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

We loved the Gem and had looked forward to returning, unfortunately, this will likely be one of our last Norwegian cruises due to the following: 1. Boarding/embarkation took about 2 to 2.5 hours. Spoke with other frequent cruisers and ... Read More
We loved the Gem and had looked forward to returning, unfortunately, this will likely be one of our last Norwegian cruises due to the following: 1. Boarding/embarkation took about 2 to 2.5 hours. Spoke with other frequent cruisers and confirmed that this was the worse wait time. Our particular agent was grumpy. 2. Quality of food has decreased. Meats were usually overcooked and tough to chew. Fruits were mostly not sweet. At least at the self-serve buffet we were able to get a tiny portion so that we won't waste the food. The exception was Magenta that cooked the daily steak offering just right. Desserts also improved from previous cruises. We had ordered the same dish each night and it was NOT consistently good. No more escargot. Shrimp once every 2-3 nights if you could find it, the size of quarters. Scallops were about the size of dimes. 3. Buffet often had empty or near-empty stations. I don't blame the workers, they seemed to always be working non-stop. I think this may be an upper management issue as the buffet area appeared smaller, my only guess if that they may have cut back on the number of workers/cook as well. 4. Tendering was disorganized to the private island. They called the first 2 tenders, then about an hour later called the next group. We were told by those who went first that some of their tender boats were not full at all. Spoke with others that were also long time cruisers, we joked that we would probably need to return by the time our tenders were called. 5. Felt the cruise director wasn't as engaging/entertaining, but we had Sinan as the previous director and he was hard to top, he would engage the passengers and would be hands on during tendering and other processes to make sure it went smoothly. Current cruise, however, had a lot less activities, no updates or revision to cruise staff activities during bad weather. 6. Showers had about 1-2 inches of water backup during and long after showering. Unsure if this is a design issue. 7. Angle of the toilet made it very difficult to sit for people with legs. 8. Atrium smelled like gasoline during the last two days of the cruise, strong enough to make our throats itchy and nauseous - but no one offered any explanations or empathy. The good: 1. Liam at the gym was a very good instructor. He would arrive on time and walk around making sure that we were positioned right during our stretching. 2. Different ice-cream flavors 3. The happy demeanor of the wait staff (including Oliver and John in Magenta) and washy-washy. 4. Shower pressure in inside room was strong. Overall, we thought budget wise, it was a good deal. The ports were not exciting but wanted to support the Bahamas after the hurricane, the people there were so friendly. However, we felt that the special customer care touch we felt in the past was missing and not a priority anymore. There's a lot of competition out there and I would hope that this would cause this cruise line to be better, but quality has decreased over the 10 years of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a ... Read More
I picked Norwegian Cruise Line because it departed from New York City. The embarkation was not easy. It took way too long for a handicapped person to complete the onboarding process even I went through the special need line. The ship is a smaller ship compare to other Norwegian ships or other cruise lines. The cabin is also small compare to other cruise lines especially the bathroom. However, I love the food option on the ship except the food at Orchid Garden which was horrible, it was way too salty. Also, the handicapped areas at Garden Cafe were always occupied. The cruise staffs should help the special needed passengers. All shows at Stardust theater were magnificent except the comedy show which was not funny at all. Yet, the services on the ship was exceptional. The cruise staff for activities were super friendly and helpful especially the girls named Sarah and Ranya. I'd like to try different ship from Norwegian next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Went on this cruise on September 1-8, review posted on this site, and decided to get away for a quick vacation and maintain the tan now that the weather is turning. Get to the port and being a Platinum member I go to the expedited line to ... Read More
Went on this cruise on September 1-8, review posted on this site, and decided to get away for a quick vacation and maintain the tan now that the weather is turning. Get to the port and being a Platinum member I go to the expedited line to get my ship card. Waiting with 3 people in front of me 10 minutes, 15, 30 45 minutes with no movement on the line, meanwhile the long, serpentine line is moving. Turns out the computers were down on our end. Almost an hour later they decide to move us over to the Haven check-in. Why did this take almost an hour to make this call? You have multiple repeated customers standing in one spot without moving and it takes you this long to apply customer service when you have 3 reps at the Haven check-in sitting there, mind-boggling. Finally, I get to my cabin and the toilet is not wasn't flushing, OK, maybe by the time I get back from dinner. Still not working so I call the front desk who noted it and will get back to me. Went around the ship and on my return saw a message from them and it said the toilet should be working fine, it wasn't. Called back and they said they'll notify the plumber. Long story short after multiple calls it never worked that day/night, next day till 7 p.m. Sunday finally. Being a Platinum member I get 2 free dinners for 2 at Cagneys (with a bottle of wine) and La Cucina, Here's the kicker - being I travel solo they won't allow you to order 2 entree's but what they will do is give you 1 entree' and charge you $4.80 if you want a Caesar Salad, picture attached, even though the dinner they don't give you they're selling to someone else. So the moral of the story is the next time you go on a cruise, and get free dinners for 2, look for someone to accompany you so you wont lose out. Actually this website should have a whole section for future solo cruisers just dedicated for this purpose. What they should do in reality is give single certificates for dinner so instead of 2 dinner for two tickets have 4 dinner for one tickets. The one bright spot in this cruise was the excursion The Orlando Eye Sea-Life Auarium & Madame Tussauds which includes the Star Flyer swing ride the world's tallest. This place is so laid back and really nice to walk around in. You don't feel rushed like Disney and everything is very close to each other, fantastic trip. Of course the personnel on the ship is great and I have nothing bad to say about them and I like the smaller Gem-sized ships but they really need to up their game. I have one more CruiseNext credit left and after that I am going to seriously think about continuing with NCL, even after 13 cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It was November 3rd, 2018 my 1st Norwegian cruise from NewYork City to Florida and 2 islands in the Bahamas. To start the cruise amount dropped before the cruise about $100 before the cruise. I 'led out the form and called customer ... Read More
It was November 3rd, 2018 my 1st Norwegian cruise from NewYork City to Florida and 2 islands in the Bahamas. To start the cruise amount dropped before the cruise about $100 before the cruise. I 'led out the form and called customer services to have the amount adjusted and they refused. I was upset because I have been able to make those type of adjustments in the past with other cruise lines. If you say you o)er the best price you should honor that especially if it is directly from their website. Anyway, I am a frequent cruiser. This was my sixth trip over all and my 3rd trip to Florida and the Bahamas. There were a few other ships docked at our port that day. We got there about 1 or 2 PM and were probably on board by 2:30 - 3:00 PM. We were given our key cards in the terminal. We were sailing the Norwegian Gem and we entered the atrium which was very clean and beautifully decorated. Our luggage was being delivered to the room, so we were not concerned to much about that. We had an Oceanview room. There was a Queen size bed and a pullman bed one the side of the wall. This room was connected to another with a door. I was afraid I would here next door, but I never did. The bathroom had the shower with a glass sliding door, the sink was in the middle, and the toilet on the other side also with a glass sliding door. I like the idea of that kind of privacy just incase someone had to come in while the bathroom was being used. The blues and the browns and the oak cherry wood gave a nice cozy feeling in the room that was to be my home for the week.I think the major di)erences I saw in this ship is at there were so many di)erent places to eat. There was a main dining Grand Paci'c, mid ship dining Magenta, and Asian dining Orchid Garden, and a 24-hour dining O’sheean’s, all complimentary on the ship. And just as many specialty dining areas on the ship. Myfamily went straight to the BBQ to enjoy the festivities at the sail away party.The shows were phenomenal. I didn’t miss one. The service from the sta) was impeccable, which I have come to expect on every cruise. The Cruise Director Lenora was great, warm – spirited, energetic, and very friendly. She taught a salsa, and then a merengue class, which we had the opportunity of enjoying. And my daughter participated in the complementary camp there. The children all performed a wonderful show at the last sea day on the ship.The children’s camp through-out the cruise had interesting times to pick the children up. It was not all day like I was expecting. It was more like 9AM to 12 PM and then again from 1 PM to 3 PM. So, it was di)erent, and di=cult for me to plan around it. There were times my little one wanted to go, but they were closed, and she was a little bored.I like the fact Norwegian o)ers a picture package. This was something new that I have not experienced. I like to buy professional pictures every cruise. I spend roughly around $100 in pictures so their picture package I believe was $140 for ten wasa perfect match for me. That was just enough for me to pick my favorites and take them home. When I purchased the picture package it also came with a mini USB looking like a cruise ship and it came with the digital copies of the pictures, so I could makecopies later or post them on social media if I chose to. The things that bothered me were in the Main Dining, which Ichose to eat almost every morning, missed one request from every meal. If I asked for an omelet without ham – it came with ham. If a meal was supposed to come with fruit they may have forgotten it. The salt and pepper were always labeled wrong. I thought at 1st I as picking up the wrong shaker, but I was not. There were always two salt or two pepper to our table. Every time I visited the restaurant it was like that until I made a complaint. They sent the Manager of the Diners to us when we atat Magenta to inquire about my complaint and looked in to the issue. We ate at O’sheean’s and it took them an hour to serve dinner, when there wasn’t a huge amount of customer’s there. It truly doesn’t take an hour to serve a cheeseburger, soup, and a sandwich. There was a larger family that came after us and the were being tended to before us. I explained to the waiter we were waiting over an hour for our dinner. That is when he served us. When we ate there for breakfast another time the service wasmuch better. I want to say the food was great, but I was not overly impressed. Maybe the better food was in the specialty diners which would be sad because customer’s come for great food on the cruise ship which is usually inclusive. I also visited the Spa and the GYM. They were on the same @oor but accessed separately. The GYM was nice and had every machine you would want in a GYM. We utilized the facilitiesa couple of times. Got to work o) some of those meals! And the SPA was beautifully done. The 'rst time I walked in someone greeted me and gave me a tour. I liked being acknowledged and the tour answered all my questions. I did visit the Spa after goingto a pamper party. I had a wonderful massage and facial which had me glowing the entire trip. De'nitely make a stop in there if you can. Just do not miss your reservation. It is just like a SPA on land, and you do not want to ruin a good time incurring a charge for a missed appointment. I was on a 7- day cruise and complained about the HDTV every day I was there, and it was not 'xed until day 5. I was disappointed with the complacent regard to my complaint. When they 'nally did send someone to 'x the issue, they did call, and leave a note to follow up with the resolve. The lay-out of the ship was a little odd in that one of the clubs was in the front of the ship above the Captain’s room. When throwing a party in that club they shut it down to move the party to the back of the ship, even though it was a very good party. The party didn’t keep its momentum with the move. I felt there were too many youngsters at the party. I was wondering why the little ones didn’t have their own party room as I have experienced with cruise line. Lastly the club in the back with DJ Remy who could not seem to keep the smoothness of mixing songs and traveling from one genre to the next. I was very disappointed an chose not to participate in this activity which I have loved to participate in on other ships. The excursions I feel were standard to what I have come to expect. We took the transport to Coco Beach and spent the day there shopping, swimming and building sand castles. We went to Paradise Island and visited the water park there. Still fun every time I have gone. And We went to Stir up Cay Norwegian’s private Island. There were many activities to choose from. Food was supplied by the Ship and many bars to purchase drinks with your key card around the island. I really enjoyed that day the most. Overall the trip was nice, and although there are things I am used to I now know what to expect with Norwegian. I will might sail with them again and hopefully next trip will be much better. However, I think I will stick with a more accommodating cruise line that will do the things they should do to make you feel more welcome and want to come back time and time again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because it left from NY and we decided we would alleviate the stress and not have to worry about flying. The shows were very good and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We had a nice size cabin, but the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from NY and we decided we would alleviate the stress and not have to worry about flying. The shows were very good and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We had a nice size cabin, but the TV in the cabin was so small it reminded us of a computer monitor -- a small one. More often than not during breakfast and lunch, the buffet had a nice variety of food, but the hot food was not hot. During the beach break (Private Island) -- the food was also cold. They have got to figure out a better system. When food that is supposed to be hot is not hot... it is most frustrating, as I am sure all will agree. The drinks are way to expensive. One cocktail after all the taxes, service charges, tips and whatever else they tack on is $14.13...and probably not for top shelf! Will we do NCL again? Perhaps -- but not anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose to embark in NYC because it was closest to home and fitting our budget. Not realizing that embarking and disembarking turned out to be a nightmare, standing in line for 3-4hours each way. Instructions for attending the drill ... Read More
We chose to embark in NYC because it was closest to home and fitting our budget. Not realizing that embarking and disembarking turned out to be a nightmare, standing in line for 3-4hours each way. Instructions for attending the drill and even once landed early in Providence Bahamas, there were not instructions on the TV channel to be able to disembark until we saw people returning from their visit out int he evening. Other than announcement on the overhead, no other follow-up on the special TV channel was done. :( If we were made aware, we could have made the best of it by stepping out. Especially, we missed the Stripp Cay stoop due to rough seas. Food need improvement, perhaps add taste, cleaner counters & more time slots. Entertainment was the best on the cruise. Can't praise enough for coordinating and putting special effort to make all involved. Steward assigned to the rooms were outstanding. Everything from cleanliness to special touch was there. Felt like family in a few days. Pool & hottubs were too small for the crowd, not too clean. Gym was good for the size of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Very sad because this was my third time cruising with Norwegian but this ship was over crowd .. they were lots of angry people screaming, It was impossible to have access a wheel chair for an older person. There were passengers with ... Read More
Very sad because this was my third time cruising with Norwegian but this ship was over crowd .. they were lots of angry people screaming, It was impossible to have access a wheel chair for an older person. There were passengers with no manners at the garden cafe. They just crossed you and do not care. Served lots to food to waste Many on the ship’s staff felt our same frustration. But nothing they could do about it. Gem arrived to Cape canaveral very late so no time to go to The orlando attractions. Then the private island was canceled also so we only have one day at Nassau. The shore excursions like scuba diving also canceled. Long lines for embarking and to left the ship. Very disappointed The.bars and restaurants good but 45 minutes waiting to be seated at the Magenta Sabor latino and some of the great staff made these 7 days a little less awful and bearable Even the jacuzzi water was cold and crowded pools Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Been on gem 7 times 5 times suppose to stop at island . My god weather was good no waves wind just a little not bad saw royal carib ship stopped and was sending passages on to there island ..i feel you should take the stopping at to maybe ... Read More
Been on gem 7 times 5 times suppose to stop at island . My god weather was good no waves wind just a little not bad saw royal carib ship stopped and was sending passages on to there island ..i feel you should take the stopping at to maybe stopping at ... It really stinks you save all year for what ????do not think i will be sailing with you guys anymore ...also telling everyone i know not to also ......my room had a bad lock on safe was told to live with it ,it is an old safe.. Flush did not work right ... Told them i was 80% disable got no help on or off ship ... I always had a great time on board that is why we always go this time was really bad .... MAYBE THEY SHOULD GET BACK KEVIN SHEEHAN SO OVER ALL WE WERE NOT HAPPY Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Embarkation was poor long lines, long wait because we are platinum we were able to go first. The disembarkation was horrendous long lines for at least an hour and a half. we almost had fist fights between the guests. Not enough staff to ... Read More
Embarkation was poor long lines, long wait because we are platinum we were able to go first. The disembarkation was horrendous long lines for at least an hour and a half. we almost had fist fights between the guests. Not enough staff to direct you and let you know what is going on. Another disappointment was not being able to go to their private island. They claimed it was dangerous. No winds Seas were calm and in the distance we can see Anthem of the Seas docked and tendering people to their island. We don't know the true story but the fact that it was not safe was BULL. The food was good the service excellent, the entertainment was very good two excellent bands one latin which was new so we were happy lots of good music. For some reason the did not have the not so newlywed game or the quest game we were disappointed. We are thinking of going Royal Caribbean more often now. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise last minute for a quick, less expensive getaway from NYC so we didn’t need to fly. We usually cruise with Azamara and now I know that Az is more suited for our tastes. Embarkation was a disaster as was debarkation. ... Read More
We chose this cruise last minute for a quick, less expensive getaway from NYC so we didn’t need to fly. We usually cruise with Azamara and now I know that Az is more suited for our tastes. Embarkation was a disaster as was debarkation. Truly horrific. The cabin was good. Very clean. The staff was mostly friendly but many of the dining room staff were trainees and really weren’t trained properly. The food is horrid except in the specialty dining restaurants. Nothing was hot and everything was bland. Service is spotty. The Garden Cafe is a mob scene. People were like vultures and the food, with the exception of the pretzel rolls, was gross. The barbecues on the pool deck were pretty good. The entertainment was superb. All the shows in The Stardust Theatre were excellent as were the Webb Band (boy, can that girl sing) and Justin Golan is extremely talented and hilarious! The spa is lovely as is the fitness center. There is a lot of drinking and many people were inappropriate in their behavior. That ultimate drink package encourages alcohol abuse. The pool deck was total mayhem, with screaming kids and crowds. We stayed on the sun deck which was a bit less chaotic. The ship smells like cigarettes and cigars. Since smoking is allowed at one of the pool bars, in the casino and in the cigar bar, the odors waft all over. Even the library smelled of cigarettes. I DESPISE smoke and that is enough to keep me from going with NCL again. We didn’t stop at Great Stirrup Cay because the Captain claimed the sea was too rough to tender. In my opinion, this was a total sham as the sea was totally calm. I hear they do this all the time. If a ship has a private island, they should build a dock so tendering isn’t an issue. There were a lot of activities but many involved gambling. Not our thing. We didn’t do the ship excursions. Luckily, we had nice weather in Florida and took an Uber to Jetty Beach for a chill day. In Nassau, we took a $4 per person taxi and spent the day at Atlantis beach which was lovely. Back on the ship, there was a totally crazy woman passenger who kept screaming and she actually cursed me out for no apparent reason. None of the staff did anything about it. Some of the other passengers were really loud and were very impolite. We usually like to share a table at dinner but we avoided doing so because we were afraid we’d be seated with people who don’t know how to behave themselves in a dignified manner. In summary, this cruise was a major disappointment. We will only go on a smaller, more boutique style line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been sailing with NCL since 2002 and am currently a latitudes platinum member. This was the third time sailing on the Gem out of New York, sailing past the Manhattan skyline is second to none and NY is probably, imho, one of the ... Read More
I have been sailing with NCL since 2002 and am currently a latitudes platinum member. This was the third time sailing on the Gem out of New York, sailing past the Manhattan skyline is second to none and NY is probably, imho, one of the best cities to sail out of or into. I prefer the smaller ships in the fleet...less crowded and more lounge space than the larger monstrosities that NCL has built recently (Breakaway being the worst designed ship I have ever set foot on). Embarkation was a breeze, priority access and from start to finish was on board in about 20 minutes. The cabins are still getting prepared which is fine...took a walk around and enjoyed views of the New York skyline then went to the buffet for a snack. The cabin was on deck 8 (8584) close to the atrium. Plenty of space and comfortable. This is an obstructed view cabin which is fine for me...I am not one to stay for long inside preferring to be out walking or going to the pool. There were some negatives on this cruise associated with this cabin...the first sea day had a crew member lustily performing maintenance with his mallet on a life boat at 6:30 in the morning...definitely an unwanted wake up call. Called the front desk and a supervisor came to our cabin to witness and hear for themselves the racket being created...he called someone and after a few more minutes...blessed silence. Later in the day a memo was delivered to the cabin stating repair work will be done between 18:00 and 21:00 on the lifeboats...no such luck....the next day the hammering started after 7:00 and the day after that at 7:30...Called the front desk on both occasions and the noise stopped...somewhere in the communication process with the actual workers there was a failure in getting the information across...18:00 and 6:00 are not the same...sigh To continue with cabin 8584...this is not a restful spot...below there must be a service area of some sort because like clockwork around 00:15 you would hear a loud metallic clattering that echoed up into the cabin and once again at around 05:15...every single day of the cruise. The cleaning steward was very friendly...but forgetful...he would forget TP...no Kleenex too....no floor mats either for the bath...he would forget his cleaning clothes on the dressers...he would leave behind the plastic doorstops they use to prop open the doors on the tables...but did I mention he was very amiable.... The food on the Gem is adequate...no one will go hungry...that being said it is sad to see how the quality of the food has been reduced and dumbed down over the years...I never heard any passenger go "wow" over the food, wether it be from the buffet or a specialty restaurant...I remember when Le Bistro was introduced on The Dawn...the food was exceptional back then...not anymore...Le Bistro could not be further from French cuisine and is on my avoid list for restaurants...at once at Cagney's and once at Moderno...Cagney's was a disaster...there was something extremely off putting and bizarrely wrong with our waitress...she kept yelling at the cooks from across the dinning area in what seemed to be Tagalog and she would never stay put...would ask if we needed anything and before we could respond she would sprint off back to doing breakfast settings for the next day....just odd....The food was awful too...burnt steaks that were blue on the inside...please...they were supposed to be medium rare...not charred black....also I really dislike the metal pots that the sides are served in, it turns everything to mush....please plate the food it isn't difficult and presents better... Moderno is now my preferred restaurant although this too has seen the quality reduced over the years....my favourites are the chicken and filet mignon...don't bother with any other meats....the salad bar is very nicely done too.... This cruise we went to magenta for dinner and the service was excellent and food was served at a very good pace... Overall if these were land based restaurants they would receive a failing grade from any food critic.... The entertainment is fair for the most part...over the years the shows just become a regurgitation of the same routines over and over...the jazz band was good...also the Caribbean band had excellent energy and a feel good vibe...the best show on the ship for us was just relaxing and watching the sunsets...always unique and spectacular...a couple got married on this cruise and they looked lovely having there photos taken with the sunseting in the background... The ports of call are the basic ones....Orlando...Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau...it is unfortunate that the scheduled arrival is so late in the day for Orlanda...it makes the day extremely rushed...other cruiselines do the same cruise in 8 days as to arrive in the early morning for this port....NCL Spirit used to do a 6 and 8 day cruise out of NY that worked great and was ideal for booking a back to back....with about 6 usable hours in port it isn't very much of a stop....that being said we still opted to go to Disney (epcot) it was nice, the food festival was a blast...the best food and drink I had during the trip and sadly it wasn't on the ship... but there never is enough time... Great Stirrup is a nice stop...there are better Cays out there but after all these years it definitely is quaint...tendering can be better managed it used to go so smoothly when we went there on the Dawn or Jewel...it was a disaster when we went on the Breakaway and this time whomever was managing this kept stopping the tender process and the ocean was calm for the most part...just position the ship to block the waves... Nassau is a good stop...we hop in a cab and go to the beach for the day...nuff said. We no longer really bother with shore excursions with NCL...horribly over priced and poor value for the money.... The days at sea are some of my favorite...it is just nice to sit back and relax...and this time on the way back to New York we were treated to a pod of dolphins migrating south...a view that lasted a few hours... I do lament the days past for cruising...now with unlimited bar packages available as an add on or purchase there are many individuals staggering around the ship...more yelling...more arguments...more security dealing with the drunk and disorderly... We have stopped purchasing "cruise next" deposits for the time being and we have a few left in our account to use up and then we will go to one of the other cruiselines we enjoy...hopefully NCL will improve to what it was in the past but with the current ownership structure and the management team that is in place...I have my doubts. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Had a good time on the Gem. Crew, Food and Service was good. Staff was friendly. NCL has made 2 improvement that I have seen. 1st Very important change, Lifeguard for the children's pool. Parents still need to watch your kids. ... Read More
Had a good time on the Gem. Crew, Food and Service was good. Staff was friendly. NCL has made 2 improvement that I have seen. 1st Very important change, Lifeguard for the children's pool. Parents still need to watch your kids. 2nd Coors Lite Beer now available in bottles, not sold in pool area. I don't know why, I asked and was told glass by the pool. Not sure if that is true. They have Corona's and Heineken Beer bottles in pool area but still a good change. My only disappointment is that NCL has NO SPORTS BAR only shows Tennis & Soccer even in our room. Missed Saturday's college football opening day. NCL come on you guys you could get ESPN at least one of your tv channels thanks you for showing Thursday Night Football. I have cruise with NCL Gem 5 times in the last 3 years need to update there productions shows. Just would like to let everyone know that I did win my cruise bid on a upgrade, went from a Porthole Mid Ship to a Mini Suite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It's been about 3 years since I've been on an NCL cruise. Since then NCL has changed leadership and in my opinion, is going down hill. In addition to NCL I've sailed with RCCL, Carnival, and Disney. I've never felt ... Read More
It's been about 3 years since I've been on an NCL cruise. Since then NCL has changed leadership and in my opinion, is going down hill. In addition to NCL I've sailed with RCCL, Carnival, and Disney. I've never felt nickeled and dimed but those cruise lines as much as I did by NCL. Drinks are pricey - it was rare something was under $15, gratuity included. NCL now charges a $7.95 service fee for room service with the exception of the continental breakfast menu. They've done away with a flat rate for some of their specialty restaurants. We dined at Cagney's and La Cucina and that was just like going out to a regular restaurant - everything was priced ala carte. On our visit to GSC we were charged $21 for an umbrella. Seriously? On top of that they managed crowds very poorly. It took longer than usual to get off the ship in both Port Canaveral and GSC. (They began the day with one tender, ONE!) I've been on ships that hold close to 4,000 people and never had the issues we had on this ship. Embarkation also began with very long lines for security. And for some reason this ship smelled like farts or rotting eggs LOL. I expect it in the bathrooms but we're talking in public areas and in stairwells. Strange! Also there didn't seem to be much to do on this ship. I found sea days to be kind of boring. Nighttime entertainment was better - the shows were great! Overall we made the best of it but I don't think I'll be sailing with NCL again anytime soon unless it's on one of the newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
WARNING! If you are one of the 160 million Americans who are overweight this ship is NOT for you! The cabin was small, but manageable for one or two. The bathroom / toilet / shower can only be described as tiny. Please see my attached ... Read More
WARNING! If you are one of the 160 million Americans who are overweight this ship is NOT for you! The cabin was small, but manageable for one or two. The bathroom / toilet / shower can only be described as tiny. Please see my attached photos for the dimensions of the entryways of the shower and toilet - both of which opt for a sliding door, instead of curtain. If you have claustrophobia, you may have to use public toilets! The balcony only had chairs with arms. I had to request an arm-less chair for comfort. The ship makes concessions for people with disabilities, most of which enhance the experience. The Garden Cafe has an accessible area for those with mobility disabilities, but it is constantly occupied by able-bodied people looking for a quick place to sit! If you are a person with a disability you should request boarding assistance when booking. If you do not, you will not be on their 'list' for information about special assistance. The Gem does not publish disembarking process for PWD with the instructions for other guests! When you first board you are given a sheet of paper about wheelchair access. Instructions for disembarking are the last sentence on that two page document! (You are expected to remember or ask about getting off the ship!) My balcony cabin ceiling had peeling paint, which feel to the deck and got underfoot. Apparently I was not the only one, as several days in I got a message that they wanted access to my balcony for repairs while in port. I refused as I enjoy sitting out during port days (I do not go ashore). The smell of paint was so strong from the surrounding balconies being painted it proved impossible to use my balcony that day. While there are plenty of chaise lounges around the pool and on a few decks, there are virtually no upright chairs that are not in a dining area next to a table! The interior of the ship has challenges as well. The Grand Pacific Dining room has a special elevator to its main entrance. It takes a while to find the right elevator - there's only one! The dining room is designed with the host stand in the middle of the grand staircase! Guests are forced to line up on stairs to get a table. You can, of course, use the elevator access, but when you enter the maitre d' is behind you, and you must get the attention of someone to get seated. The Stardust Theatre is vast, but also poorly designed. The main orchestra area is on a reasonable rake, but halfway back it shoots up drastically steep - like climbing a mountain. The rows are also 30 seats long. Getting in an out is a series of crushed toes and bumped knees. The balcony box tiers are equally difficult to manage for those with mobility problems. There are disability designated seats, but again, they get taken up by able-bodied folks who come in late. A unique carpet in the Spinnaker Lounge gives the appearance of waves. It actually makes the floor look uneven - a trick of the eye that can be disorienting or - for those with seasickness - could make you queasy. The ship is small enough to be manageable but it is also difficult to get accustomed to because of its lack of symmetry. Corridors are on one side or the other, but not both. Different banks of elevators provide access to different areas - even if on the same floor! The ship is generally clean, although my cabin was not fully cleaned when I took occupancy and the porter did not provide clean glasses. The dining room had frayed table clothes and dusty window sills. I'm afraid the food is a real mixed bag - everything from amazing to awful. Why is the formal dining room serving Brown n Serve sausage and frozen hash-brown patties? I can get that at MacDonalds. The baked goods are made on board - except for the bagels and the English Muffins, which are from a supplier - skip those. If you crave Eggs Benedict, get it in the dining room. It is impossible to serve an egg with a runny yolk in a heat lamp buffet. The desserts are amazing, nearly without fail. Save room. The staff goes out of their way to make sure you are enjoying yourself. They are NCL's greatest asset. As for me, this may be my last trip with the line - they are cutting costs at the cruiser's expense. Stop selling - start sailing! Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
Just returned from the Norwegian Gem Cruise to Orlando/Great Stirrup Cay/Nassau: 7/28-8/4. I will try to be as detailed as possible in order to help you all know what to expect on board. Embarkation Review: -Initial process was ... Read More
Just returned from the Norwegian Gem Cruise to Orlando/Great Stirrup Cay/Nassau: 7/28-8/4. I will try to be as detailed as possible in order to help you all know what to expect on board. Embarkation Review: -Initial process was more smooth than I experienced on Carnival. However, it wasn't without its issues. We had a loud staff member yelling in an annoyed tone: "Have your passports out!" as we waited on line. That wasn't the friendliest manner in which to start the trip. Would suggest them to just have an automated system with a friendly reminder during the process. -Do check your luggage, and expect it to be delivered to your room around 4pmish, after the ship sets sail. Rooms are open around 1:30pm. -Cash vs. Credit Card Issue: While checking in, we wanted to put down cash and we were erroneously told we had to swipe a card. We swiped, but asked to speak to a manager, who confirmed we did not have to put down a card. We prepaid the gratuities ($203) and I put down $400 cash for my party of 2 to spend on board. I highly recommend using the cash method if you want to put a soft cap on spending and/or on a budget. I am glad I did this because the first day I was charged for two alcoholic beverages that I did not purchase. I would rather dispute with cash down, than involve my credit card company. Do not put down debit as the amount of their hold is unclear. Cash is the way to go. You don't have to put down $300 per person as stated on their website (it is just a suggestion). I ended up with $50 returned to me upon disembarkation which was nice. -Damaged luggage: My wife's duffel bag was damaged during baggage delivery and no one apologized. They fixed it, but the sew job was horrible and we will be writing for a reimbursement. Tip: You may want to only check your harder (more durable luggage), if your duffel bag is very expensive. Cabin Review: This is where the Gem shines. The room is comfortable, updated, and clean. The t.v. is really small, but that is not what you are there for, lol. One good feature in the room is that you can check your account balance daily. We were on the 8th floor, which has a more closed in balcony vs. the 9th floor, which was more open and seemed less private. The bathroom area was clean; the toilet area is a little small. I am 5"11 and found it cramped...However, I can't complain about anything else. My lady gets freaked out by anything dirty, and she found this highly acceptable. Dining: The food in the buffet area, the Garden Cafe, outshines the food anywhere else on the ship. The sit down dinners seemed hit or miss. I would not recommend the specialty dining package based on this experience. You are good with the bountiful complimentary food on board. The buffet had different themed nights, like Caribbean night and Asian night. There was something for everyone. Our specialty dining experience included Cagney's Steak house, which was just ok, and La Cucina, which was horrible Italian fare. Someone from our party went to the Hibachi spot, and thought it was good, but none of the cooks are Japanese, which removes some of the authenticity. The main tip here is don't pay for the specialty dining package, it's not worth it based on the choices. If you want to do specialty, choose one night to splurge and you should be o.k. Major plus: There is a 24 hour food spot on board in the middle of deck 7/deck 8 named Osheehan's. This was a great option for late night hunger attacks. Room service is also available 24/7 at a cost. Random tip: If you are not a seafood/pork eater, your options are reduced, since there is a heavy dose of shellfish/pork aboard. Drinks: Someone in our party had the unlimited alcohol package. I"m not a heavy drinker, so I didn't get that. If you are a heavy drinker, get it, as you will be paying out the nose for beverages. On the 12th deck, you can get complimentary fountain juices and water. At the bar, the sodas seemed overprice. Major Tip: Get the 6 1 liter water bottles for $14 to store in your room when you get thirsty. We thought that was the best deal of the trip. You don't want to get sick or really thirsty and hunt for bottled water. Bottled water at the bar cost $7 for 1! Entertainment and Activities: This was so/so. The cruise director did not seem to have the captivating personality one expects from that role. The Assistant Cruise director and others who graced the mike seemed to be a better fit. If you want a more conservative boat, with lots of relaxation time, this cruise will suit you. If you are looking to spend the day partying and drinking, there will be lulls in the entertainment. Club Bliss is the night spot on board. After 11:30pm, it's allegedly 18 and over. That was questionable. We had some young looking folks form a circle most nights and take over the dance floor, which was a buzz kill. On the second to last night (the all white after party) attracted more people to attend and the vibe was awesome. The pool/hot tub/deck area seemed like it didn't have the best design. Kids were in the jacuzzi and the chairs go quick if you don't get there early. Because of this, we only went on one of the days before there were too many bodies every where. The comedy shows were good. Although, we experienced an awkward "comedy/juggling" show that was not funny. The Gym is high quality for a cruise. There is a good amount of work out equipment and treadmills to keep everyone happy. I was never able to use the bench press though, because someone was hogging every time I visited. However, you should be able to get machinery and stay in shape throughout the cruise. There are your standard activity and event areas throughout the ship (dance classes, pay per swipe arcade, towel folding, art auctions, dance contests, etc.), along with some not so standard areas (Chapel, library, card room, rock climbing wall, golf net, checkers, enclosed basketball court) You can find what you are looking for, but some entertainment you will have to create on your own. Major plus with pictures: The cruise ship picture process is very organized. Carnival just displayed your photos for everyone to see, whereas these were organized in private binders. That was one of the best organized processes on the ship. Service: Service for the most part was good and we had no complaints. The sit down restaurants are slow (expect 1.5 hours for dinner) and sometimes they seemed overwhelmed or stressed by the share volume of diners. Norwegian does freestyle dining, but you can also make reservations. I suggest they switch to reservations because the freestyle dining seemed stressful to the workers and definitely impacted service. You are already paying $14 per person per day for gratuities and it is unclear how the money is divided, so it is up to you if you want to tip certain people directly for outstanding service. Ports and Shore excursions: This trip feels like too many days at sea for some reason. Near the end many people were thrilled to be getting off the boat! Orlando Port- We paid $16 for a shuttle and went to Cocoa beach where we rented chairs and umbrellas. Some in our group paid $69 for a shuttle to Universal Studios and then had to pay separately to enter the park. Seems like there should be more partnership between the theme parks and Norwegian for a special cruise package. This port was ok, but I could have probably had as much fun staying on the boat and taking advantage of an emptier boat for a few hours. Great Stirrup Cay- Be warned that great weather and good waters are both needed for you to see the private island. Thus, there is a 50/50 chance that the boat doesn't make this stop. Consider the time of year you book this trip and check the weather. We lucked out and had great weather. You take a tender(smaller) boat from the cruise ship to the island, because the water is too shallow for the ship to dock. If you fear this process, just stay on the ship. People did seem a little uncertain, especially after the duck boat accident in the United States. I think they should make us wear life jackets in case of an emergency. If the boat flips, it didn't seem like there would be enough time to pull the life jackets out amidst all the panic. I hope life jackets for such excursions become international law soon. The island was cool. There was music. Lunch between 12 and 2pm. Drinks available. Here you can also rent flotation devices and clam shells ($39) to keep out the sun. They only had one guy manning the clam shell station, and this made the process slow. The ride back to the ship was a little weird, because it was more unorganized. The last tender goes back to the ship at 6pm. I would suggest heading back between 3:45pm and 4:15pm to avoid the mad rush of folks for the last few tenders. Tip: Get you tender boat number ticket early on deck 12 because you can get prime seating if you are one of the first tenders to arrive. In addition, there was seating with ample shading, if you arrive early. Nassau, Bahamas Port: I have been to the Bahamas so I had more of a game-plan, which I will share shortly. A suggested excursion for first timers is the Blue Lagoon, where you can play with dolphins/sting rays (for a fee), have a more private beach, eat (for a fee), and play with a lot of flotation toys in the water. For veterans, I suggest: -Take a cab for $4 per person to a free beach. (We went to Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island, near Atlantis, but there is also Cable Beach or Junkanoo Beach on Nassau. You will be dealing with locals selling you unlimited drinks and beach chairs. If you can handle that, the water is worth it). You can walk through the free parts of Atlantis and take great photos. We then took a taxi to the "Fish Fry" on the Nassau side. This will be the best fried snapper anywhere in the world. Definitely a must have, paired with the rice. Try the conch if you want to increase your sexual prowess. TIP: Go after 2pm, to ensure that the catch of the day has been brought in. The fishermen bring in the fish daily from the sea and thus, the fish is extra fresh. Disembarkation: Just do the self assist checkout. You can be off the boat at 7:45 am, before the checked luggage disembarkation starts. Seeing all the luggage being laid out for people to claim after they got off the ship at 9am gave me anxiety. I don't even want to think about how chaotic that process was. Guest Services opens up at 5:30am on the day of disembarkation; settle your account as early as possible. For those with Children: There is something called the splash academy, and there are family events. However, the kids who would have the most fun seem to be in the 14-17 range. Not sure my 11 year old would have as much fun on this trip. There is a curfew for anyone under 18. They must be accompanied by an adult after a certain time. I probably wouldn't take this cruise again due to the length of time at sea and the limited time at each port. Also, we got lucky with Great Stirrup Cay, but seems like stopping at that port is a toss up. We would have been highly disappointed if we didn't stop there. I also wished the cruise director was more fun, she just didn't drum up any excitement. I hope you found this review somewhat helpful. Have fun on your vacation! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise line for my first cruising experience. Needless to say I wasn’t aware of some of the things I should expect from cruising. In retrospect, I would not cruise out of NY again as I felt as if it took forever to get ... Read More
I chose this cruise line for my first cruising experience. Needless to say I wasn’t aware of some of the things I should expect from cruising. In retrospect, I would not cruise out of NY again as I felt as if it took forever to get to our destination. In total we spent 3-4 days at sea, which to me was not worth the money. I didn’t find that there were enough activities for tweens on this ship. Many of the activities that I recall were for adults. We quickly tired of the food, which was mostly American food. I was disappointed we spent a day in the Bahamas and only experienced plantains and more American food. I just came from Jamaica on a land trip and there was a wealth of Caribbean food: fish, jerk pork, jerk chicken, goat, etc... Finally, the biggest frustration was the whopping $800 bill. We only went on two excursions. We ordered in one day. I was careful not to accumulate charges and I didn’t. There were countless fees from Norwegian daily. Because of this, I will not travel with Norwegian again. I didn’t like that you had to put money on a card as opposed to paying with your debit card for each transaction . Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because it was leaving out of new york and we wanted to save in the airfare. Our family consisted of a mom, dad, and a 12 year old. We traveled with another family with another 12 year old. The service was really ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was leaving out of new york and we wanted to save in the airfare. Our family consisted of a mom, dad, and a 12 year old. We traveled with another family with another 12 year old. The service was really good, especially the cabin. Food is general restaurants, was okay at best....most of the buffets were the same food over and over. The specialty steak place and Italian food were really good and are highly recommended. Where the main problem occurs is that both 12 year olds were constantly bored. The kids club groups kids off, and the one they were in was 10-12, which was fine except at night time, all the kids under 12 are in the same room. It was like a day care center running from age 2 to 12. They never wanted to go, which didn't allow for too much adult time. There is only one basketball/soccer place and it is generally closed by 9. Not sure why it couldn't stay open later, it is not like any one was actually supervising it. So the cruise is not for anyone who has kids in the 10-12 range. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We choose this ship because of convenience and the destinations! The ship departed from New York. Which was a big + for us! The ship heads to FL Orlando beaches Port Canaveral, Bahamas Great Stirrup Cay & Nassau Bahamas The embankment ... Read More
We choose this ship because of convenience and the destinations! The ship departed from New York. Which was a big + for us! The ship heads to FL Orlando beaches Port Canaveral, Bahamas Great Stirrup Cay & Nassau Bahamas The embankment was too fast we had 5 hours to both places but it seem so short with amount people to get off & get on the boat it took a lot of time wasted. The food was not our favorite which was a big disappointed because my family are big foody people. We expected more of a gourmet meals not too many choices to choose from. During the day there were pretty much The same things to do ! Overall The entertainment like the shows were great & also the musical groups. But other then that the staff were friendly and excellent people from all around the world and there customer service were great! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Aside from the Gem's pool deck it was ok, but the pools were really awful! Cramming 2,000 people into 2 backyard-sized pools. The "Main Pool" is like a mosh pit for kids and parents, no rules, no lifeguards... and the ... Read More
Aside from the Gem's pool deck it was ok, but the pools were really awful! Cramming 2,000 people into 2 backyard-sized pools. The "Main Pool" is like a mosh pit for kids and parents, no rules, no lifeguards... and the "Adult Pool" is crowded with drunk couples cuddling. The whole pool deck feels like Times Square during peak hour - a lot of noise and a thousand people in your face. I think people who like this ship are the people who like drinking and partying, regardless of the atmosphere. The giant slides were disappointing, most people got stuck and had to push themselves through. We have 3 kids, and I took my 2-year old into the only kiddie pool, which was a tiny slide into a big puddle, and the whole area is enclosed so it's sweltering! The restaurants were pretty good, especially O'Sheehan's and the Grand Pacific (main) dining room. The cafe is a disaster! The food there is terrible. It seems like a big selection at first but most of it isn't stuff you really want, and if it is, it's not prepared well. We went to the Churrascaria one night. Prices were very reasonable, but the food was "meh" and definitely not Brazilian... The Chinese restaurant serves the smallest portions I could imagine. Tasty, but small. As a ship-wide policy, we avoided all chicken dishes because it was very tough and dry everywhere! Stick with the main dining rooms and O'Sheehans, you'll survive! I was kind of disappointed that people didn't dress a little nicer for the dining rooms. Some did, but the overall mood of the ship was t-shirts and shorts at dinner. We didn't spend much time in any of the ports. The cruise was more about the ship than the destinations, which was ok because Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's island) was just as crowded as the ship itself, but I would've liked another day in the Bahamas. The nightly entertainment was top notch! The crew and staff are super friendly - everyone looks you in the eye, smiles, and says good morning or hello, everyone is helpful. 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
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
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
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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