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

Such a great time!

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by K Buch

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Inside

We chose this cruise because it left out of Manhattan so we didn't have the added expense of flying to the port and because we wanted to take a two week vacation (for the first time in our lives) celebrating our anniversary on 12/23, Christmas, and New Years. We were exceptionally pleased from day 1 until the end. First, we decided seven days isn't enough to fully relax, so we were very happy we stayed for 14 days. Second, I was worried my husband would get antsy during the three days at sea getting to Puerto Rico but was really happy that both of us enjoyed the down time by reading, playing games, listening to the great music on board, going to the exceptional shows, and eating great food. We talked to a lot of people who complained about the entertainment and food but we have to disagree - people wanted to be entertained every minute all throughout the day instead of entertaining themselves sometimes. And while the buffet food did get a little redundant, I still didn't have to shop, cook, or clean up so I wasn't complaining! We eat a plant based diet and the cooks really didn't have many choices for that so we just went pescatarian for the cruise and that was fine. We had a dining package through our travel agent and LOVED the Italian restaurant, liked the French restaurant, and thought the steak house was just ok (but we don't eat meat so we knew that would be the case). We have cruised a couple times before and liked this ship the best. We always get the cheapest cabin because we don't see any point in spending money on a place we only intend to sleep in and our cabin was just fine. The service we got was excellent (except for some reason in the Grand Pacific). Like everyone, we don't like to be nickled and dimed and do feel things like bingo and soda should be included in the price. Since we didn't fly, we brought our own wine and liquor and made ourselves drinks when we wanted them for a fraction of what the ship would charge. The ports of call were great although it was hard to remember where we had been and where we were going since there were so many stops. My husband used the fitness center every day and his only complaint was that they didn't have a sauna. There is one in the spa but it's a charge. All in all, we felt like we got a very good bargain for a two week cruise.

K Buch's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


We always go cheap on the cabin. This one was just fine. They make good use of the space. We relaxed in the library, lounges, and decks - only needed to sleep in the cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Check it out on viator.com -- night LED kayaking

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check it out on viator.com

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St. Maarten

We did a rum and reggae beach excursion since snuba was cancelled because of rough waters. It was just ok. Not a great beach.


We did not like how tour operators pounced on us the second we were off the boat. We did find someone to take us for a short tour and then to the beach for awhile.

check it out on viator.com

This was a FANTASTIC excursion on the Black Pearl!

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Can't remember which beach we went to. This port had good shopping.

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Very good -- not much to see but a great time.

View All 14 Snuba Reviews

nice beach with shops and restaurants

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Punta Cana

We booked horseback riding and when we called to confirm, they said they weren't doing it on new year's day...even though we had a reservation and confirmation number. They refunded the money.

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K Buch
1 Reviews Written
7 Helpful Votes
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