Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by emmacairn
- Sail Date: October 2019
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Inside
I joined the spa for the whole cruise. It gave access to the thalassotherapy pool and whirlpool. There are also heated tile beds, comfortable lounge chairs, a steam room and dry sauna. Locker rooms with showers also available. Cost was $250 for the two weeks.
I attended two of the spa lectures. The second was on weight loss and detoxing. Attendees were invited to make an appt to meet with one of the speakers to get add'l info on recommended foods, body fat percentage, weight loss goals, etc. I signed up. What actually occurred was a high pressure sales tactic to buy very expensive vitamins and sachets for the bath which were supposed to penetrate the skin and remove built up toxins. The cost for the sachets? $1,000/3 months supply. When I said it was not affordable to me the spa employee became rude and dismissive. I was really taken back that a ship employee would speak to a passenger in that manner. What a creep. I complained. My $39 charge and 18% auto gratuity were refunded. I also had a 75 minute massage which was $152. At the end the massage person started a sales pitch for ridiculously priced products. I passed. This time without the crass feedback from the employee. The spa service level is low end. Looks nice until you don't buy what's offered. Cruise spa services have always had premium pricing but in years past the level of exchange was much higher. The spa staff needs some serious work.
The Park West Gallery auction staff were on the ship (as they always are). Same stuff I first encountered many years ago with some new artists. Tarkay, Medvedev, Peter Max, Bellet, Krasnyansky. They're all still there. The staff focuses on those who show interest and the auctions are fun-for a short time anyway. The first one I went to dragged on for a long time and I ended up leaving before the pieces I was interested in were brought up front. It would be nice if those pieces people expressed interest in were brought up to auction first. There were a few high end pieces ($30,000+) that no one purchased and there were a few others in the $2,000-$5,000 range that were bought by one couple.
My cabin steward was very good. Highly professional and kept my cabin tidy and supplied with ice. I used the shower in the spa for the entire two weeks so minimal cleaning needed in my cabin.
The wifi is terrible. I purchased 50 minutes time and it took that long for me to connect with email I needed to reply to. The woman at the internet desk was very nice and recommended trying to log on during slow times. This was when most passengers were off the ship. It took a very long time to connect and several times the connection failed. I made one connection so for the cost it was a complete waste of money.
The ship returned to Boston a day early because a passenger became ill. I was thrilled to get off the ship and home early but the process was chaotic, none of the staff had a clue on how to direct passengers. I was directed to go through the immigration room twice. Once w/o luggage and the second time w/ luggage. It took 2.5 hours from when I left my cabin until when I finally got off the ship. The elevators were shut down to all but two floors, people not able to negotiate stairs and left with no direction. It was a big fail for the ship and staff. I have never seen a disembarkation so poorly executed. When I got off the ship there were no taxis waiting and the weather was cold and rainy. Not good.
For entertainment the hypnotist was a lot of fun. She had 20 people on stage and the show was really good. A lot of laughs. The piano player/singer in the Martini/Champagne bar area could play well but his voice was terrible. Worst I've encountered in 22 years of cruising. He mentioned looking forward to seeing his girlfriend when he returned home, he said she was going to need a lot of loving from him because of his absence. Does anyone need to know this? No.
Overall, I would not do the cruise again. The spa confrontation left me with a really bad feeling over high pressure tactics, rude, very rude staff and the general attitude from spa staff was less than inviting. One woman, Sunshine, was lovely and very pleasant. But that was it.
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