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

#1 The pool was way too small and extremely dirty for the number of people the boat held. I found cups and tissue in the water. #2 There was no staff ensuring kids stood in kid’s pool and only adults were in adult pool. #3 Not ... Read More
#1 The pool was way too small and extremely dirty for the number of people the boat held. I found cups and tissue in the water. #2 There was no staff ensuring kids stood in kid’s pool and only adults were in adult pool. #3 Not enough chairs/tables near pool area, if you didn’t get there by 8am you were not getting a chair near the pool you’d have to sit on second level which is very inconvenient. #4 Not enough staff serving drinks in pool area, casino and bingo games. #5 I had my room person cleaned every other day, I guess person responsible for cleaning my room didn't like this because he told me I must let him clean my room day before we docked because he needed to get it ready for next guest ... REALLY?!?!? #6 I was travelling with a party of 35 ppl, some of us received our excursion tickets some of us didn't, some of us received cute towel animals some of us didn't, some of us received complimentary chocolate, some of us didn't, there was no consistency in service #5 if I paid for the all you can drink package why are you charging me for the mini bar? #6 if you're going to play family movies in the atrium make the area more family friendly #7 the air conditioner in my room was horrible. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
What a great way to spend the 4th of July!!! Made amazing memories with my Mother that will last a lifetime. Everyone is friendly and willing to share a hello and laugh with you!! We were so impressed with how clean and sanitized ... Read More
What a great way to spend the 4th of July!!! Made amazing memories with my Mother that will last a lifetime. Everyone is friendly and willing to share a hello and laugh with you!! We were so impressed with how clean and sanitized everything is!! “ Washy washy makes me happy!” Morning coffee on the balcony as well as our special dinner nights will definitely be talked about for years to come! The ship does get a little crowded on sea days, but just another way to make new friends! At night, we saw some unbelievable Broadway like performances at The Stardust Theatre. We also visited the private island, that didn’t disappoint swimming in the beautiful turquoise water was a dream come true! We are already talking about our next cruise adventure! And definitely will be sailing with Norwegian again! Thanks so much for a wondering and memorable experience! Thank you!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We picked this cruise for the dates and the drink package. But never again. Not only did some of the shows suck the prices were horrible. Disorganized and to top it off my aunt got the carribean flu from being on this cruise. The only ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the dates and the drink package. But never again. Not only did some of the shows suck the prices were horrible. Disorganized and to top it off my aunt got the carribean flu from being on this cruise. The only saving grace is that a good portion of the staff were nice. But still i doubt i will ever take this cruiseline again unless i get an amazing deal that i will ever consider it and even then i might not. My family had the room next to us. They had the same room as me and it was tight for two people and they expected 3 people to stay in that room. Nope they had to change rooms my grandmother is disabled and they couldn't stay with them. The food selection was blah. On all the cruises ive been on this is the worst menues i have to deal with. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because it set sail and returned to New York. I cannot say enough about the service and the cuisine provided by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Every employee we encountered had beaming, smiling faces at all time. The food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it set sail and returned to New York. I cannot say enough about the service and the cuisine provided by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Every employee we encountered had beaming, smiling faces at all time. The food was magnificent! The entertainment was also wonderful! The shows were filled with marvelously talented young people with magnificent voices and choreography. The lounge entertainment was also fantastic from pianist Ariel, vocalist Tsurita and the amazing band 876 had everyone dancing. The only criticism I had was that we took a shuttle to Disneyworld. It has been six years since we were last there. They have changed Fast Pass and we subsequently found out you need to process this several weeks or months in advance. Our party of four were unable to go on any major rides. It was a an extremely hot and miserable time. Although this was not the fault of NCL, it would be a great idea if this factor was made known in the excursion selection area. Fortunately, we had no children in our party but I can imagine the disappointment if we did. NCL may want to include this factor in the section for the shuttle. Bravo to your disembarkment procedure! It was extremely well organized and we were off the boat so quickly that I was amazed. Great job NCL! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
we wanted To totally be able to relax,without warring about driving looking for were to eat ,babysitting& so on we got just that.Everything went very smooth the excursions were very organized and the employees were very professional. ... Read More
we wanted To totally be able to relax,without warring about driving looking for were to eat ,babysitting& so on we got just that.Everything went very smooth the excursions were very organized and the employees were very professional. Cabin was clean the entertainment was great/.service was supreme.Ship was kept clean at all times. My son who is 10 love it he also like the shows. he wants to do it again.the trip was from ,June 30 to July 7 2018 we love it,Disembarkation went smooth we loved Florida and the Blue Lagoon and Stir Up Cay.The activity for the children were great, the variety of food was very good,he had ice cream every day was it good my son loved it. he told his friend hes vacation was great.We loved it also my husband just loved the panorama and just been @sea.i just loved been able to relax and read and play . Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My party was 7 people, I booked 2 state rooms with balconies, we were part of a Family Wedding over 50 people booked, 19 cabins including suites, most on 9th and 10th deck, some lower decks as well. Cabins very small, states two queen or ... Read More
My party was 7 people, I booked 2 state rooms with balconies, we were part of a Family Wedding over 50 people booked, 19 cabins including suites, most on 9th and 10th deck, some lower decks as well. Cabins very small, states two queen or two full beds, its one queen and a pull out couch with a hard partially foam mattress. Had to ask for more comforters to add support for both rooms. Service was awful, our rooms were rarely made up before dinner still dirty all day. Dirty glasses were always left in our rooms. as we walked around the ship we kicked garbage as we walked, like empty cups in open deck areas, Lounge chairs all around ship where stacked and locked by 6/7 pm every day. We couldn't go to the pool to enjoy a night swim, or sit in the hot tub and relax, as they where closed by 10p. Not one staff member could answer your questions, they just simply replied "I don't Know". When you call guest services to add a soda package they advise you that all you need to do is go to any bar on the ship and they can add that for you. It took 2 days and 7 bartenders before i lost it and finally they added it. Like WtH? Was also told could add water package at any bar and that too was turning in to a production, Until I said no no no, I want your manager please. then what do you know, no manager needed a little bit of mumbling with another behind the bar in a foreign language and 30 minutes later water was delivered to our room and we tipped him too! The food was not very good, there was not many choices at the buffet, same food everyday, going to the restaurants the service was awful. One restaurant was 24/7 and they were the best food on the ship. other then that food and service terrible, felt very unorganized while we were going on excursions and ports , very rushed not enough time for what the charge is on the islands. Staff was eh, there was a handful of amazing staff and they know who they are. Our Family is already planning another Cruise. One thing we know for sure is it will NOT be with NORWEGIAN NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
NYC 7 days cruise out of NYC. We take a car service so getting to the port was a non-issue. We did have to wait about 45 minutes for wheelchair service. That seemed a bit long. But it was necessary, so we waited. We where supposed ... Read More
NYC 7 days cruise out of NYC. We take a car service so getting to the port was a non-issue. We did have to wait about 45 minutes for wheelchair service. That seemed a bit long. But it was necessary, so we waited. We where supposed to set sail at 3pm, but I would say we didn't leave until much closer to 5pm. I am unsure why there was a delay. There were 8 of us that traveled across 3 balcony state rooms. Ages 5-75. Four people (2 adults and 2 kids) in one balcony room was "cozy". I would not recommend it. Our stateroom was always made up and clean, but we never did meet our attendant. But no complaints. As the job was always done, and we didn't really need to talk with them. Specialties restaurants were good. I liked Moderno. And I enjoyed their salad bar. Lots of options, including soup and hearts of palm (my fav). We went to Disney- as reported, very limited time, but for a "taste" of the Magic Kingdom it was OK. The large cabana rental on the private island was the highlight. Well worth it. Tendering was fine, and we left the island a bit early as to not have to wait in long lines. We never did wait online for dinner, but I did book reservations in advance. We traveled at the height of capacity over the 4th of July week, so everything was very busy - but we didn't wait. There was a sign at the front desk that NO CABINS were available, so don't try to switch rooms. Overall Gem was a B+ to an A. Staff always welcoming and pleasant, and food was good. I am unsure why people complain about the food. It was always tasty to me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Bad food, horable services, the destination in Florida with loud oil drilling equipment all day, made it impossible to relax on the ship. Crowded masses of loud, drunken smoking people and unruly running screaming kids. The bar tenders ... Read More
Bad food, horable services, the destination in Florida with loud oil drilling equipment all day, made it impossible to relax on the ship. Crowded masses of loud, drunken smoking people and unruly running screaming kids. The bar tenders were awful, rude and unknowlagable with a couple of exceptions. I asked for a glass of merlot the bartender had no idea what that was? Wait staff was incompetent, stay away from cagneys the food was covered in salt and under done it made me sick. The staff is incompetent, no one knows what is going on ask multiple people and received conflicting information. I was almost impossible to get definitive information from anyone. It was also horribly understaffed. There was no standard dress code, with alot of people in pajamas or swim suits at dinner. The pool was a mass of humanity, they saved spots by the pool with towels and would expect to keep it all day, the same for the seat yourself restraunts and actual fights broke out because of this. A couple of very good things, Ariel the pianist was awesome the O'sheans bar was very good and our cabin steward Michael was great. Spent the extra for the spa, well worth it although there was some people who leaked in and talked loudly, in the spa. Our suit was very nice roomy and clean but they need to put tables on the balcony, so we could enjoy a quiet meal on the water. Avoid Stuart Cove excursions (especially when diving) in Nassau, they packed us in a beat up dirty bus that made multiple stops packing more people from the hotel. I had a leg cramp by the time I got there after it took us an hour to get to the dive shop. The people who work there process you like cattle it is purely a money operation, no beverage the equipment was junk, another diver in our group had his mask rip while diving. The boat we went out on was a piece of junk and the unfriendly staff took up the only shaded areas. No conversation from staff who pritymuch ignored us. The ride to the dive site was vey rocky and windy the weather was bad and the dive should have been canceled, I'm sure it wasn't because of the loss they would have had to take. The dive I did not feel was a good idea so i did not do it. And I'm glad I didn't, it was very dangerous gettin back in the boat. This was unlike any other dive i have done it was dangerous with the. This will forever be know to me as my Wal-Mart vacation. I will never cruise with NCL again and would not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
So within the first day, we got into our room & were ready to start our vacation, we swiped in it was fine. However, after leaving to explore the ship we returned and could not get into the room with our cards. We went down to Guest ... Read More
So within the first day, we got into our room & were ready to start our vacation, we swiped in it was fine. However, after leaving to explore the ship we returned and could not get into the room with our cards. We went down to Guest Services who promised it to be fixed. However after over an hour it had become a fight between the carpenter, security, and guest services who was in charge of fixing our door. In the same trip to guest services I purchased a caps & corks package for my daughter and a soda package. However, every single day I was charged for the beers my daughter was drinking out with friends the night before. The guest services would fight with me but eventually took the overcharges off. At one point, they called our room to tell us to come down and receive a complementary towel for our troubles. We went down to where there was no towel and received an attitude that they never called in the first place. Our cabin steward was amazing, however most staff was just pure mediocre. Overall dining and alcoholic beverages both could be described as hit or miss depending on where and when and made by who. There wasn't a ton to do, especially considering most bars closed early and there was little to nothing for my son who was just below drinking and clubbing age. Port Canaveral was okay, we went to Cocoa Beach. Great Stirrup Cay was the best of the three as we had a cabana but the taxes put on by the ship are insane. My daughter greatly enjoyed snorkeling there as well. Nassau was very overly hyped and seemed quite dangerous in some areas on our bus tour, falsely advertised as beautiful. Days at sea were quite boring and we wanted off the boat as soon as possible. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My fiance and I chose Norwegian because of the convenience of the NYC port. It was his first cruise, my 3rd cruise but 1st with Norwegian. Pretty confident that we have found our sole cruise line! The Gem provided us with the small ship ... Read More
My fiance and I chose Norwegian because of the convenience of the NYC port. It was his first cruise, my 3rd cruise but 1st with Norwegian. Pretty confident that we have found our sole cruise line! The Gem provided us with the small ship experience but big ship excitement. We had plenty to do each day, whether it was relax at the spa or attend a show. Recommendations: - I highly recommend getting a thermal spa pass for the week if you like to have a quiet spot to read a book, relax, and really enjoy a hot tub without kids jumping in and out (we actually didn't spend any time at the pool). Dining: - Definitely preferred Grand Pacific over Magenta for general (and included) dining. The Grand Pacific offered more space with an open and airy feel and great views all around. We had minimal wait time and always got a window seat! Magenta was not a poor experience in any way, just a little more closed in feeling. - Le Bistro was our only "specialty" dining experience but when we cruise again we will definitely try some of the others as our experience here was stellar. We had an 8:30 reservation and enjoyed the place almost to ourselves! From service to food & ambiance, we loved it. (This meal was included for us with the "romance package") -Orchid Garden wasn't up to par with the rest of our dining experiences. Not bad for the quick bite we needed, but not as good as the main dining rooms. Entertainment: - The magician was fun and family friendly, we both enjoyed his performance. - Comedian wasn't belly laugh funny, but fun enough for us. - We actually didn't make it to the shows so can't speak to those. - LOVED the live music bands, singers, and groups that performed in places like Magnums or Spinnaker Lounge. Great to pass the time with a drink and mixed nuts. Highly enjoyable. Ports: Great Stirrup Cay: - Great beach day. Plenty of seating and more loungers if you walk a little further than the rest of the crowd as most plop down at the first chair they see and run for the water (don't blame them). - We did the "Snorkeling & Sand Bar" excursion offered through NCL. For what we paid, it was great. Did some snorkeling around a large rock/reef where the guides fed the fish and dove down to show us starfish. If you are an avid snorkeler, I don't recommend it as it is a very introductory, short experience with minimal to see. However, as newbies to the game, we very much enjoyed it! Enough to see and and easy swim. The "sand bar" portion was also great, the hosts gave us one complimentary rum punch (the rest you're on your own for) and we sat in floating chairs on the sand bar and listened to music. GREAT. Nassau: - Our parasailing was cancelled due to weather so we hit Junakoo beach instead. Rocky & small, yes, but a flawless beach day with gorgeous warm water and a view. Kind locals offered us loungers and an umbrella for $30 for the entire day and it was well worth it. There is a tiki bar right on the beach for a coconut or a quick bite. We didn't eat here though, just got some drinks. - We stopped at Senor Frogs, sat down...and stood right back up and left. The tourist stop was just that, a tourist stop. Instead we hit a local spot STEPS away called Conch & Kalik. Highly recommend. FRESH FRESH FRESH food and super kind owners/staff. Highlight of the trip was this meal and our experience with Tony (?) who called us in from the streets yelling "ARE YOU HUNGRY!?" Great guy. We will definitely sail Norwegian again as the freestyle dining and over all experience is amazing and fitting for us. Perhaps will try a larger ship next, but would HAPPILY return to the Gem. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been on a NCL in the past. That cruise was to Bermuda out of Boston, MA. This cruise was to the Bahamas out of NY. The cabin accommodations were the best part of the cruise. We had horrible ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on a NCL in the past. That cruise was to Bermuda out of Boston, MA. This cruise was to the Bahamas out of NY. The cabin accommodations were the best part of the cruise. We had horrible experience in the dining room and speciality restaurants. To summarize: 4 dinners at speciality restaurants, 3 dinners in the dining room. All breakfast in the dining room. Dining room staff could not get orders right. Something was always missing or incorrect. On one occasion, they got 4 out of 4 orders wrong. We had three experiences with food safety issues: paper in scrambled eggs(dining room), plastic in sauted zucchini(speciality restaurant) and a dead fly in a salad (onboard pub). One of our party got undercooked pasta. The order was remade and brought out to the table almost 30 minutes later. By this time the rest of our party had all finished their meals. To add insult to injury, the dining room mgr felt the need to bring the chef to the table to discuss the incident. At this point the chef argued with our friend in the middle of the dining room. I'm sorry, but that should NEVER happen. We spent a day on NCL private island. One of the girls in our party was charged $40 for a single braid! Other girls in the group were charge $35 for multiple corn rows. When her mother confronted the vendor and wanted to discuss the issue, the vendor dismissed her stating all sales final. Beware of the scammers on NCL's private island!! They are there at the invitation/permission of NCL... optics not good for NCL. NCL offers onboard wifi for $9.99 per device. At least 7 in our group purchased this service. It was horrible. Constantly losing connection, texts getting delivered hours (sometimes the next day) after being sent. After 4 days of this, I spoke w/ someone in guest services. They refunded our money. Nice gesture... but fix the wifi! How difficult is this??? This is the primary means for people to communicate w/ one and other. Here's and idea: if you're providing such poor service, don't charge for it... then no one can complain. I walked away with the impression that after all the money we paid for the cruise, and the $1000 charge for the cabin upgrade, NCL nickeled and dimed us all week. At this point, I would not take another cruise with NCL. The are too many other options out there. In the spirit of full disclosure, NCL did comp us in one of the speciality restaurants the last night of the cruise (4 adults, food only). Nice gesture... but falls far short for making up for our very poor experience. I took the NCL survey. Let's see if NCL is truly committed to customer service. Let's see if they contact us to get the details on our experience... the clock is ticking... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chose the cruise based on location and dates. We live in CT and leaving from NYC meant we wouldn't have to get on a plane. Overall not great, but not bad. Food at the buffet was never hot. Staff is often difficult to understand. ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on location and dates. We live in CT and leaving from NYC meant we wouldn't have to get on a plane. Overall not great, but not bad. Food at the buffet was never hot. Staff is often difficult to understand. Rooms were nice and staff cleaning was very good. Not enough variety of games/activities for being at sea 4 days. People would clip towels to chairs by the pool and not come back for several hours. Just plain rude and nothing was ever done about it. Ship is clean, but older. We were docked next to another cruise in Bahamas and you could see a huge TV screen by the pool, but not ours. Got the soda package and there was no easy means to get soda without going to the bar. For some reason, I thought it would have been self serve, but that would have been too easy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had a great time on the Gem, with mostly all positives. Embarkation was quick and easy - arrived and parked at 10:00, was sitting in the waiting area by 10:30 and walking onto ship a little after 11. Went right to ... Read More
We had a great time on the Gem, with mostly all positives. Embarkation was quick and easy - arrived and parked at 10:00, was sitting in the waiting area by 10:30 and walking onto ship a little after 11. Went right to O'Sheehan's for lunch and by the time we were finished our cabins were ready. We had balcony rooms (2 adjoining) on the 11th deck and they were clean and plenty big enough. we had been concerned about noise from the garden cafe which was right above us (on the Dawn we heard the scraping of chairs all day), but we never heard a noise - day or night. Getting off the ship was just as easy - our tag was called at 9:15, walked right off, found our luggage, and by 9:35 we were in the car getting ready to leave!! We had the package for 3 specialty restaurants and went to Cagney's, La Cucina and Cagney's again. Cagney's was good both nights, but our group (6 of us) enjoyed La Cucina more - delicious calimari and entrees. Our only complaint was the length of time it took - be prepared to spend 2 plus hours, although we were asked all three nights if we were going to a show and if we had said yes I'm sure service would have been a little faster. The rest of the time we ate in either the Grand Pacific or Magenta and never had to wait. We tended to go on the earlier side (5:30-6:00) and walked right in. We ate all breakfasts in the Great Outdoors and never had a problem getting a table. Much less crowded and less hectic than the cafe. Entertainment was good and we went to all shows except for the comedian (heard some of his show the first night and didn't think he was particularly funny), and most nights there were plenty of seats available right up until about 5 minutes before the start. Casino was smoky and difficult to get around with a wheelchair and slot machines didn't pay out very much , at least for our group. We found all the Norwegian employees to be friendly and helpful. We had a great steward BJ, who took care of everything we asked, except for opening the balcony divider between our cabins. Last year on the Dawn they did this for our 3 cabins, but we were told this year it was against regulations and would have to check with his supervisor. It was never opened. We had a couple of issues with the cabin (light over bed had broken switch, balcony door didn't always lock, door lock needed new battery), but they were fixed quickly. We had the UBP and never really had a problem getting drinks, even at the pool, thanks to Percio. He was quick serving drinks and very friendly and pleasant. The only issue we really had was with the Cruise Director's staff and activities. At least 3 -4 times activities started late because the cruise staff were not there. One night the Atrium was filled with kids and adults waiting for Disney trivia to start at 5:00. Staff showed up 5 minutes late and then had to set up equipment - didn't start till 5:15. This was repeated at several other activities - people were there but they weren't. Most of them were pleasant enough, but didn't seem to really be enjoying their job. We did not get off the ship in Port Canaveral so cannot comment on that stop, and 4 out of the 6 of us went to Great Stirrup Cay (gangway not wheelchair accessible so 2 had to stay back on ship). Liked the snorkeling and swimming, said beach was ok. Nassau we just walked around the downtown. All in all we had a great time on the Gem and would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
it's your run of the mill "average" small to mid sized cruise ship. 2 tiny pools, 2 hot tubs, one small deck and a little casino. And for some reason, the pool bars close at 7pm most nights. I'm not sure what ... Read More
it's your run of the mill "average" small to mid sized cruise ship. 2 tiny pools, 2 hot tubs, one small deck and a little casino. And for some reason, the pool bars close at 7pm most nights. I'm not sure what that's about, as everyone wants to be up on the deck at night having fun. No movie screen out there either , kinda boring. The one lounge everyone goes to has a couple of nice bartenders and one MEAN RUDE female russian bartender. It's not a terrible ship, but it's not one i could see anyone booking for a second trip. You can explore the whole ship in an hour or so. Like any cruise ship, some workers were great, some seemed completely clueless and weren't helpful. getting ice in the room at night seemed to be an issue for everyone. Dining was average, entertainment was average, second year in a row we couldn’t stop at the private island because there was a wave in the ocean (seemed fine), didn’t explore the port city because NYC is nothing but cabbies and scammers. Probably won’t cruise NCL or NY port again. P.S. NY PORT is nothing but rude workers that don't seem to know anything about anything. I'll stick to Cape Liberty from now on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We do enjoy NCL cruises (2-3/yr), yet there are always ways to improve service and value for our dollars. Here are my suggestions The ship is clean, altho the layout is one of those confusing ones - 6th deck dining rooms require a ... Read More
We do enjoy NCL cruises (2-3/yr), yet there are always ways to improve service and value for our dollars. Here are my suggestions The ship is clean, altho the layout is one of those confusing ones - 6th deck dining rooms require a map to find them- and it's a different route for each. Entertainment was basic and good. Activities were abundant, and Ferdie Cruise Dir is very engaging and funny. Yet it is difficult to understand some staff accents. Embarkation process was really messy. They delayed the times so the dock was packed with passengers. Altho we had an express Platinum line, the Man working it was clueless - he took a full 15-minutes with one group which he escorted to another line leaving Platinums in line waiting for another 5 minutes. Staffing was NOT up to par. The food was really good at virtually all locations, but the Chef does put Bell Peppers in too many dishes..almost most casseroles, starches and all salads, ....peppers in tuna salad? Orzo salad? Potato salad??? There is another thing NCL has been doing for a year or two at the breakfast buffet that is how they pull back. I cherish my morning lox/salmon with all the fixings. But last year, they put out all the fixings, but no salmon. A guest told me they keep it under the buffet counter and 'you have to ask for it'. So I've been asking, and feeling like Dicken's Oliver Twist... "Please Sir, may I have some more?" But a new twist this cruise, I was told by a few staffers that you can only have salmon in the dining room. I asked ' why then do you put out all the fixings for it?' I persisted and a supervisor Rochelle understood that this was my one trip treat every morning, and the confusion of offering all the trimmings, but no salmon. She agreed to have a small helping for me. She did (THANK YOU!), altho it arrived after I finished breakfast a couple times. Minor point, but a big point of contention for this Platinum member. So I shared my thoughts with the head Chef on the Gem. I am guessing that morning breakfast will exclude salmon again, and likely now, all the fixings as well... capers, tomato, creamcheese, lemon, onion, etc, I'll find out in August on the Dawn. We can't help but notice that over the last 5+ yeas, NCL has been pulling back on the value you get for your dollar - increased gratuities (remember, they ARE optional), going to 'A la Carte' pricing for some restaurants and adding price tags to certain dishes no matter where you eat.. the list goes on. While we get less or it costs us more, NCL profits are rising and they are investing in ports they can control like their new Harvest Caye, altho that is a wonderful private island with many options for guests. costly, but the beach chairs and swimming are free...still. Overall, we're ...ok... with NCL. Just wish they wouldn't continue to nickel and dime their passengers, particularly those of us that have shown so much loyalty over the years. Paul & Lorraine, Platinum Latitude Members. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
They cancelled great stirrup cat and we went to nassau that night. This is a smaller ship so if you’ve been on a cruise before I wouldn’t recommend the gem. The staff on this ship don’t have good customer service either. They will ... Read More
They cancelled great stirrup cat and we went to nassau that night. This is a smaller ship so if you’ve been on a cruise before I wouldn’t recommend the gem. The staff on this ship don’t have good customer service either. They will walk right past you and not even say hello. I also spoke to the cruise director ferdy and he walked right past me. We literally had 5 sea days and to be stuck on a ship with staff that has bad customer service really sucks. Also the dj remy is horrible! It seems like when he sees people out on the dance floor he changes the music to something that no one wants to hear. He has no sense of direction with the music he plays. Of course there were people that stood out and made this more of a enjoyable experience like Bryan the Indian guy who always checked on us and Marlo Brandon our chambermaid was excellent. Also, My cousin and I were celebrating our birthdays on this cruise and she got a gift and I did not. All in all I would never take this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise and my last. First the positive- The food in the buffet was awesome and there was always plenty. The steward for our room was AMAZING . The cruise director was AMAZING . The negative- rude staff, there was an ... Read More
This was my first cruise and my last. First the positive- The food in the buffet was awesome and there was always plenty. The steward for our room was AMAZING . The cruise director was AMAZING . The negative- rude staff, there was an additional charge for 99% of the stuff to do on the ship. No room at the pool. Unsupervised children. Doors being slammed at all hours. So many drunk people. So much cigarette smoke everywhere. NOT enough free activities to keep a person entertained for 7 days. The first port there was nothing to do. Didn't stop at the second port because of bad tides. Third port was good for the most part. Not enough souvenirs without the cruise name all over them. The cost of drinks was ridiculous. And did I mention the extremely rude staff? And once again the extremely rude staff EVERYWHERE. Personally I wouldn't waste your money or precious vacation days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Food was exceptional although it bothers me that Lobster is not offered in Cagney’s or Teppanyyi. The boarding process and crowds was horrible. The finance department and the customer service desk don’t communicate well. I was held up ... Read More
Food was exceptional although it bothers me that Lobster is not offered in Cagney’s or Teppanyyi. The boarding process and crowds was horrible. The finance department and the customer service desk don’t communicate well. I was held up at disembarkment due to a bill that I had already settled. The Getaway, Breakaway and escape we’re all more organized. I had lots of fun the comedian was phenomenal and the musicians outstanding. With although this said I would still highly recommend NCL. I have been on 8 cruises with NCL and comparing them to my experiences with Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise line I would rate NCL as # 1. Great fun, food and entertainment has been my experience on every NCL Cruise experience. My state room attendant was excellent also and very accommodating. My experience with the entertainment has also outstanding. The bands played excellent at the pool and throughout the ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I went on this cruise to relax and thats what I did. The service was geat and so was the food . The olny bad thing was when going through the embarkation we had about a 2 hour wair a d when we finally got on the ship we had to go right ... Read More
I went on this cruise to relax and thats what I did. The service was geat and so was the food . The olny bad thing was when going through the embarkation we had about a 2 hour wair a d when we finally got on the ship we had to go right to the mustet drill and then wait another hour I’m diabetic and had no lunch and was not very happy about it. After tge drill it was a mass exit to the buffet where peple just ran up to get food. After that was all said and done we where a le yo start enjoying our cruise. We missed the private island becouse if the Rip current so we just went right to the Bahamas. The food was great in the dinning room and the Specialty restaurants. I’m already looking into booking my nexy cruise with Ncl . Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Worst Vacation EVER. Drink package, Premiere dinning package, but yet everywhere we went or most of what we wanted there was an up-charge. Two pools that we couldn't get anywhere near. One was for kids and the other was adults. ... Read More
Worst Vacation EVER. Drink package, Premiere dinning package, but yet everywhere we went or most of what we wanted there was an up-charge. Two pools that we couldn't get anywhere near. One was for kids and the other was adults. The cruise was very geared to children. There was no area that children were not allowed. And Water even with the drink package I had to pay for bottled water or get it through the tap. The fees for everything was crazy. The only place that we went to that the staff and service was perfect, was the Martini Bar. They were kind, and attentive every time time that we were there. And whenever they saw us on the ship, they always went out of there way to say hello to my husband and myself. When we have to ask " Are we allowed to eat her?, or am I allowed to order this?", then this was not a good vacation, especially after purchasing the drink and food package. And every time I went to the courtesy desk to speak with someone in regards to my excursion that we booked for Nassau, they pushed me over to the excursion desk whom 4 times where not there to help. So at this point I am still trying to speak with someone as to why I paid $178 for an excursion when everything we did over at Atlantis was free. Will never cruise with Norwegian again It was the worst vacation ever. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My man and I have been talking for a few years about taking a cruise, so we finally starting looking into different cruise lines. I finally found Norwegian and got a good deal, so we booked it. It was a good time overall, the staff was ... Read More
My man and I have been talking for a few years about taking a cruise, so we finally starting looking into different cruise lines. I finally found Norwegian and got a good deal, so we booked it. It was a good time overall, the staff was amazing and provided great service to make sure we had an amazing vacation. We had the speciality dining package and enjoyed the restruants that were offered, they gave us some romantic and delicous dinner options. There were a good variety of activities offered everyday, that made our vacation even more enjoyable. We didn't get to stop at all of the ports we were supposed too due to weather, but the ports we did stop at were amazing and we had a great time exploring them. The one thing we felt needed some improvement was the night activities, they had a dj who played the same music every night and it got boring since we knew what he would play next. For our first cruise we had an amazing time and we can't wait to start planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Let me start by saying...this will be a long review. This has got to be our 7th or 8th cruise with Norwegian. We have been on Royal, Holland, Princess, Carnival (for a total of about 15/16 cruises). We started with Norwegian so long ... Read More
Let me start by saying...this will be a long review. This has got to be our 7th or 8th cruise with Norwegian. We have been on Royal, Holland, Princess, Carnival (for a total of about 15/16 cruises). We started with Norwegian so long ago that we use to receive the envelopes at the end of the cruise to pay who WE thought were giving us exceptional service...now, cruise ships are dictating that we pay a daily gratuity (in this case it was $14.50 per day for 4 people, which totaled $406 dollars for the week)...on top of the thousands of dollars you have paid just to get on the ship...let's think about this for a moment, you pretty much have an 'alliance' - for lack of a better word, with your cabin steward. Unless you request the same table, in the same restaurant, every morning, afternoon and evening, you WILL NOT get the same person waiting on you, which means you are dealing with quite a few personalities. The bartenders are automatically tipped and now the beverage prices are so far off the chain ($8.10 for a beer, in some cases it was $8.57, this includes tax and gratuity). Soooo, we had 4 in our party (they had the 3rd and 4th passenger FREE option) so we bought two of our younger children. The cabin was obviously small (we got an Inside. Since we have cruised so many times before (we learned after the fact on this cruise that a few things had changed). Upon entering our cabin, they had not allocated the room to accommodate 4 people...one large bed was setup...we also had not yet received our 'free bottle of wine'...in the past, these things were already done upon arrival...in any case, my husband and i were heading out of our cabin to head up to the deck, we happen to see a cabin steward walking towards us so we asked do you know who will be having our cabin, to which she replied, me...my husband said, the bed hasn't been adjusted...she stated, in frankly a disposition I felt was 'icy' - it will be done between 6p and 9p...I said oh, also we didn't have the bottle of wine and she repeated the same thing...no, HI, I'm going to be your steward, my name is...welcome on board, not so much as a smile...now I'm salty because i felt like we were 'bothering her' and if we just let her do what she has to do, we'll be done (between 6p and 9p)...let me state, in the 15 or 16 cruises we have been on, I've never had that 'disposition' from someone (and to me, here in lies the problem with this damn - PRE-PAID gratuity nonsense. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET THAT STELLAR STATE OF THE ART SERVICE BECAUSE WE ARE PRE-PAYING FOR IT...as they say when people live together and are not married...why pay for the milk when i already have the cow? Why on earth should we pre-pay for services not yet rendered when we don't know what the service will entail. So, fast forward, we go out, come back later and sure nuff...room has been setup, wine is there...next day...we see her again (still don't know her name), and my husband asks her for a corkscrew...reply, call room service...some will say, what's the problem with that, really, there is no problem...it was the TONE and DISPOSITION...so, I'm really starting to feel some kinda way about her and don't really want her in my space. I'm on vacation...we pay goo gabs of money to HAVE A GOOD TIME, not feel like we are intruding on THEIR time...so now, we all leave the room, put (MAKE UP ROOM) on the outside, return mid-afternoon...room not done...hubby and i start to have a few words about it...he wants me to be patient, i'm feeling snubbed...so as he and i are having this not so quiet discussion, I open the door and she is literally across the hall at the other room, door open and has the audacity to say IS THERE A PROBLEM? LOL, I SNAPPED! Are you freaking kidding me, how is that YOUR place? Who are you to listen in on our conversation...OMG, I was not happy..I PUT THE DO NOT DISTURB sign on our room because I DID NOT WANT HER IN OUR SPACE...my husband is trying to calm me down, I leave, go around to the elevator, only to come back and find her telling my husband (I've never had a problem with anyone before), as though I WAS A PROBLEM, I stated the same thing, in all my cruises, I have never had anyone like you before...so we even. Again, I leave and go to the elevator, my husband and son meet up with me there to calm me down...my daughter (19), remains in cabin. I return later in the evening and my daughter tells me that the steward enters the room and proceeds to have a 5 minute conversation with my daughter on how (I AM WRONG), how she is going to REPORT ME etc., etc....so much so that my daughter has to say to her (you are talking about my mom). First of all...had this been a male steward, entering our cabin with my nineteen year old daughter in there (door closed), it would have been unacceptable. What on earth made her think she could enter my cabin, door closed, and bash me in front of my child? AND REPORT ME FOR WHAT - HER MINDING MY BUSINESS? Soooooo, I leave back out later in the evening, and as I return later, the manager yells down the hallway, good evening, how are you, I said i'm fine and you? And I proceed to open my door at which point he is at my door and asks if he could speak to me, i said yes. He obviously wants to know what happened from my point of view, and frankly, I was on vacation to enjoy myself and did not want to have a conversation at that time. In my mind were two things...one, she's not cleaning my cabin and two, money talks, so at the end of the cruise, I will get reimbursed my gratuity...I can show you better than I can tell you...hence, the title of my review, which many people clearly do not know, if service is not up to par...get your gratuity back...all or a portion of it. These cruise ships make so much money, week after week after week, there is no reason we are paying thousands of dollars to get on these ships and pay the people who are cleaning our rooms. It's like going to a hotel and paying for the room, and then paying the people who come by to clean the room. Everything is overpriced to the 11th power. I'm sorry, I'm on vacation, if my service is not STELLAR/STATE OF THE ART...it's a WRAP! Soooooo, I told him i don't want my room cleaned, we just need towels, toilet paper and soap...he states, we have to have the room cleaned and that he would swap her with another steward...I said fine! So, of course i see her every day, several times a day, and she goes out of her way to speak to my husband and son...as though I care, my secret (weapon) is getting refund of my gratuity at the end of the cruise...I am not going to go back and forth with her, its not what I'm there for. Obviously, the Norwegian Gem is a dated ship, no frills such as outdoor movie theater, racing cars, laser tag etc...very basic same old same old stuff...i did this cruise for two reasons, leaving out of New York (no airfare required) and 3rd and 4th passenger was 'free' - haha. Shore Excursions: WE DID NOT, I REPEAT, DID NOT, go to Great Stirrup Cay, we pulled up, an announcement was made that the tenders could not bring us to/from shore due to the waves and we left and headed directly for Nassau...so in 7 days, we did 2 stops, Port Canaveral and Nassau...they thought for everyone's inconveience they provided a $31.50 credit (hummm...minus the $14.50 gratuity), $17 bucks net. THANKS! We get to Nassau in the evening, we don't get off the ship...we wait until the next day and on our own look for a location where we can jetski/wave runners...this was what we signed up to do at Great Stirrup and it wasn't offered as a Shore Excursion in Nassau. With us not getting off in GSC, it gave the ship an opportunity to make more 'goo gabs' of money...people drank, hung out by the pool, shopped, gambled...the cruise ship made out just fine for (our inconvenience). Entertainment: nothing, absolutely nothing to rave about...we did enjoy Show Out Tonight Dining: it was so hit and miss it wasn't even funny...I still hear, happy happy, spray spray, smile all the time, in my head :-)...my daughter took a liking to O'Sheehan's, they have wings and nachos...bar and grill type of place and ultimately our Vacation Hero was a waiter who was in that bar...he was just NICE. When dining at other locations, I don't know, it was just one of those, whatever side of the bed they rolled out, was what you were going to get. I have to go back to the pre-paid gratuity, clearly this gives me heartburn...back in the day when they did envelopes, apparently, people weren't leaving anything or enough to compensate the workers...I suppose they felt that what they paid for a week's cruise should compensate the workers as well...i frankly feel the same way...now that being said, if you had someone who went above and beyond, then tip them accordingly, but this pre-pay has the workers acting any kind of way and that is UNACCEPTABLE. NOTE: from what I saw, there were quite a few people at that desk requesting their gratuity back by the end of the trip...I believe most were upset about missing that 2nd stop...i say this to say,they may want to re-think this pre-paid gratuity nonsense, it will put these workers back on their toes and give good customer service TO EVERYONE, EVERYTIME...I am certainly not asking for much, don't need anyone to go out of their way for us, but, I am a customer service FANATIC and politeness MEANS THE WORLD TO ME...you will be rewarded for good customer service...period...I was more than prepared to leave something extra because there were 4 of us in the room...but I don't pay anyone to mistreat me both in words and action. Lastly, disembark: OK, so cruise lines are now letting passengers take their luggage off themselves and leave pretty much as soon as they dock....WHAT A NIGHTMARE. I'm not kidding, by 7:30am, there had to be almost 1500 people waiting in line to get off the ship...it was so bottlenecked...people couldn't even get off the elevator...elderly standing, children, babies...they have got to figure out a way to combat this process...very cumbersome...perhaps they can do this but streamline it, for instance: Take the highest deck and give them a 15 minute window, have staff stand at the elevator entry, make an announcement that Deck 13 can take their luggage and head downstairs, after they get downstairs, have the same crew go to Deck 12, Deck 11, Deck 10 and so on until there is a nice flow of people exiting with out the headache. This process can start at 7:30a/7:45a (depending on when ship docks) and be done by the time the people with luggage tags are ready to exit...if for some reason, the folks on Deck 13 who are taking off their luggage themselves are not ready to disembark when their deck is called, they default to the end of the line so to speak. In any case, I'm done...oh yea...the cabin manager, I caught up with him by chance the night before we were scheduled to depart and i told him that i didn't want to talk about the incident because i didn't want to ruin my vacation, i told him what happened and he was going to reach out to me before I left to discuss further...if I heard from him, so did you...haha. In summary, I like NCL...we have used them as our cruise ship more than any of the others...however, they have some stiff competition...Royal has the Symphony of the Seas, which NCL is competing with their new ship Bliss...service (for me) dictates giving my money to Royal versus NCL...its just that simple. I am hopeful that we will use NCL again and they will retrain their staff to just provide each and every person stellar service...no matter what...some people will say that the staff works hard, 8 months without a break...but, they filled out the application for employment to do just that...they knew what they were signing up for, just do your job, like I am required to do my job when I'm at work. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we love the Gem, and we needed this cruise to become platinum latitude members, for our next 14 day cruise. We were in a front penthouse, an excellent choice of cabin. A lot of room, with a butler and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love the Gem, and we needed this cruise to become platinum latitude members, for our next 14 day cruise. We were in a front penthouse, an excellent choice of cabin. A lot of room, with a butler and concierge, to help with reservations and problems. We received afternoon snacks from the butler everyday when we returned to the cabin to get ready for the evening. The seas were pretty rough on the trip down to Port Canaveral but we made the best of the trip. As we had been on this cruise before, we stayed on the ship in Canaveral. The next stop was to be Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian's island. Unfortunately, the sea was too rough for the tenders so we couldn't go to the island and headed to Nassau. We stayed in Nassau overnight. We went to the straw market and bought a few souvenirs, then walked around before going back on the ship. Coming back to New York, the sea was a lot calmer, and we were able to get lots of sun. We ate dinner five of the seven nights at the specialty restaurants. Cagney's, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were terrific meals. Being in a penthouse we were able to eat breakfast in Moderno with a special menu. The waiters, Peter, Andy, Christopher and Campbell, were all terrific. Having the drink package was great. The bartenders, Yuliana and Lonnie were so accommodating and so much fun. We tried so many different drinks and had a ball. The entertainment on the ship is very enjoyable. The ship's cast for the shows have great voices and can really dance. Tim the comedian put on a hilarious show. The singers in the lounges were also very good. The bands at poolside and in the lounges were very enjoyable. The pool area on the ship is very small and crowded for so many passengers. We chose to sit upstairs where the seating wasn't as jammed together. Overall be had a good time. Looking forward to our next cruise with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 4th cruise with NCL, our first on The Gem. The last three were on The Breakaway! The room steward was very clean, but never called us by name! In the past, the room stewards were so friendly and personable, to us and the kids. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with NCL, our first on The Gem. The last three were on The Breakaway! The room steward was very clean, but never called us by name! In the past, the room stewards were so friendly and personable, to us and the kids. We were disappointed that our stip at their private island was cancelled at 11am the day we were supposed to go, due to dangerous water currents! We sailed around aimlessly until 6pm when we docked in Nassau, and were allowed off the ship, only to find out AFTER we got off the ship, that everything was closed. It seemed to me that this was a "training ship". Entertainment was ok. I will say that that acrobatic show was amazing, as was the juggling show. The room was a balcony room. Biggest problem? We had no access to the balcony once the beds were set up for our two kids! Poor room set up, why put Pullman bed in front of balcony????? The room had less than enough storage for a family of four! I would definitely never sail this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise as it left out of NYC, which was convenient for us New Englander's to not have to worry about a flight. This was our second Norwegian Cruise, the first being on the Norwegian Dawn from Boston - Bermuda. Although ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it left out of NYC, which was convenient for us New Englander's to not have to worry about a flight. This was our second Norwegian Cruise, the first being on the Norwegian Dawn from Boston - Bermuda. Although we did book a mini suite, it really was not much larger than a balcony room and it was quite tight for our family of 4. Our room steward seems a bit aloof--I think (as a previous reviewer stated) that may be due to the fact that the service charges are a set fee / pre-paid. I feel they don't go out of their way. Food was good, entertainment good--shore excursions, very sad. We did NOT stop at Great Stirrup Cay. Our family was so sad. We rented a cabana, literally, 6 months ago as a special anniversary surprise for my husband and I (it was our actual anniversary the day of Great Stirrup Cay). We were on the deck waiting to get off--sunny skies, calm seas, swimsuits on, beach bags packed, beaming with excitement--but at 10:59 an announcement was made that they could not let us off due to the possibility of rough waters coming back to the boat. (You cannot dock in Great Stirrup Cay, but rather have to take a tender boat over to the island). My younger daughter (10) cried and cried--we were all so disappointed. We tried to make the best of that wrench, but it was tough. They left there and immediately went to Nassau, which was our stop for the following day. I have to say, the sun was bright, the seas were calm--leaving us all to wonder really why they would not let us off. We happened to be in the atrium area when a lady overheard our family talking about it. She had to chime in and stated that she had done this cruise at least ten times before, and she said they only made it to Great Stirrup Cay, maybe twice? I wish I had known that prior to getting my family super excited to spend the day in our special cabana. Fast-forward to Nassau. We arrived at about 6:00 p.m. that night--but everything was closed! That was a disappointment as well. We did book the stingray adventure for the following day (to take the place of our GCS shore excursion being canceled), which was fantastic! However, that excursion was several hours long, and we left Nassau without a minute to explore, shop for souvenirs, etc. So we didn't get to see GCS, nor Nassau. Anyhow, I liked the entertainment and the food was good. The staff was, mostly, friendly. I do recommend anyone that enjoys their beverages to purchase the package as drinks can add up insanely quickly! I hope to return, but I don't believe we will chance this itinerary again as there were only two brief stops in 7 days. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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