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1,168 Norwegian (NCL) Boston Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because it departed close to home and is an easy drive to the port . Once at the port and rounded like cattle and every one boarded . As the day went on I figure i would take a shower . The drain in my mini suit backed ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it departed close to home and is an easy drive to the port . Once at the port and rounded like cattle and every one boarded . As the day went on I figure i would take a shower . The drain in my mini suit backed up and flooded my bathroom with all kinds of waste coming up from the floor drain . it took almost four hours for the plumber to even get there to look at it. Day two excursion desk clerk thought it would be cute to talk about us in spanish as we walked away ( he didn’t know we understood him) idiot. The buffett was repetitive and had to many senior citizens grazing instead of putting food on their plates. There was a black sticky substance on the floor of state room , we asked house keeping to remove it , it was there the duration of the cruise . The cruise photographers all use the same model camera and strobe taking pictures while dinning or disembarking , The pictures taken at dinner cost 24.99 ok , but when approached by a photographer to take pictures they immediately try to up sell the picture for almost 1,200 dollars or 500.00 for a thumb drive . waste of time and way to expensive for a gaudy wall portrait . or digital files . I purchased some alcohol while on an Island. Once back on board ship it was taken away per policy with the promise it would be kept safe, this was not the case i got my bottle back damaged with the security seal partially removed. The head bartender was notified.His response was “the contents are still safe but he refused to sample it himself . ( would you buy an open questionable item in the grocery store) NCL thinks passengers are stupid enough to. ) The specialty Resturants were just ok except Le Bistro , the entertainment was geared more towards the elderly only a few good shows. We had requested a room away from the elevator. Not only was the room directly across from the elevator it was also directly under the pool , so we didn’t sleep much due to excessive noise .( we booked almost 9months before sailing so there shouldn’t have been an issue ) another example of NCL sticking it. to the consumer . At the end of the cruise after clearing security only to be stopped and told i have to go back and pay 12 dollars on a mini bar tab i never used ( NCL mistake ) not even an apology . speaking of drinks the bartenders couldn’t make a drink at all . My wife ordered a Blue Hawaiian and was given a pina collada mixed with blue curaçao. i asked for the drink of the day “ rebellious fish and got a moscow mule , next asked for a mai tai and got a rebelious fish aka moscow mule . and what type of mojito bar sucks at makin mojitos . This was not my first cruise but a first with ncl and most likely my last . they try and brainwash passengers with a “ you are ncl family “ song at the end of the last show . If that’s how NCL treats family . it’s awful . horrible experience. time to retire this very old and run down ship . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
1. Before we booked the cruise I specifically asked the NCL sales person what would happen if the price decreased after we booked. I was advised we would be offered a portion of the difference as onboard credit. A couple of months after we ... Read More
1. Before we booked the cruise I specifically asked the NCL sales person what would happen if the price decreased after we booked. I was advised we would be offered a portion of the difference as onboard credit. A couple of months after we paid, the booking price decreased by $400.00 for a two week period beginning a month before the sail date. When we inquired about the decrease, we were instead offered a cabin upgrade, of which we declined because we indicated that cabin type was not important to us. Also, a family member is prone to motion sickness, so we wanted to keep the midship cabin location we selected when we booked to minimize the possibly of motion sickness. There was no offer of any onboard credit given (we were declined when we subsequently asked both before and during the cruise). 2. A hostile spa employee who yelled in the spa hall and scolded us from 30-40 feet away because we were unattended in the hall looking for a family member on day one when spa tours were occurring. 3. Engine exhaust fumes (it was not paint or other ship maintenance fumes) in the cabin for the entire time (11:30 P.M. arrival to 6:00 P.M. the next day departure) in port in St. Thomas. We reported it in person to guest services 3 times until 2 A.M., who acknowledged there was an issue in multiple areas of the ship. One explanation given was that it was caused by a downdraft making the ships exhaust to get blown back into the ship. We were concerned about carbon monoxide. The housekeeping management subsequently indicated there were CO detectors in the cabin that would alert if there was a problem. That wasn't very comforting. It didn't make for a good night sleeping. 4. Lack of attention on two different days to our single person dining needs in the dining room. (Water not refilled, food not served for 15 minutes due to staff change, not asked if food was okay, and no salt/pepper/sugar on the table). Two of the three of us seldom ate in the dining room as a result. 5. Rolling cart noise on many days and associated clanging/banging sounds when apparently things fell from the cart. These sounds, which were in the wee hours (2 A.M. to 5A.M.) of the morning waking us up, came from behind, above, or below the cabin walls and were not from the hall. 6. Had a very difficult time (finally giving up after three attempts with no success) of being transferred between departments while trying to get pre-cruise phone assistance a couple of days before sailing with our designated NCL representative regarding item 1 above. We were advised by another rep that a possible reason for that could be our cruise sales consultant was no longer available due to possibly either leaving NCL or changing jobs, because she wasn't found in a NCL directory. We also received no reply to an email regarding this issue in item 1 sent to this consultant 3 weeks before sailing (which was the same day we talked with her by phone). We've done 7 cruises with 3 different companies in the last 2 years and this is the first time we had a negative experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I love to cruise, have always gone on NCL, they leave out of Boston, which is great, but my complaints are always the same: cabins too small, bad poop odor in halls. Breakfast ends too early, all day breakfast not available. Music, ... Read More
I love to cruise, have always gone on NCL, they leave out of Boston, which is great, but my complaints are always the same: cabins too small, bad poop odor in halls. Breakfast ends too early, all day breakfast not available. Music, singers, theater shows, MC's, games, singers, DJ's, and band around pool, way TOO LOUD!!! It drove us out of many activities. Movies in atrium would have been fun except they were awful, and again too loud. Drawings and slot machines in casino never seem to win. NCL needs to stop trying to sell diamonds and art, no one wants it or can afford it. NCL should end the stupid games around the pool and get rid of live band. Make rooms bigger on ship and let people relax in the sun. Also, pool water was not warm. But I was glad the hot tubs were not too hot, they seemed just right. The staff was helpful and hard working. I will cruise again, but just wish NCL would change cruising and get away from the loud hocky games, shows & blaring music. A classier atmosphere would be so much better. Hope this helps. More vegetarian options and please stop serving Veal, too cruel!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I have cruised before, but this was our first time on Norwegian. The ship was very clean and the service overall was very good (wait staff and room steward). We were pleased with our cabin (an interior stateroom). The food was ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised before, but this was our first time on Norwegian. The ship was very clean and the service overall was very good (wait staff and room steward). We were pleased with our cabin (an interior stateroom). The food was better than we expected (given the many negative reviews we had previously read about the food). We especially enjoyed the fish entrees on the dinner menu, and the seafood chowder offered on the last day was amazing! Our biggest food criticism is that the same menu was offered in the dining room at lunchtime every day. Every other cruise we've been on has offered a lunchtime menu in the dining room that changed from day to day. Our biggest disappointment with the cruise overall was the entertainment. First of all, they had the same musicians/singers (e.g., guitarist, pianist) for the entire cruise. They were just okay, and we grew to like them less and less (not to mention repeating the same songs) as the days ticked by. Every other cruise we've been on of this duration has swapped out entertainers over the course of the cruise. Secondly, we found many of the evening shows to be a disappointment, especially the comedian and musical shows. The music was too loud and the song selections were often poor (not fitting the audience). Also, my wife and I found the sexually suggestive dance moves and skimpy outfits offensive. Please treat and present people as authentic human beings, not sex objects. Finally, we found the selection of activities on sea days disappointing. Part of this reflects the ship being smaller in size, but the cruise director's staff could have done a much better job with activities being offered. For example, why not show a movie in the theater on sea days? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love leaving out of Boston. No planes.....easy port. We love the 14 day cruises in the fall. There are very few kids (I like kids,but as a teacher, it is nice to have adult time) We arrived in Boston around noon. We parked in the ... Read More
We love leaving out of Boston. No planes.....easy port. We love the 14 day cruises in the fall. There are very few kids (I like kids,but as a teacher, it is nice to have adult time) We arrived in Boston around noon. We parked in the open lot next to the ship ($200). Check in was easy. We have taken this same cruise many times on the Gem as well as other NCL ships. We had an ocean view room on deck 8. The room was clean and easy to get to. Our room steward was new. He was good, but forgot minor things. FOOD The service and the food in the main dining room was good. The staff was good, but always seemed in a hurry. The food in the speciality restaurants was NOT good. There are many changes to the speciality menus and they are not good. Le Bistro was awful. Our waitress was very rude. The Denver Sole was dry. The creme brûlée is now a pudding. Cagney’s was a disappointment. No more oyster rockerfellow. My steak was all fat. Service was okay, but staff was so overworked. Le Cucina was also a disappointment. Chicken parmigiana was overcooked with dried pasta. Teppanyaki was sad. The scallops were tiny pieces of scallops. The main dining rooms were so much better than speciality. Save your money. The buffet was always clean and good. Entertainment We enjoyed the comic, the magician, singers, and shows. We loved the game shows. Trivia was fun. Islands We had perfect weather on each island. We have been to all these places dozens of times, so we mostly did beaches. Casino Nice selection of slots. The dealers at the tables are like robots. They do not smile, talk, or enjoy working. Many told us they were quitting soon. Overall I had a nice time. The ship is dated, but I wanted a quiet, peaceful trip. Other then the speciality restaurants being horrible, everything else was very good Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this cruise to get a good sampling of the Southern Caribbean. The service was excellent and all of the staff were truly happy to part of your vacation. I have mixed feeling about the freestyle cruise.On one hand I enjoyed the ... Read More
We went on this cruise to get a good sampling of the Southern Caribbean. The service was excellent and all of the staff were truly happy to part of your vacation. I have mixed feeling about the freestyle cruise.On one hand I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility, it also I believe lead to some fast food attempts for some at the restaurants. Although we did not travel with kids, there were a lot of onboard activities and areas for kids. These areas were somewhat out of the way so those that did not have kids wouldn't necessarily know there were any onboard, a very good design. The activities on at see days were great for learning culture history and being entertained, the staff were excellent and really made the trip worth while. Overall I would definitely consider using Norwegian again over the 3 others cruise lines I have traveled with. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The people working on the ship really made our experience a positive one! They were all so kind and cheerful and everyone knew our names (especially Patrick, Altheena, Rechelle, lady from St. Lucia, lady from South Africa, Chinese ladies, ... Read More
The people working on the ship really made our experience a positive one! They were all so kind and cheerful and everyone knew our names (especially Patrick, Altheena, Rechelle, lady from St. Lucia, lady from South Africa, Chinese ladies, etc). They were the best part of the cruise! The girls in the Spa were so friendly (Sumi, Thiang, Pauline, Katazyna, etc!) and the ladies working in the Splash Academy were amazing with the children especially Rainbow and Brazilian girl). The fresh crapes with Nutella every night made by Patrick were our favorite part of the food on board! I would suggest an upgrade in food including more fresh fish options. By the end of the cruise we felt like we couldn't bear another meal onboard so we definitely would have enjoyed the food more if there were fresh fish. Maybe less options but more freshness. Lastly painting maintenance shouldn't be done when passengers are aboard the ship. I got a horrible headache because of the paint fumes and my children were complaining too of the smell. When we complained of the smell they came and changed the HVAC filter in our room and it was like black soot. I heard another lady on board say that she had been coughing the whole time she was onboard and it stopped when she was off the boat. Maybe that was why... Overall a positive experience thanks to the crew! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise longer than 7 days.It was a good decision and we will be booking longer cruises in the future.Getting on the ship ran smoothly and our room was ready . The inside cabins seem to have shrunk quite a bit.The layout ... Read More
This was our first cruise longer than 7 days.It was a good decision and we will be booking longer cruises in the future.Getting on the ship ran smoothly and our room was ready . The inside cabins seem to have shrunk quite a bit.The layout of the ship was similar to other so finding our way around was easy. The shows were good but the dance routines were just a little too busy. The cruise director and staff were great and allover the place. All the staff on the boat were great. Our room steward was excellant, she was never in the way but available when we need her. The TV free selections were very poor. We book excursions off the ship mostly because of cost. This was a nice selection of islands and did not include a cruise ship island which we don't care for..The disembarkation was a little confusion because we could not tell which color was being called. The meeting space for the friend of bill meeting would have worked better for me at 5:00. One of the conference room would have been a better choice Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Start to finish this cruise was AMAZING!! The cabin, restaurants, ports, entertainment and especially the staff. We cannot thank Benny our butler and Giann our concierge enough for making this cruise so special.The ship was spotless any ... Read More
Start to finish this cruise was AMAZING!! The cabin, restaurants, ports, entertainment and especially the staff. We cannot thank Benny our butler and Giann our concierge enough for making this cruise so special.The ship was spotless any hour of the day. The bar staff went out of their way to accommodate us. We traveled with a person using a scooter and he had no issues navigating his way through the hallways or in and out of the elevators. All of the ports we docked and very easy to get on or off especially with the scooter. We did three beach excursions booked through NCL and all we fantastic. We really loved the itinerary and are disappointed that NCL has decided to stop this trip for next year and replacing it with 5 day Bermuda trips. Hopefully enough people will speak up and bring the southern Caribbean trips back to Boston. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We live just outside Boston and this was a 13 day round trip cruise from Boston which was perfect. I had recently been put on a restricted sodium diet and did worry about how that would work out over a 13 day cruise. I need not have ... Read More
We live just outside Boston and this was a 13 day round trip cruise from Boston which was perfect. I had recently been put on a restricted sodium diet and did worry about how that would work out over a 13 day cruise. I need not have worried as I had a woman meet with me every night to preorder my meal for the next night at whatever dining room we planned to eat. Including the specialty restaurants! This was arranged through the dining room manager. I actually lost 2 pounds!! Food was excellent. We found the entertainment varied and quite good. The library was one of my favorite spots until they held art classes in the card room next door which meant people were in the library playing cards, games, etc. One woman actually brought her pillow, blanket and eye mask and stretched out across the couch to take a nap! Another man came every day to snore for several hours! Maybe a little better control over what a library is intended to be. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because it was out of Boston so we did not have to fly to get to the ship., We had sailed on the Gem last year and enjoyed the ship so we figured we would do it again. We enjoy all the different places to eat on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was out of Boston so we did not have to fly to get to the ship., We had sailed on the Gem last year and enjoyed the ship so we figured we would do it again. We enjoy all the different places to eat on the ship, your are not limited to the dining room or the buffet or the specialty restaurants. The money we saved on airfare we put into a better cabin, the suite life really is sweet. The crew was great the lounges were great and the food was great. When you book a suite you are escorted on to the ship and taken to a private restaurant for lunch. You also have access to private restaurants for lunch and breakfast during the entire cruise. Shore excursions were ok! but nothing to write home about, some better then others. All in all great trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cabins not updated and small....guest services would not deal with a drunk neighbor we had next to us that screamed at nite....I was forced to buy alcohol package even though I can’t drink due to heart medicine.....Royal Caribbean always ... Read More
Cabins not updated and small....guest services would not deal with a drunk neighbor we had next to us that screamed at nite....I was forced to buy alcohol package even though I can’t drink due to heart medicine.....Royal Caribbean always accepted a dr’s note....and did not force purchase of alcohol package...Very difficult to find a seat at breakfast...Staff was not helpful with seating issues.Food was not impressive...we are upset that we are not being reimbursed for loosing a day and a half of a 14 day cruise...We will NEVER cruise with Norwegian again...We feel that the quality was certainly not worth the money.Guest services were not helpful with issues of a noisy ,drunk neighbor...Had to getup really early to get a seat at the pool...was expected to pay $8 extra for room service in the morning if the order included an omelet...Put limits on how many muffins,etc could be ordered on room service... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I are longtime NCL guests. We chose this cruise based on the convenience of departing port being close to home and also based on the itinerary. We have taken numerous cruises with NCL and were very disappointed in this ... Read More
My husband and I are longtime NCL guests. We chose this cruise based on the convenience of departing port being close to home and also based on the itinerary. We have taken numerous cruises with NCL and were very disappointed in this cruise. It lacked all of the reasons we usually choose to vacation on this cruise line. Embarkation was disappointing. First time ever where it seemed chaotic and disorganized and the lines were beyond long. Once onboard it was apparent that the ship was not staffed appropriately. It seemed that there was minimal staff to accommodate guest needs. Unable to be seated in timely manner at specialty restaurants that were pre-booked prior to boarding that were 3/4 vacant at time of reservation. Food service took a ridiculous amount of time to arrive after placing an order. Food was over salted to the point of it being inedible. There was a medical emergency on deck 12. The guest was injured and bleeding in and around the hottub. I watched as the crew without gloves attended to the guest contaminating the surrounding area. The location was never properly sterilized after the emergency. Hot tub was never drained and cleaned/disinfected. They absorbed the blood with pool/beach towels. The shore excursions meeting location was set up poorly in every port. There was one canopy set up along side the ship with few chairs for guests to wait however the tour organizers did not allow us to wait under the shaded canopy. They had us gather in lines in the sun for 15-30 minutes prior to the tour start. Another medical emergency occurred on the day of the last port. The ship was full speed ahead to get back to Boston a day early which meant we lost a day of beautiful weather, use of the pool, outdoor activities. I have always enjoyed cruising with NCL but was really taken aback by what was lacking in this cruise. It makes me question whether I may want to rethink NCL being my cruise line of choice for my family's upcoming European vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The first 10 days were pretty good. Weather was great till the end. Left in the rain and returned with rain. The ship needs some maintenance and definitely all was not working correctly. Some passengers were relocated due to a unusual ... Read More
The first 10 days were pretty good. Weather was great till the end. Left in the rain and returned with rain. The ship needs some maintenance and definitely all was not working correctly. Some passengers were relocated due to a unusual odor in room that caused headaches. Our cabin was kept clean and well stocked with towels Most crew members were very personable however there were some that could have cared less about the passengers. Dining room crew became very attentive after a negative comment card and tried to make it right. Entertainment was mediocre however the cast was exceptional. I was not impressed with the comedian, aerialist couple were great. Enjoyed the band that played in the pool area. While in our last port, there was a medical situation on Monday. Tuesday noontime there was an announcement that we were going to sail at full speed in order to reach Boston a day early. Seems that a closer port could have been reached without creating an immigration and disembarkation nightmare. Based on the numbers of passengers with lmobility issues, location for immigration was a mistake since only 2 elevators went to the 12th floor and then a different elevator to get to 13. Food was repetitive and service was mediocre. Lack of desserts that were lactose free, only had fruit and lemon sorbet were the options. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a solo cruise for me. The second day on the ship the solos got together with Patrick from the Cruise Staff leading the meeting. It was nice to look forward to having dinner and company in the main dining room each evening. The ... Read More
This was a solo cruise for me. The second day on the ship the solos got together with Patrick from the Cruise Staff leading the meeting. It was nice to look forward to having dinner and company in the main dining room each evening. The food was good, not great. The service was fair. Long waits for food to arrive, inexperienced wait staff. I joined the spa for the whole cruise. It gave access to the thalassotherapy pool and whirlpool. There are also heated tile beds, comfortable lounge chairs, a steam room and dry sauna. Locker rooms with showers also available. Cost was $250 for the two weeks. I attended two of the spa lectures. The second was on weight loss and detoxing. Attendees were invited to make an appt to meet with one of the speakers to get add'l info on recommended foods, body fat percentage, weight loss goals, etc. I signed up. What actually occurred was a high pressure sales tactic to buy very expensive vitamins and sachets for the bath which were supposed to penetrate the skin and remove built up toxins. The cost for the sachets? $1,000/3 months supply. When I said it was not affordable to me the spa employee became rude and dismissive. I was really taken back that a ship employee would speak to a passenger in that manner. What a creep. I complained. My $39 charge and 18% auto gratuity were refunded. I also had a 75 minute massage which was $152. At the end the massage person started a sales pitch for ridiculously priced products. I passed. This time without the crass feedback from the employee. The spa service level is low end. Looks nice until you don't buy what's offered. Cruise spa services have always had premium pricing but in years past the level of exchange was much higher. The spa staff needs some serious work. The Park West Gallery auction staff were on the ship (as they always are). Same stuff I first encountered many years ago with some new artists. Tarkay, Medvedev, Peter Max, Bellet, Krasnyansky. They're all still there. The staff focuses on those who show interest and the auctions are fun-for a short time anyway. The first one I went to dragged on for a long time and I ended up leaving before the pieces I was interested in were brought up front. It would be nice if those pieces people expressed interest in were brought up to auction first. There were a few high end pieces ($30,000+) that no one purchased and there were a few others in the $2,000-$5,000 range that were bought by one couple. My cabin steward was very good. Highly professional and kept my cabin tidy and supplied with ice. I used the shower in the spa for the entire two weeks so minimal cleaning needed in my cabin. The wifi is terrible. I purchased 50 minutes time and it took that long for me to connect with email I needed to reply to. The woman at the internet desk was very nice and recommended trying to log on during slow times. This was when most passengers were off the ship. It took a very long time to connect and several times the connection failed. I made one connection so for the cost it was a complete waste of money. The ship returned to Boston a day early because a passenger became ill. I was thrilled to get off the ship and home early but the process was chaotic, none of the staff had a clue on how to direct passengers. I was directed to go through the immigration room twice. Once w/o luggage and the second time w/ luggage. It took 2.5 hours from when I left my cabin until when I finally got off the ship. The elevators were shut down to all but two floors, people not able to negotiate stairs and left with no direction. It was a big fail for the ship and staff. I have never seen a disembarkation so poorly executed. When I got off the ship there were no taxis waiting and the weather was cold and rainy. Not good. For entertainment the hypnotist was a lot of fun. She had 20 people on stage and the show was really good. A lot of laughs. The piano player/singer in the Martini/Champagne bar area could play well but his voice was terrible. Worst I've encountered in 22 years of cruising. He mentioned looking forward to seeing his girlfriend when he returned home, he said she was going to need a lot of loving from him because of his absence. Does anyone need to know this? No. Overall, I would not do the cruise again. The spa confrontation left me with a really bad feeling over high pressure tactics, rude, very rude staff and the general attitude from spa staff was less than inviting. One woman, Sunshine, was lovely and very pleasant. But that was it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our family of 4 loved making memories together on this 15 day cruise out of Boston. The ship is the perfect size, in my opinion. The ship could use a few cosmetic updates, most notably some signs that had paint chipping off, etc. - but was ... Read More
Our family of 4 loved making memories together on this 15 day cruise out of Boston. The ship is the perfect size, in my opinion. The ship could use a few cosmetic updates, most notably some signs that had paint chipping off, etc. - but was in great condition overall. Our stateroom was kept very clean, and although we encountered a few issues (clogged drain with some leaking, broken light fixture, etc.) they were resolved pretty quickly. I would say about 75% of the crew was outstanding on this cruise - friendly, personable, and at least from outward appearances seem to enjoy their job. We did have a handful of crew members who were not the friendliest or who kind of came off rough around the edges, including a few at the guest service desk. That said, we found the overall crew and service to be great. Activities staff was enthusiastic and funny, and all activities we participated in were fun. My kids (aged 13 and 12) enjoyed themselves but were a bit bored by the end of the cruise. Not many other kids on this sailing since it was a long one during the school year, and many of the activities were geared toward older cruisers for obvious reasons. We had good experiences in all the ports, and made lots of memories. Dining was pretty good overall, especial the specialty dining. Buffet lacked some variety but otherwise we were pleased with everything. Drinks were made stronger than I ever remember from previous cruises, but tasty nonetheless. Entertainment was pretty good overall, with the guitarist/singer LM Cancio being the best in our opinion. Very talented young man. Would definitely take this trip again, although my kids would prefer a larger ship with more bells and whistles. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
No flights, time of year & length. NCL always does a nice job W/ value & friendliness. Decent perks for Latitudes members. Specialty dinning was excellent, we ate at Cagney's twice La Cucina twice, Tepanany and Orchard ... Read More
No flights, time of year & length. NCL always does a nice job W/ value & friendliness. Decent perks for Latitudes members. Specialty dinning was excellent, we ate at Cagney's twice La Cucina twice, Tepanany and Orchard Garden twice, celebration our 31st anniversary at Cagney's with cake provided by the Gem,,,nice surprise. I am unable to walk long distances so we like the Jewel class ships or smaller. This was a problem at two ports through no fault of NCL. We were unable to go ashore in St Thomas or St Martin this time do to a lack of shuttle service at the piers, big disappointment since they are two of our favorite islands for different reasons. Another problem that wasn't the cruise lines fault was at the terminal in Boston. After disembarking they made us go outside the building where there was no protection from the 21 degree wind chill while awaiting our transportation. Many, including handicapped and elderly were huddled in the restroom and it's entryway shivering for up to and over an hour, almost criminal! Must also be hell in hot summer weather. As a result I doubt we will ever leave from Black Falcon Boston again. It made NYC piers and Cape Liberty seem almost luxurious. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took the 14 night gem cruise because of cruise credits expirations. We were pleasantly surprised as last cruise on ncl was epic in 2013. Recently doing RCL and celebrity. Dining room staff excellent food decent. Activities staff ... Read More
We took the 14 night gem cruise because of cruise credits expirations. We were pleasantly surprised as last cruise on ncl was epic in 2013. Recently doing RCL and celebrity. Dining room staff excellent food decent. Activities staff outstanding. Zumba with Jeff was outstanding. Daily dancing activities. Every night a dance theme parties. Ports were excellent. Unfortunately quite a few drunks as this drink package thing is not controlled. The ship is a little worn out. Paint chipping etc. Prism band was outstanding. Production shows were excellent. Other acts were fair to great. We had an issue with chemical smell in our first ocean view room and after days of complaining we were switched to a balcony floor 8. Thankfully we enjoyed the fresh air but ceiling paint chips kept us out of balcony. Ncl activities staff were excellent and the dance parties were great as they added so much to everyone. Cruise came to an early end as a medical emergency had captain cruise full speed and we got off the ship with our luggage at 8 pm Thursday after dinner and show. I’m home writing review instead of waiting to embark on Friday morning. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Being New Englanders we enjoy going out of Boston because of the convenience. The embarkation process was super easy this time...very little waiting around....and as usual, the staff was friendly and helpful. We had been on the Gem ... Read More
Being New Englanders we enjoy going out of Boston because of the convenience. The embarkation process was super easy this time...very little waiting around....and as usual, the staff was friendly and helpful. We had been on the Gem before, so it was easy to get around and find everything. Our balcony cabin on the 9th floor was always clean and tidy. Thanks to the tour we had, we heard that the towel animals would be “endangered” because of all the extra laundry it causes, but we did have a few on our 2 week cruise. We are Platinum level and also had 5 other specialty dining nights (due to the package deal) and we definitely enjoyed those nights. Cagney’s steaks are so delicious as is their OMG cheesecake. We love La Bistro, including the escargots. The food and dining experience at Tepanyaki is always fun. The other dining was equally good and the service was excellent. We always try to chat with the servers and love watching them smile when we ask where they are from. This time we were not as impressed with the entertainment as we had been other times. The juggler was ok as was the hypnotist, but nothing special. The pianist was excellent as was the ship’s band. Some of the small bands that played at the pool and in Magnums wow good, but it was a disappointment to not have a “sing-along piano bar guy”. We took several shore excursions, including a catamaran ride, which was great. The cave tour (sorry, I cannot remember where!) was also very good. There were several ecumenical church services during our time onboard. These were lovely and I hope they continue to offer these on future sailings. There was a medical emergency that caused us to return to Boston 12 hours early, but it was handled well, and passengers were given the choice to leave or remain on board. We chose to remain on board. I can honestly say the staff was super friendly and initiate saying hello when they passed you in the hallway. We enjoy NCL, and have been on other cruise lines so have things to compare with. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
For our very first cruise, I wanted to choose one that left from somewhere nearby and didnt have a lot of ports to stop in so I had to choose between NCL and Royal Caribbean . I chose the Gem simply for the freestyle dining to try to make ... Read More
For our very first cruise, I wanted to choose one that left from somewhere nearby and didnt have a lot of ports to stop in so I had to choose between NCL and Royal Caribbean . I chose the Gem simply for the freestyle dining to try to make our experience as easy and carefree as possible. I was very pleased with the ship: the staff was very nice, it was very clean. A few times I wished I had more instruction as a first time cruiser but, we figured it out. Bermuda was a perfect destination and overall, I would say that my husband and I had a spectacular vacation. I had read from other cruisers their disappointment in NCL. Declining service friendliness, no towel animals, paper straws.... Paper straws just made sense. I bought other straws to take that were biodegradable and plant based, but I never even opened the box. I don't care about towel animals. I think these people work long hours and that seems a bit of a waste of time, energy and resources. With no basis of comparison, I was happy with the staff. They were all very kind. My only complaint really was the food. There is no indication that I saw that the buffets and the two main dining rooms would be the exact same menu each night. Yes, I know, there is specialty dining, but I sort of figured there would be enough between those two options and O'Sheehans and the Orchid Garden that we would have plenty of great choices. The choices that we did have were mediocre at best. We did not try Orchid Garden, but if you ordered a burger and fries at O'Sheehans, or the pastry basket and eggs for breakfast, you seriously are getting the same burger and fries and pastries that are on both buffets. If you ordered a dish that came with fries in the main dining room, the fries will be the same fries as well, etc. I had few good things but over all, it was much less than I expected for the price that we paid for this cruise. I get that they are in business to make money and the specialty restaurants are part of that, but I was disappointed. I might choose NCL again, because I really did have fun, but I am fairly certain that we will be looking at other cruise lines or headed back to Bermuda via air. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were traveling with friends that had never cruised before and figured that the Boston to Bermuda would be a first great cruise for them. We got to the terminal nice and early and sailed through security and check-in and patiently ... Read More
We were traveling with friends that had never cruised before and figured that the Boston to Bermuda would be a first great cruise for them. We got to the terminal nice and early and sailed through security and check-in and patiently waited for board. Once we got on board, we were the first ones in O'Sheehans for lunch. O'Sheehans is my least favorite restaurant on the ship but everyone else enjoyed their lunch. After lunch, we were off to explore. I'm partial to the Dawn, the Gem is a beautiful ship that has some cool spots that the Dawn doesn't have, ie., The Great Outdoors. I loved spending time back there. Once our cabins were available, we went to check them out. Our friends had a balcony stateroom. This trip we had an inside cabin. It is my second time in an inside cabin but it was my husband's first time and he wasn't sure how he was going to feel about it. He ended up not finding it too bad. Just keep the bathroom light on and the door shut and enough light comes out. Also, bring a clock with a light to put next to your bed so you can see what time it is. We usually book a balcony stateroom but seeing this was my third cruise of the year, the inside was just going to have to do. :-) Not to mention, I literally left the room in the morning and didn't come back until bed time! Our friends enjoyed their balcony stateroom. The food was amazing. There was never any shortage of something to eat. Cagney's was amazing, per usual. The Orchid Garden was also great. Moderno's left us in a meat coma. One of our server's at Magenta's, Alexandria, was amazing. She was so attentive. Actually, all of the servers were great. We never left any restaurant feeling less than satisfied. The entertainment was great. We saw Blazing Boots and Let's Get Down Tonight and loved both of them. I love the grand finale and I hope they don't get rid of that. I would have liked to see a crew talent show, but I don't think they do that anymore. Karaoke was okay. The sound was better this trip but they need to work on song selections (Ferdie did say they were getting a new company for that, so we shall see). Bandeoke was a blast. Music in the different bars was always good. All in all, it was a great trip. My complaints are minimal; did not like having to sign for the towels. The whole process looked disorganized so I don't know how they really tracked it. Our room steward never introduced himself (my husband was totally fine with that) but I like making the small talk. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say and can't wait until the next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A group of us met with our travel agent and we decided on the Gem from his review of it. The entertainment was wonderful, but the most impressive thing was the friendliness of the staff. All of the staff was courteous, friendly and ... Read More
A group of us met with our travel agent and we decided on the Gem from his review of it. The entertainment was wonderful, but the most impressive thing was the friendliness of the staff. All of the staff was courteous, friendly and very helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed the food and the dining facilities. The photographs taken are a little expensive, but for my first cruise, I just had to have them. The shore excursions, especially the tour of the island was extremely informative and a lot of fun. The only thing that was difficult was having reservations for the specialty dining. The reservations were for so late a time, that we missed a lot of the shows. I would not do reservations in the future because of that. The comedy show was fabulous and the Blazing Boots show was the best. I would definitely go again, and use the same travel agent, Chris Chambo. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Had a wonderful time this was my first cruise and it was so much fun. Amazing trip I already want to go on another one. Food and drinks on board was great, loved the staff, fun on board activities, we had so much fun while at sea, ... Read More
Had a wonderful time this was my first cruise and it was so much fun. Amazing trip I already want to go on another one. Food and drinks on board was great, loved the staff, fun on board activities, we had so much fun while at sea, exploring the boats shops and resturants. I super enjoyed my drink package. Bermuda was beautiful. We went parasailing and saw the dolphins and we also explored Hamilton and St. George's. The Crystal and Fantasy caves were amazing. Horse shoe & Tobacco bay beach were beyond words. We did a lot with only 3 days docked, first day being a Sunday.. theres so much beauty and fun in Bermuda I will have to go back to see more. We used our bus and ferries pass which was soo worth it. We had a great time andI can't wait to travel on another NCL cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was very compartmentalized. No large open area atrium to enjoy. The food was absolutely horrible. We have traveled NCL and other cruise lines in the past and have never experienced such a bad experience related to the food. ... Read More
The ship was very compartmentalized. No large open area atrium to enjoy. The food was absolutely horrible. We have traveled NCL and other cruise lines in the past and have never experienced such a bad experience related to the food. Buffet was the same things every day with little variety. The main complimentary dining rooms were bland and like warm. By the time we realized the food issue, the pay for dining reservations were booked. Everyone we talked to had the same experience. Getting off the ship at ports was slow, unorganized and disappointing. Do NOT choose stateroom 8570. This obstructed view cabin has NO view, just light coming in. Additionally, the lifeboat outside the room is used for tendering. Each morning it is a rude noisy awakening and good luck resting after a long day at the ports. Overall horrible experience. We traveled on the Escape a year before and it was awesome. Not sure why this experience was on the opposite end of the scale. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food was mediocre, dining room service needs improvement, line to get off the ship was more than an hour, Announcement and staff were hard to understand, shows not so good. Did not use shore excursions from ship. I used vacations to ... Read More
Food was mediocre, dining room service needs improvement, line to get off the ship was more than an hour, Announcement and staff were hard to understand, shows not so good. Did not use shore excursions from ship. I used vacations to go. The room service was fine and very friendly. Furniture (love seat) had to be moved against balcony window so we could access the 2 twin beds. Still very tight to get between them and in and out. I am used to dining with many waiters at my table, more elegant decor, and far better food. Many items on the menu were the same every night. Had technical problems with my phone changing to weird times and sometimes not changing when new time zones. We missed one tour that we paid for due to this. Overall I would not sail on Norwegian again. I had planned on Hawaii Islands with them but will choose another line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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