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What a fabulous holiday. I had been reading the reviews and was a little concerned but I honestly don't know where all the negativity was coming from. Embarkation - got to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal early. Was really slick - lots of people to take the bags and make sure they were tagged properly. Easy directions to get to the holding area and because i travel with my mom, who is a Platinum Lattitudes member, we were in the first group to go. Within a half an hour we were in line for our key cards - painless process, and on the ship we went. We went into the Atrium and were greeted by the SPECTACULAR gingerbread house display and a crew member even offered to take a picture of me and my mom - a free photo! We jumped on that opportunity! We always avoid the buffet for the first meal, we opted for the pub offerings at O'Sheean's. The staff were all cheerful and the guests were all bubbling with excitement. We toured the ship, it was NYC December 21 so being outside was not possible but plenty of places to check out and peek at. Smallest ship I've been on but there always seemed to be room in the elevators, all crew members were in good spirits for the trip. Now, the balcony stateroom was definitely the smallest I've ever experienced but it fits two quite handily and my mother and I were quite comfy. It was spotless and everything worked well. We indulged in the Thermal Suite and that was amazing - did sailaway from that location and were treated to a great view of the statue of liberty. The cruise was great, terrific food no matter where we ate, and we ate everywhere - the all of the MDRs (Grand Pacific, Magenta, Orchid Garden) the buffets, and all of the specialty restaurants (except Teppanyaki - not a favourite of my mom's!) Entertainment was great, although we weren't really fond of the comic, or Blazing Boots, but we enjoyed everything else - especially the Chernov brothers and Get Down Tonight. And having something different to go to every night was really great - particularly for such a long cruise. Ports were lovely and we did end up missing out on the final port stop of Punta Cana because we were tendering but it was clear the water was too rough, we knew it would be cancelled before the captain told us it would be. But the crew went out of their way to keep everyone happy and occupied and I don't think many people really minded missing out on the port stop. The captain entertained everyone in the morning with fun facts and Luz, the Cruise Director went above and beyond. Disembarkation was just as easy and slick as embarkation. Our luggage tag was called and we were off the ship in about 30 minutes. Couldn't have been easier. FABULOUS cruise and would do this Christmas cruise again in a heartbeat.

Perfect Way to Celebrate the Holidays

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by madvis33

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
What a fabulous holiday. I had been reading the reviews and was a little concerned but I honestly don't know where all the negativity was coming from. Embarkation - got to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal early. Was really slick - lots of people to take the bags and make sure they were tagged properly. Easy directions to get to the holding area and because i travel with my mom, who is a Platinum Lattitudes member, we were in the first group to go. Within a half an hour we were in line for our key cards - painless process, and on the ship we went.

We went into the Atrium and were greeted by the SPECTACULAR gingerbread house display and a crew member even offered to take a picture of me and my mom - a free photo! We jumped on that opportunity!

We always avoid the buffet for the first meal, we opted for the pub offerings at O'Sheean's. The staff were all cheerful and the guests were all bubbling with excitement.

We toured the ship, it was NYC December 21 so being outside was not possible but plenty of places to check out and peek at. Smallest ship I've been on but there always seemed to be room in the elevators, all crew members were in good spirits for the trip.

Now, the balcony stateroom was definitely the smallest I've ever experienced but it fits two quite handily and my mother and I were quite comfy. It was spotless and everything worked well. We indulged in the Thermal Suite and that was amazing - did sailaway from that location and were treated to a great view of the statue of liberty.

The cruise was great, terrific food no matter where we ate, and we ate everywhere - the all of the MDRs (Grand Pacific, Magenta, Orchid Garden) the buffets, and all of the specialty restaurants (except Teppanyaki - not a favourite of my mom's!)

Entertainment was great, although we weren't really fond of the comic, or Blazing Boots, but we enjoyed everything else - especially the Chernov brothers and Get Down Tonight. And having something different to go to every night was really great - particularly for such a long cruise.

Ports were lovely and we did end up missing out on the final port stop of Punta Cana because we were tendering but it was clear the water was too rough, we knew it would be cancelled before the captain told us it would be. But the crew went out of their way to keep everyone happy and occupied and I don't think many people really minded missing out on the port stop.

The captain entertained everyone in the morning with fun facts and Luz, the Cruise Director went above and beyond.

Disembarkation was just as easy and slick as embarkation. Our luggage tag was called and we were off the ship in about 30 minutes. Couldn't have been easier.

FABULOUS cruise and would do this Christmas cruise again in a heartbeat.
madvis33’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB
Cabin was small, no doubt, but clean and well kept by our steward, Eduardo. Was wonderful to sit out on the balcony every night with a nightcap. And the location, the very last cabin starboard side, deck 10, was perfect for sound. We heard NOTHING.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews