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Norwegian Gem Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2467 reviews
9 Awards

Horrendous cruise to say the least lacking in every category avoid at all cost

Review for Norwegian Gem to the Caribbean
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10+ Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2020
Cabin: Penthouse with Large Balcony
Traveled with children

Everything was a mess, dis-organized and un-professional from beginning to end! Arrived at the NYC port at 11am and had priority embarkation through the Haven, took 30 minutes to go through security and we were told no one was off yet because the ship came in at 10am that morning would be nice if NCL had text or email updates on the ship status otherwise we would have came later to avoid the crowds, anyway had to wait in the Haven area for over 3 hours 1:30 we finally boarded the ship and were told we couldn't go to our rooms we had to go to lunch first? So we go to lunch and it was basically quick serve items and by the time we were just being served it was time to go to the mandatory safety demonstration? So we hustle over there (party of 3 small child in tow) to hurry up and wait for over 20 minutes for people to get there so they can start the demonstration couldn't even get any type of drink was very parched at the time, after the demonstration the hallways and all common areas became severely over crowded and had to wait a very long time for the elevators and definitely wasn't walking up 5 flights of stairs with a stroller. Luggage came in about 7:30 that night with a few missing pieces that showed up around 9pm not a big deal at the very least they didn't loose it, we called it a night at 10:30 as we were exhausted after the day of traveling and non stop general pandemonium of the first day! Second day we are at sea and it's cold not much to do when you see large groups of kids in the library you know boredom has hit a new level. We basically went around the interior of the ship, did the stores o sheehans, arcade, and general exploration of the ship easy to navigate crowds seemed to gather in typical hot spots, atrium, bars, shops. 3rd day finally warms up also key note if you don't want to be woken up super early put up the "do not disturb sign" otherwise you will be woken up around 9am give or take. Service in all restaurants excluding the Haven was lacking, food quality was horrendous everywhere they use the cheapest food possible you can taste it in the food and they dress it up with garnish to make it look nice.For specialty restaurants the best one is Moderno or Cagneys steak house the others are junk. They have a wide wine selection but they are all inexpensive wines $15 on land price or less but $75+ on the ship so be careful what you order buy the bottle not the ambiance. Getting into activities they do give you a"free style daily" basically the run down of activities for the day on the boat 70% of them have an additional fee involved and they have parties at night like a glow party which is designed to sell alcoholic drinks and last an hour with drunk old people dancing which is ok but what if your not a drunk person not too much fun. They have activities for kids but requires you to leave your child with strangers on the ship sounds like a bad idea in general! Casino on the ship is rigged no one wins try it out and see you will believe not a gambler but made plenty of friends and when 20 seasoned casino gamblers say it's rigged watch out! Room was toe up from the floor up had lots of dents and dings, worn light switches, bodily fluid stained all over the chair and couches brought the black light all I can is WOW get a bissel machine on that asap before someone gets pregnant. Ports we visited were the best part getting out to the beaches, buying local stuff, and enjoying the great weather down side to all of this you don't get enough time in these ports less than 7 hours from getting off to getting back on which restricts what you can or can't do. Captain said we couldn't go to the last port which was ST.Thomas because we would run into bad weather and would put us back in NYC late so we ditched St.Thomas and hit 20ft waves all day Saturday from 4AM TO 10pm that night so bad we couldn't be in our room due to not being able to walk without the risk of falling over or becoming sea sick ( barf bags were put in public areas bright and early).

Lets talk about the shows junk, in room entertainment ? 15 channels 5 are the ship promoting themselves on board shopping etc. they had a selection of 20 movies which were free to watch in the HAVEN but if you have a regular room they were like $10 each. Room service takes a while order 1 hour ahead of being hungry for best results. They have a nice gym but sort of dangerous to run on a treadmill on a rocking boat.

***Key take aways are if your a seasoned traveler and cruiser use a different cruise line or fly directly into a nice all inclusive resort that is well reviewed and has a long history of good vacation stories behind it. This was utterly disappointing in every way I have always cruised NCL 15 cruises and it has been getting worse and worse every year this is the last time will definitely try something else.

Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony

out dated light switches heavily worn can see mis matched paint work on ceiling bodily fluid stained couch, rug, and chair don't sit there bed was ok not overly comfortable or un comfortable. Drain on tub was broken had to stick razor handle in there to keep it open. These are not cheap cabins save the money and get a balcony they are all about the same.

Port Reviews

St. Kitts (Port Zante)

exotic very nice port had lots of fun

St. Lucia

very nice


lots of tour operators hassling you for money

St. Thomas

didn't get to go due to bad weather captains orders

New York (Manhattan)

Don't bother booking excursion with NCL you can get the same ones for 1/2 price or less by walking up to the tour operator on your own in the port, ncl marks up 50+% example glass bottom boat ride is $75 through NCL on the dock it's $40.

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