacation.

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Saxman1961

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This was our best cruise ever. We decided to allow NCL to handle our air and pre and post hotel for this cruise. They truly made this an all-inclusive vacation. We sailed out of Boston and spent a day before and a day after the cruise there. We love sailing out of Boston, it is a much better embarkation than New York. NCL air sent us a list of what to expect for the all-inclusive cruise and they delivered exactly what they promised and more. They scheduled great flights both ways that were at appropriate times not too early for departure we arrived a 1:30 and the return flight was at 3:30 which gave us a leisurely morning in Boston. I did the math on the flights and we would have paid just under $800 for the tickets for which we paid $99 each. There seems to be some confusion online about how this works but if you can read and just trust that NCL is going to take care of you it all works fine. You won't get the flights until a few weeks before. But once you do, they are your flights and you have to get into the airlines website and choose a seat. You can then upgrade if you like, which we did. The airlines were Delta and American - one was direct, and one had one stop. Once purchased they are your tickets. It was a good experience on this cruise, but it didn't stop there.

When we arrived in Boston, just as the info stated, an NCL representative met us at baggage. She was wonderful lady from Boston wearing an NCL bandana. She was there to meet only us. She loaded our bags on a cart and contacted the hotel van to pick us up. She waited with us until the Sheraton Airport van picked us and our luggage up. (about 15 minutes). While waiting she told us some things we could do while in Boston. It is nice arriving without having to figure out where to go next!

Upon arriving at the hotel, we were literally greeted with a red carpet. We were immediately checked in and given access to the hotel. It was early. They gave us a gift bag with treats and water. The check in hostess provided us with info about the shuttle and how to get around. We were a little concerned at first as the Sheraton/Airport is outside of Boston, but there are some perks it is beside a shopping center which we found was a great place to pick up things for the cruise and really just shop if you like. There are several restaurants there as well and one in the hotel as well as a bar. They also provide free service to the subway/train to Boston. We checked in and took the shuttle to the train. It takes about $6 per person to go and return on the train. We went to the Aquarium stop from which there is a lot to see and do. We returned that evening and all we had to do is phone the hotel and they dispatched a van for us - about 15 minutes. They even verify the arrival by text just in case the driver cannot find you. They will also transport you to local restaurants as well. The breakfast at the Sheraton is good as well. Everything was included in our cruise price including tips.

We were told at check in to be downstairs at about 11:30 for our transportation to the pier. Which at first concerned us as we usually like to board early. But we decided to just go with the flow. We checked out about 10:30 after breakfast and waited for the "ride" to the ship. While waiting we noticed a limo arrive and thought someone famous must be staying here. Surprise they transported us to the ship by limo. It was the best trip to port ever. A BMW limo with free Wi-Fi, snacks and water. We could’ve actually just driven around for a while. We were dropped off right at the door of the port and never touched a bag. (The tips were already included)

For embarkation we processed through security in about 10 minutes and then the line at registration took about another 5 to get to the agent. After the presentation of all the docs and taking pictures the agent said you need to follow me. We followed him behind the priority boarding curtain and met our Concierge, Anoop. We were afforded priority boarding and given access to a concierge for the entire trip. We were in Cagney's eating a great lunch within an hour of arriving at the pier. This was the best embarkation ever! It really could not be better.

We were finally on the ship and just had to do what NCL had planned for us all we had to do was get to the local airport on time. 5 stars!!!!

This was our first time on the Gem. Though we have spent a lot of time on the Dawn over the past year as well as some of the bigger ships. The Gem is slightly bigger than the Dawn. There is a Great Outdoors much like the Sun and the Sky. The buffet seems to be a bit larger and is only on one side.

We stayed in a balcony room 10128 which was a great choice, very near the stairs with easy access up and down. The cabin is slightly bigger than the Dawn, well at least a little more storage. It was clean and always kept that way by our steward. We only had to ask for Ice in the Ice bucket once, which was automatic after that.

Dining on the Gem was GREAT!!! The breakfasts in Moderno each morning were really a highlight. We could’ve eaten lunch in Cagney’s each day but wow we were so stuffed! We dined in Le Bistro, Cagney’s, Moderno, The Grand Pacific and Magenta. They all were excellent. In fact, the Grand Pacific had the best wait staff on the whole cruise. This is the free restaurant. Magenta was a little too crowded but was okay, so if you hate crowds sail away the buffet is literally better.

The one issue with dining was in La Cucina. It was nice looking facility however the experience was because they booked multiple large parties in too small of a space. It was raucous to say the least. We just skipped dessert and went to the bar. The concierge found us almost immediately and did admit that they knew it was too loud and they were working on it. My suggestion - don’t eat there!!!! Maybe then it could be really fixed!

The buffet was good as well as the great outdoors. We did usually stop by the great outdoors before bed for a snack.

The coolest dining experience on the Gem was the barbeque they prepared everyday on the pool deck. It was very safe and was awesome. I thought at first, we would never get anything to eat there but it was so fast there really was never a wait. This really was a unique experience. 5 stars!!!! And on the last day at sea they made the largest Black Forest Cake at sea.

We found the Whisky Bar to the best, Zoran was a great bartender even when he had to explain to people that a Whisky Bar is not where you go to order a Margarita. He went next door an made them one. Bar service overall was 4 stars. A few times it seemed to be understaffed a little on the pool deck, but a good job.

The entertainment on the ship was excellent as we have grown to expect from NCL. There was guitar Karaoke/tracks performer that we really did NOT care for. However, it seemed a lot of people liked tracks and pitchy, so they had something to go listen to.

The biggest ISSUE on the whole cruise was in during the “White Hot” or “Glow Party” and yes, I know NCL is trying to rebrand it which is another issue. But, for some reason they had it inside and it was too packed and the allowed the youth to come after they had already had one especially for them. It was literally dangerous on the dance floor. Not sure who is responsible for this --- It was a beautiful night outside at the end of July leaving Bermuda. So, it was not a weather issue. THIS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF! If they do this again, I will NEVER attend! I do not wish to get into a fight which almost happened as there was so much pushing around! I might mention there was also NO security present. Drinking and an overcrowded dance floor party is really a bad idea. My wife is small I had to shield her from the parents with kids hanging in the air and teenagers jumping into her.

Bermuda is a great place to cruise it was 2 nights and three days in port. There is nothing near Bermuda so that is difficult to change. Bermuda is very safe compared to many other ports. The White-Hot Party Sunset Cruise offered by NCL was Superior. The same company did a cruise for snorkeling when we arrived. It is called Rising Son. We did another Sunset Cruise it was okay. It was cloudy and no I don’t blame the company on the weather. The ones from Rising Son are much better!!!! I got to drive the catamaran on the way back to the ship.

We did book and off ship Food Tour in Hamilton for lunch. It was good, however too HOT!

On the last day we took an NCL tour to Tobacco Bay. This was a great excursion. The snorkeling there is good especially if you have a wife that is not a strong swimmer. We went on a short historical tour and walked there from St. Georges. Probably a mile – though they will transport you if necessary. There was a lunch and we snorkeled for hours. There were so many fish right off the shore. Of course, the feeding of French fries probably contributed to this. I was caught in a true feeding frenzy once, but it was cool.

We traveled back to Boston and we had the same treatment in reverse because we decided to stay a day later before going home. Boston is a great place to visit, lots to see and do for everyone. If you want a great local seafood experience check out Salty Girl. You will probably have to wait but it is worth it. We had limo back to hotel and a great time waiting to go home.

This was a true all-inclusive cruise. I am not sure how it could really be much better. NCL free air and lodging the day before or after is a great deal and a wonderful experience. Just booked the next 3 with those included.
Saxman1961’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB 10128
The cabin is good. A little bigger than the Dawn. Slightly bigger bathroom and closet.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews