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

Beautiful ship, beautiful time of year

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by LTidrick

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

We have sailed with Norwegian twice before, and have always loved the destinations, the value, and the service. We chose this tour because we had always wanted to see Quebec and the surrounding territories in the fall. Although the colors were not yet vibrant, we did see some fall foliage and the weather was perfect. Be aware that travel to Quebec can be problematic: major airlines only land in Montreal which is 3-1/2 hours away. For us, the train was a good option (Via Rail). Once at the Port, embarkation was disorganized: there were no staff to direct us and we had to wait about 3 hours for a wheelchair assist, even though we had a scheduled arrival time. No one seemed to know if there was a line or where to drop luggage and none of the employees were available to ask. Once on board we were impressed with the cleanliness of our stateroom (we had a mini-suite), the efficiency of our steward (Lillies), and the beautiful public areas of the ship. I loved the Promenade for my morning walks as it goes the full circle of the ship with no stairs and plenty of room. We sailed about 3 hours late for some reason--there was no announcement from the captain or explanation given. In fact, communication could be improved on the Gem. One example was a notice that all guests must submit documents to immigration, starting at 7:45 and ending at 9:00 am. Groups were to be called.... those with excursions were to be in the first group, but for well over an hour there were no announcements at all, and people were stressed about missing their excursion buses. The Gem offers plenty to do onboard as well as on shore, and they even did our laundry for us one day (a big bag for 19.99). We got the Thermal Spa Package--highly recommended for relaxing and being pampered! We enjoyed listening to music every evening in the lounges and attending the nightly shows. The piano man, Nathanael Reed, was especially talented! We did not do many excursions this time, but we went ashore at the ports to shop, visit restaurants, and walk downtown. I also enjoyed going ashore for a bicycle ride in Sydney--"I Bike Sydney" offered many varieties of bicycles to rent right on the dock, and there was an adjoining parkway for riding. One excursion we did take was to Acadia Park and Carriage Ride. It was scenic and relaxing, very memorable, and now we want to go back again. Disembarkation was the exact opposite of embarkation--fast, easy and organized.

LTidrick's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB 11520

Spacious and clean. We had lots of storage (even our largest suitcase fit under the bed, as did my husband's walker) large lighted closet, lots of drawers, and hooks on the wall to hang sweaters or robes. We had a coffee maker in the room!!! Comfortable bed with lots of pillows and extra blanket when requested. Bathroom was large enough, but tub was deep and difficult to get into--we vastly prefer a stand-up shower! Our steward provided a bath mat which made showering easier, and I admit we did use the luxurious SPA showers quite often. The pool deck was one floor above us but our room was sound-proofed and we heard no noise from above. Our balcony view was spectacular.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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