My first cruise was on the Gem in 2011 was magical. When I saw this itinerary on the Gem again, I booked it right away. However, it was a far cry from the first time I sailed on it in 2011 - the Captain was mute, the service was poor, and you had to drag a waiter to stop at your table to get you a drink. The last two days were really rough seas, so much so I thought we were doomed. Not one announcement was made about what was going on and why the ship was having such a difficult time. I called Guest Services three times before they answered and they said the rough seas were "normal". People were throwing up left and right all over the ship but it was "normal". My housekeeping steward was the worst steward I ever had in my life. She was like an "absentee" steward, because I never saw her, and when I did see her, she was silent and when she did speak to me, she was rude. Never a smile or nice greeting, she would slam the door closed when she left. The Garden Cafe food was good, and found some superior waiters in there. The only thing there was the same food, breakfast, lunch and dinner, every single day for 10 days. The ports were okay - not really enough time to get to know the Island, but nice to get a taste of it. Embarkation was not easy, because you had to pull your carry-on bags uphill on the gangway, which was quite steep. Disembarkation was a nightmare. The Gem was supposed to dock at 10am, but it docked at 11am. There were no announcements after that, except that there were a lot of names called and told to meet at a bar on the ship. 7 or 8 NYPD were on the boat and the next announcement was there was a police investigation and no one can get off until it's completed. I didn't get out until 1pm. Mind you, I was a "walk off" and they go first. I don't know how they turned the boat around by 4pm to set sail again, when at 1pm we were just starting to get out. While I was happy to finally get off the boat, the gangway very difficult to navigate because it was very steep going downhill, so you had to hold on to your bags very closely or they would roll away on you.
The room was very small. There was only 5 inches between the toilet and the wall of the bathroom - I never saw anything quite so tight and uncomfortable. The housekeeping steward was the world's worst steward. She came to my room last, even when I returned to my room in early afternoon, my room was not made up yet. I barely saw her during the 10 days I was there, and when I did she was unfriendly and rude. She even slammed the door on the way out a few times.
We took a van tour around the Island and made stops along the way to look around and take pictures. Very nice.
We took an Island tour on a Trolly. He took us around the Island and made stops along the way. It's a beautiful place.
We took an Island Tour Van and went all around Antigua. We stopped at certain tourist stops and the tour guide gave us a little education of the Island.
We took an Island tour with a Van - St. Lucia was probably for me the prettiest of all. The beaches are really gorgeous and the Island is just beautiful.