AMAZING Gem Staff!: Norwegian Gem Cruise Review by tiskismet

Norwegian Gem 5
Member Since 2012
17 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

AMAZING Gem Staff!

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We chose NCL because we could get an accessible room and because they seemed to have the most support for my husband in a wheelchair. We also wanted to try "freestyle cruising." We honestly could not have been more thrilled with the staff. They knocked themselves out to make sure my husband was able to get everywhere as easily as possible. Several time room stewards would hurry down long hallways clearing a path of housekeeping carts so my husband could get through unimpeded. They knew our names, they would say hello to our daughter (by name) even when we were in other parts of the ship. NCL really knocked themselves out to make it a great vacation for my family.

As for the ship - there were parts that seemed a little worn or faded, although it was extremely clean. The buffets were good with a big variety - albeit, not amazing. The BBQs by the pool were excellent. The shows were very good, with lots of variety. My daughter enjoyed the kid's club (she is 9) - More although I really wish they didn't enter through the really little kid's area - I think it turns off the older kids. Because we had booked a penthouse suite, we had access to Cagney's for breakfast and lunch - it was REALLY wonderful. We also did 3 specialty dinners, all were excellent. We did Cagneys Steak House, Tappanyaki Japanese, and Moderno's (on it's 2nd night open).

We had spa passes for the week. I was disappointed not to use mine more, but that was really my own fault for not wanting to leave my daughter at the kid's club too much. I think I would skip it next time, unless I am not cruising with kids. My husband did use his pass and the spa people really went out of their way to make it as useful for him as possible given his limited mobility.

Great Stirrup Cay was fun. The snorkeling was easy and good for my 9 year old. They are working on the island, so it is a bit weird in that you feel a little like you're in a construction zone at times - I assume that will be improving, though.

All in all - it was a really Great cruise! Less

Published 03/05/12

Cabin review: SF9172 Penthouse with Large Balcony

9172 - Handicap accessible penthouse suite cabin with large balcony. Very nice cabin with plenty of room for ourselves and our 9 year old. Lots of storage, accessible bathroom. They brought us a shower chair, but it seemed flimsy - we asked, and they came and installed a more substantial fold down seat immediately. You could not reach the balcony if you had the couch pulled out (like for a child) and you were in a wheelchair. My husband can use crutches, so it wasn't a problem for us. There is a little ramp to get your over the balcony door threshold under the bed, if needed.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Good snorkeling - nice beach - beautiful lagoon. They are doing construction on a "Lazy River" so there are still a lot of construction vehicles moving around which detracts a bit from the experience. It will be spectacular when it's done - it's just not there yet.

Beach Break

Frustrating! We booked this because their site said they are accessible for wheelchairs on the dolphin encounter (not the swim). The transport boat was not even close to being accessible - so he couldn't even start off with us. They wanted him to step on a rocking boat, over a large cement curb, onto an orange crate, then onto the boat..with no rails. There was just NO WAY. He had signed up for the observer program which was indicated as accessible, yet the orientation was at the top of a flight of stairs with no access. The encounter which was also labeled accessible, was at the bottom of a ladder. My daughter and I had to leave him behind - my daughter was bitterly disappointed. The encounter itself was great, and while the lagoon is beautiful, it is very shallow and the beach scene is very contrived with a miniature fake Caribbean village backdrop. I would have just preferred local flora and fauna...but that's just me.

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Member Since 2012
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