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

A Super Dooper Money Grab

Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by wobbiegongs

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Inside

I wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on my birthday as I had done the Suez Canal with Celebrity Cruises the year before.

I now call Norwegian Cruises - NO Norwegian cruises because anything you ask the staff except for our cabin guy is a NO. Or they say yes and then you find out later its a NO.

I asked if I could save a space for viewing the Panama and was told Yes, the 13th floor is open 24 hours. 2.45am I set the alarm and went to the 13th floor where I was confronted by the cleaner who told me, NO you can not be here. If you save a place the guy who does the floors will just move all your gear.

My cabin mate booked 15 tours with the ship. I booked NONE because of how expensive they were. She paid over $1500US for her tours. I ended up doing a lot of tours she did however found a local at the end of the pier. The most I paid for any tour was $40US, plus I got fed. The ship tour didn't feed them once and gave free time at lunch.

My cabin mate sat in crowed buses, was pushed and lost by the tour company twice.

The food on board was so inconsistent. The main dining staff slow and untrained. It's like No Norwegian went to the jungle, pulled out a bunch of people, chucked them on the boat and said... you are a waiter, be free.

21 days with little to do, thank heavens we had 15 ports. Mostly it was a money grab. I have never had to pay to play deal or no deal. $29US, not enough players so we were sent away. Talks on herbal medicine turned into buy my acupuncture. They played the same movies on the in room tv over and over and over again. $9.95us to watch a movie on a tiny screen.

Want to watch a rare movie with the crowd? You are sitting in the middle of a room next to a bar and coffee maker with people talking, coffee being ground and subtitles because you can't hear what is being said. Unfortunately if you are not in the front seat you can't see these subtitles and only the back of the persons head in front.

Then there is the app that you can download. I couldn't believe there wasn't even shuffle board to entertain me, my cabin mate said yes there was, it's on the paper daily hand out. She used this and I used the app with the days agenda.

This was the 2nd time I had been to reception saying that the app wasn't up to date. I was told that had I paid the $9.95 fee I would have been given up to date info. This fee allowed me to contact other passengers too. I didn't have anyone to contact as my cabin buddy doesn't like IT.

I then asked for a complaint form, NO NORWEGIAN doesn't have these, go online and find one yourself.

My eyes were damaged by the pool water. I couldn't see for 30 mins and have been seeing spots ever since. I was shuffled to 3 staff, the 3rd suggesting I pay for the doctor on board at my cost. We will see where that takes me.

Another passenger in a motorized wheel chair was being lifted onto the bus when his chair slipped backwards and he hurt his back. The tour operator said it was NO NORWEGIAN responsibility as that's who he booked the tour with. NO NORWEGIAN said it was the tour operator. He is now seeking legal advice.

A MONEY GRAB across the board.

When attempting to get to the bottom of what % by law they had to pay out on the pokies and speaking to 3 staff I was told that if I put $100 in I would get to keep what ever it paid out.

Don't get me wrong, I had a blast because I found fun people and created my own fun things to do. I would not recommend NO NORWEGIAN to anyone, this was my 2nd cruise with them and certainly my last.

wobbiegongs's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review


Very happy with cabin and steward. We paid a huge premium and found that others had paid far less and got a balcony. WHY?

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