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

Following Hurricane Dorian

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by Riley8911

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

We chose this ship because of the dates and the ports it was supposed to visit.

As it turns out, Hurricane Dorian was coming towards the New England and Canadian coasts. We had to go to Portland, Maine rather than Bar Harbor and then they skipped Halifax altogether due to the port being closed. The next 2 stops, at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - both areas had been affected by the hurricane and were coping with loss of electricity and many downed trees and related damage. I was disappointed to miss Halifax and although it could not be helped, I wished that we had added an additional day in Portland, letting the storm get well ahead of us, or add Bar Harbor back in after the storm had passed by there. Instead, they put in an "at sea" day, which is great I guess with some people, but it is also more of a money making opportunity for the cruise line, with nothing really being handed out to the passengers to compensate for missing one port entirely and having to adjust to Portland instead of Bar Harbor.

I went on this cruise with my two grown children and their spouses, plus my husband and sister in law. We had fun because we enjoyed the opportunity to be with each other, rather than anything in particular on the ship. Of all the dining on the ship, Cagney's, the steakhouse was far and away our best experience. It had the best food, best service, best atmosphere, etc. The Teppanyaki hibachi restaurant food was good, and the chef was entertaining, but it was very crowded seating and very loud, The regular buffet dining on deck 12 was good and we ate there for lunch and breakfast most of the time, most of the time getting our food and then moving outdoors to the aft deck. The evenings we were mostly in the Grand Pacific dining room, and other than confusion about "reservations", it was pretty good with good service. We did not go to really any entertainment or activities; did not hang out at the pool which seemed to be closed a fair amount of the time; the hot tubs enjoyed a fair amount of activity, but not from us. The rope climbing area which I had thought my son in law would enjoy was closed most of the time - I don't know for what reason. Several of us used the gym equipment and enjoyed walking the deck. Two of us used the spa for a massage and enjoyed that. We planned virtually all of our own shore excursions, although two of us did enjoy the Celtic music show at Sydney right there in the cruise port area.

I would say that there are problems with the "tender" process, especially because they expect you to climb this giant step to get on and off the tender boat. This was a stressful and dangerous situation for anyone who had anything less than great mobility. The ship personnel there wanted to feel like they were handling all the problems with people getting on and off and they did not want the person's able bodied family members assisting in any way, just telling them to stay out of the way. This was just not a good situation.

So, all in all, we had a good time because we were together. It was not really because of the ship or the activities or the ship's personnel (most of whom were very friendly and helpful). It was our first time on Norwegian and I picked it due to the itinerary and the dates that it sailed - I don't know that I would be looking to sail Norwegian again.

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Cabin Review

Cabin BC 9148

this was a handicapped accessible cabin - quite a bit larger than the balcony cabins of the same category that others in my party had. It seems like Norwegian cabins are quite plain but the bed was comfortable. It is difficult to see how a handicapped person could manage by himself in this cabin because there was no way to enter or exit the cabin without having someone holding the quite heavy door. I asked about this but did not get much of an answer other than saying you could call your cabin steward and ask him for assistance. This cabin was right by the elevators which made sense .

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