298 Norwegian Gem Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Bahamas from New York (Manhattan)

We traveled on this Ship about 3 years ago, had free specialty dining and 3rd passenger free, which worked very well, and the entertainment was so good, that we wonted to go back. This time the cruise was so different. Everything ... Read More
We traveled on this Ship about 3 years ago, had free specialty dining and 3rd passenger free, which worked very well, and the entertainment was so good, that we wonted to go back. This time the cruise was so different. Everything went wrong from day 1. NCL is to be blamed for causing a huge traffic in Manhattan by scheduling 2 cruise ship sailing on the same day. It took us 3 hours to drive from Battery Tunnel to cruise Port, and then, 3 more hours waiting in line to get on the ship. When we got onboard we were hungry and tired, the dining venues were already closed, and I was time for a drill. Than, exhausted, we went to room, changed, and went to buffet for a dinner. The Garden Cafe was so crowded, that after walking for 5 min and looking for a table, I had to leave my food there and go to Magenta to be able to get seated. I have to say, that buffet crowds did not improve until the end of the cruise. We had to wait in lines for everything, to get food, drinks tables. Also, the quality of food on this cruise was much worse than what we are used to on cruises. Shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster tails, fried calamari were not on a menu to the end of the cruise. The dining menu had poor choices, however, the menu improved by the end of the cruise. The waiters in dining rooms seamed to be overworked, and didn't have time for any communications with guests. The big dining room had a piano, however, during the entire time of the cruise, I didn't hear it play a single time. Entertainment was good, the two Ukrainian brothers acrobats we liked the best. The Fillipino lady Cruse director was not funny at all. The entire cruise she spoke with partially lost voice, which made listening to her unpleasant. All she did, she announced the events, and repeatedly said that they wanted to deliver us a vacation of a lifetime, which did make sense to us, since it was clear for my family, it was our worst vacation so far. Other negatives: no ice cream on the private island, no cartoon channel on TV, no free sauna, not much to do on the cold rainy day. Never NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because I had to use a weeks vacation before year end and we received a very good price. Overall the cruise and ship was very nice. Cons: Embarkation in NYC was terrible. the lines were very long with 2 ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had to use a weeks vacation before year end and we received a very good price. Overall the cruise and ship was very nice. Cons: Embarkation in NYC was terrible. the lines were very long with 2 security check points check in agents. Disappointed with NCL MDR selections, no lobster, no shrimp meals, no shrimp cocktail, no prime rib. no tenderloin etc. They have gotten very cheap. They push those pay restaurants. Casino is a disaster of smoke, you could not walk through there without gaging. I feel sorry for the workers. Cruise Director, was very hard to understand, spoke so loud and fast into mic, with English not her first language. Gave us incorrect deck information for getting off at private island. About 50 of the first tender folks were waiting on deck 7 when the real deck was 4. Buffet is smaller with limited seating. especially on sea days. Free Asian restaurant was very hard to get into long lines, they did not take reservations or serve lunch. Night club did not open until 12:15 - 12:30 every night. All other cruises I been on club opens by 11:30, I didn't need 2 hours of Karaoke every night from 10pm - 12am. Pros: MDR staff was very good and friendly. Overall food was good but missing selections as noted above, O'Sheenhans 24 hr restaurant was very good. Dining outside on back of ship was very nice. Very Nice selection of free hand dipped ice cream on buffet. Good amount of activities onboard. House band was very good with many band tributes. Piano player Jack Brady was excellent. Pool band playing Caribbean music very nice. Shinnicker lounge in the top front of ship was very nice for events, Theater Music Shows were ok, they work very hard, but some were abit silly. One Comedian put on a few shows, he was ok. A few magicians were ok, not great, And one show with two guys doing ring tricks etc. was kinda boring. But is was entertainment. Pool area was decent, always could use more space and chairs. Gym was nice was able to workout few times with no waiting for machines, Shuffle board was nice. Ports: There is nothing at Cape Canaveral Port, you have to get a shuttle to see anything. But we did see a rocket launch one night, very exciting. Great Stirrup Cay was very very nice, so relaxing, nice bbq, nice water and beach. Love the private Islands. Nassau was also nice, walked around city, got free wifi at McDonalds, and there is always the free beach Junkanoo about 15 minute walk. Debarkation: We walked off ship self assist and were off by 8:15am very good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. ... Read More
Service was wonderful! We ate every night with Edel and juicy J !! They were great ! We love Faisal ! He was always sooo helpful with all our questions and the workers on the boat always remember us and asked us how our day was. Mantobi (washy washy lady ) was always soo cheery and made our day !! And morning ! She is the sweetest! The shows were great. Food was absolutely delicious. Ate like a queen every night. They took such good care of us ! The guy cleaning our room (9551) was so great our room was so clean and he would leave us cute animals out of towels. Always made our day. The crew was beyond amazing! Deff coming back to the gem ! The guy that hosted the game shows he was hilarious and very entertaining! There was so much to do I wish it was longer. 7 days wasn’t enough ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
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
First time first time cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I must say I was very happily impressed. First the not-so-good stuff. I was traveling with my two sisters, sharing same room, as we have done on many Royal Caribbean and ... Read More
First time first time cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I must say I was very happily impressed. First the not-so-good stuff. I was traveling with my two sisters, sharing same room, as we have done on many Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. This was the first time though that we did not have 2 lower than one upper. We were surprised to find two beds and a pull-out couch. This made it impossible to walk around the room or to get out on the balcony. The balcony, by the way, was also in disrepair. The paint was peeling off at constantly every time you spent any time out on the balcony you came back with a serious case of "paint dandruff." Our state room attendant was pretty much invisible. The food in both the dining rooms and Buffet was passable and the staff although very pleasant were very obviously understaffed. They always did everything in a run, nothing casual. The casino staff was, at best, unpleasant, in some cases kind of rude. All that being said, it was a very enjoyable trip. The cruise director was excellent. The entertainment was very good. Good Production shows, good magician, Good comic. And an excellent little Cirque du Soleil Act. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are ... Read More
The cruise is great, should be perfect if we spend 2 days at Nassau instead one! The Great Stirrup Cay Island is gorgeous, we love it... BUT the swimming with the pigs tour was ridiculous! You pay $109 per person to feed the pigs, they are NOT at the beach at all! They made a gate and space for them but it’s very commercial, they are not free... You don’t swim with them at all, this is fake add! You see them, you feed them, pad them and that’s it! Very expensive for what they offer! Beside that we like it everything else! Just wish to spend more time in Bahamas... for me FL stop wasn’t worth at all... We are there for Bahamas, and Florida was just a waste of time! ;/ It’s a great Cruise, they just have to improve somethings... How about a partnership with Atlantis as well? Could be great.... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It was my families 1st cruise. Planned 6+ months in advance and we couldn't wait. We were told all these great things about cruises in general. Our trip began in NY port and it wasn't the bets of days but that's ok. We get ... Read More
It was my families 1st cruise. Planned 6+ months in advance and we couldn't wait. We were told all these great things about cruises in general. Our trip began in NY port and it wasn't the bets of days but that's ok. We get there to have to wait outside in the chilly/wet air for30 min before being let in. Once inside it was utter chaos! lines and lines of people waiting to get through security. There really didn't seem to be to much order to the madness. After about 45 min, we get through security to have to wait in another long line for check in. That took us another 30min. Now we finally get onboard the Gem. Lovely boat inside. We go check out our balcony room. Very pleased with that space wise and cleanliness. Going through the NCL app we noticed messaging(texting). We thought hey good way to keep in touch with our oldest. NOPE that was an extra $10 per person! We spent all this $$ for this cruise and everything was extra for this extra for that. Just silly!So we leave NY and get to open waters it was about 6pm. a bit delayed seeing is how original embarkment was 4pm. Not a big deal. Once we got out to open waters it became a MUCH different experience for my family. The ship was going so fast it was rocking all over the place. Like full speed ahead! My children and I ended up getting sea sick bc of it. It lasted all through the night (needless to say we didn't sleep well) into and throughout the next day. It calmed down when we finally got to FL. FL port was nice but unless you pay $$ to do something just stay on the ship, like we did, and enjoy it being a little less crowded. Next day was Stirrup Cay there island. That was cancelled due to high winds. SERIOUS bummer bc we were sick of the boat at this point and board. So we cont. on to Nassau. We arrived in Nassau early evening 7pm and we able to get off if we wanted to. Along with what seemed to be ALL the other passengers we disembarked to go eat dinner. Next day we went to Blue Lagoon Island which was great! Highly recommended. The only thing I'd recommend about the trip. It wasn't in our orig plan an budget but since we felt we got cheated out of a beach day, we did the excursion. Now we leave Nassau to have our last 2 days at sea. By this point we have been everywhere on the boat and my kids were very bored. Leaving Nassau we felt the ship rocking a bit too much like our 1st day. The sea days were ok. Pool during the day for the most part. The pool deck did get crowded on sea days but that was to be expected but it wasn't too crazy. We have arrived back in NY and we couldn't be happier. Its time to get off the boat. We opt'd for self assist. meaning we take care of our own bag's. So we head to elevator. HA! forget that so we end up carrying our luggage down 3 floors. Once we get to the atrium its utter CHAOS! No system what so ever. People yelling at others for cutting in line meanwhile no one knew what line was going where and started/ended. Took us an hour and a half to get off the boat. Once off, we go to customs. That was fast and easy thank god. So its been about 2 weeks now since our trip. Overall we did have a bad experience for our 1st cruise but the staff was great! Very nice and helpful. The food was EH.... the only great meal we had was one we had to pay for at Cagney's. Drinks were good and you got a good amount. Entertainment for kids was poor. We went during Halloween and they put on a nice party (at a decent hour) but there was a lot of adults not many kids. I felt it was worth giving some time to reflect and my family and I still feel the same. IF we ever cruise again it would be a few years from now and we would definitely go with another cruise line. Sorry for the long story but I felt it might help someone else. 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
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
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
Gem is a beautiful ship which is kept clean and well maintained by an excellent crew. Getting on ship was very easy with suite had priority embarkation after going though security was on ship in about 20 minutes. Staff is extremely ... Read More
Gem is a beautiful ship which is kept clean and well maintained by an excellent crew. Getting on ship was very easy with suite had priority embarkation after going though security was on ship in about 20 minutes. Staff is extremely attentive and friendly, always greeting you with a smile. Cabin 10504 was big and spacious with amazing service from Teresa (Butler) and Room Steward Andy. Dining was always great with many delicious options always available. Meganta Dinging Wine steward Julien was great very friendly and helpful. Recommend trying specialty restaurant Moderno excellent service and food. Entertainment was good, enjoyed the Juggler Randy Cabral and Get Down Tonight show. Bliss lounge at night had music with live band then a DJ, great place to get a drink and hang out, waiter Sam was excellent. Ports were great rented a Cabana on Great Stirrup Cay (Private island), only issue is was not informed that in order to use the $50 credit that comes with the Cabana had to order food the day before so we lost the credit so beware. Nassau visited Junknoo Beach, Queens staircase and shop the straw market. Tried the restaurant Sharkee had great conch fritter. Overall an excellent vacation would definitely sail the Gem again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
So, first time to the cruise experience and from the UK. Wasn’t sure what to expect. The Gem was the right size for us and we quickly got our bearings and were able to move about the ship with ease. The balcony stateroom was ... Read More
So, first time to the cruise experience and from the UK. Wasn’t sure what to expect. The Gem was the right size for us and we quickly got our bearings and were able to move about the ship with ease. The balcony stateroom was ample in size. The bathroom small but the shower was excellent. The food options were good and of great quality. A little overwhelmed to have so much food on offer and I can’t lie. The main buffet was BRUTAL. We have stayed at many inclusive resorts and I have never known such loaded plates or such rudeness from other passengers. ( admittedly mainly one particular nationality in my experience.) The other non speciality restaurants were very good and we favoured these when our youngest was in the kids club. The kids club was where my main issue lay. My child became unwell and there was no way that the staff can page you. They leave a message on your room voicemail. But you aren’t in your room so you don’t pick this up. NCL really need to look at a pager system or tannoy you in these circumstances. The ports of call were great. We visited Kennedy Space ( we arranged ourselves and saved £150 on the NCL excursion )and did 2 beach excursions. No issues for sun loungers. The pools are SMALL. Too small. And strangely had no lifeguards until days 6/7. And these lifeguards were very strict. I’m surprised the kids were even allowed in the water. Not sure why no lifeguards on days 1-5?? Another guest mentioned there had been a port inspection. Maybe they got pulled up on the lack of safety around the pool bit there had been no issues and most parents supervised their children adequately. The housekeeping staff were amazing and work really hard. Our real disappointment was the beverage packages we had paid for up front. Definitely paid more when we booked via a NCL agent in the UK then if we had waited and despite this being all inclusive you get charged port taxes on your free drinks. Only a couple dollars each time but not really the point. It was still an added cost. And for the kids not enough selection of juices to choose from so wasted money if your kids don’t drink fizzy drinks. Overall had a great time and would cruise again. Fellow passengers suggest that Disney and Royal Caribbean provide better services so would perhaps look at one of these. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We booked this cruise only about 3 weeks before the sailing date - it seemed like the perfect easy family vacation. I had been on another cruise with Carnival many years ago but this was the first cruise for my hubby and daughter. The ... Read More
We booked this cruise only about 3 weeks before the sailing date - it seemed like the perfect easy family vacation. I had been on another cruise with Carnival many years ago but this was the first cruise for my hubby and daughter. The ship was very nice - it had been refurbished a couple of years ago. Overall, we had a great time, but there were definitely some shortcomings. First, I need to praise the staff - they really went above and beyond to please us in so many ways. My daughter is a very picky eater and on the first day, she found a dish she liked at the Chinese restaurant. On a few of the other nights, even though we were eating in other restaurants, we mentioned this dish and it was made and brought to her at the restaurant we were at!! Now if that isn't service, then I don't know what is. We did notice that there could have been a few more family or kid oriented activities for those kids who did not enroll in the splash academy. We also had a couple of issues with the shore excursions - definitely not worth the price we were charged. I understand that you pay a premium to book through the ship, but it was still overpriced. The original boat ride we were supposed to go on in Port Canaveral was cancelled because not enough people signed up. They let us know the day before so we had enough time to go to the shore excursion desk and find a new excursion. We found a similar boat ride and they gave us a tiny discount to make up for the inconvenience. It was a pretty disappointing boat ride. We also booked a day at Atlantis and for what we paid, we only had access to the beach and the aquarium. Our favorite day was the private island. The tender ride was a bit bumpy, but it was a short ride. My daughter had the greatest time floating in the water on a raft we rented for $16!!! It was really beautiful and relaxing there. They told us to keep hydrated, but there really was not a lot of water available. They served a very nice lunch with a theme of an island!!! We enjoyed the entertainment - the magician could have done a few more tricks, but we still enjoyed him. It was nice that there were 2 shows each night, so we didn't have to rush through dinner or anything. There seemed to be music all over the place at most times. There were also a lot of giveaways and raffle type of events. I loved being able to eat where we wanted, when we wanted. The only places we had to make reservations were at the specialty restaurants. Now on to the food - overall, we enjoyed the food - there was always something for everyone, especially at the buffet. Some of the food was a bit disappointing - the soups, and a lot of the meat was dry and not flavorful. I also expected higher quality fish at the meals. The French restaurant was a disappointment - the quality was not great and we had a little trouble with the service. Our favorite restaurant was Moderno and my daughter loved the teppenyaki place - she is still talking about it. The pools were small but it was a treat for my daughter to be able to go into a hot tub and she enjoyed the slide. We didn't really have any problems finding chairs. The cabin was not huge, but we didn't feel cramped in it. We especially loved the turn down service with the animals made out of towels. We had a family size window and it was fine. The embarkation was fine, but the welcome when we first got on the ship could have been better. Overall, it was a blast - the staff truly aimed to please and we really had quality family time together. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have traveled by NCL cruise line twice before and had an excellent time all three times. There was every little detail pertaining to our comfort taken care of. My whole family had an enjoyable time, and from every angle possible. The ... Read More
I have traveled by NCL cruise line twice before and had an excellent time all three times. There was every little detail pertaining to our comfort taken care of. My whole family had an enjoyable time, and from every angle possible. The staff were fantastic from the people who spray us with anti bacterial before we eat to the housekeeping staff. We would not cruise with anyone but NCL. They have pampered and spoilt us, for by other cruise line. Our comfort at every level was a priority for the crew, from dinning, to the entertainment. The shows in the stardust theatre was absolutely breathtaking. Our cruise director Lorena made us feel very at home. We were always greeted with smiles and a joke from the crew at all times. The last performance when the staff and cruise director and captain came on stage in the stardust theater was a lovely touch. I would like to thank every single staff for making this. Relaxing time for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I will like to thanks Lorena, Kat and all the staff from the Gem it was a fantastic experience been with your guys this week. Lorena Y Kat was fabulous with the entertainment. (Wash it Wash it) don't remember her name but she ... Read More
I will like to thanks Lorena, Kat and all the staff from the Gem it was a fantastic experience been with your guys this week. Lorena Y Kat was fabulous with the entertainment. (Wash it Wash it) don't remember her name but she was the best. Also the guy who clean my room was very good. Thank you for the service and for all the animals he did in on the bed. The food was very good. the diferent type of food was exellent. The band, the singers, the dancers, you guys this grate job. The only bad think was they did not have enough space on the splash academy for the crildren. Need to work on that because it was a lot of chilfren on the ship and parents want to go to the club after 10:30pm please work on that. need a biger room or more staff. One again I want thank you for the the amaizing week for the service, for the entretaiment, for the food. for everythink. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Location and timing were the reason we booked this cruise: Timing was important as we cruised during the 3rd week of August which was after my daughters summer camp ended and before gearing up for back to school, and it was sailing out of ... Read More
Location and timing were the reason we booked this cruise: Timing was important as we cruised during the 3rd week of August which was after my daughters summer camp ended and before gearing up for back to school, and it was sailing out of NY so I would not need to bother with the additional expense of airfare. However I found the overall experience to be 'blah' at best. First the good - our mini suite cabin was comfortable for the three of us and the cabin steward did a wonderful job of keeping it clean and staying out of our way. Also the embarkation and self-disembarkation process went smoothly - I highly recommend self disembarkation if you are traveling relatively light and can haul off your own bags without assistance. We were back home in Central NJ within 90 minutes of starting the process of getting off the ship. We only upgraded to specialty dining one night - Cagney's the steakhouse was excellent. Most other nights we ate in either of the main dining rooms - Great Pacific and Magenta - however they obviously share the same kitchen and served the same menu so I didn't really get the point of calling them two separate dining experiences. They both did a decent job and meals were pretty good, but service was spotty which I think was a result of the free style dining approach which didn't provide any continuity of servers. The staff of the Splash Academy was generally very friendly and my daughter truly enjoyed her time with them. Now the not so good: Many rude and slovenly guests... maybe that's why the staff didn't seem overly friendly. The ship was not extremely clean - in fact the buffet dining area was pretty gross at times and the quality of the food in the buffet was rather bland. And you generally had to fight to get a table. Entertainment options for younger kids was limited - unless they were in the Splash Academy kids program which kept my 4 year old daughter entertained, otherwise once she conquered the climbing wall and did the waterslide a dozen times there was very little for her to do. The family pool was too deep for a 4 year old, and the kiddie pool was ridiculous. Pool deck was very crowded and the activities staff did nothing to discourage the annoying habit many guests have of going out early AM to reserve a lounge chair but then disappearing for many hours of the day leaving the chairs empty while other guests searched desperately to find a seat when they actually wanted to be present in the pool area. Adult entertainment was average at best - Duo Quintessa, the aerial performers were terrific, but the song and dance performers where pretty standard. The comedian was weak, the solo pianist was repetitive, and the lounge band was ok, but far from great. Most disappointing experience was the Norwegian private island Great Stirrup Cay - the tender transport was tedious, the swimming area was very rocky, and the food service was abysmal. They tell you over and over to hydrate but the buffet area had very limited hydration stations. The least they could do was give out bottled water - that's what Disney does on it's private island. Couldn't find any servers working the beach chair area either to offer drink service. We were really underwhelmed by that entire stop. Excursion time at Port Canaveral was too short. We only took the trip to Kennedy Space Center which was just a 25 minute drive from the ship - and didn't have enough time to do it justice. I can't imagine that anyone who took the excursions in to Orlando (about a 90 minute ride each way) would have had quality time at Disney or Universal. We did have a good visit to AquaAdventure at Atlantis when we got to Nassau which was a good stop and well worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
A friend of ours recommended this cruise as she thought we would enjoy it. It was our first cruise and heard many good things about the GEM. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the food at the main dining hall as ... Read More
A friend of ours recommended this cruise as she thought we would enjoy it. It was our first cruise and heard many good things about the GEM. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the food at the main dining hall as well as the Japanese restaurant. We never missed being entertained by Justin Golan, who was very talented and personable, as well as Jonathan the trumpet player in the cruise entertainment production, as well as appearing with Justin on occasion. We enjoyed the beach area at Cocoa Beach, as well as the private island and the beach in the Bahamas. Mantombi Ndlovu, the Restaurant Steward was one of the nicest and friendliest people we have ever met. Our cabin steward was excellent as well, as he attended to all of our needs in a friendly manner. Everyone on the boat was very talented and there was always something going on that was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food ... Read More
Three generations of my family went on this cruise, and everyone found something to enjoy or a way to relax. The staff was excellent, in the dining room, cabins and the shops. The food was unexpectedly good as the quality of cruise food generally has changed dramatically since we first started cruising 20 years ago. There was very little repetition in the entrees and the chef was very creative. The chocolate and flan/crème brulee desserts were excellent. The quality of the hand dipped ice cream was a bit below par. I have been on more than 6 cruises, 2 of which have been on Norwegian -- Gem and Dawn. The Gem is generally a well maintained, older ship which does show its age in a few areas. Oddly, the rest rooms near the bar lounges are very small, and could use upgrades. The mini-suites were very comfortable and well appointed. There was more than enough storage for our things. In one of the three suites we occupied, the bathroom fixture above the commode suddenly fell off the wall and shattered while someone was in there. Fortunately, he was standing and the fixture did not fall on him. It may be worthwhile to check these fixtures as they likely loosen over time. The cabin steward did clean the glass right away. The Kennedy Space Center excursion was a bit rushed, so arriving in Cape Canaveral sooner would have helped, considering the steep price of the tickets. I rented a cabana on the private island, which was well worth the price; the private shower was a pleasant surprise becuase it is not mentioned in the description of the cabana on the excursion site. Two disappointments: First, I paid for the premium wifi/internet access and the service was extremely slow, making work almost impossible -- it took 10 minutes to load just one screen. For $230, I expected much better speed, and it would have been better to limit the number of subscribers rather than sell to everyone, becuase I certainly did not get my money's worth for the access. Second, we ordered our photographs late Friday morning and due to an error in fulfilling our print request, our ability to pick up the photos was delayed. We went to pick them up after the show, but found mistake. They rushed the correction and called our cabin at 10:45 PM to pick up (altho the photo shop closed at 11, which didn't give us much time to get there), but we had already retired to our cabins and figured we would pick them up in the morning. However, when went Saturday morning, we were told that we would have to pay tax since we were in port. This was however, not made apparent to us the night before, which would have incentivized me to make the trip to the studio when I received the call. After some debate, and a call to the manager, we were compensated with 3 additional prints, which we really did not want or need, since the tax had to be paid. I think that this situation could have been slightly better handled on Friday night. Nonetheless, I good time was had by all, and we would certainly travel with Norwegian again. You made a believer out of my brother, who was cynical about being "stuck on a boat" for a week! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I love NCL. We had just sailed the Escape in May and decided to book Gem last minute in August! What a ship, what a crew. The ship shows wear but everything else about this ship is 5 star! Amazing staff, food... layout. ... Read More
I love NCL. We had just sailed the Escape in May and decided to book Gem last minute in August! What a ship, what a crew. The ship shows wear but everything else about this ship is 5 star! Amazing staff, food... layout. Service great. The magician Titu was fantastic. The Sugarcane mojo bar was fabulous. Cagneys was as good as Ruth Chris. We wanted a relaxing vacation and that is exactly what we had. I traveled with my husband and son and we all enjoyed more than we thought we would. Never a wait for anything. We showed up at the pier and we were onboard in less than 15 minutes. I had all my dining reservations done within 10 minutes of being on board.... Disembarked just as fast. Mega ships are very nice, but this showed how nice it is to travel on a smaller ship! Thank you all on Gem for a wonderful vacation Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Last minute cruise... Travel agent tried convincing not to take Norwegian so adamant I thought she was getting a cut from other cruise lines I've taken. Called Nowegian & booked anyway. BIG MISTAKE Here's why: 1. ... Read More
Last minute cruise... Travel agent tried convincing not to take Norwegian so adamant I thought she was getting a cut from other cruise lines I've taken. Called Nowegian & booked anyway. BIG MISTAKE Here's why: 1. Luggage was visibly smashed after searching it 2. Hair in sink. FECES on the inside toilet lid. Told the desk. Told it was cleaned. Later that night FECES was STILL there 3. Bartender rolled eyes because drink made was SOOO sour I NICELY asked for orange juice to cut it 4. Excursion desk worker was RUDE! 5. Front desk dismissive 6. Cabin light was like a strobe light 7. When I tried to share concerns, I was told it wasn't necessary & NONE of the issues were in my docket 8. Toilet would flush after 11:30pm 9. POOR customer service, was in tears as a result! 10. Heard others agree & complain about their experiences and treatment at the desk. I took ONLY my 13 year old and he was bored MOST of the time due to a lack of teen level interesting activities. He even got stuck on the sliding board due to a lack of adequate water flow through the tunnel. He had to SCOOT down the WATER slide! Ridiculous! NOBODY CARES!! AWFUL! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise to take our family for a summer vacation.This was a disaster .We couldn't understand the cruise director as she was from chile.The music player on deck and the nightclubs was mainly spanish,which we don't ... Read More
We chose this cruise to take our family for a summer vacation.This was a disaster .We couldn't understand the cruise director as she was from chile.The music player on deck and the nightclubs was mainly spanish,which we don't speak or understand.The adult only got this had kids in it all the time.No security of officials to monitor poolside rules.Children running in restaurants while waiters carrying glass trays.Also adult male assaulting his girlfriend and security fighting with him in hall.Not Good i wasn't happy or satisfied with this cruise on the Gem. Waiters and room attendants where great.Not much else. Also we got the drink package and some of the bars made your drink and some of the other bars didn't make that drink.The disembark fiasco on nd private island took forever.It seemed like nobody was in charge boats leaving not full and other boats to full. I well just very disappointed when we taste very pleased in the past. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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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