First Time Cruisers May Become regulars: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by kilbrider

Norwegian Gem 5
Member Since 2009
7 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First Time Cruisers May Become regulars

Sail Date: June 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
My wife and I decided to celebrate our silver anniversary by having a different type of holiday. Being campers, we weren't sure what to expect by changing our holiday type so drastically by taking a cruise, though as we love travelling, it seemed like a great way to visit lots of different places, albeit in a short time.

Having decided to cruise, we then had to select an itinerary, and a cruise line. Our actual anniversary being in July, this more or less put paid to the idea of cruising the Caribbean, known for being somewhat stormy at this time of year, so we were probably going to stay in Europe. Freestyle or more formal set times. Being campers, this was quite an easy decision to make, though my wife would have liked the opportunity to dress up a little more. In the end, the Norwegian Gem back-to-back Adriatic and Greek islands cruise was selected as it ticked all of the boxes.

Flying into Venice a day early gave us plenty of time to visit some of the sites More before boarding our ship in the afternoon.

Embarkation and disembarkation - Nice and smooth with no problems.

Cabin - Loved the mini-suite, plenty of space, balcony and a lovely bath and shower. Stewards were fine though didn't top up the milks or coffees as often as we would have liked.

Food - Buffet breakfast every morning in Garden Cafe was quite busy but a good selection of food, both healthy and not so healthy. We tried to vary our choices most mornings and were generally pleased with the selection available. Ate in the Magenta most evenings and were pleased with the quality and quantity of the food. Ate in Cagney's and Le Bistro once each and although the service was much better and more personal, didn't feel that they were worth the extra money. The steak however in Le Bistro was one of the nicest steaks I have eaten. The evening buffet selection was excellent and we also enjoyed the free 'tapas' at the bali hai grill in the evening.

Entertainment - Cruise director Gary was very talented, and I particularly liked his talk on the Venice departure. Shows in the Stardust were nothing to write home about, but seemed to get an enthusiastic response from most of the crowd. The house band, Norwegian Gem Showband did a good Big Band evening in the Spinnaker Lounge. Less

Published 07/19/10

Cabin review: M111156 Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony

Good sized mini-suite on deck 11. A bit noisy at times when chairs were being arranged in the morning. This may have been due to the World Cup being shown late on TV most nights. Very handy for breakfast in the garden Cafe in the mornings. Comfortable looking sofa bed would have allowed two more sleep in the room with a reasonable level of comfor and space. Bathroom nice and spacious. Balcony chairs and table were OK. Occasional smell of smokers from neighbouring balcony.

Read All Aft-Facing Mini-Suite with Balcony (M1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Had always thought of Corfu as a typical British package resort, but was pleasantly surprised by the old town. Climbed up to both the New and Old Fortresses and bought some fake goodies in the old town. Lots of excursions available should we decide to visit again at some point in the future.

Read 509 Corfu Reviews

Tendered from the ship stright into the lovely marina. Walked the walls, taking lots of photos, then strolled through the town, getting caught slightly in the rain. Enjoyed our short visit to the Rectors Palace Museum (primarily to get out of the rain). Had hoped to get a taxi to Mount Srd, but there was no-one at the taxi rank to share the costs.

Berthed at the dock. Most people use Izmir as a port to get to Ephesus. As we had previously visited this area, we simply strolled along the clean promenade into the town and wandered aimlessly through the market/souk area which reminded us of our time spent in the Middle east. Tried a few local snacks and a cup of tea in the centre of the market before walking back to the ship. having bought a lovely salad lunch in a cafe near Ataturk Museum.

Read 184 Izmir Reviews

Due to strikes in Athens we managed to get to Santorini twice, once in the morning and once in the evening on our second week. Tendered ashore and fought our way past the donkey owners. Good exercise walking up the almost 600 steps, and much better than queuing for the funicular, or being thrown from an unsteady donkey or horse.

First visit we took the public bus to Oia. €1.30 each way and strolled around the beautiful unique town. Second visit we again took the public bus, this time down to the East coast resort of Kamari. Very touristy but a great choice of restaurants on the black-sanded seafront. On both occasions we found a small internet cafe near the bus staion and spoke to family at home.

Tendered ashore into the heart of the city. Lots of tablecloth sellers by the pier. Joined a walking tour of Diocletian's Palace then wandered over to the main market area near the bus station where we took advantage of the cheap internet cafe to contact family at home.

Read 294 Split Reviews

Once you get out of the port area and away from traffic, the city is a wonderful place to explore. Did our own thing, having booked a Secret itinerary at the Doges Palace on our departure morning and on the mid-cruise Saturday bought ourselves a 12 hour pass for the vaporetto and visited Murano, Burano, Torchello and San Michele.

Read 1149 Venice Reviews

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Member Since 2009
7 Forum Posts
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