783 New York (Manhattan) to Bahamas Norwegian Gem Cruise Reviews

This was my second time on the Gem with a group of friends and my mom. It took a while to get on the ship on embarkation day, but that's only because the Bliss was there too. I've only been on the Gem so far, but I really ... Read More
This was my second time on the Gem with a group of friends and my mom. It took a while to get on the ship on embarkation day, but that's only because the Bliss was there too. I've only been on the Gem so far, but I really love this ship. I like the size since it's easy to get around. There are plenty of food options and places to relax. Luz was a very talented cruise director, I was impressed with her singing. However I never saw her around the ship. I was on the Gem a year before for a 12 day cruise and I saw that cruise's director, Lorena, all the time and she even remembered my name and the names of my friends in my group. I'm assuming this year's cruise had a lot going on since it was a shorter trip. The food was good in the buffet. We ate one night at Moderno and it was amazing. Other nights we ate at Grand Pacific and it was pretty ok. Most of the time we just ate in the buffet and the food there was good. The itinerary for the trip was great for the week before Christmas. We spent two days in Florida which allowed us to do multiple things. Great Stirrup Cay was beautiful and so was Nassau. I did end up catching a cold towards the end of the cruise, but this might've been do to the changes in weather. Disembarking was another story. We accidentally got off the ship with the people who were walking off with their luggage. When the lady saw we didn't have our luggage, she was very nasty with us. She yelled at us to get back on the ship, which was impossible. So she made us, along with other people, stand outside in 30 degree weather until our baggage came. This isn't Norwegian's fault, but the port in NYC needs friendlier and more understanding staff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because I had to use a weeks vacation before year end and we received a very good price. Overall the cruise and ship was very nice. Cons: Embarkation in NYC was terrible. the lines were very long with 2 ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had to use a weeks vacation before year end and we received a very good price. Overall the cruise and ship was very nice. Cons: Embarkation in NYC was terrible. the lines were very long with 2 security check points check in agents. Disappointed with NCL MDR selections, no lobster, no shrimp meals, no shrimp cocktail, no prime rib. no tenderloin etc. They have gotten very cheap. They push those pay restaurants. Casino is a disaster of smoke, you could not walk through there without gaging. I feel sorry for the workers. Cruise Director, was very hard to understand, spoke so loud and fast into mic, with English not her first language. Gave us incorrect deck information for getting off at private island. About 50 of the first tender folks were waiting on deck 7 when the real deck was 4. Buffet is smaller with limited seating. especially on sea days. Free Asian restaurant was very hard to get into long lines, they did not take reservations or serve lunch. Night club did not open until 12:15 - 12:30 every night. All other cruises I been on club opens by 11:30, I didn't need 2 hours of Karaoke every night from 10pm - 12am. Pros: MDR staff was very good and friendly. Overall food was good but missing selections as noted above, O'Sheenhans 24 hr restaurant was very good. Dining outside on back of ship was very nice. Very Nice selection of free hand dipped ice cream on buffet. Good amount of activities onboard. House band was very good with many band tributes. Piano player Jack Brady was excellent. Pool band playing Caribbean music very nice. Shinnicker lounge in the top front of ship was very nice for events, Theater Music Shows were ok, they work very hard, but some were abit silly. One Comedian put on a few shows, he was ok. A few magicians were ok, not great, And one show with two guys doing ring tricks etc. was kinda boring. But is was entertainment. Pool area was decent, always could use more space and chairs. Gym was nice was able to workout few times with no waiting for machines, Shuffle board was nice. Ports: There is nothing at Cape Canaveral Port, you have to get a shuttle to see anything. But we did see a rocket launch one night, very exciting. Great Stirrup Cay was very very nice, so relaxing, nice bbq, nice water and beach. Love the private Islands. Nassau was also nice, walked around city, got free wifi at McDonalds, and there is always the free beach Junkanoo about 15 minute walk. Debarkation: We walked off ship self assist and were off by 8:15am very good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it has been many years since we have taken a ‘smaller’ big ship. The Florida overnight was a big draw for us so we could take our time in Orlando. We also were able to see a satellite launch, one of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it has been many years since we have taken a ‘smaller’ big ship. The Florida overnight was a big draw for us so we could take our time in Orlando. We also were able to see a satellite launch, one of the best cruise experiences ever. We like NCL with the freestyle experience. The embarkation was chaotic because 2 NCL ships were in port. As suite guests we could avoid some of the lines. We arrived late enough that we were able to board immediately. The ride down was fairly rocky, the ride back smooth. Typical for NY trips that you never know what’s in store. The captain did a great job. The entertainment was simpler but we had fun at the dance classes and with the live music. The captain gave a fun fact during the announcements which was a nice touch. We have sailed NCL a lot and the food this time was the worst by far. We always find something in the buffet, this time it was like a school cafeteria. The highlight was the very enthusiastic hand sanitizer staff member who made sure everyone had clean hands. We ate at the Grand Pacific twice, both times the cut of meat was fatty and overcooked. Luckily you can order as many vegetables that you would like and this made it much better. Being Platinum was had two specialty meals. The one in La Cucina was good, the service was attentive as well. Cagneys was a huge disappointment. The meat was way overcooked to order and the service was poor. As suite guests the lunch service was also poor there. The suite breakfast was ok. One person working there was beyond rude, but the rest of the staff was wonderful. I do not know if it is a decline in quality, the ship etc. but it was a drastic change from previous NCL cruises. The ship itself is great. Having events at Spinnaker with lots of seating was fantastic. This type of area I miss on the bigger ships. The ships bridge viewing room is fun to see. Disembarkation was very easy. We walked off at about 9 and it was busy but the lines moved. I am hoping that the decline in food was just an off week because the rest of the cruise was good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We loved the Gem and had looked forward to returning, unfortunately, this will likely be one of our last Norwegian cruises due to the following: 1. Boarding/embarkation took about 2 to 2.5 hours. Spoke with other frequent cruisers and ... Read More
We loved the Gem and had looked forward to returning, unfortunately, this will likely be one of our last Norwegian cruises due to the following: 1. Boarding/embarkation took about 2 to 2.5 hours. Spoke with other frequent cruisers and confirmed that this was the worse wait time. Our particular agent was grumpy. 2. Quality of food has decreased. Meats were usually overcooked and tough to chew. Fruits were mostly not sweet. At least at the self-serve buffet we were able to get a tiny portion so that we won't waste the food. The exception was Magenta that cooked the daily steak offering just right. Desserts also improved from previous cruises. We had ordered the same dish each night and it was NOT consistently good. No more escargot. Shrimp once every 2-3 nights if you could find it, the size of quarters. Scallops were about the size of dimes. 3. Buffet often had empty or near-empty stations. I don't blame the workers, they seemed to always be working non-stop. I think this may be an upper management issue as the buffet area appeared smaller, my only guess if that they may have cut back on the number of workers/cook as well. 4. Tendering was disorganized to the private island. They called the first 2 tenders, then about an hour later called the next group. We were told by those who went first that some of their tender boats were not full at all. Spoke with others that were also long time cruisers, we joked that we would probably need to return by the time our tenders were called. 5. Felt the cruise director wasn't as engaging/entertaining, but we had Sinan as the previous director and he was hard to top, he would engage the passengers and would be hands on during tendering and other processes to make sure it went smoothly. Current cruise, however, had a lot less activities, no updates or revision to cruise staff activities during bad weather. 6. Showers had about 1-2 inches of water backup during and long after showering. Unsure if this is a design issue. 7. Angle of the toilet made it very difficult to sit for people with legs. 8. Atrium smelled like gasoline during the last two days of the cruise, strong enough to make our throats itchy and nauseous - but no one offered any explanations or empathy. The good: 1. Liam at the gym was a very good instructor. He would arrive on time and walk around making sure that we were positioned right during our stretching. 2. Different ice-cream flavors 3. The happy demeanor of the wait staff (including Oliver and John in Magenta) and washy-washy. 4. Shower pressure in inside room was strong. Overall, we thought budget wise, it was a good deal. The ports were not exciting but wanted to support the Bahamas after the hurricane, the people there were so friendly. However, we felt that the special customer care touch we felt in the past was missing and not a priority anymore. There's a lot of competition out there and I would hope that this would cause this cruise line to be better, but quality has decreased over the 10 years of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I was really looking forward to escaping the cold. Great Stirrup Cay, sounded wonderful. I had been on the Gem before and loved that I would know my way around. I decided to go cheap on the cabin this time and book an inside cabin. I was ... Read More
I was really looking forward to escaping the cold. Great Stirrup Cay, sounded wonderful. I had been on the Gem before and loved that I would know my way around. I decided to go cheap on the cabin this time and book an inside cabin. I was surprised by how much shelves, drawers, closets etc. there was to unpack all my things. I always use a shoe organizer to store all my bathroom necessities. I did have to store this in the other side of the door, but there were also 3 glass shelves in the bathroom which gave plenty of storage. I was surprised at the cracked in many places sink. Dining was ridiculous! No one seemed to know what they were doing or where they should be. Getting waited on took forever, getting water took a long time, and the food took longer than I ever remember even when they were not busy at all. The food for the most part was excellent although sometimes coffee was cold and sometimes almost sludgy. This was the first time I did not have a beverage package and I did not like it. I did notice that the drinks I paid for where in no way comparable to my last cruise with the Gem. I feel bad that I told many people how much better the drinks were than the ones we had on our Celebrity cruise. I enjoyed the shows and classes I attended. The stage seemed a bit crowded at times, too many people for the small stage. We had laundry done and clothing turned up missing, clothing in room turned up missing. We left the room one afternoon, I had a glass of water by my bed, to take medications with, when we got back the beds were made, new towels were placed in the bathroom but in my glass of water were candy wrappers?? Now for the part that made me never want to sail with Norwegian again. The treatment I received as a handicapped guest. I can walk short distances and can not do stairs. One time after waiting 20 minutes the crew member asked who among the group was handicapped, after waiting 5 more minutes she turned to us and said she was tired of calling for assistance, we needed to go to customer service and ask for assistance ourselves. Thankfully I was able to find a place to sit while waiting. I was brought to tears many times on this cruise by how I was treated. When it came time to return we waited for 25 minutes for someone to return to their station for assistance to get back on the ship. The customs agent called Norwegian several times trying to get some assistance for me. Finally we asked them if we could use one of Norwegian’s wheelchairs and have someone in my group push me up the ramps to get back in the ship, when we got close enough we could see the person who had helped me before just standing there with several crew members, when we were almost on the ship he finally stepped towards us and asked if he could help!! I could go on, but just suffice it to say they were not very friendly to this handicapped person!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We traveled on this Ship about 3 years ago, had free specialty dining and 3rd passenger free, which worked very well, and the entertainment was so good, that we wonted to go back. This time the cruise was so different. Everything ... Read More
We traveled on this Ship about 3 years ago, had free specialty dining and 3rd passenger free, which worked very well, and the entertainment was so good, that we wonted to go back. This time the cruise was so different. Everything went wrong from day 1. NCL is to be blamed for causing a huge traffic in Manhattan by scheduling 2 cruise ship sailing on the same day. It took us 3 hours to drive from Battery Tunnel to cruise Port, and then, 3 more hours waiting in line to get on the ship. When we got onboard we were hungry and tired, the dining venues were already closed, and I was time for a drill. Than, exhausted, we went to room, changed, and went to buffet for a dinner. The Garden Cafe was so crowded, that after walking for 5 min and looking for a table, I had to leave my food there and go to Magenta to be able to get seated. I have to say, that buffet crowds did not improve until the end of the cruise. We had to wait in lines for everything, to get food, drinks tables. Also, the quality of food on this cruise was much worse than what we are used to on cruises. Shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster tails, fried calamari were not on a menu to the end of the cruise. The dining menu had poor choices, however, the menu improved by the end of the cruise. The waiters in dining rooms seamed to be overworked, and didn't have time for any communications with guests. The big dining room had a piano, however, during the entire time of the cruise, I didn't hear it play a single time. Entertainment was good, the two Ukrainian brothers acrobats we liked the best. The Fillipino lady Cruse director was not funny at all. The entire cruise she spoke with partially lost voice, which made listening to her unpleasant. All she did, she announced the events, and repeatedly said that they wanted to deliver us a vacation of a lifetime, which did make sense to us, since it was clear for my family, it was our worst vacation so far. Other negatives: no ice cream on the private island, no cartoon channel on TV, no free sauna, not much to do on the cold rainy day. Never NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My travel agent suggested it as a good first time cruise to see if we would like to go on a cruise. It was perfect. We chose to leave from New York because we live here and I didn't want to fly. Embarkation was pretty easy just ... Read More
My travel agent suggested it as a good first time cruise to see if we would like to go on a cruise. It was perfect. We chose to leave from New York because we live here and I didn't want to fly. Embarkation was pretty easy just waited in a queue for 1/2 hour. We had a snack at O'Sheehan's pure bar food. My chicken wings were just what I needed but my mother's Irish American Stew, was underwhelming. Please don't call it a stew. Even the server who took our order explained it was a soup but that was not the underwhelming part: description said it had corned beef in it. It must have been very small chunks because my mom found the potatoes but no corned beef. I really loved the cabin. We had a balcony which we enjoyed. Sitting and reading in the tropics with the warm breezes. Having a glass of wine. The stop at Great Strirrup Cay was great. The weather was perfect and the food was good. Had a lovely time sitting near the water and people watching. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I choose this cruise because a friend won the trip. We were treated well because we were Casino cruisers, so our embarkment was quick and painless! We ate when we got on the ship at OSheehan's and the food was not very good. The ... Read More
I choose this cruise because a friend won the trip. We were treated well because we were Casino cruisers, so our embarkment was quick and painless! We ate when we got on the ship at OSheehan's and the food was not very good. The portions for the appetizers were small and although we could have ordered more they were not good enough to want to. I understand about why there are not straws, but it is hard to drink frozen drinks without a straw-there has to be a way around this. I was very disappointed on the overall trip and I would never travel on this line again especially at this time of year. I was surprised at the lack of pride many of the workers had for their jobs except for the bar staff, room staff and entertainment. The wait staff was less than efficient, most of the time the wait for food and drinks was poor. One night I did not get my glass of wine I ordered at the start of my meal until my dessert came. I was pleased that you could order 2 drinks at a time which came in handy since the staff was not good at coming to you. I felt the food was the same at the buffet each day- little variety, in the dining rooms it was almost the same each night. I had pork one night and it was tough, and a steak another that was less than tender. I had a couple pasta meals with seafood that were good- On Carnival we had lobster one night- Hmm did I miss that night on the Gem- nope was not offered. I was unimpressed with the taste and variety. Excursions? I missed a whole island with no compensation, Our excursion in Florida was cancelled, and Nassau was fine. super disappointing! The shows were impressive- the bands were fantastic and the dancers in Blazin Boots and the show the last night were superb.supurb I would most likely go back to Carnival even if they charged more for the same cruise, because the staff seems to really like their jobs-they have entertainment at meals and the staff was great with the children. I did not feel any connection with any of the servers except for at the bars. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love, love, love the Gem and her staff and crew, and as usual they did not disappoint us. We are suite travelers (aft penthouse, no Haven on Gem). Having been on the Gem many times for us it was old home week with greetings from all of ... Read More
We love, love, love the Gem and her staff and crew, and as usual they did not disappoint us. We are suite travelers (aft penthouse, no Haven on Gem). Having been on the Gem many times for us it was old home week with greetings from all of the staff and crew we have come to know and love. This is one of the things that keep us coming back. We have done this itinerary many times and usually only get off in Great Stirrup Cay. Since DH has not seen the new Atlantis exhibit, we did go there on a ship sponsored tour. Being a child of the space age, I really love the Kennedy Space Center, and even though I've see the Atlantis exhi8bit before, I still got chills and he just loved it. Teacake performed this cruise, and all I can say is if you see her in the line up,don't miss this show. She has an awesome voice and does Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin songs. Even my old stogie, Italian DH, who doesn't understand all of what is said or sung, loves her voice and enjoys the show. Sadly I was sick (bad cold) for the rest of the cruise, so I spent time sleeping in the cabin and keeping germ spread to a minimum. This is where having a butler really is great. She brought me hot chicken soup and plenty of tea with honey and lemon! Our only disappointments with this cruise have to do with new corporate changes. The first being with photos.Now when they take a picture in a restaurant they come back with prints to buy then and there, they are not available later. We found this very disappointing as we like to review and decide at the end of the cruise. his resulted in buying much fewer pictures then usual. Yes, even as frequent cruisers, we still buy pictures! The second is much more subjective as anything to do with dining is. They have removed the potato soup from the Cagney's menu, as well as zucchini and spinach as sides. Also, as suite guests, the removed the salads from the lunch menu. We missed all of these. In La Cucina, folks may be happy to hear that they brought back the pizza. Not of interest to us. Sadly though the removed the carpaccio, beef lazagna, and lamb chops. Food is subjective and not all will agree with our disappointment and I understand that. Did this ruin our cruise, no, but felt the need to mention since NCL does read the reviews. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Had a wonderfully relaxing vacation on the Gem. Our cabin 9158 balcony was kept immaculately clean by our terrific steward, Victor! We had plenty of room and enjoyed spending time on the balcony during sailaway and once we reached warmer ... Read More
Had a wonderfully relaxing vacation on the Gem. Our cabin 9158 balcony was kept immaculately clean by our terrific steward, Victor! We had plenty of room and enjoyed spending time on the balcony during sailaway and once we reached warmer weather. We visited Cocoa Beach by shuttle (thru NCL) from the port, dropped off by the surf shop. There were clean bathrooms and a short stroll to the beach. We took a long walk to the Cocoa beach pier, enjoyed some cocktails and strolled back along the water's edge. We shopped a bit and met up with the shuttle back to the ship. The cost of the shuttle was 15 each round trip. There was free Wi-Fi on the shuttle, it was about a 10 minute drive from the pier. We made it Great Stirrup Cay for a lovely day at the beach. Always a fun time there with plenty to each and drink, always a lounge in sun or shade, you may have to walk a bit to find one if you arrive late in the morning. Our next stop was the Bahamas, and we again strolled to our day resort the British Colonial Hilton. Beach, pool, bar and food all included for around $80 person. The voucher includes $40 food and drink person and towels! Clean bathroom and lots of lounges and clamshells. Beautiful rresort! We booked this on our own. The ship was very clean, and never felt crowded. Food was good , we eat at the main dining rooms and o'sheehans, and the Asian restaurant, with an occasional stop at the buffet or topsiders. Embark and Debark were smooth. We will definitely sail on the Gem again. Love leaving out of NYC! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I cruise at least once a year and the main attraction for us is the ship itself and its entertainment. We do not spend a lot of time in port or on excursions. NCL and Princess are the two cruise lines we keep using. WE LIKE NCL ... Read More
My wife and I cruise at least once a year and the main attraction for us is the ship itself and its entertainment. We do not spend a lot of time in port or on excursions. NCL and Princess are the two cruise lines we keep using. WE LIKE NCL very much but want to add some constructive suggestions on this latest cruise aboard the GEM. Embarking from New York is a tremendous plus for us as we will take any opportunity to spend a few days there as well..More than half of our cruises have left NYC. The GEM is a very nice middle sized ship. Embarkation was a breeze as was disembarkation. NCL and the NYC Port Authorities have this process very well timed. In the interest of full disclosure we are in our mid sixties, have very meager dining requirements and almost exclusively avoid the formal Dining Rooms. Entertainment, however, is a big plus on any cruise. We love Broadway style shows. The GEM had a very good variety of entertainment this cruise. The large stage shows were very good and entertaining. The Magician LEVENT was well beyond average, the Comedian, however, fell well short of being entertaining. In general the NCL cruises have some very good entertainment and we were not disappointed with the stage shows. The on board roaming acts were much less appealing. In some cases the sound was too loud and pitchy and in others the presentation was just too low key and unexciting. Again, keep in mind we LIKE NCL but thought this should be noted. We and a number of others that we spoke to were very surprised that the ship did not offer more movies EVERY day. The cost is negligible if at all and allows for some quiet time for those who are not pool and deck fans or those who do not go ashore on port days. The one scheduled movie most days was at 10 or 10:30 PM in the Atrium. Great for some but hardly appealing to others. The movies can be in smaller areas such as Magnums, the Theatre during the day, Bliss, etc. It would be great to have one prior to lunck, one in the afternoon and the evening one for those who are up later. It was interesting that when the decision was made NOT to take the Tenders to Great Stirrup Key THAT DAY there were 3 movies scheduled!!!! So it can be done. And YES, we still LIKE NCL and have already bought 2 new Cruise Next Deposits. PS MICHAEL was the best Cruise Next Presenter we have ever heard. He loves his job and is great at it!!! We were very surprised this cruise that our Cruise Director, Claire was very low key and we hardly felt her presence throughout the week. It may have been an off week, or a new group of assistants but we have never had such a non presence on any cruise before. NCL is still on our favorite list. The cabin, buffet etc were all of the normal very good quality for NCL. As stated earlier we generally dine in the Buffet area but did go to Magentas on 3 occasions just to have the steak. A second area that gave a change from the Buffet was O'Sheehan's. We liked the good variety of the menu and preferred that it stays the same each day. The one area that was off-putting was the general demeanor of the staff there.They were efficient but showed little or no personality or interest in waiting on us.We did not feel welcome there and this is the only area of the whole ship that exhibited such behavior..... everyone else could not do enough for you!!!! Finally, let me repeat that we like NCL and it will continue to be one of our favorite cruise lines. It would be great to see even other ports of call than just Canveral, Private Island and Nassau from the New York embarkation port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just sailed on the Norwegian Gem Dec 8-15. We sailed from NYC to Port Canaveral, FL, were supposed to stop at Great Stirrup Cay (their private island) but the sea was too rough, to Nassau, Bahamas and back to NYC. It was our first time ... Read More
We just sailed on the Norwegian Gem Dec 8-15. We sailed from NYC to Port Canaveral, FL, were supposed to stop at Great Stirrup Cay (their private island) but the sea was too rough, to Nassau, Bahamas and back to NYC. It was our first time on the Gem - we've sailed on Breakaway 3 times and the Escape once. We really liked the smaller ship. The crew was so friendly and hardworking. We were upgraded to an aft-facing balcony and we LOVED it! It was a bit noisy outside, but the room itself was very quiet. When we first got on board we found it hard to get from one place to another. The larger ships seem to have a better flow. At times we felt like we were in a corn maze. We really liked the outdoor barbecue on sea days. The entertainment was great, always a lot of activities going on, and the food very good. We didn't eat in any specialty restaurants, just the complimentary ones. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays. We took off amidst snow flurries so we really enjoyed the blue skies and sunshine in the Bahamas. Overall a fantastic holiday! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a ... Read More
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a smaller ship compare to other Norwegian ships or other cruise lines. The cabin is also small compare to other cruise lines especially the bathroom. However, I love the food option on the ship except the food at Orchid Garden which was horrible, it was way too salty. Also, the handicapped areas at Garden Cafe were always occupied. The cruise staffs should help the special needed passengers. All shows at Stardust theater were magnificent except the comedy show which was not funny at all. Yet, the services on the ship was exceptional. The cruise staff for activities were super friendly and helpful especially the girls named Sarah and Ranya. I'd like to try different ship from Norwegian next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our recent cruise on the Gem was mix of hits and misses. The highlight for us was that we upgraded to a suite. Our cabin was a Aft Penthouse located on Deck 8. I was very nervous about noise from the wake and the Bliss Nightclub. ... Read More
Our recent cruise on the Gem was mix of hits and misses. The highlight for us was that we upgraded to a suite. Our cabin was a Aft Penthouse located on Deck 8. I was very nervous about noise from the wake and the Bliss Nightclub. Neither was ever a problem. Our Butler and Stewards were wonderful. Our cabin was always made up and turned down whenever we went out. The extra perks of having a concierge, private breakfast and lunch, priority boarding and disembarkation are priceless. If you have the chance and it makes financial sense for you, I highly recommend upgrading. One interesting note about bidding for Upgrades. We were chatting with our cabin neighbors. They shared with us that they did not bid for their cabin. They were called by the Upgrade Fairy and offered an upgrade for far less than we paid to bid!! So folks the Upgrade Fairy does exist!! It was a little sad to us that we paid $750 more than our neighbors for the same experience. Honestly we will bid again if the opportunity arises because it is so worth it to us. Just wanted to debunk the myth that the Upgrade Fairy has flown away. I had read many reviews mentioning problems with the bartenders. Sadly, I have to confirm these problems do exist. The best bartenders on the ship are located at the Atrium Bar and the worst are at O'Sheehan's. The others were a mixed bag. We were met with rude indifference at O'Sheehan's multiple times. We don't expect Disney Happy everywhere we go but we do expect polite/ interested service. It was very off putting. The private breakfast and lunch at Moderno and Cagney's were wonderful!! The quiet elegant meals were outstanding. The servers were attentive and knew who we were after the first meal. We ate at Teppanyaki, Cagney's and Le Cucina. Loved them all. The buffet had a nice selection that seemed fresh and varied. Seating however was very chaotic especially when we couldn't use the outdoors. We only ate at Magenta once. It was fine. Nothing special. The Entertainment was a little boring. This may be a phenomenon of being on a smaller ship. We've been on the Breakaway twice and I think the size differences led to less options on the Gem. We played BINGO and Deal or No Deal several times. We also did martini and wine tastings. All of those options are for a fee. I realize that they need to be and would be on any cruise line. I can see where someone travelling on a budget would be a little challenged to stay engaged. The stage shows were SoSo. The singers are outstanding!! The other performers & dancers not so much. The dancers were so out of sync it was almost embarrassing to see. Also the theater seats are so uncomfortable and many are broken. My conclusion is that we probably wouldn't sail on the Gem again. Not because we hated it, more because we found we like the larger ships. Our next cruise is on the Escape in May. Can't Wait!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. ... Read More
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. Mantobi (washy washy lady ) was always soo cheery and made our day !! And morning ! She is the sweetest! The shows were great. Food was absolutely delicious. Ate like a queen every night. They took such good care of us ! The guy cleaning our room (9551) was so great our room was so clean and he would leave us cute animals out of towels. Always made our day. The crew was beyond amazing! Deff coming back to the gem ! The guy that hosted the game shows he was hilarious and very entertaining! There was so much to do I wish it was longer. 7 days wasn’t enough ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Trip Report (with some tips and recommendations) Norwegian Gem, Nov 3-10, 2018, New York City to Florida/Bahamas Our goal was to just “get away.” The destination and cruise line were secondary. We wanted a 7-day cruise to ... Read More
Trip Report (with some tips and recommendations) Norwegian Gem, Nov 3-10, 2018, New York City to Florida/Bahamas Our goal was to just “get away.” The destination and cruise line were secondary. We wanted a 7-day cruise to anywhere warm, where the departure/return ports were within driving distance, and at a reasonable cost. Norwegian offers Freestyle cruising, which means you can eat whenever you want. The dining options and hours are printed on the Freestyle Daily newsletter you will receive each evening. Some restaurants are open-seating and some will take reservations. If you’re hungry, there will be some place to get food. My Travel Partner (TP) and I did not travel with children, so this report will have very little information about them. There are Splash Academy (Ages 3-12) and Entourage (Ages 13-17) for these groups. Checking in at the NY cruise terminal We arrived at noon and the place was packed! It didn’t help that Disney passengers were checking in at the same time, so it’s hard to say whether arriving earlier or later would have been better. In many reviews I read prior to the trip, passengers arrived at around 10:00am; some reviews recommended to arrive later to avoid the early rush. The cruise document says boarding begins at noon, to NOT arrive before 11:00am, but must be on board “no later than 2 hours prior to departure,” which is 1:00pm. If it helps, the buffets open at 11:30am and the dining room at noon, otherwise, we cannot recommend what to do here for lack of information. First things first It will take a few hours to receive your luggage, so go find your room, then go to the buffet. Good luck with this strategy since everyone else will be doing the same thing. The problem with the Garden Café buffet is the lack of seating. There is spill-over seating into the Great Outdoors buffet (the food is the same for both), which is fine if it is warm outside. NYC in November is not exactly warm. Sometimes, they will open La Cucina for more spill-over seating. If La Cucina is closed and it is cold and/or rainy outside, your dining experience may not be good. If you’re on the Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP), good luck with that too! Every bar will be packed with sober passengers wanting to get drunk. Recommendation: Next time, I would try the Grand Pacific dining room and order off the menu. It goes against the all-you-can-eat mantra of starting a cruise, but you can order as much as you want in the dining room and be served, as opposed to serving yourself. Ultimate Beverage Package TP and I had separate rooms and only one of us had the “free” UBP. We decided to share it. (Some cruisers have a problem with sharing the UBP. We did not have a problem sharing and will not debate it with anyone.) You are allowed to order two drinks at a time with no wait-time between orders. Be sure to read the list of drinks that do not qualify, and that includes bottled water (see below). Since sharing is not allowed, we were discreet about it. We poured drinks into travel mugs and/or drank in the rooms. It worked very well. The bartenders swipe your key card for every drink you order. A sales tax was added while docked or within 12 nautical miles of NYC and Port Canaveral. There was no tax while at-sea or at the Bahamas/GSC. If you have On-Board Credit, it can be used to pay this tax. The standard cocktails were in the $10-$12 range. They offered a Drink of the Day for $8.95. The cost did not matter to us, but it gave us a reason to try different drinks. The Long Island Iced Teas and Bahama Mamas were good. The Signature Mai Tais were not. The Moscow Mule was weird. As a side note: I was unaware of this tax until I checked my account on the room TV. There were charges of $1.23, $1.53, and $0.70 from the various bars, but the descriptions did not specify what these charges were for. To get more information, I checked with the Reception Desk. Without additional proof, we believe this is a sales tax levied by the municipalities, not by NCL, and did not deter us from drinking whenever we wanted. Recommendation: No way would we pay the $89.00 + 20% ($17.80) service charge per day, but do check your account periodically for any charges you may not recognize. Bottled Water vs Tap Water There must be something magical about the bottled water we don’t know about. Strangely, it is NOT included with the UBP. If you want it, you can order the Water Package: (6) one-liter bottles for $14.95 (12) one-liter bottles for $27.95 (24) one-liter bottles for $44.95 Prices do not include a “20% gratuity and beverage service charge…[and] applicable VAT (sales tax?) for certain ports of call.” Or you can fill your water bottles from the tap or water stations for free. The tap water tasted fine with us with no negative reactions. The tap does come from reverse osmosis of seawater. The Cruise Norwegian app You must be logged into NCL’s free wifi, otherwise this app is useless. This free wifi is different from the not-free internet package. The app allows you to review the day’s schedule; the schedule will also be in the Freestyle Daily newsletter. You could make dining room reservations through the app, but don’t trust it if it says “sold out.” The Orchid Garden and Magenta were both sold out, but we went there anyway and found out they did not accept reservations. I believe you can activate the texting function for $9.95/device, but we did not do this. Recommendation: It didn’t seem to matter. It was good to have the schedule handy at all times. One of us carried around a smartphone, the other had the paper copy, and we were both quite happy. Internet and phone calls The 250-minute internet package was sufficient for email, but we could not make VoIP calls. Once you connect to the ship’s wifi, you go to login.com, create an account, then login. Very simple. The homepage tells you how many minutes you used and have left. Just make sure you logout, otherwise the clock will keep running. Standard calling from Port Canaveral was no problem. There was no cell signal on sea days (that we were aware of), but NCL offered in-cabin calling for $4.99/min. Intra-ship calling was free. You would need to be on an international plan to call from Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay (we did see a cell tower amongst the palm trees!). Casino We walked through the casino a few times, but the smoke was bothersome so we did not play. The craps table limit was $10.00 with 3x-4x-5x odds. Port Canaveral, FL If the ship is docked on the north side, you cannot walk to the south side (this was confirmed by the Canaveral Port Authority prior to the trip). We decided to stay onboard and chill with our drinks and books. Buses and taxis were waiting at the terminal. Great Stirrup Cay You need to tender to the island and you DO need to bring your government-issued photo ID and key card. You will need to pick up a boarding ticket at 8:00am the same day to know when you will board the tender. Getting on the island first is key if you want a beach chair in the shade. There are plenty of beach chairs, but not many in the shade. Also, there are no lockers. Just bring the minimum that you need. If you want to snorkel, bring your own gear (mask, snorkel, fins, snorkel vest). There are lifeguards on duty and it was not clear if they were enforcing the vest requirement. You can rent one for $5.00, or buy one (before the trip) at Amazon for $20.00. It doesn’t hurt to have one. The Underwater Sculpture Garden is a little ways out from the main beach maybe 50 yards, marked by three buoys. The main beach is mostly sand, so not too many fish. If you want to see more fish, take a 5-10 minute walk to the west (left when facing the water on the main beach) to the last set of beach chairs near the tide pools where the signs says to stay off the rocks. (We ignored the sign and walked on the rocks to check out the little tide pools.) The fishies like the rocks! The food is a part of the cruise, so no additional cost, and available 11am-2pm. You can go to Abaco Taco or the buffet or both. If you’re on the UBP, the drinks are included as well. Recommendation: Worth getting off the ship. Water shoes/sandals are better than flip-flops. Bring a little cash if you find a souvenir you like. Nassau We were aware of the travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Dept, the Bahamas Minister of Tourism complaining that cruise passengers are not spending enough money, and the negative reviews by other cruisers. We were going to stay on the ship, but we decided to get off and limit ourselves to Bay St., between Parliament St. and Market St. There were two other ships present, so there’s safety strength in numbers, right? It was not that bad. There were locals trying to sell you stuff, but politely say “no thank you” and they will not bother you. It was our first visit to Nassau, so it was worth the walk, but there really was not much to see other than an endless array of souvenir junk. It’s the world’s largest market for shot glasses, T-shirts, hats, refrigerator magnets, and trinkets. I’ve been on an Alaskan cruise and it was funny to see the same stores (Diamonds International, Cariloha (bamboo sheets), and Del Sol (color-changing clothing)). It’s good to know I can get these “unique” items anywhere in the world! Recommendation: We can see why repeat visitors don’t bother getting off the ship Entertainment There was one main show each evening in the Stardust Theater. On most days, you had the option of attending the 7:00pm or 9:00pm show. Some shows were at 8:00pm only -- get there 30 minutes early for these. The Norwegian Gem Production Cast was very good -- high-energy singing and dancing. We enjoyed Justin Golan at Magnum’s. He’s very talented with the piano and can sing and play just about anything you want. Comedian Dylan Mandlsohn should not be missed either. Recommendation: We enjoyed the shows. Parties We were on the early schedule, more from habit than by choice, so we missed all of the 10:00pm parties at Spinnaker. Day 6 was Norwegian’s signature White Hot Dance Party. Apparently, the Norwegian Gem Production Cast was present and did their thing. Regrettably, we missed it. Other tidbits Formal night - There is no ship-wide formal night. You can choose which night(s) you want to dress up, then go to the Grand Pacific dining room. This dining room is nicer than the Magenta dining room, but the menu is the same. You can dress up every night or no nights -- it’s up to you. Binoculars - If you have a balcony room, we recommend bringing a pair of binoculars. We had them and used them a lot! Specialty Dining - We are not hardcore foodies, so the standard fare was perfectly fine with us. We both gained weight. Disembarkation Keeping with the Freestyle theme, you have the option of self-disembarking with your luggage. We recommend this! The caveat is you must do so without crew assistance. You will be the first group to disembark. The buffet opens at 6:00am, you need to vacate your room by 8:30am, and off the ship by 9:00am. You will follow the crowd through U.S. Customs, then proceed to the lower deck of 12th Street (you arrived and checked in on the upper deck). The line moves slowly, but it’s still quicker than disembarking in the after-9:00am groups. Overall, a very enjoyable and memorable trip. The service all the way around was outstanding! Although we do highly recommend the Norwegian Gem, we would be open to sailing other cruise lines and other Norwegian ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Went on this cruise on September 1-8, review posted on this site, and decided to get away for a quick vacation and maintain the tan now that the weather is turning. Get to the port and being a Platinum member I go to the expedited line to ... Read More
Went on this cruise on September 1-8, review posted on this site, and decided to get away for a quick vacation and maintain the tan now that the weather is turning. Get to the port and being a Platinum member I go to the expedited line to get my ship card. Waiting with 3 people in front of me 10 minutes, 15, 30 45 minutes with no movement on the line, meanwhile the long, serpentine line is moving. Turns out the computers were down on our end. Almost an hour later they decide to move us over to the Haven check-in. Why did this take almost an hour to make this call? You have multiple repeated customers standing in one spot without moving and it takes you this long to apply customer service when you have 3 reps at the Haven check-in sitting there, mind-boggling. Finally, I get to my cabin and the toilet is not wasn't flushing, OK, maybe by the time I get back from dinner. Still not working so I call the front desk who noted it and will get back to me. Went around the ship and on my return saw a message from them and it said the toilet should be working fine, it wasn't. Called back and they said they'll notify the plumber. Long story short after multiple calls it never worked that day/night, next day till 7 p.m. Sunday finally. Being a Platinum member I get 2 free dinners for 2 at Cagneys (with a bottle of wine) and La Cucina, Here's the kicker - being I travel solo they won't allow you to order 2 entree's but what they will do is give you 1 entree' and charge you $4.80 if you want a Caesar Salad, picture attached, even though the dinner they don't give you they're selling to someone else. So the moral of the story is the next time you go on a cruise, and get free dinners for 2, look for someone to accompany you so you wont lose out. Actually this website should have a whole section for future solo cruisers just dedicated for this purpose. What they should do in reality is give single certificates for dinner so instead of 2 dinner for two tickets have 4 dinner for one tickets. The one bright spot in this cruise was the excursion The Orlando Eye Sea-Life Auarium & Madame Tussauds which includes the Star Flyer swing ride the world's tallest. This place is so laid back and really nice to walk around in. You don't feel rushed like Disney and everything is very close to each other, fantastic trip. Of course the personnel on the ship is great and I have nothing bad to say about them and I like the smaller Gem-sized ships but they really need to up their game. I have one more CruiseNext credit left and after that I am going to seriously think about continuing with NCL, even after 13 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary and although we have taken 12 cruises, have never been to the Bahamas. One thing I do not understand is why ships port at Port Canaveral. There is nothing to do in port, no shops, no ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary and although we have taken 12 cruises, have never been to the Bahamas. One thing I do not understand is why ships port at Port Canaveral. There is nothing to do in port, no shops, no restaurants, nothing. Excursions are offered to several Disney attractions, but between the travel time and crowds, it is hardly worth the effort. We took the shuttle ($15 per person round trip) to Coco Beach and wandered around there for a couple of hours. Great Stirrup Cay was very nice. There were plenty of chairs available both in the sun and shade. The food at the Taco place was good. In Nassau we took the land and sea tour which was a joke. The land part was a bus driver taking us to Atlantis for 25 minutes so we could wander around the high priced shops. He then returned us to the port area where we boarded a boat and took a tour. Our guide was so entertaining and made the trip fun. He pointed out all the celebrity homes and history of the area. The down size to this trip was we were left off about five blocks from the security check point and there were several people with mobility problems that had a great deal of difficulty returning to the ship. No where did it say you would have to walk that far after the water tour. The crew on the Gem was very friendly. This was our fourth cruise on the Gem and we like the size of the ship. As you may have read in other reviews, the food is mediocre at best and rarely arrives hot. I ordered pancakes and they arrived cold. I sent them back and the next ones were cold also. I will say we were pleasantly surprised on our last night when we finished dinner and three waiters came to the table to sing Let Me Call You Sweetheart" in celebration of our 50th anniversary. Our balcony cabin was fine with plenty of room to put all our clothes and articles away and room to shove the suitcases under the bed. The bed was one of the most comfortable we have ever slept on while cruising. The only thing I did not care for was our cabin steward did not make up our room between 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon. We often return to our cabin in the early afternoon for a nap or to read on the balcony and we could not because she hadn't cleaned it. We did not have a problem getting on line although it was slow, very slow. But we always got on and even had a few minutes left at the end of the cruise. Embarkation was very long. We are platinum members and still had to wait as the computers went down. Leaving the ship was not bad. There were lines, but they moved along. We have found that if you wait until 9:00 or 9:15 to leave, it is not so backed up. Norwegian does need to improve their embarkation service. When we have sailed on other ships, it is much, much easier. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are ... Read More
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are NOT at the beach at all! They made a gate and space for them but it’s very commercial, they are not free... You don’t swim with them at all, this is fake add! You see them, you feed them, pad them and that’s it! Very expensive for what they offer! Beside that we like it everything else! Just wish to spend more time in Bahamas... for me FL stop wasn’t worth at all... We are there for Bahamas, and Florida was just a waste of time! ;/ It’s a great Cruise, they just have to improve somethings... How about a partnership with Atlantis as well? Could be great.... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First time first time cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I must say I was very happily impressed. First the not-so-good stuff. I was traveling with my two sisters, sharing same room, as we have done on many Royal Caribbean and ... Read More
First time first time cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I must say I was very happily impressed. First the not-so-good stuff. I was traveling with my two sisters, sharing same room, as we have done on many Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. This was the first time though that we did not have 2 lower than one upper. We were surprised to find two beds and a pull-out couch. This made it impossible to walk around the room or to get out on the balcony. The balcony, by the way, was also in disrepair. The paint was peeling off at constantly every time you spent any time out on the balcony you came back with a serious case of "paint dandruff." Our state room attendant was pretty much invisible. The food in both the dining rooms and Buffet was passable and the staff although very pleasant were very obviously understaffed. They always did everything in a run, nothing casual. The casino staff was, at best, unpleasant, in some cases kind of rude. All that being said, it was a very enjoyable trip. The cruise director was excellent. The entertainment was very good. Good Production shows, good magician, Good comic. And an excellent little Cirque du Soleil Act. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It was November 3rd, 2018 my 1st Norwegian cruise from NewYork City to Florida and 2 islands in the Bahamas. To start the cruise amount dropped before the cruise about $100 before the cruise. I 'led out the form and called customer ... Read More
It was November 3rd, 2018 my 1st Norwegian cruise from NewYork City to Florida and 2 islands in the Bahamas. To start the cruise amount dropped before the cruise about $100 before the cruise. I 'led out the form and called customer services to have the amount adjusted and they refused. I was upset because I have been able to make those type of adjustments in the past with other cruise lines. If you say you o)er the best price you should honor that especially if it is directly from their website. Anyway, I am a frequent cruiser. This was my sixth trip over all and my 3rd trip to Florida and the Bahamas. There were a few other ships docked at our port that day. We got there about 1 or 2 PM and were probably on board by 2:30 - 3:00 PM. We were given our key cards in the terminal. We were sailing the Norwegian Gem and we entered the atrium which was very clean and beautifully decorated. Our luggage was being delivered to the room, so we were not concerned to much about that. We had an Oceanview room. There was a Queen size bed and a pullman bed one the side of the wall. This room was connected to another with a door. I was afraid I would here next door, but I never did. The bathroom had the shower with a glass sliding door, the sink was in the middle, and the toilet on the other side also with a glass sliding door. I like the idea of that kind of privacy just incase someone had to come in while the bathroom was being used. The blues and the browns and the oak cherry wood gave a nice cozy feeling in the room that was to be my home for the week.I think the major di)erences I saw in this ship is at there were so many di)erent places to eat. There was a main dining Grand Paci'c, mid ship dining Magenta, and Asian dining Orchid Garden, and a 24-hour dining O’sheean’s, all complimentary on the ship. And just as many specialty dining areas on the ship. Myfamily went straight to the BBQ to enjoy the festivities at the sail away party.The shows were phenomenal. I didn’t miss one. The service from the sta) was impeccable, which I have come to expect on every cruise. The Cruise Director Lenora was great, warm – spirited, energetic, and very friendly. She taught a salsa, and then a merengue class, which we had the opportunity of enjoying. And my daughter participated in the complementary camp there. The children all performed a wonderful show at the last sea day on the ship.The children’s camp through-out the cruise had interesting times to pick the children up. It was not all day like I was expecting. It was more like 9AM to 12 PM and then again from 1 PM to 3 PM. So, it was di)erent, and di=cult for me to plan around it. There were times my little one wanted to go, but they were closed, and she was a little bored.I like the fact Norwegian o)ers a picture package. This was something new that I have not experienced. I like to buy professional pictures every cruise. I spend roughly around $100 in pictures so their picture package I believe was $140 for ten wasa perfect match for me. That was just enough for me to pick my favorites and take them home. When I purchased the picture package it also came with a mini USB looking like a cruise ship and it came with the digital copies of the pictures, so I could makecopies later or post them on social media if I chose to. The things that bothered me were in the Main Dining, which Ichose to eat almost every morning, missed one request from every meal. If I asked for an omelet without ham – it came with ham. If a meal was supposed to come with fruit they may have forgotten it. The salt and pepper were always labeled wrong. I thought at 1st I as picking up the wrong shaker, but I was not. There were always two salt or two pepper to our table. Every time I visited the restaurant it was like that until I made a complaint. They sent the Manager of the Diners to us when we atat Magenta to inquire about my complaint and looked in to the issue. We ate at O’sheean’s and it took them an hour to serve dinner, when there wasn’t a huge amount of customer’s there. It truly doesn’t take an hour to serve a cheeseburger, soup, and a sandwich. There was a larger family that came after us and the were being tended to before us. I explained to the waiter we were waiting over an hour for our dinner. That is when he served us. When we ate there for breakfast another time the service wasmuch better. I want to say the food was great, but I was not overly impressed. Maybe the better food was in the specialty diners which would be sad because customer’s come for great food on the cruise ship which is usually inclusive. I also visited the Spa and the GYM. They were on the same @oor but accessed separately. The GYM was nice and had every machine you would want in a GYM. We utilized the facilitiesa couple of times. Got to work o) some of those meals! And the SPA was beautifully done. The 'rst time I walked in someone greeted me and gave me a tour. I liked being acknowledged and the tour answered all my questions. I did visit the Spa after goingto a pamper party. I had a wonderful massage and facial which had me glowing the entire trip. De'nitely make a stop in there if you can. Just do not miss your reservation. It is just like a SPA on land, and you do not want to ruin a good time incurring a charge for a missed appointment. I was on a 7- day cruise and complained about the HDTV every day I was there, and it was not 'xed until day 5. I was disappointed with the complacent regard to my complaint. When they 'nally did send someone to 'x the issue, they did call, and leave a note to follow up with the resolve. The lay-out of the ship was a little odd in that one of the clubs was in the front of the ship above the Captain’s room. When throwing a party in that club they shut it down to move the party to the back of the ship, even though it was a very good party. The party didn’t keep its momentum with the move. I felt there were too many youngsters at the party. I was wondering why the little ones didn’t have their own party room as I have experienced with cruise line. Lastly the club in the back with DJ Remy who could not seem to keep the smoothness of mixing songs and traveling from one genre to the next. I was very disappointed an chose not to participate in this activity which I have loved to participate in on other ships. The excursions I feel were standard to what I have come to expect. We took the transport to Coco Beach and spent the day there shopping, swimming and building sand castles. We went to Paradise Island and visited the water park there. Still fun every time I have gone. And We went to Stir up Cay Norwegian’s private Island. There were many activities to choose from. Food was supplied by the Ship and many bars to purchase drinks with your key card around the island. I really enjoyed that day the most. Overall the trip was nice, and although there are things I am used to I now know what to expect with Norwegian. I will might sail with them again and hopefully next trip will be much better. However, I think I will stick with a more accommodating cruise line that will do the things they should do to make you feel more welcome and want to come back time and time again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because it left from NY and we decided we would alleviate the stress and not have to worry about flying. The shows were very good and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We had a nice size cabin, but the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from NY and we decided we would alleviate the stress and not have to worry about flying. The shows were very good and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We had a nice size cabin, but the TV in the cabin was so small it reminded us of a computer monitor -- a small one. More often than not during breakfast and lunch, the buffet had a nice variety of food, but the hot food was not hot. During the beach break (Private Island) -- the food was also cold. They have got to figure out a better system. When food that is supposed to be hot is not hot... it is most frustrating, as I am sure all will agree. The drinks are way to expensive. One cocktail after all the taxes, service charges, tips and whatever else they tack on is $14.13...and probably not for top shelf! Will we do NCL again? Perhaps -- but not anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose to embark in NYC because it was closest to home and fitting our budget. Not realizing that embarking and disembarking turned out to be a nightmare, standing in line for 3-4hours each way. Instructions for attending the drill ... Read More
We chose to embark in NYC because it was closest to home and fitting our budget. Not realizing that embarking and disembarking turned out to be a nightmare, standing in line for 3-4hours each way. Instructions for attending the drill and even once landed early in Providence Bahamas, there were not instructions on the TV channel to be able to disembark until we saw people returning from their visit out int he evening. Other than announcement on the overhead, no other follow-up on the special TV channel was done. :( If we were made aware, we could have made the best of it by stepping out. Especially, we missed the Stripp Cay stoop due to rough seas. Food need improvement, perhaps add taste, cleaner counters & more time slots. Entertainment was the best on the cruise. Can't praise enough for coordinating and putting special effort to make all involved. Steward assigned to the rooms were outstanding. Everything from cleanliness to special touch was there. Felt like family in a few days. Pool & hottubs were too small for the crowd, not too clean. Gym was good for the size of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our second cruise with NCL and really enjoyed it. Embarkation went as we thoguht it would, everyone is arriving basically at the same time, so you would expect to wait. Disembarkation went very smoothly for us. We picked the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with NCL and really enjoyed it. Embarkation went as we thoguht it would, everyone is arriving basically at the same time, so you would expect to wait. Disembarkation went very smoothly for us. We picked the smaller ship because we just wanted to relax. My only issue was since it was a smaller ship and we left at the tail end of the noreaster, you were able to feel a lot more movement than on the bigger ship (we were on the breakway last year). We enjoyed playing Deal or No Deal and Bingo. The shows were outstanding. We mostly ate at the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants (dining package). We both enjoyed all of our meals. The buffet is smaller and it was hard to get a table for breakfast (the main buffet in only open till 10:30 for breakfast) and there seemed to be several very large asian tour groups that took up most of the tables. We enjoyed the Airboat tour in Florida and Nassua by land and sea. Unfortunately, we were not able to stop at the Grea StirUp Cay because of the wind and seas, which was a bummer. We were docked in Nassau overnight but by 7:00 p.m., as didn't feel comfortable going out on our own, so we enjoyed just listening to music sitting on our balcony. The Ship overall if nice, as long as you like the smaller ship feel. The cruise director and staff were great, we enjoyed all the shows and activities that we participated in. Our room steward Julius was the best! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Very sad because this was my third time cruising with Norwegian but this ship was over crowd .. they were lots of angry people screaming, It was impossible to have access a wheel chair for an older person. There were passengers with ... Read More
Very sad because this was my third time cruising with Norwegian but this ship was over crowd .. they were lots of angry people screaming, It was impossible to have access a wheel chair for an older person. There were passengers with no manners at the garden cafe. They just crossed you and do not care. Served lots to food to waste Many on the ship’s staff felt our same frustration. But nothing they could do about it. Gem arrived to Cape canaveral very late so no time to go to The orlando attractions. Then the private island was canceled also so we only have one day at Nassau. The shore excursions like scuba diving also canceled. Long lines for embarking and to left the ship. Very disappointed The.bars and restaurants good but 45 minutes waiting to be seated at the Magenta Sabor latino and some of the great staff made these 7 days a little less awful and bearable Even the jacuzzi water was cold and crowded pools Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Norwegian Gem Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.9
Public Rooms 3.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.8

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