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

Hurricane Dorian impacts/Geriatric Cruise

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by jsherald

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Inside

The timing of the cruise fit within our schedule so NCL was chosen. This was our 2nd cruise, 1st with NCL and probably the last with NCL. One reason we won't go NCL again - is it's too old of a clientele. The comedian has it correct. It's a floating nursing home. At 50, we were the youngest on the boat ! Expect most to turn in at 10 pm or earlier. You'll also be stuck behind many walkers in the many lines.

While the hurricane wasn't their issue, they could have communicated it better. We had to hear on the local new (we're from Maine) that the ship would be re-routed to Portland due to Dorian. NCL had not told us yet. We called the customer service # and they still had no information yet. So we traveled from Portland to Boston, just to head back to Portland - oh well. They gave us a port charge credit of $10 each.

Halifax closed their port so we had to skip that port. So it was a day at sea instead. Still waiting to hear about a port charge credit for Halifax. Several calls/emails still nothing.

Cabin was on deck 4 (4553) Inside. Good for us. Less movement. Never met the steward but he/she did a good job. It was just the 2 of us so this fine.

Dining - The pay restaurants - Japanese place, french place were too close to the Casio and cigar bar so they stank of smoke. We passed on those. We did eat at the restaurant - grand pacific (included in your cruise fare). Service was excellent. Food needs improvement. Meat (Prime Rib) was excellent, but the corn cob was so overcooked, was not edible. The steak, also good, was served with shoestring fries (Really ?) way to take the ambiance down - serve french fries with a quality steak.

No local seafood? No lobster.. we were in Maine? really? Scallops also were no larger than your fingernail. Tiny. No Blueberries that I could find. Again, this is the area for it.

Buffet - we ate there a lot. Seating was at a premium though and our ship was not fully booked. Lots of choices - including vegetarian. So real creative designs with fruit carvings

Entertainment = we thought it good. Shows were worth going to. One we actually went to twice. They have them at 7 and 9 pm.

Dancing - I appreciated that the professional dancers came out to dance at the clubs to get the party started. They missed the Latin night unfortunately, which my wife and I went to. We had the floor to ourselves.

Excursions - Dorian caused some damage. Many areas had no power. Not NCL's issue but they cancelled some of the tours and the other ones quickly became overcrowded.

Alcohol - packages not worth it. Not even if they are "free" as you still pay the service fee. Do the math. You'd need to drink about 5 drinks each day (for every one in your room) to break even. That's including the first day when they leave port at 5 pm. Skip the packages, and just pay by the drink. We did the "drink of the day" which had a reduced price. They do tack on 20% already, so don't add another tip unless you're really generous.

Plenty of free booze around - each night they gave out sample to taste. Hit them up ! Casino also has a "learn" night with free booze. It was the first night was relatively free from smoke and smell. We just took the drinks and walked :) . The art show also has free champagne. Take some, browse for a bit, and walk if you want.

Again, would not use NCL again. Customer service on the front end desk is often contradictory. One person would say one thing. If you come back and talk to another person you'd get a different answer. After the cruise, good luck in getting any response - we're still waiting. Average age of our boat I'g guess was mid 70s as well.

jsherald's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin IX 4553

Lowest possible and center of boat. Less movement. We don't spend a lot of time here so it was fine. They fill the fridge with booze (it'll cost you if you touch it). Just tell them to empty it and you'll have more space for whatever you want.

If you have 4 people in this cabin, it'll be tough. A mattress pulls out from under the bed and blocks the bathroom door. You'd also be stepping on them getting off the double bed (two twins pushed together) just getting out.

The other bed folds down from wall. Just sit up fast from a the bed below.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Portland (Maine)

We're from Portland. WE were detoured here due to the hurricane. Wish they had a tour to Freeport offered. LL Bean and a lot of other factory stores are there.

The Bell Museum

Nice drive. Bell - the deaf and hard of hearing are not fans of Bell. He was against using sign language.

View All 27 The Bell Museum Reviews

Nice float in on the cruise ship but not a lot there. If you hike that would be great but you'll need time.

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