Norwegian Gem is a tutorial in what not to do in the cruise world. Their business model is to take as much of your money as possible and give you as little as possible in return. Our 14 day transatlantic cruise involved two days at sea during which they drained, sanded and painted both pools, rainy days during which they recarpeted the lounges, 2 to 2 1/2 hour meals in the main dining rooms, searching endlessly for a table in the buffet dining room...............what else does one do with all that free time? The optional resturants were no better; SLOW service and overcooked, flavorless food. If you like flavorless, overcooked food, this is a great cruiseline! We four all LOST weight. They have lobster some nights..........we were served 1/2 of small lobter tails. The prime rib was at least 1/2" thick!!!! But the shrimp cocktails contained a whole tablespoon of salad shrimp. The "cheescake" was not even as good as the Jello boxed version. Their shore excursions were an exercise in patience and generosity.....on our part. Outrageously expensive, we did not receive the full value of the tours described. We learned that "panoramic tour" amounts to a drive-by, and "time for shopping" means whatever you can pick up during a gas/ bathroom stop. We left 40 minutes late for one tour while the ships' rep allowed a guest to leave the bus and go back on the ship to buy bottled water!!!!! We never got the time back in the tour even though they said "we'd get the full value" of our tour. I've never been asked to tour a ship and expected to pay for it. I've never been dogged about buying raffle and pull-tab tickets while waiting for a show in the theater. I've never been humiliated with a laser pointer for trying to take a SOUVENIR photo at a floor show. I've never fought so hard for a seat in a buffet or at a pool. I've never been expected to pay $12.00 for a movie in my stateroom. I've never gone on a cruise (not one of 20 or so) and lost weight! That is, until THE NORWEGIAN GEM!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!