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Norwegian Gem Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2,534 reviews
9 Awards

Norwegian Gem - Cons outweigh the Pros

Review for Norwegian Gem to the Panama Canal & Central America
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2020
Cabin: Inside

Overall the Gem is a nice ship but the poor quality of food and lack of interesting activities made for a rather ho hum three week cruise. My wife and I chose this cruise because the itinerary because the ship was scheduled to stop at many ports, most of which we had not yet visited. After boarding in L.A. and a quiet day at sea, our first stop was in Cabo and that was an exciting port - beautiful scenery and plenty of excursions from which to choose. We selected the Electric Bike tour and had a wonderful time. The power assisted bikes made the ride along a breathtaking stretch of beach very easy.

The next port we visited was Puerto Vallarta - again, this port did not disappoint. Lots to see and do. We took a city bus to the Malecon - a beach side shopping district about 25 minutes via the city bus from the port. It was quite nice, filled with many souvenier shops and lots of tourists so safety was never a concern. We unfortunately took the wrong bus back to the port and got a scenic ride through the town - a concern since it took twice as long and concerned us that we would miss the embarkation time.

Our next stop was Zihuatanejo, very scenic port but not much to do unless you've made excursion arrangements. Walking around the town was a bit depressing - very impoverished and the beaches though beautiful did not seem too inviting. Most were at least a 20-30 minute walk from the pier. The armed military around the tourist areas made you stop and wonder if the area was safe but nothing too much to worry about. why.

Cabin Review


The cabin was a nice size for two, it had a trundle bed and a drop down from the wall so it could accommodate up to four but it would be quite cramped unless it was for two adults and two small children. The aft location on the tenth deck was quite nice for going to the main dining and we never had any issues with ship noise.

Port Reviews


Definetly plan an excursion at this port - there is not much to do in town. It is a port where passenger have to be tendered to the pier. Once at the pier you can wait for a shuttle to the town or walk about 20 minutes - the walk is not so bad going to town. Try to find a ride back to the pier as it is more uphill than down.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

Find an excursion - not much to do in town.


Very much a commercial port. We were only in town for a short while - perhaps an excursion that can take you more inland would offer some excitement - the town certainly does not. Aside from that, it was Super Bowl Sunday so we wanted to spend that day on the ship.


Very picturesque town and plenty of shops to wonder through.

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