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Norwegian Gem Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,535 reviews
9 Awards

First time cruising, last time with NCL

Review for Norwegian Gem to Canada & New England
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First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2019
Cabin: Mini-Suite with Balcony

My mom, a Florida resident, wanted to see the fall foliage and thought a cruise through Canada and New England would be a good way to do it. That said, we saw the most foliage in Quebec City, which is a beautiful town; in Port Charlotte, also very nice; and on a shore excursion to Lunenberg (from Halifax). As for watching the foliage from our balcony on the ship... the weather wasn't good and we were generally too far to be able to see much.

As a first time cruiser, I think I expected more than we received. Embarkation was a bit of a cattle call. The line to reach initial passenger drop-off took 30 minutes, after which we were herded a bit like cattle on to the ship. It took a surprisingly long time to receive our luggage. Shore excursion disembarking and returning was a bit better, but not much. Arrival in Boston was also laborious. I think there has to be a much more pleasant way to handle moving people on and off-board.

Since we arrived before we could get into our room, we went to the Garden Cafe (buffet restaurant). The food in the Garden Cafe was ok, but finding seating was terrible. This proved to be even more challenging in subsequent days. My mom is a little unsteady with a moving ship and we often had to have one of us find a table while the other went through the buffet and vice-versa. It was not possible to share enjoyable meal together at the Garden Cafe.

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

To be fair, as a first time cruiser, I have no basis for comparison, but these are my impressions of the room:

The mini-syute was tight when set up as twins. The space between the bed closest to the balcony and the side wall was tight, and very tricky when the seas got rough. Received several bruises trying to get past the extension of the desk when the room was dark.

The sofa area was nice for sitting and watching the shoreline pass when the weather turned cold and rainy.

Like others have mentioned, the tub was a bit tough for anyone with balance or reduced mobility issues. I think my mom would have appreciated knowing the shower configuration when booking.

The weather the last 24 hours was poor with a lot of side to side rolling. The wall clothing drawers would open as we rolled one way, and close as we rolled the other. I was surprised there wasn't a latch.

Overall the decor was dated.

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