The major reason for choosing this cruise was because of how convenient it was...however after sailing with NCL I will def choose this cruise again for a variety of reasons.
The Gem is a smaller/older ship but very "user" friendly, esp. when traveling with older people.
Our our balcony cabin was a little on the smaller size but always clean, towels replaced, etc.
The Grand Dining Room was very good, we did however purchase 3 night specialty pkg, Le Bistro was amazing, Hibatchi was delicious and although we enjoyed Cagney's it had the feel of the buffet with the people were dressed, noise level, etc.
Entertainment was very good but the activities around the pool were a bit odd.
We didnt do any excursions through NCL... we did rent a Twizy for the cost of one excursion and had our own transportation for 24 hours!
As far as service goes it depends who you were dealing with. Cabin stewards were wonderful as was waitstaff. The bars didnt seem to have enough bartenders on... and lastly the front desk NEEDS A LOT OF HELP...I was misdirected several times, I had trouble with my credit card (my bank said it was on NCL end) as did a lot of other people and I realize that nothing is perfect I did not need THE MANAGER TELLING ME "IF YOU WILL LET ME FINISH" in a nasty tone....COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR...later he back peddled when realizing he was in the wrong and all of a sudden we received chocolates in our cabin.
As a side note: I would love it if NCL included 2 drinks per day per person on their account...I found the booze pkg completely unreasonable in price and the fact that I would have to buy 2 (I might have ONE drink a day) totally ridiculous...
Cabin was a little on the smaller size but always spotless, towels etc replaced immediately!