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

I have traveled by NCL cruise line twice before and had an excellent time all three times. There was every little detail pertaining to our comfort taken care of. My whole family had an enjoyable time, and from every angle possible. The ... Read More
I have traveled by NCL cruise line twice before and had an excellent time all three times. There was every little detail pertaining to our comfort taken care of. My whole family had an enjoyable time, and from every angle possible. The staff were fantastic from the people who spray us with anti bacterial before we eat to the housekeeping staff. We would not cruise with anyone but NCL. They have pampered and spoilt us, for by other cruise line. Our comfort at every level was a priority for the crew, from dinning, to the entertainment. The shows in the stardust theatre was absolutely breathtaking. Our cruise director Lorena made us feel very at home. We were always greeted with smiles and a joke from the crew at all times. The last performance when the staff and cruise director and captain came on stage in the stardust theater was a lovely touch. I would like to thank every single staff for making this. Relaxing time for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food ... Read More
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food generally has changed dramatically since we first started cruising 20 years ago. There was very little repetition in the entrees and the chef was very creative. The chocolate and flan/crème brulee desserts were excellent. The quality of the hand dipped ice cream was a bit below par. I have been on more than 6 cruises, 2 of which have been on Norwegian -- Gem and Dawn. The Gem is generally a well maintained, older ship which does show its age in a few areas. Oddly, the rest rooms near the bar lounges are very small, and could use upgrades. The mini-suites were very comfortable and well appointed. There was more than enough storage for our things. In one of the three suites we occupied, the bathroom fixture above the commode suddenly fell off the wall and shattered while someone was in there. Fortunately, he was standing and the fixture did not fall on him. It may be worthwhile to check these fixtures as they likely loosen over time. The cabin steward did clean the glass right away. The Kennedy Space Center excursion was a bit rushed, so arriving in Cape Canaveral sooner would have helped, considering the steep price of the tickets. I rented a cabana on the private island, which was well worth the price; the private shower was a pleasant surprise becuase it is not mentioned in the description of the cabana on the excursion site. Two disappointments: First, I paid for the premium wifi/internet access and the service was extremely slow, making work almost impossible -- it took 10 minutes to load just one screen. For $230, I expected much better speed, and it would have been better to limit the number of subscribers rather than sell to everyone, becuase I certainly did not get my money's worth for the access. Second, we ordered our photographs late Friday morning and due to an error in fulfilling our print request, our ability to pick up the photos was delayed. We went to pick them up after the show, but found mistake. They rushed the correction and called our cabin at 10:45 PM to pick up (altho the photo shop closed at 11, which didn't give us much time to get there), but we had already retired to our cabins and figured we would pick them up in the morning. However, when went Saturday morning, we were told that we would have to pay tax since we were in port. This was however, not made apparent to us the night before, which would have incentivized me to make the trip to the studio when I received the call. After some debate, and a call to the manager, we were compensated with 3 additional prints, which we really did not want or need, since the tax had to be paid. I think that this situation could have been slightly better handled on Friday night. Nonetheless, I good time was had by all, and we would certainly travel with Norwegian again. You made a believer out of my brother, who was cynical about being "stuck on a boat" for a week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The mainstage shows on board the Norwegian Gem were the best of any cruise line I've sailed. The singers and dancers were truly top-notch, and the arrangements (orchestrations) and performance quality were superb. I loved the high ... Read More
The mainstage shows on board the Norwegian Gem were the best of any cruise line I've sailed. The singers and dancers were truly top-notch, and the arrangements (orchestrations) and performance quality were superb. I loved the high energy of the dancing and the variety of the three show themes (swing, country/western, 70s). Knowing that the singers are classically trained, I would love to see/hear the singers program a recital of classical art songs, perhaps some afternoon during the cruise - what a lovely addition to the schedule of events that would be. The jogging track on the Norwegian Gem is much nicer than the tracks on board other ships, in that the route is longer and more interesting (i.e., not just an oval in shape). As with other ships' jogging tracks, though, there is a constant problem of oblivious fellow passengers getting in the way of runners. To help prevent these "run-ins," I would suggest posting signs indicating "Yield to Runners." This ship has a lot of great features for lovers of ocean liners and nautical lore, including art and artifacts from liners like the SS United States and the Normandie, plus a bridge viewing window that is open during daylight hours (except when docking). Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Wonderful time the drinks are expensive, the drink package was 700 dollars! WOW!!!No one drinks that much. The room was perfect for us we only slept there other times we were out. We get up shower get dressed eat breakfast, later we put ... Read More
Wonderful time the drinks are expensive, the drink package was 700 dollars! WOW!!!No one drinks that much. The room was perfect for us we only slept there other times we were out. We get up shower get dressed eat breakfast, later we put bathing suit and get in the hot tubs, so relaxing. After that we eat lunch, then go to cabin shower and get dressed for the evening. We went to the bliss club, and Osheana's. Another time we went on the glass boat. We saw. Million dollar homes. Also in the basement of boat you can see the bottom of the sea, corral reaf, fish. We also met other people on the cruise. Another time we went to a private beach called stirrup Cay that was nice plenty to eat, go swimming, lay on beach enjoy the moment. We went to shopping district in the Bahamas. Also we visited my brother and his new wife in Florida we shopped while we were there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
A friend of ours recommended this cruise as she thought we would enjoy it. It was our first cruise and heard many good things about the GEM. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the food at the main dining hall as ... Read More
A friend of ours recommended this cruise as she thought we would enjoy it. It was our first cruise and heard many good things about the GEM. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the food at the main dining hall as well as the Japanese restaurant. We never missed being entertained by Justin Golan, who was very talented and personable, as well as Jonathan the trumpet player in the cruise entertainment production, as well as appearing with Justin on occasion. We enjoyed the beach area at Cocoa Beach, as well as the private island and the beach in the Bahamas. Mantombi Ndlovu, the Restaurant Steward was one of the nicest and friendliest people we have ever met. Our cabin steward was excellent as well, as he attended to all of our needs in a friendly manner. Everyone on the boat was very talented and there was always something going on that was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Location and timing were the reason we booked this cruise: Timing was important as we cruised during the 3rd week of August which was after my daughters summer camp ended and before gearing up for back to school, and it was sailing out of ... Read More
Location and timing were the reason we booked this cruise: Timing was important as we cruised during the 3rd week of August which was after my daughters summer camp ended and before gearing up for back to school, and it was sailing out of NY so I would not need to bother with the additional expense of airfare. However I found the overall experience to be 'blah' at best. First the good - our mini suite cabin was comfortable for the three of us and the cabin steward did a wonderful job of keeping it clean and staying out of our way. Also the embarkation and self-disembarkation process went smoothly - I highly recommend self disembarkation if you are traveling relatively light and can haul off your own bags without assistance. We were back home in Central NJ within 90 minutes of starting the process of getting off the ship. We only upgraded to specialty dining one night - Cagney's the steakhouse was excellent. Most other nights we ate in either of the main dining rooms - Great Pacific and Magenta - however they obviously share the same kitchen and served the same menu so I didn't really get the point of calling them two separate dining experiences. They both did a decent job and meals were pretty good, but service was spotty which I think was a result of the free style dining approach which didn't provide any continuity of servers. The staff of the Splash Academy was generally very friendly and my daughter truly enjoyed her time with them. Now the not so good: Many rude and slovenly guests... maybe that's why the staff didn't seem overly friendly. The ship was not extremely clean - in fact the buffet dining area was pretty gross at times and the quality of the food in the buffet was rather bland. And you generally had to fight to get a table. Entertainment options for younger kids was limited - unless they were in the Splash Academy kids program which kept my 4 year old daughter entertained, otherwise once she conquered the climbing wall and did the waterslide a dozen times there was very little for her to do. The family pool was too deep for a 4 year old, and the kiddie pool was ridiculous. Pool deck was very crowded and the activities staff did nothing to discourage the annoying habit many guests have of going out early AM to reserve a lounge chair but then disappearing for many hours of the day leaving the chairs empty while other guests searched desperately to find a seat when they actually wanted to be present in the pool area. Adult entertainment was average at best - Duo Quintessa, the aerial performers were terrific, but the song and dance performers where pretty standard. The comedian was weak, the solo pianist was repetitive, and the lounge band was ok, but far from great. Most disappointing experience was the Norwegian private island Great Stirrup Cay - the tender transport was tedious, the swimming area was very rocky, and the food service was abysmal. They tell you over and over to hydrate but the buffet area had very limited hydration stations. The least they could do was give out bottled water - that's what Disney does on it's private island. Couldn't find any servers working the beach chair area either to offer drink service. We were really underwhelmed by that entire stop. Excursion time at Port Canaveral was too short. We only took the trip to Kennedy Space Center which was just a 25 minute drive from the ship - and didn't have enough time to do it justice. I can't imagine that anyone who took the excursions in to Orlando (about a 90 minute ride each way) would have had quality time at Disney or Universal. We did have a good visit to AquaAdventure at Atlantis when we got to Nassau which was a good stop and well worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Not much to do .very boring food wasn’t good very greasy ,couldn’t hear any of the announcers ,accents and speaking to low.lines were to long for food crowded on deck too,It was very uncomfortable on deck the chairs were so close to ... Read More
Not much to do .very boring food wasn’t good very greasy ,couldn’t hear any of the announcers ,accents and speaking to low.lines were to long for food crowded on deck too,It was very uncomfortable on deck the chairs were so close to each other I couldn’t even lay out without a perv next to me eye balling me because he was inches away the chairs are too close not enough room ,they should of had some one come around with coffee and juice in the morning since they only had very few machines for it the wait was annoying ,the fruit wasn’t ripe,they kept locking the door to the upper deck 13 so you had to down the stairs to go to the bathroom it was a pain then they didn’t sell any big cups just coffe mugs so if you wanted water you had to get two small cups with very little ice , they had a store that had not much of nothing Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I had two cabins reserved, one on 11 floor an the two bedroom suite on 14. Initially i had four men in cabin on 11th floor, one had to cancel because of work schedule. So i asked a friend (female) of mine to register in the cabin on 11 ... Read More
I had two cabins reserved, one on 11 floor an the two bedroom suite on 14. Initially i had four men in cabin on 11th floor, one had to cancel because of work schedule. So i asked a friend (female) of mine to register in the cabin on 11 cabin with the guys and since our suite on 14 held 6 and since there was only five of us she could come to our suite on 14. I calle the miami ofice told them what occurred and i wished to change her to the suite, they told me when i get on he ship they will take care of it. Well got on ship they said no once its booked they can not change it. Finally after two days of fighting she could sleep in our cabin but could not utilize the haven perks, private swimming pool, jacuzzi etc. Now what were we suppose to do let het eat lunch by herself? So it took another day or so for her to beable to eat breakfast & lunch in the cagney room with us however she still could not get morning coffee or pastry at the pool area, even though the area was never utized by more then 4 to 5 people at one time. I upgraded to the suite and this trip i took 9 people on this cruise and paid over 20000 for the suite and cabin on 11. I am very disappointed the way my family and friends were treated and i am not quite sure if i will utilize norweigan again. I am sure you can look me up, i have been on at least 7 or 8 of your cruises, but this one takes the cake, i paid more and got less enjoyment on our family cruise. We never could really enjoy . The food and other ncl employees were good, but this did put a damper on our trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a Norwegian cruise. The date, destinations and departure worked well for us. Embarkation ws smooth and organized and we were on the ship before noon. The ship showed it's age a bit but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try a Norwegian cruise. The date, destinations and departure worked well for us. Embarkation ws smooth and organized and we were on the ship before noon. The ship showed it's age a bit but there but it's a nice managable size and easy to get around. There were no obvious problems or issues. That being said, the pools were small and the hot tubs were always full. We remedied that situation by splurging for the thermal spa package, this provided us with acces to the mineral pool, whirlpools steamroom and saunas and no kids! We found most of the food to be better than average. We usually had dinner in the Grand Pacific, the selection and quality of the food was good but not great, We had 3 specialty dining meals included in our package and chose Cagney's (very good) Le Bistro (excellent) and the Brazillian restruant (fair it may have just been an off night), Breakfast and lunch were usually at the outside buffet in the back of the ship, not as crowded as inside, with a smaller selection. The food was good though. We also enjoyed the outside BBQs on the pool deck, especially the seafood. The unlimited beverage plan was also included with our cruise package. The drinks we had were all good, The entertainment was very good, the singers and dancers were very talented. Tim, the comedian was funny and a really nice guy, The aerial acrobatic couple was great as well as the magician. The Cruise Director and her staff did their best to offer onboard activities though sometimes they fell a little short, not enough to make the cruise any less enjoyable. The lounge entertainment was fair, with the exception of the band "Prism", they were consistently outstanding. The service overall was excellent, everyone was friendly, our cabin was well maintained and the dining staff all did a nice job. We took a Lyft to the Coco Beach Pier and enjoyed a nice day at the beach, $25 for 2 chairs and an umbrella for the day. Great Stirrup Cay was nice, we took a late tender after lunch and still had plenty of time in the water, In Nassau we resisted the lure of Paradise Island and went to Blue Lagoon instead, money well spent. Overall, we got what we were looking for, a nice relaxing week away. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 10+ cruise on the NCL Gem, knowing she will be leaving NYC soon. We wanted to have a good send off by doing a B2B (8/11 & 8/18). As always the Gem is still beautiful and powerful. The engines still purr, the recent ... Read More
This was our 10+ cruise on the NCL Gem, knowing she will be leaving NYC soon. We wanted to have a good send off by doing a B2B (8/11 & 8/18). As always the Gem is still beautiful and powerful. The engines still purr, the recent refurbish was well done and we got our favorite cabin and no, I'm not telling. Our cabin stewart Allen was amazing. Met him the first day, made some lite requests which he filled quickly and continued during both weeks. Always greeted us by name, with a smile, how are you, do you need anything. Just awesome. Thanks Allen! We're spoiled and love having most of our dinners in Cagney's which were treated like family by the manager and the entire waitstaff. Knew us by name, check to see if dinner was going well or just stopped by the table to say "Hello." What a great team. They will be missed. Thanks so much everyone for taking care of us. We also enjoyed meals in the Garden Cafe, the Great Outdoors, O'Sheehan's and LaCucina. Food was always excellent. Very good choices. Fresh vegetables, soups, sandwiches, breakfast foods and much more. The crew kept tables, etc. very clean and were quick to offer a hand or request. Our cabin was immaculate and spacious. Plenty of storage space and lighting. Still looks new. TV offered a good selection of channels. Refrigerator worked well. Bathroom can be a challenge but we adjusted quickly. Entertainment also amazing. My favorite this cruise, the crew entertainment up by the pool. The Gem has a lot of great talent on the ship. It was a show not to be missed. The production shows we had seen already but saw them again and they are still as fresh as ever. They showed no getting stale. The performers performed as if it was the very first time and we enjoyed them just as much. SHOUTOUT to a new friend "Tony K. Irving" what a talent. We did not forget you and saw you in every show. Keep doing what you do! Much happiness to you. So much happening around the ship, so much to see and do. Thanks to Prism, Jason Galon, the guitarist singer, 876 Konnect?, the Gem Band and more. Thanks to the cruise director Lorena. You did good girl! To your team, a job well done. We will miss the Gem. Have been sailing her since 2006. If we get to homesick we may hop of to Boston for a visit. But all the best to all the hard working people who made our cruise such a great memory. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I love NCL. We had just sailed the Escape in May and decided to book Gem last minute in August! What a ship, what a crew. The ship shows wear but everything else about this ship is 5 star! Amazing staff, food... layout. ... Read More
I love NCL. We had just sailed the Escape in May and decided to book Gem last minute in August! What a ship, what a crew. The ship shows wear but everything else about this ship is 5 star! Amazing staff, food... layout. Service great. The magician Titu was fantastic. The Sugarcane mojo bar was fabulous. Cagneys was as good as Ruth Chris. We wanted a relaxing vacation and that is exactly what we had. I traveled with my husband and son and we all enjoyed more than we thought we would. Never a wait for anything. We showed up at the pier and we were onboard in less than 15 minutes. I had all my dining reservations done within 10 minutes of being on board.... Disembarked just as fast. Mega ships are very nice, but this showed how nice it is to travel on a smaller ship! Thank you all on Gem for a wonderful vacation Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have always wanted to go a cruise. I chose this cruise because of its convenience . It left from New York. I was celebrating my 51st Birthday and I was a Solo Cruiser. I had a wonderful and memorable time. I met wonderful people. The ... Read More
I have always wanted to go a cruise. I chose this cruise because of its convenience . It left from New York. I was celebrating my 51st Birthday and I was a Solo Cruiser. I had a wonderful and memorable time. I met wonderful people. The Shore activities were exciting. The extensive sanitary conditions made me feel assured I was on a safe and clean ship. The cabin was clean and the food was delicious. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The club Bliss is known for Karaoke and every night with DJ Remy there was a good turnout. The shore excursions to CoCo Beach in Florida and Port Carnavel as well as the private island Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas were exciting. I swam along a yellow striped fish and seen four iguanas that were within ten feet from me. I was a first time cruiser, and I am ready to cruise again. I would take the Norweign Gem again leaving from New York. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise because of the convenience of leavinng from a port in my home state. We had a balcony cabin mid-ship on the 9th flr. The cabin was not very well maintained, and the bathroom was so tight that using the tiolet ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the convenience of leavinng from a port in my home state. We had a balcony cabin mid-ship on the 9th flr. The cabin was not very well maintained, and the bathroom was so tight that using the tiolet required contortions and I am under 5'3. The beds(twins) were pushed together to make a queen and it kept coming apart and was very uncomfortable because one bed was slightly higher than the other my companion is still complaining about his back and lack of sleep. Service in n the various dining areas was extremely poor! The tables were not well cleaned and the chefs and waiters either rudely ignored you or reluctantly helped. The excursions were crowded and unorganized and clearly over priced. The staff at the client services dask are trained to Not take complaints or concerns, repeatedly when discussing the bed and unsanitary tables, I was told to report it after the cruise. Nothing was put in writing and or they just threw it away. As for the food if you do not eat pork (like myself and companion) then you are out of luck, because pork and pork products was heavily featured throughout the 7 days. Pork and hot dogs and hamburger (who spends well over 1,400 per person to have an over abundance of kid food. I felt that the balconies, cabins, ship windows included were poorly maintained and manned. I felt like my money was not well spent. Finally, I repeated the above in the after cruise survey ironically suddenly my comments wouldn't save... it felt like a very unsophisticated operation 2 thumbs down for the Norwegian Gem Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Last minute cruise... Travel agent tried convincing not to take Norwegian so adamant I thought she was getting a cut from other cruise lines I've taken. Called Nowegian & booked anyway. BIG MISTAKE Here's why: 1. ... Read More
Last minute cruise... Travel agent tried convincing not to take Norwegian so adamant I thought she was getting a cut from other cruise lines I've taken. Called Nowegian & booked anyway. BIG MISTAKE Here's why: 1. Luggage was visibly smashed after searching it 2. Hair in sink. FECES on the inside toilet lid. Told the desk. Told it was cleaned. Later that night FECES was STILL there 3. Bartender rolled eyes because drink made was SOOO sour I NICELY asked for orange juice to cut it 4. Excursion desk worker was RUDE! 5. Front desk dismissive 6. Cabin light was like a strobe light 7. When I tried to share concerns, I was told it wasn't necessary & NONE of the issues were in my docket 8. Toilet would flush after 11:30pm 9. POOR customer service, was in tears as a result! 10. Heard others agree & complain about their experiences and treatment at the desk. I took ONLY my 13 year old and he was bored MOST of the time due to a lack of teen level interesting activities. He even got stuck on the sliding board due to a lack of adequate water flow through the tunnel. He had to SCOOT down the WATER slide! Ridiculous! NOBODY CARES!! AWFUL! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was our first cruise. I Was having anxiety of feeling claustrophobic for a whole week...It turned out I was so wrong! Since The minute I entered the ship I felt welcomed and comfortable. The staff is pleasant and friendly. The ship is ... Read More
It was our first cruise. I Was having anxiety of feeling claustrophobic for a whole week...It turned out I was so wrong! Since The minute I entered the ship I felt welcomed and comfortable. The staff is pleasant and friendly. The ship is beautiful and clean. There’s a variety of food to satisfy everyone’s palate. Entertainment everyday, all day! Our room was pristine and comfortable. I can’t wait to go on another cruise. And most of all housekeeping goes beyond their duties. Loved the towel animals in our bed! It made us so happy. Jomar was most attentive to us. His service was excellent! I just wished there was an indoor pool, the outdoor pools are a little too small for so many people. Also the seatings available was limited. We had to search for a table for quite a while. Other than that it was a great experience!!! I would love to go on the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have travelled on 9 cruises to date and this was our 5th NCL Cruise ,Our only negative on the Norwegian Gem would be the lack of waiting staff and the lack of enthusiasm from waiters. The ship is well equipped with plenty of bars ... Read More
We have travelled on 9 cruises to date and this was our 5th NCL Cruise ,Our only negative on the Norwegian Gem would be the lack of waiting staff and the lack of enthusiasm from waiters. The ship is well equipped with plenty of bars which all had entertainment to suit all ages. The best service was given in the Magnum Champagne bar from Gerlyn Aclan, She was a credit to the team and seemed to be the only waitress who had the NCL spirit, always smiling helpful and seemed to appear to greet you whenever you arrived. Throughout the ship there was a definite shortage of waiters meaning you will be queuing at bars for drinks. We found the Grand Pacific dining room had poor service again due to lack of waiting staff. We have never experienced this on other NCL ships. The orchid garden asian dining and the Magenta main didning room were the best for excellent service and delicious food. As with most ships now a lot of public space has been taken for Haven Suites. The indoor cafe was hectic with narrow gangways which made it an unpleasant experience, we used the great outdoor cafe for lunch and breakfast which was far less busy but had less choice but much more relaxed. Our balcony cabin was perfect, enough space and plenty of storage and kept very clean. We booked the kayaking excursion on Castaway Cay which was fabulous, our tour was 12.15 -2.30, not knowing that lunch on the private island was served only from 12.00 - 2.30, on our return from the trip we found there was no food available on the island, this we believed was very poor as most people wanted to spend a full day on the island. We arrived on the island for 9.30 and would have liked the opportunity to eat lunch on the island after our tour. Overall we had a wonderful cruise and will definitley cruise with NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have always been an NCL fan. The entertainment in the public areas during this cruise were well below the standards we have come to expect from NCL. The shows in the theater were good. At the beginning of the trip we waited an ... Read More
We have always been an NCL fan. The entertainment in the public areas during this cruise were well below the standards we have come to expect from NCL. The shows in the theater were good. At the beginning of the trip we waited an extended amount of time in the restuarants for our meals. Also, drink orders were not always requested by the wait staff. More than once we had to ask for someone to come and take our drink order. It almost seemed that there was a lot of new crew members starting and just learning the procedures. Crew and staff were very pleasant on board. Gerilyn, in the wine/champagne bar was especially noce and took exectional care of us. We met there each night for a before dinner drink. We are Latitudes Platnum members and tend to look toward NCL first when booking vacations. I would not let this one trip change our minds however, I am hoping the items above were isolated cases. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Recently sailed on Norwegian for the 2nd time and had another awesome family vacation on our cruise to the Bahamas and Florida. I will review the entire experience step by step, first with all of the positives, then the negatives. We ... Read More
Recently sailed on Norwegian for the 2nd time and had another awesome family vacation on our cruise to the Bahamas and Florida. I will review the entire experience step by step, first with all of the positives, then the negatives. We sailed in a Balcony cabin and would highly recommend to all sailers. Although more expensive and the argument of "there are balconies on the decks of the boat" nothing beats the privacy of drinking a cup of coffee or having a final mojito at night or in the morning on the balconies. The room had plenty of storage for the 2 of us and the extra space is an added bonus. The bathroom was small as all staterooms bathrooms are, but we did not experience any issues with this. There was a safe, TV, couch, nightstand, mini-fridge and plenty of storage in the bathroom as well. More outlets would have been very nice, there was only 2 we could find. The ship itself was beautiful. The atrium was great, there was plenty of bars and lounge space, 2 pools (one for kids, one for 18+), and the layout made the ship seem spacy but compact. There was tons of activities, dining and bar options throughout the boat. Activities often bought extra charges ($20 for a mojito tasting, $25 for deal or no deal, $40 for bingo) but were a fun way to get out of the sun. The nightly shows were awesome. The production cast was great with 3 headliner shows, the comedian was funny and appropriate in not alienating any guests, and the magician was mind-blowing. The other entertainers in the lounges throughout the night were enjoyable and entertaining, especially the piano-comedian Justin. Highly recommend stopping in to listen to him in Magnum's once or twice or every night as we did. The service throughout the week was adequate with some highs and some lows. The stewardess did everything typical, but nothing extra and was occasionally in the way. With a mandatory daily service charge of $15 a person I expected more. The bartenders were mostly good, again with some highs and some lows. The guys at the pool bar were great, as well as down by Maltings Whiskey and Beer bar, the Martini Bar and Magnums. On the other hand, up by the upper pool bar were slow and unfriendly as well as a general lack of bar runners throughout the shows and entertainment. In terms of dining, the service was average. The specialty dining brought some better service as to be expected but nothing memorable. The main dining hall and free dining options brought a lot of workers unhappy and unwilling to go the extra step. Now, the itinerary. The Private Island was amazing. Beautiful views, tons of beach and chairs, warm water (I think I saw 88 degrees listed), 2 complimentary dining options and at least 3 bars. However, I strongly felt Norwegian nickel and dimed the island. It is true the UBD is accepted on the Island, but be prepared to pay tax on every drink while there. Also, there was a fee for umbrella rental (they were already set up) and mats to float. The "included private island" cost us about $150 extra by the time the day was done. Still a great experience. Nassau was also gorgeous with even warmer water, nice beaches and transportation options. We went to Cabbage Beach, right next to Atlantis but significantly cheaper. It was fun and enjoyable with a ton of tourists like us, access to drinks and watersports and beach chairs and umbrellas for rental. Be prepared for the locals to swoop with deals for excursions and drinks but other than that it was great. Cape Canaveral is a waste of a port day. We arrived around 1 PM which means its not worth the price to go to an Orlando port, which narrows the options to some beaches. We went to the highly accredited Coco Beach. It was a warmer Jersey shore... dirty water, tons of seaweed, overcrowded, outrageously priced drinks and food options, and you have to pay to get there. Not worth the $250-300 to go, save it for Nassau. For the most part the cruise was excellent and would highly recommend Norwegian over any other cruise line. However, not everything was perfect as I alluded to above. One major issue, as often is, was in dining. We paid for a 3 meal specialty upgrade and dined at Cagney's, Moderno and La Cucina. Cagney's is always great, Moderno was a terrific experience but La Cucina was quite frankly bad. The food was not very good and the portions are outrageously small when compared to other specialty dining plates. Not worth the upgrade at all, go to Teppanyaki instead. O'Sheehans was enjoyable and about what you expect for an included dining option. Small plates, decent food. The wings were very good, everything else was average. The buffet was actually quite good. A ton of options and menu changed daily there. We went to the main dining hall once. It was terrible start to finish. Not sure if we had a particularly bad experience (it wasn't this bad in past cruises with Norwegian) but refused to return. The hostesses had no clue what they were doing, making some wait, others join a long line, turned away some and sent others right in for seemingly no reason as reservations are not allowed. We were told to wait, waited 20 minutes and then on our own joined a long line for another 20 minutes before getting a table. The staff was unfriendly and not around at all, had to leave restaurant to get drinks. The food was bad to say the least. Small portions of poor food. I had a grilled chicken breast to keep it simple and it was the worst piece of chicken I have ever had. To put it simply, avoid the main dining hall if possible. As mentioned earlier, I felt like they nickel and dimed a bit but thats to be expected. I would skip the Florida port and save money for other ports. Drink package is definitely worth it, don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Highly recommend upgraded dining package. If necessary, just purchase the wifi plan, not really worth it as upgrade. All - in-all great trip and we will be with Norwegian again soon! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Excellent room steward service. We had a very comfortable cruise due to his hard work and hospitality. Poor water delivery service. It took whole one day the bottles of waters delivered to us. We ended up picking them up by ourselves. ... Read More
Excellent room steward service. We had a very comfortable cruise due to his hard work and hospitality. Poor water delivery service. It took whole one day the bottles of waters delivered to us. We ended up picking them up by ourselves. Dining room person gave wrong information where we can pick up heavy bottles of water. The color schemes of the steps should be brighter under the dim lighting, or the light should be higher watts in steps area, and color should be alternate each step so that people can aware each step. It was dangerous especially when you are going down the steps because you really don’t see each steps in the dark blue carpeted steps. Main dining room, Not the Magenta, was excellent atmosphere and food, services. Magenta has some problems... it took long time to be seated, even though there are very little customers at 5:00pm, food was not good, hard beef, couldn’t even chew. Buffet restaurant was very convenient and easy to access. Entertainment was excellent. Circuses, comedy, Shore band are very entertaining. Good job to Lorena, the activity director! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise to take our family for a summer vacation.This was a disaster .We couldn't understand the cruise director as she was from chile.The music player on deck and the nightclubs was mainly spanish,which we don't ... Read More
We chose this cruise to take our family for a summer vacation.This was a disaster .We couldn't understand the cruise director as she was from chile.The music player on deck and the nightclubs was mainly spanish,which we don't speak or understand.The adult only got this had kids in it all the time.No security of officials to monitor poolside rules.Children running in restaurants while waiters carrying glass trays.Also adult male assaulting his girlfriend and security fighting with him in hall.Not Good i wasn't happy or satisfied with this cruise on the Gem. Waiters and room attendants where great.Not much else. Also we got the drink package and some of the bars made your drink and some of the other bars didn't make that drink.The disembark fiasco on nd private island took forever.It seemed like nobody was in charge boats leaving not full and other boats to full. I well just very disappointed when we taste very pleased in the past. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted a nice relaxing family vacation where we were waited on all the time. This cruise did not disappoint!! There was as much or as little to do as you desired. The staff was AMAZING! So much fun!!! There was something to do for ... Read More
We wanted a nice relaxing family vacation where we were waited on all the time. This cruise did not disappoint!! There was as much or as little to do as you desired. The staff was AMAZING! So much fun!!! There was something to do for the entire family including my 87 year old father! He had a blast!! I highly recommend this cruise. Our group was over 21 and highly recommend the beverage package as well as the premium dining. Both did not disappoint! It was high end liquor/wine and excellent food! If you didn't have fun on this cruise, it's your own fault! The crew were so friendly and made you feel like a million bucks!! They remember your name, your drink choice, etc. It exceeded all my expectations! I hadn't been on a cruise for over 35 years! Go and enjoy if you book this cruise. You will love it!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I chose Norwegian because of their itenerary out of NYC and the freestyle model. We had an amazing experience from the time we arrived at port until we returned. The Haven area and staff were everything we expected. The ... Read More
My husband and I chose Norwegian because of their itenerary out of NYC and the freestyle model. We had an amazing experience from the time we arrived at port until we returned. The Haven area and staff were everything we expected. The private island and amount of excursion options was perfect. Lorena, the cruise dirctor, had great energy and made you want to have fun. The shows were great every night and Justin the piano player was a highlight of our trip. We are already planning our next cruise with Norwegian. The restaurants were all great wether you want a quick meal at the buffet or going to the main dining hall. The main dining restaurants felt like the specialties and we were free to eat when you wanted. We ate at 3 specialties and they were all terrific and entertaining. The boat was clean and all staff were friendky and professional. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first time on NCL. I found the food and service to be poor. The room steward was definitely not attentive and sometimes had an attitude. My family had a cabin balcony. For two days we were unable to use it. They decided to do ... Read More
This was my first time on NCL. I found the food and service to be poor. The room steward was definitely not attentive and sometimes had an attitude. My family had a cabin balcony. For two days we were unable to use it. They decided to do paint maintenance during the cruise. One day workers cane and stayed in the balcony for about five hours scraping paint. It was quite awkward to shower and get ready for dinner with workers right outside our sliding doors. When they were finished there were tons of paint chips all over the balcony, the chairs and the rug in our cabin. The next day the workers came back and painted the balcony. We couldn’t use it because of the wet paint. Our cabin reeked of paint. When we complained we were told that this was “routine” maintenance. Then they put a “note” in the computer and said housekeeping would freshen up the room. Of course this did not help. They compensated us with a cheap bottle of wine that we didn’t need since we already had the drink package. For the price we spent on a balcony room, and since we couldn’t use it at times, we would’ve been better off with an interior room. Some of the food in the main dining rooms was inedible but the food in the specialty restaurants was very good. I also thought there was a lack of activities on the ship. Usually during a day at sea you can’t decide which activity you want to do first. But on this ship, unless you were willing to spend extra money on tastings, bingo, or deal or no deal, there wasn’t too much else. It would have been nice to see more family oriented activities. Luckily the workers in Splash Academy were wonderful and my 7 year old and 11 year old really liked it there (although they said the club on RC was much better.) We did the shore excursion on Great Stirrup Cay to the small cabana in the beach. The cabana and service was wonderful! It was the best day of the cruise. The only downfall was that there were tons of small jellyfish in the water, including even at the shore, and there was no warning by NCL or the lifeguards. After my husband got stung within five minutes of going in the water, the lifeguard said the jellyfish have started showing up in droves for the pat 4-5 days. While NCL cannot control wildlife, they sure can warn the people before going in the water and then people can make a decision based on the information given. I have been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruises. I thought I would give NCL a try but I will not be back. I was completely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Awesome time on the boat! Perfect weather in all the ports. Florida and Bahamas ports were clean and we felt safe when traveling. Enjoyed the private island was impressed that it had enough beach chairs for everyone. Son loved the teen ... Read More
Awesome time on the boat! Perfect weather in all the ports. Florida and Bahamas ports were clean and we felt safe when traveling. Enjoyed the private island was impressed that it had enough beach chairs for everyone. Son loved the teen club, entourage, he met alot of new friends. Boat actually needs some updating in its common areas. Pool needs updating as well as the outside staircases. The buffet food was not the best, it did not have a big variety of dishes. Staff as always were happy and accommodating. Room was big and spacious for 4 people. We tried several specialty restaurants, Cagney’s, teppakanni, la cucina and moderno. Moderno was our least favorite. Meet was not cooked well and it was not very appetizing, Their buffet area was also not appealing, felt like a big mix of foods put together on a table that did not go with the atmosphere of the restaurant.The other speciality restaurants were great! Can’t wait for the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise because of the convenience of leavinng from a port in my home state. We had a balcony cabin mid-ship on the 9th flr. The cabin was not very well maintained, and the bathroom was so tight that using the tiolet ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the convenience of leavinng from a port in my home state. We had a balcony cabin mid-ship on the 9th flr. The cabin was not very well maintained, and the bathroom was so tight that using the tiolet required contortions and I am under 5'3. The beds(twins) were pushed together to make a queen and it kept coming apart and was very uncomfortable because one bed was slightly higher than the other my companion is still complaining about his back and lack of sleep. Service in n the various dining areas was extremely poor! The tables were not well cleaned and the chefs and waiters either rudely ignored you or reluctantly helped. The excursions were crowded and unorganized and clearly over priced. The staff at the client services dask are trained to Not take complaints or concerns, repeatedly when discussing the bed and unsanitary tables, I was told to report it after the cruise. Nothing was put in writing and or they just threw it away. As for the food if you do not eat pork (like myself and companion) then you are out of luck, because pork and pork products was heavily featured throughout the 7 days. Pork and hot dogs and hamburger (who spends well over 1,400 per person to have an over abundance of kid food. I felt that the balconies, cabins, ship windows included were poorly maintained and manned. I felt like my money was not well spent. Finally, I repeated the above in the after cruise survey ironically suddenly my comments wouldn't save... it felt like a very unsophisticated operation 2 thumbs down for the Norwegian Gem Read Less
Sail Date July 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 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.8

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